2018 NCAA March Madness Coverage

 2018 NCAAM Sweet 16 - South Regional 

Loyola’s Cinderella Story has just began after Final Four berth
By C. Isaiah Smalls II
The Maroon Tiger Editor-In-Chief

 

Fifteen. 

That’s how many consecutive games the Loyola University Chicago Ramblers have won after their 78-62 win over Kansas State in the South Regional Elite Eight matchup. For the first time since 1963, the Ramblers have advanced to the Final Four, becoming only the fifth double-digit seed to do so in tournament history. 

“I just -- this group of guys are resilient,” Loyola Coach Porter Mosser said. “They believe. We've said it all along, game by game, they've just taken one game at a time and believed. Their togetherness, their body language, their effort that they invested.”

That “togetherness” was on display from the very beginning. By the first media timeout, all the starters had scored. At halftime, they were shooting over 50 percent while holding the Wildcats’ starters to under 40.  

“They shot 34 percent for the game,” Marques Townes said. “That was one of our game goals, to try to have them shoot under 40 percent for the game. We knew that Kansas State was a gritty team, and they'll get up on you and make you turn the ball over. But I felt like we took real care of the ball today. We were selfless today and Ben had a real good game.”

While defense has been their calling card for the duration of the tournament, it has been the Ramblers’ willingness to share the ball that has made them a matchup nightmare. There’s just no telling who’s going to show-up. Today, it was Ben Richardson who set a new career-high in points (23) and three-pointers made (6) enroute to being named the region’s Most Valuable Player.

“That's what's so special about our team,” Richardson said, “we've got so many unselfish guys, and we have so many weapons. And like we've been saying, it can be anybody's night.”

As a team, the Ramblers shot 57.4 percent from the field while hitting nine three-pointers at a 50 percent clip. Since the tournament began, the Wildcats had prided themselves on defense, holding opponents to 33.8 percent from the field as well as 26.5 on three-pointers. The Ramblers, however, possessed one thing that the Wildcats had yet seen: a knack for fundamentally sound basketball.

“I think they were just more disciplined on offense,” Kansas State’s Barry Brown said. “We didn't really have a disciplined defense; they were spreading us out, getting in gaps, and kicking and playing rope backs and playing off of each other and just making the right passes.”

What ultimately killed Kansas State was their inability to generate offense in the half court. The Wildcats handily won the turnover battle 15 to six with which they converted to 28 points. Despite taking 19 more shots, the Wildcats made four less field goals than the Ramblers, a testament to Loyola’s suffocating defense. 

“But defensively,” Kansas State Coach Bruce Weber said, “some of the stuff they do, icing the ball screens, switching everything, they're very physical. We never could get in any rhythm.”  

When tournament play first began, virtually no one outside of the Loyola’s program imagined they’d be cutting down the nets in Atlanta. It was a pipe dream. Even with championship favorites like UVA and Arizona falling, the Ramblers were still being written off.

The slights did not stop, even on game day. Early Saturday afternoon, a high schooler wanted to take a picture with the team and mistakenly asked Clayton Custer to take the photo. Like most of the country, the kid did not even know Loyola’s leading scorer.

Well, Clayton, they do now. And as the Ramblers prepare to head to San Antonio, they have emerged from the obscurity of middle-America as if to tell the world one thing—Loyola has and always have been the real deal.

-March 25, 2018


Loyola-Chicago guard Marques Townes drives through the Kansas State defense during the first half of their Elite 8 matchup in Philips Arena - Photo/Tyler Mitchell

Atlanta, Ga. -- Loyola Chicago becomes the fifth double digit seed in NCAA history to make it to the Final Four. 11th seed Loyola ran ninth seed Kansas State out of Philips Arena, beating the Wildcats 78-62. Loyola joins the 2016 Syracuse team, the 2011 VCU Rams, 2006 George Mason Patriots and the 1986 LSU Tigers as the only double digit seeds to make the Final Four.

Loyola clawed their way to the Final Four in a bracket that featured the No. one ranked team in the nation in Virginia, sixth ranked Cincinnati, 12th ranked Arizona, 13th ranked Tennessee, 18th ranked Kentucky, 22nd ranked Miami and 24th ranked Nevada.

Loyola’s path to the Final Four is different because the they are the only double digit seed that didn’t have to beat a No. one seed to make it. The Ramblers will head to San Antonio to take on Michigan. With a win, they will become the only double digit seed to make it to the national championship game.

“All summer long, we were like, ‘why not us?’ This is not something where it just started,” said Loyola head coach Porter Moser. “You have to have high-character guys that believe to truly do that.”

-March 25, 2018

 

Multiple Misinterpretations
By Tucker Toole
The Maroon Tiger Associate Sports Editor

Atlanta, Ga. -- Kentucky head coach John Calipari is known for starting freshmen in big-time moments and big-time games in the month of March. He recruits some the best basketball players in the world and has had multiple players get drafted in the NBA first round. A high majority of the players that have gone to the NBA from Kentucky during Calipari’s tenure have been one-and-done.

These 18, 19-year-old guys are held to a high standard of which they must carry themselves in a respectable manner which is the norm. Fans, media, and etc might not realize the emotions that these young, student-athletes might be feeling.

The first question asked from the media was to freshman PJ Washington who recorded a double-double with 18 points and 15 rebounds, but was immediately asked about his free throw performance where he shot 8 for 20 from the line.

“We lost. I didn't play good at all,” Washington said candidly. “As you saw, I went 8 for 20 from the line. I feel like if I would have made at least half of those, we would have won the game, so I didn't play really good.” That’s a lot of weight for an 18-year-old to take.

Not only did the players feel defeated as they rightfully should, their sportsmanship was questioned because they did not shake the Kansas State’s players hands as they were celebrating with their fans after the win.

“Well, I went down to shake their hands, too, and they were turned and celebrating so then I walked off,” Calipari said. “I had no disrespect or anything, just that they were celebrating and I was happy for them. I walked off, too. But I went down, I shook all the coaches' hands, I went down to shake their hands -- which I understood. They're in an Elite 8 game now, a chance to go to the Final Four. My team is not like that, neither is our program. There's no disrespect in any way. They beat us. They deserved to win the game.”

Moments where a team loses may be hard for student-athletes, however it does prepare the ones who will enter the NBA for future media situations. In the same instance, the Kentucky freshmen managed to deal with the weight of their Kansas State loss due to their maturation and growth from the responsibility of representing their university.

-March 24, 2018
 

Kansas St Moves on to the Elite Eight
By Tyler Mitchell
The Maroon Tiger Sports Editor

In the Sweet 16 battle of the Wildcats, 11 seed Kansas State upset the basketball power house University of Kentucky 61-58. Prior to the matchup, analysts believed Kentucky had the easiest road to the Final Four, but Kansas State was quick to prove them wrong as they jumped out to a 13-1 lead. Kansas State held the lead for the entire first half and 2:38 of the second half.

The win over fifth seed Kentucky will go down as one of the biggest wins in Kansas State history and the team will head to the Elite Eight for the first time since 2010.

Kentucky couldn’t seem to find their stride in the first half, as Kansas State’s defense held Kentucky to shooting 26 percent from the field. Kentucky appeared to come alive in the second half taking the lead at the 17-minute mark. K-State battled back with an onslaught of three-pointers and fast break layups regaining the lead at 52-44.

Kentucky big man Pj Washington kept them in the game scoring at will in the post. He finished with a double-double listing 18 points and 15 rebounds. His big game was overshadowed by his performance at the free-throw line where he shot 8-20 from the line.

“We lost. I didn't play good at all. As you saw, I went 8 for 20 from the line,” Washington said. “I feel like if I would have made at least half of those, we would have won the game, so I didn't play really good.”

Kansas State’s top player, Dean Wade, was a game time decision as he recovered from a foot injury. He played eight minutes, but was sent to the bench after an injury flare. In his absence, Xavier Sneed took over scoring 22 points and nine rebounds. Sneed finished with a game-high five threes.

“Jumping out to a lead on anybody builds confidence for the whole team, especially on a great program like Kentucky. Just to show them that we can play with those guys,” Sneed said. “I felt pretty good all night long, and warmups. And also yesterday got a good shoot around, got a good feel for the rims, and I felt like I had a pretty good game.”

K-State guard Barry Brown scored when it mattered most. With Sneed fouled out, Brown took over and drove to the basket and scored a tough layup with 18.4 seconds remaining, giving K-State a 60-58-point lead.

Kentucky had a chance to tie the game at 61 with 5.4 seconds remaining, but Kentucky failed to score on the play Calipari drew up out of a timeout. Kentucky point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander couldn’t find an open man and forced a deep three-point prayer, but missed as time expired.

After the game, Kentucky players were criticized for walking off the floor and not shaking hands, but Kansas State stormed the floor and celebrated.

“Well, I went down to shake their hands, and they were turned and celebrating so that I walked off. I had no disrespect for anything, just that they were celebrating and I was happy for them.” Calipari said. “I walked off, too. But I went down, I shook all the coaches' hands, I went down to shake their hands -- which I understood. They're in an Elite 8 game now, a chance to go to the Final Four. My team is not like that; neither is our program. There's no disrespect in any way. They beat us. They deserved to win the game.”

Saturday, the Wildcats will take on the tourney’s surprise team Loyola-Chicago University, with a chance to go to the Final Four.

-March 23, 2018

 

Why Does March Madness Produce the Best Memes?
By Tyler Mitchell
The Maroon Tiger Sports Editor

Freshman forward Cameron Krutwig of Loyola-Chicago goes through post drills in Philips Arena during their Wednesday practice - Photo/Tyler Mitchell 

Atlanta, Ga. -- From the crying Villanova piccolo girl playing Future's “Mask Off” to this year’s Sister Jean memes, March Madness has provided Twitter with the most historic and memorable memes of all time. March Madness is an emotional roller coaster for the fans. Huge upsets, heartbreak losses, comeback wins, game winners, and bands is what March Madness is all about.

Being a true fan makes you susceptible to the emotion of your team. A true fan must show this emotion and the cameraman always seems the find the fans showing it most. People watching on TV take these moments and apply them to something they can relate to, allowing non-sports fans to join in on the action.

This tournament is no different and features memes from the UMBC athletics, Michigan’s Jordan Poole game winner, the Nevada/Cincinnati winning percentage chart and, of course, the Loyola University Chicago hype.

Loyola University Chicago has had the best memes of the tournament so far. After everyone counted them out, fans fell in love with their underdog success, Sister Jean and how their uniform colors look as if they could be the basketball team for Gryffindor.

Sister Jean is Loyola University of Chicago’s 98-year-old team chaplain. She has been the meme star this tournament for her funny commentary and team’s success. Right before Loyola went on to beat the University of Nevada to go to the Elite Eight, The Ringer Twitter account released a meme music video of Sister Jean dancing to Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean,” but the words were “Sister Jean” instead of “Billie Jean.”

Even celebrities take in the NCAA meme activities. “Get Out” writer Jordan Peele took credit for Michigan’s Jordan Poole’s game-winning buzzer beater over the University of Houston.

“I want to thank everyone for the congratulatory messages. When you practice your jump shot as much as I have, you just hope one day it’ll pay off,” Peele tweeted.

Drake is also a huge collegiate meme around this time. Because of his affiliation with the University of Kentucky, whenever they lose or face a challenge, the internet chooses to make him the subject of the meme. After a Kentucky loss in the Sweet 16, Bleacher Report released a meme of Drake switching into a Kansas State shirt; showing that he is a bandwagon fan.

No other sporting event on earth can compete with the amount of great memes March Madness produces. March Madness is like Christmas for the meme year; it just keeps delivering great content for my Twitter feed.

March Madness provides the best memes because with a 68-team tournament there are a lot of losses, and to get over a tough loss you just have to laugh. So memes are there to provide that and bring you back to reality when you feel heartbroken when your team loses or happy when they win.

-March 23, 2018

 

Sister Jean’s Bracket Is Finally in Pieces
By C. Isaiah Smalls II
The Maroon Tiger Editor-In-Chief

A view of the scoreboard in Philips Arena during Wednesday's practice session - Photo/Tyler Mitchell

As she was wheeled through the tunnels of Philips Arena prior to tip-off, Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt had only two words to onlookers who stared at her in awe: “Go Ramblers!”

It’s been a week since Loyola University Chicago’s 64-62 upset of Miami thrust the Ramblers into the limelight with Sister Jean being the team’s main attraction. From appearances on “Good Morning America” to being profiled by the New York Times, the 98-year old team chaplain has quickly become America’s darling. Ask Sister Jean about her ascent to the national stage and her response, in this case to SB Nation, was – “really, if I can correct you, international” – will instantly make you fa an.

Sister Jean’s growing fame, however, has now come at the expense of her bracket after No. 11 Loyola Chicago edged No. 7 Nevada, 69-68, Thursday night. After being one of the lucky few to actually predict the Ramblers’ Sweet Sixteen appearance, Sister Jean had a startling revelation: she did not pick them to advance to the Elite Eight.

That’s right; Sister Jean had Loyola bowing out in the Sweet Sixteen.

When asked about whether they used it as motivation, junior guard Marques Townes was candid yet laughingly apologetic.

“We had much success all year doing the same things that we've been doing,” the New Jersey native said, “and I'm sorry for Sister Jean, for busting her bracket, but yeah, we're just happy to be in this position and going to the Elite 8.”

Sister Jean, like most of us at this point, could care less that her bracket.

“I don’t care that you broke my bracket,” Sister Jean said to NCAA.com, recalling a post-game conversation she had with Loyola’s Clayton Custer. “I’m ready for the next one.”

As she left the arena, Sister Jean was greeted with more “Go Ramblers!” which she happily echoed because that’s just what you do when you’re not just along for the ride – now one bound for San Antonio. Well-played, Sister, well-played.

-March 23, 2018

 

Claflin Is Morehouse’s Kryptonite
By Tyler Mitchell
The Maroon Tiger Sports Editor

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (March 2, 2018)– Claflin University remains as the only team to beat the Maroon Tigers this season. In their second game in the SIAC tournament, the Tigers lost to Claflin, 77-69 on Friday.  Back in January, the Tigers’ perfect season and 18-game winning streak were put to rest with an 85-72 loss to the same Claflin Panthers team. Otherwise, Morehouse is 25-0.

This is the second consecutive year that the Tigers have lost in the semifinal round of the SIAC tournament.

In the first half, the Tigers started out a little slow, with Claflin holding the lead for most of the half. The Tigers stayed with it and went on a big run to end the half, leading 36-32 after a 3-point buzzer beater by Claflin’s Timothy Christian.

The Tigers’ Jordan Wallace started a 9-0 run with seven minutes left in the first half. This run gave the Tigers a 24-20 lead, and they kept the lead throughout the rest of the half. Claflin shot an amazing 57 percent on 3-pointers in the first half, but the Tigers were able to escape with the lead. Although the Tigers only shot only 1-for-4 on threes in the half, they shot 51.9  percent from the field overall.  

The Tigers led for most of the second half as well, but ultimately lost due to poor free-throw and 3-point shooting. The Tigers shot only 57 percent from the free-throw line and only 21 percent on threes, compared to Claflin’s 84 percent and 53 percent, respectively. Players that usually have limitless range couldn’t seem to find their stroke, as Tyrius Walker shot 0-for-6 on 3-pointers and Keyshawn Jacobs was 0-for-2.

“I didn’t give my team anything today,” said Walker, who averages 23 points but tied his season-low with nine on 4-for-15 shooting. “We didn’t play good defense and I missed key free throws to help my team win.”

The Tigers took an L in the SIAC tournament, but their season is no way over. The college basketball season has three parts, the regular season, conference championship, and NCAA Division II tournament. The question for the Tigers now is how this loss will affect their national ranking and their possibility of hosting the NCAA regional tournament.

Coming into the game, the Tigers were ranked as the No. 1 seed in the Southern region. With the loss, the Tigers still have the best record in the Southern Division at 24-2. Morehouse’s true fate will be determined this Sunday, March 4, at 10:30 p.m. Eastern, when the basketball committee will set the 64-team field for the 2018 NCAA D-II tournament.

“The team is upset about this loss, but their season isn’t over,” head coach Grady Brewer said.  “We have to get ready and prepare ourselves for the championship season. I know my guys are hurt right now, but we have to get back in the lab to get better.”

Senior guard Martravious Little will undergo knee surgery to repair his torn MCL, ACL and meniscus on Tuesday. Little went down with a knee injury in the first game against Clark Atlanta and the Tigers have missed his presence. 

“Since I have to recover for nine months, I asked coach Brewer if I could come back and help to get some coaching experience,” Little said. “He told me that as long as I keep the fire that I have he would be more than happy for me to sit up under him and just learn.”

-March 2, 2018 

 

Morehouse Waits for Selection Sunday While Clark Plays for SIAC Title

By Tucker Toole

Maroon Tiger Associate Sports Editor

The Morehouse Maroon Tiger historic season is not to be forgotten because of the 77-69 loss they received from Claflin University in the SIAC semifiinal on Friday evening. The team now falls to 25-2, which still stands as the best record in school history. Despite the loss, the Maroon Tigers’ season isn’t done just yet, as they will be seeded for the NCAA Div. II national tournament on Sunday night.

As the Maroon Tigers wait for Selection Sunday, the Clark Atlanta Panthers faced off  against the other Panther squad in the SIAC, Claflin University, Saturday evening. The SIAC championship should have no bearing on the Maroon Tigers’ placement on Sunday. If the Maroon Tigers remain ranked No. 1 in the region, then for the first time in school history they  will host the first round of the NCAA Div. II tournament in Forbes Arena.

Even though Morehouse had a subpar shooting night against Claflin, the Maroon Tigers stayed in the game. The team shot 21 percent on 3-pointers and only 57 percent from the free-throw line, making 12 of 21 attempts.

-March 2, 2018

 

Students' Work

‘Under My Leadership’

By DeShay Kidd 
The Maroon Tiger

            PHILADELPHIA – Donna Brazile’s time as the interim chair of the Democratic National Convention was short-lived, but she wasn’t replaced before some of the most prominent Black faces in the party let her know how they felt about her appointment.

           Vice chair Brazile was promoted to interim chair after chair Debbie Wassermann Schultz announced that she would resign after the convention due to her role in the WikiLeaks email scandal.

             By mid-day, Marcia Fudge had been named permanent chair. But at a Monday morning Black Caucus meeting at the Philadelphia Convention Center, Brazile was still in charge.

             “Under my leadership,” Brazile said before she gave the audience a look of reassurance, “We gon’ win this damn thing.” The crowd went wild with cheers and applause.

            Brazile went on to say, “Roll up your sleeves. You know what to do and you know how to win.”

             Cornell Belcher, a prominent pollster and president of Brilliant Corners Research and Strategy for progressive politic, spoke later at the meeting. He said he believes the Democratic Party has a real chance of winning this presidential election.

            “Fifty-six percent of this coalition is white and the remaining 44 percent is made up of people of color,” he said.

            He pointed out that the Democratic Party keeps trying to add more white voters, saying, “We spend 98 percent of our resources on a shrinking market.” But the effort is futile.

            “We haven’t won the white vote since LBJ (President Lyndon Johnson) signed the civil rights legislation.”

            Both Belcher and Brazile urged Black voters to participate in the upcoming election.

             As well-known actor Danny Glover, another speaker, stated emphatically, “"We have to defeat Donald Trump! We must defeat Donald Trump!"

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From ‘Suspects’ to Heroes

By Ugochukwu Unigwe

The Maroon Tiger 

PHILADELPHIA – July 26, 2016 – The sound of thousands of people marching, shouting and stomping filled the subway on Monday evening in Philadelphia during the first official day of the Democratic National Convention. The atmosphere was filled with emotion as fellow Maroon Tiger reporter DeShay Kidd and I went down the escalator and entered the subway. Bald, with bright eyes and dressed in blue, Joe Killian, from the News and Record in Greensboro, NC, entered the train and sat diagonal from us.

           We sparked a conversation, communicated general Facebook profile information, origin, purpose for coming and the like. A few stops down, after feeling we had gotten to know each other, Killian exited the subway car, leaving behind something of immeasurable value – his phone.

           For any journalist, especially covering an international event like the DNC, your cell phone is of the utmost importance. All your contacts, story ideas, your connections to the world around you are found in your phone.

            Unfortunately for Mr. Killian, we noticed a moment too late, the doors closed and the subway was off. We wondered, how can we get this key to the universe back to its owner? We went through Killian’s contacts, looking for mom, dad, or an indicator of a brother, sister or close relative we could contact.

We decided to go back to the Bed and Breakfast we are staying at in South Philly. As we exited the subway, clouds were luminously gathering. In the middle of our search for a contact and the trek back to the Bed and Breakfast, Killian’s phone rang. On the other end of the phone, we heard the voice of a law enforcement officer who Killian was speaking to. Killian thought his phone had been stolen.

Luckily for him, we were the ones who had his phone in our possession. The raindrops, in the span of a few minutes, had turned into a downpour. We ran for cover at a local Subway Restaurant; the DNC ponchos that were given to us were drenched with water.

Killian was on his way. He arrived in a Philadelphia police car, in the pouring rain. The officer asked me for my ID so he could report that the ‘stolen phone’ was found. Killian bought us dinner, talked to us about his 10 years in the field, and the amazing events he had covered. This seemed like the perfect end to Day 1 of the DNC. 


Photo of Joe Killian

FLOTUS, the Concerned Parent, Praises Clinton

By Ayron Lewallen

The Maroon Tiger 

    PHILADELPHIA – July 25, 2016 – Imagine the pride and joy one would feel when waking up in the White House each and every morning for the past eight years. Not only that, imagine being an African-American woman who wakes up in that house every morning knowing it was built by slaves.

    In a powerful, emotion-provoking speech, First Lady Michelle Obama took to the Democratic National Convention stage at Wells Fargo Center to share her story with delegates, the audience and viewers to talk about what it means to be a parent experiencing this year’s election. Ever since President Barack Obama and the First Lady took those positions in 2008, each has attempted to humanize themselves for the world to see that they are regular people with high stakes riding on this year’s election. Michelle used her platform to encourage people to elect a presidential nominee who has the best interest of the Obama children, and everyone else's children for that matter, in November's election.

    “With every word we utter, with every action we take, we know our kids are watching us,” Michelle said. “We as parents are the most important role model. ... Barack and I take that same approach to our jobs as President and First Lady because we know that our words and actions matter, not just to our girls, but to children across this country.”

    Michelle expressed concerns about the American people electing the candidate who will have the best influence on American youth by serving in the highest position of power in the world. She stated this election is not about choosing a political party or how liberal or conservative the citizens are. This election is about choosing a person who will have the power to shape children for the next four to eight years.

    Michelle then stated her support for presumptive presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. She said Clinton is the only person she trusts with that huge responsibility for current generation of youth and the only person truly qualified to serve in that capacity.

    As a parent, Michelle noticed the compassion and interest Clinton has taken in American families and children, saying, “I have seen her lifelong devotion to our nation’s children. Not just her own daughter, . . . but every child who needs a champion: kids who take the long way to school to avoid the gangs; kids who wonder how they will ever afford college; kids whose parents don't speak a word of English, but dream of a better life, who look to us to dream of what they can be.”

    Michelle commended Clinton for the work she has done over the years in other positions she has served in over her career. Michelle praised Clinton for advocating for youth with disabilities and fighting to get children quality health and childcare, all issues that would be important to a parent who is considering which candidate to vote for in any election.

    Michelle added that she wanted someone with perseverance and determination to serve as the next President of the United States. She pointed out that Clinton did not back down from challenges she faced after losing the Democratic nomination for President in 2008 against her husband. Michelle commended Clinton for her thick skin in continuing to fight for children around the world despite being “torn apart” for her appearance and speech.

    In lieu of speaking about tough skin, Michelle took time to indirectly address GOP nominee Donald Trump and showcase an American value millions of parents share – the value of strength and taking a job seriously, especially when the safety of yourself and your children are at stake.

    “Someone who understands that the issues of our nation are not black or white,” Michelle said. “It cannot be boiled down to 140 characters. Because when you have the nuclear codes at your fingertips and the military in your command, you can't make snap decisions. You can't have thin skin or a tendency to lash out. You need to be steady and measured and well-informed.”

    As a parent, Michelle wants all children to be afforded the same opportunities despite race, gender, or socioeconomic status. Therefore, she is looking for a president with a record of public service.

    “Someone whose life’s work shows our children that we don't chase fame and fortune for ourselves; we fight to give everyone a chance to succeed,” she said. “And we give back even when we are struggling ourselves because we know that there is someone worse off. . . . I want a president who will teach our children that everyone in this country matters.”

    Michelle also voiced her support for Clinton by using some of her campaign slogans such as “I’m with her” and “Stronger together.”

    Michelle discussed the work people from generations past have done to ensure equal opportunity for children. As examples of performing everyday tasks together, she cited “volunteering to coach the team, teach the Sunday school class, because they know it takes a village.”

Michelle also reflected on her own ancestors who came before her and “felt the lash of bondage, the shame of servitude, and the sting of segregation.” Her ancestors suffered backbreaking labor so that one day, she would be able to wake up in the White House every morning and show minority men and women around the world that cracking the glass ceiling held above their heads, and even becoming President of the United States, is possible if they only preserve and let nothing stand in their way.

Michelle’s DNC address was more than an expression of support for Clinton. Her speech was a story of a concerned parent who is charging all parents and adults to come together despite their differences to ensure they leave this earth is better than they found it. The only way to do that is to elect a person who cares about the future of our children and is willing to fight for it. To Michelle, that presidential candidate is Hillary Clinton.

Protesters' Photo Gallery

 

Photo of Traci George by Shannon Dooling/WBUR  Photo of Shane Harris by Ugochukwu Unigwe 
Photo by Ron Thomas    Photo by Ron Thomas 

Kaine Mocks Trump: Do You Believe Him? No!

By Ron Thomas

The Maroon Tiger Adviser 

PHILADELPHIA – July 27, 2016 – Senator Tim Kaine, the Democratic Party’s vice presidential nominee, has a reputation for being very nice, and rather bland. Indeed, he lived up to both for the first half of his acceptance speech Wednesday night at Wells Fargo Center.

His was the oh-so-typical tale of the middle-class kid raised with middle-class values and determination, in the heartland of Minnesota and Kansas, no less. When he laid out his achievements as an elective official, it was informative – especially since most listeners and TV viewers probably knew little about him – though it wasn’t captivating.

But when Kaine turned his attention to Donald Trump, suddenly wit and personality emerged.

Having noted that his son, Nat, had just deployed with a Marine battalion, Kaine went on the offensive. “And as he’s serving our nation abroad, I trust Hillary Clinton with our son’s life,” he said. “You know who I don’t trust? Donald Trump.”

He didn’t eviscerate the Republican candidate for president the way current VP Joe Biden would have. But Kaine found a way to turn one of Trump’s favorite phrases – “Believe me” – into a parody that Kaine used to mock and scorn Trump to the pleasure of his fellow Democrats.

He noted that Trump often uses that phrase before he makes a big promise, such as he did last week at the Republican Convention when he vowed a quick defeat of Isis and a fast end to crime in America if he becomes president. Kaine brought up a bunch of Trump promises, punctuating each by lowering his voice to simulate Trump’s bluster and then saying, “Believe me” with great resolve.

“There’s nothing suspicious in my tax returns. Believe me,” Kaine declared in his Trump-like baritone, and then insisted that Trump unveil his tax returns for public scrutiny, just like other presidential candidates have done.

He knocked Trump for promising to donate to charities, and then reneging. For enticing students to Trump University, which then failed to educate them. For making millions off of declaring bankruptcy and construction that wasn’t completed “while his creditors, his laid-off employees and ripped-off students, they all got hurt. You can’t believe Donald Trump – not one word.”

The crowd roared its approval, and Kaine had more arrows in his quiver.

“And yes, Donald still says ‘Believe me,’ ” Kaine said. “Believe me? Most people running for president respect you enough to tell you how they’ll get things done.”

In contrast to Trump, whom the Democrats often criticize for not backing his promises with plans, Kaine said Clinton’s goals and strategies for the future are all clearly laid out on her web site.

“All it takes is one click and we can see how she’ll do it, how we’ll pay for it, and how we will benefit from it. Not Donald Trump. He says ‘Believe me.’ Let me ask you something, do you believe him?”

And the crowd joyously responded with “No!”

Kaine even invoked highly respected Republicans’ distrust of Trump, stating that Barbara Bush, the wife of one president and the mother of another, said “she doesn’t know how any woman could vote for him after his offensive comments.”

Kaine concluded by reverting back to the second-most effective crowd pleaser in his speech – his ability to switch from English to Spanish with commendable ease. Because of the importance of winning the Latino vote on this election that was one of the main reasons Clinton picked Kaine as her running mate, and he showed off that talent last night

Early in his speech, when Kaine was telling the audience about the values he was raised with, he referred to “faith, family and work” in English. Then he smoothly repeated that phrase for emphasis, but this time in Spanish, drawing cheers from the crowd.

Kaine pulled out that technique again to end his speech. He noted that when he was a volunteer for missionaries in Honduras, he learned that the highest compliment one could receive was to be called “lista” (pronounced LEE-sta). No, it doesn’t mean smart or a friend, Kaine said. Instead, it means totally prepared, rock solid and never backing down.

“Hillary Clinton, she’s lista,” Kaine declared. And when the crowd finished chanting, “Lista! Lista,” Kaine gave Clinton his closing compliment. 

“She’s ready to fight. She’s ready to lead. And she’s ready to win.”

 

 Congressman Lewis Puts His Confidence in Clinton

Kingsley Iyawe

The Maroon Tiger

         PHILADELPHIA – July 27, 2016 – When John Lewis was called to the stage to deliver his speech, the Georgia delegation at the Democratic Convention rose to a standing ovation honoring the civil rights legend. Then Lewis, who delivered his speech at the DoubleTree Hotel during a breakfast for delegates, recalled the first time he met Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1958.

         “I walked to Dr. King, introduced myself, and he said, ‘You’re the boy from Troy,’ ” Lewis said. The audience burst into laughter. Then Lewis talked about his early life in rural Alabama, participating in the March on Selma, and his years as a Georgia Congressman. He also talked about his new book called “March” with Andrew Aydin.

         Lewis, a hardcore supporter of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, believes Clinton can win Georgia in November. To do that, her strong supporters, Donnei Turner and Carl Miller, said that visiting Georgia will be important.

         “Her ground game is going to have to be second to none,” Miller said. “She’s going to have to inspire those on the ground in the state of Georgia.”       Miller believes that her ground game has to surpass Obama’s in 2008, and needs the “energy” that Bernie Sanders supporters brought into the primaries so that more young people will go to the polls in November.

         Atlanta City Councilman Caesar Mitchell ’91 based his strong case for Clinton to become president by noting her experience and presence of mind. Mitchell also believes that Clinton has to build a strong Democratic base in Georgia.

         “She needs to ensure that people are not only registered to vote; that’s very important, but also inspired to vote,” Mitchell said. “It’s going to take investment: on the ground, social media, and through the airwaves.”

         Georgia tends to lean Republican in the general presidential election, which is common in the South. However, that might change in November if Clinton can hold rallies not only in Atlanta, but in Savannah, Columbus, Macon, Valdosta, and Athens. To win Georgia, Clinton needs strong support in those cities along with some rural areas.

 

Via Bicycle: A Man and his Bikes

Column by Ugochukwu Unigwe
The Maroon Tiger 

            PHILADELPHIA – July 27, 2016 – The Alliance for Biking and Walking ranks Philadelphia as the seventh-best U.S. city for cycling and walking. Via Bicycle is a big reason why.

            Curtis Anthony opened Via Bicycle in 1982. He was 22 years old when he started the shop and he’s been in the bike business for over 30 years. He depends immensely on the talented employees who surround him.

            “We work on a variety of bicycles and repair just about any bicycle,” he says. “We have bikes back to the 1800s.”

Other shops in Philadelphia often send people to Via Bicycle with outdated, vintage parts that they don’t have. Via Bicycle has even bought the contents of shops that are going out of business.

            When I asked Anthony if he still bikes, he laughs, pointed to his belly and says, “Not enough. I got a 10-year-old boy now and I impress upon him how much I want to ride bikes, how important it is to me and how I want him to do it more.”

            Anthony sponsors a bike ride at his son’s school, giving his friends deals on bikes “so he’s got chums to ride with.”

Matthew Woods manages Via Bicycle’s website, where they sell vintage bike parts worldwide.

“Matthew is a noted authority on vintage bike parts,” Anthony says. Woods, who has worked at the shop for 14 years, says that the neighborhood and surrounding area have changed, but the shop has stayed the same.

“There’s more competition, but we have a solid clientele base,” he says. Via Bicycle focuses on building relationships beyond business and, according to Woods, “having an emotional investment.”

            “We’ve met such a variety of people here as customers,” Anthony says, “many of them have been here for over 30 years, not all of them at this specific location. We’ve rented bikes to various movies, different events in town, sold a couple of bikes to members of Guns and Roses, we’ve had some people come through to see our bike collection.”

            Anthony then proceeded to show me a 1896 Hartford made in Connecticut. Anthony walked around the shop, his forehead shining with sweat and his face full of joy as he showed me his craft.

            “We have the knowledge and talented guys who know how to work many different types of bikes . . . I’m only here to make sure there’s tissue in the bathroom,” Anthony states. When Via Bicycle can’t find a specific part, they have the capability to make the parts, in shop.

            “Something we’ve always done is treat customers like we want them to come back. That’s so important. I worked in the food industry. I used to be a waiter; if you go into a restaurant and they treat you awesome, you’ll want to come back.

            “We treat people like we want to see them again and hopefully, we will.”

           

 

 

Biden’s Electrifying Speech Energizes DNC Crowd

By Kingsley Iyawe
The Maroon Tiger

         PHILADELPHIA – July 27, 2016 – Joe Biden, the Vice President of the United States, always has a reputation of a nice guy. People call him Uncle Joe because of his soft nature, but Wednesday night was exactly the opposite. Biden unleashed on Republican nominee Donald Trump at the Wells Fargo Center multiple times, calling his compassion for the middle-class “a bunch of malarkey.”

         “This guy doesn’t have a clue about the middle class, not a clue,” Biden said. “He has no clue about what makes America great. Actually, he has no clue period.”

         Biden also said that Trump lacks the qualifications that Hillary Clinton has in becoming President of the United States. He thinks Clinton has the knowledge and strength to become a very good president.

         “Hillary understands. Hillary gets it. Hillary understands that a college loan is about a lot more than getting a qualified student education,” Biden said.

         Biden said the impact of a Clinton presidency would encourage young women across the United States to run for political office: local, state, or federal level.

         “Ladies and gentleman, we all understand what it will mean for our daughters and granddaughters, when Hillary Clinton walks into the Oval Office as President of the United States of America. It will change their lives,” Biden said.

         Clinton becoming the 45th president of the United States would have as much impact on women as then-Senator Barack Obama becoming the 44th president of the United States in 2008 had on Black people. It would show that America is that country where those types of milestones can happen, and Biden believes that firmly.

         “It’s never, never, never been a good bet to bet against America,” Biden said. The crowd erupted into a huge applause. “Not only do we have the largest economy in the world, but the strongest economy in the world.” Also, Biden said, “ordinary people like us do extraordinary things.”

Stronger Together, Supporting Each Other

By Ayron Lewallen

The Maroon Tiger

PHILADELPHIA – July 27, 2016 – When you have friends in high places, it is only right that your companions speak on your behalf. The country has seen numerous people jump behind Hillary Clinton to pledge their support for the Democratic presidential nominee. People from former President Bill Clinton to New Jersey Senator Cory Booker have pledged their allegiance to Hillary, but when you have President Barack Obama on your side, you must be someone very special.

Obama spoke at the Democratic National Convention Wednesday night to tell America why its constituents should put their faith in America and continue the momentum the nation has gained while he has been in office. Obama recalled being full of faith when he stood before the DNC audience in 2008.

“I was filled with faith, faith in America,” Obama said at Wells Fargo Center. “A lot's happened over the years. And while this nation has been tested by war, and it's been tested by recession and all manner of challenges, I stand before you again tonight after almost two terms as your president to tell you I am more optimistic about the future of America than ever before. How could I not be?”

Obama has undying faith in Clinton to continue the legacy Obama has built over the past eight years. From recovering from the worst recession in 80 years to creating 15 million new jobs for hard-working Americans to ensuring each citizen has access to affordable healthcare, the Obama administration has achieved numerous accomplishments to create a better life for American people.

“After decades of talk, we finally began to wean ourselves off foreign oil,” Obama said. “We doubled our production of clean energy. We brought more of our troops home to their families. And we delivered justice to Osama Bin Laden. Through diplomacy we shut down Iran's nuclear weapons program, we opened up a new chapter with the people of Cuba, brought nearly 200 nations together around a climate agreement that could save this planet for our children.”

Referring to the Republican National Convention last week in Cleveland, Obama said, “What we heard was a deeply pessimistic vision of a country where we turn against each other, and turn away from the rest of the world. There were no serious solutions to pressing problems – just the fanning of resentment, and blame, and anger, and hate.”

Obama expressed confidence that Clinton will continue to push the nation forward instead of setting it back.

“We need to keep making our streets safer and our criminal justice system fairer; our homeland more secure, our world more peaceful and sustainable for the next generation,” Obama said. “We’re not done perfecting our union, or living up to our founding creed – that all of us are created equal, all of us are free in the eyes of God.

“. . . There is only one candidate in this race who believes in that future, and has devoted her life to that future, a mother and grandmother who’d do anything to help our children thrive; a leader with real plans to break down barriers, blast through glass ceilings, and widen the circle of opportunity to every single American.”

Obama believes that candidate is Hillary Clinton.

Obama used the rest of his time to speak on behalf of Clinton not only as a colleague, but as a friend. He referred to her as tough, intelligent, decisive, and disciplined, all of which are important qualities for someone who hopes to serve as president.

“I came to realize that her unbelievable work ethic wasn’t for praise or attention – that she was in this for everyone who needs a champion,” Obama said. “I understood that after all these years, she has never forgotten just who she’s fighting for.”

He spoke about the work she has done as a young woman and First Lady: fighting to ensure children with disabilities receive a quality education and to fighting to get Congress to pass the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

Of course, no one knows what it is like to have to make the tough decisions one would have to by serving as president unless they actually served in that position. Obama said that although Clinton has not served in that capacity, she has been in the room when tough decisions were made because she helped make them as Secretary of State.

Obama confidently reassured the American people that “there has never been a man or a woman, not me, not Bill [Clinton], nobody more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as President of the United States of America.”

    Obama praised Clinton for her choosing of a quality running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), who he described as a committed and humble public servant.

    During his speech, Obama addressed the differences between Clinton and Donald Trump’s proposed plans if elected president, labeling Clinton’s as “real” and “specific.”

    “And then there’s Donald Trump,” Obama said. “Don’t boo, vote. The Donald is not really a plans guy. He’s not really a facts guy, either. He calls himself a business guy, which is true, but I have to say, I know plenty of businessmen and women who’ve achieved remarkable success without leaving a trail of lawsuits, and unpaid workers, and people feeling like they got cheated.

         “Don’t boo, vote.”

    Obama is positive Trump does not care about the real issues facing American people.

    In case Trump forgot, Obama kindly reminded him that the American people are not looking to elect a dictator, the same reason the country broke away from the control of Great Britain.

    “We are not a fragile people,” Obama said. “We’re not a frightful people. Our power doesn’t come from some self-declared savior promising that he alone can restore order as long as we do things his way. We don’t look to be ruled.”

Obama defended those who criticize Clinton for some of the choices she has made in the past telling them each politician makes mistakes. He also said mistakes happen when you actually try.

Obama spoke to those Democrats who may not agree with Clinton on some issues, or any issue for that matter.

“She’s been there for us – even if we haven’t always noticed,” Obama said. “And if you’re serious about our democracy, you can’t afford to stay home just because she might not align with you on every issue. You’ve got to get in the arena with her, because democracy isn’t a spectator sport. America isn’t about ‘yes he will.’ It’s about ‘yes we can.’ ”

During the past eight years, it is clear the America has faced some tough times. As president, one can only imagine the pain and anguish one must feel when the American people are hurt. Obama cited the American people as his strength because the citizens have stood behind him when times got tough and gave him hope. He urged each person to do the same for Clinton should she become the next POTUS.

“America, you have vindicated that hope these past eight years,” Obama said. “And now I’m ready to pass the baton and do my part as a private citizen. So this year, in this election, I’m asking you to join me – to reject cynicism, and reject fear, and to summon what’s best in us; to elect Hillary Clinton as the next President of the United States, and show the world we still believe in the promise of this great nation.”

Philly AIDS Thrift: A Store With a Conscience

Ugochukwu Unigwe
The Maroon Tiger

PHILADELPHIA – July 28, 2016 – Philly AIDS Thrift is a local thrift-store-turned-place that many in the community find family and home. Every month, Philly AIDS Thrift donates over $20,000 to the AIDS Fund, an organization that assists with AIDS support and helps provide care.

“The store’s been open since 2005, so 11 years,” said Christina Kallas-Saritsoglou, one of the co-founders of the shop. “In the beginning, it was two people doing a majority of the work, but now we have 15 permanent staff and 100 volunteers.”

When she saw many of her friends being affected by HIV and AIDS, she decided she, with some of the other co-founders, wanted to do something. The store is a direct response to the needs the co-founders saw in their own communities.

“I had a lot of friends in the ’80s who were dealing with the effects of HIV/AIDS. During that time, AIDS was a death sentence.”

Outside of staff and operating costs, the store gives all of its proceeds to the AIDS Fund.  The AIDS Fund distributes the money it receives from the store to 19 AIDS organizations in Philadelphia.

Phillys AIDS Thrift also works in conjunction with Giovanni’s, one of the oldest LGBT thrift stores in America. It was closing at one point and to save the store and stop it from closing, Philly partnered with it.

“Giovanni’s is now Philly AIDS Store at Giovanni’s,” Kallas-Saritsoglou said.

 “One year ago, we opened our own HIV Testing Center. We partner with five of the 19 AIDS organizations in Philadelphia for rapid HIV testing on the weekends.”

The idea of putting something as marginalized as AIDS testing in a non-traditional type of space “normalizes testing and breaks stigmas.” There are people who are uncomfortable with a normal testing environment or talking to their own doctor.

Adam Proctor, an employee, states that the store is a place where family and friends meet and connect. These are “normally people who I wouldn’t pay any mind, walking by them on the street, but now, the first people I text,” Proctor said.

Kallas-Saritsoglou said, “The best thing about this place is the people, hands down. The shoppers, employees and volunteers, teenagers, older folks. We’re here to support everyone. It’s about the community at large,”