Alpha and Omega

What’s the difference between an Alpha and an Omega? Maybe it’s the time they’ve been around or what they’ve accomplished.

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The Englewood Fairytale

The most charming cliché graced my Sunday morning and I want to tell you all about it.

I showed up at Ogden Park at 8:30 AM to pick up my bib and aqua-blue t-shirt for the 3rd annual Englewood 5k. I was by myself and spent the 2 hours until race time reading, pretending I’m good at stretching, and watching the whole community turn out for selfies and hugs. It was equally heart warming and alienating for someone who showed up solo.

Come race time, everyone passed under the timing arch, jogging to the beat of the Legends Drumline, which is objectively the greatest running music ever created.

Continue reading “The Englewood Fairytale”

Decorated Retirement

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Mark LoManaco also known as Bully Ray, Bubba Ray Dudley, and Brother Ray who was known for his partnership with Devon Dudley or Brother Devon as part of one of the most decorated tag teams in professional wrestling history the Dudley Boyz or Team 3D in the companies: ECW, WWF/E, TNA, and New Japan Pro-Wrestling, announced he was retiring from in-ring competition after suffering a concussion at Death Before Dishonor XV.

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He’s been apart of some of the best moments in wrestling history such as ECW when wrestling was taken to the Extreme with many violent and hardcore matches in history back in Extreme Championship Wrestling. Buh Buh Ray Dudley as he was known back in ECW with D-Von used to put people through tables, sometimes through flaming tables, which lead to his catchphrase “D-Von get the tables!” in WWE. They also won the ECW World Tag Team Championship many times in their tenure with ECW. He also part of innovated tag team wrestling with the Hardy Boyz and Edge & Christian back in the WWF/E with their clashes in Tables, Ladders, and Chairs matches they had during the WWE’s most well received period of wrestling known as the Attitude Era winning the WWE Tag Team Championships many times during their tenure. They also had success in the independent scene such as TNA and New Japan Pro-Wrestling capturing the IWGP Tag Team Championship and TNA World Tag Team Championship at the same time during TNA and New Japan’s partnership. Then Ray would reinvent himself as the heel, Bully Ray, who would go to win the TNA World Heavyweight Championship several times as well during the end of his tenure with TNA. Then he returned to WWE for one last run with the company which him and D-Von had a good run feuding with the New Day and the Wyatt Family; however didn’t capture any gold in their last run with the WWE. After that he went to Ring of Honor without D-Von, where he joined up with the Briscoe Brothers to capture the ROH Six-Man Tag Team Champion. Then he would lose it and challenge the Bullet Club for the titles at Death Before Dishonor XV, where Jay Briscoe turned heel on him and threw a table at him where his head hit the edge of it causing him to get knocked out and take the pin. He was then taken to a hospital where it was found that he had suffered a concussion. Then this past weekend at ROH Global War’s he announced that he was retiring from in-ring competition and thanking the fans for his long journey, and would continue to be with Ring of Honor to help the young wrestlers.

I still remember watching many of his matches in ECW, WWF/E, TNA where he had many great matches, and I feel like there is nothing left to accomplish for him in his career as he’s a very decorated wrestler who’s innovated tag team wrestling and managed to reinvent himself. So I feel his retirement is sad, but well deserved, especially after his concussion history which has put many out of careers early and has made some wrestlers do some bad things in their life. Maybe he’ll return to WWE one day and do one last “Devon get the tables!” and put someone through a table on a reunion show as D-Von is in WWE as a producer. Maybe he’ll also reunite with Edge & Christian and the Hardy Boyz who all currently work for WWE with D-Von.

Bulls are 2-0!

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Currently the Bulls have just finished their second game against the Boston Celtics, in a best of 7 series. And guess what? We won. Can you believe it? I’m not sure if I do. I know I’ve been a rollercoaster when it comes to my blog posts that have been about the Chicago Bulls this year. Some weeks I wanna quit at life and wish they would tank, and other weeks, such as last week I’m telling you guys to believe in them. But the thing is, can you blame me? Thats exactly the type of season their having. It is confusing.

But that doesn’t change the fact that we’re up 2-0 in the series, having won both the games in Boston. Usually the lower seeded teams are aiming to win at least one, to win home court advantage over the higher seeded team. Yet we won both. Now I know the series is a long way from over, and the Bulls can possibly go back to their ways of being great one week, and playing like the Brooklyn Nets the next. I’m just happy that things are looking good.

The next two games are critical, as their both right here in Chicago and even if we win just one, we will have a commanding 3-1 lead in the series. So unless we’re the Golden State Warriors things would be looking great.

Also just pointing out my last article was based around the Bulls having a chance to make a playoff push, ESPN can contact me if they wanna new basketball analyst

Stepping Onto The Ice Again

It’s been a little over five years since I’ve ended my figure skating career, and about two full years since I’ve stepped onto the ice. Today I had the opportunity to lace my boots up, and take my little sister to the rink for the very first time.

I began skating when I was about five years old after my mom had signed me up for lessons at our local rink. I don’t remember how it happened, but at some point I acquired a coach and was training six days a week for the next eleven years of my life. Through many ups and downs and emotional turmoil, my skating career ended at sixteen when I became injured and my family and I decided it was time that I hung my skates up.

However, I’ve yet to be completely over my skating career coming to an end. No matter how difficult and emotionally trying, or how guilty I’d often feel from the financial burden my parents went through to support me; I miss it. I miss the flying feeling and the certain way I’d place my arms and shoulders when covering the bend of the rink. I miss the cold and refusing to wear gloves, and the power and the grace that I could harness both at once and ever only on the ice. I even miss competing and the failed attempts at shutting off my nervousness. I miss the red-lipped war paint, and the combination of the specific smell of skating tights and hairspray will forever be ingrained into my memory.

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When my little sister was born my coach had joked that there’ll be another skater in the family. The thought stayed with me through the hour as I watched my sister finding her weight on a pair of blades for the first time, and doing better than I would have anticipated. I can’t recall seeing anyone as fearless or as frustrated with not already knowing how to skate as fast as the other kids. As she refused my help, I stole some moments to feel the ice again. It’s hard to let go the love of your life, and as I’ve struggled to do so for the past five years, I don’t think I’m capable of it any longer. There’s just nothing that would serve as a good enough replacement.

As a competitor I had felt the pressure to excel and get an edge on my opponents. I was expected to be the best and there was always goals being placed on me that were far greater than I was capable of living up to. Not meeting these outlandish expectations has been viewed by me as failure and a sure sign that I’m simply not good enough. I had crumbled under the pressure and an injury was even more reason to call it quits. But medals and success and even the pride I’ve imagined feeling for representing my country at any sort of championship, are not good reasons to do anything at all. The power I feel, the grace, the beauty, and the sheer delight of gliding through the ice, that I swear can’t be likened to any other feeling of known existence, are much better reasons. Or when my mom can’t help but get emotional when she sees me skate and tells me that I look as I did five years ago.

It’s far too easy to become lost in the motions, the failures and the triumphs. It’s easy to make comparisons and to react to judgment as a truth, and sometimes, it’s so incredibly hard to remember why you started that you just want to quit. But if there’s anything to take away from my experiences — it’s that for anything we do it’s important to remember why we do it.

Historic Day In the NBA

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Tomorrow is the last day of the NBA regular season. After the 8 best teams from each conference will compete in the playoffs for the NBA championship. Usually there are few stories in the last days of the regular season, as most teams are set in their positions in the standing, and only a few are able to have any significant changes and most people are just waiting for the playoffs to finally begin. However this year has brought us two dramatic stories that has made the last day of the regular season to be one that is going to be very memorable.

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Twenty years ago, the Chicago Bulls were the best basketball team anyone had seen. They had the best player to every play the game in Michael Jordon, and they won a record 72 games. This team was remarkable. This record has remained strong for these last 20 years where no team has ever really been that close to beating it; well except this year. The Golden State Warriors are having their own historic season, and are sitting at 72-9 with one game left tomorrow. They’ve been lead by the best shooter to the play the game in Stephen Curry. The Warriors already tied the record and now fans are going to clamor around their television sets to see if Golden States can accomplish this amazing feat and set a new record.

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Twenty years also marks Kobe Bryant’s arrival to the league, and for twenty years he has captivated the whole world with his amazing play. While many people argue where Kobe stand when ranking him among the greats, there is no doubt that he is one of the best to play the game. His list of accomplishments include five championship, an MVP, and countless all star appearances. He scored the second most points in a game when he dropped 81 vs the Toronto Raptors. Tomorrow is the last time we will be able to see Kobe Bryant play a professional game of basketball in the NBA, and it is also the last time we’ll get to see a legend grace us by being the court.

Upset Stomach

The Madness has returned.

With everyone’s  bracket already busted, March Madness this year has definitely been different from the rest.

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With Purdue losing to Arkansas Little Rock and Michigan State losing to Middle Tennessee, let’s recap what has happened so far.

On day one of the first round, the biggest shock was Purdue losing to Arkansas Little Rock. Purdue led by 14 points with 5 minutes remaining in the second half. They proceeded to let Little Rock back in the game with missed free throws and poor defense.

Next thing you know, the game was tied 70-70 leading to overtime. After the first overtime, it was tied 75-75 which led into a second overtime. With Little Rock leading in the second overtime, Purdue starts to come back, however it is cut short and Little Rock takes the win with the game ultimately ending at a score of 85-83.

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On day 2, things got crazier. With millions of people saying Michigan State was going to win it all, there was a huge let down when things did not go as planned. Middle Tennessee jumped out to a big lead early leading 15-2 in the first five minutes of the game. Surprisingly, Denzel Valentine and Michigan State had no answer for the Blue Raiders. At the end of the first half, the Blue Raiders were outplaying the Spartans with the score being 41-35. The success carried onto the second half as Michigan State never led in the game. Towards the end, with the game in the balance, the Blue Raiders pulled away ultimately ending the game with a score of 90-81. The game was sealed by Giddy Potts’ block on Bryn Forbes:

And finally the first round Madness capped off over Northern Iowa’s win over Texas. With the game being close the entire time, Northern Iowa surprised several people after they took the lead in the first half. The game consistently goes back and forth as to who takes the lead which keeps everyone in suspense. The biggest shock was towards the end of the game when Texas made a layup to tie the game at 72 with 2.7 seconds left. Surprisingly, Paul Jesperson made a half-court shot leading them to defeat Texas with a score of 75-72.

So as you can see, March Madness this year has been full of surprises and upsets that have not only destroyed brackets, but hearts as well. With only the first round completed, there is plenty more in store. Who knows what will happen next?

Till next time,

Priya

 

WHAT’S UP WITH THE BULLS?

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Coming into this season the Chicago Bulls were considered the second best team in the Eastern Conference, only behind LeBron and his Cleveland Cavaliers. The Bulls’ talent held up with this argument, Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler gave us a great backcourt, and Pau Gasol was balling like he hadn’t been for years. With the growth of Jimmy and the comeback of Rose, fans were starting to believe that we were going back to the ways of the 2010 Bulls team.

This hasn’t been the case though. The Bulls are tied with the Detroit Pistons for the eighth spot in the East. Barley continuing their fight to get into the playoffs. This season has been nothing but a disappointment to the Bulls organization, and the Bulls fans. As the season continues questions around the team are rising quicker and quicker. Our hiring of Holberg as head coach for this season is looking questionable. Joakim Noah looks like a shell of his former defensive player of the year. Derrick is still trying to find his stride. Our young players haven’t developed like hoped.

Basically this season the Bulls have gone from contender to a mess. Hopefully something will change, because it seems like there will be changes for next season, and we will be seeing a quite different Bulls team next season.

WARRIORS VS. SPURS

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The Golden State Warriors faced their biggest test yesterday, as they played the second best team in the NBA, the San Antonio Spurs. Both teams are having amazing seasons, as this matchup had two teams with the best combined winning percentages through 40 games. Some would even say that this was the biggest NBA regular season game ever. So yeah this game was pretty monumental.

This game was kind of like a test for the teams that seem most likely to be the champion at the end of the season. Fans have had this game circled ever since both teams have ran of the gate dominating every other team they played. Most expected a tough game with extreme completion. But that really didn’t happen.

Golden Sate dominated this game, and their leader Steph Curry showed the league just how unstoppable he can be. The Spurs could not find a way to stop him, and he ended the game have scored 37 points without even playing the fourth quarter. Steph didn’t play the fourth quarter because the huge margin of victory. They won by 30.

Though playoffs are a long way ahead, and a lot of things can change from now and then, the Warrior’s victory yesterday has to have their fans at high levels of optimism.

Also here’s a vine of  last year’s defensive player of the year Kawhi Leonard trying to play defense on Steph Curry.

BALL IS LIFE ON FLAMES FRIDAY

Ball should be life for everyone on UIC campus this Friday, November 13th. The day will be jam-packed with fun and basketball, something everyone can enjoy.

To start, our fierce UIC Women’s Basketball team will be having their home opener against the Howard University Bison at 12PM. The Flames will go into this match coming off two home exhibition wins over these past two weeks (99-47 vs Roosevelt and 78-48 vs Indiana-Northwest). The ladies want to take advantage of their momentum and show Howard whose house this is, but they need your help! I’ve seen them play in person and I can guarantee you won’t want to miss it!

Later on in the day, you’ll have the opportunity to see the guys play at their home opener, but not before the TIP-OFF TAILGATE! At the UIC Pavilion parking lot, there will be food, beverages, free t-shirts, and more starting at 4:30PM before Friday night’s game. Invite all of your friends to a great night of fun! UIC students get to enjoy everything free with a valid I-Card.

After all of the festivities are over, it’s game time! Our UIC Men’s Basketball team will be tipping off their season at 7PM vs the San Francisco Dons. The UIC Flames and SF Dons will be battling for the first time ever and it will definitely be a game you won’t want to miss! The Flames go into this match-up coming off a 73-60 exhibition win vs Lake Forest on last week and they need our help to bring that same fire to get another win at home.

If you didn’t get a chance to go the student preview of the Men’s Basketball team last week, you missed a great show. The guys played an inter-squad exhibition with Team Red beating Team Blue by double digits. One player that stood out was freshman guard Dominique Matthews, who played with so much speed throughout the game and showed off his scoring ability really well. The team as a whole showed a lot of heart, hustle, defense and focus on the court, so we all should be excited for what this team’s going to bring to the table this season.

As a fun twist, the players took part in an NBA style mini-dunk contest featuring Najeal Young, Tai Odiase, and Dikembe Dixson. The finalists after round one were Odiase and Dixson, but ultimately Dixson took the dunk contest crown with his fiery double clutch dunk that really got the crowd hyped up. We should be seeing more explosive dunks like that one as the season continues.

In between all the action, it was announced that at every home game this season, students will be given the opportunity to get their tuition paid for by hitting at least one three point shot within the time given and one “make or miss” shot at half court. Sounds like a challenge to me! (Make sure you’re at every home game so that you can have the opportunity to win free tuition!)

After the ballers were done showing their skills, Coach Steve McClain demand all the students take a seat on the court, so that he could speak to the portion of the student body that was present.

Coach McClain: “A lot of you have heard me talk throughout my time of being here. That we want to change the culture here at UIC. That you are apart of what we do. You are apart of winning. You are apart of helping us win. And we’ve done other events, but tonight is the first night I let them put the uniforms on because they were coming out for you guys. And you can help us start a tradition of having the best student section-one of the best in the country. Not in the horizon league, one of the best in the country. And make it a tradition that the games are the place to be. It’s the fun thing to do. We’re going to need you to win. We’re going to need your help. We’re going to need your encouragement. We’re going to need your noise. Because you saw how we’re going to play. We’re going to play fast, it’s going to be fun, there’s going to be dunks, there’s going to be excitement. But there’s going to be a game we struggle, and we’re going to need the crowd to get us going. I also want to tell you this. I went to the women’s game the other night for the first time. [cheers] They’ve got a great team. They’ve got a fun team to watch. Athletics is something for all of you. Whether you played, didn’t play, it can be fun to just come and enjoy the atmosphere. Get out of the dorm, do something, and meet new people.”