Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Tony Mangia On Assignment In Sri Lanka

Message to readers of The Other Paper:

I will be out of the United States for the next four weeks visiting the beautiful country of Sri Lanka.

The essentials

Although the civil war ended in Sri Lanka a few years ago, many Sri Lankans are still displaced and looking to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives. I will be spending a few weeks helping a group of refugees rebuild some of the resettlement villages and temples that are still in disarray and teach English to some of the children. Yup. Lots of “How ya doin’” will probably be heard as they move back home.

In between, there will be time to do some scuba diving, mountain hiking and work on a special photo assignment.

I will probably be without Internet, phone or even TV for most of the the duration and, sort of happily, won’t be posting or viewing anything on social media. Hopefully, this will mean not seeing or hearing about any “news” related to American politics as well. So don’t burn the place down until I get back.

And, while I will somewhat miss March Madness (no St. John’s), I guess following the the cricket league pools and learning how to throw — hit? — a wicked googly will be just as much fun.

New posts to return next month. Ayubowan.

Ezekiel Elliot caught on camera yanking down woman's top during St. Patrick's Parade

Ezekiel Elliott, last season's NFL offensive sensation and MVP finalist, might find himself in a more defensive stance in the future after being caught on camera exposing a woman's breast during a St Patrick's Day Parade.

Two videos have circulated of the 21-year-old Dallas Cowboys running back getting inappropriate with the young woman and pulling her top down towards a camera. Elliot was reportedly with the unidentified woman, who continually slaps his hand away, before yanking down her tank top while drinking at a Dallas rooftop bar over the weekend.

What makes it even more disturbing is the fact that Elliott has been under investigation for assault claims by his ex-girlfriend since the beginning of his rookie season last year.

The footage, obtained by TMZ, shows the woman gesturing to her breasts to the crowd before Elliott exposes her left one right before she immediately covers back up.

A second short video was also posted, in which the same woman bends towards the crowd showing some cleavage.

Elliott reaches again for her breast and she swats his hand away.
A representative for the football player has said that the woman wasn't upset by the incident and spent time with Elliott and a group of friends later in the evening.

Elliott previously told the Washington Post that he was hoping for closure on the assault allegations against him by his ex-girlfriend, which have hounded him since the beginning of his rookie season in 2016.

"I would rather them not drag on as long. I think if there was something to find, which there's not, they would've found it by now," he has said.

Authorities cleared him following a lack of evidence in the case, after his then-girlfriend posted photos of bruises on her arms on Instagram and tagged Elliott.

She later deleted the photos.

Last January, police were also called to Elliott's Florida apartment in response to a domestic incident involving the same woman, who said the running back had pushed her against a wall during an argument. 

The NFL has already reportedly questioned Elliott about that incident and can still suspend players for conduct violations without the presence of legal charges. And, with all of the previous inicidents involving NFL players and domestic abuse stoking the flames, this might turn into a nasty burn for Zeke.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

High School Pressured To Apologize For Fans Wearing Red, White & Blue At Game

Valley High School in Des Moines defeated Des Moines North High School, 57-55, in what locals are calling a game for the ages. Afterwards, most of the talk wasn't about the play on the court, but the attire in the stands.

Apparently some high schoolers from Valley showed up for Wednesday's neutral site Iowa State Tournament playoff game draped in red, white and blue which seemed to anger fans from Des Moines North, which features a diverse student body and players from refugee families.

The Valley students had chosen to wear red, white and blue instead of their school colors black and orange as part of a color theme day but some are claiming it goes further than that.

Following the game, Morgan Wheat, an assistant coach at Des Moines North, was somewhat skeptical.

"Any normal person, any educated person can look at that and think what the hell are these kids thinking," he said.

"Kids are kids, I get it, but I do have questions. I want to know why."

Wheat, who played basketball at Vanderbilt and Iowa State University, has a history with both high school teams. "I went to two state tournaments with Valley High School."

On Thursday, Valley High School's Student Leadership members bowed to PC pressure and provided an apology for flouting the colors of the American flag by hand delivering this letter to Des Moines North:

To the Students and Staff of North High School:

It has been brought to our attention that the decision by the Valley High School student section to wear U.S.A. apparel at our game last night was offensive to members of your community and fan base. We are deeply sorry if we have offended anyone in any way. We have traditionally dressed in such a fashion for great games such as the one last night. Everyone here at Valley has immense respect not only for your team and players but for your community as a whole. Please know that our intent was in no way to offend or demean—just to support our own team in a way we have done before.

Congratulations on a wonderful season and we wish you nothing but the best of luck in the future.


Valley High School Student Council Leadership

It has become a recent trend where students across the country take part in themed nights during athletic events. But, like in too many recent cases, an American flag color scheme has been deemed politically incorrect.

Valley fans recently adorned themselves in red white and blue during a football game against rival Dowling Catholic — a private school — without any incident.

That's the way it should be.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Chris Mullin outburst evokes memories of the old St. John's vs Georgetown rivalry at Madison Square Garden

It was — almost refreshingly — like the halcyon days of the Big East all over again when St. John's met Georgetown at Madison Square Garden Wednesday night especially when the Redmen's — I mean Red Storm's — head coach Chris Mullin had to be held back from going after the Hoyas bench in the second half of the opening game of this season's Big East Tournament.

Mullin stormed over to confront Georgetown coach John Thompson III after rough play between players under the basket escalated and probably rekindled the rough house style of play he remembers during the classic battles between the two teams back in the 80's.

With 8:35 left, and the eighth-seeded Johnnies holding a 59-55 lead in the hard fought game, a melee nearly broke out. After Amar Alibegovic fouled L.J. Peak hard on a drive, Peak got up, and got in Alibegovic’s face. Bradley Hayes followed by pushing Alibegovic. That was quickly broken up. But moments later, a fired up Mullin exchanged words with Peak then JT3 before being held back by his players. Alibegovic was assessed a flagrant one foul, and Mullin and Georgetown assistant coach Patrick Ewing Jr. were both given technical fouls.

Mullin's players responded by hanging on, 74-73, to give their second year coach his first postseason victory and the program it’s first Big East Tournament win since 2011. St. John’s will meet No. 1 Villanova in the quarterfinals Thursday at noon.

After the game, the two coaches shook hands like nothing happened but the names — Mullin, Thompson, Ewing — stirred up visions of Big East glory days past and might signal the resurgence of a new St. John's vs Georgetown era.

All we need is a little Carnesecca.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Former St. John's 7'1" basketball recruit Zach Brown in jail again

Former St. John's basketball recruit Zach Brown has found himself in more trouble with the law. The 7-foot-1 Brown, who seems to be building a rap sheet almost as long as his wingspan, was taken back to jail on Thursday after a bench warrant was issued for his arrest. His older brother and accomplice, Clayton was also locked up again.

Police picked up the two men at Motel Blu in Miami. Records show they both recently failed to show up in court for traffic tickets, according to SlaterScoops.

The 19-year-old Brown, ranked the No. 35 player in the class of 2017 by ESPN, was arrested January with the same brother for allegedly stealing money from a Florida Walgreen’s cash register. He was charged with first-degree petty theft misdemeanor, driving with a suspended license and an expired tag.

St. John’s had released the once-prized recruit from his national letter of intent following his January arrest. Brown was also charged last May with credit card fraud and robbery in Miami.

Brown grew up in poverty and was living in the Liberty City section of Miami before he was adopted by Michael Lipman in 2013, reported USA Today. Brown and his brother bounced around high schools in Miami and Connecticut leaving a wake of trouble in their dust. The court had taken pair away from their biological mother and their aunt, who was given custody, but said she was no longer willing to raise them.

“They come from the most horrific situation you could imagine,” Lipman said of Zach and his brother. “The judge said he had never seen a worse case.”

That may be but, in a sport which has seen more than its share of young players throw it all away, Brown's choice to piss away a college scholarship and, most likely, a professional career for chump change is more than a sad, it's a pity.

And he probably won't see things any clearer through that eye shadow.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Pittsburgh Penguins face off against PETA after team uses live penguins during pre-game festivities

The rivalry between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers may be one of the most physically brutal NHL series but, after Saturday's Stadium Series matchup at Heinz Field, there may be some harder crosschecks on the horizon.

On Thursday, PETA — People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals — sent a letter to Pittsburgh Penguins president and CEO David Morehouse, criticizing the team and the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium for using live penguins during pregame festivities before the game.

Specifically, PETA took exception with a video clip that went viral, showing a group of penguins flinching and scampering in confusion after a fireworks display at the stadium
The Pittsburgh Zoo responded Thursday afternoon in a statement, discounting many of PETA’s claims.

“The loud pop from the pyrotechnical display temporarily startled the penguins and their first reaction similar to a human’s when startled, they flapped their wings,” the statement reads, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “It was less than 10 seconds and the penguins were back to normal and exploring and playing on the ice.”

PETA pointed out that the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium “is no longer accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums” and therefore “no longer has to maintain the AZA’s minimal standards or care for penguins and other animals.”

“It's inherently stressful for wild animals — who naturally shun contact with humans and are extremely sensitive to environmental changes — to be hauled around, used as props, and exposed to noisy crowds, with or without explosives going off,” John Di Leonardo, a campaigner for PETA, wrote in the letter to Morehouse. “Hockey fans come to see talented athletes compete, not shy animals terrorized.”

The Pittsburgh Zoo said the penguins that participated in Saturday’s pregame entertainment were the same penguins that appear in the Penguins on Parade event, which allows the public to view the animals every Saturday and Sunday from late November through the end of February.

“They are very comfortable around people and noises,” they also claimed in their statement.

You have to admit the little guys did seem a little startled by the loud boom (who usually isn't) but it still can't be as scary as being stranded on an ice floe, staring down the mouth of a killer whale.