A Great Time to Be a NY Sports Fan

Credit to Luke Redmond
Credit to Luke Redmond

By Joe Davis

As we come back from spring break to finish out the rest of the Spring 2015 semester, sports fans here in the city have a lot to be happy about.

The NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs are underway and both the Rangers and Islanders are in. In baseball, the Mets are having one of their best starts in years—an eight game winning streak as of this writing. The Yankees are doing better than expected with Alex Rodriguez playing like he hasn’t lost a step. The NBA Playoffs are underway too and the Brooklyn Nets—well they’re trying really hard for an eighth seed.

The biggest story in New York sports right now is the Mets and the amazing start they are having to the 2015 season.

Many Mets fan felt that this would be a good year for the team but I don’t think most expected them to rocket right off the bat. The Mets currently stand 10 and 3 on the season. The Mets have started a season 10-3 only two other times: in 2006 and 1986. Only the Detroit Tigers have a better record at 10 and 2.

Usually April is a slow start for the Mets and they find themselves somewhere in the middle of the pack with the National League East, but this year something feels different. Ask any Mets fan and they will tell you this.

For years, the Mets mantra has always been “You Gotta Believe” and with this start it’s hard not to.

A few miles away in The Bronx, the Yankees currently sit in third place behind Boston and Baltimore in the American League East.

Currently, A-Rod is batting .316 with four home runs and 11 runs batted in to start the season. In an earlier article, I said if A-Rod batted somewhere around .280 with 20 HR’s and 80 RBI’s that would be a really amazing year, defying most people’s expectations. I might have to adjust those numbers.

He could very well be on his way to a 30 plus home run season and over 100 RBI’s. Considering most figured the Yankees would be doing a lot worse to start the season, .500 baseball is actually above expectations.

The most exciting thing has to be the Rangers and Islanders in the playoffs for the first time together in years. The Rangers had the best record in all of the NHL this past season and look to continue their winning ways against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Islanders are closing off their run in Nassau with actual wins.

I’m sure some Islander fans are a tad bitter that the team decides to start winning now that they are moving east to the good end of the island, but the odds are high right now for a potential Rangers/Islanders semi-finals that could produce some of the best hockey seen in this area in ages. Personally, I believe if that happens, we will see the Rangers win in seven games, but it would be an amazing seven games to watch.

If there were one downer to the good times, it’s the Brooklyn Nets.

Yes they pulled off a bit of a last-minute miracle by winning their way into the NBA Playoffs at the literal last moment thanks to a win and Indiana loss. However, being the eighth seed means they are up against the number one team in the east. The Atlanta Hawks.

The first game just happened and at first it appeared Atlanta would beat the Nets by possibly 20 points.  The game ended up much closer with the Nets losing 99-92. No one is expecting any upsets in this series. Barring a monumental collapse on the part of Atlanta, if the Nets win one or even two games most would probably consider that a success for them considering they barely made it in to begin with.

This is a great time to be a fan of New York sports. The biggest ‘what if’ will be whether or not the Mets can continue their winning ways.

That eighth straight win came at a huge cost with injuries to two key Mets players. They lost relief pitcher Jerry Blevins to a fractured forearm after being hit by a comebacker to the mound and star catcher Travis d’Arnaud to a fractured right hand after he was hit by a pitch while at bat.

With a series against Atlanta coming up this week, that white-hot start might be in jeopardy since the Mets started 0 and 2 against the Braves in the first two games of the season. The Mets have been winning because of timely hitting and if they continue that trend things will look up for them despite this early setback.

Overall it is a great time to be excited for New York sports. Let’s hope the good times continue to roll.

What Lies Behind Room 3218?

By Ashley Matos

In recent weeks, room 3218 in Ingersoll Hall has been the topic of conversation. Students have been posting photos of themselves next to the door and posting them on social media, wondering what lies behind it.

In the comments of a picture posted to the Facebook group, “Brooklyn College: In the Know,” people have guessed that it was a fallout shelter, a morgue, a molecular bio lab, a refrigerator, or ‘The Room of Requirement’ from Harry Potter.

Since most of the comments linked 3218 to the biology department, I contacted the offices.

“The room is listed under biology but has not been in use for many years. We don’t even have a key to it,” said Dan Eshel, a biology professor. “If you can arrange with security to enter, welcome!”

On April 3, when the halls of Ingersoll were nearly empty, the door to Room 3218 was opened with the help of the security office. After running to campus on the first day of spring break, I spoke to a man in the basement of Ingersoll. They did have a key to the room, and soon we were upstairs in front of the door.

The air in the room was stale, it had the scent of decay from furniture that hadn’t been touched in years. The lights didn’t work, and if they did, there wasn’t anything that vaguely resembled a switch in the room, except for a button on the wall that didn’t seem to be connected.

It was windowless and dark, with the only light coming from the flashlight the security officer held. There were packing peanuts strewn across the floor, a stack of napkins, bricks and strange tubes on the tables. There wasn’t much left in the room to indicate what it used to be, or why it was vacated and left locked for years. However, there was a wrapper on the floor for para-film, which is used by laboratories to seal flasks and other such things on a short-term basis.

Though the room has been opened after years of being locked, the only question that has been answered is “What’s in the room?” What the room was used for is still a mystery, but with the pictures taken of the room, at least we know it’s not a morgue.

Unity Week’s Pier Kids

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Ashley Matos

On April 15, as part of Unity Week, the LGBTQ Resource Center and LGBTA student club had a screening of  “Pier Kids: The Life.” The 20 minute rough-cut showed the struggle of homeless youth and delved specifically into the life of a young bisexual man named Casper.

Both Elegance Bratton, the director, and Nathan Proctor, the producer, were there to screen the film and receive feedback from the audience.

It shows that not all LGBTQ people act the way that they are stereotypically displayed, and that sometimes water can be thicker than blood.

Though it is a documentary, it takes a more personal approach to the subject. Especially since Bratton was kicked out of his home at the age of 16 because of his sexuality, and then struggled with homelessness for 10 years before joining the Marine Corps as a combat production specialist.

“In the military, it’s the camera, and then the subject is on the other side of the camera. It’s very formal, you know?” Bratton said.

“I think that ‘Pier Kids: The Life’ reveals, in a very personal and intimate way, the struggles and lives of LGBTQ youth of color living on the street that you don’t see anywhere else in our culture,” said Charlie Kerr, president of the LGBTA club.

The film will not only inform people about the struggles the LGBTQ community faces, but it will also give people within the community something to identify with.

“There are students at Brooklyn College who are struggling with the same issues as the kids in the film, and as President of the LGBTA I want to make sure that the experiences of the most marginalized members of the LGBTQ community, both off campus and on, are not forgotten,” Kerr said.

Wrap The Future

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By Tiffany Thomas

The penthouse at Brooklyn College’s student center filled with a plethora of head wraps and afros on March 31 as the Women of Color group hosted “Wrap The Future: A look into the head wrap and its place in modern day fashion.”

It was an evening filled with live performances and giveaways from natural hair businesses as a panel of four black women discussed the culture and significance of head wraps.

Geles, a significant head wrapping style popular amongst Nigerian women, is known for its flamboyant colors and elaborate styles. The traditional design has been around for decades and is now becoming a modern fashion statement.

“In Nigeria, when you go to a traditional event and you really want to dress up and show status in terms of class, you wear a gele,” said panelist Paola Mathe, a lifestyle blogger. The Haitian natives’ head wraps are inspired by African culture adding a modern twist to each style.

The large rectangular cloth serves as a fashionable accessory for African women. The stiff textiles vary based on size, design and an array of vibrant colors.

“I initially did not wear head wraps often but when I saw more and more women wearing it, I became comfortable stepping out and doing it as well,” Benewaa Bonsu, the creative director and president of Women of Color said. “More and more women on social media are pushing it and people are becoming more comfortable wearing it,” Bonsu added.

The big difference between the styles is that a regular head wrap is an everyday fashion. The artfully constructed gele is reserved for special events, such as weddings or religious occasions.

“I love that the American culture is starting to embrace head wraps,” Jenell Stewart, an award-winning natural hair and beauty editor said. “As a Liberian, it is a part of our culture and I love to see people wear it as a symbol of beauty,” the panelist added while wearing a red African print head wrap.

Now that head wraps and geles are now accessories for a fashion statement, the relevance of strength, culture and beauty was and is the foundation of the elaborate styles.

“I want people to embrace but most importantly know why they are wearing it,” Folasade Adeoso, a Visual Artist and guest speaker said.

Head wraps are etching their way into modern-day fashion and many believe that it should remain a cultural norm and a symbolism of strength, status and beauty.

“It’s just not a fashion, it is something that has power and knowledge behind it,” Kerissa Williams, the vice president of Women of Color said. Adorned with a white head wrap, Williams confessed that she always wore a head wrap without knowing the significance of it.

IMG_20150331_202756She concluded that the head wrap “signifies that I’m strong, I’m empowered, I’m woman, I’m an African American woman. We should wear it with the knowledge of what it is.”

The Rangers Remarkable Playoff Run

Jared Silber/Getty Images
Jared Silber/Getty Images

By Avi Greenberger, BC Class of 2011

When the season began, coming off their first Stanley Cup appearance since the 1993-94 winning season, the New York Rangers seemed like a team missing a step to make a run for it all.

Lacking depth and speed in 2014, they fell short against the Los Angeles Kings in the hunt for Lord Stanley’s Cup, and followed that up with losing key players in the off-season, such as Anton Stralman and Brian Boyle to the Tampa Bay Lightning. However, they did add veteran Dan Boyle to the roster, to help run a struggling Power Play.

But injuries plagued the team early and often.

Center Derek Stepan missed 12 games to start the year, Boyle 14 games, and newly anointed Captain Ryan McDonagh missed 10 games, all within the first two months of the season.

Couple this with a struggling Henrik Lundqvist, and a powerful New York Islanders team, the Rangers looked lost in the chase for the playoffs early on.

The team kept this pace through December and January and were in seventh place in the conference when the worst happened.
Minnesota Wild v New York RangersOlympic-winning goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, known as King Henrik, took a puck to the neck and was diagnosed with a vascular injury, leaving his immediate future in question, due to the possibilities of a potential stroke.

What does a team do when their all-star goalie gets injured in the midst of a playoff chase? Well, you turn to the goal buster, his backup Cam Talbot. And that’s where the season took a surprising turn for the best.

The team rallied in front of Talbot, getting 17 wins, and accumulating 37 of a possible 48 points in his absence, putting the team in great position for King Henrik’s return to the throne on March 27.

By the time the dust settled on April 11, the last day of the season, the Rangers were the best team in the league, receiving the President’s Trophy for their achievement, something they’d only done twice before, and hadn’t done since that magical ’94 season, all while setting team records for most wins, 53 and points, 113 in a single season.

As the playoffs began last Thursday against Pittsburgh, there are a few key points as to why this team has the potential to go further than the year before.

The depth and speed issues of 2014 were addressed with the additions of Keith Yandle, Kevin Hayes, J.T. Miller and Jesper Fast. Yandle was added at the trade deadline to further bolster one of the league’s top defensive units, and Hayes is a rookie speedster out of Boston College who quickly made a name for himself with highlight reel plays.

Meanwhile, Rick Nash, who in previous seasons lacked the scoring abilities that he had been brought in for, had an outstanding season, finishing with a career high 42 goals in the regular season, maybe shaking off the ghost of seasons past.

Will all this be enough to win the Cup? Or will the fan base be left with a great season only to fall short in the playoffs? Only time will tell, because as the league and all it’s fans can tell you: Anything can happen “Because it’s the Cup.”

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