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Crowning a New King of the East

By Gino Rouse

       The NBA Playoffs this year gives fans the opportunity to crown the new King of the East. However, it has not been an obvious coronation. Since the San Antonio and Toronto trade that swapped Kawhi Leonard and Demar DeRozan, we have all been reminded that Kawhi is a top 3 player in the league due to his defensive ability and insane clutchness. But in the Midwest, a star has arisen in ‘The Greek Freak’, Giannis Antetokounmpo. Since the beginning of the season, something has clicked for ‘The Freak’. He has been dominant all year long, showing that even a lack of a perimeter shot won’t stop him. Adding fifty some pounds of pure muscle to his frame didn’t hurt his game. You also have other Eastern Conference stars in Kyrie Irving and Victor Oladipo. Oladipo carried the Indiana Pacers to the fifth seed in the East, and so, he must be in the conversation. Unfortunately, his season fell off at the end because of injury. However, this impressive talent has been overshadowed by battle between Giannis and Kawhi.

So, who is the East’s new King?

       Both the Bucks and the Raptors have been built around their star small forwards. abae1bc2-9945-46b5-9261-61633c668638-GAN_20190119_GGW_MB4_153_76340998Weather it be, like in Toronto, from a blockbuster trade, or from the draft and minor trades, like Milwaukee, these teams have surrounded each star with pieces that help them shine even brighter. With his unparalleled athleticism and killer mindset, Giannis has shown that he can stay consistent throughout the season leading the Bucks to the best record in the entire league. This mindset was there from his earliest days in the league. The dedication that he has shown to the game of basketball is almost religious. Giannis and the Bucks successfully swept the Pistons in the first round this season, which everyone was expecting, and then beat down the stacked Boston Celtics, This showed that his dominance didn’t stop when the playoffs began. At only 24 years old, Giannis has shown this season that he wants this title more than anyone else. But now he is faced with the challenging task of taking down the Raptors and Kawhi Leonard.

     Many people had forgotten about Kawhi Leonard. Since his controversial injury caused by Zaza Pachulia in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals against Golden Toronto-Raptors-Kawhi-Leonard-scores-36-despite-apparent-leg-injuryState on May 14, 2017, Kawhi’s career had been marked by rumors. Fans had been asking why he sat out the full 2018 season with the Spurs, even though he was cleared by one of the NBA’s best franchise team doctors. Some questioned if he was more focused  on his own personal brand than on the game. With all this talk, people had forgotten about the young Kawhi Leonard who locked down Lebron James and ended up winning finals MVP in 2014. This was the same year that he won Defensive Player of the year. That made him the first player since Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon to win both in the same year! That alone puts Kawhi into the conversation of an all time great defender. Since joining Toronto, Kawhi has been showcasing all his skills, averaging career highs in points and rebounds as well as averaging just under 2 steals a game. In the playoffs this year he is still averaging career highs in points and 3 pointers made, showing that his game is still evolving and that his shot is getting more and more deadly. Those numbers and his ability to make big shots against a young, athletic, and hungry 76ers team shows how great this guy really is.

      These two studs facing each other in such pivotal moments in both of their careers will mark this series in the history books. Kawhi is known for his lockdown defensive capabilities along with now confirming his ability to deliver in clutch moments;  Giannis has the ability to get to the basket against any defender because of his height, athleticism, and ball handling skills. It will be difficult to predict who will come out on top of this matchup. The new king of the East will only be determined after the end of this series. Until then, we all get to talk about how incredible it is to watch these once in a lifetime talents battle each other.

A New Type of Lottery

By Gino Rouse

Although the NBA Finals are approaching and nearly every fan is focused on who is going to make it there, there is other arguably bigger news in the NBA. The NBA Draft Lottery is held every year to determine which team will obtain the number one pick in hi-res-57bb20c56d92a664cefdd237ae3e18ff_crop_norththe upcoming draft. In years past this system of choosing the number one pick has been different. The team with the worst record in the NBA had the best chance at the number one pick, 25%. This team would be guaranteed to pick no lower than fourth. Then the team with the second worst record then would have a 19.9% chance at the number one pick. Then the third worst team would have a 15.6% chance at the first pick and so on. This would “guarantee” that each and every NBA team that had bad regular season records would get the opportunity to rebuild through the draft. If the system is set up for bad teams to gain great picks then why change it at all?

Unfortunately, with the old draft lottery system teams had the habit of ‘tanking.’ When an NBA team decides to tank they will intentionally lose games after realizing that they wouldn’t make it to the playoffs. This strategy would then give this team a much better chance of receiving the number one pick and the incredible young talent that comes with it.

WRP2Q2DWWAI6TJ57ZCSDXBHOGEWith the new system in place, the chance of the teams with the worst records getting the number one pick has been modified. Now, teams with the 3 worst regular season records will all only have a 14% chance of getting the number one pick with the next best odds being only 12.5%. This gives the chance of getting that highly anticipated number 1 pick to a team that didn’t have the worst season. That has now happened. On Tuesday, the New Orleans Pelicans unexpectedly won the number one pick . The Pelicans only had a 6% chance of getting that number one pick but because everyone else’s percent chance was changed they had a better chance this year than in the past. This leaves teams like the New York Knicks and Phoenix Suns, who had terrible seasons,  stuck wondering ‘what if’.

This new system will drastically change the NBA as we know it. Regular season games, even towards the end of the season, will stay competitive because there will be no reason to try to lose intentionally. It will also give more teams the chance to draft quality prospects that they might not have have had the ability to pick through the old system. With talent in the NCAA growing exponentially, and more young stars coming from other countries this system, will successfully distribute talented players across the league.  The future of the NBA will be even more competitive, which in turn will make it more enjoyable to watch for any fan.

My Culinary Dream

By Melissa Alamilo

Ever since I was a little girl I’ve wanted to learn how to cook. At the age of 10, I’d started to gain some knowledge from my grandma. She taught me  how to cook our traditional Mexican dishes, and that’s where the passion began. I took classes in high school, and it gave me the drive to investigate schools that offer amazing culinary classes. That is how I discovered Robert Morris University.

culinaryOn the first day in the RMU kitchen I was nervous because we were learning knife cuts. Though the classes I took in high school did not give me that knowledge, it didn’t stop me. I took the time to come after school and work with my chef/teacher.  This helped give me confidence. By the third week I finally felt like I belonged in the kitchen. As I have learned more my passion only grew.

By the end of my first year at RMU I had the opportunity to take part in an International Taiwanese Competition with a couple of friends. At first when we saw who was also doing the competition we thought we didn’t have a chance. But together we had confidence.  We were there to have the experience of cooking with other people from a different country and see how they view the culinary world. It was all very exciting, especially doing the competition with friends. At the end of the competition, we won third place, which was amazing. It boosted our confidence. We now want to do it again and improve our next menu. Now, going into my second, and sadly last year at RMU, my confidence is amazing.  At this point, we don’t have to follow the recipe in class, and we can develop our own techniques and use our taste palate to our advantage. And this leads me to the best part of my story; my internship. I am interning at a fine dining Italian Restaurant. Though nervous starting out, I’ve learned how to manage my three line stations three stations by myself within a month. There is still more to improve, but my passion is only growing more.

Recently, I was given the opportunity to keep working at this restaurant. I landed my dream job where I can practice my passion.

St. Patricks Day Events

green river

Jayme Bailey

To many, St. Patrick’s Day is a time to wear green, and day drink without consequence. However, in Chicago it is much more than that. There are countless family activities to participate in, bars to drink at, even a whole river dyed green to celebrate the day. One of the most participated in activities is the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade that displays Irish and Chicago Heritage through performers, floats, and Irish dancers.             This year the parade had 122 different entries from schools, and other facilities that support the community, meaning there will be a little something for everyone to enjoy. WGN Chicago news announced that the fun begins on the intersection of Columbus Ave and Balbo Drive, and will end north at Monroe Drive. The parade will start about noon on Saturday March 16th and will last about two hours.
Another famous Chicago tradition is the infamous Green River. The dye will be spread out around 9 A.M. on Saturday March, 16th, but it is recommended to get to the river a hour early inorder to get a good viewing spot. The part of the Chicago River that will be dyed stretches from Wacker Drive to State St. The river will be visible from most bridges around that area, and down near the Riverwalk. If you do plan on viewing from a bridge please watch for traffic and bikers while being aware of your surroundings.
Anyone can stop at the Irish American Heritage Center for their St. Patrick Festival on Saturday, March 16th. The IAHC is located on N Knox Ave, and tickets will be available for purchase on the IAHC official website costing $15 for Adults and free for children 12 and under. The festival will go on from 1:30 pm until 9:30 pm. A full itinerary of the activities available will be located on the IAHC official website. ( Activities mostly involve Irish band performances, Irish dance lessons, and bagpipe performances. It is a great family friendly activity to enjoy for the day.
If you are more interested in food we got you covered. If you’re looking for a classic Irish pub, Wilde Bar and Restaurant located in Lakeview is a fan favorite for an authentic Irish feel and great food. Located in the historic Beverly neighborhood, another pub called Cork & Kerry is a great place to stop for some great food.
Overall, there are hundreds of activities to do in Chicago around St. Patrick’s Day. Enjoy the day and explore new things. Just a friendly reminder public drinking is prohibited at all outdoor events in the Chicago area. Please keep it in a bar and have a safe enjoyable St. Patties Day weekend.

The Poison: Album Review

Jesus A. Lara

Bullet for My Valentine is a Welsh heavy metal band formed in 1998. The group is composed of 4 members since then and have had some former members as well. They started under the name of Jeff Killed John and started their music career by coverings songs from bands such as Metallica and Nirvana. While under the name of Jeff Killed John they recorded six songs that were never released. Fortunately, two of these songs were later worked on under the name of Bullet for My Valentine.

Bullet for My Valentine’s debut album The Poison, was released on October 3, 2005 in the United Kingdom and on February 14, 2006 in the United States. This album entered the U.S. billboard 200 at number 128 and considered certified gold for the Recording Industry Association of America. This band also toured with Rob Zombie at this albums release and opened for other bands such as Metallica and Guns N’ Roses in the summer of 2006, making them a big hit not only in the U.K. but here in the U.S.

Many songs in this album feature meanings that are important to the band and not only obstacles that they had to overcome, but advice they would love to give their loving fans to learn and grow from it. This album also features their hit song Tears Don’t Fall. During an interview regarding The Poison album, Matt (Lead Vocals and Rhythm guitarist) mentioned that he lost his voice near the end of the tour and talked about how heart breaking it was not being able to do his job. He took speech therapy and vocal coaching that got him back up from a hard downfall in his career. He described it as a psychological battle and inspired him to keep fighting and not giving up which was partly what the Poison’s album was about.

Personally I believe a band like this has gone through a lot but still stands strong and they keep fighting which tends to motivate the fans in their own personal lives to overcome obstacle that get in the way. They are definitely great artists that put their hard work in their albums and are a great inspiration to other similar artists within their genre.

Overall this particular album would be ranked 4.5 out of 5 stars considering they were at their peak of their career and won them a world tour. My personal favorite songs in this album are “Tears Don’t Fall”, “All These Things I Hate (Revolve Around Me)” and “Suffocating Under Words of Sorrow (What Can I Do)”. If this is an interesting album review you seem to be interested in, I would check out other similar bands that revolve around their genre such as Killswitch Engage, Avenged Sevenfold, and Trivium.

RMU ESport’s New Addition: Overwatch

Lav Patel

Overwatch is a first-person, cartoon shooter game that was released last year for Blizzard Entertainment. It focuses on picking a hero from a pool of heroes with a variety of different skills and completing different objectives that appear on the game maps. Its popularity in the eSports has grown considerably since its release and it has found a way into our very own Robert Morris University eSport program. It was an official club through our program last year, but through hard work and being invited to a regional tournament, our Overwatch team has shown that they have what it takes to be the top Collegiate Overwatch team. Starting this year, Overwatch joined League of Legends, Heroes of the Storm, Hearthstone and Counter Strike: Global Offensive as a varsity eSport and have been given their own private practice computers in the Varsity Arena.

Most of the team was originally created out of students who were in the eSport program for other games that we support. The team’s captain and main offensive player, James Moffit, was a part of the division two Counter Strike: Global Offensive team. He was recruited when his fellow freshman, friend, and the team’s off-tank player, Lav Patel, decided to create an Overwatch team for the school. Once they were given the okay to make the team, they recruited two League of Legends players, Kevin Cardenas and Chris Broadnacks, to play the games support role. The next recruit was Varsity Hearthstone player, Darien Zhao, as their main tank player. The final pick up was the soon to graduate, second offense player, Evan Tipton. Together as a team, beat many of the teams that they faced off against during the year and were eventually asked to play in a regional tournament against the other teams that have been gathered from all over the country. They lost one round before the quarter-finals, but they showed how far their rag-tag team had gotten for just being a club eSport.

As this year began, they were not only given the title of an official eSport for Robert Morris University, but were moved from club to Varsity. The reputation of the game and the team had been raised to a new height. Sadly, they had to say goodbye to two of their original members and friends Evan Tipton and Darien Zhao. Luckily, the new reputation of the team brought forth two new members that were more than eager to join the team. Stevin Meers moved from Counter Strike: Global Offensive to join the team as the new support player and Joel Sanchez transferred from Rockford University to join the team as the new offense player. Lav Patel became the new main tank and Kevin Cardenas became the teams new off-tank player. This year has shown the team is as strong as ever and only time will see how this new and promising team does.

Wretched and Divine: The Story of the Wild Ones, A Review

Jesus A. Lara

Black Veil Brides is an American rock band based in Hollywood, California. The group formed in 2006 in Cincinnati, Ohio and is currently composed of Andy Biersack, Ashley Purdy, Jake Pitts, Jinxx and Christian “CC” Coma.  Black Veil Brides are known for their use of black makeup, body paint, tight, black, studded clothing, and long hair. Which were all inspired by the legendary stage personas of KISS and Möetly Crü, as well as other 1980’s glam metal acts.

On October 8, 2012 the album cover art and album title: Wretched and Divine: The Story of the Wild Ones were released. Their lead single in this album called “In The End” was also featured in one of the theme songs for WWE Hell-In-A-Cell, winning multiple awards. On October 31, a trailer was released, reveling that Black Veil Brides had planned to reveal a full-length-film, titled Legion of the Black, in 2013. Wretched and Divine is a concept album and the film is a visual depiction of the story within the album. On June 11, 2013 Black Veil Brides released the Wretched and Divine ultimate edition containing three exclusive tracks: “Revelation”, “Victory Call” and “Let You Down” along with the special Legion of the Black DVD.

The plot follows a young girl who is a big fan of the band, but no one understands her (“Wretched and Divine”). When she tries to fight back against everyone, she is placed  inside a mental hospital (“Lost It All”). The next portion of the album takes place in her mind as she tries to escape. A woman is running from a soldier of the organization called “F.E.A.R.” and is caught and killed (“I Am Bulletproof”). Andy, the band’s singer finds the girl and brings her back to his base camp, where “The Wild Ones” and the “Legion of the Black” hide (also “Lost It All”), and, along with the Legion, cremate her remains (“New Years Day”). The following night, soldiers of F.E.A.R. kidnap some of the members of the Legion (“Days Are Numbered”). Finally fed up with F.E.A.R., the group rallies together (“Resurrect the Sun”). Meanwhile someone gives the girl the key to her cell and she escapes to a church (“Overture”). They storm the tower where F.E.A.R. lays and rescue all their captives and defeat F.E.A.R.’s. Biersack tells that F.E.A.R. is an acronym which stands for “For Every and All Religion.”

Personally, many artists who incorporate a story behind their work and in their albums always seem to be much more appealing. Their music seems much more interesting especially with a theme implemented behind their work. This album shows a perfect visual representation of the story of “The Wild Ones.”

Overall I would rate this album a 4.5 star out of 5. Some highlights of this album and personal favorites are songs such as “In The End”, “Shadows Die” and “Days Ae Numbered”. This band is currently touring and will be in Chicago, November 20th, in the Resurrection World Tour. If this album review seems to interest you, check out these other related bands such as Falling in Reverse, Asking Alexandria, and Crown the Empire.