The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Elite Eight for Loyola

My #2 alma mater Loyola University Chicago's men's basketball team has done something for the first time in my life:

This marks the first time since 1963’s NCAA championship team that Loyola has remained alive this deep into the season. Wearing their championship rings, Jerry Harkness and several of his teammates sat in the front row at Philips Arena to cheer for the 2018 team.

The program hadn’t been to the NCAA tournament since 1985’s Sweet 16 squad. Now, the Ramblers will face Kansas State, a 61-58 victor over Kentucky, on Saturday in the NCAA South regional final.

Meanwhile, my #3 alma mater, Duke, plays Syracuse tonight.

Almae Matres both advance

Duke advanced yesterday to the Sweet 16. Cool, but their 87-62 win over Rhode Island wasn't exactly a fair fight.

Loyola, though. Loyola advanced on a hail-Mary three-pointer with 3 seconds left on the clock:

Loyola did it again with a 63-62 NCAA tournament thriller against No. 3 seed Tennessee to advance to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1985 — the last time the Ramblers were in the tournament.

On Saturday night, it was guard Clayton Custer who delivered a game-winning 15-foot jumper with 3.6 seconds left on the clock. In the first round two nights before, it was senior Donte Ingram who nailed a 3-pointer with 0.3 seconds remaining against No. 6 seed Miami to make Loyola a tournament sweetheart.

If Thursday’s victory goes down in Loyola history as “The Shot,” this one will be known forever as “The Bounce."

Custer’s shot from the right side near the free-throw line ricocheted high off the rim to the top of the backboard before rattling through the basket — stunning the Volunteers and adding to what has been a wild NCAA tournament littered with defeated higher seeds.

Nice work, Ramblers. Nice work. Good luck tomorrow to both teams, with Duke against whoever wins today's Syracuse-Michigan State game, and Loyola set to play the winner of tonight's Nevada-Cincinnati game.

What is the plural of "alma mater?"

Two of my almae matres yesterday advanced in the NCAA Men's Basketball tournament. One of them, Duke, didn't exactly struggle, so I'll just acknowledge them for now. Another of them, Loyola University Chicago, didn't even expect to get to the tournament, so their win yesterday felt really great:

Donte Ingram’s 3-pointer just before the final buzzer delivered the 11th-seeded Ramblers’ first NCAA tournament victory in 33 years — a 64-62 upset of No. 6 seed Miami.

As the players partied Thursday afternoon, a 98-year-old nun who serves as the team chaplain was pushed onto the corner of the hardwood in her wheelchair. With TV camera crews trained on her, Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt folded her hands in her lap and smiled, waiting for an embrace from each player as he exited the court.

“She’s just so special, her spirit,” Ingram said. “She’s just so bright.”

After his divine 3-pointer and celebration, Ingram spotted Sister Jean’s outstretched arm as he ran off the court. The undisputed team MVPs for the day hugged.

Call the duo The Shot and The Prayer.

Don't tell anyone, but I'm considering skipping out for a couple of hours to meet some friends at a local wings place. Duke plays Rhode Island tomorrow afternoon, and Loyola plays Tennessee tomorrow evening. (Here's the official NCAA bracket.)

How to Take a Picture of a Stealth Bomber Over the Rose Bowl

Photographer Mark Holtzman flew a Cessna 206 over the Rose Bowl on Monday—and captured one of the coolest aerial photos I've ever seen. He explains the shot in The Atlantic:

I’m always talking with them. It’s run under the Pasadena Police, so I get a clearance. They don’t want anybody just flying around during a big event like that, even though you theoretically can. So I was on a discreet frequency, the same frequency as the B-2, talking to them. They know me now.

Unlike film, the way you shoot digital is you shoot wider and crop it in. It’s hard. Things are happening really quick. It’s very fluid. I’m flying at 100 miles per hour. They are flying 200 miles an hour in the other [direction]. So, that’s 300 miles per hour. Things happen really quickly.

For me, my goal was to put the B-2 inside the stadium, preferably in the grass. And I don’t want to block any of the names or other stuff. For this picture, if you block the flag, it takes away from it.

So, first you’re trying to find the B-2 as it is flying toward you. Everything is fluid. I am moving around. They have to be on their target and you have to be on yours. There are no shortcuts. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.

You have to see this photo.

First professional hockey game

On Wednesday, I did something for the first time:

That was the Rangers at the Blackhawks. And this happened:

Hearing "Chelsea Dagger" seven times (including three thanks to Artem Anisimov's first career hat trick) was a good introduction to the sport.

Right now, it looks like I'll see the Blackhawks/Maple Leafs game on January 24th, complete with "O Canada" (and I hope more of the Fratellis).

Pence pulls a political stunt at an NFL game

Yesterday, Vice President Mike Pence walked out of an Indianapolis Colts game (after spending $250,000 of taxpayer money to get there) when several players took a knee during the national anthem. His press office followed up with a statement that Pence "left today’s Colts game because President Trump and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem."

Meanwhile, the press pool following him had previously been told to wait in the press van because "there may be an early departure." And President Trump later tweeted that he "asked @VP Pence to leave stadium if any players kneeled," both of which rather undermine any claim Pence had to be following his own conscience.

Let us return to the Book of Clemens, Chapter 23, verses 3-5:

Patriotism is merely a religion -- love of country, worship of country, devotion to the country's flag and honor and welfare.

In absolute monarchies it is furnished from the Throne, cut and dried, to the subject; in England and America it is furnished, cut and dried, to the citizen by the politician and the newspaper.

The newspaper-and-politician-manufactured Patriot often gags in private over his dose; but he takes it, and keeps it on his stomach the best he can. Blessed are the meek.

As Josh Marshall has pointed out repeatedly, "In Trumpland, everyone gets hurt. No one emerges with any dignity intact. He’s that ravening maw of ego and appetite and above all else unquenchable need and he has the country by the throat."

 

Maybe we should build a wall?

The Argentine national football team is messing with us in this hilarious promotion:

TPM explains:

“They’re coming from South America. These are total killers. These are not the nice, sweet, little people that you’d think, okay?" Trump continues. "We have no protection, anybody can come in. It’s very easy and it shouldn’t be that way. We need to build a wall and it has to be built quickly.”

Trump's comments about a border wall play over clips of Argentine soccer players scoring a goal and cutting past a defender.

The promo closes with the caption: "The truth is the best they can do is not let us in."

Heh.

I mean, it's only funny until someone loses an election.

The Cato Institute hopes you can't do math

Some of my libertarian-minded friends have circulated an article written by Cato Institute senior fellow Daniel J. Mitchell, an anti- flat-tax advocate, claiming that Cam Newton will pay a 200% tax to California on his Superbowl earnings. Mitchell quotes "a Certified Public Accountant" writing in a Forbes article at length, ending with this legerdemain:

If the Panthers ... lose [the Superbowl, Newton] will only net another $51,000. The Panthers will have about 206 total duty days during 2016, including the playoffs, preseason, regular season and organized team activities (OTAs)....

Seven of those duty days will be in California for the Super Bowl... To determine what Newton will pay California on his Super Bowl winnings alone ... looking at the seven days Newton will spend in California this week for Super Bowl 50, he will pay the state ... $101,360 on $51,000 should they lose.

Except that's total bullshit. Did anyone else spot the problem with this?

See, Newton didn't earn $51,000 for losing the Superbowl; he earned over $1.1 million for losing the Superbowl. And a $100,000 tax on $1.1 million seems pretty reasonable to me, despite how unreasonable it seems to the Cato Institute (which thinks any tax on income is unreasonable and wants to repeal the 16th Amendment).

If Newton works 206 days in 2016, and 7 of them are in California, then 3.4% of his annual gross income is apportioned to California. But Newton will probably earn $31 million in 2016, not $51,000; and 3.4% of $31 million is, it turns out, $1,053,398.

(Come to think of it, the $51,000 bonus seems kind of small, doesn't it? I mean, since we're talking about fantasy money and not the compensation that most people earn.)

Mitchell's problem isn't that states like California have higher income taxes than other states. His problem is that doesn't want any income taxes, period. Fine; make that argument. But don't foist patently misleading headlines on completely misleading articles and claim you're presenting a real argument.

Too much to read

I'm totally swamped today, so here are the things I haven't read yet:

Twenty minutes until my next meeting.