“We’re Next”: how the Bruins can give Boston another title

Joseph A. Griswold -Assistant Sports Editor

The Boston Bruins look to continue the championship parade following both the Patriots and Red Sox bringing home their respective titles. Following the Patriots Super Bowl victory, Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy kept it simple, “We’re next.”

Cassidy, who has been behind the bench for two seasons, believes this team has what it takes to hoist the Stanley Cup. With top players, Brad Marchand, David Pasternak and Patrice Bergeron performing at an incredible level it seems hard to doubt Cassidy.

Despite the confidence, the Bruins still have areas that need improving. The Bruins have struggled in the same area since their playoff exit last year: scoring goals.

Much of last year the Bruins, for the most part, were a team that relied heavily on their first-line to produce a majority of their goals. This year has been no different, as the first line has accounted for over 40 percent of their goals as a team.

Cassidy has tried his best to reshuffle the lineup and work from within the Bruins. However, he has been unable to solve the Bruins’ secondary scoring woes.

Luckily, the Bruins hold a large number of assets they can move before the Feb. 25 trade deadline. With that being said, the Bruins have learned since last years Rick Nash trade and do not plan to expend a lot of young talent for a rental. Here are the most viable options that will push the Bruins into the championship conversation.

Wayne Simmonds, Philadelphia Flyers: Simmonds, the long-time Flyer could be the answer for the Bruins scoring woes. The 30-year-old winger has averaged almost 30 goals in each of his last five seasons. Further, Simmonds is a proven playoff competitor and a dynamic scorer on the power play. Although Simmonds is currently on an expiring contract, the Bruins would not have to expend much to bring in a proven playoff scorer.

Artemi Panarin, Columbus Blue Jackets: Panarin, the former Blackhawk and current Blue Jacket is the crown jewel of the trade market. Panarin posses game-changing talent and is a proven sniper and playmaker. Unfortunately, for the Bruins, Panarin would come at a high cost, likely in the form of Jake Debrusk and accompanying picks.

Ryan Dzingel, Ottawa Senators: Dzingel holds the most risk of any of the trade targets. His numbers have increased in each of the last four years; however, with little playoff experience it is uncertain what he can attribute down the road.

The Bruins are once again on the cusp of being a Stanley Cup contender. Much like last year they require another scoring presence in their top six forwards.

The player that can benefit the Bruins the most, while still keeping their current forwards in tact is Flyers’ winger Wayne Simmonds. Simmonds can supply scoring while also bringing the physical brand of hockey required for the playoffs.

Last year the Bruins made the wrong move at the deadline and it cost them a shot at the Stanley Cup. If the Bruins plan on joining the Patriots and Red Sox, Bruce Cassidy and general manager Don Sweeney must learn from last year’s mistakes.

For all the things that last forever

Jordan Moment – Anchor Contributor

If you would have asked me two months ago if the New England Patriots would be at the winning end of the Super Bowl, I would have told you it would have been a miracle for them to make it to the Super Bowl. It was the worst regular-performance that I had seen from the Patriots since their lackluster 2011 season. When compared to the amount of fresh talent, explosive offenses, and all around more interesting characters, it seemed almost certain that one of the rising teams such as the Chiefs, Rams, or Saints were sure to knock the Patriots from the pinnacle, but things certainly did not happen that way. And all throughout New England, we hear the chants and see the hashtags; we hear the chants and we speak of legacies, dynasties, and eras. If you were to ask the average American what immortality looked like, they might point you towards any number of banners hanging from the rafters of Gillette Stadium, a dominion of kings.

They might also tell you that they don’t like the mixing of politics and sports but use the language of the former to describe the latter. Bill Belichick could be described as Caesar, and the Patriots as another Rome, bellowing and laying waste to the far-flung carthaginians of the NFL. Or, that was 10 years ago and now they are edging up against Germanic peoples, slowly being delegated back into mediocrity which is the namesake for the AFC East. Immortality then is a fallacy, a brief passing moment where the accolades are enshrined and then used as justification for a narrative of decline or restoration. Where those who are immortalized outlive all that they have wrought and only become a hollow name scratched into a chemical treated plaque or a picture behind glass which loses meaning to subsequent generations. Peter Jackson’s documentary about the First World War captures the essence of this reality. “They Shall Not Grow Old” is not only a testament to the Lost Generation, the nickname for the millions who fought and died in the pointless venture that was the Great War, but also a lesson to the immortality of the 15 million people who perished in the conflict.

In every small village and hamlet in England there is a statue commemorating those who died on the contentment between the 1914 and 1918. In places in Belgium and France, there are black and white crosses statues of weeping parents with faces wretched in sorrow overlooking them. But, the most captivating part was not seeing men and women our ages serving as soldiers and nurses, 100-years ago in color, but the fact you know that their sacrifices were in vein. That tears, crosses, corpses, and monuments does not prevent the next conflict only 20 years after the fact. That entire dynasties that stretched centuries into the past were eviscerated. That the Europe that built a century of wealth due to post-Napoleonic conquest of Africa and Asia ate itself alive in ten years of war. That has been the fate for all dynasties, collapse and irrelevance, so what difference can we expect for the Patriots? In the near future there will be highlight of Tom Brady and the 2000s the same way highlights are played of Joe Montana and the 49ers in the 80s. Which leads to the great struggle of history, if you were not there you do not know the feeling, and it all just becomes paragraphs in a textbook or numbers on a stat sheet. So, what is the point of having monuments if people stop paying attention to them? What’s the point of having empires if you crown your heirs with dust?  

Professional basketball; a fraternity of familiarity

Jake Elmslie -Sports Editor

The NBA is an absolute wasteland at the moment. The Golden State Warriors have somehow found a way to reach a new echelon of greatness with the addition of a newly healthy Demarcus Cousins and are almost certainly cruising to their 4th title in five years. With that in mind fans of professional basketball have had a couple of choices when it’s come to enjoying the NBA over the last few seasons. Option A has always been to simply ignore reality and delude oneself into believing that any other team has had a chance against the Warriors since they added Kevin Durant three seasons ago. This of course has never at any point been the case since somewhere along the way humanity apparently lost the privilege of enjoying competitive professional basketball.

For those that accept the actualities of the NBA in the era of the Super Team, the options are to either, try and starve off the knowledge of how the season is inevitably going to conclude for as long as possible, or to indulge in the only truly compelling aspects of the NBA calendar. Those being the intricacies of roster construction and the nearly non-stop rumor mongering and drama that seems to follow the league’s elite players.

For those that take the latter path when it comes to their consumption of the NBA, this last week’s trade deadline served as a tantalizing appetizer to the buffet of intrigue that will be the 2019 offseason. What fans saw was a prelude to what promises to be a complete reshuffling of the power hierarchy in the league, a perfect storm of contract expiration where over half of the greatest basketball players in the world will stretch the limits of the illusion of management that extends over the NBA.

This trade deadline was highlighted by an influx of sub all-star level players into the eastern conference with difference makers like Marc Gasol and Tobias Harris joining the Toronto Raptors and Philadelphia 76ers respectively and versatile sharp shooting big man Nikola Mirotic joining the Milwaukee Bucks. However these transactions all paled in comparison to the theater surrounding Anthony Davis’s efforts to prematurely rid himself of the shackles of being a member of the small market Pelicans. Now while he will remain on the team for the remainder of the season is a near forgone conclusion that his soon-to-be former organization will trade him in the offseason, effectively adding him to a luminous free agent pool.

The list of upcoming free agents reads like an All-NBA team, highlighted by names such as Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Kawhi Leonard and of course most importantly to Boston Celtics fans Kyrie Irving. Nearly every one of these players debatably has the ability to entirely reverse the fortunes of an organization, both by joining and through leaving. These players are listed without even mentioning the itinerary of other available players who are all capable of filling key roles in a championship caliber core.     

As has often been the case in the NBA over the last decade or so teams are at the mercy of the whims of these players in a way unlike any of the other major professional leagues. It is very telling that the meticulously laid plans of Celtics general manager Danny Ainge who in the eyes of many has spent the last five or so years meticulously making trades, accumulating assets and managing contracts in a way that would put him and his organization in the best possible position to land Anthony Davis if he was ever to become available in a trade may just have his hopes dashed simply because Lebron James and Davis share the same agent. But so is the nature of the NBA, a league where the interpersonal network between players dominates everything from the news cycle to the construction of the teams themselves.

“The Last Stylebender” continues meteoric rise

Tim Caplan – News Editor

Photo courtesy of Fox Sports

Israel Adesanya remained undefeated and established himself as a top contender in the UFC’s (Ultimate Fighting Championship) middleweight division on Saturday with a unanimous decision win over 185 pound Brazilian legend Anderson “The Spider” Silva.

 “The Last Stylebender” headlined the main event of UFC 234, which took place at Rob Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia.

The three round main event was announced the day of the fights, as the scheduled headliner between UFC Middleweight Champion Robert Whittaker and top contender Kelvin Gastelum was called off after it was suddenly revealed that the champion needed emergency surgery on an abdominal hernia the night before.

The fight between #15 ranked Silva and #6 ranked Adesanya marked a crossroads for both fighters. For Adesanya, whose prolific rise in MMA has caught the eyes of fight fans all across the world, it was the opportunity to make his dreams a reality. He would be able to face his idol, the man who he built his fighting style around, and establish himself as the number one contender at 185.

Anderson Silva’s task was different, it was a chance to show the world that at age 43, after 17 wins in the Octagon and 14 world championship title defenses, he was still the same fascinating matrix like fighter that had mistified fight fans for years. After a rough 1-4-1 record since losing his title, Silva’s time to shine and turn back the clock had arrived.

It was a matchup of elite strikers to say the least. Silva’s style has amazed fighters and fans alike for years. His lightning quick reflexes, lethal clinch, and creative style of kicks coupled with a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has been the template for a generation of strikers in mixed martial arts for a decade.

Adesanya is considered by many the second coming of “The Spider.” Israel was born and raised in Nigeria, he now lives and trains in New Zealand. After fourteen straight victories including three in the UFC, Adesanya knocked out veteran UFC middleweight Derek Brunson in November at UFC 230. Shortly after the fight fans began to talk about matching him up against the UFC legend Silva, and the contracts were signed to fight in Australia.

Adesanya came out confident in the first round landing one-two’s and outside leg kicks, while Silva circled and made reads on his opponent. Silva’s best strike in the first and throughout the fight was his right hook, which he began to land towards the end of round one.

Anderson picked up momentum as round two started and the fighters started to get comfortable in the Octagon, taunting each other while throwing a series of high level spinning kicks, including spinning heel kicks to the shin and head. Silva searched for the clinch throughout the round and succeeded briefly in drawing out a brawl from “Stylebender”

Adesanya “got on his bike” in the third round and continued to land leg kicks, which he tripled up on Silva in the fight, landing over twenty. Silva continued the overconfident ways that have gotten him in trouble in the past, often lowering his hands and allowing himself to be hit in an attempt to goad Adesanya into a firefight, but he stay composed, and landed shots from the outside.

At the end of three rounds three judges scored the contest 30-27, 29-28, and 29-28 for Adesanya.

Adesanya expressed his gratitude and admiration for Silva in the post fight interview, saying that “This is like for a kid, if I’m playing basketball with Michael Jordan. This is it for me.”

Why alcohol ads should be banned

Kennedy Ryan – Anchor Contributor

Nearly 50 years ago, President Nixon banned cigarette advertisements. This law, the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act, prohibited cigarette campaigns from airing on television and radio stations. Why are we still being exposed to other unhealthy advertisement messages today?

It is believed that we are exposed to roughly 5,000 advertisement messages a day. Of those, there are many advertisements that I believe should be potentially banned, similar to those messages shared in cigarette ads. For example, alcohol advertisement is still legal in the United States, as well as other countries.

Graphic courtesy of Miller Brewing Company

While smoking cigarettes has an endless list of negative health complications, alcohol consumption arguably has its own lengthy list. For example, alcohol consumption can cause liver inflammation, a higher risk of cancer, impaired brain function, increased chance of depression, unsafe driving conditions and more. If alcohol has so many health complications, why are we allowed to see persuasive messages every day in the advertisement world?

Advertisements are infamous for persuading audiences. Television commercials, colorful billboards and flashy magazine advertisements can all sway an audience into purchasing a product. Alcohol commercials ranging from colorful cartoons to entertaining videos can easily influence the wrong audience. This can be a concern for young children and other vulnerable audiences that may be viewing an ad. These consumers can be easily swayed to believe that alcohol consumption is not only healthy, but cool and fun.

While alcohol consumption may not necessarily be harmful in moderation, what sets it apart from other substances that can be abused? In countries such as France, Norway, Russia, and Kenya, alcohol advertisements have been banned on television and billboards. For audiences in the U.S., it may be beneficial to ban these messages as well.

Unpaid internships are an example of privilege

Alexis Rapoza – Anchor Contributor

Internships are seen as a right of passage in college and most colleges encourage or require that their students participate in an internship for at least one semester, which I think is a good idea. I interned for a local radio station back in 2017 and it was one of the most educational and enlightening experiences. I was even lucky enough to be offered a job afterwards. Something I don’t agree with, however, is the fact that college students are forced to work at least part time for no pay.

Graphic courtesy of PNGTree

Unpaid internships are a hot button topic, especially considering the rise in the amount of full-time students working 40 hours a week. With living expenses and college tuition prices so high, students are forced to split their time between school and work. I now know firsthand how difficult that can be. You seem to not have enough hours in the day to accomplish everything you need to accomplish. When you throw in an internship requirement, it’s nearly impossible.

Interns are often seen as the low man on the totem pole. It makes sense for an intern to be paid less than an employee who has been working at the same company for 25 years, but I believe that interns should be paid at least minimum wage. Unpaid internships are not accessible to everyone and that’s something I think needs to be discussed more.

The United States Department of Labor offers six rules companies need to follow in order to not have to pay interns: “The internship must be for academic credit. The intern and the company must both understand that the intern won’t be compensated monetarily for their work. Interns can not replace employees but instead must be there to help and learn from them. The internship must be an educational experience. Internships can only last for the amount of time the student will be receiving credit for it. The intern must understand that they are not entitled to a job after.”

As you can see, the rules for companies providing these unpaid internships are vague, if anything, and usually are not enforced. Recently, there has been a development of unpaid interns suing companies for doing what they believe should be paid work. The hiring rate of people who participated in unpaid internships is also significantly lower than that of those who were paid.

I think all around unpaid internships are just not a great idea. Generally, unpaid internships do not provide the same amount of weight on a resume that a paid internship does. They also continue to enforce classism that is ever so present in the college scene, which is an example of privilege. In simple terms, students from lower income families can simply not afford to participate in unpaid internships and I believe that education should be accessible to everyone, not just people who can afford it.

Politicians need to stop endorsing hatred

Derek Sherlock – Anchor staff

Recently, a video has gone viral in which famed actress Ellen Page, called out Vice President Mike Pence on his stances on the LGBTQ+ community. As someone who is a part of the LGBTQ+ community, what she said rang true for me and so many within the community. When you are given a powerful platform such as the Vice Presidency or the Governor of Indiana, and you create (or attempt to create) policies that do harm to a group of people, you should not be allowed to hold any sort office. This includes both Pence and Trump––who have put forth policies into effect have been damaging to everyone within the LGBTQ+ community.

Page states that Vice President Pence is a believer in conversion therapy, which many health organizations around the world have denounced as ineffective and risky. The current administration has rolled back on many protections for LGBTQ+ people that were established by Obama. Trump has also tweeted that he will not allow transgender people to serve in the military, which has gone into effect earlier this year.

Photo courtesy of Bustle

To top it all off, back in October, the Trump administration was considering a definition of a person’s gender as based on their genitalia at birth and not changeable later in life. Ultimately, it would define transgender people out of existence causing gender to be a binary concept. Pence and Trump, along with many other local officials, are fighting hard to create laws and bills that make it illegal for trans people to use the bathroom they feel comfortable using. There are still officials that are trying like hell to still make same-sex marriages a difficult task to obtain in many parts of the country.

So, let’s look at the evidence presented: This administration, as well as many local officials, are telling the country that queer people do not matter. As Ellen Page said, “If you are in a position of power, and you hate people… what do you think is going to happen? Kids are going to be abused, and they’re going to kill themselves, and people are going to be beaten on the street.” That is what will happen. I have met so many smiling queers and trans people with scars both on their wrists from attempting to take their lives but also the scars of being thrown out of their homes for being who they are. I have tried once before to take my own life because of my gender and sexual identity. This abuse of power needs to end.

Little Witch Academia – an enchanting treat

Sh-Ron Almeida – Anchor Contributor

The Japanese animation studio “Trigger,” has made quite the name for itself over the past seven years. Ever since their smash hit, the relentlessly action packed “Kill La Kill,” the studio has been a force to be reckoned with. With their upcoming original movie “Promare” scheduled to be released in theaters later this year, the future of “Trigger” is looking up.

Graphic courtesy of Play-Asia

That being said, my favorite series from them so far is “Little Witch Academia” which is a show about teenage girls attending a magical school to become witches. The main character, Atsuko Kagari, is determined to follow in the footsteps of her idol, a witch named Shiny Chariot. Out of all the bland, mediocre protagonists in recent years, I am pleased to say that Akko remarkably stands out as an endearing and charming girl with brains and heart. Other notable mentions who also piqued my interest were the mischievous, gothic Sucy and the tomboyish slacker Amanda.  

The show has everything from humor, to comedy, to drama, and even hints of romance and action. The series also delivers a positive message about pursuing your dreams, even when the odds are stacked against you. Akko has to learn to master magic spells through hard work, and the payoff is satisfying to see on screen.

I also appreciate that the show does not oversexualize the female cast. The creators of this show don’t have to rely on “beach episodes” or other eye candy shots just to grab a viewer’s attention. Instead, the visuals are very striking and beautifully animated as a whole. The characters are fun, diverse and vibrant in personality. It brought me back to the simpler times in anime, when “Dragon Ball Z” and “Sailor Moon” were all the rage in the 1990s.

For those of you who are hungry for a fantasy anime or have grown tired with a boring protagonist surrounded by a bunch of girls pining for him, “Little Witch Academia” is a show worth your time.

“Little Witch Academia” is currently streaming on Netflix, with subtitles and an English dub.   

Artist Spotlight: Abigail Walsh

Samantha Malley – Art Director

Earning her bachelor’s in Fine Arts, Abigail Walsh will be graduating this May. However, it was just a few years ago that Abby found her passion for art.

Four years ago, Abby started as a business major but knew something wasn’t right. Encouraged by her mom to do something that she enjoyed, Abby changed majors. “I knew I liked being creative and working with my hands and as I continued in the program, I found myself loving and enjoying art more and more,” said Abby. Eventually, she found herself concentrating in the sculpture program knowing that she liked creating something that a viewer could hold, touch, and even interact with.

Her past work deals with pieces of metal interacting with craft materials such as yarn and patterned scrapbook paper. Drawing inspiration from flowers and geometric profiles, Abby brought up the craft versus fine art argument. After that, she began to use more craft materials to bring in some humor.

Photos provided by Abigial Walsh

Pictured is the world of Abylonia: brightly colored, fun filled, environment for these unique creatures Abby designed. Each creature has their own name and attributes connecting them to one another like a real ecosystem. For example, the ‘Furvles’ are small mammals that survive in a group containing at least 15 members. Abby explained, “the males can be identified by their thick manes and large tails whereas the females have larger ears to help scavenge for food.” Another example is of a ‘Skoonta’ which is a “small carnivorous hunter that has a long body topped with spikes along its spine.” The Skoonta then slithers around stalking its prey which is no other than a Furvle!

This semester, she plans on creating a more interactive installation allowing the viewer to step into this crazy craft world: “I have a whole new set of creatures in mind and plan on bringing them to life in a new bright environment.”

Choir’s spring semester

Thomas Yakey Jr. – Anchor Staff

The Rhode Island College Concert Chorus is up to a lot this time of year. This spring, in addition to their two regular concerts, two guest groups are coming, and the chorus is starting to gear up for their bi-annual international concert tour.

Both of the RIC choral concerts, the Spring Choral Concert on Friday, March 8, and the Bon Voyage Choral Concert on Friday, April 26 are at 7:30 p.m. in Sapinsley Hall.  They are sure to be unbelievable concerts featuring the work of many great Western composers. The March concert is programmed with many A cappella pieces to help the students learn, as well as challenge them.

The choral director, Dr. Teresa Coffman, said she is excited for these pieces because they all sound different every time they’re performed.  She thinks that the choir this semester may finally be a well-balanced choir which will create a wonderful sound. Having a truly mixed choir and allowing no person to stand next to someone of the same voice, creates a more uniform sound and helps the students be more in tune.  The singers will sing more freely and have less tension in their voices.

Dr. Coffman insisted that everyone know, “It’s a privilege for me to work with our students, but it’s also a privilege for the students to make music together as a family.  Rhode Island College is a special place.”

A few weeks ago, Room Full of Teeth, a revolutionary group of eight singers who have toured the country, made a stop at Rhode Island College.  They held a small clinic with the choir offering different tips to add musicality to pieces and then performed a concert that night. From yodeling, to classing singing, to throat singing, the group could do it all.  They have since even been featured in the New Yorker.

Coming up in March, a group called Young @ Heart will also be visiting RIC.  This group consists of both men and women over seventy-five years old who come together to sing.  They have toured internationally, have their own documentary, and have even performed on Ellen. Their music videos can be found on YouTube. On March 19 at 7:30 p.m., they will perform at RIC and accompany the RIC chorus for a couple of songs.  Please note that each RIC student can get two free tickets with their student ID for this event, so there is no reason to miss out!Along with these events, the choir is starting to gear up for their international tour in May of 2020.  This is the choir’s tenth stop on the international concert tour as they head to France for the first time.  They have been to places ranging from Ireland to Spain, and Austria to Slovenia. Members who attend always learn so much about other cultures, and do their best to represent RIC and the U.S. abroad.  The choir’s last performance will take place in Paris, at the Notre Dame.