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April Fool’s

Athlete of the week Henry Han ’20

in Athlete of the Week/Sports by

“Heroes get remembered, but legends never die.” The wise words of Babe Ruth are an apt assessment of the basketball game of Henry Han ʼ20. The pickup legend has been unstoppable on the court recently, and just put up an eight-point, 12-rebound, zero-assist performance on the court last week. He also asserted his dominance in a brand-new sport, catching multiple dubs on the paintball field last Saturday. We sat down with the larger than life character to try to get inside the mind of a champion.

Jack Corkery: What is your major, and what made you decide to pursue it?

Henry Han: Business major — Everyone’s doing it so I thought I would too.

JC: What has been your top pickup moment so far this year?

HH: My top pickup moment of the year so far was when I threw down an off the backboard three-sixty no-scope windmill dunk over C.J. Cling.

JC: If you had to choose a dream pickup team of two Swatties and two N.B.A. players, who would join your team?

HH: Carmelo Anthony and Joel Embiid are my N.B.A. choices, for obvious reasons. For Swatties, I’d pick N.B.A. legend in a former life, Isaiah Thomas, and a Pub Safe officer, for their shutdown defense during pong games.

JC: You’ve recently exhibited your dual sport abilities with a paintball outing on Saturday. How did your basketball skills help you on the paintball field?

HH: Three-sixty no scopes translate beautifully from the court to the paintball field, no one could see them coming — not even me.

JC: Are the bruises from paintball worth the glory that comes with victory?

HH: What bruises?

JC: Besides yourself, who would you consider in the running for pickup M.V.P. this year?

HH: In the running for pickup M.V.P.? It’s not a close race at all, but I’d say C.J. Cling.

The Death of Online News

in Opinions/Satire/Staff Editorials by

Since 1881, we at The Phoenix have worked tirelessly to write pieces relevant to the Swarthmore community that are informative and conducive to discourse. As we continue to publish, we aim to stay ahead of the curve. It takes visionaries to know what the next move is, to stay ahead, and take risky decisions in order to best serve our community. With much thought from the current editorial board, advising from various outside consulting agencies, and 195DC consulting, we have decided that the best course of action, especially with the current journalistic climate, is to focus on our print publication. We will cease publishing online, as online news will soon be dead.

With the prevalence of fake news, readers have demonstrated that they don’t appreciate a 24 hour online news cycle because it requires more work on their part to verify the validity of the news that they read. Similarly, online news available at all times of day only adds additional stress to the Swarthmore community since continuous news serves as more readings that the community will never actually finish.

For our dedicated readership base, we will admit, the deletion of our website will come as a large shock, but we assure you that you are merely confusing the plate for the food, and our content will retain the same quality it always has. Online news simply cannot keep up with the fast pace of print journalism. While we rush to the presses each week, online news outlets with no real deadlines are unable to put out journalism as fast as we can in print.

As print journalism continues to grow, we must put more of our resources into printing more newspapers. As the newspapers often disappear from Parrish within just a hours of their distribution, we must focus on constant replenishment of these papers. We have a responsibility to make sure that students have access to news, as well as kindling for fires at Crumhenge. After all, The Phoenix is a source of news as well as opinions, arts, sports, and flames. Online news has reached its death, while print journalism has found itself rising from the ashes.

One of the benefits to students is that with the print copy of The Phoenix, students can better let professors know that they aren’t paying attention in their professor’s class — reading on a laptop provides far too much uncertainty about what students might be doing. Honesty is the best policy when it comes to being distracted in a lecture, and print journalism prides itself in exposing the truth.

Perhaps most importantly, print is also the only way students can access The Phoenix’s crossword puzzle. We at The Phoenix recognize that the online version of The Phoenix is worthless without the joy of solving word-based puzzle games.

As we shift our focus to print, we look forward to moving our printing operations to campus as well. Currently, we work with a company called Bartash, but they unreasonably failed to deliver the paper during the small and harmless snow storms this semester. Because of this deficiency, we believe it is best for us to do our printing in house in order to ensure that these delays no longer rob the Swarthmore community of timely print publication. After extensive talks with the administration, in exchange for agreeing to write only positive stories about them, they have agreed to give The Phoenix ownership of both frat houses to hold our printers.

We are excited to deliver news solely in print to the student body moving forward. We thank you, our readers, for sticking with us through this shift.

Looking back at the freak injuries of freak athletes

in Sports by

From the first Greek Olympics to modern times with all of today’s technological advancement, athletes have always represented the pinnacle of human physical prowess, modeling their physique and majesty through their unique set of skills. To that end, athletes prepare their minds and bodies regularly and painstakingly to be able to perform at their best. Sometimes, however, despite this readiness, athletes injure themselves in the clumsiest ways in an ironic display of their humanity. Their fall from grace in this fashion immortalizes them in a surprisingly long list of hilarious freak injuries for athletes. These are a few of their stories.

Most recently, Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez fell while carrying luggage on a trip with the team and tore his left M.C.L. Perez is widely regarded as one of the best catchers in the MLB and served as a key contributor to the Royals 2014 World Series berth and subsequent 2015 World Series victory. Perez will miss four to six weeks, and since this injury occurred just days before the Royals first game, Perez has yet to even play a game for the Royals. Famous Chicago Bulls forward Carlos Boozer tripped on a bag in his own home, breaking his finger, and former San Francisco Giants second baseman Jeff Kent slipped and broke his foot while cleaning his truck just after his 2002 M.V.P. run as well. Tripping seems to be the most common off-field injury for athletes, making them seem more human and attainable.

Former Washington Nationals pitcher Ryan Mattheus broke his hand punching a locker in frustration after a disappointing performance on the mound in 2013. To add insult to injury, two years later, another Nationals pitcher, Drew Storen, failed to learn from Mattheus’ mistake and punched another locker, breaking his hand as well. Both missed significant playing time, especially given the close timing to Nationals’ playoff pushes.

One of the best defensive ends in the N.F.L., the New York Giants’ Jason Pierre-Paul, blew off part of his hand with a firework while celebrating the Fourth of July with his family. After days in the hospital, doctors eventually had to amputate Pierre-Paul’s index finger and graft skin to the area. Pierre-Paul returned that next season to have another solid year, despite his missing finger, and still famously lines up on the defensive line with only nine fingers.

Another New York Giants player, wide receiver Plaxico Burress, famously accidentally shot himself in the leg just months after his integral role in winning Super Bowl XLII over the New England Patriots in 2008. Burress rushed to the hospital, where doctors managed to save his leg, critical to his ongoing N.F.L. career. Again, adding insult to injury, Burress subsequently  received charges for unlawful possession of a firearm among others. This double stinger haunted Burress for the rest of his career, as he never fully returned to the same prominence. Along the same lines, former M.L.B. pitcher Adam Eaton once stabbed himself in the abdomen while attempting to open a DVD and top N.H.L. player Joe Sakic suffered significant damage to his hand while using a snow blower.

A number of athletes also injured themselves playing pickup games not even in their respective sport sometimes, including wide receiver Steve Smith, golfer Rory McIlroy, skier Bode Miller, and now Yankees manager Aaron Boone. Hall of Fame outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. even broke his hand wrestling with his son. It is understandable to want to show off a little, alleviate some of the pressure of playing professional sports, or even just play with your kids, but these injuries have profound implications on the course of a team’s season or a player’s career.

Another M.L.B. Hall of Fame member, the strikeout king Nolan Ryan once missed time after a coyote bit his hand. Ryan apparently stuck his hand into a coyote enclosure — begging the question of why — but nonetheless persisted to have one of the most successful careers in MLB history.

Although technically on the field, designated hitter Kendrys Morales once hit a walkoff grand slam that proved to be one of the best and worst moments of his career. After hitting the bomb, Morales rounded the bases before making the final turn to head to home plate to celebrate with his teammates. However, when Morales jumped dramatically onto home plate, ready for his teammates to mob him, his leg snapped, causing him to miss a number of games. Morales would return but apparently could not live down the irony of his injury among his teammates. In a similarly tragic story, Arizona Cardinals kicker Bill Gramatica once jumped in celebration of a crucial field goal, but landed oddly, tearing his A.C.L. Gramatica’s untimely departure from the game resulted in a loss for his team.

While athletes may inspire us to be our best physically, they quickly fall from that pedestal with these definitively odd off-field injuries. These few examples and so many more remind us that professional athletes can suffer the same plagues that we do: clumsiness, human error, and general stupidity. Hopefully we can learn from their examples, both good and bad, to maximally succeed at whatever we do and stay healthy even in the seemingly safest of circumstances.


in Breaking News/News by

In a stunning turn of events, the Board of Managers of Swarthmore College made the decision last weekend to completely divest from the concerns of the college community and invest the college’s entire multi-billion dollar endowment in the rubber duck industry. The decision comes after weeks of careful deliberation with well-meaning student activists and concerned alumni. Thankfully, all of the considerations were carefully thrown out the window before the decision was made, ensuring that a complete lack of transparency in the Board of Managers’ decision-making would be preserved.

Several committees with no decision-making power whatsoever were formed in anticipation of the decision in order to feign a sense of student engagement with the process. The Ducks Matter Committee, the Envisioning Exercise, and the Dean’s Quacking Committee were all formed with an equal distribution of SGO-appointed students, faculty, and staff members and spent several weeks discussing the abstract concepts behind investing in rubber ducks. While students voiced vehement opposition to the rubber duck industry, college staff championed each of the committees as a productive space for meaningful and productive conversation to take place.

“I was really impressed with the many ways college staff made me feel like my voice was heard while simultaneously offering no commitment to act on my concerns whatsoever,” said Ana S. Mallard ’17. Mallard joined the Ducks Matter Committee so that she could find another excuse not to complete her thesis this semester.

The implications of the decision to invest in rubber ducks will be swift and current students will feel its impact. Investment strategist Martha Duckworth believes that the decision to invest in rubber ducks does not reflect a change in the college’s policies or values; rather, Duckworth stressed that the Board of Managers was simply choosing to be fiscally responsible and not tie up discussions of the endowment in “social issues,” otherwise known as the policies and practices that affect real individuals on a daily basis. Beginning with the class of 2017, all graduating seniors will receive a rubber duck on graduation day, engraved with the tiny phrase, “We know that none of you wanted this to happen, but you’re a part of the real world, now!” Furthermore, the college’s official mascot will become Ducky the Duck, effective immediately.

Annual prank brings campus engineers together

in Around Campus/Campus Journal by

On April 1st Swarthmore revealed its newly formed geology department, surprising most students and faculty. The geology department made its first and last formal announcement that they would be drilling for “liquid gold”, which turned out to be free coffee for the student body, outside of the Science Center. The announcement was accompanied by a pumpjack outside of the Science Center. In the midst of the sea of work that continually berates students, engineers still come together and stay up until 4 a.m in order to execute the beloved prank.  With the combined effort of engineering majors and minors from all different class years the prank was built and set up in less than a day. While the rest of the campus was asleep, the engineers came together to give campus a laugh and some coffee to jumpstart their day.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and while the engineering prank was slightly smaller than Rome, it also took quite a bit of preparation. Andrew Taylor ’16, who is the nominal head of the Swarthmore Society of Engineers, elaborated on the process and effort that went into planning and preparing the prank.

“We started brainstorming about 2 months before, this time. We had a series of public meetings that all engineers — even freshmen — were invited to,” Taylor shared.

What is even more impressive is that each year the prank is an entirely original project conceived of by the group of students. Engineers come together to brainstorm and collaborate for the yearly prank to create something new. Taylor said that the pranks used to follow the common theme of incorporating the big adirondack chair into the prank, but it hasn’t been incorporated for the past four years.

The chair, while not a product of the engineering students, was built by a Swarthmore student during his time here, and has a backstory just as quintessentially Swarthmore as the engineering prank. Jake Beckman ’05, a studio art major who went on to earn his Masters of Fine Arts at the Rhode Island School of Design, built the chair as an installation art project in 2002. In 2008, after many seasons of wear, tear and repair, Beckman worked with Vice President of Facilities Stu Hain to build the more structurally sound, permanent version of the chair.

In addition to being an elaborate and time-consuming tradition, the engineering prank  strengthens the bonds of the engineers across class years, according to Taylor.

“[It’s] a chance for engineers of different years to spend time working on a fun project with each other, and to give people a chance to build something fun,” Taylor commented.

Taylor’s favorite aspect of the prank was its multifaceted nature and it’s humor.

“I’m proud that it is both funny and a little timely — as well as that it can be interacted with,” Taylor said.

An anonymous sophomore didn’t quite agree with what was chosen for the prank and felt like it didn’t really live up to what had been done in the past few years.

“I think it was too complicated an idea for a funny prank. I had to try to explain it to too many people,” he shared.

Taylor elaborated on pranks that happened in the past which were more overtly funny.

“When I was a sophomore, I helped plan and build an extension of a then-infamous sculpture — the Crum Creek Meander — into and through Sharples,” Taylor said.

For last year’s prank, the Engineering students constructed the shell of a fake dormitory in the middle of Mertz lawn.  Like this year, students worked through the night (to the dismay of some Mertz residents who were kept up by the sounds of construction) to erect “Anfänger Hall,” complete with a sign that announced its planned opening in 2017.

While the anonymous sophomore didn’t agree with the decision for the prank, he agreed that the tradition brings engineers together and allows them to socialize and meet people they wouldn’t otherwise interact with.

“As a physical object it was pretty cool and I’m pretty proud to have made it….  I think the department could really benefit from building projects like the prank since they help underclassmen meet older engineers,” he said.

Julius Miller ’19 participated in the prank for the first time and shared the feeling of excitement and enjoyment that came with coming together as a group and spending hours to complete the prank.

“Working on the engineering prank as a freshman was truly incredible. I’m always amazed by how when a group of people put their minds together they can get something done,” Miller said.

The prank also serves as a learning opportunity for engineers who haven’t yet worked on a large scale project that required a sizable group of people or used power tools.

“For me, it was especially valuable since it gave me the chance to learn how to properly use power tools and observe how crucial planning is in engineering, “ Miller  shared.

The engineering prank remains one of the many quirky and beloved traditions that many Swarthmore students look forward to. The prank creates a unique environment for engineers to come together and bond, while simultaneously challenging themselves and amusing the Swarthmore community.

Barkley’s egotism hampers team

in Sports by
karl prom king
Karl Barkley ’15 wins the title of prom king his senior year – the beginning of his egomania.

“When you think about player of the year candidates you gotta think Jahlil Okafor down in Durham, North Carolina. This kid’s leading the Dukies. I can easily see him in the final four, baby. But hey, don’t ask me. I’ll see you in Indianapolis!”

If you’ve spoken to Karl Barkley ’15 in the past few months, you’ve probably heard him yell that string of sentences. Just a week ago, Barkley, the men’s basketball team’s starting small forward, finally pulled the trigger and entered the Oberto Beef Jerky Dick Vitale impersonation contest. The fan submission that gets the most votes will win a weeklong trip with Dick Vitale. Barkley’s impersonation has gone viral, amassing over 36,000 loops on Vine and garnering over 2,300 votes. With the next highest submission at 825 votes, Barkley has a commanding lead and looks like the early favorite to bring home the jerky trophy.

Although Barkley’s success seems like it would be beneficial for everyone, his impressions may have caused a setback for the blossoming team. As the  team’s only senior, many of the players look up to Barkley and follow his lead no matter what. However, according to one teammate, the team’s faith in Barkley could have negative repercussions in years to come.

“During the season Karl seemed pretty focused and then towards the end I’d walk into the locker room and I would hear him acting like he’s Dick Vitale or something,” point guard Matt Brennan ’18 said. “He’d be in there for hours and I would say, ‘Karl, you wanna shoot around?’ but he wouldn’t stop talking in that damn voice.”

As team captain, Barkley was called upon  to be a role model. Instead, his growing obsession with voices and his unwillingness to get in extra work on the court rubbed off on the younger players and contributed to an attitude that was not conducive to winning.

Now that the season has concluded, Barkley finally pinpointed the time where his focus began to wane.

“I think it was around the McDaniel game where my friend notified me that this Dickie V contest was coming up,” Barkley said. “At that point I stopped caring about accurately relaying information on the court and became more [conscious of] how to work my Dick Vitale impression into [the game].”

Perhaps the pressure of being the only senior on the team got to Barkley and caused him to have a mental break. Or perhaps he just found his true calling in the impersonation business. In fact, sources can confirm that by the end of the year, Barkley made significant changes to the captain’s practices. He, with the consent of Coach Landry Kosmalski, replaced rebounding and ball-handling drills with something Barkley liked to call “Big Bark Talk.”

In Big Bark Talk, players would pick a name out of a hat and have to impersonate the subject. Items in the hat ranged from an eight-year-old girl at a candy store to Karl’s brother Charles Barkley. Little by little, players and even Coach Kosmalski accepted Barkley’s new method of practice and became keen on learning impersonations.

Brennan acknowledged, “Coach would be yelling at him and all of a sudden he would start yelling back at Coach as if he were Dick Vitale. He would start yelling stuff about ‘Diaper Dandies’ and what not. And Coach didn’t know what to do; he had to play along with it. Karl was just turning into a whole new person.”

What was most fascinating about this odd situation was that Kosmalski greeted Karl’s new methods with open arms. Some members of the team even admitted that Kosmalski coached the last game of the season in character. He took on the persona of an army general, referring to his field manual any time he needed something motivational to say.

Though the team and Kosmalski plan on employing Barkley’s methods for years to come, Barkley exhibited some concerns about the team’s future.

“[The freshmen] definitely are going to have to come up with something, or else they’re not going to be taken seriously,” Barkley said. “I can definitely see Matt Brennan developing his Croatian a little more…or Serbian excuse me. And Yonda… Yonda needs to figure everything out, or else he’ll never be fit to lead.”

In Barkley’s mind, success is clearly intertwined with alter-ego development. Yet, other members of the team, including Zach Yonda ‘18, didn’t see it that way.

“Karl is used to losing,” Yonda said. “[So,] it’s really promising that we’re bringing everyone back next year except for Karl.”

In voicing his displeasure with how Barkley’s innovative methods haven’t yet yielded results, Yonda established that the team’s new changes might not be here to stay. Though Barkley specifically called Yonda out for not having leadership abilities, Yonda averaged 14.3 points this season as a freshman and often provided fire to a team that focused more on emulating George Michael than Michael Jordan.

In the coming weeks, a decision will be looming about whether Karl’s system will stay or a more traditional basketball system will prevail. In any case, Barkley didn’t seem to care about his legacy.

“I’m going to have enough company in Dick Vitale,” Barkley said about his plans for next year. “He’ll make up for all those lousy teammates I had this year.” Barkley went on to add, “But I know they’ll miss me. When an impression like that walks out the door, it’s hard to fill that gap.”

Should Barkley’s convoluted vision of basketball prevail, the 2015-16 Garnet would be quite entertaining to watch. Yet, if they revert back to their old system, they will have a chance to make the playoffs for the first time in almost two decades. And with a young team devoid of Barkley’s bad influence, the team has a great chance at achieving their goal.

Watch the video that changed everything here: http://dickvitale.oberto.com/uqkxnty

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