The Oberlin Review

Standards Too High for Serena

Hannah Keidan

September 14, 2018

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Column

As a tennis player, I grew up watching the Williams sisters on television. They were — and still are — my heroes. I would sit criss-cross-applesauce on the family room floor, eyes glazed over, head bobbing back and forth to follow the ball, barely understanding what was happening on the screen. Back in those days, Venus and Serena often played one another in the finals of tournaments. I would root for Venus, since she was the big sister, and my little sister would cheer on Serena. While Venus has fallen out of the spotlight in recent years, Serena continues to dominate the sports page. Yet as I age, I’ve seen her reputation dragged through the mud time and time again. Whether it be positive or negat...

From the Bass to Baseball: Perfecting the Right Pitch

Luke Sprecher

September 14, 2018

Filed under Baseball, SPORTS, Sports Column, Varsity Sports, Varsity Spring

Most Oberlin students arrive on campus at age 17 or 18, but Ian Ashby — first-year Conservatory student — familiarized himself with the College when he was 12 years old. He played baseball competitively in his hometown of Pittsburgh, PA until he was in seventh grade, when his father accepted a position as a Jazz arranging professor in the Conservatory and his family moved to Oberlin. Every Wednesday, 12-year-old Ashby would practice his pitch on the red dirt of the old Dill Field while his dad, Jay Ashby, would teach a class. Dill Field has since been renovated — the classic dirt was switched out for a sleek turf diamond — but nowadays when he steps on the mound, he does so as an Oberlin varsity at...

For Baseball Players in Cuba, a Unique Naming Convention

Julie Schreiber, Staff Writer

September 7, 2018

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Column

For many people in the United States, the happenings of everyday life in Cuba are nothing short of mysterious. Although the two countries are separated by a mere 103 miles, a half-century of socially-and-economically-restrictive international policy has made it difficult for most citizens of either country to understand what goes on in the other. One way in which Cuba has managed to exert its influence in American culture over the past 50 years is through Major League Baseball. Cuba is one of four major countries in Latin America (the others being Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and Venezuela) that have produced some of the most successful baseball players worldwide in recent decades, including many who ...

Germany Does Not Have World Cup Locked Down

Jane Agler, Staff Writer

May 11, 2018

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Column

The biggest sporting event in the world is finally here. People from all around the globe will be tuning in on June 14 for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, where 32 national teams will compete for international glory. Germany — the team that clinched the Cup back in 2014 — is still a favorite, but if the qualifying tournament showed us anything, the World Cup is still going to be full of surprises. Right now, there are only a handful of nations that seem to pose a strong threat. Germany, who will compete with much of the same roster as they did in 2014 — with noteworthy exceptions like Bastian Schweinsteiger and Philipp Lahm — is likely the most intimidating team to arrive in Russia. Following in their wake...

Harvey’s Rollercoaster Mets Career Comes to a Close

Alex McNicoll, Sports Editor

May 11, 2018

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Column

The New York Mets traded their once-star pitcher Matt Harvey to the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday, signaling the end of one of the most frustrating eras in a franchise that is not averse to failure. Whether it was the injuries — he had Tommy John surgery in 2013 and was diagnosed with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome in 2016 — his terrible attitude, or the unrelenting storm that is the New York media to blame, what all fans can agree on is that as amazing as he was, he was twice as maddening. When Harvey debuted in July 2012, he turned heads from the get-go, striking out 11 batters in his first appearance. The Mets had not been relevant since losing to the Cardinals in the National League Championship Series in 2006, and their fan b...

Cleveland Botches Potential Rebuild

Jason Hewitt, Staff Writer

May 4, 2018

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Column

The 2018 NFL Draft was critical for the Cleveland Browns after a season in which they didn’t win a single game, compiling a record of 0–16. There has only been one other team in National Football League history that has gone winless: the 2008 Detroit Lions. The Browns, whose performance has been notoriously bad over the past couple decades, need to make significant changes if they want to overcome their current laughing-stock standing as a laughingstock in the league. One of the best opportunities for a franchise to improve is through the NFL Draft, which occurs every April. Quick changes were absolutely necessary for Browns executives looking to keep their jobs, and they responded by making a number of big — a...

Arsenal FC Loses Wenger, Manager of 22 Years

Jane Agler, Staff Writer

April 27, 2018

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Column

After 22 years of managing Arsenal Football Club and providing the club with some of its most successful and memorable years to date, the sun is finally setting on Arsène Wenger’s career. Last week, Wenger announced to the public that he was leaving the club after the season finishes, marking the end of one of the most well-known managerial careers of all time. Regardless of the discourse revolving around his departure — much of which centered on whether his leave was overdue — it is necessary to sing the praises of a man who did so much for English and international soccer during one of the last tenured managerial careers seen today. When crunching the numbers, Wenger’s success is obvious. He managed 1,229 ga...

NBA, Adam Silver Need to Address League’s Tanking Problem

Alex McNicoll, Sports Editor

April 20, 2018

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Column

Tanking is no secret in the NBA. Teams like the Chicago Bulls or the Sacramento Kings openly sit their top veterans in an attempt to “develop young talent,” but in reality, they are intentionally losing to get a better pick. It’s not a new phenomenon. The Philadelphia 76ers did it for three or four years to get Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and Markelle Fultz. Even the San Antonio Spurs did it so they could draft Tim Duncan first overall in 1997, and he helped them win five NBA Championships. But tanking is a serious problem that kills the competitive nature of basketball, and commissioner Adam Silver must find a solution, no matter how drastic it may be. At the end of the 82-game regular season, the top 16 teams compet...

Underlying Racism Affects Lamar Jackson’s Draft Stock

Jason Hewitt, Staff Writer

April 13, 2018

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Column

Louisville Cardinals quarterback Lamar Jackson should easily be one of the top three quarterbacks in this year’s NFL Draft. He won the 2016 Heisman Trophy and arguably had a better season this year. So it’s quite confusing why Jackson has received widespread criticism by NFL scouts and draft analysts and is projected as a late draft in the first round. Jackson is a Black athlete, and the unfortunate root of the criticism he receives is racism. The premier quarterbacks in this year’s draft include Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield, Josh Allen, and Josh Rosen. The common denominator between these four men is that they are all white with big arms. However, if you watch Lamar Jackson’s film and Pro Day tape, his arm ...

Shohei Ohtani Defies Asian-Athlete Stereotypes in MLB Debut

Jane Agler, Staff Writer

April 6, 2018

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Column

Major League Baseball’s opening day is not only a signifier that spring weather is fast approaching; it is also a celebration of clean slates and the purest of hopes for the oncoming season. Baseball franchises and fans alike approached the day with full hearts and the mentality that anything could happen this season. But while there are 30 teams in the MLB with 25-player active rosters that all competed on this day, there seemed to be a massive spotlight shining on a single member of the league: the Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani. Not only is he an instant star in the MLB, but he is also just as important to the Asian athletic community in the U.S. and an inspiration to me as an Asian-American sports fan. Standin...

I Kneel to Start a Conversation

Aiden Day, Contributing Writer

March 30, 2018

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Column

I’ve played sports all my life. This is mostly thanks to my dad, who saw sports as a great way for me to stay healthy, as well as one way to make myself stand out during the college process. For me though, above all else, participating in sports has been about having fun. From recess in elementary school to my high school varsity games, I’ve had the privilege to win and lose many exhilarating games of capture the flag, dodgeball, football, soccer, and — of course — lacrosse. Now that I’m finally here at the college level, I play lacrosse for Oberlin not out of some obligation or necessity, but because it’s something that I love doing. But who I am is much more than the sport I play. Just like every Oberlin...

Liberal Stereotyping Undercuts Sportsmanship

Jackie McDermott, Staff Writer

March 9, 2018

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Column

A tennis court is 78 feet long. A block of blue space striped with white lines stretches between each player as we wage an intense, individual war. Pumping adrenaline and high stakes combined with a questionable line call can make things personal, causing us to label an opponent as “cheater,” or worse, “bitch.” Sometimes, in the heat of battle, we think only of our differences from the person on the other side of the net. My differences with my opponent from Centre College revealed themselves off-court, after our singles match, when she pulled on a light blue t-shirt that read “TRUMP: MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN” in block letters colored with the American flag. “Wow, look.” I tapped my dad’s arm and tried to sub...

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