The Oberlin Review

Professional Athletes Risk Image for Autonomy

Alex McNicoll, Sports Editor

November 10, 2017

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Column

Eric Bledsoe, who tweeted “I don’t wanna be here” Oct. 22, was traded from the Phoenix Suns to the Milwaukee Bucks Tuesday. While he claimed that he referenced being in a barber shop, Bledsoe has not been with the team since being sent home by Suns General Manager Ryan McDonough after the tweet. Bledsoe’s bizarre departure from Phoenix is just the latest installment in athletes using social media to voice their opinions and the risks that run with it. The Phoenix Suns had no place for Eric Bledsoe on their roster, and keeping him there was a waste of his prime years. With one of the youngest cores in the league, centered around 21-year-old Devin Booker, the Suns do not plan to contend for a while. Bledsoe, o...

My Experience as a Black Soccer Player at Oberlin

Brittany Mendez

November 3, 2017

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Column

One of the first times I hung out with the soccer team outside of practice, we listened to music with the n-word in it. We were mostly silent when the word was sung, but a few still looked me in the eye and said it. There was clear tension in the moment, but it was most likely soon forgotten by my teammates. It clearly stuck with me, since I am writing about it in this article. It was awkward, and I was not sure how to react. In that moment, I decided the easiest solution would be to ignore it altogether. I had only known my teammates for a few days, and I did not think it was worth making a scene. As one of the only minorities on the team — and the only one in the room at the time — I was not sure where I could...

Beltrán Champions Houston Astros, Puerto Rican Relief Efforts

Alex McNicoll, Sports Editor

October 27, 2017

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Column

Carlos Beltrán is a surefire Hall of Fame baseball player, with nine All-Star appearances and 2,725 career hits and counting in his 20-year career in the MLB. However, for more than 10 years, Beltrán has been marred by one moment. In 2006, Beltrán was playing for the New York Mets as they battled through the National League playoffs. In game seven of the league’s championship series, down two runs, he stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the ninth. With two outs and bases loaded, he struck out looking. Beltrán now travels with the Houston Astros to the World Series, and while he finally has a chance to win a championship, he also finds his voice off the field in the twilight of his career. Despite Houston’s ...

Tanking Undermines Competitive Nature of Sports

Alex McNicoll, Sports Editor

October 6, 2017

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Column

Professional sports plays dirty. From performance-enhancing drugs to the NBA fixing the 1985 draft, cheating and out-of-sport advantages have always created unfair playing fields. However, some advantages are more hidden than others. Big market teams like the New York Yankees have been poised to get whichever free agents they want, fast-forwarding the rebuilding process to just a year or two. Meanwhile, for small market teams, such as the Buffalo Bills, it is not so easy to develop into a competitor. A strategy that has been gaining momentum amongst the less fortunate professional teams, however, has finally broken into the mainstream: tanking. In other words, the best way to win in the future is to lose as often as p...

Athletics 101 Opens Athlete Divide Conversation

Julie Schreiber, Sports Editor

September 29, 2017

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Column

English Professor Yago Colás led the first installment of a three-part workshop called “Athletics 101” in Wilder Hall Monday, Sept. 25. The workshop was designed to encourage an open conversation about the role of athletics and presence of the athletic community at the College. Colás has spent much of his first month at Oberlin concentrating on the integration of athletics and academics on campus. A former professor of Comparative Literature within multiple disciplines at University of Michigan, Colás teaches a course on sports culture and philosophy. He will also serve as an assistant to the Yeomen basketball team for the upcoming 2017–2018 season. The dialogue that “Athletics 101” attempted to foster is n...

ESPN Should Join Jemele Hill in Anti-Trump Stance

Nathan Carpenter, Opinions Editor

September 22, 2017

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Column

There is a pervasive narrative in the United States that sports and politics should not mix — that we should leave our entertainment unsullied by the hard work of navigating the often-taxing challenges of living together in society. That inherently contradictory argument does not stand up to any kind of scrutiny. The birth of sports itself was political in nature — to pretend otherwise is to ignore reality. Nations came to the first Olympic games under flags of truce, and used the competitions to assert political strength over their rivals. Since then, while many have tried to obscure these elements of sports, its cultural history, impact, and relevance cannot be denied. Debate over the separation of sports and politics reigni...

Perspective: D3 Sports Emphasizes Community

Yago Colás, Professor of English

September 15, 2017

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Column

What I really wanted was the t-shirt. At least, that is what I told myself. After all, I’m not a football fan. I haven’t been to a game in person in over a decade, and I could count the number of games I’ve watched on TV in the same period on one hand. I don’t hate the sport. It’s just not my aesthetic cup of tea; I prefer more fluid sports. Then there’s the whole concussion thing — it’s hard to watch intelligent young men do something I’m persuaded is likely to cause long-term harm to their brains. I say this having spent 25 years teaching at the University of Michigan, where football games are quasi-religious events drawing over 100,000 supporters together under the bright blue skies of crisp,...

MLB’s Departure From Traditional Values Detrimental to Culture

Alex McNicoll, Sports Editor

September 8, 2017

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Column

From Aaron Judge’s 500-foot blasts to Aroldis Chapman’s 103 mile-an-hour fastballs, there’s something about Major League Baseball that departs from its place in the bedrocks of American society for over 100 years. While baseball, like all sports, is constantly evolving, its growing overreliance on statistics is rapidly changing the sport’s foundation. Baseball has always been a game whose allure lies as much in the time between actions as it does in the actions themselves. Since there is no game-clock, before each pitch there is a building anticipation, and until the final out, there is potential for something great to happen. All of the life that exists between plays has given the MLB the character and quirk...

Cool or Drool: Lynch Joins Oakland Raiders

Dan Bisno, Columnist

May 5, 2017

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Column

The 2016–2017 season was a tough one for the NFL, as viewership dropped sharply. While many fans, including Donald Trump, attributed the mid-season slump to Colin Kaepernick’s protest of the national anthem, there is reasonable suspicion that the startling decline in popularity was also impacted by the retirement of Marshawn Lynch, its most popular combatant to controversial commissioner Roger Goodell. Despite delivering five consecutive 1,200-plus rushing yard and double-digit touchdown seasons from 2010–2014, then enduring a season-ending injury in 2015, the Seattle Seahawks’ beloved number 24 hung up his cleats in 2016. After 10 years, four with the Buffalo Bills and six with Seattle, Lynch broke the hearts...

James vs. Jordan Debate Continues

Jack Brewster, Columnist

April 28, 2017

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Column

The Cleveland Cavaliers completed a four-game sweep of the Indiana Pacers in the first round of the 2016–2017 NBA playoffs, capping off the series with a 106–102 victory on Sunday. LeBron James was superb throughout the series. He played his best in Game Three, when he recorded a triple double, scoring 41 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists. It is hard to remember that just a few weeks ago, many were talking about the possible decline of LeBron James and the Cavaliers. James was largely left out of the MVP conversation this season. The Cavs, who finished 51–31, were eclipsed by the Boston Celtics with one game left in the season, falling from the No. 1 seed — a spot they’ve held almost all year — to No....

Cool or Drool: Phil Jackson Targets Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony

Dan Bisno, Columnist

April 21, 2017

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Column

As a 10-time NBA All-Star, three-time Olympic gold medalist and former NCAA Champion, Carmelo Anthony commands respect. But he’s received anything but from New York Knicks executive Phil Jackson. Ever since Jackson joined the Knicks organization in 2014, he has been eager to take cheap shots at Anthony whenever possible. As the poster child of the Knicks for six years, Anthony is an easy target. He is a once-in-a-generation talent without an NBA title to his name. Prior to an early-April exit meeting with the Knicks front office, Anthony hinted that basketball is becoming less fun for him — echoing the sentiment shared by players who left teams headed by Jackson in Chicago and Los Angeles. There is no question ...

NBA Should Shrink Playoff Field, Cut Lesser Teams to Boost Competition

Jack Brewster, Columnist

April 14, 2017

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Column

This past week, the 2016–2017 NBA regular season came to a close. The playoff seeding is now set and the teams who clinched playoff spots are preparing to make a run. Fans are hopeful the 2017 Finals will be as good as last year’s, when the Cleveland Cavaliers rallied back from a 3–1 deficit to defeat the powerhouse Golden State Warriors in seven games. But while the 2016 NBA Finals were exciting, most NBA playoff series are uncompetitive, lopsided and uninteresting. The playoff format is to blame. The NBA allots 16 playoff spots overall, eight per conference. This means that more than half of the NBA’s 30 teams make the playoffs every year. In contrast, there are only 10 playoff spots in the MLB (the two Wil...

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