The Oberlin Review

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...

Cool or Drool: NBA’s Newest Basketball Dad on the Block

Dan Bisno, Columnist

April 7, 2017

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Column

For many basketball fans, March Madness and the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament is an annual rite of passage. While rumor has it that Pisces and Aries fans tend to have more successful brackets, March is generally a bloodbath in a sudden-death style tournament. Media coverage typically focuses on the basketball, but former NFL player LaVar Ball has caused a departure from usual coverage and seized the opportunity to launch a massive campaign to make millions, if not billions, of dollars off of his sons’ success in youth basketball. LaVar and his wife Tina are the parents of three rising stars in high school and college hoops. Their oldest son, Lonzo, just declared for the NBA draft after finishing up his first...

Cubs, Mets Split Focus on Pitchers, Hitters

Jack Brewster, Columnist

March 31, 2017

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Column

With the Major League Baseball season less than a week away, fans and baseball experts are already trying to predict who will raise the World Series trophy in October. Two favorites are the Chicago Cubs, who won the crown last year, and the New York Mets, who went to the World Series two years ago and made a playoff appearance last year. Both teams’ front offices have assembled exciting teams stacked with talent, though they took opposite approaches in assembling their squads. The Mets’ success comes from their plethora of young pitchers, the Cubs from their stockpile of hitting prospects. But while both rebuilding methods have proved fruitful in the past, the Cubs’ method seems more sustainable and less risky. Since...

Cool or Drool: Soccer’s CTE Problem

Dan Bisno, Columnist

March 10, 2017

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Column

“Ha sido sólo un susto” — It was only a scare. Fernando Torres tweeted those words following the traumatic header that could have cost him his career, not to mention his life. While the collision lasted only a fraction of a second, the aftermath was a peculiar blend of emotions. Immediately after the 32-year-old striker fell to the ground, more than half of the players on both teams rushed to his assistance. Torres was unconscious. Players began prying open his mouth to ensure he didn’t choke on his tongue and asphyxiate. Meanwhile, other players looked stunned. Perhaps the most unanticipated reaction was the tears. Almost every grown man on the field was weeping as if someone had died. Many medics and pla...

World Baseball Classic Lacks Tradition As Stands

Jack Brewster, Columnist

March 3, 2017

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Column

Worldwide sporting events such as the Olympics and the FIFA World Cup consistently draw massive crowds and high television ratings. Nations fight tooth and nail to host these events and exhaust significant resources preparing their country’s representatives. These spectacles of sport are exceptional publicity tools for the nations involved and for the sports being contested. Major League Baseball Commissioner Emeritus Bud Selig and his fellow executives had this in mind when they created the World Baseball Classic, seeking to grow baseball and reach more fans around the globe. But the event — set to begin March 6th — does not come close to the popularity and grandeur of the Olympics or the FIFA World Cup. The...

Cool or Drool: Irving’s Flat Earth Nonsense

Dan Bisno, Columnist

February 24, 2017

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Column

On a typical All Star Weekend in the NBA, the buzz surrounds the most exciting innovation from the dunk contest or the rappers and actors balling in the celebrity game. Kyrie Irving, star point guard of the Cleveland Cavaliers, had something else in mind this year. Several days prior to losing in the three-point contest in New Orleans, Irving revealed on a podcast hosted by teammates Channing Frye and Richard Jefferson that he believes the Earth is flat. To flat Earthers, the concept of the round Earth is “not even a conspiracy theory,” according to Irving, but rather something we have all been brainwashed to believe as fact. Irving unloaded a slew of these radical ideas during the hour-long podcast. He questioned...

Rule Changes Ruining Baseball

Darren Zaslau, Sports Editor

February 24, 2017

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Column, Uncategorized

Whether it’s eating ice cream at the ballpark on a hot summer day with your family or watching a diving catch on ESPN’s Top Ten Plays, baseball memories always last. But the game that everyone grew up watching is about to drastically change for the worse. Major League Baseball proposed several rule changes to increase the speed of the game and create more offense on Feb. 6. The MLB wanted the strike zone to be raised two inches to the top of the hitter’s knees, for intentional walks to no longer require the pitcher to nonchalantly throw four balls out of the strike zone and for pitchers to be on a 20-second pitch clock. Though the speed of play needs improvement, it’s important for the league to understa...

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