The Oberlin Review

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

Dan Bisno, Columnist

April 7, 2017

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

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

“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

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

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

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...

Huskies’ Dominance Hurts Competition, Interest in Women’s Basketball

Jack Brewster, Columnist

February 17, 2017

The University of Connecticut Huskies cemented the longest winning streak in the history of NCAA women’s basketball Monday night with a landmark 65–55 win over the University of South Carolina. The Huskies have broken the previous win streak record three times. This spring, they will vie for their fifth straight NCAA championship, which would be their 11th title since 2000. The Huskies are as close to a dynasty as it gets. But while their current win streak and dominance in recent years is fantastic for their fan base, the Huskies’ supremacy is damaging NCAA women’s basketball. Dynasties are only healthy for the growth of a sport up to a point. The Huskies are winning so often and by so much that they are ...

Cool or Drool: NBA Takes on Twitter

Dan Bisno, Columnist

February 10, 2017

Social media reveals unfiltered opinions and the true personalities of our favorite players in a way that interviews and journalistic pieces cannot. Current Los Angeles Clippers point guard Jamaal Crawford once inspiringly took to Twitter to write, “Thinking too much is the gift and the curse.” Filtered or unfiltered? Using the NBA as a case study, we can examine the significant impact of social media on a professional sports league. In 2009, the NBA introduced its notorious social media fine, which coincided with the largest increase in tweets of any year. Twitter is free for the masses, but to NBA stars, it costs at least a $25,000 subscription per year if they expect to get fined. The NBA imposes social...

Athletes Voice Dissent with New Administration

Jack Brewster, Columnist

February 3, 2017

Donald Trump’s controversial executive orders — most notably his refugee and majority Muslim-country-travel ban imposed Jan. 27 — have incited protests from all corners of the country and from every race, gender and religion. Hollywood and Broadway stars, executives of major corporations and countless politicians on both sides of the aisle have already been highly critical of Trump’s actions early in his presidency. A growing number of athletes have also begun speaking out against Trump during the election, persistently dissenting during the first days of his presidency. Recently, more and more professional athletes have worked to inspire social change both on and off the field. If dissent among athletes continues...

Cool or Drool: MLB’s New Luxury Tax Levels Playing Field

Dan Bisno, Columnist

December 9, 2016

Sports fans always want to believe that their team has the same shot at winning as any other. While we all know “fairness” is not clear cut, perhaps no factor influences the outcomes of professional sports leagues more than the politics of player compensation. While most leagues have shifted toward a salary cap or restricted payroll, MLB continues to host massive payroll differentials between teams of varied financial capabilities. The league’s new contract-bargaining agreement was reached on Nov. 30, and while it will not include the long-awaited salary cap when it takes effect in 2017, it includes a stronger luxury tax that should level the financial playing field. In 2016, teams were allowed to pay their...

Castro Stunted Cuban Baseball Growth

Jack Brewster, Columnist

December 2, 2016

Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro, one of the most prominent and controversial leaders of the past century, died last Friday at the age of 90. For all the things Castro believed in that stood in opposition to the U.S., there was always one glaring irony — Castro loved our national pastime: baseball. The Cuban leader was a frequent attendee of games around Cuba and adored playing baseball as well. There are many photos of Castro in full baseball uniform, elated to be on the diamond. As The New York Times noted in their obituary for Castro Friday, only five days after the leader rose to power in 1959, he played a game with his fellow revolutionaries. The team was named Los Barbudos — the Bearded Ones — after Ca...

Cool or Drool: Romo’s Days in Dallas Numbered

Dan Bisno, Columnist

November 18, 2016

Editor’s Note: This article contains references to domestic violence. Many of the 32 teams in the NFL are struggling to fill the quarterback position. While teams like the San Francisco 49ers and Cleveland Browns cycle through their assortment of sub-par passers and NFL busts like Tim Tebow, who moved on to pursue a career in baseball, the Cowboys are mischievously stockpiling quarterbacks in Dallas. Since week one of the NFL season, rookie quarterback Dak Prescott has led the Dallas Cowboys to an NFC-leading 8–1 start, while famed backups Tony Romo and Mark Sanchez remain benched. Many Cowboys fans had high hopes for Romo this season, but he was sidelined after fracturing his vertebrae at the end of the NFL pre...

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