The Oberlin Review

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...

Concussions Underscore Football’s Safety Issues

Jack Brewster, Columnist

November 11, 2016

Nebraska quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. receives the snap, drops back, scans left and right and is immediately under pressure. Two Ohio State University defensive linemen are closing in fast. Armstrong abandons the pocket and bolts for an opening in the throng of gargantuan bodies before him. He gets the first down and keeps running. But before he can safely run out of bounds, Ohio State safety Malik Hooker catapults himself into Armstrong’s legs, upending the quarterback. He flies through the air and crashes to the ground, his head taking the brunt of the force as his neck snaps backwards. Armstrong, a catalyst for a struggling Nebraska offense just seconds before, lays motionless on the ground, unconscious. Moments...

Cool or Drool: 49ers Start Kaepernick Amidst Continued Protest

Dan Bisno, Columnist

November 4, 2016

The San Francisco 49ers lost four games with quarterback Blaine Gabbert at the helm before they decided to return Colin Kaepernick — the player at the center of one of the biggest political demonstrations in the recent history of American sports — to his starting quarterback position. Just four years after winning the National Football Conference under Kaepernick’s leadership and barely losing in the Super Bowl, the 49ers currently sit at a tie for last place in the entire NFC with an embarrassing 1–6 record. This is largely due to Gabbert’s subpar performance early in the season, which left many fans wondering why Head Coach Chip Kelly waited so long to return Kaepernick. At this point, you could have...

From Curses to Recluses: World Series Features Captivating Characters

Jack Brewster, Columnist

October 28, 2016

Editor’s Note: The Oberlin Review’s policy is to avoid calling the Cleveland baseball team by its name due to its derogatory nature and racist caricature. Towards the end of the beloved baseball movie Field of Dreams, Terence Mann, played by actor James Earl Jones, delivers a poignant soliloquy on the game’s enduring appeal. “The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball,” intones Jones in his signature baritone. “America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It's been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game, is a part of our past, Ray.” Baseball fans everywhere recite this quote the way literature scholar...

Cool or Drool: Cavaliers Give Championship Ring to David Blatt

Dan Bisno, Columnist

September 23, 2016

Cleveland Cavaliers fans are still enjoying the high from the end of the city’s 52-year championship drought. But one crucial member of the championship run still cannot quite stomach the win: former Head Coach David Blatt. The Cavs, pretending that Blatt is not still fuming at the sight of anything with the word Cleveland on it, just announced that they will give him a championship ring at the end of October — less than one year after firing him in one of the most bizarre coaching changes in NBA history. Blatt was brought on as the head coach for the 2014–15 season after the Cavaliers suffered a disappointing 33–49 record fronted by point guard Kyrie Irving. Shortly after Blatt was hired, the Cavaliers...

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