The Oberlin Review

Write-In Votes for Athletes Must Consider Qualifications

Alex McNicoll, Sports Editor

December 1, 2017

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Editorials & Features

New York sports fans found a novel way of honoring their athletes off the field last month, as the New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge and Knick’s Kristaps Porzingis received write-in votes for mayor of New York City in November’s election. Judge, the Rookie of the Year who came in second place for American League MVP; and Porzingis, the Latvian-born phenom averaging 27 points a game this year, were not the first — and certainly won’t be the last — athletes to earn this sort of appreciation from fans. Instead, their write-ins indicate how athletes play multifaceted roles in fans’ lives beyond in the sports themselves. Fresh off a Boston Red Sox world series win, World Series MVP David Ortiz came in third place...

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...

NBA MVP Vote Must Return to Players, Away from Press

Alex McNicoll, Sports Editor

November 3, 2017

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Editorials & Features

Just over two weeks into the NBA season, the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers are already sure to face off in a championship rematch — their fourth straight Finals duel — and once again take all of the suspense out of the league. The 82-game season may not be exciting, but the MVP race has historically added drama to the regular season. Last year was one of the tightest MVP races in history. Russell Westbrook, James Harden, LeBron James, and Kawhi Leonard all had MVP-worthy seasons, and Westbrook ultimately came away with the award after becoming the second player ever to average a triple-double over the course of a season. This year, the race is shaping up to be just as good, with the usual suspect...

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...

NBA Jersey Ads Signal Corporate Encroachment

Alex McNicoll, Sports Editor

September 15, 2017

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Editorials & Features

The Golden State Warriors inked yet another eight-figure contract this week that will completely reshape the NBA. Instead of adding another MVP to their roster, however, the reigning world champions signed a deal to let Rakuten, a major Japanese tech company, advertise on their jerseys. The three-year, $60-million agreement is the latest and largest in the NBA’s decision to let teams put ads on their jerseys. This move by the NBA shows how corporate sponsorships are taking yet another step in defining the way we experience sports. Rakuten is not new to the sports world, as it signed a similar contract with soccer powerhouse FC Barcelona last November. Its soccer deal was much more lucrative, totaling at $262 million...

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: And Now, a Message from Our Sponsors

Dan Bisno, Columnist

April 22, 2016

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Column

Every year the NBA seemingly becomes more and more popular. With Kobe Bryant’s recent retirement and the Golden State Warriors breaking Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls’ 72–10 single-season win record, the U.S.’s attention has largely been consumed by basketball this spring. Either way, since the organization’s conception, the NBA’s most popular product among fans has been jerseys. After all, who wouldn’t want to sport the same jersey as an NBA All-Star? League officials undoubtedly picked up on this trend, as the NBA recently announced that, starting in the 2017–2018 season, jerseys will feature commercial advertisements. Before you waste your savings on an advertisement-free jersey to get one of...

Golden State of Mind

Randy Ollie, Sports Editor

April 15, 2016

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Editorials & Features

Wednesday night was one many fans of the Na­tional Basketball Associa­tion will never forget. Not only did the Gold­en State Warriors break the 1995–1996 Chicago Bulls’ regular season re­cord of 72 wins by defeat­ing the Memphis Grizzlies 125–104, but prolific point guard Stephen Curry broke his own single-season re­cord of made three-point­ers by tallying his 400th in the third quarter. Simul­taneously, iconic shooting guard Kobe Bryant scored 60 points in his final game as a Los Angeles Laker, marking the sixth time in his storied career that he has scored 60 or more points in a game. Fur­thermore, Bryant’s efforts helped the Lakers defeat the Utah Jazz 101–96, ef­fectively capping a tumul­tuous...

NBA in Golden Limbo

Randy Ollie, Sports Editor

February 19, 2016

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Editorials & Features

As another NBA trade deadline came and went on Thursday, the NBA ros­ters officially cemented for the rest of the season. Bar­ring a few possible excep­tions, teams will remain virtually the same until af­ter the NBA Championship this summer, when trades become legal by league guidelines once more and teams look to bolster their talent and productivity for the upcoming season. In past years the trade dead­line has commonly been associated with blockbust­er deals in which franchise players are exchanged be­tween teams, usually to help fulfill championship aspirations or to serve as building blocks for future success. However, this deadline was devoid of any such transactions, a testament to both its insignificance...

Cool or Drool: NBA Rookie Begins Reckless Rampage

Dan Bisno, Columnist

December 11, 2015

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Column

The NBA season is finally in high gear, and it only took six weeks for a rookie to make a fool of himself. It’s always a waiting game after the NBA draft: Which soon-to-be rich 19-year-old draftee is going to show the world that, despite having a pro­fessional career, he acts his age? The third pick from the 2015 NBA draft to the Philadelphia 76ers Jahlil Oka­for answered that call. After an explosive start to the season — averaging nearly 17 points and eight rebounds per game — it would be unfair to expect Okafor to tuck himself into bed before cur­few and stick to mineral water. In fact, Okafor reportedly attempted to purchase alcoholic beverages with a fake ID at a bar, appropriately named Misconduct Tavern,...

Cool or Drool: Durant, Smith Square Off in Exaggerated Feud

Dan Bisno, Columnist

October 9, 2015

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Column

National sports nowadays are 80 percent reality TV show and 20 percent actual sports game. With the endless sports commentary shows, Twitter feuds and general gossip, many sports fans have become more enamored with the players’ personal lives than with their game performance. Amid all this excitement, sports stars are under more media scrutiny than ever before. Rarely are players described as any­thing other than victims of the scandal­izing media, consistently ripped apart by the ruthless mass of camera-toting individuals known as sports reporters. This brings us to the most recent NBA media feud: Kevin Durant versus Stephen A. Smith. For those of you who don’t know, Durant is the star small forward for the...

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