The Oberlin Review

NFL: No Fun League

Nate Levinson, Sports Editor

December 5, 2014

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Editorials & Features

I’ve used this column before to express my displeasure with the NFL’s handling of numerous on- and off-field incidents, but as long as it continues to mishandle seemingly every adverse situation thrown its way, I’ll continue to write about the so-called No Fun League. Much of the inspiration for this week’s editorial is owed to controversial Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman and his teammate, wide receiver Doug Baldwin. Last week, the two reigning Super Bowl champs and Stanford alumni ripped the NFL’s decision to fine Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch $100,000 for refusing to speak to the media after a Nov. 16 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. “You know, the other day Marshawn Lynch got fined $100...

Intent of Racial Slur Can Be Changed

Bob Gross

October 10, 2014

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: I think the word “redskins” has been rehabilitated and no longer can be considered a racial slur. When used as a mascot name, it presents Native Americans in a positive way. Look at the Washington, D.C. professional football team: Native Americans are not depicted scalping white settlers, and the cheerleaders are not represented as squaws. Instead, a noble image of Native Americans is portrayed by the Washington pro football team. A reasonable person might even come to the conclusion that the use of the term “redskins” by the Washington pro football team is something that should be looked on as admirable. The connotations associated with a word can change over time — for example, the...

Ray Rice Coverage Blames Victims of Domestic Violence

Maggie Menditto, Columnist

September 26, 2014

Filed under Columns, OPINIONS

Accompanied by his wife Janay Palmer at a May 23 press conference, Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice spoke to reporters about a violent physical altercation that had transpired between the two in an Atlantic City casino. Apologizing for what he called the couple’s “situation,” Rice took the opportunity to thank his fans, his coaches and his family for sticking by him throughout the ordeal. He was “still the same Ray,” he said, still the same guy that “you know or used to know or [have] grown to love.” In a poorly chosen metaphor, he said, “Failure is not getting knocked down; it’s not getting up.” The incident in question occurred on Feb. 15 of this year, when the 206-pound NFL player struck...

Journalists Must Remove Racial Slurs from Lexicon

Editorial Board

September 26, 2014

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

A student newspaper at a high school in Pennsylvania this week found itself at the epicenter of an issue that has for decades posed challenges for journalistic outlets nationwide: what to do about the fact that a popular and profitable athletic mascot is widely regarded as a racial slur. Sports teams at Neshaminy High School in Langhorne, PA, share the controversial mascot that serves as the official name of the NFL team from Washington, D.C. For over a year, the Neshaminy Playwickian has attempted to distance itself from the epithet by refusing to print it, despite forceful opposition from the school’s administration. Last week, these tensions came to a head as school officials suspended the publication’s studen...

Solo Critique Misses Point

Tyler Sloan, Sports Editor

September 26, 2014

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Editorials & Features

In recent months, sports news has been flooded with horrifying stories of domestic violence, with the scene being mostly dominated by players from the NFL. However, amid the debacle surrounding the now-infamous cases of Adrian Peterson and Ray Rice, one sports star’s charges seemed to have slipped through the cracks. United States Women’s National Team goalkeeper Hope Solo was arrested for assaulting her half-sister and 17-year-old nephew back in June, but so far the team’s coaches and owners have handed down no repercussions to Solo. The details of the case are eerily familiar to those who have followed the recent influx of domestic violence stories surfacing in the media: Solo, then 32, had been drinking when...

NFL Fumbles Discipline

Nate Levinson, Sports Editor

September 19, 2014

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Editorials & Features

The NFL is a mess and everyone is to blame. For years, the league has struggled with its players not acting like the role models they should be: racking up DUIs, abusing illegal substances and even offering money to teammates who injured opposing players. Last week, however, has to take the cake as the worst in league history. On Sept. 8, TMZ released a video of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice knocking out his then-fiancée with a punch last February. Then, on Sept. 12, reports surfaced that Minnesota Vikings star running back Adrian Peterson was indicted on charges of “reckless or negligent injury of a child” after he beat his 4-year-old son with a stick. The Ravens have since dropped Rice, and the NFL has inde...

QB or NOT QB

Nate Levinson, Sports Editor

April 18, 2014

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Editorials & Features

The quarterback position is the most important in all of sports. A great quarterback has the ability to take an otherwise mediocre team and transform it into something great, a feat not so easily managed by any other position, regardless of the sport. But getting a great quarterback isn’t easy, and getting one of the elite ones almost always requires drafting them early in the first round. There are players like Russell Wilson, Tom Brady and Drew Brees who have overcome the odds to become great quarterbacks after falling out of the first round, but this is hardly the norm. The 2014 NFL draft pro vides a supremely interesting case study, since the draft boasts five elite prospects, none of whom are quarter backs....

Time to Focus On the Talent

Nate Levinson, Sports Editor

March 7, 2014

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Editorials & Features

Every year in the months leading up to the NFL draft, scouts, general managers and entire personnel departments of all 32 NFL teams spend countless hours poring over the résumés of hundreds of young 20-somethings fresh out of college. Unsurprisingly, many of these players don't have entirely clean records, and it's left up to these NFL decision-makers to discern which players will be cancers in the locker room, which won't work hard on the field and which were just young people making common, stupid mistakes. There's an old adage that says talent trumps all for NFL decision makers, but this doesn't stop them and members of the media from analyzing every questionable decision made by an athlete before they enter...

Time to Give Sherman a Break

Nate Levinson, Sports Editor

February 7, 2014

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Editorials & Features

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman is one of the best players in the NFL. A Stanford graduate, he now plays for a Super Bowl-winning team and runs a successful charity that provides children with clothing and school supplies. Yet all it took for the loud, proud black man to be declared a hoodlum was a little bit of adrenaline-charged passion and a camera in his face. For those not inundated with the social media obsession about Sherman over the last several weeks, the All-Pro came under fire following an emotional post-NFC Championship game interview. Seconds after the contest ended and the Seahawks earned a trip to the Super Bowl, Sherman declared on live television that he was, “the best corner in the game,...

Editorial: Obama Joins Debate Over Washington Redskins Name

Rose Stoloff, Sports Editor

October 11, 2013

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Editorials & Features

The Washington Redskins’s name has been contested for decades, and on Saturday, one new voice joined the debate: President Barack Obama. “If I were the owner of the team and I knew that there was a name of my team — even if it had a storied history –– that was offending a sizable group of people, I’d think about changing it,” he said in an interview with the Associated Press. The Washington Redskins are one of many professional sports teams whose name and mascot plays on offensive Native-American stereotypes. The Washington’s, however, is arguably the most offensive. Prior to writing this editorial I had assumed “redskin” was an insensitive way to describe the skin color of Native Americans....

NFL Confronts Player Safety

Nate Levinson, Sports Editor

September 20, 2013

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Editorials & Features

The NFL season started back up a few weeks ago, which means it’s time to return to a controversial topic that hovers over the league every year: concussions. For many years, the NFL was lax in dealing with the issue of concussions, but the league has done a better job in recent years. The NFL announced in 2010 that it would start suspending players for illegal helmet-to-helmet hits, and though it’s difficult to tell if this action has helped reduce these hits, it was a move the league had to make. Furthermore, on August 29, the NFL agreed to pay almost $800 million to thousands of retired players who have suffered from various health issues in the wake of their playing days. After an illegal hit in a game...

Cleveland Sports History Riddled With Letdowns

Rose Stoloff, Sports Editor

September 13, 2013

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Editorials & Features

In the last 15 years, Cleveland’s major sports teams have been blessed with a great number of high draft picks. Many of these top picks have brought more than just talent and potential to their teams; they’ve brought hope, excitement and the prospect of better times to a financially depressed city.  In reverse order, here are the three most promising, and ultimately disappointing, draft picks in modern Cleveland sports history. 1. Tim Couch, Quarterback – Cleveland Browns – 1999 – Round 1, Pick 1 “The Bust” Couch was drafted number one overall after putting up incredible numbers at the University of Kentucky. At the time of his departure, he held NCAA records for completions in a season and ...

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