Category Archives: Sports

What is CTE and Why is it a Problem

Most people by now have heard of a neurodegenerative/brain disorder called CTE: chronic traumatic encephalopathy. This disorder is very common with those who have competed in contact sports like football.

Aaron Hernandez, former tight end for the New England Patriots and convicted murderer who committed suicide back in April, was found to have had stage 3 CTE after his brain was studied by Boston University. At the young age of 27, Hernandez is one of the youngest people to have the disorder since CTE’s discovery.

This news doesn’t take away from the fact that Hernandez murdered one person and may had killed two more. Hernandez however, is now one of the 112 former football players to have their brains studied post-mortem. Out of the 112, 111 had some type of CTE. That means that most likely, 99% of former, current, and future NFL players will have some type of CTE.

Don’t forget that football isn’t the only sport to have a issue with CTE.  Soccer, Hockey, MMA and Professional Wrestling like WWE have had former athletes posthumously diagnosed with CTE. Even MLB had a player diagnosed with CTE after his suicide in 2012.

Currently, there are multiple lawsuits dealing with concussion settlements. However, those who had played in high school and college but didn’t make it to the professionals don’t have a lawsuit. It can affect a high school student after a few years of participation in the sport. In 2010, 17-year-old Nathan Stiles died after playing in a football game in which he took several blows to the head. He would be diagnosed with CTE, the youngest reported case to date.

The doctor who discovered CTE, Dr. Bennet Omalu, once said that he wished he had never met Mike Webster, legendary NFL center and first person to be diagnosed with the disorder. Many players after hearing about the effects of CTE have retired, and those include Jake Locker and Patrick Willis. Some even regret playing the sport and even the great Bo Jackson discourages his children from playing the sport that made him famous.

Talk about CTE will never stop, but football and wrestling aren’t just going to stop tomorrow. It is encouraged to know about the effects of CTE before playing a contact sport and know most likely, you will have some type of it. That is the price of chasing riches and fame.

R-Space Event Friday

Sponsored Content for R-Space

R-Space’s own Richard Delehanty has an exciting event planned for the Radford student body. Beginning at 9 p.m. on Friday, February 2, escape rooms will be located upstairs in the Bonnie. With eight people allowed per room, bring your friends and go through the challenge as a team. The three options range from deadly viruses to two bomb-themed rooms. Both picks are well-designed and exhilarating. They give you the opportunity to impress your friends by solving clues, working together, and escaping the areas. Complete the obstacles in the fastest time and everyone in your team will receive a sweet prize. Following your escape, join Comedy Magician Brian Miller downstairs from 9-10:30, eat free food, and visit the Radford event tables. Stay behind for bingo and try your hand at winning prizes. Some—but not all—are a long board and a Keurig.

Stop by the Whim table to learn more about us and how to get yourself published!

Kobe Bryant

The 2015-16 NBA season tips off in less than a month, and this generation’s greatest player is entering his twentieth season in the league with the Los Angeles Lakers. Kobe Bryant is unquestionably one of the greatest players of all-time, and is certainly the closest thing to Michael Jordan the game has ever seen. The 5-time NBA champion has done it all. He’s won MVPs (1 regular season; 2 finals), won Olympic gold, and currently ranks 3rd on the all-time scoring list, just to name a few. Bryant has nothing left to prove, but the self-titled “Black Mamba,” who has built a career fueled by his unmatchable, competitive nature, might have some new motivation.

ESPN just released Nos. 91-100 in their NBA Preseason Player-Ranking Countdown, and guess who came in at No. 93. Yep, Mr. Bryant. Now although Bryant is no longer the freakishly athletic, dominating force he once was, the criticism of Bryant has simply gone too far. Never mind the critics who claim he shoots too much, or the ones who say he needs to pass the torch and move on. This ranking is personal, and although Bryant will likely write this off completely, it’s downright disrespectful.

kobe bryant
“Kobe Bryant is unquestionably one of the greatest players of all-time, and is certainly the closest thing to Michael Jordan the game has ever seen.”

The most popular explanations for Bryant’s ranking are that “the rankings are based solely on the last two seasons,” and “Kobe’s player efficiency rating is around 100th in the league.” Some also attribute it to his low shooting percentage over the last two seasons. Although stats rarely lie, the latter explanations don’t hold up in Bryant’s case.

First and foremost, players are people, not robots. Ranking each player based on statistics and neglecting the mental aspect of the game contradicts the way the greatest players have been ranked throughout history. Jordan, Magic, Bird, and Kobe are all notorious for their gaudy stats, but are arguably more known for their intimidating mentality. If the “greatness” of a player was based solely on statistics, than Jordan himself would be considered the 4th best player of all-time. I think we all know how preposterous that sounds. Furthermore, the biggest criticism of Lebron throughout his career has been his mental toughness, yet I’m sure he’ll come in at number 1 based on statistics alone.

Secondly, by ranking Bryant No. 93, ESPN is saying that there are 92 players in the NBA who are better than Bryant right now. Not only is this far from true, but this is also where the argument falls apart. Here’s a list of some of the players ranked higher than Bryant: Brandon Knight, Timofey Mozgov, Luol Deng, Tobias Harris, Marcus Smart, and Jahlil Okafor. Arguments could be made against each of these players being ranked higher than Bryant, but the most obvious arguments can be made against Marcus Smart and Jahlil Okafor. Smart is entering just his second season and Okafor is entering his rookie season. In other words, neither player has played two full seasons (much less 1 game in Okafor’s case), yet are ranked higher than Bryant. Furthermore, Smart missed 15 games last season due to injury. So much for the rankings being based on the last two seasons.

This is not an argument to put Bryant in the top 10 based solely on his reputation. It’s a reality check on how ranking 92 players ahead of him is ridiculous. Bryant spent the majority of the last two seasons injured (only playing around 40 games), and although some use this fact against Bryant, it does not hold up when compared to the rest of these rankings.

Last, and now that we’re not restricting the rankings to the last two seasons, people do not realize that Bryant was averaging over 25 points per game, and shooting just under 50 percent while leading the Lakers to the playoffs in his last full season (2012-2013). These statistics would rank him easily into the top 10 today. Also, any other superstar would have shot just as much had they been in the same position as Bryant the last two seasons. Who was he going to pass to?

We are still waiting to see what Bryant has left in the tank, but make no mistake, he’s not the 93rd best player in the NBA. I think the other 499 other players would even agree with that.