Written by Andrew Ottoson Tuesday, 19 May 2009 15:03This week, I found out I have something in common with Atlantic Coast Conference “Defensive Player of the Year,” Mark Herzlich.
Herzlich has two claims to fame: he has been an utterly dominate linebacker at Boston College since 2006, and he was recently diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma. Ewing’s sarcoma is a bone cancer that most often affects young males: children, teenagers and adults.
Herzlich is 21. I was 20.
He told ESPN.com’s Heather Dinich that “it can be pretty life threatening.” What Herzlich doesn’t know—what no teacher but experience can explain to him—is that Ewing’s is not life threatening.
It is life ending.
Cancer does not change everything a person is, but it deeply alters what he hopes to...
Written by Andrew Ottoson Tuesday, 05 May 2009 14:12This weekend, Carl Crawford joined one of the few leadoff hitters’ clubs that Ricky Henderson did not either define or redefine. In honor of Crawford’s achievement, this edition of the Bench Press is dedicated to sports trivia.Before I make with my best impression of Alex Trebek, I’d like to share a couple of thoughts on the recent Kansas Press Association convention that the Free Press editorial staff attended on April 25.First, because of the Sports Section award we won, I’ve personally heard more props from John Q. Public in the last week than I heard in my whole time at the Free Press so far. So, many, many thank yous. It has been doubly enjoyable to hear so much feedback because of a key question under consideration at this...
Written by Andrew Ottoson Tuesday, 21 April 2009 13:43I didn’t watch Anderson Silva defeat Thales Leites in the main event of Saturday’s Ultimate Fighting Championships pay-per-view UFC 97. It’s not just that I don’t care about fighting. I don’t accept mixed martial arts fighting as a sport. Kevin Iole’s response to Silva-Leites makes my case.
But let’s start with some basics we can agree on.
Wrestling is a sport, and there’s a strong argument to make for boxing. Styles vary within, but each sport makes sense. Boxers box. Wrestlers wrestle. This isn’t rocket science.
But neither wrestling nor boxing is remotely like mixed martial arts fighting.
Comparing MMA to wrestling and boxing is as dubious as comparing basketball and baseball to BASEketball.
BASEketball was a...
Written by Andrew Ottoson Tuesday, 24 March 2009 14:20With the NHL’s regular season winding down, there are two clear choices for the league’s most valuable player award: Evgeni Malkin leads the league in overall scoring (104 points), while Alexander Ovechkin is tops in goals (50). Professional hockey writers who vote on the award might lose some sleep deciding between them, but the two Russians have clearly set themselves apart from all other forwards this season.
There are a few non-forwards who should draw votes—most especially Columbus Bluejackets goalie Steve Mason, who has come from nowhere to lead his team to the brink of its first-ever playoff appearance.
Oddly enough, there’s a chance the 20-year-old could pull more votes for league MVP than for the Vezina (the trophy...
Written by Andrew Ottoson Tuesday, 10 March 2009 14:10Thanks to Dan the Stadium Operations Worker, the time has come to publish a long overdue Facebook rant:
As long as people continue to send me famous quotes and links to funny videos in e-mail, of what use is Facebook?
I mean, other than making cryptic comments on status updates, posting links to funny videos, finding out where da party at, declining application invitations, stalking, re-reading my own work history and laughing out loud, searching for famous people and politicians to poke, alliterating, building a fictive Netflix queue out of other people's favorite movies, reading [female name]’s wall as if it were a romantic novel written by a million chimpanzees with a million typewriters, finding out what the hip new bands...
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