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Link – CTE found in Tyler Hilinski before suicide: Researcher reacts

There is a lot to think about in this article, but this really speaks to what football may find itself dealing with very soon.

“I do think the moment we have an accurate diagnostic test will be a moment of reckoning for the game. Because you can imagine people seem to be comfortable and cool with at least one out of 10 NFL players having this disease, which is what we’ve seen over the last 10 years, that one out of 10 who died have had it. It’s actually a much higher percentage in the last five years. We’re comfortable with adults getting it. But we’re not going to be comfortable with more kids getting it. If you put a high school team through the test and you find out it’s more than one kid, who’s a minor, who has this disease already, people may not be able to sign their children up anymore. Who’s going to let them play?

I look at it this way. There’s still nearly one out of five Americans who smoke, despite the fact they know it’s got a good chance of accelerating their death. So there always will be people that are just going to ignore the science and say it’s worth it and it’s my choice. But I also get the sense that once we can diagnose this and get an idea of the scope there’s going to be a scramble. And there’s a decent chance that no one wants to go back on that field who doesn’t need the money, that isn’t being paid. And that would shut down all but the professional leagues.”

And, lest you think this is only a football problem, I suggest to you that it will only be round one. Hockey, and even soccer, may find themselves dealing with similar issues in the future.

Go read the whole article though, I think there’s plenty in it beyond the usual fear mongering, especially looking at the Hilinski case and the mental health effects that concussions have. We don’t know enough about anxiety and depression as it is, adding in CTE or even just a concussion as another possible factor is just another area we do not understand, but need to spend a lot more time and money researching.

A diagnostic tool that could detect CTE in a living patient is going to change how we look at head injuries, and sports. I’m not sure what it’ll look like after that.

https://www.si.com/college-football/2018/07/02/tyler-hilinski-suicide-cte-research-concussions-football

Photo by Lorie Shaull

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John Tavares in Toronto – Isles Fans Can Decide For Themselves How to React

Sports is the one place where things can be very simple for fans. Yes, the sports world is a business and can be massively complicated, but for fans there is simply “my team” and everyone else. This afternoon John Tavares went from being captain of my team, to someone else.

I don’t wish him harm, or personally hate him for it. I don’t wish personal harm or hate any athlete just for being an athlete. But he simply no longer matters to me. I root for the New York Islanders, the crest on the front of the jersey, if you will. John Tavares plays for a competing team, so I will not feel happy for him if he wins, I’ll hate it, like I hated watching the Capitals win last month, or the Penguins win the last couple of seasons, because it’s not my team.

For nine seasons, I rooted for the Islanders and John Tavares. Now I’ll continue to root for the Islanders, and not John Tavares. I don’t want to see a video tribute, a classy bit of applause or any of that when the Leafs make an appearance in New York. I just don’t care, and I don’t care if he doesn’t like it. He’s a Maple Leaf, and I don’t really care about Maple Leafs.

If you want to have that classy response, go for it. If you want to hate JT, go for it. If you want to boo him, go for it. It’s sports, the one place we can have a complete us and them mentality and not really hurt anything.

Just try and keep that mentality otothe ice, and leave his fiance, family, and health out of it.

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Link – How Matt Kemp’s Resurgence Has Helped the Los Angeles Dodgers

To say that no one saw this coming, would be the understatement of the year. I believe most Dodger fans on Twitter were angry that he was still on the team come Opening Day.

How silly that seems now…

“Instead, all Kemp has done since the start of the season is hit…and hit…and hit some more. He has been playing like an All-Star leading the National League in batting average at .353 and is second in the entire MLB  in that department. Only Mookie Betts (.359) of the Boston Red Sox has a higher batting average.

He is also sixth in the league in slugging percentage (.599) and eighth in OBP (.983). Recently, Kemp was named the NL Player of the Week for the week of May 28 – June 3. The veteran batted .429 that week with three home runs, eight RBI, and had a 1.411 OPS.”

http://lasportsaccess.com/matt-kemp-dodgers-resurgence/

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Snow, Weight Out For Islanders – What Else?

As most of Islander fandom already knows, GM Garth Snow and coach Doug Weight have been relieved of their duties.

I can’t honestly say it’s a huge surprise. Someone was going to pay for the horrible defensive team the Islanders were last season, especially with the addition of Lou Lamariello as President of Hockey Operations. (Now GM too)

Now, of course, everyone wants to know what this means for the pending free agency of John Tavares.

I don’t think it means much of anything. You could look at these dismissals as a message to JT that the team is committed to winning, and being a professional organization. You could just as easily make the argument that Tavares enjoyed playing for Weight and wanted him back, and that Lou spent some time talking to him about what he’d like to see the team do and is now doing that, or that he’s given up on JT coming back and this is the sign of that.

I don’t see any of it, for one simple reason. Lou Lamariello is not the kind of guy who would let a player dictate to him if he really thought someone needed to go. I think he came in, and within a couple of weeks of meetings and discussions decided that the job Garth and Doug did wasn’t good enough, and he could find better people to do it. Period.

John Tavares can get on board with that, and come back, or he can not, and leave. He’s a free agent, he’s earned the right to do whatever he wants. Lou is a longtime professional, and he’ll put together a roster either way. I honestly believe that’s why he’s been rumored to have talked to Ilya Kovulchuk. If Tavares came back, I’m not sure how that would fit under the salary cap, or in the lineup. Without Tavares, it kind of makes sense. (My guess is Bailey moves to center, but that’s really just a guess.)

As Islander fans, we may have to get used to a GM who will do things his way, regardless of how the players might feel about it. He’s earned that with the success he’s had. That will be an adjustment for us.

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Link – Yankees could boycott ESPN if not taken off ‘Sunday Night Baseball,’ report says

I get it, it’s hard for any of us to feel sorry for the Yankees, ever. But, this seems fairly dumb:

“Thanks to ESPN, the Yankees and Blue Jays will play at 8 p.m. ET Sunday in Toronto. And the Yankees ain’t too happy about it.

Why? The game originally was scheduled for 1 p.m. as the Yankees have to catch a flight to Baltimore after the game for a doubleheader the next day. “

They can’t not play the game, but they apparently can, and will, make use of the one threat they do have against ESPN, player and manager access.

Really, in a battle of wills between the Yankees and ESPN, there’s no good guy. Just pass the popcorn…

http://www.sportingnews.com/mlb/news/yankees-espn-schedule-sunday-night-baseball-boycott-aaron-boone-mlb-news/fm995rhmgczb1j8o16kt6ylwr

Update – Apparently, the threat worked.

Photo by anthonystoro