by Nick Swartsell
25 days ago
Posted In: News
at 10:35 AM | Permalink
Leelah Alcorn's mother expresses grief in first media interview; Ohio Against the World gets big ups from OSU win; NYPD's massive arrest slowdown
Hey hey Cincinnati! I hope your New Years Eve was as good as mine. I stayed out way too late and had more fun than you should be allowed to have while wearing a suit at CityBeat's speakeasy party. But enough about partying. Let’s get down to business.Carla Alcorn, who has been mostly silent since daughter Leelah Alcorn’s suicide Dec. 28, gave her first interview with media Wednesday. Speaking to CNN, Alcorn expressed deep grief at the loss of the 17-year-old transgender teen from Kings Mills, whose given name was Joshua and who said in a suicide note that she had felt “like a girl trapped in a boy’s body” since the age of 4. Leelah’s suicide has sparked a national conversation about societal attitudes toward gender as well as the high rate of depression and suicide attempts among transgender people. The elder Alcorn told CNN that she forbade Leelah from obtaining medical procedures to help her transition toward more female physical traits because it was against the family’s religion. "We don't support that, religiously," Alcorn's mother told CNN in an emotional phone interview. "But we told him that we loved him unconditionally. We loved him no matter what. I loved my son. People need to know that I loved him. He was a good kid, a good boy."Controversy has arisen over the way some news outlets, Alcorn’s family and her school have identified Alcorn, using the name Joshua and male pronouns to refer to her. • On a more upbeat note, a local fashion icon got some big attention yesterday after Ohio State beat Alabama in the Sugar Bowl and clenched a spot at college football’s championship game. As OSU pulled ahead late in the game, ESPN showed a fan in the crowd rocking an Ohio Against the World shirt, a brand dreamed up by Cincinnatian Floyd Johnson. OATW has already gotten a lot of national attention, but screen grabs of the ESPN shot showed up on Twitter and promptly exploded, sending the phrase Ohio Against the World trending worldwide. Full disclosure: I’m a huge OATW fan and own a few of their shirts, one of which I’m wearing as I type, so this may not be unbiased reporting I’m doing here. I could not care less about football (sorry Buckeyes fans) but it’s awesome that great local talent is getting much-deserved recognition. Go get yourself one of those shirts! Just be sure you’re buying the real deal when you hop online to order one and not one of these. Yes, yes, I get it. That’s supposed to be OSU’s font. Still not into it.• Just a heads up: new parking meter times and rates go into effect today. Parking in Over-the-Rhine goes from 50 cents to $1 today, and you’ll have to pay from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. in OTR and downtown. The boost will be used to help pay for streetcar operating costs. Don’t fret if you don’t have change, though. The new meters take credit cards. • Tasha Thomas, the woman who was with John Crawford III in the Beavercreek Walmart where police shot him in August, died in a car accident yesterday. The accident occurred about 3 p.m. in downtown Dayton, authorities say. Thomas gained attention last month when a video tape was released showing Beavercreek police interrogating her harshly after the shooting. Crawford's shooting and other police killings of unarmed black citizens, including the shooting of Mike Brown in Ferguson Missouri, have ignited continuing protests across the country.• Women in Ohio and Kentucky are pushing back against a new form of birth control called Essure offered by major drug company Bayer. Essure claims to be a form of easy, permanent birth control. Sounds great, right? The problem is, the device, which is implanted, has reportedly caused headaches, severe nausea and other symptoms in some women, perhaps due to the fact it contains nickel, which many are allergic to. Women suffering these symptoms claim they were not told about the device’s nickel content. Other women have reported that the device has caused internal damage when it shifted inside their bodies, or that scans by doctors have been unable to find the device after it has been implanted. A number of activists, including women in Ohio, have called for a ban on the product, starting wide-ranging social media campaigns and filing a lawsuit. But doctors and the FDA say they can’t demonstrate a link between the device and health problems. They say the device is safe to use and that problems associated with the implant are probably psychosomatic. • The ongoing national argument over police tactics is having very real consequences within the nation’s largest police force. After a gunman ambushed and killed two officers Dec. 20, New York City police have decreased arrests 66 percent as part of a work slow down, the New York Post reports. The choke hold death of Eric Garner this summer and a subsequent grand jury’s decision not to indict an officer in that death has led to civil unrest in the city, and police have taken offense. The situation intensified when the gunman in Brooklyn murdered two officers last month. Since that incident, officers have protested by turning their backs to Mayor Bill deBlasio at public ceremonies for a perceived lack of support from the mayor. They’ve also instituted a slowdown on their policing and have announced they’ll only be arresting people when they have to — in part for safety reasons, and in part in protest. But think about that for just a minute. Shouldn’t police always approach and arrest people “only when they have to?” The New York Post reports that ticketing for incidents in the city has dropped 94 percent since the murder of the two officers. Arrests for drug offenses have dropped 82 percent. What are the rest of those arrests all about anyway?
0 Comments · Tuesday, September 16, 2014
The mounting evidence of the NFL’s
epidemic scourge of employing women and children batterers as highly
paid professional football players has been a perfect storm resulting in
my decision to boycott professional football.
by Zachary McAuliffe
Posted In: football
at 04:06 PM | Permalink
The destruction of the
Jets two weeks ago by the Bengals saw not only the largest margin of victory
for our football team in many years, but also the emergence of second-year wide
receiver Marvin Jones.
The Bengals brought Jones
aboard in 2012, but not until the fifth round of the draft — much to Jones' disappointment. He assumed he was going to be drafted in the second round, and many scouts agreed,
also thinking he would go in the second or third round. Looking at his college stats, it’s easy to
Jones played at
University of California, Berkeley, and scored 13 touchdowns throughout his
four seasons with the team.
As a wide-receiver, he averaged 14.6 yards with the team with 156 receptions for a total
of 2,270 yards. This includes a freshmen
year when Jones only made one reception for eight yards.
With these stats, it’s
no wonder he was predicted for the second round.
In his rookie season
with the Bengals, though, Jones didn’t see much play time. He started in five
of 11 games, but this season Jones has exploded on the scene.
When the Bengals and
Jets played on Oct. 27, Jones set a franchise record of four touchdowns in a single game,
with a total of 122 receiving yards.
If the Bengals had not
called off the hounds with 17 minutes left in the game, it is safe to say Jones
very well could have tied the record for receiving touchdowns in one game.
This record is
currently held by Hall of Fame players Kellen Winslow and Jerry Rice, as well
as Bob Shaw, all of whom scored five receiving touchdowns in one game.
One comparison we can
draw from Jones to an active NFL wide-receiver is the Broncos’ Wes Welker.
Welker, who gained
mass popularity as one of Tom Brady’s favorite targets for the Patriots, sports
impressive stats with close to 10,000 career receiving yards in regular season
As an established
receiver, Welker currently holds the most red zone touchdowns for this season
at eight, followed closely by Jones’ seven in the red zone.
What really made this
possible for Jones was not only his superb skill set and hands these past few
weeks, but also quarterback Andy Dalton’s trust in his many receivers.
Dalton has not played
favorites with receivers since the loss against the Browns where he threw the
ball to A.J. Green 15 times.
Jones, in an interview
with Coley Harvey for ESPN.com, said Dalton is spending extra time in film and
practice with the other receivers, making the relationship between the QB and
his many targets stronger than ever.
With the second half
of the regular season upon us, this level of cooperation in the backfield will
be vital, and if Jones’ professional career is anything like his college
career, we can expect him to continue to grow and improve alongside the team.
by Zachary McAuliffe
Posted In: football
at 10:53 AM | Permalink
New book reveals connection between football and brain injuries
A new book
set for release Tuesday called League of
Denial: The NFL, Concussions and the Battle for Truth is set to challenge
the NFL and their denial of a connection between concussions and football.
Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru, investigative reporters for ESPN, the book
claims the NFL has not only known about the connection between concussions in
the NFL and long-term brain injuries for about 20 years, but the league has
been actively trying to cover up these facts.
of Junior Seau as well as former NFL players such as the Bears’ David Duerson
and the Eagles’ Andre Waters have brought this issue to the forefront of players’
and fans’ minds. All three players are thought to have suffered severe brain
damage from injuries while playing football, all of which lead to their
has claimed for years they had no knowledge of any relation between the brain
injuries sustained from concussions and the deaths of professional players. Even
in the face of a recent lawsuit from players, the league held firm to their
did settle the recent lawsuit out of court for $765 million, and many questions
were raised asking if the league has been honest with how much they know about the
possible link between concussions and football.
For a long
time, concussions in the professional level of football were not seen as a big
issue because no one knew of the long-term effects. Former New York Jets
defensive lineman Marty Lyons talked with Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com where
he described his own sideline concussion experience.
whenever a player would come off the field, the physician would hold up some
fingers, ask how many and, despite the player’s answer, the physician said, “Close
enough.” A couple plays later, or even the next play, the player would find
themselves on the field once again.
wasn’t the doctors or trainers saying, ‘You’re OK,’” Lyons said in the
interview. “I’m not saying the league didn’t know, I’m not saying the players
didn’t know. It was part of the game.”
to the authors of League of Denial,
the cover-up of how much the NFL knew about the connection started when the
former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue created a concussion committee in 1994
to better understand the effects of concussions on players. A few members of
the committee came forward in 1995 saying concussions were not “minor injuries”
as previously thought. These claims were quickly hushed by the NFL.
the book makes is that around 2000, some of the country’s top neuroscientists
told the NFL the big hits in football, especially those considered head-to-head,
led to not only concussions, but also what is known as chronic traumatic
the symptoms of CTE are higher rates of depression, dementia, memory loss and
rather than publishing these findings and telling players of the potential
harm, made no such effort and tried to ignore the facts.
2005, the authors report the NFL tried to persuade a medical journal to retract
articles and findings on concussions and their effects on individuals. The journal
in question refused and the findings continued to circulate without
authors spoke with Dr. Ann McKee, a former assistant professor of
neuropathology at Harvard Medical School and one of the leading professionals
on the link between football and brain damage, who said of the 54 harvested
brains of deceased NFL players, only two did not have CTE.
of these findings are not just exclusive to professional football. Youth, high
school and college football players are also at a high risk for
from 2007 titled “Concussions Among United
States High School and Collegiate Athletes,” found that about 300,000 people aged
15 to 24 suffered traumatic brain injuries every year from contact sports. This
number is only second to brain injuries sustained from motor vehicle
study also found of the total number of concussions from other collegiate
sports, including boys’ and girls’ soccer and basketball, football was
responsible for more than 40 percent of the concussions.
in high school sports have even led to the death of young athletes. Jaquan
Waller and Matthew Gfeller are two football players who died in North Carolina
after head injuries sustained during high school games this season.
from the University of Pittsburgh found that over the
past decade, 30-40 high school football players have died from concussions, and
the likelihood of contact sport athletes to receive a concussion is 19 percent.
are coming to the NFL, however, most notably in the minds of players. Bengals’
cornerback Brandon Ghee received two concussions in back-to-back preseason
games against the Falcons and Titans. Ghee was forced to take a five-week break
from contact because of these injuries.
interview with The
Enquirer, Ghee said if it weren’t for the recent deaths and lawsuit, he
would have wanted to go back to play immediately. Now though, he’s not so sure. “After the second one you have to think about
your kids and family,” Ghee said in the interview. “You don’t want any long-lasting issues.”
2 Comments · Wednesday, September 18, 2013
FRIDAY SEPT. 13: Ohio is a great state with a lot of smart
people in it, but somehow it seems like the dumbest people in it end up
in really important positions. Take Debe Tehrar, the president of the
Ohio School Board.
0 Comments · Wednesday, February 27, 2013
The Big East is officially a mid-major.
Not that it’s a surprise, but the agreement on a TV deal with ESPN for
$130 million over seven years seals it.
0 Comments · Wednesday, February 13, 2013
The success or failure of any college
football program starts with recruiting, which is why we see the
coaching turnover in the sport start before the final games are played.
Ruling against former Bengals players illustrates the next step in NFL concussion saga
0 Comments · Wednesday, January 23, 2013
As America spends the next two weeks
readying for its largest annual sporting event, the spectacle, hype and
excitement of the Super Bowl will undoubtedly overshadow the toll our
enjoyment takes on the players on the field.
0 Comments · Thursday, January 3, 2013
Orson Charles had no idea that the
Bengals hadn’t won a playoff game in his lifetime. Yet, it’s true. The
Bengals rookie tight end was born Jan. 27, 1991 — just three weeks after
the team’s 10-7 victory over the Houston Oilers on Jan. 6, the
franchise’s last playoff victory.
0 Comments · Thursday, December 27, 2012
For too long the denizens of our fair
city have identified themselves as losers because of the struggles of
our professional sports teams, but perhaps we turned a corner in 2012.