0 Comments · Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Losantiville is Loserville no more. With
the Reds’ Game 1 victory in the National League Division Series in San
Francisco, Cincinnati’s long drought of postseason failure came to an
0 Comments · Wednesday, October 3, 2012
It’s too bad it took a mini-stroke for
Dusty Baker to get a little bit of relief from his critics. Baker will
be leading the Reds to their second postseason appearance in the last
three years, but he’s far from beloved in town — he’s hardly even
0 Comments · Wednesday, September 26, 2012
After going more than a decade without a
proper postseason, the Reds are making October a normal part of the
season, last week clinching their second postseason berth in three
years. And the way the roster has been built, there should be more to
by Bill Sloat
Posted In: News
at 03:20 PM | Permalink
Retired football players die at high rates of Alzheimer’s and ALS
So much for glory days on the gridiron. Playing pro
football makes it far more likely than normal a brain can turn into
mush. And there’s elevated likelihood these once powerful bodies will
shut themselves down with Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Disturbing new data from the National Institute of
Occupational Safety and Health lab in Cincinnati says retired NFL
players are dying from Alzheimer disease and amyotrophic lateral
sclerosis at rates four times higher than the U.S. population. Other
neurodegenerative diseases kill retired NFL players at about twice the norm.
The study appears in this month’s issue of Neurology, a medical journal affiliated with the American Academy of Neurology.
Overall, retired football players live longer and are
healthier than most Americans, especially the linemen. But some of the
players who passed, caught and defended are clearly beset by excessive
amounts of neurodegenerative disorders later in the lives.
Former quarterbacks, running backs, fullbacks, receivers,
defensive backs, linebackers and safeties comprise the biggest group of
former players who suffer. All were in the so-called “speed” positions,
players who took hits that included high-acceleration head impacts.
For the pro football study, the Cincinnati-based research
team looked at health records of 3,439 retired NFL players who had five
seasons in the league between 1959 and 1988. The researchers tracked
down 334 death certificates across the nation. Of those, 17 had a
neurodegenerative disorder listed as the cause of death; 14 had been in
(Cardiovascular disease claimed 126 of the ex-NFL players; cancer took 85).
The NIOSH team said their findings add to a growing
collection of evidence that shows football players face an increased
risk of neurodegenerative disease. Most previous studies have focused on
long-term health effects of repeated concussions. Besides finding
increased death rates from Alzheimer’s, ALS (which often is called Lou
Gehrig’s Disease) and Parkinson disease (about three times the national
rate), the Cincinnati scientists raised an entirely new concern. They
said football players have elevated death rates from chronic traumatic
encephalopathy, which is a pathologically distinct neurodegenerative
condition. It sets in years after head-knocking and is linked to a
progressive decline in neuron functioning. It can change the ability to
think and makes it difficult to move about because the brain doesn’t
work as it should.
Chronic traumatic encephalopathy, which goes by the
initials CTE, isn’t reported on many death certificates because the
diagnosis has only been recently recognized.
Everett J. Lehman was lead author of the study; others who
worked on it were Misty Hein, Sherry L. Baron and Christine M. Gersic. The
researchers said their findings cannot be applied to other professional
sports. And the team says more information is needed about the impact
of football injuries:
“Because our cohort was limited to longer-term
professional players, our findings may not be applicable to other
professional and nonprofessional football players. However, recent
autopsy studies have reported pathologic findings of CTE in college-age
and professional football players with relatively short playing careers.
We did not have data on player injuries and conductions. If
chronic mild to moderate concussion is an actual risk factor for
neurodegenerative mortality, the magnitude of the risk may depend on the
intensity and frequency of brain injuries incurred over a number of
years. … Finally, we did not have information on environmental, genetic
or other risk factors for neurologic disorders.”NIOSH did not say it found a cause and effect for the
higher than normal number of Alzheimer and ALS deaths. But the
scientists said they had no doubt “that professional football players
are at an increased risk of death from neurodegenerative causes.”
0 Comments · Wednesday, September 19, 2012
One of the biggest questions coming out
of the Bengals training camp was whether or not the team could find a
second receiver to complement A.J. Green — for at least one day. In the
Bengals’ 34-27 victory over the Browns, Cincinnati had some weaknesses
exposed, but the receiving corps certainly wasn’t one of them.
0 Comments · Wednesday, September 12, 2012
A funny thing happened to me during the first full weekend of football — or didn’t happen to me. I just didn’t care.
0 Comments · Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Robert Geathers is entering his ninth
year with the Bengals and is now the most tenured member of the team. He
was drafted in the same class as Chris Perry, Keiwan Ratliff and Madieu
Williams. He’s been a member of all three of Marvin Lewis’ playoff
teams, seen the high times and low, but has rarely been in the
spotlight. That’s pretty much how he likes it.
0 Comments · Wednesday, August 29, 2012
For a few months the Pirates were a nice,
uplifting story, but deep down everyone knew the Cardinals were the
real threat, the real enemy of the Reds.
0 Comments · Wednesday, August 22, 2012
When the Reds announced that Joey Votto
needed knee surgery and was going to miss a month, most thought the
best-case scenario would be the first-place Reds treading water and
hopefully keeping the Pirates and Cardinals at bay. And even that was
seen as a bit optimistic.
by tt stern-enzi
Posted In: Tennis
at 09:24 AM | Permalink
Saturday semifinals and on the men’s side, the only real
intrigue comes from looking ahead to the finals, although any player
will tell you that they can never overlook the opponent immediately
across the net.
Novak Djokovic, the number two seed, goes toe-to-toe with
the sixth seed from Argentina Juan Martin Del Potro, the first man other
than Rafael Nadal to steal a Grand Slam from Federer during his amazing
run from a few years ago. Del Potro has dealt with injuries, which
slowed him down following his US Open win, but he’s back and clearly has
what it takes to reach the finals here.
Djokovic has definitely brought that return game of his,
which will be key against the taller Del Potro who takes advantage of
his height. The first set stays on-serve until Del Potro litters a serve
game with two double faults and Djokovic breaks for a 4-2 lead. From
that point, it’s a routine set of holds with Djokovic winning the set
Djokovic breaks Del Potro during his second service game
in the second set. A pair of holds before Djokovic breaks again (Del
Potro fails to win a point during this service game) for a 5-2 lead.
Watching the latter portion of this set, its curious to see Djokovic
pushing Del Potro further and further off the baseline with punishingly
deep shots. And he pushes and shoves him right out of the match with a
final ace [6-3, 6-2].
The other semifinal match is all Swiss, all the time. The
number one-seed and world’s number one player Roger Federer against
Stanislas Wawrinka. The two teamed up to capture the gold in doubles in
the Olympics and having served as practice partners over the years,
there’s a real familiarity that could make this match intriguing.
Federer comes out and it is apparent that as the man is
king of all he surveys. The crowds are overwhelmingly behind him,
granting him home court advantage, although its not like he needs it.
The first set features flashes of brilliance from each man
as they hold serve with Wawrinka confirming that he has a powerful
weapon in his serve. He logs more aces than Federer, yet Federer's net
play and shot selection more than keeps him in the match. By the
inevitable tiebreak, the all-around game of Federer leads to a 7-4 win.
The second set is more of the same as they trade holds up
through 3-games all, and then Federer sneaks in a break and a strong
hold for a 5-3 lead. The expectation is for a Wawrinka hold and then
Federer to serve it out, but an untimely double fault for Wawrinka gives
the game and match to Federer [7-6 (7-4), 6-3].
Roger Federer versus Novak Djokovic. The number one seed
versus the number two seed – the first time the two top seeds have met
in the finals at the W&S Open. This is the match everyone was
waiting for and the crowds are raucous.
On court, the action takes an unexpected turn. Federer
breaks immediately, holds and then breaks again for a 3-0 lead. He holds
again at love and unbelievably breaks once more for 5-0. Is Djokovic
hurt? He makes no calls for his coach or a trainer and simply lets
Federer serve out the first set [6-0]. Has he ever been blanked in a
set, in an event final?
When Djokovic holds to start the second set, the crowd
whoops it up, hoping to provide him with a charge. And now both players
look like the top seeds we came to see. The service games add up and
there’s the sense that a tiebreak is in store.
When it arrives, the temperature seems to rise. Heat and
excitement generate a palpable jolt. Federer grabs a mini-break on
Djokovic’s first serve and holds his two points. Before the air deflates
out of the stands, Djokovic holds and breaks back. Back and forth they
go. At 6-6, with the crowd firmly in his corner, Djokovic holds to take a
7-6 lead, but Federer scores a huge smash before taking the next two
points and the match.
He raises his arms and grants Mirka a knowing nod as he
walks over to towel off before the trophy presentation. This match sets
the field on notice that Federer is ready to extend his Grand Slam
singles title count even further and everybody, including the defending
champion, better watch out.
The women’s finalists, ninth seed Na Li (CHN) and the
fifth seed Angelique Kerber (GER), have the distinction of being the
players who took out the Williams sisters on the way towards this
meeting and each of them has proven capable of slugging it out or
exerting their will through carefully constructed points.
Much like the men’s final though, this one starts off
rather one-sided. Kerber follows up an all-business hold with a quick
break of Li and another hold. Li
finally hangs on during a service game, but what has undone her thus
far is an inability to rein in her shots. Serves and groundstrokes sail
far and wide in an-ever increasing avalanche. She seems confounded by
her lack of control, but by the time Kerber has earned the first set at
6-1, Li has no answers and yet, it is Kerber who calls for an on-court
conference with her coach.
The second set offers more of the same, as Li continues to
push shots, except for her swinging half-volleys, which she nails with
surprising accuracy. Somehow, she settles into a groove and evens things
up at 3-all. Kerber lapses into a funk and before you know it, Li has
secured the second set 6-3.
Li breaks to open the third set and suddenly, the two have
completely switched games. Kerber can’t keep the ball on the court or
as the games mount, it looks like she’s frustrated by Li’s ability to
power shots all over the court. Kerber begins to stop chasing down shots
that she consistently reached in the first set. She calls for a second
pow-wow with her coach after falling down 3-0. Li aces her to take the
fourth game, but Kerber digs deep enough to win her next service game
and the crowd perks up for a minute, checking Kerber’s resolve. Unfortunately, Kerber had nothing left in the tank and she allowed Li to sweep her off the court without much resistance.
The final score [1-6, 6-3, 6-1] doesn’t quite reflect the
curious lack of sharp precise play. It will be interesting to see if
either player can use today’s effort as a springboard into the US Open.
The women’s side of the upcoming Slam appears wide open, ready and
waiting for someone, anyone to step up to the big stage, like Stosur
last year. At this rate though, it will take far more from either of
these finalists to own that epic moment.