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Behind the Bench - page 5

Behind the Bench

All-Star wars: the fandom menace

In the week before the Super Bowl, the NFL launched its improved Pro Bowl format with teams being drafted by NFL legends, Deion Sanders and Jerry Rice. However, as much as the NFL tries to improve the Pro Bowl, the truth is that most fans see the event as a pitiful exhibition game that players… Keep Reading

Behind the Bench

Standing up and speaking up

“Republicans buy shoes too.” Those words came from the mouth of one Michael Jeffrey Jordan, after he declined to endorse a black Democratic candidate for a North Carolina Senatorial election in 1990. More recently, Jordan’s one-time Chicago Bulls teammate Dennis Rodman made headlines following his third visit to North Korea to promote Basketball Diplomacy with… Keep Reading

Behind the Bench

The beauty behind the brawn

It’s the closest you can get to floating: the light whisper of feet brushing over canvas, the natural rhythm of the body, and the push and pull of the dance. Everything quiets when you step on the floor; it’s just you and your partner. I always get weird looks when I characterize my favourite sport,… Keep Reading

Behind the Bench

Remembering the Raptors

My on-again, off-again relationship with the Raptors began when my family purchased nosebleed tickets during the “Vince Carter years.” We’d cheer and shout “DEFENCE” as prompted by the giant letter D and picket fence displayed on the jumbotron. If we were lucky, we’d catch the cameraman’s eye and make it onto the screen. The pinnacle… Keep Reading

Behind the Bench

Fighting depression in sports

Sports culture dictates a very specific image of what an athlete should be. In the worst cases, this can cause emotional trauma in those who play sports, preventing them from expressing their emotions or asking for help when they feel overwhelmed. Neither fame nor money can protect someone against mental illness, which is why a… Keep Reading

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Behind the Bench

Third man in

Ever since he became the first openly gay active athlete in one of the four major North American professional sports, NBA centre Jason Collins has been widely praised and supported. However, at 34 years of age, his career seems to be nearing its end. Despite word from his brother Jarron—a former NBA big man himself—that… Keep Reading

Behind the Bench

Third man in

Jerseys are the ultimate symbol of a fan’s devotion to their team. They tell onlookers not only where someone’s allegiances lie on game day, but also provide a unique insight into what that person’s values and what their personality is like. A LeBron James jersey from his tenure with the Miami Heat versus a LeBron… Keep Reading

Behind the Bench

Third man in: Sandman closes the curtain

Baseball recently saw the greatest closer to ever play put a cap on his storied career.  Mariano Rivera sealed his legacy as baseball’s top relief pitcher with one and a third perfect innings over the Tampa Bay Rays during the New York Yankees’ last home game of the 2013 season. Long-time teammates Derek Jeter and… Keep Reading

Behind the Bench

Third man in

This past summer, it dawned on me that I am no longer an enjoyable person to watch sports with. I have stopped asking too many questions, and I don’t scream advice or profanities at the pixels on the screen, nor am I the know-it-all preacher who imparts his ‘knowledge’ on those watching with me. What I am however, is impatient towards horrible commentators and analysts, many of whom are former athletes. Keep Reading

Behind the Bench

Third man in

Last month, the NFL reached a $765 million settlement with retired players over concussion-related brain injuries. The settlement will be used to compensate retired players and their families who have suffered from serious diseases such as Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, dementia, Chronic Traumatic Encephelopathy, depression, and other cognitive diseases. Keep Reading

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