Hot Takes: Mixed realities in the world of sports

by Max Zhuang | 9/19/16 12:00am

Sports are commonly thought of as an escape from life’s problems. Fans often view professional athletes as characters in a story rather than normal people in the “real world.” It’s why we care so much when Steph Curry is spotted at Starbucks getting a s’mores frappuccino or Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan roots for Donald Trump.

The “Stick to sports!” mentality tends to be the usual response. We find fault when athletes or team staff aren’t doing what we think they should be doing. Imagine a job that requires you to hand over a record of all the emails and texts you ever sent. Oh, you wouldn’t like that request and refuse it? Tom Brady refused, and now he’s serving a four-game suspension. We treat sports entirely differently from any other industry and profession. When we find our favorite athletes colliding with “real world” problems, those stories are easy to ignore. No more.

This week, the story that is both equally as dangerous as it is important to sports is the Derrick Rose rape case. The gist of the story is that on Aug. 26, Rose’s ex-girlfriend filed a civil suit, accusing Rose and two of his friends of rape. Rose’s defense say that the case is a simple money grab. But the judge denied Rose’s motion to throw the case out and set the trial to start on Oct. 4.

I honestly don’t know if Rose will be found innocent or guilty. He has dodged questions from the press regarding consent. His defense focused on “smearing the victim” after presenting Jane Doe’s instagram pictures as “sexually suggestive.” Additionally, a settlement still remains on the table that would close the case, removing it from public and legal scrutiny.

The entire story is heartbreaking and hard to believe since many fans just want Rose to be back out of court and on the basketball court. However, until all the facts of the case have been revealed, I can’t root one way or another.

2:31 p.m. Sept. 12, Browns place RG3 on injured reserve — It’s the end of another era of quarterbacking in Cleveland after Robert Griffin III fractured the coracoid bone in his left shoulder. He almost lasted the whole game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

5:30 p.m. Sept. 16, The Buffalo Bills fire offensive coordinator Greg Roman — After starting the NFL season with two straight losses, the Bills fired its offensive coordinator. Head coach Rex Ryan defended the move as his own “without question.” Could Ryan will his way into football relevancy again? This season is a make or break year for the slug-like head coach who needs to push the Bills from being an 8-8 team to a serious playoff contender in order to keep his job. Unfortunately, I think it’s very likely the Bills will slide to 0-4 with the Arizona Cardinals and New England Patriots as their next two opponents. Their odds don’t get that much better as the season goes on. Therefore, it’s only a matter of time before Ryan is out of Buffalo.

11:09 a.m. Sept. 17, Ravens assistant coach Clarence Brooks dies — 65-year-old Brooks, a defensive line coach for the Baltimore Ravens dies of esophageal cancer.

10:30 p.m. Sept. 17, University of Louisville’s Lamar Jackson is college football’s new demigod — First, before I say anything else about college football, I’d like to mention the incredible win by Dartmouth this Saturday over the University of New Hampshire. Aside from the Big Green, college quarterback Lamar Jackson has caught my eye as an electrifying player to watch. If you don’t know who he is, I’ll tell you right now that Jackson looks to be the next big thing in college football. We’re talking about “the second coming of Michael Vick,” Vince Young and Johnny Manziel-type level of star. On Saturday, Jackson led the humiliation of most recently ranked No. 2, Florida State Seminoles, winning 63-20. Jackson went from an unproven, but still promising freshman last year to the current Heisman frontrunner. The kid is good, and I think he’ll get better.

1:03 a.m. Sept. 18, Canelo Alvarez knocks out Liam Smith — Canelo Alvarez has quickly become my favorite boxer. In Houston’s AT&T Stadium on Saturday, Alvarez knocked out the undefeated Liam Smith from Britain in front of 51,420 fans. It was brutal and expected, given the 12-1 odds of the fight. Alvarez has only lost once before in his professional career to Floyd Mayweather. From the way he sort of just lumbers around in the ring before finding a brilliant combination to his surprisingly high pitched voiced, Canelo is a beast and in the most lovable way. The orange-haired Mexican super fighter is the ring’s number eight pound-for-pound boxer. If Canelo versus Golovkin ever comes to fruition, it will undoubtedly be one of the largest fights next spring. If it ever happens, I’ll take Canelo over Triple G everytime.

2:01 a.m. Sept. 18, the New York Met’s deGrom out for the season — the Mets must make their playoff push without stud pitcher, Jacob deGrom. It’s unfortunate news for the Mets as deGrom will need surgery for a flare-up in his pitching elbow.