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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

All Rise, Or Not, For The United States Of Football

Reprinted with permission from Creators.

Once again, we’ve got a lot going on in my hometown of Cleveland that’s attracting national attention.

Even as I write on this Wednesday afternoon, the background noise of my television is making me dare to believe that our baseball team is about to make American League history by winning its 21st consecutive victory.

Shh. I just typed that in a whisper. I’ve got no use for jinxes or other crazy superstitions except when it comes to Cleveland baseball.

This column isn’t about baseball. It’s about Cleveland Browns football players, the national anthem and a police union president who has a habit of making us sound like a town of time travelers who just arrived with a thud from somewhere in the 1950s.

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Tennis Greats Ashe and King Showed We Are Created Equal

Reprinted with permission from Creators.


The U.S. Open is time travel for me. Just hearing the sound of tennis balls in the end-of-summer classic tournament takes me back to when I was a tennis player. Growing up in California in the ’70s, there was no other game like tennis for a girl.

The place names at the U.S. Open are a perfect match for my memory. The Arthur Ashe Stadium draws in 23,000 New Yorkers to watch spirited nighttime matches — a stark contrast to Wimbledon’s day matches in dress, demeanor and vibe.

Arthur Ashe, the late champion of infinite class and grace, was my favorite male player.…

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I Don’t Think I Can Watch Football Anymore

Reprinted with permission from Creators.


There are good reasons Russian roulette has never become a mass spectator sport. Not many fans want to see people competing to see who can cheat death and who will inflict lethal harm on his brain.

But it turns out we’ve been doing that for years, watching the most popular sport in America. Many of football’s hazards are obvious: shredded knees, dislocated shoulders, broken ribs, even spinal cord injuries. But the worst one has been invisible. Football carries the high risk of irreversible, life-impairing brain damage.

The latest evidence came in a study of brains taken from deceased players conducted by Ann McKee, a neuropathologist at Boston University.

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