Aaron Hernandez is a Bad Dude
We learned some disturbing new information about Aaron Hernandez this week. The former New England Patriots tight end who hanged himself earlier this year while serving a lifetime prison sentence for murder in the first degree, had been diagnosed by the Boston University’s CTE center with stage 3 chronic traumatic encephalopathy at the time of his death. Hernandez’s fiancee and daughter then sued the NFL and the Patriots. Now look, I’m neither a legal nor a medical expert. I know that CTE has been strongly linked to depression and suicide, so maybe his family technically has a leg to stand on with this lawsuit. But if I am supposed to have even the slightest amount of sympathy for this man, I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that I am not having any of it. I’ve seen it suggested by some that it was the trauma done to Hernandez’s brain by repeated football injuries that caused him to act out violently. As if a few concussions justify the brutal killing of Odin Lloyd. As if he wasn’t a troubled youth going back to high school and college, with connections to gang life and violent crime during his time at the University of Florida. This was a story of a piece of human debris, plain and simple, and it is despicable that the CTE discussion, which is such an important one for player health and well-being, should become a part of it.
Fight of the Year
Speaking of violent sports known for giving its participants brain damage, did you catch the Canelo Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin superfight last week? As I wrote following the Mayweather-McGregor travesty, this was the matchup that should have been setting the sports world aflame, two big-name fighters in their actual primes contesting the unified middleweight championship. And in terms of action, it actually delivered! There weren’t any knockdowns, which might be a bit of a turnoff for casual fans, but Canelo and GGG showcased the very best of their respective styles all night. In the end I think Golovkin probably should have been awarded the W. On the offensive for the majority of the fight, he displayed his legendary iron chin by walking through most of Alvarez’s counterpunches and landing significantly more power shots. Still, I would not have been upset with the actual decision (a draw) if not for the card that went in Alvarez’s favor. Adalaide Byrd awarded him a 118-110 decision, an incomprehensibly lopsided score that neither fighter could have possibly deserved. Maybe this was corruption, maybe it was sheer incompetence, but as is seemingly always the case with boxing, it put a dark cloud on an otherwise terrific bout.
Welcome Melo, So Long Enes
I’ll go into this deal a lot more as the NBA season approaches, but we should make a note of it now: Carmelo Anthony is now a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder. The 34-year-old superstar was traded from the Knicks for Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott and a second-round draft pick. I’ll miss Big Turkey, a relic from a past era and one of the best post players in the league. I don’t know how the ball-hogging Anthony will mesh with new teammates Russell Westbrook and Paul George, but this will certainly make for an interesting year in the West.