Friday, January 21News That Matters

Tag: Sports Injuries

Death of High School Hockey Player Renews Debate on Neck Guards

Sports
Expressions of grief after the death of Teddy Balkind, a high school hockey player in Connecticut, have spanned the ice hockey world, from pregame moments of silence in New England to tributes on “Hockey Night in Canada” broadcasts to hockey sticks set tenderly on porches from Manitoba to Minnesota to Maine.Balkind, 16 and a sophomore at St. Luke’s School, in New Canaan, died after a player’s skate blade cut his neck in an on-ice collision during a game last Thursday in Greenwich, Conn. Such fatal accidents are rare, but when they happen they horrify and evoke a powerful “but for the grace of God” feeling, chiefly among hockey parents. Few know the feeling the way Dr. Michael Stuart, the chief medical and safety officer for U.S.A. Hockey, does.Stuart helped write the organization’s policy ...

What Is a Foul in the NBA? It’s Always Evolving

Sports
For much of the 20th century, basketball favored the tallest players, who did most of their scoring in the paint. Defenders were allowed to hand-check — to use their hands to slow driving opponents. That put guards, who were typically the shortest players, at a disadvantage. But the 1990s Chicago Bulls, led by Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen on the perimeter, changed the calculations for the N.B.A.By 1994, Jordan and Pippen had won three championships together, but Jordan had retired and the league was looking for of a new perimeter star to fill the void. The N.B.A. instructed officials to begin calling fouls for most types of hand-checking on the perimeter, which would make it easier for guards to score.“Offensively, it will be great,” Pippen said at the time. “But on the defensive end,...
N.F.L. Week 8 Predictions: Our Picks Against the Spread

N.F.L. Week 8 Predictions: Our Picks Against the Spread

Sports
Nearing the midpoint of the (newly extended) N.F.L. regular season, injuries are mounting and teams are sizing up their postseason chances as the Nov. 2 trade deadline looms.Coaches of middling franchises have doled out public support for their quarterbacks while speculation persists over whether any team will trade for Deshaun Watson, who faces open investigations into sexual misconduct accusations.In the meantime, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New Orleans Saints are managing their injuries, the Dallas Cowboys and Los Angeles Chargers have made the most of bye weeks to get players healthy, and the Green Bay Packers must contend with players and staff members who tested positive for the coronavirus while preparing to face the undefeated Arizona Cardinals.Amid all the personnel juggling ...

With Every Star That Drops Out, Atlanta Casts Another

Sports
HOUSTON — The best player at this World Series watched from a luxury suite at Minute Maid Park on Tuesday night. The second-best player watched from the visiting dugout. The pitcher with the best postseason résumé limped off the field with a broken leg.The Houston Astros and the Atlanta Braves are here, trying to settle the 117th World Series. Shohei Ohtani, Ronald Acuña Jr. and Charlie Morton are out of action — Ohtani because he plays for the Los Angeles Angels (he picked up an award on Tuesday), Acuña because of a torn anterior cruciate ligament and Morton because of a fractured right fibula. He deflected a comebacker in the second inning, then stayed in to fan Jose Altuve in the third.“I didn’t think it was broken; I just thought he took a line drive off of his leg,” catcher Travis d’A...
Klay Thompson Finally Found Love. With His Boat.

Klay Thompson Finally Found Love. With His Boat.

Sports
SAN FRANCISCO — Klay Thompson commutes to work in a 37-foot fishing boat.Out on the open water, he can forget about the disappointment and the frustration. He can take solace in the cool breeze. Finally nearing a return to the court for the Golden State Warriors after missing the past two seasons because of injuries, Thompson has found a new hobby that has been especially therapeutic.“You can’t have a bad day when you’re on the boat,” he said.So he fishes and explores deserted coves — and uses his Axopar 37 Cabin to avoid Bay Area traffic.“It’s been so good for my mental health,” said Thompson, the star shooting guard who tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the 2019 N.B.A. finals and then tore his right Achilles’ tendon before the start of last season. “When the days wo...
Will Injured Kids Sue the Catholic Church Over Youth Football?

Will Injured Kids Sue the Catholic Church Over Youth Football?

Sports
CINCINNATI — Denny Doyle is a committed Catholic and a lifelong football fan, and he saw little conflict between the two until his grandson was old enough to play the game. That’s when he began reading about the risks that tackle football posed to young boys, whose brains are particularly vulnerable to concussions. To Doyle’s relief, his grandson opted for flag football.But Doyle, his eyes opened, saw a bigger problem: The Roman Catholic Church that he loved was putting tens of thousands of other boys at risk by sponsoring the Catholic Youth Organization, or C.Y.O., which runs tackle football leagues around the country.A former lawyer, Doyle feared that the church could be sued if a player sustained a catastrophic brain injury on the field or developed neurological or cognitive problems ye...

Connor Fields, BMX Racer, Doesn’t Know If His Brain Will Let Him Ride Again

Sports
“I remember your dad calling me, Connor, and he had gotten a call from somebody on site there,” Gruninger said, recounting part of the episode that Fields had not heard. “He said: ‘Connor’s not breathing. They had to create an airway for him.’ And then your dad’s like: ‘Wait, they’re calling back. I have to go.’”In Tokyo, Dr. Finnoff was at the Olympic Village when messages arrived.“When I saw the accident on TV, my first thought was, oh, my gosh, not only did he ram his head down into the asphalt, but I wonder if he broke his neck, and now is a tetraplegic,” Dr. Finnoff said. “Finding out that he doesn’t have a broken neck and he’s moving his arms and legs was really, really great news.”Dr. Finnoff met Fields in the emergency room of St. Luke’s International Hospital.“I had to essentially...

WNBA Playoff Preview: The Sun Are Ready to End the Storm’s Reign

Sports
Had the Connecticut Sun not saved their fan appreciation night for the last game of the W.N.B.A. regular season, Coach Curt Miller may have preferred to forfeit.Already comfortably holding the No. 1 seed, Connecticut (26-6) wanted a win — but didn’t need one. The Sun just needed to stay healthy. Connecticut got the win — a 20-point blowout of Atlanta for its 14th victory in a row — but lost DeWanna Bonner for the game because of back tightness in the first quarter.The sight of her hobbling toward the locker room was anxiety-inducing for a fan base with high expectations. With everyone on the court, the Sun believe this is their year to bring the franchise’s first championship to Connecticut.But A’ja Wilson, last season’s most valuable player, and the second-seeded Las Vegas Aces (24-8) bel...
Will the 49ers Contend if They Just Get Healthy?

Will the 49ers Contend if They Just Get Healthy?

Sports
There’s nothing quite as gripping as a post-apocalyptic adventure like “The Walking Dead,” “The Road,” “Y: The Last Man” or the 2021 San Francisco 49ers.The 49ers reached the Super Bowl in the 2019 season but lived through an extinction-level injury cataclysm in 2020. They lost Pro Bowl pass rushers Dee Ford (neck, back) for 15 games and Nick Bosa (knee) for 14. The All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman (calf) for 11, the All-Pro tight end George Kittle (knee, foot) for eight, their top wide receiver, Deebo Samuel, (foot, hamstring, Covid-19) for nine, plus various other starters on both sides of the ball for large chunks of the year.Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle) also missed 10 games; the fact that he does not receive top billing on their injury roll call is telling on a variety of leve...

As Climate Change Fears Grow, a Real Fight Over Fake Turf

Technology, World
EAST ORANGE, N.J. — Residents near a small neighborhood park in New Jersey awoke early this month to the roaring sound of heavy machinery: A grassy field they had been begging officials to fix for years was finally getting a face-lift.Then they learned of the details.The field and more than a dozen trees lining Columbian Park in East Orange, a densely packed city in northern New Jersey, were being bulldozed to make way for an artificial turf football and baseball field and a rubberized running track. Plans also call for a playground and stationary exercise equipment, as well as 40 new saplings.Many of the nearby residents whose yards are directly adjacent to the park were furious, joining their counterparts in a growing number of towns throughout the state and country who are trying to blo...