Jay Busbee

  • Doctors: BMX legend Dave Mirra suffered from CTE

    Jay Busbee at The Turnstile 16 hrs ago

    BMX icon Dave Mirra died in February, and postmortem investigations have found that Mirra suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. It's the same traumatic brain injury that has afflicted many NFL players, prompting a greater emphasis on safety and education among NFL ranks. CTE's effects can include mood swings, depression, and other neurological maladies.

    Mirra, who died on Feb. 4 of a self-inflicted gunshot, is the first action sports athlete to be diagnosed with CTE. He suffered a fractured skull in a car accident at age 19, boxed briefly after retiring from BMX, and suffered multiple concussions while riding.

    Mirra's family asked that his brain be studied, and a University of Toronto neuropathologist confirmed CTE and verified it with other doctors.

    "It validates what we have been thinking about brain injuries in boxers and football players," Dr. Lili-Naz Hazrati said. "The key is brain injury. Regardless of how you get it, through BMX or hockey, you are at risk for this."

  • Derby winner Nyquist withdraws from Belmont Stakes

    Jay Busbee at The Turnstile 20 hrs ago

    Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist will not be running in the Belmont Stakes as a result of illness, trainer Doug O'Neill has announced. Nyquist had an elevated white blood cell count and a high fever, enough to cause its owners concern and prevent another race in the short term.

    The horse's withdrawal from the Belmont means there will be no decisive showdown for the horses which dueled in the Triple Crown's first two races. Nyquist won the Kentucky Derby, defeating Exaggerator by 1¼ lengths, but was unable to hold off Exaggerator's charge in the Preakness. That race marked Nyquist's first defeat.

    “It is a bummer,” O’Neill told Daily Racing Form. “It’s like a family member being sick. We’re going to focus on getting him better and we look forward to a summer campaign.” There was no immediate word on when Nyquist would return, though later this summer is a possibility.

  • The greatest Game 7 in all of sports history is ...

    Jay Busbee at The Turnstile 1 day ago

    For all the hype and glory surrounding the NFL, there's one thing it'll never give us: a Game 7 moment. Two teams have locked in battle for six games, each taking the full measure of the other, each knowing that their entire legacy rests on what happens in the next few innings, or quarters, or periods. As the NHL and NBA playoffs grow ever closer to climactic Game 7s, we take a moment to consider the greatest clinchers in sports history. Agree with us? Disagree? Find us on Twitter using the hashtag #grandstanding and let us know your Game 7 picks. There. Is. No. Tomorrow.

    ____ Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports and the author of EARNHARDT NATION, on sale now at Amazon or wherever books are sold. Contact him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.

  • Athlete threatens lawsuit if Russia is banned from Olympics

    Jay Busbee at Fourth-Place Medal 1 day ago

    When politics and policy start dictating the Olympic Games, it's all too often athletes who suffer far more than nations.

    Yelena Isinbayeva, a two-time Olympic pole vaulting champion, has threatened a lawsuit if Russia's track and field team, currently under worldwide suspension from competition because of doping allegations, is not permitted to compete in Rio.

    "It's a direct violation of human rights, discrimination," Isinbayeva said, adding that she would "personally go to an international court regarding human rights. And I'm confident I'll win."

    Isinbayeva, whose appeals to human rights may or may not be applicable in this case, has brandished pages of documentation demonstrating her clean status. "I'm angry because of this helplessness," she said. "All I can do is train." She noted that several athletes whose careers peak in a relatively short timeframe could miss out on opportunity because of events out of their control.

  • Report: NFL sought to influence government head-trauma study

    Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner 1 day ago

    A new congressional report has found that the NFL sought to improperly influence a major government study on connections between football and brain disease, according to documents obtained by ESPN's "Outside The Lines." (Update: the NFL has rejected the conclusions of the report.)

    The congressional research report indicates the NFL had given the National Institutes of Health a $30 million unrestricted gift in 2012, but later sought to pull $16 million in funding from that gift away from one researcher and reroute it to researchers working on the league's own brain injury committee. When the NIH declined to redirect the funding, the NFL balked at paying for the study, despite having signed documents it would do so. Taxpayers were thus on the hook to pay for the study.

    Podcast: Redskins name change, 80s wrestling, OJ & more:

  • Comparing JJ Watt's new logo to other players' designs

    Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner 2 days ago

    Add J.J. Watt to the long, long, LONG list of players wanting to be the Jumpman.

    Watt has unveiled his new logo, to be used in Reebok branding efforts, and it's supposed to be a combination of "JJ," "W," and "99," if you look at it the right way:

     ESPN.com says the logo is meant to evoke the idea of a building constructed "from the bottom up," much like Watt's career. (It's apparently a contrast to skyscrapers which start construction 400 feet up in the air and build downward, or something.) Anyway, you'll see it on shirts and shoes and whatnot soon enough, even though it's not one percent as iconic as the Michael Jordan silhouette.

    Here's the real question, though: how does Watt's logo measure up to other recent NFL player logos? Let's consider, starting with Tom Brady:

    Here's Cam Newton:

    The recently-retired Calvin Johnson:

    And, uh, Robert Griffin III:

    Podcast: Redskins name change, 80s wrestling, OJ & more:

  • Exaggerator wins Preakness, ends Nyquist's Triple Crown bid

    Jay Busbee at The Turnstile 3 days ago

    A record 134,000 sodden race fans crowded into a rain-shrouded Pimlico Race Course in Maryland to watch the 141st Preakness. Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist sought to take the next step forward in the hunt for the Triple Crown. But it wasn't to be, as Exaggerator, runner-up in the Derby, got revenge and won the Preakness going away.

    Nyquist, Exaggerator, and the other 9 horses in the race had to negotiate a soggy, sloppy track, running 1 3/16 miles for a $1.5 million prize to the winner. Nyquist broke early to set a strong pace. Uncle Lino held the quarter-mile lead, but Nyquist retook the lead in the back stretch. Exaggerator, ridden by jockey Kent Desormeaux, was as far back as 13 lengths, but began making a move in the back stretch. Coming out of the final turn, Exaggerator rode the rail as Uncle Lino and Nyquist battled for the lead. In the stretch, Exaggerator took the lead. Nyquist broke to the outside but was unable to catch up, and Exaggerator won the day, defeating the previously unbeaten Nyquist for the first time in five races.

    Here's another set of angles on the race:

  • Brussels suicide bomber's brother headed to Rio Olympics

    Jay Busbee at Fourth-Place Medal 4 days ago

    A Belgian man whose older brother was one of the Brussels suicide bombers isheaded to Rio as a taekwondo competitor.

    Mourad Laachraoui, the younger brother of bomber Najim Laachraoui, won gold in the European Taekwondo Championships. He will compete in Rio representing Belgium.

    Mourad, along with other members of his family, said they had not heard from Najim for several years prior to the suicide bombing at Zaventem Aiport on March 22. A second bomb went off at the Maelbeek Rail Station; a total of 32 people were killed in the attacks. Najim Laachraoui was also connected to the Paris terrorist attacks from last year.

    Mourad has spoken in the past about his brother's actions, saying he was "sad and ashamed" when he heard of his family's connection to the tragedy. " Our family has the same questions you all have," he said in March. "He used to be a nice intelligent guy. I couldn't believe it."

  • Former Washington Pro Bowler now opposes team's name

    Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner 4 days ago

    A decisive new Washington Post poll released Thursday indicated that an overwhelming percentage of Native Americans do not have a problem with the use of the name "Redskins" to identify an NFL team. Critics of the poll have challenged its methodology and phrasing, but what's undeniable is that, for whatever reason, a significant majority of Native Americans are not pushing for a name change.

    However, a significant majority is not unanimous, and a former Washington Pro Bowl offensive lineman is arguing that the minority's voice still has merit. Tre Johnson, who played for the team from 1994 to 2002, has reaffirmed his opposition to the name. Johnson,one of several former Washington players to oppose the name, is now a high school history teacher.

    Podcast: Redskins name change, 80s wrestling, OJ & more:

  • Poll: 9 in 10 Native Americans do not oppose 'Redskins' name

    Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner 5 days ago

    Washington's NFL team name has been the source of controversy for decades, a controversy that's ramped up in recent years as groups on multiple fronts have protested the use of the name 'Redskins.' A new Washington Post poll has brought the question surging back to the fore with a definitive finding: 9 of 10 Native Americans do not have a problem with the name.

    The poll, conducted by SSRS on behalf of the Washington Post, surveyed 504 Native Americans, a sampling that included respondents in every state and the District of Columbia, over a five-month period that ended in April, and included respondents from a wide range of demographic classes. The poll found that 7 of 10 Native Americans did not find the term "Redskin" disrespectful, and 8 of 10 said they would not be offended if called that name by a non-Native American. Nine out of 10 Native Americans said the name "does not bother" them.