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Best Sports Video Games Of All Time

With titles such as ‘FIFA 17’ and ’NBA 2K17’ expected to be popular gifts this holiday season, Onion Sports looks back on some of the best sports video games of all time.

Strongside/Weakside: Ezekiel Elliott

After becoming only the third player in NFL history to rush for 1,000 yards in his first nine games, Dallas Cowboys rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott is an early candidate for league MVP. Is he any good?

Strongside/Weakside: Theo Epstein

In just five seasons, Chicago Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein assembled a team that is competing for the franchise’s first World Series title since 1908. Is he any good?

Jumbotron Really Trying To Push New Third-Down Cheer On Fans

SAN DIEGO—Noting that the phrase had appeared in large blue letters during each of the team’s offensive drives, sources at Qualcomm Stadium confirmed Friday that the Jumbotron was trying really hard to push a new third-down cheer on San Diego Chargers fans.

Strongside/Weakside: Kris Bryant

By leading the Chicago Cubs in hits and home runs en route to their second straight playoff appearance, Kris Bryant has placed himself in the running for the National League MVP. Is he any good?

Rest Of Nation To Penn State: ‘Something Is Very Wrong With All Of You’

WASHINGTON—Stating they felt deeply unnerved by the community’s unwavering and impassioned defense of a football program and administration that enabled child sexual abuse over the course of several decades, the rest of the country informed Penn State University Friday that there is clearly something very wrong with all of them.

Strongside/Weakside: Lamar Jackson

After passing for eight touchdowns and rushing for another 10 in just the first three weeks of the season, Louisville Cardinals sophomore quarterback Lamar Jackson has quickly become the frontrunner to win the Heisman Trophy. Is he any good?

Strongside/Weakside: Carson Wentz

After being selected second overall in the 2016 NFL Draft, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz opened the season with a nearly flawless performance in a victory over the Cleveland Browns. Is he any good?
End Of Section
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Report: Sudden Rookie Death Syndrome Claims Lives Of More Than 2,000 First-Year Players

NEW YORK—Experts are no closer to finding a cause, let alone a cure, for Sudden Rookie Death Syndrome, the mysterious affliction that kills thousands of first-year players each year in every professional sports league, officials announced Monday.

"While we have made some progress in our understanding of Sudden Rookie Death Syndrome, the fact remains that players in the first 12 months of their careers are still at risk of dying without warning in the middle of a game," said the introduction to the report, a collaborative effort of the NFL, NBA, NHL, and Major League Baseball, with significant input from the WNBA. "While the rate of deaths due to SRDS has dropped in recent years, it's not uncommon to find an otherwise-healthy rookie lying flat on his stomach, dead."

To help prevent SRDS, teams are cautioned to make sure their rookies are physically fit, avoid environmental risk factors outside those routinely encountered in their work, and land safely on their backs when sliding, diving for loose balls, making desperate glove saves, or being tackled.

Doctors said that out of the 37 on-field rookie deaths attributed to SRDS thus far in the 2010 NFL season, 31 were discovered facedown by teammates or coaches.

"Although we are probably still years away from ending this tragic phenomenon, it's important that we use what we do know to combat turf death, outfield death, court death—all names for what seems to be the same thing," said Dr. Robert Nahlbaum, a sports-medicine expert at the Mayo Clinic. "Proper nutrition and limited contact with airborne molds or allergens can be vital for players in the infancy of their careers."

According to league records across all sports, SRDS is responsible for .0543 deaths per 1,000 first-year players, and is four times more likely to affect male rookies than female rookies. Last month, first-round draft pick John Wall was found lifeless in the Washington Wizards training facility, just weeks before Cleveland Browns quarterback Colt McCoy—whose NFL career was only six weeks old—succumbed to SRDS on the practice field between push-ups.

As more information about SRDS comes to light, coaches are reportedly doing their part to fight the disease. In addition to placing first-year players in a supine, versus prone, position whenever possible, team officials have been keeping an eye on locker-room thermostats, refraining from smoking around their rookies, and making sure rookies experience only minimal exposure to potentially toxic artificial turf during games.

Despite the drop in deaths, most in the professional sports world believe it is essential to remain vigilant.

"Certainly we're not going to see a repeat of what happened to the promising young men of the 1974 draft, all cut down in their prime by SRDS," said NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, adding that his league is doing all it can to work toward a day when no rookie will be found dead on the ice of no apparent cause. "But to say that rink death is no longer a problem is not just ignorant—it's deadly."

Officials admitted that denial of SRDS was still a real danger, one they attribute partially to the culture of toughness in athletes and coaches, but also to simple fear.

"We understand the thought of losing a player is unbearable, especially a player that young," said Dr. Lisa Callahan, the director of player care for the New York Knicks. "But saying, 'Oh, my rookies would rather slide on their stomachs into second base instead of going feetfirst'—well, that's not healthy."

"Believe me," Callahan continued, "if SRDS does strike, the coach who said that will feel the guilt a hundred times worse."

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