10 months agoNapoli coach Ancelotti: Ronaldo hasn’t changed since Real Madrid

first_imgAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Napoli coach Ancelotti: Ronaldo hasn’t changed since Real Madridby Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveNapoli coach Carlo Ancelotti hasn’t seen a difference in Cristiano Ronaldo at Juventus.The pair worked together at Real Madrid.“I saw him when we played against Juventus,” Ancelotti explained to Tiki Taka.“We didn’t speak afterward though. He seems like the usual Ronaldo to me, he’s always a very decisive and motivated player.“I don’t think he’s changed much from when I coached him. He remains a top player, one who makes the difference.” last_img read more

Smiley claims PBS made mistake in ouster but PBS fires back

first_imgNEW YORK, N.Y. – Tavis Smiley has defended himself from allegations he had sexual relationships with subordinates and created an abusive workplace environment, denying any wrongdoing and saying PBS made a mistake by suspending him from his talk show. PBS almost immediately fired back, saying he “needs to get his story straight.”He told ABC’s “Good Morning America” Monday that he’s never coerced anyone into a relationship but has had consensual relationships in the workplace. He said those relationships weren’t forbidden by the company he owns and he claims he never promoted or fired anyone based on their relationship with him.“I’ve never groped. I’ve never coerced, I’ve never exposed myself inappropriately to anyone in 30 years,” Smiley said. “I’ve made mistakes — I’m human. I’m not perfect. But it doesn’t rise to the level of wrongful termination.”Smiley said Monday that he applauds women coming forward to share their sexual assault and harassment experiences “to lead us in a conversation about how to create healthy workspaces.”At the same time, he said “I want to make sure we don’t lose all sense of nuance and proportionality in this conversation, because if we do then people end up being guilty simply by accusation.”PBS responded in a matter of hours, saying Smiley’s acknowledgement of multiple relationships contradicted his previous statements.“Tavis Smiley needs to get his story straight,” it said in a statement, which also promised more accusations: “Additional allegations are continuing to come to light since last week’s announcement.”PBS also derided Smiley’s claim that he applauds women who have come forward, pointing out that Smiley’s company hinders such actions by requiring former and current employees to sign non-disclosure agreements. “Witnesses who have bravely come forward to speak with the independent investigators retained by PBS report a fear of retribution for speaking out,” it said.Smiley’s career took a huge hit last week when PBS said it was suspending him following an independent investigation by a law firm that uncovered “multiple, credible allegations of conduct that is inconsistent with the values and standards of PBS.”Then fallout was swift: Walmart, a sponsor, cut ties with him and live producer Mills Entertainment pulled out of backing Smiley’s upcoming theatrical show that was to focus on the last year of Martin Luther King Jr.’s life. Hay House, which distributes the Smiley Books imprint, said all Smiley projects were “on hold” pending an internal review.As to accusations he created a verbally abusive and threatening work place, Smiley admitted many of his TV and radio projects are intense at times but said “I’m not an angry black man and this notion of a hostile environment just doesn’t fit.” He added that no complaints about him have ever been raised.Smiley’s suspension comes weeks after PBS cut ties with anchor and talk show host Charlie Rose, citing “extremely disturbing and intolerable behaviour” by him toward women at his PBS talk show. The actions against Smiley and Rose follow dozens of firings and suspensions of prominent men who have been accused of sexual misconduct or harassment.last_img read more

North Peace Leisure Pool hosting fundraiser for the BCSPCA this Wednesday

first_imgCanned Dog Food.Canned Cat Food.Specialty Food (gastro, critical care, urinary care).Squeaky Dog Toys.Cat Wand Toys. (Can be found at Dollar Stores).Cat Litter Scoops.Clay/Clumping Cat Litter.Paper Towel (Lots of it).Dish Soap.8.5×11 Printer Paper.Thermal Cash Register Rolls (Two 1/4 inch wide x 75 feet).Air Fresheners.Toilet Bowl Cleaner.Residents are also welcome to donate cash if they don’t have listed items. The event is part of the North Peace Leisure Pool’s Pet Week which is dedicated to all our furry and scaly friends.If residents are unable to make the fundraiser they are welcome to drop off donations to the BCSPCA’s North Peace Branch at any time.Pet Week flyer. Photo by Charity Nelson. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The North Peace Leisure Pool will be hosting a fundraiser for the BCSPCA this Wednesday.The event runs from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. and gives residents the opportunity to swim at the pool for just a donation.The SPCA released a list of items needed the most through donation. The list is shown below:last_img read more

The plight of neglected animals at Casablancas Ain Sbaa Zoo

first_imgBy Zineb El Bekkari- Casablanca That humans suffer the worst deplorable situations imaginable on a daily basis is something that we might have grown accustomed to in Morocco. To see voiceless animals caged for life, deprived of food, and resigned to their plight, is heartbreaking and calls for alarm. The Zoo of Ain Sebaa, located in Casablanca, the fledgling economic hub of Morocco, was an institution that was once the pride jewel of every Moroccan. The sad reality is that the Zoo has fallen on a downward hard times due to neglect and mismanagement for years, and has become more of a moral pitiful slow death of the animals living there under some of the most unsanitary despicable conditions those animals are subjected to everyday. The zoo was a curious attraction to countless people from different ages and different parts of Morocco for decades. Now it is but a dilapidated long forgotten facility forsaken by time and misery and the misfortune of the resilient animals housed there. The animals continue to make do with the meager rations they receive every now and then from the keepers. Lodged in cages with leaky roofs and clogged drains, many of these animals have surrendered to the benevolence of caring banana throwers here and there, pieces of meat here and there, and regular meals come most irregularly to them. No one knows for sure how this fall from grace came about to afflict Ain Sbaa zoo, but we know for sure that it needs some urgent attention before animals start dying from preventable diseases and malnutrition. Memories of kids begging their parents for weeks to get them to the zoo on the weekend were now just memories that haunt the conscience of those who still care. The sounds of their laughter as they were first introduced to a real monkey still resonate in my ears and in my hollow heart. Visits to the Zoo taught kids to appreciate other forms of life and instill basic values such as respect for all creatures large and small. Respect for the animals that were not native to Morocco and were brought in as guests. They end up living in such unhospitable cages day in and day out.The Zoo today is nothing but a stinky repulsive home to the very animals that were uprooted from their natural habitat only to end up bleeding life because they were uncared for, neglected, and deprived of the most basic needs. Perhaps the first feeling that hits you once you set foot on its ground is that of despair for the animals.During the last visits that we made to the Zoo, we couldn’t see one single guard in charge of making rounds to monitor the tours. Previously, three thieves climbed the walls of the Zoo in their attempt to steal the Zoo’s only ostrich. Had there been a guard in there, the AMPAE believed, it wouldn’t have been possible for these men to have injured the largest living bird. On the bright side, the redevelopment of the zoo will be launched soon, but the fate of those animals is anyone’s guess. How are Moroccans going to be assured that the animals are not in danger? There is a general consensus among all who see the conditions of the animals at the zoo that something needs to be done urgently to prevent animal starvation and mistreatment at others zoos in the country.A 3rd visit to the zoo will take place this Sunday, at 10am Ain Sebaa Zoo to raise awareness about this crisis, and to give the starving animals food and water. More pictures of the zoo can be seen at the Association Marocaine pour la Protection des Animaux et de l’Environment on Facebooklast_img read more

We Still Dont Know Which NFL Teams Are Any Good

gfoster (Geoff Foster, sports editor): Week 15 in the NFL is almost over, and we are here to discuss the key takeaways from the weekend and how the playoff picture is shaping up. Most broadly, a pair of playoff-bound teams that looked shaky a week ago (Patriots and Rams) continued to look off their game, while a couple of teams that were gaining steam (Cowboys and Seahawks) cooled off. Add it all up and the league’s hierarchy is still murky.Let’s start with the reigning champions Eagles. They start the quarterback who won them the Super Bowl last February, Nick Foles, and look what happens: They look like the team that won the Super Bowl. What do you make of this?neil (Neil Paine, senior sports writer): Obviously Foles >>>> Carson Wentz.(Heh.)I do think the Eagles had underachieved to this point and were better than their record indicated. I didn’t expect the Eagles to go into L.A. with Foles and knock off the Rams, though.sara.ziegler (Sara Ziegler, assistant sports editor): With the Cowboys losing, the Eagles have a shot, right?neil: The Eagles’ playoff odds are up to 37 percent, Sara — so there’s a shot. But it’s going to be an interesting game vs. Houston, to say the least.Salfino (Michael Salfino, contributor): I wonder if it’s the Eagles or whether it’s that for three games now, teams have seemed to figure out how to play the Rams. You rarely see a good team thwarted three straight weeks. I’m shocked that they have not been able to respond to Aaron Donald being double-teamed (duh!) and defenses pretty much ignoring play-action and playing softer zones.neil: That’s a great point. We were worried about the Rams last week. And now this happens. Has the shine come off Sean McVay and friends?Salfino: I would have bet a lot of money that the Rams would just roll it up on the undermanned Eagles defense, and instead they really struggled. Jared Goff was pressured almost as badly as against the Bears.gfoster: Goff also may not be a good quarterback. (Pretty sure I said this last week.) That’s seven interceptions in three weeks, after being picked off just six times in 11 games. He can’t seem to adjust or make plays with the pressure in his face.Turns out “Jeff Fisher Goff” wasn’t an illusion.Salfino: As for the Eagles, the two losses against Dallas and the tiebreakers seems lethal in the division, but that wild card is very much in play.You wonder if the Vikings have figured out a winning formula by turning their $84 million QB into a game manager.sara.ziegler: “The Vikings have figured out a winning formula” is not a thing.That will never be a thing.gfoster: The Vikings are back.sara.ziegler: Stop.neil: It does seem like it’s going to come down to Minnesota and Philly — with maybe some of that changing based on what Carolina does tonight.(I guess Washington also won with Josh Johnson on Sunday.)Salfino: The Vikings passed 34 percent of the time Sunday, when they were 66 percent pass previously. And even in the first half, if you want to throw out the game total because of the blowout, the Vikings were only 42 percent pass. Mike Zimmer has put the team into the DeLorean. This is not 2018 football. But maybe it’s their best chance since Kirk Cousins seemed so mechanical and was playing so inefficiently.sara.ziegler: You could see the effect of the new play-calling almost immediately for the Vikings. Through Week 14, they had rushed on first down only 41 percent of the time. On Sunday, that was up to 79 percent.Salfino: Dalvin Cook is really good, but the strength of the team is the wide receivers. While running could work against the Dolphins, who are 26th in yards allowed per rush, can it work against better competition?neil: The Vikings are fascinating to me. They had the single worst loss of the season and have generally underachieved relative to expectations. I want to write about this, but Cousins has basically matched most of Case Keenum’s output from last year — and Keenum’s Denver performance is making them look smart for moving on anyway — and the receivers (Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs) are more productive than ever. But their offense is somehow down according to holistic metrics such as SRS. Yet they still probably will make the playoffs — and could be a tough out for somebody.gfoster: Where is Thielen though? He was the best receiver in football for the first half of the season, and now he’s a glorified Quincy Enunwa out there.sara.ziegler: Maybe whatever Bill Belichick yelled at Thielen in Foxboro has really stuck with him.Salfino: I would not want to play the Vikings if Cousins is hot like in a few games this year — think of the game at Los Angeles. Their defense can be tough, too. They’re first in sack rate. But I feel better about playing them if they insist on playing small ball.gfoster: Thielen only received two targets yesterday, but part of that was game flow.Salfino: Thielen’s problem yesterday is that when your passing volume gets cut in half, you’re going to suffer. But only two targets (he caught both) is just terrible market share as well. He should be 25 to 30 percent of attempts, not 10 percent.Minnesota basically has built a pass-oriented offense but now wants to run. It’s weird.gfoster: OK, let’s talk about the Patriots. They will not win at least 12 games for the first time since 2009. That alone is absurd in a league where teams routinely go from making the playoffs to drafting in the top 5, season to season. But after the loss to Pittsburgh, it’s definitely clear these Patriots are just off, right?sara.ziegler: Love that both of the embattled Pennsylvania teams pulled off big upsets Sunday.Salfino: The Pittsburgh win feels like an upset, but at home against these Patriots and not-really Tom Brady? Pittsburgh seems so much better than the Patriots. New England has to grind it out now. They have no explosion unless Chris Hogan is running a route with no defender within 19 yards of him or whatever it was.neil: For several weeks now, Brady has made some inexplicably bad red-zone decisions. Clearly it is time to intensify those “Tom is losing it” takes (only to see him turn it around in the playoffs).sara.ziegler: Though I remain unconvinced that Pittsburgh is all that good.Didn’t we all think Brady was going to lead that winning drive at the end of the game?Still surprised he didn’t, tbh.Salfino: Consecutive December losses for the first time since the Jets won the AFC East (2002).gfoster: The late holding penalty — when they were second and five from the Pittsburgh 11 yard line — probably cost them the game.Salfino: What do you guys think about fourth-quarter Tom? People point to the four TDs and five picks in the fourth quarter this year. But his yards per attempt is nearly 10.Is Gronk going to retire? When you are invisible against the Steelers, who could not cover Jared Cook last week, maybe the circus has left town.neil: Sara, you and I were Slacking during that game, and it seemed like everything was going according to our imaginary script — Steelers lead until the very end, before the Pats storm back and break their hearts. And yet…sara.ziegler: Yeah, the Pats couldn’t quite finish that script. But why? What’s different this year?Salfino: It’s just a lack of playmakers on the Patriots. Josh Gordon is not Josh Gordon. Gronk is not Gronk. Brady is not really Brady anymore — he’s like a top 10ish QB but no one would think he was top two or three.gfoster: But James White and Julian Edelman are the same. Just those two alone, was enough to win a Super Bowl a couple years ago?sara.ziegler: And Gordon certainly gave them a boost earlier in the season.They usually can ride the hot hand, but it doesn’t seem like anyone is able to be the hot hand right now.neil: And the Pats usually get an edge at the margins. On Sunday, they won the turnover battle but were only +1. Also went 3 for 10 on third down (3 for 11 if you wanna include that failed fourth-down conversion) and had that brutal red-zone mistake.Salfino: Maybe 41-year-old Brady is much different from 39-year-old Brady. Plus Edelman is old for a WR and coming off a major injury. He probably isn’t the same player either. White can be mixed in but can’t be central to your offense.It’s tough to say, but Brady was chucking and ducking yesterday.sara.ziegler: It’s weird to me, too, how they use some weapons so sparingly.Cordarrelle Patterson was so effective against Green Bay in Week 9. But he’s barely been heard from since.gfoster: Let’s talk about the Chiefs’ collapse against the Chargers. Is Los Angeles (it always sounds so wrong) now the team to beat in the AFC?neil: I love watching Philip Rivers lead a desperation drive.I imagine it’s the same as it was watching Dan Marino in the ’90s.My inclination is to not read too much into that result because K.C. dominated most of the game. But maybe that’s wrong.sara.ziegler: Yeah, I think the Chiefs just took their foot off the gas.neil: The three K.C. losses have come by a total of 7 points.gfoster: I also love the zero hesitation on going for two to win the game. I can think of about a dozen coaches who would have been too chicken to do it.Mainly Bill “Let’s Punt” O’Brien.sara.ziegler: Did that play into Kansas City’s approach, too? Like, “Oh, the worst that can happen is a tie here, so we’re fine.”Salfino: The 2-point conversion was obvious to me. Textbook. When you are a big underdog on the road, you go for the win on one play. That’s defined all the teams that have done it except one: the Panthers earlier this year.neil: San Diego — er, L.A. — probably knew that was their best shot. On the road against that team, odds were against them if they extended the game.Salfino: Rivers is so deadly still. Has not lost anything. They have pass rush, a running game assuming Melvin Gordon can come back, a good secondary and Philip Rivers. They are deadly. K.C. has the tiebreaker with the better divisional record.I can’t believe the Chargers can win 13 games and be a wild-card team.gfoster: You also can’t really blame the loss of Kareem Hunt. Damien Williams was the best player on the field.Salfino: Williams is a generational talent though at running back.gfoster: Not to mention Darrel Williams.sara.ziegler: There were SO MANY Williamses on the field in that game.neil: I can’t wait for the NFL version of that failed NBA trade where nobody knew which player with the same last name was included.sara.ziegler: LOLOLneil: That will happen with a “Williams” someday.gfoster: Do the Chiefs also have to have a doppelganger for their lead running back? Remember when they had Kareem Hunt and Akeem Hunt.It’s like the double Queen Amidala has in “The Phantom Menace.”neil: LOL.I can’t believe you made a “Phantom Menace” reference.sara.ziegler: (Geoff was watching the “Star Wars” marathon this weekend too, apparently.)gfoster: Speaking of phantom menaces (wait for it…), is it time to take Andrew Luck and the Colts seriously in the AFC?Salfino: I’m very disappointed that the Colts may not make the playoffs. What’s their chance currently?neil: Only 34 percent.(Which surprises me.)gfoster: I think they will make it. They’ve quietly won seven of eight, with the only loss being that strange no-show against Jacksonville.neil: But it is a numbers game in the AFC.gfoster: And they host the Giants next week, so…sara.ziegler: And then they finish with the Titans.neil: Gotta keep pace with Tennessee in terms of shutting out Eli Manning.Salfino: It’s tough when you start 1-5. They have Luck, a running game now with Marlon Mack and a defense that just shut out the Cowboys. One possible explanation is that Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus came over from Jason Garrett’s 2017 staff and clearly knew Dallas well.sara.ziegler: Oh, that’s a good point.I always wonder how much that kind of familiarity helps in specific games.gfoster: Before the season, people were saying the Colts defense could be the worst in the league, particularly the run defense that bottled up Ezekiel Elliott yesterday.Salfino: The Colts are actually sixth in rushing efficiency allowed.As for Eli, it’s kind of funny that, on the day where there’s a report that the Giants are going to have Eli back in 2019, he gets goose-egged.neil: Eli has been teetering on that edge for weeks now. Whenever it looks like he’ll definitely lose his starting job, he plays better. Whenever it looks like he’ll keep it, he plays worse.sara.ziegler: I believe my exact words on Sunday were, “Did Ian Rapoport just doom Eli to a Peterman-like effort today?”Salfino: Eli does just enough to keep the believers in his camp and just enough to provide fodder for the haters. He’s middling it.The big problem yesterday for the Cowboys is that nothing was easy in the passing game. That was shocking after the explosion against the Eagles where they seemed to have turned the corner offensively.neil: Yep. Dak Prescott followed up three straight 100+ QB rating games with … a 64.7.gfoster: Marlon Mack’s emergence might mean they don’t break the bank to get Le’Veon Bell this offseason.neil: Marlon Mack ran through that Cowboys defense like Boga the varactyl on Utapau.sara.ziegler: OMG, Neil.neil: Hahaha.gfoster: Listen, readers, all our “Star Wars” references are strictly Episodes I-III.neil: Are there any other episodes???Salfino: The Bell thing is fascinating. The Jets are the top-rumored team. The Colts and Texans definitely have the money. But the Texans have other franchise-level players and Jadeveon Clowney to sign and the Colts have Mack.gfoster: Is that a good move for the Jets?sara.ziegler: A combo of Broadway Sam-Le’Veon Bell would be pretty fun to watch.gfoster: The answer to “Is that a good move for the Jets?” is always no, by the way.sara.ziegler: LOLSalfino: The Jets have so much money that I’m coming around to it. You have to spend it someway. On paper, it’s stupid. But I like that he stopped his mileage. I know we wrote about maximizing earnings and the injury risk he would have assumed. But maybe Bell wanted to avoid the single-trial disastrous outcome (a catastrophic injury).neil: The offseason carousel in general should be fun next year. At QB, Joe Flacco is leaving Baltimore, it was reported, with Lamar Jackson’s emergence. Eli might be out of a job (yet also available!!!). The 49ers will have two legitimate QBs with Nick Mullens being good. (I think??)Salfino: I think Bell would provide for at least two years something really easy for Sam Darnold in the passing game.gfoster: Darnold has been put in a position to fail. The play-calling is so conservative, the skill position players around him are so bad, he has no time.Salfino: Darnold is not failing now. He had the in-season reset with the time off and is overcoming those handicaps, seemingly.gfoster: They are 4-10.That’s failing.neil: Darnold had a 100.0 QB rating Saturday!Salfino: Geoff, the Jets’ tank on Saturday was as elegant as a Noel Coward dinner party. Jason Myers missing the extra points was the plot twist no one saw coming.sara.ziegler: “Elegant as a Noel Coward dinner party” is the best turn of phrase ever used about the Jets.gfoster: Speaking of Mullens, is he a starter in this league??Salfino: Mullens started 44 college games. And he’s in a Kyle Shanahan system. I think there are two questions with Mullens: Is he good, and does he prove that system/coaching makes the quarterback more than the tools that are traditionally scouted?neil: Whether coaching or not, Mullens has played the best of any rookie this season: But to your point, Mike, it is definitely tough to disentangle from Shanahan.But should that change what we think of Jimmy Garoppolo as well?gfoster: I just don’t know if a team is willing to make a trade and commit to him as a starter. This is the Brock Osweiler conundrum.neil: Mullens has been much better than Osweiler was, for what it’s worth.sara.ziegler: And he has the Brett Favre seal of approval.neil: (And Osweiler was on a team that won the Super Bowl.)Salfino: Mullens is 6-foot-1. I think people are going to look at him as a fluke. A guy like Mullens with no real pedigree (other, ironically, than NFL performance) will never have a long enough leash to make it as a starter.gfoster: So he’s in “very good backup” land along with Ryan Fitzpatrick.neil: I still don’t know that he’s necessarily a backup in a world where Flacco and Eli probably get additional starting shots next season.Salfino: I think Mullens is going to be in the Dave Krieg, Tyrod Taylor, Jeff Garcia, Case Keenum, undersized, “not a real QB” camp — not the Drew Brees and Russell Wilson camp.Also he’s not a free agent. Are you trading a second-round pick for Mullens?neil: True. The Niners at least have time to make a decision there. They still have him under contract for 2019. Besides, I’ve long been a fan of the “strategically pump up the trade value of your backup QB” plan to team management, as my friend Doug Drinen laid out in this old post about Falcons-era Matt Schaub.gfoster: The Browns, meanwhile, are keeping the dream alive.Salfino: What is the Browns’ playoff probability?They’re basically eliminated right?sara.ziegler: They’re at a less than 1 percent chance, according to our model.neil: The Steelers’ win kept the Browns from being mathematically eliminated.sara.ziegler: So you’re saying there’s a chance…neil: “The Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Titans would need to lose in Week 16 then tie in Week 17. It would be a three-way tie between the Colts, Titans and Browns. Cleveland would hold the tiebreaker. The Browns can also win the AFC North if the Steelers lose out, the Browns win out and the Los Angeles Chargers beat the Ravens next week.”LOL.sara.ziegler: I mean, that’s not the most unlikely thing to have happened in the NFL.Salfino: Based on our prior research, it seems like Gregg Williams is 100 percent coming back? 80 percent? What number do we put on a winning interim coach with this large a sample?I think it’s madness to hire Williams, BTW. New offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens should get the job first.neil: It does seem like it will be very difficult to resist the urge to bring him back on the basis of their post-Hue Jackson performance.(Even if, as we wrote about, Williams hasn’t really had very much to do with it.)Salfino: I think the nightmare scenario for Cleveland fans and Baker Mayfield is that Williams gets the job and Kitchens gets an offer to be the head coach of the Jets.neil: (Aside from, like, not being Hue Jackson.)Salfino: Damien Woody asked on Saturday if the Browns had top-15 talent. I thought it was an interesting question.gfoster: Their defense has so much talent. Denzel Ward, their awesome rookie corner, didn’t even play against Denver. Jabrill Peppers had a star-turning performance on Saturday with the INT in the end zone and the game-winning sack.Salfino: You and “Star Wars” and Michigan, Geoff…..gfoster: What, is that where Peppers went?I don’t remember.neil: Hah.Salfino: Ha ha ha.neil: All I know is that Browns have now won two more games this season than the previous three combined. For this franchise, that is something special, playoffs or not.sara.ziegler: Maybe the Browns’ chaos is behind them.(Or maybe not.)neil: I doubt it. But hey, if the Rebels could hold off the First Order at the resistance outpost on Crait, anything is possible.sara.ziegler: OMGgfoster: The Broncos, meanwhile, are gross. Vance Joseph needs to go. That was really timid coaching.Salfino: Joseph is all the bad things about a defensive-minded head coach.gfoster: Let’s end with our Week 15 Super Bowl predictions. I’m not changing mine from last week. Saints vs. Chargers. It helps that the Saints play tonight.Salfino: Saints — but man am I worried about their offense even though their defense now is underrated — and … Steelers. I think they beat the Chargers in the wild-card round, and you know the Chiefs are dying to lose their first playoff game. Thursday night was a preview.sara.ziegler: I’m starting to come around on the Bears, which is not a thing I thought I would say this season.neil: Wow, especially as a Vikings fan.sara.ziegler: SERIOUSLYI hate myself right now.So … Bears-Chiefs.neil: I’m sticking with Saints-Chiefs. Mainly because of how entertaining that game would be. Something has to compensate for a halftime show consisting of Maroon 5 + random people found busking at subway stations.sara.ziegler: HahahahahaCheck out our latest NFL predictions. read more

Reality check Video game puts Buckeyes among nations best

Video games are intriguing to some and confusing to others, but when it comes to “NCAA Basketball 10” by EA Sports, one thing is for certain: The Buckeyes are in the game, and look good.In “NCAA Basketball 10,” the Ohio State men’s basketball team is given an overall grade of an A-, putting them near the top of all the teams in the game. Only an A grade is better, and it’s reserved for teams highly ranked in the preseason polls, including Kansas, Michigan State and Texas. Besides the Spartans, the only other Big Ten school that is given a higher grade is Purdue, also highly ranked in the preseason polls. Connor Dougan, head producer for the game, revealed that game grades are based on a scouting report given to EA by a company called Blue Ribbon, who they have a partnership with. Each year, Blue Ribbon writes an extensive review of each college basketball team in the nation by gathering information through sportswriters and scouts that cover college basketball. EA’s portrayal of the Buckeyes comes largely from this review. Evan Turner, arguably the Bucks best player in real life, is the top-rated Buckeye in the game. He is given an overall rating of 87 and also tops other rating categories such as field goal shooting (80), rebounding (91) and passing (97). Ratings range from 1 at the lowest to 100. The in-game starting five is the same starting five coach Thad Matta normally sends onto to the court, with the only difference being the position that they play. Dallas Lauderdale (79 overall) is at center, Turner and David Lighty (75) at forward, William Buford (78) and Jon Diebler (81) are at guard. After the cut-off point for in-game rosters, Matta asked Turner to handle the point guard duties, so Diebler is generally handling the ball most of the time in the game. Buford is OSU’s highest-rated 3-point shooter at 78 and free throw shooter at 85. Lauderdale is OSU’s highest rated shot blocker at 92 and defender at 89. Diebler, the Buckeyes’ most prolific 3-point marksman, is given a rating of 76 from behind the arc.There are 3 separate categories that each team receives a grade on and grades range from D (the lowest) to A (the highest). Categories are overall, offense and defense. Offensively, the digital hardwood Bucks are given an A- and primarily run a half-court set. On the other side of the ball, they received an A- as well.In comparison nationally, the Buckeyes are ranked No. 16 in the game, while Kansas, Michigan State and Texas take the top three spots in that order. Each squad is given all A’s across the board. Other meaningful non-conference games Ohio State has this season include West Virginia and Butler. Based solely on how teams are represented in “NCAA Basketball 10,” the Buckeyes should be victorious against Butler, which has a B+ in each category. On the other hand, the matchup with West Virginia could be a difficult task, considering the Mountaineers are given an A overall and the Buckeyes lost to North Carolina (also an A) in the 2K Sports Classic benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer.What about that team up north? They are given an A- overall, similar to Ohio State, but ranked No. 22, thus, giving Matta’s squad the upper hand. read more

Belgium must overcome mental barrier – Martinez

first_imgBelgium boss Roberto Martinez has no doubts over the talent within his squad but insists they must break the mental barrier to win the upcoming World CupWith the likes of Kevin de Bruyne, Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku at the peak of their abilities heading into Russia this summer, Belgium are being heavily fancied as one of the dark horses for the World Cup.However, the Red Devils suffered a shock defeat to Wales in the last eight of the Euro 2016 and were eliminated by Argentina in the quarter-finals of the 2014 World Cup.“We need to learn how to be a winning team,” Martinez said in a new book Football 2.0: How The World’s Best Play The Modern Game, via BBC.“We’ve got exceptional talent, but talent on its own is not enough to win a major tournament. We’ve never had the direction before.”After reaching the final of the 1980 European Championship and later making the semi-finals of the 1986 World Cup, Belgium then suffered a long period of no success with the national side failing to qualify for a major tournament between 2002 and 2014.Raheem Sterling, EnglandTop 5 best players from the international break weekend Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 11, 2019 After a fresh international break just came to an end, we need to talk about the Top 5 best players during this whole weekend.We…Yet, in that difficult period, a new development structure was made which bases itself on young prospects playing in a 4-3-3 system.Nowadays, Belgium have a host of stars playing for some of the biggest clubs in Europe and have become a force to be reckoned with.Now Martinez believes that if they can win a tournament, then they can go on to emulate both France and Spain who both went on to win the European championship after winning the World Cup.“The mentality is the biggest area we have to improve,” Martinez said.“We need to work on the psychology and the mental aspect of being a team. We need the right mentality to get through the difficult moments of a game.“When France and Spain did that, and won, there was a knock-on effect where they went on to win more trophies.”last_img read more

Belgiums victory will motivate next generation

first_imgBelgium’s head coach Roberto Martinez has stated that his aim of winning third place play-off against England, isn’t only to get a good place in the 2018 FIFA world cup, but also to inspire their next generation of Belgium football players.“Belgium football is very strong and the concepts that we have is something we want to inspire in the next generation… You have to be very, very good at what you do in order to win, but for us the way you play is essential… We want to develop the younger players in the same manner that’s why it is essential for us to perform tomorrow in a typical Belgian way and make sure we do that at the high performance [level],” Martinez told journalists as quoted in Four Four Two.Jadon Sancho, Borussia DortmundCrouch: Liverpool could beat Man United to Jadon Sancho Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Peter Crouch wouldn’t be surprised to see Jadon Sancho end up at Liverpool one day instead of his long-term pursuers Manchester United.The Belgium team in the semi-finals lost 1-0 to France on Tuesday leaving them to battle with England for third place of the FIFA 2018. This, however, isn’t their first meeting in this world cup, as they beat England 1-0 during the group stage.“This will be the same tactical game, there are no secrets between the sides, I think there is clarity of how England has been successful in this tournament. I think they are very dynamic, very quick, you can see the pace of players like [Raheem] Sterling, Harry Kane… This will be a challenge for us, we have to have concentration, be able to cope. But I don’t think this will be a surprise [comparing to] the group [stage],” the head coach said.last_img read more

Puel Leicester must keep up good form

first_imgLeicester City boss Claude Puel admits that changes to the line-up may happen ahead of their Carabao Cup Third Round tie against Wolves, but warned the squad that the quality must remain the sameThe Foxes secured their third win of the Premier League season after beating Huddersfield Town 3-1 on Saturday to move up to ninth place in the standings.Ahead of tonight’s tie with Wolves, changes are expected from both sides.Although Puel expects his side to have the quality to win, regardless of who he selects.“We will see,” said the Frenchman on the club website.“Of course, we have a good opportunity to maintain a good level in the team on the pitch, but with different players.Harry Maguire, Manchester UnitedLiverpool legend Nicol slams Harry Maguire’s Man United form Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Steve Nicol believes Harry Maguire has made some “horrendous mistakes” recently, and has failed to find his best form since joining Manchester United.“We have a good squad and it’s important to continue in this competition and also important to give some game time to some players, young and experienced.“It’s an opportunity for us because we have a fantastic squad and we want to give them game time. I will pick a team with the ability and the quality to win the match.“If we’re going to be successful in this competition, it will be because of the quality in the squad, because 11 players cannot continue to play every three or four days every week.“We have players in the squad with quality and experience, young players as well, and I am confident in their quality.“I am sure we will put in a good performance and I hope for a good performance.”last_img read more

McAvennie insists Celtic have a better team than Rangers

first_imgFormer Celtic striker Frank McAvennie insists his former club have a better team than Rangers, as both club go head-to-head for the Scottish Premiership title.The 59-year-old has been impressed with Celtic’s transfer dealings this month, after they brought in Vakoun Issouf Bayo from Slovakian club Dunajska Streda in a £2 million move as well as Oliver Burke and Timothy Weah on loan from West Brom and Paris Saint-Germain respectively.McAvennie, who won the league and cup double with Celtic in 1988, insists he is looking forward to seeing Weah in action in particular and feels the 18-year-oldcan add another dimension to the Brendan Rodgers’ side going forward.“If you look at the two teams, I still think Celtic have a better squad,” he said, according to Evening Times.“If they turn up and play to their capabilities they will win more games than they will lose.”Mikey Johnston, CelticJohnston is disappointed after being injured Manuel R. Medina – September 11, 2019 Celtic winger Mikey Johnston was disappointed to miss Scotland Under 21 national team’s victories over San Marino and Croatia, and he hopes he can return to play soon.“I think Bayo looks a great player from what I have seen. And Weah reminds me a bit of myself. Apparently, Brendan is wanting to get things over the top. I haven’t seen that for years. I haven’t even heard anyone talk like that for years.”“I watch games and I say: ‘Look at that space in behind! Why does nobody turn the defence around?’ I know the game has changed, but when defenders push you up you have got all that space. With the pace of the game now everybody wants it in to feet. Why don’t they just get it over the top?”“This boy has come in and that is what he is talking about. Brendan thinks he has got the legs to go over the top and turn them around. Maybe he is going to play two. That might be a new thing for Scottish football – teams starting to play two strikers. That will be a change.”last_img read more