Racist I Hate Niers Tweet Mars Patriots Announcement of

Showing again that racism is alive and flourishing, a New England Patriots’ fan took the opportunity on the announcement of the team becoming the first NFL franchise to reach 1 million followers to express his contempt for Black people by superimposing on the back of a Patriots’ jersey, “I Hate Ni**ers.”Except he didn’t use the asterisks.Not cool. Worse, the Patriots sent an automated response thanking the racist for his support. Once the vile photo with the tweet was discovered, the team quickly removed it and issued and apology:“We apologize for the regrettable tweet that went out from our account. Our filtering system failed & we will be more vigilant in the future.”This kind of coward behavior speaks to the down side of social media. Cowards hide behind made up names to spew their vile. Earlier this season, Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner said he has been bombarded with racist tweets, no doubt from Michigan fans.“I’ve been called the N-word so many times this year,” Gardner said. “One guy told me I was the N-word, and said I know N-words can’t play quarterback. And I was like, are we not past this? Say what you want about my skill, but come on.”The idiocy of all this is that the Patriots have many Black players on their team and that racist who supports the team, in essence, supports the Black players. Same with Gardner. As soon as he makes a play or beats Michigan State, the same clowns calling him racist names will be the same cheering wildly for him.It’s a bad time when sports cannot be the galvanizer. One of the unique aspects of the games is that, at least for a little while, people come together to support a common cause. Your race or religion or political affiliation does not matter. . . you’re rooting for the same team.And for the most part, that beauty of sport remains. All it takes is one idiot to remind of of the ills of society as a whole. read more

ExKnick Charles Oakley Heading to Trial In August Over

Former New York Knicks player Charles Oakley  (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)NEW YORK (AP) — Former New York Knicks great Charles Oakley has chosen to go to trial in August on charges he struck a security guard at Madison Square Garden.Oakley appeared briefly before a Manhattan judge on Friday. He rejected a conditional dismissal that would have left him with a clean record after six months of good behavior.Oakley became a fan favorite when he played for the Knicks from 1988 to 1998. But he’s had a falling out with the organization in recent years.On Feb. 8, he sat a few rows from Knicks owner James Dolan at a game against the Los Angeles Clippers. Security approached Oakley early in the game and a fracas ensued. Oakley was removed from the building and handcuffed.Oakley says he didn’t do anything wrong. read more

The Big Five in North American Pro Sports

Yesterday, Ritchie King and I ran the numbers on the most popular teams in the NFL, NBA, NHL, Major League Baseball and the English Premier League, according to the number of Google searches they generate.The rankings compared teams within each league. But we can also make cross-sport comparisons. What’s the most popular North American professional team in any sport, as judged by Google search frequency globally?It’s either the New York Yankees or the Boston Red Sox. Each generates about 30 percent more Google searches worldwide than the most popular NFL team, the Dallas Cowboys, and almost 40 percent more than the most popular NBA team, the Los Angeles Lakers. You can skip down to the giant chart at the end of this blog post to see how all teams in the NBA, NFL, NHL and MLB compare to one another.The Montreal Canadiens, the most popular NHL team, aren’t particularly close to the most-searched teams in other leagues. Does that mean there’s really a “Big Three” rather than a “Big Four”? (Disclosure: ESPN doesn’t broadcast NHL games, and the league isn’t the subject of all that much focus at the network.)I’d say that the NHL’s status as a major league isn’t in question. The average NHL team generates about two-thirds as much Google search traffic as the average NBA team. There’s a gap there, but it’s no larger than the one separating the NBA and MLB. Furthermore, there’s a lot of overlap in the rankings. The 60th-percentile NHL team (roughly speaking, the Washington Capitals) is about as popular as the 40th percentile NBA team (the Philadelphia 76ers).Keep in mind that these figures are based on global search traffic, so that includes traffic in Canada. Canada — despite its much smaller population — generates almost as much revenue and fan interest for the NHL as the United States.But if we’ve included the NHL, what about Major League Soccer, the Canadian Football League and the WNBA?We have bad news for fans of women’s basketball. The most popular WNBA team, the Seattle Storm, generates only about one-quarter as much search traffic as the least popular Big Four team, the Columbus Blue Jackets.MLS has a better argument. Its most popular teams, the LA Galaxy and the Seattle Sounders, generate more search traffic than the Blue Jackets. The Galaxy and Sounders also earn about as much search traffic as the least popular NBA team, the Milwaukee Bucks.If MLS has a case, the CFL probably does, too. Two of its teams, the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Edmonton Eskimos, also surpass the Blue Jackets in search popularity.But we’ve neglected the league that has the strongest case for inclusion alongside the Big Four. You may have heard of Mexico. It has the 11th-largest population and the 14th-largest economy in the world. It’s a part of North America. And soccer is awfully popular there.In fact, Mexico’s top professional soccer league, Liga MX, is comparable to the NHL in terms of global popularity. Liga MX’s most popular team on Google, C.D. Guadalajara, produces about as much search traffic as the Canadiens, the Seattle Seahawks, the San Francisco Giants and the Chicago Bulls.So, if we’re talking North America — not just the U.S. — there’s really a “Big Five”: the NFL, the MLB, the NBA, the NHL and Liga MX. The most popular teams in MLS and the CFL are more popular than the least popular teams in the Big Five, but their inclusion is debatable, especially because they are surpassed by other leagues playing the same sport on the same continent.In the spirit of inclusivity, we’ve ranked the teams in all seven North American leagues in the humongous chart below. (Rankings are taken relative to the average team across all seven leagues, which works out to be roughly the Buffalo Bills or the Cincinnati Reds.) We haven’t included the English Premier League. The top teams in the EPL swamp everybody else in global search traffic; even the Yankees are no match for Man U. read more

Podcast Deflategate And We Pick An NBA DraftFix Winner

Hot Takedown Welcome to this week’s episode of Hot Takedown, our podcast where the hot sports takes of the week meet the numbers that prove them right or tear them down. On this week’s show (May 13, 2015), we look at the fallout from the NFL’s investigation into the deflation of balls during last year’s AFC Championship game, which led to the suspension of Tom Brady and the loss of two draft picks for the New England Patriots. We’ll reveal the final results of our crowdsourcing project to fix the NBA lottery and stop tanking in the league. And we’ll discuss our significant digit of the week, which covers mental health and college athletes.Stream the episode by clicking the play button, or subscribe using one of the podcast clients we’ve linked to above.Below are some links to what we discuss in this week’s show:The FiveThirtyEight staff dissects the Deflategate report.Benjamin Morris looks at what would have happened if Tom Brady had missed four games every year.Why the loss of draft picks hurts the Patriots more than the loss of Brady.Our fix-the-NBA-draft crowdsource project: Original Form | First Update | Weird Ideas | Finalists.Significant Digit: Suicide is the third leading cause of death among college athletes. Read Kate Fagan’s ESPN The Magazine article on Madison Holleran here. Embed Code More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed If you’re a fan of our podcasts, be sure to subscribe on Apple Podcasts and leave a rating/review. That helps spread the word to other listeners. And get in touch by email, on Twitter or in the comments. Tell us what you think, send us hot takes to discuss and tell us why we’re wrong. read more

Novak Djokovic Is Falling Behind In His Quest To Break Roger Federers

After an extraordinary run, Djokovic has been merely ordinary, by his high standards. Over a seven-year stretch from Wimbledon in 2009 through the French Open last year, he played all 28 majors and reached 28 quarterfinals, 24 semis and 18 finals, winning 11. In a sport increasingly dominated by veterans, Djokovic was getting better as he aged, netting seven finals and six titles from his last eight majors of the stretch. Since then, though, he has a second-round loss, a final loss and a third-round loss. That kind of run used to be respectable even for the world’s best players: Sampras had a worse three-major stretch when he was No. 1 in 1997-98. But more recently Djokovic, Federer and Nadal set a much higher standard of consistency. Now that all three are struggling, Andy Murray has capitalized, winning 29 of his last 30 matches to take a commanding lead in the rankings over No. 2 Djokovic.Djokovic is far from finished. Some of his struggles could be chalked up to bad luck: All three of his recent Grand Slam losses were close, and came after a stretch in which he’d won all his close calls. He’s healthy and sounded motivated in Melbourne after having discussed his quest to find emotional fulfillment on the court last fall. Even during his slump, he has won six of nine matches against fellow top 10 players, including a defeat of Murray two weeks ago. He was favored by experts and Elo ratings to win the Australian Open, and barring injury he’ll be one of the favorites at each of the year’s remaining three majors.But time is not on his side. With each upset loss, Djokovic becomes a little less likely to catch up to his rivals for the sport’s most distinguished record. Share on Facebook Seven months ago, it was hard to imagine Novak Djokovic losing a Grand Slam match: He’d won his last 28, and 53 of his last 55. And 24 hours ago, it was hard to imagine him losing an Australian Open match: He’d won his last 15, and 40 of his last 41. But on Thursday in Melbourne, Djokovic crashed out in the second round to Denis Istomin, 7-6(8) 5-7 2-6 7-6(5) 6-4. Djokovic will be 30 by the time the next major starts (the French Open begins May 28), and he’ll still be stuck on 12 career major titles. His pursuit of Roger Federer’s record 17 titles has stalled out around the same age that slowed Federer and the other two guys Djokovic is chasing: Rafael Nadal and Pete Sampras. read more

Your Guide To The 2019 NCAA Womens Tournament

The early release of the women’s NCAA Tournament bracket on Monday afternoon actually did fans a favor: If any year merits having additional time to fill out a bracket, this year is it. Three different teams were ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press poll this season, and a storyline has been how open the competition was for the top spots in each region. ESPN’s Mechelle Voepel wrote on Monday night that this year’s NCAA Tournament “might be as wide open as any since 2006,” with as many as seven teams that could legitimately cut down the net on April 7.Luckily, FiveThirtyEight’s March Madness prediction model is here to guide you as you make your picks. You can read about how the model works here or keep reading to learn what the model predicts for the top seeds, which teams could make an unexpected run and which squads could bow out sooner than expected. We’re also highlighting the best first-round matchups to help you schedule your Friday and Saturday around women’s hoops. Top seedsThe four No. 1 seeds are Baylor, Notre Dame, Louisville and Mississippi State. You read that right: UConn is not a top seed for the first time since 2006. But the Huskies are still a No. 2 seed, and they still got a regional nearby, in Albany, New York. The Huskies will host the first two rounds in Storrs, and their fans have packed Albany regionals for years — so they would essentially have home-court advantage until the Final Four. That’s a tough setup for the region’s No. 1 seed, Louisville, and the FiveThirtyEight model reflects that, giving UConn a 68 percent chance and Louisville a 24 percent chance of making the Final Four. But the Cardinals did beat UConn in January, as star guard Asia Durr scored a game-high 24 points. That win should give Louisville confidence as it chases its second straight Final Four appearance.The selection committee created a similar setup out west, where Mississippi State is the No. 1 seed and Oregon is the No. 2. With each team hosting the first two rounds and the regional rounds being played in Portland, Oregon could make its first Final Four without leaving the state. The model gives the Ducks a 51 percent chance of doing just that behind triple-double queen Sabrina Ionescu, who could be the first pick in the WNBA draft if she declares. Mississippi State, which secured its No. 1 seed after winning its first-ever SEC tournament title, has a 44 percent chance of making the Final Four and a 10 percent chance of winning a national title. The latter would be a storybook ending for the national runners-up in each of the past two seasons.The Greensboro, North Carolina, region is a hotbed of low-post talent, starting with the No. 1 overall seed in Baylor. The Lady Bears have had a dominant season to date, running their record to 31-1 and leading the nation in blocked shots, defensive rebounds and opponent field-goal percentage. The 6-foot-7 Kalani Brown and 6-foot-4 Lauren Cox have combined to average more than 28 points, 16 rebounds and 4 blocks per game. Not to be outdone, No. 2 seed Iowa has espnW’s national player of the year in 6-foot-3 Megan Gustafson. According to Her Hoop Stats, Gustafson is both the nation’s top scorer, putting up 28.0 points per game, and the nation’s most efficient scorer, recording 1.44 points per scoring attempt and shooting just under 70 percent from the field. There are several low-post standouts among the lower-seeded teams as well, but Baylor projects to be the best in Greensboro, with a 76 percent chance of making the Final Four.Although Baylor is the No. 1 overall seed, it’s the top seed in the Chicago region, Notre Dame, that has the best chance of winning a national championship. The FiveThirtyEight model gives the defending champs a 30 percent chance of repeating and Baylor a 28 percent chance at its first title since 2012. The Fighting Irish returned all but one starter from last year’s team and then led the country in points per game while playing the nation’s toughest schedule. Notre Dame’s chief competition in Chicago will likely be No. 2 seed Stanford, the Pac-12 tournament champions and the only team to beat Baylor this season. Under head coach Tara VanDerveer, the Cardinal have a 56 percent chance to make the Elite Eight but just an 8 percent chance to advance to the Final Four.SleepersA pair of 4-seeds could knock off some of the favorites in the Sweet 16. In Albany, Oregon State has a 21 percent chance of making the Elite Eight, potentially displacing Louisville, while South Carolina has a 10 percent chance of doing the same to Baylor in Greensboro. Oregon State finished third in what was perhaps the nation’s deepest conference, the Pac-12, and ranks fourth in the nation in 3-point shooting at 38.8 percent. If the Beavers, particularly star guard Destiny Slocum, get hot from deep, they could extend their stay on the East Coast to the Final Four. Under head coach and former Virginia point guard Dawn Staley, South Carolina also has electric guard play, which could set up a fascinating game of contrasts against Baylor in the Sweet 16. Don’t count Staley out as she chases her second national championship in the past three seasons.Also in the Greensboro region, No. 3 North Carolina State has received relatively little attention compared with ACC rivals Louisville and Notre Dame despite starting the season 21-0. (NC State didn’t lose a game until February!) The Wolfpack would not have to leave their home state to make the Final Four, and the FiveThirtyEight model gives the team almost the same chances as No. 2 seed Iowa of advancing to the Elite Eight (40 percent versus 42 percent).BustsIt’s perhaps a sign of progress that a mid-major team can even be considered for this category, but Gonzaga, the No. 5 seed in the Albany region, probably won’t see it that way if this prediction proves true. Gonzaga is vulnerable after two players suffered season-ending leg injuries in its conference tournament semifinal. The model still gives the Bulldogs an 87 percent chance of beating Arkansas-Little Rock, but a team that was ranked in the top 25 for parts of this season and had aspirations of hosting the first two rounds as a top-4 seed surely has its sights set higher than one NCAA Tournament win.No. 4 Texas A&M has also had injury concerns, although the school recently announced that leading scorer Chennedy Carter (22.5 points per game) will play in the NCAA Tournament. She is returning from a hand injury, though, and if her shot isn’t falling, Texas A&M could struggle with a tough Wright State team that holds opponents to just 36.2 percent shooting, which ranks 24th in the nation.Speaking of tough mid-major teams, the state of Florida has a couple that will start the NCAA Tournament in Miami. No. 5 seed Arizona State can’t be happy about traveling all the way across the country to play No. 12-seed UCF in their backyard, and the Sun Devils have only a 69 percent chance of winning one game and a 26 percent chance of winning two games in the Sunshine State. Meanwhile, host and No. 4 seed Miami has an 82 percent chance of beating No. 13 seed Florida Gulf Coast, but there are signs of a potential upset here. FGCU is ranked only three spots behind Miami in the Her Hoop Stats ratings (the teams rank 28th and 25th, respectively) and is dangerous behind the arc: Nearly half of FGCU’s shot attempts are 3-pointers, which ranks second nationally, while Miami is letting teams score more than one-third of their points from three, which ranks 320th nationally.Fun first-round matchupsIf you’re looking for two senior stars trying to extend their careers, watch No. 8 seed California take on No. 9 seed North Carolina on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. Eastern time. Kristine Anigwe has had a historic season for the Golden Bears and leads the nation in rebounding with 16.3 per game, including a 32-point, 30-rebound effort against Washington State two weeks ago. North Carolina ranks in the bottom third of teams nationally in rebounding rate, so one might predict a long afternoon for the Tar Heels, but their offensive firepower can keep them in any game. (Just ask Notre Dame and NC State, which both lost to North Carolina in the span of a week earlier this year.) Guard Paris Kea is the star (17.1 points per game), but three other players average double-figure scoring and a fourth averages 9.5 points per game.FiveThirtyEight model’s prediction: California over North Carolina (64 percent)If you’re looking for a battle between mid-major powerhouses, don’t miss No. 6 seed South Dakota State versus No. 11 seed Quinnipiac on Saturday at 11 a.m. Eastern time. Both teams have been to the tournament before: SDSU won its ninth automatic bid in 11 years this season, while QU is in for the fifth time in seven seasons and made a Sweet 16 appearance in 2017. SDSU boasts the Summit League’s all-time leading scorer in Macy Miller, who is averaging 18.1 points per game this season while shooting nearly 55 percent from the floor. But Quinnipiac could make things tough for Miller and the Jackrabbits: The Bobcats hold opponents to just 50.5 points per game, second-best in the nation, and their 11.5 steals per game rank sixth nationally. Whichever way this game goes, the winner could be a sleeper pick to knock off No. 3 Syracuse and make the Sweet 16.FiveThirtyEight model’s prediction: South Dakota State over Quinnipiac (65 percent)Finally, if you’re looking for toss-ups, the three games that our model gives the most even odds are:No. 10 Buffalo vs. No. 7 Rutgers, Friday at 4:30 p.m. Eastern time (Buffalo has a 51 percent chance of winning)No. 10 Auburn vs. No. 7 BYU, Saturday at 3:30 p.m. Eastern time (Auburn has a 55 percent chance of winning)No. 6 UCLA vs. No. 11 Tennessee, Saturday at 1 p.m. Eastern time (UCLA has a 56 percent chance of winning)Check out our latest March Madness predictions.Neil Paine contributed research. read more

Football Former NFL defensive coordinator Bill Davis announced as linebackers coach

Bill Davis coached three years with the Philadelphia Eagles. He will be a defensive assistant starting in 2017. Credit: Courtesy of the Philadelphia EaglesOhio State announced long-time NFL assistant Bill Davis as its linebackers coach. Davis was announced as a defensive assistant on Dec. 21 following the announcement of Luke Fickell being hired as head coach of the University of Cincinnati football team.Davis previously coached for the Philadelphia Eagles, Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers as defensive coordinator. He spent the 2016 season as a defensive analyst with the Buckeyes.In addition to his five seasons as an NFL defensive coordinator, Davis, 51, has coached linebackers for eight of his 24 seasons in the NFL with the Atlanta Falcons, New York Giants, Arizona and the Cleveland Browns.He was a member of the 2008 Cardinals staff that lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLIII.Davis grew up in Youngstown, Ohio, and was a four-year letter-winner at the University of Cincinnati from 1985-88. He played with OSU coach Urban Meyer at Cincinnati and was even his best man in Meyer’s wedding.Editor’s Note 1/10: This article has been updated with Ohio State’s announcement of Bill Davis as linebackers coach. read more

Football Running back JK Dobbins named freshman AllAmerican by ESPN

Ohio State freshman running back J.K. Dobbins (2) runs the ball in the third quarter of the B1G Championship game against Wisconsin on Dec. 2 in Lucas Oil Stadium. Ohio State won 27-21. Credit: Alyssia Graves | Assistant Sports DirectorOhio State running back J.K. Dobbins was named to the freshman All-American team by ESPN Monday as the all-purpose back.His current teammate, redshirt sophomore Mike Weber, was named to the team by ESPN last season.In Ohio State’s 27-21 win in the Big Ten championship game against Wisconsin, he took 17 carries 174 yards en route to being named the game’s MVP. The freshman running back set the Ohio State record for most rushing yards in a season by a freshman with 1,364, surpassing Maurice Clarett’s record of 1,237 yards set in 2002.In rushing for more than 1,000 yards, Dobbins became only the fourth freshman in Ohio State history to accomplish the feat, joining Weber, who rushed for 1,096 last season, Clarett and Robert Smith. His 1,364 yards are currently the 14th-most in the nation.Dobbins racked up those yards on just 181 carries, bringing his average yards per carry to 7.5. Seven of those carries went for touchdowns. The true freshman also proved to be a receiving threat as well, hauling in 22 catches for 135 yards and a touchdown. read more

No players from Ohio State or USC will sit out Cotton Bowl

Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer and University of Southern California head coach Clay Helton take a photo with the Cotton Bowl trophy on Dec. 28 in Dallas, Texas. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorDALLAS — College football players sitting out bowl games in order to prepare for the NFL has become a trend in recent years. Last year, Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey sat out the Sun Bowl and LSU running back Leonard Fournette did not play in the Citrus Bowl.The trend has not reached this year’s Cotton Bowl.Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer and USC head coach Clay Helton said they both anticipate all their athletes to play in the game.“We anticipate we’ll be full, ready to go play,” Meyer said. “Everybody’s playing.”Ohio State has multiple players who will enter the NFL draft after their senior seasons, including defensive ends Tyquan Lewis and Jalyn Holmes, center Billy Price and left tackle Jamarco Jones. Others will forgo their final season or two to leave for the NFL. Defensive end Sam Hubbard and cornerback Denzel Ward are likely candidates to become NFL draft early entrants.The Trojans also have a selection of players who will enter April’s NFL draft. Quarterback and potential No. 1 overall pick Sam Darnold and running back Ronald Jones might decide to enter the draft, but opted to play in the Cotton Bowl.“I think each case is in its own individual nature,” Helton said. “But I’m so thankful in this realm of having made decisions whether to play or not play, we’re going into the second year of this and being able to say, ‘You know what? Every guy that has the ability to play is going to be out there playing.’”No player on either Ohio State or USC has sat out a bowl game to prepare for the NFL draft in recent years.Though the trend of players skipping bowl games has not extended to the Cotton Bowl, other games this year were affected. Texas offensive tackle Connor Williams and cornerback Holton Hill sat out the Longhorns’ victory against Missouri in Wednesday’s Texas Bowl. Florida State safety and likely top-10 NFL draft pick Derwin James did not play in the Seminoles’ Independence Bowl, and Oregon running back Royce Freeman opted not to suit up for the Las Vegas Bowl. read more

Trading standards warn about dangerous fidget spinners

Filed under: pjectuuu — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — admin @ 8:01 am September 25, 2019

first_imgCheap imported fidget spinners are putting children at risk, trading standards have warned. Poor-quality versions of the popular toys can be a danger to children who may choke on small parts. Some of the seized toys even have sharp edges which could become lethal when the toy is spun. Several local offices have put out warnings about the toys as unscrupulous manufacturers seek to “cash in” on the craze.On Friday Surrey County Council announced that trading standards officers had seized and impounded 800 fidget spinners which were being imported from China through Heathrow airport. The £4,000 shipment was intercepted after officers found that warnings about choking hazards were “barely visible”. Denise Turner-Stewart, the council’s member for communities, said: “Fidget spinners have become a huge playground craze but some manufacturers seem to be attempting to cash in on soaring demand by making poor quality and potentially dangerous versions of these popular toys.”Earlier this month Bath & North East Somerset Council issued a similar warning. Councillor Martin Veal, cabinet member for community services, said: “Our Trading Standards Officers have been looking at some of the spinners on sale and found them to have very small and dangerous parts, so for public safety it’s only right that they be withdrawn from sale. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. “Anyone buying a fidget spinner should purchase it from a reputable trader and ensure the safety warnings can be clearly seen on the packaging.”Christine Heemskerk, lead officer for consumer and product safety at the Chartered Trading Standards Institute, said the body had been contacted by up to 40 local authorities looking for advice about poor-quality fidget spinners. She said there were concerns about children swallowing lithium batteries or being injured by sharp edges. “The people importing them have got no idea of their legal obligations,” she said. Last week US-based group World Against Toys Causing Harm listed the spinners at the top of its list of potentially dangerous toys. It said that fidget spinners “have fallen apart and the small pieces could potentially become lodged in a young child’s throat”. It cited the case of a Texas girl who choked on part of a toy and had to have it surgically removed from her oesophagus. last_img read more

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