Hot favourite Don Poli provided Willie Mullins with his fifth winner of the Festival in the RSA Chase at Cheltenham under Bryan Cooper. Winner of the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Hurdle 12 months ago and unbeaten in two previous starts over fences, the six-year-old was a 13-8 market leader on his first start since winning at Leopardstown over Christmas. Despite racing lazily at various stages of the three-mile Grade One, Don Poli responded to Cooper’s urgings and joined Kings Palace for the lead when that horse made a mistake in the back straight. Press Association Mullins said: “It was special. It looked like he was idling the whole way up the straight, ears pricked. “It looked like he’d have won the four-mile chase after all! “If that’s the best in Ireland and over in England, you’d have to say that (he could be a future Gold Cup horse). “We’re a bit numb. The week has gone way above our expectations.” Don Poli could run again this spring as connections plot a route towards the Gold Cup next March. Mullins said: “We’ll probably get him ready for Punchestown and there’s also Auteuil in the spring. “I imagine the route we will travel now is for next year’s Gold Cup.” Connections of Wounded Warrior were satisfied by his third-placed finish. Jockey Paul Carberry said: “He picked up the first time when the pace quickened, but when the first few quickened again, he couldn’t quite go with them. “He could be an ideal Irish National type.” His trainer Noel Meade said: “You never know how much this will take out of them, but he might go to Punchestown or the Irish National. “We’ve always liked him, and he should have been in the four-miler on Tuesday, really. He’s only six and can only improve.” The two of them fought it out coming down the hill before Don Poli asserted from the home turn. Southfield Theatre briefly appeared a major threat jumping the second-last, but Don Poli powered away from the last for a six-length success. Wounded Warrior, like the winner owned by Gigginstown House Stud, was third. Cooper, who suffered an awful injury at last season’s Festival, said: “To get a winner this early (in the meeting) is great. I’ve been supported by great people. “Willie’s done a serious job with this horse. He could be very special.” Gigginstown supremo Michael O’Leary said: “He always seemed quite comfortable, if anything Bryan had to wake him up. “It’s another outstanding training performance by Willie Mullins – the man’s a genius. I have a very good jockey and a great trainer. It’s great not to have to wait until Friday for a winner.” Asked whether he could be a Gold Cup horse next year, O’Leary added: “I’ll enjoy today, there’s no point planning for next year – that will take care of itself.”
The Coral Springs police officer who was caught on camera kneeing a handcuffed man in head will avoid jail time.Instead the officer, Sandy Gomez, was sentenced to 1 year of probation and ordered by the court to take a 13-week anger management course.In December Officer Gomez was one of several officers who arrested 28-year-old Gabriel Narcisse-Beckford on petty theft charges. In the video of the arrest, several officers were seen struggling with Narcisse-Beckford who is handcuffed on the ground before he is subdued by a stun gun. The officers then moved the suspect to the curb were Gomez then proceeds to kick Narcisse-Beckford in the head.After the incident was brought to the attention of the police department Officer Gomez was immediately put on unpaid leave.We have seen the video of an incident involving some of our officers. We take this matter very seriously. Due to the gravity of the situation we are conducting a criminal investigation. At this time all the officers involved have been placed on administrative leave.— Coral Springs Police (@CoralSpringsPD) December 5, 2018 During his sentencing Monday, Officer Gomez apologized for his actions and told the courtroom that he was extremely embarrassed:“I’m not here to make excuses for my reaction,” he said. “I’m here to say that I’m sorry. I’m extremely embarrassed for the position that I have put myself in.”The officer also told the judge that his actions that day do not define his character and that he was worried about his fiance who was another officer at the scene:“Let me reassure you nothing like this has happened in the past, and it will never happen again,” he said. “I don’t think this incident shows who I am as a person or my character.”His attorney Mike Dutko also echoed Officer Gomez sentiment telling reported that his client accepted responsibility for his actions:“Did you hear his comments in court? He accepts responsibility for having overreacted, regrets putting himself in this position,” Dutko said. “We would like you to know and appreciate that fact he still has departmental administrative issues to deal with.”While Officer Gomez reported that this was the first incident of aggression involving him, records show that in April of 2017, the same officer was caught on surveillance pushing a suspect down while he was walking the suspect to the booking room. While the Deputy investigated in that case he was later cleared.In the current case the judge withheld adjudication so a battery conviction will not be put on the record, the police department, however, says they plan to keep Deputy Gomez on unpaid administrative leave until they complete their internal affairs investigation.
If they come through the first round their hopes will be strengthen because Morocco and the Democratic Republic of Congo are among the dangerous outsiders at the tournament.And Togo‚ who have the Godfather of the African Nations Cup in charge‚ can be expected to seek to play a spoilers’ role. Claude Le Roy continue to set a record for longevity at the event and is coaching at a ninth finals.In his previous eight tournaments‚ only once did he not get a side through to the last eight – that was when he was with DR Congo in South Africa in 2013 and they were inched out of second place in their group by the minnows from the Cape Verde Island.Togo can play that role in Group C‚ which is based at a new stadium in Oyem‚ with Emmanuel Adebayor leading their attack. He might be on the wrong side of 30 and short of match fitness‚ but is still one of the continent’s top players and will be eager to prove a point.DR Congo were nominated by the Confederation of African Football as one of the candidates for the National Team of the Year award for 2016 on the back of not only qualifying in top place in their Nations Cup qualifying group but also putting together a 100 percent start to the group phase of the 2018 World Cup qualifiers.Florent Ibenge has assembled a strong group and after bronze at the last Nations Cup finals they will have high hopes of reaching the knockout phase again. But they will need to also get past the Moroccans‚ who again have a highly talented squad on paper even if they surprisingly left out Hakim Ziyech of Ajax Amsterdam from their 23-man squad.He is rated one of the best talents in Europe but Morocco Coach Herve Renard said he could not guarantee him a starting line-up berth and it would not work well to have him mopping around on the bench.Since then‚ there have been several injuries to key players with Younes Belhanda and Sofiane Boufal likely to be sorely missed and Ziyech might yet be drafted into the squad as a late injury replacement.Morocco have invested heavily in enticing Renard to take over as their coach‚ hoping his Nations Cup magic can rub off on them. The suave Frenchman took Zambia to the 2012 title in Libreville and the Ivory Coast to success in the last edition in Equatorial Guinea.Meanwhile, Gabon are putting their finishing touches in their preparations, and The Panthers are confident they will not disappoint the home crowd.The players hope that playing in front of a partisan home crowd will give them extra edge over their opponents.“Those that have their eyes fixed on the national team can count on us to deliver, and as I say, we will give the best, we will do everything to make the party beautiful, “assures midfielder Levy Madinda.Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will carry the hopes of the central African nation on his shoulders, alongside veteran goalkeeper Didier Ovono and Sunderland’s holding midfielder Didier Ndong.Gabon’s most significant AFCON achievement is the second-round finish they achieved as co-hosts in 2012.They play the opening game against Guinea Bissau in Libreville, under the charges of former Spain manager Jose Antonio Camacho who replaced ex-Portugal international Jorge Costa in November 2016. Stars to Watch Out forAs top African soccer nations are gearing up for today’s kickoff of the Africa Cup of Nations, below are some of the players expected to light up the tournament.Riyad Mahrez, AlgeriaAfrica’s best player and BBC African Football of the Year 2016 is one player to watch out for in Gabon. The Algerian enjoyed spectacular success last season as he inspired Leicester to their first league title. Mahrez, 25, scored 17 league goals and was voted Professional Footballers’ Association Player of the Year – the first African to win the award. He was also influential to Algeria qualification for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations. Mahrez is ranked the seventh best player in the world.Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, GabonRanked the eleventh best player in the world, host Gabon will be banking on the services of their talisman Pierre Aubameyang at this year African Cup of Nations. His 25 goals in the Bundesliga saw him end last season as the league’s second-top scorer behind Robert Lewandowski. He was named the 2015 CAF player of the year and finished as runner up the following year. Aubameyang is a must watch player in the tournament. Saido Mane, SenegalMane became the most expensive African player in history when he joined Liverpool for £34m in the summer. He has made an immediate impact at Anfield with nine goals for the Reds already this season. Mane is currently the third best player in Africa, as such, the Teranga Lions of Senegal will be banking on his services at this year African Cup of Nations.Andre Ayew, GhanaWest Ham’s Andre Ayew believes Ghana are among the favourites for next month’s Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon. However, he is one man whose experience may just carry them all the way. Although the midfielder has missed several weeks of the English Premier League season through injury, he scored his first goal for West Ham against his former team Swansea last month. He also finished as the highest goal scorer in AFCON 2015. Ghana will be banking on him to find the back of the net as many times as possible again in this tournament.Khama Billiat, ZimbabweIn Billiat, Zimbabwe has the most important player at AFCON 2017. The Mamelodi Sundowns striker was voted the PSL Player of the Year in 2015. He was also recently voted as the second best African based player.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Oshoala capped an exciting year by winning the 2016 Women’s Player of the Year Award, beating Elizabeth Addo of Black Queens of Ghana, and Gabrielle Onguene of Indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon, to the award. She had earlier won the top scorer award at the Women’s AFCON in Cameroon, where she scored six goals in helping Nigeria win the African title for unprecedented eighth times.Oshoala is, however, no stranger to the big stage. In 2015, at just 20, she was named the BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year, making her the first player to win the new award from the BBC World Service, voted for by football fans around the world, beating Spain’s Veronica Boquete, German Nadine Kessler, Scot Kim Little and Brazilian Marta to the honour.Oshoala, who was the youngest player to be shortlisted, was the leading scorer at the Under-20s World Cup in Canada in 2014 and was voted the tournament’s best player.Her performances led Nigeria to the final, where they were narrowly beaten by Germany, and she was also a major influence in the senior Nigeria team who won the African Women’s Championship the same year.The effort also earned her a national award, Member of the Order of the Niger (MON) from President Goodluck Jonathan.“It’s my second time having a handshake with the president and I am really happy about it because there are many Nigerians out there wishing to just see him, not to talk of shaking hands with him. Having this second opportunity to shake hands with him, I am really happy about it and I know it is the grace of God at work in my life. For me, it’s a dream come true,” she said.Oshoala signed for Liverpool Ladies in January 2015, becoming the first African to feature in the Women’s Super League, with manager Matt Beard calling her “one of the world’s top young footballers”.Mary Hockaday, controller of BBC World Service English in her tribute to Oshoala, said, “At still only 20, she’s proved herself a formidable talent on the pitch. I’m proud BBC World Service is supporting the women’s game and thrilled with the interest in the award,” she said.To date, no individual has been so honoured in a competition than Oshoala, who was not only voted the Best Player in the 2014 Women’s U20 World Cup in Canada, but also carted away the Golden Boot for her goal-scoring prowess. Her seven goals helped Nigeria get to the final of the biennial competition for the second time; only to lose to the same opponent it lost to in the finals of the 2012 edition.Oshoala made the headlines when she signed for Liverpool in July 2015, becoming the first African player to play for any English women’s side.“When I got the deal from them, I was very excited. I supported Liverpool when I was younger, especially when Luis Suarez was still here. He’s a player I have really admired,” Oshoala said.In addition to Suarez, the Falcons star also idolises former Real and AC Milan midfielder, Clarence Seedorf.“I like him so much. I like players who work hard and give everything on the pitch. When you see a player like that, he is an inspiration. I love the way Seedorf played; I love everything about him. For the same reason, I admire Luis Suarez. He is ready to give everything and do everything for his club. I love players like that,” she said.However, less than a year later, Oshoala shifted her loyalty to Arsenal Ladies after a season with Liverpool, scoring three goals in 12 league appearances for the Reds.Arsenal Ladies Manager, Pedro Losa said: “Asisat is a fantastic talent and will be a great addition to our squad. She is quick, with excellent feet and has proven she can score goals so it’s very positive she has decided to join us.”The former Rivers Angels player is indeed not comfortable with her comparison with Mercy Akide. “I have heard people compare me with Mercy but the truth is I really do not like comparisons. I love Mercy, I really do. She’s a legend and has achieved a lot in the game and to be compared to her at this age is a privilege. It’s a challenge but with hard work, I will get better.”Looking back, she would always be grateful to FC Robo, where she cut her professional teeth. “I will always say a big thank to my first coach at FC Robo, Emmanuel Osahon. He discovered me and gave me my first break, before I joined Port Harcourt club, Rivers Angels sports club,” she recalled.In a chat with THISDAY, former Falcons goalkeeper, Ann Chiejina is optimistic that the way Oshoala is going, she would one day climb the podium for the FIFA Award.“I just hope and pray she keeps working hard. With the way she’s going she is not too far from being selected for the FIFA Women’s Footballer Award,” Chiejina said.Meanwhile, Oshoala has called for the continent to make conditions better for women, saying: “We deserve more. The federations in every country have to do more for female football.”Nicknamed Superzee by her appreciative teammates, the Nigerian striker owes her accolade to her speed and nose for goal.Meanwhile, there are strong indication that Oshoala may be going to China following John Obi Mikel’s move to the Chinese Super League with Tianjin Teda and Odion Ighalo looking likely to also move to the Asian country, it has emerged that she might be the latest Nigerian footballer set for a big-money move to China.Recent reports have suggested several unnamed Chinese clubs have contacted Arsenal Ladies about doing a deal for the Super Falcons striker.Oshoala, whose contract with the Arsenal Ladies runs out at the end of the 2017 season, is believed to be considering a move, while the English club is also reported to be willing to cash in on the reigning African women’s player of the year.The 22-year old joined the Arsenal Ladies nine months ago from the Liverpool Ladies, but is yet to have a wholly impressive season.Cote D’Ivoire Start Title DefenceThe 2017 Africa Cup of Nations kicks off today with host country, Gabon, taking on Guinea-Bissau and Burkina Faso slugging it out with Cameroun much later. However, defending Champions, Elephant of Cote D’Ívoire will be tested to the maximum when they begin the defence of their title, paired in a group of two other strong contendersThe Ivorians‚ who have to do without retired Yaya Toure and injured Gervinho but have been boosted by the defection of Wilfried Zaha‚ played through an indifferent 2016 but seem to come good towards the end of the year and will be rightly considered a good bet to retain their title.The Elephants had been buoyed by the release of six million euros by the Ivorian government to prosecute African Cup of Nations campaign, official. The amount is meant for the preparation and participation of the Elephants in the competition scheduled to kickoff from January 14 to February 5 in Gabon.The current figure represents an increase of more than 600,000 euros (400 million CFA francs) compared to 2015. The Elephants won the last edition of the competition beating Ghana in the finals in Equatorial Guinea.Manchester United defender Eric Bailly and other teammates had begun preparatory work in Abu Dhabi and the Michel Dussuyer’s side had played two friendly matchesagainst Sweden and Uganda.Ivory Coast are locked in Group C along with Togo, the Democratic republic of Congo and Morocco. Despite missing the services of the Toure brothers – Kolo and Yaya announced retirement from international football after 2015. They will also be without captain Yao Gervinho who recently underwent surgery. The Super Falcons of Nigeria won the Africa Women Championship for an unprecedented eighth time last year in Cameroon. One of the team’s driving forces was Asisat Oshoala. Her effort did not go unnoticed as she was recently voted the African Women Player of the Year. With stardom achieved on the continent, Oshoala seems set to conquer the world, Kunle Adewale writesAsisat Oshoala has never compromised her passion for the round leather game as she abandoned her education for football against the wishes of her parents.“My passion for football made me drop out of school. This is one sport I won’t compromise. Growing up, people see me as a tomboy as I always play alongside male footballers and still do at Arsenal and anytime I’m in Nigeria. Those that that chose to go to school do so because they want to make it life likewise those of us that opted to play football. Though, my opting to play football was against my parents’ wish because they were not happy with my decision then but now I have brought them joy. I’m still not ruling out returning to school,” Oshoala said.
Over 6,000 fans filed into the Kohl Center Sunday afternoon hoping to witness the end of a brutal six-game losing streak for the University of Wisconsin women’s basketball team (11-10, 2-7 Big Ten). The game ebbed and flowed similarly to the team’s previous loss versus Penn State, but senior Kelly Karlis ensured a different ending by drilling a corner three to seal the game as time expired.Nebraska (9-11, 4-5 Big Ten) controlled the first half thanks to seven three-pointers while limiting Wisconsin to zero.Senior Marsha Howard and freshman Imani Lewis led the Badgers back into the game with strong offensive performances. Howard and Lewis finished with 18 and 17 points, respectively. Forward Abby Laszewski captained another third-quarter surge with six points.Women’s basketball: Badgers drop sixth straight in home contest with Nittany LionsThursday night in the Kohl Center, the University of Wisconsin women’s basketball team suffered an away loss against the same Read…The Badgers allowed the Cornhuskers to rebuild a double-digit lead early in the fourth quarter, but buckled down on defense, allowing just six points in the final seven minutes of the game.In order to pull off the upset, Wisconsin had to mend their biggest weakness — free throw shooting. Wisconsin sits at the bottom of the Big Ten in free throw percentage, but their late-game free throws allowed for a dynamic victory.Wisconsin went 8-9 on free throw attempts in the fourth quarter alone, none as crucial as Niya Beverley’s pair that tied the game with just over a minute left. Beverley stuffed the stat sheet Saturday with 10 points, five assists, four rebounds and four steals.With 16 seconds left, Nebraska took a timeout and set up a play that freed up guard Nicea Eliely for a go-ahead layup with seven-tenths of a second remaining on the clock.Men’s hockey: Wisconsin splits goal-heavy weekend Border Battle in MinneapolisThe University of Wisconsin men’s hockey team (9-11-4, 5-5-4 Big Ten) split their two-game series against the University of Minnesota Read…Wisconsin Head Coach Jonathan Tsipis called timeout and drew up a final play. Beverley then delivered a perfect pass, and Karlis drained the triple as time expired.The Kohl Center erupted as officials checked monitors to ensure that Karlis released the ball before time expired. They later confirmed the basket.The win comes before perhaps their greatest test of the season as the Badgers travel to College Park, Maryland to take on the No. 11 Maryland Terrapins Thursday night.
According to @NHLPlayerSafety: Mark Giordano of the #Flames will have a hearing today for kneeing #mnwild’s Mikko Koivu during last night’s game.Suspension worthy? #HockeyTwitter pic.twitter.com/t9SB3ASIBs— Tim and Sid (@timandsid) December 7, 2018Lomberg’s actions also occurred in the third period. He was assessed a minor penalty for instigating, a major for a fight and a game misconduct. He will serve the automatic one-game suspension in addition to the game added by the NHL Department of Player Safety. Lomberg will also forfeit $7,634.40. Related News Giordano’s offense came at the 6:17 mark in the third period, and was originally assessed for a minor penalty for tripping at the time. Along with the suspension, the 12-year NHL veteran will forfeit $72,580.64. Seattle lands NHL expansion team starting in 2021-22 season Multiple Calgary players were dealt suspensions stemming from their matchup with the Wild on Thursday.Friday, the NHL Department of Player Safety announced defenseman Mark Giordano has been suspended for two games for kneeing the Wild’s Mikko Koivu, and forward Ryan Lomberg will have to sit out one game for leaving the bench on a legal line change for the purpose of starting a fight. The Flames went on to win 2-0 over the Wild. They moved to 18-9-2 after the victory. Capitals’ Tom Wilson leaves game with injury after taking big hit; Golden Knights’ Ryan Reaves ejected
“It’s somewhere in my room under all my clothes,” he said.Initially projected to be a first-rounder by DraftExpress, Zubac had a good idea he would end up with the team as early in the night as the 23rd pick, when his agent told him it would be the Lakers—barring another team taking him off the board sooner, of course.“I was praying nobody would select me before,” he said. “I don’t care which number I am, I only care that it is a good fit for me; a great team with such a legendary franchise. I couldn’t be any happier right now.”Inspired by older friends and players he respected, Zubac’s love for the Lakers stemmed from an appreciation for Kobe and his game.“I really love his killer instinct and will to win the game,” he said. EL SEGUNDO >> Half-hearted applause broke out among the few fans who stuck around the Lakers’ practice facility long enough to hear who the team selected with the 32nd overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft on Thursday night.It was Ivica Zubac who got the nod.While it was apparent how little context the L.A. media corps had for the Croatian player as local reporters huddled around the conference phone in a closed-door room, the 7-footer hardly had trouble keeping up.His admiration for Kobe Bryant surfaced without much inquisition, offering an explanation for the time he woke up at 4 am to watch the Black Mamba’s final game despite having practice at 10 am. Ultimately, though, it was his confession to owning an Andrew Bynum jersey that won the room over. As for his own strengths, Zubac offered up his ability to play back-to-the-basket, in the low post, protecting the paint as well as his passing abilities. He even took to the Marc Gasol comparison, saying he is trying to “translate” the Memphis Grizzlies big man’s game to his own.Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak said the team saw a “young, big developing player” in the 19-year-old, going so far as to say he isn’t opposed to Zubac playing next year. While, of course, that isn’t definitive, he did say he would like to see Zubac play in Summer League — that is, as long as no one asks him to pronounce the player’s name. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error
Cavs rookie Darius Garland is slowly but surely learning how to make an impact as Cleveland’s point guard
Playing point guard in the NBA is hard. There’s a baseline difficulty to a position that involves initiating offense, dictating tempo and functioning as a so-called coach on the floor.Playing point guard in the NBA is even harder when you’re a rookie. First-year point guards notoriously struggle to contribute to winning. The jump from college to the pros — both physically and mentally — is a big one. Playing point guard in the NBA is probably even harder when you’re a rookie who hasn’t played competitive basketball in a year. Such is the case for Cavaliers first-year point guard Darius Garland, who played in just five games at Vanderbilt before a meniscus injury ended his season prematurely.NBA MOCK DRAFT 2020: Cavs land star big man with top-five pickCleveland head coach John Beilein summarized it well: “You’re coming from a year off, a college season — you know, [playing] 20-minute games — and playing against these bodies, it wears you out.”Garland’s early struggles, then, are not atypical — and as a byproduct, not necessarily worrying.By FiveThirtyEight’s new all-in-one metric RAPTOR, the 19-year-old has been one of the least impactful players in the league to play at least 150 minutes this season. Billed as a potentially elite scorer coming out of college, he’s had difficulty converting efficiently as a pro, in particular. Garland entered last week’s contest against the Wizards with a 33.1 percent effective field goal percentage. That was the third-worst mark in the league among players with over 100 minutes played, per Cleaning the Glass.His performance against Washington may represent a turning point for the young guard. At the very least, it was a sign of what the Cavaliers saw in him when they selected him with the fifth pick in the 2019 NBA Draft despite having taken another point guard, Collin Sexton, a year before. Garland finished with 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting and six assists in a 113-100 win. He added a pair of rebounds and two steals while only turning it over twice.A couple of days off midweek may have contributed to the improvement. During that time, Garland says he worked on his floater game, finding his shooting rhythm and watching plenty of film.The 19-year-old dropped in one of those floaters late in the contest to extend Cleveland’s lead to eight and force a Wizards timeout. Developing that midrange touch will be an important aspect of Garland’s growing game. He’s always lacked the size and elite athleticism necessary to win through sheer physicality.Instead, Garland can win against NBA defenses with craft and skill while using midrange floaters to accommodate for his size.The key for Garland, though, remains his outside shooting. His ability to knock down 3-pointers at a consistent rate both off the bounce and on the catch will shape his offensive upside as much as anything. It’s the key to him being an initiator in the Damian Lillard mold.Garland made one triple against the Wizards, a smooth jumper out of a handoff action at the top of the key. He also went 3-of-7 from deep on Thursday night against the Heat. Those shots raised his 3-point percentage on the season to 28.2 percent. Expect that number to climb.Garland acknowledged how good it felt to see the ball go through the net while noting his teammates are pushing him forward.”My teammates are just really confident in me and just telling me to keep being aggressive and keep doing me,” Garland said after the Cavs’ win over the Wizards. “I’m just happy they have my back through everything.”Alongside Sexton, Garland is learning to run the show for those teammates on the court. He has already flipped the script on criticisms of his assist-to-turnover ratio that arose during his limited college career. He now looks comfortable maneuvering his way through ball screens, showing patience by drawing the help in closer to open up space for his teammates to fill. From a bird’s-eye view, both he and Beilein emphasized the importance of playing with pace and pushing the ball up the floor as Garland learns to run the team.”He was in my ear the whole game about what we should do next, so that was a good step,” Beilein said.Playing point guard in the NBA may be hard, but it looks like Garland might be getting up to speed.
“I personally believe it was the fact that every club wanted to get, and the league wanted to get these plays right,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said. “Replay has been an important tool for us. It wasn’t able to correct something we wanted to have corrected in the past. That to me was the driving force at the end of the day. Our job is to get these right and we should use every available means to get them right.”Yet, they have not gotten them right.In the first half of the season, the NFL — namely vice president of officiating Al Riveron, who reviews pass interference penalties in question from New York — refused to reverse on-field PI rulings in a way that seemed deliberate. According to NFL Research, through nine weeks of the 2019 season, only five PI calls out of 56 reviews were overturned by replay. An absurd 90.6 percent of the calls were upheld.Then, after the NFL competition committee met at the annual Fall meeting and discussed the state of PI replay reviews, the frequency of overturned calls magically increased.”We’ve taken something in this pass interference rule and we’ve adopted a second standard,” Mike Pereira, NFL rules analyst for Fox Sports and 14-year pro football official, told Pat McAfee in October. “You have one standard, and that’s the way the officials look at it in real time, and you have a second standard, which is how replay looks at it. And they say, ‘Well, yeah, it’s pass interference, but it doesn’t rise to the level of what we’re looking for in replay.’ So this stretch of subjectivity has pretty much every coach flummoxed.” FOX rules analyst and former NFL VP of Officiating @MikePereira has a few suggestions on how to fix the referee issue.#ThePatMcAfeeShowLIVE on @DAZN_USA pic.twitter.com/W4Ha9Zmblv— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) October 16, 2019Added SN’s Mike DeCourcy last week, when another PI review blunder ironically cost the Saints a better seed in the playoffs: “It was yet more evidence that adding pass interference to the list of reviewable violations was an abomination — but not nearly so great an abomination as the officiating department’s obvious conclusion it shouldn’t treat that rules change with any respect at all.”After the season, the competition committee will once again discuss whether pass interference penalties belong in the NFL’s replay review system after the one-year experiment.So, for the sake of everyone’s sanity, let’s hope New Orleans doesn’t get hosed yet again. Saints pass interference non-call: The replay review changeUnderstandably, it was Payton who led the charge for change when the NFL held its annual spring meeting in March. The gathering in Phoenix was the first chance for the league’s competition committee to discuss and vote on potential rule changes for 2019 and beyond.The replay review conversation at that meeting was just as fierce among the men who helped contrive the NFL’s rule book as it had been for two months among the fans whose opinions were projected via social media and bar-room shouting matches. We doubt Payton literally screamed at, say, Vikings coach Mike Zimmer, who told Sporting News at the time he did not like the idea of making a pass interference penalty or non-call a reviewable play. But a private session featuring the league’s coaches reportedly ran long due to the emphatic nature of the replay conversation. Payton called it “the best meeting I’ve been a part of in my 13 years.”NFL team owners, largely as a result of the missed pass interference penalty that helped the Rams advance to the Super Bowl over the Saints, voted to pass a proposal that for one year made offensive and defensive pass interference calls and non-calls reviewable.There were no changes to the rules and standards for pass interference; the penalty simply was added to the list of reviewable rulings. Per Rule 15, Section 3, Article 10 of the NFL rule book, all that was reviewable for 2019 was “whether an act constitutes pass interference by an offensive or defensive player. This article applies regardless of whether a foul for pass interference was called by on-field officials.” The Saints players who remained with the team in the wake of the Minneapolis Miracle likely figured there could be no more devastating way to lose an NFL playoff game. Plus, there was no way a championship-caliber team like the 2018 Saints could be bounced from the postseason in a fluky manner two years in a row.Then, late in the fourth quarter of the NFC championship game in New Orleans, Rams corner Nickell Robey-Coleman blasted Saints receiver Tommylee Lewis before quarterback Drew Brees’ pass arrived. No flag was thrown, and the wrong team was sent to Super Bowl 53. MORE: Saints’ Super Bowl ambitions cursed by another replay debacleAlmost a year later, the Saints are in the playoffs searching for redemption yet again. Their quest could be aided by the NFL rule change that was catalyzed by that missed PI call in the NFC title game. Or the opposite could happen. After all, the one-year experiment that allows reviews of pass interference calls and non-calls has been nothing short of a disaster. Which was predictable.The problem with the play that delivered the Saints another heartbreaking playoff loss wasn’t that it couldn’t be overturned upon replay review; the problem was Bill Vinovich’s crew failing to flag such a blatant foul in the first place. The league’s rule change was simply a bandage taped over a deep-rooted issue that is the league’s officiating, a way to calm the understandable rage of Saints coach Sean Payton and others in New Orleans.As the Saints try to reach the Super Bowl undeterred by ridiculous circumstances yet again, it’s a good time to revisit the infamous play — and the continued fallout.Saints pass interference non-call: The playThe Saints faced a third-and-10 situation, tied 20-20 with Los Angeles with 1:48 left to play and driving at the Rams’ 13-yard line. Brees took the snap, quickly realized his checkdown was open and fired a swing pass to Lewis.Robey-Coleman might have intercepted Brees’ pass and all but ended the game had he simply played the ball in the air. Instead, in a defensive error he admitted after the game, the cornerback aimed to take out the receiver since he had lost track of the ball. He figured it was better to commit pass interference than potentially give up the game-winning touchdown.The sequence on the #Saints sideline after the #Rams no-call pass interference that should’ve ended the game is heart wrenching. pic.twitter.com/mYJ2smOObZ— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) January 24, 2019A pass interference call, of course, would have given the Saints a first-and-goal. More importantly, they would have had a chance to run the clock all the way down before a potential game-winning touchdown or field goal. They instead had to kick the field goal immediately; Wil Lutz made a 31-yarder to take the lead with 1:41 to play.It’s worth noting that New Orleans still had its chances to win the NFC title in the aftermath of the blown call. The Saints failed to stop the Rams from getting into field goal range in the final 1:46 of regulation and sending the game to overtime via Greg Zuerlein’s 48-yard field goal. Rams safety John Johnson intercepted Brees on the third play of the extra period, and Los Angeles kicked the game-winning field goal five plays later.
MASON CITY— A group of students at North Iowa Area Community College in Mason City are being credited with possibly saving a man’s life on Tuesday. Around 1pm on Tuesday afternoon, the Mason City Fire Department responded to a report of a male subject falling into one of the ponds on the NIACC campus.Reports from the college say a group of NIACC men’s soccer players were able to rescue the man from the pond before firefighters arrived on the scene. The man, whose name hasn’t been released, was taken to MercyOne-North Iowa. No word on his condition at this time. We’ll continue to follow this story and provide more updates as they become available.
13 Sep 2015 It’s ninth time lucky for Cumbria’s Will Bowe Cumbria’s Will Bowe made it ninth time lucky today when he won the English Men’s County Champion of Champions title, scoring five-under par over 36 holes at Woodhall Spa Golf Club.“Finally!” he said, after holing a knee-knocking three footer for par on the 18th on the Hotchkin course to win by a shot with scores of 70 71.The 32-year-old has just won his county championship for the ninth time and has played in the Champion of Champions event on every occasion – but has had to wait till now for his first win.“I am very proud to win it, over the moon,” said Bowe (image © Leaderboard Photography), who is the second Cumbrian to take the title. He follows the 1977 champion Mike Walls who, like Bowe, represented Workington.Bowe’s win broke a logjam at the top of the leaderboard, which at one point in the closing stages of the tournament, saw four players tied at the top. He made his crucial move when he birdied 16 and 17, but then had a long wait on the 18th tee.“My knees were knocking then!” he laughed. “Everything goes through your mind and I’d just had two birdies and I wanted to get going.”Bowe knew it was close over the closing holes but just followed his game plan to “keep plodding along and give myself chances. I didn’t know if I had done enough but I knew five-under would be round about the mark.”Behind him, Lancashire’s Ian Kenwright (Haydock Park) won the tussle for second place, beating Cambridgeshire’s James Reeson (Brampton Park) on countback after they finished on four-under.Cornwall’s Conor Wilson (Perranporth) was fourth on three-under, while Norfolk’s Simon Clark (Gt Yarmouth & Caister) was fifth on two under, having led the field after 27 holes.Kenwright, who will represent Lancashire at men’s County Finals, enjoyed getting in the mix: “Win or lose it’s been a good weekend,” he said. He birdied the 17th to keep his challenge alive, while Reeson, who was making his second appearance in the event, staked his claim with a great up and down for birdie from a greenside bunker on the 18th.Wilson was among those who made long journeys to take part in the tournament but he decreed it well “worth the travel up from Cornwall. I did play well, nothing spectacular but I kept it on the planet! I come from a hilltop links and anything with trees isn’t usually my forte.”Click here for the full scores