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Sick with fantasy fever

first_imgHi, I’m Tyler, and I’m a fantasy football addict.Like millions of other Americans, I take part in a fantasy football league every season. I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that it consumes more of my time than it probably should.Fantasy sports are huge these days. In addition to football, pretty much every other sport has fantasy leagues: baseball, hockey, cricket, golf and even NASCAR. Heck, there’s even a Fantasy Congress league, where apparently your “team” consists of U.S. House and Senate members, who can earn you points for things such as voting attendance, speeches and partisanship. This baffles me and makes me laugh a bit, but props to the political nuts for taking fantasy sports to the next level.The fact that fantasy sports are so popular means there’s obviously something appealing about them. I’m not the type that buys fantasy guidebooks before drafts or studies thousands of statistics, but I know plenty of people who do. Once the season starts, though, I become just as attached as anyone else.I was never the fastest or strongest kid growing up, meaning my chances of playing professional football (or any professional sport for that matter) were slim to none. I did, however, play one year of football back in eighth grade, which I like to refer to as my “glory days.”Fantasy sports serves as an outlet through which I can vicariously live my childhood dream of being a pro athlete, even though that dream was crushed many years ago. Now thanks to fantasy sports, I have a team I can refer to as “my team.” Granted, I’m not the one getting lit up by Ray Lewis after going across the middle or making leaping catches in the back of the end zone, but that’s where the emphasis on the “fantasy” in fantasy football comes into play. As weird as it may sound, it’s almost as if I’m scoring all these points on my own.For those of you who are in a fantasy league, I’m sure many of you compulsively check stats on Sundays. I’m just as guilty as the next person. Far too often, there are times when I should be doing my homework but instead find myself checking the scores of games to see how my team is doing. I tell myself I’ll just check this one game, but I always get caught up in the fantasy world. It makes me wonder how fantasy football might decrease productivity in offices, or if my GPA has suffered because of it. I’d like to think it hasn’t.I also become emotionally invested in games I would otherwise never care to watch. Take last weekend’s offensive shootout between the Browns and Bengals, for example. Before the days of fantasy football, the only fans who would bother watching this game would be Ohioans. But things have changed. I actually cared more about that game than perhaps any other last weekend (beside the Vikings and Chargers games. And yes, I’m a fan of both teams; it’s complicated).You see, I have Carson Palmer as my fantasy quarterback, and last Sunday, for him, was perhaps one of the most impressive fantasy games any player has put together. I couldn’t help but cheer for him and the Bengals (who cheers for the Bengals?) as he threw touchdown after touchdown. He ended up with six scores to go along with 400 yards — simply ridiculous numbers.The only problem I had with the game was that my opponent in the league had two Browns players. So again, I became involved in the game, hoping that Braylon Edwards and Kellen Winslow would go unnoticed on offense.Palmer’s offensive explosion was enough to lead my team to victory, although it was a narrow win. After the Monday Night game, I was unsure whether I could pull it off. So I decided to calculate the stats from that game to see if I beat my opponent, as nerdy as that sounds.Sure enough, my record improved to 2-0. Yes, it might be sad I cared that much about the result of a game that I had no control over. It’s also sad that I am just as excited about my fantasy team being undefeated as I would a real team.I think I may have a problem, but it could be worse — I could have drafted Hillary Clinton.Tyler is a junior majoring in journalism. He can be contacted to talk fantasy football at [email protected]last_img read more

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Football: Look at Chris Orr’s draft stock before April’s NFL Draft

first_imgThe University of Wisconsin football team had a better-than-expected 2019 season and much of their success can be credited to one of the best defenses in the nation. Linebacker Chris Orr was among the leaders on defense and may hear his name called at the 2020 NFL Draft.Orr has seen success across his four-plus seasons with the Badgers — playing in 50 games including 30 starts, 14 of which came in his senior season. While Orr played in four full seasons, he did tear his ACL on the first defensive snap of 2016 against Louisiana State University, forcing him to miss the remainder of the season before returning in 2017.Football: Look at draft stocks of Erdmann, Moorman before NFL DraftThe University of Wisconsin football team will hear multiple names called during the NFL Draft in April, and offensive linemen Read…As a three-star recruit out of DeSoto High School in Texas, Orr impressed across his two-year varsity career — totaling 374 total tackles, 13 forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries, three defensive touchdowns and an interception.Despite those impressive numbers, Orr was overlooked by many due to his size, standing at 6 feet 0 inches tall and 228 pounds. Offers for Orr included Kansas, Nevada, Arkansas, North Texas and Wisconsin, which ended up being the school of Orr’s choice.In Orr’s time with Wisconsin, he has developed into a defensive leader alongside fellow senior and roommate Zack Baun. In the 2019 season, Baun and Orr took over as one of the best linebacking duos in the nation — combining for 24 sacks, including 11.5 from Orr alone.To add to his 11.5 sacks, Orr also finished with 78 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and eight quarterback hits.Football: Look at Tyler Biadasz’s draft stock before NFL DraftWith the NFL Draft quickly approaching, several Badgers are preparing for their name to be called on draft night, with Read…With the NFL Draft less than two months away, let’s take a look at Orr’s draft stock —The biggest concern for NFL scouts when it comes to Orr is his trouble with covering larger zone areas on passing plays. While Orr can often deliver explosive hits, his speed is below average for a linebacker, and that will not work to his advantage during the NFL Draft process.While Orr was an impressive defensive specimen with the Badgers, he will likely be overlooked during the draft process due to his aforementioned lack of size. An average NFL linebacker is roughly 6 feet 3 inches tall and 245 pounds, and Orr — who slimmed down to about 215 pounds before his senior season — is nowhere near those measurements.While linebackers worked out at the NFL Combine from Feb. 25 to March 1, Orr was not invited, meaning he will have to prove his value to teams via private workouts or at Wisconsin’s Pro Day, which will take place March 11.The failure of the NFL to at least invite Orr is frankly ridiculous, especially for a player who put up such impressive numbers in one of the toughest conferences in college football.Football: Look at Quintez Cephus’ draft stock before NFL DraftFollowing a missed full season in 2018, junior wide receiver Quintez Cephus showed up in a major way in 2019, Read…Obviously, there is a lot of linebacking depth in the draft, including Combine standout Isaiah Simmons, Kenneth Murray, Patrick Queen, Baun and many more. But still, Orr’s talents — even if he is undersized — should not be overlooked, as he has the potential to make a name for himself in the NFL.Orr’s older brother, Zach, went undrafted in the 2014 NFL Draft but was given an opportunity with the Baltimore Ravens, where he ended up playing for three seasons, earning a Second-team All-Pro Award in the 2016 season. Zach Orr, who now serves as a coaching analyst with the Ravens, called the lack of an invite for his brother “absolutely crazy” on Twitter.Orr’s playmaking ability as a run-stopper and sack machine during his time with Wisconsin should give him at least a chance with an NFL team, either via the draft or as an undrafted free agent. Orr does particularly well at finding the holes on the line, getting him into the backfield quickly and leading to big hits thanks to his explosive, compact build.As we saw during the 2019 season, Orr would be a great defensive anchor for most NFL teams in need of linebacking help, and he would perform especially well with another above-average linebacker beside him, as he had with Baun and Jack Sanborn during his time with the Badgers.Football: Look at Jonathan Taylor’s draft stock before NFL DraftRunning back Jonathan Taylor has been a crucial piece of Wisconsin’s offense for the past three seasons, making the decision Read…When looking at Orr’s draft profile as a whole, he generally seems to fit in as a good option for teams in need of better pass rushing from the linebacker position. Despite being one of the best linebackers in the Big Ten in the 2019 season, Orr is generally viewed as a 5th or 6th round pick at best, with most outlets projecting him to go in the 7th round or even undrafted. Either way, Orr might just end up being a steal for NFL teams willing to take a chance on him.Draft Projection — 6th Round-Undrafted Free Agentlast_img read more

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No surprises in Nene’s first budget, say analysts

first_imgExpectations of high increases in the marginal tax rate, capital gains tax and VAT failed to materialise in what has been labelled a reassuring budget, delivered by Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene in Parliament on Wednesday.“Just like central banking, the best possible budget is a boring budget, and this is a boring one,” Dr Adrian Saville, Chief Strategist at Citadel, a wealth management company, said in a statement on Thursday.“As a society we tend to be ultra-sensitive and hyper-reactive, but the most sensible way to understand this government is to watch how it acts. It behaves like a middle-class conservative party and this is a middle-class, conservative budget.”A middle-class conservative country builds a strong economy. This is in the best interests of investors and the minister has given no reason for capital flight. “Boring is good,” he said.Overall, there is not too much surprise, although the minister’s assumptions of a 3% growth rate by 2017 are optimistic, said George Herman, Head of South African Portfolios at Citadel.It is difficult to see where the cash will come from to stabilise the parastatals. The minister said the allocation of R23-billion made in October for Eskom would be paid in three installments, but did not make it clear where that cash is to be found; similarly, he was quiet on the R14.4-billion guarantees for SAA.The 2c temporary increase in the electricity levy to 5.5c/kWh will work out to be a big number and every consumer who pays for electricity will pay that, although this may well work out to be a further subsidy for industrial users paid by residential users, said Saville, who points out that the minister did not say whether this levy will be across the board.A noteworthy change is the price of petrol. A 30.5c a litre increase in the fuel levy coupled with a 50c a litre increase for the Road Accident Fund means we will be paying an extra 80.5c per litre of petrol, although this is offset against the drop in the oil price.The easiest way to see the effects of the lower oil price is in the price of petrol, but oil is possibly the single biggest cost component in manufacturing after labour, so in this case the fuel levy will not detract from the boost given to manufacturing by the low international oil price.Analysts had expected a substantial jump in capital gains tax and the marginal tax rate, some predicting as high as 45%. It is with some relief then, that the announcement was for a small rise (41% from 40%), said Madeleine Schubert, Citadel Strategic Director: Tax and Fiduciary.“It is a lovely budget for offshore investors; the offshore allowance has risen from R4- million to R10-million. The immigration allowance is now up to R20-million and corporates can take a billion offshore,” she said.In more good news for offshore investors, this allowance can be put into a structure rather than simply taken as cash. It points to the general easing of exchange controls. “These are big numbers and show that the government is getting ready to lift exchange controls altogether,” said Schubert.Nene was silent on taxes on hedge funds, but in line with other tax increases – personal income tax is up 1% – he raised taxes on trusts by a single percentage point. “Personal income tax is up, but the medical aid rebate and the primary rebate are down, so this evens out,” Schubert adds.“I have a feeling the 1% increase will be welcomed with open arms by investors as there is no increase in dividend taxes, death duties or capital gains taxes,” said John Kennedy, Citadel Director: Wealth Planning and Regional Head: Western Cape. “A tax rate increase of 1% is far better than what the market expected and it is very welcome.”“From a tax side, there is nothing really too concerning,” says Schubert, welcoming the plan to look more closely at transfer pricing and the digital economy. “This is on trend globally,” she added.Herman said he was “quite surprised that the tax adjustments were not more progressive than they were”.“I was expecting a super-tax. This 1% increase is similar to a VAT increase, but is politically more palatable,” he said.Collectively, all the increases will bring in R16.7-billion, and the government was looking for R17-billion, so that was also a very smart move.”The markets greeted the budget with little change. The rand was a touch weaker after strengthening overnight, but investors were pleased that the rumours of significant tax increases – particularly on the high end of the scale – were not made.The runaway spend is social spend, which is ahead of spend on basic education, and on the civil service. About one in three South Africans receives a social grant.Debt service shows the fastest growth over the next three years, says Herman. It is in double digits and is rising. Borrowing requirements are not yet onerous, but this can become exponentially worse.“Looking in a straight line over a year or two, debt service costs overtake social spend,” said Saville. “We are going in the wrong direction on that.”Overall, the budget was tight and conservative, and the minister managed to balance the need for increased revenue without stifling spending. The credibility of the country’s financial systems remains intact.“Today we have seen more pragmatism and consistency. There have been no major surprises,” said Kennedy.Source: Citadel Investment Serviceslast_img read more

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Shooter Abhinav Bindra announces retirement from professional shooting

first_imgAbhinav BindraIndia’s ace shooter Abhinav Bindra has announced retirement from the professional shooting. India’s first and the only individual Olympic gold medallist in Olympics(10m Air Rifle, 2008 Beijing), Bindra will end his professional career tomorrow at Incheon Asian Games, where he will competing for the last time.At the recently concluded at Commonwealth Games at Glasgow, Bindra had announced that it would be his last Commonwealth Games.Bindra, who will turn 32 on September 28, on Monday tweeted: Tomorrow will mark the end of my professional shooting life ! I will however still shoot , compete as a hobby shooter training twice a week.&; Abhinav Bindra (@Abhinav_Bindra) September 22, 2014And yes I will still try to be at rio and my bio is now most appropriate ! Great times and am sure there will be a few more !&; Abhinav Bindra (@Abhinav_Bindra) September 22, 2014Bindra will represent India in the 10m air rifle event on Tuesday.last_img read more

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Live Streaming of NTL Finals

first_imgHere are the links for the live streaming of the NTL Elite Eight finals:Women’s – QLD Chiefs v NSW Mets:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zt5xEomcXPoMen’s NSW Mets v NSW Country Mavericks:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lov9utrxHR0There are plenty of ways that you can keep up-to-date with all of the latest news and information from finals day at the 2013 X-Blades National Touch League. We’ll be updating the Touch Football Australia Facebook and Twitter pages throughout the day with all of the latest news and results. Be sure to ‘like’ and ‘follow’ us by clicking on the following links:www.facebook.com/touchfootballaustraliawww.twitter.com/touchfootyaus (be sure to use the #ntl2013 and #elite8 hashtags)For all of the results across the day, head to www.ntl.mytouchfooty.com. We’ll also be live streaming throughout the day, head to www.youtube.com/touchfootballaus to watch the games. To find out which games will be live streamed, click on the ‘browse videos’ section on the top menu of the channel and then on ‘events’ or stay tuned to our social media pages for links. Good luck to all teams on finals day of the 2013 X-Blades National Touch League!Related LinksNTL Finals Daylast_img read more

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10 months agoEurope’s biggest alerted as FFP force PSG into Neymar or Mbappe sale

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Europe’s biggest alerted as FFP force PSG into Neymar or Mbappe saleby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveEurope’s biggest clubs are on red alert after it broke on Sunday that Financial Fair Play pressure will force PSG to sell Kylian Mbappe or Neymar in 2019.Mediapart reports PSG will have to pay back around £170m Euros to appease FFP – which means selling one of the stars in 2019.The signings of Neymar for €222 million (£195.8 million) and Mbappe for a reported €180 million (£158.7 million), are believed to have unbalanced the club’s accounts.UEFA are looking into the finances of the French champions and the impact of the signings of Neymar and Mbappe.And PSG could be excluded from the Champions League if they are found to have breached FFP rules.Neymar has been linked with Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester United this season. last_img read more

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21 days agoNewcastle boss Bruce sets out his transfer blueprint

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Newcastle boss Bruce sets out his transfer blueprintby Paul Vegas21 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveNewcastle United boss Steve Bruce has set out his blueprint for his transfer plans.Bruce says he draws on his experience under Sir Alex Ferguson.He told the Mirror: “When you get the spine right, everything else falls into place.“I think Sir Alex would say himself that bringing in Schmeichel, Pallister, myself , Irwin, we all ended up being there ten or 12 years.“It’s vitally important that you get that right if you can. If you can get the nucleus and spine of your side and keep it together, that is massive.“In front of us, you had Robson who played ten or 12 years, Keane who played ten years, Ince, seven years. Hughes, who played ten years or something like that.” last_img read more

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9 days agoNewcastle owner Ashley makes honest admission to Woodward

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Newcastle owner Ashley makes honest admission to Woodwardby Paul Vegas9 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveNewcastle United owner Mike Ashley knows how he’s seen within the game.The Evening Chronicle says he dubbed himself ‘the most unpopular man in football’ in a meeting with Manchester United supremo Ed Woodward, according to a report.The Magpies recently earned a crucial 1-0 win over the Red Devils earlier this month as Matty Longstaff capped his Premier League debut with the winning goal.The win lifted Steve Bruce’s side out of the relegation zone and relieved the pressure that had been building on the Newcastle manager.The same cannot be said for Ashley, though, with Magpies fans growing tired of his unpopular 12-year reign. last_img read more

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