While Oklahoma State’s offensive line has steadily progressed on the run-blocking front, there is still a lot of room to grow in one of the most important facets of the game.There’s no doubt that the most important player to the Cowboys’ success is Mason Rudolph. The record-setting junior has almost single-handedly turned this program around. He is 20-5 as a starter, but he’s been sacked at least once in every game this year. Taking care of him should be priority number one.Unfortunately, the Cowboys are currently 105th in the nation in sacks allowed, having given up 27 through ten games. That 2.7 per game is a step back from last season’s average of 2.46 and just marginally better than 2014’s abysmal 3.08.Let’s take a look at the Cowboys’ allowed sacks by year.For six years the Cowboys ranked in the top three in the conference and top 15 in the country at protecting their QB. Since then the numbers are drastically worse.That should be no surprise to any of us. We’ve belabored that point over the last three years.What should surprise us is that the Cowboys aren’t making any marked improvement on this front. In fact, as mentioned above, the Cowboys are on pace to take a step backwards this year. Given how good the run game has been, this is somewhat surprising.I will say, the last few games have been better. OSU only allowed four sacks total against WVU, KSU and Tech in the last three outings. That’s a marked improvement from the first seven. It’s no mistake that two of the best yards-per-play outings of the Gundy era have come in the last two games.#okstate has averaged 9+ yards per play in just nine games in the Gundy era. Two have come in the last two weeks. pic.twitter.com/9x1JpzvJFL— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) November 14, 2016Sack numbers aren’t just about protecting your quarterback. They are about protecting drives. Possessions are like gold to a coaching staff. If you break down a football game by the numbers, there are a finite number of opportunities to score. Each time your quarterback is sacked you lose a down and put your drive “behind the chains” so to speak.You can gain or lose an edge with turnovers and big plays. But while that’s worked out for the Cowboys at times, those can’t be depended on. Doing so is playing with fire. See Texas Tech. That’s why I don’t get too bent out of shape when Mike Gundy plays a bit conservatively. He knows that for every Rudolph-to-Washington 82-yard connection there is the possibility for a pick-six or a some other horrifying event.The Cowboys end the season with two tough road games. They figure to be underdogs in both. Can their O-line take care of business, protect Rudolph better and give Mike Gundy a fighting chance against TCU and OU to win the Big 12? We’ll see. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.
The Oklahoma State Cowboys had one of their best (if not the best) ground performances of the season against the TCU Horned Frogs in their 31-6 victory last Saturday.It has been a long time since the Pokes have been able to lean on the ground game, but the Cowboys did just that, and they averaged a stunning 7.4 yards per carry against one of the better defenses in the Big 12.So why has the run game improved? Well, it’s actually quite simple. Yes, the Xs and Os behind it are notable, but there’s only so much to analyze. The Cowboy coaching staff has put together an effective two-back run scheme. But the improvement at personnel has been the biggest reason for the team’s recent success on the ground.When OSU first introduced the Cowboy Back, the Cowboys frequently used a gap power scheme (man-to-man blocking, basically), but the problem was that the line couldn’t block it well. Additionally, with only one possible point of attack, the back was limited in where he could go.But now, the Cowboys have completely revamped the run game, and have turned to zone blocking to not only make it easier for the lineman but to also feature their talented backs.Just because a team is zone-heavy doesn’t mean that the run game is simple or predictable. Through the zone, the Cowboys used a number of different plays to keep the defense off-balanced.They used a strong-side zone:A zone to the weak side (which is a tendency breaker and often caught the defense by surprise):And a lead draw play:Additionally, they ran a lead zone with split backs:And used a devastating wham play which, at one point in the fourth quarter, OSU used three times in a row for a total of 53 yards:And don’t forget that quarterback Mason Rudolph has been used more and more in the run game, specifically in the red zone and short-yardage situations (notice that the play below is the same as the play above with a read on the play-side end, i.e. was specifically called for Rudolph).Although this is a chalk talk article, it would be unfair to not give credit to the people who have made this possible. As we’ve seen in the past, coaches can scheme and strategize all they want, but if their players can’t execute, then it’s all for naught.This year, though, the offensive line has improved immensely. The running backs, and more specifically Justice Hill and Chris Carson, have thrived in the Cowboy run game as of late.Finally, the coaching staff has intelligently taken one base zone play and built a run offense off of it, and because the line really has only one or two plays to practice, they have been able to become a more than respectable zone run team.One or even two years ago, the Cowboys were lucky to surpass 100 yards on the ground. Now, things have clearly changed, and it appears like this ground attack won’t be regressing any time soon. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.
While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. The PFB team discussed our feelings on the coaching rumors surrounding Mike Gundy, our thoughts on what’s going on behind the scenes, and more.Boone (me): Why do you think his name popped up in coaching rumors?Cox (contributor): Because he wanted it to.Caleb (intern): Wait, he’s still around?Sam (hoops guru): Money talks. Gundy Badger deserves a raise, even if this is an awful time to bring it up after Bedlam :grimacing:Cox: I think the constant frustration/passive-aggressive turmoil between he and T. Boone and Holder is just going to be something that we are all going to have to live with.Southwell (uniform expert): Gundy Hundy. Athletic directors want a winnerCox: Agreed. Makes sense financially, even if it doesn’t for fans/football/whatever. I think the timing with this Bedlam fiasco is just coincidental.Caleb: Also, who doesn’t want a coach willing to rock a mullet? Besides like Harvard and Yale and all them fancy-types. And they aren’t worth Gundy’s time anyways.Thomas (X’s and O’s): I think if bedlam didn’t go the way it did , his name wouldn’t have been thrown out so much.Caleb: I think he truly is one of the better coaches in the nation, but the “bedlam curse” is hanging over him and it’s probably annoying. He doesn’t necessarily have a problem (ok maybe he does), but it’s probably just more of a hastle than anything. If you can get buckets of cash elsewhere without annoyance…..Sam: I don’t believe Baylor ever had a legitimate shot at himBoone: This happens to a lot of coaches, though. Holgerson’s name popped up for the Houston job — then got an extension and raise several days later. Is he doing what coaches do to get a raise or is it something more?Thomas: Yeah sometimes I get the sense that he’s using it as leverageSam: I have no doubt Gundy is frustrated with Holder/Boone though.. and that played a partCox: I’m sure it’s to get a raise and to make a point.Caleb: It’s tough to say if it’s a bluff for a raise or true interest. I would say the jobs connected are the best indicators, so Baylor seems like a bluff, but something like Oregon or equivalent could be an issue if it were real#Sources say Holder is considering trading Gundy to Oregon for a return of the grey unisCox: it’s a win-win for him… why not talk to them? raise here or more money there.Caleb: @kylecox that’s a good point. I mean, what is his downside to talking to others? Is OSU going to call his bluff and fire their winningest coach ever? Over rumors of him talking to other schools? Really?Cox: he’s got all the dominos and has earned them.Boone: I just feel like its a 100 percent leverage play. The downside, to Caleb’s point, is that he could be fired. It wouldn’t be smart — but I think OSU is tired of him playing the game.Sam: Holder and T Boone aren’t in control and they hate it. Caleb is rightSouthwell: Boone: He hasn’t earned a right to act this way, at least IMO. Do you see Bob Stoops pushing OU’s hand in public every year? What about Nick Saban? Their pay is different, but I don’t think he’s above it. No one is untouchable.Thomas: I just want a coach who’s going to coach wth kahunesIs that too much to askCox: Not saying I agree with it. He could talk to 15 schools and it doesn’t get out unless he wants it to… I was speaking in terms that he is pretty much untouchable at OSU. If they fired him, it would not only be a huge mistake it would make them look ridiculous.Caleb: I think the atheltic department is probably very frustrated with his actions/attitude. I would guess they’ve been hesitant to even consider firing the golden child for years, but with the rising expectations of Cowboy fans and the growing list of quality coaches, as well as the solid footing the program is on as a whole now, I would think they are no longer considering him completely off-limits. Especialy if they think fans are frustrated with the bedlam recordBoone: One final question “to get you out of here on this” (shoutout K-Port): Would you be OK if Gundy moved on this offseason, either by termination or from walking away?Thomas: I would quickly get over itEspecially if we got monkenBut no way holder hires that fireball of a coach because he couldn’t control himBoone: To me: I think I would be OK with it. Depending on who we could get in his place. I am on the #Fuente2Stilly train if it were to happen.Sam: Depends on the replacement- if we get a Fedora, Fuente? I think we’d be just fine. I don’t want no scrubs.Caleb: Totally depends on who we could get. Quality coach comes in and it’s a lot easier to look to the future, but it’s a HUGE gamble for Holder. Like, Dwarfs-Travis -Ford-Extension gamble…Cox: It all depends on who comes in… Look at Texas. The grass is not always greener and it’s a lot harder to win in Stillwater than in Austin. Who really knows if any of those guys will do any better? Charlie Strong was the hottest coach in the country four years ago.Southwell: It would be a weird time to leave. He’s got a really good shot at going to the CFB Playoff next year. To do that for your alma mater is even better. Legendary status.So I don’t think I would be ok with that. I’d feel let down. I would get behind whoever replaces him, but I’d want Gundy over all of the other coaches mentioned.Cox: agreed. this part of coaching isn’t fun but he’s not the only coach that does it. I’m sure UNC fans don’t love Fedora’s name in everyone’s mouth.
Cristiano Ronaldo Ronaldo: I want three more Ballon d’Or awards but would be happy if I retired now Goal Last updated 1 year ago 23:05 26/2/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(23) Getty/Goal Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid Primera División The Real Madrid star remains at the pinnacle of the world game and has achieved everything he wants, but he is sure he can keep going for a bit longer Cristiano Ronaldo says he has achieved all of his dreams in football, but would like to win the Ballon d’Or another three times before he retires.The Real Madrid star was named the best player on the planet for the fifth time in 2017, pulling level with Barcelona rival Lionel Messi.Ronaldo already has four Champions League and Club World Cup trophies to add to his Premier League and La Liga winners’ medals accrued in his sensational periods at Manchester United and Madrid. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp And while the 32-year-old feels he would be perfectly happy in life if he were to retire from the game immediately, he believes he can still achieve a great deal more before he does call time on his career.”I never dreamed of winning the Ballon d’Or five times,” he told Desimpedidos . “If I had to finish my career now, I would be super happy… [but] if I won another Ballon d’Or, two or three more times I’d be delighted with life.”Even if I don’t win, I’ve already won five… but I still have the confidence and the strength to compete for the prize… it depends on the titles we win this year.”Everything I dreamed of, I achieved.”After guiding his national team to Euro 2016 glory last season, Ronaldo is preparing to lead out Portugal in their World Cup campaign in Russia this summer.Although he feels his side are not looked upon as favourites to win the title, Ronaldo still has hope heading into the tournament.”We are not the favourites, we have to be honest,” he added. “There are teams with more names, like Brazil, Spain, Germany, Argentina… but in football everything is possible.”We are going to try to advance from the group stage, then we’ll see. The main objective is the first phase.”
Primera División Barcelona Team News: Injuries, suspensions and line-up vs Atletico Ben Hayward Last updated 1 year ago 15:15 4/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Primera División Barcelona v Atlético Madrid Barcelona Atlético Madrid Everything you need to know as first meets second in the Primera Division at Camp Nou this weekend… Barcelona meet Atletico Madrid on Sunday in what will be a huge title test for both teams in La Liga.Ernesto Valverde’s side saw their lead cut to five points at the top of the table after they were held to a 1-1 draw by Las Palmas in the Canary Islands on Thursday and, after arriving on the mainland just before 4am on Friday morning, their players were back in training at 12:30 to prepare for Sunday’s big game.Atletico, meanwhile, were in action at home to Leganes on Wednesday and won that match 4-0, with all four goals scored by Antoine Griezmann. Diego Simeone’s side have only lost once all season and drew 1-1 with Barca at the Wanda Metropolitano back in October. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Here, Goal takes a look at everything you need to know ahead of Sunday’s clash at Camp Nou…Barcelona injuriesNelson Semedo is expected to be out for five weeks after picking up a hamstring injury in last Saturday’s 6-1 win at home to Girona.Meanwhile, Sergi Samper is out with a long-term problem. The midfielder was on loan at Las Palmas, but damaged ankle ligaments in a game against Eibar in January and has returned to Barcelona for the rest of the season in order to recover and receive treatment.Barcelona suspensionsJordi Alba picked up his fifth league booking of the season against Girona and missed the trip to Las Palmas, but he will be available again this weekend. Meanwhile, Luis Suarez managed to avoid a yellow card on Thursday and will feature, although he is still just one booking away from a ban.Barcelona potential starting line-upBarcelona remain unbeaten in La Liga and coming through this match with that record intact will make the Blaugrana big favourites to claim the title at the end of the season.Valverde will therefore pick his strongest side and the only real doubt is in midfield, with Andres Iniesta, Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele competing for two spots alongside Sergio Busquets and Ivan Rakitic.If Iniesta starts, Coutinho could feature as well, but given that his preferred position is also on the left, Dembele may get the nod to provide more balance on the right.With Semedo injured, Sergi Roberto will start at right-back, with Alba back from suspension to replace Lucas Digne on the left. Gerard Pique, rested on Thursday, will return alongside Samuel Umtiti in central defence.Atletico Madrid team newsAtletico have lost just once this season in La Liga and are on form after thrashing Sevilla 5-2 away from home and then Leganes 4-0 in their last two league games.Griezmann scored seven goals in those two matches and his partnership with Diego Costa in attack is really starting to blossom for the Rojiblancos.Simeone’s side have a small squad for the remainder of the season after Yannick Carrasco and Nico Gaitan both moved to China and goalkeeper Miguel Angel Moya joined Real Sociedad this week.In addition, defenders Lucas Hernandez and Stefan Savic are doubtful for Sunday’s game.TV channel & kick-off timeBarcelona versus Atletico kicks off at 16:15 local time on Sunday and will be broadcast live in the UK (United Kingdom) on Sky Sports Mix from 15:00 GMT.In the United States, the game can be watched live on television on beIN SPORTS and kicks off at 10:15 ET.Best Opta match facts Barcelona have not lost any of their last 15 games against Atletico in La Liga (11 wins and four draws), their best unbeaten run against them in the competition. Atletico have just lost just once in their last 24 La Liga games away from home (won 15, drawn eight), a 1-0 defeat against Espanyol in December. Simeone (eight defeats and four draws) has never beaten Barca as a coach in La Liga. Atletico are Lionel Messi’s second favourite opponent in all competitions (27 goals scored) after Sevilla (29). Only against Villarreal (nine) has Fernando Torres scored more goals in La Liga than against Barcelona (eight, same as against Athletic), although his last league goal at Camp Nou in the competition was 12 years ago (a double in February 2006).
Rangers v Celtic Rangers must be sh***ing themselves for Old Firm clash – Sutton Robin Bairner 21:54 10/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Rangers v Celtic Premiership Rangers Celtic The former England striker believes that the Bhoys will be fired up and ready to take the Ibrox club down a peg or two Chris Sutton believes that a few Rangers players will be sh***ing themselves ahead of Sunday’s Old Firm meeting with Celtic.The Gers have closed the gap on the Bhoys at the summit of the Scottish Premiership table to six points and could move to within three of their great rivals if they were to win the fixture at Ibrox, albeit having played a game more. It is a match that Graeme Murty’s side seem to feel they have a strong chance in, given their celebration that greeted the Scottish Cup semi-final draw, which also paired Glasgow’s two biggest clubs for a showdown in mid-April. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Sutton, though, believes that was little more than bluster.“I’d ask the question, were they cheering because they were happy with the draw – or was it a total bluff?” he wrote in his column for the Daily Record.“Come on. The closer we get to kick-off the more reality will kick in. They will be s****ing themselves when they go to bed tonight.”Having won nine of their last 10 games, their confidence is up, but Sutton believes the actions of the Ibrox club will only inspire Brendan Rodgers’ men.“I would have loved to have heard that stuff when I was a player. It would only make me even more determined to ram it right back down their throats,” he said.“I’d see this as a brilliant opportunity. Deep down I’d be thinking, this is a chance to prove you’re not really up to much – and we’re going to bash you.“The motivation for Celtic should come from the fact they’ve not been very good this season and it’s about time they did something about it.“But the ridiculous stuff from the Rangers dressing room only cranks it up a notch.”Although Rangers held Celtic to a scoreless draw in the New Year derby match, they have not beaten their cross-city rivals over 90 minutes since March 25, 2012.
While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Redshirt senior Larry Joubert announced his retirement from football on Monday evening, citing a heart condition “that came up recently” that will ultimately cut short his Oklahoma State career.Joubert signed with OSU out of NEO in 2017 as an offensive lineman. He redshirted hisw first season and later switched to Cowboy back after the 2018 season.“It makes me sad to make this post,” he said on Twitter. “I am no longer able to play the sport I love to play due to a heart condition that came up recently. I’m still in healthy condition but it’s too dangerous to continue to play football at the level I am at. It’s hard to talk about something you’re going to lose forever because this was my last year of eligibility, and also my first love in athletics. I will continue to support my brothers on the field and off the field and will be thankful for the opportunity of a lifetime playing at this level for this school.”Joubert was a late addition to the 2017 recruiting class for OSU. After missing on a number of recruits — and after offensive line pledges Adrian Wolford, Derek Kerstetter and Dan More all flipped to other schools, ultimately leading to Greg Adkins’ dismissal — Joubert was offered a late slot in the recruiting class by Gundy shortly after national signing day. He played sparingly in 2018 on offense and on special teams, and last played in the Liberty Bowl.With Joubert’s retirement comes opportunity for others in the Cowboy Back room. Jelani Woods figures to be a big piece in the positional future, and Jake Ross, Dayton Metcalf and even freshman Grayson Boomer could now be in line for extended reps this season in his absence.
It’s unclear what the special decal will look like or where it will be located on the helmet, but in 2016 to honor those who died in the tragic homecoming parade and in the plane crashes, the Cowboys donned 18 football stickers on the back of the lids — one for each victim.Closer look at those helmet stickers 👀 pic.twitter.com/YwlsUGpMri— Kyle Boone (@PFBoone) October 29, 2016 The Oklahoma State football team will for the rest of the season don special helmet decals as a tribute to the late T. Boone Pickens, Stadium’s Brett McMurphy reported Wednesday.Pickens, who donated $652 million to Oklahoma State, with much of it going to the football program, passed away Wednesday at his home in Dallas, Texas.Oklahoma State will honor T. Boone Pickens with a helmet decal the remainder of the season. Pickens, 91, died today. He will be buried at Karsten Creek Golf Club, Oklahoma State’s home golf club— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) September 11, 2019 While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.
It’s been a busy week – on Monday, I presented at the Association of Fundraising Professionals meeting here in DC. On Wednesday, I presented at the American Marketing Foundation Foundation annual conference, and today I hosted a free teleconference called, “Nonprofit 911” about how to fix ailing online giving programs (675 people registered, so clearly it struck a chord!). My experiences at these events have yielded loads of material for the blog, which I’ll be sharing for the next week or two.Today, I want to highlight some points made by my professional mentor and marketing idol, Bill Novelli, who delivered the AMA conference’s closing speech. His theme was the nonprofit sector’s triple bottom line. Corporations have a single bottom line – shareholder value, which is driven by profits. As people working for the public good, we have a triple bottom line, he said. Namely: social change, stakeholder value and revenue generation. What Bill said that was most interesting was that we’ve got to stop thinking about those three line items as separate and instead think of them collectively. Specifically, he said we have to seek the synergies between them. (Oops, I broke my vow never to use the word “synergy” in print, but at least I’m quoting someone else. I promise to keep my pledge with respect to “leverage.”) You could save the whales, send out plastic wristbands to thank your members, and sell whale-embroidered neckties at the holidays as separate endeavors, and they might work in isolation. But wouldn’t it make more sense to save the whales by making the other two endeavors reinforce your mission of saving the whales – like naming whale pods after your most generous members and reporting on how they’re doing regularly to show value, and selling whale-watching trips so that ecotourism dollars would drive more environmentally-friendly policies in areas home to whales? This is my example – Bill showed how AARP is building social impact into products from health care plans to financial products to achieve a self-reinforcing triple bottom line. “Synergy is the most powerful part of your work, if you can figure it out,” he says.I like to think we do this at Network for Good. Our mission is to get more resources to nonprofits online. We provide tools and training to help nonprofits get more money online (stakeholder value) and also sell special paid (but inexpensive) fundraising services to nonprofits, which reinforces our mission. This hasn’t always been the case in my career — I remember once working with a furniture company on a co-branded campaign that sure did nothing to promote social change. Oops.Is your triple bottom line reinforcing your mission?
World Cup Rampant Russia make record-breaking start at home World Cup Chris Burton Last updated 1 year ago 04:36 6/20/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(2) Getty World Cup Russia v Egypt Russia Egypt Powerade The hosts were given little chance heading into a global showpiece, but they have burst out of the blocks quicker than any side in history Russia’s remarkable efforts in their opening two games at a home World Cup have seen them set a new tournament record for flying starts.Having been given little chance heading into the tournament, as the lowest-ranked side in the competition, the hosts have made a mockery of that doom-mongering.They were given a helping hand in their opening encounter, with Saudi Arabia folding badly under pressure as Russian president Vladimir Putin watched on from the stands. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Five goals without reply got the home side off to the perfect start, with the mood of a nation and the belief within an experienced squad lifted by a dominant display.Already perched at the top of Group A on the back of that performance, the Russians produced more of the same when presented with the challenge of seeing off Egypt and Mohamed Salah.It did take an own goal from Ahmed Fathy to break the deadlock in St Petersburg, but two more efforts had been added by the 62nd minute and the final result was beyond doubt.Salah pulled one back from the spot for Egypt, but Russia held on for a 3-1 win which means that they have collected six points from their opening two games while finding the target eight times.No side in World Cup history can claim to have bettered that record.Italy, back in 1934, also opened their campaign with eight goals in two games, but they conceded twice and were held in their second outing by Spain.8 – Russia’s eight goals in the first two #WorldCup games is a joint-record for a host nation (Italy 1934 also 8). Party. pic.twitter.com/YFzzMcFid6— OptaJohan (@OptaJohan) June 19, 2018France, meanwhile, also boasted a goal difference of plus seven after two games in 1998, but that was the collective tally of their efforts – with two clean sheets secured.Russia will be delighted to be following in the footsteps of former champions, with their recent World Cup history having offered little to suggest that such form was on the cards.8 – Russia have scored two more goals in this #WorldCup (8) than they had in their previous two World Cup tournaments combined (6 across 2002 and 2014). Entertainers. #RUS #EGY #RUSEGY pic.twitter.com/Z9OTHv6fuC— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 19, 2018Stanislav Cherchesov’s side now have one foot in the last-16 and will feel that anything can happen from there, with their goal tally already equal to that of a Spain side which went all the way in 2010.8 – Russia’s eight goal total in their two games at the 2018 World Cup is equal to the tally that Spain scored overall in their 2010 tournament victory (in seven games). Madness.#RUSEGY #RUS #WorldCup pic.twitter.com/IUDFRhgds2— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 19, 2018Russia do still have one more Group A outing to take in before attention turns to knockout football, with Uruguay next up for them on Monday.
Transfers Sarri requests Higuain, Mertens & Koulibaly as Chelsea talks speed up Nizaar Kinsella Click here to see more stories from this author Chelsea Correspondent 20:05 6/20/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Transfers Chelsea Napoli Premier League Antonio Conte The Blues are still not clear on who their head coach will be next season as they push ahead to get a deal resolved before pre-season kicks off Chelsea have spoken to prospective new manager Maurizio Sarri about his transfer preferences as he targets a host of Napoli stars from past and present, Goal understands.Talks over a deal to appoint Sarri to replace Antonio Conte continue to progress positively and, in conversations with Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia, he has stated his admiration of various Napoli stars, including Kalidou Koulibaly, Elseid Hysaj, Piotr Zielinski and Dries Mertens.However, Chelsea will have the final say on transfers, just as they did with Conte and remain cautious about offering players aged over 30 a contract lasting longer than one year. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar This policy may scupper Sarri’s interest in signing Belgium international Mertens and also Juventus striker Gonzalo Higuain, whose future with the Serie A champions is the source of renewed doubts.Higuain retains a strong bond with Sarri from their time together at Napoli, despite controversially swapping the title challengers for their fierce rivals in the north of Italy.Koulibaly and Mertens both interested Chelsea in the past under Conte and the Senegal defender was the subject of an ultimately failed summer-long pursuit inNapoli have always proved difficult to work with for Chelsea as discussions continue to remove Sarri from his contract, despite club president Aurelio De Laurentiis having already signed Carlo Ancelotti to replace him.Sarri had a £7 million ($9.4m) release clause to be paid as compensation but that expired on May 31. Chelsea had sought to pay less than this clause, as they also face a possible £9m bill to remove Conte from his position as head coach.Talks have continued between Sarri and Chelsea, as they work on their strategy to secure his appointment, although Laurent Blanc remains a frontrunner, should the negotiations collapse. Chelsea have shown an interest in Nice’s Jean Michaël Seri and Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski, but a lack of manager has seen all transfer activity slow down at the club.The club’s players remain in the dark over who the new coach will be and their own futures could be affected by the next appointment. The non-World Cup players have been told that they are due back for pre-season on July 2 without knowing who the next manager will be.The situation around the head coach has delayed potential contract renewal talks for senior players, as well as the futures of those who are among the 35-man loan group.Blues legend Gianfranco Zola, meanwhile, is being lined up for a role under Sarri and he will be offered an assistant manager position.
The National Commission on Science and Technology (NCST) and the Scientific Research Council (SRC) are galvanising their resources to help local innovators develop their ideas for commercialisation.The objective is to increase the role of science, technology and innovation in achieving sustainable social and economic development.As a first activity, the entities hosted a workshop at The Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston on January 24 for winners and shortlisted candidates in the 2014, 2016, and 2018 national innovation competitions.The event provided an opportunity for the participants to benefit from support aimed at strengthening their capacity for developing and launching their inventions, and to benefit from information-sharing and network-building.In attendance were representatives of innovation support centres at the University of the West Indies (UWI), University of Technology (UTech), Northern Caribbean University (NCU), and Caribbean Maritime University (CMU).Agencies such as the Jamaica Intellectual Property Office (JIPO), Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters’ Association (JMEA), Bronson Centre, Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC), and Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) were also on hand to engage the innovators.Director General for the NCST, Professor Errol Morrison, in his remarks at the opening ceremony said that the workshop provides an “excellent opportunity to bring innovating minds together to show off and improve on what you are doing. Much of what we are doing will help you to improve in presenting your business and innovations”.He noted that the structure of the innovation awards has changed to now include pre- and post-awards capacity-building activities in order to “identify outstanding potential projects and take (them) to that next step”.Marketing Manager at the SRC, Carolyn Rose Miller, emphasised the importance of developing the ideas and innovations unearthed by the awards into viable businesses.“What really needs to happen is an institutionalised post-award programme to ensure that these innovative, great ideas are not only recognised but provide hand-holding support, coaching, financial support to take the innovation successfully to commercialisation,” she said.“It is only in this way that our economy will grow; by providing innovative solutions and also exporting these ideas. The SRC, along with the NCST is committed to making this process a success,” she added.A committee has been established, chaired by the SRC, to design activities to engage participants of the innovation competition in order to build their capacity to take advantage of the potential of their innovations and ideas, and connect them to available local resources.The workshop introduced participants to a programme developed by the California-based innovation management corporation, The Vault, used to facilitate consultations with enterprises of various sizes, to scale and expand their businesses.
State Minister for Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Sharon Ffolkes-Abrahams, says growth within Jamaica’s micro, small and medium-sized enterprise (MSMEs) is expected to be significantly boosted with development of the country’s global transshipment and logistics hub. Speaking at the Jamaica Exporters Association’s (JEA) 47th Annual General Meeting in Kingston, recently, Mrs. Ffolkes-Abrahams said, when implemented, the hub will provide a platform to integrate the MSME sector into the global supply chain by creating opportunities for a host of down-stream industries, including those that are service-based”. She said that the logistics hub will also serve as a “supply chain optimization platform” to support Jamaica’s export sector, for both the exportation of services and manufactured goods. This, she argued, presents significant business opportunities in the new wave of down-stream export oriented industries. “This platform will enhance Jamaica’s competitive advantage within the sector by speeding up the turnaround time and reducing the cost of doing business. It will strengthen our efforts to boost growth in our niche manufacturing sector in areas such agro-processing and light manufacturing of items, such as medical devices, which are fast becoming big business in today’s world,” she noted. Development of the transshipment and logistics hub is being undertaken by the Government in a bid to position Jamaica to take advantage of the anticipated increase in maritime activities, resulting from the expansion of the Panama Canal, by 2015. Meanwhile, Mrs. Ffolkes-Abrahams gave the assurance that the Ministry, through its agency, Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), will continue to pursue collaborations and undertakings to “fulfill its mandate” to the export community. One main area of focus, the State Minister said, is to advance the National Export Strategy (NES), to enhance exporters’ capacities to supply, promote, and effectively access foreign markets. She said a major initiative under NES is the FINPYME Export Plus Programme, coordinated by JAMPRO in collaboration with JEA. The aid-for-trade programme, an initiative of the Inter-American Investment Corporation, was launched in October and is being executed across the region. It is designed to improve access to export markets for MSMEs, through the provision of technical assistance to improve their competitiveness.It is also geared towards developing trade-related skills, and infrastructure. Technical assistance sessions for participating stakeholders focus on certification, operations, and management. The programme is being executed with the support of the Government of the Republic of Korea, through its SME Development Trust. Jamaica is among a select number of countries in which the FYNPYME Export Plus Programme has been implemented. “To date, 41 MSMEs have registered to participate in the programme with the first technical assistance session taking place earlier this month (November) on financing. I invite those of you, who haven’t yet registered, to do so as the benefits offered by the programme are invaluable to your business,” she stated. Mrs. Ffolkes-Abrahams noted that as part of efforts to enhance the country’s competitiveness globally, Jamaica must provide the right environment for exporters to conduct business easily and trade across borders. She said, in recognition of this, the Ministry has sought to increase efforts to create an enabling business environment through the work of the National Competitiveness Council (NCC). The Council, which is chaired by Portfolio Minister, Hon. Anthony Hylton, has developed a comprehensive reform agenda, outlining key initiatives to be implemented by 2014, in order to improve Jamaica’s competitiveness ranking globally.
A blind state supreme court justice. A deaf teen girl who word slams in sign language. An inner-city schools basketball coach born without fully-formed arms. A double hand amputee meets the love of his life who doesn’t see his disability.RJ Mitte, Susan Brownknight, Nic Novicki, and Jamie Brewer attend the ReelAbilities Film FestivalThese stories and more were told at the largest and most unique film festival in the country celebrating the lives and art of people with disabilities (PWD), the ReelAbilities Film Festival held March 9 – 12 in Cincinnati, Ohio. More than 10,000 people attended the Hollywood-style film extravaganza showcasing dozens of moving and thought-provoking documentaries, features and shorts about people living and achieving with disabilities.The festival featured appearances by more than a dozen celebrities who live with varying disabilities including: • RJ Mitte, best known for his role as Walter “Flynn” White, Jr. on the award-winning TV thriller, “Breaking Bad;” • Ali Stroker – known for her role in “Glee,” and as the first Broadway actress in a wheelchair to appear on a Broadway stage. • Jamie Brewer – known for her role as Adelaide ’Addie” Lagdon in “American Horror Story,” and as the first model with Down syndrome to walk the runway at New York Fashion Week. • Lauren Potter – best known as Becky Jackson in the popular television show, “Glee.” • Nic Novicki – standup comedian known for his recurring role on “Boardwalk Empire.” • Kurt Yaeger, a fan favorite on “Sons of Anarchy,” and a recurring role actor on “NCIS: Los Angeles;” • John Lawson, A television, film and commercial actor with past roles in the long running television crime dramas, “Law and Order,” “Law and Order: SVU” and “FX AMERICAN HORROR STORY: FREAK SHOW.”The festival presents real-life PWD stories that are robust, inspiring and de-stigmatizing with the goal of transforming perceptions around people living with disabilities.“I’ve been working my whole life to work with it and evolve with it,” said actor RJ Mitte of his cerebral palsy diagnosis at age 3. “Growing up, I was never taught to use the words ’can’t’ or ’won’t.’ I was taught to believe that I can achieve anything I want and that disability does not define me. This festival focuses on how differences strengthen us individually and as a community and I’m excited to be a part of that message.”Among the notable films and screenings over the weekend were “The Astronaut’s Secret,” starring astronaut Rich Clifford who is managing Parkinson’s Disease; and “Chimes for Tyler,” about an autistic savant with the exceptional skill of distinguishing the sounds of the entire inventory of Woodstock’s chimes. Cult favorite “Spring Break Zombie Massacre,” written and acted by Downs Syndrome best friends Sam Suchmann and Mattie Zufelt was also featured.Other special events at the festival included celebrity meet and greets and panel discussions; an interfaith breakfast; a veteran’s reception and brunch; and numerous acting and filmmaking-related workshops.The Cincinnati ReelAbilities Film Festival has grown exponentially since its debut year in 2013 when a dozen films were screened by 1900 attendees. For more information on the Cincinnati ReelAbilities Film Festival, visit www.CincyRA.org.
Rafiqul Islam said the commission will take legal actions against the people concerned if the election campaign materials are not removed by Sunday midnight. Rafiqul IslamElection commissioner Rafiqul Islam on Sunday said the Election Commission did not give any directive to law enforcement agencies to gather information of probable presiding officers and assistant presiding officers, reports UNB.“However, the commission has given necessary directives to law enforcement agencies not to harass any probable polling officers in this regard,” said Rafiqul Islam while talking to newsmen at his Nirbachan Bhaban office.Replying to a question over BNP’s list of the politically-motivated cases submitted to the EC on Sunday, Rafiqul said the commission will scrutinise the list and then give directives to police not to harass anyone in such cases.“If there’re such cases, it’ll destroy the polls environment,” he said over the BNP allegation of their leaders and workers being arrested in false, fabricated and fictitious cases ahead of the election.In reply to another question over Awami League general secretary’s allegation over BNP acting chairman Tarique Rahman, the election commissioner said if anyone comes up with evidence and law permits the commission will take steps against the BNP leader over his reported video conversation with his party’s nomination seekers.
Kolkata: Barrackpore Police has arrested four persons for their alleged involvement in the murder of a Trinamool Congress activist, Satish Sharma.Sharma was shot at by some miscreants on Monday morning when he was sitting inside an under construction Kali puja pandal at Titagarh in North 24-Parganas. According to the investigation, police came to know that the miscreants had come riding a motorcycle. The victim was initially taken to B N Bose Hospital and later shifted to a private hospital Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifein the city. A bullet pierced his chest. Despite sustained efforts by the doctors, the victim succumbed to his injuries on Tuesday morning. The news of his death caused fresh tension at Titagarh where the incident occurred on Monday. Locals on Tuesday staged a protest demonstration against the incident. They alleged that the area often become a safe haven for criminals but the police have failed to take any steps against the miscreants. The family members of the victim lodged an FIR mentioning names of 10 people. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedOn the basis of the complaint lodged by the family members of the victim, police raided different areas of the district and arrested four persons — Bhola Prasad, Kala Munna, Seikh Samir and Sanjay Das. It was learnt from the police that Samir and Sanjay are locals. The accused were remanded to police custody after being produced before a Barrackpore court on Tuesday. Locals staged a protest demonstration in front of the police on Tuesday. The senior police officers assured locals that the criminals involved in the incident would be put behind bars soon. The angry mob also staged a black flag demonstration in the area. The agitation was later lifted following assurances from top cops of Barrackpore police commissionerate. The police are also conducting raids at various places in the district to nab other culprits involved in the crime.
Kolkata: A youth from Bijpur was shot dead in Kalyani Jheel Par area late on Sunday night. Locals informed that the deceased identified as Raju Natta was shot dead by his own friends. Police later arrested three persons on Monday.Locals informed that Natta went to Kalyani Jheel Par area with some of his friends where they were consumeing alcohol. Among his friends, a few were against him due to some reasons. According to the sources, Natta and his friends have criminal records. A few months ago, due to some reasons, the group got divided. On Monday, Natta was asked to join the other team. But he refused to leave his current group of associates, resulting in a conflict. Natta was threatened by others over his refusal and soon a scuffle broke out. All of a sudden someone from them fired a shot which hit Natta. He was immediately rushed to Kalyani Jawahrlal Nehru Memorial Hospital where doctors declared him brought dead. In order to save themselves, Natta’s so called friends fled. Later, Nattas family was informed. His family members went to the hospital and lodged a complaint with Bijpur Police Station. Upon receiving the complaint, police arrested three of his friends on Monday. They will be produced before Barrackpore Court on Tuesday. “Investigation is on. His family claimed that his friends had committed the crime. Nothing more could be said before a detailed investigation,” said a senior police official from Barrackpore Police.
BSkyB’s Sky Sports has struck a deal to show the US Open golf championship for a further five years as part of a new agreement for live golf that also includes women’s, senior and amateur events from the US.The deal with the US Golf Association expands Sky’s exclusive live coverage over 35 championships between 2015 and 2019. Sky Sports subscribers will be able to view a schedule that includes The Ryder Cup, the Masters from Augusta, The US PGA Championship, World Golf Championship, PGA Tour and PGA European Tours.Highlights include exclusive live coverage of all four days from the US Open between 2015 and 2019, more live women’s golf with the US Women’s Open and US Women’s Amateur Championship as well as the 2018 Curtis Cup Match between the UK and Ireland and the US.“The US Open has provided some unforgettable moments on Sky Sports and this announcement strengthens our long-term live golf schedule even further. Only on Sky Sports can viewers watch European golfers take on the best in the world in the US Open and we’re delighted to take our partnership with the USGA into its 26th year,” said Barney Francis, managing director of Sky Sports.