Southeastern Louisiana is making a short trip to Stillwater this weekend for the season opening football game at Boone Pickens Stadium.But just because it’s a few states over doesn’t mean it comes at a cheap price for Oklahoma State.According to the Tulsa World, who obtained the amount via an open records request, OSU will pay SE Louisiana $385K to come to town to play in Stillwater.That’s the price of playing an FCS opponent, who will get television exposure and a (likely) beatdown in return. Perhaps for an extra $15K to make it a flat $400K, Mikey G. could request them to make sure our offensive line looks improved and that we rush for more than 150 yards in week 1.If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!
Mario Ancic never won a Grand Slam tournament; he never even reached a final. He peaked at No. 7 in the world, with a Davis Cup win and an Olympic bronze medal, before illness and injury cut his tennis career short. This week, the 30-year-old Croatian started his final year at Columbia Law School, where he’s preparing for his next career — even as his old friends and rivals gather elsewhere in New York City to compete for the U.S. Open title.But Ancic earned one distinction that ranks him among only a few boldface names in tennis history: On the sport’s biggest stages, he almost always lost to the very best.In his seven years of Grand Slam play, Ancic lost 21 matches. The list of players who eliminated him is a partial who’s who of tennis greats over the last two decades, with just a few interlopers. Of the 25 men who have been No. 1 in the world in the 41 years of ATP World Tour rankings, seven beat Ancic at a Grand Slam. Andy Roddick beat Ancic twice at Grand Slams. Roger Federer did it four times in a little over two years.Even the 10 non-No. 1s who knocked off Ancic were a pretty impressive bunch. They include four other Grand Slam finalists, plus two others who were ranked in the Top 10 when they knocked him out of a major.The quality of a player’s conquerors is a product both of luck and of the player’s own abilities. Some players are so consistently good that they either win the big tournaments they enter or beat all but the very best. Others suffer from poor luck of the draw — like Ryan Harrison of the U.S., or Amer Delic of Bosnia, who faced one-time No. 1s in five of his 10 Grand Slam losses despite never advancing past the third round. Every time the guy thought he was going to get to kick the football, a Lucy — or Novak — yanked it away. Unlike, say, the orderly NCAA tournament bracket, tennis tournaments distribute their entrants randomly, within the constraints of rules preventing the best players from facing each other too early.A handful of other players have lost mostly to the very best, but for slightly different reasons than Ancic did. Only four men with more than 10 Grand Slam losses were facing former, current or future No. 1s in at least half of the losses, according to data provided by Jeff Sackmann, proprietor of the website Tennis Abstract: Ancic, Novak Djokovic, Juan Martin del Potro and Andre Agassi.Djokovic and del Potro are recent Grand Slam champions who have had the misfortune of playing during the reign of Federer and Rafael Nadal, one-time No. 1s who consistently reach the later stages of majors. Neither Djokovic nor del Potro has lost to as many different No. 1s as Ancic did, despite already having longer careers. Agassi is one of the all-time greats and usually was ranked in the Top 10 when he headed into Grand Slam events, so it’s not surprising that it usually took a top player to knock him out of big tournaments.Ancic’s story is quirkier. He was never ranked above 10th in the world heading into any Grand Slam tournament. But he often rolled in the early rounds, as his aggressive serve-and-volley style overwhelmed opponents. He combined that with a knack for drawing tough opponents in later rounds, and usually losing to them; he was 3-11 at Grand Slams against players who at one point were ranked No. 1. Sometimes he had to play them before their prime: As teenagers ranked outside the Top 75, both Nadal and Djokovic beat Ancic at Grand Slam tournaments. Sometimes he had to play them earlier in the tournament than he could have expected to: Ancic had a 25 percent chance of ending up in Federer’s quarter at any given event, yet he did so in four of five Grand Slams he played between 2006 and 2008. Federer was ranked No. 1 in the world each time. Ancic didn’t win a set in any of the matches.Ancic, who has a law degree from the University of Split in Croatia, sees no injustice in his tough Grand Slam record. He just wishes he could have reaped the benefits of his early losses by reversing some of those results once he reached what should have been his prime.“I saw those losses as a challenge — to improve my game, to improve the things I needed to do,” he said in a telephone interview. “That’s part of the fun of being an athlete: challenging yourself against the best of the world. I was never in despair — ‘Oh my God, if I didn’t play Roger in the quarters, if I had a better draw, maybe I’d play in the final of a Slam.’”Ancic felt he was learning from his losses. But then, when he was 22 years old, he battled mononucleosis and other health problems. He came back, several times, but other than one six-month stretch and a later five-month stretch in which he appeared in at least one event each month, his career was stop-and-go. Right when he thought he should be peaking, he was watching his career end. A back injury that would have kept him sidelined for a year convinced him to retire in 2011. Now he occasionally hits with the Columbia team and feels much better physically.Ancic is glad to be at Columbia and creating a new life, but he regrets not realizing his potential. “I’m sure I never achieved my top,” he said. “I still felt my peak was coming later.” He added, “I don’t like to think what would have happened if things were different.”If Ancic really had kept getting better, even more of his losses would have come against top players. And there’s lots of evidence that he was on pace to be one of the best of his generation. He led the under-20 rankings at the end of 2002 and the under-21s in 2004, and was second to Nadal among under-23s in 2006. And more tennis players stay competitive into their late 20s and early 30s these days. Six of the eight U.S. Open men’s quarterfinalists this week were 27 or older; Ancic is 30. Ancic faced each of those quarterfinalists during his career, beating six of them at least once — four at Wimbledon, his best tournament.Ancic remains close to the sport. At his invitation, Djokovic spoke to Columbia law students when in town for an exhibition in March. Ancic attended the U.S. Open on Monday as the tournament’s guest, where he caught up with some old friends who remain on tour. He also continues to follow the game keenly. He predicts Djokovic and Federer will meet in the final this year. If that matchup materializes and Federer wins, Djokovic will have the booby prize of increasing his percentage of Slam losses to one-time No. 1s.Ancic lost to both men at Grand Slams but also beat them both, at Wimbledon — no easy accomplishment against two all-time greats who together have won nine of the last 12 Wimbledons. “We are talking here about a couple of guys who are among the best ever,” Ancic said of Djokovic, Federer and Nadal. “It’s an honor to compete with them.”
Colin Kaepernick, who made a rousing debut as the San Francisco 49ers’ starting quarterback Sunday replacing concussed Alex Smith, will take all the first-team reps for the Niners as they prepare to face the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.This comes from none other than Smith, to ESPN.The move seemingly would put Kaepernick on track to start against the Saints; players who receive first-team reps usually draw starts for that week’s game.Harbaugh said earlier Wednesday the QB for the NFC West-leading Niners (7-2-1) could change week to week, and even during the course of a game.Kaepernick went 16 for 23 for 243 yards, two touchdowns and an impressive passer rating of 133.1 in his first NFL start Monday against Chicago. The second-round draft pick out of Nevada in 2011 hardly seemed fazed by football’s big stage. He directed scoring drives and made beautiful throws on the Niners’ initial four possessions and completed 12 of his first 14 passes, with a 57-yard throw to Kyle Williams, setting up Vernon Davis’ 3-yard TD on the next play.Harbaugh rated Kaepernick’s debut start as “A-plus-plus.”Smith said plans to fight for his job once he is fully healthy, but he had yet to be medically cleared Wednesday after missing Monday night’s 32-7 rout of the Bears while recovering from a concussion. He was supportive Wednesday of Kaepernick’s success, even if the second-year pro takes Smith’s starting job as 49ers quarterback.“If you can’t be happy for your teammate’s success you’re playing the wrong sport. Go play tennis or golf or something,” Smith said Wednesday. “That’s ridiculous, I think. That doesn’t belong in team sports, in my opinion. It’s the quarterback position. It gets a lot of attention. We’re going to get talked about.”Harbaugh underwent a follow-up evaluation for his irregular heartbeat Tuesday and said, “believe we’ve got that one licked.” He has quit chewing tobacco and given up the four or five Diet Cokes he was drinking daily after doctors encouraged him to improve his diet and decrease his caffeine intake. Harbaugh underwent a cardiovert procedure last Thursday.“Zero,” he said of soda and dipping. “Cold turkey.”He swears he’s had no headaches as he moves off caffeine.Smith completed 18-of-19 passes for 232 yards and three touchdowns without an interception in a Monday night win Oct. 29 at Arizona for a passer rating of 157.1. Smith then sustained a concussion in the second quarter of a 24-24 tie against St. Louis on Nov. 11. He even threw a touchdown pass with blurred vision six plays after taking the hit doctors believe caused his injury.
Heavy rains continued to hammer Thailand’s flood-ravaged south on Saturday, bringing the death toll up to 18 and leaving thousands of villages partially submerged, authorities said.The flooding, which was roof-high in some areas, has affected nearly one million people in ten southern provinces since it started a week ago, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.At least 18 people have died and one is missing, it added, with the rains turning roads into rivers, inundating farmland and damaging more than 1,500 schools in the region.The downpour is expected to persist for at least two more days, according to Thailand’s Meteorological Department, which warned of flash floods.“The situation is very bad today and tomorrow. It’s still raining heavily,” said Junjuda Pornsri, a meterological official.Military bases across the region have been mobilised to help evacuate flood victims, provide temporary shelters and distribute emergency aid, the government said Saturday.In hard-hit Nakhon Si Thammarat province, two army helicopters were deployed to airlift food to families trapped inside their homes in Cha-uat district.Bapha Suthiphanya, a 60-year-old who has spent the past three nights in a makeshift government shelter in the district, said she was forced to evacuate her home after the waters rose above her head.“I was so shocked and scared. I’ve never seen water like this and I also can not swim,” she told AFP.Peak tourist seasonThe monsoon rains are unusually heavy for this time of year in Thailand, which normally sees a three-month stretch of relatively dry and cool weather starting in November.It is high season for tourists who flock to the kingdom’s island resorts, powering a crucial sector of the economy.But the deluge has already disrupted beach holidays in several traveller hotspots, including the popular islands of Samui and Phangan.Hundreds of tourists have had their flights delayed, while train and bus services on the mainland have also been suspended.Yet some travellers are refusing to let the storm stop the fun, with photos doing the rounds on social media of tourists coasting through flooded streets on pool floats, sipping drinks.“Some tourists are enjoying the flooding, they’re taking pictures and going swimming,” said Nongyao Jirundorn, a tourism official on Samui island.Neighbouring Malaysia was also hit by severe flooding earlier this week, with thousands stranded in relief centres in two northeastern states.But by Saturday, the number of evacuees in Kelantan and Terengganu had dropped to about 13,500, from almost 23,000 Wednesday, as weather conditions improved and authorities forecast less rainfall over the weekend.Prime Minister Najib Razak visited Kelantan on Saturday and met with people seeking shelter at a relief centre.
Listen Florian MartinConstruction in Greater Houston is down 19 percent compared to last year.Developers in Greater Houston started just under $1.5 billion worth of new buildings in September.That’s a 24 percent drop from the same month a year ago, according to Dodge Data & Analytics.Overall this year, new construction is down 19 percent compared to the first nine months of 2015.Patrick Jankowski, an economist with the Greater Houston Partnership, said the construction industry is feeling the effects of the oil downturn.“Construction is always the last to pick up when the economy starts to boom, it’s always the last to see the downturn when the economy starts to weaken,” he said. “So it’s not surprising.”You wouldn’t know driving through downtown Houston. It seems like a new building is going up on every other block.But construction on those started a few years ago and needs to be finished.Houston won’t need any new office buildings for the next several years, Jankowski said.And as for apartments, “Right now we have close to 18,000 apartment units under construction,” he said. “We’re going to get down to a pace where we may have maybe 3,000 or 4,000 on an annual basis being constructed.”He said we should be seeing a lot fewer cranes 12 to 18 months from now. 00:00 /00:00 To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: X Share
Record Store Day is an annual April event at independent music stores. But a second, slightly smaller version of the event happened on Black Friday. Over the weekend at Cactus Music here in Houston, there were live in-store music performances and lots of special limited releases — many by major artists.You’ll find Quinn Bishop behind the counter at Cactus. “Record Store Day, and the limited edition releases that come with it, has been kind of a game changer for us. And you build upon that with the Shop Small Saturday that comes directly after that. It really calls to people to spend locally, and that really helps us as well,” he said. Many artists release limited edition vinyl for Record Store Day — special ten-inch records or picture discs, often with out-of-print or unreleased material. “You’re always gonna see a piece from Bob Dylan, from the Beatles, from the Rolling Stones,” he said. “You’re seeing some of the more curated smaller labels that specialize in dead art, so to speak. You know, records that never even made it to the CD format.” That’s because many early CDs were only greatest hit collections or major releases. Sales of vinyl shrunk as CDs came along and then mp3 downloads. But Bishop says vinyl is making a resurgence. “And where vinyl was 15 percent of our business almost ten years ago, it’s now over, it’s almost 55 percent of our business now,” Bishop said. It’s not a case of nostalgia or fascination with a retro technology. “You have these millennials. Well, their parents did not own records –their parents owned CDs or cassettes. So for them, they see vinyl and turntable culture as something that’s their own. I mean, they’ve claimed it as defining their generation,” he said. Bishop sees a growing number of music fans with what he calls a “bookshelf mentality.” “They plow through everything out there that’s of interest to them,” he said. “And they kind of distill it into the things that, the music that defines them, and they buy that on LP and that’s what’s on the shelf. It doesn’t mean that they have every recorded work by somebody that they casually put on their phone. But they buy those albums.” And Bishop doesn’t expect to see the CD dying off anytime soon. He says despite the convenience of having music on your phone, downloaded music just doesn’t sound as good, and music fans are finding that listening to a CD in your car sounds better than streaming music. Listen 00:00 /02:35 Quinn Bishop from Cactus Music looks through the store’s collection of vinyl records – a format that’s enjoying a resurgence. X To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Share
Every Wednesday afternoon, an alert flashes on the cellphones of about 50 teenagers in New York and Pennsylvania. Its questions are blunt: “In the past week, how often have you thought of killing yourself?” “Did you make a plan to kill yourself?” “Did you make an attempt to kill yourself?” The 13- to 18-year-olds tap their responses, which are fed to a secure server. They have agreed, with their parents’ support, to something that would make many adolescents cringe: an around-the-clock recording of their digital lives. For 6 months, an app will gobble up nearly every data point their phones can offer, capturing detail and nuance that a doctor’s questionnaire cannot: their text messages and social media posts, their tone of voice in phone calls and facial expression in selfies, the music they stream, how much they move around, how much time they spend at home. Read the whole story: Science