About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Napoli coach Ancelotti: I want Sarri’s Chelsea in Europa League finalby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveNapoli coach Carlo Ancelotti wants to meet Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea in this season’s final of the Europa League.Sarri left Napoli to be replaced by Ancelotti last summer.And the latter says: “I will be judged on the results of the team, but I think Napoli is doing a very good job. We did not qualify for the Champions League, but we knew from the start that it would be very difficult. “Napoli was up against two of the best teams in Europe. I would like to reach the final. It would be even better to be able to play against the Chelsea of Sarri. I think even Sarri would be happy to face Napoli. “Napoli versus Chelsea in the final of the Europa League, it would be magnificent. For me, it would be special to play Chelsea, one of my former clubs.”
About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Arsenal keeper Martinez: The defence kept saying ‘clean sheet, clean sheet!’by Freddie Taylora month agoSend to a friendShare the loveEmiliano Martinez was delighted to keep a clean sheet in Arsenal’s win over Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday.The Gunners kickstarted their Europa League campaign with a 3-0 victory thanks to goals from Joe Willock, Bukayo Saka and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.Martinez said after the game: “We said before the game that we had to stick together. We worked to make sure we kept the clean sheet. “The back four were talking all the time and saying, ‘Clean sheet, clean sheet’, even when we scored the first goal. We need to build on that, keep more clean sheets and we know that we can create loads of chances with Pepe, Auba, Bukayo and Martinelli. “They’re really good going forward so we have to stick together to keep more clean sheets.”
BLOOMINGTON, IN – OCTOBER 14: Jim Harbaugh the head coach of the Michigan Wolverines watches the action during the game against the Indiana Hoosiers at Memorial Stadium on October 14, 2017 in Bloomington, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) YouTube/Jim HarbaughWe knew that Jim Harbaugh would respond to the recent NCAA vote to ban satellite camps. That was a certainty. Even with the Michigan head coach’s history of lashing out, we wouldn’t have predicted just how hard Harbaugh swung back in response. In an interview with Sports Illustrated‘s Michael Rosenberg, Harbaugh slams the NCAA, and even the term “student-athlete” in light of the vote.As Harbaugh tells SI : “The incompetence of the NCAA has reared its ugly head yet again.” …Harbaugh says the ruling was “knee-jerk … like somebody was shaving in the morning, cut themselves when they were shaving and said, ‘Let’s just ban satellite camps.’“I mean, what’s it based on? A survey? There wasn’t a lot of discussion or study. What are the facts? What are the perils and merits of making that decision? It just seemed lacking in that regard.”Satellite camps are no new concept, but Harbaugh put a special emphasis on them after taking over at Michigan, with a specific target on the Southeast, home of many ACC and SEC power programs.“During the NCAA basketball tournament we discuss the term ‘student-athlete’ ad nauseam in promoting our governing institution and our member institutions. Then, when we have an opportunity to truly promote the ‘student-athlete’ with a concept shared by educators and football men from all backgrounds, our leadership goes into hiding.“I suggest we drop the term ‘student-athlete’ for consistency.”Harbaugh wasn’t afraid to take targeted swipes at rival coaches either, specifically Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze who recently defended the decision.“It seems to be outrage by the SEC and ACC,” Harbaugh says. “They power-brokered that out … the image that comes to my mind is guys in a back room smoking cigars, doing what they perceive is best for them. It certainly isn’t the best thing for the youngsters. It’s not the best thing for the student-athletes.”Harbaugh saw Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze say, “I’m away from my family enough, and I just did not want to go,” and it did not sit well with him.Says Harbaugh: “You’ve got a guy sitting in a big house, making $5 million a year, saying he does not want to sacrifice his time. That is not a kindred spirit to me. What most of these coaches are saying is they don’t want to work harder.” While some may assume Harbaugh is the coach affected most, he’s done a great job at Michigan so far, and that program rarely needs help on the recruiting trail. He’ll get his players. This really hurts small schools that aren’t in talent-rich areas this most, and players who aren’t in position to receive the exposure that those in places like Florida, Georgia, and Texas receive. We’ll see if Harbaugh’s complaints hold real weight, or if they will just fall on deaf ears.[Campus Rush]
NEW YORK — 5G E? 5G Plus? 5G Ultrawideband? Will the real 5G please stand up?AT&T has drawn ridicule by relabeling the network used by some of its phones as “5G E” to signal that the next-generation wireless network is here. Problem is, phones capable of connecting to 5G aren’t coming for another few months, and a national 5G network won’t be deployed until 2020 or 2021.But Verizon, which complained Tuesday about AT&T’s move, did something similar when it launched a residential wireless service with the 5G moniker using its own proprietary technology. Although there are now industry standards specifying exactly what 5G networks must meet, dubbed “5G NR,” there are still some grey areas, particularly when it comes to marketing. Carriers are using all tools at their disposal as they race to try to convince consumers they’ll be “first” with 5G.A new generation of wireless network comes along every several years, so the stakes are high for carriers to establish their dominance. When it’s fully deployed, the “5G” network is expected to give mobile users faster speeds for video, self-driving cars and connected devices at home as demand for these ramps up.IDC analyst Jason Leigh said labeling 5G is a “battle between marketers and engineers,” as they try to balance hype and reality.There’s a history of carriers being murky about network claims. AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint started calling an enhanced 3G network 4G in the early 2010s. There’s more pushback this time because people are now more aware of what a next-generation network can do.AT&T said in December that it would offer a “5G Evolution” service to some of its newest Android phones in 400 markets. The “5G Evolution” service is essentially the existing 4G network with some added features that can boost speeds, technology similar to what Verizon and T-Mobile have also rolled out under different names. That’s separate from the standards-based 5G network that AT&T and others are building.Bob O’Donnell from Technalysis Research said AT&T’s “5G E” network may be slightly faster than the current 4G service but it is more like “4.5G” than “5G.”“It’s not really 5G, and it’s very confusing to people,” he said. “I’m not very sure what the logic was to be honest.”On Tuesday, Verizon launched a marketing offensive pushing back on the “5G E” label with full-page ads in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and elsewhere.“The potential to over-hype and under-deliver on the 5G promise is a temptation that the wireless industry must resist,” Verizon chief technology officer Kyle Malady wrote in the ad. Malady also said Verizon wouldn’t “call our 4G network a 5G network if customers don’t experience a performance or capability upgrade that only 5G can deliver.”Still, Verizon itself rolled out a 5G wireless broadband service in four cities in October using its own proprietary technology rather than industry-based standards. This residential service is meant to compete with cable rather than offer cellular connectivity outside the home. Verizon plans to update the equipment once standards-based devices are available, but there’s no timeline for that.Verizon spokesman Kevin King said comparing Verizon’s 5G service to AT&T’s move is a mistake because Verizon has been clear that it wasn’t using standards-compliant equipment right away.T-Mobile CEO John Legere, meanwhile, tweeted a tongue-in-cheek video showing T-Mobile’s LTE network symbol on a phone replaced with a piece of tape reading “9G.”AT&T declined to comment about the pushback.While there aren’t any legal ramifications in calling AT&T’s latest network 5G E, there’s a risk in alienating customers, said Leigh, the IDC analyst.“They’re entitled to call their product whatever they want,” Leigh said. “Ultimately they’ll have to deal with any confusion from a customer perspective.”Mae Anderson, The Associated Press
TAYLOR, B.C. — Staff at the District of Taylor are going to begin engaging with Internet service providers in the near future about the possibility of getting fibre optic internet access in their community.At Tuesday’s District council meeting, a motion by Mayor Rob Fraser to have staff start communicating with both Telus and Shaw about the potential for building fibre optic access to the community. The motion stemmed from Council adopting its April 3rd correspondence list. Mayor Fraser said that he was inspired to bring the issue of fibre optic internet access after officials with Telus gave a presentation to the Peace River Regional District Board on March 8th about the future of fibre optic connectivity in the region.In 2016, Telus unveiled its PureFibre internet access in both Fort St. John and Dawson Creek, with residents in Charlie Lake and Hudson’s Hope getting access to the service shortly thereafter. The vast majority of PureFibre service is located on the South Coast, though other Northern B.C. communities such as Quesnel and Williams Lake have also been connected. Fraser explained that he has made inquiries himself with ISPs, but has not heard back on whether there is a fibre optic line that passes through, but doesn’t provide service to Taylor. He explained that the District needs to find out where the closest fibre optic line is, and what the cost would be to get a fibre line installed over the “last mile” to District residents.“If we want to see fibre optics in Taylor, we are going to have to start interacting with these folks. When it comes to keeping people in your community and attracting businesses that are part of this knowledge-based economy where they do everything over the computer, if you do not have fibre optic ability, you will not be able to attract people and keep them there. If it’s not already, it’s going to become an infrastructure that’s a requirement. I don’t believe we should let ourselves be isolated from this.”
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Fort St. John RCMP are investigating a possible domestic dispute that happened on August 5, 2019.The RCMP have just released information about an incident on August 5, 2019, at 12:45 p.m. The RCMP received a call of a possible domestic dispute in progress near the intersection of Highway 97 and 86 street in Fort St. John.The 911 report said that a man in a gold coloured SUV was parked on the side of the southbound lane of Highway 97 north. The man exited the vehicle, went around to the passenger side, was yelling at and appeared to be striking a female passenger then trying to pull her out of the vehicle. The man then got back into the SUV and drove southbound on Highway 97, in the direction of Taylor, B.C. The man is described as:caucasian,tall and skinny,scruffy blonde hair,wearing a t-shirt and blue jeans.The passenger is described as:female,caucasian,dark curly hair.The Fort St John RCMP continue to investigate and are requesting any witnesses or persons who may have dashcam video, please contact the Fort St John RCMP at 250-787-8100.Should you wish to remain anonymous, please call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or submit a tip online at www.crimestoppersnebc.ca.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Gujarat government to take disciplinary action in two weeks against the erring police officials, including an IPS officer, convicted by the Bombay High Court in the Bilkis Bano gang rape case during the 2002 riots in the state. Besides, Bano in a plea before the top court sought exemplary compensation from the state government, refusing to accept its offer of Rs 5 lakh.A Bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna asked the Gujarat government to complete the disciplinary action within two weeks initiated against the erring officials indicted by the Bombay High Court. “On the statement made by the Solicitor General, Tushar Mehta, appearing for the State of Gujarat, that the proceedings for disciplinary action against the erring officers will be completed within two weeks, we adjourn the matter for two weeks. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details”On the next date, the orders passed in the disciplinary proceedings be placed before the Court,” the bench said. The top court, terming the Rs 5 lakh compensation offered by the Gujarat government ‘interim’, said the plea for exemplary compensation will be heard on April 23. “Tushar Mehta, Solicitor General appearing for the State has offered an interim compensation of Rs 5 lakh, which counsel for the petitioner is reluctant to accept and instead prays for final disposal of the special leave petition. Let the special leave petition be listed on April 23, 2019,” it said.
New Delhi: The Election Commission on Tuesday issued notification for phase four of Lok Sabha elections to be held on April 29 in which 71 seats across nine states will go to polls. Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal will head for voting in all the seven phases of the general elections. The election will pit the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance against mostly different opposition groupings in various states, including of Congress, the Left and regional forces which are continuing to work out a grand alliance to minimise a division of votes against the saffron party. The BJP has worked out a seat-sharing formula with some new allies and several old partners. However, opposition parties are yet to do so in several states.
Kolkata: The fourth phase of elections in eight Lok Sabha constituencies of Bengal concluded peacefully on Monday, with a few stray incidents reported from some parts.The Election Commission has instructed the District Election Officer (DEO) of West Burdwan to lodge an FIR against BJP candidate Babul Supriyo, for threatening the presiding officer and a Trinamool Congress polling agent inside booth number 199 of Barabani. Meanwhile, incidents of firing by Central Force jawans have been reported from Birbhum’s Parui and Dubrajpur. The Election Commission has asked to register an FIR in this connection. Trinamool Congress has lodged a specific complaint with the Election Commission in this regard, whereas a separate complaint was lodged by the Central Force officials. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaThe Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Ariz Aftab said that an altercation broke out in both the areas over the use of mobile phones by the voters, following which a Central Force jawan in each area fired a blank round. The ceiling of a polling booth at Dubrajpur was damaged as the Central Force jawan fired inside the booth. Supriyo is contesting the election from Asansol on the saffron party’s ticket and has been pitted against Trinamool Congress heavyweight Moon Moon Sen. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwaySupriyo lost his cool inside the polling booth and threatened the presiding officer and a TMC agent in a fit of rage. He had stormed into the booth with his bodyguard, without prior permission from the presiding officer. However, he clarified the issue by saying that he had stepped into the booth after hearing about an untoward incident. The Election Commission has sought a report in connection with the incident. Supriyo subsequently had to face the wrath of some Trinamool Congress activists, who staged a demonstration in front of him at Barabani and Pandabeswar. An irate mob also ransacked his vehicle. The overall polling percentage in the eight constituencies remained at 76.44 till 5 pm. Berhampore recorded 76.16 percent, with 76.55 in Krishnanagar, 78.33 in Ranaghat (SC), 76.92 in Burdwan East, 75.31 in Burdwan-Durgapur, 73.64 in Asansol, 77.95 in Bolpur (SC) and 76.69 in Birbhum. Two presiding officers from Ketugram in East Burdwan and Mayureswar in Birbhum were removed by the Commission as some allegations of booth jamming surfaced in the two areas. The Commission has sought a report from the district administrations in this regard. A total 6 FIRs were registered by the Commission and five persons have been arrested for creating trouble on Monday. Special Observer Ajay Nayak told media persons that the election was peaceful. He, however, assured that if there is any specific complaint, it will be looked into.
Update (July 13, 5:46 p.m.): Germany won the World Cup on Sunday, defeating Argentina 1-0 in extra time.In basketball, it’s a safe bet that the United States men’s national team would defeat even the best NBA teams more often than not. Likewise, it’s hard to imagine any single NHL squad being favored against the Canadian national hockey team, if there were ever an occasion for them to face off. Yet it’s pretty conventional wisdom in soccer circles that the best teams in the Champions League, the world’s top club-level competition, are better than those in the World Cup, soccer’s premier international tournament. That’s because thanks to the economics of soccer, it’s possible for clubs to assemble all-star teams even in the absence of All-Star Games.Intuitively, it’s not hard to see why. Unlike basketball and hockey, where global talent is concentrated in a relatively small number of countries, soccer is a sport played at a high level across a much wider and more diverse set of locales. Talent is then naturally more diluted at the international level. The most important club soccer leagues also lack North American-style salary caps, so the richest club teams are (checkbooks willing) free to accumulate a far greater amount of talent than any national team can.I went to the spreadsheets to settle this debate, and, based on my calculations, the conventional wisdom is indeed wise — to a certain extent. The top club teams in the world as a group are superior to the national teams in this year’s World Cup field. But even so, teams that are the cream of the international crop are not as far behind their club-level cousins as managers like Alex Ferguson and Arsène Wenger would have you believe.One way we can test this is to use the individual plus/minus player ratings that underlie ESPN’s Soccer Power Index (SPI) rankings. We’ve been over the gory details of those ratings before, but here are the basics: In addition to using head-to-head results from international matches, SPI also attempts to measure the talent level of every team based on the skill of its component players. To that end, each player is assigned a per-minute effect rating determined both by his individual statistics and by how his team performs with him in the lineup (compared to its performance without him). ESPN’s Stats & Info team computes this for both national and club teams, provided the player’s club is in one of the “Big Five” European leagues1Those of Spain, England, Italy, Germany and France. or appeared in the Champions League.These numbers give us a player’s approximated influence on his team’s rate of scoring and preventing goals. For instance, Lionel Messi, the impossibly good attacker for Barcelona (on the club side) and Argentina (in this World Cup), is estimated to add 0.62 more goals per 90 minutes than an average player on offense, and save 0.03 more goals per 90 minutes than the average player on defense, for a net value of 0.65 goals per 90 minutes. (Nobody tops Messi among players with any kind of playing time over the past two seasons, although Messi’s longtime rival Cristiano Ronaldo is a close second at 0.63.)If we aggregate these ratings for an entire roster, weighting by the number of minutes each player was on the pitch,2The minutes data I used for club teams was from the 2013-14 season; for national teams it was from the 2014 World Cup, through the semifinal round. we can derive an SPI-like number to describe the amount of talent on any team, whether it plays for club or country.3A team’s overall SPI is determined by a combination of its projected goals scored (offensive SPI) and its projected goals allowed (defensive SPI) against a theoretical average international opponent. And according to these numbers,4SPI player ratings are up to date through the World Cup quarterfinals. the three best club teams in the world — Real Madrid, FC Barcelona and Bayern Munich — are a cut above the best national teams. But, in turn, the four most talented national teams — Brazil,5Remember, this rating includes Neymar and Thiago Silva both playing more than 80 percent of their available minutes. Argentina, Germany and Spain — are solidly better than the next tier of club teams, a group that includes Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and the Champions League runners-up, Atletico Madrid.According to these numbers, Messi’s club team (Barcelona) would win 56 percent of its matches against his national team (Argentina) if they somehow played in a knockout setting at a neutral location (this model obviously assumes a dramatic development in cloning technology). But Argentina would be expected to win 56 percent of its matches against Manchester City or Atletico Madrid under similar circumstances. The top national teams would be favored (or at least evenly matched) against all but the world’s very best club teams.Perhaps this shouldn’t be overly surprising. I combined Transfermarkt values for every player on this year’s World Cup rosters6Thanks to the research of my Grantland colleague Bill Barnwell. with Transfermarkt’s list of the 100 most valuable club teams in the world and found a similar pattern. A handful of club teams dominate the list of most valuable teams,7There’s one big divergence here from the SPI list: According to Transfermarkt’s player values, the Spanish national team roster is better than any in the world. but after that it’s a relatively equal smattering of club and national teams rounding out the top 20.8The dollar amounts in the table below were converted from British pounds, at $1.70 per GBP. The top-tier national teams at least appear capable of standing toe to toe in talent against most of the leading clubs in the world.9Occasional FiveThirtyEight contributor Roger Pielke, Jr., noticed a version of this phenomenon back before the 2010 World Cup. But aside from that top tier, national teams just can’t keep up with their counterparts on the club side. According to both the SPI talent ratings and the Transfermarkt valuations, there are about 10 or so national sides capable of contending with the top 10 club teams in the world. After that, the supply of strong national squads quickly starts to dry up. Based on the SPI estimates, the 15th-best national team in the world (Ivory Coast) would have just a 40 percent chance of beating the 15th-best club team (Benfica of Portugal’s Primeira Liga), and only a 21 percent probability of beating Real Madrid. According to SPI’s player ratings, 33 of the 50 most talented teams in the world are club teams.In that sense, pundits are right when they contend that the quality of play in a circuit like the Champions League is higher than that of the World Cup. Certainly it’s hard to argue that the worst teams in the World Cup’s group stage would be able to consistently compete with their counterparts in the Champions League group stage. But in its later rounds, the World Cup contains teams — like the German and Argentine squads that will face off in Sunday’s final — whose rosters rival almost any in the sphere of big-time club soccer.
Dirk Nowitzki is putting up a valiant fight against Father Time, but the seventh-leading scorer in NBA history is now a complementary piece on offense, and a guy you have to try to hide on defense. Zaza Pachulia is big, smart, tough, dependable and reliable and has a surprisingly soft mid-range jumper, all qualities that make Pachulia a good backup center. He isn’t exactly athletic, which makes him a major downgrade from Tyson Chandler and the DeAndre Jordan dream. Here’s what CARMELO thinks of the Mavs’ main pieces (check out every NBA player here): As Chandler Parsons transitions into being the pretty face of the franchise, the Mavs need him to back up his belief that he can be one of the NBA’s premier point-forwards. If you ask him, all he needs is the ball in his hands more, now that he’s surrounded by shooters. Wesley Matthews, 29 and coming off a torn left Achilles tendon, has been a terrific role player and parlayed that success into a max contract. As a dude who thrives on disrespect, “Iron Man” will be intrigued that CARMELO considers him a mediocre defender. The Dallas Mavericks failed to make it past the first round for the fourth consecutive time last season, and now they’re sprinting on the mediocrity treadmill that owner Mark Cuban was so determined to avoid. If anything, they took steps backward after scrambling to fill the roster spot they thought would go to big fish DeAndre Jordan. The Las Vegas over-under for Mavs wins this season is 38.5. FiveThirtyEight’s CARMELO projection system is a bit more optimistic, 41-41, but even that would match the worst record in Cuban’s tenure, now entering its 16th season. We’re inaugurating our NBA player projection system, CARMELO, with 2015-16 season previews for every team in the league. Check out the teams we’ve already previewed here. Learn more about CARMELO here. As Deron Williams has said, he was “kind of a consolation prize” after the disappointment of the Jordan debacle. He was a huge bust in Brooklyn after signing a max contract, prompting the Nets to pay $27 million to buy out his final two seasons, but the Mavs hope he’ll be a $5.4 million bargain in Dallas. Dallas certainly believes he’ll be an upgrade over the post-Jason Kidd point guard carousel, so they can’t be happy to see 2014 Jameer Nelson (whom they dumped as quickly as possible) come up in Williams’s player comps. Devin Harris’s top comp is Brad Davis, so Harris is clearly a candidate to have his number hanging from the American Airlines Center rafters after he retires.
FiveThirtyEight’s 2015-16 NBA predictions post dropped on Monday and included, right up at the top, a detail remarkable enough to elicit a double-take from any NBA fan still fogging a mirror: the Warriors’ projected record. As of this writing it sits at a tidy 72-10 — as in the same 72-10 that MJ’s Bulls put up in the 1995-96 season, and the standing record for the most wins ever in an NBA regular season.By now there’s a whole cottage industry dedicated to handicapping the Warriors. On Monday, our colleagues at ESPN Stats & Info published an article about whether Golden State had a shot at breaking the 1995-96 Bulls’ record. They found that the Warriors had a 45 percent chance of getting to at least 72 wins and a 31 percent chance of at least 73. Our CARM-Elo projection is a little more bullish: It has the odds of 72+ wins at 54 percent, and 73+ wins at 44 percent. Still, bear in mind: Sensitivity to excellence (and awfulness) doesn’t mean the model simply takes the current data and makes it the new baseline. Case in point: The projection depresses the 2015 Dubs’ point differential of 14.9, which would be a record, to an average of 12.6 across all 10,000 simulations. This is the expected outcome once the model takes into account regression to the mean, a bigger sample size and all the other flattening effects near to disbelievers’ nagging hearts, yet it’s still a few ticks higher than the second-place mark of 12.3, set by the 1971-72 Lakers.What the model can’t account for is the possibility that Golden State clinches home court some time around the trade deadline and suspends its starting five in carbonite. But then, that isn’t really what we’re looking to measure here, anyway. “Will the Warriors break the record, given all the external incentives not to?” is a much less interesting question than can they. To answer the latter: There’s a damn good chance they can. 652612.694.5 59240.299.4 80610.60.8 663423.491.9 WINSSIMSCHANCE OF EXACTLY THIS MANY WINSCHANCE OF AT LEAST THIS MANY WINS Golden State’s odds of hitting astonishing win totals — we’ve highlighted a few milestones in the table next to this paragraph, like the one-in-four chance the Warriors win at least 75 games — are probably a good deal higher than you’ll see in other models, or in the betting markets, where the Warriors are still about a 3-to-1 underdog to hit 73. That’s for — we think — a pretty good reason. One of the advantages of the CARM-Elo projection is that it allows runs of good play (in the simulation) to inform future performance, meaning hot and cold streaks can occur organically within the model.1This happens because the model adjusts each team’s Elo rating after each game in the simulation. So if a team wins one simulated game, its rating goes up, and it is slightly more likely to win the next. When it loses a game, the same is true in reverse. With CARM-Elo, the spread of potential season outcomes will be a little wider than in other models, as it’s a little more capable of assigning extreme outcomes when prompted by extreme performance.That’s helpful given that the Warriors are performing at the extreme reaches of professional basketball. Right now, they have an Elo of 1831, which is a franchise-high mark and the second-highest of all time, behind only the peak of Jordan’s ’96 Bulls (1853), who floated above the Warriors’ current mark for only four games in the ’96 playoffs. For reference, the Boston Celtics have the third-highest franchise peak ever, at just 1816. A falling piano could take Steph Curry’s size 13s off at the ankle on his way to the arena tonight, and Golden State’s sustained level of play this season would already put it right there at the top of the short list of great NBA squads. 641621.696.1 749379.434.3 60300.399.1 61700.798.8 56150.299.9 521<0.1%>99.9% 739779.844.1 530<0.1>99.9 81170.20.2 674394.488.5 631211.297.3 552<0.1>99.9 708208.271.5 57200.299.8 822<0.1<0.1 544<0.1>99.9 696906.978.4 758128.125.0 58220.299.6 Hot Takedown wonders: Just how good are the Warriors?Conversation begins at 13:20. Subscribe to all of FiveThirtyEight’s podcasts here. 62810.898.1 791531.52.3 783153.25.5 719329.363.3 729899.954.0 774594.610.1 685655.784.1 Check out FiveThirtyEight’s 2015-16 NBA predictions » 766776.816.8
Derevon Guyton cheers on PSG in the International Champions Cup at Ohio Stadium on July 27, 2016. Credit: Jacob Myers | Assistant Sports EditorWednesday night was another night inside Ohio Stadium where the fans were loud, somewhat obnoxious, donning their team’s colors, but it wasn’t quite September yet. A warm night in July pitted European soccer powerhouse clubs Paris Saint-Germain against Real Madrid.The International Champions Cup came to Columbus for the first game in the ‘Shoe since 1998 when the Columbus Crew played their last home season on Ohio State’s campus. All night, the atmosphere was electric, filled with an attendance of 86,641—a record for the state of Ohio. For some, this was the first chance they got to see the stars they idolize oversees.Derevon Guyton, 28, traveled from Washington state to see his beloved PSG squad play for the first time.“PSG to the death of me, bro,” Guyton said. “That’s my boys out there, man. I’m sitting out here, but I feel like I’m on the field with them.”A soccer fan since high school, Guyton flew out to Baltimore on Saturday to meet with his girlfriend for two days before they travelled to Columbus for the international friendly. He estimated his trip to be $1,200.Sporting a Zlatan Ibrahimovic jersey, who has since left PSG for the Premier League’s Manchester United, Guyton waved his red and blue PSG flag for the entire crowd to see, as if they couldn’t hear him already. Cheering at every moment, mocking Real Madrid defender Marcelo as he fell to the turf, the passion exuding from Guyton represented the growth of soccer in America.“I’ve been waiting to see them for years. It just costs too much to go to Paris. It’s not really feasible unless you’re like a millionaire, bro. It’s like $5,000,” said Guyton. “So for them to come here, it’s a big deal for me. I’ll always remember this.”Fans from nearby Dayton, Cincinnati, Toledo and Detroit made the journey to OSU for Wednesday’s friendly, as well as some from Chicago. These fans may live in the U.S., but some of them represent nationalities of Spain, France, Canada and even Nepal. One family made the trip to Columbus from Columbia to cheer on their national hero.“James (Rodriguez for Real Madrid). We came to see James,” said the family. Their trip cost around $2,000.A nationwide obsession of the video game FIFA has been a major impact in the expansion of soccer in the U.S. Major League Soccer has 20 teams currently playing across the country and some in Canada.Former Columbus Crew player Frankie Hejduk, who won a championship for the Crew in 2008 when there were just 14 teams in the MLS was in attendance on Wednesday night. He said that seeing die-hard soccer fans from many nationalities bonding with an American football-dominant crowd is something he didn’t think would have been possible five years ago.“This game really brings attention to the fans who don’t know much about soccer that could potentially say, ‘I had a blast,’” Hejduk said. “That’s what I see is people are learning to respect the game a lot more because these guys are athletes.”PSG won 3-1 with all scoring in the first half. The first goal came at the two-minute mark sending the crowd into a frenzy. Personal photos were being taken just about everywhere around the stadium to remember the moment they first got to see their team play in America. Fans also took part in a resounding stadium “O-H-I-O” in the second half.Real Madrid midfielder Lucas Vasquez said that he felt at home on the pitch and the atmosphere was phenomenal.“I think what we have seen is that all around the world we have fans, and we saw them when we got to the hotel,” said Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane. “Overall, we’re happy to be here and to spend a little time with the fans in Columbus.”The preseason exhibition between PSG and Real Madrid is one of four games played in the U.S. this month as a part of the ICC. Columbus has been a city that has adapted well to the game, but Wednesday night may have been another installment into how the sport continues to grow in the country.“It promotes real football. It shows them what football really is,” Guyton said. “I still believe that the MLS is years behind all the other leagues. But this right here is a spectacle.”
Steve Stricker’s hole-in-one during the second round at the Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Ohio, sent shock waves throughout the course, and up and down the leaderboard. Stricker improved on his first-round score of 68 by posting a 67 on Friday, and ascended to the top of the Memorial Tournament leaderboard thanks to a rare ace on the par-3, 186-yard eighth hole. “You don’t expect to make a one,” Stricker said. “That (hole) always provided me with trouble over the years, and it’s just a tough par-3.” Despite his past difficulties with Muirfield’s eighth hole, Stricker said his tee shot came off surprisingly well. “I was surprised that it came off good because I haven’t hit some good shots there in years prior,” Stricker said. “I didn’t see how it went in, but it looked like it went in fairly nice, like a putt.” For those who weren’t within earshot of cheers that went up in support of Stricker’s ace, souvenir radio headsets alerted Muirfield patrons to the hole-in-one. Tournament officials then were seen updating magnetic scoreboards throughout the course — within moments, Stricker’s name sat atop all others. Luke Donald, the No. 1-ranked golfer in the world, birdied the 17th and 18th holes to move to 5-under-par after Friday’s second round. Donald said he thought he was one shot behind four players — Ricky Barnes, Rod Pampling, Jonathan Byrd and Rory McIlroy — who had previously been tied for first place before Stricker’s hole-in-one. Donald was first alerted to the hole-in-one by a member of the media. “That (hole-in-one) will help,” Donald said. “(Stricker) is a great player, and he’ll be tough to catch. I’ll give it my best shot.” Stricker, who teed off from the 10th hole at 12:43 p.m. to begin his round, birdied the ninth hole to close out the round and move to 9-under-par. Despite his 3-stroke lead ahead of Barnes, Pampling, Byrd and McIlroy, Stricker said “there’s a long way to go” in the Memorial. “Obviously, I’m happy to be where I’m at,” Stricker said. “Heading into the weekend, things change. Guys get more aggressive. So, you just kind of got to be patient and hang in there and keep doing the things you know how to do.” Third-round play will commence at 8:10 a.m. Saturday, and Stricker and Barnes will tee off at 1:40 p.m. as the Memorial’s final pairing.
Arsenal forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has thanked the supporters after he scored a brace in their 4-2 victory at home against Tottenham Hotspur.Aubameyang converted a first-half penalty and scored a second-half equalizer as Arsenal came from behind to win 4-2 against Spurs in Sunday’s North London derby.“We had a great first half but after the first goal we conceded, we had a moment where we were a bit down,” Aubameyang told the club’s website.“At half-time we were confident. We spoke and we knew that we could do it in the second half, to come back. We did it. Then we had the fans behind us and we had power, we felt strong. We went for the win.”Merson believes Arsenal should sign Sancho Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho might be the perfect player to play for the Gunners, according to former England international Paul Merson.The victory took Arsenal to fourth place in the table, but Aubameyang insists that their performance is more important.“I think the most important thing right now is the performances. Of course, we want to continue this form and we’re still winning games,” he said.“We’re unbeaten, so it’s great at the moment. We just have to keep going.”
After months of speculations about the future of Kylian Mbappe and Neymar at Paris Saint-Germain, the reigning Ligue 1 champions have issued a statement regarding the allegations they will have to sell one of their starsThe French newspaper, L’Equite, have been the first one to state the Parisians will have to renounce their headline performers due to the UEFA Financial Fair Play regulations.After making the duo the two most expensive players of all-time, it was though PSG will have to sell one of them to balance the books.Soon, the media all across Europe have been reporting PSG won’t be able to keep holds of their stalwarts unless they break the FFP rules.Furthermore, this Friday, L’Equipe dropped the bombshell by saying the Parisians have already reconciled with losing one of Neymar or Mbappe to prevent UEFA from implementing sanctions.Now, Paris Saint-Germain have released a counterstatement via their official website, accusing L’Equipe of making false allegations.PSG ultras sent a warning letter to Neymar Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Brazilian superstar Neymar might play today his first game of the season for Paris Saint-Germain and the team’s ultras have warned him.“In an article published this Friday evening on its website, L’Equipe dares to say ‘PSG is ready to lose Kylian Mbappe and Neymar Jr to avoid [FFP] sanctions.“Beyond denying this misinformation, ridiculous and only aimed to create once again a tough relationship between our club and media, PSG is wondering, once more, about the main goal of L’Equipe and its underlying thought about its editing work concerning PSG.“There are so many examples of this kind of news aiming to bring a bad atmosphere around the club. Last one in date, last Wednesday, matchday against Strasbourg, with a frontage which pretended there was a ‘Cavani issue.’“In passing, regarding the incredible amount of frontpages involving PSG in this daily newspaper, proof of the club’s fame, PSG is asking itself about the schizophrenic behavior of L’Equipe and its hierarchy.”Widely-recognized as the most devastating attacking tandem on the planet, the Frenchman and the Brazilian have notched 78 goals and provided 26 assists altogether since their blockbuster transfers in the summer of 2017.
Arsenal legend Emmanuel Petit accused Mesut Ozil of lacking any desire on the pitchThe former Real Madrid playmaker was brought off by manager Unai Emery at half-time in Arsenal’s 1-1 draw at Brighton on Boxing Day.And Petit has been left far from impressed by Ozil’s mentality over the past two years for the Gunners.“Arsenal were magnificent against Brighton for 30 minutes,” Petit told Paddy Power.“They played good football but, just as they did at Southampton, disappeared all of a sudden.“The quality they had been showing vanished and it became obvious what their weakest link was – the defence. The goal they conceded was awful.“Mesut Ozil was taken off at halftime. I’m a big fan of his, but he has been a ghost for two years.“Where is the Ozil who was one of the best players around, making so many assists and goals? I think he has lost his desire on the pitch, it’s not there any more.”The French World Cup winner also believes Arsenal’s defence isn’t good enough ahead of Saturday’s trip to Anfield to take on unbeaten Premier League leaders Liverpool.Petit added: “In defence they are weak, they’re average. They make individual and collective errors.Liverpool legend Nicol slams Harry Maguire’s Man United form Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Steve Nicol believes Harry Maguire has made some “horrendous mistakes” recently, and has failed to find his best form since joining Manchester United.“Sometimes you have to laugh. They injuries are not an excuse, most of the players who stepped in are internationals.“The quality they had been showing vanished (at Brighton) and it became obvious what their weakest link was – the defence.“I don’t know what’s going on with some of these players. During the long unbeaten run you thought Arsenal are back on track.“But now I look back at the number of those games in which they were lucky and, suddenly, reality returned.“They need to raise their game mentally on Saturday. I’ve seen glimpses of improvement compared to previous years but you can’t perform for just half an hour against Liverpool.“You need to be fully switched on for 90 minutes, especially away from home.“If Arsenal go to Anfield thinking they can just keep plodding away the way they have been, it’s over – they’ll leave the stadium with three or four goals against them.”Petit played for Arsenal in midfield between 1997 to 2000, where he won the Premier League and FA Cup before joining Barcelona.The Frenchman also had spells with AS Monaco and Chelsea before announcing his retirement in January 2005.
This general view shows dwellings under mud after a landslide in Rangamati on 13 June, 2017. Photo: AFPA municipality mayor of Rangamati district said as many as 95 per cent of the households destroyed in the landslides were illegal.”Less than 5 per cent of the houses destroyed in landslides were legal,” said Akbar Hossain Chowdhury, the Rangamati municipality mayor.The municipality mayor also said the district council actually gave permission to different individuals for settlement. He had no involvement with that, the mayor added.Recently at least 115 people were killed in a series of landslides in the hilly districts of southeast Bangladesh.Rangamati additional deputy commissioner Prakash Kanti told Prothom Alo that landslides killed at least 56 people in the municipality area alone.More than 150 houses were destroyed after landslides hit the areas.Authorities concerned said, according to law, anyone wanting to build a house in the area, must have deeds of the land, soil test reports, and architectural and building permission. That means the authorities only permits pucca (brick and cement) buildings.In reply to this, he said, “Most of the houses were either tin-sheds or of mud. The houses were built without our permission.”You will find a small number of houses there are pucca, Akbar Hossain added.Rangamati district council chairman Brishketu Chakma said, “The mayor can blame us, but we did not give permission for settlements there. He’s wrong.”Local people said some of the pucca buildings also collapsed in the landslides.Asked about it, the Rangamati municipality executive engineer Atikur Rahman said, “The entire hill is 80 feet but, engineers test soil up to 30 feet and submit their report.”On the other hand, some people build houses inside the hills. “Thus, it becomes tough for us to monitor the places.”Hill Tracts Citizen Committee’s president, Goutam Dewan blamed the municipality authorities in this regard.The former chairman of Rangamati municipality and district council said there is lack of coordination between municipality and district council authorities.It is high time to remove the lack of coordination, he added.*The article is rewritten in English by Toriqul Islam
Share Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty ImagesThe Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics reverse a recent trend of relatively warm conditions at the Winter Games. Here, a man prepares to work in front of an ice sculpture ahead of Friday’s opening ceremony.When cold weather becomes a main topic at the Winter Olympics, it’s safe to say that frigid temperatures have made an impression. That’s the case in Pyeongchang, where brutal cold and high winds have been a common theme for both the media and for athletes.How cold is it? The high Tuesday was 11 degrees Fahrenheit; the low was in minus territory and the wind chill was inconsiderate of the basic needs of both humans and journalists. In those temperatures, water bottles quickly turn to ice. Well-charged phones die within minutes of being pulled out from layers of insulated jackets and sweaters.Surrounded by mountains that catch the cold, Pyeongchang is “Earth’s coldest location for that particular latitude,” AccuWeather reports.It’s a sharp reversal for the Winter Games: Each of the last two – held in Sochi and Vancouver – set records as the warmest Winter Olympics, in 2014 and 2010, respectively. Sochi produced stories about ski jumpers landing in puddles – and temperatures that hit the 60s. At these games, we’ve already seen a report of some athletes’ skis being ruined by the unique qualities of very cold snow.Conditions are expected to warm up a bit over the next week, but the forecast for Friday night’s opening ceremony calls for temperatures in the low to mid-20s, with a wind chill of 14 degrees Fahrenheit. It’ll be even colder for athletes and spectators at the alpine and snowboard events, higher up in the mountains.As for how the athletes are coping, Jessie Diggins, a U.S. cross-country skier from Afton, Minn., says that while the cold could make athletes uncomfortable and cause complications, she welcomes it.Diggins told NPR’s Melissa Block: “I think you can either laugh about it, or you can cry about it. And for me, I like to embrace the cold and see it as an awesome thing for me, because I’m used to it. And I think I like it more than most people. And so for me, that’s going to be my advantage. Instead of seeing it as, ‘Oh this might be so hard for me,’ I see it as, ‘Great, this is an area where I can shine.’ ““They had a pretty cold snap in Minnesota,” Diggins said, noting that it had recently been “minus-30s Fahrenheit. So, we’re used to some pretty cold days.”Diggins added that the colder snow could slow racers.Another fan of the weather is Won Kil-u — the head of North Korea’s delegation to the Pyeongchang Olympics. Saying that the weather would help make these games a celebration, Won said, according to the Yonhap news agency, “I’m from further north. It’s milder here.”Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: 00:00 /50:44 X On Wednesday’s Houston Matters: New rankings from The Commonwealth Fund put Texas at the bottom of the list for health care access and affordability. We take a look at health care in Texas — where it’s improving and where it hasn’t.Also this hour: In our weekly political roundup, local experts discuss new bills becoming law after the Texas Legislature, Harris County considering joint primary voting by the 2020 election, Jon Stewart’s testimony about the Sept. 11 Victim Compensation Fund, and other stories.Then, Houston’s new poet laureate Leslie Contreras Schwartz discusses her work and how she hopes to use the post – and poetry – to support mental health causes.Plus, this week, the iconic Houston rap group the Geto Boys lost one of its members. Richard Stephen Shaw — better known as Bushwick Bill — passed away. We reflect on the group’s contribution to the rap scene.And a BBC podcast comes to Houston to reflect on JFK’s iconic moon speech at Rice University in 1962.We offer a daily podcast here, on iTunes, Stitcher and other podcasting apps. This article is part of the Houston Matters podcast Share Listen