Let’s finish the job – Wenger

first_imgArsenal manager Arsene Wenger has challenged his team to concentrate on winning a football match and nothing more when they head to Newcastle for Sunday’s Barclays Premier League finale. The Gunners would secure a top-four finish with victory at St James’ Park. Indeed, depending on Chelsea’s result at home to Everton, they still have an outside chance of snatching third place and with it automatic entry into the Champions League – or even forcing an unprecedented play-off, set for May 26 at Villa Park, were the two clubs’ overall statistics to finish equal. “We know how to behave to win the games, so it’s (about getting) that certainty from our long run and bringing that into our next game. It’s as simple as that,” the Arsenal manager said. Press Associationcenter_img “It is a football match and recently we have shown that we can win these games. We will just continue to do what we did until now.” Arsenal deserve great credit for still being in contention to secure a top-four finish having dropped some seven points behind Tottenham, who are just a point behind the Gunners ahead of their clash with Sunderland, when they lost 2-1 at White Hart Lane on March 3. It is a similar scenario to the end of last season, when victory at West Brom kept them in third place and would eventually see Spurs miss out on even the chance to play a Champions League qualifier when Chelsea went on to win the European Cup. Wenger would rather have his men involved in such an all-or-nothing encounter than to just be going through the motions. “The pressure is big, of course, but I always said the worst (thing) in my job is to play games without any pressure,” said the Frenchman, whose side have not won a trophy since the 2005 FA Cup. “Sometimes you think it would be nice to have a game with no pressure, but when you have one you think, ‘let’s get it back, it’s so boring’.”What would be terrible would be to go to Newcastle and have nothing at stake for us. “We have what we wanted, so let’s just finish the job.” last_img read more

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Penn State : Trustee to head investigation into sexual abuse scandal

first_imgSTATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Penn State’s Board of Trustees announced Friday that trustee Kenneth Frazier will head a special investigation committee, which will look into the circumstances that gave rise to a grand jury report that charged former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky with a series of sexual assaults involving eight young boys.The meeting was the first public gathering of the 32-member board in light of the scandal. The meeting was moved from a hotel boardroom to a ballroom to accommodate the amount of people that attended, according to reports.The special investigation committee will be responsible to determine what failures occurred, who is responsible for the failures and what measures are necessary to make sure this type of scandal never hits Penn State again.The scandal caused major media outlets and national attention to flock to State College. Legendary football coach Joe Paterno was fired Wednesday night in the midst of his 46th season, one in which he became the winningest coach in major college football history. President Graham Spanier was also removed by the Board of Trustees on Wednesday.The grand jury report states administrators didn’t contact authorities after a graduate assistant, later revealed to be current wide receivers coach Mike McQueary, said he saw former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky sexually assaulting a young boy in the football team’s football facility shower in 2002.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAuthorities have said that Sandusky met many of his alleged victims through The Second Mile, a charity he established in 1977 to help at-risk children.‘There will be full accountability for those found responsible,’ said Steve Garban, chairman of the Board of Trustees during the meeting, according to the Associated Press. ‘All resources will be made available for the committee to fulfill its charge and there will be no restrictions placed on its scope or activities.’Once the investigation is complete, Garban said a full report will be given to the board at one of its regular meetings.According to the AP, Frazier said the committee will have the power to hire independent lawyers and will publicly release the entirety of its findings.‘That’s absolutely what we intend to do,’ Frazier said. ‘The purpose of this investigation is to ensure that the public understands everything that we learn in this investigation and a report will be made completely public as quickly as we possibly can.’Pennsylvania Education Secretary and Trustee Ron Tomalis will serve as the vice chairman of the special investigation committee, according to Penn State Live, the school’s official news source.Garban also pledged to support Penn State President Rod Erickson at the meeting. The board removed the interim tag from Erickson’s title of president, but will reportedly continue to search for a permanent successor to Spanier.‘I know we can do this,’ Erickson told the trustees at the meeting. ‘We are resilient; We are a university that will rebuild the trust and confidence that so many people have had in us for so many years.’McQueary will not attend Saturday’s gamePenn State wide receivers coach Mike McQueary will not be on the field for the game between the 12th-ranked Nittany Lions (8-1) and No. 19 Nebraska (7-2) at noon Saturday.‘Due to multiple threats made against Assistant Coach Mike McQueary, the University has decided it would be in the best interest of all for Assistant Coach McQueary not to be in attendance at Saturday’s Nebraska game,’ read a statement from Penn State Athletics.jdharr04@syr.edu  Published on November 10, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact Jon: jdharr04@syr.edu Commentscenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

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Innovate Armenia features panels, performances

first_img“In order for Armenia to develop democratically, thrive economically and for the diaspora to have a tangible source of connection to a language, a land, a way of life, it is imperative that the two understand each other better,” said IAS associate director Syuzanna Petrosyan. This year’s theme focused on old and new identities of the Armenian diaspora, ranging from presentations on  history, memory and genealogy to discussions on current technological innovations and politics in the Republic of Armenia. Booths at Founders Park offered information about the Institute, their research and participating nonprofit organizations, such as the Armenia Tree Project, which aims to limit deforestation in rural Armenia. “Today, Armenia is by and large considered a free and democratic country, and I think it is one of the important achievements of the revolution,” Pashinyan said. “The general goal of our government … is to encourage people, to trigger a burst of new talents.” The Nur Qanon Ensemble, a musical group of four young women whose work was shown at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival last year, performed traditional Armenian folk songs, and the Element Band performed “Sound Stories,” an hour-long rendition of classical Armenian music accompanied by spoken-word prose. A final panel discussion about the Armenian diaspora concluded the festival. Panelists included Secretary of the Security Council Armen Grigorian, First Deputy Minister of Nature Protection Irina Ghaplanyan, Former Deputy Prime Minister Vache Gabrielyan and Bishop Bagrat Galstanyan. They said the most significant way the diaspora can help Armenia grow is through engagement. The USC Institute of Armenian Studies hosted scholars, artists, musicians, politicians and other prominent Armenian figures for its fifth annual Innovate Armenia festival Saturday. Attendees were able to learn about Armenian culture through discussions, artistic and musical performances and exhibitions. Following Pashinyan, intellectuals, politicians, historians and creative thinkers discussed topics like the Armenian Genocide of 1915 and how it has shaped contemporary identity, the diaspora and government policies across sectors like healthcare, technology development and education. Pashinyan said he hopes to create a new Armenia that can address its previous challenges, such as political corruption and unstable political infrastructure. Last spring, the country underwent a “Velvet Revolution” — a series of peaceful anti-government protests led by parliament member Nikol Pashinyan. After the protests, Pashinyan was elected as the country’s prime minister. Shushan Karapetian, the Institute’s deputy director, said the foundation for rebuilding and innovating Armenia rests on its historical status as the Silicon Valley of the Soviet Union. “We have the infrastructure for sciences and technology,” Karapetian said. “For a landlocked country, technology is the way out.” Pashinyan said he was hopeful for the country’s future. “What we need from the diaspora is knowing about Armenia, and I think it’s a two-way street,” Ghaplanyan said. “We need to communicate better as to what challenges we have and how we can solve [them] together.” While panelists discussed politics inside Bovard Auditorium, chess players ran competitions and musicians performed outside at Founders Park for festival goers. “I am sure we are going in the right way,” Pashinyan said. “[We are] fully devoted to the principles of democracy, of rule of law, of transparency and for human rights.” Politicians, scholars and artists gathered at Founders Park to talk about life in post-revolution Armenia and how the diaspora can contribute to the country’s growth. (Photo from Facebook) Innovate Armenia hosted Pashinyan via a live Skype call to discuss life in post-revolution Armenia and his goals for the nation moving forward. “Our main challenge is to address the controversies we have from the past,” Pashinyan said. “To create [a] new Armenia, we have to understand what happened to Armenia since our country’s independence [from the Soviet Union in 1991] — why we failed in creating a strong, competitive and contemporary country.”last_img read more

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Trojans to open 2012 season at home

first_imgSomething about the crack of a well-struck ball off a wooden bat, the smack of a ball landing perfectly in the pocket of a glove, the smell of pine tar or freshly mown grass makes baseball uniquely cherished in the hearts of its fansIt does not have the intensity of football, the tempo of basketball, the fluidity of hockey or the raw emotion of soccer. But it has an innate simplicity, a purity and timelessness that fans treasure deeply.Taking the mound · Senior pitcher Brandon Garcia is one of several experienced players that coach Frank Cruz will depend on during the season. Garcia batted .309 in 2011 and started five games at pitcher. – Carlo Acenas | Daily TrojanBaseball returns to USC’s Dedeaux Field on Friday as the Trojans host Jacksonville University on opening night for both teams, and just the thought of that makes USC coach Frank Cruz’s eyes light up.“[Opening day] reminds you of the pastime. It is the pastime,” Cruz said. “All the players are announced, they’re all out there for the anthem. And everybody’s excited. It’s a new start. It’s a fresh start. And it’s just a real special feeling.”It will be a special feeling for the Trojans’ starting pitcher. Redshirt senior Andrew Triggs spurned a professional contract for the second year in a row and is back for his third consecutive year as the Trojans’ Friday night ace.“I’m really excited to be back,” Triggs said. “I hope it’s a real special season.”Triggs led the team in innings pitched last season with 90 2/3, amassing a 5-4 record and a 3.67 ERA. Most impressive, however, were his 72 strikeouts to just 28 walks on the season.“We’re ecstatic to have Andrew back,” Cruz says. “Any time you can return a Friday night starter, that’s huge.”Triggs is not the only returning player whom Cruz feels lucky to have back. Both senior catcher Kevin Roundtree and senior outfielder Alex Sherrod had a significant possibility of being drafted. But neither of them were, and now they’re back for their final season with the Trojans.In Roundtree, USC returns a three-year starter and steady presence behind the plate who hit leadoff and finished with a .308 batting average and .404 slugging percentage last season.Cruz said Roundtree has moved himself from a leadoff hitter to the middle-of-the-order hitter.Easily the most pure and experienced hitter of these 2012 Trojans, Sherrod slugged .486 last season to lead the team, beating out All-American and third-round draft pick first baseman Ricky Oropesa.As for USC’s opponent this weekend, this team is tougher than the Dolphin mascot might suggest. Jacksonville returns 20 players from a team that competed in the NCAA Regionals last season. Their first baseman, Adam Walker II, is one of the top prospects in next year’s draft.“They’re supposedly called a ‘mid-major,’” said Cruz. “But they’re gonna be good. I don’t care what anybody says, this is a legitimate team.”Though the Trojans lack a star draft prospect, they will try to make up for that in experience. Six of the positional starters will be upperclassmen, including five seniors.And one of the underclassmen, sophomore shortstop James Roberts, is plenty experienced, having started every game at that position last year as a true freshman.USC plans on starting two true freshmen this year: Dante Flores at second base and Stephen Tarpley, who was drafted in the eighth round last year but chose instead to come to USC, as a  left-handed starting pitcher.Saturday’s game is scheduled for 2 p.m. with senior righty Ben Mount on the hill for the Trojans. Tarpley will take the mound for the series finale Sunday at 1 p.m.last_img read more

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Women of Troy fall to UCLA, skate past USD in split-weekend series

first_imgIn a battle of two top teams, USC’s second-ranked women’s tennis team lost a 4-3 heartbreaker to No. 1 UCLA (12-0) Thursday afternoon before besting the University of San Diego on Saturday 6-1.After opening Pac-12 play with a decisive victory over No. 5 Cal, the Women of Troy (10-2) were poised to challenge the Bruins for the top spot in the conference. Coach Richard Gallien’s group was also looking to exact some revenge against UCLA after they bounced USC in the semifinals of the ITA National Indoor Championships just three weeks prior.Despite their success in recent weeks, the Women of Troy had failed to win the doubles’ point in three out of their last four matches and Thursday would be no exception.Although the pairing of junior Danielle Lao and senior Alison Ramos were able to register the first victory of the match on court two against Montez/Vannguye 8-2, the third-ranked duo of sophomore Kaitlyn Christian and freshman Sabrina Santamaria against UCLA’s top team of Anderson/Dolehide.In the point-deciding game on court three, freshman Zoe Scandalis and junior Valeria Pulido, who rank 39th in the country, couldn’t hold on to their 6-5 lead and fell to the UCLA tandem of Jones and Seguso 8-6.While the momentum had been shifted over to the Bruins side, USC quickly regained it behind a strong home crowd with Christian taking down UCLA’s Skylar Morton and the 26th-ranked Santamaria bullying Pamela Montez to even the match at 2-2. In between the two victories for USC, Scandalis had her hands full all day trying to keep up with No. 5 Robin Anderson on court one and the battle of the freshman went to the Bruins as Anderson would record a 6-3, 6-3 win.After Lao dismantled Jones on court two and Ramos fell on court six, the match stood at 3-3 and would once again come down to freshman Gabriella DeSimone. Though the season is still young, DeSimone has already shown a propensity to play well under pressure as evidenced by two game-clinching wins in USC’s last three victories, including last weekend against Cal.The magic would run out for the freshman this Thursday, however, as she could not take advantage of a first set victory. Despite being down a set, UCLA’s freshman Channelle Van Nguyen came out strong in the next two sets and quelled any comeback DeSimone tried to put together, taking the match 4-6, 6-2 6-3.Still dealing with the heartbreak of Thursday’s loss, Saturday would elicit a much better outcome for the Women of Troy.In need of a rebound game, USC was all over the San Diego from the start, taking the doubles point with a 2-1 victory. Coach Gallien tweaked the doubles’ lineup against USD moving Sabrina Santamaria with Lao and pairing Santamaria’s previous partner Kaitlyn Christian with the junior Pulido.In singles, the Women of Troy would’ve completed the sweep if Sabrina Santamria had not retired due to injury early in the second set.While this week’s slew of games may be seen as a disappointment, the young Women of Troy can take pride in the fight and grit they showed battling the nation’s best team. With much of Pac-12 play still ahead of them, USC will get another crack at the Bruins and a chance to take down their top-ranked rivals.last_img read more

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Syracuse basketball recruiting: Class of 2017 guard Howard Washington commits to SU

first_imgClass of 2017 point guard Howard Washington has committed to Syracuse, he announced on Twitter Thursday afternoon. Published on March 16, 2017 at 4:11 pm Contact Matt: mcschnei@syr.edu | @matt_schneidman Syracuse offered Washington last week after the high school senior had long expressed interest in the Orange. He is the third member of SU’s Class of 2017, joining forwards Oshae Brissett and Bourama Sidibe. Howard hails from Buffalo, and the 6-foot-2 point guard plays for Athlete Institute Basketball Academy in Ontario, Canada, with Brissett.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWashington is a four-star prospect, according to ESPN, but he’s not ranked in the Top 100. Syracuse still doesn’t have any incoming recruits in the ESPN Top 100 for the first time since ESPN compiled such rankings. Commentscenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

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Saints’ Cam Jordan’s T-shirt message at Pro Bowl: ‘Blow whistles, not games’

first_imgSaints star Cameron Jordan made it clear Sunday he’s still miffed about the controversial no-call in the Saints-Rams NFC championship game.The defensive end arrived at the game in a black T-shirt with two messages on the back. “Blow whistles not games,” is printed in big white letters, while the bottom of the shirt features a cartoonish image of a shrugging referee with the message, “Make calls not apologies.” Nickell Robey-Coleman says pass was tipped during controversial no-call play in Rams-Saints game .@camjordan94 arrived for the Pro Bowl with a t-shirt that says “Blow whistles not games” and “Make calls not apologies.” pic.twitter.com/4toGxiBnHI— ESPN (@espn) January 27, 2019The Saints and their fans will never forget that controversial no-call late in the game, when Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman hit Saints receiver Tommylee Lewis before the pass arrived late in regulation of the title game. The Rams went on to win in overtime. However, Robey-Coleman, who initially told reporters the play was definitely pass interference, said Saturday the pass was tipped, in which case pass interference would not be applicable.It’s Jordan’s fourth Pro Bowl appearance. Related Newslast_img read more

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MLB trade rumors: Brewers considering dealing Mike Moustakas, Yasmani Grandal for starter

first_imgThe Brewers could be looking to upgrade their rotation in an unconventional way.Milwaukee is considering moving infielder Mike Moustakas or catcher Yasmani Grandal in exchange for a starter, according to a report from The Athletic, which cites unidentified league sources. Brandon Woodruff injury update: Brewers ace (oblique) to have MRI, headed to IL MLB trade rumors: Padres’ offers for Mets starter Noah Syndergaard have been ‘especially light’ “The return of Travis Shaw and emergence of Keston Hiura would make Moustakas perhaps easier to replace than Grandal, but the Brewers probably could find a cerebral, defensive-minded catcher. Baseball America recently ranked the team’s farm system as the worst in the game, so a trade of a major leaguer might be a better way to improve.”The Brewers finished play Sunday one game behind the Cubs and Cardinals for first place in the National League Central. They’re also a game out of the second wild-card spot with a 56-51 record.“The way I would look at the (trade deadline) is, adding is meant to complement a good team that has a chance to get to and advance in the playoffs,” Milwaukee president of baseball operations David Stearns said earlier this month, via MLB.com. “And, certainly my belief is that this team has the ability to get to that point.”The Brewers have reportedly explored dealing for Rangers left-hander Mike Minor, Tigers ace Matthew Boyd and Mets righty Noah Syndergaard, amongst others. “We would like to be in a position to add to this team. That is our preference,” Stearns said. “And I anticipate that’s where we are going to be.”Brewers All-Star right-hander Brandon Woodruff was placed on the injured list last week with a left oblique strain. He’s expected to miss about six weeks. Moustakas is slashing .261/.333/.532 with 26 home runs and 60 RBIs for Milwaukee in 2019 while Grandal has hit 19 homers and driven in 54 runs in 98 games. Both players can become free agents after the season.The report adds: Related News MLB trade rumors: Rangers ‘likely’ to move Mike Minor; Phillies, Brewers interested in starterlast_img read more

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NFL coach hot seat tiers: Cowboys’ Jason Garrett, Browns’ Freddie Kitchens could be fired next

first_img3. Freddie Kitchens, Browns. Stop us if you’ve heard this before, but it’s getting extremely hot around Kitchens. He keeps gas-lighting the burner under him with stupid leadership decisions like the “Pittsburgh started it” T-shirt in advance of his team laying an egg in the most important game of the season. The Browns, now 5-7, once had the smell of freshly baked cookies straight from the oven. Now they are setting off smoke alarms, with Kitchens most responsible for cooking up the disaster.4. Doug Marrone, Jaguars. His team’s free-fall has reached the point where some are pronouncing his name to sound like a synonym of idiot. The defense is going into the tank, and Jacksonville continues to show less life with each passing week. Marrone’s fate was probably cemented by the ill-fated decision to go back to Nick Foles instead of sticking with the inspiring play of rookie sensation Gardner Minshew.5. Dan Quinn, Falcons. DQ has done well to get his team to rally and play harder, marked by the good decision to give up control of the defensive play-calling and focus on motivation and leadership. The players love him, and team owner Arthur Blank knows it. That’s why Quinn is getting a chance at a full-season evaluation. But this feels like it will end, and Quinn will land in a good spot elsewhere. It just no longer seems he is the right fit for these Falcons.MORE: Where will Ron Rivera coach in 2020?NFL coaching seats getting warm6. Matt Patricia, Lions. He likely will be retained in 2020 even though his defense has been atrocious despite the big investments (Trey Flowers, Justin Coleman) that unit received in the offseason. The key offensive injuries to Matthew Stafford and Kerryon Johnson probably give Patricia a pass into Year 3.7. Anthony Lynn, Chargers. The Chargers are back to losing frustrating, close games, and part of the reason might be Lynn having stuck too long with interception machine Philip Rivers — even with a capable starter for his offense, Tyrod Taylor, on the bench. Lynn is probably leaning toward safe because of injuries and other issues. He also is coming off a 12-4 record in 2018.NFL coaching seats cooling off8. Adam Gase, Jets. Christopher Johnson says the Jets won’t make a change despite Gase being a major disappointment, mainly because they don’t want to admit the coach’s hiring was a mistake. Regardless, he is being saved by an improving offense and a more favorable second-half schedule. (Getty Images) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/72/11/freddie-kitchens-120219-getty-ftrjpg_mykz37r5hsn91o1damd2pepbq.jpg?t=-949600282&w=500&quality=80 21. Matt LaFleur, Packers. He should get plenty coach of the year love.22. Kyle Shanahan, 49ers. He should get plenty coach of the year love.23. Sean McDermott, Bills. He needs more coach of the year love.24. Sean McVay, Rams. He is still the football savant.25. Pete Carroll, Seahawks. Somehow, he keeps looking 68 years young.26. Andy Reid, Chiefs. All he does is coach great offense and get teams to the playoffs.27. Sean Payton, Saints. Sorry, Jerry, but he is staying in the Big Easy as long he wants. (Getty Images) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/80/f8/matt-lafleur-092619-getty-ftrjpg_51e6lmnr6yoe1gp4qceinwzsv.jpg?t=1853713197&w=500&quality=80 9. Matt Nagy, Bears. He has NFC North title equity from his rookie season, and his team might finish well enough for him to advance to Year 3.10. Vic Fangio, Broncos. His defense is starting to play better, and the quarterback carousel mess gives him a bit of pass. He is now likely to see a second year under John Elway.NFL coaching seats that have gone cold11. Kliff Kingsbury, Cardinals. He has had more lows than highs (as expected) in his transition from the college game to the NFL, but he was the right hire with Kyler Murray in mind.12. Zac Taylor, Bengals. He will end his rookie season with at least one win, and his team is playing better overall. He will get second year, this time with his franchise QB of choice.13. Brian Flores, Dolphins. No one is talking about Miami tanking anymore, and he is proving he can be a keeper given better talent on the field.14. Jon Gruden, Raiders. They’re paying him too much to make a move, and he has overachieved with the Raiders enough to be fine through the team’s move to Las Vegas.MORE: Coaching candidates for Redskins | PanthersNFL coaches who are just chilling15. Bruce Arians, Buccaneers. He has gotten them to play much better, setting them up for real promise in 2020.16. Mike Vrabel, Titans. He saved his job (and his team’s season) with the Ryan Tannehill decision.17. Frank Reich, Colts. He is doing his best with a rash of injuries after his great job in 2018.18. Doug Pederson, Eagles. He still has plenty of Super Bowl equity.19. Mike Zimmer, Vikings. He needed this current playoff run with Kirk Cousins.20. Bill O’Brien, Texans. He is having one of his best seasons leading the team. Last year, eight teams decided to replace their coaches either during or right after the season. Although it will be hard to reach that number in 2019, current situations could make it close.MORE: Mapping out Jason Garrett’s future in DallasHere are all 30 non-interim NFL coaches ranked by by their level of discomfort, starting with those who have the least amount of job security.NFL coaches with the hottest of hot seats1. Pat Shurmur, Giants. New York has lost eight consecutive games after a 2-2 start, and there’s no sign that Shurmur’s specialty (offense) has actually improved despite promising pieces like rookie quarterback Daniel Jones. Yes, the Giants have had some key injuries (Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, Evan Engram, Golden Tate, offensive line), including Jones’ ankle sprain. But the team overall is getting worse, not better. The Giants should turn to someone else (Ron Rivera) for progress over a third year of Shumur.2. Jason Garrett, Cowboys. Jerry Jones has delivered quotes that resemble an emotional roller-coaster when comes to his long-time favorite Princeton man and former backup quarterback. He is trying to separate head from heart, and that’s been difficult for Dallas’ owner/general manager. At this point, with real Super Bowl aspirations going into 2019, it might not be enough for the Cowboys to limp into the playoffs as champions of the weak NFC East. The pressure is on Garrett to win at least a game or two in the postseason. And then there were 30 NFL head coaches still holding the jobs they had going into the 2019 season.The Redskins parted ways with Jay Gruden after their 0-5 start, and the Panthers relieved Ron Rivera of his duties after their fade to 5-7 and out of NFC playoff contention. But everyone knows they won’t be last two coaches to go from the hot seat to being fired before or on “Black Monday.” (Getty Images) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/38/94/matt-nagy-102719-getty-ftrjpg_14axre2894m5g1obwen85269x4.jpg?t=251340310&w=500&quality=80 28. Mike Tomlin, Steelers. He has done a masterful job with motivation and, as he would say, “things of that nature.”29. John Harbaugh, Ravens. And to think they wanted to fire him just a couple of years ago.30. Bill Belichick, Patriots. GOAT coach. Wears a hoodie. Wins a lot. Doesn’t say much.last_img read more

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Soul of the US Open: Venus, Serena Williams Advance to Second Round; Most Seeds Follow

first_img*Round one of the 2014 US Open has come to a close, with struggles for sure, but not very many surprises.The Marquee players, Serena Williams, Roger Federer John Isner, Maria Sharapova, Petra Kvitova, Ana Ivanovic, Victoria Azarenka, Venus Williams, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Maria Sharapova, Sloane Stephens, Simona Halep, Agnieszka Radwanska, Ana Ivanovic, John Isner, Gael Monfils, Eugenie Bouchard, Angelique Kerber, Caroline Wozniaki, David Ferrer and Jo-Wilifred Tsonga, all pulled through their first round matches, but things weren’t that straightforward for some of them.Romanian Simona Halep started on day one on Arthur Ashe against a young American qualifier, Danielle Rose Collins, who came out playing “lights out” tennis against the jittery world no. 2. Halep lost the first set, but found a way to turn the match around and she escaped an early departure with the score line 6-7,6-1,6-2.Venus Williams had nearly the same narrative, except she started strong then the wheels fell off early in the first set. She was up a game with three break points to lead 2-0 against the oldest woman in the tournament, 43-year-old Kamiko Date-Krumm of Japan, but she couldn’t convert; the first set was all down hill from there. Venus couldn’t find her rhythm and the unforced errors began to mount, causing her to lose the set 2-6. She recovered at the beginning of the second, however, by securing an immediate break, then went on to comfortably take it, 6-3. She built on that momentum and cruised all the way to a 5-0 lead in the third, but the wheels, once again, began to fall off. She couldn’t close the set out and allowed Date-Krum to stage a mini-comeback, drawing closer to the former champion’s score. But as tensions rose for Venus, Date-Krumm ultimately succumbed to her own and handed Venus the win through unforced errors while serving at 3-5 in the third. The final scoreline was Venus, 2-6,6-3,6-3.Andy Murray was similarly met with turbulence on day one, but it was of a different nature. He comfortably took the first set, 6-3, but then experienced a loss of concentration and inexplicable discomfort that turned the match into a drama-filled seesaw. The Brit, who’s struggled the entire 2014 season, ultimately ended up on top, but not before dropping a set and trailing 0-4 in another against his unseeded opponent. Murray sealed it with a 6-3,7-6,1-6,7-5 scoreline, but now has plenty of questions to answer about his erratic play.Caroline Wozniaki of Denmark (aka Serena Wiliams’ tour “bestie”), Angelique Kerber (GER) and Jo-Wilifred Tsonga (FRA) all dropped sets as well on day one, but were able to come out with first round wins, Wozniacki’s by retirement.Also on day one, Russia’s Maria Sharapova and Serbia’s Novak Djokovic both cruised to easy wins over Russia’s Maria Kirilenko (aka Sharapova’s former “bestie”) and D. Schwartzman respectively; Agnieszka Radwanska completed her first round drubbing of Canadian Sharon Finchman in just 48 minutes, with a 6-1,6-0 scoreline; and American, Sloane Stephens, true to form for her at Grand Slams, took her opponent, Germany’s Annika Beck to the woodshed with a 6-0,6-3 beat down.On Tuesday, the legend that is America’s Serena Williams played the future of American tennis, Taylor Townsend, in a night match on Ashe. It was relatively highly anticipated due to strides Townsend has made on the WTA tour recently, but she was unable to trouble Williams, a veteran, not only on the tour, but at the US Open. Williams has won it five times and obviously knows her way around the at-times-hot-and-blustery Ashe stadium court. The top seed and two-time defending champion easily dispatched the youngster, sealing deal with a 6-3,6-1 scoreline.Another accomplished US Open seed, however, wasn’t so fortunate. Dominika Cibulkova, the tournament’s no. 12 seed was eliminated after a three-set battle with a 15-year-old American. Catherine Bellis qualified for the tournament by winning a junior’s tournament, but played well beyond her age in sending the Slovakian packing. Bellis is now this year’s Cinderella story on the order of USA’s Melanie Oudin, who toppled several top players on her way reaching the quarterfinals back in 2009.The only other remotely surprising outcomes of the first round were American Donald Young going out in the first round to Slovak, Blaz Kavcic in straight sets, 7-5,6-4,6-4; 21st seeded Mikhail Youzhny being taking out by Australian teen sensation Nick Kyrgios 7-5,7-6,2-6,7-6; former US Open champion, 20th seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova, going out to unseeded New Zealander, Marina Erakovic, and Jack Sock retiring due to injury against Spaniard Pablo Andujar. Krygios had already earned a name for himself by decisively taking out then world no. 1, Rafael Nadal recently during the Wimbledon championships and his ascension continues. The young Aussie, whom they call “wild thing” plays a mature game, but his age shows in his temperament as he was issued three code violations on Monday for tantrum-throwing (launched a ball out of the stadium, spewed audible expletive and racquet abuse). He came just one violation shy of being booted from the tournament.Read more at http://www.eurweb.com/2014/08/soul-of-the-us-open-venus-serena-williams-advance-to-second-round-most-seeds-follow/#GjKAiYbMcxvmDiLg.99last_img read more

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