Sampdoria come up with brilliant way to introduce Ronaldo Vieira

first_img highlights NEW ERA 1 smart causal Best clips, calls and talkSPORT moments of 2019, feat Hearn, McCoist and more Football news How the Premier League table could change after the Boxing Day fixtures silverware Tottenham v Brighton LIVE: talkSPORT commentary and team news for Boxing Day opener possible xi How Man United could line up for Newcastle clash – will Pogba start? How Arsenal could line up in Arteta’s first official game in charge – Ozil return? ALTERED Sampdoria were spot on with their announcement of Ronaldo Vieira’s transfer.The 20-year-old left Leeds in a £6.2 million transfer and was unveiled by the Serie A side on Friday with this brilliant tweet.center_img gameday possible standings However, Vieira is named after the former Brazil international – the original Ronaldo to many – and his brother is called Romario.Vieira, who was raised in Portugal, played 71 times for Leeds since joining in 2015 after a trial at the academy and made his debut on the final day of the 2015/16 season. Tottenham predicted XI to face Brighton with Mourinho expected to make big changes How Chelsea could line up against Southampton – what system will Lampard play? Every current Premier League club’s best kit from the past decade who plays? Every Championship club’s best signing of the decade, including Taarabt and Dack Juventus posted this when they signed Cristiano Ronaldo impact BREAKING: #Sampdoria sign #Ronaldo! pic.twitter.com/vTZafVkMBF— Sampdoria English (@sampdoria_en) August 3, 2018The announcement mimicked Juventus’ unveiling of Cristiano Ronaldo, who left Real Madrid in a £99m transfer in July. England’s most successful clubs of the past decade, according to trophies wonlast_img read more

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Business confidence riding high

first_img8 October 2004South African business confidence is soaring, with the highest level ever recorded in the first month of spring. That’s according to the South African Chamber of Business (Sacob), which says confidence is being boosted by strong consumer spending and low interest rates.Sacob’s business confidence index reached 130.9 points in September, up from 127.8 points in August. The chamber says the lift reflects business attitudes to the structural changes in the country’s economy.Low inflation, record low interest rates, and a stable rand have all boosted business prospects, Business Day reports.Increased consumer spending is reflected in the latest retail sales figures released by Statistics South Africa. Retail sales rocketed 11.7% in July from the same month in 2003 – the biggest year-on-year increase on record.However, Sacob says not everything has escaped the winter economic chill. Production is still held back by a weak export sector, with a deficit in the trade account of R5.5-billion in the second quarter of 2004. According to Business Day, it’s South Africa’s first deficit in 22 years.Business confidence keeps climbingBusiness confidence in the country has been buoyant for some time. In the second quarter of 2004 it rose to its highest level in 15 years, according to the Rand Merchant Bank/ Bureau for Economic Research (RMB/BER) Business Confidence Index.The index increased from 69 to 71 index points in June – its fourth successive quarterly rise – reaching its highest level since the first quarter of 1989.The BER and RMB said at the time that the increase boded well for South Africa’s economic growth for the remainder of the year. According to Statistics SA’s GDP numbers, economic growth accelerated from 1.3% during the fourth quarter of 2003 to 3.3% during the first quarter of 2004.SA businesses doubly bullishSA businesses are ready to take on the future. A recent survey finds local business owners more than twice as confident about their economic prospects as they were last year – and the fourth most optimistic in the world.The survey results “confirm that the manufacturing sector has turned the corner for the better”, RMB chief economist Rudolf Gouws said in a statement. “With activity remaining lively in the retail, wholesale, new vehicle trade, building and construction sectors, strong domestic and external demand are increasingly feeding through to production.”Confidence, Gouws said, “has now clearly recovered from the dip brought about by the 2002 interest rate hikes and the problems created for parts of the economy by the sharp rise in the rand in 2003”.The BER and RMB attributed SA’s business confidence high to political and economic stability since the previous survey.“The peaceful run-up to and smooth conduct of the national election on 14 April, and the President’s and ministers’ subsequent announcements of plans to boost economic growth through, among others, infrastructure development, job creation and support to small and medium-sized enterprises, shored up business confidence”, the BER/RMB said.“The boost to national pride following from South Africa’s winning of the right to host the World Cup Soccer tournament in 2010 may also have underpinned business confidence.”Other contributing factors were strong domestic demand, some recovery in manufacturing output, and greater stability in the rand, with further property price increases playing an additional indirect role.“On the other hand, the sharp increase in the domestic fuel price would have weighed on business confidence, and may take a further toll going forward.”SectorsBusiness confidence increased in four of the five sectors covered by the BER/RMB survey, rising marginally further in building and manufacturing, and substantially in retail and wholesale trade.New vehicle trade was the only sector in which business confidence declined in the second quarter, though it remained “well within net positive terrain”, the BER/RMB reported.Retail and wholesale tradeA large rebound in sales of food and groceries shored up the confidence levels of retailers of non-durable goods. “The relatively subdued price increase of food and groceries, and increase in social grants, are two of a number of factors that probably added to the more lively growth in food and grocery sales”, Gouws said.In contrast, sales of household furniture, appliances and electronic equipment eased substantially from its heady rates of the last quarter of 2003 and first quarter of 2004. Although sales of clothing, footwear and textiles also edged lower, it nevertheless remained relatively lively during the second quarter.Building & constructionAccording the survey, interest rate cuts in 2003 and unceasing increases in property prices continued to underpin residential and non-residential building activity, which increased at an even higher rate in the second quarter than in the first – boosting building contractor confidence to 78 from an already high level of 74.ManufacturingThe confidence levels of manufacturers also increased further, in tandem with a growth in manufacturing production made possible by higher domestic sales and some recovery in export sales.“At 58, confidence levels of the manufacturing sector remains the lowest of the sectors surveyed”, the BER/RMB noted, “but it has now been in net positive terrain for two consecutive quarters – a far cry from the negative mood that prevailed in this sector for most of last year”.Motor tradeAlthough new vehicle dealer confidence declined sharply to 66 index points in the second quarter, it nevertheless remained well within net positive territory during the second quarter.“We do not know what led to the fall in vehicle dealers’ confidence, as one would have expected confidence to remain at its previous high level given the continued, unprecedented strong growth in sales”, Gouws said.“One possible reason for the decline in confidence is that sales of some makes dropped off because of the unavailability of stocks. Another reason – according to some dealers – is that some customers are postponing their purchases of new vehicles in anticipation of lower prices following the Competition Commission’s inquiry into vehicle prices.”The BER/RMB second quarter survey was conducted between 17 May and 8 June 2004, covering 2 952 regular participating business executives in manufacturing, retail, wholesale, motor trade, building and construction.SouthAfrica.info reporterlast_img read more

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Former football pro using sports as a platform for agriculture

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest When a sports fan heads to the stadium to cheer on their favorite team, it is safe to say that one of the last things on their minds is agriculture. But, thanks to some help from an Ohio farm boy turned NFL football player,  the ways those in the stands think about farming and how it correlates with many aspects of the sporting event they are attending are changing.Behind that concept is Ohioan Mark Inkrott, who grew up in Glandorf with a long agricultural family history behind him. His grandfather converted a flour mill to a grain elevator that has been in the family since 1942. In fact, Inkrott’s father still delivers feed to farmers throughout Putnam County.“When I was a kid, whenever I wasn’t in school I was in my dad’s bulk truck,” Inkrott said. “That’s when I got to know all of the farmers and found out what they did and started to understand everything that goes into food production.”Although Inkrott has never forgotten those lessons from his rural neighbors, his life’s journey took him far away from home. He followed a career in football, which began at the college level at the University of Findlay and then professionally with the Carolina Panthers and the New York Giants. He even spent time on the gridiron in Europe.After hanging up the cleats, Inkrott came back to Ohio to attend graduate school and then found himself back in the industry where he started.“When I think back to when I was younger and thinking about what was ahead, I didn’t think agriculture would be where I ended up in my career,” Inkrott said. “It’s funny how you end up where you’re supposed to be and be working with farmers again has been very rewarding in the sense that they are value-based people who know what hard work is.”After working in the dairy industry for a while, Inkrott came up with a concept to fill what he saw as a need for agriculture. So he and a business partner, a fellow Glandorf native, founded UpField Group, a sports marketing and consulting firm specializing in agriculture and farm to stadium programs. The team also consists of a farm policy specialist and a rancher’s daughter. Together they bring a unique skill set to their agricultural endeavor  and have teamed up with associations ranging from the NFL Alumni to Mossy Creek Outfitters and Dairy Management Incorporated.“At one point in my life I just assumed that everyone across the country knew where food comes from but that certainly isn’t the case,” Inkrott said. “After my football career it occurred to me that sports have a powerful platform to be influential and to tell great stories about agriculture and food production.”UpField Group founder Mark Inkrott and professional wide receiver Larry FitzgeraldUpField Group specifically saw the most potential in the stadiums, which already are used to deliver messages from the teams on the field and from the sponsors that are plastered all around the venue.“Sports transcend throughout the community and it brings people together,” Inkrott said. “No matter what your political stance is, or your background or beliefs, when you go to a ballgame we can all agree on the team we are rooting for.”Inkrott said that when he did play football in cities like Charlotte and New York, he noticed things that very few people around him might have picked up on.“The first time I went to an NFL game, I was playing in it and even then I recognized the agriculture component to a ballgame,” Inkrott said. “As fans were enjoying a cold beer I knew that there were hops and barley farmers somewhere that made that possible. The same goes for hot dogs, popcorn and lemonade and the examples go on and on.”The vision of UpField Group is to make those connections to food and sports easier to see for everyone involved, closing the many gaps that are in between farmers and consumers.“Consumers, in general, are confused about their food and more labels and misleading marketing aren’t helping,” Inkrott said. “Transparency about how food is made is trendy and so is buying local, especially in urban markets and that is where UpField Group can come in and share the messages that people need to hear about farming and its misconceptions. Sports is a great platform for that.”And UpField Group believes that message should come from no one else but the farmer, so they have developed a strategic alliance with ag accounting firm K Coe Isom to help give consumers a 360-degree view of the farm through their many farmer clients.“The information we glean through this partnership is allowing us to create fact-based marketing and go find new opportunities in new markets,” Inkrott said. “We can meet with companies like a brewery, for example, and introduce them to a farmer and the corn crop they raise, their sustainability record and value of their message and offer that brewery a great ambassador and face for where their product comes from.“Then, we can do an event at that brewery with the farmer and he can talk about what happens on his farm, giving the consumer confidence and trust and a great image of where the product comes from.”On a bigger scale, UpField Group sees potential in making the farmer-to-consumer connection inside sporting arenas by placing producers on the Jumbotron to share what they farm to make the spectator’s experience that much more enjoyable.“Consumers are smarter than ever and they have access to more information than ever before so there’s no trick marketing and no gimmicks in what we are doing here,” Inkrott said. “Since the core values of a farmer are honesty and hard work, helping them tell their story will be the best way to regain the trust of the American consumer.”last_img read more

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Motion Graphics Tutorials For Video Editors

first_img1. Simple Motion Graphics Techniques for Editors2. How to Create a Zoom Out from Space Effect3. TV Glitch and Particle Effects4. Motion Graphics Inspiration – Apple Intro Effect5. Discover the Latest Features in After Effects Being able to design and create motion graphics that work in your edit is a great skill to have, these resources will help you get there.As an editor, producers and directors will often ask you if you ‘know After Effects’, by which they mean can you add in some simple animations here or some fancy graphic overlays there. If you can deliver the goods they’ll love you for it.Personally I find the design process much harder than the technical process of making things move but this round up of resources should help you on both fronts. Although most of the resources in this post focus on Adobe After Effects or Apple Motion you can still apply the concepts and techniques in many other applications.In the tutorial above Angie Taylor from Video2Brain talks you through some of the essential basics for working with text in your video project in three packed minutes.Post highlights include (click to jump to each section): Simple Motion Graphics Techniques For EditorsIn this excellent short tutorial, Joe Fellows – a UK based graphics artist, demonstrates how to create a 2.5D parallax effect on your still images. A simple way to spruce up your edit. In the tutorial Joe references a stunning sequence he created for WWF using this technique which was racked up over 500,000 views after becoming a Vimeo Staff Pick:How to Create a Zoom Out from Space EffectAnother popular effect is that of the ”huge zoom out” or the ‘Cosmic Zoom Out‘ as the chaps from MacBreak Studio describe it in this Motion tutorial. To create the same effect in After Effects check out this tutorial from Andrew Kramer that has been viewed over 2.7 million times! TV Glitch & Particle EffectsSimon Ubsdell demonstrates how to create a TV glitch/interference effect in Motion 5 from scratch. A common effect but nice to be able to fully customise it yourself.  In the next tutorial Simon demonstrates how to create a particle collision, which also involves a custom lens flare. Understanding these techniques would come in handy for many a title sequence.In the following tutorial After Effects guru Andrew Kramer from Video CoPilot demonstrates a simple but useful effect for adding a selective glow to a particular color. A useful way to highlight key areas of an image, or just explosions!Motion Graphics Inspiration – Apple Intro AnimationIf you watched the Apple Developer’s Conference Keynote earlier this year you will have seen this amazing piece of animation design work. In this short tutorial from the Macbreak Studio guys you can learn some vital things about mimicking this look in Apple’s Motion 5. The next tutorial demonstrates how to use Newton, the physics simulation plugin that design studio Buck used to create parts of the spot. Making The Most of After Effects Latest FeaturesIn this tutorial motion graphics artist and trainer John Dickinson demonstrates what’s new in After Effects 12.1 and in the tutorial below some of the useful new features in Adobe CC. If you’re new to After Effects after subscribing to Adobe Creative Cloud then these should give you a taster of what you’ve got at your fingertips.Discover the Latest Features in After EffectsIf you’re after even more resources fellow PremiumBeat writer, Clay Asbury has put together some excellent posts that will furnish you with even more places to learn more about motion graphics:Motion Graphics & VFX Courses5 Sites for Motion Design Elements10 Motion Graphics Resources For Editorslast_img read more

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Cavs the Champs But Warriors the Favorites in the NBA Finals

first_imgBRIAN MAHONEY, AP Basketball WriterSome predictions see the NBA Finals ending quickly. A video game simulation has them going the distance.All seem to agree on the Golden State Warriors winning.Beaten last year by Cleveland’s historic comeback, the Warriors will try to avenge that defeat and get back on top when they face the Cavaliers again, the first time two teams have met three straight times in the NBA Finals.Game 1 is Thursday at Oracle Arena, where the Cavaliers won their first championship last year by becoming the first team to rally from a 3-1 deficit in the finals. The Warriors are back with a more formidable team after adding Kevin Durant, a healthier one after Stephen Curry was injured last postseason, and not even LeBron James and the Cavs are given much chance of stopping them.“I think they’re the prohibitive favorite,” ABC analyst Jeff Van Gundy said. “I think when you’re the prohibitive favorite against LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, that means you’re a heck of a team, and they sure are.”The Warriors are 12-0 in the playoffs and have won 27 of their last 28 overall. Cleveland will have to slow down a team that has been beating teams by 16.3 points per game in the postseason.A lackluster postseason could be salvaged by a close, compelling series, which was the result of an NBA 2K17 simulation that ended with Durant leading the Warriors to a Game 7 rout.The Warriors are a powerhouse, but the Cavs are 12-1 in the playoffs and give themselves a shot no matter who else does.“Since I’ve been in this league, it’s hard to get to the playoffs, let alone march all the way to the finals,” guard Iman Shumpert said. “But I think we got a great group, headlined by one of the best guys to ever do it. That gives us a chance in any game.”Some things to watch in the series:A LOT OF LOVE? Cleveland almost certainly needs the Kevin Love of the last round to have a chance at the upset. He averaged a quiet 13.8 points in the first two rounds, then busted out for 22.6 points and 12.4 rebounds per game against Boston in the Eastern Conference finals. Golden State will try to keep him in check with Draymond Green, one of the league’s best and most versatile defenders.“When he’s going, he makes their team a lot better,” Green said, “so it is my job to try to take him out of the game.”WHAT HOME-COURT ADVANTAGE? The Cavaliers’ nine-game postseason road winning streak, three shy of the 2001-02 Lakers’ league record, started with victories last year in Games 5 and 7 in Oakland. The Warriors won at least once in Cleveland in each of the last two NBA Finals, part of their franchise-record streak of 14 straight series with a road victory.STRAIGHT SHOOTERS? All-Star Klay Thompson is shooting 38 percent from the field in the postseason and 2015 NBA Finals MVP Andre Iguodala is just 3 for 27 from 3-point range. The Warriors’ best lineup against the Cavaliers probably has both players on the floor at the same time, with Iguodala on James and Thompson defending Irving, so Thompson said he doesn’t get caught up in whether his shot is falling.“What happened in the past in my mind doesn’t really count now unless we go out and finish the deal,” he said. “So as long as I perform at this stage now and play my hardest, that’s all I can ask for. It’s been working up to this point, so I can’t change what I’m doing.”NO WORRY FROM CURRY: After a knee injury in the playoffs and a quick turnaround following the conference finals, Curry wasn’t in top shape last June. He’s in better health now, even while wearing a sleeve over his elbow to protect some swelling.“Obviously not really dealing with any bumps or bruises really besides this elbow that’s not really a factor,” Curry said. “So other than that, feeling fresh.”TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

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I am no slouch in white ball cricket Ashwin on ODI exclusion

first_imgMumbai: On a day when country’s seniormost speedster Ishant Sharma spoke about how perceptions affected his chances in ODIs” his Test teammate Ravichandran Ashwin also echoed same sentiments reminding that he is “no slouch with white ball”. Ashwin has not played limited overs cricket since 2017 West Indies tour as selectors and team management felt that wrist spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal are better options. To be fair to both Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri, both Kuldep and Chahal have done well. Also Read – Andy Murray to make Grand Slam return at Australian Open”I don’t know, it is a perception. I am no slouch. In the white ball format, my records are not bad like what it is perceived to be. It is out of perception that wrist spinners are required in modern one day cricket that I am sitting out,” straight-talking off-spinner said when asked about the challenge of concentrating on one format. He also pointed out that in his last ODI game for the country against the West Indies in North Sound on June 30, 2017 he had returned figures of 3 for 28. Also Read – Fast bowler Behrendorff to undergo spinal surgery”The last ODI I played, I got 3 for 28. I would always look back at my career and I would like to believe it’s not due to my efforts that I am sitting out (but) it is due to the supply and demand that the team requires,” he said. Ashwin is happy with his performance in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy where he got seven wickets from six games at a decent economy. “I went and played the Syed Mushtaq Ali (T20 tournament) and I had a decent outing. That’s how I look at it. I am playing cricket and it is not like I need to specialise in one particular format. It is the challenges of the modern day game, I will be looking forward to do whatever I can do best,” explained the 32-year bowler. Ashwin, captain of the Kings XI team in the IPL, spoke to the media after unveiling a unique cricket memorabilia launched by UK-based CricFig International along with Tamil Nadu teammate and Kolkata Knight Riders’ skipper Dinesh Kartik here. On the issue of limiting the workload on India players in the IPL ahead of the World Cup, Ashwin said it’s not easy to look too far ahead and also mentioned that the players knew about how to maintain fitness. “I don’t think as a cricketer you can look far ahead about what needs to be done and how you can manage it. As a cricketer or as a sportsperson, you just concentrate on what happens today. The franchise has invested money on you. Obviously, it is a massive tournament, everybody plays for pride, everybody wants to perform and excel.” However he agreed that the workload factor will always stay at the back of their heads. “It definitely stays at the back of the head because it is being spoken about a lot more right now. I am sure the players are responsible enough and more fitness-aware and be able to handle it than they ever were. “I don’t think going into the tournament people will be thinking about it but as the tournament pans out and the way it goes for each and every franchise and for each and every player, they will take decisions wisely.” But at the same time he said the World Cup was huge and no one wants to miss it. “Probably because of the number of injuries and the amount of premium players that are right now available for the country and how important every spot is. It is a dream for every cricketer to represent his country at the World Cup, it is a big stage. Obviously, bowlers have more chances of succumbing to injuries because of the workload they go through.”last_img read more

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Rob Gronkowski Is The Randy Moss Of Tight Ends

VIDEO: Ohio State’s chances are better than mostCheck out our latest NFL predictions. With news that New England tight end Rob Gronkowski probably is out for the rest of the season, it’s tempting to say the 9-2 Patriots will remain dominant over their remaining regular-season games and into the playoffs. After all, they did just fine without superstar 39-year-old quarterback Tom Brady for the first four games of this season. Surely they can do without one seam-runner, right?Honestly, I’m not sure. While keeping in mind that football is an enigma, and that anyone who says they can tell you exactly how much any player is worth is either foolish or selling something, there’s a fairly strong case that “Gronk” is incredibly valuable to Brady and the Pats — more so than we might guess at first blush.Let’s step back for a second. From 2001 to 2006, Brady averaged 25 touchdowns per season (with a high of 28) and averaged 13 interceptions (with a low of 12).1To go with his 0.5 yearly Super Bowl wins, naturally. In 2007, he basically doubled his production by throwing 50 TDs, with just eight INTs. While those numbers were MVP-caliber gaudiness, they were fairly easy to ascribe to the arrival of one Randy Gene Moss, who had already demonstrated his otherworldly capacity to make QBs look amazing with the likes of Jeff George, Randall Cunningham and Daunte Culpepper.But the most shocking and mysterious period of Brady’s career may have begun in 2010, when — after Moss was bizarrely shipped to the Vikings with a seventh-round pick in exchange for a third-round pick after four games — Brady threw 27 TDs and just 2 INTs over the back 12. At the time, much of the credit for that was given to Wes Welker, the other star receiver brought to New England for that 2007 season. But that impressive stretch by Brady also included eight TDs (after two in the first four weeks) thrown to 6-foot-6-inch then-rookie tight end Gronkowski. And after that Moss trade cost Brady the ability to throw to what may have been one of the best, if not the best, wide receivers of all time, Brady has continued to flourish in the Patriots’ wide-open offense — in which Gronk has been heavily featured.Maybe Brady’s remarkably strong performance sans Moss isn’t so remarkable: Maybe Gronk is just so good that he has taken Moss’s place as the quarterback-maker du jour. To get a sense of Gronkowski’s impact, I did a little “with or without you”-style analysis of pairings between QBs and wide receivers or tight ends since 2006. This looks at how a pass-catcher being in the lineup or not affected his QB’s performance in both yards per attempt (which corresponds roughly to how explosive an offense is) and points above replacement (meaning how efficient the QB’s offense is relative to expectations for all the situations it finds itself in). So, Gronk is at the top of the pack in terms of observed impact. Note — and I can’t stress this enough — that these are incredibly high-variance comparisons and shouldn’t be taken as definitive about any player. (Moss had a fairly similar observed impact with eight different quarterbacks — and we still kept our conclusions at least a little tentative.) But coupled with Gronkowski’s production on paper, his effect on Brady’s stats makes a strong case that the Patriots aren’t just using Gronkowski, they’re relying on him. While he may never have as convincing a data set as Moss did (having so much impact over so many stints with so many quarterbacks is unique in NFL history), he appears to be on that track. Which is unfortunate news for Patriots fans, at least for now. But in the long run, any evidence that the Patriots’ stellar passing game isn’t going to retire anytime soon should be welcome. read more

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BengalsRavens — On A Thursday Night — Is The Most Important Game

SEA40.311.8CHI14.67.219.1 8New England3825,4785 PHI65PHI57PHI 18, ATL 12-9.6– LAC56LAC55KC 38, LAC 28-0.6– Team ACurrentAvg. Chg*Team BCurrentAvg. Chg*Total Change ATL51.114.1CAR52.413.928.1 BAL59.0%+/-15.1CIN39.6%+/-14.829.9 NYJ39.013.3MIA30.312.926.2 LAC33.312.4BUF21.89.822.2 Source: Pro-Football-Reference.com 3Pittsburgh4118,7546 JAX64.310.8NE81.88.819.6 GB29.013.5MIN73.712.926.3 DEN30.010.5OAK14.37.918.4 The Ravens come into the matchup off of a 44-point demolition of the Buffalo Bills, which propelled Baltimore from 12th to eighth in our Elo rankings. With the Bills starting the comically ineffective Nathan Peterman at QB, it’s difficult to judge how much we really learned about the Ravens in the blowout. But it had to be encouraging for Baltimore fans to see Joe Flacco play well, regardless of the opponent. At home against Buffalo, Flacco generated 119 more adjusted net yards than a generic backup-level quarterback would have (aka yards above backup QB, or YABQ), which ranked sixth among all signal-callers in Week 1 — behind Ryan Fitzpatrick, Drew Brees, Patrick Mahomes, Philip Rivers and Aaron Rodgers.In terms of YABQ, this game also represented the third-best that Flacco has enjoyed since Week 3 of the 2015 season, which helps underscore how bad Flacco has been in recent years. For instance, last season the Ravens had the third-worst quarterbacking production of any team in the league, with Flacco’s individual metrics in a three-year tailspin. For a team that featured one of the NFL’s best defenses last season, any spark that Flacco and the offense can provide could go a long way toward sending Baltimore back to the playoffs for the first time since 2014. And in their first test against the overmatched Bills, Flacco and the revamped Ravens receiving corps passed with flying colors.A somewhat similar narrative is unfolding in Cincinnati. With much-maligned QB Andy Dalton embarking on his eighth season as the Bengals’ starter (and coach Marvin Lewis back for an astonishing 16th year on the team’s sidelines), Cincy went into Indianapolis and beat Andrew Luck and the Colts thanks to solid passing and rushing, plus timely defensive plays late in the game. Aside from maybe Flacco, few quarterbacks in the league needed to start the season on the right foot more than Dalton, who infamously has never won a playoff game during his time in the Queen City.A win over Baltimore on Thursday won’t change that — perhaps surprisingly, Dalton has beaten the Ravens more often than not anyway — but it would help quiet the doubts that Dalton’s best days are behind him. Since he finished third in the league in YABQ in 2015 (despite suffering a season-ending injury that December), he slipped to 11th in 2016 and 21st in 2017, and the Bengals didn’t make the playoffs either year. With a defense that projects to be mediocre at best, Cincinnati needs Dalton to reverse that slide in order to have any shot at the postseason — and probably to have any chance at salvaging the Dalton/Lewis era.The great irony of the Bengals is that their quarterbacking has always been just good enough to come up short. While the Ravens have won two Super Bowls behind a couple of QBs (Flacco and Trent Dilfer) who were below-average passers for their careers, Cincinnati has consistently had average-to-good passing over the years, aside from a few notable exceptions. Just look back at the Bengals’ history of primary quarterbacks: 40 of their 47 seasons since 1972 have been led by five quarterbacks — Ken Anderson, Boomer Esiason, Jeff Blake, Carson Palmer and Dalton. Although none is in the Hall of Fame (Anderson’s case is a point of contentious debate), each rates as average or better in his career according to Pro-Football-Reference.com’s advanced passing index.That’s why, from the 1970 AFL-NFL merger until the present day, no team has gotten more seasons of “competent” (above-backup level) quarterbacking than the Bengals have: PICKWIN PROB.PICKWIN PROB.ResultREADERS’ NET points OUR PREDICTION (ELO)READERS’ PREDICTION DAL33.58.1NYG6.44.112.2 3Miami4125,4802 8Philadelphia3816,0041 PIT53.812.1KC74.89.922.0 JAX58JAX62JAX 20, NYG 15+0.7– SEA54SEA52DEN 27, SEA 24+0.0 ARI61ARI55WSH 24, ARI 6+4.8– MIN76MIN71MIN 24, SF 16-5.3– *Average change is weighted by the likelihood of a win or loss. (Ties are excluded.)Source: ESPN.com PIT79PIT76PIT 21, CLE 21+0.0 OAK50%LAR68%LAR 33, OAK 13+11.7– WSH39.17.9IND9.94.112.0 6Minnesota4023,1180 Bengals-Ravens could help make or break their seasonsWeek 2 games with the most total potential swing for the two teams’ playoff chances, according to FiveThirtyEight’s NFL Elo predictions MIA53TEN55MIA 27, TEN 20-10.3– 7Denver3922,6483 TEN30.49.7HOU15.28.117.9 NE86NE77NE 27, HOU 20-6.3– And yet, even though the teams around them on that list have won multiple Super Bowls, Cincinnati has yet to break through with even one win of its own.History says that’s unlikely to change this season. But it is fair to say that Dalton’s duel with Flacco this week has taken on unexpected importance for an early season game. The winner will ensure itself a quick boost in playoff chances — and an extra helping of redemption after the way both teams have played the past few seasons.FiveThirtyEight vs. the readersLast week, we relaunched our NFL Elo prediction interactive, which you can use to track every team in the league in the race for the Super Bowl. Along with it, we also brought back a popular feature from last season — a prediction game that lets you test your football smarts against our model (and thousands of fellow readers). Here were Elo’s best and worst picks against the field in Week 1: IND50IND50CIN 34, IND 23-1.9– FranchiseSeasons above backup level since 1970Total YABQSuper Bowls LAR58.110.9ARI14.17.918.8 8San Francisco3831,0285 DET19.18.7SF22.28.417.1 3Dallas4128,3835 BAL64BAL72BAL 47, BUF 3+2.9– Elo’s dumbest (and smartest) picks of Week 1Average difference between points won by readers and by Elo in Week 1 matchups in FiveThirtyEight’s NFL prediction game Just one week into the NFL season, it’s hard to know exactly which teams will be contenders and which will be focused on their spot in the draft next spring. So it probably seems too early to be discussing playoff implications — a conversation that’s usually on hold until Thanksgiving. But in a 16-game schedule, the margins are small, and each game has a big effect on the postseason picture. Week 2 is no different — after all, the season will be 12.5 percent over after Monday night.Thursday’s AFC North tilt between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Baltimore Ravens is one of those early season contests that could end up having real postseason consequences. In fact, our NFL Elo prediction model considers it the most important game of Week 2. (Remember when Thursday Night Football was a place to stash the NFL’s unwanted matchups?) With a win, each team’s chances of making the playoffs would jump by about 15 percentage points, while the loser would see a commensurate decline. Especially after the division-rival Pittsburgh Steelers stumbled out of the gate without star RB Le’Veon Bell, the chance to jump out to a 2-0 start is a big opportunity for both Baltimore and Cincy. The Bengals always get competent QB play — but no ringsMost seasons with positive yards above backup quarterback (YABQ) for NFL franchises, 1970-2017 The scoring system is nonlinear, so readers’ average points don’t necessarily match the number of points that would be given to the average reader prediction. GB63GB71GB 24, CHI 23+3.3– NO74NO82TB 48, NO 40-13.5– DET71DET71NYJ 48, DET 17-2.4– NO27.84.2CLE2.41.25.4 1Cincinnati4223,1280 TB35.611.6PHI82.98.420.0 Playoff %Playoff % 1Washington4223,6423 CAR60CAR60CAR 16, DAL 8-1.8– Overall, it was a pretty impressive opening week for Elo — in fact, our model cleaned up nicely, beating readers by 28.3 total points on average. This is especially surprising because Week 1 would seem to be the moment of the season when human pickers have the greatest edge on the algorithm. In our NFL preview, I noted that Elo can get caught a little flat-footed early in the season because it doesn’t know about all the roster and coaching moves that transpired over the summer. Theoretically, that should have made it as unprepared for Week 1 as Matt Patricia’s Detroit Lions … but unlike the Lions, Elo proved the naysayers (i.e., me) wrong.Elo’s biggest win was in not dismissing the Buccaneers completely. While our readers gave the home Saints a better than 80 percent chance of winning, the model was more cautious, and it ended up paying off when Tampa (and backup QB Ryan Fitzpatrick) dropped 48 points on New Orleans. Elo also picked up credit for calling the Dolphins’ protracted win over the Titans and for once again showing faith in the Eagles (just like in last year’s playoffs).If the readers did have a crowning moment in Week 1, though, it was for calling the Rams’ big win over the Raiders in Oakland on Monday night. Elo thought the game was a pick ’em, but the readers knew better, giving L.A. a 68 percent chance of spoiling Jon Gruden’s return to the sidelines.Thanks to everyone who played on opening week, and remember that it’s not too late to start, even if you missed Week 1. So be sure to get your picks in now!Check out our latest NFL predictions. read more

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Football Ryan Day to make 45 million per year over next five

Ohio State head-coach-in-waiting Ryan Day answers questions from the media during a press conference at the Fawcett Center on Dec. 4. Credit: Amal Saeed | Assistant Photo EditorRyan Day has spent only three games as head coach of Ohio State, but when he takes the reins as the full-time head coach on Jan. 2, 2019, he will immediately become one of the highest paid coaches in college football.Day will be the head coach for five years and will receive an annual pay of $4.5 million, according to his term sheet obtained by The Lantern. His contract will give him a base salary of $850,000, with media, promotions and public relations adding $2.39 million, equipment deals giving him $1.25 million and a Coca-Cola appearance of $10,000.On top of that, Day will receive separate retention payments of $250,000 if he is still the Buckeyes head coach on Jan. 31, 2022, and Jan. 31, 2024.According to a database of college football coaches’ salaries by USA Today, $4.5 million would place Day as the 18th-highest paid coach in college football. The database said Urban Meyer made $7.6 million this year, second only to Alabama’s Nick Saban, who made $8.3 million.Day was named the head coach in waiting after Meyer announced his retirement Tuesday afternoon. Day, formally the offensive coordinator, served as acting head coach when Meyer was suspended for the first three games of the season. He was paid $487,000 for his time at the helm.As offensive coordinator, Day made a base salary of $810,000 that, with incentives, could have reached as high as $1.1 million.The term sheet also lists academic bonuses for his team’s success in the classroom. He would receive $50,000 if his team has a cumulative GPA of 3.0, $100,000 if the team reaches 3.3 and $150,000 if the team averages a 3.5 GPA. The GPAs are based off both fall and spring semesters and he would receive the bonuses on May 30 each year.Of course, Day will also be rewarded for the team’s success on the field. If Ohio State wins the Big Ten East, he will be given a $50,000 bonus. On top of that, he can receive an additional $100,000 if his team wins the conference. Should the Buckeyes make it to a College Football Playoff bowl game, he will be given a $200,000 bonus. If that bowl game is a CFP semi-final game, the bonus is $250,000, however, he would receive a $350,000 if he leads the team to the finals. Should he find personal success, winning Big Ten Coach of the Year, Day would receive $50,000. He could also receive $75,000 if he is named National Coach of the Year.The term sheet also gives him an automobile stipend of $1,200 per month. Day will also be given a chance to enjoy his leisure time, with Ohio State providing Day with a membership to a mutually agreed upon golf course. The university would pay any monthly dues, but Day has to pay any personal expenses with the membership.A private jet will be available for Day to use on any university business, including recruiting visits in time not exceeding 50 hours per year. Day can also use the aircraft for 50 personal hours per year.Day can treat his family and friends to tickets to Ohio State football games with 12 football tickets per home game and five press booth credentials, with the option to buy 20 additional home tickets. Day’s spouse and family will be granted access to a suite for the games. Day will also receive two parking passes per home football game. He also will be given two tickets per home men’s basketball game. read more

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Bahamas Children Choir to perform in Grand Turk tomorrow

first_img Stileet, DMAC & many more to perform for GB Independence Recommended for you Minister of Works puts government buildings reconstruction post hurricanes at $8.6m Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Independence Festival coming to Taino Beach Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 13 Jul 2015 – The 70 member Bahamas National Children’s Choir will perform in Grand Turk tomorrow as a part of their summer trek through the Caribbean by cruise liner. The group, in celebrating 42 years of Bahamian independence and their own 25th anniversary as a group will give a show at the Grand Turk Cruise Center at 10am and Salem Baptist Church, also in the capital at noon. Among the other stops for the choir is Aruba and the Dominican Republic. Related Items:bahamas independence, Bahamas National Children’s Choir, grand turk, performlast_img read more

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