Category : Sports

Congratulation to Wales who Qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1958

Posted in --Wales, Men, Sports

Rafael Nadal defeats Casper Ruud for his 14th French Open title

His 22nd Grand Slam title. Astounding.

Posted in France, Norway, Spain, Sports

Maryland Wins the National Lacrosse Championship

Posted in America/U.S.A., Men, Sports, Young Adults

Congratulations to Nottingham Forest, Promoted to the premiere League today by virtue of winning the EFL Playoff Game

Posted in England / UK, Sports

Congratulations to Real Madrid, 2022 Champions League Winners

Posted in England / UK, France, Spain, Sports

(Irish Times) Real Madrid stun Manchester City late to book final date with Liverpool in the Champions League Final

It was not just that Manchester City had led by two goals with 90 minutes on the clock, a place in the Champions League final against Liverpool basically theirs – although that was plainly the greatest, deepest agony.

It was not even that this semi-final should have long since have been over. After the first leg, which City had dominated. Or before Real’s stoppage-time magic, in which the substitute, Rodrygo, cast the spells, scoring two scarcely believable goals to force extra time.

The City substitute, Jack Grealish, had seen a shot miraculously hacked off the line by Ferland Mendy in the 87th minute and then watched Thibaut Courtois stick out a toe to divert a shot from him just past the far post.

It was the way that the footballing gods, with whom Real Madrid appear to have a deal with options, tormented them. Rodrygo had almost completed a stoppage-time hat-trick at the end of normal time, stealing in to extend Ederson, when Phil Foden received a quick free-kick and saw glory beckon. His shot flew high.

Read it all.

Posted in England / UK, Men, Spain, Sports

(NBC) Baseball’s Mr. Nice Guy: Suzuki’s unique unwritten rule

Thirteen times in 12 games as a Cub, the right-handed slugger with the uncommon eye at the plate has walked — and then stepped back from the plate and taken the long way to first, circling behind the catcher and umpire before relocating the base line.

“It’s kind of disrespectful to walk in front of someone,” the former Japanese batting champ said through his team interpreter, Toy Matsushita. “Especially if it’s someone older than you. It’s Japanese culture. It’s not a good thing to do.”

Not every player from Japan has done that in the majors; in fact, we can’t think of any from recent memory (Kosuke Fukudome, for instance, is left-handed, so it doesn’t apply; same with Yankee slugger Hideki Matsui before him).

And not every player in NPB in Japan does it, say veteran Japanese baseball writers.

“Depends on the person,” Suzuki said, “but that’s what I was taught as a kid, to be respectful.”

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Japan, Sports

A Weekend Mental Health Break–(CBS) Tampa Bay Rays’ Brett Phillips credits home run to fan battling cancer

Chloe Grimes, an 8-year-old battling cancer, gifted her favorite player, Tampa Bay Rays’ Brett Phillips, a bracelet. He hit a home run while wearing it and has been wearing it for good luck ever since. Steve Hartman shares more in “On the Road.”

Watch it all.

Posted in Children, Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family, Sports

(ESPN) Inside the Kansas Jayhawks’ second-half comeback that stunned UNC for a basketball national championship

As he sat just a few rows behind the Kansas bench at the Caesars Superdome on Monday night, Mario Chalmers tried not to squirm.

The program he had led to the 2008 basketball national championship had entered halftime with a 15-point deficit. Chalmers, the hero of that team who hit a 3-pointer to send the game to overtime in a win against Memphis, hoped the Jayhawks would remember what was still possible.

“I just thought, ‘Keep believing,'” Chalmers said after Kansas’ 72-69 come-from-behind win over North Carolina. “The same thing Coach [Bill] Self told us [in 2008] was to keep believing. And I knew they’d be able to pull it out in the end.”

The line between the joy of a hard-fought victory and the agony of almost is thin. Self, who won his second national title on Monday, knows too well after a 2012 loss to Kentucky in the championship game and a lopsided defeat against Villanova in the 2018 Final Four. But his first national title team with Chalmers also had been down in the second half, albeit in a more dire and urgent scenario, so he challenged his 2022 players in the locker room.

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Men, Sports, Young Adults

(The State) Champs! South Carolina captures 2022 national title with win over UConn

South Carolina set sights on its ultimate goal — winning the national championship — before the season’s first tip.

The Gamecocks turned their goal into reality Sunday night, winning the 2022 NCAA tournament championship with a win over the UConn Huskies. Dawn Staley’s Gamecocks (35-2) defeated Geno Auriemma’s Huskies 64-49 in front of a sellout crowd at Minneapolis’ Target Center in the matchup’s second meeting of the 2021-22 season. South Carolina’s win solidified the program’s second national title and first since 2017.

Both of the Gamecocks’ championships have come under Staley.

Read it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, Sports, Women

(ESPN) USMNT underwhelms vs. Costa Rica, but all eyes on World Cup now qualification assured

A raucous, celebratory atmosphere inside the Costa Rica National Stadium dictated the mood. Los Ticos had just finished off a 2-0 win to remain undefeated all time against the United States men’s national soccer team in San Jose. There were even fireworks, despite the fact the home side failed to claim an automatic place at Qatar 2022, setting up a playoff versus New Zealand instead.

For an exhausted U.S. squad that had been looking to make history, the whole thing was disorienting. With 35,000 opposing fans so happy, it was instinctual to mirror their level of emotion in the opposite direction. But a slow walk back to the locker room and a few words from coach Gregg Berhalter returned the team to reality: It had qualified for the World Cup.

“Obviously, as competitors, we hate losing. But coming into the locker room, I think everyone just decided, ‘You know what, we realized our goal,’ which was to qualify,” said center back Walker Zimmerman, who captained the team Wednesday night. “So, everyone forgot about tonight. We put ourselves in a position where we could afford to do that.”

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Men, Sports

(ESPN) Major League Baseball, union reach tentative agreement on new CBA, salvage 162-game season

Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association reached a tentative agreement on a new collective-bargaining agreement Thursday, ending the league’s 99-day lockout of the players and salvaging a 162-game season, sources familiar with the situation told ESPN.

With the end of the second-longest work stoppage in the game’s history, spring training camps will open Sunday, free-agent signings can begin Thursday night, and baseball will attempt to return to some semblance of normalcy after months of fraught negotiations.

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Men, Sports

Meir Soloveichik for Eric Liddell’s Feast Day–Finding God in the Olympic Footrace

While Americans rightly exult in the achievements of U.S. medalists, “Chariots of Fire” also serves as a reminder that athletics and even patriotism only mean so much. When Liddell is informed that a qualifying heat takes place on Sunday, his Sabbath, he chooses not to compete in that race. The camera cuts from athletes at the Olympics to Liddell reading a passage in Isaiah: “Behold the nations are as a drop in the bucket . . . but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings, as eagles. They shall run, and not be weary. They shall walk and not faint.” David Puttnam, a “Chariots of Fire” producer, wrote me that the verses were “specifically selected by the actor, the late Ian Charleson, who gave himself the task of reading the entire Bible whilst preparing for the film.”

The Isaiah passage is liturgically important for Jews: Parts of it are declaimed in synagogue on the Sabbath when we read God’s command to Abraham to leave the center of civilization and found a family, and a faith, in a new land. Isaiah reminds Jews that Abraham’s children have encountered much worse than what Harold Abrahams experienced. While most nations now rest on the ash heap of history, the biblical Abraham’s odyssey continues. The countries competing in today’s Olympics come and go, while those who “wait upon the Lord” endure.

“Chariots of Fire” also offers a message for people of faith who have grown troubled by the secularization of society and the realization that they are often scorned by elites. Like Liddell, we may be forced to choose religious principle over social success. Hopefully, however, we will be able to use our gifts to sanctify this world. As Liddell’s father told his son in the film: “Run in God’s name, and let the world stand back in wonder.”

Read it all.

Posted in --Scotland, China, Church History, History, Missions, Religion & Culture, Sports

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Eric Liddell

God whose strength bears us up as on mighty wings: We rejoice in remembering thy athlete and missionary, Eric Liddell, to whom thou didst bestow courage and resolution in contest and in captivity; and we pray that we also may run with endurance the race that is set before us and persevere in patient witness, until we wear that crown of victory won for us by Jesus our Savior; who with thee and the Holy Spirit livest and reignest, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Posted in --Scotland, China, Church History, Missions, Spirituality/Prayer, Sports

(NYT front page) With Indoor Ski Resorts and Curling Schools, China Lifts Xi’s Sports Dream

In the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, which has sweltering temperatures for much of the year, children are ditching their flip flops for skis and hitting the indoor slopes.

Out west, high up on the Tibetan Plateau, Qinghai Province has become an unlikely center for curling, the traditional Scottish sport known as “ice kettle” in Chinese.

Over in the northeastern province of Liaoning, a group of retired men gather every day in the winter to strap on helmets and hockey pads and face off on an outdoor ice rink.

Such scenes, once rare, are growing more common as the ruling Communist Party charges ahead with an ambitious campaign to transform China — large parts of which have never seen a single flake of natural snow — into a global winter sporting power.

Read it all.

Posted in China, Foreign Relations, Globalization, Politics in General, Sports

(CT) Super Bowl Betting Is a $7.6 Billion Problem Fewer Evangelicals Care About

A study in Spain showed a significant increase in “young pathological gamblers” after the country legalized online gambling, adding that the immediacy and accessibility of online gambling made it “more addictive than any other type of game.”

Despite their gloom about the immediate impact, the Christians who worked on the issue for decades are a bit more optimistic about the future. “This is the third historical wave of gambling in America,” said Grey. “It has a boom-bust cycle to it. Why? Because it doesn’t work.”

Sports betting has surged recently without any curbs. That makes the problems with gambling more visible to Americans, he thinks, and will spur bipartisan interest in regulating the industry.

He remembered in 1999 arranging a meeting between Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader and Focus on the Family president James Dobson to discuss gambling, and the two wrote a joint letter calling gambling “the bane of millions of Americans.” Nader targeted Republicans who supported casino interests, and Dobson targeted Democrats.

“It’s that’s kind of movement that’s needed today … the same right-left combination, this is something we agree on,” said Grey. “Let’s call for more regulation and get advertising under control. Those are doable things.”

Read it all.

Posted in Gambling, Sports

(GR) Cooper Kupp’s spiritual vision: Well, it’s hard not to pay attention to the Super Bowl MVP

It’s hard not to pay attention to what the winner of the Most Valuable Player award has to say after the Super Bowl.

Thus, a few mainstream media features after the Los Angeles Rams’ victory focused on a bit of very personal testimony by superstar wide receiver Cooper Kupp. In a way, what he said resembled the kind of stereotypical Godtalk that filters into the news when believers are asked to express their first reactions after a major event — glorious or tragic — in their lives.

Long ago (pre-Internet), I interviewed the late, great Dallas Cowboys coach Tom Landry about all of this. People tend to think that believers pray to win football Games and either God hears them or not, he said. The reality is more complex than that and, most of the time, players and coaches are trying to make sense of these events — wins and loses — in the context of how God is working in their lives.

In the case of Kupp, this win in The Big Game linked into what he claimed was a vision after a Super Bowl loss. Here is the top of a story from The Athletic: “How the Rams’ Cooper Kupp’s quiet vision became reality in front of the whole world.”

Read it all.

Posted in Marriage & Family, Media, Religion & Culture, Sports

Congratulations to the Los Angeles Rams, Super Bowl XVI Champions

Posted in Sports

(NYT Op-ed) Ross Douthat–The huge Proliferation of Gambling in America is the Symptom of a Deeper Cultural Malaise

….in rationalizing our gambling regime by making it ever more universal, we’re following the same misguided principle that we’ve followed in other cases. With pornography, for instance, where the difficulty of identifying a perfectly consistent rule that would allow the publication of “Lolita” but not Penthouse has led to a world where online porn doubles as sex education and it’s assumed that the internet will always be a sewer and we just have to live with it. Or now with marijuana, where the injustice and hypocrisy of the drug war made a good case for partial decriminalization, but stopping at decriminalization may be impossible when the consistent logic of commercialization beckons.

The reliability of this process doesn’t mean that it can never be questioned or reversed. Part of what we’re witnessing from #MeToo-era feminism, for instance, is a backlash against the ruthless logic of an unregulated sexual marketplace, and a quest for some organic form of social regulation, some new set of imperfect-but-still-useful scruples and taboos.

But it’s a lot easier to tear down an inconsistent but workable system than it is to build a new one up from scratch — and the impulse to rebuild usually becomes powerful only once you’ve reached the bottom of consistency’s long slope.

I’m not sure where we are with gambling’s cultural trajectory. But every time this playoff season served up another ad for Caesars Sportsbook, it felt like a sign that we’ve accelerated downward, with a long way yet to fall.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, America/U.S.A., Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, Gambling, Law & Legal Issues, Personal Finance, Pornography, Sports, Supreme Court

(Economist) Sports betting in America is exploding

In early february Jim McIngvale, a businessman from Houston, crossed Texas’s border with Louisiana to place a $4.53m bet on his phone. In making America’s biggest-ever online bet, Mr McIngvale is pinning his hopes on the victory of the Cincinnati Bengals, the underdogs, in the Super Bowl on February 13th. He is the boldest among tens of millions of Americans who will place bets this weekend. His staggering wager reflects a broader trend: the market for legal betting is surging in America—along with attendant risks.

Since the Supreme Court struck down a law that banned sports gambling outside Nevada in 2018, 33 states as well as Washington, DC have legalised it. Seven more states have legislation in the works. The betting landscape is rapidly changing: 45m more Americans than last year can now legally bet on the 2022 Super Bowl in their home state. Many more, like Mr McIngvale, can travel to a neighbouring state to do so.

In less than four years, $97bn has been wagered in legal bets across America, yielding over $7bn in revenue for gambling operators and $923m in taxes. In October 2021 alone, Americans put down a record $7.5bn, 87% of it online. That was an eight-fold increase on the same month in 2018. Experts anticipate that the sports-betting market will keep growing. By 2028 it is expected to be worth $140bn.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, America/U.S.A., Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, Gambling, Sports

Warmest Congratulations to Raphael Nadal, winner of the 2022 Australian Open and the first man in history to win 21 major tournaments

Posted in Australia / NZ, History, Men, Sports

Congratulations to Ash Barty, winner of the 2022 Australian Open

Posted in Australia / NZ, Sports, Women

(Sky Sports) Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sacked by Manchester United after Watford defeat

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been sacked as Manchester United manager after an “embarrassing” 4-1 defeat at Watford.

United have confirmed Solskjaer’s assistant Michael Carrick will be placed in temporary charge, with the club looking to appoint an interim manager until the end of the season.

Solskjaer signed a new three-year deal in July but leaves after overseeing five defeats in their last seven Premier League matches – a run which sees them 12 points behind leaders Chelsea.

Read it all.

Posted in England / UK, Men, Sports

After a Disgraceful Performance against Watford Today, Manchester United look set to Sack their current Coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Posted in England / UK, Men, Sports

(AJC) Braves defeat Astros to win 2021 World Series title

When the Braves reported to spring training in February, they had championship aspirations. They fell just short the previous October and spent the winter supplementing a talented young core that had embarked on three postseason runs. They entered this season believing they had assembled a roster, both talent- and chemistry-wise, that could finally break through.

Nobody could’ve imagined how the ensuing journey would unfold.

Twenty-six years and 16 postseason appearances since that memorable Oct. 28 day in 1995, the Braves brought Atlanta its second World Series championship Tuesday in Houston. This team’s one-of-a-kind story will be shared and referenced across generations with the simplest yet most invaluable lesson: never give up.

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Sports

([London] Times) Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in fight to save job at Manchester United after players lose faith

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer fears that he will be sacked as Manchester United manager after his side’s humiliating 5-0 defeat by Liverpool on Sunday.

The Times understands that a number of senior players have lost confidence in their manager, whose future was the subject of discussions between the club’s board of directors

Solskjaer, 48, told friends in the immediate aftermath of the 5-0 loss that he expected to be in charge for United’s next match, away to Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.

But the Norwegian is now concerned that he will be sacked in the coming days, partly as a result of the backlash that followed the humiliating defeat at Old Trafford.

Read it all (subscription required).

Posted in England / UK, Sports

(The State) South Carolina living in two different worlds as normalcy and chaos try to co-exist during the COVID19 pandemic

There is an unsettling disconnect in the rhythms of South Carolina these days, when normalcy and crisis clash and co-reign.

More than a year and a half into the coronavirus pandemic that has killed some 12,000 South Carolinians — nearly 1,900 dead in the past month alone, as the fatality rate speeds up — early fall life looks much like it always has for many people who crowd into restaurants, sporting events, concerts and church services.

While tens of thousands gather in college football stadiums, hospitals strain under a worsening surge of COVID-19 patients. While one community mourns the deaths of two schoolchildren, among COVID’s youngest victims, passionate crowds fill school board and council chambers to protest mask mandates. While lines of cars wait for hours at a drive-thru coronavirus testing site in the state capital, half of the state’s eligible residents still wait or refuse to be vaccinated.

The discord is striking in that each of these moments coexist with the others — the mirth alongside the sorrow, the fear alongside the vitriol.

As the pandemic worsens, these clashing moments mingle across the Palmetto State.

Read it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Sports, State Government

Congratulation to Daniel Medvedev, 2021 US Open Men’s Tennis Champion

Posted in America/U.S.A., Men, Russia, Sports

Congratulation to Emma Raducanu, Winner of the US Open Women’s Tennis Final

The 18-year-old Raducanu was being hailed Sunday as the new queen of British sport — and perhaps the architect of one of the most unlikely sporting achievements of all time — by winning the U.S. Open as a qualifier.

Her 6-4, 6-3 victory over Leylah Fernandez, broadcast on free-to-air TV in Britain, was in a primetime slot on Saturday evening, allowing the nation to savor a superstar in the making.

Among them, apparently, was the British Prime Minister.

“What a sensational match! Huge congratulations to Emma Raducanu,” read a tweet from Boris Johnson’s official account. “You showed extraordinary skill, poise and guts and we are all hugely proud of you.”

The queen also sent her congratulations.

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., England / UK, Sports, Teens / Youth, Women

Must not Miss 9/11 Video: Welles Crowther, The Man Behind the Red Bandana

The Man Behind the Red Bandana from Drew Gallagher on Vimeo.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Children, Death / Burial / Funerals, History, Marriage & Family, Sports, Terrorism, Urban/City Life and Issues