Category : Sports

(ProPublica) The lost Year: What the Pandemic Cost Teenagers

As time has gone on, evidence has grown on one side of the equation: the harm being done to children by restricting their “circulation.” There is the well-documented fall-off in student academic performance at schools that have shifted to virtual learning, which, copious evidence now shows, is exacerbating racial and class divides in achievement. This toll has led a growing number of epidemiologists, pediatricians and other physicians to argue for reopening schools as broadly as possible, amid growing evidence that schools are not major venues for transmission of the virus.

As many of these experts have noted, the cost of restrictions on youth has gone beyond academics. The CDC found that the proportion of visits to the emergency room by adolescents between ages 12 and 17 that were mental-health-related increased 31% during the span of March to October 2020, compared with the same months in 2019. A study in the March 2021 issue of Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, of people aged 11 to 21 visiting emergency rooms found “significantly higher” rates of “suicidal ideation” during the first half of 2020 (compared to 2019), as well as higher rates of suicide attempts, though the actual number of suicides remained flat.

Read it all.

Posted in Anthropology, Children, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family, Psychology, Sports, Teens / Youth

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, Missions, 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

(AP) Novak Djokovic eases past Daniil Medvedev to claim 9th Australian Open title

Novak Djokovic’s Australian Open dominance is intact — nine finals, nine championships.

And he keeps gaining on Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the Grand Slam standings, now up to 18 overall, two away from the men’s record shared by his two rivals.

Djokovic used superb serving and his usual relentless returning and baseline excellence to grab 11 of 13 games in one stretch and beat a visibly frustrated Daniil Medvedev 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 on Sunday for a third trophy in a row at Melbourne Park.

The 33-year-old from Serbia improved to 18-0 combined in semifinals and finals on the hard courts of the Australian Open.

Looking at the bigger picture, Djokovic has won six of the last 10 major tournaments and is assured of remaining at No. 1 in the rankings at least through March 8. That will give him 311 weeks in the top spot, breaking a mark held by Federer

Read it all.

Posted in Australia / NZ, Men, Sports

(NBC) Lester Holt interviews the woman featured on the 2021 Toyota Super Bowl Ad, Jessica Long

Posted in America/U.S.A., Children, Marriage & Family, Russia, Sports

Tuesday Morning Mental Health Break–My Favourite Super Bowl ad this year–Jessica’s Story

Do take the time to watch it.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Children, Marriage & Family, Russia, Sports

([London] Times) ‘He’s not ready for the NFL and may never be’ – how the world misjudged Patrick Mahomes

The story of Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs began in 2015, almost entirely by accident. Brett Veach, in his role as the Chiefs co-director of player personnel, was studying some game film to scout one of the Texas Tech offensive tackles, yet he was distracted by their sophomore quarterback. Arm strength, bravery and cannily elusive in the pocket — could this young man be the real deal?

We know now, of course, that’s exactly what he is. Mahomes is the closest thing the world has seen to a perfect quarterback and on Sunday he will attempt to win back-to-back Super Bowls, emulating what Tom Brady — his opposite number for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this weekend — achieved 17 years ago.

At 25, he has the NFL in the palm of his hand and a career in front of him that will feature more MVP awards and tilts at the Lombardi Trophy. He signed a ten-year, $500 million (about £365 million) contract with Kansas City last summer and is one of the most coveted sporting faces in the world for endorsements. From insurance companies to shampoo, a commercial break in any NFL game rarely goes by without Mahomes making an appearance.

So, how is it that this global superstar and generational talent from Tyler, Texas was ignored by numerous colleges and passed over by nine different teams in the NFL Draft? With the great benefit of hindsight, it is a story that leaves plenty of people looking foolish and even more wondering what might have been, including two of the coaches tasked with halting Mahomes on Sunday night.

Read it all (subscription required).

Posted in Sports

Congratulations to the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tamba Bay Buccaneers for Making the 2021 Super Bowl

Posted in Sports

(NBC) South Carolina at its best–College football dream comes true for star running back

Watch it all.

“After spending time in and out of a children’s home, Nathan Harris-Waynick found his forever home at age 12. His forever family was there to cheer him on as he was accepted to the University of South Carolina and even offered a spot on the football team.”

Posted in * South Carolina, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture, Sports

(NY Times) Bruno Fernandes and the Long Game

Perhaps he learned that in those years he spent among the game’s lesser lights: one at Novara, three at Udinese, one at Sampdoria. By the summer of 2017, when he returned to Portugal — as the second-most-expensive signing in Sporting’s history — he had still not received a call-up to Portugal’s national team (though he had captained its under-21 side). His arrival was not heralded as a coup. “Most of the big teams had not seen much of him,” Martelinho said.

And yet, within just a few months, it was obvious what Portugal had been missing. “The Portuguese league is not as strong as England, Spain or Germany,” Martelinho said. “But it is maybe the fifth- or sixth-best league in Europe. It is not easy. Bruno made it look easy.”

His impact in England has been no less swift. It is not yet 12 full months since he arrived at Old Trafford, yet he has already been voted into one Premier League team of the season, and, with his team emerging as contenders to end a seven-year wait for a championship, he would rank among the leading candidates to win this campaign’s player of the year award.

And yet if his rise seems rapid, it is anything but. Fernandes has had to wait for this moment. Not through any fault of his own, but through a flaw in soccer’s structure, through its inability to look for talent in unexpected places. This was the player he always was, and always could be. It just took the game a while to notice, and all because he needed to take a bus, all those years ago.

Read it all.

Posted in England / UK, Portugal, Sports

(C of E) The cathedral that collaborated with its local football team for a unique carol service

This year, Bradford Cathedral collaborated with their near neighbours, football side Bradford City, for an online service of readings by players and carols by the Cathedral choir.

Nicknamed ‘the Bantams’ because of the similarity of their team colours to the colourful tail plumage of the bird of the same name, Bradford City AFC were formed in 1903, around 16 years before the creation of the Diocese of Bradford thus predating Bradford Cathedral although the building dates back to the 11th century.

Bradford currently play their football in League 2, having enjoyed a two-year spell in the Premier League in the late 90s. The carol service collaboration with the Cathedral is the first of its kind.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Sports

(WSJ) Covid19 is a particularly wily foe because of its long list of symptoms

The latest coronavirus problem in sports isn’t that far from the problem that a lot of Americans have: How can you tell if that’s a cold, or Covid? Is that sniffle allergies, or a sign of a deadly pathogen? Is that headache just a headache, or…?

One of the things that makes coronavirus a wily foe for epidemiologists is that it has a really long list of possible symptoms—including none at all.

The catalog offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, based on reports from people who have had Covid-19, includes fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle aches, body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion, runny nose, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting.

That’s particularly vexing if you’re an athlete or sports league determined to try to play through a pandemic. The National Football League, which has experienced a significant increase in cases in recent weeks as cases rise across the country, knows this all too well. After bursts of positive cases earlier in the season, the league overhauled its pandemic protocols to remove anyone who’s showing possible symptoms of Covid-19—even if they’re testing negative.

“It’s a challenging medical situation,” said Dr. Allen Sills, the NFL’s chief medical officer. “We always assume something is Covid until proven otherwise.”

Read it all.

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

(CT) Bernie Carbo–I Was a World Series Hero on the Brink of Suicide

In 1994, I had one final relapse, which plunged me into a sea of guilt and despair. Then I met Tammy, the woman who would eventually become my wife. She reminded me about Jesus and the atonement for sins that he accomplished through his death on the cross. And I believed once more that his blood was sufficient to cover all my transgressions and that we can depend on him for the grace we need to overcome the strongholds of addiction or any other habitual sin.

This is a truth I would need to relearn again and again as I struggled with different aspects of marriage and family life. When I married Tammy, I also adopted her son, Chris, who was 12 years old at the time. Even though they loved and included me, I was extremely jealous of the relationship Tammy and Chris shared, and I often took my anger out on Chris in the form of verbal abuse. On one occasion, Tammy was on the verge of leaving.

But even as my behavior made everyone miserable, Chris and Tammy showed me the love of Christ. As a teenager, Chris would sit next to me and pray. And Tammy and I learned how to communicate and stay committed to one another. She learned to lean on God for strength and taught me to do the same. We spent hours praying together and seeking God for healing and restoration. We’ve now been married for 26 years, and I’ve been clean the entire time.

Today, I share this story across the nation because I want others to know there is hope! There is a way out of the deadly seduction of abusing drugs. There is a way out of the anger and anguish that life can bring. Not only does Jesus Christ offer the way out, but he also offers the way in to a life more joyful and abundant than anyone could imagine. Truly, our God is an awesome God.

Read it all.

Posted in Soteriology, Sports

(LA Times) LA Dodgers defeat the Tampa Bay Rays to win first World Series title since 1988

All year long, from February when they reported for spring training and the coronavirus outbreak was a concept beyond imagination until Tuesday night, the Dodgers believed this was the year. It became an unprecedented year with unparalleled circumstances, but this was the year those hovering ghosts — produced by annual anguish the last seven years — would vanish. This was the year they would add another round of World Series highlights to the reels that grow grainier each passing autumn. This was the year and this was the team to finally end a championship drought going on 32 years.

It happened Tuesday night inside Globe Life Field, a cavernous, new building 1,400 miles away from their home, in front of 11,437 people after a 60-game regular season and expanded postseason that delivered a year unlike any other. It happened when Julio Urías struck out Willy Adames looking to end Game 6 of the World Series and spark a celebration millions of children, teenagers and adult Dodgers fans — now mothers and fathers and aunts and uncles — had never experienced.

It finally happened. The Dodgers beat the Tampa Bay Rays, 3-1, to win the series, four games to two, and claim their first World Series championship since 1988, the franchise’s seventh title and sixth since moving to Los Angeles.

Read it all.

Posted in Sports

Tuesday Mental Health Break–Liverpool Coach Jurgen Klopp Writes an 11 yr old a letter which you need to see

Posted in Anthropology, Children, Education, Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family, Psychology, Sports

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 Death / Burial / Funerals, History, Marriage & Family, Police/Fire, Sports, Terrorism

(NBC) A Washington D.C. teacher takes kids fishing for a good cause

Posted in Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Children, Education, Sports

(CNBC) Coronavirus forced 62% of summer camps to close this year and early estimates predict the industry will take a $16 billion revenue hit

If you visited Lochearn Camp For Girls, nestled on the shores of Vermont’s Lake Fairlee, during the summer months you’d likely hear the sounds of tennis balls hitting the court, horses trotting in the nearby corrals and girls laughing as they canoe in pristine waters.

But this year, the grounds are much quieter without the roughly 360 campers Lochearn welcomes each summer. Amid the coronavirus outbreak, camp director Tony Oyenarte and his team decided to close the overnight resident program for the 2020 season. “It was the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make as a camp director and as a businessman,” Oyenarte tells CNBC Make It.

“We’ve been open for 104 consecutive years. We went through the flu of 1918, both world wars, H1N1. But when June 1 came, and we had to make a decision for the summer, it was focused on: Are we gonna be able to deliver an experience that’s going to be safe and is it going to be fun?” Oyenarte says. And the short answer, after much soul searching, was no. “At the end of the day, we just said it’s not going to be the best experience for our campers and our staff.”

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Children, Economy, Marriage & Family, Sports

(Free Times) Columbia Fireflies won’t play in 2020 after minor league season canceled

Major League Baseball is working to begin its season in late July, with a plan to play without fans in the stands because of COVID-19. The Fireflies, along with the rest of the minor leagues, have been prevented from playing this year because of the coronavirus.

Katz, the Fireflies president who has worked in professional baseball for nearly three decades, tells Free Times the announcement that Major League Baseball wouldn’t be providing players for the minors, thus putting a nail in the coffin of the 2020 season in Columbia and 159 other cities, was a “gut punch.”

“Personally and professionally, for the 30 people who work here [full-time], it just hurts,” Katz says. “Our planning process never stops. We started planning for 2020 as soon as we closed the books on the last night of 2019.”

Read it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, Economy, Health & Medicine, Sports, Urban/City Life and Issues

(NYT) A Single Session of Exercise Alters 9,815 Molecules in Our Blood

When we exercise, the levels of thousands of substances in our bloodstream rise and drop, according to an eye-opening new study of the immediate, interior impacts of working out. The study is the most comprehensive cataloging to date of the molecular changes that occur during and after exercise and underscores how consequential activity — and inactivity — may be for our bodies and health.

Already, of course, we have reams of evidence that exercise alters our metabolisms, muscles, genes, immune responses, hearts, stamina and almost every other organ and biological system within us. But only in recent years, with the development of sophisticated new techniques for counting and typing the thousands upon thousands of different molecules within us, have scientists been able to quantify more of the substances and steps involved in those processes.

With these techniques, they have zeroed in on various sets of molecules in our bloodstreams associated with different aspects of our biology. This research generally is known as “omics” science. Metabolomics, for instance, enumerates and analyzes molecules in our blood that influence metabolism — everything from appetite hormones to enzymes excreted by gut microbes. Genomics maps the molecules involved in gene expression; proteomics ditto for proteins; lipidomics for fat-related molecules; and so on.

Read it all.

Posted in Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Sports

(Reuters) Government gives green light for English soccer to return in June

The Premier League’s plans to resume the season next month was given a boost on Thursday when Britain’s Culture and Sport secretary Oliver Dowden said the government was “opening the door” for football to return in June.

Dowden said he held a “positive meeting” with football authorities — which included the Premier League, the English Football League and the Football Association — to “progress plans” for football to resume.

The professional game has been suspended since mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic that has killed over 33,100 people in the United Kingdom.

Read it all.

Posted in England / UK, Health & Medicine, Sports

(News2 Charleston) Exclusive poll: Many not ready to return to restaurants, gyms during COVID-19 pandemic

While most of the country has started the process of reopening, a majority of people surveyed in three U.S. states aren’t yet ready to return to restaurants and gyms, according to new polling from Nexstar Media Group and Emerson College. People in Texas, California and Ohio indicated they aren’t ready to return to places they frequented prior to the pandemic — even with social distancing and other precautions in place.

In California, 65% said they would not feel comfortable going to a restaurant with some spacing precautions. Similarly, 60% of surveyed Texans weren’t ready to dine-in.

To contrast, a majority of people in Ohio are more ready to return to restaurants. Of those surveyed, 51% said they were comfortable returning to restaurants with precautions.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, America/U.S.A., Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Economy, Health & Medicine, Sports

(Local Paper) How South Carolina summer camps plan to handle changes from coronavirus outbreak

More than 20 million youths across the country attend day and overnight camps, generating more than $27 billion in revenue and providing 1.5 million jobs during the season, according to industry estimates.

At Sullivan’s Oconee County camp, registration is between $945 and $3,930 per child. But it’s hard for her and others in the industry to speak with certainty about what the summer might hold, as they await revised U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention protocols, expected to be released in May.

Sullivan said Camp Chatuga will make “month-to-month” decisions. Maybe sessions can be held in July only, or pushed into August, for instance.

“If it looks too much like it’s going to be a restriction on what camp is all about, that’s going to affect whatever decision we make too,” she said.

Read it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, Children, Economy, Education, Marriage & Family, 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, Anthropology, Church History, Missions, Sports, Theology

(ESPN FC) Manchester City to appeal 2-year UEFA competition ban for FFP (financial fair play) violations

Manchester City will appeal UEFA’s decision to ban the club for two seasons from European competition — including the Champions League — after the governing body found them guilty of breaching financial fair play rules.

UEFA announced on Friday that the reigning Premier League champions will be excluded from the Champions League for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 campaigns and have also been fined €30 million ($33 million) for “overstating its sponsorship revenue in its accounts” and failing “to cooperate in the investigation,” according to findings by the UEFA Adjudicatory Chamber.

In response, City said they were “disappointed but not surprised” by the ruling and gave notice of their intention to lodge an appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Sources have told ESPN that City believe UEFA’s process has been flawed and that they remain confident they will be cleared of any wrongdoing once their appeal is heard by an independent body. Sources have told ESPN that, until then, the club will go about their business “as usual.”

Read it all.

Posted in Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, Law & Legal Issues, Men, Sports

Church of England backs sports ministry

Sports and fitness activities are to be championed as part of plans by the Church of England to reach more people with the message of the Christian faith and promote the wellbeing of communities, it is announced…[yesterday].

Seven dioceses across the country in areas such as Birmingham, Gloucestershire, Kent, Lancashire, Norfolk and Surrey, are to take part in pilot projects to include sport and wellbeing into their mission.

The dioceses hope to help provide a range of different activities from personal fitness classes to holiday football clubs, outdoor pursuits and even sports quizzes. In the Diocese of Gloucester, the Church of England is planning to develop a network of sport and wellbeing centres with participants invited to explore and respond to the Christian faith.

In Lancashire, in the Diocese of Blackburn, sports quizzes are already arranged for churches by the group Christians in Sport and churches have been active in setting up holiday sports schemes and personal fitness classes.

Training for lay and ordained leaders in sports and wellbeing ministry is being provided as part of the programme by Ridley Hall, the Anglican theological college in Cambridge.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Religion & Culture, Sports

Congratulation to the Kansas City Chiefs, Winners of Super Bowl LIV

Patrick Mahomes needed just the waning minutes of Super Bowl 54 to end a whole lot of frustration.

A championship 50 years in the making for the Kansas City Chiefs.

A two-decade wait for an NFL title for coach Andy Reid.

All it took was falling behind by double digits in the postseason, again. Then Mahomes found his mojo. The 24-year-old quarterback who was selected Super Bowl MVP, led the Chiefs to 21 straight points in the final 6:13 for a 31-20 victory Sunday over the San Francisco 49ers.

“We never lost faith,” Mahomes said. “That’s the biggest thing. Everybody on this team, no one had their head down. We believed in each other. That’s what we preached all year long.”

Read it all.

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

Congratulations to Novak Djokovic, 2020 Men’s Title winner of the Australian Open

Posted in Australia / NZ, Men, Serbia, Sports

Congratulations to Sofia Kenin, 2020 Women’s Title winner of the Australian Open

Posted in America/U.S.A., Australia / NZ, Sports, Women

(CNS) The Roman Catholic faith of Kobe Bryant RIP

In 2015, the basketball player told GQ that after the matter was resolved, he decided to shed some superficiality he felt he had built up in his public persona.

“What I came to understand, coming out of Colorado, is that I had to be me, in the place where I was at that moment.”

Bryant said it was a priest who helped him to make some important personal realizations during the ordeal.

Describing his fear of being sent to prison for a crime he believed he had not committed, Bryant told GQ that “The one thing that really helped me during that process—I’m Catholic, I grew up Catholic, my kids are Catholic—was talking to a priest.”

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Death / Burial / Funerals, Roman Catholic, Sports