Barcelona to make Bosman move for Chelsea ace Willianby Carlos Volcanoa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveBarcelona are ready to make a Bosman move for Chelsea ace Willian.The midfielder’s contract is due to expire in 2020.Mundo Deportivo says the Spanish giants had previously attempted to sign the 31-year-old from Chelsea, but saw bids of £40million and £60m rejected, however he is free to negotiate pre-contract deal with foreign clubs from January 1 2020.It is unclear whether Chelsea will attempt to retain Willian, with Frank Lampard focused on bringing through a young crop of players including Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham.Willian has made six appearances for the new manager so far this season and seems to be a key part of the side again. TagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say
If you aren’t a big fan of either Stephen A. Smith or Skip Bayless, you may want to skip this one. Friday, the two gave their takes on the Braxton-Miller-is-switching-positions news, and, as you might guess, it’s being met with a great deal of criticism.While Smith’s initial rant mostly goes in circles (per usual), he does mention that it initially gave him “cause for pause” when he heard that Miller, a black quarterback, was being encouraged to play another position. Considering the team’s other two options – J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones – are also black, he claims that this scenario is a bit different. Bayless, meanwhile, thinks that Barrett might win the position. According to Smith, there’s no chance of that happening.Enjoy, we think.
COLUMBUS, OH – SEPTEMBER 27: Ohio State Buckeyes fans cheer on their team against the Minnesota Golden Gophers on September 27, 2008 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)ESPN’s College GameDay is in Columbus for tomorrow’s big showdown between Ohio State and Michigan State, which means that former Michigan star Desmond Howard, who is an analyst for the show, is in enemy territory. One Buckeyes supporter appears to have gone overboard in making sure Howard doesn’t feel at home.Friday morning, Howard, on SportsCenter, told Cari Champion that he’d been flipped off and screamed at by an Ohio State supporter on his walk to the set. Hours later, a fan claimed responsibility on Twitter and called out Howard in the process. We’ve gone ahead and transcribed what Howard told viewers. We imagine that the fan is going to eventually delete all of his tweets, including the video – it isn’t a good look at all.“On my way to the set, I came across a young man, a student here, who showed me that he thought I was No. 1 with one of his fingers and then he – he went on to say that, using this foul language, that he wanted to have some sort of weird sexual relations with Michigan. So I told him, hey buddy, I don’t blame you, I blame your parents and the way you were raised, have a good day young man.” Told Desmond Howard right to his face, “fuck Michigan” he wasn’t happy pic.twitter.com/7FVSVhcGE0— Matt Schroth (@Schroth21) November 20, 2015ok chill Desmond you didn’t say anything to me pic.twitter.com/tt5laMhEJy— Matt Schroth (@Schroth21) November 20, [email protected] say it to my face next time and not on sports center. You don’t want these hands chump— Matt Schroth (@Schroth21) November 20, 2015Rivalries are great, but this kind of stuff isn’t cool at all. Maybe a simple “Go Bucks!” would have sufficed instead.
BEIJING — The Latest on the back and forth between China and the U.S. over trade, technology and the arrest of an executive of the Chinese network gear company Huawei Technologies. (All times local):5:20 p.m.China’s foreign minister has vowed to defend its citizens abroad as a Chinese technology executive waits to see whether a Canadian court will release her on bail in a case that has strained U.S.-Chinese relations.Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Tuesday that Beijing will “spare no effort” to protect against “any bullying that infringes the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens.”Wang didn’t mention the arrested Huawei Technologies Ltd. executive, Meng Wanzhou. But a ministry spokesman, Lu Kang, said Wang was referring to cases of all Chinese abroad, including Meng.Meng was arrested Dec. 1 in Vancouver on U.S. charges related to possible violations of trade sanctions on Iran.___11:50 a.m.China’s government says its economic czar and the U.S. Treasury secretary have discussed plans for the next round of talks in a tariff battle following a temporary cease-fire.The Commerce Ministry’s announcement Tuesday suggests negotiations are going ahead despite tension over the arrest of a Chinese technology executive.A ministry statement said Vice Premier Liu He and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin discussed “the promotion of the next economic and trade consultations” but gave no details.President Donald Trump agreed on Dec. 1 to postpone more U.S. tariff hikes on Chinese goods for 90 days while the two sides negotiate over American complaints about Beijing technology policy.The arrest in Canada last week of a Huawei Technologies Ltd. executive prompted worries those talks might be derailed.The Associated Press
The company counts Imperial Oil Ltd. and Cenovus Energy Inc. among its customers, both of whom have delayed building or completing steam-driven oilsands projects because of uncertainty about how they will get the oil to market.Analyst Samir Kayande, a director with RS Energy Group, says the expansion to triple capacity of the existing Trans Mountain pipeline will help with market access when it comes on stream but that likely won’t happen until 2022 and could be held up by more legal challenges.He says the pipeline isn’t big enough to fix Western Canada’s oil transportation woes on its own, nor does it address the general downturn in energy investing in North America and the lower quality of Canada’s resources compared to premier U.S. oil and gas basins.“Even though it’s positive and it’s important, the impact on the investment climate will probably be a little bit muted at least until you can actually start construction,” said Kayande.“It really depends on what the next round of legal challenges looks like.” CALGARY, A.B. – Observers on the front lines of Western Canada’s oil and gas sector are looking forward to what’s widely expected to be approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion on Tuesday while acknowledging the decision by Ottawa won’t solve all problems.CEO Clayton Byrt of Pimee Well Servicing LP, a service rig company owned by six northern Alberta First Nations, says approval of the pipeline is a “big deal” because it will encourage investment by the oilsands producers he counts as customers.He says more activity will support Pimee’s ability to retain its 140 employees, almost all Indigenous, and eventually grow the company to continue to offer good jobs to First Nations members.
These are gaudy numbers. Lynch is clearly an unstoppable force going up against an extremely moveable object. Why wouldn’t Carroll give him the ball?First, some amount of passing is, at least theoretically, probably necessary. It’s unlikely that the optimal strategy is to run 100 percent of the time because if a team did that, the opponent would adjust accordingly. But for the purposes of this analysis, I’m going to assume that, for any given play from the 1-yard line, running was Seattle’s best option.An NFL head coach’s goal isn’t to maximize his team’s chances of scoring a touchdown on a given play; it’s to maximize its chances of winning the game. That distinction seems to have gotten lost in all the rancor and rush to condemn Carroll.Second, the fateful play didn’t take place as time expired. There were 26 seconds left. Let’s see what Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell had to say:“We were conscious of how much time was on the clock, and we wanted to use it all.”But why would that lead to a pass? That takes less time off the clock than rushing. Let’s see what Carroll had to say:“We were going to run the ball in to win the game, but not on that play,” he said. “I didn’t want to waste a run play on their goal-line guys. It was a clear thought, but it didn’t work out right.”Defiant! Basically, he thought the Seahawks were going to score regardless, so he was willing to waste a play on a pass. If they scored, fine. But if they didn’t, at least they would’ve run a few seconds off the clock.Sounds crazy, but he’s right: With 26 seconds left and only one timeout, the Seahawks couldn’t run Lynch three times in a row. If they rushed on second down, didn’t make it in, called timeout, rushed again, and still didn’t make it in, they’d probably be out of time before they could get off another play. So, the Seahawks had three downs to work with, but they could only run Lynch twice at most.Thus the question isn’t whether the Seahawks should’ve called a run — we’ve already stipulated that. The question is when they should’ve called a run.And this is where the logic of those Harvard tweets undoes itself. If Lynch were a sure thing, the Seahawks definitely wouldn’t run on second down. They’d want to run time off the clock. The scenario would be the same as when a team can win with a short field goal. Because the field goal is a sure thing, the team is willing to wait.But as great as Lynch is, he isn’t the same a kicker attempting a 20-yard field goal. For this analysis, I’m going to assume he’s about 80 percent. If that sounds high or low, it doesn’t really matter: It’s not the most important factor in the calculation. The most important thing is the odds of the Patriots coming back to win if the Seahawks score too quickly.Based on Advanced Football Analytics’ Win Probability Calculator, a team starting at the 25-yard line and down three points with 20 seconds left in the game will win about 5 percent of the time. However, there are a few problems with this:AFA’s model may broadly underestimate the ability of modern kickers.Even if it is generally right relative to the league today, it is still calibrated to the average NFL kicker, whereas Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski is one of the best long-range kickers in the league. Over his career, he has made 14 of 18 kicks from over 50 yards (78 percent), including eight of nine in the past three years.The Patriots’ offense is not typical. It’s Tom Brady’s. Brady eats pieces of game-winning drives for breakfast.Let’s spot the Pats some yards, then, and assume the Patriots win1Probably in overtime. about as often as a typical team in the AFA model would2In overtime or regulation. if they started on the 40-yard line. That would give them a 14 percent chance. Maybe that’s generous, but we’re looking for an upper bound.A secondary factor, noted by Brian Burke of AFA, is that stopping the clock by passing on second down also forces the defense to defend both the pass and run on third down (because the Seahawks still had a timeout). That would make Carroll’s decision better, so I’ll give him a 5 percent bonus in the “pro-passing” scenario and none in the pro-run scenario.The main objection to this thinking seems to be: “But the risk of throwing an interception was too great.” As evidenced by, you know, the fact that Wilson threw an interception.For this, I’ll turn first to Mike Sando, who had this to tweet: Everyone knew it was coming. Second-and-1 on the 1-yard line. Marshawn Lynch was waiting in the backfield, poised to do what he was put on this Earth to do: Get a touchdown — this touchdown. The football gods had telegraphed how they wanted the game to end, directing a floating ball straight into Jermaine Kearse’s hands. Beast Mode was going to drag the New England team kicking and screaming into the end zone if he had to. But the play call came in, Russell Wilson attempted a doomed pass that Malcolm Butler intercepted, and it was Seattle that punched and screamed its way off the field.The Web erupted in outrage that Beast Mode never got his moment. For Seahawks fans, calling a pass was essentially Pete Carroll denying his team’s fate. For many others, it seemed like an inexplicable miscue.“Pete Carroll botches the Super Bowl,” wrote Ian O’Connor, simply stating what most people were thinking.The first wave of stats to roll in wasn’t particularly favorable either: As noted by my colleague Neil Paine, the Harvard Sports Analysis Collective laid out the damning facts: That’s right. On the 1-yard line, QBs threw 66 touchdowns with no interceptions prior to Wilson’s errant toss.3This season’s goal-line interception rate is fairly low though. Since 2001, on second-and-1s on the goal line, quarterbacks have thrown interceptions on about 2 percent of passes. Not mentioned: They also scored four touchdowns on scrambles (which Wilson is pretty good at last I checked). That’s a 60.9 percent success rate.Just for comparison’s sake, here’s how more than 200 runs fared this year in the same situation:125 led to touchdowns.94 failed to score.Of those, 23 were for loss of yardage.Two resulted in lost fumbles.So overall, runs do a bit worse than passes (57.1 percent vs. 60.9 percent).But the Seahawks don’t have an average rusher; they have Beast Mode. As I said, we’re stipulating that he’s way more likely to score than a pass is, so his exact number doesn’t matter very much for our calculations. It does matter that he isn’t particularly fumble-prone — but he has still fumbled about 1 percent of the time in his career, which means passing carries an extra 1 percentage point of risk.On the other hand, due to the peculiar scenario, it behooves a QB to play extremely carefully. Throwing an incomplete pass only moves the needle a tiny bit, whereas throwing an interception is devastating. Thus a coach might believe that his QB will throw a pick even less often than normal. So, we’ll try favorable and unfavorable assumptions about that as well.Putting these various factors together, we can assign probabilities to various outcomes like so:This isn’t about passions, and it isn’t about statistical mumbo-jumbo. It’s about arithmetic.Under the most pro-Beast set of assumptions, rushing may have been the better play but by the slimmest of margins (0.3 percentage points). Under a more pro-Gostkowski set of assumptions, passing may have been the best play by up to 3 percentage points.But we’re still discussing marginal improvements in odds. Pick which assumptions you like; it doesn’t really matter. Carroll’s decision wasn’t the epically bad call many have made it out to be.On the other handMeanwhile, the coach on the other sideline had a mildly controversial call that history will forget because A) it was more than one play before the decisive play (people tend to have a short memory for these things), and B) the Patriots won, so who cares.After Lynch ran 4 yards to set up second-and-goal at the 1, most people expected the Patriots to call a timeout. After all, there was a million percent chance that Beast Mode was going to score, so why not save as much time on the clock as possible?Yet the Pats let the clock run, as if head coach Bill Belichick psychically knew the Seahawks would muck it up.Of course, normally, the leading team wants to shorten the game to give its opponent the fewest number of opportunities to catch up as possible.In this case, however, the Seahawks were going to get three shots at the end zone regardless.That isn’t to say there is no benefit to letting the clock wind down. As already discussed, leaving only 26 seconds doesn’t leave Seattle enough time to attempt three rushes (which we’re stipulating are better plays for them).So, when the Patriots had to decide whether to call a timeout, there were essentially three paths to victory for them:Seattle turns the ball over on either second or third down. Letting the clock run slightly increases the chances of this, assuming the odds of a turnover are higher on a pass than a run (we’ll take it as about 2.5 percent combined instead of 2 percent).Seattle fails to score on all three plays. Again, leaving the Seahawks a little less time probably increases the chances of this happening because it forces them to pass at least once. And we’ve seen how that worked out.Seattle scores. New England gets the ball back and then goes on to win the game (most likely by kicking a field goal and then winning in overtime).But the smaller amount of time the Patriots would have under scenario No. 3 easily dwarfs the other considerations. Belichick should have called a timeout. Here’s how the math looks under some assumptions that are fairly charitable to Belichick:Note again that if we take the assumptions that are most unfavorable to Carroll, his mistake would have cost Seattle only 0.3 percentage points, while under the assumptions most favorable to Belichick, his error cost the Patriots 2.1 percent.4And that’s not even counting the possibility that the Patriots may have avoided this whole situation if they had intentionally missed the extra point one drive earlier, therefore not encouraging the Seahawks to go for a touchdown.But winning erases all sins.
Turner sustained the injury early in the first half of Ohio State’s 111-60 victory over Eastern Michigan Saturday. Turner landed on his back after a dunk attempt. He left the court under his own power before going to the Ohio State Medical Center for tests. He was released from the facility and is home resting. Turner left the game with four points in seven minutes. After eight games, Turner led Ohio State in scoring (18.5 ppg.), rebounding (11.4 rpg.), assists (47), field goals (62) and free throws made (22). He is shooting 61 percent from the field (62-102) and was the only Big Ten player averaging a double-double. COLUMBUS, Ohio– Ohio State junior guard Evan Turner has been diagnosed with a transverse process fracture on the second and third lumbar vertebra of his spine. He is expected to miss the next eight weeks, Vince O’Brien, athletic trainer for the Buckeyes’ men’s basketball team, said. Here is the press release, from the OSU athletic communications department: Ohio State is off to a 7-1 start, but will be without junior guard Evan Turner for the next eight weeks, the team announced Saturday in a press release. Turner was injured early in the first half of Saturday’s 111-60 win over Eastern Michigan when he was fouled attempting a dunk. Turner leads the Buckeyes in just about every statistical category, including points, rebounds and assists. Ohio State is off the next week for final exams and will resume competition at noon Dec. 12 at Butler.
Richard Strauss in his Ohio State College of Medicine photograph. Credit: Courtesy of Ohio StateFormer Ohio State wrestlers were pressured by their former head coach Russ Hellickson to make statements clearing Rep. Jim Jordan of any guilt relating to allegations against Richard Strauss, a report by NBC News said.Jordan, who is in the midst of a bid to be the next Speaker of the House, was the assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State from 1987-1995. He has come under fire for allegedly knowing about abuse by Strauss and saying nothing.According to the wrestlers and texts they showed NBC News, Hellickson asked them to make a statement clearing Jordan of wrongdoing a day after they publicly accused him of knowing about it. NBC News’ report also said the wrestlers say it was made clear to them by Hellickson that he was under pressure from Jordan to convince the wrestlers to clear Jordan’s name.“I’m sorry you got caught up in the media train,” Hellickson wrote in a text to a former wrestler that was shared with NBC News. “If you think the story got told wrong about Jim, you could probably write a statement for release that tells your story and corrects what you feel bad about. I can put you in contact with someone who would release it.”In response to the report Jordan’s spokesman, Ian Fury, released a statement saying they encourage the truth.“Seven coaches have said exactly what the Congressman said. Many wrestlers have echoed those comments and support for the Congressman,” the statement said. “Why are they all saying the same thing? Because it’s the truth. Of course we encouraged folks to speak the truth.”