EDEN PRAIRIE, http://www.authenticspanthersshop.com/-20-reto-berra-jersey_c-463.html Minn. -- The man in the ski cap and hoodie was staring through a window at the new purple banner announcing the Minnesota Vikings' division crown. From behind, as he stood in a cafeteria, this average-size Joe could have passed for a food-service worker or a fan who had won a contest for a tour of the team facility. Case Keenum does not look like a quarterback drafted by an NFL team for a damn good reason: He wasn't.
It was a Tuesday, the players' off day following their division-clinching beatdown of the Cincinnati Bengals in mid-December, and an operations crew had just hung the banner in the John Stockton Youth jersey rafters two minutes earlier. Keenum doesn't believe in off days, so he was the first to see this tribute to the 2017 NFC North champs -- the last of its kind to hang over the indoor practice field in the Minneapolis suburb of Eden Prairie, ID'd on the street corner by a tattered Viking ship encased in snow and ice. The team will pack everything later this winter and move to upgraded digs in Eagan, about 20 miles to the east. Nobody is sure whether Keenum will be along for the ride.
And that's fine and dandy for now. Keenum is not thinking about free agency -- whether he might head to another franchise in a package deal with offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, or if Minnesota could still prefer the returning Sam Bradford and/or the returned Teddy Bridgewater as its 2018 starter. Short term? Keenum is thinking about beating the New Orleans Saints in Sunday's divisional round matchup at U.S. Bank Stadium. Not-so-short term? Keenum is thinking about becoming the first quarterback in NFL history to lead a team onto its own field with a chance to win the Reggie Wayne Womens Jersey Super Bowl.
"I don't think anybody wants to be sitting here in February and watch somebody else play in it," Keenum said. He retreated a bit from that statement, swearing that the team wasn't looking ahead at a magical shot to earn the franchise's first Super Bowl championship, in its own building, after four losses in the big game and no appearances since the 1976 season. Keenum apologized for the cliché, but said the Vikings were taking it day by day. If there's anyone who knows that NFL life is a day-to-day proposition, it's the quarterback of the NFC's No. 2 seed.
Keenum's striped gray ski cap was pulled tight over his hair and ears and down to his eyebrows, making him appropriately hard to recognize. He's the improbable leader of a faceless contender, and maybe he represents the look and the formula that will finally deliver these earnest Minnesotans their long, lost ring. The Vikings have had Hall of Fame quarterbacks, quarterbacks who won Super Bowls for other franchises and former top overall draft picks.
But the Vikings have never had a quarterback quite like Casey Austin Keenum -- undrafted, unwanted, un-everything -- who led them to a 13-3 record as the second-most-accurate passer in the league (67.6 percent). Of the quarterbacks starting playoff games this season, Keenum had the best regular-season Total QBR at 69.6 -- second only to the now-injured Carson Wentz's 75.7, and better than Tom Brady's 67.2. Football Outsiders ranked Keenum ahead of Brady as the NFL's top quarterback in 2017 in DVOA, a metric that measures a player's value per snap over an average player at his position.
Not bad for a former Houston Texans practice-squad arm and deposed Los Angeles Rams starter who arrived in March with a 9-15 career record and an upside the Vikings thought was worth a mere one-year deal for a lousy $2 million plus incentives. But this staggering run comes as no surprise to Keenum or to his http://www.authenticwildstore.com/-92-evgeny-kuznetsov-jersey_c-446.html supporters, who were just as confused when he had just one Division I offer out of high school as they were when he went undrafted in 2012. Keenum is not driven to prove the doubters wrong half as much as he's driven to prove those true believers right.
The believers are multiplying by the week. Keenum has already made himself a lot of money this season, no matter what happens against the Saints on Sunday -- people up and down the Vikings' organization would concede that much, even if some would rather not pay up. An executive from another team who has watched six recent game films of Keenum predicted some franchise will offer him $20 million a year, and that the quarterback would likely leave the Vikings if they offer him $15 million a pop.
Keenum's striped gray ski cap was pulled tight over his hair and ears and down to his eyebrows, making him appropriately hard to recognize. He's the improbable leader of a faceless contender, and Demaryius Thomas Womens Jersey maybe he represents the look and the formula that will finally deliver these earnest Minnesotans their long, lost ring. The Vikings have had Hall of Fame quarterbacks, quarterbacks who won Super Bowls for other franchises and former top overall draft picks.
But the Vikings have never had a quarterback quite like Casey Austin Keenum -- undrafted, unwanted, un-everything -- who led them to a 13-3 record as the second-most-accurate passer in the league (67.6 percent). Of the quarterbacks starting playoff games this season, Keenum had the best regular-season Total QBR at 69.6 -- second only to the now-injured Carson Wentz's 75.7, and better http://www.authenticbluejaysstore.com/Authentic-Michael-Saunders-Jersey than Tom Brady's 67.2. Football Outsiders ranked Keenum ahead of Brady as the NFL's top quarterback in 2017 in DVOA, a metric Brandon LaFell Authentic Jersey that measures a player's value per snap over an average player at his position.
Not bad for a former Houston Texans practice-squad arm and deposed Los Angeles Rams starter who arrived in March with a 9-15 career record and an upside the Vikings thought was worth a mere one-year deal for a lousy $2 million plus incentives. But this staggering run comes as no surprise to Keenum or to his supporters, who were just as confused when he had just one Division I offer out of high school as they were when he went undrafted in 2012. Keenum is not driven to prove the doubters wrong half as much as he's driven to prove those true believers right.
The believers are multiplying by the week. Keenum has already made himself a lot of money this season, no matter what happens against the Saints on Sunday -- people up and down the Vikings' organization would concede that much, even if some would rather not pay up. An executive from another team who has watched six recent game films of Keenum predicted some franchise will offer him $20 million a year, and that the quarterback would likely leave the Vikings if they offer him $15 million a pop.
Nothing escapes Pep Guardiola. “Bristol City have already beaten four Premier League sides in this competition,” the Manchester City manager noted beforehand. “That tells me something is going on and we need to be careful.”
Goodness knows what sort of a side Guardiola would come up with if he was being cavalier, then. His safety-first policy here amounted to keeping most of his big-name attackers but reshuffling his defence, perhaps not the wisest policy against adventurous opponents full of confidence and on a hiding to nothing.
Bristol City would have been delighted to see Sergio Agüero left on the http://www.falconsfootballofficialproshop.com/YOUTH+WES+SCHWEITZER+JERSEY bench, and surprised that both Fabian Delph and Kyle Walker were keeping him company, so that Oleksandr Zinchenko could continue where he left off against Burnley on Saturday. That is to say at left-back, just where one would expect to find an attacking midfielder who happens to be Ukraine’s youngest international goalscorer. “I trust all my players to perform,” Guardiola explained. “Even if they are playing in unfamiliar positions.”
Possibly Guardiola has spent the festive period watching repeats of Eric Morecambe at the piano, though however eccentric the methods, his results demand respect. It was still likely to be Bristol City who needed to be careful, whether or not they have something going on. While Lee Johnson’s side have slipped down the Championship table slightly since eliminating Manchester United last month, they still retain realistic hopes of promotion and this is the sort of standard Authentic Nate Stupar Jersey top-flight teams have to live with. Or not, as the case may be. Manchester United have yet to visit the Etihad this season but Bristol City’s three other Carabao Cup victims – Watford, Stoke and Crystal Palace – all foundered here while conceding 15 goals between them.
The visitors can reflect that they outperformed all three and, even if last-gasp heartbreak is also something that goes with Premier League territory, this encounter suggested the divisions within the top flight may be greater than the gulf that separates it from the top of the second tier.
Hordur Magnusson could testify that a class gap nevertheless exists after a couple of minutes, when after being turned inside out by Bernardo Silva on the right touchline, he regained position just in time to see his opponent slip the ball square to an unmarked Kevin De Bruyne. The home’s side captain not only has the knack of finding space almost anywhere on the pitch but using it well, and for the next few minutes he enjoyed himself at the Robins’ expense, whether testing Frank Fielding with a shot disguised as a cross or finding Raheem Sterling with a superb pass from halfway that really should have brought a better response from the England forward.
Yet Bristol City http://www.authenticnikegiantshop.com/Aldrick-Rosas-Jersey did not reach the last four by standing back and admiring opponents, and a glimpse http://www.authenticcardinalsbaseball.com/Authentic-Adam-Wainwright-Jersey of their true character was seen when Jamie Paterson skipped past Ilkay Gündogan in the centre circle as if the German was wading through wet Womens Trumaine Johnson Jersey cement. A few minutes later Joe Bryan set off on a run and produced a diving save from Claudio Bravo. Marlon Pack brought another Bravo stop shortly before the interval as the visitors began to gain encouragement. The reserve goalkeeper is one of the areas where Guardiola’s theory of complete trustworthiness is worth testing, and on this evidence Danilo at right-back might be another, for the defender had trouble all night containing Bryan. Had Paterson made more of one opening he engineered, the underdogs could have been in front even before Bobby Reid’s penalty.
A certain indecisiveness had characterised the home side’s attacking play up to that point, with plenty of possession and opportunity but no one demanding the ball or providing a go-to man in front of goal. Sterling seemed to struggle with the responsibility of being pushed further forward. While much improved this season, his finishing is still far from deadly in situations where one would expect him to score, though he did play an important part Bart Starr Jersey in http://www.goldenstatewarriorsauthentic.com/Womens-Andre-Iguodala-Jersey De Bruyne’ equaliser.
As, to be fair, did the oft-maligned Bravo. A few home supporters must have been peeping through their fingers as the goalkeeper allowed a back pass from John Stones to run across the face of goal before clearing at the last moment under pressure from an opponent, but the eventual clearance found De Bruyne in space and Joseph Young Jersey the invitation was not wasted.
Significantly Walker, as well as Agüero, was on the field by the time the late winner arrived. Both should probably start at Ashton Gate. In cup competitions, after all, one cannot be too careful.
Maria Sharapova focus of uneasy attention
Poor Aljaz Bedene. No sooner has he returned to the bosom of Slovenia after failing to qualify for Great Britain in the Davis Cup than he draws Roger Federer in the first round of the Australian Open, which starts here on Monday. The Swiss, while suitably cautious and humble, will, in the absence of several key players including Andy Murray and Kei Nishikori, regard this as a pretty soft start to the J.J. Nelson Youth jersey defence of his title as he reaches for a 20th major at 36.
Kyle Edmund, meanwhile, remains stoutly British – and 49th in the world after a decent run lately – but has only a slightly less daunting opener against the 2017 US Open finalist, Kevin Anderson. The South African with the serve that frightens slow ballkids at the back of the court, will relish a surface that all the players believe to be as fast as it ever has been.”
Anderson, who had his best season last year after a long spell away tending a hip problem (the injury du jour on the circuit), beat Edmund in their only previous match, in the Gerardo Parra Jersey third round of the 2017 French Open. “It was a very close match, five long sets,” Anderson recalled. “He’s a terrific player and has improved a lot. His forehand is very dangerous.”
There must be minor concern about Edmund’s right ankle, which he rolled during his three-set defeat by Grigor Dimitrov in the quarter-finals in Brisbane last week, and he took the precaution of withdrawing from the Auckland warm-up tournament on Tuesday.
Rafael Nadal, whose struggle with http://www.officialpackersauthenticonline.com/packers+ray+nitschke+jersey a recurrence of his knee problems has put his prospects of reaching the final for the second straight year in doubt, was not at his best on Tuesday when losing to Richard Gasquet. He plays here as the first seed and opens against the seemingly ageless Dominican Víctor Estrella Burgos Federer, who shocked himself and everyone else by reaching the 2017 final after seven months out injured – and defied all logic when he came from 3-1 down in the fifth set to beat Nadal – will start as the favourite but it is still asking a lot of him to go through seven best-of-five matches unbeaten.
He nevertheless looked relaxed http://www.wildofficialauthentic.com/Nino_Niederreiter_Jersey_Adidas and quietly confident at the draw ceremony, as he reflected on his remarkable career. “The domination thing was fun but stressful,” he said. “The past eight years have been the best because I’m a big family man. My girls say to me Rafa’s No1, so he should beat you.” baseball jerseys for sale cheap nfl jerseys free shipping wholesale nfl jerseys cheap nhl jerseys
Kyle Snyder of Columbus, Ohio, petitioned for Bernie Kosar to join the player personnel department. It went from there, including a giant Minion from "Despicable Me" on the back of one float with a sign reading, “Mr. Haslam, are you even listening?”
“We’re sick of getting beat up. We’re sick,” said 53-year-old Mike Cooper from Cleveland, who drove a waste disposal truck with "CLEVELAND BROWNS" painted on it along with "0-16" and "SUPER BOWL 20??." “I mean, year after year after year, 20 quarterbacks. I mean, at http://www.billsfootballofficialprostore.com/Authentic-Adolphus-Washington-Jersey what point? This is basically making a statement that we are tired of being the losers in the nation. I mean, what other team has lost this many games?”
Cooper loves football. So he keeps returning. The reason echoes Stronski’s shrug in Detroit. “It’s the slightest bit of hope that we all hang on to,” Cooper said. “It’s that little slice, and we’re just waiting for that opportunity.” While those at the parade in Cleveland on Saturday know some viewed it as being disloyal, those marching and riding were doing so because they believed they were being loyal to the team they love that returns the passion with misery-times-16.
“This is our team,” said Tony Timoteo, who organizes Oliver Kylington Jersey a Browns quarterback “graveyard” at his home in North Ridgeville, Ohio. “No matter what, we’re always going to support them. We’re not the type of people that are going to jump ship to other cities. We’re one of the cities that notoriously stay loyal. “No matter what, 0-16, we’re still loyal. I always think that there’s a better way, but never, ever think about joining another team. Ever. Ever.”
Timoteo supports Buffalo and Detroit because of the similarities. Those fans understand where Cleveland is and where Cleveland wants to be. They understand the blue-collar culture of the communities and how they stay loyal to their teams despite a lack of success. “I’m actually really happy for the Bills Mafia and their tailgaters and all their fans for getting into the playoffs,” Timoteo said, “because that’s what we hope to be. Because if we get into the playoffs, that’s what we’re going to be like.
“We’re just waiting for our time, for our moment.” The moment had nervous energy Sunday afternoon in Buffalo. Despite the chants of “Shady! Shady!” ringing through 716 Food and Sport whenever LeSean McCoy broke Womens Trae Waynes Jersey off a run and the cheers whenever the Bills' defense made a play on Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles, nothing felt easy for the Bills. Few things have ever been easy for this team. A chant of “trust the process” -- a motto of the still-new Sean McDermott era -- started as the Bills had their best drive of the game, the one that led to their only points, a field goal.
Buffalo’s DJ Milk continually yelled, “Keep your spirit up.” For most of Sunday, Bills fans did. During commercial breaks, he played the Prince hit “1999.” The Bills mascot showed up and danced on a booth, turning 716 into a combination of high-anxiety football and high-intensity dance club. “We live for this. ... We’ve been waiting for this our whole life," said Emory Weber, who was at the bar with his brother.
But hope started to disappear. The Bills couldn’t move the ball on Jacksonville’s defense. Ben Koyack’s third-quarter touchdown for the Jaguars silenced the bar. DJ Milk tried to keep the energy lively. With Buffalo trailing 10-3 at the start of the fourth quarter, Lampman was ready for the Bills “to make a comeback.”
It was a sense of dread and hope all rolled into one three-hour period that fans of the Lions, Bills and Browns could relate to. After the Bills dropped an interception, Lampman turned around and cursed. Another fan, having seen this too often, kept muttering, “He’s killing us. He’s killing us,” as he watched Bortles run to extend drives. There was one last chance. Buffalo got the ball with two minutes left. The Bills started moving. Then Tyrod Taylor got hurt. In came Nathan Peterman, the quarterback whose one start and five-interception performance almost cost the Bills a playoff berth.
Peterman ran for a first down, eliciting perhaps the loudest cheer of the day. Then Gary Carter Authentic Jersey he threw an interception. Checks were asked for. Jackets remained on. En masse, people filed out almost in silence, exhausted. The drought was over. And so was Buffalo’s season. “Roller coaster,” said 35-year-old Tom Hughes of Buffalo. “Edge of your seat the whole time. We knew going in it was going to be that kind of game, where it was low-scoring and any big play was going to be the difference.”
Hughes thinks the combination of McDermott and general manager Brandon Beane has potential. That’s the hope to hold on to. This season was unexpected. After the Bills made the playoffs, Hughes watched videos of celebratory reactions for an hour. Now there might be something to build on, though there still is http://www.ramsnflofficialproshop.com/WOMENS_YOUTH_AARON_DONALD_JERSEY.html the reality. As he was leaving, a visitor told Hughes that he was sorry the Bills lost. Hughes’ response: “We’re used to it.”
Yet he’ll be back. They’ll all be back. Hope -- something all three of these franchises essentially trade on -- is strong now.“It’s just the dedication that this city has to the team, and it’s something that I’m never going to let go of, personally,” 28-year-old Buffalo resident Christina Carbone said. “I love the Bills. I love everything that this city and the team stands for, and I think that’s what keeps this city going -- with the hope for next year.” cheap hockey jerseys wholesale jerseys nfl wholesale jerseys from china nfl jerseys wholesale jerseys china
It was so non-Billsy to have that thing happen. So yeah, it’s been pretty remarkable to have this happen. But what keeps you going is just having the memory of knowing that it will eventually come.” When that moment happened, Bills fans across the country went nuts. They made plans to either go to Jacksonville or come to Buffalo for this once-in-two-decades experience.
Ryan Lampman and his friends drove nine hours from Louisville, Kentucky to Buffalo. As soon as Buffalo clinched, Lampman made the “no-brainer” decision to make the trip. One of his friends left his daughter’s birthday party early to make sure they reached Buffalo on time. “This is the most fun I’ve ever had,” Lampman said, as a Buffalo-themed chorus of “Shout” played over the loudspeaker. “Other than my children, this is the best moment of my life. No doubt.”
This was the answer for all the lean years. Ryan Spies wasn’t even a teenager the last time the Bills made the http://www.officialdallasstars.com/Adidas-Esa-Lindell-Jersey playoffs. He would root, cheer, “hope and pray.” He thought a day such as Sunday would never happen. “Over time, it just became more and more sad,” Spies said. “Like, are we going to get it? Do we have to give up? Am I going to have to change teams? I could never change teams, so I would just stop watching football, in all honesty. It wasn’t a good feeling.”
It’s a feeling well-known in Cleveland, Buffalo and Detroit, where finding something else to do on Sundays becomes more appealing, especially when change continually comes. Since 2000, the Browns, Bills and Lions have had 22 head coaches combined. Soon, it’ll be 23.
It’s lunch time on Friday afternoon at Nemo’s in Detroit, an iconic pub once considered one of the best sports bars in the country by Sports Illustrated. There’s a picture of the Stanley Cup visiting the bar after the Red Wings won hanging on the wall. Across the walls are newspapers celebrating the success of the Tigers, Red Wings, Robin Yount Authentic Jersey Pistons and Michigan and Michigan State football and basketball.The Lions? Based on a quick sweep, there are two papers: one marking the firing of Matt Millen as general manager and one denoting the 0-16 Lions season in http://www.authentictorontobluejaysshop.com/Justin-Smoak-Jersey 2008. There might be more, but they weren’t noticeable. “I get asked, how come no Lions?” said Tim Springstead, one of the co-owners of the bar. “I say, ‘Trust me, I’ve been waiting for 50 years to get a newspaper. They have one playoff win in my lifetime.’ That’s hard.”
Yet in Detroit, there’s hope amid another changing offseason. The Lions fired coach Jim Caldwell following a winning season, a marked change for a franchise known for being too loyal. It’s something Edinson Volquez Youth jersey that has been percolating since 2015, when owner Martha Ford fired general manager Martin Mayhew and team president Tom Lewand midseason. “This year, it shows me that somebody’s being held accountable,” Springstead said. “Think five years ago, would they fire a 9-7 coach? Are you kidding me? Never would have happened here.”
Springstead is willing to have a bit of patience as general manager Bob Quinn makes his hire, potentially Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia. He understands the building of a business: Nemo’s has been open 51 years. In the history of the place, there has been only one Lions playoff win. But Springstead likes what Detroit has with its quarterback, front office and other players. If the right coach is hired, there is reason to believe. But he needs them to prove it.
Yet as a bar owner, he has seen what the Lions have, what businesses kill for: “loyalty.” He jokes that there should be an award given to Lions fans who have endured the rough decades and kept going. But why have they? One of his bartenders, 63-year-old Dave Stronski, shrugged and said, “hope.” Right now, Stronski said, is the most hope he has had in the Lions. “I think the new GM is going to turn them around,” Stronski said. “He’s from one of the best programs ever, New England, and I hope they get that defensive coordinator from New England as the coach.”
Until then -- and if Detroit wants to hire Patricia, it can’t do so until New England is out of the playoffs -- Lions fans have to do what they’ve done for so long: wait and hope this change brings the Lions their http://www.officialredsoxauthentic.com/Dustin_Pedroia_Jersey first division title and home playoff game since the 1993 season, a game that bar manager Pat Osman said would be “huge.” While Detroit might be closer than it has been in a while to true success, there are reminders of the past. They are on the walls at Nemo’s. When Springstead heard about what was happening in Cleveland the next day, he shook his head.
It happened twice Saturday afternoon. As the group of fans protesting Womens Jersey the Cleveland Browns mismanagement over the past two seasons drove and walked in a loop around First Energy Stadium, at least two carried signs saying essentially this: “Welcome to the club.”
The club of 0-16 teams is an exclusive one: the '08 Lions and '17 Browns. Lions fans understand the pain of Browns fans. On this day, with wind chills making the temperature feel like minus-12, that pain and frustration yielded to another emotion: hope, for a change. It’s what this parade-slash-protest begged for. Almost 3,000 people showed up to send the message that they were tired of what they’d seen the past few seasons: 1-15 in 2016 and 0-16 in 2017. Poor ownership from Jimmy Haslam and a coach, Hue Jackson, still employed despite a 1-31 record.
“I sat down at Russell's locker at halftime with him and said, ‘We've got to turn this thing,’ and in a way that he hasn't heard me talk to him, just because I knew that he was the one that was going to lead the turnaround if it was going to happen," Carroll said. "We needed to change things. We were getting chased, and we were running all over the place, and it was hard, and he missed some choices and some decisions too because he was under duress. I said, ‘I know you can fix this. Fix it.’ And we did, and he did. And he turned it, and he did what he's been able to do in remarkable fashion.”
In Dana Bible, Wilson had that type of voice in a coach at North Carolina State. He hasn’t had that in the NFL. It isn't in Bevell’s nature to challenge a player in the way that, say, Josh McDaniels will challenge Tom Brady on the sideline after a http://www.authenticrocketsshop.com/authentic-3-steve-francis-jersey.html missed throw. That type of exchange didn’t happen with Bevell and Wilson.
There’s a tricky balance in all of this. One-time Seattle offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates is a good example. Bates was Bevell’s predecessor with the Seahawks, having followed Carroll from USC to Seattle. He was fired after one season, and it is believed that it wasn’t because of underperformance from the Randy Gregory Jersey offense but rather because of how his negative attitude didn’t at all align with the culture Carroll was trying to build. The challenge for Seattle will be finding something in between, a coach whose personality fits but also one who can push Wilson’s buttons in a way that will get the most out of him.
It was quiet. It was a half-hour before the NFL playoffs started, and out-of-town college basketball filled three of the televisions at The Clevelander Bar & Grill. Just one screen focused on the NFL pregame. No one inside the bar seemed to care much anyway.
The stools around the bar were full in this downtown Cleveland establishment, but otherwise, it was empty. The bartender, Maria Perkio, had time to chat with anyone. Some customers had been at the Browns "perfect season" parade/protest earlier in the day. Others were there just because it was a Saturday afternoon in frigid Cleveland. As for the NFL playoffs, it was almost like it didn’t matter that the game was on. The thought of the Browns in the playoffs was met with stifled laughter.
This is current playoff football in Cleveland. This season, they watched for 16 weekends. They saw 16 losses. And on a day when the postseason was starting, there was a protest instead. Two of the four televisions remained on college basketball at kickoff.
“After every Sunday of disappointment, to come down to going 0-16, I feel like it’s almost comical, you almost have to come down and celebrate it,” said Trey Hanes, 21, from Findlay, Ohio. “We all watch the games together, and it makes it seem like they are going to win, and they end up losing. We need some change.”
At Borje Salming Jersey least they hope it’ll happen. Adam Endicott, who drove from Findlay with Hanes, said he has a specific savings account that he has been putting money into to go to the Super Bowl when the Browns make it. He has been saving for about a year, setting aside $20 every now and then so he can pay for himself and his dad to go if it ever happens. ne of their friends, Jake Schmidt, joked: “He has plenty of time to save.”
Browns fans http://www.montrealcanadiensofficialonline.com/Adidas-Ken-Dryden-Jersey have lived decades of what-ifs and agony, similar to their counterparts in rust-belt cities Detroit and Buffalo. Yet year after year, they http://www.saintsshopfootballofficial.com/saints+tommylee+lewis+jersey come back. They hope. They stick through the anguish of rooting for a perennial loser. But on this day in Cleveland, it’s worth wondering what the empty Clevelander would look like for a Browns playoff game.“Ass to elbows right now,” one Clevelander employee said. “Wouldn’t be able to see the floor.”
The trio from Findlay lamented life as Browns fans -- story after story of screaming at the TV on Sundays, of anxiously wanting wins but knowing what would come, of jokingly blaming their dads for getting them into this. But still, they hope. Perkio said that if the Browns ever make the playoffs, lines to get in the Clevelander would be out the door. “It’s one of http://www.officialshoppanthersjerseys.com/Graham_Gano_Jersey_Cheap those where once it pays off, it’s going to really pay off,” Schmidt said. “Like one of these days.”
One of these days was Sunday morning in Buffalo. It was a little after 10 a.m. outside 716 Food and Sport in downtown Buffalo, and the line only imagined in Cleveland was indeed out the door. More than 18 stories above the bar in the Marriott hotel, chants of “Let’s Go Buffalo” and “Let’s Go Bills” were audible.
The Bills’ wild-card game wasn't starting for almost three hours. The euphoria of an unexpected playoff berth led fans to be outside in single-digit temperatures in order to get in, waiting to party like it was 1999 and Y2K.
They have lived through the close calls, and last weekend, they saw one work out for them. This was excitement shown nationwide over the past week, with donations to Andy Dalton’s charitable foundation after the Bengals quarterback passed the Bills into the playoffs by beating Baltimore. Dalton later thanked Bills fans with a billboard along a Buffalo highway.
When Dalton’s touchdown was shown on the big screen in Jimmy Vesey Womens Jersey pregame, the whole bar cheered. Balloons in Bills colors and Bills helmets were everywhere. Womens Troy Stecher Jersey Reservations for tables in the two-floor establishment were booked an hour after the Bills clinched. Signs reading “The Drought is Over! 1999-2017 Let’s Go Buffalo!” adorned almost every table, creating a human sea of red, white and blue, of Jim Kelly, LeSean McCoy, Tyrod Taylor and Bruce Smith jerseys.Seventeen years of frustration culminated in this. Most millennials in the bar -- and there were a lot -- weren’t of legal drinking age the last time Buffalo made the postseason.
The chant from the Arsenal fans was clear and it was directed at the press box. “You don’t know what you’re doing,” they sang. The target was not hunched over a laptop. This one was for Arsène Wenger, who had taken up residence among the folk he has variously described as snakes, sharks and philosophers over the years, as he served the second instalment of his three-game touchline ban.
The Arsenal manager had brought off Alexandre Lacazette in the 66th minute and the travelling support could not believe it. There were boos http://www.authenticwarriorstore.com/Damian_Jones_Jersey as the striker headed off and Alexis Sánchez came on. The latter had been the shock omission from the starting lineup, which formed the principle sub-plot of the evening.
Arsenal were in the throes of weathering a second-half storm in this Carabao Cup semi-final, first-leg. They simply could not get Brandon Bollig Jersey out as Chelsea probed for the opportunity to take charge. The frustration bubbled among the visiting fans. They had wanted to retain the outlet of Lacazette, however peripheral he had been.
Their team would hold firm and Wenger could enjoy a little succour in the face of what he calls the “circus” around his club. The jesters had been out after Sunday’s FA Cup exit at Nottingham Forest and it was a nervy ride as Chelsea made the running. But the home team could not find a way through.
They had 21 attempts on goal to Arsenal’s eight but only six were on target. David Ospina saved from Victor Moses and Álvaro Morata while he was helped out by his near post following another Moses shot. Cesc Fàbregas blew a free header, Andreas Christensen did likewise with two more and, after the 0-0 draw at Norwich City in the FA Cup on Saturday, it was no surprise to hear Antonio Conte bemoan his team’s profligacy.
That was not directed, he added, at Morata, who endured another difficult match. Conte did make the point that at least Chelsea had created chances. It was another occasion when the video assistant referee was in use and the technology was required to rule on Danny Welbeck’s 87th-minute challenge on Fàbregas inside the penalty area. Conte appeared to make the signal for VAR involvement – Braylon Edwards Jersey which, apparently, is not allowed – and there was a delay after the referee, Martin Atkinson, pulled back play for the decision, which was radioed into his earpiece. Happily, the right one was forthcoming. Welbeck had played the ball.
The Sánchez situation cast long shadows. When he is in the Arsenal squad, he starts. Not here. The club’s joint-leading scorer was on the bench. “You cannot explain every decision,” Wenger said. No one could explain this one without thinking of Manchester City’s January push to sign the forward.
Wenger was in the stands at Stamford Bridge last season – he was suspended for the league fixture – and he described it as an “uncomfortable” experience. He really slummed it this time. There were times when he banged his fist on the long blue ledge that serves as the desk, mainly when Eden Hazard or Morata went down. He kicked the chair in front of him – much to its occupant’s delight – and there were yells at plenty of decisions, both from Atkinson and Arsenal players. The emotions churned.
The game was diverting without being http://www.officialauthenticgiantstore.com/Nike-Weston-Richburg-Jersey.html gripping and Wenger cited the familiarity of these rivals as a cause for the impasse. This was their fourth meeting of the season – including the Community Shield.
Moses had already worked Ospina at his near post when he got a second bite at a chance inside the area on 28 minutes. He rattled the same post with a low shot, with Calum Chambers reacting quickly to clear. In first-half stoppage time, Fàbregas ought to have done better than to head at Ospina from César Azpilicueta’s floated ball. nike nfl jerseys 2016 cheap nfl jerseys free shipping wholesale nfl jerseys china baseball jerseys for sale
There are few NFL teams that are truly unique. Most teams follow a certain template and fit a historical archetype. The ground-and-pound teams. The all-offense, no-defense teams. The teams that ride a hot run into the playoffs in December. The good-not-great teams that sneak into the postseason thanks to an easy schedule.
We went looking for which archetypes fit the eight remaining playoff teams, and identified a team going back to 1990 that was heavily similar. Of course, no two teams are exactly the same, and similarities in the past don't guarantee future results. So we're not going to tell you the Patriots are going to follow in their own 2011 footsteps by losing the Super Bowl just because they have a similar defense, and we're not going to tell you the Patriots are in trouble this weekend because the Titans are similar to the 1996 Jaguars. However, we can learn something here about each team's strengths and weaknesses and how those may come into play in the postseason.
I started out by comparing this season's playoff teams to past playoff teams http://seahawksofficialnflauthentics.com/cortez-kennedy-jersey_c-422.html based on their ranks in various splits of Football Outsiders' DVOA ratings. Then I sorted through the most comparable teams to find one that was particularly similar when it came to player experience and season narrative. Teams are listed in order based on their chances of winning the Super Bowl (as detailed here). At the end, just for fun, Darren Collison Authentic Jersey we also tossed on some similarities for the four teams that were eliminated on wild-card weekend.
Our first comparison is an absurdly obvious one. Both the 2011 Patriots and 2017 Patriots went 13-3. Both teams ranked in the top three of offensive DVOA and the top five of special teams DVOA. Both teams were near the bottom of Football Outsiders' defensive ratings -- the 2011 Patriots have the worst defensive DVOA of any team to ever make the Super Bowl -- but ranked much higher in conventional stats. The reasons, however, were different.
Seven quarterbacks established themselves as NFL starters in 2017. No, I'm not talking about Carson Wentz and Dak Prescott. I'm talking about rookie QBs who started a bunch of games (Deshaun Watson, Mitchell Trubisky and DeShone Kizer). I'm talking about veterans who took hold of their chance to start (Case Keenum and Jimmy Garoppolo). And I'm talking about young guys with high ceilings who showed they can win in this league (Jared Goff and Jacoby Brissett).
So how would I rank them in terms of whom I'd start my team with? I'm talking about projecting their future upside and putting them in order from 1 to 7. It starts in Houston, in my opinion, with the rookie whose spectacular season was cut short:
Or maybe it was at least one of the Seahawks’ primary motivations for firing Bevell after seven seasons with the team. The Seahawks announced that move Wednesday while also firing offensive-line coach/assistant head coach Tom Cable. Moving on from Bevell wasn’t Womens Nick Van Exel Jersey shocking nor was it necessarily a foregone conclusion, and in trying to make sense of the decision, a recent comment from coach Pete Carroll came to mind.
Carroll, speaking with KIRO-AM 710 ESPN Seattle, was asked at season’s end to evaluate how Wilson played in 2017. “He had a fantastic year, really. He really did have a fantastic year in a lot of ways, and he can be better. Russ can be better,” Carroll said. “I know you guys got on me a little bit [earlier in the season], ‘Boy, he’s criticizing Russ.’ Russ wants to be criticized. Russ needs to be criticized. Dak Prescott Authentic Jersey He wants to be great.” Perhaps Wilson wasn’t getting enough http://www.officiallachargersshop.com/Desmond_King_Jersey_Cheap of that tough love from the mild-mannered Bevell, the only coordinator he has had in his six seasons with the Seahawks.
To be sure, Seattle's offense badly hit the skids this past December and struggled all season with inexplicably poor starts, but Bevell was much better than his harshest critics suggest. The Seahawks won one Super Bowl and nearly another during his run in Seattle, and though the goal-line interception that decided Super Bowl XLIX will forever be a black mark on Bevell’s résumé, the truth is that it wasn’t solely his decision to throw the ball instead of handing off to Marshawn Lynch.
The Seahawks finished between first and seventh in offensive DVOA from Wilson’s rookie season in 2012 to 2015. They did that despite often being hamstrung by a poor offensive line that couldn't protect Wilson and, more recently, couldn't open holes in the running game. Bevell had to navigate those issues while having to strike a delicate balance between being aggressive and playing the type of mistake-free football Carroll mandates. He did well under the circumstances.
Bevell deserves his due for that and also for his role in developing Wilson into one of the game’s top quarterbacks.Make no mistake: Wilson had no issue with Bevell. He respects him as a person and as a coach, and he enjoyed playing for him. But this isn’t about what Wilson wants so much as it seems to be about what Carroll believes Wilson needs, which is a coach willing to hold the quarterback more accountable and be more demanding of him.
During his 710 ESPN Seattle interview, Carroll said he was tougher on Wilson than usual during halftime of the team’s season finale against the Arizona Cardinals. The Seahawks had finished the first quarter with zero net yards and had all of 24 by halftime, laying an offensive egg in a game they needed to win in order to have any shot of reaching the playoffs. nfl jerseys wholesale nhl jerseys china wholesale jerseys usa nike nfl jerseys from china cheap nfl jerseys usa
No sooner had Philippe Coutinho’s frenetic scribble sealed a £142m transfer to Barcelona than he was forced to hurdle the first attempted tackle on him at Camp Nou. What, one interrogator asked at his unveiling, did http://www.saintsshopfootball.com/Authentic-Josh-Hill-Jersey he make of his fee? “It’s an honour but I’ll leave the topic of money for the clubs,” he deftly replied. Yet the question is bound to scratch and linger, and could potentially turn poisonous. Is such a sum – the second biggest transfer in history – for the 25-year-old Brazilian justified?
Barcelona’s thinking is easy to grasp. They are scooting away with the league title but their goals per game rate is at its lowest since the 2013-14 season, after which they subsequently rearmed by signing Luis Suárez from Liverpool for £75m. Their squad clearly needs freshening up too. For while Lionel Messi has 60 goals and assists in La Liga since the start of last season – more than anyone in Europe’s top five leagues – and Suárez is second with 53, both are closing in on their 31st birthday. Sports Science 101 tells us that physically they are on the decline, even if the eye test does not always back that up.
Coutinho also represents a shiny upgrade on the 33-year-old Andrés Iniesta, the man he has been bought to replace. As Omar Chaudhuri, the head of intelligence at the football consultancy 21st Club, points out, since the start of last season the Brazilian has scored 20 league goals and provided 13 assists – while Iniesta has one goal and three assists.
Chaudhuri, who works with several leading European clubs, also points out that Coutinho tends to get on the ball more inside the final third compared with Iniesta and is almost twice as likely to take on an opponent when in possession, which brings fans off their seats even it does not directly lead to goals. He also, crucially, has his best years ahead of him.
Yet whether the Brazilian is one of the top half dozen or so players in world football is harder to demonstrate. One way to measure attacking ability, for instance, is to look at a player’s goals and assists per 90 minutes (G+A per 90). Coutinho averages 0.88 G+A per 90 in the Premier League since the start of 2016-17, which ranks him 31st in Europe’s five major leagues. Messi, predictably, is way out in front on 1.42, with Kylian Mbappé second. Incidentally Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah is 14th with 1.06. By this measure Coutinho is very good but not exceptional.
Coutinho also scores well on another metric – chances created per match. In the past 18 months http://www.officialflamesauthentic.com/Johnny_Gaudreau_Jersey he has averaged an impressive 2.81 chances per 90 minutes in the Premier League – the 22nd best in Europe’s major leagues – although he does still rank behind Cesc Fàbregas (4.2), Mesut Özil (3.38), Kevin De Bruyne (3.25) and even Christian Eriksen (2.93).
Of course such figures will not fully capture Coutinho’s ability, and Barcelona’s intention to make him more of an ‘interior’ midfielder – playing deeper than he does at Liverpool – will mean that other areas of his game, including his quick feet and accurate passing, could be as important as his goal production. Even so, it is tough to make the case on the Jahri Evans Womens Jersey numbers that Josh Sitton Youth jersey he is truly exceptional.
Interestingly on Monday when the respected CIES Football Observatory published its annual assessment of the transfer values of top players, it ranked Coutinho as the 16th most valuable star in world football at €122m. Its calculations, based on performances, international status, age and contract situation suggested that Neymar (€213m) is the most valuable, with Messi (€202m) second and Harry Kane (€195m) third. Of course Barcelona had €222m burning a hole in their pockets after selling Neymar to PSG last year, which inflated Coutinho’s fee.
In a week when two of his counterparts have been unable to let sleeping dogs lie, something is still biting away at Arsène Wenger too. The injustice he feels at the penalty awarded to Eden Hazard during Arsenal’s 2-2 draw with Chelsea last Wednesday has not yet faded and, when the pair meet again in Wednesday’s League Cup semi-final first leg, any repeat of a decision he called “farcical” would risk something akin to spontaneous combustion high in the Stamford Bridge stands.
That is where Wenger will spend the match, as a continuing legacy of his similarly outraged reaction to West Bromwich Albion’s spot-kick on 31 December but he is not yet ready to view what he saw as a dive from Hazard at a remove. Initially misunderstanding a question about Antonio Conte’s claim that it was his “way” to query referees, he ended up inadvertently agreeing with the Chelsea manager while airing his grievances about Hazard again.
“I questioned the decision of the referee. Then, we are objective. You look at the picture. You see how Hazard goes down and you see how quickly he takes the penalty when he gets the penalty,” he said of the forward’s reaction to a Authentic Lawrence Timmons Jersey challenge offered by Héctor Bellerín.
“If he was so injured why did he take the penalty? He made more of it, [like a] professional, basically, and shouts. I can understand that. I do not blame Hazard. He acted in a very professional way to get the penalty for his team, which he did well.”
Another objective view is that it was a clear penalty and that, Hazard’s overreaction notwithstanding, Wenger’s energy is misdirected on a call nowhere near as egregious as that taken by Mike Dean at The Hawthorns. Yet Womens Thomas Vanek Jersey it is the latter that has cost him his place in the dugout and, as he watches his team battle to retain their only chance of a domestic trophy, there will be familiar feelings of helplessness.
Last February a four-match ban for pushing the fourth official Anthony Taylor – coincidentally the referee who judged Bellerín to have fouled Hazard – included a 3-1 league defeat at Stamford Bridge. He watched Nicklas Grossmann Jersey from a designated area in the East Stand and remembers the situation as “very uncomfortable” and “awkward”, not aided by his location near the home support or the time-consuming walk to the dressing rooms.
“I will try to find a different place,” he said of Wednesday evening’s http://www.jetsofficialsfootballprostore.com/WOMENS_YOUTH_JOSH_MARTIN_JERSEY.html seating plan and he will hope the same can be said of his players, too. Wenger was rattled by Arsenal’s lifeless FA Cup surrender at Nottingham Forest on Sunday, describing himself as “very disappointed with some individual performances”.
It is certainly not a good look when Alex Iwobi, a young player who has no business feeling sure of a future in the top bracket at this stage, is http://www.authenticcolumbusbluejackets.com/authentic-sam-gagner-jersey purportedly seen partying on the weekend of a Cup tie, especially when the manager subsequently felt compelled to defend his own attitude towards knockout competitions.
“Nobody has won the FA Cup more http://www.officialhawkstore.com/Pete_Maravich_Jersey than I did but still it is [seen as] an absolute disaster,” he said of the 4-2 defeat. “Get somebody to win it more and then Authentic Michael Jordan Jersey I say, ‘OK, well done.’ But nobody in the whole history of English football won it more, so I always took the competition in a serious way. I am unhappy to go out, of course, but you must accept as well that there’s no guarantee you will win it every year.”
Wenger’s next segue, though, told more about what is at stake over these two legs. His argument was unfashionable but compelling: the cups will grow in significance because, with so much money around and only one title winner, tangible reward becomes increasingly precious. nfl jerseys outlet cheap jerseys usa nike nfl jerseys jerseys wholesale mlb baseball jerseys nfl jerseys authentic nhl hockey jerseys
Sergio Agüero rides to Manchester
Manchester City had to fight throughout Authentic Myles White Jersey this semi-final first leg as they will surely have to do in the return game. That is in a fortnight and for Bristol City still to have a chance of reaching Wembley shows how fine a display this was.
Sergio Agüero may have broken the visitors’ hearts with his added-time headed winner but, given the talent at Pep Guardiola’s disposal, Lee Johnson and his players can feel rightly proud at losing by only the odd goal.
Manchester City 2-1 Bristol City: Carabao Cup semi-final first leg – as it happened
Minute-by-minute report: The hosts required an injury-time winner by http://www.losangelesramshop.com/WOMENS-CORY-LITTLETON-JERSEY.html Sergio Agüero to see off brave, battling and occasionally brilliant Bristol City. Scott Murray was watching.
As Aden Flint, the Bristol City centre-back, said: “We http://www.officialusahockeysshop.com/Cheap_Olympic_Justin_Faulk_Jersey are disappointed to concede late on but we can hold our heads high. We’ve taken probably the best team in the world almost all the way.”
Guardiola selected a strong side. Agüero and Fernandinho dropped to the bench while Nicolás Otamendi and David Silva were not in the 18. Yet Kevin De Bruyne, John Stones, Ilkay Gündogan, Leroy Sané and the club’s joint-top scorer Raheem Sterling, who has 18 goals this season, were included.
Johnson made one change from Bristol City’s last league game, Frank Fielding replacing Luke Steele as goalkeeper. This was their sixth tie in the competition, against their fifth Premier League opponents, the Robins having already dispatched Watford, Stoke City, Crystal Palace and Manchester United.
There were 7,680 travelling fans – a record at the venue – and they watched the home side come at their end almost instantly from kick-off. In Agüero’s absence Guardiola asked Sterling to operate at centre-forward, The Womens T.J. McDonald Jersey 23-year-old’s pace was evident when De Bruyne turned a ball round the corner into his path from behind halfway.
The contest flowed, with the visitors growing more confident. When De Bruyne swivelled near halfway he ran straight into Joe Bryan. Suddenly the home side were back-pedalling, the left winger racing to the penalty area’s edge before drawing a save from Claudio Bravo, the keeper flinging himself to his right. discount nfl jerseys wholesale nfl jerseys cheap nfl jerseys nike discount nfl jerseys
It is Friday, just after 10am, but Ashton Gate is alive and kicking. Lee Johnson and his backroom staff are among those gearing up for the following day’s FA Cup tie at Watford and Tuesday’s trip to Manchester City in the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-finals. Mark Ashton, meanwhile, has an eye on the January transfer window. “It is a bizarre time of the year – my phone’s in my pocket and in a minute it will just http://www.authenticmagicproshop.com/authentic-2-elfrid-payton-jersey.html buzz, buzz, buzz,” Bristol City’s chief executive officer says. “I’ll have three or four people on hold, chasing me or after information.” He is awaiting confirmation that midfielder Liam Walsh has joined from Everton.
Outside Ashton’s office are the Latin words ductus exemplo – lead by example – and a print of a flock of geese. Inside the conversation moves to the club’s motto, born from a discussion between Ashton and Johnson last summer, that hangs in the tunnel on match-day and at the training ground: relentless in the pursuit of excellence. The motto can also be found in the red leather players’ handbook, a bible of sorts given to each squad member, so that “everybody knows who’s who in the zoo”. In it there is an introduction from Steve Lansdown, the billionaire owner, plus every detail imaginable: club contacts, player welfare, social media policies as well as player-derived club fines. “It brings a no-excuses culture,” Ashton says, whereby, “for the first time, everyone knows the rules.”
Bristol City is a fun place to be, though, and a hungry learning environment as is evident during a fascinating day Bart Starr Jersey behind the scenes at one of the Championship’s most exciting clubs, led by one of the brightest young managers, empowered by a rare owner. “Not only do we have UK ownership … but we have Bristolian ownership, who care about the football club and are looking to build sustainable success,” Ashton says. There is a robust philosophy and a thirst to improve, to share ideas and practices – such as the use of drones at training or a bespoke app – between coaches under the Bristol Sport umbrella, from Johnson to Pat Lam, the Bristol Rugby head coach, or Andreas Kapoulas of Bristol Flyers, who will take England’s basketball team to the Commonwealth Games in April. “We have a WhatsApp group between us all,” Ashton says. “And the first person who messages after a football win is Pat, and vice-versa.”
This time last year the Robins had lost nine of their previous 10 league matches and were three points above the relegation zone. Now they are two points off second and in the last four of a national cup competition after beating Manchester United in the quarter-finals. The match-winner that delirious December night, Korey Smith, reveals that one family placed a picture of him at the top of their Christmas tree. Jaden Neale, the 10-year-old ballboy whose celebration with Johnson became the defining image of that win, will be at the Etihad Stadium with his family as Manchester City’s special guest.
“We probably ran before we could walk,” Johnson says, reflecting on last season’s struggles. “Maybe we didn’t set the rules within the squad. We thought we had but maybe we didn’t.” A frank debrief last summer proved the bedrock for this season. “We probably did more work, believe it or not, on the culture over the summer than we did on transfers – that’s how important we felt it was,” Johnson says, crediting the human resources “general superhero” Sara Sainsbury. “It’s Gandhi; you have to be http://www.officialpatriotsfootballproshop.com/SUPER-BOWL-BRANDIN-COOKS-JERSEY the creature you want to create.”
Forensic player recruitment has also been key to City’s “partial-success”, as Johnson puts it. Ashton has a hefty in-house dossier, reviewing the previous transfer Authentic Martellus Bennett Jersey window, that makes a thud as it lands on the desk. “It takes in all the business that has taken place across all divisions, to understand the market as it moves. It helps us value our own players and those we might be looking at.”
There is a weekly recruitment meeting, where usually 10 staff will talk targets and analyse core data against tailor-made technical specifications. There is also the due diligence and personality profiling that includes taking a look at a prospective signing’s tweets. “First and foremost we try and recruit great people,” Johnson says. There is an equal emphasis on developing players through the club’s academy, the source of enormous pride and several first-team players, including the key pair Bobby Reid and Joe Bryan. “We had another real watershed moment,” Gary Davenport, the academy assistant manager, says, “when Lloyd [Kelly] scored against Reading on Boxing Day. He runs to the corner and the first two on the scene to celebrate with him are Joe and Bobby. That image says so much.”
Two further academy players – Opi Edwards and Connor Lemonheigh-Evans – made their full debuts at Vicarage Road on Saturday. Eight have been handed first-team debuts in the past two years, including Shawn McCoulsky, the 21-year-old on loan at Newport County who scored the winner against Leeds United on Sunday. A relatively clear pathway helps.
For the grand arrival of VAR in English domestic football there ought to have been a fanfare of whistles, a cheerleading display of referee’s assistants waving flags and the two groups of players drawing rectangles instead of the pre-match handshake. As it turned out the handy monitor on the touchline waited, tucked on its stand, quietly inactive, like an unplugged robot, a few yards to the left of the managers’ technical areas. But Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Womens Jersey if that is the glitzy side of VAR, the drama for all to see if and when a referee chooses to use the monitor to look again for himself at something he has doubts about, then the nitty gritty is the quick line of communication back to base camp and the additional officials studying the angles.
The weird twist in this tale came late and in that manner. Just as it seemed the match was set to finish without controversy, with VAR uneeded and unused, Glenn Murray popped up with a matchwinner that was accompanied by enough questions to justify another look from the new backup technology. The word from the referee, Andre Marriner, was quick and to the point: “Check it.”
Neil Swarbrick and his assistant, Peter Kirkup, who spent the match installed in front of a selection of monitors relaying more than a dozen angles and specialist goal cameras at the Premier League TV headquarters at Stockley Park, referred to the replays to check for two things. Was it offside? No. Did the ball skim his arm as it deflected in off his knee? That was the more complicated area. The angles Swarbrick and Kirkup studied were inconclusive so there was no clear reason to disallow the goal.
On we went, Brighton 2-1 up. That was not much consolation for Crystal Palace’s following, who raged with the urge to appeal when the goal was plastered across the big screens at the Amex Stadium. It was maybe not the smartest move under the circumstances. Roy Hodgson had no problem with the goal, though, which helped the cause of VAR moving forwards. The upshot is that VAR was used and generally adjudged to come to the right decision, but just as notable was the speed with which the intervention took place. The exchange between Marriner and his assistants in front of the screens was barely discernible, so the concerns about how much it might delay the flow of the game were not an issue in this case.
The nature of VAR is to attempt to deal with controversy, so it will not be surprising to have some minor issues. Teething problems will come with the territory as the game adjusts to this innovation. For all parties with a http://www.floridapanthersofficialonline.com/Adidas-Aaron-Ekblad-Jersey vested interest – managers, players, officials, supporters, media – it will take some time to http://www.officialdodgersteamshop.com/Adrian_Gonzalez_Jersey settle.
This looked like being the gentlest of introductions. The majority of the game was so devoid of the dubious the mind wandered to a wacky encounter between these two teams in 1989 for a game marked by the award of five penalties in less than half an hour. The footage includes the sight of Kelvin Morton, the referee that day, enacting a speedy A.J. Bouye Jersey version of Monty Python’s Ministry of Silly walks as he races away from players’ complaints. Stick that in your VAR monitor and watch it smoke.
The Amex was far from heaving on a night when the post-Christmas chill and pinch was evidently felt. There were plenty of unused blue seats – not only the entire corner blocks on either side of the Palace fans which were completely empty, with their section behind the goal hemmed in by a row of orange-coated stewards. For all the antipathy between these clubs – and the two sets of fans amused themselves by exchanging unpleasantries – nothing seemed out of the ordinary, which was a relief after the last meeting of these local-ish rivals, which had been a fiercer affair.
Brighton took the lead midway through the first half, Wayne Hennessey offering only a startled half save at his near post which was not enough to keep out Dale Stephens’s shot. Marriner fiddled with his earpiece but to no discernible effect. Some wags in the Brighton support wondered if they might check the VAR for a case of mistaken identity as the sight of Stephens scoring was unusual enough to require confirmation. There was absolutely nothing contentious about that goal or Bakary Sako’s scorching equaliser. He controlled the ball, spun and walloped a shot that fizzed past Tim Krul.
In terms of the laws of the game the VAR monitor remained dormant, in its self-spooning position. It remains to be seen how that goes down when a referee needs to consult it.
The fact that the VAR referee Swarbrick was consulted, and gave his opinion with the mininum of fuss, is already a form of progress. wholesale jerseys all cheap mlb jerseys wholesale jerseys cheap nhl jerseys china
The day after the summer transfer market closed Barcelona’s sporting director, Albert Soler, and their director of football, Robert Fernández, ran through a PowerPoint presentation, specially prepared for the occasion. They sat in the press room at the Camp Nou but might as well have sat in the dock. As they talked their way through it, player by player, deal by deal, those that happened and those that did not, they sought to justify what some considered the unjustifiable. Barcelona were in crisis and they stood accused. The interrogation was intense, the explanation not always convincing.
Instead it was contradictory, as if they could not always get their story straight. More importantly they had not got their man. Neymar had left for Paris, barely a fortnight after the vice‑president, Jordi Mestre, declared himself “200% sure” the Brazilian was staying and they had been unable to stop him. Womens Will Lutz Jersey In his place there was no sign of Philippe Coutinho, the man they had so publicly pursued. Everybody demanded that someone take responsibility for a Brandon Belt Youth jersey summer that most judged disastrous.
The €222m PSG had deposited in their account did not help. It might even have made matters worse and, Soler insisted, they would resist being drawn into wild spending – even if they did sign Ousmane Dembélé for €105m, rising to €145m. He and Fernández bemoaned an “inflated market” while the president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, called for a limit on signings, describing the market as “mad”. Soler even claimed Liverpool had offered Coutinho “at the end” for €200m. “Logically,” he insisted, “we did not accept that.”
Some had called for resignations, a complete restructuring of a model in which eight different men had a say on signings – only for the signing that really mattered not to happen at all. “There will be no resignations,” Soler said. “We could Jeff Skinner Youth jersey have signed two players for €270m – and we could have – but then we would have to resign for being irresponsible. We’re not going to be drawn into that game.”
Four months on they have been drawn into exactly that. Dembélé could cost €145m, Coutinho €160m. Counting only easily achievable add-ons, that sack-inducing €270m outlay will surely be reached. But no one is seriously calling for sackings now and the pressure on the president has receded. Instead there is excitement at this signing, a belief that it strengthens Barcelona enormously. And, even as the price rose, even as Barcelona unexpectedly reached this market eight points clear at the top, 14 ahead of Real Madrid, the determination to sign Coutinho remained.
That is not to say there have not been doubts and debate. One high-ranking board member wondered whether it was financially responsible to commit to such an expensive signing and asked Malik McDowell Jersey what impact it might have on other players within the squad. Even after the deal was done, even with the satisfaction of the signing finally complete, another of those involved privately expressed his belief the fee http://www.atlantafalconsauthorizedstore.com/deion-jones-jersey-elite was too much.
That may, as José Mourinho and Jürgen Klopp have said, simply be an inescapable reality: either you pay that or you do not have the player. And Barcelona were determined to have this player, a fundamental, strategic piece.
At 25 his role is part of a longer‑term project, part of the error is seeing him through the prism of Neymar’s departure. That is where Dembélé comes in – even if, because of injury, he is only just coming in now. As for Coutinho, he can play in a front three and Neymar’s departure may have made the need to sign him feel more pressing, especially amidst summer fears, but more significant is the need to replace Andrés Iniesta, who is 33 (Luis Suárez and Lionel Messi are both older than 30 as well), to find someone who can help secure some continuity in http://www.authentickingstore.com/marian-gaborik-jersey_c-460.html the model, the idea.
“Coutinho has a Barcelona ‘profile’,” Iniesta says. Suárez, who was at Barcelona airport to collect him on Saturday night, said of their 15 months as Liverpool team-mates: “Philippe was incredible. He changed us completely. He’s the one that gave us the faith in having the ball because his http://www.footballseahawksproonline.com/Bryan-Walters-Jersey technical ability is so good. You knew he wouldn’t lose it, you knew that he would produce something special with it, that he would always choose the right pass … you could see straight away that he was different.” Those qualities are the ones that mean Barcelona feel he is the best equipped for their future. baseball jerseys wholesale jerseys nfl jerseys free shipping discount jerseys cheap nfl jerseys nike nike nfl jerseys nfl jerseys wholesale
A sledgehammer to crack a nut was the expression that came to mind as Liverpool’s new £75m defender made his debut against a side with only one goal in their last four games and no shots on target in either of their last two home matches. Everton supporters were clinging to the slender hope that Jürgen Klopp might have taken a risk in throwing Virgil van Dijk straight into the heat of a Merseyside derby.
There were few worries on that score, even before the centre-half scored the winning goal five minutes from the end. Joël Matip and Van Dijk had only Dominic Calvert-Lewin to look after between them and the latter towered over the Everton centre-forward in every sense, invariably getting to the ball first whether in the air or on the ground. The former Southampton player even found time to launch a few attacks in the first half, sometimes Daryl Johnston Womens Jersey carrying the ball to the halfway line, sometimes sending out 50-yard passes in Brandon Sutter Authentic Jersey search of team-mates further forward.
Van Dijk looks the part, in short, but then he always did. It was in the other half of the pitch that Liverpool looked unusually disjointed until Everton came to their aid with a couple of defensive http://www.bearsonlinesprostore.com/DEVIN-HESTER-JERSEY-CHEAP.html blunders. First was a penalty as soft as the one that earned them a point in the league derby at Anfield last month. With only two of the Fab Four on the pitch Liverpool were making hard work of breaking through Everton’s two banks of defenders before Mason Holgate made his first misjudgment of the evening.
The defender made the error of laying his hands on Adam Lallana as the Liverpool forward attempted to turn on the ball just inside the area. There was no question of throwing him to the floor or ripping the shirt from his back but Lallana felt the contact and went to ground anyway. It was almost an exact replica of the challenge Dejan Lovren made on Calvert-Lewin for the penalty in the league game, and as Sam Allardyce fully backed that decision he could have no complaints here. “Don’t raise your hands, don’t touch the opponent, don’t mess with him” was the gist of Allardyce’s advice last month, so he probably needs to have a word with Holgate about keeping his hands to himself to avoid undoing half an hour’s worth of otherwise doughty defending.
Allardyce would have been reasonably pleased with that first half- hour too, because not only had Everton been keeping Liverpool at bay; they had won two corners to the home side’s none. There were no shots on target, needless to say, but as far as Allardyce is concerned corners are the next best thing. Everton must have been hoping to make it to the interval without conceding, to at least raise the tension levels, though in the event they were lucky to make it to half-time with a full complement of players on the pitch.
At first sight it seemed ludicrous that Holgate should make his second misjudgment of the evening by deliberately shoving Roberto Firmino over the perimeter fence into the crowd and get away with it, though the Everton player lost his head to such an extent that it appeared likely he had been verbally abused or provoked. There was no other explanation for such a blatant transgression under the nose of the referee, and the fact that Robert Madley failed to produce a card – not to mention the amount of time he spent talking to the fourth official and discussing the matter behind his hand with various interested parties on the pitch – suggested this was a http://www.officialcowboysnflstore.com/WOMENS_YOUTH_COLE_BEASLEY_JERSEY.html complex incident that even VAR might not have been able to clear up. Whatever the provocation, Holgate was lucky to get away with using his hands again so soon after conceding the penalty.
With Everton chasing Griffin Reinhart Womens Jersey the game in the second half Allardyce permitted Liverpool supporters their biggest cheer of the night by withdrawing Wayne Rooney well before the hour mark. Ademola Lookman was sent on in his place, but it is debatable whether Allardyce was trying to boost his attack. More likely he was protecting Rooney, who had picked up an early booking for a foul on Joe Gomez and had looked in danger of collecting a second when he clattered into Emre Can.
Nevertheless Lookman played his part in helping set up an unlikely equaliser, moving the ball neatly upfield to find Phil Jagielka, of all people, hovering close to the Liverpool penalty area, ready to lay off to Gylfi Sigurdsson. One shot on target, one goal. Set up by a substitute and a centre-half it may have been, but for just a few minutes it appeared Everton under Allardyce might have a charmed life in Merseyside derbies, especially after Lallana and Gomez wasted good chances to put the game to bed. Any Allardyce team has to be able to defend corners, however, and Everton were ultimately undone by a lapse of concentration almost as big as a £75m Dutchman. nike nfl jerseys from china nba jerseys cheap nfl jerseys outlet nfl jerseys authentic nfl jerseys wholesale
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