Mandela’s Gun: The story of the first weapon against apartheid

first_img2 November 2016The film Mandela’s Gun tells the story of a young Nelson Mandela and the symbolism of his side-arm weapon. A semiautomatic Makarov pistol given to him by Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie, the gun came to represent his revolutionary awakening and the start of the armed struggle against apartheid.On his clandestine return to South Africa in 1962, Mandela feared imminent capture by the apartheid government. So he wrapped his gun in foil and heavy-duty military material and buried it under a tin plate on Liliesleaf farm in Rivonia, Johannesburg.The new film, directed by Bafta-winning British director John Irvin (The Dogs of War and Hamburger Hill), uses a mix of documentary footage, interviews with South African anti-apartheid activists, and dramatisations of Mandela’s journey. Mandela’s Gun was filmed in Algeria, Ethiopia, Botswana and South Africa.Mandela is played by renowned local actor Tumisho Masha. After more than 20 major film and TV productions on Mandela, it is the first time a South African actor portrays the iconic leader.Countdown to the opening movie for the inuagural #JoburgFilmFestival Mandela’s Gun happening tonight. 1 city. 20 venues #WeLoveFilm pic.twitter.com/1Thr4cxpDw— Joburg Film Festival (@JoburgFilmFest) October 28, 2016Producer Moroba Nkawe told Variety that the long process of bringing the story to screen was similar to the remarkable, pan-African trip Mandela made as a young freedom fighter in exile. “As we uncovered more information through research, the story grew and…led us to film across the African continent, as we tried to bring to life this amazing, untold journey.”Mandela’s Gun to open on 28th October at #JoburgFilmFestival. Check out the latest scoop on @ScreenAfrica pic.twitter.com/SOXHJaZsc9— Joburg Film Festival (@JoburgFilmFest) October 17, 2016Intent on building an army against the apartheid government, the young Mandela had yet to even shoot a gun, let alone own one. So in exile, travelling across Africa on false passports, he got military training in Algeria and Ethiopia. It was here that he received the Selassie gift. He then moved south to Tanzania and later Botswana, building up tactical and political support from governments and individuals.Returning to South Africa, Mandela gathered together anti-apartheid activists, ANC members and other supporters at Liliesleaf to plan the armed struggle.“Not only were we rediscovering Mandela’s journey and a part of our history that is seldom spoken about,” said Nkawe, “but also learning what a huge debt South Africa owes to the African continent for the support they gave in our liberation struggle.”Interviews in the film include first-hand accounts of that time from Mandela’s comrades, such as Dennis Goldberg and Ronnie Kasrils.The all-South African cast includes Zethu Dlomo, Nick Boraine and Meren Reddy. Desmond Dube plays ANC stalwart Govan Mbeki.The soundtrack by Abdullah Ibrahim includes classic South African music of the period, and new material written for the film.Guns buried 20 paces from the kitchenThe story of the hidden weapon was only revealed after Mandela was released from prison in 1990, during his first visit to Liliesleaf in 30 years. The late veteran journalist Allister Sparks recalled being with Mandela at the time. He told the Mail & Guardian in 2011: “He was reminiscing about all the things that had gone on while he was there. He asked the house maid, ‘Where’s the kitchen? I buried some weapons here 20 paces from the kitchen.“We went to the kitchen and he stepped out his paces but by the time he got to 10 he hit the garden wall. So it was over in the neighbour’s property. We never found it and Nick Wolpe (Liliesleaf Trust chief executive)has been digging ever since.“Negotiations for the sale of the neighbouring property have been underway for over five years. But the gun has still not been found.The film will be on at Ster-Kinekor cinemas in November and December 2016.SouthAfrica.info reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SouthAfrica.info materiallast_img read more

Lakers are happy with the hype surrounding rookie Lonzo Ball

first_imgLos Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball poses for a picture during the NBA basketball team’s media day in El Segundo, Calif., Monday, Sept. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — He has a Facebook reality show and a family shoe brand. His dad talks big on ESPN. He was the No. 2 overall draft pick and expects to transform one of the NBA’s glamor franchises.Other than that, Lonzo Ball is an ordinary teenager.The 19-year-old guard comes with otherworldly expectations, with the Los Angeles Lakers having fallen on hard times. They hope the local product can help them rejoin the NBA’s elite.ADVERTISEMENT Clippers are Griffin’s team more than ever with Paul gone Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. It was a rare glimpse of the sense of humor that teammates say is not uncommon when the cameras are off.As for those lofty expectations? Like most everything else, Ball just shrugs and flashes a hint of his confidence.“I think I’ll be fine,” he said. “I’ve been playing basketball my whole life and I’m pretty good at it.” Read Next Ball’s journey officially begins Tuesday when the Lakers open training camp, but he appears to have already won over his new teammates during summer workouts.“When you play with a pure point guard like that, it just makes it easier for everyone,” center Brook Lopez said. “He elevates players to a whole other level.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“I know it’s going to be great for me, just being on the receiving end of his passes. He’s going to gift-wrap baskets for me. He’s so good at turning other players into impact, amazing players. He’s going to be a transcendent talent.”That has been the plan all along, particularly from his outspoken father LaVar Ball, who almost seemed to will his son’s journey from Chino Hills High School to UCLA to the Lakers. NBA: Kawhi, George seek more for Clippers than beating Lakers PLAY LIST 01:48NBA: Kawhi, George seek more for Clippers than beating Lakers00:50Trending Articles01:08Huge Toronto crowd celebrates Raptors’ historic win01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight View comments E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad  MOST READ Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary LATEST STORIES Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa If Lonzo Ball seems to arrive with the trappings of circus, he appears the calm in the center of the storm.“Honestly, Zo is relaxed,” forward Julius Randle said. “Zo is chill. He’s one of the guys. For as much as he has going around him, you would never know.”Ball doesn’t say a lot himself, and what he does say comes out in rapid-fire fashion. Reporters circled around some eight deep Monday at the team’s media day, but Ball appeared to take it in stride.“I’ve been kinda like this my whole life, so I really don’t feel anything to be honest,” he said. “It’s just playing a game, the game I love.”That approach has hardly gone unnoticed by legendary point guard Magic Johnson, now the Lakers’ president of basketball operations.“I told him, he’s just like me,” Johnson said. “When I came here there were a lot of expectations put on my shoulders and the Lakers as an organization. Now I’m his boss, but I’m also his big brother.”When those comments were relayed to Ball, the rookie responded: “More like an uncle. He looks older than my brother.”ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

Ram pickups recalled to fix rusting fuel tank strap

first_imgDETROIT – Fiat Chrysler is recalling more than 300,000 older Ram pickup trucks worldwide because the fuel tanks can sag.The recall mainly affects trucks in cold-weather U.S. states and Canada where salt is used to clear snow from roads.It includes Ram 1500 pickups from the 2009 through 2012 model years. In the U.S. the trucks are in 20 states and Washington, D.C.The company says an investigation found a bracket can corrode and let the tanks sag. The remaining structure will stop the tanks from falling. Fiat Chrysler says it’s not aware of any crashes, fires, leaks or injuries due to the problem.Dealers will reinforce the bracket. Owners will be told when to schedule service. Anyone who notices a hanging strap or lower tank should contact their dealer.last_img

Guinness World Record paper airplane attempt pushed back to July 20th

first_imgCollins decided to come to the Energetic City after local paper airplane enthusiast Parker Andrews told him he was going to break his record one day.Collins added that he had been trying to find a place to beat his record for over two years, but couldn’t find a building large enough to attempt it. Andrews then told Collins about the Pomeroy Sport Centre prompting the Paper Airplane Guy to call it the perfect fit.The time of the event will be set closer to the date. In order for Collins and Ayoob to break their record, they will need their plane to fly over 226 feet and 10 inches. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Fort St. John residents will have to wait a little while longer to see a possible Guinness World Record broken at the Pomeroy Sport Centre.John Collins and Joe Ayoob will now attempt to break their world record for longest distance flight of a paper airplane on July 20th rather than the 13th.Collins explained that the company Orbitz is now sponsoring the event and decided that the 20th would be a more suitable date for the flight.last_img read more

No 6 Overall Draft Pick Barkevious Mingo Hospitalized With

No. 6 overall draft pick Cleveland Browns rookie linebacker Barkevious Mingo has been hospitalized after suffering a bruised lung.Mingo, who was drafted from Louisiana State University in the first round in April, was injured in the first half of Cleveland’s 24-6 victory over Detroit on Thursday.The initial diagnosis was that Mingo had a rib injury, but following the game he was taken to the hospital for further examination. Coach Rob Chudzinski said Mingo would be kept overnight.The details on how Mingo was hurt are unclear. The 6-foot-4-inch, 240-pound player jogged to the tunnel with a trainer for treatment after he was injured.And more bad news hit the Browns when running back Dion Lewis broke his leg and is likely done for the season. Cleveland also lost offensive guard Jason Pinkston, who suffered a severely sprained ankle. He left the stadium in a walking boot and on crutches. read more

The Blind Side Era is Over At The NFL Draft

Quenton Nelson looks exactly like a franchise-cornerstone left tackle: Standing 6 foot 5, 325 pounds, Nelson is “built like a bank safe” and blessed with the athleticism and aggressiveness to be a perennial All-Pro. The quarterback’s protector is often called the second-most-important offensive position, so it’s no wonder that Nelson’s in the mix to be the first non-quarterback to be picked in this year’s draft.But one thing does separate Nelson from other highly coveted tackles on draft day: He isn’t a tackle. He’s a guard.How players at one position in the NFL’s otherwise-anonymous quintet of trench warriors became some of American sports’ most-prized athletes is a story so well-known it was turned into a best-selling book, and even a movie: The uniquely gifted protectors of “The Blind Side” emerged in the 1990s to stop the pass-rushing outside linebackers of the 1980s, like eight-time All-Pro Lawrence Taylor.For years afterward, teams trying to land the next Orlando Pace or Walter Jones had no qualms about throwing high draft picks at top tackles. Even less-than-perfect tackle prospects like Michigan’s Jake Long and Central Michigan’s Eric Fisher were deemed “safe” picks at No. 1 overall — because unlike quarterbacks, who are unlikely to play another position well, if those tackles fail to establish themselves as quality starters, teams have the option of kicking them inside to guard.As recently as 2012, guards were still afterthoughts, not worthy of the draft-value (and contract) investment that comes with a high first-round selection. Outstanding guard prospect David DeCastro, whom many evaluators deemed worthy of at least a top-10 pick, didn’t come off the board until No. 24 that year.In the 32-team era,1Since 2002. 62 tackles have been drafted in the first round compared to just 14 guards. On average, those tackles were taken with the 14th pick, while the average guard went between 23 and 24. In fact, after “The Blind Side” was released in September 2006, NFL teams went on a four-year tackle binge, drafting 19 first-round tackles compared to just three centers and two guards.Last season, though, the market for elite tackles seemed to dry up. Only two — Garett Bolles and Ryan Ramczyk — went in the first round, and both were picked in the back end of the round (20 and 32 respectively). After Alabama’s Cam Robinson was taken with the second pick of the second round, which was lower than most expected, no tackles were taken until pick No. 85. To get a sense of how high in the draft tackles have tended to go over time, we can quantify pick position using Jimmy Johnson’s draft-pick value chart, which assigns a point value to every pick in the draft based solely on how early the pick is, not on which player is taken. Last year, the picks used on tackles in rounds one and two were worth a total of 2000 points, the lowest sum since at least 1994. By comparison, the picks used on the six tackles taken in the first two rounds in 2013 were worth more than 10,000 points. The trend of devaluing tackles seems certain to continue in the 2018 NFL draft. After Nelson, tackle Mike McGlinchey (average mock draft position: 22.2) is the next offensive lineman projected to go. But then it’s a run of interior linemen: Center James Daniels (28.5) and guards Isaiah Wynn (28.8) and Will Hernandez (28.9) are all set to be drafted ahead of the only other tackle who’s projected to be taken on the draft’s first night, Kolton Miller (31.2).If Miller doesn’t make it into the first round, it’ll be the first time that fewer than two tackles have been drafted in any first round since “The Blind Side” was released, and it would match the 2005-2006 nadir for high-pick tackles — only three tackles were taken in the first round in each of those two back-to-back draft classes.It’s not like NFL teams suddenly decided that the offensive line isn’t important, it’s more that the value pendulum is shifting away from left tackle. If Nelson goes as high as he’s expected to, he’ll be the third guard picked in the top 10 in the last six seasons (the fourth if you count Washington’s Brandon Scherff, who was drafted as a tackle but has since become a Pro Bowl guard2Washington initially tried Scherff at tackle before switching him to guard in his first training camp.). Before Chance Warmack and Jonathan Cooper went in the top 10 in 2013, no guard had been picked that high in a dozen years.3Leonard Davis went No. 2 overall in 2001 as a guard, though he went on to play both tackle and guard in the NFL.But it’s not just draft capital that teams are investing in a previously neglected position.This spring, All-Pro guard Andrew Norwell signed a five-year, $66.5 million unrestricted free-agency deal that briefly made him the NFL’s highest-paid offensive lineman. Though former New England Patriots left tackle Nate Solder’s four-year, $62 million contract with the New York Giants topped Norwell’s $13.3 million average annual value, Norwell remains No. 2.In 2016, the five biggest free-agency deals4In terms of contracts’ average annual value. given to offensive linemen went to left tackles. In 2017, half of the eight offensive-line contracts worth at least $10 million per year went to left tackles — but the other half went to three guards and a center. In 2018, Solder’s was the only one of the top six offensive-line deals that did not go to a guard or center.So why the sudden change? For starters, the evolution of the left tackle was a response to a defensive revolution that’s been over for a long time; Taylor’s 10-season Pro Bowl streak ended 27 years ago. From Dick LeBeau’s zone blitzes to Jim Johnson’s and Jim Schwartz’s aggressive 4-3s, Wade Phillips’s one-gap 3-4 schemes to Bill Belichick and Matt Patricia’s hybrid/multiple fronts attack, defensive coordinators have as many different ways to send pass rushers at quarterbacks as there are gaps between offensive linemen.According to ESPN Stats & Information Group, 36 percent of the 1,082.5 sacks by front-seven players in 2017 were registered by a player lined up at right defensive end or right outside linebacker. That means even a Hall of Fame left tackle can’t possibly help with at least two-thirds of the pressure that defenses are generating.Then there’s the fact that quarterbacks don’t really have a “blind side” anymore. The heavy use of shotgun formation in today’s NFL allows quarterbacks to keep the whole defense in front of them. According to ESPN Stats & Info, just 13,319 of 32,436 offensive plays (41 percent) were run from under center in 2017– and of those, a quarterback dropped back to pass on just 4,201 plays (13 percent of all offensive plays).The average left tackle, then, will only be called upon to keep his quarterback clean during a traditional dropback about 1/8th of the time he’s on the field.But don’t tell Nelson, Wynn, Hernandez or any of the other guards set to be drafted this weekend that the value of offensive linemen has crashed. They’re about to prove that the NFL has finally figured out that anyone who can get keep a pass-rusher from getting to a quarterback is worth an awful lot — regardless of where he’s positioned on the line. read more

2015 NFL Preview The Ravens Bengals Steelers And Yes Even The Browns

Cleveland Browns2014 Record: 7-9 | 2015 Proj. W: 6.2 | Playoff Odds: 9.7%Off. Rank: 31st | Def. Rank: 11th | S.T. Rank: 14thAs usual, the Browns’ quarterback situation is dismal. Backup Johnny Manziel gets most of the headlines despite (or, perhaps, because of) a spectacularly trying rookie campaign, but new starter Josh McCown isn’t much better. The 36-year-old journeyman showed unexpected flashes of brilliance in eight games as a Bear in 2013, but he returned to form — ranking second-worst in the NFL in QBR — with the Buccaneers last season. Judging from the rest of his career, it would be unrealistic to expect much more from McCown in 2015.We all know that the NFL is a passing league, so Cleveland’s QB predicament puts them at a disadvantage. But if there’s any good news for the Browns, it’s that you don’t necessarily need a great passing attack to build a winning team. And with McCown and Manziel unlikely to lead the Browns out of the quarterback wilderness, it falls upon the team’s defense to provide an edge instead.The Browns return nine starters from what was an effective, and unusual, defense in 2014. Typically, defenses that limit opponents’ passing also have an edge against the running game, and Cleveland was excellent versus the pass — it was third-best in EPA allowed on passing plays, trailing only the Texans and Bills. But the Browns had trouble slowing down opposing runners. Against rushing plays, they ranked 31st in EPA allowed, ahead of only the Saints.Again, the NFL is a passing league, so Cleveland had a top-10 defense despite its weakness against the run. But given the Browns’ lack of offensive playmakers,12Their most important offensive player might be a center. In the five starts Alex Mack made in 2014 before suffering a season-ending injury, the Browns averaged 26 points and a 75 QBR; over the remainder of the season, they averaged 16 points and a 25 QBR. their defense can’t afford to have any vulnerabilities if they hope to win games. That’s why Cleveland drafted nose tackle Danny Shelton 12th overall and added defensive lineman Randy Starks in free agency, with an eye on getting tougher against the run and building an elite all-around defense.It’s an unconventional formula for team-building, but a roster engineered to keep the score low and close can make for upsets. Just last year, the Buffalo Bills used a similar blueprint to win nine games despite having the league’s fifth-worst offense. So if the Browns defense is better than their offense is bad, and they get a few lucky bounces of the ball on special teams, Cleveland might have a winner for just the third time since the franchise was reborn in 1999. Baltimore Ravens2014 Record: 10-6 | 2015 Projected Wins: 9.0 | Playoff Odds: 54.7%Offensive Rank: 15th | Defensive Rank: 5th | Special Teams Rank: 2ndA slight favorite in the AFC North according to ESPN’s preseason Football Power Index (FPI) ratings, Baltimore is more likely than not to make its seventh playoff appearance since 2008. In part, that’s because general manager Ozzie Newsome is playing his own brand of Moneyball. One of his favorite strategies: using free agency to build depth and plug roster holes, rather than trying to sign big-name players at a premium. It’s an approach that keeps the Ravens out of boom-and-bust rebuilding cycles, and keeps generating tickets to the Plinko game that is the NFL playoffs.For instance, Baltimore needed to address its weakness at secondary this offseason. Although the Ravens were tough against the run1They allowed the NFL’s third-fewest rushing expected points. and consistently put pressure on opposing QBs, they also allowed the league’s 10th-most expected points added (EPA) through the air because injuries forced them to field a handful of scrap-heap defensive backs. So Newsome added cornerback Kyle Arrington and safety Kendrick Lewis in free agency to bolster the secondary — moves he could afford to make because of cap room freed up by trading defensive tackle Haloti Ngata for draft picks. The deft deal-making2Along with the return of cornerback Jimmy Smith from injury. is a big reason experts think Baltimore will reclaim elite-defense status this season.Another signature Newsome move was to let free-agent wide receiver Torrey Smith walk, rather than paying the $22 million sticker price he was eventually guaranteed by San Francisco. While other teams shell out for expensive free-agent receivers such as Smith, Vincent Jackson and Mike Wallace, Newsome has had success with cheaper options. Take Steve Smith, whom the Ravens were able to sign on the cheap3Paying only an average of $3.5 million per season. a year ago because of his advancing age (he was 35 last season). All Smith did in his Baltimore debut was produce one of the top receiving seasons in Ravens history — and help quarterback Joe Flacco post the best Total Quarterback Rating (QBR) of his career.Even running back Justin Forsett, whose breakout season lifted Baltimore’s yards per carry from last in the league in 2013 to a tie for sixth last season, was paid only $730,000 a year ago — a pittance by RB standards. Forsett got a raise for 2015 but should benefit from another secret weapon smart teams often use: continuity. All five starters on the Ravens’ offensive line are also returning, and incoming offensive coordinator Marc Trestman is expected to keep predecessor Gary Kubiak’s running scheme.Newsome appears to recognize a few fundamental truths about the NFL: namely, that bank-breaking offseason pickups are rarely worth the trouble and that teams are better off using their money to build depth and bolster multiple positions. It’s a formula that has served the Ravens well over the years and should continue to pay off in 2015. Read more: 2015 NFL Previews FiveThirtyEight is previewing the 2015 NFL season ahead of the first game of the year. Check out our coverage of every division » Cincinnati Bengals2014 Record: 10-5-1 | 2015 Proj. W: 8.4 | Playoff Odds: 42.1%Off. Rank: 14th | Def. Rank: 12th | S.T. Rank: 8thFPI predicts that the Bengals will be solid again in 2015, and one of the primary reasons is continuity. Twenty-one of their 22 starters are back from a year ago, which ties for the second-most returning starters any NFL team has carried into a season since 2006. Plus, prodigal defensive end Michael Johnson returns after a season in Tampa Bay, and linebacker Vontaze Burfict might (eventually) come back from the knee injury that cost him most of 2014.While researching FPI,4I was on the production analytics team that developed FPI this summer. we found that consistency like this, especially when the team is already decent — as the Bengals were last year — is a small but reliable predictor of success. And in the absence of a first-class quarterback, Cincinnati needs all of these small things to go its way if the team wants to stay competitive.Bengals starting quarterback Andy Dalton has a lifetime QBR of 51, which pretty much makes him the definition of average. (QBR is scaled where the league-wide mean is 50.) Fans and observers have spent years wondering if Dalton can become a top passer, but four seasons of consistently middling numbers probably suggest that we’ve seen his best. He’s dependable, and even good enough to make a winner out of a team if it surrounds him with talent. But rarely do quarterbacks blossom into something new after four full seasons in the NFL.So instead of counting on Dalton to be great, Cincinnati has built a balanced roster that doesn’t need a star turn at QB. Wideout A.J. Green, for instance, picks up the slack by serving as Dalton’s target more than 30 percent of the time, one of the highest shares for any receiver in the league. Although Dalton played well enough to win two of the three games Green missed last season, it would be unwise to think the Bengals offense would prosper for long without Green’s ability to stretch defenses downfield.And defensively, FPI projects the Bengals to bounce back after a down year in 2014. Cincy’s defense had allowed the NFL’s second-fewest overall EPA and fifth-lowest rate of yards per attempt two years ago, but they fell to 16th and 20th, respectively, after the departure of defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer a year ago. Losing a coordinator can be surprisingly traumatic for a defense (more on this later), so they should be better in Paul Guenther’s second season at the helm.Continuity, on both the roster and coaching staff, is one of several small factors Cincinnati will have to rely on this season. Because unless, by some miracle, Dalton turns into a top passer, the Bengals need all the advantages they can get. In preparation for the 2015 NFL season, FiveThirtyEight is running a series of eight division previews, each highlighting the numbers that may influence a team’s performance (including projections and rankings based on ESPN’s preseason Football Power Index). Today we focus on the AFC North, where Baltimore, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh have all taken the division title twice over the past six seasons. Will the defending-champ Steelers hand it off again this year? And can the Browns finally break into that group? Pittsburgh Steelers2014 Record: 11-5 | 2015 Proj. W: 8.3 | Playoff Odds: 41.4%Off. Rank: 9th | Def. Rank: 24th | S.T. Rank: 4thThe Steelers had a very un-Steeler-like team in 2014. The offense was white-hot: Antonio Brown led all NFL receivers in fantasy scoring5Using ESPN’s standard scoring system. by a wide margin, Le’Veon Bell finished second among running backs, and Ben Roethlisberger ranked fifth among quarterbacks.6Even Heath Miller ranked 11th among tight ends despite seeing the fourth-lowest target frequency of any qualifier at his position. The defense, on the other hand, was full of holes, as age7They were one of the oldest defenses in the league. and free agency8They lost a number of veterans, including Larry Foote, LaMarr Woodley and Ryan Clark. caused a unit once nicknamed the “Steel Curtain” to allow the league’s third-worst rate of yards per play.Pittsburgh still used that bizarro-world formula to squeak past its rivals for the division crown. But it doesn’t bode well as a blueprint for sustainable winning, because there are reasons to think the defense won’t rebound even as the offense falls back to earth.By virtue of regression to the mean, we usually expect defenses to bounce back from uncharacteristically bad seasons, but Pittsburgh’s situation is complicated by the departure of legendary defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau. When developing FPI, we found that defensive coordinators have a similar (albeit smaller) impact on defense as quarterbacks do on offense — namely, that when a team has a returning coordinator, its defensive performance tends to be better and more consistent between seasons. Conversely, when a new coordinator comes in, the defense usually declines a bit9Regardless of its previous quality. and generally is harder to project.10In statistical speak, the variance is higher in projections involving new defensive coordinators. So it’s difficult to say whether the 2015 Steelers will be any better defensively than the 2014 team.And Pittsburgh might not be able to afford another down defensive year. Although the Steeler offense was surprisingly strong in 2014, it’s probably not realistic to expect a repeat performance — most obviously because Bell will be suspended for the season’s first two games, but also because the team is unlikely to be as healthy as it was last season. Not only was Pittsburgh’s offensive “injury score”11A weighted total of players designated as “out,” “doubtful” or “questionable” by the NFL’s official weekly injury reports. the lowest of any team a year ago, but the team also lost less than half as much playing time to injury as the average NFL offense from the past nine years. It’s highly unlikely that they’ll be so fortunate again.This doesn’t necessarily mean Pittsburgh needs a complete rebirth of the Steel Curtain defense. (The FPI projections still point to the Steelers being a top-10 team, after all.) But with Baltimore and Cincinnati each boasting a slightly higher probability of winning the division, the defense probably has to improve if the Steelers want to repeat as AFC North champs. read more

Emery doesnt rule out another Arsenal signing

first_imgWhile he is satisfied with the players he has in his new squad, Unai Emery is refusing to rule out signing any new recruits ahead of his maiden campaign in charge of ArsenalThe Spaniard has big shoes to fill this season after being chosen to replace Arsene Wenger as the new manager of Arsenal this summer and Emery has wasted no time in making his mark at the Emirates.The 46-year-old has acquired five new players for Arsenal in the current transfer window in the likes of goalkeeper Bernd Leno, defenders Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Stefan Lichtsteiner and midfielders Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi.The Gunners are currently in Singapore ahead of their preseason tour, that will see them face Atletico Madrid on Thursday in their first match of the International Champions Cup (ICC).But, with an opening fixture against Manchester City awaiting them in the Premier League in just over two weeks, Emery is refusing to rule out adding some more talent to his squad.“I am very happy with how the club is working and we are working every day on how we can improve,” he said, as stated on the Independent.“I am with the players and those who have arrived this week, I am very happy with and I said at the last press conference that if there is an opportunity to try to sign one player, then we are looking.”Jose Mourinho is sold on Lampard succeeding at Chelsea Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 14, 2019 Jose Mourinho wanted to give his two cents on Frank Lampard’s odds as the new Chelsea FC manager, he thinks he will succeed.There really…Thursday: @Atleti ?? Saturday: @PSG_inside ??Time to up the intensity ? pic.twitter.com/y1L05JgWXn— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) July 25, 2018Closing the transfer window on August 9 will mark a change in the Premier League after all the competing clubs voted in favour of it.“For us, the decision to close the transfer market on August 9 is good because we start the Premier League and it is better to close the window when the competition starts.“They haven’t done it in Spain, or Italy or Germany, but for us I think it is good.”last_img read more

Rafael Benitez denies fight with Jamaal Lascelles

first_imgThe Newcastle United manager has said the player was absent during the weekend during an ankle problem and not because of an argumentNewcastle United coach Rafael Benitez has denied any argument with captain Jamaal Lascelles.The Spanish manager says the footballer’s absence from the match against Chelsea was because the player has an ankle problem.“The doctor is better than me, we’re waiting for results of a scan for Jamaal,” Benitez told the media as reported by Sportskeeda.“He came to support the team, I spoke to him before and after the game and three or four times this morning.”Tammy Abraham, ChelseaChelsea hat-trick hero Tammy Abraham hopes for more Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Tammy Abraham hopes this season will be his big breakthrough at Chelsea after firing his first hat-trick for the club in Saturday’s 5-2 win at Wolves.“His partner is expecting a baby but everything is fine. I don’t know how long he’ll be out for,” he explained.MEDIA: Newcastle United boss Rafa Benítez has been speaking to the media ahead of Wednesday’s @Carabao_Cup clash against @NFFC. Here’s what he had to say… #NUFC— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) August 28, 2018last_img read more

Mazzoleni perfectly followed the procedure – FIGC Presidenton racial abuse

first_imgFIGC President Gabriele Gravina has maintained that the referee Paolo Silvio Mazzoleni who officiated the match between Napoli and Inter “could not interrupt” the due to racist abuse.He adds that he perfectly followed procedure and called for a statement which was made over the stadium speaker. It was stated that if racial abuse continues, the game will be temporarily suspended.“Mazzoleni could not interrupt the game. He perfectly followed procedure,” Federation chief Gravina told Rai Sport via Football Italia“Unfortunately, at times there are people who don’t know the procedures correctly.”Cristiano Ronaldo, JuventusSerie A Betting: Match-day 3 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Considering there is a number of perfect starts so early in the Serie A season, as well as a few surprisingly not-so perfect ones….“The chief of security, in particular Questore Cardona, clearly stated that with five minutes left in the game, he could never have suspended play with the risk of creating a massacre.“Mazzoleni applied the procedure precisely the way it was planned. We will discuss with the Minister for the Interior to see if these procedures can be revised and simplified.“We can make it clearer that for example after three warnings in the stadium, the teams go back into the locker room, with the decision made by the security chief at the stadium.“In any case, there is already a system in place to apply very severe sanctions.”last_img read more