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Archives for: September 29, 2019

The Supreme Court Made It Easier For More People To Place Bad

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With the Supreme Court’s landmark gambling decision this week, many more Americans might soon be able to place a legal wager on their favorite sport. So what kind of money are we talking about?The U.S. casino industry says Americans illegally bet at least $150 billion on sports every year. But it’s hard to measure exactly how much of that money might flow into legal establishments as a result of this decision; underground bookies don’t readily publish their balance sheets. But the casinos in Nevada do, and a closer look into the action taken by sportsbooks over the past few decades gives us a window into how Americans bet on sports — and how well they’re doing.According to data published by David Schwartz of UNLV’s Center for Gaming Research, legal sports gambling has steadily been on the rise. Nevada sportsbooks have shown consistent growth in the number of outlets that take wagers, the wagers handled per outlet and the share of wagers kept (more on that later). In fact, Nevada casinos took in 55.6 percent more sports-betting money in 2017 than they did in 1992.1Adjusted for inflation from December 1992 to December 2017.Clearly, a lot more people feel confident enough in their sports opinions to put a lot more money where their mouth is. Total5.065.39 Unsurprisingly, football has ruled this world. After cracking $1 billion wagered in 1994, in unadjusted numbers, football betting followed the industry’s slow downward trend until 2005, then bounced back upward, growing year-over-year nearly every year since. But the other sports are growing even faster: Nevada casinos’ 2017 basketball handle was $1.48 billion, 84.4 percent of the amount wagered on football take. Baseball is just a little further behind; bettors put down $1.14 billion in 2017, 64.9 percent of the football bets. Back in 1992, those shares were 69.3 percent and 58.9 percent.But even if our ability to place legal bets is changing, there’s one thing that will probably stay the same: our inability to place good bets. Despite the wealth of information available in 2018, sports bettors aren’t any better at handicapping — in fact, they’re notably worse.Let’s say you went to Hypothetical University, and you have a friend who went to Hypothetical State. The night before the big game, you go to a casino together and each bet $11 on your respective teams. The next day, Hypothetical U wins and covers the point spread, so your friend is out $11 while the casino pays you $21 — double the money you bet, less the service fee skimmed off of winnings.2Called the take, the juice or the vigorish. Effectively, $10 of your friend’s lost $11 went into your pocket.In this case, the “drop” (the money you and your friend dropped on the game) is $22, but the “win” (the amount the casino kept) is $1. This is the ideal: An equal number of dollars bet on both sides guarantees that the casinos’ win rate equals their service fee. But the betting public rarely obliges — and if casinos set the point spread in a way that entices more money to be put on the losing side, their win percentage goes up.Casinos kept just 2.81 percent of the sports wagers they handled in 1992. But over the next 15 years, casinos set the betting lines in a way to entice lower-information bettors,3The lines got “sharper,” meaning more well-informed and likely to win, while “square” means the opposite. Betting on your favorite team to win every week is square. and their win rates soared well above the standard service-fee rate, peaking at a whopping 7.89 percent in 2006. Casinos are still winning in the 4- to 5-percent range over the past decade, with the house taking 5.11 percent of all wagers in 2017.It really starts to get interesting when you look at how well casinos do on individual sports. On Tuesday, NBC Sports baseball writer Craig Calcaterra caused a stir when he tweeted that baseball is so random that only people with “a problem” would try to bet it: 1992-20172007-2017 Baseball3.173.98 Any one out of 2,430 regular-season MLB games a year could have a wildly unforeseen result — but baseball bettors have consistently put more dollars on the winning side over the past 25 years, keeping the average casino win rate below the standard service-fee average of 4.55 percent. It’s a different story in basketball, where casinos have kept 5.4 percent of all money bet on hoops over the past decade. In football, the most heavily wagered sport, casinos have kept very slightly more than the service fee (4.66 percent) over the past 25 years.Those thinking they’ll outsmart bookies by betting more obscure sports appear to be sadly mistaken; casinos are keeping nearly twice as much of the money bet on “other” sports as good old-fashioned baseball. There was one glaring exception: 1996, when casinos took a bath on Evander Holyfield’s upset of Mike Tyson. Holyfield opened as a 25-to-1 underdog, and so much money came in on him that the line moved all the way to 5-to-1. (Similar action led to similar exposure in last year’s Conor McGregor/Floyd Mayweather fight. Casinos stood to lose millions if McGregor had won, but Mayweather’s victory allowed the casinos to bring in almost twice as much in “other sports” revenue in 2017 as they did the year before.)Regardless of which sport(s) they’re betting on, though, today’s sports fans are betting, and losing, more than ever.In 1984, the first year for which Schwartz has data, 51 sports betting locations kept 2.34 percent of the $894.6 million bet, for a total casino win of $20.9 million. In 2017, 192 locations kept 5.11 percent of $4.9 billion wagered, for a total win of $248.8 million.So, in light of the Supreme Court decision, are Nevada casinos worried about an influx of sportsbooks cutting into their bottom lines? Probably not. In the context of the greater gambling industry, the sportsbook is relative chump change.According to the Nevada Gaming Control Board, the 24 major Vegas Strip casinos generated $70.3 million in sports betting revenue last year — just 1.26 percent of their $5.56 billion overall gambling revenue. For comparison, slot machines pulled in a whopping $2.8 billion.Legislators in states where sports betting will soon be legal, may be seeing dollar signs as the dust settles on the Supreme Court’s decision — imagining a $150 billion pot of gold ready to be taxed. But though Americans seem ready and willing to hand their money over to sportsbooks, it remains to be seen just how much money that will be. Casinos are keeping a bigger piece of the sports-betting pieThe share of money bet at sportsbooks that casinos kept Source: UNLV Center for Gaming Research Football4.66%4.79% Basketball4.835.40 Other sports5.736.99 But since 1992, bettors have done much better against the house in baseball than in football, basketball or the other remaining sports. That’s still true today, 11 years since casinos’ 2006 peak. read more

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Brexit Could Drastically Change English Soccer

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Over the past 20 years, the EU has expanded, bringing more countries into the “freedom of movement” area. The proportion of U.K. and Irish players in the EPL has continued to decrease: Last season, they accounted for only 41 percent of all EPL players. Players from the rest of the EU accounted for 41 percent, while non-EU players accounted for 18 percent.From the inaugural 1992-93 EPL season to the end of last season, a total of 1,022 players have transferred to an EPL club from an EU club outside of the U.K. and Ireland and played at least one league match for that club. This includes players who played nationally for countries outside the EU but also possessed EU passports (such as André Ayew, who was born in France but plays for Ghana). Of the 1,022 players, we judge that only 431 — or 42 percent — would have qualified for a work permit under the current rules when they first arrived in England. Had they not held an EU passport, the remaining 591 players would not have been permitted to play professional soccer in the U.K.6This analysis used data taken from TransferLeague.co.uk, 11v11.com, transfermarkt.co.uk, futbol24.com, Wikipedia, www.parliament.uk and the Transfer Price Index of Tomkins & Riley.What would be the consequences if, from next season onward, incoming players from the rest of the EU were subject to the same immigration requirements that currently apply only to non-EU players? In the early 1990s, a quota system was enforced for foreign players in English soccer that limited teams to fielding a maximum of three “foreigners” in domestic league and cup matches. A foreign player was defined as someone who held neither a U.K. nor an Irish passport. There was no distinction between players from Belgium and Brazil, even though Belgians had held the right to live and work in the U.K. for several years. Thirteen percent of the players that featured in the 1994-95 season were classified as foreign.In December 1995, after the so-called Bosman ruling, the quota was rescinded, instantly removing all restrictions on fielding players from the rest of the EU.5A new kind of quota would be instituted in 2010, when the EPL introduced a homegrown players rule. This rule requires that at least eight of the 25 players on a Premier League squad were registered with a club in England or Wales for a period of at least 36 months (or three seasons) prior to their 21 birthday. Clubs were still required to obtain work permits for non-EU players — a significant obstruction — but because of freedom of movement, the demand for soccer players with EU passports grew enormously. Cultural barriers aside, there were now no differences between recruiting a player from the Netherlands and one from Newcastle. 21-3060 National team’s FIFA rankingMin. share of matches played in past 24 months As debate has intensified over the plan for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union, industries across Britain are preparing for a post-Brexit world. Along with the agriculture, automotive, pharmaceutical and financial services fields, there’s another prosperous British business that could feel the brunt of Brexit: the English Premier League.From March 29 onward, all foreign soccer players — regardless of their origin — could require a work permit to sign for a club in the U.K. This would have enormous consequences for English clubs and the future of the English Premier League.By separating from the EU, the U.K. will aim to end “freedom of movement of people” between the U.K. and EU — one of the four freedoms of the EU’s single market.1The others are freedom of goods, services and capital. For many years, freedom of movement has bestowed on citizens of the European Union (or the wider European Economic Area)2The European Economic Area refers to the countries in which freedom of movement of people (and goods, services and capital) applies. It includes all 28 members of the European Union plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. Switzerland is not a member of the EU or EEA but is a part of the EU’s single market. the right to travel, reside and work in any member state. Because of this, a baker from Nice can open a shop in Manchester, a bond trader from Frankfurt can join a bank in London, and, yes, soccer players from continental Europe can freely transfer to the English league. If the player holds an EU passport, there are no restrictions: From an employment perspective, he is treated the same as a U.K. national.Freedom of movement has had a seismic impact on the demographics of the league — all of which could change with Brexit. Prime Minister Theresa May has stated that freedom of movement will end when the U.K. leaves the EU, but she has yet to announce the new immigration rules that will replace it. Although EPL clubs will not immediately be required to obtain work permits for their players who aren’t British or Irish (citizens of the Republic of Ireland are likely to retain the rights to live and work in the U.K. post-Brexit), new arrivals from the EU3Along with the EEA and Switzerland. could become subject to the rules that currently apply only to non-EU players. Essentially, all players not eligible for a U.K. (or Irish) passport would have to obtain a work permit.To investigate the potential impact on English soccer, we took a look at the characteristics of European players who have played in the EPL over the past 26 years. What proportion of them would have qualified for a work permit? By answering this question, we can gain an insight into what might happen to the EPL in the future. The figure above shows two future scenarios. The first is the status quo, in which EU passport holders can continue to play in the U.K. without work permits (or any other bureaucratic hurdles). The second explores the end of freedom of movement to the U.K. In this scenario, EU players are subject to the same immigration requirements as players from the rest of the world beginning with the 2019-20 season. That is, they require a work permit and must meet the relevant criteria.In both cases, we assume that the total number of players in the EPL remains constant, as does the inflow and outflow of players from the rest of the world. In the status quo scenario, we assume that the inflow of players from Europe remains at its recent historical average; in the end of freedom of movement scenario, we assume that it drops to 42 percent of the recent average.In the status quo scenario, the percentage of U.K. and Irish players remains close to its present value, gradually declining over the next decade. The proportion of players from the EU increases slightly, eventually exceeding U.K. and Irish players, while those from the rest of the world remains relatively constant.The end of freedom of movement scenario paints a very different picture. The proportion of EU players declines substantially — from 41 percent last season to 20 percent by 2028-29 — while the proportion of British and Irish players increases from 41 percent to 64 percent over the same period. By the end of the next decade, the EPL would begin to resemble its constitution at the end of the 1990s: Nearly two-thirds of all players would be British or Irish.A large drop in the number of EU/EEA players does not necessarily imply a substantial reduction in terms of the quality of players. The money and allure of the Premier League would still entice elite players to come to play in England, at least for a while. The wealthiest clubs would continue to attract the biggest stars; the rest, on the other hand, would be forced to focus more on the domestic market. Teams often scout for potential in soccer leagues across Europe, but many of those players would no longer be allowed to make the leap. Champions League places would move even further beyond the horizons of most clubs, and “near miracles” such as Leicester’s fairytale league win — on the strength of the star turn from Riyad Mahrez,7Despite choosing to play for the Algerian national team, Mahrez was born in France and is a French citizen. who was acquired from Le Havre in France’s second tier — would become even less likely.On the other hand, some will argue that a drop in foreign recruitment would be a positive thing if it affords greater opportunities to British players. While the situation would be unchanged in terms of top-end recruitment at the elite clubs, even they would be forced to review their recruitment of young players from abroad. Homegrown players might have more of a chance of making it at the highest level.There is no doubt that the Premier League has benefited enormously from freedom of movement, with the rapid influx of foreign players helping to drive the league’s huge international popularity. But freedom of movement was also a crucial factor in the opposition to continued U.K. membership in the EU. It could well be that one effect of Brexit would be to diminish, perhaps sharply, the number of highly talented European footballers in the Premier League — which could have huge consequences for the future of the sport. ​Check out our latest soccer predictions. 1-1030% Before we can assess who might be affected, we first need to look at how the system of work permits works in English soccer. To obtain a permit, a foreign player must secure a Governing Body Endorsement from The Football Association (the governing body of English soccer). Each season, the FA publishes guidelines to help clubs determine whether transfer targets would qualify for an endorsement. Players age 21 and younger may meet the senior match threshold in just 12 months.Source: The Football Association Share of senior competitive international matches required to qualify for an English soccer work permit endorsement There are effectively two paths by which a player can qualify. To automatically qualify, a player must have participated in a minimum share of his national team’s senior competitive matches in the preceding two years.4This is reduced to 12 months if the player is 21 years old or younger. The minimum percentage is determined by the FIFA world ranking of that nation.If a player doesn’t qualify automatically, he can appeal. The appeals process is a points-based system that boils down to this: If the transfer fee is above the average amount paid by EPL clubs the previous year, and the club is willing to make him one of its higher earners, the appeals board can recommend that a permit should be approved. 31-5075 11-2045 read more

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All Brooks Koepka Does Is Win Majors

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When Brooks Koepka outdueled Tiger Woods (and Adam Scott) to win the PGA Championship Sunday afternoon, he joined an exclusive group of golfers with three career major championships to their name. In all of golf history, going back even past the days of Tom Morrises both young and old, only 46 players have ever won three majors. Fewer still have won three in the span of 14 months the way Koepka has, having captured the 2017 and 2018 U.S. Opens on top of his win at Bellerive Country Club this weekend. Koepka may still have trouble getting recognized by the general public, but he is getting plenty of recognition in golf’s history books.One weird thing about Koepka, though, is that he hasn’t really done much winning outside of golf’s most prestigious events. Other than that pair of U.S. Opens and this recent PGA Championship win, the only official PGA Tour event Koepka has won was the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open. You don’t have to win a ton of events to make a good living in golf, of course. Koepka has done plenty well for himself, earning nearly $20 million in official money and ranking among the top 20 in FedEx Cup points for four years running. But it’s still striking how much of his success has been concentrated in major championships.Since the PGA Tour was founded, only two golfers with at least three career major wins — Henry Cotton and Peter Thomson — have had a greater share of their total career PGA Tour wins come in majors than Koepka’s 75 percent mark: 2Peter ThomsonAUS5683.3 10Payne StewartUSA31127.3 10Jordan SpiethUSA31127.3 Koepka is in extremely rare — and international — companyFor men’s golfers with at least 3 major championships since the PGA Tour was founded in 1929, share of total PGA Tour wins that were majors 4Nick FaldoENG6966.7 7Gary PlayerZAF92437.5 RankPlayerCountryMajor WinsPGA Tour WinsMajors as Share of Wins * Cotton’s victories were from an era before the PGA European Tour was founded, but were all at events located in Europe.Source: Wikipedia, PGA Tour 6Pádraig HarringtonIRL3650.0 It’s no coincidence that the leaderboard above is littered with foreign-born players who didn’t regularly play on the PGA Tour. For instance, Thomson, an Aussie, won an impressive 84 professional tournaments in his career, but almost all of them were in Europe, Oceania or Asia. Particularly in the early days of pro golf, great non-American players seldom came over to the States to ply their trade, so this metric is a bit skewed for them. That’s why Koepka stands out as the only American remotely close to the top of our list; the next-highest is Larry Nelson at just 30 percent.One reason for Koepka’s odd ratio: His path to greatness contained detours. It included a stint on the second-tier European Challenge Tour out of college — where Koepka won a lot, enough to gain automatic promotion to the main tour within roughly a calendar year. Once there, he remained a card-carrying member of the European Tour through the end of the 2015 season. Since he didn’t play a full season of PGA Tour events until three years ago, he hasn’t had quite as much time to pile up wins in America as we’d expect just from eyeballing the span of his pro career.Still, Koepka owns one of the oddest — and most enviable — major records of any golfer ever. The way he’s playing, he’ll probably rack up ordinary PGA Tour wins before too long, but for now he has saved almost all of his winning for the tournaments that matter most. 1Henry Cotton*ENG33100.0% 3Brooks KoepkaUSA3475.0 5Seve BallesterosESP5955.6 9Rory McIlroyNIR41428.6 8Larry NelsonUSA31030.0 read more

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Everyone Thinks Justin Verlander Belongs In The Hall Of Fame So Why

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10Adam Wainwright39.434.036.7 9Jon Lester45.635.040.3 10Mark Buehrle59.235.847.5 Source: Baseball-Reference.com 2Justin Verlander69.848.359.0 In the wake of Justin Verlander throwing his third career no-hitter on Sunday — becoming just the sixth pitcher in major league history to do so — the debate didn’t seem to be whether the Astros ace was worthy of the Hall of Fame, but rather what cap he would wear in it.1To us, there’s no debate: It should be Detroit’s. Even Major League Baseball’s official Twitter account called it “ANOTHER line on Justin Verlander’s Hall of Fame résumé.” But are we all being a bit too hasty?By at least one smart measure of Hall-worthiness, Verlander is not yet deserving of a berth in Cooperstown. Cited by many sabermetrically-inclined voters, Jaffe Wins Above Replacement Score, or JAWS, is the average of a player’s career wins above replacement2JAWS uses the Baseball-Reference.com version of this stat, so I will do the same throughout this article. and his WAR over his seven best seasons (“peak WAR”). To determine if a player belongs in the Hall, a player’s JAWS is compared with the average JAWS of existing Hall of Famers at his position (because it’s easier to accrue value at, say, starting pitcher than at catcher). If the player’s JAWS is higher, the system recommends a yes vote; if the Hall of Famers’ JAWS is higher, the player falls short. Although JAWS is an imperfect yardstick (for example, it doesn’t include postseason stats, nor does it account for unique accomplishments like, say, pitching three no-hitters), electing only people above its positional standards ensures that the quality of Hall of Fame players does not decrease.With a JAWS of 59.0 so far in his career, Verlander remains below the JAWS average for starting pitchers of 61.5. But he’s not alone. No active starting pitcher meets the JAWS standard (although some may do so by the time they retire). In fact, neither does any starter who has thrown a single pitch this entire decade. That suggests a problem not with Verlander or other modern pitchers, but with the standard. Simply put, it’s too high given the usage patterns of today’s starting pitchers.3For the record, this isn’t just a problem with JAWS. Perhaps the most famous old-school standard for a Hall of Fame starting pitcher, winning 300 games, may also now be obsolete; it’s been 10 years since anyone won their 300th, and people are openly wondering if it will ever happen again.As pitch counts and bullpens have become bigger parts of the game, we’ve gone from 1,034 complete games pitched in the 1978 season to 266 in 1997 to just 42 last year. From 1871 to 1953, a period that includes at least part of the careers of about two-thirds of Hall of Fame starting pitchers, starters accounted for more than 80 percent of all innings pitched every season. In 2018, that share was 60 percent. It’s simply not fair to compare starting pitchers of the past few decades — let alone of the past few years, a period when “bullpenning” has exploded in popularity — with bygone Hall of Famers who regularly exceeded 300 innings pitched in a year.What we can do instead is sketch out a new standard, based on the premise that the Hall of Fame should immortalize the greatest starting pitchers of each era, even if those eras are not directly comparable. Verlander’s numbers may not be able to hold a candle to those of, say, the deadball era, but he deserves recognition as an elite hurler in the context of our current era, the bullpen-happy 2010s. The average season from 1901 to 20044I started with 1901 because that is the year the American League was founded and “modern” baseball (defined broadly) began; I ended with 2004 because players who were active in 2005 and later are still having their Hall of Fame candidacies considered by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. had 10 active starting pitchers who were eventually elected to Cooperstown, so we can maintain the Hall’s relative historical standards by electing the top 10 best starting pitchers in the game today. By JAWS, those are: 4Max Scherzer60.248.654.4 5CC Sabathia63.039.351.2 7Félix Hernández50.738.644.6 6CC Sabathia63.039.351.2 3Clayton Kershaw67.749.658.6 5Max Scherzer60.248.654.4 Even though none of them yet measures up to the traditional JAWS standard, it’s clear that the likes of Zack Greinke, Clayton Kershaw and Verlander should be Hall of Famers by this method. But the No. 10 pitcher on the list, Adam Wainwright, is probably not a Hall of Famer — and his 36.7 JAWS likely shouldn’t be used as the new standard. That’s because young studs like Aaron Nola (20.2 JAWS at age 26) are still racking up stats and could eventually displace the bottom several names on the list. So let’s try looking at the version of this list from, say, 2012. That’s long enough ago that the list is closer to being final, but it’s recent enough that it reflects the context of how starting pitchers were deployed during Verlander’s career (in fact, as of 2019, 2012 is the exact midpoint of his MLB career). 1Zack Greinke70.847.659.2 8Johan Santana51.745.048.3 Shaded players are no longer active.* Already elected to the Hall of Fame.Source: Baseball-Reference.com RkPitcherCareer WARPeak WARJAWS 2019′s most Hall of Fame-worthy starting pitchersTop 10 active starting pitchers by Jaffe Wins Above Replacement Score, through Sept. 3, 2019 2012′s most Hall of Fame-worthy starting pitchersTop 10 starting pitchers who were active in 2012 by Jaffe Wins Above Replacement Score, through Sept. 3, 2019 1Zack Greinke70.847.659.2 4Roy Halladay*64.350.657.4 7Cole Hamels59.337.648.5 8Chris Sale45.239.542.3 RkPitcherCareer WARPeak WARJAWS 3Clayton Kershaw67.749.658.6 9Tim Hudson58.138.348.2 2Justin Verlander69.848.359.0 A few names might change on this list, albeit somewhat predictably. It would be surprising if Chris Sale (42.3 JAWS at age 30) didn’t crack it. Madison Bumgarner (33.6 JAWS at age 30) and Stephen Strasburg (30.8 JAWS at age 31) are young enough that they could get there in time as well. Félix Hernández (44.6 JAWS at age 33) and Jon Lester (40.3 JAWS at age 35) are close but may be running out of gas. In all likelihood, though, the first several names on this list are safe — which would mean that we know the JAWS threshold for cracking the top 10. Essentially, it looks like amassing around 50 JAWS for your career is enough to guarantee your place as one of the top 10 starting pitchers of the early 2010s. And, if the trend of increased bullpen usage of the past few years continues through the next decade, the standard for the early 2020s may be even lower.This revision has a couple of implications for Hall of Fame selection that voters should heed before it’s too late. First, despite falling well short of historical standards, candidates like Johan Santana (who received very little support on the one Hall of Fame ballot he appeared on, despite currently being the eighth-best starter active in 2012) deserve closer looks, as they were elite for their era. Second, yes — Justin Verlander is a no-doubt Hall of Famer. Hopefully, by the time he is up for a vote in the 2020s, voters will opt to view his JAWS as dominant among his peers, rather than mediocre within the Hall.Check out our latest MLB predictions. 6Cole Hamels59.337.648.5 read more

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Streak continues for No 1 Bucks

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Winning 20 games in a season is nothing new to Ohio State men’s basketball coach Thad Matta. Winning 20 games before picking up his first loss, however, is a different story. OSU’s 73-68 win against Illinois on Saturday advanced the Buckeyes’ record to 20-0 and earned Matta his 11th consecutive season with 20 or more wins as a college basketball head coach. Only Mark Few of Gonzaga has started his career with such a streak. “It’s amazing,” Matta said. “You always want to get to 20. I mean, that was kind of like the benchmark for college basketball.” The Buckeyes’ 20-0 start is OSU’s first since the 1961-62 season when the team started the season with a 22-0 record. A season earlier, the 1960-61 squad got off to the best start in program history with a 27-0 record. Both of those teams went on to become the national runner-up in their respective seasons. Despite the Buckeyes’ hot start, Matta said he hasn’t noticed anyone on his team pay any attention to it. “I haven’t heard one guy say one word about not being beaten,” Matta said. “The focus has, I think, been primarily on who’s the next opponent, and you know, the job that we have to do to win that basketball game.” Kansas’ loss to Texas on Saturday — which snapped the Jayhawks’ 69-game win streak at home — leaves OSU and San Diego State as the only undefeated teams in the country. With six of their next eight games coming against ranked opponents — including road matchups at Minnesota, Wisconsin and Purdue — the Buckeyes have their work cut out for them as they attempt to remain unbeaten. “The Big Ten’s a great conference, and there’s no easy games, especially on the road,” senior guard Jon Diebler said. “We’ve got some great tests coming up, and we’re definitely looking forward to those challenges.” OSU’s next test will be when it hosts Purdue at 9 p.m. Tuesday. With a Buckeye roster composed of accomplished veterans and blue-chip freshmen, Matta said the team’s history of success would play a key role in determining how long it remains unbeaten. “You’ve got a lot of guys on this team that have won at the high-school level, at the national AAU level,” Matta said. “I haven’t seen anything in regards to somebody letting their guard down.” read more

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From Peyton Manning to CocaCola ads Ohio State students excited about the

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Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning scans the field during the AFC championship game against the New England Patriots Jan. 19 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Denver won, 26-16.Courtesy of MCTEvery year, there is plenty of buzz surrounding the Super Bowl, the biggest game of the season for the most popular sport in the country.Super Bowl XLVIII is no exception, and Ohio State students are preparing to take in all that comes with the big game this year.The Denver Broncos and their No. 1-ranked offense are set to take on the battle-tested Seattle Seahawks Sunday, who boast the league’s best defense. The strengths of both teams are sure to test the will of all players and coaches involved as they look to capture the sport’s ultimate crown, The Vince Lombardi Trophy.According to Wallethub.com, about 169 million people are expected to watch the Super Bowl, spanning 180 countries and more than 30 languages. But, along with the game itself, there are plenty of other reasons for people across the world to tune in.Erin Ponting, a second-year in chemistry, said she has a rooting interest in the game but is looking forward to another part of the broadcast.“I am really excited to see if (Broncos quarterback) Peyton Manning can win another ring, but am thrilled to watch the Red Hot Chili Peppers perform with Bruno Mars,” Ponting said, referring to the halftime show. “I am a fan of both artists and think they will put on a good halftime show.”Coupled with the halftime show, the commercials have become a spectacle in their own right. One 30-second ad this year is expected to cost advertisers more than $4 million, a rate only justified by the amount of viewers who watch the game. Each year, advertisers compete to see who can have the best commercial and vie to outspend one another for airtime.Charlie Cataline, a fourth-year in art, said he does not have a favorite team in either the Broncos or Seahawks, but thinks the commercials will be a fun break from the football action.“The commercials are usually pretty good and entertaining,” Cataline said. “People expect to see great commercials and I look to Budweiser, Coke and new movie trailers to entertain me between plays.”In the end, between the halftime entertainment and the commercials, there is still a game being played. This Super Bowl, as with any other game, is likely to create or define legacies for all the players and coaches involved.Callie Roney, a second-year in exploration, said she is cheering for a Broncos win because of her admiration for Manning.“I will be pulling for the Broncos to win because I love Peyton Manning,” Roney said. “I have always been a big fan of his and this victory will help him catch up with his brother in the number of Super Bowl titles won.”Kickoff between the Seahawks and Broncos is set for 6:30 p.m. from MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. read more

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Opinion One and done rule bad for college basketball programs fans

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Kansas Freshman guard Andrew Wiggins dunks the ball during a game against Eastern Kentucky March 21 at the Scottrade Center. Kansas won, 80-69.Courtesy of MCTIt’s almost that time of year again, to say so long to college basketball season until next year … but wait, there’s a few things you won’t exactly be seeing next year. You won’t be seeing some of the country’s top players return for another season.Many, allowed by the “one and done” NBA draft rule, will enter their names into the 2014 NBA Draft. Players like forward Aaron Gordon of Arizona, guard Andrew Wiggins of Kansas, and forward Jabari Parker of Duke are likely to take their opportunity to abandon the arenas filled with young, hopeful-hearted and spirited university fans to strive toward a game where their wins and successes are no longer a form of mere satisfaction with praise from loyal fans but come in the form of dollar signs and endorsement deals.This rule requiring players to only attend school one year before entering the draft not only lets down fans, but also allows young athletes into the big leagues a few years before their time.While there are many requirements for a player to be eligible for the NBA draft, the specific rule being debated here is this “one and done” rule, implemented in 2006. This rule states that any basketball player — at least 19 years old — is eligible for the draft if he has allowed one year to lapse since his high school graduation. This was set forth to encourage high school basketball stars to not follow in the steps of LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett and skip straight to the pros.Many NBA spokesmen have argued against these criteria. Those men only look at the game from a business standpoint and how that rule poses a threat of lost income to them, as the influx of young talent could help boost ticket and apparel sales by helping their teams improve. However, many others feel that requiring players to attend school for at least one year is not nearly enough.Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, suggested that players ought to stay in school for at least three years.I’m going to have to go with Cuban on this one.Speaking from a fan’s perspective, having players leave their beloved sports team after one year is not only upsetting but a let down. It completely discredits the phrase “we’ll get ‘em next year.” Not only will the team not ‘get ‘em next year’ when some of the best players leave and the team has to start back at square one every year to build team chemistry. Fans fall in love with these players. Children develop role models out of these athletes, but are broken-hearted when they can no longer sport the jersey of their favorite player because the player has moved on to bigger and better things.Speaking from a human-interest perspective, one year does not allow these athletes time to fully equip themselves for the real world. With having only one year of college under their belt, this won’t give these players anything to fall back on pending a career-ending injury. College is a self-exploration time that gives adolescents the freedom and time to truly discover who they are and learn life skills. These players won’t develop these characteristics when they skip ahead four years.Call me crazy or an NBA-hater, but imagine what the college ball game would look like if players were required to stay at least three or four years. There would no longer be fear that the best players would not return. These players would have more time to develop their skills, build team chemistry that would lead them to a possible national championship and would establish a stronger and supportive fan base. Not only would these players become better athletically but would be better prepared to handle the professional league and professional world.While Kansas is not as lucky, with many freshmen entering the draft, Ohio State fans are much more fortunate only losing one, likely two, players that stayed for more than one year, sophomore guard Amedeo Della Valle and junior forward LaQuinton Ross. So while we are saddened to see Ross likely forgo his senior year eligibility, thanks for sticking with the Buckeyes for three years. An even bigger appreciation goes out to Aaron Craft for leading the Buckeyes for four solid years and for truly modeling, in my opinion, what college basketball should look like. read more

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Ohio State focuses on improving after 39point win

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OSU redshirt-freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett (16) runs through the Rutgers defense toward the end zone during an Oct. 18 game at Ohio Stadium. OSU won, 56-17.Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editorThe question for Ohio State heading into its matchup with Rutgers was simple: Will the momentum still be there?A quick 14-0 start for the No. 13 Buckeyes (5-1, 2-0) showed they still had a spark despite two weeks off. In a total team effort, OSU led the Scarlet Knights (5-2, 1-2) in nearly every significant statistical category — save penalties and time of possession — but its coach said there’s still work to be done.“It’s time to, first of all, develop depth,” Urban Meyer said after his team’s 56-17 win. “We could go on and on about the mistakes that were made today. But enjoy the win tonight, go see your families, do what you gotta do and come back ready to go.”For the Buckeyes, the time to “come back ready to go” will be Saturday when they are set to face Penn State on the road. The last time OSU faced-off with the Nittany Lions, the Scarlet and Gray came away with a 63-14 win at home. That 2013 win came at Ohio Stadium, but the last time OSU traveled to State College, Pa., the result was comparable. OSU beat Penn State, 35-23, on Oct. 27, 2012, before last season’s shellacking. On top of recent success against their upcoming opponents, the Buckeyes are on a historic streak this season against all takers.Even with any room for improvement the coaching staff might see, the 2014 Buckeyes have already carved out a spot in the OSU record books, specifically when it comes to offensive production. The team posted 50-plus points for the fourth straight game — a school record — and it gained 500 yards or more in each of those games, which is tied for the program’s best.Production of that nature would be a good sign for every team, but at least one OSU assistant said he wants to keep focusing on ways to improve instead of talking about what the Buckeyes have done lately. Co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Tom Herman said he’s not ready to make a judgment on where OSU stands, but added he hopes to have a clearer picture as the Big Ten schedule heats up.“Obviously the scoreboard and the play-by-play or stats say that we’re playing pretty well, but as a coach you always try to find the things that you can get better at,” Herman said after the game. “I don’t know how well we’re playing.”Meyer said it will be important for the Buckeyes to continue focusing on improvement rather than touting recent success, something he said he feels the team is able to do.“The good thing is that I don’t feel like there’s a complacent attitude,” Meyer said. “Complacency is awful in this business and with the players, because when you watch the film, we could actually have played a lot better in certain situations.”In order to find the spots where OSU could have performed better against the Scarlet Knights, it might be key to look beyond the box score.The Buckeyes totaled 31 first downs on offense while holding Rutgers to a three of 13 performance on third down on defense. OSU also outgained the opposition 585 to 345 and won the turnover battle, 3-1.Much of that success on both sides of the ball came early in the game for the Buckeyes, which led to a 35-7 advantage at the half.“Our focus is always to start fast and get things going,” redshirt-freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett said after the game. “I think we executed better than in past weeks, but we can still eliminate some mistakes. I put some of that on myself.”Barrett’s own mistakes didn’t come until he had already nearly hit double digits in pass attempts, as he completed his first nine throws of the game. But after Barrett ran for two scores and threw for another in the first 10:46 of the third quarter, he and the Buckeye offense stalled.From that point on, OSU didn’t post another point and recorded just one gain of more than 14 yards.To an extent, the Buckeyes’ defense mirrored the fast start and slow finish of their offensive counterparts. Before addressing that less-than-stellar second half, Meyer praised the defense’s overall performance against a team he said the Buckeyes respected going in.“Our defense, you credit that, you can take the first half that’s a credit to our defense,” Meyer said. “They took a team that threw 400 plus yards against our rivals and really played well, creating turnovers once again and getting the ball to the offense rather quickly.”From a scoring standpoint, the Buckeyes’ matchup with Rutgers was tied for their second-best defensive outing of the season. Sophomore safety Vonn Bell credited that success to every player on the defense being “all in” on what it is trying to achieve.“You can see the progression of our players and see us getting takeaways and scoring,” Bell said after the game. “It’s very impressive this young group can understand what the coaches are telling us.”But Meyer stressed that — despite bright spots — the defense still didn’t have the start-to-finish effort he would like to see, especially when some less experienced players got a chance to make a statement late.“We gave up some runs, and when a two gets in the game there can’t be that big of a drop off,” he said of the second-string defense’s performance in the game. “And right now we all saw what happened, there’s a significant drop off when our twos got in there.”Co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Luke Fickell said the coaching staff tries to communicate to the backups that they need to treat their playing time the same as if they were starters.“We try to talk to those guys, ‘Hey, don’t consider yourself a two,’” Fickell said. “‘You want to be a one-B.’ That means there’s not a big drop off between the one-A and the one-B.”Even though the slow finishes to the game on both sides of the ball didn’t affect the outcome of the contest, Fickell said the Buckeyes have to make sure they stay hungry rather than settling — even after a 39-point win.“We’re never satisfied with where we are,” Fickell said. “And that’s the thing that we think that … going into what we were doing, we’ve got to be able to finish things.”Whatever adjustments or improvements the Buckeyes can make are set to be showcased after a week of practice. OSU is scheduled to take on Penn State on Saturday in State College, Pa. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. read more

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Ohio State rises to No 5 in final rankings but misses College

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Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer pleads with a referee in the Big Ten championship game against Wisconsin on Dec. 2 in Lucas Oil Stadium. Ohio State won 27-21. Credit: James King II | Sports DirectorElation one night, heartbreak the day after. Ohio State rose from last week’s No. 8 ranking, but that was not enough.Despite capping off an 11-2 regular season with a win against Michigan and a victory versus No. 6 Wisconsin to claim the Big Ten championship Saturday night, Ohio State did not move into the top four of the final College Football Playoff rankings and will miss this year’s playoff. The Buckeyes finished the season ranked fifth, one spot outside of the group that will battle for the national championship. No. 1 Clemson, No. 2 Oklahoma, No. 3 Georgia and No. 4 Alabama round out the four teams that made the playoff.The debate for the fourth spot in the playoff came down to either Ohio State or Alabama. The Buckeyes have a decisive 31-16 loss to Oklahoma in the second week of the season and a 55-24 beatdown at the hands of Iowa, an uninspiring 7-5 team. But they also have wins against Penn State, Michigan State, the Wolverines and the Badgers. On the other hand, the Crimson Tide has just one blemish on its resume, a 26-14 loss to Auburn in the final game of its season. Alabama does not have the same amount of quality wins as the Buckeyes, though. It defeated LSU 24-10 and took down Mississippi State 31-24 in Starkville, Mississippi. Ohio State’s bowl game will be announced later Sunday afternoon. read more

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Police accused of cynically smearing the reputation of Sir Edward Heath

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first_imgTeri Pengilley He added: “As far as I’m concerned I worked very closely with Edward Heath for a number of years and I never had the slightest indication that there was anything inappropriate about his behaviour, and I’m horrified to think that the police have continued to try to dig up things about something which I think is totally false.”Sir Richard Needham, who served as a Tory MP between 1979 and 1997 and was a close friend of Sir Edward, said: “This feels like it is becoming very political as far as the police are concerned. This has been a smear from day one.“This is a man who has been dead for more than ten years and for the ten years before that was incapable of doing anything.“This is traducing the reputation of an extraordinary man who served his country with great distinction.” I think most people would say that this is very unfair , and not in keeping with the principles of the English legal systemLincoln Seligman Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Wiltshire police have been accused of cynically smearing the reputation of Sir Edward Heath in order to fend off mounting criticism of its long running child abuse probe.Friends of the former Prime Minister described the timing of an announcement that two people had been arrested as “suspect” and accused the force of playing politics in order to protect its own interests.Operation Conifer was launched in August 2014 to investigate allegations of paedophilia against Sir Edward, despite the fact he died in 2005.With the cost of the investigation spiralling to almost £700,000, critics had called for the probe to be shut down.But just days after Sir Richard Henriques published his damning report in the Metropolitan Police’s handling of VIP child abuse probes, Wiltshire Police announced it had made two arrests.The two suspects were understood to have been questioned and bailed several months ago and Wiltshire Police refused to give any further information about where the arrests had taken place or what they had been arrested on suspicion of. Sir Edward’s godson, Lincoln Seligman, said the investigation was in danger of stepping outside the principles of the English legal system.He told the Daily Telegraph: “The timing of this announcement is clearly suspect. The arrests ,which happened months ago  , may well have emerged from  the broader investigation into Edward Heath . But the police do not say whether  there is an actual connection between the arrested individuals and Edward Heath. Their silence now is rather ironic given their ill-considered  broadcasts to all and sundry at the beginning of this business.“This continued obfuscation by the police in not revealing what they know, even if it would have no adverse impact on the investigation or potential prosecutions,  is continuing to damage  Heath’s reputation .“I think most people would say that this is very unfair , and not in keeping with the principles of the English legal system.”Lord Aldington, whose father was a close friend of Sir Edward, and who knew him from childhood, also questioned the decision of the police to appeal for “victims” to come forward.He said: “The way this investigation began with the appeal outside Arundells was reprehensible and not up to the standards one expects in British policing.“Once can’t criticise the force for investigating allegations, but one can question whether they are doing so with an appropriate measure of proportionality, speed and scepticism.”center_img Lincoln Seligman, Sir Edward Heath's godson, has questioned the police investigation Lincoln Seligman, Sir Edward Heath’s godson, has questioned the police investigationCredit:Teri Pengilley Teri PengilleyCredit:James Jackson Sources at Wiltshire Police admitted that the decision to release the information about the arrests had been done to “reassure the public”, amid mounting criticism of the investigation’s progress.But supporters of Sir Edward said such tactics were serving to further traduce the reputation of a man who had served his country with distinction and who deserved better.Lord Prior, one of the last surviving members of Heath’s cabinet, said: “There are a number of us who are very, very upset about it and we think that the police have better things to do than this – it’s utterly ridiculous.“I just hope that the police can be brought to their senses and told to just leave it alone.”last_img read more

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Kate Humble I had a panic attack at the thought of having

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first_imgMs Humble has spoken in the past about her decision not to become a mother, and said that there is still a “stigma” attached to women who make the same decision. “By choice I have said I do not want to have children,” she explained.“And that still seems to be quite odd and you do still seem to be quite judged for it.” She added that she was pleased to be able to support other women who feel stigmatised for not wanting children. “It felt constructive, it felt like women could turn around and say: ‘at last there’s somebody there in the public eye who feels the same way we do’. “Suddenly it’s becoming a topic of conversation.”  But she firmly rejected suggestions that her life’s devotion to animals is in any way a substitute for motherhood. “Absolutely not. I don’t want a substitute. I never wanted kids. “This is a completely different thing. I find animals just endlessly fascinating, in the way that people find children endlessly fascinating. “For me, there is never a dull moment when you have an animal around.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Wildlife presenter Kate Humble said she had a “panic attack” when discussing having children. The 48-year-old BBC presenter said that there was still a stigma around childless women.She has previously said that both she and her husband of 25 years Ludo Graham, 55 are not interested in having children, but the pair had discussed what they would do if one of them had a change of heart. She said she had “what I can only describe as a panic attack”. “I broke down in tears and said: ‘I cannot do it’. It was kind of a primeval response,” she added. “I don’t know where it came from. It was so strong, and that was the moment that I thought: ‘I’m never going to change my mind’.”  Kate has presented a number of popular wildlife programmes, including Springwatch, Autumnwatch, Animal Park and Lambing Live. last_img read more

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Passchendaele virtual reality view could keep the horrors of the First World

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first_imgThe 83-year-old told the Telegraph :“It was a little bit misty and a little bit out of focus, but I could see the hedgerows and the star shells.”“I could have been there, lying in a field.”Mr Hunt, who reached the rank of warrant officer and served in Cyprus, Germany and Hong Kong, said it was crucial to teach the younger generation about the horrors of the First World War. Chelsea Pensioners try out the virtual reality displays of PasschendaeleCredit:Eddie Mulholland Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. The displays can be seen on standard gaming headsetsCredit: Eddie Mulholland for The Telegraph The Battle of Passchendaele is one of the most notorious in the First World WarCredit: Science History Images / Alamy Stock Photo The Royal British Legion to launch Battle of Passchendaele virtual reality content with Dan Snow. To commemorate the WWI battle, the RBL has partnered with historian Dan Snow to create a series of virtual reality videos, from the experiences of those on the front line to nurses battling to treat the flood of casualties Mr Snow, who helped create the content, said: “We have got a big experiment on our hands here. Every other war that we have fought as humans has drifted into obscurity as eye witnesses have passed away. Chelsea pensioners try out the virtual reality displays of Passchendaele The Battle of Passchendaele is one of the most notorious in the First World War He said: “They know so little about history these days, let alone the First and Second World Wars.”The legion also has 1,000 cardboard headsets on offer that can be fitted with mobile phones to create makeshift virtual reality sets. The virtual reality displays can be downloaded from the legion’s website. The six films aimed at a younger generation unlikely to read military history, show the battle, trenches and participants in full 360 degree view and can be downloaded onto standard video game headsets.Historians have used archive photographs, film and testimony to recreate the battle that caused 325,000 Allied and 260,000 German casualties.The films even allow the viewer an indication of what it was like to go over the top. Virtual reality technology means the First World War could be the first conflict to be kept fresh in the public consciousness, the historian Dan Snow has suggested, as the Royal British Legion launched a high-tech immersive view of Passchendaele.Advances in technology could revolutionise military history and keep alive the immediacy of the trenches and Western Front for generations to come.The television presenter and historian spoke as the legion unveiled six virtual reality experiences taking the viewer back to Passchendaele to mark the centenary of one of the most notorious battles of the war. “With the First World War, we have got the chance of doing something different. We can keep it fresh.“It will be interesting to see whether my kids find the First World War as distant as I find the Battle of Agincourt, or will the immediacy of it be maintained because we have got this technology.“It’s about taking the images and giving it the full treatment of 2017, which is immersive which is a whole step above sitting on your bottom watching television.”“These sets have primarily been used by gamers so far, but I think history has the most to gain from these.”Bill Hunt, a Chelsea Pensioner who spent 25 years in the Royal Horse Guards, on Tuesday became one of the first members of the public to try out the new films.last_img read more

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Matt Dawson I needed heart surgery after getting Lyme disease in London park

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first_imgEngland’s Matt Dawson at the Rugby World Cup in 2003Credit: Andrew Budd Matt Dawson was bitten early last yearCredit:REX FEATURES/DAVID FISHER  In 2015, around one in 200 ticks, or 0.5 per cent, carried the pathogen, compared to between two and six per cent in 2017, depending on location.In around two thirds of cases, a distinctive rash develops in the days that follow a tick bite.Flu-like symptoms are another strong indicator of the disease.“I had two days where I felt awful – very feverish on the sofa, crashed out,” said Dawson.”I’d heard of Lyme disease before.“It was something I’d always associated with places abroad, on the continent, in America, wherever there were deer.”There’s no way that I would’ve walked through a wood or a forest with my kids and gone back home and thought, “right, I’ll just check for some ticks just to make sure everything is fine”.“I just wouldn’t have thought of that.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Matt Dawson was bitten early last year England's Matt Dawson at the Rugby World Cup in 2003 Professor Richard Wall, a leading expert on ticks at Bristol University, said it can take up to 24 hours for a tick attached to human flesh to transfer the pathogen, making it worth checking for the parasites after a walk.center_img Former rugby international Matt Dawson has revealed he underwent multiple heart operations after contracting Lyme disease from walking in a London Park.The England star said he is still recovering two years after being infected by a tick, as experts warn this summer’s mild weather has heightened the risk of catching the disease.Cases of Lyme disease have soared in recent years, from approximately 250 officially reported cases in 2000 to nearly 3,000 currently, although some charities claim the unreported number is as high as 45,000. The condition has traditionally been most associated with rural heath and moorland areas, however scientists said yesterday it should come as “no surprise” that Dawson picked up the pathogen in an urban park.The former scrum half, now 44, said: “It was a really scary time for me and my family and I was shocked to find out that a tick bite in Chiswick – such a tiny creature – caused me to end up needing heart surgery.”Dawson is now free from the disease but still has to take daily medication to help his heart recover, a process he said will take a “long time”.If left untreated, Lyme disease can lead to heart failure, meningitis, paralysis and memory problems. Show more He said the current mild weather means there is currently a higher than normal risk of catching the disease.“The peak of biting tick activity is early spring, but because of the mild summer they will carry on biting,” he told The Telegraph.Dawson is now supporting the Big Tick Project, which aims to raise awareness about the dangers of ticks and tick-borne diseases in the UKThe project recently conducted the largest ever study of ticks in dogs, studying 14,000 canines, finding almost one third were carrying the parasite.”These ticks carry some really quite potent, serious bacteria and they can cause you a lot of problems,” he said.“Raising awareness of them is imperative.” It is transmitted via ticks which feast on deer and can also be picked up from undergrowth by dogs and humans.The rising number of cases is thought to be linked to the Britain’s soaring population of deer.The proportion of ticks in the environment carrying Lyme disease is still relatively small but climbing rapidly.last_img read more

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Vicar apologises after criticising his grumbling congregation

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first_img“We (him and his wife Sarah-Jane) are actively looking for a ministry elsewhere. It has been a challenging time. I am on a sabbatical break for three months.” A vicar has been  forced to apologise after sending out a letter accusing some of his “grumbling” church members of  “actively sabotaging his ministry”. Rev Andy Thewlis has taken a “sabbatical break for three months” after the letter to his  congregation at All Saints Church in Burbage, Wiltshire said that Sunday morning services were marred by “gossip and disunity”.He apologised after an urgent meeting with the Bishop of Salisbury The Rt Rev Nick Holtam.In the original letter Rev Thewlis also complained that despite repeated requests he had not been provided with a comprehensive list of songs known to the congregation which “demonstrates an unwillingness to co-operate”. And he claimed there is also a culture of “non compliance in terms of organisation with respect to the law of the land and correctly implementing the policies and practices of the Church of England”. “The Sunday morning worship experience is neither warm, nor welcoming. It does not portray real love joy or peace. Rather it reflects an organisation that is characterised by grumbling, gossip, and disunity,” he wrote.“Criticism and negativism are predominant behaviour traits in too many church members. Some people through their actions are actively sabotaging the ministry of their vicar and their church….. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.center_img “The arrogance of some church members through e mails and conversations on an almost daily basis is wearisome. It drains energy robs enthusiasm and reveals that some as we were told would prefer not to have a vicar.”Towards the end of the letter he says “we are not prepared to sacrifice our health or our marriage for a local church in which internal politics and unnecessary power games cause such hurt and division”.  The Salisbury Diocese said:”Upon being made aware of the letter sent to church members in Burbage the Bishop of Salisbury met with the Rev Thewlis at the earliest opportunity “Mr Thewlis has now written a letter of apology to those who received his letter which was inappropriate in both tenor and content. “The Bishop has also offered Mr Thewlis pastoral support including sabbatical time to consider his future and he has accepted this.”In the second letter Rev Thewlis told his congregation:”I recognise that the (first) letter was inappropriate and came as a shock. I should not have sent it to all church members nor should I have named individuals within it. I apologise unreservedly for the upset and hurt it has caused.”Mr Thewlis – who has been the Vicar for a year – added: ”I had a conversation (with the bishop).last_img read more

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Ariana Grande releases first music since Manchester attack with No Tears Left To

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Grande’s half-brother Frankie James called the track a “brilliant masterpiece”. Ariana Grande has released her first new track since the Manchester Arena attack which claimed the lives of 22 concertgoers.No Tears Left To Cry was teased by the 24-year-old through her social media channels this week and dropped at midnight on Friday in New York.It comes just under 11 months after Grande’s concert in Manchester was targeted by suicide bomber Salman Abedi, who detonated a home-made device in the foyer of the arena.Alluding to the attack and the One Love benefit concert held two weeks after the atrocity, she sings: “Ain’t got no tears left to cry.”So I’m loving, I’m living, I’m picking it up.”Grande resolves in the song to overcome fear and hatred “even when it’s raining down”.”We’re way too fly to partake in all this hate,” she sings. “We out here vibin’.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. The dancer and singer wrote on Twitter: “Ariana u make me so incredibly proud every single day & today is no exception. i’m so proud of the way u have brought people from all over the world together tonight w/ £notearslefttocry.”music was made to unite & with this brilliant masterpiece u have done just that. i love u.” ʎɹɔ oʇ ʇɟǝl sɹɐǝʇ ou video out now on @vevo https://t.co/U6gm2Qk82o— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) April 20, 2018 At the end of the video, directed by Dave Meyers, a bee can be seen flying off screen – an allusion to the worker bee symbol of Manchester.The former Nickelodeon star interrupted her Dangerous Woman tour after the bombing, returning for the One Love Manchester benefit concert.Before Tuesday Grande had not posted since January 1 and she told her followers “miss you”.A 30-second teaser clip was watched more than a million times on Twitter before she announced the new track with a tweet saying “No tears left to cry out now” written upside down. read more

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Britain in £300m drive to become AI sector hotspot

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Under a deal announced by Business Secretary Greg Clark and Digital Secretary Matt Hancock, the Government will also allocate £300 million for AI research. Around 1,000 government-funded AI PhDs will be created and private firms will invest £300 million in the sector. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. The ministers said AI offered to boost the UK economy by £232 billion. The Government is aiming to make the UK an artificial intelligence (AI) research “hotspot” under a new investment drive. “Today’s new deal with industry will ensure we have the right… Greg Clark said: “Artificial intelligence provides limitless opportunities to develop new, efficient and accessible products and services which transform the way we live and work. read more

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National Trust says books under threat from damp beetles and Isil as

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A “challenging” exhibition has been installed in a Norfolk country estate to highlight the threats that books face including damp, beetles and Isil.The Word Defiant is a series of installations throughout Blickling Estate, organised by the National Trust, revealing stories of books that have been banned, burned, redacted, drowned, neglected and superseded.The inspiration for the installations comes from the 12,500 books in Blickling’s own library which is currently undergoing a five year conservation programme to ensure its survival after being plagued by damp and death watch beetle for some years.As part of the six-month art project exploring the importance of books one installation symbolises the burning of books in the university library in Mosul, Iraq which was destroyed by Isis militants in 2014.“Our underlying intention is to challenge our visitors,” Helen Bailey, general manager of the Blickling Estate told the Guardian. “To try to make them think differently about some of the things the National Trust has to do in order to look after these places for everyone.”Also included in the exhibition is a copy of Winnie the Pooh which has been placed in a bookcase of 19th century books to highlight it being banned in China. One installation symbolises the burning of books in the university library in Mosul, Iraq which was destroyed by Isis militants in 2014Credit:David Rose Other installations include 14 copies of a book by US army Lt Col Anthony Shaffer, which was censored by the Pentagon, and a cascade of books across the Long Gallery. One installation symbolises the burning of books in the university library in Mosul, Iraq which was destroyed by Isis militants in 2014 There’s also the story of the floating library in Venice where books are kept in bathtubs to protect them from flooding.Meanwhile, in the Chinese dressing room, a sound installation featuring maps and A-Zs signify how digital technology has superseded examples of the printed word.Outside, an abstract decorative scheme in the garden Temple will draw attention to the neglect of old, out of print or archived books.John Orna-Ornstein, director of curation and experience for the National Trust, said: “Sharing our heritage is not only about telling the stories of our past but finding ways to inspire people of all ages to see the importance of preserving it for future generations. “The Word Defiant is a bold, creative and really thought-provoking way to bring Blickling’s historic library to life for visitors, while shining a light on the conservation challenges such an important collection presents.”The project was created in partnership with arts group Les Enfants Terribles. read more

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Straight back bent knees advice is wrong study finds

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Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Whether at home, in the factory or in the office, it is the advice invariably issued to anyone preparing to lift a heavy object. “Keep your back straight, bend your knees.” A new study argues that while most people instinctively believe lifting with a straight back is common sense, “round-back lifting” is more efficient and no more hazardous. Published in the Scandinavian Journal of Pain, it points to research conducted on forestry workers which found that those who stooped to pick up their loads… However, a group of scientists has called for a review of health and safety guidelines after claiming the technique is based on scant reliable evidence – and may even be inferior to a bent-back approach. read more

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Cookery programmes must do more to save the curry trade Asian food

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Judges Oliver Peyton, Andi Oliver, Matthew Fort of the Great British MenuCredit:Malou Burger  Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. “Television programmes should be more inclusive of Asian cooking so young chefs do not just see traditional French cooking styles. Programmes like Masterchef and Great British Menu should promote the British curry, which is in fact a highly complex cooking technique and part of our British food heritage.” Judges Oliver Peyton, Andi Oliver, Matthew Fort of the Great British Menu John Torode and Gregg Wallace of Masterchef, which holds a ‘professionals’ seriesCredit:BBC The Bangladeshi-born businessman, who owns a restaurant in Epsom, Surrey, and was awarded an MBE for services to the catering business, urged television bosses to show how Asian spices and cooking techniques can be just as sophisticated as French cuisine.“Most cookery television programmes promote traditional French cooking techniques,” he said. “It means that would be curry chefs who see such programmes may shun a career cooking Indian food because they think perfecting French techniques will be better for their career.–– ADVERTISEMENT ––“So, young second and third generation Asians considering entering the catering industry may believe the future of cooking is not really in Asian food. John Torode and Gregg Wallace of Masterchef, which holds a 'professionals' series Research carried out by Mr Ali, 57, suggests that up to eight curry restaurants or takeaways close each week, in part because many owners struggle to find suitably skilled chefs and the current workforce is aging.He added that while the Asian food industry was generally pro-Brexit, hopes that leaving the EU would allow more Indian, Pakistani or Bangladeshi chefs into the UK were receding.Consequently, he believes cookery programmes, which have done a tremendous amount to bolster the industry, should do more to promote ‘high end’ Asian culinary skills, partly because more Indian restaurants are being awarded Michelin stars.The BBC last night declined to comment. Cookery programmes like Masterchef and Great British Menu are putting young chefs off pursuing a career cooking curries, a leading Asian restaurateur has warned. Enam Ali, a champion of the UK curry industry, fears popular professional cooking television programmes which promote traditional French culinary techniques could be contributing to the country’s shortage of curry chefs.Speaking the day before he hosts the annual British Curry Awards – the so-called ‘Curry Oscars’, Mr Ali warned that the curry industry, which employs around 100,000 people in Britain, is suffering a kitchen staffing crisis forcing some restaurants to close. read more

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VA Museum defends decision to exhibit Kevin Spacey portrait amid sexual misconduct

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Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. The Victoria & Albert Museum has defended its decision to exhibit a portrait of Kevin Spacey despite allegations of sexual misconduct against the actor.The disgraced Oscar-winner has faced accusations of sexual assault and earlier this year pleaded not guilty to groping a teenage restaurant worker in the first criminal case involving the 59-year-old.Spacey’s image is set to go on display at the London museum as part of an exhibition of portraits focusing on major figures in the theatre and film industries.The American Beauty lead was selected for the spectacle, which will be unveiled at the V&A’s annual Performance Festival later this month, because he was a visiting professor of the Cameron Mackintosh Chair of Contemporary Theatre at St Catherine’s College, Oxford.The portraits are by artist Francis Hamel and will be on display at the museum from April 27 to May 19. Other prominent figures involved in the project include Richard Attenborough, Stephen Daldry, Stephen Fry, Sir Ian McKellen, Dame Diana Rigg and Meera Syal.A spokeswoman for Sir Cameron Mackintosh said: “This display of portraits is an accurate historic record of every professor who has occupied the Cameron Mackintosh Chair of Contemporary Theatre over 27 years at St Catherine’s College, Oxford. “At the time of his appointment and during his tenure in the chair, there was no public controversy surrounding Mr Spacey.”On the ITV programme Good Morning Britain, journalist Rebecca Reid criticised the move.She said: “There is a difference having art that was created in the context in which it existed…and newly created art that reflects our current values.”A spokeswoman for the V&A said: “The V&A aims to provide a record of history while recognising and encouraging debate around issues affecting contemporary society.”In January, Spacey appeared in court in the US accused of groping William Little, a 18-year-old restaurant worker on the island of Nantucket, in July 2016. He denies the allegation.Spacey has been accused of sexual misconduct by more than a dozen men, some of them teens at the time of the alleged incidents, but the Nantucket case is the first to result in criminal charges. It carries a possible five years in prison. read more

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