Newspaper sports editor accused of sexually assaulting minor

COLUMBUS, Miss. — The sports editor of a Mississippi newspaper is accused of sexually assaulting a minor. The Commercial Dispatch reports 47-year-old employee Ronald Scott Walters was arrested Tuesday by Starkville police on an outstanding arrest warrant from Horn Lake. Horn Lake police Capt. Joseph Keene says the male victim and his parents reported a…
News | New York Post

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Lil’ Wayne Co-Founded Sports Agency Brings on Powerful Black Female Sports Agent In Acquisition

Nicole Lynn is in a very unique position. She is the first black female sports agent to represent top NFL agency, PlayersRep. In 2017, PlayersRep was acquired by Young Money APAA Sports Agency owned by world-renowned rapper, Lil’ Wayne. In an industry very dominated by male agents and players alike, Black Enterprise caught up with Lynn to find out how she has managed to navigate the murky waters and make it to the top.

Black Enterprise: What is it like being a black female sports agent in a male-dominated industry?

Nicole Lynn: There are over 800 certified NFLPA agents with only about 5% being women. Only a handful of those women are black, so it goes without being said that being a black woman in this industry is extremely challenging. There are so many random issues I face that my male counterparts will never understand. For example, I have to be extremely cautious about the outfits I choose. I have to find the fine line between being presentable and looking nice, but not too nice. You never want to look like you’re trying to stand out more than any other wife or mom in the room. The last thing you want to do is make a wife feel uncomfortable. So I battle with choosing a lipstick that isn’t too bright, heels that aren’t too high and a dress that isn’t too “dressy.” And to make matters worse, being a black woman who likes to change her hair frequently, I have to think of how potential clients will take it. Can I be the girl with Beyoncé weave? Will they be OK with my 3C natural hair with a twist out? Male agents never have to think about half of the potential issues black female agents silently battle.

Despite all of this, I know that I cannot let these personal challenges hinder my performance. Confidence is key in this industry. I always tell potential clients, “I can do a lot for you—get you the best deal, market the crap out of you, and work hard for your family, but there is one thing I can’t do, and that is changing the fact that I am a black woman. If you can accept that, we can make magic happen together!” I pray that my work always speaks for itself and shows that I am equally as knowledgeable, negotiate just as aggressively, and possess the tools necessary to help clients propel their career.

How did you enter into the industry?

I’ve always wanted to be a sports agent, but I didn’t quite know the name of the role. I just knew I wanted to help athletes be successful during and beyond their time in the league. With that in mind, every decision I made was extremely calculated with the same endgame in mind. I got a degree in business and then moved to New York City to work on Wall Street. My initial intention of getting into finance was to help athletes manage and retain their wealth.

While working on Wall Street I learned that the most influential person in an athlete’s life is their agent, not necessarily their financial adviser. The agent helps the athlete with the day to day needs of the athlete and helps them back the big life decision. After I determined I wanted to be a sports agent, I immediately applied to law school. I went to law school knowing I would later sit for the NFLPA agent exam. I worked at the NFLPA in Washington, D.C. before starting as an agent so I could learn everything I could about life after football.

In 2015, after passing both the Texas Bar and NFLPA exam, I started calling around to different sports agencies. Almost none returned my calls. I finally got one to answer, Ken Sarnoff. He basically told me that being a sports agent is hard and that I should rethink my plans. He even challenged me to get him a meeting with a certain NFL prospect with little faith that I would actually succeed. If you know me, then you know that I don’t give up. I called Ken back a couple hours later like “hey he’s available tomorrow, you got an opening?” From that point on, Ken understood that I had what it took to be in this industry. He hired me a week later and I joined the top 10 sports agency PlayersRep.

Two years later, Young Money APAA Sports, owned by Lil Wayne, acquired PlayersRep and we’ve been in a whirlwind since. Like how crazy is it to have Lil Wayne as your boss?! Even I couldn’t have dreamt this up! Being a sports agent is hard, to say the very least. You invest a significant amount of time and resources only to get a lot more no’s than yeses.’ However, the feeling you get when you’re able to get your client on the team of their dreams or negotiate the endorsement deal of a lifetime, it is all worth it. I love my crazy job!

Lil Wayne

Nicole Lynn and NFL client (Image: Nicole Lynn)

What do you think that you bring to the table that your male counterparts do not?

I don’t want to take anything away from the men that work in this business. There are a lot of very good male sports agents that truly care about their clients. However, I think one of the differences between me and my male counterparts is that I focus on more than just the NFL contract. I tap into the human element and the emotional aspect of the relationship with my client. I am a sports agent, but also a life coach, a financial adviser, a travel agent, a therapist, a friend, a sister, and a keeper of peace for my clients. I wear a lot of hats. Many men in this business refuse to wear those hats. I also focus from day one on life after sports. I want to make sure that my client’s transition out of the league is seamless. From the moment I sign a client, I am already having hard conversations about what is next? What is their plan when playing football is over? And I help them in executing this plan by pushing them to finish their degree, to do externships in the offseason, and to retain their wealth. I truly care about the long-term future of my clients.

 

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The post Lil’ Wayne Co-Founded Sports Agency Brings on Powerful Black Female Sports Agent In Acquisition appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Career | Black Enterprise

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How Netflix’s High Flying Bird Upends the Conventions of the Sports Movie

There’s no game-winning miracle dunk in High Flying Bird, a new basketball film from Steven Soderbergh that arrived on Netflix on Friday. There’s no training montage, rousing halftime speech or pint-sized surprise hero, either.

Instead, the film is driven by backroom machinations, Sorkin-esque walk-and-talks and tense face-offs over cups of tea.

But while the film mostly lacks basketball, it is more true to the state of modern professional basketball than most other films about the sport—and it strikingly captures the current power struggle of black athletes as they battle with owners for player autonomy, free speech and billions of dollars in revenue.

The film follows the fictional agent Ray Burke (André Holland) in the midst of the contentious 2011 NBA lockout. He works to outmaneuver a cutthroat team owner (Kyle MacLachlan) in lockout negotiations, expand the mindset of a downtrodden, debt-ridden rookie (Melvin Gregg) and team up with a steely player’s union executive (Sonja Sohn) to alter the economic structure of the league.

The stakes may initially appear lower than other Soderbergh films—like drug trade in Traffic or corporate corruption in Erin Brockovich. But the heart of the movie’s conflict lies in the control and commodification of black bodies. One character compares the NBA draft to a slave auction; another recounts the NBA’s white-only origins, describing the league’s integration in 1950 as a “game on top of a game”: a system used by wealthy white owners used to control players’ movements, image rights and earnings.

The fierce and dense screenplay was written by Tarell Alvin McCraney, who won an Oscar in 2016 for co-writing Moonlight. Like that film, High Flying Bird champions characters who search for radical ways to survive and transcend unjust systems. McCraney explained a driving factor behind both films in an interview with GQ this month: “On one hand, the American dream is being carroted in front of us, but on the other, the stick of oppression is beating us.”

McCraney, Soderbergh and Holland (who co-produced the film) situate the film within a lineage of black protest. It takes its name from the Richie Havens version of a folk song that poignantly calls for freedom. And Ray treats the sociologist Harry Edwards’ 1969 book The Revolt of the Black Athlete as a sacred text. In that book, Edwards outlines the systematic discrimination faced by black athletes and recounts his efforts to create a black boycott of the 1968 Olympics, which led to a Black Power salute in Mexico City. “They tell the world that the Games are free of discrimination, a wonderful example of fair play to everyone,” he writes. “Meanwhile, neglect kills off your people faster than you can sprint.”

Edwards himself appears in High Flying Bird, forging a direct link between a time when black superstars like Bill Russell had to sleep in separate hotels and a new era of protest. Edwards now serves as Colin Kaepernick’s advisor and works with many sports teams; he remains vocal about what he terms the “social, physiological and cultural scaffolding that allows individual bias and prejudice to find affirmation in discriminatory actions.”

In the same way that Edwards worked to debunk the rosy vision of sports presented by the Olympics, McCraney and Soderbergh use High Flying Bird to rebel against the utopian construct of sports movies. Films like White Men Can’t Jump, Glory Road and The Blind Side propagate the idea that sports can drive equality; that class and race tensions vanish while on the hardwood or gridiron through a shared determination and perseverance.

High Flying Bird, in contrast, is far more cynical. “The league is a business,” Ray reprimands Erick. “Business. We are in business.” While Michael Jordan won his freedom through a buzzer beater in Space Jam, High Flying Bird quashes the notion that on-court victory even matters. The film’s NBA isn’t a conduit for greatness but rather a cold, unfeeling corporation in which MacLachlan’s snot-rocketing executive profits off of black men scraping against each other in a zero-sum game. High Flying Bird could be called an anti-Sports Movie: its goal is not to uplift, but rather to provoke, mobilize and envision a future in which the players themselves own the league. And in contrast to the sweeping cinematography of other sports films, High Flying Bird was shot on an iPhone.

In real life, the 2011 lockout ended in relative defeat for the players’ union, as NBA owners forced players to accept a reduction in their share of revenue. But since then, players have taken steps to increase both their income and agency, drastically changing the landscape of the league.

LeBron James, in particular, has been revolutionary in how he wields power over his own career. He has encouraged other players to follow his lead in claiming autonomy, and he condemned a double standard that shackles devoted superstars to teams while allowing owners to trade them when it suits their business strategy. (On Wednesday, he took to Instagram to criticize the way in which Harrison Barnes was unceremoniously shipped off for a trade during a game.) This season has seen several stars—including Jimmy Butler and Anthony Davis—use their leverage to forge their own career paths rather than stay beholden to team owners.

These efforts have been aided by the rise of social media and other online outlets that allow players to control their own public image and speak out on political and social causes. James famously tangled with Donald Trump on Twitter, while Kevin Love opened a dialogue about mental health issues on The Players’ Tribune, a media platform founded by Derek Jeter.

Meanwhile, a massive $ 24-billion TV deal, combined with a favorable 2017 bargaining agreement negotiated by Michele Roberts, the leader of the N.B.A.’s players union, landed huge payday opportunities for young stars, 45 percent raises for players on minimum contracts and higher minimum salaries for veterans.

In High Flying Bird, Ray aims even higher, dreaming of a radical player-owned league in which games are streamed straight to YouTube or Netflix. Such a drastic shift seems unlikely any time soon. Until then, activists, filmmakers, and the players will continue to work to challenge power structures and shake the perception that athletes are not looked at as “super animals,” as Edwards wrote in 1969, but treated with full humanity.

Sports – TIME

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There’s a mystery bidder for Meredith’s Sports Illustrated

Former Milwaukee Bucks star Junior Bridgeman has competition from a mystery player in the bidding for Sports Illustrated. “Right now, there is a bit of a horse race underway,” said Meredith Executive Chairman Steve Lacy during his appearance at the American Magazine Conference. He asserts that there are two parties vying to buy it but…
Media | New York Post

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How are people betting on sports like the Super Bowl?

Now that all the fuss about the Super Bowl is over, there’s one thing left to report. According to an online company called LendEDU, 60 percent of the nearly 900 people responding to a survey said they had never wagered on sports before it became legalized. And the average bet was $ 3,911, but the median…
Business | New York Post

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Where you can get food deals on Super Bowl Sunday, because sports!

Where you can get food deals on Super Bowl Sunday, because sports!


Where you can get food deals on Super Bowl Sunday, because sports!

Super Bowl Sunday may be mostly about football (ICYMI, the Los Angeles Rams and New England Patriots are squaring off this year), but the game day snacks are also incredibly, if not equally, important. The dips, the buffalo wings, the cheese—it’s basically a day dedicated to non-stop eating, punctuated with occasional angry gestures and cheers directed at the TV. If you’re hosting a viewing party this year and don’t feel like whipping up a full-blown feast, don’t worry. Plenty of restaurant chains and fast food joints are offering deals for the big game.

Buffalo Wild Wings

Remember how we said that Americans will be expected to eat 1.38 billion wings during Super Bowl weekend? (Casual.) That number might just increase if Buffalo Wild Wings has anything to say about it. If the game goes into overtime, you can get a free snack-sized order of wings on February 18th, according to a statement. Score.

Burger King

If you order Burger King on DoorDash, you won’t get charged with a delivery fee through February 4th. Fun fact: for orders of $ 10 or more, enter the promo code “MYSTERYBOX” and you’ll also get a surprise box delivered separately, to be opened during the Super Bowl.

Dickey’s BBQ

For game day, you can get $ 5 off any of their packs (picnic, family, or XL)—perfect if you’re hosting a lot of BBQ fans.

El Pollo Loco

If you purchase any of El Pollo Loco’s family meals on Sunday, you’ll get a free order of fire-grilled chicken nachos (tortilla chips, queso blanco, citrus-marinated chicken, and guacamole).

Hardee’s

Hardee’s deal is contingent on a “pick 6” (an interception returned for a touchdown) occurring during the big game—so cross your fingers. Because if it does happen, you’ll be able to grab a free sausage biscuit for breakfast on Friday, February 8th at participating locations (served from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m.).

Panda Express

To get a deal at Panda Express for the Super Bowl, simply enter the code “TOUCHDOWN” and you can pick from $ 10 off one family feast or $ 25 off two family feasts, according to the site.

Papa John’s

The pizza chain is offering five different Super Bowl deals on their site, ranging from “Game plan” (five large one-topping pizzas for $ 42.50) to “Fan feast” (five large one-topping pizzas, three bread sides and three desserts). Check out more deals on the site.

PDQ

Buy-one-get-one chicken tenders? Yes, please. Depending on your location, you can get the deal on their 25-tender and/or 50-tender platters. You can find out more on their site.

Pizza Hut

Order from “Pizza Hut Hut” (notice the temporary name change) on game day to get a large 2-topping pizza for $ 7.99.

This list will be updated as more information becomes available.

This article originally appeared on Foodandwine.com

The post Where you can get food deals on Super Bowl Sunday, because sports! appeared first on HelloGiggles.

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South Korea’s Rights Commission Will Investigate Allegations of Rampant Sexual Abuse in Sports

(SEOUL, South Korea) — South Korea’s human rights commission plans to interview possibly thousands of adult and child athletes about a culture of abuse in sports after a wave of female athletes came forward to say they had been raped or assaulted by their coaches.

The yearlong investigation will cover 50 sports and include children competing for elementary, middle and high schools, Park Hong-geun, an official from the National Human Rights Commission, said Wednesday.

He said the commission aims to interview all minor and adult athletes competing for scholastic and corporate league teams in speedskating and judo, which have been marred with sexual abuse allegations. The investigation, pushed by dozens of government officials and civilian experts, could start as early as next week and could extend beyond a year if needed. It will be the commission’s largest-ever inquiry into sports.

“Education processes will be a key part of the investigation because there are situations where athletes find it hard to disclose what they have been through or even recognize they had been abused or sexually harassed,” Park said. “We will have to discuss with the schools and teams to figure out how to proceed with the investigation in each sport, but we plan to build it mostly around face-to-face interviews.”

South Korean competitive sports in recent weeks have been hit by a growing #MeToo movement, which highlights deep-rooted problems over a brutal training culture and highly hierarchical relationships between coaches and athletes.

It began with two-time Olympic short-track speedskating champion Shim Suk-hee accusing her former coach of repeatedly raping her since she was 17. The coach, Cho Jae-beom, was the national team coach shortly before the Pyeongchang Olympics last year and is now serving a 10-month prison term for physically assaulting athletes, including Shim. Cho’s lawyers said he denies sexually assaulting Shim.

A group representing speed skating athletes said Monday there were at least five more female skaters saying they were sexually abused by their male coaches, but did not reveal their names because of privacy concerns. Encouraged by Shim, female athletes in judo, taekwondo, soccer and wrestling have also accused their male coaches of sexual harassment or assault since.

Experts say abusive treatment of female athletes has long been a problem in South Korea’s elite sports, which are predominantly run by men. Athletes often skip school to compete in athletic events and must live in dormitories, giving coaches often-overbearing control and leaving athletes undereducated and more vulnerable. South Korea has long associated national pride with achievement in the Olympics and other international sporting events, leaving problems overlooked as long as the athletes succeed.

After a previous inquiry into school sports, the human rights commission in 2010 recommended safeguards to the Korean Sport and Olympic Committee, including instructions and proposals for preventing abuse and providing better education. Choi Young-ae, the commission’s chairwoman, criticized the KOC for ignoring the guideline for years, which she said worsened the abuse facing athletes today.

“Physical and sexual violence in (South Korean) sports does not happen incidentally, but is generated consistently under a structure,” she said in a news conference on Wednesday. “A culture that puts medals and other awards over everything else has been exonerating violent behaviors and such violence has been closely associated with the sexual violence that occurs.”

Sports – TIME

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Fox exits bidding for YES and other local sports networks

Fox rocked the sports world Friday by removing itself from the auction of Disney’s 22 regional sports TV networks, including the group’s “crown jewel” YES Network. The sale of the RSNs — a regulatory condition of Disney’s $ 71 billion deal to take over Fox’s entertainment assets — was slated to enter its second round by…
Media | New York Post

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The Top 10 Sports Moments Of 2018

Justify, or J.R. Smith? In trying to fill the final slot for TIME’s list of the 10 most memorable sports moments of 2018, I found myself debating between the horse that won the second Triple Crown in 37 years, and the basketball player who spent the last few seconds of a tie game in the NBA Finals dribbling away from his own basket, like a horse’s behind.

While fans may never witness anything like Justify’s racetrack dominance again — he’s the first horse to win the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes in succession without starting as a two-year-old since Apollo in 1882 — they’ll never forget holding their hair in disbelief while Smith’s Game 1 gaffe played out before their eyes. His Cleveland Cavaliers couldn’t recover, losing Game 1 in overtime, and eventually dropping four straight to the Golden State Warriors in a series sweep. So we gave the nod to J.R., since moments that make you scream, or shake, or jump up and down like a hysterical buffoon are the reasons we watch the games in the first place. (The memes and videos commemorating Smith’s antics also helped).

While plenty of bad news engulfed the world this year, sports enjoyed a pretty swell 2018. Putting together this (highly subjective) list was difficult. So apologies, in advance, to all the Winter Olympians who thrilled us on their way to top of the podium, or the soccer players who produced a sterling World Cup. (A list that doesn’t recognize Cristiano Ronaldo’s hat trick or France’s phenomenal Kylian Mbappé, the first teen to score in the World Cup final since Pelé in 1958 could, indeed, be called rubbish). Sorry, Los Angeles Rams-Kansas City Chiefs 54-51 Monday night thriller, a game that marked the NFL’s much-needed infusion of fun this year. Alexander Ovechkin’s first Stanley Cup win, and subsequent bender with the trophy, deserves recognition. As does the emergence of the Las Vegas Golden Knights, the desert expansion team that made it all the way to the Finals. But another bit of hockey wizardry, across the world along the northeast coast of South Korea, made the cut.

Here, in chronological order, is TIME’s list of the Top 10 sports moments of 2018:

Crimson Tide Comeback

Trailing Georgia 20-10 entering the fourth quarter of January’s national championship game in Atlanta, Alabama freshman quarterback Tua Tagovailoa — who came off the bench to start the second half — tied the game on a seven-yard touchdown pass to receiver Calvin Ridley, with under four minutes left. Alabama quickly got the ball back, and marched downfield to set up a potential game-winning field goal. But Andy Pappanastos missed a 36-yard kick at the buzzer, sending the game into overtime.

There, Georgia kicker Rodriguo Blankenship nailed a clutch 51-yard field goal, applying all the pressure on Alabama: if the Crimson Tide failed to score on this next possession, Georgia would win. Following a seemingly disastrous first down sack which knocked Alabama out of field goal range, Tagovailoa ripped Georgia’s heart out, deep in the heart of the state: he connected with DeVonta Smith for a 41-yard touchdown strike to end one of college football’s all-time classics.

“I’ve never been happier in my life,” Alabama’s usually dour coach, Nick Saban, said afterwards. He even kind of looked like he meant it:

Philly Special

Circumstances called for a field goal. The Philadelphia Eagles, leading the New England Patriots 15-12 near the end of the first half of Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis, had the ball on a fourth-and-goal, at the New England one-yard-line. Kick the chip shot field goal, take the points, head to the locker room happy. Philly coach Doug Pederson, however, not only broke convention by going for it, he also delved deep into the playbook and called for some trickery: the “Philly Special,” in which the center snapped the ball to a running back, who flipped it to a tight end, who ran right before tossing the ball to the quarterback — yes, the quarterback — in the end zone.

The play completely fooled the Pats. Tight end Trey Burton threw a soft spiral to a wide-open Nick Foles, who hauled it in to put the Eagles up 22-12 before Justin Timberlake took the stage for the halftime show. Whatever Super Bowl mystique Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots may have held over the Eagles now vanished. The Eagles won their first Super Bowl in franchise history, 41-33.

Stunning Stickwork

The U.S. women’s hockey team spent four years stewing over its lost opportunity at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, when the Americans coughed up a late 2-0 lead over arch-rival Canada, only to lose in overtime and settle for silver. Sweet revenge was now just a shot–and save–away when Jocelyn Lamoureux-Davidson skated towards the net in a penalty shootout at the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang.

The gold medal game had been deadlocked at 2-2 when Lamoureux-Davidson went to a move she’d practiced thousands of times, which she called “Oops I Did Again,” after the Britney Spears song: Lamoureux-Davidson faked a shot to her right, sending Canada goalie Shannon Szabados scrambling. In an instant, she brought the puck to her backhand. But just as soon as Szabados recovered from the initial fake, Lamoureux-Davidson juked her one more time, bringing the puck back to her strong side before punching it into the net. Szabados fell on her back, helpless. Lamouruex’s deke, combined with Maddie Rooney’s save of Canada’s next shot, clinched Team USA’s first women’s hockey gold medal in 20 years.

All-Time Upset

Since the NCAA men’s basketball tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985, No. 16 seeds had tried to upset a No. 1 seed on 135 occasions. Those underdogs went 0-135 before the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, out of the America East Conference, took on the University of Virginia, the top overall seed in the 2018 tournament, on a Friday night in March. Many college hoops fans had all but given up on the idea of a 16 toppling a 1. And if a team was going to pull off such a stunner, it would probably take some miracle shot at the buzzer. No one envisioned a butt kicking; that’s why UMBC’s 74-54 victory over the Cavaliers felt so surreal.

UMBC’s athletics department Twitter account emerged as a breakout March Madness star, repeatedly calling out one pundit who guaranteed a Virginia victory just moments after the game tipped off. “We won 24 games and a conference title,” @UMBCAthletics tweeted to one disbelieving fan during the game. “It’s not like we are a YMCA team, dude.”

Clutch Of The Irish

It’s one thing to hit a buzzer beater. It’s another to hit back-to-back last-second shots, at the Final Four, to clinch a national championship. Notre Dame’s Arike Ogunbowale pulled off this astonishing feat in the NCAA women’s tournament: in the national semis, her tough pull-up jumper with one second to go handed the University of Connecticut, which was 36-0 going into the game, its first loss of the season. Then, on Easter Sunday, Ogunbowale somehow topped herself.

With Notre Dame and Mississippi State tied at 58-58, Ogunbowale launched a contested last-second three-pointer that was true, and delivered Notre Dame its first women’s basketball title since 2001. In an interview with TIME, Ogunbowale offered some advice for all those girls and boys playing in their driveways, or at the playgrounds, pantomiming game-winning celebrations. “Keep shooting those crazy, off-balance shots,” she said. “Because you never know when they’re going to come in handy.”

Wrong Way!

This was Cleveland’s chance. The Golden State Warriors were heavy favorites to repeat as NBA champions this summer, given that the Ws suited up a cavalcade of top NBA players — Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green — while their NBA Finals opponent, the Cavaliers, featured LeBron James, All-Star Kevin Love and a bunch of other guys. But somehow, with 4.7 second left in Game 1 and the score tied at 107-107, J.R. Smith grabbed an offensive rebound off a missed George Hill foul shot. The problem: Smith thought the Cavs had the lead. So instead of attacking the rim, he started dribbling towards mid-court, as if he were running out the clock.

By the time James, who was standing at the top of the key, implored him to head in the right direction, it was too late — the Cavs couldn’t get a shot at the rim. Overtime. During the break between regulation and the extra session, a demoralized James buried his head, crossed his arms and could barely look at another human being. He looked like someone stole his dessert. And then called off Christmas. Cleveland, despite James’ 51 points, lost 124-114. Golden State went on to sweep the series.

Croatian Celebration

England had extinguished so much heartbreak at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. After being eliminated from the tournament via penalty shootouts in 1990, 1998, and 2006, England finally clinched a World Cup shootout victory, in the round of 16 against Columbia. And in the semifinal against Croatia, England scored five minutes into the game to go up 1-0. England held the lead into the second half, before Croatia’s Ivan Perišić tied up the game in the 68th minute.

The tension built in extra time, before Mario Mandžukić’s left-footed goal in the 109th minute set off a wild celebration. Croatian players piled on top of photographer Yuri Cortez, a pro’s pro who still managed to snap some memorable pics in the mayhem. Croatia held on to reach a World Cup final for the first time.

Serena States Her Case

Serena Williams’ extended argument with chair umpire Carlos Ramos at the U.S. Open final in September was uncomfortable: she called him a “thief” for calling violations on her, and she accused him of sexism, as many male players have treated umpires far worse than she did and never suffered a game penalty at a crucial point of a Grand Slam match.

The post-match booing at the trophy ceremony, which honored Japan’s Naomi Osaka — the superior player that day — as U.S. Open champ, was unfortunate. Sure, the pro-Serena crowd thought the umpire robbed her. But Osaka, reduced to tears, deserved better. Some top sports moments are short on joy. Serena’s outburst, however, sparked a global debate about gender bias, decorum, and proper interpretation of rules. No on-court moment was more consequential.

Tiger’s Army

Think what you want of Tiger Woods. But no athlete in his sport — and maybe all sports — commands eyeballs quite like Tiger. After injuries and personal scandal nearly left him an afterthought on the PGA Tour, Woods capped off a stellar comeback campaign, in which he contended for two major titles — Woods shot a final round 64 at the PGA Championship to finish second — with his first tour win in over five years, at the Tour Championship in Atlanta.

As Woods walked towards the 18th green on that September Sunday to soak in his victory, thousands of fans trailed him on the course, as if he were their leader. The scene spoke to Tiger’s power. He might not win as many tournaments as he did in his prime. But his mere presence turned a whole generation of fans onto golf. They’ll never forget that.

Eternal Extras

The game took seven hours and 20 minutes over 18 innings, shattering the World Series record for longest game, by both time and frames. In fact, the Boston Red Sox-Los Angeles Dodgers clash took longer to play than the entire 1939 World Series. With the score tied 1-1 in the top of 13th, a Scott Alexander throwing error allowed the Red Sox to take a one-run lead. But in the bottom half of the inning, Boston’s Ian Kinsler threw a ball wide from second, allowing Max Muncy to score from second with two outs to tie it again. Finally, in the bottom of the 18th, Boston pitcher Nathan Eovaldi, entering his seventh inning of outstanding relief work, finally broke: Muncy smacked a leadoff walk-off homer to left center, ending the marathon at 12:30 a.m. PT, well past last call in Boston.

Though the Red Sox lost, the game — and especially Eovaldi’s effort — inspired Boston, which won the next two games in Los Angeles to close out another World Series championship, the franchise’s fourth in the past 14 years.

Let us know what we missed. And good luck to 2019. Following up this year won’t be easy.

Sports – TIME

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An affordable winter sports break in Oslo, of all places

Despite its pricey reputation, Norway’s capital may be the world’s most accessible snow sports hub, with an Olympic bobsleigh run and cross-country skiing a short schuss from the centre

I’m on the metro, Line 1 of Oslo’s T-bane, but instead of shopping bags and briefcases, people are getting on with skis and snowboards. The train heads north, emerges from the tunnel in a forested suburb covered in thick snow then climbs up and up. At Midtstuen station a crowd of excited children get on with their sledges. They have clearly just toboganned down the hill.

“Stay on the train until the last stop,” a 12-year-old tells me. “You rent a sledge and helmet. The run ends at Midtstuen.”

Continue reading…
Travel | The Guardian

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