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Showing posts with label Sports. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sports. Show all posts

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Can the Packers Pull Off a Perfect Season?

Who stands between Green Bay and 16-0

Green Bay will take an 11-0 record into December.

If this happened a few years ago, the 1972 Miami Dolphins might have started to sweat a little. Media hoopla about whether the Packers can complete a perfect season would also be much higher.

Blame the New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts for killing that buzz.

The 2007 Patriots already accomplished what some thought impossible in today’s parity-driven NFL — a 16-0 regular-season record. The 2009 Colts had a chance to match the mark when opening 14-0. But unlike a Patriots team that was pursuing perfection and didn’t want to risk losing momentum entering the postseason, Indianapolis management decided to rest starters for the playoffs and the Colts lost their final two contests.

Each franchise’s individual approach paid dividends as the Patriots and Colts ultimately reached the Super Bowl. They also both lost in the championship game, with New England’s chance for perfection ending against the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII.

During an interview with last week, Packers head coach Mike McCarthy wouldn’t reveal how he will handle his starters during the final regular-season games if Green Bay is still undefeated and has already clinched the NFC’s No. 1 playoff seed. Based upon how the Packers have played so far, McCarthy may soon have a tough decision to make.

Green Bay has yet to trail in the fourth quarter this season. The Packers are averaging a league-high 34.7 points a game. Aaron Rodgers is on pace for arguably the greatest quarterbacking season in NFL history. Problems on pass defense are mitigated by Green Bay’s NFL-high 22 interceptions. The franchise has won 17 consecutive games dating to last season.

Making all this even more impressive: The Packers are rolling despite being the NFL’s most targeted team as defending Super Bowl champion.

Five upcoming opponents — the New York Giants, Oakland, Kansas City, Chicago and Detroit — stand in the way of Green Bay entering the playoffs at 16-0. Allowing that plenty can and likely will change in the NFL over the next five weeks, here are the keys to victories for the only teams that can knock the Pack back into the pack.

1. At the New York Giants (4:15 p.m. Sunday, FOX): New York has a history of ruining undefeated seasons. Not only did they top the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII, the Giants gave the 1998 Denver Broncos their first loss after a 13-0 start. Just like in that upset of New England, New York’s chances of winning Sunday are tied to its fierce pass rush. The Packers will likely have to protect Rodgers without the services of two injured starting offensive linemen — left tackle Chad Clifton (hamstring) and right guard Josh Sitton (knee). Rodgers has gotten sacked 23 times this season, which is tied for the league’s fifth highest total.

2. Oakland (Dec. 11): The Raiders enter Sunday’s matchup at Miami on a three-game winning streak since Carson Palmer settled in at quarterback. But the key to upending the Packers will be the running game. Oakland ranks fourth in the NFL with a 149.2-yard average even without the services of Darren McFadden. He may be back for the Packers game after missing the past four contests with a sprained foot. If not, the Raiders are still dangerous on the ground thanks to backup Michael Bush. As Tampa Bay’s LeGarrette Blount proved with his 18-carry, 107-yard effort in a Week 10 loss to Green Bay, a bruiser like Bush may be able to have success between the tackles and allow Oakland to control the clock. The latter is a must against an offense as potent as Green Bay’s.

3. At Kansas City (Dec. 18; FOX): With the Chiefs (4-7) unlikely to reach the playoffs, this game will serve as Kansas City’s Super Bowl. Kyle Orton, claimed off waivers last week from Denver, will likely be starting at quarterback by then in place of the ineffective Tyler Palko. Although he won’t be completely comfortable with Kansas City’s offense and receiving targets, Orton does have the benefit of familiarity with Green Bay’s defense. He started against the Packers in a 49-23 loss in Week 4 while with the Broncos. Orton had three touchdowns and three interceptions in a 22-of-32, 273-yard effort.

4. Chicago (Dec. 25): The perfect Christmas gift for the Bears would be the early return of quarterback Jay Cutler from thumb surgery. But unless Cutler heals quicker than expected, the Bears are likely relegated to starting backup Caleb Hanie. The Packers sealed last season’s NFC Championship Game win last season when defensive lineman B.J. Raji returned a Hanie interception for a touchdown with Cutler (knee) on the bench. No matter who is at quarterback, expect a much better defensive effort from the Bears than during their 27-17 home loss to Green Bay in Week 3.

5. Detroit (Jan. 1): The spotlight will be on Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, who was ejected for stomping a Packers offensive lineman in the third quarter of last Thursday’s 27-15 loss to Green Bay. The Lions quickly unraveled after Suh’s departure, with the Packers scoring two quick touchdowns to take a 21-0 lead. Detroit, though, will enter this rematch knowing they stood toe-to-toe with the Packers for the entire first half. With the Packers concerned about stopping Detroit’s high-powered passing attack, Lions running back Kevin Smith gouged Green Bay for 36 yards on seven carries before suffering a high ankle sprain late in the first quarter. Smith, the best option on a team decimated by running back injuries, should be healthy for this Week 17 matchup.

Adapted from Foxsport
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Published by Gusti Putra at: 12:35 AM

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

LA Galaxy win 1-0 from Indonesia Team Selection

In the second half, LA Galaxy and Indonesia Team Selection conducted a series of substitutions.

LA Galaxy team win 1-0 from Indonesia Selection in a friendly match, Wednesday, November 30, 2011. Teams from the United States is superior to a single goal by Robbie Keane in the first round.

L.A Galaxy Vs Indonesia Selection 
In a match at the Bung Karno Main Stadium, Keane scored in the 13th minute. The former Tottenham Hotspur player was able to capitalize on the chaos in front of goal Indonesia Selection escorted by Andritany Ardiayasa.

LA Galaxy are actually more dominated the first round matches. But until halftime, the Galaxy 1-0.

At the beginning of second half, both teams made ​​some changes. LA Galaxy again dominated the course of action and managed to create a golden opportunity but have not been fruitful goal.

At 68 minutes, Jack McBean had fired a volley. But the ball was still able to be tamed goalkeeper Kurnia Meiga.

David Beckham is retained until the second half. But the former Manchester United failed to score a goal by passing the ball set piece that became his specialty.

In the 75th minute, Beckham got a chance to execute the ball outside the penalty box off Indonesia. But the ball back was wide on the right side of goal Kurnia Meiga.

At 78 minutes, turn off the national team that got the ball from outside the opponent's penalty box. Unfortunately, Bambang Pamungkas still free kick wide on the left side LA Galaxy.

In the 82nd minute, Indonesia Selection re-create the chaos in front of goal LA Galaxy. But Ahmad Bustomi volley back not meet the target. Until the fight was over, Indonesia remains behind 0-1 Selection of the LA Galaxy.

Adapted from VIVAnews
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Published by Gusti Putra at: 10:46 PM

Was TD dance offensive to NYC?

Jets NT: Crash celebration went too far

Jets nose tackle Sione Pouha wasn't laughing at Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stevie Johnson's touchdown celebration over the weekend in New York.
Bills WR Stevie Johnson is under fire for his crash celebration against the Jets.
He wasn't laughing then and he's certainly not laughing now. In fact, Pouha isn't even that mad at Johnson for pretending to "pull a Plaxico Burress" and shoot himself in the leg. What has him fuming? The fact that Johnson pretended to be a crashing jet, according to the New York Post.

Pouha believes that when Johnson acted as if he was a plane crashing to the ground, that it was insensitive to the victims of 9/11.

"Us being from New York, we like to hold ourselves to some integrity, and that airplane thing, in my opinion, was kind of a dagger considering the circumstances of remembrance of what we just had on Sept. 11," Pouha said. “It was just unprofessional. We all stand for pride around here, and that's a sacred moment for a lot of people and it's a very sobering moment."

Sources: MSN
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Published by Gusti Putra at: 10:25 AM

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Tiger and Stricker Dealt Big Loss in Presidents Cup

MELBOURNE (AP) – Being with his ex-caddie was the least of Tiger Woods' worries Thursday.

Woods and Steve Stricker, unbeatable two years ago in the Presidents Cup, didn't make a birdie, didn't win a hole and tied the record for the biggest loss in the history of the event.
Tiger Woods and teammate Steve Stricker matched the record for worst
loss in Presidents Cup history, falling to Adam Scott and K.J. Choi on Thursday.

Adam Scott and K.J. Choi were relentless at Royal Melbourne, keeping the ball in play and making enough birdies as Woods and Stricker self-destructed. The International side won, 7 and 6. They were the last of six foursomes (alternate-shot) matches in the opening session, yet the rout was so great they were the second match to finish.

The only other match that went 12 holes since the Presidents Cup began in 1994 was when David Frost beat Kenny Perry by the same score in singles in 1996.

Despite the record-tying setback, the Americans lead the event 4-2 heading to Day 2, which begins at 5:35 p.m. ET Thursday (Friday morning in Melbourne). That's two hours earlier than scheduled due to a threat of rain.

Two of the six matches went the distance. Geoff Ogilvy and Masters champion Charl Schwartzel lost a late 2-up lead and had to settle for a halve against Bill Haas and Nick Watney. Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar rallied from 3 down with six holes to play and were headed to the 18th as they tried to scratch out a halve against Jason Day and Aaron Baddeley.

The Americans won the other three matches in a rout, led by the opening match of Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson. They were 7 under through 16 holes in a 4-and-2 win over Ernie Els and Ryo Ishikawa.
Phil Mickelson and Jim Furyk, together for the first time since Brookline in the 1999 Ryder Cup, won 4 and 3 over Retief Goosen and Robert Allenby. Hunter Mahan and David Toms drilled the Korean duo of Y.E. Yang and K.T. Kim, 6 and 5.

"The only hole that they won, we three-putted," Toms said. "So for the most part, we kept the pressure on, hitting fairways, hitting greens, made a few putts. Just a good day overall."

Woods and Steve Williams exchanged a firm, businesslike handshake on the opening hole and otherwise kept their distance. That was about all the drama in what might be the final chapter of this bitter split between player and caddie.

Williams now works for Scott, and just like so many other team competitions, he had the best horse. Scott was crisp off the tee and into the firm greens. He rolled in a 25-foot birdie putt to win the 11th hole, then hit an approach into 8 feet as Choi made the birdie to close out the match.

It was the worst margin of defeat for Woods in any form of match play since he turned pro.
"Unfortunately, they got off to a quick start and we just couldn't keep up," Woods said. "We kept falling to the wrong side of these slopes. The golf course is so difficult, it's hard to make up shots."
Scott and Choi never came close to a bogey and were 4 under through 12 holes. Woods and Stricker were 3 over.

"It seemed like we were just a little bit off," Stricker said after his first competition since Sept. 25 at the Tour Championship. "It seemed like I put him in the rough by a foot or so. If you're in the rough here, trying to hit to some of these greens is pretty difficult."

Scott called it a "very pleasing victory," more to do with being home in Australia than anything to do with his caddie.

Williams first showed the animosity in the split when he said after Scott won the Bridgestone Invitational that it was the "best win of my life." Then came that night in Shanghai two weeks ago at a caddies' award party, when Williams made a racial comment about Woods while getting roasted for that TV interview at the Bridgestone.

The handshake on the first tee was symbolic — it was strictly business out there.
Williams was on the second tee when Choi was hitting in alternate shot. Not long after Woods arrived to watch his partner, Williams walked up the fairway to join Scott about 40 yards away.

Source UsaToday
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Published by Gusti Putra at: 10:17 PM

Monday, October 24, 2011

Van Persie brace saves Arsenal

Robin van Persie cemented his status as Arsenal's talisman with a brace from the bench to seal a 3-1 win over Stoke on Sunday.

The Dutchman had been left as a sub, with Marouane Chamakh given a chance by Arsene Wenger. The Moroccan missed a free header in the 10th minute but his blushes were saved by Gervinho, who gave Arsenal the lead when he chested down a delightful ball from Aaron Ramsey to shoot past Asmir Begovic.

Ramsey had missed an earlier chance to give his side the lead, and they were made to pay for their wastefulness when Peter Crouch equalised for Stoke ten minutes from time.

Glenn Whelan lofted the ball into the area, Shawcross' cross found its way to Jon Walters at the far post and his header back across goal was nodded in by Crouch.

Arsenal started the second half slowly but the introduction of van Persie changed everything.

His cross was nearly converted by Ramsey before the 28-year-old squeezed the ball between Begovic and the post from a Gervinho cross.

The same two players combined for van Persie to have the final say six minutes from time, the Gunners captain firing home.

Quoted from Setanta
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Published by Gusti Putra at: 1:57 AM

Marco Simoncelli Killed in Racing Accident: A Fan’s Reaction

Race marshal gather around the motorcycle of Italy's rider Marco Simoncelli,
unseen in photo, after a crash at the Malaysian MotoGP Grand Prix in Sepang, Malaysia, Sunday.

Just minutes into the Malaysian MotoGP on Sunday, October 23, 2011, Marco Simoncelli lost control of his bike and swerved across the track, right into the path of fellow riders Colin Edwards and Valentino Rossi. Edwards and Rossi were unable to avoid hitting Simoncelli. While Rossi clipped Simoncelli's Honda, Edwards had a direct hit. Simoncelli's helmet came off as he fell between the two bikes. Rossi and Edwards got their bikes off the track and appeared fine, though Edwards did suffer a dislocated shoulder, but Simoncelli was down on the track and not moving. To everyone watching the events play out, it was a horrific crash and clearly very bad. After being rushed to the medical center, he was reportedly conscious. However, shortly after, Simoncelli was pronounced dead. He was 24 years old.

Simoncelli began his professional racing career in 2002 and moved up from riding 125cc bikes, to 250cc bikes before finally entering the MotoGP series. He was considered a rising star, but he had not hit his stride yet in the two years he rode in the MotoGp series. In his second season, he had been a part of a crash with fellow rider, Dani Pedrosa. Simoncelli made contact with Pedrosa as Simoncelli was attempting to pass him. Pedrosa lost control and crashed, breaking his collarbone. Although Pedrosa fully recovered, he missed several races during the 2011 season. Recently, Simconcelli had agreed on a new contract with stay with his team, and Honda, for 2012.

Although the Malaysian MotoGp was cancelled after the crash, many are still expecting the race at Valencia, in Spain, to go on as scheduled on November 6, 2011. No official decision regarding that race has been made yet, however. That race is to be the final one of the season for the MotoGP series.

It is always sad to see a driver or rider injured while racing or training. It is tragic to see someone killed. With two high profile drivers, IndyCar's Dan Wheldon and Marcos Simoncelli, killed in crashes within on week of each other, it is awful for race fans, drivers, riders, friends and family members. Hopefully, some innovative safety improvements will be made in the offseason for both MotoGP and IndyCar so that the lives of other drivers and riders will be saved and deaths will be prevented.

Kristin Watt has been a fan of motorsports since she was a young girl and she watched NASCAR races with her mother. That love of NASCAR quickly evolved into a great enjoyment of many different motorsports including everything from local dirt track action to the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans to the adrenaline rush of the extreme motocross events. She has been following motorsports for many years.

Quoted from Yahoosports
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Published by Gusti Putra at: 1:40 AM

Wiggle considers float as cycling becomes the new golf

Owner Isis plans sale of online retailer Wiggle as cycling increases in popularity spurred on by the successes of riders Mark Cavendish and Bradley Wiggins

Cycling has risen in popularity fueling the growth of online retailer Wiggle,
which is considerings its options after hoisting an estimated £200m for-sale sign.
Photograph: Tetra Images / Alamy/Alamy

With a new world champion in Mark Cavendish and Tour de France contenders such as Bradley Wiggins, there's never been a more opportune time to back British cycling. But with a different prize in mind, the private equity group behind Wiggle, the cycling and triathlon gear website, is working out its race plan after hoisting an estimated £200m for-sale sign.

Its owner Isis Equity Partners is deliberating whether to quietly sell to another buyout firm or attempt the City equivalent of the Alpe d'Huez by pursuing a stock exchange listing. Its chief executive, Humphrey Cobbold, is insists an IPO is a "serious option".

Sales at Wiggle have more than quadrupled in the last five years to reach £86.8m in the year to 31 January, thanks to a growing obsession with cycling and triathlons among "mamils" – a phrase coined by analysts at Mintel as shorthand for "middle-aged man in Lycra". Profits surged 43% to £10.2m. In a bombed out retail sector, Wiggle is a welcome success story with growth of 56% last year helping it to attract buyout firms such as Fat Face owner Bridgepoint and Warburg Pincus, which owns Poundland, to the auction.

"Cycling is the new golf," says Cobbold. "Middle-aged men and women have decided that they are better off spending three or four hours on their bike than hitting a little white ball around a fairway." Even without the buzz generated by high-profile wins such as Mark Cavendish's recent triumph in the world championships road race, the sport has a growing amateur fan base with sportives – cycling competitions – popular fixtures. Britons are also queuing up to compete in triathlons, with last month's event in London, which attracted 13,000 entrants, the world's largest.

Alexander Grous, an academic at the London School of Economics, has calculated that cycling provided a near £3bn boost, or "gross cycling product" as he puts it, to the UK economy in 2010 based on manufacturing as well as related retail sales and jobs.

His study found 13m people are now cyclists, with 3.7m bikes sold last year, a 28% increase on 2009 as high petrol prices and crammed trains and buses encouraged commuters to switch to two wheels. Social and economic factors have resulted in a "step-change" in the UK's cycling scene, says Grous adding: "The growth in involvement we've witnessed in recent years feels like a sustainable trend for the first time."

Wiggle started life as Butlers Cycles, an independent bike shop in Portsmouth that had been trading since 1920. Its entrepreneurial founders Mitch Dall and Harvey Jones branched out into selling accessories online, launching the website in 1999. The venture took off and in 2006 Isis acquired a stake for £12m, valuing the business at nearly £30m.

In short order the internet has grown to account for 8% of UK retail sales with "pure play" retailers escaping some of the pain experienced by traditional store groups. Online penetration is even higher for cycling goods with demand for puncture repair kits, power shakes and Lycra unitards a £1.4bn market.

Wiggle doesn't compete with the cut-throat pricing of the supermarkets, which import bikes from China, selling them for less than £100. It concentrates on serious riders willing to spend more than £600 on their wheels and its range includes top-end bikes by US manufacturer Felt that cost as much as £7,500. "It is a brand-led marketplace – guys love gear," says Cobbold.

Febrile financial markets are making investors increasingly risk averse with companies big and small getting their wings clipped. Fellow internet retailer The Hut Group has delayed its listing until next year while daily deals website Groupon last week scaled down its fundraising plans. "Retail flotations are viewed suspiciously at the moment," says Panmure analyst Philip Dorgan who points to the experience of Ocado which failed to get big institutional investors and fashion website Asos, the former stock market darling which has seen its shares tumble 40% in the last three months. "It might not be a good time to float a pure play online retailer."

If Wiggle does float, the company's management and advisors are in for a gruelling ride. Cobbold adds: "I'm absolutely committed to leading Wiggle into its next phase whether it is a listed or private company." He also points out neither road is easy: "Private equity [firms] are not renowned for being pushovers."

Quoted from Guardian
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Published by Gusti Putra at: 1:01 AM