Sport news, results, fixtures, blogs and comments on UK and world sport from the Guardian, the world's leading liberal voice Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. 2018
“Sam Robson has his first hundred of the season for Middlesex against Derbyshire at Lord’s, with the hosts 220-3 in one of the Division Two clashes which has no impact on the promotion race. Here at Headingley, Yorkshire are 120-6 and battling to stay in touch. There are plenty of oohs and arrghhs from Hampshire’s accurate and potent attack.”
“In the afternoon three wickets fell. The Overtons combined to dismiss Mark Stoneman for 85. Jamie bowled the ball and Craig athletically caught it in the gully, a hard chance which would have been no chance at all to a smaller man. Then to general surprise Burns was bowled by Tim Groenewald for 78. Watch Burns for ten minutes and you don’t see a Test player – he is the antithesis to James Vince. But just look at all those runs, a better barometer of a player. Here he was businesslike on a lovely batting surface. Then came a rare sighting of Jason Roy at number three in his first red-ball outing of the season and of course in these conditions he looked the part of a Test player with a few those silky shots purring to the boundary and a couple of them going over it. If only the ball was spinning this would have been a wonderful last-ditch audition for Roy, who was lbw for 63 to Craig Overton from the last delivery of the session. In the meantime Jack Leach, another very likely tourist, wheeled away with no reward. His figures look very ordinary but he has not bowled too badly. So Surrey are coasting very comfortably at 263-3 with Elgar on 23 to be joined by Ollie Pope after the break.”
• Captain backs champions to win for fourth successive year • Revamped side starts defence at home to Roma on Wednesday
By the time the Champions League final comes around next June, Real Madrid will have been European champions for 1,100 days. On Wednesday they begin their journey there against Roma at the Santiago Bernab?u, a 20-minute drive from the Wanda Metropolitano where the final will be held, new home of rivals Atl?tico – the team they twice beat to take the title. “No one has done what Madrid have done; no one has even got close,” said the Roma central defender Kostas Manolas. “Above all, we feel proud,” said Sergio Ramos, the captain. “It’s not chance.”
• Long-running saga ends after compensation paid to Blue Bulls • Former All Blacks head coach starts at three-day training camp
John Mitchell has finally been appointed as England’s new defence coach after the Rugby Football Union agreed a compensation package of ?200,000 with the Blue Bulls. Scott Wisemantel will also continue as England’s attack coach this autumn having taken on the role during the summer tour of South Africa.
Mitchell, who was the All Blacks head coach at the 2003 World Cup, will be in position for England’s mini-training camp in Bristol which starts on Sunday. He was not the first-choice candidate – in May Eddie Jones said he was interviewing exclusively English candidates – but with Andy Farrell rejecting the offer to return to Twickenham, the head coach set about recruiting the 54-year-old New Zealander.
The county title was won in a thriller reminding us how the West Midlands club retains the heart of first-class cricket
When 22 players gather in huge stadiums built for full houses in midsummer, and rattle around in late season gloom to the applause of 20 hundred-weight of empty tip-up chairs and a crisp wrapper, County Championship cricket can feel a little soulless.
But not at New Road, not last week. There in full view of the glorious cathedral, that has chimed the passing of so many seasons, Surrey clinched the County Championship for the first time since 2002. It couldn’t have happened in a more perfect setting.
• England pair to face two-day London hearing in early December • Both men charged with two counts for September 2017 brawl
Ben Stokes and Alex Hales have both been charged with two counts of bringing the game into disrepute and face a two-day cricket disciplinary hearing this December following last year’s involvement in a street brawl in Bristol.
While Stokes was last month found not guilty of affray at Bristol crown court for his part in the incident on 29 September 2017 - and Hales was not charged - the pair are centrally contracted England players and still liable for cricketing sanctions.
• UK and US agencies among those furious with Wada decision • It sends ‘a message to the world that doping is tolerated’
The civil war in global anti-doping has intensified further after the World Anti-Doping Agency was accused by 13 major anti-doping agencies – including the UK and US – of “moving the goalposts” and “sending a message to the world that doping is tolerated” over its willingness to strike a deal with Russia.
In an extraordinary attack the 13 agencies also said they were “dismayed” by Wada’s behaviour. They further insisted that Wada must postpone Thursday’s decision to reinstate the Russian Anti-Doping Agency because the Russians had not met Wada’s open roadmap to return.
Benfica's women's team enjoyed a 28-0 thrashing on their debut in the Portuguese second division. They opened the scoring two minutes into their match against Ponte de Frielas, were 16-0 up at half-time and went on to set a new record in the country for the largest margin of victory in senior football. Although Benfica's squad features a number of internationals, as a newly-formed team they have been required to compete in the second tier of the women's league.
• City No2 still makes Real Madrid Champions League favourites • Arteta in charge on bench against Lyon with Guardiola banned
Mikel Arteta believes Manchester City have the best players in the world and would not change them for anyone, though he still reckons Real Madrid should be favourites for the Champions League.
“It’s hard to make comparisons, we still have a very young squad,” the City assistant manager said. “It is a surprise to be made favourites when there is a team out there that has won the competition three times in a row. Even if they have lost Cristiano Ronaldo I would still make Real Madrid the main favourites because of their history and their experience but I do think the Champions League is going to be quite open this season. There isn’t that much between the top teams.”
Distinctions between sports and games seem less important than the money that can be made from them, as one billionaire bridge ace proved by getting cards into the Asian Games
The richest sportsman on the planet isn’t Floyd Mayweather, LeBron James, Lionel Messi or Roger Federer, but Michael Bambang Hartono, a 78-year-old from the small town of Kudus, in Central Java, Indonesia. His jab’s weak, he surely can’t dunk, and his backhand likely sucks, but he’s a crack lobbyist and he plays a mean hand of bridge. These two talents go together. In 2016, after years of effort, Hartono persuaded the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) to include bridge as a competitive event at the 2018 Asian Games. Last month, he took part in the contest himself, as a member of Indonesia’s supermixed team, and won a bronze medal.
• King George winner must be long odds-on for retirement • Saxon Warrior and Alpha Centauri retired after setbacks
A devastating week for the equine stars of Flat racing continued on Tuesday when it was announced that Poet’s Word had suffered an injury and will not be seen again in public this year. The news follows two days after the retirements of Alpha Centauri and Saxon Warrior, who were found to have leg problems after running on Saturday.
“Poet’s Word has sustained an injury and will not be able to race again this year,” said the horse’s trainer, Sir Michael Stoute, in a statement. “His owner, Saeed Suhail, will soon be coming to England and will make a decision on his future.”
• Video appears to show boxer offering woman drugs for a sex act • British Boxing Board of Control will hold hearing next week
Billy Joe Saunders has been charged with misconduct by the British Boxing Board of Control after the emergence of video footage in which he appears to offer a woman drugs.
Images filmed from inside the WBO world middleweight champion’s car show him speaking to a woman through the passenger window – Saunders offers ?150-worth of drugs to the woman to perform a sex act. He then asks her to punch a passerby, which she does, before the boxer drives off.
The RFU’s decision to award contracts is groundbreaking, says the editor of women’s rugby website Scrumqueens.com
There is nothing new about professionalism in women’s rugby. Since the Netherlands became the first country to award contracts to their women’s sevens players in 2011, the rest of the women’s rugby world has been playing catch-up – off the pitch at least – in the game’s rapid acceleration towards the pro ranks.
Tottenham’s two previous trips to San Siro have been eventful to say the least. Eight years have passed since Gareth Bale announced himself on the European stage with a second-half hat-trick in Milan. Those goals weren’t enough for Spurs to avoid defeat on the night, having conceded four goals before the break, but they did go through as group winners – along with Inter. Spurs’ most recent visit to San Siro, for the second leg of their Europa League last-16 tie in 2013, ended in sheer relief. Spurs went into the game with a 3-0 lead from the first leg but again conceded four, only scraping through thanks to a late away goal from Emmanuel Adebayor.
• Agreement will end impasse started by England Test call-up • Leg-spinner to be avaiable for red-ball cricket with county
Adil Rashid looks set to re-commit to Yorkshire as an all-format cricketer and bring to an end to a summer-long impasse after turning down approaches from rival counties.
The 30-year-old leg-spinner’s future at Headingley was shrouded in doubt following his controversial recall to England’s Test team in July, one that came despite having renegotiated his county contract to play as a white-ball specialist at the start of the year.
Video of prolonged tomfoolery on Saturday suggests security presence was inadequate for a busy and prestigious raceday
Twitter users who take an interest in racing will probably, by now, have seen a video of some bad behaviour by a particular racegoer at Doncaster on St Leger day. Apparently efforts are being made to identify her but that’s not what concerns me (which is why I’m not linking to the video). What concerns me is how she was allowed to behave in that way without being stopped by security.
• Right-back also played for Bradford, Liverpool and Swindon • Bolton manager Parkinson praises ‘outstanding professional’
The Bolton defender Stephen Darby has announced his retirement, aged 29, after being diagnosed with motor neurone disease. The right-back, who began his career at his hometown club Liverpool, received the diagnosis from a specialist recently.
He joined Bolton in the summer of 2017 but has not played since December. “It is with great sadness that I announce my immediate retirement from professional football due to a recent diagnosis of motor neurone disease,” said Darby in a statement released by the club.
Footballer who was central to the success of Ipswich Town’s cup-winning side of the 1970s and 80s
When Ipswich Town were a footballing power in the late 1970s and early 80s, Kevin Beattie was at the core of their success. A central defender of unusual poise and class, he was the best player in a team that not only won the FA and Uefa cups but gave the great Liverpool side of that era a run for their money in the league.
Beattie, who has died aged 64 of a heart attack, was hailed by Ipswich fans as the club’s greatest ever player. But a greater measure of his standing was the universal respect he generated among his peers, who recognised not just his great technical prowess but the courage, strength and application that went with it. His ability to win the ball and then distribute it with calm precision drew comparisons with Bobby Moore, and of his generation there were few English footballers more highly rated within the game.
Erkut S?g?t defends player’s decision to meet Erdo?an
‘Thomas M?ller did not understand the whole discussion’
Mesut ?zil’s agent has hit out at Germany’s Manuel Neuer, Thomas M?ller and Toni Kroos over comments they made in the wake of the Arsenal midfielder’s decision to quit international football.
Erkut S?g?t said the trio were either “naive or scheming” in their responses to the statement ?zil issued in July to announce he would no longer be playing for Germany. The agent also strongly defended his client for being photographed with Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdo?an.
PSG’s manager resumes his rivalry with J?rgen Klopp two years after his Borussia Dortmund were beaten in an Anfield epic
When Thomas Tuchel steps out at Anfield on Tuesday the memories will come flooding back. He will wince at how the Kop sucked in that late Dejan Lovren header and what it felt like to be on the wrong end of J?rgen Klopp’s red wave. He will remember how Liverpool drew inspiration in a frenzied atmosphere, fighting back from an almost impossible position to win their Europa League quarter-final against Borussia Dortmund in April 2016, and it will not be easy for him to ignore the lingering mental scars.
It was one of the great European comebacks and if it was sweet for Klopp to beat the man who had replaced him at Dortmund a year earlier, imagine how galling it must have been for Tuchel to fall short against his predecessor. He was powerless to resist when Liverpool made that Istanbul sequel, and Paris Saint-Germain’s manager will be desperate to write a new narrative when the rivalry resumes on Tuesday evening.
• Raul Sanllehi to become Arsenal’s new head of football • Vinai Venkatesham to assume new role as managing director
Arsenal have announced that Raul Sanllehi and Vinai Venkatesham will lead the club following a decision by chief executive Ivan Gazidis to join Milan.
A statement on Arsenal’s website on Tuesday confirmed the 54-year-old Gazidis would leave by the end of October and begin his role in Italy on 1 December, with Vinai Venkatesham set to assume a new role as managing director.
It says something about the quality of today’s transfer tittle-tattle that the most interesting rumour concerns the Arsenal chief executive, Ivan Gazidis, who is leaving the Emirates after a decade to take up a similar role at Milan. According to the Mail, the boardroom bigwig is “99.9% certain to leave”, after a source informed them that “it looks like a done deal”.
It is nearly six years since Steven Caulker, then a highly-rated 20-year-old centre-back blossoming at Tottenham, made his first and so far only England appearance in a friendly against Sweden. He is currently out of contract after leaving Dundee last month, but apparently not for long: he is wanted by Arsenal Kyiv, who having lost six of their first eight league matches to sit bottom of the Ukrainian Premier League with a goal difference of -12 could certainly do with some defensive reinforcement.
Few would expect football clubs to be at the forefront of an effort to break the taboo around periods. Yet here we are
“Sorry to spoil your breakfasts with talk of periods,” tweeted one supporter of the On the Ball campaign, “but as a teenager who suddenly got her period at Stockport away & had to spend the whole afternoon and journey home on the coach with only a wedge of toilet paper & in a panic, this sort of thing would have been very welcome.”
Few would expect football clubs to be at the forefront of an effort to break the taboo around periods. Yet here we are. In less than five months 29 grounds have responded to the campaign of three female Celtic season-ticket holders and now stock free sanitary products.
The dismissal of Will Spencer against Wasps for a challenge without malice exposed the need for a lighter sanction
We will come to the rights and wrongs shortly but imagine for a moment you are a rugby player in a packed defensive line. The opposition are moving the ball at pace towards your side of the field and you have to make a split-second judgment. Is the ball destined to reach the individual you are marking or will it disappear out the back to someone else? You are a forward, paid to tackle hard for a living. Missing is unthinkable. You wait … and then launch yourself. Uh, oh. The ball has gone and your target’s head has slightly dipped. Damn it. Too late now.
Thoughts of a similar nature will have flashed through Will Spencer’s mind in Coventry on Sunday shortly before his shoulder caught the head and neck of Wasps’ Tommy Taylor and prompted a red card that has split opinion. On one side are old pros who saw it as an occupational hazard, part of rugby, one of those unfortunate things. On the other are lawmakers and concussion experts, for whom even a glancing blow to the head is cause for concern. Rugby’s increasingly worrying problem is that both camps are entirely correct.
• German bullish with Mbapp?, Cavani and Neymar in town • ‘It is the biggest test of our defending so far for sure’
J?rgen Klopp has said he would not swap his Liverpool attack for the Paris Saint-Germain triumvirate of Edinson Cavani, Kylian Mbapp? and Neymar but warned they pose the greatest threat to his team’s unbeaten start.
• Anthony Joshua’s promoter says fight is important for Russia • ‘This is a major, major thing if he could stick one on a Brit’
Alexander Povetkin has the full weight of the Russian government behind him as he prepares to fight Anthony Joshua at Wembley on Saturday evening, the promoter, Eddie Hearn, has warned.
Hearn, who believes Povetkin presents a much greater threat to Joshua’s WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight title belts than most realise, said Russia would love to “stick one on a Brit” given the difficult diplomatic relations between the two countries since the novichok poisonings in Salisbury.
ECB’s twist on T20, available from 2020, was road-tested on Monday at Trent Bridge and the games were short if not sweet
The Hundred, eh? After a couple of low-key pilot matches at an empty Trent Bridge in mid?September it is possible to report back that the ECB’s funky new format is, to all intents and purposes, still cricket.
Ferrari’s strategy came up short, Max Verstappen underlined his potential and the future of F1 was leaked on social media
A weekend that had begun with such optimism for Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari ended with the team and driver bearing the demeanour of the defeated. They should have done better. Vettel had hit the wall in FP2, ending his session. He insisted it made no difference to his preparation but crucially second practice was the only one run in exactly the same night conditions as qualifying. Lewis Hamilton pointedly noted that small events have ramifications and he was right. The race might have been different had Vettel been on pole but, forced to go aggressive, Ferrari’s strategy failed. The undercut did not work, he hit traffic and he was on the wrong tyre – losing second to Max Verstappen. The title looks as if it has gone and the Scuderia increasingly appear to need a comprehensive overhaul. Vettel can deliver but he needs the car and sharp minds on the pit wall that have been missing of late.
Southampton actually enjoyed some breathing space. It was not for long, admittedly, given it took Brighton a little under two minutes to set home nerves jangling again. Saints’ players may struggle to recall that blissful century of seconds when the stuffing appeared to have been knocked out of their opponents and they were coasting serenely towards only a second home league win in 10 months. In the end the overriding sensation was one of familiar, numbing disappointment, of the kind they endure too often on their own patch.
That was soon overtaken by livid frustration. “We were 2-0 up against an opponent we have to beat … it’s not good enough,” grumbled Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, scorer of the game’s most spectacular goal far earlier in the match. As panic gripped in stoppage time, he watched aghast as James Ward-Prowse was penalised for fouling Shane Duffy and the referee awarded a penalty.
Total of 28 contracts will be available for the 15s side
Sarah Hunter: ‘young girls can now aspire to making a living’
The England women’s captain, Sarah Hunter, believes the decision of Twickenham to offer 28 full-time contracts from the beginning of next year is “hugely significant” and will encourage more to take up the sport.
Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge finished the Berlin Marathon in 2hr 1min 39sec on Sunday but advances in shoe technology, carbohydrate drinks and mindsets may close the gap further
When Eliud Kipchoge woke to a dazzling Monday morning in Berlin he was greeted with global headlines lauding him as a “long-distance Usain Bolt” and “the fastest man in the world”. No wonder, given that he had just “pulverised” – as Marca put it – the marathon world record by 78 seconds.
According to Die Welt, the Kenyan had also performed another feat of wizardry by contradicting the late Czech runner Emil Zatopek, in 1954 the first man to break the 29?minute barrier in the 10,000m and a visionary who famously said that “fish float, birds fly, and humans run”. The paper insisted: “The 33-year-old did not run. He flew to a new world best.”
• Talks between men’s and women’s tours in US and Europe • Brittany Lincicome featured as exemption on PGA Tour in July
The prospect of golf’s leading men and women competing in the same event is edging closer, according to the head of the LPGA Tour, who confirmed talks are taking place with his equivalents at men’s tours on both sides of the Atlantic. Mike Whan also said the concept of women professionals earning identical sums to men is not fanciful.
Whan, who has been the LPGA Tour commissioner since 2010, has been in detailed discussions with Jay Monahan of the PGA Tour and the European Tour’s Keith Pelley as golf seeks to boost interest levels with mixed events. Options including full and smaller field events, plus mixed pairs competitions, are being assessed.
In the run-up to Liverpool’s win over Tottenham on Saturday, Sky Sports broadcast some pre-match filler they’d recorded earlier in the week, in which Christian Eriksen and Ben Davies beat Harry Kane and Eric Dier in a round at their training ground’s putting green. While it was all just a bit of fun, Dier was clearly embarrassed to lip out while standing over a tiddler and his performance in the subsequent football match suggested that the golf course isn’t the only sporting arena in which he appears to have developed the yips. Of course it would be unfair to single out Dier, when so many of his team-mates played so poorly, putting in a collective performance that suggested the little trophy handed to Eriksen and Davies will be the only one presented to anyone in a Tottenham shirt this season.
The Bills cornerback walked away from a multi-million dollar contract on his own terms: at half-time in Sunday’s loss
The rigors of training camp bring enlightenment for many football players. That’s the most grueling portion of the NFL schedule for veterans who must put their body, year after year, through the grind prior to kickoff.
It’s a time when many aging veterans realize they no longer want to sacrifice their bodies after millions earned and plenty of accolades racked up. Some players realize they no longer have the desire to train non-stop and diet after the season concludes.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored his 500th career goal on Saturday in LA Galaxy's 5-3 loss to Toronto. The 36-year-old Swedish striker has now joined Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as the only active players with 500 goals for club and country
Players from Flamengo and Vasco da Gama pushed an ambulance from the pitch on Saturday after the vehicle – which was transporting an injured player to hospital – failed to start.
Vasco’s Bruno Silva had been knocked unconscious in an aerial collision and needed medical attention abut after being loaded into the ambulance it needed the players to push it to be able to leave the pitch.
Play resumed after the incident and the match finished 1-1. Silva has been discharged after a night in hospital.
The four-times F1 champion is back at the heart of the sport as a special adviser to Renault. As he explains, being an outsider battling against the odds is a key motivating factor
It is striking how short silences punctuate Alain Prost’s replies, pauses during which it is impossible not to be caught by the steely gaze of his grey-green eyes. Behind them, sharp as ever, he considers every answer. Here, then, is “the Professor”, bringing the same thoughtful analysis to the table that he brought to the track and his four world titles – experience from which the Renault team are now benefiting after they presented Prost with a challenge he has enthusiastically embraced back at the heart of F1.
“When I find an interesting challenge with an objective and it’s good for you, your personal life, the brain, why not? I am very happy,” he says.
Gennady Golovkin and Canelo ?lvarez both made weight on Friday ahead of their much-anticipated rematch for the world middleweight championship on the Las Vegas strip.
Afterwards, Canelo quickly invaded Golovkin's space when they came together for the traditional staredown and briefly drove his forehead into his opponent's, but the Kazakh fighter stood expressionless, staring right back until they were separated.
Mexico's ?lvarez said he did it because he was "excited from seeing all the fans", while Golovkin dismissed his opponent's provocation by saying: "Tomorrow you'll see [the] real war."
RB Leipzig coach Ralf Ragnick has installed a “wheel of misfortune” to help determine how misbehaving players should be punished? Which of these forfeits is not on the wheel?
Train in a tutu
Work in the club shop
Serve food in the canteen
Buy gifts for the club’s employees
Pay a fine
Which of these statements about new US Open champion Naomi Osaka is false?
She was only one year old when Serena Williams first won the US Open
She has a 100% record against Serena Williams
She was born in New York
She is the first Japanese player to win a Grand Slam singles tournament
Premier League leaders Liverpool face their toughest challenge of the season so far on Saturday, when they visit Tottenham. Liverpool struggled in recent away matches against their closest rivals. At which of these grounds did they pick up any points last season?
The Etihad, Manchester City
Old Trafford, Manchester United
Stamford Bridge, Chelsea
None of them
What feat did Gavin Whyte achieve this week?
He became the youngest cricketer to win the County Championship
He scored with his first touch in international football
He scored the first hat trick in Nations League history
He became the first golfer from Belgium to be picked for the Ryder Cup
Gennady Golovkin and Canelo ?lvarez meet in Las Vegas on Saturday night for their long-awaited rematch 364 days after their controversial draw at the same venue. Who is the only boxer to have defeated either man in the professional ranks?
The teams are in for the 2018 Ryder Cup. Which US player is older than the Europe team captain?
The Ryder Cup is being played in continental Europe for only the second time this year. France are hosts this year; which country hosted in 1997?
George Weah played for Liberia against Nigeria aged 51 on Tuesday. What was his son Tim doing that day?
Managing the Nigeria team
Playing up front alongside his father
Playing for USA against Mexico in Nashville
Meeting Theresa May in his role as Liberia's economics minister
What did Rikki Clarke do for the first time in 2002 and for the second time this week?
He won a US Open doubles title
He scored for Luxembourg against San Marino
He won the County Championship with Surrey
He raced in a Formula 1 grand prix
What is remarkable about Surrey’s title winners?
No one in their squad has ever played Test cricket for England
They have not lost a game all season
All of their players are under the age of 23
They also won both the One-Day Cup and the T20 Blast
1 and above.
Ah well, better luck next week
2 and above.
Ah well, better luck next week
4 and above.
Ah well, better luck next week
3 and above.
Ah well, better luck next week
5 and above.
A fine performance. Enjoy your weekend
6 and above.
A fine performance. Enjoy your weekend
7 and above.
You hero. Have a great weekend. You've earned it
8 and above.
You hero. Have a great weekend. You've earned it
9 and above.
You hero. Have a great weekend. You've earned it
0 and above.
Ah well, better luck next week
10 and above.
Perfection. You hero. Have a great weekend. You've earned it
The takeover’s threat to club independence and existing regulations may have prompted its failure but it has opened up a debate about how rugby can brand and run itself better
The response of one Premiership club official to the takeover bid for the league by the private equity company CVC was succinct: the devil will be in the detail. An immediate cash injection for each side of ?17m was the lure but a halving of income from central funds made the longer-term prospect look risky.
And there was the issue of control. If a private company took a 51% stake in the Premiership, it would be in charge of the group of the Premiership, in effect making it a single entity like MLS in United States football. Clubs would lose their independence and their officials, who have seats on a number of decision-making bodies, such as the professional game board in England and that of the organisers of the European Champions Cup, would face being dumped. Losing control proved a step too far for the club owners this week and CVC now has to decide whether to tailor its proposal.
2) Burt Reynolds, who died last week aged 82, was a college football running back before he headed for Hollywood and starred in one of cinema’s most famous gridiron depictions in the Longest Yard, a tale of a former NFL player recruiting a group of prisoners to play against their guards. Here’s a trailer for the 1974 film. Until Vinnie Jones made Mean Machine, a football-based remake in 2001, the closest UK equivalent to The Longest Yard’s in-game action was this scene from 1979’s Porridge: The Movie.
Alastair Cook hailed Jimmy Anderson the ‘best cricketer England have ever produced’. Our correspondents beg to differ
Young, svelte, pre-injury Botham was great on the numbers alone. In his first 50 Tests Botham scored 2,500 runs at 35 and took 230 wickets at 22, a swing bowler in the Anderson class. For the last eight years of the Botham Supremacy he was something else, toting around his own outlandish celebrity, still conjuring moments of paunchy brilliance, but never looked after in the manner of the current crop. The greatest and, oddly enough, still the most famous modern English cricketer. BR
Sports stars spend their youth lauded for their grace and strength. How do we stop ourselves from becoming ‘a tattered coat upon a stick’ when glory fades?
Professional athletes are shooting stars: they burn bright as they flame across the sky, then suddenly fade into quiet darkness. Movie stars, best-selling authors, and platinum musicians can stay affixed in the firmament of celebrity for decades, twinkling on our Twitter feeds and Entertainment Weekly covers. But years of physical abuse of our bodies through training and competing wears down athletes – and our importance – to stiff, aching, Advil-popping appendages. The useless appendix of the entertainment business. How are we to stay relevant in society beyond yakking endlessly about our glory days?
Those glory days for most pro athletes are short. The average career in the NFL is a little over three years. In the NBA, the average it is 4.8 years, and in MLB, it’s 5.6. Most of these athletes have trained for 10 or more years to get to the pros – and for most it’s over quickly. They’ve had a quick taste and are out the door before they become addicted. But for athletes who have managed to beat the odds and stay in the sports spotlight for many years, our final bow can feel a little too final. Kobe Bryant (20 years), Derek Jeter (19 years), John Stockton (19 years), Jack Nicklaus (25 years), Mark Messier (26 years), Nolan Ryan (27 years), Gordie Howe (34 years), Pele (22 years), me (20 years) and many others with double-digit years in the gladiatorial arena are relatively young when we retire, usually in our 30s or 40s. Which is when we ask ourselves the existential question: who am I now?
After sharing 111 Tests with Alastair Cook the batsman’s retirement will have set the pair thinking about their own exits
The wind was up at the Oval on Tuesday morning, blowing in low grey clouds from the south. The summer heat was gone and the light was so poor that the floodlights were on. It seemed autumn had arrived just in time for the last day of England’s season. They feel like a team on the turn themselves, this match the equinoctial point. They have lost Alastair Cook, who has opened for them in every game they have played these past 12 years, and that leaves Jimmy Anderson, 36, and Stuart Broad, 32, as the last two old hands in Joe Root’s team. They have been bowling with the new ball almost as long as Cook has been batting against it.
Although the president is a constant critic of the NFL, he unintentionally helped the league during a hapless turn as a witness in a 1986 lawsuit
As its third season came toward a close, the United States Football League filed an anti-trust lawsuit against the NFL, claiming it had established a monopoly with respect to television broadcasting rights. The suit was led by Donald Trump, the New Jersey Generals owner who was convinced his league would win and, as a result, force a merger with the NFL. Held over 42 days in the United States District Court in Manhattan, it was one of the most eagerly anticipated trials in the history of modern sports. And the USFL seemed to have a good shot – until Trump stepped up …
The NFL’s lead attorney, Frank Rothman, utilized an approach that was the 180-degree opposite of [USFL attorney Harvey] Myerson’s. He didn’t beat people down. He didn’t scream, rant, snarl. A distinguished 59-year-old with broad shoulders and gray hair, Rothman was the former CEO of MGM/UA Entertainment, and he exuded a natural dignity. He sat back, let Myerson do his dance (as the entity that led the suit, the USFL was first to call witnesses), then meticulously went about making the NFL’s case that the USFL, by moving to fall, dug its own grave. “They had everything their way at the beginning,” Rothman said. “They had the jury they wanted. They hammered away at the Harvard [presentation]. Myerson was pitching the little guys versus the big guys. I would go back and tell the NFL people, ‘Listen, when we get our turn we can start turning this thing around. We have to be patient.’ But, actually, it didn’t take that long.”