AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore”The Charlottesville City Council has approved a $30,515 grant to continue a Bullying Prevention Program.” (DailyProgress.com) Thanks to Andrew for the link. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore
Against my better judgment, I watched some of the Pro Bowl draft.Because I had nothing better to do on a Wednesday night was excited to know whether Ravens specialists Sam Koch and Morgan Cox would be drafted to opposing teams, I attempted to watch ESPN’s coverage and expected clever trash talk and over-caffeinated enthusiasm for a fake football game. What I witnessed was something different entirely.It was dull — painfully dull.No fun.The highlight was New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning reminding his top receiver and Pro Bowl captain Odell Beckham Jr. why it was wise to draft him, quipping that he could have 100 catches or no catches next season. But everything else reeked of just going through the motions and running out the clock for the two-hour special.Hoping to at least come away with some sarcastic fodder for Twitter, I instead tapped out after 32 minutes that felt much longer than that. Credit ESPN for producing a nice little segment recognizing a surviving veteran from the attack on Pearl Harbor with the 75th anniversary coming later this year, but the rest of the coverage from Hawaii felt as pointless as the upcoming game itself.With no disrespect intended to the Ravens’ four selections — we learned that Cox and Elvis Dumervil are on Jerry Rice’s team and Koch and Marshal Yanda were chosen for Michael Irvin’s team — the Pro Bowl just isn’t worth anyone’s time or effort. More players than ever are declining the invitation and now even one of the Pro Bowl head coaches — Green Bay’s Mike McCarthy — is missing the game due to an illness.Why again should fans bother watching on Sunday night if so many players don’t even care to show up?Since the NFL scrapped the traditional AFC-NFC format — which at least provided some semblance of a rooting interest — the TV ratings for the game have declined sharply over the last two years, but enough are still watching. To each his own, I suppose, and the league will probably continue to hold the event if it’s profitable.Still, it feels so pointless holding an exhibition game with players — the ones who actually bother to show up — competing at less than full speed while still putting themselves at risk for injury. It’s bad enough when a star player suffers a serious injury in the preseason when he’s at least preparing for a new year, but how would a team and its fans like to lose a standout performer to a torn ACL now with a recovery timetable that would bleed into the start of next season?The idea of the Pro Bowl is far superior to the real thing. The Ravens have had at least four players selected for the game in each of the last 10 years — an impressive run that reflects their overall team success — but the honor itself isn’t worth putting players in harm’s way.The league can continue on with the annual all-star game and probably still fool enough people into watching — because it’s the almighty NFL — but it just isn’t worth the effort for anyone involved.And Wednesday’s draft sure made it feel like no one really wanted to be there.
Victories over Inter and Barcelona are still required to guarantee Spurs will progress from Group B, but their star striker is keen to add to a story of famous continental recoveries from Premier League clubs.”The Champions League has thrown up some amazing fairytales in the past,” he told the Independent, before evoking Chelsea’s 2012 semi-final victory against Barcelona and Liverpool’s comeback from 3-0 down to lift the trophy in 2005 at AC Milan’s expense.”When I watched Chelsea against Barcelona they looked as though they had no hope.”And they ended up getting through somehow and winning the final. Liverpool were 3-0 down in the final and won, so sometimes things are meant to be.”I’m not saying that this is going to be our year, but this win gives us that little bit more belief that we can get through the group.”That’s the next step for us. That is all we can try and do. If we can do that, we will be ready to fight in the knockout stages.”Spurs travel to Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Saturday, looking to close the gap on leaders Manchester City after a mixed start to the 2018-19 season.Ahead of that clash, Kane addressed the frustration around the club over the delays with the new stadium, insisting that the team will keep working hard to secure victories at Wembley in the meantime, despite the uncertainty.“We know that the fans would love to be in the new stadium,” the 25-year-old added. “We know we could have played better as well. It has been one of those years where we have had to just grind it out. “We’ve been doing well at it. We’ve kept ourselves alive so far.”Obviously another tough game on Saturday that we’ve got to go and win and see where we are at going into the international break.” Harry Kane wants Tottenham to take inspiration from Chelsea and Liverpool’s famous Champions League comebacks as Mauricio Pochettino’s men plot their own great escape.At the fourth time of asking this season, Spurs tasted victory in Europe’s premier competition on Tuesday, coming from behind to beat PSV 2-1 thanks to a brace from England captain Kane.