Things tagged sport:
John Urschel Goes Pro
Jordan Ellenberg at Hmm Daily:
“I have, or had, more math talent than football talent,” Urschel tells me. “I fully believe this.” But the world is on the lookout for football players. His coaches at Canisius, an all-boys Jesuit high school, continually encouraged him to think big, bigger, biggest. If he worked at it, he could play in college. He could play in the Big Ten. There was a chance he could play in the NFL. From his math teachers? Zero.
That changed at Penn State, where Urschel enrolled in 2009 to study math and play football.
Ronnie O'Sullivan 14th 147
And the adorable hug from the referee at the end.
YouTube-taught javelin thrower Julius Yego wins gold at world championships
The Guardian was breathless in its description of Yego’s winning heave on its live blog:
An astonishing throw by Julius Yego! He literally launches himself into his third attempt, straining every sinew as he releases the javelin and falling face down onto the floor. His nipples will have taken a hell of a scraping there. It’s ungainly. Unorthodox. And my goodness it’s worth it, the spear flying way past the 90-metre mark! It’s a throw of 92.72, a season’s best! And the Commonwealth record, previously held by Steve Backley.
And here is the actual throw:
Thirteen Ways of Looking at Greg Maddux
Not what you think it is:
Jeremy Collins in SB Nation:
On the mastery of Greg Maddux, the tragedy of losing a best friend, and how the two will be forever connected.
30 for 30 Shorts: ‘The High Five’
Our latest film, from award-winning director Michael Jacobs, tells the story of a celebratory gesture and the tumultuous life of the man who made it happen
Qatari Soccer Empire Buys a Foothold in Europe
In the southeast corner of Belgium, there is a town of about 20,000 that is known, to the extent it is known at all, as a key battleground during the Battle of the Bulge and, more recently, as the center of the tiny slice of this country that speaks German instead of French.
Time moves slowly here. There is a quaint stretch of shops and a small train station and a hotel, the Ambassador, which has 28 rooms. The biggest commotion on any given day is when the children at the school in town go outside for recess.
Except on soccer days. Then, much of the town treks up a steep hill to a modest soccer stadium, the Kehrweg-Stadion, home to K.A.S. Eupen, the local professional team that has spent most of its 69-year existence in the lower divisions of Belgium’s national league. The stadium is unremarkable, with its squat, steel stands and patchy grass, and yet it was the site, on a March morning two years ago, of one of the strangest couplings in professional sports.
On that day, a group of about 20 men toured the 8,000-seat stadium, examining its sparse amenities and looking out at the drab surrounding areas. They then moved on to K.A.S. Eupen’s small offices, where a candid meeting between club officials and executives from Qatar’s Aspire Academy, based in Doha some 3,000 miles away, began promptly at 10 a.m.
Those in the room would later describe this meeting between the officials of a mostly anonymous Belgian soccer team and representatives of a Middle Eastern royal family as surreal. As they negotiated the details of an acquisition, four languages were spoken — English, French, German and Arabic — and while the club had a multilingual staff member on hand to help translate, there were still moments of inevitable confusion.
Lionel Messi Is Impossible
Benjamin Morris at FiveThirtyEight:
Even though national teams are patchwork and only play together for a handful of games each year, how Messi plays with Argentina relates to what is ultimately a fair criticism of his success: Most of it has come for FC Barcelona, a free-spending virtual all-star squad, packed with many of the world’s best players.
As the primary striker for such a juggernaut, it can be hard to detangle Messi’s goal-scoring prowess from Barcelona’s general offensive dominance. And the 2013-14 season hasn’t helped: Battling minor injuries and facing competition for touches from superstar arrival Neymar, Messi’s most recent season was slightly below par by his standards, yet Barca finished second in La Liga. (And in the seven games Messi missed, they went 6-1.) He still scored 41 goals, but that total was less than the 60 he scored the year before, and fewer than the 51 that rival Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid scored en route to capturing the Ballon d’Or.
I think this criticism is fair — and I found it intriguing enough to look into the matter myself. So I gathered and organized data, crunched it, re-crunched it, and gathered more data and crunched it some more.