1976Minnesota2+0.28+0.14-0.05+0.14 1996New England2+0.30+0.110.00+0.08 1999St. Louis2+0.21-0.23+0.33+0.19 Source: Pro-Football-Reference.com 1984San Francisco2+0.24+0.06+0.16+0.04 YEARTEAMGAMESQ1Q2Q3Q4/OT 2015Carolina2+0.41+0.08+0.020.00 1987Denver2+0.38+0.09-0.05+0.08 1986N.Y. Giants2+0.22+0.26+0.020.00 1981Cincinnati2+0.34-0.03+0.10+0.09 WPA/GAME BY QTR 1973Miami2+0.28+0.04+0.10+0.08 1985Chicago2+0.26+0.05+0.190.00 Along their path to Super Bowl 50, the Carolina Panthers have been absolutely laying waste to opponents early in games. After a quarter against the Seattle Seahawks, they were up 14-0; at halftime they led 31-0. (Seattle would rally to bring the final score within a touchdown.) After a quarter against the Arizona Cardinals, they led 17-0; at halftime they were up 24-7. (Arizona did not rally at all, losing by 34.) Those average playoff leads — 15.5 points after one quarter, and 24 points after two — are both post-merger records1The latter is tied with the 1990 Buffalo Bills and 2000 New York Giants. for Super Bowl-bound teams.Another way to quantify Carolina’s dominance is win probability. Ignoring point spreads — i.e,. assuming each team starts a game with a 50-50 shot at winning, instead of accounting for pregame differences in perceived strength between the teams — the Panthers have added an average of 41 WP points in the first quarters of their pre-Super Bowl playoff games, another record: 1994San Francisco2+0.26+0.22+0.020.00 1978Pittsburgh2+0.24+0.17+0.04+0.05 1990Buffalo2+0.37+0.06+0.04+0.03 1983Washington2+0.21+0.17+0.120.00 1977Dallas2+0.21+0.20+0.06+0.03 In plain English, this means they’ve ended the first quarters of their playoff games with an average win probability of 91 percent. These games have been all but over after just 15 minutes of play! Tack on another 8 points of WP in the second quarter, as Carolina has done, and it’s averaging a 99 percent chance of victory at halftime during these playoffs. Among post-merger Super Bowl teams, that mark trails only the 1989 San Francisco 49ers by a hundredth of a percentage point.So the Panthers have had insanely dominant starts in their playoff games. Does that actually say something extra about their chances in the Super Bowl? Historically speaking, not really. Since 1970, there’s basically zero relationship between how dominant a team has been in the first quarter of its pre-Super Bowl playoff games and its point differential in the Super Bowl itself. (In fact, the top six teams according to average first-quarter WPA all lost the Super Bowl.)The same is essentially true when you look at the relationship between average first-half pre-Super Bowl WPA and Super Bowl point differential. Entire playoff games are a small sample,2There’s also no correlation between a team’s victory margin in the conference championship game as a whole and its point differential in the Super Bowl. let alone fractions of those games, so a team’s early-game dominance doesn’t tell us a whole lot about how they should be expected to play in the future.Let’s be clear: The Panthers are solidly favored to beat the Broncos in the Super Bowl, whether you look at Vegas lines, Elo ratings or other power-ranking metrics. But that should owe far more to their performance over the larger sample of the season (perhaps with a little extra emphasis on recent play) than the impressive way they’ve started their playoff games, even if those hot starts are incredibly fresh in our minds. 1982Washington3+0.27+0.16-0.03+0.10 2004Philadelphia2+0.23+0.07+0.16+0.04 2000N.Y. Giants2+0.30+0.16+0.03+0.01 2011New England2+0.24+0.07-0.17+0.36 Fastest starts on the road to the Super Bowl 1988Cincinnati2+0.23+0.10+0.04+0.14
Tiger Woods, eyeing a return to the No. 1 position in the golfing world, fired a 3-under 69 and rests four shots behind leader Justin Rose after the first round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Country Club in Orlando.Woods has won this tournament seven times and has himself well-positioned after Day 1. The No. 2 player in the world behind Rory McIlroy said he did not play his best, but he managed his way around the course well enough to be right there.He made an eagle, four birdies to counter three bogeys in his round that started early Thursday. Most encouraging was his continued solid putting that was on display at the WGC-Cadillac Invitational, where two weeks ago he had a career-best 100 putts over 72 holes.“I played all right today. I didn’t hit it my best, that’s for sure,” Woods said. “But I scored well. I took care of the par-5s, but I didn’t birdie them the way I like to. I hit some bad shots, but was fortunate to get the ball on the green and make a putt.”Woods played the par-5s in 5 under par — he was 14 under on those holes last year. He hit 12 of 18 greens in regulation and had a respectable 28 putts.A couple of early par-saving putts and a 12-footer for an eagle at the 16th hole (his seventh) got Woods to 3 under before consecutive bogeys at the 17th and 18th holes. He then made birdies at the fourth, fifth and sixth holes before missing the green at the par-3 seventh and failing to get up and down.Woods was playing for the first time since winning his 17th World Golf Championship event and 76th PGA Tour title two weeks ago at Doral.A victory at Bay Hill would move Woods to No. 1 in the world for the first time since Oct. 31, 2010 — when he dropped from the top spot for the first time in over five years. McIlroy is not playing at Bay Hill.Rose shot a 7-under-par 65.
Move after move, hour after hour, Carlsen nursed a roughly one-pawn edge.2It’s common in chess to measure a player’s advantage in terms of “material,” or pieces remaining on the board. There’s a rough point system: pawns are worth 1 point, bishops and knights are 3, rooks are 5 and queens are 9. Move after move, hour after hour, Karjakin crafted his fortress. The siege would begin soon.But Carlsen eventually slipped, and the peanut gallery, reveling in laptop-aided hindsight, began to doubt his tactics. On his 45th move, Carlsen (black) faced this board. The French word for chess is échecs. The French term for Tuesday’s game at the World Chess Championship is déjà vu.On Monday, world No. 1 and defending champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway fought his challenger, world No. 9 Sergey Karjakin of Russia, in a sweeping 78-move, seven-hour classic worthy of Terrence Malick — a draw for the ages. On a gloomy Tuesday in lower Manhattan, the players sat down in front of 32 pieces and 64 squares and did it again.The result was a 94-move, six-hour-plus draw that kept the best-of-12 world championship match tied for yet another game. After four games and four consecutive draws, the grandmasters’ tally is now 2-2.1Wins are worth 1 point, draws are worth 1/2 a point for each player, and losses are worth 0 points. Whoever gets to 6.5 points first, wins.Harry Houdini was known to escape after being handcuffed, nailed into a wooden box and dumped into the East River. Sergey Karjakin should now be known for escaping in a suit jacket from a thick glass box just a block away from the East River — a box containing two chairs, a chess set and the brain of Magnus Carlsen.Tuesday’s game saw a familiar opening, one that’s becoming de rigueur in this match: the Ruy Lopez, in which each side plays its king’s pawn, each develops a knight, and white attacks black’s knight with a bishop. It’s been a staple in chess for over half a millennium because it develops pieces quickly and creates tension, and it’s been played in each of the last three championship games. In fact, each of the players’ first five moves in Tuesday’s Game 4 exactly matched their first five moves in Game 2. Nevertheless, Tuesday’s early board developed into a complex tapestry — both strategically and tactically rich — with no clear early advantage to either side. Not a single piece was captured until the 16th move.But soon after that capture, this latest game looked like it had slipped away from the Russian. On his 19th move, Karjakin, playing white, faced this position. He had just snuck his bishop into enemy territory, capturing a black pawn that had been camping on h6. The computer chess engine Stockfish screamed “Escape!” suggesting Karjakin bring the bishop back from whence it came, returning it to safety on c1. But Karjakin (with no access to a computer, of course) chose a more adventurous path. He captured black’s knight on c4 with his other bishop, essentially trading those two pieces, since black’s pawn could then easily capture the bishop. Neither the computers nor the human analysts liked this one bit.That move forced black to double up its pawns on what’s called the c-file, which is chess jargon for the c column on the board. Doubled pawns are usually a no-no, but the move benefited black in other ways. Robert Hess, a grandmaster and chess.com contributor, explained to me that it created a ton of space for Carlsen’s two bishops to operate and it opened up the b-file for either of black’s rooks to swoop down and attack. From then on, Carlsen’s momentum built, and for hours you couldn’t find anyone who wasn’t predicting a Carlsen victory. He looked unbeatable. He slid his pawn down a square, to f4. It didn’t look like much to me at first. But the online assemblage seemed to say “f4” in the same way a Red Sox fan might say “Bucky Dent.” Stockfish preferred sliding the bishop down to e6, pressuring white’s pawn. As Hikaru Nakamura, a top American player, explained on Twitter, that pawn move constipated the board, limiting the pieces’ ability to move (what chess types call “closing the position”). That in turn contributed to Karjakin’s fortress and denied black the dynamic board it needed to secure a victory.Some were blunter in their analyses than others. Even an acquaintance of mine, who was emailing to make plans to have coffee, had something to say. The email ended: “Also, re today: F4??”Over the next 50 moves — an endgame masterclass — bishops jockeyed for position, kings chased each other around the board, and pawns mostly stood frozen in fear. But eventually the siege ended. The fortress held. Another bloodless classic.Monday’s nearly seven-hour game may have taken its toll on both players, perhaps even contributing to the inaccuracies. Somewhere around move 17, Carlsen wandered away from the board and cameras captured him on the couch in his private player’s room, seemingly collecting himself: Mercifully, the players have a day off Wednesday. The match resumes Thursday afternoon, and I’ll be covering the rest of the games here and on Twitter.
The No. 4 Ohio State wrestling team added two wins in Big Ten action after defeating both Michigan and Northwestern this weekend. The Buckeyes fell to Michigan in 14 consecutive matches from 1994-2007. However, the Buckeyes have turned the tables on the Wolverines, taking the past three matches.Friday night, the Buckeyes took a major decision over the Wolverines 29-9. Junior Nikko Triggas put the Buckeyes on the board early with a pin. Triggas is ranked No. 20 at 125 pounds. A California High School State Champion and three time state qualifier out of Moraga, Calif., Triggas had his support system in the crowd over the weekend.“I’ve got six family members here; they come out here twice a year to my matches,” Triggas said. They picked a great weekend to come out.In just under 3:00, Triggas had his second pin of the weekend on Sunday against Northwestern. “A pin against Michigan is always huge and to get a second one in the same weekend is great,” Triggas said. With 141 pins, he holds the record at Campolindo High School for most career pins.He’s working toward another school record with 12 pins on the season.“I’m climbing up the leaderboard for all-time in Ohio State. I have to get a few more to top the season off,” Triggas said.Coach Tom Ryan would like to see Triggas’ stamina improve during this training phase. “He’s really good on top and when you’re tired you’re not as good on top and on your feet, so there’s a lot of room for improvement,” Ryan said. Triggas likes the camaraderie and team aspect at the collegiate level, but admits he’s probably better at the Greco-Roman and freestyle. In 2008, he took two gold medals at the Pan American Championships in Junior Greco-Roman and freestyle events. He is just one of two wrestlers to win both events. As a Buckeye he is a two-time NCAA championship qualifier and led the team last season in falls and near falls. Ryan and Triggas have the same mentality: They all plan on going to the championships.After a 37-6 win over Northwestern, the Buckeyes are 16-1 overall and 5-0 in Big Ten conference action. The team heads to Illinois for another conference match on Friday at 8 p.m.
When Ohio State played at Iowa on Jan. 4, the Hawkeyes proved a much tougher test for the Buckeyes than expected. OSU trailed at halftime of that game before escaping with just a five-point win. The second time around, however, was much less dramatic. Led by senior David Lighty and 40 minutes of stifling defense, No. 1 OSU (19-0, 6-0 Big Ten) routed Iowa, 70-48, Wednesday. “It was our game plan to come in and play defense for 40 minutes,” Lighty said. “It’s something that we haven’t been doing lately and it’s something that we’ve been keying on. “This week in practice it was just preparing to play real Ohio State defense and I think we came out and did it today.” Lighty finished the game with 18 points and five rebounds and became just the third player in OSU history to record 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 300 assists in his career. The only two other Buckeyes to accomplish the feat were Jim Jackson and Evan Turner. The first half began with senior Dallas Lauderdale scoring seven of the Buckeyes’ first 12 points. Lauderdale, who has struggled since the start of conference play nearly three weeks ago, hadn’t scored more than six points against any Big Ten team this season and had been held scoreless twice in the last five games before scoring nine points Wednesday. Lauderdale put in two dunks to go along with a three-point play in the first six minutes, giving OSU an early 12-4 lead. Although Lauderdale picked up his second foul with 10 minutes remaining in the half, coach Thad Matta said he was pleased with the way his starting center played on both ends of the floor. “I thought he was good,” Matta said. “He was active on the glass and picked up a couple fouls there in the first half, but that’s the level we need him at.” Early on in conference play, the Buckeyes had made a habit of getting big leads, only to squander them away down the stretch. In the second half against the Hawkeyes, however, OSU did no such thing. The Buckeyes led by as many as 23 before completing the 22-point victory, holding the Hawkeyes to their lowest point total of the season. “When we feel good about our defense, we’re a great team and it’s going to be even harder to beat us,” Lighty said. “We have so many weapons offensively, and when we tie our defense with that there’s really not too many holes that we have in our game.” Junior William Buford scored 15 points, and freshman Jared Sullinger scored 13 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Freshman Aaron Craft, who scored a career-high 19 points in the Buckeyes’ last game, scored just three points, but his defense suffocated the Hawkeyes all night. His seven steals were a tie for second most in a game in OSU history and the most for a freshman. “That’s a team stat,” Craft said. “Everyone is in the gaps, putting pressure on the ball and just putting indecision in the ball-handler’s mind. I just happened to get the stat tonight.” The Buckeyes’ 19-0 start is the best of any OSU team under Matta, and the school’s best since the 1961-62 Buckeyes began the season 22-0. OSU’s next matchup will be against the No. 23 Fighting Illini at noon Saturday in Champaign, Ill.
The NFL lockout is in full swing, but Ohio State alumnus LaMonte Coleman is working to keep football on the field in Marion, Ohio. Coleman played running back at Division II Slippery Rock University in Slippery Rock, Pa., from 1992–94, but left college to pursue a professional career with the Pittsburgh Steelers and several Arena Football League teams. After retiring from professional football in 2005, Coleman assumed the roles of CEO and general manager of the Continental Indoor Football League’s Marion Blue Racers — but not before he came to OSU to finish his undergraduate education. Coleman credits his managerial career to the bachelor’s degree in sports leadership and sports humanities he received from OSU. “My degree got me into it,” he said. “It gave me the opportunity to understand sports management as a whole, including contract law, exercise science; it all mixes into one.” Rodney Swanigan, coach for the defunct Marion Mayhem of CIFL, tried to talk Coleman into coaching. “I said no,” Coleman said, “but he needed somebody with experience to help develop some of these young athletes.” Shortly after Coleman accepted a position on Swanigan’s staff, the Mayhem folded. Coleman’s chance to put his degree to work, and continue a tradition of football in Marion, proved valuable. “I got to see how the business was run,” he said. “I started thinking about ownership, and the rest is history.” Coleman then created a company called Run 42 Sports Group. He owns the Blue Racers and the Columbus Bills, a flag football team. Former Bowling Green quarterback Josh Harris came out of retirement to play for the Blue Racers. Harris, who spent time in the NFL, Canadian Football League and Arena Football League, said Coleman is pointing the team in the right direction. “We have a great group of guys that we are playing with and a great group of administrators,” Harris said. “(LaMonte) is a smart guy. He is a visionary.” First-year coach Ryan Terry, who played college football at Miami (Ohio), agreed with Harris. “It’s been a blast,” Terry said. “(LaMonte) has shown great guidance. I have learned a lot of things as far as business savvy.” The Blue Racers are 8-1 with one game remaining in the regular season, and soon will prepare for the playoffs, which begin Monday. Coleman said he is confident he has the right people in place and that the Blue Racers should stay in Marion for a while. “We are all using our experiences to be leaders in our separate positions,” he said. “It is definitely a treat for me.”
Ohio State football supporters gave thousands of dollars for the chance to interact with coaches and get their hands on rare memorabilia at a fundraiser for the football team. Almost 1,000 people attended the Coach Meyer Spring Kickoff event Tuesday on the indoor field of the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. Four different items were auctioned off in about 20 minutes and raised more than $20,000. Two autographed pictures of current and former OSU coaches Urban Meyer, Jim Tressel, John Cooper, and Earle Bruce were sold for $7,000 apiece. A Canadian rail trip to Windsor, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, and Quebec City sold for $3,500. In addition, a dinner with co-defensive coordinator Luke Fickell and defensive line coach Mike Vrabel was auctioned off for $3,000. Smaller memorabilia items were also up for sale in a silent auction. The event, which took place as a luncheon, included talks from Meyer, Bruce, Cooper, former Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffin and OSU historian Jack Park. The entire current coaching staff and many members of the team were also in attendance. The football team has been participating in spring drills since March 28 and will conclude the spring season with the Spring Game, scheduled for April 21 at 1:30 p.m at Ohio Stadium. They open their season Sept 1 against Miami (OH) in Ohio Stadium.
Then-senior forward Danica Deckard passes the ball during a game against Penn State Oct. 19, 2012, at Buckeye Varsity Field. OSU lost, 3-0.Credit: Courtesy of FacebookAfter back-to-back losses to top-10 squads, the Ohio State field hockey team will continue play away from home when it travels to Oxford to take on Miami (Ohio).Coming off a weekend of play in which the team held opponents to one goal each in both matches, the Buckeyes are ready to battle again Wednesday.Coach Anne Wilkinson said Miami will be coming after them hard on the field.“We, being Ohio State, have a lot of pressure put on us. Miami is going to be coming at us strong with everything they have, so we really need to win this in-state game,” she said.Wilkinson said time in practice has been split between working on defense and offense equally.“We worked a lot on our defense and covering the ball and then we would switch and work with the offense,” Wilkinson said. “We just need to focus on meshing the two together and make sure the defense doesn’t forget what we worked on when we switch to offense.”Senior midfield and co-captain Nora Murer pointed out some of the areas the team has been struggling with, including their inability to capitalize on penalty corners.“We practiced before and after practice on our corners which I would say is still a weak spot of ours,” Murer said.Senior midfield and co-captain Arielle Cowie said she is coming into the game expecting a win, and wants to see the team live up to its potential.“I am looking forward to winning,” Cowie said. “Last weekend we played so well together. We didn’t finish our chances but those two games just showed the potential that we have and I think coming out tomorrow we are going into that game and we know this is our game.”The main focus is on being a team that works together for the full 70 minutes, Cowie said.“We are just going to focus on really playing together and that’s all we need to do because individually, we have it but we just need to put it together and score on our chances,” Cowie said.Murer said if the Buckeyes continue to play the way they did this past weekend, the team will have no trouble securing the win against Miami.“We just need to really play on the same level from the weekend and we will be good for (Wednesday’s) game,” Murer said.The game is scheduled to begin Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. The Buckeyes are then set to travel to face Kent State Sept. 24 at 4 p.m.
Ohio State guard Karlie Cronin runs down the court during the Buckeyes game against the Boilermakers on Feb 18. Credit: Colin Hass-Hill | Sports EditorWhen asked to take a few minutes to answer questions about one of her former players, Karlie Cronin’s former coach responded, “About Karlie? Oh, I’ll do anything for Karlie Cronin.”Cronin, a junior from Fairfax, Virginia, has spent time with three different college teams, which has ended at Ohio State as a walk-on.Her journey as a basketball player began as a child, but has taken many turns since then. In addition to basketball, Cronin picked up lacrosse during her sophomore year of high school. Aggie McCormick, Cronin’s AAU coach, said balancing multiple sports at one time could be a challenge for some — not for Cronin. “She has a motor that is unbelievable to me,” McCormick said. “She could go from practice to practice all day long and never run out of energy. It’s far beyond normal. Even having come straight from hours of lacrosse practice she would do cartwheels around her teammates on the court. I have coached some of the greatest kids in the country and she still amazes me.” McCormick has been coaching for 25 years and is the founder of the Fairfax Stars AAU team. She keeps in touch with Cronin throughout the year and receives visits from her whenever she returns home for breaks. McCormick said Cronin frequently goes back to practice with the team and never misses a workout.Cronin had been playing basketball since she was 9 years old. Unfortunately, she suffered a torn ACL during her junior year of high school and could not play during July, a key recruiting prior for young athletes. As a result of her injury, she ended up at Southern Methodist University, a smaller Division-I progam than she had hoped for. But that did not last longAfter playing just two games at SMU in 2015, Cronin needed a change —and a big one at that. She was neither enjoying the school nor the basketball program as much as she had anticipated and decided to transfer to Ohio State for the following fall.Her experience was so negative that she was set on changing sports.“I was a little burnt out on basketball so I just made a highlight tape and sent that to schools to be recruited for lacrosse,” she said.Although she did enjoy playing lacrosse again in a college setting, Cronin said that she “missed the aggression that comes with basketball.”After one season as a college lacrosse player, she walked on to Ohio State to give basketball another shot. She practiced during the summer with her AAU team to prepare for the season.In her first season on the Buckeyes’ basketball team, she appeared in 20 games, but played just 52 minutes and scored two points.“Even if she’s on the bench a lot of the time, I know she loves being out there,” McCormick said. “She fought relentlessly to find a school that she could play basketball at.”Cronin seems to have handled what would appear to be a difficult transition quite smoothly. “She acclimated herself very quickly,” Ohio State women’s basketball head coach Kevin McGuff said. “She was excited about playing from Day One and works incredibly hard to do what she can to contribute to the team and the program.”Whether that hard work will translate into playing time remains unknown. But given the exit of five key seniors from the team, an increased reliance on Cronin might come sooner than many people expect.
Ohio State co-defensive coordinator and secondaries coach Jeff Hafley speaks to the media for the first time on National Signing Day on Feb. 6. Credit: Colin Gay | Sports EditorComing into his third season, Ohio State junior cornerback Jeffrey Okudah will have his third different cornerbacks coach, working under Greg Schiano and Taver Johnson in his first and second year, respectively. As one of the older guys in the cornerback room, he said not having that level of consistency with his position coach has been “unfortunate.” But that did not stop head coach Ryan Day from talking up the new secondary coach and co-defensive coordinator Jeff Hafley, a defensive backs specialist, who has spent his past six seasons in the NFL. “Coach Day told us, when he hired him, that he’d be one of the best coaches we have ever had,” Okudah said. “So far, it seems like it’s been the case.” In his first spring with the Buckeyes, Hafley has taken to heart the goals Day set for the defense in his introductory press conference: creating a high-energy, yet simple defense. With that in mind, Hafley combined the cornerbacks and safeties into one cohesive room, a room that would speak the same language, and one that would more effectively communicate and understand what is going on in the pass defense. Instead of mastering one single position, Hafley aims for his players to understand the bigger picture. “I want to teach these guys how to play the game,” Hafley said. “I don’t want them to just be pigeonholed into one position. I want them to play football and learn different positions because I think it will help us and I think it will help them in the future.” This is something Hafley has been integrating with Matt Barnes, the assistant secondary coach, neither of whom focuses on a single position. “From one individual period to the next, I have the corners, then I have the safeties, and I’m back with the corners,” Barnes said. “We are just bouncing around, it’s really by drill how we want to set it up.” So far, Hafley said this is something that his position group has bought into. He said the focus during the spring has primarily been on technique, learning the basics of the positions to create a fast yet sound secondary once fall comes. Hafley feels as though the training and the drills now, even if defensive scheme is not the major part of it, help define the ceiling of his position group later. “Spring is about creating a culture, playing with a great energy, and getting better at fundamentals and technique, which ultimately will win and lose you games,” Hafley said. For Hafley, the center of the culture has been redshirt senior cornerback Damon Arnette. From coaching the younger players in his room to jarring with redshirt senior wide receiver K.J. Hill after reps to punching junior wide receiver Jaylen Harris after a drill, Arnette has shown an ability to be a fiery leader in the room. “I haven’t seen any down from him,” Hafley said. “I see a guy who is doing everything right on and off the field, I see a guy who is giving it all he has, guy in the meeting room who is awesome.” Arnette is Hafley’s main example of the simplicity he expects, establishing a foundation for what he wants to become a fast defense that can consistently beat opposing offenses, but with a simple approach.Okudah said that is all Ohio State needs with the names the Buckeyes have at both safety and cornerback. “We are pretty talented enough to go out there and run basic things and just beat schools,” Okudah said. “If everyone is playing fast, the defense does not necessarily have to be complicated. You can just run simple things and just rely on speed and talent to beat teams.” Hafley does not focus on the struggles from this past season: the complex secondary approach that led to the Buckeyes allowing 245.2 passing yards per game, fourth-worst in the Big Ten. Instead, he looks at what could be, looking ahead at the talent and preparing them to be at their maximum potential by Aug. 31. What will a simple, yet fast secondary bring to Ohio State next season? Hafley does not know yet, and he does not want to speculate. “We will find out,” Hafley said.
They are billed as the ‘lighter way to enjoy chocolate’, and it now appears that the Maltesers slogan has come true. Bags of the chocolates appear to be 15 per cent lighter, following the controversial shrinking in size of Toblerone bars. Steve Dresser, who provides food retail insight to supermarkets and other companies, tweeted a picture of a pack of Maltesers advertised as containing 103g of chocolates.According to the apparently out-of-date signage next to the Malteser display, the plastic pouches of chocolate treats used to contain 121g of chocolates.On offer, these packs cost £1, but at full price they were being sold for £1.82.Mars told The Telegraph: “Like all chocolate manufacturers, we have seen the cost of raw materials rise and, while we try to absorb these pressures as much as possible, sometimes we have to make the difficult decision to reduce the size of some of our products so our consumers can continue to enjoy an affordable treat. Our focus is always on offering consumers our great tasting, high quality chocolate brands at the best value for money.” “We chose to change the shape to keep the product affordable for our customers, and it enables us to keep offering a great value product. it had to make a decision between changing the look of the bars or raising their price.” Mr Dresser tweeted: “Forget #Marmitegate, it’s #maltesersgate as Mars are reducing pack sizes again(!) 121g down to 103g.” It also appears Galaxy Counters, also owned by Mars, have shrunk in size. Also looks like #countersgate with a pack reduction here too – 126g down to 112g. pic.twitter.com/WaaVP5DnhU— Steve Dresser (@dresserman) November 17, 2016 Forget #Marmitegate, it’s #maltesersgate as Mars are reducing pack sizes again(!) 121g down to 103g. pic.twitter.com/TtQoHzrtl0— Steve Dresser (@dresserman) November 17, 2016 The company, which also owns Cadbury, said the move was down to the rise in the cost of ingredients, and denied it was a result of Brexit.But some consumers have described the move as “the wrong decision” and said the bigger spaces looked “stupid”.In a statement on the Toblerone Facebook page, the company said: “We had to make a decision between changing the shape of the bar, and raising the price. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. According to the image, the amount of chocolate in the pack has gone down from 126g to 112g.A major supermarket chain confirmed the packet reduction was correct and said the size was shrunk in May this year, before the EU referendum.The company which owns Toblerone recently came under fire after their new design, which means consumers get less chocolate per pack.Mondelez International has increased the gap between the peaks as a UK-only cost-saving measure to reduce the weight of its bars. The new, more spaced-out, TobleroneCredit:Alamy The new #Toblerone.Wrong on so many levels. It now looks like a bicycle stand.#WeWantOurTobleroneBack. pic.twitter.com/C71KeNUWF1— James Melville (@JamesMelville) November 8, 2016
Hey @markgoodier – only just heard. Hope you’re doing well lovely man.— Chris Hawkins (@ChrisHawkinsUK) November 18, 2016 Show more Wishing @markgoodier a speedy recovery, looking forward to having you back in 2017 🙏💚— NOW Music (@NOWMusic) November 18, 2016 The 55-year-old is receiving “excellent” medical attention and expected to return to work before the end of December, Wisebuddah said.The news has prompted scores of messages of support from fellow broadcasters, industry figures and radio listeners Mark Goodier, the former Radio 1 DJ, has suffered a stroke, his production company said.Goodier – who presented the Sunday night chart show for around 10 years until 2002 – is recovering at home following the illness at the beginning of November.An out of office reply to his email address at production company, Wisebuddah, said: “Thank you for your email.”I am away from work for a time recovering from a stroke and so not seeing email every day.” Goodier’s recovery means he is unable to record the TV promotion voiceover for the 95th edition of the hits compilation album Now That’s What I Call Music – a job he has done since Now 20 was released in 1991. The advert will be voiced by Xtra Factor’s Matt Edmondson in his place. Sending love and best wishes to my friend Mark Goodier. https://t.co/Pzorsnr88e— Jeremy Vine (@theJeremyVine) November 18, 2016 Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
A top human rights lawyer whose firm brought hundreds of claims against British troops for war crimes has admitted he acted without integrity and paid a tout thousands to find him cases.Phil Shiner, from Public Interest Lawyers, wrote a letter confessing some of his actions to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal over his firm’s alleged involvement in false claims being made against British troops by Iraqis.He wrote that “he accepts” he will now face being struck off. Shiner admits he paid a tout more than £25,000 in referral fees to find clients and admits covering his tracks by doctoring evidence.Public Interest Lawyers had brought forward nearly 200 compensation claims from Iraqis and more than 1,100 cases of alleged wrongdoing and killings by British military personnel.He brought thousands of allegations of historic abuse against British troops in Iraq that forced the Government to set up the Iraq Historic Allegations Team (IHAT) that has pursued criminal investigations against war veterans. Almost all of those claims are now known to be unfounded. Show more Conservative MP Jonny Mercer, who is holding a Parliamentary inquiry into the treatment of British troops accused of historic abuse, said: “This man’s lack of integrity has been allowed to almost completely redefine how this country conducts military operations. “I welcome the end of his career but I regret it has taken so long. The lives of innocent soldiers have been ruined by the claims he has brought.”That he should have been allowed to get away with this speaks volumes for the lack of grip and awareness by successive ministers.” This man’s lack of integrity has been allowed to almost completely redefine how this country conducts military operations.MP Jonny Mercer Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. The SRA has charged Mr Shiner with 24 counts along with another lawyer in his firm called John Dickinson, who faces one count.Shiner denies six charges including dishonesty but fully admits nine other charges and partly accepts his conduct in nine further charges.He will face a three week hearing from January 30. Mr Shiner had been attempting to keep proceedings private but this was successfully challenged by the media.Shiner, who made his career suing the Ministry of Defence in the wake of the Iraq war, was handed £3m by the Legal Aid Agency over the course of a decade.Cases brought by PIL and other law firms who have sued British troops for alleged abuses in Iraq have cost the Ministry of Defence more than £20m in compensation in 324 cases concluded so far.But following the Al Sweady inquiry – which found that some Iraqi witnesses had lied about murder and torture allegedly committed by British troops – the methods of the law firms have been thrown into doubt. Who is Phil Shiner?Perhaps no British lawyer has suffered such a spectacular fall from grace.Phil Shiner was the toast of the legal profession, officially recognised as the most “tenacious and courageous” lawyer of his generation. The father-of-five represented almost 2,500 Iraqi civilians who alleged they had been brutalised at the hands of British troops during the war. In 2004, the 59-year-old was named human rights lawyer of the year and three years later was winner of the Solicitor of the Year Award, hosted by the Law Society in the magnificent settings of London’s Honourable Artillery Company, where host, BBC’s Jeremy Vine lauded him as one of the “most famous lawyers” in the country.But almost a decade later his reputation now lies in tatters after he admitted misconduct.Despite having a property portfolio in the Midlands worth over £1m, he faces financial ruin as his legal team told the Solicitor’s Disciplinary Tribunal his savings are near “depletion” due to the costs of the case.Born in Coventry in 1956 and educated at Bishop Ullathorne Roman Catholic Comprehensive School, Shiner studied law at the University of Birmingham.From his early years in the legal profession, he built up a formidable reputation for fighting for the underdog.It saw him successfully battle Birmingham council to reverse its policy on rehousing tenants in arrears and ultimately led to him creating a project to help tenants fight for their rights.Deeply religious, Shiner has often spoken of how his Christian faith has motivated him to help others.It led to him working for Barnardo’s as a community development worker before returning to his role of helping the poverty-stricken in their dealings with the authorities in the mid-1990s.In 1995 he became a partner at Birmingham law firm Tyndallwoods, before setting up his own company Public Interest Lawyers (PIL) three years later.It was through PIL, of which Shiner remains the sole director, that the misconduct took place.One source said part of his downfall was due to him being a single solicitor without any checks or balances.The firm, which ceased practising in August, had net assets of of £958,296 when its latest accounts were filed last year.Married twice, two of his children from his first marriage had followed him into the family business.Aside from his legal career, Shiner also has a passion for stand-up comedy, and performs under the stage name of George Stitt.He describes his alter ego as “a pompous and foolish solicitor” who sits in the Supreme Court. Shiner admits he paid a witness to change their evidence in relation to how clients in the Al-Sweady inquiry, which looked into the claims that Britons mistreated Iraqis in May 2004, were identified.The £31million inquiry, which approached more than 600 military personnel as well as hundreds of Iraqi witnesses, later cleared soldiers of wrongdoing and found the allegations were a product of “deliberate and calculated lies”, which were made up by Iraqis out of malice.Public Interest Lawyers, which is based in Birmingham, was initially investigated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) after the Ministry of Defence compiled a dossier on alleged misconduct and lodged a complaint.It is one of the most expensive cases ever bought by the SRA and has so far cost almost £500,000. MP Johnny MercerCredit:Paul Grover Lord Dannatt said Phil Shiner’s claims had “significantly tarnished” the reputation of the Army.The former Chief of the General Staff said: “I am delighted that it is now proven beyond any reasonable doubt that a large number of the allegations made against the Army were vexatious and I’m delighted that Phil Shiner will struck off as a practising lawyer.”Through his misdeeds, he has significantly tarnished the reputation of the British Army and put a lot of soldiers who were only doing their duty under incredible pressure.”Frankly it’s an outrage that this should have gone on so long and one’s only consolation is that justice has been done at this late stage.”
Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Veterans march to Downing Street against Bloody Sunday prosecutionsCredit:Paul Grover “At present those who served their country in the war against the IRA feel betrayed. It’s time the truth was told,” writes the organisation’s founder Alan Barry, a former soldier who served in Northern Ireland on the Justgiving website.He said: “The Great Betrayal will expose those who never faced prosecution and escaped justice,” said Mr Barry while condemning what has been branded a ‘witch hunt’ against British troops.The film-makers have so far raised only a fraction of what is needed although a financier and Conservative Party donor Christopher Mills has pledged £25,000.Mr Mills, who founded the private equity firm Harwood Capital and is said to be worth almost £300 million, said: “It is an honour to help such a worthy cause.” The PSNI’s legacy investigations branch is investigating more than 1,100 killings during the Troubles, of which more than 300 are attributed to british troops while more tha half are blamed on Republican terror groups.But Army veterans suspect they are being disproportionately targeted because official record kept by the military make them easier to investigate.They also complain that under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement paramilitaries on both sides would serve a maximum of two years for any offence including murder while British troops would be liable for life sentences. British army soldiers patrol 26 August 1971 in the Bogside quarter of the city of LondonderryCredit:AFP Mr Hutchings is expected to be the first of the cases to go to trial. He was first arrested over the death of John Pat Cunnginham, 27, who had learning difficulties, three years ago.Mr Cunningham was shot dead by an Army patrol in June 1974. The prosecution has alleged that Mr Hutchings chased him across a field and fired his weapon three times.Lawyers for Mr Hutchings contend that he fired warning shots. Prosecutors admit they have no idea if Mr Hutchings fired the fatal shots and that is “equally possible” a second soldier, who has since died, killed Mr Cunningham.The Great Betrayal will question why – so long after the death – Mr Hutchings is being dragged to court. Veterans Justice for Northern Ireland march to Downing Street against Bloody Sunday prosecutionsCredit: Paul Grover They are calling it ‘The Great Betrayal”.Veterans of the conflict in Northern Ireland are raising funds for a film about the hundreds of troops now facing possible prosecution for killings during the Troubles.Among the backers is a 76-year-old great grandfather who is to stand trial later this year charged with the attempted murder of a vulnerable Catholic man more than 43 years ago.Dennis Hutchings, a former corporal major, has donated £100 towards the making of the documentary through the fundraising website Justgiving.“I put in what I could afford,” said Mr Hutchings, who retired to Cornwall but faces a trial in Northern Ireland later in the year. “I would like to see this film happen. It has got to happen. If it doesn’t nothing will get done about our plight.”Mr Hutchings, who suffers from kidney and heart problems, is expected to be the first of a number of former soldiers prosecuted over hundreds of historic killings being investigated by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).The film is being made by the campaign group Justice for Northern Ireland Veterans and needs to raise £50,000 to get the project off the ground.
Police are now investigating the incident, and the alleged perpetrator of the assault has been suspended from the university. A spokesman for Sheffield University and the students’ union said the “unprovoked physical attack” is being treated with the “utmost seriousness”.”The safety of our students is our primary concern, supported by our zero-tolerance approach to violent behaviour,” they said.“This isolated incident is not typical of our experience here at Sheffield SU. We will act on any lessons that we learn from this.” The spokesman added that university staff who witnessed the attack are assisting the police with their inquiries. “His response was to grab my full drink out of my hands, pour it over my head, and run away. Completely shocked, I followed him to challenge his aggressive behaviour. He proceeded to turn around and wordlessly delivered a swift blow to the bridge of my nose with his skull.”She went on: “Overseeing our club nights is a part of my job, and I get the security reports for every night out. Far, far too often I see female victims not taking crimes of sexual or physical assault further.” A student officer in charge of ensuring that people behave themselves on nights out was punched in the face after confronting a topless man.Megan McGrath, the students’ union development officer at Sheffield University, said she asked a male student why he was covered in paint and not wearing a shirt, only for him to pour a drink on her head and then punch her. Posting a photograph of face covered in blood on Facebook, Ms McGrath said the altercation in the students’ union building was a “completely unprovoked act of violence” which left blood gushing from her face and sent her into shock.”I asked him, out of non-confrontational curiosity, why he was topless and covered in paint (I later found out he was part of a sports social),” Ms McGrath said. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
Last week the Christian Legal Centre issued a statement calling the criticism of the organisation “unfair and detrimental”. “We also wish to make clear that we do not support the criminal prosecution of doctors involved in Alfie’s care,” chief executive Andrea Williams said. “We reject the prejudicial and inflammatory comments made by Mr Justice Hayden. We also reject the portrayal by the Court of Appeal of our role in this case and the assistance that we have offered to Mr Evans.” “Only those authorised by a legal services regulatory, such as the SRA, are allowed to carry out ‘reserved legal activities’, as defined within Section 12 of the Legal Services Act 2007, within the English and Welsh legal system.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Alfie Evans’s legal team could face an investigation over whether they were qualified to represent the family in court. The role of the Christian Legal Centre, which advised the family during their fight to prevent doctors from allowing Alfie to die, is under review by the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority. The organisation was criticised by judges during the court process, with one adviser, law student Pavel Stroilov, described as a “fanatical and deluded young man” by Mr Justice Hayden during one hearing. In a ruling the judge said that Mr Stroilov, who is not a qualified solicitor, had encouraged Alfie’s father Tom Evans to seek a private prosecution for murder against Alder Hey doctors. The Daily Telegraph understands that the SRA is considering information regarding the status of the company and the lawyers it employs, and has not yet decided whether to launch a formal investigation. A spokesperson for the SRA said: “We can confirm we will review the information provided and consider if any next steps are appropriate.
According to “big five” theory people who score highly for openness like to learn new things and enjoy new experiences.Extroverts, who are talkative and energetic, showed a preference for “unpretentious” music categorised as uncomplicated, relaxing and acoustic.The study also concluded that once you have evidence of a person’s musical tastes you can predict their personality type.In the journal Psychological Science, Dr Rentfrow and his colleagues wrote: “An active measure of naturally occurring behaviour, Facebook Likes for musical artists, also predict individual differences in personality.”Perhaps predictably, agreeable people tended to give all the music clips higher scores, while neurotics marked more harshly. Conscientiousness did not seem to be correlated. People who like easy-listening music are likely to be talkative and energetic, while opera lovers are more insightful and imaginative, according to scientists.Two major studies conducted by psychologists from Cambridge and top US universities have found your personality type can be accurately predicted from your musical tastes – and vice versa.Those with extrovert personalities for instance – who are more comfortable making small talk than introverts – showed a preference for music categorised as “uncomplicated, relaxing, and acoustic.”Finding correlations in this field has been hampered in the past by respondents tending to be younger – and therefore more likely to share a narrow band of tastes – and because respondents used their own definitions of the genres they enjoy.But in these worldwide, online studies of more than 20,000 respondents, more than half those surveyed were over 22, and they were presented with 25 unfamiliar musical excerpts pre-categorised by musicologists.The surveys differentiated personality types on the “big five” model used by scientists for 50 years: openness, extroversion, agreeableness, neuroticism and conscientiousness.The team, led by Dr Jason Rentfrow, reader in personality and individual differences at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge found ‘open’ personalities liked ‘sophisticated’ music – defined as “inspiring, complex and dynamic” – but were less impressed with slow, mellow music. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
A new funeral fund for England will cover the costs of cremation or burial, which can range from £500 to more than £1,500, as well as £300 for a coffin. The Government will fully fund the estimated £14 million annually to cover the 3,800 children who die under the age of 18 each year and the 2,700 stillbirths. The fund will be available regardless of the family’s income. Thousands of bereaved families who lose children through death or stillbirth are to get up to £2,000 funeral costs paid by the Government irrespective of their wealth. Announcing the move, Theresa May said: “At a time of such unimaginable loss, no grieving parent should be faced with the stress and worry of finding the money…
Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedWest Indies ‘mankad’ Zimbabwe to enter quarterfinal – under-19 world cupFebruary 2, 2016In “Sports”Rovman Powell disappointed over umpiring errorDecember 15, 2018In “latest news”Lara ’embarrassed’ by unsporting West Indies behaviour of oldSeptember 5, 2017In “latest news” West Indies have once again ignited the spirit-of-cricket debate at the Under-19 World Cup, when they appealed against South Africa opener Jiveshan Pillay for obstructing the field in their Group A fixture in Mount Maunganui.West Indies captain Emmanuel Stewart appeals (International Cricket Council photo)Emmanuel Stewart, the West Indies captain and wicketkeeper, made the appeal after Pillay picked up the ball close to off stump, even though it was stationary after rolling off an inside edge. The third umpire Ranmore Martinesz was called in and the decision went in West Indies’ favour after a long wait and a number of replays. The incident occurred in the 17th over of South Africa’s innings, when they were 77 for 2.Once the decision was referred to the TV umpire, it was going to be difficult to give the batsman not out unless Stewart and West Indies withdrew the appeal. Law 37.4, which deals with ‘returning the ball to a fielder’, states: “Either batsman is out obstructing the field if, at any time while the ball is in play and, without the consent of a fielder, he/she uses the bat or any part of his/her person to return the ball to any fielder.”South Africa Under-19 coach Laurence Mahatlane was measured in his reaction during the innings break. “Our take is very simple: we play to the laws of the game and it’s part of the laws,” he said. “It’s happened and hopefully we’ll learn for a long time from it.”West Indies’ actions in this game are likely to be debated widely, as they were at the 2016 World Cup when their bowler Keemo Paul effected a mankad to dismiss Zimbabwe’s last wicket – Richard Ngarava – to win a must-win group game. They eventually went on to win the tournament. West Indies were in a must-win position against South Africa in this game too, having lost their tournament opener against New Zealand.In 2016, former West Indies fast bowler Ian Bishop had defended the U-19 side against criticism for the mankad, but he was less supportive of this obstructing-the-field dismissal.“This is an unfortunate issue,” Bishop, one of the commentators at the game, told Fox Sports. “The batsman isn’t trying to gain an advantage. He is not trying to being unfair. The umpires have done what they need to do. The ball has stopped. It’s not threatening the stumps. I don’t really necessarily feel as if that’s a good law. It could take a re-look.“The batsman is not trying to gain an unfair advantage. All he is trying to do is help out the fielding team. I would have to have a deeper look at myself if I was the fielding captain. Can I use some discretion here for the sake of the game and whatever the spirit of the game means? I wouldn’t have gone that way. He’s obviously a bright kid and he understands the letter of the law. On this occasion it’s slightly different for me compared to the last World Cup.” (ESPNCricinfo)
The dust storm also hit the capital Delhi (EPA image)AGRA, India (AFP) — A huge dust storm and lightning strikes killed at least 125 people across India which braced Thursday for more wild weather.Dust clouds plunged swathes of north India into darkness as choking winds of more than 130 kilometres (80 miles) per hour swept across the states of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Punjab, flattening houses, walls, trees and power pylons.At least 111 people were killed, many as they slept when walls and roofs came tumbling down on them.Another 14 people were killed in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh which was hammered by more than 41,000 lightning strikes on Wednesday, disaster officials said.Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan bore the brunt of the dust storm that was blamed on a collision of two weather fronts with India in the grip of higher temperatures than normal.Some districts reported 45 minutes of destructive winds followed by fierce lightning storms.Similar storms kill many people each year in India but this was one of the most severe in recent decades.Shivam Lohia, who owns a resort hotel in Alwar district of Rajasthan, abandoned his car on the road and ran for his life after it was almost blown away.“I haven’t seen such a devastating storm in at least 25 years. Everyone was scared and running for cover as trees and homes were getting blown away. It was a nightmare,” Lohia told AFP.There were 73 confirmed deaths in Uttar Pradesh in the north, 36 in the desert state of Rajasthan to the west, and two in Punjab.Agra district in Uttar Pradesh was one of the worst-hit areas, with at least 43 people killed. The Taj Mahal is in Agra city but officials said the monument escaped damage.Last month, a similar storm killed at least 15 people in Uttar Pradesh and destroyed two minarets over an entry house to the Taj Mahal.Rescuers were still going through the rubble of felled homes on Thursday. Media reports said more than 20 people were found dead in the village of Kheragarh southwest of Agra.T.P. Gupta of the Uttar Pradesh relief commissioner’s office told AFP the death toll was “unprecedented” from such a storm in the past 20 years.More than 150 cattle and other animals were also killed across the state.“There is a forecast for more storms in the next 48 hours across the state so people should be alert,” he added.Hemant Gera, head of Rajasthan’s Disaster Management and Relief Department, said emergency services were on alert and that people should not sleep outdoors.In Punjab, Kumar Amit, deputy commissioner of Patiala district, told AFP that a wall collapsed killing two people.– Power cut –The India Meteorological Department warned there would be more storms over a wider area up to Saturday.Three districts in Rajasthan, a state popular with tourists for its heritage palaces and desert safaris, were hit the hardest on Wednesday.There were 19 deaths in Bharatpur, nine in Alwar and eight in Dholpur.Weather department officials in New Delhi said the storm was caused by a collision of rival eastern and western weather systems over the humid northern plains.Charan Singh, a scientist at India Meteorological Department, said winds of 132 kph hit Agra while even in the capital Delhi there were gusts of 59 kph.Power was cut in many parts of Rajasthan as thousands of electricity pylons were destroyed. Officials said it could take more than two days to restore power.The state government quickly released funds to compensate the families of those killed or for damage. About $6,000 would be given to the families of each of the dead.“Saddened by the loss of lives due to dust storms in various parts of India. Condolences to the bereaved families. May the injured recover soon,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Twitter.“Have asked officials to coordinate with the respective state governments and work towards assisting those who have been affected,” he added. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedLightning in Indian states kills 79June 22, 2016In “latest news”At least 99 dead after consuming toxic alcohol in IndiaFebruary 11, 2019In “latest news”Lightning strikes kill 50 in BangladeshMay 14, 2016In “latest news”