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Photo Attribution: USATSII half-watched and half-followed on Twitter the Cleveland Browns game last night against the Bills.As you know by now Brian Hoyer tore his ACL in the first quarter and Brandon Weeden was handed the reins after being out for a few weeks with a busted-up hand. Twitter immediately went into “we hate Brandon Weeden, he iz so dum” overdrive.National writers, fans, sports blogs — the whole country was on board.So naturally Weeden proceeded to throw for 197 and a touchdown to lead the Browns to a win and have a cameo on the set of NFL Network’s postgame show with Deion, Michael Irvin, and Rich Eisen…oh and put the Browns in sole possession of first place in the AFC North division.This is not a post about the arc of Brandon Weeden’s career or a breakdown of the points per drive Cleveland scores with him vs. without him.It’s just a reminder (to myself more than most) that sports were made for us to enjoy them.The older I get the less I care about titles and rankings and all of that mess and the more I care about moments. When Cleveland intercepted Jeff Tuel to end the game last night and I got repeated highlights of Weeden delivering his signature fist pump after having taken, according to him, zero reps in practice over the last two weeks.That was a moment.All of this goes back to that 2011 season. In 45 years when 73-year-old me and 74-year-olds Amilian and Carson are having beers at some place in OKC, I won’t care very much that OSU didn’t play for the title in 2011.I’ll remember the good stuff — the night the goalposts came down at Boone Pickens, the night OSU rolled with Stanford in Glendale, the 3 AM Tulsa game, all of it.Those were moments and I think Twitter and all of this madness makes us forget that it’s OK to have them sometimes.Sure, we’ll continue to try to figure out what went wrong with our favorite teams and why they aren’t living up to the expectations we have for them and, my gosh, why Gundy still tucks his jackets into his slacks, but those things are not why we watch games.I think I enjoy watching Weeden more now than I did even at OSU because I’m not trying to decipher what it all means.So at the end of Weeden’s career, even if he wins a division title or conference title or any of that, I hope last night’s game is the one he shows his future kids. Sure, in the big scheme Buffalo-Cleveland on a Thursday night in October means very little. But all of that other stuff can adequately be measured with rings and trophies and everything else.You can’t measure bouncing back from an injury with your whole city booing you on national television and conjuring up images of the 2009 Colorado game in the process. That’s the fun part of the journey — one that was meant to be, at times, stressful, yes, but ultimately enjoyable.And if you’re looking for proof of that…Cleveland @Browns get the win.Jim Brown gets the game ball.MUST-SEE – http://t.co/mZB7gO3dnY— NFL (@NFL) October 4, 2013That, my friends, is a moment.If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!
YouTubeFox Sports’ national college football writer Bruce Feldman made an appearance on The Herd with Colin Cowherd today. While on the air, Cowherd put Feldman on the spot and asked for his College Football Playoff foursome, as of right now.Feldman declared he would vote for Clemson, LSU, Baylor and Iowa, based off resume. He chose the Hawkeyes over fellow unbeatens Ohio State and Michigan State and went on to highlight Iowa’s win over Northwestern, which beat Stanford, another playoff hopeful. Feldman did qualify his position as picking who he felt was “most deserving” as opposed to “the best teams.” He said if the latter were his criteria, Iowa would be third in the Big Ten pecking order behind the Buckeyes and Spartans. Somehow, we still don’t think that will make OSU or MSU fans feel any better about his opinion. Here’s the video of Feldman and Cowherd breaking down the CFP. Come for the out-of-the-box projections from Feldman, stay for him accidentally referring to Cowherd as “Clay” when he clearly mixed him up with Clay Travis.
The Ohio State men’s basketball team extended its in-conference winning streak Wednesday, beating the lowly Indiana Hoosiers 69-52. The Buckeyes (19-6, 9-3) started the game on a 9-0 run, but the Hoosiers held their own for a brief period in the first half to climb within two points at 22-20. The success, however, was short lived. As junior Evan Turner sat on the bench with two early fouls, the Buckeyes ended the half on a 12-0 run. OSU led by 14 at the break and the Hoosiers were never close again.Even after playing only three minutes in the first half, Turner ended the game with 10 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Sophomore William Buford led the way offensively for the Buckeyes, scoring 21 points on 9-17 shooting. He added seven rebounds and four assists. The story of the game, however, was the stellar play that OSU got from the center position. Junior Dallas Lauderdale matched his career high with 14 points, but more importantly, he grabbed eight rebounds and blocked a season-high seven shots. Reserve center Kyle Madsen added a career-high 11 points on 4-5 shooting.The win was the Buckeyes’ eighth in a row in Big Ten play, and with the Michigan State Spartans losing their third game in a row on Tuesday, OSU is now in a three-way tie for first in the conference.The Buckeyes are tied with the Spartans and their next opponent, Illinois. Considering their 1-3 start to conference play, it is fairly remarkable for them to be atop the league at this point in the season. If the Spartans continue to struggle, a win Sunday against the Fighting Illini could leave the Buckeyes all alone in first place. An outright regular season conference championship would be OSU’s first since the 2006-2007 season. Ohio State and Illinois square off in Champaign, Ill., Sunday at 1 p.m.
The Ohio State women’s track and field team will look to add to its groundbreaking season at the NCAA East Regional preliminaries, set to begin Thursday in Bloomington, Ind. After claiming both the indoor and outdoor Big Ten Championships, 13 Buckeyes will compete in the qualifying rounds of the NCAA Championships. Leading OSU will be junior sprinter and hurdler Christina Manning, the top seed in the 100-meter hurdles. Manning will also be participating in the 100-meter dash and the 4-by-100-meter relay. Senior Letecia Wright, junior Madison McNary and freshman Chesna Sykes also will compete in the 4-by-100-meter relay. Big Ten outdoor triple jump champion, junior Kelcey McKinney, is the 16th seed and will look to carry momentum from her recent championship into this weekend. Junior sprinter and Big Ten Champion Shaniqua McGinnis is competing in the 400-meter dash. Other Buckeyes competing are Alana Gray, in the 100-meter hurdles; Nyjah Cousar, in the 400-meter hurdles; Ella Birmingham, in the 10,000-meter run; Ashley Galbraith, in the high jump; Norianna Brown, in the shot put; Alexis Thomas and Maggie Mullen, in the hammer throw; and Mullen, in the javelin. After outperforming conference competition at regular-season meets and the Big Ten Outdoor Championships, the women’s 4-by-100-meter relay team is set to make a run at nationals. All-American and Big Ten Indoor and Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year Manning will anchor the fourth-seeded team in the East preliminaries. Coach Karen Dennis said she has faith in her relay team. “We know that we’ve got four strong runners,” Dennis said. “This team is one of the best relay teams I’ve ever coached.” Competing along with Manning will be Wright and McNary. In her first season, Sykes has adapted well to the competition and attributes her success to her teammates. “I feel like we have consistently ran good times and we work hard at practice and the results are shown at every meet,” Sykes said. “As a freshman, I feel so honored to be on a relay team with Madison, Tish and Christina. They are all amazing role models and runners and they really help the relay come together and win.” During their freshman year at the Big Ten Championship, Manning and Wright fumbled the baton exchange in the 4-by-100-meter relay event. Since then, the team has grown and continued to perform at a high level. “We have this chemistry,” Manning said. “It’s a tight bond there.” Despite the team’s success, Dennis and her athletes aren’t yet satisfied. “I think we’ll come out of the region, and, more importantly, they believe they’re supposed to be out of the region,” Dennis said. “I believe this team has the ability to be on the podium at the national championship.” It’s not just the titles that have made Dennis proud — she said she’s learned as much from her athletes as they have from her. “I think that they are smart,” Dennis said. “I think that they’re highly opinionated. I think that they are confident, and I think that they’re courageous. And that’s what I’m most proud of.”
OSU Executive Assosicate Athletic Director Martin Jarmond in an interview with The Lantern Sept. 21 at the Fawcett Center. Credit: Hayden Grove / Lantern TV Sports directorOn the outskirts of campus, high above Ohio State’s sprawling array of athletics facilities, sits the office where the gridiron contests held at Ohio Stadium are dreamed up years in advance of when fans will take to the stands.This office — this epicenter of Buckeye football imagination — houses Martin Jarmond, the executive associate athletic director at OSU, and a series of whiteboards, where current and future OSU football schedules are written out in black marker. Jarmond’s position doesn’t necessarily require him to be responsible for each of those schedules, though. Instead, he specifically asked to create them when he was hired in 2009 at the athletics administration department. “Quite honestly, I think I probably asked (vice president and athletic director Gene Smith) if I could do that. I think I did,” Jarmond said, a half-smile on his face. “(Football scheduling) was something that was really important to me, that I said I really wanted to do and tackle and help him accomplish the vision he wants to accomplish.”So far, Smith said he has been more than pleased with his decision to allow Jarmond to handle the scheduling, along with his other responsibilities as an athletic administrator. “Martin has developed into an outstanding athletic administrator. He continues to differentiate himself as a leader,” Smith said in an email. “His background as a collegiate athlete, and various roles in athletic administration strengthens his opportunity to reach his goal of becoming an athletic director.”Jarmond played basketball while attending the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. While his boss might understand the daily grind that Jarmond goes through to put the Buckeyes’ football schedule together, not all OSU or college football fans do.Jarmond said there are many variables and challenges that are presented in creating a football schedule, and he calls planning for the Buckeyes “the process.” It begins with Smith and the desires he spells out for Jarmond. “His (scheduling strategy) that he’s outlined is at least trying to have a top 10-team opponent every year, then a top 25, top 30-type opponent and then maybe a top 50 or what you can attract,” Jarmond said. “It’s mostly about what you can attract.”With his boss sketching the scheduling outline, specifically tailored to feature big-time, out-of-conference opponents, it’s Jarmond’s responsibility to color within the proverbial lines. “The way we do it is from a competitive standpoint,” Jarmond said. “I look at data from the last five years. I try to look at teams, schools, how they’ve done, their coaching, their philosophy, their offense, their defense and that kind of thing.”That research manifests itself in the form of a list of schools that both Jarmond and Smith believe will aptly play the role of an OSU opponent. That list can include a wide array of schools, each of which is put through additional rigors that include the potential national relevance of a future matchup, the effect that a game against that school will have on recruiting and even the institution’s proximity to an OSU fan base. Those factors in turn lead to churning out another list. OSU Executive Assosicate Athletic Director Martin Jarmond highlights future OSU football schedules Sept. 21 at the Fawcett Center.Credit: Hayden Grove / Lantern TV Sports directorThis list is the one where the next step of the scheduling process begins: the phone calls. It was amidst these phone calls and negotiations that Jarmond said he faced a surprising challenge in his early days as an OSU administrator. Getting opponents to Columbus was a challenge — one he did not expect. “I think — naively — I was probably thinking because we’re Ohio State, it would just be very easy and everybody would want to play us and it would be easy to work things through,” Jarmond said. “It’s not like, ‘Wow, we’d love to come to Columbus in front of 107,000.’ I thought it was going to be that way — it’s not really that way.”And some opponents might not want to spend money traveling to a city where they could potentially lose. The lack of desire to travel to Columbus makes things harder for Jarmond in scheduling opponents, along with the other factors that make it a tough job. Jarmond already has to account for things like an expanded Big Ten schedule (to nine from eight games per season in 2016) and the College Football Playoff that will take into account strength of schedule more so than the old BCS system did. These things are an added burden for Jarmond and are only lengthening planning lead time, forcing schedules until 2020 to be planned now.“It’s an inventory issue, if you’re trying to schedule stronger, you need to go ahead and do what you can do now before (other schools say), ‘Hey, we can’t play you because we don’t have anything available,’” Jarmond said. “Everything is just kind of accelerated and you have to kind of project out and where teams are going to be.” In the past, Jarmond admitted that this advanced planning has harmed OSU, with teams like California projecting well at the initial time of scheduling before taking a dive in relevancy prior to the two schools playing, but he tries to avoid those issues recurring in the future.“It’s an inexact science, but what I try to do is use the data as much as I can on where you’ve been to kind of give us an idea of where you may be,” Jarmond said. “It’s like the stock market. You look at past performance and you try to project on that.”Lately, Jarmond — with some added motivation from Smith and the fans who have bashed OSU’s football non-conference scheduling over the years — has been pressing to bolster OSU’s future schedules. Ari Wasserman of Cleveland.com said that’s something OSU has been forced to do, thanks to a weakened Big Ten conference.“(The Buckeyes) don’t get any quality wins in the Big Ten because the Big Ten doesn’t really have any premier opponents,” Wasserman said. “Going undefeated in the Big Ten may be enough to get to the playoff, but maybe when they play a team like Oklahoma and slip up, bolstering their schedule is a really smart thing to do. You’re going to have quality wins in the future with the games they’ve scheduled.”Oklahoma is just one of the schools Jarmond has added to the schedule, but there are plenty of other out-of-conference games gracing that whiteboard on his wall.Notre Dame, Boston College, Oregon State, Oregon, Texas and Texas Christian are all future opponents and it’s these additions that provide Jarmond with confidence in the work he’s done. “I would put our scheduling (from) 2016 and out compared to anybody,” Jarmond said, glancing at the board. “You tell me another school right now that has BC, Texas and Notre Dame in the same year.”When the Buckeyes take on the Bearcats on Saturday, fans might not pay much attention to the effort and work that went into scheduling an in-state rivalry game. They’ll be watching to see if the Buckeyes can hold back Cincinnati’s redshirt-sophomore quarterback Gunner Kiel, or whether OSU redshirt-freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett can win yet another Big Ten Freshman of the Week award.While Jarmond will certainly be watching the same action, he’ll have a different view of the game — one that few others in Ohio Stadium will have. He’ll be watching planning come to life upon the turf.
In a behind-the-scenes documentary that was released this week, Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has slammed Premier League rival Manchester City as “disrespectful” and lacking “class”.Amazon’s documentary of Manchester City’s title-winning season allowed a TV crew access to players and managerial staff and offered insight into Pep Guardiola’s locker room. Jose Mourinho has criticised the documentary, according to Daily Mail.“I think you can have a fantastic movie, respecting others. You don’t need to be disrespectful to have a fantastic movie,” Mourinho said.“You can be a rich club and buy all the best players in the world, but you cannot buy class.”However, Manchester City manager Guardiola does not think the documentary affects the club in a negative way.Solskjaer praises Harry Maguire after Man United’s 1-0 win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer singled out Harry Maguire for praise after helping Manchester United keep a clean sheet in their 1-0 win over Leicester City.“When we accept the cameras to be inside for 24 hours a day, that kind of thing can happen,” Guardiola said.“I think there was nothing special. I think the people are going to see how a football team lives behind the scenes.”“The players make the tactics,” he added.“Not my ideas, it’s the players who make the tactics.”
Arsenal legend Ian Wright believes the time is right for Tottenham to step up and prove themselves.For the past couple of years, Tottenham have been a title contender, and have won more combined points in the last three seasons that any Premier League club.Ian Wright is eager to see Tottenham be more consistent. Granted Tottenham have a good team, but for 10 years, they have not won a single trophy.“There was a time, four or five years ago, when a Tottenham defeat at Watford would almost have been laughed off as just another example of Spurs “being Spursy”.” Wright wrote on The Sun.“Brilliant one day, going to Manchester United and leaving as comfortable winners. Then getting rolled over by one of the so-called lesser lights.“Only these days the sands have shifted. Expectations have raised and defeats like the one we saw at Vicarage Road on Sunday simply won’t wash any more.“For the Spurs, we have right now is not the Spurs of old. This isn’t a team everyone — including even their own fans — expected to be superb and shocking in equal measure.Pochettino: ‘Happy’ Christian Eriksen ready for Spurs action Andrew Smyth – September 12, 2019 Mauricio Pochettino insists Christian Eriksen is “happy” and in the right frame of mind for Tottenham despite his failed summer exit.“This is a team which, rather than trying to force their way among the big guns, have become a prize scalp themselves. A team all opponents now raise their game for.“A team who, barring a small handful of times, will go into every one of their Premier League fixture as favourites.”Tottenham sit 5th in the Premier League table with 9 points after winning 3 matches and losing one.
PSV Eindhoven manager Mark van Bommel was less than impressed with the state of the Wembley pitch in their 2-1 defeat to TottenhamThe London-based stadium hosted an NFL game between Jacksonville Jaguars and Philadelphia Eagles eight days before Tuesday’s Champions League game.And, despite the best efforts of the Wembley ground staff, Van Bommel showed no compassion in his assessment.“It’s s***, so. You know what I mean, it’s bad,” said Van Bommel, according to Sky Sports.“In Holland, we say s*** a little bit quicker than in English. It’s not good, but we are not complaining.“Before we were training on it, and I told the guys after one minute you have to stop and get on with training, get used to the pitch.“Of course, everyone wants the good pitch, but it is not so good, and you have to deal with it.”Top 5 Atletico Madrid players to watch in next week’s UCL Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 14, 2019 With the Champions League about to start, we need to start talking about the Top 5 Atletico Madrid players to watch in the competition.Atletico…Defeat on Tuesday night confirmed PSV’s eliminated from the Champions League with just one point from four games in Group B.A Luuk de Jong header had given the Dutch giants an early 1-0 lead, but Harry Kane’s double in the final 12 minutes gave Spurs all three points.Mauricio Pochettino’s side will next host Chelsea at Wembley on November 24 in a Premier League game.💩 Mark van Bommel was not impressed by the Wembley pitch…#TOTPSV #UCLpic.twitter.com/BBZ5ZkmNDX— Sporting Life Football (@SportingLifeFC) November 7, 2018