Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

An Overhyped Bore: Five Reasons Why Superbowl Sunday Sucks

Filed under: sport,USA — 01varvara @ 00.00
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On Sunday, the 53rd Superbowl takes place with the New England Patriots taking on the Los Angeles Rams. Sputnik’s Chris Summers explains why he believes it is one of the most over-rated sports events in the world.

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So, the Boston-based Patriots go head to head with the Rams on Sunday, 3 February. Big deal. Superbowl Sunday is just a bore, am I right? So, let me list my problems with it.

  1. The Sport Itself

The most popular sport in the entire world… with the possible exception of India… is football. Not American football but Association Football (to give it its technical name), or, as the Yanks call it, soccer. That’s because it’s a much more exciting game, with far more variety and skill. Basically, gridiron (as it’s sometimes called) is the same free kick performed over and over. Tedious beyond belief. Not surprising then that American football, as played in the National Football League (NFL), is popular in how many countries? Er, one. Possibly two, if you count Canada, although they’re far more interested in ice hockey. Walter Camp, a Yale graduate considered the “Father of American Football”, adopted the game from the rules of rugby, which is also a far superior game. More on that later.

  1. The Players

In every Hollywood movie set in a high school, the girls swoon over the football players, the “jocks” who swagger around the high school with a surplus of testosterone and an absence of brainpower. The adoration of football players in the USA continues through “college”… where extremely dumb people can get a university education by virtue of their sporting prowess. So what attributes do you need to succeed in the sport? Good fitness levels, an ability to withstand frequent headaches, and (only if you are running back) some athletic ability and speed. For that, they get paid astronomical sums. The Patriots’ star player, Tom Brady, was given a contract extension in March 2018, which included a 28 million USD signing bonus. He’s currently worth 44 million USD and he earns millions from endorsements with Under Armour and UGG boots. How many games do they play? Sixteen. There are 16 games in a regular NFL season. That compares to around 38 games in an English Premier League season and 162 for Major League Baseball players.

  1. The Stupid Outfits

NFL players have been wearing the same stupid garb since the 1930s… giant helmets and shoulder pads. Why? The game’s no more dangerous than rugby union, rugby league, Aussie rules football, or Gaelic football and none of those guys wear battlefield outfits. So basically, yeah, I’m saying NFL players are pussies who wouldn’t last five minutes in a man’s game like rugby.

  1. The Fans

Unlike football (soccer) fans, NFL fans very rarely travel to away games. Therefore, the crowd will be 100 percent home fans, which leads to an extraordinary lack of tension or atmosphere. The Superbowl is the exception because they play it in a neutral venue (in this case, Atlanta) and both sets of fans will be there. Even then, they just sit and watch, literally spectate. There’s no singing or chanting, let alone animosity. Compare that to the FA Cup Final or one of the big derbies in world footballRiver Plate versus Boca Juniors, Rangers against Celtic, Fenerbahce v Galatasaray, or Olympiakos v Panathinaikos. Chalk and cheese.

  1. The Superbowl Hype

From Christmas until the date of the Superbowl, the US media will be full of nothing but this pointless little game. I guess we can be grateful they don’t give it a name like the World Series, and pretend the whole of the globe are genuinely interested in it. However, the NFL is determined to expand overseas. They’re already playing games in London and broadcasting to other countries. We aren’t interested. Go away. Then, there’s the advertising. Basically, the Superbowl is just one giant excuse to sell advertising. Every year, billions of dollars is spent on Superbowl-related advertising. This year, fans of the cult movie The Big Lebowski got excited when Jeff Bridges, as The Dude, appeared in a teaser. However, a few days later, it turned out there was no Big Lebowski sequel, only an ad for Stella Artois beer.

3 February 2019

Chris Summers

Sputnik International

https://sputniknews.com/analysis/201902031072043019-superbowl-ten-reasons-sucks/

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Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Ermitazh Cat Predicts Switzerland will Defeat Sweden at World Cup

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Akhill (Achilles), a white-furred tomcat reputed to have psychic powers, predicted that the Swiss team will win a match against Sweden in the FIFA World Cup’s Round of 16 in St Petersburg on Tuesday. The oracle cat confidently approached a food bowl with the Swiss flag at the State Ermitazh Museum in St Petersburg and ate the food. Last time, the blue-eyed cat, who made flawless predictions for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, was wrong when forecasting the outcome of a match between Nigeria and Argentina, and now the feline has to confirm his psychic powers. The cat was correct in choosing the Russian national team as the winner over Saudi Arabia at the 2018 FIFA World Cup’s opener in Moscow on 14 June and also the outcomes of the matches at the stadium in St Petersburg. Achilles also predicted the victory of Iran’s team over Morocco on 15 June, Russia’s victory over Egypt on 19 June and Brazil’s victory over Costa Rica on 22 June. During a match between Argentina and Nigeria, Akhill chose Nigeria, but Argentina won 2-1.

Akhill became the animal oracle because he displayed analytical capabilities and unique behaviour. Moreover, he’s deaf as many white cats are, yet this impairment doesn’t sidetrack the feline and lets him better concentrate on his predictions. The cat was right about the outcomes of three out of four 2017 Confederation Cup matches played in St Petersburg, including the opening and final matches. His “performance” during the World Cup is a joint project on bolstering tourism to St Petersburg and the Ermitazh Museum. Akhill will predict the results of the World Cup’s semifinal and a match for the third place scheduled in St Petersburg on 10 July and 14 July.

3 July 2018

TASS

http://tass.com/society/1011782

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Chechen Leader Kadyrov Invites Egyptian Team to Try Traditional Chechen Dish

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Chechen leader R A Kadyrov invited Egyptian footballers to try zhizhig-galnash, a traditional Chechen dish, upon their return to the team’s training base in Grozny. Zhizhig-galnash are Chechen dumplings with meat, traditionally served with broth and garlic sauce. On Tuesday night, Kadyrov said during a live broadcast of 60 Minutes as the Russia-Egypt game was still underway:

Tomorrow, we invite the Egyptian team to try zhizhig-galnash. If we win, the dish will be excellent, if we lose, it’ll be of average quality.

On Tuesday, the Russian national football team snatched another home win at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, defeating the Egyptian national squad 3-1 at St Petersburg Stadium. With six points, Russia has a solid lead in Group A; Uruguay is the runner-up with three points. Russia will play its final group stage match against Uruguay on 25 June in Samara.

Russia is holding its first-ever meeting of the FIFA World Cup, which kicked off in Moscow with a spectacular opening show at the Luzhniki Stadium on the night of 14 June and will continue until 15 July. There are 11 host cities as venues for the 2018 World Cup matches; Moscow, St Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg, and Samara.

During the tournament, Egypt’s national squad will be in the Chechen capital Grozny. The players will stay at Hotel Lokal, about 10 kilometres away from Grozny’s international airport, and train at Ahmat Arena stadium.

20 June 2018

TASS

http://tass.com/society/1010215

Saturday, 26 May 2018

NFL Owners Never Voted on the New National Anthem Policy. Wait… What?

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On Wednesday, the National Football League (NFL) announced a new policy regarding player protests during the national anthem… stay in the locker room, stand, or face a fine. Now, it looks like the owners never officially voted for the policy after all. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said during the NFL’s announcement:

Clearly, our objective as a league and to all 32 clubs, which was unanimous, is that we want people to be respectful of the national anthem.

Both President Donald Trump and Vice President Pence applauded the move by the NFL. However, sources reported the owners never held a formal vote, so, who approved it unanimously? According to a report by ESPN’s Seth Wickersham, during two days of meetings on league matters in Atlanta:

The NFL just did a little informal polling and thought everyone would be cool with it.

Sources said league executives polled owners and knew how they’d vote but didn’t hold an official tally, which is atypical for a major resolution. The new policy leaves it to teams to discipline their own players for acts deemed disrespectful during the anthem. However, it also gave the league wide powers to fine teams as well. The NFL Players Association already made a public statement that the league never consulted them on the new anthem policy, also atypical of major changes affecting players. Moreover, not all team owners are singing the new anthem policy’s praises either. Three team owners distanced themselves from this policy as well. San Francisco 49ers owner Jed York announced he abstained from any decision about the policy. Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis also claims to have abstained. Their abstentions contradict Goodell’s claim of a unanimous vote by all 32 owners.

Meanwhile, New York Jets chairman Chris Johnson vowed to pay any fines for his players who demonstrate during the national anthem:

I don’t like imposing any club-specific rules. If somebody [on the Jets] takes a knee, that fine will be borne by the organisation, by me, not the players. I never want to put restrictions on the speech of our players. Do I prefer that they stand? Of course. However, I understand if they felt the need to protest. There are some big complicated issues that we’re all struggling with, and our players are on the front lines. I don’t want to come down on them like a ton of bricks, and I won’t. There’ll be no club fines or suspensions or any sort of repercussions. If the team gets fined, that’s just something I’ll have to bear.

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Johnson’s announcement drew some criticism, but his Twitter post also drew praise. The new anthem policy is catching a lot of flak on social media. Many accused the NFL in general or Roger Goodell in particular of simply pandering to the President and Vice President on the issue, without regard for the players or fans. People also questioned the NFL’s priorities. Whether the new policy stands or not remains to be seen.

24 May 2018

Amelia Mavis Christnot

Second Nexus

https://secondnexus.com/news/nfl-owners-never-voted-anthem/

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