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Yankees vs Mets The Battle For New Yorks Heart

A Quinnipiac University poll released Monday found that, in a hypothetical Yankees vs. Mets World Series, 59 percent of New York City residents would root for the Yankees, and 37 percent would favor the Mets. The Yankees haven’t always had such a large lead on this question. So what influences the balance between Yankees and Mets fandom in New York?There isn’t a strong relationship between the Mets’ or Yankees’ winning percentages and New Yorkers’ Subway Series preferences. Nor does there seem to be much of a connection between the Yankees making the playoffs and whom New Yorkers would root for. Most sports fans want their team to win but know it often won’t. The Yankees are different. Winning isn’t hoped for. It’s expected.The Mets have a somewhat lower bar to clear. Quinnipiac’s polling suggests that in the battle for hearts and minds in the Big Apple, the Yankees’ success is baked in, assumed. The Mets making the playoffs is what appears to sway New Yorkers.The Mets came closest to parity with the Yankees after the 2006 season — the only season in the past 25 years when the Mets advanced further in the playoffs than the Yankees. The Mets shaved the Yankees’ advantage down to one point in a survey conducted a few months into the 2007 season. (Note: We assigned each poll to the prior season if it was conducted before the All-Star break.)But the Mets haven’t made the playoffs since 2006, and the fan base in New York has slowly slid toward the pinstripes. The 22 percentage-point gap in the most recent Quinnipiac survey was the second largest found. The Yankees held their largest lead in the Quinnipiac poll taken about midway through the 1998 season, when it had been 10 years since the Mets made the playoffs.For each additional year removed from a playoff appearance, the Mets fall by an average of about two more points behind the Yankees in a hypothetical Subway Series.We’re dealing with only nine data points, which means the relationship might not hold in future polling. And factors besides the Mets’ success contribute to whom New Yorkers support.Case in point: The biggest outlier above is a poll taken after the 1999 season, when the Mets had made the NL championship series. But the Yankees still held a 17 percentage-point edge in the Quinnipiac survey. Why? The Yankees were coming off three World Series wins in four years. This suggests that the Yankees have some control over New Yorkers’ hearts, even if the effect isn’t nearly as significant as the Mets’. read more

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LeBrons Growth As A Player Shows In His Leadership

Put LeBron James on a team with Kyrie Irving, one of the game’s top young point guards, and throw in Kevin Love, a 6-foot-9 scorer from the perimeter and in the post, and the Cleveland Cavaliers looked to be on their way.Then the NBA season started. The Cavs were smoked in their season-opener and dismantled Tuesday night in Portland. This is where James showed his most significant growth. He did not show panic or even frustration. He talked of remaining a team, of leading by example, of being patient, of teaching.Now he is getting it. LeBron James understands the magnitude of his presence.“There’s a lot of bad habits; a lot of bad habits have been built up over the last couple of years and when you play that style of basketball it takes a lot to get it up out of you,” James said. “But I’m here to help and that’s what it’s about.”Some of the best leaders in NBA history got it done on the court, confronted teammates when necessary and sent poignant messages through the media. James, in his post-defeat interview, showed he has learned how to send a message to the team without directly speaking to anyone.“Everyone wants to win, I would hope,” James said. “Would you rather play selfish basketball and lose, or play unselfish basketball and sacrifice and win? So you pick it.”He was speaking to his new teammates. But were they listening?The consensus best player on the planet has become adept at the mind games. He low balls expectations so progress can be viewed as special. Cunning.“Hopefully not too long, but it could go on for a couple months until we’re all on the same page,” he said. Inside he must have been smiling. Taking two months to flow could be tantamount to trouble. . . and inciting a doubting public.“We know exactly where we need to be both offensively and defensively and we buy in on what it takes to win,” James said. “I think a lot of people get it misconstrued on what it takes to win [by thinking] just scoring or just going out and trying to will it yourself. This is a team game and you have to rely on your teammates as well. So we will get an understanding of that as the time goes on.”Clearly, James, motivational speaker, has the ear of his teammates. And until things turn around, he will continue to deliver it. read more

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Beside The Points For Monday Dec 11 2017

Things That Caught My EyeGiancarlo Stanton to the BronxThe Miami Marlins traded Giancarlo Stanton to the New York Yankees. Next year the only two hitters with more than 50 homers last season will be playing for the same ball club, with both Aaron Judge and Stanton in the Bronx. Here’s the bigger scoop: Marlins Park blows for batters, and adjusting for the move we’d anticipate his 59 home runs would have been about 66 home runs if he played half his games in a normal park. [FiveThirtyEight]Wildcats favored to win each remaining gameWith a decisive 88-72 win over the Gonzaga Bulldogs last week, Villanova is now rated the best team in men’s college hoops per Basketball Power Index. They have a higher than 50 percent chance of winning each of their remaining games. Their overall chance of going undefeated in the regular season is 0.9 percent though. [ESPN, ESPN]Nine out of 10 times one of these teams wins the titleThe Warriors, Rockets, Celtics, Raptors and Cavaliers are all locks for the playoffs, with our CARM-Elo projections giving them all a greater than 99 percent chance of making the postseason. More to the point, there’s an 89 percent chance that one of those five teams wins the NBA title this year, with the Spurs, Thunder and Timberwolves accounting for most of the other 11 percent of universes. [FiveThirtyEight]Short passes are a prelude to puntsWhen a quarterback threw pass past the sticks on 3rd-and-10 or longer in the first 13 weeks of the season, 42.6 percent of the time it converted and became a perfectly good first down. When a quarterback threw a short pass in the same scenario, a decision made over twice as often, they converted 12.5 percent of the time. Stop doing that guys. [FiveThirtyEight]Try out our fun new interactive, Which World Cup Team Should You Root For?Chaos in the SouthThe AFC West has mostly sorted out its ridiculous three-way competition for their division championship with a Kansas City win over Oakland pushing them to a 71 percent chance of taking the division. It’s the NFC South that is truly anyone’s ball game, except naturally the Tampa Bay Bucs who can be found in their safe space of #4 in the division. New Orleans has a 59 percent chance of winning the division, Atlanta a 22 percent chance and Carolina a 19 percent. Each of those three teams has a 66 percent chance or higher of making the playoffs. [FiveThirtyEight]Toronto, the sports capital of North AmericaJust weeks after their amazing win in the Grey Cup, Toronto now has won their second league championship since American Thanksgiving. Toronto FC beat the Seattle Sounders in the MLS Cup 2-0 on a winning goal from Jozy Altidore. [SB Nation]Make sure to try your hand at our fun NFL can you beat the FiveThirtyEight predictions? game!Big Number96 percentWith 2 minutes and 39 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Cleveland up a touchdown over Green Bay with the ball at their own 37 yard line and four yards to convert, the Cleveland Browns had a 96 percent chance of victory and snapping their thus-far totally defeated season. That is not how it went down. Green Bay got that touchdown and pushed the game into overtime, when Davante Adams scored the winning touchdown to continue the Cleveland losing streak. The Browns have three more games. [ESPN]Leaks from Slack: Yo Did Giancarlo Stanton Just Get Traded edition College Football See more NFL predictions See more NBA predictions gfoster:This isn’t final yet right?neil:MLBTR says they’re still waiting for him to approvechris.herring:This is insane.[trade confirmed]neil:Whew. Thank god(I don’t enjoy the Yankees getting great players, but I enjoy writing stories that can’t pub even less)Predictions NFL See more college football predictions Oh, and don’t forgetScott Hanson breaks his streak We’re launching a sports newsletter. 🏆  Join the squad. Subscribe NBA All newsletters read more

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Are Pro Wrestlers Dying at an Unusual Rate

I was barely 13 years old during WrestleMania VI on April 1, 1990, and just about at the height of my pro-wrestling fandom. I watched every televised event and read wrestling magazines, and I had been to a live event at the Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu. I even watched unofficial wrestling-analysis shows that aired in the middle of the night. I was delirious.My favorite wrestler was Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake, who took on “Mr. Perfect,” who had yet to lose in a televised head-to-head matchup. Brutus won. “Mr. Perfect,” a.k.a. Curt Hennig, had finally lost.Hennig died in 2003 at age 44.Of course, the main event at WrestleMania VI was the “Ultimate Challenge,” in which The Ultimate Warrior defeated Hulk Hogan to unify the Intercontinental Championship and the WWF Championship for the first — and so far only — time ever (the WWF changed its name to the WWE in 2002).The Ultimate Warrior, James Hellwig, died two weeks ago at age 54.Here are a few other pieces of information about WrestleMania VI:One match — Earthquake’s defeat of Hercules — featured two wrestlers who are now both dead.It was Andre the Giant’s last major televised match; he died in 1993 at age 46.Dusty Rhodes, who won his first wrestling title in 1968, is 68. His tag-team partner, Sapphire, his opponents “Macho Man” Randy Savage and the Sensational Queen Sherri, and his surprise manager, Miss Elizabeth (who was in a “feud” with Macho Man, her real-life husband), died in 1996, 2011, 2007 and 2003, respectively.Just five of 14 matches featured wrestlers who are all alive today.Here’s the card with all of the televised matches for the night. I’ve marked the ones who are dead in red; it’s one-third of the wrestlers who appeared (12 of 36, plus Miss Elizabeth).For all the dramatized bloodshed of professional wrestling, the card for WrestleMania VI certainly looks like a bloodbath. Is there anything fishy about pro wrestling, or are my intuitions about what percentage of young 1990s athletes should be alive 25 years later just way off?Let’s look at some data.I collected biographical information (including date of birth and date of death, if applicable) from the Internet Wrestling Database on all WWF wrestlers who are/would be younger than 60 in 2014, and who had at least 20 pay-per-view appearances between WrestleMania I in 1985 and the time the WWF was forced to change its name by the World Wildlife Fund in 2002 — for 203 in all.I then calculated each wrestler’s chances of dying between the ages of 25 (roughly around when his or her career may have started) and however old he or she is/would be in 2014, using actuarial tables from the Social Security Administration. Because health technology has improved significantly, I used a 1990 actuarial table to cover years before 2000, a 2000 table to cover years 2000 to 2009, and a 2010 table to cover 2010 to the present.I then broke them down by age groups and compared each group’s death rate with its expected death rate:We can also calculate the probability of so many wrestlers dying in each age group and overall by chance (using binom.dist), and it comes out like so:Note: I calculated each wrestler’s odds individually, but the probabilities in the last column of this table are based on the average probability for each group (which gets us extremely close, though technically it could be calculated precisely).I don’t want to speculate as to the cause of this phenomenon, though a number of theories in varying shades of sinister spring to mind. But it saddens me to think that my 13-year old self was so thoroughly entertained by watching ghosts. Rest in peace. read more

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What Did We Learn From The NFL Divisional Playoffs

Salfino: I’m surprised that the Saints barely won play success over the Eagles. But that just shows you that they were unreal on third downs — 8-for-15, and a lot of them a high degree of difficulty.neil: And Foles’s third-down magic seemed to abandon the Eagles. They only went 2-for-7 during the game on third downs. Usually third-down efficiency is a calling card of these Foles playoff runs.joshua.hermsmeyer: Neil beat me to it.Salfino: Re: Josh’s point, it’s really easy to say not to overpay for a QB unless you don’t have a QB. Someone is going to give Foles $100 million. I see the Giants or Jaguars as the landing spots for Foles.gfoster: Josh, I don’t know what team fits that bill and needs a quarterback. It would almost need to be like the Sam Bradford trade a couple years ago when Teddy Bridgewater got hurt. Maybe Washington gives him big money because they are mess and have no idea what they are doing?neil: The Giants would be HILARIOUS. Jettisoning Eli for basically a younger EliSalfino: Washington just gave big-ish money to Alex Smith though.gfoster: Yeah, but his career is possibly over. What do they do?Salfino: Someone on my Twitter mentions said that Foles is the new Earl Morrall. (I liked that.)joshua.hermsmeyer: Googles Earl Morrallgfoster: LOL. Here you go.neil: Ooooh, I like that. Or maybe Craig Morton? LOL.Salfino: Morton was never really a backup though. He was part of the two-QB rotation with Staubach. Morton I believe has the all-time record for yards per completion in a season. Morrall had a magical MVP season in 1968 and then flagged the Super Bowl against the Jets with all those picks and then basically disappeared until Shula resurfaced him in Miami after Griese got hurt during the perfect 1972 season.gfoster: Let’s stay in the NFC and talk about the Rams. Are we feeling better about them? They survived another tough road contest at home this weekend.neil: I loved how they completely ran over the Cowboys D.joshua.hermsmeyer: The fact that there isn’t a top 10 defense left in the playoffs confirms all my priors and warms my cockles.neil: Who knew CJ Anderson would be such an effective featured back? Or, like, their featured back at ALL?Salfino: The Rams had 51.3 percent play success, which is oddly exactly what the Patriots registered. CJ Anderson was hilarious in killing all the Gurley DFS guys but actually quite effective. A generational talent, some may say.gfoster: Gurley got his points, though.neil: (Kinda speaks to your story earlier this season, Josh, about Gurley being kind of a product of McVay and that offensive scheme.)joshua.hermsmeyer: That (incredibly large) hole Gurley ran through for his long TD was so much not Gurley it was amazing.Salfino: Is Gurley like Marshall Faulk with the St. Louis Rams, “the queen on the chessboard,” or is he replaceable? I would have thought the former, for sure.neil: One thing on the Rams is that Goff didn’t necessarily play all that well. Again.gfoster: Imagine what Zeke would do in that Rams offense. Because he seems to have to work for every yard, regardless of how much praise the Dallas O-line used to get or maybe still gets.Salfino: Yeah, I have a hard time envisioning Goff beating Brees in New Orleans. Huge home-road splits for Goff, too. Does Jason Garrett get that extension still?joshua.hermsmeyer: I saw a report that Garrett will get extended. Does anyone think he deserves it?Salfino: The Cowboys offense is good if it’s working but if it’s not working, Garrett never seems to be able to figure something out on the fly. Garrett is weird in that he’s a CEO coach, but is so closely tied to the offense, which he doesn’t really run.So what is Garrett’s value, really? Managing the staff? Managing the game? I think when you are a CEO coach you have to have a really strong personality like a Bill Parcells, be that “leader of men.” This is not Garrett, IMO. He just seems easily replaceable.joshua.hermsmeyer: He is elite at clapping.Salfino: Lombardi ended his clapping, which is sad.neil: Yeah, I don’t understand Jerry Jones’s fascination with Garrett. It’s like they were looking for ANY excuse whatsoever to extend him.gfoster: I just don’t think it’s a desirable job to coach with Jerry breathing down your neck.Salfino: Remember, Jones doesn’t want a strong personality that will basically kick him out of the locker room and tell him to stay in his owner’s lane.neil: He’s going to end up being one of the longest tenured coaches ever, and his record will pale in comparison with the others in the conversation. (Except maybe Marvin Lewis.)joshua.hermsmeyer: For all the grief Jones gets, he does seem incredibly loyal, and that is a terrific boss to have in a league like the NFL that moves on from most coaches far too quickly. Stability does have value.Salfino: He is basically Marvin Lewis, who also was a CEO coach without a really strong personality/culture. Tell that to Jimmy Johnson🙂:gfoster: Going back to Rams-Saints: The Saints lost their starting DT, Sheldon Rankins, to a possible torn Achilles. That’s a big loss, especially to be down a big interior lineman against the Rams.joshua.hermsmeyer: Mike, good point about Jimmy Johnson.neil: The way the Rams were clearing space against Dallas was unreal. According to ESPN Stats & Info Group, the Rams rushed 33 times for 195 yards and averaged 4.1 yards per carry before first contact between the tackles.Salfino: Maybe that will trick the Rams into running even more, especially on first down, right Josh?joshua.hermsmeyer: You never want to lose a starter, but if I had to pick a position to lose, give me DT.gfoster: That’s fair.Salfino: Exactly right. If it’s a pass rusher DT, OK, that’s worrisome. But there are only like one of those and he’s on the other team. Where are the big plays in the Rams passing game? They’re going to need some, I’m certain, to win.neil: True, their longest reception vs. Dallas was a 21-yarder to Brandin Cooks.Salfino: 186 passing yards on 28 attempts is not the Rams offense from October, for sure.joshua.hermsmeyer: With the loss of Rankins and their success with play-action, I would think the shot plays would come there. The linebackers may try to make up for Rankins’s loss by cheating a bit more than usual.Salfino: Are they still successful at play-action, Josh? I think that’s debatable.joshua.hermsmeyer: They did OK with it against Dallas I think.neil: Yes, Goff was 6-of-11 for 108 yards off play-action vs the Cowboys. That’s not as amazing as their early-season standards. But it’s still much better than when he passed without play-action.gfoster: Let’s talk about the AFC. The Chargers, who were 9-0 on the road, got absolutely destroyed by the Patriots. This was the one game that seemed completely over in the first quarter.Salfino: Yeah, getting to Josh’s point, the Patriots-Chargers were exhibit A in “offense mostly controls outcomes.”neil: Classic Patriots home divisional-round win.Salfino: I absolutely hated the team flying back to Los Angeles after the Wild Card win in Baltimore.gfoster: I think people tend to overweight air travel. But maybe you are right in this case.joshua.hermsmeyer: The win probability charts basically concur with your assessment Geoff. gfoster (Geoff Foster, sports editor): The Divisionals returned normalcy to the NFL. All four home favorites won outright – three of them covered the spread comfortably. There will be no wild card team making a run this year, which seems like a harder and harder path to the Super Bowl. But let’s start with the last team to get in, the Saints, who were the only home favorite to not cover, and they actually had to dig out of a 14-0 hole as Philly looked primed for another upset. So, is Foles Magic officially dead? And, where is Foles playing next year?Salfino (Michael Salfino, contributor): Foles seems to have said his goodbye to Philadelphia. So it seems safe to say he’s leaving.joshua.hermsmeyer (Josh Hermsmeyer, NFL analyst): Hanging this on Foles seems deeply wrong. On that last drive, it was the receivers that failed, not Foles. That said, since we are positing magic, I guess it’s true it is gone.gfoster: I wasn’t blaming Foles. I actually thought he played great.neil (Neil Paine, senior sportswriter): Foles started the game so hot. The script seemed to be writing itself. But after those early drives, he really reverted back to the QB he has usually been over his career.Salfino: The last drive was definitely not Foles’s fault but after those first two drives, he really did not make a play.neil: In quarters two through four, Foles went 10-22 for 4.0 YPA and 0 TDs, 2 INTsgfoster: OK, so maybe “great” was a reach.neil: (Brees, meanwhile, went 26-32 for 8.5 YPA and 2 TDs, 0 INTs after a rough first quarter start — literally as rough as it gets on the first play of the game.)gfoster: I feel like someone could have huddled up with the Eagles defense and said “Hey, I think they might be trying to throw to Michael Thomas; should we do something about that?”joshua.hermsmeyer: 💯Salfino: Ginn was open, too, by a couple of steps. Brees also was short on another throw later to Taysom Hill. But he was really good at attacking the deeper middle of the field, especially on third down. Plus the Eagles helped by suffering a spate of injuries.neil: And at one point the Saints seemed to be doing everything they could to give the game away with penalties.gfoster: The Saints seemed to almost abandon the run, which is very unlike them. And until that late 36-yard run by Ingram, the Eagles took Kamara and Ingram basically out of the game plan, it seemed.joshua.hermsmeyer: I think Foles will get hired on somewhere, but if I were a GM I would let the other guy overpay for his services. His completion percentage by depth is really just average. Overpaying for average is a team killer unless you are absolutely loaded everywhere else. neil: I do wonder how much the travel had to do with it. They seemed out of sorts most of the game, especially on defense early. Didn’t help that their weird hybrid LB/DB scheme was totally ineffective against Brady and the Pats.Salfino: I hate a West Coast team in the early slot in a playoff game, but the Chargers were their own worst enemy in opting to go back home. Still, it probably wouldn’t have mattered, as flat as Los Angeles seemed (especially with the missed tackles). The Patriots were flawless. Brady looked like a different player, and there are reports that trick play with him as a receiver against the Titans hurt his knee pretty badly. He was able to practice fully again though.joshua.hermsmeyer: Angry Tom in the cold is the narrative, I think.Salfino: Did you see how the Patriots taped that thermostat on the wall where the Chargers had to come out on the field? Seems lame but maybe it worked.gfoster: Also, people spent all week talking about Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa. That’s not too relevant when you dump the ball to James White 15 to 20 times a game.neil: Tactically, you have to appreciate the way they used their RBs against Los Angeles’s defense. Sony Michel ran for 129 and 3 TDs, plus James White had 15 catches out of the backfield. The Chargers had no answer for that attack. Michel was averaging 4.6 YPC with eight-plus defenders in the box against a defense that had smothered the run-heavy Ravens a week before.Salfino: The Patriots are all spares and no strikes now. They ran a ton with Michel. They had 15 catches for under 100 yards from White. Edelman got some big plays somehow, but he’s not a gamebreaker. Gronk had one catch. But this hyper efficiency works for them because they avoid mistakes. I’m not sure why the Chargers stuck with the Ravens defense with all those defensive backs. The Patriots are not a fast team at all. You want more size against them.neil: Well, people spent all week saying they’d revolutionized NFL defense with that scheme.joshua.hermsmeyer: Against a mobile QB, I think it’s a great defense. Against a pocket passer, I’m not sure what you are gaining.Salfino: The difference between the Patriots and other teams is that they solve the puzzle with an opponent and move on to the next opponent. They don’t bring whatever worked one week necessarily into the next.gfoster: Is Gronk a concern? Or not so much? Considering we’ve seen them go on SB runs without him before. He practically got the Bronx cheer from the Foxboro crowd when he made that one catch.joshua.hermsmeyer: Gronk had a fantastic day…checks notes…blocking.Salfino: Gronk’s yards per target this year was still good. He did gain 27 yards on that one play. It’s hard for me to believe he’s shot. He’s clearly not the same player, but I think he can still be effective. The Chargers are really designed to stop tight ends, though, with Derwin James.gfoster: Also, is it me, or did Rivers’s deep balls look terrible? Just floating up in the wind, asking Mike Williams to make jump ball catches 40 yards downfield.neil: In fairness, he was under heavy pressure much of the game.Salfino: Williams has to make that catch, Geoff. I thought Rivers had a lot of pop on most of his throws. But the Patriots played that Ravens blitzing defense and it really surprised Rivers. By the time he adjusted, the game was over.neil: According to ESPN’s Stats & Information Group, Rivers was pressured 24 times against New England, which was most of any quarterback in a playoff game in the last 10 seasons.joshua.hermsmeyer: What’s interesting is that while the Chargers kept their Ravens defense, the Patriots adopted the Ravens defense with their cover-zero looks and massive pressure on Rivers.Salfino: Yes, interesting but clearly not surprising that Belichick out-coached Lynn. That was the big worry for the Chargers in this game.What was interesting and unknown was “how” Belichick would get the edge.gfoster: Rivers’s deep ball seemed like me trying deep passes in Thanksgiving touch football. “I got someone out there, so just going to heave it and hope for the best.”Salfino: This is what those Ravens blitzes reduce you to, low-percentage deep throws.What’s funny is that exactly no one thinks that the Patriots having had success blitzing are going to bring that into the Chiefs game.gfoster: When the Chiefs played the Pats in the regular season, it was 43-40 and probably the most entertaining game of the season. I don’t think we will see 80+ points again. Or will we? The Chiefs defense seems to have improved recently.Salfino: I think we do see 80 points again.gfoster: Interesting. Even if conditions are much worse?Salfino: If it’s windy, that’s a problem. Cold? Nah. Unless it’s Ice Bowl-like.neil: Certainly seems like Patriots punter Ryan Allen probably won’t get as much of a workout as Rigoberto Sanchez against KC. Seemed like every time you looked up, Indy was punting.gfoster: Judging by the Chargers games, I wasn’t aware the Patriots had a punter.Salfino: Luck was so bad. It seemed like every other pass was deflected at the line. The first three, I’m pretty sure, though whether the first pass of the game was tipped is not entirely clear. That has to be a record though.joshua.hermsmeyer: Regarding the total, Vegas has it at 57.5. That’s super high. I’m not sure I take the over.gfoster: Kareem Hunt totaled 185 combined yards in that Patriots game. But Damien Williams has made people forget about him pretty quickly. Interestingly, Patriots were able to limit Kelce’s production (somewhat), which the Colts had no answer for.Salfino: OK, I revise my prediction since the forecast is for a high of 16 degrees on Sunday.joshua.hermsmeyer: If Sammy Watkins can contribute big, high-leverage plays, I think he will be one too many weapons for the Patriots to account for.Salfino: Belichick wants to x-out Kelce in these games. And then Hill kills them. Also Hunt out of the backfield in the last game, though that’s no longer a threat.neil: Gosh, that 57.5 is with the temperature baked into the over/under? (Well, maybe not “baked.” Frozen?) What would it be in a dome?Salfino: Hunt actually killed the Patriots as a receiver in the last two games they played. Can Williams function this way? I don’t see it.gfoster: Weather moves the total more than anything (except quarterback injuries), so we will see what happens with that line.Salfino: No appreciable wind in the forecast, though about 20 mph on Saturday so maybe that’s a threat, too. I tell all my fantasy friends, it’s just wind other than super extreme conditions on the other side — cold, rain or snow. And really wind at over 20 mph only.gfoster: Who does the weather help though? You could argue the Patriots. Has Mahomes played in games this cold? Brady sure has.joshua.hermsmeyer: I’m going to fade the idea that something like weather can stop Mahomes. While it didn’t snow as much people envisioned, the Indianapolis game was plenty cold and Mahomes looked fantastic.neil: For the sake of fun trivia, it was 17 degrees in Mahomes’ debut start. (According to PFR, that’s the coldest game he’s played as a pro.)Salfino: Brady has played one game in 10 degrees or colder — in 2003. He had a 73.3 passer rating. (Note that includes playoffs.)joshua.hermsmeyer: Are any of you picking the Patriots?gfoster: Great segue! Let’s close with our Super Bowl predictions.neil: If the game was at Foxboro, I’d think about it. But Brady hasn’t won a road playoff game since this wacky one against the Chargers. Hard to believe! But Pats usually play at home in lead-up to Super Bowl.gfoster: That’s where the game-sealing interception was fumbled for a first down?Salfino: He’s 0-2 since then.neil: Yes, the Marlon McCree game.Salfino: So I will stick with my Chiefs-Saints Super Bowl.neil: I will do the same!Salfino: Save us, Josh.joshua.hermsmeyer: I think we’ll see the proverbial passing of the torch from Old Angry Tom to Mahomes, kinda like when Favre beat Young in the playoffs. And I still like the Rams in the NFC.neil: Josh, Elias says this is the biggest age difference in a QB matchup in conference champ history. joshua.hermsmeyer: Great statneil: I am also looking forward to Mahomes potentially doubling the record for playoff wins by a Big 12 quarterback.gfoster: I also will take the Chiefs. But I’m going to say Chiefs-Rams just because I still haven’t seen the return of that devastating Saints offense. It’s been hibernating since the loss to the Cowboys in Week 13. The Saints managed just 20 points against a banged-up Eagles defense. It seemed like a struggle at times, even though a lot of that was self-inflicted penalties. Brees was under a lot of pressure. Trubisky even had more passing yards than Brees! Trubisky!!!Salfino: I will defend the Saints. They had 420 yards to 250 for the Eagles. That’s actually 28 expected points (formula is a point every 15 yards from scrimmage). To me, that’s pretty close to being on schedule. I mean, they had 25 first downs.gfoster: You know what the Saints need Mike, right?Salfino: Do not say it, Geoff.gfoster: More Taysom Hill gadget plays!Salfino: Payton was determined to make noise with Hill in that game.Salfino: Who would Taysom Hill be in the Star Wars universe? (Only episodes I-III.)gfoster: He’s young Anakin in Episode I. Ten minutes into the movie, you are like “Is this kid really going to play this big of a role, here?”joshua.hermsmeyer: I was going to say Porkins. “Stay on target.”gfoster: I would love to see a close-up of Brees’s face every time he is set out wide with Hill under center; I feel like he’s rolling his eyes — but I can’t be sure.Salfino: Ha ha ha.joshua.hermsmeyer: His body language instills fear in the DB every time.neil: One day, Brees will burn someone over the top.Salfino: Brees has large hands and probably could win 50/50 balls.joshua.hermsmeyer: No matter what combination of teams ultimately makes it, this is the correct four teams in the championship round, and the perfect end to the greatest offensive season in NFL history.neil: Agreed! It’s the first time since the 1970 merger that each of the top four teams in scoring made the conference title game.gfoster: We wanted offense. We got offense. Will see you next week when we know who is heading to Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta. read more

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Ohio State softball wins 4 games before dropping final one in USC

OSU then-freshman pitcher Shelby Hursh (19) throws a pitch during a game against Northwestern on April 28, 2014. Credit: Courtesy of OSUThe Buckeyes are still looking for a weekend without experiencing defeat.This weekend in South Carolina, the Ohio State softball team (9-3) came a game away from an unblemished weekend but were defeated in their final game against South Carolina Upstate (11-2).Three Buckeyes combined for five home runs over the weekend, three of which came from junior Alex Bayne. The outfielder now has 11 RBIs on the year, which is only two short of her 2015 total.The tournament marked the first of 2016 in which all five OSU pitchers saw action, which allowed the team to maintain its stamina throughout the weekend. Junior Shelby Hursh now has 44 strikeouts this season, and the staff’s combined ERA is a mere 1.88.Game 1OSU started strong in another weekend opener with a 13-0 shutout against Virginia Tech (4-10) on Friday. The Hokies only delivered one hit, a double by redshirt senior catcher Katey Smith, and momentum remained on the Buckeyes’ side.All of OSU’s runs were earned, and five Buckeyes contributed multiple hits. Bayne and sophomore center fielder Taylor White both had three RBIs, but sophomore pitcher Shelby McCombs led the squad with four RBIs while going 2-for-3.McCombs, who played as the game’s designated hitter, delivered a stellar performance offensively last weekend in Atlanta, including a walk-off home run in OSU’s first matchup against Georgia Tech. McCombs got the Buckeyes on the scoreboard first with a one-out, two-run single after senior shortstop Maddy McIntyre ignited the offense with a leadoff single in the first inning. White hit a single to left field to make the game 3-0.OSU ballooned its lead to 10 in the second inning after a handful of wild pitches by Hokies senior Maggie Tyler advanced runners into scoring position. Bayne, White and senior catcher Cammi Prantl contributed two-run singles, and junior second baseman Anna Kirk recorded an RBI with a sacrifice fly.The Buckeyes did not become complacent though. Bayne and McCombs teamed up to deliver two home runs in the third inning and three more RBIs. Bayne now has six homers on the year, while McCombs has two.From the mound, Hursh struck out three in her two innings pitched. The Buckeyes’ comfortable lead over the Hokies allowed freshman Katya Duvall to make her debut for the team, in which she also struck out three and earned the win.Game 2OSU continued an unstoppable Friday outing, beating Furman (7-9) in the second game of the doubleheader. Building upon a strong offense against the Hokies, seven Buckeyes, led by Bayne, contributed RBIs in the team’s 15-3 win.Bayne added two home runs, one in the top of the first inning and one in the sixth. The left fielder’s bat seemed to inspire the rest of the Scarlet and Gray because the team combined for nine multiple-base hits. Prantl and sophomore Becca Gavin each hit one over the fence, and Prantl continued her streak, going 4-for-4.These key hits provided OSU with a 7-3 lead heading into the seventh inning, after the Paladins took advantage of passed balls and a throwing error by the Buckeye defense in the sixth. Furman sophomore third baseman Brittany Houston had a two-run single to center field against freshman Morgan Ray, who had just stepped onto the mound to relieve McCombs.The Buckeyes responded loudly in the top of the seventh and added eight more runs to solidify their win. Five of these runs were scored with two outs as the Paladins began to run out of steam. Senior first baseman Erika Leonard, senior pinch hitter Jayla Saibene and freshman second baseman Emily Clark all gave the Buckeyes a final push at the plate.Defensively, OSU made plays that kept the Paladins from scoring or even stringing hits together. In the bottom of the third, the infield cleared the bases with a double play. In the following inning, McCombs, who got the win in the matchup, hit two batters but was able to strike out two more to get out of the situation.Like McCombs, Furman sophomore Lindsey Bert also hit two batters, but her effort on the mound, along with that of senior Alex Sappington, could not trip up the Scarlet and Gray as they moved to an undefeated Friday.Game 3The Buckeyes got off to another quick start Saturday with a comfortable 9-1 win against Morehead State (5-6). Junior Lena Springer got her first chance of the weekend on the mound and her first complete game of the season.Like its two previous matchups in South Carolina, OSU got on the board first with Leonard’s RBI groundout. The Buckeyes extended their lead to 3-0 in the second inning when Prantl singled up the middle, which was followed by two throwing errors by the Eagles.OSU left runners on base in all six innings but still managed to chip away at Morehead State’s defense and pitchers, sophomore Mackenzie Grossmann and junior Megan Tymorek. The Buckeyes left the bases loaded in the third inning but returned in the fourth to score another run on a triple to right field by McIntyre.The Eagles did not score until the final inning with an unearned run on senior first baseman Dana Hutchins’ double. Morehead State, which went winless over the weekend, put the ball in play but could not find gaps to send runners home.Game 4The Scarlet and Gray’s second matchup against Virginia Tech resulted in a much tighter contest than the first. OSU won the game 6-5 after a back-and-forth struggle over seven innings.The Buckeyes rotated three pitchers onto the mound, starting in the second inning when Ray gave up two runs. Hursh earned the win with three innings pitched and five strikeouts, and McCombs received her first save of the season after stopping the Hokies’ offense in the final two innings.For OSU’s offense, extra-base hits made the difference. McIntyre opened the game with a double, followed by Leonard’s RBI double to left field. The Buckeyes then extended their lead to four in the second inning, after Prantl sent a solo shot over the centerfield fence and White and Gavin stole home. Virginia Tech responded in the bottom of the third inning when Hursh walked junior Elizabeth Birle with the bases loaded. A couple of batters later and the bases still loaded, Hursh walked sophomore center fielder Breanna Davenport for the Hokies’ second run of the inning.The Hokies’ redshirt freshman Chelsea Whitcomb walked six batters throughout her four innings on the mound. Two of those walks set up OSU runners in scoring position in the top of the fifth inning, and both scored after White doubled on her first and only hit Saturday.The Buckeyes’ narrow 6-4 lead tightened even more in the bottom of the fifth after two Virginia Tech hits through the gap moved freshman right fielder Emma Strouth to third base. Strouth then scored on McCombs’ wild pitch.The game came down to the bottom of the seventh inning, but Virginia Tech went down in order to cement the Buckeyes’ second win over the Hokies and fourth of the weekend.Game 5Even though OSU had more hits than its final opponent of the weekend, USC Upstate edged out the Buckeyes 2-0 on Sunday. The Spartans’ two runs came from a timely home run, while the Buckeyes could not execute at the plate to bring any of their eight runners left on base home.The first two innings were scoreless for both teams, despite a two-out double by Saibene in the second. The Buckeyes came close again in the third, when Prantl and Leonard each delivered a single with two outs, but the two seniors were left stranded on base.USC Upstate’s offense ignited in the bottom of the third, thanks to freshman second baseman Megan Obier’s leadoff double. Freshman left fielder Brittany Case then blasted a home run to center field, giving the Spartans their 2-0 advantage.The Buckeyes spent the next four innings trying to start a rally, but even with leadoff singles from Prantl and junior pinch hitter Jess Machovina, they could not get one sparked.The stars of the game were the pitchers of both teams: Hursh for the Buckeyes and junior Holly McKinnon, who came on in the first after only one batter, for the Spartans. Hursh struck out seven, while McKinnon collected eight of her own.Coming upThe Buckeyes do not see any action next weekend, but they are scheduled to head to Tempe, Arizona, from March 11 to 13 to face four opponents at the Arizona State Tournament. OSU’s first matchup is scheduled against No. 10 James Madison and is set to begin at 1 p.m. read more

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Scarlet meets Scarlet Ohio State takes on Rutgers for 1st time

OSU senior defensive lineman Michael Bennett (63), tackles Maryland redshirt-senior quarterback C.J. Brown (16) during an Oct. 4 game at Byrd Stadium in College Park, Md. OSU won, 52-24.Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editorWhile the colors won’t exactly clash in Ohio Stadium on Saturday afternoon, the Ohio State Buckeyes and Rutgers Scarlet Knights are set for battle in their first-ever meeting on the gridiron.The Scarlet Knights (5-1, 1-1) enter Columbus coming off a bye week of their own after defeating Michigan on Oct. 4 in just their second-ever Big Ten game.Now, Rutgers enters Columbus to play its first-ever Big Ten road game, and it comes during homecoming week at OSU.The Scarlet Knights are led offensively by senior quarterback Gary Nova, who is coming off a game in which he threw for 404 yards and three scores in a win over the Wolverines, a performance OSU coach Urban Meyer said he noticed.“The quarterback (Nova) had a hell of a day against our rival,” Meyer said. “We got our hands full. We feel that (they) have very quality receivers. We are going to be very aggressive and we got to get this quarterback down ‘cause he is playing the best he has ever played right now.”OSU redshirt-freshman cornerback Eli Apple said the Buckeye defense has been preparing to limit the big play. The Buckeye defense allowed three scoring plays of 60 yards or more the last time they played at home, against Cincinnati.“They’ve got great receivers who can take the top off of defenses so one thing is just making sure to eliminate the deep balls and make sure we keep Gary Nova in the pocket and make sure he doesn’t scramble and beat us like that,” Apple said.While Nova may be playing the best he has ever played, he has struggled with turnovers in the past.Nova entered the 2014 season with 39 career interceptions and has added seven more this season, five of which came in Rutgers’ first Big Ten game against Penn State on Sept. 13.Apple said the Buckeyes are going to try and exploit Nova’s tendency to turn the ball over.“That is something that we definitely watch, and feel like we can take advantage of,” Apple said. “Sometimes he does get a little bit rattled and he feels like he just has to throw it up there. That is something we are going to try and capitalize on.”Senior defensive lineman Michael Bennett said it is his unit’s job to fluster the quarterback, something the defense focuses on each week.“We have a count each game about how many hits this guy is going to take to break, and so we will have a count on Gary and we will find out how many he has,” Bennett said. “He gets flustered, he kind of gets a little nervous so I’m sure against us he will bring everything he’s got, but we are going to try and hit him and we are going to try and hit him a lot.”During his five-interception game against Penn State, Nova was sacked three times, losing 19 yards. He scored the Scarlet Knights’ only touchdown in the game, a 14-yard run in the second quarter.In order to fluster Nova, Bennett said the Buckeyes will have to force him to drop back more than usual, which means shutting down the ground game.“If we are able to stop that run early, then we will have chances to go get the quarterback and it should be a fun night,” he said.While getting pressure on the quarterback will be the key for the Buckeye defense, protecting their own signal caller will likely be a concern as Rutgers is tied for third in the country in sacks.Co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Tom Herman said Rutgers is successful rushing the quarterback because of how the Scarlet Knights design their pressure.“Front four are very active. They don’t blitz a ton on first and second down. I think somewhere in the range of 15 and 20 percent,” Herman said. “On third down, they try to really create confusion and havoc and they’ve got a whole third down specialist-type deal where they’re going to run a bunch of different guys in on the field and line up in some crazy alignments and try to confuse you and pressure the quarterback on third down.”OSU, which allowed seven sacks in a loss to Virginia Tech against a bear cover zero defense, has allowed just five sacks since.Despite its recent success, junior offensive lineman Taylor Decker said Monday that he expects to see the kind of defense that gave OSU troubles against the Hokies.“We are expecting them to blitz a lot. We are probably expecting them to throw that bear cover zero at us too, because everybody has been trying it,” Decker said.Apple, who is a native of New Jersey, said he believes Rutgers has more talented athletes than Buckeye fans might think, which is critical to being successful when running the bear defense.“Rutgers, they always have great talent,” Apple said. “They have a great roster, and we just got to make sure we are focused so we don’t take a game off.”The Buckeyes and Scarlet Knights are scheduled to meet Saturday at Ohio Stadium. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. read more

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NHS chief mired in scandal steps down from sideways move after public

first_img“We listened to feedback, reflected, decided she wasn’t employable and rewarded her with quarter of a million,” it tweeted.Last month the trust’s interim chairman stood down. In April, inspectors concluded that the trust was still failing to protect patients from risk of harm.Care Quality Commission inspectors found that robust arrangements to probe incidents, including deaths, had not been put in place, resulting in ‘missed opportunities’ to prevent similar events. The mental health trust provides services to 45,000 people across Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire.It employs around 9,000 staff at more than 200 sites, including community hospitals, health centres, inpatient units and social care services. ‘Following the recent announcement that Katrina Percy will take on a regional strategic advisory role, we have received correspondence from the public, patients and families expressing their concerns’Southern Health NHS Foundation trust The trust said in a statement on Friday: “Following the recent announcement that Katrina Percy will take on a regional strategic advisory role, we have received correspondence from the public, patients and families expressing their concerns. We have listened to all of this feedback and reflected.”Both the trust and NHS Improvement believe it is no longer possible for Katrina to continue in her new advisory role. Katrina shares this view and we have worked with NHS Improvement to come to a settlement where she will leave Southern Health with immediate effect, to pursue other opportunities. “We thank Katrina for her significant contribution to the NHS and we wish her well for the future.”As a board we are now making arrangements to continue the important work that Katrina was due to finish. We hope that the organisation can now continue to focus on our primary objective: delivering the best possible care to all those we look after.” Southern has been under intense scrutiny following the deaths of hundreds of patients, including 18-year-old Connor Sparrowhawk who died in 2013.His mother expressed anger at the payout, and said it was “scandalous” that action had taken so long. “I think it’s good that she’s gone, but the payoff is obscene,” Dr Ryan told ITV News. “How can the NHS afford such payoffs for people who have failed?”She said the departure of the executive had only happened because of a long campaign by families who lost loved ones at the trust. “It’s scandalous that it’s taken this long,” she said. “It’s shameful that Jeremy Hunt has done nothing – it’s all been down to the families.”“The rest of the board need a good old shake out now. It shouldn’t have taken families and campaigners making so much noise to get to this point. 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. “It’s outrageous she hung on as long as she did. The whole sorry tale has shown there are serious problems in the way the NHS is organised. The lack of accountability is a scandal,” she told the Oxford Times. “The money she has received is an obscene misuse of public funding, especially given that the NHS is completely stretched. The former chief executive of a troubled mental health trust has been given a £190,000 payoff after she left her latest role.Katrina Percy faced repeated calls to resign over Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust’s failure to investigate hundreds of deaths.She resigned as chief executive in August but went straight into a role specially created for her at the same trust.Critics last night attacked the trust for offering “a completely unjustifiable reward for failure” .Dr Sara Ryan, whose teenage son Connor died while he was under the care of the trust, described the payoff as “obscene”. Ms Percy resigned as trust chief executive in August, after facing repeated calls to stand down over the trust’s failure to investigate hundreds of deaths.However, she went straight into a new advisory role at the same trust, keeping her pay and benefits of £240,000 a year.The revelation prompted outrage among patients’ groups and MPs. Connor Sparrowhawk who was found drowned in the bath at Slade House in Headington In October, a jury inquest ruled that neglect contributed to the death of Mr Sparrowhawk, who drowned after an epileptic seizure at Slade House in Headington, Oxfordshire.Liberal Democrat health spokesman Norman Lamb said: “This is hugely disrespectful to Southern Health patients and their loved ones, who I campaigned with over the Trust’s scandalous failure to properly investigate unexpected deaths. ““It was insulting that Ms Percy was offered this very lucrative advisory position at the Trust when this first came to light, and for her now to be offered such a generous pay-out is a completely unjustifiable reward for failure”.John O’Connell, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “This golden goodbye can only be seen as a reward for failure. Not only is it an insult to those who have suffered or lost a loved one because of mismanagement or incompetence, it is a also slap in the face for taxpayers who will be picking up the bill. Connor Sparrowhawk “People will want to know why anyone should be compensated when they stand down voluntarily and those responsible for this hugely expensive farce must be held to account to ensure nothing like this happens again.”Regulators NHS Improvement, who agreed the deal, said Ms Percy was entitled to six months’ pay in lieu of notice, and would be given a further six months’ pay as part of the settlement.A spokesman said the body had received legal advice which suggested that attempts to get rid of Ms Percy without a payout could have cost them more. “We know that this won’t please  some who think that she ought to have received no payment at all, and in situations like this, a perfect deal is not possible. But the strong legal advice we have received is that to do anything else would have a much greater cost to the public purse, and as a consequence, would go against good management of public money.”Deborah Coles, director of Inquest,  said the resignation “should mark the end of Southern Health’s denial of responsibility for systemic failings and the start of vital work to protect the lives of the people in its care”.Campaign group Justice for LB – LB was Connor’s nickname, and stands for Laughing Boy – called the settlement “utterly disgraceful”.last_img read more

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Charles Is lost painting for sale minus breasts removed by prudish owner

first_imgObviously someone, maybe in the 19th century, wanted to be prudish and took off the breastGeorge Wachter, chairman of Sotheby’s North America It then passed to Agnew’s, London, before being sold privately in 1989. Its current owner, a woman from Philadelphia, now hopes to sell the work to raise money for research into the painter and his legacy. Sotheby’s have estimated it at $2-3 million (£1.6-2.5 million).It is one of the items still missing from Charles I collection, after Charles II made a concerted effort to recover some of the works once he was reinstated to the throne.The Royal Academy will next year stage a blockbuster exhibition reuniting many of the works, using old inventories to track down paintings from other public institutions and private owners.Last year, Sotheby’s sold Gentileschi’s Danaë to the J. Paul Getty Museum in LA  for a record $30.5 million.George Wachter, chairman of Sotheby’s North America, said the “amazing” painting was particularly striking for its modern look, calling it a “super rare and beautiful” example of the artist’s best work.”Obviously someone, maybe in the 19th century, wanted to be prudish and took off the breast,” he said.  “This is a great opportunity for someone to own a work by this super important artist which can easily hang in your home.”There’s something so immediate and striking and modern about it.”The auction house will frame the painting in black to match its original presentation, after finding the detail in an original inventory from Charles I’s day.The sale will take place in New York on January 25. It once hung outside Charles I’s bedroom, sold off after his execution as his famous art collection was scattered across Europe.This month, a Gentileschi portrait of a woman will come up for sale for the first time in 380 years – minus some of its assets.The portrait, entitled Head of a Woman, is estimated at up to £2.5 million, thanks to its venerable royal history and skill.But experts have determined it looks somewhat different to the painting Charles I admired, after the bottom of the canvas showing the woman’s naked bosom was removed by a previous prudish owner. “the Picture of a woeman with her left breast naked her right breast covered with a part of her Smock” The statue of Charles I in Trafalgar Square The statue of Charles I in Trafalgar SquareCredit:JULIAN SIMMONDS/TELEGRAPHcenter_img ‘The Picture of a woeman with her left breast naked her right breast covered with a part of her Smock’ This is one of only two surviving works by the artist on panel.This painting dates from the early 1630s and was bought by Charles I in 1636 to hang in a small room between his withdrawing chamber and long gallery at Whitehall.It formed part of his impressive art collection, later broken up and sold off by Parliament after his execution in 1649 to pay the late king’s debts.More than 1,300 paintings were consigned by Cromwell to Somerset House, where they were offered to the public.The sale has gone down in history both as a tragic loss of national art and for its odd detail, with a Titian painting famously being given to a plumber to pay his bill.The Gentileschi was part of 51 paintings which went to Robert Houghton, “gentleman and brewer” to Charles I, staunch puritan and sponsor of the early colony in Massachusetts.It is believed to have passed to his family after death, being lost to the private houses of England until it was rediscovered in 1930 as part of a Royal Academy exhibition. An original inventory describes the painting as “Naked Woman”, detailing “the Picture of a woeman with her left breast naked her right breast covered with a part of her Smock”.In the interim years, the canvas has been cut across the bottom to show only her bare shoulders.The painting is nevertheless being considered one of the highlights of the forthcoming Sotheby’s sale, with bids predicted to soar following a new world record for Orazio Gentileschi of $30.5 million (£25 million) last year. 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_img read more

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Backlash after sexist hats found in gift shop at National Trust property

first_imgGraham Jones, Tatton Park’s visitor and commercial operations manager, said the hat was removed from the shelves as soon as they were made aware of the complaint. Tatton Park, Knutsford, CheshireCredit:Robert Harding World Imagery The National Trust has been dragged into a sexism row after one of its stately homes was found selling pink  “future footballers wife” hats for girls.The hats, complete with the lack of apostrophe, were being sold in the gift shop at Tatton Park, Cheshire, but were removed from the shelves yesterday (TUES) after a barrage of criticism on social media.Laura Goss, creative director at a digital agency, photographed the “stupid” hat and published it on Twitter, telling the Trust: “Your young female visitors deserve better merch (+ better grammar).” Hey @nationaltrust – this stupid hat is for sale at Tatton Park. Your young female visitors deserve better merch (+ better grammar) pic.twitter.com/isTBCSHm3L— Laura Goss (@sparklepanties) August 29, 2017 “We get a job lot of hats from our supplier, including children’s hats, but I don’t know how these ended up on our shelves. Someone’s put them out without thinking,” he said.“If they have offended anyone and are considered inappropriate, then as far as we are concerned, it was a mistake and we take that very seriously.”The shop includes stock often seen in National Trust gift shops such as the charity’s popular throws, but no National Trust branded items.Ms Goss said she was pleased the hat had been withdrawn from sale.“I was disgusted and saddened by it,” she told the Telegraph.“It would be wrong wherever it was sold. National Trust may not have direct responsibility for the shop but if it falls under their brand then they should accept some of the blame.“It’s fantastic that it’s been taken off the shelf. It’s only a tiny thing really but it all helps.”The Trust has endured a tricky summer, during which it has faced criticism for requiring volunteers to wear Gay Pride badges, the public “outing” of Robert Wyndham Ketton-Cremer, former owner of Felbrigg Hall near Cromer, and a change in the recipe for its celebrated flapjacks.center_img 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. Tatton Park, Knutsford, Cheshire The post attracted a stream of comments from disgusted National Trust members, who branded it “everyday sexism” and “an appalling lack of judgment”.One said the hat “put the Tat into Tatton” whilst another added: “Trying to imagine the hat… ‘future footballer’s husband’ for all the little boys aspiring to marry well.”Another wrote: “Young girls aspiring to marry into money, @nationaltrust keeping the true spirit of the Stately Home/Landed Gentry alive.”National Trust thanked Ms Goss for flagging up the existence of the hat in its shop and said it would be contacting Tatton Park about it.However, it noted that although the historical estate was bequeathed to the charity in 1958 it is financed and maintained by Cheshire East Council which does not consult the Trust about what is sold in the shop.last_img read more

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