Month: September 2019

40 Percent Of The NFL Is Real

San Francisco 49ers15291324-204 Dallas Cowboys15901457-133 (For those new to FiveThirtyEight, Elo is a system for ranking NFL teams that assigns them strength ratings based on how likely they are to win in the future. Each team’s rating is calculated using the scores, locations and opponents from its games, plus a prior based on how good Elo thought the team was the last time its rating was calculated.)We know some of what we’ve seen thus far is real. But some is an illusion, the product of injuries, personnel changes and the random variance that can occur in the small sample of a half-season. So what’s a football fan to think? How much stock should be placed in what we think we’ve learned over the past two months, compared with what we thought we knew before any games were played?We can get a sense for how much we’ve really learned by looking to past seasons2I used data from NFL seasons since 1978 that featured a 16-game schedule (in other words, excluding the strike-shortened 1982 and 1987 seasons). and searching for the mixture of preseason Elo and season-to-date Simple Rating System3Converted to Elo’s scale. that does the best job of predicting games from Week 8 on. Since 1978, 40 percent of what we think we’ve learned through seven weeks is real. That is, after the first seven weeks of the NFL season, roughly 40 percent of a team’s deviation from its initial outlook should be preserved going forward. The rest tends to fall away in due time, as teams see corrections in health, coaches make adjustments (and counter-adjustments), and teams see aberrant feats regress their way to the mean.That fraction should be enough to change our opinions about the extreme outliers: The Colts are probably closer to average than to a top-five team,4Yes, they were missing Andrew Luck for two starts. But they also went 2-0 under Matt Hasselbeck in those starts and are 1-4 under Luck. while the Jets are likely an above-average squad on the verge of being in the league’s top third. But at the same time, it can’t really help us with the nuances of teams that look like they belong in a tier adjacent to where they started. For instance, the Cincinnati Bengals and Carolina Panthers are both 6-0 despite being in the league’s middle third before the season. We can think of them as top 10 teams, but it’s difficult to know where in the top 10 they fall.Despite our proximity to the season’s halfway marker, there’s still a lot left to be learned about the NFL this year. And that means plenty more surprising outcomes, both real and illusory. Oakland Raiders13891449+61 Houston Texans15051282-223 Philadelphia Eagles15451642+97 Baltimore Ravens15771484-93 ELO RATING Seattle Seahawks16781604-73 Denver Broncos15951597+1 Washington Redskins13711459+88 Miami Dolphins14841439-44 Minnesota Vikings14791492+13 Cincinnati Bengals15401739+199 Tampa Bay Buccaneers13771244-132 New York Giants14801527+47 New York Jets14401734+294 St. Louis Rams14771552+75 Tennessee Titans13391337-3 Cleveland Browns14221389-33 Green Bay Packers16011692+91 Buffalo Bills15341522-12 New Orleans Saints14861457-30 San Diego Chargers15231409-113 Pittsburgh Steelers15631662+99 It’s Week 8 of the 2015 season, which makes it a weird time on the NFL calendar. Almost half the schedule has been played, so it feels like we should have a decent grasp on which teams are good and bad. But this is the NFL, where we don’t know anything and we never will.For instance, the New York Jets, who were not supposed to be very good according to our in-house rating system Elo, have played like one of the NFL’s best teams1According to’s Simple Rating System (SRS). I took each team’s SRS, multiplied it by 25 (as commanded to by Nate Silver), and added it to 1505, which is the average team’s Elo in the NFL. so far. And the Indianapolis Colts, who were supposed to be one of the league’s best teams, have played like one of its worst. Arizona Cardinals15411777+236 Jacksonville Jaguars13571269-87 Chicago Bears14191302-117 Detroit Lions15381302-237 Atlanta Falcons14621612+150 TEAMPRESEASONHAS PLAYED LIKE …DIFF Indianapolis Colts15811399-182 New England Patriots16641907+243 Kansas City Chiefs15401464-75 Carolina Panthers15361634+99 read more

Teófilo Stevenson Cuban Boxing Great Dead At 60

Teófilo Stevenson never got to fight Muhammad Ali.Teófilo Stevenson could have changed the boxing historical landscape. He was that big, that powerful, that good. But he was Cuban and Fidel Castro would not allow him to become rich and famous in America.As it was, Stevenson was a legend in his homeland, a revered figure of great stature. So, it was difficult news to absorb when news of his death at 60 traveled through Cuba.Stevenson was one of the greatest amateurs in boxing history, the winner of three Olympic gold medals for Cuba and a national hero who shunned the prospect of turning pro, possibly fighting Muhammad Ali and becoming rich in the United States. He died of a heart attact, the government-run Radio Havana Cuba said.Stevenson was a formidable heavyweight fighter, standing 6 feet 5 inches, weighing 220 pounds and wielding a powerful right hand. In the 1970s and early ’80s, when Cuba emerged as a power in international boxing, he dominated worldwide amateur boxing in its most prestigious division, winning three world amateur championships.Stevenson won the heavyweight title at the 1972 Games in Munich, the 1976 Games in Montreal and the 1980 Games in Moscow, which were boycotted by the United States to protest the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. He became the first Olympic boxer to capture three gold medals in the same division. He won the last of his three world titles, at Reno, Nev., in 1986, when he was 34.American boxing promoters could have profited hugely from a cold war-era matchup pitting Stevenson, the product of a Communist sports system, against Ali. There were reports that Stevenson was offered millions to fight in the United States. But the Castro government banned Cuban athletes from competing professionally, so he would have had to defect to take on Ali.Read more at read more

Knicks Let Jeremy Lin Walk Because of Money

Everyone knew it, but no one in the New York Knicks hierarchy said it. Until now.General manger Glen Grunwald finally addressed the team’s decision to not match an offer sheet Jeremy Lin signed with the Houston Rockets this summer.“Basically, it comes down to the fact that Houston made a commitment to him that we weren’t prepared to make,” Grunwald said on Monday about the 3-year, $25.1 million offer the Rockets made to Lin last July. “But I’m very happy for Jeremy that things worked out for him personally and for his family and I wish him the best.“I’m more excited for our team, the team we assembled right now. We’re very excited and optimistic about this coming year.”Added coach Mike Woodson: “I’m not going to discuss Jeremy Lin. I think as a franchise we wish Jeremy nothing but the best. It’s a process that we went through and we were able to get a player by the name of Raymond Felton, and a guy by the name of Jason Kidd, a Pablo (Prigioni) in here. … As an organization and as coach I wish Jeremy nothing but the best.”Meanwhile, Lin said to the Houston Chronicle Monday on why he signed with the Rockets: “(The Rockets) talked to me about building the culture, about how Coach (Kevin) McHale wants to play, what he believes in. They were saying stuff, but I already knew what I had seen in training camp. In some ways, it didn’t really matter what they were going to say. I knew how they operated. I know how Coach McHale coaches and what he says to the team and what he expects. It made sense for me because I buy into what he says.Back in July, the Knicks decided not to match Houston’s offer to Lin, which included a $14.8 million payment in Year 3.If the Knicks matched the offer, they would have been subject to a luxury tax in the third year, potentially bringing their total out-of-pocket cost for the team’s salary to about $43 million in 2014-15. So the team decided to let him walk to Houston and instead obtained Felton in a sign-and-trade with Portland.Felton thrived in a previous stint with the Knicks, averaging 17 points and nine assists in 54 games during the 2010-11 season. He was sent to Denver in February of that year in the trade that brought in Carmelo Anthony.Now he’s back. The 28-year-old had a sub-par season in Portland last year. He admittedly came into camp out of shape and averaged just 11.5 points and 6.5 assists on 41 percent shooting.“I was out of shape when we first went there,” Felton said on Monday at the team’s annual media day. “I’m in shape now, ready to go and I’ve got a big, big chip on my shoulder. So I look forward to this season and I’m definitely happy to be back in this New York Knicks jersey.” read more

Saints Jimmy Graham Fined 30K for Dunking After TDs

If Jimmy Graham thought the NFL was not serious about fining particular post-touchdown celebrations, he likely is now. The NFL fined the New Orleans Saints tight end $30,000 on Friday for twice dunking over the goalpost during a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans last week.Graham had said it would be “unfortunate” if he got fined for the dunks in an exhibition game. It turned out to be costly. Still, he does not understand why the league would eliminate a celebration that is “not hurting anyone.”“It’s unfortunate because I just love the game. I have a lot of passion for the game. And when I go out there on Sunday, it’s fun for me,” Graham said. “And I feel like a little kid out there, and sometimes I act like it.”He has to tone down the post-touchdown routine, unless he does not mind paying a price for the hijinks. To make matters worse, Graham’s dunks also drew the ire of his coach, Sean Payton, as the dunk is also a penalty.And because of that, Graham later insisted he would never do anything to hurt the team during the regular season. Translation: No more dunking.Under the league’s fine schedule for unsportsmanlike penalties, players can be fined $11,025 for their first offense and $22,050 for their second if the league feels they’re warranted. Similarly, Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel was fined $12,000 for making an obscene gesture toward the Washington Redskins’ bench Monday, according to ESPN.Meanwhile, Detroit Lions star receiver Calvin Johnson also insisted that he will not celebrate a score by slam-dunking the goalposts, either. “I’m not letting [NFL commissioner Roger] Goodell get in my pockets,” Johnson said. read more

The Chiefs Are In An Unfamiliar Place — No 1 In Our

DAL65DAL60DAL-6.7– 16Tennessee17200829Cleveland0— FiveThirtyEight vs. The CrowdLast week, we rolled out a new game in which we invite you, the readers, to make picks against our Elo algorithm — as well as each other. (The more confident you are in your choices, the more points you win.) After each week, we’ll tally up everyone’s scores, and you can see where you stand relative to Elo and your fellow players.As a side benefit of this exercise, we can also use the results of your picks to figure out which games and teams the crowd most disagreed with Elo about — and who was right. For instance, in Week 1, readers were all over the woefully high 57 percent win probability Elo gave the Andrew Luck-less Colts on the road against the L.A. Rams. (In Elo’s defense, it doesn’t factor in key injuries like Luck’s.) Los Angeles ended up crushing Indy 46-9, costing our algorithm a lot of points in the process.Here are all the games from the opening week of the season, in order of how much readers outsmarted Elo:3The Chiefs-Patriots matchup isn’t included here because our game launched last Friday, after the season opener was played. IND57%LAR53%LAR+8.2– 7Washington51199221Kansas City82017 11Chicago40198827Carolina22015 4Green Bay67201120Baltimore92009 2San Francisco114201317Jacksonville141999 OAK51OAK54OAK+0.5– 5Pittsburgh59200921Tampa Bay82003 8Miami50198524New Orleans62010 Well, that didn’t take long. We’re just one week into the 2017 NFL season, and there’s already a new team atop FiveThirtyEight’s Elo ratings. The Kansas City Chiefs rose to the top slot after beating the preseason No. 1 New England Patriots 42-27 in last Thursday’s season opener, and now Elo gives them a league-best 14 percent chance of winning the Super Bowl.OK, so maybe you shouldn’t bet the farm on that Chiefs championship just yet. (The Vegas books still list K.C. in a tie for the seventh-best Super Bowl odds of any team, alongside the Atlanta Falcons.) But Kansas City occupying first place in an NFL power ranking is a pretty rare sight nonetheless. Since the 1970 NFL-AFL merger, the Chiefs have only held the No. 1 slot for eight total weeks,1Including this week. the same as the New York Jets and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Compare that with the team the Chiefs beat — the Pats, who lead all post-merger franchises with 137 total weeks at No. 1 — and you start to get a sense for just how unusual a top-ranked K.C. squad is.The last time the Chiefs ranked first in Elo? Week 11 of the 2003 season, when Kansas City had just crushed the Cleveland Browns to move to 9-0 on the year. It was K.C.’s fourth consecutive week at No. 1, but the celebration wouldn’t last: Dick Vermeil’s Chiefs were upset by Cincinnati on the road the following week, part of a 4-3 stretch to close the regular season. And in the playoffs, they lost an epic shootout with Peyton Manning and the Colts in which neither team punted. K.C. fell to 7-9 the next season, and the offensive firepower briefly captured with Trent Green and Priest Holmes was never quite achieved again. 9Oakland43200225Cincinnati41982 CIN63CIN58BAL+4.6– 12Denver37201628Arizona12015 ATL72ATL80ATL+1.9– 14L.A. Rams27200229Detroit0— The Week 1 winner is …Congratulations to Dante Sblendorio of Livermore, California, who absolutely humiliated Elo with this week’s high score of 225 points. Dante, a 25-year-old physicist, went for an extremely aggressive approach that paid off: He picked 12 of 14 games correctly, all at 100 percent confidence. Too bad he wasn’t in Vegas.Remember: You can start playing the prediction game this week, even if you didn’t get your picks in last week.Check out our latest NFL predictions. DET54ARI52DET-8.3– DEN74DEN66DEN-8.5– CAR65CAR71CAR+1.4– Most weeks spent at No. 1 in NFL Elo ratings, 1970-2017 6Indianapolis52200921N.Y. Jets82010 RKTEAMWEEKSLAST YR AT NO. 1RKTEAMWEEKSLAST YR AT NO. 1 WSH58WSH52PHI+4.6– our PICKWIN PROB.READERS’ PICKWIN PROB.ACTUAL WINNERREADERS’ NET PTS Kansas City is far from being the franchise with the least time spent in first place. Among teams that have reached the top slot, five — New Orleans, Cincinnati, Buffalo, Carolina and Arizona — have spent fewer weeks in first than K.C. Four other teams — Detroit, Houston, Cleveland and (amazingly2Given that they’ve made two Super Bowls.) Atlanta — have never made it to No. 1 in the post-merger era.Maybe the Chiefs will have the staying power of the Patriots, whose 11-week reign at the top K.C. snapped this week. Or maybe they’ll be like last year’s Minnesota Vikings, who spent one solitary week at No. 1 (Week 6, if you’re keeping track) before fading away. 15Philadelphia22200429Houston0— 10Minnesota42201625Buffalo41991 PIT76PIT86PIT+1.9– 13Seattle30201629Atlanta0— Elo’s dumbest (and smartest) picks of Week 1Average difference between FiveThirtyEight reader points won and Elo points won per matchup HOU74HOU75JAX-3.1– GB61GB56GB-6.6– MIN59MIN54MIN-6.7– 1New England137201717L.A. Chargers142009 3Dallas108199619N.Y. Giants112008 Source: BUF64BUF71BUF+2.6– read more

Screw It — Lets Debate Some Hypothetical LeBron Trades

kyle: BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOneil: LOLchris.herring: 😒 😒😒😒😒😒😒natesilver: It’s basically the Arizona Wranglers-Chicago Blitz franchise swap option.chris.herring: I will say this: We don’t exactly know how Gordon Hayward comes back. And he hasn’t shown to be someone you can run your offense through. It grinded my gears last year that Iso Joe Johnson was Utah’s end-of-game shot taker.neil: I just wanna see the look on Kyrie Irving’s face when that is announced.chris.herring: Exactly! Kyrie would throw a hissy fit if that happened. He just ran away from that situation. So you can’t deal for a guy that would put him in that scenario all over again.natesilver: You can also include a Al Horford-for-Love swap if you want as part of it — the salaries work out.neil: Even better!But, seriously, I’m curious — does the destination in-season have to be the team LeBron would be interested in re-signing with? How would the return package change between a team that thinks it can hang onto LeBron past 2018 and a team for whom he’s just a five-month rental?natesilver: I guess I’m thinking back to the Carmelo Anthony precedent — where a team would pay a lot to “lock him in.” Maybe a big premium over fair market price.chris.herring: Kind of like the Rockets just did with Chris Paul, before he hit free agency?kyle: OK, here’s an actual (and still idiotic) idea: If Cleveland is going to trade for a Boston guard, it should target Marcus Smart. Cleveland’s defense is awful. Marcus is a one-man defense. Boston very likely can’t pay Marcus this summer. Given Cleveland’s needs, Smart makes as much sense as a microwave scoring option to replace Kyrie one-to-one. It’s just much harder to justify spending assets on him to your fans and owner.natesilver: But Cleveland doesn’t really have needs anymore if they trade LeBron, right?Or at least, not short-term needs?kyle: If Cleveland trades LeBron, its short-term needs include riot gear and tarps for the 300-level.chris.herring: LOLneil: What’s incredible is that even after all of their struggles, the Cavs are still quite likely to make the playoffs. So basically this would have them limp into the postseason as a hollowed-out zombie version of a team, while some other team actually trying will miss the playoffs.natesilver: This is the kind of thing that all parties might be able to get behind IF they all admit this season is a wash.natesilver: Yeah, if LeBron went to the Lakers this year, part of the idea might be that he’d get to take the playoffs off or maybe even end his regular season early (unless they won like six in a row or something).kyle: It clears the decks for LeBron in LA salary-wise, moves one but not all of the young talent, and slots in LeBron with Lonzo, Kyle Kuzma, a possible Julius Randle re-signing (haven’t done that exact math) and another free agent.tchow (Tony Chow, video producer): Jumping in late here, but if we’re doing Lakers trades, I’m just going to leave this here. TEAM BANANA BOAT!tchow: According to our projections, the Cavs have a 16 percent chance of reaching the finals again and a 5 percent chance of winning the title. And that’s with giving them a huge post-season bonus that assumes they’ll be a much better team in April than they are now.kyle: The reason the Cavs shouldn’t trade LeBron is pretty simple to me: certainty. They are trash right now, but we do expect at least some elevation come playoff time, just given recent history. But if you can make two assumptions, it’s crazy to trade him:Assumption 1: The Cavs are still a lock or a heavy favorite to advance out of the East. This is not a certainty! But I’m still having a very, very hard time taking Boston and Toronto at face value.Assumption 2: If a star Warrior is injured, the Cavs, as currently constructed, can beat that team, or at least be competitive.Assumption 1 gives you certainty: For the same reason that teams’ championship odds go WAY up once they advance a round and the other teams in the pool are still locking up their series, being chalk for the finals gives the Cavs a huge edge — if we think that’s still true.Assumption 2 is more important, though: If we think it’s true, it means their win-condition has not meaningfully changed. The Cavs were never going to compete with a full-strength Warriors team. They may have thought they were, but given the state of their roster and the state of Golden State’s, it was not going to happen. They always needed something to go sideways. In other words, this is still the best chance the Cavs will have at a title, and those chances maybe aren’t as diminished from earlier this season, or last season, as it seems.natesilver: (If you use a system like Basketball Power Index that doesn’t include a playoff boost, the Cavs’ odds of winning the title are … 0.2%).kyle: That said, they should definitely try to trade LeBron for Kawhi Leonard and see what happens.neil: Yes!natesilver: But what are the chances that Isaiah Thomas isn’t still complete trash by the playoffs?Or maybe that’s setting a low bar — but that he’s an above-average point guard (meaning very good offensively given his defensive liabilities).kyle: Low! But that doesn’t change the premise here. The question isn’t how much better the Cavs can get here; it’s whether improving this last-gasp roster with LeBron, who may leave this summer, is the best shot Cleveland has at a title. The alternative is tearing it all down and playing the lottery game, but that isn’t anything close to a guarantee at a roster that can mount even an empty challenge for the title.We’ve seen what rebuilding without LeBron looks like in Cleveland.natesilver: I guess I’m just assuming that he’s more likely than not to leave and that if he stays, he might only stay for a year.neil: What do you think those odds are, Nate, if you had to put a number on it?natesilver: I think there’s a … 70 percent chance that he leaves? I dunno. I’m not Woj. I just think there are other places where he’d be more likely to win a title and that he doesn’t have a lot to prove in Cleveland.kyle: I get that, but my argument here is that one playoff run with LeBron is worth several years of potential value, because certainty is very hard to come by and LeBron is as close to a sure thing as we’ve had. So if you can flip the Nets pick and Isaiah for, say, Kemba Walker, you should max out in your window. The bill will come due, but I think it’s reasonable to max out when you think you’ve got a shot, even a faint one.(FWIW, Woj-types believe Cleveland won’t trade the pick before the deadline.)neil: Yeah, a lot of it depends on what we think the Cavs’ odds of winning this season are as currently constructed in addition to the odds that LeBron would return to Cleveland (which could happen!), versus the chance that they’d be able to build a team as close to contending as this one using the Brooklyn pick plus whatever assets they get in a LeBron trade.Which I think is what you’re getting at, Kyle.natesilver: I think our odds showing them with only a 16 percent chance of winning the East are too low. But they’re really dysfunctional right now, they have a lot of work to do just get functional, they’re probably going to have to win a couple of road series just to make the finals … and then they’re going to have to beat the Warriors, or maybe the Rockets.kyle: Anyway, back to my Kawhi trade. LeBron and Pop! LeBron could make a pairing with LaMarcus Aldridge work! Remember that no-look Hammer pass that LeBron claimed he was the the only person in the world capable of throwing but actually Boris Diaw threw for the Spurs for years and years? Run that back!!!Also not for nothing, but Boris was a useful player in the league very recently, and he was essentially Washed-Up LeBron. I’m pretty sure LeBron could be 2015 Boris at age 60.natesilver: Why would San Antonio do that, though?chris.herring: There’s a part of me that wants Bron to play out the rest of the season as a Cav and then just maneuver a way to San Antonio or Houston.kyle: So LeBron’s no-trade clause makes all of this very academic. But in the timeline in which this happens, it would be backchanneled that he’d stick around a while. And IF the rift between Kawhi and the front office is real and IF Kawhi’s mysterious leg injury persists … Pop still tells Cavs owner Dan Gilbert to eat dirt, but it would be fun.And in theory, it would get him down there under the cap.chris.herring: I don’t think he would truly elevate anyone to championship level this year, aside from maybe Boston. The gap is too wide between the Warriors, the Rockets and everyone else.neil: And that factor is a big part of any LeBron trade — since he has the no-trade clause, as you mentioned, Chris, he basically gets to choose what situation would be best for winning over the rest of this season.natesilver: Here’s another idea that I stole from some Bucks blog I was reading: (Edit: Actually, here.)natesilver: natesilver: Wait, what is happening? I can’t even process it with all those colors.kyle: The Lakers would win 25 games. This makes some sense from both sides if you think about it.natesilver: :inhales from vape:kyle: The Cavs add rebounding and passing in the frontcourt and youth in the backcourt.natesilver: :inhales deeply:chris.herring: Wow, Kyle.neil: LOL. I think we’re done here. kyle: This is a real thing, though: Building in a small market is HARD. This is why teams like the Pistons take such big risks just to get a guy like Blake Griffin or why Memphis paid Mike Conley and Marc Gasol knowing the clock was up on that core. Things worked out, eventually, for the Philly teardown, but even those guys, good as they look, are playing .500 ball in the East at the stage Penny Hardaway and Shaquille O’Neal were making the finals.If the Cavs parachute out of the LeBron era, they have to be VERY certain that there’s no chance whatsoever this season and that LeBron is very, very likely to leave.chris.herring: I honestly think he’d have to straight-up tell them he’s gone. Anything short of that, and fans will never forgive you. We’re a site that deals in probabilities, but no fan would give a damn about that.natesilver: I mean, I feel like we’re going in circles here. Let’s say the Cavs have a (i) 5 percent to 10 percent chance to win the title this year; (ii) 70 percent chance that LeBron leaves this summer; (iii) a further 70 percent chance that LeBron leaves next summer, even if he’s still here this summer. And let’s say you can get a potential franchise talent — not a Ben Simmons level talent, but say Donovan Mitchell or Ingram — in return.chris.herring: All it would take is LeBron saying 20 years from now that he never wanted to leave, and Dan Gilbert would get threatening letters in droves for a decision that actually seemed wise at the time.neil: That’s the thing with LeBron — he loves to keep his options open.kyle: neil (Neil Paine, senior sportswriter): We are all gathered here because FiveThirtyEight editor-in-chief Nate Silver had a very hot NBA trade deadline take that he needed to get out into the world. Nate, what is your idea?natesilver (Nate Silver, editor in chief): I think the Cavaliers should trade LeBron James.🔥neil: Go on …natesilver: I think the Cavaliers are a dumpster fire right now, and their trade options aren’t very attractive because their second- and third-best players are at the bottom of their market value (because of an injury in Kevin Love’s case). And I think it’s too risky to trade Brooklyn’s No. 1 pick when there’s a good chance that LeBron leaves anyway this summer. So it’s maybe their least-worst option.kyle (Kyle Wagner, senior editor): Disagree, vehemently, but also I have a muscle emoji trade proposal for if they do, so willing to hear this out.natesilver: I’m assuming they can get something pretty good, though.chris.herring (Chris Herring, senior sportswriter): Funny thing is, I think Love’s value would have been pretty decent now had it not been for his injury.neil: So this notion implicitly assumes that the Cavs have no chance this year and should just wave the white flag on the season. Is that fair for a LeBron-led team that has won the East three years running, even given how bad they look right now?chris.herring: But this dumpster fire does feel fundamentally different from the past midseason lulls.natesilver: Just to set a fairly low bar here … what if the Cavs could get Brandon Ingram + Lonzo Ball + an unprotected No. 1 from the Lakers. (Plus a bunch of crap to make the salaries work.) They’d definitely be smart to do that, right? (Assuming that LeBron telegraphs that he’ll sign in LA long term, which is part of the Lakers’ calculus.)chris.herring: I guess it comes down to this: Yes, it would be devastating and perhaps crippling to lose the guy for nothing. At the same time, don’t you have to be 100 percent sure that he wouldn’t come back before you deal him?(It’s also worth mentioning here that he has a no-trade clause. So they couldn’t just deal him away without talking with him first.)natesilver: That’s … not terrible, right?kyle: I don’t think the Bucks make sense at all, tbh. There’s a ton of duplication of skills with Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Giannis isn’t developed the way Dwyane Wade was in 2010 to play next to LeBron as a non-shooter.natesilver: But they’re getting 2018 Wade in the deal! Return to Milwaukee!I agree that they have overlapping-ish skill sets (which is a very, very nice thing to say about Giannis). But if the Bucks already had LeBron and you could clone him — well, you’d give up Jabari Parker and Khris Middleton and Thon Maker and Matthew Dellavedova for that, wouldn’t you?kyle: That’s the same reason the 76ers don’t really work. Joel Embiid is an amazing fit, but Ben Simmons not being able to shoot past the length of his arm is a tough, tough sell. Look at the players who have thrived next to LeBron — aside from Wade, who turned into a killer off-ball cutter and could always get to the rack, there isn’t really another guy who thrived with James without an outside shot. LeBron teams just run the LeBron offense, and a star like Giannis or Simmons doesn’t really fit that mold.In a way, the Bucks would be better off keeping Jabari and Middleton in that deal and finding another way to get value for Giannis.natesilver: Are you ready to get trolled? Here’s my next idea.chris.herring: LOL. Nate’s next idea must be a doozynatesilver: The NBA trade deadline is Thursday afternoon, so we assembled FiveThirtyEight’s resident basketball writers — plus editor-in-chief/trade machine troll Nate Silver — to bandy about some, um, creative trade ideas for LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Sure, James says he won’t waive his no-trade clause. (He says a lot of things.) But if LeBron somehow does assent to a deal, should the Cavs think about trading him? The transcript below has been lightly edited. read more

Theres A New Favorite In The 2019 Womens NCAA Tournament

The 2019 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament resumes on Friday with its Sweet 16 games. In the video above, Assistant Sports Editor Sara Ziegler talks about the lack of surprises in the tournament so far and the path of the one Cinderella team that’s still hanging on. She also discusses who our model thinks is the new favorite to cut down the nets in April.You can see all of our March Madness projections here.

Steph Curry Is On Pace To Hit 102 Home Runs

NHLGretzkyPoints2151.41.441.4 NFLManningTD passes5510.010.012.2 NHLGretzkyGoals9221.121.121.1 SPORTPLAYERCATEGORYCURRENT RECORDPREVIOUS RECORDPREVIOUS 5 YEARSPREVIOUS 10 YEARS NFLDickersonRush yards2,1055.15.15.1 A rough projection, based on how many 3-pointers he’s made through Golden State’s first 58 games, would have Curry finishing this season with about 400 3-pointers — or about a 40 percent increase over his record-setting performance from last season.Records eventually fall, even those sacred ones that seem untouchable. But rarely, if ever, do they fall by such an enormous margin as the one Curry is building this year. Take, for example, baseball’s single-season home run record. When Roger Maris bested Babe Ruth’s record in 1961, he did so by a single home run — increasing the record by about 1.7 percent. In the summer of 1998, when Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa raced each other to a new historic high, the mark finally settled at 70 — increasing the record by about 14.8 percent. In 2001, Barry Bonds drove the record up to 73 — an increase of about 4.3 percent.Scan through cumulative single-season records for other sports and athletic feats, and it is tough to find any current record that was set by such a wide margin as Curry’s new 3-point record projects to be. NHLPoints215301 NFLReceptions143200 NFLRushing yards2,1052,947 SPORTFEATCURRENT RECORDNEW RECORD WITH 40% INCREASE MLBBondsHome runs734.319.719.7 These are imperfect analogues. Someone hitting 102 home runs or rushing for more than 2,900 yards in a season is an absurd proposition. There is an entirely different set of variables that determines the feasibility of scoring 129 goals or throwing for 77 touchdowns than there is for hitting 400 3-pointers. One of those variables is how much competitors value the stat in question. No one questions whether a marathon runner is trying to run the fastest marathon possible, just as no one who ever watched Adam Dunn swing a bat would tell you there aren’t players who want nothing more than to hit as many dingers as they can in their time on this earth. But if some intrepid dingus decided he was going to set the NFL record for attempted laterals, there wouldn’t be much to stop him.In Curry’s case, his record-setting pace is both a reflection of his own individual brilliance and the changing climate of the NBA. Three-point attempts have been surging across the entire league for years and Curry has been out in front, pushing the boundaries of what’s acceptable offensive strategy. Larry Bird is widely regarded as one of the best 3-point shooters in history, but he also played in an era where the shot was used more sparingly. If Curry does finish the season around 400 3-pointers made, that would be more than Bird’s four most-prolific 3-point shooting seasons combined.Evaluating the nature of Curry’s record-setting performance this season is therefore a little different than some of those other records. While he’s shooting a career-high 46.8 percent on 3-pointers, he’s also on pace to attempt nearly 200 more 3-pointers than anyone in league history. Where Bonds broke records by becoming even more efficient with a comparable number of opportunities, Curry’s feat is maintaining and even increasing efficiency with an enormous surge in opportunities. Those things are not separate — the more threes Curry attempts, the more defenses are devoting effort and attention to stopping him. But, as Oklahoma City discovered this weekend, sometimes all the effort, attention and pressure in the world just doesn’t matter very much. Wayne Gretzky’s dominant offensive production is the closest thing to what Curry is doing this season, but even that will fall short if Curry maintains his current pace. Venturing outside the four major team sports offers just as dramatic a set of comparisons. In the entire 106-year progression of the men’s marathon world record, from Johnny Hayes’s 2:55:18 on July 24, 1908, to Dennis Kimetto’s 2:02:57 on September 28, 2014, the world has collectively shaved just 30 percent off the record.Emphasizing Curry’s pace another way, if you take the 40 percent increase he is chasing this year and apply it to those records from other team sports, these are the numbers you end up with. NBACurry3-Pointers400*39.9%48.7%48.7% NFLHarrisonReceptions14316.316.327.7 MLBHome runs73102 MLBHits262367 In an instant classic over the weekend, Stephen Curry hit a dozen 3-pointers, including the game-winner from 32 feet, while helping lead his Golden State Warriors to a 121-118 overtime win over the Oklahoma City Thunder. Those 12 3-pointers gave him 288 for the season, breaking his own record of 286 set last season. Oh, and the Warriors still have 24 games left on their schedule, plenty of time for him to build on what is already one of the greatest shooting seasons in NBA history. MLBWalks232325 NHLGoals92129 NFLTD passes5577 MLBBondsWalks23217.236.536.5 MLBSuzukiHits2621.91.91.9 INCREASE OVER read more

Ohio State womens soccer team prepares for NCAA tournament meeting with Butler

OSU sophomore midfielder Nikki Walts (4) makes a corner kick during a game against Purdue on Oct. 9 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. Credit: Anbo Yao | Lantern PhotographerThe Ohio State women’s soccer team is set to host the Butler Bulldogs on Saturday evening in the first round of the NCAA tournament after receiving an at-large bid on Monday.OSU enters the tournament with an 11-6-3 overall record, which included a 5-4-2 mark in the Big Ten conference. This is the Buckeyes’ 10th all-time appearance in the NCAA tournament and sixth in the last seven seasons.OSU coach Lori Walker is in her 19th season at the helm of the women’s soccer program, and the Buckeyes are 9-8-2 all-time in NCAA play under Walker.Butler enters Saturday’s match as the Big East champions after defeating Providence last Sunday, ending its regular season 16-6-1. This will be the Bulldogs’ first-ever appearance in the NCAA tournament.The Buckeyes and Bulldogs have met twice in history, with OSU winning both of the matches.OSU’s offense is led by a strong pack, including senior defender/midfielder/forward Michela Paradiso, junior forward Nichelle Prince, junior forward Lindsay Agnew and sophomore midfielder Nikki Walts.Prince and Paradiso share the team high of six goals scored and Agnew leads the team with seven assists.For the Bulldogs, freshman forward Halle Stelbasky leads the team with nine goals. Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Madison Card has posted 0.92 goals-against average with nine clean sheets in 21 starts.Five Big Ten teams have qualified for NCAA play, including Penn State, Northwestern, Minnesota and Rutgers. Two more opponents of the 2015 Buckeyes have entered the tournament as well in West Virginia and Florida. The ACC put the most teams of any conference in the tournament with 10.The match between OSU and Butler is set for a 6 p.m. kickoff at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.The winner of Saturday’s match is then slated to play the winner of the Cincinnati vs. No. 4-seeded Virginia Tech game. read more

Sullinger never was Ohio States most important player

When the ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ Poll ranked Ohio State No. 5 in the preseason, the perception was that freshman Jared Sullinger would be to this team what Evan Turner was a year ago. People saw Sullinger as the type of game-changing player who could put the team on his back and carry it toward a possible No. 1 or No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament. They predicted, in essence, that Sullinger would be far and away the team’s most important player. But what’s vaulted OSU from No. 5 to the top spot over the course of the season is the fact that the team has no such player. The most important thing about these Buckeyes is their functionality as a collective unit. The challenge of the Sweet 16 and onward is that teams will know how to match up against Sullinger — at least better than the cupcakes that were Texas-San Antonio and George Mason. It was proven that you can force him to beat you from the free-throw line in the Big Ten Tournament, in which he shot just 33 percent from the floor and 25-of-38 from the charity stripe. When opposing defenses key in on Sullinger, as surely will be the case Friday, it will be up to his teammates to become the team’s most important players. And if there’s anything we’ve seen from this OSU team, it’s that Jon Diebler, David Lighty and William Buford all are capable of having nights where the basket seems as big as Mirror Lake. We’ve seen Diebler and Lighty set their career highs from beyond the arc recently — Diebler at Penn State with 10, and Lighty against George Mason with 7 — while Buford is the team’s best all-purpose scorer. The 6-foot-5 guard has scored 15 or more in 18 games this season, including 18 points in his past three games. That’s why the Buckeyes are the en vogue pick to win the national championship after their 98-66 drumming of George Mason on Sunday. They are more of a complete team than anyone imagined them to be in the preseason. Instead of Sullinger putting the success of the team on his shoulders, he would argue the team’s veterans carry him. “Basically, we just got to play hard and play smart,” Sullinger said at Wednesday’s press conference, “and let our veterans run the show on Friday. They’ve been here … so we just want to look for them for guidance.” It’s rare for a freshman of Sullinger’s ability to count on his teammates as he does, as nothing of the sort came from the mouths of Carmelo Anthony or Derrick Rose during their respective championship game runs. So, while Turner was the most important player on a team that flamed out at this point last season, this year’s version can prove that being a complete team is the most important thing with a win Friday against Kentucky. read more

Ohio State baseballs Josh Dezse out for 2 months with back injury

The Ohio State men’s baseball team will be one player short when it starts off its season on Friday against Mercer University. Junior pitcher and first baseman Josh Dezse will miss at least the first two months of the season due to a stress reaction in his lower back. A stress reaction is an injury to, and in some cases, a fracture in one of the vertebrae making up the spinal column. It is a common athletic injury because it can be caused by sports that put stress on the back, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. The injury has been causing Dezse problems for a while, said coach Greg Beals. “Josh hasn’t been right since fall ball and we now know why and have a path that we’re going to follow. Hopefully over the next two months we can get Josh healed and in a position to compete at the level that we’re accustomed to, and we’ll wait until he’s at that point,” Beals said in a press release Monday. Dezse, a Powell, Ohio, native, finished second on the team in batting average last year. He hit five home runs and had nine doubles, 33 RBI and 31 runs. He pitched 24 times in the 2012 season, accumulating a 2.86 ERA, and he tied for third overall in the Big Ten with his seven saves. Dezse was Big Ten Player of the Week once, an NCBWA third-team preseason All-American and a third-team preseason All-American for last season, as well as being on the watch list for both the 2012 John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award and the Golden Spikes Award. “It’s not best for me or the team to compete right now because I’m unable to compete at the level I’m used to with the injury,” Dezse said in the press release. “The best thing is to take the two months off to heal and rehab and hopefully I’ll be at 100 percent at that time.” Beals said the loss is most upsetting for Dezse. “Most importantly, this is disappointing for Josh,” Beals said. “It’s also a loss for our team as he has been a big part of our team the last two years.” OSU is set to take on Mercer at 6 p.m. on Friday in Sarasota, Fla. read more

Ohio State splits weekend slate skates by Notre Dame 51

Members of the OSU men’s hockey team huddle during a 3-0 win against Michigan State on Nov. 21 at the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Kelly Roderick / For The LanternThe Ohio State men’s hockey team learned a lesson of appreciation this weekend. After losing 6-2 to Western Michigan on Friday, the Buckeyes (5-8-1, 1-1-0) were grateful for a scoring explosion in their 5-1 win against Notre Dame on Saturday at the Shillelagh Tournament in South Bend, Ind.“I thought it was a big bounce back for us,” OSU coach Steve Rohlik said. “(Friday night) we cheated the game all over. Tonight we just stuck with the systems. We played hard and we played for each other.”Saturday’s victory had an additional significance given the Buckeyes’ performance the previous night. After OSU allowed six goals for the first time this season on Friday, the team matched its largest single-game goal output for the season on Saturday, scoring five for the first time since its season-opener against Providence College.“You have to play with a little swagger sometimes,” Rohlik said on Saturday.OSU junior Blake Doerring opened the scoring on Saturday at 7:05 of the first period, tallying his first goal as a Buckeye and giving OSU the first goal of the game for the fifth time this season.Doerring, listed as a defenseman, played forward alongside freshman forwards Nick Jones and Kevin Miller on Saturday.Rohlik said the decision to move Doerring was a necessity as the Buckeyes were without two injured forwards, senior Matt Johnson and sophomore David Gust.The Buckeyes carried a 2-1 lead into the first intermission, then senior forward Tanner Fritz’s second goal of the game and fifth of the season made it 3-1 after 40 minutes.Backed by sophomore goalie Christian Frey, who finished the game with 29 saves, OSU preserved its lead and added a couple more goals in the third en route to its largest margin of victory this season.“He was solid,” Rohlik said of Frey. “He saw the puck, he made the big saves and he looked confident.”Senior forward Darik Angeli and freshman defenseman Victor Björkung also scored for the Buckeyes, while sophomore forward Nick Schilkey had three assists.OSU’s win was made more impressive given the team played with a shortened bench for the majority of the third period after senior defenseman Justin DaSilva was issued a game misconduct for checking from behind.DaSilva’s ejection was his second of the season as he was tossed from a game earlier this year for a similar play.Saturday’s game came in stark contrast to Friday’s wherein the Buckeyes couldn’t come back from a 2-0 deficit after the first period.Western Michigan took a 5-2 lead past the midway point of the third period, prompting Rohlik to pull sophomore goalie Matt Tomkins with 7:50 remaining in regulation. Tomkins returned to the game after Western Michigan’s next goal.The unorthodox maneuver did not prompt change in momentum as the Broncos tacked on another goal, finishing with a 6-2 final and 36-22 shot advantage.OSU’s first goal came on the power play from junior forward Anthony Greco while senior forward Chad Niddery scored the second.The Buckeyes are set to resume their conference schedule Friday against Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m.Loose PucksOSU finished 4-5-0 in NovemberThe Buckeyes finished the weekend 2-6 on the power play and 5-5 on the penalty kill.Björkung’s goal on Saturday was the first of his collegiate career read more

Gallery Ohio State Womens Volleyball vs Illinois

The Buckeyes shake hands before competing against Illinois on Saturday, Nov. 25 at 7 p.m. at St. John Arena. The game was a part of Ohio State’s Senior Night. Ohio State lost against Illinois, 3-2. Credit: Olivia Balcerzak | For the Lantern

Discovery of alcoholregulating hormone could lead to pill which prevents cravings

first_imgDNA samples were analysed from more than 105,000 people of European descent, who were also questioned about their weekly drinking habits.The study highlighted interaction between FGF21 and a gene in the brain called beta-Klotho.In about 40 per cent of participants, a particular beta-Klotho variant was associated with reduced alcohol consumption.Further investigations indicated that those lacking the gene altogether were significantly more attracted to alcohol.Professor Gunter Schumann, from the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London, said: “Our study reveals a previously unrecognised liver-brain pathway which regulates alcohol consumption in humans, and which could one day be targeted therapeutically to suppress consumption in problem drinkers.”The results point towards an intriguing feedback loop, where FGF21 is produced in the liver in response to sugar and alcohol intake, which then acts directly on the brain to limit consumption.”We cannot rule out the possibility that beta-Klotho acts by affecting neighbouring genes, so further genetic studies are warranted.”Co-author Professor Paul Elliott, from Imperial College London, said: “Our findings may eventually lead to new treatments for people whose health is being harmed by drinking.”The research is published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Our findings may eventually lead to new treatments for people whose health is being harmed by drinkingProfessor Paul Elliott,Imperial College London 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.center_img A pill with the power to stop people craving a drink may be on the horizon after scientists discovered a hormone that regulates desire for alcohol.Researchers have shown for the first time how the liver hormone FGF21 plays a crucial role in setting a person’s drinking limits.They say the discovery lead to new treatments for people unable to control their drinking.last_img read more

Prolific paedophile Andrew Tracey brought to justice after 30year reign of terror

first_imgAndrew Tracey was a teacher and Scout master for around 20-yearsCredit:NCA Police have appealed for child abuse victims to come forward after one of Britain’s most calculating and prolific paedophiles was brought to justice after a 30-year reign of terror.Andrew Tracey, a former teacher, is feared to have molested and raped dozens of boys in Britain and overseas, dating back to the 1980s.He was extradited from Spain last year where he had been in hiding, and has now admitted 45 offences of rape and indecent assault against children as young as 10. Tracey in police custodyCredit: But the case has raised disturbing questions over the ease with which Tracey was able to gain access to young boys in schools and through his work as a senior Scout leader.In 1992 Tracey was convicted of possessing indecent images of children, but he was not formally banned from teaching by the Department for Education (DfE) until four years later.The one time English teacher has now admitted raping two of his former pupils including one in a storage cupboard in one of his classrooms.Despite the fact Tracey worked in teaching over a period spanning 20-years, officials at the DfE claimed they were unable to provide details of which schools he had been employed at, because the data was not collected centrally.  But he was finally arrested in Alicante and extradited back to the UK in March last year after Dutch police found evidence of his abuse on the computer of another paedophile they were investigating.That evidence gave the National Crime Agency (NCA) enough evidence to get a European Arrest Warrant.Tracey initially admitted 22 offences including rape and sexual activity with a child under 13 and today has pleaded guilty to a further 23 offences.His victims include nine boys from Thailand, aged between 10 and 14, who were extremely poor and whom he bribed with sweets, food and money.Officers from the NCA who helped bring Tracey to justice, described him as one of the worst paedophiles they had encountered.While Tracey has been convicted of 45 offences, police believe there may be many more historic victims who have not yet come forward.He joined the Scout movement in 1967 and during a 25-year association worked his way up to a senior position giving him access to thousands of young boys.A spokesman said: “The Scout Association is aware of case of Andrew Tracey AKA Mark Frost. The Scout Association is co-operating fully with the statutory agencies in this historic investigation.Tracey resigned from the Movement in November 1991 when he was first arrested for sexual offences against children.“If he had not resigned we would have suspended him immediately. The Scout Association permanently barred him from any future involvement with the movement when he was convicted in 1992. There were no previous concerns about his conduct recorded prior to his arrest.  He has had no involvement with the Scout Movement since 1991.”Tracey also spent many years as a teacher working in Hertfordshire, Worcestershire and east London.Only two of his former pupils have so far made allegations against him, but the police and NSPCC have launched a confidential helpline 0800 3280904 for victims to report any concerns.Former neighbours in Hatfield also recall how Tracey would invite local children into his home and buy them alcohol.One said: “He lived here with his son for a few years but there was always something a bit unusual about him. His was a bit of an open house for all the local kids who used to go there and hang out. He would buy them cider from the shop and let them drink and take drugs there. There was was one incident when a young boy was stood outside the house crying and shouting to the son: ‘Your dad is a f****** freak. I don’t know what had gone on but he was very upset.“We used to see him going off in his Scout uniform and I think he also worked as a coach driver. I also recall him appearing on a documentary promoting adoption, but there was always something not quite right about him.”Tracey was convicted of possessing indecent images of a child in 1992 at Evesham Magistrates Court and fined £200.The following year he was jailed for 12 months after permitting his premises to be used for unlawful sex with a child and drug taking.In 1998 he was convicted of indecent assault on a male under 16 after abusing one of his adopted son’s friends.He received a 12 month prison sentence and was also added to the Sex Offender’s Register, which had come into being three years earlier in 1995.But these convictions are thought to be the tip of the iceberg in terms of his offending in the 1990s and the National Crime Agency are now appealing for anyone affected by Tracey’s activities to come forward. Tracey in police custody In another extraordinary blunder it has emerged he was allowed to adopt a vulnerable young boy in the 1980s, despite being a single man who was known to have subscribed to the notorious Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE).The local authority involved in the adoption has not been identified are there are no allegations of sexual abuse involving his son at this stage, however Tracey has admitted abusing friends of the boy, including when he was present.The 70-year-old was arrested in 2013 in Thailand on suspicion of abusing young boys, but he skipped bail and fled the country before he could be prosecuted.Tracey – who changed his name to Mark Frost – returned to the UK, but despite being wanted by the Thai authorities, could not be detained as no international arrest warrant had been issued.Fearing he might be charged anyway he subsequently fled Britain for Europe, spending time in Sweden, Holland and Spain. 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. Andrew Tracey was a teacher and Scout master for around 20-yearslast_img read more

McDonalds announces plans to begin home delivery service in the UK

first_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. McDonald’s has announced it is looking into extending its delivery service to countries including the UK.The fast food giant already delivers to countries including China and Singapore, and now it’s set its sights on the US, France, the UK, Germany and Canada.The company said with the rapid increase in food delivery in these countries “the landscape has created an exceptional opportunity for growth”.“Because of our extraordinary footprint, McDonald’s is uniquely positioned to become the global leader in delivery,” it said in a statement. Because most customers in its five biggest markets live within three miles of a McDonald’s, delivery is even more feasible as it will be delivered while it’s still hot.The company continued: “One of the most significant disruptions in the restaurant business today is the rapid increase in delivery. Through technology, delivery has changed the way customers order, pay, track and receive food and provide feedback.“Coupled with the explosive growth in third-party delivery companies, the landscape has created an exceptional opportunity for growth.center_img “McDonald’s is already one of the largest providers of delivered food in the world, with annual Systemwide delivery sales of nearly $1billion across various markets including China, South Korea and Singapore.”China has tripled its delivery business since its launch in 2008. In 2016 alone, China’s delivery business grew 30 per cent.”The company has its own drivers in China and Singapore, but is testing delivery while partnering with companies including Uber in Florida.The food giant hopes the plans will combat falling sales; the company has lost 500million customers since 2012.last_img read more

George and Amal Clooney announce birth of twins Ella and Alexander

first_imgThe twins had been expected any day now, with Clooney declining an invitation to accept a humanitarian award overseas a week ago. “I really would have been [in Armenia] but if I came there and my wife had twins while I was there, I could never come home,” Clooney said in an acceptance video.Once Hollywood’s most eligible bachelor, he has previously spoken about his delight in becoming a father saying: “I didn’t know that we’d have kids. I was very happy that we were going to get married and then [children] seemed like the next step.”The couple’s Grade II-listed home in Sonning, Berkshire, has recently undergone drastic renovations, including the construction of a 12-seater cinema and an astroturf tennis court. 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. People, the US magazine, claimed the couple were visited by friend Barack Obama, the former President, at the end of May, while he was in England. George and Amal Clooney “I’m like, ‘Are you out of your mind? Don’t tell anybody else, don’t tell anybody else, I mean, don’t you know the 12-week rule?’ Of course he doesn’t,” Damon said, laughing.Damon praised Mrs Clooney, an international human rights lawyer, calling her “a remarkable woman” and saying George Clooney had “hit the jackpot.”He added the couple were “going to be awesome parents, those kids are lucky.”It is understood the new Clooney family of four will be based in the UK, where Mrs Clooney works. George and Amal Clooney Mr and Mrs Clooneycenter_img The news that Clooney was to become a father was finally confirmed after much speculation earlier this year by his friend Matt Damon, who told a talk show he was so thrilled for the high-profile couple that he “almost started crying” when he found out.Damon disclosed that Clooney told him the news while they were filming, and that his wife Amal, 39, was about eight weeks pregnant at the time. The Clooneys in Venice, the day after their wedding The Clooneys in Venice, the day after their wedding Mr and Mrs Clooney George Clooney has become a first-time father at the age of 56, as his wife Amal gives birth to twins.A spokesman for the couple confirmed that the Clooneys have welcomed their newborns into the world, naming them Ella and Alexander.In a statement, a representative said: “This morning Amal and George welcomed Ella and Alexander Clooney into their lives. “Ella, Alexander and Amal are all healthy, happy and doing fine.”He joked: “George is sedated and should recover in a few days.”last_img read more

Thief who stole from Manchester attack victims jailed as judge tells him

first_imgA homeless “common thief” who stole from victims of the Manchester Arena bombing has been jailed, as a judge told him: “You were not the hero you pretended to be.”Chris Parker claimed to have helped some of those injured in the attack and was initially hailed a hero, with more than £50,000 being raised by the public to help the rough sleeper.But CCTV recovered by police showed him wandering the foyer of the arena amid the dying and injured, stealing from victims.The 33-year-old admitted at a hearing at Manchester Crown Court last month to stealing a purse and a mobile phone from two victims.On Tuesday, he was jailed at the same court for four years and three months for two counts of theft and one count of fraud.Judge David Hernandez told Parker: “You were not the hero you pretended to be, you were just a common thief. It is hard to contemplate a more reprehensible set of circumstances.” Homeless Chris Parker claimed to have helped some of those injured after the Manchester attackCredit:MEN MEDIA  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. He also snatched the mobile phone of a teenager and within hours was using Mrs Healey’s bank cards at a local McDonald’s.Prosecutors said the defendant provided “some limited assistance”, but that he also took the opportunity to commit the thefts immediately after the atrocity.He will not receive the money raised for him through the public appeal on GoFundMe. It will instead go back to the donors, the court heard. Salman Abedi’s suicide bombing killed 22 people and left scores injured on May 22 last year.Parker was caught on camera leaning over the body of injured survivor Pauline Healey to steal her purse as her 14-year-old granddaughter Sorrell Leczkowski lay dying nearby. Chris Parker Following sentencing, Supt Chris Hill from Greater Manchester Police, said: “No matter what personal circumstances you might find yourself in, to steal from injured and terrified innocent people is deplorable.”Parker exploited these people when they were at their most vulnerable and needed the help of those around them.”I cannot begin to imagine what they have been through and I want to thank them for their courage.”last_img read more

UK Supreme court offers youngsters chance to dress up as a judge

Cases to be examined include Bull and another v Hall and another, which involved a gay couple who were refused a double room at a hotel, and Isle of Wight Council v Platt, a case concerning a father who was fined and later prosecuted for taking his seven-year-old daughter to Disney World during school term time. The workshops, run in conjunction with Royal Holloway University’s School of Law and led by law lecturer Dr David Yuratich, will explore the legal issues involved, how and why they reached the Supreme Court and the implications of the judgments.Attendees will also have the chance to take behind the scenes tours, and have a Q&A session with the court’s chief executive Mark Ormerod.For younger visitors, there will be arts and crafts sessions, a judges’ dress-up box and a ‘Legal Eagle Trail’ to guide children through the court’s exhibition area.Tickets are free and available here. The first session is on August 24. The inside of the Supreme Court Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. The inside of the Supreme CourtCredit:Gareth Fuller/PA Of the many childhood joys, dressing up and pretending to have an adult job is one of the favourites.There are children who imitate their teachers, telling off parents if they talk between themselves in the classroom (which is actually the kitchen) and threatening them with the naughty step.There are youngsters who grab the garden hose, defying any hosepipe ban, in a bid to put out an imaginary fire in the lavender bushes, shouting “nee-naw” as they run to the rescue.And now, the UK Supreme Court, not known for its playfulness, is opening its doors to people young and old, who want to see what happens in a courtroom – and crucially –  want to dress up as a judge, put on a famous long white wig and shout guilty at an innocent party.In a series of summer open days, starting later this month, workshops will explore notable cases that have been heard by the highest court in the land. read more

Dont try too hard with the selfies average looking men do better

“Men still make the first move online and they tend to have far more confidence about approaching women with high levels of self-rated attractiveness. We hope as society evolves further in the coming years that women feel equally empowered to exercise the same choices around dating and relationships, if they so choose.”Figures released last year by YouGov found that women preferred men to be average looking rather than extremely physically attractive. Its research found that seven per cent of women saw their ideal partner as a “perfect 10”, while just over a quarter said they would score a 5 on the attractiveness scale, the most popular choice. View latest offers from eHarmony Researchers said the findings showed that daters had become “more tolerant” and more open to dating people from different backgrounds than in the past, but that gender roles were persistent online. Taha Yasseri, professor of computational social science at the University of Oxford Internet Institute, who led the research, said that someone who considered themselves a 10/10 might be unattractive in other ways.  “That tell us something about their personality, which is not probably the most interesting, apart from their looks,” he said. He added that people might be intimidated by approaching potential partners who were extremely good looking.”They might think that they have little chance in relation to those people compared to someone who is good looking but not 10/10,” he added. “It also has to do with the self-esteem of the person who is checking the profile. They might think ‘I am not that good looking, and if I take someone who is much better than me, I might have issues, I might be a bit worried about the faithfulness of my partner’.”Romain Bertrand, UK country manager at eharmony said: “While we’ve become far more progressive in terms of dating people from differing religions, cultures and social stratas, traditional gender roles still persist. Pictures carefully taken to show off muscles and good looks are often a staple of men’s dating profiles. But research from Oxford University suggests that hopeful male singletons might as well not bother – as looking “average” could serve them better.Academics suggested that women plumped for men who were less attractive as they might think they were more likely to be a faithful and reliable partner. Data from the Oxford Internet Institute shows that men who rate themselves as 5/10 receive more messages than men who give themselves a 10/10 rating. For women, the ideal rating is higher, at 8/10. –– ADVERTISEMENT ––The analysis of messages from heterosexual singles on dating site eharmony, going back over 10 years and sent by more than 150,000 people, also found that women were becoming less and less likely to initiate conversations. Men were six per cent more likely than women to send the first message in 2008, which had risen to 29 per cent this year. Women who initiated contact with men received fewer messages on average, the research found, with their response rate dropping by 15 per cent when they had begun the conversation. Single people had become less likely over time to see a potential match’s religion, wealth or education level as important, though women are more selective across all criteria, including age.  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. read more