Communities across Timor-Leste have traditionally depended on subsistence fishing, in addition to farming of crops and livestock, for their livelihoods. Commercial fishing in the fledgling Southeast Asian nation is still in anascent stage. Located in the heart of theCoral Triangle, Timor-Leste is now working toward developing a sustainable fisheries sector with support from international donors.The Timor-Leste government’s Strategic Development Plan (2011-2030) calls for an increase in fisheries productivity to enable diversification of the island nation’s oil-dependent economy. Local and national efforts have been underway to figure out how to sustainably tap the country’s fisheries and other valued marine resources.In one of the most interesting and successful local efforts, several communities across the country have been reviving the ancient customary law of tara bandu. Tara bandu is a means of regulating the use of natural resources common to Timor-Leste’s various indigenous tribes, who refer to themselves collectively as Maubere.In northern Timor-Leste, on the shore of the Wetar Strait, locally known as the Tasi Feto, the village of Biacou revived tara bandu in 2012 to protect and better manage its fisheries and coral reefs. The village’s tara bandu law designates several no-fishing zones, bans the destructive fishing techniques of bombing and poisoning, and prohibits the capture of certain marine species, such as sea turtles and corals.Six years have passed since Biacou established its tara bandu. To understand how the revitalized tradition has affected Biacou’s coastal fisheries and fisherfolk, Mongabay spoke to Fernando da Costa, a seasoned fisherman from the village.Fernando da Costa, a lifelong fisherman in the village of Biacou, Timor-Leste. Image courtesy of Fernando da Costa.Mongabay: How long have you been a fisherman and what made you decide to take up fishing as your occupation?Fernando da Costa: I’m 65 years old and I’ve been a fisherman since I was a little boy. You can say I’ve grown up on the Tasi Feto waters. My father was a fisherman and so was his father. Basically, I come from a fisherman’s family. So it was pretty natural that I chose fishing as my occupation. Timor-Leste was under siege until 1999 — that’s when the Indonesians left, leaving us in shambles. We had few livelihood [options] other than fishing, farming and livestock rearing. And I chose fishing, going by the family tradition.Walk us through the day-to-day life of a fisher in Biacou.Fishing activities mostly take place during early morning and late afternoon hours. That’s the best time to catch fish. I start off in my outrigger canoe before daybreak, sometimes with an assistant and sometimes alone. By the time I reach my fishing spot, it’s already morning. On any normal day, I operate for five to six hours and return to shore with the catch. In the afternoon, I sell a part of the catch in the village market and keep the rest for my family.For women fishers, it’s a bit different. They mostly focus their activities in the inter-tidal zone, collecting mollusks, crabs, small fish and varieties of seaweed. They can work at any time of the day, whenever it suits them.What is the general condition of the fish stock in Biacou? From your decades of experience fishing here, do you think the fish stock has been depleted over the years?In Timor-Leste, it is mostly the southern coast where fishing is significant. There is plenty of fish over there. You’ll also find big game fish like giant trevally, yellowfin tuna, Spanish mackerel and marlin. Commercial fishing has also [flourished] there in the recent years.But here in the northern coast in general and in my village in particular, what we do is small [artisanal] fishing. That is, we sell a part of our daily catch in the local market and consume the rest. For us there has always been enough fish for a steady catch. But, yes, over the years, the fish stock in this part of the Tasi Feto has [been] depleted. Like when, as a boy I accompanied my father in the fishing boat, the sea was literally teeming with fish, which is evidently no longer the case.Top map shows the island of Timor, shared by Timor-Leste to the east and Indonesia to the west. Map above shows the location of Suco Biacou on Timor-Leste. Maps courtesy of Google Maps.What are the tools you use for fishing? We have been fishing for generations and the tools we use for fishing are varied. Depending on the fishing ground, one could use handlines, gill nets, longlines and spear guns … plaited fish traps and stone enclosures that use tidal action.As for me, I mostly bank on gill nets and fishing rods.In Biacou, some fishers also practiced blast fishing and fish poisoning. But this has stopped since [the revival of] tara bandu in 2012.How has the law affected you and other fishers in the village?Tara bandu is an age-old sacred Maubere tradition. It teaches us the judicious use of natural resources.Tara bandu has affected the fisherfolk in a significant way. After the law designated no-fishing zones in the nearshore fisheries, the only viable option we were left with was to go [fishing] to the relatively deeper waters beyond the protected zones. This was something we didn’t do earlier and I was initially a bit scared. But gradually I got along. Now every fisherman in the village ventures to deeper waters for fishing.Do you think the establishment of the tara bandu law has pushed you and other fishers into the riskier business of fishing in deeper waters?Yes, that’s true. Given the traditional outrigger canoes we use, and the lack of safety measures in them, it’s pretty dangerous to move to the deeper seas. But the idea behind the establishment of no-fishing zones —replenishing the fish stock — is noble and [meant] to help the fishermen. So I’d like to believe that in the long run it will be really beneficial for us, the fisherfolk.With the tara bandu restrictions on fishing in place for the last six years, is there any noticeable change in the fish stock in the protected areas? There has yet to be an assessment of the change in the fish stock and in the health of the coral reefs and the fish since establishing tara bandu. That’s something we require urgently. Because we really need to know what results tara bandu rules have produced so far in these six years. We have already suggested to the village leaders overseeing tara bandu about the urgency of the assessment. I hope they’ll soon deliberate on the issue.From what I’ve observed, I can tell you that there’s been a significant positive change in the fish stock and fish health in the protected areas. I’ve often witnessed fish aggregating in large numbers in these areas.Fishing boats in Timor-Leste. Image by Jennifer King/WorldFish.Should the tara bandu regulations continue? AsI said, what is needed in earnest at this moment is an assessment of the fish stock. That will decide the future of the tara bandu regulations. We, the fishermen here, believe once the fish stock is rebuilt sufficiently, there should be a relaxation on fishing restrictions and the no-fishing zones have to be opened for fishing activities.How do you see the future of the fishing tradition in Biacou?Biacou has a long, sustainable fishing tradition and it will surely continue. We know how the ecosystem works. Like we know when a particular species breeds and therefore we refrain from harvesting them; we know when the proper time to fish is; we know the sacred spots where we should never fish.As long as this traditional knowledge is intact, the fish stocks and the traditional fisher communities are secure.A sea star in the waters of Timor-Leste. Image by Johannes Zielcke via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)Bikash Kumar Bhattacharya is an independent journalist based in Assam, northeastern India. In addition to Mongabay, he has written for The Diplomat, Buzzfeed India, Scroll.in, Down To Earth, The NewsLens International, EarthIsland Journal and other publications.Editor’s note: This interview has been translated from Kemak and lightly edited for clarity and length.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the editor of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Timor-Leste is trying to figure out how to sustainably tap its fisheries and other valued marine resources.In one of the most interesting and successful local efforts, several communities have been reviving the ancient customary law of tara bandu, a means of regulating the use of natural resources common to Timor-Leste’s Maubere indigenous tribes.Six years have passed since the village of Biacou established its tara bandu to protect and better manage its fisheries and coral reefs. To understand how the revitalized tradition has affected Biacou’s fisherfolk, Mongabay spoke to Fernando da Costa, a seasoned fisherman from the village.This is the second story in Mongabay’s three-part profile of the Maubere’s revival of tara bandu. Read the other stories in Mongabay’s three-part profile of the Maubere’s revival of tara bandu:Timor-Leste: Maubere tribes revive customary law to protect the oceanTimor-Leste: With sacrifice and ceremony, tribe sets eco rules Article published by Rebecca Kessler Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Coastal Ecosystems, Community-based Conservation, Development, Environment, Fish, Fisheries, Fishing, Happy-upbeat Environmental, Human Rights, Indigenous Communities, Indigenous Groups, Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Rights, Land Rights, Law Enforcement, Marine Biodiversity, Marine Conservation, Overfishing
Health workers suit up to treat Ebola patients in Guinea during the initial outbreak of the virus in April 2014. (Image: Echo)• Africa Stop Ebola – in song • Southern Africa remains free of Ebola • Animation tells the story of Ebola and how to avoid it • Doctors Without Borders treat Ebola, one patient at a time • Ivory Coast take on ice bucket challenge helps fight Ebola Khalid KoserAround the world, international migration from countries in West Africa affected by the Ebola crisis is being restricted. Australia has imposed temporary visa restrictions, most neighbouring countries in sub-Saharan Africa have tried to close their borders, and in the United States, lawmakers are also pressing for travel bans, as well as compulsory quarantine for returning health workers. A number of airlines – including British Airways – have stopped flying to the affected countries.Yet evidence from previous health crises demonstrates that they rarely result in international migration; that travel bans don’t work, and may even be more harmful than the problem they intend to address.Travel bans are unnecessaryFirst, travel bans are unnecessary. Large-scale population movement as a direct result of a health crisis is rare. When it does occur, as for example during a plague outbreak in Surat, India in 1995, and from Beijing during the 2003 SARS outbreak, migration tends to be internal (to regions directly outside the immediate crisis zone), temporary, and early on in the health crisis when information is often scarce, contradictory or inaccurate. The widespread implementation of international health regulations, a preventive approach to the international spread of disease, is one reason. Collective actions also reduce the risk of disease and offer an alternative to fleeing.During the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, for example, school closures, work pattern adjustment, self-isolation of symptomatic individuals and advice to their caregivers, and cancellation of mass gatherings helped mitigate the pandemic. The gradual improvement of the understanding of infectious diseases, their causative agents, modes of transmission and evidence-based ways to control their spread have also empowered individuals to adopt preventive behaviour, in many cases pre-empting migration.Travel bans are ineffectiveSecond, travel bans are ineffective. The current understanding of the dynamics of disease transmission is that diseases cannot be stopped at borders. Outbreaks such as those of SARS or H1N1 have shown that the volume and speed of global trade and travel mean that diseases can be disseminated worldwide in a matter of days. Mathematical models provide little evidence that travel restrictions would reduce the spread of disease.This evidence is reflected in the international health regulations, which focus less on control measures at borders and more on detection and response at source, and on enabling global communication channels. Where international health regulations do refer to migration, they focus on travel-related public health measures to limit the spread of disease, such as vector-control measures at points of entry by air, sea or land. These are already in place in West Africa.Travel bans do more harm than goodThird, travel bans risk doing more harm than good. Travel restrictions and enforced quarantine after return will reduce the flow of health workers to West Africa exactly when they are most required, and restrictions on transportation would also affect the provision of medical supplies and humanitarian assistance. More broadly, cutting off the affected countries will further damage their economies, which are already under strain from the Ebola crisis, for example by disrupting commercial and trade flows. All of this is likely to undermine the ability of governments to prevent Ebola and its transmission.In a world of rapid travel, trade and climate change, where infectious diseases and other health problems are on the rise, greater efforts should be made to encourage governments and organizations that work in the field of migration and with migrating populations to understand and abide by international health regulations. This would make it easier to prevent migration related to health crises while ensuring the best possible protection against disease.More research is required on how health crises affect migration, particularly in distinguishing health from other motivations to migrate. We need greater coherence between international health regulations and migration policies and practices at the national and international levels; this would help inform government responses, which can prevent migration during health crises. And at the national level, there must be greater coordination between government agencies separately tasked with migration and health mandates.Khalid Koser is chair of the Global Agenda Council on Migration. This article was first published on the World Economic Forum blog.
Since 2007, Apple is no longer ‘Apple Computer’. The company is no longer focused on just making personal or business computer. Apple is a multi-national company that sells both consumer and business electronics with expertise in both hardware and software but they have ambitions to go even beyond that business category. Apple’s recent announcement that it has a team of engineers working on designing an automobile, something that has been dubbed the ‘iCar’, is just one example of how boundaries around what businesses are doing is changing..A recent report by PwC based on a survey of business leaders found most to be optimistic on the economy over the near term, particularly in the US, over the next three years. But that optimism is tempered with worry. The business environment is seen as something volatile and unpredictable, and businesses are worried that there will be unexpected threats and disruptions affecting their companies in the near future. Digital technologies have made everyone smarter and productive, including consumers, businesses and partners. The PwC report found that “traditional industry boundaries are blurring, and CEOs expect cross-industry competition to accelerate.”Rodney O’Neal, CEO and President of Delphi Automotive Systems, told PwC that “the world will tell you where it’s going, it will tell you what it needs, but it’s going to be in code, and so you need to be able to connect the dots. It’s important that global CEOs listen carefully to what the world’s saying, from each region, and be able to take that input and piece it together to formulate a vision, a strategy, and the tactics of how his or her particular company is going to take advantage of where the world is going. And the ability to decode the messaging is going to be extremely critical.”Michael Dell, Chairman and CEO of Dell, said in an interview with PwC that “nobody has an enormous lock on the market. The markets are always changing, and it’s a great time to be listening, learning, figuring out what problems are unsolved with customers, because there are always emergent problems. And that’s how you win.”
We’ve considered the impact of the fourth industrial revolutionOpens in a new window on changing business models and stiffening competition across all industries. Today we’ll look at how re-shaping your measures of success will be crucial to maintaining a competitive edge in the world of digital fusion.As the population of millennials becomes more influential and the middle class grows larger, people care more about the ‘goodness’ of a company. Is it socially responsible? Does it do its bit to protect the environment? If not, the perception of and loyalty to the brand will be damaged. For example, a company doing well financially may find itself heavily criticized for its approach to employee safety, its payment (or not) of taxes, or the pollution levels around its factories. These issues are not only a concern for the public relations department. Informed consumers will choose to do business with alternative suppliers who they view as more responsible. This is the thinking behind the triple bottom lineOpens in a new window, an increasingly important way of measuring business success. It covers three key areas:Economic – the traditional measure of financial successSocial – commitment to social responsibility both inside and outside of the companyEnvironmental – sustainable business practices and contribution to protecting or conserving resourcesDelivering against social and environmental responsibilities doesn’t necessarily mean compromising on profits. Verizon commissioned a study in 2015Opens in a new window, which revealed that corporate social responsibility (CSR) can help increase share price and revenue, as well as employee satisfaction, retention and brand reputation.In this and the next two blogs, we’ll consider each of the three bottom lines, in turn, exploring how digital fusion is shaping new business models and ways of working that can and will impact the role each bottom line plays in driving overall business performance. Let’s look first at the economic bottom line, and how it’s evolving in three ways.1. The Sharing EconomyThe sharing economy has taken many industries by storm in recent years. For example, Morgan Stanley Research recently found that almost half of vacationersOpens in a new window replaced a hotel stay with an Airbnb visit in 2016. Another surveyOpens in a new window showed that the average hotel room price was $125, whereas the average Airbnb room price was $145, so the choice wasn’t being made based on cost. Customers were choosing the service they found most attractive.Some incumbents in other industries – like large car manufacturers – are taking steps to resist being disrupted, and as a result, are driving further innovation. For example, GM invested $500 millionOpens in a new window in car-share company Lyft in order to leverage the growth in this space initiated by Uber. Meanwhile, Ford has stated a goal to create fleets of for-hire autonomous vehiclesOpens in a new window in Europe by 2021, which could, in turn, disrupt the whole car-share model.At the more high-tech end of things, Amazon is also operating this model by offering spare data center capacity for hire through its Amazon Web Services business, which has become a significant revenue driverOpens in a new window in its own right.2. The Co-Creation EconomyMany organizations are now encouraging their customers to input directly into the design of new products and services, which are driving innovation in business models and processes as well. For example, DHL ran a customer workshop that developed the ‘Parcelcopter’Opens in a new window, a drone-based parcel delivery service. Today, last-mile drone delivery is being used by a number of companies, and it’s helped reduce delivery time from 30 minutes to eight minutesOpens in a new window.LegoOpens in a new window hosts its own online forum for inventors and creators to submit ideas for new products. This use of collaborative digital platforms that enable customers and suppliers to communicate directly, is critical in this new collaborative business landscape. Another digital example of co-creation is the online app store model (like Apple App Store* or Google Play*), which allows app developers to incorporate user feedback into their offerings.Meanwhile, the ‘prosumer’ is making waves in the energy marketOpens in a new window: Homeowners who create their own energy and sell any surplus back to the grid can benefit from cheaper (or free) energy, while the utility providers can use this extra resource to relieve demand pressure. Hobbyists and small-scale manufacturers can also get involved in bigger business by selling their creations through online platforms like Etsy, or by setting up in a local Maker SpaceOpens in a new window.3. The Experience EconomyThis is about moving up the value chain from selling commodities (coffee beans) to goods (ground and packaged coffee), to services (brewed coffee), to experiences (drinking a low-fat extra-hot vanilla latte while sitting in a comfortable armchair in your favorite coffee shop). Customers tend to pay more for an experience than a product, and they’ll be more loyal to it as well.An industry that has embraced this concept successfully is the fitness industry. While companies like Nike and Fitbit will sell you a fitness tracker and the technology that enables it, what they promote to consumers is the whole experience of living a healthy life and getting fit. Nike has even gone a step further and combined this experience with customer co-creation, enabling customers to design their own shoesOpens in a new window, which helped drive an increase of more than 30 percentOpens in a new window in its direct-to-consumer business.A lot of airlines are doing it too, combating price pressure from low-frills competitors by offering a door-to-door travel experience. Rather than just offering a basic ticket, these companies include perks like a chauffeur-driven car to the airport, expedited security screening and a luxurious lounge at the terminal.Traditional businesses are increasingly using digitally enabled innovation to up their competitive game. Which of these economic innovations could you bring to your business? In my next blog, I’ll explore the social bottom line and how that is also important to your digital transformation plan.  The Fourth Industrial Revolution: what it means, how to respond, World Economic Forum, https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/01/the-fourth-industrial-revolution-what-it-means-and-how-to-respond/Opens in a new window Triple bottom line, The Economist, http://www.economist.com/node/14301663Opens in a new window New Study, Commissioned by Verizon, Addresses a Persistent Knowledge Gap by Analyzing the Financial Impacts of Corporate Responsibility Programs, Verizon, http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/new-study-commissioned-by-verizon-addresses-a-persistent-knowledge-gap-by-analyzing-the-financial-impacts-of-corporate-responsibility-programs-300111270.htmlOpens in a new window Airbnb Is Becoming an Even Bigger Threat to Hotels Says a New Report, Skift, https://skift.com/2017/01/04/airbnb-is-becoming-an-even-bigger-threat-to-hotels-says-a-new-report/Opens in a new window The Impact of Airbnb on Hotel and Hospitality Industry, HospitalityNet, http://www.hospitalitynet.org/news/4074708.htmlOpens in a new window GM invests $500 million in Lyft, Bloomberg, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-01-04/gm-invests-500-million-in-lyft-to-bolster-alliance-against-uberOpens in a new window Ford plans self-driving car for ride share fleets in 2021, Reuters, http://uk.reuters.com/article/us-ford-autonomous-idUKKCN10R1G1Opens in a new window AWS Will Take Amazon’s Stock Price Past $1,000, Reuters, https://seekingalpha.com/article/4073261-aws-will-take-amazons-stock-price-past-1000Opens in a new window Customer Co-Creation Is The Secret Sauce To Success, Forbes, https://www.forbes.com/sites/christinecrandell/2016/06/10/customer_cocreation_secret_sauce/#f83e1cd5b6dc DHL’s delivery drone can make drops quicker than a car, Wired, http://www.wired.co.uk/article/dhl-drone-delivery-germanyOpens in a new window https://ideas.lego.com/Opens in a new window Reversing the Grid, 99% Invisible, http://99percentinvisible.org/episode/reversing-the-grid/Opens in a new window http://www.techshop.ws/Opens in a new windowhttp://www.nike.com/gb/en_gb/c/nikeidOpens in a new window How NIKEiD Is Helping Nike’s Push For Greater Profits, Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2015/07/09/how-nikeid-is-helping-nikes-push-for-greater-profits/#1beb52ac4e65Opens in a new window© 2017 Intel Corporation. Intel and the Intel logo are trademarks of the Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the U.S. and/or other countries. *Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.
Man Utd midfielder Herrera unfazed by Athletic Bilbao interestby Freddie Taylor10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United midfielder Ander Herrera remains unmoved by interest from Athletic Bilbao.United triggered the one-year option in Herrera’s contract last season, which means he could leave for free at the end of the current campaignAthletic’s newly-appointed sporting director, Rafael Alkorta, confirmed on Tuesday that the club were interested in bringing Herrera back to the San Mames.MEN believe that Herrera has not been swayed by the interest of his hometown club, where spent three seasons before joining United in 2014.Herrera has since made 177 appearances for the Red Devils. TagsTransfersAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Man Utd week in Dubai no jolly after fitness reportsby Paul Vegas9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United’s week in Dubai was no jolly, it has been revealed.The Mirror says manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer spent five days in Dubai last week putting the squad he inherited from the sacked Portuguese through “a mini pre-season” after being told by backroom staff that United were being dominated physically by opposition teams.One of the first messages the Norwegian delivered after taking over was that there were no excuses for the Old Trafford giants’ players being outrun and outfought during the most important 90 minutes of the week. Some staff members at Old Trafford believe the numbers are proof of how much Mourinho had lost the support of his players.Others feel that it was a consequence of the negative tactical noose he had thrown on his team. Either way, the stats are a damning indictment of the one-time Special One’s reign.
Brighton boss Potter happy to give March central roleby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveBrighton boss Graham Potter is happy to give Solly March a central role.For the draw with Burnley, Potter believes the contribution made by versatile March was a hint of what he should be offering on a more regular basis.He said: “When he has too much time to think, I’m not sure it’s the best for him. We spoke about that.“I think he’s got talent, he’s a good player, he has got quality.“He just needs to play with a bit of freedom.“If you look at the last two or three games, he has played left wing-back, he has played right wing-back and he has played pretty much as an extra midfield player, as a ten.“That tells you we think he is a football player and that he can play in a lot of positions.“The key thing for him is he needs to contribute in the final third, the attacking third, more than he has because he has got the quality to do that.“Obviously it was nice for him to do that (on Saturday) and give support for Neal.“But I think there is more to come from Solly.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
For several years, NFL higher-ups have been a bit sour on the extra point. It slows down the game; kickers make them so often that they’re not really exciting, or even tense; and even if one is missed, it’s less “OMG, did you see that?” and more “WTF, kickers are terrible!”In preseason games, the NFL has experimented with narrowing the goal posts and/or moving back the spot of the kick on attempts. It is rumored to be considering eliminating the extra-point option entirely.That’s one way to encourage two-point conversions. But it’s not as exciting as the idea that the Indianapolis Colts are offering. This week, the Colts caused some buzz by making a crazy-sounding suggestion to the NFL’s competition committee: If a team converted its two-point attempt, it would get a shot at an additional point by attempting a 50-yard field goal.Considering that kickers now make 50-yard attempts about two-thirds of the time, this essentially means that successful two-point tries would be worth 2.66 points. That would clearly affect coaches’ strategy after a touchdown — or at least it should. Currently, a team needs to be able to convert a two-point attempt 50 percent of the time to make it a better option (barring tactical reasons) than an extra point. But in the Colts’ extra-extra-point scenario, a team would only have to convert its two-point attempt from scrimmage about 38 percent of the time.In 2014, teams made 48 percent of their attempts, which is just about in line with how they’ve done for the past decade. So under the proposed change, going for two would probably be right in most circumstances. (That’s a small sample size, though. It’s unclear exactly how good teams really are at converting two-point attempts because they are taken so rarely and teams don’t take them with equal frequency.)Even if the Colts’ rule came to be — and that’s a very unlikely prospect — the coaches wouldn’t necessarily catch on even though the math would be in their favor. Many coaches still kick field goals on fourth and goal from the 1, and that is generally a much worse mistake.But suppose for a second that the strategy did catch on. It would likely have a big ripple effect. Having a kicker who can convert from 50 yards consistently would become a lot more valuable. Also, knowing that teams could come back from nine points down on a single possession might make coaches play more aggressively in a number of different situations.The competition committee has already rejected the idea, meaning that it’s unlikely to be adopted any time soon. (It will still be offered up to the owners next week, but without the committee’s endorsement.) But that leaves room for my alternative: How about any time that a team converts a 2-pointer, it can either take the two points or take one point and try again? Then no lead would be safe.
Regardless of what inspired John Simon’s postgame outpouring, the typically stoic, tight-lipped senior captain and defensive lineman said he still has no idea where it came from. “I can’t tell you I’m planning speeches before the game or anything like that,” he said. “It came out and, you know, I just wanted to tell them how I felt.” Perhaps thanks to Simon’s rallying cry, a reason to battle through a season with almost nothing tangible to play for might have never been more apparent. The question, which has almost become rhetorical, of “what is this team playing for” finally might have been answered, but not because of anything that happened on the field that day. After surviving California, 35-28, first-year coach Urban Meyer said Simon “opened his soul” for everyone else to see. Simon, Meyer said, was close to not suiting up against the Golden Bears. “He had a sore shoulder. They kept telling me all week, it should be fine, it should be fine; it just didn’t heal as fast as we hoped,” he said. But Simon did play, and to the tune of one tackle and one sack. After junior safety Christian Bryant’s late interception helped the Buckeyes (3-0) squeak by Cal in the waning minutes of the fourth quarter, a near-gut wrenching loss for OSU seemed to be a gut-check win for the undefeated squad. Meyer said Simon lost it behind the closed doors of the team’s locker room inside Ohio Stadium. A typically corporate-like Meyer opted to share a moment with reporters that could’ve otherwise remained unknown to anyone outside of the confines in which it happened. “Can you put a jersey up there or something that says ‘John Simon?’” Meyer asked. “Because that’s a grown ass man, excuse my language.” While Meyer chose not to divulge the particulars of what Simon had to say, redshirt sophomore cornerback Bradley Roby said the defensive lineman revealed himself. “He just pretty much let us know that he probably wasn’t even supposed to play today but he played anyways just because he loves us,” Roby said. “So it was just that we saw the real him come out and it was a crazy moment.” Meyer said Simon’s speech was a long look in the mirror. “Are we doing enough for our team? That guy – what he just did in there … am I doing enough? When I say I – as our coaching staff – are we doing enough?” Meyer asked. “Are we doing as much as he’s doing?” Playing both the interviewer and interviewee, Meyer promptly answered his own question. “No,” Meyer said. “We’ve gotta do more. Gotta do more. (That’s) gotta get you fired up.” Roby said the Buckeyes don’t want to fail each other. “It’s like we don’t want to let our teammates down when it comes down to it,” he said. “That’s how football is. It’s a teammate type of game. It’s not just one player that makes a team. It’s everybody.” That realization of that camaraderie on Saturday not only moved Roby but might have been the catalyst for Simon’s speech. “I was excited, I was just so excited for that win,” Simon said. “That was a great win for us, guys just showing that they’ll fight to the end and handle the adversity. I think we’re a scrappy team.” But after scraping by a team that lost its season-opener at home to Nevada, the Buckeyes will almost undoubtedly face questions and doubts about the legitimacy of their No. 16-ranking in the latest Associated Press top 25 poll. Saturday’s game, though, might have answered at least one question amid the others it left unresolved. What’s driving the Buckeyes through a season that will inevitably end on Nov. 24 against the University of Michigan? It could be because they “love” each other. “We all, like, love each other, so we all play,” Roby said. That means even playing through potentially debilitating injuries. “I hurt my shoulder a little bit, I came out for a few plays, but I came back because, I mean, it’s all a brotherhood,” Roby said. “That’s how we all feel about each other.” That fellowship, Meyer said, is something he’d extend to his own flesh and blood. “If we have another child I want to name him Urban John Simon Meyer or something like that,” he said, before pausing to digest what he just said. “Can’t wait for that headline,” Meyer said playfully. “But that’s how much I love that guy. I’m not ashamed to say I love him. Love that guy. Man.”
Wyatt Crosher and Colin Gay discuss Ohio State men’s basketball’s loss to Michigan State and win against Northwestern, and how the team’s NCAA Tournament chances look heading toward the Big Ten Tournament. They also look at men’s hockey’s pair of losses to Minnesota and baseball’s hot 4-0 start. And Colin gets to talk about Texas for a moment. Of course.