Monday, July 15

Sports

Wayne Rooney, England’s raging bull at Euro 2004: ‘His movement, his speed… he was not human’
Sports

Wayne Rooney, England’s raging bull at Euro 2004: ‘His movement, his speed… he was not human’

“Their average age is 26. They’re in the prime of their footballing lives,” Clive Tyldesley, the ITV commentator, said into his microphone as England prepared to kick off against France at Euro 2004.David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, John Terry, Ashley Cole, Michael Owen, Sol Campbell… this was England’s golden generation at their peak.Yet it was the baby-faced assassin among them, or the assassin-faced baby as some liked to call him, who played as though he was ready to take over the world.This summer marks 20 years since Wayne Rooney, aged 18, went on the rampage at Euro 2004.“Like a raging bull,” Emile Heskey, the former England striker, says. “The youthful enthusiasm, plus the fearlessness. He was phenomenal.”Raw, volatile and prodigiously talented, Rooney scor...
Oklahoma’s seniors won WCWS each year. Can Patty Gasso and freshmen maintain dynasty?
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Oklahoma’s seniors won WCWS each year. Can Patty Gasso and freshmen maintain dynasty?

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — Fans in the outfield turned their gaze toward left field as Oklahoma’s Kelly Maxwell jogged out of the bullpen. The Sooners were four outs away from a national championship, and Maxwell’s entrance was met with enthusiasm and a collective deep breath.The Sooners already felt in control of their fate, but coach Patty Gasso was putting in her ace to close this championship series against No. 1 Texas. Maxwell, later named the Women’s College World Series most outstanding player, did just that, clinching the Sooners’ 8-4 win to sweep the championship series and make Oklahoma the first team to four-peat as national champions in college softball history.Oklahoma is familiar with this stage, but the players and Gasso are sure to point to the challenges that come with reachin...
Everton, 777 and the Business of Premier League Soccer
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Everton, 777 and the Business of Premier League Soccer

The acquisitions came so quickly that it was hard to keep up. An agreement to buy the oldest soccer team in Italy. An investment in one of the most popular teams in Brazil. Stakes in well-known clubs in Belgium and France, Germany and Australia.Each new deal was trumpeted by the Miami-based investment company, 777 Partners, that was hurriedly snapping them up.Then, in September, the investment group revealed its biggest deal yet: an agreement to acquire a controlling stake in Everton F.C., a founding member of the Premier League and one of the oldest soccer clubs in England.Suddenly, everyone in soccer had heard of 777 Partners. Beyond its name, though, little was known about the company. It said it had $10 billion in assets, but was so closely held that verifying that claim was difficult....
Novak Djokovic’s knee injury and French Open withdrawal: What it means
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Novak Djokovic’s knee injury and French Open withdrawal: What it means

This article has been updated on Thursday June 6, to reflect confirmation of Novak Djkovic’s knee surgery following the French Open.Follow live coverage of the 2024 French Open todayThe news that Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from the French Open with a torn meniscus was one of those moments at Roland Garros where the gasps were audible. It wasn’t a huge shock given Djokovic said he was unsure if he would play his quarterfinal after picking up the injury in a fourth-round win over Francisco Cerundolo. Still, to lose the world No. 1 and defending champion in this manner is huge.But what are the implications of Djokovic’s withdrawal — for him, the event, and the sport in general?What it means for Novak DjokovicWhat is Djokovic’s injury?Djokovic withdrew from the French Open on Tuesday with a ...
Everton Sale Stalls Amid New Questions About 777 Partners
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Everton Sale Stalls Amid New Questions About 777 Partners

The proposed sale of the Premier League soccer team Everton F.C. to a Miami-based holding company has stalled because the firm, 777 Partners, has failed to provide audited financial statements to a British government regulator that must approve the deal.The regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority, delivered its request to 777 Partners this month, according to multiple people with direct knowledge of the approval process, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it publicly. If the company does not provide the requested financials or an acceptable explanation, its proposed takeover of Everton — a deal involving hundreds of millions of dollars in assumed debt and a coveted place in the world’s richest soccer league — could fall apart.The missing ...
Black Baseball History Takes Center Stage at Hall of Fame
Sports

Black Baseball History Takes Center Stage at Hall of Fame

Octavius Catto’s impact was mostly unknown here at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, amid the sport’s heroic feats of lore and legend, like Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hit streak, Ted Williams’s .406 batting average and Hank Aaron’s 715th home run to break Babe Ruth’s record.Catto, born a free Black man, turned to baseball in the shadows of the Civil War. He was a founder of Philadelphia’s all-Black Pythian Base Ball Club, which included Frederick Douglass’s son, Charles. (They lost their first game, 70-15, but improved quickly.) The Pythians applied for and were denied entry into Pennsylvania’s association of amateur baseball and the National Association of Base Ball Players.The story of Catto, who was also a civil rights activist before his 1871 assassination, is among many that ...
Nelly Korda’s disastrous U.S. Women’s Open round was shockingly relatable
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Nelly Korda’s disastrous U.S. Women’s Open round was shockingly relatable

LANCASTER, Pa. — Standing on the fringe of Lancaster Country Club’s 9th green, moments after stroking her final putt of the day, Nelly Korda opened her purple scorecard holder, looked down, and sighed so deeply that the expansion of her ribcage was visible from steps away.Her shoulders lifted. Then they sank. A big, fat first-round 80 at the U.S. Women’s Open stared back up at her, the sight of her septuple bogey 10 early in the round likely sending shivers up her spine once again.The world No.1 did not look like herself Thursday. She’s won six tournaments in seven starts on the LPGA Tour this season, including the first major, the Chevron Championship. She managed to raise trophies with her B game. But Korda still crumbled in the face of this U.S. Open test. She didn’t have it. It’ll take...
Borussia Dortmund Deal with Weapons Maker Rheinmetall Stirs Debate in Germany
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Borussia Dortmund Deal with Weapons Maker Rheinmetall Stirs Debate in Germany

Borussia Dortmund, one of Germany’s most successful soccer clubs, is rooted in the industrial Ruhr region and prides itself on retaining its working-class roots, community engagement and anti-establishment mentality.That’s why, in the week before one of the biggest games in the club’s history, some Dortmund fans are angry about a sponsorship deal with Rheinmetall, a major German weapons producer. Everyone from club officials to lawmakers have weighed in on the move, which has provoked a debate about the normalization of the military in German society. Still, many fans would rather just focus on Dortmund’s appearance in the showcase game of the European season, the Champions League final on Saturday against Real Madrid. Dortmund’s three-year partnership with Rheinmetall, announced on Wednes...
Jimmy Aggrey was a victim of the Chelsea racism scandal – now he wants to talk
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Jimmy Aggrey was a victim of the Chelsea racism scandal – now he wants to talk

He was the tallest player. Even at the age of 16, Jimmy Aggrey stood well over six feet. The big lads went at the back. Line up and smile for the camera, please.Chelsea liked him. They thought he had a good chance of making it. For such a tall kid, Aggrey had quick, skilful feet. His future was bright at a time, in 1995, when Chelsea were re-establishing themselves among the most glamorous football clubs in England.“When I joined Chelsea, Glenn Hoddle was the first-team manager,” says Aggrey. “Ruud Gullit arrived later. The place was full of superstars: Gianfranco Zola, Frank Leboeuf, Roberto Di Matteo. So I can understand why many people might think it’s a great photograph. They should have been the greatest times of my life.”Aggrey was in his fourth year in Chelsea’s youth system when th...
How Lionel Messi Made a Pink Jersey Soccer’s Must-Have Item
Sports

How Lionel Messi Made a Pink Jersey Soccer’s Must-Have Item

All of a sudden, after a single summer, the pink jersey is everywhere. It has become almost impossible to acquire, yet there it is, paradoxically, on the backs of thousands of fans thronging American stadiums, hanging from market stalls in Buenos Aires and Bangkok, a vivid flash on almost every field where children gather to play soccer in England.That the jersey has become, apparently overnight, the hottest piece of sports merchandise on the planet is a simple, capitalist equation: the result of an irresistible combination of one of the most recognizable and beloved athletes of his generation; a distinctive, exotic color; and the ruthless efficiency of textile factories in Southeast Asia.Somehow, though, few people saw it coming. Tor Southard was better placed than most, but even he was c...