Column: Two icons near the end, as Father Time wins again

first_imgOne played into the final hours of the Thanksgiving weekend, laughing when a 3-pointer that would have kept his team in the game hit nothing but air. The other stood at the same time on the sidelines on a snowy night in Denver, watching a much younger replacement help his team find a way to hand the New England Patriots their first loss of the year.Kobe Bryant was going somewhat willingly, finally accepting that after 20 years of long nights on the hardwood neither his body nor his team were going to miraculously recover anytime in the near future. He could afford to laugh at himself because his future is clear after years of injuries and aborted comebacks.Denver Broncos’ Peyton Manning looks to pass against the Seattle Seahawks during the second half of the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)Peyton Manning put his best game face on, but had to know his time is coming, if not here already. The Denver Broncos seem smitten with their new quarterback, and even if Manning recovers from his foot injury there’s no guarantee he will get back on the field.Both are in an awkward dance with Father Time that neither will win. Bryant, though at least has the consolation of going out on his own terms.It’s not a bad way to end a great career. Bryant is still getting paid an NBA-high $25 million to showcase his declining skills, and his immediate future includes a trip around the league where he will surely be serenaded by adoring crowds.It’s a farewell tour he will enjoy, even if there has been little to enjoy while watching Bryant and the hapless Lakers this year.“There’s nothing I would love more than to be able to play this entire season, to go through all of these tough times, to be able to suit up and play on the road in these buildings for the last time,” Bryant said.For Manning, there will be no sentimental swing around the league. There rarely is in the NFL, where you’re only judged on your last game and there’s always someone waiting in line to take your place.Two iconic players. Two very different sports.A season that began with some promise for Manning went south quickly when he was sidelined with a partially torn tendon in his foot. It’s the kind of thing that happens to an aging player, and there were already plenty of indications Manning was nearing the end before he was unceremoniously ushered to the sidelines to cheer his teammates on.It got worse Sunday night as he watched in the snow when Brock Osweiler led the kind of comeback the Broncos were used to getting from Manning. It came against the undefeated Patriots in prime time on NBC, and it may have sealed Manning’s fate.Nothing personal, just the way the NFL does business. One day you’re breaking the NFL’s all-time passing record, the next you’re wondering if you still have a job.Tom Brady seemed to sense that when he met Manning at midfield before Sunday’s game to exchange pleasantries. Instead of the customary handshake, though, Brady hugged his longtime rival.Manning’s victory lap will likely be from the bench. There’s no public outcry from the Broncos faithful for him to return, and the offense favored by new coach Gary Kubiak doesn’t suit his pass-happy talents.If this is the end for Manning, he’ll leave a conflicted legacy. Yes, he’s the most prolific passer of all time, but with just one Super Bowl title in 18 years he doesn’t even own the most rings in his family.Manning is a certain Hall of Famer, but when talk begins about the all-time greats it starts with quarterbacks like Joe Montana and Brady. They have four Super Bowl wins apiece, while Manning is 1-2 in the big game, including a blowout loss to Seattle two years ago where he wasn’t even a factor.It’s similar in a way for Bryant, even though his five NBA titles elevate him to at least being in the conversation among the top 10 NBA players ever. He will come up just short in his chase of his role model Michael Jordan, while Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar will likely be rated above him by most as the greatest Lakers ever.Still, Bryant leaves a legacy of sorts for his incessant work and the way he played with a chip on his shoulder up until the end. He also served as a role model of his own for countless other aspiring NBA players, including LeBron James.“I wanted to be just like him, man,” James said Tuesday.Both Bryant and Manning had great careers, yet both wanted more. They desperately chased it even as the years began to run out and their bodies began letting them down.In the end they, like so many before them, couldn’t find a way to beat Father Time.____Tim Dahlberg is a national sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at tdahlberg@ap.org or http:twitter.com/timdahlberg,The other stood at the same time on the sidelines on a snowy night in Denver, watching a much younger replacement help his team find a way to hand the New England Patriots their first loss of the year.Kobe Bryant was going somewhat willingly, finally accepting that after 20 years of long nights on the hardwood neither his body nor his team were going to miraculously recover anytime in the near future. He could afford to laugh at himself because his future is clear after years of injuries and aborted comebacks.Denver Broncos’ Peyton Manning looks to pass against the Seattle Seahawks during the second half of the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)Peyton Manning put his best game face on, but had to know his time is coming, if not here already. The Denver Broncos seem smitten with their new quarterback, and even if Manning recovers from his foot injury there’s no guarantee he will get back on the field.Both are in an awkward dance with Father Time that neither will win. Bryant, though at least has the consolation of going out on his own terms.It’s not a bad way to end a great career. Bryant is still getting paid an NBA-high $25 million to showcase his declining skills, and his immediate future includes a trip around the league where he will surely be serenaded by adoring crowds.It’s a farewell tour he will enjoy, even if there has been little to enjoy while watching Bryant and the hapless Lakers this year.“There’s nothing I would love more than to be able to play this entire season, to go through all of these tough times, to be able to suit up and play on the road in these buildings for the last time,” Bryant said.For Manning, there will be no sentimental swing around the league. There rarely is in the NFL, where you’re only judged on your last game and there’s always someone waiting in line to take your place.Two iconic players. Two very different sports.A season that began with some promise for Manning went south quickly when he was sidelined with a partially torn tendon in his foot. It’s the kind of thing that happens to an aging player, and there were already plenty of indications Manning was nearing the end before he was unceremoniously ushered to the sidelines to cheer his teammates on.It got worse Sunday night as he watched in the snow when Brock Osweiler led the kind of comeback the Broncos were used to getting from Manning. It came against the undefeated Patriots in prime time on NBC, and it may have sealed Manning’s fate.Nothing personal, just the way the NFL does business. One day you’re breaking the NFL’s all-time passing record, the next you’re wondering if you still have a job.Tom Brady seemed to sense that when he met Manning at midfield before Sunday’s game to exchange pleasantries. Instead of the customary handshake, though, Brady hugged his longtime rival.Manning’s victory lap will likely be from the bench. There’s no public outcry from the Broncos faithful for him to return, and the offense favored by new coach Gary Kubiak doesn’t suit his pass-happy talents.If this is the end for Manning, he’ll leave a conflicted legacy. Yes, he’s the most prolific passer of all time, but with just one Super Bowl title in 18 years he doesn’t even own the most rings in his family.Manning is a certain Hall of Famer, but when talk begins about the all-time greats it starts with quarterbacks like Joe Montana and Brady. They have four Super Bowl wins apiece, while Manning is 1-2 in the big game, including a blowout loss to Seattle two years ago where he wasn’t even a factor.It’s similar in a way for Bryant, even though his five NBA titles elevate him to at least being in the conversation among the top 10 NBA players ever. He will come up just short in his chase of his role model Michael Jordan, while Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar will likely be rated above him by most as the greatest Lakers ever.Still, Bryant leaves a legacy of sorts for his incessant work and the way he played with a chip on his shoulder up until the end. He also served as a role model of his own for countless other aspiring NBA players, including LeBron James.“I wanted to be just like him, man,” James said Tuesday.Both Bryant and Manning had great careers, yet both wanted more. They desperately chased it even as the years began to run out and their bodies began letting them down.In the end they, like so many before them, couldn’t find a way to beat Father Time.____Tim Dahlberg is a national sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at tdahlberg@ap.org or http:twitter.com/timdahlberg Los Angeles Lakers forward Kobe Bryant talks at news conference on why he decided to announce his retirement prior to an NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers in Los Angeles, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2015. The Pacers won 107-103. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)last_img read more

Injuries put seventh-ranked Bombers on the defence heading into AA Rugby Championships

first_imgInjuries could have come at the worse time of the season for the L.V. Rogers Rugby Bombers.The Bombers have no less than four key players either missing or playing hurt when the Kootenay Champs face Southridge of Surrey in the opening round of the B.C. High School AA Boy’s Rugby Championships Saturday in Kelowna.The game is set for 2:30 p.m. at City Park in Kelowna.“What we can take from this is a lot of kids will be coming back next year and this will be a great learning experience,” said Bomber coach Michael Joyce, taking the high road instead of playing the “What If?” game.“We’ve got to be learning every time we step onto the field . . . learning every play.”Down and out for the Bombers are John Katountas, Simon Yole, Trace Cooke and McLain Sandeveland — Katountas and Sandeveland both will not play. Yole and Cooke are questionable.LVR is seeded seventh in the tournament.Joyce said Southridge has not played very many games due to the withdrawal of extracurricular activities by the B.C. Teachers Federation.Which can be good or bad, depending on whom you talk to.“They haven’t played a lot of games, so they’ll be healthy,” Joyce explained. “But because of the strike maybe we can capitalize on them be a little rusty.”The Bombers, winners of the Kootenay title over Selkirk Storm of Kimberley, return to Nelson following the game before heading to Abbotsford for round two of the 16-team tournament beginning Wednesday.LVR plays Thursday before taking Friday as a rest day.The tourney concludes Saturday.last_img read more

Sir John Guise Stadium set to host NSL grand final

first_imgThe grand final will be between defending premiers Lae City Dwellers and minor premiers MRDC Hekari United FC.The game will kick off at 3pm with gates to open at 12pm and close at 4pm.Tickets are selling at Telikom outlets at Boroko, Vision City and Telikom Rumana at K10 for outer stand, K20 for outer grandstand and K50 for the main grandstand.The last time they met in the minor premiership fight, Hekari thrashed Dwellers 5-0.Dwellers this time will have to fight even harder to defend the premiership title.They will bank on their top goal scorers; Nigel Dabinyaba and Raymond Gunemba.Hekari is in top form and have faith in their greats Tommy Semmy, Koriak Upaiga and David Muta to steal the premiership from the defending champions.last_img

Salah takes centre stage against former club Roma

first_imgWhen AS Roma agreed to sell Mohamed Salah to Liverpool last June they could well have anticipated that the Egyptian would go on to be a big success with the Premier League club.What they surely didn’t expect would be that Salah and Liverpool would stand between them and a place in the Champions League final.But on Tuesday at Anfield Roma’s primary task will be to stop the prolific Salah from adding to his impressive 41 goals in all competitions.The Italian side are a surprise arrival in the last four of Europe’s premier club competition after a stunning comeback against Spanish giants Barcelona in the last round.Liverpool pulled off their own surprise as Salah, voted Player of the Year by England’s Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) on Sunday, scored in both legs of his team’s 5-1 aggregate quarter-final win over Premier League champions Manchester City.Juergen Klopp, the Liverpool manager, expects Roma’s defenders to give Salah an early reminder, if any were needed, that friendships end once the players are on the field.“I am pretty sure the Italian defenders are famous for not having friendly games, so I think Mo will feel early in the game that they are not his team mates any more and then he can strike back in a football way,” the German said.Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson said that Salah fully deserved the PFA Award and hopes that his wonderful form can continue until the end of the season.“He has been fantastic. His record and stats speak for themselves, and his performances also,” Henderson said. “He has been a massive player and can hopefully continue that form for the next few weeks.”Salah was less prolific in Italy’s Serie A during his two seasons with Roma, but his 34 goals in 83 appearances in all competitions for the club impressed Klopp and earned the Egyptian a 42 million euro move to Anfield.Salah has struck eight times in the Champions League this season – second only to Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid, who has 15 goals.But with strike partner Robero Firmino also scoring eight and Sadio Mane seven, Liverpool have the most potent attack in the competition with 33 goals.“The front three have been outstanding, creating chances, scoring goals. It has worked well,” said Henderson.“We have to continue playing as we always have this season, no matter who we have played. It is a big test against a really good side in Roma, but one I feel we are ready for.”last_img read more

P. Smashers, Perlas clash

first_imgTaal Volcano evacuees warned against going home Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite MOST READ Wildlife rescuers asked to turn over animals to DENR Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Palace: Crisis over ABC-CBN franchise unlikely Panelo: Duterte only wants to emulate strong political will of Marcos Ex-Bulacan town vice mayor, village chief shot dead Palace: Crisis over ABC-CBN franchise unlikely La Salle takes aim at titlecenter_img It shared that path with Power Smashers, who downed back-to-back champion Pocari Sweat before suffering a loss to league-leader BaliPure.Pocari hopes to finally get into the win column when it takes on Air Force at 6:30 p.m.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSBreak new groundSPORTSMcGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC returnPerlas will lean on big hitters like Dzi Gervacio, Amy Ahomiro, Kathy Bersola, former MVP Sue Roces, Amanda Villanueva and setter Jem Ferrer. —MARC ANTHONY REYES Bulacan town gears up for biggest cookie jar Ai-Ai delas Alas on Jiro Manio: ‘Sana pinahalagahan niya ang naitulong ko’ Presidency bid needs ‘deep reflection’ – Sara Duterte LATEST STORIES Perlas and Power Smashers gun for win No. 2 at each other’s expense Saturday in the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.Perlas spoiled crowd favorite Creamline’s debut but absorbed a five-set defeat at the hands of Air Force.ADVERTISEMENT View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. last_img read more

Akon Could Change the Way Students See in Class

first_imgAkon will be in Liberia today, according to a release from Bridge, and many are hoping that his visit will not only shine more light to the fact that the Liberian government is doing everything to help the educational system, but will also connect Liberia with what Akon has been cooking, known as “Akon Lighting Africa.”Indeed, parts of Liberia are completely dark and due to the criminal activities of many who have been illegally stealing LEC current, causing the loss of thousands of dollars in revenue, some who have electricity illegally have watched their ‘hookups’ being disconnected.I recently visited Hill Town, Bomi County, where a not-for-profit organization called More Than Me has one of its six schools given to them by Bridge. The school has about 122 plus girls and 179 plus boys (the number has risen since this article was written). One thing that struck me about the school was the fact that it had a lot of infrastructure problems – no chairs or desks, ceilings and smiling faces. More Than Me has spent more than US$5,000 to renovate it and so far there is a huge difference.More Than Me has 12 capacity leaders for their seven schools, two per school. The role of these individuals is to build the capacity of teachers, train on site, improve learning and to watch over their teachers.Recently during my tour at Hill Town elementary, I met Aiessate Cooper, the only girl child in the 6th grade. According to her father, who is also the principal of the school, his daughter was brought to the school when it was clear that More Than Me would be taking over the school.Meanwhile, the environment is not safe for the children without light. Some students arrive on campus as soon as ‘day break,’ when the sun is just setting, having walked for miles.Light is essential and also a security measure in preventing things that can only happen when it is dark from reaching pupils who arrive at school that early. Villages like Hill Town and the only school there that teaches students from ABC to the 6th grade are keeping their fingers crossed that Akon’s project will reach them.As of now, More Than Me supplies its school electricity using a generator that drains its resources. And due to bad road conditions and distance, sometimes the school is unable to get items necessary for its operations.Meanwhile, the new initiative “Light to learn” will be bringing Akon to Liberia as a guest of Bridge Partnership Schools, the Ministry of Education and other partners to initiate this new project aimed at popularizing and growing the right to use affordable energy resources to foster quality learning even in remote villages.“Join us on October 20-21 at J W Pearson, Monrovia; and Zuluyee, Nimba County. All 24 Bridge Partnership Schools have been preparing to compete in Regional and National competitions where the top 4 finalists will compete as the STAR of the show! Who will the 2 winners be,” Gboko Stewart posted on facebook.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Wolves bite to derail titlechasing Spurs

first_img0Shares0000LONDON, England, January 14- Tottenham Hotspur wasted a chance to move level on points at the top of the Premier League after being held to a frustrating 1-1 draw against struggling Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday.Harry Redknapp’s in-form side would have joined leaders Manchester City and second-placed Manchester United on 48 points with a win at White Hart Lane.But Spurs were stunned as Steven Fletcher put Wolves ahead mid-way through the first half and, even though Luka Modric equalised after the break, the hosts were unable to find the crucial second goal. Instead of underlining their title credentials, this unconvincing display suggested Spurs — who will be five points behind City if they beat Wigan Athletic on Monday — may not be quite ready to challenge City and United.Tottenham had a flurry of early chances when Modric squirted a shot wide and then had a powerful effort blocked by a posse of Wolves defenders before he blazed over soon after.But Wolves, who remain one point above the relegation zone, opened the scoring in the 22nd minute in controversial circumstances.The visitors were awarded a dubious corner when Kyle Walker was adjudged to have touched the ball on its way out despite the full-back insisting he did not.Brad Friedel parried Roger Johnson’s header from the corner into the path of Fletcher and he made no mistake from close range.It was the first goal Spurs had conceded at home in 359 minutes and sparked a response from the hosts.Gareth Bale stung Hennessey’s hands with a low drive before Rafael van der Vaart fired over.Johnson blocked van der Vaart’s goal-bound effort and Modric volleyed at Wayne Hennessey as the Spurs onslaught continued.Redknapp’s frustration got the better of him just before the break when he shouted angrily at a member of the Wolves bench for failing to return the ball to the field of play.The hosts thought they had equalised in first-half injury-time, but Emmanuel Adebayor’s toe-poke from six yards was ruled out for offside.Spurs’ frustration grew after Bale skied a shot from the edge of the area, but they were level moments later thanks to Modric.Van der Vaart skilfully turned in the box to square to Bale, who laid the ball off to the Croatian and he hammered home from 20 yards through a sea of defenders.Aaron Lennon should have made it 2-1 moments later but he could only fire into Hennessey’s arms after the Wolves keeper had saved from Modric.Redknapp brought on Jermain Defoe for Lennon as he tried to find a way through.The England striker, reportedly unhappy at his lack of first-team action, almost made an immediate impact, latching on to a clearance before firing a fierce low drive that Hennessey saved with his feet.Walker ran 70 yards before seeing his deflected shot sail wide as the game entered what promised to be a nervous final 10 minutes.Modric fired a shot just over Hennessey’s bar from 25 yards and Scott Parker mis-hit an effort with the goal gaping with five minutes left.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Video: The striker set for shock start in Liverpool FA Cup tie?

first_img Bolton Wanderers striker Zach Clough Born on the day Emile Heskey made his Premier League debut, Zach Clough was destined to become a star striker.And now Bolton boss Neil Lennon could hand the 19-year-old striker a shock start against Liverpool in their FA Cup fourth round replay.Clough, who has seen his ‘street kid’ qualities hailed by Lennon, only made his debut in January, scoring the winner in the Trotters’ 1-0 FA Cup third round clash with Wigan.He’s made one other appearance since then but on that occasion – last Saturday against Wolverhampton Wanderers – he scored two goals in two minutes as Bolton drew 2-2 with their Championship rivals.Given the incredible start to Clough’s career, Brendan Rodgers may well need to be wary of the youngster as he takes his side to the Macron Stadium.You can check out the starlet’s brace against Wolves below… 1last_img read more

West Ham midfielder signs new long-term deal

first_imgWest Ham midfielder Mark Noble has signed a new long-term contract.The 27-year-old vice-captain has put pen to paper on a deal which will tie him to the club until the summer of 2020.Noble, who joined West Ham as a 13-year-old in 2000, made his first-team debut four years later and has chalked up 310 appearances for the club.“I’m obviously over the moon because it takes me until I’m 33!” Noble said on the club’s official website.“I’m very happy with the contract and very grateful to the chairmen for giving me it and I’m looking forward to the next five years.“I love playing football and I love playing for the Club so to be rewarded with a new five-and-a-half-year contract is fantastic.“In football you don’t get any younger, but I keep myself fit and this is great for me and my family, because it gives us security for the rest of our lives.“It’s not about the money, though. I always give 100 per cent in every game I play, even if it’s not enough. As a West Ham fan, I know we’ll lose games like everyone does, but I’m settled, I’m happy and that’s when I play my best football.” 1 Mark Noble in action for West Ham last_img read more

Reform the LAUSD

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhy these photogenic dumplings are popping up in Los AngelesBut it is the district’s best – and only – hope. After all, critics of the bill aren’t out there touting reform plans of their own; they’re making apologies for the status quo. They’ve spent months trying to tell us that the LAUSD’s dropout rate isn’t as high as it seems, that steady but modest increases in abysmal test scores are a great sign of progress, that spending billions on new buildings is tantamount to creating schools we can be proud of. No one’s buying their self-serving spin. And no one believes their claim that there’s nothing wrong with the LAUSD that more time and money won’t fix. Meanwhile, a massively popular mayor is staking his entire future on reforming a district he has no legal obligation to oversee. Villaraigosa is making a great, politically unnecessary gamble to do what the LAUSD establishment has refused to do – break the district’s culture of failure and corruption. Whether he can pull it off remains to be seen, but at least he takes the challenges seriously, unlike the defenders of the status quo. He deserves the public’s support – and the council’s, too. THE question facing the Los Angeles City Council today is straightforward: Does the council want to support the only real effort to reform the LAUSD, or keep accepting an unacceptable status quo? It’s that simple. The debate over whether the council should back AB 1381 – Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s plan for overhauling the Los Angeles Unified School District – boils down to that single question. It’s a choice between seeking a better future for our schools, or more of the same. True, there’s no shortage of criticism that can be made of the plan. AB 1381 is a Rube Goldberg piece of legislation. It’s made of compromises upon compromises by a mayor trying to work with a wide array of disparate and often antagonistic players. AB 1381 is no one’s idea of the perfect solution to the LAUSD’s educational woes. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more