first_imgGeneral view of the opening play between the USC Trojans and the UCLA Bruins at the Rose Bowl.PASADENA, CA – NOVEMBER 22: General view of the opening play between the USC Trojans and the UCLA Bruins at the Rose Bowl on November 22, 2014 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)Recruiting is well underway for the class of 2019. Many top prospects have already offered up verbal commitments.Arizona State landed its first commitment of the Herm Edwards Era this week. It was Arizona State’s first 2019 commit.Incredibly, there are two Power 5 programs that have been shut out so far. They are still looking for their first commit in this cycle.The two programs are UCLA and Pitt.UCLA makes some sense because Chip Kelly is entering his first season as head coach of the Bruins. Even with Kelly’s reputation, it can take a new coach some time to get going on the recruiting trail.Pat Narduzzi is established at Pitt, however, so its more surprising he doesn’t have a commit. It seems linebacker Joe Smith is a candidate to become the first to pull the trigger.A linebacker came to #Pitt’s Sunday camp from Florida and now he’s feeling pretty good about the Panthers. Could he be the first 2019 commit?— Chris Peak (@PantherLair) June 4, 2018Just a hunch here: with the commitment flurry that occurs every June, expect Pitt and UCLA to land one sooner rather than later.In the meantime, fans of both programs will likely remain anxious.last_img read more

first_imgDazzling performances were on display in London yesterday as the best of competitive sports was played out. England took on New Zealand in the Men’s ICC World Cup 2019 final while world number one Novak Djokovic locked horns with Swiss Maestro Roger Federer in the Men’s Wimbledon Championship match. Both Lords and Centre court of Wimbledon saw nail-biting competitiveness flow down the hour as the sun neared the horizon. For the world, two major sporting events witnessed a grand final as the weekend culminated in a roller coaster of entertainment. But London, the host to both events, had a lasting taste of exquisiteness as curtains fell on the exhaustive month-and-a-half long World Cup campaign. Great Britain had finally conquered the cup that has eluded them since its inception 44 years ago at the very ground where it was born. One can imagine the level of ecstasy as the most dramatic world cup match was witnessed by the world with the odds shifting on either side like a pendulum, throwing prefixed bets in disarray and trumping predictions in short periods almost incessantly. Cricket encapsulated a highly-unexpected championship finish yesterday as the showdown between Federer and Djokovic also found its place in one of the memorable Wimbledon, or rather Grand Slam, finals. To say that the game could have been finished in straight sets would be disrespectful of either player. In essence, both finals had one glaring thing in common which amidst the excitement might not have been the most conspicuous fact. Both finals were played till the penultimate extent as no scope was left beyond the point of distinction to regulate the games any further. Wimbledon marathon as many perceived, Djokovic and Federer pulled the game till the tiebreaker of the final set while England and New Zealand played 102 overs of cricket. In essence, the two tennis players and the two cricket teams were inseparable and that is what the world must have realised on Sunday. However, these finals demanded a winner nevertheless and hence, Novak Djokovic and England Cricket Team had the last laugh as London went into a frenzy. Also Read – A compounding difficultySince rain was not as much a threat looming over the final match, considering the sizeable impact it already had over the prestigious ICC tournament, all eyes were glued to the toss. England wickets had a slightly favourable outcome when batting first, as the result analysis of matches showed, but it still was as much competitive. New Zealand had the better start, winning the toss and setting up a modest total of 241-8 in 50 overs. It was a day when the batsmen could not produce outstanding cricket but team effort drifted to build a total of 241. Nicholls’s 55 of 77 was the highest individual score from Black Caps as Woakes and Plunkett registered high-demanding performances with good figures of 3/37 and 3/42. New Zealand managed 17 boundaries which was a relevant fact only for post-match analysis. Little did anyone knew it would become perhaps the most decisive factor. England came out to bat and even they experienced the occasional swing being offered by the wicket as hitters Roy, Bairstow, Root and Morgan fell in front of Kiwi pacers. The scenario was not as alarming as it was for India who were 24/4 after 10 overs but not very optimistic at 86/4 after 20 overs. And similar to India’s final batting partnership that took the pitch to carry a fractured Indian dream all the way, the Three Lions found Stokes and Buttler as their final hope of the dream world cup chase. 24 overs and 110 runs of partnership saw England reach almost the periphery of their target yet the job remained undone and Buttler succumbed. But Stokes didn’t. He carried England till the final over, where a dramatic deviation of fielder’s throw inadvertently by Stokes bat gave England four runs on top of their two. The match went down to the last ball and England ended up losing its final wicket in the run-out with scores reaching a dramatic tie. Super Over proceedings went underway but a crucial fact from England’s innings lingered–England had hit 26 boundaries in their pursuit of the target of 242. Even the Super Over couldn’t separate the sides and the winner had to be decided by ICC rules which awarded the Cup to England on grounds of scoring more boundaries than New Zealand. England’s day was made as New Zealand’s heart shattered but it was the moment when one of the greatest debate over who won would spark off–England or both? By rules, England but a grand consensus believes that the Cup should have been shared. Both teams were desperate for their maiden World Cup, having eliminated heavyweights like India and Australia, and both demonstrated highly-competitive and indistinguishable performances. For a host of ex-players, commentators as well as fans, it should have gone to both but for rules that favoured the Three Lions. Also Read – An askew democracyAt the same time, in the south-west part of the city, at the Centre Court of Wimbledon, Djokovic and Federer offered a scintillating match for the viewers. Djokovic won the first set which went to a tiebreaker courtesy of nail-biting competition from Federer. But Serbian managed to pull off the tiebreaker 7-5. Second Set was all Federer show with 6-1 in his favour. In the third set, Djokovic was yet again pushed by Federer to a tiebreaker which Federer lost again 7-4. But Federer capitalised on the fourth set winning 6-4 to bring the match into the final set. The final set, as the match had proceeded, was pegged to be toe-to-toe and it indeed was. At 6 games each, the final set was inconclusive, so the match continued. Federer by his magic wrist turns procured a breakpoint in the 8th game leading Djokovic by 8-7. Though Federer ended up losing the championship point twice as Djokovic caught up, amassing 5 straight points to equalise and lead the next game. Beyond four hours, the match went on till the tiebreaker as per modern tennis rules at the end of 12 games each. What many feared as a pattern on Federer’s side when it came to tiebreakers came true. Djokovic thrashed Federer in the tiebreaker 7-3 to lift his fifth Wimbledon title while a tired and distraught Federer saw his ninth title fly past him. All of Federer’s aces, significantly more than those of Djokovic, could not help the Swiss Maestro edge past Djokovic as the Siberian registered a hard-earned finish past the Wimbledon Champion. Sunday was the third time that Novak defeated Federer in a Wimbledon final. The first-ever fifth set tiebreaker at Wimbledon saw Djokovic prove why he is a threat in tiebreakers as he moved to 16 Grand Slam titles nearing Nadal (18) and Federer (20). Both events drew the audience to the edge of their seats as anticipation filled the venues. But even that was second to the level of unprecedented matches we got to witness which made headlines in dailies worldwide. Several hearts sunk as many more revelled upon the culmination of perhaps one of a kind July Sunday. Morally, people feel that both Federer and Djokovic deserved the trophy which is the same for England and New Zealand. For their performance, resilience, passion, sportsmanship and undying spirit, they already made it to the hearts of billions and what remains are written down results for records. In a sense, the Wimbledon and the World Cup got to taste one of the most memorable finals ever to be played and London had every right to celebrate as the host to them, and also as the winner of their maiden Cricket World Cup!last_img read more

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – The felines are fighting back — on the bookshelf.Cats outnumber dogs in the U.S., but in bookstores, dog titles reign, the American Pet Products Association says.Fans insist felines are getting more popular as they ride the coattails of Internet sensations like Grumpy Cat, Lil Bub and Nora, the piano-playing cat.For the cat lovers on your holiday list, several books challenge the notion that pooches get more play. Here are four gift-worthy books where cats shine:“A LETTER TO MY CAT”Actress Rosanna Arquette, model Kathy Ireland and animal behaviourist Jackson Galaxy of “My Cat From Hell” are among the celebrities who pen love notes to their cats in this collection.Dr. Betsy Kennon of Pittsburgh also contributes the story of Scooter, who was almost killed by a car but now brings joy to people also dealing with disabilities.“The kitten was never going to walk,” Kennon said. “I can’t tell you why I didn’t put him to sleep.”As the cat struggled to pull himself along, one of Kennon’s workers stuck a plastic bowl under his rump to help smooth the way. The cat became known as Scooter, and the bowl gave way to a kitty wheelchair.In the six years since, Kennon and Scooter have visited thousands of patients at hospitals and nursing homes.“For him, it’s not a handicap,” Kennon said. “This is the way life is and people take inspiration from him.”“THE GRUMPY GUIDE TO LIFE”Leading the pack of popular cat books is one from down-in-the-dumps Grumpy Cat — “The Grumpy Guide to Life.”The kitty celebrity, whose permanent downturned expression is caused by a medical condition, has another book, wrapped a TV movie called “Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever” and has her sad mug plastered on magnets, T-shirts, calendars and a host of other products.The latest book is full of Grumpy insight such as: “People are like balls of yarn. For the most part, they’re boring and useless, but I still get a lot of pleasure out of watching them unravel.”“67 REASONS WHY CATS ARE BETTER THAN DOGS”With a few good reasons and dozens of wacky ones, this book supposedly explains why cats are better than dogs. For example, did you know cats are better companions, surfers and chess players?Arguments are often deliberately outrageous or puzzling. Take surfing: Pictures show a dog on a longboard and a cat on a keyboard, showing both “surfing.”Author Jack Shepherd of BuzzFeed also claims cats are faster, smarter and take the best self-portraits.But Shepherd also keeps it real, telling readers to get a dog if they want slavish devotion. Cat love is genuine, he says, because it’s 10 per cent devotion and 90 per cent frustration and betrayal.“So what if they break your heart every now and then? That’s how love is supposed to feel,” Shepherd writes.A few assertions might ring true to a cat lover, but the book hardly solves the age-old pet debate.“CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL: THE CAT DID WHAT?”The leader in heartwarming stories rounds up 101 anecdotes from cat owners.Contributor Jan Bono writes that a veterinarian told her it’s normal for cats to eat plastic but most will quickly grow out of it. After a year and a half, Bono is still waiting. Sandwich bags, plastic wrap, fake Easter grass, toothbrushes, combs — if any part of it is made of plastic, her cat Simon will munch on much of it.The book was published in tandem with “The Dog Did What?” and highlights Chicken Soup for the Soul’s work with animals, including donating its brand of dog food to shelters and rescues, publisher and author Amy Newmark said. Cat books show who’s top dog to some animal lovers, are purrfect holiday gifts for feline fans AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Sue Manning, The Associated Press Posted Dec 10, 2014 7:24 am MDT read more