September 16

DiSturco: Syracuse’s win over No. 1 Duke deserves recognition, but expectations need to simmer down

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Comments DURHAM, N.C. — One of Syracuse’s most unexpected wins in recent memory should not be overlooked: The Orange defeated No. 1 Duke inside Cameron Indoor Stadium. That in itself, deserves credit.But to say that Syracuse is on the brink of a dominant conference run would be a stretch. Don’t get it twisted: Duke’s rotation was depleted. Its best 3-point shooter, Cam Reddish, sat out with an illness, and its best defender and floor general, Tre Jones, left with a shoulder injury eight minutes in, never to return. This upset, while monumental and definitely an NCAA Tournament resume booster, does not change the fact that Syracuse (12-5, 3-1 Atlantic Coast) has many questions still unanswered. Preseason hopes are returning, and it’s time to simmer down.Nearly one month ago, SU head coach Jim Boeheim addressed Syracuse’s fourth nonconference loss after falling to Buffalo.“Your record is what you are,” the 43-year head coach said. “This is what we are. It’s not what people thought we could be or hope we could be or think we could be. This is what we are.”That was in reference to Syracuse’s No. 16 preseason ranking and the high expectations that followed suit. SU seemed primed for another deep tournament run entering the season.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textTyus Battle entered the NBA Draft only to pull his name out of the running and return for his junior year. Oshae Brissett, once considered a future NBA-talent, immediately said following the Sweet 16 loss to Duke that he’d play for another season. Even Frank Howard, Boeheim said, had improved his shot drastically in the offseason and arrived a more polished player.Then, everything changed.Anna Henderson | Digital Design EditorHoward suffered a lower leg injury before the season that held him out until Nov. 21 against Colgate. SU dropped two-straight at Madison Square Garden against Connecticut and Oregon without its senior leader. One month later, on its home court with Howard back, the Orange blew a double-digit lead and fell to Old Dominion on Dec. 18.Three days later, Syracuse dropped to 7-4 against UB, a number of nonconference losses SU has never made the tournament with. That’s when Boeheim stood at the podium and hung three fingers in the air, one for each postseason win.“The expectations are all based on (that) we won three games last year,” the SU head coach said. “We lost 14 games last year in the regular season. We have the same team back with some help, but it’s the same team … There’s a reason we lost 14 games.”Boeheim was right: SU’s three wins were part of a Cinderella-like NCAA Tournament run that created a distorted expectation that Syracuse would be a National Championship contender. The Orange, after all, returned all five of its starters and added sharpshooter Elijah Hughes and top-40 prospect Jalen Carey.But as seen time and time again, this Syracuse team is filled with surprising road victories and even more surprising home losses. The Orange are undefeated outside of New York state, pulling off unlikely wins at then-No. 16 Ohio State and at top-ranked Duke.Four days ago, inside the Carrier Dome, a stout Georgia Tech defense stopped SU with a variety of zones to the fine tune of 59 points on 31.6-percent shooting. All of a sudden, after winning its first two ACC games, the same disorganized Orange team from nonconference play reappeared.“We really don’t have that ability to score around the basket,” Boeheim said after the 73-59 loss on Jan. 12.The Orange resorted to the 3 ball, taking 33 shots from beyond the arc against Georgia Tech, converting at a 21.2-percent clip (7-for-33). Battle and Brissett combined to shoot 1-for-8 from 3. The game prior, against Clemson, the duo didn’t make a single long ball in 10 tries.“At some point in time, you have to look in the mirror and say ‘I’m shooting 27 percent from the 3,’” Boeheim said of Brissett’s struggles from beyond the arc. “…‘What’s the best way to help me and help the team?’ Both Tyus and (Brissett) were really looking to shoot 3s and percentage wise, it’s not a good play.”Alexandra Moreo | Senior Staff PhotographerTo make matters worse, the GT loss showed another weakness that hadn’t been present in games prior: interior defense. James Banks III and Abdoulaye Gueye led the Yellow Jackets to score 36 points in the paint.GT head coach Josh Pastner and multiple players said after the game that the Yellow Jackets looked to take advantage of Marek Dolezaj, a “mismatch” inside. Georgia Tech left the Carrier Dome with a win and exploited an Orange unit that relies so heavily on its defense.Duke provided an opportunity for Syracuse to bounce back. But it was doubtful as the Orange entered 17-point underdogs. Zion Williamson scored 35 points, mostly inside the paint, and Dolezaj only played 12 minutes. But without Reddish or Jones, RJ Barrett controlled the offense, and both he and Jack White chucked 3s in attempt to break SU’s 2-3 zone with little result. The two combined to shoot a disastrous 4-for-27 from deep, dooming the Blue Devils in a game where the Orange couldn’t seem to miss.The win should not hide the fact that Syracuse already has five losses just four games into ACC play. And the rest of Syracuse’s schedule is daunting. Six opponents are currently ranked, three of which will travel to the Carrier Dome.Upsets, like Duke, are a necessity. They will need more to make the NCAA Tournament. Other games — like facing a Pittsburgh squad that just upset No. 11 Florida State and Louisville, which came in at No. 26 in the most recent Associated Press Poll — are must-wins. The margin for error is even slimmer now.Does this remind you of something?This isn’t the No. 16 Syracuse team the fans and media expected them to be entering the season. They’re the same Syracuse team from a year ago. The one with bad losses, the one that struggled to find its identity early in conference play and the one that sat on the NCAA Tournament bubble unsure of its outcome. Charlie DiSturco is a senior staff writer for The Daily Orange where his column appears occasionally. He can be reached at or on Twitter @charliedisturcocenter_img Published on January 15, 2019 at 11:24 pmlast_img read more

August 14

Why is Chiefs vs. Chargers in Mexico City? How Azteca Stadium’s elevation, turf impacts ‘Monday Night Football’

first_imgAzteca Stadium capacityAzteca Stadium is the biggest sports venue in Mexico. The stadium’s latest renovation project, completed in 2016, reduced its seating capacity to 87,000.Prior to that renovation, though, the stadium that opened in 1966 set multiple NFL single-game attendance records. Including exhibition games, Azteca Stadium still holds the NFL record of 112,376 attendees at a Cowboys vs. Oilers preseason game in 1994.Courtesy of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, below is a list of the largest crowds in NFL history. Four of the games on the list were played in Mexico City, with three of those having taken place at Azteca Stadium.DateStadiumGameTeamsAttendanceAug. 15, 1994Azteca StadiumAmerican BowlCowboys vs. Oilers112,376Aug. 17, 1998Azteca StadiumAmerican BowlCowboys vs. Patriots106,424Aug. 22, 1947Soldier FieldCollege All-StarBears vs. All-Stars105,840Sept. 20, 2009Cowboys StadiumRegular SeasonCowboys vs. Giants105,121Aug. 4, 1997Estadio Guillermo CanedoAmerican BowlBroncos vs. Dolphins104,629Jan. 20, 1980Rose BowlSuper Bowl XIVSteelers vs. Rams103,985Jan. 30, 1983Rose BowlSuper Bowl XVIIRedskins vs. Dolphins103,667Oct. 2, 2005Azteca StadiumRegular Season49ers at Cardinals103,467Jan. 9, 1977Rose BowlSuper Bowl XIRaiders vs. Vikings103,438Nov. 10, 1957LA ColiseumRegular Season49ers at Rams102,368 The Chiefs and Chargers are playing their Week 11 “Monday Night Football” game in Mexico City because the NFL looked at the Chargers’ stadium situation and figured: Eh, would anyone in Los Angeles notice if we moved a game from Dignity Health Sports Park to Azteca Stadium?OK, so that’s not the full reason why Mexico is hosting Chiefs vs. Chargers on Monday night. But it’s not exactly a lie, either. Why did the NFL move the game from Mexico City in 2018?Last year’s Monday night game between the Chiefs and Rams was supposed to be the fourth Mexico City installment of the NFL’s international series. Then, just six days before the game, it was moved to Los Angeles due to concerns over field conditions at Azteca Stadium.The culprit? A Shakira concert that “left the grass surface in significant disrepair” about a month prior. (It’s worth noting that the NFL evidently holds no grudge against Shakira.)The NFL claimed the decision to move the game to LA was “based on the determination that the playing field at Azteca Stadium​ (did) not meet NFL standards for playability and consistency.”Added NFL executive vice president of international Mark Waller: “Until very recently, we had no major concerns. But, the combination of a difficult rainy season and a heavy multi-event calendar of events at the stadium, have resulted in significant damage to the field that presents unnecessary risks to player safety and makes it unsuitable to host an NFL game. As a result, we have determined that moving the game is the right decision, and one that we needed to announce now in order to allow our teams and fans to make alternate arrangements.”As a result, fans in Mexico City missed out on the best NFL game of the season; the Rams outlasted the Chiefs, 54-51, in a game that exceeded all great expectations.This year, Chiefs vs. Chargers is not expected to live up to those standards, but at least the field won’t be a problem.”While the decision was made last year that the field wasn’t playable, that same week, NFL leadership, in partnership with Televisa, who owns the stadium, and the Mexican government, we were making commitments to come back next year,” Leech told The Star, which also pointed out the terms the NFL established in order to allow another Mexico game to be scheduled. They are as follows:”They would hire a field consultant to take monthly visits to Mexico City to check on the field. He or she would collaborate with stadium management and return with pictures, detailed reports and recommendations.””Volume. Televisa would scale back the events it hosted leading up to Monday’s game, reserving the stadium only for regularly-scheduled soccer matches as the football game drew near.””A backup plan. Together, the organizations would plant a sod farm nearby. If needed, the farm would be used to replace patches of the field or the entire 120-yard playing surface.”All boxes were checked. And according to The Star, the Azteca Stadium schedule was cleared of concerts from August through November.In addition, Azteca Stadium officials replaced the field’s hybrid surface that was installed last year with natural grass. Over the summer, NFL officials inspected and approved the stadium’s new surface.NFL games in Mexico CityBelow is a list of the regular-season NFL games that have been played in Mexico City.All regular-season NFL games in Mexico City have been played at Azteca Stadium.YearMatchupScore2019Chiefs vs. ChargersTBD2017Patriots vs. RaidersPatriots, 33-82016Texans vs. RaidersRaiders, 27-20200549ers vs. CardinalsCardinals, 31-14In addition to the regular-season games listed above, the NFL has held six exhibition games in Mexico City — Saints vs. Eagles in 1978, Cowboys vs. Oilers in 1994, Dolphins vs. Broncos in 1997, Cowboys vs. Patriots in 1998, Colts vs. Steelers in 2000 and Cowboys vs. Raiders in 2001.The 49ers-Cardinals game in 2005, promoted at the time as “NFL Fútbol Americano” a few years before the league installed its international series, was the first regular-season NFL game played outside the United States. It set what was then an NFL attendance record for a regular-season game at 103,467 in Azteca Stadium.Elevation, altitude at Azteca StadiumThe Broncos’ stadium in Denver, where both the Chiefs and the Chargers play one game every year, carries the nickname “Mile High” because it sits 5,280 feet above sea level, presenting players physical issues related to a low concentration of oxygen in the air.Sitting 7,201 feet above sea level, Azteca Stadium presents even bigger issues.As teams scheduled to play in Mexico City have done in the past, the Chargers took measures to prepare themselves for this extreme elevation. They spent the week before the game practicing at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., an area with an altitude similar to what they’ll experience in Mexico City.The Chiefs, on the other hand, stayed at their home facility. They hope their sticking to a traditional routine without additional travel will be advantageous.”The altitude to me is something that’s just part of it,” Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes said last week, via USA Today. “I’m going to trust what Rick (Burkholder) and Coach (Andy) Reid and their plan and the process. I’ve never been affected, knock on wood, never been affected like in Denver or anything like that. I know it’s supposed to be twice as high or whatever, but I’m going to go out there and focus on the game and what I can in order to have success.”Such a high altitude also allows footballs to travel against less air density, so both teams’ kicking games should benefit. As Pro Football Talk points out, Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski easily set his career high with a 62-yard field goal when the Patriots played the Raiders in Mexico City a couple years ago. (Getty Images) The “home teams” for the NFL’s international series in 2019 were announced last December. The Chargers joined the Jaguars, Rams, Raiders and Buccaneers as teams that would lose a 2019 home game to either Mexico City or London as part of the series. It’s no coincidence that those franchises rank near the bottom in NFL attendance figures, with the Chargers’ average of 25,385 being by far the league’s worst.In April, the NFL as part of its 2019 schedule release announced Chiefs vs. Chargers would be the fourth regular-season game Azteca Stadium, known in Mexico City as Estadio Azteca, has hosted. The game in Mexico City is part of the NFL’s international series, which began in 2007 as league’s modern attempt at promoting its game outside of the United States.Below is all you need to know about that series, the Monday night matchup between the Chiefs and the Chargers, and info about Azteca Stadium.MORE: Full betting preview for Chiefs vs. ChargersWhy is Chiefs vs. Chargers in Mexico City?A few months after the Chargers were included in the list of teams that would lose a 2019 home game to either Mexico City or London, the NFL announced Chiefs vs. Chargers would mark the fifth and final game of its international series this season. The other four games of the series in 2019 were played in London.The NFL’s international series obviously aims to promote its game outside of the United States. The league also claims its games in London and Mexico City “help focus attention on the importance of participation in youth sports.” And of course, there’s the money from a market the league considers untapped.“I think it’s a tremendous market for us, and there’s a lot of opportunity,” NFL chief operating officer of international competition Damani Leech told The Kansas City Star. “So while there are over 20 million fans here in Mexico, we think there’s great opportunity to increase that number over time. And certainly having games in that market is a great way for fans to touch and feel and experience the NFL. But we’re constantly looking for other ways, as well, to connect with those people.”MORE: NFL extends deal to play in MexicoThe idea of the NFL expanding its international series to Mexico was discussed at a spring league meeting in 2015; China and Germany also were being considered as host countries for regular-season games. Later that year, the NFL green-lighted a plan that approved games to be played in Mexico. Eager to get a game on the 2016 schedule, the NFL in November of 2015 sent reps to Mexico City to scout sites. Mission accomplished: Texans vs. Raiders was included on the “Monday Night Football” schedule in 2016.Mexico City has hosted a regular-season NFL game every year since, all at Azteca Stadium, with the exception of 2018. More on that below.last_img read more

August 13

UPDATED STORY — Upmeyer stepping down as speaker of Iowa House

first_imgDES MOINES — The first female speaker of the Iowa House is stepping down.“It’s been a huge privilege and honor to do the job, whether you’re male or female, but I’m particularly I guess touched and privileged that I got to be the first woman to do it,” House Speaker Linda Upmeyer of Clear Lake told reporters this afternoon during a news conference on the House floor.Upmeyer will serve out the last 14 months of her current term in the Iowa House, but she told her Republican colleagues earlier today that they should choose a new speaker to take over in January when the 2020 legislature convenes.“The last few years I’ve known the end was in sight. You know, I wasn’t sure exactly when, but I knew I was getting ready to spend more time with family, do other things,” Upmeyer said. “and it just became a really sharp contrast this spring and summer when the family was here that that’s what I needed to do.”Upmeyer, who is 67 years old, told reporters she wants to spend more time with her grandchildren who live in the Des Moines area and Washington state.“And my husband will appreciate having me around a little more, I think. We’ll find out, I guess,” Upmeyer said, laughing.Upmeyer, though, indicated she’ll help other GOP candidates run for office and might take another job in politics, if one materializes.“You never when an amazing opportunity and something you’re really interested in doing comes up and I would never rule that out,” Upmeyer said, “but for right now, I’m going to take an opportunity to go visit some family and go do some things.”Upmeyer, who lives in Iowa’s fourth congressional district, did say she will not run in the GOP primary against Congressman Steve King.Upmeyer told reporters she has no regrets about her tenure in the legislature.“You know people ask you when you start in the legislature and after you’ve served a few years: ‘How long are you going to stay? How long do you think you’ll be around?’ And I can remember when I was elected and I saw people that were here like 10 years and I thought: ‘Wow, 10 years here. Are you kidding me?’ Well, here I am,” Upmeyer said. “I’m at 17 and it will be 18 (years).”Upmeyer will turn over responsibility for the House elections in 2020 to her successor. It’s what happened to Upmeyer in November of 2015 when House Speaker Kraig Paulsen stepped down mid-term and Upmeyer became speaker-elect. Upmeyer said it let her guide the legislative record the House GOP would run on and, as speaker, she was better able to raise money for the campaign.“All of those things I found helpful, so I think that was a good thing to do for my successor,” Upmeyer said, “and I can still help in the background, in the wings and maybe kind of double-down on the opportunity.”House Republicans will meet in the next seven to 10 days to choose Upmeyer’s successor and that person will have the title of Speaker-elect until January when the full House elects its speaker.Upmeyer’s father, Del Stromer, was a long-time lawmaker who served as speaker of the House for two years, in 1981 and 1982. Upmeyer currently serves House District 54, which includes Clear Lake, the western third of Cerro Gordo County, all of Franklin County, and the northern and western portions of Butler County.last_img read more

August 12

WATCH: Lake Worth Commissioner, Mayor Argue Over COVID-19 Response

first_imgA Lake Worth city commission meeting became heated last Thursday, as a commissioner and the mayor clashed over the city’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak.During the emergency meeting, city officials discussed a local utility company’s role and the issue of residents losing power for not paying their utility bills.Commissioner Omari Hardy says he requested the meeting and only one other commissioner agreed to it, while other city officials did not think the meeting was necessary.A video of the meeting shows Commissioner Hardy becoming upset when another commissioner “calls the question” over the utility company.“I’m sorry, that’s not how this works,” Commissioner Hardy says in the video. “We usually each have an opportunity to speak five minutes.”Mayor Pam Triolo then asks for a second call to the question, as Hardy continues to ask that the council allow him to speak.The two city officials then start arguing until Triolo calls for a recess.In a Facebook post, Hardy says he does not regret the heated exchange between him and the mayor.“Sometimes you have to get into trouble to stand up for what’s right,” the post reads.The city later announced in Facebook statement that utility services will not cut off during the corornavirus pandemic.Courtesy: City of Lake Worth/Facebooklast_img read more

August 12

England Golf seeks applicants for Under 16 Boys Regional Coaching

first_img27 Jul 2012 England Golf seeks applicants for Under 16 Boys Regional Coaching England Golf is seeking 80 talented youngsters across the country to form ten under 16 Boys regional coaching squads for training over the winter months of 2012/13.Having recently identified ten regional coaches to lead its Boys’ regional coaching programme from September 2012, England’s governing body for amateur golf is now looking for young players to step up to the mark and get on the first rung of England Golf’s national coaching structure.“We aim to give our talented young players the best golf development experience available,” commented Nigel Edwards, England Golf’s Director of Coaching.“In return, we expect the players to commit themselves to a programme of golf coaching and physical training that will set them up for life, far beyond the U16 series of tournaments. By expanding our coaching commitment with this age group, we are giving England Golf the best chance of success at U18, men’s and ultimately touring professional level in future.”In a new development for 2012, players will no longer be nominated or selected for the Regional Coaching Programme. Instead, young golfers will be asked to submit an initial application form and if successful will be invited to one of five squad selection weekends.After competing with their peers in a series of skills tests, player profiling and on course ability they will learn if they have secured one of the squad places for the months ahead.“There is no guarantee that the current best U16 level players will automatically gain a squad place, they will have to work for it and demonstrate their desire,” expanded Edwards. “Current performance levels are a key factor but they will have to be matched and exceeded by work ethic, commitment and their attitude to improving. The player with more hunger and thirst for improvement is always likely to come out the more proficient golfer in the long run.”The deadline for applications is Friday 17th August 2012.last_img read more