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Sport | The Guardian



Sports news, scores, blogs and opinion on US and world sports from the Guardian, the world's leading liberal voice



Published: Mon, 20 Nov 2017 07:52:06 GMT2017-11-20T07:52:06Z

Copyright: Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. 2017
 



Nathan Peterman's first start was one of the all-time great terrible NFL debuts

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 06:08:24 GMT2017-11-20T06:08:24Z

The Bills quarterback started his first game after a solid appearance in relief ... and threw five picks. But some of the best struggled when they first stepped up

Terry Bradshaw won four Super Bowls as Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback and it helped get him to the Hall of Fame. But no one would have guessed at his greatness after his first start, in which he completed just four passes.

Troy Aikman, another Hall of Famer with multiple Super Bowl wins, completed only seven passes in the first game of a first season in which he lost all 11 of his starts.

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Trump lashes out at UCLA basketball players: 'I should have left them in jail'

Sun, 19 Nov 2017 20:51:48 GMT2017-11-19T20:51:48Z

US president attacks father of one of three UCLA players arrested for shoplifting in China, after he questioned Trump’s role in resolving the matter

Days after claiming credit for ensuring that three UCLA college basketball players were released after being arrested for shoplifting in China, Donald Trump tweeted that “I should have left them in jail!”

The US president lashed out at LaVar Ball, the father of one of the arrested players, for questioning how instrumental the president was in resolving the incident.

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NFL scores: Peterman has five picks in Bills horror show; Pats win in Mexico

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 01:19:29 GMT2017-11-20T01:19:29Z

  • New Orleans come back from 15 points down in fourth quarter
  • Minnesota Vikings halt high-scoring Rams to move to 8-2
  • Cleveland Browns fall to 0-10 after another miserable afternoon

Casey Hayward made two of the Chargers’ five interceptions during a horrific first half by Buffalo rookie quarterback Nathan Peterman, and Los Angeles cruised to a 54-24 victory over the slumping Bills on Sunday.Korey Toomer returned Peterman’s first interception 59 yards for a touchdown on Buffalo’s opening drive, the rookie threw two more interceptions in the first quarter and two additional picks in the second. Peterman was pulled from his first NFL start with a 37-7 halftime deficit after just 14 pass attempts for the Bills (5-5), who lost their third straight.

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Grigor Dimitrov edges out David Goffin in thriller to win World Tour Finals title

Sun, 19 Nov 2017 21:10:18 GMT2017-11-19T21:10:18Z

• Bulgarian up to world No3 after biggest win of career
• Finalists overcome early nerves to deliver epic match

Against the expectations of the doubters two free-hitting, first-time finalists, each trusting his skills to breaking point, gave a remarkable season the denouement it deserved on a cold midwinter’s evening by the Thames. Grigor Dimitrov won but David Goffin did not leave a loser.

For extended passages of the deciding match of the 2017 ATP World Tour Finals they brought freshness and daring to a task that has historically been fulfilled by more illustrious rivals. After two and a half hours of often tense, high-grade tennis – the longest final since John McEnroe defeated Arthur Ashe at Madison Square Garden in 1978 – Dimitrov,Bulgaria’s first representative at this end-of-year event, prevailed 7-5, 4-6, 6-3.

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Unlucky or deluded? One man’s attempt to swim the Atlantic

Sun, 19 Nov 2017 09:00:00 GMT2017-11-19T09:00:00Z

Ben Hooper’s plan to swim 2,000 miles from Senegal to Brazil – complete with sharks, storms and deadly jellyfish – didn’t work out. Alex Moshakis meets him to find out why

One sunny morning last November, Ben Hooper, a 38-year-old former policeman, waded into the Atlantic Ocean from a beach in Dakar, Senegal, and plunged right in. In film of the moment, Hooper appears thick set, almost podgy. He’d spent the past year bulking up and now layers of fat concealed muscle beneath. He wore a sports watch, black goggles provided by a sponsor and a pair of tight blue shorts. The sun had risen early, and by 10.33am, when Hooper entered the water, the ocean temperature had reached 30C, a lukewarm bath. A group of reporters gawked from the shallows. Most of them squinted in the bright light.

Hooper had been in Dakar for six weeks, preparing to swim to Natal, northeast Brazil, 1,879 miles away. If successful, he would become the first person to swim across the Atlantic Ocean – 12 miles a day for over 140 days straight – an unfathomable feat. As he swam away from the beach, Hooper began to feel tears in his eyes. A mile later he “cried like a baby”. The launch represented the culmination of three years’ planning, and the relief was overwhelming. Later that day, as the adrenaline wore off and the magnitude of the task began to sink in, he swam against currents that made it difficult to achieve significant mileage. Later, while he recovered on the support boat, a 37-year-old catamaran, he wrote the first in a series of blog posts he’d publish during the attempt. “Spent the night drifting under sea anchor,” it read, “4.5 miles closer to making history.”

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Ronald Darby says he was with Jameis Winston at time of alleged assault

Sun, 19 Nov 2017 15:55:35 GMT2017-11-19T15:55:35Z

  • Tampa Bay quarterback accused of grabbing female Uber driver’s crotch
  • Darby denies claims and says ‘nothing inappropriate’ happened

Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Ronald Darby has issued a statement defending Jameis Winston against an accusation of groping.

On Friday, the NFL confirmed it is investigating an allegation that the 23-year-old quarterback of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, grabbed a female Uber driver’s crotch last year in Arizona. The Uber driver, identified by Buzzfeed News only as Kate, said Winston “behaved poorly” from the start of the ride, including shouting homophobic slurs at pedestrians, before grabbing her crotch. She also said Winston was seated in the front seat of the vehicle as the lone passenger.

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Gabby Douglas apologizes after Simone Biles calls out victim shaming tweet

Sun, 19 Nov 2017 00:07:58 GMT2017-11-19T00:07:58Z

  • Douglas sorry after saying provocative dress ‘entices the wrong crowd’
  • Three-time Olympic champion’s tweet drew criticism from Simone Biles

Gabby Douglas has apologized for saying that women should “dress modestly and be classy” to avoid enticing “the wrong crowd”, a comment that drew criticism for victim shaming and kicked off a public rift between members of last year’s US Olympic women’s gymnastic team.

Douglas, a three-time Olympic gold medalist, said she was “deeply sorry” for a tweet in response to Aly Raisman, the US team captain at the London and Rio Games where both won team golds in addition to individual medals.

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Arsenal defeat highlights Tottenham frailties against Premier League’s big six | Jonathan Wilson

Sun, 19 Nov 2017 16:22:00 GMT2017-11-19T16:22:00Z

Until Mauricio Pochettino’s side learn how to win away against their biggest rivals they will struggle to turn their undoubted potential into trophies

For all that is positive about Tottenham, for all that they are about to move into an exciting new stadium and are blessed with a crop of highly promising young players, their away record against big sides has become an issue. It’s a problem that predates Mauricio Pochettino – Spurs have now won just four of their last 87 away games against Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool – but one that he seems a long way from resolving: although this was his first league defeat to Arsenal, he has now won just one of 18 away games against other top-six sides.

There were mitigating factors here – the fact that neither Harry Kane nor Mousa Dembélé looked fully fit and that Harry Winks wasn’t able to start, plus marginal refereeing calls on both Arsenal goals – but there always are. Pochettino, as he had to, mounted a defence, pointing out that other top-six sides also have problems in away games against the elite, but this was a game settled in the final half hour of the first half as Arsenal produced one of the displays of ferocity and discipline of which they are infrequently capable and which they have recently reserved for big games in the FA Cup. When they can press as well as this, you wonder why they don’t do it all the time.

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Cowboys owner Jerry Jones apologizes for racially insensitive remark in video

Sat, 18 Nov 2017 16:37:10 GMT2017-11-18T16:37:10Z

  • Jones: ‘That comment was inappropriate. It’s not who I am, and I’m sorry’
  • Cowboys owner, 75, has been outspoken against national anthem protests
  • Apology comes amid week that saw tensions with NFL commissioner rise

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has apologized after a gossip website posted a four-year-old video of him making a racially insensitive comment.

The Blast website reported the video was shot in 2013 at a Dallas hotel by a white man who asked Jones if he would tape a message for his fiancee. Jones appeared to be joking when he said, “Hey, Jennifer, congratulations on the wedding. Now, you know he’s with a black girl tonight, don’t you?”

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More than a kneeling: Nascar's TV ratings decline is as worrying as the NFL's. Why?

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 15:27:21 GMT2017-11-17T15:27:21Z

The fans of America’s two most popular sports skew older and lean conservative. So if protests are to blame for the NFL’s ratings erosion, what’s Nascar’s excuse?

The American couch potato has an insatiable appetite for sound and fury, and Sundays in the fall are a feeding frenzy. On one side of the dial there’s the NFL – the sport that doesn’t so much pit man against man as much as ram them together, over and over. On the other there’s Nascar, which takes those very mesmerizing bits of pro football – the speed, the collisions – and puts it all on wheels. For decades this split bill attracted crowds in droves. But now those crowds appear to be thinning.

The latest figures show NFL’s TV ratings are down 5.7% from last season. While in the grand scheme that’s hardly catastrophic for a product that outdraws everything on television by significant margins, the league’s owners are nonetheless sounding the alarm.

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David Moyes pleads for unity at West Ham as fans turn on club hierarchy

Sun, 19 Nov 2017 22:50:00 GMT2017-11-19T22:50:00Z

• Chants of ‘sack the board’ heard as Moyes’ loses first game in charge to Watford
• Manager hits out at ‘players with big reputations’

David Moyes has appealed for unity among West Ham United supporters after watching his new team slump to a 2-0 defeat at Watford in his first match, leaving them marooned in the relegation zone.

A number of fans made their feelings known throughout the game, with Will Hughes’s opening goal in the 11th minute greeted with a chorus of “sack the board” as West Ham made a nightmare start under the Scot in his first appointment since leaving Sunderland early last summer. Andy Carroll was also singled out for criticism by a large section of away supporters when he was withdrawn in the second half soon after Richarlison had doubled Watford’s lead and Moyes, who replaced Slaven Bilic as manager during the international break, admitted they will have to get behind the team if West Ham are to rescue themselves from their second-worst start to a Premier League season. “I don’t know the history and all the reasons for it but I have to say we need them now,” the manager said.

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s long-term injury was ‘more severe than revealed’

Sun, 19 Nov 2017 22:30:12 GMT2017-11-19T22:30:12Z

• ‘If people knew the real injury they would be in shock that I was playing’
• Manchester United forward returned to action in win against Newcastle

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has revealed the career threatening injury he sustained in April was more than the “significant knee ligament damage” that Manchester United characterised it as being at the time.

The Swede made his comeback in the 4-1 win against Newcastle United at Old Trafford on Saturday, entering proceedings on 77 minutes as a replacement for Anthony Martial. It was the 36‑year‑old’s first action since sustaining the injury on 20 April playing against Anderlecht in the Europa League.

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Shkodran Mustafi insists Arsenal have the self-belief to prove doubters wrong

Sun, 19 Nov 2017 22:30:12 GMT2017-11-19T22:30:12Z

Defender calls on his team-mates to build on Tottenham victory as Arsène Wenger hails German’s role in north London derby triumph

Lee Dixon tells an eye-opening story in the film 89 about being pinned up against the wall of the dressing room by his own team‑mates before his first north London derby. He was warned, in no uncertain terms, that if he did not perform in this game of all games he would be in trouble. It is hard to imagine that in the modern game such threats would be part of a pre-match routine, but the words said within the Arsenal camp last week to gee them up for the visit of Tottenham Hotspur certainly had a motivating effect.

In the intensity of their play, in their body language, this was a different kind of Arsenal to the one that has a tendency to freeze up and feel the fear creeping in during high-pressure games. They seemed to relish the situation. Héctor Bellerín let out some kind of primal roar as he headed down the tunnel at half-time in recognition of a two-goal lead his team would not relinquish. Mesut Özil at one point hoiked an agricultural clearance 40 yards straight up into the air – as un-Özil-esque a technique as you could ever imagine – to clamourous acclaim. Alexis Sánchez rediscovered his appetite for careering around the pitch chasing every cause going.

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West Brom owners and fans pile pressure on beleaguered Tony Pulis

Sun, 19 Nov 2017 22:29:00 GMT2017-11-19T22:29:00Z

• Baggies are without a Premier League win since August
• Supporters disgruntled with manager’s style of football

For years Tony Pulis has been the safest managerial bet in the Premier League. But that seems to be changing. The fact now facing West Bromwich Albion’s Chinese owners, led by Guochaun Lai, is that sticking with Pulis represents a considerable risk. So, of course, does sacking him, a decision that looks on the cards after the home drubbing by Chelsea. But which option is more dicey?

Lai made it clear when fronting the takeover of the club in September 2016 – at a cost of around £175m – that the new owners had no wish to make gambling a habit. What attracted them most to West Brom was the club’s stability, the Baggies having been a solid mid-table side for half a decade after years of yo-yoing between the top-flight and the second-tier.

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Kevin De Bruyne says freedom and discipline help Manchester City thrive

Sun, 19 Nov 2017 22:30:12 GMT2017-11-19T22:30:12Z

Match-winning Belgian thinks Pep Guardiola has found the perfect balance as his Premier League leaders continue to set the standard

“If the ball goes on the left foot then you just try it,” said a typically relaxed Kevin De Bruyne on Saturday evening. “Sometimes it comes off and sometimes it doesn’t. It’s the same with the outside, the inside. It helps if you can do different types of things, sometimes you might put spin on it. But I’m not scared to shoot with my left foot, obviously.”

Obviously. The Belgian’s left foot decided this match; his shot from outside the Leicester City area hitting the roof of Kasper Schmeichel’s net at a speed that just did not seem feasible. It was the sort of goal that causes cheeks to puff out in astonishment and increasingly what people are hoping to see when they watch Manchester City play. Yes your team might get a chasing but there will be moments of virtuosity you won’t forget. When De Bruyne was substituted in the 89th minute, he was applauded from all sides of the King Power Stadium.

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Watford brush West Ham aside to show David Moyes scale of the task he faces

Sun, 19 Nov 2017 18:12:34 GMT2017-11-19T18:12:34Z

If David Moyes had any illusions that keeping West Ham in the Premier League will not be among the biggest challenges of his career, then the manner of this defeat must surely act as a major wake-up call.

Aside from a 10-minute spell either side of half-time in his 500th Premier League match as a manager Moyes saw his new side totally outplayed by a Watford team brimming with confidence and instilled with a clear game plan by their manager, Marco Silva.

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Pablo Hernández and Gianni Alioski ruin Garry Monk’s Elland Road return

Sun, 19 Nov 2017 15:39:38 GMT2017-11-19T15:39:38Z

Leeds held on for a 2-1 win against Middlesbrough to end their losing Championship run and ensure a miserable first return to Elland Road for the side’s former manager Garry Monk.

Pablo Hernández and Gianni Alioski struck goals in either half and although Britt Assombalonga converted a controversial late penalty for Boro, their march up the table after three straight wins was halted.

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Saido Berahino: the former golden boy who has gone 632 days without scoring | Barry Glendenning

Sun, 19 Nov 2017 14:10:00 GMT2017-11-19T14:10:00Z

The Stoke striker, who faces Brighton on Monday, was labelled West Brom’s answer to Harry Kane but is yet to score for his club. Will his touch ever return?

It’s a long time, 2,159 minutes. Exactly enough to fit in Beverly Hills Cop and all four Indiana Jones movies, plus the Godfather, Toy Story, Man With No Name and the original Star Wars trilogies. Those of a more masochistic bent could spend it watching all the senior football Saido Berahino has played since he last scored a goal: 2,159 minutes and counting. By the time Stoke City take on Brighton in the Premier League on Monday night, 632 days will have passed since he celebrated one of his own. As statistics go it is shocking and must be a source of great concern for his employers. How many more movie marathons must we sit through before it is fair to label him another wasted talent with a great future behind him?

In an interview with the Daily Telegraph in early 2015, Berahino complained that “people read about me and hear about me but nobody really knows who I am”. At the time he was best known as a raw but promising 21-year-old striker with West Bromwich Albion, but the interview sketched a picture of a more complex character, offering different aspects of light and shade. A refugee forced to flee Burundi for England alone as a 10-year-old, Berahino eventually joined his mother and sisters who had also escaped the civil war that claimed the life of his father. He came across as an apparently well-adjusted young man who clearly adored his mum and had a good understanding of the suffering those left behind in his homeland were forced to endure. Heck, he was even trying to help by setting up an eponymous foundation which he hoped would eventually raise enough money to build a hospital.

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Danny Care’s blazing cameo adds a final flourish for England’s late bloomers

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 06:00:22 GMT2017-11-20T06:00:22Z

• England 30-6 Australia
• Replacement sets up two tries and scores one to underline squad depth

It is just over two years since Australia beat England 33-13 in London to knock the hosts out of the Rugby World Cup. Since then it has been an entirely different: played five, won five at an average of just under 35 points per game. The squad floored by the Wallabies in 2015 – and England’s starting XV on Saturday contained eight survivors – has bounced back with a vengeance.

As Eddie Jones is well aware, there remains further scope for improvement. But this was a highly significant win psychologically, despite the fact that a record English margin of victory disguised the tightness of the contest. Even New Zealand do not have a more consistent recent record against the Wallabies and, if Samoa are put away this Saturday, England will have won 22 of 23 games under Jones’s stewardship.

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British athletes have ‘fewer rights than an Uber driver’ says Damian Collins MP

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 00:01:14 GMT2017-11-20T00:01:14Z

• Collins links reports of bullying within UK Sport to lack of workers’ rights
• ‘We’ve seen too many cases of sports bodies marking their own homework’

Britain’s elite athletes “have fewer rights than an Uber driver” and desperately need an independent watchdog to protect them, the chair of the digital, culture, media and sport select committee has warned.

Damian Collins MP told the Guardian that the worrying number of bullying, sexism and racism cases inside the UK Sport system was directly linked to the lack of employment rights for athletes and it is not enough to hope for change to happen organically.

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European roundup: Juventus stumble in Serie A title race with loss to Sampdoria

Sun, 19 Nov 2017 22:47:48 GMT2017-11-19T22:47:48Z

• Samp win 3-2 to leave Juventus four points behind Napoli
• Valencia’s eighth straight league win closes gap on Barcelona

Max Allegri’s decision to rest Gianluigi Buffon and Andrea Barzagli backfired as Juventus lost valuable ground on Napoli with a 3-2 defeat at Sampdoria, who stay sixth, five points behind their opponents.

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Eddie Jones challenges England to win historic hat-trick of Six Nations titles

Sun, 19 Nov 2017 22:08:52 GMT2017-11-19T22:08:52Z

• Head coach calls on side to make it a ‘three-peat’ of victories in spring
• Dylan Hartley poised to stay on as captain after glowing assessment

Eddie Jones has challenged his England side to make further history by clinching a record third consecutive Six Nations title next year and has given his strongest indication yet that Dylan Hartley is set to continue as captain.

Hartley, the only player to start all 22 matches under Jones, each of them as captain, guided England to a fifth straight win against Australia on Saturday as late tries from Jonathan Joseph, Jonny May and Danny Care led to a 30-6 triumph – a record margin of victory against the Wallabies. England complete two years under Jones against Samoa on Saturday but the head coach already has one eye on the Six Nations next spring.

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‘Gutted’ Gregor Townsend takes heart from classy Scotland display

Sun, 19 Nov 2017 22:02:00 GMT2017-11-19T22:02:00Z

• Scotland denied late victory as New Zealand win 22-17
• Finn Russell to leave Glasgow for ‘once-in-a-lifetime opportunity’

Was it a one-off opportunity missed or the shape of things to come? Among the questions swirling in the Murrayfield air on Saturday evening, amid more than a few exclamations of excitement and agony, this was one of the more poignant. If points were awarded for dominance and endeavour, Scotland would have been out of sight at half-time – but they are not, so they were not.

New Zealand, some way off their best, did what they had to for the win, turning on their brilliance in flashes, even as they were outshone by Scotland for much of this riveting Test match. Scottish dominance was manifested by no fewer than 17 visits to the All Blacks’ 22 but, again, no points are awarded for that alone. They did score two second-half tries, the second a beauty by Huw Jones, albeit with three minutes on the clock and a deficit of 12 points on the board, but New Zealand had by then taken three in the same period to keep a relentless Scotland, who kept swinging to the very end, at arm’s length.

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Willie Mullins keeps faith as Faugheen bounds into Champion Hurdle favouritism

Sun, 19 Nov 2017 18:24:26 GMT2017-11-19T18:24:26Z

• Faugheen fancied for Cheltenham Festival history after Punchestown win
• Ruby Walsh will be fit to ride in March, Irish Turf Club medic predicts

It hardly seems possible but Faugheen is clear at the top of the betting for the Champion Hurdle following a remarkable and convincing return to action in Ireland on Sunday. Having his first race since January last year, a gap of 665 days, he made all the running and bolted up in Punchestown’s Morgiana Hurdle, the ninth Grade One success of his career.

After a saga of injuries including a damaged suspensory ligament, a bruised foot and a stress fracture to an unspecified bone, it seemed too much to hope for another of the dominant displays we saw at the Festival here in 2014 and 2015. But those who sent him off at odds of 4-11 were given little cause for concern as he bounded home 16 lengths ahead of Jezki.

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Danica Patrick to end full-time racing career after next year's Indy 500

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 20:23:34 GMT2017-11-17T20:23:34Z

Danica Patrick broke down in tears Friday as she announced she will retire from full-time racing next year after running the Daytona 500 and then the Indianapolis 500, closing her career at the storied track that made her famous.

Patrick told the Associated Press it took her many months to come to the realization her career is all but over. Once she accepted it, the idea of ending her career at Indianapolis Motor Speedway popped into her head.

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NFL looking into claim that Tampa Bay's Jameis Winston groped Uber driver

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 19:40:46 GMT2017-11-17T19:40:46Z

  • NFL investigating claim that quarterback grabbed driver’s crotch in 2016
  • BuzzFeed News was first to report league’s investigation into incident
  • Winston categorically denies ‘false report’ in statement issued Friday

The NFL is investigating an allegation that Jameis Winston, the 23-year-old franchise quarterback of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, grabbed a female Uber driver’s crotch last year in Arizona, the Guardian can confirm.

The incident is alleged to have taken place in Scottsdale in the early morning of 13 March 2016, when Winston was seated in the front seat of the vehicle as the lone passenger, and was first reported by BuzzFeed News.

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South Carolina women's basketball champions decline White House invite

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 16:11:24 GMT2017-11-17T16:11:24Z

  • Gamecocks decline invite to executive mansion to celebrate national title
  • Team initially planned on going but hadn’t receive invite as of September

South Carolina’s women’s basketball team, which captured their first national championship at the Women’s Final Four in April, have declined an invitation to visit the White House.

President Donald Trump hosted the college sports championship teams in a reception at the White House on Friday, but the Gamecocks were not among them.

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The gifs that keep on giving: laughter, face football and two big clearances

Sat, 21 Jan 2017 10:00:32 GMT2017-01-21T10:00:32Z

Featuring two UFC fighters trying to pretend, a new form of badminton, fast fists, a very short game of pool and an exceedingly chamring basketball player

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The forgotten story of … the Colourful XI tragedy

Thu, 12 Oct 2017 09:30:37 GMT2017-10-12T09:30:37Z

Fifteen Dutch footballers were among 176 people who died in a 1989 plane crash. Edu Nandlal, one of the survivors, tells his story of the disaster

Edu Nandlal couldn’t sleep. Many of the other passengers on Surinam Airways flight 764 from Amsterdam Schiphol to Paramaribo Zanderij had decided to get some rest on the 12-hour journey. But this was the first time Nandlal had returned to Suriname since leaving for the Netherlands after the military coup in 1980. He wanted to see home as the plane approached.

Most were still sleeping when the flight began its descent, in the early hours of Wednesday 7 June 1989. Nandlal looked out of the window and saw lights from houses in the jungle shining. Then he felt something hit the plane. And then something else. “Shit,” he thought, “I’m dead.”

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The Joy of Six: seasons from hell | Niall McVeigh

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 11:55:27 GMT2017-11-16T11:55:27Z

From Cleveland’s collapse to Ferrari’s lowest ebb and Doncaster Rovers’ destruction amid fire and fury, we look back on six calamitous campaigns

Ten years before he made his name as the inscrutable, hooded overlord of the New England Patriots, Bill Belichick was handed his first chance as an NFL head coach by the Cleveland Browns, a historic franchise wounded by years of failure.

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It's time to introduce a two-legged MLS Cup - with a twist

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 09:00:10 GMT2016-10-24T09:00:10Z

The single final is insufficient, and the two-leg final doesn’t reward the higher-seeded team for their regular-season performance. So why not combine the two?

Do US soccer leagues need their own Super Bowl, a week-long festival of the sport at a neutral site? Or should they reward the best regular-season team with home-field advantage for the final game?

Related: Didier Drogba fined but not suspended for Montreal Impact tantrum

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An ice cool overtake, nauseating NFL and the worst miss of all time? | Classic YouTube

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 10:30:25 GMT2017-11-16T10:30:25Z

This week’s roundup also features a horrific wipeout in Portugal, car crash television at San Siro and a Roger Federer masterclass

1) To the Lithuanian city of Siauliai, where not one, but three Gintra Universitetas players missed an open goal against Barcelona in the Women’s Champions League last Wednesday. Barça ran out 6-0 winners. It did, at least, provide an excuse to recall some of the most haunting misses of all time. We’re looking at you, Ryan Giggs (2003), Freddie Ljungberg (2005), Chris Iwulemo (2008), Fernando Torres (2011) and Philipp Hofmann (2014).

Away from the big leagues, there are clangers from Croatia (2009) and Qatar (2010), from Morocco and Algeria in 2013, Serbia in 2016 and Lithuania again, also last year. Finally, two recent contenders from Salim Cissé in Romania and Dennis van Duinen in the Netherlands:

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Peru's party time, Irish sighs and the end of days – Football Weekly Extra

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 16:57:54 GMT2017-11-16T16:57:54Z

Max Rushden and co look back at the World Cup play-offs, ponder groups of death and preview the return of club football on a busy weekend of action

Rate, review, share on Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud, Audioboom, Mixcloud, Acast and Stitcher, and join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and email.

Since the last podcast Irish dreams have been shattered by a hat-trick from a Danish superstar, a feat repeated by Mile Jedinak who sent Australia into euphoria, Italy’s media have declared the apocalypse, and the people of Peru have been given a public holiday. Here to explain the details after all 32 teams were finally confirmed for the 2018 World Cup are Max Rushden, Barry Glendenning, Paolo Bandini and Jacob Steinberg. Plus Kieran Pender chatting all things Down Under too.

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Grigor Dimitrov defeats David Goffin to win World Tour Finals – video highlights

Sun, 19 Nov 2017 21:57:42 GMT2017-11-19T21:57:42Z

Grigor Dimitrov beats David Goffin in a dramatic final at the O2 Arena on Sunday. The Bulgarian recorded the biggest win of his career by a score of 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 in a two-and-a-half-hour epic. As a result of the win, Dimitrov moves up to world No3 to end the year

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Alvechurch striker scores sensational Bergkamp-esque volley – video

Sun, 19 Nov 2017 12:31:36 GMT2017-11-19T12:31:36Z

Daniel Dubidat has drawn comparisons with Dennis Bergkamp after his stunning volley sealed a 3-2 win for Alvechurch over Sheffield FC in their non-league clash on Saturday. Dubidat, channelling the technique of the former Arsenal striker, controls a long ball instantly, tees it up with his knee and then volleys a strike into the top corner

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José Mourinho hails the return of Manchester United talisman Paul Pogba – video

Sun, 19 Nov 2017 10:42:30 GMT2017-11-19T10:42:30Z

José Mourinho praises Paul Pogba after the midfielder returned from injury in Manchester United’s 4-1 win over Newcastle on Saturday. Pogba was influential throughout at Old Trafford and scored United’s third goal in his first game back since straining a hamstring in September. ‘He was top, he came back with a great performance,’ says Mourinho

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Eddie Jones rejects suggestion England were lucky in win over Australia – video

Sat, 18 Nov 2017 20:07:48 GMT2017-11-18T20:07:48Z

England coach Eddie Jones bats away the suggestion that his side were lucky in their 30-6 victory over Australia on Saturday. England appeared the enjoy the rub of the green throughout the match at Twickenham although Jones doesn’t see things in quite the same way. ‘How were we lucky?’ asks the England coach following the win

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David Goffin stuns Roger Federer in ATP World Tour Finals semi – video highlights

Sat, 18 Nov 2017 18:15:00 GMT2017-11-18T18:15:00Z

David Goffin came from a set down to beat Roger Federer in the first semi-final at the ATP World Tour Finals on Saturday. The Belgian recorded his first win over Federer in seven meetings 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 in London to book his place in Sunday's final

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Arsenal deserved derby win over Tottenham, says Arsène Wenger – video

Sat, 18 Nov 2017 17:13:50 GMT2017-11-18T17:13:50Z

Arsène Wenger says his Arsenal side deserved their 2-0 win over north London rivals Tottenham on Saturday. The Gunners recorded their first victory over Spurs since March 2014 with goals from Shkodran Mustafi and Alexis Sánchez. ‘I think we played with purpose, good concentration and desire,’ says Wenger

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Arsenal v Tottenham: Wenger and Pochettino preview north London derby – video

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 17:18:00 GMT2017-11-16T17:18:00Z

Arsène Wenger believes his Arsenal side have enough quality to overcome Tottenham when they meet at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday. The last time Arsenal recorded a league win against their north London rivals was in March 2014. Mauricio Pochettino, meanwhile, says he respects Wenger as a manager and his achievements while at Arsenal

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Fans in Lima celebrate Peru reaching World Cup finals – video

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 11:28:16 GMT2017-11-16T11:28:16Z

Thousands take to the streets of Lima on Wednesday night to celebrate Peru’s qualification for next year’s World Cup. Peru defeated New Zealand 2-0 on aggregate in a play-off to secure their place in Russia. It is the first time in 36 years they have reached the finals

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France selected to host 2023 Rugby World Cup ahead of South Africa – video report

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 15:30:04 GMT2017-11-15T15:30:04Z

France will host the 2023 Rugby World Cup, it was announced on Wednesday, after beating South Africa and Ireland in a vote. The South African bid had been World Rugby's recommendation to host the tournament but council members elected to back France in the secret ballot. With Ireland eliminated, a second round of voting gained France 24 votes to South Africa's 15

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Australia qualify for World Cup with 3-1 win over Honduras – video highlights

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 12:52:52 GMT2017-11-15T12:52:52Z

A hat-trick from Mile Jedinak secured a 3-1 win for Australia over Honduras on Wednesday and sent the Socceroos to their fourth World Cup in a row. There were wild celebrations at full-time in Sydney following the crucial play-off win

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British man, 60, dies while taking part in round-the-world yacht race

Sun, 19 Nov 2017 16:59:46 GMT2017-11-19T16:59:46Z

Simon Speirs, from Bristol, was buried at sea after falling into Southern Ocean during Clipper race in gale force winds

A 60-year-old former solicitor from Bristol has been buried at sea after being swept overboard in the Southern Ocean during the Clipper round-the-world yacht race.

Simon Speirs was a crew member on the yacht Great Britain, which was in sixth place in the leg between South Africa and Australia. The incident occurred on day 18 of the third race of the 13-stage competition.

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'Let him die of thirst': Douglas Jardine and the long history of Ashes sledging

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 04:04:16 GMT2017-11-20T04:04:16Z

In an extract from his book of Ashes quotations, Rob Smyth tells how it is sometimes Australian spectators who deliver the hardest lines to England sides

“Don’t give the bastard a drink. Let him die of thirst.”

Douglas Jardine’s mission was almost complete. England were about to complete a crushing series victory over Australia with a win in the fifth Test at Sydney in the famous Bodyline series of 1932-33. Jardine was at the crease, savouring the moment, when play stopped for a drinks break. The chivalrous Australian captain Bill Woodfull was about to hand Jardine some water when a lone voice suggested that it might be better to let his opposite number’s dehydration become terminal. Jardine, who had spent the entire series disparaging all things Australian, quietly enjoyed that particular bit of barracking. He later called it “one of the few humorous remarks which we were privileged to hear on this tour”.

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Rugby union: talking points from the second round of autumn internationals | Paul Rees

Sun, 19 Nov 2017 17:16:25 GMT2017-11-19T17:16:25Z

England still not the finished article while TMO controversy continues; gap between New Zealand and rest is closing, and the second tier show improvement

England will finish the year on a winning note unless Samoa, vanquished by Romania in Bucharest on Saturday, produce the result of the decade. Unbeaten in their first year under Eddie Jones, they have lost only against Ireland in 2017 without, Scotland at home apart, producing an entirely compelling performance. Jones will not mind, counting down as he is to the 2019 World Cup; he is completing a jigsaw puzzle, adding pieces each game. Against Argentina, England were largely on the front foot, building patiently, if unspectacularly, almost rigid in their approach. On Saturday, they played more off the back foot, absorbing pressure and feeding off mistakes. Performances should be looked at collectively rather than in isolation: in the past two weeks England have shown defensive resilience and opportunism in attack, buoyed against Australia by the return of Maro Itoje, a multi-faceted player whose decision‑making is invariably spot-on. He had been on the field only a few seconds when he spotted a run by Kurtley Beale and hauled down the full‑back before he had got into his stride. For all their strength in depth they have no one to match him.

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Danny Care’s kicking game makes him England’s No1 scrum-half contender | Nick Evans

Sun, 19 Nov 2017 22:16:55 GMT2017-11-19T22:16:55Z

Skill at ‘seeing space and putting ball over the top’ is his finest attribute and he could make his case with Eddie Jones in Saturday’s game against Samoa

Danny Care is one of the best running scrum‑halves in the world but I was really pleased with how he contributed in different ways against Australia. He is obviously a good mate of mine. I played alongside him for a long time and now coach him at Harlequins and what we saw at Twickenham were the fruits of Danny maturing as a player as he has got older.

He has worked really hard on seeing the space in behind and when the opportunities are there in the big games, he really nails it. A recent Premiership match against Sale stands out in my mind – he was spot-on at identifying that space. He has that ability to put the ball over the top and put it on the money, as we saw at Twickenham.

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Grigor Dimitrov beats David Goffin to win the ATP World Tour Finals – as it happened

Sun, 19 Nov 2017 20:51:27 GMT2017-11-19T20:51:27Z

Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov claimed the biggest prize of his career, beating David Goffin 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 in the season finale at the O2 in London

Related: Grigor Dimitrov edges out David Goffin in thriller to win World Tour Finals title

That was a very enjoyable final, one that could have gone either way. In the end, though, Grigor Dimitrov has shown that he might yet make good on that obvious promise, claiming the biggest prize of his career at the age of 26. David Goffin fought well and had a great week, defeating Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, but the hope now is that Dimitrov will be able to build on this at the Australian Open. He has the talent. Hopefully this gives him the belief. Hats off, Grigor! Baby Fed grew up a bit tonight. Thanks for reading and emailing. Bye!

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Cheika's referee rage a reputational and strategic risk for Wallabies

Sun, 19 Nov 2017 23:01:32 GMT2017-11-19T23:01:32Z

Australian rugby union has an image problem, and Cheika’s behaviour harms Wallabies’ World Cup 2019 chances

The Wallabies are in danger of gaining a reputation as the ugly Australians.

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika’s incandescent rage against the refereeing in Australia’s record 30-6 loss to England at Twickenham on Sunday morning was an unpleasant, but recurring, feature of the game. The Wallabies have now lost five straight Tests against England, including four defeats last year. Cheika has heavily criticised the refereeing after each loss.

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British rider Daniel Hegarty dies in crash at Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix

Sat, 18 Nov 2017 13:05:26 GMT2017-11-18T13:05:26Z

• Hegarty came off his Topgun Racing Honda bike at a sharp bend
• The 31-year-old from Nottingham died on his way to hospital

The British rider Daniel Hegarty has died after a horrific crash in the Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix. The 31-year-old, competing for Topgun Racing Honda, came off his bike at a sharp bend during the sixth lap and was flung into barriers, losing his helmet and sustaining fatal injuries.

The race was immediately red flagged and never restarted as Hegarty was treated. He died on his way to hospital. A statement from the race organisers on Twitter read: “The Macau Grand Prix Committee extends its deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Daniel.”

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Russian Olympic official says doping whistleblower should be executed

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 15:36:11 GMT2017-11-17T15:36:11Z

  • Leonid Tyagachev says Grigory Rodchenkov ‘should be shot for lying’
  • Tyagachev: Russia ‘are not going to beg on our knees’ over Winter Games

A top Russian Olympic official has said Grigory Rodchenkov, the whistleblower who alleged the country ran a systematic doping programme, should be executed.

“Rodchenkov should be shot for lying, like Stalin would have done,” said Leonid Tyagachev, who was the head of Russia’s Olympic Committee from 2001 to 2010 and remains its honorary president. He made the remarks in an interview with a Russian radio station.

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