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LSU Offers Football Scholarship To 8th Grader Dylan Moses

There’s being ahead of the competition and then there’s what Les Myles did this week. The LSU coach who is known for his bold – and questionable – decisions during a football game and his staff offered Dylan Moses a scholarship for when he is ready to attend college. And that would be in 2017.You see, Moses is 14 and headed to the eighth grade. That is not a typo.Following a warped lead established by Washington, which had an eighth-grader commit to its school, the LSU coaching staff watched with amazement as the youth ran a 4.46 in the 40-yard dash at a Tigers’ football camp. Throw in that he is maturely built at 6-feet, 2o5 pounds, and the coaches were salivating.The offer, though, even stunned the kid.“I was kind of shocked when I first heard it — it was a dream come true,” Moses said. “I’ve always wanted to play for LSU since I was a kid, and now it’s coming true in front of my eyes.”“The coaches told me they were offering — and they were serious. I thought they were playing,” Edward Moses said. “Really, I thought that they were joking around until I saw the serious look on their faces. So I rolled with it. Let’s see where it’s going to end up.”Much has been made of the offer since word got out the Tigers were interested in a soon-to-be eighth grader. Indeed, even if he accepted the offer,  Moses couldn’t officially sign with LSU for another five years.His workout numbers certainly don’t reflect that youth. In addition to the blistering 40 time, the middle-schooler posted a broad jump of 9 feet, 3 inches and a 34-inch vertical leap. Impressive as they were, the latter two weren’t so surprising to his father.“I already knew that he could jump the 34-inch vertical, and we were actually working toward 9 feet in the broad jump. I didn’t think it was going to come then, but I felt it coming,” Edward Moses said. “The 40 — that blew me away. I wasn’t expecting a 4.46 40-yard dash.”And he was not expecting his son to draw an offer this soon. “The coaches told me they were offering — and they were serious. I thought they were playing,” Edward Moses said. “Really, I thought that they were joking around until I saw the serious look on their faces. So I rolled with it. Let’s see where it’s going to end up.” read more

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Dwight Howard To Magic Manager I Want A Trade

Of course, two days could not go by without some “movement” on the Dwight Howard trade saga. He told the Magic general manager that he wants to be traded. Again.Breaking news, right? That’s what this ongoing melodrama has become: When Howard, the all-star center, reiterates his position that he wants to be traded, it’s news – or something accepted as news.Anyway, Howard and GM Rob Hennigan apparently met in Los Angeles, according to espn.com, on Wednesday. It was Hennigan’s “check in” meeting, which went exactly as his other “check in” meetings went with Howard – he made it clear that he wanted to be traded and that at the end of next season he would become a free agent.This is almost like the cops coming over to a fender bender and telling the on-lookers, “OK, move on. Nothing to see here.”Even the Los Angeles Lakers, who had been aggressively pursing Howard, seem to have centered (pun intended) their thoughts on granting their young, talented center, Andrew Bynum, a lucrative contract extension.It’s the least they can do after offering him up in myriad deal scenarios to land Howard.While the pace of the talks has frustrated executives and hamstrung business around the league, the Lakers seem to have found a way of remaining open to a trade for Howard while still going about their business.Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said Wednesday he’s had “positive and productive” conversations with Bynum’s agent in recent days.Under the terms of the new CBA, Bynum would be eligible to sign a three-year extension before the start of the season. Or he could play out this season, become an unrestricted free agent and sign for four years with another club or re-sign with the Lakers for five years.Typically it slows down in August, but the brakes are never on,” Lakers general Kupchak said, implying a move for Howard could still happen.The Lakers’ position on Howard has remained relatively unchanged for the past few months, league sources familiar with the situation have told ESPNLosAngeles.com. The Lakers always have been willing to trade for Howard without assurances he’d re-sign with them after the season, believing that once Howard experienced a championship culture, he would want to stay.However, the Lakers also remain unwilling to take back contracts from Orlando that would subject them to the most punitive luxury-tax penalties of the new collective bargaining agreement, according to sources.The Lakers also lost the ability to include future first-round draft choices after including their 2013 and 2015 first-round picks in a sign-and-trade with Phoenix for Steve Nash. read more

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Tajh Boyd Making Case for Heisman Trophy Leads Clemson

After Tajh Boyd threw five TDs in Clemson’s season-opening victory against Georgia, the quarterback made a statement that he’s a real contender for the Heisman Trophy this year. Now, the QB is proving his case for the trophy for best college football player at the end of the regular season.Boyd threw for three touchdowns and rushed for another as he lead the Clemson Tigers to a 56-7 victory over Wake Forest on Saturday. The outstanding performance made him only the second Atlantic Coast Conference quarterback to score 100 career TDs.“It was a fun game,” Boyd said. “I got a lot of chances to smile out there.”Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris told Boyd to just go out there and “Have fun.” Morris mentioned before the game that he thought Boyd was putting too much pressure on himself, and that the quarterback just needed to relax and play his game.“The biggest thing for me is just to go out and enjoy,” playing football, Boyd said. “I’ve pretty much accomplished everything you can accomplish in a college career, minus a couple of things. But, now I’ve got to enjoy this last go-round with my guys.”Boyd’s accomplishments against Wake Forest left him at 102 TDs in his college career. He joined former North Carolina State QB Phillip Rivers as the only two players in ACC’s history who managed to hit the 100th touchdown mark. Boyd also surpassed Charlie Whitehurst as Clemson’s total offense leader, by throwing for 311 yards and running for 69 yards. read more

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Why Tennessee — The Men — Could Easily Get A No 1

North Carolina108 Michigan St.610 TeamBPI RankChance at No. 1 seed Virginia2>99% Feb. 10AlabamaAway65% One last No. 1 seed up for grabsMen’s college basketball teams with the best chances of getting a No. 1 seed according to ESPN’s College Basketball Power Index Feb. 17GeorgiaAway77 Source: ESPN Stats & Information Group Feb. 24U. of MississippiAway79 March 3GeorgiaHome91 Feb. 21FloridaHome81 Villanova1>99 Purdue394 Feb. 13South CarolinaHome92 The road gets easier for the VolunteersThe chances of Tennessee’s men’s basketball team winning each of their remaining regular-season games Feb. 27Mississippi StateAway71 Duke56 Kansas716 DateOpponentLocationChance of Winning One key to BPI’s projection is that it considers not only what Tennessee has done so far but also what it thinks every team will do over the remainder of the regular season and conference tournament. So what makes the Volunteers’ chances so strong? A combination of accomplishment, a front-loaded schedule and tough roads for competitors.Let’s start with what Tennessee has done so far this year. The Vols rank seventh in Strength of Record — strong, especially for a team with five losses, but not enough to justify making them a No. 1 seed if the season ended today. One reason Tennessee ranks so high in this measure is that those losses are made more palatable by the circumstances (opponent and game location) they came in. The Volunteers lost to the best team in Division I, Villanova, on a neutral court before falling to two top-20 BPI teams in North Carolina and Auburn at home. They have two losses against lesser opponents, Missouri and Arkansas, but both came on the road. And while neither the Tigers or Razorbacks are ranked, both are currently forecast to make the tournament and rank in the Top 50 in BPI, so these losses aren’t complete clunkers (like, say, this one).Even if the members of the selection committee ignored Strength of Record (though it will now be right in front of them when they perform the selection), they would only see “quality” losses. In its current team sheets, the committee divides games up into quadrants of difficulty according to RPI rank and whether the game was played at home, on the road or on a neutral court. Of the four levels of difficulty, all five of Tennessee’s losses appear in the toughest quadrant at the moment. In addition, the Volunteers have recorded impressive wins against Purdue earlier this season and at Kentucky on Tuesday.If facing all of those teams already this season sounds difficult, that’s because it is. The Volunteers have faced the fourth-toughest schedule thus far per BPI, but it’s about to get easier, because they have just the 64th-most-difficult regular-season schedule remaining. That’s right in the sweet spot: There’s a 56 percent chance they only take one or zero losses during that stretch, according to BPI, but the games are still challenging enough that they’ll get some credit for the wins. From there, they’ll likely need to win the SEC tournament to land a No. 1 seed, but they are the favorite (36 percent) to do that according to BPI. If the Vols can lose no more than once the rest of the way and win their conference tournament, their projection for getting a No. 1 seed will rise to a 85 percent. With roughly a month left in the college basketball season, three teams already have a tight grip on one of the four No. 1 seeds in this year’s men’s NCAA tournament: Villanova, Virginia and Purdue. But the last top spot is very much up for grabs. And one team that is a legitimate contender to snag it may be a surprise to college hoops fans: Tennessee.Tennessee, on paper, may seem like a long shot for a coveted top seed: The Vols have five losses and are only ranked 15th in the latest AP poll. What’s more, Tennessee has never been a top seed in the NCAA tournament, has never made it to the Final Four, and was predicted to finish 13th in its conference in a preseason SEC media poll.But according to ESPN’s College Basketball Power Index, which estimates team strength and is designed to predict future performance, the Volunteers have a 37 percent chance of earning a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. That gives them the best shot of any of the remaining teams outside the top three. Part of the reason Tennessee could earn a top seed even without meeting the above criteria is that its competitors have a tough road ahead.Xavier, for example, currently has the third-best Strength of Record in Division I, but BPI projects it to lose twice more this regular season — the team is an underdog at Creighton Saturday and at Villanova the following Saturday — and is a long shot to win the Big East tournament (17 percent), which all combines to suppress the Musketeers’ chances.Kansas is a similar story. Though it’s the best team in the Big 12, the conference is so stacked that the Jayhawks only have a 36 percent chance to win their conference tournament. Michigan State is only projected to lose about one more game during the regular season, but it isn’t as good as Purdue, according to BPI, so the Spartans will likely take another loss in their conference tournament. Duke was a serious contender until Thursday night, when the Blue Devils dropped a close game to their rival Tar Heels, reducing Duke’s chances of earning a No. 1 seed from 29 percent to 6 percent.In other words, the best thing that Tennessee has going for it is that it’s in a slightly weaker conference than most of the other majors and happens to be the best team in that conference, per BPI. Granted, if one of those other teams outperforms its projection, then Tennessee will probably be left off the top seed line. But right now, the Vols have a shot.Paul Sabin contributed to this story. Xavier1421 Source: ESPN Stats & Information Group Tennessee1237 read more

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Rory McIlroy Could Be A Bigger Threat To Jack Nicklaus Than Tiger

You couldn’t have scripted a more media-ready changing-of-the-guard than this year’s PGA Tour Championship. Since Tiger Woods’s gentle smack-talk after Rory McIlroy’s British Open win in July, McIlroy won at WGC-Bridgestone (taking back his No. 1 ranking), and on Sunday he followed that with his third win in a row and fourth major victory — coming from behind, in the dark, and fending off Phil Mickelson, no less!Meanwhile, Woods missed another cut, amid lingering health questions, and still hasn’t won a major since George W. Bush was president. For the better part of a decade, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that Woods would meet or surpass Jack Nicklaus’s 18 major wins. Now, that goal is less and less attainable.Even a few days ago, I would have thought positing McIlroy as a greater threat to Nicklaus than Woods was ridiculous, but this is where we stand: McIlroy has built up one of the best starts to a career in modern golf history, essentially matching the Golden Bear through age 25, and each day Woods moves farther away from his prime.It may not look like much, but that four-major start by McIlroy is firmly in Woods and Nicklaus territory — they are the only players to have won four majors through age 25. Winning those four majors in a 15-tournament span is also a rare accomplishment. There have been a number of similarly meteoric rises in golf, but they usually come at a more mature age (see, for example: Nick Faldo, Arnold Palmer, Ben Hogan). And some early starts aren’t so meteoric (Seve Ballesteros).McIlroy has had both:Of course, after Woods won his fourth major, he went on to win the next two as well, and four of the next seven, so it’s silly to call McIlroy the next Tiger. But McIlroy doesn’t have to be as good now as Woods was then to have a chance at passing Nicklaus — Woods was way ahead of Nicklaus’s pace before injuries and possibly other things got the better of him.And now, even after clawing his way back to the top of the rankings, Woods isn’t who he used to be. At this point, it would take something unprecedented for him to match or pass Nicklaus. He needs four majors for a share of the lead, but by the time the Master’s comes around again in 2015, it will have been nearly seven years since Woods last won a major (no player has ever won four majors after going even five years between wins). And Woods will be 39 years old (no player has ever won four majors after the age of 39, not even the notoriously ever-spry Nicklaus).The good news for Woods is that he has some experience doing things that are fairly unprecedented in golf.But what about McIlroy’s expectation at this point? Trying to model the long-run performance and behavior of outliers can be particularly difficult, because the other data isn’t really a good guide. Nonetheless, assuming McIlroy faces the same regression to the mean as the average golfer does after a hot start (about a 50 percent to 75 percent reduction in win rate for the rest of his career), my best estimate is that he should win around 12 majors — plus or minus six or eight.For Tiger to beat Jack, he’ll have to break an unexpected trend, and for Rory to beat Jack, he’ll have to maintain a trend unexpectedly. read more

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Here Are College Footballs Most Important Week 8 Games

Mississippi State1.1-1.1+2.01.4 Clemson65.5%+8.1-42.7±13.6 Texas15.0-0.6+1.50.8 Notre Dame50.1-0.8+4.11.3 Total* Total* NC State7.5-5.7+29.99.5 Michigan State2.5-2.5+4.93.3 Ohio State51.7-0.5+2.90.9 Total* Change in odds w/ Ohio State… Change in odds w/ Michigan… Total* Swing in playoff odds is weighted by the chance of each outcome — win or lose — actually happening.*Total swing includes every game in the country — not just those listed here. TeamCurrent Playoff%WinLossWgtd Swing How Oklahoma-TCU swings the playoff picturePotential changes in College Football Playoff probability for selected teams based on the outcome of the Oct. 20 Oklahoma-TCU game No. 6 Michigan (6-1) at No. 24 Michigan State (4-2)Favorite: Michigan (66.3 percent)Total potential CFP swing: 16.0 pointsThe stakes: Michigan’s season-opening loss to Notre Dame hurt its playoff chances, but research shows that, if you’re going to lose, it’s better to get it out of the way early and win out the rest of the season. Cross-state rival Michigan State is the Wolverines’ latest impediment to that plan, and the Spartans’ own meager playoff bid (which does exist!) received a shot in the arm when they beat Penn State in Happy Valley last week. There’s about a 1-in-3 chance that Sparty does the same to Michigan in East Lansing on Saturday, which would drop the Wolverines’ playoff probability to 5 percent (and elevate MSU’s to 7 percent). Georgia, Ohio State and Oklahoma would also get about a 1-point boost to their playoff probabilities if Michigan State wins. The Fighting Irish, however, are in an unfamiliar place here. Because of their head-to-head win over Michigan, Notre Dame fans should be rooting for Michigan to win, which would add about a half-point to the Irish’s chances of making the playoff. Swing in playoff odds is weighted by the chance of each outcome — win or lose — actually happening.*Total swing includes every game in the country — not just those listed here. Ohio State51.7-0.4+0.80.5 TeamCurrent Playoff%WinLossWgtd Swing LSU13.6%+5.4-9.8±6.9 Ohio State51.7-0.5+1.10.7 Alabama64.5-0.3+1.50.5 How Ohio State-Purdue swings the playoff picturePotential changes in College Football Playoff probability for selected teams based on the outcome of the Oct. 20 Ohio State-Purdue game No. 3 Clemson (6-0) vs. No. 16 NC State (5-0)Favorite: Clemson (84.1 percent)Total potential CFP swing: 28.5 pointsThe stakes: Right now, we list Clemson as tied with Alabama for the best odds of making the playoff at 65 percent, a number that would rise to 74 percent with a Tiger win this week … or fall to 23 percent with a loss. Though it’s not overly likely — particularly since the game is in Death Valley — the Wolfpack do have the potential to pull off a huge surprise win. Despite a 5-0 record, NC State is still probably the nation’s best-kept secret (granted, its most impressive win so far is merely a 28-23 victory over Boston College), but it could really begin to gain national traction by knocking off Clemson. The Wolfpack’s playoff chances would rise to 37 percent with a win on Saturday, making them the rare unheralded team to make noise in today’s stratified college football world. Notre Dame and Ohio State should be rooting for the Wolfpack, too: The Irish would pick up 4 percentage points of playoff probability if Clemson loses, while the Buckeyes’ chances would improve by 3 percentage points. Clemson is an 18-point favorite, so don’t hold your breath, but this is still the game with the most potential playoff ramifications of any in Week 8. LSU13.6-0.4+1.80.7 Swing in playoff odds is weighted by the chance of each outcome — win or lose — actually happening.*Total swing includes every game in the country — not just those listed here. Ohio State51.7%+4.9-21.0±7.9 LSU13.6-0.4+1.10.6 Swing in playoff odds is weighted by the chance of each outcome — win or lose — actually happening.*Total swing includes every game in the country — not just those listed here. Notre Dame50.1-0.5+2.10.8 Thanks to our College Football Playoff model — which simulates every game of the season to figure out each team’s chance of reaching the final four stage — we can see how much influence any given game has on the overall playoff picture. Most games have little to no effect, but some can potentially swing the playoff probabilities not just for the two schools involved but also for numerous teams around the country. To help you prepare for Week 8 of the college football season, here are the games that matter most this weekend in terms of their potential cumulative effect on the entire nation’s playoff chances. 17.7 Georgia22.0-0.6+1.20.8 Georgia22.0-0.5+1.30.7 Alabama64.5-1.0+1.91.3 No. 2 Ohio State (7-0) at Purdue (3-3)Favorite: Ohio State (81.2 percent)Total potential CFP swing: 15.9 pointsThe stakes: The Buckeyes are in great shape right now, sitting undefeated with a 52 percent chance of making the playoff. And on paper, the Boilermakers don’t pose too great a threat to Ohio State’s winning streak, ranking 41st in ESPN’s Football Power Index ratings. But the great thing about college football’s regular season is that no team is safe, and any loss can throw a season into disarray. A slip-up against Purdue would drop OSU’s playoff chances by a whopping 21 percentage points, and the biggest beneficiaries would be Clemson, Michigan and Notre Dame — each of whom would receive multiple points of playoff probability with the Buckeyes dropping down. Ohio State should win this one as 12-point favorites, making all of these possible shakeups moot, but the potential for anarchy is lurking. No. 9 Oklahoma (5-1) at TCU (3-3)Favorite: Oklahoma (72.1 percent)Total potential CFP swing: 17.7 pointsThe stakes: Last week, we talked about how Oklahoma could still make the College Football Playoff after losing to Texas earlier this month. The Sooners’ path hinged on taking care of business over their reasonably winnable remaining schedule and hoping for a peer like Notre Dame to slip up along the way. They almost got their wish for the latter with an Irish near-loss to Pitt, but OU’s own journey back starts with Saturday’s clash against the Horned Frogs. A loss would all but dash Oklahoma’s playoff hopes, and TCU is a tough opponent in spite of its 3-3 record, so the stakes for this one are already high from the Sooners’ perspective. But the game also picks up extra leverage from the fact that another loss would seriously damage OU’s chances of making the Big 12 championship (which helps conference leader Texas) and also remove it as a viable playoff rival for Notre Dame plus fellow one-loss squads LSU, Michigan and — now — Georgia, which fell to the Bayou Bengals last week. 15.9 Change in odds w/ Oklahoma… Georgia22.0-0.8+1.51.0 How LSU-Mississippi State swings the playoff picturePotential changes in College Football Playoff probability for selected teams based on the outcome of the Oct. 20 LSU-Mississippi State game Change in odds w/ LSU… TeamCurrent Playoff%WinLossWgtd Swing No. 5 LSU (6-1) vs. No. 22 Mississippi State (4-2)Favorite: LSU (64.7 percent)Total potential CFP swing: 15.9 pointsThe stakes: LSU, the other team whose odds we broke down a week ago, always needed to keep winning games in order to maintain its position as a playoff contender. It passed its first test with flying colors by upsetting Georgia last week, raising its playoff probability to 14 percent. That number would leap to 19 percent with a win over Mississippi State but plummet to 4 percent with a loss, effectively ending any realistic playoff chance for the Tigers. Those stakes are compounded by the slight gains for fellow SEC contenders Alabama and Georgia if Mississippi State can go into Baton Rouge and pull off the upset, to say nothing of the small playoff chance the Bulldogs would see (3 percent) if they win. Change in odds w/ Clemson… Check out our latest college football predictions. Oklahoma23.3%+6.1-15.8±8.8 16.0 Oklahoma23.3-0.2+1.10.3 Michigan15.5%+5.1-10.1±6.8 Texas15.0-0.3+1.40.5 15.9 Notre Dame50.1-1.1+2.81.6 TeamCurrent Playoff%WinLossWgtd Swing Notre Dame50.1+0.4-0.80.5 TeamCurrent Playoff%WinLossWgtd Swing Notre Dame50.1-0.7+1.20.9 Clemson65.5-0.8+3.41.3 Michigan15.5-0.7+3.01.1 Oklahoma23.3-0.4+0.80.5 Swing in playoff odds is weighted by the chance of each outcome — win or lose — actually happening.*Total swing includes every game in the country — not just those listed here. Michigan15.5-0.4+1.10.6 28.5 Total* How Clemson-NC State swings the playoff picturePotential changes in College Football Playoff probability for selected teams based on the outcome of the Oct. 20 Clemson-NC State game How Michigan-Michigan State swings the playoff picturePotential changes in College Football Playoff probability for selected teams based on the outcome of the Oct. 20 Michigan-Michigan State game read more

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Ohio State mens hockey trying to get over the hump

The Ohio State men’s ice hockey team heads into the final third of its regular season campaign with plenty to prove. With an overall record of 8-11-5, the Buckeyes’ 25 points in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association places them seventh out of 11 teams. OSU will have ample opportunity to make up ground on the teams ahead in the rankings as five of its remaining six conference series come against teams that sit above the Buckeyes in the CCHA standings. Of those two-game series, four will be held on their home ice at the Schottenstein Center. After posting a 7-4-3 mark in their first 14 games, the Buckeyes have struggled as of late, posting only one win in their last 10 times out. “We’ve had a good first half, but we need to get over the hump as a team,” said freshman defenseman Sam Jardine. OSU has recently gotten four players back from injury, and coach Mark Osiecki said he sees his roster’s improved health as a key to getting over that hump as March’s CCHA Tournament nears. “It’s important right now to get them back so they get some experience for a month before it really amps up,” Osiecki said. The team’s recent struggles may be attributable to the absence of former volunteer assistant coach RJ Umberger. Umberger, a member of the Columbus Blue Jackets and former Buckeye, used the NHL lockout as an opportunity to help coach his alma mater and instruct the current members of the Buckeye squad. Players said he had a positive impact on OSU’s performance. “Everyone took whatever he had to say and we put that towards the ice, that helped us a lot,” said sophomore forward Tanner Fritz. Throughout the Buckeyes’ ups and downs, senior goalie Brady Hjelle and sophomore forward Ryan Dzingel seemed to have played consistently great hockey. Hjelle is second in the league with a 1.61 goals-against average and his .945 save percentage is second best in the country. Dzingel leads OSU in points (20) and goals (nine). His 11 assists are second only to Fritz’s 13. Dzingel and Hjelle were recently named to the Hobey Baker Award ballot which is given annually to the NCAA’s best player. No OSU player has ever won the honor. With the continued production of their top players, along with the added contribution of individuals returning from injury, OSU might have the potential to finish the season on its highest note. A strong showing over the next six weekends would put the team in position to make convincing runs in the CCHA and NCAA tournaments. The Buckeyes are set to play against Lake Superior State Friday at 7:05 p.m. at the Schottenstein Center. read more

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James Jakes prepared to race in Indy 500 with support of Jakesy

Dan Hope / Oller reporterOf all the teams racing in Sunday’s Indianapolis 500, the one with the most ties to the Columbus area is Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.The IZOD IndyCar Series team headquarters is in Hilliard, Ohio. Graham Rahal, the son of team co-owner and 1986 Indy 500 champion Bobby Rahal, was born in Columbus and graduated from New Albany High School.Graham Rahal’s popularity in his hometown may be rivaled, however, by his teammate James Jakes.Jakes, a British driver in his third IndyCar season and first with Rahal Letterman Lanigan, has gained popularity thanks to a dedicated, Columbus-based fan following who call themselves “Jakesy Nation.”Joey Recktenwald, president of “Jakesy Nation” and a Columbus resident, said the group began in 2011 when he and some friends decided to team up and choose one driver to root for. They chose Jakes, who was an IndyCar rookie at the time.Those 8 to 10 friends have grown into Jakes’ unofficial fan club. Their popularity is growing, as the group’s Twitter feed, @JakesyNation, has more than 1,000 followers, and it also has its own website and Facebook page.Jakes often interacts with “Jakesy Nation,” and the fan club designed a helmet which Jakes used during an IndyCar race last season. On Monday, Jakes autographed and returned the helmet to his supporters at a media luncheon. The fan club also hosted a birthday party for Jakes, which the driver attended, during the weekend of IndyCar’s race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course last August.“It’s awesome, I can’t thank those guys enough,” Jakes said of “Jakesy Nation.” “It’s great to have them on board, and great to see them at races and enjoying themselves.”Dru Delaforet, who graduated from Ohio State in 2009 with a degree in communications and received his master’s degree in English education from OSU in 2011, is the head blogger for “Jakesy Nation.” He called the interaction between the group and Jakes “great.”“He’s really nice to us,” Delaforet said. “Sometimes we don’t even expect some of the things that he does for us, and how much he interacts with us. I think he just really appreciates the support, and he knows that when he wins a race, because he has yet to win a race … that we will go nuts and we will be there for him.”The members of “Jakesy Nation” attend multiple races annually, one of which is the Indy 500. One of the group’s traditions at Indianapolis each year is a rib cook-off named in honor of Willy T. Ribbs, who became the first African American driver to compete in an Indy 500 in 1991.“We just did it because of the name, because his last name was Ribbs,” Delaforet said. “We’re trying to get him to come to the Willy T. Ribbs cook-off this time.”Another tradition stems from the initiation process into the fan club. When a new member joins, he or she is expected to wear a penguin head and a yellow apron at their first race.“You’ve got to wear the penguin head and the apron at least the first day,” Delaforet said. “Usually people end up just wearing it the whole weekend, because it gets you a lot of attention. It’s like a really frilly, yellow apron so all these girls want pictures of you, everybody just ends up wearing it the whole weekend.”James Irwin, the group’s self-proclaimed “beauty,” went through the initiation process during his first race, and said it was the “most incredible experience.”Irwin said “Jakesy Nation” is the best fan club in IndyCar.“No doubt about it. Clearly the best,” Irwin said. “We have the most fun and we support our racer better than anyone at the track.”While the group has grown, Recktenwald said they have not changed much from when they were just a few friends attending races.“It’s not like we’ve had to go above and beyond to change our regular tradition,” Recktenwald said. “Now, there’s people that are coming over introducing themselves and saying they want to join up with us, so everywhere we go, we’re meeting new people, which is fun.”Recktenwald hopes the club helps generate more popularity for IndyCar racing in Columbus.“It’s fun for us because Mid-Ohio (located in Lexington, approximately 60 miles from Columbus) is so close, and we’re three hours from Indianapolis,” Recktenwald said. “There’s enough around here that if we can try and build a buzz for it, there’s teams to follow and drivers to follow and tracks that are close enough that we can get to them.” read more

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Opinion Its time for Alex Rodriguez to stop trying to earn back

The New York Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez speaks during press conference at US Cellular Field in Chicago on Aug. 5, 2013. Credit: Courtesy of TNSAt this point, Alex Rodriguez has made more mistakes than he’s hit home runs, especially since his play dropped off a cliff a few years ago.The New York Yankees’ third baseman, and one-time future Hall of Famer, straight up denied using performance enhancing drugs back in 2007. But in 2009, it was proven that he had actually used such drugs.At that point, he gave a well-scripted apology that I can’t imagine many people took to heart. Then he got back to playing baseball, and hit 30 home runs in 2010 at the age of 34.But A-Rod (or A-Roid, depending how much you like crass, semi-clever nicknames) wasn’t done just yet. He ended up being suspended for more than an entire season, beginning in 2013 and spanning all of 2014, after it came out that he had gotten HGH from Anthony Bosch’s biogenesis clinic (Bosch was sentenced to four years in prison on Tuesday, by the way.)And on the same day Bosch was sentenced, Rodriguez decided the time was right to try his hand at this whole apologizing thing again.“To the fans,” a reportedly hand-written apology letter read. And he signed off “Sincerely, Alex.”It’s a good thing he said to “the” fans, because if he had written “to my fans,” the letter would probably have been addressed to nobody.For a guy with all the natural ability in the world, how much did performance-enhancing drugs really do? Perhaps he hit a few more home runs with the extra help, but he would most likely been destined for Cooperstown no matter what. His ego got in the way.That’s all fine and well for him. He’s still set to make $61 million over the next few years, and honestly, that’s great. He managed to earn a living most people could never dream of. Yeah, he cheated his way to it, but he would’ve earned it cheating or not.So congratulations, Alex, you have a lot of money, but it’s time for you to take it and run.His letter professed that he had taken “full responsibility” for his mistakes. Which is pretty obvious since, you know, it was his fault for making those decisions. The letter even addressed the fact that many won’t accept his apology, or “believe” it, in his words. Which is true, and why would they?He’s apologized before, then cheated again, then apologized some more.Rodriguez won’t be gaining back any of his lost respect, and he should embrace that. Instead of apologizing to try and make his name better and avoiding even more of a media firestorm, Rodriguez should sit back, play baseball for a few more years, retire and accept that he had a wildly successful career no matter what fans or fellow players think of him.In the end, Alex, you have an amount of money I’d at least have to consider sacrificing a limb for.Now go enjoy it on your yachts and private jets and leave the rest of us alone, because you’re right: We don’t believe you, and we never will. read more

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Up to 100 schoolchildren armed with bats and knives involved in mass

first_imgMy lovely home town of Northumberland Heath pic.twitter.com/BiWYb55ExJ— Yamborghini (@Shane_Newman1) September 19, 2016 Seven males, aged between 15 and 21, were arrested and taken to police stations in south London. The two teenagers taken to hospital were 15 and 19, and suffered “non-life threatening injuries,” a police spokesman confirmed.A spokesman for the borough of Bexley said they were still trying to “establish the facts” of the fight, adding: “We are obviously dismayed by the incident.”Police were still at the scene of the fight nearly 24 hours after the brawl took place. Police vans were seen parked up at various points around the community, while uniformed officers lined the streets as students left school on Tuesday afternoon. Witnesses described “absolute pandemonium” as the fights spilled onto the roads of Northumberland Heath, near Erith.And a local landlady yesterday said it was a “miracle” that no one had been killed in the fight, which prompted police to deploy a helicopter and dogs.Footage understood to have been filmed during the brawl showed dozens of young people punching and kicking a young person who had been beaten to the floor. Some of his attackers appeared to have been armed with sticks as they launched kicks to his body and head. Another eyewitness added: “In 30 years I have never seen anything like it.”Police yesterday began an investigation into the brawl, which prompted more than 40 calls to the emergency services.They had been able to disperse an earlier disturbance nearby, a spokesman said, but the same group of people were believed to have been involved in the larger fight that took place shortly after. Riot police were called to south-east London after around 100 schoolchildren believed to have been armed with bats and knives were involved in a mass brawl.Two teenagers were taken to hospital and seven were arrested after every available police officer within the area was sent to combat the violence on Monday evening.Panicked residents locked themselves into their homes and shops as the youths, many of whom were wearing school uniforms, caused chaos on the streets of Bexley. She said she believed gangs in the area clash over racial divides, and added that a boy of 12 took refuge in the pub after he made a racist taunt towards teenagers outside.Barmaid Bonnie Lampard, who locked and bolted all of the pub’s doors, said she saw a group of white boys wearing balaclavas and Halloween masks running out of the park before “around 50 young black boys in school uniform came down the road.”She added: “One of them had a knife and was waving it around. They had metal bars, knuckle dusters and knives. Youths at the scene of the mass brawlCredit:@Shane_Newman1 Some of them were armed with sticks as they kicked and punched the person on the floor Police on the scene of the mass brawl Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. It is believed the fight began at the local recreation ground, but soon expanded onto the streets of Northumberland Heath.Sharon McHattie, a landlady at the Duchess of Kent pub, said many of the children – some of whom were reportedly as young as seven – were armed with knives and bats, while there were also reports that some were brandishing concrete slabs as weapons.“It’s a miracle no one was killed,” she said. “They all had their hoods up and balaclavas on. How they never got killed I don’t know. They were all standing in the middle of the street.” “The police were completely outnumbered. If it had all kicked off then the police would not have been able to contain it.”A resident said she was afraid to leave her house as the stand-off with police lasted for more than two hours.“There were a lot of kids outside, both black and white in uniform,” said 39-year-old Kerry Duggan. “They were pushing the police and there was a lot of shouting. There were more than 100 kids just outside and the white kids were fighting with police.” Some of them were armed with sticks as they kicked and punched the person on the floor Police on the scene of the mass brawlCredit:@Shane_Newman1 Youths at the scene of the mass brawllast_img read more

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