A great man once said, “If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball.”In the post-game press conference after an embarrassing 17-3 defeat at the hands of Stanford, USC offensive coordinator Tee Martin pulled out his best Vince Vaughn impression, dodging questions and shirking responsibility regarding USC’s offensive impotency. When asked why sophomore running back Stephen Carr and freshman wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown didn’t get more touches, Martin — after claiming that both Carr and St. Brown played a lot of snaps — responded with an at-fault coach’s all-time classic and sports version of the Fifth Amendment: “Next question.”Pleading the Fifth protects those in the court of law from self-incrimination. But, in the court of the Trojan football, “next question” is as useful as a third-down screenplay to redshirt sophomore Vavae Malepeai — two things Martin is quite familiar with.Anyone could tell that Martin knew his lackluster play-calling cost the Trojans the game but was masking his guilt by avoiding the question.Trojan football will most likely fall short of the 2018 Pac-12 title, but it’s not because of a lack of talent. It is because of a lack of coaching.For St. Brown, who caught seven passes for 98 yards and a touchdown just a week ago against UNLV, to go an entire half without a single target is simply ridiculous.For Martin to ignore arguably the best USC receiver in years for a full half would be a fireable offense at other programs. USC has the talent at every single position to light up opposing defenses, yet the Trojans turned the ball over three times and failed to execute on third down.Martin claimed that it was a lack of execution that lost the Trojans the game, when, in fact, it was a complete lack of preparation and inconsistent offensive strategy that did the Trojans in. It seemed that sophomore wide receiver Tyler Vaughns was the only reliable receiver on USC’s roster because he ran the easiest routes possible.Vaughns is talented, but he should not be the be-all and end-all for the Trojan offense when there’s such a plethora of other talented receivers available. On multiple occasions, Martin ran poor plays when the Trojans needed big ones.While the Vaughns curl route was working for short yardage gains, Martin refused to dial up enough long routes to stretch the field vertically. Stanford demolished USC’s secondary by throwing all over the middle of the field to their physical tight ends. And although a couple of drops by senior tight end Tyler Petite and underthrown passes from freshman quarterback JT Daniels were not in Martin’s control, the lack of consistent strategy from the Trojan coaching staff is concerning. There’s not much you can do when your quarterback injures his throwing hand. But, when the offensive line — which came into that game with multiple guys not at their peaks — opened up holes left and right for ’SC running backs, there has to be questions regarding the decisions behind these plays.Aside from a poor first-quarter drive where the defense allowed 39 yards to Bryce Love, including a seven-yard touchdown scamper, defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast kept a dangerous Cardinal offense at bay for a majority of the game. The defense did its job and more on Saturday, and was rewarded with the worst offensive performance by a USC team in over 20 years. Some may argue that the road environment at Stanford Stadium makes it hard for any team to pull out a victory. And while that may be true, it’s still unacceptable that a Trojan defense could hold a Cardinal offense to just 3 second-half points and still lose the game because of an offense that didn’t know what it was doing.This week’s game against Texas will be yet another tough road test that will reveal whether or not this USC ballclub is ready for the postseason. Martin, who assumed full control of the play calling from Helton this season, will have to change everything from this past week or risk yet another lost USC season. If you asked me on the stand whether or not Martin deserves to be USC’s offensive coordinator after last week’s performance, I’d plead the Fifth. Keith Demolder is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism. His column, “Keith’s Keys,” runs every other Tuesday.
Two Ghanaian juvenile coaches have been shortlisted among sixteen other coaches for the FUTURE STARS programme by Arsenal Football Club and WorldRemitThe coaches will be rewarded for their contributions to their communities with Arsenal youth shirts for their team.Samuel Taylor, Coach of EM Sporting Club in Accra and Alhassan Iddi Manzah, Coach at Northern Women’s Football Clubs Association in Tamale-Dalun, made the shortlist.The rest are Five from Nigeria, Four from Kenya, Two from Uganda and Two for Zimbabwe.Eight out of the 16 shortlisted coaches for the Future Stars programme are women.WorldRemit and Arsenal launched the second edition of the Future Stars programme in August to recognise the valuable contributions that grassroots youth football coaches make to their communities by teaching the children they train life skills on and off the pitch. Through the programme, WorldRemit will sponsor two winners – one male and one female – to fly to London for a personalised training session with Arsenal Football Development coaches.Entries for Future Stars closed on 4 September, and the programme received over 1,400 entries from coaches from across Africa and the Americas.A panel of judges from WorldRemit and Arsenal Football Development reviewed the applications and selected 20 semi-finalists, including 16 coaches from Africa, based on the following criteria:The commitment of the coach to improving the lives of their communityThe impact the coach has had on young people within their community The strength of the coach’s proposal to pass on their training on their return homeIn recognition of their commitment to using football to bring their communities together, the 20 semi-finalists will receive Arsenal shirts for their youth squad.What’s next for the semi-finalists?From the 20 semi-finalists, the judging panel will select eight coaches – four male and four female – as finalists. Their stories will be shared on www.FutureStars.WorldRemit.com in late October and the two winners will be chosen based on a public vote on the website.Andrew Stewart, Managing Director for Africa and the Middle East, congratulated the 16 African semi-finalists. “Our business is all about connecting communities, no matter where they are in the world. We developed Future Stars to celebrate the amazing work that football coaches do to support young people and have been so impressed by the quality and diversity of the applications this year.”Simon McManus, Head Coach at Arsenal Football Development, added, that Arsenal is thrilled to partner with WorldRemit to recognise coaches who use the power of football to inspire and support young people across the globe.“We have one of the most successful women’s sides in the world and are committed to encouraging greater participation in the sport among women. Through this edition of Future Stars, we hope to further amplify the positive impact that female coaches have on their communities.”Coaches in the Future Stars shortlist from AfricaNigeria1. Uzoma Kingsley Akanador, Coach at Unity International Charity Organisation in Lagos.2. Ademilokun Oluwaseun David, Coach at XPR Football in Lagos.3. Chinasa Ukanda, Coach at Help The Talent Academy in Lagos.4. Towobola Grace Iyanuoluwa, Head Coach at Hostel Football Team and Assistant Coach at CityBoys Football Club in Ibadan.5. Modupe Marilyn Jiwalde Pusmut, Coach at Future Stars FC Sabon Barki in Jos. Kenya6. Feisal Abdi Hassan, Coach in Nairobi7. Beldine Lilian Achieng Odemba, Coach at Kariobangi Sharks Academy in Nairobi.8. Susan Wanjiru Njoki, Coach at Kahawa Sportive Soccer Academy in Nairobi.9. Everline Achieng Onyango, Coach at Mukuru Starlets in Nairobi.Ghana10. Samuel Taylor, Coach at EM Sporting Club, Accra11. Alhassan Iddi Manzah, Coach at Northern Women’s Football Clubs Association in Tamale-DalunUganda12. Bakit Isaac Agogo, Coach at Watoto Sports Academy in Gulu.13. Andrew Amanya, Coach at Kigezi Soccer Academy in Kabale.14. Nabisenke Joan, Coach in KampalaZimbabwe15. Titus Tongesai Sanagurai, Coach at Big Stuff Youth Soccer Academy in Harare.16. Winnet Muranganwa, Coach at Zengeza Busters Soccer Academy in Chitungwiza.
This isn’t to say a similar thing wouldn’t have happened with other Hall of Famers, but I’m fairly certain the buzz that surrounded Griffey is reserved for a select few, for those who seem to be more than just baseball players — think Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Reggie Jackson. I don’t know for certain that I would’ve felt the need to take pictures and video that day had it been anyone else. But there was just something that clicked in my head that said, “Document this.” That’s just the special allure of Ken Griffey Jr.My favorite part of the whole encounter was when Harold Reynolds, Griffey’s ex-teammate with the Mariners, walked up behind him and playfully smacked him on the arm a couple of times to get his attention. Griffey turned around, saw Reynolds and, as a good teammate does, roasted him.”That’s the hardest thing you’ve hit in 30 years,” Griffey said with a smile. Still playful, still The Kid. (Jason Foster/SN) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/f7/71/griffey-asg-sn-ftr-112019jpg_4zmm9t46jj2o18m9ox5f7ybsj.jpg?t=-1904951330&w=500&quality=80 Somehow, Ken Griffey Jr. is 50 years old. This can’t possibly be true because I watched his debut as a 19-year-old just a few years ago. That was in 1989, which was, at most, 12 years ago and definitely not 30 years ago. Maybe it’s just fake news. Or maybe we’re all just getting old.But it’s also hard to believe that Griffey is halfway to 100 simply because he’s still such a big deal in baseball circles. His career as an athlete was one of the few that transcended sports and seeped into greater popular culture, and we still see the ripple effects. In some ways, he’s still the face of MLB, which, as I’ve written before, isn’t the best thing. But it also speaks to the presence he carries just by existing. (Jason Foster/SN) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/56/f0/kengriffeyjr-asg-sn-ftr-112019jpg_slzvzqukc0281d6ydbhj61kuw.jpg?t=-1904876858&w=500&quality=80 His generational talent aside, Griffey is not just another Hall of Famer whose picture fans might snap if they see him in public. His aura and his ever-present but matured swagger is still enough to draw a crowd when he shows up someplace. I saw this up close in July during All-Star festivities in Cleveland. MORE: Tracking Griffey’s rise to fame in the pages of The Sporting NewsI was standing near the visitors’ dugout at Progressive Field a few hours before the Futures Game, just taking everything in. There was nothing exciting happening, just media types, stadium workers and coaches milling around as the young Futures did warm-ups on the field. Then I turned to my left. There, just standing there and chatting, in a polo shirt and jeans, was Ken Griffey Jr. I did a mental double-take. Whoa. That’s Ken Griffey Jr. He must have just arrived on the field because the only person who seemed to have noticed was Sean Casey, Griffey’s former teammate on the Reds and a coach for the American Futures, who was chatting him up in front of the dugout. But it didn’t take long for everyone else to notice. One by one, as people realized The Kid was standing right there, the crowd grew. Photographers snapped pictures. TV cameras rolled. More coaches and former players came up for handshakes and hugs. Everybody wanted a piece. And, as usual, Griffey greeted it all with that youthful smile. MORE: When The Kid and his dad made history with back-to-back homersI never saw Griffey play in person and he was long retired by the time I got into sportswriting. As far as I know, that day in Cleveland is the only time I’ve been near him. I’ve seen other baseball legends in person through the years, and it’s always cool when it happens. But my brush with Griffey belongs in its own category. I, along with everyone else on the warning track dirt that day at Progressive Field, knew it was something special.That, nearly a decade after he played his last game, is what Ken Griffey Jr. still means to baseball.
North West MEP Pat the Cope Gallagher has called on the Government to reverse its decision to withdraw Ireland’s Resident Ambassador to the Vatican.Speaking last night in the European Parliament in Strasbourg, the Fianna Fáil MEP described the decision as “ill judged, wrong and improper”.Mr. Gallagher said, “Religion plays a central role in international affairs and the Vatican offers a window to the rest of the world. In this context it would be remiss of me not to raise the recent decision by the Irish Government to withdraw Ireland’s resident Ambassador to the Holy See, which has been in place since 1929. “I strongly believe that this was an ill-judged, wrong and improper decision by any objective test of international diplomacy.“This decision leaves Ireland out of step with the rest of Europe, as the vast majority of EU Member States have resident Ambassadors in Rome.“I call on the Irish Government, and in particular the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Éamon Gilmore to immediately reverse this decision – a decision opposed by the vast majority of the Irish people.”GALLAGHER DEMANDS GOVERNMENT REVERSAL ON VATICAN DECISION was last modified: February 14th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Pat The Cope GallagherVatican