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Conte Wants Perfection Barca

first_imgUEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUEIt’s nearly 16 months since FC Barcelona last faced English opposition in the UEFA Champions League match and a lot has changed at the Spanish giants since their emphatic 3-1 defeat at Manchester City in November 2016.Tonight, when Stamford Bridge hugs the limelight in one of the two matches today, Antonio Conte strongly believes that Chelsea must play the “perfect game” to beat a formidable Barcelona in the crucial in first leg of last-16 tie. The Premier League champions have recovered from a poor run of form, winning consecutive matches over West Bromwich Albion in the league and Hull City in the FA Cup, but Conte is not getting carried away.“On one hand you know this team is one of the best in the world – maybe they are favourites to win this competition,” Conte told British media last night.“On the other hand we must be excited because we have a great opportunity to play a massive game against a really strong team and to show which is our level.“.We have to try to have the perfect game, the perfect game to try to make the best decisions. For this type of team… they have fantastic characteristics with the ball. But they can have weaknesses without the ball and we have to try and exploit this.”Barcelona’s star forward Lionel Messi has never scored in eight matches against Chelsea and Conte is eager for his team to maintain that record.Chelsea last defeated the Spanish side in 2012 as the London outfit marched to their first Champions League title, and midfielder Cesc Fabregas, who moved to Stamford Bridge from Barcelona in 2014, is confident that Conte’s side can repeat the feat.“They try to put the first pressure very, very high – (they) always work towards the ball,” Fabregas said.“If we can (get) past this first phase of their pressure, then we have the content to do that, and not put ourselves under too much pressure, then I think we can hurt them because they will leave a lot of spaces at the back.“Hopefully we can give a good image of what we can do and do a good performance.”Chelsea next travel to second-placed Manchester United in the league on Sunday.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Football craze hides its dark side

first_imgIn two days, the New England Patriots will play the Denver Broncos, and the Arizona Cardinals will face the Carolina Panthers for the right to play in the Super Bowl. Once again, an insane amount of Americans will gather around their television sets to participate in the weekly ritual of watching Sunday afternoon football.It’s a little funny sometimes, the fact that a sport scientifically linked to brain damage remains undoubtedly the most popular and highest-rated of the four major American sports.We are too quick to forget and ignore, and all it takes is something as simple as another spectacular Aaron Rodgers Hail Mary or Blair Walsh brutally missing a chip shot to lose a playoff game. Moments like these are what make sports great and keep us tuning in for game after game.That’s not the problem. The problem is the strange hypocrisy that watching football presents: we know that there is a link between the sport and brain disease, yet we still come out in droves to drive up ratings and buy tickets, jerseys and other merchandise, supporting a league that has been unbelievably incompetent in addressing a potentially life-threatening issue.Last September, a Boston University study found that 131 of 165 brains of deceased football players contained chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease. And while the general public has become somewhat more vigilant in the harm of playing football since such studies have been released, the overall response has been underwhelming.Take, for example, the movie Concussion, starring Will Smith as Dr. Bennet Omalu, the Nigerian doctor who first discovered CTE when he conducted an autopsy on Pittsburgh Steelers’ star Mike Webster. The film had all the makings of a potential game changer in terms of changing public perception: a megastar playing the main role, a made-for-Hollywood plot in the incredible journey of Omalu and the takedown of a big corporation in the NFL. Trailers for the movie were everywhere, even airing during football games.It turns out the film was far from a blockbuster. In its opening weekend, Concussion only finished seventh in box office returns, accruing just $11 million and finishing behind movies like Daddy’s Home, a comedy with a 30 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip – yes, even Alvin and the Chipmunks. More people paid to watch a movie about animated rodents than the NFL ignoring a degenerative brain disease in its sport.Why is that? Do we just simply not care? Perhaps football has been too deeply embedded in American culture that it will take much more than a movie or scientific studies to reverse its popularity.The Bengals-Steelers playoff game a couple of weeks ago serves as proof. The Steelers won a narrow, thrilling, violent contest that featured $145,000 worth of fines for several altercations and unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, most notably Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict leveling a dangerous hit to the head of a defenseless receiver in the Steelers’ Antonio Brown, which knocked Brown unconscious and concussed him. Yet, we kept watching because it was a close game in the playoffs, fully aware that Brown could have very well suffered brain damage as a direct result of that hit.Sports Illustrated columnist Richard Deitsch penned this perfect reaction to the game: “It was equal parts compelling, dirty, unwatchable, violence-filled, magnificent … and you could not take your eyes off the screen … I felt both enthralled and guilty at the same time as I watched the carnage in front of me. I wanted to look away. I could not look away.”I like football as a form of entertainment because it is exciting and intense, as any sport should be. But I watch it with a grain of salt. Instead of “oohing and aahing” at a big hit like I used to, I wince and wonder if that hit will have lasting ramifications on that player’s long-term health.Smith, a well-known Eagles fan, feels the same way after portraying Dr. Omalu in Concussion.“I haven’t seen a whole game,” he said to Yahoo!. “It’s really stressful now. It definitely created a conflict for me. It’s still beautiful, it’s still America’s favorite game. That doesn’t change at all. It just has another side, that once you see and once you know and once you understand, you can’t not see.”That is the quandary I face whenever I watch a football game. I know I am supporting an industry that has repeatedly denied and tried to cover up its link to traumatic, life-altering brain disease. Yet, as the hypocrisy goes, I can’t turn away. So when the Patriots and Broncos kick off on Sunday at noon — Brady vs. Manning, anyone? — and when USC football opens its season this fall in a primetime matchup against reigning national champion Alabama in Arlington, I will be watching, along with everyone else.Eric He is a freshman majoring in print and digital journalism. His column, “Grinding Gears,” runs Fridays.last_img read more

Hallandale Beach CRA Creates $500,000 Stimulus Program to Assist Local Small…

first_imgBusiness Employment Bridge LoanThe Business Employment Bridge Loan is a forgivable bridge loan designed to work in conjunction with other federal and state programs in order to provide a direct cash incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. Under this program, businesses are encouraged to rehire those that they may have previously laid off. The program is an acknowledgement of the challenges that many businesses have with accessing funds at the federal and state levels due to the extremely high amounts of applications that are being received by agencies associated with those entities. Businesses that apply for and receive the funds, are required to prove that they have applied for various Federal and State loans. Additionally, the CRA has added an innovated component to the loan which requires those receiving the loan to pay a living wage to their employees, and, if the business happens to be a restaurant, food that would normally be thrown away at the end of the night must now be donated to a local shelter or food pantry as a part of the CRA’s Zero Food Waste program. The Coronavirus Small Business Sustainability and Recovery Loan Program is comprised of two separate loans, the Business Employment Bridge Loan Program with loan amounts up to $50,000, and the Emergency Business Cash Infusion Program with amounts up to $15,000.  Both loans are available only to those businesses located within the Hallandale Beach Community Redevelopment Area (CRA). In accordance with Florida Statute 163 Part III, the loans are not available to businesses outside of the CRA. The goal of the program is to provide businesses located within the CRA area with immediate financial relief to avoid temporary or worse, permanent closure.  The HBCRA Board will vote this Wednesday, April 15, 2020, to approve the Coronavirus Small Business Sustainability and Recovery Loan Program. According to Dr. Jeremy Earle, the Executive Director of the CRA, as well as an Assistant City Manager, “the CRA is taking an innovated step in ensuring that, not only will a local business receive the financial help that they need during these challenging times, but that the employee is also paid a fair wage.  Additionally, the CRA wants to ensure that, where it can influence the process, restaurants that would typically throw food away at the end of the evening would now be required to donate that food to a shelter or pantry as a part of the CRA’s Zero Food Waste Initiative. The initiative will help to feed the increasing numbers of those who are facing food insecurity.” Emergency Business Cash Infusion LoanThe Emergency Business Cash Infusion Loan is a partially forgivable bridge loan, designed to work in conjunction with other federal and state programs in order to provide a direct cash incentive for small businesses to help them through this challenging period associated with the Coronavirus pandemic.The program is an acknowledgement of the challenges that many businesses have with accessing funds at the federal and state levels due to the extremely high amounts of applications that are being received by agencies associated with those entities. The Loan program provides funds up to $15,000 and is available to be qualified for-profit small businesses including, sole proprietors, partnerships, corporations, and limited liability companies, that as of March 9, 2020, had been in business within the CRA for at least one year. Qualified small business applicants must be an employer business with between 2 to 100 employees.The loan has a maturity of 18 months at an interest rate of 0%. Only one loan may be made to eligible businesses. The interest rate will be interest-free for a period of 18 months if payments are made on time. The loan may be forgiven for businesses who apply for loans less than $5,000 The program provides a bridge loan of up to $50,000, and is available to be qualified for-profit small businesses including, sole proprietors, partnerships, corporations, and limited liability companies, that as of March 9, 2020, had been in business within the CRA for at least one year.Qualified small business applicants must be an employer business with between 2 to 100 employees. The loan has a maturity of two years at an interest rate of 0%. Only one loan may be made to eligible businesses. The interest rate will be interest-free for a period of two years.  The loan will be fully forgiven if the funds are used for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities (due to likely high subscription, at least 75% of the forgiven amount must have been used for payroll). Loan payments will also be deferred for six months. Personal guarantees are required. Coronavirus Small Business Sustainability and Recovery Loan Program details: Hallandale Beach, FL – The Hallandale Beach Community Redevelopment Agency (HBCRA) has created an innovated $500,000 stimulus program to assist local small businesses in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.The Coronavirus Small Business Sustainability and Recovery Loan Program was created to address the extremely challenging times associated with the Coronavirus, including the closure of local businesses and the layoff of countless numbers of employees. With the specter of a collapse of our local economy in mind, and a possible increase in slum and blighted conditions, the HBCRA has developed these programs which are designed to work in conjunction with state and federal business disaster recovery programs that have been developed, approved and implemented over the past month. Application Period: April 15th, 2020 through September 30, 2020 contingent on the availability of funds.For more information on the Coronavirus Small Business Sustainability and Recovery Loan Program visit cohbcra.org or contact the HBCRA COVID-19 Hotline at 954-787-2055last_img read more

Primary School children to put Road Safety first in Road Safety Art competition

first_imgThe Donegal Road Safety Working Group and Finn Harps Football Club have again joined forces to assist in the promotion of Road Safety in Donegal. Finn Harps have offered the Donegal Road Safety Working Group a free advertising hoarding in Finn Park for the new season and continue the Club’s ongoing commitment to road safety. Finn Harps will play their first home game against Longford Town at Finn Park on Friday 2nd March and the winners of the Art competition will be announced at this game.  Speaking at the launch, Cathaoirleach, Gerry McMonagle said: “We are delighted with the continued efforts of Finn Harps Football Club to help us promote greater awareness of the dangers on our roads.“Children are among our most vulnerable road users so we have a responsibility to make sure they develop good road safety habits at an early age. “It is our hope that the road safety lessons that are learned at a young age will stay with them, and that they continue to promote road safety, keeping themselves, their parents and their loved ones safe on our roads for years to come. “I would also like to commend teachers in all the schools for the great work that they do to educate our youngest road users about road safety.” COPYRIGHT Clive WassonFinn Harps Football in the Community Officer, John Campbell, said:“Finn Harps School’s Programme is once again delighted to be partners with the Donegal Road Safety Working Group on this very important Road Safety initiative. “Finn Harps continues to work with school children on a daily basis and this Competition presents a great opportunity to promote Road Safety in Donegal. “I would also like to acknowledge the assistance of the DLDC who sponsor places for the Schools through their programmes”.Entries must be original and the applicant’s own work and should be on paper no larger than A3 size. Details are currently being sent to all primary schools in the county and information on the competition can be obtained from Brian O’Donnell, Donegal County Council on 074 9172360 or John Campbell, Finn Harps on 087 3872973. The closing date for the competition is Friday 2nd February 2018 and entries should be sent through the school to: The Road Safety Art Competition, Road Design Office, Donegal County Council, Lifford, Co. Donegal.Primary School children to put Road Safety first in Road Safety Art competition was last modified: January 9th, 2018 by Chris McNultyShare 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)last_img read more