Navel gazing – Reuters Photographers

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Navel gazing – Reuters Photographers: “At various times some of our photographers and picture editors have talked about how the eyes, hands and even feet can be used as the subject of pictures. Now, ladies and gentlemen, I give you the ‘middle way’ – the human belly as a means of self expression.”

Best Seat in the House | The Seattle Times

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Best Seat in the House | The Seattle Times, Rod Mar: “I had such a blast at what ended up as the final Seahawks game of the season.

Snow, the playoffs, a natural grass field, and Green Bay’s legendary Lambeau Field all made for an incredible environment in which to shoot photos.

As many of you know, Seattle got run over by the Green Bay Packers, 42-20.

And as the old cliche’ goes, ‘the game wasn’t as close as the score indicated’.”

PAM PLATT: Flurry over a photo prompts explanation

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PAM PLATT: Flurry over a photo prompts explanation: “Some of the comments registered by angry, offended and/or baffled readers: ‘Awful,’ ‘an embarrassment,’ ‘horrible decision,’ ‘poor judgment,’ ‘distasteful,’ ‘a mystery’ and ‘shame on you.’

I have to admit I was a little baffled by the response. Aren’t sports the province of the ubiquitous fanny pat? Aren’t players in each other’s faces all the time during athletic matches? Yes and yes. So what’s a little game-time hug in that universe?

Well, apparently this photo crossed a line for some readers, some of whom demanded an apology and/or an explanation.”

(Via Romenesko.)

Italian football reels after Sicily riot death

The Observer:

After a series of violent clashes at Serie A games, 1,500 police were drafted in for the Sicilian derby. The rivalry between the historically underachieving teams, which has reached fever pitch as both joust for Champions League places, took centre stage after half time as Palermo fans fired tear gas at the home support. Choking players fled the pitch as the game was suspended, while outside the stadium Catania fans showered police with rocks, flares and the small explosive that arched its way towards Filippo Raciti who, investigators believe, may have already been stunned by a rock when the charge went off.

Here.

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Trade Secrets: Football players 'On the Job'

SportsShooter:

Erik Lunsford’s illustrative portraits are next in a series of SportsShooter.com features called “Trade Secrets.”

The Daunte Culpepper image, “The Office”, was produced through a combination of extensive Photoshop manipulation and physical destructive techniques. After printing, the image was subjected to being run over with a car, getting stomped on with very dirty shoes, and having mud ground into the surface. For the finishing touches, a variety of paper clips, plastic knives, box cutters, and cheese graters were used to give the print that distressed ‘feel’ before scanning it to produce the final product. It was quite humorous watching the newspaper security guards in the employee lot stare in confusion as I drove forward and reverse repeatedly to create the imprint texture.

Here.

Robert Fisk: Football and violence go together

Independent:

Foer wades in at the deep end with a visit to Belgrade’s top- scoring Red Star, a team nurtured by Serbia’s equally top war criminal Arkan, who took his well-armed footballers down the Drina Valley in 1992 on an orgy of killing, plunder and mass rape. Arkan drove a pink Cadillac and sported a football wife – the gorgeous retro singer Ceca – whom he married in full Serb uniform. Red Star’s pre-war match against the Croatian Partizans – beloved of its fascist president Franjo Tudjman who had adorned the team he once led with wartime Ustashe icons – ended in a pitched battle.

It was Margaret Thatcher who famously described football hooligans as “a disgrace to civilised society” – the very words we later used about the murderers of Serbia. In Glasgow, Protestant supporters of Rangers would sit in separate stands – “We’re up to our knees in Fenian blood,” they would roar in unison – from fans of the Catholic Celtic football club.

Here.

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Millwall brick

Wikipedia:

In the late 1960s — in response to violence at football matches in England — police began confiscating any objects that could be used as weapons. These items included steel combs, pens, beermats, polo mints, shoelaces and even boots.

However, fans were still permitted to bring in newspapers. Larger newspapers such as The Guardian or The Financial Times work best for a Millwall brick, and the police looked with suspicion at working class football fans who carried such newspapers. Because of their more innocent appearance, tabloid newspapers became the newspapers of choice for Millwall bricks.

The book Spirit of ’69: A Skinhead Bible describes the use of Millwall bricks by British football hooligans (not just skinheads) in the late 1960s:

Newspapers were rolled up tightly to form the so-called Millwall Brick and another trick was to make a knuckleduster out of pennies held in place by a wrapped around paper. You could hardly be pulled up for having a bit of loose change in your pocket and a Daily Mirror under your arm.

The book Skinhead says, “The Millwall brick, for example, was a newspaper folded again and again and squashed together to form a cosh.”

Here.

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Somalia Defeats Rwanda To Win Third-World Cup

The Onion:

“Never have the words ‘win or go home’ provided such inspiration to any team,” Bin-Shakur said. “I am overcome with joy, as well as hunger, and I look forward to bringing the Third-World Cup trophy home to my country.”

The Third-World Cup trophy, an AK-47 coated with gold spray-paint and mounted on a pallet of United Nations staple foods, has already been seized by Somali troops and distributed amongst ranking military officers.

Here.

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The Ballad of Big Mike

NYT Magazine:

What happened next was the strangest encounter of Lemming’s 28-year career as a football scout. Michael Oher sat down at the table across from him. . .and refused to speak. “He shook my hand and then didn’t say a word,” Lemming recalled. (“His hands — they were huge!”) Lemming asked a few questions; Michael Oher just kept staring right through him. And soon enough Lemming decided further interaction was pointless. Michael Oher left, and he left behind blank forms and unanswered questions. Every other high-school football player in America was dying for Lemming to invite him to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Michael Oher had left his invitation on the table.

What never crossed Tom Lemming’s mind was that the player he would soon rank the No. 1 offensive lineman in the nation, and perhaps the finest left-tackle prospect since Orlando Pace, hadn’t the faintest notion of who Lemming was or why he was asking him all these questions. For that matter, he didn’t even think of himself as a football player. And he had never played left tackle in his life.

Here.

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Wrestling stars busted in Hanging Rock

From the Ironton Tribune:

Robert Alex Szatowski, aka WWE and ECW champion Rob Van Dam, and Terry Michael Brunk, aka Sabu, also a former ECW champion, were pulled over on U.S. 52, near Patrick Street in Hanging Rock at about 10:15 p.m. The two were apparently driving from their performances at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena earlier in the evening.

According to the OSHP, Szatowski was initially stopped for speeding. When troopers approached his vehicle, they smelled marijuana and performed a search. Troopers found the wrestler in possession of 18 grams of marijuana and five Vicodin, prescription pain pills. Brunk was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and also had nine pills that were not immediately identifiable, but were known to be controlled substances, according to the OSHP. Both were cited and posted bond at the scene.

Here.

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Ullrich and Basso out of Le Tour

From the BBC:

Team manager Olaf Ludwig said: “We talked to the riders several times and even have their declarations of innocence in written form.

“At first we had no reason to doubt the riders’ statements, but that situation has now changed profoundly.”

Ullrich, Basso and Mancebo are unlikely be the last big names to be suspended from the Tour de France after organisers ASO (Amaury Sport Organisation) revealed that they have been given a list of more than 50 riders involved in the probe.

Here.

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Christian Wrestling Federation

Thanks to Dave for tipping me off to this one.

From the Christian Wrestling Federation:

“When I’m up in front of a pulpit people don’t listen to a word I say. But through a wrestling match, they’re able to understand Jesus Christ better than anything I could say.”

Here.

And the video is here.

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