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How NFL left soccer in the dark

September 28th, 2012 No comments


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NFL fans were in uproar earlier this week, when refereeing mistakes led to a last-minute touchdown by the Seattle Seahawks being awarded, giving the franchise a win over the Green Bay Packers. Top-level officials have been locked out of the NFL over a new collective bargaining agreement.NFL fans were in uproar earlier this week, when refereeing mistakes led to a last-minute touchdown by the Seattle Seahawks being awarded, giving the franchise a win over the Green Bay Packers. Top-level officials have been locked out of the NFL over a new collective bargaining agreement.

Football has had numerous goalline controversies, leading to calls for the sport to adopt technology. Most notably at the 2010 World Cup, when England's Frank Lampard saw his goal disallowed in a match against Germany, despite the ball landing well over the line. The incident led to FIFA president Sepp Blatter admitting that the sport needed to embrace goalline technology.Football has had numerous goalline controversies, leading to calls for the sport to adopt technology. Most notably at the 2010 World Cup, when England’s Frank Lampard saw his “goal” disallowed in a match against Germany, despite the ball landing well over the line. The incident led to FIFA president Sepp Blatter admitting that the sport needed to embrace goalline technology.

But Blatter's European counterpart Michel Platini disagrees. The UEFA president would prefer football to expand the use of extra match officials.But Blatter’s European counterpart Michel Platini disagrees. The UEFA president would prefer football to expand the use of extra match officials.

Extra officials behind each goal have been used in football's Europa League since 2009 and five officials were used during the European Championships earlier this year.Extra officials behind each goal have been used in football’s Europa League since 2009 and five officials were used during the European Championships earlier this year.

Sports such as tennis, cricket and the codes of rugby union and league have also incorporated the use of technology to help officials make the correct decisions.Sports such as tennis, cricket and the codes of rugby union and league have also incorporated the use of technology to help officials make the correct decisions.


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(CNN) — Conversations about refereeing controversies in the National Football League have run amok this week.

Sunday’s disputed, last-second field goal by the Baltimore Ravens that gave them a 31-30 win over the New England Patriots first set tongues wagging.

But that uproar was comfortably outdone the next night by an even more controversial, game-winning score — this one by the Seattle Seahawks, which resulted in their narrowly defeating the Green Bay Packers.

This play — both the lack of a blatant offensive pass interference call and officials’ determination that Seattle’s Golden Tate deserved a touchdown, despite evidence indicating the ball was intercepted — spurred vitriol on Twitter and criticism from pundits and fans alike. For many, it illustrated the credibility problem plaguing the league during its season’s first three weeks with replacement officials on the field, in place of regular referees who were locked out by the NFL in a prolonged contract dispute.

This storm subsided late Wednesday, when NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell temporarily lifted the lockout to allow the “regular” referees to officiate Thursday’s game between the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens. NFL officials remain locked out until a new collective bargaining agreement is voted on by the union membership.

About time,’ players, fans say as NFL officials return

Goodell has had his critics, including those up in arms over the league’s handling of the latest officiating issues. But it is worth pointing out that the sport has at times been a trailblazer in the field of technology, making soccer — or football as it’s known outside the United States — look like it is still stuck in the dark ages.

The NFL introduced an instant replay system in 1986, allowing officials to review and possibly overturn calls on the field. This system at first didn’t take and was scrapped, but an improved replay system was reintroduced in 1999.

Since then, instant replay has been a key feature of the sport, with coaches allowed to challenge a call. Each time, play is halted while the on-field referee watches a replay of the disputed incident from the sidelines and makes his final call.

In all, two challenges are allowed per side per game — the limited number is to ensure games don’t totally lose their flow or get too long — and an additional challenge is permitted if the first two are proved correct.

In the final two minutes of each half, no coach challenges are allowed, but an additional official, watching from overhead in the press box, can intercede over any controversial decisions.

As seen this week, the instant replay system isn’t foolproof. But problems about officiating decisions have, in the past decade or so, become increasingly reduced now that there’s an avenue for calls to be overturned.

This has not been the case, however, in soccer.

“The NFL embraced technology early on, and it’s much more progressive than other sports, even in America, like baseball,” said Nat Coombs, a commentator on both sports for British broadcasters Channel 4 and the BBC, as well as ESPN.

“With better camera angles and social media with armchair referees, there’s more pressure than ever for the officials to get it right, so it’s logical to embrace and adapt the technology,” he added.

NFL’s stop-start nature lends itself better to such a system, whereas in soccer there has been a reluctance to introduce technology because of fears it could break up the game’s flow.

Resistance has been voiced by the likes of UEFA President Michel Platini who, in an interview this week, once again professed his dislike for goal line technology.

“You will never convince me on technology, and I will not change at the age of 57,” said Platini, a Frenchman. “Technology assisting referee, I say ‘no’. My idea is to help referees by putting up more referees.”

Such a system has been tried in the Europa League since 2009 and was used at the recent Euro 2012 tournament. But mistakes were still made.

Notably Marko Devic’s “goal” for Ukraine against England, which looked to have crossed the line, would have been allowed had technology been in place.

It was an incident at the 2010 World Cup that finally convinced world governing body FIFA and, more specifically, president Sepp Blatter, of the need for change.

A shot from England’s Frank Lampard — which was comfortably inside the German goal line — was not ruled a goal. Ultimately, the British fell by a 4-1 score.

“I have to say, ‘Thank you, Lampard’,” said Blatter at the time. “I was completely down in South Africa — when I saw that it really shocked me. It took me a day to react.”

The lack of goal line technology in soccer is hard for Coombs’ American colleagues and friends to comprehend.

“The lack of technology was the overriding issue (some Americans) had with regards to the World Cup,” said Coombs. “They’re just astonished there’s not a review, that it’s just unprofessional and illogical.”

Navigating injury: Can GPS help reduce player burnout?

If the beast that is soccer has taken its time to crank into life over the use of technology, other sports like cricket and tennis have been solid bedfellows with the NFL in providing help to umpires and officials.

In all those sports, the NFL included, there were skeptics when technology was introduced.

“There’s always been a fear that it makes a game more stop-and-start,” said Coombs, arguing that in each case instant replay has made sports better. “The drama of a challenge in the NFL is incredible. It creates a great buzz for all the spectators.

“I’d love to see it come into (soccer). The good would far outweigh the bad and in a few weeks of it being introduced everyone will be thinking why didn’t we have this before.”

The Premier League is among those planning to use goal line technology next season, a decision that has been welcomed by the vast majority of the league, including Chelsea manager Roberto di Matteo.

“We see every season, every big tournament, we need it because there are some crucial moments within those games where you could find the right solution with a bit of technology,” said the Chelsea boss.

There is a parallel between soccer and the NFL in the way players, coaches and fans have a tendency to berate officials, as has been seen in abundance in the United States this week.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady stepped in to ease the row over the controversial ruling in his game this week, when the Ravens’ field goal attempt soared toward the uprights — and through them, according to the officials in the field, if not to New England fans.

When asked whether the field goal had or had not gone through, he said: “From the angle that I have, I can’t tell. Those guys are standing at the uprights. So, if they can’t get it right, then nobody can.”

That throws up the question of further technology.

Had cameras been in place on the goalposts then the matter would not even have been a talking point this week. As an aside, American comedian Adam Carolla has a stand-up routine in which he suggests posts rise up to 500 feet in the air to avoid any issue.

On a serious note, that is a potential issue for Goodell and the NFL commission to address, and one that Coombs believes they will.

“It’s such a forward-thinking sport in terms of technology that after what happened, I wouldn’t be surprised if that matter is already being addressed,” said Coombs.

For now, though, Goodell has more instant and pressing matters to contend with.


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Faldo backs McIlroy over Tiger

September 28th, 2012 No comments


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Severiano Ballestereros hugs his youthful Spanish compatriot Jose Maria Olazabal as their incredible partnership got underway during the 1987 match at Muirfield Village.Severiano Ballestereros hugs his youthful Spanish compatriot Jose Maria Olazabal as their incredible partnership got underway during the 1987 match at Muirfield Village.

The 1981 United States Ryder Cup team is rated the strongest in their history and they romped to victory over the Europeans at Walton Heath.The 1981 United States Ryder Cup team is rated the strongest in their history and they romped to victory over the Europeans at Walton Heath.

Ballesteros famously drove the par-four 10th at The Belfry in 1985 as he inspired the European team to their crushing victory over the U.S. Ballesteros famously drove the par-four 10th at The Belfry in 1985 as he inspired the European team to their crushing victory over the U.S.

Sam Torrance holed the winning putt at The Belfry in 1985 as Europe sealed a comprehensive victory over the United States to snap their long-standing domination of the team event. The last time the U.S. had failed to retain the trophy was 1957. Sam Torrance holed the winning putt at The Belfry in 1985 as Europe sealed a comprehensive victory over the United States to snap their long-standing domination of the team event. The last time the U.S. had failed to retain the trophy was 1957.

In the beginning. The Great Britain and Ireland team on its way to the inaugural match in 1927 in Boston, Massachusetts, where the United States were deserving winners.In the beginning. The Great Britain and Ireland team on its way to the inaugural match in 1927 in Boston, Massachusetts, where the United States were deserving winners.

The great Walter Hagen is handed the trophy after a convincing victory for the Americans in the 1937 match at Southport -- the first time an away team had claimed the trophy. The great Walter Hagen is handed the trophy after a convincing victory for the Americans in the 1937 match at Southport — the first time an away team had claimed the trophy.

A very rare victory for Great Britain and Ireland saw a team led by Dai Rees capture the trophy at Lindrick in 1957 but the U.S. quickly regained the trophy and held it until 1985.A very rare victory for Great Britain and Ireland saw a team led by Dai Rees capture the trophy at Lindrick in 1957 but the U.S. quickly regained the trophy and held it until 1985.

Tony Jacklin and Jack Nicklaus shake hands at the end of their famous tied singles match at Royal Birkdale in 1969 -- leaving the overall match tied at 16-16 in a gripping encounter. Nicklaus conceded a tricky putt for Jacklin on the last green in a famous act of sportmanship.Tony Jacklin and Jack Nicklaus shake hands at the end of their famous tied singles match at Royal Birkdale in 1969 — leaving the overall match tied at 16-16 in a gripping encounter. Nicklaus conceded a tricky putt for Jacklin on the last green in a famous act of sportmanship.

For the first time ever, the 1979 Ryder Cup found two Spaniards - Ballesteros and Antonio Garrido (4th and 3rd from right) - joining players from Great Britain and Ireland in competing against the United States. The match took place in West Virginia, where the home side triumphed again. For the first time ever, the 1979 Ryder Cup found two Spaniards – Ballesteros and Antonio Garrido (4th and 3rd from right) – joining players from Great Britain and Ireland in competing against the United States. The match took place in West Virginia, where the home side triumphed again.

European captain Jacklin harnessed the talent of Ballesteros as his team ended the United States' lengthy winning run during the 1980s.European captain Jacklin harnessed the talent of Ballesteros as his team ended the United States’ lengthy winning run during the 1980s.

A tearful Ballesteros hugs arch-rival Nick Faldo after the Englishman scored a crucial victory over Curtis Strange as Europe won the 1995 match at Oak Hill.A tearful Ballesteros hugs arch-rival Nick Faldo after the Englishman scored a crucial victory over Curtis Strange as Europe won the 1995 match at Oak Hill.

Golf legend Ballesteros captained Europe to a narrow victory over the Americans in 1997 as the match was held on Spanish soil for the first time at Valderrama. Golf legend Ballesteros captained Europe to a narrow victory over the Americans in 1997 as the match was held on Spanish soil for the first time at Valderrama.

The agony of defeat: Bernhard Langer reacts after missing the putt which would have tied the match against the United States at Kiawah Island in 1991. The agony of defeat: Bernhard Langer reacts after missing the putt which would have tied the match against the United States at Kiawah Island in 1991.

Justin Leonard is hugged by his teammates after beating Jose Maria Olazabal at the infamous match at Brookline in 1999. Olazabal had yet to make his putt to keep their singles clash alive when the U.S. team dashed onto the 17th green. Justin Leonard is hugged by his teammates after beating Jose Maria Olazabal at the infamous match at Brookline in 1999. Olazabal had yet to make his putt to keep their singles clash alive when the U.S. team dashed onto the 17th green.

Boo Weekley's first fairway antics were a celebrated feature of the shock win for the United States over Europe at Valhalla in 2008.Boo Weekley’s first fairway antics were a celebrated feature of the shock win for the United States over Europe at Valhalla in 2008.

Graeme McDowell was the last-day hero of Europe's narrow victory at Celtic Manor two years ago and he will take his place at Medinah looking for a repeat.Graeme McDowell was the last-day hero of Europe’s narrow victory at Celtic Manor two years ago and he will take his place at Medinah looking for a repeat.


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(CNN) — Nick Faldo knows what it takes to win the Ryder Cup — so when he says he would rather go into battle with Rory McIlroy in his side than Tiger Woods, it is probably worth listening.

Six-time major winner Faldo remains Europe’s most successful player in the competition having taken 25 points from his duels against the U.S.

While his captaincy during the 2008 defeat at Valhalla was firmly criticized following a disappointing defeat, he remains one of the most iconic figures of the competition.

Azinger slams Ryder Cup rival Faldo

With the U.S. and Europe set to go head-to-head at Medinah Country Club in Chicago on Friday, world No.1 McIlroy is expected to lead the charge for Jose Maria Olazabal’s team.


Is Olazabal ready for Ryder Cup?


Davis Love III’s golfing family

The 23-year-old has enjoyed a sensational run of form, winning the 2011 U.S. Open and the 2012 PGA Championship and more recently the Deutsche Bank Championship, before pocketing a cool $3 million at the FedEx Cup last weekend.

Those achievements have convinced Faldo to back a man playing in just his second Ryder Cup tournament ahead of 14-time major champion and current World No.2 Woods

“I’d pick Rory,” said Faldo. “They’re both really marked men now.

“Rory is at the top of the game and everybody in America wants to beat him now and at 23 he has a pretty daunting job on his shoulders.

McIlroy dismisses claim that Tiger is ‘intimidated’

“You send out your teams you think are going to give you a point but he’s a marked man so it gives him a moral victory if somebody beats him as well and that’s what I’m trying to say.

“It’s the same with Tiger. I think Tiger has obviously changed a lot. I think he recognises the importance of having that team around him and how good it is for him to do his bit for the team.

“Every player would love to do their part for the Ryder Cup team.”

Europe triumphed by a single point at Celtic Manor two years ago with Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell sinking the winning putt following his titanic tussle with Hunter Mahan.

Europe beats U.S. to win Ryder Cup


Lee Westwood looks forward to Ryder Cup


What can Ryder Cup golfers expect?

A quick glance at the world rankings shows that Europe has four players inside the top five with Woods at No.2 separating the likes of McIlroy from Luke Donald, Lee Westwood and Justin Rose.

But the U.S. is looking a far more accomplished team this time around with the likes of Brandt Snedeker hoping to build on his stunning Tour Championship and FedEx Cup victory.

U.S captain Davis Love III also has the likes of Bubba Watson, Jason Duffner and Webb Simpson to call on in addition to the more experienced players such as Steve Stricker, Phil Mickelson and Jim Furyk.

“On paper you look at the two teams and they’re really well matched,” said Faldo.

” Both teams have got bombers, both teams have got steady-eddies and both have got fiery putters

“At the start of the year I said it would maybe be a tie to try and dismiss the question early on. But now it could be.

“I’m not sitting on the fence, it could be a point either way and who knows who is going to get the momentum.

“I’m split in the middle and it could well be a tie.”


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NFL: Vote on new ref deal

September 28th, 2012 No comments

(CNN) — The touchdown catch that wasn’t. The first touchdown interception. The inaccurate reception. Whatever you call it, don’t call the controversial call by replacement refs in the Green Bay Packers-Seattle Seahwaks game a catalyst for the tentative labor deal with National Football League referees, Commissioner Roger Goodell said Thursday.

“It may have pushed the parties farther along, but we were really in intensive negotiations for the last two weeks,” Goodell told reporters in a conference call Thursday to discuss the agreement, reached late Wednesday.

Goodell also said he was sorry the league felt it had to resort to the replacements, few of whom had any previous NFL officiating experience. Many were high school or low-level college officials who hold down myriad of other jobs, from schoolteachers to attorneys.

“We worked as hard as we could and we did the best we could,” Henry Zaborniak, a fill-in line judge who lives in Ohio, told CNN. “None of us felt like we could replace the regular guys. You can’t replace that sort of ability en masse.”

Zaborniak, who spent 15 years as a Big Ten official, said he and his colleagues never imagined working this long. He thought they’d work one game and go home. While the officials were excoriated in the media, Zaborniak said the players were very professional.

“I can’t think of one unkind thing I could say about them,” he said. “They were tremendous.”

Goodell declined to criticize the replacements despite weeks of botched calls that raised the ire of fans nationwide.


‘Real’ refs to return to NFL after deal


NFL referees to return to the gridiron

The Seattle Seahawks defeated the Green Bay Packers 14-12 on Monday, September 24, after replacement officials, standing in for locked-out NFL regulars, gave possession of a disputed ball to Seattle receiver Golden Tate. Officials in the end zone gave competing signals: one indicating a touchdown, the other an interception.The Seattle Seahawks defeated the Green Bay Packers 14-12 on Monday, September 24, after replacement officials, standing in for locked-out NFL regulars, gave possession of a disputed ball to Seattle receiver Golden Tate. Officials in the end zone gave competing signals: one indicating a touchdown, the other an interception.

A timer got stuck (or something) during the 2012 London Olympics, allowing German fencer Britta Heidemann to defeat South Korean fencer Shin A-Lam in the epee semifinal. Shin sat on the piste for an hour, crying at times, while officials worked out the question.A timer got stuck (or something) during the 2012 London Olympics, allowing German fencer Britta Heidemann to defeat South Korean fencer Shin A-Lam in the epee semifinal. Shin sat on the piste for an hour, crying at times, while officials worked out the question.

Baseball umpire Bill Joyce admittedly blew a call at first base, robbing the Detroit Tigers' Armando Galarraga of a perfect game vs. the Cleveland Indians in 2010. Joyce wept when he met Galarraga at home plate before the next day's game.Baseball umpire Bill Joyce admittedly blew a call at first base, robbing the Detroit Tigers’ Armando Galarraga of a perfect game vs. the Cleveland Indians in 2010. Joyce wept when he met Galarraga at home plate before the next day’s game.

In a 2009 qualifying match for the 2010 World Cup, French striker Thierry Henry got away with touching the ball with his hand  twice  before teammate William Gallas scored the winning goal against Ireland, knocking the Irish out of the competition.In a 2009 qualifying match for the 2010 World Cup, French striker Thierry Henry got away with touching the ball with his hand — twice — before teammate William Gallas scored the winning goal against Ireland, knocking the Irish out of the competition.

A regular NFL referee screwed up the call on an overtime coin toss on Thanksgiving Day 1998, and the Detroit Lions beat the Pittsburgh Steelers. A regular NFL referee screwed up the call on an overtime coin toss on Thanksgiving Day 1998, and the Detroit Lions beat the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Referees failed to call Germany's Torsten Frings for a handball during a 2002 match, and the U.S. was knocked out of the World Cup tournament. Referees failed to call Germany’s Torsten Frings for a handball during a 2002 match, and the U.S. was knocked out of the World Cup tournament.

Argentina's Diego Maradona illegally touched the ball with his hand while scoring a goal against England in soccer's 1986 World Cup tournament. It became known as the Hand of God after Maradona credited divine intervention for the dubious goal. Argentina’s Diego Maradona illegally touched the ball with his hand while scoring a goal against England in soccer’s 1986 World Cup tournament. It became known as the “Hand of God” after Maradona credited divine intervention for the dubious goal.

In 1999, the Dallas Stars' Brett Hull scored in triple overtime with a skate in the crease -- which at the time was illegal -- and the Stars went on to win the Stanley Cup over the Buffalo Sabres.In 1999, the Dallas Stars’ Brett Hull scored in triple overtime with a skate in the crease — which at the time was illegal — and the Stars went on to win the Stanley Cup over the Buffalo Sabres.

New York Yankees second baseman Chuck Knoblauch put a phantom tag on Jose Offerman of the Boston Red Sox during the American League Championship Series in 1999. Offerman was called out, and the Yankees went on to win.New York Yankees second baseman Chuck Knoblauch put a phantom tag on Jose Offerman of the Boston Red Sox during the American League Championship Series in 1999. Offerman was called out, and the Yankees went on to win.

A 12-year-old baseball fan named Jeffrey Maier reached over the fence to deflect a ball hit by the Yankees' Derek Jeter into the stands for a home run during the 1996 ALCS against Baltimore. Jeter could have been called out for fan interference.
A 12-year-old baseball fan named Jeffrey Maier reached over the fence to deflect a ball hit by the Yankees’ Derek Jeter into the stands for a home run during the 1996 ALCS against Baltimore. Jeter could have been called out for fan interference.

In college football, on-field officials gave Colorado a fifth down (a team gets only four) to score a touchdown during a crucial game against Missouri in 1990. Colorado won 33-31 and went on to claim part of the national title. Missouri fans pulled down the goalpost after the loss.In college football, on-field officials gave Colorado a fifth down (a team gets only four) to score a touchdown during a crucial game against Missouri in 1990. Colorado won 33-31 and went on to claim part of the national title. Missouri fans pulled down the goalpost after the loss.

American boxer Roy Jones Jr. dominated his South Korean opponent in the gold-medal match at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, only to see Park Si-Hun handed the decision.American boxer Roy Jones Jr. dominated his South Korean opponent in the gold-medal match at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, only to see Park Si-Hun handed the decision.

Umpire Don Denkinger called the Kansas City Royals' Jorge Orta safe at first base despite being beaten by half a step in the ninth inning of a 1985 World Series game against St. Louis. Kansas City went on to win the game and the series.Umpire Don Denkinger called the Kansas City Royals’ Jorge Orta safe at first base despite being beaten by half a step in the ninth inning of a 1985 World Series game against St. Louis. Kansas City went on to win the game and the series.

In the 1972 Olympics, officials reset the clock three times in the final moments to allow the USSR to prevail in the gold-medal basketball game against the undefeated U.S. team. Before the clock was reset, the U.S. team mistakenly celebrated what they thought was a win.In the 1972 Olympics, officials reset the clock three times in the final moments to allow the USSR to prevail in the gold-medal basketball game against the undefeated U.S. team. Before the clock was reset, the U.S. team mistakenly celebrated what they thought was a win.

Baltimore Orioles catcher Elrod Hendricks tagged sliding Cincinnati runner Bernie Carbo with an empty glove in a 1970 World Series game, but umpire Ken Burkhart  who had his back to the play  called Carbo out. (By the way, Carbo also missed the plate.)Baltimore Orioles catcher Elrod Hendricks tagged sliding Cincinnati runner Bernie Carbo with an empty glove in a 1970 World Series game, but umpire Ken Burkhart — who had his back to the play — called Carbo out. (By the way, Carbo also missed the plate.)


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Photos: Blown calls in sportsPhotos: Blown calls in sports

“Everything they did, every call, was magnified,” Goodell said. “They kept the game going. They worked hard. They trained hard. They were incredibly focused and dedicated.”

The eight-year deal — the longest ever for officials, according to the NFL — gives the union referees a pay raise and keeps their pension program in place for five years.

It suspends a lockout that began before the league’s preseason, leading to a series of gaffes that climaxed in a furor over a botched call that allowed the Seahawks to walk away with a victory in Monday night’s nationally televised game. The league acknowledged Tuesday that the Packers should have won, but allowed the result of the game to stand.

Fans and players rejoiced in the news that regular referees would return, beginning with Thursday night’s game between the Cleveland Browns and the Baltimore Ravens.

“Never thought I would be excited for the refs to come back to work but it’s about time,” Cleveland Browns receiver Josh Cribbs tweeted Thursday. “It was definitely necessary!”

Photos: Blown calls

In place of the replacement referees, most of whom had officiated no more than a handful of pro games, the league put together a veteran crew with a combined 70 seasons of NFL experience to handle Thursday night’s game.

Goodell said it was challenging to figure out how to get regular referees back on the field less than 24 hours after striking the tentative deal, but not for lack of enthusiasm among the officials to get back to work.

“They wanted to do what they love doing and make a contribution to the game, and that’s a tribute to them,” Goodell said.

While they have not called a game since last season, the league’s veteran crews will be ready to go, said retired official Mason “Red” Cashion.

“These guys have been working every week, really since May, to get ready for the season, through conference calls, through video, through meetings of their own,” Cashion said. “And that’s something that the officials have done simply because they have enough pride in what they do that they wanted to be ready. And they are ready.”

SI: NFL’s most embarrassing moments

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson throws the winning touchdown pass against the Green Bay Packers in Seattle on Monday night. The Seahawks defeated the Packers 14-12 after a much-questioned call by the referees. Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson throws the winning touchdown pass against the Green Bay Packers in Seattle on Monday night. The Seahawks defeated the Packers 14-12 after a much-questioned call by the referees.

Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate, in navy blue, jumps for the ball, surrounded by Green Bay players. Before he made the catch in the end zone, Tate shoved Packers defender Sam Shields in the back, which would typically draw an offensive pass interference penalty.Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate, in navy blue, jumps for the ball, surrounded by Green Bay players. Before he made the catch in the end zone, Tate shoved Packers defender Sam Shields in the back, which would typically draw an offensive pass interference penalty.

The group falls to the ground in the end zone. Packers defensive back M.D. Jennings appeared to intercept the pass and had both hands wrapped around the ball with the ball pulled into his chest. The group falls to the ground in the end zone. Packers defensive back M.D. Jennings appeared to intercept the pass and had both hands wrapped around the ball with the ball pulled into his chest.

Referees rush over to make the call.Referees rush over to make the call.

On Twitter, this is being called the official photo of the replacement referee debacle. Two officials in the end zone gave contradictory signals: One signaled a touchdown and the other signaled a clock stoppage, indicating a change of possession and an interception.On Twitter, this is being called the “official photo” of the replacement referee debacle. Two officials in the end zone gave contradictory signals: One signaled a touchdown and the other signaled a clock stoppage, indicating a change of possession and an interception.

Tate and No. 14 Charly Martin wrestle with Jennings.Tate and No. 14 Charly Martin wrestle with Jennings.

The play was reviewed on video but was ruled a touchdown. See the best of NFL Week 3.The play was reviewed on video but was ruled a touchdown. See the best of NFL Week 3.


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Photos: The Seahawks-Packers final playPhotos: The Seahawks-Packers final play

Officials in the end zone give different signals on the final play of the Green Bay-Seattle game on Monday night. The Seahawks beat the Packers 14-12 on a controversial call in the end zone on the final play at CenturyLink Field in Seattle. Check out the action from Week 3 of the 2012 National Football League season. Look back at the best of Week 2 and see more of CNN's best photography.Officials in the end zone give different signals on the final play of the Green Bay-Seattle game on Monday night. The Seahawks beat the Packers 14-12 on a controversial call in the end zone on the final play at CenturyLink Field in Seattle. Check out the action from Week 3 of the 2012 National Football League season. Look back at the best of Week 2 and see more of CNN’s best photography.

Wide receiver Golden Tate of the Seattle Seahawks makes a catch in the end zone to defeat the Green Bay Packers on a controversial call by the officials at CenturyLink Field on Monday.Wide receiver Golden Tate of the Seattle Seahawks makes a catch in the end zone to defeat the Green Bay Packers on a controversial call by the officials at CenturyLink Field on Monday.

Wide receiver Golden Tate of the Seahawks wrestles with cornerback M.D. Jennings of the Green Bay Packers in the end zone.
Wide receiver Golden Tate of the Seahawks wrestles with cornerback M.D. Jennings of the Green Bay Packers in the end zone.

Quarterback Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks throws a pass in the first half against the Green Bay Packers on Monday.Quarterback Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks throws a pass in the first half against the Green Bay Packers on Monday.

Ben Obomanu of the Seattle Seahawks prepares to catch a pass as D.J. Smith of the Green Bay Packers defends on Monday.Ben Obomanu of the Seattle Seahawks prepares to catch a pass as D.J. Smith of the Green Bay Packers defends on Monday.

Marshawn Lynch of Seattle runs the ball Monday.Marshawn Lynch of Seattle runs the ball Monday.

Seattle's Russell Wilson throws the ball in Monday night's game against Green Bay.Seattle’s Russell Wilson throws the ball in Monday night’s game against Green Bay.

Green Bay's A.J. Hawk tackles Marshawn Lynch of the Seahawks.Green Bay’s A.J. Hawk tackles Marshawn Lynch of the Seahawks.

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers fires a pass on Monday.Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers fires a pass on Monday.

James Jones of the Green Bay Packers makes a reception Monday in Seattle.James Jones of the Green Bay Packers makes a reception Monday in Seattle.

John Kuhn of Green Bay looks around after losing his helmet on a play.John Kuhn of Green Bay looks around after losing his helmet on a play.

 Green Bay's John Kuhn runs the ball against Danny Gorrer of Seattle. Green Bay’s John Kuhn runs the ball against Danny Gorrer of Seattle.

Seattle's Golden Tate, right, celebrates after scoring a 41-yard touchdown in the second quarter Monday.Seattle’s Golden Tate, right, celebrates after scoring a 41-yard touchdown in the second quarter Monday.

Wes Welker of the New England Patriots runs with the ball after catching a pass in front of Lardarius Webb of the Baltimore Ravens in Baltimore on Sunday, September 23. The Ravens won 31-30.Wes Welker of the New England Patriots runs with the ball after catching a pass in front of Lardarius Webb of the Baltimore Ravens in Baltimore on Sunday, September 23. The Ravens won 31-30.

The Ravens' No. 27 Ray Rice celebrates after he scored a seven-yard rushing touchdown in the third quarter against the New England Patriots on Sunday.The Ravens’ No. 27 Ray Rice celebrates after he scored a seven-yard rushing touchdown in the third quarter against the New England Patriots on Sunday.

Quarterback Joe Flacco of the Ravens is brought down by No. 74 Kyle Love and No. 96 Jermaine Cunningham of the Patriots after scrambling for a first down on Sunday.Quarterback Joe Flacco of the Ravens is brought down by No. 74 Kyle Love and No. 96 Jermaine Cunningham of the Patriots after scrambling for a first down on Sunday.

Vonta Leach of the Baltimore Ravens moves the ball for a seven-yard gain against the New England Patriots on Sunday.Vonta Leach of the Baltimore Ravens moves the ball for a seven-yard gain against the New England Patriots on Sunday.

Brandon Bolden of the New England Patriots scores a two-yard rushing touchdown in the first quarter against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday in Baltimore. Brandon Bolden of the New England Patriots scores a two-yard rushing touchdown in the first quarter against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday in Baltimore.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady throws a pass in the first half against the Ravens.Patriots quarterback Tom Brady throws a pass in the first half against the Ravens.

Anquan Boldin of the Ravens catches a pass.Anquan Boldin of the Ravens catches a pass.

Ed Reed of the Ravens breaks up a pass as he hits the Patriots' Julian Edelman in the first quarter.Ed Reed of the Ravens breaks up a pass as he hits the Patriots’ Julian Edelman in the first quarter.

Devin McCourty of the Patriots breaks up a pass intended for the Torrey Smith of the Ravens.Devin McCourty of the Patriots breaks up a pass intended for the Torrey Smith of the Ravens.

New England's Julian Edelman falls to the turf after taking a hit from Baltimore's Ed Reed.New England’s Julian Edelman falls to the turf after taking a hit from Baltimore’s Ed Reed.

A referee seperates New England and Baltimore players.A referee seperates New England and Baltimore players.

Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco throws a pass against the Patriots.Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco throws a pass against the Patriots.

Torrey Smith of the Ravens catches a 25-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter.Torrey Smith of the Ravens catches a 25-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady takes the field for Sunday night's game against the Ravens.Patriots quarterback Tom Brady takes the field for Sunday night’s game against the Ravens.

Tight end Randy McMichael of the San Diego Chargers leaps in front of Dominique Franks of the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday in San Diego. The Falcons defeated the Chargers 27-3.Tight end Randy McMichael of the San Diego Chargers leaps in front of Dominique Franks of the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday in San Diego. The Falcons defeated the Chargers 27-3.

Vaughn Martin of the Chargers pressures Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan.Vaughn Martin of the Chargers pressures Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan.

Tony Gonzalez of the Atlanta Falcons catches the ball as Charles Mitchell of the San Diego Chargers defends on Sunday.Tony Gonzalez of the Atlanta Falcons catches the ball as Charles Mitchell of the San Diego Chargers defends on Sunday.

Atlanta's Julio Jones is brought down by San Diego's Marcus Gilchrist.Atlanta’s Julio Jones is brought down by San Diego’s Marcus Gilchrist.

Philip Rivers of the San Diego Chargers throws in the game against the Atlanta Falcons in San Diego.Philip Rivers of the San Diego Chargers throws in the game against the Atlanta Falcons in San Diego.

The Denver Broncos offense faces off against the Houston Texans defense on Sunday in Denver. The Texans defeated the Broncos 31-25. The Denver Broncos offense faces off against the Houston Texans defense on Sunday in Denver. The Texans defeated the Broncos 31-25.

Place kicker Matt Prater of the Denver Broncos kicks a field goal from the hold of punter Britton Colquitt against the Houston Texans in Denver on Sunday.Place kicker Matt Prater of the Denver Broncos kicks a field goal from the hold of punter Britton Colquitt against the Houston Texans in Denver on Sunday.

Keshawn Martin of the Houston Texans runs the ball against the Denver Broncos.Keshawn Martin of the Houston Texans runs the ball against the Denver Broncos.

Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos drops back to pass Sunday against the Houston Texans.Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos drops back to pass Sunday against the Houston Texans.

Elvis Dumervil of the Broncos, right, celebrates his safety with Von Miller on Sunday against the Texans.Elvis Dumervil of the Broncos, right, celebrates his safety with Von Miller on Sunday against the Texans.

Denver quarterback Peyton Manning throws a pass in the first quarter against the Texans.Denver quarterback Peyton Manning throws a pass in the first quarter against the Texans.

Larry Fitzgerald of the Arizona Cardinals, left, and teammate Andre Roberts celebrate a touchdown against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday in Glendale, Arizona.Larry Fitzgerald of the Arizona Cardinals, left, and teammate Andre Roberts celebrate a touchdown against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday in Glendale, Arizona.

Kevin Kolb of the Cardinals throws a 37-yard touchdown during the second quarter against the Eagles.Kevin Kolb of the Cardinals throws a 37-yard touchdown during the second quarter against the Eagles.

Mike Wallace of the Steelers gets caught from behind by Richard Seymour of the Raiders.Mike Wallace of the Steelers gets caught from behind by Richard Seymour of the Raiders.

Ryan Clark of the Pittsburgh Steelers watches Sunday's game against the Oakland Raiders from the sidelines in Oakland.Ryan Clark of the Pittsburgh Steelers watches Sunday’s game against the Oakland Raiders from the sidelines in Oakland.

Oakland's Marcel Reece is hit by Pittsburgh's Lawrence Timmons.Oakland’s Marcel Reece is hit by Pittsburgh’s Lawrence Timmons.

Michael Floyd of the Cardinals celebrates after scoring.Michael Floyd of the Cardinals celebrates after scoring.

Percy Harvin of the Minnesota Vikings avoids a tackle by Chris Culliver of the San Francisco 49ers during the fourth quarter Sunday at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis.Percy Harvin of the Minnesota Vikings avoids a tackle by Chris Culliver of the San Francisco 49ers during the fourth quarter Sunday at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis.

Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers sets up to throw.Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers sets up to throw.

Kyle Rudolph of the Minnesota Vikings rolls in the endzone for a touchdown Sunday while Donte Whitner of the San Francisco 49ers looks to the referee.Kyle Rudolph of the Minnesota Vikings rolls in the endzone for a touchdown Sunday while Donte Whitner of the San Francisco 49ers looks to the referee.

Aldon Smith of the 49ers attempts to snag the ball from Adrian Peterson of the Vikings on Sunday.Aldon Smith of the 49ers attempts to snag the ball from Adrian Peterson of the Vikings on Sunday.

Harrison Smith of the Minnesota Vikings tackles Delanie Walker of the San Francisco 49ers during the first quarter Sunday.Harrison Smith of the Minnesota Vikings tackles Delanie Walker of the San Francisco 49ers during the first quarter Sunday.

Minnesota's Kyle Rudolph, right, celebrates with John Carlson after scoring a touchdown against San Francisco.Minnesota’s Kyle Rudolph, right, celebrates with John Carlson after scoring a touchdown against San Francisco.

Christian Ponder of the Vikings fires a pass downfield.Christian Ponder of the Vikings fires a pass downfield.

Mikel LeShoure of the Detroit Lions jumps over Ryan Mouton of the Tennessee Titans.Mikel LeShoure of the Detroit Lions jumps over Ryan Mouton of the Tennessee Titans.

Dominic Raiola of the Detroit Lions reacts following the instant replay review of a fourth-down play in overtime against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday in Nashville. The Titans won 44-41.Dominic Raiola of the Detroit Lions reacts following the instant replay review of a fourth-down play in overtime against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday in Nashville. The Titans won 44-41.

No. 56 Akeem Ayers of the Titans bats down a hail mary pass intended for the Lions' Titus Young.No. 56 Akeem Ayers of the Titans bats down a hail mary pass intended for the Lions’ Titus Young.

Calvin Johnson of the Detroit Lions runs after catching a pass against the Tennessee Titans.Calvin Johnson of the Detroit Lions runs after catching a pass against the Tennessee Titans.

Detroit's Mikel Leshoure gets tripped up by Tennessee's Ryan Mouton.Detroit’s Mikel Leshoure gets tripped up by Tennessee’s Ryan Mouton.

Nate Burleson of the Lions stiff-arms Michael Griffin of the Titans.Nate Burleson of the Lions stiff-arms Michael Griffin of the Titans.

Nate Burleson of the Detroit Lions is tackled by Will Witherspoon of the Tennessee Titans on Sunday in Nashville.Nate Burleson of the Detroit Lions is tackled by Will Witherspoon of the Tennessee Titans on Sunday in Nashville.

Bill Bentley of the Detroit Lions squares up to try to tackle Chris Johnson of the Tennessee Titans.Bill Bentley of the Detroit Lions squares up to try to tackle Chris Johnson of the Tennessee Titans.

Ryan Succop of the Chiefs celebrates after kicking a field goal against the Saints on Sunday.Ryan Succop of the Chiefs celebrates after kicking a field goal against the Saints on Sunday.

Javier Arenas of the Kansas City Chiefs avoids a tackle during Sunday's game against the New Orleans Saints.Javier Arenas of the Kansas City Chiefs avoids a tackle during Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints.

Dwayne Bower of Kansas City is pursued by Scott Shanle of New Orleans on Sunday.Dwayne Bower of Kansas City is pursued by Scott Shanle of New Orleans on Sunday.

Dwayne Bowe of the Kansas City Chiefs is pushed out of bounds by Patrick Robinson of the New Orleans Saints on Sunday in New Orleans. The Chiefs defeated the Saints 27-24 in overtime.Dwayne Bowe of the Kansas City Chiefs is pushed out of bounds by Patrick Robinson of the New Orleans Saints on Sunday in New Orleans. The Chiefs defeated the Saints 27-24 in overtime.

Dwayne Bowe of the Kansas City Chiefs is tackled during Sunday's game against the Saints in New Orleans.Dwayne Bowe of the Kansas City Chiefs is tackled during Sunday’s game against the Saints in New Orleans.

Saints quarterback Drew Brees throws a pass against the Chiefs.Saints quarterback Drew Brees throws a pass against the Chiefs.

Brees scrambles to get away from the Chiefs' Jovan Belcher.Brees scrambles to get away from the Chiefs’ Jovan Belcher.

No. 84 Jermaine Gresham celebrates with Mohamed Sanu of the Cincinnati Bengals after scoring a touchdown on a 6-yard pass in the second half Sunday against the Washington Redskins.No. 84 Jermaine Gresham celebrates with Mohamed Sanu of the Cincinnati Bengals after scoring a touchdown on a 6-yard pass in the second half Sunday against the Washington Redskins.

London Fletcher of the Washington Redskins, left, tries to make an interception against Jermaine Gresham of the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday at FedExField n Landover, Maryland.London Fletcher of the Washington Redskins, left, tries to make an interception against Jermaine Gresham of the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday at FedExField n Landover, Maryland.

Bengals and Redskins players leap for the ball.Bengals and Redskins players leap for the ball.

Washington's Alfred Morris dives after a run against Cincinnati.Washington’s Alfred Morris dives after a run against Cincinnati.

Andrew Hawkins of the Cincinnati Bengals avoids a tackle by the Washington Redskins' Richard Crawford on his way to scoring a game-winning touchdown Sunday in Landover, Maryland. The Bengals won 38-31.Andrew Hawkins of the Cincinnati Bengals avoids a tackle by the Washington Redskins’ Richard Crawford on his way to scoring a game-winning touchdown Sunday in Landover, Maryland. The Bengals won 38-31.

Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton is hit as he throws a pass. The Redskins' Rob Jackson would intercept and return it for a touchdown.Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton is hit as he throws a pass. The Redskins’ Rob Jackson would intercept and return it for a touchdown.

Quarterback Robert Griffin III of the Washington Redskins is sacked by No. 93 Michael Johnson of the Cincinnati Bengals.Quarterback Robert Griffin III of the Washington Redskins is sacked by No. 93 Michael Johnson of the Cincinnati Bengals.

Cincinnati's A.J. Green makes a catch against Washington's DeAngelo Hall.Cincinnati’s A.J. Green makes a catch against Washington’s DeAngelo Hall.

Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III runs against the Bengals.Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III runs against the Bengals.

Jacksonville's Rashean Mathis of the runs downfield after intercepting a pass against the Colts.Jacksonville’s Rashean Mathis of the runs downfield after intercepting a pass against the Colts.

Paul Posluszny of the Jacksonville Jaguars looks for a teammate to lateral to after an interception against the Indianapolis Colts.Paul Posluszny of the Jacksonville Jaguars looks for a teammate to lateral to after an interception against the Indianapolis Colts.

Donnie Avery of the Indianapolis Colts reaches out for a catch that fell incomplete as Dwight Lowery of the Jacksonville Jaguars defends Sunday in Indianapolis.Donnie Avery of the Indianapolis Colts reaches out for a catch that fell incomplete as Dwight Lowery of the Jacksonville Jaguars defends Sunday in Indianapolis.

Donald Brown of the Colts runs the ball as Russell Allen of the Jaguars makes the tackle from behind.Donald Brown of the Colts runs the ball as Russell Allen of the Jaguars makes the tackle from behind.

Andrew Luck of the Indianapolis Colts throws a pass during Sunday's game against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Indianapolis.Andrew Luck of the Indianapolis Colts throws a pass during Sunday’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Indianapolis.

No. 5 Josh Freeman of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers fumbles the ball during Sunday's game against the Dallas Cowboys.No. 5 Josh Freeman of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers fumbles the ball during Sunday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys.

Cowboys and Buccaneers players jump for the ball in the endzone.Cowboys and Buccaneers players jump for the ball in the endzone.

Tampa Bay's Aqib Talib returns an interception.Tampa Bay’s Aqib Talib returns an interception.

Tampa Bay's Mike Williams tries to elude Sean Lee of Dallas.Tampa Bay’s Mike Williams tries to elude Sean Lee of Dallas.

Dallas' DeMarco Murray vaults for a touchdown.Dallas’ DeMarco Murray vaults for a touchdown.

Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo runs for daylight against Tampa Bay.Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo runs for daylight against Tampa Bay.

Felix Jones of the Dallas Cowboys is tripped up by D.J. Ware of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday in Arlington, Texas.Felix Jones of the Dallas Cowboys is tripped up by D.J. Ware of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday in Arlington, Texas.

Barry Church of the Dallas Cowboys pressures Luke Stocker of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.Barry Church of the Dallas Cowboys pressures Luke Stocker of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys fumbles the ball Sunday after being hit by Michael Bennett of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys fumbles the ball Sunday after being hit by Michael Bennett of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Dez Bryant of the Cowboys makes a 44-yard punt return Sunday against the Buccaneers.Dez Bryant of the Cowboys makes a 44-yard punt return Sunday against the Buccaneers.

Dez Bryant of the Dallas Cowboys runs the ball Sunday against Ahmad Black of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.Dez Bryant of the Dallas Cowboys runs the ball Sunday against Ahmad Black of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Brad Smith of the Buffalo Bills runs by Cleveland Browns defenders.Brad Smith of the Buffalo Bills runs by Cleveland Browns defenders.

Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden, left, celebrates with Richardson after the rookie running back's touchdown against the Bills.Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden, left, celebrates with Richardson after the rookie running back’s touchdown against the Bills.

Chris Ogbonnaya of the Browns jumps over Justin Rogers of the Bills on Sunday.Chris Ogbonnaya of the Browns jumps over Justin Rogers of the Bills on Sunday.

Aaron Williams of Buffalo breaks up a pass intended for Cleveland's Mohamed Massaquoi.Aaron Williams of Buffalo breaks up a pass intended for Cleveland’s Mohamed Massaquoi.

Corey McIntyre of the Buffalo Bills runs off the field after a victory over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday in Cleveland. The Bills defeated the Browns 24-14.Corey McIntyre of the Buffalo Bills runs off the field after a victory over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday in Cleveland. The Bills defeated the Browns 24-14.

Buffalo's No. 13 Steve Johnson celebrates after scoring a touchdown.Buffalo’s No. 13 Steve Johnson celebrates after scoring a touchdown.

Trent Richardson of the Cleveland Browns scores a touchdown against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.Trent Richardson of the Cleveland Browns scores a touchdown against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.

T.J. Graham of the Buffalo Bills celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.T.J. Graham of the Buffalo Bills celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.

Jared Odrick of the Miami Dolphins hits Mark Sanchez of the New York Jets as he gets the ball away.Jared Odrick of the Miami Dolphins hits Mark Sanchez of the New York Jets as he gets the ball away.

Daniel Thomas of the Miami Dolphins runs with the ball during Sunday's game against the New York Jets at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. The Jets defeated the Dolphins 23-20 in overtime.Daniel Thomas of the Miami Dolphins runs with the ball during Sunday’s game against the New York Jets at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. The Jets defeated the Dolphins 23-20 in overtime.

Anthony Fasano of the Miami Dolphins is tackled by Antonio Cromartie of the New York Jets at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.Anthony Fasano of the Miami Dolphins is tackled by Antonio Cromartie of the New York Jets at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.

New York Jets backup quarterback Tim Tebow smiles before Sunday's game against the Dolphins.New York Jets backup quarterback Tim Tebow smiles before Sunday’s game against the Dolphins.

Reggie Bush of the Dolphins runs against the Jets' Darrelle Revis.Reggie Bush of the Dolphins runs against the Jets’ Darrelle Revis.

Josh Cribbs of the Cleveland Browns is tackled by Nigel Bradham of the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.Josh Cribbs of the Cleveland Browns is tackled by Nigel Bradham of the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.

Brian Hartline of the Dolphins fails to make a catch against the Jets.Brian Hartline of the Dolphins fails to make a catch against the Jets.

Cortland Finnegan of the Rams breaks up a pass intended for Alshon Jeffery of the Bears.Cortland Finnegan of the Rams breaks up a pass intended for Alshon Jeffery of the Bears.

Lance Briggs of the Chicago Bears tackles Steven Jackson of the St. Louis Rams on Sunday at Soldier Field in Chicago.Lance Briggs of the Chicago Bears tackles Steven Jackson of the St. Louis Rams on Sunday at Soldier Field in Chicago.

Amobi Okoye of the Chicago Bears sacks Sam Bradford of the St. Louis Rams at Soldier Field in Chicago.Amobi Okoye of the Chicago Bears sacks Sam Bradford of the St. Louis Rams at Soldier Field in Chicago.

The Bears' Jay Cutler runs for a first down against the Rams.The Bears’ Jay Cutler runs for a first down against the Rams.

Brandon Marshall of the Bears tries to catch a pass Sunday as he is hit by the Rams' Craig Dahl.Brandon Marshall of the Bears tries to catch a pass Sunday as he is hit by the Rams’ Craig Dahl.

Ramses Barden of the New York Giants stiff-arms Luke Kuechly of the Carolina Panthers during a play on Thursday, September 20, at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina.Ramses Barden of the New York Giants stiff-arms Luke Kuechly of the Carolina Panthers during a play on Thursday, September 20, at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Jayron Hosley of the New York Giants intercepts a pass intended for Brandon LaFell of the Carolina Panthers on Thursday.Jayron Hosley of the New York Giants intercepts a pass intended for Brandon LaFell of the Carolina Panthers on Thursday.

Andre Brown of the Giants runs the ball down to the 2-yard line in the second quarter on Thursday against Josh Norman of the Carolina Panthers.Andre Brown of the Giants runs the ball down to the 2-yard line in the second quarter on Thursday against Josh Norman of the Carolina Panthers.

Major Wright of the Chicago Bears scores a touchdown after intercepting a pass Sunday against the St. Louis Rams.Major Wright of the Chicago Bears scores a touchdown after intercepting a pass Sunday against the St. Louis Rams.

Officials separate the Giants' Michael Boley from the Panthers' Steve Smith as they scuffle after a play.Officials separate the Giants’ Michael Boley from the Panthers’ Steve Smith as they scuffle after a play.

Panthers quarterback Cam Newton throws a pass in the first quarter against the New York Giants on Thursday.Panthers quarterback Cam Newton throws a pass in the first quarter against the New York Giants on Thursday.

Cam Newton reacts after he was sacked in the first half against the Giants on Thursday.Cam Newton reacts after he was sacked in the first half against the Giants on Thursday.

Martellus Bennett of the New York Giants makes a reception in the first half on Thursday.Martellus Bennett of the New York Giants makes a reception in the first half on Thursday.

Martellus Bennett of the New York Giants scores on a 14-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter against the Panthers on Thursday.Martellus Bennett of the New York Giants scores on a 14-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter against the Panthers on Thursday.

Andre Brown of the New York Giants runs the ball in the first quarter against the Carolina Panthers on Thursday.Andre Brown of the New York Giants runs the ball in the first quarter against the Carolina Panthers on Thursday.

Quarterback Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers leads his teammates onto the field to play against the New York Giants on Thursday. Look back at the best of Week 2 and at see more of CNN's best photography.Quarterback Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers leads his teammates onto the field to play against the New York Giants on Thursday. Look back at the best of Week 2 and at see more of CNN’s best photography.


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NFL Week 3: The best photosNFL Week 3: The best photos

The eight-year deal, which must be ratified by union members, includes details about officials’ pensions and retirement benefits, and adds a pay bump from $149,000 a year in 2011 to $173,000 in 2013. The pay will rise to $205,000 by 2019.

The agreement will also allow the NFL to hire some officials on a year-round basis and hire additional referees so they can be trained.

“This agreement supports long-term reforms that will make officiating better. The teams, players and fans want and deserve both consistency and quality in officiating,” Goodell said.

What the refs were negotiating

The return of the league’s regular referees won’t put an end to controversial calls, said retired NFL player Tiki Barber. But it will raise the respect level between coaches and players and officials, Barber said.

“There’s still going to be arguing with referees,” he said. “They’re still going to make bad calls. But now we’re going to know that it’s coming from a base of knowledge. These guys know what they’re talking about and they’re going to have an argument for why they do what they do on the field.”

Fired up over NFL referees? Share your thoughts.

The deal came almost exactly 48 hours after the controversial ending of the Monday night game, which the Seahawks won 14-12 after replacement officials gave possession of a disputed ball, and a touchdown, to Seattle receiver Golden Tate.

In what became a widely mocked symbol of the quality of officiating by the replacements, a photo from that game shows two officials in the end zone displaying competing signals: one indicating a touchdown, the other an interception.

The result generated intense and immediate criticism of the league — even President Barack Obama weighed in Tuesday urging a quick resolution. On Thursday, White House spokesman Jay Carney said Obama was “very pleased” with the resolution.

Goodell said he was not surprised by the outcry.

“I’ve come to learn in the NFL, particularly with the popularity of the game and the influence it has in today’s society, not much surprises me about what happens in the NFL,” he said.

Despite prodding by reporters, he declined to closely dissect the play that ended Monday night’s game beyond the statement the NFL issued Tuesday. In that statement, the NFL said the replacement refs should have called an offensive pass interference penalty on Seattle that would have ended the game, but supported the referees’ decision not to overturn the ruling on the catch.

Goodell also declined to grade the replacements, saying that wasn’t part of his duties. But he warned fans that mistakes will still happen, even with the return of the veterans.

“It’s not realistic to think that officiating will be perfect,” he said.

Much as it was after the Monday game, Twitter was buzzing with discussion of the deal. For a while, in the early morning, the name of one of the NFL’s more iconic officials, the heavily muscled Ed Hochuli, was one of the most-discussed topics among Twitter users in the United States.

“I’ve never been more excited to see another man’s biceps than this Sunday to see Ed Hochuli back officiating,” a Twitter user named Robby Donoho wrote. “It’s. About. Time.”

CNN’s Javi Morgado and Joseph Miller contributed to this report.


Article source: http://rss.cnn.com/~r/rss/edition_sport/~3/mZB2e-j17OA/index.html

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/SportRipplesWeb/~3/SdCXRBG6T4s/nfl-vote-on-new-ref-deal

Kickfollower tracks the second life of successful Kickstarter projects

September 28th, 2012 No comments

Kickfollower screen shot

Get a kick out of Kickfollower.


(Credit:
Screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET
)

Sometimes we kick ourselves for missing out on a good Kickstarter. There’s that moment of sorrow when we see something awesome is already funded and done without us. Then we eventually forget about it.

Kickfollower is a combination of a gentle reminder and a discovery tool for crowdfunded projects. It aggregates successful projects that are now reality and available for purchase from online stores.

It’s a trip down Kickstarter memory lane. Oh look, candles made from pure beeswax that look like vintage objects! Coffee Joulies, I remember you! Kickfollower is still building out its list of merchandise, so expect it to expand.

One of its more intriguing features is the inclusion of the original Kickstarter pledge price along with the actual selling price. For example, the Wonder Threads cloth electronic sleeves went for $35 on Kickstarter, but now sell for $40. Some items end up retailing for less than the original pledge, some for about the same, and some for considerably more.

With the issue of failed Kickstarter projects raising its ugly head, it’s heartening to know some of these Kickstarters go on to lead healthy sales lives after all the romance and excitement of funding is over.

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/cnet/pRza/~3/QwcU5BbWnXE/

Autographer camera has a mind all its own

September 28th, 2012 No comments

Autographer
(Credit:
OMG Life
)

The Autographer is an upcoming wearable ultracompact that aims to enable users to “see the unseen” by automatically capturing images based on its five built-in sensors. These sensors — color sensor, accelerometer, magnetometer, infrared motion detector, and thermometer — work together to tell the camera when to capture an image.

A GPS module works in tandem with the cam, tagging location information to every image captured.

“The user can live the experience while Autographer spontaneously captures the stories that unfold,” says maker OMG (Oxford Metric Group). “This is not just a new camera but a whole new photographic approach.”

Measuring about 3. 8 inches by 1.5 inches by less than an inch, the 5-megapixel shooter is lightweight (about 2 ounces, making it comfortable to wear around the neck).

It uses a glass wide-angle fixed focal length lens, which gives users a 136-degree field of view. Shutterbugs view, share, and tag image using a dedicated smartphone app.

The U.K. company claims the camera can produce thousands of high-resolution images a day and its rate of capture can be manually controlled by the user. Stills can be transferred to external devices using Bluetooth technology.

Available with 8GB of storage capacity, the Autographer will retail for about $650 at its official site come November 2012.

(Source: Crave Asia)

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/cnet/pRza/~3/fmIbrIw7Mc8/

J.K. Rowling book: Class, swearing, sex

September 27th, 2012 No comments


A member of staff poses with a copy of 'The Casual Vacancy', in a bookshop in central London on September 27, 2012.

London (CNN) — Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling’s first adult novel went on sale amid a buzz of anticipation Thursday — but reviews suggest those hoping for a repeat of the charms and wizardry of the Hogwarts books may be disappointed.

“The Casual Vacancy” is firmly aimed at those in the grown-up world, with the writer’s pen dissecting social inequality, small town politics and snobbery — with sex, abuse and a mouthful of swearing thrown in for good measure.

Muggle moms await J.K. Rowling’s first adult book

Set in the fictional town of Pagford, in western England, it centers on a local election following the death of a parish councilman — and relies on what reviewers agree is a cast of finely drawn but generally unpleasant characters to bring this insular world to life.

“We are firmly in Muggle-land — about as far from the enchanted world of Harry Potter as we can get,” wrote Michiko Kakutani in The New York Times.

“There is no magic in this book — in terms of wizarding or in terms of narrative sorcery. Instead, this novel for adults is filled with a variety of people like Harry’s aunt and uncle, Petunia and Vernon Dursley: self-absorbed, small-minded, snobbish and judgmental folks, whose stories neither engage nor transport us.”

The Guardian newspaper’s Theo Tait judges it “a solid, traditional and determinedly unadventurous English novel” but praises Rowling’s depiction of the “claustrophobic horror” of a small town community, with plenty of scheming and “everyone knowing everyone.”

Sales of the book, which was released in paper, online and e-book form in Britain and the United States Thursday morning, will no doubt be closely watched.

But while Rowling’s publisher, Little Brown, and booksellers seem confident the tome will prove a bestseller, the mad rush and pre-dawn lines that awaited some of the Potter releases were not in evidence.

Early sales seemed slow at a central London branch of the Waterstone’s bookstore chain, where stacks of the hardback novel, with its stridently red and yellow cover, were unwrapped and ready for buyers.

Opinion: J.K. Rowling explains why muggles are obsessed with class

Waterstone’s spokeswoman Debs Tilley said pre-orders had been “fantastic,” suggesting Rowling commands a legion of devoted readers willing to give her new venture a try even if they’re not beating down the doors to the store.

“Having known and loved her writing for the past 15 years, the world has been waiting to see what she did next,” Tilley said. “‘The Casual Vacancy’ has reminded us all just how popular she is and how committed her fans are.”

Harry Potter is certainly a tough act to follow. The seven-book series sold more than 450 million copies and spawned a multibillion-dollar film franchise.

Details of the new book’s content were kept largely under wraps ahead of its release, with Rowling speaking to only a few media outlets in the United Kingdom and the United States. Those critics lucky enough to get their hands on an advance copy also had to keep their reviews under wraps until Thursday.

But one young woman in London told CNN why she’s looking forward to reading it. “I think it will be really interesting to see how J.K. Rowling writes something else that isn’t Harry Potter, that isn’t aimed at children or young people,” she said.

“I’ve heard lots about ‘The Casual Vacancy’ as being a political satire and more of that — so it’s going to be nice to see if she pulls it off.”

A representative for Rowling’s publisher, Little Brown, said pre-sales of the novel had gone very well and that the idea behind the limited pre-publication access to the book was to make it as “normal” a launch as possible.

With limited information leaked beforehand, many parents will likely be wondering Thursday if the book will appeal to — or perhaps be suitable for — children who have grown up loving Harry Potter’s world of Muggles and magic.

Will J.K. Rowling net wizard profits from switch to crime?

Kakutani is unequivocal in her judgment.

“This is definitely not a book for children: suicide, rape, heroin addiction, beatings and thoughts of patricide percolate through its pages; there is a sex scene set in a cemetery, a grotesque description of a used condom … and alarming scenes of violent domestic abuse.

“The novel contains moments of genuine drama and flashes here and there of humor, but it ends on such a disheartening note with two more abrupt, crudely stage-managed deaths that the reader is left stumbling about with whatever is the opposite of the emotions evoked by the end of the Harry Potter series.”

In Britain’s The Daily Telegraph newspaper, reviewer Allison Pearson notes Rowling’s use of humor — but also paints a black image of the overall mood.

“The Casual Vacancy” is “sometimes funny, often startlingly well observed, and full of cruelty and despair. One teenager cuts herself to relieve her misery, another commits suicide. Online pornography is described in gynaecological detail,” she writes.

“It feels as if the author has unleashed all the swearing, sex and vitriol that have been off-limits to her since Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was published in 1997. As for the ending, dear God, it is so howlingly bleak that it makes Thomas Hardy look like PG Wodehouse.”

As for Rowling, she told the BBC that she had written the book by choice, rather than necessity, since the success of the Potter series has made her very wealthy.

“I had nothing to prove. I don’t mean that in an arrogant way. I can pay my bills every day, I am grateful for that fact. I don’t need to publish,” she said.

But while novel was born of an idea that excited her and is “personal in the sense that it deals with broad themes that have affected my life in a very real sense — poverty for example,” Rowling thinks it very likely her next book will be for children.

For those yearning for a return to the more familiar territory of Hogwarts, however, the British author has little hope to offer. “It was murder saying goodbye but I truly — where Harry’s story is concerned, I’m done. Now if I had a fabulous idea, I would do it. But I’ve got to have a great idea.”

TIME: Review of ‘The Casual Vacancy’

CNN’s Laura Mackenzie contributed to this report.


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Flame Towers light up Baku

September 27th, 2012 No comments


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The new Flame Towers in Baku, Azerbaijan, designed by HOK International, were instantly popular, but posed several challenges to their makers.
The new Flame Towers in Baku, Azerbaijan, designed by HOK International, were instantly popular, but posed several challenges to their makers.

Construction was halted at one point as engineers battled Baku's frequent gale-force winds while also taking into consideration the area's seismic activity. Construction was halted at one point as engineers battled Baku’s frequent gale-force winds while also taking into consideration the area’s seismic activity.

Architect Barry Hughes also wanted to protect Baku's historic architecture, while satisfying his client's brief. You go, 'I'd really like to not screw this up, because it is really beautiful,' [but] you're trying to do something new and aspirational to represent the future.Architect Barry Hughes also wanted to protect Baku’s historic architecture, while satisfying his client’s brief. “You go, ‘I’d really like to not screw this up, because it is really beautiful,’ [but] you’re trying to do something new and aspirational to represent the future.”

Beneath the towers is a retail space with a honeycomb roof (as this CGI shows). A lot of our buildings are pragmatic, developer-led buildings, but we're trying to do something spiritual and sculptural, says Hughes.Beneath the towers is a retail space with a honeycomb roof (as this CGI shows). “A lot of our buildings are pragmatic, developer-led buildings, but we’re trying to do something spiritual and sculptural,” says Hughes.

The building Hughes most wishes he had built is Le Corbusier's Notre Dame du Haut chapel in Ronchamp, France.The building Hughes most wishes he had built is Le Corbusier’s Notre Dame du Haut chapel in Ronchamp, France.

Completed in 1954, Hughes admires its freeform abstraction, and the processional route that visitors must take to get there.Completed in 1954, Hughes admires its freeform abstraction, and the processional route that visitors must take to get there.

The processional route that visitors take to get there is typical of Corbusier, says Hughes, who was inspired by the Parthenon.The processional route that visitors take to get there is typical of Corbusier, says Hughes, who was inspired by the Parthenon.

a href='http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/thoreau/'[Henry David] Thoreau/a said: 'Man will inevitably fail, so aim high', Hughes says. That's true of architecture: if you're not aiming high, you're probably not going to fail, but you're not going to succeed as much as you'd like either.[Henry David] Thoreau said: ‘Man will inevitably fail, so aim high’,” Hughes says. “That’s true of architecture: if you’re not aiming high, you’re probably not going to fail, but you’re not going to succeed as much as you’d like either.”


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Editor’s note: CNN’s “Great Buildings” showcases six of the world’s leading architects. We ask them to name the favorite building they have designed and to choose a piece of architecture they wished they had created.

(CNN) — Baku has been a citadel amidst potentially destabilizing forces for centuries, routinely blasted by gale-force winds, seismic activity and positioned near one of the world’s largest and most coveted oil reserves.

But, having declared independence and with the establishment of a lucrative oil pipeline, Azerbaijan now has its sights set firmly on urban renewal in its capital.

This year, the astonishing Flame Towers project was completed by global architecture giant HOK, creating a building that developers hoped would become an icon for Baku’s coastal skyline.

Texan-born Barry Hughes, Vice President of HOK, says building an “icon” is one of the most intimidating briefs for an architect.

“It’s probably dangerous to try to do something iconic. The biggest challenge a designer faces is that blank sheet of paper,” he says, “and if you pile on the idea that you want something iconic …”

UNESCO World Heritage: Historic buildings in peril


Barry Hughes picks his ‘Great Buildings’


Daniel Libeskind’s ‘Great Buildings’


Ma Yansong picks his ‘Great Buildings’


Zaha Hadid’s favorite buildings

HOK ultimately created three flame-shaped towers, clad in orange and blue-tinted glass, encircling a honeycomb-roofed podium.

This is Hughes’ favorite building, although he is reluctant to take all of the credit.

“I feel guilty because I get to take a bow for the work of 150 people who worked on this project,” he says.

The towers’ shape was inspired by the city’s history of Zoroastrian fire worship and its ongoing connection with natural gas.

“The client absolutely latched onto the idea of the flame, and then it became an interesting conversation about how literal that would be.”

View a hi-res gallery of Barry Hughes’ favorite buildings

Whether your tower looks like a flame, or merely evokes the concept, comes down, it seems, to how much it flickers at the roof line, and Hughes says a dedicated team worked exclusively on refining the towers’ quiffs.

“They had long conversations about that moment when a candle is burning, the gestural moment when it catches the wind. Somebody drew that a hundred times in the computer, and once that’s drawn it gets parsed through different programs, and the contractors have to further rationalize it.”

Watch ‘Great Buildings’ on Connect the World

The towers posed numerous other challenges. They had to be weighted to withstand potential earthquakes, and parts needed to be constructed without the use of cranes, due to Baku’s harsh winds.

The site is large, but dense, containing offices, a hotel and residential apartments above a shopping mall, above a parking lot. “Making all those spaces work in tandem was the biggest engineering challenge of all,” Hughes admits.

But, standing at the top of one tower shortly before the building was completed, Hughes found himself marveling at another unexpected feat.

“Rare is the place in the world where you can stand in one tower … and have two other towers that seem to form a space that I wasn’t clever enough to anticipate,” he says. “Maybe I was just drunk on the accomplishment but that space up there is really magical.”

‘Marilyn Monroe’ towers shape city’s future

“Somebody will have a hotel room or office where they’ll look across and be part of those three objects in the sky and that, for me, is kind of spiritual.”

The building Hughes most wishes he’d designed is the Notre Dame du Haut, a concrete Catholic chapel in Ronchamp, France, designed by Swiss-born architect Le Corbusier.

Completed in 1954, long before the advent of computer-aided design, the chapel’s roof and walls curve and slope in response to the hill on which they sit.

Today, many architects would find such complexity impossible to execute without the aid of computer, Hughes says.

“Within the context of that period, I think it’s really a piece of sculpture.”

He particularly admires the approach to the chapel, which winds up a hill and past some trees.

“When I went there, it was one of those charmingly underdone things. That’s true of a lot of Corbu’s work — you have to work to get there. That processional route is special and comes from Corbusier looking at the Parthenon.”

Hughes believes the inflection of humanity in Corbusier’s work is what makes him relevant today.

“Modernists were really fascinated with the machine, and buildings as machines for living. I find that idea compelling but at the same time, machines can be soulless, and we’re now in an age where we expect our machines to have a little spirit,” he said.

“Corbusier was starting to do that in his later work. Mid-Corbusier was very angular, but Ronchamp is more gestural and evocative. You walk up and go ‘oh, wow!’ You get that lump in your throat. Which goes back to what everybody’s trying to do when they start with that blank sheet of paper.”

CNN’s special coverage sometimes carries sponsorship. CNN retains full editorial control over all of its reports. Read the policy


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Mideast tensions ramp up at meeting

September 27th, 2012 No comments


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Benjamin Netanyahu, prime minister of Israel, speaks during the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday, September 27, at U.N. headquarters in New York. The event unites more than 100 heads of state and government for high-level meetings on nuclear safety, regional conflicts, health and nutrition and environment issues.Benjamin Netanyahu, prime minister of Israel, speaks during the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday, September 27, at U.N. headquarters in New York. The event unites more than 100 heads of state and government for high-level meetings on nuclear safety, regional conflicts, health and nutrition and environment issues.

Mahmoud Abbas, chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestinian Liberation Organization and president of the Palestinian Authority, stands by a chair on Thursday after delivering his address.Mahmoud Abbas, chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestinian Liberation Organization and president of the Palestinian Authority, stands by a chair on Thursday after delivering his address.

Thein Sein, president of Myanmar, speaks on Thursday.Thein Sein, president of Myanmar, speaks on Thursday.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, president of Iran, takes a seat with his delegation on Wednesday, September 26, in New York.Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, president of Iran, takes a seat with his delegation on Wednesday, September 26, in New York.

President of the Republic of Liberia Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf sits after addressing world leaders on Wednesday.President of the Republic of Liberia Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf sits after addressing world leaders on Wednesday.

French President Francois Hollande, left, and his Egyptian counterpart, Mohamed Morsy, talk during a bilateral meeting on Tuesday, September 25.French President Francois Hollande, left, and his Egyptian counterpart, Mohamed Morsy, talk during a bilateral meeting on Tuesday, September 25.

Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, emir of Qatar, arrives to address the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday.Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, emir of Qatar, arrives to address the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday.

Brazilian President Dilma Vana Rousseff delivers her address to the General Assembly on Tuesday.Brazilian President Dilma Vana Rousseff delivers her address to the General Assembly on Tuesday.

The president of Libya's parliament, Mohamed al-Magariaf, attends Tuesday's speeches.The president of Libya’s parliament, Mohamed al-Magariaf, attends Tuesday’s speeches.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, standing, makes a toast during a luncheon on Tuesday as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, left, looks on. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, standing, makes a toast during a luncheon on Tuesday as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, left, looks on.

Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono waits to address the General Assembly on Tuesday.Indonesia’s President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono waits to address the General Assembly on Tuesday.

U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, September 25, in New York. U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, September 25, in New York.

Obama speaks at the assembly on Tuesday.Obama speaks at the assembly on Tuesday.

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama, center, listens to her husband speak on Tuesday.U.S. first lady Michelle Obama, center, listens to her husband speak on Tuesday.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai attends Tuesday's speeches.Afghan President Hamid Karzai attends Tuesday’s speeches.

U.N. General Secretary Ban Ki-moon, second left, arrives on Tuesday.U.N. General Secretary Ban Ki-moon, second left, arrives on Tuesday.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai, center, arrives on Tuesday.Afghan President Hamid Karzai, center, arrives on Tuesday.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, center, arrives at the United Nations on Tuesday.Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, center, arrives at the United Nations on Tuesday.


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(CNN) — Middle East tensions will remain high on the agenda at the U.N. General Assembly on Thursday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stepping up to the podium soon after Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.

Here are five things to look out for during the third day of the session:

1. The Palestinians are set to seek a new status at the United Nations, but Netanyahu is focused on Iran.

A year after launching the Palestinian Authority’s failed bid to win U.N. recognition as an independent state, Abbas is expected Thursday to formally announce a less ambitious initiative.

This time, the Palestinian Authority will seek non-member observer status, one step up from its current position as a permanent observer. Last year’s attempt to secure recognition of statehood stalled in the U.N. Security Council.


Obama warns Iran at UN


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Obama to UN: No excuse for attacks


Iranian president: UNSEC has failed

The Palestinians say they are likely to submit the new resolution after the U.S. presidential election on November 6 in an effort to prevent the issue from becoming political fodder. They have already expressed concern about pessimistic comments by Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney about the chances for peace in the region.

Abbas is scheduled to make his speech toward the end of the morning session. Two slots after him comes Israel’s Netanyahu, who is likely to focus more on the perceived threat from Iran than the lifeless peace process with the Palestinians.

The issue of how to respond to Iran’s controversial nuclear program has put a strain on relations between Netanyahu and President Barack Obama. Tehran insists its atomic program is for peaceful purposes, but Western leaders say they believe it is aimed at building a weapon.

Netanyahu has been pushing the United States to establish a clear “red line” that Iran cannot cross if it wants to avoid war. Israel feels a sense of urgency, as negotiations aimed at curbing Iran’s nuclear ambitions have failed to produce an agreement and the effectiveness of sanctions on Tehran remains unclear.

2. World powers will meet on the Iran issue a day after Ahmadinejad complains of double standards.

The Iranian nuclear controversy is one of the recurring themes of this year’s assembly. Netanyahu’s speech and a ministerial meeting of global powers are likely to keep it in the spotlight Thursday.

Obama said Tuesday that he remained committed to a diplomatic solution to the issue but that “the United States will do what we must to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.”

Five things we learned on Day Two

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has a history of controversial statements, gave onlookers little in the way of outrage in his eighth and final speech at the annual gathering on Wednesday.

He said Iran was committed to peace, though he also accused world powers of double standards in pursuing an arms race.

“Continued threat by the uncivilized Zionists to resort to military action against our great nation is a clear example of this bitter reality,” Ahmadinejad said.

Ways to resolve the problem peacefully will be discussed by officials from France, Britain, Germany, China, Russia and the United States at a side meeting Thursday, and a minister-level meeting is expected to follow.

The International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog, overwhelmingly passed a resolution this month voicing concern about Iran’s continued nuclear activity and urging Tehran to cooperate with international nuclear regulators.

Ahmadinejad tells U.N. that Iran is threatened

3. The president of Myanmar gets a chance to steal some of Suu Kyi’s spotlight in the United States.

A less gloomy storyline will be in evidence in the speech to the assembly Thursday by President Thein Sein of Myanmar, who has overseen a series of political reforms in the Southeast Asian nation that has spent decades under repressive military rule.

While the United States and the Europe Union have been piling sanctions on Iran, they have also been steadily lifting them off Myanmar in response to the release of hundreds political prisoners, the pursuit of peace talks with ethnic rebels and the holding of freer elections.

The latest softening of sanctions by Washington was announced Wednesday by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, following a meeting with Thein Sein. The United States will begin easing restrictions on the import of goods from Myanmar, Clinton said.

Thein Sein, a former military official, will have a chance Thursday to grab some of the spotlight from Aung San Suu Kyi, the Myanmar opposition leader and Nobel laureate who received the Congressional Gold Medal last week during a 17-day visit to the United States.

Diplomats and journalists are wondering if Suu Kyi, who spent the better part of two decades under house arrest in Myanmar for her pro-democracy campaigning, will be in the audience for Thein Sein’s speech.

She has expressed support for Thein Sein’s efforts and even admitted to having a “soft spot” for some of the military leaders who kept her in detention. But she and others have also cautioned that Myanmar’s reforms are still at a very early, fragile stage.

4. China isn’t sending its A-Team, but it could still cause a stir.

Most world leaders haven’t passed up the opportunity to take their turn at the assembly’s green marble podium this year, but China’s top officials have other things on their minds running the the rising global power.

President Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao appear to have skipped the trip to New York amid the political intrigue and jockeying in Beijing ahead of a once-in-a-decade leadership transition widely expected to kick off next month.

This handover of power is especially sensitive in the wake of a dramatic political scandal involving murder and attempted defection that has played out in the international news media.

As a result, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi is leading the Chinese delegation at the assembly, and he will have plenty of subject matter at his disposal when he makes his speech during the afternoon session.

Many observers will be waiting to see if he addresses China’s myriad disputes with several of its neighbors over maritime territories.

China’s most heated dispute at the moment is with Japan over a set of islands in the East China Sea, a quarrel that has prompted violent anti-Japanese protests in China and soured economic ties between the two nations.

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda of Japan referred indirectly to the situation in his speech to the assembly on Wednesday, underscoring Tokyo’s commitment to using international law to resolve territorial disputes.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry in Beijing quickly dismissed Noda’s comments as “self-deceiving,” the state-run news agency Xinhua reported Thursday. The question now is whether Yang will have more to say on the matter in the U.N.’s Great Hall.

5. Libyan leader speaks amid the fallout from the attack that killed U.S. ambassador and other Americans.

The president of Libya’s General National Congress, Mohamed al-Magariaf, is expected to address the assembly during the afternoon session.

His nation’s young government is dealing with the delicate aftermath of the attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in the city of Benghazi this month that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

On Monday, Clinton praised the Libyan people for their efforts to rid the country of the rogue militias blamed for the killings. Al-Magariaf has said the militias would be disbanded.

The episode has laid bare the challenges Libyan government officials face in imposing control on the country following the uprising that led to the fall of the dictator Moammar Gadhafi, who was known for long, rambling orations at the United Nations.

Obama said Tuesday that unrest was occurring in the throes of an unfinished regional revolution in the Middle East that brought an end to oppressive regimes in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia.

Assange speaks via satellite from London, calls for end to ‘persecution’


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Zidane headbutt immortalized

September 27th, 2012 No comments


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The moment French football superstar Zinedine Zidane headbutted Italy's Marco Materazzi in the 2006 World Cup final has been immortalized in a five meter bronze statue. The statue, positioned outside of Paris' Pompidou Museum, is the work of Algerian-born artist Adel Abdessemed.The moment French football superstar Zinedine Zidane headbutted Italy’s Marco Materazzi in the 2006 World Cup final has been immortalized in a five meter bronze statue. The statue, positioned outside of Paris’ Pompidou Museum, is the work of Algerian-born artist Adel Abdessemed.

The headbutt, which occured in the second half of extra-time, stunned the football world. Zidane scored from the penalty spot to give France a 1-0 lead, before Materazzi equalized. After 120 minutes of play and with the scores still level, the match went to penalties. Italy prevailed to win a third World Cup. The assault was the last action of Zidane's incredible career.The headbutt, which occured in the second half of extra-time, stunned the football world. Zidane scored from the penalty spot to give France a 1-0 lead, before Materazzi equalized. After 120 minutes of play and with the scores still level, the match went to penalties. Italy prevailed to win a third World Cup. The assault was the last action of Zidane’s incredible career.

Eight years earlier, Zidane had an altogether different World Cup experience. With an expectant French crowd looking on at the Stade de France, Zidane scored two first-half headers as France beat Brazil 3-0 in the 1998 final.Eight years earlier, Zidane had an altogether different World Cup experience. With an expectant French crowd looking on at the Stade de France, Zidane scored two first-half headers as France beat Brazil 3-0 in the 1998 final.

Zidane and his teammates, including Thierry Henry and Marcel Desailly, ensured France were crowned world champions for the first time.Zidane and his teammates, including Thierry Henry and Marcel Desailly, ensured France were crowned world champions for the first time.

Four years later, Zidane painted his masterpiece at Hampden Park in Glasgow. With the scores level at 1-1 between Zidane's Real Madrid and Germany's Bayer Leverkusen in the 2002 European Champions League final, the Frenchman expertly dispatched a Roberto Carlos cross with a stunning volley from the edge of the penalty area. The sumptuous strike was enough to secure Real a ninth European crown. Four years later, Zidane painted his masterpiece at Hampden Park in Glasgow. With the scores level at 1-1 between Zidane’s Real Madrid and Germany’s Bayer Leverkusen in the 2002 European Champions League final, the Frenchman expertly dispatched a Roberto Carlos cross with a stunning volley from the edge of the penalty area. The sumptuous strike was enough to secure Real a ninth European crown.


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(CNN) — Books have been written about him, a film was devoted to following his every move on a football field and now the career of French icon Zinedine Zidane has been immortalized in bronze.

From Cannes to Real Madrid — his first and last clubs — Zidane’s career was characterized by moments of audacity and greatness.

None more so than when he scored a brace which helped win the World Cup for France on home soil in 1998, or one of the greatest goals of all time in the 2002 European Champions League final in Real Madrid’s 2-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen in Glasgow.

But Algerian-born artist Adel Abdessemed was less interested in the zenith of Zidane’s career.

Instead he has focused on its nadir — the Frenchman’s infamous headbutting of Italy’s Marco Materazzi in the 2006 World Cup final in Zidane’s last professional game.

“This statue goes against the tradition of making statues in honour of certain victories. It is an ode to defeat,” exhibition organizer Alain Michaud told Agence France Presse after the five meter statue was unveiled in the French capital city of Paris outside the world-renowned Pompidou Museum.

Javier Pastore is the most expensive player in French football history after he cost Paris Saint-Germain a fee believed to be $56 million. But Pastore is not the first footballer to have swapped clubs for a hefty price tag.Javier Pastore is the most expensive player in French football history after he cost Paris Saint-Germain a fee believed to be $56 million. But Pastore is not the first footballer to have swapped clubs for a hefty price tag.

Fernando Torres swapped Chelsea for Liverpool on the final day of the January 2011 transfer window. After moving for a British-record transfer fee, believed to be in the region of $80 million, Torres has scored just five goals in a little over 12 months with the club.Fernando Torres swapped Chelsea for Liverpool on the final day of the January 2011 transfer window. After moving for a British-record transfer fee, believed to be in the region of $80 million, Torres has scored just five goals in a little over 12 months with the club.

In 2001, Real Madrid broke the world transfer record to bring FIFA World Player of the Year Zinedine Zidane to Spain from Italian club Juventus. The fee for the French World Cup winner was reported to be 86.5 million ($115 million).In 2001, Real Madrid broke the world transfer record to bring FIFA World Player of the Year Zinedine Zidane to Spain from Italian club Juventus. The fee for the French World Cup winner was reported to be €86.5 million ($115 million).

Real broke world transfer record again in June 2009, paying a reported $100 million to lure Brazil's Kaka away from Italian club AC Milan.Real broke world transfer record again in June 2009, paying a reported $100 million to lure Brazil’s Kaka away from Italian club AC Milan.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic moved to Real's archrivals Barcelona during the same transfer window. Barca paid Inter Milan a reported $65 million for the Sweden striker, but he lasted only one season before returning to Italy with AC Milan.Zlatan Ibrahimovic moved to Real’s archrivals Barcelona during the same transfer window. Barca paid Inter Milan a reported $65 million for the Sweden striker, but he lasted only one season before returning to Italy with AC Milan.

Kaka's time as the world's most expensive player was short, with Real smashing the transfer record once again to sign Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United for a reported $130 million.Kaka’s time as the world’s most expensive player was short, with Real smashing the transfer record once again to sign Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United for a reported $130 million.


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Football's biggest transfersFootball’s biggest transfers

Just 17 teams entered the first tournament in 1960 and it was played on a home-and-away basis until the semifinal stage, which France hosted. The Soviet Union and Yugoslavia contested the final in Paris, with Viktor Ponedelnik carving his name in history by scoring the winning goal in extra time to give the Russians victory.Just 17 teams entered the first tournament in 1960 and it was played on a home-and-away basis until the semifinal stage, which France hosted. The Soviet Union and Yugoslavia contested the final in Paris, with Viktor Ponedelnik carving his name in history by scoring the winning goal in extra time to give the Russians victory.

West Germany and the Netherlands had contested the 1974 World Cup final and were fancied for a repeat final in Euro 1976 -- but Czechoslovakia had other ideas. They sunk the Dutch in the semis thanks to a couple of extra time goals before a superb German side were beaten on penalties in the final, with Antonin Panenka clinching the trophy with one of the cheekiest spot-kicks in football history.West Germany and the Netherlands had contested the 1974 World Cup final and were fancied for a repeat final in Euro 1976 — but Czechoslovakia had other ideas. They sunk the Dutch in the semis thanks to a couple of extra time goals before a superb German side were beaten on penalties in the final, with Antonin Panenka clinching the trophy with one of the cheekiest spot-kicks in football history.

No player has dominated a finals tournament the way Michel Platini did in 1984. On home soil, Platini weaved his magic in devastating style, scoring hat-tricks against Belgium and Yugoslavia on his way to a record nine goals. The highlight came in a memorable semifinal against Portugal when, 2-1 down with six minutes of extra time remaining, France fought back to win 3-2 with the great man himself scoring the last minute winner.No player has dominated a finals tournament the way Michel Platini did in 1984. On home soil, Platini weaved his magic in devastating style, scoring hat-tricks against Belgium and Yugoslavia on his way to a record nine goals. The highlight came in a memorable semifinal against Portugal when, 2-1 down with six minutes of extra time remaining, France fought back to win 3-2 with the great man himself scoring the last minute winner.

Marco van Basten's career was cut short early through injury, but not before he had made his mark on world football with one of the greatest goals of all time. Van Basten had already scored a hat-trick against England in a group game, and the winner against hosts West Germany in the semis. The Dutch were strongly fancied to beat Russia in the final, which they duly did, with the help of a Van Basten volley that will never be forgotten.Marco van Basten’s career was cut short early through injury, but not before he had made his mark on world football with one of the greatest goals of all time. Van Basten had already scored a hat-trick against England in a group game, and the winner against hosts West Germany in the semis. The Dutch were strongly fancied to beat Russia in the final, which they duly did, with the help of a Van Basten volley that will never be forgotten.

Denmark didn't qualify for the Euro 1992 finals in Sweden but war-torn Yugoslavia were prevented from appearing, meaning group runners-up Denmark took their place instead despite being totally unprepared. They failed to score in their opening two matches before beating France to scrape into the semfinals. They then proceeded to defeat holders Netherlands on penalties and world champions Germany 2-0 in the final to become the unlikeliest winners of all time.Denmark didn’t qualify for the Euro 1992 finals in Sweden but war-torn Yugoslavia were prevented from appearing, meaning group runners-up Denmark took their place instead despite being totally unprepared. They failed to score in their opening two matches before beating France to scrape into the semfinals. They then proceeded to defeat holders Netherlands on penalties and world champions Germany 2-0 in the final to become the unlikeliest winners of all time.

Germany had only conceded two goals in five games en route to the Euro 1996 final against the Czech Republic, but the Czechs looked on course to repeat their final victory over Germany from 20 years earlier when Patrik Berger scored from the penalty spot. However, Oliver Bierhoff equalized with 15 minutes left and the same player then scored the winner early in extra time, the first time a major tournament had been decided by a golden goal.Germany had only conceded two goals in five games en route to the Euro 1996 final against the Czech Republic, but the Czechs looked on course to repeat their final victory over Germany from 20 years earlier when Patrik Berger scored from the penalty spot. However, Oliver Bierhoff equalized with 15 minutes left and the same player then scored the winner early in extra time, the first time a major tournament had been decided by a golden goal.

Football's Coming Home sang the England fans during Euro 1996, as the hosts reached the semifinals on a wave of euphoria. The highlight of their run was a superb individual strike by talented midfielder Paul Gascoigne, as old rivals Scotland were beaten 2-0 on a baking hot day at Wembley Stadium. Sadly for England, eventual winners Germany defeated them on penalties and were to adopt the Football's Coming Home chant their fans still sing to this day.“Football’s Coming Home” sang the England fans during Euro 1996, as the hosts reached the semifinals on a wave of euphoria. The highlight of their run was a superb individual strike by talented midfielder Paul Gascoigne, as old rivals Scotland were beaten 2-0 on a baking hot day at Wembley Stadium. Sadly for England, eventual winners Germany defeated them on penalties and were to adopt the “Football’s Coming Home” chant their fans still sing to this day.

Austrian referee Gunter Benko awarded France a penalty after Portugal's bleach-blonde defender Abel Xavier had handled on the line in their Euro 2000 semifinal in Brussels. Zinedine Zidane stroked home the spot-kick with just six minutes left of extra time to put France through on the golden goal. Portugal were incensed with the decision and argued their case far too strongly for UEFA's liking. The chief culprit was Xavier himself who copped a six-month ban for his protestations. Austrian referee Gunter Benko awarded France a penalty after Portugal’s bleach-blonde defender Abel Xavier had handled on the line in their Euro 2000 semifinal in Brussels. Zinedine Zidane stroked home the spot-kick with just six minutes left of extra time to put France through on the golden goal. Portugal were incensed with the decision and argued their case far too strongly for UEFA’s liking. The chief culprit was Xavier himself who copped a six-month ban for his protestations.

France went into Euro 2000 as hot favorites after winning the World Cup two years previously, but their hopes of victory looked over as Italy led 1-0 in the final going into injury time. However, Sylvain Wiltord leveled with virtually the last kick of the game and remarkably David Trezeguet then broke Italian hearts with the winning golden goal in extra time.France went into Euro 2000 as hot favorites after winning the World Cup two years previously, but their hopes of victory looked over as Italy led 1-0 in the final going into injury time. However, Sylvain Wiltord leveled with virtually the last kick of the game and remarkably David Trezeguet then broke Italian hearts with the winning golden goal in extra time.

Hosts Portugal were strongly fancied to do well in Euro 2004, but they lost 2-1 to outsiders Greece in their opening game. However, they regrouped strongly and Russia, Spain, England and Netherlands were all beaten as Portugal stormed into the final, where Greece stood in their way once again. Surely an on-fire Portuguese side would gain their revenge? They didn't ... Greece stunned a nation 1-0 to ensure the last game of the finals went exactly the same way as the first one.Hosts Portugal were strongly fancied to do well in Euro 2004, but they lost 2-1 to outsiders Greece in their opening game. However, they regrouped strongly and Russia, Spain, England and Netherlands were all beaten as Portugal stormed into the final, where Greece stood in their way once again. Surely an on-fire Portuguese side would gain their revenge? They didn’t … Greece stunned a nation 1-0 to ensure the last game of the finals went exactly the same way as the first one.


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Ronaldo arrived at the 1998 World Cup in France as the most talked about footballer in the world. The 22-year-old scored four goals during the tournament, but confusion and controversy reigned before and after Brazil's 3-0 defeat to France in the final. Ronaldo was initially left out of the starting XI for the Paris match, before being reinstated at the last minute. He was largely anonymous during the match, with the exact details of what occured prior to kick-off still unknown. Ronaldo arrived at the 1998 World Cup in France as the most talked about footballer in the world. The 22-year-old scored four goals during the tournament, but confusion and controversy reigned before and after Brazil’s 3-0 defeat to France in the final. Ronaldo was initially left out of the starting XI for the Paris match, before being reinstated at the last minute. He was largely anonymous during the match, with the exact details of what occured prior to kick-off still unknown.

Redemption came four years later. Alongside the attacking talents of Rivaldo and Ronaldinho, he found the net six times as Brazil romped through to a final match with Germany. In Yokohama's International Stadium, Ronaldo scored two second-half goals to give Brazil a 2-0 win and finally exorcise the ghosts of Paris four years earlier. It was Ronaldo's second World Cup triumph, having been part of Brazil's winning squad in 1994.Redemption came four years later. Alongside the attacking talents of Rivaldo and Ronaldinho, he found the net six times as Brazil romped through to a final match with Germany. In Yokohama’s International Stadium, Ronaldo scored two second-half goals to give Brazil a 2-0 win and finally exorcise the ghosts of Paris four years earlier. It was Ronaldo’s second World Cup triumph, having been part of Brazil’s winning squad in 1994.

Ronaldo has scored more goals in FIFA World Cup matches than any other player in history. With his trademark quick step-over and a simple finish against Ghana in a round of 16 match in 2006, he scored his 15th and final World Cup goal to overhaul the legendary German Gerd Muller.
Ronaldo has scored more goals in FIFA World Cup matches than any other player in history. With his trademark quick step-over and a simple finish against Ghana in a round of 16 match in 2006, he scored his 15th and final World Cup goal to overhaul the legendary German Gerd Muller.

Ronaldo joined Real Madrid from Inter Milan in 2002. After waiting until October to make his debut for Madrid, he ended the season with 23 league goals as Los Blancos took the Spanish La Liga title.Ronaldo joined Real Madrid from Inter Milan in 2002. After waiting until October to make his debut for Madrid, he ended the season with 23 league goals as Los Blancos took the Spanish La Liga title.

During his career Ronaldo was hampered by chronic knee injuries. After scoring a stunning hat-trick in a European Champions League game against Manchester United and with Real on track for a treble, Ronaldo again succumbed to injury. In 2007, Ronaldo was sold to AC Milan having scored 104 goals in 177 matches for Real.
During his career Ronaldo was hampered by chronic knee injuries. After scoring a stunning hat-trick in a European Champions League game against Manchester United and with Real on track for a treble, Ronaldo again succumbed to injury. In 2007, Ronaldo was sold to AC Milan having scored 104 goals in 177 matches for Real.

After a year with AC Milan and two with Corinthians in his native Brazil, Ronaldo announced his retirement from football in February 2011. In addition to his injuries, Ronaldo was also suffering with a thyroid problem which made it difficult for him to control his weight.After a year with AC Milan and two with Corinthians in his native Brazil, Ronaldo announced his retirement from football in February 2011. In addition to his injuries, Ronaldo was also suffering with a thyroid problem which made it difficult for him to control his weight.


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El Phenomenon: The career of RonaldoEl Phenomenon: The career of Ronaldo

The statue captures the moment when, with the scores level at 1-1 between France and Italy in Berlin in football’s biggest game, Zidane was given a straight red card for his assault on Materazzi deep into extra-time.

France went on to lose the match on penalties, when striker David Trezeguet saw his spot kick crash into the crossbar and Fabio Grosso converted to crown Italy world champions.

Exactly what Materazzi said to draw such a violent reaction from Zidane remains unknown.

U.S. animated comedy Family Guy parodied the incident in the 2006 episode “Saving Private Brian”, where Zidane headbutts an old lady while delivering her a birthday cake.

Widely regarded as one of the finest footballers to have ever played the game, Zidane playedfor Cannes and Bordeaux in France, before moving to Juventus and then Real.

The Algerian-born playmaker scored twice as France beat Brazil 3-0 in the World Cup final of 1998.

He is also remembered for the stunning goal which won Real Madrid a ninth European Cup in 2002, when he converted a Roberto Carlos cross with a stunning volley against Bayer Leverkusen at Hampden Park.

Zidane, who retired immediately after the 2006 final, was crowned FIFA World Player of the Year on three occasions.

He now works as Real Madrid director of football, while his three sons are all members of the club’s youth academy.

Read: Down the rabbit hole: Depression in the Premier League

Zidane is not the first footballer to be honored with a permanent monument to his on-field achievements.

Wembley Stadium, the home of English fooball, is decorated with a statue of Bobby Moore, the defender who captained the country to its only World Cup triumph in 1966.

Carlos Valderrama is the most-capped player in Colombia’s history, famous for his flair and outrageous afro and the midfielder has a statue in his hometown of Santa Marta, complete with frizzy golden locks.

But it is not just players who have been the subject of sculptures.

Azerbaijani linesman Tofiq Bahramov, who ruled that England’s controversial third goal had crossed the line in the 1966 final, has a statue outside of the stadium named in his honor in his homeland.

Perhaps most unusually of all, English Premier League team Fulham has a sculpture of the late pop icon Michael Jackson outside its Craven Cottage stadium. The club’s owner Mohamed al Fayed was a close friend of Jackson’s prior to his death in 2009.

Zidane’s statue will remain outside the Pompidou Museum until the end of the Abdessemed exhibition in January.


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The Ryder Cup: Old rivalries reignited

September 27th, 2012 No comments


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Severiano Ballestereros hugs his youthful Spanish compatriot Jose Maria Olazabal as their incredible partnership got underway during the 1987 match at Muirfield Village.Severiano Ballestereros hugs his youthful Spanish compatriot Jose Maria Olazabal as their incredible partnership got underway during the 1987 match at Muirfield Village.

The 1981 United States Ryder Cup team is rated the strongest in their history and they romped to victory over the Europeans at Walton Heath.The 1981 United States Ryder Cup team is rated the strongest in their history and they romped to victory over the Europeans at Walton Heath.

Ballesteros famously drove the par-four 10th at The Belfry in 1985 as he inspired the European team to their crushing victory over the U.S. Ballesteros famously drove the par-four 10th at The Belfry in 1985 as he inspired the European team to their crushing victory over the U.S.

Sam Torrance holed the winning putt at The Belfry in 1985 as Europe sealed a comprehensive victory over the United States to snap their long-standing domination of the team event. The last time the U.S. had failed to retain the trophy was 1957. Sam Torrance holed the winning putt at The Belfry in 1985 as Europe sealed a comprehensive victory over the United States to snap their long-standing domination of the team event. The last time the U.S. had failed to retain the trophy was 1957.

In the beginning. The Great Britain and Ireland team on its way to the inaugural match in 1927 in Boston, Massachusetts, where the United States were deserving winners.In the beginning. The Great Britain and Ireland team on its way to the inaugural match in 1927 in Boston, Massachusetts, where the United States were deserving winners.

The great Walter Hagen is handed the trophy after a convincing victory for the Americans in the 1937 match at Southport -- the first time an away team had claimed the trophy. The great Walter Hagen is handed the trophy after a convincing victory for the Americans in the 1937 match at Southport — the first time an away team had claimed the trophy.

A very rare victory for Great Britain and Ireland saw a team led by Dai Rees capture the trophy at Lindrick in 1957 but the U.S. quickly regained the trophy and held it until 1985.A very rare victory for Great Britain and Ireland saw a team led by Dai Rees capture the trophy at Lindrick in 1957 but the U.S. quickly regained the trophy and held it until 1985.

Tony Jacklin and Jack Nicklaus shake hands at the end of their famous tied singles match at Royal Birkdale in 1969 -- leaving the overall match tied at 16-16 in a gripping encounter. Nicklaus conceded a tricky putt for Jacklin on the last green in a famous act of sportmanship.Tony Jacklin and Jack Nicklaus shake hands at the end of their famous tied singles match at Royal Birkdale in 1969 — leaving the overall match tied at 16-16 in a gripping encounter. Nicklaus conceded a tricky putt for Jacklin on the last green in a famous act of sportmanship.

For the first time ever, the 1979 Ryder Cup found two Spaniards - Ballesteros and Antonio Garrido (4th and 3rd from right) - joining players from Great Britain and Ireland in competing against the United States. The match took place in West Virginia, where the home side triumphed again. For the first time ever, the 1979 Ryder Cup found two Spaniards – Ballesteros and Antonio Garrido (4th and 3rd from right) – joining players from Great Britain and Ireland in competing against the United States. The match took place in West Virginia, where the home side triumphed again.

European captain Jacklin harnessed the talent of Ballesteros as his team ended the United States' lengthy winning run during the 1980s.European captain Jacklin harnessed the talent of Ballesteros as his team ended the United States’ lengthy winning run during the 1980s.

A tearful Ballesteros hugs arch-rival Nick Faldo after the Englishman scored a crucial victory over Curtis Strange as Europe won the 1995 match at Oak Hill.A tearful Ballesteros hugs arch-rival Nick Faldo after the Englishman scored a crucial victory over Curtis Strange as Europe won the 1995 match at Oak Hill.

Golf legend Ballesteros captained Europe to a narrow victory over the Americans in 1997 as the match was held on Spanish soil for the first time at Valderrama. Golf legend Ballesteros captained Europe to a narrow victory over the Americans in 1997 as the match was held on Spanish soil for the first time at Valderrama.

The agony of defeat: Bernhard Langer reacts after missing the putt which would have tied the match against the United States at Kiawah Island in 1991. The agony of defeat: Bernhard Langer reacts after missing the putt which would have tied the match against the United States at Kiawah Island in 1991.

Justin Leonard is hugged by his teammates after beating Jose Maria Olazabal at the infamous match at Brookline in 1999. Olazabal had yet to make his putt to keep their singles clash alive when the U.S. team dashed onto the 17th green. Justin Leonard is hugged by his teammates after beating Jose Maria Olazabal at the infamous match at Brookline in 1999. Olazabal had yet to make his putt to keep their singles clash alive when the U.S. team dashed onto the 17th green.

Boo Weekley's first fairway antics were a celebrated feature of the shock win for the United States over Europe at Valhalla in 2008.Boo Weekley’s first fairway antics were a celebrated feature of the shock win for the United States over Europe at Valhalla in 2008.

Graeme McDowell was the last-day hero of Europe's narrow victory at Celtic Manor two years ago and he will take his place at Medinah looking for a repeat.Graeme McDowell was the last-day hero of Europe’s narrow victory at Celtic Manor two years ago and he will take his place at Medinah looking for a repeat.


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(CNN) — Less than a week after Brandt Snedeker picked up an eye watering $11.5 million check as he claimed the FedEx Cup, the best golfers from the United States and Europe will go head to head with not a dime on the line and with nothing to play for but pride itself.

The 39th Ryder Cup matches at Medinah Country Club in Chicago will be watched by packed and partisan galleries and a huge global television audience, but for the 12 players on each team overall victory in the biennial team event is all that matters.

They are playing for expenses only and whenever the issue of financial rewards is raised, it is quickly ruled out.

“No prize money is involved, just a lot of pride,” three-time European captain Bernard Gallacher told CNN.

“And the matches are very, very competitive.”


Lee Westwood looks forward to Ryder Cup


Is Olazabal ready for Ryder Cup?

The American team will have the Stars and Stripes running through their veins and it’s a chance for the Europeans to combine under a united flag.

“It’s the only competition we have with the United States outside the occasional football match and it’s the same for them given that their main sports are baseball, gridiron and ice-hockey,” said Bill Elliott, Chair of the Association of Golf Writers.

“Let’s face it, it’s not hard for Americans to show nationalistic pride! ” the Briton added with tongue in cheek.

Timely intervention

This is a contest which grips golf and sports fans for three days but was in danger of extinction in the 1970s and had it not been for the intervention of 18-time major winner Jack Nicklaus, it may well have withered and died.

Nicklaus proposed to Earl Derby, the then president of the Professional Golfers Association, that players from continental Europe should augment the Great Britain and Ireland line-up to make for a better contest.

The United States had only lost once in the post-war era — in 1957 at Lindrick — and interest, particularly in America, was dwindling.

Nicklaus’ suggestion was taken up, so in 1979 two Spaniards, Seve Ballesteros and Antonio Garrido, took their place for the match at Greenbrier in West Virginia.

Read: Golfing Gangsters: Al Capone’s Chicago outfit would have loved the Ryder Cup

This did not prevent the visiting team from suffering a heavy defeat, but as Elliott, who was reporting his first of 17 Ryder Cups and counting, recalls, the change was “absolutely essential”.

Scot Gallacher made one of his eight appearances as a player in that watershed encounter and admitted “Seve and Antonio had disappointing matches.” (They both had 1-4-0 records.)

“However, their participation in the long-term saved the Ryder Cup,” he added.

Two years later, Ballesteros sat out proceedings at Walton Heath in 1981 after a dispute over his European Tour membership, but even he would have been able to do little to prevent what is rated the strongest U.S. team in history thrashing the home side.

United Europe

That was to be last time that the U.S. enjoyed such a level of domination and by the time of the next match at Palm Beach Gardens in Florida in 1983, the Europeans were united under the captaincy of Tony Jacklin, with Ballesteros in his pomp.

A narrow defeat was followed by a resounding victory at The Belfry in 1985. Ballesteros famously drove the 311-yard 10th at the Midlands club to set the scene.

Sam Torrance sunk the winning putt and the champagne flowed as the players celebrated on the clubhouse roof as Concorde flew past.

“There wasn’t a dry eye in the house,” said Elliott.

When rookie Jose Maria Olazabal and Ballesteros led from the front to help Europe to their first win on U.S. soil in the 1987 match at Muirfield Village, the transformation of the event into a clash like no other was finally complete.


What can Ryder Cup golfers expect?


Olazabal ready to lead Ryder Cup team

Read: Seve and Olazabal: Ryder Cup revolutionaries

Olazabal, who will captain Europe in Chicago this week, says he was addicted to the Ryder Cup drug from the moment he first sampled the atmosphere.

“That 1987 Ryder Cup was very special to me — it made me realize how special the event was and I fell in love with it straight away,” he told CNN.

Top partnership

His partnership in four balls and foursomes (where the players take a alternative shots) with Ballesteros was to bring 11 wins and two tied rubbers in 15 matches over the course of four Ryder Cup contests.

Despite their domination, it was the United States who made a mini comeback of their own.

They tied the match at The Belfry in 1989, then wrested the trophy back in the “War on the Shore” at Kiawah Island in 1991, where Bernhard Langer agonizingly missed a tricky putt to force another tie.

The U.S. also won at The Belfry in 1993, but a European team under Gallacher’s captaincy took the trophy back at Oak Hill in 1995 to spark a run of six victories in the last eight contests.

It was Ballesteros’ last match as a player and he was sadly past his best, losing his last day singles.

But his tearful embrace with arch rival Nick Faldo, who had beaten Curtis Strange in the key match, is symptomatic of the spirit of the Ryder Cup, where individual performances are secondary to the team effort.

Gallacher had tasted narrow defeat as a non-playing skipper in 1991 and 1993 so victory in such fashion was sweet.

“I felt I made a few mistakes in the first two matches, but feel I learned from those mistakes for the 1995 match,” he said.

The two victories for the United States since 1995 have both been on home soil: the infamous “Battle of Brookline” in 1999 and at Valhalla in 2008.

Raucous galleries

Olazabal will doubtless still have the images of 1999 deep in his memory as the U.S. team poured on to the green after Justin Leonard’s putt gave him victory over the Spaniard.

But Olazabal still had his own putt to halve the 17th, meaning that golf etiquette had been breached. He missed the 25-footer and the cup was heading back across the Atlantic.

The U.S. win in 2008 in Kentucky was also greeted by raucous galleries but not on the level of 1991 and 1999, and both captains — Olazabal and David Love III — have spoken of the need for the traditions of the match to be preserved at Medinah.

Based on the world rankings, it is likely to be a close run affair.

Europe has four of the top five in the rankings, led by world No.1 Rory McIlroy, but the home team boasts 10 inside the top 20 and have — in wild card pick Snedeker — the man of the moment after his triumph in Atlanta.

The lowest ranked player in the match is Belgian rookie Nicolas Colsaerts at No.35, which demonstrates the quality of the offering over three days of competition.

The first two days are taken up with fourball and foursomes team play, with 12 head to head singles matches rounding off the action Sunday.

McIlroy’s likely face off with No.2 Tiger Woods is set to be a final day highlight but nearly every expert is predicting a nip and tuck affair.

Close match

“My hope is that it will be a close match and that the result will come down to the final pairing and the final green,” said Elliott.

“Then I hope the USA win because if we keep on winning, then the interest on the Stars and Stripes side of the Atlantic will start to wane.”

“It really is too close to call,” added Gallacher.


McIlroy ready for Ryder Cup challenge


Bill Murray steals Ryder Cup

It will all be a far cry from the first Ryder Cup in Massachusetts in 1927 where the Great Britain and Ireland team traveled by ocean liner to contest a trophy which was the brainchild of English businessman Sam Ryder.

They lost rather easily but it was not until 1937 that a U.S. team captained by Walter Hagen achieved the first ‘away’ win.

It was the signal for U.S. domination, with only the 1957 win and the 1969 halved match at Royal Birkdale, where Jacklin and Nicklaus played a memorable last day singles, offering GB and Ireland any consolation.

Nicklaus, forever in touch with the history of his beloved sport, then made his crucial intervention, meaning the contest came alive and since 1979 we have seen eight European wins, seven for the United States and one tied match.

Ballesteros, who played such a key role in the European resurgence, both as a player and captain of the winning team on Spanish soil in 1997, will be in everyone’s thoughts this week.

It is the first match since he sadly passed away in May 2011 and Olazabal’s men have a special image of him emblazoned on their golf bags as a constant reminder of his special place in the event’s history.

Follow the Ryder Cup with CNN’s live blog


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