1. “Many people would tell me that I have changed a lot over the years. When I first left for England I was very happy and confident and loved interaction with people. Since the disappointment with England I find myself going into my shell, lacking confidence and not wanting to be around big crowds.”
Shane O’Connor writes about his experience of the professional football ladder for PunditArena.com
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2. “It completed the aura of invincibility; here was an athlete whose supremacy was so unshakable that he could afford to act unconcerned about it. Kobe could never be unconcerned, because unlike Jordan (or LeBron, or Shaq, or Kevin Durant, or Allen Iverson), he didn’t inhabit his talent so much as angrily oversee it. His smile had a way of making moments feel more tense, of ratcheting the stakes to a level at which only he could cope with them. It wasn’t in him to be generous. If you’re Superman, you can have fun flying; if you’re the CEO of Exxon, oil is never a joke.”
Brian Phillips writes The Wolf on the Rock about the inevitable decline of the great Kobe Bryant on Grantland.com.
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3. “Any player putting themselves in the firing line needs to readjust their mentality from that of the gambler at the craps table, shooting dice for a win, to that of an insurance man or an accountant trying to limit any damage or loss. We win our bonuses by not risking the mortgage. You’re David Seaman now, not Rene Higuita.”
David Preece gives a step-by-step guide of what outfield players need to know once they go between the sticks on TheSetPieces.com
4. ”By the time Waterford’s next game came against Finn Harps, manager John McSeveney was openly confident that the club could better £1,900 at the gate, telling reporters: “We have had inquiries from all over the country about this game and I believe we could well have a record gate.”
About that time Bobby Charlton played for Waterford United, as told by Patric Heffernan in The Guardian
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5. ”The only light in Corey Linsley’s room at the Westin Bellevue came from his phone. His roommate, wide receiver Jeff Janis, was long asleep. Midnight had come and gone. In less than 24 hours, the Packers would open their season in Seattle, against the league’s most terrifying defense, in front of the entire country. Linsley had been the starting center for a total of 10 days. Earlier that week, Seahawks linebacker Bruce Irvin told reporters he’d be praying for the Packers’ rookie. He wasn’t the only one.”
Before the Packers go into action tonight, Robert Mays gives us all we need to know about the men who protect The Man, for Grantland.
6. “Rather than individual brilliance, however, Real Sociedad’s victory was down to a tremendous effort of collective defensive organisation and hard work. These were exactly the qualities the club’s president Jokin Aperribay had been looking for when he hired the former Everton and Manchester United boss a few weeks ago.”
David (Moyes) v Goliath: Andy West explains how the oft-derided Scot toppled the Blaugrana for the BBC.
The thing about Zlatan, cheap gargle and how to be 6′ 11″: It’s the Comments of the WeekEverybody be cool… but Jimmy Fallon got a load of puppies to predict the college football decider!
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