Monday, May 27, 2013

Redemption and Champions League Title for Bayern Munich

"Saturday's match set record ratings on German TV, with 21.61 million viewers, a 62 percent share. Viewership for the all-German final dwarfed the previous record, set last year, when 17 million Germans watched Bayern go down in a penalty shoot out at home in Munich to eventual champions Chelsea. Globally, the Champions League final was forecast to draw close to 200 million viewers, making it the most-watched live annual sporting event, bigger even than the Super Bowl."
Fox Soccer:
Arjen Robben says his winning goal in the Champions League final for Bayern Munich against Borussia Dortmund has avenged past heartbreak in his career.

The 29-year-old had lost two previous European finals, missing a penalty in last year's Champions League final defeat by his former club Chelsea. The Netherlands international was also on the losing side when Spain won the 2010 World Cup final in South Africa. He has one of the most predictable – yet deadly – moves in the game, but that touch seems to desert him at the tensest moments. For all his talent, he’s long been labeled a “bottler,” soccer-speak for what Americans call a choke-artist.

That all should change after Saturday night. Robben, betraying no sign of anything but confidence, set up the first goal, then won the UEFA Champions League title for Bayern Munich 2-1 against Borussia Dortmund late in the second half.

Bayern took the lead in the all-German final when Robben pulled the ball back from the byeline for striker Mario Mandzukic to tap in from close range. Dortmund equalised when Ilkay Gundogan scored from the penalty spot after Dante fouled Marco Reus before Robben's 89th-minute decider. With a sublime bit of skill, Robben danced around Neven Subotic, Mats Hummels and Roman Weidenfeller with a minute remaining to score the match winner.

As he peeled off to the far corner, he left a dejected pile of Dortmund men in yellow. Eyes blazing and his head tilted back, he faced some of his fiercest critics – the Bayern end – and shouted. The glory was his.

"This means a lot. I still have not grasped it," Robben said. "There are so many emotions. It was very even. They had chances. We had chances. Then the last minute, I was quicker to the ball. I missed two chances before that, but I stayed calm. This was the third time in four years we've been in the final but, at least, now we are in the history books."

Robben was the hero of a classic match, better than we had any right to wish. It was enthralling, as both sides played powerful possession soccer, and declined to play the cynical waiting game that so often infects major finals. It was open, with both keepers making critical saves. The few mistakes committed were left witheringly unpunished though. For once, we had a final that lived up to the billing.

Saturday night’s tempo was furious, the result of a decision made from the whistle by Dortmund to play a high, pressing game. Dortmund typically plays a high line, but in their previous meetings this season against Bayern had played a countering game preferring to hang back and pounce on mistakes. It hadn’t worked well, as Dortmund went winless in their last four games against their archrivals, and manager Jurgen Klopp ditched it.

Bayern boss Jupp Heynckes admitted afterwards the tag of being favorites was behind his side's poor start and that he "made some corrections" at half-time. The 68-year-old will leave the club at the end of the season to be replaced by former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola but he could finish off with the Treble.

Bayern contest the German Cup on June 1 against VfB Stuttgart, aiming to become the first German club to complete the Treble.

In the 2012–13 season, FC Bayern became the first team in history to win their first eight matches in the Bundesliga after their 5–0 away win to Fortuna Düsseldorf. In April, Bayern won the 2012–13 Bundesliga after a 1–0 win at Eintracht Frankfurt with six games left, setting a new record for being the earliest ever Bundesliga winners. Other Bundesliga records set by Bayern include most points in a season (91), highest league winning points margin (25), most wins in a season (29) and fewest goals conceded in a season (18). Bayern also equaled the record for fewest defeats in a season, losing once to Bayer 04 Leverkusen.

More information:
» Robert Lewandowski to transfer to Bayern
» Mario Gotze is highest-paid German with $48 million deal

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Judge Prevents the Selling of Kobe's Memorabilia

Daily Mail:
Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant has scored a victory in an ongoing legal battle with his own mother, who planned to auction off his sports memorabilia worth around $1.5 million.

This week, a judge issued a temporary restraining order against Goldin Auctions barring the auction house from selling Bryant's basketball jerseys, jackets, high school championship rings, trophies and other collectibles pending a full hearing.

The New Jersey-based auction business has filed a complaint claiming that Bryant's mother, Pamela Bryant, put up for sale a large collection of sports memorabilia, which she had received as a gift from her millionaire son.

According to court filings, Pamela Bryant struck a deal in January with Goldin Auctions in Berlin, N.J., which earlier this year sold a rare Honus Wagner baseball card for a record $2.1 million. In return, Mrs. Bryant received a $450,000 advance, which she in turn used to buy a house in Nevada.

According to the lawsuit, Pamela Bryant had been storing some of her son's memorabilia for at least 15 years - his high school uniform shorts and jerseys date back to 1994 and there's even a Sonny Hill League Future Stars Champion trophy from 1992, when he was still in middle school.

Among the first 100 or so items Mrs. Bryant intends to sell: the NBA star's jerseys, practice gear and sweatsuits from Lower Merion High School; varsity letters; a trophy for being the outstanding player at the 1995 Adidas ABCD basketball camp; and a signed basketball from the 2000 NBA championship game.

And then there are rings, for the 1996 Pennsylvania high school championship, a pair that the Lakers made for Bryant's parents for the 2000 NBA championship and one from the 1998 NBA All-Star game.

In its court filings, Goldin says Pamela Bryant told the auction house that she asked her son five years ago what he wanted to do with the items that were in her home. Kobe Bryant indicated to Pamela Bryant that the items belonged to her and that he had no interest in them,' the auction house's attorneys wrote. So she put them in a $1,500-per-month New Jersey storage unit.

However, the 34-year-old athlete, who is currently recovering from a season-ending injury to his Achilles’ tendon, filed his own complaint against the auction house insisting that he had never given his mother permission to sell his memorabilia. Mr. Bryant went on to stay in his court filing that his mother stole some of his personal items from his house.

Last week, Kobe Bryant's lawyers demanded that Goldin Auctions scrap the scheduled June sale. In response, the auction house sued the athlete for the right to go ahead with the sale of The Kobe Bryant Collection.

Mr Bryant has emphasized that he was only suing the auctioneers and not his mother, but both he and his wife, Vanessa, had testified in writing that Pamela Bryant took the memorabilia and put it on the auction block without their permission, and then refused to return the prized possessions.

Bryant said in a sworn statement that the items at the center of the dispute go back to his teenage years have 'tremendous sentimental value,' adding that he was planning to hand down his 'well-deserved memorabilia’ to his children, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Bryant said his mother can claim ownership of only two items, NBA Championship rings that he had custom-made for his parents.

Bryant has had a sometimes icy relationship with his mother and father, Joe 'Jellybean' Bryant, a former pro basketball player for the Philadelphia 76ers who is now coaching in Thailand.

According to reports, Kobe Bryant's parents didn't attend his wedding because they thought at 21 he was too young and because his wife is not black. But like most disapproving parents, they came around with the birth of a grandchild, a girl.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

David Beckham Retires with Another Title

"English superstar David Beckham played his final professional game Saturday, closing a sensational 20-year career with a victory. Beckham captained French Ligue 1 champions Paris-Saint Germain and assisted the club’s second goal in a 3-1 win, before coming off the pitch in tears in the 82nd minute."
Just last week, Manchester United's highly decorated manager and homespun talisman Sir Alex Ferguson called it quits after a quarter of a century of 11-man dominance.

Now David Beckham is retiring from soccer, ending a career in which he became a global superstar who transcended the sport. The 38-year-old, whose forays into fashion and marriage to a pop-star wife have made him a riveting international celebrity, recently won a league title in a fourth country with Paris Saint-Germain.

"I'm thankful to PSG for giving me the opportunity to continue but I feel now is the right time to finish my career, playing at the highest level," the former England captain said in a statement.

Beckham had already started planning for his post-playing career earlier in the season, becoming an ambassador for Chinese soccer.

"Nothing will ever completely replace playing the game I love, however I feel like I'm starting a new adventure and I'm genuinely excited about what lies ahead," Beckham said. "I'm fortunate to have been given many opportunities throughout my career and now I feel it's my time to give back."

He started his career with Manchester United and also played for Real Madrid and the Los Angeles Galaxy, winning titles with all those clubs.

"If you had told me as a young boy I would have played for and won trophies with my boyhood club Manchester United, proudly captained and played for my country over one hundred times and lined up for some of the biggest clubs in the world, I would have told you it was a fantasy. I'm fortunate to have realized those dreams," Beckham said.

With United between 1992 and 2003, Beckham won six Premier League titles, the Champions League, two FA Cups and the Intercontinental Cup. Beckham left United in 2003 shortly after manager Alex Ferguson accidentally struck Beckham's eye with a football boot.

Beckham spent four years in Madrid - winning the 2007 Spanish title before making the surprise move to Major League Soccer, where he won the title twice.

There were highs and lows in Beckham's international career. He was blamed for England's elimination from the 1998 World Cup for his petulant red card against Argentina, but scored the winning goal against the same team at the World Cup four years later.

Beckham responded to jeering at the 2000 European Championship with an obscene hand gesture to England fans, but was lauded by the same supporters a little more than a year later when his last-minute free kick against Greece secured a place at the 2002 World Cup.

England dropped Beckham in 2006 in an effort to renew the team with younger players after a quarterfinal exit at that year's World Cup. Coach Steve McClaren recalled him the following year after a run of stuttering form, and he returned for the remainder of England's unsuccessful attempt to qualify for the 2008 European Championship.

His last England appearance came against Belarus in October 2009. He missed the 2010 World Cup because of an Achilles injury, but went to South Africa as part of Fabio Capello's backroom staff.

Beckham made 115 appearances for England's national team - a record for a player other than a goalkeeper.

"To this day, one of my proudest achievements is captaining my country," Beckham said. "I knew every time I wore the Three Lions shirt, I was not only following in a long line of great players, I was also representing every fan that cared passionately about their country. I'm honored to represent England both on and off the pitch."

Off the field, there were little glories as well. He played a huge role in lobbying to bring the 2012 Olympic Games to London. He was widely praised for his various ambassadorial duties, for the sport, but also outside it, with UNICEF, for example.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Astronaut Chris Hadfield Covers "Space Oddity"

A video of the Canadian astronaut singing David Bowie's "Space Oddity" from the International Space Station has been zipping around the Web at light speed since it was posted Sunday. The five-minute clip features Hadfield singing a modified version of the tune and strumming an acoustic guitar while floating through a space module, more than 200 miles above the Earth.

By Monday afternoon, it had more than 1.8 million views on YouTube, 3,000 comments on Reddit and was being widely shared across social networks.

Hadfield already was something of a social media star, with 260,000 fans on Facebook and more than 825,000 followers on Twitter. During his five months aboard the International Space Station, he has posted numerous photos and videos of himself preparing meals, brushing his teeth and explaining how to vomit in space.

Because Hadfield's vocals and guitar were recorded on the space station (and mixed with supporting tracks by Emm Gryner, a Canadian musician who once sang backup for Bowie), some observers are calling it the first music video made in space.

The 53-year-old Hadfield launched aboard the Russian Soyuz spacecraft in December and in March became the first Canadian to lead a spaceship as commander of the International Space Station. The video clip was a farewell of sorts: Hadfield, Soyuz Cmdr. Roman Romanenko and Flight Engineer Tom Mars landed safely in their Soyuz spacecraft Tuesday in Kazakhstan as scheduled, according to NASA.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Spotlight: Charles Steger

“These years have been the highlight of my career in higher education, and it has been my privilege to serve as president during a period in which we have strengthened our academic programs and expanded our research and outreach programs,” Steger said in a statement. Among Steger’s accomplishments, the statement said, were growth on many measures. Enrollment rose to 31,087 from 27,869; the university raised more than $1 billion in private funding; and the campus gained more than 2.5 million square feet of building space. Virginia Tech also formed a biomedical engineering school and a medical school.
Hampton Roads:
Virginia Tech president Charles Steger announced today in a letter to the university community that he plans to retire this year. He'll remain on the job until the school's Board of Visitors finds a replacement.

Steger, who has served since 2000 and will give Virginia Tech's commencement speech this week, had an integral role in several big sports stories over the years for Virginia Tech. Here's a look back:

-- 2003, Virginia Tech leaves the Big East to join the ACC. On June 28, not long after publicly saying Tech would not accept an invitation to the league, Steger sent out a letter detailing the reasons that the Hokies would leave the Big East, their home for the previous 12 years in football, to join the ACC.

In it, he outlined the many financial reasons for Virginia Tech to make the move, words that are extremely similar to the rhetoric in the most recent round of conference expansion.

"It is critical that Virginia Tech be a member of a financially viable conference," he wrote. "What if athletic conference revenues were reduced by several million per year? Coach [Frank] Beamer advised me that simply the uncertainty of the future of the Big East is negatively affecting football recruiting. If we cannot attract good players, our talented coaching staff will be the target of other schools. Finding ourselves several million in the red each year, we could be forced to raise our student athletic fee or begin to eliminate several non-revenue intercollegiate sports to address the problem."

-- 2006, Marcus Vick dismissed from the football team. Steger announced the dismissal of the oft-troubled quarterback after the school and athletic department gave him multiple chances to turn things around.

Vick's numerous legal problems coupled with his infamous stomp of Louisville's Elvis Dumervil in the Gator Bowl eventually led to his dismissal. Steger had previously suspended Vick in 2004, although the quarterback was later given a chance to return to the team.

"The university provided one last opportunity for Vick to become a citizen of the university and readmitted him in January 2005, with the proviso that any future problems would result in automatic dismissal from the team," Steger said at the time.

-- 2012, Chairs BCS Presidential Oversight Committee. Although he repeatedly declined to comment on it, Steger had an active role in changes to college football's postseason format last year, sitting as the chair on the BCS Presidential Oversight Committee.

The 12-member group ultimately approved the new four-team playoff, even if it was the commissioners of the big conferences and the AD at Notre Dame who came up with all the details.

ACC commissioner John Swofford praised Steger's leadership afterward to the Daily Press: “Charles Steger just did a tremendous job in chairing this group, He’s got a terrific way about him. He’s an outstanding consensus-builder, and he was very well-versed in running the meeting. I think he was prepared to lock everybody in the room until 10 o’clock and not feed them before letting anyone out without a decision.”

Monday, May 13, 2013

2013 NHL Playoffs

"Obviously we pushed very hard in the first period; he made a lot of great saves," Capitals coach Adam Oates said. "They got a lucky one and every bounce seemed to go their way after that."

Game 7: New York 5, Washington 0
"Henrik Lundqvist made 35 saves for his second shutout in roughly 30 hours and the Rangers' offense stole the show as Arron Asham, Taylor Pyatt, Michael Del Zotto, Ryan Callahan and Mats Zuccarello all scored to lift New York to a 5-0 victory against the Washington Capitals at Verizon Center in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. The Rangers trailed the series 2-0 after losing in overtime in Game 2. They were 0-3 with two goals in three games at Verizon Center prior to Game 7. The Rangers now turn their attention the Boston Bruins, who came back from a three-goal deficit in the third period to beat the Toronto Maple Leafs in overtime Monday. The Rangers and Bruins haven't played in the Stanley Cup Playoffs since 1973, when New York beat Boston in the quarterfinals. It was a rematch of the 1972 Stanley Cup Final won by the Bruins."

"They kept our most dangerous weapon off the ice, our power play," Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner said. "They got the one good bounce to go in, and we didn't have an answer for it. It's very frustrating that you have to go for Game 7 [Monday], but that's the way it is sometimes."

Game 6: New York 1, Washington 0
"Henrik Lundqvist made sure the Washington Capitals and New York Rangers need a seventh game to decide their playoff series for a second straight season by making 27 saves for his seventh career playoff shutout Sunday at Madison Square Garden. Derick Brassard scored the lone goal as the Rangers beat the Capitals, 1-0, in Game 6 of this Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series. The Rangers are 0-5 all-time in Game 7s on the road. Washington will be heading to its third straight Game 7 after beating the Boston Bruins and losing to the Rangers last year."

"All game we were grinding and pucks were in the skates, the puck was bouncing," Ribeiro said. "It just showed up there at the right time, right moment. We'll take this win."

Game 5: Washington 2, New York 1 (OT)
"Braden Holtby and Henrik Lundqvist traded big saves in OT before Mike Ribeiro slammed a deflected shot past Lundqvist from the slot to give the Capitals a 2-1 victory in Game 5 and a 3-2 lead in the best-of-7 series. When the Capitals finally got a power play opportunity 7:33 into the second period, Joel Ward scored with a one-timer from between the circles after some pretty passing by Nicklas Backstrom and Marcus Johansson. Lundqvist kept the Capitals from winning earlier in overtime when he made a brilliant save with his left pad on Mathieu Perreault, who broke in behind Stralman thanks to a pass from Ward."

"Our line has to play better," Ovechkin said. "When we have a chance to play in their zone, we have to use it. [Wednesday night] we didn't do it."

Game 4: New York 4, Washington 3
"Derek Stepan scored the winning goal in Game 4 Wednesday to again lift the Rangers to a 4-3 victory against the Capitals. The Rangers scored eight goals in Games 3 and 4 after managing one goal in Games 1 and 2 at Verizon Center. The Rangers applied pressure, worked a perfect penalty kill (5-for-5), scored a pair of power-play goals (one in each game), withstood Washington's inevitable surges, and managed to hold Alex Ovechkin to zero points and three shots on goal over the two games. Martin Erat left Game 4 late in the first period with an upper-body injury and never returned."

"We were probably a little too cute with it," Adam Oates said.

Game 3: New York 4, Washington 3
"The Rangers got goals from Brian Boyle, Derick Brassard, Arron Asham and Derek Stepan to beat the Washington Capitals, 4-3, at Madison Square Garden. Henrik Lundqvist made 28 saves and the Rangers pulled to within 2-1 of the Capitals. The Rangers also had to kill off a late penalty on Brad Richards, who was called for slashing Alex Ovechkin at center ice. It turned into a 6-on-4 when Holtby left the net with roughly 90 seconds to play, but the Rangers kept the puck out to preserve the win."

"We're just too stagnant," Rangers coach John Tortorella said of his struggling power play. "We're almost paralyzed."

Game 2: Washington 1, New York 0 (OT)
"The Washington Capitals held firm when they were a man down, then won it on Mike Green's latest extra-time winner, topping the Rangers 1-0 Saturday to take a 2-0 series lead in the Eastern Conference playoffs. It's the eighth career overtime goal - and first in the postseason - for the defenseman whose more well-known nickname is 'Game Over Green.' His 12 regular season goals led all NHL defensemen. Washington is 7-for-7 on the PK in the series. Despite finishing 27th on the penalty kill during the regular season, it is 35-for-40 in the past 14 games. Braden Holtby made 24 saves for his first career playoff shutout for the Capitals and has stopped 59 of 60 shots in the series."

"It rolled into the palm of my hand," Holtby said. "One of the guys yelled it was in. It wasn't. It was in my palm the whole time."

Game 1: Washington 3, New York 1
"Alex Ovechkin's franchise-record 31st career playoff goal got the Capitals started before Marcus Johansson and Jason Chimera scored 46 seconds apart, and Washington beat the New York Rangers 3-1 Thursday night in Game 1 of their first-round series. Ovechkin, a two-time MVP who led the NHL with 32 goals this season, crashed the net to score on a power play about seven minutes into the second period to tie the game for the Capitals, the third-seeded team in the Eastern Conference. Carl Hagelin had put sixth-seeded New York ahead 1-0 in the first period — the only puck that made it past Braden Holtby, who finished with 35 saves."

More information:
» Russian Machine Never Breaks: "Done"
» Washington Post Express: Why the Caps Melted

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Spotlight: George Carlin

"I look at it this way... For centuries now, man has done everything he can to destroy, defile, and interfere with nature: clear-cutting forests, strip-mining mountains, poisoning the atmosphere, over-fishing the oceans, polluting the rivers and lakes, destroying wetlands and aquifers... so when nature strikes back, and smacks him on the head and kicks him in the nuts, I enjoy that. I have absolutely no sympathy for human beings whatsoever. None. And no matter what kind of problem humans are facing, whether it's natural or man-made, I always hope it gets worse."


Sunday, May 5, 2013

Marcus Vick Now Facing Jail Time

Roanoke Times:
Former Virginia Tech football player Marcus Vick failed to appear for another court hearing in Montgomery County this week, and a judge has issued a capias for his arrest, according to a lawyer involved in the case.

Vick, 29, was found in contempt of court in January and ordered to spend five days in a local jail for not providing financial documents. Vick signed a promissory note for $40,000 in September 2008 pertaining to a civil matter but has not paid the judgment, causing the plaintiff to periodically seek his financial statements, according to Kris Olin, lawyer for plaintiff Barbara Ferguson.

He did not show up in February for a hearing over debtor concerns. At that time, Judge Brett Geisler, a Carroll County Circuit Court judge presiding over the civil case, issued a show cause notice for Vick during a telephone conference.

According to Olin, Vick was supposed to appear Monday in circuit court to explain why he did not show up to the February hearing and why he has not paid attorney fees. Geisler had previously ordered Vick to pay attorney fees — one payment due in the middle of January and one due in the middle of March — but Vick has not made those payments, Olin said.

Olin met with Vick’s lawyer, Jimmy Turk, and Geisler in judges’ chambers Monday.

“Instead of punishing him with more attorney fees and more jail time, the judge entered a capias for his arrest,” Olin said. “Once he’s picked up, he’ll stay in jail until the judge can get from Carroll County to Montgomery County.”

Olin said Geisler will schedule a hearing in Montgomery County once Vick is arrested. Vick will be held until that hearing and may remain in jail after the hearing, depending on his punishment.

Vick previously told the court that he was living in the Atlanta area. Olin said that it’s his understanding Vick will not be extradited to Virginia if he is arrested in Georgia.

“If he comes here in Virginia, and gets stopped for any reason, whether it’s a traffic violation or he has some crime or a law enforcement agent runs into him, he’ll be arrested immediately,” Olin said.

But police will not be actively searching for Vick in Virginia or any other state, Olin said.

“I don’t expect him to participate from here on out,” Olin said. “We will probably be chasing him for a long time.”

When reached on Monday afternoon, Turk deferred all questions to Olin.

Olin has said that Vick has not paid any of the promissory note, which is now nearing $90,000 with interest and attorney fees. He would not comment on the details of the civil suit, although in September 2008, Vick agreed in principle to settle a $6.3 million lawsuit filed by a Christiansburg teenager — listed as “Jane Doe” — who claimed psychological trauma after having a two-year sexual relationship with Vick that began in January 2004, when she was 15 and he was 19.

Vick and two of his former teammates at Tech were convicted in 2004 of three counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor for giving three underage girls liquor and encouraging them to strip. In the lawsuit, the girl identifies herself as the one who had sex with Vick on that night in January 2004 that led to his arrest and conviction. In September 2004, Vick pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor for giving alcohol to underage girls.

In July 2004, Vick was arrested for speeding, and police found marijuana in his car. He pleaded guilty to reckless driving and no contest to possession of marijuana. Virginia Tech suspended him for the entire 2004 season after he was charged with crimes in the two separate incidents. At the time of that suspension, university president Charles Steger said if Vick faced additional off-field troubles, "his Virginia Tech career is effectively ended."

After returning to school in 2005, Vick stayed out of trouble off the field until a Dec. 17 traffic stop. Vick was cited for two misdemeanor charges of speeding and driving on a suspended or revoked driver's license in Hampton, Va. -- his ninth driving offense since he enrolled at Virginia Tech in 2002, according to court records.

After making an obscene gesture toward fans and shoving a West Virginia coach during the Hokies' 34-17 victory in Morgantown, W. Va., on Oct. 1, Vick issued a statement apologizing "for letting my emotions get the best of me." Vick was also under scrutiny following an incident in the Jan. 2 Gator Bowl in which he stomped on the leg of Louisville defensive end Elvis Dumervil.

Virginia Tech dismissed Vick from the football team as a junior in 2006 citing "a cumulative effect of legal infractions and unsportsmanlike play." Vick played in 11 games as a freshman backup in 2003, was suspended the next season after he was charged with crimes in two incidents, then started all 13 games this past season. He threw for 2,393 yards, 17 touchdowns and 10 interceptions and ran for 380 yards and six scores, but struggled in Virginia Tech's biggest games, a 27-7 loss to Miami on Nov. 5 and 27-22 loss to unranked Florida State in the inaugural ACC championship game on Dec. 3.

Vick then declared himself eligible for the NFL spring draft in 2006, but was not selected. He was later signed by the Miami Dolphins as an undrafted free agent but was released from the team on May 1, 2007.

More information:
» Marcus Vick offends people on Twitter
» Marcus Vick dismissed by Virginia Tech
» Marcus Vick brandishes a firearm in McDonald's parking lot

In 2005, Marcus ran a 4.28 40-yard dash, the seventh-best time in program history. In 1999, Michael Vick ran ran the second-fastest 40 in Tech football history at 4.25 seconds.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Didar Hossain Rescued 30 People from Bangladesh Factory

Didar Hossain arrived for a shift to make clothes for the Western high street on Wednesday. By Friday night he was hailed as a hero after rescuing 30 people from the scene of Bangladesh’s worst industrial accident.

At its most extreme, his heroics involved amputating the hand of a young girl to salvage her from the wreckage of the Rana Plaza, the eight-storey Dhaka factory building in Bangladesh which collapsed killing more than 1,000.

Aanna Akhtar, the young girl he saved told The Daily Telegraph she knows she is one of the lucky ones.

Ms. Akhtar said she had started a job just three weeks ago making trouser pockets on the sixth floor, where New Wave Style Ltd. makes cheap clothes for chain stores like Primark and Bonmarche.

“I could not get it out," she said from her bed at Enam Medical College Hospital. "There were a lot of people with me at first. Many were saved because the roof rested on the machines. We all shouted for help.

"There were about ten of us together. Many of the other people were able to escape. The men who left said that they would get someone to help me, but no-one came. I shouted for help, and I wept and wept. I thought I wouldn’t get out alive. I spent the whole night there inside the building by myself. I was very scared.

"Beside me was the dead body of the colleague I worked with, I could see the blood coming out of her,”

She spent the night contorted into a crouching position with her arm aloft and hand trapped. In the morning, as her hopes of survival began to fade, she heard Didar Hossain calling out through the dark crevices. “I shouted back ’please help me brother’. He told me he could only help me if he cut off my hand and I let him. He then went out and came back with a knife and an injection. I was given an injection first. He had to chop of my hand to get me out,” she said.

Mr. Hossain, 28, who is married with two young children, had been working as a £45 a week machine operator at the al-Muslim factory opposite, when the Rana Plaza building collapsed. He ran out immediately, quickly found a tunnel inside the rubble, and began searching for survivors.

Over the next nine hours, he pulled 17 men to safety and retrieved four of the dead, he said. It was not until the following morning that he heard Aanna Akhtar’s cry for help.

“I heard a woman’s voice asking for help at about 10 am. I found her. There were two dead bodies beside her. I tried to see whether it was possible to rescue her without chopping off her hand, by moving the machinery, but I was scared that if I moved any of the machinery the roof may collapse further. So I told her that the only way I can get you out is to chop off your hand and she agreed,” he explained.

He went back outside ask a doctor, who was too afraid to enter the rubble, for his advice. He returned with an injection and a surgical knife, he said, and as he carried out the surgery, both he and his patient cried. “I went back in and gave her the injection and started cutting. The knife did not seem to be that sharp. It was hard. I was weeping and Aanna was weeping. It hurt her a lot. The whole rescue took 4 hours,” he said.

He had been scared to go into the debris at first, he said, but felt compelled. “I could see that there was a narrow tunnel into the building.

Everyone warned me not to go in, as the building could collapse even further. I was scared to go in, but I knew that if I saved one person that would be worth it,” he said.

Akhtar was one of 36 people he had rescued and yesterday, as they recalled their tearful ordeal, she said his bravery had saved her life. “I feel terrible about my hand, but I am still alive,” she said.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Burning Love: Burning Down the House

Burning Love is a scripted comedy series which is a web spoof of the television shows The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. Depending on the season, the show follows either a man or a woman who is looking for the perfect mate from a pool of constestants. Ben Stiller is executive co-producer.

The first season of Burning Love had its television premiere on E! in Australia in January 2013. The televised version of Burning Love premiered on E! in America on February 25, 2013.

Yahoo Original:
"Bill Tundle (Michael Ian Black) is back to host but this time with a twist. This season, Bill is dressing in a more casual manner, not the stuffy Bill Tundle of seasons past. As he hosts challenges, he will present himself in many different styles of dress, sure to delight fans across the world.

You don't want to miss a moment of the excitement as we find out who's life will be forever changed by winning $900. There will be challenges, hot tubs, hookups, relationships, backstabbing, frontstabbing, daiquiris, music, poetry, wet t-shirts, alcohol, hugging, dates and alliances."

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Champions League Semifinals

Bayern Munich  7 : 0  Barcelona (aggregate)
Sports Illustrated:
Arjen Robben finished the tie off three minutes after halftime at Camp Nou, but in truth, it was finished a week ago at Allianz Arena. Bayern Munich completed the task, a 3-0 win and 7-0 aggregate, with rather less alarm than Borussia Dortmund had against Real Madrid the previous night, and so there will be, as had always seemed likely after the first legs, an all-German Champions League final.

Bayern held a 4-0 aggregate lead heading into Wednesday's clash in Catalunya, and Barcelona were dealt a huge blow ahead of their Champions League semi-final second leg after Sergio Busquets (groin) and Eric Abidal (calf) were both ruled out through injury.

Barça were already without fellow defenders Javier Mascherano (knee) and Carles Puyol (knee), while fullback Jordi Alba was suspended after picking up a yellow card in the first leg in Munich.

Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova said that Lionel Messi aggravated a hamstring injury in Saturday's match and would only have been risked late on if a comeback had been possible.

Much has been written about Barça's philosophy and the advantages of the production line from La Masia. When it works, of course, it is a magnificent thing, but there is nothing in football that is not relative, and this is the downside: Barça's style is so idiosyncratic -- which is what made it great, unstoppable even, at times -- that outsiders find it extremely hard to adapt to. The shortage of central defenders, meanwhile, that left Barça to pick a novice like Marc Bartra because of only two injuries (and one of those to a 35-year-old) can only be attributed to poor squad management.

That means that when things go wrong, there is no quick fix. Even if there is another brilliant generation in the offing, it's much harder to bed them in a struggling side than one that is thriving. The economic model of modern football means that, barring something cataclysmic, Barcelona will remain among the top two in Spain and among the top 10 sides in Europe, but it is now some way from the continent's top one. Not for 26 years had it lost both legs of a European tie.

Pep Guardiola built his team around Lionel Messi. Without Messi it seems to have fallen in on itself. Back in 2009 Barcelona beat Bayern Munich 4-0 at the Nou Camp in a Champions League quarter-final first leg. Messi scored twice that night but the support card included Samuel Eto'o, Theirry Henry and Yaya Touré. Those players have gone and there was no-one to pick up the baton as Messi sat in the dugout nursing a sore hamstring.

Bayern manager Jupp Heynckes said: “Messi is fundamental for Barcelona but Bayern right now is a very strong adversary, tactically, physically and in terms of commitment. Last season [after being beaten in the final by Chelsea in their own stadium] we were devastated. But the very next day we set about preparing for the following season.”

The exit could surely be no more humbling. Or at least they thought so until the 73rd minute when Franck Ribéry crossed and Gerard Pique hammered the ball past his own keeper for the second. Thomas Müller headed in another Ribéry cross to make it 3-0. “Football's coming home,” sang the German fans. It has, temporarily at least, deserted Barcelona.

Bayern, who won the Bundesliga in record time this season, will contest a third Champions League final in four seasons, where they will meet fellow German side Borussia Dortmund at Wembley on 25 May.

Borussia Dortmund  4 : 3  Real Madrid (aggregate)
Borussia Dortmund survived a frantic finish at the Bernabeu to reach the Champions League final despite two late goals by Real Madrid. Karim Benzema gave Real hope from close range in the 82nd minute and Sergio Ramos scored a second soon after. Ramos also headed wide in injury time but Dortmund held on.

Real, trailing 4-1 from the first leg, needed to score three times without reply to progress but wasted a series of early chances in an open game. This was Real's third consecutive Champions League semifinal under boss Jose Mourinho, having lost the previous two.

Robert Lewandowski had produced a striker's masterclass as he scored four goals in a commanding first leg victory for Dortmund. The Poland striker volleyed in Mario Götze's cross at the back post early on before Cristiano Ronaldo tapped in.

With his contract due to expire at the end of next season, the forward has been a reported summer target for Manchester United and Bayern Munich. And his value will increase no end after he became the first player to score four times in a Champions League semi-final.

Mario Götze is set to become the most expensive German player of all time after Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich announced the Dortmund midfielder will join them this summer. The release clause is reported to be $48 million. The previous most expensive transfer involving a German player was striker Mario Gomez's $41 million move to Bayern from Stuttgart in 2009.

Bleacher Report:
Dortmund, previously unbeaten in Europe this season, looked shaken, but they recovered their composure at the back and, for all Real's efforts during five minutes of injury time, a third goal was beyond them.

Bundesliga champions each of the previous two seasons, Borussia Dortmund were swept aside by Bayern Munich with frightening ease this term as the Bavarians romped to the title in record-breaking style. Dortmund's European adventure, however, has been much more fulfilling—and dramatic.

Along the way, Dortmund have produced both the impressive and the improbable. Jurgen Klopp's inexperienced side won Group D, the so-called "Group of Death," despite the presence of big names like Real Madrid, Manchester City and Ajax. Along with last week's stunning 4-1 destruction of Real Madrid, there was also an unlikely escape against Malaga in the previous round.

More information:
» Bleacher Report: Champions League Final Preview