first_imgA BUSY OPENING DAY FOR BALTAS ON SATURDAY POPULAR WALL CALENDAR FREE ON OPENING DAY POLANCO REMEMBERS THE LATE BOBBY FRANKEL POST SHOULD AID BELLAFINA IN GRADE I LA BREA SANTA ANITA’S POPULAR WALL CALENDAR FREE ON OPENING DAYA “must-have” among racegoers for decades, Santa Anita’s traditional wall calendar will be available free to all fans with paid admission on opening day. This year’s calendar will include racing highlights from the past 12 months and information about the California Retirement Management Account (CARMA), which is based at Santa Anita and assists retired racehorses in finding their next career and home.CARMA, which operates largely on purse money which is designated by Thoroughbred owners, facilitates funding and networking for over 20 aftercare charities in addition to running a placement program serving horses that have competed at Santa Anita, Del Mar and Golden Gate Fields.CARMA hosts a variety of fund raising events on a monthly basis, including Thoroughbred Classic Horse Shows, in which retired racehorses can compete against each other in multiple disciplines. CARMA also assists with aftercare awareness events and placement success stories.Special first post time opening day is 11 a.m. and admission gates open at 9 a.m. For additional information, please visit or call (626) 574-RACE. BEER AND CIDER FESTIVAL IS SET FOR TOMORROW WORKOUTS:Storm the Court (Eurton) 12-22-19McKinzie (Baffert) 12-22-19Ashleyluvssugar (Outside) and Ekklesia (Eurton) 12-22-19Omaha Beach (Mandella) 12-22-19Bellafina (Callaghan) 12-20-19Gift Box (Sadler) 12-20-19Mother Mother (Outside) and Eddy Forever (Baffert) 12-20-19 LATEST CONTENT FROM XBTV:FEATURES:XBTV Saturday: What to Watch for at Santa Anita Park on December 28th, 2019Richard Mandella Discusses Omaha Beach’s Final Work Ahead of the Grade I Malibu Stakes.John Sadler Discusses Gift Box’s Time Off and Expectations for the San Antonio.Bob Baffert Discusses a Trio of Three-Year-Olds Heading Into Grade 1 Starts on Opening Day.Peter Eurton Discusses Draft Pick’s Last Race Heading into the San Antonio. SANTA ANITA REMEMBERS THE LATE BOBBY FRANKEL TOMORROWGoogle Bobby Frankel and it comes up “American horse trainer,” but he was much more than that. Infinitely more.Irascible, cantankerous, gruff would seem to fit his exterior demeanor, but deep down, in crunch time, when push came to shove, Frankel’s best side came to the fore. He was humane.Take it from Marcelo Polanco, a third generation horseman who learned the ropes under Frankel for a year and a half circa 1991-93 when the Hall of Fame trainer was in his prime.Frankel, for whom Saturday’s Grade III Robert J. Frankel Stakes is named, died at the age of 68 on Nov. 16, 2009. Hard to believe he’s been gone for 10 years.“It was the most wonderful time,” the 59-year-old Polanco recalled Friday morning. “We had horses for Juddmonte Farms, Jerry Moss, and Bobby would send me to other tracks when we ran in stakes, so I was on the road frequently. He sent me to Louisiana Downs for the turf festival, and of the six horses we ran, five won. I went to Hawthorne with Marquetry for a $500,000 race and it was very cold, and he used to call me every day with four questions, always very quick: “‘How’s the horse?’ Fine. ‘Temperature?” No. ‘How’s he eating?’ Good. ‘How’s the weather?’ Super cold.“I said, ‘What do I do?’ He said, ‘Walk him.’ This was five days before the race. Next day, same conversation. Finally, the day before the race I opened my mouth and asked him, ‘Do you want me to walk the horse before the race?’ and he said, ‘Listen, the horse has been running all year, he’s got all his conditioning, do you want to get him sick?’“The horse won super easy that day and I still have the picture.”Polanco, a trainer in his own right, is a native of Santiago, Chile, the country where his grandfather, Pedro, won the Chilean Triple Crown circa 1912. Marcelo was assistant to Julio Canani for 6 ½ years before joining Frankel with Dan Ward and Humberto Ascanio. Prior to that, he served with Ron McAnally, but his time with Frankel understandably remains indelible.“He was a great guy,” Polanco said. BALTAS HAS 10 ENTERED FOR SANTA ANITA OPENER Richard Baltas prides himself in having a “racing stable,” and race he will when Santa Anita’s Winter Meet starts tomorrow, showcasing seven stakes, three of them Grade I’s.Fresh from capturing the Del Mar training championship, Baltas has 10 horses entered on the 11-race opening day card, eight of them in stakes, including Lady Prancealot in the Grade I American Oaks, Del Mar May and Motion Emotion in the Grade I La Brea, Excellent Sunset in the Grade III Robert J. Frankel and Neptune’s Storm and Bob and Jackie in the Grade II Mathis Brothers Mile.“She got a very good trip last time with (Joe) Bravo,” Baltas said of Lady Prancealot, a consistent but trouble prone Irish-bred filly that won the Grade III Valley View at Keeneland Oct. 18. “She got a big number (91 Beyer), and if she can duplicate that, she’ll probably win.”Motion Emotion shortens up in the seven furlong La Brea after two straight races at amile and one-sixteenth, including victory last out in the Zia Park Oaks.“It might be too short for her, but it’s the last Grade I race in her three-year-old year and she came out of the race good, she’s doing well, so we’re going to take a chance,” Baltas said.Excellent Sunrise was beaten a head and a nose as the favorite in her last two startsat a mile on turf at Del Mar, and Baltas removes the blinkers from the Irish-bred mare in the Frankel at 1 1/8 miles on turf. “She seems to be training really well,” he said.Neptune’s Storm has never been out of the money in his last 11 races and figures to have another strong showing in the Grade II Mathis Brothers Mile on turf.“He lost to Mo Forza twice and Mo Forza’s the race favorite, but Neptune’s Storm is a damn good horse who’s made over $600,000. We’re looking for a good start and a good meet.”Santa Anita’s opening week schedule offers live racing Sunday, Dec. 29; New Year’s Day, Wednesday, Jan. 1; and Friday, Jan. 3 through Sunday, Jan. 5.First post time opening day is 11 a.m. Admission gates open at 9 a.m. Santa Anita’s opening day stakes: the $75,000 Lady of Shamrock, race two: Keeper Ofthe Stars, Abel Cedillo, 5-2; Brill, Flavien Prat, 3-1; Bodhicitta, Rafael Bejarano, 8-1; Mischiffie, Drayden Van Dyke, 6-1; Angel Alessandra, Joel Rosario, 6-1; Lucky Peridot, Javier Castellano, 4-1; Sold It, Mario Gutierrez, 10-1; and Lakerball, Joe Talamo, 12-1.The Grade II San Antonio, race five: Gray Magician, Javier Castellano, 4-1; Gift Box, Joel Rosario, 9-5; King Abner, Tyler Baze, 10-1; Draft Pick, Joe Talamo, 9-2; Mugaritz, Ricardo Gonzalez, 10-1; Midcourt, Victor Espinoza, 2-1; and Fight On, Abel Cedillo, 20-1.The Grade I American Oaks, race six: So Much Happy, Tiago Pereira, 30-1; Apache Princess, Javier Castellano, 5-1; Mucho Unusual, Joel Rosario, 4-1; K P Slickem, Jorge Velez, 15-1; Lady Prancealot, Joe Bravo, 2-1; Pretty Point, Mike Smith, 30-1; Giza Goddess, Victor Espinoza, 7-2; and Vibrance, Abel Cedillo, 3-1.The Grade I La Brea, presented as race seven: First Star, Drayden Van Dyke, 4-1; Del Mar May, Joe Bravo, 12-1; Free Cover, Abel Cedillo, 15-1; Stirred, Geovanni Franco, 20-1; Bellafina, Flavien Prat, 9-5; Bell’s the One, Javier Castellano, 7-2; Hard Not to Love, Mike Smith, 6-1; Motion Emotion, Mario Gutierrez, 15-1; and Mother Mother, Joel Rosario, 6-1.The Grade III Robert J. Frankel, race eight: Tiny Tina, Flavien Prat, 6-1; Excellent Sunset, Joel Rosario, 7-2; Don’t Blame Judy, Victor Espinoza, 5-1; Streak of Luck, Jose Valdivia Jr., 5-1; Curlin’s Journey, Ruben Fuentes, 6-1; Harmless, Abel Cedillo, 6-1; Mirth, Mike Smith, 5-2; and Ms Peintour, Brice Blanc, 20-1.The Grade I Runhappy Malibu, race nine: Much Better, Flavien Prat, 12-1; Complexity, Javier Castellano, 5-2; Manny Wah, Channing Hill, 8-1; Roadster, Joel Rosario, 3-1; and Omaha Beach, Mike Smith, 4-5.The Grade II Mathis Brothers Mile, race 10: Sash, Drayden Van Dyke, 12-1; Originaire, Umberto Rispoli, 15-1; Ocean Fury, Flavien Prat, 12-1; Never Easy, Rafael Bejarano, 15-1; Mo Forza, Joel Rosario, 9-5; Neptune’s Storm, Abel Cedillo, 3-1; Kingly, Mario Gutierrez, 6-1; Proud Pedro, Tyler Baze, 15-1; Barristan The Bold, Javier Castellano, 12-1; Loafers Boy, Tiago Pereira, 50-1; and Bob and Jackie, Heriberto Figueroa, 6-1. FINISH LINES: American Theorem, second to Eight Rings in the American Pharoah Stakes on Sept. 27 in his most recent start, could begin breezing in January for a possible start on the Triple Crown trail in the Grade II San Felipe Stakes on March 7, trainer George Papaprodromou said . . . Santa Anita track announcer Frank Mirahmadi will be Tom Quigley‘s guest 10 a.m. Saturday, while Toby Turrell, clocker and publisher of The Winners Card, will do honors 10:20 a.m. Sunday, each day in the XBTV studios . . . Thanks to Santa Anita’s Marketing Department, fans at Clockers’ Corner on a brisk but invigorating Friday morning were treated to free burritos courtesy of Burrito Break of Los Angeles, which caters to groups from 20 to 200. They can be reached at . . . First post time for Sunday’s 10-race card is 11:30 a.m. GLATT DUO MAKE U.S. DEBUT IN MATHIS BROS. MILE DEPARTING TALAMO BACK ON DRAFT PICK IN SAN ANTONIODraft Pick deserves an “E” for effort if nothing else.The four-year-old Candy Ride colt seldom runs a poor race, even against Grade I competition. He was second in the Pacific Classic and fourth in the Clark, each a Grade I, and has a 3-3-3 record from 14 starts with earnings of $541,680, not too shabby for winning just one stake, the Grade III Affirmed at Santa Anita last June 18.Saturday he resurfaces in the Grade II San Antonio, a steppingstone to the Grade I Santa Anita Handicap on March 7. The San Antonio marks one of the final mounts here for Joe Talamo, who on Jan. 5 leaves Santa Anita to ride regularly starting Jan. 24 at Oaklawn Park.“We’ll miss Joe,” said Peter Eurton, himself a former jockey who trains Draft Pick. “He’s a good kid, a hard worker and a talented rider.”Talamo, who turns 30 on Jan. 12, has ridden Draft Pick in eight of his last nine races, winning three.As for Draft Pick, Eurton said “he seems to be pretty sharp, he likes the cooler weather and he’s trained well to this point.” ENGLISH INVADERS DEBUT IN MATHIS BROTHERS MILE FOR GLATTMark Glatt has a pair of double digit morning line outsiders making their United States debuts in Saturday’s Grade II Mathis Brothers Mile on turf: Sash and Barristan The Bold, both bred in England and entering off a brief layoff.“They’re both coming up to it fine,” the trainer said of the pair, each owned by Red Baron’s Barn LLC or Rancho Temescal LLC. “We’ll get an idea of exactly where they’re going to fit here, but both are nice looking horses that have trained well.“They’ve been away for a bit but I’m not too concerned about that. Good horses come over here pretty fit and they seem to have maintained their fitness, so we’ll see what happens.” TRAINER ‘LOVES’ POST FOR BELLAFINA IN LA BREAAs her 9-5 morning line odds would suggest, Simon Callaghan expects an exemplary effort from Bellafina in Saturday’s Grade I La Brea Stakes for three-year-old fillies at seven furlongs. It is one of three Grade I races at Santa Anita tomorrow, the last three Grade I’s to be run in the United States this year.Bellafina drew post position five in a field of nine.“I love the post,” said Callaghan, who trains the daughter of Quality Road for Kaleem Shah. The La Brea will mark the sixth consecutive start in a Grade I for Bellafina, who has been ridden by Flavien Prat in each of her 12 races, winning six while earning $1,386,725. SANTA ANITA HOSTS CRAFT BEER & CIDER FESTIVAL OPENING DAYIn addition to world class racing and Santa Anita’s coveted traditional wall calendar on opening day, fans will be treated to some of the best brews and ciders in Southern California as the track stages it’s popular Craft Beer and Cider Trackside Festival as well.Available to those 21 and over, the Opening Day Beer and Cider Festival will provide attendees with trackside seating and mouth-watering barbeque, provided by Meathead BBQ. The following packages are available at PACKAGE ($55):–Eight (3 oz.) Beer or Cider tastings–3 oz. Tasting Cup–One Signature BBQ Plate from Meathead BBQ–$5 Wagering Voucher–Access to Special VIP Trackside Seating–Club House Admission–Racing Program–Wagering Tip Sheet–Access to Trackside and Grandstand SeatingGENERAL PACKAGE ($32):–Eight (3 oz.) Beer or Cider Tastings–3 oz. Tasting Cup–$5 Wagering Voucher–Club House Admission–Racing Program–Wagering Tip Sheet–Access to Trackside and Grandstand Seating AreasPlease note, children are welcome in trackside seating areas, but you must be 21 or over to purchase the package. Seating is not guaranteed.For additional information regarding opening day and Santa Anita’s upcoming Winter Meet, please visit or call (626) 574-RACE. DRAFT PICK IN THE TRENCHES FOR SAN ANTONIOlast_img read more

GuySuCo’s Board inapt

first_imgDear Editor,In reading Tony Morgan’s letter titled “GuySuCo new Board, fresh ideas and decades of experience”, which was published in Guyana Times’ March 16, 2018 edition, I could only conclude that before he penned this letter, the gentleman did not read the article in the March 15 edition of Guyana Times captioned “Nothing wrong with ‘inexperienced’ GuySuCo Board – Junior Finance Minister”, and in another section of the media, “Cabinet member annoyed at NICIL ad on new GuySuCo board – says final decision still to be taken”, respectively.Had Morgan read the article in Guyana Times, he would have recognised that it was no other than the Junior Minister of Finance who acknowledged that nothing is wrong with inexperienced people being appointed on GuySuCo board; so his conclusion from reviewing the information as shown in the full-page ad — “that one can gather that this new board is filled with years of experience in the sugar industry” — is plainly wrong.Had he read the article in the other section of the media, he would have known that Cabinet is yet to approve the appointment of the new board; as such, his insert that “Cabinet did well in the selection of this new Board” is again erroneous.Morgan, in his letter, further extolled that the board is “well balanced in age”. What does age have to do with the performance of this board, when the key success factors depend on the quality of contribution by each member, and such contribution is highly dependent on the knowledge and experience of the sugar industry? He further stated that the new board has three former directors, and these “veteran, in retrospection, should be able to show the new blood where things have gone bad and where the Board was able to have success in the past”.What “success in the past” can these three “veterans” show the “new blood,” when sugar production for the three years that they served on the previous board declined from 231,000 tonnes in 2015 to 137,000 in 2017? When the sugar industry was miniaturized? And when over 7,000 workers were displaced? Why, when these veterans were on the previous board, could they not have seen “where things have gone bad”, but they could now show the “new blood” where “things have gone bad” when they were there?It is obvious that Tony Morgan wrote the letter based on sentiments, but not on facts.Yours faithfully,Selwyn Narinedattlast_img read more

Bush hosts president of Brazil

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WASHINGTON – President George W. Bush continued his new courtship of Latin America on home turf Saturday, meeting and dining with President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of Brazil at the presidential retreat at Camp David. In their second meeting in a month, Bush and da Silva talked about the stalled Doha round of trade negotiations and their newly signed deal to cooperate in the development and production of ethanol. But the two announced no new breakthroughs. Speaking at a joint news briefing, Bush said he was willing to reduce farm subsidies “in a substantial way,” a statement that was likely to get some notice by the farm lobby and its congressional supporters but was unlikely to convince skeptical European partners. But he repeated American demands for fuller access to foreign markets. Developing nations have resisted those demands without greater subsidy and tariff reductions than Bush is offering. For his part, da Silva repeated his call for an end to the U.S. tariff on ethanol produced in Brazil, something Bush says is congressionally mandated and out of his control. But the visit was clearly intended as another show of allegiance after Bush’s visit to Sao Paulo three weeks ago, as part of a trip that had the clear intention of fighting the anti-American influence in the region of President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela.last_img read more

‘I don’t have to tell you!’ – Jose Mourinho refuses to discuss Chelsea future

first_imgJose Mourinho refused to comment on whether he has received reassurances from Chelsea’s board and owner Roman Abramovich over his future as manager.Mourinho was subject of the first managerial vote of confidence of Abramovich’s 12-year ownership on October 5, and Chelsea have won just one of four matches since ahead of Saturday’s clash with Liverpool.WILL JOSE MOURINHO’S CHELSEA CONTINUE TO BE THE SCOURGE OF LIVERPOOL?Chelsea, the defending Barclays Premier League champions, enter this weekend’s fixtures 15th in the table after losing half of their 10 games, including last Saturday at West Ham, while their Capital One Cup defence ended at Stoke on Tuesday.Asked whether he had been given assurances over his position, Mourinho, who in August signed a four-year contract extension until June 2019, said: “I don’t have to tell you.”JURGEN KLOPP: CHELSEA MANAGER JOSE MOURINHO ‘IS A NICE GUY…UNLESS YOU’RE A JOURNALIST OR A REFEREE!’Abramovich has previously axed managers when Chelsea’s place in the Premier League’s top four and qualification for the Champions League the following season had been in doubt.Asked if he can guarantee Chelsea a place in Europe’s elite competition next term, Mourinho said: “I cannot promise.”He then pointed to the failure of Manchester United and Liverpool to qualify for the Champions League in recent seasons.Mourinho added: “Chelsea is a big club. It’s the club that I choose to come (to). It’s a club I live in a very specific way every day.“Liverpool is a big club, Man United is a super big club. Last season Liverpool win nothing and didn’t qualify for the Champions League.“Two years ago Man United didn’t qualify for the Champions League – not even Europa League – and won nothing.“They are still a monster club, but that’s football.”Mourinho declined to comment on two disciplinary matters hanging over him.The 52-year-old Portuguese had until Thursday at 6pm to respond to a misconduct charge relating to his half-time dismissal by referee Jonathan Moss at West Ham.Mourinho expects his appeal against a £50,000 fine and suspended one-match stadium ban for comments made about referee Robert Madley following the October 3 loss to Southampton to be heard on Friday.“I think so,” he said. “Not optimistic, not pessimistic – just wait.” Jose Mourinho 1last_img read more

WATCH! Brilliant assistant referee fail during Peterborough’s clash with Southend

first_imgAssistant referee Matthew Buonassisi got himself into a right muddle during Peterborough United’s clash with Southend United on Saturday.When Posh striker Marcus Maddison was felled in the box in stoppage time, Buonassisi had the seemingly simple task of putting his flag over his chest to signal for a penalty kick.But he seemed to completely forget how to do so, signalling for a foul, a throw-in, a corner, a goal-kick and a substitution before eventually getting it right! Watch the lino… foul, throw, corner, goal-kick, sub.— Jonny Blain (@jonoblain) January 16, 2016 1last_img

Chaffey women searching for an identity

first_imgGary Plunkett envisioned a rough go of things in his first venture as a head coach. But even with a late start, small numbers and the lack of a recruiting class – not to mention having to endure a 10-game losing streak – the Chaffey College women’s basketball coach did not figure on battling so much uncertainty in his own mind. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson Yes, the Panthers had reached the playoffs 15 consecutive seasons – three under previous head coach Dawn Baker and 12 in a row under Chris Stephens. But a quick fix doesn’t exist when you’re hired after the start of school, when the previous regime’s recruits have scattered without a coach in place and when you haven’t had the time to recruit or properly implement your own system. No, the fixes come with time, patience and faith. “We established our lineup and our rotation and we tightened it and firmed it up,” said Plunkett, whose team opens Foothill Conference action tonight at Barstow. “We refined what we do on offense and on defense. We focus on the positives and we focus on the improvements we’ve made.” Those improvements have been considerable. Chaffey is certainly a long shot, at best, to qualify for the playoffs after a 3-12 start. But the Panthers, who have lost eight games by nine points or less, have won two of their last three games and are finally getting comfortable with Plunkett calling the shots. “There’s always self-doubt,” Plunkett said. “Is it the wrong offense? Is it the wrong lineup? Is it something I’m doing wrong in practice? I was seeking advice from some of my mentors.” The answers he got? Don’t change a thing. center_img Turnovers are down. The offensive and defensive schemes are becoming sound. With the preseason behind it, Chaffey has nowhere to go but up. “I’m not worried about nobody in conference,” said Unique Bennett, one of two sophomores on the team. “If we play the way we’ve been playing the last four or five games, we’ll roll over everybody in conference.” That might have been an easier chore to complete in years past, when the Foothill Conference was a two-team show with Antelope Valley and Chaffey at the top. This year, expect a bit more parity and a lot more competition. Defending Foothill Conference champion Antelope Valley is off to a 10-7 start, with injuries keeping the Marauders from fielding their projected starting five. But Cerro Coso (12-3), Rio Hondo (11-6), Mt. San Jacinto (8-5) and Barstow (9-7) have already surpassed last year’s win totals, while the Panthers are a shell of the team that won 23 regular season games and gave the Marauders their only real competition in conference action. “It takes some time,” said Antelope Valley coach John Taylor, who has built the Marauders’ women’s program into a state power. “Any time you come in and it’s your first gig it takes quite a while.” The circumstances at Chaffey made it especially difficult to expect to contend this season. Baker compiled a 61-29 overall record and a 37-8 mark in conference and then Chaffey learned in June that its three-year coach would not return. By the time Plunkett was hired in late August, the fall semester had begun, some potential incoming recruits had left for other local colleges and the Panthers had completed the summer tournament league with just six players. It didn’t get much easier when Plunkett took over. The Panthers barely had enough for five-on-five drills and they had a tough schedule with some of the top teams in the state. By the time an early December 65-56 loss against conference foe Barstow hit – which came in the middle of the 10-game losing streak – the Panthers were reeling. “I felt they were at a point where they might start to give up on the season and on each other,” Plunkett said. “You can almost point to that game and say that’s where we nearly lost it. It was either we pull together or we fall apart. We had a heart-to-heart and it really changed them. They’ve responded.” Two games later, the Panthers nearly erased a 30-point deficit in a loss to Grossmont. They played No. 8 Orange Coast and San Diego Mesa close in losses and then put together a two-game winning streak (over Fullerton and Los Angeles City) that had the Panthers beaming with confidence. Over that time, freshman Lillie Parks (12.9 ppg) and Bennett (12.1 ppg) had begun to develop a formidable inside-outside game, freshman Mary Barbera had improved dramatically at point guard, turnovers were dropping and the offense was increasing its output. “I knew it was going to be difficult with (Plunkett) coming in for his first year,” said Roel, whose team snapped a winning streak with a 70-47 loss to El Camino on Friday. “But we’re starting to get it together.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Bible-theme nights draw sports crowds

first_imgThe Steeldogs had planned to outfit their players in Bible-themed jerseys – with books of the Bibles above the jersey number pointing to specific chapters – but nixed that idea when the league threatened a $25,000 fine if they changed uniforms. Instead, they wore them during pregame warmups. The event featured a pregame concert with a testimonial offered by new UAB basketball coach Mike Davis and booths set up outside the arena featuring Bibles and bobblehead dolls of Biblical characters such as Moses and Samuel. “It wasn’t anything very much in anyone’s face or overly evangelical,” Myers said. “It was an opportunity to do something unique and do something entertaining for our fans. Those who wanted to be involved could be involved as much as they wanted to. Those that did not could have avoided everything. “The feedback we’ve received has all been positive.” Count 12-year-old Daniel Morton Jr. among the supporters. The Birmingham youngster raved about the “awesome” concert – before attending his first Steeldogs game with his father and a friend. Sporting a T-shirt with a picture of the cross above the message “Jesus beat the devil with two sticks,” Daniel wasn’t just enamored with the music or the ballgame. “I hope that there are some nonbelievers here and maybe they found Jesus tonight,” he said. “That would be awesome if that happened. It was pretty powerful.” High started Faith Nights with the Nashville Sounds minor league baseball team in 2002. He said the promotions have spread rapidly, with 334 church groups participating in 2002 and 775 last year. Staffers visit each city leading up to Faith Night, drumming up support from churches and religious groups. Faith Nights aren’t just sprouting up in the Bible Belt, either. The Arena Football League’s Las Vegas Gladiators drew an estimated 2,000 fans who hadn’t been to one of their games before, said ticket manager Mike Carosielli, even though the team had to move the game to noon on Palm Sunday. Many were presumably even more focused on God than Goddesses, the Gladiators’ dance team. Jenny Quinlan, pastor of First Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, wasn’t surprised it was such a hit in Vegas. “Just because `Sin City’ is how our city gets its income and its business, there’s Christians here, too,” said Quinlan, whose church brought about 15 people to the game. She said the group included a 17-year-old who had strayed from the church and dropped out of school when his girlfriend got pregnant, but was invited by a friend from the church. “Sports is a huge part of our world,” Quinlan said. “When you use those venues, it’s kind of a backdoor ministry. You use sports to introduce people to Christ or bring them back into that relationship.” But Chap Clark, a professor of youth family and culture at Fuller Theological Seminary in California, is skeptical of the real impact Faith Nights have on non-Christians. “I don’t think it makes much of an impact at all, and I don’t think there’s much relationship between the sports and the event for most kids,” Clark said. “It becomes a way to get the kind of people that wouldn’t come to the sporting event. That’s the marketing side of it. “It’s very similar to what amusement parks and theme parks have done for a long, long time. They had their Christian nights.” UAB’s Davis believes having high-profile sports figures offer their personal testimonials can have a positive impact. “A lot of times, people have a tendency to listen to whoever they look up to or admire, and the message is always right there in front of them all their lives,” the former Indiana coach said. “But whatever it takes to get through to them, I think is good.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The throng of fans cheered, shouted enthusiastic “amens” and waved their arms above their heads to the tunes of a Christian rock band. Nearby, kids checked out the Bible-themed bobblehead dolls and posed with Veggietales characters while parents scanned tables filled with Bibles in a family-friendly brand of pregame tailgating. That scene before a recent Birmingham Steeldogs arenafootball2 game is one of a growing number of “Faith Nights” at sporting events around the country that mix religion and sports, praise and promotion. “We want you to come to a game and have fun and listen to music,” said Brent High, president of Third Coast Sports, which runs and promotes the events. “But at the same time, we’re going to set the table for you with player testimonials and music. It’s a great night for you to reach out to people who don’t have a church home.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinalsIt’s not a bad way for minor league teams to coax a few extra fans through the gates, either. Nashville, Tenn.-based Third Coast has planned more than 60 events in 40-plus cities this year, even venturing into the major leagues for the first time. The Atlanta Braves have scheduled three Faith Nights this summer, and the Arizona Diamondbacks have one planned in August. High said two NBA teams have expressed interest in similar events for next season. For churches, it’s an opportunity for outreach. For teams, it’s a chance to reach out to new fans. “It’ll be no different than any other group out there,” said Derrick Hall, the Diamondbacks’ executive vice president. “They will promote it at a much greater level than most groups can. As a result, we’ll sell more tickets.” It worked for the Steeldogs, who have two more Faith Nights planned this season. The Friday night game drew 6,156 fans, nearly 1,000 more than the team’s average draw for previous May games, Steeldogs general manager Scott Myers said. last_img


first_imgAll- Ireland champions Donegal will face Fermanagh, Monaghan and St Mary’s in Group A of next year’s Dr McKenna Cup series.Group B has drawn Armagh, Cavan, Down and Queen’s to contest the provincial title.Cup holders, Tyrone have been placed in group C with beaten finalists Derry, University of Ulster Jordanstown and Antrim. The Ulster Under-21 teams were drawn on Thursday also.Armagh will take on Fermanagh in the first round at Brewster Park to decide who will travel to Down.Tyrone play Donegal, Antrim face Derry and Cavan are in action against Monaghan.Dates, venues and times are still to confirmed for both draws. Dr McKenna Cup:Group A: St Mary’s, Fermanagh, Donegal, MonaghanGroup B: Queen’s, Armagh, Cavan, DownGroup C: Jordanstown, Tyrone, Derry, AntrimUlster Under-21 draw:Preliminary round: Fermanagh v ArmaghFirst round: Tyrone v Donegal; Antrim v Derry; Cavan v Monaghan; Down v Fermanagh or Armagh.GAA: DONEGAL DRAW FERMANAGH, MONAGHAN AND ST MARY’S IN DR McKENNA CUP was last modified: October 13th, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:GAA: DONEGAL DRAW FERMANAGHMONAGHAN AND ST MARY’S IN DR McKENNA CUPlast_img read more


first_imgSpeaking today in response to the latest quarterly review by the EU/IMF & ECB of Ireland’s EU/IMF support programme, Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty said “implementing a failed programme is not an indicator of success.”At the end of its third quarterly programme review mission, the ‘Troika’ has “assessed the programme to be on track and in their view all targets in the programme to date have been met”, according to a statement from the Department of Finance.Deputy Director of the IMF’s European Department Ajai Chopra said the IMF welcomed the statement earlier this week from Eurozone ministers, who said they were ready to take further measures, including extending the flexibility and scope of the European rescue mechanism, to deal with Europe’s debt crisis. However Donegal TD Pearse Doherty was furious with the ‘spin’ on the story.He warned: “Today’s report card by the EU/IMF and ECB is not good news for Ireland. Meeting EU/IMF targets is no measure of economic recovery. Implementing a failed EU/IMF austerity programme is not an indicator of success.“We are told that the purpose of the so called support programme is to fix the public finances and enable Ireland to return to the markets in 2013. The target for public spending cuts and tax increases for budget 2012 is meant to be €3.6 billion.“However only six months in and the Government has revised this figure up to €4 billion. It is likely that the final figure will be higher again when the budget is announced in December.” FAILINGMr Doherty said the programme is also failing to meet its objective of assisting Ireland to re-enter the bond markets in 2013.He went on: “When the Government last hosted the EU/IMF and ECB in April to review the austerity programme, yields on 10 year Irish bonds were at 9 per cent. Today they have exceeded 14 per cent. Taken alongside the rating agency’s downgrade of Government bonds to junk status this week, it is clear that a return to the bond markets in 2013 will be impossible unless there is a change of direction.“While the EU/IMF and ECB are telling us that the austerity programme is on track, it is clear that it is not working. The reason is very simple. You can not solve a debt crisis with more debt and you can not end a recession with increased austerity.“The domestic economy is still in recession with GNP down 4.3 per cent in the first quarter of this year. Unemployment continues to rise with 457,948 on the live register. Consumer spending continues to fall, inflation continues to rise and personal indebtedness continues to rise, pushing more and more people into economic hardship and poverty. “These depressing facts tell us clearly that EU/IMF imposed austerity is crippling our economy, strangling any possibility of social or economic recovery and delaying any return to the bond markets.“Meanwhile the Government continues to borrow billions of euros at high interest rates to pay off senior unguaranteed bondholders.“The cost of these failed policies is being borne by ordinary people. Cuts to Special Needs Assistants, cuts to winter fuel allowance and other social welfare payments, closure of emergency services in rural hospitals, and attacks on wages of low paid workers are all a direct consequence of this EU/IMF austerity programme.“We need a new approach based on burden sharing to reduce our debt burden and investment to create employment and stimulate social and economic recovery.” Yesterday Deputy Doherty revealed European governments would make €13 BILLION in profits from loans to Ireland.AS EU/IMF PRAISE IRELAND, DOHERTY INSISTS POLICY IS DOOMED TO FAIL was last modified: July 14th, 2011 by gregShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:BAILOUTEUIMFPearse Doherty TDPROFITEERING BY EUROPEAN GOVERNMENTS ON THE BACKS OF THE IRISHlast_img read more


first_imgKathryn Holligan, from Co Kildare, has been located safe and well in the North.The 17-year-old was located in Derry.“Gardaí wish to thank the public, media and the Police Service of Northern Ireland for their assistance, which is much appreciated,” said a Garda spokesman. TEENAGER KATHRYN FOUND SAFE AND WELL was last modified: February 16th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more