Month: September 2019

The Best NBA Teams Of AllTime According To Elo

140031-51In the lottery 150041-41Average 180067-15All-time great 120015-67Historically awful You can sort the teams in several ways: by their season-ending Elo rating, by their peak rating or by their average rating throughout the season.5Peak ratings and average ratings exclude the first 20 games of each team’s season, when they reflect a substantial amount of carry-over from the prior year. A team’s composite Elo rating is a simple average of these three.For the very best teams — and I already mentioned some of Elo’s favorites, like the Jordan-era Bulls and the 1985-86 Celtics — the ratings are high across the board. The ’82-83 Sixers are another of these, ranking as the 10th-best team all-time.But in other cases, there’s a pretty big difference between peak, year-end and average ratings. The 1999-2000 Los Angeles Lakers achieved the 11th-highest peak rating ever (1779). But their year-end rating is a pedestrian 1690 because they coasted down the stretch and then struggled (relatively speaking) in the playoffs, getting outscored by both the Portland Trail Blazers and Indiana Pacers despite winning those series. Conversely, the 1988-89 Detroit Pistons got better and better as the season went on, going 35-6 in the second half of the regular season and then 15-2 in the playoffs against opponents that included the Lakers, Celtics and Bulls.The list might seem to be biased toward relatively recent teams: Among the top 50 seasons all-time, only six from before 1980 make the list. This is mostly a consequence of there being more teams than there once were. Simply put, it’s much more impressive to be the best team in a 30-team league than in a 10-team league.But it’s also hard to say the NBA is watered down, at least right now. In fact, it’s barely expanded in recent years, adding just one franchise since 1995. That makes recent teams’ performances more impressive than those from, for example, the early 1970s, when the NBA almost doubled in size over a few seasons. When Elo ranks a team higher or lower than you might expect intuitively, it’s usually because it perceives the team’s competition to be especially strong or especially weak.Some teams, meanwhile, do their damage over the long run instead of having any one standout season. The best team from the Celtics dynasty of the 1960s ranks only 47th all-time. But the Celtics of that era were incredibly consistent, with a composite Elo rating falling somewhere between 1627 and 1704 over 11 consecutive seasons. The San Antonio Spurs, meanwhile, have placed 13 teams in the all-time top 100 since 1994-95, but their highest-ranked individual season (2013-14) is only 12th.And what about this season’s Warriors ranking as the fourth-best team of all time? Obviously, that’s a provisional score: They may rise or fall a couple of slots depending on how the rest of the playoffs go (although they almost certainly won’t pull ahead of the 1995-96 Bulls). But even though the conventional wisdom has been skeptical about the Warriors at times, we think Elo’s case is pretty easy to defend.Here’s how it goes. As we’ve said, Elo is all about accounting for the strength of a team’s competition, and the Western Conference over the past dozen or so years has featured about the toughest basketball competition imaginable. The Warriors’ 67-15 regular-season record is as good as any other Western Conference team from this era, and their regular-season point differential (+10.2 points per game) is better than anyone else’s. If they follow that up with a title, there really won’t be much to find fault with. Whether they’re a one-year wonder or will prove to be a perennial contender is another question, of course. We hope you’ll enjoy exploring the interactive and tracking their progress. 160051-31Playoff bound 170060-22Title contender 130022-60LOL The stakes in the NBA are incredibly high. Superstar players so dominate the league that decisions on trades, draft picks and free-agent signings could gut a franchise for years or make it a perennial contender. But unlike in sports like baseball and hockey, where luck plays a larger role, in the NBA, the best team usually wins. There’s little forgiveness when a star player gets hurt, and when a team misses its first chance at a title, it may not get another.We wanted a way to visualize each team’s ups and downs. You can find that in the form of our new interactive graphic, “The Complete History Of The NBA,” which tracks each franchise through all 63,145 games (and counting) in NBA and ABA history.1The principal source for game-by-game scores is the always-amazing Basketball-Reference.com.Elo ratings, the basis for the interactive, should be familiar to regular readers of FiveThirtyEight. We introduced them for the NFL last year, and they proved to be a popular feature.2In part, perhaps, because of a flukishly good performance against Las Vegas point spreads. But we didn’t invent the idea: Elo ratings were originally developed to rate chess players and have also been used in soccer, baseball and other sports.Elo is like the iPad of sports power ratings: Their design is quite simple, and they do a lot with a little, depending only on the final score of each game and where it was played. Teams always gain Elo points after winning games — although more for upset wins and for winning by wider margins — and lose ground after losing them. They account for both regular-season and playoff games. If you want (much, much) more detail, see here. For the rest of you, here’s a quick guide on how to interpret different Elo ratings and about how many wins they’d translate into over the course of an 82-game regular season. Elo ratings above 1800, which imply a team would be able to sustain at least a 67-15 record over the long term, are extremely rare. Only three teams have achieved them: the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls (whose 1853 Elo rating from June 9, 1996, is the all-time record), the 1996-97 Chicago Bulls and the 1985-86 Boston Celtics. This year’s Golden State Warriors have a chance at an 1800-plus rating, depending on how the rest of the playoffs go.A 1700 rating is more typical for a title contender. The Cleveland Cavaliers, with a 1689, are currently somewhere near that mark, for example. A 1600 rating represents a playoff team that’s likely to lose in the first or second round. And Elo ratings can go way lower, of course. The all-time NBA low, 1111, belongs to the Dallas Mavericks after they went 4-57 to open the 1992-93 NBA season.3The ABA’s Oakland Oaks achieved an even lower rating, 1086, at the nadir of their 1967-68 season, but that’s partly because it was the ABA’s inaugural year, which Elo treats very skeptically.So where do, say, the 1982-83 Philadelphia 76ers rank? Here are Elo’s ratings of all seasons in NBA and ABA history:4The table excludes teams that played fewer than 21 games in a season (for reasons such as being disbanded midway through the season). ELOEQUIVALENT RECORDTEAM DESCRIPTION read more

Is The Stephen Curry Revolution Over Already

VIDEO: The greatness of LeBron James Pre-injury, non-playoff opponents44.8%56.5%24.361-789.7% GAMES3 POINT PERC.2 POINT PERC.GAME SCORERECORDWIN PERC. Pre-injury, playoff opponents49.656.625.811-191.7 Post-injury39.348.517.110-758.8 Post-injury Steph played worse, won less Game Score is an imperfect metric for combining box score stats, but in this case, it gets the job done. Pre-injury, Curry performed better against his playoff opponents this season than he did against a typical team.1“Pre-injury, playoff opponents” includes regular-season games against the Rockets, Blazers, Thunder and Cavaliers and Game 1 of the Warriors’ playoff series against the Rockets. “Post-injury” includes Game 4 against the Rockets and beyond. Moreover, he performed similarly against all four squads.Looking at the bottom line: The Warriors went 10-7 with Curry playing after his first injury. Again, although that doesn’t look dramatic, the likelihood of it happening by chance alone can be quite slim: For a team that wins 90 percent of games, the chances of losing seven of 17 are around 1 in 10,000. At 80 percent, they’re around 1 in 100, and at 70 percent, they’re around 1 in 10.2Based on a binomial calculation assuming that the Warriors were as good as their record, that their odds of winning were the same in each game, and that each game’s outcome is independent of the others. Note that these would not be great assumptions for making a precise calculation but are fine for a first cut, particularly with a Warriors team that for most of the season — did I mention? — didn’t seem to care much who they were playing.Also, when the Warriors lost three games to the Thunder (before going on to win the series), it seemed unremarkable — in part because it was in line with the tendency of teams that are good at winning also being good at winning playoff series. But now that the Warriors have lost four games to the Cavs, those results corroborate each other, suggesting that the Warriors weren’t just running badly, but that there was something systematically awry.3By Game 7 of the Finals, sportsbooks appeared to have this pegged, with most putting Golden State around -180, which would be absurdly low under normal circumstances.A 1-in-10 phenomenon is well within the range of stuff that happens in sports every day, and even 1-in-10,000 phenomena still happen. But the question isn’t whether the Warriors’ dreary finish was unlikely, but, given its unlikeliness, what is the most likely explanation. Did the Warriors just get unlucky? Are they — gasp — anti-clutch? Did two teams suddenly figure them out? Or was Curry’s injury a bigger factor than he let on?As usual, when something crazy happens, there can be many causes. A few Warriors may have performed poorly in the clutch. Teams may have “figured them out” to some degree. And they may have gotten a little unlucky. But those are the sorts of things that all teams have had to deal with historically, and teams as good as the Warriors haven’t broken overnight. More importantly, for the Warriors to pin this on fortune alone would require luck so profoundly bad that they’d be dodging falling pianos. That’s good news for Warriors’ fans. It means that, should they be able to heal what’s ailing them — such as a lingering injury to the league MVP — winning more championships still depends on fairly predictable outcomes rather than cruel turns of chance.At the very least, revolutionaries have good reasons to be hopeful that next season will continue where this season seemed destined to go rather than where it ended up. Source: basketball-reference.com There can be no diminishing the accomplishments of LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, who came back from a 3-1 series deficit to end the Golden State Warriors’ reign as NBA champions. King James deserves every accolade he receives — and I’m sure he’ll have words for the doubters who didn’t think this was possible. Like me.I’ve been bullish on the Warriors for a while now. Early in the season, I wrote about Stephen Curry’s ability to handle virtually any shooting burden before I even knew that he was a legitimate threat from 30 feet. My operating theory was that Curry should take more and more and more 3-pointers. In the final game of the season, he had 14 attempts (yay!) but made only four (oops).Teams with recent championship experience tend to be money in the playoffs, and this Warriors squad seemed not to be affected much by the strength of their opponents — both of which should have made the team bigger favorites than even our models suggested. So when the winningest team in NBA history needed to win only two of five (and then one of three) games against a team it had beaten all four times they played this season — by an average of 22 points — I felt pretty good about my position. I was wrong.The Warriors ended up losing as many games in the playoffs as they did in the regular season, finishing with a particularly un-GOATish 7-7 stretch against Oklahoma City and Cleveland. Although a 14-game break-even stretch doesn’t sound horrible, it would be highly improbable for a team that won 90 percent of its games, as the Warriors had with Curry playing. Of course, the Thunder and Cavaliers were stronger than the Warriors’ typical opponents (the Warriors did go 5-0 against them during the regular season, and remember they crushed strong opponents as easily as weak ones throughout the season), though this is partly offset by the Warriors’ home-court advantage.A result like that 7-7 raises questions: Have the Warriors been solved? Is Curry unable to carry an offense single-handedly after all, or was his run of bad form because of something else, like a lingering injury? From an empirical standpoint, this bizarre end to the season doesn’t tell us as much as we would like, but it does hold a few insights.Although Curry’s performance in the playoffs clearly regressed from his in the regular season, why that happened is unclear. There are, however, reasons to believe it was more than simply a run of bad shooting luck, but not something as dim as the Golden State model succumbing to playoff basketball. Since his first injury, in Game 1 against the Houston Rockets, Curry hasn’t really been Curry. He’s struggled to turn the corner on defenders on his way to the rim, and he’s had a troubling turnover rate, which may have happened (in part) because he found himself with unfamiliar passing lanes after being unable to create his usual space. Curry’s dropoff was also evident in his shooting weeks ago, and it hasn’t improved. Since his return, Curry has been worse in virtually every significant metric — even compared to his pre-injury performance against the same opponents: read more

Ashton Eaton Allyson Felix Earn Jesse Owens Award

Olympic gold medalists Ashton Eaton and Allyson Felix were honored as the top American track male and female athletes, respectively, earning the 2012 Jesse Owens Award.Eaton holds the world record in the decathlon after eclipsing Roman Sebrle’s long-standing mark of 9,000 points at the U.S. Olympic trials before taking gold in the London Olympics this summer.Felix, won the 200 meters at the London Games for her first individual Olympic gold, and added victories in the 4 X100 and 4 X 400 relays.She previously earned the silver medal in the 200-meter event in 2004 and 2008 before claiming gold in London.She is now debating entering the individual 400-meter race going into the 2016 Rio Olympics.“I’m definitely open to it more,” said the 26-year-old Felix, who won the award for the fourth time. “As I get older, the 400 may suit me more.”Before Felix makes that decision she will head to Africa for 10 days with an organization that uses sports to promote development.As for Eaton, he is humbled by the accolades he has garnered, but still motivated to achieve more, he said.“I can improve in all of my events,” Eaton told the Associated Press. “And I don’t know by how much… the discus is something I haven’t figured out yet. The javelin is something I haven’t figured out yet. The pole vault — there still is a steep learning curve. Maybe the hurdles, as well.”Eaton, the 12th American to win Olympic gold in the decathlon, said he also has aspirations of joining the 4 x 400 meter relay team.USA Track and Field will present Eaton and Felix their awards Dec. 1 in Dayton Beach, Fla. read more

Cowboys Josh Brent Indicted For Deadly Car Crash

Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Josh Brent was indicted by a Texas grand jury Wednesday and formally charged with  intoxication manslaughter in the one-car crash on December 8 that resulted in the death of friend Jerry Brown, who was on the team’s practice squad.The indictment says that Brent was speeding and had two times the legal alcohol limit in his system when he lost control of his vehicle in Irving, near Dallas. Brent has been out of jail on $100,000 bond.Brent faces a maximum of 20 years in prison for intoxication manslaughter charges. He also Brent could be eligible for probation.District attorney Debbie Denmon says no court dates have been scheduled.Brent has received support from the team and  Brown’s mother, Stacey Jackson, has been at the forefront of the Cowboys’ support of Brent. She asked the players at a memorial service for her son to do as much as they could to keep Brent involved with the team.Meanwhile, the Cowboys have said it will support Brent, while, at the same time, emphasizing that they do not condone drinking and driving.Brent was on the sidelines for most of the Dallas Cowboys-Pittsburgh Steelers game a few weeks ago, but left in the third quarter because he didn’t want to be a distraction, Garrett said. The Cowboys were criticized during the broadcast of the game for allowing Brent on the sidelines.“It becomes a real sensitive topic to a lot of people when you’re in a public place like the game,” Garrett said. “There were no bad intentions other than to support Josh as part of our football team. This is a game and you need to be here. That’s what our players wanted to convey to him and they really encouraged him to come to the game. I thought Josh handled it beautifully the way that he came and then when he felt like there were some issues he felt the right thing to do was to leave. But we’re going to support him in every way that we can. We also will be sensitive to this kind of issue.” read more

March Madness Kevin Wares Horrific Injury Spurs Louisville to

With the bone in his broken right leg sticking through his skin–a sight that moved his teammates, fans and coach Rick Pitino to tears, Louisville’s Kevin Ware called over his devastated teammates and delivered a message while laying on his back on the court  in Sunday’s battle for a Final Four berth.“Just go win the game,” Ware is said to have instructed his teammates as a medical crew worked on his broken leg. Just go win the game.”With his words spurring them, the Cardinals wiped their tears and then wiped the floor with the Duke Blue Devils, exploding on a 13-2 run midway through the second half that rendered the ACC powerhouse feeble. Louisville went on to take an 85-63 conquest to make its second straight appearance in the Final Four.The mercurial guard tandem of Peyton Siva (16 points) and Russ Smith (23) devastated the Blue Devils with, speed, tenacity and determination, and the Cardinals’ depth and unrelenting defense finished them off. Louisville will face NCAA Tournament surprise Wichita State in the first game of the Final Four at the Georgia Dome on Saturday. Michigan, which pummeled Florida by 20 points Sunday, will face Syracuse in the other tourney semifinal.They will play in Atlanta, the home of Ware, who attended Rockdale County High near the city. He landed awkwardly while contesting a jump shot in front of the Louisville bench with 6:33 left in the first half and his leg snapped, horrifying those who witnessed it. Pitino said it was gruesome he almost threw up. Players lay on the floor grief-stricken, crying. Fans wept. The arena fell silent.“Basically, the bone popped out of the skin. It broke in two spots,” Pitino said. “Remember the bone is six inches out of his leg, and all he’s yelling is ‘Win the game, win the game.’ I’ve never seen anything like that.”Added Siva, “I don’t know how he did it. I don’t know how he got strength to do it, but he told us to go out there and win.”“I don’t think we could have gathered ourselves — I know I couldn’t have — if Kevin didn’t say over and over again, ‘Just go win the game,” Pitino said. “I don’t think we could have gone in the locker room with a loss after seeing that. We had to gather ourselves. We couldn’t lose this game for him.”Chane Behanan, Ware’s closest friend on the team, wore the guard’s No. 5 jersey on the bench in the final moments as he and the huge Cardinals contingent chanted, “Kevin Ware! Kevin Ware!””“We talked about it every timeout, ‘Get Kevin home,” Pitino said.Ware tweeted a photo of himself in a Texas hospital bed. “He said, ‘Don’t worry about me, I’m good, I’ll have my surgery tonight,’” Behanan said. “‘Go win it for me.’”Ware was recovering Sunday night following successful surgery. School officials said the sophomore had the bone reset and a rod inserted into his right tibia.“I don’t think we could have gone in that locker room with a loss,” Pitino said, “after seeing that.”“I think that would have hurt him more than the actual injury,” Siva added. read more

Former NBA Star Rasheed Wallace Pens Fiery Letter Voicing

Former Detroit Pistons star Rasheed Wallace. Photo by Paul Sancya/Associated Press.In the past year, the public health disaster that became known as the Flint Water Crisis has all but disappeared from the daily news cycle. Major media outlets rarely mention it.But former Detroit Pistons star Rasheed Wallace is making sure America doesn’t forget about the people of Flint, reminding the nation that the crippling health crisis is ongoing — and far from being over.In a sharply worded letter published in the Players’ Tribune, Wallace expressed frustration at the conditions in Flint, noting how the city’s residents have been forced to rely on bottled or boiled water to drink and bathe over the last two years.The former basketball star began his letter by emphasizing the importance of having clean water for simple, everyday tasks like brushing your teeth, washing your hands or rinsing off that apple you took for lunch. Unfortunately, these “luxuries” are no longer afforded to the people of Flint.“When you woke up this morning, what’s the first thing you did?” Wallace wrote. “Took a piss and flushed the toilet? Brushed your teeth? Took a shower? Whatever you did, I’m guessing you used water.”“That’s all normal, part of our everyday lives,” he continued. “Unless you live in Flint, Michigan.”Wallace, who’s been visiting the impaired city over the last year, said he first learned of the water crisis when it was on every news station, in every headline. That’s when he decided it was time to help. On his first visit to the city, however, the retired basketball player said Flint reminded him of a “third-world country in the United States.”“I’m not a water expert or anything like that, but I don’t need to be to know when something is f–cked up,” he wrote. “I just saw the horrible news, about how the government had put people at risk for the sake of saving money, and I knew I needed to help.”“So I went,” Wallace continued. “I flew to Detroit with some friends and family members, rented a moving truck, loaded it up with as much bottled water as it could hold and drove to Flint.”Former Tar Heel All-America & Piston Rasheed Wallace is driving a truck filled w/cases of water from NC to Flint, Michigan tonight #GoHeels— Carolina Basketball (@UNC_Basketball) February 4, 2016Wallace said he went door-to-door delivering water in the city’s low-income communities. He noted that many of Flint’s residents were already living in poverty, and now they were being forced to suffer the brunt of this public health crisis.“… People missing clumps of hair, rashes on adults and children alike — all because of poisoned water,” the basketballer said of the affected residents he met. “Imagine that: The poorest people paying the heaviest price.”While in Flint, Wallace said he met up with another former NBA player (and Flint native), Mo Peterson. Peterson had also decided to take action to help the people of Flint. The two former athletes met up for lunch downtown, but Wallace said he noticed a sign at the restaurant that infuriated him: “OUR WATER IS SAFE,” it read.“Hold up, I thought. How is it that downtown water is cool, but three blocks over, the water is making children sick?,” he wrote. “I couldn’t believe it.”Wallace went on to express disgust at the fact that the government tried to cover up a crisis that sickened thousands of residents, including young children. Wallace said he would continue returning to Flint and encouraging others — even his former teammates — to join him. Letting the people of Flint know there are still people are out there who care about them is of the utmost importance to the retired basketball star.“They supported me when I was playing with the Pistons,” Wallace wrote. “There were a lot of people from Flint who maybe couldn’t really afford a ticket to a game, but they bought one anyway, or came down for the parade when we won the title.”“Handing out water is the very least I can do,” he added. “I didn’t partner with any organization or agency. I just went on my own because that was the right thing to do. Every time I go, I’m amazed by the people, but I’m sickened by the lack of help.”Wallace asserted that although the crisis is no longer in the headlines, the problem is still ongoing and nothing has been done to fix the water. He called the crisis a “long-term fix,” but bashed the government for taking nearly two years to approve funding to remedy the issue. He also pointed out that the city is still billing residents for their water — essentially forcing them to pay for water that is “still unsafe and contaminated.”“That’s right. They still want those people to pay their m—–f—— water bills,” Wallace concluded.“You can read this and ignore it,” he wrote. “You can say I don’t know what I’m talking about. But I’ve been to Flint. I’ve seen what’s happening. The cameras are gone, but the people are still there, and they still need our help.” read more

A March Madness Bracket For StatHeads

Most of this year’s NCAA bracket contests follow the same tired format: Millions of people fill out a 64-team bracket and get points for correct picks — more if those picks come in later rounds. But some contests have their own quirks and present their own incentives. Some pools award bonus points for correctly predicting upsets; others use an auction format to draft teams. FiveThirtyEight’s office pool will reward participants for choosing results no one else or few people in the pool do.Mark Glickman, a statistician and research professor of health policy and management at Boston University, has created a very different kind of March Madness competition. Participants won’t merely predict which team will win each game; they’ll specify how sure they are. Entrants will offer a probability for every game that could happen: 2,278 possible matchups.Glickman’s contest scores entrants by the product of the average probability they gave for each matchup’s winner. The setup is designed to push people to examine their assumptions and balance confidence with caution. If you ever thought you were 100 percent sure about a game — say, between a No. 1 seed and a No. 16 seed — think again: If you’re wrong and a team you gave no chance somehow wins, you will lose a lot of points. Call every game 50-50, and you’ll know your score before the tournament starts. But it won’t be a good one.The format also changes entrants’ incentives. A great upset pick helps, like in any pool, but a bad one could help sink a bracket. Participants can recover more easily from early misfires than in other contests, because they’re assessed on their probability estimates for every matchup — even ones they didn’t expect. On the other hand, in many other contests, including ESPN’s Tournament Challenge, points per game double in each round, so a correct title pick is worth 32 times an accurate round-of-64 pick. But in Glickman’s contest, later games don’t count more than earlier ones.“By forcing people to make probability predictions, we will help distinguish people who have pretty close predictions but not exactly the same,” Glickman said.His novel setup is one of many bracket contests to go against the grain. What kinds of contests have you participated in, and how would you design an office pool for quants that offers more interest than the typical format? read more

The Average Cost Of World Series Tickets Has Gone Up

A Kansas firefighter rescued some World Series tickets from a burning house. A man was robbed at gunpoint outside Missouri’s Kauffman Stadium for his tickets. The Feds seized more than a hundred ersatz tickets, along with some “counterfeit panties” (don’t ask me). A Kansas City Royals fan was ready to sell his Mustang to get tickets for his family.Then again, Wade Davis’s wife tipped her waiter with a World Series ticket.How much are these things worth, anyway? This year, an average of $930 apiece.The New York Times reports that Game 1 of the World Series drew only 12.2 million television viewers — the worst Game 1 ratings on record. But though the television audience for 2014’s Series isn’t much interested, the fans trying to get into the stadiums certainly are. Ticket prices are up this year.Playoff tickets are a hot commodity in sports and, unsurprisingly, World Series tickets are baseball’s most expensive. Even still, the jump from the earlier playoff rounds is remarkable. This year, they’ve been nearly five times as expensive as any other playoff round.Using transactional data provided to me by SeatGeek — which gathers price data on a number of popular online ticket resellers — here are this year’s average ticket prices for all the playoff games, by round:(Note that chart this includes ticket transactions for unplayed, and potentially unnecessary, World Series games. Prices may have fluctuated. ) The average price for this year’s two wild card games was $169. For league division series games, it was a bit less: $129. For league championship series, it was $200.With the San Francisco Giants seeking to establish a sort of quasi-dynasty, and the Royals looking for their first championship since 1985, the fan bases seem eager. And though the fans’ demand to see their home teams has boosted in-person prices, the Royals’ small television market may be to blame for the low television ratings.Not only have prices jumped sharply going into the Royals-Giants matchup, but this year’s Series has also outpaced recent fall classics. The past few years’ World Series averages were $766, $634, $618 and $797. Not a single game of the 2014 Series averages a ticket price below $800.Here’s the spread of prices for recent World Series games:If the current price for Game 7 holds (and, of course, if that game is necessary), about $40 million will have been spent on the tickets to fill Kauffman Stadium. They’re averaging $1,078 a pop.The cheapest — if it can be called that — average ticket since 2010 was $488 for 2011’s Game 2, when the Texas Rangers visited St. Louis. Game 6 of that series seems, in retrospect, like the deal of the century, at an average of just $500.The outlying game in 2013 was Boston’s clinching Game 6 over the St. Louis Cardinals at Fenway — the first time the Red Sox had won the Series at home in 95 years. It’d have set you back an average of $1,175 to see that one — reportedly the most expensive baseball ticket in history.The going price for Saturday’s Game 4? A relatively affordable $987. read more

College Football Playoff Update High Stakes For Florida State UCLA

The Florida State Seminoles have not lost a football game in almost two years. After succumbing to Florida on Nov. 24, 2012, they recovered to win the ACC Championship Game and, on Jan. 1, 2013, the Orange Bowl. They went undefeated (14-0) in the 2013 season and won the national championship. And they’re 11-0 so far this year. That’s 27 wins in a row.But Florida State entered its game against Boston College on Saturday ranked just No. 3 in the playoff selection committee’s standings, behind Alabama and Oregon. The Seminoles’ narrow win over Boston College on Saturday – they won 20-17 on a last-minute field goal – probably won’t help their case much.Might the Seminoles’ position even fall further when the new committee standings come out on Tuesday night? On Friday, we debuted a college football playoff forecast model that seeks to answer these questions. The good news for Florida State is that none of the teams ranked immediately behind it did anything terribly impressive either. No. 4 Mississippi State won 51-0, but did so against 3-8 Vanderbilt. Fifth-ranked TCU did not play. No. 6 Ohio State also played a 3-8 team, Indiana, winning 42-27 in a game that was close until the fourth quarter.To find a school with a truly impressive win, you’ll need to scan down to No. 9 UCLA, which won easily against No. 19 USC, its crosstown rival. More about the Bruins in a moment. First, here’s the model’s probabilistic view of what the new committee standings might look like on Tuesday:The model says last week’s top four – Alabama, Oregon, Florida State and Mississippi State — are likely to remain in the same order on Tuesday.However, since the committee is new, the model is mostly based on an analysis of how games have historically changed the standings in the Coaches Poll. Perhaps the playoff committee will view things differently. When it comes to Florida State, it already has a significant difference of opinion with the Coaches Poll, which has the Seminoles at No. 1.Florida State has won by narrower margins, and against a weaker schedule, than the other top teams this year. It’s hard to say which of those factors are producing the difference in the rankings. Perhaps the committee is looking at what it calls “game control” – a team’s ability to remain in a comfortable position from start to finish – and finding Florida State’s series of nail-biting wins faulty. Or perhaps, regardless of the scorelines, they don’t see enough big wins on Florida State’s resume. The Seminoles’ most impressive-seeming win of the season, against then 6-0 Notre Dame on Oct. 18, looks less so now that Notre Dame has lost four of its last five games.There’s also the issue of how much the polls and the committee are weighing preseason expectations. Our research has uncovered evidence that where a team starts the year in the Coaches Poll affects where it finishes, even after accounting for its performance during the current football season. Florida State started as the preseason No. 1 in the Coaches Poll. The committee, however, did not release its first rankings until Oct. 28, halfway into the season, and had Florida State second.If your goal is to forecast upcoming games, it’s not wrong — in fact, it’s helpful statistically — to consider results from previous seasons. College football teams play fewer games than those in any other major American sport. Looking at “old” data is better than not having enough data.But if you want to determine who “deserves” a place in the playoff, it’s more complicated. It might be politically incorrect for the committee to consider last year’s performance in determining eligibility for this year’s playoff.It’s going to take some time for us to make clear inferences about which factors the committee prioritizes. That’s why we’re treating this year as an experiment for the model rather than something you might bet a lot of money on.However, if Florida State were to fall to No. 4 or lower this week, it would be a sign the committee places a lot of emphasis on margin of victory and game control. At the other logical extreme – if the committee didn’t consider margin of victory at all — Florida State would have a case for moving up in the standings, since its opponent on Saturday, Boston College, was the best of a very weak lot (Western Carolina, Colorado, Vanderbilt) faced by the other teams in the top four.UCLA will be another interesting test case for the committee. The Bruins, No. 9 last week, will very likely move up at least one position. That’s because Mississippi, No. 8 last week, lost to Arkansas, taking its third loss and eliminating its hopes of title contention.But could UCLA move up to No. 6 or No. 7 instead? Historically, voters in the Coaches Poll have not rewarded teams much for “big wins” (instead, they’ve tended to punish them for losses). The committee, so far, has been a little more aggressive about promoting teams after they secure major victories, sometimes jumping them ahead of other teams that also won. USC might or might not qualify as a “big win” for UCLA — the Bruins were favored and playing at home — but it’s impressive compared to the middling opponents the other top teams faced.UCLA’s placement is relevant because it has a path, albeit a fraught one, into the playoff. The Bruins will need to beat Stanford on Friday and then Oregon in the Pac-12 title game on Dec. 5. If that happens, UCLA will presumably move ahead of Oregon in the committee’s pecking order. But even that will not be enough. Say that Alabama and Florida State also win out. UCLA might also need to jump ahead of potential conference champions like TCU, Baylor and Ohio State. Or imagine that Florida State loses. Would the committee take a two-loss UCLA team ahead of a one-loss Florida State team?The next chart represents the model’s attempt to sort out all these possibilities and forecast how the standings might look on Dec. 7, when the committee will release its final rankings:UCLA’s chances of making the playoff are 14 percent — up from 8 percent before its win against USC. That may undersell the Bruins’ chances, however. If they beat both Stanford and Oregon, their chances will be about 50 percent, according to the model.What about Florida State? The model has the Seminoles’ chances at 59 percent overall, not much changed from 60 percent last week. But it gives them just an 18 percent chance of making the playoff if they take a loss rather than finishing the season undefeated.We’ll rerun these numbers on Wednesday after the committee has released its new standings. Here’s how the national title odds look in the interim:There’s not much change from last week, other than for UCLA and Mississippi. If you’re looking for a real dark horse, however, you might find one in the Arizona Wildcats. Like UCLA, they’re 9-2 and they also scored an impressive victory Saturday, demolishing No. 17 Utah 42-10 in Salt Lake City. To make the playoff, they’ll probably need to beat Arizona State on Friday and hope that UCLA loses to Stanford (UCLA beat Arizona on Nov. 1 and so holds the tiebreaker against them if the teams finish with the same Pac-12 record). Then, Arizona would make the Pac-12 title game and have to beat Oregon. The Wildcats would probably also need other teams like Ohio State or Florida State to lose. This parlay is not at all likely — the model puts the chances at about 3 percent — but Arizona isn’t drawing totally dead.True college football geeks might also pay attention to what the committee does at the bottom end of its new top 25. With No. 17 Utah, No. 19 USC and No. 23 Nebraska all losing on Saturday, a couple of new positions should open up.The teams that enter the standings will have zero chance of making the playoff. But they may reveal something about the committee’s philosophy. What if Arkansas pops into the standings, for instance? The Razorbacks are just 6-5, but they’ve played the second-toughest schedule in the country according to Jeff Sagarin’s ratings, and they’re coming off shutout wins against LSU and Mississippi. If they enter the rankings, it would be a sign the committee is sympathetic to teams that play tough schedules. If a team like Marshall enters instead — it’s 11-0 but against a pathetic schedule — the committee would be giving a different signal. read more

Ohio States Devin Smith strikes again

Ohio State offensive coordinator Tom Herman said Devin Smith is a question mark at times, but at the end of the Buckeyes’ game against California Saturday the sophomore receiver was the answer. With 3:26 left in the game and the score tied at 28, OSU was faced with a third and seven at their own 28-yard line. Coach Urban Meyer called a pass play designed for junior wide receiver Corey “Philly” Brown that he hoped would extend the drive. Smith’s job on the play was “merely to clear out” according to Herman, but a coverage lapse from California left Brown double covered and Smith wide open down the right sideline. As the ball floated toward him, Smith said he heard his mom’s voice in the back of his head. “My mom tells me every time I catch the ball to run like a dog is catching you,” he said. “As soon as I caught the ball, that’s all I was thinking in my mind.” Whatever he was thinking, it worked because after he caught the ball, he sprinted untouched into the end zone for a 72-yard score to put the Buckeyes up for good. “We live for that,” Smith said of his big play. “I dreamed of being wide open and catching those balls. I had to make a big play and that’s what I did.” It’s not the first time Smith has made a big play. Smith’s game-winning 40-yard touchdown catch against Wisconsin in 2011 became the signature moment of last season and his one-handed grab against Miami the first game of the this season was nominated for play of the year. The tough plays aren’t what has plagued Smith, though. In the first quarter of Saturday’s game, Smith fended off a Bears defender and plucked a back shoulder throw out of the air for a 25-yard touchdown. Herman said the level of difficulty in that play was probably higher than the one that ended the game. But Smith also had two drops in the first half, at least one of which would have given OSU a first down and extended the drive. It’s that lack of consistency that has “frustrated” his coaches since training camp. “Devin was certainly a guy that was a question mark coming into camp, but has gotten much better. He is nowhere near a finished product,” Herman said. “He was a guy that hadn’t really studied his playbook or hadn’t been very trustworthy as far as being in the right place at the right time. He continues to improve on that.” Smith, who finished the game with 145 receiving yards and two touchdowns, said he’s still waiting on a compliment from Meyer. “(Meyer) told me I was going to have to make catches like that all the time. The catch I had today to win the game and he told me not to drop another ball,” Smith said. But despite the inconsistency, Meyer can’t keep Smith off the field because his big-play potential is too high to ignore. “Yeah, he dropped a couple, but we need a home-run hitter,” Meyer said. “When you take a really hard swing every once in a while, you’ve got to hit it out of the park.” read more

Ohio States Marcus Hall on Senior Day All good things come to

Redshirt-senior safety C.J. Barnett (4) celebrates an interception during a game against Illinois Nov. 16 at Memorial Stadium. OSU won, 60-35.Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorAs the No. 3-ranked Ohio State football team (10-0, 6-0) prepares to try and break the OSU record for consecutive wins, the Buckeye seniors are getting ready for their final game at Ohio Stadium as players.For most seniors like redshirt-senior safety C.J. Barnett, Saturday will be a memorable game, but the pre-game ceremonies aren’t what they’re focused on most.“We’ll get through the emotions together, but we’ve got a job to do, (to) go out there and try to beat Indiana,” Barnett said.Barnett said playing his final home game makes him think back over all the accomplishments he and his classmates have achieved in Columbus.“I’ll probably be a little emotional. I can remember the first time I ran out there against Navy in 2009,” Barnett said. “We have had ups and down, but I do think we’re finishing strong.”Redshirt-senior right guard Marcus Hall said Wednesday he’s not ready to start thinking about what will be going through his head Saturday against Indiana (4-6, 2-4), but he will definitely miss his time at Ohio State.“I just really don’t want to see it come to an end,” Hall said. “But you know what they say, all good things come to an end.”Coach Urban Meyer said redshirt-junior cornerback Bradley Roby will participate in the senior ceremonies, as the two have already discussed his plans for next year. Meyer said four years is all he expects his players to commit to the program, adding Roby is on track to earn his degree in the spring.“(Four years) is all you ask, you don’t ask for five years nowadays.”Meyer said not all senior classes are good and deserve the praise this class will receive before the game.“It’s not because they’re seniors, it’s because what they’ve done,” Meyer said.Junior linebacker Ryan Shazier, who might forgo his senior season after a very successful campaign in his third year, said he has not made a decision regarding next year at this time.“I just want to help (the seniors) leave with a bang,” Shazier said. “I’m not even thinking about (the NFL Draft) right now, I’m thinking about Indiana.”With a win Saturday, OSU will clinch the Big Ten Leaders division title and punch its ticket to the Big Ten Championship Game. Meyer said being in the title hunt mid-November, both in the Big Ten and the BCS, is what attracted him to OSU two winters ago.“That’s why you come to Ohio State as a coach or a player,” Meyer said.Junior quarterback Braxton Miller said the state of the BCS, which has No. 3 OSU ahead of No. 4 Baylor by .0013, isn’t something his team can afford to focus on out on the field.“It’s not in our hands, but a couple things are in our hands,” Miller said. “We can go out there and dominate who we’re playing.”OSU and Indiana are set for a 3:30 p.m. kickoff Saturday in Ohio Stadium. read more

Football Healthy Mike Weber could lead to dynamic backfield for Ohio State

Ohio State redshirt senior quarterback J.T. Barrett (16) prepares to hand the ball off to redshirt sophomore running back Mike Weber (25) in the third quarter against Rutgers on Sep. 30. Ohio State won 56-0. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorPISCATAWAY, New Jersey — Running back Mike Weber has not received a clean bill of health all season long.Before Saturday’s game against Rutgers, the redshirt sophomore had been unable to make appearances in more than one drive during any game this season due to lingering hamstring injuries.But in Ohio State’s 56-0 win over the Scarlet Knights, Weber appeared to be fully healthy once again for the Buckeyes as he rushed for 44 yards on 10 carries with three touchdowns — his first touchdowns of the season.“I mean it felt good. It’s been a long process of waiting and setbacks and going through a lot of things,” Weber said after the game. “It was like a relief that I’ve been wanting to get for a long time and I’m glad I got it and go from here.”During Weber’s extended absence, freshman J.K. Dobbins has served as the team’s primary running back for the Buckeyes. With 75 carries and 573 rushing yards, Dobbins has given quarterback J.T. Barrett an option out of the backfield in the run game with his consistent production. Even in the game against the Scarlet Knights with Weber fully healthy, Dobbins was the leader between the two in total rush yards with 53 on six carries, averaging 8.8 yards per carry.But with Weber now back in the mix, how does head coach Urban Meyer balance the workload between Weber — the third freshman running back in Ohio State history to rush for over 1,000 yards — and Dobbins, who will likely become the fourth player to accomplish the feat?The first key to keeping the dynamic duo productive will be to ensure that Weber stays healthy.Over the summer, he had been dealing with a hamstring injury that was initially believed to be severe enough to limit him in practice, but not anything potentially major. After missing all of the Indiana game and only taking three carries in the team’s loss to Oklahoma in Week 2, it became clear that something was wrong with Weber. Following the Oklahoma game, Weber said that the medical staff had told him hamstring tweaks were “going to happen throughout the season” and that all he could do was manage them as best he could.Meyer said after the Rutgers’ victory that the injury could have been much worse.“It was a significant tear right before training camp,” Meyer said. “They almost had to do surgery on him. So we were dealing with maybe a year loss right before training camp.”And though Weber said he never considered surgery to be an option, he knew returning to full health was not going to be easy and would require special care during the weeks compared to the normal routine the running back had been accustomed to the year prior.“I probably had the worst Grade 2 [injury], close to a Grade 3, but coach said it was possible to come back this year, but it was going to be a long wait,” Weber said. “Really just staying on top of it, doing everything I can even when I am feeling good to keep it to where I want it to be. Stay in the training room, just doing everything I can to make sure my hamstring doesn’t give out on me again.”Staying healthy will be important for the running back tandem to work moving forward, and Barrett said he believes that while having both running backs available will be electric when they are healthy, it could also prove to be pivotal in keeping Weber healthy. He added that Weber’s health could help in keeping the newest member of the offensive backfield fresh through his first college football season.“Yeah because J.K., he loves it because now he gets a little break now and then, you know,” Barrett said. “But those guys going back and forth, it’s going to create a little havoc for the defense because it’s not like it regresses. One guy comes out, I mean they’re both, one of the top backs in the country.”Meyer still has plans for what he believes that backfield can eventually look like.“I’d like to eventually go two-back,” Meyer said on Sept. 20. “I’ve done that before where I have those two because they’re a good complements to each other.”For now, the team has yet to deploy that two-back look, but Weber said just having himself and Dobbins healthy and ready to go will provide the Buckeyes with a dangerous pairing in the backfield.“We’re going to be really scary if we get things going like we want it to,” Weber said. “That one-two punch that we see like in the future, I think if we get everything together, it can be really scary.” read more

Mens Soccer Ohio States season ends with 40 loss to Indiana

Ohio State junior Abdi Mohamed (26) takes the ball downfield during the Ohio State- BGSU game on Sep. 22. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorThe Indiana men’s soccer team (15-0-4, 5-0-3 Big Ten) defeated Ohio State (8-10-1, 3-5-0 Big Ten) in the semifinals of the Big Ten tournament on Saturday, ending the Buckeyes’ 2017 season.The Hoosiers were able to strike in the 17th minute to give them a 1-0 lead off the foot of junior forward Corey Thomas. He was able to finish off the cross assist from junior midfielder Trevor Swartz and junior defender Andrew Gutman.The first half ended 1-0 with Indiana outshooting Ohio State 8-3.The Hoosiers made the score 2-0 in the 47th minute as Gutman buried a shot in the back of the net from 12 yards out.Indiana continued to pour it on in the second half. The Hoosiers scored their third goal in the 62nd minute as junior midfielder Francesco Moore was able to finish off a corner. Indiana’s fourth and final goal came in the 71st minute off a header by junior midfielder Austin Panchot.Indiana finished the game leading 17-6 in shots and 7-1 in corners. read more

Mens Basketball Ohio State returns home for daunting matchup against No 1

Ohio State junior guard C.J. Jackson (3) drives to the paint in the first half in the game against Michigan on Dec. 4. Ohio State won 71-62. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorOhio State (12-4, 3-0 Big Ten) has squared off against three currently ranked opponents this season. It lost all three games — all by double-digits. To end its losing streak against the top teams in the nation, it will have to pull one of the biggest upsets in the season when it hosts No. 1 Michigan State Sunday at the Schottenstein Center.The game starts at 4:30 p.m. on CBS. Here’s what to expect.Projected startersMichigan State:G — Joshua Langford — Sophomore, 6-foot-5, 210 lbs., 13.7 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 1.7 apgG — Cassius Winston — Sophomore, 6-foot, 185 lbs., 12.9 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 7.3 apg, G/F — Miles Bridges — Sophomore, 6-foot-7, 225 lbs., 16.9 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 3.1 apgF — Jaren Jackson Jr. — Freshman, 6-foot-11, 242 lbs., 10.8 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.3 apgF — Nick Ward — Sophomore, 6-foot-8, 245 lbs., 15.4 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 3.1 apgOhio State:G — C.J. Jackson — Junior, 6-foot-1, 175 lbs., 13.5 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 4.3 apgG — Kam Williams — Redshirt senior, 6-foot-2, 185 lbs., 8.3 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 0.4 apgF — Jae’Sean Tate — Senior, 6-foot-4, 230 lbs., 12.9 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 2.8 apgF — Keita Bates-Diop — Redshirt junior, 6-foot-7, 235 lbs., 19.3 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 1.4 apgC — Kaleb Wesson — Freshman, 6-foot-9, 270 lbs., 11.7 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 0.8 apgScouting Michigan StateThe Spartans are arguably the most complete team on both sides of the ball Ohio State will face all season. They rank in the top 15 for both points scored and points allowed this season and lead the nation with a plus-26.6 scoring margin. What makes Michigan State such a challenging offense to defend is its ability to score from all ranges. This season it has spread out its point distribution quite a bit with 51.5 percent of its offense coming from inside the arc, 31.3 percent outside and 17.2 percent from the free-throw line, according to Ken Pomeroy.And regardless of where the Spartans are on the court, it is more than capable of making the shots. It ranks in the top 10 in both 3-point and 2-point shooting this season with 42.4 percent from the 3 and 59.5 percent for two. It has a 61 percent effective field goal percentage, according to Pomeroy.That versatility of the Spartans is equally effective on defense. Their 39.4 effective field goal percentage allowed ranks No. 1 in the nation, according to Pomeroy. Opposing offenses have found more success from beyond 3-point range, shooting 33.4 percent from beyond the arc and just 32.8 percent inside (lowest in the nation). Michigan State also blocks the most shot, averaging 8.4 blocks per game. What to expectNearly any opponent Michigan State faces looks outmatched, and that remains true for the Buckeyes. Ohio State was never all that close with No. 12 UNC on Dec. 23, losing 86-72, and was blown out by No. 19 Gonzaga, 86-59, on Nov. 23.Ohio State is not a team that relies on 3-point shooting for offense and has its most success when it drives to the basket. Only 26.7 percent of its points this season have come from the 3 while 54.4 percent have come within the perimeter, according to Pomeroy. That does not bode well against a team like Michigan State that is one of the better interior defenders in the nation. The Buckeyes do have a statistical edge when it comes to both forcing and limiting turnovers. The Spartans have turned the ball over 19.5 percent of the time and forced turnovers only 17.6 percent of the time, 212th and 250th in the nation by Pomeroy, respectively.Particularly as of late, the Buckeyes have done a much better job limiting their own turnovers. They currently sit at No. 140 in the nation at 18.5 percent while forcing the 114th-most turnovers in the country at 20.2 percent. Ohio State has a few promising matchups against Michigan State statistically, but overall this will be a challenge for the Buckeyes. If head coach Chris Holtmann is going to get his first signature win with the Scarlet and Gray, a lot will have to go right for his team.Prediction:Michigan State wins 80-65 read more

Mens Basketball Ohio State places three players on AllBig Ten teams

Redshirt junior forward Keita Bates-Diop drives to the basket in the first half of Ohio State’s 74-62 loss to Michigan in Ann Arbor. Credit: Jacob Myers | Managing Editor for ContentThe No. 13 Ohio State men’s basketball team surprised many with a breakout 2017-18 campaign that ended with a 24-7 overall record and 15-3 conference record. For the successful season, three Buckeyes were named to various All-Big Ten teams, the conference announced Monday.Redshirt junior forward Keita Bates-Diop was named to the first team by both media and coaches. Senior Jae’Sean Tate was named second-team All-Big Ten by coaches and was honorable mention by the media. Center Kaleb Wesson was named to the All-Big Ten freshman team. Bates-Diop averaged 19.2 points, 8.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game, while playing in 32.7 minutes per game. He finished the regular season with 12 double-doubles and scored more than 20 points a dozen times. He was one of two unanimous selections for the first team by both the coaches and media, along with Michigan State forward Miles Bridges.Tate finished the regular season with an average of 12.5 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. Tate was on the All-Big Ten honorable mention team last season. Wesson had an average of 11.0 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.0 assists per game. read more

School scraps homework to give teachers time to plan lessons

first_imgTeacher marking books “We want it to be the number one priority so teachers can plan for students’ individual needs and keep on top of their progress on a daily basis.”Out-of-school-hours learning will still be encouraged through the school’s website, with prizes offered to the most dedicated students.Last year, the independent boarding school Cheltenham Ladies’ College announced plans to ditch homework in response to an “epidemic” of mental health problems.In 2013, Jane Austen College in Norwich said pupils would be expected to complete all their work during timetabled hours, and extended the school day to 5pm. ‘Homework is too often made up of unfinished curriculum work’Credit:Alamy A school has scrapped all homework to allow teachers more time to plan lessons, it has emerged.Catherine Hutley, principal at Philip Morant School and College, in Colchester, Essex, has said her staff will use the time previously spent on setting and marking homework on planning lessons more precisely.The school isn’t the first to abolish homework, but previously schools have done so to reduce mental health problems among pupils, or have then extended school hours to make up the time.Ms Hutley accepted the move would be controversial but she said she was “genuinely excited” about the innovative approach and was convinced students would benefit. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.center_img She said: “The job of a teacher is impossible.”There are not enough hours in the day for a teacher to teach, set homework, mark homework, and plan their lessons.She continued: “It is a move away from a more traditional approach but we would not do anything which would hinder the progress of our children.”We have the most dedicated and committed staff you could possibly ask for.”They are working every hour God sends but planning lessons can fall by the wayside. There are not enough hours in the day for a teacher to teach, set homework, mark homework, and plan their lessonsCatherine Hutley Ms Hutley said homework at her school was too often made up of unfinished curriculum work which had not been completed in class. That work will now be completed in lessons, ensuring children who were not completing their homework would not miss out.Ms Hutley said the new Prove It+ extension work will encourage independent learning, which would also benefit students in their post-16 education.Ms Hutley said the move away from traditional homework had been discussed for a year. She added: “We are aware opinions on this issue are polarised, with many parents and carers delighted by the change but others concerned by what the move will mean for their child.”We have carefully analysed the performance and progress of our students and the impact homework has had on this.”last_img read more

Notebook written by unknown 17thcentury William Shakespeare scholar leaves Antiques Roadshow expert

first_img“English literature as a subject didn’t come up until around 1900. Nobody was studying literature in that way, and particularly not plays. Prose and poetry were seen as slightly more scholarly or highbrow. The 'remarkable Shakepeare notepad which so wowed the boffins on AQ “Nobody started to edit Shakespeare’s works in an academic way or comparing texts until the 18th century. Shakespeare was known as the national playwright and the national poet, he’d acquired some sort of mythological status by that point, but people weren’t looking at him in an academic, analytical way. But maybe this note-taker was.Mr Haley said the document, which is being transcribed, may provide evidence that not all of Shakespeare’s plays were written by the Bard himself in their entirety, while the lines quoted my differ from those in use today.“I’m sure that very close study of it would identify quotes from some plays that are not necessarily all Shakespeare.“It might be that he quotes something that appears in the 1632 second folio that doesn’t appear in the 1623 first”. “Curiously, it doesn’t include the histories, and one could speculate as to why that is.“As far as I could see the author was writing down quotes, passages or phrases that he liked.“I noticed a quote from Twelfth Night, but I would imagine that it covers quite a large number of the plays.“If he was working from the printed texts then by the mid-17th century all of Shakespeare’s plays were known about, although the books were not printed in huge quantities.” A 17th-century notebook containing the jottings of perhaps the world’s first Shakespeare scholar has left experts “trembling” in anticipation of what it may contain.Entitled Shakespeare: Comedies and Tragedies, it was discovered among the collection of 18th Century antiquarian John Loveday of Caversham by a relative.Matthew Haley, head of books and manuscripts at Bonhams, appraised the item for Antiques Roadshow, filmed at Caversham Park, Berkshire. Fiona Bruce Tamsin Greig appears in the National Theatre's production of Twelfth Night Tamsin Greig appears in the National Theatre’s production of Twelfth NightCredit:Marc Brenner “Obviously there weren’t that many people who were literate at the time and there weren’t that many people who would have had access to the printed editions of Shakespeare. It’s such a fascinating mystery. He said it was likely to fetch more than £30,000 at auction, and admitted that its “enormous scholarly value” had left him “trembling” as he held it at.He said: “It’s a very small manuscript, a tiny little notebook about the size of a matchbox, and it’s in a 17th-century hand.“We don’t know who the person who wrote it is, but obviously if it’s a 17th-century hand they were either going along to Shakespeare’s plays when they were being performed and taking notes, or they were reading one of the first four printed editions of Shakespeare, which is really amazing. Fiona Bruce, presenter of Antiques RoadshowCredit:BBC A detail of a portrait of Shakespeare discovered in 2009 A detail of a portrait of Shakespeare discovered in 2009Credit:Lefteris Pitarakis/AP The ‘remarkable’ Shakespeare notepad Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

Shellshocked Tiny pancake tortoise is the size of a 50p coin

first_imgThe tortoise family Credit:West Midland Safari Park  pancake tortoise The baby pancake tortoise was named FinnCredit:West Midland Safari Park  Pancake tortoises usually inhabit the mountains of Kenya and Tanzania, however Finn’s mum and dad arrived from Amsterdam a few years ago as part of the programme.Meet Pumpkin: This adorable orphaned raccoon thinks it’s a dog ​ Steve Slater, Deputy Head of the Discovery Trail, said the species are classified as ‘vulnerable’, making Finn’s arrival even more exciting.“The keepers excitedly opened the incubator after waiting many weeks and were completely shell-shocked to discover this little but very important find — the very first baby of this species at West Midland Safari Park,” he said. West Midland Safari Park  “The pancake tortoise is a species of flat-shelled tortoise, in the family ‘Testudinidae’. Its common name refers to the flat shape of its shell. Unlike other tortoises, the shell on a pancake tortoise is actually flexible making them lighter and speedier than other tortoises.“The biggest threat to pancake tortoises is habitat destruction and being taken for the pet trade. Due to its vulnerable status, they are now the subject of a breeding programme in European zoos, which ours are a part of.” West Midland Safari Park  An adorable pancake tortoise has left keepers shell-shocked as the newest arrival at West Midland Safari Park.The tiny tortoise, which is about the size of a 50p coin, has been named Finn and hatched on July 3. Posing for the camera Credit:West Midland Safari Park  Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

Duke of Edinburgh waves as he leaves hospital 11 days after hip

first_imgThe Duke of Edinburgh attending the Captain General’s Parade as his final individual public engagement, at Buckingham Palace in LondonCredit:Yui Mok/PA The Duke of Edinburgh has left hospital after 11 days following his successful hip operation.Prince Philip, 96, left the private King Edward VII hospital at midday on Friday and waved from the passenger seat of a Land Rover Discovery as he was driven past the front entrance of the hospital, having left through another exit.Buckingham Palace said he will continue his recovery at Windsor, adding: “His Royal Highness would like to convey his appreciation for the messages of good wishes he has received.”On Thursday he was visited by his daughter, the Princess Royal, who said he was “on good form”.Anne, whose visit lasted around 50 minutes, is believed to be the first and only Royal to visit Philip in the central London hospital.The Queen also gave an update, telling a well-wisher in Windsor “he said he’s getting on very well” when asked about Philip’s recovery.The duke will have already begun his rehabilitation moving with the aid of a stick or crutches, and will face weeks of more aftercare as he learns to walk again on his new hip. The Duke of Edinburgh leaving the King Edward VII’s Hospital in London after recovering from a hip operationCredit:Victoria Jones/PA For about a month before the operation the duke had complained about trouble with the joint but medical experts have said a few weeks after a hip replacement patients are usually back to their normal lifestyle, free from pain. Prince Philip lifts his hat at his final public appearance having announced his retirement Philip was praised at the time for his public service with Prime Minister Theresa May leading the tributes saying he had given the Queen “steadfast support”, while Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the Duke’s “clear sense of public duty” had inspired people for more than 60 years.Despite his age, Philip’s decision – which was fully supported by the Queen and was not medically related – came as a surprise as he still appeared to relish meeting people and carrying out his public role. The Duke’s association with the Royal Marines dates back 64 years to June 2, 1953 when he was appointed Captain General in succession to the late King George VI. The Duke’s health troubles: From bladder infections to blocked arteriesPrince Philip has been admitted to hospital with various ailments over the years including bladder infections, a blocked coronary artery and for abdominal surgery.He was last admitted last June, after becoming ill with an infection arising from a pre-existing condition.The Duke spent two nights at the King Edward VII hospital as a precautionary measure on the advice of a doctor, which meant he missed the State Opening of Parliament and Royal Ascot. Prince Charles accompanied the Queen instead of his father to the State Opening of Parliament – the 11th time he missed the occasion since 1956. Prince Philip retires: Duke of Edinburgh meets Royal Marines at final public eventThe Duke of Edinburgh’s final official Royal public engagement was fittingly to meet Royal Marines who had completed a mammoth 1,664 mile trek.On August 2 last year, in the grounds of Buckingham Palace, Philip celebrated the achievements of servicemen who have taken part in the 1664 Global Challenge, a series of strength and endurance feats raising funds and awareness for the Royal Marines Charity.The Queen’s Consort announced in May he would be retiring from royal engagements after more than 65 years supporting the monarch in her role as head of state and attending events for his own charities and organisations. He was said to be “disappointed” that he would miss the remainder of the celebrations, which culminated with a Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral and a carriage procession through the capital.The bladder infection came just months after he was treated for a blocked coronary artery on December 23, 2011.He underwent a successful “invasive procedure of coronary stenting” before being taken to the cardiothoracic unit of Papworth Hospital near Cambridge.He had been suffering chest pains while at Sandringham, in Norfolk, where the Royal family had gathered for the Christmas break. Prince Philip lifts his hat at his final public appearance having announced his retirementCredit:Hannah McKay/Reuters Prince Philip sits in the passenger seat of a Land Rover Discovery as he is driven from hospital where he had been for 11 daysCredit:Peter Macdiarmid/London News Pictures Ltd Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. In the forecourt of Buckingham Palace Philip, in his role as Captain General of the Royal Marines, attended a parade to mark the finale of the 1664 Global Challenge. Show more Prince Philip sits in the passenger seat of a Land Rover Discovery as he is driven from hospital where he had been for 11 days The Duke of Edinburgh leaving the King Edward VII's Hospital in London after recovering from a hip operation The Queen Mother underwent two successful hip replacement operations in the 1990s, first a planned procedure when aged 95 then later an emergency operation when 97 following a fall.Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding is on May 19 and the major family occasion is likely to be the first public appearance by the Queen’s consort. Buckingham Palace stressed at the time although the Duke’s diary of engagements will come to an end on Wednesday, he might decide to attend certain events, alongside the Queen, from time to time.A statement said the Queen’s public schedule would continue as normal, but other members of the Royal Family would step up in support of the monarch in her role as head of state. The Duke of Edinburgh attending the Captain General's Parade as his final individual public engagement, at Buckingham Palace in London A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: “The Duke of Edinburgh was admitted to King Edward VII Hospital in London last night, as a precautionary measure, for treatment of an infection arising from a pre-existing condition.In June 2012, a bladder infection sidelined the then 90-year-old which curtailed his involvement in the Jubilee weekend. last_img read more

Grenfell inquiry to open with victim tributes after venue changed to prevent

Grenfell Campaigners had complained that the central location was not suitable as it meant survivors would have to undergo further trauma by travelling in “deep claustrophobic tube tunnels” each day.Bereaved family and friends will join together and paint a picture of the loved ones they lost in front of the retired judge chairing the probe, Sir Martin Moore-Bick. Two weeks of poignant tributes from family and friends remembering Grenfell Tower fire victims will be heard by the public inquiry into the disaster as its first phase gets under way.Seventy-one people died in the fire that swept through Grenfell Tower in west London on June 14 last year.The venue for the Inquiry’s first stage was moved after lawyers for the victims argued that the Inquiry should be moved “closer to where the disaster occurred”, during two days of procedural hearings in Holborn, near the inns of court, in December last year. While all the victims’ names will be read out, it is understood that not all families will give a tribute.Survivor Nicholas Burton will be able to pay tribute to his wife Maria Del Pilar Burton, 74, who died in January after seven months in hospital following the fire.Mrs Burton, known as Pily, had suffered from serious long-term health conditions prior to the disaster, in which her home was destroyed and her dog died.The commemorations follow a week of significant victories for Grenfell United, the main campaign group representing survivors and the bereaved.Their wish for a diverse panel to sit alongside Sir Martin was finally granted by Prime Minister Theresa May after months of campaigning and a petition backed by grime artist Stormzy and more than 150,000 supporters. Speaking ahead of the inquiry’s launch, Diane Abbot, the shadow home secretary, said she had “confidence” in Sir Martin, adding that he had the opportunity to make it a “really seminal” examination of what went wrong. Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Ms Abbott said: “There are broader issues that we need to touch on. Residents leave the Taplow tower block on the Chalcots Estate in Camden, London, as the building is evacuated in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire to allow “urgent fire safety works” to take placeCredit:Stefan Rousseau/PA Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Grenfell Theresa May and then Housing minister Sajid Javid at a memorial service at St Paul’s Cathedral for Grenfell Tower victimsCredit:pixel8000 The huge fire consumed Grenfell Tower near Latimer Road, West LondonCredit:Guilhem Baker/Pressframe A series of pre-recorded videos and statements will be now delivered during commemorations that will place at the Millennium Gloucester Hotel in south Kensington, closer to the Grenfell community.The Curve – a community support centre set up for the victims of the fire, and which  offers a range of services including NHS, benefits, Post Office, social care, creche, Citizens Advice and housing assistance –  was temporarily based at the same hotel during August’s Notting Hill Carnival.The rest of phase one of the inquiry will take place at Holborn Bars in central London, where several procedural hearings have already happened. Families have been invited to speak about the bereaved, read poems, sing or provide pre-recorded video messages on the Inquiry’s opening day, in a move to ensure that “we will never lose sight of who our work is for and why we are doing it”, lead counsel to the inquiry Richard Millett said. He said: “Starting this inquest process with statements and images means we have an stark understanding of how this horrific event has obliterated so many lives.”On behalf of our clients, we are grateful they are have been granted this opportunity to finally reveal the impact these truly terrible events have had on them. Grenfell Panel members will be appointed for the second phase of the inquiry, due to start later this year, so as not to delay the first part.The Government also promised to consult on banning flammable cladding from high-rise buildings. Slater and Gordon barrister Kieran Mitchell, who is representing three victims’ families, said the opportunity for them to have their voices listened to had been “a long time coming”. Family and Friends of Jessica Urbano Ramirez, who died in the blaze, desperately trying to locate her.Credit:Paul Grover/Telegraph The Community-led organisation, Justice4Grenfell, parades three billboards near St. Paul’s Cathedral. They called for justice for the victims of the deadly June 2017 deadly apartment fire.Credit:Jeff Moore Grenfell Grenfell “However, this is just the beginning. We must get the answers everyone craves and understand how this tragedy could ever have been allowed to happen.”Ultimately our clients want justice and we will not rest until those culpable are held accountable.”On Monday before the tributes begin, Sir Martin will briefly address the room, followed by a statement from Mr Millett.Private rooms, quiet areas and a prayer room will be available for the bereaved, survivors and residents, while there will be counselling and NHS support. As the hearings are taking place during Ramadan, the morning sessions are expected to adjourn for lunch at 12.45pm to allow Muslims to prepare for the 1pm prayer.The probe is believed to have the largest number of core participants to date, with more than 500 survivors, bereaved families and friends, and members of the North Kensington community participating. Grenfell residents were trapped ‘screaming for their lives’ as flames raged through the 27-storey tower blockCredit:Jeremy Selwyn/Eyevine Grenfell As of Thursday, some 533 people have been made core participants in the inquiry, including 21 children. Twenty-nine organisations are core participants.The main hearing room has a capacity for 500 people and bereaved, survivors and residents will be reserved seats at the front each day. “I think there are issues about Grenfell, over and above the cladding and so on. Why that community on that estate…why no one listened to them, why they were almost abandoned?”We need to dig down and find out why they were not listened to. If you lose touch with what it meant to that community…then you lose touch with what that inquiry’s about.” The bereaved and the survivors want the fact finding, they want to know what happened, they want answers to questions, they want to know who should take responsibility. But none of us can forget what that horrible horrible event meant to that community.” read more