18-12-2018 Will the young stud quarterback become devalued in the modern NFL?

As the passing game becoming seemingly easier will teams pass on expending all their energy on finding the next great quarterback?If there’s one thing we can agree upon, it’s that the most precious resource in the NFL is a stud quarterback, and even more precious still, a young stud still on his rookie four-year deal. In the Moneyball realm of modern football, that’s the jackpot. It immediately throws open a multi-year Super Bowl window, and hands the franchise a stack of blank checks – in the form of early-round draft picks and free-agent contracts – that can be spread across several other key positions. And as long as quarterbacks are central to the team, it shall always be thus.If we need any more proof, well, just look at the past two decades, an era in which this particular unicorn has eluded the vast majority of the NFL. It’s been called “the hardest job in America”– something only football super-computers like Peyton Manning and Tom Brady can do, and if you don’t have one of them you might as well pencil in a 6-10 season right now. Continue reading...

18-12-2018 Police investigate allegation of historical racist abuse in Chelsea youth set-up

• Police understood to have talked to former staff member• Inquiries relate to alleged abuse during the 1980s and 1990sPolice have been brought in to investigate allegations that black players in Chelsea’s youth system during the 1980s and 1990s were subjected to a “racist bullying culture” from members of staff.Detectives from the child-abuse investigation team at Northwood police station in north-west London are looking into a complaint that one of the teenage footballers on Chelsea’s books was the victim of assault during the years when black players as young as 11 allegedly had to endure harrowing racial abuse. Continue reading...

18-12-2018 Ralph Hasenhüttl hails Southampton team and fans after 'amazing' win over Arsenal – video

Ralph Hasenhüttl enjoyed a dream home debut as Southampton manager after Charlie Austin's late header earned a 3-2 win over Arsenal. The victory was Saint's first in the Premier League on home soil since late April and prompted scenes of jubilation in the stands followed by a lap of honour on the pitch. Hasenhüttl sent free beer vouchers to season ticket holders during the week in an attempt to have 'everyone in our boat to row with us' and after ending the Gunners' 22-game unbeaten run, the new manager joked about considering whether to make this a regular occurrence.Free beers for fans … three cheers for Southampton, says Hasenhüttl Continue reading...

18-12-2018 Australia wrap up victory to level Test series with India

Australia 326 & 243; India 283 & 140 | Hosts win by 146 runsAustralian bowlers mop up tail before lunch on day fiveAustralia wasted little time on the final day of the second Test to wrap up victory before lunch at Perth Stadium and level the series against India with a 146-run victory – their first in this format of the game since the sandpaper scandal earlier this year.Needing five wickets to seal victory heading into day five – and with India requiring a further 175 runs – the writing was perhaps already on the wall, a sentiment that was reinforced when Mitchell Starc made an early breakthrough in the fifth over of the day, cramping up Hanuma Vihari who edged onto his thigh pad and was caught with ease by Marcus Harris. Continue reading...

18-12-2018 The goalmouth scramble to end all goalmouth scrambles

Dulwich Hamlet somehow make six goal-line clearances to deny Wingate & Finchley in an epic goalmouth scramble during their FA Trophy first round fixture on Saturday.

18-12-2018 Anastasia Dobromyslova loses to Ryan Joyce at world darts championship

• Dobromyslova beaten 3-0 by debutant Joyce• Raymond van Barneveld shocked by Darius LabanauskasAnastasia Dobromyslova followed Lisa Ashton out of the PDC world championship as she lost to the Alexandra Palace debutant Ryan Joyce, while Raymond van Barneveld went out to Darius Labanauskas in Monday’s big shock.Ashton and Dobromyslova were the two multiple British Darts Organisation women’s world champions to qualify this year and Ashton lost to Jan Dekker on the opening night of the Professional Darts Corporation event last Thursday. Continue reading...

18-12-2018 Jake Hesketh happily playing his part in Burton’s Carabao Cup adventure

On-loan midfielder hopes he can jog a few memories at Southampton when Burton visit Middlesbrough in the quarter-finals on TuesdayJust over two years ago Jake Hesketh was among the Southampton squad waiting at Ben Gurion airport, just outside Tel Aviv. It was the day after a 0-0 draw against Hapoel Beer Sheva in the Europa League and after an overnight stay there were understandably itchy feet. Barack Obama did not get the memo, though, with Air Force One arriving and Israel rolling out the red carpet.“We were stuck for a little bit while the US president was sat on the runway,” Hesketh says. “For about half an hour we were just looking out waiting for the plane to go. The game itself was a totally different atmosphere, a unique place. It was just a surreal couple of days. I remember all of the whistling; it was a very intimidating stadium to play in.” Continue reading...

18-12-2018 England’s netballers set sights on new horizons after Spoty double

English netball walked away with two BBC prizes but attention swiftly turned from celebrations to plans for the futureThe day after the night before, and England Netball had already moved on from their unexpected triumph at the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year awards.The Commonwealth gold medal-winning squad were named both Team of the Year and creators of the Greatest Moment of the Year, provoking scenes of celebration in the aisles at Birmingham’s Resorts World Arena. The party did not last for long, though. Players were under strict instruction not to overdo the celebrations on Sunday night and, by Monday lunchtime, they were back at their training camp in Loughborough. Continue reading...

18-12-2018 'He doesn’t play in a dinner suit': the 25 best rugby union quotes of 2018 | Robert Kitson

From Eddie Jones’s praise for ‘tough rooster’ Owen Farrell to Ellis Genge questioning rugby’s inclusivity and Ben Moon’s bouncy castle call-up“Is the international game under threat? I think it is. Look at the balance sheets of some nations and you can see exactly where we stand. If you ask me as a businessman, the business side of rugby is not working. By the 2019 World Cup we need to have a blueprint for the next 10 years. I’m not going to be an accomplice to rugby’s ruin” – World Rugby’s Agustín Pichot issues a stark global warning.“I don’t think the natural talent in New Zealand is better than some of the talent we have on this side of the world. Defensively in Europe we are more advanced than they are, most definitely” – Ronan O’Gara, currently Crusaders assistant coach. Continue reading...

18-12-2018 London Irish to leave Madejski and share with Brentford at new stadium

• Brentford’s new west London ground will open in 2020• London Irish have played at Reading’s stadium for 18 yearsLondon Irish will play their home games at the new Brentford Community Stadium from 2020.The Championship leaders have reached an agreement with Brentford Football Club to play at the west London stadium, which is currently under construction and will have a capacity of 17,250. It is due to open in 2020. Continue reading...

18-12-2018 The Breakdown | England’s dilemma: undermine Eddie Jones or risk scramble for a top coach

Looking for a successor could be a distraction in World Cup year but waiting could mean the talent is snaffled up and Wales and Ireland have already made their moveThe start of the World Cup is nine months away but countries are already thinking about their next coach. Wales are sorted, appointing Wayne Pivac in the summer knowing Warren Gatland would be off after his side’s final match in Japan, as are Ireland, with Andy Farrell to take over from Joe Schmidt.In New Zealand, Steve Hansen is due to announce this evening UK time as to whether he will seek a new contract after the World Cup. Rassie Erasmus has told South Africa he will not be carrying on after Japan, focusing on his director of rugby role instead. Australia’s Michael Cheika may not last that long after taking part in a performance review this month after the Wallabies’ worst year, in terms of results, for 60 years. A decision is expected before Christmas. Continue reading...

18-12-2018 Sport on the BBC: Best of this week's TV & radio coverage

This week's sport on the BBC includes the Premier League, the Olympia Horse Show and Australia v India in day four of the second test.

18-12-2018 Football transfer rumours: Real Madrid's Isco to Manchester City?

Today’s fluff was a flight on the wings of a young girl’s dreams There is only one possible conclusion to be drawn from the way that Manchester City have excelled over the first 17 games of a Premier League season in which their outstanding midfielder, Kevin De Bruyne, has been unable to start a single match and missed all but four entirely. And that conclusion, it seems, is that they need to buy even more midfielders. According to AS, they have already made contact with the currently-disgruntled Real Madrid and Spain star Isco to see if he might be interested in a move. Apparently Madrid “will not consider selling for anything under €100m”, and it may take a sum in excess of the €117m they banked for selling Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus, but given the player’s current unhappiness and the fact that the crowd have turned on him of late, “it would be no surprise to see Isco lining up at the Etihad next season”.Juventus have put aside £125m, says the Star, after their desire to sign Paul Pogba in January led them to ask Manchester United: how much is that Poggy in the window? They won’t like the answer, though, as “despite the player being at war with José Mourinho”, even though “Pogba is desperate to quit United”, and despite the fact that “he has been axed from United’s starting line-up in recent weeks and been publicly criticised by his manager”, his club “are not prepared to let him leave”. Continue reading...

18-12-2018 The Spin | Ed Smith avoids brickbats by proving to be a Test-class England selector

Former Kent batsman has been a breath of fresh air, challenging traditional thinking and not afraid to give youngsters a chanceChairmen of selectors are a bit like wicketkeepers. We only really notice them when they make terrible mistakes. Yet the incumbent, Ed Smith, has threatened to buck the trend. He has been in the post for nine months yet his appointment has been heralded as a significant reason for England’s resurgence as a Test side.From the start Smith has challenged traditional thinking and by and large this has worked well. Jos Buttler had not played any red-ball cricket for months so how could he possibly be considered for Test matches? But hang on, he is an incredibly gifted cricketer, just think what we might be missing. Adil Rashid had withdrawn from all red-ball cricket. But why not invite him back? There are far greater threats to the integrity of county cricket to be found within the ECB’s own ranks than in the recall of Rashid. Continue reading...

18-12-2018 The Fiver | How best to avoid a hiding with a team he clearly thinks isn’t up to the job

Sign up now! Sign up now! Sign up now? Sign up now!The Fiver would give several pennies for the thoughts of José Mourinho as he sits in the suite he has called home for the past two-and-a-half years at the Lowry Hotel. With the thrill of frightening staff by dressing as a zombie using his shower curtain, snaffling complimentary biscuits and tungsten-tipped screws long gone and being able to take apart and reassemble his Corby Trouser Press quicker than a blindfolded soldier field-stripping an AK47 assault rifle, the Manchester United manager has plenty of time to dwell on the vicissitudes of life, not least how best to avoid a hiding against Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday with a team he clearly thinks isn’t up to the job. Continue reading...

18-12-2018 The Dozen: the weekend's best Premier League photos

Our picture editors select their favourite images from around the grounds Continue reading...

18-12-2018 Spurs, saves, Street Fighter and Atlanta United – Football Weekly Extra

Max Rushden is joined by Barry Glendenning, Paolo Bandini and Lars Sivertsen to discuss Spurs and Liverpool squeaking through in the Champions League, easy but great saves, Italian strife, Atlanta United and Street FighterJoin the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and email.We look back at the last few days of football, starting with Tottenham’s 1-1 draw at Camp Nou, which in combination with Inter’s draw with PSV was enough to see Mauricio Pochettino’s side qualify for the round of 16. Continue reading...