Archive for December, 2019

Monday 30th December 2019

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on December 30, 2019 by bishshat

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Sunday 29th December 2019

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on December 29, 2019 by bishshat

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Seahawks 21 San Francisco 26

In a regular season full of close games and dramatic finishes, it was fitting it came down to this.
Never mind that the Seahawks trailed the 49ers 13-0 at halftime and were down 12 points with 4:04 left in the game, a team that has proven to be resilient above just about every other trait wasn’t going to go down without a fight.

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Unfortunately for the Seahawks, their comeback attempt came up inches short on Sunday night, with tight end Jacob Hollister getting stopped just short of the goal line on a fourth-and-goal reception in the game’s final seconds. That tiny distance between the ball and the goal line was the difference between a Seattle victory and the end result, a 26-21 49ers victory that gave the San Francisco 49ers the NFC West title and sent the Seahawks on the road for the playoffs.
At 11-5, the Seahawks are the NFC’s No. 5 seed and will play at Philadelphia on Sunday in the wild-card round of the playoffs. Had Hollister somehow found that extra inch or two, Seattle would have won the NFC West and hosted a game next weekend.

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As disappointing as the finish was, the second-half comeback also left the Seahawks feeling good about the resolve they showed in a game that looked early on like it could have become a blowout.
“As we have kind of grown to understand about our team, we’re never out,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “We didn’t play well in the first half, and just couldn’t get going at all. We really felt fortunate to be at 13-zip. Then our guys just did what they do, and found a way to get back and get rolling. We didn’t dominate the second half, but we certainly put ourselves in position to win a championship right there. It was a fantastic effort by the whole team, highlighted I think by Russ (Wilson) and the offense and the playmaking and the throwing and the catching, and the protection—we got sacked one time by that crew tonight. We had the opportunities; it was there in front of us. It was, like, a perfect win. To me, it was a perfect way to win the championship, and unfortunately it just came up short by a couple inches. It was an amazing effort, it was an amazing regular season. I don’t know how we could ask for much more drama. We already have to go, and get rolling, looking ahead.”

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That final pass was just part of a frantic finish to the game that will go down as one of the more memorable regular-season games played at CenturyLink Field. After the defense got a stop to give the ball back to Wilson and the offense down 5 points with 2:27 left in the game, the Seahawks quickly moved into 49ers territory, but after getting into the red zone, the Seahawks found themselves facing fourth-and-10 from the 12-yard line.
With the game on the line, Wilson connected with rookie John Ursua, a seventh-round pick out of Hawaii who was active for only the third time this season. Ursua’s first NFL catch netted 11 yards and nearly provided the winning score, but he was tackled at the one.
After the Seahawks spiked the ball to stop the clock, they tried to substitute to get a heavier package on the field—a group that included running back Marshawn Lynch—but the play clock ran out, leading to a delay of game penalty that moved the ball back to the 6-yard line, a mistake that Carroll said is “me all the way. There’s nobody else to turn to.”

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After an incomplete pass intended for Tyler Lockett, Wilson tried to find Hollister, and that too went incomplete, though not without some significant contact on Hollister. NFL Senior VP of Officiating Al Riveron told a pool reporter that the play was reviewed in New York for pass interference even though play was not stopped, and said they saw “nothing that rises to the level of a foul which significantly hinders the defender, nothing that is clear and obvious through visual evidence, which hinders the defender.”
That non-call set up fourth-and-ballgame for the second time, and while Wilson was able to complete a pass to Hollister, the tight end was stopped inches short by 49ers linebacker Dre Greenlaw. That play was reviewed, but the call was upheld, allowing the 49ers to celebrate a division title and leaving the Seahawks to contemplate what could have been.
“It’s crazy,” Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner said of the finish. “It’s unfortunate, it’s an unfortunate way to lose. We shouldn’t have put ourselves in that position. You’re grateful for the guys’ resilience to bounce back and put ourselves in that position, but we’ve got to play better.”

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The Seahawks obviously wish they would have finished the comeback Sunday, but they also came out of the game confident about what they can accomplish in the playoffs even if they do have to go on the road.

 

Saturday 28th December 2019

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on December 29, 2019 by bishshat

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Norwich 2 Spurs 2

Harry Kane’s late penalty proved enough to deny Norwich a first home league win since mid-September as Spurs earned a share of the spoils in an entertaining draw at Carrow Road. In an incident-packed game, Spurs twice had to come from behind, first through Christian Eriksen after Mario Vrancic had given the hosts the lead, and then again after a Serge Aurier own-goal had restored it, while the hosts could also feel aggrieved to have had a Teemu Pukki goal ruled out by perhaps the tightest VAR offside call seen yet in the Premier League, which would have given them a two-goal cushion.

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With Harry Winks and Moussa Sissoko suspended, Jose Mourinho was forced to mix-up his midfield as part of four changes to the side that started the win over Brighton, with summer signings Giovani Lo Celso, Ryan Sessegnon and Tanguy Ndombele starting together in the same team for the first time.

Norwich also made four changes, with Jamal Lewis, Mario Vrancic, Marco Stiepermann and Onel Hernandez all coming into the line-up, while Todd Cantwell was among those given a rest. It was Stiepermann who went closest to opening the scoring in the early stages, his toe-poke kept out by Paulo Gazzaniga after Eriksen had contrived to clean out his own teammate, Ndombele.

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The in-form Dele Alli should have given Spurs the lead when slipped in by Harry Kane at the other end, but could only fire over Tim Krul’s goal, before the Dutch ‘keeper was out to deny Kane after he had latched onto an increasingly-familiar Jan Vertonghen long ball over the top. It had been a lively exchange, with both sides looking as vulnerable at the back as adventurous in attack, and thus it was no surprise that when the hosts’ opener did come about, it came semi-gift-wrapped. The error-prone Juan Foyth began the trouble, losing possession to Vrancic when driving out of defence, and when the Canaries midfielder drove towards the box he found Toby Alderweireld all too accommodating, backing off to allow him to place a low finish beyond Gazzaniga, though nowhere near the corner.

The home side thought they had a second when Vertonghen inexplicably allowed Pukki to chest down a hopeful ball over the top and finish virtually unopposed, only for the Belgian’s blushes to be spared by the most pedantic of VAR decisions, which is saying something, given the margins involved in several other incidents on Saturday alone.

Mourinho was not quite so forgiving, dragging both Foyth and Vertonghen at the break and sending on Davinson Sanchez and Lucas Moura, and when the latter’s pass intended to play Kane in on goal was deliberately swatted away by the arm of Lewis, Spurs were incensed to see that the colour of the card was only yellow. From the resulting free-kick, however, those frustrations were forgotten as Eriksen’s clipped effort took a nick off the top of the wall and found its way into the top corner to put the visitors back on level terms.

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That lasted little more than five minutes, with more comical stuff putting Norwich back in front as Toby Aldeweireld’s attempt to nick the ball away from Pukki only succeeded in deflecting it off the helpless Aurier and past his own goalkeeper. Norwich, without a shot on target since the break, had the lead, but Spurs’ pressure always looked likely to tell, and eight minutes from time it did, Kane proving too clever for Zimmermann, cutting inside to win a penalty, which he then coolly converted, with Krul diving the wrong way.

 

Friday 27th December 2019

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on December 29, 2019 by bishshat

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Thursday 26th December 2019

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on December 26, 2019 by bishshat

Spurs 2 Brighton 1 

Manager Jose Mourinho made two changes from the defeat to his former club, with Harry Winks for Eric Dier in midfield and Ryan Sessegnon replacing the suspended Heung-min Son, who began the first of a three-match ban for kicking out at Rudiger.

Spurs’ early promise soon dissipated amid familiar problems, including a lack of creativity and bite in a midfield two of Winks and Moussa Sissoko. Tanguy Ndombele, the club’s £65million record-signing, was left out of the 18 altogether.

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Having thrashed Spurs 3-0 in October, during the deaththroes of Mauricio Pochettino’s reign, Brighton had nothing to fear and they were happy to allow Spurs possession and try their luck when possible, with Alzate and Aaron Mooy both going close in the opening 21 minutes.

The contest was in need of a touch of finesse and after 24 minutes Winks delivered. In possession on the halfway line, he clipped a perfect pass behind the Brighton defence and Kane raced onto it to steer first-time past Mat Ryan.

It looked a tight offside call against the striker and, sure enough, the VAR ruled Kane to be fractionally ahead of Shane Duffy. It by no means the closest call in the Premier League this season but nonetheless another fractional decision was predictably greeted by boos from the home fans.

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Winks has struggled to win over Mourinho and 12 minutes later the England international showed why, going from possible hero to villain. Caught the wrong side of Ezequiel Schelotto, Winks raced back and flew into a challenge on the wing-back, who went down theatrically. If the decision to award a foul was harsh, it was compounded firstly when Winks was booked, ruling him out of the trip to Norwich, and again when Webster rose to head home Pascal Gross’ subsequent free-kick.

Spurs’ ongoing vulnerability from set-pieces was underlined again before the interval, when Bernardo rose to head another Gross ball wide.

Mourinho, who had introduced Christian Eriksen at half-time against Chelsea, resisted the temptation to make changes at the interval but any expectations that Spurs would immediately improve were dampened when Aaron Connolly was left completely unmarked after the restart, only to head Bernardo’s cross wide.

In the end, Spurs’ break was a lucky one. Lucas Moura, who was scatty all afternoon, tried to weave forward but found the way blocked by Webster. The Brighton defender’s tackle ricocheted off teammate Dale Stephens into the path of Kane, who saw his first left-footed effort well-saved by Ryan before finishing the rebound on the volley with his right. There were no doubts about his 10th League goal of the season, which prompted a collective sign of relief from the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

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Mourinho immediately responded with the introduction of Giovani Lo Celso for Sessegnon and the Argentine made a difference, adding some much-needed composure and zip to the hosts.

Having got it badly wrong against Chelsea, Mourinho deserves credit for his changes, not least because his second substitute, Christian Eriksen, created the winner. Winks’ came close to a second booking with another reckless slide – resulting in Gross stinging Paulo Gazzaniga’s palms from 20 yards with the resulting free-kick – and was promptly hooked for the Dane.

Within just three minutes, Eriksen’s sublime diagonal found Aurier, who showed good composure to set-up Dele’s superb first-time finish over Ryan. With Sissoko also suspended for trip to Norwich on Saturday, one of Eriksen or Lo Celso will surely make a first League start under Mourinho at Carrow Road.

Mourinho’s next sub was, predictably, Eric Dier but if Spurs hoped to seamlessly see out the match, there were still some sticky moments to come. Webster emphasised the ongoing lack of protection from midfield – a theme of the afternoon – by striding forward and testing Gazzaniga from 25 yards.

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Great pass from Kane, and a brilliant first touch from Alli because he was off balance and the ball just behind him, but he chooses to take it early and Ryan sticks out a hand to push it over the bar.

Spurs have largely been below par but they lead through a goal of sublime quality by Dele Alli. Substitute Christian Eriksen was the architect, hitting a sweet diagonal to Serge Aurier, who touched it back to Dele. The England midfield finished first-time with a superb, instinctive dink.

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Wednesday 25th December 2019

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on December 26, 2019 by bishshat

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Tuesday 24th December 2019

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on December 26, 2019 by bishshat

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Monday 23rd December 2019

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on December 23, 2019 by bishshat

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Sunday 22nd December 2019

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on December 22, 2019 by bishshat

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Spurs 0 Chelsea 2

A disaster of a game here today another fake red card and another penalty handed to the opposition!

We missed out on the chance to move into the Premier League’s top four with defeat to Chelsea at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Victory against the Blues would have seen us climb above them into fourth, but we never really got going as two first-half goals from Willian – the second from the penalty spot in stoppage time – consigned us to a 2-0 defeat. A disappointing day was compounded by the second-half dismissal of Heung-Min Son, sent off following a VAR review after appearing to kick out at Antonio Rudiger.

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Both sides were looking to get a feel for the game in the early stages, although Chelsea were having more of the ball as we struggled to find any real rhythm. They made that superiority pay with the opening goal on 12 minutes as Willian scored his first of the game. Serge Aurier’s attempted header back to Paulo Gazzaniga went out for a corner, from the set-piece Willian played it short to Mateo Kovacic and received the return pass, advanced into the area before cutting onto his right foot and curling into the back of the net. The goal didn’t really spark us into life with the visitors continuing to enjoy the lion’s share of possession and almost doubled their lead on 25 minutes when Mason Mount played a one-two and took the return into the area in on goal but sliced his effort well wide. Our offensive play increased during the second part of the half and we went close with our first piece of real incisive football on 28 minutes. Aurier down the right played a pass infield to Moussa Sissoko who broke into the area and cut the ball back but Harry Kane could only fire over the bar from 10 yards out. And just a minute later, Kane got away down the right and slid a low ball across the area to Son at the far post but again, he couldn’t convert from a tight angle.

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It was end-to-end without serious chances being created until the final minute of the half when Willian played a pass forward for Marcos Alonso to chase. As the ball bounced into the area, Gazzaniga rushed out, missed the ball with an attempted high kick and both players clattered into each other. Referee Anthony Taylor initially awarded us a free-kick but a VAR review altered the decision to a penalty to Chelsea which Willian converted.

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We made a change at the interval with Christian Eriksen replacing Eric Dier and matched up with Chelsea’s 3-4-3 formation, enjoying more of the ball in the opening minutes of the half with the Dane trying to pull the strings in midfield. The visitors were always dangerous on the counter though and Tammy Abraham had the ball in the net after Gazzaniga had spilled Alonso’s shot but it was ruled out for off-side. Our task then became extremely difficult when Son was sent off in the 62nd minute. The South Korean international and Rudiger chased a ball down the left flank, the Chelsea defender cleared the ball and Son fell to the ground, but then appeared to slightly raise his legs into Rudiger’s chest. It went to a VAR check and the decision was a red card.

That effectively ended the game as a contest. We tried to build up a head of steam to apply pressure on the Chelsea goal but the visitors were able to clear as we put a succession of crosses into the area. At the other end, Chelsea had a couple of chances, N’Golo Kante firing over and substitute Michy Batshuayi curling just wide during eight minutes of stoppage time, while we carved out a chance in the final seconds, Kane’s shot deflecting into the hands of Kepa. It was our first shot on target.

Seahawks 13 Arizona 27

The Seahawks started fast in Sunday’s game, but it was a struggle the rest of the way, and the result was a 27-13 loss to the Arizona Cardinals that dropped the Seahawks to 11-4 heading into the final week of the regular season.

As bad as things went for the Seahawks on Sunday, there is still a lot to play for when they host the 49ers next weekend. The Seahawks are 31-7 following a regular-season loss since the start of the 2012 season, including 3-0 this year, and if they can bounce back with a win in Week 17, it would give them the NFC West title and at least one home playoff game. Sunday’s loss wasn’t without consequence, however, as the Seahawks now could end up the No. 3 seed and not get a bye if they win next week, depending on what happens with other NFC division leaders. Had the Seahawks finished 13-3, they would have been guaranteed at least the No. 2 seed.

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The first time the Seahawks got the ball on Sunday, they quickly marched 89 yards on nine plays to take a 7-0 lead on a Russell Wilson touchdown pass to fullback Nick Bellore. So efficient was the offense on that drive, it never faced a third down on its way to the end zone.

The rest of the game proved to be a struggled for the offense, however, with the Seahawks managing just three first downs on their next nine possessions through the end of the third quarter, not counting a two-play series at the end of the half. Even worse, one of those first downs came on a play on which David Moore fumbled after a 20-yard reception, turning a positive play into a negative one.

While the players who were on the field will always say they should have executed better, injuries were definitely a factor in the offensive woes. The Seahawks started the game without left tackle Duane Brown, who was inactive due to knee and bicep injuries, then they lost left guard Mike Iupati to a neck injury, though he returned in the second half. Including center Justin Britt, who is on injured reserve with a knee injury, the Seahawks were without three of their five O-line starters for a good portion of the game and two of them for the entire game.

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Making matters worse, Seattle’s top two running backs, Chris Carson and C.J. Prosise, left the game in the second quarter with injuries. With those two out and with Rashaad Penny on injured reserve, the Seahawks were down to only rookie Travis Homer at running back for more than half of the game.

Very much related to Seattle’s offensive woes was the performance of Arizona’s Pro-Bowl outside linebacker Chandler Jones, who after a quiet performance against Seattle in Week 4, had a monster game on Sunday. The Seahawks held Jones without a sack in their Week 4 win in Arizona, but on Sunday Jones had 4.0 sacks, giving him 19 for the season, as well as the forced fumble on the aforementioned Moore catch and fumble, as well as a forced fumble on a sack that was recovered by the Seahawks. With a 9-yard completion to Travis Homer in the third quarter, Russell Wilson reached a pretty significant milestone in his career. Already the franchise leader in touchdown passes, Wilson moved past Matt Hasselbeck for the most passing yards in Seahawks history with 29,501 in his eight-year career.

A year after struggling to get on the field as a rookie, defensive end Rasheem Green has become a big contributor for the Seahawks, and the former third-round pick seems to come up with one or two huge plays every week.

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Seattle’s sacks leader with 4.0, Green has also forced three fumbles this year, and while he didn’t add to either of those totals, he had some impact plays again on Sunday. Green started his day with a pass breakup at the line of scrimmage, a play that led to an Arizona punt, then he came up big on special teams in the third quarter, blocking a field goal, which Marquise Blair returned to give the Seahawks a short field they would turn into a field goal. The field goal block was Green’s second in the past three games, having also blocked one against the Rams in Week 14.

 

Saturday 21st December 2019

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on December 21, 2019 by bishshat

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Happy Christmas

“It’s all about spaccccce,”

John and Yoko talking Peace and this Mr Trump saying space “the world’s newest war-fighting domain”.

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Seems they’ve got a new way
Of fighting all their wars
Just what we need
When will you stop playing all your games?
Won’t you listen when we say
I don’t remember anyone asking me about it
Or don’t we matter anyway?

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“There are, as you can imagine, thousands and thousands of actions that are going to have to take place, everything from what does the uniform look like, to the logo.

Space is big. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist, but that’s just peanuts to space.

The Darkest Day

We should never allow one person to control the future path of a nation.
For they will surly bring all the shit from their childhood to the tables of every household in the land.
In return for this the whole world will be visited upon by shadows of things done to this one soul by a host of demons.

Winter Solstice 21/12/19 John Bish

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