Archive for the Life the Universe and Other Things Category

Sunday 16th December 2018

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on December 16, 2018 by bishshat

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Seahawks 23 49rs 26 OT

Facing third-and-4 on the first possession of overtime, Russell Wilson lofted a pass towards J.D. McKissic, who was streaking down the right sideline, and the running back hauled in the catch for a 32-yard gain to put the Seahawks in 49ers territory.

Then Wilson looked behind him and saw the flag, which caused him to briefly drop to a knee in frustration. Instead of a first down, a holding penalty made it third-and-14. The Seahawks were unable to convert and had to punt, then the 49ers drove down the field—in part thanks to a pass interference penalty—setting up the field goal that gave them a 26-23 victory.

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In a game where the Seahawks were called for 14 penalties, totaling 148 yards, it was somewhat fitting that overtime turned in part because of two big penalties.

“That was kind of the tale of the day,” Wilson said. “We had too many penalties. We’ve got to be sharper, we’ve got to be cleaner. It’s a disappointing loss, because we felt like we could have played better in that sense… When it comes down to crunch time, we’ve got to be great, we’ve got to be rock solid, and we will be moving forward.”

The penalties were costly in all three phases, whether it was the five holding penalties that helped kill drives, or the two 15-yarders on defense on one 49ers drive that ended in a field goal, or the multiple penalties on special teams that changed field position. All of those penalties made it so the Seahawks lost despite posting a lot of numbers that would usually indicate success.

The Seahawks rushed for 168 yards, they went 9-for-19 on third down while limiting the 49ers to a 3-for-10 conversion rate, and they won the turnover battle, but none of that was enough to overcome the most penalty yards in franchise history.

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“This was really a clear game where we hurt ourselves so much with this penalty thing that it took our chances away,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “We ran the football, we converted on third down, we held them on third down, time of possession, so many things—we were plus in the turnover ratio—that’s how we play, but really uncharacteristically, we had 148 yards in penalties, and 10 (penalties) in the second half, which is just crazy, I don’t know how that could happen.

“There was just too much to overcome, so that was a difficult game. This was obviously a really important championship opportunity for us, and there’s huge lessons for our team. We’ve got to make sure we don’t hurt ourselves, and when that happens it’s hard to overcome, and we didn’t today.”

Added receiver Doug Baldwin, “We can’t have 14 penalties. It really comes down to the details, being locked in for four quarters. It’s as simple as that. We had some explosive plays get called back because of penalties. If we eliminate that, we win this game, and I don’t think it’s as close as it was. That’s going to be the biggest lesson, making sure we get the penalty situation cleaned up.

“It’s just a bump in the road. This is nothing that we’re going to overreact to. We’re going to learn from it, move forward and get better.”

As Carroll noted, the Seahawks had a big opportunity on Sunday, namely the ability to clinch a playoff berth, but Carroll and his players were quick to point out that they fell short of that goal because they were sloppy on Sunday—and because of the things the 49ers did well—and not because they were in any way overlooking an opponent that came into the game with a 3-10 record.

“I don’t think any of that is what happened,” Carroll said. “I think we were sloppy with the penalty situation. All of the numbers match up to how we play—the running numbers, the third down numbers were the best we’ve had in quite a while, the defense kept the numbers down, played really well in the second half, so we did a lot of really good things like we normally do. Two of the last three weeks we’ve had four penalties, so 14 today for 148 yards, it’s just really hard to overcome that, and we weren’t able to in a close game.”

Baldwin, who had 77 yards and two touchdowns, said he could see why people watching on TV might wonder about the Seahawks overlooking an opponent, but said emphatically that wasn’t what happened Sunday.

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“I know how hard our coaches work, I know how hard these players work, and I can’t take anything away from the 49ers, they played an excellent game tonight,” Baldwin said. “They battled hard, and they fought back—every time we threw a punch, they threw one back at us. So again, I’ve got to give them some credit.”

The Seahawks still have two more games to try to secure a playoff berth, but know they need to play a lot cleaner game when they host the Chiefs and Cardinals in their final two games at CenturyLink Field.

“This is where great players show up, this is where great teams show up, this is where you face a little adversity—there’s going to be adversity, and you’ve got to know how to respond to it,” Wilson said. “So maybe it was a great sense of a lesson learned where we can get better.”

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Saturday 15th December 2018

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on December 16, 2018 by bishshat

Spurs 1 Burnley 0

It looked like it was going to be one of those frustrating days as we totally dominated with over 70 per cent possession, Hugo Lloris not having a save to make in a game of one-way traffic, but the breakthrough just wouldn’t come as Burnley defended for their lives.

But the great Dane delivered the magic moment in the 91st minute, taking Harry Kane’s pass and firing past Burnley keeper Joe Hart to give us a hard-fought 1-0 win.

With Jan Vertonghen missing with a thigh injury and Eric Dier suffering from a virus, left-back Ben Davies stepped in at centre-back while 18-year-old Academy product Oliver Skipp was handed his full Premier League debut. Fellow Academy starlet TJ Eyoma was on the bench as defensive cover.

The game took a while to get going as Burnley set out their game plan from the first whistle, happy to sit back and invite us to break them down while countering whenever the opportunity arose and it was 18 minutes before we fashioned our first chance. Erik Lamela clipped a ball over the top for Lucas Moura who met it first time with a right-foot lob from just inside the area, but it sailed just wide.

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We had claims for a penalty waved away after a coming together between Kane and James Tarkowski and Dele Alli had a shot blocked before Hart made the first save of the game on 31 minutes. A quick free-kick taken by Moussa Sissoko just outside our area led to a swift move involving Lamela and Kane, who swept the ball out wide to the supporting Sissoko, he in turn found Lamela inside the area but Hart was out quickly to smother from close range.

Burnley’s first real chance came in the last minute of the half, Lloris’ clearance going straight to Phil Bardsley who clipped in a cross which was met by Barnes but he headed way over.

And it was the visitors with the first sight of goal after the interval, Robbie Brady’s 48th-minute free-kick volleyed back across goal by former Spur Aaron Lennon to Ashley Barnes, whose effort from 10 yards out was blocked by a combination of Toby Alderweireld and Kane.

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But from then on we dominated the second half, certainly in terms of possession as we controlled the ball for long periods, switching from left to right and back again, trying to open up the massed ranks of the Burnley defence. The fact that both Brady and Bardsley were booked for time-wasting showed the frustrating nature of the game.

One great opportunity did come our way in the 75th minute when we switched the ball out to the left to Danny Rose, his cross falling to the feet of Lamela whose side-footed effort from six yards was kept out by Hart’s strong hand low down to his right.

Within the last 25 minutes we made three attacking substitutions as Eriksen, Heung-Min Son and Fernando Llorente all entered the fray. And two of them almost combined for the breakthrough five minutes from time, the latter heading down for Son, but he dragged his shot wide from the corner of the six yard box. Then in the final minute of normal time it almost came again, Son’s low cross going all the way to the back post but Dele just couldn’t get a clean touch and he hit the side-netting.

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But eventually the pressure told and when Kane collected the ball with his back to goal inside the area, he had the foresight to wait for Eriksen’s support before laying it into his path, the Dane lashing the ball past Hart to the delight of all but a small corner of Wembley Stadium. It was no more than we deserved, a reward for our patience in a tough, frustrating match but another big three points on the board.

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Friday 14th December 2018

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on December 16, 2018 by bishshat

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Huntingdon

No more kisses
No more I love you
No more hugs
The texts write out lines on the screen
That states the facts of a love grown cold
The chill reaches me in my bed alone and sad
I do not want to question her words or lack of them
This just hits home that the love has gone
I must act but a dulling sleep seems the only option right now
Turn ff the music
Turn off the light
Close the book
Put away the pen
And then?
And then!
Endure the emptiness of surrender
The inevitable sadness that seeps in
So under the blanket I must go
Sleep
Sleep
Sleep
Sleep and hope the pain goes away

J Bish 14th December 2018

Thursday 13th December 2018

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on December 14, 2018 by bishshat

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Wednesday 12th December 2018

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on December 12, 2018 by bishshat

Maybe if I looked like a poet I could truly become one.

Look Again

I cannot remember when we last laughed together
Thanks for letting me know
I’m in so much pain right now
My mind is full of nagging questions I keep putting to myself
I don’t trust myself either to deliver an answer that could save me
I enquire upon the situation daily
I asked a Samaritan for some guidance
I speak louder than I want to
I speak more often than I should
I use more words than are good for me
Take it away
Return to the dullness
Forget the need for tenderness
And surly the pain will stop

John Bish 12th December 2018

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Why Remain

We seldom get around
As though we’re living underground
Our windows shuttered and the blinds well down
We never circulate
We spend our time in contemplating
Why the world continues to go round

With all the bad things
Why remain?
With all the sadness and the pain

We grow things in the yard
It’s easier if you discard
Material possessions like the set
The TV is a bore
We’ve seen the programmes all before
Why bother to repeat them when you get

All the bad things
Why remain?
With all the sadness and the pain

With all the sad things
Why remain?
With all the sadness and the pain

Stuart J. Wolstenholme

 

Tuesday 11th December 2018

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on December 11, 2018 by bishshat

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Oliver 2 years old today.

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Gift

Life indeed is a
precious gift
but I often think
It seems sent to a wrong person

Ren Hang

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Barcelona 1 Spurs 1

Lucas Moura scored a dramatic 85th-minute equaliser to book Spurs place in the Champions League last 16 with a 1-1 draw at Barcelona. I thought Spurs more than deserved this result tonight and could have won had they taken earlier chances.

Spurs looked to be heading out after Ousmane Dembele pounced on a mistake by Kyle Walker-Peters to hand Barcelona a seventh-minute lead in Camp Nou.

Maurcio Pochettino’s side wasted a host of second-half chances but with Inter Milan only able to draw 1-1 at home to PSV Eindhoven, a point was enough to qualify and Moura duly delivered, steering home Harry Kane’s cross to haul the visitors level.

Barca, already top of the group, rested several players including Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, but this was still a resolute display from Tottenham in tense circumstances.

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Pochettino gambled by handing 21-year-old Walker-Peters only his seventh senior start and it appeared to backfire almost immediately as he dallied in possession, allowing Dembele to surge forward on the counter-attack.

He still had plenty to do but beat Walker-Peters in a subsequent footrace before checking back as Harry Winks dived in and slotting the ball past Hugo Lloris.

Spurs initially struggled to find any rhythm but slowly worked their way into the game and after 32 minutes, Heung-Min Son burst through on goal from Christian Eriksen’s pass, only for Jasper Cillessen to stand big and make a fine save with his left foot.

Spurs had dangerous moments thereafter but Philippe Coutinho almost put Barcelona 2-0 up on the strike of half-time, collecting Munir’s pass before driving into the box and hitting Lloris’s left-hand post with a curling effort.

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Barca replaced Ivan Rakitic with Sergio Busquets at the break, however Tottenham upped their game after the interval with Eriksen forcing Cillessen into another good save before Kane skied the ball over when clean through.

Messi was introduced for the final 27 minutes but Spurs continued to create opportunities. Lucas Moura, on for Son, headed Moussa Sissoko’s 75th-minute cross goalwards only for Cillessen to claw the ball away. Moura curled the rebound wide.

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Coutinho hit the post at the other end as Tottenham threw everything forward in search of a precious goal, one that Moura eventually provided. A brief wait followed the final whistle and once the result was confirmed, Tottenham’s away contingent erupted in jubilation.

Sunday 10th December 2018

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on December 11, 2018 by bishshat

Seahawks 21 Vikings 7 

Bobby Wagner blocked Dan Bailey’s field goal attempt midway through the fourth quarter, sparking the Seahawks to two late touchdowns and a 21-7 win over the Minnesota Vikings on Monday night, Seattle’s fourth straight victory.

Chris Carson followed the blocked kick with a 2-yard TD run with 2:53 left, and Justin Coleman provided the capper with a 29-yard fumble return touchdown 18 seconds later.

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What was an ugly and mostly forgettable first three quarters turned into a Seattle party in the fourth as the Seahawks (8-5) moved to the brink of wrapping up a wild-card spot in the NFC. One win in Seattle’s final three games — including matchups with lowly San Francisco and Arizona — should be enough to put the Seahawks into the postseason.

Minnesota (6-6-1) twice had scoring chances in the fourth quarter when it was still a one-score game but was turned away each time. Minnesota’s chances of winning the NFC North took a major hit, but the Vikings still hold the No. 6 spot in the NFC.

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Wagner has been one of the top linebackers in the NFL this season, but it was a debatable special teams play that made the difference. The question was whether his leap over the line of scrimmage was legal to block Bailey’s 47-yard field goal attempt with 5:38 left. Wagner’s jump through a gap in Minnesota’s offensive line was fine, but it appeared he used his teammates to gain leverage, which allowed him to come through and block the kick. A flag was initially thrown but was picked up by the officials.

Seattle took possession and Russell Wilson immediately scrambled 40 yards deep into Minnesota territory. Five plays later, Carson scored and Seattle finally had a cushion.

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Two plays after that, Jacob Martin sacked Minnesota’s Kirk Cousins and the ball popped to Coleman, who weaved his way for the clinching touchdown.

Cousins threw a 6-yard touchdown to Dalvin Cook with 1:10 remaining, but Seattle recovered the onside kick.

Wilson had one of the worst passing games of his career, completing 10 of 20 for career-low 72 yards and a baffling interception late in the first half, one of the many mistakes by Seattle that allowed Minnesota to hang around. But Seattle’s ground game was outstanding against one of the better run defenses in the NFL. The Seahawks finished with 214 yards rushing, led by 90 yards from Carson.

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Minnesota hung around despite failing to run a play in Seattle territory until there was 4:16 left in the third quarter. Cousins was 20 of 33 for 208 yards, most of that coming late. But he failed to get the Vikings into the end zone from inside the Seattle 5 while trailing 6-0 early in the fourth quarter.

The Vikings had first-and-goal at the Seattle 4 but turned the ball over on downs with 9:06 remaining. Two short runs and an incompletion brought up fourth-and-goal at the 1, and Cousins’ pass for Kyle Rudolph was knocked away by Bradley McDougald. Bailey’s field goal was blocked on Minnesota’s next drive.

Sebastian Janikowski hit field goals of 37 and 35 yards to account for all of Seattle’s scoring until the closing minutes.