The Best There Was

The Best There Was

The Best There Was

In the annals of sports where in each particular one whether it is Basketball, Baseball or others there are those who are revered by their peers and sportswriters from across generations who bestow upon one individual as the greatest there was. In professional football it is only fitting that now during the current NFL season to look back at the one person who so many consider the «best there was.» In the storied history of the NFL even by today’s standards one individual stands alone to exemplify what sportsmanship, true grit and determination in spite of overwhelming odds rose above and for eighteen years reigned supreme as the best quarterback to have ever played the game. There are many who emphatically state Johnny Unitas was the best there was. Even today, there are those who feel the Johnny U could command any team, read the complex defense playbooks of today and literally take the whole game to a new level of excitement, skill and daring.

With his signature flat top hair cut Johnny Unitas ascended to pro footballs highest order. Few, if any, sports stories are more dramatic or more complete than the story of Johnny Unitas. He was, just after all a ninth-round draft pick for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1955. Even though Unitas was cut before he even threw one pass in a game he was still determined to play. For the rest of the year Unitas substituted his construction job by playing semi-pro football for $6 a game. Back then players were called upon to play what is commonly known as Iron man football. That is to play both defense and offense positions. Johnny Unitas excelled at all. But, it was his passing ability that eventually caught the eye of other pro scouts.

It was after the 1955 season that the Baltimore Colts head coach Weeb Ewbank learned of an «outstanding prospect» on the Pittsburgh sandlots. Ewbank signed Johnny for $17,000 on a make the team basis. Programmed strictly as a backup, Unitas got his chance in the fourth game when the Colts’ starter was injured. And, they say the rest is history! For the next 18 seasons, «Johnny U» ran up a ledger of game winning exploits that have remained the benchmark by which all other quarterbacks are measured. Many of his accomplishments have remained untouched for over fifty years. In all of NFL history there has never been the likes of another Johnny U. Sure, there were others like Bart Star, Dan Marino, Brett Favre, Tom Brady. But, it was Johnny Unitas who put the NFL on the map and into the nations consciousness.

Without a doubt, it was his last-second heroics in the 1958 NFL title game, often called «the greatest game ever played,» that turned Unitas into a household name and the legend began. The greatest game between the Colts and the Giants was played before a national television audience, gave Unitas his chance to demonstrate all of his marvelous attributes, confidence, courage, leadership, play calling genius, and passing skill all with-out the play book calling by today’s coaches. Just think of a Johnny Unitas as the quarterback today. He once told Weeb Ewbank to sit back and relax and just enjoy the game. The confidence and determination displayed under intense pressure in a collision sport like football in the NFL just showcased Johnny Unitas true talents.

As in any professional sport age does have it’s way of slowing down one’s once great ability and by 1974 Johnny Unitas had to leave the game he single handily brought to the nations living rooms. A household name where every aspiring football player especially young quarterbacks all tried to emulate. He always was rebounding from injuries which became a Unitas trademark. A typical incident occurred in 1958, when he led Baltimore to the Western Conference title, he was hit by the Packers’ Johnny Symank in the sixth game and hospitalized with three broken ribs and a punctured lung. Four games later, he led the Colts from a 27-7 halftime deficit to a 35-27 win over the San Francisco 49ers, a performance he rated higher than the season’s celebrated title game.

Unitas might have been overlooked as a young player, but he was always a forceful, confident leader. «Anything I do,» he said, «I always have a reason for.»Even at the end of that championship game, he dismissed Ewbank’s instructions to keep the ball on the ground. «We don’t want an interception here,» the coach reminded him during a timeout. Two plays later, inside the 10, Unitas passed to Jim Mutscheller down to the one. Asked about the risk of an interception, Unitas said, «If I saw a danger of that, I would have thrown the ball out of bounds. When you know what you’re doing, you’re not intercepted.» Unitas threw for 32 touchdowns in 1959 and the Colts beat the Giants again in the title game. In the 31-16 victory, Unitas ran for the go-ahead touchdown and passed for 264 yards and two scores.

His 3,481 yards passing topped the NFL in 1963. The next season he was the league’s MVP when he led the Colts to the NFL’s best record at 12-2 and was first in yards per pass attempt (9.26). In winning another MVP in 1967, he had a league-high 58.5 completion percentage as he passed for 3,428 yards and 20 touchdowns in the Colts’ 11-1-2 season. After being hurt most of the 1968 season, Unitas returned and led the Colts on their only scoring drive in historic Super Bowl III, a 16-7 loss to the New York Jets. Two years later, in the Colts’ 16-13 victory over the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl V, he threw a 75-yard touchdown pass to John Mackey before suffering an injury late in the first half.

The persistent injuries finally caught up with him and in 1972 the Colts under new Coach Don Shula were forced to bench Unitas. The following January sold him to the San Diego Chargers, for whom he played only one season before retiring. In his 18-year career, Unitas threw for 40,239 yards and 290 touchdowns in 211 games. What made Unitas special, Berry said, «was his uncanny instinct for calling the right play at the right time, his icy composure under fire, his fierce competitiveness, and his utter disregard for his own safety.» On Sept. 11, 2002 when the rest of the nation was remembering a national tragedy Unitas was working out at a physical therapy center in the Baltimore suburb of Timonium when he suffered a fatal heart attack and slipped quietly into history. He was 69. The best there was, was now gone

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Calcio – A History of Corruption and Scandal

Calcio – A History of Corruption and Scandal

Calcio – A History of Corruption and Scandal

Italy, a country associated with fine wine, exquisite cuisine, beautiful women, and above all Calcio. The Italians are very passionate when it comes to the latter, but unfortunately their beloved game has a stark history of corruption, and scandal.

The recent Calciopli scandal that shock the football world in the summer of 2006, is just one incident in a long list of problems which has rocked Italian football (and in particular Serie A) since the English introduced the game to the Peninsula. Too many followers of Calcio, this recent scandal did not come as a shock, and in particular to Italians who have become accustomed to corruption, and scandal within their beloved game.

If you look as far back as 1926-27 (the Torino missing Scudetto incident), you will find that each proceeding decade contained at least one event that was surrounded in corruption or scandal. The majority of Italian fans have grown accustomed to this, and are generally not shocked when a new story hits the headlines. It is as though it has become part of Calcio in the peninsula.

There is a theory in Italy that players, officials (and similar) do not fix matches, but rather twist the concept of match fixing – and this is seen as the norm by everyone involved in Calcio. It is hard to explain what I mean when I state they twist the concept of match fixing, but I will try and explain it with a few examples.

It is not easy to fix a soccer match, as all of the games are public events, played in front of crowds (and sometimes TV cameras); with at least three match officials, twenty-two players, two managers, coaching staff etc. There are various ways of getting around fixing a particular result, and it is kind of a tacit agreement over a result. The lower echelon of Italian soccer is renowned for this kind of agreement, and it is also common place at the end of season in Serie A. So what is this agreement? In essence it is ‘settling for a draw’.

Deliberately settling for a draw where the result ensures some mutual benefit to both parties is common in Italy, and since nothing has officially been agreed, nothing can ever be proved. Various bookmakers are aware of this, and you will generally see very short odds on a 0-0 result, or a straight draw.

An alleged recent example can be seen on the last matchday of the 2006/07 Serie B season, when third placed Genoa entertained second placed Napoli. Napoli just needed a point for automatic promotion, and Genoa would join them if they finished 10 points above fourth placed Piacenza. A goalless draw between the pair followed, and was enough to guarantee them both promotion to Serie A.

Towards the end of the 2004/05 Serie A season, both clubs from Rome were facing a relegation battle. At the start of the derby match, both clubs appeared to try, before several conversations took place on the pitch. The result? Only six shots were managed in the entire match, and the game ended 0-0 (a result which helped both clubs).

Even though the Italians accept this as part and parcel of Calcio, they were on the brunt end of a similar alleged result in Euro 2004. Due to UEFA taking head-to-head into consideration (before overall goal difference when ranking teams level on points), a situation arose in Group C where Sweden and Denmark only needed a high scoring draw in order for them both to progress. The match surprisingly finished 2-2, which was a sufficiently high score line to eliminate the Italians (who had lower-scoring draws with both the Swedes and Danes). It was quite ironic that the Italian fans contended the result, stating that the FIFA tie-breaker should have been used, as it would have stopped the Scandinavians half-heartedly playing out the match after the score became 2-2.

Another example of alleged match fixing can generally be seen (again) on the last matchday of the season. Generally a ‘big club’ (with nothing to play for), is playing a ‘small club’ (fighting a relegation battle), and the ‘small club’ usually get a favourable result (one which they normally would not achieve during the course of the season). Inevitably this leads to accusations of match fixing, but this is usually not the case, and it is another form of twisting the original concept.

So why is this not classed as match fixing? The answer is simple – no one expects the ‘big club’ to try to hard (especially in a match that is meaningless). This is worrying, but followers of Calcio have come to accept this.

On the last matchday in Serie A for the 2006/07 season, Reggina needed a victory to be certain of avoiding relegation, and they faced an AC Milan side guaranteed Champions League football. The result? A 2-0 home win for Reggina which guaranteed their safety.

Same season, but this time the example comes from Serie B. Spezia need a victory to be certain of avoiding relegation, and they faced a daunting away trip to Juventus, who had not lost at home all season (but were already guaranteed promotion). The result? A 3-2 win for Spezia which guaranteed their safety. The theory behind the above examples is simple – why try so hard, especially when you have nothing to play for?

The above examples have all been accepted as part and parcel of Calcio, but in some cases the authorities have clamped down, and punished the various parties involved in the scandal. Some of the most famous scandals have made world headlines in the soccer world, and the first of these dates back to the late 1920s.

The 1927 scudetto was taken away from Torino, after an alleged scandal involving their bitter rivals, Juventus. An enquiry found that Juventus defender, Luigi Allemandi, had been bribed by a Torino official, before the derby (for a sum of 50,000 lire). Torino were stripped of their first title, and surprisingly no one was awarded the 1927 scudetto.

In the summer of 2006, an alleged match fixing scandal hit the headlines, named Moggiopoli, after the Juventus general manager. The scandal was uncovered by the Italian police, implicating league champions Juventus, and other major teams including AC Milan, Fiorentina, Lazio, and Reggina;when a number of telephone interceptions showed a thick network of relations between team managers and referee organisations. The teams involved in the scandal had been accused of rigging games, by selecting favourable referees. Juvetus were stripped of their scudetto, relegated, and docked points, whilst the other clubs involved had various points deducted.

To the majority of followers of Calcio, this did not come as a major shock, as many fans regard the referee as corrupt (unless proven otherwise). There are various (well known) examples of refereeing decisions which fans class as corrupt, as they decided key matches, or decided a scudetto: Maurizio Turone’s disallowed goal for Roma against Juventus in 1981; Fiorentina’s loss in the 1982 scudetto; Inter and Ronaldo’s lost penalty, against Juventus, in 1998.

There are hundreds of examples of alleged match fixing, throughout the history of Calcio, and there are various scandals which have come to light, which have been uncovered by the authorities. It seems that followers of Calcio have come to accept this over the years, and it is part of the mentality of the nation to accept corruption.

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The Nou Camp and the FC Barcelona Museum

The Nou Camp and the FC Barcelona Museum

The Nou Camp and the FC Barcelona Museum

The Nou Camp has been home to FC Barcelona since 1957, when construction was completed on the new stadium. While the land had been specifically purchased for a new stadium to be constructed several years before, building work did not start until 1954 after the decision to go ahead with the project was finally made.

Inaugurated on 24 September 1957 – a public holiday in Barcelona to celebrate La Merce, the city’s patron saint – in front of a crowd of more than 90,000 spectators and with the terraces still incomplete, the stadium was blessed by the Archbishop of Barcelona, followed by an opening ceremony attended by athletes and politicians alike. When the ceremony was over came the real action – Barcelona’s first victory at the Nou Camp with a 4-2 win against a selection from Warsaw, and the first ever goal in the stadium being scored by Eulogio Martinez in the 11th minute.

Enlarged in 1982 for the Spanish World Cup, the Nou Camp is the largest all-seater stadium in Europe as well as being the third largest in the world. With seating for 98,700 spectators, it is more correctly known as Camp Nou, which simply means «new field» in Catalan. Despite the vast number of spectators it can hold, the stadium empties remarkably quickly and official club figures state that it can be evacuated in 5 minutes in an emergency.

At full capacity the stadium can be deafening, which is always the case when FC Barcelona play arch-rivals Real Madrid, but sometimes against lesser teams it can be eerily quiet too. Other domestic rivals include Barcelona’s second football team, Espanyol, Atletico Madrid, Valencia, Mallorca and Zaragoza.

As well as being FC Barcelona’s stadium, the Nou Camp also houses the FC Barcelona museum, the most visited museum in Barcelona. The museum includes a historical archive of photos, documents and trophies as well as an exhibition of works by Catalan artists Dali, Miro and Tapies.

Visitors can also take the stadium tour, which includes a tour of the changing rooms, a walk through the tunnel onto the pitch as well as the substitutes’ bench and many other areas.

Free Online Gaming and Online Games Evolution in Society

Free Online Gaming and Online Games Evolution in Society

Playing interesting and attractive computer games have become a daily part of our daily lives. People of all ages, including adolescents and sixty-to-person focus their interests in this area of ​​entertainment, is for young people idle. Playing online games is the favorite leisure for young and the elderly. Computer games on the market today are located in different styles.

Computer games in the new Internet home of great joy and entertainment, breaking all the cultural, time and language barriers and make it more attractive and popular with players.

Choosing his favorite computer game depends entirely on the personal rights of choice. The reasons of personal choice of online games must be supported by a reasonable number of factors, such as personal tastes and preferences of the individual. PC games are mostly classified specifically in computer games based on licenses. You can choose your type of PC games from a variety of games, including software, PC game downloads and online games. Some of the games include Can You See Me See escape Museum, Polly Pride: Pet Detective games, etc.

License games Games, which is available free of charge via the Internet. You can download from the Internet, without something in return. But these games-free, restrictions on the type and time.

Playing tricks and techniques on the Internet is relatively easy. All you need is a computer with Internet connection. Make sure willing to pay for electricity and increasing the Internet as a bill. If the rules of the game, sites to find interesting games to offer in exchange for fees or not, a small amount of money that they have no influence on the bag.

PC game entertainment in real time, plants used to carry out the various options for the completion of entertainment, such as shooting, race, fight or role-play games on the computer.

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