1980 AFCON Winner, Charles Bassey ill, Solicits for Help

first_imgRecent news from one of the team members of the 1980 African Cup of Nations winning Super Eagles, indicate that Charles Bassey, the former Super Eagle star is down with a life threatening illness,  It was gathered that the illness started after a car accident in 1986 which involved the ex-play turned coach. ThisdaySports reliable gathered that the football star said that he had been going through rough patches to treat himself and sustain livelihood. The illness, according to his family sources, has kept him down and without a source of livelihood.Bassey who last coached at Akwa United Football Club in 2007 as the Uyo side’s Technical Adviser, when he was the Technical Director of the Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Sports, said the ailment had left him unable to walk for some time now.“The illness started in 1986 when I was the coach of BCC Lions FC of Gboko where I did so well to prevent the team from going on relegation and brought the team back. “I was sent on a coaching training in Brazil, and shortly after returning from Brazil, I had a car accident which did some damage to my back,’’ he said. Bassey who has the national honour of Member of the Order of the Niger (MON), which was bestowed on him by the then President Shehu Shagari in 1980 for helping Nigeria to win its first continental football title at the national level, said the accident caused him to have “Nerve Root Compression’’.“I can now hardly walk, but I have been nursing this illness since 1986. I have also been experiencing numbness on my palms and my feet now,’’ he said.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Trojans key in on speed to stop spread

first_imgPerhaps no player embodies USC’s recent defensive transformation more than sophomore linebacker Dion Bailey. In part, that’s because of his size.Speed kills · Three sophomores anchor USC’s linebacking corps. Dion Bailey (18) and Lamar Dawson (55) combined for 106 tackles in 2011. – Daily Trojan file photoBailey stands at 6 feet tall and weighs 210 pounds, which is roughly the size of the prototypical wide receiver or defensive back, not the standard linebacker. He’s smaller than most at his position — so small that USC might not have even offered him a scholarship 10 years ago. But he is quick: His motor rarely stops running, and he can cover a lot of ground.A converted safety, Bailey starkly contrasts some of the Trojans’ recent All-American linebackers, such as Brian Cushing and Rey Maualuga, who were each at least two inches taller and 50 pounds heavier than Bailey.But Bailey represents the latest trend in college football and at USC: prioritizing speed over size.“We do that on purpose,” said Scottie Hazelton, the Trojans’ linebackers coach. “We get speed guys in there, because when teams go to the one-back or the spread stuff, you need a guy like that to run outside the box. The days of the big 250-pound linebackers are gone.”As the season opener on Sept. 1 against Hawai’i nears, USC’s defense has evolved to emphasize speed as a way to stop spread offenses, which are increasingly common throughout the Pac-12 and college football.The spread is an umbrella term that describes a variety of wide-open offenses that range from the zone-read option installed by Chip Kelly at Oregon to the Air Raid offense triggered under Mike Leach at Washington State.There are variations, but the unifying principals are these: no huddle, shotgun snap, one running back, no fullback and four or five wide receivers.The goal, first and foremost, is to spread defenders across the width of the field to give running backs and receivers more space. This is why hybrid linebackers in the mold of Bailey are so common nowadays, smaller but more comfortable in pass coverage and closing in to tackle a player in space.Defenses, especially out west, have adjusted in the hope of slowing down teams that utilize the spread system, most notably Oregon. And it’s easy to grasp why: The Ducks have won three consecutive conference titles while averaging more than 40 points per contest in each of the last two season — the first school in Pac-12 history to do so.“We’re getting more speed on the field,” Bailey said. “We’re not playing in the SEC, you know, ground and pound. We have to be able to run sideline to sideline. That’s how we’ve built our defense.”Naturally, the Trojans’ top two strongside linebackers are now converted defensive backs in Bailey and senior Tony Burnett, who moved over during the spring.“Really, your linebackers are becoming defensive ends, your smaller [defensive] backers are becoming your inside backers and your safeties are becoming outside linebackers,” Hazelton said. “It’s the way of the world.”Hybrid defenders give schools an advantage in that coaches don’t have to change schemes. They’re not tossing aside playbooks and changing philosophies to combat the spread. They’re targeting different types of athletes.“You have to recruit differently,” said USC defensive coordinator Ed Orgeron. “More speed. And it’s not just speed. These guys have to make plays in open spaces, because the spread teams’ll create one on ones.”Initially, teams combated the spread by instituting “Nickel” or “Dime” packages that would bring in an extra defensive back, or two, as in the latter case. This strategy, however, would mean their defenses would be vulnerable against a good running game or a balanced spread team.So for USC, which has utilized a 4-3 defense for the last decade, four down lineman and three linebackers, it doesn’t need to dramatically switch schemes. It’s just using different players such as Bailey, big enough to inch close to the line of scrimmage and stop a bruising fullback, and quick enough to stay with a speedy wideout 20 yards down field. And it can disguise coverages, too.But this defensive makeover, so to speak, hasn’t occurred overnight.Two years ago, USC posted its worst statistical season since 1955, giving up 400 yards per game — a program worst. And through the first five games last fall, that average mark improved by just 20 yards per contest.“Oh, we were still new to the system,” Bailey said, trying to hold back a grin. “Our first year, we were extremely bad. Our second year, we were just trying to turn it around. We had a lot of new guys. Now, we actually have some experience.”The Trojans certainly do have some experience with eight returning starters back on defense, including injured senior defensive end Devon Kennard, who tore a pectoral muscle in late July and could miss most of the season. The entire back seven returns, highlighted by preseason candidate for the Thorpe Award as the top defensive back and All-American free safety T.J. McDonald, who chose to forgo the NFL draft and return for his senior season.And then again, there’s also Bailey, who along with sophomore linebacker Hayes Pullard, who last year led the team in tackles with 81.“We have all the guys in place,” McDonald said. “We have to keep doing what we’re doing, but I think we’ll be that shutdown defense that everybody is asking for.”last_img read more

Alexander: The mystery of Shohei Ohtani continues, but there’s an explanation

first_img Angels’ Mike Trout working on his defense, thanks to Twitter Angels’ Shohei Ohtani spending downtime working in outfield And then Ohtani reported “discomfort” in his pitching arm, according to an Angels spokesman, and was sent for an MRI.You panicking yet? Angels’ poor pitching spoils an Albert Pujols milestone It is worth noting that even with his command struggles in the second inning, Ohtani still could have escaped unscathed Sunday but for plate umpire Alfonso Marquez’ Incredible Floating Strike Zone. A 3-2 pitch to Astros catcher Dustin Garneau in the upper inside quadrant was called ball four by Marquez to force in the first run, and if anyone knows the Japanese translation for “robot umps” I’ve got to think that’s what was going through Ohtani’s mind.It looked like it was inside the strike zone graphic on the telecast, the online GameDay graphic likewise had it a strike, and after Anthony Rendon was called out on a simliar pitch an inning later the Angels’ telecast helpfully replayed that Ohtani pitch, complete with 3-D illustration.“He gets that called strike three right there, he gets out of the inning with 30 some pitches and it could have been a different story,” manager Joe Maddon said. “Could have been. I’m just saying.“Overall, a lot better physical stuff. But the results aren’t good yet.”The concern was real that Ohtani was hesitant to let it rip, even after having a few extra months to heal from the Tommy John surgery he had in 2018. Maddon said he thought the decrease in velocity was more a combination of fatigue from a long inning and getting out of sync mechanically. The fact that four of the walks came on full counts suggested that Ohtani wasn’t confident enough yet to put hitters away.Related Articles This may have been a tipoff. In a Saturday teleconference interview he was asked if he’d overcome the hesitancy to let it all out and answered, through interpreter Ippei Mizuhara, “It’s hard to say. I can’t give you a 100 percent answer saying I will be not apprehensive when I’m throwing.”Whatever the result of that diagnostic test, then, the other challenge ultimately will be to get Ohtani through the mental aspect of this.“There’s a lot of conversations involved,” Maddon said, after the game but before Ohtani’s trip to the MRI chamber was disclosed. “In order to really understand how you could help him, you got to do a good job of listening.  You present the opportunity or the forum for the player to speak openly and then you listen.“I’m a mental skills guy. I believe in it. It’s about creating and maintaining a routine. It’s not complicated, but when things start going quickly we get away from it. We all do. So it’s a conversation, an open conversation. It’s a lot of listening. And then it’s building the process, building the program each individual player has, and try to have him put it back together. Eventually they do. It’s about slowing the moment down … creating and maintaining a good process.”Meanwhile, there is also this: The Angels don’t just have Ohtani the pitcher to think about but Ohtani the hitter as well. Right now he’s hitting .148 with a .586 OPS in six games as a DH, but he does have two home runs and seven RBI, and the Angels are more threatening offensively when he’s in the batting order.If he’s struggling on the mound one day a week, he can still help with the bat the rest of the week. It’s bad enough that the Angels have started this weirdest of all seasons 3-7. If both sides of Ohtani are somehow shut down … well, have we said enough bad things yet about [email protected]@Jim_Alexander on Twittercenter_img Jose Suarez’s rocky start sinks Angels in loss to Astros PreviousLos Angeles Angels manager Joe Maddon, left, and Houston Astros third base coach Gary Pettis joke around prior to a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, stands at left after walking Houston Astros’ George Springer with the bases loaded during the second inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, walks off the mound after being taken out of the baseball game during the second inning against the Houston Astros on Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsLos Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, gets set to pitch during the second inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani, right, of Japan, is taken our of the game by manager Joe Maddon during the second inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, left, gets a hug from Anthony Rendon after hitting a grand slam during the third inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, right, gestures as he scores after hitting a grand slam as Houston Astros catcher Dustin Garneau stands at the plate during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, right, claps as he scores after hitting a grand slam as Houston Astros catcher Dustin Garneau stands at the plate during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols drops his bat as he hits a grand slam during the third inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, right, gestures as he scores after hitting a grand slam as Houston Astros catcher Dustin Garneau stands at the plate during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, right, hits a grand slam as Houston Astros catcher Dustin Garneau, second from left, and home plate umpire Alfonso Marquez watch during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols hits a grand slam during the third inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani, right, of Japan, winds up as Houston Astros’ Yuli Gurriel stands at second during the second inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, center, hits a grand slam as Houston Astros catcher Dustin Garneau, right, and home plate umpire Alfonso Marquez watch during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, gets a pat on the back from a teammate after being taken out of the game during the second inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros on Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Houston Astros starting pitcher Josh James throws to the plate during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, top, heads to third after hitting a grand slam as Houston Astros starting pitcher Josh James stands at the mound during the second inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, throws to the plate during the second inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Houston Astros starting pitcher Josh James throws to the plate during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani, right, of Japan, follows through as Houston Astros’ Yuli Gurriel leads off during the second inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, center, hits a grand slam as Houston Astros catcher Dustin Garneau, right, and home plate umpire Alfonso Marquez watch during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani, center, of Japan, and catcher Max Stassi, left, waves to teammates in the stands prior to a baseball game against the Houston Astros Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, second from right, is congratulated by teammates Justin Upton, left, Brian Goodwin, center, and David Fletcher, second from left, after hitting a grand slam as Houston Astros catcher Dustin Garneau stands at the plate during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, reacts as he walks in a run during the second inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros on Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, stands at left after walking Houston Astros’ George Springer with the bases loaded during the second inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani, right, of Japan, throws to the plate as Houston Astros’ Yuli Gurriel stands at second during the second inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, stands on the mound before being taken out of the game after walking in his second run during the second inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Houston Astros starting pitcher Josh James throws to the plate during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Angels manager Joe Maddon, left, and Houston Astros third base coach Gary Pettis joke around prior to a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, stands at left after walking Houston Astros’ George Springer with the bases loaded during the second inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)NextShow Caption1 of 29Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, stands at left after walking Houston Astros’ George Springer with the bases loaded during the second inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)ExpandWas it a crisis of confidence, maybe? Was Shohei Ohtani hesitant to really cut loose on the mound, 22 months after Tommy John surgery?Or was it maybe a dearth of adrenaline? Without the fans and the signs and real, live honest to goodness noise, has Ohtani just found it hard to get pumped up enough to just let it fly in this strangest of all baseball seasons?Both of the above, maybe, but there’s more – and it’s enough to cause furrowed brows and worried looks among the Angels and their faithful, at the very least.Ohtani’s second start of 2020, Sunday at Angel Stadium against Houston, was marginally better than his first last week in Oakland, when he couldn’t get out of the first inning. This time he breezed through the first – eight pitches, six strikes and a 1-2-3 inning – but the second was brutal: Five walks, two of which forced in runs, in two-thirds of an inning. And while his velocity started out better Sunday, getting as high as 97, it had tailed off significantly to 89.7 and below by the end of his day. In both cases, half the pitches he threw were balls: 50 in this case including 42, with 23 balls, in the second inning Angels offense breaks out to split doubleheader with Astros Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

Chetwynd plane crash pilot was celebrating his 61st birthday

first_imgFor more on this story, Click Here to read our earlier reports We now have more on the identity of 61-year-old pilot from Kelowna, who was killed in the small airplane crash about ten kilometers from Chetwynd on Friday.Swiss-born, Peter Cattoni was a former co-owner and manager of New Brunswick Downs, a five-eights of a mile harness racing track in Dieppe that operated from 1989 until is closed its doors in 1991.According to those who knew him, he was also a huge outdoorsman who moved from New Brunswick to BC, with his wife and son about ten years ago.- Advertisement -At the time of the crash, he was reportedly on the return trip, following a visit with his son in Yellowknife, where they celebrated Peter’s 61st birthday.His passenger, a 56-year-old Kelowna man, and co-owner of the plane, managed to get out of the wreckage and called for help, after a propeller problem forced an attempted landing on a grassy slope.As reported earlier, the survivor suffered non- life-threatening injuries.Advertisementlast_img read more