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Author Archive for Les Carpenter

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Say it ain’t so, Joe! How 1919 informs America’s entire worldview on gambling

A society’s century-long distrust of sports betting can be traced to the night of 21 September 1919, when the Black Sox went nationalAmerica’s century-long distrust of sports betting can be traced to the night of 21 September 1919. That’s when several …

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Brad Stevens may just be basketball’s best coach. Beating LeBron could seal it

The 41-year-old coach of the undermanned Boston Celtics has emerged as one of the sport’s sharpest minds, but reaching the NBA finals without his two best players would be his best trick yetThe first time I met Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens was out…

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Brad Stevens may just be basketball’s best coach. Beating LeBron could seal it

The 41-year-old coach of the undermanned Boston Celtics has emerged as one of the sport’s sharpest minds, but reaching the NBA finals without his two best players would be his best trick yetThe first time I met Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens was out…

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Just give LeBron the ball and get out of the way

LeBron James is giving his hometown fans one final gift: the best basketball of his life in the last days before he walks awayIn the hazy aftermath of LeBron James’ floating, falling game-winning bank shot kissed off the backboard on Saturday night, th…

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Ichiro Suzuki: the secretive superstar who defied baseball’s steroid era

The Japanese outfielder has all but retired from playing at the age of 44. And he showed you didn’t need huge muscles to make a Hall of Fame careerThe baseball world into which Ichiro Suzuki walked in 2001 was one of swagger, bravado and brawn. Only tw…

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NFL draft: Mayfield looks like a reach at No1 as old stereotypes hurt Jackson

Cleveland went for a boom-or-bust quarterback to revive their fortunes while the fall of the supremely talented Lamar Jackson was mystifyingThey are two young men bonded for life by 12 months and a hunk of hardware. Quarterbacks Lamar Jackson and Baker…

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Khan Wembley deal would move NFL London team step closer to reality | Les Carpenter

The Jacksonville Jaguars owner says it is too soon to determine whether he would move them to the stadium but he is seen as the man to make the league’s aspirations come trueOn the morning Shahid Khan increased his profile in the London sports scene, h…

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New college basketball guidelines only strengthen a rotten, exploitative system

Condoleezza Rice had the chance to change a sport that makes money off players who are often from poor backgrounds. She failed badlyThere are few sports systems more exploitive than American college basketball. The NCAA is a $1bn business in which coll…

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Sarah Sellers: the nurse who stunned the world at the Boston Marathon

A previously anonymous 26-year-old nurse is an overnight sensation (and Olympic hopeful) after a fairytale runner-up finish in Boston wrought by talent, perseverance and gritThe story was so good it seemed impossible to imagine. A 26-year-old woman wit…

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Conor McGregor has become what he once condemned: a bully and a bum

The Irishman’s tiresome act is doing more to destroy the UFC’s hard-won credibility than any stomach-turning brawl or failed doping testWatching Conor McGregor racing through the loading dock at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on Thursday, throwing dollies …

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Is UConn’s women’s basketball dominance bad for the sport? Of course not

The debate has resurfaced again: is UConn’s women’s basketball dominance bad for the sport? The answer: of course notIt is not a stretch to say the University of Connecticut’s women’s basketball team was one of the worst in the country for their first …

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Eric Reid: the man who knelt beside Kaepernick and is now out of a job

The safety is in the prime of his career but can’t find a team. He’s paying the price for reminding NFL owners life is far from perfect in AmericaNFL coaches and owners love to talk about “character”, waving the word over their players as if almost not…

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Kirk Cousins’s Vikings deal is a sign NFL players won’t be exploited anymore

For years football players have risked their health for contracts with very little guaranteed money. The Minnesota Vikings quarterback may have changed thatWho knows if Kirk Cousins will take the Minnesota Vikings to the Super Bowl.There has always lin…

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The Seahawks’ Legion of Boom is finished, but their legacy will endure

As Seattle’s vaunted defense fades into history, their collective legacy as one of the most important groups of players in NFL history is secureThey first stormed through the NFL six years ago, and no one had quite seen a defense like the Seattle Seaha…

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The Seahawks’ Legion of Boom is finished, but their legacy will endure

As Seattle’s vaunted defense fades into history, their collective legacy as one of the most important groups of players in NFL history is secureThey first stormed through the NFL six years ago, and no one had quite seen a defense like the Seattle Seaha…

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Can stars like LeBron James save college basketball from corruption?

The college game is mired in scandal and it may take pressure from superstars in the NBA to fix deep-rooted problemsNobody is stepping up to fix college sports, so if LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony truly believe the NCAA is corrupt they are…

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NFL offseason predictions: Saints for Super Bowl champs and the protests end

Sports forecasts aren’t worth the paper they’re written on: which is why we’re publishing these online. But are the Browns set for a spectacular improvement?The problem with predictions in this space is that they are comically flawed.Six months ago, we…

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Three Eagles will shun a White House visit. Will their team-mates follow?

The Super Bowl champs are perhaps the NFL’s most socially conscious team. But the league wants to keep political upset to a minimumThere is nothing that says the Philadelphia Eagles must visit the White House this year. Just because they carried the Vi…

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Three Eagles will shun a White House visit. Will their team-mates follow?

The Super Bowl champs are perhaps the NFL’s most socially conscious team. But the league wants to keep political upset to a minimumThere is nothing that says the Philadelphia Eagles must visit the White House this year. Just because they carried the Vi…

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The Eagles triumphed exactly when their hearts were supposed to break

Tom Brady has made a career out of killing opponents’ dreams in the final moments of games. But on Sunday it was Philadelphia who held their nerveTo grasp the improbability of the play that clinched Super Bowl LII for the Philadelphia Eagles, you must …