Cleveland Rocks: Browns reel in Thomas

first_imgThe old saying is, “You are what you eat.” Anyone looking for an additional exhibit of evidence for the adage can look no further than to Joe Thomas.Hours after reeling in a couple browns (trout), the Wisconsin left tackle became a Brown himself, as he was selected by Cleveland with the third overall pick in Saturday’s NFL draft. “It’s a great fit for me as a person, and I think the organization is great people. The coaches are outstanding,” Thomas told Wisconsin reporters during a teleconference shortly after he was selected. “I think the team’s got a lot of weapons, and we’ve got a good opportunity to win a lot of games next year.”Thomas will likely step into the left tackle spot for the Browns next season with the opportunity to shore up an offensive line that allowed the third-most sacks in the NFL last season. “I don’t know what they are going to do with me, play me at left tackle, right tackle or guard or whatnot,” Thomas said. “I’m sure in the next couple months that will all play out, so I’m not going to push it.”My expectation for myself is to be a starter that first game,” Thomas continued. Landing in Cleveland presents a unique challenge for Thomas. Outside of the Browns, the AFC North has three quality teams, which have made the playoffs at least once in the last two years. Despite that Thomas will likely be paving the way for a former 2,000-yard running back in Jamaal Lewis, any offensive task will not be easy in a division including traditionally stout defenses such as Baltimore and Pittsburgh.”My best games in college and the games I got the most excited for were playing against the great players,” Thomas said. “That’s what makes me so excited about playing in the NFL, having that great player lineup across from you every game and the tremendous preparation that’s involved in getting ready for each game.” Although Thomas’ agent and the Browns front office had been in contact often lately, there was still a level of uncertainty concerning whether he would be the Browns’ pick.”I kind of knew all along [that the Browns were interested],” Thomas explained. “Back in January, just kind of researching the teams, … they obviously had the need at the offensive line position, guys getting older, and they gave up a lot of sacks last year.”Even once Thomas received the draft-day call from Cleveland’s brass, his fate was not yet decided.”We got the call, and we didn’t really know for sure yet,” Thomas explained. “It was a scout from the Browns who just said, ‘Hey, we want to keep you on the line.'”Thomas stayed on the phone for six minutes as the Browns made their final decision on who to draft.”You could hear Phil Savage, the general manager, talking about both myself and [Notre Dame quarterback] Brady Quinn in the background, so at that point they really didn’t know who they would pick.”Right at the end, … Phil Savage came on and said they turned in their card with my name on it.”Although the Browns’ choice of Thomas over the Ohio-native Quinn sparked some anger among Browns fans at the time, the team ended up trading picks with Dallas to draft the quarterback later in the first round.”I think historically at the draft you’re not going to make everybody happy. … Wherever I ended up, I knew I wasn’t going to be the glamour pick. Whenever you pick an offensive lineman high, he’s not the glamour pick.”Everyone wants the cute quarterback or the fast, quick receiver,” Thomas said. Aside from the regular excitement being drafted high carries, Thomas seemed legitimately happy to be going to Cleveland.”I’m excited. I think, to be able to stay in the Midwest, to be able to go to a city like Cleveland, which has tremendous professional athletic fans,” Thomas said. “It’s a meat-and-potatoes town, a blue-collar town — a lot like Milwaukee.”last_img read more

Women’s World Cup 2019: The best social media reactions after USWNT wins back-to-back titles

first_imgMegan Rapinoe is cold-blooded.Her PK gives #USWNT a 1-0 lead.pic.twitter.com/MdL9gtmy0H— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) July 7, 2019Speechless, @roselavelle🔥🌹🔥🌹🔥🌹 pic.twitter.com/m0qQnOCWpM— U.S. Soccer WNT (@USWNT) July 7, 2019With the team’s fourth World Cup win under its belt, here are some of the biggest reactions to the victory.*extreme DJ Khaled voice* ANOTHER ONE pic.twitter.com/5uOAImiJj5— U.S. Soccer WNT (@USWNT) July 7, 2019I said it before. I’ll say it again. BEST TEAM IN THE WORLD. Congrats @USWNTPlayers @USWNT This was an amazing match. 🇺🇸❤️ Well deserved. #AllEyesOnUS #PayThem pic.twitter.com/4PRD6Zp4NT— Jessica Chastain (@jes_chastain) July 7, 2019Congrats to this team! Well done @USWNT !!! https://t.co/O4wdPBY09U— Jozy Altidore (@JozyAltidore) July 7, 2019Awesome win for #USWNT! Congrats to #TeamUSA for securing its place at the top of the world! Your success proves how with clear vision, strong leadership, resolute drive and teamwork make the dream work. Enjoyed watching you score again for USA on Earth this time! pic.twitter.com/WCNwhzRLKK— Scott Kelly (@StationCDRKelly) July 7, 2019Come on!! The @USWNT won their 4th World Cup securing their championship w back-to-back #FIFAWomensWorldCup wins!! Thank you for being such an inspiration and for repping our country like the GOATS you are. Sipping tea for all of you today! ☕️ ⚽️ 🙌 https://t.co/fA8RDWpuUS— Olivia Munn (@oliviamunn) July 7, 2019The @nyliberty’s Tanisha Wright is HYPED UP for the @USWNT! #BossWomen 👏 pic.twitter.com/dOztlZOy48— WNBA (@WNBA) July 7, 2019Let’s goooo! Congratulations to the @USWNT on their second straight World Cup victory! 🇺🇸🏆 https://t.co/OgGk7O1YiT— Mo Bamba (@TheRealMoBamba) July 7, 2019YESSSSSSSSS!!! CONGRATULATIONS @USWNT !! What a great time to win this!! 🎉⚽️❤️🎉⚽️💙🎉 https://t.co/ICzEVZAzor— Angie Harmon (@Angie_Harmon) July 7, 2019Yes! Fourth star. Back to back. Congrats to the record breakers on the @USWNT, an incredible team that’s always pushing themselves—and the rest of us—to be even better. Love this team. #OneNationOneTeam— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) July 7, 2019⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Congrats to the @USWNT for winning their FOURTH #FIFAWWC! #OneNationOneTeam https://t.co/H6SGZV5Mqt— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) July 7, 2019Point made. Nothing else needs to be said. The @USWNT are #WorldcupChamps again! #puppyapproved pic.twitter.com/jSbxY7G9F2— Ron Rivera (@RiverboatRonHC) July 7, 2019Congratulations to 2019 Women’s World Cup Champions @TeamUSA! ⚽️🇺🇸— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) July 7, 2019Back-to-back champs!Congratulations, @USWNT!#OneNationOneTeam https://t.co/oqngOvZAug— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) July 7, 2019Congratulations to our back-to-back World Cup Champions! You make America proud. 📷: @USWNT pic.twitter.com/2LxiCJ2srM— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) July 7, 2019Incredibly inspiring World Cup by our @USWNT 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 so fun to watch 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸!!!! #FIFAWomensWorldCup #legacy #leadersonandoffthepitch #EqualPay— Aaron Rodgers (@AaronRodgers12) July 7, 2019YEEEESSS!! Congrats Jill Ellis!! WARRIORS @USWNT @mPinoe pic.twitter.com/8OZxCOa3x4— Leslie Jones 🦋 (@Lesdoggg) July 7, 2019Congratulations to the #USWNT on their 4th World Cup win! These athletes have brought more attention, support, & pride to women’s sport than perhaps any other team in history. It is long past time to pay them what they rightly deserve. 🇺🇸🏆🏆🏆🏆 #USAvNED #WorldCupfinal #EqualPay— Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) July 7, 2019The #USWNT are the CHAMPS 🏆 and Kansas City CELEBRATES. @kctv5 pic.twitter.com/xB8kiZLVTM— Dani Welniak (@KCTVDani) July 7, 2019Congratulations @uswnt! Bringing home a #WorldCup title for an unprecedented four straight times & inspiring a generation of women (and men) around the world. One little girl in particular is currently outside practicing ⚽️ https://t.co/skoECBMg47 pic.twitter.com/bPDb5ig9s3— Alexis Ohanian Sr. 🚀 (@alexisohanian) July 7, 2019Nothing like that championship feeling.CONGRATS, @USWNT! #OneNationOneTeam https://t.co/hLCCK8l3mD— New England Patriots (@Patriots) July 7, 2019Big congrats to the @USWNT! World Cup champions! #WorldCupfinal— Matt Ryan (@M_Ryan02) July 7, 2019WORLD CHAMPS @USWNT— Eric Weddle (@weddlesbeard) July 7, 2019CONGRATS, @USWNT! 🇺🇸🏆 https://t.co/ChgltPRpY5— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) July 7, 2019 It took a penalty kick to get things going, but the United States women’s national team got a second-half surge to defeat the Netherlands, 2-0, and earn their second Women’s World Cup title in a row, and fourth total.Megan Rapinoe’s penalty kick in the 61st minute kicked things off for the U.S., with Rose Lavelle’s shot in the 70th minute adding insurance to the team’s eventual win.last_img read more

Wenger gets boost as Arsenal sink Watford

first_imgOzil was equally profligate when he weaved through on goal, only to clip his shot too close to Karnezis.There was less assurance about Arsenal towards the end of the half and Cech had to plunge to his left to save Richarlison’s header.But Watford couldn’t take advantage and Granit Xhaka’s 20-yard blast after the interval almost deceived Karnezis before he grabbed the ball just before it crossed the line.With the momentum back in their favour, Aubameyang doubled Arsenal’s lead in the 59th minute.Mkhitaryan was the catalyst, slipping a pass to Aubameyang, who beat the Watford offside trap and rounded Karnezis before slotting in his third goal since his club-record move from Borussia Dortmund in January.There was more cause for Wenger to wear a rare smile a few minutes later.Ainsley Maitland-Niles conceded a penalty with a foul on Pereyra, but when Deeney stepped up to take the spot-kick, Cech made a fine save that preserved his 200th clean sheet in the Premier League.Mkhitaryan bagged his second goal in successive matches with a low strike that crept under Karnezis in the 77th minute.Share on: WhatsApp Shkodran Mustafi’s early opener and a cool finish from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang put them in control.In a moment of sweet vindication, Watford captain Troy Deeney, who had questioned Arsenal’s spirit earlier this season, had a second-half penalty saved by Petr Cech.Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s strike wrapped up the points, but there was concern for Wenger as Mustafi limped off in the closing stages.Arsenal, who had lost eight of their previous 14 matches in all competitions, remain in sixth place and trail fourth-placed Tottenham by 10 points ahead of their rivals’ trip to Bournemouth later on Sunday.Winning the Europa League guarantees qualification for next season’s Champions League and, with Arsenal’s hopes of achieving that goal via a top-four finish looking bleak, it was no surprise Wenger prioritised the continental competition.With the second leg against Milan looming on Thursday, Wenger rested Aaron Ramsey and Laurent Koscielny and left Jack Wilshere on the bench.Aubameyang was one of the established stars who started for Arsenal and the Gabon striker should have opened the scoring when he raced onto Mesut Ozil’s pass and shot straight at Watford goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis. London, United Kingdom | AFP | Arsene Wenger received a welcome boost as Arsenal eased a little of the pressure on their beleaguered boss with a 3-0 win over Watford on Sunday.After a wretched run left Wenger fighting to save his job, a 2-0 win at AC Milan in the Europa League on Thursday offered the Frenchman temporary respite from the torrent of abuse he has endured this season.Maintaining the momentum from that last-16 victory in the San Siro, Wenger’s side ended a run of three successive Premier League defeats with a solid display at the Emirates Stadium. Deeney had infuriated Arsenal by accusing them of a lack of “cojones” after Watford beat Wenger’s men in October.Fuelled by that jibe, Arsenal took the lead in the eighth minute.When Ozil swung a deep free-kick towards the far post, Mustafi punished slack marking by Jose Holebas and Adrian Mariappa as the German defender powered a close-range header past Karnezis.– Rare smile –Watford weren’t fazed and Abdoulaye Doucoure’s low strike deflected off Mustafi to force a good save from Cech.Cech alertly kept out Richarlison’s dipping free-kick, but Roberto Pereyra should have done better than blaze the rebound over. For the second successive home game, a significant amount of seats were empty as fans stayed away in protest at Wenger’s woes.The subdued atmosphere lent an ‘end of an era’ feel to the match, but it didn’t bother Arsenal, who had a point to prove to Watford captain Deeney.last_img read more

Takeovers that changed Premier League history

first_imgMan City became ‘noisy neighbours’ of Man Utd after Sheikh Mansour’s Abu Dhabi United Group takeover.London, United Kingdom | AFP | Newcastle United’s sale to a Saudi-backed consortium appears to be close to completion — a deal that could turn the long-time underachievers into a major Premier League power.The potential £300 million ($370 million) takeover will reportedly see Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund take a controlling stake in the club in northeast England.AFP Sport looks at three other English clubs who enjoyed a meteoric rise after lucrative takeovers:Man City become ‘noisy neighbours’When Sheikh Mansour’s Abu Dhabi United Group completed their £210 million takeover in September 2008, Mark Hughes was City’s manager, Brazilian Jo was their leading striker and Stephen Ireland was being touted as the team’s future star.Stuck in the shadow of Manchester United for decades, City had ended the previous season with an 8-1 defeat at Middlesbrough and were so hard up that Vincent Kompany said the dressing room toilet at their training ground did not even have a door.It is safe to say a lot has changed in the past 12 years.The turnaround from also-rans to the “noisy neighbours” of Alex Ferguson’s nightmares began just hours after the takeover with the shock signing of Brazilian star Robinho — the first in a long list of mega-money transfers that speeded City’s meteoric rise.City won the 2011 FA Cup and a year later Sergio Aguero snatched the title from United with his stoppage-time winner against QPR on the last day of the season.Big spending on stars such as Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling ensured City remained the team to beat and they secured another Premier League title in 2014.Pep Guardiola’s appointment in 2016 lifted them onto an even higher level and they won the Premier League in record-breaking style in 2018.Clinching an unprecedented domestic treble in 2019 established Guardiola’s group as one of the greatest teams in Premier League history.Chelsea’s Russian revolutionRoman Abramovich changed the face of the Premier League with his Russian revolution at Stamford Bridge.Abramovich’s £140 million takeover in 2003 triggered a seismic shift in power in the Premier League. Manchester United and Arsenal were England’s pre-eminent forces, but all that changed when, as Gunners vice-chairman David Dein noted with much regret, Abramovich “parked his Russian tanks on our lawn and fired £50 notes at us”.Abramovich’s cash landed Jose Mourinho in 2004 and funded his wunderkind manager’s assault on the Premier League establishment.Mourinho won the title in his first season, ending Chelsea’s 50-year wait to be crowned kings of English football, and followed that feat by retaining the trophy 12 months later.Carlo Ancelotti delivered more Premier League glory in 2010 and Mourinho returned to win his third title in 2015 before Antonio Conte landed the fifth English title of the Abramovich era in 2017.Having fallen in love with football while watching a Champions League match between Manchester United and Real Madrid, Abramovich’s holy grail was to lead Chelsea to their first triumph in Europe’s elite club competition.His wish came true in 2012 when Chelsea defied the odds to beat Bayern Munich in the final in the German team’s own Allianz Arena.Blackburn dreamFulfilling a childhood dream, Jack Walker’s vast investment transformed unglamorous Blackburn from a relic of the past into English champions.Blackburn were in the lower reaches of the second tier when Walker became the club’s majority owner after selling his steel business to British Steel for a reported £360 million.Walker was the local boy made good, who came back to revive the team he supported as a youngster.Blackburn had not won a major trophy since the 1928 FA Cup, but Walker lured Kenny Dalglish as manager in 1991 and together they put Ewood Park back on the map.Rovers were promoted in 1992 and Walker’s lavish spending made them a Premier League force.They flexed their muscles by splashing a then English record £3.6 million to sign Southampton striker Alan Shearer, beating Manchester United in the race.In 1995, Shearer’s goals helped Blackburn win the title for the first time in 81 years.It was the culmination of Walker’s ambitious dream, but they could not sustain that success and were relegated in 1999, a year before their benefactor’s death.Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more