The First XV: 15 All Black Principles

Author: James Kerr, Legacy

I stumbled upon this earlier today – its impressive and perhaps explains why so much has been achieved by so few. The cross-over and applications in business are all too obvious too.

All Black Principles

Public Perception: London 2012

The Olympics certainly started with a bang, courtesy of one Danny Boyle. But while the measure of true sporting achievement continues in earnest in venues around Englands Capital City, what is the perception of the British public on a sporting spectacle that they have helped fund?  Find out with our London 2012 Olympic infographic on the thoughts of a Nation.

Infographic by PolicyExpert.

Behind London’s 2012 Olympics

While the ringing of the bells marking the 12 hour countdown to the opening ceremony continue to ring in our ears, why not take a second to consider some of the bigger stats behind the facade of Londons 2012 Olympic Games.

Olympic Ins and Outs: London 2012

There is a plethora of sporting disciplines coming together over the next 16 days and its enough to confuse and flummox the most ardent of sporting supporters however, worry not – all you ever need to know about the London Olympics in 2012 is here in this handy desktop viewing guide.

What Are The Odds?

Author: Eilidh Donaldson @ Tweetsport (@tweetsportcouk)

Eh, no you don’t…

Football is a funny old game but Arsene Wenger isn’t laughing. More later.

The end of the football season 2011-12 was spectacular. Man City won the Premiership with the last kick of the game and Chelsea’s 10 man defence claimed the Champion’s League against a shell shocked Bayern to prove anything is possible.

The Euros may have had a predictable conclusion, with the ‘boring’ Spain lifting the trophy, but there was at least one surprising moment.  The invisible Nicklas Bendtner can apparently play and he’s actually quite good (!) but only in a Danish shirt and with Paddy on his pants.

Maybe Arsene can get that passed by the EPL? No? Ok.

There has barely been a chance to breathe before UK football kicked off again. Not on the pitch obviously and this is where Arsene ears prick up.

In an amazing 72 hours football has been turned on its head. None were total shocks maybe but good and bad things happen in threes and these are three whoppers!

Rangers are doooooomed

I’ll admit to kind of losing the thread of this story but essentially the 11 other SPL teams don’t want to play anymore, whatever Rangers are calling themselves these days, and they have taken away the ball.

So will there be room at the Inn in a lower division or will Rangers disappear? One of the legendary teams in world football -unthinkable. Turkeys voted for Christmas.

Paddy Power are offering odds of 1-50 on Celtic to win the league next year.

The Resurrection of AVB

Its lucky Harry Redknapp had his heart fixed at the start of a busy year as it’s been a rollercoaster since then. In court for tax evasion, crowned England Manager, watched Muamba collapse, oversaw Spurs spectacular slump, snubbed by the FA, shoved by Levy and stood down from BBC commentating at the Euros. Wow!

The final straw – being replaced by AVB, the man not good enough to last a season at rivals Chelsea. That’s not to say that Andre Villas-Boas isn’t in good company, the list of ex-Chelsea managers is full of legends of the game but if even one of the stories of what the players did is true he isn’t one to keep the dressing room happy. He’s picked the spot for his portacabin already.

He’s 8-1 to leave White Hart Lane in 2012.

RVP walks

Arsene might want to look away now.

History repeats itself. Its summer, it’s raining and the top Arsenal player wants to leave. Gooner’s fans take to Twitter but there appears to be no surprise but is there a glimmer of blame for Arsene. Asleep at the wheel again?

Calls for Guardiola to get himself over to London have started and how things have worked out in 2012 so far. I wouldn’t bet against it.

Hey Paddy, what are the odds?

Tweetsport

www.tweetsport.co.uk is a real-time sports site covering football news and other things which involve balls and scores. Created by a girl. Who knew?

112th US Open Championship

112th US Open Championship

If the famous Frisco fog lifts, and if you can see us, we are safely stationed on the West Coast US in the Bay Area. I say ‘safely’ as there is actually a fault, the San Andreas earthquake fault, lying (currently!) dormant right beneath our spikes on this patch of links; a links like no other. Here there are no water hazards, no out-of-bounds and only one fairway bunker. It’s a place of too many trees – around 30,000 – too little sunshine and holes where the ball may or not roll because of the heavy conditions but the score certainly can roll up. So, roll up, roll up – the greatest show on grass visit San Fran’s legendary no nonsense ‘sleeping lady’ for the 112th US Open Championship!

Date:                     14th – 17th June 2012

Venue:                 The Olympic Club, San Francisco, California

This is the 5th time here and, like the course, cutting straight to the chase, she is wicked! She opens with the hardest six-hole stretch in golf and no more so that the 520-yard par-4 first! It is not a long track by today’s standards, but it boasts an abundance of elevation changes that will test the best players. And don’t expect players to go low: in the four previous Opens here, only four individuals have finished in red numbers. AND if conditions this week seem unreasonably challenging, top golfers know exactly who to blame; McIlroy’s (88/5 with BetFair) ‘cracking’ performance at last year’s Open not only left Congressional Country Club in shambles, but it gave the USGA a considerably bruised ego as well!

Yards:                   7,170 yards

Par:                        Par 70

Field:                   

Of the 156 strong field, what counts is the simple fact that to win someone will need to string together four strong rounds – you would pay for that tip elsewhere!! Just as well that we have then assembled one of the best fields of 2012 including the last ten winners of the US Open from Lucas Glover (343/1) to Michael Campbell (969/1) and 5 years of winners of the other big three including Bubba (55/1), Harrington (79/1) and Kaymer (59/1). Let’s not overlook the top 60 in the world rankings including Lee Westwood (121/10), last year’s Tour Championship field with Bill Haas (135/1) and last year’s 10th place and ties to involve Sergio Garcia (53/1) and with a few other places then there’s the qualifiers from the regional heats including the story of the year about Casey Martin (969/1 – all BetDaq) – the man who sued the PGA Tour and now is permitted to drive a cart!!

Lovely picture but Louis is not in my top tips this week

Consider…:

With its small, firm greens and narrow, tree-lined fairways, Olympic Club generally favors finesse over power and so once again, it’s down to short game wizardry – so Phil Mickelson (24/1 with BetDaq) you think? But, the one who wins is likely to be someone who is not as renowned as the person he beats into second! In support, consider that in every US Open at the Olympic Club, the 54-hole leader has gone on to lose the tournament. Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson and Payne Stewart all threw away Sunday leads en route to runner-up spot against journeymen or unknown types.

Ones to watch:

Geoff Ogilvy (98/1 with BetDaq), 34, won the Open six years ago at Winged Foot. He’s ranked 50th in the world and has chugged along as a very decent pro without gathering much attention outside his native Australia. In 2012 he’s already had 6 top ten finishes but more relevantly ranks in the top 20 in scrambling, putting from inside 10 feet and top 5 for long range approaches. Similarly, 98 Olympic winner Lee Janzen claimed his first U.S Open title in 1993, five years before he showed up at Olympic to repeat the feat at age 33 with similar Tour stats. Ogilvy is practically a 1998 Janzen clone!

This year, perhaps more than any other, Luke Donald (14/1 with Ladbrokes) is as poised as he will be to win a major. The current world number 1 secured his second worldwide victory this year with a successful defence of his BMW PGA Championship title and ranks eighth on the PGA Tour in fairways hit, fifth in avoiding bogeys but most importantly carries top ten ranks on the European Tour in all putting disciplines with a #1 rank for one putts and extends that to scrambling too.

Ones to win:

Matt Kuchar (31/1 with BetDaq) is a good man, and more importantly a good bet. And, while not outspoken about his religion – as a regular member of the PGA Tour’s Bible study group – by Christ he is a strong bet given his record this season! With top-15s in the last two U.S. Open’s and top-10s in four of his last eight stroke-play starts this season including a win at the 5th Major, The Players. He’s clearly a man on form and lies second in bogey avoidance, 10th in greens in regulation and has a string of GIR and putting top ten stats to support the string of leader board threatening results including scoring average.

This man is becoming a silent robot again! With seven top 25s in his last eight starts Jim Furyk (40/1 with Totesport) leads the PGA Tour in bogey avoidance and ranks second in fairways hit, 25th in greens in regulation and 24th in Strokes Gained-Putting. He’s spent much of the past decade ranked in the World Golf Top 10 and has secured five top five’s in 17 starts in this event alone including his only major win in the 2003 U.S. Open.

Trick shots:

After his win at the Memorial and a lengthy absence, we welcome back Tiger Woods as the bookies favourite (at 7/1) but not being that predictable and more than that, we welcome his odds for missing the cut (9/2 – both SkyBet!) – he’s missed three in the past 18 months! Does that make us more crooked than Lombard Street?

With his last US Open here in 1998 he obtained a rather shock result in ending up in a tie for 23rd, its local qualifying hero and cart bound PGA Tour nemesis Casey Martin, who delivers a remarkable 66/1 (SkyBet) return for merely achieving a top twenty finish! If successful, he’ll be going straight to Alcatraz for that one!

#askpatrick Live Streamed on Twitter

Author: Dan McLaren @ UKSportsNetwork

As you may have seen mentioned recently, Patrick Vieira was interviewed after the Bolton game with the questions coming from fans using the #askpatrick hashtag on Twitter. The concept itself is not a new one, as Patrick has been on MCFC TV before back in September 2011 and as recently as January they brought in Vincent Kompany with #askvincent.

What was different about this one was where you could watch it. The club made great use of the new functions of the brand Twitter pages. They were able to pin the tweet with the live stream video link at the top of their account but also fan could watch the whole thing within the Twitter page. This is great use of the new functionality on offer and is certainly the first football club to try livestreaming through the platform. We have seen many people using video and pictures on Twitter but not watching a live event until now.

What this does open up is the use of video through Twitter for other events. Could we now start to see press conferences and even matches shown using the same method? We saw the opening round of the FA Cup on the Budweiser UK Facebook page last year so why not their Twitter page this time round?

City have made a big effort to be the ones pushing the boundaries on what is expected from a sports brand in the UK and take advantage of all the digital tech possibilities that come up. Last year it was announced that they had partnered with YouTube and offer more functionality through their video offering.

This weekend they had a presence at the ‘must go to’ South by South West event in Austin, Texas. On one of the panels (#sxsoccer) was Richard Ayers who used the opportunity to announce a partnership with Foursquare, the US based check-in service. Fans will be able to access deals on food, shirts and fast ticket entry.

More information is expected to be released this week so watch this space!

In the meantime, for the full #askpatrick interview see below…