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first_imgWhile the rest of the college football world marks the sport’s 150th anniversary this autumn, Harvard plans to wait until 2024 to celebrate. History and tradition are important at the country’s oldest college, which believes that it created the modern game in 1874 and whose varsity has been playing the same archrival for 144 years and performing in the same concrete horseshoe for 116 — this season’s first home contest is set for Friday evening against Brown.Continuity, heritage, and ritual are central to the enduring magnetism and mystique of Harvard football, which this season is observing the centennial of its Rose Bowl victory over Oregon that produced the program’s last national championship.The stadium may have been renovated multiple times, but except for an artificial playing surface and lights for night games it still looks much the same as it did when it was opened in 1903. The schedule features the same seven rivals from the 19th century. The varsity still has only one captain. And the last couple of decades have been something of a minor throwback to the glory era before the Great War, when Percy Haughton’s estimable elevens collected three national crowns.Aerial view of Harvard Stadium circa 1915. Source: Harvard University ArchivesBecause the Ivies do not participate in the post-season playoffs, the league’s silver trophy, which may be the most elaborate on the planet, is the season’s only prize. Since the turn of the millennium, Harvard has won or shared it eight times and posted three perfect records without enduring a losing season.During that time, the Crimson has enjoyed extraordinary success against Dartmouth, Penn, Princeton, and Yale, the four rivals that are the historic benchmarks by which success is measured, posting an aggregate record of 54-22.For a time the lengthening string of Saturday successes provoked confusion among some longtime followers more accustomed to defeat: “Why are we winning all the time?” Graduates of a certain age recalled the lost decade that began with a 44-0 thwacking at Stanford in the 1949 opener and continued with seven losing seasons.The nadir came at New Haven in 1957 where Harvard’s battered varsity absorbed a 54-0 televised tutorial. At halftime, with Yale ahead 34-0, a messenger handed Eli coach Jordan Olivar a one-word telegram from a Harvard alum: “Please.”Robust recruiting soon provided more sturdiness and speed, and the next several decades were decidedly more fruitful. John Yovicsin’s conservative fundamentals produced 11 winning seasons and three Ivy titles. Joe Restic’s deceptive multiflex offense, with its many formations and players in motion, befuddled rival defenders (“The ball’s coming,” Restic would say. “They don’t know where.”) and delivered a dozen winning campaigns and five more league crowns.Tim Murphy is in his 26th year as head coach of the Harvard Crimson. Harvard file photoBy the end of the ’80s, though, the victories were dwindling, and there was only one more winning season until 2001. Stadium vendors hawked T-shirts puckishly proclaiming Harvard as the “Team of the ’90s” — meaning the 1890s.When coach Tim Murphy, now in his 26th year, restocked the ranks with swift runners and receivers and sinewy defenders, perennial success returned with 16 consecutive autumns with at least seven triumphs and at least one All-American virtually every year. Along the way, 30 Crimson lettermen have gone on to play in the National Football League (eight this season), most notably quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, the bearded Zelig who has called signals for a record eight clubs.Yet the players, who still live in the same dorms and take the same courses as the rest of their classmates, hardly are campus celebrities. Most of the undergraduates probably could not identify captain Wes Ogsbury if they passed him in the Yard. He and his teammates are students who happen to spend their fall afternoons in helmets and pads and are uncommonly proficient in the classroom.Half a dozen Harvard players have earned Rhodes Scholarships over the past six decades. Three of the top five scores in the Wonderlic cognitive ability test taken by NFL prospects were achieved by Crimson players (Pat McInally, Fitzpatrick, and Matt Birk). Last season’s offensive line majored in electrical engineering, psychology, human developmental and regenerative biology, bioengineering, and economics. It was not atypical.“We recognize that this is football that is still human in its dimensions and personalities,” Roger Angell ’42 once wrote about the ivied game. “These athletes before us are not heroes or employees, but only young students, and it is their game, and their pleasure at their game, that we have come to watch.”It was the students who devised the version that permitted carrying the ball and tackling (Princeton and Rutgers essentially played soccer in 1869). They drew up the rules, designed the uniforms, and engaged and entertained their opponents, starting with McGill.,Their colonnaded playground, a hybrid between a Roman circus and a Greek amphitheater, gives participants the impression that they are gladiators or artists. Dick Clasby, running back a kickoff for 103 yards against Dartmouth in 1952, recalled seeing the spectators rising section by section before he passed beneath them. John Dockery, returning an end-to-end interception against Cornell in the rain in 1964, described “colors moving past you, atmospheric details like Renoir.”The pigskin version of Harvard’s festival rites remains The Game, which former Yale president Bart Giamatti called the country’s last great 19th-century pageant. It is decidedly more gentlemanly now than it was in 1894 when multiple players were bloodied and brained and the rivalry was halted for two years. “Our kids really respect their players as tough, hard-nosed, classy kids,” observed Murphy.The contest’s end-of-season finality creates an aura of urgency and drama. “It makes for a warm winter if you do win,” Restic once mused. “And a cold one if you don’t.” While Harvard’s 29-29 “victory” in 1968 remains the most memorable outcome from the Cambridge perspective, there have been notable others since: the 95-yard drive engineered in 1974 by concussed Hawaiian quarterback Milt Holt, who dashed for the winning touchdown in the final 15 seconds, or Mike Lynch’s “9-iron” field goal at the Bowl the following year. “I just told myself not to shank it in front of 70,000 people,” he said. The triple-overtime triumph came in the gloaming at the Bowl in 2005 after the Crimson erased an 18-point second-half gap.No matter the result, the Crimson players mill about the gridiron with their rivals, friends, and family — and then walk off into winter. There still is no game after The Game.The Crimson will play Brown at 7 p.m. Friday, Harvard Stadium. For a complete schedule, visit the website.last_img read more

first_imgMalaysia’s Employees Provident Fund (EPF) has reported a record 58% year-on-year surge in return in the first quarter of the year, driven by equity investments.For the quarter ended 31 March, investment income reached MYR8.8bn (€2bn), compared with MYR5.6bn in the corresponding quarter in 2013.About 52% of the fund is invested in fixed income instruments, 43% in equities and the rest in money market instruments, real estate and infrastructure.Overseas exposure constitutes 21% of total investment assets. Returns from the fund’s global investments make up about 27% of all income generated.As at March 31, investment assets stood at about MYR600bn, an 11.3% increase from the year-earlier period.During the quarter under review, the fund’s equity portfolio was the biggest contributor, generating an investment income of MYR4.8bn, compared with MYR1.9bn in Q1 2013.Chief executive Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan said: “High trading volume and liquidity in the equity markets, particularly global developed markets, provided us with timely opportunities to realise gains from earlier equity investments.“In addition, we benefited from a steady stream of dividends received from the listed companies we invested in.”Income from real estate and infrastructure increased by 37%, while returns from loans and bonds climbed 4%.The EPF said the marginal increase in income was primarily due to maturing investments reinvested at lower rates given the low interest rate regime.Income from Malaysian government securities and equivalents increased by 4%, while money market instruments contributed almost MYR80m in the quarter under review.Commenting on the outlook for the rest of the year, Shahril said: “Although we are optimistic the Malaysian economy will record better growth this year on expectations of export recovery supported by resilient domestic demand, we remain vigilant, particularly over the uncertainties surrounding the movements of capital as long-term interest rates adjust following recovery in key markets.”last_img read more

first_img Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___Soccer players in Italy will have to wait at least another 24 hours before restarting full team training. Associated Press May 18, 2020 The Latest: Italian soccer still waiting for full return Italian clubs resumed training on an individual basis on May 4 when lockdown measures in the country started to ease. They were slated to return to training together on Monday but they have not yet been given the green light to do so by the Italian government’s scientific panel.The medical protocol for the resumption of Serie A has proved contentious but a revised document was delivered to Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora on Sunday and is expected to be given to the scientific panel on Monday.Serie A plans to resume on June 13.___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6last_img read more

first_img–Source: AS Countless footballers across the globe will have endured games to forget this weekend but none had it as hard as the cobbled together line-up of Serie C crisis club Pro Piacenza, who lost 20-0 at AC Cuneo.A game to forget, if that’s possible.The result owed much to the bottom-of-the-league outfit’s starting line-up featuring seven players, predominantly from their youth ranks, while they travelled without senior squad members or technical staff due to an on-going strike over non-payment of salaries.Their numbers briefly swelled to eight during the second half when one of the youngsters, who did not have the correct registration documentation before kick-off, was allowed to enter the field after an hour – only for the team’s moonlighting massage therapist to pull up with injury 14 minutes from time.Pro Piacenza are in dire financial straits and forfeited 3-0 walkovers in each of their previous matches against Pro Vercelli, Juventus II and Siena.Had they done the same on Sunday, they faced being thrown out of the league – a factor that resulted in the absurd spectacle played out at Cuneo’s Stadio Fratelli Paschiero.Edoardo Defendi and Hicham Kanis both had hat-tricks inside 17 minutes and the forward duo helped themselves to 11 of the 16 first-half goals, Kanis taking his tally to six.At the interval, Cuneo’s former Brescia and Napoli defender Fabiano Santacroce expressed his distaste for what had unfolded in an Instagram post.“Some Sundays you can find yourself like this… Leading 13-0 in the first half, against a team who’s playing with six 17-year-old kids and one of the executives playing as a central defender,” Santacroce wrote.“I have no words. I feel shame for those responsible.”The goal glut eased in relative terms after half-time, with Michele Emmausso becoming the third player to hit a hat-trick as Cuneo more than doubled their goal tally for the season, which stood at 18 before the weekend.Pro Piacenza will face up to their uncertain future from the bottom of the table, with eight points on the boardThey have five wins and a draw to their name, last tasting victory at home to Arezzo in December. But the Rossoneri have only taken to the field once since in Serie C and been deducted eight points.According to a report by Sport Piacenza this week, further deductions are set to be forthcoming amid instances of unpaid wages dating back to last September.last_img read more