4/3/20 WWE Smackdown Viewership

The WrestleMania go-home episode of Friday Night Smackdown on FOX did 2,374,000 viewers, which is the identical audience that it did last week. Hour one did 2,407,000 viewers and hour two dipped slightly to 2,342,000 viewers. In the 18-49 demo, Smackdown did just a 0.6 which is lower than usual.
(Ratings credit: Showbuzzdaily.com)
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WWE women team up for an awesome #dontrushchallenge video

The WWE women have teamed up to film the #dontrushchallenge which is taking social media, especially TikTok, by storm lately.
The video starts with Sasha Banks in bed getting a call on her cell phone with the caller ID displaying “Vince.” She covers her face and then when she removes her hand, she’s all dolled up in her WWE outfit. The phone is then thrown to the next person who’s also in her regular clothes. A rub on the camera lens later…and she’s also transformed into a WWE Superstar.
The female Superstars who participated in this video are Sasha Banks, Naomi, Nia Jax, Zelina Vega, Tamina, Bayley, Liv Morgan, Peyton Royce, Billie Kay, Carmella, Natalya, Dana Brooke, Lacey Evans, Sonya Deville, Mandy Rose, Bianca Belair, and Lana.
The video is performed with the Don’t Rush song by U.K. rap duo Young T and Bugsey in the background.
You can check it out below.

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‘The guy’s a genius’ – Roy Keane again gushed about former team-mate Ronaldo last night

WHILE THE REST of us were watching Eamon Dunphy deliver a eulogy for a great Barcelona team last night, Roy Keane was on ITV.

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The Ireland assistant manager has long proclaimed his admiration for former Man Utd team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo.

And as he and Lee Dixon reflected on the week’s Champions League action, he wasn’t shy in ranking the Portuguese amongst the sport’s very best.

“Do you know what, the guy’s a genius, there’s no getting away from it,” said Keane. “You’re talking about one of the greatest players to have played this game and he’s a joy to watch.

“You keep talking about how hard it is to score goals, you look at his stats every season, the goals he scores, the assists, the guy’s a genius, simple as that. ”

Source: AwayDayFeed/YouTube

Typically though, the Cork native wasn’t as impressed with Leicester’s second-half efforts to stay in the competition. ‘That’s what you’re supposed to do’.

Source: AwayDayFeed/YouTube

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Barcelona ‘egos’ would not allow Dani Alves to return to Camp Nou

DANI ALVES HAS ruled out a return to Barcelona from Juventus, claiming that too many mistakes were made by the “egos” in power at Camp Nou.

The Brazilian brought an eight-year spell with the La Liga giants to a close in the summer of 2016.

Barca have struggled to fill the void his departure created, with the club lacking in presence and panache at right-back.

Alves has, however, suggested that he is highly unlikely to head back to Catalonia, with the buccaneering defender now 33 years of age and bearing a grudge against some of those he left behind.

He told reporters ahead of a reunion with Barca at Camp Nou in a Champions League quarter-final clash on Wednesday: “I always give 100 per cent with every club I play for. It was wonderful here but to come back to Barcelona I would have to set a lot of things straight and the egos of certain people, which are giant, would not allow it.

“I don’t know what the reception will be tomorrow, but I am happy to be back at somewhere I considered my home, even as a rival.”

Alves has spoken out on his Barcelona exit in recent weeks, admitting that he no longer felt “comfortable” at the club and had grown “tired of being in the firing line”.

Pressed further on the subject and why he feels bitter towards his former club, he added: “I just wanted to express what I was feeling inside me.

“I used the media in Madrid to express that because I knew they would not manipulate what I said, whereas the media in Barcelona may well have manipulated it.”

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‘Who are you to judge the life I live?’: Leicester City’s Musa slams critics

LEICESTER CITY’S AHMED Musa has warned people not to judge him, stating that he is not perfect and he doesn’t have to be.

The Nigeria forward was questioned by Leicestershire police earlier this month following a row with his wife, Jamila.

In a post on Instagram, Musa advised his critics to check themselves before pointing fingers at him.

“Who are you to judge the life I live? I’m not perfect and I don’t have to be! Before you start pointing fingers, make sure your hands are clean.#JULMUS,” he posted.

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In a later post, Musa added: “Truth is always like oil in water… No matter how much of water you add… it always floats on top.”

Musa has been surplus to requirements since Craig Shakespeare took over as manager of the reigning English Premier League champions.

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Leitrim hurlers to display ‘No To Racism’ on their jerseys for the 2021 season

Updated May 10th 2021, 5:11 PM

Leitrim hurler Zak Moradi at today’s launch in Croke Park.

A NEW JERSEY was launched today in Croke Park which will see the Leitrim hurlers partner with Migrant Rights Centre Ireland (MRCI) in saying no to racism.

The Leitrim senior side will display the slogan ‘No To Racism’ on their jerseys for the 2021 season.

They play their opening game next Sunday afternoon of the new campaign at home to Louth in Carrick-on-Shannon in Division 3B of the Allianz Hurling League.

The project was made possible with support from The One Foundation.

Leitrim players, One Foundation rep Brian Mulvihill and the GPA’s Colm Begley at today’s launch.

Source: Greg Byrne

“Racism is one of the worst things you can encounter,” said Leitrim hurler Zak Moradi.

“It creates a huge divide between people and without its existence we would have a more peaceful, welcoming and inclusive society.

“We want to raise awareness and create a community that sticks together as a whole with no divides. We’re all human and we all deserve a sense of belonging regardless of race. We want the same team spirit of sports: all for one and one for all.”

The Leitrim hurlers have chosen to partner with MRCI because of its long history in tackling racism and discrimination in the labour market and fighting for the rights of migrant workers and their families.

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“Sport plays a very important role in promoting diversity and inclusion,” said MRCI Director Edel McGinley.

“The Leitrim jersey sends a clear message, raises awareness and shows solidarity with everyone impacted by racism. We commend the leadership shown by Leitrim Hurling team, the GAA and Zak Moradi in taking this stand. We would like to thank The One Foundation for their support in making this initiative possible.”

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FAI launch investigation after irregular betting patterns in League of Ireland game

THE FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION of Ireland (FAI) has launched an investigation into the conduct of Athlone Town AFC after irregular betting patterns were highlighted during a recent league game.

A Uefa report into irregular betting patterns on international markets during the SSE Airtricity League First Division game between Athlone and Longford Town on Saturday 29 April was presented to the association yesterday.

Longford won the match in question 3-1 thanks to Enda Curran’s hat-trick at the City Calling Stadium.

In a statement released this evening, the FAI say a copy of the Uefa report has now been submitted to An Garda Siochana and players, coaches and officials of Athlone Town will be interviewed.

“If the investigation determines a breach of FAI rules, charges will be issued and the matter will be heard by the FAI Disciplinary Committee, in accordance with FAI rule,” the statement reads.

“The FAI remains in regular contact with Uefa and will be seeking further information.

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Athlone received financial backing from Portuguese investors before the start of the season, which has resulted in a number of overseas players being brought in.

They have responded to the news with a statement released this evening, which reads:

“The board and the management committee of Athlone Town AFC are absolutely shocked by the content of documentation forwarded to us by the FAI and Uefa concerning out recent First Division game against Longford Town.

“The club will be fully co-operating with those conducting the investigation, and look forward to meeting with FAI officials next week.

“Should any of the allegations be upheld, the club will take action against any wrongdoers.”

Currently managerless following the sacking of Ricardo Monsanto after just 42 days in the job, they are seventh in the First Division and host Cobh Rambers this Friday.

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27 of our favourite sports books from 2019

N.B. In no particular order

1. Richie Sadlier – Recovering

A memoir from the former Millwall and Ireland player about his life during and after football, as he struggles to adapt to the harsh realities of being an ex-player The book recently won the sports category at the Irish Book Awards.

2. Michael Calvin – Mind Game: The Secrets of Golf’s Winners

Journalist Michael Calvin has written several fascinating sports books and ‘Mind Game’ penned in conjunction with golfer Thomas Bjorn, is no exception. It is a candid look into what makes some of the world’s top golfers tick.

3. Donald McRae – In Sunshine or in Shadow

A two-time winner of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year award and widely regarded as one of the best sportswriters on the planet, Donald McRae produces a compelling insight into boxing in Northern Ireland and how the sport thrived despite the inescapable turmoil of the Troubles.

4. Adrian Russell – The Double

The42‘s own Adrian Russell delves into what’s been described as “the greatest achievement in GAA history” — when Cork’s hurlers and footballer both achieved All-Ireland glory in 1990.

5. Rick Reilly – Commander in Cheat: How Golf Explains Trump

Even those fatigued by Donald Trump news may well be intrigued by this unique take on the current US president, as one of the most famed living American sportswriters examines his behaviour through the prism of golf.

6. Rough Magic: Riding the World’s Wildest Horse Race – Lara Prior-Palmer 

One of the year’s most critically acclaimed sports books, ‘Rough Magic’ tells the story of how a 19-year-old Lara Prior-Palmer became the first woman to win the 1,000km Mongol Derby in 2013.

7. The Great Romantic: Cricket and the Golden Age of Neville Cardus – Duncan Hamilton

The book that saw its author, Duncan Hamilton, win the prestigious William Hill Sports Book of the Year award for a record third time, ‘The Great Romantic’ is a biography of acclaimed sports writer and music journalist Neville Cardus. Chair of the judging panel Alyson Rudd praised it, saying: “The judges were bowled over by the quality of the writing and the way in which Hamilton brings to life the characters that defined cricket between the two world wars.”

8. Chaos is a Friend of Mine: The Life and Crimes of Conor McGregor – Ewan MacKenna

Ewan MacKenna explores the phenomenon of Conor McGregor, from meeting the then largely unknown fighter in a McDonald’s restaurant in 2013 to witnessing his subsequent rise and the fall, analysing the factors that both turned him into a star and contributed to his decline.  

9. My Life and Rugby – Eddie Jones and Donald McRae

It’s been a busy year for Donald McRae — the only author to feature twice on this list. In this instance, he helps produce a reliably good autobiography, which provides plenty of insight into what has made England boss Eddie Jones one of the world’s most successful rugby coaches. 

10. Pep’s City – The Making of a Superteam – Pol Ballus and Lu Martin

A behind-the-scenes look at Pep Guardiola’s Man City and how he turned them into arguably the most formidable side in Europe for a prolonged spell. The numerous fascinating anecdotes will likely prove compelling to City aficionados and casual football fans alike.

11. One Night In Dudelange – Kevin Burke

A book that includes UCD’s historic 2015 Europa League run as its centrepoint, using this unique event to take a wider look at European football. As author Kevin Burke has explained to the college’s official website: “This book should be of interest to anyone who’s been on a European trip with their own club, whichever one that is. It’s a book which features UCD, but it’s not a UCD book.”

12. I Like it Loud – Emmet Ryan 

Business Post journalist Emmet Ryan takes the reader on a basketball tour through Europe, mixing amusing anecdotes from his travels with comprehensive breakdown of various basketball events in several countries, including Spain, Germany and Ireland.

13. The Cost of These Dreams – Wright Thompson

Often talked of as one America’s greatest living sportswriters, ‘The Cost of These Dreams’ features a collection of some of the finest journalism produced by ESPN’s Wright Thompson.

14. Something in the Water – Kieran McCarthy

In ‘Something in the Water,’ Kieran McCarthy documents the remarkable success story of Skibbereen Rowing Club, exploring how the environment was created for this unlikely triumph and featuring a number of the key characters involved, including Olympic medallists Gary and Paul O’Donovan.

15. All In – Jamie Heaslip and Matt Cooper

Partially overshadowed by the furore following the controversy over drug testing, ‘All In’ is still an enjoyable read looking at the distinguished career of the former Leinster and Ireland captain. 

16. Rise of the Ultra Runners: A Journey to the Edge of Human Endurance – Adharanand Finn

A brilliantly written look at a unique group of people willing to test themselves to the very limits as they enter the painful, unforgiving and occasionally joyous and profound world of ultra running.

17. Position of Trust: A Football Dream Betrayed – Andy Woodward with Tom Watt

One of the key whistleblowers who lifted the lid on the unseemly abuse that marred the world of football for far too long, Woodward tells his moving story with no shortage of grace and wisdom.

18. Unbreakable: The Woman Who Defied the Nazis in the World’s Most Dangerous Horse Race by Richard Askwith

‘Unbreakable’ tells the incredible story of a pioneering sports star Lata Brandisová who defied the Nazis just as World War II was coming to fruition. Her story had been largely forgotten, but Richard Askwith — who has previously written acclaimed books on Emil Zatopek among others — does a fine job of shining a light on this remarkable individual once again.

19. They Don’t Teach This: Lessons from the Game of Life – Eniola Aluko

An expertly told look at the life of Eniola Aluko, a pioneering sports star who won 102 caps for the England national team, became the first female pundit to appear on Match of the Day in addition to countless other accolades.

20 & 21. Behind the Lines No.3 and She Can – The42

Of course, we’re biased, but very much recommend these two offerings from our talented team. ‘Behind the Lines Volume III’ is a collection from some of the most compelling and popular long-form articles on the site from the past 12 months. ‘She Can’ is a colouring book for all ages featuring a number of your favourite female sports stars.

22. The Age of Football: The Global Game in the Twenty-first Century – David Goldblatt

Few writers’ works can compare in terms of sheer research and depth to David Goldblatt, who has produced another mammoth read on the world of football. A sequel of sorts to his original global history of the game, ‘The Ball is Round,’ ‘The Age of Football’ is an intelligent and highly readable look at the modern game’s many quirks and its increasing significance politically as well as culturally.

23. About That Goal – The Official Autobiography of Seamus Darby – Seamus Darby with PJ Cunningham 

The official autobiography of ex-Offaly star Seamus Darby focuses on the county’s dramatic 1982 All-Ireland defeat of Kerry, while also featuring stories on players’ drinking habits, unwise investments and a battle to beat cancer.

24. Camouflage – My Story – Eoin Larkin with Pat Nolan

‘Camouflage’ delves into the life of Eoin Larkin, an eight-time All-Ireland winner with Kilkenny. His life beyond sport also proves fascinating, as it includes NATO and UN tours of duty in war-torn Kosovo and Syria.

25. The Dublin Marathon – Celebrating 40 Years – Sean McGoldrick

Anyone with an interest in the history of the Dublin Marathon would be advised to check out Sean McGoldrick’s well-researched and comprehensive overview of the long-running event.

26. The Pressure Game – Kevin McStay

A memoir from the ex-Mayo All Star footballer, Sunday Game analyst and recent Roscommon head coach. As one of the most respected figures in GAA, McStay’s thoughts on his time in the sport are invariably worth reading.

27. Hooligan — Patrick Holohan

One of the more inimitable characters in Irish sport, ‘Hooligan’ looks at how Holohan discovered mixed martial arts as a teenager, gradually rising through the ranks of the sport, all the while secretively coping with a rare form of haemophilia.

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Mendy owns up to ‘big mistake’ in Man City defeat

BENJAMIN MENDY owned his “big mistake” in Manchester City’s 3-2 loss to Wolves in the Premier League with a post on his Twitter account following the match.

City’s title chances took a huge hit with the loss at the Molineux, where they led 2-0 through Raheem Sterling’s brace despite Ederson’s early red card.

Adama Traore, who had earlier scored, set up Raul Jimenez for the equaliser after dispossessing Mendy before Matt Doherty’s 89th-minute winner.

The French international had dallied on the ball and tried to shield it from Traore before the Spaniard used his strength to rob possession from Mendy and assist Jimenez’s strike.

Mendy accepted he made a huge error, but the left-back is desperate to improve.

“It’s easy to talk when everything is going well, but it’s hard to do when s*** hits the fan,” he wrote on Twitter.

Even though Ederson was sent off in the 12th minute for bringing down Diego Jota outside the early, City hit their straps, with Sterling missing a penalty but managing to convert the rebound to give the away side the lead.

City managed to hold their advantage until half-time and then added another goal five minutes after the restart as Sterling got his second with an excellent finish from a counter attack.

But Wolves pulled a goal back not long after, via an Adama Traore thunderbolt, and then tied the game up following Mendy’s mistake.

Wing-back Doherty played a one-two with Jimenez before firing past Man City goalkeeper Claudio to secure the victory as stoppage time approached.

The defeat left City in third position – 14 points behind Premier League leaders Liverpool, who also have a game in hand.

Pep Guardiola’s men host Sheffield United on Sunday before welcoming Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton to the Etihad in the New Year.

They will then take on Man United in the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final at Old Trafford on 8 January a few days after hosting Port Vale in the FA Cup third round.

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