February 14th, 2011
12:28 PM ET

Has Rooney joined the ranks of football's immortals?

Wayne Rooney's super strike against Manchester City could be the turning-point in his career. (AFP/Getty Images)
Wayne Rooney's super strike against Manchester City could be the turning-point in his career. (AFP/Getty Images)

Great footballers are defined by career-changing moments. And great goals can secure them a place in both the history books and the minds and hearts of supporters across the world.

These are moments that carry more importance than just an example of on-pitch technical excellence, they can win titles or turn around a team's fortunes - or a nation's hopes. FULL POST

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Filed under:  Football
February 10th, 2011
08:26 PM ET

Why France are the Harvey Two-Face of world rugby

 France's 34-21 win over Scotland in their Six Nations opener was in sharp contrast to their defeat to Australia last year.
France's 34-21 win over Scotland in their Six Nations opener was in sharp contrast to their defeat to Australia last year.

If you like to be surprised, keep your eyes trained on France’s rugby team this year. They should be the northern hemisphere’s leading candidates to win the World Cup but their sheer unpredictability makes it impossible to declare that with any confidence.

France seems to have the unique knack of serving up inspiring victories and embarrassing defeats in equal measure; a seven-try thriller to start the defence of their Six Nations title coming just a couple of months after a 43-point thrashing by Australia.

It reminds me of the scene in the last Batman movie when the camera slowly moves around dashing District Attorney Harvey Dent to reveal the horrific injuries on one side of his face.

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Filed under:  Rugby
February 7th, 2011
04:24 PM ET

Has 'impatient' Torres jumped too soon?

Chelsea fans were eager to see their new number nine in action, but it was the fans of his former club who were left smiling.
Chelsea fans were eager to see their new number nine in action, but it was the fans of his former club who were left smiling.

Fernando Torres has left Liverpool for pastures new - for a team which he claims can help him to the prize he now most covets, a Champions League winner's medal.

Chelsea are in the last 16 of this year's competition but Sunday’s defeat to his former team Liverpool has dented their hopes of gaining a top four qualification spot for next season's campaign.

What if the surging Reds finish ahead of Chelsea in the league and make Europe’s top club competition instead? How silly will Fernando feel?

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Filed under:  Football
February 4th, 2011
12:04 PM ET

The Super Bowl is the U.S.’s World Cup Final

The Green Bay Packers take on the Pittsburgh Steelers in Sunday's Superbowl at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Last year an average of 121 million viewers watched the game on televsion.
The Green Bay Packers take on the Pittsburgh Steelers in Sunday's Superbowl at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Last year an average of 121 million viewers watched the game on televsion.

The Green Bay Packers will clash with the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday in Super Bowl XLV. For those of you not familiar with Roman numerals, it will be the 45th edition of the marquee U.S. sporting event.

The Super Bowl has become so big, that a 30 second commercial spot during the upcoming game will cost $3 million. Just compare that with $40,000 per spot in the inaugural Super Bowl back in 1967.

U.S. interest is also at an all-time high. Last year’s Super Bowl surpassed the final episode of the series M*A*S*H as the most-watched U.S. TV broadcast ever, pulling in an average of 106.5 million viewers. According to futuressport.com, the global television audience for that same Super Bowl was 121 million.

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Filed under:  U.S. Sport
February 2nd, 2011
06:09 PM ET

The growth of golf in the Gulf

The Dubai Desert Classic was held for the first time in 1989 but is now just one of top class European Tour events in the Gulf region.
The Dubai Desert Classic was held for the first time in 1989 but is now just one of top class European Tour events in the Gulf region.

As the finishing touches are put to this month’s Living Golf, I can only reflect on a fascinating journey to the Middle East.

Spread over nine days, we were there to look into the growth of the game in the Gulf, on the back of an ever-increasing commitment to host top-class European Tour events.

It seems like only yesterday but I was getting ready to leave school in Tipperary, when the Dubai Desert Classic was held for the first time in 1989.

The top players like Ballesteros, Faldo and Norman were still using persimmon woods and metal was still a novelty.

That first event was won by the former Ryder Cup captain Mark James and 22 years on, it goes from strength to strength, as testified by the winners’ list, which is a veritable who’s who of golf greatest names during that period.

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Filed under:  Golf
February 1st, 2011
12:29 PM ET

The best and worst deals of a dramatic deadline day

Chelsea spent $114 million on the last day of the mid-season transfer window.
Chelsea spent $114 million on the last day of the mid-season transfer window.

Wow, what a day! If you went to bed early, you missed one of the most exciting conclusions ever to a European transfer window. I was honestly shocked at how many players moved on Monday and at how much money was spent, especially in the English Premier League.

Leading up to the final day of the mid-season transfer window, one of the stories had been how Chelsea had not spent a single dime on players. Even though their aging squad looked burned out and incapable of winning any silverware this season, Blues’ owner Roman Abramovich kept the key to his well-stocked safe well hidden.

Well someone or something must have told him to spend, spend, spend! By the end of play on Monday he had dished out an incredible $114 million on Spain Fernando Torres and David Luiz of Brazil.

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