President-elect Donald Trump confirmed on Thursday that New York Jets owner Woody Johnson will become the next U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom.

Trump referred to Johnson as “ambassador” during a speech at a luncheon in Washington.

Robert Wood “Woody” Johnson IV (born April 12, 1947) is an American businessman and philanthropist. He is a great-grandson of Robert Wood Johnson I (co-founder of Johnson & Johnson), and the owner of the New York Jets of the National Football League.

Johnson was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey, United States. He is the son of Betty (Wold) and Robert Wood Johnson III, president of Johnson & Johnson for four years. He is sometimes referred to as “Woodith” by close friends and family. Johnson grew up with four siblings, Keith Johnson, Billy Johnson, Elizabeth “Libet” Johnson, and Christopher Wold Johnson, in affluent areas of North New Jersey, and attended the Millbrook School. He graduated from the University of Arizona. Johnson then worked menial summer jobs at Johnson & Johnson with the expectation of ascending to the top of the family business.

Johnson became involved in charitable organizations full-time in the 1980s. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. His family has been affected by both lupus and juvenile diabetes, which motivated Johnson to take a role in raising funds to prevent, treat, and cure autoimmune diseases. He has led efforts on Capitol Hill and at the National Institutes of Health to increase research funding for these diseases,  and personally contributed to causes related to diabetes, after his daughter Casey was diagnosed with the disease. He started a research foundation, the Alliance for Lupus Research, after his daughter Jaime was found to have lupus.

On January 18, 2000, Johnson purchased the Jets for $635 million, the third-highest price for a professional sports team and the highest for one in New York. Johnson, who also owns courtside seats to the New York Knicks, outbid the $612 million offered by Charles Dolan, chairman of Cablevision, which owns Madison Square Garden, the Knicks, and the Rangers. The team sold for more than $100 million above what some sports finance analysts had expected. Forbes now values the team at $1.8 billion.

After buying the Jets, Johnson announced plans to move them to the proposed West Side Stadium in Manhattan. However, after the project’s defeat in 2005, Johnson announced the Jets would move to a new Meadowlands Stadium (opening day 10 April 2010) as an equal partner with the Giants. Johnson served on the NFL Commissioner search committee in which a list of 185 candidates to succeed Paul Tagliabue was narrowed down to the final choice of Roger Goodell.

Johnson is the chairman and chief executive of the Johnson Company, Inc., a private investment firm founded in 1978. In August 2006, Johnson was asked to testify before a Senate panel about his participation in a sham tax shelter. A Senate report said that Johnson, along with others, were able to buy, for relatively small fees, roughly $2 billion in capital losses that they used to erase taxable gains they garnered from stock sales. The U.S. Treasury lost an estimated $300 million in revenue as a result. In a statement, Johnson said he had been advised by his lawyers in 2000 that the transaction “was consistent with the Tax Code.” But after the Internal Revenue Service challenged that view in 2003, Johnson this year “settled with the IRS and agreed to pay 100 percent of the tax due plus interest.”

Johnson was the committee president for Pre-Commissioning Unit for the USS New York (LPD-21).

In 1977, Johnson married former fashion model Nancy Sale Johnson. They had three children: Casey, Jaime, and Daisy, before divorcing in 2001. In early 2010, Casey died of diabetic ketoacidosis.

In 2009, Johnson married Suzanne Ircha Johnson, a former actress and equities managing director at Sandler O’Neill & Partners. They have two children: Robert Wood Johnson V and Jack Wood Johnson.

Johnson has homes in Bedminster Township, New Jersey, and New York.

Johnson has given more than $1 million to various Republican candidates and committees. In May 2008, he orchestrated a fundraiser in New York City that brought in $7 million in a single evening for John McCain, by far the largest amount collected up to that point by a campaign that had been struggling to raise money. Johnson also provided significant funding to the Republican National Convention of 2008 in Minneapolis-St. Paul convention host committee; from a $10 million shortfall, Johnson contributed personally and solicited friends to assist in covering the convention deficit.  In 2011, Woody Johnson announced that he would endorse former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney for the 2012 U.S. Presidential Election.

On September 23, 2013, Johnson hosted a fundraiser for the Republican National Committee at his home in New York City.

Johnson was named the National Finance Chairman for Governor Jeb Bush‘s 2016 Presidential campaign. At the time, he was mocked by Donald Trump for his Bush support.  However, in May 2016, he changed his mind and endorsed Donald Trump for President of the United States.

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tm eRaines_30Timothy “Tim” Raines (born September 16, 1959), nicknamed “Rock”, is an American professional baseball coach and former player. He played as a left fielder in Major League Baseball for six teams from 1979 to 2002 and was best known for his 13 seasons with the Montreal Expos. He is regarded as one of the best leadoff hitters and baserunners in baseball history.  In 2013, Raines began working in the Toronto Blue Jays organization as a roving outfield and baserunning instructor.

Raines is the 1986 NL batting champion, a seven-time All-Star, and four-time stolen base champion. He was elected to the Hall of Fame on January 18, 2017.

Raines was born in Sanford, Florida, to Ned and Florence Raines. He attended Seminole High School in Sanford. As a baseball player at Seminole, Raines stole home plate ten times. He also rushed for 1,000 yards in eight football games and set two school track and field records that lasted for several years.

The Montreal Expos selected Raines in the fifth round of the 1977 Major League Baseball draft. After debuting with six games as a pinch runner in 1979, he played briefly as a second baseman for the Expos in 1980 but soon switched to playing the outfield, and rapidly became a fan favorite due to his aggressiveness on the basepaths. In the strike-interrupted 1981 rookie season, he batted .304 and set a then Major League Baseball rookie record with 71 stolen bases, breaking the previous mark of 56 steals set by Gene Richards in 1977. Raines was caught stealing for the first time in 1981, after having begun his career with a major league record 27 consecutive successful stolen bases. Raines was the runner-up for the National League’s Rookie of the Year Award in 1981, which was won by Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Fernando Valenzuela.

In 1983, Raines stole a career high of 90 bases, the second-highest total in franchise history, and scored 133 runs, a franchise record. He was named Expos Player of the Year in 1983, 1985, and 1986. In each season from 1981 to 1986, Raines stole at least 70 bases. He had a career-high .334 batting average in 1986, winning the National League Batting Championship. Raines maintained a consistently high on-base percentage during this period and a rising slugging percentage, reaching a career peak of .429 in 1987. Although he never won a Gold Glove Award, Raines was an excellent defensive player who led the National League with 21 assists in 1983 and, with 4 double plays, tied for the league lead in double plays by an outfielder in 1985.

Raines became a free agent on November 12, 1986, but in spite of his league-leading play, no team made a serious attempt to sign him.  (During this period, the Major League Baseball owners acted in collusion to keep salaries down.) On May 1, 1987, hours after being permitted to negotiate again with Montreal, Raines signed a new deal with the Expos for $5,000,000 over three years, and a $900,000 signing bonus.  In his first game back, on May 2, facing the Mets, although Raines had not participated in spring training or any other competitive preparation for the season, he hit the first pitch he saw off the right-field wall for a triple. Raines finished the game with four hits in five at-bats, three runs, one walk, a stolen base, and a game-winning grand slam in the 10th inning.  Even without having played in April, Raines led the Expos in runs, walks, times on base, runs created, and stolen bases, in addition to batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage.  He also garnered MVP honors in the All-Star Game as he delivered a game-winning triple in the 13th inning. Raines would, in 1992, be one of dozens of players retroactively awarded collusion damages, receiving over $865,000.tim-raines-ftr-gettyjpg_1jhg7bii8r3291ezdftsj68bpo

Raines was traded to the Chicago White Sox on December 20, 1990, along with Jeff Carter and a player to be named later (Mario Brito would eventually be agreed upon), in exchange for Iván Calderón and Barry Jones.

In his first season in the American League, Raines hit for a .268 average but with a .359 on-base percentage; he was second on the team in runs scored as the White Sox finished the season in second place in the American League Western Division. His average improved in 1992 to .294 with a .380 on-base percentage. In 1993, despite missing nearly six weeks in April and May due to a torn ligament in his thumb he suffered while stealing a base, he managed to hit .306 with 16 home runs as the White Sox won the American League Western Division title.[20] In the 1993 American League Championship Series against the Toronto Blue Jays, Raines posted a .444 batting average and scored five runs in a losing cause.

On December 28, 1995, he was traded to the New York Yankees. With the Yankees, Raines received two World Series rings in 1996 and 1998. While his playing time was curtailed due to injuries,  he contributed to a loose clubhouse atmosphere,  and was productive when he came up to the plate.

In January 1999, Raines signed as a free agent with the Oakland Athletics. After a kidney biopsy on July 23, Raines was diagnosed with lupus and spent the rest of the year undergoing treatment and recovery.

Raines was signed by the Yankees as a free agent on February 1, 2000,  but was released on March 23. On December 21, Raines was signed by the Expos, returning to the team that drafted him.  At the Expos home opener in 2001, Raines received what he described as the longest and loudest standing ovation in his entire career, resulting in the pitcher walking him on four pitches. With limited playing time, Raines batted .308, with a .433 on-base percentage and a .436 slugging percentage.

Raines underwent surgery on May 31 due to a left shoulder strain, and spent time rehabilitating with the Expos Triple-A club, the Ottawa Lynx. On August 21, 2001, Raines and his son, Tim Raines, Jr., became the first father-son pair to play against each other in an official professional baseball game, when the Lynx played the Rochester Red Wings (the two had faced each other earlier in the year during spring training).  Raines returned to the major league club on August 22.

MANDATORY CREDIT Montreal Expos Tim Raines in a game at West Palm Beach Municipal Stadium on March 18 1984. (AP Photo By Tom DiPace)

On October 3, the Expos traded Raines to the Baltimore Orioles, thereby permitting Raines to play a major league game with his son.  On October 4, Raines, Jr. played center field and Raines, Sr. played left field for Baltimore, becoming the second father and son team to play for the same major league team (a feat previously accomplished by Ken Griffey, Sr. and Ken Griffey, Jr.).

Raines played his last season in 2002 with the Florida Marlins. He is one of only 29 players in baseball history to date to have appeared in Major League baseball games in four decades.

In a 23-year career, Raines played in 2,502 games accumulating 2,605 hits in 8,872 at bats for a .294 career batting average along with 170 home runs, 980 runs batted in, a .385 on-base percentage and a .425 slugging percentage. He ended his career with a .988 fielding percentage. Raines stole at least 70 bases in each of his first six full seasons (1981–1986), leading the National League in stolen bases each season from 1981 to 1984, with a career high of 90 steals in 1983. Raines also led the National League in runs scored twice (1983 and 1987). Raines batted over .300 in five full seasons and over .320 from 1985 to 1987, winning the 1986 National League batting title with a .334 average. He also had six full seasons with an on-base percentage above .390.

With 808 steals in his career, Raines has the fourth-highest total in major league history, behind Rickey Henderson, Lou Brock and Ty Cobb. Until 2008,  His career stolen base percentage (84.7%) was the highest in major league history for players with 300 or more attempts and he was successful on 40 consecutive steal attempts between July 1993 and August 1995, setting an American League record at the time (the record was broken by Ichiro Suzuki in May 2007, when he completed 45 consecutive steals).

Among switch hitters, Raines ranks sixth in career hits (2,605), fourth in runs (1,571), walks (1,330) and times on base (3,977), fifth in plate appearances (10,359), seventh in singles (1,892), doubles (430), total bases (3,771) and at bats (8,872), eighth in triples (113) and tenth in extra base hits (713). He holds Expos/Washington Nationals franchise records for career runs (947), steals (635), singles (1,163), triples (82) and walks (793), and was the seventh player whose career began after 1945 to retire with over 1,500 runs and 100 triples.  His 1,966 games in left field ranked seventh in major league history when he retired.

From 1983 to 1987, Total Baseball rated him as one of the National League’s five best players each season. He is also listed as the 40th greatest non-pitcher in major-league history, one place ahead of Mark McGwire.

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obama-chicago-cubs-white-house-visitWASHINGTON — President Barack Obama was briefly a Cubs fan on Monday, and he helped celebrate the team’s first World Series championship in 108 years. It helped the Cubs that first lady Michelle Obama was in their corner.

The Cubs were feted at the White House by the president, who is a noted White Sox fan, but he knows the impact the North Siders’ championship has had on people, including his wife. Michelle Obama had never attended one of the White House celebrations for a sports team until Monday.

“She remembers coming home from school and her dad would be watching the Cubs game, and the bond in the family and the meaning that the Cubs had for her in terms of a connection with her father and why it meant to much to her,” Obama said. “I almost choked up listening to her. It spoke to how people feel about this organization.”

The first lady’s favorite Cubs player? Jose Cardenal. He was part of the Cubs’ traveling party, and he received a huge hug from Michelle Obama.

Generations of Cubs fans can relate to her feelings.

“It really was an amazing moment when the entire organization was waiting for a while, and the president and first lady bounded into the room with tremendous energy and gave really heartfelt remarks,” Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said. “You could tell this visit had a lot of personal meaning to them.

“She was really moved by the championship, and it was a great moment for all of us,” Epstein said.

With Obama about to leave office, Epstein offered him a midnight pardon.

“We welcome you with open arms today,” Epstein said as the Cubs presented Obama with a home and road jersey, a No. 44 from the Wrigley Field scoreboard and a lifetime pass to Wrigley Field. Cubs board member Laura Ricketts gave the pass to the president, who said the gifts were some of the best swag he’s ever gotten.

The Cubs also presented Obama with a “W” flag autographed by the team, and Epstein said they hoped he would install that at his new library.

“Mr. President, thank you for the dignity and integrity as you’ve served this country for the last eight years,” Epstein said, “and for your service to Chicago and Illinois before that, and for hosting us here today. And we look forward to seeing you at Wrigley Field.”

Hall of Famer Fergie Jenkins was in the crowd and yelled out that Obama should wear a full Cubs uniform, but the team didn’t want to push it.

“Even though it will be hard for me, Fergie, to wear a jersey, do know that among Sox fans, I am the Cubs’ No. 1 fan,” Obama said.

“Throughout our history, sports has had this power to bring us together even when the country is divided,” Obama said in honoring his hometown team.

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220px-Rajon_Rondo_Media_Dayrr-with-champion-cup-of-nba-2007-08-rajon-rondo-11592534-340-563Rajon Pierre Rondo (born February 22, 1986) is an American professional basketball player for the Chicago Bulls of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He is a four-time NBA All-Star, and a four-time NBA All-Defensive Team member. He also led the NBA in steals during the 2009–10 season, and assists during the 2011–12, 2012–13 and 2015–16 seasons. He began his professional career with the Boston Celtics, winning an NBA championship in 2008. He ranks fourth in Celtic history in assists, and third in steals. He briefly played for the Dallas Mavericks during the 2014–15 season before joining the Sacramento Kings in 2015.

Rondo played two years of college basketball for the Kentucky Wildcats before he was drafted 21st overall by the Phoenix Suns in the 2006 NBA draft. He was subsequently traded to the Celtics where he played a supporting role during his rookie season. He established himself as the starting point guard for the Celtics during the 2007–08 season, helping the franchise record their 17th NBA championship playing alongside All-Stars Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. His breakout performance came during the 2009 NBA Playoffs, where he averaged a near triple-double, and helped his team take the eventual Eastern Conference champion Orlando Magic to seven games in the Conference Semifinals. Rondo is considered to be one of the premier triple-double threats in the NBA. He ranks 12th in NBA history in career regular season triple-doubles (28),  and fourth in career playoff triple-doubles (10).

Rondo was born on February 22, 1986 in Louisville, Kentucky, to Amber Rondo. He has three siblings: Dymon, William and Anton. He had little contact with his father, who left his family when he was seven years old. To support the family, his mother worked the third shift at Philip Morris USA, a tobacco company. Rondo was first interested in football, before his mother steered him towards basketball because she felt that the sport would be less punishing on his skinny frame.200px-Rondo_at_the_Championship_parade

After Rondo became serious about basketball, he attended Louisville’s Eastern High School for three years. During his junior year at Eastern High School, he averaged 27.9 points, 10.0 rebounds and 7.5 assists which earned him a spot on the All-State honors and was named the 7th Region Player of the Year. He transferred to Virginia’s Oak Hill Academy for his senior year where he averaged 21.0 points per game (ppg), 3.0 rebounds per game (rpg) and 12.0 assists per game (apg) and finished the 2003–04 season with a 38–0 record. In his senior year at Oak Hill Academy, Rondo broke Jeff McInnis‘s single-season school record of 303 assists, while averaging a double-double. There, he included two efforts of 27 assists and a single-game school record of 31, merely four away from the all-time national record. He also had a 55-point game in high-school, second highest all-time in Oak Hill Academy, surpassed only by Calvin Duncan with 61. Rondo was named to the McDonald’s All-American Team in 2004 and scored a total of 14 points, 4 assists and 4 rebounds in the all-star game. He also participated in the 2004 Jordan Capital Classic game, logging 12 points, 5 assists and 4 steals. Rondo was also named a second-team Parade All-American. He ended his career as Oak Hill Academy’s all-time assists leader in a single season with 494 assists, surpassing McInnis.

Rondo committed to Kentucky over hometown Louisville. Rondo, along with All-Americans Joe Crawford and Randolph Morris, gave coach Tubby Smith and Kentucky the top-rated recruiting class for 2004 according to Rondo led Kentucky to several wins including victories against the Louisville, South Carolina and Central Florida, but Kentucky failed to advance to the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament in either Rondo’s freshman or sophomore seasons. He was named to the SEC All-Freshmen Team. He set a Kentucky record for most steals in single-season, with a total of 87 steals in his freshman year and made at least one steal in every game. He finished his freshman year at Kentucky averaging 8.1 points, 2.9 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.6 steals.

In his sophomore year he had a career high 12 assists against Ole Miss, despite playing just 23 minutes, and 25 points against Louisville. Rondo also set another Kentucky Wildcats record for most rebounds in a game by a guard, with 19 rebounds in an early season loss to Iowa. He was not known for being a shooter, however, going 18–66 from three with a 57.1% FT average. He averaged 11.2 points, 6.1 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 2.1 steals per game in his sophomore year. Rondo was also named to the 2005 USA Men’s Under-21 World Championship Team, which traveled to Argentina for the FIBA World Championships. He averaged 11.0 ppg and 4.5 apg in the eight-game tournament, garnering much attention from NBA scouts. The USA U-21 team won a gold medal at the Global Games held in Texas in late July.Rajon-Rondo-rajon-rondo-18267177-1024-768

Following the 2005–06 NCAA season, Rondo announced he would forgo his final two seasons at Kentucky and enter the NBA draft. Rondo was drafted 21st overall by the Phoenix Suns in the 2006 NBA draft. Phoenix then traded him to the Boston Celtics along with Brian Grant for the Cleveland Cavaliers‘ first-round draft pick in the 2007 NBA draft and cash considerations.  He was the first point guard to be chosen in the draft. In another draft-day deal, the Celtics acquired Sebastian Telfair from the Portland Trail Blazers, finally uniting the backcourt Rick Pitino had envisioned at Louisville. He was signed by the Boston Celtics on July 4, 2006.

During his rookie season in the NBA, Rondo played a supporting role and would split time with Sebastian Telfair and Delonte West. Rondo only started in 25 games that season due to his initial backup role to Telfair. He made his NBA regular season debut on November 1, 2006, in a home loss against the New Orleans Hornets.  In his rookie season, he lacked on his jump shot which resulted in him slashing to the basket for a teardrop or layup. While coming off the bench, he managed to score a career-high 23 points against the Toronto Raptors,  and record his first career double-double in a road losing effort against the Washington Wizards.  In his first career start, he matched his career-high against the Los Angeles Clippers, though the line-ups were constantly being shuffled between Telfair and Rondo at the point guard.  After officially becoming a starter, he began to receive more playing time (career-high forty-seven minutes of playing time) and show improvement (career-high fourteen rebounds against the San Antonio Spurs, and a career-high seven steals against the Indiana Pacers).  As the mid-season approached, his numbers began to increase,  which earned him an NBA All-Rookie Second Team selection.  He finished the season with an average of 6.4 ppg and 3.8 apg,  ranking in the top ten in the NBA in steals (128)  and also ranking in the top ten among rookies in several other categories, including first in steals, second in assists and sixth in minutes.  In the end, however, the Celtics finished the season with a 24–58 win-loss record and failed to qualify for the playoffs.

After Telfair and West were traded during the offseason of the 2007–08 season, Rondo secured a spot in the starting lineup, starting in every game. Surrounded by All-Stars Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, he quickly became a steady, consistent player.  In his 77 games played, he averaged 10.6 points per game (ppg), 5.1 assists per game (apg) and 4.2 rebounds per game (rpg). His role as a playmaker reflected in him leading the team in assists and steals. In a game against the New Jersey Nets, Rondo suffered a lower back injury late in the third quarter, forcing him to miss the next four games.  He made his successful return from injury and to the starting lineup in a road win against the New York Knicks.  A week later, he matched his career-high against the Miami Heat,  and then scored a career-high 24 points in a home game against the Los Angeles Clippers the following month. During the All-Star break, he was selected to play on the Sophomore Team in the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge and Youth Jam. Following the All-Star weekend, Rondo recorded a career-high 16 assists in a home victory against the Charlotte Bobcats. Despite his solid rookie year, there was much speculation about Boston needing a veteran point guard.  In March, they signed veteran point guard Sam Cassell as a free agent to serve as a backup. The Celtics’ best single-season improvement in NBA history earned them the number one seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs.rondo_drive_basket_home_300350

Following the regular season, Rondo finished in the top five for the NBA Most Improved Player voting.  Rondo made his playoff debut on April 20, 2008 against the Atlanta Hawks and finished the game with 15 points, 9 assists and 2 steals. The Celtics closed out the series in seven games, went on to defeat Cleveland in the next round, and then defeated the Pistons in the Eastern Conference Finals. In the NBA Finals, facing the Los Angeles Lakers, Rondo recorded two strong performances, including a career-high 16 assists in Game 2. In Game 3, however, Rondo left the court in the third quarter after rolling his ankle. The ankle injury was considered a “non-factor”, and Rondo eventually made his return in Game 4.  In Game 6, the point guard posted a playoffs career-high 6 steals as the Celtics defeated the Lakers 4–2, giving Rondo his first NBA championship ring. After the game Lakers head coach Phil Jackson called Rondo the “star” of Game 6.

  • NBA champion (2008)
  • NBA All-Star (20102013)
  • All-NBA Third Team (2012)
  • NBA All-Defensive First Team (2010, 2011)
  • NBA All-Defensive Second Team (2009, 2012)
  • NBA assists leader (2012, 2013, 2016)
  • 2010: most steals (189), most steals per game (2.3)
  • 2012: most assists per game (11.7), most triple-doubles (6)
  • 2013: most assists per game (11.1), most triple-doubles (5)
  • 2016: most assists per game (11.7), most assists (839)2008: most assists (172), most steals (45
  • 2009: most assists (127), most triple-doubles (3)
  • 2010: most triple-doubles (2), most steals (46)
  • 2011: most triple-doubles (1)
  • 2012: most assists (227), most assists per game (11.9), most triple-doubles (4)
  • Most assists in a single season: 794 (2009–10)
  • Most steals in a single season: 189 (2009–10)
  • Most assists in a playoff game: 20 (2010–11)
  • Most assists per game (season): 11.7 (2011–12)


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AAlUDtEVenus Williams wallpaper 2014.jpegVeteran campaigner Venus Williams says is not at the Australian Open for “kicks and giggles” after grinding past Ukrainian youngster Kateryna Kozlova in two grueling sets Monday.

The American seven-time Grand Slam winner, who turns 37 this year, showed she is still up for a fight after coming through a near two-hour first round marathon 7-6 (7/5), 7-5 in stifling conditions.

The world number 17, who played her first Australian Open in 1998 and turned professional in 1994, the year her opponent was born, said the desire to win was still burning.

“Just like every player here, I have put in a ton of work. I’m not coming all the way to Australia for kicks and giggles. I’m here as a competitor,” she said.

“I mean, you saw me out there today, the intensity level and what it takes to win in even a first-round match against a player you may not even know.

“It’s hard work. It’s not easy. That love is there.”

Williams, competing in a 73rd Grand Slam, extending her Open-era record, pulled out of the lead-up Auckland Classic with an arm injury following her first-round match, setting back her Grand Slam preparations.

But she was still too good for the unseeded 22-year-old Kozlova.

The oldest woman in the draw and seeded 13 at Melbourne Park, she battled back in a seesawing first set to take it to a tiebreaker on Rod Laver Arena.

She narrowly got the upper hand to win it with an ace after a tough 67 minutes, pumping her fist in relief before wrapping herself in an ice towel at the changeover.

The second set was equally tight before Williams got a break to make it 6-5 then wrapped up the match, to the delight of the centre court crowd.

“I really have to give her a lot of credit for playing a match that was not a lot of errors and just relentless,” said Williams.

“I guess when I walk out there I have to expect that from my opponents… not an easy first round, but a great first round to get through, for sure.”

She next faces either Swiss qualifier Stefanie Voegele or Japan’s Kurumi Nara.

Venus Williams (born June 17, 1980) is an American professional tennis player who is generally regarded as one of the all-time greats of women’s tennis and who, along with younger sister Serena Williams, is credited with ushering in a new era of power and athleticism on the women’s professional tennis tour.

Ranked World No. 6 in singles as of July 25, 2016, Williams has been ranked World No. 1 by the Women’s Tennis Association on three occasions, for a total of 11 weeks. She first became the World No. 1 on February 25, 2002, the first black American woman to do so in the Open Era.

Her seven Grand Slam singles titles ties her twelfth on the all-time list, more than any other active female player except sister Serena. She has also won fourteen Grand Slam doubles titles and two mixed doubles titles. Her five Wimbledon singles titles ties her with two other women for eighth place on the all-time list. Williams is one of four women to have won five or more Wimbledon singles titles in the Open Era. From the 2000 Wimbledon Championships to the 2001 US Open, Williams won four of the six Grand Slam singles tournaments held. She is one of only six women in the Open Era to win 200 or more main draw Grand Slam singles matches.

Williams has won four Olympic gold medals, one in singles and three in women’s doubles, along with a silver medal in mixed doubles. She and Serena have won more Olympic gold medals than any other tennis player, male or female. Venus also holds the record for the most Olympic medals won by a male or female player shared with Kathleen McKane Godfree and the only player to have won a medal at four separate Olympic Games. At the 2000 Sydney Olympics, Williams became only the second player to win Olympic gold medals in both singles and doubles at the same Olympic Games, after Helen Wills Moody in 1924.

With 49 singles titles, Williams is behind only Serena among active players on the WTA Tour. Her 35-match winning streak from the 2000 Wimbledon Championships to the 2000 Generali Ladies Linz tournament final is the longest since January 1, 2000.

Williams has played against her sister in 27 professional matches since 1998, and won 11. They have played against each other in eight Grand Slam singles finals, with Serena winning six times. Beginning with the 2002 French Open, they opposed each other in four consecutive Grand Slam singles finals, the first time sisters had so met in the Open Era. On the other side, the pair have won 14 Grand Slam doubles titles playing alongside each other and are undefeated in Grand Slam finals.


MONTREAL, QC - AUGUST 09: Venus Williams of the USA returns a shot to Serena Williams of the USA during the women's semifinals match in the Rogers Cup at Uniprix Stadium on August 9, 2014 in Montreal, Canada. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

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Anthony Ray Lynn Officially Named Head Coach Of THE LOS ANGELES CHARGERS

a. lynnAnthony Lynn, Head Coach  joins the Chargers after serving as the Buffalo Bills Assistant Head Coach and Running Backs Coach in 2015-16.

A native of Celina, Texas, Lynn was an All-Southwest Conference running back as a collegian at Texas Tech University, where he rushed for 1,911 yards and 17 touchdowns on 481 carries. That helped him earn a ticket to the NFL where he signed with the New York Giants as an undrafted free agent in 1992. Lynn signed with the Denver Broncos in 1993 and appeared in 13 games. In 1994, he suffered a broken leg and spent the year on injured-reserve. In 1995, he moved on to the Bay Area, spending two seasons with the San Francisco 49ers (1995-96) before concluding his career in Denver with the Broncos (1997-99). In Denver, he won back-to-back Super Bowl championships (XXXII and XXXIII). Lynn hung up his cleats after the 1999 season, having played in 83 career games.

Lynn jumped right into the coaching ranks in 2000, spending three seasons (2000-02) with the Broncos as an offensive assistant and assistant to special teams. In 2003, he landed his first full-time position gig as the running backs coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars (2003-04). That was followed by similar positions with the Dallas Cowboys (2005-06), Cleveland Browns (2007-08), New York Jets (2009-14) and the Bills (2015-16). Lynn carried the title of assistant head coach in New York in 2014 and with the Bills for his two seasons there.anthony_lynn_2010_01_09

Lynn spent the last two seasons (2015-16) with the Bills, including the final game of the 2016 season as the team’s interim head coach. Buffalo led the NFL in both of Lynn’s seasons with the Bills in both rushing yards (2,630 in 2016 and 2,432 in 2015) and rushing touchdowns (29 in 2016 and 19, tie in 2015). In Los Angeles, Lynn will take over a team with a workhorse running back in Melvin Gordon, who broke out with 997 yards on the ground, 1,416 yards from scrimmage and 12 total touchdowns in 2016. The Bills also led the League in average yards per carry (5.3 in 2016 and 4.8, tie in 2015) in each of his two seasons in Upstate New York. More impressively over his last two coaching stops (New York and Buffalo), his teams combined to rush for 18,218 yards during that span (2009-16), the most combined yards in the NFL over that time period.

Lynn is known for advocating the infamous “Ground and Pound” technique. He likes to run the ball on offense, and keep the defense rested so they can “pound” the opposing team. He provides a strong running game and has exceptional run reads. Offensively, his approach spirals off the idea that the running game should open up opportunities for the passing game. He welcomes his players input and gives them a voice. By simplifying the playbook, Lynn aims to reduce the stress of his players so they can execute with precision.  Anthony has coached some of the best running backs in the game and has been the common denominator in some of the greatest rushing offenses.

Lynn is married to Stacey Bell Lynn. He has two children, son, D’Anton, and daughter, Danielle. Stacey is a news anchor at WNBC in New York City. D’Anton played football collegiately at Penn State and professionally with the New York Jets and the Canadian Football League’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Danielle studied at the University of Oklahoma and is currently in graduate school at the University of North Texas.1480625465-Bills-OC-Anthony-Lynn-reveals-Sammy-Watkins-stillanthony-lynn-600

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THIS WAS MY BEST DAY EVER: Destanee Aiava Hits With The “GOAT OF TENNIS”, Serena Williams, Who Is Her Inspiration In The Tennis World

20170103001293214413-original-960x540Destanee Gabriella Aiava (born 10 May 2000) is a professional Australian tennis player.

Aiava has a career high WTA singles ranking of 270 achieved on 9 January 2017. She also has a career high WTA doubles ranking of 516 achieved on 7 November 2016. Aiava has reached two ITF singles finals.

Aiava will make her grand slam main draw debut after winning the 2016 18/u Australian Championships, granting her a wildcard into the 2017 Australian Open. She will become the first player, male or female, born in 2000 or later to participate in the main draw of a Grand Slam tournament.

Aiava is of American Samoan descent; her father, Mark, was born in New Zealand, and her mother, Rosie, is American Samoan.

In 2012, at the age of 12, Aiava represented Australia at Roland Garros in the Longines Future Tennis Aces Tournament. Competing against fifteen of the top under-13 female tennis players, Aiava won the tournament and won the right to play alongside Steffi Graf in an exhibition match. The years following, Aiava mainly played on the junior circuit. In 2014, she won the Tecnifibre Tennis Central Championships and NZ ITF Summer Championships in New Zealand as well as Australian International’s in Queensland and Victoria. At the age of 14, she won the U18 Canadian World Ranking Event in Montreal, Canada.

Aiava commenced the year at the 2017 Brisbane International, where she qualified, including a straight set victory over the previous year’s semi-finalist Samantha Crawford. This was Aiava’s maiden WTA main draw appearance.  Aiava defeated Bethanie Mattek-Sands in the first round, in three sets, before losing to two-time Grand Slam champion and world number nine Svetlana Kuznetsova.

United States' Serena Williams, left, talks with Australian player Destanee Aiava during a promotional event on Margaret Court Arena ahead of the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017. Aiava will be the first player born this century to play in the main draw match at a tennis major. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

United States’ Serena Williams, left, talks with Australian player Destanee Aiava during a promotional event on Margaret Court Arena ahead of the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017. Aiava will be the first player born this century to play in the main draw match at a tennis major. Last week, Destanee Aiava became the first player born this millennium to win a main draw match at a WTA event.

Next week, the 16-year-old Australian will be the first player born in the 2000s to play in the main draw at a Grand Slam tournament, thanks to a wild-card entry to the Australian Open.

This week, the highlight has been hitting with Serena Williams, the 22-time Grand Slam champion and the inspiration for Aiava’s career.

Aiava was 5 when she watched one of the Williams’ matches on TV, and told her parents that tennis was going to be her career.

Her parents took her seriously, and her mother became her learn-as-she-goes coach.

On Thursday, the 35-year-old Williams did a promotional appearance for her racket sponsor on Margaret Court Arena, including a hit up against the Melbourne schoolgirl.

Asked what it was like to hit with the six-time Australian Open winner, Aiava paused for a while before Williams chimed in with an answer for her: “Great.”

Aiava laughed, admitting she was more nervous meeting Williams than she had been playing in an exhibition tournament earlier in the day.

“It’s actually one of the best days of my life,” she said. “I’ve had a lot of fun today, getting to hit with Serena. Hopefully there’ll be more opportunities like this in future.”Williams is seeded No. 2 at Melbourne Park, where she lost the final last year to Angelique Kerber. She lost the French Open final to Garbine Muguruza before winning Wimbledon to equal Steffi Graf’s Open Era record of 22 major titles.

Aiava, who was born on May 10, 2000, and was No. 386 at the start of the season, has already met the long-retired Graf, her prize for winning the Longines Future Tennis Aces tournament in Paris in 2012.After her first-round win in Brisbane last week, she lost to two-time Grand Slam winner Svetlana Kuznetsova. So she’s getting more comfortable in elite tennis company.

The arena where she hit with Williams carries the name of the woman who holds the record for most Grand Slam singles titles — Margaret Court won 24 from 1960 to 1973 in a career that spanned the amateur and Open eras.

Williams is aiming for 23 when the Australian Open starts Monday and, with her competitive spirit, there’s little doubt there’s another target for her in the future.

For now, though, she’s not prepared to mention those milestones.

“I’m not talking about that,” Williams said Thursday, despite some extra urging. “I said I’m not talking about that, move on.”16yearold-destanee-aiava-wins-australian-u18-junior-title-and-writes-grand-slam-history

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The Denver Broncos Of The National Football League Has Officially Named Vance Desmond Joseph As Their New Head Coach

Dolphins Seahawks FootballThe Denver Broncos have named Miami Dolphins defensive coordinator Vance Joseph their new head coach, executive vice president of football operations and general manager John Elway announced on Wednesday.

Vance Desmond Joseph (born September 20, 1972) is an American football coach and former player who is the Head Coach of the Denver Broncos of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the University of Colorado. He was signed by the New York Jets as an undrafted free agent in 1995, and played cornerback for the Jets and Indianapolis Colts. After his NFL playing career, he has been a coach for the Colorado Buffaloes, Wyoming Cowboys, and Bowling Green Falcons.

Joseph was the starting quarterback for three seasons for the Archbishop Shaw High School Eagles, who won the 1987 Louisiana High School Athletic Association Class AAAA (top classification) state championship and finished as AAAA state runner-up to Ruston High School in 1988. He also was a starting guard on Archbishop Shaw’s 1988–89 Class AAAA state champion basketball team.

Joseph attended the University of Colorado, and played for the Colorado Buffaloes football team as a quarterback and running back from 1990 to 1995. He finished his career completing 34 of 61 passes for 454 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions. He also had 237 rushing yards on 50 carries and a touchdown.

Joseph was signed by the New York Jets as an undrafted free agent in 1995 and switched to defensive back. He played two seasons in the National Football League for the New York Jets and Indianapolis Colts. During his career he started 6 of 17 games recording two interceptions.joseph_vance-1040x572

Joseph became a graduate assistant for the Colorado Buffaloes in 1999 and was there until 2001. After a brief time as the secondary coach for Wyoming Cowboys in 2002, Joseph returned to Colorado to become their defensive backs coach in 2002 and 2003. He spent the 2004 season as the defensive backs coach for the Bowling Green Falcons.

On February 17, 2005, Joseph was hired by the San Francisco 49ers as a secondary assistant. In 2006 he was promoted to secondary coach, a position he shared with Johnnie Lynn until 2010, when Lynn resigned for personal reasons.

Joseph was hired as DB Coach of Cincinnati in January 2014.

Joseph was announced as the defensive coordinator of the Miami Dolphins for the 2016 season.


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Dodgers Formally Announce Kenley Jansen Signing, Designate Micah Johnson For Assignment

jansen-kenley-021715-usnews-getty-ftr_1k8yl90muhjcg1wnf266gxcnivAfter nearly a month, the Dodgers made the signing of closer Kenley Jansen official on Tuesday. To create roster space on the 40-man roster, the club designated second baseman Micah Johnson for assignment, per Eric Stephen of SB Nation’s True Blue LA.

Jansen, 29, agreed to a five-year, $80 million contract with the Dodgers on December 12. The right-hander was coming off of the most dominating season of his career in which he finished with a 1.83 ERA, 47 saves, and a 104/11 K/BB ratio in 68 2/3 innings.

Johnson, 26, hasn’t yet found his footing and is very likely looking at having to find major league success with his third team. The White Sox selected him in the ninth round of the 2012 draft, then traded him to the Dodgers as part of a three-team trade also involving the Reds in December 2015.

Kenley Geronimo Jansen (born September 30, 1987) is a Curaçaoan professional baseball pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers of Major League Baseball (MLB). He has played for the Dodgers since his MLB debut in 2010. He appeared in the MLB All-Star Game in 2016.

Kenley Jansen was born in Willemstad, Curaçao,  the youngest of three sons of Isidor and Bernadette Jansen. His father worked in construction until suffering a stroke when Kenley was 12; his mother is a travel agent.250px-Kenley_Jansen_on_April_19,_2013

Jansen was signed as an undrafted free agent catcher by the Dodgers in 2005 and was assigned to the Rookie Class Gulf Coast Dodgers, where he played in 2005 and 2006. He split 2007 between the Ogden Raptors and the Class-A Great Lakes Loons. In 2008 with the Loons, he hit .227 and 9 home runs in 79 games.

In 2009, he was the starting catcher for the Netherlands team in the World Baseball Classic. In the Netherlands’ upset of the favored Dominican Republic team, Jansen threw out Willy Taveras on an attempted steal of third base in the ninth inning, a key play in the game.

With the Inland Empire 66ers of San Bernardino in 2009, the Dodgers began an attempt to convert Jansen from a catcher into a relief pitcher. After the season, he pitched in the Arizona Fall League and was added to the Dodgers 40 man roster. On May 15, 2010 he was promoted to the Double-A Chattanooga Lookouts, where he was selected to the mid-season Southern League all-star game.

On July 23, 2010, Jansen was promoted to the Dodgers. He made his Major League debut in relief on July 24 against the New York Mets, where he pitched a scoreless inning, retiring all three batters he faced and striking out two. The very next day on July 25, he recorded his first Major League save, when he pitched a 1-2-3 inning against the New York Mets.

On August 26, 2010, Jansen walked and scored a run in his first Major League plate appearance at Miller Park in Milwaukee against Yovani Gallardo. He collected his first Major League hit on August 31, 2010 at Dodger Stadium. The hit was a single up the middle against Kyle Kendrick of the Philadelphia Phillies. He recorded his first Major League win against the Houston Astros on September 11, 2010 in Minute Maid Park. He appeared in 25 games with the Dodgers in 2010, working 27 innings with a 1–0 record and a 0.67 ERA. He also saved four games in 2010.

In 2011 Jansen became a key member of the Dodgers bullpen. He was 2–1 with a 2.85 ERA in 53 23 innings and saved 5 games. He also struck out 96 batters, setting a new Major League season record with 16 13 strikeouts per nine innings.rb-kenley-jansen-e1479946050781

In May 2012, Jansen became the Dodgers closer after Javy Guerra struggled in the role.  At the end of the season, after missing some time due to heart problems, Jansen was replaced as closer by Brandon League.  He appeared in 65 games with a 5–3 record, 2.35 ERA, 99 strikeouts and 25 saves.

Jansen was a late addition to the Netherlands national baseball team for the 2013 World Baseball Classic, as he was added to the roster for the semi-finals but did not appear in the game.

Jansen began 2013 as the setup man in the bullpen but resumed the role as closer when League struggled. He was in 75 games with a 4-3 record, 1.88 ERA and 28 saves.

On February 11, 2014 he avoided his first arbitration hearing by signing a $4.3 million contract with the Dodgers. Fully established as the Dodgers closer in 2014, Jansen worked in 68 games with a 2.76 ERA, 101 strikeouts and 44 saves. He became just the fourth Dodger pitcher in history with 40+ saves in a season, joining Éric Gagné (who did it three times), Todd Worrell and Jeff Shaw.

On January 16, 2015, he again avoided arbitration by signing a one-year $7.425 million contract with the Dodgers. However, on February 17, he underwent surgery to remove a growth from a bone in his left foot. The recovery time kept him out of action until May.  Jansen was eventually activated off the disabled list on May 15 and rejoined the Dodgers roster.  Jansen struck out 23 batters in his first 14 games of the season, without giving up a single walk. This broke Jay Howell‘s team records (set in the 1991 season) of 13 games without a walk to start a season and 20 strikeouts without a walk to start a season.  He wound up striking out 27 before he finally walked a batter on June 30, eight shy of the major league record.  He made 54 appearances for the team in 2015 with a 2.41 ERA and 36 saves. He also struck out 80 batters, while only walking 8 all season.  He became the first Dodgers pitcher with five seasons of 80 or more strikeouts in relief.  In his final year of arbitration, Jansen signed a one-year, $10.65 million, contract with the Dodgers on January 15, 2016.

On June 20, 2016, Jansen picked up his 162nd career save against the Washington Nationals, breaking the all-time franchise record held by Éric Gagné.  He was also selected to the National League team for the 2016 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, his first all-star selection.  On August 24, 2016, Jansen tied Jim Brewer‘s franchise record for strikeouts by a reliever with the 604th of his career.  In 71 games, he was 3–2 with a 1.83 ERA and 47 saves, earning him the Trevor Hoffman National League Reliever of the Year Award.

On January 10, 2017, the Dodgers announced the re-signing of Jansen to a five-year, $80 million dollar contract.

Jansen relies almost exclusively on a cut fastball topping out at 98 mph, making his much faster than Mariano Rivera. In 2012, he used this pitch about 93% of the time. His other main pitch is a slider in the low 80s. He experimented with a changeup in the 2009–2011 seasons and debuted a four-seam fastball at the end of the 2012 season.

Jansen has recorded extremely high strikeout rates, garnering 14.6 strikeouts per 9 innings through the 2012 season. This is the second-highest total in history among pitchers who have thrown at least 140 innings (behind only Craig Kimbrel).

Jansen lives with his parents in Curaçao during the offseason, and they live with him in Los Angeles when they visit him during the season. Jansen has a daughter who was born on March 16, 2013, Natalia Hannah Jansen and a son Kaden Isaiah Jansen born on August 16, 2015.thkenley-jansen-gianni-jansen-7

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