Summary of “The Odds And Perils Of Gambling Successfully On Japan’s New Casinos”

While Yakuza were traditionally notorious for their violent methods, one figure stood out for favoring a more cerebral approach to profiteering: Susumu Ishii – the second-generation leader of the Inagawa-kai, Japan’s third-largest yakuza group.
When the laws changed and Ishii was jailed in the late 197os for organizing gambling, he revised his views on what the yakuza should be and heralded the rise of the modern-day Yakuza, who have at times turned the Japanese stock market into their own private casino.
Casinos could open a whole new revenue stream for the yakuza.
What casino companies coming into Japan should really fear, according to Jake Adelstein, an investigative journalist who has covered organized crime in the country for more than 20 years, is not losing money to cheating yakuza customers, but the infiltration of their companies and casino staff by organized crime members.
It might be possible to set up excellent surveillance at casinos to keep yakuza from walking in the front door.
So what else can be done to mitigate the “Yakuza risk” associated with doing business in Japan, especially as it concerns legalized gaming? First and foremost, accurate and timely due diligence must be completed prior to hiring staff and engaging in any business relationship, as the monetary incentive to penetrate or compromise legalized gaming establishments is just too great.
Third, educating all vetted casino staff on recognizing yakuza and the signs of their entrapment schemes, as well as cultivating awareness among staff of how they could become targeted as a gateway into the casino operation, is indispensable.
Cyber security may merit special attention; vulnerabilities have been discovered at casinos in other locations around Asia, so casino operators will need state-of-the-art cyber security as well.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Oral history of breakout game, 10 years after death”

Taylor, only 24, was maturing into a dominant player.
Five Fort Myers-area men were charged with Taylor’s death after they broke into his house looking to steal cash.
Ten years later, players and coaches remember perhaps Taylor’s most dominant performance.
Taylor played in the Pro Bowl after the 2006 season.
Williams: “When his daughter was born, he and I had a conversation, and he said to me, ‘Now I have someone else to play for and take care of.’ She meant so much. He was more talkative that year. He did smile more or laugh more around others. In the first couple years, he was almost like a mute. He didn’t say anything. He wasn’t socializing with a lot of people. He was an individual on a mission in life. But now it was more a family. When he brought her around the players, there was a constant smile on his face. You can’t fake the smile on his face. He couldn’t hide the joy.”
On Taylor’s first interception, Green Bay faced a second-and-4 at its own 37-yard line with 11 minutes, 54 seconds to play in the third quarter.
Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy: “That game, they primarily played Cover 2, so he’s making big plays in the back half of the field. He was a Hall of Fame-caliber player. Especially in a game like that with the weather, you know you can’t let the ball hang in the air that long. That was evident that day.”
Pedro Taylor, Sean’s dad: “Sean was always hard on himself after games. We’d talk and he’d say, ‘I messed up.’ I’d say, ‘Think about the good things you’ve done.’ And he’d say, ‘Yeah, but that play I should have had.’ I said, ‘Move on to the next play.’ He tried to do that and wanted to do that. But he knew that you’ve got to make the plays you’ve got because they could change a season or change a game.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Culture War at the Heart of American Football”

The episode has served as a founding myth for the phenomenon of modern football, a game that now extends beyond sports.
Ever since, football has grown as a central institution in American life; on its face a truly multi-ethnic undertaking, one where common ground can be found between the lines and politics can be forsaken at least for a few hours.
While football and football media rose in stature as American institutions, other pillars were collapsing.
New York Times journalist Roy Reed wrote of a 1969 football Saturday in Birmingham that: “Football has probably replaced church-going as the number one social function in the South. And it’s more than just the favorite sport. It is now a religio-social past-time, a psychic device for the release of tensions and a vehicle for doing business.” Reed’s observation was correct, and football has supplanted religion even well beyond the South now, but the replacement has been seamless because football’s a lot like church.
As a civic religion, football has married Max Weber’s protestantische Ethik, American capitalism, the worship of great men, and the individual narratives of sacrifice and superhuman feats.
Even after Trump won the presidency, he returned to football often as red meat during rallies, bragging that his disparagement had been the cause of Kaepernick’s joblessness.
While many people expressed alarm earlier this year at the brazen militarism of Trump musing out loud about holding military parades on American streets for holidays, few fathomed that weekly football games already emulate the function of military parades, showcasing the kind of firepower that the country’s military uses to vaporize homes and flatten cities.
While comparisons of football and war are perhaps over-determined, in responding to that challenge, the NFL revealed itself to be a shade of America’s most enduring war, the one that cleaves brother from brother and threatens the foundations of power.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Last Year, the Cubs Finally Celebrated. Is It the Indians’ Turn?”

The Indians will play the winner in a best-of-five division series, with the first two games at home on Thursday and Friday.
The Indians improved by eight games over last season, finishing 102-60 to earn home-field advantage through the American League Championship Series.
The end of the Cubs’ drought has made the Indians the sad stewards of baseball’s longest active streak without winning the World Series.
While the Indians still ranked near the bottom in A.L. attendance, they sold more than two million tickets for the first time in nine years.
After a lackluster first half, the Indians have soared through the last two and a half months.
The Indians’ front office – which has served for years as a feeder system for envious rivals – has always been keenly aware of its competitive window.
Now the Indians are the A.L.’s best team, perhaps the best in baseball, with expectations to match.
The best team does not always win it all – and for almost seven decades, the Indians have not, either.

The orginal article.

Summary of “2017 NFL season’s biggest surprises through four games, and what could come next”

We’re essentially one quarter of the way through the 2017 NFL season.
Twenty-eight of the league’s 32 teams have played four games, with the Buccaneers and Dolphins taking an unexpected Week 1 bye as a result of Hurricane Irma, and the Chiefs and Washington finishing Week 4 on Monday Night Football.
Four games doesn’t seem like much, but when you consider that the typical team will line up for about 500 plays from scrimmage over a typical four-week period, we’re getting plenty of data points on how they’re going to play this season.
Buffalo has allowed a league-low 13.5 points per game through four weeks, and while it helped that they played a dysfunctional Jets offense in the opener, the Bills re-established their bona fides on Sunday with a 23-17 win at the previously undefeated Falcons.
Through four games, the extra weapons haven’t helped.
The biggest surprise of the first quarter of the season has to be the rehab of the Rams and the sudden improvement of both Goff and Gurley, who looked like different human beings last season under the Jeff Fisher administration.
The former Georgia star has 106 touches through four games, which would be tied with Lamar Miller’s run in Houston last season for the 11th-largest workload over the first four games of the season since 2002.
They proceeded to win their next three games by four, five and six points, with the most notable victory coming over the Seahawks.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Can five preseason Super Bowl favorites fix issues? Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers, Atlanta Falcons, Seattle Seahawks”

The Patriots’ Super Bowl odds are still second best in the league behind the Chiefs, but they’ve been cut nearly in half after a rough start to the season.
New England returned a pair of Pro Bowl caliber players in Malcolm Butler and Devin McCourty, alongside a veteran stalwart in Patrick Chung while making a rare foray into the top of the free-agent market to come away with Stephon Gilmore, who made his first Pro Bowl with the Bills last season.
Injuries to the receiving corps have left New England relying on Danny Amendola and Phillip Dorsett more than they might have liked so far this season, but I wouldn’t be concerned about the receivers as long as the Patriots have their core three of Brandin Cooks, Chris Hogan and tight end Rob Gronkowski.
Even worse is that the Seahawks haven’t had much of a pass rush since the first half of the season opener against the Packers.
Since his breakout season in 2014, Bell has turned 6.9 percent of his touches into plays of more than 15 yards, which means we already would expect him to have four or five big plays on his first 65 touches this season.
Atlanta still deserved to win, and the score was only close after a pair of relatively meaningless fourth-quarter touchdowns, but the Falcons beat a watered-down version of the team they dominated in last season’s NFC Championship Game.
While the Falcons’ defense has improved a bit on the unit we saw during the 2016 regular season, it’s not coming close to the sudden juggernaut that beat down the Seahawks and Packers and gave the Patriots fits before gassing out in the second half of the Super Bowl under the stress of a nearly unprecedented workload of snaps.
Atlanta ranked 28th in rush defense DVOA last season and has fallen even further to 31st this season.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Answer to N.F.L. Viewers’ Prayers: Tony Romo, the Play Predictor”

“Some games, with other broadcasters, even after the play, it seems like they have no clue what happened,” said Billy Howell, 32, a Jets fan from North Carolina.
Romo is already adept at calling for replays and teaching viewers about what happened on the previous play.
After Cincinnati scored an easy touchdown, Romo explained that responsibility for picking up the running back coming out of the backfield belonged to two linebackers.
Such a moment happens a dozen times during a Romo broadcast.
Brent Musburger, the longtime ESPN and ABC broadcaster who retired last year, speculated that Romo will lose his keen understanding of teams’ tendencies the longer he’s out of uniform.
Brentmusburger finally got a chance to watch a game with Tony Romo in the broadcast booth.
Collinsworth, who last played in 1988, as a wide receiver, does not think football has evolved all that much since he was playing, suggesting that Romo’s ability to call plays will not diminish the longer he is out of league.
An article on Sunday about the N.F.L. announcer Tony Romo misspelled the surname of one of Mr. Romo’s critics.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Steve Ballmer Was My Youth Basketball Coach”

Three years ago I heard that my old basketball coach was getting back into the sport.
Under most circumstances, this wouldn’t be something worth discussing, but in third grade, my Boys & Girls Clubs basketball team in Bellevue, Washington, was coached by Clippers owner and then-Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
Ballmer initially signed on to coach his son and his son’s friends, but he’d soon realize he’d stumbled onto a superteam.
I’ll never forget it because my dad leaned forward from the stands, tapped Mark Mennella, coach Ballmer’s assistant, on the shoulder and said, “It might be time to sub out the starters. This is getting ugly.” The assistant coach relayed the message to Steve.
Coach Ballmer scanned the floor, gazed up at the scoreboard, looked back at my dad, and said, “Are you sure it’s not too soon?” We were up by 30.
My own parents’ plans to hide our coach’s identity got thrown a curveball when I found my basketball coach on the front cover of a business magazine.
He’s a Nickname Kind of Guy Steve was the first coach that gave us badass nicknames.
Steve took coaching seriously and even brought in an NBA shooting coach to help us with our form.

The orginal article.

Summary of “For Nebraska long snapper Jordan Ober, a Yom Kippur dilemma”

He’s the “Hebrew Hammer” to his former Wisconsin teammates, some of whom would notice him sitting out practice on Yom Kippur and ask: “Man, can I be Jewish today?”.
Bernstein will fast – no food or drink – and part of him will wonder why he’s at a football game rather than temple.
If you play, watch or cover college football, you simply hope that Yom Kippur, the solemn Day of Atonement, does not fall on a Saturday.
When Jordan Ober heard that the Nebraska-Illinois game had been moved from Saturday to Friday night, he thought: Oy! Of all weekends.
He takes tremendous pride in being Jewish – and in being Nebraska’s long snapper.
The 6-foot-1, 225-pound junior from Las Vegas took a leap in committing to Nebraska, which has a microscopic Jewish population.
In 2004, Yom Kippur fell on the final Saturday of September.
“Oh, my God; you dream of games like that where you can be that special guy for your team,” said Bernstein, who now works in Milwaukee for an IT staffing company.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Here Comes the Closer … In the Seventh Inning?”

Still, Jansen resists the idea of pitching in any inning but the ninth, and occasionally for an out or two in the eighth to go with it.
To Jansen, closing is a discrete position on a team’s roster, as different from pitching earlier in the game as third base is from shortstop.
Because closers don’t pitch to anyone twice in a game, by the time a batter has started to adapt to the sudden movement of Jansen’s cut fastball, his signature pitch, that batter is typically headed back to the bench.
With a week left in the season, Jansen had appeared in 62 of his team’s 153 games but had pitched just 65 innings.
He told me that using a closer in what baseball has come to call a high-leverage situation is worth “An extra seven or eight wins a season.” Because of that, and with the lesson of Miller to draw on, you’d expect to see Jansen inserted into a variety of situations in the playoffs, which begin the first week of October.
“Why not? You’re the closer, right? You’re the best, right? Let’s say I come in the seventh and do the job, and in the ninth they blow it. And they’re going be, ‘Oh, I used my closer in the seventh.’‚ÄČ” Jansen crunched his expressive face into a scowl.
A couple of times during the Dodgers’ losing streak, Roberts called on Jansen when the Dodgers were behind, just so he wouldn’t go too long without pitching in a game.
In late August, I caught a game in Pittsburgh, hoping to see Jansen pitch.

The orginal article.