49ers Fan and Dog Celebrate NFL Sunday in Matching Jerseys


A San Francisco 49ers fan was thrilled to celebrate the first game day of the season at home on Sunday, September 13, after the coronavirus pandemic upended professional sports for months. The 49ers faced the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday at Levi Stadium in San Francisco, California, for their Week 1 matchup. The game was being played without a live audience due to coronavirus safety precautions, local media reported. This video shows a man holding a small dog — both wearing 49ers jerseys — as he waves a team flag in celebration of the game. Credit: @crazyadri98 via Storyful



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Joe Daniher’s return for Essendon should put a smile on the face of every AFL fan


Last Thursday evening I received and sent about 10 text messages all saying one word — Joe.

It has been easy to see this football frenzy season as a blur, but within it have been some amazing highs and incredible feats — real blink-and-you-miss-it moments.

The absolute highlight of my season came on Thursday evening.

The Bombers were down by 36 points at the half; they looked slow, sluggish and didn’t have an avenue to goal.

Enter Joe Daniher.

He leaped, he flew, he ran, he looked brilliant and he single-handedly led the Bombers to a famous victory over the Hawks.

His straightening up of the Bombers showed that with him in the side, anything is possible.

Thanks to him, they kept their finals hopes alive, only two points out of the top eight.

The impact Joe has on the footballing community is profound, and the joy that he brings to the wider community cannot be undersold.

Injury has kept Joe Daniher off the footy field for more than a year.(AAP: Scott Barbour)

He’s one of the few people to play football with a smile on his face, much in the same ilk as Eddie Betts.

It’s this attitude and demeanour that make watching football feel pure, and you find yourself cheering and marvelling as you watch someone do what he does in such an unbridled way.

The football community has missed Joe for the best part of the last two seasons, and the weekend was a reminder of just how good the man is.

He is a slightly less athletic Buddy Franklin, but with the ability to mark the ball high above his head and kick goals from almost any range.

Like Buddy he can do freakish acts, and yet frustrate sometimes with his approach to the simple things.

He’s flawed, in other words, and he’s human — and that’s why his play connects with people.

Only 10 months ago he wanted out of the Bombers, requesting a shock trade to the Swans.

This was vetoed by the Bombers and Joe came back ready to reset.

Unfortunately, one of football’s greatest talents has spent the last year on the sidelines with a persistent groin injury.

Our last glimpse of him before the weekend came all the way back in round nine last year against Fremantle.

It was his lack of action on the park and a few years of frustration that lead Joe down the path of seeking a trade.

He looked north to the Swans and as a selfish fan, I hoped the deal got done.

Joe Daniher holds onto a yellow football after leaping into the air with three other players scattered around him
At his best, Daniher is one of the most entertaining players in the game.(AAP: Mark Dadswell)

When you consider the Swans’ forward line there is definitely space for a player like Joe.

With an ageing Buddy — who can’t get on the park himself — alongside the young tyros in Nick Blakey and Tom McCartin, the move would make sense.

Joe could roam further up the ground and Buddy could stay closer to goal.

On the smaller SCG you can already see Joe banging them in from the centre square, or field kicking to a leading Buddy.

Only last week Joe was being written off.

The All Australian and club champion was being questioned about his longevity in the game.

Some former champions of the game were questioning just how many games he had left to give.

But what we saw last Thursday evening was a player who had his power back; running and jumping at the ball at its highest point.

Pleasingly he has been selected again for tonight, off a short turnaround too, so his body must be feeling alright.

Ironically, the man who has missed the entire season bar one game now becomes the man the Bombers will pin their finals hopes on.

Their run home isn’t easy playing West Coast, Geelong and the Power in the next three weeks; they are all tough games and they will go into each of them underdogs.

Regardless of what happens from a result perspective I just hope we see Big Joe out there smiling again.

Footy is better off when he is.



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How to be a ‘virtual fan’ at NBA, MLB, and other games this summer


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COVID-19 pandemic, border closures fan fear of the other


The pandemic has bolstered a growing enthusiasm for closing borders versus external threats — and business is unwilling to present any incentive to end it.

Queensland Leading Annastacia Palaszczuk (AAP/Glenn Hunt)

At the psychological core of society’s reaction to a pandemic is the Other. Many Other folks. The infected are Many others until finally they get well, needing isolation and exclusion. Individuals who recklessly or even intentionally boost the chance of infection are Many others, in breach of societal norms and deserving of denunciation.

The racist demonisation of people today of colour in relation to the ailment works by using standard Other stereotypes of non-white individuals as unclean. And ultimately, in an epidemiological twist on Sartre’s l’enfer, c’est les autres, all people today other than your individual residence grow to be Some others, to be held socially distanced, probable resources of plague and loss of life.

That voters in states like Western Australia and Queensland are pleased to possibly maintain their borders sealed towards interstate journey, or exclude significant swathes of the exterior population, is vexing to the federal federal government and business enterprise who want borders reopened.





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Eric Dier: Tottenham midfielder given four-match ban for confronting fan


Dier denied his behaviour was “threatening” and told a hearing he was protecting his brother

Tottenham midfielder Eric Dier has been given a four-match ban and fined £40,000 for climbing over seats to confront a fan after a match in March.

The incident happened after Spurs were knocked out of the FA Cup at home by Norwich.

The Football Association ban rules the 26-year-old out of all but one of Tottenham’s remaining Premier League fixtures.

Dier has also been warned about his future conduct by the FA.

A statement said: “The Tottenham player admitted that his actions at the conclusion of a fixture against Norwich City in the FA Cup were improper but denied that they were also threatening.

“An independent regulatory commission subsequently found Eric Dier’s actions to be threatening.”

The incident occurred on 4 March in the fifth-round tie following a penalty shootout in which Dier scored, but Spurs eventually lost.

Speaking at the time, Spurs manager Jose Mourinho said a fan had insulted Dier after the game.

What happened and how did the FA come to its ruling?

Dier jumped over the pitchside barriers into the stand at the end of the game. He made a beeline for a fan and clambered over seats until he reached the top row of seats in front of the hospitality boxes.

Another video shows him being restrained by fans and security, while shouting “he’s my brother”. He is then led away by security with his arm around a fan.

The fan later said in a statement to the police, who took no action following an investigation, that he had “been an idiot”.

Dier, who has 40 England caps, argued during the hearing that his actions did not deserve a football ban as he just wanted to “protect” his brother Patrick who he believed was “in trouble”, but the panel disagreed.

In a written statement, the independent regulatory panel outlined a number of aggravating factors:

  • The stand was heavily populated by spectators.
  • Dier travelled an appreciable distance for a not insignificant period of time trying to reach the spectator – it was a determined and sustained attempt to get to the spectator.
  • He pursued the spectator after he had desisted and moved away.
  • He pursued the spectator when he knew he posed no threat to his brother.
  • Dier’s actions caused some pushing and shoving in the stands
  • Dier’s actions resulted in a melee at the entrance of exit 103.
  • He is a high profile footballer, whose conduct was witnessed by many within the ground and countless others more widely.



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Tigers fan issues apology to Ivan Cleary, Panthers after kiss video goes viral


The action led Zorbas to launch into a tirade of expletives, yelling at Cleary before the coach pointed at the scoreboard and blew kisses at the pair.

“The pointing to the scoreboard, sarcastic clapping and blowing kisses was from me after I told him what I thought of the way he treated our club,” Zorbas said on social media before issuing the apology. “Think I hate Penrith more than the Bunnies and Dogs now. Was so angry at FT. We were gallant and unlucky on so many occasions – and just let fire to a person I lost all respect for after how he treated our club. Hope my boy doesn’t remember some of the words I used.

“Was fed up. That ref was pathetic, the rub of the green went against us and I just really hate him and how he shafted us last season. Don’t get me started on his son.”

Out of respect, the Panthers did not wish to release the apology in full but said Zorbas stated that he had “embarrassed himself, his family and Wests Tigers” with his actions.

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Post-match, Cleary admitted he regretted blowing kisses to the Tigers fan.

“I’m not used to fans I don’t think. It’s been a while since they’ve been here,” Cleary said after the game. “It was just an incident. I probably wish I didn’t do anything, but I could have done worse. It’s all good. There’s no dramas. I didn’t like what he said to me. I’m not used to fans. I was probably a bit emotional. I’m glad I didn’t do what I felt like.”



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Ivan Cleary’s hilarious ‘kisses’ reaction to fan abuse in spiteful Panthers win over Tigers


The Penrith Panthers’ win over the Wests Tigers had it all with a classic thriller that went right down to the wire.

A tough clash, the result was only really decided with six minutes to go when Dylan Edwards crossed for the match sealing try to put the Panthers up 19-12.

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But the heated clash wasn’t over there with some retaliation for an earlier seemingly accidental high shot on Luciano Leilua from his brother and Tigers centre Joey.

The 58th minute drama threatened to spill over when the Panthers’ Api Koroisau went to apologise for the tackle and had a scuffle with Joey Leilua.

But with two minutes remaining, the match spilt over when Joey hit Dylan Edwards high without the ball and earned himself a sin bin.

The heated scenes continued throughout the final minutes and appeared to even get heated in the stands with Panthers coach caught on camera pointing to the scoreboard and blowing kisses to a fan and gesturing to the scoreboard.

While it was a funny moment Cleary made it clear he was getting some stick from the crowd.

“I’m not used to the fans I don’t think,” he said in the press conference. “It’s been a while since they’ve been here.

“It was just an incident I probably wish I didn’t do anything but I got could have done worse so it’s all good, there’s no dramas.”

Pressed further, Cleary said it was all part of the emotion of a tight and hard-fought game.

“I didn’t like what he said to me, as I said I’m not used to fans probably, I was probably a bit emotional. But I’m glad I didn’t do what I felt like doing,” he said with a laugh.

His son and halfback Nathan said “I don’t know what he’s doing up there, a bit crazy”.

Cleary is a tougher customer as a former player and someone who’s not stood idly by in the past.

Last year when the Panthers played the Raiders, Clearly reportedly erupted in the tunnel after his team got a talking to.

The fan can count his blessing that all he got was a kiss.



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Kogarah move leaves Panthers $25k out of pocket, Fan in the Stand scrapped


The Panthers have even made a point of referring to their round-seven clash as being played at Sarraf Strata Jubilee Stadium, one of their sponsors in direct competition with Nestrata, the official naming-rights holder of Kogarah Oval.

In a bid to appease sponsors while games were being played away from Penrith and with no fans, the club went out of their way to ensure sponsors were properly recognised by TV audiences.

Penrith are struggling to make their $25,000 custom-designed signage fit at Jubilee Stadium.Credit:Getty Images

Club officials remain hopeful they can salvage something in time for the Bunnies’ kick-off.

Benn Murphy, part-owner of Clarke Murphy Print, the company behind the Fan in the Stand initiative, confirmed the $22 Panthers cutouts would remain at Campbelltown.

“One of challenges we had when we first started was we had to do a seat audit because all the seats were different,” Murphy said.

“The seats at Suncorp, North Queensland and Bankwest were the same, but the rest are slightly different.

Penrith are refusing to acknowledge Kogarah Oval's official naming-rights sponsor Nestrata.

Penrith are refusing to acknowledge Kogarah Oval’s official naming-rights sponsor Nestrata.

“We have some clever people who work in industrial design and could make the changes at short notice for Kogarah, but I’m not sure that will be required for Thursday.”

The Fan in the Stand initiative finishes on Wednesday with more than 6500 cutouts already produced. Parramatta led the way when it came to supporting the concept.

Meanwhile, Wests Tigers are expected to shift next weekend’s Penrith clash from Campbelltown to Bankwest Stadium, but for financial reasons and not concerns about the deck.

Reggie The Rabbit will have no 'cardboard' friends on Thursday.

Reggie The Rabbit will have no ‘cardboard’ friends on Thursday.Credit:Getty Images

Tigers boss Justin Pascoe confirmed the joint venture was keen to get as many fans through the gates, and Bankwest was the best fit.

“It’s got nothing to do with the playing surface, but more to do with the fact we can get 7500 people into Bankwest compared to around 2000 at Campbelltown,” Pascoe said.

“To give our fans and members the best opportunity to see us live, we need to take it to Bankwest.”

The Tigers are obligated to play four games at Bankwest Stadium and three at Campbelltown and Leichhardt Oval.

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The Panthers were prepared to host the Tigers next weekend, in exchange giving up their home game against the Tigers in round 16. The idea had some merit given the traffic Bankwest has endured.

By the end of this weekend the Parramatta surface will have hosted no less than 11 games through the month of June.

Next weekend will see Parramatta host North Queensland, the Tigers and Penrith, and possibly Canterbury and South Sydney, who are yet to decide if they meet up the road at ANZ Stadium where the deck has been maintained even during the COVID-19 period.

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Christian Li: The young Harry Potter fan on his music stardom


Image copyright
Decca

Like many 12-year-old schoolboys, Christian Li likes Harry Potter, The Hobbit and Angry Birds.

But what sets him apart is his gift for the violin.

“I feel most happy and confident when I’m playing the violin,” he says. “I can express my feelings.”

And it has made him a classical music superstar.

Born in Melbourne to Chinese parents, Christian first picked up a violin at the age of five. It was by no means inevitable.

“My parents don’t play musical instruments. They are not musical,” he says. “My mum is an accountant and my dad is an engineer.”

But within weeks he had been chosen to play the violin in a television advert in China for powdered milk.

And by the age of 10, Christian had made history, becoming the youngest-ever winner of the Menuhin competition, the world’s leading violin competition.

“I was actually quite surprised, I didn’t expect to win such a prestigious competition,” he says modestly. “I didn’t think about winning, I just thought about playing.”

The video of his performance, on a half-size violin, of Summer from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons has since attracted millions of views online.

The self-possessed youngster does admit: “I get a little bit nervous just before I get onto stage but after I start playing I’m fine.”

And he is helped by a ritual which makes him “feel a bit calmer … and gives me energy.”

He reveals: “I always eat a banana” before curtain up.

Image copyright
Decca

Now, at the age of 12, in another musical first, Christian has become the youngest artist signed by the Decca Classics record label.

For his first single he recorded the fiendishly difficult and technically demanding La Ronde Des Lutins or Dance of the Goblins, by the Italian composer and violinist Antonio Bazzini.

Christian says he had wanted to learn the piece since he first heard it a couple of years ago.

“I was really captivated. It was Maxim Vengerov, (one of the most celebrated contemporary violinists and Christian’s hero), and I think I watched the whole piece without even actually blinking.”

‘Nine out of 10’

When it came to record it, Christian had to play it only twice.” I got it right the second time.”

He gives himself nine out of 10 for his performance. “I’m satisfied with it but there’s always room for improvement,” he insists.

And that is why Christian Li practises for four hours every day after school – and more at weekends.

“I just get used to it and I enjoy it and I feel a bit relieved after I’ve practised.”

If it sounds like all work and no play, he is keen to stress he does have spare time. He likes reading fiction, enjoying the “magical world” of Harry Potter and says he hope to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter when he next comes to the UK.

Image copyright
Hansons

Image caption

The Harry Potter books provide a contrast to Christian’s hours of violin practice

“I like swimming, cycling and running” he says and plays computer games “a little, but not a lot” like Angry Birds, rather than ones which involve “fighting and bloody games.”

Although he makes an exception for “the classics like Michael Jackson,” he says “I do not really like listening to pop music very much.”

Instead he prefers listening to movie soundtracks “like Batman, Superman and Star Wars”.

“They are very dramatic and they have lots of power in that music and they’re classical as well.”

There is no doubt his workload is demanding. He has performed at festivals and venues all over the world including the Sydney Opera House and Carnegie Hall in New York.

Christian dreams of being “a professional concert violin soloist. I love to be travelling and playing exciting music with orchestras … that’s what I like to do.”

But his burgeoning career has been interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic. He had, for example, been due to perform with the British cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason at the Australian Festival of Chamber Music in August.

Image caption

The performance with British cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason has been postponed due to coronavirus

“All of my overseas trips and concert performances were now actually cancelled which is a little sad of course,” he says.

But Christian Li doesn’t seem like a boy who is downcast for long.

“Actually on the bright side I practise more technical things than before, like scales, etudes and caprices and I can build up my repertoire to have more pieces to play.”

But even this musical prodigy concedes: “I miss having an audience.”

Follow us on Facebook, or on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts. If you have a story suggestion email entertainment.news@bbc.co.uk.





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Panthers shut down fan after Black Lives Matter protest with Eels


The NRL has followed the AFL’s lead in taking a knee to protest against racial injustice.

Richmond and Collingwood gathered around the centre circle and knelt down before the opening bounce on Thursday night as the AFL prepared for its season to resume after the coronavirus break.

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Geelong and Hawthorn did the same before yesterday’s clash and Penrith and Parramatta started the trend in rugby league following the Eels’ 16-10 win at Bankwest Stadium.

Parramatta scored three second-half tries in six minutes to overturn a 10-0 deficit and escape with a thrilling win over its western Sydney rivals, but hostilities were put aside after the full-time siren.

Players from both teams gathered, linked arms and took a knee.

RELATED: Eels stage stunning comeback to punish Panthers

Eels halfback Mitchell Moses said teammate Blake Ferguson instigated the show of unity.

“Fergo wanted to get the boys around and give a moment of silence for the Indigenous guys who have passed away in custody,” Moses said.

“It was just a little moment of silence.”

One footy fan complained after Penrith posted a photo of the touching moment on Twitter, and the Panthers had a simple response.

“Please feel free to unfollow,” they wrote.

The Black Lives Matter movement has taken off around the world after the death of American George Floyd, who was killed when a Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee onto the 46-year-old’s neck for nearly nine minutes.

Protests broke out across America before spreading around the globe.

The movement has forced Australia to confront its own issues around the treatment of Indigenous people. Multiple protests and marches have since taken place to condemn racism towards Aborigines.



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