Twitter (@kfraserthecall), which often does n

lw789
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Twitter (@kfraserthecall), which often does n

Post by lw789 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:52 pm

MIAMI -- Preparing for his first trip to the World Cup, Rickie Lambert epitomizes the player who never gave up on his dream. Calling him an England striker would have been unthinkable before the last World Cup four years ago when he had just completed another season in the third tier of English football. But the 32-year-old Lambert is now in Miami as part of the 23-man squad heading to Brazil, and is getting ready to represent his country on the sports biggest stage. Enriching the fairytale aspect, Lambert on Monday completed his move from Southampton back to Premier League giant Liverpool, the club he supported as a boy but that discarded him as a player when he was 15. Out of football, Lambert found work in a beetroot factory, earning just 20 pounds a day. "It was absolutely devastating," Lambert recalled Monday. "I can remember at the time thinking I wasnt going to be a footballer -- Id been dropped from Liverpool and it was the end of the world for me. I was so devastated. "At the time, I thought nothing was ever going to feel worse than that, but I can tell people now life goes on and you shouldnt let it hit you too much ... but I never thought Id manage to get back." Following the pain of being rejected, Lambert forced his way through the lower leagues of English football, away from the glamor and riches of the Premier League, playing at Macclesfield, Stockport, Rochdale and Bristol Rovers before ending up at Southampton in 2009. On the south coast, Lambert established himself as a prolific scorer, helping power Southampton from the third tier to the Premier League and an eighth-place finish last month. By that point England coach Roy Hodgson had taken note, calling Lambert up for international duty for the first time last August. It was a dream debut at the age of 31, scoring the winning goal in a friendly against archrival Scotland with his first touch at Wembley Stadium. "Its an unfortunate truth if you want to get recognized at the top level you have to be playing at the top level," Hodgson said recently. Lambert is likely to see limited playing time at the World Cup, where Wayne Rooney and Daniel Sturridge are expected to be the first-choice strikers. But he is likely to earn a fifth cap against Ecuador on Wednesday at the Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, but England could be relying on him for penalties in Brazil, having scored all 34 spot kicks for Southampton and only missing two in his career. "Im living a dream," Lambert said. "There is a buzz about the group at the moment and there is a lot of confidence." Whatever happens at the World Cup, Lambert is likely to make his debut soon in club footballs biggest competition, the Champions League, after completing his 4-million pound ($6.7 million) move to Liverpool. "Its going to be hard to keep my emotions in check the first time I pull on the Liverpool shirt," Lambert said on Liverpools website. "Its going to be very emotional, not just for me but also for my family. These kind of moments are driving me on. When I get these moments, I seem to produce my best performances and Im able to use it to my advantage." Lambert will provide competition up front for Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge, with Liverpool needing more strikers in its squad after qualifying for the Champions League for the first time in five years. "There isnt much sentiment in football and I dont think this move is anything to do with that," Lambert said. "Ive loved this club all my life. I left here 17 years ago -- and I havent stopped loving it since." Tampa Bay Buccaneers Jerseys . -- Billy Andrade hasnt played much competitive golf over the past four years. Carlton Davis Buccaneers Jersey .Currently no, Tatjana Haenni, FIFAs deputy director of the competitions division and head of womens competitions, said Tuesday in an interview from Ottawa. http://www.shopbuccaneersauthentic.com/ ... te-Jersey/. -- The Chicago Bears agreed Tuesday to a one-year contract with defensive lineman Israel Idonije and are bringing him back for a second stint. Alex Cappa Jersey . Louis Cardinals have agreed to a one-year contract. Vita Vea Buccaneers Jersey . The Toronto Argonauts (11-7) look for an opportunity to repeat as CFL champions when they host the surging Hamilton Tiger-Cats (10-8) on Sunday.Got a question on rule clarification, comments on rule enforcements or some memorable NHL stories? Kerry wants to answer your emails at cmonref@tsn.ca. Keep up the great work Kerry, always enjoy reading your posts at TSN. Maybe you can use these questions, not game related but more on the officials. Is there any talk among the officials between periods of play on the ice, meaning players to watch out for, the flow of the game, etc.? Also, what happens after a game? Are the officials contacted by the NHL regarding certain calls, review of the game, certain plays? In general, the life of an on-ice official once they arrive at the rink until they board their next flight to a new city. Thanks, Paul Kukla - Kuklas Corner Hi Paul: Thank you for the shout-out and your general question that allows me to provide a dressing room full of insights presented in this lengthy column, which I hope you find both informative and interesting. I likewise enjoy reading the extensive material you assemble and update frequently on Kuklas Corner. Lets begin by thinking back in time to an NHL that allowed the Officials to demonstrate their unique and individual personality even to the point of having their names on the back of their jerseys. The personalities that you saw on the ice were in most cases a glimpse of what you might expect from inside the officials locker room. Highly respected Hall of Fame linesman John DAmico was a very intense individual on and off the ice. John began his mental preparation no later than the day before the game was to take place; sometimes even sooner. No one prepared himself for a game like John DAmico, which perhaps contributed to his ongoing psoriasis condition. He arrived at the rink early with his game face on and was quite superstitious. As a result, I would describe John as somewhat eccentric and definitely a creature of habit. He always sat in the same seat, unpacked and set up his gear methodically and put it on in the exact same order night in and night out. John was all business and very intense. He liked his quiet space in the dressing room to focus and wasnt afraid to tell you so if the room was too noisy for his liking. One time, as a young referee, I was chastised by this Grizzly Bear in Zebra stripes when I was doing aerobics to music in the dressing room. I immediately took my warm-up into the hallway outside the room. John was really a powerful man and would put his face in front of a punch to protect a player from a cheap shot once he entered the altercation. Many times his face was bloodied as a result but he never flinched. DAmico protected the referees in the same way. John DAmico was one of the best linesmen in the history of the game. Leon Stickle was another excellent linesman but demonstrated the total opposite personality of John DAmico. Big Stick was a fun loving guy that constantly cracked jokes in the dressing room to relieve nervous energy and tension. His warm-up consisted of a cup of coffee, a smoke and a joke. Leon laughed at his own jokes harder than any who he told them to. After games in the bar he would introduce himself as, Leon Tickle spelled with an S. The night prior to and after games in Montreal you could usually find Leon in a jovial mood playing the drums on stage with the band at the LAnge Bleu (Blue Angel Bar). Everybody loved Leon, perhaps with the exception the Philadelphia fans who remember his missed offside in the deciding game of the Stanley Cup Final against the NY Islanders. Everybody makes mistakes and he tried not to beat himself up over it. I once asked Stick how he missed such an obvious off-side and he responded that he was much better on the close ones! Even though he took the missed call to heart and it bothered him that entire summer being the professional that he was, Leon recognized the need to move forward with a positive attitude and eliminate such mistakes in the future. As a 22 year old NHL contracted referee working in the minor professional leagues I received a call from Scotty Morrison early one Sunday morning in April of 1975. Scotty asked me to get to Philadelphia right away to replace linesman Claude Bechard who was injured the night before in a game on Long Island. There was obviously nobody else available for Scotty to have to send me to work as a linesman in a game involving the Broad Street Bullies and the Atlanta Flames. I was extremely nervous but took some comfort in working the game with two veteran officials, referee Wally Harris and big Leon Stickle. Stick and I broke up one fight early and I settled in and felt comfortable as the game progressed. By the middle of the third period the Flyers were up 5-2 and as Leon handed me the puck to conduct an end zone face-off. Stickle then told me to wait for his signal because there was a TV commercial timeout. I told Bobby Clarke and the Atlanta center to hold on because of the television delay. We were all waiting patiently at the face-off circle when finally Wally Harris skated over and said, Can I ask what the hell youre waiting for to drop that puck? I told him I was waiting for Leons signal that the commercial timeout was finished. Harris scowled at me and said, You dumb-ass, the game isnt even televised! Drop the puck and lets get the hell out of here before they (the Flyers) wake up! Harris then added, And dont listen to Stickle anymore. Big Leon was standing at the blue line laughing to the point of tears. The games were tough and we worked hard but we definitely had a lot of fun. By contrast, every game is now televised and the officials calls are much more scrutinized than ever before. That includes the analysis I provide in this column and on Twitter (@kfraserthecall), which often does not endear me with my former colleagues! (Everyone has to wear their Big Boy Pants at times.dddddddddddd) Heck, the refs are even wearing helmet cams to provide fans with a glimpse of what they are looking at throughout the game. While the modern game is much more business oriented in all aspects, the varied personalities can still be demonstrated in the officials room, even if not so much on the ice. Guys respect each others space and method of preparation. Far more emphasis and effort is spent on pre-game physical preparation. Stationary bikes are available and many officials also incorporate plyometric workout exercises for quick foot speed and stretching as part of their regular warm-up routine. Flat-screen televisions are standard in each dressing room, as is a telephone to call the in-house video review official or dial directly to the Situation Room in Toronto. The calling capability goes both ways! Once the officials have completed their individual physical warm-up there is always a discussion around the room about the game at hand. I never failed to pick up the game press notes in advance to look at stats from previous meetings between the two teams, in addition to anything we should be aware of before stepping onto the ice; forewarned is forearmed as they say! I would review procedures with my referee partner concerning areas of coverage, including individual responsibilities during transitional play, finishing of checks and gap coverage, and to avoid making long distance calls by the neutral zone referee if his partner was in good position and looking at the play. The crew might also discuss individual player tendencies and the need for heightened awareness when certain individuals were on the ice; especially those that were prone to crease crashing, diving and embellishment. During intermission the officials return to the quiet of the dressing room to relax and hydrate. A period recap is quickly done and each official can share his perspective on how things are progressing. They once again revisit player tendencies as demonstrated thus far. That would include players going hard to the net, contact in and around the crease and whatever the game had presented for them to that point. The television is often tuned to the intermission report and replays become available for the officials to get a second look. Sometimes they will dial into another game being played around the League. Intermission also provides an opportunity to communicate with each other away from the noise and pace of the game. Every game has a heartbeat and the best officials will always feel the pulse of the game in the moment. The game pulse will dictate what action might be required to calm the game or to just stay out of the way and let em play. On occasion the hot-line telephone even rings. By way of example, I had a game in the Boston TD Garden in late March of my final season. With just over a minute remaining in the first period Mike Brown of the Ducks jumped Milan Lucic, catching the Bruins tough guy off guard. Brown tapped Lucic with a solid punch or two to the head before he knew what hit him. A quick fight resulted before they both hit the ice and the linesmen moved in quickly. Lucic was really pissed and I could tell this thing was far from over. I instructed the linesmen to escort both players off the ice to their respective dressing room. The period ended and I immediately searched out Bruins Coach Claude Julien. I told the coach I was concerned that Lucic was going to seek revenge against Brown. With the playoffs just around the corner I thought it in their best interest if Claude calmed his player down to avoid the potential for a suspension. Coach Julien advised me that they evaluated Lucic as a result of the head contact and were taking precautionary measures to have him get undressed. Lucic would not return to the game. I was no sooner in our dressing room than the phone rang beside my locker stall. Mike Murphy, V.P. of Hockey Operations, was on the other end of the line and in an excited tone said he was very nervous about the Lucic situation. I really like Murph and have the utmost respect for him but I laughed out loud and asked what he was nervous about? I then informed Mike we had everything under control in Boston and that Lucic was getting undressed and would not return to action. I finished our conversation by telling Mike to relax and enjoy the game. I guess Big Brother is always watching over the officials shoulder and prepared to make a long distance call of their own when they deem it necessary. We felt the pulse in that game and addressed the situation prior to receiving the phone call. That is what referees are supposed to do. At the conclusion of the game the Official Scorer brings in the game sheet for the referee(s) to sign. If there was a game misconduct or special situation in the game that requires a written report by the referees that information is also provided by the Scorer. Reports are completed on an NHL software program contained on the laptop each official is provided. One official per game is also responsible to file an ice condition report that goes to Dan Craig, The Iceman who does an amazing job. The crew then drives the rental car back to the designated hotel (Marriott) and they quickly unpack their gear to dry out (My wife Kathy never quite got used to the odor of drying equipment in the hotel room whenever she joined me on the road?). The guys rendezvous in the lobby and make plans to grab a bite to eat and some adult beverages to unwind from the game, either in the hotel or their favorite local establishment. If they are lucky they have back-to-back games in the same city and can set up camp for a couple of days. 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