Sports

Alcoholism, ayahuasca and the enlightenment of an NFL player
Sports

Alcoholism, ayahuasca and the enlightenment of an NFL player

LAUDERDALE-BY-THE-SEA, Fla. — The Buffalo Bills have a new safety this season.He sometimes plays close to the line of scrimmage, even lining up in the gaps and banging helmets with interior linemen. They use him as a hybrid linebacker in a three-safety dime package. He has played free safety, strong safety, outside cornerback, inside cornerback, left linebacker and right linebacker. And more.Physically and mentally, he is being challenged, but he’s grateful, content and all in.The Bills’ new safety is Jordan Poyer. It’s the same Jordan Poyer who played for the team the previous six seasons, the only player in the NFL to have 500 or more tackles, 20 or more interceptions and 10 or more sacks in that time frame, a Bills captain for the fourth time, an Ed Block Courage Award winner in 2017, a...
Jesse Lingard is a non-footballing footballer – he won’t be the last
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Jesse Lingard is a non-footballing footballer – he won’t be the last

It’s Jesse Lingard’s birthday. He turns 31 today and, at this stage of his life, he must realise it is not going to be easy shifting some of the perceptions that come from being a non-footballing footballer. For now, at least.Speak to Lingard’s former team-mates and they will talk about a guy who has been popular at all his clubs and played at a level, including a World Cup semi-final, that automatically commands respect among his fellow pros.But it is also a harsh reality that many others will be wondering how a player with Lingard’s record of achievement has spent so long without a club and seems less troubled by that situation than you might assume.Lingard last played competitive football in April, a two-minute substitute appearance for Nottingham Forest against his old club Manchester ...
Cho Gue-sung on how his life has changed a year on from the World Cup
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Cho Gue-sung on how his life has changed a year on from the World Cup

There can’t be many footballers who have gone from playing for a military team to the cover of Vogue in a few months.But that’s just one of the ways South Korean striker Cho Gue-sung’s life has changed in the last year or so.Last year was a decent one for Cho. He joined Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, one of Korea’s top teams, in 2020 but took a while to find his feet. He had been a defensive midfielder until only a few years before, moving up front to take better advantage of his 6ft 2in (188cm) height and pace, but he was still relatively young in the position.As Korean players sometimes do, he used his mandatory period of military service as a bit of a reset, and to help improve his physical condition. He joined Gimcheon Sangmu — a team comprised of players on military service that was in the s...
What we learned in NFL Week 14: The Cowboys make a statement, frustrations bubbling over in K.C. and more
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What we learned in NFL Week 14: The Cowboys make a statement, frustrations bubbling over in K.C. and more

It might be time to start taking the Dallas Cowboys seriously as Super Bowl contenders.Because they’ve never looked better in the Dak Prescott era, and their quarterback’s never played better.The knock that’s trailed the Cowboys throughout this season — their lack of a signature victory over a legit contender — was silenced quite convincingly Sunday night. Dallas whupped the Philadelphia Eagles 33-13 in a game the Cowboys were in control of from the start.That means there’s a three-team tie atop the NFC, with the 49ers, Cowboys and Eagles all 10-3. San Francisco owns tiebreakers over both due to head-to-head victories this season, and the Cowboys’ 4-1 division record gives them a slight edge over the Eagles, who are 3-1 in the NFC East. But with four games to play, plenty can change.Dallas...
Sampling the New York restaurant where Russian NHL stars find a taste of home
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Sampling the New York restaurant where Russian NHL stars find a taste of home

NEW YORK — Wild defenseman Jake Middleton was at the rink one day in November and Russian superstar Kirill Kaprizov surprised him with a question.“You ever have Russian food?” Kaprizov asked.“No,” Middleton replied.“You want to go in New York?” Kaprizov said.“Absolutely,” Middleton said.Middleton, 27, is from small-town Alberta and had no idea what to expect. He thought maybe it’d be something extravagant, perhaps even some raw fish dishes. What Middleton was introduced to on a mid-November night was a treasure trove for Russian-born NHLers looking for an authentic taste of home.Kaprizov brought Middleton and captain Jared Spurgeon to Mari Vanna.The restaurant is nestled in a quiet part of 20th Street in Manhattan. From the outside, it looks like an apartment. You could easily walk past th...