Proper Weight Gain For A High School Football Athlete High School Wrestling: John Jesse’s Wisdom on Strength and Conditioning

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High School Wrestling: John Jesse’s Wisdom on Strength and Conditioning

In 1974, a book entitled Wrestling Physical Conditioning Encyclopedia was published. This book was written by a man named John Jesse.

Conditioning coach Vernon Gambetta writes, "You are probably asking who is John Jesse? John Jesse was an expert on strength training, injury prevention and rehabilitation from Southern California."

I never knew of this book’s existence until recently even though it’s obviously been around a long time. I came across it while surfing the internet and researching wrestling conditioning.

I borrowed a copy from the public library and found it really fascinating. John Jesse’s book doesn’t seem that outdated even though it was published 38 years ago. He really knew a lot about strength and conditioning.

So, what did he know?

Year-Round Training

Jesse emphasizes the importance of continuity in training. Continuous year-round physical training is imperative if a wrestler wishes to be successful. When discussing the importance of continuity he points out that, “Repeated efforts are required for the formation of conditioned-reflexes in the nervous system required for the development of great skill.”

A wrestler needs to train continuously the entire calendar year. However, Jesse recognizes the importance of breaking down the yearly training into cycles. Jesse divides the year-round training into four cycles.

The Four Cycles

  • Transition (Active Rest) Cycle – a period of one month immediately following the competitive season
  • Basic (Foundation) Cycle – a period of five months divided into three stages
  • Principal (Specific Preparation) Cycle – a period of two months
  • Competitive – generally a period of four months

Jesse advises to take one week totally off immediately following the season and then begin the transition cycle. However, you are not to engage in any wrestling or skills work during the transition cycle. During that cycle one should abstain from any wrestling, but you need to begin training for strength, endurance, and flexibly again. If you take too long of a break the physical attributes you’ve gained will begin to dissipate.

I’m sure that most of you have learned about the concept of periodization. Well, as you can see, that’s exactly what John Jesse is writing about.

In this current age, periodization is still used. Periodization is basically just planning your training. Dr. Fred Hatfield (a.k.a. Dr. Squat) is a big advocate of periodization. In an article entitled The Simplicity of Periodicity he writes of the “tremendous value of short-term periodization in your training.”

Moreover, he adds, “As your competition draws nearer and nearer, your training objectives change, and therefore your training methods change commensurably.”

Sports scientist Tudor Bompa has said, “We either have periodization or chaos.”

John Jesse writes something very similar in his book. He states, “Without a long-range training plan the athlete’s training can easily degenerate into chaos.”

Jesse knew what he was talking about.

Do you think champion wrestlers only work out during wrestling season? Do you think they train in some haphazard fashion? No! They train year-round with a well developed plan in mind just like John Jesse advocated and strength and conditioning experts still advocate.

Individuality and Specificity

Regarding individuality Jesses writes, “Training is an individual problem. All individuals react differently to the same training load.

Further, he states, that “No athlete should base his training plan on that used by some champion or outstanding athlete particularly as to the intensity of training loads.”

For instance, a high school wrestler may not be able to tolerate the training load that a college wrestler handles during a training year. You may not be able to train with the same load or intensity that Dan Gable or John Smith used while training.

According to Dr Fred Hatfield, there are seven laws of training that most sports scientists subscribe to. One of those laws is the law of individual differences. According to Hatfield, “We all have different abilities and weaknesses, and we all respond differently (to a degree) to any given system of training. These differences should be taken into consideration when designing your training program.”

Jesse knew the importance of individuality just as coaches do now and you should too.

Regarding specificity Jesse writes, “This principle maintains that training and its effects is specific to the muscle cells, organs and movements of the body in the development of either strength, endurance, flexibility or skill.”

Further, he states, “The specificity principle is of particular importance to the wrestler who requires various types of strength and endurance in order to excel in competition.”

Another of the seven laws of training is the specificity principle. According to Hatfield, “You’ll get stronger at squats by doing squats as opposed to leg presses, and you’ll get greater endurance for the marathon by running long distances than you will by (say) cycling long distances.”

A closely related law is the SAID principle: Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands.

You are a wrestler. Therefore, you must wrestle to improve at wrestling. You must also train for the demands of wrestling. You are not a marathoner so do not train like one. Wrestling is an anaerobic sport requiring strength, power, endurance, and many other abilities. So, train accordingly.

John Jesse knew the importance of specificity. Now you do too.

Supremacy of Strength

Jesse states, “The importance of strength in wrestling competition as the primary source of human power is frequently underestimated by coaches and wrestler alike. Strength underlies all other factors when one considers the total functioning of the body. Without sufficient strength other factors such as endurance, flexibility, agility, and skill cannot be used effectively.”

Similarly, performance coach Kelly Baggett states, "Maximum strength is the backbone upon which all other strength qualities lie. You’ll hear me talk a lot about being fast and the importance of speed, power, reactive ability etc. All of these qualities of strength are very important, but truthfully, unless you have enough raw horsepower in your engine you won’t be going anywhere or doing anything in a hurry!"

You may be interested in plyometrics, circuit training, and other modes of conditioning. However, one of your first priorities should be building a good strength base.

All-Round Strength

In Wrestling Physical Conditioning Encyclopedia, all-round strength or total body strength is discussed. A wrestler wants his total body to work in a harmonious manner as a well-coordinated whole unit.

Some exercises recommended for the development of all-round strength include the one arm get-up, two arm get-up, dumbbell clean and jerk, barbell clean and jerk, barbell push press, barbell jerk press, deadlift, one hand swing, two hand swing, high pull to chest, and dead hang clean.

It’s interesting to note that the one arm and two arm get-ups and the one hand and two hand swings are illustrated using dumbbells. These exercises are popular choices now for athletes using kettlebells. The get-up is usually called the Turkish get-up. The Turkish get-up is hailed as a fantastic all-round strength and conditioning exercise. In addition, the Turkish get-up is endorsed because it requires all the muscles

of the body to work together in order to accomplish the labor.

Kettlebell swings are considered the foundation kettlebell exercise and are said to burn fat, build strength, and enhance cardiovascular fitness.

His book doesn’t mention kettlebells, but John Jesse knew the importance of all-round strength.

Strength Endurance

John writes, “The type of endurance that is in general overlooked in the conditioning of wrestlers is strength endurance. It is perhaps the most important basic physical quality a wrestler should develop.”

He suggests that one way of building strength endurance is to pick two exercises and do 4 sets of each. You do one set with 30, 50, 70, and 80 percent of your 1RM respectively. You would do this during the Principal (Specific Preparation) Cycle.

Some current strength and conditioning coaches may argue that Jesse’s routine is more suited to building muscular endurance than strength endurance.

The point is that John Jesse knew that after acquiring strength a wrestler needed to convert that strength into strength that he could use repeatedly over the duration of a match.

Trainer and coach Ross Enamait states, "Strength endurance is defined as the ability to effectively maintain muscular functioning under work conditions of long duration. Strength endurance is a vital strength quality for any combat athlete. Power and speed are useless without the stamina necessary to apply these physical attributes throughout the contest."

Similarly, strength and conditioning specialist Matt Wiggins writes about strength often being the most beneficial when you can take advantage of that strength over an extended period of time. He prefers to build strength endurance by using heavy weights and shortened rest periods.

Others prefer to do circuits using dumbbells or kettlebells combined with bodyweight exercises.

The bottom line is that you want to be as strong as possible for as long as possible. Jesse really emphasized strength endurance in the strength and conditioning training plan of a wrestler.

Rotational Strength

John believed that athletes placed too much emphasis on developing the muscles of the arms, shoulders and legs, while overlooking the importance of strength in the muscles of the lower back, sides, and abdomen.

He states, “No athlete engaged in activities that involve rotational and lateral movements against resistance such as wrestling, can truly project the concept of total body strength in movement if he is relatively weak in the muscles surrounding the lower trunk.”

When writing of John Jesse, conditioning coach Vernon Gambetta states, "He was preaching tri-plane work in the late 1940’s. Big emphasis on rotary work, a surprise to the gurus of today who think they invented rotary work." He also adds, "His ideas are very contemporary; he was a man ahead of his time."

Interestingly, certified strength and conditioning specialist Bret Contreres states that many sport movements include either large or subtle rotational elements. For example, imagine a wrestler attempting to take down an opponent. Does a double leg or single leg take down only involve strength in the vertical plane? I don’t believe so. You don’t lift your opponent straight up. One is usually lifting, moving laterally, and rotating.

Throws certainly occur in the transverse plane. What’s the transverse plane? Or, for that matter, what are the sagittal and frontal planes?

According to functional training expert Fraser Quelch, "As the body moves through space, it uses any combination of three planes of motion: sagittal, frontal and transverse." He adds, "Most traditional strengthening programs heavily favor sagittal-plane movement in a training environment that promotes one-dimensional motor patterns. These factors can undermine the body’s ability to move effectively in any given direction, and, in many cases, may lead to joint dysfunction."

Strength and conditioning coach Chad Waterbury states, "Rotational strength is probably the most important strength movement quality for MMA fighters. Sure, deadlifts, cleans, squats, chins, etc. are great strength building exercises, but they only establish a base of strength: that strength base must be further enhanced with rotational movements."

So, you see, John Jesse knew the importance of rotational strength for combative athletes. He mentions various rotational exercises in his book involving barbells, swingbells, and sandbags. You may have no idea what a swingbell is. That’s fine. There are many things an athlete can do with medicine balls or simply his bodyweight to exercise in the frontal and transverse planes.

Grip Strength

Jesse states, “No other athletic activity requires the combined strength and endurance of the grip as that required in the sport of wrestling.”

Similarly, Zach Even-Esh states, "Having strong hands and a powerful grip is misunderstood and undervalued by most wrestlers. Remember, everything passes through your hands in wrestling. The stronger your hands, the stronger your holds will be. The stronger your hands, the less likely your grip is to be a limiting factor in holding an opponent or finishing a move."

Joe Makovec, strength and conditioning coach for the nationally ranked Hofstra wrestling team, discussed some grip exercises with STACK Magazine (2007). He states, "We do a lot of wrist rollers and fat bar exercises, like rows and curls. We do a farmer’s carry, too, with a fat bar and with regular dumbbells. We also do a lot of pulling motions where you have to grip a rope."

Strength coach Charles Poliquin advocates thick bar training for grip. In an article about thick bar training he tells an anecdote about a Russian wrestler who displayed his grip strength at a press conference during the 1970s by producing two pairs of pliers and proceeding to squeeze them so hard that they snapped. After this Russian wrestler defeated an American wrestler, the defeated US wrestler commented that when the Russian grabbed his arms, he felt as if they were locked in a vise grip.

Can you maintain wrist and hand control on your opponents throughout a match? It is essential to have a strong grip. Good grip strength will greatly add to your ability to control or take down an opponent.

Hamstrings and Hips

Every wrestler has heard how important the hips are in wrestling whether it be properly using your own hip strength and power or the need to control your opponent’s hips.

Jesse discusses the fact that most of the holds used by a wrestler employ the hamstring, leg adductor, and hip flexor muscles to a much greater extent than leg extensor muscles. He believed that the strength of the hamstring muscles also played an important role in the prevention of injury to the knee.

According to STACK Magazine (2005), Gary Calcagno, head strength and conditioning coach for Oklahoma State University, says that lower body strength training is as simple as doing squats, glute ham raises, and lunges.

According to Coach Dave Tate, "We have known for years that the Glute Ham Raise (GHR) was regarded as one the best movements for the posterior chain (lower back, glutes, hamstrings and calves)."

And, Testosterone Magazine says of glute ham raises, "In addition to building up those hammies, it can also make an athlete virtually invulnerable to hamstring injuries as the movement lengthens the sarcomeres to an unparalleled degree."

You may not have access to a glute ham machine. Doesn’t matter. You can do them without a machine. I’m simply pointing out that current strength coaches realize the importance of strong hamstrings.

According to Coach John Gaglione, "The strength of a wrestler’s posterior chain is extremely important for optimal performance on the mat. Most athletes only focus on the muscles they can see in the mirror; often times neglecting the muscles they can’t see such as the glutes, hamstrings, and low back. This is a HUGE mistake, especially when these muscles play a paramount role in many movements you see in competition."

According to Patrick Dale, "Hip strength is vital in grappling sports such as wrestling and jiujitsu. Throwing your opponent to the ground and escaping from a pin attempt require power in your hip muscles. There are a variety of muscles that cross your hip joints, including the gluteus maximus or butt muscles, hamstrings, quadriceps and hip flexors."

Hip flexion brings the legs forward. Hip flexors are the muscles that bring the torso and leg closer together Think of how you lower your level before shooting a takedown.

Strength and conditioning coach Kevin O’Neill states, "Through my experience working with athletes in a variety of sports I have come to the belief that athletes and coaches do not train the hip flexors for strength gains nearly enough as they should."

He says the stronger the hip flexors, (along with the hamstrings and glutes), the faster the athlete is going to be.

It’s possible (even common) to have hip flexors that are too tight. It’s possible to overdevelop the strength in your hip flexors as well which is undesirable.

Hip extension is extremely important too. Don’t neglect the importance of hip flexion or extension.

Interestingly, Kelly Baggett claims that one of the main differences between average athletes and good athletes can be attributed to the strength, development, and function of the glute musculature. I had no idea the glutes were so important.

The anatomy and physiology stuff can be confusing. I think the main point I’m trying to make is that John Jesse knew the importance that the hamstrings and hips play in wrestling and so do current strength coaches. He knew the effect proper training of those muscles could have on performance and so do current strength coaches.

Anaerobic Endurance

Jesse discusses the fact that during a match a wrestler will engage in many bouts of oxygen debt activity. Therefore, a wrestler requires a high degree of anaerobic metabolism efficiency and resistance to oxygen debt discomfort.

The author discusses the fact that a wrestler needs the capacity to continue at a high level of work in the interval between the "oxygen debt" periods of maximum exertion and still efficiently clear the waste products of the oxygen debt periods that produce fatigue in the muscles.

Have you ever seen your strength or speed drop in the third period because your muscles were burning with fatigue? It’s difficult to shoot a powerful takedown in the third period if you’re feeling fatigued.

The author discusses how a great capillary structure aids a runner in his efforts to clear waste products from his lower body. However, running cannot help a wrestler to develop endurance in the other muscles of his body such as the muscles of the back, chest, arms, and shoulders. A different form of training is required for that.

Jesse states, “Strength endurance training programs develop the wrestler’s ability to tolerate “oxygen debt” (anaerobic endurance) and vastly improve the all-important psychological quality that is called the “will-to-win.”

It’s interesting to note that strength and conditioning coach Alwyn Cosgrove has a similar view. He states, "Some conditioning coaches use sprint training as their sole method of energy system development (ESD). This is at best a short-sighted approach. It is not uncommon to see well-conditioned fighters who have used sprint based ESD fatigue rapidly in hard matches. This is because although their cardio system is well-conditioned, the effect of lactic acid on their localized muscle groups is devastating. If we do not condition the muscle groups themselves to handle high levels of lactate, the cardio system will feel fine, but that area will lock up and shut down."

Cosgrove recommends using barbell complexes. Barbell complexes involve doing a series of exercises one after the other without putting the bar down. Complexes may help condition your body to handle the high levels of lactate that will be produced during a wrestling match.

In their article The Physiological Basis of Wrestling: Implications for Conditioning Programs, Kraemer et al. (2004) state, "As a combative sport, wrestling imposes unique stresses on the body. From a metabolic perspective, the acid-base balance is severely disrupted. For example, a college or freestyle match lasts between 6 and 8 minutes (including overtime) and can elevate blood lactate concentrations in excess of 15 mmol/L and sometimes reach nearly 20 mmol/L."

In other words, a wrestling match can produce a lot of lactate. This disruption can cause fatigue. So, how can a wrestler train to tolerate this disruption? The authors recommend a circuit training format with brief rest periods. Circuit training is similar to complex training. Interestingly, the authors (much like John Jesse and Alwyn Cosgrove) note, "It is also vital that the upper body is trained in this manner to increase the capability of upper-body musculature to directly adapt to the dramatic acid-base shifts that occur with wrestling."

You may want to research anaerobic threshold training, lactate threshold training, complexes, and circuit training.

Interval Training

You may be aware that interval training, especially high intensity interval training (HIIT) is all the rage right now. The Tabata protocol is especially popular. Interval training involves alternating between bouts of high-intensity work and recovery periods of lower intensity work.

For instance, instead of running at a slow steady pace for 24 minutes a person may run hard for 2 minutes and jog for 4 minutes (6 minutes total) and repeat this protocol 4 times (a total of 24 minutes). Both workouts are 24 minutes in length, but the second workout may elicit a different training response. Or, a person may perform several 30 second sprints with each sprint followed by a recovery period and then run perhaps 10 sprints total.

The high intensity nature of the training is supposed to burn more fat, enhance one’s lactate threshold, and promote greater cardiovascular benefit than traditional slow, steady-state cardiovascular work. An athlete’s work to rest ratio could be 1:3, 1:2, 1:1, 2:1, and other combinations.

Did John Jesse know about interval work? Yes! Regarding interval work training Jesse writes, “This is physical work or activity of a given intensity, interspersed with pauses.” Further, he adds, “The steady work uptake and the repeated slowing down or stoppages of work (jogging, walking, lying down, etc.) stimulates the organism to much higher physiological adaptations, thereby forcing the organism to its optimal development, endurance wise.”

Of course, even in 1974 when Wrestling Physical Conditioning Encyclopedia was published interval training was nothing new. Interval training was first developed by German physiologists Reindell and Gerschler in the 1930s. Roger Bannister, the first man to run the mile in under 4 minutes, used interval training.

The point is that John Jesse knew the benefits that this type of training could offer to athletes including wrestlers. He knew that it had many advantages over continuous steady-state types of training.

Sandbags

John discusses the fact that sandbags are awkward to handle. That is one of the main reasons that strength and conditioning coaches advocate sandbag training.

According to strength coach Brian Jones, "During a sandbag rep or set the load may shift substantially from one side to the other, sag in the middle, or otherwise try to escape your grasp. Such shifting forces your core and stabilizers to work overtime in an attempt to get the weight back under control. You will be forced to work considerably harder to control a given load."

John Jesse also believed that sandbag training mimicked the lifting and pulling movements encountered in wrestling. Also, he believed that sandbag training was good for developing rotational strength and power.

Certified strength and conditioning specialist Mark Roozen states, "Using sandbags in a training program can help develop power, quickness, agility, and conditioning components. This can all be accomplished with a piece of equipment that can simulate contact, throws, and be utilized in ways that solid resistance equipment could not be used."

Sandbags are becoming a very popular training tool. You can find many articles online about sandbag training.

Calisthenics and Running Combined

Jesse writes, “Athletic coaches in all sports use combined programs of running, calisthenics, rope skipping, stadium steps running, etc., for the development of strength, muscular and circulo-respiratory endurance and agility.”

Strength and conditioning coach Mike Mahler likes the benefits that can be derived from "roadwork." He states, "Here is how it works, go out for a jog and every 50 yards or so, drop down and do some bodyweight exercises such as push-ups and sit-ups. Crank out 25 reps and then get up immediately and start jogging again. After another 50 yards or so, drop down again and crank out some more bodyweight drills. This is an efficient way to build up cardio and muscular endurance that will carry over to the ring."

For anaerobic endurance training Mike Fry suggests visiting your local football field. He writes, "Starting at the goal line, sprint to the 10 yd line and walk back to the goal line and do 10 push-ups, continue by increasing your sprint by 10 yds each time and walking back to the goal line. Do pushups after each return to the goal line." Make sure to do a warm up before and a cool down afterwards.

Legendary wrestler and former Iowa Hawkeye coach Dan Gable used to enjoy utilizing the stadium steps of Carver-Hawkeye Arena to condition his wrestlers. Walking up those steps with a buddy on your back could be especially grueling.

Drilling and Technique

Jesse emphasizes the importance of “improving skill (technique, use of leverage, etc.) to eliminate unnecessary movements that waste energy and use up oxygen.”

Personal fitness trainer Brian Copeland writes very similar words. He states, "It is always best to include skill practice before resistance or endurance training. The goal of skill training is not to just practice… it is to get better! It amazes me how often this simple principle is overlooked. It is my experience that people don’t really understand how to practice to make improvements, at least not beyond a basic level of skill. Skill practice is analyzing every single aspect of every movement you make and finding more efficiency, better leverage, etc."

If one desires to use sparring as a method of developing endurance for mixed martial arts, strength coach Charles Poliquin suggests, "The best way would be to pair up with 5 other fighters that each take turns to fight you. Since they are fresh, they will give you a run for your money. Depending on the system you want to develop you would manipulate the work /rest interval. For example 6-10 minutes work on fighter 1, 2 minutes off, 6-10 minutes work on fighter 2, 2 minutes off, etc. The permutations of that type of work are staggering. Twice a week should be plenty. What is good about it is that you will be forced to make decisions in conditions of fatigue, which is a determinant in MMA fighting."

Interestingly, in Wrestling Physical Conditioning Encyclopedia, the author writes of a wrestling drill for building endurance that is a bit similar to the MMA routine above. He writes, "Wrestler remains on mat and wrestles for 9 minutes against a fresh opponent each minute, with 10-second rest intervals."

Cycling Work and Rest

Even though year-round training is encouraged, one is not expected to train with the same volume and intensity year-round. Jesse recognizes the need for varying volume and intensity in the training plan. Some days will be low intensity, some medium, and others high. Some days may involve total rest.

According to Dr. Owen Anderson, "Any periodization scheme must begin with one basic element – rest. This is intuitively and logically obvious: the human body simply needs ‘down’ (restoration) periods to recover from extended periods of stress; you must convalesce from the training you carried out in your just-completed mesocycle or macrocycle."

Proper Weight Reduction

John Jesse warns the reader about the dangers and foolishness of crash starvation diets and dehydration. He recognized that crash starvation diets can have devastating effects on a wrestler’s performance. He suggests that it’s better not to diet unless you actually have weight to lose. Many wrestlers are already lean to begin with and then starve and dehydrate themselves to make weight.

Professor William Kraemer points out that a wrestler will not be functioning optimally physiologically if he engages in dehydration practices for the purpose of weight reduction.

He also notes, "Adopting different weight-loss strategies that stabilize muscle mass and body mass to prepare for a match appears to be the best way to eliminate physiological breakdown and allow the wrestler to perform at a higher level of physiological readiness."

Improper weight loss techniques can be detrimental to a wrestler’s conditioning and to his performance in competition.

Craig Horswill, PhD suggests some possible options regarding weight loss in wrestlers. Describing one of these options, he writes, "Lift weights and grow into the weight class. Be stronger at the end of the season. How many wrestlers start strong but fade in the tournaments because they are burned out after weight cutting has taken its toll? If a wrestler can grow into the weight class to the point that he needs to begin cutting weight only by the end of the season, he spares himself three months of nutritional deprivation and improves his chances of not becoming over trained. He is fresh when it really counts."

Interestingly, John Jesse mentioned that some wrestling coaches had achieved success by letting wrestlers stay at their natural weight or perhaps even gain weight during the season.

Conclusion

Wrestling Physical Conditioning Encyclopedia also covers topics such as flexibility, injury prevention, circuit training, gymnastic apparatus exercises, isometrics, proper nutrition, and more.

In his article Seven Keys to Athletic Success, strength and conditioning coach Alwyn Cosgrove discusses concepts of physical training such as the importance of strength, explosive power, endurance, flexibility, injury prevention, and core training.

John Jesse addressed all of those concepts in his book in 1974. You may want to borrow a copy of this book or buy it online. I think you’d learn a lot and enjoy reading it. If you don’t read the book it’s no big deal. The important thing is that John Jesse knew that proper training for wrestling based on science as well as years of experience had the potential to dramatically improve a wrestler’s performance.

The main reason I wrote this article is because I believe that John Jesse and his book deserve to be recognized and remembered.

But, as I said, you don’t need to read his book. So much incredible information regarding the training for wrestling and other combative sports can be found in books, magazines and journals, and online. Take advantage of the wealth of knowledge that is out there. Take advantage of science and let it help you become the best wrestler that you can be.

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Who Was The Greatest Football Player Of All Time Eto’o Advances With a New African Nations’ Cup Record

You are searching about Who Was The Greatest Football Player Of All Time, today we will share with you article about Who Was The Greatest Football Player Of All Time was compiled and edited by our team from many sources on the internet. Hope this article on the topic Who Was The Greatest Football Player Of All Time is useful to you.

Eto’o Advances With a New African Nations’ Cup Record

The highest African goalscorer in the history of the Nations Cup, Samuel Eto’o Fils yesterday added another appearance to his incredible record after helping his country Cameroon to qualify for the quarter-finals of the ongoing tournament in Angola. He equalized in the 1st minute of the second half after Tunisian Cartridge Eagles took the lead in the first half. The match eventually ended in a 2-2 draw, with Cameroon’s unbeaten Lions and Zambia’s Chipolopolo advancing to the quarter-finals.

Samuel Eto’o earlier scored in his second game against Zambia to take his tally to 17 goals, but with his goal against Tunisia yesterday he now has 18 goals. Prior to his appearance on the African Cup of Nations scene, the record for most goals was 14, which was set and held by Ivory Coast’s Laurent Poco. But in the 2008 Ghana Cup, this record was broken by Eto’o. I remember that I predicted that he might break his personal record this year and he has now done it: with 18 goals in his kitty it is a task for anyone who wants to equal and break that record. remains high. The youngster rose to football fame at the 2000 Nigeria/Ghana Cup of Nations and has not stopped scoring great and exciting goals ever since.

I can almost hear you asking what is so special about this guy; Let me just answer it. He has a very impressive record – three times winner of the best African football player award, two Cup of Nations (Nigeria/Ghana 2000 and Mali 2002), all-time top scorer in the history of the African Cup of Nations (18 goals), Olympic gold medalist at the Sydney Olympics 2000, two-time UEFA champion with FC Barcelona of Spain (2006 and 2009), UEFA Super Cup winner, multiple domestic and FA titles with FC Barcelona, ​​etc. He has really achieved a lot when it comes to African football.

Age is an advantage for this player and if he holds up like his counterpart Roger Miller, he could still be there for 3 or more editions of the tournament; and if it does, what does it mean? Of course, he would score more goals: he can only score 30 goals, which makes it harder for any player to equal or break the record, given how long it took him to break the record set by Laurent Poco. Rashid Yekini of Nigeria and Joel Tiehi of Cote d’Ivoire tried to break the record, but the best they could do was come close. Eto’o has certainly proven that he is a force to be reckoned with in African football with a record unmatched by any player on the continent. George Weah has won African Footballer of the Year, European Footballer of the Year and FIFA World Player of the Year as well as the UEFA Champions League, but compare that to Eto’o’s above records and decide for yourself who you think is the best African footballer of all time. it’s time .

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What Time Do The Washington Football Team Play Today Heroes of FC Barcelona – Johan Cruyff

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Heroes of FC Barcelona – Johan Cruyff

FC Barcelona fans fondly remember Johan Cruyff both for his time as a player at the club in the 1970s and later as the longest serving and most successful manager in the club’s history.

Cruyff’s football career began with Dutch club Ajax, who he joined on his tenth birthday, making his debut for the first-team as a 17-year-old in 1964, and the following season, his 25 goals helped Ajax win the league.

The 1966-67 season was even better for Johan Cruyff; Not only did Ajax win the league, but Cruyff finished the season as the top scorer in the Dutch league. With 33 goals to his credit, he was named Dutch Footballer of the Year, which he held for the next two seasons.

Cruyff’s move to Barcelona took place in 1973 and he quickly became popular with Catalan supporters, saying that Real Madrid had never been the reason for his association with Franco. His second season at FC Barcelona saw them win for the first time since 1960 and humiliate Real Madrid in a 5-0 win at the Santiago Bernabeu. While at Barcelona, ​​he was awarded the most prestigious football player of the year award in Europe twice in a row.

In 1979, Johan Cruyff, who was 32 years old, moved to America, where he first played for the Los Angeles Aztecs for just one season, followed by the Washington Diplomats. At the start of the 1981 season, he returned to Spain, where he played for Levante, before returning to Ajax. However, in 1983, Ajax failed to renew his contract and signed for Feyenoord, Ajax’s main rival, he helped them win the Dutch League.

Johan Cruyff also had a successful international career, making 48 appearances for the Netherlands, scoring 33 goals, and was withdrawn from the 1986 World Cup in Argentina due to the use of torture and assassinations by the Junta then in power. .

Retired as a player, Cruyff started as a manager with Ajax, but it was at Barcelona, ​​which he rejoined in 1988, that was the highlight of his managerial career.

Winning 11 titles between 1988 and 1997, his time as manager is considered one of the club’s golden eras and the team he assembled, commonly known as the ‘Dream Team’, won the Spanish league title for four consecutive years. brought 1991 and 1994.

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How Long Is A Yard On A Football Field Outside Additions to Your Home

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Outside Additions to Your Home

Sports lovers will definitely add some kind of sports accessory to their home. Whether they have a small area at home where they can practice their drills or a fence to shoot at, they have something to keep them entertained.

If you find yourself with extra disposable income to spare, you can add an even bigger addition to your home with two bedroom ranch house plans. Something that will really impress your athletic buddies will be the batting cage. This supplement is something that everyone will love. You can find a great spot somewhere in between those vacant lots of yours and build a structure that’s perfect for a batting cage. A plus for those who love to play baseball but don’t always have many people around to play with. With a batting cage, you get a machine that hits balls at you. This way you can play baseball by yourself anytime.

Another really great addition to your home made from modern house plans is adding an entire soccer field. If you have room on your property, why not? All you need to do is make sure the grass is the kind you like, paint some lines on the ground, and maybe install some sticks. If you have a large enough yard, it really doesn’t take much work. If you really want to have fun with your soccer field, you can also add some bleachers. You can also have a miniature concession stand nearby serving soft drinks and maybe some hot dogs. If you’re not really a soccer type but prefer soccer, a soccer field works too. Creating a soccer field can be even easier. You just need to buy some goals to put on both ends of the field.

If baseball and football aren’t your thing, maybe basketball is more your speed. With a basketball court, you will need to lay the floor instead of using grass. Once you have the floor in place, placing the rings at either end of the court will be simple. If your house is built from a Spanish style house plan, you can build a large basketball court inside the house. With an indoor patio, you can have really nice wooden floors painted in matching colors. No matter what type of outdoor addition you plan on your home, you can be sure that your family and friends will enjoy it for years to come.

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How Long Does A Football Game Last On Tv Satellite TV Helps Deal With Long Winters

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Satellite TV Helps Deal With Long Winters

After a few months of being cooped up indoors, most people get a little bit of cabin fever. When it’s snowing really hard outside, it’s hard to do all the things you normally enjoy. Enjoying the outdoors is usually outside unless you want to drive all the way to the ski slopes. It’s also the time of year when everyone fights over whose turn it is to walk the dog. While winter weather isn’t always what you expect, there are some great ways to deal with it. One way to bring them all together is through satellite television.

When you get home from work or school, chances are you head straight to the family room and flop down in front of the TV. While there are other things you can do most of the year, during the winter months this is usually your best option. If you don’t have a plan, then you’ll be stuck with a limited number of channels and often poor picture quality. If you find that you spend a lot of time in front of the TV, why not spend a little extra money to make sure that your viewing experience is fun and rewarding? Signing up is a great way to get more movies, more shows, and better apps.

One of the problems when it’s winter is that you can’t play all the sports you used to. Instead of giving up on athletics, you can watch professional athletes to get your adrenaline fix. If you have a premium plan, then you can probably access any games that are currently being played domestically. This can be a great idea for someone who has recently moved and follows a sports team that is centrally located in another market.

Best of all, having a package like NFL Sunday Ticket means you can have an excuse to throw a party. You can invite all your friends to brave the weather and come out there and watch the big game. Yes, you will need to do some assembly and cleaning, but at least you don’t have to worry about driving in difficult conditions. With a premium package like this, you’ll be the toast of your friends and could find yourself with a house full of people every Sunday during football season. If you already have this premium package, you know how great it is. If not, then you should start looking today to find the right plan to help you fight the winter blues. There are all kinds of packages and deals out there, so make sure you do your research and find the plan that’s right for you.

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Why Do Football Players Put Black Under Their Eyes Mobsters – The Cotton Club

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Mobsters – The Cotton Club

THE BLACKS WERE ON THE STAGE.

THE WHITES WERE AT THE TABLES.

THE MOBSTERS WERE BEHIND THE SCENES.

AND SOMEHOW THE MAGIC TOUCHED THEM ALL – Jim Haskins – “The Cotton Club.”

In the 1890’s, Harlem was the land speculator’s dream. The elevated railroad lines that had been extended to 129th Street in Manhattan, had transformed the area from the hinterlands to what was called “The Great Migration.”

At the time, black families lived mostly in the area between Thirty-Seventh Streets and Fifty-Eight Streets, between Eighth and Ninth Avenues. The upper crust of society viewed Harlem as the next step for the upwardly mobile, and as a result, splendorous townhouses costing thousands more than comparables downtown, were being built as fast as the Harlem land could be purchased by the land speculators.

By 1905, the bottom of the Harlem real estate market fell though the floor. The land speculators were forced to face the fact that the townhouse had been built too quick, and that the prices were far above what the people were prepared to pay for them.

On the verge of bankruptcy, the land speculators used tactics that today would be illegal. They decided to rent their buildings to black tenants, far above what they would charge white tenants. Then, in a frenzy to recapture their losses, the land speculators approached white building owners and told them if they didn’t purchase vacant buildings they would rent them out exclusively to blacks, thereby reducing the value of the white landowner’s properties. The white landowners didn’t bite, so the land speculators made good on their promises. Whites began moving out of Harlem in droves, replaced by black families who had never lived in such a fine neighborhood before. Black churches followed their congregations from the slums of Manhattan to the splendor of Harlem, and by the early 1920’s, Harlem was the largest black community in the United States.

However, most blacks could not afford the high rents charged by the white building owners, so they took in tenants, causing two and sometimes three families to live in a one, or two-bedroom apartment. Coinciding with the overcrowding of Harlem, came the influx of illegal enterprises, such as numbers runners, houses of prostitution, and drug dealers. This was counteracted somewhat when prosperous blacks, mostly in the entertainment business, decided Harlem was where they could showcase their talents in a neighborhood filled with people of their own race. Fritz Pollard, noted All-American football player, who made his money in the real estate, moved to Harlem, as did fellow All-America football player Paul Robeson — destined to hone an outstanding career acting and singing on stage. They were quickly followed by famous singers like Ethel Walters and Florance Mills, and Harlem was ready for a renaissance equal to that of the glowing White Way on Broadway.

However, when there was money to be made, white gangsters like Dutch Schultz and Owney “The Killer” Madden were ready to jump in and take the profits, by force if necessary, which is the way they did business anyway. Schultz muscled his way into the Harlem numbers business, chasing out such black notables as Madam Stephanie St. Claire and Caspar Holstein. And during the height of Prohibition, Madden had his eyes on the perfect place to sell his bootleg booze: The Club Deluxe on 142nd Street and Lenox Avenue.

The Club Deluxe was owned by former world heavyweight champion Jack Johnson, the first black heavyweight champion of the world. Whereas, Johnson was proficient with his fists, Madden and his formidable crew were good with guns, knives, and bats. A few choice words, backed with the threat of violence, with few meager bucks thrown in, and Johnson handed over Club Deluxe to Madden and his partner/manager George “Big Frenchy” DeMange. The two gangsters renamed it The Cotton Club.

Not to totally insult a black man with the prestige of Johnson, Madden threw Johnson a bone, and let him hang around the joint, resplendent in a tuxedo. Johnson would smile and tell everyone who asked that he was the assistant manager under DeMange.

To understand why such a great heavyweight boxer like Johnson would cower before Madden, who was barely five-foot-five-inches and 140 pounds after a huge dinner, one would have to be made aware of Madden’s background.

Owen “Owney” Madden was born at 25 Somerset Street, in Leeds, England, on December 18, 1891. In need of work, his father moved the Madden family to Liverpool. In 1903, when young Madden was only 12, his father died, and his mother re-located her family to America, settling on the West Side of Manhattan, in a neighborhood called “Hells Kitchen.”

Madden fell in with a boisterous gang known as the Gophers. He became proficient in the favored crimes of the era: robberies, muggings, and labor racket beatings. In order to hurt and intimidate, Madden’s favorite weapon was a lead pipe, wrapped in newspaper.

Madden made a ton of money in a racket called the “insurance business.” As the president of his own “insurance company,” Madden would visit the local establishments and tell the business owners that the owner needed “bomb insurance,” in case foreigners, or maybe even Madden himself, decided to bomb the businessman’s store. The business owners caught wind quick, and paid Madden what he demanded. If they didn’t pay Madden, that’s businessman’s stores would go up in flames and debris in a matter of days, and sometimes even hours. While Madden was a member of the Gophers, and making tons of money in his “insurance business,” he was arrested 44 times, but not once did he ever go to prison.

When Madden was 17, he earned his nickname “The Killer.” A poor Italian immigrant did nothing wrong, except cross paths with Madden on a street in Hell’s Kitchen. In front of a crowd of his fellow Gophers, and whomever else was standing on the street that day, Madden pulled out a gun and shot the Italian dead. Then Madden stood over the dead body and announced to the assembled crowd, “I’m Owney Madden!”

By the time he was 23, Madden had at least five other murders to his credit. Hence the nickname – “The Killer.”

However, Madden thought he was bulletproof, until November 6th, 1912, at the Arbor Dance Hall, which was in the heart of the territory controlled by the Gopher’s rivals: the Hudson Dusters. Madden strolled into the hall by himself, like he had nary a care in the world, during a dance given by the Dave Hyson Association. Madden was watching the proceedings from the balcony, when eleven Hudson Dusters surrounded him and shot Madden six times. Madden was rushed to the hospital, where a detective asked Madden who had shot him.

“Nothin’ doin,'” Madden said. “It’s no business but mine who put these slugs into me. My boys will get them.”

By the time Madden was released from the hospital, six of his eleven assailants had already been shot dead.

While Madden was recuperating from his wounds, one of his fellow Gophers, Little Patsy Doyle, figured he’d take control of Madden’s gang. Doyle was also intent on taking back his former girlfriend, Freda Horner, who now was the sole property of Madden. Miss Horner told Madden about Doyle’s intentions, and as a result, Madden told Miss Horner to tell Doyle she would be glad to meet him for a date at a saloon on Eighth Avenue and 41st Street. When Doyle arrived, dressed to the nines and all smiles, two of Madden’s gunmen shot Doyle dead.

Being the obvious suspect, Madden was arrested three days later for the murder of Little Patsy Doyle. At Madden’s trial, he was shocked to discover that Miss Horner had betrayed him too. Miss Horner testified in court that it was Madden who had set up the Doyle murder. As a result, Madden was convicted and sentenced to 10-20 years in Sing Sing Prison. He did only eight years, and was released in 1923, just in time to strong-arm Jack Johnson into selling him the Club Deluxe, a.k.a.- The Cotton Club. By this time Madden was big into bootlegging with his partner Big Bill Dwyer, and the Cotton Club was the perfect place to sell their illegal hootch, especially their famous Madden No. 1 beer, which was considered the best brew in New York City. They took in a legitimate guy named Herman Stark as their front man/partner/stage manager, but the show within the show was completely run by Madden and DeMange.

According to Jim Haskins book The Cotton Club, when Madden and DeMange took over the joint they redid the entire interior “to cater to the white downtowner’s taste for the primitive.” The club was made over in “jungle decor,” with numerous artificial palm trees dotted throughout the spacious establishment, which had seating for 700 people. The most exquisite draperies, tablecloths, and fixtures were purchased, indicating this was a “plush late-night supper club,” and the exorbitant prices highlighted that fact. The menu was varied. Besides the traditional steaks and chops, the Cotton Club cooks drummed up Chinese and Mexican dishes, as well as “Harlem” cuisine like fried chicken and barbecued spareribs.

DeMange presided over the front door like a tyrant. One rule was perfectly clear. Although the waiters, busboys, bartenders, cooks, service personnel, and performers were all black, no black people were allowed inside as customers. (The name itself – The Cotton Club — came from the light brown color of undyed cotton.) The chorus girls had to be “tall, tan, and terrific” which meant that they had to be at least 5-feet-6-inches tall, light skinned, and no older than twenty-one. The girls also had to be expert dancers, and at least be able to carry a tune. For some unknown reason, there was no color-shade restriction on the black male dancers, who were all proficient in “high-stepping, gyrating and snake-dancing.”

To show how strict Madden and DeMange were about their policy of segregation, about a month before their second grand opening, (The Cotton Club was closed by Prohibition agents for a while, ever though the local cops were on the pad), the following job interview took place. Present were Madden and DeMange, along with their choreographer Althea Fuller, and their orchestra conductor Andy Preer. The girl being interviewed was Queenie Duchamp.

DeMange to Madden: Boss, when is the club going to be ready to open?

Madden: The pigs won’t cause us trouble for a time. They know if we’re forced to close for bootlegging they won’t get their bonuses. As it is, they’re missing the extra padding and the boys have been complaining to the Sarge. Yeah, they’ve learned their lesson. As for the club’s show… let’s ask Althea and Andy.

DeMange to Preer: Andy, how’s the pit? Ready for next month’s opening?

Preer: We will be. If Althea gets her girls ready, the pit is ready to stomp.

Althea Fuller: Boss, we had a setback. One of the girls went and found a “moral conscience.” She’s following her sister, a Garveyite, back to Africa. Shame, she was a looker in the front line. Don’t worry, Boss, I’ve already got replacements ready to audition for you today. One of them looks promising and comes with a recommendation. She’s in the front row, third one in… Queenie Duchamp. First, let’s see if she can remember the steps she was taught this morning.

(Andy Preer leads the orchestra in “I’ve Found a New Baby” and 5 dancing girls audition. Queenie Duchamp is third from the left.)

Madden: Keep the third and the fifth. The other girls are too dark and short. Althea, make sure you grill them about rules and rehearsals. We are NOT running a gut bucket operation here.

(Madden leaves with his bodyguards)

Fuller: Queenie, come here. You got the job on a few conditions.

Queenie: Anything you want Miss Fuller.

Fuller: Number one – No booze, No boys, No drugs. No exceptions.

Queenie: Yes, Miss.

Fuller: Number two- Rehearsals are Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday starting at 1:00 p.m. sharp. All rehearsals are MANDATORY and lateness will not be accepted. I don’t know what you’ve heard, but rehearsals here are grueling and performances are long with many elaborate costume changes. That means you can’t afford to be draggin’ your ass around here. Make sure you eat and get your rest. Do you understand?

Queenie: Yes, Miss Fuller.

Fuller: Number three – No mixing with the patrons. There are about 700 whitefolk that walk through those doors every night. And according to Mr. Madden, they only have one goal here and that’s to spend money. They come here to hear the best Negro music and dance numbers in the city. They might act like they want to be your friend after a couple of drinks, but they don’t. Mr. Madden doesn’t want the races mixin’ and as far as I’m concerned, I think that’s better for business anyway.

DeMange: If a white customer starts to give you a problem or tries to make a connection with you, tell me. I’ll take care of it. It’s happened before. Sometimes these rich people get a couple drinks in them and they think they own the world. Don’t worry about it, just let me know. We run a tight ship here.

Queenie: Yes, Mr. DeMange. No problem Ms. Fuller. I am an entertainer and I understand the importance of practice. In fact, I’m a singer, a blues singer! If you ever need a singer….. (Ms. Fuller and Mr. DeMange look at each other.)

Fuller: Look, missy. Your goal here is to dance, smile and follow the rules… not sing. Got it?

Queenie: Yes, Miss Fuller. Got it.

Fuller: Another thing… stay out of trouble. You’re a looker and the club world can be dirty and dangerous. It doesn’t have to be though. Keep to yourself and whatever you do, stay out of Mr. Madden’s way. If you do this, you’ll be fine. Now go to wardrobe for a fitting.

Queenie: Yes and Thank you, Miss Fuller.

The Cotton Club was an immediate success with the downtown swells. On opening night, the Fletcher Henderson band entertained the crowd (Henderson’s band was the house band until June 1931). Through radio broadcasts originating nightly from the Cotton Club, Henderson’s band was such a success, he became one of the most sought after band leaders in America. Following Henderson was the Duke Ellington Band (until 1934), and then Cab Calloway and the Cotton Club Orchestra.

Despite the fact the only booze served on the premises was Madden’s No. 1 beer, customers were allowed, even encouraged, to bring their own booze they had obtained illegally elsewhere. Of course, the management had a hefty set-up charge, which included the glasses, ice, and the mixers. If a customer came unprepared and still wanted booze instead of beer, the doorman, and sometimes even a waiter, came in handy. A bottle of champagne could cost a customer $30, and a bottle of scotch – $18, a kingly sum in those days. But the customers were well-healed, and nobody ever gripped about the prices; at least, nobody who cared about their continued good health.

After a while, DeMange and Madden lightened up a bit on the “no-black-customers-allowed” policy. This happened in 1932, right after W.C. Handy, known as “The King of the Blues,” was denied admission, even though the Duke Ellington Band was inside playing songs that Handy had written. Ellington pleaded his case to Madden, and Madden agreed to loosen his policy. But just a little bit.

Light-skinned blacks were now allowed in as customers, and a few darker blacks, who were famous entertainers themselves. However, blacks in mixed parties was a definite no-no.

Writer and photographer Carl Van Vechten wrote, “There were brutes at the door to enforce the Cotton Club’s policy which was opposed to mixed parties.”

Jim Haskins wrote in The Cotton Club, “Only the lightest-complexioned Negroes gained entrance, and even they were carefully screened. The club’s management was aware that most white downtowners wanted to observe Harlem blacks, not with mix with them.”

Even famed comedian Jimmy Durante displayed blatant racism when he said, “It isn’t necessary to mix with colored people if you don’t feel like it. You have your own party and keep to yourself. But it’s worth seeing. How they step!”

Durante went as far as to intimate that blacks were innately more violent than whites. “Racial lines are drawn here to prevent possible trouble,” Durante said. “Nobody wants razors, blackjacks or fists flying. And the chances of war are less if there’s no mixing.”

In 1933, after he settled a little problem with the IRS, and with Prohibition now over, Madden decided to call it a day. He handed over the reigns of the Cotton Club to DeMange, and hightailed it to Hot Springs, Arkansas, where he opened a hotel/spa, which became the favorite hideout for New York mobsters on the lam from the law. In fact, when New York Mafioso Lucky Luciano was in hiding, because a bulldog special prosecutor named Thomas E. Dewey had a warrant for Luciano’s arrest on a trumped-up prostitution charge, it was at Madden’s resort where Luciano was finally arrested after four months on the run.

Of course, Madden was still a silent partner with DeMange in the Cotton Club, but the huge profits would soon diminish, before coming to a halt in Harlem.

It started with the Great Depression, which had cut down dramatically on the disposable income of the rich, and the formerly rich. Downtown revelers who had frequented the Cotton Club came less often, and when they did come, they spent less money. These same revelers got caught up in the street gang mentality, and as a result, an avalanches of bullets stared flying in Harlem; whites shooting blacks, blacks shooting whites, and members of the same race slinging shots at each other. With so much lead zinging though the Harlem air, white-oriented Harlem clubs like the Cotton Club suffered a dramatic decrease in attendance.

In addition, no area of America was affected more by the Depression than Harlem. By 1934, according to the New York Urban League, more than 80% of Harlem residents were on “Home Relief,” which we now call Welfare. The Reverend Adam Clayton Powell fanned the flames of racial tensions when he started leading boycotts of white-owned stores in Harlem, in order to force them to hire more black workers. Despair and resentment sprung up in the streets of Harlem, and this lead to a fateful day in Harlem history.

A dark-skinned, 16-year-old Puerto Rican named Lino Rivera was sulking around the streets of Harlem, out of work and desperately looking for a job; any job. To pass the time, he took in a movie, then went to the Kress Department Store on 125th Street. There he spotted a knife he wanted. But the knife cost ten cents and Rivera didn’t have ten cents. Rivera had just snatched the knife and put it into his pocket, when a male employee of the store grabbed Rivera, and a scuffle ensued. While the two men were battling and another white employee tried to subdue Rivera, a crowd of black shoppers surrounded the fight, obviously favoring Rivera. During the melee, Rivera bit the thumb of one of the white employees. The injured man shouted, “I’m going to take you down to the basement and beat the hell out of you.”

Big mistake.

Within minutes, the rumor had spread on the streets of Harlem that two white men were beating a black boy to death. This false rumor received dubious confirmation, when a blaring ambulance pulled up in front of the Kress Department Store. It made no difference the ambulance was there for the white man who had the severely bitten finger.

That night the streets of Harlem erupted in total bedlam. Born out of resentment of the Depression, and the dismal way white people had been treating black people in Harlem for years, hundred of blacks rioted in the streets. They looted white-owned stored and pilfered merchandise as if they had an absolute right to take it.

The perception to the downtown whites was that Harlem was no longer safe for them to venture into, even to see the wondrous entertainment at the Cotton Club. In addition, black musicians and entertainers no longer considered the Cotton Club as the top of the heap. It became a place where the entertainers could start their careers, but once they got noticed, they went on to bigger and better things. Business became so bad at the Cotton Club, and other Harlem clubs that catered to the white downtown crowd, such as Small’s Paradise on 7th Avenue, that Harlem’s Cotton Club closed its doors for good on February 16th, 1936.

DeMange and Herman Stark, with Madden’s blessing from Hot Springs, moved the Cotton Club downtown to Forty-Eighth Street and Broadway, to a space formerly occupied by the Harlem Club. The new Cotton Club was an immediate success. It had its grand re-opening on September 24th, 1936. Cab Calloway and Bill “Bojangles” Robinson performed that night, as did Avis Andrews, the Berry Brothers, and the gorgeous Katherine Perry, who was so light-skinned she could easily pass for white.

Because it was so accessible with its new Midtown location, the Cotton Club was raking in the cash. In the third week alone, it grossed more than $45,000, and in the first sixteen weeks, the average weekly gross was $30,000. The prices in the new joint were higher than the Cotton Club’s in Harlem. A steak sandwich rose from $1.25 to $2.25. Scrambled eggs with Deerfield sausage rose from $1.25 to a $1.50 and lobster cocktails went from $1.00 to $1.50.

Still DeMange and Stark kept packing them in.

One price that did decrease was the Cottons Club’s cover charge. In Harlem, in order to keep the “undesirables” away, the cover charge was $3 per table. However, since blacks very rarely crossed the “Mason-Dixon Line” of 110th Street, the new Cottons Club’s cover charge was $2 per table during dinner time, and nothing after that.

The new Cotton Club continued to thrive until the summer of 1939, when the Internal Revenue Service hit the club’s management with indictments for income tax evasion. The indictments hit the Cotton Club Management Corp, including Herman Stark – President, George Goodrich, — Accountant, and Noah Braustein – Secretary-Treasurer, with four counts of failure to pay, and embezzlement of taxes. If convicted, all three men could face up to 25 years in prison, and fines of up to $20,000 apiece. Amazingly, because he was just listed as an employee, Frenchy DeMange escaped the indictment. At trial, the Cotton Club Management Corp. was found guilty, but the three officers escaped conviction. Still, Stark had to fork over a hefty fine to the government, in addition to $3,400 owed in back taxes.

At the start of 1940, it was obvious that the Cotton Club, and Herman Stark, had money problems. Besides the high Midtown rent and the effects of the Depression, the unions, especially the musician union, had a stranglehold on Stark and his profits. Before his problems with the I.R.S., Stark was skimming money off the top to make up for any shortfalls the unions and the high entertainment payrolls caused. But with the government watching the Cotton Club like a hawk, skimming was now impossible.

The Cotton Club closed its door for good on June 10th, 1940. Stark and DeMange gave no official reason, but as one columnist put it, the main reason was, “the lack of the famous, old filthy lucre.”

Yet, that explanation would be too simplistic. Of course money was a problem, but also America’s taste for music like Duke Ellington’s and Cab Calloway’s was changing too. The younger generation of Americans were enthralled with the new jazz and “swing” styles of white bandleaders like Tommy Dorsey, Artie Shaw, and the “King of Swing” — Benny Goodman.

The Cotton Club was a great idea whose lifespan had reached its conclusion. The black entertainers who had cut their teeth working at the Cotton Club, people like Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, and Lena Horne, all went on to establish long and wondrous careers. But the concept of a night club with all black entertainment no longer appealed to the white mainstream of America.

The Cotton Club closed because it was a concept that had blossomed, then like a gilded rose, slowly died.

Still, the memory, and the impact of the Cotton Club on society will linger as long as song and dance remain an integral part of our American culture.

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How Much Does A High School Football Coach Make High School Wrestling: The Importance of Skills Training and Drilling

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High School Wrestling: The Importance of Skills Training and Drilling

Laying a good foundation of proper skills and technique is paramount to any sporting endeavor including wrestling. In order to build this foundation of skills an athlete needs to engage in a considerable amount of practice.

You may have heard the expression “practice makes perfect.”

Football coaching legend Vince Lombardi said, “Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect.”

Soccer legend Bobby Robson said, “Practice makes permanent.”

According to the philosopher Aristotle, “We are what we repeatedly do; excellence then is not an act, but a habit.”

Technical Ability is Key

In the sport of wrestling superior skill and technique almost always trumps superior strength. Strength work and conditioning can certainly be a vital supplement to your training but technique should be the primary focus of any wrestler.

It’s interesting how many exceptional athletes including wrestlers started building and honing their skills at a young age.

Retired speed skating champion Bonnie Blair, winner of 5 Olympic gold medals, began skating at the age of two. Three-time NCAA wrestling champion Lincoln McIlravy began wrestling at age five. Four-time state champion Greg Randall began wrestling in second grade. Two-time NCAA champion Cary Kolat won an AAU nationals tournament in freestyle wrestling at the age of seven.

So, experience and the amount of practice time an individual amasses can have a huge impact on their level of performance.

However, Olympic gold medalist Mark Schultz didn’t begin wrestling until he was a junior in high school. How did he become such an accomplished wrestler? Well, he already had a considerable amount of athleticism having competed as a gymnast. And, his older brother Dave Schultz (also an Olympic gold medalist) was there to practice with and motivate him. Moreover, Mark Schultz practiced in a particular way that allowed him to accelerate his learning. I believe he utilized what Matthew Syed (author of Bounce: Mozart, Federer, Picasso, Beckham, and the Science of Success) would call purposeful practice. Others call it deep practice.

Deliberate Practice

Deliberate practice is synonymous with what Matthew Syed calls purposeful practice. Syed states, “Purposeful practice is about striving for what is just out of reach and not quite making it; it is about grappling with tasks beyond current limitations and falling short again and again. Excellence is about stepping outside the comfort zone, training with a spirit of endeavour, and accepting the inevitability of trials and tribulations. Progress is built, in effect, upon the foundations of necessary failure. That is the essential paradox of expert performance.”

In a study entitled The role of deliberate practice in the acquisition of expert performance, Ericsson et al. (1993) found that to reach the highest level of performance, individuals must engage in 10,000 hours or 10 years of deliberate practice in their chosen field. Deliberate practice can be defined as high quality, high concentration practice that is not usually inherently enjoyable. In other words, deliberate practice requires a significant amount of effort and is not fun.

Deliberate practice involves repetition, but also feedback and reflection. Simply repeating a task (e.g. mindlessly repeating a wrestling move over and over) will not necessarily improve performance. A better approach may be focusing on a very specific section of a skill. For example, if you were practicing a stand-up you might go through the move slowly focusing on pushing back into your opponent while at the same time gaining hand control. You might pay close attention to detail and consider whether you did it correctly. In addition, your coach or teammates may study your technique and give you valuable feedback. You may find that you aren’t pushing your weight back into your opponent enough or you may find a more effective way of gaining hand control if you rehearse the move slowly several times and study your technique.

You might choose to only use deliberate practice during the preseason, if you’re learning a new move, or if you’re having trouble with a move. Obviously, you need to practice moves at full speed as well. But, sometimes slowing down and really focusing on improving your performance is beneficial. Doing hundreds of stand-ups with bad technique won’t improve your stand-ups. But, some careful study and feedback may help you find ways to improve.

I read some research that specifically involved deliberate practice in the sport of wrestling. In a study entitled Wrestling with the nature of expertise: A sport specific test of Ericsson, Krampe, and Tesch-Romer’s (1993) theory of deliberate practice, Hodges and Starkes (1996) found that expert wrestlers (e.g. international level wrestlers) practiced their skills significantly more often than non-experts (e.g. university level wrestlers). At 20 years of age the international wrestlers had accumulated over 1000 more hours of practice with others compared to the non-expert wrestlers. International level wrestlers (e.g. Olympic participants) increased their weekly amount of practice per week as they advanced into their wrestling careers.

Interestingly, wrestling related activities that were judged by the wrestlers in both groups to be relevant to improvement were also rated high with regards to enjoyment. So, practice doesn’t have to be drudgery. It’s just that practice takes effort and isn’t usually fun in and of itself. The improvement, however, that you see over time can be rewarding and enjoyable. If you only practice your favorite moves in order to make practice enjoyable then you may not continue learning and improving. Personally, I think learning new moves and practicing can be fun but it takes discipline and hard work to become really proficient in your skills. So, practice isn’t usually fun in the conventional sense. You may get tired of drilling moves at times but it’s important.

Some research has shown that wrestlers of various levels (e.g. Olympic wrestlers and high school wrestlers) spend a small amount of practice time engaged in full sparring. Even at an elite level more time is spent on instruction and drilling than wrestling full out. Of course, some practices involve more live wrestling than others depending upon what phase of the season wrestlers are in but instruction and drilling are always the backbone of an optimal wrestling practice.

Perfect Repetitions

We see from our discussion above it’s not just the quantity but the quality of practice that matters. Personal fitness trainer Brian Copeland has written about the importance of perfect reps. Anyone training in wrestling long enough will accumulate hundreds of thousands of repetitions of different moves and skills. But, are they perfect repetitions or is the wrestler just going through the motions? Repeating a given skill over and over again does not in and of itself make perfect. Copeland states, “Deep practice literally means developing your technique to an absolutely amazing level and working on every single aspect of it… really owning it.”

The key to reaching elite levels, therefore, is to practice correctly. Make sure you have learned the proper technique. The constant repetition of incorrect wrestling techniques will only make you perfect at incorrect techniques.

I enjoy watching the videos put out by the Granby School of Wrestling. They break each move down into steps and show the completed move slowly and at full speed. I mentioned earlier that sometimes it’s good to slow down when learning a new move or skill.

Elite athletes from a variety of sports can attest to the importance of practice. Athletes like Jack Nicklaus, Wayne Gretzky, David Beckham, Michael Jordan, and Tiger Woods all believe in the power of practice.

For example, golf legend Jack Nicklaus states, “Nobody – but nobody – has ever become really proficient at golf without practice, without doing a lot of thinking and then hitting a lot of shots. It isn’t so much a lack of talent; it’s a lack of being able to repeat good shots consistently that frustrates most players. And the only answer to that is practice.”

Soccer legend David Beckham states simply, “My secret is practice.”

Great Wrestlers Drill

Four-time world champion and two-time Olympic champion John Smith made drilling a regular part of his training. In fact, drilling was the mainstay of his training. He states, “I probably hit a million low single legs in my lifetime. I probably drilled a leg lace 40 or 50 times a day. I earned the right to be able to hit sharp techniques. It had nothing to do with talent.”

The former Iowa Hawkeye wrestler Mark Ironside (a two-time state champion and two-time NCAA champion) often stayed after high school wrestling practice to continue drilling.

John Smith and Ken Chertow are both advocates of shadow wrestling (i.e. shadow drilling). The good thing about shadow drilling is that you don’t need a workout partner. You can simply rehearse the moves and skills you want to improve upon for as long as you want.

Great Wrestlers Know Many Techniques

I mentioned earlier how Olympian Mark Schultz didn’t begin wrestling until he was a junior in high school. So, how did he turbo charge his learning? Schultz made what he called a technique book.

Schultz states, “Anytime I learned anything, I’d write it down. I made my technique notebook and I divided my techniques by tie up. I’d make a page like front headlock on the top of the page and write down all of the different techniques I could finish with. I’d have all the counters to the front headlock on the back page. I’d have another page and write high crotch and write all of the finishes from there, lift, trip, spin, go behind, run the pipe, switch to another move, backing down to hip, go out the back door, etc.”

Schultz also attended camps and learned a lot by watching and then copying good wrestlers. I think he was able to accelerate his learning by spending a vast amount of time engaged in purposeful practice.

Elite wrestlers have a vast arsenal of moves and techniques. They have mastered the small details that determine whether a technique works well or not. They know how to deal with any situation they may encounter on the mat. Listen to your coach, watch videos, read books, go to clinics and camps, practice diligently, and compete to become the best wrestler you can be.

Studying Videos

Watching both technique videos and videos of matches can help you improve your wrestling skills.

Ken Chertow, a successful wrestler in both folkstyle and freestyle wrestling states, “If a move works at the highest levels of competition, it would probably work for you. Take the time to acquire and study footage of our nation’s and world’s best wrestlers. I videotaped the 1984 Olympics on my home VCR and copied and bought tape of world class competition ever since.”

He also writes, “I wish I knew the different techniques I know now during my competitive career. I started to realize how valuable of a learning tool video could be early in college.”

Mark Ironside used to analyze videos of his high school matches shot by his mother. He had his mother tape each match so he could later evaluate his technique.

I enjoy reading an anecdote by former Wisconsin high school wrestling standout Steve Hoffman in which he describes obtaining a video on the half-nelson series before his junior year in high school. That’s right; he got a video tape on a basic move that every wrestler learns. But, from this video he learned to apply the half-nelson from new angles and pinned many opponents using this newfound knowledge.

Lincoln McIlravy and Cary Kolat watched instructional videotapes as kids to help them develop their wrestling skills.

Practicing Skills in Your Mind

Corky Fowler was a ski-instructor superstar and one of the first Americans to create the sport of aerial acrobatics on skis. He has often been credited with being the first American to master an aerial trick called a full-layout forward flip. He and Christopher Smith coauthored a book entitled The Hidden Skier (1977) that contains many visualization exercises for skiers.

Fowler states, “I’ve been mentally practicing my skiing during the summers for years. On the first day of each ski season, I ski as well as I did on the last day of the past season. Before I began mentally skiing, it would usually take me several days to be able to ski as well as I had the year before.”

Mental rehearsal can potentially enhance your skill development. If you can’t drill with a partner or don’t feel like shadow wrestling, you can always mentally practice your wrestling skills. You can practice in study hall at school or while lying in bed before falling asleep. Visualization or mental rehearsal allows you to practice anytime.

How to Drill

Drilling is not the same as live wrestling. You don’t need to give your partner 100% resistance. He needs to be able to perfect his technique. On the other hand, you need to give some resistance and not simply act like a rag doll for him to throw around. Simply give your drilling partner a reasonable amount of resistance. You need to slow down when drilling a move or technique you’ve just learned. As you begin to feel comfortable with it then you can speed it up. You can also communicate with your drilling partner and let him know if you’re trying a new technique and want his opinion on your execution of it. You can also ask him to respond a certain way to moves so you can practice a situation like when an opponent sprawls and uses a whizzer.

You can also use drilling as a form of conditioning while still improving your wrestling skills. Two-time NCAA wrestling champion Royce Alger credits his success to a training concept introduced to him by Dan Gable called hard drilling. Alger states, “I had to lift, penetrate and keep going through the full range of the move while guys were giving me 30 to 40 percent resistance.” Alger claims that hard drilling is even better than hard wrestling for conditioning purposes.

Similarly, I’ve read that John Smith also incorporated some form of lifting in many of his takedown drills while pushing himself intensely. I’ve also read that world champion Russian wrestlers use high intensity drilling.

So, when learning new skills you may want to slow down. On the other hand, when practicing skills you’ve mastered sometimes it’s good to speed things up a bit and perform high intensity drilling.

Resources to Consider:

  • Bounce by Matthew Syed
  • Talent is Overrated by Geoff Colvin
  • The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle
  • Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
  • Wrestling Tough by Mike Chapman
  • Granby School of Wrestling Technique Videos

Key Points:

  • Technical skill is of paramount importance to wrestling success
  • Innate talent helps but purposeful practice can greatly improve your performance level
  • Quantity and quality of practice are both important
  • The number of perfect repetitions is more important the total number of repetitions
  • Great wrestlers make drilling an important component of their training
  • Be sure to know a great number of moves and techniques and how to do them correctly
  • Watching instructional videos and videos of matches can help improve your techniques
  • Mental rehearsal can enhance your skills
  • Drilling is not the same as hard wrestling; drilling is mainly an opportunity to perfect technique
  • Hard drilling can improve your skills and your conditioning

Conclusion

All things considered, it is your technical ability that will determine your outcome on the wrestling mat. Of course, attaining a high level of strength and conditioning will help you to execute those skills more successfully. However, technical prowess is paramount. So, be sure to practice your skills and use drilling to be the best wrestler you can be.

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Community Shield Man City Vs. Liverpool Is English Footballs Premier League Super Match Time: Chelsea Vs Man United

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Premier League Super Match Time: Chelsea Vs Man United

It’s game time at Stamford Bridge, with Chelsea hosting Man United in the 18th game on Sunday, December 19.

Chelsea were beaten 3-1 in their traditional opening game of the season when they met the Red Devils in the Community Shield final at Wembley on 8 August. In the wake of this result, there was much speculation about how the league season would play out.

Ahead of that game, there was talk of United relying too much on a Wayne Rooney side who have not scored a goal since March. Additionally, Rooney’s poor form at the World Cup in South Africa did not bode well for Sir Alex’s charges.

Berbatov and Nani proved inadequate replacements for Ronaldo and Tevez in 2009-10, when the Old Trafford side were a point short of the title and riding on Rooney’s prolific season.

United’s victory in the Community Shield final was combined brilliantly up front by second-half substitutes Berbatov and Nani, boosted by new signings in Valencia and Hernandez and Scholes, who belied their years with a stunning pass.

Van der Sar was as safe between the posts as ever; Vidic and Evans were solid in defense. Rooney, who only played in the first half, was quiet except for a square pass to Valencia from an aerial ball from Scholes that set up Valencia’s goal. Carrick kept it simple with short, effective passes, while Park and Owen played quiet games without much energy.

While Hernandez’s goalscoring ability was highlighted when he netted United’s second of the game, it was Valencia who stood out on the day with his runs down the right. Cole couldn’t handle Ecuador’s speed and guile.

In Cech’s absence, Hilario has been filling in between the posts for Chelsea. He was backed by four men as Terry appeared unshaken by the ghosts of the World Cup. Although Ivanovic and Ferreira were brilliantly effective, they were exposed to dangerous passes after Cole failed to close down Chelsea’s left flank.

Lampard, in deep midfield like Terry, seemed still under the pressure of his World Cup hangover, while Mikel, who partnered him, did not do enough to close the gap in the opposition midfield.

Kalou was the only bright spot with excellent runs and dribbling, but suffered from a lack of support from his attacking partners. Anelka looked disjointed and posed no threat to United’s goal. Malouda showed his potential but, like Kalou, looked for support that he didn’t get.

Drogba, fresh from surgery that kept him out of much of the World Cup, was a shadow of himself as he came on as a second-half substitute, while Sturridge and Benayoun were given little chance to show their skills in the short term. half camo

There was a lot of water under the Premier League bridge after the Wembley game, which snapped the Red Devils’ three-game losing streak against the Blues.

Chelsea got their season off to a flying start with 6-0 wins, albeit against much weaker opponents in West Brom and Wigan. they followed that up with wins over Stoke, West Ham and Blackpool and after five game weeks looked set to run away with the league title, even as arch-rivals Manchester United recorded a couple of away draws against Fulham and Everton , who are located in their home. Wins in first five games against Newcastle, West Ham and Liverpool.

Away defeats to Man City and Aston Villa, either side of a home win against Arsenal, have slowed the Blues somewhat but they remain top of the table, although Bolton, Sunderland and West Brom each they got one point from “Red Devils”. in their next three games.

The Old Trafford side regained their stride by winning their ninth and tenth games against Wolves and Blackburn respectively; United won their ninth and tenth against Stoke and Tottenham to keep the Old Trafford trophy in the ring.

Chelsea’s campaign ended with three losses to Liverpool, Sunderland and Birmingham and two draws to Newcastle and Everton. With a solitary win this term against Fulham, Ancelotti’s side suddenly find themselves third in the table after 15 weeks in charge.

Meanwhile, Manchester United recorded 11-15 wins against Wolves, Wigan and Blackburn, along with draws against Man City and Aston Villa. With the Round of 16 tie against Blackpool abandoned due to inclement weather, United are sitting pretty, just one point behind. new Arsenal tables.

A look at the last nine league games between Chelsea and United makes interesting reading. “Chelsea” had a huge advantage over the Red Devils during this period with five wins and only one loss.

Chelsea’s home record this season has been excellent, winning six of their eight home games while losing just one and drawing the remaining.

United’s record on the road in terms of winning games was not very good; On the road, Sir Alex’s team won only one match and drew six matches.

Both sides should go with 11 full strength on December 19. Chelsea will welcome Lampard back into the fray and that should give the Blues the stability they currently lack in midfield.

Possible Chelsea XI: Cech, Bosingwa, Ivanovic, Terry, Cole, Essien, Lampard, Malouda, Kalou, Drogba and Anelka.

Possible Manchester United XI: Van der Sar, Da Silva, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Nani, Carrick, Anderson, Park, Berbatov and Rooney

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What Channel Is The Thursday Night Football Game On EPL 2011-12: Aston Villa Vs Liverpool Match Time

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EPL 2011-12: Aston Villa Vs Liverpool Match Time

Week 16 of the Premier League brings football to Villa Park as Aston Villa host Liverpool on Sunday, December 18, 2011.

Aston Villa beat Bolton 2-1 away from home in Gameweek 15 to record just their second win in eight Premier League games. Mark Albrighton broke Villa’s three-goal lead in the 34th minute and Stilia Petrov doubled his lead six minutes later. Bolton produced a better performance after the break, narrowing the margin of defeat behind Ivan Klasnić’s goal. That said, Villa were deserved winners on the night. The first goal came when Albrighton parried a low shot from N’Zogbia and the second was a stroke of luck when Petrov’s shot deflected off defender Gary Cahill.

In matchweek 15, Liverpool beat QPR 1-0 in a match hosted by the Merseysiders at Anfield. Suarez scored the only goal of the game in the 48th minute as Liverpool frustrated their fans for most of the proceedings and missed several chances to score. Suarez was the main difference between the sides and the Uruguayan striker created chances which he failed to finish. maxi also missed a few chances and in the end, Kenny Dalglish’s wards escaped with three points after veteran goalkeeper Czerny was kept at bay between the QPR posts.

Over the past 10 years, Aston Villa and Liverpool have met in 20 league matches, with Liverpool winning 11 times and Villans 3 times, with the rest ending in draws. The last time these teams met was in May 2011; which took place on the “Villa Park” field, the hosts won with a score of 1:0.

Villa have won 3, drawn 3 and lost 4 of their last 10 League matches, while Liverpool have won 5, drawn 4 and lost 1 of their last 10 matches.

The Villans are currently 9th in the table having played 7 home games this season, winning 3 and drawing and losing 2 in each of the remaining matches; The Merseysiders, who are 6th in the table, have 4 wins and 3 losses in 7 away games.

Aston Villa will be tasked with keeping Liverpool at bay and the Anfield side will be keen to keep the momentum going after last week’s hard-fought win.

Villa’s starting XI against Bolton: Bradley, Guzan, Alan Hutton, Richard Dunn, James Collins, Stephen Warnock, Mark Albrighton, Chris Hurd, Stylian Petrov, Charles N’Zogbia, Darren Bent, Gabriel Agbonlahor.

Liverpool starting XI against QPR: Jose Reina, Glen Johnson, Martin Skrtel, Daniel Agger, Sanchez Jose Enrique, Rodriguez Maxi, Charlie Adam, Jordan Henderson, Stuart Downing, Luis Suarez, Dirk Kut.

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Who Is The Best Football Player Of All Time 2010 World Cup Football South Africa Showcases Worldclass Black Talent

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2010 World Cup Football South Africa Showcases Worldclass Black Talent

Yes, the world is in the grip of football fever. The 2010 FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Associations) World Cup, which takes the world by storm once in four years, is now in its quarter-final stage and all bets are off to see who will win this year’s final trophy. Will the unbeaten Germans overcome resilient Argentina or will the Netherlands pull off an upset? The World Cup is upon us, the biggest and most anticipated sporting event of all time. Two hundred and four countries tried to qualify for thirty-two spots, with the US qualifying for the first time in decades. The 2006 final between Italy and France was watched by an estimated 715 million people. With changing demographics and 21st century technology making borders almost obsolete, this year’s count is anyone’s guess. Lovers pour into stadiums, hang around televisions, with the fervor of gladiators. Histories are referenced, battles are waged, players are insulted and publicly chastised. Loyalty to players and countries is carved in stone with blood and sweat.

It is universally known as “the beautiful game” for its beautiful simplicity, the God-ordained sportsmanship of the players and its appeal to the common man. The skill of the game, passion and lasting love for the game creates a brotherhood that transcends sports. Unbelievably loud and insane GOOOOOAAAL excitement! Like basketball, it elevates its talented players to godlike status while connecting them to the people who live through them. More than any other sport, soccer is the great equalizer. Because not only skin color, or nationality or club can dictate ability or greatness. It is alone. A boy from a Brazilian favela with a devastating kick or an obscure village in the Ivory Coast can become a striker for a world-class club. A good number arise from extremely difficult situations, where pulling yourself up from the couch usually means grabbing a pair of keyboards and going to play in a dusty bowl. Today’s black footballers who come from far away countries to play for European clubs such as Inter Milan, Barcelona and Manchester United. But for the World Cup, they will return to play only for their national team. This is not to say that racism in football is not a serious issue. Fan taunts and behavior can be unspeakably vile, cruel and primitive, as can a contingent that remains stubbornly ignorant and primitive. That the players consistently rise above it is a testament to their strength and personal integrity. Gaming has become a way of life that can change the trajectory of lives and societies. The staggering salaries are often accompanied by high-profile commercial endorsements from Nike, Gillette and others. Players share their good fortune, donating large sums of money to build hospitals, schools, and life-saving social service programs.

The 2010 World Cup in South Africa is the first to be played on the African continent and has the potential to change the world’s perception on a number of levels. From the Africa Cup of Nations to the 2010 World Cup, footballers of African descent and nationality have put the world on notice: they are a force to be reckoned with. Just ask Team USA.

And no self-respecting football fan would ever call it football. This is football, now and always.

Here are eight of the world’s best and brightest black footballers at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Samuel Eto’o

Country: Cameroon

Club: Inter Milan; Cameroon national team

Position: striker

Income: $12. 7 million

The world has been warned. The success of Samuel Eto’o, the world’s left winger, is of great importance for his country and club. He plays the best football in the vein of the great legends and has exceeded expectations at every club he has played for. His performances have been consistently excellent and he is currently the best African player of all time, including the African Player of the Year three years in a row. A scoring machine, Eto’o scored over 100 goals in five seasons with FC Barcelona. He is the captain of the national team of Cameroon and currently the highest paid footballer in Africa. He has participated in two World Cups and five African Cup of Nations and is the top scorer in African Cup of Nations history with 18 goals (two-time champion). At the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations, Eto’o became the top scorer

As a member of the Cameroon national team, he won the gold medal at the 2000 Summer Olympics.

Didier Drogba:

Country: Ivory Coast/Côte d’Ivoire

Club: Chelsea

Position: striker

Earnings: $7.5 million Endorsements: Pepsi; Nike, Samsung

Mark the name, it is the future of football. Don’t be fooled by Drogba’s late arrival on the pitch, he’s a powerhouse. Drogba, known for breaking through impenetrable defenses, is a nightmare for goalkeepers. Signed by Chelsea for $37 million, he became invaluable. He has scored more goals than any foreign player in this team and is the 7th top scorer. One of the most promising African footballers, he is one of the top goalscorers in the Premier League. The captain and top scorer of the Ivorian national football team, Drogba moved to Chelsea for a record fee of £24 million, making him the most expensive Ivorian player in history. Drogba became known as one of the world’s leading strikers in 2006 when he won the league title with Chelsea and captained the national team for the first time. At the 2006 World Cup, he scored Ivory Coast’s first goal at the tournament and was named the 2006 African Footballer of the Year. He is the only player to score in six FA Cup finals.

But much of this pales in comparison to his humanitarian work for his country. After Ivory Coast qualified for the 2006 World Cup, Drogba called for a ceasefire between the combatants of his country’s deadly five-year civil war, which was soon honored. In 2007, he was appointed a Goodwill Ambassador by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and donated his $4.5 million signature to endorse Pepsi for the construction of a hospital in his hometown of Abidjan.

Macon Douglas Cisenando

Country: Brazil

Club Team: Internazionale, AKA Inter Milan

Position: Defender

Earnings: $5.4 million

A talented right-back and powerful full-back, Maicon is a phenomenon in Brazilian football – no easy feat. He excels in defensive plays and provides great support to his team. Maicon scored Brazil’s first goal of the 2010 World Cup – a corner kick – in their opening game against Korea. Maicon’s contribution to Inter Milan included solid support and attack and put him in contention for the 2010 Ballon d’Or award, the European Footballer of the Year award. Noting his skills, Real Madrid recently paid 28 million pounds for him to join their club.

Patrice Evra:

Country: France

Club team: Manchester United

Position: defender, defender; French captain

Earnings: $4 million

Euro is your own version of the United Nations. Born in Senegal of Guinean heritage and a French citizen, he is one of Manchester United’s most valuable players and surprisingly the captain of the French national team. Arguably one of the best left backs in the world and a wicked left winger, Evra won the Premier League and Champions League with Manchester United. During United’s 07–08 season, Evra became a key member of United’s defence. But he is not without controversy. After team-mate Nicolas Anelka was dropped from the team following his fight with manager Raymond Domenech, Evra had a player protest against the decision and publicly condemned the manager. As a result, Evra sat out the final against South Africa. However, he returned to high office.

Thierry Henry

Country: France

Club team: Barcelona; French national team

Position: striker

Earnings: Annual salary plus bonus: $6.2 million, Other income: $6.2 million

Endorsements: Pepsi, Gilette, Reebok

He is one of the most recognizable and respected players in football, and certainly a worthy distinction for one of the most prominent strikers in the sport. During his meteoric rise at Arsenal, the incredible Henry was top scorer in almost every season with 226 goals in all competitions. The flamboyant Frenchman won two league titles and three FA Cups and was twice nominated for FIFA Player of the Year. Possessing the devastating speed and agility of a superhero, he remains Europe’s leading goalscorer with 42 goals and a knack for scoring impossible and dramatic goals. Despite the controversy surrounding Henry’s penchant for using his arm to score goals, he is a footballing institution who has elevated the sport to an art form.

Nicolas Anelka

Country: France

Club team: Chelsea (England); French national team

Position: striker

Earnings: $5.8 million Endorsements: Puma

Although his anger rivals his potential, Anelka has shown enormous potential as a striker. A relentless goalscorer who accelerates with superb control, Anelka’s goal sealed France’s World Cup win against Ireland. His three-and-a-half-year contract and reported fee mean that more money has been spent on transfers for Nicolas during his career than any other player in football history.

Sully Muntari Country: Ghana

Club Team: Internazionale, AKA Inter Milan

Position: midfielder

Earnings: $5.3 million Endorsement: Puma

If Ghana win the World Cup, you can bet Muntari will be instrumental in their victory. Football prodigy Muntari was just 16 when he played for Ghana in the 2001 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Argentina. He was selected as an all-star player at the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations in Ghana.

Yaya Toure

Country: Ivory Coast

Club team: Barcelona

Position: midfielder

Earnings: $3.7 million

Toure’s titanic stature and intense energy combine to make him one of the best midfielders in modern football, with the perfect combination of physical strength and superb technique. He is the first Ivorian player to win the UEFA Champions League in the 2008/09 season and is one of the driving forces behind a team that rewrote football history by winning six trophies in one season. He recently moved from Barcelona to Manchester City for a fee of £25m, where he will join his brother, brother and club captain Kolo. He was a powerful midfielder for his native Cote d’Ivoire who made his debut at the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

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