This view suggests the U.S. may have reached a new plateau. The performance of the 2002 team, for instance, is problematic from this vantage point. If the U.S. fails to beat Belgium on Tuesday, that means it will have gone three World Cups without equaling (much less improving upon) the 2002 team’s performance. Perhaps we’re left with the global soccer equivalent of the Atlanta Hawks: a team that will usually make the “playoffs” then lose in the first round.This might seem like a contrived reading of the evidence. But mapping the Americans’ trajectory from 1986 onward is also selective: It’s easy to make an upward pattern look more impressive by starting from what you know to be a low point.There’s a credible story behind each theory. Under the steady-improvement theory, the story is one of demographic and cultural trends abetted by some measure of self-perpetuating success (a positive feedback loop). Soccer has been a big youth-participation sport since the 1970s, but immigration from Latin America may be giving the U.S. even more young athletes who are interested in soccer. The occasional successes of the U.S. men’s national team, along with an increasingly popular domestic league (and improved television visibility for the English Premier League and Liga MX) may motivate some of these young athletes to play soccer professionally instead of transitioning into baseball, football or another sport.The punctuated-equilibrium theory suggests that the U.S. was badly underachieving its soccer potential for many years. Then it got its act together when it was chosen to host a World Cup: better facilities, more investment in the national team, a sustainable domestic league and so forth. But it was picking low-hanging fruit. It shouldn’t be that difficult for a super-wealthy country like the United States, which excels at so many other sports, to be half-decent at soccer if it tries.What’s more challenging is going from a country that sometimes makes the knockout phase to one that sometimes makes the World Cup semifinals — or beyond. It’s not clear that the U.S.’s wealth, or its athletic prowess, implies that it ought to be much more successful at soccer than it has been in recent years. For instance, we can compare each country’s GDP (taken as a natural logarithm) against its soccer team’s Elo rating as of June. There’s certainly some relationship, but it’s rough (soccer is a comparatively inexpensive sport). The trendline in the chart implies that a best guess for the United States is an Elo rating somewhere in mid-1,800s, almost exactly where it is today.The same story holds if we compare the number of medals each country has won at the Summer Olympics since 2000 (again taken as a natural logarithm5Because a number of countries have won no medals since 2000 — meaning that their natural logarithm would be undefined — I instead take the log of the number of medals won plus one.) against its soccer team’s Elo rating.There’s a high margin of error on these estimates. China’s GDP (and its Olympic medal count) is just a little less than the United States’ — but its soccer team has qualified for only one World Cup and has gotten worse in recent years. Germany also has a big economy and a big medal count — and its soccer team is great. The point is that the U.S. men’s national team is no longer underachieving reasonable expectations, as it was before the 1990s. Nor is it exceeding them. Perhaps what we’ve seen is about what we’re due to get in a populous, wealthy, athletic country — where interest in soccer is average, at best, by global standards.The success of the U.S. women’s national soccer team stands in contrast to that of the men’s. But soccer players are among the highest-profile female athletes in the U.S., suggesting that part of the problem for the men’s side is competition from other sports.The punctuated-equilibrium theory would imply that it may take some time for the U.S. men’s team to reach the next plateau. Perhaps an external catalyst would help: another American World Cup, a run to the World Cup semifinals, the emergence of an American soccer player who is recognized as among the best in the world. (Personally, I’d hope for him to be as brash as Cristiano Ronaldo, the better to spark headlines and stoke rivalries with other countries.) But it could be a long while before any of those things happen, and there could be some further delay before their feedback effects kick in.Or it could be that the steady-improvement theory is right. It also reflects a reasonable interpretation of the evidence. The data on youth interest in soccer is very encouraging, for instance.Tuesday’s game against Belgium will provide us with one data point — but just one. Unlike in the past, however, we might not need to wait four years for the next one. Instead, in 2016, the United States will host the Copa América Centenario, a special one-off tournament that will feature the best teams from both North and South America. It could serve as a preview of our soccer future. Playing at home produces the equivalent of an 100 Elo-point bonus — equal to eight years of improvement for the U.S. based on its 1986 to 2014 trajectory. If the U.S. will be ready to compete with the Colombias and Argentinas and Brazils of the world on neutral turf by 2022 and 2026, it should be able to do so on home soil in 2016.CORRECTION (July 1, 4:54 p.m.): A chart in an earlier version of this post mislabeled the Elo ratings vs. Olympic medal counts for China and Russia. The chart has been updated. For the United States, almost every recent World Cup match has been billed as the most important game in the history of the men’s national team. Its knockout-stage match against Belgium on Tuesday isn’t receiving quite as much hype.1The New Republic does describe the U.S.-Belgium game as the “most important sporting event in American history.” That’s apparently a joke, however. But a win would advance the U.S. to the World Cup quarterfinals for a Saturday afternoon match against Argentina or Switzerland. That would probably be the most-watched game in U.S. soccer history — the first World Cup quarterfinal that many American fans would ever see their men play live.2The U.S. advanced to the quarterfinals in 2002, but its game against Germany was played in South Korea at 7:30 a.m. Eastern time on a Saturday morning — not ideal viewing hours. The U.S. also advanced from its group to the semifinals in the inaugural World Cup in 1930, but that was when just four teams made the knockout stage.It’s tempting to say that these matches are the soccer equivalent of political “game changers” — much-ballyhooed events that seem exciting at the time but which rarely have as much lasting impact as the pundits claim. But it’s not unreasonable to feel as though every World Cup game is more important than the last. It’s a consequence of the long-term state of U.S. soccer.On the one hand, expectations are getting higher. The U.S. advanced from the group stage in 1994, 2002, 2010 and now 2014. Matches against England or Portugal or Germany are now thought of as opportunities rather than sure losses. On the other hand, the men’s national team has never quite had its breakthrough moment.When might the bar be raised? When might U.S. fans view a Round of 16 exit as a travesty and not a triumph?If you’re in your mid-30s, like me, the advance of the U.S. men’s national team might seem as inevitable as that of gay marriage. You’ll be just old enough to remember that the U.S. was once a soccer backwater. But you might not remember how long it took the Americans to get where they are today. The trajectory since the 1980s has always been upward:This chart shows the Elo rating for the U.S. in each World Cup year3Specifically, it shows the U.S.’s Elo rating as of the date of the World Cup final — whether or not the U.S. actually qualified for the tournament. For 2014, I’ve used the U.S.’s Elo rating at the end of the group stage. since 1986 — the last World Cup where the Americans failed to qualify, and the last one before 1988, when FIFA declared the 1994 World Cup would be played in the U.S.From this perspective, the upward trend has been extremely steady. In fact, other than the 2002 team arriving in the quarterfinals a little ahead of schedule, it’s been almost perfectly linear. Since 1986, the U.S.’s Elo rating has improved by almost exactly 50 points every four years.Imagine that the trend continues. Right now, the U.S. team’s Elo rating is nearly 1,850, which places it 15th in the world. Add another 50 points, and by 2018 it would be at 1,900 — somewhere around eighth or 10th in the world and near where Belgium and Uruguay and France are today. That’s a team that could be a dark-horse World Cup contender. By 2026, its Elo rating would be 2,000 — not far from where Argentina, Germany and the Netherlands began this year’s tournament. So in just 12 more years — in a World Cup that could possibly be held in the United States — the U.S. will be a global soccer powerhouse.Or perhaps not. Consider another look at the evidence, one where we run the numbers back further. For much of the 1970s, there was a lot of hope surrounding the growth of U.S. soccer, but the men’s national team repeatedly failed to qualify for the World Cup. In one year, the U.S. failed to win a single qualifying match. But let’s go back ever further, to 1950. This tells a different story. The men’s national team got worse from 1950 to 1958, bottomed out for almost 30 years with no sign of life, improved rather sharply in a concentrated period from 1986 through 2002, and has been fairly steady since.Yes, the U.S. has still gotten better by this reckoning — but it looks more like a case of punctuated equilibrium — a sudden change after years of stasis.4The so-called punctuated trend in the chart is drawn by fitting a regression with a dummy variable that is taken as zero between 1950 and 1986 and one between 2002 and 2014 and allowed to vary at a linear rate only in the intervening years.
Michael Vick will not be supplanted from his starting job as Philadelphia Eagles quarterback, although it was a serious consideration, according to multiple reports.Coach Andy Reid makes the decision on that position, and he likely will stay with the four-time Pro Bowler over rookie Nick Foles, who is unproven.The Eagles are 3-4, and Vick has been part of the Philly problems, which are not limited to Vick.Reid didn’t endorse Vick after Sunday’s 30-17 loss to Atlanta, saying he’s going to evaluate all his starters. Vick then said he would support whatever decision Reid makes, which was different from saying he deserves to be replaced.The Eagles’ headquarters was closed Monday because of superstorm Sandy, and there was no media availability.Reid has changed his mind on his starting quarterbacks in a 24-hour period before, reversing his call on Kevin Kolb and replacing him with Vick in 2010. It’s unlikely he would do it again and give Foles his first NFL snap on the road in a Monday night game against New Orleans (2-5) next week.Foles, a third-round pick out of Arizona, had an outstanding preseason. However, he did so playing against backups, third-stringers and guys who didn’t make a roster. Foles impressed coaches and teammates, and fans have been calling for him to start since Week 1.Simply, Vick wasn’t the problem against the Falcons. He did not turn the ball over and he does not play defense. Under new coordinator Todd Bowles, the Eagles allowed scores on Atlanta’s first six possessions, including touchdowns on the first three.As for the offense, injuries to All-Pro left tackle Jason Peters and center Jason Kelcehave crippled the unit. Vick hasn’t had much time to throw and gets hit often. Playcalling isn’t helping, either. Reid and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg have underused All-Pro running back LeSean McCoy in the past three losses.Vick led Philadelphia to comeback wins with go-ahead touchdowns on its final drive the first two games of the season. But he’s been inconsistent and turnover-prone overall. Vick has just a 78.6 passer rating, his lowest since joining the Eagles. He’s coming off a rare turnover-free performance after throwing eight interceptions and losing five fumbles in the first six games.Benching Vick and turning the offense over to Foles could be a way to shake things up. It also could be interpreted as giving up on the season.
Dan Plante February 1, 2019 Dan Plante, Congressman Duncan Hunter talks border wall, shutdown Categories: Local San Diego News, Politics FacebookTwitter Posted: February 1, 2019 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI)- For the first time since his reelection, Congressman Duncan Hunter is opening up about Government dysfunction and another possible government shutdown.“The Democrats are in control now. If the government shuts down again, it’s a Democrat shutdown”, says Congressman Hunter.One week after the Federal Government re-opened for business, there’s a feeling of helplessness among the people stuck in the middle.During a lunch with Border Patrol Agents on Friday, Congressman Hunter listened to those who ‘actually’ know what’s happening on the border, as opposed to those who pretend in Washington.“I’m blaming everyone, from Democrats to Republicans to the President”, says Chris Harris, a retired Border Patrol Agent.“They all need to put on their big boy pants, sit down at a table and act like adults”, says Harris.With Democrats flatly rejecting “any money” for a wall, and the President demanding $5.7-Billion, it could lead to another shut down or some fancy footwork by the President.“He can declare a national emergency and build the wall using the military. That’s what the military does. They build walls and fences and roads all over the world”, says Congressman Hunter.I wondered if that’s actually ‘legal’? “That is legal”, says the Congressman.Check out the whole story with KUSI’s Dan Plante.
Register Now » Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. 3 min read Mainstream adoption of 3-D printing may be closer than expected.Recent research from Gartner claims that 3-D printing is still at least five years away from mainstream consumer adoption, which “will be outpaced by business and medical applications that have more compelling use cases in the short term.”Related: Why This Entrepreneur Launched in Record Time, But Kept Her Company a Secret Until BlastoffThe truth is that we are already starting to see businesses, both large and small, take advantage of 3-D printers to create customized designs or follow blueprints. The real appeal lies in speedy prototyping and increased accessibility.Speedy prototyping3-D printing allows businesses to really bring their ideas to life in a convenient and immediate fashion — makers can go directly from design to manufacturing. Additional benefits of 3-D printers in business are lower prototype and production costs and more creative and customized packaging options.With the technology rapidly improving to include more features while also becoming more affordable, 3-D printers are becoming increasingly accessible for mainstream adoption. For entrepreneurs and small-business owners, it is also starting to define modern manufacturing and how businesses will run in the future.According to a recent study conducted by my company, Robox, consumers would be three times more likely to invent and prototype new products or technologies if they had a 3-D printer at home. The reality is that entrepreneurs and small startups can now create a legitimate business from their homes with a 3-D printer.Take it from 27-year-old Curtis Ingleton, who founded and currently runs a 3-D printing production and service house out of his house.Related: This Sector Will Drive the 3-D Printing Boom”We have four people in our company and we can do what some well-established Chinese manufacturers can do,” he said.That’s impressive, and paves the way for other young startups and small businesses to accomplish the same.AccessibilityWith major retailers such as Staples, Home Depot and UPS rolling out 3-D printing services in select stores, the technology is becoming much more accessible for both small-business owners as well as the average consumer.Bloomberg states that “Though the devices aren’t likely to create a major new source of revenue [for Home Depot], the chain is betting that they’ll appeal to forward-thinking contractors and do-it-yourselfers.”Entrepreneurs and DIY enthusiasts are all obvious fits for a 3-D printer given its ability to customize or invent any item on the spot. Even Martha Stewart made a public appearance at this year’s International CES back in January to peruse the 30 booths for 3-D printers in search of one to use for her business and everyday DIY activities.Overall, with more people exposed to 3-D printing and the idea of it being easily accessible in the office or home, there’s a huge amount of potential to see more entrepreneurs and small-business owners designing and developing truly unique and effective new items that better the lives of everyday consumers.3-D printing has the potential to significantly shift traditional business models, as entrepreneurs can now also become manufacturers, eliminating the need for warehousing and multiple distributions of products and parts.The key to blending business and 3-D printing technology together in harmony relies on how accessible, adaptable and customizable the devices are. From there, mainstream adoption will come in no time.Related: UPS Makes 3-D Printers Available in Nearly 100 Stores Nationwide Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global October 22, 2014 Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box.