World Cup field almost decided

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Irish soccer fans will be hoping to celebrate their team’s qualification for the World Cup Finals on Tuesday when they host Denmark for the final UEFA spot/The Irish Mirror

By Ray Hamill

The final four spots for next summer’s World Cup will be decided this week, and that means the countdown to the madness can officially get under way.

Thus far, 28 of the 32 teams have sealed their invite to the sports world’s most exclusive party, with four more joining them between now and Wednesday.

For some – the Germanys, Englands and Brazils of the world – it’s business as usual, and the real work won’t begin until June.

For others – the Panamas, Icelands and Moroccos of the world – just qualifying is a major achievement on its own, and no matter what happens when they get there, it’s already considered a successful campaign.

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The finger of discontent pointed at Trump

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Virginia cyclist Juli Briskman raises her middle finger in the direction of the president’s motorcade, showcasing the country’s discontent. She was later fired by her company/The NY Times

By Ray Hamill

A finger is a powerful tool.

It can be used to insult a president you think is not doing his job and probably doesn’t care about anything other than himself and endlessly feeding his own ego.

It can be used to show your true feelings in a moment of passion, to let a certain someone know what you think of his tax cuts for the wealthy, healthcare inadequacies, response to Puerto Rico, and policy on DACA.

It can be used as a form of protest against a president who seemingly spends more time golfing than working. More time tweeting than thinking about what he’s tweeting. And more time lying than facing up to the challenge of the truth.

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Where does EPL stand at international break?

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Mohamed Salah (11) celebrates with teammates after scoring against West Ham in the EPL/The Guardian

By Ray Hamill

Just 11 games into the English Premier League season, there’s a very familiar look to the top of the table.

The top six teams, in fact, are exactly what just about every fan, expert, player, manager and water boy would have predicted at this stage, even if the final order of that six is still up for debate.

So what have we learned so far this campaign? Well, money still talks when it comes to buying potential success, while Manchester City is the team to beat this year, Tottenham is still dangerous, and some things just never seem to change for Liverpool and Arsenal.

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Another Super Sunday in store for EPL

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EPL leaders Manchester City have been red hot lately/The Guardian

By Ray Hamill

It’s going to be another Super Sunday in the English Premier League this weekend, with five of the big six in action, including a pair of mouthwatering matchups.

And that means an early start for U.S. fans, with the first of four games getting under way at 7 a.m. on the East Coast.

It will also be the last action for a couple of weeks with the final international break of the year scheduled for next weekend.

First up on Sunday, third-placed Tottenham will attempt to bounce back from last weekend’s loss to Manchester United, hosting a struggling Crystal Palace in an all-London affair.

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The Cleveland Clowns are at it again

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Cleveland Browns fans have little to cheer about these days/waitfornextyear.com

By Ray Hamill

Congratulations to the Cleveland Browns, who are apparently so far out of touch with the world of the modern NFL they don’t even know how to use a fax machine.

But then again the fact that they’re trying to use a fax machine in the year 2017 on its own should probably tell us all we need to know about how the club is being run.

This week, with the NFL trade deadline looming, the Browns were unable to finalize a deal with the Cincinnati Bengals for quarterback A.J. McCarron all because they didn’t fax the necessary signed paperwork into the league office on time.

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