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Make sure you’re angry about Alabama for the right reasons



Alabama is the perfect villain for so many reasons, and I’m not even referring to the Brandon Miller situation. Fans of college athletics would’ve inevitably found a reason to hate this Crimson Tide squad, and if they couldn’t find one, they’d have created one. People are so sick of seeing the football team win that they’re triggered by the mere success of other sports under the same umbrella.

Ohio State gives off a similar vibe. These schools are institutions that have been so prosperous the general public is conditioned to be skeptical of their practices. We view them like Big Pharma or Big Tech or any other industry that is perceived negatively if you put Big in front of it.

And ’Bama is the Amazon of Big Academia. We want to believe that the university’s success is directly tied to all that’s wrong with college athletics. “They bought every title from Nick Saban to Bear Bryant, so why is the 2022-23 basketball team an outlier?” “The only reason Miller is on the team is because he’s on the payroll.” (Never mind Miller’s dad played football for Gene Stallings and met his mother when in Tuscaloosa.)

The Tide are tearing through the tourney. They’re the only 1 seed who hasn’t been tested. Miller didn’t score in the first round yet the team put up 96 points and won by 21. The outside perception is that Alabama is wielding the Force with the power of the Darkside, and its influence has expanded to hoops.

There’s only one school that SEC fanatics occasionally won’t root for during out-of-conference play, and it’s Alabama. The rest of the time, the rest of the country is venomous with their disdain for all things houndstooth. There’s a mob mentality involved that I’m not nuanced enough to communicate accurately without setting off someone’s cancel alarm, so we’re going to skip that section.

What I’m trying to get at is it’s just a college, man. It’s OK to hate Tuscaloosa, but there’s no need to be the guy who goes too far in his rage and is out there poisoning trees. Don’t let it consume you.

’Bama is a great villain, one of the best in the history of sports; right up there with the Russians. However, I’ve found that you can cripple yourself with anger simply by thinking about how unfair life is. You don’t have to let it go, you just have to know how much to let it affect you.

I get through each day with largely the same approach. I’m secure enough to know who sucks, educate myself enough not to waver, and numb enough to the discourse not to be bothered. The key is finding the perfect mix of alcohol and THC to effectively turn off your brain for a few hours a night.

I can separate my feelings about Alabama from my uncertainty surrounding what happened with Miller. It sounds and looks terrible, but I was never going to celebrate the Tide winning this tournament, no matter what happened off the court.

You should never feel good about the death of a young woman, but using it as fuel for your dislike of a school is doing exactly that. If you want to hate the situation because of what it says about the value of human life in America, or the impact of guns on public safety, or another worthwhile concern, that’s fine.

A life is bigger than the trivialities of fandom, and it’s important to remember that.

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Hollie Doyle: Star flat jockey set for Friday return ahead of Lincoln meeting at Doncaster | Racing News



Leading flat jockey Hollie Doyle will make her return to riding on Friday at Newcastle ahead of this weekend’s Lincoln meeting at Doncaster, live on Sky Sports Racing.

The Group One-winning rider has been out of the saddle since January following an elbow injury sustained in a fall at Wolverhampton.

Doyle enjoyed another memorable season in 2022 with over 150 winners, partnering Nashwa to a first Classic victory as well as landing another Royal Ascot success on Bradsell and further glory on star stayer Trueshan.

She is set to make her return at Newcastle, taking the ride on Rhythm And Hooves in the 5:50pm race, ahead of Saturday’s opening flat turf meeting of the year at Doncaster.

Some of her rides include Richard Spencer’s Revich in the lucrative Lincoln Handicap, as well chances on Wilderness Girl in the Cammidge Trophy and the classy Tempus in the Doncaster Mile.

Hollie Doyle and Trueshan

“It’s been a frustrating time on the sidelines, but it was great to receive the green light to return,” said the Sky Sports Racing ambassador.

“I’ve been back at Oaksey House this morning, and the team there have been fantastic right the way through my recovery.

“I’ll be riding out this week and am looking forward to getting back in the saddle at Newcastle on Friday and on Lincoln day at Doncaster and kicking on from there.”

Watch every race from the Lincoln meeting at Doncaster this Saturday, exclusively live on Sky Sports Racing.

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England Women: Sarina Wiegman recalls goalkeeper Hannah Hampton and defender Esme Morgan | Football News



Sarina Wiegman has handed recalls to Hannah Hampton and Esme Morgan while uncapped Lucy Parker also returns to the fold as the Lionesses prepare for back-to-back fixtures against Brazil and World Cup co-hosts Australia in April.

Dropping out from February’s squad are the injured Emily Ramsey along with Lotte Wubben-Moy, Katie Zelem and Ebony Salmon.

Chelsea forward Fran Kirby continues to be absent as she recovers from a knee injury, while Bethany England also misses out despite scoring five goals in six appearances for new club Tottenham.

Katie Zelem has been omitted from Sarina Wiegman’s latest England squad

Wiegman said: “We are getting closer to the World Cup and I can’t think of two better games to assess our progress. After these games, there will be less than three months until we fly to the tournament and we must make every second on and off the pitch count.

“For us as a technical staff this will be the last chance to see the players within our England environment before we come together for the final preparation phase in June. And these two matches will be two real tests to see where we are at.”

The Lionesses have not faced Australia since October 2018 when Kirby scored in a 1-1 draw at Craven Cottage.

The last meeting with Brazil was in October 2019 at the Riverside Stadium when Debinha scored twice for the visitors, before England’s late consolation in a 2-1 defeat.

England squad in full

England's Chloe Kelly celebrates after scoring her second goal against Belgium
Chloe Kelly has been in excellent club form for Man City this season

Goalkeepers: Mary Earps, Sandy MacIver, Ellie Roebuck, Hannah Hampton

Defenders: Millie Bright, Lucy Bronze, Jess Carter, Niamh Charles, Alex Greenwood, Maya Le Tissier, Esme Morgan, Lucy Parker, Leah Williamson

Midfielders: Laura Coombs, Jordan Nobbs, Georgia Stanway, Ella Toone, Keira Walsh

Forwards: Rachel Daly, Lauren Hemp, Lauren James, Chloe Kelly, Jess Park, Alessia Russo, Katie Robinson

Upcoming fixtures

April 6: England vs Brazil – kick-off 7.45pm, Women’s Finalissima (Wembley Stadium)

April 11: England vs Australia – kick-off 7.45pm, friendly (Gtech Stadium)

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Anthony Barry: Chelsea and Bayern far apart in agreeing compensation for assistant to join Thomas Tuchel’s staff | Football News



Chelsea and Bayern Munich remain far apart over agreeing compensation for Anthony Barry to join Thomas Tuchel’s coaching staff.

Bayern have approached Chelsea about taking their assistant coach after Tuchel expressed an interest in bringing him into his new set-up.

Chelsea have made their position and expectations clear to Bayern for Barry to be released from his contract, and nothing has yet been agreed between the clubs.

But amid the uncertainty, Barry and Chelsea have agreed that he will not attend Cobham until the situation is resolved either way.

Chelsea have a list of potential replacements should he ultimately leave for the Bundesliga champions.

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Speaking at his first press conference since becoming Bayern Munich boss, Tuchel said he wasn’t expecting to be in his position, but believes his squad is one of the most talented groups in Europe

The Chelsea players return to training on Tuesday following international duty ahead of their clash with Aston Villa on Saturday at Stamford Bridge.

Barry is a highly thought-of coach who has also worked with Robert Martinez and the Belgium national team, the Republic of Ireland team under Stephen Kenny, and Paul Cook at Wigan Athletic before joining Chelsea in 2020.

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