David Fay, Director of U.S.G.A

David FayDavid Fay, whose 21-year tenure as the executive director of the United States Golf Association, the sport’s governing body, has been characterized by an encyclopedic knowledge of the rules, a wry sense of humor and decidedly populist sensibilities, announced in a statement Friday that he would retire at the end of the year.

Fay drove many initiatives aimed at bringing the 116-year-old U.S.G.A. into the 21st century, including the successful staging of the United States Open at public golf courses and a 20-year effort to expand the sport’s global appeal by returning it to the Olympic Games.

Though he had given no public hints he was preparing to leave the U.S.G.A., which he joined in 1978, Fay pointed to his 60th birthday two months ago as a factor.

“When one is a cancer survivor, milestones like this take on extra importance, and sharpen perspective,” Fay, who was found to have stomach cancer in 1986, said in a statement. He added in a telephone interview: “We’ve got good people in place. Thankfully, the institution lives on. So long as the game is in good shape, people care about it, we’re going to be all right.” Continue reading

El Clasico El Massacre

Real MadridReal Madrid boss Jose Mourinho says Monday’s 5-0 thrashing from FC Barcelona won’t decide the Spanish La Liga title this term, but there’s no doubt it’s done some damage to Los Merengues’ title hopes.

Josep Guardiola’s Barcelona were at their exquisite finest at Camp Nou, scoring twice inside the opening 20 minutes courtesy of Xavi and Pedro.

Real tried to rally but their best efforts failed and Barca put the result to bed courtesy of two David Villa goals early in the second-half on 55 and 58 minutes.

Jeffren Suarez put the icing on the cake in injury-time, while Sergio Ramos expressed his frustration at the hammering by earning a late red card after lashing out at Spain international teammate Carles Puyol.
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Flashy Goal Is Nothing New for a Rookie

N.H.L. players got their first glimpse of why Linus Omark has been dazzling European hockey fans for years, and his flamboyant style has been ridiculed by some and embraced by others. NHL Teams

Omark, of the Edmonton Oilers, scored a spectacular shootout goal on Friday in his first N.H.L. game, a 360-degree, pump-fake snap shot between the goalie’s legs. The unconventional showmanship brought Oilers fans to their feet and infuriated the Tampa Bay goalie Dan Ellis and others.

“It’s embarrassing for him,” Ellis said. “You come into a league, a respectful league like this, and you try a little move like that. It’s not a very classy thing. That’s just the kind of person he is.”

Omark’s highlight-show goal has sparked a heated argument across North American hockey, a game rooted in the values of Victorian-era Canada, which regards personal flair and goal celebrations as immodest and contemptuous of opponents. Continue reading

Jets and Patriots Are More Alike Than Portrayed

From inside the conference room at his Rockefeller Center office last week, Woody Johnson projected confidence and calm. On Monday night, his Jets play the Patriots in Foxborough, Mass., and with both teams boasting identical and league-leading 9-2 records, this marked perhaps the most important regular-season game in Johnson’s tenure as the team’s owner.

Patriots-vs-Jets To most everyone, that is, except for him. Where Coach Rex Ryan labeled this contest the “marquee” game of the regular season, Johnson called it the “next game” and a “division game” and “one in a long string of games.” He sounded, well, positively Patriot.

“Every game is important,” he continued when pressed. “This is extremely important for us. It’s important for the Patriots as well. This game will have the highest television rating, I would suspect, of the year. But games at the end of the season are like that.”

In their rivalry, the Jets and the Patriots are mostly painted as if they come from different planets. The Jets are flashy attention seekers who fancy themselves as the most hated team in sports. They play for Ryan, a coach who loves microphones as much as Mexican food. The Patriots are robotic, methodical and efficient. They play for Bill Belichick, a coach whose personality makes only cameo appearances. Continue reading