SANTA CLARA — Neither the 49ers nor Los Angeles Rams are at full strength entering Sunday’s showdown, and both made injury declarations Friday involving some of their top stars.Most pressing to the 49ers’ plight: Tight end George Kittle was limited in practice Friday with a groin injury. Although coach Kyle Shanahan expects he’ll be able to play, Kittle was to undergo full examinations.San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle (85) runs in front of Cleveland Browns defensive end Chris Smith …
Adventurer Kingsley Holgate handsout mosquito nets during a UnitedAgainst Malaria expedition in Burundi. (Image: United Against Malaria) The legendary Roger Milla, who has himselfsuffered from the disease, has joinedthe United Against Malaria campaign. (Image: Wikimedia) MEDIA CONTACTS • Lorraine BaldwinUnited Against Malaria EMEA +32 0 2 739 16 77RELATED ARTICLES • Malaria cases halved in SA • Malaria vaccine in final testing • Fruity treatment for malaria • Scientists abuzz over mosquitoJanine ErasmusLegendary African footballer Roger Milla and Fifa are to tackle malaria by joining the United Against Malaria partnership.The former Cameroonian forward, whose Milla jiggle is said to have sparked the popular trend of dancing in celebration when a goal is scored, joins fellow football stars such as Kolo Toure and Didier Drogba of Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana’s Michael Essien, Malian Frédéric Kanouté, and American Landon Donovan, who have thrown their weight behind the campaign.In addition, 16 national football associations in Africa have pledged to support the cause.The world football body and Milla declared their support for the campaign, which aims to wipe out malaria deaths by 2015, in Johannesburg soon after the start of the 2010 Fifa World Cup.They hope that their contribution will help to leave a lasting World Cup legacy that will benefit millions.“This World Cup is special as the first one in Africa,” said Milla, “and by using football, the United Against Malaria campaign has built up a formidable partnership to end deaths from this terrible disease.”The footballer added that his contribution to end the spread of the disease will be boosted by the campaign’s resources.Fifa social responsibility head Federico Addiechi expressed his hopes that the African tournament will have a positive impact on the whole continent.“We have asked national teams in Africa to take on a cause to support and use their profile to make a difference in their countries,” he said, adding that the support of Milla, one of Africa’s greatest footballers, will put malaria high on the agendas of leaders across the continent.Global partnershipThe United Against Malaria campaign was launched in 2009 with the aim of using the universal sport of football to highlight the ongoing battle against malaria, and the progress that has already been made.The campaign draws on the high profiles of celebrities, including football stars, and partners with NGOs, governments, policy makers, corporations and individuals to raise awareness that malaria is preventable and treatable. It also focuses on the various preventive measures available.Senegalese star Youssou N’Dour, Russian tennis champ Anna Kournikova, South African film producer Anant Singh, humanitarian Melinda Gates, American entertainers Mandy Moore and Ashley Judd, and others, are champions of the cause.Founding partners in the venture include the Roll Back Malaria Partnership, PSI Malaria Control, Comic Relief, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Malaria No More, the United Nations Foundation, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.ProgressWhile South Africa and eight other African nations have managed to halve malaria-related illness and death, according to the World Malaria Report 2009 which was released in December last year by the World Health Organisation, the rest of the continent carries a heavy burden.The reduction in the nine countries is attributed to the use of insecticidal nets and proper treatment of patients. While great progress has been made in the distribution and availability of new treatments and insecticide-impregnated mosquito nets, and more people are aware of the benefits of indoor spraying, these efforts must be sustained if malaria is to be vanquished.Herve Verhoosel of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership said, “We have the long-term support of a number of national football associations to help us to end malaria deaths. With Fifa and Roger Milla on board we have some powerful allies in our mission to one day end malaria deaths.”Preventable and curableMalaria is caused by Plasmodium parasites, which are injected into the blood through the bite of the female Anopheles mosquito. P. falciparum is the most deadly of the four human-infecting species, being the only one that kills.Once in the blood, large numbers of parasites move through the bloodstream and settle in vital organs, which become vulnerable to damage and failure. Patients with low immunity can die from organ failure, and pregnant women and children may suffer anaemia, low birth weight, premature birth and neurological damage. Cerebral malaria is a particularly dangerous form of the disease.A child under the age of five succumbs to malaria every 30 seconds, and about half of the entire global population are at risk of contracting the disease. Statistics reveal that 243-million cases and almost 863 000 deaths were registered in 2008. Of the deaths, 91% occurred in Africa.Malaria is both preventable and curable, but it can only be successfully combated using a multi-faceted approach which involves not only effective treatment of patients, but also insecticide-impregnated bed nets, indoor spraying, bite prevention and the development of an effective vaccine by 2015.However, the information needs to reach even the most remote parts of Africa, and this is where football, with its universal appeal, will play a role by helping to deliver the vital message.
Brand South Africa’s Play Your Part initiative was one of 34 Gold award winners at the Loeries this year. Here’s more on the award-winning radio ad and the current campaigns of Play Your Part.Sithembile Ntombela (right), Brand South Africa’s general manager of marketing, is pleased with the Loerie Gold award won for the Play Your Part radio ad. Here she is with Thobile Mushwana, a Play Your Part ambassador. (Images: Mathiba Molefe)Melissa JavanBrand South Africa’s Play Your Part won a Gold award at the Loeries this year, held at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban. The Loeries awards ceremonies were held on 19 and 20 August 2017 during Loeries Creative Week Durban.The Loeries are the marketing and advertising industry’s awards. They are an opportunity for brands and marketers to view the very best work coming out of the region. All countries from Africa and the Middle East may enter all the categories, but entries from outside South Africa are judged separately.The Media Update reported that more than 3,000 entries were received, with 20% of them from outside South Africa. A total of 800 brands were represented by 400 agencies from 18 countries in Africa and the Middle East.The awardsThere were more than 240 Loeries awarded in 22 categories, including five Grand Prix, 34 Golds, 24 CraftGolds, 73 Silvers, and 102 Bronzes.The special awards included Nathan Reddy of Grid Worldwide, who was inducted into the Loeries Hall of Fame. He is the first designer to receive this honour.Brand South Africa was entered in the Radio Communication: South African Non-English Radio Station Commercials category. Its agency, The Odd Number, won the Gold for the After Tears radio ad for Play Your Part.Listen to the advert (or read the subtitles) here:In the same category, The Odd Number won a Silver for its BBC Lifestyle campaign, Hell’s Kitchen – Mama, Mfundisi, for the Hell’s Kitchen initiative.Joe Public won a Silver award for its Back to School campaign for Jet, called Hand-me-downs – Is’khaftini, Is’cathulo, Isokisi.Runners-up in the category were DDB, which won a Bronze for the Medal Paints Inkanyamba campaign, as did I See A Different You for the self-promotion campaign, Wa hamba Nathi.Communication for niche audiencesLoeries CEO Andrew Human told Campaign Middle East that the Loeries focused on being a regional specialist show. “In our judging, our judges are guided to look for regional excellence, to look for regional relevance.“Often you might find that niche work that may be overlooked in a global show, is what really comes out here and might get a strong award… We are looking for work in local languages that has a small cultural significance to the niche audience,” he said.“It doesn’t have to be a global campaign. It doesn’t have to make sense in London and in New York City. It can make sense in one city, in one country and region and we want to see how communication is being targeted to niche regional audiences.”The Q&APlay Your Part is a movement not a campaign, explained Sithembile Ntombela, Brand South Africa’s general manager of marketing. She was speaking at the media launch of the Play Your Part television series on 24 August 2017. “A campaign ends.“It is imperative to get South Africans to rally behind the Nation’s Brand. There are endless opportunities of getting involved and that is Play Your Part is a call to action programme that challenges every South African to play their part in their communities and contribute towards a positive social change.Sithembile NtombelaJournalist Melissa Javan spoke to Ntombela following the Gold Loerie win; she talked about what Play Your Part was currently doing:Melissa Javan: Congratulations on the Loerie win. How do you feel about it?Sithembile Ntombela: Ecstatic! Play Your Part was launched in 2011 with an objective of promoting active citizenship among citizens with a view that when we as a collective play our part, we will achieve what is set out in the country’s vision.After six years of hard work, receiving a gold award is a huge success and a key milestone for the organisation. This is also indicative of a hard working organisation, an organisation that continues to create a Nation Brand that inspires its people and is admired globally. Play Your Part affords us with a platform of bringing inspiration to life.MJ: What was the idea behind the radio ad?SN: The big idea was to show the reality of the consequences of driving after drinking alcohol. We believe that the number of road accidents continue to be on the rise and the campaign objective was really to activate the “rude awakening” of this reality.That is why the set of the ad is in heaven. If all citizens can play their part and promote responsible driving, the number of accidents can be reduced.MJ: Why was it specifically targeted at non-English speakers?SN: My view is that due to the lingo used, the ad lands itself naturally to a vernacular station. The plan is to get stakeholders to promote the ad and flight it on various platforms, including social media.MJ: Was it part of a campaign?SN: It was a tactical advert in support of the Arrive Alive campaign, which is often championed by the Department of Transport.MJ: How often does Brand South Africa do campaigns like these?SN: Brand South Africa works with and through various stakeholders and there are different collaborations that often take place. For example, there are the South African Premier Business Awards in collaboration with Proudly SA and the Department of Trade and Industry.However, this advert will be aired on different radio channels during the holiday season, with the objective of issuing a strong call to action.MJ: Can you name a few campaigns you are busy with now?SN: We are working with the Department of Trade and Industry on the South African Premier Business Awards. We are also busy with the Play Your Part TV series, which will start airing on 26 August 2017 on SABC 2, at 18h00.In addition, we are promoting the nation brand on international platforms through a partnership with CNN. We have an on-going media engagement to strengthen our relations with the media and get them to understand the nation brand performance.MJ: How important are the Loeries for South Africa?SN: Very important. They enhance the nation brand’s reputation and hopefully this can help in promoting the visibility of Brand South Africa. For me, the Loeries are a platform of celebrating creativity, talent and innovation. If a brand gets recognition at the Loeries, it enhances that brand’s reputation.MJ: Any final thoughts?SN: We will continue to work hard to ensure that the nation brand is recognised and that many South Africans can rally behind the brand and support Brand South Africa in advancing the long-term reputation and competitiveness of South Africa.Watch this year’s Loeries and the winners on its official site.Sources: Loeries, Campaign Middle East and Campaign Middle East, YouTube.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.
Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City View comments Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Gin Kings-Bolts return duel set The Lakers open the regular season on October 19 against the Los Angeles Clippers. Wilson Chandler #21 of the Denver Nuggets splits the defense of Lonzo Ball #2 and Thomas Bryant #31 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the second half of a preseason game at Staples Center on October 2, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images/AFPLos Angeles, United States — The Los Angeles Lakers opted to keep rookie point guard Lonzo Ball out of Sunday’s pre-season game against the Sacramento Kings, letting him rest his sprained left ankle.Ball was to miss his second straight game since he was hurt on Monday when he came down on Denver Nuggets point guard Emmanuel Mudiay’s foot near the end of the first half of a pre-season contest.ADVERTISEMENT Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary NBA: Kawhi, George seek more for Clippers than beating Lakers PLAY LIST 01:48NBA: Kawhi, George seek more for Clippers than beating Lakers00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Lakers coach Luke Walton said Ball, the second overall selection in the draft in June, had trouble with lateral movement.There was some suggestion Ball could miss the rest of the pre-season.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“I hope not, but yeah, that’s a possibility,” Walton said. “It is different with every player. He is new to the team, so we’ve got to see how long these types of injuries take him to come back from.“We’d like to have him back, but again, we are not going to rush him back just to try to get him out there.” LATEST STORIES Read Next MOST READ Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa
The Australian 18’s Boys team has come from 1-0 down in the series to claim games two and three of the series and win the division title. Their 5-4 win in today’s third and deciding match saw them win the series 2-1. 18’s Girls Australia has claimed a 3-0 series win in the 18’s Girls division following their 6-0 win in game three of the series today. The Australian 18’s Girls started game three strongly, with Shannon Rose scoring in the eighth minute before Zara Nicholas scored in the 11th minute to take a 2-0 lead at half-time. The Dominique Du Toit scored in the fifth minute of the second half, before touchdowns to Lucy Botten, another to Zara Nicholas and Shellie Davis saw them runaway with a 6-0 win. 18’s Boys The Australian boys have won the 18’s Boys deciding game by one touchdown, 5-4 to claim the series two games to one. After a 9-8 loss on Friday night, the Australian turned the series around yesterday with a convincing win before they dominated game three early to set up the win from the fast finishing Kiwis. Kalyn Ponga turned defence into attack in the third minute, when he ran the length of the field after intercepting on the line to give Australia an early 1-0 lead. Corey Russell set up David Richards soon after, and when a Kai Simbolon half run saw Matt Wilson score the Australians had a 3-0 lead. Ponga soon had his second touchdown of the half, before Taylor Haugh scored for the Kiwis. Australia took a 4-1 lead into the half-time break. New Zealand scored the first two touchdowns of the second half, through Rory Van Vugt and Te Hauora Campbell bringing their side within one touchdown of the Australians before Damon Moore extended the Aussies lead by two, 5-3. New Zealand scored in the final minutes of the game, but it wasn’t enough, with the Aussies taking a 5-4 win and claiming the series 2-1. 20’s GirlsThe Australian 20’s Girls have continued their dominance in the 20’s Girls division, winning game three 13-3 and taking a 3-0 series win. Game three started in similar fashion to the two previous games, with the Australians taking a 6-1 lead into half-time.They further extended their lead in the second half, to take a 10 touchdown win and finish the series with three wins. 20’s BoysThe Australian 20’s Boys finished their 2015 Youth Trans Tasman Series campaign in style, winning their third game 10-7 on Sunday. Australia raced out to a 6-2 lead at half-time, before the Kiwis hit back in the second half, scoring five touchdowns to Australia’s four. But it was too little too late, with the Australians taking the series whitewash 3-0 with their three touchdown win. Related LinksYTT Day Three
Southampton boss Hasenhuttl: Pochettino fantastic for Tottenhamby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveSouthampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl is full of praise for Tottenham counterpart Mauricio Pochettino.Pochettino left the St Mary’s side to join Spurs back in 2014 and guided them to the Champions League final last season.Hasenhuttl said: “Last year he wasn’t allowed to sit on the bench which is maybe the reason why we could take the three points.“It was an unbelievable game from us. I didn’t know how we could end up winning this game because in the first half they should have been four goals up.“If you want to take points against such a team then you need to have a nearly perfect performance and even then, you are not sure.“I think he has done a fantastic job in Tottenham and took them from being a struggling team to Champions League finalists. It’s unbelievable the job he does there.“We don’t look too much on them because I think it’s important for us to concentrate on the qualities that we have.“We know that it’s a big challenge, but we like these challenges.“ About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
With the high cost of energy affecting their bottom line, small hoteliers across the region are welcoming the introduction of a project that is aimed at fostering energy efficiency in the industry.The Caribbean Hotel Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Action Advanced Programme (CHENACT AP), is a project geared towards enhancing the competitiveness of small hotels under 400 rooms in the region. It focuses on the hotel’s use of renewable energy and micro-generation and has been successfully piloted in Barbados. It is to be implemented in Jamaica and the Bahamas by the end of this year.Funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), it has received endorsements from the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining (MSTEM), the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), and the Caribbean Hotel and Tourist Association (CHTA).Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Minister, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, describes the initiative as timely and says that it is consistent with the Government’s move to drive down national energy consumption and increase competiveness. Mr. Paulwell points out that there is s trend towards energy efficiency that is being adopted within the global tourist industry. “The aviation industry is implementing cutting-edge technologies to make aircraft lighter than ever before, commercial flights are beginning to use bio-fuels in their fuel mix, key card systems and energy saving light bulbs are increasingly being implemented in hotel rooms worldwide, and tour operators are asking for energy efficiency throughout their chains,” he explains.Mr. Paulwell pledges his support for the project, which is being implemented in Jamaica through partnership with his ministry, the JHTA and CHTA.Through the project, the sector hopes to see more efficiency in energy use in the Caribbean; reduced energy costs to hotels; increased competitiveness in the sector through lower operating costs; increased use of renewable energies with positive environmental impacts; and additional revenue generated from the sale of carbon credits.In the meantime, Chairman of the CHTA, Josef Forstmayr notes that returns to the hotels from energy savings will come quickly. He is advising members that implementation of the project will allow the sector to be more profitable, more competitive, and they will be able to invest the returns into their product.Mr. Forstmayr informs however, that only hotels that are members of the CHTA and JHTA are eligible to participate in the project. He is inviting non members to join the associations to take advantage of the project offerings.“Remember, energy efficiency is not just about going green, and appealing to environmentally conscious visitors, it is a common sense practice that will pay for itself very, very quickly,” Mr. Forstmayr says.Meanwhile, President of the JHTA, Evelyn Smith, is recommending that investors in the sector take decisive steps toward making energy management a central part of their respective organizational structure.“We encourage all our Caribbean Hotels and Tourism Association members to embrace this project in the interest of the viability of their businesses, our industry and ultimately, for the benefit of Jamaica,” Mrs. Smith says.Regional Programme Manager with CHENACT, Loreto Duff-Mayers, says the pilot project was a success in Barbados and many of the models that did well there, will be used here.“We will be looking to replicate that in Jamaica, but looking, obviously, at the differences between Jamaica and Barbados,” she says.She explains that funding for CHENACT will come from the Smart Fund, which is a $US10 million loan from the IDB. Hoteliers will be able to accessed loans at 3.7 per cent for energy efficiency.“We are looking at demonstration models which could be wind or could be solar water heaters in at least two hotels in Jamaica and the Bahamas,” she explains while giving an update of the project. The major objectives listed for the project include developing energy efficiency models for hotels; conducting energy audits and walk-through assessments for the sector; conducting audits for Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS); analyzing Caribbean EnergyServices Companies (ESCOs); and initiating/accelerating movement towards greater efficiency and micro-generation through the use of renewable energies within the sector.
The blast knocked out Enbridge’s 91-centimetre line, but the Calgary company’s 76-centimetre pipeline near the damage site is supplying natural gas on a reduced basis.The incident has lead several major industries and institutions to switch energy sources, reduce operations or shut down temporarily.Enbridge says it recognizes the incident has had a significant impact on the communities where the company operates, and it’s working with those communities to make sure their needs are being met.(THE CANADIAN PRESS) VANCOUVER, B.C. – Enbridge Inc. says it will begin cleaning up the site of a natural gas pipeline explosion in Prince George, B.C., but the company says it does not have a timeline for how long the task will take.In a news release Saturday, the company says the Transportation Safety Board, which is leading the investigation into Tuesday’s incident, has opened the area to begin site-safety work and clean-up planning.An explosion Tuesday at an underground Enbridge pipeline temporarily shut down two natural gas pipelines.
His hobby nonetheless might have stalled decades ago if he hadn’t connected with his best single box-score source, a kindred spirit who collected NBA stats for a living: Harvey Pollack. The Philadelphia 76ers’ director of statistical information has been working in pro basketball since before the NBA, debuting with the league’s forerunner, the Basketball Association of America, in 1946. The two men aren’t clear on when they began collaborating. Pfander said in a telephone interview he thinks it was 1956; Pollack, who is 92, recalled that they started working together when he expanded his annual NBA stats book in the 1970s. They met at most a few times, but they communicated at least a dozen times each year by phone and mail.Pollack, who has worked for the Sixers since the team’s first season in 1963-64, was also collecting box scores for every game, though his collection didn’t go back as far as Pfander’s. Pollack would send Pfander his book of box scores, and Pfander would send back results of his data analysis — tidbits such as when the league’s millionth point was scored. That archival work helped when the NBA marked later milestone league totals. “He’s the one who started with it,” Pollack said. “That was his idea. I’ve kept it alive ever since.”Pollack put many of these small discoveries in his annual books, always crediting Pfander, whose stats were meticulously calculated and, before he started using a computer, meticulously handwritten, with a fountain pen. “He has the best handwriting you have ever seen,” said his daughter Colleen Greff.Pfander said he used to check the box scores Pollack sent, to make sure the numbers added up. Then he would generate 33 or 34 different stats for Pollack in return. Pollack said his latest book includes at least 40 stats furnished by Pfander.Filling holes in the recordPart of the fun of sports is measuring today’s players and teams against their predecessors, and you can’t do that without a complete record of what past players did. Every sport’s fan base includes completists, people who feel unsettled by the lack of certainty in the records.Ten years ago, Justin Kubatko founded the website Basketball-Reference.com as a resource for fans who want to know every detail about basketball history. Seven years ago, he left his job teaching statistics at Ohio State University to work full time on basketball stats.Before he connected with Pfander, Kubatko had game-by-game data on his site going back only to the mid-1980s.“I’m a completist,” Kubatko said in a telephone interview. “It did kind of bug me. We had 40 years of information that was just not there. I was also a realist. I knew there was really no easy way to acquire that data.”Kubatko doesn’t recall when he first heard of Pfander’s box-score collection — perhaps from the discussion boards at the basketball analytics site APBR.org, where Pfander has been a frequent topic of discussion. “I got his contact information, we talked for a few weeks, we worked out a deal, and we bought what he had,” Kubatko said. “He is an extremely generous and extremely nice man.”By this time, Pfander had digitized his box scores, scanning and sorting them — meticulously, of course. The disk Kubatko received, in 2008, had folders for each year and subfolders for months and for days. Even so, the box scores were saved as images, not spreadsheets or databases, so it wasn’t easy to add them to a stats database.Kubatko sat on the trove for at least a year. “Then we said, ‘You know what, this is kind of silly,’” he recalled. “People are probably interested in what we have as it is.” He wrote a script to link the team abbreviations Pfander used with those on the site and to pair each scan with that game’s unique Basketball Reference ID. Then he fixed the mismatches that arose from errors in the box scores or in the site’s schedule data.In January 2012, Kubatko announced that Basketball Reference now had every box score for every NBA game. His blog post credited Pfander, “who did the lion’s share of the work for this project.” At Grantland a few days later, Robert Mays wrote about the pair and Pfander’s unlikely collection.Fans wouldn’t be able to work with the old stats, though, until Kubatko could get the games into the database. He found Sean Wrona, a champion competitive typist, who “keyed in all this stuff for us off the scans, and we paid him to do that,” Kubatko said. “He did the first several seasons we put out there. All I’ll say is I found a more efficient way to handle the other seasons.”Wrona said in an email1Presumably typed quickly: He’s been clocked above 250 words per minute. that each box score took him about 10 minutes, or just five when it was abbreviated and missing some statistical categories. “Accuracy is far more important than speed for archival work (unlike for competitive typing, where raw speed is far more important), so I don’t come close to my peak typing speed while archiving, but it still helps,” Wrona said. He continues to do data-entry work for Sports Reference, Basketball Reference’s parent company.Wrona’s typing was the fastest part of the project. To merit inclusion in the database, a box score had to make sense: Players’ numbers had to add up to team totals, for instance. Newspaper box scores are the first draft of basketball statistical history. Kubatko estimated that each season had about 100 errors. He could resolve most using online news databases. Kubatko also sought help from his readers, posting on the blog his “most wanted” list for box scores where the sum of players’ scores didn’t equal the team total.The NBA steps inKubatko’s effort to build a publicly accessible archive of the game’s history made slow but sure progress.2In October 2012, Kubatko announced partial box scores were available for the 1982-83 and 1983-84 seasons. In December, Basketball Reference’s database stretched to 1981-82. The next month, he’d added one more year. By March of last year, the database went back to 1976-77, the first year after the NBA merged with the American Basketball Association. Last March, he announced a big breakthrough: The database now went back to 1964-65.Since then, the work has stalled: Basketball Reference has added just one more year. One reason is that Kubatko left Sports Reference in August, citing “creative differences.”3He retains a stake in the company, and is, as of earlier this month, an NBA consultant, through his company, Statitudes LLC.Sports Reference’s founder and president, Sean Forman, says the work to fill in the remaining 18 years of box-score data continues, but it isn’t a priority. That’s because the NBA itself announced in February 2013 that it had posted the box score for every game, all the way back to 1946-47, to NBA.com. “We want to be first on things,” Forman said. “Now that the NBA already has that data up, it’s a little bit less of an impetus.”So where did the NBA get that data? It always had “thorough statistical records,” league spokesman John Acunto said, but hadn’t figured out how to best publish most of them online until partnering with SAP, the tech company that powers the NBA’s revamped stats site. Before the site relaunch last year, the NBA offered game-by-game stats online going back only to 2007, Acunto said.Pfander’s box-score archive was one source the league used to fill gaps. “We have acquired from Pfander and others additional references and sources to cross-reference and validate our information,” Acunto said.Pete Palmer, a veteran sports statistician, said he and Pfander collaborated on using the box-score collection to correct errors in the league’s records. Palmer said that Pfander also sold his box scores to the statisticians at the Elias Sports Bureau.4“As I remember it, some of the box scores were hard to read and Dick had to prepare typed files for Elias,” Palmer said by email.Steve Hirdt, a statistician at often-secretive Elias, declined to comment on whether the company worked with Pfander. “It’s just not something we discuss,” he said by phone.The legend retiresPfander is far from the only amateur completist to aid sports historians. Pollack, of the Sixers, credited regular contributions from other basketball enthusiasts in his book over the years. David W. Smith has led a team of volunteers in the ongoing, ambitious effort to fill the record of every Major League Baseball play. Wrona built an online auto-racing database for a dozen series. Forman cited the contribution of Ed Washuta, who entered minor league baseball stats over a century old. “Pfander is an exemplar in that he has produced such a tremendous set of data for the public,” Forman said.The work of filling and correcting the NBA statistical record goes on. Many of the older box scores contained only field goals made, free throws made and points scored for each player. And some box scores are missing players, such as these on NBA.com. Fans often write to the league to suggest corrections, which it makes when appropriate, Acunto said. Sports Reference similarly invites corrections from readers.Pfander, a user of the site, continued to help Sports Reference’s efforts after shipping his data. “Some of those older scans are really poor,” Kubatko said. “It was very hard to read some of them. He was trying to find replacements for those, and occasionally he would send us stuff that would give us a better scan.” Pfander also did some digitizing work himself, typing old box scores into Microsoft Word documents — Word tables were his instrument of choice for organizing his digital data. “He was committed, definitely,” Kubatko said.5Pfander also sent along his ABA box scores, and inputting those is another project waiting to be completed.The work could go on forever. “You’re never going to get a perfect set of box scores,” Kubatko said. “It’s just not going to happen.”Today, though, Pfander is no longer actively working on NBA statistics. In November 2012 — just as Basketball Reference’s effort to input his data was gaining momentum — Pfander had surgery for a brain aneurysm. Afterward, he was confused, “and he actually made the joke, something about, you should never have brain surgery during NBA season, because it just messes up all the statistics,” his daughter Colleen recalled.Later that month, on his 78th birthday, Pfander suffered a stroke. The stroke has affected his short-term memory, Pfander and his children say. They tell him that the speech he gave at his wife’s memorial service was the best they’ve ever heard, and he laments that there’s no recording for him to listen to and remind him of what he said.The stroke also has interrupted Pfander’s statistical work. He continues to watch the NBA from his current home at a care facility but, he said, “I’ve had some physical setbacks, and I just don’t do it anymore.” He added, “I started a couple of different times, and I guess I’d say I don’t have the interest in making all those copies of box scores and then filling in the blanks so that I can add ’em up and see strings of double-figure scoring and things like that.”His daughter Julaine has cleaned up his computer’s desktop so that it has just two folders, one of them labeled “basketball stats.” She’s also backed up his data onto an external hard drive. It’s all ready for him to dive back in. “He doesn’t seem to want to do that,” she said. “Part of me thinks he worries that if he doesn’t do it exactly right, he might mess something up. He knows he has all this great data out there, and the last thing he would want to do is not do it the way he used to do it.”“It’s so sad now,” Colleen said. “It was such a passion for him, oh my goodness, he could not bear to fall behind. Now the desire to do statistics is just not there.”If he never revisits basketball stats, Pfander’s legacy is secure, and that’s some comfort. “I think he was probably happy that all of this work he had done — because he had really done it for really personal reasons — he was happy that it would be able to reach a larger audience, and that other people would be able to benefit from the work he had done,” Kubatko said.Of his hobby’s role in completing the Basketball Reference database, Pfander said, “It makes me feel that it was useful.” Dick Pfander has spent most of his life collecting and analyzing box scores from every NBA game since the league’s founding. He did most of his work in solitude, by hand, before the age of personal computers. And he did it simply for his own pleasure, surrounded by supportive family members who cared neither about basketball nor statistics, let alone their intersection.Today, his analog hobby is paying digital dividends for stats-obsessed basketball fans. His work has helped fill gaps in the league’s statistical record for both its official website and the leading independent reference site. The project continues — but without Pfander.An all-consuming “job”Pfander started clipping box scores from newspapers as a teenager in Battle Creek, Michigan, in the late 1940s. He did it during high school, after his marriage to Colette Waterman, through jobs as a teacher and with the Defense Department, through the birth of his three children, and through Colette’s death, in 2009.On vacations, Dick and Colette would travel to places where “he thought there might be a newspaper of use to him” in the local library’s archive, his daughter Julaine Eddy said in a telephone interview. “She’d drop him off and go do things around town while he sat in front of the microfiche machine.”Pfander’s children say they and their mother didn’t share his passion for NBA stats, but they didn’t resent it. It was just one way he expressed his love for basketball and for statistics. He also refereed basketball games and compiled the stats for local youth baseball tournaments and swim meets. He didn’t mind that none of his children played basketball or got into stats.Most of all, he sat in front of the television, “going back and forth between watching the basketball and working on the stats,” said his son, Greg. “It never bothered me that he did it — it was his thing. It just seems like that’s my dad, that’s what he always did.”Julaine’s memory of her father working on his stats is vivid. “Dad had this huge desk at home, and it was him sitting at that desk. The TV was visible from that desk, and he sat there and worked,” she said. “And as a kid, you think, ‘That must be a job he’s doing.’”Why did he do it? Pfander, 79, isn’t expansive on the topic. “It was a hobby for me,” he said in an interview last week. “It was a fun thing for me to do.” He considered himself a statistician long before NBA teams started hiring statisticians. “I had always been interested in statistics,” Pfander said, and “I kind of liked doing statistical-type things.”He added, “I don’t think anybody would do all that unless they enjoyed it.” Dick Pfander Courtesy of Colleen Greff
Detroit Lions defensive tackle Detroit Lions’ Ndamukong Suh was on the losing side of an $100,000 appeal that he filed challenging the charge he received for blocking below the belt.Roosevelt Barnes, one of Suh’s agents, told the Associated Press he was notified Friday of the arbitrator’s decision.The Washington Post reported:“Suh was fined for a sixth time in his four-year career on Sept. 10, two days after making an illegal block on Vikings center John Sullivan. He apologized to Sullivan, and to teammates for negating an interception return for a touchdown in Detroit’s season-opening win.”Barnes played video of the tackle, frame by frame, in order to prove his client’s defense.“We’re disappointed that Ndamukong was fined at all and that it wasn’t reduced,” Barnes told The AP in a telephone interview Friday. “It is clear from the film, when you slow it down frame by frame, that Ndamukong was clearly in front of the player and that his head and shoulder, when he started off blocking him, were above the player’s waist. But because Ndamukong left his feet, he was going to hit the ground and was going to get tangled on the lower part of the player’s body.”Suh has officially become the first football player in history to receive a fine of $100,000 and has been fined six times, suspended for two games for a total of $342,794.