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Norwich boss Alex Neil: Gary O’Neil dismissal changed the game

first_img O’Neil echoed some of his manager’s words as he later said sorry to supporters via Twitter, writing: “Apologised to all the lads & the staff @ Ncfc. Massive apology to all fans as well! Made a big mistake. Out of character. Won’t happen again.” Neil had no doubt the incident had been a “big turning point”. The Scot – whose team remain 15th, five points clear of the relegation zone – said: “It made our task a lot more difficult. Up until that point I thought we’d started the game really well. “It was a relatively even game and you could even argue that we shaded it. “We were pleased with how the game was going but that was a big turning point, it gave Stoke an advantage, and to be fair to them they took advantage of it.” Stoke boss Mark Hughes could not understand O’Neil’s challenge either but was sure it was dangerous. “It was a strange decision from the lad to go in with that challenge,” said Hughes. “It just didn’t make sense really. We were just shepherding the ball out to take a throw in. “It looked like both his legs had left the ground and he did what was like a scissor motion. It is a dangerous challenge – I think everyone accepts that.” Hughes – whose men are up to seventh, only four points off the top four – also revealed the hamstring injury that ruled Xherdan Shaqiri out of the game is set to keep the Potters winger sidelined for 10 to 14 days. O’Neil was sent off in the 31st minute of the Barclays Premier League contest at the Britannia Stadium – which was level at 0-0 at the time – after needlessly clattering Ibrahim Afellay from behind with a sliding tackle. The Canaries swiftly responded to Jonathan Walters’ opener for the hosts just after the break as Jonny Howson equalised with a fine strike within six minutes. Press Association Norwich boss Alex Neil admitted he had been left baffled by the challenge that earned Gary O’Neil a red card in the 3-1 loss at Stoke. But the man disadvantage ultimately proved too much for Neil’s side, with them falling behind again midway through the second half thanks to a Joselu effort, then having their fate sealed by Ryan Bennett’s unfortunate own-goal 12 minutes from time. When asked after the game if he could understand what had happened with O’Neil, Neil said: “No, basically. “I think it was just a bad decision from Gary. The ball was going out aimlessly on the halfway line, I don’t think there were any flashpoints before that that riled him up, and I was as surprised as anyone else to see the tackle that went in. “To be honest, there is no defending it. It was certainly a sending off and Gary apologised to his team-mates at half-time. “He’s an experienced player and if I was to pick anyone in our squad who wouldn’t do that it would probably be Gary O’Neil. “It was completely out of character but to make that decision in such an important game was silly to say the least. “He knows he’s done wrong and me slating him here isn’t going to help that. “But it’s disappointing for all concerned because it’s not helped the cause tonight and it’s certainly not going to help our cause in the next three games to have an experienced player missing.” last_img read more


Nick Buoniconti, Hall of Fame linebacker, dies at 78

first_imgBuoniconti was examined by a Boston University physician in 2017, who said Buoniconti had all the signs of CTE. However, a conclusive diagnosis was impossible — at this point the only way to determine if someone has CTE is to examine the brain after a person has passed.With that, Buoniconti pledged in 2017 to donate his brain for research.During his playing career, Buoniconti was known as a force on the field. He spent the first seven years of his 14-year career with the Boston Patriots before he was traded to the Dolphins in 1969.Buoniconti said he was devastated when his hometown Patriots traded him and considered retiring but decided to stay with Miami. His decision led him to be part of the famous “No Name Defense” and a legendary 1972 Dolphins team that went 17-0 en route to winning Super Bowl 7 and then was part of the 1973 team that saw the Dolphins win Super Bowl 8.Buoniconti retired in 1976 with two Pro Bowl and six AFL All-Star selections under his belt. In 2001 he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. In addition to becoming a TV presence on HBO’s trailblazing “Inside the NFL” in the 1980s, he also eventually started the Buoniconti Fund after his son Marc became paralyzed during a college football game in 1985. This organization helped launch the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, which has become a huge contributor to neurological research.NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, in a statement issued Wednesday afternoon, noted Buoniconti’s contributions on the field and off:”All of us at the NFL are deeply saddened by the passing of Nick Buoniconti. Nick will be remembered as a champion on and off the field. He was the leader of one of the most dominant NFL teams in history and earned his place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame with his grit, fearlessness and skill while playing with the Patriots and Dolphins.”Nick was also a broadcaster and businessman, but his biggest impact was through the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, which he co-founded in 1985. The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis has become one of the country’s largest neurological centers and has provided funds for spinal and brain research; as well as hope and comfort to thousands of people and their families. We extend our condolences to his wife Lynn, his daughter Gina, his sons Marc and Nick, and his entire family.”In the HBO documentary, Marc said: “We’re both, in a way, paralyzed. I’m paralyzed because I can’t do the basic things in life. It’s not pleasant to think about where my life is going to take me.” Nick Buoniconti, who helped the Dolphins win Super Bowls 7 and 8 in the early 1970s, has died, the team confirmed Wednesday. He was 78.The Hall of Fame linebacker had been battling dementia and showing signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), which was highlighted in HBO’s documentary “The Many Lives of Nick Buoniconti.” In the documentary, Buoniconti was healthy enough to conduct the interview from his home but described how he had a hard time keeping his thoughts straight.“Everything is jumbled for me. It’s just not possible for me to do it without stumbling,” Buoniconti said in the documentary. Related News NFL news and notes: Dolphins make coaching moves; Ezekiel Elliott still a no-showcenter_img Ryan Fitzpatrick ‘leading the way’ to be Dolphins’ starting QB, Brian Flores says When asked in 2017 if he would have kept playing if he knew what years of hits and concussions would do to his brain, Nick Buoniconti didn’t sugarcoat his answer.“I didn’t have any idea the price would be this debilitating,” he said, via the Palm Beach Post. “Had I known, would I have played? I had no alternative; there was no other way for me to get a college education. Football kept rewarding me — I can’t deny that. But I’m paying the price.“Everybody pays the piper.”last_img read more