Tottenham Hotspur live stream
Leicester City travel to Tottenham Hotspur in today's first Premier League kick-off.
Spurs must win to keep pace with the title leaders, especially with Liverpool winning against Bournemouth yesterday.
Tottenham are, however, in the midst of an injury crisis, which will make things tougher against the Foxes.
Dele Alli and Harry Kane are both out injured, so it's down to Eriksen, Son Heung-Min and Llorente to get the goals.
Winks, Skipp and Sissoko also start for Spurs, while Lucas Moura and Aurier are on the bench.
Leicester, meanwhile, give a start to new signing Youri Tielemans. Jamie Vardy starts on the bench, while Demarai Gray provides the creativity.If you don't want to miss a second of the action, check out Express Online's guide to live streaming below...
Leicester City travel to Wembley
How to watch Tottenham Hotspur vs Leicester City...
Coverage of today's Premier League game between Spurs and Leicester will be shown live on Sky Sports Main Event (Sky channel 401, Sky HD 435, Virgin channel 511) and Sky Sports Premier League (Sky channel 402, Sky HD 436, Virgin channel 512).
The pre-match build-up starts at 12.30pm on Sky Sports Premier League, before kick-off at 1.30pm.
This means that all the action can be followed on your desktop or laptop via the Sky Go app, which if you’re an existing customer, is also available on iOS and Android smartphone and tablet devices.
Sky Go is also available on a number of platforms including Amazon Fire devices, iPad, Mac computers and laptops, Playstation 3, PS4 and Xbox One.
Tottenham: Pundits address Spurs' injury issues
If you're not currently a Sky Sports customer but can't stand to miss out on the action, you can add the channels to your box via a NOW TV subscription.
Day passes, which let you add Sky Sports channels for 24 hours, start at £6.99 a day, with a weekly pass starting from £10.99, and no locking in to a contract.
NOW TV doesn't even require a typical television to use, as it is also available on a NOW TV Box, Chromecast, PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Roku, LG Smart TV, PC or Mac, and selected mobile and tablet devices.
Tottenham will seek to maintain their quiet challenge for the Premier League when they host Leicester at Wembley on Sunday.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side can once again draw to within five points of leaders Liverpool if they overcome the Foxes, having won each of their last three Premier League matches.
But they will come up against an outfit that has specialised in upsetting the top teams this season, with Claude Puel having masterminded victories over Chelsea and Manchester City, not to mention a creditable draw at Anfield.
|Game||Tottenham vs Leicester|
|Date||Sunday, February 10|
|Time||1:30pm GMT / 8:30am ET|
|Stream (US only)||fubo TV (7-day free trial)|
TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch
In the United States (US), the game can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial).
New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
|NBCSN / Telemundo||fubo TV (7-day free trial)|
In the United Kingdom (UK), the game will by shown on Sky Sports Premier League and Sky Sports Main Event. It can be streamed on Sky Go.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
|Sky Sports Premier League / Sky Sports Main Event||Sky Go|
Squads & Team News
|Goalkeepers||Lloris, Vorm, Gazzaniga|
|Defenders||Trippier, Rose, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Sanchez, Walker-Peters, Foyth, Aurier|
|Midfielders||Winks, Lamela, Sissoko, Eriksen, Lucas, Wanyama|
Tottenham welcomed back Harry Kane and Dele Alli to training this week, but it will still be several weeks before either of the duo are fit enough to play.
Ben Davies and Eric Dier are missing, the latter due to illness.
Confirmed Tottenham starting XI: Lloris, Trippier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Rose, Winks, Sissoko, Skipp, Eriksen, Son, Llorente.
Bench: Gazzaniga, Alderweireld, Foyth, Aurier, Walker-Peters, Wanyama, Lucas.
|Goalkeepers||Schmeichel, Ward, Jakupovic|
|Defenders||Simpson, Pereira, Morgan, Soyuncu, Evans, Maguire, Chilwell, Fuchs|
|Midfielders||Mendy, Ndidi, Choudhury, Maddison, Barnes, Gray, Ghezzal, James, Tielemans|
|Forwards||Vardy, Okazaki, Ihenacho|
Marc Albrighton has failed to overcome a hamstring problem and needs surgery, with Claude Puel suggesting he could miss quite a period, while Daniel Amartey remains a long-term headache.
Youri Tielemans makes his debut, having signed from Monaco during the January transfer window, while star striker Jamie Vardy has dropped to the bench.
Confirmed Leicester starting XI: Schmeichel, Ricardo, Evans, Maguire, Chilwell, Mendy, Tielemans, Maddison, Gray, Barnes, Ghezzal.
Bench: Ward, Morgan, Simpson, Choudhury, Ndidi, Okazaki, Vardy.
Betting & Match Odds
Tottenham are warm 4/6 favourites to win at Bet365. Leicester are 19/4 to cause an upset, while the draw is 3/1.
While all eyes seem to be cast towards Liverpool and Manchester City in the Premier League title race, Tottenham are quietly confident that they can mount a challenge for the crown.
They have won 19 of their 25 league matches this season and after being eliminated from both domestic cups over the space of three days at the end of January, have bounced back with narrow wins over Watford and Newcastle.
A third home fixture in succession provides the opportunity to keep the pace with the leading sides, and though missing star men Harry Kane and Dele Alli, the squad remains upbeat over their chances.
“If people want to talk about Liverpool and Man City then it’s better for us. We can follow our way in,” Moussa Sissoko told The Telegraph.
“We will be like that. Under the radar, I like that - and try to win and see where we are. For me, I prefer that. It means we can just do our job. We will fight to the end and anything can happen.
“And, yes, I think we can win the league because we have a good team. There are 13 games to the end so there are a lot of points left. But each game will be massive and hopefully we can win every one of them.”
Spurs’ task is complicated by an impending Champions League meeting with Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday, but for now their minds must be fully set towards Leicester, who have proven themselves more than capable of mixing with the best, despite an average league position.
The Foxes are winless in four but Claude Puel believes his side were unfortunate to lose 1-0 to Manchester United last time out and has urged his players to show more confidence.
“We want to perform and we want to take points. I think, for example, against Liverpool, okay it was a draw, but perhaps we had chances to win the game,” he said.
“I hope we can perform, we can show our progress in our games to manage our game with the right way.
“For the moment, we lack something and perhaps we need to believe a little more in ourselves.”
Mikaela Shiffrin takes issue with comments from Vonn and Miller
February 9, 2019
ARE, Sweden — Mikaela Shiffrin has taken issue with comments by Lindsey Vonn and Bode Miller questioning her decision to sit out several events at the world championships.
After winning the super-G on Tuesday, Shiffrin left Are to refocus for the giant slalom and slalom next week. That meant she didn't race the Alpine combined — an event she would have been the overwhelming favorite for — and will also miss the downhill and team event.
"I'm flattered by some recent comments by Bode and Lindsey saying that they think I would have been a contender in 5 events this World Champs," Shiffrin wrote in a lengthy Instagram post on Saturday. "However, as the one who has been trying to race in every discipline this season, and who has won in 5 disciplines this season alone, I can tell you that not a single one of those wins was "easy". There is no such thing as an easy win."
Shiffrin is well on her way to a third straight overall World Cup title and has become a multi-event skier in the model of Vonn (a four-time overall champion) and Miller (a two-time overall winner) — her fellow Americans and two of her biggest idols growing up.
"She could have won everything," Vonn said Friday. "I'm a racer and I want to race in every single race that I possibly can. I respect her decision. It's obviously her decision. But she has the potential and 100 percent the capability of getting a medal in all five disciplines. So I don't personally understand it. … Hopefully, I'm sure, she will get two golds in GS and slalom."
Vonn, still recovering from a crash in the super-G, sat out the slalom portion of the combined.
Miller was also perplexed by Shiffrin's choice.
"Her group around her they make decisions that they feel are best. … It's not for me to criticize those but I would have her racing for sure," Miller, at the worlds as a TV analyst, told The Associated Press on Friday. "But it's different strokes different folks."
The 23-year-old Shiffrin is attempting to avoid a repeat of last year's Pyeongchang Olympics, when she got stressed out by schedule changes and postponements and followed her gold-medal performance in giant slalom with a fourth-placed finish in slalom — her best event. She finished the games by taking silver in combined.
Shiffrin has won 13 World Cup races in four different disciplines this season — slalom, super-G, parallel slalom and giant slalom — leaving her one short of the single-season record set by Swiss great Vreni Schneider in 1988-89.
"It's fun to see," Vonn said of Shiffrin. "She's obviously incredibly talented. She approaches skiing in a much different way than most or maybe everyone. It's very methodical and technical, kind of the opposite of me, but that's why she's had so much success. I just wish her continued success and I think most importantly health and happiness, because you also have to enjoy that success otherwise it's not so much fun."
When Shiffrin won her first super-G in December in Lake Louise, Alberta, she joined Vonn in an exclusive club of seven women who have won races in all five of the traditional disciplines. Miller was the first American to win in all five disciplines in his career.
The 34-year-old Vonn will retire after today's downhill at worlds, having had to cut short her last season due to persistent pain in her knees after a series of devastating crashes in her career.
It remains unclear if Shiffrin will show up at Vonn's last race.
"She has got her team and she has her own thing going on and I have mine. We don't work together, I don't really see her very often," Vonn said. "She's never training with us. I honestly don't know her very well. There's not many people I don't know. It's kind of interesting that I don't really know her very well. I guess we have a lot of respect for each other.
"I wish all the best for the future," Vonn added. "I think she's going to break all the records. There's kind of no point me breaking them, because she's going to break them anyway."
Vonn's 82 World Cup wins are the most all time for a female skier but four short of the overall record held by Swedish great Ingemark Stenmark. Shiffrin, who already has 56 wins, is on pace to eclipse both Vonn and Stenmark.
"My goal has never been to break records for most WC wins, points or most medals at World Champs," Shiffrin said. "My goal is to be a true contender every time I step into the start, and to have the kind of longevity in my career that will allow me to look back when all is said and done and say that — for a vast majority of the duration of my career — I was able to compete and fight for that top step rather than being sidelined by getting burnt out or injured from pushing beyond my capacity."
"It is clear to me that many believe I am approaching my career in a way that nobody has before, and people don't really understand it. But you know what?! That is completely fine by me, because I am ME, and no one else."
Miller, Vonn tag teaming Shiffrin makes little sense … until you consider divergent styles
It’s a little strange for Vail’s Lindsey Vonn and Bode Miller to be calling out Mikaela Shiffrin for skipping some events at the 2019 World Alpine Ski Championships going on in Are, Sweden, right now, and it reminds me of Phil Mahre’s criticism of Miller back in the 2000s.
Miller (33 World Cup wins), Mahre (27), Vonn (82) and Shiffrin (56) are the runaway Mount Rushmore of American ski racing. Miller and Mahre rank 1-2 among American men for career wins, and 9th and 11th on the all-time men’s list. Vonn and Shiffrin are 1-2 among American women and 1-3 on the all-time women’s list.
But on Friday, Vonn, who races in her final event Sunday in the downhill, retiring at the age of 34 with chronically painful knees, questioned why Shiffrin would skip the downhill and alpine combined to focus on next week’s slalom and giant slalom. Miller, retired as a racer and now a TV commentator, also wondered why Shiffrin wasn’t racing in every event.
“She could have won everything,” Vonn said of Shiffrin on Friday. Shiffrin responded Saturday on social media.
“I’m flattered by some recent comments by Bode and Lindsey saying that they think I would have been a contender in 5 events this World Champs,” Shiffrin wrote Saturday on Instagram. “However, as the one who has been trying to race in every discipline this season, and who has won in 5 disciplines this season alone, I can tell you that not a single one of those wins was ‘easy’. There is no such thing as an easy win.”
According to the Associated Press, Shiffrin, who won the super-G gold on Tuesday, was sitting out the combined (one run downhill, one run slalom) and the straight-up downhill (an event she’s only won once on the World Cup circuit) to stay fresh for her signature slalom and GS events. The EagleVail racer was worried about a repeat of last year’s Pyeongchang Winter Olympics when she says she tried to do too much and wound up fourth in the slalom.
Seems to me Shiffrin knows exactly what she’s doing. At the age of 23, she’s won 56 times on the World Cup circuit, is about to win her third overall title and has collected a total of eight world championship and Olympic medals in four different disciplines – an astounding six of them gold. That’s more gold than both Miller (five) and Vonn (three), and she’s clearly not done.
Shiffrin’s third overall title will tie Mahre’s three in a row in the early 80s, surpass Miller’s two season-long titles and leave her just one shy of tying Vonn’s overall American record of four. All at the age of 23. Vonn is retiring at 34, and Miller raced until he was almost 40.
Miller holds the American record with 11 total world championship and Olympic medals (five gold), but Shiffrin is just three short of that mark, and Vonn is first among American women with 10 total medals (three of them gold), so Shiffrin could tie that mark in Are next week. And, as previously stated, she already has more gold in her trophy case than Vonn and Miller.
Shiffrin also has twice as many Olympic gold medals as Miller and Vonn, who both won one each, in half the number of Olympic Games — arguably the only thing casual American ski-racing fans care about.
Which brings us back to why Vonn and Miller are questioning anything Shiffrin does at this point – except that Miller is actually paid for his commentary on TV, so there’s that. And he has a long history of speaking his mind on a wide variety of topics, from drinking and skiing to doping and skiing to climate change and skiing and nothing has changed now that he’s on TV.
And while Vonn has always been forthcoming with reporters — especially recently (see last year’s justified Trump-bashing before the Pyeongchang Olympics) — this seems like a needless jab at Shiffrin because of the two Vail Valley racers’ extremely divergent styles.
Shiffrin is very focused on all of the technical and strategic aspects of her sport. Vonn is a transcendent superstar who understands that most Americans don’t give a damn about ski racing and the only way to stand out is to star on TV programs, attend award shows, date celebrities and do lots of photo shoots. Shiffrin doesn’t want any of that, purposefully and publicly taking a pass on bikini spreads and refusing to be “objectified,” which in itself is a powerful statement.
Barring injury, Shiffrin will own almost every record in the end, which is something Vonn acknowledged in abandoning her pursuit of the overall men’s record of 86 World Cup wins owned by Sweden’s Ingemar Stenmark. But there’s one record – and it’s a biggie – that Shiffrin will never break, and that’s Vonn’s mark of 43 downhill victories.
Downhill is the glory event of ski racing, with speeds in excess of 70 mph, massive amounts of air off jumps and an almost incalculable degree of risk. Both Vonn and Miller started as tech-event (GS, slalom) standouts and then morphed into speedsters who excelled in downhill and super-G, so it’s possible Shiffrin could one day challenge their marks in speed. But doubtful.
And both Miller and Vonn paid the price for going big or going home – often doing so on sleds after spectacular crashes. Miller, for the most part, avoided the truly gruesome crashes that cost Vonn at least a couple shots at Olympic glory. But early in his career, Miller wanted to win on the edge or not win at all, and that attitude was what grated on Mahre.
Pretty much a pure tech guy like Stenmark – with all of his wins in either slalom, GS or combined – Mahre knew you could win overall titles by just finishing in the top five, so he took Miller to task in a 2004 interview with me that I re-posted on RealVail.com in 2008.
“Bode has the chance to win seven or more overall World Cup titles if he wants to, and it’s all a matter of whether he can get his head together to do it,” Mahre said in that 2004 interview in Vail. “I think he sets out to win it by two seconds, and whether you win it by two hundredths or two seconds, a win is a win, and sometimes you have to back off a little.”
When I circled back with him in 2008 after Miller passed his U.S. men’s record of 27 career victories, Mahre had this to say: “It really isn’t a record that warrants that kind of attention. It might be different if my name was Stenmark and it was that record being broken.”
For her part, Shiffrin says records dehumanize the sport, which is an interesting take from an athlete who is using every tool in the chest to systematically dismantle the record book. Miller and Vonn, meanwhile, lead lives so soaked in drama – much like the late, great Bill Johnson – that they inject over-the-top humanity into an otherwise somewhat cold, inaccessible sport.
However Vonn’s career ends on Sunday – improbably back on the podium one last time, well back of the leaders, or in the nets yet again – the sport will miss her desperately. She will forever be the downhill GOAT – not just in America, but around the world – and ski racing without Vonn will be a far more boring sport. Much like golf without Tiger Woods.
Perry not looking back
Grammy nominee sees women getting more recognition
Grammy Award Nominees
The Grammy Awards air tonight on CBS. Here are the nominees in the top four general categories:
Record of the year
“I Like It,” Cardi B, Bad Bunny and J Balvin
“The Joke,” Brandi Carlile
“This is America,” Childish Gambino
“God's Plan,” Drake
“Shallow,” Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper
“All the Stars,” Kendrick Lamar & SZA
“Rockstar,” Post Malone featuring 21 Savage
“The Middle,” Zedd, Maren Morris and Grey
Album of the year
“Invasion of Privacy,” Cardi B
“By the Way, I Forgive You,” Brandi Carlile
“Beerbongs & Bentleys,” Post Malone
“Dirty Computer,” Janelle Monáe
“Golden Hour,” Kacey Musgraves
“Black Panther: The Album, Music From and Inspired By,” Various artists
Song of the year
“All the Stars,” Kendrick Lamar and SZA
“Boo'd Up,” Ella Mai
“God's Plan,” Drake
“In My Blood,” Shawn Mendes
“The Joke,” Brandi Carlile
“The Middle,” Zedd, Maren Morris and Grey
“Shallow,” Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper
“This is America,” Childish Gambino
Best new artist
Chloe X Halle
Greta Van Fleet
NEW YORK – Linda Perry didn't originally set out to be a music producer, but the singer who was focused on writing lyrics would hear noises in her head.
She couldn't describe it, but she knew what she wanted a song to sound like, and maybe more importantly, what she didn't want the song to sound like.
“When 4 Non Blondes was recording that first record, all I knew is that I didn't like the way it sounded. I couldn't vocalize what it was because I wasn't experienced enough,” she said of her band, which released its debut album in 1992. “Then I kept trying to tell the producer, 'I don't like the way my voice sounds. I don't like the way the guitar sounds. It all sounds too clean.' He would constantly say, 'Can't you just go be a singer? Don't worry, let me do this.'”
That didn't sit well with her.
So the ambitious musician took matters into her own hands – heading to the studio to rework a little song called “What's Up?” to her liking.
“We had one reel of tape,” she said. “We had no more money for budget. So I went in there with the engineer and I don't know anything about what I'm doing. I just started dialing in sounds, moving microphones, doing drum sounds. I just was a natural. I took total charge. The engineer was like, 'Well, I thought you've never done this before.' I go, 'I haven't.' But I said, 'I hear what I want to hear.'”
That's when Linda Perry, the producer, was born.
“I was like, 'No one's ever going to tell me to go be a singer ever again.' I'm never going to allow that to ever happen,” she said.
Fast forward nearly 30 years, and Perry is one of the most respected creators in the music industry. “What's Up?,” the 4 Non Blondes' international hit now considered a classic, is regularly covered at concerts today; Perry has produced music for acts such as Alicia Keys, Adele, Gwen Stefani, James Blunt, Courtney Love and more; and she's launched multiple record labels and even had a TV show focused on discovering musicians.
And the magic she created with Christina Aguilera and Pink in the early 2000s came at pivotal moments in their young careers as the bubble gum pop stars tried to expand from the sound of their debut albums. They were extremely successful, thanks in part to Perry.
Perry, 53, hit a new height this year when she earned her first nomination for non-classical producer of the year at the Grammy Awards – becoming just the ninth female to earn a nomination in the category in the organization's 61-year history, and the first woman nominated for the prize in 15 years. The last woman up for the award was Lauren Christy when the production trio The Matrix, behind hits for Avril Lavinge, was nominated at the 2004 Grammys. The last time solo females were nominated was 20 years ago when both Lauryn Hill and Sheryl Crow were producer of the year contenders at the 1999 Grammy Awards.
“I kind of knew I would get the (nomination) because I just did a good body of work, and why wouldn't I? But then it crosses your mind like, 'Oh, wait a minute, women haven't ... aren't ... it's not really a thing for women to get nominated for this,'” Perry said. “It's a flip-flop of emotions.”
Perry's competition includes two-time producer of the year winner Pharrell Williams; Kanye West, who produced five albums last year including two of his own; Larry Klein, who also produced five albums last year from the jazz, pop and folk genres; and Boi-1da, who co-produced Drake's “God's Plan” and worked on songs for Eminem and Kendrick Lamar.
If Perry wins, she would be the first woman to do so. But the Songwriter Hall of Famer isn't concerned with making history or rectifying what happened in the past – she wants to focus on what's happening right now, and the future.
“We're never going to go backward from here – believe me,” she said. “It's going to happen again next year because I'm going to be nominated next year because my body of work is (expletive) awesome. ... There is going to be a crime happening if I'm not nominated next year.”
“It's not in the 'why?' anymore,” she added. “We've spent so many years in the 'why.' I just want to be in the now. Right now there are some (expletive) amazing things going on and women are leading the way.”
Alex Bowman wants to be known for more than a number or a nickname.
Even at speeds exceeding 200 mph, the reigning pole-sitter at the Daytona 500 has struggled to distance himself from either one.
The driver tabbed “Bowman the Showman” enters his second full season behind the wheel of the No. 88 car made famous by Dale Earnhardt Jr.
The expectations and pressures from Junior’s steadfast fan base have been inevitable. On the eve of Sunday’s qualifying sessions, Bowman said he has grown comfortable fielding inquiries about succeeding a two-time 500 winner.
“That’s just part of it,” Bowman said Saturday at Daytona International Speedway. “I wouldn’t be here without Dale. It’s an amazing opportunity and I’m very thankful for all his help and support. So I’m sure the questions will keep coming.”
Bowman is less enthralled with discussing his catchy moniker. He has, at least, come to accept it.
“It’s just stuck at this point and I’m not getting rid of it,” he said. “I was not a huge fan of it at first. But I feel like if you make your own nickname, that’s like wearing your own T-shirt. You can’t do that.
“Unfortunately, I am stuck with what I’ve got and I’ve just kind of got to own it.”
In the end, Bowman wants to be known for winning.
“I feel like he has unlimited potential,” Johnson said. “My first year in Cup I was 25 and turned 26. … He’s been around for a handful of years. But he still has so much runway left.”
Bowman’s early years were a rough ride. The Tucson, Ariz., native became a full-time Cup series member in 2014 at age 21 but continues to seek his first win.
“I feel like I’m working harder than I ever have and doing more to prepare than I ever have,” he said. “I feel like last year, for me, it kind of exposed my weaknesses and exposed areas that I could improve on.”
Even so, Bowman, who posted 11 top-10 finishes, did make strides as a driver.
After failing to crack the top 10 even once during his first two seasons, Bowman lost his ride in the sport’s top series. The show, though, would go on.
Recognizing Bowman’s talent and recovering from a severe concussion, Earnhardt asked him and four-time series champion Jeff Gordon to share the No. 88 car in 2016.
Bowman had four top-20 finishes in eight starts before capturing the pole during the season’s penultimate week at Phoenix. He then nearly won the race before falling to sixth place.
Bowman’s first victory in NASCAR came the following season while racing on its Xfinity Series, setting the stage for him to take over for Earnhardt in 2018.
Bowman wasted little time proving a worthy successor, becoming the fourth consecutive pole-sitter for Hendrick Motorsports. Bowman, who would finish 17th after a wreck during overtime, would like to become the iconic team owner’s record-tying ninth Daytona 500 winner, joining Petty Enterprises.
Bowman’s qualifying success notwithstanding, the 2018 season was uncharacteristically slow for Hendrick’s four-driver team. Three wins during the final 15 races by 22-year-old Chase Elliott were all the group mustered.
Johnson went winless for the first time in 17 seasons.
“Last year isn’t what we expect,” Bowman said. “It isn’t what Hendrick Motorsports is.”
Confident, fearless and promising, Bowman fits the profile for an owner who gave Gordon and Johnson their starts as 20-somethings.
Bowman now looks to set his own path and make his own name. Johnson said his young teammate will get the chance once he steers the No. 88 car to Victory Lane.
“It has a decent ring to it,” Johnson said of the Showman tag. “If he rings the bell and goes to Victory Lane and puts on a helluva display, he can change the narrative on that.”
Hendrick vows rebound from worst season in team history
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Rick Hendrick worked too hard building NASCAR’s top organization to tolerate mediocrity. If his teams had simply been average last season, he might not rate it as one of the worst in team history.
The Hendrick cars were pretty bad — seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson failed to win for the first time in his Cup career — and it took 22 races for the organization to get its first victory. The final tally showed just three Chase Elliott victories and the organization with 12 Cup titles was locked out of the championship-deciding finale for the second consecutive year.
In a wide-ranging interview with The Associated Press, Hendrick guaranteed this year will be much improved.
“Last year sucked. I ain’t gonna do that no more,” Hendrick said. “I’m too competitive to do that and our organization is too good to be doing that.”
The season was not entirely surprising considering the upheaval to both the driver lineup and the behind-the-scenes operations. The roster was stacked just three years ago with Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kasey Kahne and Johnson but looks dramatically different as Hendrick begins its 36th season in the Cup Series.
Gordon retired after the 2015 season, Earnhardt was sidelined most of 2016 because of concussion-related ailments and he retired the next year. Kahne was released for underperforming and Hendrick suddenly had two high-profile rides to fill. Elliott had already replaced Gordon, and the newest vacancies were filled by William Byron, a rookie last season, and Alex Bowman, who had bounced around looking for a competitive ride until he filled in for Earnhardt in 2016.
Bowman is 26, Elliott is 23 and Byron celebrated his 21st birthday during the offseason. Johnson is entering his 18th fulltime Cup season and turns 44 this September.
Johnson was surrounded by inexperienced newcomers at the same time Chevrolet made a body change to its Cup entrant and switched to the Camaro. Although Bowman won the Daytona 500 pole in the Camaro’s debut, and Chevy driver Austin Dillon won the race, that was the lone highlight for most of the season.
Chevy didn’t win again until Elliott’s first career victory in August and Camaro drivers totaled just four victories. Ford won 19 races in its outgoing Fusion and Toyota scored 13 wins in its Camry.
So much change at one time had an impact on performance.
“We really looked like we were out to lunch most of the year,” Hendrick said. “Until Chase won, it didn’t even look like we were in the same ballpark. But we started to close the big gap toward the end of the year and now we’ve turned the page.”
Hendrick had built his team from nothing and weathered the tightest of financial situations. All-Star Racing barely made it through the first two months of its inaugural 1984 season.
Hendrick had a 5,000-square-foot shop with eight employees and a legendary crew chief in Harry Hyde. But he didn’t have a driver, a sponsor or solid prospects. A deal with Richard Petty to run the Daytona 500 didn’t materialize and the seat was offered to Tim Richmond. Hendrick pulled the offer when Geoff Bodine stopped in the shop one day and offered to wait in the lobby until Richmond made his decision.
Hendrick figured he had five races to find the sponsorship needed to stay in business and Hyde later talked him into stretching it another three weeks. He was just about out of money when Hendrick allowed Northwestern Security Life to put its logos on Bodine’s car for free at Martinsville Speedway, the eighth race of the season and probably the last unless Hendrick stumbled upon serious financial intervention.
That race at Martinsville was the moment that saved what is now Hendrick Motorsports. Bodine pulled off a near-miracle and won the race, and the overjoyed Northwestern executives agreed to fund the rest of the season.
Then came 2018 and uncharacteristic struggles across the board.
“It was the toughest year I had in racing that I can remember,” Hendrick said. “There were dark days before that, the year we almost closed, but after you’ve won as much as we have, it was rough to go through. I knew it was going to be tough, but I didn’t know it was going to be that tough. The reorganization, bringing on two young drivers and we were just behind when we started the season. And when you are that far off, nobody else is waiting for you to catch up.”
The worst is behind the organization, Hendrick said, and he’s encouraged about this season.
He split Johnson and longtime crew chief Chad Knaus at the end of the year and has tasked Knaus with building another team around Byron the same way he did when he launched Johnson’s team in 2002. A new racing package for this season should benefit both Bowman and Byron because neither had much experience under the old rules.
Hendrick was not as visible last season as years past, perhaps because fishing in Florida was more enjoyable than watching his teams struggle. It led to speculation that Gordon, who owns a stake in Hendrick is poised to take over, a move the boss doesn’t see happening soon.
“I don’t think Jeff will ever want to do the day to day, every single day,” Hendrick said. “But I would hope one day that if he wants to, when I am done, and I don’t know when that day will come for me because I’ve still got a lot I want to do. But he has input, we talk about drivers and plans. But I am 69, I feel good, I still love this, I grew up racing and it was all I knew. This was all I always cared about and the dream about starting by building a car in a bathroom, to riding in here today and looking at this place (Hendrick Motorsports), I get excited like a kid.
“Last year fires me up and is a reminder ‘This is not who we are and how we run and we need to get after it right now.’ ”
World Cup a distant memory as Lloris eyes Spurs glory
France's Russia 2018 victory is a distant memory for Hugo Lloris, who is determined to win titles with Tottenham.
10 FEBRUARY, 2019 13:13 IST
Hugo Lloris is determined to win titles with Mauricio Pochettino's Tottenham. - GETTY IMAGES
Lloris and France reigned supreme at the World Cup in Russia last year and Tottenham is now fighting for silverware this term.
France's ultimate glory is a distant memory for Spurs captain and goalkeeper Lloris, who is determined to win titles with Mauricio Pochettino's Tottenham.
"To be honest, the football and the time is going so fast," Lloris said ahead of Sunday's clash with Leicester City. "I don't want to say that I've forgotten about the World Cup but, for me, it belongs to the past. I don't have time to make a step backwards and think about the World Cup.
"Every time people talk about this moment – it gives you a lot of positive energy. But as a professional and as a man I am just focused on today and tomorrow. Maybe when I will be retired, I will think in a different way but it's not the case at the moment."
Lloris, who said he felt "empty" following Russia 2018, added: "We are Tottenham and we have the humility to say in a different place, a different club, a bigger institution, they are used to winning - they won in the past, they win today and they will win tomorrow - because of the heaviness of the institution.
"When you wear the jersey of some clubs, you have this pressure every day. It's not the case in Tottenham. Historically there is a great history, it's a great club in England. But it’s not the type of club that used to win every year. It needs more time.
"For me the best way is to compare the club when I arrive [in 2012] and the club of today. We reduced the gap massively between the best teams in England and maybe in Europe, too. And the process takes maybe more time than in some other places. But for sure we are going the right way because every season we are improving and improving and improving."
"It is important to believe in yourself but it is important to have sense, too," he continued. "The main target for the club and for the team is to get the top four for the fourth time in a row. You need to look at the clubs behind because everything can turn very quickly. But you can look ahead, too.
"We are in the position we deserve because in the league, we are quite consistent but at the moment there are two teams who have done much better than us. We will see what will be in March and if we will be in a place to compete for the title or just the top four. That doesn't mean we don’t have ambition. The ambition is to win every game until the end of the season."
'I was completely empty in my body and in my mind': Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris reflects on France's World Cup success
- Hugo Lloris reveals he felt 'completely empty' after France's World Cup success
- Lloris described Les Bleus' triumph as the 'consecration' of his career
- Lloris admits Tottenham need more time to build reputation of winning trophies
Ecstasy, of course. Joy, most definitely. Pride. Honour. Fulfilment. Vindication that all the sacrifice was worth it.
How about nothing at all? Just emptiness.
Hugo Lloris revealed he 'was completely empty in his body and in my mind' after winning the World Cup
'I was completely empty in my body and in my mind,' said Lloris. 'I needed a day to stay in bed and just stop. It's a long tournament. It demands a lot of energy. And a lot of emotion. You try to enjoy your holiday and then the new season begins. Maybe when I retire, I will think a different way.'
He doesn't care too much about the winner's medal - just 'a material thing' - but admits, emptiness aside, that the achievement is unparalleled.
Lloris described France's World Cup success as being the 'consecration' of his career
'It's the consecration of your career. We put a stamp on France national team history and for the rest of our lives. That is something huge.' The difficult task is how to put that sacred moment aside for the next challenge, especially when the previous one has taken so much from you.
'It's not easy,' concedes Lloris. 'For all the French players, we needed more time to find a new rhythm.' Perhaps that's why Lloris endured a difficult start to this season. Some sloppy early performances for Tottenham, a thigh injury, and the dark moment of a drink-driving fine and ban, an experience Lloris says now 'belongs to the past'.
To the present, then. Lloris admits success is addictive. And, with Spurs, Lloris still has a chance of tasting more. They remain in this Premier League title race - just - even if an unfancied third horse in an apparent two-colt charge. They are out of both domestic cups but the knockout stages of the Champions League beckon.
'When you get this taste you want to renew it again,' he says. 'Success is very difficult in football. You need to be in the right place, at the right moment. You need a bit of luck. You need talent. It's not easy but if all the players involved in the squad have the same ambition it can happen.'
Lloris admitted that Tottenham need more time to establish a reputation of winning trophies
More questions. Is Tottenham the right place? Is this the right time? Do Spurs and Mauricio Pochettino, who has said that fourth place is more important than a trophy, share the same ambition?
'We are Tottenham and we have the humility to say that in a different club, a bigger institution, they are used to winning - they won in the past, they win today and they will win tomorrow - because of the heaviness of the institution. When you wear the jersey of some clubs, you have this pressure every day.
'It's not the case in Tottenham. There is a great history, it's a great club. But it's not the type of club that used to win every year. It needs more time.'
A frank admission, if an accurate one. No league title for Spurs since 1961.. No FA Cup since 1991. One League Cup in 20 years.
Lloris says that Tottenham have changed considerably since he joined the club
But Lloris says Tottenham has changed since he arrived in 2012. Back then, Spurs were a club who sold. Luka Modric had left for Real Madrid just days before Lloris's arrival. Gareth Bale would follow a year later.
Now, it feels different. Harry Kane is still there. Dele Alli is still there. Lloris is still there. Same players, different Spurs?
'For me it is quite simple: there is a project with the manager, you either like it or you don't. If you don't like it, you move to another place. If I am here it's because I like to be involved and I believe in my team-mates, the club and my manager.
'We will see what will happen in the future but I think everything here is made for the players to improve and to be in a place to compete for trophies.'
Bernie Sanders may struggle in the 2020 primaries. That could be a good thing for Democrats
While Sanders is not performing as well in early 2020 polls as his supporters may hope, this could be a good thing
FEBRUARY 10, 2019 11:00AM (UTC)
This isn't to say that the Vermont senator is doing badly in the polls, per se. A Monmouth University poll taken late last month found him in a distant second with 16 percent, trailing former Vice President Joe Biden's 29 percent but ahead of Sens. Kamala Harris of California and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts (at 11 and 8 percent, respectively). An ABC News/Washington Post poll from around the same time found him placing third, behind Biden's 9 percent and Harris' 8 percent but ahead of Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke's 3 percent (it's worth noting that this same survey found President Donald Trump with 4 percent of the vote and 43 percent marked as "Unsure").
If one is a liberal, Sanders' decline within the Democratic Party should be viewed as a good thing. Sanders' decline in the polls may be a sign that he has achieved some of his ostensibly larger political objectives. It is a sign that his' left-wing political values have become increasingly mainstream.
It's easy to forget that his success in the 2016 Democratic primaries had as much to do with the perceived absence of any viable progressive alternative to frontrunner Hillary Clinton as it did with Sanders' distinctly pugnacious and idealistic brand of charisma. Because many liberals were dissatisfied with Clinton's record — in particular, her association with the comparatively more conservative policies touted by her husband, former President Bill Clinton, during the 1990s — Sanders unapologetic brand of left-wing politics wasn't just refreshing; it was, to true-blue liberals, an oasis in a desert.
Yet now that the 2020 cycle has rolled around, a number of Democrats are moving much closer to Sanders' version of leftism than would have been conceivable during the 2016 cycle. This is perhaps most evident in Sanders' support of Medicare for All. While his fellow Democrats haven't gone so far as to endorse his precise policy proposals, major candidates like Warren, Harris, O'Rourke and Sen. Cory Booker have offered at least rhetoric support for the concept. This reflects a growing awareness that the outspoken liberal wing of the Democratic Party cannot be taken for granted. Even if one questions the sincerity of some of these Democrats in their stance on that or other core progressive issues, all of them know that if they promise to deliver Sandersian policies as president and then fail to deliver, their party base will take them to task.
Another major takeaway from Sanders' decline is that Democrats are more sensitive to the need for a diverse electoral coalition. The party's problem hasn't been that women and voters of color haven't preferred them over Republicans, but rather that their support has been taken for granted. That's why it should encourage progressives to hear that Sanders caught flak for offering a State of the Union response that could have taken attention away from Stacey Abrams, an African American woman who was almost certainly robbed of the Georgia governorship in November. This demonstrates that the Democratic Party recognizes the importance of diversity to its brand, not just as a way of attracting swing voters but of also energizing voters who have too often felt that no one running for office shares their background or directly represents them.
Finally, the Sanders decline could be welcome for the party if it foreshadows an opportunity for progressives who share Sanders' values to select a candidate who doesn't alienate the party's more moderate elements. This is not an easy feat to pull off, but the fact that moderates like Biden and O'Rourke have done so well in the early polls reveals that a substantial number of Democrats are center-left rather than staunchly liberal. These are people who ultimately share the humanitarian values of Sanders and his backers but — whether one agrees with them or not — have concerns about the viability or desirability of his approach that aren't going to simply vanish. Indeed, as CNN's Chris Cillizza noted about Sanders' State of the Union response, part of the problem was that it made Sanders seem like a man separate from the Democratic Party rather than a potential leader of it.
As he lays ground to run for president, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock looks back with regret at his failure to recognize the gravity of a top aide’s sexual harassment of a colleague.
After he was fired, the advisor went to work for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and was soon accused of harassing two more women. Bullock now says he’s “deeply sorry” he never told de Blasio about his aide’s misbehavior.
“I was wrong and naïve to think I did enough,” Bullock, a Democrat, wrote Feb. 2 in a blog post.
“You can say you support #MeToo, and you can say you support women, but you have to be able to demonstrate that in your own organization and in your own behavior,” said Kelly Dittmar, a political scientist at Rutgers University’s Center for American Women and Politics.
“I don’t think we’re going to see all of a sudden a wholesale overturning of the allowances that we’ve given to folks for this type of behavior, or not acting significantly to stop this behavior in the past. But I do think the bar is higher.”
Cold political math is at least part of what’s drawing heightened attention to sexual misconduct: Women consistently turn out to vote in greater numbers than men. Women have also strongly preferred Democrats in recent elections, driving the party’s takeover of the House in the November midterm.
In the White House race, Democrats face pressure to nominate a candidate who can draw a strong contrast with President Trump. A Democrat who is perceived as not dealing with sexual harassment seriously could have a hard time attacking the president over allegations by multiple women that Trump sexually assaulted them.
The accusations, which Trump denies, have not caused die-hard supporters to desert him, but the president remains highly unpopular among women in general.
For Harris, the U.S. senator from California, the issue has become fraught since the Sacramento Bee revealed in December that the state paid $400,000 to settle a lawsuit over alleged sexual harassment by Larry Wallace, one of her closest aides for 14 years.
When Harris was state attorney general, she named Wallace as chief of the Division of Law Enforcement. He was in charge of her personal security detail, and he was a crucial figure in her political life: He led Harris’ successful drive to win endorsements from dozens of police groups that had once roundly opposed her.
In September 2016, Wallace and at least four others on her staff at the attorney general’s office were notified of the initial complaint filed by Danielle Hartley, Wallace’s executive assistant.
Three months later, Hartley sued the state, alleging Wallace had “harassed and demeaned” her in his Sacramento office. He kept a printer on the floor beneath his desk, she claimed, and ordered her every day to get on her knees to put paper in it or replace the ink, at times with him and male co-workers watching. Harris’ successor, Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra, approved the settlement in May 2017.
Harris said she was not told about the case until the Bee asked about it two months ago. The inquiry led Wallace to resign as a senior advisor on her Senate staff in Sacramento.
“It was a very painful experience to know that something can happen in one’s office — of almost 5,000 people, granted, but I didn’t know about it,” Harris told CNN. “That being said, I take full responsibility for anything that has happened in my office.”
Critics have attacked the credibility of Harris, one of the Senate’s most pointed interrogators of Brett M. Kavanaugh when he faced sexual assault accusations at his Supreme Court confirmation hearing. A Bee editorial called her denial of any knowledge of the Wallace settlement “far-fetched.” And if she’s to be believed, it said, she “isn’t a terribly good manager.”
Larry Gerston, a political scientist at San Jose State, said Harris was facing the conundrum of many politicians: How do they justify actions they took — or didn’t take — prior to the #MeToo movement shifting public attitudes?
“It’s very hard for those folks to go back and undo what they did at a time when it wasn’t viewed as terrible as it is now,” he said.
For Sanders, the Vermont senator preparing to launch his second campaign for the Democratic nomination, the politics are messier. Multiple women have gone public with accusations of sexism, sexual harassment and pay discrimination by male supervisors in his 2016 campaign against Hillary Clinton.
His initial apology last month in a CNN interview was widely seen as dismissive toward the accusers. Explaining why he’d been unaware of their complaints, he said: “I was a little bit busy running around the country trying to make the case.”
Sarah Slamen, who worked for his campaign in Texas, said that comment gave her no confidence that Sanders cares enough about sexual harassment to keep it from recurring. She suggested another Democrat would be a more effective champion of his agenda.
“I don’t think that Sen. Sanders has changed much of his mindset,” she said.
In a second apology days later at a news conference, Sanders was more forceful in denouncing the discrimination against women who worked on his campaign.
“What they experienced was absolutely unacceptable and certainly not what a progressive campaign or any campaign should be about,” he said.
Sanders and some of his top aides later met privately with some of the women to hear their accounts of mistreatment.
“We were trying to identify some concrete strategies and action steps for any future Sanders campaign,” said Jenny R. Yang, a sexual harassment expert who joined the meeting.
Toni Van Pelt, president of the National Organization for Women, called sexual misconduct on the Sanders campaign “a very big deal.” She, too, cast doubt on whether any adjustments he might make to prevent harassment in the campaign ahead reflect a better understanding of the damage it causes.
“I think he’ll do it because it’s part of the political equation,” she said.
In Biden’s case, the former vice president has been struggling for nearly three decades to overcome the fallout from his leadership of the all-male Senate Judiciary Committee when Anita Hill accused Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment.
Witnesses were blocked from testifying on Hill’s behalf at the confirmation hearing, and senators pelted Hill with aggressive and embarrassing questions.
“My one regret is that I wasn’t able to tone down the attacks on her by some of my Republican friends,” Biden told Teen Vogue in late 2017. “I mean, they really went after her.”
Biden, who co-sponsored the Violence Against Women Act in 1994, said he wished he’d been able to do more for Hill. “I owe her an apology,” he said.
If Biden joins the race for president, as expected, he will inevitably be called to account again for Hill’s treatment in the 1991 hearing.
“It’s hard for me to forgive him,” Van Pelt said. “He’s done a lot of good with the Violence Against Women Act, there’s no question of that. But I just think maybe it’s time for new thinking.”
As for Bullock, his admission that he fell short in preventing sexual harassment has made for an awkward introduction to a national audience as he prepares his likely announcement that he’s running for president.
When he was chairman of the Democratic Governors Assn., Bullock dismissed his longtime Montana aide Kevin O’Brien for sexual harassment. He said he “felt sick and heartbroken” when he recently learned O’Brien had gone on to sexually harass two women at his next job. De Blasio has attacked the governors association for failing to alert him to O’Brien’s history.
Nan Whaley, a longtime Democratic Party activist who is mayor of Dayton, Ohio, said the #MeToo movement has changed the rules in politics, elevating the importance of troubles like Bullock’s.