New QPR manager Mark Hughes wants to sign Tottenham goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes, the Daily Mirror say.Hughes: Linked with keeper swoop.And the paper suggest Hughes remains keen on Manchester City left-back Wayne Bridge but a deal for Fulham forward Andrew Johnson is unlikely.But the Daily Mail say Rangers have cooled their apparent interest in the former England defender.The Daily Express say Hughes has been offered the chance to sign Gomes as the Brazilian is now third-choice keeper at White Hart Lane.The Mirror also claim Lille have told Chelsea they will not sell Belgian star Eden Hazard for less than £35m.Meanwhile, Cardiff City could be ready to make a bid for QPR forward Jamie Mackie, according to Wales Online.Chelsea have not discussed selling Fernando Torres, according to a report in The Independent.Former Blues boss Carlo Ancelotti, who has recently taken over at Paris St-Germain, has said he is interested in the Spaniard.Finally, the Mail say Fulham are rekindling their interest in Doncaster striker Billy Sharp. Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest No one — from the shopper in the grocery, to the diner in the restaurant, to the farmer in field — wants anyone to get sick from anything they eat. This, however, is impossible.The best that can be done is to blend science and the realities of agriculture to come up with workable procedures that maximize food safety. This is the thought process behind the long-discussed and recently implemented Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).The biggest impact for farms in Ohio is for growers of fresh farm produce and fruit.“We put together the produce safety classes originally because the industry was pushing for it. In 2011, the Food Safety Modernization Act was first signed into law. The rule became final in November of 2015. FDA wants to take a more preventive approach than reactive approach to produce safety outbreaks,” said Lindsey Hoover, food safety program coordinator for the Ohio State University College of Food Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Department of Horticulture and Crop Sciences. “FDA has done a good job at listening to growers. There were around 18,000 comments submitted and the FDA had to review those and look at the rules from the side of the growers too. The rules did change based on the comments about some of the standards. For example, the rule started out with a 270-day pre-harvest interval from the time of applying manure and incorporating it before harvest. The FDA worked with university specialists to identify a more practical but still scientifically sound approach to the pre-harvest interval time frame. The final rule pre-harvest interval is much shorter now than the proposed 270 days.”The program was designed to address the highest risk areas of production.“FDA identified five different routes of contamination on the farm: water; biological soil amendments; worker health, hygiene, and training; equipment, tools and buildings; and wildlife and domestic animals. We look at how to identify risks on the farm and methods farmers can use to reduce those risks — risk assessment and risk reduction. That is what we cover in our three-hour Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) class,” Hoover said. “Extension educators can really help growers to address the details with the language in these rules. There will be daylong training sessions available in the future for growers to cover the rule to a greater extent than what we currently do. Relying on your Extension educator to help with the more challenging parts of the rule will be important. I have heard some growers say that this rule will put them out of business. That is inaccurate. There are ways to use the strengths within the specifics of your system based on science to grow produce without contaminating or adulterating the product.”Hoover said the two biggest areas of concern with the regulations from farmers in the GAPs classes have been in water and soil amendments.“Up until recently water hasn’t been as much of a hot topic as it is now. We are seeing how much water can vary in quality from farm to farm. There are so many ways water can impact the microbial contamination on produce based on how you irrigate, the water source and the process in the packing house,” Hoover said. “Until this point, there has not been much oversight with water testing. To come into compliance, farms will have to use a testing program if they are not using a municipal water source.”The water-testing program first needs to establish a baseline for water quality and then monitor changes moving forward. In addition, there are important water quality standards based on the situation the water is being used on the farm and the source. Water sources include surface water, municipal water and well water. Drip irrigation, overhead irrigation, and other water used prior to harvest including frost protection and dust prevention uses are considered production water. Post harvest water has higher quality standards. E. coli is being regarded as the most reliable indicator of contamination with fecal matter and overall quality.“Beginning a water testing program can be a challenge. It is not just one test every now and then. There can be a lot of variability and this is something that needs to be regular water testing,” Hoover said. “Farms need a quantified test from a water laboratory to indicate the numbers of generic E. coli in their water and that is something that is new to quite a few farmers. Chances are you are going to have to work with a private lab for this.”To illustrate the risk levels for contamination on their farms, Emily Adams with Coshocton County Extension likes to use different comparisons of possible farm situations. For example, overhead irrigation using water from a cracked, improperly maintained well has a much higher contamination risk than drip irrigation using municipal water, Adams said. With soil amendments, the highest risk situation is the use of raw manure, followed by improperly composted materials, compost teas, properly composted materials and commercial fertilizer has the lowest risk. In terms of worker health, hygiene and training, a properly trained, healthy staff with easy access to adequate hand washing stations followed by sanitizer applications is the lowest risk scenario.And, not only do farms have to address these things, all of the practices that are implemented must be properly documented as well, Adams said.“Good record keeping is very important. If you didn’t write it down you didn’t do it,” she said. “This is not only for if something goes wrong, a lot of this is risk analysis. Up to date farm policies for standard operating procedures and good records are the lowest risk situation for your business.”Of course, all of these changes will take time to properly implement, particularly for small farms. The rules have been implemented but there are grace periods based upon farm size.Compliance dates for the FDA regulations are:• Very small businesses, those with more than $25,000 but no more than $250,000 in average annual produce sales during the previous three year period: four years, Jan. 26, 2020.• Small businesses, those with more than $250,000 but no more than $500,000 in average annual produce sales during the previous three year period: three years, Jan. 26, 2019• All other farms: two years, Jan. 26, 2018.The compliance dates for certain aspects of the water quality standards, and related testing and recordkeeping provisions, allow an additional two years beyond each of these compliance dates for the rest of the final rule.“There are compliance dates now because it takes time to put some of these practices into place,” Adams said. “The very smallest farms with less than $25,000 in average annual produce sales in the previous three-year period are exempt. But just because you are exempt, it does not mean that you are not liable if anything happens. And the places you are selling to still may have say in what you are doing. Retailers and produce auctions can demand certain practices from growers to reduce risk, even if according to FSMA an operation may be considered exempt.”Ultimately, there will inevitably be challenges for farms implementing these practices, but Adams points out that it only takes two people getting sick after eating the same contaminated food or drink to declare an outbreak. The public has demanded fewer outbreaks and increased food safety and the government responded.“The Food Safety Modernization Act is the most sweeping reforms for food safety in the modern U.S., affecting every part of the food system from processed foods to feed mills,” Adams said. “Our legislators tried very hard to write our laws in a good way but sometimes they don’t know everything. People were able to comment on the rules in 2013 and 2014 and in many cases the FDA did listen to the comments to make the rules practical. Not everyone is happy about all of the rules, but now at least we know what the rules are moving forward.”For more highlights, resources, and a summary of the rule, Hoover suggests visiting the following websites: producesafety.osu.edu; gaps.cornell.edu; extension.psu.edu/food/safety; and safety.cfans.umn.edu/fsp4u.
P2.5 B shabu seized in Makati sting, Chinese national nabbed Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Recognized by Fiba in the 2014 World Cup in Spain as the world’s best fans, Filipinos went to all forms of media last year, blasting the NBA when it initially refused to allow Clarkson to suit up in the Jakarta Asiad.The SBP, Panlilio earlier said, has already greased the wheels for Clarkson’s appeal. The national basketball federation is also expected to lobby the PBA board to allow Andray Blatche to suit up as an import in the Commissioner’s Cup so Gilas Pilipinas can prepare with him earlier.But like the Clarkson bid, the SBP could face an uphill battle for Blatche, a knowledgeable source told the Inquirer, one that could focus on a single inch.“If at all, Blatche would be subject to the rules governing imports in every conference,” said the source. “That means, even his height will be checked.”The Commissioner’s Cup allows imports no taller than 6-foot-10. Though the league hasn’t officially measured Blatche, the former NBA player is listed as a shade over 6-11.ADVERTISEMENT Lacson backs proposal to elect president and vice president in tandem Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES P2.5 B shabu seized in Makati sting, Chinese national nabbed The SBP is hoping to pair Blatche with Clarkson in the World Cup, which Gilas Pilipinas recently booked tickets to in the last window of Fiba’s Asian qualifiers.But with Clarkson granted only naturalized status despite his Filipino lineage, that pairing cannot materialize without a successful appeal. Clarkson acquired his Philippine passport after the required Fiba cutoff of 16 years old.“We have committed to do our best (in seeking reconsideration from Fiba),” he said. “There are no assurances of guarantees. It’s up to them.”The NBA will be out of the way in the Clarkson case in the coming World Cup with its season long concluded by the time China hosts the event in eight cities from Aug. 31 to Sept. 15.Blatche, on the other hand, has just a few more games in China before he flies home to the US. If he is allowed to play as import, he will head here.But not having obtained a passport before he was 16 years old disqualifies Clarkson from playing as a Filipino, and this is something that the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas and president Al Panlilio will appeal.“I don’t think there’s a single Filipino who doesn’t want Jordan Clarkson to play (with Gilas),” national coach Yeng Guiao said. “All of us want him. But it’s up to the process and what we can do about it.”Guiao, incidentally, doesn’t want his squad to be satisfied by just making the main draw.The mercurial coach is hoping for a favorable draw come March 15 in Shezhen, and have “photo ops” with powerhouse the United States later to be able to make the next round of the 32-nation conclave.“(If we get) bracketed with the US (in the first phase), then we can do nothing about it but have photos taken with them,” Guiao said with a smile in a press conference at Meralco. “But if we can get wins to advance, we’ll take that.” Kaya settles for draw in Vientiane Trump campaign, GOP groups attack Google’s new ad policy 1 dead, 3 injured in Quezon road crash SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte National coach Yeng Guiao (left) addresses the media during a presscon hosted by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas where telecommunications tycoon and Gilas Pilipinas patron Manny V. Pangilinan and SBP president Al Panlilio (right) gave updates on the national squad. —AUGUST DELA CRUZWith the clamor for Jordan Clarkson to play as a Filipino for Gilas Pilipinas in the World Cup later this year as loud as it could get from this cage-crazy nation, the country’s top basketball patron on Thursday said that the best approach at this time would be “a quiet one.”Telecommunications chief Manny V. Pangilinan, a member of the powerful central board of the international cage body (Fiba), knows exactly how the ruling committee behaves and wants the appeal for Clarkson to follow a more toned-down process.ADVERTISEMENT Hong Kong tunnel reopens, campus siege nears end “Certainly, we would do our best to persuade them (Fiba, to allow Clarkson to play),” Pangilinan said. “Probably, the best approach would be a quiet one rather than create some noise.”It is a tack different from the one that got the NBA to release Clarkson for national duty in last year’s Asian Games, where a very vocal Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) and a public clamor that dominated social media drew a favorable response for the Philippines.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesBut does that mean that Pangilinan would want what Fiba had said was the world’s greatest fans to be quiet?“No, not at all,” said SBP president Al Panlilio. “What he means is that as a federation, we (the SBP) would want an approach that is not head-on.” View comments Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss MOST READ
Barcelona centre back Samuel Umtiti will undergo treatment on a knee injury in Qatar which is expected to last several weeks, the club said on Friday.The French defender missed nearly two months with a cartilage problem, but returned to play in the 1-1 draw at Atletico Madrid last weekend.Umtiti was still feeling discomfort, however, and was not included in the team’s 2-1 win at PSV Eindhoven in the Champions League on Wednesday.”The player will move to Doha where this therapy will be followed under the supervision of the club’s medical services during the next few weeks,” said in a statement.Umtiti, who won the World Cup with France in July, has been a key player for Barcelona since a 2016 move from Olympique Lyonnais.The 25-year-old has been involved in eight games so far this season, with compatriot Clement Lenglet taking his place.
Oklahoma State lost a key cog in one of the most productive units of the defense on Saturday, as Mike Gundy announced that redshirt junior defensive end Vili Leveni suffered a season-ending injury during the game against Kansas State.“We lost Vili today,” Gundy said after the game via The O’Colly. “Vili’s got an injury and he’s out for the year. We were kind of down one guy there.”Leveni was a key piece along the defensive line for the Pokes, as he provided a versatility that allowed OSU to plug him in both at defensive tackle and defensive end.There has yet to be an official report on the nature of the injury suffered, but it is worth noting that he also suffered a season ending injury last year that forced him to miss the entire football season.Glenn Spencer was bummed out about the whole thing.“He said, ‘I’m sorry, Coach. My bad,’” Spencer told the Tulsa World after the game. “Are you kidding me? I just hugged his neck and said, ‘You don’t have to be sorry about anything. You’re out there fighting, man, you’re a warrior.’ Yeah, he said that to me. I couldn’t believe that. That’s just how bad he wants to be out there.”This season, he racked up two sacks, and twelve tackles, and will now leave OSU dangerously thin at defensive end, with Jordan Brailford also still out after suffering an injury in the preseason.Cole Walterscheid and Jarrell Owens have taken over as starters, and with Leveni out, it’s likely that junior college transfer Tralund Webber and redshirt sophomore Trey Carter will see their playing time increased over the final weeks of the season. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.
While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. And this!Mike Gundy’s living my white trash dream: get into a fight w/ your boss, grow a mullet, and kick so much they ass they can’t fire you— BUM CHILLUPS (@edsbs) December 30, 2016On the Alamo Bowl’s economic impactOklahoma State wasn’t the only winner at the Alamo Bowl. The city of San Antonio made out pretty good, as well…The 24th Alamo Bowl attracted nearly 60,000 fans. Bowl officials said the weeknight game, which did not feature a Texas team, still drew the fifth largest turnstile count in the nearly quarter-century history of the event. BizJournals.comA look back at the outgoing seniors on offense/special teams.Grogan missed a chip shot in San Antonio but is still OSU’s all-time leading scorer.Grogan has had games with more field goals, but none were bigger than the two he made against Texas in 2015. After hitting a 41-yarder with 1:33 left to tie the game, OSU got the ball back in Texas territory after a whiffed punt. After going backwards on two plays, Grogan kicked a 40-yard field goal to get the win. CRFFOn OSU’s defensive effort…Oklahoma State: The Cowboys delivered one of the best defensive performances from a Big 12 team all season. The Cowboys beat up the Buffaloes quarterbacks and gave up a few big plays but didn’t break near the goal line. Yahoo SportsHoopsUnderwood on the sellout crowd against West Virginia…“To do it without our students, a big thank you goes out to our athletic department and marketing people for what they did with the tickets and all of those people are to be commended,” OSU coach Brad Underwood said. “It was breathtaking for me, and almost emotional, because that is one of the main reasons why I came here.” Tulsa WorldOther FootballThe Orange Bowl was the type of bowl game you want to watch if you aren’t personally invested in either team. ESPNOther HoopsAs Kyle Boone writes, John Calipari was given a dead stuffed squirrel by Ole Miss. CBS SportsMore PFBCheck out the best plays from the Alamo Bowl… Gundy says the OSU defense is “unbelievable”… and check out OSU players’ reactions to the win… Vincent Taylor will be playing on Sundays next year… even after Gundy’s plea… Justice Hill had six (!) 100-yard games this season… Mason throws up the “X”… and Jordan Sterns closes the book on a brilliant career… There’s a reason Huggie Bear is the Teacher and Undie is the student… we’ve got Five Thoughts on it… and regardless of the loss, it looks like the Rowdy is Back… Trae Young skipped the Sooners’ beat down to watch the Cowboys get beat down… Kyle Cox here. Filling in today. Thanks for checking in and everyone have a safe and Happy New Year’s Eve!ESPN’s Jake Trotter did a Big 12 mailbag on Friday.He ranked the Big 12 bowl-game appearances (so far)…1. Oklahoma State, 2. Kansas State, 3. Baylor, 4. TCU, 5. West Virginia. Oklahoma State might have the most impressive bowl performance of anyone in college football so far. ESPN More from Jake on OSU…The Cowboys are going to be loaded offensively, with the best receiving corps in school history, a four-year starter at quarterback in Mason Rudolph and the reigning Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year in running back Justice Hill. This will be as talented as any offense that Oklahoma State has had under Mike Gundy, and that includes the 2011 Cowboys, who were a field goal away from playing for the national championship.Uh oh! It’s too early in the off season for my current level of optimism.Pro Football Focus grades for the Alamo BowlThe offensive line did allow 8 pressures to Rudolph, but it didn’t matter much if it was a clean pocket or not, as the junior quarterback was in a rhythm from the first snap. On plays under pressure he was 5-of-9 for 107 yards and a touchdown, and when presented with a clean pocket he was 17-of-23 for 207 yards and two touchdown passes. Pro Football FocusA look towards next year’s offensive lineBut there will be holes to fill come 2017 with Salako, Wilson, Veatch and Jarwin fulfilled of eligibility. The personnel for those fits aren’t fully clear yet, but OSU carries confidence in the depth its building on the practice field come spring ball. NewsokThe #SinorForHeisman campaign will be around for another year.Good to know.Statement pic.twitter.com/I3LpYeEhjW— Zach The Punter (@ZachSinor29) December 30, 2016
While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Quarterback Mason Rudolph and receiver James Washington agreed on one thing at Big 12 Media Days on Tuesday: Ramon Richards is the one player on the Oklahoma State defense that makes the future NFL Draft picks better, most often.Richards was signed to OSU as an athlete in the 2014 recruiting class. He came out of Brackenridge High School in San Antonio, Texas, having played four years as a defensive back and dual-threat quarterback. He played cornerback, safety and came in for nickel packages, which he has mentioned helped him in the pocket.Now as a senior OSU safety, he is clearly reapplying those lessons he learned about four years ago.“He does a lot pre-snap,” Rudolph said. “I remember in a meeting, him coming to me and saying, ‘Hey, what do you see out there when I’m moving around and I’m giving you keys pre-snap?’”AdChoices广告Richards has eight interceptions in three seasons, which is impressive enough until you hear about the yardage he gained after those eight snags. Richards averages 19.8 yards per interception return for a total of 158 yards, more than one and a half football fields. And he brought 25 percent of those picks back for touchdowns.He was thrown into a starting role as a freshman after Kevin Peterson was injured his senior season in 2014. Washington was also getting serious play time as a freshman starting five games, so he has been around the block and back with Richards.“When he was playing corner, we would go at it all the time,” Washington said.Washington listed off two other players — Peterson and Ashton Lampkin — who have played the same role Richards fills now, which places some implied emphasis on the tenacity of the OSU cornerbacks during practice.“All three of those guys have made me who I am,” Washington said.When he said that at Big 12 Media Days, I was surprised. A Biletnikoff Award finalist with 30 starts, almost 3,000 yards, more than 150 catches and 26 touchdowns in three seasons, gave “who I am” type of credit to three players who haven’t recorded a single stat in the NFL.“KP was always on me, just throwing me out of bounds, wouldn’t let me off the line,” Washington said. “It’d just make you mad. ‘I gotta get him. I gotta get him. I want one more. I want one more.’“I would say he’s really a big factor to my success.”Rudolph’s praise was almost equally as surprising but genuinely placed.“An unbelievable change-of-direction guy,” he said. “He’s doing some different things as far as moving and trying to deceive me. Lately, I don’t know what he’s doing. He tries to cheat because he knows our schemes and how I like to throw the deep ball. He tries to rob some things.”That might sound like Richards is getting little out of practice and Rudolph is just getting frustrated, but it forces Rudolph to learn and adjust. It’s like playing against an extra defender when they know what’s coming, so when it’s 11-on-11, it might seem like 11-on-10.In watching OSU football every year Richards has been a part of the program, one word resurfaces: Scrappy. He might be annoying to play against on the field, willing to do anything to get an edge, but if two potential first-round picks have that level of respect for him, he must have a more significant impact on the team overall than cheating on a play after Rudolph takes a snap in practice.
As we inch closer to the Cowboys’ season opener, let’s get acquainted with a player that Oklahoma State hopes won’t see the field in 2017.How he got to OSUMike Yurcich once again dipped into the SEC honeypot for a quarterback. With 6-foot-7 Jelani Woods, he got in early on a recruit that was all upside and others took notice. Yurcich had to fend off suitors like Michigan, Louisville and South Carolina but he landed his guy. Woods was drawing interest from several other blue-chip programs before he shut it down and signed with OSU.What he’s done in StillwaterWoods enrolled early so he was able to take part in spring practice and the spring game. He went 0 for 2 in the exhibition which quelled some hype surrounding he and redshirt freshman Keondre Wudtee (1 of 6). But two attempts from a true freshman, in a scrimmage, is not enough to even have an opinion about. The coaching staff was just getting his feet wet and they have big plans for Woods moving forward.AdChoices广告Role in 2017Those plans include everything except casting a shadow on the turf at Boone Pickens Stadium — or any other field. Obviously, Mason Rudolph is the quarterback and if everything goes well, Taylor Cornelius or Keondre Wudtee will just be playing in the second halves against Tulsa, South Alabama and Kansas.Woods could benefit from a year under Coach Glass and Co. to build up his giant frame and the time he’ll get with the coaching staff and Rudolph and Cornelius learning the playbook. If Woods plays in 2017 then something went very, very wrong.Noteworthy stats and highlightsWoods hasn’t made any highlights at OSU yet but here’s a look at some of his high school reel. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.
While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. The Big 12 must play at least four Thursday games per season, according to its 13-year TV deal with ESPN and FOX Sports, and Oklahoma State is on the slate for 2017.As many of us know, OSU opens its highly anticipated season at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 31, a Thursday, at Boone Pickens Stadium. Then, the Cowboys face South Alabama at 7 p.m. Sept. 9, a Friday, in Mobile, Alabama.For most, the game time is more of an annoyance than anything, but it does raise some questions, namely: Why did the powers that be choose OSU to put on a Thursday and Friday night?That’s unclear, but with the proximity of OSU and Tulsa, BPS will still likely fill up. With the hype around the season and the students’ itch to get back to football, plus a long weekend with Labor Day, attendance should be strong. In fact, because Labor Day is a lot of students’ first chance to get back home, a Saturday game might even be worse.OSU also has history with non-traditional start times, and that does not include an absurd amount of 11 a.m. kicks. According to The Oklahoman, the Cowboys have played Thursday games in 2009, 10, 11, 14 and 2015. This hasn’t necessarily been something Mike Gundy has wanted.“The conference and their affiliation with television, there’s a certain number of games that they like us to play on either a Thursday or Friday night,” Gundy said recently. “I don’t think it’s mandatory, but it’s strongly suggested. We play on Labor Day Weekend, and in order to get what we think would be a great home crowd based on an in-state opponent, we thought by playing on Thursday it would be really good.“When that happened we follow up with two road trips. The science behind putting 75 guys on an airplane and traveling halfway across the country and playing a game and then coming back and then doing it again the next week is that, whether we like it or not, it can fatigue them and it can be a little bit of a factor. So we said why not get a Thursday night game and a Friday night game to facilitate the conference in a year when you can play a game, get an extra day off, travel and play a game, come back, get an extra day off and then travel again.”Essentially, Gundy thinks OSU will be more rested for the Pitt game the following week after South Alabama because OSU is playing them on a Friday.“It really worked out, and it should exclude us for a number of years from not being in a Friday game. I want to play Saturday games. I want to play eight games at home. I want to play at 2 o’clock. That’s what I would like to do. I think that’s what college football is, but the television pays the money and we have to do what’s best. This was a good year for us to facilitate that with what the conference asks us to do every so often. The Friday worked out well for us based on the two road games and then if they bring it up in a year or two I can say, ‘We just played on Friday night.’ So you kinda kill two birds with one stone. I told (Big 12 commissioner Bob) Bowlsby we did it for him.’”Point being, maybe this Thursday strategy will work, and it likely will bring in just as many people as it would have on a Saturday during Labor Day weekend. Plus it satiates the conference for the near future and gives Gundy what he wants: Saturday games at home.
As you start using content marketing to capture the hearts of your nonprofit supporters, remember to stay true to your organization with the four Rs: Be real, relevant, realistic, and, most importantly, rewarding! Here’s how:1. Be real.When you’re talking about your nonprofit or cause, are you being real? It’s important to keep your organization’s story at the forefront of everything you do and to stay true to your nonprofit’s voice. Be mindful of your supporters and where they’re coming from, and be mindful of how you can reach them. Are they heavily using mobile? Do they rarely go on Pinterest?2. Be relevant.Does your nonprofit make sense in its context? That might sound like a lot of marketing speak, but it really means are you relevant. For example, are you holding a coat drive in the hottest part of summer? Make sure your content and actions make sense with what’s happening in your community and in current events.3. Be realistic.Do you know the barriers to communicating with your audience? Identifying what can get in the way of communication might seem hard, but it’s just making sure you’re reaching your supporters. If the dollars are flowing and volunteers are knocking down your door, then your content is doing amazing work! If you’re asking people to do something hard and getting no response, how can you make it as easy as possible? Is the action inconvenient or seemingly expensive? Use your messaging to acknowledge that and take action to make it seem easy.4. Be rewarding.Do you tell people what the benefits are to taking action? Let your content express the benefits of taking the course of action you want. If you want people to attend your event, emphasize that guests will enjoy a good meal, good company, and a good time. If you’re asking for a donation, emphasize the feel-good feeling or tempt them with free swag. Make sure that you offer a reward in your message.