In 1967, Jocelyn Bell became the first human to observe a neutron star. She went on to the presidency of the Royal Astronomical Society, and knighthood, but she was excluded from the 1974 Nobel Prize for Physics that went to her supervisor. Her star, PSR B1919+21, is 2283 light years from here, and pulses every 1.33 seconds. The list of known neutron stars now runs above 2000. Today is her 73rd birthday.
Casino Royale is either the fifth Bond, or the first Austin Powers movie. The soundtrack album by Burt Bacharach is considered by some audiophiles to be the greatest recording of all time. Listen to: Casino Royale with Herb Alpert, and The Look of Love with Dusty Springfield.
The Old West Kirk. Built in 1591, relocated in 1925.Source.
Raith Rovers make their final 2015-16 appearance at Cappielow.
The situation: Raith Rovers are ten points up on Morton in the race for the final playoff spot. Basically it's all over unless Raith spin out and crash into the stands, which doesn't happen in football as often as it does in Formula One.
Morton are 14 points up on ninth-place Livingston. If Morton play their cards right they could miss out on promotion and relegation on the same day.
If Raith win today they will have swept Morton, taking all twelve points. Have any teams taken all four wins from the Ton in the current league format (quadruple round robin)? Well, yes, quite a lot of them:
2009-10 Dunfermline and Inverness CT
2007-08 Dundee and Hamilton
1998-99 Ayr United and Hibernian
1996-97 St Johnstone
1987-88 Celtic and Dundee United
1984-85 Dundee United and Rangers
1981-82 St Mirren
You can expand this into the late 1940s by using the formula 2 league games + 2 League Cup group stage games.
1953-54 Kilmarnock and Motherwell
1950-51 Aberdeen and Rangers
At the midpoint of the season it looked as if Morton were headed for a .500 season (as they say in baseball). But since then the results have trended for the worse. For Morton to finish the season with an equal number of wins and losses now they must either win 4 and lose 2; or win three, draw 2, and lose 1; or win 2 and draw 4. The last option would leave them with 12 wins, 12 draws and 12 losses, but the goal difference would be higher than 0.
What seasons have Morton finished even?
1985-86 39GP 14W 11D 14L GD -6
1979-80 36GP 14W 8D 14L GD +5
1978-79 36PG 12W 12D 12L GD -1
1970-71 34GP 13W 8D 13L GD 0
1955-56 36GP 15W 6D 15L GD +2
1921-22 42GP 16W 10D 16L GD +1
1978-79 came tantillizingly close to perfect balance, only off by one goal.
If Raith are going to take the final playoff spot, what is there for Morton to play for? Two things: 1) finishing fifth, which is still in the top half of the division; 2) finishing ahead of St Mirren, because St Mirren. The season could end up looking a lot like 1997-98 when the final table went: Dundee, Falkirk, Raith, Airdrieonians, Morton (12W, 10D, 14L), St Mirren, Ayr United, Hamilton Accies, Partick Thistle, Stirling Albion.
[Morton 0 - 1 Raith.]
USA, 1967. The United Soccer Association (USA) was a precursor of the original NASL. It played only one season, 1967. There were twelve clubs*, each an established European or South American club that came over to participate in their offseason. If you replace the North American aliases with the club's actual names, the final standings look like this:
Aberdeen 15 pts
Stoke City 14 pts
Hibs 13 pts
Glentoran 12 pts
C.A. Cerro 10 pts
Shamrock Rovers 7 pts
Wolverhampton Wanderers 15 pts
ADO Den Haag 13 pts
Calgliari Calcio 13 pts
Bangu AC 12 pts
Sunderland 11 pts
Dundee United 9 pts
Wolverhampton beat Aberdeen in the final.
*In 1967, two divisions of six teams was the default format for a North American major league. The NBA and NHL both had East and West divisions of six teams, as did the American and National Leagues of baseball by 1969. When the WHA started in 1972 it was with two divisions of six teams. The NFL, always ahead of the game, expanding beyond 6 x 2 in 1960.
Dundee United adopted their trademark orange kit after masquerading in orange as Dallas Tornados in this league. What colours were they before? White and black.
Fegs, Highlanders! Brora Rangers (71 points), Cove Rangers (70), and Formartine United (69) are in a close race for the Highland League title. Cove Rangers and Formartine each have a game in hand, and either would be a fine addition to League Two. Today it's Formartine [3 - 3] Brora.
East Fife's ground has been named best pitch in Scotland -- just prior its being torn up for an artificial surface.
FC Edmonton played Queen's Park on the 22nd and won 0 - 1.
The Japanese (Nabisco) League Cup began Wednesday with the group stage. As the Scottish League Cup is returning to a group stage format in July, the Nabisco Cup demands some attention. My Japanese club for 2016 is in J3, and therefore not eligible, so let's follow Vegalta Sendai in Group B. The group stage involves two groups of seven. The teams play a single robin round. The top two from each group go on to the knock out stage. On Wednesday it was Vegalta 1 - 0 Albirex Niigata. Tomorrow it's Kashiwa Reysol [0 - 1] Vegalta. [Vegalta are at the top of their group.]
It's the preliminary round of the Faroe Islands Cup. Four lower-league clubs play for two spots in the first round.
Also today: Cobh Ramblers [0 - 2] UCD
Aizawl FC [2 - 1] Mohun Bagan. Aizawl is in Mizoram, a corner of India wedged between Bangladesh and Myanmar.
Sports and games referenced in this blog post: soccer, car racing, cards, baseball, basketball, hockey, American football. I would have said simply 'games' but for some semantic reason you can't call a car race a game.
For their more positive approach to the game, Celtic thoroughly deserved to beat Aberdeen at Hampden Park, win the Scottish Cup for the nineteenth time, and thus equal the record of their arch-rivals, Rangers, in this competition.
Often in a cup final the stark prospect of defeat leads to over-anxiousness among the players and the game is dragged down to a moderate standard. Such was the case on Saturday when, because of Aberdeen's unrealistic dedication to caution, play rarely reached the level of entertainment and skill which the crowd of 126,102 had every reason to expect.
That the game was something of a disappointment was, however, no fault of Celtic, who played with a purpose and method to which Aberdeen, by withdrawing Smith and Melrose and undermanning their attack, voluntarily did not aspire. Celtic's forwards always looked likely to inflict more damage than Aberdeen' depleted attack, in which only Storrie, despite poor support, performed with any lasting effect.
And a confident Celtic defence -- under stress for only a short spell when Aberdeen, having lost the second goal, realised the folly of their defensive ways and contrived to get back into the game -- conceded nothing and ensured that their forwards received a plentiful supply of the ball.
Celtic's decisive tactic was to move Chalmers almost immediately the game started out to the right wing and play Johnstone as a double spearhead with Wallace. And right well did the three perform in those roles. Chalmers's turn of foot and determination repeatedly exposed the Aberdeen goal to danger, and Johnstone, as always, made space for himself and openings for his colleagues with intricate footwork and effective running. Wallace took both his goals with calm assurance and generally achieved something constructive every time he came in contact with the ball.
With Auld, the mainspring of an efficient mechanism, rapping passes to all points of the field with unerring accuracy and Lennox enjoying considerable success as his wing partner, Aberdeen's powers underwent such severe examination that by the end they had just to stand by and watch as Celtic, with almost nonchalant ease, retained possession of the ball with no apparent desire to add to their tally.
To be fair, Aberdeen were reasonably efficient themselves in defence -- but it was at the expense of an attack that could have had greater success with some worthwhile support.
This point was emphasised when they threw caution to the winds and abandoned their negative approach. First Storrie, after fine leading-up work by Munro and Smith, was denied a goal only by the brilliance of Simpson, who, twisting over in the air, stopped the centre forward's close-in shot on the line and allowed Chalmers to complete the clearance. Then, with only three minutes remaining for play, Wilson clipped the ball across to the far post, where Petersen stuck out a leg and diverted the ball goalwards. The ball was rolling over the line when Simpson, running across from the near post, kicked the ball to safety.
The game started, as it ended, with a disappointment for Aberdeen, whose manager, Mr E. Turnbull, was unable to attend because of illness. Had he been at the match he would doubtless have advised Aberdeen to change their tactics by the end of the first half-hour, by which time Celtic, despite having the wind in their faces, had established a clear superiority in midfield and were practically encamped in their opponents' half of the field.
In the face of so much pressure, Aberdeen's redoubt just had to fall, and it duly did in 43 minutes. Lennox pushed a short corner to Auld, who first feinted to cross and then slipped the ball back to the left winger at the corner of the penalty area. Lennox then cleverly evaded two tackles, made for the byeline, and crossed low into the middle, where Wallace jabbed the ball past Clark at the near post. It was not the most spectacular of goals, but the leading-up work could scarcely have been better.
Aberdeen no doubt received new instructions at the interval, but before they had the chance to put them into effect Celtic struck again. The move which led to the goal in 49 minutes began with Murdoch, was further developed by Chalmers and Johnstone, and finished off in fine style by Wallace, who unhesitatingly cracked Johnstone's cross high into the net. Thereafter, Celtic went close to scoring a third goal on several occasions, but they never needed fully to extend themselves and another score, welcome though it might have been, would have been superfluous. Aberdeen had long since been completely mastered.
Thus Celtic have moved yet [line missing] completion of the grand slam and Simpson, the oldest player afield on Saturday, has at last gained a Scottish Cup medal. To the youngest of the 22, Smith, went the unenviable distinction of being the only player the referee felt obliged to book -- for bringing Chalmers to earth in the first half when the ball was nowhere in their vicinity.
Aberdeen -- Clark; White and Shewan; Munro, McMillan, and Petersen; Wilson and Smith; Storrie; Melrose and Johnston. -- Substitute -- Taylor.
Celtic -- Simpson; Craig and Gemmell; Murdoch, McNeill, and Clark; Johnstone and Wallace; Chalmers; Auld and Lennox. Substitute -- Hughes.