ROME -- Francesco Totti scored the opener and Roma went on to beat Udinese 3-2 Monday to maintain its three-point lead over Napoli in the race for Italys last direct Champions League spot. Third-place Napoli had won earlier, with Gonzalo Higuain scoring a controversial goal in the 90th minute of a 1-0 victory at Torino. The top two finishers in Serie A gain direct entry to the Champions League, while the third-place finisher goes into the last playoff round. Napoli beat Roma 1-0 last weekend, although Roma beat its southern rival 2-0 in October and so holds the head-to-head edge. Roma also has a game in hand. "We need to keep this pace until the end of the season," said Totti, who scored off a rebound from the centre of the area in the 22nd. It was Tottis sixth goal in 16 appearances this season and the 233rd of his Serie A career, second only to record-holder Silvio Piolas 274. The 37-year-old Roma Totti had been out for a month due to a minor injury. Mattia Destro added another for Roma in the 30th, dribbling by the goalkeeper and shooting into an empty net after collecting a pass from Gervinho. Giampaolo Pinzi pulled one back for Udinese in the 51st with a long, angled shot and then Romas Greece defender Vasilis Torosidis restored the two-goal lead in the 69th with a long left-footed effort that appeared to surprise the defence -- perhaps because Torosidis usually favours his right foot, and is not known for his shooting skills. Udineses Dusan Basta cut the deficit back to one in the 80th from a rebound. In Turin, Higuain appeared to foul Torino defender Kamil Glik with a push outside the area after collecting a long pass from Marek Hamsik then dribbled in to score with an angled shot that Torino goalkeeper Daniele Padelli got his hands on and could have done better to stop. "I dont know if it was a foul," Higuain said. "It was a quick play." It was Higuains 14th goal this season, after transferring from Real Madrid in July, moving him one behind Juventus Carlos Tevez for the Serie A scoring lead. Napoli had rarely threatened for most of the match, and Torinos Cesare Bovo and Riccardo Meggiorini hit the post either side of halftime. Torino, which has lost five of its last six matches, remained 10th. Simone Zaza Jersey
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.Boston beat the Nashville Predators 5-3 on Tuesday night and celebrated consecutive wins for the first time in more than a month. Neophyte NBA commissioner, Adam Silver, speaking at the IMG World Congress of Sports (which is apparently a real thing), was asked if he envisions sponsorships appearing on player jerseys in the next five years. Without hesitation he responded, "Definitely." This, of course, is not revelatory, as there has been smoke coming from this fire pit for years. But the foregone conclusion of his answer, making a foray where none of the other major North American team sports have gone, still felt surprising. He would later add fuel to the fire stating, "Its inevitable. Its such an enormous opportunity for our sponsors to connect with us. I think the marketplace is asking for it." There is something sitting uneasily in those words. First, an admission. I get it. This is the way of the world and not just in athletics. Corporate advertisements are now an integral part of bringing sports and entertainment to the masses. Ads subsidize a ton of beloved stuff from music festivals to television series to this website. I am thankful for the ad models that bring value to the advertisers and consumers alike. Frankly, at this point if an event doesnt have corporate sponsors it feels amateur to my eye. But my beef is that the NBAs latest revenue tool doesnt arrive with even the most basic pretence of being a value add for the consumer, and at a time when the league is massively, historically profitable. It isnt even a plea from the league to fans to understand that novel revenue tools are needed to sustain stability or whatever. Its just that "the marketplace is asking for it." (Quick note before further maligning the Commish. He did admit yesterday that maybe the whole t-shirt-as-jersey experiment the NBA launched towards the end of last season isnt a lock to pan out. Phew.) The precedent of sponsored jerseys has long been established in countless sports from international soccer to Nascar. (This is apparently a Liverpool FC jersey for kids though that wouldnt have been my first guess.) Even sibling leagues, the WNBA and NBA D-League, have encouraged and profited from jersey sponsorship for several years. Um, but when Commissioner Silver says "the marketplace is asking for it" he is hedging on what the marketplace actually is. Shouldnt the marketplace consider the biggest stakeholders and contributors in the hard-earned dollars-to-NBA equation (AKA the fans)? Numerous related tweets and blogs have erupted inn the past few days concerned about the same distractions 1981-me dealt with.dddddddddddd. But despite a tendency to stand in solidarity, I find myself less than concerned. My focus is not so much aimed at the inevitable uniform developments, but more on predicting the next step. Where will the advertising stop? If the NBA allows the final frontier of their reach, the players clothes, to be monetized by sponsors, how much would it diminish their capacity to limit players from earning off their own skin? Players are already more or less free to cut private sponsorship deals in practically every segment of product or service. Wouldnt the league erode their own ethical (read: judicial) high ground that might have otherwise prevented a player from tattooing an ad on their neck or sleeving their arms with monthly specials? With the next collective bargaining session set for three years from now, it is altogether possible that the questions raised by these types of sponsorships will be debated for the first time. What is without question is that how to divvy up the new-found revenue from jersey ads will loom large. I dont know a ton about the inner-workings of the mind of agents, but I suspect they dig on money and material if HBOs Entourage has taught me anything. What is to keep those agents from speculating on the next set of potential revenue tools? This new territory is, of course, a way for neophyte commissioner, Adam Silver, to make his mark on the league and, more importantly, to get in the good graces of team owners and league sponsors. I do not have a problem with these tactics as they are baked into his job description. But when the final vestiges of the basic game have to share space with sponsors who subsidize it, and in a time when the NBA is flourishing, I havent heard a word on what we fans get out of this latest version of the marketplace, other than a personal expectation that whats to come would have blown 1981-mes head straight off. Gallays Poll #4 Where should the NBA draw the line on advertisements? a) A small patch on the jersey is no big deal. But thats it.b) I dont mind if they re-name the Raptors with pretty much any corporate identity. But thats it.c) With so many inked players, I have no problem if Birdman becomes Kentucky Fried Birdman. But thats it.d) The back of the jersey is the future of innovation as Metta World Artest demonstrated. Lebron Jameson Irish Whiskey would move merchandise. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys
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