Category: Sports

Pioneering Oklahoma energy CEO dies in fiery car crash

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Aubrey McClendon, a natural gas industry titan, was killed when police say he drove his sport utility vehicle ”straight into a wall” in Oklahoma City on Wednesday, a day after he was indicted on a charge of conspiring to rig bids to buy oil and natural gas leases in northwest Oklahoma. Police Capt. Paco Balderrama said McClendon, co-founder of Chesapeake Energy and a part-owner of the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder, was the only occupant in the vehicle when it slammed into a concrete bridge embankment shortly after 9 a.m. ”He pretty much drove straight into the wall,” Balderrama said. ”The information out there at the scene is that he went left of center, went through a grassy area right before colliding into the embankment. There was plenty of opportunity for him to correct and get back on the roadway and that didn’t occur.”
 
McClendon’s death follows an announcement Tuesday that he had been indicted by a federal grand jury. Balderrama says it’s too early to say whether the collision was intentional. He said McClendon was not wearing a seat belt and that he was driving faster than the 50 mph speed limit. The Department of Justice said in a statement Tuesday that McClendon, 56, was suspected of orchestrating a scheme between two large energy companies, which are not named in the indictment, from December 2007 to March 2012. The companies would decide ahead of time who would win bids, with the winner then allocating an interest in the leases to the other company, according to the statement. In a statement released Tuesday after his indictment, McClendon denied violating antitrust laws. ”The charge that has been filed against me today is wrong and unprecedented,” McClendon said. ”Anyone who knows me, my business record and the industry in which I have worked for 35 years, knows that I could not be guilty of violating any antitrust laws.
 
All my life I have worked to create jobs in Oklahoma, grow its economy, and to provide abundant and affordable energy to all Americans. I am proud of my track record in this industry, and I will fight to prove my innocence and to clear my name.” Department of Justice spokesman Mark Abueg declined to comment on the impact McClendon’s death would have on the case. McClendon could frequently be spotted in his courtside seats near the Thunder bench in the arena named after the company he founded in 1989 with his friend, Tom Ward, with an initial $50,000 investment. They eventually grew the company into one of the largest independent producers of natural gas in the United States.
 
He left the company in January 2013 amid philosophical differences with a new board of directors, and founded American Energy Partners, where he was chairman and CEO. ”Aubrey’s tremendous leadership, vision, and passion for the energy industry had an impact on the community, the country, and the world,” AEP said in a statement. ”We are tremendously proud of his legacy and will continue to work hard to live up to the unmatched standards he set for excellence and integrity.” McClendon was renowned for his aggression and skill in acquiring oil and gas drilling rights. As drillers learned to unlock natural gas from shale formations over the last decade, McClendon pushed the company to acquire enormous tracts of land in several states.
 
The strategy landed the company promising assets, boosted the company’s own production and helped fuel the national boom in natural gas production. But it saddled Chesapeake with enormous debt. Chesapeake eventually became victim of its own success. Natural gas prices plummeted along with all the new drilling by Chesapeake and its peers, reducing revenues for the company and making the debt harder to repay. Chesapeake’s 20-acre campus sprawls through an exclusive area of Oklahoma City, its Georgian-style brick buildings surrounded by manicured lawns and sycamore and elm trees. McClendon’s death is the second fatal crash this year connected to the Thunder organization. Assistant coach Monty Williams’ wife, Ingrid, died Feb. 10 after she was involved in a head-on crash in Oklahoma City. — Follow Sean Murphy at www.twitter.com/apseanmurphy

Michael Beasley reportedly will get another shot in the NBA



The NBA just can’t get enough of Michael Beasley. The Houston Rockets are expected to sign the MVP of the Chinese Basketball Association, ESPN reported Wednesday.

Beasley, the former No. 2-overall pick in 2008, played in 24 games last season for the Heat, averaging 8.8 points. The Rockets would be the fourth team that has taken a chance on Beasley, who has averaged 13 points and 4.8 rebounds during his seven-year career. 


Crucial Facts show that USMNT must Replace their Manager Jurgen Klinsmann in order to Progress

pGIuRKASLosing out to Jamaica and Panama was pretty embarrassing, and a number of fans projected their dissenting voices demanding that Jurgen Klinsmann be fired. Nevertheless, some are on the contrary and want Klinsmann to remain as the head coach of United States Men’s National Team (USMNT). While the opponents complain that Klinsmann has brought nothing but misery to the USMNT, the proponents are for the view that he has done a lot of good things, and even go further to point out how he has flourished in the most recent World Cup. Going by their arguments and views, it is safe to suggest that both of these groups are right.  

When penning down his contract and agreeing on different terms, U.S. soccer president Sunali Gulati agreed to make Klinsmann both the head coach and technical director of USMNT. As if that was not enough, Klinsmann was allowed to have a say in the operation of under-17 and under-20 national teams. Considering the immensity of his powers, Jurgen Klinsmann was able to create a new under-23 national team as well as influence how the Development Academy system operates. To be honest, all of these roles are too huge for one person, no matter how perfect someone is or seems to be.  

During his appointment, Klinsmann was to manage the senior national team, and before meeting Jamaica, he made it clear that one of his top priorities in the 2015 summer was to win the Gold cup. However, we can confidently say Klinsmann is not walking the talk, not after fielding a team in a formation they had not played in since February 2015. Of course, Jamaicans beat the U.S. in that match and this is what he said after the match-“the luck was not with us and maybe we were not clinical enough to put it in there”. To me, that is a scapegoat. Surely, how do you expect a team to be clinical when they are playing in a formation they are not familiar with?  

Passing combination, rhythm wise, and effort wise; everything was there,” says Klinsmann after the 2-1 loss to Jamaica. “That was a lot of good stuff we saw out there; only that we could not put something in,” he adds. Well, this was not all about luck because in real sense, you cannot expect luck to come to your side when you put together an unbalanced roster and spend the group stage experimenting with personnel. Despite all the laments and complaints, it is fair to demand that head coach Klinsmann be judged by the team’s overall quality and performance rather than their results. After all, fluke losses happen to everyone, including experienced and celebrated managers.  

Nevertheless, even the overall performance is not encouraging either. Looking at the USMNT performance in the World Cup, they were totally outplayed by Ghana and needed miracle goalkeeping from Tim Howard and bad finishing from the Black Stars (Ghana) to win the match. Despite outplaying Portugal, USMNT gave up a 95th minute equalizer because he (Klinsmann) decided to abruptly change the compact back four to a crowded back five late in the game, thereby, bringing in a lot of pressure, which gave Portugal a stunning chance to sneak a goal. Against Germany, the team had little to do. And in their round of 16 match against Belgium, they needed good goalkeeping and magical saves from Howard to escape the historic and somewhat embarrassing exit. That match was probably the most lopsided game of the entire World Cup after the Brazil-Germany one (which was undoubtedly the first in that category).  

We note from the analysis that USMNT was only good in one match (against Portugal), which, unfortunately, was also tainted by a bad coaching decision that directly resulted in dropping two crucial points. If we are to judge Klinsmann on results then World Cup was definitely a job well done. But if we are to judge him on overall quality and performance then we can say confidently that his tenure has experienced more than a few shaky moments. Back-to-back bad finishes against Jamaica and Guatemala in the third round of World Cup qualifying brought the United States at the brink of not even making the Hex. Ideally, they needed a 90th minute magic goal to see off Antigua and Barbuda. While their barren draw at Estadio Azteca is quite motivating, Costa Rica and Jamaica achieved the same result away to Mexico, while Honduras recorded a win.  

Therefore, going by these facts, it is really hard to defend USMNT’s current head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. Perhaps the time has come for the U.S. to try something new under someone new. After all, nothing is as good as change.