On Saturday night, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong played the first show of their sold-out two-night stand at Port City Music Hall this weekend. By the time Vermont jam band Swimmer opened the show, the room was already filling up. By the time Pigeons came on it was as crowded as the Portland, Maine venue could possibly manage, the audience fully invested and singing along all night.The band responded in kind with a fantastic show including highlights like an inverted “Psycho Killer” (Talking Heads) segment sandwiched inside a “J-Town” jam and a cover of The Lion King‘s “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King” that recalled their Disney-themed 2017 New Year’s Eve performance, cleverly dubbed “DisNYE.” The entertaining covers came among fantastic renditions of Pigeons Playing Ping Pong favorites old and new like “Porcupine”, “Walk Outside”, “Henrietta”, “Su Casa”, “Whirled”, “Julia”, “Whoopie”, “Avalanche”, “Landing”, “CWA”, and “Bad For You”. The band finally finished out strong with a marvelous “Horizon” and a set-closing “Ocean Flows” before putting a bow on the performance with a “Dawn A New Day” encore.Below, you can check out a full gallery of photos from Pigeons Playing Ping Pong’s first of two Portland performances below courtesy of photographer Victor Brazen.For a full list of Pigeons Playing Ping Pong’s upcoming tour dates, head to the band’s website.Setlist: Pigeon Playing Ping Pong | Port City Music Hall | Portland, ME | 4/14/18Set 1:PorcupineWalk OutsideJ-Town > Psycho Killer* > J-Town >>Henrietta >>Su Casa >>WhirledJuliaSet 2WhoopieAvalancheLanding > Drums >Just Can’t Wait To Be KingCWA >>Bad For YouHorizonOcean FlowsE. Dawn A New DayNotes:* InvertedSold Out showPigeon Playing Ping Pong | Port City Music Hall | Portlant, ME | 4/14/18 | Photos: Victor Brazen Load remaining images
In a waiting area outside the weight room adjacent to where USC’s team buses were parked following its upset loss to Washington State on Friday in Pullman, Wash., offensive coordinator Tee Martin faced the media and delivered a series of terse, one- to two-word answers.Did he feel like receivers were getting open consistently? “No.” Why was it hard for USC to get a rhythm on offense? “They’re good,” he responded, referring to the Cougars’ defense. How did he think the blown offensive pass interference call on redshirt freshman wide receiver Tyler Vaughns affected the outcome? “No excuses.” Or the numerous injuries to the offensive line? “No excuses.” And how would he assess his own performance? “We didn’t win a game,” he said.It was that kind of night, for Martin and for the rest of the team. But it wasn’t like we couldn’t have seen this coming. In a season that thus far has been underwhelming for USC despite entering Friday’s contest with a 4-0 record, a loss like this was bound to happen. The Trojans did just enough to win those four contests, but within each game still had issues to fix — specifically on offense — and concerns piling up for a team expected to compete for a national championship. It seemed, to an extent, USC’s offense had been “bailed out” in those wins – by electric running backs in junior Ronald Jones II and freshman Stephen Carr, by the defense, and by some lucky breaks.But on Friday, playing a road game on short rest in front of a packed house at Martin Stadium, no one bailed out the Trojans — not even Super Sam.Friday night brought about a much-needed dose of reality for this team and drove home the cold, hard truth: USC isn’t what we thought it would be. Good team? Sure. Talented? Absolutely. Top-10 program? Probably.But to be a national championship contender, it has a lot of work ahead, and it starts with Martin’s offense.Up until Friday, USC had been able to ride redshirt sophomore Sam Darnold’s coattails because he was just that good. His athleticism and creativity masked many of the problems the Trojans may have had offensively, whether it be a shaky offensive line or the wide receivers having an off-night. But Darnold cannot do it all. He cannot block and pass at the same time, nor can he throw and catch the ball by himself.Against Washington State, with a makeshift offensive line and two of his top three wide receivers injured, it was clear that the task was too Herculean, even for Darnold.Instead of the veteran blockers he was accustomed to, he watched as junior right tackle Chuma Edoga turned his ankle and senior right guard Viane Talamaivao hurt his left shoulder. With redshirt junior left tackle Toa Lobendahn already out with a staph infection, plugging in two freshmen — Austin Jackson and Andrew Vorhees — along with redshirt sophomore Clayton Johnston had to fill in the other spots.On the receiving corps, Darnold did not have the services of redshirt senior Steven Mitchell Jr., who had a groin injury, and redshirt junior Jalen Greene left the game at halftime. And redshirt sophomore tight end Daniel Imatorbhebhe remains out with a hip flexor.Even with all those players healthy earlier this season, USC’s offense struggled at times, though Darnold still managed to put up decent numbers. But against Washington State, the preseason Heisman favorite was downright pedestrian. His 52 percent completion rate (15-of-29) was the lowest of his USC career, as were the 164 yards he threw for. He misfired on several passes, either overthrowing or miscommunicating with the receiver. On Darnold’s lone interception, he badly underthrew redshirt freshman wide receiver Josh Imatorbhebhe, with the defender able to read his eyes.Some of that is Darnold’s own fault. But it’s also the larger offensive scheme as a whole. The offense overall was anemic in Pullman. There was no flow, no rhythm whatsoever, and questionable play-calling to boot for a team that is supposedly “run first” and has two premier running backs. USC had as many run plays as throws — 29 each — which is nonsensical considering the pass game was getting nowhere. Redshirt freshman Tyler Vaughns was the only receiver who had any kind of night catching the ball — and perhaps the lone bright spot for the Trojans on Friday. But for Carr to only have five carries for 11 yards and for Jones to only have one memorable run — the 86-yard touchdown gallop in the first half — is to play right into the defense’s hands.Instead of trying to be cute, such as attempt a flea-flicker in the second quarter that led to an intentional grounding penalty and a momentum shift, Martin needs to stick to plain and simple. It’s tempting to try and be elaborate, especially given the talent he has on the offense from the quarterback to the young receivers to the running backs. But sometimes, less is more, and calling basic run plays or screen passes or simpler routes can be more effective than trick plays — and if something breaks down, Darnold is still that wild card who can improvise.Out of all the dumb clichés in sports, the worst is “defense wins championships” because a good defense with a bad offense won’t even make the playoffs. Right now, USC’s offense is — for lack of a better term — bad. The only thing saving it is Darnold’s talent, and as we saw against Washington State, even that is not good enough when the injury bug hits. So, it’s up to Martin to make the adjustments, to call the right plays and build an offense that doesn’t revolve around Darnold having to save the day in every fourth quarter.“He did a really good job,” Martin said when asked about Darnold’s play on Friday. “Made some good reads. He put us in position to win the game, just fell short.”Sam Darnold is doing his job. It’s time for Tee Martin to do his.Eric He is a junior studying journalism. He is also the associate managing editor for the Daily Trojan. His column, Grinding Gears, runs Mondays.
StumbleUpon Share Share Submit Related Articles Winamax maintains Granada CF sponsorship despite bleak Spanish outlook August 19, 2020 Betway and Dafabet grow La Liga sponsorship portfolios August 14, 2020 LiveScore adds new leagues to streaming offering August 12, 2020 According to a report by Telegraph Sport, Eleven Sports may be on the cusp of closing its UK arm as speculation grows over the financial losses of the firm in its first four months of operating. The OTT platform aimed at disrupting the UK’s sports broadcasting sector was forced to reassess its stance in the UK, after its deal with the UFC was scuppered when the leading mixed martial arts organisation triggered an exit clause on the deal, because Eleven failed to secure a pay TV distribution partnership. It is believed that with the deal breaking down, the UFC has entered back into negotiations with its current broadcaster BT Sports.An Eleven Sports spokesperson emphasised: “Without carriage agreements with the existing platforms, alongside the challenges posed by rampant piracy, the current market dynamics in the UK and Ireland are very hostile for new entrants. We are in discussion with our rights partners, La Liga and IMG, about how we can restructure our existing agreements in order to continue our current OTT service.”Since the start of the season, Eleven has been broadcasting Serie A, La Liga and Eredivisie to the UK market, however after a tough start to its UK existence it has been reported that Eleven Sports is close to handing the rights back to IMG, so they could be resold for UK distribution. The broadcaster is headed by Leeds United owner Andrea Radrizzani, however whether the broadcaster’s financial predicament will have any impact on the Championship clubs remains to be seen. However it’s widely reported that the Leeds owner is at the centre of a campaign from a host of Championship clubs, that have been left concerned by the recent deal between Sky Sports and the EFL. Eleven also recently stood down in its battle with the FA over its right to broadcast live football between, 2.45pm and 5.15pm.Previously, the firm had publicly opposed the FA’s rule that implements a blackout on broadcasting football on a Saturday afternoon.Issuing a statement at the time, the firm said: “Out of respect for the wishes of our partners, we will for the time being no longer show matches during the Saturday afternoon blackout period.“Fans in the UK should have the freedom and the choice to watch these games legally through the official rights holder, as they do all over the world. Regrettably, intense pressure from stakeholders within the football establishment means that football fans across the country do not have this option.”“We maintain our strong view that the rule is unfit for the modern, digital era – particularly for overseas games which we hold the rights to. With the best interests of football fans at heart, we are currently considering all legal and regulatory options, including the referral of the case to the appropriate authorities.”