The ending couldn’t have been written any better for Kaya Iloilo.Homegrown star Joven Bedic knocked in the match winner in the 118th minute as Kaya subdued 10-man Davao Aguilas, 1-0, on Saturday night to lift the first Copa Paulino Alcantara at Rizal Memorial Stadium.ADVERTISEMENT Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES View comments Born and raised in Barotac Nuevo, Bedic popped up inside the area to redirect a low cross from Robert Lopez Mendy as the Iloilo side prevailed in a nip-and-tuck battle for the trophy named after the greatest Filipino player of all time, who incidentally, also hails from Iloilo.“Games against Davao are always tough and last night’s final proved to be no different,” said Kaya coach Chris Greatwich.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissWith the victory, Kaya also clinched the second spot for the Philippines in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.It was another heartbreaking finish for the Aguilas, particularly skipper Phil Younghusband, who missed out on another major domestic trophy. Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award MOST READ Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Scrambling down-the-wire finish
Arena7 Entertainment Complex in Letterkenny has always been the number 1 place for families to spend the day together and now it has got even better with the revamp of the dining areas in Waynes World and Fast Food.Kids loved their visit to Waynes World Adventure Centre with the multi level PLAY frame complimented with great food. But now, not only will kids love their trip to Arena7, but so will mum and dad with the addition of a new stylish diner. Waynes World at Arena7Demand at peak times such as weekends, midterm breaks and summer holidays made getting a seat next to impossible in Waynes World for parents but now with capacity doubled that won’t be a problem. Stylish seating complimented with a new Deli offering a range of fresh sandwiches, paninis and wraps ensures that parents and kids can enjoy a healthy snack in cool and comfortable surroundings. Arena7 offer great value with a sandwich and tea/coffee or soft drink only €5 or a range of hot paninis with fries only €6 or simply just relax with a hot coffee cappuccino or latte while the kids play. The fast food diner has also seen capacity double so if you’re out and about with the family, call for a quick snack of the best fast food in town with kids meals only €5.50.Entry is only €4 for under 3 year olds and only €6 for 3 to 9 year olds. If you’re planning a play date with friends, then we can assure you that a visit to Waynes World Adventure Centre in Arena7 is a must this Easter!!!!Check out www.arena7.ie for moreWaynes World Adventure Centre at Arena7 just got even better! was last modified: April 17th, 2019 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Arena7Easterfamily funKidsThings to dowaynes world
Tigerair is pulling out of Bali from Perth, Adelaide and Melbourne after weeks of fruitless negotiations with Indonesian authorities.The airline was set to resume flights today after reaching an in-principle agreement with Indonesian authorities, but that deal fell through.The initial issue revolved around authority to operate Boeing 737s leased from its parent Virgin Australia that was granted in March last year.Last month the Indonesia authorities revoked that permission which forced the cancellation of dozens of flights and left thousands of holidaymakers stranded and plans to visit the holiday isle in tatters during the peak holiday season.Negotiations for the airline to use its A320s have fallen through, and the Indonesia authorities want the airline to apply for a new International Air Operators Certificate to operate the 737s – a process that would take six months and cost millions.All other countries accept Tigerair’s domestic AOC issued by our regulator CASA.The airline made the announcement in a statement today.“The Indonesian authorities have informed Tigerair that they require an alternative regulatory solution for Tigerair’s operations to Bali. This solution would take at least six months to implement and would compromise the airline’s ability to offer low-cost airfares to travellers to Bali.As a result of this development, Tigerair Australia has today made the difficult decision to withdraw from flying between Australia and Bali permanently, effective immediately,” the statement read.Virgin Australia will examine the viability of introducing flights from Perth, Adelaide and Melbourne to Bali.Last month Tigerair chief executive Rob Sharp accused the Indonesians of not honouring a 12-month agreement struck in March last year.That agreement allowed Tigerair to lease planes and crew from its parent, Virgin Australia, and operate to Bali from Perth, Adelaide and Melbourne.Under the agreement, the airline is not able to sell tickets in Bali to those Australian destinations.Sources in Jakarta said that the Indonesians had moved oversight of the agreement from the department that looks after regular passenger flights to one that handles charter flights.This changed the rules by which the airline operates to Bali and means the company is breaching the rules.Almost all airlines lease planes, often with crew — particularly pilots.
Luvuyo Rani’s Silulo Ulutho Internet Café, which started out as a small business in Khayelitsha on the Cape Flats, is changing the lives of students and adults who would otherwise have no opportunity to become computer literate. (Image: silulo.blogspot.com) MEDIA CONTACTS • Luvuyo Rani Silulo Ulutho Internet Café +27 21 361 3212 RELATED ARTICLES • Meet a top social entrepreneur • Teaching teens to fish • Saving the world a drop at a time • Meds on wheels for positive change Wilma den HartighA South African entrepreneur is providing residents from some of the country’s most impoverished areas with an opportunity to access the internet and learn about computers.Luvuyo Rani’s Silulo Ulutho Internet Café, which started out as a small business in Khayelitsha on the Cape Flats, is changing the lives of students and adults who would otherwise have no opportunity to become computer literate.Since 2004 when Rani first opened the business with his brother and a friend, the demand for Silulo Ulutho’s services has grown so much that he’s opened 18 stores in Khayelitsha and five in the Eastern Cape in Queenstown, Butterworth, Mthatha and East London.Through these centres at least 10 000 students have been educated, right up to advanced computer literacy programmes.It all started eight years ago when Rani, who worked as a teacher in Khayelitsha for five years, started selling refurbished computers out of the boot of his car in the Western Cape township.Little did he know that his creative idea would grow to become a successful and award-winning business.“People told me I was crazy,” Rani says, who started the business without any funding.But he had a dream, and he was determined to make it work.“I always knew it would work because I saw then, and still see now, many opportunities in the ICT sector in the townships,” he says.“We are actually overwhelmed by the response. People are hungry to learn, and are hungry to access the Internet.”A teacher turned social entrepreneur“At the time when I was teaching, the Department of Education was just starting to introduce Outcomes Based Education and teachers needed computers,” he says.But soon after selling the computers, Rani found out that the teachers weren’t using them at all.“They were gathering dust and this bothered me,” he says. “The teachers had no skills to use them, and they didn’t have access to the internet.”This is what sparked his idea to start a business that would give people in Khayelitsha access to the internet and teach them how to use computers as well as how to access the information stored on the web.Within a year of starting up, he won best entrepreneur in the Western Cape.“And then it all grew very, very fast,” he recalls.Initially, his main goal was to use the facility as a computer skills training venue for teachers, but soon the business started to meet a major need for computer services in Khayelitsha.“People needed help. They could operate Facebook, but didn’t have the skills to type out their own CVs. People couldn’t differentiate between a fax and email,” he says.The absence of computer skills, or the technology and facilities to learn, is a dilemma for many people living in townships and remote areas in South Africa.“If you don’t have computer skills, you are at a disadvantage in the job market,” says Rani.To add to this predicament, people often have to travel long distances to an internet café to distribute their CVs when searching for jobs.“People have to do this at great expense and it takes a lot of time,” he explains.The Silulo Internet Café caters for both needs, and Rani has ensured that the pricing of his services are within reach of the majority of South Africans.An affordable service“What is central to my business model is affordability,” he says. “Our prices are low.”He believes that companies operating in emerging market economies should adjust their business models and profit expectations.“It is essential for entrepreneurs in these markets to be socially minded and not only profit-driven,” he says.For just R6 (70 US cents), Rani’s customers can access the internet for one hour, whereas some internet cafes in the Eastern Cape charge as much as R30 ($3.38) an hour, R10 ($1.12) to send a fax and R3 (34 cents) for a photocopy.“This is simply unaffordable for most people,” he says. “Even if you just have R2 (23 cents), you can go onto the internet for 15 minutes.”Silulo Ulutho operates in the Western and Eastern Cape, but in the future Rani would like to grow the business in other provinces, possibly through a franchise business model.“But the core must always remain that the business must benefit the community,” he says. “I am passionate about this.”In addition to internet café services, computer sales are still a core part of the business. Silulo offers IT support to assist customers with network connections, computer repairs, and maintenance, and software installation.As part of its computer sales division, Rani has entered into a partnership with mobile provider Vodacom. Customers who buy computers from Silulo can access prepaid internet services using a 3G connection from Vodacom, the dongle for which is part of the deal.More innovative thinkers for South AfricaRani believes there is nothing stopping more entrepreneurs from building successful businesses that can also impact society positively.“What we need is innovation. Young entrepreneurs must inspire and give hope to other young black people that they can do it if they work hard,” he says.He spoke out against entrepreneurs who want to achieve quick riches. “With transformation more people have been afforded opportunities, but this system is abused and people take shortcuts,” he says.He maintains the only way to grow a business is through hard work and commitment.“My advice to young entrepreneurs is to focus on your business and do it better than anyone else. Always maintain good business values, integrity and humility.”An inspiring childhoodThinking back on his childhood, Rani says he always had an interest in business.“My mother ran a tavern and I grew up in this environment which exposed me to entrepreneurship,” he says, remembering how he watched her run the business and interact with customers.“This shaped me more than anything.”
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The emphasis of Planter U was simple. The planter is the most important piece of equipment on the farm and if that implement isn’t set up correctly, it may also be the most costly piece of equipment on the farm. The Ohio Ag Net’s Ty Higgins has more from the event, held on February 28th at the Beck’s Hybrids London facility.
Politicians wave during the closing ceremony of 34th National Games.A spectacular air show and a musical extravaganza with a dash of Bollywood marked the closing ceremony, which drew curtains on the controversies-ridden 34th National Games in Ranchi on Saturday night.After 14 days of intense competition, hosts Jharkhand put up a glittering closing ceremony at the athletics venue of the Mega Sports Complex, even as country’s top leaders decided to gave it a miss on Saturday night.After Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Union Sports Minister Ajay Maken too skipped the ceremony at the last minute, apparently due to beleaguered IOA chief Suresh Kamadi’s veiled attack on the sports ministry.In absence of the top politicos, Kalmadi “declared the National Games close” as the political overtones dogged the closing ceremony.Indirectly taking a dig at the political heads, Kalmadi quipped, “I’m not going to give anymore bhasan (speech). Enough of bhasan has already been given,” as he went on to “declare the Games close”.With smiles and loud cheers all around, the spectacular ceremony lived up to the expectation at the jam-packed Birsa Munda Athletics Stadium in Mega Sports Complex in the outskirts of the city.The best of the ceremony was preserved for the last part as Bollywood heartthrob Katrina Kaif danced to hit numbers that brought the entire atmosphere alive.The four-hour long closing ceremony left an indelible impression on the people of Jharkhand.”It was a lifetime experience for me. Right from the air show to the item numbers, it really made us proud of the state. I have never seen such a programme and I’m sure everybody liked it,” Amit Kumar Jha, an enthralled volunteer, said.advertisementThe ceremony came as a balm for the Jharkhand Olympic Association who had received all the brickbats for the tumultuous build-up that had witnessed six postponements and a delay of four years after Guwahati hosted the previous edition in 2007.Divided into a total of five segments, the four-hour long closing ceremony began with a spectacular air show by the airforce who enthralled the audience with some breathtaking performances over the stadium.About an hour’s slot was allotted to the formal part of the show that saw arrival of the dignitaries, formal speeches and announcement of the closing as the torch was put off and the Games flag was handed over to the representatives of Kerala, the hosts of the next Games. .There was a jumble march-past by all the participating athletes which signified their friendship and bond of togetherness. It was followed by speeches by the dignitaries.Jharkhand Olympic Association chief R K Anand said, “People might be saying many things about the use of infrastructure but let me assure that it will be the hub of sporting activities even after the Games.”Virdhawal Khade and Richa Mishra were adjudged Best Male and Best Female athletes, while Raja Bhalendra Trophy for the champions were given to the Services Sports Control Board who topped with 70 gold, 50 silver and 42 bronze.An audio-video feature film, ‘Journey For All’ marked the beginning of the cultural segment as school children performed ‘Ye Desh Rangila’ inviting loud cheers from the crowd.There were also clippings of moments of glory, nail biting moments, sights and sounds of Jharkhand and rural to global transformation of the state that marked the show.Percussion, wind and string instrumentalist of Jharkhand created a tune titled ‘Wings of Aspiration’ which was followed by Thang-ta, a martial arts presentation by Manipur and Giddha and Bhangra dances of Punjab.Child prodigies, Hemant Brijwasi, Yatharth and Anamika Chuadhary, winners of different TV reality shows, performed separate Tri Colour Act before one shehnai, 100 dhaks, 100 nagaras (drumbeats), 800 paika (warrior dancers) and 66 dancers (33 pairs representing each dance forms) gave a special farewell tribute, aptly titled ‘Bidaai’.In the final segment of the ceremony, about 180 artists from Kerala showcased their cultural and traditional heritage in a 12-minute slot directed by National award winning filmmaker Shyama Prasad as they rendered ‘Varika Varika’ (welcome to Kerala).Shaan’s mesmerising crooning performance brought the atmosphere alive as a spectacular laser show lit up the evening, while ‘Katrina Kaif Live’ became the buzzword of the ceremony that closed with a spectacular fireworks dazzling the Ranchi sky.- With PTI inputs
Former first-class players including Sanjay Jagdale, Ashu Dani and Vinay Limba have approached the BCCI to raise their monthly pension by 50 percent.A monthly gratis is paid to cricketers who have played at least 25 first-class games by 2003-04, but the amount has not been revised since 2015 despite repeated requests to the Committee of Administrators (CoA).The affected players wrote to BCCI acting president CK Khanna, who, in turn, has requested the CoA to address the issue.”BCCI keeps the welfare of its cricketers in mind, and the former cricketers are reaching out to BCCI with a hope that the areas highlighted by them will be looked into and implemented.”While discussions have been held over the revision of pension of retired international cricketers and domestic cricketers who played at least 25 first-class games by 2003-04 and that the amount was revised in 2015; the players are waiting for the revision of pension,” Khanna wrote in his e-mail to the COA.Players who have played more than 75 first-class games have also been recipients of BCCI’s one-time benefit scheme but multiple requests have been made to the BCCI to include cricketers who have played less than 75 matches.Jagdale, who has also been a BCCI secretary, has played 53 first-class games for Madhya Pradesh while Delhi’s Dani has featured in 49 matches.”The former players’ demand is a valid one and should be addressed at the earliest. The BCCI’s chief financial officer has been told to work on it but there is no clarity over the reason for the delay,” a board official told PTI.advertisementIt is unlikely that the current dispensation will approve the players’ request anytime soon with fresh elections set to be held on October 22.Read Also | World Cup 2019: Ashes catch was better as it came against Australia, feels Ben StokesRead Also | World Cup 2019: Justin Langer urges fans not to boo Steve Smith and David WarnerAlso See
TORONTO – A Conservative member of the Ontario legislature is apologizing to Premier Kathleen Wynne for comments made in a radio interview after the premier’s lawyers warned he could face a defamation lawsuit.Lawyers representing Wynne sent a letter Wednesday to MPP Bill Walker asking that he publicly retract and apologize on the air for statements made to Toronto radio station AM640 on Monday.The letter alleged Walker told the radio station Wynne was under investigation and facing charges in connection with an upcoming Election Act bribery trial for two Liberal party members, when in fact the premier is slated to testify in the trial.It said his statements “could be the subject of a defamation action” and warned against making any further comments along those lines.In a statement released Wednesday evening, Walker said he made a mistake while discussing Wynne’s plan to testify at the upcoming trial.Wynne’s lawyer said later Wednesday that Walker was expected to be interviewed on the radio station again on Thursday. He said Walker’s comments would be monitored “to ensure our demand for a retraction and apology is fully satisfied.”Pat Sorbara, the premier’s former deputy chief of staff, faces two bribery charges under the Election Act, and Gerry Lougheed, a Liberal fundraiser, faces one charge.“I misspoke by implying that the premier is under investigation and facing charges. The premier is not, in fact, under investigation or facing charges,” he said.“I regret the error and apologize for it without reservation.”In their letter, they said Walker’s radio statements “appear to have been made with the intention to harm the reputation of Ms. Wynne,” who they said has co-operated with investigators in the case.“Despite the inaccuracy of your statements, your status as an MPP increases the likelihood that these falsehoods will be repeated by others, increasing the potential harm to the premier’s reputation,” the letter read.“Accordingly, you will be held accountable for any damages arising from your defamatory statements and their repetition by others.”Wynne previously sued former Conservative leader Tim Hudak and another Tory MPP after the pair said she oversaw — and possibly ordered — the destruction of documents related to two cancelled gas plants.That lawsuit was resolved in 2015, though it is not known whether it was settled or withdrawn.
Toys”R”Us has announced that its annual nationwide fundraising campaign to benefit the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation raised more than $5.8 million and collected over 200,000 toys.During the 2015 campaign, customers helped bring holiday joy to some of the 15.5 million kids in need across the U.S. by donating new, unwrapped toys at Toys”R”Us and Babies”R”Us stores nationwide and through monetary contributions made in stores and online at Toysrus.com/ToysforTots.“In our twelfth year of partnership with Toys for Tots, we are grateful to our passionate team members and loyal customers for helping us make a difference for families in need this holiday season,” said David Brandon, Chairman and CEO, Toys”R”Us, Inc. “Their tremendous support and the success of our 2015 campaign has allowed us and Toys for Tots to once again create magical experiences for the millions of kids living in poverty in the U.S who may have otherwise gone without a toy to open on Christmas morning.”As part of this year’s campaign, NBA Legend Shaquille O’Neal suited up as Shaq-A-Claus to help Toys”R”Us support its partnership with the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation and encourage customers to #PlayItForward, an initiative designed to further spread awareness of the cause and to inspire families to donate.“I’m so thrilled to have partnered with Toys”R”Us for another holiday season to ‘Play It Forward’ and help families in need through the amazing work of Toys for Tots,” said Shaquille O’Neal. “I want to extend my thanks to everyone who donated. Your contributions gifted countless kids the awesome moment of finding a toy under the tree this Christmas. As Shaq-A-Claus, my role is to ensure we put smiles on the faces of children in need, and I am happy to report that with your help, we did just that!”Additionally, hundreds of online shoppers purchased and donated toys featured on The Great Big Shaq-A-Claus Wish List, which were shipped directly to the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation and distributed to children in impoverished communities across the country this holiday season.As the largest retail partner in the history of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, Toys”R”Us has raised nearly $48 million and collected more than 4 million toys since the partnership began in 2004.The Shaq-A-Claus #PlayItForward initiative was supported by the Toys”R”Us Children’s Fund, a public charity affiliated with Toys”R”Us, Inc.
13Miami Dolphins8-869.3 This is particularly relevant to Minnesota, since the youngest 20 percent of the teams in the study averaged 6.9 wins (the Vikes won 7 a year ago) and had an average age of 26.2 (Minnesota’s was 26.3). The next year, those teams won an average of just 7.7 games — slight progress, but nothing as dramatic as Vikings fans are hoping for. 2nd Best302.94.12.3 30Indianapolis Colts11-553.2 Youngest656.926.27.7 In preparation for the 2015 NFL season, FiveThirtyEight is running a series of eight division previews, each highlighting the numbers that may influence a team’s performance (including projections and rankings based on ESPN’s preseason Football Power Index). To start things off, we head to the NFC North, a division that’s still the Packers’ to lose — but one that could get interesting if the Lions’ defense stays elite, the youthful Vikings improve or the Bears repair their once-proud D. 8St. Louis Rams6-1072.0 32Tampa Bay Buccaneers2-1446.1 6Atlanta Falcons6-1072.8 21Arizona Cardinals11-559.8 10New England Patriots12-470.9 29Chicago Bears5-1154.1 Oldest6184.108.40.206 2Pittsburgh Steelers11-585.1 22Detroit Lions11-558.3 12Carolina Panthers7-8-169.8 14San Diego Chargers9-767.3 25New York Giants6-1056.5 3Dallas Cowboys12-479.9 2nd Youngest667.026.97.5 26Jacksonville Jaguars3-1356.2 18Buffalo Bills9-762.4 20New York Jets4-1259.9 Worst30-2.54-0.3 Green Bay Packers2014 Record: 12-4 | 2015 Projected Wins: 10.6 | Playoff Odds: 83.5%Offensive Rank: 1st | Defensive Rank: 23rd | Special Teams Rank: 28thAn anomaly within the NFL, Green Bay is known as the only small town with a pro football team. And given the provincial nature of small towns, perhaps it’s fitting that the Packers of recent vintage boast a roster with few interlopers from other teams.Last year, only two of the Packers’ regular starters — outside linebacker Julius Peppers and defensive lineman Letroy Guion — had begun their NFL careers outside of Green Bay. Fullback John Kuhn, who began his career with the Steelers, is the only other player who started a game for last year’s Packers after playing for a franchise other than Green Bay.Using the Approximate Value (AV) metric developed by Pro-Football-Reference.com, we can try to quantify exactly how “homegrown” a team is relative to the rest of the NFL. For example, the Packers produced 249 points of AV last year, only 18 of which came from players who did not begin their career with the club.To put that another way: 93 percent of Green Bay’s AV last year came from players who began their NFL careers in Green Bay. That was the highest percentage in the NFL; Pittsburgh was the only other team with more than 80 percent of its AV classified as “homegrown”: GROUPTEAMSWINS, YEAR NAVERAGE AGEWINS, YEAR N+1 DEFENSIVE SRS 11San Francisco 49ers8-869.9 Middle2220.127.116.11 2nd Worst300.24.11.4 28Oakland Raiders3-1354.6 4Cincinnati Bengals10-5-177.9 16Baltimore Ravens10-663.3 GROUPTEAMSPREVIOUS 2 YEARSPEAK YEARNEXT YEAR 2nd Oldest618.104.22.168 TEAM2014 RECORDPERCENT HOMEGROWN Detroit Lions2014 Record: 11-5 | 2015 Proj. W: 7.8 | Playoff Odds: 29.6%Off. Rank: 13th | Def. Rank: 15th | S.T. Rank: 32ndThe “D” in Detroit doesn’t usually stand for defense. In the 30 seasons leading up to 2014, no NFL franchise allowed more points than the Lions, with the team’s defense finishing below average by Pro-Football-Reference.com’s Simple Rating System (SRS) in each of the final 13 years of that three-decade block. As a result, Detroit fans may have been the most surprised of all by their team’s excellent defense last year:In 2014, the Lions ranked among the NFL’s top five defenses according to DVOA,3This stands for defense-adjusted value over average. Expected Points and SRS — a stunning break with the franchise’s dismal tradition. But the pressing question for Detroit now is whether its defensive makeover can persist.To help answer that, I looked at all teams since 1970 with defensive SRS ratings roughly similar to the Lions’ +5.2 mark last year.4Specifically, ratings between +3.2 and +7.2. Then I broke those teams into five groups based on their aggregate defensive SRS ratings in the two seasons before their strong defensive year. (For Detroit, these seasons would be 2012 and 2013, when the team posted a putrid -2.5 defensive SRS.) Historically, how did teams with similarly meteoric defensive improvements fare the next season? Minnesota Vikings2014 Record: 7-9 | 2015 Proj. W: 7.5 | Playoff Odds: 24.3%Off. Rank: 17th | Def. Rank: 19th | S.T. Rank: 20thIf you want optimistic predictions for the 2015 Minnesota Vikings, don’t look to traditional sources. Summer power rankings from both ESPN and NFL.com peg Minnesota for the bottom half of the league, as does the most recent set of Las Vegas win totals. It’s not hard to see why, either: Over the past two seasons, Minnesota has endured the 10th-worst record in football.But others think the Vikings can be a sleeper playoff pick — if not more. For instance, after taking stock of Minnesota’s “wave of young talent and a promising head coach-quarterback combination entering its second season,” the statistical website Football Outsiders projected the team to rank sixth in the league in DVOA, a metric that measures team performance on a play-by-play basis.Here’s another quantitative reason to think the Vikings could be on the verge of a breakout: Minnesota had the NFL’s fourth-youngest team last year. Between 22-year-old quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and an emerging defense whose best performers5Namely Sharrif Floyd, Harrison Smith, Anthony Barr and Xavier Rhodes. were taken in the first rounds of the past few drafts, Minnesota might be poised for a big improvement this season as its players mature.The history of similar teams, though, appears to be more in line with the traditionalist predictions. I looked at all teams since 1978 that finished 6-10, 7-9 or 8-8,6The NFL adopted a 16-game regular season in 1978. This gives us 328 team-seasons, excluding 1981, 1986 and 2014 because the data for the following season was either disrupted by labor strife or does not exist yet. grouping them into five tiers based solely on age.7Specifically, Approximate Value-Adjusted Age, as described here. In general, the relationship between age and improvement is loose: 24Kansas City Chiefs9-756.7 This isn’t exactly a new development for the Packers. In every season since 2008, when they traded away Brett Favre and installed Aaron Rodgers as starting quarterback, at least 85 percent of Green Bay’s team AV has come from players who began their career with the Packers.Not much will change in 2015, either, as Peppers, Guion and Kuhn once again figure to be the only notable Packers who started elsewhere.A team has to draft well to achieve Green Bay’s level of success without acquiring many players from other teams. Between Rodgers and Clay Matthews, the Packers have done that in the first round, but they’ve also found a lot of value deeper into the draft. For instance, they’ve snagged elite skill-position talent in the second round1Wide receivers Jordy Nelson in 2008 and Randall Cobb in 2011, and running back Eddie Lacy in 2013. and quality offensive linemen in the fourth.2Three of the Packers’ O-line starters were drafted in that round: left tackle David Bakhtiari and guards Josh Sitton and T.J. Lang.It may not be a sustainable strategy for every team, but the Packers have used it to build the most homemade — and, arguably, best — roster in football. 19Philadelphia Eagles10-660.7 7Minnesota Vikings7-972.5 31Tennessee Titans2-1452.2 Best304.94.22.6 Not well, as it turns out. The worst group of teams in defensive SRS over the previous two years — i.e., the cohort most similar to the 2012-15 Lions — regressed significantly the next year. In Detroit’s case, there are additional reasons to expect a defensive regression, between an aging secondary and a handful of important personnel losses headlined by the departure of DT Ndamukong Suh, who signed with Miami as a free agent.After more than a decade of ugly defenses, Detroit fans finally got to watch a first-rate defense last year. But the Lions’ chances of repeating that feat likely left with Suh. 9Houston Texans9-771.5 23Denver Broncos12-458.0 27Washington Redskins4-1255.8 17Cleveland Browns7-962.8 15New Orleans Saints7-963.7 1Green Bay Packers12-492.8% 5Seattle Seahawks12-476.0 Middle667.327.37.7 Chicago Bears2014 Record: 5-11 | 2015 Proj. W: 6.5 | Playoff Odds: 11.5%Off. Rank: 18th | Def. Rank: 31st | S.T. Rank: 7thThe Chicago Bears are a franchise defined by defense.The team’s last two championships, in 1963 and 1985, were earned on the backs of historically dominant defenses. Eight of the franchise’s top nine players (according to Pro-Football-Reference.com’s Approximate Value) are defenders. And — at least through the 2012 season — Chicago had allowed the third-fewest points per game of any NFL team in the Super Bowl era,8Which began in 1966. trailing only the Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys.9Among the 28 teams in existence during the majority of that period.In the two seasons since 2012, though, the Bears have fielded arguably the worst two defenses in franchise history. Over that stretch, they ranked 31st out of 32 teams in yards allowed and dead last in points allowed, reaching historic levels of futility against both the run and the pass.In 2013, the Bears allowed 2,583 rushing yards — the most in team history10Granting that, on a per-game basis, the 1973 rush defense was even worse.; 5.4 yards per rush — the most by any Bears defense since 1951; and 22 rushing touchdowns — the second-most in franchise history.11Trailing only the 1975 team. Then, last season, the pass defense fell apart, as Chicago opponents set new franchise highs for completion percentage (66.8%), passing yards (4,230) and passing touchdowns (34).By SRS, Chicago’s defense was 5.8 points per game worse than average over the past two seasons. Never before in its history had the franchise produced a defensive SRS so poor in a two-year span:This season marks the 30th anniversary of the fabled 1985 Bears, winners of the franchise’s only Super Bowl title. That year, Chicago’s defense allowed 65 fewer points than any other team in football, still the largest gap between the top two teams in points allowed in any season since 1970. Whenever a “best defense of all time” ranking is constructed, whether subjective or objective, it’s a good bet that the ‘85 Bears will show up at or near the top.Unfortunately, Chicago’s 2015 defense bears little resemblance to that team, or even the last good Bears defense. In 2012, Chicago ranked third in points allowed, and the only defensive starter remaining from that team — cornerback Tim Jennings — was just released. And if the Bears’ defensive ranking of 31st in ESPN’s preseason Football Power Index is any indication, this will be another trying year for a franchise that badly needs a return to defensive glory. Read more: How The Salary Cap Is Shaping The Falcons, Saints, Panthers and Buccaneers