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  • 02 Jul
    导出博客文章FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- The Atlanta Falcons have placed cornerback Desmond
    Trufant on injured reserve and waived punter Matt Wile.The team signed center
    Trevor Robinson and cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson on Tuesday.Trufant missed the
    last two games with a shoulder/pectoral injury. Wile excelled in his NFL debut
    last week against Arizona, averaging 58 yards on two punts and having touchbacks
    on each of his seven kickoffs. He was an injury fill-in for Matt Bosher, who is
    expected to return for this weeks game against Kansas City.Wreh-Wilson started
    in 14 of his 34 games the last three years for Tennessee and was waived before
    the season. Robinson has spent time with the Bengals and Chargers.The Falcons
    also signed offensive lineman Kevin Graf to their practice squad.---For more NFL
    coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP-NFL
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    . The deal is pending a physical, assistant general manager
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    . Giroud, who wasnt in the starting lineup for two matches after allegations
    about his private life and a decline in form, scored twice in the first half.
    Tomas Rosickys chip made it 3-0 before half time at Emirates Stadium, while
    defender Laurent Koscielny scored an unmarked header in the second half.
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    . LOUIS -- The New Orleans Saints looked like a team playing
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    . Despite the cost, effort and an improved steroid test, its
    possible that very few -- if any -- positives will be detected, Dr. Richard
    Budgett told The Associated Press in an interview. "We just dont know what the
    results from Torino will be," Budgett said. It happened just for a single
    second. In Rio in April, just for this fragment of time, he was his old self.
    His old, high-strung, nothings-good-enough, pushing-himself,
    perfection-demanding, obsession-embracing, brilliant self.Hed shot 626.2 in the
    air rifle in a World Cup test event, which is 10.4 per shot, which in the
    previous scoring system would roughly translate to 598/600, which is by any
    measure a pretty, decent score.Well, for most people. But since when was Abhinav
    Bindra, in his old self, most people?And so when Gaby Buhlmann, one of his
    coaches, walks by, and hes standing there with that very Bindra look which is
    all inconsolable fury, and she asks him about the scoresheet that hes holding,
    he says this:Its toilet paper.Crap score.Unworthy.Pitiful.If you wanted an
    introduction to driven and be acquainted with desire, then you had to meet
    Bindras old self. Under his skin, desperation crawled. Hed examine every pellet
    of hundreds under a magnifying glass in case one had a flaw. Because he couldnt
    afford a flaw. Because he was in pursuit of only the flawless. Hed unlock his
    range at 3am, in his underwear, because a brilliant idea had struck him, and
    dont raise that eyebrow. How else does perfection come?His old self had coaches
    who tuned his focus and tightened his technique and grew him up, but no one
    needed to kindle his flame. When he told me, years ago, about the time he shot
    600/600 six times in practice and wasnt happy, even I, whod read enough on
    eccentricity and sport, thought, Dear God, who is this?But that old self, its
    mostly gone, its broken apart. Only slivers of it remain, only remnants left
    behind of a younger man, only pieces which show up now and then for a
    second.Because in the next second he corrects himself.Its not toilet paper.His
    score is not crap, he reminds himself. Its impressive. Its a score to be
    respected. To be grateful for. His old, hard self took him to Olympic gold in
    2008 but no athlete, no human, can stay the same. His old self was too hard to
    maintain and so he keeps reinventing himself, challenging himself, invigorating
    himself, discovering himself. He doesnt just experiment with shooting, hes
    turned himself into a shooting experiment.He has kept trying to reshape himself,
    to be less anxious, less negative, less hard on himself. Till here he is, at the
    cusp of his fifth Games, a Games which has tested him, ruined him, fuelled him,
    made him and now to this Games he says goodbye. Hes like a bullet that has
    travelled too far. Hes not going back.I have less shots left.And no more
    Olympics.***Bindra and I have history. Actually a book, his book, titled A Shot
    at History. The writing of it made us, him 33 now, me 53, friends. We text now
    and then. We talk politics. I tell him he needs to be less boring if he wants to
    get married. He laughs. Hes switchblade sharp and too wise for his age. He was
    the right sportsperson to do a book with -- and any journalist who reads this
    will grin like hell -- because he was always on time. The business of athletes,
    who are creatures of exquisite timing on the field, is to be late for everything
    off the field --- as if to be on time reflects an unnecessary enthusiasm for an
    interview. Its not that no one told Bindra this, its merely that hes his own
    unflinching man.Between 2009 and 2011, we meet 4-5 times in Delhi, once in
    Chandigarh, twice in Singapore. Sometimes for eight hours a day. If I write him
    an email -- 322 in 2010 alone -- hell reply within 24 hours, whatever time zone
    hes in. If I call and he doesnt pick him, hell call back after practice. When Im
    in Delhi, I ask, What time do you want to start tomorrow?You say.9am?Fine.At
    9am, hes there. No bleary-eyed, phone-to-ear, Ill-be-with-you-shortly look.
    Instead hes scrubbed, dressed, shoes polished, pants with creases as sharp as
    the parting in his hair. Coffee? Breakfast? He wears muted colours and also an
    almost unfashionable, self-deprecating, respectful politeness.Hes a shooter, a
    stationary and hushed hero and so you dont expect an aura, but hes an Olympic
    champion, a world champion, hes great, hes somebody, yet he carries it all
    calmly -- unpretentiously but gravely. Hes not the guy for the stupid question.
    Dont ask him, Oh, how many shots are there in shooting? Just dont. He wont be
    rude, he simply wont be interested in you because you havent respected him by
    doing your homework. He takes shooting seriously, so take him seriously.His
    phone is off. No sister, friend, sponsor interrupts. Hell talk as long as I want
    to talk. An air-conditioner hums and my pen scratches. This is incredibly hard
    for him for hes not a man of words. In another life he could have been a caver,
    or a deep sea diver, for he lives in silence, a loner, whose grand journeys are
    into the unknown depths of his own self.Hes incredibly shy, hes private, yet hes
    parting curtains because hed agreed to that beforehand. Agreed that we were not
    going to make money with this book. We get it, its a shooting book. And we dont
    help either with sales because hes too awkward to tweet about it and I am not on
    Twitter. But we dont care about that. Also he has no private life, no Bollywood
    girlfriend, no model on his arm, not found frequently on Page 3. He doesnt even
    have a fast car and a frothing father, hes just terrifyingly normal, hes the
    un-Agassi. But we dont care about that either. We only care about writing a raw,
    honest, gritty investigation into his single-minded, desperate, eccentric,
    devoted pursuit of his greatest sporting self. Not a how-to-win book but a
    how-he-won book.So he opens himself up, he peels his skin away. He talks about
    pain, crying, whining, defeat, perseverance, learning, courage, acting. He talks
    about officials who do nothing, about 10-day silent retreats to improve
    concentration, about climbing a pizza pole. He talks about how Olympic defeat
    sent him to therapy and how Olympic victory brought on a depression. He never
    cuts corners in shooting, he wont for tthis.ddddddddddddHe doesnt know how.For a
    writer, this is a pleasure. Most of our lives were herded in and out of
    interviews, offered canned answers, expected to dissect greatness in nine
    minutes. There are always questions left to ask, but here, with him, there are
    none. Here I have an Olympic champion to whom I can ask anything for however
    long. Its a two-year tutorial in sporting desire.But I also, inadvertently, do
    him a minor favour because he concedes that all this talking liberates him. It
    softens his suspicion of the outside world, it peels away some of his
    insularity, and he even tells me some weeks ago that hes now more patient with
    journalists and understands our jobs better. Of course, Ive always been nice to
    them, he says. I think hes grinning as he talks. I roll my eyes.When he had to
    make speeches at symposiums, hed be edgy, practicing before the mirror for
    weeks, timing himself, but now hes less ruffled. I dont agonize any more. I like
    doing conversation-styled events. I am brutally honest in them and try to be
    funny. People relate to honesty. In collaboration with GoSports Foundation,
    which supports emerging athletes, hes doing workshops with young shooters and
    even giving away rifles. Last year 10 of them, one to a Paralympian.Hes a man
    who has unfolded wings he never knew he had.***Shooting is a subtle, complex
    activity involving slow-motion movements and pellets that fly too fast to see.
    You can see the footballer feint, turn, accelerate but here there is an
    invisible beauty, the control of the heartbeat, the muscles, tiny and large,
    activating to ensure balance, the search for stability. Its pursuit is
    terrifying simple: Perfection. Press your pen to paper. It leaves a dot. Thats
    roughly the bullseye in the 10m air rifle. Now hit it 60 times.We are drawn,
    mostly, to sports which are popular, whose stars beckon us, whose history is
    rooted in our lands, whose movement fascinates us. Shooting does not qualify. It
    is not a rite of passage nor a spectacle. And yet to talk with Bindra, and watch
    him practice, is to be led within shooting, inside its skin, to appreciate the
    delicacy of its craft (the dilemma of when to trigger) and to fathom in a moving
    world the challenge of stillness. This is sport, too.He taught me how coldly
    punitive shooting is when it comes to the human error. The cost of the tiny
    mistake is in fact inhuman. Its not enough for him to hit the .5mm bullseye
    because his score will be determined by how close he is to the centre of that
    .5mm bullseye.He made me understand better the task of the athlete who competes
    only against himself. If you play directly against someone else (i.e. tennis),
    you need to perform only to a level high enough to beat that person. You can
    play at 80 per cent and win. You can be imperfect. In shooting, he competes
    against an entire cast of characters all at once, a 50-strong, high-class field
    whose skill he cant control or affect. He cannot play within himself. He cannot
    play just well enough. He cannot raise his game when it matters on a big shot
    because every shot is big. He has to give everything of himself to every single
    pellet fired.He offered a nuanced explanation of the idea of control, for in
    shooting it involves a suffocation of emotion. No reaction to a 10, none to a 9,
    each score worn, swallowed, moved on from, perfection shrugged at, imperfection
    forgotten, no rage allowed, no vocal whine, no high five (with whom), no
    uppercut of the air. Everyone suffers and all in equal silence.And Bindra is
    still suffering. He always suffers. He cant not suffer because it would mean he
    doesnt care. Hes just suffering less. Hes done what he had to which is to give
    shooting his entire being. He didnt lean on his 2008 Olympic gold, but he put
    aside one masterpiece and started on another canvas. And yet even as his journey
    isnt defined by this gold -- but by his patience, his learning, his constancy,
    his willingness to experiment, his medals elsewhere -- it gives his journey a
    particularly fine glint.He, the young boy who loved the smell of gun oil, whose
    parents supported his dream and bore his boyish tantrums, whose solitary
    personality fit this lonely sport, is proud of where hes travelled as a shooter.
    But its a quiet pride for he wears his uniqueness -- first Indian to win
    individual Olympic gold -- with a lightness. And because he has journeyed well,
    he comes to his last Games very much at peace. In his last three Games he
    skipped the tiring Opening Ceremony to prepare himself, yet now he wants to walk
    out, as flag-bearer, with his vast sporting clan and feel a final sense of
    kinship. When you retire, you no longer belong. Yes, he says, I am emotional
    about this Games. I have a playfulness in my nature which I had at my first
    Olympics in 2000.Theres always a trace of melancholy to the end of athletic
    journeys. After all, in their 30s, the greatest talent that young people will
    ever own is forever lost. Yet Bindra, right now, is too busy to play the
    philosopher. In April, in Rio, just hours after landing he was taking pictures
    of the Olympic range and mailing them to his mother. By the time he returned,
    his range in Chandigarh had been turned into a Rio duplicate. Same height of
    target. Same background colour. Same lighting.When he told me this, I grinned. I
    love the truth that he always wants to be a new and better and changed man. But
    this fastidiousness, this painstaking attention to minute detail, was one of the
    finest parts of his old self. And so even though this is his final Games and an
    emotional time, just remember, this is Abhinav Bindra. Indoor sniper.
    Perfections pursuer. Historys chaser. And so please, whatever you do, dont think
    hes on some sentimental expedition.Well, maybe just for a single second.Rohit
    Brijnath is a senior correspondent with The Straits Times, Singapore.
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