Repair & Preservation of hand-made rugs

Restoration of Oriental, Persian, Turkish and Irish handmade rugs and carpets. Dedicated care for kilims, tapestries and embroideries. Liz Mansergh has over 22 years of professional experience working with antique carpets and tapestries, so you can rely on expert consultancy services and restoration.

Before: Antique rug in need of repair After: Restored, with no noticeable mend

Past clients include: Peter Linden Ltd, Blackrock; The Office of Public Works, Farmleigh; The Hon. Desmond and Mrs Penny Guinness, Leixlip Castle; Knight of Glin, Glin Castle; Mr Michael & Mrs Sarah Ramsden, Saskia Antiques & Sopwell Hall; Mr Alphonsus O’Meara, Dalkey.

Antique rugs, even old rugs, are becoming increasingly rare and so, if their condition is good, are ever more valuable. Heirlooms definitely should be looked after, but holiday souvenir rugs, too, can be rescued if accidents happen. And if the disaster is bad enough – a lovely rug can still be reincarnated as beautiful cushions.

Feb 16

It was a day of sweeps at the NFL Honors ceremony at the University of Minnesota’s Northrop Auditorium.

Tom Brady earned his third NFL MVP Award after leading the league in passing yards with 4,577 and tossing 32 touchdowns to just eight interceptions, but Saturday was just as much about the Rams and the Saints.

The Rams took home both the offensive and defensive players of the year as well as coach of the year with Todd Gurley, Aaron Donald Sean McVay claiming the respective awards. The Saints were awarded the offensive and defensive rookies of the year with Alvin Kamara and Marshon Lattimore.

For all of that, this year’s extensive Super Bowl matchup breakdown can be found here. If you want the bottom line — whether SN’s experts are picking the Eagles or Patriots to win Super Bowl 52, and why — you’re in the right place.

Vinnie Iyer: Super Bowl 52 should not be a defensive struggle. There are too many ways for both teams to move the ball. Foles will get going with better support from his rushing attack, while Brady will keep letting it rip in the air.

Brady is a 13-time Pro Bowler. He ranks third all time in passing touchdowns and fourth in yards. His 97.6 career passer rating is the third best in NFL history. He is a four-time Super Bowl MVP and two-time NFL MVP. Only once in 17 years have the Patriots not won the AFC East title with Brady as their starter for the entire season. Assuming he keeps up that diet after he retires, the Pro Football Hall of Fame might as will go ahead and get his measurements for a gold jacket right now.

Brady in 2015, when he was 38, told reporters that he wanted to play “for a long time, maybe 10 more (years).” You do the math. No human should be able to play football at that age; not in this league.

And Brady, an unapologetic competitor who has said he values mental experience in the NFL as it relates to his physical abilities, must be taken seriously when he says he wants to keep this going. He saw what a career of knowledge did for Peyton Manning as his old rival led the Broncos to a Super Bowl 50 victory; the same type of knowledge Brady used to pull off the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history a year later.
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Feb 13

Jurrell Casey is one of the league’s premier 3-4 defensive ends, but he could lose DaQuan Jones as a linemate due to free agency.

With Colts starting quarterback Andrew Luck ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Cardinals, in the wake of their non-competitive 46-9 loss to the Rams in last week’s opener, you wonder if the Colts can be any worse.

Former Patriots third-stringer Jacoby Brissett will replace Luck, who is recovering from January surgery on his right shoulder, after Colts backup Scott Tolzien failed so miserably against the Rams.

But the one that has gone either ignored or underestimated is the dignity factor. In the 13 years after Bethea’s observation, games consistently have challenged dignified viewers to surpass their breaking points. The right-headed have concluded NFL games no longer can be indulged as either sports or entertainment.

Judging from reader emails and sentiments expressed in casual conversation, NFL games never have been easier to turn off and, worse, to ignore. The hassle-after-every-play incivilities and immodest, even lewd all-about-me demonstrations — regardless of the score — that often result in game-determining penalties too often appear as college men engaged in gang warfare.

It wears people down, then out. They can’t figure how it started and why it has both persisted and grown to where the worst actors have become the preferred, come-and-get-it sales strategy acts of the NFL’s TV and advertising partners.

Taven Bryan, DE, Florida. Enter Bryan, who has drawn some lofty J.J. Watt comparisons. Don’t expect him to reach Watt’s level — that’s nearly impossible for anyone — but Bryan should be an excellent fit as Casey’s running mate.

Connor Williams, OT, Texas. The Jaguars would be wise to bring in a potential franchise left tackle after watching Cam Robinson struggle at the position this year, and Williams could fit the bill. Some analysts think he’s a lock for the top 10, while others can’t imagine him being taken in the first round. In the end, his potential on the blind side is too great for the Jaguars to pass on.

And all of this occurred with the Browns, holding the No. 1 pick and perennial quarterback issues, resisting the urge to reach for one of the quarterback prospects. Only time will tell if the Browns were too cautious, or the Bears, Chiefs or Texans too anxious.bills_017

Feb 10

That’s unlikely to happen, making it in the team’s best interest to use the pick on a glaring need.

Sowers competed in football professionally and for the U.S. national team, excelling at a variety of positions before a hip issue ended her playing career last year. A Kansas native, she went on to become general manager of the Kansas City Titans in the Women’s Football Alliance, where her twin sister, Liz, is a standout receiver.

A 2016 internship with the Atlanta Falcons brought her into contact with Kyle Shanahan, then the team’s offensive coordinator and now head coach of the 49ers. Shanahan was impressed enough to bring her aboard as an intern with his new organization, and then to give her a full-time position, a move met with approval by San Francisco wide receiver Jeremy Kerley.

Ballard has said he “will not be timid about moving around in the draft,” and could trade the No. 15 overall selection in an effort to stockpile more picks in this year’s draft. However, based on expected value over the next five years, the No. 15 pick is worth about 29 AV, which would require getting back two second-round picks for fair value.

Sowers, 31, was retained by the 49ers as an assistant wide receivers coach after she served as an intern for several months as part of the Bill Walsh NFL Coaching Diversity Fellowship. She told Outsports that her goal was “to be a head coach in the NFL or college,” adding, “I love leading people and I have a passion for this game.”

The hiring of Sowers followed a trail blazed by Kathryn Smith, who coached full-time for the Bills last season, and Jen Welter, who became the first female positional coach in the NFL as a 2015 intern with the Cardinals. “It’s groundbreaking and all that stuff, but the more normalized it is, the better it is,” Sowers told the San Jose Mercury News last week. “As a female, the more someone can ask me what I do and I say, ‘I coach football,’ the less shock on their faces will mean the better direction we’re moving.”

A troubled NFL season marked by controversy has taken a turn for the worse as, over the past month, an element of viciousness has crept into what was already a violent game and superseded the great play that brought people to it in the first place.cowboys_098

Feb 07

NC State is the most notable example of that further down the S-curve.

Despite only beating North Carolina since Thursday, the Wolfpack moved from 32nd on the board to 28th, jumping an entire seed line. That was primarily due to a re-evaluation of NC State’s numbers, which include an RPI of 18 and an overall SOS of 16.

It will be a reunion of sorts for Foles and Keenum, who are former Rams teammates. Foles was benched in favor of Keenum in 2015, when the franchise was in St. Louis. By the summer of 2016 the team was in Los Angeles, the Rams had picked quarterback Jared Goff first overall in that spring’s draft and Foles wanted out. The Rams granted his request to be released.

Now, the two will face off Sunday in Philadelphia with a trip to the Super Bowl at stake.

“I don’t know if I can put it in perspective right now,” Keenum said after the Vikings’ first-of-its-kind, walk-off victory over the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. “My family’s here. I’m just going to go enjoy the night and get ready for the conference championship on Sunday.”

Keenum, undrafted in 2012 before a couple of unremarkable stints with the Houston Texans and the Rams, became the starter in Minnesota only because of injuries to Sam Bradford and Teddy Bridgewater. But once he was allowed on the field this season, there was no getting him off it. He played at a near-MVP level, and now he has the Vikings a win away from becoming the first team to play a Super Bowl on its home field.

“You need to look at exactly how the ratings are going backwards,” said Schnatter, who donated $1,000 to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. “Last year the ratings for the NFL went backwards because of the elections. This year the ratings are going backwards because of the controversy. And so the controversy is polarizing the customer, polarizing the country.”

Benkert spent the first three years of his career at East Carolina. After redshirting in 2013 and being the backup in 2014, Benkert was set to be the starter in 2015 before a knee injury took him out for the year. Benkert, then a graduate, transferred to Virginia in 2016, where he immediately became the starter.

Benkert reads the field well pre-snap and can anticipate where receivers will be open in quick-passing concepts. He throws as soon as his back foot hits the end of the drop back, and does so with excellent velocity. Benkert tends to throw behind moving targets and throw short of stationary targets. He’ll need an offense with West Coast and Air Raid influences. If he can show improved ball placement — especially on perimeter routes and in one-on-one situations — he can earn a draftable grade.cowboys_076

Feb 05

Thunder: G Andre Roberson played his second game after missing eight with left patellar tendinitis.

He had a forgettable six-second span, missing four straight free throws and committing a foul. … Coach Billy Donovan first watched James play as a high school sophomore, when he stood out more than others. “In seeing him at that age you see a lot of times young kids that are sophomores with his ability — maybe not all of his ability — but you see talented players,” Donovan said.

“They never get better. A lot of times it’s difficult to get better because there’s such a microscope. The thing that’s amazing to me is he’s had a lot of attention on him and a very, very young age and he always got better.”

The Rams are coming off a 24-7 road loss to the NFC North-leading Minnesota Vikings, but Sean McVay is defying expectations in his first year as an NFL head coach. Los Angeles is scoring 2.4 points per drive in 2017, the fourth most this season and a franchise high since 2002, the year the league expanded to 32 teams.

The key has been the emergence of quarterback Jared Goff. Goff was ranked 30 out of 36 passers by Pro Football Focus last season but has risen to No. 19 overall in 2017, completing nearly 70 percent of his passes for a 108.5 passer rating with a clean pocket. That drops to just 77.6 under pressure, higher than the league average and good enough to be No. 8 overall this season. In fact, his overall passer rating under pressure this year is higher than his passer rating in 2016 with a clean pocket.

Then again, Kareem Hunt appears to engage with our friend K.C. Wolf, so maybe I’m way off on this issue. I also like how I refer to it as an “issue,” insinuating that there is anyone else in the world -literally anyone -who has ever given this topic any thought whatsoever. Aw hell, let’s cut back to another live look at CenturyLink Field.

President Trump and some fans have criticized players who have protested during the national anthem before games and the league’s handling of the matter. Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who began the players’ protest movement last season, filed a grievance accusing teams of colluding to keep him out of the league. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones threatened to sue to block the five-year contract extension for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Attendance is down about 1 percent from last season, Goodell said this week, and the league has had to deal with sagging TV viewership.

“Our world is changing dramatically in terms of fans and how they’re receiving our content and the experience they’re having in the stadiums,” Falcons owner Arthur Blank said Wednesday in Dallas. “And obviously player relationships are critical, and player safety is critical. The view of the outside world of the league is very important to us.”cowboys_049

Feb 02

No tears streamed down his face, nor was there a “That’s my quarterback!” proclamation a la Terrell Owens.

But the emotion in Philadelphia Eagles left guard Stefen Wisniewski’s voice was strong when speaking up for his franchise and its beleaguered quarterback, just like it was when Owens did the same for then-Dallas Cowboys teammate Tony Romo a decade ago.

Despite finishing the regular season atop the NFC, Philadelphia enters its second straight playoff game Sunday with underdog status. This time, it’s second-seeded Minnesota that heads to Lincoln Financial Field as a betting favorite — 3.5 points for the conference title game.

Still, Foles has to win over disbelievers because his final two regular-season appearances against Oakland and Dallas were shaky. Plus, backup quarterbacks thrust into starting roles around playoff time traditionally haven’t fared well in the postseason.

And Albright College quarterback Gyree Durante was dismissed for kneeling during the national anthem saying “at some point in life, there’s going to be a time when you’ve got to take a stand.”

Nearly half — 49 percent — of Americans surveyed by CNN said that the athletes were taking the wrong action, but most people believe that Trump’s response, which includes suggesting that athletes be fired for their actions, was inappropriate, according to a HuffPost poll.

Playing outdoors with a hostile crowd shouldn’t bother the Vikings, who shut out the Packers 16-0 at Lambeau in Week 16. I’m admittedly Vikings-biased based on my Minnesota roots, but looking at this game as objectively as I can, I see the Vikings winning a relatively low scoring game, 20-17 on a late Kai Forbath field goal.

That would set up an interesting Super Bowl matchup of New England with the league’s top offense against Minnesota’s No. 1 defense. Plus a productive Vikings offense vs. an improved Patriots defense. And a home game to boot for the Vikings in Minneapolis.

The case for: Andrew Luck hasn’t played all season. Is it fair to judge a coach without his franchise quarterback on the field for a single play? The Colts didn’t even have a viable Plan B, failing to add a capable backup until trading for Jacoby Brissett just before the season and starting Scott Tolzien in the opener. Brissett has had his moments. The issue here is getting Luck’s still-ailing shoulder right and getting him back on the field. It’s not the coach.cowboys_014

Jan 30

NFL announcer Sean McDonough’s voice cracked during Titans-Chiefs and everybody loved it

The Tennessee Titans almost had a brutal collapse in the final two minutes against the Chiefs after making a comeback of their own.

Thank you very much, Gary. The thanks really should go to Richard Deitsch, the great Sports Illustrated columnist who thought to do a longer piece talking to female reporters about their lot. I have two daughters too, and the way my wife and I raised them is to believe they could grow to be anything, and to do anything. It is discouraging that men in high places have so often, and so recently, been such cads as well-intentioned and hard-working women tried to climb the ladder.

An observation and a question: It seems to me that beating the Bills this year has become some sort of litmus test for a team’s legitimacy as a playoff contender. Note that some teams that lost to the Bills—Oakland, Denver, Kansas City, Tampa—had high hopes at the start of the season. Other teams that had less clear futures—the Chargers, Panthers, Saints—beat Buffalo and look bound for the postseason. I’m not sure what that says about Buffalo or about those other teams. My question is whether or not the Bills can take advantage of a weak AFC to make the playoffs given the fact that New England appears on their schedule twice in the coming weeksGiven my observation, I’d say that the Bills have beat themselves in a couple of games this year, so no.
—Dave B., Durham, N.C.

Charles Woodson said McVay was scared to go against the conventional NFL coaching wisdom that playoff-bound teams should rest their starters in Week 17 to avoid injury. Sure enough, McVay benched Goff, Gurley and other starters against the 49ers in Week 17. And the Rams were walloped 34-13 by Jimmy Garoppolo’s resurgent 49ers.

I would have loved for [the Rams] to be fighting the last game to go into the playoffs, to have that momentum, that drive, that mentality of you lose, you go home, Woodson said.

Matt Hasselbeck countered by saying the game was more about the up-and-down Falcons finally playing up to their potential.

When they’re on, I don’t know if anybody can beat this team, Hasselbeck said. The thing is, they haven’t been on for the entire season this year.

ESPN’s Rex Ryan noted the Falcons were 11-0 when Matt Ryan’s offense scored 20 or more points this season and 0-6 when they didn’t.

You get to 20 points with this team, watch out, because the defense plays way better than you think, Ryan said. They run to the ball, they contest every pass down the field.

On allegedly not being awarded Patriot of the Week by Belichick…patriots_088_f0e4bcfcd0a8d385-180x180

Jan 28

Vinnie Iyer: Congratulations to the Bills for advancing to their first playoff game in 18 years.

But unfortunately, their opponent is the Jaguars, who will be just as hungry for victory in their first home playoff game in 18 years.

The Bills are hoping McCoy will play through his ankle injury, but even if he does, it’s a nightmare matchup for Taylor and their anemic passing game. Their shaky pass protection plays right into the hands of Calais Campbell and the Jaguars’ ferocious edge rush. With no scary receivers, it will allow Jaguars shutdown cornerbacks A.J. Bouye and Jalen Ramsey to dominate.

Does Jones really believe that, or is he trying to instill confidence in his likely QB-to-be and make him feel good about signing with the Tiger-Cats, who hold his rights into January?

The good news for those cheering for Manziel is that he just turned 25, so while it’s never good to be out of the game for an extended period, he should be able to get in sync and have a lot of productive years remaining. He stayed basically injury-free during his two years as A&M’s starter and during his two years in and out of the Browns’ lineup. And perhaps the best sign of his serious approach to this CFL opportunity is that he has stayed out of the media and has been low-profile lately (not tweeting since July and not in any camera-phone shots from late-night bar excursions that wind up in the media).

…heckle you’ve heard. “That’s easy. Last year at the Big East tournament before we played Seton Hall, we were walking onto the court and I had really long hair back then, so one of the fans said I looked like a Chia Pet and [was] doing the jingle for it. I was standing next to Sam [Hauser] and he was dying.”

…movie you’ve seen. “My favorite movie of all time—people are gonna think this is weird, but it’s been my favorite movie since I was little kid—is The Wizard of Oz. It’s still my favorite movie to this day. A lot of people when they ask me that and I say The Wizard of Oz, they go, whatI just love the movie. I really don’t know why. It’s my favorite movie. It’s not even close. Growing up I would watch it religiously.”

Brian Gutekunst was in demand elsewhere. The Packers named Gutekunst the GM before another team could do it first. The Houston Texans flew him in Saturday and planned to interview him for their vacancy on Sunday, but he took the job in Green Bay instead.patriots_082_af6048ce818ef034-180x180

Jan 25

Sean Payton burned 2 quick timeouts on back-to-back 4th quarter challenges, whyyyyy

The New Orleans Saints are making a heady comeback from a 17-0 deficit after scoring 14 straight points to open up the second half. Head coach Sean Payton, however, is doing what he can to ratchet up his own team’s level of difficulty Sunday night.

Romo says out loud what’s likely going through Tom Brady’s head in the moment (and what likely was going through Romo’s head in similar situations when he was with the Cowboys). The Patriots get the Titans to show they’re in man coverage by splitting running back James White outside, then motioning him inside. When the linebacker follows White, tight end Rob Gronkowski motions wide to give himself a plum matchup.

Then the Patriots motion the safety away from Gronk, and Romo gets really excited.

“Oh boy.”

Romo says “better get over there, Cyprien,” referring to the Titans’ Johnathan Cyprien. And indeed, Cyprien sprints over to double cover Gronkowski and perhaps prevent a touchdown.

I prefer the ‘rust equation.’ We get an automatic pass to the second round, and get to do so with all the people on our roster, Tomlin said. So we’ll deal with the rust element of it. We’ll work and prepare and hopefully get better in the process.

Indeed, if concern about getting out of practice were of such importance to NFL teams, they would not fight so tenaciously to secure one of the two byes granted to the top teams in each conference.

If taking a week off from the game created issues of rust, it would follow that teams coming out of an open date would perform below par. However, in playoff games alone, teams that qualify for a bye past the wild-card weekend have won 67.5 percent of their divisional round games over the past decade.

The NFL and NFLPA on Monday launched an official review to determine whether the Panthers properly followed an updated concussion protocol with Newton during the team’s NFC wild-card loss to the Saints. While interim general manager Marty Hurney and coach Ron Rivera believe the Panthers followed the protocol, a new NFL rule says players who show gross motor instability or significant loss of balance must be evaluated in the locker room.
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Jan 23

2018 NFC divisional playoffs: Vikings react to ‘unbelievable’ win over Saints

Everson Griffen was happy and then he was sad and then came the OMG moment.

That was how the Vikings defensive end described the final moments of Minnesota’s 29-24 win over the Saints in Sunday’s NFC divisional playoff game at U.S. Bank Stadium.

According to ESPN, ego, achievement, credit and more are at the heart of what’s described as a devolving relationship, at least between coach and quarterback, with a 76-year-old team owner left at times to broker peace.

Vibe. It’s a concept Kamara talks often about, something he believes he is acutely attuned to. He says he got that from his mother, Adama, who fled Liberia in 1989 when she was 29 years old, escaping right before the civil war broke out because she sensed it was coming. She often has premonitions based on instinct—once when he was a college student back home in Atlanta for winter break, she called Alvin dozens of times throughout the day, pleading with him to come home; he ignored her, and the night ended with him getting into a car crash. Kamara now believes he is the same way, in touch with himself and the way he feels.

After years of being underappreciated, undervalued and underutilized, Kamara has finally found what he has long been searching for. A home. An ideal fit, both in football and in life. A scheme that accentuates his skills, a coach who maximizes his abilities, a team and a city that allow him to be him—bull nose ring, gold grill, dreadlocks and all. The 22-year-old has put up historic numbers in his rookie season, quickly becoming one of the most exciting players in the league and a paragon of efficiency, more productive per touch (9.0 yards) than any other NFL running back in the last 25 years. He has lifted a team at the very tail-end of a Hall of Fame quarterback’s career back to the playoffs, and back into Super Bowl contention. But it is his connection with New Orleans and its denizens, the way that his vibe flows with theirs, that has made this pairing work so well. It is organic, authentic. It is distinctly Kamara.

The first 20 picks of the 2018 NFL Draft were set before the playoffs. Picks 21-24 were locked in after the wild-card round and picks 25-32 will be decided as the playoffs progress. The Chiefs (10-6), who won the AFC West, do not own a first-round pick after trading it to Buffalo (9-7) to move up to 10th in the 2017 draft to select former Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes. The Bills will pick consecutively at 21 and 22.

And if getting kicked out of the playoffs wasn’t bad enough for the Panthers, who felt that questionable officiating kept them from overcoming a 31-26 deficit in the closing minutes, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune newspaper decided to pour a ton of salt into the wound with its front-page headline treatment.patriots_003_0a18f6101cdee080-180x180