Vikings trying to make London feel like home
Political Pledges With rising prices across the U.K. putting home ownership beyond the reach of young Britons, political parties are pledging to ease planning curbs and build more homes. The opposition Labour Party said this week it would allow local authorities to charge developers that dont build on land that has received building approval. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has been promoting home ownership by assisting buyers and making mortgages easier to obtain as he seeks to revive the U.K. economy. Despite those efforts, approvals to build new homes in London fell about 15 percent in the first half from a year earlier, according to data compiled by researcher Glenigan for the Home Builders Federation. Wider Margins Homebuilders were the main beneficiaries of the fall in land prices that followed the financial crisis as they boosted profit margins by developing plots acquired at a discount. Development land values for the country overall are 50 percent below their 2007 peak, Savills said. In London, land prices now exceed the previous high, according to the broker. The 87 percent jump since their trough in 2009 compares with an increase of more than 60 percent for London luxury homes and a 43 percent gain for all residences in the city, Knight Frank estimates. British Land Co. bought a site in Londons Mayfair district to develop luxury apartments last year, using the proceeds from a 400 million-pound ($640 million) bond issue .
Either way, it’s clear this story is just beginning. And likewise, the 49ers probably will have a few more tough decisions to make on this front. Joe Philbin’s unorthodox style working for Miami If you were asked to draw up an image of a football coach, Joe Philbin probably isn’t what you’d come up with — not by a long shot. Last summer, HBO’s “Hard Knocks” highlighted a personality that seemed a better fit for a CPA’s office than the football field. Philbin’s style isn’t for everyone, and that’s one reason he and Miami Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland have emphasized certain personality traits in the players they bring in — and why they haven’t hesitated to jettison others ( Brandon Marshall , Vontae Davis ). The Year 2 results, at this early juncture of the season, couldn’t be much better. Miami is 3-0, and though the team’s post-Dan Marino history requires that start to be viewed with some skepticism, one reason to believe these Dolphins could have staying power is that they’ve inherited their leader’s even-keeled demeanor. “The environment has been the same, last year to this year,” guard Richie Incognito said. “The one thing with Coach Philbin is he’s very consistent. The approach is always the same, and the feeling among the players is that we’re hungry for more. That last drive ( against the Atlanta Falcons last Sunday), we knew we were going to score.
“We know what we’re dealing with a guy like Adrian Peterson. We just can’t give up the big plays.” With the Vikings also 0-3, Peterson will be expected to carry the load on Sunday with quarterback Christian Ponder out with a fractured rib. Backup Matt Cassel will start. The Steelers have struggled on both sides of the ball, and Roethlisberger was focused on a victory rather than taking in the London sights including the original Big Ben clock tower. “We’d like to possess the ball. We’d like to extend drives, so that means converting third downs,” Roethlisberger said. “The more we can keep (Peterson) off the field, the better we can be.” Rookie running back Le’Veon Bell will make his debut after missing the start of the season because an ankle injury. The Steelers running game was ranked 31st in the NFL coming in. “I hope (he provides a spark) because we can use anything we could get,” offensive lineman David DeCastro said. “We have to get in a situation where we’re ahead and don’t have to pass the ball.” Cornerback Ike Taylor was soaking up the trip just hours after touching down. “It means a lot (to be in London). It’s a totally different atmosphere,” Taylor said. “When you think of London you think of style, you think of fashion. I hope I can bring a little bit of London swag to Pittsburgh.” With the game being played at Wembley, Taylor spoke of his love of soccer star Lionel Messi and his desire to meet the British monarch. “I tell you I would love to meet the queen the head lady,” he said.
Pittsburgh Steelers need more than Big Ben to spark turnaround in London
Louis Cardinals is the late arrival of the team’s bags because the driver stopped for breakfast. That trip lasted two nights. This one lasts five nights and a full practice week, presenting a world of possible equipment issues Ryan like members of every other department tried to prepare for in advance, though in some cases there might not be much they can do. If the kicking shoe Blair Walsh has worn since his freshman year at Georgia breaks again, for instance, he’s probably out of luck. If the Vikings end up signing a player to help their ailing secondary, Ryan has material from the team’s lettering shop and might have to play seamstress. PHOTOS: NFL goes overseas The NFL has returned to London with the Vikings and Steelers set to meet at Wembley Stadium on Sept. 29. But the league has been featuring its product abroad for decades. Lefteris Pitarakis, AP Last Slide Next Slide A new player would need a passport, which the Vikings obtained for 179 members of the organization and kept locked in a safe until departure. Two operations men flew in early to make their wing of The Grove hotel feel like the team’s facility, from setting up coaches offices and meeting rooms to wiring American ESPN into the players lounge. When team chef Geji McKinney first walked into the kitchen Tuesday, workers were lining up the condiments she’d shipped over. She also sent spices unavailable in the U.K. and USADA beef to make sure she could re-create her recipes and keep players eating normally. The makeshift locker, weight and training rooms are in a hard-walled tent next to the practice field roughly 200 yards from players’ rooms, much like the arrangement during training camp.