Hyypia has no doubt about Liverpool title focusby Paul Vegas13 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool Champions League title winner Sami Hyypia has no doubts about the team’s title focus.But while Liverpool stretched their lead over Manchester City to eight points going into the international break, Hyypia knows there is a long road ahead. He said, “It’s a great thing that no one left last summer – they kept all their big players. And, when I see them play, it looks like everyone wants to be there to play for this club and be in this team.“I watch them and it seems they are having fun playing at such an extraordinarily high level – but they are also demanding of each other. That’s why they won’t ease up.“I saw the episode with Mo Salah and Sadio Mane, but, far from thinking that was damaging to the dressing room spirit, I thought that showed how strong it is.“It just shows that everyone wants to win together and what a great group Klopp has built with that dynamic.“It’s always good to have that kind of openness where players can call each other out. That’s part of the culture of winning.“All successful teams have that desire, which means they demand more from each other.“I remember some sparks flying between players when I was at Anfield – and that’s only good for the team.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
201311-511-56-10 Broncos1984-90Elway (30)1.1 Vikings1968-78Tarkenton (38)9.0 Rams1999-04Bulger (27)10.8+ 201011-58-86-10 If there’s still a good NFL team lurking in Louisiana, it’s hiding. Since a gritty win in Philadelphia in the divisional playoffs on Jan. 4, 2014, the New Orleans Saints have gone 7-12, despite playing one of the NFL’s easiest schedules. According to our Elo ratings, they’ve suffered the sharpest decline of any NFL franchise since the start of the 2014 regular season. And after an 0-2 start this year, they have just a 15 percent chance of making the playoffs.Once upon a time, this would have been no big deal: The Saints have had a mostly miserable history, and they still rank 28th out of the 32 active NFL franchises in lifetime winning percentage. But we’d grown used to something different. Under quarterback Drew Brees, the Saints won a Super Bowl and were consistently in the championship conversation. Despite the occasional hiccup, they maintained a league average Elo rating (1500) or higher for more than six consecutive seasons, from Nov. 24, 2008, through Dec. 7, 2014.What happens when a franchise declines suddenly after such a sustained period of success? Can it sometimes be a false alarm? Can it replace a few parts and return to contention? Or is it doomed to years in the wilderness?The short answer: yes, yes and yes. It depends. It depends mostly on the quarterback situation and how the franchise manages it.I searched our all-time Elo ratings database for cases similar to the Saints’: teams that were very good for at least five consecutive seasons but then declined fairly quickly. (See the official criteria in the footnotes.1Specifically, I looked for cases since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970 in which a team:Had a streak of five or more years in which its Elo rating was always league average (1500) or higher,Had an average Elo rating of 1600 or higher during the streak, andDeclined to an Elo rating of 1450 or lower within a year of the streak breaking. 20077-97-96-10 Dolphins1980-87Marino (26)3.0 Bears1984-89Harbaugh (26), Tomczak (27)0.9 Saints2008-14Brees (35)?? SAINTS’ RECORD WITH … Chiefs1965-74Dawson (39, injured)7.0 20088-88-87-9 Steelers2004-13Roethlisberger (31)1.3 Colts2002-11Manning (35, injured)3.1 YEARDREW BREESAVERAGE QB (PROJECTED)REPLACEMENT QB (PROJECTED) 20127-95-113-13 200913-311-510-6 ) There have been 14 of them since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970, including some of the fabled dynasties of the modern NFL.In the table below, I’ve also named the team’s incumbent quarterback — or quarterbacks, in the event of a controversy — at the time the 1500-plus Elo streak was broken.2If the incumbent was knocked out because of an injury, I still list his name rather than his understudy’s. Finally, I’ve listed how long it took the team to recover to contender status, which I define as having an Elo of 1600 or higher. Total87-5975-7159-87 Cowboys1966-86White (34, injured)5.0 Raiders1982-87Wilson (30), Hilger (25)3.2 200610-610-68-8 TEAMHIGH-ELO STREAKQB AT END OF STREAK (AGE)YEARS TO RECOVER TO CONTENDER STATUS Colts1963-72Domres (25), Unitas (39)3.1 20150-20-20-2 201113-310-69-7 At first glance, this list doesn’t look all that bad for the Saints. The median team took 3.1 years to recover to contender status; the average team3The St. Louis Rams have yet to achieve a 1600-plus Elo rating since the Kurt Warner years ended. For purposes of calculating this average, I’m using their current time of 10.8 years since their high-Elo streak was broken — but the Rams could take longer still to recover. took 4.1 years.But the average looks better than it otherwise would be because of a series of teams that had a stud quarterback in the prime of his career. Dan Marino’s Dolphins, John Elway’s Broncos, Donovan McNabb’s Eagles and Ben Roethlisberger’s Steelers each endured a rough patch. But those QBs were between 26 and 31 when the slump began, leaving their teams with plenty of time to adjust around them.Brees, by contrast, was 35 when the Saints’ Elo streak was broken last season. Past teams like the 1974 Chiefs, 1978 Vikings and 1986 Cowboys that held on to their aging QBs a year or so too long (sometimes through intermittent injuries) took longer to recover — and it was only once a new quarterback replaced the veteran that they did.The 2011 Colts, with Peyton Manning, and the 1999 49ers, with Steve Young, appear to be exceptions — both franchises rebounded pretty quickly after miserable seasons. But Young and Manning were injured so severely that their teams were forced to contemplate life without them — or at least had a convenient excuse to move on. Both had already played their last games for their clubs4And Young, forced into retirement, had played his last in the NFL. at the time their Elo streaks ended, it turned out.Brees is in the all-time inner circle of franchise quarterbacks: Only five others (Manning, Brett Favre, Marino, Elway and Tom Brady) have accumulated more passing yards with a single club. The problem is that a quarterback who’s been good for as long as Brees can obscure deterioration in the team around him. ESPN’s QBR includes a calculation of how much a quarterback is worth to his team in each game, relative to an average or replacement-level QB. This allows us to estimate how often a replacement QB would swing a game from a win to a loss, or vice versa. For instance, if the Saints win by 7 points and QBR estimates that Brees was worth 8.2 points, that’s a game where the quarterback made the difference. 20147-95-114-12 Eagles2000-05McNabb (29)3.0 49ers1981-99Young (38, injured)2.1 Basically, we’re looking for cases in which a quarterback plays really well in a close win.5Or plays poorly in a close loss. Brees has had a lot of those clutch wins.6The Saints don’t have an especially good record in close games under Brees, but he’s played extremely well in close games, win or lose, according to QBR. He’s salvaged a lot of wins from the jaws of defeat and kept the Saints competitive in games in which they’d otherwise have been blown out. Since 2006, his first year with the Saints, the team is 87-59 in the regular season.But with a replacement-level QB, they’d be 59-87 instead, according to this method. And the last few years would have been especially awful: The Saints would have gone 3-13 in 2012, 6-10 in 2013 and 4-12 in 2014 with Mark Sanchez or Brandon Weeden or some other replacement-level QB at the helm.Or … maybe not, since the Saints would have had a lot more money to invest elsewhere in the roster. Brees’s contract counts for $26.4 million against the salary cap this year, making it the biggest cap hit in the league. Because the top NFL quarterbacks are probably underpaid relative to the disproportionate value they can provide to their clubs, that’s not even all that terrible a contract so long as Brees is among the top half-dozen quarterbacks in the league — as he was until this season. But the minute Brees gets hurt, or reverts to league average (or worse) because of age, the Saints are left with a rotting carcass of a roster and a salary cap crisis.In fact, for all their irrationality in other areas, NFL teams have usually been able to anticipate these problems and have been remarkably unsentimental in parting ways with aging franchise quarterbacks in the salary-cap era. The first signs were in 1993, when Joe Montana was traded.7The salary cap would not officially be implemented until 1994, but NFL teams were aware of its impending impact at the time of Montana’s trade in April 1993. Then came Phil Simms — who, after a somewhat miraculous comeback season in 1993, was unceremoniously released the next spring. Troy Aikman might have retired anyway because of injuries, but he was ushered out the door. The same goes for Young, who was not welcome back in San Francisco. Warren Moon was passed around like a joint at a Phish concert toward the end of his career. Kurt Warner was benched. McNabb endured a fate worse than being benched: He was dealt to Washington. Favre had a reality-TV-style mess of a divorce from the Packers. Manning was let go once the Colts knew they had an opportunity to draft Andrew Luck.These NFL teams have generally recognized that it’s better to break up with an aging quarterback a year too early than a year too late. And almost none of those decisions look bad in retrospect.8The Colts releasing Manning without much of a fight might be the closest call, given Manning’s record-setting years in Denver, but they can’t exactly be unhappy with Luck. Brees may still have something left — quite possibly enough to lead another franchise somewhere to a deep playoff run — but it’s probably time for he and the Saints to move on from each other.Check out our NFL predictions for odds on every Week 3 game.
Even better, Mariota has already missed games. If you’ve read Skeptical Football much, you know I love when QBs sit, because it’s just about the closest you can come to isolating a variable that the sport has to offer. Seven starting quarterbacks have played and missed at least two games each this year.7Oddly enough, though Dallas is desperate to get Tony Romo back (and rightfully so), their problem since he left hasn’t been moving the ball — at least relative to their horrendous defense. You can see what happened once the QBs were out in the chart next to this paragraph. I’ve also added the “gold standard” of WOWY seasons, Aaron Rodgers’s absence from the Green Bay Packers in 2013, for comparison.Note that Mariota’s line is strikingly similar to Rodgers’s! Of course, the latter came over a larger number of games (played nine and missed seven), but this does raise the tantalizing possibility that Mariota may be an elite-level QB already.Defensive Player Person of the MidyearPerhaps the single weirdest thing to transpire this season has been the twists in fortune for the Denver Broncos: Peyton Manning — both architect and foundation of the league’s best and most consistent offense over the past few years — seems to be racing for the exits. Not only is he no longer the league’s best player, but he’s also struggling to put up even average production. Yet the Broncos are still 7-1, thanks to what is shaping up to be one of the league’s best defenses in years. So far, it’s on par with the 2013 Seahawks, which puts it right around 12th-best since 2006.Here’s a comparison of the Broncos’ offensive and defensive drive efficiency over the past few years: This NFL season has had its share of head-scratching quirks, but I’m not buying that it’s been as “super weird” as it seems. A lot of stuff happens in the NFL, so every year seems like a crazy year. Variance is tumultuous. In 2010, no teams started the season 4-0; this year we had four teams start 7-0. There had previously never been more than two.1In my opinion, the crazy year by which all crazy years must be measured is the 1999-2000 season featuring the Greatest Show on Turf.Where has all this weirdness left us? In a familiar place. If the playoffs started today, eight of the 12 teams that made the playoffs last year would return. There are still three unbeaten teams, but they include the defending Super Bowl champions and two playoff teams from a year ago. Cincinnati and Carolina are both surprises at 8-0, for sure, but in the past four seasons the Bengals won 40 games and made the playoffs four times, and though the Panthers have already exceeded their win total from last season, they are only one season removed from a 12-4 campaign. They also finished last year on a 5-0 spurt (counting their wild-card win) before losing in the divisional round of the playoffs. (Incidentally, Carolina’s last regular-season loss was in November 2014.) More importantly, both have quarterbacks who were already very productive. A good team with a productive QB is only a small change of fortune away from being a great team.The biggest surprise in the league has perhaps been Seattle’s relatively weak start after almost winning the Super Bowl, but the Seahawks are still 4-4 and even “control their own destiny” in their division, where they are two games behind the Arizona Cardinals, against whom they have two games scheduled.If anything, this season would seem to be suffering from a glut of predictability. The better teams keep winning, teams with leads have been holding on to them. Otherwise, quarterbacks are throwing for more and more yards, and kickers are getting better and better. Shocking!Here are my midseason awards:Most Valuable PlayerFor about a decade now, picking my MVP has been simple: It’s probably Peyton Manning, barring his absence.2And even then, I’m not entirely sure. Like, have I ever been more confident of Manning’s value than when the Colts went 2-14 without him in 2011? Has Manning always been the best? I don’t know. But my confidence in Manning’s value has always been the greatest. Sadly, it’s time to face it: Manning is finally playing like an old guy with a bunch of injuries. He may yet return to form — the ends of quarterbacks’ careers can be hard to predict — but for now, at least, there’s an opening at the top.I had to wrestle quite a bit with who deserved midseason MVP. As I’ve explained before, “MVP” and “best quarterback” are pretty much the same thing, so we can start there. QB metrics depend on so many factors that making subtle distinctions is virtually impossible. And of course QBs affect more than just passing — a good passing game can open up the running game or give a team’s defense more rest, etc.To figure out who should at least be in the conversation for the award, I started with passing stats and used ESPN’s Total Quarterback Rating (QBR). QBR isn’t perfect, but it’s fairly comprehensive — meaning it accounts for things like scrambling and yards gained from pass interference penalties3It also doesn’t treat all interceptions as being equally bad, one of the biggest sins of most QB metrics. — and it doesn’t have to be too precise for these purposes. To measure broader impact, I used expected points added (EPA) per drive on offense.4I used an ESPN version of the stat that discounts garbage time. Then I started plotting: Carson Palmer has the highest QBR in football, and Tom Brady leads the most efficient offense. Andy Dalton places second and third in each metric. Although it’s technically possible that a less productive QB is actually more valuable than these three contenders,5There is no QB metric that I’m aware of that is capable of accurately identifying great QBs on bad teams, and I doubt it’s even possible with existing data. (Although with individual player tracking, this could change.) that requires a different kind of speculation. I think it’s safe to make them our three finalists.With no clear leader among the three, I either have to make decisions — such as which is more meaningful to QB assessment: passing game efficiency or team offensive efficiency? — or I need to broaden the investigation a bit.When I looked at the historical context to see if any of these guys stands out as being better than the others, I found that all three of their teams have seen a sharp upswing in offensive efficiency (measured by EPA/drive) this season. The Patriots have improved by about 0.6 EPA per drive on offense, the Bengals by 0.7 and the Cardinals by a whopping 1.0.But these kinds of changes can mean different things to different types of squads. The Patriots’ improvement brings them back in line with where their offense was in 2011 and 2012, so the shift serves more as a confirmation of how strong their offense is. The Cardinals and Bengals are in uncharted territory for their clubs (at least in recent history), which tends to suggest either that they’ve gotten extremely lucky or that something big has changed. The difference between these two is that we have a plausible explanation for the Cardinals’ improvement: Palmer’s return from injury (he missed 10 games last year, plus the playoffs). For the Bengals, although we can look around at details, for the most part their ascension remains a mystery. Maybe it’s as simple as a quarterback with a marquee contract starting to play like a marquee quarterback. But that’s just a possible (and not very robust) explanation, whereas Arizona’s improvement has a tangible origin.Palmer is 12-2 as a starter for the Cardinals over the past two years, and the team is just 5-5 without him (and also lost to the 7-win Panthers in the playoffs). With Palmer, the Cardinals offense has scored 0.75 points above expectation per drive. Without him, this plummets to -0.11. This 0.86-point swing — per drive — is huge and can explain most of the Cardinals’ good fortune this year.Thus, on epistemic grounds alone, Palmer seems more likely than Dalton to be the best quarterback. Am I completely comfortable with that assessment? Absolutely not. But success that comes packaged with its own reason is more likely to hold up.So let’s say it’s between Palmer and Brady.Unfortunately for New England, Brady doesn’t miss enough games to have his With or Without You (WOWY) stats measured very well. However, the Patriots franchise has been relatively stable, and Brady did miss a considerable amount of playing time in 2008. If we compare the Patriots offense in that year (led by Matt Cassel) to its offenses in 2007 and 2009, we can see that it was about 0.4 expected points per drive worse off (0.6 points per drive in 2008 vs. 1.0 in surrounding years).Of course, it’s a little bit unfair that Brady gets knocked his whole career because he sat one year and his team didn’t implode. But being a cold-hearted empiricist means valuing evidence for its reliability. This is why I’m confident about the greatness of Randy Moss, Dennis Rodman and Peyton Manning more than others: Not only did each perform well, but they did so in a variety of circumstances.Normally in spots like these, I try to follow the principle that, all else being relatively equal, I should go with the better-known commodity. But “known” in this case is a bit different. We know that Brady’s offenses produce — they have for many years now — but we don’t really know who’s responsible. Thus, it’s close, but my midseason MVP goes to Carson Palmer.6I’ll also give him the “Comeback Player of the Year” award just because it’s obvious — even though he hasn’t led a ton of comebacks.Rookie of the MidyearThis was a really easy pick and required no trickery. Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota had a ridiculous debut on opening day and has been putting up good stats for a QB on such a bad team. I know, Tennessee fans, you’ve been down this road before when you saw Vince Young win the Rookie of the Year award in 2006, only to watch him fade and leave football entirely in just six years. But the gap between Mariota and Young is like the gap between Peyton Manning and Rick Mirer. Mariota has averaged 8.2 yards per pass attempt (adjusted for sacks, touchdowns and interceptions), while Young averaged just 5.2. Young’s accolades were mostly based on his 8-5 record as a starter — making Young yet another example of how things like win-loss record are completely irrelevant for evaluating rookie QBs. Mariota has struggled to find wins (he is 2-4), but that should be perfectly acceptable to Titans fans: You need your rookie QB to produce yards and touchdowns (or possibly interceptions), not wins. Granted, a big chunk of Gostkowski’s outlier-ish value on kickoffs comes from the Patriots’ successful surprise onside kick against Washington, but he also has the third-highest touchback rate and has given up only one return of more than 30 yards (and no touchdowns). Note, a good kicker is more valuable to a team with a great offense, because more field-goal attempts, extra-point attempts and kickoffs mean more opportunities to add value. If Gostkowski’s present form holds up, he may be worth multiple points to the Patriots per game. That would be great for a linebacker (or virtually any non-QB), much less a kicker. Note the “X” made by 2014-15 offense and defense: The decline of Manning has been almost perfectly offset by the arrival of Wade Phillips, defensive coordinator and my DPOM.If this defense is anywhere near as good as it has looked so far, the Broncos could be a legitimate threat, because returns to form for previously good quarterbacks aren’t uncommon. Or, put it this way: If Peyton Manning “regresses” — toward his own mean, that is — the Broncos could be a powerhouse.Special Teams Player of the MidyearLast, but certainly not least, I couldn’t let this occasion pass without recognizing the accomplishments of Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski, who has been perfect so far this season on field-goal and (longer) extra-point attempts, including several long field-goal attempts, and has been the most consistent kicker-offer as well:
Bayern Munich midfielder Javi Martinez feels that new coach Niko Kovac has made a good start to life at the club and he is convinced that they going to achieve “good things” under him this seasonThe Bavarians enter the new season looking to continue with their dominance of German football by winning the Bundesliga title for a seventh successive campaign.But they will have to do so with their manager Jupp Heynckes, who has retired for the second time, and has been replaced by Kovac, who led Eintracht Frankfurt to the DFB cup last season and in the process thrashed Bayern 4-1 in the final.It will be the first time the 46-year-old has managed a major European club in his coaching career, but Martinez is already seeing similarities between Kovac and his predecessors Heynckes and Carlo Ancelotti.“All the trainers have their own look on different tactics, different concepts. So, yeah, with Niko I think we are going to continue on the same line with Jupp or with Carlo [Ancelotti],” the Spaniard told ESPN.Premier League Betting: Match-day 5 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Going into the Premier League’s match-day five with a gap already beginning to form at the top of the league. We will take a…“We’re going to try to keep the ball, to not concede opportunities to the opposing team. Yeah, I think we are going to play very well with this coach because we are training very well, we are good things. I can’t wait to start the competition.”Martinez is hoping to recover from his injury in time to face his former Bayern boss Pep Guardiola on Saturday with the Bundesliga giants set to take on Manchester City in the International Champions Cup.“I got hit in the back. It hurts a little bit, but I think the progress is going good,” he said.“I hope on Saturday I can play — these kinds of games are perfect for us. All the best teams in Europe, their prestige, to play against them is good. We feel at home here.”
Inter Milan striker Mauro Icardi has revealed on Thursday that he wanted his wife Wanda Nara to continue working as his agent for the rest of his career.Icardi’s comments came after a report from Gazzetta dello Sport said that Inter want the Argentine to appoint a new agent as both sides negotiate a possible extension to the striker’s contract.Inter are yet to comment on the report by the Italian media outlet on the rumours surrounding the contract negotiations.#MI9 pic.twitter.com/VM9mvNNLDe— MauroIcardi (@MauroIcardi) January 10, 2019Lukaku backed to beat Ronaldo in Serie A scoring charts Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Former Inter Milan star Andy van der Meyde is confident Romelu Lukaku will outscore Cristiano Ronaldo in this season’s Serie A.“It’ll always be Wanda who takes care of my and our interests until the end of my career,” Icardi said on Twitter.The former Sampdoria striker, who has two-and-a-half years to run on his current deal with Inter, has been the club’s leading goal scorer in Serie A for the past four seasons, scoring 22, 16, 24 and 29 goals.But he often finds himself in the gossip columns rather than the sports pages due to his controversial marriage to Wanda, an Argentine media personality who was previously married to Maxi Lopez.Lopez is believed to have taken Icardi under his wing when the 25-year-old arrived at Sampdoria from Barcelona.
Greater Houston’s job market grew by 73,300 jobs in 2018, not by 108,300 as previously estimated, according to benchmark revisions by the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC).The Greater Houston Partnership lists several reasons for the difference:The TWC likely overestimated the impact on construction jobs from the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.Growth in the oil and gas sector didn’t turn out to be as robust as previously thought, creating 1,400 fewer jobs than estimated.The retail sector actually lost 5,800 jobs instead of adding 800, indicating that Houston’s population and income growth wasn’t enough to offset the effects from e-commerce and store closings.Professional and business services only added half as many jobs (14,300) as thought.On the positive side, bars and restaurants added positions after the previous estimate had them lose jobs.The revised numbers are based on data from unemployment insurance accounts, whereas the previous estimates rely on employer surveys.View Fullscreen Share
Howard University’s class of 2014 got a lot livelier and excited on May 10 when superstar music mogul and entrepreneur Sean Combs delivered the 146th commencement address. Combs, who received an honorary doctorate in humanities, shared insights about his time at Howard and moved the crowd in a heartfelt speech about the numerous possibilities that await the graduates once they realize how powerful they are.“I want to ask you a quick question; do you know how powerful you are,” Combs inquired. “Our stories may be different, but I bet some of you grew up with single mothers or fathers. Maybe you came here from Africa, or the Caribbean. Maybe you were the first in your family to go to college like I was. Maybe there were times that you didn’t have a place to live or enough food to eat.”Dressed in traditional all-black graduation regalia, Combs said even though the odds may have been against him, and he was sure the students could relate, he made a decision to overcome those odds.He implored the graduates to take the craziest dream they’d ever had, the one they were too embarrassed to share and go after it. “You will change the world, let that sink in,” Combs reiterated. “You will change the world.”Combs encouraged the graduates to embrace the Howard family network because Howard became his second family as well. “It was my Howard friends who looked out for me when I didn’t have any money for food. It was my Howard professors who supported my risky decision to take a once in a lifetime opportunity and work at Uptown MCA records under the legendary Andre Harrell.”As chairman, CEO and founder of Combs enterprises, Combs leads one of the world’s preeminent urban entertainment companies. Just as music marked the beginning and continues to tug at the heart of his career, the man who is mostly known as P. DDiddy is also recognized as the creator of RevoltTV. RevoltTV, in partnership with Comcast made its debut in 2013. It is the first multi-genre, multi-platform music network built using social media.As more than 2,600 enthusiastic students listened, Combs shared that he was raised by a single mother who worked four jobs to ensure that he and his sister could want for nothing, especially when he chose to seek higher learning. It was at Howard that he learned the real reason behind the course of his father’s death.Combs said he lost his father when he just three years old.When he would ask his mother about his father, his mother would tell him that his father died in a car accident.“Something about that just didn’t feel right,” he said about his mother’s explanation.“So as soon as I got here, I went to the library; I did some research,” said Combs.“And when I typed in my father’s name and the day he died. I read in the Amsterdam News that he had been murdered in a drug deal gone bad.”It was that moment that Combs decided to live his life in a way that would make his mother proud by embracing the entrepreneurial spirit of his father. “But in a honest way, in a legal way,” he emphasized.Comb’s also used the platform to lend his voice to the international call to bring back the abducted Nigerian schoolgirls. He urged that the already popular hashtag campaign “#BringBackOurGirls,” be elevated to “#BringBackOurGirlsNow.”“We have so much power in here I think we need to step up the hashtag. All I want to say is bring back our girls now,” he said.