Abeid joined the Magpies from Lens in July 2011 and was handed a senior competitive debut in a Carling Cup fourth-round victory at Nottingham Forest in September of the same year. However, having made only three first-team appearances during the first half of last season, he was sent on loan to Scottish side St Johnstone in January with manager Alan Pardew admitting some of his young players had not developed as he would have liked. Panathinaikos have announced the signing of Newcastle midfielder Mehdi Abeid on a season-long loan deal. The 20-year-old, who was born in France to Algerian parents, will spend next season in Greece after failing to make his mark at St James’ Park. A statement on the Greek club’s official website, www.pao.gr, said: “Panathinaikos FC announces that it has entered into an agreement with Newcastle United for the one-year loan of Algerian international footballer Mehdi Abeid.” Press Association
A few days ago, television cameras caught an unlucky Boston Red Sox fan getting pelted by a big slice of pizza after pulling a Steve Bartman on a foul ball. The image was instant YouTube fodder — who wouldn’t love watching one grown man plaster another adult with a big floppy piece of New York-style goodness?As the slice in question hung over the rail limply, like a sock on a doorknob, it was clear we had encountered just the latest embodiment of one of sports’ most unusual and entertaining idiosyncrasies: throwing objects at games.Ever since some toga-wearing and sandaled (Air Herc’s?) schmo in the Coliseum’s nosebleeds decided to start tossing rose petals on gladiators, fans have always had an obsession with truly bringing themselves into the action by hurling objects from the stands.The most fascinating aspect of this phenomenon is the wide array of objects that fans find to chuck from the stands.Look at the memorable 1979 Disco Demolition night at old Comiskey, where fans decided to start pitching John Travolta albums onto the field, en masse from the stands.Or how Cleveland Browns faithful decided to start throwing the stands themselves, tearing apart Cleveland Municipal Stadium and heaving chunks of the “Mistake by the Lake” onto the field, in protest of the team’s move to Baltimore.Imagine what they would’ve done had they known that their new Browns team would draft Tim Couch and Courtney Brown. The kitchen sink would’ve been a distinct possibility.In some cases, the objects in question are meant to be complimentary. Everyone is familiar with the tradition to throw away hats costing upward of 17 clams after a gap-toothed grinning ice hockey player nets three goals. But remember when Florida Panther fans used to cover the ice in plastic rats following ANY goal at all? Those things cost almost 15 smackeroos!It makes the fans in Montreal and Chicago who used to shower the field with “Oh Henry” bars following a Henry Rodriguez home run look like a bunch of cash-hoarding Ebenezer Scrooges.Tossing candy bars is a good example of how fans often prefer throwing food at their athletes when praising them and not hard objects. Thousands of years ago, folks used to offer up food to the gods or kings in sign of reverence.Not much has changed today, as fans at Penn lob toast onto the field after the third quarter of a football game as a “toast to Penn.” Jumping around just seemed too uncivil, I suppose.In Detroit, fans often try to fling live octopus — a true delicacy — onto the ice as a sign that they are tired of having their team named after a cheap shoe company.At several colleges, including Northwestern, Michigan and Colorado, it has been tradition to throw marshmallows onto the field of play, so that the players won’t have to waste time stopping at the grocery store after the game to have their infamous s’more parties — you’ll remember seeing one such scandalous fiesta of sin midway through the movie “The Sandlot.”However, while some object throwing is celebratory, for the most part it is meant to be derogatory toward a player or team.Take the corks thrown at Sammy Sosa after his corked bat scandal or the syringes launched in the direction of Barry Bonds in recent years, obviously due to his refusal to get the meningitis vaccine.Fans in Philadelphia made it rain batteries like an Energizer Bunny birthday party hosted by Pac Man Jones at a baseball game a few years back.European soccer fans have been known to pepper the bleachers with flares when perturbed with referee calls, apparently trying to shed light on the truth.And who could forget seeing Carl Everett get beaned by a cell phone in the noggin. It was later revealed that the culprit was one of the Geico cavemen, enraged at C-Rex’s comments about prehistoric beings. (“God created the sun, the stars, the heavens and the earth, and then made Adam and Eve,” Everett said. “The Bible never says anything about dinosaurs. You can’t say there were dinosaurs when you never saw them. Someone actually saw Adam and Eve. No one ever saw a Tyrannosaurus rex.”)But no one in NBA history might be more hated than rapper/guard Ron Artest. This is evidenced by the fact that he actually had the most valuable of arena possessions — a cup of beer — peg him in the face in Detroit, thus igniting the “Malice at the Palace.”The biggest problem with fans slinging objects, however, is that they have not yet unleashed a storm of flying thunder sticks onto the field or even just into the garbage.Not surprisingly, the marvel of fans throwing objects has made its way to the playing field and now even the athletes themselves are getting in on the action.Whether it is Roger Clemens pelting opponents with fastballs and broken bats, Bobby Knight tossing chairs, Lou Pinella lobbing bases or Randall Simon pegging a racing sausage with his Louisville Slugger, the epidemic has obviously spread.Consider this author the most recently infected, as at Friday’s annual Badger Herald vs. Daily Cardinal softball game, you can be sure to find me throwing everything from toast to toilet seats to obscenities in the direction of the competition as if they were Jurassic Carl and I a Neanderthal (which many might say I am), whenever I’m on the sidelines.I’ll likely toss a slice of pizza, too, and in doing so continue the proud, long-lived practice of throwing foreign, unique and most of all humorous objects while at the ball game.Dave McGrath is a senior majoring in English and journalism. He is planning to bean any Daily Cardinal player who dares crowd the plate against him on Friday. If you have any beanball requests (and you know you do), address them to email@example.com.
Startups are only as good as the teams that drive them. Building a team and scaling the people process is one of the biggest challenges a founding team will face as it grows. It’s time consuming, and founders are not often always natural HR pros.One of the most important things a founding team must do is create a people process that immediately filters out those that aren’t a fit. There is no bigger waste of time and money than hiring the wrong person. While the foundation for this process takes some effort upfront, the payoffs are huge. Below are key guidelines every young startup should follow to ensure that only the best and brightest are extended offers to join the team.Determine your startup’s values and expectations.A founder is responsible for dictating exactly who the company is, and equally important, who it is not. Creating values & expectations that serve as the company’s ‘true north’ is critical, and should be pinned down from the get go. Depending on the startup, the depth of these will vary and should evolve over time, but articulate what you value as the founder of the company and what is expected of employees. For a good example, see Zappos’ values here.Determine your startup’s one key activity.Every founder should identify a key operational activity that drives the company’s success, and make sure that everyone at the company spends some time conducting this activity at the beginning of their employment and sometimes throughout their employment. Whether it is customer service or an element of making your product, putting everyone through that shared experience is a great exercise for developing camaraderie and teaching key components of your business. My favorite example is Island Creek Oysters, which has all employees spend time farming their oysters out on the bay.Determine key hires and hunt for them.Without a recruiting operation to lean on for sourcing talent, founders must become recruiters. Start by determining the most important hires that you’re proactively going to recruit, and determine the sources through which you will find candidates. Poach from companies that you know are killer at the function you are hiring for (i.e. design, sales, etc.), prospecting through Linkedin, AngelList or their website. You’ll need to block off serious time each week to hustle and do anything you can to get an introduction so you can ultimately add these key hires to your team. Do not post job opportunities and hope for great people. Talent isn’t easy to come by, you have to hunt for it.Develop the top of your talent funnel.Once your initial key hires for scale are on board, it is imperative to lay the foundation of your people process, enabling you and your team to focus on the job at hand while maintaining a pipeline of talent for future needs. This way, you won’t have to start from scratch as employment needs arise. Start by developing your “employment brand” – a narrative that evolves from your values and what it is like to work at your company, to showcase what you stand for as an employer. Companies like Google and HubSpot mastered this early on. Broadcast your employment brand through weekly blog posts, regular social media updates, PR about your workplace, etc., to garner inbound employment candidates, and save you time in the people process. Develop your interview and tryout process.To be time efficient, work backwards on determining certain positions and skills you need, and design your process to identify candidates with the needed critical skills, quickly vetting out people that don’t meet your requirements. Interviews are more effective at eliminating bad candidates than surfacing good candidates — being a good interviewer does not always mean you can do the job well. Tryout environments are more strenuous, but much more effective at highlighting skill and ability. Here are tips for both:Be transparent with the full details of your hiring process on your website. This is a great filter for lazy applicants, and is respectful of their time & expectations for the process.Publish a set of questions and tasks on your jobs page that the candidate must find and complete before they can begin the interview process. This will enable you to get information up front on the candidate that could eliminate them before you commit time to an interview. It also proves they know how to find a job page and take initiative on completing tasks.Conduct a phone interview reviewing those candidates who did well on the initial tasks you set forth. See if they can add more substance to their responses and carry a normal conversation. Schedule in-person interviews and engagement with the team once you have determined a candidate is worthy. If social/culture fit is important, block off Thursday or Friday afternoons so good candidates can join the team for some sort of social interaction. In addition to watching candidates in a setting that is important (i.e. creative session, socializing, etc.), have a set of questions for all members of your company to ask, and corresponding metrics to assess candidates. Whether you are hiring a sales rep, a developer, or a content marketer, it is critical to put them into some simulation of the job they will be conducting on a daily basis. Working live with their potential future team members in a tryout will let you see them in action & if they will fit in, and will allow you to get multiple perspectives from other team members without dragging them away from their desks. Check with your lawyer on whether to make tryouts paid and how best to structure them, but your transparency at the beginning of this process should warn candidates.Like these tips so far? Check back next week for part two of this series on scaling the people process.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to PrintPrintShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis