On Monday, we posted “Are Pro Wrestlers Dying at an Unusual Rate?,” showing that wrestlers from the WWF era have passed away at a clip far exceeding actuarial expectations. One of the most common questions I received about the blog post was how wrestlers compared to other professional athletes. Here’s commenter Matthew Durst:Is this phenomenon unique to wrestling or is it a cost of doing any professional sport? What’s the years of life loss on average for the big 4 sports?I’m glad he asked.To investigate, I used ESPN’s athlete bio database, pulling out anyone who had played at least five seasons in any of the Big Four sports (football, baseball, basketball and hockey). I used the same five age groups (35-40, 40-45, 45-50, 50-55, 55-60) that I did for the wrestling analysis, except as of Dec. 31, 2010 (the most recent year for which we have data). I used only athletes whose careers had ended in 1998 or earlier (to match the period I looked at for the WWF, which changed its name to WWE in 2002). Then I took the simple percentage dead from each age group, as before:Outside of the WWF, professional athletes beat actuarial expectations. The NFL — which is commonly portrayed as being one step up from the Ludi — at the very least doesn’t appear to produce many early deaths. Even offensive linemen, whose curve would be a bit higher on the grid, come in well under average (with about 4 percent dead in the entire age range).Though a bit surprising, there are good reasons why we might expect successful pro athletes to be better than average at surviving the 35- to 60-year-old period of their lives. They make a lot of money during their careers and have fairly good job prospects (relative to average) thereafter. They operate in a disciplined, highly regulated environment during a formative period of their lives and face extensive drug testing. Not to mention, these athletes are highly skilled and physically honed professionals. Their bodies may take a lot of damage that may stay with them for the rest of their lives, but it’s not the kind of damage that typically leads to an early grave.Wrestling in the WWF era, on the other hand, is reputed to have had a party culture, extensive performance-enhancing and recreational drug use, training focused on more aesthetic than functional physical improvements, a brutal schedule, and fewer monetary rewards than fans might think.
Miami University has self-imposed yet another postseason ban for the second straight season in the wake of an ongoing NCAA investigation into the school’s compliance practices.The inquiry began in 2011 after a former booster came forward with allegations that he provided multiple athletes and recruits with extra benefits such as cash and gifts.The Hurricanes are hopeful by implementing a postseason ban that the NCAA will lessen its punishment if it find that the university has committed any wrongdoing.The announcement came Monday morning from interim athletic director Blake James following the Hurricanes 40-9 victory over South Florida Saturday, which made them bowl eligible with an overall record of 6-5 and 4-3 in the ACC.University President Donna Shalala and the school’s legal counsel were also involved in the decision.The school issued the following statement:“Considerable deliberation and discussion based on the status of the NCAA inquiry went into the decision-making process and, while acknowledging the impact that the decision will have on current student-athletes, coaches, alumni and fans, a determination was made that voluntarily withholding the football team from a second postseason was not only a prudent step for the University to take but will also allow for the football program and University to move forward in the most expedited manner possible,” the statement read.It continued, “The University and President Shalala have been clear from the start of the inquiry that Miami will cooperate fully and will seek the truth, no matter where the path might lead and that the institution will be stronger because of it. The University has already taken proactive measures to ensure more strict compliance with NCAA rules and continues to evaluate further steps. “No other self-imposed penalties have been issued at this time and to continue to protect the integrity of the inquiry, the University will have no further comment.”Hurricanes coach Al Golden, was not apart of the decision-making process, but told reporters Sunday that he understood if a decision was reached to forego another postseason due to self-impose sanctions because the decision was out of his control.“It’s not really about what I feel,” Golden told reporters. “There’s not one coach sitting in this chair that wouldn’t want to continue to get the bowl practices and move the team forward and have a chance to win more games. But that’s just taking football into account.”Golden is on board with any decision that will expedite the process, allowing for the program to move forward.The Hurricanes have the opportunity to secure a share of the ACC Coastal Division title with a win over Duke in their regular season finale, but Georgia Tech (6-5, 5-3 ACC) will represent the Coastal Division in the ACC Championship Game. The Yellow Jackets will take on Florida State, the representative from the Atlantic Division on Dec. 1, in Charlotte, N.C.But Golden said that Saturday’s season finale is more important for the seniors of the program.“It’s critical,” Golden said. “It’s critical for our seniors, for them to have weathered what they will have weathered and be able to have an opportunity to go out like that.”
Based on average Elo rating of the division’s teams.Source: Pro-Football-Reference.com And the rest of the AFC West has improved — by leaps and bounds, in some cases. After Week 12 of the 2015 season, the Broncos’ division rivals — the Chiefs, Raiders and San Diego Chargers — had an average Elo rating of 1489, well below the NFL-wide average of 1505. K.C.’s Elo rating ranked seventh in the league, and the Chiefs were five victories into what would eventually be an 11-game winning streak. But the Raiders and Chargers were each in the league’s bottom third, and the AFC West was fourth among the NFL’s eight divisions in overall average Elo.This year’s AFC West, by contrast, easily ranks first in all of football in average Elo. The Chiefs’ Elo rating has improved by 32 points from where it was this time last season, the Chargers’ by 68 points and the Raiders’ by a stunning 139 points — that makes Oakland the league’s second-most-improved team over that span (trailing only the Dallas Cowboys). With an average Elo of 1578, the 2016 AFC West is on pace to be the NFL’s 10th-best division since the league merged with the AFL before the 1970 season. 22007AFC South41608 31984AFC West51600 Rushing offense-1.6-1.82023 Defense+6.6+4.811 Special teams-0.3-1.42526 How the 2015 and 2016 Broncos compare 52014NFC West41588 Passing defense+4.8+5.711 YEARDIVISIONTEAMSAVG. ELO 2015 numbers are for the full season; 2016 numbers are as of Nov. 27.Offensive and defensive EPA won’t necessarily match the sum of rushing and passing EPA on each side of the ball because penalties are tracked in a separate category.Source: ESPN Stats & Information Group 61976AFC Central41583 92008NFC East41581 For most of the season, the Denver Broncos’ bid to repeat as Super Bowl champs looked like it would be relatively smooth sailing. The Broncos opened the season as the best team in the NFL according to FiveThirtyEight’s Elo ratings, and before this weekend, our playoff predictions (which are based on Elo) never gave the team less than a 74 percent chance of making it to the postseason. Going into Sunday night’s game against the division-rival Kansas City Chiefs, Denver had a healthy 76 percent chance of punching a return ticket to the playoffs.But after losing to K.C. when Chiefs kicker Cairo Santos banked in a game winner off the left upright as time expired, Denver unexpectedly finds itself in a precarious situation. The Broncos are in third place in the AFC West, a game behind the Chiefs and two behind the Oakland Raiders, and our model gives Denver only a 54 percent chance of returning to the playoffs. All of a sudden, the Broncos’ title defense is in doubt.How did Denver get into this predicament? For one thing, the team’s quality of play has slipped ever so slightly compared with last season. At this stage of the 2015 season, Denver ranked fourth in the NFL with a 1661 Elo rating, and our model assigned them a 10 percent probability of winning the Super Bowl. This year, despite competing with fewer great teams, the Broncos rank fifth with a 1606 Elo and a 4 percent Super Bowl probability. If they instead sported that 1661 rating from last season, this year’s Broncos would be second in the NFL, nipping at the New England Patriots’ heels for the right to be No. 1.For a while this season, the Broncos’ defense looked like it might be able to keep steady with the all-time great D the team assembled last season, and Denver still has the best defense in football according to expected points added. But like most of history’s dominant defenses, the Broncos’ D has experienced some reversion to the mean, and the team is now getting 4.8 EPA per game out of its defense rather than the 6.6 they got last season. As expected, Denver’s offense has improved under first-year starting QB Trevor Siemian (it would have been hard not to, given how poorly Peyton Manning played last season), but it hasn’t been enough to offset that defensive regression and a drop-off on special-teams after adjusting for strength of schedule.1If you add up Denver’s EPA on offense, defense and special teams, you’ll find that the Broncos have a better per-game point differential this seaon than they did in 2015. (By definition, EPA is designed to add up to a team’s points-per-game differential.) But the Broncos have also played an easier schedule this season; according to Pro-Football-Reference.com’s simple rating system, the 2016 Broncos (+5.4 SRS) are running slightly behind their 2015 form (+5.8) after adjusting for strength of schedule. As a result, the Broncos are no better off now than they were last year. 102016AFC West41578 Passing offense-1.1+2.22720 42004AFC East41590 Rushing defense+2.5-0.5527 Offense-2.6+0.72518 71975AFC Central41581 All of this has conspired to make the Broncos’ bid for a championship repeat far more daunting than it seemed before the season began. Only 12 teams with an Elo rating as high as Denver’s current mark have missed the playoffs since the merger,2Most recently, the 2008 New England Patriots. but right now, it’s basically a tossup as to whether the Broncos will become No. 13. And because the Broncos’ playoff odds would have been much higher if they’d won or tied Sunday night, their playoff fate might end up depending on — of all things — the few inches that determined where Santos’s kick went after glancing off the goalpost in overtime.Check out our latest NFL predictions. Share on Facebook 81970NFC Central41581 EXPECTED PTS ADDED/GAMERANK The NFL’s strongest divisions, 1970-2016 CATEGORY2015201620152016 12013NFC West41624
SPI RatingsChance team will … All of this is before even getting into the specific on-field flaws that might haunt the U.S.’s bid for a second straight World Cup victory.But that’s not to say the USWNT looks weak this time around. The Americans still have the best team in the tournament on paper, and it took every bit of France’s home-field edge to deny the U.S. the favorite status. They have plenty of stars from World Cups past, present and future. There’s a solid chance that they will win it all again. (I personally would love to attend another victory parade down the Canyon of Heroes this summer.) Still, it will be a tougher path than usual, thanks to a vicious combination of geography, the knockout bracket and the parity growing across women’s international soccer. And while that might mean heartbreak for the U.S. and its fans, it should also make for an exciting tournament over the next month.Check out our latest Women’s World Cup predictions. The favorites in the World Cup fieldTeams with a chance of at least 10 percent to win the 2019 Women’s World Cup, according to the FiveThirtyEight model TeamGroupOff.Def.OverallWin GroupMake KnockoutsWin WC Each team’s specific path through the tournament matters quite a bit as well. The USWNT wasn’t the highest-rated team in the field last time around, but it was our model’s overall favorite despite drawing the dreaded “group of death” for the initial stage of the tournament. This year, the Americans drew one of the easiest groups, at least in terms of bottom-feeders (Chile and Thailand), and the hosting French got stuck in the group of death. But thanks to the persistent presence of longtime nemesis Sweden, the U.S. won’t necessarily be guaranteed to win Group F — and even if it does, the winner of the group will face Group B’s runner-up (most likely either Spain or China, a couple of solid sides defensively) in the round of 16 and then very likely the winner of Group A in the quarterfinals. The most probable team to be waiting there? France.That’s why the Americans’ odds of making the semifinals are just 46 percent this year, compared with 65 percent back in 2015. That year, the USWNT went through Colombia (the team rated fifth-lowest by SPI in the field) in the round of 16 and then China (a middle-of-the-field team by SPI) in the quarterfinals before running into top-rated Germany in the semis. (As neither team was the host, SPI had that match relatively even, and the U.S. won 2-0.) This time, the Americans are more likely to face tougher teams earlier in the tournament — which also has the byproduct of giving those tougher opponents fewer chances to be upset before making their way into the U.S.’s path.And there’s the fact that this year’s field is deeper and more dangerous than perhaps any other in Women’s World Cup history. Among the soccer cognoscenti, there’s a distinct sense that the rest of the world is quickly catching up to the United States in terms of talent on the women’s side, where America has traditionally had a strong first-mover advantage. That’s borne out in the numbers, too: Our model thinks more teams have more of a chance this year than it did four years ago: GermanyB4.20.794.2619511 Source: ESPN FranceA4.10.695.371%97%20% USAF5.10.797.276>9918 EnglandD3.60.692.755>9910 When the 2019 Women’s World Cup kicks off Friday, the initial match will contain FiveThirtyEight’s pre-tournament championship favorite — and no, the U.S. women won’t be on the field.1The Americans don’t play their first game until June 11. So, yes: With a 20 percent probability of winning the World Cup in our model, France has the best odds of any team in the field this summer, not the United States.Our American readers might be wondering, what gives?2First we declare the Golden State Warriors to not be NBA Finals favorites, and now this? Why is the defending-champion (and world No. 1-ranked) USWNT not the best bet to take home its fourth World Cup in the eight-tournament history of the event? After all, the last time the Americans didn’t win (back in 2011), it was a major upset that required Japan to score a dramatic tying goal in the 117th minute and win on penalties. And U.S. head coach Jill Ellis calls this year’s roster “probably the most talented we’ve had going into a major tournament like this, in my opinion.”But France is playing at home this year, and our model has traditionally given a big boost to the host country in international soccer tournaments. In the past, our research has found that soccer’s home-field advantage is worth two to three times as much as in, say, the NFL. There is recent evidence that this advantage is on the decline, though, so France’s added boost is a bit smaller than what historical World Cup results suggest the host team should receive. But even so, that edge is enough to lift France, the world’s second-most talented team (according to our Soccer Power Index ratings), past the top-ranked Americans for the title of most-likely champs.
OSU coach Urban Meyer during the spring game on April 16 at Ohio Stadium. Credit: Lantern File PhotoCoach Urban Meyer has 29 preseason practices to get his Ohio State team ready to compete against top programs in the 2016 campaign. He has those 29 practices to award 16 open starting positions to many players who have yet to contribute much of anything in games.On Sunday, OSU is set to hold it’s annual media day where players and coaches from all disciplines will be available for questioning. Here are a few storylines going into media day.Saturday’s intrasquad scrimmageOSU held their first preseason scrimmage on Saturday at Coffey Road Fields following the team’s first two-a-day practice on Friday. Aside from drills, this was the first opportunity for the coaching staff to evaluate the players in a simulated game experience.“Because we are an inexperienced group and that’s the closest you have to a preseason game, you want to see who really responds when the lights come on,” said associate head coach and defensive coordinator Greg Schiano. Schiano mentioned junior Damon Webb and redshirt sophomore Malik Hooker as two guys ahead of the others “but not by much.” The intrasquad scrimmage may have given a better scope on the talent at the safety position as well as every other open spot.“You see a guy who really looks good but then under the game situation when they’re out there by themselves and they have to deal with a lot of different variables, can they handle it and stay focused?” Schiano said. “That’s what I’m looking for.”The August heat in Ohio can be brutal—not to mention running around in shoulder pads and a helmet—which makes the competition for those spots even tougher. But that’s the mentality Meyer and his coaching staff are trying to breed. “Our camp isn’t easy,” redshirt junior quarterback J.T. Barrett said. “The main thing is grind it out. The hard times we have in camp right now are going to help us down the season.”Position battles gain clarityAfter the first day of camp on Aug. 7, Meyer said that in a week and around practices 12 and 13 are when he hopes to begin narrowing down jobs and announce starters.Sunday marks one week and eight practices completed for the Buckeyes, so there could be a few steps made toward finalizing a depth chart.“Next week we would like to start narrowing it,” Meyer said last week. “We have an idea of who’s going to play, but we have a lot of good players. By next week I’d like to give it to guys who earned it—announce them as starters.”Meyer said he likes to make a big deal out of announcing starters for the players and their families who he calls to inform them that their sons are going to be starters.Some of the closest battles are at safety, cornerback, right tackle and left guard.First chance to talk to four position groupsThe offensive line, wide receivers, cornerbacks and running backs all have at lea
Redshirt junior guard Kam Williams (15) shoots the ball during the Buckeyes home opener against North Carolina Central. The Buckeyes won 69-63. Ashley Nelson | Sports DirectorFew things have went right for the Ohio State men’s basketball team since Big Ten play began on Jan 1. The Buckeyes have lost three straight games to conference opponents, most recently a 78-68 loss to Minnesota in Williams Arena.Things will only be getting tougher from here on out for OSU, as the Buckeyes are set to take on No. 18 Wisconsin. Last season, Thad Matta’s team lost 79-68 to the Badgers.The Badgers are 13-3 this year, and are coming off an 11-point loss to Purdue, a team that OSU lost to by just one point on Thursday. Although Wisconsin was downed by the Boilermakers, there seems little to convince anyone OSU can easily handle a team as dangerous as the Badgers.After the loss to Purdue, senior forward Marc Loving said he felt confident in OSU’s ability to right the ship this season, regardless of how rocky the start had been.“We know what we’re capable of,” he said.Whatever he feels the team is capable of has yet to be seen this season. The Buckeyes have appeared sluggish on defense and disconnected on offense at times.Even with occasional glimpses into the capability of players like Loving and redshirt senior guard Kam Williams, OSU is shooting a feeble 38.8 percent from the field, with just a 31.8 percent mark from outside the arc.Williams, who started the year shooting 56 percent from 3-point range through the team’s first six games, has gone just 4-for-14 from 3 since the start of conference play. Although other players like Loving and sophomore guard JaQuan Lyle present a perimeter threat, the lack of outside scoring has stifled the Buckeyes’ offense.Correcting mistakes from outside might be an easy fix with more practice. However, the Buckeyes have struggled to limit opposing scoring attacks, giving up an average of 65.6 points per game, which puts OSU at No. 55 in the nation.More worryingly, the Buckeyes force an average of 13.06 turnovers per game, tied with Army West Point as 221st in the nation. Without forcing turnovers, there seems little hope of OSU putting up enough points to overcome opponents, especially a Badgers team that averages 76 points per game.With a lack turnovers and shooting struggles, the Buckeyes will need nothing short of a mid-season miracle to make OSU relevant in the Big Ten again. Regardless, veterans like junior forward Jae’Sean Tate are remaining positive through the hard times.“I wouldn’t say (there is) concern because we work our butts off every day,” Tate said. “We’re in here every day. We’ve just got to keep grinding it. We’ve got to keep working and trusting (Matta.) The outcome is going to be there.”He went on to say he felt the Buckeyes will hit their stride soon. However, until OSU corrects the glaring problems in front of them, the team will be taking nothing more than baby steps.
Ohio State used seven two-out runs to top Indiana 10-8 Sunday in the deciding game of the three-game series at Bill Davis Stadium. A bases-loaded throwing error in the first inning by Indiana catcher Dylan Swift got the scoring started for the Buckeyes, who claimed a 4-1 lead in the first. Errors by left fielder Zach Hurley and second baseman Cory Kovanda in the fourth inning allowed the Hoosiers to get back in the game, and a solo home run from Indiana designated hitter Josh Lyon tied the game at five in the top of the fifth inning. “Once they tied the game, I came in and said that we got to quit fighting ourselves,” said Brian DeLucia, who went 3-for-3 with 4 RBI. “We need to play to get on the bases instead of playing to hit home runs and doubles and triples. Our main focus needs to be to produce runs.” The Buckeyes seemed to listen to DeLucia, as they responded with three of their two-out runs in the fifth. DeLucia, Matt Streng and Tyler Engle each had an RBI in the inning. Wild pitching from Indiana allowed the Buckeyes to add two runs to their lead in the sixth.Two Buckeyes reached base on walks, and two more were struck by pitches in the inning. Indiana tacked on two runs in the seventh and came within feet of two more as Tyler Roger’s fly ball was caught at the wall. A solo home run in the ninth gave the Hoosiers some hope, but their comeback effort fell short. It was a much-needed bounce-back win for OSU, who fell to Indiana 6-4 in extra innings in an error-filled game Saturday. “We needed to show some mental toughness, and I think they did that,” coach Bob Todd said. The Buckeyes moved to 3-2 in the conference with the win. They have the week off and will begin a three-game series with the Big Ten-leading Michigan State Spartans at 3 p.m. Friday in East Lansing, Mich.
Ohio State sophomore defender Izzy Rodriguez (9) scores a goal off a penalty kick in the second half of the game against Iowa on Sept. 27. Ohio State won 2-0. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorAfter a tie in the last match with Nebraska at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, the Ohio State women’s soccer team will aim for better results when it faces Michigan at 7 p.m. Friday and Michigan State at 1 p.m. Sunday. With the tie, the Buckeyes sit at 6-4-1, with a 3-1-1 record in the Big Ten. The Wolverines are coming off back-to-back losses against Minnesota and Northwestern, tallying an overall record of 6-6-0 on the year. Last season, Ohio State won a home game against Michigan 1-0.After scoring the goal for Ohio State that tied up the game with Nebraska, sophomore defender Izzy Rodriguez is looking forward to competing against two teams on the road once again. “We’ve had a lot of road trips,” Rodriguez said. “So I think we’re pretty comfortable this year with playing away. Obviously we love being home, but I think with the experiences we’ve had in our nonconference, being away a lot, that’s helped us prepare to be away also a lot in the conference.”Sophomore midfielder Alia Martin notched the only goal for Michigan in the previous game against the Wildcats, during which Northwestern came away with a 4-1 victory. Michigan’s strength this season is its offense, which scored a total of six goals against Central Michigan, had nine saves against Purdue and eight corner kicks against Boston University. Sophomore midfielder Nicki Hernandez has been a vital player on the Wolverines offense, totaling six goals, five assists and two game-winning goals so far this season.Ohio State and Michigan will battle out the rivalry, this time in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The last time Ohio State met Michigan State, the match went into double overtime at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, where the Buckeyes won against the Spartans 1-0.Michigan State currently sits at 5-4-3, 0-3-2 in the Big Ten, shining in nonconference play and winning five consecutive games.However, the Spartans continue to compete in rough matchups in Big Ten play, recently coming off two consecutive losses to Wisconsin and Illinois.Freshman forward Camryn Evans seems to be Michigan State’s star player this season, scoring six total goals — four against Oakland and two against Purdue.The Spartans will look for a victory against the Buckeyes this weekend, following their defeat here last year.Senior goalkeeper Devon Kerr said the team was happy coming off a tie with Nebraska, despite not getting the results it wanted. She also said her teammates showed a lot of resiliency and fight by coming back to tie the game.“I think we’re really motivated this week,” Kerr said. “This weekend especially since because we’re going to be playing both the teams up north, so that’s kind of enough motivation in itself.” After a shaky start to the season, Ohio State sees the pair of Michigan matchups as a chance to turn around its start, hoping to take each game at a time and focusing on coming away with a win.“After the last couple of games, I think our biggest thing is to take each game one at a time and not really focus on the big picture at the time,” Rodriguez said. That’s what’s helped us succeed in the past couple of games is we really focus on the details of each game, and then hopefully that will create the bigger picture of success.”
Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. A man dialled 999 for the police after he was asked to leave a café by the proprietor who had seen him writing a negative TripAdvisor review after he was served tea made with the wrong teabag.Sevjan Melissa said she asked Roberto Lattarulo to leave when he allegedly “intimidated” staff after being given a lemon and ginger teabag instead of a lemongrass and ginger one.Ms Melissa, the owner of Birdie Num Nums in New Cross, south-east London, said she apologised and offered a full refund of £2 and a cake as a gesture of goodwill. Cafe owner Sevjan MelissaCredit:Mercury Press Mr Lattarulo’s TripAdvisor review criticised the cafe’s “shocking customer service”. A police van arrived at the venue 15 minutes after the argument, but its arrival was not connected to Mr Lattarulo’s call.The officers were regular customers of the café, and Ms Melissa claimed they laughed at the episode.“I told them about what had gone on and they were in stitches,” she said. Mr Lattarulo, 33, said: “I’m a senior TripAdvisor contributor and I am true to my word.” She claims Mr Lattarulo ignored her and started writing a negative TripAdvisor review in front of her. She asked him to leave.Mr Lattarulo admitted he rang 999 to complain that he was being unfairly evicted from the premises, but the police informed him it was a civil matter.
Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Allen told him: “It just seems that at three different intervals in this young boy’s life, the English in particular have put you in danger.”We’ve bombed your country, put you in the hands of the Taliban and now put you in danger of risking your life to get into our country.”I apologise on behalf of my country. I’m sorry for what we have put you through.”A backlash followed, including criticism from one Twitter user who said: “The antics of that no mark @lilyallen !! Where the F does she get off apologising for the UK! Not in my name, you idiot!”In reply, the singer fired back: Allen later said she was “overcome with emotion” and said she should have said “sorry for the part my country has played”. Your grandchildren will be apologising for you and your hatrid in years to come.just like the Germans do for the Nazis. https://t.co/BaS93fDk25— lily allen (@lilyallen) October 13, 2016 Lily Allen has stoked a growing row over her refugee camp apology by telling a critic he will regret his remarks “just like the Germans do for the Nazis”.The 31-year-old singer has spent much of the last 24 hours defending herself on Twitter after “speaking for the country” while talking about the plight of refugees in Calais on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show.The row started after Allen was shown breaking down in tears while meeting a 13-year-old boy from Afghanistan who has risked his life trying to board lorries bound for the UK.