Game Plan London: The Nfl Abroad

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PC Paul Hyland a Metropolitan Police super-recognizer poses for photographs beside computer screens at the force’s New Scotland Yard headquarters in London on Sept. 18, 2013./ AP London police officers at Scotland Yard have reportedly been getting helped by a new breed of police-officers with special skills: “super-recognizers.” The Associated Press reported Friday that since 2011, about 200 London police officers have been recruited into an elite squad of super-recognizers that search crime surveillance photos in the hopes of identifying suspects based on perps they’d seen before. Super recognizers were responsible for nearly 30 percent of the 4,000 people who were arrested following the 2011 London riots , according to the report. “When we have an image of an unidentified criminal, I know exactly who to ask instead of sending it out to everyone and getting a bunch of false leads,” Mick Neville, Detective Chief Inspector at Scotland Yard who created the unit, told the AP. Just what exactly makes someone a super-recognizer? Richard Russell, an assistant professor of psychology at Gettysburg College in Pa., led a 2009 study that coined the phrase “super-recognizers.” He theorizes people with this superior facial recognition ability are on the other end of a spectrum from people who suffer from another condition called “face-blindness,” or prosopagnosia. In face-blindness, people have an inability to recognize familiar faces, even of celebrities and people they know well. Russell told CBSNews.com he does not believe super-recognizers are doing anything dramatically different than average people when they look at someone to recognize a familiar face. He thinks they don’t hone in on someone’s eyes or a specific feature to recognize someone better than a typical individual would, he said. “We don’t really know whether they are doing something qualitatively different than other people. I assume they are not,” said Russell. “It might be a quantitative difference — still using the same kind of processes, but maybe they’re better.” One of the goals of facial recognition research is to understand which cues are leading people to identify a face. It could be a difference in how a person processes the color contrast between the lips and skin or the distance between parts of the face that leads to this recognition, he postulated.

London Homes Under $3.2 Million Lure Tax-Conscious Luxury Buyers

On yet another measure, the NFL’s main Facebook page has 8 million “likes”; NFL China’s Facebook page has a mere 199 “likes”; and the league does not maintain a separate Facebook page for the U.K. As an export concept, Fuller says, football is not without headwinds. “Whereas for basketball or soccer it’s relatively easy to put together a team, put two jerseys down for a goal, or find a basketball hoop and just start playing, there’s a lot of structure to football that makes it more difficult to transport to another country,” he says. “There’s the structure of the team, the structure of the officials. There’s also the cost of the equipment,” he says. The modest amount of padding permitted but not required, for example, for players of rugby pales in cost compared to a helmet, shoulder pads, leg padding and other accessories deemed absolutely necessary for football players. NFL titans Troy Polamalu (43) of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings met Sept. 29 as the NFL returned to London and Wembley Stadium. The Vikes outlasted the Steelers 34-27, thanks in large part to Peterson’s efforts. Kirby Lee, USA TODAY Sports Last Slide Next Slide Still, growth for the game at the grass-roots level at the field level does nevertheless appear to be taking place in the U.K. “It’s an upward trajectory in terms of participation,” says Andy Fuller, the director for student football at the British American Football Association, the national governing body for the sport here. BAFA’s Fuller says that there has been “rapid and tremendous growth within the higher education sector” with a full 76 college teams now competing and what he called a “tranche more” ready to launch for the 2014 and 2015 season. In 2008, there were 42 teams playing college football in the U.K. But to misquote Shakespeare, there are more things between heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your desire to see football matches played in Britain, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. “No other sport will ever be as big as soccer as it is part of the psyche of the country, ” says Lawrence Vos, a British-based corporate brand manager and NFL blogger. “I think we can sustain a long-term franchise in London but they would need to win early,” says Vos, referring to the oft-touted idea that the capital city may one day host a permanent NFL franchise.

Homes selling for less than 2 million pounds in districts such as Chelsea and Knightsbridge have climbed 16 percent since the government in March 2012 raised a transaction tax known as stamp duty to 7 percent from 5 percent for properties priced above that level. By contrast, values for properties subject to the tax gained 8.7 percent, the broker said. The stamp duty issue is definitely in effect, Liam Bailey , global head of residential research at London-based Knight Frank, said by phone. Theres no doubt that investors have been concentrating their firepower in the 1 million-pound to 1.8 million-pound bracket. Thats been pushing that market. Prices in central London have climbed for 35 straight months. Although the rate has slowed, the markets strength this year has exceeded most brokers expectations. Knight Frank as recently as June said there wouldnt be a significant price increase this year. A month later, the firm forecast a 6 percent gain. Discretionary Market Theres a push-back from buyers, Bailey said. Its a discretionary market and people are looking for value. They arent desperate to buy anything at any price. Notting Hill and the City of London financial district led the increases with gains of 1.5 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively, in September.