The Writing Was On The Wall ……Somehow Some Didn’t Heed The Warning











 Last   night   the  San   Antonio  Spurs   were   unceremoniously    dumped  out  of  this   year’s   playoffs  in the   NBA.   Having  succumbed at the  hands  of  their  instate   foe  divisional   rival  the Dallas Mavericks.  It  has to   be   said  that    this   was  all   foreseen    the  very  moment   they   lost  their indomitable  super   sub   Manu   Ginobli   before  the start of  the  playoffs.   If  nothing   else   this was   as much  a   gut  wrench  to the  team  as  it  was   for   their   fans.



    Josh Howard  of  the  Mavericks  dunks the  ball while the  Spurs'  Michael  Finley   looks  on  in   game 5 of  the  playoff  series between  the two teams.
Josh Howard of the Dallas Mavericks dunks the ball while the Spurs' Michael Finley looks on. The game was played on the Spurs' homecourt of the AT&T Center in San Antonio ,Tx. The Mavericks would end up winning the game (106-93) and close out winning the series 4-1. picture appears courtesy of nbae/getty images/ D Clarke Evans ................



However  in  losing  the   series   outright  (4-1)   and   the  result of  the   game  last  night  being   so  conclusive  with  an  emphatic   106-93  win.   The  Dallas  Mavericks   move  on   with a   no  doubt   happy   owner  in Mark  Cuban   smiling  from  ear to ear. For  the  San  Antonio  Spurs  the   ride  while   it  lasted  was a  pleasant  one   for  their  fans  and   the  community  at   large.





However it  can’t  hide  the  fact  that   the   team    underperformed.  And   much of  that  responsibility   rests   squarely  on the  shoulders   of  coach  Gregg Popovich  and   that of    his  bench  players   who   failed to  show   up.  It  was  left   to the    team’s   erstwhile duo  of  All  Stars   in   Tim   Duncan   and   Tony  Parker   to  try  and  carry   the  team   on  their   shoulders.     And  as  gallantly   as  they   both   performed    the   task   was  made   all   the  more  insurmountable   by  the  ineptitude  shown   by  the   duo’s  supporting   cast.



Erick  Dampier  of the  Mavericks  and the  Spurs'  Tony  Parker  contest  a  loose  ball.
Erick Dampier of the Mavericks and the Spurs' Tony Parker contest a loose ball during the game. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Eric Gray ....................





Popovich   in  large  part   was   outcoached   by  his   counterpart  Rick Carlisle  throughout   much  of this  series.  But  then again   the  Mavericks’  players  also   stepped  up  to  the  plate  and   answered  the  call  of their   coach  to   go  out  there and   execute.  And   nowhere  was   this   more apparent   than  with  the  play   of  Josh  Howard     who   proved  to  be  the   catalyst    for  the  Mavericks    through  much  of  the  series  when  it  mattered   most.    There  were  also    valid   contributions  from  Dirk Nowitzki  and  Jason  Kidd.  For  Nowitzki  he  may  well  be   now  cast  off  that   name  tag  of   being  considered    just  a  regular  season  player,  instead of   being   a   postseason performer.






And that if  anything   has   proven  to  be  the   difference  between  the  two   teams.   When   asked  for  the  contributions  to be   made  in whatever   way   possible   it   was   the   players  of  the  Mavericks   who  stepped  and   answered the   call.   For   the    Spurs  it  was   the  complete    opposite   but   for  the  exceptions   of  Duncan and  Parker.   The  Spurs  were   languid  and   slow  to   the   touch   and   but   for   their  sole   victory  in game   2 of  the   series.    This    would   definitely   have    been a  blowout    for the  Dallas Mavericks.  The  heroics  of   Tony   Parker  in that  105-84  triumph   cannot    be   underscored.   Parker   himself   single  handedly    willed  the  team  victory  and   ended   up  scoring  38 pts  in  his   team’s  triumph.



Tony  Parker  of  the  Spurs  tries to  evade the  much  larger  presence  of  the  Mavericks'  Dirk  Nowitzki.
Tony Parker of the Spurs tries to evade the defensive presence of the Mavericks' Dirk Nowitzki during the game. picture appears courtesy of nbae/getty images/ D Clarke Evans ..................



The  thing  now   everyone may  well  be  asking    is  what  now  happens to  the  San Antonio  Spurs  ?   Having   won   four   NBA  championships    in   the  decade.   They may  well  have   been  considered   a   modern  day   dynasty.   And   if   nothing  else theirs  is  a   consistency   that’s  not   often  seen   in the  game   over  the  decade  in  question.  However  with   Duncan   now   viewed as   an  aged   veteran    no  longer  being  able  to  perform   like   the   player   he   once  was in  his  halcyon days.  It  has  to  be  said  that this   is  no  longer  the   team    that  once    performed   so  methodically and   whom   about   everything  was   admired  as  an  organization  within the  NBA.    Never    viewed  as  one   of  the   more  glamorous  franchises   within the  NBA.   That  spotlight   is  often  shone  on the  Los Angeles    Lakers , Chicago Bulls  (Jordan  era) and  Boston  Celtics   because of the  renowned   history. Though   now  there  are   fans   who  believe  that  the Cleveland  Cavaliers   ought  to be   added  to  the  mix.   I  beg  to   differ  as  having   perhaps  the  game’s  most  celebrated   player   in  LeBron  James  at  present   doesn’t  give   you   legitimacy  for staking  that particular   claim. You  have to  win something  first   be  considered  a  perennial  contender   amongst  the  game’s   elite.



  Continue reading “The Writing Was On The Wall ……Somehow Some Didn’t Heed The Warning”

How Many QB’s Does It Take Indeed And Need To Change A Light Bulb ….?


How  Many  QB’s  Does It   Take   Indeed  And  Need To   Change  A  Light  Bulb  ? 




Well  the  NFL   Draft  has  come  and  gone.  And   no  doubt  many  of  the  fans  who  prognosticated  the  decisions  that  were  made  by  their    respective  teams  may  well  have   been  heartened   or   disgusted with   those   choices. 



Josh Freeman  seen  here  alongside NFL  Commissioner   Roger  Goodell  on  Draft  Day.   The venue  for the  draft  was the  Radio  City  Music  Hall  in  New York  City , New York.
Josh Freeman seen here alongside NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Draft Day. Freeman was taken as the seventeenth pick overall in the first round by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Stuart Burroughs .........




Well  the  butt  of  jokes  here   in  the  Tampa  Bay   area   is  alluded  to  in   the  title  of  this   piece.  How  Many  QB’s   Does It  Take   Indeed ,  And   Need  To  Change   A  Light  Bulb  ?  If   you  can   answer   that   question  ,  then  I  for  one   am  not  prepared  to  question   your    intelligence. 



Freeman   poses with  family  and  friends  at  the  Radio City  Music  Hall  in New York  City.
Josh Freeman seen here with family and friends at the Radio City Music Hall, New York City. Venue for the 2009 NFL Draft. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Stuart Rice ...........





Suffice  to  say  with   the  decision  made   by  the  Tampa  Bay   Buccaneers  hierarchy.  One   has to  be  now   questioning  the   direction  of  this  franchise  and  the   intent   of both   the  coach  Raheem  Morris  and  that  of  the  GM  Mark  Dominik.    





In  making    Josh  Freeman  the  quarterback  from   Kansas  State the   seventeenth  overall  pick  in  the  first  round  of  the  draft. I  can  only  surmise  that    Morris   might’ve  been  pressured   into  this  decision .  Or   primarily   from   his   knowledge   of  a  player  whom   he   knew   from   his  days  with  the  university  as a  defensive   coordinator.   His   love  of  the   player  can’t   have  gone   unnoticed   to  those of  us  in  the  locale.  It  quite    literally  bordered   on  unadulterated    lust.  And  that  if  anything   should   really  have  been   cause  for  concern.



The  Buccaneers   with  their  first  round draft pick  Josh  Freeman
Josh Freeman (center) is seen here alongside Buccaneers' coach Raheem Morris (left) and the franchise's GM Mark Dominik (right). The player was introduced to locally convened press at a conference held at the team's headquarters. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Brian Scovell ................





That being   said   with   there   being   so  many   deficiencies   on this   Buccaneers’  team  on  both  sides  of  the  ball.  I  for   one  feel   that both   Dominik  , Morris  and  the  Bucs’   coaching   staff  neglected  their   duties  in   getting   real   value  with  that   number   one  pick.   They  could’ve   chosen  to  have   traded   down  or   go  out  and   obtained  a  defensive   tackle  or   offensive   lineman.   But instead  they  chose  to  go  with   a  player who  shall  we   say   can   be   described   having  a  strong  arm   but   prone  to  making   mistakes.  And   whose   accuracy   is   less  than  can  be  desired.





Josh  Freeman
Bucs' first round draft pick Josh Freeman takes questions from the locally convened press after his arrival at the team's headquarters for a press conference inTampa. pictures appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Rod Gilliam .............



Whatever    Morris  sees  in the   player  isn’t  apparent  to   us  all.  I’d  dare   say  that  it’s   not   completely   apparent  to  even   the   most   ardent   of  Bucs’  fans   at  this  juncture.   Many   of  them   summarily   booed  the   choice   when  it   was   announced  to   those  in  attendance     at the    franchise’s    annual      draft   day  turnout.   Suffice   to  say   they   felt   that  the   pick   could’ve   been  made  better   use  of  with   another  choice  completely.  Some   might   agree   while   others   will   disagree.     Though   not  a Bucs’  fan   ,  I   do   live  within  the  community  where  the   coverage   of the  team  is  almost  incessant  day  in  day  out   when  it comes to  the  local  sports’   talk   radio shows.   And  it’s  not  lost  on  the  local    tv  media  either.  As  everyone  wants  to  have  a   say   in the  fortunes of   the  team.




Continue reading “How Many QB’s Does It Take Indeed And Need To Change A Light Bulb ….?”

Bud Selig Is Trying His Best Not To Look The Complete Clown But It Becomes Really Scary

Bud Selig Is Trying His Best Not To Look The Complete Clown But It Becomes Really Scary When You Hear Him  Speak It Reminds You Of The Tv Characters Krusty The Clown And Sidesho’ Bob In His Conversations …………

It can’t have escaped everyone’s notice that with the Major League Baseball season having started. A number of the teams have come to the fore and are playing well at this point of the season. 

MLB Commissioner  Allan 'Bud' Selig  and  President of Operations  Bob Dupuy (right).
MLB Commissioner Allan 'Bud' Selig and President of Operations Bob Dupuy (right) . picture appears courtesy ap/photo/Roger Scott ................

We’ve seen the Florida Marlins in the NL East get off to a rather quick start 11-4 start to the season. The thinking was that the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets would have the division all to themselves making it nothing more than a two horse race as the season progresses.

In light of that it can’t have escaped everyone’s notice however that after the euphoric start to the season. A number of teams however are now seeing empty seats within their stadiums for home games. One can merely put it down to the fact that these are tough economic times for not only the fans but also for the franchises themselves.

And as strange as it may seem Commissioner Bud Selig has basically carried on as if the health of the game is in a really great state. But if that were the case then why would he be overly concerned with the situation where he’s said to seeking engage in a conversation with the Wilpons and Steinbrenners as the respective owners of the two New York baseball franchises as to their ticket prices ?  


Both the New York Mets and New York Yankees have seen a downturn in attendances for home games. And nowhere is this more significant than with seats situated behind home plate at both stadiums. So much so that the prices sought by the two teams respectively hasn’t led to throngs of fans bidding to purchase these premium priced seats. For the New York Yankees they range in price from $500-00 to $ 2,625-00 for seats in the Legends Suites.


Mets' catcher  Ramon  Castro  congratulates  teammate  Francisco  Rodriguez  after the  team's  4-3 triumph over  the Washington  Nationals  at  Citi Field  in  New York City, NY. picture  appears   courtesy  of  ap/photo/  Julie  Jacobs ...............
Mets' catcher Ramon Castro congratulates Francisco Rodriguez after the team's triumph over the Washington Nationals 4-3 at Citi Field in New York City. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Julie Jacobs ................


 For the Mets with fewer premium seats within their particular edifice. The Delta Club Area behind the dugout . There the prices are a little less in terms of the overall charges which range from $175-00 up $495-00. It’d be remiss to to think at this moment in time it is only the Mets and Yankees who are in this predicament. But in reality it runs the gamut of the major league teams ut it has become more acute because of who these two teams are.

The Yankees average attendance is approximately 45,000 , whereas the New York Mets average 37,000 per home attendance for their season openers. However as the season progresses if we continue to see these figures prevail. It’ll be hard to see how these can be explained away by not only the commissioner but also by both the Yankees and Mets’ hierarchy. Strangely enough with Selig now visiting both franchises to discuss this situation . One has to wonder if he’d show the same sort of concern were this any other team within league ?


Kevin  Youkilis   is  congratulated  by  teammates  Manny Delcarmen and  Takaishi  Sato  .
Kevin Youkilis (center) is congratulated by teammates Manny Delcarmen (left) and Takaishi Sato after Youkilis' game winning home run in their 5-4 triumph over the New York Yankees at Fenway Park , Boston, Mass. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Jim Rogash .............


Could it that merely because it’s the New Mets and Yankees and their new facilities he’s showing this sort of concern ? He’s never shown any forthright concern over any other franchise with the attention he’s now said to be showing the two New Yor franchises. He’s stood idly by whilst over the last decade the Florida Marlins have toiled and haranged the local municipalities as well as county and state legislatures in order to get some sort of a response in attaining a state of the art facility. 

Animated   tv character  Krusty  The  Clown  from  the  Fox  animated series  'The Simpsons' .
Animated tv character Krusty The Clown from the Fox animated tv series " The Simpsons ". picture appears courtesy of Matt Groenig ...... @ copyrighted. all rights reserved

 More and more we’ve seen that Bud Selig picks and chooses his battles in order to attain the publicity needed to enhance his reputation and that he thinks will be of benefit to himself and Major League Baseball.Curiously enough to listen to Selig speak about the health and credibility of the game . Is to witness animated characters Krusty The Clown and Sidesho’ Bob from the Fox tv show ” The Simpsons”. Oblivious to what’s really happening around him. He’s of the opinion that his self worth is greater than those who are subordinates of his. Comedic in tone as always the sound bytes from Bud Selig are always welcomed. But now with his own credibility coming into question primarily from the fans. It’s hard to see what this sort of altruism being sought by Selig will amount to at the end of the day. It certainly won’t change the mindset of the fans overall. If anything it’ll do nothing more than prove that what many of already know about the game. And that’s financially it’s a complete mess .

Sidesho'  Bob
Sidesho' Bob from the Fox tv animated series "The Simpsons" . picture appears courtesy of Matt Groenig . @ copyrighted. all rights reserved. ..................

Fortunately all of the major parties concerned are too stupid to realize that fact. That ranges from the hierarchy on down to the owners and the Players’ Union. They’d rather carry on as if things are the same hearkening back to the days when the ballparks were filled with fans who couldn’t get enough of the game. Now the game yearns the fans but their own concerns are far more acute than anything that baseball has to offer the fans as a respite.

Ricky This Bud, Isn’t For You …. !


Ricky  This  Bud,  Isn’t   For  You   ………….



I hate to  say  but I’m  never  enamored  to  see  one  of  my   countrymen  fight  inside  a  boxing  ring, here  in   the  United  States.  The   one   true   champion  the  country   has  produced  of any  merit  over the    last   decade  has   been   undisputed   super middleweight champion  Joe  Calzaghe. 



British fighter  Ricky  Hatton and  his  trainer   Floyd Mayweather Sr  take questions  from the  convened press.
British fighter Ricky Hatton and his trainer Floyd Mayweather Jr take questions from the convened press concerning his upcoming bout against Phillippine's fighter Manny Pacquiao. picture appears courtesy of getty images / Curtis Brunson ...............


OK  ,  I   know  that   some  of  you  will  allude to  the  fact  the   former  undisputed   heavyweight  champion   Lennox  Lewis   was  good   for the     sport.  As  he  basically   came in  and  cleaned  up  the  division  by  taking  on and   beating  allcomers.   That’s  akin   to  saying that  were   the  Detroit  Lions   to  play  the New England   Patriots  ten  times  over  the  course  of  eight weeks  and   beat   them  all  ten  times.      Then it’d  put  some   credence  as to the   merits   of  Lewis’ tenure as  champion.



Manny  Pacquiao  and   his  trainer  Freddy  Roach  make  some   adjustments  to the  fighter's  training   regimen.    picture  appears  courtesy  of  getty images/  Rick  Baldizon...
Freddy Roach (left) and his fighter Manny Pacquiao make some ajustments in the fighter's training regimen. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Richard Baldizon ................



 First that  scenario   would be  a  joke  to  begin  with.  And  secondly   are  the   Lions  actually playing  anything  that    borders   on  being  a  game  being  played  in  the   NFL  to   begin   with.  ?  It  does   take  a  lot  of  gusto   to    play an   entire   NFL schedule  and  lose  all   sixteen   games.  Lewis   for  his  part   while   capable   was  viewed  as   nothing   more  than a  guy   who  happened  to  be  in the  right   place  at the  right  time.  Nothing   more  ,  nothing  less.    It’s   not as  if   you’ll  hear   his name   ever   being   mentioned  amongst   the   greatest   heavyweight  champions   of  all time.  Much   being   considered  to  be  one  of the  top   20  heavyweights  ever   in the  sport. 



Bernard  Hopkins looks to evade a  punch  from  Joe Calzaghe  in their   light   heavyweight   bout.
Bernard Hopkins (left) looks to evade a punch from Joe Cazaghe in their light heavyweight bout. Calzaghe would go on to defeat Hopkins with a unanimous verdict. Calzaghe retired as an undefeated champion in the supermiddleweight divsion and was universally recognized as the linear champion within the lightheavyweight division . picture appears courtesy of ap/ Mark Hughes .............



Which  brings  me   to  the  point  and  premise  behind  this   piece.  On Saturday   2nd  May   former  welterweight   champion   Ricky Hatton  of  Great  Britain  will  be facing  Manny  Pacquiao  in  a  light  welterweight  title  bout.   And   for  those  of  you   who  may  have   witnessed  Pacquiao’s  last   fight  against    Oscar  De  La  Hoya.    You’ll  no doubt  have  seen  that   Pacquiao   dispatched   De  La  Hoya   with  the   ease   for     which  it   would   take   an   adult  to   take  candy  from  a  baby.     De La  Hoya   was   a  spent   force and  offered    nothing  of   consequence   when  he  faced  his   opponent. 





Hatton Pacquiao Boxing
Hatton speaks with members of the convened press having taken a break in training to publicize his upcoming bout against Manny Pacquiao. The light welterweight bout will be The MGM Grand Hotel Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday 2nd May. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Martin Mitchell .............


 As   much   as  I  value   the  aspirations  of   Hatton  at this   juncture.   I    feel  that   ever   since   his   surprising   victory   over   Kostya  Tzyu    where  he became  the undisputed   welterweight  champion..     Hatton   has   never   reached  those   lofty  heights  again.   Albeit  that   his    credentials  would   suggest  otherwise.     He came   up   short  when   he   fought   a  vastly   far   superior    Floyd  Mayweather  Jr.  And  were  it  not    for  the   fact that    Mayweather   in  large  part   started  to  showboat   for   much  of the fight.   The   result   would   have been  far  more  conclusive  had he  chosen  to end  the   fight   earlier. 



Lennox  Lewis (left)  seen here  battling  Evander Holyfield  in their  heavyweight title   bout  held  at Madison  Square  Garden  in  1999.   picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Todd  Donald ........
Lennox Lewis (right) seen here battling Evander Holyfield in their heavyweight title bout held at Madison Square Garden in 1999. picture appears courtesy / Todd Donald ............



Which  brings  me   to  the   point     that  whilst   over  the  years   boxing   has  been  one the  wane.  It can  be  said that   one   of  the  main   reasons   behind it  is the  very  fact that  there  isn’t  that  many   talented  fighters  out  there at all.     And  what   fighters   there  are  , who  are   viewed  as  champions.   They  don’t   seem  to  possess  the   character ,  talent  or persona   to  deliver  to the   fans  the   entertainment  and  excitement that they  seek.     



Holyfield and  Lewis  (right) do  battle  once  again in their  rematch  the  same year.
Holyfield and Lewis (right) battle once again in their rematch of the same year. picture appears courtesy of afp/ Matthew Richardson .........



Pacquiao     having defeated  De  La  Hoya   may  well   now  be  seen  as  the  sole    proprietor   of   being  called  the   best   pound  for   pound   boxer  on  the  planet.  Most   certainly there aren’t    aspiring   challengers    who    one   would state   dethrone  from  that  particular   mantel .  Divisional    category    champions   of  late  aren’t   challenging  each   other   looking  to   unify   their  divisions.   And  it certainly   hasn’t  helped  that the   once  most   prestigious   division  of them   all   ……the  heavyweight   division  is   now  considered the   laughing   stock  of the  sport  of boxing   altogether.   



Ukraninan   brothers Wladimir  and  Vitali    Klitschko who  jointly   hold   two  of the  four recognized belts within  the  heavyweight   division.
Ukrainian brothers Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko who jointly between them hold two of the four recognized belts within the heavyweight division. The brothers have refused to fight each other in order to start the process whereby the division can once again have a unified and undisputed heavyweight champion. picture appears courtesy of afp/reuters/ Bjorn Thorsvaldt ..............




That  particular   division  the   heavyweight  division  lacks  a  credible   champion.  And   it  would appear   that  none  of  the   title   aspirants  or  holders are   at  willing  to  face  each  other.    Furthermore  it  has  not helped    one  iota    that   two  of the  main   antagonists   within  the   division  are  unwilling   to  face  each  other  .  Even   though  they    hold  respective   versions  of the  heavyweight title.    Vitali(WBC)   and   Wladimir (IBF) Klitschko , two   brothers   formerly  from  the  Ukraine   but now   based  in Germany.     The   two  have  let  it  be  known  that  they’re   unwilling  to  fight  each  other   either .  This   came about   as   a   promise to   their   mother  as   youngsters   once they  came  professionals.   To  my  mind   that   whole   scenario   adds to  the  idiocy  of   why  the  sport  is   no   longer  taken   seriously  amongst  a  number  of   fans.  


A water break is   needed   for the  thirsty  Fillipino  fighter  Manny  Pacquiao.
A water break is needed for the thirsty Fillipino fighter Manny Pacquiao. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Jaime Gonzalez ...............


 Fans  are   now  leaving the  sport   in  droves as  they   look    for   their  excitement   elsewhere  when  it comes  to a  combative   between  two   erstwhile   opponents  prepared to lay it  all  on the  line.    Hence  the   reason   behind  the   genre  of  mixed  martial  arts   across  the  globe.   So  much   so that  the   sport   has  outstripped   boxing   in  terms  of  viewership   not   only  with a  live  audience.  But also   via  viewers hip on   television  and   also  through  the  PPV  revenue  streams. 




Hatton  takes   some  time  off  from  his workout  to    pose   for  the  cameras.
Hatton takes some time off away from his workout to pose for the cameras. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Richard Dawson ...............



 A fight   such   as  this   upcoming   bout   between   Hatton  and   Pacquiao  may   well  elicit   some  excitement   amongst the  fans.   But  I  doubt that  it’ll   raise   seismic  shift  amongst    the  most  ardent   of   boxing’s  fans .  Both  sets   of  fighters   have  their   own  legions  of  fans .   And when  they  face  each  other   at the  MGM  Grand Garden  Hotel  & Casino  in  Las Vegas.   One   would   hope  that  both   fighters  are  prepared to  entertain  the   fans   none  stop  once   that   first  bell  is   rang.   It  would  provide    some    excitement    for the  fans   there in  attendance  ,  as  well  as  those   watching   by   another  medium. 


Continue reading “Ricky This Bud, Isn’t For You …. !”

Lindsay Lohan Says Leave The Magic Alone They Were In Their Happy Place , People Just Don’t Seem To Understand Them Or Me …!

Lindsay Lohan  Says Leave   The  Magic  Alone  They  Were  In  Their  Happy Place  ,  People  Just  Seem To  Understand  Them  Or  Me …….

It  says much  as  to  the  capabilities  of  a   team   if they  can  continue to  overcome  adversity  ,  compete and   do  all of  the  prerequisite things that   it    takes to win.   Having  watched  the Orlando  Magicdefend  their   home-court    in the  first  game   of the  playoffs   against  the  Philadelphia   76ers.  I’m  not  so  sure  that  this   team  has  what  it  takes  to   challenge  the  likes  of    the  Cleveland  Cavaliers  in  the  Eastern  Conference  for   supremacy  there .    Much  less   having   the   presence  of mind  to   challenge    many  of the   teams   within  the  Western  Conference  altogether.

Rafer Alston  point   guard for  the  Magic  goes  up  for  the  layup  against  the 76ers.
Rafer Alston of the Orlando Magic goes for the layup against the Philadelphia 76ers. The 76ers would go on to defeat the Magic 100-98 at the Amway Arena in Orlando, Fl. picture appears courtesy of nbae/getty images/ Fernando Medina ..............

<I’ve   heard  it being  said that  the  Magic    have  finally  arrived  and   that  they    ought  to be  considered   being  amongst  the  elite    teams  of the  NBA.   For  me    ,  I view  an  elite   team  within   a  league ,  a  team  that has  a  body  of  work behind  it  and   one   who’s   always  considered  a  perennial  contender.   The   Orlando   Magic  has yet  to  show me    that  they’re  either  of  the  above.    What  they  are   however is  a  very  good    regular   season    team.     But  whose  ambitions  of   being   considered   a  contender   is  somewhat   short  of the  bar  that  they’ve   set    for  themselves. 

Andre' Iguodala  of  the  76ers attemmpts the  jump  shot over the  outstretched  arms  of the  Magic's  Dwight  Howard.   Iguodala would  go  on to  score  20 pts  for  the  76ers  in their triumph  over the Orlando Magic.  They  now hold  1-0  in the best  of  seven  game series.
Andre' Iguodala of the 76ers attempts the jump shot over the outstretched arms of the Magic's Dwight Howard. The 76ers would go on to triumph over the Magic (100-98) to take 1-0 lead in the best of seven games in the first round of the playoffs. picture appears courtesy of nbae/getty images/ Fernando Medina ...........

The  Orlando  Magic coming  off  a  59  game  win  season,  there  are   those   around   the league and   within   the  pundits’  broadcast   forum. Who   view  this   team  as  one  those  who  can  live   up  to  the  potential   of  being  a   serious challenger to the  likes  of  the  Cavaliers  and Boston  Celtics   for     dominance  and  supremacy within  the  Eastern Conference.  All   three  teams   have    distinctively    different   pedigrees.     The  Celtics  have   their   triumvirate  of  Kevin Garnett ,Allen   and  Pierce.  Though  it  can  be   said   that  with   the  loss  of   Garnett    their   chances  of     making  it to the   conference   finals   have   diminished   somewhat. 

Coach  Stan  Van Gundy of the  Magic   signals  to  his players   that  he'd  like to  see  more  effort  shown  oncourt   by  his players.
Coach Stan Van Gundy of the Magic signals to his players that he'd like see more effort oncourt from his players. picture appears courtesy of nbae/getty images/ Fernando Medina .............

The Cavaliers   for their   part    have  LeBron   James who  at  this   present   time  may well   be   considered  to  be   the  most   gifted player in  the  league.  OK  I   know that  there are   naysayers   out   there  who  may  well   feel   that the    accolade  isn’t  befitting  a  player  who’s  yet  to   win  anything  of  merit  within  the  league.  But  at the  same  one   cannot   overlook   his  presence   on  a  team  that   has   garnered   66  wins  this   season   and   has  looked   unbeatable   on  their   home-court.   Take   LeBron  off  this   team  and  they   may   well   struggle  to   attain   25 to  30   wins  at   best.  But  it  cannot  and   should   not   detract   from  what  they’ve   achieved  as  a  team  this  season.

76ers' point   guard   Andre  Miller   celebrates  his  team's  victory  over  the  Orlando  Magic.  The 76ers  stole  a victory  on the  Magic's  homecourt at  the  Amway  Arena in  Orlando , Florida.
76ers' point guard Andre Miller celebrates the team's win over the Orlando Magic at Amway Arena ,Orlando , Fl. The win by the team was a resolute allround effort. picture appears courtesy of nbae/getty imnages / Fernando Medina ..................

Rashard Lewis  of  the  Orlando  Magic   with the one  handed   dunk .
Rashard Lewis of the Orlando Magic with the one handed dunk during the game against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Amway Arena in Orlando , Florida. picture appears courtesy of nbae/getty images/ Fernando Medina ...............

Orlando    for  its   part   possesses   without   doubt   the   best   big  man   in the   game   in  the  guise  of     Dwight  Howard.  Who if anything  this  year   has  finally   arrived  and  ought  to be  considered  as   on the   bright   stars   of  the  league.  His presence  and   determination   on  the  team  if  anything   has   provided a   backbone  and  leadership  to it.   However  wherever   he   leads   it sometimes  appears  that   his   teammates  aren’t  always  too  willing   to    follow.    It may  well   come   down to  the  fact that  on   their    roster   there   doesn’t appear  to  be   that  many  players   with    playoff  experience    other   than   being   seasoned   veterans.    They’ve  a    young   staff  of    talented   players  with  the  likes  of   Mikael  Pietrus href=”″&gt;J. J Redick ,   Marcin  Gortat  and  Courtney  Lee slowly   coming  to  the   fore.   But   that    in  ofitself   cannot   hide  the   fact   for  the  team’s   poor   showing   against  Philadelphia    this   past  Sunday.

Theo  Ratliff  of the 76ers makes  the   dunk  over the   defensive  presence  of the  Magic's  Hedo  Turkoglu  and  Tony Battie .
Theo Ratliff of the 76ers makes the dunk over the defensive presence of the Magic's Hedo Turkoglu and Tony Battie. picture appears courtesy of nbae/getty images/ Fernando Medina ...............

How   else   can  one   explain  their    poor  play    down   the   closing   stretch  of  the  game   where  they   allowed  the  Sixers to  erase  an   eighteen  point   deficit   and  come   back  to  win  the  game altogether  ?  It’s  one   thing  to   state  that   they   didn’t  apply  themselves to  the  task  at hand.   But  when   they  make   a  player of  Andre  Iguodala   of  the  76ers  appear  to  the    reincarnation  as  to  the   second   coming  of  Michael  Jordan  .  One  has to    question  the   resolve  of  this   team.    Not only  did  Iguodala   have   a   tremendous    game   but  he  was  allowed  so  much   freedom   up and  down the  court.  That  one   had  to   wonder  if  the  Magic   themselves  were   just  there  to  make  up   the   numbers   as   far  as  their  presence  was  concerned.  

Defensively   this   team  was  about    resolute   in  its  execution  as  the    Treasury  Department  has  been  in their    doling   out   of   taxpayers   money  to  a   sundry   of  financial  and    industrial concerns.    A   lot  of  thought   may   well  have   gone   on   as to  the  premise   behind the   maneuvers.  But   in  terms   of  its   execution    ,  it  was   about   as  adept  as   having  a   baby   try  and   walk   for  the   first  time  without  any   support  being  given.   You  just  knew   that   something     bad    had  to  happen.    And so  it   did  as  many  of  who   viewed  this    debacle  on  television   can   only  wonder  what   it   was  the   Magic  was trying  to  achieve.   Needless  to  say   that  their   fans and  coach,  Stan  Van  Gundy   can’t   have been    pleased  with  what  they’d   witnessed. 


Iguodala makes  the  reverse  dunk  during  the  playoff  game against the  Orlando  Magic.
Iguodala makes the reverse dunk in the playoff game against the Orlando Magic. Iguodala would be the main offensive presence and instigator behind the team's victory over the Orlando Magic. picture appears courtesy of nbae/getty images/ Fernando Medina ................

While   one    can    apportion    blame   on the  Magic’s   players  ,  a certain   amount  of  that  blame  also   ought  to  rest    squarely   on the  shoulders   of  Van  Gundy  and  his   coaching   staff.   Rarely   can  a  coach   and   his   staff   performed  so    badly.   And  for  someone   of  Van   Gundy’s  stature   who’s   often   thought   of  as  being  one  of  the  more  astute   coaching   minds   around  the  NBA.   It   has  to be   said  that he  was  completely    outcoached    by his   opposite  number   in  Tony DiLeo.  


  Continue reading “Lindsay Lohan Says Leave The Magic Alone They Were In Their Happy Place , People Just Don’t Seem To Understand Them Or Me …!”

You’ve Got To Know When To Hold ’em And Know When To Fold ’em ………………




You’ve  Got  To Know  When  To  Hold ‘em  And Know  When To  Fold ‘em ……





Well  the  distinguished and  illustrious   boxing  career  of Oscar De La Hoya  has come  to an  end.   The  boxer  himself  made the  announcement  at  2pm  yesterday  after  talking it  over with his wife  and   associates  within  his   Golden  Boy Promotions’ Inc  organization.    It  shouldn’t   really   come  as a  complete  surprise  at  this   juncture.  But I   doubt that  this  announcement   will    mean  a  complete   retirement   from the  sport  that  he’s  graced  for  the  better  part  of  sixteen  years. 



Oscar  De La Hoya  hugs his father  Joel   having  just  made  the  announcement  of  his retirement  from the  sport of boxing.
Oscar De La Hoya hugs his father Joel having just made the announcement that he's retiring from the sport of boxing. picture appears courtesy of getty images/Kevork Djansezian ......................





All  too  often   we’ve   seen   De La Hoya   step   away  from  the  ring  for a  prolonged  period of  his  own  determination  and  decision.  Having   either   succumbed  to  defeat  or   an  unprecedented win.  However   in   terms   of  the  latter they’ve  been  and   far between.   In  his last  seven    bouts  prior  to  this   announcement    Oscar   had  lost   four   of   those    fights.   Though  his  victors   weren’t  some   none  descript  fighters  by  any   stretch of the  imagination.   Some  of those  fighters  were   amongst   the  very   best  to have   boxed  in  the   various   weight   categories   over  the  past  decade.  Including  Bernard  Hopkins,  Shane  Mosley  , Manny Pacquaio and  Floyd  Mayweather Jr,   all  of  whom  prevailed   in  defeating  De La  Hoya  and  adding  to  their  fame. 



De La  Hoya  and  his  wife  singer  Mille Corretjer  after the  announcement of his retirement  from  the  sport.
De La Hoya and his wife ,singer Millie Corretjer outside the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. Where the announcement of his retirement was made. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Kevork Djansezian..........




And  though  it  can  be  said  that  Oscar   had  distinguished   himself    by   taking on  allcomers   over   the   course  of   his  career.   It can  be  said   that  many  of  those   bouts  he  fought   in  some  cases  were   against   fighters who’d   past  their    prime.  Nowhere  was  this  more   self    evident  than  when   he   fought   Julio  Cesar Chavez.  Chavez  himself  was   on  the downside of  an   illustrious   career and   if  anything   he  may  well   felt  with   Mexican  pride and  heritage  on the  line.  He  wanted    to  make it  his  task   of  defeating  a young   upstart   like   De  La Hoya.  Oscar   was  never  really  accepted   by   the  Mexican  American   community   in Los Angeles,  as   it was felt  from  the  time  he  was in the  amateur   ranks   he  merely  wanted  to associate  himself  with   those  whom  he   felt   could   further  his  career  the most. 


De La  Hoya  at the dais  formally makes the   announcement  of  his  impending  retirement  from the  sport before  the  convened  press at  the  Staples Center   in Los  Angeles California.
De La Hoya standing at the dais formally makes the announcement of his retirement from the sport of boxing. De La Hoya will still be formally involved in the sport but from the business side in the promotional aspect. Promoting his stable of fighters as well being involved in the MMA field. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Kevork Djansezian ...............




In  time  he   would  win   over the   allegiance  of  that  particular   community   with  his  efforts   in  and   outside the  ring.  And  it  has  to  be  said   his  support   within  that   community    has  never  really  waned   once  it  was established.     The  fans  would  come  out in droves to show their  support.   But during   his   rise  to the  upper  echelons  of the  sport  that wasn’t   the  case   at  first. 


De La Hoya is   unable  to  defend   himself  in  his  bout against  Manny  Pacquaio ......
De La Hoya seen here is unable to defend himself in his bout against Manny Pacquiao. De La Hoya would lose the bout to the Filipino fighter in a TKO. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Richard Ward ..........





During   De La  Hoya’s   heyday   in  the  sport   it can  be  said    that  without  a   doubt  he  was  the  biggest   draw  in  the sport.   As the  unequivocal   circus  act  and   tragedy    of  Mike  Tyson   began  and  then   all   too  suddenly   erupted   in  self   destruction  and   the  unwelcomed attention  of  law   enforcement    amongst  other  things. It   has   to be  said   that  both    fighters  were   the  main   reasons  to  seek  out   a fight   when  it  was  being   televised  be  it   via  PPV  or  on  the  broadcast  networks  during  the  infancy  of their careers.    They  carried  the   sport  to   its   forefront  of   the  early   and  late  nineties.   And   between  them    they   garnered   well  in   excess  of   $1.3bn   in   revenues   for   the  PPV outfits    who  carried their   bouts   as  their    careers. 



Evander Holyfield   becomes  the  appetizer   for Mike   Tyson  during  their  much  heralded  bout.
Evander Holyfield becomes the appetizer for Mike Tyson during their much heralded bout. Referee Mills Lane tries to intervene. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo / Kevin Reed ...............



  Continue reading “You’ve Got To Know When To Hold ’em And Know When To Fold ’em ………………”

Rip My Heart Out Why Don’t You ….? It’s All But A Done Deal …..!

Rip  My  Heart  Why  Don’t  You  ?…..It’s All  But  A Done  Deal  ….!


Well as the NBA  season   comes    down  the  final  stretch of the  season.  A  number  of  teams with   playoff   ambitions  are  aligning  themselves  and   jockeying   for  positions  that ‘d be  favorable  in terms  of  the  seeding.     




In  the  Eastern   Conference  it’s  all  but  a  certainty  that  the  Cleveland  Cavaliers (62-15) will be  the  overall  number  one  seed.  And it’s  a  deserving  mantel  to  have  for  what  can   be  best  described as  an  outstanding  season.   Having  already   surpassed  the  60 win  threshold  for  the  season.  The team  is  further looking  to  cement its   status  as  the  league’s   best  team  in  terms  of   the  overall  win  total  and    number   one  seeding  throughout the  playoffs.




That  being  said   in the  Western  Conference   the   Los Angeles Lakers (62-16)  are  looking  to  make something   of a  late  run and  perhaps  derail  the   Cavaliers’  hopes. Well  unless there’s   divine   intervention   from   up  on   high.  I  think  it’s  pretty   safe  to  say   that’s  not  going  to  happen   at this   juncture.  And  as  much  as   those   in the  West  would  very much like  to  see  this   happen.  It’s   somewhat  safe  to  say   there  are  those  who’d   rather   see  someone  else   seated   atop of  the  hill.  





Which   now   brings me   to   my  next   point.   As  a  long  avid  San Antonio  Spurs’ (50-27)  fan.  I for one  felt  that  this  season   there  might’ve  been a  chance  of   gaining   revenge  against   our conference  rivals  in the  Los  Angeles  Lakers.    Well   at  least  I thought  it  was  going  to  be  that  way.  Much  of the  season  it  has   been  something  of   a  turnstile  of  players   being   injured  and  re-injuring  themselves.  Wherein   there  was   never  any  real  continuity ,  fluidity  or   cohesiveness  as to  the  team’s  play.  And  that  has  led to   a great deal  of  consistency    despite them   once  again  obtaining   a  50  win   season  thus   far.  Suffice  to  say  it’s been  another   remarkable   coaching   job  done   by   Gregg Popovich .  Even  if  the   carousel   ride  itself   at times  has   flirted  with    disaster.  And   despite   the   milestones   he’s  achieved   the  man   still   remains   almost   unflappable.     He’s  won  four  NBA titles  as a  coach   and  this   season   became   one  of   handful  coaches  to  have  attained   1,000  regular  season wins.   Joining  a  select  few   and  most   certainly   he’ll  one  day   be  enshrined  in the  Naismith   Basketball  Hall  of  Fame.







As alluded  to  earlier  in this   piece   for  much  of  the  season the   team  has  been  unable to  play  at  full  strength .  They’ve  not been   able to  have  their    triumvirate   of  All  Stars  in  Tim  Duncan  ,  Manu Ginobli  and  Tony  Parker   together   for   a  prolonged  period   of  continuous   play  for  a  series  of  games. It’d be   easy  to  suggest   that   good teams  are  able  to  adapt  and   overcome  such  adversities.  And  many of  the  good  teams  do.   The  great   teams  they  say “ can   say  can   look  into    the  eyes  of  adversity    stare  it   down   and   overcome”.  There was  a  time  when    that’d    be  the  case  for  the  Spurs  ,  but   no   longer.  As  they’ve   always   been   ever  reliant  upon  their   combo  of  Duncan  , Ginobli and  Parker.





Well with  the  recent   announcement   that   Ginobli  has  been   lost  to  the  team  for  the   rest  of  the  regular  season  as well  as  the  playoffs.  In  making  that   announcement   Popovich   hasn’t  surrendered   his  belief  that this   team   can  usurp  the  Los Angeles  Lakers.  But  at the   same  time  he   can’t   hide  the   disappointment   of   knowing  that  the   team’s   very   own   super-sub   will  be   lost  the  team  once   again.  It all   now   but  guarantees  that   the  Spurs  will   face  an  uphill   battle   as to being    quite   possibly  the  Lakers’  opponents   in the  Western Conference  Finals. And  that’s   predicated   on  both   teams  making  that   far   by   going   unscathed  once the  playoffs  begin.




If there’s   one  thing   that  at times   we   know  it’s   that   nothing  is  ever   etched   in stone   permanently  when   it  comes  to   game  of  basketball and   the  NBA  in  particular. I’d   somehow   like  to  think  that   could   be   changed  somewhat .  But at this   juncture    I’m   going to  enjoy  the  ride  and   root   for  my   team   no  matter  what.   To  say   that  I’m   not  disheartened with  the  loss  of   Ginobli  would  be  an  immense   understatement.   Because  with   Ginobli   on the  court   almost  anything  can  happen and    for  the  large  part   it   normally   does.   He’s  dragged  victory   from   the  depths   of   defeat  so  often   for  the  franchise  over the  years.   Though  it  can  be   said  that   Duncan  and  Parker   have  both   been  heroes  as well   when  it  has counted.  But  it   has  been  Ginobli   that  has  provided   that   unexpected   spark  when   things  seemed   dire   for   the   team. 










Now  comes  the   question  who’ll  step  up from  amongst  the   team’s  roster  to  assume   Ginobli’s  mantel   now  that  he’s  been   lost  to  the  team ?   Matt Bonner   while  dutiful   in  his  role   on the  team   doesn’t  exactly   set  the   world alight.  Though he’s   proven to  be   more  than  capable  when  called  upon.  He  doesn’t   posses  the  intangibles   of  Ginobli.  And   though  many   of  the  Spurs’  fans   have  delighted  in the play  of  Roger  Mason Jr.  It  can   be  said   he  hasn’t   been   dipped  into  the   baptism  of   fire  that the  playoffs  are all  about.  He’s  shown  that  he’s  capable  of   taking  and   making  the  big  shots  during  a  game .    But   the   regular  season  is  one  thing.  With  the  game on the  line  and   Parker   and  Duncan   being  guarded .  Somehow in the  pressure   cooker   of   the   playoffs   I’m   not  so   sure  that   Mason  for  all   of  the  guile   shown   in the  regular  season  can  handle   the  pressure  there  and  then.   But  then  again  one   can  live   in  hope   that   he can  make the  impossible  seem   possible  and   effortless with  ease !  







One  thing  is  for   certain   however  it’d be  extremely   naïve and   foolish  to   count  out  the  San Antonio  Spurs  at  this   juncture.  Even  if  I   do  have  my  doubts   about  the  team.  Other  than   Phil   Jackson  of  the  Los Angeles Lakers   there  might    be   no  other  coach    in the  league  who’s  adept   enough  to   actually   take  this  team and   make   them  a  potentially   dangerous   foe  to  meet    even   under  such  adversity.  It’ s  nor   just   a  team  one  needs  to   worry  about  in  the  playoffs.  It’s   also  the   acumen  of  the  coaches as  well  who  are   involved  in  those   series.  And   if   there’s   a  better  postseason  coach    out  there at present   other   than   Popovich   who  possesses  his   guile.  I’d    like  to  hear     your   arguments   for  and   against   him.

Well If It’s A Splash You Wanted Then This Wasn’t It ………




Well  If   It’s A Splash  You  Wanted  To  Make  Then  This Wasn’t It  ………



Fans  have  long labored  under the  belief  that  at  times the  fresh  influx of  talent   be  it on  the  field  or  in   management   can  really    turn  things  around  for   a franchise  that has been  perceived to  have fallen  on  hard times.    Well   nowhere is this  becoming   more   apparent than  with  the  Tampa  Bay  Buccaneers.



Raheem Morris   of the  Tampa Bay Buccaneers seen  here  with  Bucs' executive  Joel Glazer.
Newly appointed coach Raheem Morris is seen here with Bucs' executive Joel Glazer. The Glazer family own the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as well as English Premier League soccer club Manchester United. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/Matthew McFadden .............




Well  with   the firing   of  Jon Gruden  and  that of  General  Manager  Bruce Allen  in  the  offseason and   the  promotion of   Raheem  Morris  to the position of  head coach. It can  be   said  the  change  direction  sought was  about   as  expedient  and  drastic  as  one  would  expect.   The explanation   coming   from   ownership  can’t  be  viewed  as   enthusiastic   for   the  most  fervent   of  Buccaneers’ fans.  But  then   again   throughout  much   the  Glazers’  ownership,   their  custodianship of  the franchise  has  been  executed  clandestinely.    Though  the   firings   of  Gruden and Allen   came    out   of the  blue.  It can  be  said  from  a  PR perspective  the way it was    handled  left  an  unsavory   taste  in  one’s  mouth. 





Added  to  that  fact  was   the  release   of   several long  established  players.  None  more  so  than   veteran  stalwart  and  defensive  player  Derrick  Brooks.  He  may well  be  viewed  as  the   face   of  the  franchise .  And  in  terms  of   his  loyalty   to the  franchise  it was  unquestioned.   He was the  epitome , heart  and   soul   of what  it  meant  to be   a  Buccaneers’  player.     And  to  say  that many  a  Bucs’  fans   weren’t     aggrieved  at   his  release  would  be  understatement.  Nevertheless   life  must  go  on  and   so does the  business  of  making  this   franchise  competitive.



Bucs' GM Mark Dominink  seen  here with  members  of  the  local  press in the Tampa  Bay  area .
Buccaneers' GM Mark Dominik seen here with members of the locally convened press from the Tampa Bay area. picture appears courtesy of




Coming  off  a  disappointing   season  with  a  9-7  finish  within the  NFC  South   division. Where  the  team  were viewed  as a   favorite to  repeat   as  champions.  Their  season  fell  apart  literally   down  the  closing    stretch  of the  season.  As  they   succumbed to  four  consecutive  defeats.   So  close  but  yet  so  far.  One  can  attribute  these  losses   on  a  number  of  things.  But   the  ownership   obviously   felt  that   Gruden  bore   a  great  deal  of  responsibility   for the   team’s   failings  on the    field. But a  lot  of  that   responsibility can  be  also  attributed to  the  total   naiveté  on the path  of the   Buccaneers’  players  who  must’ve   felt  that   they’d   romping  off  into  the  playoffs before  the   season  was  over,  without   getting  the  job  done   on the field  first.    A  lack  of  professional   approach  on  the   field   and  perhaps  an  even  bigger  lack  of  professionalism   by  the coaching  staff ?





Well   now the  franchise   under the  auspices  of  Morris  along  with   Mark Dominik  as the   team’s  general manager   have  been   entrusted  in   giving  the   team  a  new  sense  of  purpose  and  identity.    A  task  that  has  been  made  even   tougher   given  the  fact that  both  men  are   viewed as   novices  in their   fledgling    positions.  And  with  the  upheaval  within  the  team’s   roster .  It’s  hard  now  to  view  this  team  as  being  anything  more  than  an  afterthought  at this  juncture.   






At  the   heart   of  this  is  all  is  the  fact   that   on  paper  this   is  now a  very   young   team. And  with  it  comes   no   veteran  leadership  which   every   good   team  needs.  One  might  point  to   Ronde Barber   as  one  of the  last  vestiges  of    the   Buccaneers  from  their  halcyon   days  as  Superbowl  champions.   But even  he  isn’t  the  player  that  he  once  was.   Suffice  to   say   this   team   may   well  struggle  to  acquit  themselves this   upcoming  season  even with  the   presence  of  players  such as  Chris  Hovan,  Jeff Faine  , Antonio Bryant , Derrick Ward , Kellen Winslow Jr and  Luke  McCown.    And   even  with   the  acquisition  of  Derrick  Ward  a  proven  commodity   at   the  running   back  position.   The Buccaneers’  deficiencies  on   offense  at  times   bordered   on  sheer   ineptitude.  Their    struggles  to  find   the   end  zone  when  in  the   red  zone   territory  was   comedic  at   best  and   some  times   tragic.   When   your  over  reliance   is  placed  on  your  kicker   to  garner   the   points  needed  . Then  there  has  to  be  cause   for  concern.    That  being   said that   wasn’t   only  the  major   cause  for  concern  on this   team.   The defense    that  was   once   lauded  around  the  league  as being  one  of  the  best  in the league.   It seemed  as  if   overnight    many  of  the  players  had  forgotten   how  to execute   a  tackle   much   less  cover  an   offensive player.



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