Jim Cramer’s Mad Money …………Buys, Sells And Holds ………..NBA Style …..

Former hedge fund manager and now CNBC stock tipster and analyst Jim Cramer has always had his own style and presentation on television. That being said, he’d be the last person I’d be taking advice from on anything to do with the indices of the stock market. Or anything else when it comes to financial analysis or any information involving the companies listed on the NSYE.This is the same guy, who was dishing out advice to his avid viewers that they ought to invest their savings in the now disreputable companies, AIGand Bear Stearns. Now, to say that Cramer isn’t deserving of having his testicles removed and served up to him in the form of a meal wouldn’t be doing the people who lost money from his advice any justice whatsoever ! But such are the benefits to those who choose not to seek due diligence when taking advice from an individual , who despite his immense knowledge , comes across as nothing more than a charlatan.

You’ve got to hand it toComedy Central’s Jon Stewart for pointing out something that not even the so called knowledgeable pundits at Fox Business Channelwould’ve thought newsworthy.But then again when have Fox ever been known to be informative to begin with in terms of being a news channel ? And for those of you still seeking out the advice of Jim Cramer ? I wish you well , well about as well as leper who’s now beginning to realize that what the doctor prescribed just isn’t working. And Cramer’s own asinine assertion and suggestions as to what he did or didn’t say, shows you what a complete asshole he really is to begin with !

The NBA at present is filled with teams whose very prowess on the court can at present be measured by the volatility shown by the Dow Jones Index (DJIA). And were a number of the franchises of the NBA placed within the DJIA. I wonder what price and recommendations there’d be forthcoming from those covering the game ? Again I’d preface this by saying that the likes of Stephen A. Smith,Tim Legler,Ric Bucher and Skip Baylesswouldn’t be the guys I’d be looking to for comfort , advice or any form of solace when it comes to the NBA or otherwise. Whatever insight they’re liable to provide is about as welcoming as be told by your proctologist that he’d like to give you that customary finger wave of your rectum,merely to elicit having some fun on his part. Pretty safe to say that one finger wave too many a year is one finger less welcomed.

New Jersey Nets team members from left, interim coach Tom Barrise, assitant coach Doug Overton, Chris Douglas-Roberts, Devin Harris, Josh Boone and Trenton Hassell look on during the second half of their NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2009, in Los Angeles. The Nets matched the worst start to an NBA season with their 17th straight loss Sunday night in the Lakers' 106-87 victory.picture appears  courtesy  of AP/Photo/Mark J. Terrill ..........
New Jersey Nets team members from left, interim coach Tom Barrise, assitant coach Doug Overton, Chris Douglas-Roberts, Devin Harris, Josh Boone and Trenton Hassell look on during the second half of their NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2009, in Los Angeles. The Nets matched the worst start to an NBA season with their 17th straight loss Sunday night in the Lakers' 106-87 victory.picture appears courtesy of AP/Photo/Mark J. Terrill ..........

Straight out of the gate, some of the teams have performed exceptionally badly. And for beleaguered Lawrence Frank and the hapless, New Jersey Nets. At this juncture there’s absolutely no chance of a do-over whatsoever ! What may well have started out as a season of promise has slowly fallen apart and become an absolute nightmare for Frank, his players,ownership and no doubt the fans, in particular. I’d hate to think what’s now going through the mind of principal partner,Bruce A Ratner ? Especially as he sees this team sink into the abyss of sheer ineptitude. Any thoughts that they might’ve had of luring LeBron James to Brooklyn in 2010 , has to be shelved at this time. Not with this team in need of a backbone and so much more ! At 0-16 and on the cusp of NBA infamy in terms of successive games lost to start a NBA regular season schedule the Nets seem to be just one loss away of equalling that dubious record. My recommendation : Sell !

Can someone explain to me what fate the basketball gods has in store for the New York Knicks ? Needless to say, after the abrupt departure of former coach and executive Isiah Thomas. It was felt that the organization was stepping in the right direction with the hiring of Mike D’Antoni, as their coach. Also,the bringing in of Donnie Walsh, to oversee the basketball operations,in terms being the general manager of the Knicks. Needless to say, the Knicks are no further along in their progression, as the coalition forces are in finding Osama bin Laden. And for those of you who’d rather be up in the Tora Bora mountain range on the Pakistani , Afghani border ,rather than watching the Knicks play. Reserve me a seat , as I’d no doubt would want to join you in that particular exercise. Not only have the Knicks become worse under D’Antoni, they’re a complete embarrassment to the NBA ,as a whole ! Commissioner,David Stern, is there no chance that we can have some contraction within the NBA ? As there are now one or two teams that are making a mockery of the game and how it ought to be played. And the New York Knicks is undoubtedly one of those very teams ! My recommendation : Sell ! Not to hold, just damn well , sell !

Detroit Pistons center Ben Wallace (6) takes a shot over Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith (5) in the second half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Nov. 29, 2009, in Auburn Hills, Mich. Wallace scored 10 points and pulled down 18 rebounds in the Pistons' 94-88 win. picture appears courtesy of  AP/photo/ Duane Burleson  ..............
Detroit Pistons center Ben Wallace (6) takes a shot over Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith (5) in the second half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Nov. 29, 2009, in Auburn Hills, Mich. Wallace scored 10 points and pulled down 18 rebounds in the Pistons' 94-88 win. picture appears courtesy of AP/photo/ Duane Burleson ..............

I not saying that the Detroit Pistons have fallen on hard times. But their fall from grace , makes the demise of Michael Jackson seem like an act of overt kindness. OK , so we can dispute the facts that’ve led to the untimely death to the one time ‘King of Pop’. What no one can doubt however, is that Jackson apart from being a mild neurotic was enabled by family members and others amongst his entourage to keep up his absurd behavior. And along with that came an assortment of medical professionals who proffered up whatever medication of the day was the norm for Jackson. What of the ‘hippocratic oath’ for these doctors ? First do no harm ? Somewhere along the lines it must’ve been blurred for them from the sight of the money that Jackson was needlessly spending on their services !

As to what Pistons’ GM Joe Dumars, was seeking to do,when he traded All Star point guard Chauncey Billups to the Denver Nuggets,in exchange for Allen Iverson. Well, let’s just say that experiment was about as worthwhile as sticking your arm into the mouth of a hungry crocodile waiting and then waiting to see what the outcome will be.And with Iverson, now said to be mulling retirement , after not being able to find a franchise willing to take him. One might clearly think that at the time Dumars was merely flying by the seat of his pants in thinking that Iverson could provide the team with a much needed spark. In essence, the Pistons had become an old team spoilt on its earlier success and who weren’t willing to make the necessary changes need at the time, in order to build for the future.

Now with the departure of Rasheed Wallace to the Boston Celtics, the team is nowhere nearer to being one of the once dominant franchises with the NBA’s Eastern Conference. Dumars and the team’s coach, John Kuester, now have their work cut out for them, if they’re to turn things around make this team be one with a presence, not just within their division but throughout the NBA as a whole. The window of opportunity for the Pistons has closed and they’re not about to scale back to the heights of prominence ,which they once held. It’s now far too late for that , despite the appearance of youth on the tea’s roster. They now lack a true leader and a proven and consistent scorer on their roster. And it is something that will become their undoing. My recommendation : Sell !

In the Western Conference where it’s presumed the star talent of the NBA is reserved and perhaps the better of the teams throughout the league on the whole are domiciled. We all know that at the end of the day it’s very competitive within the conference. With the reigning champions, the Los Angeles Lakers looking to successfully defend their crown. The bullseye is now comfortably placed upon their back. And with the likes of the San Antonio Spurs, Denver Nuggets, Dallas Mavericks, Portland Trailblazers, Utah Jazz , Houston Rockets and a newly revitalized Oklahoma City Thunder all looking to take them down. One would suspect that the Lakers and in particular Kobe Bryant and the team’s coach ,Phil Jackson are relishing the challenge of defending their NBA title.

You’ll know doubt get some criticism from those in the Eastern Conference who’ll state that the play and talent there is somewhat better than their counterparts in the West. But I’d view that as something of an anathema at this juncture. Teams in the Eastern Conference tend to play a much more conservative type of basketball and where defense is their mainstay. Whereas, in the West much of the play there is most definitely predicated upon offense. Although the likes of the Spurs and Jazz would beg to differ in that context.

Los Angeles , California , November 29th,. Jordan Farmar (1) of the Los Angeles Lakers goes up for a shot against the New Jersey Nets at Staples Center on November 29, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.  picture appears  courtesy  of NBAE/Getty Images/ Noah Graham ..........
Los Angeles , California , November 29th,. Jordan Farmar (1) of the Los Angeles Lakers goes up for a shot against the New Jersey Nets at Staples Center on November 29, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. picture appears courtesy of NBAE/Getty Images/ Noah Graham ..........

Of the three pre-eminent teams in the Eastern Conference ,in no discerning order, we have the Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers and the Orlando Magic. The most well balanced and deepest in terms of their roster , may well be Stan Van Gundy’s Magic team. Of the three teams also, I do believe that the Magic by their play as of late, is the most improved. The additions of Brandon Bass, Vince Carter and Jason Williams has proven to be fortuitous.And General Manager,Otis Smith, might just be one of the least celebrated if not the most astute front office executives in the NBA at present. If nothing else it gives the Magic’s center, Dwight Howard, room to do what he does best and that’s to pound the boards and show off his defensive and offensive prowess. My recommendation : Buy and buy strong.

Besides the Magic in the Eastern Conference , the really only other noteworthy teams one ought to look at, are the Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics. The Cavaliers for their part, with the addition of Shaquille O’Neal to complement with the undoubted talents of LeBron James , might just well give the team its best chance of making another appearance in the NBA Finals. But here’s the caveat with regard to the team , when they face real adversity they’re not always able to handle it well. And that could once again become their undoing.That’s in light of having the experienced veteran presence of O’Neal on this roster. My recommendation: Hold . If things fall their way,they could just go out and finally achieve the winning of that elusive ring for James.

Denver Nuggets guard Chauncey Billups, left, drives for the basket as Minnesota Timberwolves center Al Jefferson defends in the fourth quarter of the Timberwolves' 106-100 victory in an NBA basketball game in Denver on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2009. The victory broke Minnesota's 15-game losing streak. picture  appears courtesy of  AP/photo/David Zalubowski ............
Denver Nuggets guard Chauncey Billups, left, drives for the basket as Minnesota Timberwolves center Al Jefferson defends in the fourth quarter of the Timberwolves' 106-100 victory in an NBA basketball game in Denver on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2009. The victory broke Minnesota's 15-game losing streak. picture appears courtesy of AP/photo/David Zalubowski ............

The Boston Celtics for their part has the experience and with seasoned veterans , such as Kevin Garnett, Paul Piece,Ray Allen and now Rasheed Wallace. This is a roster, whose coach Doc Rivers, knows how to win games and how to motivate his team. Added to the fact that they now have a point guard of note in, Rajon Rondo, they would be viewed as the presumptive favorites in the conference to win it all. My only concern with the Celtics however, is their health, especially when it comes to the question of their main quartet of players. That issue alone may well be enough to make on hedge their bets as to the overall chances of the team winning a second title for the organization with Rivers at the helm as their coach.
My recommendation here : Again a Hold. Down the stretch run of the regular season if the quartet is healthy , then there could be everything to play for with the Boston Celtics being added into the mix.

As the reigning champions ,the Los Angeles Lakers have added by subtraction. In losing Trevor Ariza to the Houston Rockets and obtaining free agent,Ron Artest. One could say, that they’ve become a much better team ? They’ve added a defensive presence in Artest and an additional scoring option behind Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol. And that’s with no disrespect to either,Lamar Odom or Andrew Bynum. But the addition of Artest does make a great deal of sense , if one takes away the baggage that he brings along with him. Here’s a player that brings along with him mental toughness and a willingness to do the dirty work required on either end of the floor. The same can’t be said of certain players on this Lakers’ roster. My recommendation on the Lakers : Buy, a very strong buy ! They’re the team to beat in the Western Conference. As defending champions and with Bryant as the ever present catalyst . How can you bet against them ?

San Antonio, Tx, November  29th. Richard Jefferson (24) of the San Antonio Spurs shoots against Samuel Dalembert (1) of the Philadelphia 76ers on November 29, 2009 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: picture appears courtewsy  of  NBAE/Getty mages/D. Clarke Evans .........
San Antonio, Tx, November 29th. Richard Jefferson (24) of the San Antonio Spurs shoots against Samuel Dalembert (1) of the Philadelphia 76ers on November 29, 2009 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: picture appears courtewsy of NBAE/Getty mages/D. Clarke Evans .........

Besides the Lakers in the Western Conference , if anyone is to challenge their supremacy within the conference. Then, the challenge well come from the San Antonio Spurs,Denver Nuggets, Dallas Mavericks and the up and coming Portland Trailblazers. Now where would should one start ?

First off , the four time NBA champions, the San Antonio Spurs seem finally to began to have realized that they can’t simply rely on the aging triumvirate of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobli and Tony Parker to lead this team. As great as they’ve been over the years , last year was a telling one for the franchise . They simply plugged away but with recurring injuries to each of the triumvirate, you knew it was only a matter of time before the wheels on the bus would continually happen to go flat.

Coach,Gregg Popovich, and the team’s GM, R. C. Buford, sought to bring in Richard Jefferson from the Milwaukee Bucks via a trade. Added to that they’d re-signed veteran Antonio McDyess to a three year deal and they’ve now got another creative play-maker in Roger Mason on the roster. This could prove to be a resurgent year for the Spurs. But much of that will no doubt be predicated upon the fitness of their triumvirate throughout the season and of course into an extended playoff run. And no doubt with the added depth of the team. Coach Popovich will make sure that his players are well rested and free of those worrisome and niggling injuries. My recommendation on the Spurs: Buy !

As good as the Denver Nuggets have looked this season, I can’t help but wonder if their heartbreaking loss of a series in the conference finals of last year wasn’t their one and only opportunity that they’ll have with George Karl, leading the charge as their coach ? The team is resplendent with stars such as Carmelo Anthony,Kenyon Martin, Chauncey Billups,J. R. Smith and Nene’. Built primarily around speed, athleticism and a great deal offensive prowess, the team has now seen that offense alone can’t be their only virtue. And with All Star point guard , Chauncey Billups providing much of that much needed efensive grit and presence. The team has now found a new sense of urgency and acceptance of the task at hand. As to whether or not they can usurp the Los Angeles Lakers remains to be seen. But if there’s one thing that we’re no doubt sure of , it is that the Nuggets are not prepared to lie down and be walked all over. My recommendation : A buy.

If there’s a team that I’ve come to admire in the Western Conference . Then that would have to be the Portland Trailblazers. For so long, they were often seen as a the pariahs of the NBA. In some respects they were more noted for their off the field problems, far more than they were known for anything that they were trying to achieve on it. And it took a turnaround in the mindset of owner, Paul Allen and that of the Trailblazers’ front office in making the drastic changes needed to right this listed ship. General Manager, Kevin Pritchard and Head Coach, Nate McMillan, saw fit to build from the ground up, uprooting the roster of the malcontents and ill fitting parts to a team that had continually underachieved.

Now in its place the Trailblazers have a young, competitive and desirable team that is the envy of the NBA. They’re led by such aspiring stars as Brandon Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge, Rudy Fernandez, Steve Blake and now it’d appear to be fully fit and resurgent center,Greg Oden. The latter of whom, has begun to justify the team’s faith in him, having missed his first season in the league ,due to a sever knee injury and then surgery.

You’d be highly mistaken in thinking that because the Trailblazers on the face of it are very much a young and inexperienced team, that they wouldn’t have what it takes to pull of an upset. But this is very much a team that knows how to play to its strengths and negates much of the weaknesses that others think that they often see. And in their coach, Nate McMillan , they have someone whose coaching philosophy is being listened to by his players and being heeded all too well. My recommendation on the Portland Trailblazers : Hold !

For me , I very much placed both the Dallas Mavericks and the Phoenix Suns in the same boat. As time goes by, their window of opportunity to win an NBA championship continues to close ever so rapidly. And if they’re unable to do it now, then they’re not going to be able to do it at any time in the near future. On both counts they’ve something of an aging roster and though in essence neither team can ever be viewed as being out of the picture. The fact of the matter is, that each time when they’re called upon to take that final step forward. They appear to be only all too willing to fall flat on their proverbial behinds,when trying to take that step to the next evel. One wouldn’t mind if it wasn’t for the fact that their front offices, in terms of the respective general managers have continued to make considerable mistakes concerning personnel decisions.

And in both,Steve Kerr of the Suns and Donnie Nelson of the Mavericks, you may well have two of the worst GM’s in all of the NBA. But then again I may well be overlooking the once terrific job that was done by then GM, Elgin Baylor for the Los Angeles Clippers ? Let’s just say that Baylor’s knowledge of player personnel as it regards the NBA game of today,ranks up there alongside the intelligence quotient of both Paris Hilton and Tara Reid, combined. And in this case both Kerr and Nelson aren’t that far behind him in that dubious distinction !

As good on paper as both teams might appear to be what they both lack in mental toughness and leadership. Dirk Nowitzki and his cast of teammates of the Dallas Mavericks are about as scary,as Clay Aiken trying to show his masculine side by claiming to be an all-out action star. The thought of which makes you wonder what it is that Aiken does in his down time ? Please no salacious answers to the question ? How else can one explain the Mavericks’ recent 111-103 loss to an undermanned Golden State Warriors’ team, that could only field eight fully fit players for the game ? Needless to say the answers forthcoming will as diverse as usual ! My recommendation for the Mavericks: Sell ! They’re just simply not worth it at this juncture !

The Phoenix Suns for their part can only go as far as the ageless wonder, Steve Nash can take them. With the ‘Shaquille O’Neal experiment’ now long gone. It’s back to the up-tempo basketball that they were once known for. That being said one doubts that their game that’s very much predicated upon primarily offense , will stand them in good stead come playoff time. Especially when given light to the fact for the Suns to play defense is like asking a crack addict to give up his crack pipe for 72 hours. It simply can’t be done without them going ‘cold turkey’. And that in essence is what one simply sees,when viewing this team. My recommendation with regard to the Phoenix Suns : Sell !

Now comes the easy part as to the bottom feeders at present in the Western Conference. The Golden State Warriors. My recommendation : Sell !
The Los Angeles Clippers my recommendation : Sell . The Minnesota Timberwolves,what more can I say, but sell !
The New Orleans Hornets and Memphis Grizzlies sell !

Bottom feeders in the Eastern Conference ? Well, the New Jersey Nets have seen fit to get rid of Lawrence Frank and that still hasn’t stop the losses. Enough said ! Sell ! As with the sentiment concerning the Buffalo Bills. No one knows of better ways of losing, than the New York Knicks. Sell the whole damn lot of your allotted stake in this sorry ass team ! You’ll thank me in the long run for suggesting that !
Washington Wizards and Indiana Pacers ? Someone suggested to me that there’s optimism there concerning the Wizards ? Well , I’ve got a suggestion for that certain individual, look at their damn record at present and tell me where you see them progressing to ? The Indiana Pacers and their GM , Larry Bird are simply now treading water, awaiting some sort of divine intervention. The sad part to this all, is that the Pacers’ Danny Granger is now languishing on a team, whereby the talent he’s surrounded by is no better than that of a D-affiliate of an NBA franchise. My recommendation: Sell both !

NBA Standings By Conference click here ……….

Eastern

Team Record

New Jeresy Nets 0-16

New York Knicks 3-13

Indiana Pacers 6-8

Detroit Pistons 5-11

Washington Wizards 5-10

Western Conference

Team Record

Minnesota T’wolves 1-15

Los Angeles Clippers 7-10

Golden State Warriors 5-10

New Orleans Hornets 7-9

Memphis Grizzlies 6-10

NB: Financial Services company, AIG, was bailed out by the government to the tune of $150 billion of taxpayers’ monies. And at present they’re still on the edge of a financial precipice. Bear Stearns was taken over by investment bank J P Morgan & Co.. This was done after the company had racked up in excess of $81.6 billion worth of debt, for which it had less than $8 billion of liquid assets. J P Morgan was in receipt of $25 billion of Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) monies, courtesy of the Federal Government. Of which part has been repaid, the remaining outstanding balance due is less than $ 6 billion.

When You Arrive You’ve Got To Arrive In Style …… !

When You Arrive You’ve Got To Arrive In Style ….

Well, the college football regular season has come to a close and needless to say there are those who’ve made their voices heard. While others,will bow out rather unceremoniously in silence. And now for the Florida Gators either history now awaits them or infamy. Urban Meyer, as coach of the Gators, knows that should he prevail in the SEC Championship Game, he then has the luxury of knowing that a berth awaits him the national championship game. As to who that opponent will be , it remains to be seen .

Florida  quarterback , Tim  Tebow (15) completes  a  pass as he  gets  hit  by Florida  State's  Markus White (98)  during the  second  half  of the  game  played  at  Ben  Hill  Griffin  Stadium, in  Gainesville ,Florida. The  Gators  would  go  on  to  defeat their rival , Florida State  37-10   in  a  thoroughly  lopsided  game.    picture  appears  courtesy of  AP/Photo / Phil  Sandlin  .................
Florida quarterback , Tim Tebow (15) completes a pass as he gets hit by Florida State's Markus White (98) during the second half of the game played at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, in Gainesville ,Florida. The Gators would go on to defeat their rival , Florida State 37-10 in a thoroughly lopsided game. picture appears courtesy of AP/Photo / Phil Sandlin .................

Yesterday, the Florida Gators faced their old and some might say their staunchest rival in the Florida State Seminoles. And for the ‘noles this has been a season of discontent and self evaluation. The turmoil within the Seminoles’ organization is one, which on the face of it has become absolutely idiotic and that has reached such heights comedic extravagance that it is hard to understand what direction the program should now take.Seminoles’ coach,Bobby Bowden, whilst having led the program, of late he’s become something of a weighty anchor that is now bringing down the vessel that is the Florida State football program. The game has passed Bowden by and in such a way that the play of the Seminoles has become barely recognizable . They’re no longer competitive and in terms of recruiting ’blue chip’ athletes. Well, that hasn’t been the case for the program in a number of years. Mind you, they’re the apologists out there,who’ll say this is but a cyclical situation for the program. But consider this, for the last decade the program has continually regressed under Bowden’s tenure. But ‘the grand old czar’ of Florida college football now sits and surveys a program that is now in complete disarray . Much of that has been of Bowden’s own making and that of the lax attitude of his coaching staff and idiocy of the Athletics Department of the once esteemed university.

In contrast , the program of University of Florida now stands on the threshold of placing itself amongst the elite programs in college football history. The program’s coach, Urban Meyer seeks to win the school’s fourth national title and his third with the program in his four years with the university. Alongside, Meyer, he’s had the distinct pleasure of having coached the program’s most storied and perhaps its best player in the team’s quarterback, Tim Tebow. And for the senior , he’s now seeking history himself, by looking to win his third national championship and with the added possibility of winning a second Heisman trophy. A feat that has not been done since Archie Griffin won two consecutive Heisman trophies. And for the young Tebow, not only does college glory await him but the chance to take his game to the next level and that is take center stage on the football fields of the NFL. But before that scenario materializes , Tebow and his teammates have some unfinished business that requires their urgent attention.

Florida cornerback Wondy Pierre-Louis, right, breaks up a pass intended for Florida State receiver Rodney Smith in the end zone during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Gainesville, Fla., Saturday, Nov. 28, 2009. picture  appears   courtesy by  AP/Photo/ Phelan M  Ebenhack  ...........
Florida cornerback Wondy Pierre-Louis, right, breaks up a pass intended for Florida State receiver Rodney Smith in the end zone during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Gainesville, Fla., Saturday, Nov. 28, 2009. picture appears courtesy by AP/Photo/ Phelan M Ebenhack ...........

Yesterday , the Gators and the Seminoles faced off against one another at ‘The Swamp’, in Gainesville, Florida. Games of this magnitude meant so much to both programs but today it’s merely another just another ‘stop off point’ for the Gators. For Seminoles’ fans, this game was ‘the make or break’ for their season. A loss and they’re no longer Bowl eligible, a win and one could surmise that there’ll be some respite as to the speculation concerning the future of Bobby Bowden. But that’d be very much predicated upon which team turns up to face the Gators ? Inconsistency in terms of their play has very much epitomized the fall from grace of Bowden’s team and the program in general . And that hasn’t been merely because of what we’ve witnessed this season but essentially what has taken place within the program over the past few years. A program that has been sinking in its own ineptitude and asinine belief in it own self grandeur . Well, there’s nothing grand about a program that is now becoming the butt of jokes right across the college football panacea.

What we saw yesterday from both teams embodies what we’re now seeing as to the direction that programs are now taking. While one is moving forwards the other seems to be moving backwards and into an abyss mediocrity.

Bowden’s team has been anything but a complete anathema from one week to the next. They’ve at times, either been playing with a great deal of resolve but seemingly performing like a blind man in the midst of a minefield , the next. If it’s not been blowing itself up with its mediocre play, it has seen fit to let their opponents walk over them like a doormat. And for that to be happening at this juncture to a Bobby Bowden coached is very much akin to seeing Superman without his cape , enveloped in a vat of kryptonite. Now comes the hard part, what is Bowden now to do in terms of an encore ? Or will be in fact be around for an encore ? Such has been the speculation concerning Bowden’s immediate future and that of the program.

Well, the game itself proved to be an eventful one for Urban Meyer’s team as they completely outplayed Florida State in every facet of the game . The end result was a thoroughly deserving 37-10 defeat of the Seminoles at the hands of Florida, at ‘The Swamp’ , in what would be the senior , Tim Tebow’s last game as a Gator, in Gainesville. And Tebow’s play was exemplary and what we’ve now come to expect of the player. He’s not only a leader but he , himself , leads by example ,even when things are said to be going well , or not going well for the team.

Florida quarterback Tim Tebow is swarmed by fans after an NCAA college football game against Florida State in Gainesville, Fla., Saturday, Nov. 28, 2009.  Florida won 37-10. picture appears  courtesy  of AP/Photo/ Phelan M Ebenhack ..........
Florida quarterback Tim Tebow is swarmed by fans after an NCAA college football game against Florida State in Gainesville, Fla., Saturday, Nov. 28, 2009. Florida won 37-10. picture appears courtesy of AP/Photo/ Phelan M Ebenhack ..........

And there are those out there who’d question whether or not he’s an NFL ready quarterback ? My question to them, are the likes of JaMarcus Russell,Brady Quinn, Matthew Stafford or Josh Freeman NFL ready quarterbacks ? Because the last time I checked none of these players have won anything of note, or actually led their teams with anything near distinction. But yet there are idiots out there who’d question the ability of this player. And with the asinine statements of former Miami Hurricanes and Dallas Cowboys’ coach, Jimmy Johnson make the asinine statement of stating that Tebow doesn’t have what it takes to make it in the NFL. When last I checked , Johnson had Dan Marino and the Miami Dolphins on the wrong end of a 65-7 ass whupping at the hands of the Jacksonville Jaguars that’d bring about the end to his coaching career in the NFL. Never mind the fact that as a coach, Johnson was nothing more than a facilitator, as a coach in the NFL. He merely delegated and deferred to others , who would do his bidding. And even if he’s the coach of two Supebowl winning teams. Johnson upon his retirement, has done little to suggest that anything that he states really has any credence when it comes to the NFL. He’s merely a glorified and sartorially dressed glove puppet alongside the other idiots who provide analysis on Fox’s eponymous pre and post-game NFL show. In watching Johnson and his colleagues on the show, is akin to watching several drunks talk about their days of binge drinking and the fact that they actually could remember events from when they were at times in a drunken stupor.

Florida head coach Urban Meyer, left, and Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden meet after an NCAA college football game in Gainesville, Fla., Saturday, Nov. 28, 2009.  Florida won 37-10.               picture appears courtesy of AP/Photo/  Phelan M  Ebenhack ...................
Florida head coach Urban Meyer, left, and Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden meet after an NCAA college football game in Gainesville, Fla., Saturday, Nov. 28, 2009. Florida won 37-10. picture appears courtesy of AP/Photo/ Phelan M Ebenhack ...................

As to what now awaits Florida , well that is now predicated upon how they will deal with the fate that they aspire to carve out for themselves . And as we all know, you create your own luck and not have it placed within your lap by others. It’s not only about how you arrive but the fact that you’ve arrived in style .

Apathy Comes To NASCAR …………….

Apathy Comes To NASCAR …………..

I’ve never really an ardent fan of the sport but for the life of me I cannot understand the apathy of the NASCAR fans. They’ve witnessed greatness in front of their very eyes. But yet the accomplishments of the now four timeNASCAR Sprint Cup champion, Jimmie Johnson is treated with such disdain that it has become downright disgusting. It were as if Johnson has become public enemy # 1 and persona non grata. But then again here’s a sport that’s allegedly built upon tradition and the legacy of its forefathers. Names such as Dale Earnhardt, Davey Allison, Darrell Waltrip,Bill Elliott, Richard Petty and other greats of the sport.

New York November 24th 2009,  Jimmie Johnson 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion poses for a photo at the top of the Empire State Building on November 24, 2009 in New York City. Jimmie Johnson is celebrating after winning his forth consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship.   picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/NASCAR/  Mike Stobe ....................
New York November 24th 2009, Jimmie Johnson 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion poses for a photo at the top of the Empire State Building on November 24, 2009 in New York City. Jimmie Johnson is celebrating after winning his forth consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/NASCAR/ Mike Stobe ....................

The post modern era has brought us Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch , Joey Logano, Juan Pablo Montoya and the still performing elder statesman Mark Martin. Jimmie Johnson has achieved a feat not accomplished by any of his peers or predecessors as champion and that is repeat as champion for four consecutive years. The feat has been embraced by fans of Johnson and those who wholehearted fans of Hendricks Motorsports. But amongst the widespread NASCAR fan, it’s as if this is much ado about noting. While, I won’t rebuke the fans of the sport I do find it somewhat incredulous that for a sport that’s said to embrace its traditional core values and which has now reached its zenith in terms of popularity and audience participation – which is now on the decline. If this is the fans’ idea of showing support for the sport. Then, ahead lies a wasteland of discontent and abandonment. If they’re not prepared to embrace the accomplishments of such a feat. Then what the hell are they actually prepared to do when things start to go downhill ?

OK , so the season itself became something of an anti-climax once Johnson led the Sprint Cup standings. It was felt that once ahead it would be difficult for anyone to erase the lead and come out on top over Johnson. And even though Mark Martin gave a spirited effort at the end of the day he fell short in his quest. But even that was something of a misnomer because everyone it’d appear is a fan of Dale Earnhardt Jr, or a close follower of his travails within the Sprint Cup Series. And that’s well and good but for Dale Jr, his presence on the Sprint Cup circuit this season, has resonated about as much as a ripple in the ocean. His failures have been magnified by the success of his teammates within Hendricks Motorsports . But yet his fans will continue to make the most asinine excuses for his continuing failures. I recently had a fan of his explain to me the success that Dale has had within NASCAR and the fact that in total he’s won over thirty races. Thirty races ? Who the hell cares when little more than half of those races have been in the lower echelons of NASCAR. After-all isn’t it the races in the Sprint Cup that matters ? What he was suggesting is akin to stating that given the choice of taking Halle Berry or Rosie O’Donnell to the prom as his date, he’d have been stupid enough to have taken O’Donnell. But then again I think it was merely naiveté on this individual’s part !

Homestead ,Fl ,.  Jimmie Johnson, driver of the (48) Lowe's Chevrolet, poses with all four of his championship trophies after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2009 in Homestead, Florida. Johnson becomes the first driver in the history of NASCAR to win four consecutive championships since the sports inception in 1949. picture appears courtesy of  Getty Images/ Sam Greenwood ....................
Homestead ,Fl ,. Jimmie Johnson, driver of the (48) Lowe's Chevrolet, poses with all four of his championship trophies after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2009 in Homestead, Florida. Johnson becomes the first driver in the history of NASCAR to win four consecutive championships since the sports inception in 1949. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Sam Greenwood ....................

As to the season itself, well it was one filled with a great many firsts, With Johnson’s feat of repeating as champion to Joey Logano becoming the youngest race winner in NASCAR’s top echelon to the sport having witnessed the breakout success of Juan Pablo Montoya. And Montoya along the way has had his share of fans as well as enemies and detractors. He may now be as unpopular as Kyle Busch . The latter who fashions himself the sport’s bad boy and anti-hero. Busch like Montoya, holds nothing back on the track , nor does he , when he chooses to be critical of a fellow competitor. But the sport tends to create the scenario of the hero and the villain for its theatrics. And though it doesn’t possess the orchestration and choreography of the WWE. NASCAR may well be the closest thing that there is on the North American sports landscape and that’s with no disrespect to the guys of MLS.

As I alluded to earlier though I’m no great admirer of the sport I have to admit that when it comes to admiring greatness from afar. What I’ve seen from Jimmie Johnson over the past four years has to rank up there alongside the feats accomplished by Red Auerbach’sBoston Celtics , John Wooden’s amazingly successful run with the UCLA Bruins, Phil Jackson’s Chicago Bulls’ 6 titles in 8 years, the New York Yankees’ run of five consecutive World Series’ triumphs (1949-53).Somehow, the NASCAR fan is either unappreciative greatness when it’s thrust upon them and placed within their presence. Or merely the fact that view Jimmie Johnson as too vanilla , clean cut and not what they really want ? And as asinine as concept appears to be that may well be the primary reason why the Californian doesn’t seem to resonate with the vast majority of NASCAR fans.

The 2009 season for NASCAR an eventful one but in many ways it went through the upheavals that many of the high profiled sports having been going through from the NFL,MLB,NHL, NBAand MLS . Attendance has been down, viewer-ship down but even more troubling for NASCAR has been the fact that many of their major corporate sponsors have either been withdrawing from the sport or lessening their commercial sponsorship due to budgetary constraints and uncertainty of the economic climate. And it certainly hasn’t helped that the each of three domestic auto manufacturers have had their problems, uncreative designs, over dependency on gas guzzlers, vehicles with low mileage economy, lowering auto sales to the overall mismanagement of the respective companies by its executives.

Then we have the government bailout, of which we the taxpayers have seen in excess of $ 85 billion dollars given to GM and Chrysler. And less we forget, Ford has seen fit to leverage itself to hilt, whereby has borrowed in excess of $ 35 billion in order steer itself through the current economic crisis. But don’t be fooled by the fact that it recently turned a profit of close to $ 1 billion for the last quarter. Though much of it came via government’s clash for clunkers’ deal. A great deal of that came via the cutbacks , union concessions , closure of plants and loss tens of thousands from Ford’s employment workforce. Needless to say a balance sheet never really gives you the true picture of the health of a company. But yet industry analysts would have you believe that all is well with Ford, GM and Chrysler. In reality all three are literally clinging by the tips of their nails for sheer life. If you doubt my word then look at the sales pitch being made by each.

Little Falls , NJ -  Four-time Nascar champion Jimmie Johnson presents a model of his #48 Lowe's Chevrolet to  Baseball Hall of Famer Yogi Berra at a tour of the Yogi Berra Museum and and Learning Center on November 23, 2009 in Little Falls, New Jersey.  picture appears  courtesy of Getty Images/ Jeff  Zelevansky  .....................
Little Falls , NJ - Four-time Nascar champion Jimmie Johnson presents a model of his #48 Lowe's Chevrolet to Baseball Hall of Famer Yogi Berra at a tour of the Yogi Berra Museum and and Learning Center on November 23, 2009 in Little Falls, New Jersey. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Jeff Zelevansky .....................

NASCAR has its problems and it’d appear that it goes way beyond not just the apathy of the fans but also that of the sport’s governing body . NASCAR has been slow to realize the changing climate and even less proactive in dealing with the issues that it now faces with a dwindling attendances for its events and viewership as a whole. Television viewership is down by over 8% on year on year basis for the last four years and attendance for NASCAR’s Sprint Cup schedule is down by 15 % for the last two years alone.

So as of now, one can only attest to the fact that what we’re seeing within the sport from many of its fans and how they view Johnson and his feat with just apoplexy. Somehow I’m not so sure if the sport can survive in its present state. Not with this sort of apathy being shown by the fans ! What are your thoughts on the matter ?

Final NASCAR Sprint Cup Standings 2009

RANK +/- DRIVER POINTS BEHIND STARTS POLES WINS TOP 5 TOP 10 WINNINGS
1 — Jimmie Johnson 6652 Leader 36 4 7 16 24 7,339,630
2 — Mark Martin 6511 -141 36 7 5 14 21 5,279,000
3 — Jeff Gordon 6473 -179 36 1 1 16 25 6,476,460
4 — Kurt Busch 6446 -206 36 0 2 10 21 4,991,480
5 +3 Denny Hamlin 6335 -317 36 1 4 15 20 5,478,040
6 -1 Tony Stewart 6309 -343 36 0 4 15 23 6,836,150
7 — Greg Biffle 6292 -360 36 0 0 10 16 4,811,510
8 -2 Juan Montoya 6252 -400 36 2 0 7 18 5,274,190
9 — Ryan Newman 6175 -477 36 2 0 5 15 5,010,310
10 — Kasey Kahne 6128 -524 36 0 2 7 14 5,760,140
11 — Carl Edwards 6118 -534 36 0 0 7 14 5,607,550
12 — Brian Vickers 5929 -723 36 6 1 4 13 4,731,590

To view in its entirety click here ………

Keeping Up Appearances Or In This Case Anything You Can Do …. We’ll Try And Do Better Than You ……The New York Yankees …………..

Well it had to have stuck into the claw of Boston Red Sox President,Larry Lucchino and the team’s General Manager,Theo Epstein, to see the New York Yankees defeat the Philadelphia Phillies to raise their 27th World Series title. Albeit,that it was their first since 2000.

Larry Lucchino  (center)  and  Theo  Epstein,  (right) seen here  with   principal partner  and  owner   John  Henry  of  the  Boston  Red  Sox.  picture  appears  courtesy  of  AP/photo/  Chris Argyle  ...................
Larry Lucchino (center) and Theo Epstein, (right) seen here with principal partner and owner John Henry of the Boston Red Sox. picture appears courtesy of AP/photo/ Chris Argyle ...................

Having made the playoffs the disappointment of having lost to the Los Angeles Angels was a bitter pill to swallow. And in many ways it was somewhat indicative of their season as a whole. Wherein, at times there were playing outstanding baseball. But more often than not there were those momentary lapses in concentration and where their game became entirely inconsistent of what one had come to expect of the organization.It may well have been from over complacency on their part or quite possibly from the fact that this time around they simply weren’t just good enough.

Courtesy of The Patriot Ledger

Red Sox on the prowl before player market gets busy

Epstein’s history is to deal before winter meetings

By Mike Fine, The Patriot Ledger

The perception of the annual MLB winter meetings is that it’s a free-for-all meat market of free agents replete with clandestine meetings in shady corners between general managers and agents, and wholesale sell jobs by those agents.

True, but the league’s GMs would much prefer to avoid the clamor and make their deals well before the meetings commence. The Red Sox have been fairly successful in doing just that during the Theo Epstein regime, making numerous deals before the meetings, which this year begin on Dec. 7.

(Epstein made this year’s first move on Thanksgiving Eve, acquiring infielder Tug Hulett from the Royals. Hold the applause.)

Epstein’s first coup, in fact, was the signing of Curt Schilling. Six years ago he was sitting in Schilling’s dining room partaking in the Thanksgiving dinner that led to the Schilling acquisition, thereby keeping him away from the Yankees and any other vultures who’d be awaiting him as the meetings loomed. Schilling told WEEI listeners on Wednesday that while the Sox were visiting, he took an illicit call from the Yankees in another room.

=====================================================
In order to read Mike Fine’s article in its entirety just click unto the text link provided
=====================================================

Roy Halladay on  the  mound    for the   Toronto   Blue Jays.  The  pitching  ace  is  said  to be  a desired  target  of the AL  East's  Boston  Red  Sox.  As to  what it'd   take to  pry  away  the  player  from  the Blue Jays is said  to be  open  to speculation.  But names  being  mentioned   are   that of  Red  Sox pitchers either   Jon Lester  or  Clay Bucholtz  and one  or two  members  from  within  their  farm  system .   picture appears  courtesy of  AP/photo/  Chris  Nettles  ....................
Roy Halladay on the mound for the Toronto Blue Jays. The pitching ace is said to be a desired target of the AL East's Boston Red Sox. As to what it'd take to pry away the player from the Blue Jays is said to be open to speculation. But names being mentioned are that of Red Sox pitchers, either Jon Lester or Clay Bucholtz and one or two members from within their farm system . picture appears courtesy of AP/photo/ Chris Nettles ....................

The team’s nucleus is totally reliant on an aging but experienced roster but there’s little by way of a real emerging presence of a leader to take over from team captain, Jason Varitek. Certainly, there wasn’t anything coming from the likes of Jason Bay, Josh Beckett, Tim Wakefield,David Ortiz, Victor Martinez or any other of an assortment of players on the team. And it became even more apparent that players such as Kevin Youkilis and Mike Lowell didn’t seem ready to step up to the plate and assume that role. Though it has to be said that the diminutive Dustin Pedroia seemed to fit the role but no one would follow suit. And it typified the struggles that the team faced throughout much of the regular and postseason. It certainly wasn’t lost on the casual observer of the game or the most ardent of fans and many of the analysts, commentators covering baseball and MLBin particular.

Terry Francona, as manager of the Red Sox, has guided the team to two World Series’titles in his first four years as the team’s manager. And that success hasn’t been lost on the die-hard fans within the ‘Red Sox Nation’. If anything, they’ll forever be eternally grateful to Francona for that success , having drifted in the wilderness of mediocrity for a number of years and being the butt of jokes from the Yankees’ fans as well from the rest of the baseball world. But seemingly, as times changed, so too did the mindset of the Red Sox fans and the organization. They sat back and rested on their laurels. They seemed to have forgotten that the once ‘sleeping giant’ known as the New York Yankees weren’t about to let the Red Sox seem to think that they were the dominant force in baseball. The game has its pecking order ….and that appears to be ..it’s the New York Yankees and then everyone else in no discerning order.

Courtesy of The Detroit Free Press

Tigers would need super offer to trade first baseman Miguel Cabrera

By John Lowe , Free Press Writer

Amid continuing speculation that the Tigers will trade first baseman Miguel Cabrera this off-season, here are some things to keep in mind:

• Cabrera’s contract could represent a huge deterrent for any team, even a high-payroll one. For each of the remaining six years of his contract, Cabrera will make at least $20 million. That’s more than $120 million total.

• Unlike with a free-agent signing, any team that takes Cabrera would have to come up with more than big bucks. They’d also have to send players to the Tigers. If the Tigers took players in the trade whose combined salaries are close to Cabrera’s, that would contradict one speculated reason for the Tigers to trade Cabrera: cost-cutting.

• If the Tigers receive an irresistible offer for Cabrera, he could be gone — just as almost any other player in the majors could be traded for the right offer. For this reason, among others, clubs are reluctant to declare that any player of theirs is “untouchable.”

• Evidence that the Tigers are actively shopping Cabrera to other teams is hard to find.

=====================================================
Click on link provided to read John Lowe’s article in its entirety
=====================================================

Now it is being rumored that the Red Sox will make a full court press to land pitching ace, Roy Halladay, of the Toronto Blue Jays. And with the Blue Jays being in the midst of an upheaval not just within their onfield personnel but also within their front office. There’s bound to be a great deal of speculation as to what the Red Sox will be prepared to give up and what the Blue Jays in return will desire from the Red Sox in order to let go of Halladay. And it is being further mentioned that the team is said to be thinking of acquiring the Detroit Tigers’ slugger, Miguel Cabrera. Tigers’ general manager,Dave Dombrowski, it appears is about to have a fire sale of the majority of team’s roster, as they seek to start afresh building around youth and through their ‘farm system’.

While no one doubts the financial acumen of the Boston Red Sox organization. And that of its principal partners,John Henry , Tom Werner, film and television mogul. It’ll take a phenomenal amount of maneuvering to make both deals happen.In Theo Epstein, the Boston Red Sox might just have the most astute general manager in all of baseball. His knowledge of the game is unprecedented and his assessment of talent is second to none. And if anyone is able to make such a deal materialize,then he’d be the guy to do it. Albeit, that there may well be one or two opponents against such a deal. In the case of Cabrera, it would mean having to be tied to the player’s $120 million dollar contract for the money that he’s owed over the next six years. Financial constraints being what they are, in essence for the Red Sox, it’s about trying to keep apace with the New York Yankees, rather than falling too far behind.But also Epstein and Lucchino have thought that with Jason Bay seeking to pursue the free agency market, some additional ‘pop’ on the Red Sox’s offensive will be needed. Far too often, their bats at times were found to be wanting . And as prolific on appearance as their offense is said to be, when it mattered most in really tight games , it was nowhere to be seen.

And within the always competitive AL East , where it’s always been primarily about the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees. It hasn’t helped that the waters have become somewhat muddied with the ascendancy of the Tampa Bay Rays, who view themselves as the ‘new kids on the block’ looking to usurp the dominance of these two fabled foes. With them now becoming more competitive within the division where they were once the doormat that everyone seemingly beat up on. Now things have taken on a sense of urgency for both of these two dominant teams.

Miguel Cabrera (24) of the Detroit Tigers watches his fourth inning grand slam in front of Jarrod Saltalamacchia (21) of the Texas Rangers during Opening Day on April 10, 2009 at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan.    picture appears courtesy of  Getty Images/  Gregory  Shamus .........................
Miguel Cabrera (24) of the Detroit Tigers watches his fourth inning grand slam in front of Jarrod Saltalamacchia (21) of the Texas Rangers during Opening Day on April 10, 2009 at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Gregory Shamus .........................

In the meantime, the other occupants within the division,the Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays can only sit back and watch in amazement, as they’re left further behind from the triumvirate ahead of them in the pecking order within the most competitive division in all of baseball. And for them the appearance of being competitive is akin to trying to ascertain the number of sand grains it would take to fill an hour-glass. Their’s at present is a thankless task, which hasn’t been made any easier by owners who on appearance alone have no guts to show that they’ve got what it takes to either show an interest in their respective teams. If I am indeed wrong ,then please avail of the information that indicates that Peter Angelos of the Baltimore Orioles or Rogers Communications of the Toronto Blue Jays actually gives a damn about their respective baseball organizations ? Because I for one, have yet to see it for myself over the last decade and counting. And that is the misnomer that MLB Commissioner,Bud Selig would contrive to have us believe about the game and its erstwhile and compassionate owners. Absolutely nothing could be further from the truth.

With the Winter Meetings scheduled to start in the first week of December (December 7th),it’ll be interesting to see what materializes from the get together of the major league general managers, agents ,coaches and their ancillary staff.This is in effect is where a great deal of the back door maneuvers and deals in essence take flight or get burnt down as the case maybe. And on hand to report it all with the usual aplomb will be the cabal of baseball writers, analysts looking to give light to a rumor or just to be seen doing their jobs in the customary fashion.As to whether or not there’s to be a major scoop to come out of it all. We’ll just have to wait and see. One thing is certain however, the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees will most definitely have one or two irons in the fire looking to wheel and deal. As to the others in attendance as it was so made abundantly clear by Marie Antoinette “……let them eat cake.”

NB: Boston Red Sox Front Office, click here to view in its entirety ….

OFFICERS
Principal Owner John W. Henry
Chairman Thomas C. Werner
Vice Chairmen David Ginsberg, Phillip H. Morse
President/Chief Executive Officer Larry Lucchino
Director George J. Mitchell
— top —

PARTNERS
Theodore Alfond New York Times Co. (Jim Lessersohn, Janet Robinson)
William Alfond Arthur E. Nicholas
Thomas R. DiBenedetto Frank Resnek
Michael Egan Martin Trust
Michael Gordon Jeffrey Vinik
John A. Kaneb
— top —

FRONT OFFICE
EVP/Chief Operating Officer Sam Kennedy
EVP/Business Affairs Jonathan Gilula
General Counsel of NESV Ed Weiss
Vice President, Emeritus Joe McDermott
Vice President, Team Historian Dick Bresciani
Executive Consultant Lou Gorman
Senior Advisor/Baseball Projects Jeremy Kapstein
Senior Advisor/Strategic Planning Michael Porter
Special Assistant to the Principal Owner Sylvia Moon
Senior Business Analyst Tim Zue
Special Assistant to SVP Business Affairs Katie Haas
Special Assistant to COO and CSMO Fred Olsen
Executive Assistants Fay Scheer (to the President/CEO)
Barbara Bianucci, Jeanne Bill, Claire Durant, Kathleen Fleming
Special Projects Coordinator Jon Dienstag
— top —

BASEBALL OPERATIONS
Executive Vice President/General Manager Theo Epstein
Senior Vice President/Assistant General Manager Ben Cherington
Senior Vice President/Assistant General Manager Jed Hoyer
Senior Vice President/International Scouting Craig Shipley
Assistant to the General Manager Allard Baird
Senior Advisor/Baseball Operations Bill James
Director of Baseball Operations Brian O’Halloran
Director of Baseball Information Services Tom Tippett
Assistant Director of Baseball Operations Zack Scott
Special Assistant to the General Manager David Howard
Executive Assistant Erin Cox
Traveling Secretary Jack McCormick
Instructors Johnny Pesky, Jim Rice, Luis Tiant
Medical Director Dr. Thomas Gill
Team Internist Dr. Larry Ronan

Big Pimpin’ Dallas Mavericks’ Style ……….Bitches That They Are !

Big Pimpin’ Dallas Mavericks’ Style …….Bitches That They Are !

I don’t know of any other way to suggest this but in watching the Dallas Mavericks lose to the Golden State Warriors, who only had six physically healthy players suited up. Well, it suggests everything that I’ve come to think about the Dallas Mavericks. They’re an extremely soft team, not only physically but also mentally as well. And this is epitomized by the attitude of their owner, Mark Cuban . Egotistical , narcissistic but above all critical of others when they’re not all in agreement with his thought process.

Dallas-November 24th 2009: Monta Ellis (8) of the Golden State Warriors goes up and under against Dirk Nowitzki (41) of the Dallas Mavericks during a game at the American Airlines Center on November 24, 2009 in Dallas, Texas.  picture appears  courtesy of  NBAE/Getty Images/  Glenn James  .............
Dallas-November 24th 2009: Monta Ellis (8) of the Golden State Warriors goes up and under against Dirk Nowitzki (41) of the Dallas Mavericks during a game at the American Airlines Center on November 24, 2009 in Dallas, Texas. picture appears courtesy of NBAE/Getty Images/ Glenn James .............

This Mavericks’ team is resplendent with a plethora of stars but little in the way of leadership. And that is with seasoned veterans such as Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Kidd , Jason Terry and Shawn Marion. To make matters worse, the the team is highly overpaid and has given little back in return by way of anything tangible in terms of success. This club has continually underachieved despite all of the lavish spending and the perception that it is one of the marquee teams in the NBA. The fact of the matter is, they’re a good regular season team but come the postseason they become doormat that many of the elite teams in the NBA choose to wipe their feet on.

Kris Humpheries of the Dallas Mavericks goes up for the dunk in the game against the Golden State Warriors. The Mavericks would go on to be defeated by the Warriors 111-103 in the game played at the American Airlines Center in Dallas ,Texas, on the 24th November,2009. picture appears courtesy of NBAE/Getty Images/ Glenn James …….

Last night’s game between these two Western Conference team saw the Golden State Warriors with eight players on the bench of the mandated twelve but only six ready to play. The Warriors and the Dallas Mavericks set out to play a game and let every ardent fan of the game see what the NBA will be proffering up to their patrons for the season. Well, the Warriors did little to disappoint as they completely overwhelmed the Mavericks with their resiliency and resolve as a team. Unfortunately,for the Mavericks they had no answer for the Warriors’ Monta Ellis, Anthony Morrow, Vladimir Radmanovic or their rookie sensation Steph Curry. As they went about decimating the Mavericks’ defense and made them look like very much like a D-league NBA representative
team.

Now pardon me for saying this, when your franchise is said to be worth
in excess of $ 400 million and on appearance it seems to be worth not more than a plug nickel . Then there’s a great deal to be said for the pomp and bloviated opinions of Mark Cuban and the persona of his franchise. They’ve become more accustomed to being beaten up on, more than a hooker is by her pimp ‘for not turning enough tricks’. And ‘tricks’, it appears to be something that the Mavericks haven’t been able to turn in quite some time. OK, so they made it to the postseason last year and they beat a San Antonio Spurs’ team that was missing several of its top players. But having done so, in the conference semi finals they melted like butter against a hot knife.

Stephen Curry (30) of the Golden State Warriors celebrates a win against the Dallas Mavericks during a game at the American Airlines Center on November 24, 2009 in Dallas, Texas. picture appears  courtesy of NBAE/Getty Images/  Glenn James .......
Stephen Curry (30) of the Golden State Warriors celebrates a win against the Dallas Mavericks during a game at the American Airlines Center on November 24, 2009 in Dallas, Texas. picture appears courtesy of NBAE/Getty Images/ Glenn James .......

Courtesy of Associated Press and Yahoo Sports


Ellis, Morrow lead Warriors past Mavericks 111-103

DALLAS (AP)—Golden State was down to eight healthy players—and used only six. Warriors coach Don Nelson wasn’t with the team as he recovers from pneumonia. Still, Monta Ellis(notes) and Stephen Curry(notes) wouldn’t let injuries or sickness become an excuse.

Ellis scored 13 of his season-high 37 points in the fourth quarter, Curry added 11 of his 18 points in the final 4 minutes and the Warriors ended Dallas’ five-game winning streak with a 111-103 victory over the short-handed Mavericks on Tuesday night.

“Coming into this game, we had nothing to lose,” said assistant coach Keith Smart, who filled in for Nelson. “The worst case is they blow us out and we move on to (Wednesday night’s game in San Antonio). But our guys have a lot of character. They played hard together and made the right decisions.”

====================================================
In order to read this article in its entirety just click unto the text link
provided.
====================================================

Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki (41), of Germany, loses the ball to Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2009, in Dallas. The Warriors won 111-103. picture appears courtesy of AP/Photo/ Sharon Ellman  ...........
Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki (41), of Germany, loses the ball to Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2009, in Dallas. The Warriors won 111-103. picture appears courtesy of AP/Photo/ Sharon Ellman ...........

This season, the Dallas Mavericks appear to have started off strong but their inconsistency is already beginning to set in. The Golden State Warriors for their part are looking to take the next step and place themselves amongst the elite teams within the Western Conference. And in doing so, it would further suggest to their fans that they’re ready to show them what they’ve been missing out on for such a long time. In place of Don Nelson as coach of the team last night , there on the sidelines was his assistant, Keith Smart. Nelson was unable to participate as he was sidelined with a bout of pneumonia. His return isn’t anticipated for another week or two. Smart, for his part showed that he may well be the coach in waiting, once Nelson is ready to step down from his position as coach of the team.

The Mavericks for their part, to my mind are no closer to winning an NBA title than the Democrats are about the direction that the party now seems to be heading in.The Dallas Mavericks as an organization give all the semblance of being an organized and efficiently ran organization. But in essence,they’re only playing at being that. They’re a complete mess but Mark Cuban would rather not have you see the warts and all mess,that there is inside of his franchise.

And for Mavericks’ coach, Rick Carlisle and his assistant coaching staff of Terry Stotts, Dwayne Casey and Tom Sterner. This was hardly the type of response they’d have expected from this team with the resultant 111-103 loss to the Golden State Warriors. But it seems to be something that’s emblematic of the team and their inconsistency. They either play down to the level of an opponent or at times they’re able to play with a high degree of efficiency.There does not appear to be a happy medium for the Mavericks. Is it any wonder that they’re viewed as one of the softer teams around the NBA ? And that’s not just from a physical standpoint but also when it comes to the mental aspect of their game. It’s now becoming a view that’s being widely shared across the NBA and amongst the fans, themselves.

And for the Golden State Warriors ,though on the face of it the win might not seem that much. But having been able to defeat a team with just six healthy players from its entire roster shows that they’re not at all prepared to bow down and become one of the lesser beings within the NBA fraternity. That’s left to the likes of the Los Angeles Clippers, New York Knicks, New Jersey Nets and the Charlotte Bobcats. For those particular franchises, mediocrity nowadays goes hand in hand, just as much turkey and Thanksgiving are part of a solemn festivity that we can all feel comfortable with.

What do you think of the Dallas Mavericks as an NBA franchise ? Good, bad, indifferent or just simply overrated just as their counterpart in the NFL – the Dallas Cowboys ?

NB Take time to participate in the poll below.

==================================================

‘Big Pimpin’ by Jay-z feat’g UGK .

When I Was A Child ,I Spake As A Child, I Understood As A Child , I Thought As A Child But When I Became A Man I Put Away Childish Things


“When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”
1st Corinthians verse 12

For any of you who happened to have witnessed last night’s NFL game between the Houston Texans (5-5) and the Tennessee Titans (4-6). We may well have witnessed what is undoubtedly the growing maturity of Titans’ quarterback, Vince Young. Almost single-handed, he led his team back against the Texans. And he may well faltered the ambitions of Gary Kubiak’s team of making their first postseason playoff appearance as the reconstructed Texans. As we all know, the team came into being when the Houston Oilers relocated to Nashville, Tennessee, to become the Tennessee Titans.

Houston November 23rd: Quarterback Vince Young #10 of the Tennessee Titans runs with the ball against the Houston Texans on November 23, 2009  at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas.  picture  appear courtesy of  Getty Images / Stephen Dunn .................
Houston November 23rd: Quarterback Vince Young #10 of the Tennessee Titans runs with the ball against the Houston Texans on November 23, 2009 at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. picture appear courtesy of Getty Images / Stephen Dunn .................

The game between these two AFC South divisional rivals lived up to and beyond expectations. And it might just have been on the best Monday night games that we’ve witnessed this season, so far. It went a long way in cementing the fact that the diatribe served up between the Cleveland Browns and Detroit Lions last Sunday, while prolific in terms of the offensive productivity. It did very little to heighten the brand of football that the NFL fan is normally accustomed to. And though 75 points were put up on the scoreboard and over 920 yards of total defense was attained jointly,by both teams. The coaching staff of both the Browns and the Lions did very little to suggest that their teams have learned the art of defense, from an NFL standpoint. The 38-37 Lions’ victory for Jim Schwartz’s team may well have curtailed his own prospects of being a managerial casualty at the end of the season.

Tennessee Titans head coach Jeff Fisher at Reliant Stadium on November 23, 2009 in Houston, Texas.    picture appears courtesy of   Getty  Images/ Bob  Levey  ...........
Tennessee Titans head coach Jeff Fisher at Reliant Stadium on November 23, 2009 in Houston, Texas. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Bob Levey ...........

There had been many who doubted that Young’s return to the NFL ,much less the Titans’ team would ever happen. Psychologically it appeared that the player’s mind was elsewhere. And the thinking was, that his career in the NFL was about to come to an abrupt end. And this from the same player ,whose introduction into the NFL came by way of his historic performance for the Texas Longhorns in the national championship game against the USC Trojans.That performance alone went a long way in suggesting that the NFL was about to get its newest superstar. But as we’ve all come to know , what one achieves at the college level isn’t often soon replicated at the professional level in the NFL. And for Young , the perceived hype about him was short lived. His cockiness and immaturity all too soon began to shed light on what he was not only about as a person but also as a teammate. Narcissism is the word that immediately comes to mind. And the respect that he thought that would be immediately forthcoming from his new teammates just wasn’t there. Vince Young seemed to have forgotten that before you earn the respect of your peers and teammates , you’ve to give respect.

Growing pains and the endless questions not just about Young’s ability but also whether or not he was prepared to put the necessary time in to take his game to the next level. Well, it had everyone wondering if the Titans’ organization had made the right decision in drafting Vince Young. Titans’ GM, Mike Reinfeldt ,and the team’s coach,Jeff Fisher, as well as Fisher’s coaching staff were assuredly sure, that Young was the player that they wanted. And while those doubts continued initially over Young’s first four years in the NFL. He’s been a starter, he’s been benched and then become a starter again. So inconsistent had been his performances over that span , that the thought that he could still be performing in the league, was essentially now becoming an afterthought.

With Kerry Collins as the starting quarterback last season, having led to the team to a surprising 13-3 regular season mark. The team inexplicably would fall in the first round of the playoffs. The disappointment wasn’t all lost on the Titans’ fans. But in many ways it was indicative of what we’d come to expect of the team. “Always the bridesmaid , never the bride”. This year starting off with an 0-6 mark , we were all surprised as to how far that the team had fallen. Instantaneously they were being talked in the same breath as the ‘bottom feeders’ of the league, such as the Oakland Raiders, St Louis Rams , Cleveland Browns,Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. And needless to say, there were many who beginning to think that now would be the time to fire Jeff Fisher and to bring in fresh blood to coach the team . But so implicit has been owner, K. S. ‘Bud’ Adams Jr’s faith in Jeff Fisher , that I seriously doubt that the thought had ever seriously crossed his mind. And that was even after this year’s 0-6 start to the season.

 Wide receiver Kevin Walter (83) of the Houston Texans is tackled by safety Kevin Kaesviharn (26) of the Tennessee Titans on November 23, 2009  at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. The Titans would go on to win the game 20-17.  picture appears courtesy of  Getty Images/  Stephen Dunn  ...............
Wide receiver Kevin Walter (83) of the Houston Texans is tackled by safety Kevin Kaesviharn (26) of the Tennessee Titans on November 23, 2009 at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. The Titans would go on to win the game 20-17. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Stephen Dunn ...............

The decision was made to pull Kerry Collins and install Vince Young as the starter for the remainder of the season. And what we’re now seeing from Young, it is that he’s a reconstituted player, who seems to have learned from his time away from the starting quarterback position. He now seems to be self assured playing with the mindset that he’s not got to go out and try to win the game all by himself. But to rely more on his teammates and instinctively take in what it is that coach Fisher and quarterback’s coach Craig Johnson have been instilling into him, in order to make him a better quarterback and a more complete player as a whole.

Four straight wins ,with a 4-6 mark and but a mere game behind the Texans in the divisional standings. The Tennessee Titans,most definitely are a rejuvenated team and they seem to be on a mission. Last night’s game was self evident of that , with the team outlasting the Texans for a great away win at the Texans’ Reliant Stadium in Houston. And to my mind the other hero in this game for the Titans was the team’s running back Chris Johnson. In defeating the Houston Texans 20-17 – the Tennessee Titans with Vince Young leading and Chris Johnson toting the ‘rock’ with his usual gusto. The game became something of a reawakening for the Titans’ fans. Johnson torched the Texans’ defense for 159 yards on 29 carries and his performance highlighted what self belief is said to be all about. It was Johnson who also boldly stated “……0-6 , we’re quite capable of reeling off ten straight wins and play ourselves into contention for a playoff spot.” Brash words indeed but who are we as such, to doubt him or this team as of now ? Though on the face it impossible , with the way that they’ve been playing over the last four games. It’s not at all out of the realms of possibility.

Running back Chris Johnson (28) of the Tennessee Titans carries the ball against the Houston Texans on November 23, 2009  at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas.  picture appears courtesy of   Getty Images/ Stephen  Dunn ..............
Running back Chris Johnson (28) of the Tennessee Titans carries the ball against the Houston Texans on November 23, 2009 at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Stephen Dunn ..............

For Vince Young and his performance last night, well the thought that he can now be the player that we all saw set the world alight in that national championship game. If he can at all now live up to that perception , while showing his growing maturity as a player and as an adult. Then there’s no reason to believe why he can’t step into the upper echelons of the elite quarterbacks within the NFL. He’s got all of the prerequisite skill but the only thing missing initially at the time was his apparent lack of maturity. He now seems to be showing that and a great deal more. He’s earned the respect of his teammates, as well as that of the Tennessee Titans’ fans. And that if anything, he may well be proving now that once and for all he’s put away childish thoughts in order to become a man and a better professional !

AFC South Divisional standings

AFC South Team W L T Pct PF PA Net Pts TD Home Road Div Pct Conf Pct Non-Conf Streak Last 5
Indianapolis Colts 10 0 0 1.000 269 157 112 33 5-0 5-0 3-0 1.000 6-0 1.000 4-0 10W 5-0
Jacksonville Jaguars 6 4 0 .600 199 235 -36 24 4-1 2-3 2-2 .500 5-2 .714 1-2 3W 4-1
Houston Texans 5 5 0 .500 232 208 24 28 2-3 3-2 1-3 .250 4-4 .500 1-1 2L 3-2
Tennessee Titans 4 6 0 .400 209 272 -63 23 2-2 2-4 2-3 .400 3-6 .333 1-0 4W 4-1

One Man Doesn’t A Team Make ………So Here’s Looking At You Kid …………

I can’t help but feel sorry for the New Jersey Nets’ coach, Lawrence Frank at present. His job at present is a thankless task, as the team has the worst record currently in the NBA.

East Rutherford , NJ - NOVEMBER 21: Mike D'Antoni speaks with Wilson Chandler (21) of the New York Knicks during a game against the New Jersey Nets on November 21, 2009 at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.   picture appears  courtesy  of NBAE/Getty Images/ Jeyhoun  Allebaugh   ......................
East Rutherford , NJ - NOVEMBER 21: Mike D'Antoni speaks with Wilson Chandler (21) of the New York Knicks during a game against the New Jersey Nets on November 21, 2009 at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. picture appears courtesy of NBAE/Getty Images/ Jeyhoun Allebaugh ......................

And with that the team record (0-13) within the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference, looking congruously sustainable , given the fact that they’ve been woefully inept in all aspects of the game. One can only that their first win of the season will come about very soon. They already fast a tough task within their own division with the likes the likes of the Boston Celtics (10-4),Toronto Raptors (6-8),Philadelphia 76ers (5-8) and the New York Knicks (3-10) ahead of them of the standings-within the divsion. And with barely one sixth of the season having passed. It certainly doesn’t at all bode well for the team. If they maintain their current pace of futility, they’ll be one pace to attain no more than 4 wins against 78 losses. And that’s hardly liable to happen but they could although set a record of some kind in abject futility.

East Rutherford , NJ - November 21: Lawrence Frank of the New Jersey Nets argues a call against the New York Knicks on November 21, 2009 at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Frank received a technical foul as a result of the play.
East Rutherford , NJ - November 21: Lawrence Frank of the New Jersey Nets argues a call against the New York Knicks on November 21, 2009 at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Frank received a technical foul as a result of the play. picture appears courtesy of NBAE/ Getty Images/ Jeyhoun Allebaugh .............................

Courtesy of NBA.com

FCRC Statement on NYS Court of Appeals Ruling on Eminent Domain Lawsuit Filed by Opponents of Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn
Courts Again Side with Atlantic Yards:
Jobs and Affordable Housing to Come to Brooklyn
November 24, 2009

BROOKLYN, NY—Bruce Ratner, CEO and Chairman of Forest City Ratner Companies, issued the following statement today regarding the NYS Court of Appeals ruling in favor of the Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn.

The Court’s ruling upholds the State’s right to use eminent domain given the public benefits associated with the Atlantic Yards Development inBrooklyn.

“Once again the courts have made it clear that this project represents a significant public benefit for the people of Brooklyn and the entire City,” Mr. Ratner said. “Our commitment to the entire project is as strong today as when we started six years ago. Today, however, this project is even more important given the need for jobs and economic development.”

Mr. Ratner said construction activity on the yards will continue, with the intent that the Nets will play ball in the Barclays Center in the 2011-2012 NBA Season.

In addition to Barclays, which has the exclusive naming rights, eight companies have signed on as founding partners for the arena.

The courts have ruled consistently in favor of the development. Mr. Ratner explained as well that the arena and larger development are expected to create 16,924 union construction jobs and over 8,000 permanent jobs. The tax revenues that will be generated for the City and State during the construction period are expected to exceed $240 million and after construction reach approximately $70 million a year.

====================================================
====================================================

In large part the team is made up of seasoned veterans , sprinkled in with some youth. But with players such as Vince Carter , Kenyon Martin and Jason Kidd no longer a part of this team. They’re now a long ways off from when they were viewed as being one of the powerhouses in the Eastern Conference. At that time they were being coached by Byron Scott, the recently fired former coach of the New Orleans Hornets.

 Devin Harris (34) of the New Jersey Nets shoots against Al Harrington (7) of the New York Knicks on November 21, 2009 at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.   picture appears  courtesy of  NBAE/Getty Images/  Jeyhoun  Allebaugh ..............
Devin Harris (34) of the New Jersey Nets shoots against Al Harrington (7) of the New York Knicks on November 21, 2009 at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. picture appears courtesy of NBAE/Getty Images/ Jeyhoun Allebaugh ..............

The best player on the team is considered to be their guard, Devin Harris. And with team owner, Bruce Ratner,Team President, Rod Thorn and General Manager, Kiki Vanderweghe looking to position themselves as major player in the LeBron James’ sweepstakes in 2010. One can’t be seemingly sure what attitude should be taken as to the ambitions of the organization. All we are keenly aware of is, that they’ll leave no stone unturned in their quest to acquire the player.

And with James being reticent as to what his real plans are once the ’09-10 season reaches its pinnacle. Fans of the Cleveland Cavaliers, as well as James’ newest teammate, Shaquille O’Neal will hope that the player remains in Cleveland. A hard court press is being made by all vested parties in Cleveland. From the team’s principal partner Dan Gilbert, to general manager,Danny Ferry and the Cavaliers’ fans, themselves. They all want the player to remain in his hometown city. However, much of that will be predicated upon the success that they achieve this season. And the ultimate goal there is to win an NBA championship.

A number of teams are obviously interested in acquiring LeBron James. And why not , he might just be the most dynamic player in the NBA at present, with the exception of Los Angeles Lakers’ guard Kobe Bryant. And from there, all comparison ought to end ! And with teams such as the Miami Heat, New York Knicks, as well as the New Jersey Nets all vying for James’ service. One can well understand the reason why it is that the Nets are said to be interested in the player. And with the Heat’s Dwyane Wade having said that he’ll make it his goal of trying to lure James to South Beach and to the team. You can see that the Nets’ fans have got to be hoping that serendipity will somehow play a part in the decision to be made by LeBron.

As to the season thus far for the New Jersey Nets. They’re under an ever growing pressure as the losses continue to mount up. With the fans now becoming ever more indifferent as to the team’s plight. The attendance for home games has continued to slide. And with Bruce Ratner’s wish to relocate the team from New Jersey to Brooklyn, there’s an urgency for the team to perform somewhat better than they’re now presently doing. Growing unrest will only add to the tension and with the hundreds of millions of dollars on the line, in terms of the redevelopment of the new site that will house the Nets, alongside commercial and residential properties. The organization requires the right type of PR and publicity to create a fervor around the team and the development , itself.

 Al Harrington (7) of the New York Knicks drives the lane  against Trenton Hassel (44) of the New Jersey Nets on November 21, 2009 at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.   The  New York  Knicks  would   go  on to  defeat  the New Jersey  Nets  98-91  .    picture appears courtesy of NBAE/Getty Images/  Jeyhoun  Allebaugh  ............
Al Harrington (7) of the New York Knicks drives the lane against Trenton Hassel (44) of the New Jersey Nets on November 21, 2009 at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. picture appears courtesy of NBAE/Getty Images/ Jeyhoun Allebaugh ............

Roster wise, as I’ve alluded to earlier,the team is made up of youth and seasoned veterans.However,the team is really lacking a veteran leader and a proven scorer. And that may well be one of the drawbacks for the team at present.Defensively, they’ve struggled and on the offensive side of things there too, the team has struggled greatly this season. And there too, there appears to be no respite at hand for the team or its beleaguered coach, Lawrence Frank.

With the presumptive thinking being that in having LeBron James added to the roster , there’ll be an immediate change in fortune for the team. Well, much of that’d be predicated upon the fact that James would be complemented with players that are commensurate with his skill and mindset. And that doesn’t appear to be the case with the current New Jersey Nets’ roster at present ! Whatever changes that’ll be needed to improve the team will definitely have to be monumental. A major roster upheaval will be needed, if this team is to improve along the lines that both Rod Thorn and Kiki Vanderweghe may well have envisaged. One man doesn’t a team make but if you get the right man and complement him with the right cast as teammates. Then the future of the team can presume to be bright.

New Jersey Nets 2009-10 roster

Nets Roster

2009-10 Roster
NUM PLAYER POS HT WT DOB FROM YRS
1 Rafer Alston G 6-2 175 07/24/1976 Fresno State 10
7 Tony Battie C-F 6-11 240 02/11/1976 Texas Tech 11
2 Josh Boone C 6-10 240 11/21/1984 Connecticut 3
55 Keyon Dooling G 6-3 195 05/08/1980 Missouri 9
17 Chris Douglas-Roberts G 6-7 210 01/08/1987 Memphis 1
34 Devin Harris G 6-3 190 02/27/1983 Wisconsin 5
44 Trenton Hassell F 6-5 227 03/04/1979 Austin Peay 8
22 Jarvis Hayes F 6-8 228 08/09/1981 Georgia 6
6 Courtney Lee G-F 6-5 200 10/03/1985 Western Kentucky 1
11 Brook Lopez C 7-0 265 04/01/1988 Stanford 1
14 Eduardo Najera F 6-8 235 07/11/1976 Oklahoma 9
21 Bobby Simmons F 6-6 230 06/02/1980 DePaul 7
51 Sean Williams F-C 6-10 235 09/13/1986 Boston College 2
8 Terrence Williams G-F 6-6 220 06/28/1987 Louisville R
9 Yi Jianlian F 7-0 250 10/27/1987 Shenzhen, China 2

HEAD COACH
Lawrence Frank (College – Indiana)

ASSISTANT COACHES
Tom Barrise (College – Fairleigh Dickinson)
John Loyer (College – Akron)
Doug Overton (College – LaSalle)
Roy Rogers (College – Alabama)

ASSISTANT COACH and STRENGTH-AND-CONDITIONING COACH
Rich Dalatri (College – Louisiana Tech)

ATHLETIC TRAINER
Tim Walsh (College – Upsala)


NBA Standings Atlantic Division Eastern Conference

Team W L PCT GB CONF DIV HOME ROAD L 10 STREAK
Boston 3 10 4 0.714 0.0 6-3 3-0 5-3 5-1 6-4 W 1
Toronto 6 8 0.429 4.0 4-2 0-0 4-2 2-6 4-6 L 1
Philadelphia 5 8 0.385 4.5 5-5 3-1 3-4 2-4 3-7 L 2
New York 3 10 0.231 6.5 2-8 1-2 1-7 2-3 3-7 L 1
New Jersey 0 13 0.000 9.5 0-11 0-4 0-6 0-7 0-10 L 13

NFL Weekend Week 11 Results And Its Aftermath

OK so here we go, the unbeatens remain unbeaten and a certain team whom we all thought a contender, is in fact nothing more than a pretender. Only the Cincinnati Bengals could resort back to becoming the Bungles under coach, Marvin Lewis’ watch, once again !

Head coach Marvin Lewis of the Cincinnati Bengals looks on against the Oakland Raiders during an NFL game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on November 22, 2009 in Oakland, California.  picture appears courtesy of  getty images/  Jed Jacobsohn   .................
Head coach Marvin Lewis of the Cincinnati Bengals looks on against the Oakland Raiders during an NFL game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on November 22, 2009 in Oakland, California. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Jed Jacobsohn .................

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t have seen it coming but when you’re on appearance seen to be riding high. Only to fall back down to earth through your own sheer complacency. Then you’re deserving of your lot ! Somehow, in some way the Bengals managed to lose to Tom Cable’s hapless Oakland Raiders. What’s even more astounding was that the Raiders were playing with backup starter, Bruce Gradkowski. Never mind the fact that JaMarcus Russell was sitting on the bench preening himself like a Cheshire cat. Sorry, JaMarcus but your services mightn’t be needed for the foreseeable future by the Raiders’ team. They’ve got more faith in Gradkowski , than they could ever have gotten in you.

 Sebastian Janikowski (11) of the Oakland Raiders celebrates after kicking the game winning field goal against the Cincinnati Bengals during an NFL game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on November 22, 2009 in Oakland, California.   picture appears courtesy of  getty images/ Jed  Jacobsohn  ................
Sebastian Janikowski (11) of the Oakland Raiders celebrates after kicking the game winning field goal against the Cincinnati Bengals during an NFL game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on November 22, 2009 in Oakland, California. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Jed Jacobsohn ................

And about the only other surprise as to the result ,20-17, and the fact that Gradkowski threw for less than 200 yards. It may well have been the complete ineptitude shown by this Marvin Lewis coached team and that of its defense. And if you thought that was the Bengals only problem on the day. Then, guess again. There was sheer apoplexy and the Raiders’ fan got behind their team and literally willed them to victory , once they saw that the inevitable was about to happen. So now the Cincinnati Bengals are the ones left with egg to wiped off their sullen faces.

 Head coach Eric Mangini of the Cleveland Browns congratulates quarterback, Brady Quinn (10) after a touchdown pass against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on November 22, 2009 in Detroit, Michigan. The Lions came from behind to defeat the Browns 38-37. picture appears  courtesy of getty images/ Joe Robbins  ..............
Head coach Eric Mangini of the Cleveland Browns congratulates quarterback, Brady Quinn (10) after a touchdown pass against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on November 22, 2009 in Detroit, Michigan. The Lions came from behind to defeat the Browns 38-37. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Joe Robbins ..............

I don’t expect anyone to have braved their will to watch the Cleveland Browns and the Detroit Lions to battle it out amongst themselves. But given the fact the game was being televised by a broadcast network station as well the NFL Network. I can only surmise that were some amongst you, who saw fit to watch this particular game ? Obviously the honey to do list didn’t have the usual sense of urgency that one would come to expect. So I must assume that a large majority of the NFL loving male football fans had to have been watching this game. For myself, I sought to eschew that pleasure , as I merely sat about listening to some jazz from my surround sound theater system, while the game was on. The mute captured the affair perfectly , given the fact I wasn’t about to listen to the commentary, much less watch the game. The television was on but Miles Davis> was in full swing. Can you dig it man ?

The teams led respectively by their coaches,Eric Mangini of the Browns and Jim Schwartz of the Lions, would regale us , as to the abilities of their teams. Never mind the fact that the two teams combined have a record of 3-17. Somehow for myself, that doesn’t signify that one would be witnessing a great game for two teams struggling with sub-par records. But such are the vagaries within the NFL , that its erstwhile fans will have to make do with whatever they’re given.

And the two teams by way of competitiveness gave the fans they may well have welcomed. A game filled with high scoring ,with the teams being able to amass 75 points between the two of them. But there being very little defensive capabilities shown by either team. And with the Lions eking out a 38-37 win and with there being over 912 yards of offense emitted from this game. By comparison you can well understand that defense was at the minimum between these two defensively challenged teams. Lions’ quarterback, Matthew Stafford had a career day throwing for 5 touchdowns ,2 int’s along with 422 yards through the air.

 Kevin Smith (34) of the Detroit Lions celebrates after catching a touchdown pass against the Cleveland Browns at Ford Field on November 22, 2009 in Detroit, Michigan. The Lions came from behind to defeat the Browns 38-37.  picture appears courtesy of getty images/  Joe  Robbins .............
Kevin Smith (34) of the Detroit Lions celebrates after catching a touchdown pass against the Cleveland Browns at Ford Field on November 22, 2009 in Detroit, Michigan. The Lions came from behind to defeat the Browns 38-37. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Joe Robbins .............

Stafford’s opposite number, Brady Quinn threw for 4 strikes and 304 yards though the air. Essentially this became game of an allout air assault and a running game that was filled with displays of crushing and bruising runs all in an effort by the two teams to show that they can play some semblance of a game within the NFL. As to whether or not it can be described as being an entertaining brand of football. Well, one could surmise that if you like your brand of football being played with merely just offense by way of high scoring , very little defense from either side and little being shown in the way of creativity. Then I guess the brand of NFL football served by both the Cleveland Browns and Detroit Lions had to be to your liking ? Thankfully, there other games being televised by CBS , Fox and the NFL Network that provided for far more entertainment value in terms of NFL football being on display.

The New Orleans Saints were looking to join the AFC’s Indianapolis Colts as the only other team in the NFL to reach double digits, in terms of wins for the season. And their opponents on the day just happened to be coach, Raheem Morris’ thankless Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Running back Pierre Thomas (23) of the New Orleans Saints runs the ball against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the game at Raymond James Stadium on November 22, 2009 in Tampa, Florida.  picture appears courtesy of getty images/ J Meric ......
Running back Pierre Thomas (23) of the New Orleans Saints runs the ball against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the game at Raymond James Stadium on November 22, 2009 in Tampa, Florida. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ J Meric ......

While one cannot deny the fresh faced novice coach his fervor as to what Morris sees emanating from his team. His sound bytes are now coming off as being somewhat asinine, stale and quite frankly totally out of sync with what’s happening on the field concerning the team’s play. His latest ..’we’ll go out there and show improvement with each game and make the teams we play know that they’ve been in a fight. When your team is 1-9. I hardly think that the team has been giving their opponents much resistance to begin with. Not if you’re giving up on average over 378 yards, 29 points per game, you’re only scoring 16 points and eking out 270 yards per game,in total offense. To me and others, it’d suggest that your team is anemic on both sides of the ball. But one only can only assume that in Raheem Morris’ world, every cloud does have a silver lining and even when your team is getting its ass beat on a consistent basis, there’s something positive to be gained from it all. As to what that might be , who knows ?

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees waves his arms to fans as he leaves the field after defeating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 38-7 in an NFL football game in Tampa, Fla., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2009. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ John  Raoux  .................
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees waves his arms to fans as he leaves the field after defeating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 38-7 in an NFL football game in Tampa, Fla., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2009. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ John Raoux .................

Saints’ quarterback, Drew Brees rained down a torrent of abuse upon the Buccaneers, by completely blowing the team out of the water with a resounding 38-7 victory over their NFC South divisional rivals. In every facet of this game,the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were woefully inept.And playing in front of their home crowd fans, the display and effort put forth by the team can’t have been at all pleasing to the eyes of Buccaneers’ fans in attendance at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. Sold out or not, these are some stark and thought provoking times for the fans of the Buccaneers and the organization as a whole.

Tampa, Florida- 22nd November  2009. Defensive coordinator Jim Bates of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers watches his team against the New Orleans Saints during the game at Raymond James Stadium on November 22, 2009 in Tampa, Florida.  picture  appears courtesy of  getty images/ J. Meric  ..........
Tampa, Florida- 22nd November 2009. Defensive coordinator Jim Bates of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers watches his team against the New Orleans Saints during the game at Raymond James Stadium on November 22, 2009 in Tampa, Florida. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ J. Meric ..........

Things are slowly spiraling out of control for the Buccaneers but the team’s coach and general manager are trying to put a positive spin on it all. As to the emotions of the fans, the die-hard amongst them will continue to support the team steadfastly. While others will no doubt seek to now desert the team after such a lackluster and unimaginative start to the season.

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones chats with quarterback Tony Romo (9) on the sideline during an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins, Sunday, Nov.  22, 2009, in Arlington, Texas. The Cowboys won 7-6. ap phto/Waco Tribune Herald, Jose Yau  copyrighted material @ all  rights  reserved  ..............
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones chats with quarterback Tony Romo (9) on the sideline during an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2009, in Arlington, Texas. The Cowboys won 7-6. ap phto/Waco Tribune Herald, Jose Yau copyrighted material @ all rights reserved ..............

Am I now mistaken but wasn’t Jason Garrett , the Dallas Cowboys’ offensive coordinator meant to some kind of genius , wunderkind and offensive enfant-terrible ? Instead the Cowboys’ display against the lowly Washington Redskins was so embarrassing to watch. That I can only assume that either the tires on Jerry Jones’ highly paid and over-rated team had a flat. Either that or Wade Phillips’ playbook was written in Mandarin and not English.Therein, neither Tony Romo and his teammates could comprehend what was being asked of them. That might well be the only explanation that can be offered for such a moribund display by the team.

Washington Redskins coach Jim Zorn, left, argues with side judge Jimmy DeBell, right, in the second half of an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2009 in Arlington, Texas. picture  appears courtesy of ap/photo/Sharon Ellman  .........
Washington Redskins coach Jim Zorn, left, argues with side judge Jimmy DeBell, right, in the second half of an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2009 in Arlington, Texas. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/Sharon Ellman .........

For four quarters watching the Cowboys and Redskins try and play a competitive game of football , was akin to watching an Animal Planet expose’ on the breeding habits of a hippopotamus. Stimulating on appearance at first, until you begin to realize that you’re going to have sit through at least three more hours of the damn program. And if you thought things couldn’t have got much worse ? Then, think again ?The Dallas Cowboys could only muster a measly 7 points on their way to victory over the Washington Redskins. Yes, that’s right, a measly seven points on their way to anemic and woeful 7-6 triumph over the Washington Redskins. Anymore displays of that nature by the Cowboys and you can count me in for a frontal lobotomy. And I’d dare say that the Cowboys’ fans might well be seeking out the same medical procedure ? But then again,Cowboys’ fans were never known to be all that bright to begin with !

Denver- November 22nd ,2009. (L-R) Chris Kuper (73), Ryan Clady (78), Brandon Marshall (15), David Graham (89), Knowshon Moreno (27), Jabar Gaffney (10) and the Denver Broncos offense look on from the bench as they face the San Diego Chargers during NFL action at Invesco Field at Mile High on November 22, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. The Chargers defeated the Broncos 32-3.  picture appears courtesy of  Getty Images/ Doug Pensinger  ............
Denver- November 22nd ,2009. (L-R) Chris Kuper (73), Ryan Clady (78), Brandon Marshall (15), David Graham (89), Knowshon Moreno (27), Jabar Gaffney (10) and the Denver Broncos offense look on from the bench as they face the San Diego Chargers during NFL action at Invesco Field at Mile High on November 22, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. The Chargers defeated the Broncos 32-3. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Doug Pensinger ............

There’s no other way to explain it but Josh McDaniels’ Denver Broncos have shot their load. Much like a guy who suffers from premature ejaculation. Quick to perform, as they started fast out of the gate at 6-0 but somehow they’ve forgotten that it’s not the speed at which you start. But the duration of the race and how you finish that elicits excitement. And on appearance alone this Broncos’ team is as flaccid as the male sexual appendage they now resemble.

The Broncos succumbed the high flying San Diego Chargers and a seemingly rejuvenated LaDanian Tomlinson. The Chargers’ running back had a thoroughly exhilarating game. And he was equally supported by his teammates and Norv Turner’s coaching staff alike.

San Diego Chargers' LaDainian Tomlinson, right, chats with Denver Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels after an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2009, in Denver. The Chargers defeated the Broncos 32-3.  picture appears courtesy of  AP photo / Jack Dempsey   .............
San Diego Chargers' LaDainian Tomlinson, right, chats with Denver Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels after an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2009, in Denver. The Chargers defeated the Broncos 32-3. picture appears courtesy of AP photo / Jack Dempsey .............

The Chargers took apart the Broncos with all the ease that a thief would have, in breaking into an unsecured domicile. The Broncos made the task all the more easier with their inept defensive play with such a thoroughly unconvincing display at Invesco Field, in Denver. The result, 32-3, was an efficient ass kicking of the highest order. Leaving the bemused Broncos’ fans wondering what locomotive freight train they’d just been hit by. Never mind the fact that Broncos’ wide receiver, Brandon Marshall, in sheer frustration got into a sideline altercation with a teammate. It essentially summed up the Broncos’ afternoon.

Well, those are my thoughts on the eleventh week of the NFL season, thus far. Some games were entertaining in value, others not so much. In fact, one could best describe them, as being dogs with fleas on them ! While the more entertaining games, one would hope gives us something to look forward to, once the postseason starts to take shape. Which games if any, caught your undivided attention yesterday ?

Week 11 NFL Results

Miami Dolphins 24-17 Carolina Panthers

Indianapolis Colts 17-15 Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills 15-18 Jacksonville Jaguars

Minnesota Vkings 35-9 Seattle Seahawks

Atlanta Falcons 31-34 New York Giants

Pittsburgh Steelers 24-27 Kansas City Chiefs

San Francisco 49ers 24-30 Green Bay Packers

Arizona Cardinals 21-13 St Louis Rams

San Diego Chargers 32-3 Denver Broncos

To further review the NFL results from yesterday , click here to view …….

Miles Davis Quintet taking flight with ‘ Round Midnight’. Featuring Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock,Ron Carter , Tony Williams and the man himself, Miles Davis. You’ve not listened to real jazz ’til you’ve listed this particular quintet.

Flattering Or Unflattering I’ll Let You Be The Judge Of That ………

They say that ‘justice is blind’ and meant to be ‘impartial and fair to all’ of the parties involved . From the defendant who seeks his acquittal for a crime. And for the prosecution working on behalf of the state and primarily for the rights of a victim or victims as the case may be.

And as much as we’ll take pride in our judicial system with its scales of justice presided over by a judge and a jury of one’s peers. There are still some flaws to a system where in some cases the rights of a defendant far outweighs those of the victim. And especially those where the victim is one of a violent crime.

New Jersey Nets  ....Jayson Williams ...........

Williams seen here in happier times alongside his then New Jersey Nets’ teammates. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Eric Metcalfe ……………..

You all know doubt remember the circumstances behind the case of former New Jersey Nets’ star Jayson Williams ? Five years ago he was charged aggravated manslaughter wherein he shot and killed his former limo’ driver Costas ‘Gus’ Christofi on the estate of his palatial New Jersey mansion in the Alexandria Township. A rather upscale community of luxury built abodes .

Continue reading “Flattering Or Unflattering I’ll Let You Be The Judge Of That ………”

ESPN Acronym Entertainment Sports Programming Network …………………

ESPN Acronym Entertainment Sports Programming Network

The title says it all…ESPN. It’s no longer a sports broadcast network. It’s merely a network that happens just to broadcast sports. It’s main shtick is to get an assortment of former jocks coaches and journalists whose best days are behind them to give us their insight on a number of sports events.

Now to say that they actually provide us with any insight, is to say that you’d be able to understand any one of the numerous legislative documents that’s passed as a bill in the US Senate. As we all know there’s more legalese in those precise documents than anyone would care to acknowledge.

To listen to the likes of Chris Berman, Mark Schlereth,Desmond Howard, Lee Corso, Rece Davis, Kirk Herbstreit, Mark May, Lou Holtz, Jesse Palmer and others within what is meant to be a professional programming establishment. Well, it’s reminiscent of listening to a bunch of drunken old farts talk about the days when they were actually very good jocks in high school. Of late, ESPN has become as controversial as some of the athletes that it covers. What of the reports of sexual harassment by certain analysts against female employees ? And one can well understand why it is that they’re saying that ESPN has become similar to that of a male oriented adult club. And the network itself, has been less than forthright when it has come to light when one of ‘their esteemed’ on air personalities gets caught in a plot of sexual intrigue. And now the idiocy of listening to Lou Holtz opine of the merits of Notre Dame as an esteemed football colossus. Well, it now borders on being asinine, given the fact that the Irish’s football program is about as relevant as a piece of dog excrement that’s stuck to the sole of your shoe.

Once again the asinine and incessant rants of Lou Holtz. And his justification in stating that Notre Dame is still a relevant collegiate football program.

My biggest gripe however, is listening to the paeans within ESPN try and legitimize the BCS system as being fair. One man, one vote is fair ! The BCS system most definitely , is not fair !And what does it say about the system wherein, it denies the right of lesser programs to be part of the national championship process ? But yet for certain members of the BCS conferences, a chance to play in a Bowl Game game if they meet the criteria of winning 7 games as a benchmark. To me, that’s preposterous and lessens what the BCS ought to be about. But considering that the six major conferences that essentially makes up the system is rife with graft. And the fact the only incentive for which the BCS stands -that’s essentially to make money for those conferences and it major partners. None more so than the networks that carry the games. They, if anything have more to gain, if the current system stays the way that it is and for the scenario to play itself out.The deck is stacked right from the start, as too is the veracity of what it is that ESPN purports to portray to us in terms of their coverage of college football and a wide variety of other sports that they broadcast.

What is now becoming even more telling, is that the network doesn’t try to be impartial as to the way it provides its analysis for the viewer to consume. One can appreciate that the viewer wants to hear the insights of the analysts. But they also want to be informed and be informed with insightful information. And not essentially anecdotes from their playing or coaching days. If that was what the fans desired, then they would be clamoring for it. That doesn’t appear to be the case at present for the viewer when ESPN’s analysts decide to regale us with their alleged insight and anecdotes.

Jesse Palmer discusses his career in the NFL , or lack of one as the case maybe

Thankfully, as the regular season of college football comes to a close. I for one just hope that the championship games that we’ll be privileged to see by way the respective conferences are a great deal better than that of the major Bowl games, themselves. God knows, more often than not, they‘ve either tended to be competitive or just downright abysmal, in terms of the quality of the play between the two teams.

Corso gives it to you straight from the horse’s ass – in other words, his mouth.

ESPN and the BCS system , two peas in a pod. Essentially flawed from the outset and it’ll continue be flawed until radical changes are made , in order for there to be some perception of fairness. It’d be a great deal better than what we’re being offered at present. But then again one doubts that either set about to be perfect or fair to begin with. It’s been essentially about the chance of making money and not much else beyond that. Both the BCS system and ESPN , whatever it all entails are merely there to entertain us, nothing more nothing less. What both ESPN and BCS conferences have been failing to realize , is that they’ve failed to deliver on both counts. And it’s not as if they were concerned to begin with. Had they done so , then perhaps there wouldn’t be the outrage we’re now seeing ?

Week 12 College Football Results

(6) Boise State 52-21 Utah State


Colorado 28-31 (12) Oklahoma State


(9) Ohio St 21-10 Michigan


(1) Florida 62-3 Florida Int’l


California 34-28 (14)Stanford


Too see the complete Week 11 College Football results in their entirety click here ………………

All Good Things Must Come To An End ……I Repeat All Good Things Must Come To An End !

It has to be extremely embarrassing for a player of Allen Iverson’s stature to hear a sound byte from New York Knicks’ general manager,Donnie Walsh state….’he’s not in our plans for the future because we’re comfortable with where we’re at.’ That either has to be a damning indictment of the player. Or merely that things for the (2-9) Knicks just aren’t going to get much better, even with Iverson in tow.

Iverson seen here playing  for the Memphis Grizzlies  in  an  NBA game   against the Los Angeles Lakers.  The player  asked to be  released   from  his contract with the  team  and  has   now  become  an unrestricted  free agent.  He had  hoped  to  sign  with the New York  Knicks.  But Knicks' general manager  , Donnie Walsh , didn't  see Iverson  as a  comfortable  fit  for the   team.  Much  to  the dismay of  the  Knicks' fans  who've  had very little  to cheer  about this season   from  a 2-9   team.   picture appears  courtesy  of   ap/phot/ Lori  Shepler  ...............
Iverson seen here playing for the Memphis Grizzlies in an NBA game against the Los Angeles Lakers. The player asked to be released from his contract with the team and has now become an unrestricted free agent. He had hoped to sign with the New York Knicks. But Knicks' general manager , Donnie Walsh , didn't see Iverson as a comfortable fit for the team. Much to the dismay of the Knicks' fans who've had very little to cheer about this season from a 2-9 team. picture appears courtesy of ap/phot/ Lori Shepler ...............

With Iverson, having sought and finally obtaining his release from the Memphis Grizzlies. The player felt that his next step would be to ascertain the interest of the New York Knicks. One has to bear in mind that with the present form of the team. Any addition by subtraction, would probably be in their best interest. And no doubt the intuitive Donnie Walsh , while admiring the player’s gifts and qualities, knew that bringing in Iverson,would only add to the woes of an already beleaguered team.Never mind the fact that the team’s coach, Mike D’Antoni is still struggling to find his best quintet of players to place on the court,for any given period of time. And one thought that their struggles with the hapless Isiah Thomas as their previous coach, was pitiful ? Watch the Knicks now, and tell me if you actually think that they’ve improved one iota, under D’Antoni’s tutelage ?

Courtesy of New York Daily News


Fans cry foul as New York Knicks pass on Allen Iverson

By Matt Gagne Daily New Sports Writer

No one in in his wildest dreams thought Allen Iverson could have transformed the Knicks into a championship-caliber team, but fans were dealt another blow Friday when the struggling franchise passed on the free agent and former MVP.

“What do the Knicks have, two wins?” said Jose Valentine, 24, of Manhattan. “Iverson can win more games than that by himself. He has the heart to play, he loves the game.”

“It’s a bad move,” added Tim Coffey, 25, of Brooklyn. “They could have at least put people in the seats.”

The Knicks take a 2-9 record into Saturday’s basement-dwelling showdown with the Nets, who are a league-worst 0-12 and the only team trailing the Knicks in the Atlantic Division.

===================================================
In order to read Matt Gagne’s article in its entirety just click unto the
text link shown above
====================================================

And for Allen Iverson, this must be something of a come down to think that a player of his stature is longer wanted by an NBA franchise. Now all he can but do, is to sit on the sidelines and wait patiently to hear the phone ring from a potential team. He joins the likes of former Detroit Pistons and Dallas Mavericks‘ swing-man Jerry Stackhouse on the sidelines,in seeking gainful employment in the NBA.It’s not so much that the NBA is bereft of talent. But it’s essentially that players, such as Iverson and Stackhouse are no longer viewed as players, who can still play meaningful minutes and still be productive for a team. And for both of these former NBA All Stars, time is most definitely not on their side, given their respective ages and recent health issues.

The big problem now for Allen Iverson , is that given his ego and temperament- will he now, not see that it is in some ways futile and somewhat embarrassing for him, to be seen to be begging for a roster spot on an NBA team. Here we have one of the NBA’s ‘best little men’ to have ever played the game, with multiple All Star appearances and scoring titles to his name, as well as a regular season, MVP award. And now he’s seen to begging like a homeless bum on the streets merely for the chance to play the game that he no doubt still loves.The unfortunate scenario here for Iverson, is that the love is no longer being reciprocated …. as the game ‘no longer loves him’. If it did,then he’d still be playing. But essentially, Iverson’s own actions and his wish to be seen as a starter got in the way of common sense. He’s no longer the player, he once was. And he’s under the mistaken impression that he still is that same player , with a ferocious heart and an unending will to win.

Now if you thought the dilemma that Allen Iverson now finds himself in,
is somewhat complex. Then consider the situation that the Houston Rockets find themselves in, concerning their guard, Tracy McGrady ? Here’s a player who’s essentially been missing in action for the better part of a season, and who chided and berated the team’s executives as well as management,while was injured. Never mind the fact that, having made the postseason without him, he still continued his tirade against the organization. He pointed to the fact that they couldn’t win without him, nor would they stand a chance of winning the NBA title. Way to go, McGrady, there’s nothing like showing not support for your teammates, when you’re taking pot-shots at the management and ownership.

Houston Rockets forward Tracy McGrady, right, speaks with Rockets forward Brian Cook on the bench as they play the Atlanta Hawks during the second quarter of an NBA basketball game at Philips Arena, Friday, Nov. 20, 2009, in Atlanta. The Hawks went on to win 105-103. The Rockets believe McGrady needs more time and would risk hurting his knee again if he comes back too soon.    picture appears  courtesy  of  ap/photo/ Gregory  Smith  ..................
Houston Rockets forward Tracy McGrady, right, speaks with Rockets forward Brian Cook on the bench as they play the Atlanta Hawks during the second quarter of an NBA basketball game at Philips Arena, Friday, Nov. 20, 2009, in Atlanta. The Hawks went on to win 105-103. The Rockets believe McGrady needs more time and would risk hurting his knee again if he comes back too soon. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Gregory Smith ..................

McGrady, may well have felt aggrieved that this team was able to make the playoffs without. And the fact that they’d been able to do so, while also sustaining the loss of their All Star center, Yao Ming, shows you how successful this team actually were , in garnering a berth in the postseason without their two super-stars. Furthermore , it couldn’t have escaped McGrady, the fact that the Rockets’ fans had found a new fan favorite in Ron Artest, as well as rising star, Aaron Brooks.And not only that the Rockets were actually playing as a cohesive unit. Something of which wasn’t always the case when McGrady was on the court without the help of Yao Ming. To an extent, he’d matured as a player but there was still that selfish streak about him.Stats seem to matter more,than being a teammate.

Courtesy of Associated Press and Yahoo Sports

McGrady wants to play, Rockets say no

By Paul Newberry, AP Sports Writer

ATLANTA (AP)—Tracy McGrady(notes) is eager to play. The Houston Rockets say he’ll have to wait.

The seven-time All-Star had microfracture surgery on his left knee in February, but insisted that he’s fully recovered before Friday night’s game against the streaking Atlanta Hawks.

“Right now, I could play,” he said.

Not so fast. The Rockets believe McGrady needs more time and would risk hurting his knee again if he comes back too soon. The next step is an MRI on Monday.

“We have a difference of opinion,” coach Rick Adelman said. “He wants to play. He’s not ready to play. It’s as simple as that.”

Both sides denied a Yahoo! Sports report that the situation degenerated into a heated argument before the Rockets’ previous game at Minnesota. The report quoted a person close to McGrady who was not identified.

Yahoo! Sports stands by the story.

“I don’t know where that came from,” McGrady said. “We talked but it was nothing that was reported like that. I mean, screaming and all.”

==============================================
Click on the above text link to read article in its entirety
==============================================

Over the course of his career there’s no denying that McGrady has been a gifted player. But what he lacked was really playing as part of a team, and the fact that he always felt it best that others deferred to him. He may well have been the best player , while was on the rosters of both the Toronto Raptors and the Orlando Magic.Though it’d be debatable in that regard, considering the Raptors’ roster at the time. But what Tracy McGrady seems to have forgotten is that….one man doesn’t make a team. That’s unless your name happens to be Michael ‘Jeffrey’ Jordan? And last I looked, Tracy McGrady is no Michael Jordan,not by the longest stretch of the imagination. In fact he’s not even good enough to sniff Jordan’s jockstrap ! Less we forget also, that while McGrady was on that Raptors’ roster,he was also playing alongside his cousin and teammate,Vince Carter.Now if memory serves me correctly, I seem to remember ‘Vince Sanity’ being the star on that team ? Do you remember that as well ?

Rockets coach, Rick Adelman, having met with McGrady and the teams’ general manager,Daryl Morey, over the last couple of days. He could not provide the player with any of the assurances that he sought, as to whether or not he was still a member of the organization. And it would be prudent to acknowledge the fact that McGrady is the highest paid player on the Rockets’ roster. He’s due in excess of $23 million for the 2009-10 NBA season. And on the face of it , it would be the financially prudent thing to do concerning the player, in letting him go, once the season is over.He’s become a mild but ever increasing irritant over the last couple of season, while at the same time he’s become susceptible to repeated and prolonged bouts of injuries, which’ve made him less and less a productive factor in the Rockets’ striving to be counted amongst the elite teams in the Western Conference and the rest of the NBA.

It’s counter-productive to keep a player on a roster when you’re not getting anything tangible from them in return. And this has been clearly the case with Tracy McGrady and the Houston Rockets. He may well feel that he has something to contribute to a team,any team. But at this stage of the game, unless he’s prepared to defer to others and also act like a teammate. Then, there won’t be any room for him at all, there in Houston !

Whether or not he’s prepared to accept something of a lesser role, remains to be seen. But clearly it appears that the player and the organization are at an impasse.

I’d certainly like to think that both Allen Iverson and Tracy McGrady still have something left in the tank. And also that they can still play the game at an optimum level. But given both of these players’ demeanor and their predilection to self destruct and blame others for their malaise or mea-culpas. It may well now be time for them both to call it quits and step away from the game that they once graced, somewhat effortlessly. No one wants to remember a super-star behaving like a spoiled brat. But that’s essentially what we’re now seeing from Allen Iverson and Tracy McGrady. Merely, because they can’t get their way and play the game of basketball. They seem to forget that there’s no I, in the word ‘team’ team and also that there’s no I, in the word ‘we’.

To my mind as they say ‘ all good things must come to an end’. It’s always best to walk away,quit while you’re ahead,with your head held high and your self esteem intact. Rather than being thrown out like an old unwanted pair of worn out shoes. Is that how they both want to be remembered at this juncture ? What do you think ?

Ooh’s and Ah’s , Picks and Pans of The NFL

Well it looks as if this weekend we’ll begin to see some of the top teams in the NFL , look to separate themselves from the rest of the pack. Granted, the two remaining unbeaten teams, in Jim Caldwell‘s Indianapolis Colts (9-0) and Sean Payton‘s New Orleans Saints (9-0) seem to have already done that.

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning talks with head coach Jim Caldwell during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots in Indianapolis, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2009. Indianapolis won 35-34. picture appears courtesy  of  ap/photo/A. J.  Mast  .........
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning talks with head coach Jim Caldwell during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots in Indianapolis, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2009. Indianapolis won 35-34. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/A. J. Mast .........

And while I’m not about to take anything for granted, the Colts and Saints, do appear to be the cream of crop amongst the top tiered teams within the NFL, this season. And to my mind, Jim Caldwell and Sean Payton are the leading candidates for the NFL’s Coach of The Year award. Though some serious consideration has to be given to Marvin Lewis of the Cincinnati Bengals and the exceptional job that he’s done. Now I know that there are some die-hard Brett Favre fans out there, who’d like to see the Minnesota Vikings mentioned in the upper echelons of the elite teams in the NFL. And there may well be many who’ll also feel that Brad Childress is a worthy nominee for the Coach of the Year, in the NFL. But I’ll say this to you all, take away the Brett Favre hype – and all that you’re left with, is a rather good team and an above average coach, if that. Prior to this season , one would hardly consider Brad Childress to be one of the top coaches in the NFL. His appearance alone, has you thinking that he resembles a high school principal, much less that of a highly respected NFL coach.

 Head coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints looks on from the sideline against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on November 15, 2009 in St. Louis, Missouri.  The Saints beat the Rams 28-23.  picture appears courtesy of  getty images/  Dilip Vishwanat ..............
Head coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints looks on from the sideline against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on November 15, 2009 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Saints beat the Rams 28-23. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Dilip Vishwanat ..............

Week 11 in the NFL, kicked off with a Thursday night game between the Miami Dolphins (5-5) and the Carolina Panthers (4-6). And once again that ‘Ragin’ Cajun’ or as I’d prefer to call him ‘Bastard Out of Carolina’ presumed to let me down with his inconsistent play. In watching Jake Delhomme play the position of quarterback for the Panthers, is very much like watching a child ride a bike for the very first time. You know that they’ll stumble and take one or two falls but learn something from what they’d done wrong in the first place. In the case of Delhomme, however, he’ll dust himself off after falling but yet continue to repeat same mistakes as before, that cost him to make that apparent fall. His game has become so inconsistent, that it is difficult from one game to the next, to know what to expect from the player. And because of his errant play, it could well end up costing John Fox his job as coach of the Carolina Panthers.

Jake Delhomme (17) of the Carolina Panthers stands on the field with his head down against the Miami Dolphins at Bank of America Stadium on November 19, 2009 in Charlotte, North Carolina.     picture appears courtesy of  getty images/  Streeter  Lekca  ...............
Jake Delhomme (17) of the Carolina Panthers stands on the field with his head down against the Miami Dolphins at Bank of America Stadium on November 19, 2009 in Charlotte, North Carolina. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Streeter Lekca ...............

Well, Thursday night’s game, we saw the Dolphins eke out a 24-17 win over the Panthers to even their record to 5-5 and place themselves back into contention within the AFC East. And as I alluded to earlier, concerning Delhomme, he did not disappoint. His game was moribund and his stats bore this out (19/42 att’s, 227 yds, 1TD, 1INT). But it’d be remiss to think that Delhomme was solely to blame for this loss. In large part however, Delhomme as the team captain led the Panthers like a drunk driver trying to evade oncoming traffic while still trying to consume a drink from his bottle.

Ricky Williams (34) of the Miami Dolphins runs away from Richard Marshall (31) of the Carolina Panthers during their game at Bank of America Stadium on November 19, 2009 in Charlotte, North Carolina.     picture appears  courtesy  of  getty images/  Streeter Lecka ...........
Ricky Williams (34) of the Miami Dolphins runs away from Richard Marshall (31) of the Carolina Panthers during their game at Bank of America Stadium on November 19, 2009 in Charlotte, North Carolina. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Streeter Lecka ...........

Crash and burn, the Carolina Panthers did just that. As they were unable to contain a hard and fast running Ricky Williams, who torched the Panthers for three touchdowns on the night, in front of the home crowd at Land Shark Stadium,in Miami.And for Miami Dolphins’ coach,Tony Sparano,this was a night to savor. As his team played with a great deal of resolve and commitment. The same for which, cannot be said of the Carolina Panthers. Simply put, the Carolina Panthers are playing themselves out of contention for a playoff berth in the postseason. And this isn’t certainly something that one would come to expect from a John Fox coached team.

I’ve got to admit that over the past few years I’ve tended to overlook the Houston Texans (5-4) as a team. I know that they’re the NFL’s youngest franchise. But if what they’re now doing is anything to go by , given the performances of players such as, Matt Schaub, Andre Johnson and four year veteran tight end, Owen Daniels. Then this season, Gary Kubiak‘s team could be a surprise as an AFC playoff entrant in the postseason. It has taken the Texans some time to find some semblance of consistency and competitiveness.Given the days when they had the woefully inept David Carr as the team’s signal caller. Who can but fail to remember the number of times that Carr became the venerable staple of ESPN’s highlight reels of him being teed up on and sacked repeatedly by defensive linemen up and down the league ? Those days now appear to be long gone as the Texans now seek to place themselves amongst the game’s elite. And with an upcoming televised
Monday night game against Tennessee Titans.The nation will get the chance to see whether or not the Houston Texans are for real. The Texans’ potent offense and well disciplined defense will face something of a test against a rejuvenated Vince Young and the Jeff Fisher coached Titans’ team.

Indianapolis -November 8th Matt Schaub (8) of the Houston Texans runs with the ball during the NFL game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 8, 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/  Andy Lyons .............
Indianapolis -November 8th Matt Schaub (8) of the Houston Texans runs with the ball during the NFL game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 8, 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Andy Lyons .............

Could the Houston Texans possibly the NFL’s Cinderella Story this season ? Much as in the same way Ken Whisenhunt’s Arizona Cardinals were last year ? We’ll just have to wait and see,won’t we ?

This is an Oct. 19, 2009, file photo showing an electronic billboard flashing a message directed to Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson Jr. regarding his team's performance during NFL football games,  in Buffalo, N.Y.  Wilson tells The Associated Press he's prepared to revamp his entire football operation after the season. Wilson said Thursday, Nov. 19, 2009,  he'll make a full review and stresses there's a "lot of work to do."     picture  appears   courtesy of ap/photo/file/  David Duprey .................

It just hadn’t to happen another franchise in distress and in the midst of it all, happens to the NFL’s enfant-terrible’, Terrell Owens. However,TO wasn’t the spark that ignited the flames, leading to the dismissal of Dick Jauron, as the Buffalo Bills’ coach.

Bills’ owner, Ralph Wilson, put an end to the ‘Jauron experiment’, having witnessed the underachieving performances of the team this season. Could it have gotten any worse ? Well, consider this, if the Bills were an express locomotive heading for an oncoming collision with a passenger train. Would you want to be in the midst of the aftermath of the scenes of that particular incident ? Of course not ! The death, mayhem and destruction would be too unfathomable and unthinkable to imagine. And to top it all off,we’ve yet to hear a formal comment from TO,as to what has now transpired. But needless to say, somehow he’ll find a way to put a positive spin on it and other things that have transpired since his arrival there in Buffalo. Funny how far things have fallen for this once prolific player ? Do you think that his agent,Drew Rosenhausis already on the line pursuing a number of teams, whom he feels might show a prospective interest in his client ? Next question ?

Buffalo Bills interim head coach Perry Fewell talks with Bills' Terrell Owens (81) during NFL football practice in Orchard Park, N.Y., Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2009. Fewell takes over after Dick Jauron was fired as head coach on Tuesday.    picture  appears  courtesy of  ap/photo/ David  Duprey .................
Buffalo Bills interim head coach Perry Fewell talks with Bills' Terrell Owens (81) during NFL football practice in Orchard Park, N.Y., Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2009. Fewell takes over after Dick Jauron was fired as head coach on Tuesday. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ David Duprey .................

And of this weekend’s games that really peek my interest, those concerning AFC West divisional rivals, San Diego Chargers at the Denver Broncos, ought to spark more than enough interest amongst the NFL fans, in general. Both team are now 6-3, however, it appears to be that they’re heading opposite directions. Denver are losers of three straight, while the Chargers are riding high, having recently defeated the frustratingly inconsistent Philadelphia Eagles, 31-23, for their third consecutive win.

Broncos’ coach, Josh McDaniels has to get his team back on track, if their season isn’t to be deemed a failure. Having started out 6-0 and with the division at their mercy. They’ve fallen back to the pack,faster than a three legged horse racing in the Kentucky Derby. And if that wasn’t enough, starting quarterback, Kyle Orton seems to have lost his edge and confidence. And at the same time, that once dominant defense has begun to show some flaws. And that crack in their resilience mirrors what many may now feel, that they were doing it all with smoking mirrors.

Stop me, if you’ve heard this pronunciation before ? Jay Cutler is an elite quarterback in the NFL ? Time and time again , I’ve heard several NFL analysts make this now redundant and asinine remark. I know that they’re paid to proffer up their opinions. But let’s get real here, nothing that Cutler has done so far in his career bears this out. Making the Pro Bowl doesn’t designate you, as being amongst the elite at the position. Can you hear me Mark Schlereth ? Your opinions are about as valuable as Sarah Palin‘s views on the US economy,decisions made in the US Supreme Court and that of, US foreign policy. Sorry Sarah, but I’m sure the questions being asked of you by Katie Couric were far too hard for even a middle student to answer ? But somehow you seemed to be flummoxed by it all ? LOL,LOL,LOL !!! Just go out there and hawk your book and clamor for that additional 15 minutes of fame that you additionally seek.

Jay Cutler (6) of the Chicago Bears walks off the field dejected after their 10-6 loss against the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park on November 12, 2009 in San Francisco, California.    picture appears courtesy of  getty images/ Jed Jacobsohn   ...............
Jay Cutler (6) of the Chicago Bears walks off the field dejected after their 10-6 loss against the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park on November 12, 2009 in San Francisco, California. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Jed Jacobsohn ...............

With the acquisition of Jay Cutler, it was deemed that this would be the additional piece to the puzzle, that would put the Chicago Bears over the top and make them a potential threat in the NFC. Word of advice for Bears’ coach, Lovie Smith. Remove index finger from rectum and sniff. Culter ain’t cuttin it ! And he’s beginning to stink up the joint, much like the odor that you’re smelling and that’s emanating from your index finger.

Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith watches as the Bears play the San Francisco 49ers in the second quarter of an NFL football game in San Francisco, Thursday, Nov. 12, 2009.     picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/  Marcio Jose  Sanchez   ....................
Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith watches as the Bears play the San Francisco 49ers in the second quarter of an NFL football game in San Francisco, Thursday, Nov. 12, 2009. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Marcio Jose Sanchez ....................

The Chicago Bears are now said to be sinking faster than The Titanic after it hit an iceberg in the midst of the Atlantic Ocean. And though the finger pointing hasn’t yet begun. The quakes that are now emanating from within the Bears’ organization, point to the fact that Lovie Smith may be in need of polishing up his resume’, just in case he needs to be seeking out a new place employment.

Let’s hear it for the Detroit Lions and Cleveland Browns. A round of applause please ? You should be grateful that this presumed barnburner isn’t being served up for your edification on the NFL’s traditional Thanksgiving Day schedule. So there is a God afterall ? And whatever form he or she takes , I thank them !

For those of you with the stomach to watch this game. You’ll have the undoubted privilege of watching perhaps two of the worst teams in the NFL at present. OK stop it ! I can hear the sniping already, as they’re many of you questioning the fact that I’ve not mentioned the St Louis Rams, Oakland Raiders or the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But should I really now start to hedge my bets ? I mean, we can all opine as to which team we deem to be the absolute worst of the worst, can’t we ?

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) gets roughed up by Minnesota Vikings' Jared Allen (69) and Brian Robison (96) after throwing an incomplete pass in the third quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 15, 2009, in Minneapolis.    picture appears courtesy of  ap/photo/ Star Tribune/  Jeff Wheeler  ....................
Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) gets roughed up by Minnesota Vikings' Jared Allen (69) and Brian Robison (96) after throwing an incomplete pass in the third quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 15, 2009, in Minneapolis. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Star Tribune/ Jeff Wheeler ....................

Browns versus Lions, isn’t that reminiscent of one those long ass historical epics that Hollywood use to be famous for making in the early fifties ? I hear Cecil B. DeMille won’t be on hand to direct Sunday’s escapade between Eric Mangini’s Cleveland Browns and Jim Schwartz’s Detroit Lions. By the way the reason why DeMille won’t be around to direct, well it’s because he died fifty years ago. But in some way the NFL Network as well as CBS Sports will somehow think it worthy to televise. Screw that, you mean to tell me that CBS Sports couldn’t schedule a few hours of infomercials ? You know the ones featuring the guy and several luscious females discussing erectile dysfunction issues and what they (the females) like about the size of a guy ? Or is it because Sunday afternoons are considered to family entertainment viewing and a large part of the male population having finished their honey to do lists, will be watching the scheduled NFL games ? CBS and the NFL Network will feel it imperative that this game be televised. Please, given the choices that one might have , I’d say that the infomercials might prove to be infinitely better viewing entertainment than watching the Brown and Lions go at it, for four quarters !

Cleveland Browns quarterback Brady Quinn recovers his own fumble as Baltimore Ravens linebacker Jarret Johnson (95) and safety Dawan Landry (26) converge in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game Monday, Nov. 16, 2009, in Cleveland. The Browns lost 16-0.       picture appears courtesy  ap/photo/ Mark  Duncan  .............
Cleveland Browns quarterback Brady Quinn recovers his own fumble as Baltimore Ravens linebacker Jarret Johnson (95) and safety Dawan Landry (26) converge in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game Monday, Nov. 16, 2009, in Cleveland. The Browns lost 16-0. picture appears courtesy ap/photo/ Mark Duncan .............

The Cleveland Browns and Detroit Lions possess about as much offensive weaponry as the army of Vanuatu. The fact that the island of Vanuatu has no army to speak of , should indicate to you what you’re liable to see in terms of creativity from both teams on Sunday afternoon. Watch at your peril, as you’re liable to be either bored to sleep, or tears !

Well those have been my picks and pans , as to the NFL and this weekend’s scheduled games. Are there any games that have peeked your interest with regards to this weekend’s schedule ?

NFL Conference Standings

American Football Conference

AFC East

East Team
W L T Pct PF PA Net Pts TD Home Road Div Pct Conf Pct Non-Conf Streak Last 5
New England Patriots 6 3 0 .667 259 150 109 29 5-0 1-3 2-1 .667 4-3 .571 2-0 1L 3-2
Miami Dolphins 5 5 0 .500 242 244 -2 28 3-2 2-3 3-1 .750 3-3 .500 2-2 2W 3-2
New York Jets 4 5 0 .444 199 158 41 22 2-3 2-2 1-3 .250 4-4 .500 0-1 2L 1-4
Buffalo Bills 3 6 0 .333 140 210 -70 14 1-3 2-3 1-2 .333 1-5 .167 2-1 2L 2-3

AFC North

Team W L T Pct PF PA Net Pts TD Home Road Div Pct Conf Pct Non-Conf Streak Last 5
Cincinnati Bengals 7 2 0 .778 198 147 51 24 3-2 4-0 5-0 1.000 5-2 .714 2-0 3W 4-1
Pittsburgh Steelers 6 3 0 .667 207 157 50 24 4-1 2-2 1-2 .333 4-2 .667 2-1 1L 4-1
Baltimore Ravens 5 4 0 .556 222 154 68 28 3-1 2-3 2-2 .500 5-3 .625 0-1 1W 2-3
Cleveland Browns 1 8 0 .111 78 225 -147 7 0-4 1-4 0-4 .000 1-5 .167 0-3 4L 1-4

AFC South

Team W L T Pct PF PA Net Pts TD Home Road Div Pct Conf Pct Non-Conf Streak Last 5
Indianapolis Colts 9 0 0 1.000 252 142 110 31 5-0 4-0 3-0 1.000 5-0 1.000 4-0 9W 5-0
Jacksonville Jaguars 5 4 0 .556 181 220 -39 22 3-1 2-3 2-2 .500 4-2 .667 1-2 2W 3-2
Houston Texans 5 4 0 .556 215 188 27 26 2-2 3-2 1-2 .333 4-3 .571 1-1 1L 3-2
Tennessee Titans 3 6 0 .333 189 255 -66 21 2-2 1-4 1-3 .250 2-6 .250 1-0 3W 3-2

AFC West

Team W L T Pct PF PA Net Pts TD Home Road Div Pct Conf Pct Non-Conf Streak Last 5
Denver Broncos 6 3 0 .667 167 151 16 18 3-1 3-2 2-0 1.000 5-2 .714 1-1 3L 2-3
San Diego Chargers 6 3 0 .667 237 202 35 27 3-2 3-1 3-1 .750 4-3 .571 2-0 4W 4-1
Kansas City Chiefs 2 7 0 .222 142 215 -73 14 0-4 2-3 1-2 .333 1-4 .200 1-3 1W 2-3
Oakland Raiders 2 7 0 .222 88 217 -129 7 1-4 1-3 1-4 .200 1-6 .143 1-1 3L 1-4

National Football Conference

NFC East

Team W L T Pct PF PA Net Pts TD Home Road Div Pct Conf Pct Non-Conf Streak Last 5
Dallas Cowboys 6 3 0 .667 224 169 55 26 3-1 3-2 1-1 .500 5-2 .714 1-1 1L 4-1
Philadelphia Eagles 5 4 0 .556 242 184 58 26 3-2 2-2 2-1 .667 4-2 .667 1-2 2L 2-3
New York Giants 5 4 0 .556 232 204 28 25 2-2 3-2 2-1 .667 3-3 .500 2-1 4L 1-4
Washington Redskins 3 6 0 .333 140 171 -31 15 3-2 0-4 0-2 .000 2-5 .286 1-1 1W 1-4

NFC North

Team W L T Pct PF PA Net Pts TD Home Road Div Pct Conf Pct Non-Conf Streak Last 5
Minnesota Vikings 8 1 0 .889 271 184 87 32 4-0 4-1 4-0 1.000 6-0 1.000 2-1 2W 4-1
Green Bay Packers 5 4 0 .556 232 179 53 27 3-2 2-2 2-2 .500 4-3 .571 1-1 1W 3-2
Chicago Bears 4 5 0 .444 186 201 -15 21 3-1 1-4 1-1 .500 2-4 .333 2-1 2L 1-4
Detroit Lions 1 8 0 .111 143 264 -121 15 1-3 0-5 0-4 .000 1-7 .125 0-1 6L 0-5

NFC South

Team W L T Pct PF PA Net Pts TD Home Road Div Pct Conf Pct Non-Conf Streak Last 5
New Orleans Saints 9 0 0 1.000 331 197 134 43 5-0 4-0 2-0 1.000 6-0 1.000 3-0 9W 5-0
Atlanta Falcons 5 4 0 .556 221 194 27 28 4-0 1-4 1-2 .333 4-3 .571 1-1 1L 2-3
Carolina Panthers 4 6 0 .400 193 239 -46 22 2-3 2-3 2-2 .500 4-4 .500 0-2 1L 2-3
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1 8 0 .111 157 256 -99 20 1-4 0-4 0-1 .000 1-5 .167 0-3 1L 1-4

NFC West

Team W L T Pct PF PA Net Pts TD Home Road Div Pct Conf Pct Non-Conf Streak Last 5
Arizona Cardinals 6 3 0 .667 229 184 45 28 2-3 4-0 2-1 .667 4-2 .667 2-1 2W 4-1
San Francisco 49ers 4 5 0 .444 184 180 4 22 3-2 1-3 3-0 1.000 4-2 .667 0-3 1W 1-4
Seattle Seahawks 3 6 0 .333 187 198 -11 20 3-2 0-4 1-3 .250 2-5 .286 1-1 1L 2-3
St. Louis Rams 1 8 0 .111 100 249 -149 11 0-4 1-4 0-2 .000 1-6 .143 0-2 1L 1-4

Week 11 NFL Schedule

Thu, Nov 19 Time (ET) Top Passer Top Rusher Top Receiver
MIA 24 @ CAR 17 Final CAR Jake Delhomme: 227 Yds CAR DeAngelo Williams: 122 Yds CAR Steve Smith: 87 Yds
Sun, Nov 22 Stadium Time (ET) Tickets Network DIRECTV SIRIUS Westwood One
PIT @ KC Arrowhead Stadium 1:00 PM Tickets CBS 707 91 (PIT) 130 (KC)
SF @ GB Lambeau Field 1:00 PM Tickets FOX 709 156 (SF) 127 (GB)
CLE @ DET Ford Field 1:00 PM Tickets CBS 705 147 (CLE) 155 (DET)
IND @ BAL M&T Bank Stadium 1:00 PM Tickets CBS 704 121 (IND) 129 (BAL)
SEA @ MIN Mall of America Field 1:00 PM Tickets FOX 710 157 (SEA) 125 (MIN)
WAS @ DAL Cowboys Stadium 1:00 PM Tickets FOX 708 152 (WAS) 122 (DAL)
BUF @ JAC Jacksonville Municipal Stadium 1:00 PM Tickets CBS 706 144 (BUF) 108 (JAC)
ATL @ NYG Giants Stadium 1:00 PM Tickets FOX 711 153 (ATL) 123 (NYG)
NO @ TB Raymond James Stadium 1:00 PM Tickets FOX 712 126 (NO) 158 (TB)
ARI @ STL Edward Jones Dome 4:05 PM Tickets FOX 713 121 (ARI) 91 (STL)
NYJ @ NE Gillette Stadium 4:15 PM Tickets CBS 715 158 (NYJ) 126 (NE)
CIN @ OAK Oakland Coliseum 4:15 PM Tickets CBS 716 127 (CIN) 130 (OAK)
SD @ DEN Invesco Field at Mile High 4:15 PM Tickets CBS 714 125 (SD) 123 (DEN)
PHI @ CHI Soldier Field 8:20 PM Tickets NBC 127 (PHI) 126 (CHI) Radio
Mon, Nov 23 Stadium Time (ET) Tickets Network DIRECTV SIRIUS Westwood One
TEN @ HOU Reliant Stadium 8:30 PM Tickets ESPN 206 126 (TEN) 125 (HOU) Radio

There Are No Do Overs In Sports ………

You know how it is the broadcast networks are now so devoid of creativity that their idea of entertainment is gorge us on a glut of reality television or re-do’s of old television series. To prove my point, ABC gives us a revamped version of ‘V’ . And then there’s, ‘Melrose Place’ , ‘90210’ and said to be soon coming down the pike, are ‘Charlies’ Angels’ and god forbid, ‘The A Team’. Tell me that they won’t try and recast ‘Mr T’ (Laurence Tero) to reprise his role as B A Baracus ? Can we stop the insanity please ? Isn’t it bad enough that Jay Leno has to squirm his way through an hour of his show, just to hide his embarrassment ? Hey Jay,you should’ve retired as you said you would. Because now you’re beginning to look like a blithering idiot,in an earlier night slot on NBC. And you’re far better than that !

Kristen Bell , Sarah Michelle  Gellar and  Jessica  Simpson ,  presumably  amongst  the   front  runners to  reprise the roles made  famous  by  Jaclyn Smith ,  Farrah  Fawcett-Majors  and  Kate  Jackson .   picture  appears courtesy of  abctv/getty images  ..............
Kristen Bell , Sarah Michelle Gellar and Jessica Simpson , presumably amongst the front runners to resprise the roles made famous by Jaclyn Smith , Farrah Fawcett-Majors and Kate Jackson . picture appears courtesy of abctv/getty images ..............

And it’d be remiss to not interject with the banal makeover shows , such as ‘The Biggest Loser’, ‘Extreme Makeover’ and the unrepentantly bad ‘Dance Your Ass Off’. The last of which, would suggest that’s literally what one has to do in order to keep or regain one’s self esteem. LOL,LOL, LOL !!!

Courtesy of ABC Television

Casting the New ‘Charlie’s Angels’: 3 Options for Each of 8 Characters

Sarah Michelle Gellar, Megan Fox, Lady Gaga, Kim Kardashian: Some of the Celebs Who Could Star in the ‘Charlie’s Angels’ Reboot
By SHEILA MARIKAR
Nov. 19, 2009

It takes a certain crop of ladies to pull off a proper, “Hellooooo, Charlie!”

The question is, as a reincarnation of the iconic 1970s TV series “Charlie’s Angels” looms, who’s fit to fill the shoes of Farrah Fawcett, Kate Jackson, Jaclyn Smith and the rest of the crew?

Whoever gets the call, ABC is close to ordering a pilot of the new “Charlie’s Angels,” sources confirm to ABCNews.com. Drew Barrymore, who starred in the film versions of the franchise, will develop the show along with Leonard Goldberg, who produced the original series with the late Aaron Spelling, according to Entertainment Weekly.

So it’s a stretch to say the project’s in the can. But that can’t kill the curiosity about which stars might be cast in the reboot.

What follows are three potential options for each of the eight classic “Charlie’s Angels” characters, based on the suggestions that you — ABCNews.com readers — sent to us.

=================================================
In order to view this article in full just click on the text of the link provided
=================================================

At present, one can’t help but wonder what went wrong this year with
Michigan (Wolverines) (5-6, 1-6 conference) of the Big 10. Seemingly, the problems for coach, Rich Rodriguez, just seem to be manifesting themselves in so many guises. And there’ll be no divine intervention here, just in case you think that there’s some hope in the offing for the team and its football program. A lot was expected of the team this year and they’ve once again failed to live up to expectations. Much of the blame has to be apportioned upon the shoulders of Rodriguez and his coaching staff. It is not as if the Wolverines are bereft of talent on either side of the ball. But the mere fact that they’ve to apply themselves properly to the task at hand. And that is no doubt to play football.

Embattled Michigan  (Wolverines') coach, Rich  Rodriguez, seen here  addressing  allegations that the  school and in  particular the  football program  hasn't  been  following  NCAA  policy showing the amount  of time dedicated by a player  with  the  time  spent  training  and  also with  regard  to  their   academics .   Rodriguez has  stated  that  the  oversight  will  be  rectified  by him an  the  Wolverines'  Athletics  Department .    picture appears   courtesy of  getty images /   Michael  Franklin  .......
Embattled Michigan (Wolverines') coach, Rich Rodriguez, seen here addressing allegations that the school and in particular the football program hasn't been following NCAA policy showing the amount of time dedicated by a player with the time spent training and also with regard to their academics . Rodriguez has stated that the oversight will be rectified by him and the Wolverines' Athletics Department . picture appears courtesy of getty images / Michael Franklin .......

The cloud of suspicion under which Rodriguez left West Virginia to take the position still leaves a bitter taste in the mouths of Mountaineers’ alumni and that of their bitter fans. Rodriguez is thought of a pariah there , on the campus. And he’s now become persona-non-grata in the entire state. As tough as the situation now appears to be for Rodriguez. It is only going to become much tougher, as this weekend the Wolverines take on the 10th ranked Ohio State (Buckeyes),9-2.And with the rejuvenated Jim Tressel, Buckeyes’ team chomping at the bit and thoughts of a major BCS Bowl appearance. Let’s just say that for Rodriguez, he’s more likely to wish he were elsewhere. Rather than being engulfed in continuous controversy ,the underachievement of the team and the program as a whole. Rich Rodriguez’ position with the school is now coming under even more scrutiny than even he would care to admit.

Courtesy of Associated Press and The Washington Post

Michigan’s Rodriguez says process has been fixed

By LARRY LAGE
The Associated Press
Wednesday, November 18, 2009; 4:51 PM

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez says the process of filing forms that log hours players devote to football was corrected as soon as he learned it wasn’t happening.

Rodriguez declined further comment Wednesday because of an ongoing NCAA investigation.

An internal audit released Monday discovered the football program failed to file the school’s forms that track how much players workout and practice as a tool to comply with NCAA rules.

The office of university audits sent Rodriguez a memo on July 24, stating that forms from the 2008 regular season had not been submitted.

The Detroit Free Press, citing anonymous players, reported a month later that Michigan exceeded NCAA limits regarding practices and workouts.

Admittedly none of us like to grow old and we know in the end we have to call it a day. I’ve always been of the opinion that I would rather go out on top at the height of my professional career and personal life. Rather than being forced out because my faculties or productivity just wasn’t there. And as much admiration that I have for those who seek to work late into their professional and elderly life. I can’t but ask what they might be missing out on at that stage of their lives ?

Coach Bowden,  seen  here on the  right  along with  his  offensive coordinator and  assistant  coach, Jimbo Fisher  working  the  sidelines  of a  game  against ACC rivals  North Carolina, in Chapel Hill ,  North Carolina.   A  game  the  Seminoles would  narrowly win  30-27 .      picture   appears   courtesy  getty images/  Ralph   Peterson  ....................
Coach Bowden, seen here on the right along with his offensive coordinator and assistant coach, Jimbo Fisher working the sidelines of a game against ACC rivals, North Carolina, in Chapel Hill , North Carolina. A game the Seminoles would narrowly win 30-27 . picture appears courtesy getty images/ Ralph Peterson ....................

Much has been made concerning the situation now fomenting in Tallahassee, as it relates to embattled football coach, Bobby Bowden. Granted, he took a non-descript Florida State football program and turned it into a powerhouse of consistency that is to be admired. But as of late , consistency and the fact that winning is no longer the norm for the Seminoles’ football program. That it is beginning to make it very hard to understand why it is, that the faculty would want to retain the services of the octogenerian, Bobby Bowden. To make matters worse , Bowden ,himself, has chosen his own hand picked successor, in, Jimbo Fisher. Pardon me for saying his, but shouldn’t that decision be left to the Athletics Director and not Bowden, himself ? I was under the impression that Bowden worked for the university and not the other way around ?

Courtesy of Associated Press

Fla. governor wants Bowden back as Seminole coach

(AP) – 20 hours ago

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Embattled Florida State coach Bobby Bowden has a high-profile alumnus on his side — Gov. Charlie Crist.

The Republican governor said Wednesday the Seminoles coach has been great for the school and the 80-year-old Bowden deserves respect. Some of Bowden’s critics have called on him to retire at the end of the season.

Florida State is currently 5-5 and needs to win at least one more game to qualify for a bowl.

Bowden’s 387 wins are second to Penn State’s Joe Paterno among major college coaches.

Crist and Bowden appeared together at a news conference promoting the National Child Identification Program created by the American Football Coaches Association.

====================================================

This season for Florida State (5-5,3-4 conf),has been one filled with missed opportunities, uneven play, humiliating losses and abundance of excuses from Bowden and others within the organization. And needless to say, the optimism being shown by Bowden,while it is to be admired. It tells you, that there’s no real sense of urgency concerning the malaise that the program now finds itself in. Bowden for his part, acts if it’s all water under the bridge as to the predicament of the program. What he doesn’t seem to genuinely understand , is that while the program is in the predicament that it is in, it makes the recruiting process all the more difficult. Especially with regards to the luring of a can’t miss blue chip recruit. And when was the last time you heard of someone of that caliber entering the noles’ program ?

And while no one can deny what Bowden has brought to Tallahassee.
The question one must and needs to ask, is when will it be time for Bowden to bow out gracefully ? Rather than being forced out embarrassingly. It’s not as if we’ve seen a steady progression in the direction of the program over the last few years. Furthermore, a dark cloud looms over the athletics’ program with regards to the cheating scandal involving several players on the football program as well as others on the swim team, the track teams, the basketball teams of both the men’s and women’s team. Something that is hard to believe would be happening under a football program overseen by coach Bowden. It’s my belief that Bobby Bowden has in some ways become all too detached from the football program. Merely just trotting out to parade himself and bask in the acclaim, that in reality he no longer deserves !

With him having named his assistant , Jimbo Fisher , as his successor in waiting. It only exacerbates and creates a situation of uncertainty. Were Fisher to be lured away by another program guaranteeing far better prospects than he’s now being given at FSU. I wonder what the thought process there would be within the program but chiefly with University President T. K. Wetherall and that of Athletics Director, Randy Spetman. These two individual, as well as the boosters and alumni will have a difficult decision ahead o make. Accordingly, the actions now of Bowden and the interjection of Florida’s Governor, Charlie Grist ,into the midst of this all. Well, it hasn’t exactly made the situation all the more bearable ?

And while I understand that the Governor has every right to voice his opinion on the subject, given the fact that he’s a graduate of that esteemed university. I would’ve thought that his time would be better spent tackling the grave situations and crisis that the state now has. Rather than using a non-political function to voice an opinion that in all honesty not that many people are interested in ! Crist’s political career and ambitions much like the noles’ football program has been of late, is all,more about appearance, rather than substance !

For those of you who just happen to either have a passing or perhaps fading interest in the game of soccer. Then it may well have escaped your notice that the World Cup qualifying stages are present taking place. A number of teams were in a make or break ,do or die situation. Wherein, a victory would lead to a qualifying berth for the finals to be held next year in South Africa.

Courtesy of AP Sports in conjunction with Yahoo Sports

Hand of Shame sparks debate on cheating, replays

By ROB HARRIS, AP Sports Writer

LONDON (AP)—Irish football officials accused Thierry Henry on Thursday of damaging the integrity of the game when he blatantly handled the ball to set up the goal that booked France’s place at next year’s World Cup finals in South Africa.

Letters were dispatched to Paris and FIFA headquarters in Zurich, while Ireland’s justice minister took to the airwaves and echoed its football association’s call for the contentious second-leg to be replayed.

But the response from FIFA and the French matched that of Swedish referee Martin Hansson at the Stade de France on Wednesday night when Irish protests against William Gallas’ winner, set up by Henry’s handball, fell on deaf ears.
ADVERTISEMENT

FIFA simply directed journalists to its rulebook which states that results cannot be overturned after a match.

But the Irish did get the backing of the French sports teachers’ union, which said it set a poor example to children to qualify as a result of “indisputable cheating” and was “linked to a ‘very modern’ philosophy stipulating that in all areas, including sports, the end justifies the means.”

Football Association of Ireland chief executive John Delaney demanded that the game be replayed.

===================================================
Click on the link shown to read the article in its entirety

In Europe which has the largest number of berths guaranteed for the finals. There were a number of games that took place and perhaps none was more controversial than by way of the end result of the game between France and Ireland. A win for Ireland and they were in. A draw or win for France and they were in. So what transpired between the two teams and the admittance afterwards by French player, Thierry Henry, left a great deal to be desired. Unsportsmanlike conduct or not the player’s admittance that he handled the ball that led to the ensuing play and a goal for his team again shows what a thin line there is between cheating and fair play.

French teammates  celebrate  their  gaining  a  berth  in  next year's  World  Cup  having  just  entered  2-1 on  aggregate with their resultant  tie  with  Ireland.    picture  appears  courtesy  agence-provencale s.a/paris/   Paul   Hebert ...................
French teammates celebrate their gaining a berth in next year's World Cup having just entered 2-1 on aggregate with their resultant tie with Ireland. picture appears courtesy agence-provencale s.a/paris/ Paul Hebert ...................

The game not decided until it went into overtime , resulted in a 1-1 tie between the two teams. But because the series was decided upon the aggregate scores after two legs, that were played. It resulted in France gaining a berth in next year’s World Cup. Amidst all of this , now the controversy begins. As there is complete outrage in the actions of Henry and his admittance of what he’d done.

Thierry  Henry  of  France seen  here  with  the  intentional  hand ball  act  that   would   lead  to  the  game tying  goal  scored  by  teammate,  William  Gallas.   picture  appears  courtesy  of  afp/   Paul  Wilkinson   ...............
Thierry Henry of France seen here with the intentional hand ball act that would lead to the game tying goal scored by teammate, William Gallas. picture appears courtesy of afp/ Paul Wilkinson ...............

Henry in his post-game interview admitted that he’d deliberately handled the ball that allowed the ensuing goal to be scored by his teammate, William Gallas in the 104th minute of play ,in overtime. And while no one is in absolute denial as to what took place. The question is to be asked is what action will be taken by FIFA, if any ? Do they punish the player for his admittance or do they reorder a replay of the game ? It would set a precedent but then again, FIFA has initiated a case of ordering a replay after violence took place between rival sets of fans during an international game. Far be it for me to say what course of action that ought to be taken. But if the international governing body of the sport fails to act proactively . It will send a clear message that it condones cheating at the highest echelons of the game.

What is now becoming abundantly clear to me is that, the perception of what we know to be right. And the actions that are to be taken don’t always truly manifest themselves as we deem fit. In the case the Wolverines’, Rich Rodriguez. Here’s an individual who came blowing into the state of Michigan, high on promises and even less by way acting appropriately. Over the course of his tenure of the program ,he has accordingly flouted and transgressed NCAA rules and acted as if he was unaware as to what he was doing. Only with his job on the line, he’s seeking empathy from those who oppose his continued presence coaching the football team and overseeing the program. For Rich there oughtn’t to be a do-over.

Coach Bowden , the continual optimist , not only has he seen the game pass him by. But I doubt he’s fully cognitive of how far he’s let the Seminoles’ program slide under his reign over the past decade. Unfortunately, the likes of T K Wetherall and Randy Spetman still pay him homage , rather than doing what’s right for the program. And that is to let Bobby Bowden go ! Again there can’t be a do-over for coach Bowden ! Not now, or at any time in the future!

In the case of the Irish national squad, their grievance while justified may well fall upon deaf ears. It’s as Henry stated if the officials at the time failed to act, knowing his actions were blatant. Then there’s not much that really can be done. And even though a formal complaint has been lodged by FAI to FIFA . One sincerely doubts that it will be dealt with any sympathy at all . Again no do-over for the Irish national soccer squad.

Trust Me I’m A Doctor …………It’s Money For Nothing And The Chicks Are Free !

Trust Me I’m A Doctor …………It’s Money For Nothing And The Chicks Are Free !

Exuberance or just sheer stupidity on the part of the London Stock Exchange and that of the UK Takeover Panel. It could well be that they’ve not been made fully aware, as to the financial maneuvers of many of the prospective bidders for English Premiership League clubs ? And over the last five years there has been a swath of purchases made by prominent US businessman. Many of them viewed their purchases as a safe investment or just as a way of hiding taxable assets away from the prying eyes of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Disgraced financier Bernie Madoff is seen here arriving at US Federal District Court in Manhattan. Madoff pled guilty and was duly sentenced to 150 years in prison for his Ponzi scheme which is said to have defrauded his clients to the tune of $50 billion ($50,000,000,000).

One hundred and fifty years seems too small a price to pay, considering the financial havoc reaped upon families and financial institutions across the globe. But then again, how is that the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) could be so unaware as to the extent of this massive financial fraud ? Especially when on numerous occasions it had been brought to their attention that something was indeed wrong with many of Madoff’s financial dealings in the markets. But it’s as I’ve always alluded to, when you have no one with any common sense or a comprehensive understanding of the financial market and its vagaries. Then the abuses and fraudulent acts will continue to be commissioned unabated !

Christopher Cox who at the time of the Madoff saga, as well as the Enron escapade , was the Chairman of the SEC.Cox seen here, addressing members of the Senate Banking Committee up on Capitol Hill,Washington D.C. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Martin Pressman ……..

And it certainly hasn’t elicited the public’s trust when you continually hear the excuse behind the SEC’s mishandling of this all came down to the fact that they were under undue pressure just to look at small transactions to see if anything was awry. But what also is even more preposterous is the excuse that they were under staffed. We can spend billions sending rockets into space but we can’t hire several financial accountants and corporate tax attorneys to the benefit ot this one particular government agency to safeguard the public’s financial health and interests ? If that isn’t asinine, then pardon me for saying this,but the SEC is deserving of the ridicule and the attention that it received .

And while I’m for the free movement of capital and the creation of jobs in order to strengthen an economy. What I’m dead set against are the creation of tax shelters and financial maneuverings that take place in order to circumvent the sovereign laws of the land. Time and time again I here many out there complaining about the government raising their taxes. But I hear, not one complaint when the likes of Bernie Madoff, Allen Stanford, Bernie Ebbers or Andrew Fastow and Kenneth Lay. All have essentially wreaked just as much havoc, if not more on the lives of millions of people. All that bellyaching, as if the government are the only fu_king bunch of crooks out there ? When essentially,you’ve got major corporate boardrooms of Fortune 500 companies littered with ne’r do wells and fraudsters up and down the country doing more harm than any apparent good. And it would now appear that many of them are moving out of the boardrooms and unto the playing fields of nation and beyond.

The NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA , NASCAR, MLS and indeed the English Premiership League (EPL) in Britain, have fairly rigorous financial criteria that has to be met before a prospective buyer can purchase a team. Thereafter, once they’ve met that criteria and the board of governors is in agreement with the prospective sale of the team. Then the purchaser essentially becomes the new owner of a sports franchise. And it now becomes in some respects, nothing more than a petty bauble that they’ll show off to their like minded wealthy colleagues and social acquaintances.

In the United Kingdom (UK) , many of the soccer clubs in the Premiership are actually publicly listed companies. And the directors of those clubs have a fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders to safeguard and act in their best interests. Something that’s not always been done by several of the owners in recent memory. And in order for a team that’s publicly listed to be taken over. The prospective bidder for those shares of the team, has to be in compliance with the act of the Takeover Panel. Wherein,upon purchasing 30% of the shares of a club they have to make the panel and the LSE fully aware, as to their intentions.

I bring this particular topic to the foreground , in light of the fact that a number of teams across a widening array of sports now seem to have found themselves in a severe financial crisis. Much of it brought about by themselves and in some cases, it has merely come down to the fact that the world is in an economic downturn. Which will affect how one spends their discretionary disposable income. It has began to hit home for a number of team in all sectors of the sports world. The NBA and many of it franchises face a severe financial crisis. Albeit, that the league’s commissioner, David Stern would have you believe otherwise. And that the health of the game has never been better in terms of its brand and marketing. That may well be all well and good. But the bottom line for many of the franchises of the NBA isn’t as healthy as they once were. Declining revenues by away smaller attendances for game and less money being spent on concessions and memorabilia at their games. And you have something of a ‘perfect storm’ within your midst.

If you thought that the NBA was only the sport where this was happening, then think again. In the case of NASCAR, supposedly the most fan and media friendly sport in North America. Attendance is down across the board by over 8% and the viewership on a year to year basis, has declined in excess of 23 % over the last four years alone. The NBA has had to delve into the capital markets to the tune of $250 million in the last fiscal year in order to ensure the financial well being of several of their franchises. And the extent of the situation is becoming even more acute by the minute.

Uber-agent Scott Boras  , seated left and  perhaps  his most  high profiled   major league client ,  Alex Rodriguez.  Over  the  course  of  his  career  Boras  negotiated  contracts  said  to  be  worth  in  excess  of  $ 4.8 billion .  And  he was at the  center  of the  most  acquisitions made by  the  Yankees in that  of Mark Teixiera  and  A J Burnett ,  two  more of his  clients.   Of the  ten highest  paid  players  in the  game ,  six of those are   clients  of  Scott Boras.     picture appears courtesy of  ap/photo/ Hugh MacIntosh  ..............................................

Uber-agent Scott Boras, seated left and perhaps his most high profiled major league client, Alex Rodriguez. Over the course of his career Boras negotiated contracts said to be worth in excess of $ 4.8 billion. And he was at the center of the most recent acquisitions made by the New York Yankees ,in that of Mark Teixiera and A. J. Burnett, two more of his clients. Of the ten highest paid players in the game , six of those are clients of Scott Boras. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/Hugh MacIntosh ………

Bud Selig and Major League Baseball suffer from the misbelief that because the New York Yankees lifted this year’s World Series crown, then the game of baseball happens to be in a healthy state ? What Selig still fails to get , is that the teams in the mid to smaller markets have to scrimp and save every last red cent, merely to make ends meet. Much less survive the ordeal of having to play a 162 game regular season schedule. Hey Bud, So Zach Greinke wins the AL Cy Young Award ? What’s the bet, two years from now he’s gone from the Kansas City Royals ? If not sooner ? Simply put, because of your intransigence and that vulture, Scott Boras. The game of baseball is in a quagmire and in the true sense of the word until you and your hierarchy sits down with the players and resolve the issue concerning the escalating salaries. Then there’ll continue to be distrust amongst the two vested parties. Never mind the fact that the fans of the game can’t trust you or anyone within the MLBPA, to begin with. You keep on blowing smoke up some people’s ass and clearly you and Scott Boras are out of touch with the harsh economic realities of the present. But just you keep on going as you are and you’ll be in for a very rude awakening !

In the UK, where the pre-eminent sport played , is that of soccer. The clubs now are slowly waking up to stark a reality and that essentially applies clubs within the Premiership (EPL). Giants such as Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur have suddenly began to realize that you can no longer buy way your way to success. Especially when your revenues are declining because of economic and inflationary fears. Teams are now having to be frugal with regard to their budgets.

Tom Hicks (right) and  to his  business partner George Gillett Jr , owners  of the  Premiership  soccer club  Liverpool FC. The  co-owners  are  now  said  to be  feeling  the  brunt  of the  anger  from  Liverpool's  fans  as they're  said  to  be  considering  selling  the  team's best  player , Fernando Torres.  Much  to  the  chagrin  of the  team's   coach, Rafael  Benitez.  The coach  has let it  be  known  that  should  the  team  sell  Torres.  Then  he  too  will   quit  the  club  immediately.   Much  of this problem  has  been  created  by  the  financial  maneuvering  of the  owners  as   they've  laden  the  club  with  an  excessive  amount  of   debt.     picture  appears  courtesy  of  dailymail.co.uk/ Andrew Fogarty  ..................
Tom Hicks (right) and to his business partner George Gillett Jr , owners of the Premiership soccer club Liverpool FC. The co-owners are now said to be feeling the brunt of the anger from Liverpool's fans as they're said to be considering selling the team's best player , Fernando Torres. Much to the chagrin of the team's coach, Rafael Benitez. The coach has let it be known that should the team sell Torres. Then he too will quit the club immediately. Much of this problem has been created by the financial maneuvering of the owners as they've laden the club with an excessive amount of debt. picture appears courtesy of dailymail.co.uk/ Andrew Fogarty ..................

As I’d alluded to earlier a number of teams have seen their fortunes change for the better. While many others have not been as fortunate in that endeavor. Teams such as Arsenal, Chelsea , Manchester United and Liverpool to name but a few,have had a change in ownership over the past five years. They’ve either been bought outright , or used as an investment vehicle for their new owners. However, the financial maneuvers that led to a great many of those deal are now coming into question. And nowhere now is this more apparent now,than with what is transpiring in the hallways and boardrooms of both Liverpool and Manchester United.And the case of Liverpool it is now creating an impasse between the team’s coach, Rafael Benitez and the ownership group of Texas businessmen, George Gillett and Tom Hicks.

Fernando Torres  and   Liverpool  coach  Rafael  Benitez (right)  seen  here  at   Anfield  ,  home   of Liverpool FC  .  picture  appears courtesy   dailymail.co.uk/  Ian  Hodgson  ..............
Fernando Torres and Liverpool coach Rafael Benitez (right) seen here at Anfield , home of Liverpool FC . picture appears courtesy dailymail.co.uk/ Ian Hodgson ..............

The relationship between coach and owner has become strained as there have been rumblings that the owners who are desperately in need of cash to meet financial obligations to their financiers (bankers) – are seeking to sell one team’s best players in,Fernando Torres. And this has come much to the dismay of Benitez as well as the loyal fans of the team. But what is also becoming more apparent is the financial stability and viability of the club. It has been laden with a great deal of debt and even though Gillett and Hicks bought the club for in excess $900 million. Much of that money was raised through leveraging the assets of the team with a minimal cash infusion by Gillett and Hicks. Payments on that debt has to be made on time and invariably the owners haven’t been forthcoming as to the balance sheet of the club and its present status.

There are no sobering thought processes here, as to the financial mismanagement of a sports franchise. But invariably,whenever there’s said to be a problem. The fans are always the last to know and the first to find out, how much it may well invariably end up costing them.And it is no different,with the situation facing the Manchester United and that of its owners the Glazer family, headed by their patriarch, Malcolm Glazer. The family also owns the NFL franchise, Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Though the legacy of success with the soccer club hasn’t abated. For the NFL franchise , success has been few and far between. At present they may well be the worse ran and possibly the worst team in the NFL. Their futility alone this year, has many reminiscing about the early years of the franchise when they were woefully inept. And mere mention of the Buccaneers’ name more often than not was greeted with laughter.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Head Coach Raheem Morris and General Manager Mark Dominik discuss the Buccaneers first round selection in the draft room at One Buccaneer Place on Saturday, April 25, 2009, in Tampa, Florida. Photo by Matt May/Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Head Coach Raheem Morris and General Manager Mark Dominik discuss the Buccaneers first round selection in the draft room at One Buccaneer Place on Saturday, April 25, 2009, in Tampa, Florida. Photo by Matt May/Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Buccaneers had seen a great deal of upheaval in the offseason, with the firing of former coach, Jon Gruden and General Manager, Bruce Allen. Installed to replace them were first year coach, Raheem Morris and Mark Dominik, as the new general manager. And the inexperience has shown with the duo Dominik and Morris, by way of the blunders made with the team’s roster , lack of experience,both on and off the field . And the mere fact that there’s no team leadership forthcoming from anyone on the team. And that includes such seasoned veterans as Ronde Barber and Kellen Winslow.

Patriarch  Malcolm  Glaze (center)  and   two of his  sons Joel  (right) and  Brian  , far  left  , seen here  attending   a  Premiership  league  game   at Old  Trafford ,   Manchester  United's  home   venue .   picture appears  courtesy  of    dailytelegraph.uk.co/ Anthony  Hodgins  .................
Patriarch, Malcolm Glaze (center) and two of his sons Joel (right) and Brian , far left , seen here attending a Premiership league game at Old Trafford , Manchester United's home venue . picture appears courtesy of dailytelegraph.uk.co/ Anthony Hodgins .................

When the family first bought the Premiership club , it was felt it would be of benefit to both organizations. The universal appeal of United , who are seen as the soccer world’s answer to the New York Yankees. As the success of both franchises is unrivaled and unparalleled . However , what has gone down within the inner workings of both franchise borders on either stupidity, or the mere fact that this is all being done with some sort of greater objective in mind. Manchester United having been bought for $1.5 billion dollars, though much of it was in the form of a leveraged buyout (LBO). It is still saddled with a debt of over $1.15 billion dollars, bearing in mind that there’s accruing interest and the slow amortization of the debt. The family has seen fit to act with a great deal of secrecy that when questioned on their financial situation. The answers have been either fleeting or mono-syllabic.

Things may very well change as UEFA,the governing body of soccer throughout Europe seeks to enact a strong set of rules governing the operational and financial viability of a team. But this will only pertain to teams participating or who in the future seek to participate in any of its club competitions. This may well change the face of soccer not only domestically in the UK but also across the continent of Europe.

As contrived as it might appear to be , I do feel that a number of franchise owners merely treat their teams as a bauble to be paraded as a way of showing off their wealth and ostentatiousness. Never mind the fact that if the franchises are part of a community, then its citizens ought not to feel shutout when they tend to show some interest in the team beyond the field of play. It’s as if some of these sports franchise owners are no different from many of the corporate wheelers and dealers that’ve brought the country to its knees. Almost as if it is crawling on all fours, begging like a homeless vagrant for a morsel of food.

Trust me I’m a doctor and the owners are merely all about the money and the chicks are just free !

Dire Straits’ ‘Money For Nothing’ also featuring Sting. Lyrics by Mark Knopfler.

Lemon Laws And How It Can Be Best Applied To The Dallas Cowboys ………..

As prescribed by the Texas Dept of Motor Vehicles – Lemon Laws

Lemon Law

If you are having repeated problems getting your new vehicle repaired, and it was purchased or leased from a licensed Texas dealer or lease company, the Texas Lemon Law may be able to help you get it repurchased, replaced or repaired.

Assistance

Because the filing deadline and other requirements are very specific, call us for more information or assistance concerning warranty repair problems at (800) 622-8682 or (512) 416-4800. A $35.00 filing fee is charged for complaints about new vehicles.

Eligibility

Cars, trucks, motorcycles, motor homes and ATVs are covered, as well as demonstrator vehicles that develop problems covered by a manufacturer’s written warranty.

Towable recreational vehicles must be titled and registered in Texas to be eligible.

Used Vehicles

Your used vehicle may be covered under the Lemon Law. The Law may cover your vehicle if your used vehicle is still covered by the manufacturer’s original warranty (not an extended service contract), or if the problem started while under warranty and it continues to exist, repair assistance of the warranty-related problem may be available to you.

Complaint Process

If you have a complaint, follow this process to file a claim.

To begin the complaint process, complete and follow the instructions on the Lemon Law Complaint Form.

A Consumer’s Guide to the Texas Lemon Law

In light of the putrid effort put forth by the Dallas Cowboys in their most recent NFL game against the Green Bay Packers I feel that the citizens within the state of Texas and the supporters of the franchise have a right to demand their money back. Either under that state’s Lemon Law or under their statutes with regard to other areas of consumer protection. Granted , you might well feel that this is a futile gesture ? But clearly after this latest and woefully inept display by the Cowboys. Their fans must feel rightfully aggrieved that they’ve either got to pay and watch this drivel or actually attend to watch the home games in the team’s brand new multi-billion dollar edifice. It has now come to be known as …..’The House That Jerry Built’ . And for a stadium that was in part publicly financed. The citizens within the greater Dallas area should have a right to feel aggrieved and angry at their local politicians.

Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys closes his eyes as he is hit by Johnny Jolly #97 of the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on November 15, 2009 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Cowboys 17-7.  picture appears courtesyof  getty images/ Johnathan  Daniel
Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys closes his eyes as he is hit by Johnny Jolly #97 of the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on November 15, 2009 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Cowboys 17-7. picture appears courtesyof getty images/ Johnathan Daniel

However, unfortunately for Jerry Jones, what’s now being housed inside that edifice in no way,shape or form resembles an NFL franchise. You’d make better use of the facility, housing the homeless within the state of Dallas. Rather than, having this Cowboys’ team continuously ridicule itself with the thought that it is indeed a competitive NFL franchise. They’re no more closer to being competitive in this league than the Cleveland Browns, the Oakland Raiders, the St Louis Rams, the Detroit Lions or those sorry ass Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Isn’t it bad enough that those teams mentioned are a combined 6-38 ? Whereas, the hapless Cowboys are 6-3 within the NFC East division. But as evidenced by their display in their 17-7 loss to the Packers. The difference between the Cowboys and the aforementioned teams with that combined record mightn’t be as far apart as their records might suggest.

And while we’re now discussing the Cowboys , I for one would like to see a stop to this idiotic banter by the idiots within ESPN and Fox, who continuously try to regale us with the fact of how great a quarterback, Tony Romo really is. He’s no closer, to being a great quarterback than Clay Aiken has a chance of being enlisted as a US Marine. And if ever, that situation were to arise, then I for one won’t believe until I see it with my own friggin’ eyes. LOL,LOL,LOL !!! Clay, I know you’ve got a boatload of devoted fans. But you’ve never been cut out to do manly things.

Head coach Wade  Phillips of the Dallas Cowboys reacts as his offense comes off the field during a game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on November 15, 2009 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Cowboys 17-7.    picture appears  courtesy  of  getty  images/ Johnathan Daniel  ..........
Head coach Wade Phillips of the Dallas Cowboys reacts as his offense comes off the field during a game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on November 15, 2009 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Cowboys 17-7 . picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Johnathan Daniel ..........

And though there’s a remote possibility that should the Cowboys fall short of their endeavors of making the playoffs and then winning the Superbowl. Failure there and most certainly Jerry Jones would have to rethink the issue of firing Wade Phillips and his entire coaching staff. And oh yes, that would include the heir apparent in waiting, Jason Garrett. All the perceived hype over him, is about as relevant as awaiting a new release of a film release by Jennifer Aniston. Looks good on paper but fails to meet the expectations or the needs of the critics or the box office. And the same can be said as to the creativity of Garrett and the Cowboys’ offense. One moment they’re up and the next. Well , let’s just say we’ve all seen a much more spirited approach taken to the game and how it ought to be played. Don’t look now Tony but your plight is seemingly just as inescapable of that of your former teammate, Terrell Owens. The latest of which , was that Buffalo Bills‘ coach Dick Jauron was fired today by the organization. And to think, that TO hadn’t imploded as of yet , there in Buffalo ?

One of the primary reasons for the Cowboys’ lackluster display is the very fact that they’ll play down to the level of the opponents they’re facing. They are not a team that can find that happy medium that they can play two games straight of consistently good or great football , as all the great teams seem able to do. The Dallas Cowboys, as does Jerry Jones , simply marches to beat of their very own drum. And unfortunately for the Cowboys, either they’re tone deaf or simply put they’ve no rhythm whatsoever ! My own feelings are , it’s a little bit of both !

Defensively , the Cowboys really haven’t got a problem that can’t be fixed. They are one of the better defensive units around the league when they set their mind to it. However, it’s on offense where they far too often have their momentary lapses. And where Romo gets besides himself and starts to scramble around like a headless chicken. Once in a while, he might make an extraordinary play while scrambling around in the pocket. But more often than not, if he doesn’t look like the aforementioned chicken. Then there’s the possibility that he begins to look like an inebriated drunk falling all over himself whilst trying to unzip his fly. I don’t know if I could put it anymore succinctly than that ?

Of all the players on the Cowboys’ roster, if ever there’s a player whom I feel, that they’re ought to be a certain amount of complaint can leveled at. Then, it would have to be Roy Williams. One of the team’s array of wide receivers. He’s been about as productive as the members of Congress during one of their seasonal sessions. A great deal of talk always follows about what they’d like to see get done. But yet, in the end absolutely nothing ever gets done. And it’s been the same way in that regard with regard to Williams’ productivity , since he’s put on a Dallas Cowboys’ uniform ! And once again, when the blame is leveled squarely at him. Williams looks to apportion it elsewhere. Much like that of his former teammate , Terrell Owens has been known to do.
Any similarities there, you think ?

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo walks off the field after the Cowboys' 17-7 loss to the Green Bay Packers in an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 15, 2009, in Green Bay, Wis. picture  appears courtesy of  ap/photo/ Jim Prisching  .................
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo walks off the field after the Cowboys' 17-7 loss to the Green Bay Packers in an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 15, 2009, in Green Bay, Wis. picture appears courtey ap/photo / Jim Prisching ...............

This I do know, and having never been a fan of the Dallas Cowboys. I’d rather the team live up to its obligations and expectations. Rather than now looking at them as a fraud because that’s essentially what Jerry Jones and the organization has been perpetrating on the consumers of the NFL and the residents there in the greater Dallas , Ft Worth area for more than a decade. The funny thing is we have laws against such things in order to protect the consumer. But somehow no one seems all that bothered to enact it. I wonder why ? In your eyes are the Cowboys indeed a version of the ‘lemon law’ ? Or quite simply just an NFL franchise that has been continuously over-hyped by the print and television media alike ? The chances are it’s been a little bit of both , with regard to this particular equation.