I’ve always felt a great admiration for an athlete who walks away from the game on their own terms , rather than in the end for them having to be shown the door unceremoniously . It happens far too often with regard to the latter. And I know there’ll be those out there who will say that it’s their right to go on as long it’s humanly possible. But consider this , in the real world there’s a mandatory retirement age. And granted, we see people in all walks of working late into their years in a variety of fields. We’re not going to see someone in their late forties still playing in the NFL . Well , not unless your name happens to be Brett Favre. I can only surmise, that he wants to play ‘til he’s as old as Methuselah ? And for those of you who aren’t religious or perhaps have never read the Bible. Methuselah happened to be the oldest recorded person from that venerable book.
Well after 12 years in the NFL, Arizona Cardinals’ quarterback, Kurt Warner , has to decided to call it a day. He goes out on his own terms having had a story book career . A two time league MVP, Superbowl (SB XXXIV) winner and Supebowl winning MVP. Amongst other accolades , Warner has three of the top five performances ever as a quart back in the Superbowl. If that’s enough to book him a place in Canton , Ohio, then they might as well shut the frigging place down once and for all ! Never mind the regular season stats that’ve littered his career. Kurt Warner has been an exemplary player, teammate and an outstanding human being. And there are not too many sport’s individuals that one can say that about in this day and age. I don’t care in what sporting endeavor you might care to name. There has never been any controversy surrounding Warner on or off the field. And his peers past and present consider him to be amongst the very best not only as competitor , teammate or opponent. But also in terms of his character and his compassion for other less well of than him. That will be the measure of Warner’s legacy upon the NFL.
Now having said this, I must admit that his retirement hasn’t taken me by complete surprise. I understand why he now feels it’s time to bow out from a stage he graced so successfully. He’s a family man but also someone who has devoted a great time in the pursuance of helping others. And his beliefs , as he’s a devout Christian , wills Warner now to a higher calling . In this case it’s not solely about spreading the world of Christ but also to as I’d previously stated is to help those in need. It’s the same approach that was taken by former Indianapolis Colts’ head coach Tony Dungy. And it is now the same path that Warner will now follow . Both men , their accomplishments and their calling are commendable traits !
Now looking at the Cardinals going forward, I think that they have a solid foundation, from which to build upon. That being said , I’m not quite sure as of yet that Matt Leinart possesses the temperament to lead this team. It’s all well and good that he had things essentially handed to him on a silver platter with USC. But since his arrival in the NFL , he’s yet to show that he has the capacity for learning the game , much less show signs of maturity. How else can one explain the petulance shown by him when he was replaced as the starter on the Cardinals’ team by coach, Ken Whisenhunt ? If that doesn’t indicate that Leinart, when at USC was all about self entitlement, rather than doing what is best for the team. Then it’s easy to understand the reason why he’s struggled to make his presence felt in the NFL. With Warner , having been given the starter’s role on the team they haven’t looked back since.
It will definitely be strange, next season to see this Cardinals’ team take the field and no longer see Warner there , with his name emblazoned on the back of his jersey. But as I alluded to earlier , he walks away from this game under his own steam , in good health , knowing that he’s accomplished a great many feats that perhaps none of us could ever have dreamed him doing . Warner did things his way and for that I for am grateful to say that it has been indeed a privilege to see him play. Anything beyond that is now just an after thought.
I don’t think anyone could’ve said it better than ol’ “Blue Eyes”… Frank Sinatra. ‘I Did It My Way’
There Are Certain Things In Sports That Have That Certain Air Of Inevitability About It ……………..
I don’t know about you but being an avid sports fan and having grown accustomed to watching on average dependent upon busy work and weekend schedule. I try and get in watching at least four hours of sports over the week /weekend. Granted, when the girlfriend comes to visit , the minimal amount of time that I can devote to her without getting her thoroughly annoyed , the better !
During the week, whilst at work during some downtime , I had my notebook computer on, while I streamed some ESPN and their mens’ college basketball show. One of their panelists on, was their very knowledgeable analyst and columnist, Doug Gottlieb. Now Gottlieb is a former college player himself, having played under coach, Eddie Sutton, while at Oklahoma State. Gottlieb was a point-guard for the ‘Cowboys’ , having graduated in 2001. His professional career in basketball was somewhat non-descript . But he managed to eke out a career , having played in the USBL, ABA and with brief international stints in Russia , France and Israel. He won a Russian Basketball Federation Championship to go along with a number of other accolades. But the career path of a long term professional career in the NBA , somehow seemed to have eluded him. He did however manage to obtain a tryout with the Los Angeles Lakers but it came to no avail.
Doug Gottlieb’s knowledge of college basketball is as astute as they come. And his in-depth analysis of not only the game but the decision making and trends of a player or coach, provides the fans of the game with more information than they’d normally come across getting from a game-time commentator or from even the likes of Fran Fraschilla , Bobby Knight , Jay Bilas , Jay Williams , Steve Lavin, Brent Musberger or that venerable self promoting sage, himself, Dick Vitale. Each of the individuals mentioned bring with them a unique knowledge of the game from having either played or coached at various levels of the game. Such is their fervor for the sport , that I find it somewhat more entertaining than the NBA, in terms of the analysis provided . That’s not to say that either format doesn’t have its faults. I mean how often can one afford to endure Dickie V’s self aggrandizing and bombastic analysis ? Or the over analysis of Lon Kreuger ,when it comes to the game at the professional ? It’s enough to either put you to sleep or you in the end just decide to push mute button on your remote to keep your peace of mind . For msyelf , I just want to be informed with just about a bit of light hearted entertainment sprinkled in on the side. If only we could have Charles Barkley sitting on the college games at times , I think it would be somewhat better ? But Charles prefers the forum and domain offered up to him at TNT Sports, that’s for sure ! Only he can get away with his type of criticisms and witticisms without falling afoul of his victims. Such is the respect and rapport that he has with his peers ,as well his enemies as a matter of fact !
Courtesy of Rivals.com
Cats Survive Slugfest
By Matt May, CatsPause.com Senior Writer
With basketball royalty in the house Kentucky proved it is still the king of the Southeastern Conference.
The Cats (20-1, 5-1 SEC) held a double-digit lead for the final 32 minutes on their way to a 85-72 victory over league-leading Vanderbilt at Rupp Arena. The game took a regal flair when NBA superstar LeBron James took his courtside seat eight minutes into the contest before later doing the ‘Y’ in Kentucky at a second half media timeout.
The game itself was anything but splendid, as the teams were whistled for 58 combined fouls (two technicals) and shot 70 free throws in the disjointed affair. The Cats jumped to a 21-11 lead and never let the advantage dip into single digits again, pushing it to as large as 19 points in the second half.
DeMarcus Cousins set the tone from the outset, creating five ‘and-one’ plays on his way to a game-hhigh 21 points and 10 rebounds. When the Commodores (16-4, 5-1) threatened to slice the lead under 10 late UK forward Darnell Dodson bailed the Cats out with eight straight points to hold the ‘Dores at bay.
John Wall added 12 points and nine assists for UK, while Jermaine Beal led Vanderbilt with 19 points.
Well the season in college basketball has started and it has most certainly been a welcoming one. And within mens’ game we’ve seen the rankings change almost as quickly as ticker on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA). Now seated atop of the rankings are John Calipari’s Kentucky ‘Wildcats’ (19-1). And they were ‘the only’ unbeaten team inside the AP Top 25 Poll. And until recently the thoughts of perfection were in part real. But it wasn’t to be and they succumbed to that all too expected loss when there’s a bullseye on your back for everyone to a shot at. But such has been the standard set by this team thus far in the season . Seemingly , while everyone is playing at one speed they are able to step it up a notch or two, leaving everyone behind while they stare back in their rear view mirror to see the distance opening between them and the rest of the field. And that distance seems to be ever increasing with each passing game.
While no one can deny that John Calipari isn’t a good college basketball coach. His methods have come in for a great deal of criticism , as it relates to recruiting. Seemingly , over the course of his career, issues have been raised and it’s clear that Calipari has to bear the brunt of the blame for what went on at Memphis and its basketball program. And also at Calipari’s previous stop at UMass. That being said, how a coach, who over the course of his has brought two esteemed programs to brink of its knees and as close to extinction as is humanly possible and still remain a within collegiate athletics is a worrisome thing to a great many individuals. That notwithstanding, his denial of any wrongdoing gives the impression that as long as he’s proving to be successful, the faculty members , athletic director and the fans are prepared to look the other way. What’s even more exacerbating, is that the NCAA would rather punish the school or any athlete caught up in a scandal , rather than punish the coach who’s behind much of the wrongdoing that has led to the actions being taken. It alludes to the fact, that a person such as Calipari, having acted in such a manner can up and leave and avail him of another position elsewhere without there being a penalty to pay on his part. Meanwhile, a school’s character and athletics’ program can be left in tatters under the brunt of numerous sanctions that can last for up to several years in some cases.
The Wildcats as to their season thus far have played an exceptional brand of basketball, that some people wondering whether not they can remain unbeaten this season. That task in ofitself is not an easy one and it is something that hasn’t been since Bobby Knight’s Indiana team achieved the feat in 1976 , on their to winning the national championship. Since then , we’ve had to wait but seemingly speculate each year when see a team start to play ‘a dominant brand of basketball’ , while leaving everyone else in their wake. And that’s how dominant Knight’s team were , that year. As to whether or not Calipari’s team can replicate that success , remains to be seen. But it bodes well for the team at this juncture. And one the many reasons behind the team’s play has been the exceptional form and presence shown by the team’s freshman guard, John Wall. For whom, many believe is the best college basketball player in the country , bar none. And that opinion is now becoming to a consensual one , based on Wall’s exceptional play and leadership of this team.
The Wildcats’ loss to South Carolina 68-62 ought to be sign that they cannot become too complacent. And if anything, it should resolve them to become more resilient. As contentious as the college basketball season has become , once the NCAA Basketball Tournament comes around, you can expect it to become great deal more contentious. Especially with so much being on the line. There’s an expected ‘air of certainty’ , as it relates to ‘big teams’ around the collegiate basketball landscape, once the national championship commences. Everything else takes a back seat during that period of March where absolutely everything becomes a frenzy. Sixty four teams are guaranteed a place but there’s always that plus one , to be added into the mix. And that’s why of all the collegiate national championships, it is the ‘NCAA national championship’ tournament that is by far the most beloved. No controversies as you play yourself into contention . No need for computers or the assist of the coaches. You play well enough and you’ve got the right pedigree and you’re in. No if’s or and’s about it, it’s about as good as it gets !
Now it’s far too early to suggest that the Kentucky Wildcats can seemingly have a cake-walk all the way to the national championship. If it were that simple then there’d be a multitude of teams that would be in with a chance to win it all. But in reality this season , there’ll be no more seven or eight teams at best that are in with a chance of winning it all. And the slew of usual suspects would like nothing better than to be a part of the mix. So take it for what it’s worth , teams such as Syracuse, Michigan State, Kansas , Georgetown , Texas, Kansas State , Villanova and Duke , have as good a chance as any, to win it all , if they strike lightning in a bottle. Hitting a rich vein of form and maintaining that consistency throughout the tournament is the key to winning. And that’s why coaches such as Jim Boeheim , Roy Williams, Jim Calhoun and Mike Krzyzewski know what it takes to win. This is not a knock on John Calipari. But given what we essentially know about him and his demeanor. While he’s achieved a certain amount success, am I to believe that the very same issues raised about his methods at Memphis and Umass aren’t likely to crop up again ? One only has to look at the actions of Kelvin Sampson at Indiana to realize what I’m saying is true. A leopard can never change its spots, neither can John Calipari as an individual ! He’ never been known to, nor is ever likely to. And that’s even with the ‘NCAA’ squarely having him within the cross-hairs of their scopes. But then again, when has anyone ever known the NCAA stand up and do what’s right for the student athlete , much less what’s right for collegiate sports ?
Rank Team Record Votes Previous
1 Kentucky (65) 19-1 1625 2
2 Kansas 19-1 1519 3
3 Villanova 19-1 1503 4
4 Syracuse 20-1 1455 5
5 Michigan State 18-3 1324 6
6 Texas 18-2 1307 1
7 Georgetown 15-4 1124 12
8 Duke 17-3 1120 7
9 West Virginia 16-3 1113 11
10 Purdue 17-3 977 13
11 Kansas State 17-3 960 10
12 Brighham Young 20-2 894 14
Above are the national rankings as they currently stand and if anything our national champion is liable to come from one these twelve teams. On the other hand there’s a remote possibility of team outside the top 12 at the end of the day coming in and pulling off that big surprise. That’s what makes the tournament such fun !
Missing In Action ………No This Isn’t One Of Chuck Norris’ Lame A_s Movies ……………….. Hello Tiger Meet Brett It Appears That The Two of You Have Something In Common ?
Well my friends , well at least I hope I can call you each individually a friend ? Here it is right off the bat, the NFL season is almost at an end. All that is left is for the rather redundant ‘NFL Pro Bowl’ game to be played and then on the ‘main event’ itself, the Superbowl (SBXLIV) . A sigh of relief shall we ? Well, I say that , as I’m entirely happy as that self aggrandizing and often petulant child, Brett Favre won’t be a participant in the main event itself. Thankfully , Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints put that ‘bad boy to rest ! It’s not so much that I find him to annoying , which I do. But it has now become redundant to hear him once again opine and not come to an outright decision as to his immediate future. Were this any other person than Brett Favre, NFL player and ‘future Hall of Famer’. Then the mass market media of the print , sports’ talk radio and tv media in the guise of the sports’ broadcasters wouldn’t be hanging unto his every word as if this were the naming of a new ‘Pope’ . This is how asinine it has all become as the player is about weave his spell on the mice representing sports’ journalism . Much as the ‘Pied Piper of Hamlin’ had done in the classic children’s fable. Unfortunately for us it’s not Brett who’ll end up drowning but we the die-hard sports’ enthusiasts under the barrage of ‘none stop round the clock’ reporting on this whole media fiasco.
As much as I admirer the talent of Favre as a player , as a person off the field of player in terms of his general demeanor , he leaves a great deal to be desired. And as much as we now hear his Minnesota Vikings’ teammates talk of him in glowing terms, as to ‘the terrific season’ that he had. What cannot be lost in the midst of this all, is that the circus has started all over again and with it comes the media frenzy. About the only other individuals that I know of who can generate this amount of mass market media frenzy. One at present currently resides in the White House , none other than President Barack Obama. The others are Oprah Winfrey , ‘a cottage industry unto herself’, in terms of the pint media coverage that she attains and the fact that when she anoints a book or a writer, it or they become an immediate bestseller within the blink of an eye. And last but not least, is Michael Jackson. He’s dead and there’s now more being printed about him than at any other time prior to and during his last court trial. How the f_ck does that happen ? And why I might ask does it continue to do so to this day ?
The buffoons of ESPN talk about what they envisage on Brett Favre. Merril Hoge and Trent Dilfer show their worth as analysts. Worth a great deal of excrement as far as I’m concerned !
With Favre and the Vikings’ season having been curtailed in the NFC championship game loss the the Saints by the result of 31-28 . It has to be said that after that loss the thought might be that Favre ride off into the sunset , waving goodbye to the fans , as bids them farewell. That’s how it’s suppose to go with most fairy tale endings , isn’t it ? But this isn’t a fairy tale as it has manifested itself into friggin’ nightmare of monstrous proportions.
Brett Favre’s indecision as to his immediate future it appears, hasn’t taught anyone within the Vikings’ front office a lesson at all. Vikings’ coach, Brad Childress , as a recently as Tuesday, stated that Favre can take as much time as he wants before coming to a decision as to his future with the team and the NFL. Pardon me for saying this but unless there’s been a recent bereavement in his family, then there’s no way in hell that he ought to be allowed that sort of latitude ! . We’ve seen how the player handled his prior issues as it concerned what we all thought was an impending retirement. So much so, that it ran the gamut of mass hysteria on the part of the press and in particular the ‘squawk boxes’ within ESPN. There the unabashed admiration and adulation of Favre borders on being homo-erotic. And for the likes of ESPN NFL analyst’s, Mark Schlereth and Merril Hoge, it’s almost akin to the secretive homosexual relationship that took place in the Ang Lee directed movie ‘Brokeback Mountain’ (2005) between the two main characters, Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist , portrayed by Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal . Now I’m half expecting either Hoge and Schlereth to let us know that their admiration for Favre is nothing more than a boyish adulation. That may be all well and good but neither of the two aforementioned individuals have ever been known to be critical of the player when he’s being playing bad for this or any other team that he has played over the course of his two decade career.
If Childress’ statement about Favre was a way of either deferring or avoid upcoming controversy , then it may well come back to bite him in the ass at some point in the future. Minnesota Vikings’ team owner, Zygi Wilf, has yet to issue any sort of formal statement concerning the situation. And one can only surmise that he much like Childress , is prepared to sit and wait this one out. Now very much like the decision making when it comes to the anointing of a Pope , we await the plumes of smoke to rise up into the heavens before Favre beckons us all to make his decision. We know it’s not bound to be emphatic, as Favre is about is as decisive as former Democratic Presidential candidate, Sen. John Kerry (D-Ma). His indecision and that one monstrous statement that can be directly attributed to him …….”I actually did vote for the $87 billion, before I voted against it.” …at the time this was in response to voting legislation funding the troops for the war in Iraq. And we wondered why he lost toGeorge W. Bush in a Presidential election ? Who’s no vessel of intellectual intelligence, himself !
The problems of PGA Tour player and world number one, Tiger Woods, have been well chronicled over the past two months. And the player’s self denial has been parodied and become the ‘fodder’ for the late night talk show hosts. Even the heifers of ABC’s ‘The View’ have seen fit to chime in with their thoughts on Tiger Woods’ now well documented sexual exploits and sexcapades. You’d have thought that he’d ‘nailed more females’ than his official tour wins on the PGA Tour, by the way that they’ve been carrying on. But then when it comes to a woman scorned who knows of their plight better than that of another woman who just wants to either castrate and emasculate the first man that they see no matter what their character might happen to be ? Alas, for these women one cut to Tiger’s nuts might not be just enough to keep them at bay.
The body language says a great deal about a person. Woods in happier times.fee]HE
Now strange as this may seem , somehow the paparazzi and now the print media have reported that Woods has been seen at a sexual rehabilitation clinic. Nothing wrong in that at all I might add. Better he be cured of what ails him , rather than carrying on the way that he has done , doing a great deal of harm not only to himself but also to his character and that of his immediate family. His wife, Elin and their two young children have to be in some way hurting as to his sexual indiscretions. And for the now more than fifteen women who’ve come forward to say that they’ve had sex with Tiger. My words of advice to them all “………skanks get yourselves tested ” ! If Tiger’s done all of you, then he’s done each of you multiple times over. Because if as it has been widely been reported, a number of you shared the player at the same time. Then Woods’ actions aren’t just egregious but downright criminal and they border on being done with malicious intent and in no way can those actions be forgiven. God or Christ as the case maybe, may love a
sinner but surely not one who’ll repeatedly make the same mistake over and over again. And then chooses the press as mockery to atone for what is said to be a mistake ! A mistake is not meant to be an action that one deliberately repeats several times over . So sorry Tiger, but you’ve longer got my respect at all !
Eldrick ‘Tiger’ Woods, whoever said ‘that having ‘ 9 iron doesn’t help your game’…. has got to be kidding. You’ve been hittin’ more ‘tail’ and ‘rough’ than Jean Van der Velde did, when he had that monumental meltdown at the 1999 British Open, at Carroustie , in Scotland. Who can forget that mess on Van der Velde’s part ? One minute he’s in the lead down the stretch with less than four holes to play. The next he’s ‘submerged in the drink’ . And no way to acquit himself of his multiple mistakes. Much likes in a similar vain, Woods has yet to atone for his own misdeeds but he’s now allegedly said to be trying . But first shouldn’t he have accept the responsibility for his very actions and be held accountable ? An innocuous statement over the internet hardly makes that statement.
For Woods and his daily sojourn into sex rehab , well that’s all well and good. But what has really surprised me is where Tiger Woods is said to be undergoing sexual rehab treatment. Far be it for me to suggest , but a black man ……….(screw being politically correct) ….. attending a sexual rehab clinic in Hattiesburg , Mississippi , is akin to asking for trouble, given Woods’ sexual proclivities and the mere fact that the vast majority of his sexual partners were Caucasian ! I am surprised that there’s yet to have been a ‘Klan rally’ in the city of Hattiesburg ! But I digress, that sort of thing doesn’t happen anymore now, does it ? I mean we’re now living in the twenty first century and the racial divide between the races is said to have gotten smaller, rather than larger. Perhaps , someone ought to remind Pat Robertson of that ? After his racial and totally abhorrent diatribe aimed at the tiny nation of Haiti. The statements attributed to him , shows how unintelligent and unenlightened he is as a man who purports to be a Christian. A pox on him , his multitude of asinine and idiotic supporters !
Woods’ self proposed ‘indefinite leave of absence’ from the PGA Tour , has left it without not only its biggest star but also its biggest draw. And Tiger Woods is essentially the pulse and heartbeat of the Tour. Without him on the course or greens and attendances and viewership plummets for not only the televised events but also the none televised also. And with total prize money on the Tour in excess of $ 270 million . One can well understand why PGA Tour Commissioner, Tim Finchem is acutely aware and concerned as to Woods’ prolonged and self imposed absence. The Tour’s corporate sponsors are then become reluctant to commit and work in conjunction the group. With each passing week that Woods is away from the Tour and the game , the greater the pain that is suffered by PGA Tour financially . And when they’re hurting it affects not only the sponsors but also all of the affiliated businesses that work alongside the PGA Tour. From airlines , to golf equipment and apparel makers, to restaurants, to hotels , to even the smallest family ran businesses that solely exists to service the needs of the PGA Tour and its patrons , including the fans. The ripple effect is like that of a stone being thrown into a lake or pond. Just seemingly watch the ripples created as they magnify in size. That’s ” Tiger Woods’ effect” on the PGA Tour . About the only other the person in the world who holds that sort of sway on an entity may well be Oprah Winfrey and her influence on the mass media entertainment field.
One now can only surmise as the length of time Woods will be away from a golf course never mind his absence from The Tour , as he undergoes treatment for his addiction. But this much is clear the likes of Phil Mickelson, Geoff Ogilvy, Vijay Singh , Rocco Mediate , Rory McIlroy, Pardraig Harrington , Steve Stricker , Ernie Els and Retief Goosen simply cannot capture the imagination of a crowd or a television audience the way that Woods can and still have them yearning for more . Doubt my word ? Then just watch but a few moments of a PGA Tour event , just to see what it’s like without Woods on the greens. The silence heard is almost as eerie as that of being in a graveyard in the dead of night and the you’re the only person in sight. Certainly not something that the fans of the sport, the television broadcasters or the PGA Tour commissioner would like to see for the foreseeable future. The longer the situation is prolonged . The more disastrous are the effects and the reverberations felt on the sport of golf and its associated partners on the PGA Tour.
Fave and Woods both have a great deal of soul searching to do. Decisions have to made and a commitment has to made as to their immediate futures. For Favre ,it’s to the game that he loves and the camaraderie of the NFL. In the case of Woods , it’s the chance to seek redemption and at the same to rewrite an egregious and the pain and suffering that he has caused to his immediate family and friends. He’s yet to offer the fans an apology , much less the young children who attend the charter school that’s a part of his foundation. A situation which Woods has made all the much worse with amoral lying and philandering. Never mind the fact, that to these young children , he espoused the virtues of honesty , being of good character but above all respect for one’s peers and elders. Something of which Tiger Woods, himself failed at and obfuscated all of the principles he espoused to those young kids. He much like his NFL counterpart , Brett Favre, have behaved like immature children. But now they’ll be using the press and print media alike, in order seek the public’s empathy. While they are missing in action , are their respective sports better off with or without them ? Seemingly, there’s no real right answer but somehow , we the public and the fans will be asked to look the other and act as if nothing at all has really happened .
Somethin’ to throw at you playa’ ….. ‘Stand Up’ by Ludacris feat’g Shawna. Love it y’all !
’bout it,’bout it, out it , out it !
Nicole “Coco” Austin , rapper Ice-T’s main squeeze and fun toy. I wonder , where , when and how he makes or finds time to jack an’ tap that a_s up ? Inquiring minds need to know and they damn well need to know now !”
Hey Pat You’re Going ’bout Things The Wrong Way ……… Dwyane Ain’t Comin’ Back If The Heat Are This Bad !
If you thought that billionaire cruise line operator and NBA sport’s franchise owner , Micky Arison had problems, then you’d be absolutely right. The economic downturn being what it is, Arison and his company, Carnival Cruise Lines , has seen something of a drop-off in not only revenues but also in terms of passengers being able to afford cruises aboard his luxury vessels and cruise liners. A marketing push has been started by the company to lure passengers back to the fine art of cruising , traveling the seas and enjoying one’s self amongst the camaraderie on-board a cruise ship .
Arison for all of his brilliance as a businessman has seen limited success with his sport’s endeavors , with regard to his ownership of the Miami Heat. Granted, the franchise has to its name , its lone NBA title won (2006) under the tutelage of NBA coaching great, Pat Riley. But since that win , with both Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O’Neal< at the helm to lead the charge to NBA championship glory. Things for the franchise have literally cooled off. Were it to get any colder , then the streets of Miami and South Beach would be littered with ice , several inches of snow , sledges, Eskimos and Alaskan huskies. That’s how bad things have now gotten for the team and their young head coach, Erik Spoelstra. The coach was Riley’s hand picked successor, having succeeded the NBA legend , after his return to the Heat’s front office as President of Basketball Operations and the team’s de-facto General Manager. Power they say ‘corrupts’ but for Pat Riley , it seems to be an elixir that even he simply can’t ever seem to get enough of . It was the same way when he was the head coach of the New York Knicks and it may well have been the thing that led to his abrupt departure from the franchise , after his contentious relationship with team owner, James Dolan.
The relationship between Riley , Arison and Spoelstra, on the face of it seems to be a pleasant one. With each individual doing what’s needed to make the organization productive and a well ran business concept and entity. However, on the field of play the Heat are having their problems and by all accounts underachieving. The standings being what they are at present continues to bear this out. Within the Eastern Conference the team has posted a 23-22 mark that puts it two games over .500. A challenge at best for a team that was expected to be amongst the elite within the conference this season. But we are talking about the Eastern Conference where a .500 record can garner you a playoff berth at the end of the regular season. And I’m to believe that’s meant to be competitive ?
Based on that record the Heat as a team would garner the sixth seed in the conference , were the playoffs to start today. And within the Southeast Dvision the Heat now lies in third place behind the surprise division leading, Atlanta Hawks (29-14) , with in second place, last season’s Eastern Conference representatives in the NBA Finals, the Orlando Magic (29-16). And beneath the Miami Heat within the division are the Charlotte Hornets (22-22) followed by the last plaaced and woefully inept Washington Wizards(14-30). The standout teams within the division this season are Atlanta Hawks and the Orlando Magic. And it would appear that both will be contesting the divisional honors based on their present form. The same cannot be said of the Heat , as they have lacked consistency and Dywane Wade has been lacking in support from his teammates. And one well understand the frustrations behind the player and his lack to make a full commitment to the team, as it concerns his immediate future. At the end of the season Wade become an unrestricted free agent. And he, alongside LeBron James are thought to be the most prized assets of what likely will be ‘a blockbuster crop of talent laden stars’ on the open market.
Toronto — The last time center Jermaine O’Neal was traded, he was involved in just about every step of the negotiation process in his move last February from the Raptors to the Miami Heat.
If the Heat has any plans to move O’Neal and his $23 million expiring contract before next month’s trade deadline, the 14-year veteran apparently is not aware of them.
O’Neal could be a major cog involved in a potential deal if the Heat is serious about acquiring Amare Stoudemire from Phoenix.
The Heat has been mentioned among a half-dozen teams that might pursue a trade for Stoudemire if the Suns make him available. Stoudemire has a $17 million contract option for the 2010-11 season, but could opt out after this season to join free-agent class highlighted by Cleveland’s LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.
League and team sources confirmed Wednesday the Heat is in its “due diligence” process, something team president Pat Riley does when a big-name player surfaces who could help Miami.
Despite concerns at times over his role, O’Neal is not believed to have publicly or privately asked to be traded, and would like to make it work in Miami. The Heat seemed committed to O’Neal for the season and had not ruled out trying to resign him.
Riley’s plan has been to maintain enough salary-cap space this summer to re-sign Wade, add another maximum-level player and also convince a third star free agent to take less money on what would be a title contender.
If Miami is reluctant to package second-year forward Michael Beasley in a potential offer for Stoudemire, then O’Neal and a first-round pick might entice Phoenix.
Such a package could be constructed under salary-matching guidelines that would allow the Heat to swap O’Neal for Stoudemire and still get beneath the league’s $71.2 million luxury-tax threshold.
Riley has said Miami is about $2.5 million over the tax and is intent on getting under it.
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Fearful of the fact that he could lose the player to free agency , Pat Riley has sought to do almost everything within his power to try and persuade the player to stay. Wade for his part, has said all of the right things but at the same time he’s been critical of the organization and none committal as to his immediate plans for the future and whether not the Miami Heat are part of those plans. Which leaves the Heat fans thinking that they could be once again facing those dark days wherein the team was merely used as a stop off point for South Beach by an opponent and at the same time as ‘cannon fodder’ in an NBA contest. Well that would appear to be the scenario were Dywane Wade not a part of this team in the future. And the Heat certainly hasn’t helped its cause with the understated play of Michael Beasley . Nor has it helped that aged veteran, Jermaine O’Neal appears to be at least five steps too slow from his prominent days where he was considered to be a top ten performer in the league. Such has been the falloff in his play that one wonders why he’s still on the Heat’s roster ? Beasley for his part, has had his moments but they’ve also been overshadowed by his private off the field issues.
One can surmise that until Beasley’s mindset is completely on basketball , then he’ll continue to disappoint not only the Miami Heat fans but also those of Kansas State (Wildcats), where Beasley attended college. It’s too early yet to conclude that Beasley has been ‘a complete bust’ in the NBA. But given the fact that a player of the caliber of Kevin Durant is lighting up the NBA with his enormous presence and phenomenal play. Albeit, that he preceded Beasley by a year in the NBA Draft. Whilst Durant’s game has steadily progressed with each year ,for Beasley it has been just moments of rare glimpses of brilliance and little much else. So much so, that is was widely believed around the league that Riley might pursue a trade of the young player, feeling that a change of environment might to be better Beasley altogether. However, there ‘were no takers’ for the number 2 overall pick from the 2008 NBA Draft , where the overall pick was the Chicago Bulls’ Derrick Rose. Far be it for me to suggest that in making the pick, Riley erred on the side of caution. But given the facts and the play of Rose during the NCAA tournament of that year. It would’ve proven to be fortuitous had he chosen Rose over Beasley by having initiated a change of picks with the Bulls on draft day. But as they say ‘……hindsight sight is 50/50’ ? For Pat Riley this wasn’t necessarily about hindsight but poor judgment by him and the entire Heat coaching staff on the day.
There’s no bone of contention however, that for the Miami Heat to retain Dywane Wade , then the play of note Beasley will have to improve but so too will the play of Jermaine Neal and the entire Heat roster for that matter ! They face enough of an uphill task as it is trying to hold unto the sixth seed within the Eastern Conference. The struggles of this Miami Heat team paints an ominous picture were they to miss the playoffs entirely. So acute now is their situation that Heat coach, Erik Spoelstra , has to be looking over his shoulders to see if Riley will step down from his palatial executive suite in the front office of the organization to return to coaching, relegating his young protoge’ back to the assistants’ bench. After-all he’d done it once before with Spoelstra’s predecessor, Stan Van Gundy, on his way to coaching the team to his fifth NBA titleas a coach and the team’s first and only championship in their entire existence. The latter scenario may not happen but given the present situation , anything is possible at this juncture.
For the Miami Heat fans this may not be something that they can envisage or stomach. And that’s a team without the best player in team history no longer being part of the organization or even the fabric of the local community. Dwyane Wade’s appearances and his philanthropic efforts in the community and beyond have been well documented. And Wade’s recent efforts in not only raising awareness of the Haitian crisis within the community but also putting on a fundraiser amongst fans and members of the team , speaks well as to how much as to how beloved he is within the community but also in the City of Miami. He has in effect become their ‘favorite son’ .
If the Heat are to fare well throughout the remainder of the season , then it will have to be through a collective effort by the team as well as the entire coaching staff. And with trade deadline just around the corner it will be very interesting to see whether or not Riley will be a player in the market , either by trading a player or acquiring one that’ll be of benefit to the team. But it has become very clear to see that the initial gamble made by Riley in the draft hasn’t paid off at all . But where success is now judged by the immediacy of the here and now and what have you done for me lately ? This might well prove to be the last chance for Pat Riley to show us all how good a personnel executive he really is . If he and Erik Spoelstra can’t turn things around then for all sense and purpose they might as well wave goodbye as Dwyane Wade departs from the city of Miami and away from Miami Heat, also. There’s a sense of inevitability that this is about to happen. But as alluded to earlier , Pat Riley will do his damn best to make sure that scenario doesn’t take place in the very near future.
What are your thoughts if any on the possible or imminent departure of Dwyane Wade from the Miami Heat ? Do you believe that it is likely to happen or not ?
Catherine Bell, the former star of the CBS hit action-drama ‘JAG’. On the show Bell player US Marine lawyer and‘ Lt. Colonel , Sarah Mackenzie. Let’s just say in or out of uniform , Bell looks ‘damn fine’ !
And as an added treat , here’s a video covering Bell’s photo shoot for FHM . Can we praise Bell for showing us some skin ? Yes we can as it’s change that we can all believe in !
50 cent ‘drops it’ for Pat Riley as a reminder as to what’s needed. ‘Window Shopper’
Say It Ain’t So R.C ? Say It Ain’t So ? Not My Beloved Spurs …..Please Don’t Split Up ‘The Big Three’ ! Don’t Do It …..Please …… Just Don’t Do It !
Just when I thought that things couldn’t get worse in the world of sports, insofar as the teams that I support. The whole damn carpet gets pulled out from underneath me with one big earth shattering utterance. And then finding out that this scenario is fomenting around the front office of my beloved San Antonio Spurs. What’s that you might ask ? Well according to well placed sources and now reports. It is being alleged that Spurs’ GM R.C Buford in conjunction with the team’s coach Gregg Popovich are considering acquiring Suns’ longtime center and power forward, Amar’e Stoudemire. Great you might say ? But my question is, who do the Spurs relinquish in order to obtain Stoudemire from the Phoenix Suns ? At first thought , I felt upon reading the story that there’d be no way in hell that the either Burford or Popovich would think of ‘splitting up “The Big Three” ! But that may well be the case, as the supposed options are that it’ll be either Manu Ginobli or Tony Parker leaving the team. What in the wide world of sports is going on here ? Have they both lost their friggin’ minds ? I love both ‘Pop’ and ‘RC’ to death, as they are ‘the architects’ of the team’s undoubted success over the last decade and a half. But this is just about to send me right over the edge and into an abyss of despair. I cannot envisage either of the two players in question not being on this roster playing for the organization. But if it’s meant to be , then so be it ! And I am saying this all, rather reluctantly. If it brings another NBA title to the organization then I may well overlook this all and just chalk it up to overzealousness on my part.
If push comes to shove, then it may well be that Ginobli will be the pawn that’s given up in order to acquire Stoudemire from the Suns. If any of you have read my most recent NBA piece, (click here) in which it dealt with the ineptitude shown by the Phoenix Suns under the guidance of their GM, Steve Kerr and that of their renowned owner , Robert Sarver. Then you’ll be fully aware as to what I’ve been talking about. For all sense and purpose in the evolution of things. If R C Buford can be considered to be one of the most astute and knowledgeable general managers around the NBA. Then Steve Kerr would be considered to be most certainly amongst ‘the worst’ of the general managers in the entire NBA. Just look at his assemblying the Suns’ roster and their recent personnel decision making and maneuvers and one can well consider why Suns have underachieved and continue to do so to this day. And it hasn’t , with them naming Alvin Gentry to take over from Mike D’Antoni, who was fired by the organization after a rather disappointing season. The fault of which is by no means was D’Antoni’s alone. It was a collective collapse allround from within the organization from top to bottom. Much of it constructed with the sheer ineptitude shown by ‘the team’, as well as that of their front office.
George Hill (3) of the San Antonio Spurs shoots over Derrick Rose (1) of the Chicago Bulls in a game that was played at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. The Spurs would go on to lose the game to the Bulls 98-93 that was played on 25th January, 2010.
Another intriguing suitor could emerge in the bidding for Phoenix Suns star Amar’e Stoudemire(notes): the San Antonio Spurs.
Multiple league sources say the Spurs’ front office has researched and debated pursuing Stoudemire to play alongside Tim Duncan.
There are questions for the Spurs to answer: Would they be willing to part with the personnel – including possibly Manu Ginobili – to make a deal happen?
Do the Spurs want to re-sign Stoudemire to a contract extension and swell their payroll?
Do they believe Stoudemire could be the difference for their fifth championship?
All questions with no clear answers for the Spurs – yet.
Nevertheless, the possibility of an athletic, offensive force like Stoudemire has become too irresistible to easily dismiss. The Spurs (25-18) have lost five of their past six games, and have fallen into sixth place in the Western Conference.
“They know they’ve got to do something,” says a source familiar with the front office’s thinking. “They feel like they’ve got to at least look at this … and they are.”
The Miami Heat are exploring the possibility of a deal, but Pat Riley also knows he can keep Dwyane Wade and sign Stoudemire as a free agent this summer. Miami’s president doesn’t have to make a trade now. Chicago, Philadelphia, New Jersey, Detroit and Minnesota are among other teams with an interest with Stoudemire.
For Phoenix and San Antonio, there could be a different urgency. The Suns are motivated to move Stoudemire out of a growing belief they’ll never come to terms with him on a contract extension. Stoudemire can opt out of the $17.7 million owed him next season. Suns owner Robert Sarver has been in constant cost-cutting mode, and although he does want to keep Stoudemire, it’s become increasingly unlikely that will happen.
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San Antonio has been playing quite well at present, given in fact how competitive the entire Western Conference appears to be on year in , year out basis. And within the division where the Spurs play , things aren’t the less difficult at all. Within the Southwest Division they’re aligned alongside the Dallas Mavericks (30-15), Memphis Grizzlies (24-19), Houston Rockets (24-20), New Orleans (24-20) and the San Antnio Spurs (25-18) themselves, with a recrord that would garner them the seventh seed within the Western Conference. The division makes for one, that is as combative and competitive as it appears to look at first glance. This may well be in terms of ‘from top to bottom’ the most competitive of all the divisions within the entire NBA. It’s certainly not lacking in class, in terms of either the talent to be seen or the overall caliber of the teams.
San Antonio Spurs’ General Manager, R.C. Buford speaking with the convened press at the team’s headquarters in San Antonio, Texas.
Amar’e Stoudemire is in the last year of a contract that pays him $17.7 million for the 2010 season. But it appears as such that he’s reluctant to re-sign with the Phoenix Suns. What one might choose to read into that, is open to a great deal of debate and speculation. But given the situation there in Phoenix , where other Stoudemire , Steve Nash and Grant Hill. The team is a relatively young one that Kerr may well now feel that it’s best to build for the future , rather than carry on with certain remants of the past. Most certainly Nash and Hill aren’t getting any younger and in all reality the window of opportunity for this team to have won an NBA championship passed by a number of years ago. Such has been the inconsistency shown from the teams making their presence really felt in the postseason. That with each passing effort , it has been repeatedly deja-vu all over again. And much of that and the failings of the team can be squarely laid to rest on the shoulders of Steve Kerr.
While no disputes the fact that Stoudemire would be a good fit for the Spurs. There’s no denying that the Popovich and Buford might well be giving up far more than is needed to acquire the Suns’ player. Unless the deal involves multiple players or quite possibly a third team needs to be involved to facilitate such a deal. Then we may well see nothing at all go down . But the fans of this particular flame that has started this rumor continues to go on unabated. As alluded to earlier, Stoudemire is in the final year of a contract that pays him $17.7 million for the 2010 season. Though it’s not known whether or no the Suns do have a desire to re-sign the player. There does appear to be a reluctance on Amar’e Stoudemire’s part to remain with the team. He knows that he can test the .’waters of free agency’ at the end of this season. There, he will be amongst a ‘crop of top-line’ of marquee names , of which are LeBron James, Dwyane Wade , Chris Bosh and Joe Johnson will be the most desired of all, alongside Stoudemire, himself.
While I for one won’t deny that Stoudemire would on the face of it, be a good fit for the San Antonio Spurs. My reluctance just doesn’t stem from the fact that I don’t want to see the triumvirate of Tim Duncan , Manu Ginobli and Tony Parker broken up. It also comes from the very fact that the Spurs may well be giving up far more than is necessary in acquiring the player. Granted , it may not only be Ginobli that’ll be part of the mix should this deal go down. But for all essence and purpose , Ginobli is the bait that is being dangled by Buford and Popovich as they supposedly go about trying to acquire the All Star center and power forward. It may well take an additional number of players to facilitate the deal or quite possibly a third or fourth team to enact a multi-player deal. Whatever now takes place, this could very well be the first salvo being fired as a number of teams jockey themselves with an eye to the trade deadline and beyond.
Spurs’ coach Gregg Popovich speaks with the convened press concerning the team’s NBA draft picks of last season .
If I were as such just a bystander in all of this with no real affiliation other than being an NBA and a sport’s fan. Then I would look at the proposed deal and say ….’wow the Spurs intend to give the Lakers a run for their money’ ! But I am not, I’m an ardent and an avowed fan of this team and while I see the deal’s advantages. I also see its inherent dangers and the possible seismic shift that it could bring should things not work out right. But when you’ve got a coach with the pedigree of Gregg Popovich and a General Manager as astute as R. C. Burford , then I guess that I shouldn’t really have to worry ? Or should I ? What do you think ? All I know is that this roster when they’re playing at their optimum level , they are good enough to derail the ambition of the Los Angeles Lakers and ‘any other team’ who might stand in their way !
Titillation ……. Ain’t Nothing Wrong With That At All ! … The NFL Does It
Well ever since my weary a_s departed from Foxsports.com’s blogsite. I have to admit, I’ve received a new found burst of energy, that has made me all the more analytical and discerning when it come to not only my writing but also the succinct commentary that I try to offer up on contributor’s website. Granted, at times the contributor and I may well have a differing opinion on a subject matter. But I feel that it’s imperative not to offend but merely offer up a comment offering the reasons why I might disagree with an a opinion or quite possibly a ‘misquoted’ fact. I think that we can all agree, that’s the appropriate etiquette to be shown between a commentator and someone who as a reader patronizes a blogger’s website ? It’s far better than behaving like an infantile child and resorting to < ‘name calling’ or stating that you don’t want to be entertained or return to someone’s site. That sort of behavior smacks of sheer stupidity and immaturity to my mind and ought to be treated as such ! But I digress, as that’s not what this piece is meant to be about.
My venerable acquaintances , chappy 81 of doin-work.com and sportschump of the similarly named site that bears his name, sportschump.net obviously share a taste in fine wine and no doubt the love of a good woman. Ain’t nothin’ wrong in that, is there ? And as we are about to proceed into the dark days of ‘Spring’, as far as I’m concerned. Wherein, the NFL regular season has ended and all we’re now left with, is that of the NFL Pro Bowl game and Superbowl XLIV to be played between NFC representative, the New Orleans Saints and their AFC opponents , the Indianapolis Colts. As I’ve previously stated to my buddies, chappy 81 and sportschump , the thought of ‘Brett Favre’ envisioned Superbowl would’ve created the worse case scenario as far as I was concerned, with regard to the ‘NFL’s showcase event’ !
Mansion Night Club on South Beach is a happening place and you’ll definitely find yourself ‘a bevy of hot beauties’ there , for sure !
Well the Pro Bowl to be played this weekend at the Sun Life Stadium, Miami, South Florida – home to the Miami Dolphins. Let’s just say that the fans there will be getting ‘two for the price of one’ in consecutive weeks. Well, at least it appears to be that way on the part of the NFL hierarchy. With interest waning in the Pro Bowl and the fact that its customary stage is that of Honolulu ,Hawaii . League Commissioner, Roger Goodell , really needed to do something that would provide the event with a jolt and some new found interest from the fans. His idea and that of the NFL owners, was to stage the game in the preceding week of the Superbowl and at the same venue. The economic impact to the South Florida region and in particular to the city of Miami will run into the hundreds of millions of dollars over the next two weeks. Is it any wonder what City of Miami Mayor Tomas P. Regalado is licking his lips like a rabid dog ? With the blight that has taken hold of the city, some much needed PR is here to offset many the city’s problems. And with Miami Dade County Mayor, Carlos Alvarez not wanting to be left out of the festivities and the spotlight. The whole event will be used as one big ‘PR event’ to espouse the virtues of the city of Miami and Miami Dade County , as not only as a center of finance , commerce and a gateway to Latin America. But also the event will be used as a ‘marketing tool’ to ‘sell the city’ and the surrounding areas as somewhere one can live , work and raise a family.
Hot women abound in South Florida and especially on South Beach , where they are replete in ‘various ethnicities’. It’s enough to make a grown man think that he’s died and gone to heaven. And for those who shall we say, who choose the ‘alternative life style’ ? Well, there’s something there for you as well. It’s an equal opportunity den of debauchery and whatever else might take your flight of fancy.
She may well have nothing to do with Miami and the Superbowl . But there’s a reason why both sportschump and I love Denise Milani. Who could miss those ‘very ample assets’ of hers ?.
Now I’m not about to make a prognostication as to how I see the big game going. But all I know, is that these are by far the two best teams in the NFL, regular season wise and in the post-season as well. They’re proven it with their consistency and be damned about them not going unbeaten during the regular season. That’s for the likes of idiots such as former Dolphins’ player Mercury Morris, as it gives him something to hang his hat on , from the unbeaten ’72 Superbowl winning Miami Dolphins’ team. The question one ought to be asking Morris ‘……is what the hell have the Dolphins done since then’ ? Much like a geriatric with early stages of Alzheimer’s disease , the Miami Dolphins can’t win a game , much less a Superbowl , since those halcyon days under their former coach, Don Shula. And they’ve forgotten how to, as that can borne out by this past season and their less than stellar mark of 7-9 within the AFC East. Wherein , they finished third, behind the division winning New England Patriots and the New York Jets. Well the state of Florida has always been about their ‘fair weather fans, rather than supporting their home-state teams earnestly . One minute the support is there , the next there’s deafening silence and you’d have thought you were in a confessional box because of the deafening silence that can be found from the none appearance and complete lack of vociferousness of the fans showing support for the local teams. That’s how bad it can get and still does to this day ! Just check out the fans of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Tampa Bay Rays, Jacksonville Jaguars, Florida Panthers and to a lesser extent the Florida Marlins. Albeit , that the Marlins will be soon seated in a state of the art facility within two years. The caveat as it concerns myself , is that ‘I am a die-hard Marlins’ fan “through and through” !. My support for the team has never once wavered and I’m as critical of them in the good times and the bad.
The most discerning of football fans nowadays, has to be enticed by the NFL in large part to attend a game. One can stay in the comfort of one’s own home and watch a game or a plethora of games if you either attend of local sports bar or you indeed subscribe to the NFL Networks’ ‘Season Pass’ or Direct Tv’s Sunday Ticket, their own enhanced service of the NFL. One thing that you can rest assure of, is that the enticement is no less different from that of a scantly clad female walking into crowded filled with testosterone driven heterosexual males. The result will always be the same , our eyes will be agape, as we look lasciviously at that scantly clad female. I most certainly wouldn’t want it any other way !
The NFL knows when it’s on to a good thing , so it can ill afford to lose the goodwill of the fans and its corporate patrons. But with there being talks a labor dispute and threat of lockout between the NFLPA (Players’ Union) and the NFL. Well it suggest that the possible confrontation between the two parties isn’t at all far off, at hand. he game is still being sold to us religiously nd we the fans devour every morsel that is thrown our way , ravenously. Now imagine the possibility of there being no NFL games for a prolonged period of six months or more ? What are we as the fans expected to do ? It’s obvious that the likes of Goodell and his union counterpart ,NFLPA Executive Director, DeMaurice Smith, haven’t exactly thought this all through. As they seemingly continue to lock horns with neither party prepared to give ground as the contest the veracity of each side’s claim of the collective bargaining agreement and as to the spoils that awaits the winner.
The loser in all of this tends to be the fans exactly 100 % of the time as both parties aren’t overly concerned as to what we want or think. It has more to do with what they want, what they think and how best to go about it , even when it is the consumer who in the ends up paying the cost of their sheer greed and downright stupidity. All the while , we’re still being titillated by their ongoing sales’ pitch. Nothing wrong in that , just as long as we’re not the ones in the end who end up paying . But alas, that scenario is not about to change. So keep on just being titillated by the NFL . But remember being titillated by a female can be far more pleasing at half the cost of an NFL game. What do you think ?
Mystikal gives to you , upside your head . ‘Shake Ya Ass’ . Do you think that Denise Milani can shake her a_s and show us what she’s indeed working with ?
Ladies And Gentlemen The 1,000 lb Gorilla Is Back In The Room And His Flatulence Is As Great As Ever ………… Welcome Back Brett Favre …………
You can’t blame them for trying but surely the Minnesota Vikings and their front office knew what they were letting themselves for , when they signed Brett Favre to what they felt was a favorable two year ‘$24 million deal’ ? Now with the team’s season having been so abruptly ended in the ‘NFC championship game loss’ to the New Orleans Saints. The organization must now await a decision from the veteran quarterback as to whether or not he will indeed return to the NFL and to the team for ‘an astonishing twentieth season’ .
Who couldn’t have envisioned this particular ‘soap opera’ starting all over again ? And if those as_holes within Bristol, Connecticut, start to chime in that…… ‘it is Brett’s right to once again walk away and take time to think things over’. Then I’ve got these nine words to state to you all…..’ f_ck you and the horse you rode in on ‘ ! It may well be Favre’s right to take time away from the game to think things through but it ‘certainly does not give him the right to hold another organization hostage’ while he acts like a petulant school child ! We’ve seen this twice before , with his retiring and un-retiring to return to the game. What’s he now become ? A rabbit that can be pulled out of a hat repeatedly as part of a magic trick to entertain the most discerning fans of the NFL ? If that is the case, then can be sawed in half and then not be put back together again ? That’s a trick that I’d love to see concerning Brett Favre at this particular moment in time. Because when it’s all said and done this whole shtick of his , has become tired and played out ! If anything, it borders on being insulting to the fans , to the game of football and the entire NFL !
Eden Prairie, Minn. — One after another, the Minnesota Vikings mentioned how much they enjoyed playing with Brett Favre.
Will the fun will be one season and done?
The devastated Vikings gathered Monday at their practice facility for exit physicals and meetings with coaches, two weeks sooner than they hoped because of an epic overtime loss to the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Championship Game.
Despite all the other intriguing in-game developments and offseason storylines, the day-after focus fell on the 40-year-old Favre’s future. He didn’t appear in the locker room at Winter Park while it was open to reporters, but his demeanor after the game and responses from teammates suggested that he’s leaning toward quitting.
“In a situation like this, I really don’t want to make a decision right now based on what’s happened, because I do know the year could not have gone any better, aside from us not going to Miami,” Favre said Sunday night at the Superdome. “I really enjoyed it, to be honest. Just wondering if I can hold up, especially after a day like today.”
Favre took a beating by the Saints, and the ankle injury he suffered during the third quarter was another reminder of how draining the game has been for him mentally and physically down the stretch of his 19-year NFL career.
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The championship game itself was exhilarating to watch as ‘both teams’ gave each other the very best that they had to offer. Favre’s counterpart,Drew Brees, showed why on his seasonal form alone and then his postseason play, the he has to be now considered an ‘elite quarterback’ in the NFL. On my scorecard, he’d be considered one of ‘the top two or three’ in the entire league ! I’d certainly now place him alongside the likes of Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, most definitely ! And if the game was on the line then I’d certainly choose him over an error prone and gunslinger in the mold of Brett Favre. Want further proof of that fact then just look at the asinine play of the Vikings’ quarterback in the waning moments when he saw fit to throw an interception into double coverage. I’m not averse to taking risks but there’s a time and a place for doing it and at that time it was just wasn’t worth it all. Not in the waning moments of the game when many of your teammates around are weary not only physically but also mentally. He could’ve played out the clock in regulation and then take it from there. But no, that’s not the way that Brett Favre likes to do things at all . If he’s not the center of attention then it’s just not worth it for him to be the focus of everyone’s gaze.
While I’m an admirer of Favre as a player when he’s at the top of his game. My sole problem with him , is his persona away from the field and how he conducts himself. Many consider him to great player and there’s a case to made that he’s amongst the all-time greats to have played the game. As to whether or not he can be considered to be a great teammate , then we’ll have to await the testimonies of those forthcoming who’ve played alongside him over the years. But it’d appear that the player has his ‘supporters’ and ‘detractors’ amongst his peers within the NFL. And this was certainly evidenced when he departed from his two prior stays within the league, first with the Green Bay Packers and then with the New York Jets. Though the fans there in Green Bay, Wisconsin, still see him as a football deity (god), while others view him something of a betrayer of their trust. Personally, I feel that Favre is a little of both but I’m liable to come down on the side that his behavior can be seen as nothing more than that of an immature and often well though out individual who also happens to be amoral. Favre does his thing and to hell with what anyone thinks until it’s time for him to tell his side of the story. I wonder what the likes of both the Packers’ and Jets’ front office staff must be thinking right about now ? I’ve no doubt that they’re indeed chuckling over this, while considering the Vikings’ present fate !
New Orleans — Battered and beaten, Brett Favre limped off the field for perhaps the final time.
His head down, the pained look on his face was brought on as much by a head-scratching turnover as it was by a bone-crunching hit from Bobby McCray.
With the NFC title game tied, the Minnesota Vikings close to field goal range and mere seconds left, Favre made the kind of mistake he had avoided all season. He committed the No. 1 no-no for an NFL quarterback when he threw the ball late and back over the middle toward Sidney Rice, and Tracy Porter stepped in front to intercept the pass Sunday.
New Orleans won the coin toss in overtime, and before Favre could take the field, Drew Brees drove them into position for Garrett Hartley’s winning field goal that gave the Saints a 31-28 victory and their first Super Bowl berth.
After the game, a glassy-eyed Favre had scratches on his nose and bruises on his forehead. He said he wasn’t quite ready to make a decision on his future just yet.
“I know people are rolling their eyes or will roll their eyes,” Favre said. “In a situation like this I really don’t want to make a decision right now based on what’s happened because I do know the year could not have gone any better aside from us not going to Miami. I really enjoyed it, to be honest.
“Just wondering if I can hold up, especially after a day like today. Physically and mentally. That was pretty draining. I am going to go home, a couple of days and just talk it over with the family.”
The interception was a crushing end to an inspiring performance by Favre, who hobbled around the field for the entire final period after a hit by McCray put him on the trainer’s table with a left ankle he thought might be broken.
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Having lost 31-28 to the Saints in the NFC championship game played at the Saints’ home venue of the Louisiana Superdome , in-front of a sold-out crowd and millions of viewers on broadcast television. It has become apparent that with this loss we may well have seen Brett Favre for the very last time in an NFL uniform. As we all know Favre marches to the beat of his very own drum. And that drum is about to beat at an ever increasing decibel over the ensuing months. And the likes of ESPN’s Mark Schlereth , John Clayton , Chris Mortensen and Chris Berman will make sure that the noise emanating from that drum will be heard loud and clear across the tv airwaves. Never mind the fact that the sports talk radio hosts will make this ‘the daily gristle’ that their listeners can chime in on. And those within the denizen of ESPN will continue to show support for Brett Favre earnestly, without ever questioning the player’s motives or his behavior , as to how he has treated or continues to treat many of the organizations that he’s played for over the course of his career. Fu_k me but is it really going to get this bad throughout the entire NFL off-season ? I sincerely hope not !
My own wish is to see Brett Favre walk away from the game if this is to his final time, make an emphatic statement that this it and he’s finally done ! No fu_cking us all around with his …..will or won’t he bulls_hit ! It’s enough that we’ve had to put up with this repeatedly and see Brett act like a woman who’s on her menstrual cycle, undecided as to what she wants or when she wants it. For God’s sake just shut the f_ck up make the statement and then march your a-s off back down to Kiln, Mississippi, to be with your family. They at this moment in time, I’m sure need you more than the game itself needs you ! We’ve the years of glorious memories that you’ve given . So why now continue to tarnish your legacy with your childlike behavior ? You’re more than that aren’t you ? Or are you ? Would my summation then be correct , as I’ve characterized you in the title of this piece ? Are you indeed ‘……………The 1,000 lb Gorilla In The Room With Flatulence And Your Act Is As Great As Ever ? Either walk away or come back but if you intend to do so , then don’t hold an organization and its fans hostage as you’ve done repeatedly before. It’s undignified and beneath you as a human being !
Perhaps this song personifies Brett Favre’s situation as to his post-season meltdowns over the last few years ? Bone Thugs N Harmony‘I Tried So Hard’ feat’g Akon. Granted, Brett could never be considered to be a black man but he’s now the one who’s said to be creating the misery within the NFL. As this whole scenario will no doubt overshadow the NFL’s Pro Bowl game and the NFL’s showcase event itself , the Superbowl to be held in Miami , a week from this upcoming Sunday.
Not Wanting To Kick Someone While They’re Still Down But How Much Worse Can It Now Get For NBC …. ?
From the sublime to the ridiculous but it would appear that things are beginning to get markedly worse for the ‘peacock network’, NBC. What with the failed experiment of ‘The Jay Leno Show’ in an earlier primetime slot of 10.00pm(EST) . Now we’ve found out that in order to appease Jay Leno and the make haste the abrupt departure of Conan O’Brien . We now know that O’Brien will be paid $45 million (of which $12 million will go to his production staff of writers and ancillary workers as severance pay). Nice work if you can get it don’t you think ?
And after the hosting of the Vancouver Olympics, of NBC which is the sole distributor for its content here in the country and will serve as a feeder for nations across the globe. The month of February could become an elephant’s graveyard for the network entirely. NBC Sports President Dick Ebersole , who has overseen the division for close to two decades and has grown accustomed to seeing the vast expansiveness of the task that has to be undertaken to make sure that the coverage is the best possible that it can be. One now has to wonder though whether or not this is still a worthwhile endeavor on the part of the network to begin with ?
The deal underscores how the high profit-margin business of cable TV has become the financial backbone of media conglomerates.
By Meg James
In a momentous shift in the balance of power of the entertainment industry, cable television giant Comcast Corp. on Thursday made it official by announcing that it was buying control of NBC Universal from General Electric Co.
The proposed $30-billion transaction is the culmination of the longtime ambition by Comcast’s chief executive, Brian Roberts, to transform his family-controlled Philadelphia company from a passel of distribution pipes into a leading producer of movies and TV shows and owner of prominent cable channels.
The deal underscores how the high profit-margin business of cable TV — not a broadcast network or a Hollywood movie studio — has become the financial backbone of media conglomerates.
“Cable channels are the best part of the media business today; they are really the crown jewels of any entertainment company,” Comcast Chief Operating Officer Steve Burke told analysts in a conference call.
Unlike over-the-air broadcast networks, cable channels have two streams of revenue: subscriber fees and advertising. Roberts said that 82% of the operating income of the new entity would come from cable channels. Five of NBC Universal’s cable networks — USA, Syfy, Bravo, CNBC and MSNBC — generate $200 million a year or more each in operating income.
“We are creating a new company with an absolutely first-class set of cable channels,” Roberts said. “This is the logical evolution of our programming strategy.”
If federal regulators approve, a new joint venture would be created by pooling businesses from both companies. Comcast would provide nearly $14 billion in assets, including $6.5 billion in cash, for 51% ownership of the new entity. Comcast said its cable channels — including E, Versus, the Golf Channel and nine regional sports networks — were worth $7.25 billion. Comcast’s subscription cable TV systems would not be part of the new entity.
As part of the deal, GE would reduce its ownership in NBC Universal to 49% in exchange for $9.1 billion, which the new entity would assume as debt.
The Comcast deal marks the end of an era for NBC, which has been one of the brightest bulbs within GE for nearly a quarter-century. Under GE, NBC became a profit- and hit-making machine, inventing the slogan “must-see TV” and fielding such memorable programs as “Cheers,” “Seinfeld,” “Friends,” “Frasier” and “Law & Order.”
In order to read Meg James’ article in its
entirety just click unto the link provided herein
NBC Universal’s parent company , the vast conglomerate, GE has seen fit to divest itself of the network , its film making division, Universal Studios and its similarly named theme parks’ division, Universal Theme Parks. As to what this suggests as to the network and its now moribund state. Well , it’s clear for those who aren’t as such acutely aware business people , the fact of the matter was that GE could no longer to afford to sink large amounts of money into a seemingly bottomless pit and not see anything tangible in return. The buyer of these assets is none other than cable company, Comcast,the nation’s largest cable provider. And the price tag is believe to be $30 billion for the purchase of the media conglomerate.
PASADENA, Calif. — NBC Universal says it expects to lose money televising the Winter Olympics from Vancouver next month.
NBC Sports chief Dick Ebersol said that while advertising sales were soft for much of last year, they have picked up as the Olympics drew near. The loss comes primarily due to the stiff rights fee NBC paid to broadcast the games, he said.
NBC paid $820 million for the rights to televise the Winter Games. That compares to the $613 million paid for the rights to televise the Olympics in Turin, Italy, in 2006.
Ebersol said it will be the first time NBC has lost money on the games since he began producing the telecasts from Barcelona in 1992.
The head of NBC’s parent company, General Electric’s Jeffrey Immelt, told investors recently that he expected NBC would lose “a couple hundred million bucks” on the games.
NBC won’t cut back on its coverage plans due to the financial problems, the network said.
It remains unclear whether this financial reality will affect negotiations for the U.S. rights to televise the Olympics in 2014 and 2016. The International Olympics Committee is expected to award coverage rights sometime this year.
The bidding for those games has the potential to be a battle of media titans, including Fox’s News Corp. and Disney. Ebersol said he expected the games to be awarded before any federal regulatory approval of Comcast’s agreement to take over NBC Universal.
NBC Universal will televise some 835 hours of Olympics programming next month, starting Feb. 12, on the broadcast network and cable affiliates like CNBC, MSNBC and USA. Because the games are not overseas, NBC will have the advantage of many more prime-time events taking place live.
These Olympics also mark the return of Al Michaels to Olympics coverage. The veteran broadcaster, who called the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” game between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, joined NBC from ABC in 2006. Michaels will be a studio host.
In order to read David Bauder’s article in its entirety
just click unto the link provided herein
Comcast’s Chairman & CEO Brian L. Roberts may well make the decision to divest himself as what he sees as none core assets. So it may well be that he could well see fit to sell the theme parks’ division as a way of recouping part of his original investment. But for the moment will assay the situation and sees what best fits his company’s needs. However, Roberts as the owner in waiting , he can’t be entirely happy with what he has seen going on within the corporate headquarters of NBC and the fallout from this disaster concerning Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien. This isn’t certainly the reason he saw fit to purchase this once venerable network. Over the past decade however it has to be said that NBC has its way, footing , hold and once maniacal grip on the network ratings. It is now longer the term they once used so successfully ‘ ………. the station for must see tv’ . If anything that statement is now mute and no longer merited. The network’s programming has become stale and completely devoid of creativity. But it still it harbors itself under the impression that it is still an important part of the television landscape. About the only place where it can perhaps make such a valid statement or claim is when it comes to the coverage of the evening news. There it remains the number one broadcast network for its coverage of the primetime evening news. And for that it should be thankful to its news’ division and the professionalism shown by news’ anchorman, Brian Williams and his presentation of NBC’s Nightly News.
As I alluded to earlier NBC as the sole provider and the very fact that it also holds the North American rights to the broadcasting not only the Summer Olympics but also the Winter Olympics. Its upcoming coverage of the Vancouver Games will be of a great deal of responsibility to the sports’ division of the network and to Dick Ebersole in particular. The network has a great deal riding on its success and also financially. But if the rumors now circulating are to believed then it has to be said that NBC has to rethink its whole focus and thought process as to whether or not such a large investment in manpower and financial resources is still worth it, if there are to be projected losses in the coverage of the games. It has been widely speculated that the network stands to lose in excess of $300 million in the coverage of the Vancouver Winter Olympics. Hardly what one would believe to be a sound investment. But this nonetheless has been the sort of complacency and lack of foresight shown that has led the network to its present predicament and where its said to be hemorrhaging money that is in many respects why GE felt it was no longer a safe bet as ‘a sure fire producer of profits’ that it could rely on ‘to bump up its bottom line’.
Now not only will NBC Universal have to prove that it’s a viable brand to have within Comcast’s umbrella but also that it’s a soundly managed well organized unit. Certainly when a company of this size and nature can afford to lose $200-$250 million almost at the drop off a hat and then try ‘to chalk it up’ it as just being part of ‘the nature of just doing business’ . Then there has to be something wrong with te mindset and the thinking within the boardroom and the management style of that company altogether. And that has nothing to do with the mere fact that this just happens to be company whose parent happens to laden with a multi billion dollar ‘cash war chest’. Seemingly they’re forgetting that they’re just a small unit of the vast conglomerate that makes GE (‘General Electric’).
The struggles of the company notwithstanding, another problem ahead for NBC appears to be with the downturn ‘ad dollars’, in terms of on air advertising and with an even acuter falloff in the network’s viewership. A question that has to be asked is “……..will anyone afford the time to actually take an interest in watching the ‘Winter Olympics’ ? . The network will be devoting almost 835 hours of coverage over a sixteen day period starting on the 12th February with the culmination of the closing ceremony on 28th February 2010. We know that events such figure skating, snowboarding ,alpine skiing , and hockey will no doubt garner a great deal of attention. But it appears that the network is pinning its hopes and its vast resources in the fact the nation will be taking an interest in the event itself. What little advertising that it has done to promote the event has been around such established stars as Apolo Anton Ohno, Lindsey Vonn, Ted Ligety and whatever ice skating stars who happen to be most noted of the moment. Such is the dilemma of the station that it is hard to see how they can cultivate the excitement need to draw enough of an appeal in terms of a viewership response. Outside of the event itself the names of the individuals mentioned here aren’t that well known to the public on a national basis. And whatever hopes that they might have pinned on the homegrown talent of NHL professionals representing Team USA, might as well be pinned on the tail of a pinata and then struck countless times for all of the good that it might do ! Does anyone actually watch live NHL hockey on television anymore ?
As popular as the Olympics and its ideals appear to be . The Winter Olympics are often seen as mundane and uninteresting to begin with. They at times stir up about as much interest as a political debate between two mono-toned personality challenged candidates. So at this juncture all I have to is ‘………. will you be watching NBC’s coverage of the events and how much time if any will you devote watching an event’ ? With things being what they are now at NBC , you might as well be watching paint dry on a wall for all the interest that it would create !
Click here to see the list of US Winter Olympic team members.
NBC Universal’s problems are synonymous with this now famous O’Jays’ hit from the early seventies ‘For The Love of Money’. There’s nothing wrong in making it but it’s how you go about it and what the end results are, as to how you’ve derived of it that ought to count. Clearly, at NBC that hasn’t been their biggest concern as of late , as they were under the impression that ‘the tap’ wasn’t about to be turned off by GE .
The One Trick Pony ………….. They Will Never Contend For An NBA Title …………Phoenix Suns Come On Down Your Time Is Up ……….
Isn’t it strange you support a team and they’re expected to contend. Year in year out during the regular season, the Phoenix Suns play at a heightened level but in the end they just continue to disappoint. And it certainly hasn’t helped that Suns’ GM, Steve Kerr continues to concoct a team along the lines of a mad scientist. I look at him and then I see the Gene Wilder character ‘Dr Victor Frankenstein’ from the Mel Brooks’ comedy classic ‘Young Frankenstein’ (1974).
The situation now surrounding the Suns hasn’t been helped by the cluelessness shown by the team’s owner, Robert Sarver. He’s been pretty much asleep at the wheel, as the team has failed to fulfill their promise . From the ‘failed Shaquille O’Neal experiment’ to the very fact that the players on the team simply don’t believe that there’s a need to play defense. There’s no denying that on the offensive side of the ball they’re amongst the highest scoring teams in the NBA, statistically. But when it comes to defense then this team takes something of a front seat when it comes to this sole statistic. Now with the team coach, Alvin Gentry, you have someone who is very good when it comes to the X’s and O’s but as ‘a motivator’ and ‘a coach’ who’s able to get things done. He’s not the right candidate to meet the demands of the task needed to put this team over the top ! .
After recent discussions with Amar’e Stoudemire’s agent that didn’t appear to destine a contract extension, the Phoenix Suns have increased their efforts to trade the All-Star forward, league sources told Yahoo! Sports on Sunday night.
League executives say the Suns have become more active initiating talks over the past few days, and believe the franchise will take the best offer for Stoudemire before the Feb. 18 trade deadline. The Chicago Bulls, Miami Heat, Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Nets and Detroit Pistons are among multiple teams that have a strong interest in Stoudemire, sources say. The Arizona Republic reported Sunday night that the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers have also inquired about Stoudemire.
Suns general manager Steve Kerr met with Stoudemire’s agent, Happy Walters, on Thursday, and league sources say there was little sense an agreement could be reached before the trade deadline. With Stoudemire able to opt out of the final $17.7 million season of his contract, the Suns don’t want to risk losing him for nothing in free agency this summer.
As they did when shopping Stoudemire last season, the Suns want a combination of young talent, salary-cap relief and draft picks for him. Some teams are hesitant to trade for Stoudemire for fear he won’t want to re-sign with them this summer. The Minnesota Timberwolves lead that group of teams, sources say. The Wolves are mostly eyeing small forwards, including the Memphis Grizzlies’ Rudy Gay, the Bulls’ Luol Deng and the Washington Wizards’ Caron Butler . No one is untouchable on the Wolves roster, sources say.
With Stoudemire having undergone knee and eye surgeries in recent years, there are differing perspectives on his market value. Nevertheless, Stoudemire has made a strong comeback from eye surgery this season – averaging 20.9 points and 8.6 rebounds – and impressed rival executives and scouts. Stoudemire has been inclined to use Pau Gasol’s(notes) three-year, $57 million contract extension as a parameter for negotiations, and more than one league executive believes that circumstances will result in Stoudemire getting richly rewarded this summer.
If LeBron James and Dwyane Wade don’t leave Cleveland and Miami this summer, teams like Chicago, New York and New Jersey may be apt to turn to Stoudemire as an alternative. After James and Wade, Stoudemire is part of a second tier of free-agent stars with Toronto’s Chris Bosh and Atlanta’s Joe Johnson.
“Someone will pay him the max – or very close,” one Western Conference executive predicted.
As it stands now, it appears unlikely that will be the Phoenix Suns.
In the Western Conference the team has to contend with ‘the very best’ of ‘the best’, in terms of ‘the cream’ of the NBA rosters. And then within their own division of the Pacific Division , they have to contend with the reigning NBA champions in the Los Angeles Lakers , as well as a somewhat resurgent Los Angeles Clippers . And clearly if the Suns are to contend within the conference and their division they’re going to have a play a form of basketball that will be demanding and at a consistently high level. Anything short of that and the team and organization will have failed to live up to their perceived expectations for the season. Granted , on the roster they have a perennial All Star and future ‘Hall of Famer’ in Steve Nash. And with Grant Hill now playing solidly and very much in the mold that we once expected of him, from his early years with the Detroit Pistons. One could surmise that the Suns would be a formidable challenge for any team in the NBA. Nothing could be further from the truth. Their 26-19 mark within the conference at present, would only garner them the seventh seed within the Western Conference. Closely followed behind the Suns are the Houston Rockets with a 24-19 record. And it clearly has to be of great concern for Alvin Gentry and his team. Any further slippage in the standings and we could just see the Suns missing the playoffs altogether. But would also be predicated on the form of the teams just below them as well as those above them in the standings.
With the NBA trade deadline looming large, a number of teams around the league are either positioning themselves to make a big splash or the customary salary dump , in order to prepare for next year. And if the rumors are to be believed then the Phoenix Suns are prepared to listen trade offers for their power forward and center , Amar’e Stoudemire. As to the reasons why the team now envisage it a need to trade away the player is open to a great deal of conjecture and speculation at this juncture. Obviously if Stoudemire were to come to the market then there would be a number of teams around the league eager to pursue a deal for the player. Especially those with the ambition of making a run at a playoff berth and who are within shouting distance of such a spot. Amongst the teams said to be interested in the player are the Miami Heat, Cleveland Cavaliers, Minnesota Timberwolves and the Chicago Bulls. The player is due to earn $17.9 million for the 2009-10 season and he will be able to opt out of the last year of his contract. It may well be that the Suns’ hierarchy now sees that is in their best interests to see what they can get for the player via trade, rather than seeing him go elsewhere having no wish to remain with the team or sign a long term contract with them.
A loss of this magnitude could very well set the organization back a number of years. But it may well be that Kerr and Robert Sarver view it that another change in course is needed and that they ought to be building for the future. They have an aging veteran in Steve Nash, who’s about to complete his ‘fourteenth year’ in the NBA. Never mind the fact that Grant Hill can’t continue to just show the fans rare glimpses of brilliance. That in ofitself won’t be enough to ward off any hatred that the fans may well now see as a betrayal if Amar’e Stoudemire r were to be traded away at this juncture. It creates the perception to the fans that Gentry , Kerr and Sarver are essentially giving up on being competitive for the remainder of the season. Granted, if they can get obtain the right mix of lottery picks and young talent from a trade of Stoudemire. Then this may well go some way dispelling those unfounded fears. But Steve Kerr’s track record in recent years, I for one feel that he’s now facing an uphill battle in dispelling those perceived fears of the fans ! It’s not as if he’d been completely upfront as to the reasons why the O’Neal experiment failed. What with that and the firing of Gentry’s predecessor , Mike D’Antoni , it has essentially given the perception that the organization has no idea as to where it it is going and nor have they a formula as to how to get to where they want to be.
Now all that remains to be seen is whether or not the Phoenix Suns pursue the trade of their All Star as they look to compensated equitably. Or will they look to see if they can persuade Stoudemire to remain with the team and make one last onslaught at winning an NBA championship ? From where I stand, that horse bolted from the stable a long time ago. Neither Steve Kerr or Robert Sarver for that matter, bothered to look and see that this particular ‘one trick pony’ as in the Phoenix Suns had in essence become an old nag on its very last legs. This team has absolutely no chance of winning an NBA championship ! At best, all they’ll be able to do is to put up a commendable effort in the postseason before the inevitable seems to happen. And that’s for them for them to get blown out of the building much like when a sandstorm hits a barren desert landscape and just raises everything in its path. That is in essence is what the Phoenix Suns has now become !
Billionaire mogul and business entrepreneur , Robert Sarver seen here at a business symposium
Can we say that Victor Frankenstein and Steve Kerr do indeed have something in common ? Allegedly brilliant minds both but they either tend to surround themselves with incompetency or they just tend to have a knack for performing incompetently themselves ?
Things That Brett Favre Won’t Get To Do Past At The Age Of Forty …………..
Well no doubt as many of you now know the ‘Brett Favre Story’ has come to an unwelcoming end for the fans in Minnesota and his fledgling band of followers in Mark Schlereth , Merril Hoge and Ron Jaworski . As to what those guys’ll now do , as their erections have gone flaccid, remains to be seen. But if the noises said to be coming out of stalls or or cubicles of the mens’ room in Bristol ,Connecticut, will be anything to go by . Then one can surmise that they’ll no doubt be relieving themselves by some form of self arousal ? Spankin’ the monkey, spankin’ the monkey . Oops, there goes a dollop of juice on the floor as Schlereth goes down for the count.
To say that I’m immensely happy would not justify my feeling at present . More like I’m overwhelmed with joy would be much more to the point. And to see the New Orleans Saints stand toe to toe with the Minnesota Vikings and take it to them , was to my mind a thing of beauty ! Needless to say, for the fans of ‘Who dat’ , this was a day of redemption and vindication not only for the fans but also for the entire city of New Orleans. The team now meets the Indianapolis Colts in the Superbowl (SB XLIV) , in what many hope will be an exciting spectacle for those in attendance and the countless millions that will be watching globally.
Courtesy of Associated Press and Yahoo Sports
Saints beat Vikings in OT , reach first Superbowl
By Barry Wilner , AP Football Writer
NEW ORLEANS (AP)—A 40-yard field goal in overtime by a little-known kicker could become as famous as jambalaya in these parts.
The New Orleans Saints, a team with no home and an uncertain future five years ago, are heading for their first Super Bowl. By battering Brett Favre(notes) and beating the Minnesota Vikings 31-28 Sunday, they set off celebrations on Bourbon Street that locals never could have imagined in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
“This is for everybody in this city,” said coach Sean Payton, the architect of the Saints’ turnaround. “This stadium used to have holes in it and used to be wet. It’s not wet anymore. This is for the city of New Orleans.”
And it came courtesy of Garrett Hartley and the Aints—who surely ain’t the Aints anymore.
“In reality, we had to lean on each other in order to survive and in order to get where we are now,” quarterback Drew Brees said. “The city is on its way to recovery, and in a lot of ways has come back better than ever. We’ve used the strength and resiliency of our fans to go out and play every Sunday and play with the confidence that we can do it, that we can achieve everything we’ve set out to achieve.”
Favre threw away Minnesota’s best chance to win, tossing an interception deep in New Orleans territory in the closing seconds of regulation. Then the Saints won the coin toss and ended it on Hartley’s kick 4:45 into OT.
“Just helping my team get to Miami,” he said. “Just doing my part.”
A team of nomads after Katrina ravaged its city and the Superdome, overcame a slew of mistakes in the biggest game the Big Easy has ever seen.
Forget the paper bag masks and that long history of losing that started in 1967. Moments after Hartley’s kick, they were toasting their hometown winners in the French Quarter and making plans for South Florida.
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The game played at the packed Louisiana Superdome with a vocal crowd cheering on the home team , left us all in no doubt what they wanted to see from this Sean Payton coached team. Their wish was granted but in no large part, thanks to the ‘Jekyll & Hyde’ performance of Brett Favre. There are things that one ought to be capable of doing past the age of forty. And it’d appear that Favre wanted to prove the naysayers wrong on all counts. Unfortunately for Brett Favre, ‘Old Father Time’ has put up with enough of his s_it in recent years, that even he himself was no longer willing to let Favre play the hero once again.
If there was a hero in this game, then it most certainly came in the guise of Drew Brees’ leadership and the willingness of his teammates to follow his example. The Saints’ defense was stellar and this was all down to the presence of mind shown by defensive coordinator, Gary Gibbs and the schemes that he put into play that often negated the running attack of the Vikings. It led to the two interceptions of Favre, as well as a team high five fumbles. This was a game of missed opportunities by coach Brad Childress’‘team’. But was even more telling was that the interception that took place in the waning minutes of the fourth quarter was avoidable had Favre not chosen to be so gung-ho with his antics. If it’s not about Favre being ‘the hero’ then nothing else at all seems to matter ! And with ever passing utterance that comes out of Favre’s mouth when he claims that he’s not in it for himself. Well, it only speaks to the gullibility of those who feel that his utterances are sacrosanct. It always has been about Favre and nothing is liable to change in that regard for the foreseeable future !
Though the game was competitively contested , one felt that it was a game that was the Saints’ for the taking. Any other outcome than the resultant 31-28 victory would’ve felt unjustified. Serendipity has a way of making things right as many within NFL diaspora wanted to see Favre make it for that one last hurrah of a ‘big game’ atmosphere in a Superbowl. This upcoming Superbowl in Miami at Sun Life Stadium. And the anticipated match-up against Peyton Manning and the Colts would’ve added just that extra bit of sparkle ,that the likes Schlereth , Hoge and Jaworski would’ve sought alongside their ‘compadres’ there at ESPN would have craved for. Now that’s all a bust, I guess that they’ll just have to make do with the two number one seeds from the respective conferences ?
As the momentum builds up the NFL’s showcase event , we still have the Pro Bowl to be played. A game which I might add to my mind is about as relevant and warranted nowadays, as having to be force fed the diatribe by some that it’s a game that the fans want to see. Given the fact that the venue has been changed from Hawaii to Miami. And the mere fact that a number of the game’s elite players considered it nothing more than a sideshow or an incentive that’s added to their contract should they make the roster. For most, it was something of a privilege to be named but in large many of the players weren’t all that interested in playing to begin with. Never mind the fact that the attendance and viewership for the game was hardly earth shattering. The NFL’s heirarchy just doesn’t know when to quit when it comes to the marketing angles and how to sell its game to the masses. Does anyone honestly think that there’ll be that much interest in the game itself a week before the main event of the Superbowl ? C’mon now we’re talking Pro Bowl and the Superbowl . It’s akin to watching flag football one minute and ‘the real game’ itself the next !
Now I for one am not about to speculate as to whether or not this was Favre’s last game because we all know he marches to the beat of a very different drum. And if he feels that he’ll walk away abruptly from the game then he’ll do so. It’s not as if we haven’t all witnessed this before . Hell he retires and un-retires faster than Jenna Jameson has been known to have had multiple sex partners in one her infamous adult movies. But that asides , that’s for the Vikings’ front office to deal with and that of their fans. I can tell you this though , if he now walks away stating that his heart is no longer in the game. Then I hope that the fans there in Minnesota have the patience to deal with all of the s_it that comes their way in the terms of the ‘ …….is he or isn’t he coming back ‘ ? This’ll be the gristle that’ll keep the print , tv media and radio talk show hosts talking in the weary months of the offseason. Never mind what the ‘boneheads’ of ESPN will be saying .
There are some things that Brett Favre should be doing at the age of forty and then there are others that he won’t. One of them in this case, won’t be as a participant in ‘Supberbowl XLIV’. Thank God for that ! Can I get multiple amen’s on that ?
As Tupac Shakur says ………’All Eyez On Me’ .Simply put this is the mantra that Brett Favre lives by. It’ll never be about his teammates. It’s about the boy from Gulfport, raised in the small town of Kiln Mississippi. He just wouldn’t want it any other way.
If We’re Unable To First Laugh At Ourselves Then As A Race We Shouldn’t Be Critical Of Others
Perhaps there isn’t a truer statement that can best describe the human race . But given the climate of the bigotry recently shown by Rush Limbaugh and Pat Robertson . I think the irreverent humor , acerbic wit and insight shown by comedian Dave Chappelle tells us a lot about many of our own self absorbed traits. Maybe this skit from one of his most well received and Emmy winning show sums up what I’m saying .
The now famous ‘Racial Draft’ still sends me to this day into fits of laughter. I think it has to be one of the funniest things done ever for a comedic episode of television. Chappelle to mind was in a class of his own as a comedian ! Far funnier the lillywhite humor of Seinfeld . Have fun and enjoy the skit .
As an added bye-note this may well be the funniest and most irreverent of all the skits done by Chappelle on his hit sketch comedy show. The now oh so infamous black white supremacist Clayton Bigsby skit. I do hope that you enjoy ?
So NBC now becomes the ‘bitch’ that many said they’d become . From a once lofty perch where they reigned supreme in terms of primetime tv programming. The network now looks up from the bottom rung of an all shaky ladder. Broadcast network programming is now so lame and banal that it doesn’t bear thinking about. What real quality and innovative programming that there is, now is being seen on cable television. And we are now witnessing an ever increasing glut of reality television that’s so insipid and tawdry. Primary reason behind it ? It’s cheap and easy to produce and it doesn’t take a great deal of input and thought.
The most watched scripted program on television just happens to be a crime procedural drama on CBS. ‘NCIS’ and its spin-off ‘NCIS Los Angeles’ are ‘big money makers’ for the network. And as the nation’s most watched network, CBS, this merely vindication for what they’ve long felt in appealing to their core group of fans. Albeit, that they still have their fair share of reality shows but that in part doesn’t anywhere paint a clear picture of the network. They’ve pursued a broad base of programming that in essence is built around a broad based demographic. The same cannot be said of Fox, ‘whose only top 10 show’ is ‘American Idol’ . But yet that’s but ‘a one trick pony’ which is now at its zenith , soon to be marked by a steady decline viewership.And with the onset in the departure of Simon Cowell from the show. It can’t be all that long before Fox’s President of network programming , Peter Rice will be looking to see how much more juice they can still squeeze out of the program.
In reality the show itself, has only created three major household stars. Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson and Oscar winning actress and singer, Jennifer Hudson. Now some might say that Clay Aiken and the androgynous persona of Adam Lambert are stars in the making. But that would surmise that Sarah Palin in her new found position as commentator on Fox News, would make for a credible political analyst and pundit. But to each his own as they say.
NBC as a network has proven to me that it became too comfortable and complacent as a program content provider. Never mind the fact that the network hasn’t produced a top ten program in almost a decade. They relied on staples such as ‘Friends’ , ‘Law & Order’ and its spin-offs for far too long. And when it comes to comedy programming it’s so far behind the 8 ball that it doesn’t bear mentioning. OK so they’re now ever more reliant on Tina Fey’s well received show ’30 Rock’ to provide them with credibility. Though it is critically acclaimed , it’s not widely watched and its viewership isn’t enough to guarantee that it even cracks the top in the Nielsens’ ratings.
Leno takes shots at his late night NBC counterpart. As to what this all suggests as to the idiocy of both. In essence it shows how completely out of touch they both are as to the gravity of the situation !
It has to be said that the late night talk show landscape long reigned over by Johnny Carson , until his retirement from show (‘The Tonight Show’) that bore his name , has now become a barren landscape. Please don’t tell me that the likes of Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien are immensely funny. Granted, both appeal to a differing fan base but in reality they are about as funny as having a heart attack. The stupid notion that in moving Leno from his late night slot of 11.30 pm to a primetime evening slot at 10.00 pm, was about to change the face of programming . Well by my way of thinking NBC’s thought that this was meant to be simply innovative. I can only think that NBC was in fact taking lessons from the idiots who ran or should I say almost ruined Chrysler and GM with their lack of forward thinking and innovative creativity ? .
The failed experiment has cost NBC tens of millions of dollars and the network has ran the wrath of its affiliates from the fallout. O’Brien’s initial ratings were something of a success but it had begun to decline. Leno, if anything suffered a far worse fate, as there was scathing criticism from the television critics but even more startling was the decline in viewers for the show. Jay Leno as a host, was never someone who had a knack for interviewing a guest. If anything, Leno’s appeal were his introductory monologues. Beyond that , it is like watching a comatose child succumbing to the inevitability of death.
As reported by an ABC affiliate .
Now NBC has decided that they will pay O’Brien to leave the network and vacate his late night 11.30 pm slot. The rumored $45 million payout ($33 million to the host and $12 million in severance to his staff) to Conan O’Brien is more than an indication of failure on NBC’s part. But it clearly shows how out of touch the network is, when it comes to knowing what the market place desires and wants. And with the network now in the hands of a new parent company. NBC was is now in the midst of being sold by its parent company GE to cable provider, Comcast. The synergy between the two ought to be beneficial for both parties. GE will still retain a minority stake in network but given that profits from the network has been steadily on the decline for the last few years. It could well be that GE will completely divest itself of any remnants in terms of its investment.
Jeff Zucker who oversees NBC/Universal, the film and tv production arm for parent company GE. It was Zucker’s original decision to change the template of the network’s primetime programming . A task which he felt was needed and placed in the hands of network programming executive Jeff Gaspin , Head of NBC Universal Television Entertainment. Two ‘clueless brain dead’ individuals as you’re ever likely to come across !
As to who comes out this all looking bad ? Well let’s just say that Conan O’Brien is all smiles as he is now $33 million richer after his brief soiree as a late night talk show host in the once venerable slot. Leno now marches back to the time slot with his tails between his legs. Now as to what this tells us about the network , it’s clear that one more miscalculation on their part . And it could portend to a calamitous situation for the network. As I’ve stated already the network hasn’t produced a viable or credible top ten program in almost a decade. It’s been a long time coming but the network has now in essence become a stable for the banal, the idiotic , the idiotic and in terms of a fallout it has been nowhere the seismic shift that NBC claimed it would be. Simply put the absurdity that the network has shown is a clear indication how far the network has fallen. It’s now number four in the pecking order behind CBS , ABC and Fox. And if you’re wondering how grave the situation has become for NBC ? Consider this, on a bad day its viewership even becomes lower , that it isn’t even enough to garner it amongst the top ten most watched shows on cable. Never mind, the network is now hoping that we’re all prepared to watch the Winter Olympics, with its live broadcast of the spectacle from Vancouver , Canada. What will you be watching ?
If there’s anything more indicative as to NBC’s present plight then it may well Birdman’s self style ode ‘Money To Blow’ feat’g Drake and ‘Lil’ Wayne.
Crazy as this seems, having been part of a military (UN) peace keeping force (UN – Cyrpus, Ethiopia , Eritrea) in the military. I’m bewildered to see the devastating remnants of the earthquake in Haiti . The loss of an alleged ‘175,000 lives or more’ and the instantaneous making of quite possibly tens of thousands of orphaned children. And it’s almost impossible to encapsulate the complete despair and bewildering catastrophe in this tiny nation .
As the disaster is being reported on from around the world.
Thankfully, the caring heart of countless millions across the nation participated in a telethon that was shown on a number broadcast and cable outlets. This shows the caring side of a nation, that in the most acute of moments is always willing to ‘step up to the plate’. But then again there are insipid idiots such as Rush Limbaugh and Pat Robertson who’ve sank to the ‘lowest common denominator’ by showing what complete asses they are. What’s even more insidious is the fact that both of these oafs have supporters out there , who follow both Limbaugh and Robertson religiously. Have I missed something here ?
As a bye note on this , I’m just happy to know that the ‘political blowhole’ known as Bill O’Reilly, has decided this time around to shut the fu_k up and not opine on the fact, as to how much of the money raised by the telethon, in order to assist Haiti and its residence will be going directly to aid the afflicted there. This ‘pompous ass’ has about as much credibility, given his sexual proclivity in sexually harassing female interns in the employ of the Fox News cable outlet. The 250,000 lives lost in the Indonesian tsunami catastrophe, I’m sure that they welcomed your intent. But the more I think of those who survived that disaster, were more appreciative of the assistance given to them. For all of your political pontificating, at least have the humility to show that you care about those who are indeed in need of help and assistance ? Or is that too much to ask of your self absorbed pontificating ass ?
Hey Bill , a word of advice, if you want a piece of ass, don’t sexually harass the victim you desire over the phone. Better yet you oaf, make sure that if you’re going down that route, make sure that there’s a reciprocal wish on the part of the other person you want to lay down with. What another douche-bag, who offers up commentary but shows about as much common sense and intelligence as a gnat !
I’ve been reading with interest that President Obama now intends to go after the banking industry with a venom . In what amounts to be what one cannot now consider to be a bluff. It is his administration’s as well the Congress’ wish to go after the banks and impose a $90 billion one time major tax hike on several of the banks , who were part the stimulus package that benefited the industry. Well that’s all well and good but since when did first rewarding these financial institutions in the first place and then wanting to punish them as an act of retribution is said to be a deterrent ? If I’m not mistaken, it was the President’s Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, who pretty much in his prior position as an assistant Deputy Chairman at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York , New York City, oversaw that institution’s gross misconduct in the financial derivatives markets with some errant decision making that in large part assisted in the financial meltdown. Of which AIG was one of the main instigators through their London office, through a subsidiary known as AIG Financial Products (AIGFP). Total worldwide losses for major financial institutions and corporations are believed to have exceeded in excess of $2 trillion ($2,000,000,000,000) .
There mere fact that this precipitous , grossly egregious mishandling and capricious acts in an already volatile marketplace only adds to the craziness that’s now being instigated by the Obama administration and the Treasury. And if I’m not mistaken the Federal Reserve under Chairman Ben Bernanke’s custodianship, will essentially sit idly by and act like a docile mouse. The name calling and asinine notion that Barack Obama is now to blame for this calamity , is about as sound as listening to anything that the Republicans have to say about the subject. Pretty much consider this as a retort to the very fact that Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush was about as well versed in the domestic and economic issues as Paris Hilton would be in reciting Einstein’s Theory on Relativity . Wasn’t he (Bush) a graduate of Harvard with an MBA ? Holy sh_t ! The dumbing down of America wasn’t a myth after all then ?
Now in spite of this all, I’m supposed to think that these changes will change the mindset and the attitudes of the bankers on Wall St ? These are the same banks that were in receipt of in excess of $50 billion of taxpayers’ monies as part of the ‘TARP’ program . And with the $787 billion stimulus package and an additional$1.6 trillion ($ 1,600,000,000,000) to the national debt . Can I now ask how the administration intends to pay for the largess of the spending that has been undertaken ? I was under the impression that the stimulus package would be an investment in the nation’s infrastructure and as a way of creating jobs in the private and public sector ? But alas given the inner workings of the House Appropriation’s Committee , the Senate Finance Committee and the partisanship between the Democrats and Republicans. The administration would be better off throwing sh_t up against the wall to see what sticks !
Here in the Tampa area, the bottom seems to have fallen out of the professional sports franchises , as to their ongoing stability not only as a competitor but also financially. The NHL’sTampa Bay Lightning under the ownership of Oren Koules, is struggling to maintain their competitiveness as well as financial viability. So acute is the situation for the franchise that this past month the organization had to make a request of the NHL for an advance of its residuals, in order that they could meet their financial obligations in paying the players’ salaries as well as that of their administrative staff. How fu_ked up is that situation ? It wouldn’t surprise me at all if at some time in the near future the organization either files for bankruptcy protection or Koules seeks to sell the team and try to recoup what no doubt will be some of his losses.
The ongoing rumor on the airwaves within the sports talk show market is the possible trade of the team’s most recognized playe , Vinny LeCavalier. Can we salary dump ? And then in the foreseeable, future ‘fire sale’ ?
The ongoing soap opera that is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, is now beginning to read like a comedy of errors. The team’s coach, Raheem Morris is an inexperienced novice and the GM, Mark Dominik, while showing a great deal of insight, is showing that for all of the sound bytes given the print and tv media. They’re about as unencumbered in their present situation as a death row inmate awaiting execution. After a 3-13 season, Domini , Morris and the most ardent of Bucs’ fans are now beginning to find out how disingenuous the Glazer family are, as owners of the franchise. The organization was $60 million under the NFL mandated salary cap but somehow they weren’t active in the free agency market. What might be in ever more troubling however, is the fact the Glazers as owners of the Premiership soccer club Manchester United , are now facing a major financial obstacle in meeting their financial obligations to their bankers, as well as several of their creditors. The club is laden with a $1.15 billion debt.
Now in order to meet some of those obligations, the Glazers want to initiate a bond offering to raise between $150 million to $250 million. Herein lies the rub, they’re now trying to enlist the players on the team to buy the bonds as an act of good faith and also to entice not only the devoted United fans but also the general public and public institutions as well. The Glazers are pretty much what I would call wannabe sports owners, showing about as much business acumen as the former board of directors of Enron. Am I suggesting that they’re now fuc*king over the fans here in Tampa as well as in Manchester , England ? Well hell yeah and then some ! Joel , Avram , Edward and Malcolm Glazer now making the laughable assertion that they’re striving for success for both of their sports’ franchises , are about as credible as Congress’ intent to rein in the powers of the banking industry. Given the fact that the lobbyists representing the financial industry, are only third in line as to the sums paid out to members of the House of Representatives and Senate. The tens of millions of dollars doled out each year is only behind that of the defense and pharmaceutical industries. Give me fuc_ing change that I can believe in please !
Despite what could be viewed as a credible 2008-09 season. The Tampa Bay Rays fell back to the pack as they fell out of contention for a playoff berth last season. We saw the resurgence of the New York Yankees and the very fact that the Boston Red Sox are still viewed as perennial contenders in the AL East. It would suggest that the Rays are back to playing catch up once again, in pursuing the Red Sox and Yankees. A ‘three horse race’ they say is far better than that of a two horse race. But where does that now leave the Rays in the whole pecking order when you consider their financial stability ? They can’t seem to lure prime free agents to the area in spite of the fact that the team is considered to be a competitive one.
Rays’ GM Andrew Friedman and team manager, Joe Maddon now face something of a daunting task. Outfielder, B. J. Upton is now up for salary arbitration and it would appear that the Rays’ $4 million dollar to the player is viewed as derisory. Upton it has to be said, is one of better outfielders in MLB but at the same time his precocious talent is inconsistent. His offensive prowess can be exhilarating but more often than not, he can also prove to be an immense disappointment. Now if the Rays want to be viewed as a serious and perennial contender , is it best to let go one of the best all round players on their roster ? I’m not one to suggest that they they should retain Upton but given the organization’s struggles with their payroll. What else can they now do at this juncture ?
Rays’ principal owner, Stuart Sternberg is seen here receiving the William Harridge trophy after their defeat of the Boston Red Sox in the ALCS of 2008. The team would then go on to lose the World Series to the eventual winners , the Philadelphia Phillies .
Principal owner , Stuart Sternberg wants the team to be viewed as fan and family friendly organization and they’ve done their very best give the fans something to cheer about and appreciate. But with a hardcore fan base approaching no more than 12,000 to 14,000. It’s hard to see how much longer that the organization can continue to exist within a diverse market, where in large part the majority of the fans within the area are New York Yankees’ supporters. Uphill battle or what for the Rays in order to gain recognition ? All the image making in the world can’t change the fact that baseball in this town is about as wanted a ‘dengue fever’ pandemic. Can’t put it anymore succinctly than that ! Even with a winning product on the field of play, the Rays’ fans are about as appreciative of the team as if they were being told that their income tax rate was about to be raised.
We can opine about the fact that the organization wants a new state of the art venue built in Pinellas County , either in downtown St Petersburg or across county lines in Hillsborough County and the city of Tampa. It may or may not happen but for now the Rays’ organization will have to live with their present situation.
I’d made a suggestion to a fellow blogger, sportschump, a friend of mine who resides in the Tampa area and whose knowledge of the marketplace is well known. I asked him , who is his mind past or present , is the worst sports franchise owner that the city has known ? Amongst those up for consideration are Hugh Culverhouse , Vince Naimoli , Bill Davidson , Oren Koules, the Glazer family , headed their by patriarch , Malcolm Glazer and, Stuart Sternberg . Now he’s yet to leave me a response but I’m sure that he’s got a say as to he thinks it ought to be. As to my own thoughts on the situation, like the title says …….‘I Don’t Do Politics..I Really Don’t ‘!
Rihanna provides us with ‘Hard’ feat’g Jeezy . She’s a long cool glass of water that I’d certainly take a drink from and enjoy the extraordinary pleasure of doing it !
Bring On The Noise Bring On The Pain ………. It’s Now Time For The NBA
OK folks , the NFL conference championship weekend is here and with all due respect once both the AFC and NFC championship games has given us a result. We’ll have to wait two weeks before we’re all be entrenched once again, riveted in front of our tv sets or whatever watering hole we may well choose to watch Superbowl XLIV from. And with the venue once again being South Florida and that of Sun Life Financial Stadium ,formerly Landshark Stadium , in Miami, Florida. We can only hope that the game itself lives up the perceived hype and expectations.
Now don’t get me wrong, as I’m just as much an avid fan of the NFL as the next person. But once the lull has quietened down after the events of this weekend. For all sense and purpose , my mind will be wrapped around the events of the NBA at present and its goings on. I know that the broadcast outlets such as ESPN and Foxsports will do their ‘damndest’ to make sure that every story possible that can be evoked, will be told and that no stone will be left unturned in the pursuance of a story. But by my way of thinking, there are only so many stories that can be told about Brett Favre and as to whether or not he prefers going commando or wearing briefs. Am I jumping ahead of myself here in thinking it will be a ‘Favre envisaged Superbowl’ , with the Minnesota Vikings being the NFC representative in the NFL’s showcase event ? I hope not ! Because to me a Brett Favre Superbowl would be the ‘worse case scenario’ possible. I admire him as a player but as an individual, he does leave a great deal to be desired. Now all of the naysayers and admirers of Favre would no doubt like to admonish me , if not have me castrated for saying such things about their favorite NFL player. Be that as it may , I’m just speaking my mind here and that’s it !
Well the NBA season has reached its midway point in terms of the 82 game regular season schedule. Most teams have played in excess of 41 games while others have yet to reach that mark. And at present sitting atop of their respective conferences , in terms of having the best records in the league, are the Cleveland Cavaliers (33-11) and the Los Angeles Lakers (32-10) of the Eastern and Western Conference. And with the game’s top two players in the guises of Kobe Bryant of the Lakers and LeBron James of the Cavaliers leading their teams with a great deal of aplomb. There’s now talk that there could be a ‘Kobe and LeBron NBA Finals’ match-up’ ? Let’s not get ahead ourselves too soon. As good as that event could be and the fact that NBA Commissioner David Stern would be licking his lip with glee at the thought of such a match-up. We ought to remember that there’s still a great deal to play for and that nothing in this game is ever scripted. Well at least I’d like think so ! And that’s with due respect to the ‘often dubious officiating’ within the NBA during the regular and postseason. And these are the very same officials who David Stern implicitly trusts and neither he or Stu Jackson, Executive VP of Basketball Operations for the NBA will hear any criticism of them under any circumstances , whether they be valid or not. Which begs the question what ‘right of recourse does a team have’ when there’s been a blatant mistake made on the part of an official ? As we already know there are no do-overs in the NBA. So if you’re team hasn’t got its sh_t together don’t start to blame the referees. Your complaints and that of the teams will be falling on deaf ears when it comes to the NBA’s front office and hierarchy.
Cleveland (AP)—As chants of “M-V-P” filled the electrified air, LeBron James(notes) locked his thumbs under his maroon jersey and made it pop off his chest.
The Cavaliers had beaten the NBA champions again, and James soaked in every second.
“This,” he said, “is what I live for.”
Cleveland showed its Christmas Day win over Los Angeles was no gift as James scored 37 points, including 12 straight down the stretch, and the Cavs, playing their first game without injured Mo Williams, beat Kobe Bryant and the Lakers 93-87 on Thursday night.
J.J. Hickson(notes) grabbed a career-high 14 rebounds and Anderson Varejao(notes) made three free throws in the final 20 seconds as Cleveland swept the season series between the league’s top two teams. That could give the Cavs home-court advantage if they meet the Lakers in June’s finals.
A lot can happen between now and then, but the win gave Cleveland confidence it might be able to survive despite losing Williams, their All-Star point guard, who will miss at least one month with a shoulder sprain. Williams scored a team-high 28 in Cleveland’s Dec. 25 win at Staples Center.
Williams will be missed. But with James around, the Cavs have little to fear.
“He willed this win for us,” Cavs coach Mike Brown said of his star. “He has been doing that for us down the stretch, no matter who our opponent is.”
Bryant finished with 31 points but was only 4-of-15 in the second half as the Lakers lost the opener of an eight-game road trip. Pau Gasol(notes) scored 13 for Los Angeles, which shot just 33 percent in the final three quarters.
Bryant surpassed 25,000 career points, but he was unable to match James in the fourth quarter as both teams turned to their superstars. Earlier, Bryant was looking forward to a physical game and was eager to see how the Lakers would respond to playing “smashmouth” basketball against Eastern Conference squads like Cleveland and Boston.
Afterward, he wasn’t so sure the Lakers are rough enough.
Click on the above link to read the article in its entirety
Well last night the league’s two best teams in the Cavaliers and Lakers were pitted against each other in a regular season game. As to how much of an indicator as to what we ought to expect should the two teams meet in an NBA Finals series contest. Well, let’s just say based on last night’s evidence we could be in either for some glamor and entertainment or it all could turn out to be a downright bore. The Lakers for their part showed that without Kobe Bryant at full health, they’re pretty much open prey to any team with a mind to knock them off. It’s almost as if without the guard this Phil Jackson coached team becomes a ‘legion of walking zombies’ , not knowing how to play the game with any deftness and lacking someone to take up the reins once Bryant is down. And if you’re of the opinion that the likes of Pau Gasol, Ron Artest , Lamar Odom or Andrew Bynum for the matter , ‘can lead the team ? Then think again, as they couldn’t lead a group of pre-schoolers out of a playpen , much less lead a professional NBA team with any great aplomb ! It’s just not within their DNA structure or psyche. Talented ? Definitely ! Leadership qualities ? There’s no else on this team besides Bryant who possesses those prerequisite traits or skills. Without Kobe Bryant playing anywhere near 100 % the ensemble becomes a mere shell of themselves. Is it any wonder at times this season that Bryant has vocally chastised his teammates for not pulling their weight ?
Last night’s 93-87 victory by the Cavaliers was essentially about the roles of the two premiere players in this game. Kobe Bryant and LeBron James played their part in this game. With Bryant scoring 31 points and becoming the youngest player to amass 25,000 points at this stage of their NBA career. Yet another illustrious milestone attained in a remarkable and a certain ‘Hall of Fame career ‘ by Kobe Bryant. James for his part scored 37 points, in leading all scorers for the game. But in terms of team assistance from the Lakers’ front-line starters and from off the bench. Well let’s just say it wasn’t visible at all. The next highest scorer for the Lakers on the night was 13 points contributed by Gasol. Other than that it was a minuscule offensive effort and output by this Lakers’ offense. And defensively they weren’t that much better either. By now one would’ve thought that the ‘Zen Master’ as in Phil Jackson would be castigating his players after such a poor display. But as we all know Phil is the kind of coach that lets lapses such as this just fall by the wayside without paying it all that much attention. And any coach in the NBA might be having a fit or capitulating under the pressure being brought to bear by their front office. Not Phil Jackson, as he marches to the beat of a different drum.
Cavaliers’ coach , Mike Brown has got to be pleased by his team’s effort last night. Though it has to be said that there has to be a greater contribution coming from other players on the roster , as well as from off the bench. Much as in the same way that the Lakers are reliant on Kobe Bryant for his leadership and offensive presence. The same can be said of LeBron James and his value to the Cavaliers and their offensive productivity. With center, Shaquille O’Neal now in the waning days of his career , it has to be said that the same voracious explosiveness that we all too often witnessed in Shaq’s early years, is now no longer there. We now only get momentary flashes of what once made him the most feared center in ‘the entire’ NBA. As to who now assumes that particular mantel , l’ll leave that all up for you to decide.
This Cavaliers’ team will only go as far as James can take them on his broad shoulders. But teammates such as Zydrunas Ilgauskas , Delonte’ West , Mo Williams , Daniel Gibson, Shaquille O’Neal and Anderson Varejao will have to be more of a contributing factor in the success that the organization seeks. Cavaliers’ owner, Dan Gilbert and the team’s GM, Danny Ferry certainly have a great deal riding on this season. With the prospect of quite possibly losing LeBron James to ‘free agency’ at the culmination of this season. This last ditched attempt ‘to win an NBA championship’ might just be the only chance that the organization has to retain the services of the player. And amongst the desired ‘crop of free agents’ that will come to the market, LeBron James stands out amongst them all. And amongst those who’ll be there, are elite players such as Dwyane Wade, Paul Pierce, Chris Bosh, Steve Nash and Manu Ginobli. All of whom will become unrestricted free agents. Many of these players will be the desired choice of a number of teams around the league of some star power as well as someone can contribute to that organization’s desired success.
Now we know that some of the aforementioned players more likely than not will re-sign with their prospective teams. But there continues to be growing speculation that LeBron James will bolt from the Cavaliers for ‘greener pastures’. As to where that final destination may well be , who can say ? But it’s clear that teams such as the New York Knicks and the Miami Heat will make a full court press to obtain the player. In the Knicks’ case, money may not be an object , as General Manager and President of Basketball Operations, Donnie Walsh seeks to replenish a roster that’s devoid of talent and creativity. The team’s coach , Mike D’Antoni still struggles to have this roster playing as a cohesive team unit. And this is mirrored in the team’s somewhat moribund 17-24 record within the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference.
As if we needed another reason why not see that Kobe Bryant and LeBron James are ‘the most marketable faces’ in all of the NBA. Then these series of Nike commercials should be all the reason you need to know why. Watch them each in their entirety and enjoy hilariousness of each of the ads in question. The comedic aspects are to be appreciated in their essence alone ! Especially the ones featuring ‘Lil Dezzie’ .
As to whether or not LeBron James leaves the Cleveland Cavaliers will be very much be predicated upon the success that they can attain in the postseason. Anything short of raising the Larry O’Brien trophy and we may well see the Akron , Ohio native hearken the calls of undoubted millions that he’ll no doubt be able to earn elsewhere. The bright lights of ‘The Big Apple’ and Madison Avenue beckons. And the lure there continues to be all the more appealing for the young phenom. The Knicks’ fans there, are more than willing to welcome him with open arms. But the caveat here will be …..’one man cannot a team make’ ! LeBron James is a very talented player but he’s certainly no Michael Jordan !. And that’s essentially what the awaiting fans there in New York are indeed expecting ‘ ……..the second coming of MJ’. Jordan that is , not Michael Jackson . ‘The Gloved One’ , I don’t believe was ever that athletic to begin with but he had some great dance moves !
‘Snoop Dogg’ from his eponymous CD titled ‘Malice In Wonderland’ renders us with his latest hit ‘I Wanna Rock’ . Can it get actually get any better than this ? Of course it can but not that much.
No Good Can From It All …. When You Get Congress To Intervene In Sports With Regard To Labor Unrest …………..
Am I completely mistaken but isn’t the US Congress meant to intervene in labor disputes that are of national security or when it comes sensitive areas within the US economy ? Then why oh why is that we’re now seeing both sides of the NFL hierarchy under its Commissioner Roger Goodell, as well as the NFLPA (Union) convening with Congress up on Capitol Hill, in order to get them to mediate or at least in part be an arbitrator in their ongoing unrest with regard to the present ‘collective bargaining agreement ? Having Congress intervene in this is akin to witnessing the idiocy of the legislation passed with regard to the ‘stimulus bil’l. Which has so far cost the taxpayers $787 billion at last count. Never mind the fact that both GM and Chrysler had a piece of the ‘proverbial pie’. And the public in general has yet to see anything tangible from this all.
DeMaurice Smith, Executive Director of the NFLPA is itching for a confrontation with his counterpart, Roger Goodell. And with the owners having opted out of the present collective bargaining agreement. It will now create a chasm whereby the 2010-11 season will become one , that is an uncapped season. Now what this does around the NFL, may well give the suggestion that both sides do indeed know exactly what they’re doing. But it is becoming increasingly clear that this has nothing to do with the agreement itself but more to do with who maintains the balance of power within the NFL. It is more to do with who controls the purse strings as to the $ 8.7 billion a year industry that the NFL is said to to represent globally in terms of the NFL’s business interests. A tidy sum to say the very least and with the greed of both sides said to be unabated . I’m guessing that this could very well lead to one of those confrontations up there on Capitol Hill that will have more to do with posturing by not only the NFL hierarchy and the unions. But also from the legislators who are empaneled on the House Judiciary Committee and who are hearing from both sides on the issue. With the meetings likely to be carried by C-Span , it should make for some very interesting viewing.
The Giants co-owner John Mara said Tuesday he was resigned to an uncapped season in 2010 and thought the union and owners might be moving further apart in talks toward a new labor agreement.
Mara was one of the owners who took part in the 11th negotiating session with union leaders in Washington on Tuesday. He is the first owner to speak extensively since negotiations began.
An uncapped year would have no salary limits or floors for teams and would begin in March. It would also start the clock ticking toward a lockout starting in March 2011.
Mara said he still had hope that a lockout could be averted.
“I don’t think we’re making any progress,” Mara said in a telephone interview. “We made a proposal in early November. I don’t think we’ve received a meaningful counterproposal. The point that we try to make to them is that the costs and risks are much greater than they ever have been. Especially in this economy. I don’t think there has been enough of a recognition on their part of that concept.”
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There’s no doubt in my mind that the NFL as well as the union are looking to usurp each others’ powers as much as they can. It’s not as if either side has the fan’s best interests at heart to begin with. Goodell for his part wants to prove to the fans and public in general that he’s a strong and very determined commissioner. His sometime autocratic rule has chafed the rationale of Smith and it has to be said that DeMaurice Smith does have some reason to feel aggrieved with many of Goodell’s findings and edicts , as of late. How this all will play out also, may well have to do with who wields the ‘biggest stick’ at the end of the day. Both sides no doubt have their lobbyists up there on Capitol Hill, who are hard at work trying to lay out the case for their client. As to why ‘both’ the NFL and NFLPA should see fit to have lobbyists working on their behalf in Washington , merely suggests that this has more to do with being seen to have the power to get legislation passed that is of benefit to each of the respective parties in question. And for the NFL this amounts to their anti-trust exemption status.
Is it me but are the members of the House Judiciary Committee such a dull and boring group of individuals ? Perhaps none more so than the committee chairman himself, Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich) .This guy makes Pat Robertson seem like a lively, well versed intellectual and then some !. But then again, that’s not saying much about Robertson , given his ‘vile remarks’ aimed towards the Haitian people in the aftermath of the recent earthquake there. Hopefully there’s a f_cking hot place in hell waiting for his racially bigoted a_s !
All of the posturing in the world won’t help change anything if neither side is willing to acquiesce to the others’ wishes . As to what Congress, in this case can do to ramp down the rhetoric between the two sides and force an agreement that is equitable for both parties remains to be seen. I’d certainly like to think that there are far more important domestic issues that need to be addressed , rather than seeing the House Judiciary Committee meet with two sides who are more self absorbed about their own PR images than they are about getting things done. And at the same I’d certainly like to think that DeMaurice Smith can be proactive in addressing the issue as to the conduct of his members. Especially in the case of their off the field behavior. For the NFL and in particular the owners , theirs now is a thankless task as they seemingly don’t viewed as being greedy . But yet with this lone move in the rescinding of an agreement that they’ve failed to honor. How must it look to the fans and general public to begin with ? Surely the owners and the Goodell’s office had to have foreseen that there would be an economic downturn of sorts ? Never mind how acute it has now become. It’s all about planning and getting your ducks all lined up in a row. Instead they’ve feasted on the largess of the fans and the public over the years while growing extremely wealthy from all of their business dealings and maneuvers. The average value of an NFL franchise has increased exponentially over the last decade. In fact it has increased in excess of 25 % over that period. Pardon me for saying this but if they’re now claiming poverty then there’s something indeed wrong with the business template under which the NFL now works .
Initially the purchase was met with a great deal of skepticism and the fact that the family used very little money of their own in the purchase, should’ve been enough of an indication that they were being capricious and overwhelmingly disingenuous as to their overall intentions concerning the team. They leveraged the team buy borrowing against its assets in order to facilitate the purchase . The price at the time was in excess of $1.255 billion including fees. Four years on into the ownership by the family , ticket prices have risen in excess of 45% and the team is laden with a debt in excess of $1.11 billion . As to what that would suggest as to the business acumen of the family , is that they’re nowhere competent enough to be running a sports franchise. With Malcolm Glazer, as the patriarch now handing over the reins of running the club to his sons, Byran , Joel and Avram Glazer. It was felt their custodianship of the club would be in safe hands. At this juncture that doesn’t appear to be the case at all.
United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson seen here in a CNN interview discussing his famed managerial career. Ferguson is the most successful soccer coach in Premiership history. Prior to his ascending to the position as manager on Manchester United , he also assembled a successful resume’ as coach of Scottish Premier League team Aberdeen FC.
The Glazer family’s attempt to raise money to pay off massive debts paints a bleak picture of Manchester United’s future
By David Conn , The Guardian
When navigating the thunderously depressing proposal by the Glazer family to load Manchester United with £500m of debt for the third time since their takeover in May 2005, it helps to imagine where United might be had the Glazers never turned up in the first place, to buy the glory, glory club with all their borrowed millions.
Before engaging with Sir Alex Ferguson’s remarkable contention that United’s finances, laden with borrowings over £700m and £67m interest payable last year, are “of no concern at all”, recall what the United board itself said at the time. When Malcolm Glazer and his six children – who, we now know, have borrowed £10m from United – launched their takeover bid, the board, which included the current chief executive David Gill, expressed vehement opposition to it.
Echoing the concerns of the well-informed United fans’ campaign, the board warned that the Glazers’ business plan was “aggressive”, and that the proposed structure for the club “still contains more leverage [debt] than the board would consider prudent and that as a consequence there is likely to be significant financial strain on the business.”
Despite that, the Glazers bought the club for £810m, a fortune pocketed greedily by enough shareholders in what was then Manchester United plc. The Glazers paid £270m themselves, borrowing the other £540m from banks and hedge funds. In the four years up to the latest accounts to 30 June 2009, United became liable to pay more than £325m in interest alone, yet the interest they have not paid, plus fees, has increased the debt the Glazers loaded on to United to £700m.
United, and Ferguson, now argue it is all fine, the club are not constrained by that debt mountain and the board was therefore wrong in its warning back then. Ferguson said last week that the windfall from the £81m sale of Cristiano Ronaldo is there for him to spend, but he does not want to because the market is overpriced. That assertion has been rather undone by the prospectus, which sets out the plan to transfer £70m cash from United to one of the Glazers’ holding companies, partly to pay off the hedge funds which charge swingeing 14.25% interest.
Now imagine how United might look without the Glazer debt. True, as a plc – the Stock Market listing which football executives now agree was a failed experiment, despite defending it zealously at the time – United paid dividends to shareholders. Yet even allowing for the increase in turnover, from £171m to the most recent £278m, the 2004 dividend was £7m, nothing like the mountain of interest, £42m to banks, £25m to hedge funds, with which the Glazers have burdened United.
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With the team now ‘hemorrhaging red ink’ all over its balance sheet , it has to be said that the Glazers have been completely inept in their running of the team. On the field they still continue to have success but there mere thought that they’re now being brought to brink of bankruptcy is enough to send shivers down the spine of entire Premiership (EPL). Never mind the fact that the family’s other sporting interest, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is now undergoing a change in its persona as well as in terms of its executive and coaching structure. First time GM, Mark Dominik and coach Raheem Morris have been thrust into the deep end . With the firing of their predecessors Bruce Allen and Jon Gruden. The team underwent a less than stellar season in the NFL, posting a 3-13 record in the NFC South. And with the front office being reluctant to spend money in attracting talent to the team . It is understandable why the franchise is now in such a dire predicament. They aren’t in the slightest bit interested in being a serious contender within the NFL and both Morris and Dominik are merely paying lip service with their inane comments to begin with. They’re fully aware as to the financial dilemma and maelstrom that the organization is now in. The Glazers will do whatever they can to ‘pay the piper’ in order to try and stave off financial bankruptcy. They have been far too secretive as to their financial dealings and their present situation.
The latest ploy by the Glazers initiated by Malcolm’s sons, is have a bond issue, in order to pay off some of the mounting debt and accruing interest that’s owed to their creditors. But herein lies the rub, the family is asking that United players participate in the exercise in order to show good faith, to try to elicit fans, as well as members of the public and public institutions into entering the endeavor. If they can’t be trusted to keep the club in a healthy financial state then why should it be incumbent on the players to participate in this maneuver ? If anything Bryan, Joel and Avram are looking to save their own asses as they to try not to embarrass the family any further with the sheer ineptitude shown by them when it comes to their financial dealings and business acumen, as it not only relates to the soccer club but also to their NFL franchise.
It is hoped that the NFL hierarchy as well its board of governors are keeping a watchful eye on the Glazer family and their dealing with both sport’s franchises within their custodianship . If one should fail then there’s no reason to believe why the other can’t be placed in a similar predicament.
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