The Pen Is Mightier Than The Sword But In The End The Written Word Has To Have That Measure of Truth To It…………

The Pen Is Mightier Than The Sword But In The End The Written Word Has To Have That Measure of Truth To It…………

A lot is now being written and speculated on concerning Tiger Woods’ return to the PGA Tour and his competing in The Masters at Augusta National Golf Club , Augusta, Georgia. Let’s put it this way with the ‘three ringed circus’ that’s about to be unfurled , does anyone really expect Woods to compete and win the tournament outright ? Oddsmakers in Vegas and in the UK with William Hill may well have him as the prohibitive favorite but it may well come down to the rest of the field and perhaps either an unknown or a top ten player winning one of golf’s most prestigious events and perhaps the most vaulted ‘major out side of The (British) Open .

Augusta ,Ga,. Tiger Woods is awarded the green jacket after winning the Masters Tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club on April 14 , 2002 in Augusta, Georgia. Woods announced March 16, 2010 that he plans to play in April at the Masters. photo appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Andrew Reddington ..........
Augusta ,Ga,. Tiger Woods is awarded the green jacket after winning the Masters Tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club on April 14 , 2002 in Augusta, Georgia. Woods announced March 16, 2010 that he plans to play in April at the Masters. photo appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Andrew Reddington ..........

Now with everything that we’ve been made aware of concerning Woods and ‘his sexual’ proclivities . It makes me wonder how much the spectators who’ll be there in attendance for the tournament, will be there to watch the golf or merely to view Woods for themselves up close and personal ? Granted , he members and board of Augusta National will make sure that Woods is protected not just merely from the press but also the rowdy fans who’ll be there. And as much as hierarchy there at Augusta like to view themselves as the paragons of virtue and the custodians of the game. Consider this , forty ive years ago would this much fuss have been made about a member of the PGA Tour caught up in such an intrigue ? Never mind the fact that the person at the center of this all just happens to be a minority . We seem to forget that it wasn’t until 1975 that a minority of African American descent had been allowed as an invitee to compete in the event . And that honor went to Lee Elder . And the greats of the game at the time such as Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer had been ominously silent on the issue of race when it came to that very subject on the PGA Tour . I wonder why ? I mean young African American males had fought and shed their blood fighting a war in Vietnam were they not – for this country ? But yet at the back end of the civil rights’ era an African American male couldn’t yet compete on one of the grandest stages in golf . Seems somewhat strange and undignified when you really think about it all .

One would like to think that the PGA Tour and the members of Augusta have come a long way since those days. To this day though Augusta is still a members only private club , in terms of its diversity and racial makeup it still falls behind a number of other private clubs across the nation. Don’t be fooled by the fact that PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem states that they (PGA Tour) in conjunction with the board members of Augusta are changing that perception. Nothing could be further from the truth ! This is still very much an old boys’ network being ran by aging Caucasians with an axe to grind.

Well the NBA is now down to the final leg of the season with the last dozen or so games to be played by a number of teams as it pertains to their respective schedules. In the Eastern Conference and its standing, seems almost pretty much set as to who the final eight teams will be that will make the playoffs. Though it has to be said that the Chicago Bulls (35-39) are doing their damndest to chase down and pass the Toronto Raptors (36-37) for that eighth and final spot. They’re merely 1 1/2 games behind the Raptors for the last remaining place with just 8 games to be played. I’d like to think that the Bulls’ front office isn’t regretting the loss of John Salmons by trading him to the Milwaukee Bucks , then seeing the resurgence of the team , since his arrival and the ever consistent play of both Andrew Bogut and Brandon Jennings ! But alas, that ship has now sailed and the Bulls will have to make do with what they now have at present with Vinny Del Negro leading the charge as the team’s coach.

 Ronald Murray (6) of the Chicago Bulls lays the ball up and over Louis Amundson (17) of the Phoenix Suns, as Jared Dudley #3 of the Suns watches from behind  during a NBA game on March 30, 2010 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois.  photo appears courtesy  of  NBAE/Getty Images / Randy  Belice  ......
Ronald Murray (6) of the Chicago Bulls lays the ball up and over Louis Amundson (17) of the Phoenix Suns, as Jared Dudley #3 of the Suns watches from behind during a NBA game on March 30, 2010 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. photo appears courtesy of NBAE/Getty Images / Randy Belice ......

Bulls’ Executive VP & Head of Basketball Operations John Paxson and General Manager Gar Forman are looking to bring back the halcyon days of the ‘Jordan years’ at the United Center. But it appears that there’s still a great deal of work to be done. And Bulls’ owner Jerry Reinsdorf has to be enthused by what he’s seen from the team but must still hope that the club makes the playoffs. Those glory days of Jordan and Scottie Pippen made the Bulls the ‘powerhouse’ of the NBA and drove the frenzy of fan worship of the team around the league and across the globe .

No pun intended here concerning fans of Michael Vick but the Western Conference is now turning into ‘one hell of a dogfight’ amongst the teams seeded two through eight . The Los Angeles Lakers (54-20) pretty much has the number one seed sewn up within the conference and they’ve already cemented winning the Pacific Division within the conference.


The teams two through six, as they now stand are separated by no more than 3 1/2 games and the overall differential between teams, six through eight , is a mere game. That eighth and final spot now rests with the San Antonio Spurs (44-29). The team is now lumbering into the postseason having lost Tony Parker for the remainder of the regular season and the entire playoffs. The point guard suffered a broken right hand and they now have an ailing Manu Ginobli (back spasms) to deal with on the roster . With that in mind unless the younger players on the roster step up their game then then there’s the likelihood that the team will be bumped out in the first round of the playoffs. Should they finish in that eighth spot then they’d have the dubious privilege of having to face the Lakers in the first round of the playoffs. A daunting task for the Gregg Popovich coached team but as the say anything is possible when it comes to the NBA . We’ve seen a number of teams struggle of late within the conference and it appears that the bloodletting hasn’t yet finished. No team might be hotter at present within the conference than the Phoenix Suns , led their point guard Steve Nash and their duo of centers in Robin Lopez and Amar’e Stoudemire . The two players are proving to be a force to be reckoned with and with wily veteran Grant Hill still playing with his customary aplomb. There’s the belief that coach Alvin Gentry has this Suns’ team going in the right direction and believing in themselves. Having won eight of the last nine games , they’re certainly showing that they ought to be considered as legitimate contenders within the conference. But it’s not about the perception of thought when it comes to the game but the results achieved when the games are played. That’s how the teams are meant to be judged .

Los Angeles Angels' Torii Hunter(notes) hits a single against the Texas Rangers in the fourth inning during a MLB spring training game in Tempe, Arizona March 25, 2010. REUTERS/Rick Scuter
Los Angeles Angels' Torii Hunter(notes) hits a single against the Texas Rangers in the fourth inning during a MLB spring training game in Tempe, Arizona March 25, 2010. photo appears courtesy of Reuters/Rick Scuter ...............

I’ve begun to get sick and tired of hearing African American sports’ fans bitch and whine about the lack of respect or the none visibility of athletes of the high profiled minority athletes either in the NFL or Major League Baseball (MLB). By my way of thinking the athletes are there but more often than not the ones you’d as such expect to be at the forefront making their voices heard are either making complete asses of themselves or falling afoul of the law for one reason or another.

Now let me premise this by saying having been born in the United Kingdom , raised in the Caribbean (Jamaica) in the early formative years of my childhood before returning to the UK at the age of eight. I’d like to think that with that sort of upbringing ,then living a large part of my adult life in the UK and on the continent of Europe (France & Germany) , that there’s something to be said for being educated , having traveled and being well read. The constant whining about why black players aren’t recognized and acknowledged is completely asinine. If players such as Torii Hunter and his asinine notion that Latin players of African heritage aren’t black enough …or as he puts it “not one of us”. Is it any wonder that the fans in large part will either think of the player as being an ass or he clearly has little of worth listening to ? Furthermore , an athlete of Hunter’s visibility did little to let his voice be heard when the whole steroid debacle was in full flow. As a matter of fact, there were few ballplayers if any, who came out and decried what their fellow players were doing. Not even Derek Jeter , himself, who is bi-racial. The ominous silence from these noted players of ethnicity was docile and insulting to the fans as a whole ! And it shouldn’t surprise us at all by the lack of action that was forthcoming from the hierarchy of the game and its commissioner Bud Selig from the outset. Never mind the fact the MLBPA (union) were as believable in their alleged act of being contrition in wanting to clean up the game they sullied , stained and have done irreparable damage to .

Michael Vick, center, is along with seen Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid, left, and former Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy, right, during a news conference in Philadelphia, Friday, Aug. 14, 2009. Vick is back in the NFL, landing a job with the Philadelphia Eagles. Looking to add a new dimension to their offense, the Philadelphia Eagles gave Vick a one-year deal with an option for a second year. photo  appears  courtesy  of  Associated  Press/  Matt   Rourke  .........
Michael Vick, center, is along with seen Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid, left, and former Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy, right, during a news conference in Philadelphia, Friday, Aug. 14, 2009. Vick is back in the NFL, landing a job with the Philadelphia Eagles. Looking to add a new dimension to their offense, the Philadelphia Eagles gave Vick a one-year deal with an option for a second year. photo appears courtesy of Associated Press/ Matt Rourke .........

We’ve seen what entitlement does to athletes when they get themselves caught in something of inappropriate situation as it either involves their personal or professional lives. Vick made that all too plain , with his lying to the NFL and the Atlanta Falcons’ owner Roster Arthur Blank and the entire organization . But yet you had many trying to show their support for Vick in some of the most inexcusable ways. ‘Oh he’s done nothing wrong in being involved in dog fighting or illegal gambling ‘. Some seem to forget the some of Vick’s most heinous acts were in torturing these canines merely for the fact that they didn’t perform up to par. I’d like to think that Vick could either withstand being drowned or quite possibly take to having an electrical cattle prod placed on his genitalia ! Perhaps then , he could then describe the unbearable pain suffered and that he inflicted upon those poor helpless animals ? These were some of the acts described in the affidavits and sworn testimony given by his co-conspirators at his trial. He not only broke the laws within the state of Georgia but several federal laws as it relates to gambling never mind the ‘heinous act of dog fighting’ of which he was a ring leader in .

And Vick with his visibility prior to him being caught, is someone that many had looked up to from all walks of life and ethnic backgrounds. Personally, I’d judge today’s athletes by the way they conduct themselves on the field of play and how they conduct themselves away from their competitive environment. With their ever so carefully manicured images either by the press, agents, or even their respective leagues. One way or another, whenever they seem to fall afoul, either of the law or from their very own indiscretion, they always seem to apportion blame elsewhere, rather than wanting to be held accountable for their own actions. As Charles Barkley so aptly said “………..I’m no role model ” !

If African Americans sports’ fans are looking for the visibility of high profiled African American athletes to provide some legitimacy either to their lives or the well being of that respective sport. Then in reality they ought to be looking elsewhere. Yes, as fans we may well fawn over the athletes’ exploits but at the end of the day when they ,the athletes disappoint with their behavior . We’ve only ourselves to blame in thinking that they’re paragons of virtue. All that separates us in the end , is that person’s athletic prowess and the vast wealth that they’ve amassed along the way. We’ll be held accountable for our misdeeds. Whereas, an athlete is caught in the cross-hairs of public and media scrutiny tends to hide behind a wall of attorneys , agents and members of their entourage. Joe Public simply has nothing of that nature should he or she get caught up in such a dilemma. Not even our wits at times can stave off the glare of shame or embarrassment.

Lastly, as a final note this isn’t just something that is happening within this specific demographic . It is actually happening within the various ethnic backgrounds that makes up this nation. Some will acknowledge the fact while others tend not to be bothered at all by it. Which area befits you , as far as that’s concerned ?


Alan Parkins aka tophatal ………………….

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Drake feat’g Trey Songz ………..”Successful”

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Adult  entertainment   actress   Tera  Patrick   .
Adult entertainment actress & porn star Tera Patrick .

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Crap ! Say It Ain’t So ….. ?

Crap ! Say It Ain’t So …… ?

Well while the men’s NCAA basketball tournament has us all in awe and the suspense builds as the ‘Final Four’ is upon us. Life still goes on in the NFL and unfortunately the idiocy that is the Brett Favre spectacle still remains as the Minnesota Vikings awaits the player’s decision as to whether or not he’ll be making an imminent return to the game. Like we really care ?

2008  Heisman  Trophy  winner   Sam  Bradford.   The   player is widely  expected  to be  taken   number   one  overall  in  the   upcoming  NFL  Draft.   The  team  with  the   first  pick  are  the  NFC's   St  Louis  Rams .    photo  appears   courtesy  of  Associated   Press/  Chris   Rogers  ...........
2008 Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford. The player is widely expected to be taken number one overall in the upcoming NFL Draft. The team with the first pick are the NFC's St Louis Rams . photo appears courtesy of Associated Press/ Chris Rogers ...........

While much of this is now happening we’re close to pro days where several players will be exhibiting their skills for the general managers and coaches that’ll be in attendance. Also a number of teams will be bringing in a number of draftees personally for interviews . Amongst the players participating in this will be Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford . The Sooners’ quarterback is thought to be the desired choice of the St Louis Rams . The franchise will have the number one pick in the upcoming NFL Draft . And with Ndamokung Suh , Eric Berry , Russell Okung , Gerald McCoy and quite possibly Jimmy Claussen may well be amongst be the ‘first six picks’ taken in the draft, to commence on the 22nd April . It begs the question , will the teams, their coaching staff and general managers have done their jobs prudently ?

Personally , I don’t place a great deal in the draft geek’s in depth analysis of the players. Either these college players can take their game to the next level or they can’t . Now the situation as it arises , is one of making money in term of their draft position for the players in the first round. A drop off from being the first pick to midway in the first round can mean anywhere between $25-$30 million. The number one draft pick could be the recipient of as much as $30-million , as a signing bonus. But when one bears in mind this upcoming season in the NFL will be one that will not have a salary cap for the teams, since the NFL first adopted the salary cap in the early nineties.

The draft itself will take place from the 22nd April through to the 24th over the course of seven rounds , three odious and grueling days. Now call it what you will but I for one won’t be spending a great deal of time assessing the draft and what takes place. As I alluded to earlier my own thoughts are, can they play ? Because in this league if you’re found wanting , then it will be magnified greatly and there’s nowhere to hide if the talent isn’t there to begin with.

Eagles' quarterback    Donovan  McNabb.   The  player   is  said  to  want  to  remain  with  the  Eagles   but  it's  becoming  clear  that  he   will   be  traded  sooner   rather  than  later.   Eagles'  coach  Andy  Reid  and   team President   Joe  Banner  are   willing  to  listen  to  offers  for the Pro  Bowler.    photo  appears   courtesy  of  US  Presswire/ Jody Gomez  .............
Eagles' quarterback Donovan McNabb. The player is said to want to remain with the Eagles but it's becoming clear that he will be traded sooner rather than later. Eagles' coach Andy Reid and team President Joe Banner are willing to listen to offers for the Pro Bowler. photo appears courtesy of US Presswire/ Jody Gomez .............

There are now widely conflicting reports that the Oakland Raiders are the prohibitive favorites to land unsettled Philadelphia Eagles’ quarterback Donovan McNabb . The veteran Pro Bowl quarterback has been a fixture as the franchise’s signal caller for a decade. The possibility of him now moving to play for the Raiders can only mean that incumbent starter JaMarcus Russell’s days in Oakland as a starter have got to be numbered. Either that or the implicit faith that Al Davis has in the player is either waning or still there. The former LSU Tiger has been an immense disappointment to the coaching staff , the front office and in particular their long suffering fans who’ve had to witness the complete ineptitude shown by the led by Tom Cable and his staff. And to think that Raiders’ owner Al Davis is still revered within the NFL. ? I’ve got to wonder the irony of it all concerning the embarrassment to be found amongst the hapless Raiders !

Tebow (15)  left is  seen  here   alongside  his  former  college  coach   Urban  Meyer.   The   two  proved  to  be  very  sucessfule   as  a  team   combining to  win   two  national  titles   in  four  years.    photo  appears  courtesy of   boston.com/  articles ............
Tebow (15) left is seen here alongside his former college coach Urban Meyer. The two proved to be very sucessfule as a team combining to win two national titles in four years. photo appears courtesy of boston.com/ articles ............

Back again to the upcoming draft for one final time and the feeling is that Florida Gator quarterback Tim Tebow may well see his draft stock rise . Not just because of the apparent retooled delivery of his passing action but more so how the player has been conducting himself during the interview process with a number of NFL teams thus far. Now while the view is it has to be about the players’ performances during the drills and practices. Obviously how a player also performs during the interview process means a great deal and it bodes well for Tebow in showing his intelligence on and off the field of play. Do you think that former NFL player Ryan Leaf may have initially had that problem but it was overlooked firstly by the San Diego Chargers ? How fortuitous was it that the Indianapolis Colts didn’t take Leaf in the 1988 NFL Draft ?

DeMaurice Smith Executive Director of the NFLPA. Smith who assumed the position after the death of his predecessor Gene Upshaw. He was elected to the position by the board members of the Players' Association. Smith was a corporate litigation attorney for the DC law firm Patton Boggs. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Phillip Mitchell
DeMaurice Smith Executive Director of the NFLPA. Smith who assumed the position after the death of his predecessor Gene Upshaw. He was elected to the position by the board members of the Players' Association. Smith was a corporate litigation attorney for the DC law firm Patton Boggs. photo appears courtesy of Associated Press/ Phillip Mitchell

The NFL makes sure that its season is now an all round one that is a constant reminder that to its fans as to how important the game really is. Business is business,as they say but more and more that business is all about making money . Everything else is just considered to be an afterthought .

I don’t know that I may have missed anything but how is it that the NFL still believes that it’s possible to still continue with the belief that playing a regular season game in the United Kingdom adds to the excitement of the game ? Never mind the fact that the league’s hierarchy envisages having a franchise at some time in the future placed in the city of London. Never mind the asinine notion that the city of Los Angeles still yearns for the return of the NFL. In what universe, given the fact that in order to facilitate that prospect any proposed relocation to the city would be at a cost to the taxpayers in the city ? And fans there are said to be yearning this all ? Now unless I’m mistaken I was under the impression that the residents in the greater Los Angeles area were bright and highly intelligent ? I guess I was wrong but then again look at the financial mess that the California State Legislature has placed itself in ? Could it be anymore asinine than it is at present ,given the nature of the state legislature and the apparent idiocy of the state’s governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger ?

Goodell speaks on the Vick incident. But need I remind you there’s a conduct policy that the commissioner can use to suspend a player for conduct detrimental to the game as agreed to in the collective bargaining agreement between the NFL (league) and the NFLPA (union). Someone should broach Goodell on the reasons why he’s yet to act concerning Roethlisberger given that the player’s conduct has also been detrimental to the sport . It’s taken him this long to meet with the player much less make a statement on the matter. But yet he has always stated he’s concerned with the image of the players and their behavior ? Unfortunately Goodell and DeMaurice Smith just keep on blowing hot smoke up everyone’s ass on the matter ! But that’s to be expected as they couldn’t give a sh_t to begin with !

The NFL for all of its proclivities it tends to forget about the fans and what they mean to the game as a whole . But it’s becoming even more apparent the fans are not thought of as an integral part of the game by the heirarchy , players and the union itself. Doubt that ? Ask yourself this what has either the NFLPA (union) or the NFL for that matter done to rein in the behavior of its members when they’ve ran amok and broken the law . It’s not as if they’ve proceeded to be proactive at a given time. Image to the NFL has been merely about looking good from one moment to the next and never about doing what’s right at the appropriate time. Somehow I think that present NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell , his predecessor Paul Tagliabue and Goodell’s union counterpart NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith simply don’t give a damn ! If they did, then it’d be more apparent in their actions whereby they would either be dealing with many of the problems that have arisen. I’d like to think that there would be a concerted effort by both parties either jointly or singularly to deal with many of the problems concerning the off the field behavior of the players !

Common sense within the game at present isn’t at a premium and unfortunately it just seems to be an ongoing thing across the landscape of sports in general. Crap , just say it ain’t so ?

Alan Parkins aka tophatal ………………….

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Nappy Roots …………. “Po’ Folks”

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Adult  entertainment   star   and  actress   Tera  Patrick  .    Wonder  what  she   does  when   she's   got  some  down  time on  her  hands    as  they  say  ?
Adult entertainment star and actress Tera Patrick . Wonder what she does when she's got some down time on her hands as they say ?

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Let’s Dance …….

Let’s Dance ………………..

Well now that we know the ‘Final Four’ to perhaps one of the most exciting Men’s NCAA basketball tournament in recent years. It’s time to survey the devastation that took place. We’re now left with the four best teams in the tournament and no it’s not aberration that the lightly regarded Butler is one of the quartet of teams remaining.

St. Louis , Bobby Maze (3) of the Tennessee Volunteers looks to shoot the ball against Mike Kebler (20) and Draymond Green (23) both of the Michigan State Spartans during the midwest regional final of the 2010 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the Edward Jones Dome on March 28, 2010 in St. Louis, Missouri. Michigan State beat Tennessee 70-69. photo appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Dilip Vishwanat ...
St. Louis , Bobby Maze (3) of the Tennessee Volunteers looks to shoot the ball against Mike Kebler (20) and Draymond Green (23) both of the Michigan State Spartans during the midwest regional final of the 2010 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the Edward Jones Dome on March 28, 2010 in St. Louis, Missouri. Michigan State beat Tennessee 70-69. photo appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Dilip Vishwanat ...

Butler along with Duke (Blue Devils) , Michigan State (Spartans) and West Virginia (Mountaineers) round out the Final Four . And is there a clear cut favorite amongst the four ? Who can say but there’s no denying that a number of people if not a large part of the nation are perhaps rooting for the underdogs , in Butler. And the fact that the Final Four and championship game will be played in their home state of Indiana at the Lucas Oil Stadium , makes this even more of a fairy tale for the team and their coach Brad Stevens . This will Stevens’ first appearance in the Final Four as a coach. He joins Mike Krzyzewski , Bob Huggins and Tom Izzo as the coaches of the respective teams remaining in the tournament. And of those four, Huggins and Stevens are the only coaches not to have cut down the nets as a winning coach of the national championship in men’s basketball.

Now don’t get me wrong I’ve been avowed Blue Devils’ fan for eons and I do believe that Mike Krzyzewski one of the all-time great coaches in collegiate athletics. Love him or hate him , you’ve got the admire what he’s done in building this program into a perennial powerhouse within college basketball. His record as a coach speaks for itself and the respect that he has amongst his peers throughout collegiate athletics let’s you know how much he’s revered. That asides , were the Blue Devils not to end up as champions , I wouldn’t at all be overly disappointed. For me, the NCAA tournament has always been about seeing the minnows in the game take on the might within college basketball. There’s nothing like seeing a ‘David slay Goliath’ and turn the whole men’s college basketball world upside down. And that’s been what we’ve seen throughout this year’s tournament right from the very start. Needless to say , many of the prognosticators’ brackets have been shot to hell. Hey, President Obama , how’s that pick of Kansas of yours now looking ? If it’s anything like the passage of the healthcare reform bill , that thing also will soon be in tatters. Do you honestly believe that the Republicans will let it remain in its present format whatever it now allegedly is purported to be ? Even your most ardent supporters are unsure as to what form it will take . In many it ways it’s the same way , that this tournament itself has unfurled. Surprise after surprise, with a great deal of animosity up and down the country.

The Duke Blue Devils hold up the trophy after a 78-71 win over the Baylor Bears in the south regional final of the NCAA men's basketball tournament at Reliant Stadium in Houston on Sunday. photo appears  courtesy of  Getty  Images/  Ronald  Martinez  ...
The Duke Blue Devils hold up the trophy after a 78-71 win over the Baylor Bears in the south regional final of the NCAA men's basketball tournament at Reliant Stadium in Houston on Sunday. photo appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Ronald Martinez ...

Sunday’s games and the results that came about were as surprising as the games themselves were enthralling. And the same could be said of Saturday’s results also. Who could’ve foreseen Duke’s 78-71 defeat of Baylor ? Or even Michigan State eking out a one point, 70-69 of Bruce Pearl’s Tennessee Volunteers ?

Butler's Nick Rodgers hold up the West Regional trophy as the team returned home to Indianapolis amid a throng of fans after earning a spot in the Final Four with a victory over Kansas State Saturday.
Butler's Nick Rodgers hold up the West Regional trophy as the team returned home to Indianapolis amid a throng of fans after earning a spot in the Final Four with a victory over Kansas State Saturday. photo appears courtesy of Associated Press/ A J Mast ...........

Now with the Final Four match-ups all set , it will be very interesting to see how these games are approached by the respective coaches and their teams. For Butler and their inexperienced coach Brad Stevens , they’ve nothing to lose as they face off against Tom Izzo’s Michigan State Spartans. While Krzyzewski’s Blue Devils will take on Bob Huggins’ West Virginia Mountaineers. And it’s take a serious gambler to against the rising wave of support of the Butler Bulldogs. I’m no longer a betting man and I’m not going to make a call on either match-ups at all. I’ve seen my brackets seemingly go up in smoke much the same way that Vanilla Ice’s and MC Hammer’s careers did. Where are they now ?

West Virginia's Da'Sean Butler and Joe Mazzulla hug after the game. Butler scored 18 points and Mazulla pitched in a career-high 17 to help West Virginia hold off the Wildcats.
West Virginia's Da'Sean Butler and Joe Mazzulla hug after the game. Butler scored 18 points and Mazulla pitched in a career-high 17 to help West Virginia hold off the Wildcats. The Mountaineers would defeat the Kentucky Wildcats 73-66 to make their way the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament. photo appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Jim McIsaac ..........

The Final Four and the championship game itself will be something special to watch and I for one can vouch that I find this tournament far more exciting and exhilarating that the BCS national title game in football. Here you actually have a champion of merit while with college football it’s the premise that we’re witnessing a champion. Yeah, big deal when the none BCS conferences barely get the chance to put on their dancing shoes and strut their stuff against the ‘big boys’ . At least in the NCAA basketball tournament you’re invited to the dance and everyone is on an even footing. So let’s dance ?

Alan Parkins aka tophatal ……………..

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David Bowie …………“Let’s Dance”

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Russian  actress  &  model   Anya Monzikova  .   Who   wouldn't   want  some  of Monzikova    alongside  some  fresh  Beluga   caviar  ?
Russian actress & model Anya Monzikova . Who wouldn't want some of Monzikova alongside some fresh Beluga caviar ?

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English glamor model Lucy Pinder . Do you like ? In order to enjoy the gallery up close and personal just click on the pictures individually.

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Red Sox Yankees And All Things In Between

Red Sox Yankees And All Things In Between

Well baseball’s season is about to start and the game’s two biggest teams start the season with the usual rivalry one has come to expect between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees. The American League East (AL East) may well be decided between these two teams. As good as the Tampa Bay Rays are deemed to be , their season may well come down to how fast a start they have within the division. Anything short of an impressive first month and it could well be a game of catchup for the Rays and their fans.

New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez watches his fly-out in the first inning of a spring training baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Friday, March 26, 2010, in Tampa, Fla. photo  appears  courtesy of  Assoc  Press  / Mike Carlson  ....
New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez watches his fly-out in the first inning of a spring training baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Friday, March 26, 2010, in Tampa, Fla. photo appears courtesy of Assoc Press / Mike Carlson ....

Courtesy of Associated Press & Yahoo Sports

Baseball Calendar

By The Associated Press

March 31—Last day to request unconditional release waivers on a player without having to pay his full 2010 salary.

April 4—Opening day, New York Yankees at Boston, active rosters reduced to 25 players.

June 7-9—Amateur draft, Secaucus, N.J.

June 28-30—New York Mets vs. Florida Marlins at San Juan, Puerto Rico.

July 13—All-Star game, Anaheim, Calif.

July 25—Hall of Fame inductions, Cooperstown, N.Y.

July 31—Last day to trade a player without securing waivers.

Aug. 15—Last day to sign selections from 2010 amateur draft who have not exhausted college eligibility.

Sept. 1—Active rosters expand to 40 players.

Oct. 6—Playoffs begin.

Oct. 27—World Series begins.

November—Free agent filing period, first 15 days after World Series ends.

Dec. 1—Last day for teams to offer salary arbitration to their former players who became free agents.

Dec. 7—Last day for free agents offered salary arbitration to accept the offers.

Dec. 6-9—Winter meetings, Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

Dec. 12—Last day for teams to offer 2011 contracts to unsigned players.

2011

Jan 5-15—Salary arbitration filing.

Jan. 18—Exchange of salary arbitration figures.

Feb. 1-21—Salary arbitration hearings.

Feb. 17—Voluntary reporting date for pitchers, catchers and injured players.

Feb. 22—Voluntary reporting date for other players.

March 1—Mandatory reporting date.

March 2-11—Teams may renew contracts of unsigned players.

March 16— Last day to place a player on unconditional release waivers and pay 30 days termination pay instead of 45 days.

March 30—Last day to request unconditional release waivers on a player without having to pay his full 2011 salary.

April 3—Opening day, active rosters reduced to 25 players.

July 12—All-Star game, Phoenix.

July 31—Last day to trade a player without securing waivers.

Aug. 15—Last day to sign selections from 2011 amateur draft who have not exhausted college eligibility.

Sept. 1—Active rosters expand to 40 players.

Dec. 5-8—Winter meetings, Dallas.

Dec. 11—Collective bargaining agreement expires.

Dec. 12—Last day for teams to offer 2011 contracts to unsigned players.

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Having secured their 27th World Series championship the Yankees are looking to successfully defend their title having defeated the Philadelphia Phillies last season in MLB’s showcase event in the fall. Manager Joe Girardi and his he retooled team looks to show everyone around the game that their dominance won’t be a short lived thing . Having acquired Curtis Granderson , Javier Vazquez , and Randy Winn . The feeling is that this team will be able to show that they’ve lost nothing in terms of their competitive spirit. World Series’ MVP Hideki Matsui and Johnny Damon are no longer with the team as Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman felt that they needed to go younger . But I think that it may well add be to the team’s competitiveness but take away some of its character !

Sarasoata , Fl ,.  Infielder Adrian Beltre (29) of the Boston Red Sox  throws over to first for an out against the Baltimore Orioles during a Grapefruit League Spring Training Game at Ed Smith Stadium on March 27, 2010 in Sarasota, Florida. photo  appears  courtesy  of Getty  Images/  J  Meric  ..........
Sarasoata , Fl ,. Infielder Adrian Beltre (29) of the Boston Red Sox throws over to first for an out against the Baltimore Orioles during a Grapefruit League Spring Training Game at Ed Smith Stadium on March 27, 2010 in Sarasota, Florida. photo appears courtesy of Getty Images/ J Meric ..........

The team’s roster may well have some new faces but the same faces in term of Pettite , Rivera , Posada and Jeter are still there. Alex Rodriguez , Mark Teixeira , A. J. Burnett and CC Sabathia having won a World Series championship, a second shot at the ‘brass ring’ seems only appropriate for the game’s most popular franchise and the for players themselves. And with this series always being a competitive one , it’ll be interesting to see what will transpire from the Red Sox’s home opener against the New York Yankees at Fenway Park , Boston , Massachusetts. A raucous crowd , soldout Fenway Park , cheering on the home team against the ‘Evil Empire’. Is there as such a better way to start the baseball season ?

As for the Boston Red Sox and the team’s manager Terry Francona . This time around, well, surveying this team they just don’t appear to be of championship caliber material . Their pitching may well appear to be as competitive as ever. But offensively the Red Sox just seem to be diminishing in terms of their apparent strengths. David Ortiz no longer seems to have that ‘pop’ in his bat. Mike Lowell is aging and having lost Jason Bay to free agency , the team brought in Adrian Beltre . Now Beltre on his good days can be very good but when he’s bad and that’s more often than not. Watching Beltre perform is about as bearable as having a rectal examination. And that’s not something that I’d wish on my worst enemy. But somehow team President Larry Lucchino and GM Theo Epstein felt that Beltre was the ideal replacement for the departed Bay. My own belief is that the departure of Manny Ramirez has hurt the club more than they’d care to admit. But you’d be hard pressed to hear anyone with the Red Sox front office admit that fact much less their fans willingly admit how much they miss the player. But such are the wiles of the game that we the fans just tend to go along with the flow.

The meeting between these two titans of the game will be the first of eighteen games played between the two throughout the major league baseball season. And we’re liable to see these two ball clubs compete at the very highest level possible . For their fans and the game’s hierarchy the competitiveness between the two has to be at its best. If only create the perception that all is right with the game. Because as Bud Selig would have us all believe, it has never been in a healthier position than it is today. If only Bud Selig and the owners would take a look at what’s happening within the economics of the game then perhaps that utter glibness they show wouldn’t be so apparent !

I’m not going to pour oil on the fire but can someone tell me what the hell the New York Mets are up to ? Each and every time I see this team , I can only ask myself what the hell was Johan Santana thinking when he joined this ball club ? This is an organization that just doesn’t know how to win and their front office is as gullible as they come. I’d like to think that there’s common sense within the Wilpon family, as the owners of this ball club. But it appears that they’re no wiser than their executives within the front office of the Mets. The pitching at best is shaky and offensively , well let’s just say it still leaves a lot to be desired .

One of the things I’m hoping to see are many of the small market teams actually have a chance to compete against their big market opponents. But in reality I know that there’s very little chance of that happening . As much I look across the landscape of baseball. It will remain a game about the haves and have nots. That’s all I got to say about that !

Alan Parkins aka tophatal ………………….

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Luther Vandross …………’Give Me The Reason’

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Adult (porn) star Tera Patrick. Do enjoy the picture gallery content at your leisure. Just click on each picture within the gallery to view up close and personal.

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Off camera Patrick at home. She discusses her life and porn as a burgeoning business. The porn business in the US now oustrips the revenues of MLB , NBA , NHL and NFL . It is a $9.8 billion a year industry rivaling that of the Hollywood ‘mainstream’ film industry. Who says sex doesn’t pay. It pays god-damn big if you know what the hell you’re doing to begin with !

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The Best I’ve Ever Seen ……………

The Best I’ve Ever I Seen

Some of my work colleagues and I were having a discussion as to the best sport stars we’ve seen at (in) their respective sports. I told them that as I wasn’t all that versed to many of the top athletes or teams here in the US that we’ve all seen over the course of our lives. Being a Brit ,I’ve seen my share of stars across varying sports arenas. But across the North American landscape I’ve not seen many of the best, per say.

Having arrived here in the early nineties , the primary US athletes that I knew or were aware of, were tennis players and track stars , John McEnroe , Jimmy Connors , Arthur Ashe , Stan Smith , Pete Sampras , Andre Agassi , Carl Lewis , Lerory Burrell , Mike Powell , Ed Moses and Michael Johnson .

Now don’t get me wrong but as good as those players are . To my mind the best tennis player I’d ever seen was Bjorn Borg ! Over the course of his illustrious career he’d won “eleven” Grand Slam singles titles. But what was even more astounding was the rate at which he won those titles. Five successive Wimbledon singles titles and six French singles titles. All of those titles were won before retired at the age of 27. Borg did make a brief comeback but it was short lived. And people would suggest that Sampras was a far greater player than Borg ? In what universe ? Measure their feats over their comparative ages and you’ll see that Borg had achieved far more and that’s with the fact of him retiring from the game at a comparative early age. Experts my a_s !

Bjorn Borg wins his fifth successive Wimbledon title in defeating John McEnroe in 1980.

Now people might suggest that Sampras was Borg’s equal but anyone who knows the game of tennis will know that Sampras’ game was flawed when it came to playing on clay. Now we’ve seen the rise of Roger Federer and there’s no doubt in that he is the greatest male player of this or any other generation of male tennis players . Fourteen Grand Slam singles’ titles should be proof of that and the fact that he’s made it to the semi-finals of 19 straight Grand Slam singles tournaments. No male or female tennis player in the ‘Open or pre-Open era’ has ever accomplished that feat. And it’s unlikely to repeated or be surpassed by another player in the future. That is complete dominance of a sport , far greater than that of Tiger Woods’ dominance of the PGA Tour .

HBO’s presentation of the now infamous Hagler vs Hearns middleweight bout 1979. One of the most vicious bouts there will ever be in the annals of boxing.

I’ve gotten to the stage where I look at the sport of boxing and just think to myself what the hell went wrong with this damn sport ? The top fighters rarely fight each other anymore. And then we have an ass in boxing promoter Bob Arum telling us that the sport of MMA is ran and by a bunch of racial bigots. This coming from a promoter who once described one of the boxers in his stable …. “as one of the ‘best niggers’ I’ve ever had “. Now forgive me, but if Arum can be that condescending and still hold down his position as one of sport’s most powerful promoters. Then it would suggest to me that the sport is simply devoid of integrity . Both Arum and Don King have made a mockery of the sport.

Ali knocks out George Foreman in Kinshasa , Zaire to win the world heavyweight title.

Now I’m not going to deny that Muhammad Ali is the ‘greatest heavyweight boxer’ of all time and that’s with due respect to Joe Louis . His feats in the ring simply speak for themselves. The three time heavyweight champion of the world. And the fact that for almost four years he was denied the right to defend his title having never lost in the ring. He was stripped of his title for refusing to enlist in the US military and to fight in the ‘Vietnam War’ . As a conscientious objector , it was his right but politically the Lyndon Johnson administration wanted to make an example of the fighter. His epic ‘three epic fights’ with Joe Frazier and then his emotional laden bout with Larry Holmes cemented Ali’s legendary status. Less we forget also, there was ‘the great upset’ when he knocked out the then ‘invincible’ George Foreman in Kinshasa , Zaire. And although growing up I saw many of Ali’s fights. I still felt that when it was indeed time for him to walk away from the sport that he graced for so many years. He simply stayed in it for all of the wrong reasons. He was coerced into this decision by his then promoter Don King. And in King , you had someone who essentially is a parasite who clings to the boxers in his stable very much in the same way that a fly loves to be around fecal matter looking for anything it can derive of it that would be of benefit to them at the time.

My own favorite boxer in the ring was and still is Marvin Hagler . And though many well feel that Sugar Ray Robinson is the greatest middleweight of all time. Which he could well have been but I’m not so sure that a ‘Sugar’ Ray Robinson at his best could beat Marvin Hagler ! And though many talk about Ray Leonard being a supremely gifted fighter but I feel that Leonard simply fought to please himself and to make money. And that has been essentially it as far as his legacy was concerned. We’ve since the dominance of Bernard Hopkins within the division and his 20 successful defenses of the middleweight title. But the pedigree of the fighters of this era when measured against the era of Hagler , Leonard and Tommy Hearns pales into comparison. Middleweight fighters of this era are nowhere as skilled or versed as boxers, much less punchers or knockout artists.

Hagler for his part fought all comers and defended his title successfully eleven times before eventually losing it to ‘Sugar’ Ray Leonard , in what some still consider to be a controversial split decision to this day. Hagler walked away from the sport angered by the decision. Leonard went on to further glory but to this day he knows that the decision went a long way in leaving the sport befuddled as to the decision making of the judges and the fracturing of the sport. Leonard for his part continued to fight adding to his legacy until he retired from the ring inauspiciously. He made one or two comebacks against lackluster opponents. But problems away from the ring soon blighted his personal life. Substance abuse , allegations of spousal battery and then a rather acrimonious divorce from his then wife.


Ed Moses wins Olympic gold in the 1976 Olympics in the men’s 400 meters hurdles .

When people talk about records and how special they are, the talk about Joe DeMaggio’s 56 game hitting streak in baseball. The UCLA Bruins’ 87 game win streak and Hank Aaron’s home run record. And as phenomenal as those records are. Very rarely do I ever hear the name of track and field star Ed Moses’ name being mentioned and his feat as the world’s greatest high hurdler . Over the course of 122 races at in the 400 meter hurdles event, Moses went unbeaten . And to add to his feat Ed Moses won two Olympic gold medals and multiple world championships on the track over the distance. But that span of 122 successive victories were over the span of a decade . Consider this also, of the fifty fast times ever at the distance , 28 of those times are held by Ed Moses. That is dominance my friends , complete and utter dominance. But unfortunately the sport of track and field is no longer the bastion of US male dominance. It has now become a niche sport that now only gets heightened interest once the quadrennial Summer Olympics comes around . Then and only then, is there a heightened interest in track and field and many of its major star athletes.

Bolt   wins   200m   in   world   record  time  of   19.30  at  the  Beijing  Olympics  .  photo  appears   courtesy  of   bbc.co.uk/sports/  ................

Usain Bolt wins with the men’s 200 meters’ Final at the Beijing Olympics the world record time of 19.30. It would be one of three gold medals won by the Jamaican athlete all in world record times . photo appears courtesy of bbc.co.uk/sports ……………..

The world was more than in awe when Usain Bolt burst unto the world at the Beijing Olympics . His world record shattering feats at the 100 200 meters and 4x100m relay , has left the Jamaican track star at the top of heap in the track and field world. And Bolt looks to successfully defend his titles at the 2012 London Olympics . But before that he’ll also look to defend his IAAF World Championship titles in those events. Bolt to my mind may well have the career that can span a decade if he’s totally dedicated to his sport. At present there isn’t a track star in the world that is his equal ! And the notion that Tyson Gay is even in the same area code as him as a track athlete, is like making the comparison between a Lamborghini Murcielago and a Dodge Pinto . It’s simply not justified at all ! We’ve seen how ordinary Gay was made to look in Beijing and prior to their meeting at the Olympics, Bolt literally took the mental resolve of his American opponent and completely shattered it. When an athlete already has you beat psychologically then inevitably you will be defeated physically.

Bolt wins   gold in the  100 meters   going   away   from  his   fellow  competitors   in   Beijing  in  a  world  record  time of   9.69 .    photo   appears  courtesy  of  Reuters/   David   Duscherre  ...............
Bolt wins gold in the 100 meters going away from his fellow competitors in Beijing in a world record time of 9.69 . photo appears courtesy of Reuters/ David Duscherre ...............

This will be the first part in a series of pieces that I’ll be doing on an athletes that I’ve come to admire during foray into the love of sports . Be sure to look out for part two . I trust that you’ll enjoy the series ? And by all means chime on with a comment of your own concerning the athletes I’ve mentioned here and those who you’ve seen that have left you in awe as to prowess in their chosen sporting endeavor.

Alan Parkins aka tophatal ………………….

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Aaliyah feat’g Timbaland ……….”We Need A Resolution”
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Reverence Being What It Is ……………..

Reverence Being What It Is ………………….

There’s no doubt in my mind that the political landscape the world over has its idiots and intellectuals. In the country of my birth , England- we had a Labour MP named George Galloway once describe the Taliban as being ‘persecuted just as much as the Palestinians’. Now don’t get me wrong Galloway at the time was elected by his constituents to represent them in the House of Parliament in Westminster ,London. And while serving them, he was a vocal opponent of both the Afghan and Iraqi invasions. At the time, Tony Blair was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. In large part Blair chose to follow George W. Bush avidly, down this path , despite some opposition from within his own political party, Labour Party and from both opposition parties the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats .

Several years into the conflict and with mounting casualties amongst the coalition forces . Galloway was still spouting his diatribe while at the same time steadily gaining some support. This essentially became his mandate to be what he felt was the ‘voice of reason’ amongst his party members and his peers in the House of Parliament. Alas, Galloway’s rise to infamy was as swift as his fall into relative obscurity, as he’s no longer an MP. He has since appeared on several game and reality shows in the UK and at the same he continues to make a complete ass of himself whilst he’s in the public domain.

In Italy , Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi , an admitted philanderer and misogynist has publicly derided fellow opposition members , especially those who happen to be female. He has suggested that women ought not to be at all involved in politics . And that their best attributes are when they’re servicing their husbands sexually either in the act of coitus or orally. This coming from a man who has been married several times and as recently as 2008 was sexually involved with a female aide while at the same being romantically involved with a call girl. When broached on the subject and the fact that he’s still married. Berlusconi’s response was that ‘he’s a man’ and what ‘he does in the bedroom and whom he’s doing it with shouldn’t at all be the concern of the Italian people’. What may well be even more abhorrent concerning Berlusconi’s candor has been his outspokenness and vapid racial attacks on the minorities within the country. Even those who are now second or third generation Italians, who have fled either from the North African continent or dependencies once under the country’s rule or influence. Never let it be said that Berlusconi wasn’t an equal opportunity bigot.

Come full circle and it appears that Vice President Joe Biden continues to show what he lacks in candor he more than makes up for with his apparent lack of intelligence and sheer stupidity ! And during the Presidential election he was thought of as being the smart and prudent choice as Barack Obama’s nominee for the VP position ? We were led to believe that his knowledge of diplomatic affairs would counterbalance the apparent weakness that Obama had in that arena. Given Biden’s faux-pas’ as of late ,. I’m not so sure that he is as smart as some had made him out to be. The guy is an ass and his latest actions simply proves that point ! Though it has to be said that his actions are no worse than the profanity laced insult that Dick Cheney once used when he directed his tirade at Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt) , in telling him to “go fu_k himself and calling him a fu_king as_hole” ! An apology was never uttered to Leahy by the former Vice President .Nor was he ever censured for those remarks. The words uttered at the time were during a beak in the business being conducted on the floor of the US Senate . Kind of makes you wonder what they purportedly do for fun in the Senate when they’re not at each others’ throats ?

There’s noting like dropping the f-bomb in the accompaniment of the President and the convened White House Press Corps in attendance is there ?

Courtesy of NY Daily News

Vice President Biden caught on mic; calls health care bill a ‘big f—ing deal’

By Michael Sheridan , Daily News Staff Writer

Health care reform isn’t just a big deal, it’s a “big f—ing deal.”

At least, that’s what Vice President Joe Biden thinks.

The 67-year-old former senator introduced President Obama prior to his signing of the historic health care reform bill into law on Tuesday, and let the colorful word slip while shaking the commander-in-chief’s hand.

“You did it,” Biden told his boss. “It’s a big f—ing deal.”

In response, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs tweeted: “And yes Mr. Vice President, you’re right…”

This, of course, isn’t the first time the VP has been cause in a verbal gaffe. He was similarly caught on mic last year using the f-word while at an event with Amtrak to promote the stimulus plan.

“Oh give me a f—ing break,” Biden said in March 2009 to a former Senate colleague on a live mic.

Foul language may be a favorite for vice presidents. Ex-Veep Dick Cheney famously used the infamous phrase on several occasions during his two terms.

During a heated discussion on the Senate floor, Cheney reportedly told Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) to go “f— yourself.”

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Biden with his apparent slip of the tongue after the health-care reform bill had just been passed in the House and soon to be voted on in the Senate . Well perhaps his word could have been better chosen given the arena he was in at the time. When asked on how he felt about the bill being passed , Biden’s alleged retort and response was said to be …………”big fu_king deal ” ! Now either I’m mistaken but this was a hard fought victory on the part of the Democrats , despite opposition from within ‘his own party’ and from the Republicans as well. But this can’t have been the response that the convened press or those who were in Biden’s accompaniment could have expected at the time . Simply put, you get what you deserve when you sometimes surround yourselves with idiots or supposed intellectuals who someone has deemed as being smart. Biden has simply proved that he’s neither smart or knows how to properly conduct himself and treat the his position with the reverence it deserves. Instead he comes off looking like a drunken idiot completely unaware of his surroundings and the very reason why he now holds the second most powerful political position in the world. God forbid that something should happen to the President . Because I for one would hate to see how Joe Biden would conduct himself , if ever he were to hold the position of President of the United States ! Has he even got a clue as to what the job even entails to begin with ?

Click here to see more of Joe Biden’s faux-pas’ over the years .

Alan Parkins aka tophatal ………………….

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Instantaneous classics !

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Here are some of his other blunders along the way .

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Glib And Clueless As Usual ……………….

Glib And Clueless As Usual ……………….

I no longer question the alleged journalistic integrity of ESPN . Because to my mind they no longer have an iota of intelligence there with regard to many of their employees who purport to be journalists. If these ‘glib idiots’ aren’t fawning over many of their guests or interviewees as if they’re somehow awe struck. Then they’re asking the most asinine of questions. At least with Jayson Blair , you simply knew where he was coming from, as with regard to his journalistic pedigree.

Tom Rinaldi’s interview with Tiger Woods at the Isleworth Golf Golf & CC this past weekend , offered nothing new or insightful. And the player himself, was somewhat monotone in his responses to Rinaldi’s questions, when responding. For ESPN and the head of sports programming Mike Soltys , they must’ve seen the interview as some type of scoop ? . Given the fact that this was the player’s first such public interface with the press since his well scripted press conference from the TPC Course , Sawgrass , Ponte Vedra Beach , Florida. Could that particular spectacle have been more asinine from the get-go ?

Woods’ return to the PGA Tour will take place at Augusta , home the season’s first major Grand Slam tournament , The Masters . And the player will be under a great deal of scrutiny from the world press , those in attendance and no doubt the millions who’ll be watching worldwide. And for ESPN this should prove to be a ratings’ bonanza as they will be televising the first two rounds of the tournament live.

Rinaldi though not wanting to press the player merely allowed Woods to be evasive in his answers. But at the same time Woods kept on making the claim that he’s truly apologetic for the mistrust that the fans and children now have in him. And he stated that the only way for him to regain that trust is to do so by his deeds. Isn’t it strange that when Woods simply cavorting around and straying from his marital obligations that it never struck him as odd that his actions would indeed hurt the ones , whom, he claims to love so deeply ? That asides , the interview did nothing but confirm to me that the player will be entitled as long as the likes of ESPN treat him with reverence , rather than seeing Woods for what he really is. And that’s someone who is merely using the network to further try and clean up his tarnished image. But then again one shouldn’t be surprised by any of this at all as it’s merely ESPN and Woods using each other in a common goal and that’s to further heighten each others’ profile and visibility. Journalistic integrity had nothing to with this interview at all.

Oakland ,CA,.Amare Stoudamire (1) of the Phoenix Suns shoots against Anthony Tolliver (44) of the Golden State Warriors on March 22, 2010 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. The  Suns would  go  on  to  defeat  the  Warriors  <strong><em> 133-131 </strong></em>  in  the  game.  photo  appears  courtesy  of  NBAE/Getty  Images/  Rocky  Widner ...............
Oakland ,CA,.Amare Stoudamire (1) of the Phoenix Suns shoots against Anthony Tolliver (44) of the Golden State Warriors on March 22, 2010 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. The Suns would go on to defeat the Warriors 133-131 in the game. photo appears courtesy of NBAE/Getty Images/ Rocky Widner ...............

What can only seem as a dream come true for Golden State Warriors’ fans , is that the hierarchy led majority stake holder Chris Cohan has decided to put the NBA franchise up for sale. What has been an organization that has been run like a cornershop establishment for the last fifteen years under Cohan’s ownership , has to be now a ringing approval to the fans , who see the possibility of an owner coming in and reversing the fortunes for the team and the organization as a whole.

Warriors' coach   Don  Nelson  seated   next  to   team  GM Larry Riley  at    Warriors  game played   at  Oracle  Arena  ,  Oakland ,  California .   photo appears  courtesy  of  Getty  Images/  Joe  Murphy  ...............
Warriors' coach Don Nelson seated next to team GM Larry Riley at Warriors game played at Oracle Arena , Oakland , California . photo appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Joe Murphy ...............


Cohan has sought out investment strategists and consultancy firm Galatioto Sports Partners LLC to handle all aspects of the proposed sale and finding a suitor to purchase the team. Rumored to be widely interested in purchasing the Warriors is avid sports enthusiast and Oracle’s billionaire founder Larry Ellison . If the self publicizing and power hungry Ellison is ambitious about the Warriors as he has been about his company. Then we may well see no stone left unturned as he chases NBA glory. And he might even give Dallas Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban a run for his money when it comes to being loud and obnoxious. And anyone who’s seen Cuban’s off court demeanor knows that’s no mean feat.

Golden  State  Warriors'   owner  Chris   Cohan  seated  alongside   Team  President    Robert  Rowell .   photo  appears   courtesy  of   Associated  Press  /  Drew   Maxwell .............
Golden State Warriors' owner Chris Cohan seated alongside Team President Robert Rowell . photo appears courtesy of Associated Press / Drew Maxwell .............

For far too long Cohan and Warriors’ GM Larry Riley have simply eschewed the custodianship of running the franchise with due diligence. And it certainly hasn’t helped that the team’s coach Don Nelson is merely being allowed to coach , simply to surpass the all-time wins’ total amassed by Lenny Wilkens .If that is what the hierarchy feels is expedient for the team and organization. Is it any wonder that they’ve not had a playoff appearance in over a decade ? Stupidity and glibness runs within this organization from the executives on down to the coaching staff. I’d apportion some blame upon the shoulders of the players but they’ve got enough to deal with in the home crowd fans who attend the Warriors’ games at Oracle Arena , in Oakland , California. And by all accounts they’ve not been too forgiving of either Cohan , Riley Nelson or the team for that matter. I wonder why ?

Oracle  founder   Larry   Ellison   ,  a  possible   pursuer  and  prospective   buyer  of   the Warriors'   franchise.   Oracle  founded  by  Ellison  in  1977   is one  of the   largest   software   companies  in  the world.   And  its   global  reach   stretches   across   every   continent  on  the   earth.    photo  appears   courtesy  of   businessdaily.com    @  copyrighted  material   ................
Oracle founder Larry Ellison , a possible pursuer and prospective buyer of the Warriors' franchise. Oracle founded by Ellison in 1977 is one of the largest software companies in the world. And its global reach stretches across every continent on the earth. photo appears courtesy of businessdaily.com @ copyrighted material ................

My buddy chappy 81 of doin-work.com , who’s a very vocal supporter of the team suggests that the franchise could be sold for as much as $400 million . Personally , I think he’s being overly optimistic in that regard. If the Los Angeles Lakers and the New York Knicks are viewed as the most valuable franchises in the NBA . The Warriors aren’t even considered to be amongst the top ten most valuable franchises at all. Estimated value of the Lakers $607 million and the Knicks are $586 million . So the idea of Warriors being worth in excess of 20 times their earnings at best , would seem laughable when one considers that they’re barely profitable as a going concern . And for a person of Larry Ellison’s business acumen , he’s hardly the person who can be duped into overpaying for a commercial venture. Anyone who simply knows how Ellison and the how the board members of Oracle operates, will know that the company’s founder is an astoundingly shrewd businessman. And if anything he’ll be the one who may well end up dictating the terms to Cohan and his intermediaries at Galatiaoto Sports Partners (GSP).

So as of now, we’ll merely have to wait and see what transpires and if there’ll be any other potential bidders entering into the fray to purchase the Warriors. Obviously the winning bid then has to meet the NBA hierarchy’s approval in terms of acceptance of the new owner. And it’d appear to be a formality, given the expediency of Michael Jordan’s acquiring the Charlotte Bobcats , recently from Robert L. Johnson . And Jordan as the NBA’s newest owner and only the second African American to have such a distinction.

Ellison should he prove to be successful in his bid may well choose to retain the present front office and coaching staff. But I feel that will somehow be unlikely. He will more likely than not look for a more insightful general manager and someone not so archaic in their coaching philosophy as Don Nelson appears to be. And given Nelson’s track record as an NBA coach , merely mounting up stats in terms of wins and losses . He’s hardly developed a player of any caliber over the course of his NBA career. We’re simply left to be in awe of the stats as he pursues Lenny Wilkens’ record.

It’d appear that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is showing that he actually has some cojones , after-all. He’s simply taken his time to allow time to pass concerning the ‘Roethlisberger affair’. Pity he wasn’t that laissez-faire in his attitude when it came to such players as Tank Johnson , Kevin Williams and Pat Williams . Now Goodell would have us believe that he uses the premise of the league’s conduct policy judiciously when it comes to suspending a player. If that were the case then how is it that he uses arbitrarily to make something of a point in terms of a deterrent . But yet when it’s needed to be used appropriately he chooses to obfuscate his responsibilities as the game’s highest ranking official ?

Recording artist Clifford Harris a/k/a "T.I" and his Attorney's Steven H. Sadow, Donald F. Sameul, Dwight L. Thomas, Ed Garland and Janice A. Singer address the press after being sentenced at the Richard B. Russell Federal Building and United States Courthouse on March 27, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia. Harris received a one year and one day prison sentence on federal firearms charges. Following Harris' prison sentence, he will have three years of supervised release, 365 days of home confinement and 1500 hours of community service, with credit for about 305 days of home confinement and 1030 hours of community service completed before sentencing

Recording artist Clifford Harris aka “T.I” and his Attorney’s Steven H. Sadow, Donald F. Sameul, Dwight L. Thomas, Ed Garland (Harris’ immediate left) and Janice A. Singer address the press after being sentenced at the Richard B. Russell Federal Building and United States Courthouse on March 27, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia. Harris received a one year and one day prison sentence on federal firearms charges. Following Harris’ prison sentence, he will have three years of supervised release, 365 days of home confinement and 1500 hours of community service, with credit for about 305 days of home confinement and 1030 hours of community service completed before sentencing . Garland’s law firm Garland , Samuel & Loeb , LLC will be representing Roethlisberger in the sexual assault allegations that have been made against the player. photo appears courtesy of Getty North America / Rick Diamond …….

Goodell and the front office of the Pittsburgh Steelers have sat idly by as the Steelers’ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has simply ran amok and make a mockery of the league and his team’s image. What has to be done before the commissioner or any one of the Rooney’s simply gets of their ass and reprimands the player ? Goodell would be quite within his rights to suspend the player as of now . Especially given the player’s prior acts and this isn’t merely about the allegations made against him Lake Tahoe. His motorcycle accident and the fact that he’d lied not only to his coach but also to the ownership, should be enough of an indication as to the player’s demeanor and lack of honesty. But yet he continues to be coddled by the league and the Steelers’ organization as a whole. And we’re now finding out that Roethlisberger’s lawyer Ed Garland has been less than cooperative with the Milledgeville Police Dept and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) as they continue to conduct their ongoing investigation into the alleged sexual assault of a 20 year old college student in the town. Roethlisberger is said to be the primary and only suspect in the alleged assault.

NFL  Commissioner  seen  here   addressing  members  of  the  press  at  the  NFL  owners'  meeting  held  in  Orlando  ,  Florida.    Goodell  met  with  the  Steelers'   quarterback  to  discuss  his  legal  off  field   problems.    photo  appears  courtesy  of  Associated Press/  Richard  Thompson  ....................
NFL Commissioner seen here addressing members of the press at the NFL owners' meeting held in Orlando , Florida. Goodell met with the Steelers' quarterback to discuss his legal off field problems. photo appears courtesy of Associated Press/ Richard Thompson ....................

Courtesy of Associated Press & Yahoo Sports


Goodell plans to meet with Roethlisberger

By Barry Wilner , AP Football Writer

Orlando , Fla. (AP)—NFL commissioner Roger Goodell plans to meet with Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger about the star’s off-field problems.

Goodell already has spoken with team owners about Roethlisberger, who is accused of assaulting a 20-year-old college student in a Georgia nightclub on March 5. Roethlisberger’s attorney says the quarterback committed no crime. Roethlisberger has yet to be interviewed by police in Milledgeville, Ga., and charges have not been filed.

“We take this issue very seriously,” Goodell said Monday at the NFL meetings. “I am concerned that Ben continues to put himself in this position.

“I spoke with the Steelers and (team president) Art Rooney about it and, at some point, I will be meeting with Ben at the appropriate time.”

Roethlisberger also is being sued by a woman who claims he raped her in 2008 at a Lake Tahoe hotel. He denies those allegations and has asked for counter-damages.

His latest alleged incident came during a 28th birthday party for Roethlisberger, who has a home about 30 miles from Milledgeville.

The two-time Super Bowl champ’s lawyer, Ed Garland, said he has hired his own investigative team.

Rooney has said the Steelers are “in a situation we’re going to let this investigation play out and then go from there.”

Roethlisberger skipped voluntary workouts with the team last week.

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Now it may well be prudent not to put too much store into this but it may well be that with the investigating officers now wishing to interview Andrea McNulty , the alleged victim of a sexual assault that took place in a Tahoe hotel room, wherein , Roethlisberger was the alleged assailant. Garland may well think it prudent in delaying the request of GBI and the Milledgville PD in questioning his client. But any delaying tactic on the part of Garland further exacerbates the situation and paints a not too rosy picture of his client. The player has since acquiesced and met with the authorities to answer their questions.

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens in Pittsburgh. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell plans to meet with Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger about the star's off-field problems. "We take this issue very seriously," Goodell said Monday, March 22, 2010, at the NFL meetings.

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens in Pittsburgh. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell plans to meet with Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger about the star’s off-field problems. “We take this issue very seriously,” Goodell said Monday, March 22, 2010, at the NFL meetings. photo appears courtesy of Associated Press /Keith Srakocic ……….

Goodell for his part now feels that it is the right time to speak with the Steelers’ quarterback . By my way of thinking this is very much like now trying to close the stable doors after the your prized colt has simply fled from the stables. What can now be gained from this action when you chose not to speak to the player after the two earlier incidents ? Either Roger Goodell is the complete ass that I’ve always taken him for or merely he’s now trying to save face in terms of the continued and growing criticism by his and the Steelers’ lack of action. Both Goodell and the Steelers’ hierarchy have been far too smug and glib while this has all taken place. Far too often we’ve had reports of NFL players either battering their spouses or being involved in some sort of domestic dispute and in a number of cases there’s been allegations of sexual assault. The league has a conduct policy as I alluded to earlier that Goodell only appears to use sparingly concerning certain types of players. And the fact that one of the league’s more visible players and ‘the apparent face of the Steelers’ franchise’ now finds himself inexplicably involved another allegation of sexual assault should have no bearing on Goodell doing what is right ! But apparently he’ll seek legal counsel from within the league’s own quarters on such a matter but yet he suspended both Kevin and Pat Williams at the drop of the hat knowing full well at the time neither player knowingly had done anything wrong at the time concerning the league’s allegation that they’d both taken a prohibitive and banned substance. Their explanation was very clear from the start but yet Goodell chose to ignore it.

It’s all well and good, Goodell proselytizing about the league’s conduct policy. But there have been times that he’s yet to show that ‘he’s got the balls to practice what he preaches. And this is in fact one of those times. Either ‘he’s man enough to step up to the plate or he isn’t’ !

Marcus Thornton (5) of the New Orleans Hornets shoots the ball over Dirk Nowitzki (41) of the Dallas Mavericks at the New Orleans Arena on March 22, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. photo  appears  courtesy  of Getty Images/  Chris  Graythern  ........
Marcus Thornton (5) of the New Orleans Hornets shoots the ball over Dirk Nowitzki (41) of the Dallas Mavericks at the New Orleans Arena on March 22, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. photo appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Chris Graythern ........

People are still trying to suggest to me, that the Dallas Mavericks are a team to be reckoned with in the Western Conference . The Mavericks are no more a competitive team than the insight that was been shown by the Bush administration in dealing with the economy and other issues during the final days of George Bush’s reign as President. If that last night’s defeat 115-99 at the hands of New Orleans Hornets wasn’t enough to suggest how over-rated this Mavericks’ team is. Then I for one don’t know what else to suggest to those who are still on the bandwagon in supporting this team. They (Mavericks) lack guts and they show no leadership , even from veterans such as Dirk Nowitzki , Jason Kidd , Shawn Marion and Jason Terry . And what’s even becoming more apparent is that they’re being coached by a guy in Rick Carlisle , who has much stomach for a fight as a seasick stricken individual. And to think that the Mavericks’ front office chose to fire Avery Johnson , then to hire Carlisle ? The problem with the Mavericks wasn’t the coaching but the fact that their players just simply can’t play a lick of defense when it’s called for.

New Orleans, La,. Rodrigue Beaubois (3) of the Dallas Mavericks shoots the ball over James Posey (41) of the New Orleans Hornets at the New Orleans Arena on March 22, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  The Hornets defeated the Mavericks 115-99.  photo appears courtesy  of  Getty Images/  Chris  Graythern  ..............
New Orleans, La,. Rodrigue Beaubois (3) of the Dallas Mavericks shoots the ball over James Posey (41) of the New Orleans Hornets at the New Orleans Arena on March 22, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Hornets defeated the Mavericks 115-99. photo appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Chris Graythern ..............

Owner, Mark Cuban and team GM Donn Nelson are proving to be the NFL’s answer to Jerry Jones and his son, Stephen Jones . The two have ran the Dallas Cowboys as a business entity that has yet to produce a successful on-field product or brand in terms of its competitiveness over the last decade. And given the fact that the level of acceptance for Jones is nothing short of a Superbowl appearance but a win. You can see how the comparisons can be made between not only the two sporting entities but also to the duo who run the respective franchises.

People may well try to suggest that this is nothing more than a hiccup as it concerns the Mavericks and that they’ll be ready , come playoff time. Well with a dozen games to go in the regular season. If they’re unable to find a rhythm of consistency prior to the playoffs. Why would anyone be of the opinion that they’ll be good enough to challenge the likes of the Denver Nuggets or the Los Angeles Lakers for that matter ? There’s that glibness and smugness that’s continually expressed by Mark Cuban and to a lesser extent by his players. Unfortunately for the Mavericks and their fans those traits aren’t the things that end up winning championships. Someone should actually tell that to their fans ,Cuban and the Mavericks’ ‘front office’ for that matter. Because clearly, they’re clueless as to what it takes to win an NBA title !


NB: Figures concerning the NBA values of the franchises came courtesy of Forbes Magazine .

Alan Parkins aka tophatal …………….

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Wu Tang Clan ……….”Bring The Pain”

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Model & actress   Amber  Valetta  .   Well  worth  looking  at   don't   you  think  ?   Hell   yeah  !    Well   worth   nailn'  !
Model & actress Amber Valetta . Well worth looking at don't you think ? Hell yeah ! Well worth nailn' !

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The What If Scenario ……………………

The What If Scenario ………………….

It’d appears that the Defense Department under Secretary Robert Gates is unsure whether or not the ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Policy’ as it refers to gays in the military is in need of repeal . Though the decision itself will come down to a vote within both legislative houses of the government and then will need President Barack Obama’s signature as to it still being a statute in remaining legal. Now far be it for me to suggest but a person’s sexuality as it relates to the military, shouldn’t at all have a bearing as to that person’s wish to serve their country. If they’re prepared to serve in battle and shed their blood , then it ought not to have a bearing at all. But we’re given to believe that having a person who’s gay, would hurt the morale of the military, is completely asinine. A gay person’s blood is just as red as yours or mine for that matter. And death for them is no different from anyone else who happens to die in conflict on the battlefield. This is just simply about one’s right to serve but a matter of respect and the wish to be included rather than being ostracized .

President  Barack Obama  is   seen  here  with  Defense  Secretary   Robert  Gates .   The  two   are  at  odds   with  senior members  of   the  military   and  some  conservatives   within  their   respective  political  parties as  to  whether  or  not  the  military's <strong> 'don't  ask   don't   tell  policy' </strong></em>   ought  to  be   re-enacted.     photo  appears  courtesy  of  telegraph.co.uk       copyrighted  material .....   @ all  rights  reserved
President Barack Obama is seen here with Defense Secretary Robert Gates . The two are at odds with senior members of the military and some conservatives within their respective political parties as to whether or not the military's 'don't ask don't tell policy' ought to be re-enacted. photo appears courtesy of telegraph.co.uk copyrighted material ..... @ all rights reserved

Consider this, the military is serious need of individuals with specialist skills such as linguists , in particular those who speak many of the dialects of the Far and Middle East. And given the fact that in the State Department , CIA and FBI are also in need of linguists where their specialized language needs would be in Urdu , Farsi , Pashtun , Arabic , Mandarin and Tagalog. But simply put , the neo-conservatives are scared that the perception of a homosexuals serving in the military weakens morale. Let me ask you this, once a soldier comes home in a body bag does anyone question his sexuality ?

Anti-Gay Activists Continue Protests At War Funerals MAYWOOD, IL - APRIL 19: Shirley Phelps-Roper, a member of Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas, protests across the street from the Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital April 19, 2006 in Maywood, Illinois. Members of the church are known for their protest outside military funerals but as many states have drafted laws limiting access near funerals they have begun to focus on Veteran's hospitals as a means of getting their anti-gay message heard.
Anti-Gay Activists Continue Protests At War Funerals Maywood, IL - April 19th 2009. Shirley Phelps-Roper, a member of Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas, protests across the street from the Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital April 19, 2006 in Maywood, Illinois. Members of the church are known for their protest outside military funerals but as many states have drafted laws limiting access near funerals they have begun to focus on Veteran's hospitals as a means of getting their anti-gay message heard. photo appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Scott Olson ..................

And another thing , we’ve all seen the protesters at the funerals of bereaved men and women being laid to rest and there they are these protesting that the soldiers who’ve sacrificed their lives willingly, so that they can live free. They can also be seen from time to time protesting outside of veterans’ administration facilities such as hospitals rehabilitation centers. Well , it’s their view that this is God’s will because he views homosexuality as a sin and that they’re deserving of such a fate. God knows , such individuals with that amount of hatred within them aren’t deserving of the right known as ‘freedom of speech’. It may well be an inalienable right but I’ll be damned to sit by and have these assholes desecrate the bravery of these men and women , no matter what their sexuality !

Two anti-gay  protesters   seen  here  at  a  funeral  procession  for  a  young   soldier   who's  about to  be  buried.    It's  clear  to  see  the   views   held  and  being  espoused  by  the   two  individuals   in  question.     photo  appears   courtesy of   Time  Magazine .      copyrighted  material   ........@  all  rights   reserved
Two anti-gay protesters seen here at a funeral procession for a young soldier who's about to be buried. It's clear to see the views held and being espoused by the two individuals in question. photo appears courtesy of Time Magazine . copyrighted material ........@ all rights reserved

We’ve all witnessed the controversy that has been derived from the use of illicit substances within sports. Players have simply cheated , and their respective governing bodies stood by and when it came to meting out a justifiable form of punishment. But what we’ve now seeing from the various hierarchies is simply another form of cowardice of the highest order. Instead of doing what’s right they’d rather simply save face in terms of their public image.

Now in sports would there be an open outcry if we were to have an openly gay male athlete now competing within MLB , NBA , NFL , NHL or MLS for that matter. We know that there are female competitors on the LPGA Tour and WTA Tour (women’s tennis). But we’ve yet to see an openly gay male athlete come out and declare his sexuality while still competing . Obviously, the fear of being ostracized would have something to do with it. But if the thinking is the same in the military that an athlete can’t do their job as a military serviceman or woman . Then what does it say about us as a society ?

Former NFL star Esera Tuaolo who played in the NFL for several seasons , having played for the Atlanta Falcons , Carolina Panthers Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings. The former defensive lineman and nose tackle retired from the game 2002. He declared his homosexuality after his retirement , making him only the third former NFL player behind David Kopay and Roy Simmons to have ‘come out of the closet.’ Tuaolo made it clear that one of the reasons for doing so, was in fact that he no longer wanted to ‘live a lie’ and that in doing so it’d give him a chance to educate others . Especially having seen and heard what he stated were the defamatory remarks jokes that were being made in the locker rooms and on the field .

Former  NFL  player   Esera  Tuaolo (right)    and  his  family.  His  partner  Mitchell   is  seen  to  the  left   of  the   couple's  son   Mitchell   and   daughter   Michelle .       The  family   reside  in   Hawaii    and  Tuaolo   having  retired   from  the  NFL  travels  the   county   conducting  lectures   with  regard  to  issues  such   as  HIV   ,  AIDS  and   lecturing   students   as  to  the  perceptions  of  gays  being   stereotyped  in  society.         photo  appears  courtesy of  Broadway World  ......
Former NFL player Esera Tuaolo (right) and his family. His partner Mitchell is seen to the left of the couple's son Mitchell and daughter Michelle . The family reside in Hawaii and Tuaolo having retired from the NFL travels the county conducting lectures with regard to issues such as HIV , AIDS and lecturing students as to the perceptions of gays being stereotyped in society. photo appears courtesy of Broadway World ......

Whether or not the male dominated bastioned arena can withstand a player coming out while his career is still ongoing remains to be seen . But clearly there is a great deal of fear for any male player who’s hiding their sexuality for fear of the backlash that would be forthcoming. We know that within women’s sports that situation isn’t as fearful. And if anything it’s now more common place as it’s not really frowned upon. If anything it’s embraced even more so within that sorority and the landscape of women’s sports. And there’s evidence to suggest that with the declaration made by former WNBA star Sheryl Swoopes .

Former   WNBA  star   Sheryl  Swoopes  and  her  partner  Alisia  Scott  .   The  two  women   co-share   the custody   of   Swoopes'  children  with  Sheryl's   ex-husband.    Swoopes   an   advocate   for  gay  causes  now  spends  much  of  her   time lecturing   up  and   down  the  country  as  well  as  working  in  conjunction   with   GLAAD. (Gay & Lesbian Alliance   Against  Defamation)    .  photo  appears   courtesy of   watermark / Elizabeth    Walsh ..............
Former WNBA star Sheryl Swoopes and her partner Alisia Scott . The two women co-share the custody of Swoopes' children with Sheryl's ex-husband. Swoopes an advocate for gay causes now spends much of her time lecturing up and down the country as well as working in conjunction with GLAAD. (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) . photo appears courtesy of watermark / Elizabeth Walsh ..............

Will there be a time that we’ll see a current male athlete come and declare himself to be homosexual without the fear of a backlash ? Or will we continue just continue to make it a scourge and that as such these individuals cannot and will not be tolerated within the social landscape. We’ve all seen the retribution that can be meted out in its most heinous form in the violent death of Matthew Shepard at the hands of gay bashers. And given what we’ve also seen from the protesters who’ve festooned themselves at the funerals of veterans from both Afghanistan and Iraqi conflicts. It now has me thinking if the what if scenario concerning a male athlete ‘coming out’ would at all be tolerated in this day and age ?

Alan Parkins aka tophatal 🙂

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Marvin Gaye ……….’What’s Going On’ The one song that I think that shows us how intolerant we’ve become as a specie.

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I’ve Got Many Rivers To Cross But I Can’t Seem To Find My Way Over ………. The Niners Really Do Have Problems …………….

I’ve Got Many Rivers To Cross But I Can’t Seem To Find My Way Over ………. The Niners Really Do Have Problems …………….

I’ll say this repeatedly but when it comes to the NFL there’s no doubt in my mind that the ‘two worse divisions’ are by far in a way the AFC West and NFC West . The teams there are either atrociously bad or they remain an enigma as to their inconsistency. And when measured against the other divisions within their respective conference . I think it’s pretty safe to say that the case I’m putting forth pretty much justifies itself ! I’m now stating that the San Francisco 49ers now fits nicely into that category !

Indianapolis : Head coach Mike Singletary of the San Francisco 49ers watches drills on the field during the NFL Scouting Combine presented by Under Armour at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 27, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana. photo appears courtesy  of  Getty  Images/  Matt  Boehm  .............
Indianapolis : Head coach Mike Singletary of the San Francisco 49ers watches drills on the field during the NFL Scouting Combine presented by Under Armour at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 27, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana. photo appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Matt Boehm .............

Mike Singletary as the coach of this team has tried to bring back a sense of respectability to not only the team itself but also to the organization. For the last few years the ‘Forty Niners’ have become stagnant and languid. And it certainly hasn’t helped that the front office and ownership has shown as much care for the organization as a pachyderm would acknowledge a fly sniffing at its rear end for the pungent odor of fecal matter. Denise DeBartolo York and her husband , Dr John York it would appear are more concerned about their image , appearance in high society and the social circles of San Francisco , than they would be about the NFL franchise that they own. And why not ? Considering that the team that has won 5 Superbowls has been about as relevant to the NFL over the last decade as Dennis Kucinich has been to the Democratic Party . Both he and the Forty Niners it’d appear , are simply just there , merely to be laughed at and to be admired from afar as not what to do if you want to be taken seriously. The Forty Niners’ legacy once considered to be the epitome of class around the NFL has merely become the ‘cannon fodder’ for the fans and the press alike.

Denise  DeBartolo-York  and her   husband  Dr John  York - the  owners of  the  San  Francisco   49ers  .    photo  appears   courtesy  of the  San Francisco  Chronicle /  Michael  Macor  ..................
Denise DeBartolo-York and her husband Dr John York - the owners of the San Francisco 49ers . photo appears courtesy of the San Francisco Chronicle / Michael Macor ..................

Courtesy of Associated Press & Yahoo Sports

Agent: GM McCloughan still with 49ers—for now

By Janie McCauley , AP Sports Writer

Santa Clara , Calif. (AP)—The agent for San Francisco 49ers general manager Scot McCloughan said Thursday night his client is still employed by the team— for now, anyway.

Peter Schaffer, McCloughan’s representative, told The Associated Press in a phone interview that he has “not heard any different” regarding McCloughan’s job status amid speculation he’s on his way out. The 49ers have been mum on the situation.

Niners spokesman Bob Lange told The AP by phone Thursday that he could not discuss McCloughan’s status or future with the team and gave no indication a formal announcement was imminent.

Several reports Thursday said the Niners are cutting ties with McCloughan because of personal issues. Schaffer would not discuss anything regarding McCloughan’s situation unrelated to his employment status.

“I don’t control those reports,” Schaffer said. “Every employer has every right to terminate an employee. Those are the rules. … He has not resigned and he has no plans to resign.”

AOL FanHouse reported that the move is based on a personal matter not related to team issues.

ESPN, citing anonymous sources, reported later Thursday that the 49ers are giving McCloughan an extended leave of absence and also referred to him dealing with personal issues.

McCloughan told FanHouse via text message, “I’m fine and moving forward.” The Fanhouse report said he would not elaborate.

If McCloughan departs, the timing is highly unusual for the 49ers’ top personnel executive since 2005. San Francisco has two picks in the first round of the draft, which is just five weeks away.

FanHouse’s report, which cited unnamed sources, said the decision was by mutual agreement and followed a meeting Wednesday between McCloughan, team president and CEO Jed York and several members of the 49ers’ front office.

E-mails to McCloughan and York weren’t returned.

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat first reported late Wednesday that McCloughan was considering stepping down as 49ers GM
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Click on the link to read this AP article in its entirety
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While last season Singletary did an admirable job coaching the team there was profound disappointment for the fans who had expected so much more. Candlestick Park , home to the franchise , though not yet the proverbial ghost town. It might as well have been at times, when you sometimes saw the effort being put forth by the team. Inconsistency and poorly executed plays on both sides of the ball summed up this team. It were as if nothing that Singletary’s coaching staff placed as a premium in training actually got across to the players on the roster , even on game day. And it’s hard to think that is the same franchise that had NFL greats , Hall of Fame caliber players such as Joe Montana , Steve Young, Jerry Rice , Ronnie Lott and Bob St Clair played for the team. And the architect of their greatest successes, is ‘the man’ often thought of as being the savior of the franchise , Bill Walsh .

An 8-8 season in 2009 and the frustration was there for all to see , from Singletary on down. I doubt that the players themselves were that overly concerned. But then again , who’d have known ? Internal turmoil and the ineffective play of starting quarterback Shaun Hill led to a change , where Hill was replaced the team’s former number one draft pick and Utah Utes’ player Alex Smith . And with the stupidity that went on prior to the start of the season with Michael Crabtree . One simply had to wonder whether or not there was anyone with an utter ounce of sense with Niners’ front office ? The ‘Crabtree episode’ alone, indicated that not only was the front office devoid of any common sense but so too was Singletary, himself. To effectively have the player hold the team hostage essentially showed me how poor they’d become organizationally. It seems unfortunate that with the death of Bill Walsh, who was a consultant with the team. I couldn’t have envisaged Walsh putting up with the player’s demands and that of his agent. But as I alluded to earlier when there’s no sense of urgency or direction from the owners , there’s a tendency for that to become throughout the organization.

Courtesy of NFL.com Wire Reports

Niners GM McCloughan likely losing duties in front-office reshaping

The San Francisco 49ers’ front office is undergoing change, a league source told NFL Network’s Jason La Canfora on Thursday, and general manager Scot McCloughan’s duties likely will be divided among others — at least temporarily.

Director of player personnel Trent Baalke is expected to inherit many of McCloughan’s responsibilities and could end up with the GM title, if only on an interim basis.

The 49ers are hashing out the matter internally and aren’t commenting on McCloughan’s status at this time. However, a restructuring is happening, a source told La Canfora, and the reasons are unrelated to football matters.

McCloughan’s agent, Peter Schaffer, had said that his client wouldn’t resign. But when reached Thursday, Schaffer said he had no comment on McCloughan’s status.

The timing — in the middle of free agency and with the NFL draft next month — has led to much speculation about the reasons for the change. For now, all that’s clear is the 49ers are in the process of reshaping the organization. McCloughan remains listed as the 49ers’ GM on the team’s official Web site, and no changes have been announced.

McCloughan had the final say on the 49ers’ last two drafts, but coach Mike Singletary told reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine last month that the team would make its draft-day decisions according to players’ rankings on an overall draft board, not on the gut feelings of any team executives.

The 49ers hired McCloughan in February 2005 to supervise their personnel department for Mike Nolan, a career assistant coach who was given total control of the team’s football operations by owner John York.

McCloughan was named GM in January 2008 when the 49ers gave him authority over Nolan instead of firing the coach after the 49ers’ third consecutive losing season. Nolan lasted just seven more games, and team president Jed York, the owner’s son, abruptly replaced him with Singletary during the 2008 season.

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Click on the link provided to read the NFL.com article

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Michael Crabtree, center right, the San Francisco 49ers' first-round pick in the NFL football draft, holds up his new jersey number as he stands with 49ers coach Mike Singletary, center left, general manager Scot McCloughan, left, and president Jed York, right, during a news conference in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, April 26, 2009. Crabtree is a wide receiver from Texas Tech. photo  appears  courtesy  of   Associated  Press/ Paul   Sakuma  ................
Michael Crabtree, center right, the San Francisco 49ers' first-round pick in the NFL football draft, holds up his new jersey number as he stands with 49ers coach Mike Singletary, center left, general manager Scot McCloughan, left, and president Jed York, right, during a news conference in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, April 26, 2009. Crabtree is a wide receiver from Texas Tech. photo appears courtesy of Associated Press/ Paul Sakuma ................

Now with the NFL Draft just around the corner. It appears that the franchise will be cutting ties with its GM Scott McCloughan . Timing is everything we know but this is simply asinine. But we are led to believe that McCloughan is leaving the organization for personal reasons. Other sources report that the ownership isn’t entirely happy with McCloughan’s handling of certain personnel issues. Well isn’t this what we’d all like to see within an NFL franchise ? Sheer and utter incompetency from the top on down ! Is there anyone there with an ounce of common sense at least ?

Alex  Smith the  San  Francisco  49ers   starting  quarterback  sits  on  the  sidelines  during  an  NFL game  having  sustained   a leg   injury.  photo  appears courtesy  of   Cary  Edmondson /US Presswire  .........................
Alex Smith the San Francisco 49ers starting quarterback sits on the sidelines during an NFL game having sustained a leg injury. photo appears courtesy of Cary Edmondson /US Presswire .........................

To to my mind, if the Niners want to implode at least do it in such a way that the fans are left paying for the mistakes made. Now all the Niners’ fans have got to be wondering what the hell is going on and whether or not the Yorks actually care about what’s happening at present ? Can we get someone in there who actually knows how to run an NFL franchise from the top on down ? Better yet , how about a damn change in the ownership as far as the Niners are concerned ? It’s not as if Denise DeBartolo-York and her husband John York have been proud custodians of the franchise as its owner. They simply treat the franchise as a bauble to be shown off to their friends and acquaintances. I’d dare say that Bill Walsh must now be spinning in his grave , quite possibly knowing that the franchise that he turned into an NFL powerhouse , has now become nothing more than a stop gap makeshift graveyard for the careers of players who might otherwise be doing something elsewhere or perhaps be either be a backup or on the practice squad on another franchise around the league. Let’s put it this way , there’s not a actually player on the roster who you’d genuinely think of as a game breaker , play-maker and who’d be the ‘legitimate desire’ of another franchise in the NFL, as an ‘out and out starter’ during the regular season. Come on now, think about it ? Maybe Frank Gore or Takeo Spikes ? Clock is ticking ?

The evidence there now for all to see that while the Yorks are presiding over the franchise as its owners. Things are regrettably going to get a great deal worse rather than better for the San Francisco 49ers. As the title of the piece would suggest ” ………..I’ve Got Many Rivers To Cross But I Can’t Seem To Find My Way Over ………. The Niners Really Do Have Problems ”

Alan Parkins aka tophatal ………………………

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Jimmy Cliff sings his international classic hit ‘Many Rivers To Cross’

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Natalie  Martinez  ...........
Actress & model Natalie Martinez ........ Who wouldn't want to get ahold of her rims ? I know I would !

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Reasons To Be Thankful You Don’t Have Lenny Dysktra Offering You Financial Advice ……………… The Count & Oscar The Grouch Would’ve Proven To Be Far More Successful ……….. Learn To Count ……….

Reasons To Be Thankful You Don’t Have Lenny Dysktra Offering You Financial Advice ……………… The Count & Oscar The Grouch Would’ve Proven To Be Far More Successful ……….. Learn To Count ……….


Two of ‘Seasame Street’s’ most famous characters ‘The Count’ & Oscar The Grouch’

When I first read this story within Yahoo Sports I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it all. Suffice to say that whenever I now read about an athlete having lost a fortune. I can’t help but wonder what the hell was going on in their lives at the time ?

Former major league star Lenny Dykstra is suing commercial bank J P Morgan Chase for $100 million . The former Mets and Phillies’ star is claiming that the bank reneged on the refinancing of a loan that was promised at the time to he and his ex-wife . They had purchased the former home of NHL great Wayne Gretzky . The property in Thousand Oaks, California , was purchased in 2007 and for $17.4 million .

Courtesy of Associated Press & Yahoo Sports

Lenny Dykstra sues over property deal gone bad

NEW YORK (AP)—Former Mets and Phillies star Lenny Dykstra has sued JP Morgan Chase & Co. Inc. for $100 million, saying he didn’t get the loan he needed when he bought hockey great Wayne Gretzky’s California home.

Dykstra brought the lawsuit in federal court in Manhattan on Wednesday over the property dispute. The lawsuit said he and his wife bought the property in Thousand Oaks, Calif., in March 2007 for $17.4 million but the bank reneged on a pledge to refinance. At the time, Dykstra was writing financial advice columns online.

Dykstra filed for bankruptcy protection in July, saying he owed more than $31 million and had about $50,000 in assets.

Chase spokesman Tom Kelly declined to comment.

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Now at the time , Dykstra , himself allegedly something of a financial guru was offering advice online to to the public. If you don’t consider this all to be comical , then I for one can assure you that it is ! How the hell can it not be ? The player claims that he was also duped by the bank into signing the documents pertaining to not only the purchase of the property but also with regard to the proposed refinancing. Now don’t get me wrong , having worked in the financial field and when dealing with a customer. I always asked them before anything was signed , that they read the document in full and if there’s anything that they simply do not understand then I’ll answer any questions that they might have at the time. Or take time to consider and consult with someone who can give them some much needed advice. Clearly, either Dykstra understood the contents of what he must’ve willingly signed at the time or as he claims he was duped . From my own point of view I believe it to be wishful thinking on the player’s part that he was coerced into signing the documents. And if there had been any doubt in his mind at the time, why didn’t he first consult with an attorney who specializes in property law ? Call me naive but a for a guy who claims to be proffering advice to the public Lenny Dykstra does across as being extraordinarily dumb , to say the very least ! What’s your impression on this matter thus far ?

Known as "Nails" for his tough-minded approach to baseball, Dykstra, 45, helped the New York Mets capture the 1986 World Series. After retiring, the speedy lead-off hitter did not slow down as he dashed into the business world. After opening several car washes, Dykstra has taken his business acumen to Wall Street, writing a regular column for TheStreet.com.  The  player  seen  here  was  attending the  Mandarin  Hotel   for  the  launch  of  the  Players  Club  Magazine.   photo   appears courtesy of  Getty  Images/  Amy  Sussman  ......


Dykstra seen here attending a formal function at the Mandarin Hotel for the launch of the Players Club Magazine. The player , 45 helped the New York Mets to capture the 1986 World Series. After retiring , the speed off hitter did not slow down as he dashed into the business world. After opening several car washes , Dykstra took his acumen to Wall St, writing a regular column for the The Street.com . Those businesses have since become insolvent as they player filed for bankruptcy in 2009 , declaring assets of a mere $50,000 and liability and debts in excess of $50 million. photo appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Amy Sussman …………….

To make matters worse the player declared bankruptcy in mid 2009 , claiming assets of just $50,000 but having debts totaling in excess of $30 million . And this was a guy offering financial advice online to the public ? What sort of standards do they actually have for professionals who work within the financial field within the state of California ? This is laughable ! Is it any wonder the state itself is on the verge of bankruptcy ? What with Dykstra, the California State Legislature and a governor in Arnold Schwarzenegger , who possesses about as much business acumen as a gnat ! The economic future of the state at present doesn’t at all look bright.

Courtesy of The New York Daily News


Ex-Met Lenny Dykstra claims he was hoodwinked into taking out $20M in loans he couldn’t afford

By Alison Gendar , Daily News Staff Writer

Lenny Dykstra just keeps striking out.

The ex-Met filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday claiming he was hoodwinked into signing up for more than $20 million in loans he couldn’t afford to buy a massive estate.

It’s the latest in a growing string of legal troubles for the outfielder that includes bankruptcy, divorce and other suits.

It started in 2007 when the 1986 hero wanted to buy hockey great Wayne Gretzsky’s Thousand Oaks, Calif., home for $17.2 million.

He contends a loan rep at WaMu promised a $17.5 million loan, then scaled it back to $12 million – but told Dykstra he could still buy the home if he signed up for an $8.5 million piggyback loan with another bank, First Credit.

The smaller loan was to be secured by property Dykstra owned in Simi Valley and $3 million of it would pay off debt on that property, the suit says.

Dykstra said he agreed to the deal even though the loans plus taxes would run to $135,000 – more than the $125,000 he made a month.

The WaMu rep allegedly told him not to worry, saying the package would be refinanced 60 days after the house closing.

But it wasn’t – and Dykstra claims he had to sell income-earning promissory notes from the sale of his car-wash business to pay off First Credit’s $8.5 million loan for a total loss of $100 million.

WaMu crashed in the financial meltdown and was acquired by JPMorgan Chase, which was named in the suit filed in Manhattan Federal Court.

Calls to the bank and Dykstra’s lawyer were not returned.

Dykstra filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last year in California. His wife is suing him for divorce and his mansion is in foreclosure.

Lenny   Dykstra  with his ex-wife Terri and son  Cutter  ,  seen  here  attending  the  launch  of   The  Players  Club  Magazine  in  early   2008.   photo appears courtesy  of   Getty Images/  Amy Sussman  ...............
Lenny Dykstra with his ex-wife Terri and their son Cutter , seen here attending the launch of The Players Club Magazine in early 2008. photo appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Amy Sussman ...............

Now having never seen the former outfielder play , I can only assume that he was something of a hero with the fans as well as his former teammates. And I’d assume that the had to have had some ‘pop’ in his bat ? But apparently not , because if his career stats and strikeouts were anything to go by, then this is the norm for the former player. Unfortunately, Dykstra now has the wrath of an ex-wife to deal with, as she is also suing for failure to pay alimony . He has the the dubious pleasure of being one the names now listed in the Mitchell Report. But then again would anyone at be surprised , given his on and off the field , his reputation for running afoul of the law and his now severe financial situation ? Lenny Dykstra obviously liked to live life to the fullest with all of the excesses expected to fulfill his idea to feel wanted and to be noticed. Dykstra will now be noticed for all of the wrong reasons when it comes to the excesses and the failures of an athlete who professes to know more than they’d really care to acknowledge. What might be now even more startling along with the apparent business ventures that were initially something of a success , they all came crashing down around his ears. Merely because he wasn’t always to judicious when it came to the details. And clearly there’s a case here to be made that the advice that he may well have been offering to others wasn’t about creating success or wealth but finding the road to preceding danger and failure.

After-all, he’s now trying to apportion blame elsewhere because of his own inane stupidity and an unwillingness to be held accountable for his own actions. Dykstra could well have taken a leaf out of the book of Sesame Street characters’ The Count and Oscar The Grouch and just learn to count ‘….1, 2 and 3’ .

Alan Parkins aka tophatal ……………… 🙂

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Oh mon ami ! she possibly can ! Je t'aime !
Oh mon amie ! Je t'aime !

Cuban American actress & model Natalie Martinez.
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Call ’em Out Or Call ’em Off ! The NCAA Continues To Be Just One Big Joke !

Call ’em Out Or Call ’em Off ! The NCAA Continues To Be Just One Big Joke !

I was always under the impression that one of the primary reasons and purposes of the NCAA was to oversee collegiate athletics. And also to be of benefit to the student athletes and to safeguard their interests and to make that sports at the collegiate available to all scholastic eligible student athlete. Somehow one equation that the NCAA is now hiding behind and not making available whole to the public is that of the graduation rates of the athletes in a number of programs, the different sports and from specific educational establishments. But yet the NCAA is able to avail itself indirect public funding from the federal government as well as its exempt status courtesy of the US Congress and Senate . Unfortunately what the NCAA’s mission statement sets out and what it practices are two different things completely !

Ed (13), a senior power forward, and brother Charles (31), a sophomore small forward, comprised two-fifths of the starting lineup for the UCLA team which won the 1995 NCAA men\’s basketball tournament. Known for their trademark shaved heads and explosive style of play, the O\’Bannon brothers have been credited with returning UCLA basketball to national relevance during the mid-\’90s. photo appears courtesy of Reuters / Dick Baldwin ……………

The entity itself is conducted as a private corporate enterprise but maintains its tax exempt status as a charitable organization. At the same time many of its perverse practices denies the student athlete the chance to actually part-take of earning a living in order to cover their costs while undertaking their education. But at the same time the NCAA itself and the educational establishments themselves are allowed to make tens of millions of dollars by using the likeness of the athletes in order to benefit themselves as an organization. We’re told that this is all done to benefit the student athlete . But in reality is there any tangible evidence to show that this is the case ?

Courtesy of Associated Press & ESPN

Suit over likenesses gains more names

San Francisco — Former college basketball players spanning many eras have joined a lawsuit filed by ex-UCLA star Ed O’Bannon against the NCAA for profiting from the use of their images without permission.

In an amended complaint filed in U.S. District Court on Wednesday, four players involved in the 1966 national championship game that pitted a Texas Western team with five black starters against an all-white Kentucky team joined in the suit.

Those players include Harry Flournoy, who was team captain for Texas Western, which is now UTEP, which beat the 1966 Kentucky squad in a game now seen as a driving force in the integration of college sports. The game was also documented in the 2006 movie “Glory Road.”

Texas Western teammate David Lattin and 1966 Kentucky players Thad Jaracz and Bob Tallent also joined the suit as plaintiffs.

The lawsuit states “during broadcasts of the yearly NCAA tournament, the NCAA has run commercials … featuring the Texas Western team. The NCAA also prominently features the 1966 Texas Western team … in connection with products for sale.”

NCAA spokesman Erik Christianson says the allegations are false and that the NCAA does not license student-athlete likenesses or prevent former players from attempting to do so.

“The plaintiffs’ claim that the NCAA violates antitrust laws because it somehow prevents former student-athletes from capitalizing on their collegiate images or likenesses is fiction,” Christianson said in an e-mail.

The lawsuit also alleges video game maker Electronic Arts Inc., and NCAA partner Collegiate Licensing Co. also unlawfully profited from player images without compensating the athletes.

Players from other famous games and teams who also joined the suit include Alex Gilbert, who played on the same Indiana State team as Larry Bird in the notable 1979 championship game won by Earvin “Magic” Johnson’s Michigan State squad.

Eric Riley, a member of the University of Michigan’s “Fab Five” teams in the early 1990s is also a plaintiff in the suit, as are a number of former college football players including ex-University of Nebraska and Arizona State University quarterback Samuel Keller.

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Currently within the US Federal Court System there’s a lawsuit that has been filed by ex UCLA Bruins’ basketball player Ed O’Bannon . He has since been joined by a number of ex NCAA athletes that’ve jointly signed unto the suit challenging the NCAA’s use of their likeness. The premise behind the lawsuit is that the NCAA violates antitrust laws that prevents the student athlete from capitalizing on the use of their likeness. Also joint defendants in the case are Electronic Arts Inc and Collegiate Licensing Co (the licensing arm of the NCAA ). There are those who view this as a way to make the NCAA transparent as to many of its dealings pertaining to the student athletes and the monies derived from their using of their image. There’s no denying that over the years the NCAA has derived billions of dollars by the use of the student athlete’s image. And one might make the claim that the NCAA has been judicious in using revenue to the benefit of collegiate athletics. But there’s no way to truly know how much of that money is actually reinvested into college sports and how much of it actually finds its way into the pockets of the board and faculty members around collegiate academia . If as such as is the case where the monies are being used for the benefit of collegiate sports and that of the various collegiate establishments and their programs. Then let the NCAA be completely transparent by opening up its books for public scrutiny.

Instead a great deal of the time the NCAA would rather punish with impunity any athlete who violates their rules . Even if it is any many cases just a minor transgression. If an athlete should be deemed as having some financial benefit from having worked off campus and has earned a salary. They are viewed as having violated on the NCAA’s most stringent and draconian rules. But never let it be said that the NCAA can’t go out and use the likeness of athletes such as Tim Tebow, Sam Bradford , Colt McCoy , Evan Turner , John Wall , Trevon Hughes , Sherron Collins , Maya Moore or Tina Charles for their own benefit. The NCAA would have you believe that what they’re doing is completely above board. And they’d be right if it wasn’t for the fact that this borders on being tantamount to enslavement. There are those who’d say that the reciprocal benefit to the athlete is an education. But that doesn’t equate with how the NCAA conducts itself and how it enacts its bye laws. They profit financially from using a student athlete’s likeness. But if that athlete were to go into business for themselves while still in school and use their likeness as a commercial enterprise as it relates to their sport . Then they’d run afoul of NCAA rules. How asinine is that to begin with ?

Education Secretary   Arne  Duncan  seen  here  alongside   President  Barack  Obama,  having  just publicly   accepted   being  nominated  for the   position  .   photo  appears  courtesy  of  Associated  Press/  Rick    Fuller  ..............
Education Secretary Arne Duncan seen here alongside President Barack Obama, having just publicly accepted being nominated for the position . photo appears courtesy of Associated Press/ Rick Fuller ..............

Education Secretary Arne Duncan , a keen basketball fan, much like President Barack Obama , has some very interesting opinions and observations concerning the participants in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament and how they’re made eligible for competition. His views make a great deal of sense but would run counter to how the conferences set about the qualifying standards for their respective schools. Conferences tournaments through knockout competition and then an empaneled group gets together to discuss the merits of the 34 at large bids that are then offered to make up the field of sixty five, with a play in game for the final entrant’s bid. Seems equitable enough doesn’t it ? However, what Education Secretary Arne Duncan would like to see is the participants entered based on graduation rates. As to how that would fly not only with the NCAA , the schools and conferences . Well , I’ll let you be the judge of that .

Arne  Duncan

Education Secretary Arne Duncan seen here addressing the convened press having just formally accepted the position as the nation\’s highest education officer. photo appears courtesy of Associated Press/ Travis Rourke …….

Courtesy of USA Today

Education Secretary Duncan: Ban NCAA teams with low grad rates

By Erik Brady , USA Today

Washington , D.C. — If U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan had his way, a dozen of the teams in the men’s NCAA basketball tournament would not be eligible to play in it, including top-seeded Kentucky.

Duncan proposes teams with graduation rates of less than 40% be banned from postseason play.

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“That’s a low bar,” Duncan said Tuesday. “If you can’t graduate two out of five of your student-athletes, how serious are you about the academic part of your mission?”

The schools that have men’s basketball teams with graduation rates of less than 40% are Arkansas-Pine Bluff (29%), Baylor (36%), California (20%), Clemson (37%), Georgia Tech (38%), Kentucky (31%), Louisville (38%), Maryland (8%), Missouri (36%), New Mexico State (36%), Tennessee (30%) and Washington (29%).

Those figures come from NCAA rates compiled by The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at Central Florida. They do not include transfers or players who leave early for the NBA. They do not reflect athletes who will play in the tourney, as they include the most recent four-year classes that have had six years to graduate.

Duncan will participate in a teleconference today with the study’s primary author, Richard Lapchick.

The Department of Education cannot impose a 40% solution on NCAA schools, but Duncan said he would use his office to advocate for reform.

“Why do we tolerate the bad apples … when the vast majority are doing things well?” he said. “Everybody sees it. It’s out in the open. … And somehow things don’t change.”

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Click the headlined link to read this article in its entirety
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Though the Department of Education doesn’t have the power to enforce a rule concerning the competition and how the NCAA accepts the entrants for the men’s and women’s tournament. The very thought that such a proposal could be elicited and gain a wide view of acceptance where a 40 % minimum graduation rate would be deemed as the entrance level for the NCCA tournament would probably send shivers up down the spines of the coaches and athletics directors up and down the country. I’d dare say that it’d force the academic advisers and compliance officers and their subordinates to actually do their jobs more judiciously , with more veracity and most certainly with a great deal more transparency than we’re led to believe that now takes place. Can you imagine what that would actually force John Calipari to do ? Better yet don’t think about it because that was the same thing that led to both Memphis and U Mass to have sanctions enforced upon them by the NCAA. But yet Calipari , himself , was untouched by the scandal , even though he was the central figure in both cases.

It certainly makes you wonder if the cat was set amongst the pigeons how many schools would actually meet the criteria if entrance to the national championship events such as collegiate football, basketball, baseball , lacrosse , track & field and even soccer were to adopt such a policy where entrance were based upon the graduation level within the athletics’ programs and that level were at a base of 40 %. Does anyone think that a number of the entrants at both the mens and womens at this year’s national championships would actually meet that criteria ? It’s bad enough that some of the entrants at this year’s men’s tournament even fail that proposed minimum level. Schools such as Louisville , Baylor , Clemson , Maryland , Tennessee and Washington would all fail to meet that minimum entrance level. It makes you wonder what the kids are learning and why it is that there’s nothing at all being done by the NCAA to actual monitor athletic program’s graduation rate levels more judiciously.

With the NCAA still without a sitting President to preside over the body , after the death of Myles Brand . It is now essentially devoid of leadership while their search committee looks for a new leader to take over as President. Though for now , James L Isch is the Interim-President . Makes one wonder who does look after the hen-house while the rooster is away ? The more one takes to viewing the NCAA seriously, is actually the more you tend to view it as a particularly corrupt but yet extremely powerful organization. It even has member of both Federal legislative houses at its beck and call to do its bidding. That’s power that is extremely corrupt , most definitely dangerous. But yet they’re entrusted to oversee collegiate athletics. There’s something drastically wrong with this picture. And not even the US Congress or Senate is prepared to do a damn thing about it. I wonder why ? Could it be that they’re far to scared to upset the ‘gravy train’ that comes their way by way of assistance, courtesy of the NCAA ? Every sporting body has its lobbyists up on K Street. But perhaps , none is as powerful as the lobbyists that are in the employ of the NCAA. Just simply look out for the supporters of the body and you can very well see the power that they derive within Washington, D.C.

Alan Parkins aka tophatal …………………..

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50 cent ……… ‘I Get Money’ This may well be the ‘one song’ that completely embodies what the NCAA is actually all about ! .

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A Wasteland Of Despair And Ineptitude …………..

A Wasteland Of Despair And Ineptitude …………..

There was a time when I use to think that the ‘majority’ of the ‘really bad teams’ that resided in the NBA were in fact, in the Eastern Conference . Now I’m not quite so sure , based on last night’s performance by the Western Conference’s Minnesota Timberwolves. We can all attest to the fact that the New Jersey Nets are ‘woefully inept’ and that their impending full season record may well lead to an all-time low in the depths of mediocrity when it comes to the NBA But even the Nets haven’t given up an astounding 152 points in a regular season game.

 Jonny Flynn (10) of the Minnesota Timberwolves drives to the basket against Robin Lopez (15) of the Phoenix Suns during the NBA game at US Airways Center on March 16, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the Timberwolves 152-114.   photo appears  courtesy  of  Getty  Images/  Christian  Petersen ....
Jonny Flynn (10) of the Minnesota Timberwolves drives to the basket against Robin Lopez (15) of the Phoenix Suns during the NBA game at US Airways Center on March 16, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the Timberwolves 152-114. photo appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Christian Petersen ....

The claim can be made that this might well have been the worse performance by any NBA franchise this season defensively, as the Timberwolves allowed the Phoenix Suns to amass 152 points against them in a ’38 point’ blowout loss 152-114 . The total amassed by the Suns was a league and it was the highest points total given up by the Timberwolves in a loss over the last decade.

Leandro Barbosa (10) of the Phoenix Suns drives against Jonny Flinn (10) of the Minnesota Timberwolves in an NBA Game played on March 16, 2010 at U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona.  photo appears   courtesy of NBAE/Getty  Images/  Paul  Molumby  ..............
Leandro Barbosa (10) of the Phoenix Suns drives against Jonny Flinn (10) of the Minnesota Timberwolves in an NBA Game played on March 16, 2010 at U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona. photo appears courtesy of NBAE/Getty Images/ Paul Molumby ..............

Courtesy of Associated Press & Yahoo Sports

Sharpshooting Suns rout reeling Minnesota 152-114

By Bob Baum , AP Sports Writer

Phoenix (AP)—It’s an NBA law of physics: Put the highest-scoring team in the league against arguably the worst defense and watch the scoreboard light up like the Fourth of July.

Jason Richardson scored 27 points and Amare Stoudemire 25, then sat with the rest of the Phoenix starters while the Suns’ reserves finished off a 152-114 rout of Minnesota on Monday night in the highest-scoring game by an NBA team this season.

Lou Amundson matched his career high with 20 points as Phoenix sent the Timberwolves to their 10th straight loss and 16th in the last 17 games.

The Suns, with eight players in double figures, shot 56 percent from the field and 15 of 31 from 3-point range to win their ninth in 12 games.

“We’re just trying to gear up for the last 15 games,” Phoenix coach Alvin Gentry said, “have a pace that we’re comfortable with.”

Corey Brewer scored 21 for the Timberwolves, who set a franchise record for most points allowed in a game.

“Well, that’s certainly what happens when you don’t play any defense,” Timberwolves coach Kurt Rambis said.

Phoenix pulled alone into sixth place in the tight scramble for playoff positioning in the West. The Suns trail No. 5 Oklahoma City by a half-game and No. 4 Utah by 1 1/2 games. It was a perfect night to rest the starters in preparation for Friday night’s home game against the Jazz.

“And you know that will be a physical game,” Gentry said.

This one certainly wasn’t.

“It was a lot of fun,” Stoudemire said. “It was so much fun when the starters were able to rest there in the fourth. We’ll take that.”

Richardson, who scored 15 in the first quarter, matched his season high with six 3-pointers. Steve Nash(notes) had 13 points and 14 assists, nine of them in the opening period.

The game matched two of the bottom three teams in terms of points allowed this season. The difference was the Suns have a lot more scorers than woeful Minnesota does.

“We weren’t making that effort. They were playing a lot harder than we were,” Rambis said. “With a team that is in synch the way that they’re in, they understand how to move the basketball, the know where their options and their outlet passes are. They’re just too good.”

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Goran Dragic (2) of the Phoenix Suns drives for a shot past Ryan Hollins (1) of the Minnesota Timberwolves in an NBA Game played on March 16, 2010 at U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona. photo appears  courtesy of  NBAE/ Getty  Images/  Barry  Gossage  ......................
Goran Dragic (2) of the Phoenix Suns drives for a shot past Ryan Hollins (1) of the Minnesota Timberwolves in an NBA Game played on March 16, 2010 at U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona. photo appears courtesy of NBAE/ Getty Images/ Barry Gossage ......................

For Timberwolves’ coach Kurt Rambis , he must be now wondering whether or not he wouldn’t have been better off remaining a part of Phil Jackson’s coaching staff with the Los Angeles Lakers ? Because based on last night’s evidence, this T’wolves’ team is in need of a great deal of coaching and discipline on both ends of the floor. GM Dave Kahn and team owner Glen Taylor had to have been shell-shocked from seeing their team being dismantled and completely bombarded by a Suns’ team , where all of their starters scored double figures. The Suns were led in scoring by Jason Richardson with 27 points and he was ably assisted by Amare’ Stoudemire who scored 25 points , to go along with the his usual customary defense. That asides, about the only thing that the T’wolves had going for them was the fact that the margin of victory wasn’t indeed greater. Other than the play of Corey Brewer and Ryan Gomes , there wasn’t much positive that the Minnesota Timberwolves could take away from this loss on the Suns’ homecourt at the US Airways Arena (Center) in downtown Phoenix.

Currently with a 14-54 mark, the Timberwolves have ‘the worse record’ in the Western Conference and are only marginally worse off than the Golden State Warriors who maintains a 5 game advantage over the T’wolves , with a 18-48 mark. Though it is nowhere near the abysmal total now set by New Jersey Nets and their record of 7-60 . It is easy to understand why ‘these two teams’ are now fighting for the ignominy of not ending up with the worse record in the NBA at the end of the regular season. OK, so there may well be light at the end of the tunnel in the fact one of these two teams will end up with the number one pick in the NBA Draft , dependent upon their chances in the lottery. But if the consensus is that two players coming out of that draft may well be Evan Turner of Ohio State and John Wall of Kentucky . Then things could very well be looking up for both teams in the future. Do you think that either of the team’s GM’s Dave Kahn and his Nets’ counterparts Rod Thorn , President of Basketball Operations and GM Alex Diaz will seek to ‘curry favor’ with David Stern , prior to the draft, in order to obtain a favorable showing in the NBA Draft lottery ?

 Head coach Kurt Rambis of the Minnesota Timberwolves reacts during the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on March 16, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona. photo  appears courtesy  of  Getty  Images/  Christian  Petersen ...........
Head coach Kurt Rambis of the Minnesota Timberwolves reacts during the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on March 16, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona. photo appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Christian Petersen ...........

The Nets may also have bigger aspirations, as they no doubt seek to be a part of the LeBron James sweepstakes at the end of the season, should the Cavaliers’ player indeed make his wishes known as to ‘his’ impending free agency status. But much of that may well be based on the Cleveland Cavaliers’ postseason showing. A trip to the NBA Finals and a Cavaliers’ triumph , pretty much to puts to rest any thoughts of James leaving the franchise. A defeat however, and he may well seek to play in the Big Apple, in Brooklyn, the soon to be, new home of a relocated Nets franchise .

For the Timberwolves’ organization the only direction is up . But a great deal of work now needs to be done by the front office and in particular by Rambis’ and his coaching staff . They possess some good young players but in large part there’s no veteran presence or leadership. So in essence it’s left to Brewer , Al Jefferson , rookies Jonny Flynn and Wayne Ellington to lead this team back to some semblance of respectability.

T'wolves' GM David Kahn (foreground)and the team's owner Glen Taylor (left) answer questions from the convened press at a team press conference. picture appears courtesy of espn.com/ ap/photo/ Martin Geshell ...................
T'wolves' GM David Kahn (foreground)and the team's owner Glen Taylor (left) answer questions from the convened press at a team press conference. picture appears courtesy of espn.com/ ap/photo/ Martin Geshell ...................

This is something that has to happen if the franchise is to have any goodwill with the remaining supporters there in the city. If there’s continued failure, then the fans will drift away in their support of ‘the team’ and the Timberwolves’ organization as a whole. And that’s going to be a formidable task if the team doesn’t avail itself of a top flight draftee in the 2010 NBA Draft. So it’s pretty much safe to say that the current wasteland of despair and ineptitude could either be a short run thing for the Timberwolves or it could end up being the norm for the foreseeable future. The same can be said of the fate for the New Jersey Nets also.

What are your thoughts on the matter ?

Alan Parkins aka tophatal ………

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Naureen  Zaim .  Who  wouldn't   mind  teaching   her  a  lesson  or   two  on   human  biology  ?
Model & Playboy playmate Naureen Zaim . Who wouldn't mind teaching her a lesson or two on human anatomy ?

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Bone Thugs N Harmony ………..”Crossroads”

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50,000 People Can’t Be Wrong Can They ? Another Reason You’ve Been Hoodwinked & Conned …….. Does Anyone Not Believe That Bob Arum Is A Con Artist ?

50,000 People Can’t Be Wrong Can They ? Another Reason You’ve Been Hoodwinked & Conned ….. ….Does Anyone Not Believe That Bob Arum Is A Con Artist ?

On Saturday night Manny Pacquaio (51-3-2) defended his WBO welterweight title against journeyman , Joshua Clottey (35-4-0-1,NC) of Ghana. Now far be it for me to suggest that this was a dull fight. But I’ve found greater excitement in watching paint dry, seeing a scantly clad Rosie O’Donnell act sexually provocative. Anyone who derived pleasure from seeing Pacquiao essentially club an unwilling opponent in front of 50,000 plus people at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington , Texas. Well , they either had to be completely inebriated or just had nothing better to do on the night. And for 12 utterly boring rounds the paying fans had to put up with this diatribe. Never mind the fact that the fight’s promoter Bob Arum was trying to pass the event of , as an all-out success . By whose standards ?

Manny Pacquiao, right, of the Philippines, hits Joshua Clottey, from Ghana, during their WBO boxing welterweight title fight in Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, Saturday, March 13, 2010. photo appears  courtesy  of  Associated  Press  / David J Phillip ..............
Manny Pacquiao, right, of the Philippines, hits Joshua Clottey, from Ghana, during their WBO boxing welterweight title fight in Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, Saturday, March 13, 2010. photo appears courtesy of Associated Press / David J Phillip ..............

Now we can subscribed to the fact that Pacquiao may well be one of the best fighters of his generation . Without a doubt that is undeniable and we can attest to the fact that the fighter can only fight the opponent that’s placed in front of him. But for the entire 12 rounds Clottey essentially just stood there and allowed Pacquaio to hit him at will. Now far be it for me to suggest but in all honesty Manny should’ve been able to knock Clottey out , with the barrage of punches he landed. But for some reason he was unable to do so. Either from the fact that he may well have been told by Arum to make the fight lengthy or from the fact that Manny , himself , just wasn’t into the fight and nor was he up to the wish of knocking out a less than receptive Joshua Clottey. For the fans who attended in support of the Filipino fighter , they had to have been tremendously disappointed. Through no fault of his own Manny Pacquiao was once again embarrassed by his promoter, Bob Arum. The champion successfully defended his belt with a unanimous 12 round verdict.

Arlington , Tx  (R-L) Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines throws a left to the body of Joshua Clottey of Ghana during the WBO welterweight title fight at Cowboys Stadium on March 13, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. Pacquiao defeated Clottey by unanimous decision. photo  appears  courtesy of  Getty Images/ Tom Pennington .............
Arlington , Tx (R-L) Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines throws a left to the body of Joshua Clottey of Ghana during the WBO welterweight title fight at Cowboys Stadium on March 13, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. Pacquiao defeated Clottey by unanimous decision. photo appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Tom Pennington .............

The event itself , can’t have been helped by the very fact that the undercard itself , left a lot to be desired by the talent that was allegedly on display. Never mind the fact , that the event was screened via PPV and fans were being asked to pay on average between $39-95 to $44-95 dependent upon your cable subscriber , to view this garbage ! Both fighters did very well financially from the bout, with the champion being paid $12.5 million for the defense of his title and the challenger receiving $1.25 million . Now that figure could very well rise, dependent upon the number of paid subscribers for the fight. But who knows what that figure will be and whether or not Arum will make the figure public ? Given the fact that the event in terms of real entertainment, was nowhere near the success he made it out to be.

Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines throws a right to the body of Joshua Clottey of Ghana during the WBO welterweight title fight at Cowboys Stadium on March 13, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. Pacquiao defeated Clottey by unanimous decision.  photo  appears  courtesy of  Getty  Images/ Jed  Jacobsohn ......
Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines throws a right to the body of Joshua Clottey of Ghana during the WBO welterweight title fight at Cowboys Stadium on March 13, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. Pacquiao defeated Clottey by unanimous decision. photo appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Jed Jacobsohn ......

We know that Pacquiao and Arum feel aggrieved the proposed bout between Manny and Floyd Maywearther Jr fell through. But had calmer heads prevailed. Instead of the contrived nonsense that took place between the two rival camps. Then perhaps, the fight fans would have been witnessing history being made instead of the diabolical con job perpetrated on the public this past Saturday night. Now there may well be fans out there who’ll take the opposite view from myself , as to the evidence of the events of Saturday night. But in reality what has this really done for Manny Pacquiao ? Other than to pad out his stats and add to his bank balance ? If Arum really wanted to create a much better spectacle for the fans in attendance. Then why in hell didn’t he seek out a far more credible opponent for Manny Pacquiao to fight ? If Arum and the WBO are suggesting that Clottey as their mandatory ranked number one challenger was the best that the division had to offer . Then there must have scraped the bottom of the barrel to come up with this bout. It had about as much credibility to it as Sarah Palin’s nomination as John McCain’s Vice Presidential running mate in the Presidential election of 2008. And we all now know how that debacle ended up for the Republicans don’t we ?

 Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines throws a left to the head of Joshua Clottey of Ghana during the WBO welterweight title fight at Cowboys Stadium on March 13, 2010 in Arlington, Texas.  The  view  from the  giant  jumbotron  as   viewed  by  the  fans  in attendance. photo appears courtesy of  Getty  Images/  Jed  Jacobsohn  ..........
Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines throws a left to the head of Joshua Clottey of Ghana during the WBO welterweight title fight at Cowboys Stadium on March 13, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. The view from the giant jumbotron as viewed by the fans in attendance. photo appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Jed Jacobsohn ..........

The real problem within the sport of boxing is that it has now become divided not only along political lines but also demarcation lines between the sport’s two biggest promoters in Bob Arum and Don King . And the international governing bodies are forced to align themselves with who they best feel serves their needs. The scraps or morsels that are left as divided as spoils amongst the other promoters. One can well understand the reason why many now the view sport as being on its last legs and close to extinction . And both Arum and King deny that the sport is on the decline ? Many of the boxers know full well that their sport is on the decline as they’ve seen the rise in popularity of MMA (mixed martial arts) under the umbrella organization of UFC . If Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions Inc is cognitive of that fact and is now jointly cross-promoting ‘MMA bouts’ alongside boxing events as a of way of enticing more fans to many of his own promotions . Then you obviously know that there’s something acutely wrong within the sport. But the opposite view , is taken by the elderly veteran promoters Bob Arum and Don King. And when one considers the stranglehold that the two have on the sport, is it any wonder its popularity continues to wane ? The two have done more to harm the sport than they have to benefit it. But yet they’re seemingly treated as grand pubahs and potentates within the sport.

Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines celebrates in the ring after defeating Joshua Clottey of Ghana during the WBO welterweight title fight at Cowboys Stadium on March 13, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. Pacquiao defeated Clottey by unanimous decision.  photo appears  courtesy  of   Getty  Images/ Tom Pennington  .......
Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines celebrates in the ring after defeating Joshua Clottey of Ghana during the WBO welterweight title fight at Cowboys Stadium on March 13, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. Pacquiao defeated Clottey by unanimous decision. photo appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Tom Pennington .......

As to what the future now holds for Pacquaio remains to be seen. But the fighter has stated that he would still like to meet Mayweather in the ring to establish who is indeed the better fighter and the pound for pound champion. For the moment we’ll just have to take to the wait and see approach. Mayweather has a date himself , as he faces the challenge of Shane Mosley at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada on the 1st May, 2010. That headline as a bout alone, gives far more credence than the subterfuge that was showcased as a boxing event on Saturday night. But then again who now cares or gives a damn to begin with ?

NB: Click here to view the WBO rankings of the welterweight division.

Alan Parkins aka tophatal ………………..
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LL Cool J ………….. ‘Mama Said Knock You Out’

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Bracketology Is It NowA College Course And Elective ? Other Such Idiosyncrasies Of The Sporting Weekend …………..

Bracketology Is It Now A College Course And Elective ? Other Such Idiosyncrasies Of The Sporting Weekend …………..

Well the stage has been set for the commencement of College Basketballs men’s national championship. And I believe it is the one time of the year when we can all be in agreement as to how things have worked out . Or can we ? We have the ’31 teams’ that have made their way in by winning their respective conference championships and ’34 at large’ invitees to the ‘big dance’ . Never let it be said that the system is perfect but it’s a hell of a lot better than the asinine system that’s prescribed to figure out who the national champion is determined to be within the BCS FBS Division One college football. So many bowls and not one of them really based on merit , other than the popularity and the fact that a bunch of number crunchers make it appear to be all equitable. The fact that there’s a great deal of connivance with the networks also plays a part in it all. But at the end of the day we’re led to believe that this the best that the major conferences who preside over the BCS has to offer.

With a play in game to be decided as to who the 64th and final team will be , to played on the Thursday. The tournament kicks off good and proper as of then. The four number one seeds for the various regions Midwest , South , East and West , are Kansas , Duke , Kentucky and Syracuse . Though some aren’t entirely with the fact that Duke is a number one seed and question that fact. But it is, what it is. And for the four coaches in question this is when their programs will come under intense scrutiny and the spotlight of the fans nationwide. For Bill Self of Kansas, Mike Krzyzewski of Duke , Jon Calipari of Kentucky and Jim Boeheim of Syracuse , this will be the pressure which they and their teams will be judged by as to how they’ll fare. Each of the four are highly respected coaches within college basketball and have groomed players at the college level that’ve gone on to become stars within the NBA . But for now it’s not about what the players aspire to at the next level but creating a legacy here at the college level which will leave and indelible mark for them and their programs.

Now far be it for me to suggest that I fully comprehend the idiosyncrasies of ‘bracketology’. But to my mind the teams that are in , are there on their own merits. If they can’t play, then they will be found out. It’s as plain and simple as that ! There are no do-overs and you can’t cry over spilled milk, should you fall at the first hurdle. You came to play and by damn it , you had better play. Or you’ll end up completely embarrassing yourself .

KANSAS CITY, MO - MARCH 13: Head coach Bill Self of the Kansas Jayhawks instructs Xavier Henry #1 during the 2010 Phillips 66 Big 12 Men's Basketball Championship agaisnt the Kansas State Wildcats on March 13, 2010 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri
Kansas City, Mo, Head coach Bill Self of the Kansas Jayhawks instructs Xavier Henry (1) during the 2010 Phillips 66 Big 12 Men's Basketball Championship agaisnt the Kansas State Wildcats on March 13, 2010 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri. photo appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Jamie Squires ..............

The four regional competitions will be a one and done knockout competition . And there are those who view Kansas’ region as being the most difficult of them all. And there’s every reason to believe that will be the case because of the number of top tiered teams assigned to the region. And Kansas will kick off its march on Thursday (9:30 pm EST) against Lehigh (22-10) . And in that Midwest Regional there are the stalwarts such as Michigan State (24-8) , Maryland (23-8), Tennessee (25-8) , Ohio State (27-7) and Georgetown (23-10) . If you don’t consider any of those teams capable of upsetting the applecart , then please feel free to lay all of your money on Kansas.

In the West , Jim Boeheim’s Orangemen have the privilege of taking on Vermont (25-9) . The sixteenth seed within the region and perhaps hoping to create the tournament’s first major upset by taking down Syracuse. It could well happen but I think that the Orangemen should overpower their opponent and come away with an easy victory. As to the other teams within the region that are of importance by way of their basketball tradition and pedigree. We will see the two time national champions, Florida (21-12) , Kansas State (26-7) , Pittsburgh (24-8) , Minnesota (21-13) , Vanderbilt (24-8) , Gonzaga (26-6) and Butler (28-4) . But if there’s a team to be feared within the region . Then ‘my pick’ would be Tubby Smith’s Golden Gophers of Minnesota. Tubby can flat out coach, his team is playing with a great deal of confidence at present and they seem to be on a mission. The scary thought is, that they’ve not really got to raise the level of their game all that much to be on an equal footing with some of the teams though to be the favorites within the region.

Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim ponders a question during a news conference about the NCAA college basketball tournament in Syracuse, N.Y., Sunday, March 14, 2010. Syracuse faces Vermont on Friday
Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim ponders a question during a news conference about the NCAA college basketball tournament in Syracuse, N.Y., Sunday, March 14, 2010. Syracuse faces Vermont on Friday. photo appears courtesy of Associated Press/ Kevin Rivoli .............

In the East, it’s all about Kentucky and John Calipari’s team. Will this be the team that earns the coach his first national title ? Or will he come up short once again ? If they play up to their full potential , then I fully expect them to make the ‘Final Four’ . And then from thereon in , it’s let the chips fall where they may. However, they will have to go through the likes of Texas (24-9) , Wofford (26-8) , Marquette (22-11) , Temple (29-5) and W Virgina (27-6). No mean feat but they (Wildcats) are capable of doing it and making their way through. But if there’s a team that could derail their ambitions , then it could well be Bob Huggins’ Mountaineers. Playing on emotion alone and with Huggins’ guile , anything is possible.

University of Kentucky basketball coach coach John Calipari watches the NCAA tournament selection show with the team at his home Sunday, March 14, 2010 in Lexington, Ky. Kentucky was named the top seed in the East region of the NCAA tournament and will face E. Tennessee State Thursday in New Orleans
University of Kentucky basketball coach coach John Calipari watches the NCAA tournament selection show with the team at his home Sunday, March 14, 2010 in Lexington, Ky. Kentucky was named the top seed in the East region of the NCAA tournament and will face E. Tennessee State Thursday in New Orleans. photo appears courtesy of Associated Press/ Brian Bohannon ...............

In the South, Krzyzewski’s Blue Devils led by Jon Scheyer and Kyle Singler will be looking to land the legendary coach his fourth national championship. What hasn’t there been already said about the program that Mike Krzyzewski has established and put on the map ? Alongside John Wooden , Adolph Rupp , Dean Smith and Bob Knight . He may well be one of the most revered and respected coaches in men’s college basketball history. That asides, this isn’t merely about Duke but essentially whether or not they can overcome the obstacles placed in front of them ? They’ve had far easier paths in the past and have come up short. And then they’ve also pulled through and won it all when they weren’t exactly favored to. Of the quartet of number one seeds, their task in some circles is being viewed as the easiest region to come through unscathed. I’d like to think that’s the case ! But then again , who knows ?

GREENSBORO, NC - MARCH 14: Brian Zoubek #55 of the Duke Blue Devils guards D'Andre Bell #13 of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in the championship game of the 2010 ACC Men's Basketball Tournament at the Greensboro Coliseum on March 14, 2010 in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Greensboro , NC- March 14th 2010. Brian Zoubek (55) of the Duke Blue Devils guards D'Andre Bell (13) of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in the championship game of the 2010 ACC Men's Basketball Tournament at the Greensboro Coliseum on March 14, 2010 in Greensboro, North Carolina. photo appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Jeff Zelevansky ............

Within the region, Duke kicks off its tournament schedule against the play in winner of the game between Arkansas-Pine Bluff (17-15) and Winthrop (19-13). Lambs to the slaughter against Duke ? Well , that’s what awaits the winner . The rest of the region in terms of competitive presence as I view it , is rounded out by the likes of Louisville (20-12) , Notre Dame (23-11) , Villanova (24-7) , Purdue (27-5) and Utah State (27-7) .

Now while I’m a wholehearted Dukie’s fan through and through. I know not to expect too much from them , from time to time. As good as they can be , there’s always the chance that they can end up disappointing you. It’s like you’re out on a blind date with a really hot chic’ and you know if you play your cards right you’re going to get somethin’. But at the last, moment she disappoints and tells you that she’s got to go home because she has an appointment. Either that , for some reason the date went horribly wrong because somehow you might’ve done something wrong ? Or in effect she just wasn’t all that into you. Well that’s the feeling I get when I wholeheartedly throw my support at times behind Duke. I feel jilted ! This time around I’m hoping to feel some euphoria with the Blue Devils. If they play up to their capabilities , hang tough on defense and they could very well land that unprecedented four national title for Mike Krzyzewski. But those are just my thoughts on the scenario I envisage. It could very well be that they simply don’t pan out the way I may well have thought.

March Madness as it has come to be defined may well be the best sporting event on the North American continent by far ! There are those who feel that the one off event of the Superbowl far exceeds it in terms of excitement and suspense. And that may well be the case . But where else can you spend the better part of the month planning , discussing , debating, wagering , even arguing the merits of your brackets and whether or not your teams will prevail ? In the Superbowl, it’s about the two teams , the event itself and who in the end, ends up winning. To me the college basketball has it beat hands down and by a wide enough margin !

I’m no bracketologist and I’ve never claimed to be one. I leave that for all the guys in the know and let them prescribe to the logic it supposedly all entails. For me the games aren’t played on paper but on the field of competition. And that’s what I’m looking forward to , through the remainder of the month and through to Final Four and the championship game , itself , in early April. How about yourselves ?

Alan Parkins aka tophatal ………………..

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Curtis Mayfield ………”Move On Up”. Was there a better song that epitomized the seventies for the period ?

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Hey Your Mavs Aren’t All They’re Cracked Up To Be

Hey Your Mavs Aren’t All They’re Cracked Up To Be

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again the Dallas Mavericks ‘are never going to win an NBA title’ much less win anything else ! I’d dare say that they’d even have trouble trying to beat Geno Auriemma’s U Conn women’s Huskies. The Mavericks are soft , Charmin’ soft. ! As a matter of fact I’d go as far to say that they’re softer than a new born baby’s a_s !

 Al Harrington (7) of the New York Knicks shoots a jumper against Eduardo Najera (14) of the Dallas Mavericks during a game at the American Airlines Center on March 13, 2010 in Dallas, Texas.  photo  appears  courtesy  of NBAE/ Getty Images/  Danny   Bollinger  ............
Al Harrington (7) of the New York Knicks shoots a jumper against Eduardo Najera (14) of the Dallas Mavericks during a game at the American Airlines Center on March 13, 2010 in Dallas, Texas. photo appears courtesy of NBAE/ Getty Images/ Danny Bollinger ............

Having crushed the Knicks in an earlier season meeting by ’50 points’, it was expected that the fans would witness a repeat performance. Hold it, no so fast , as the New York Knicks actually came to play . The Mavericks had strung together 12 successive wins and were looking move closer to the Cleveland Cavaliers’ season high 16 successive wins. Instead the Mavericks would fold like a cheaply made suit. Is that a reflection of Mavericks’ coach Rick Carlisle and the roster ? Never mind the fact that Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban has never been known to shy away from a television camera if he wasn’t going to get ‘face time’. Instead he had to witness his team humiliated by a Knicks’ team that may well be amongst the worse in all of the NBA . And people believe the Mavericks are viable contenders for the Western Conference title or an NBA championship ? Not on this display , having been blown out by the Knicks by 34 points 128 -94 . And don’t try to negate this , by saying that this was merely a one off loss by the team and can be seen as a slip up. Because if anything this merely suggests why it is that the Mavericks are nowhere near as good as advertised.

Dirk Nowitzki (41) of the Dallas Mavericks goes in for the lay up against Wilson Chandler (21) of the New York Knicks during a game at the American Airlines Center on March 13, 2010 in Dallas, Texas.   photo  appears  courtesy of  NBAE/Getty  Images/  Glenn  James  ...........
Dirk Nowitzki (41) of the Dallas Mavericks goes in for the lay up against Wilson Chandler (21) of the New York Knicks during a game at the American Airlines Center on March 13, 2010 in Dallas, Texas. photo appears courtesy of NBAE/Getty Images/ Glenn James ...........

Courtesy of Associated Press & Yahoo Sports

Knicks end Mavericks’ 13-game win streak, 128-94

Dallas (AP)—The Dallas Mavericks had the most lopsided victory in franchise history when they beat the New York Knicks by 50 points in the teams’ last meeting nearly two months ago.

This time, it was the Knicks’ turn for a rout.

Bill Walker scored a career-high 23 points, Wilson Chandler added 22 and New York snapped the Mavericks’ 13-game winning streak with a 128-94 victory on Saturday night.

“Revenge is sweet sometimes. That’s a really good team over there but we caught them at the right time. They were ripe for the picking,” said New York reserve Al Harrington(notes), who had 20 points. “When you’re rolling along and the Knicks are coming in, you figure you can score 150 points on ‘em in your sleep. But that Knick team didn’t show up today. We caught ‘em by surprise.”

Rookie Toney Douglas had 21 points, and David Lee contributed 15 points and 14 rebounds for the Knicks, who’d lost 14 of their previous 17 and nine straight in Dallas.

“We felt they’d take us lightly,” said Douglas, making his first start since Nov. 18. “A lot of teams look at the schedule and say, ‘Oh, that’s the Knicks. That’s a win.’ But we’ve got to come out and compete every night.”

The Knicks celebrated a rare highlight in an otherwise forgettable season, shooting 56 percent from the floor (50 for 89) and 16 of 30 from 3-point range. Dallas hadn’t been beaten by the Knicks at home since Dec. 16, 1999.

Dirk Nowitzki had 20 points and 12 rebounds, and Jason Kidd added 15 points for Dallas, which won 128-78 at New York on Jan. 24 and hadn’t lost since Feb. 16.

Slow starts had become a habit for the Mavericks during their streak, and the Knicks carried a 30-25 edge into the second quarter.

Early on, several Knicks told the Mavericks that Dallas would be in for a tough night.

“They remembered (the blowout in New York),” said Dallas’ Shawn Marion,, who scored 14 points. “They even said something to me about it before the game. They said they were going to give us a spanking.”

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Click on the above link to read the AP article in its entirety.
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Bill Walker (5) of the New York Knicks drives against Rodrigue Beaubois (3) of the Dallas Mavericks during a game at the American Airlines Center.  The  Knicks   would  go  on  to  defeat  the  Mavericks  in  a  totally   lopsided victory <strong><em> 128-94 </strong></em> at  the   American  Airlines   Center  in   Dallas ,  Texas  in  front  of  a  sellout  crowd.   photo  appears  courtesy of   NBAE/ Getty  Images/  Glenn  James  ....................
Bill Walker (5) of the New York Knicks drives against Rodrigue Beaubois (3) of the Dallas Mavericks during a game at the American Airlines Center. The Knicks would go on to defeat the Mavericks in a totally lopsided victory 128-94 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas , Texas in front of a sellout crowd. photo appears courtesy of NBAE/ Getty Images/ Glenn James ....................

But then again it’s easy to see why someone would get hyped up over a team that has never done anything within the NBA , much less has a body of work that exhibits success. When you simply place ‘style over substance’ it merely shows that whatever you state as an opinion isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. There’s a contributor within the forum who made the asinine notion that the Mavericks are ‘the second best team’ in the Western Conference. Based on that notion , I wonder what he would make of the Warriors or Clippers ? Because as a unit, they are far more cohesive than anything shown by the Mavericks. And need I remind you that other than Dirk Nowitzki , who on this team can actually play consistently at a high level ? Much less can anyone on this damn team actually play on4 lick of defense ? And Brendan Haywood is meant to be a good post up player ? By whose damn notion ? He was made to look like a baby learning to take his first steps ,as he stumbled all over the American Airlines Arena , Dallas, Texas, in front of a sellout home crowd.

Somewhere there are Mavericks’ fans now looking at this team wondering whether or not they’re good enough to win anything beyond their division. But because if anything this team will crumble under the pressure in the playoffs. This team reflects the softness of their coach Rick Carlisle. And if you think that’s poor take on Carlisle ? Then consider this, since his days Indiana, what has Carlisle achieved over the course of his career as a coach ? He may well be great as a regular season tutor but come the postseason , he’s essentially a chicken running around the chicken coop with its head having been removed.

For the Knicks and their coach Mike D’Antoni . He now knows that in David Lee , has at least one player on this roster worth keeping. As to the others assembled on the roster by Donnie Walsh and his predecessor. Well let’s just say that the members of the group TLC had it just right they stated in their song ….’Scrubs’ .. I Don’t Want No Scrub’. But now for the fans of the Knicks they now must be hoping and praying that LeBron James may well view the Gardens as the next port of call in his professional career. In truth, this may well be wishful thinking on the part of Knicks’ fans and in particular their most vocal supporter Spike Lee .

In all honesty the window of opportunity for the Dallas Mavericks is slowly closing and the core of its roster is an aging one and the likes of Jason Terry , Nowitzki, Haywood , Jason Kidd and Shawn Marion aren’t liable to be around for much longer . Never mind playing together , in the hope of winning an NBA title. There are other teams within the conference progressing and improving while the Mavericks have simply reached a plateau and are now beginning to taper off and show signs of regression. Doubt my word ? Then simply watch the highlights of the 34 point loss to the Knicks and you’ll see a clear explanation why.

As of now , if you were a Mavericks’ fans would you be entirely happy with the direction that they’re said to be heading in at present ? If so , then give me the reasons why and whether or not you feel that this team is capable of winning the Western Conference championship , much less the NBA title.

He may well be all about the theatrics but in all honesty Mark Cuban will never live to witness his NBA franchise win a championship ! Not when he’s being laid out by wrestlers from the WWE . Make belief or not . Don’t you think it was a welcomed sight to see him laid out like that ?

NB: Click here to view Rick Carlisle’s postgame interview. And other video highlights of the game.

Alan Parkins aka tophatal ……………….

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Eminem performs ‘Lose Yourself’ from the movie ‘8 Mile’.

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Stacey  Dash
Stacey Dash , actress , designer and entrepreneur .

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