This match-up now gives us the chance to see if the Lakers can avenge their series defeat from the 2008 NBA Finals when the Celtics prevailed over the Lakers. In Doc Rivers and Phil Jackson we are seeing two of the most successful coaches in the NBA in recent years. Jackson will be seeking his 11th NBA title as a coach and his twelfth overall. Rivers will be seeking his second NBA title in the last two years . And with these two former players matching wits and squaring off against each other. This series could very well be one of the more intriguing and interesting finals series of recent times.
The Los Angeles Lakers make a successful return to the finals looking to defend their title and further add to the franchise’s and Phil Jackson’s legacy. And though there has been wide speculation that this might be Jackson’s last season with the organization . It’s clear to see that Jackson has no intention of going out from the game without a bang and big send off . As a coach Jackson has made his presence felt within the game. And the coach’s presence has been made and felt across the game and the entire “NBA fraternity”.
As Jackson looks to add his name to the annals of NBA history . Lakers’ players such as Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher will be looking to add their names to that legacy as well . Though there have been a number of players that’ve won multiple NBA titles . There are but a handful of players who’ve won five NBA titles with the same team. Normally the case has been where those players amass that many titles with just one team. That has been the case with the all-time greats such as Pippen , Russell , Jordan , Johnson and quite possibly the names of Bryant and Fisher will be added to that illustrious list. But that last scenario is one that will be played out in this upcoming series . Ultimately, whomever the victors are, will be will be played out in front of a world wide audience of tens of millions of viewers. The global visibility of the game and its popularity grows greater each year as the names such as Bryant , LeBron James , Dywane Wade become more widely popular and recognized. The game at present has never been as popular as it is now.
And for those of us who are supporters of both teams playing out our allegiances . It is going to be a great deal of fun watching this series play out between the NBA’s two most storied franchises. The rivalry between “these two teams” would rival that of say Ali vs. Frazier, McEnroe vs. Borg , Federer vs. Nadal and the Chicago Bulls versus the rest of the NBA at the height of their unprecedented success. A Boston Celtics vs Los Angeles Lakers finals’ match-up tends to bring out the best that the two teams has to offer as well as serving up the crème-de-la crème of the NBA . Doubt that, then consider this, how enthralled or interested would you have been, were the proposed finals were that of a series of seven games between the Orlando Magic and Phoenix Suns ? Would you still be showing the same anticipated eagerness ?
So what if anything will you be looking forward to during this NBA finals match-up between the Celtics and Lakers ? Will it be Kobe Bryant seeking to show why he’s viewed as the best player in the NBA ? Or could it be Kevin Garnett or Rajon Rondo stepping up to the plate to show why he could be the next player to be considered amongst the elite players in the NBA ? This and a great deal more will be answered in this upcoming series . Will you be tuning to see what the outcome will be ? And if so where might your allegiance lay and why ? I’ll look forward to reading your comments in this regard and as usual thanks for the continued support . It’s greatly appreciated !
I’ve long maintained that the moment a private educational institution is the beneficiary of taxpayers’ monies then it shouldn’t be without reproach for the public to know exactly how those funds are being spent and who the ultimate beneficiary’s are of those funds..
I found it interesting to find out the IRS will be carrying out audits on numerous universities. And in doing so they will also be looking into the compensation packages for college coaches . Especially in the areas of basketball, baseball and football . Granted, these are the “most popular” collegiate sports and their coaches are amongst the highest paid coaches in all of collegiate sports. When you have a football coach being paid in excess of $4million a year and there are programs being and faculty being cut from an educational budget. I for one don’t care if the athletics program is bringing tens of millions of dollars and you still have student athletes essentially being “one and done” . But yet faculties in some cases are crying poverty as to their status. So let me ask a question since when was the business of education merely now simply about the bottom line ? I was under the impression that education about the pursuit of an education of the student and to make them better and more productive member of society ? .
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Crazy as it seems, we could very well see a situation where we may well see some opposition not only from a number of educational establishments to this but also from certain members of Congress the Senate . Well, what’s new there ? Never mind that the NCAA skirts around so many legislative statutes that it has me wondering who watches the NCAA when they should somehow skirt the law ? Certainly not the Justice Department that’s for sure ! And if the truth be told the universities , they aren’t averse to circumventing the laws themselves. So many people seem to be under the misapprehension that because an institution is private it’s never in receipt of public funds. That’s a fallacy that we can dispel right away because every private establishment tends to avail themselves of public funds directly or indirectly. One can dress it up however they want, but it happens without a doubt !
The IRS has begun audits of more than 30 colleges that could include examinations of how schools determine the compensation of highly paid employees, including coaches and athletic administrators, according to an agency report.
The audits could include scrutiny of business activities that potentially can be seen as unrelated to schools’ primary purpose. Among the activities is the sale of corporate sponsorship packages that include athletics or are arranged by athletic departments.
“Questions about athletics programs, especially at larger institutions, are virtually certain to arise,” says Matthew Hamill, senior vice president of the National Association of College and University Business Officers.
The report, issued this month, was the IRS’ interim look at its Colleges and Universities Compliance Project, which the agency said was part of a larger effort to review the largest, most complex organizations in the tax-exempt sector. Last year, the agency published a study concerning tax-exempt hospitals.
This study began in October 2008, when the IRS sent a long questionnaire to 400 schools of various sizes. The interim report was based on responses from 344 — 177 private, 167 public. Among the items, schools were asked to name, and provide compensation information for, the six highest-paid officers, directors, trustees or other key employees. They were asked for the same information about the five highest-paid who aren’t officers, directors, trustees or key employees.
In addition, the questionnaire asked schools to list their five largest related tax-exempt organizations, based on gross revenue. At some schools, the athletic department is organized as a related exempt organization. At least one such school, Georgia, has been selected for audit, the Athens (Ga.) Banner-Herald reported, citing a letter from the IRS to the school. The IRS has not identified any of the schools it is auditing.
John D. Colombo, a University of Illinois law professor who has written about tax exemption and college athletics, says he doesn’t think the IRS action will fundamentally alter college athletics business. But he adds, “Audits are never comfortable. Just the IRS being there asking questions makes people nervous.”
The IRS interim report noted the large number of schools with an athletics coach among the five highest-paid employees who aren’t officers.
USA TODAY surveys of football coaching compensation have shown the average pay for a head coach in the NCAA’s 120-school Football Bowl Subdivision has risen 46% over the last three years, to $1.4 million in 2009. For the 65 schools in the 2009 NCAA men’s basketball tournament, average pay for a head coach for the 2009-10 season was nearly $1.3 million, USA TODAY found.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if universities got questions about how they justify the … compensation package for a (highly paid) coach,” Colombo says.
The IRS interim report also noted discrepancies between the number of colleges that said on the questionnaire they had engaged in various unrelated business activities and the number that said they had reported the income from those activities to the IRS. “This is expected in cases where the activity is conducted exclusively for the exempt purpose of the organization,” the report said. “For example, this would be the case for a bookstore that only sells books and supplies to students.”
Corporate sponsorships, a significant source of athletics income, are considered different from advertising — and, thus, tax exempt — as long as they conform to certain rules.
“There’s greater certainty in the athletics area (regarding what constitutes non-taxable unrelated business income) than there is in other areas of the operation,” Hamill says.
The question is whether IRS rules are being followed.
“The nature of business deals is always to push the envelope,” Colombo says. “Whether all of these sponsorships hew to the line is something the IRS really wants to find out about.”
When and if however this does take place and the IRS does audit a number of schools as we’re led to believe that they will. Then what action if any ought to be taken by the IRS and in large part the Federal Government by way of either of the following legislative bodies the House of Representatives and the Senate ? Through the House Ways & Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee . Both of these legislative bodies can make recommendations that would to an extent rein in the unadulterated lavishness of the pay of the establishments in question. If they are prepared to do that with the big banks on Wall St . Then why not proceed along the same lines with the educational establishments within academia ? It’s not as if many of these colleges especially those more widely known aren’t making vast sums of money at the expense of the student athlete ! And in reality how much of those resources are actually being plowed back into the colleges for the benefit of the students and the faculty staff alike ? Far too often now we’re being told of colleges laying of teaching staff but yet college football coaches , basketball coaches and baseball coaches are receiving pay increases far in excess of the rate of inflation. And even if the monies we’re told are through various fund raising activities or from benefactors of the colleges themselves. How in good faith can find this to be acceptable when the educational system itself is on its very knees ?
Consider this , the men’s NCAA Basketball tournament was a tremendous success. But were you aware that of the 65 competing teams , less than half actually had a graduation rate above 45 % ? Is this what we ought to now expect from our educational establishments as it relates to the student athlete ? The biggest misnomer at present is that the student athlete enters to get an education at the expense of the college . The student athlete primarily enters into an agreement with a college merely to hone their skills and they are under no obligation to stay the four years that it might take to obtain a college degree. And even if the NFL and NBA didn’t have their eligibility rules in place as it relates to entry requirement for both sports. What does that tell you concerning what take place as it relates to MLB and the NHL ?
We already see the situation whereby high school graduates eschew the chance to go to college and go off to Europe to chase the money that they can attain by playing basketball professionally on the continent. But bear in mind once having met the requirements of entry into the NBA as a lottery pick they’re by no means guaranteed as a certainty that they’ll end up with a team . And if an athlete should make it unto an NBA roster and has a limited amount of success at the professional level. What then happens should their careers should be curtailed by a career ending injury ? Certainly the professional body whose employ that they’re in, can immediately discard them like a worn out pair of shoes should they see fit to do so.
My own thinking on this matter isn’t that the IRS will seek to audit the colleges but why not tighten the loopholes that allows many of them to operate under in the fashion that they do when it comes to their accounting ? Nowhere is this more blatant than with them being allowed to set up endowments and charitable organizations as it relates to their status and wherein their business practices have been anything but that. Doubt my word then look at what has taken place at USC with its basketball program and the payment made by former coach Tim Floyd to O J Mayo when he was a player on the team . These and other countless transgressions have come to light concerning the Trojans’ athletic program under AD Mike Garrett . But it’d be remiss to state or think that USC is “the only school” that has acted in such a manner ! An audit of the schools could very well lead us to some of the murkier and seedier side of things now taking place within many of the collegiate educational establishments up down the country. And it may well create a situation that not even Congress or the NCAA would like to acknowledge. Let alone the college themselves who seem to act as if they conduct themselves in such a manner where we the public ought to hold them as being above reproach. If that were true then wouldn’t they as such be amenable to opening up their books for public scrutiny be they a state ran or private institution ?
As the title of this piece would suggest …..”What Uncle Sam Giveth He Taketh Away “. And what many of these schools most certainly don’t want to lose is their exempt status as it now relates to their incorporation. You can’t say that they won’t forewarned and some of us didn’t see this coming ? It had to happen and should happen if we’re to see transparency not only from many of the colleges but also from the NCAA itself. What thoughts if any do you have on the subject matter ? By all means chime on in with a comment . I’ll look forward to responding in kind to any points that you might raise. Thanks as always !
NB: House Ways & Means Committee is the tax writing arm of Congress and in essence is the very body who writes our tax laws.
2) Senate Finance Committee can draw up their own legislative statutes as it pertains to tax appropriations but in essence whatever laws are enacted in general falls in line with what’s initially drawn up by the House’s own bill before it’s brought before the President for his final seal after a vote has been taken in both legislative chambers.
You Know It’s Been A Bad Day At The Office When………… Insert Your Own Thoughts Here ……………..
As much as I love the world sports and everything as such of interest that happens within it. I can’t but see the fun side of it all when I either see that the past and present meet head on in terms of a brooding controversy. Or even when it’s amongst the peers of today within a certain sports arena .
Having seen the ballyhoo made over the Chicago Bears acquiring Jay Cutler from the Denver Broncos via a trade that sent Kyle Orton to the Broncos in the opposite direction. It was felt that the Bears would improve exponentially and become a serious threat to the apparent dominance of the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC North . By the way has Brett Favre come to a decision as of yet ? I mean I’ve not heard from those loyal band of followers of his, from ESPN report on anything concerning on him as of late , including his bowel movements throughout the day and the mere fact that his wife Deanna has apparently been refusing Brett his conjugal requests . But that’s another story for another day.
Coming off another disappointing season within the division and posting a record of 7-9 , can we essentially say that the Bears have been a profound disappointment to their fans and their owners alike ? Much was made that Cutler a “Pro Bowl caliber” would provide this team with the thing it was said to be missing. Personally , to me the Pro Bowl means absolute s_it in the greater order of things when you consider the game itself is essentially a bus-man’s holiday. I mean when has it meant anything to a player other than the fact that he can become “fat” in his wallet by way of his meeting certain productive targets on the field of play as part of his contract ? It’s not as if “his peers” actually vote him in to be part of the event itself. It’s left to a bunch of NFL writers casting their ballots , who for all sense and purpose show about as much common sense and intelligence as some members of Congress . And as we all know common sense , intelligence and ” Congress” shouldn’t necessarily be mentioned in the same sentence.
This upcoming season Bears’ coach Lovie Smith will be on the “hot seat” and if he and his coaching staff fail to deliver then he’s bound to be shown the door ! Bears’ GM Jerry Angelo and Director of Player Personnel Tim Ruskell the architects of this “team” know full well that the fans will not tolerate much more from this team and the organization itself cannot think that they will. That’d show their complete and utter stupidity if they were to allow things to carry on as they are.
Three years removed from a Superbowl __(SB XLI ) appearance and their subsequent 29-17 loss to the Indianapolis Colts . The reverberations from that loss can still be felt to this day. It was the sense of embarrassment to the fact that they severely underperformed and it certainly did not help that the one player on this team often thought of as their vocal leader was nowhere to be seen. Brian Urlacher over the years can either be described as a great player or quite possibly one of the best defensive players of his generation. That being said over the last few years , his play and skills have diminished to the point where one can no longer look at him as a real threat. Whereas, the ever present Ray Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens still strikes fear into opposing players . Need I say anymore on the matter ?
Courtesy of ESPN.com in conjunction with ESPN Chicago
Ditka backs Sayers vs. Urlacher
Mike Ditka joined the chorus of Chicago Bears Hall of Famers who have come to the support of Gale Sayers in his controversy with linebacker Brian Urlacher.
The war of words started May 4, when Sayers criticized quarterback Jay Cutler’s performance in 2009, questioned the future of coach Lovie Smith if the Bears struggle again this season, and wondered how well Urlacher will come back from season-ending wrist surgery.
Urlacher responded in a Chicago Tribune article Thursday by ripping Sayers for criticizing the Bears and questioning Sayers’ credentials because the Hall of Fame running back never won a championship, or even a playoff game.
“I like Brian Urlacher a lot, I think he’s one heck of a football player,” Ditka said Friday on “Mike & Mike In The Morning ” on ESPN Radio. “It’s unfortunate to have this in the Bears family. I don’t like it.
“I don’t think Gale was being that critical, honestly. I think somebody asked him a question. They asked him about the state of the Chicago Bears. He answered very honestly what he thought about Cutler. He answered very honestly what he thought about the coach. Brian’s coming off an injury. Brian’s a great football player, he has to stay healthy, there’s no question about that. Nobody can play when they’re hurt.
“So I don’t know where it was so inflammatory. I didn’t see that. And I understand, your feathers get ruffled here and there. When somebody sees something they think is wrong, I don’t think it’s wrong to say it. Sometimes criticism pointed in the right direction can help you.”
Sayers played from 1965 to 1971, exclusively with the Bears. Ditka played from 1961 to 1966 with Chicago, and he said criticism that Sayers never won a championship is misguided.
“[Dick] Butkus never won a Super Bowl,” said Ditka, who coached the Bears to the Super Bowl XX title. “Was there a better linebacker? I don’t know. I don’t think there’s a better linebacker.
“Super Bowls are won by great teams, not necessarily by great individual players.”
Butkus backed Sayers, and he said he’s also been frustrated by the Bears, who haven’t made the playoffs since losing to the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLI.
In order to read the rest of this article just click unto the text link shown.
And there’s no denying that Cutler and the Bears failed to live up to expectations last season. From a results’ standpoint with each passing week it were as if we were witnessing the gradual regression of this team. Lovie Smith for his part seem to play this all down as if it were nothing more than a team having made one or two slip ups along the way. Clearly he’s overlooked the fact that the fans aren’t so patient with his or the players’ predicament. And now with Hall of Famers __ Dick Butkus , Gale Sayers and even the team’s former coach Mike Ditka now weighing on the team’s plight. The triumvirate in question at one point or another have contributed greatly to the history and legacy of the Bears. So anything that they ma well have to say on the matter cannot be overlooked or met with just another matter of an outsider looking in and just giving the press a proverbial sound byte. However, it appears that Urlacher takes umbrage with the fact that the team and Cutler in particular has come in for a great deal of criticism from Gale Sayers. And former Bears’ great has directed his criticisms squarely at the team’s quarterback. Some might say that the criticism is unjustified whereas others may well feel differently. One thing is clear however time is running short for the team , its coach and in particular for Urlacher. He has spent more time gaining headlines for his off the field sightings with socialites , catwalk models and actresses, rather than for his work ethic and play on the field. At the end of the day it has to be asked what profession does Urlacher , himself believe that he’s in ? Is he a professional athlete or a celebrity wannabe ? In doing so he becomes fodder for the press and paparazzi alike .
If Urlacher wants to prove the criticism to be without merit, then this season he and his teammates had better set out to prove those naysayers wrong. Otherwise he might as well shut the hell up and accept the fact that he and this team simply aren’t good enough to win a Superbowl or much else for that matter.
So after all of the denials and asinine excuses as how his tests came up positive for illicit banned substances. Now disgraced and former Tour de France winner Floyd Landis has admitted what many of us had known all along. The disgraced former Tour winner who has since had his Tour victory rescinded has admitted that he has been using anabolic steroids and “HGH” as part of his regimen for years . He’s also reiterated that the sport of cycling is profligate with the abuse of both substances. Be that as it may , here are the facts as we know it, Landis is a liar and a cheat ! And for all of the xenophobic supporters of Landis at the time. How’s it now feel to find that this bastard lied like the p_ssy that he now comes across being ? Not fully content with accepting and being held accountable for his own actions. Landis now takes aim at 7 time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong , claiming that the cyclist also has taken many of the substances in question. In making those claims also Landis states that he has no categoric proof that Armstrong took anything illicit other than mere rumors and conjecture . I guess when the sh_t rolls downhill and hits you right in the face the only thing you can do to fend off even more ridicule is to misdirect the public to look elsewhere.
Armstrong having overcome brain and testicular cancer was always bound to be the center of attention once he started to win cycling’s most prestigious event an unprecedented seven successive times. But the fact of the matter is , having been tested by WADA and by UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale _[sports international governing body]) there has never been any concrete proof that Armstrong has taken anything illicit , nor has he ever tested positive in or out of competition. So what if anything is Landis trying to prove ? He’s an even bigger ass than first thought ? Armstrong for his part has tried to stay above the fray concerning this. But given the fact that the sport of cycling has been rife with cheating for a number years and the fact that it was only until recently that the sport’s governing ( UCI ) body decided that they would be proactive and address the issue head on . We would still continue to look at and treat the sport with a great deal of disdain. The sad fact is , what we’re now seeing in the sport is no different than the multitude of sins that were being exhibited and perpetrated in the sport of baseball and the prolific use of both steroids and HGH by the players. And even now with the MLB ____ hierarchy and MLPA __(union) working in conjunction to have a strict , coherent and cohesive drug testing policy in place. We are still seeing a number of major league ballplayers testing positive for banned substances. Kind of makes one wonder what we now deem to be acceptable within the world of sports ?
In the midst of this all the Suns’ Amar`e Stoudemire has seen fit act like a petulant child by stating that the Lakers’ Lamar Odom was simply lucky in playing the way he did in game one of the conference finals. Stoudemire fails to indicate that with Odom coming off the bench to ignite the Lakers with a double-double of 19 points, 19 rebounds , it has in essence all but doomed the Suns’ postseason ambitions. And we beg the question can the Suns save grace by at least trying to eke out one win in this series ?
It is becoming abundantly clear that the Suns’ coach Alvin Gentry is being outmatched and out-coached by his divisional counterpart Phil Jackson of the Lakers. And having shown some semblance of defense in the earlier rounds. Now for all sense and purpose the Phoenix Suns simply haven’t an answer for Kobe Bryant or anyone else on the Lakers’ roster who just happens to show their offensive capabilities during this series . To put it bluntly, this is like taking candy from a baby !
Game two provided us with all the evidence we need to know that when the Lakers make the NBA Finals they will go into the series as an overwhelming favorite against the Easter Conference’s representative . The Lakers “dusted” the Suns in such a commanding way that it probably has most among us believing , are either the Celtics or Magic capable of stopping this Lakers’ juggernaut ? The Lakers’ 124-112 victory was about as emphatic as one would come to expect from such a dominant team.
Well those are just my thoughts as it concerns the subject matter in terms of the title ……..”You Know It’s Been A Bad Day At The Office When………… Insert Your Own Thoughts Here ……………..
. What specific sports issues that have caught your attention as of late has you thinking along these lines ? By all means chime on in with a comment and as usual I’ll look forward to responding in kind. Stay safe and have a great weekend !
Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals was won by the Lakers 128-107 .
He’s Got Game …………. The Magic Are Who We Thought They Were It’s Just That Now They’re Proving To Us That They’re Simply Just Not That Good !
If you remember these particular sound bytes then you’ll know that the coaches in question simply were being animated and couldn’t hide their disappointment of the failure of their respective team’s performances. We have Dennis Green’s now infamous meltdown and rant …….” they are who we thought they were” ! It’s become legendary and will there for all too see in the annals of sport’s history. We also have former Indianapolis Colts’ coach Jim Mora’s ……….” playoffs ? What playoffs” ? And who can forget Herm Edwards’ ……..”you play the game to win” !
Former Arizona Cardinals’ coach Dennis Green’s now infamous meltdown after his team’s loss to the Chicago Bears.
Unfortunately , all of those anecdotes as they relate to the Orlando Magic in the Eastern Conference Finals of the NBA Playoffs may well be now falling on deaf ears. This coming from a team that swept its way through the first two rounds of these playoffs with effortless ease . Who knew what we’d now be seeing from this Stan Van Gundy coached team would be a worthless effort and more so out of complacency and the lack of a will to win ? While one cannot deny that Van Gundy has been thoroughly out-coached by his opposite number in Doc Rivers of the Boston Celtics . It’s been made to look worse, given the fact that the Magic were presumed to be the prohibitive and outright favorites to take this series with some ease.
Jim Mora reminds us what the “playoffs” are allegedly meant to be about ?
With the Orlando Magic down 0-2 to a Celtics’ team that’s playing with a renewed vigor and being commandingly led by point guard Rajon Rondo who may just be the best player in the 2010 NBA Playoffs based on his performances throughout the entire NBA postseason so far. Last night at the Amway Arena in Orlando , we saw the difference between two teams that are about as close in ability as one could envisage. But based on the effort being put forth they are about as far apart as the city of Los Angeles is from Cape Town, South Africa. And that’s a distance of approximately 9,974 miles. Could the distance between the two teams be any farther apart than that ? Let’s just say that while one team appears to be heading in one direction to an NBA Finals’ appearance while the other may well be on its way back home unable to fully understand what went wrong and why it all went wrong.
Hem Edwards let’s us know that you play the game to win. Unfortunately Herm’s record ___ (139 games__ 57 wins , 87 losses) as an NFL coach , simply doesn’t bear this out.
The game two loss by the Magic to the Celtics 95-92 now places the Eastern Conference second seed in an unenviable position. Having lost home-court advantage they now have to go the Celtics’ home court at the TD Banknorth Garden Center , Boston looking to at least win two of three to keep themselves in contention for the remainder of this series. And while the talk has been the match-up between the two opposing point guards. It’d be foolish to suggest that the Magic’s Jameer Nelson is anywhere near close to performing as effectively as Rajon Rondo . He’s yet to show it in this series and while he was center stage for the Magic’s earlier sweeps of the Charlotte Bobcats and Atlanta Hawks . Those two teams collectively put up about as spirited a performance as a wet sponge would’ve been about as much use on-board the Titanic .
The Orlando Magic lives and dies by shooting the threes and if their center Dwight Howard isn’t posting up then their offensive presence in essence becomes one dimensional ! And for Van Gundy and his coaching staff the tenets “adapt” and “evolve” don’t appear to be in their glossary when it comes to strategy. And one wonders why they’re being completely outplayed and annihilated in this series so far ? If Howard isn’t on top of his game then this Magic team has the tendency of wilting under pressure. It’s become the norm thus far as the Celtics have found ways to negate the presence of the Howard’s teammates such as Rashard Lewis , __ Vince Carter and Matt Barnes . Players whose contributions will be greatly needed if the team is to stand a chance of evening the series and perhaps win it outright. But in reality , this will be more about the collective effort of the team more than anything else and their capability in overcoming in adversity when it’s staring right back at them. Dwight Howard , however, will have to show that he’s the leader of this team rather than trying to live up to a rather asinine caricature of a superhero. If Howard thinks that he’s Superman then it’s become completely obvious to those watching ____ the Boston Celtics are a large dose of Kryptonite that’s not only negating Howard’s alleged powers but it is also making Magic look all the more ordinary as a team !
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At this juncture it’s hard envisioning the Magic overcoming this two game deficit ! At best this series is liable to go no more than six games at best. They’ve simply not shown enough resolve to even come within a hair’s breath of beating the Celtics in this series. Everything they’ve thrown at Doc Rivers’ teams they’ve been able to withstand and in return the Celtics have merely demoralized the spirit of the Orlando Magic , its fans and in large part those who thought the Celtics were past their “sell by date”. As the title of this piece would suggest ……………”He’s Got Game …………. The Magic Are Who We Thought They Were It’s Just That Now They’re Proving To Us That They’re Simply Just Not That Good” !
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As things now stand how do you as a fan see this series ending up ? And which teams do you feel that we’ll be seeing in the upcoming NBA Finals ? By all means chime on in with a comment and as usual thanks for the continued support ! I look forward to reading your responses and commenting in kind.
Alan Parkins aka tophatal ………………….
Public Enemy ……………”He Got Game” If only Dwight had the game of Jesus Shuttlesworth ? Oh I forgot , Jesus is playin’ for the Celtics and he’s none other than Ray Allen . Well fancy that ?
* NB Allen co-starred in the Spike Lee directed movie He Got Game ___(1998) . The movie starred Denzel Washington in the lead role as Jake Shuttlesworth , who’s son Jessus is portrayed in the movie by the NBA star. Also co-starring in the movie are Milla Jovovich and Rosario Dawson .
A Good Workman Never Blames His Tools But You Can Be Sure That Others Will ………………..
Well the ramifications have been felt from the abrupt departure of the Cleveland Cavaliers from the NBA Playoffs and they’re being bounced out in the Eastern Conference semi-finals (4-2) by the Boston Celtics . Anyone who was of the opinion that the Cavaliers were in for an easy ride to begin with , obviously were riding on the LeBron James’ bandwagon. And for much of the season it was quite a pleasant ride. But for me when I’m taken on a journey I also like to have a change of scenery and view many of the different venues on that journey. In essence what I’m saying is I just don’t want to see how LeBron plays but also how his teammates contribute to the play of the team and its makeup. And it would be fair to say that for much of the season it was essentially all about LeBron . I mean the NBA writers and the broadcasters such as ABC/ESPN , TNT and NBA Tv wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. Never mind what the tv pundits had to say about it all.
To see the like of Kenny Smith , Charles Barkley and Reggie Miller fawn over LeBron was akin to watching several pubescent teenage boys discover a Playboy centerfold expose’. I’m not saying that their erections lasted way beyond 4 hours but it wouldn’t have surprised me if each had used more than the average dosage prescribed of Cialis “Charles have you got a hard on for LeBron ” ? Kenny Smith . “Course Kenny , I gets a hard on anytime I sees something that I want to stick my di_k into and that includes your momma” !
With the fallout , now comes the speculation as to whether or not James leaves the only professional franchise he’s ever played for or whether or not he remains with the team and gives it another shot at chasing that elusive first NBA title . Given the fact that the Cavaliers’ front office placed a team around around the player that was hardly complementary to his skill-set. I can see how some would surmise that this isn’t all LeBron’s fault ! But is it Mike Brown’s fault or that of his coaching staff ? Or does the blame actually lay with GM Danny Ferry who essentially was the architect of this roster with some input from the star player (LeBron), himself . Apparently , it was mentioned that the player and the executive couldn’t agree upon whether it was prudent at the time to acquire Amar’e Stoudemire from the Phoenix Suns just prior to the trade deadline. Instead the team went after and acquired an aging Shaquille O’Neal .And the rest as they say is history.
As the three tv pundits and former NBA players made claims as to the argument to be made. It was plain to see that all three were enamored with the two time league MVP and the prowess shown throughout much of the season . But not once did any of them make a case that any of LeBron’s teammates had contributed to the team’s success as they perceived it. Albeit, that TNT show host , Ernie Johnson did try to set them straight on that very fact. But to see Johnson try and interject himself between the triumvirate to make a case was in essence, a losing battle.
What we can candidly take away from this all without reservation is that LeBron James while being a phenomenal player, he is no leader either on or off the court. If he is , then someone show me a clear indication where that is in fact the case. He strives to be like his childhood hero , Michael Jordan . But he’s so far away from reaching that pinnacle of excellence that it doesn’t bear talking about. And even if you start to make comparisons as to either player’s abilities at varying points of their careers. What is it that we already know about Jordan that we’ve yet to see in LeBron ? It is the fact that Jordan over time trusted those around him and made them an integral part of the success that he and his teammates strove for . Can we actually say that about LeBron at this juncture ?
Now one could make the claim that James has been given little to work with. And that may well be a fair observation. But how can one explain away the abrupt demise of the team that posted the league’s best record of 61-21 ? And then the next minute they fall as flat as a pancake ? And this was a team that many believed to be the prohibitive favorite to win it all this season . So much so, that they were even favored over the defending NBA champions , the Los Angeles Lakers . And the talk was of a finals for the ages with a matchup of the two best players of this generation in LeBron James and Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers. As we now know , it wasn’t to be.
With there being little left to say on the matter other than to say stop with the inanity of making comparisons between James and his predecessors and that of his peers as of today. All we’re now seeing from those who choose to chime in with comments are tidbits of idiocy that as such have no merit on where , how and what may well happen in the future. It is the immediacy of the here and now that actually counts. And what I believe that we can now all agree upon is that the lavish praise and hype heaped upon LeBron James while to many it was deemed justified . It has now in fact cast a giant shadow over the player and his presumed greatness. If we’re now questioning his abilities then what do you think is going inside the player’s head at this moment in time ? He was expected to lead the Cavaliers to triumph and he’d been given the tools to get the job done. Instead , not only did he fail miserably but his leadership now comes into question as does his temperament and whether or not he’s capable of handling real adversity when it looks him in the face.
Picture gallery for your perusal .
And while this is all going on James can only look from afar and admire while Kobe Bryant makes it all look so damn easy ! The Lakers are now embarking upon making a successful return and defense of their title. Having defeated the Phoenix Suns – ____ 128-107 in game one of the Western Conference Finals. Phil Jackson’s __ team are now but three wins away from making an impressive run and return to the 2010 NBA Finals .
There’s a great deal to happen between now and the culmination of the NBA postseason. Come July 1st we could know a great deal more about what lies ahead for the NBA and its future. Chances are we could see LeBron James with a new set of work tools , a new team or we won’t. Which is it to be ? How do you as such view the debacle surrounding the Cavaliers and where as such should the ultimate blame lay ? With the player and his teammates ? With the coaching staff or indeed the front office ? By all means chime in with a comment and I’ll do my utmost to answer succinctly and in an appropriate time frame.
Alan Parkins aka tophatal ……………………………….
Johnny Cash ………………..”I’ve Been Working On The Rail Road”
Well it’s happening the ramifications of not living up to expectations. It is to be expected in the highly volatile world of competitive professional sports. The NBA has seen its first casualty of the postseason as the Atlanta Hawks’ ___ Mike Woodson was informed that his services will no be longer be required as coach of the Eastern Conference __ team . A rather somewhat understated and lackluster performance in the playoffs was enough for the Hawks’ front office to come to a quick and conclusive decision.
With Woodson now out as coach of the Hawks this makes it four vacancies within the NBA. The Chicago Bulls , __ New Jersey Nets and New Orleans Hornets now are in search of a coach. Now one might think that this might not have any bearing on the prospective free agency market. And with all the hype over LeBron James and his impending free agency decision. With at least five or six teams said to be in the mix for James’ service apart from his home state team . It has to be said that should James decide to leave the only club he’s played for professionally. It’s obvious that should he make the decision to leave then he could overnight become the most despised person in the state of Ohio. Well we know that former Browns’ owner Art Modell is about as liked within the state as Osama Bin-Laden is said to be liked by the US government and the rest of the Western hemisphere.
Now there’s no denying that the whole NBA universe will be waiting with baited breath as to impending decision to be made by LeBron James. He can remain in Cleveland and re-sign with the team for the maximum contract possible. Or he could seek out pastures green and make his desired destination either to the East Coast or stay essentially within the mid-west. That asides Cavaliers’ owner Dan Gilbert and team GM Danny Ferry have a great deal to think about concerning James and building “a team” that would be complementary to his skills .
While it was clear that during the regular season the Cavaliers were a competitive team. It became increasingly clear that once the postseason was under way there were a great many flaws that came to the fore concerning this team. None of them more transparent than the fact that James failed to live up to those perceived expectations of grandeur. Only rare glimpses of brilliance did we actually see from James in his postseason performances. That being said it was far better than the contributions made by his teammates . And for Ferry this has to be frustrating to see a team that was assembled in mind towards winning an NBA title . The team’s abysmal performance in the Eastern Conference semi-finals loss (4-2 the Boston Celtics) indicated to us all that this squad was actually no nearer to an NBA title than Lindsay Lohan could be considered to be a legitimate contender or nominee for an Oscar . Would it be fair to say that the Cavaliers under achieved this season ?
Now with the conference finals now set to get under way with the Los Angeles Lakers taking on the Phoenix Suns and in the East we have the Boston Celtics taking on their conference rivals and perhaps most competitive adversary in the Orlando Magic . And it would be fair to say that the quartet of teams would have something to prove to not only their respective fans but also to the rest of the NBA. The Magic as the defending conference champions will be looking to defend their crown successively and make a return to the NBA Finals . As the losing finalists in last year’s finals . The Magic led by their dynamic center Dwight Howard will be looking to avenge their 4-1 series’ defeat at the hands of the Los Angeles Lakers. And for coach Stan Van Gundy this will give him the chance to prove once and for all that he’s finally ready redeem himself after last season’s loss in the NBA Finals.
It ought to come as no surprise that NBA Commissioner David Stern looks to the game’s showcase event as a way of ensuring the game’s burgeoning popularity . To be sure that the game has its fans the world over. The game’s popularity in particular in the Pan Pacific basin is astonishing.. And when one considers that the three most popular selling branded jerseys are that of Yao Ming , Kobe Bryant and LeBron James . It gives you the evidence that suggests that the , Beijing Olympics did more than open up the Asian market for the NBA brand.
Either way the stage is being set for what could be the decidedly perfect setup of a possible rematch of Celtics ___ Lakers’ NBA Finals . But then again the Orlando Magic and Phoenix Suns might have a great deal to say about that. Suns’ coach Alvin Gentry can use this to prove to his peers and the fans alike that he’s more than capable of leading “a team” to the NBA Finals. He has been widely accepted as a very good coach at the assistant level. But we’re now finally seeing how capable he is as a head coach . And the possibility of Gentry leading this Suns’ team to raising the Larry O’Brien Trophy would be viewed as quite a tremendous achievement and accolade. And given the fact that for Suns’ veterans Grant Hill , Steve Nash and Jason Richardson this may well be the last chance that they will have to grace the game’s grandest stage with their presence.
The Los Angeles Lakers are simply looking to add to last year’s triumph and for this team to cement their own legacy. At the same time Lakers’ guard Kobe Bryant merely wants to show the rest of the world that having reached the NBA summit once , without the assistance of Shaquille O’Neal he can still do it a second time with a much understated cast of players. And at his side once again providing the venerable advice will be the team’s legendary coach Phil Jackson . And for Jackson with the speculation once again rising as to his immediate future with the team. It will be very interesting what arises out of this all at the culmination of the NBA postseason. Speculation may well begin as to who his immediate successor might be should he choose to step down from his position, as coach of the team.
The two conference finals are now being viewed as something of a mismatch. And it has to be said that in reality at the end of the day ” this is a win win situation for the NBA” ! . The viewership will be there for the event , no matter what the two final teams might be. The preordained belief that a Cavaliers ___ Lakers match up would be of benefit to the game as well as the fans was essentially shot to hell. And the given reason was due to the fact that the Cavaliers were vastly overrated to begin with. As I’ve alluded to in earlier pieces, it’s all well and good to rave on about LeBron James. But it is becoming abundantly clear that the player is not in the class of Michal Jordan , Magic Johnson , “Dr J or Larry Bird when it comes to leading a team in the game’s premiere event. His supporting cast has been anything but glorious and the player himself , has finally shown that he has what it takes but clearly can’t do it all by himself. And the reality may well be that it is now in the best interest for the player to go to a team that would better serve his needs and ambitions. Truth be told there’s the suspicion that the player may well choose to remain in Cleveland and give it just one last shot at a title run . Why you say ? Essentially because James is a businessman and economically it is in his best interests to do so. I’ve read the asinine assumption that the player would seek to go to a club were he would be offered a stake in the franchise. Well given the fact that the contributor was using the most ridiculous of and speculative of situations and the notion from the outset that this isn’t allowed by the NBA hierarchy . One has to assume that this individual has very little knowledge about the game, much less the rules governing the sport. And from a business standpoint his knowledge might be in light with that of Sarah Palin’s knowledge on the US economy and its macro economic diversity upon the nation and around the globe.
The one thing that we can however be sure of is , that as of now , absolutely nothing will be out of the ordinary as these series now unfold. You make your choices now and simply just stick with them. As for what the future holds for LeBron James does anyone really care ? Well perhaps those teams who are actually in with a chance of landing him to begin with. And the way I view it , if you haven’t even assembled a core group of talent that would complementary to the player’s talent to begin with. Then why in hell’s name would you even consider trying to lure the player to begin with ? I mean we’ve seen what has taken place with the Cavaliers to begin with. An aging Shaquille O’Neal and a player in Antawn Jamison who simply couldn’t get the job done with the given talent there. So anyone who’s under the assumption that the New York Knicks might fare any better simply ought to look at the team and their legacy recently . Need I anymore on the matter ? They haven’t a coach worth a damn or a general manager who knows what the hell he is actually doing !
The resumption of the “NBA Playoffs” may well tell us a great deal about the remaining quartet of teams and their ambitions ! Who do you view as being the final pair left standing and ” which team” do you actually see being triumphant in the end ? By all means chime in with a comment . I look forward to responding with as succinct a response possible . Thanks in advance for the continued support as it’s always appreciated !
NB: Prospective list of 2010 NBA restricted and unrestricted free agents. Simply click on link provided to view the list of names in question. Click here to view . Heading the list as we know is LeBron James but there will be a wide and assorted list of names coming to the market. Here are but a few of the names.
While the NFL has its off-season , the stories that come to the fore never cease to amaze. From former NFL great Lawrence Taylor’s assignation with a young teen and his choosing to having solicited sex from this female , to the very fact that he now causes embarrassment to his wife and immediate family. To top it all with his lawyer professing his client’s innocence we now find out the player confirmed to law enforcement _ members of the Ramapo Police Dept that he did in fact have sex with the teen and paid her for the act . It appears that LT isn’t one to heed his lawyer’s advice.
Carl Banks (left), Lawerence Taylor (center) and Harry Caron (right) are seen on the sidelines before an NFC wildcard game at the Meadowlands against the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers would go on to defeat the Giants 23-0 . Getty Images / Al Messerschmidt ….
This was in December of 1998 and I was sitting with Lawrence Taylor in his house in Upper Saddle River, just more than a month before the vote on his election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It had been a bumpy five years following his retirement and LT was aware voters could stray from the rules and consider his drug arrests and long list of off-the-field problems when considering his candidacy.
LT was in a talkative mood that day – part therapy and part campaigning for votes.
“I’m quite sure, as long as I live, there is always going to be some controversy with me,” he said. “People must think I get up in the morning and say, ‘Let me see what I can get into now.'”
He has rarely given reason to think otherwise.
Although it had been pretty quiet on the LT police blotter since he was inducted in Canton on Aug. 7, 1999, that all changed this past week after he was arrested for allegedly raping a 16-year-old girl and soliciting a prostitute. LT has two daughters from his first marriage older than the girl he is accused of raping.
It has left the Giants community saddened and stunned.
“LT is like a brother to me,” Harry Carson told the Daily News. “I consider it a family matter and far be it from me to speak about my brother or my family at this time. What generally happens is you circle the wagons and support one another. It’s not about communicating with the world, it’s not about me running my mouth. It’s about trying to be as supportive as I can to someone I am very close to.”
Carson and Taylor had a falling out in the late ’90s after LT’s drug arrest in Florida. He said Carson was saying negative things about him and he was tired of it. They didn’t speak for the nine months before Taylor entered Canton, but Carson broke the ice when he showed up for LT’s induction. Taylor then gave a special mention to Carson in his speech.
“We’ve always been buddies,” Carson said. “There was a period when there was a rough patch.”
Taylor went from the NFL draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 22, where he was honored as one of the 10 best draft picks of all time, to St. Kitts, where he met up with Carson to play in Bruce Smith’s golf tournament. “Everything was fine,” Carson said.
Now having been indicted , Taylor a trial awaits with all of the paparazzi and mayhem that one expect would occur when it comes to a fallen NFL idol. Should we at all be surprised by the sheer stupidity that emanates from the NFL and from its current or former players ? It’s not as if the league’s hierarchy or the NFLPA- (union) is overly concerned with its image to begin with ! Not only unless it adversely affects the monies coming into its coffers. Roger Goodell merely chooses the battles he sees fit to intervene in but rarely has he been proactive in dealing with many of the underlying issues that affects the game and its image adversely. And it is the same with his union counterpart NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith .
Metairie , Louisiana — Saints coach Sean Payton says this weekend’s rookie camp is the wrong time to address accusations that the club covered up prescription drug thefts and abuse at team headquarters.
Payton says he cannot discuss the matter while a civil lawsuit filed by former team security director Geoffrey Santini is pending.
The suit claims linebackers coach Joe Vitt was caught on video stealing Vicodin from the team’s drug locker and that the Saints tried to keep it quiet. It also claims Payton was allowed to take excessive amounts of Vicodin from team supplies.
Both coaches are going about their normal duties this weekend.
Payton says Vitt deserves as much credit as anyone for last season’s Super Bowl championship.
What is now unfolding from within the New Orleans Saints is either a wantoned act of sheer stupidity and desperation by several senior executives or just complete deniability or culpability by those embroiled in the alleged theft of property from the Saints. The allegations are that Joe Vitt is said to have removed excessive amounts of the drug Vicodin from the club’s property without authorization. And given the fact that under federal law the drug’s use has to prescribed under prescription from a certified medical professional. Former team security and liaison officer Geoffrey Santini is said to have been asked to conduct an investigation into the missing medication. However, it has been alleged that upon having culminated his investigation , Santini states that GM Micky Loomis conducted a cover up as to what took place and the very fact that Vitt was the actual perpetrator of the criminal act of removing the drugs in question. It is also being alleged that Payton , himself , is also embroiled in this from a standpoint that he’s said to be an alleged abuser in the use of Vicodin. Though there have been denials from both coaches concerning the matter. It has to be said that trying to question Santini’s credibility might well be a tough thing to prove. Geoffrey Santini is a former decorated and seasoned veteran of the FBI .
With Santini having been fired and bring about this suit , the Saints and their legal counsel have made it clear that they intend to challenge this suit vehemently and add this suit itself is without merit and frivolous. However, the landscape of this all could well be altered from the fact that Santini states that he still has within his possession evidence that supports his findings. And much of that evidence stems from the fact that he says he has videotaped recordings of Vitt removing the ‘said items’ from the Saints’ property. If this proves to be true then the cat and mouse antics that’s now taking place between the two sides will be for nought. Federal investigators aren’t yet involved in the matter but one can be sure that they’re watching this all with a great deal of scrutiny. And should they intervene and then become involved in this all, then it could very well spell disaster for a number of high ranking officials within the Saints’ organization. At this moment in time , it is nothing more than a civil suit brought about by an ex-employee of the New Orleans Saints with the organization as defendants and Geoffrey Santini as the the plaintiff.
You’ve either got to be the dumbest “son of a bitch” on the face of the planet or you simply don’t give a f_ck once you become a much vaulted player within the camaraderie of the NFL ! That’s simply the only reason I can now describe ormer USC defensive player Brian Cushing . The player has been drafted by the Houston Texans and was seen as a fulcrum for a very porous defense within the AFC South .
The AP NFL Rookie of The Year will now spend the first four games of the 2010 NFL season having violated the NFL’s substance abuse policy, having tested positive for an illegal substance. Though this isn’t the first time that the player has had such a problem as there had been suspicions as to his use while under Pete Carroll’s program there at USC . And one was under the impression that the only real problem there with the program may well have been flouting the NCAA rules ? Hell no , you name it and more likely than they’d have found a way to circumvent the rules as long as it benefited the program. Never mind the morons within the NCAA hierarchy. Those as_holes couldn’t find their own rear ends were they given a mirror to assist them. And as for USC Athletics’ Director Mike Garrett . Well let’s just say his idea of remaining within the guidelines have become somewhat skewered. As for Pete Carroll , his ass fled from USC faster than sprinter Usain Bolt slips from the starting blocks in a 100 meter sprint. You’re not going to blame him for any of the mess that befalls the program. That s_it will land firmly in the lap of his successor Lane Kiffin .
Courtesy of Associated Press & Yahoo Sports
Texans owner: More info needed on suspensions
By Barry Wilner AP Sports Writer
New York (AP)—Houston Texans owner Robert McNair says he’d like more information to be provided to the team when a player has a league suspension pending.
McNair said Monday he knew during the 2009 season that linebacker Brian Cushing(notes) had “an issue” with the NFL. McNair was given no details by the league of what it concerned.
Turns out, it concerned Cushing using a banned substance, for which he was suspended last week for the first four games of the 2010 season.
The Associated Press NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year admitted taking a non-steroid banned substance, which is still considered performance-enhancing by the league. He did not identify the substance he took.
Cushing won the end-of-season honor as part of the AP’s annual awards for outstanding on-field performance by players. As a result of the penalty and admission, the AP is taking a revote for the defensive rookie award plus for All-Pro outside linebacker. Cushing received five votes in that category and made the second team. He is still among the nominees in the revote.
All ballots in the revote are due by early Wednesday afternoon.
Cushing was a runaway winner for the rookie award in balloting by a nationwide panel of 50 sports writers and broadcasters who cover the league. He received 39 votes, easily beating Buffalo safety Jairus Byrd(notes), who had six.
“This is the first time we’ve encountered an issue like this,” said Lou Ferrara, AP’s managing editor for sports and entertainment. “Because these awards are based on on-field performance, we consider it necessary to review the matter and allow for a re-vote, especially after concerns were raised by many of our voters.”
McNair criticized the suspension and appeal process.
Click on link to read Wilner’s article in its entirety.
Texans’ owner Bob McNair feels aggrieved that Cushing will have to undergo the four game suspension. Did I miss something here ? But this is a mandatory suspension that was agreed upon by all parties concerned , the owners the NFL hierarchy and that of the , NFLPA as laid out in the collective bargaining agreement. Brian Cushing for his part hasn’t been forthcoming as to what he tested positive for but one can surmise that it could either be for marijuana or a steroid. McNair on the other hand is crying foul for all of the wrong reasons. Could an owner be more asinine in his resolve ?
You don’t bend the rules simply because you’re not happy with it ! Especially given the fact that the player’s character has come into question prior to his joining the NFL. I am of the opinion that the NFL at times , feels that it is above the laws of the land ? Never mind the fact that its players act like a bunch of primadonas the vast majority of the time ! Clearly there’s something awry here when an owner feels that the hierarchy of the game ought to be answerable to him and not the other way around. After-all , it is a player that is in the Texans’ employ that has flouted the rules here . And as such if there’s proof of guilt then the punishment ought to fit the crime.
Here it appears that McNair is merely trying to make the situation as it concerns his player somewhat more beneficial to himself and his organization. As to the NFL under the tenure of Roger Goodell , as its commissioner . I am still at a loss what to make of him not just as the game’s highest ranking official but also as a human being ! The vast majority of the time he comes across as none-plussed and clearly out of his depth . And at other times even when trying to be succinct you can’t be sure what it is that he’s trying to communicate to us all en masse`. Pardon for saying this but what is the NFL’s actual tolerance level and policy ? Does anyone really know ? If you have an answer or the answers , then by all means submit them as part of your response to this very article . It ought to make for an interesting topic of discussion !
It’s not to my chagrin but the apparent hypocrisy shown by the USOC in now getting the satisfaction they sought in seeing several Chinese gymnast stripped of their Olympic medals for being under aged. So unless the the USOC has now become a conduit of the Roman Catholic church in its suborning and condoning the actions of many of the swim instructors and trainers within the governing body of USA Swimming . Then it had better get its head out of its own ass and tackle this particular subject head on .
Now while this was going on several young females on at the youth and junior level of USA swimming. Now comes the most reprehensible fact of this all, several female members have the victims of sexual abuse by their trainers who all sanctioned by USA Swimming . What may seem even more perverse in all of this , has been the fact that while this has going on . Well it has been the fact that the USOC has simply turned a blind eye to this all . Pardon me for saying this but I would’ve thought the apparent safety of a child far outweighs that the USOC simply chasing down the Chinese in conjunction with the IOC to go after the Chinese Olympic gymnastic federation. We’ve had more US athletes in the past two years banned for the use of illicit substances than there has been the accusation of the use of underage performers at the Olympics. Which to your mind is the more egregious of the alleged acts ?
After an investigation that lasted more than a year, the International Gymnastics Federation announced on Friday that a Chinese gymnast from the 2000 Olympics had been too young to compete.
The gymnast, Dong Fangxiao, a member of the Chinese women’s team that won the bronze medal, was found to have falsified her age in order to meet the requirements at those Olympics. The gymnastics federation said in a statement that Dong was actually 14, two years younger than the minimum. Her results at those Games and at several other major competitions have been revoked.
The federation — which goes by its French acronym, F.I.G. — submitted a request to the International Olympic Committee to strip the Chinese team of its Olympic bronze medal. If that happens, the United States women’s team, which finished fourth, will move into third place. The gymnasts on that squad were Amy Chow, Jamie Dantzscher, Dominique Dawes, Kristen Maloney, Elise Ray and Tasha Schwikert.
“There still is what I believe to be unanswered questions about this issue, but there is only so much you can prove when it comes to falsified documents,” Steve Penny, the president of USA Gymnastics, said. “I feel that the F.I.G. is taking this matter very seriously and has done a very responsible job here. They’ve done absolutely everything in their power to get to the bottom of a very sensitive issue.”
Mark Adams, a spokesman for the I.O.C., said the gymnastics federation’s recommendation to strip the Chinese of their medals would be studied by the I.O.C.’s executive board before any action was taken. That would probably happen at the board’s next meeting at the end of April, he said.
Click on link to read article in its entirety.
How is that they are so steadfast in doing this but given the fact over two dozen young females have sexually abused have never been given the recourse sought ? Now recently one of the biggest predators in the midst of this scandal is now housed in California state prison for eight counts of sexual assault and battery that he has committed over the course of the last fifteen years. Now to say this is reprehensible wouldn’t do this statement justice but I guess it will have to do . I at times wonder which is in fact more disdainful when it comes to ambition as it concerns a governing body ? The actual pursuit of excellence or the actual commercial success ?
The popular ABC News show 20/20 is running an investigative piece Friday night on Andrew King, a former Oak Harbor swim coach convicted of raping young swimmers, and the organization USA Swimming.
The piece investigated by Brian Ross, entitled “Inside USA Swimming: Secrets and Betrayal,” will run Friday, April 9 at 10 p.m. on ABC. A brief segment is also scheduled to be aired Friday on the 5:30 p.m. World News with Diane Sawyer.
Andrew “Andy” King, 61, is a serial child molester who used his position as a swim coach to molest at least a dozen young girls, allegedly including one Oak Harbor girl, over his 30-year career. He was sentenced to 40 years in prison earlier this year in a California courtroom after pleading no contest last fall to 20 child molestation charges.
King coached the Aquajets swim team at the North Whidbey Park and Recreation swimming pool in Oak Harbor during the 1990s, then left mysteriously amid complaints about his contact with female swimmers.
A couple of years later, one of the Oak Harbor swimmers reported that King had molested and raped her from 1994 to 1997, when she was just 12 to 13 years old. Detective Teri Gardner with the Oak Harbor police investigated the allegations extensively, but the Island County prosecutor declined to charge King.
After leaving Oak Harbor, King moved to San Jose and continued to coach swimmers associated with USA Swimming, a national organization that has been criticized over allegations that it hasn’t protected children adequately. North Whidbey Aquatics Club is affiliated with Pacific Northwest Swimming, a committee of USA Swimming, according to the club’s Web site.
Last year, investigators in San Jose uncovered King’s lengthy history of molesting child swimmers.
The Oak Harbor swimmer who was allegedly raped by King filed a $15 million claim for damages against North Whidbey Park and Recreation District. The district’s insurance company is handling the complaint.
And at present there are several such cases either now under indictment or awaiting trial and as far as too often been the case many of the instructors in question simply left their positions with a prospective club or team only repeat the very same offenses elsewhere with a new team. Somewhat reminiscent as to how the Roman Catholic church moved their priests around the different dioceses as they carried out their pernicious acts of sexual debauchery on the young and innocent.
Commissioner Roger Goodell saw fit suspend Ben Roethlisberger but yet when Miami Dolphins’ GM Jeff Ireland saw fit to make what would in most peoples’ mind would be offensive statement. Absolutely nothing was done by the commissioner’s office. During an NFL rookie interview Ireland had the temerity to ask Oklahoma State football player Dez Bryant whether or not his mother was a prostitute (whore). Now what this has to do with the player’s abilities on the field is beyond me ! But this now appears to be what NFL executives may seek to be the norm. Were those the actions of an African American NFL executive asking that question there would have been a public outcry ! As to the lack of inaction by the commissioner’s office or that of Miami Dolphins front office will no doubt set a bad precedence within collegiate football and many of its young players. Conducting unbecoming the image of the league is meant not just to apply to the NFL players but also the entire league as it relates to the owners and executives. Goodell it appears, is only willing to fight the battles he sees fit to pursue .
Of all the executives who govern the four major sports . It might just be that NBA Commissioner David Stern has always been about the image of his sport and the conduct of its members. What recently took place between Bulls’ executive John Paxson and that of the team’s now recently fired coach Vinny Del Negro left a lot to be desired. Paxson physically assaulted the team’s then coach and threatened him. Now if Stern and the Bulls’ owner Jerry Reinsdorf is willing to overlook this action. Then what does it suggest about the hierarchy of the sport in general ? The now infamous incident wherein Latrell Sprewell in a premeditated attack choked his coach P J Carlessimo , led to the player being suspended nd fined. Sprewell an African American , was never able to live the incident down and became to be thought of as a street thug. After the incident his career essentially was derailed and spiraled out of control. Now were Paxson an African American NBA executive, one wonders what the outcome may well have been ? But in the midst of this all a public statement has not been forthcoming from either Stern , Stu Jackson or from Bulls’ owner Jerry Reinsdorf or the team’s GM Gar Forman .
I no longer take with credence anything that’s forthcoming from the hierarchies of any of the “governing officials of the four major sports” !. It is not as if they have ever taken the fans’ interests to heart with regard to any decision that they make. For them it has and always will be about the bottom line at the expense of the fans’ goodwill. And on a bye-note if conservatives are known for being entrepreneurs and great businessmen. Then why is it the meltdown of the banking industry and automotive industry took place ? Either the conservatives on top that piece of piece of dog crap just aren’t as bright as some of the spokespersons would have us believe ? Hypocrisy on both sides of the political aisle knows no boundaries , much as in the same it knows no boundaries when it comes to the realms of sports.
Something I Thought I Ought To Share Amongst Friends & Acquaintances !
If this doesn’t put the wind behind your sail and get your boy to stand to attention then you’ve either got a problem or somehow feeling sexually inadequate. Here for your distinct pleasure and edification are “Shay The UK Bombshell” amongst a bevvy of beauties that I hope you’ll like ?
You’ll be able to view these beauties via the slide-show as well through the customary picture gallery. So without further ado let’s get the ball rolling , what do you say ?
Fill In The Blank or Blanks As The Case Maybe ……………….
Well now that the NBA Playoffs have reached the conference semi-finals stages. It’s beginning to look like the “presumed favorites” as it now stands ought to be making their way to the respective conference finals. As an avowed Spurs’ fan all I’ve got to say about the team at present is “……….what the hell are you guys doing or thinking” ? Were the San Antonio Spurs a race horse and they came up lame up as they have done is this series against the Phoenix Suns , thus far. Then I for one would have them euthanized. How the hell can Gregg Popovich have himself be out-coached by Alvin Gentry ? That’s akin to having someone subscribed to the statement that Britney Spears is a far much better performer and singer than Alicia Keys ? So now lip syncing now beats out sheer raw talent ? What is the world now coming to ? I guess that’s why we’ve got “American Idol” on Fox television ?
Performers can come and go but “real talent” stands the test of time !
Here are few suggestions to start you off concerning the perceived exchange being made between the duo.
1) “Man, Khloe is a ‘ho in the bedroom but a lousy cook” ! Lamar
2) “Vanessa doesn’t like it when I ask her stop drop and roll during sex” Kobe
3) “I still think that I’m in with a chance of nailin’ Khloe’s mom , Kris Jenner “! Lamar
4) “Damn man that’s what I was thinking too ” ! Kobe
5) “I’d definitely like to try having oral sex with Kim just to see if she’s any different from that chick in Eagle, Colorado. She gave “good head” and that was it . The rest wasn’t all that “! Kobe
6) “Dang Kobe why you gotta go there man” ? Lamar
7) “I dunno’ ’bout you but I don’t think LeBron is all that ” !___ Lamar. ” That’s for sho’ he ain’t got goin’ on like me. He ain’t poppin’ it like me and I’m off the chain fo’ shizzle ” ! ____ Kobe
(8) “Kobe do ya’ think the sistas hate us ’cause we’ only been with “white chicks” ? ___ Lamar. “Man shut the _uck up I dated a sista’ in high school and I took Brandy to her prom. That’s gotta count for somethin’ ! ” _________ Kobe.
So guys chime on in with a comment concerning the caption as well as your thoughts on the NBA Playoffs so far.
For now I’ll abide by whatever, fate has in store for my “team” but I can’t say at all that I’m entirely happy with their display in the series so far ! It’s as my Royal Marine drill instructor one told us on an exercise . “We’re not here to merely play games we’re here to fight and it’s my duty to make men out of you ……… “you bunch of cherry assed choirboys ” ! Do I like what I see from the Spurs as of now ? Hell no ! But I’ll support them come hell or high water but at the same time I’ll call their asses out if they’re playing like a “bunch of wimps” ! Which is exactly what they’re now doing in this series. It’s hard to believe that this is the same team who dealt with the Dallas Mavericks so clinically in the previous round !
Hump Day Wednesday Let’s Have Some Fun With A Caption Contest ……………… !
Well it’s Wednesday and it’s hump day but two days left ’til the weekend. It’s safe to say this juncture that two of the four playoffs series in the conference semi-finals of the NBA are all but over ! Pardon me for say this but the level of resistance being put up by the Atlanta Hawks against the Orlando Magic is somewhat reminiscent of some of the females I’ve known in my youth. Often known as the girls who’d be willing to do absolutely anything just to please a guy. It appears that it’s the same way with the Hawks ! I’m not saying that they’ve given up but they (Hawks) make the French military seem like venerable heroes ! The Orlando Magic are “puttin’ a can of whup a_s” on this Mike Woodson coached Hawks’ team ! Sportschump please accept my profound apologies but sir, you are absolutely right this Hawks’ team are about as scary as being confronted by Ricky Martin in a biker bar filled with heterosexuals males . The bikers in the bar mightn’t feel all that comfortable and are probably wanting to kick Ricky’s a_s. But given the fact that Ricky may well be into sado-masochism , I’m not so sure that he might not be entertained by the idea of having his a_s beaten to a pulp by some male bikers.
The way that the Hawks are now playing I expect Stan Van Gundy and the Magic to lay waste to Phillips Arena and close out the series with surgical precision. The Hawks might just be the worse #3 seeds ever to be represented in the Eastern Conference of the NBA Playoffs ! Game 1 and the 114-71 rout of the Hawks signifies that the Magic are in the driver’s seat for the remainder of this series.
For the third consecutive season Sloan’s Jazz have had to face the Los Angeles Lakers in the postseason. And no matter how you try to spin it the outcome becomes inevitably the same . It’s as if it’s deja-vu repeatedly for the Jazz. For Jazz point guard Deron Williams , he may well have felt that he didn’t sign on for this but it may well be for the moment the best that he can expect for the time being.If Kobe Bryant is on the opposing end of the court, then for now it’s Kobe’s world , Williams and his teammates are merely guests at the dining table. But unfortunately for them , they are not only the entree but they’re also the main course and dessert at the end of the meal. Whoop , there it is !
The Utah Jazz are already down 0-2 in this series and after last night’s 111-103 loss to their Western Conference rivals. I think we’re now getting the distinct feeling that there’s not much that can derail the Lakers’ freight train as they “march inevitably on” to the NBA Finals. The victors of the Phoenix Suns and San Antonio Spurs — series are the only ones who now stand in the Lakers’ way as the conference representative in the championship game . Make of it what you will but please do enjoy.
Nothing says “thud” like an uninspiring weekend when it comes to sports. And anyone who’d suggest that this past weekend was awe inspiring. Well I’d like for them to suggest what events that actually took place would suggest that ?
The Kentcuky Derby ran at Churchill Downs elicited about as much excitement as watching paint dry and that was given the fact that the premiere race on the NTRA circuit was ran on a rain drenched track. But the only decent thing to come out of it all was that history was made by the winning jockey Calvin Borel . As he became the first jockey to have won the race three years out of four. It now becomes an unprecedented feat. Now we’ll have to wait to see whether or not Borel and winning trainer Todd Pletcher will saddle up winning horse Super Saver for the next two legs of the “Triple Crown” . The Preakness and The Belmont being the other two legs leading to equine immortality.
In the Eastern Conference semi-finals’ matchup we’ll get to see the Boston Celtics match wits the Cleveland Cavaliers . Can we say that with LeBron James now adding another piece of silverware to his cabinet there’s still work that’s left to be done ? It was formally announced over the weekend that James was the regular season league MVP . And having won the award for the second consecutive season he joins a select few players that’ve won multiple league MVP awards consecutively.
The other semi finals matchup within the Eastern Conference will see the Atlanta Hawks taking on the Orlando Magic . And there’s a distinct feeling that Magic will actually convincingly win this series with a blowout of the Hawks. This Mike Woodson coached team had its struggles in the previous round against the Milwaukee Bucks . And if anything they’ll be physically and mentally worn down with fatigue from that particular series . So any expectations of this series going at least five games might see out of the question at this juncture.
Now pardon me for saying this but will the remainder of the NFL offseason be merely about Brett Favre ? I mean I’m no soap opera fan but the only thing that seems to be missing from this particular melodrama as it unfolds has been the lack sexual of intrigue and violence. Oh I forgot there’s been no indiscriminate drug use or the usual homicide to leave us guessing. But who knows what to expect down the road at this juncture ? I’m sure that ESPN’s Chris Mortensen will continue to dumpster dive through Brett and Deanna’s garbage to let us know what they’ve eaten for breakfast and the type of feminine hygiene products that Brett’s wife has become accustomed to using. I mean if there’s a story to be had about Brett Favre and his impending return to the NFL. Then Mort is the man who’ll be bringing us the story. Can I get an amen on that ?
There was a time when Shane Mosley (46-6-1NC, 39 KO’s) was viewed as an elite fighter within the sport of boxing but based on the evidence that was put forth on Saturday night in his welterweight bout against the unbeaten Floyd Mayweather (41-0, 25 KO’s). I can think we can now pretty much say those days have been laid to rest with the thought of Mosley being an elite boxer . Though he wasn’t pounded into submission in a unanimous decision loss to Mayweather. Other than round two of this welterweight bout, Mosley gave little indication that he was even a participant in the fight , much less that he came to fight to begin with.
And the pitiful excuses that came from Mosley afterwards was enough to suggest that the $7.5 million payday was just about enough to make him feel good about himself. Mayweatther for his part earned a guaranteed $22.5 million , with the anciilary rights still yet to be tallied up. But if the projected estimates are to be believed then Mayweather could very well walk away with at least $45-$50 million when it’s all accounted for . What’s a cool $50 million between friends ? I mean at $54-95 via PPV , either you’re making a great many friends or a hell of a lot of enemies ?
With Mayweather now cementing his legacy , all that now awaits, is the highly anticipated bout that all that the fans want to see. And that is a match-up against Filipino titlist , Manny Pacquaio . The Filipino fighter says that he felt slighted when it was insinuated that he was a cheat for not wanting to adhere and take a blood test in adhering to an agreement made between his manager Bob Arum and Mayweather’s people . Stop this bullsh_t Manny , the only person being slighted here are the fans and you damn well know it. You’d feel slighted if someone suggested your mother was a “street walker” . So toughen the f_ck up and let’s get this going with Mayweather !
It’s not often that you’re able to witness someone performing at a high standard at the latter stages of their career. OK , granted we had George Foreman unexpectedly regain the world heavyweight crown by knocking out Michael Moorer . Foreman at the time became the oldest heavyweight boxing champion at the age of 45. But really, was it that much of a surprise ? I mean Michael Moorer couldn’t punch his way out of a wet paper bag were his fists covered with plaster of paris to give him an additional advantage.
On Saturday just in case you missed it you’d have had the privilege of seeing the Philadelphia Phillies’ Jamie Moyer at the age of 47 pitching like a young phenom as he and his team curtailed the New York Mets . At the age of 47 when most athletes are either on the latter side of the careers or they’re pretending to start a new one by entering the Champions Tour of the PGA . Though the limit there is 50 before you’re allowed to enter an official event on the Champions Tour.
Jamie Moyer is simply proving the old adage ……….”that age is most definitely nothing but a number ” . Having now pitched in four decades do you get the feeling that Moyer could pitch well into his fifties if his health holds up ? Admittedly , with Brett Favre not showing signs of slowing down but still having that zest to compete at the highest level within the NFL . I’ve got to admit that it’s not such a bad feeling. But then again it’s Brett’s continuous offseason antics that has me now pis_ed off ! Are we there yet concerning Brett and his imminent return to the NFL and the Minnesota Vikings ?
Moyer for his part rarely complains and merely goes about doing his best to be supportive of his team and leader to the younger players on the Phillies’ roster. And with the experience that he brings as a seasoned veteran on this pitching rotation . I think that the Phillies, if anything , will be the prohibitive favorites within the NL East to take the divisional crown and quite possibly repeat as NL pennant winners at the end of the season .
Saturday’s 11-5 victory for the Phillies , saw Moyer in large part out-pitch the Mets’ ace Johan Santana . And how often is it that we can say that we’ve seen Santana being outpitched by an opponent , much less someone who’s 47 years of age. Santana was only able to go pitch 3.2 innings , have been rocked for eight hits and 10 runs during three innings of work and ending the game with a 10.00 era. I’m not about to suggest that things for the Mets are bad. But given the fact that Santana is the team’s “alleged ace in the hole”. I’d be extremely worried right about now , if I were either Mets’ GM Omar Minaya or team manager Jerry Manuel .
As entertaining as the NBA postseason has been this all took something of a respite concerning the news of Denver Nuggets’ coach George Karl . Having undergone chemotherapy for throat cancer it appears that the coach’s health may well be taking a turn for the worse . Karl’s situation is said to be dire and acute. A blood clot has been discovered in his right leg. Should the clot spread to his aortic valve then it could bring on a coronary attack . If this hasn’t proven to have been a season of missed opportunities for the Nuggets then it appears with this latest news , the whole future for the franchise may well have taken more than a turn for the worse.
The biggest problem facing the franchise now is the fact that a season that was expected to be one of great expectations has merely crumbled in front of everyone’s eyes including that of their fans. Heavily favored to at least make the conference semi finals. The Nuggets were subjected to a rather humiliating series’ loss _(4-2) in the opening round of this season’s NBA playoffs against the Utah Jazz . There may be not much that one can take away from this all , other than the fact that the loss of Karl on the sidelines during the series essentially laid to rest that the Nuggets were capable of winning without their much storied and well loved coach.
As much as I’ve admired the Nuggets from afar the thought of the Nuggets without Karl is like trying to imagine the Los Angeles Lakers without Phil Jackson . Just as Jackson has reinvigorated the Lakers the same can be said about Karl and what he’s done for the Nuggets since his tenure with the organization . Led by billionaire owner Stanley E Kroenke it has to be said that there has go be great deal of stress that the franchise and team must now be going under concerning the very welfare of their coach. The thought of Karl not being on the sidelines coaching this Nuggets’ team is very dour to say the least ! Karl’s resume` as a coach speaks for itself and it says much about the erstwhile coach and the respect that he commands within the game . And that’s not just from the Nuggets’ players and his peers but also from the “fans around the NBA” .
Denver (AP)—Nuggets coach George Karl has another blood clot in his right leg as he recovers from radiation and chemotherapy treatment for throat and neck cancer.
Karl’s partner, Kim Van Deraa, wrote on her blog this weekend that the 58-year-old coach was rushed to the hospital Friday afternoon with the clot. She said doctors were trying to determine the cause because Karl already is on blood-thinning medication.
Van Deraa also writes that doctors reinserted a filter into his abdomen. The filter had been removed two weeks ago.
The filter prevents the clots from traveling to his hart or lungs. It initially was inserted in March when Karl was first treated for blood clots.
Van Deraa and Karl, who are raising their 5-year-old daughter, Kaci, together, had been writing increasingly upbeat blog posts about Karl’s slow recovery from squamous cell carcinoma.
But the latest post said Karl mentioned his right big toe was hurting Friday and that it felt swollen, so Van Deraa called Karl’s doctor, who set up an ultrasound.
She wrote that “it turned out he has a blood clot in the same right leg so he was admitted to the hospital to break up the clot.”
Karl was diagnosed with cancer late last year and informed his players and the media after coaching the Western Conference in the All-Star Game in February. He began a grueling six-week treatment of radiation and chemotherapy that eventually sidelined him in mid-March.
He had hoped to return to coaching in the playoffs but his treatment caused him to lose 25 pounds along with his strength and stamina. His voice is a raspy whisper, his mouth full of sores and his neck red and tender from the radiation.
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Now while the postseason continues it will be great to see how the more favored teams continue to parlay their presence and make it felt. The series between the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers seems to have already have taken on a life of its own. And with LeBron James seemingly out on a mission to prove that he and his teammates are there to redeem themselves for last season’s abrupt failures. On the flip side of this all the Orlando Magic awaits the winner of the Atlanta Hawks _ Milwaukee Bucks’ _ series . And as good as the Hawks are presumed to be at this juncture there’s not one absolute guarantee that this will be the team that Magic is liable to face in the conference semi finals.
The Western Conference has the match-ups that most might not have envisaged. The defending champions, the Los Angeles Lakers face the Utah Jazz for the third straight consecutive season in the playoffs. Now as titanic this series could turn out to be. A lot of it will hinge upon the play of Kobe Bryant and Deron Williams . The two best players on the opposing teams to face each other in this series . The second series’ match-up will have the Phoenix Suns facing off against the San Antonio Spurs . And there were those who felt that the Spurs weren’t expected to make it beyond the opening round of the playoffs. Much like the prognosticators who tend to just buy into a team and its immediate season rather than looking at its overall body of work . Well let’s just say with the Spurs have made it no surprise to those who actually know something about the game of basketball. And where are the idiots who stood steadfastly behind the Dallas Mavericks now ? No doubt scratching their anus and wondering what the hell went wrong ? The Mavericks are team merely built for a short journey and not the rigors of the postseason. Those bitches wouldn’t know how to be competitive , much less spell the word competitive if you spotted them the letters ………. C O M P T T IVE ! Need one say anymore on the subject ?
And as an added footnote it appears that LeBron James will become the tenth back to back winner the league’s season MVP award . He joins a select few players that’ve “won back back” league MVP awards. And while the feat is commendable, for James their is a bigger goal to be achieved and that is to secure the Cavaliers “their first” NBA title . Anything short of that this season and it could well be deemed somewhat a failure for the franchise.