Kick Me And I’ll Punch You Back Or I Might Even Hit You With My Handbag ….

Kick Me And I’ll Punch You Back Or I Might Even Hit You With My Handbag ….

By tophatal ……….

Well now that MMA (mixed martial arts) has hit the mainstream and has become a serious rival to the sport of boxing we all knew that it was simply only a matter of time before the major broadcast networks came knocking . The sport’s most prominent body is that of the UFC guided by its president Dana White under the tentative ownership of the Fertitta brothers – – Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta . And though the brothers sold a sizable stake in their holdings of UFC they still retain a stake through their major holding company Zuffa LLC and Zuffa Enterprises Inc .

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Now with annual sales upwards of $1 billion in worldwide revenues the sport has in essence surpassed the stale and archaic parameters set within boxing . And it should come as no surprise the fans , and fans of both sports in general , that MMA’s demographics have become very integrated , crossing all ethnic divisions , with there now being a growing fanbase amongst females . That growing permutation has not been lost on programmers within North America . In particular with CBS Sports and its cable operatives Showtime (PPV) and Spike Tv (Spike Television) . Not wanting to be left out of that growing presence and popularity Fox Sports recently jumped on board offering UFC $100 million a year , seven year contract that adds to the profile not only of the organization but also adds to its legitimacy within the mainstream .

Now there is no denying that being the pre-eminent purveyor of the MMA brand globally UFC is not without its detractors but clearly they have set the bar at a standard with which its opponents have yet to aspire to . Bellator , UFC’s chief competitor along with M1 Global are now trying and vying to make waves within the North American market where many of the most lucrative and prestigious bouts have taken place. At the same time often critical of Dana White , Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta both Bellator and M-1 Global know that without the presence of UFC they probably would not exist or have the following amongst their ranks as they seek to remain relevant as a viable brand and product .

While MMA ascends to new heights the world of boxing sinks to an alltime low where the only hope for the sport lays in the hands of a projected super-fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr (42-0, 26KO’s) and Manny Pacquiao (54 ,38KO’s, 3 losses , 2 draws) . Given the lengths that both sides have gone to , to feed this beast in trying to lure the fans that such an event is bound to take place it would not at all surprise me one bit if this proposed mega-fight were to be abandoned or postponed . It is not as if Bob Arum (Pacquiao’s manager & promoter – Top Rank Inc ) or Leonard Ellerbe of Mayweather Promotions Inc have continually chided each other to the extent where the fans simply began to avert their gaze away from the proposed event . Now there is talk of a $35-50 million payday for each fighter once the event takes place in mid 2012 either in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand Hotel Resort & Casino , Cowboys Stadium in Arlington , Texas or quite possibly at Madison Square Garden in New York City , New York . As of now there is no actual guarantee that such a fight is likely to take place even though it is something that the fans of boxing have long craved for .

Needless to say the supporters of boxing would like to point to young fighters such as Nonito Donaire , Andre Dirrell and Tavoris Cloud to lead the way in terms of the sport’s future . But in reality how many of you would actually know who indeed these boxers are ? Would you be able recognize them from a picture were it shown to you ? And let’s not get started with the heavyweight boxing scene as that specific category has become a complete conundrum and a comedic act of itself , without the assist a real comedian ! Anyone who is of the belief that the vast majority of sports’ fans gives a shit about either Wladimir or Vitali Klitschko as the champions within the division must less the sport must be under the influence of some form of hallucinogenic medication . . The mediocrity now on display within the heavyweight division of boxing has been at its lowest depth in a considerable amount time and might just border on the complete ineptitude shown this season by the listless Indianapolis Colts (0-11) without the assist of Peyton Manning to aid them through their obvious woes .

The biggest strength for the sport of MMA under UFC has been the very fact that their bouts staged are usually filled with a plethora of high caliber proponents of mixed martial arts . Usually those cards apart from the marquee match-up at the top of the card , the depth of the undercard itself is one that simply attracts the mainstream fan beyond the showcase event . So much so that financial incentives are given to those fighters beyond their usual contracted payday for a specific bout . Something that has yet to catch on within any boxing card now staged in North America . Is it any wonder why the likes of promoters such as Bob Arum , Don King and Oscar de La Hoya are so damn far behind the “eight ball “ ? Stupid is , as stupid does and that triumvirate continues to lead the sport of boxing down the path into oblivion ! Guys if you know what’s good for the sport simply wake the fuck up and get a god damn clue before it’s too late !

The thing that had me gravitate towards to the sport of mixed martial arts simply grew from the fact that I had become tired of the sport of boxing ! This mismatches in bouts that the fans were led to believe were competitive and the very fact that Mayweather and Pacquiao continued to duck each other like females who were too ashamed to admit that they had slept with the same guy all within a specific time period simply reminded me why the sport is now to be viewed as a charade ! Furthermore , having practiced specifically Taekwondo , Karate and Kenpo prior to joining the military (Royal Marines) and in the aftermath of leaving the service it was something to my mind that I have found to be way more interesting than watching a boxing match ! Granted , within the UFC the fighters there are no connoisseurs when it comes to the pugilistic form but given the current evidence of the heavyweight division of boxing I will give the likes of Brock Lesnar , Frank Mir , Alastair Overeem , Cain Velazquez and current heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos something of pass !

The names of dos Santos , Jon “Bones” Jones , Anderson Silva , Georges St Pierre , Frankie Edgar , Jon Fitch , Jose Aldo and Dominik Cruz are slowly becoming household names to join longer tenured elders of the sport such as Randy Couture , Matt Hughes , Royce Gracie , Chuck Liddell , Tito Ortiz , Urijah Faber , B J Penn and Wanderlei Silva . But that in of-itself should not detract from the considerable talent past and present that have made the sport what it is . Unfortunately , within the sport of boxing with the loss (demise/death) of Joe Frazier , the idiotic prolonged career of Evander Holyfield and the declining health of other notable luminaries of the fight game such as Muhammad Ali and Ken Norton there is little now to be envious about when it comes to the “sweet science ” !

The saying that politicians tend to place their faces where it simply does not belong continues to hold true . And nowhere is this now more self evident than within the world MMA and the very fact that the sport isn’t licensed within the state of New York . Madison Square Garden the Mecca for the sport of boxing for over five decades has never staged a UFC sanctioned bout simply because of the fact that the state legislature feels that the sport is way too violent . Unless I’m mistaken , there have been more deaths on the streets of New York City from random acts of violence and perpetrated acts of homicide than has ever occurred in an octagon . But the biggest political vocal opponent of the sport just happens to be Arizona Republican senator John Cain (R-Az) . War hero or not , when your biggest accomplishment within the political sphere happens to be the watered down “McCain Feingold Bill” and the choice of Sarah Palin as your Vice Presidential running mate — I tend to think that not only is your credibility is pretty much shot to hell but so too must be your god damn sanity ! But yet when questioned on whether or not he feels that the sport needed to be properly overseen with a some sort of governmental mandate the senator was somewhat nonplussed when it came to giving a definitive answer . ” Senator McCain which came first the chicken or the egg ” ? Politicians ! Where the fuck is there one to be found when it means actually taking care of the nation’s business ?

With the UFC set to challenge the state’s banning of the sport under First Amendment constitutional grounds it will be interesting to see how this all plays out in the US District Courts should there not be a vote in the state assembly to rescind that ban . With both sides said and set to be rallying behind and to this specific battle cry and I wonder how New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman will defend his state’s position and opposition to the sport ! If the ferocity of the MMA is viewed in the eyes of these representatives as barbaric —- I have to ask how they view the gunning down of an innocent victim on the streets of Harlem or the Bronx much less perhaps on the streets of Manhattan , Oneida , Bensonhurst or the damn state capitol of Albany , New York ? Pardon me for saying this but what the fuck are they thinking here ?

Dana White in conjunction with Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta have stated unequivocally that they will take their challenge to the US Federal Appellate Court and to the US Supreme Court if need be , to fight what they feel is simply a very draconian statute within the state of New York. Should they succeed in their endeavor then it would pave the way for several other states around the country that prohibit sanctioned bouts of the MMA under the UFC’s banner . There is a great deal at stake for both parties and I suspect that the state assembly knows that there is a growing movement to see the statute repealed . With upwards of $30 million of economic impact that can be created with one simple staged multi event it is easy to understand why not only UFC and Bellator would like this statute overturned . New York state and in particular New York city as the nation’s largest ad market would bring in a treasure trove of financial prosperity for all of the parties concerned .

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In terms of the boxing horizon even in light of a prospective lucrative title bout …. winner takes all in terms credibility and large scale appeal the decline within the sport of boxing his reached an acute point where it really in a state of disrepair . The likes of Bob Arum , Oscar de La Hoya and Don King have done the sport a great disservice , depriving the fans of fights that they would like to see and instead have simply served up a totally superfluous and banal product ! Meanwhile they have seen the young upstart of MMA graduate to the point where the interest for the sport amongst young adult males far surpasses that for any major boxing title fight the triumvirate of promoters might share to showcase for the public’s consumption .

What thoughts if any do have with regard to the points raised within this article ? Also do you feel that the UFC will prevail in its challenge of New York state’s ban on licensed MMA bouts ? Simply chime in with a comment as you deem fit . Thanks as always for your continued support as it is greatly appreciated !

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Picture and slide show gallery details .

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(1) (L-R) Brothers and co-owners of the Ultimate Fighting Championship Frank (L) and Lorenzo Fertitta (2nd R), UFC president Dana White (2nd L) and photographer Kevin Lynch attend the ‘Octagon’ private view at Hamilton’s gallery on January 17, 2007 in London, England. The exhibition showcases work by Lynch documenting the world of Ultimate Fighter Championship (UFC) events. Getty Entertainment / Clare Greenway …

(2) Co-Owner, UFC, Lorenzo Fertitta, mixed martial arts fighter Junior dos Santos, President, UFC Dana White and Co-Owner, UFC Frank Fertitta attend UFC on Fox: Live Heavyweight Championship at the Honda Center on November 12, 2011 in Anaheim, California. Getty Images North America / Jason Merritt …

(3) Floyd Mayweather and his adviser, Leonard Ellerbe share a laugh during the press conference for the Mayweather vs. Marquez fight at the MGM Grand Hotel Wednesday. Cory Olsen | The Grand Rapids Press …

(4) Manny Pacquiao, of the Philippines, center, holds his championship belt as he stands with promoter Bob Arum, left, and trainer Freddie Roach after winning his WBO welterweight boxing title fight against Miguel Cotto , of Puerto Rico. AP Photo /Mark J . Terrill ……

(5) Challenger Junior dos Santos (right) is seen here fighting then UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velazquez at the Honda Center , in Anaheim , California on 12th November 2011 . The challenger would defeat the title holder in 64 seconds of the first round in a knockout , to take the title in Velazquez’s first title defense . …. @ copyrighted material all rights reserved . Zuffa Inc/ Zuffa LLC .

(6) Cain Velazquez (left) seen here in defense of his UFC heavyweight title against challenger, Junior dos Santos . The challenger would prevail by winning the bout with a knockout in the 64th second of their scheduled five round title fight . The undercard itself would prove to be just as eventful in terms of the showcased talent and the results that came about . @ copyrighted material all rights reserved . UFC / Zuffa LLC ….

(7) AFP PICTURES OF THE YEAR 2011 WBO Welterweight Champion Manny Pacquiao (L) takes a left to his face from Juan Manuel Marquez (R) during their title fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena Saturday November 12, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Pacquiao defended his WBO welterweight title against Marquez with a majority 12 round decision. AFP Photo / John Gurzinski …..

(8) Floyd Mayweather Jr. slams a right to the head of WBC Welterweight Champion Victor Ortiz in the 4th round as referee Joe Cortez looks on, ending the fight on September 17, 2011 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Mayweather beat Ortiz in a knockout to win the WBC Welterweight title. Photo by John Gurzinski/AFP/Getty Images ….

(9) New York State Attorney General Eric T Schneiderman whose task it will be to represent the state as the defendants in a suit being brought against by the UFC challenging the New York State’s position of banning licensed MMA bouts within its jurisdiction . The premise of the UFC’s case is that the state’s prohibition is in direct countenance of the First Amendment . AFP / Chris Cagle ….
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Hot chic pic of the day Elaine Alden .

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Put some meat in between Elaine’s biscuits and that’d make for one savory meal don’t you think ?

He Who Speaks With Fork Tongue Could He Be Presumed To Be A Liar … ?

He Who Speaks With Fork Tongue Could He Be Presumed To Be A Liar ?

Though the two are said to be seated firmly on the sidelines at present , each in the employ of ESPN respectively as a college football and NFL analyst , I have to say without a doubt I fully expect both Jon Gruden and Urban Meyer to make a return to the coaching ranks ! Granted , as the College Football and NFL season winds down there will be mounting speculation as to which vacancies are likely to come up and which of the duo will be sought out as a prospective candidate .

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To my mind I feel that both Gruden and Meyer are eager to return be it at the collegiate level or within the NFL and therein lies the premise for either of these two former coaches . Neither wants to be viewed as being deceitful as to their ambitions . Meyer a two time BCS national champion with the Florida Gators left that program under somewhat dubious circumstances . And even though the former coach stated that he had health issues at the time even the most ardent of the fans of the school found it hard to believe . He may well have been burnt out quite possibly he knew that after the departure of Tim Tebow to the ranks of the NFL he most definitely knew that the program would be on the decline . That asides , with Will Muschamp hired to succeed Meyer the Florida Gators this season seem to have fallen by the wayside amongst their SEC – – — rivals .

Will Muschamp has guided this team as best he can along with his coaching staff but that should not detract from the results attained this season by the program. AD Jeremy Foley has to be pleased by what has been achieved by his hire , albeit that the expectations may well have fell short of previous seasons . However , it would be remiss to think that a 6-5 record with their final regular season game scheduled at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium , Gainesville , Florida against bitter instate rivals Florida State (FSU Seminoles) won’t have that added bite and thrill to it .

With Urban Meyer being an Ashtabula , Ohio native and the lackluster season (6-5 ) that was had by Ohio State (Buckeyes) under first year coach Luke Fickle there seems to be growing speculation that an approach will be made by AD Gene Smith to gauge the interest of Meyer as the football team next season . It may well be seen as an affront to Fickle and his coaching staff but given the expectations of the school each season , nothing that the athletics department or faculty under the tenure of school president Dr E Gordon Gee would now seek to do would now come as a complete surprise to me at all ! These are the very same bumbling oafs who stood by as Jim Tressel seemingly lied about much of the malfeasance perpetrated during his tenure as the football coach . Never mind the fact that in the midst of it all Terrelle Pryor on an off campus was proving to be an imbecilic malcontent and a liar .

I personally believe that if Urban Meyer were to return to the collegiate ranks of football then the vacancy that he is most likely to accept is that of being the head coach at Penn State (Nittany Lions ) . But with all the ongoing turmoil on the campus and the uncertainty concerning what measures of punishment that could very well be meted out not only by the NCAA , Department of Education and quite possibly the justice system within the state of Pennsylvania . The school’s handling of this mess with the dismissal of Joe Paterno , former university president Gary Spanier , former AD Tim Curley and the departure of former Finance Director & University VP Gary Schultz leaves an uncomfortable taste in one’s mouth . A cover up of this magnitude and not one of the individuals in the midst of it all has acted appropriately . Credibility and integrity was simply thrown out the window while this sinister scandal was swept under the carpet . Now as they saying goes ” it has now come back to bite them in the proverbial ass ” and not a moment too soon ! Jerry Sandusky for his part and the ineptitude now being shown by the state’s justice system makes this whole episode beyond comical but simply one where idiocy on this scale makes you wonder what the hell were they thinking from the very beginning ? Even the actions now , of the state governor —- Tom Corbett now has to come into question but there again where can you find an honest politician nowadays ? If anything it would be better for Meyer to bide his time and let this whole debacle play itself out . One way or another , newly incumbent AD Dave Joyner will make come to decision as to who will likely succeed the now disgraced Joe Paterno on a permanent basis. And I am sure that both Urban Meyer and Jon Gruden will be on his radar as the hiring of a profiled and well known coach would bring back stability to a now disgraced program !

With Gruden at present sharing the on air duties for ESPN’s Monday Night Football alongside co-hosts Mike Tirico and Ron Jaworski as well as adding his insight as an analyst knows that whenever a high profiled coaching position is bound to come up his name will be associated with it . And this off-season within the NFL Jon Gruden knows that his name will be on the lips of a number of general managers and team owners around the league . So as of now it is pick your poison and start the the ongoing speculation as to which NFL franchise might seek out his services . I get the feeling that with the downward spiral of the San Diego Chargers’ – – – season GM A . J . Smith and team president Dean Spanos could very well be looking at the former Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ coach as a likely successor to the intellectually impoverished Norv Turner . But while that is happening don’t be at all surprised if Jacksonville Jaguars’ owner Wayne Weaver and GM Gene Smith make Gruden an offer he seemingly can’t refuse . Jack Del Rio please do something to convince me that you are still capable of coaching within the NFL ? Is that really too much to ask at this juncture ?

Given what I have witnessed within the NFL this season in terms of the performances of the coaches it could very well lead to a number of them being shown the door once the regular season and postseason comes to an end . You can bank on that for sure as there are now a number of team owners and general managers who are none too happy with their current coach . Mark my word , it’s going to get real bloody during the off-season as the carnage begins .

This past weekend as it was the Thanksgiving and the festivities associated with this holiday as a precursor to Christmas I chose to take some time way from blogging . I spent that time visiting friends and family in South Florida catching up on old times and things anew . OK so for some innate reason fans are said to be happy that the NBA will return but with a shortened schedule of some 66 games , with a postseason as per usual . Anyone with an ounce of common sense will know that the league hierarchy and union haven’t really achieved anything at all , as they are merely using a Band Aid to cover up a gaping bullet wound to the gut that is still bleeding profusely ! Commissioner David Stern and his deputy Adam Silver simply knew that the issue had already began to phase the team owners to the extent where in private they had begun to question the commissioner’s sense of urgency in resolving the matter to everyone’s satisfaction . 147 days later and countless million lost in league revenues and in reality neither side has anything tangible to show for this so called “dispute” . Certainly not from a labor or economic standpoint , in spite of the claims being made by both sides.

Anyone who simply feels that NBPA President Derek Fisher , and Executive Director Billy Hunter and the union’s executive committee are entirely happy with their lot , then they really do need to read in between the lines as to many of the so called facets of this agreement . It simply hasn’t at all addressed any of the real inherent issues that the game faces and in reality it simply allows to the teams to carry on as usual .

From my own standpoint , without a hard and fast salary cap and now the idiocy of a luxury tax will in no way deter the big market teams who will continue to spend capriciously as they pursue on field success . It is not as if many of these teams have spent wisely to begin with never mind the exorbitant salaries being paid to many of the so called superstars within the NBA . Somehow , the fans will be lulled into believing that there now seems to be peace within the league ? My question to both the hierarchy and the union is … how long ?

Over the past few years I think that we can all say as NFL fans we have witnessed some egregious behavior on the part of the players both and off the field . But I seriously doubt that any of of us who had the privilege of witnessing the Detroit Lions’ meltdown and the lack of sportsmanship shown by Ndamokung Suh can excuse the player’s behavior when he maliciously stomped on the forearm and bicep of an opponent the Green Bay Packers’ ( 11-0) Evan Dietrich-Smith as he lay on the ground during the game . No amount of excuses from the Lions’ player can hide the very fact that his actions were not only dangerous but plainly put , they were premeditated and showed Suh’s lack of candor and maturity ! That in of itself, is one thing but the mere fact that neither Jim Schwartz or GM Martin Mayhew have sought to take action against the player internally simply speaks to the added insult for those who witnessed this incident . My question would be , had this action ended with Dietrich-Smith being kicked in the head wherein the player suffered a concussion ….. would there be any type of outcry or outrage ? Now we are being told that the NFL hierarchy will review the incident before meting out any type of formal punishment being levied against Ndamukong Suh . The player , having issued somewhat of less than contrite apology , has simply stated that he will continue to play in a way that necessitates or brings about a victory for his team . Well, if that includes subjecting an opponent on his part to willful and malicious harm then the NFL does not need a player of Suh’s caliber within its midst . Football (NFL) may well be an adversarial and gladiatorial battle on the field of play but nowhere in the rule book does it suggest that players are sent out to inflict willful harm on opponent merely as a way of seeking their own recourse .

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Let’s put this bitch out of his misery ! Suh stomps on the Packers’ Evan Dietrich Smith during the the Thanksgiving Day game between the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers . Ndamukong Suh reluctant at first to apologize for what was an unprovoked attack would later of offer up a less than contrite apology . The player has already been penalized financially this season for unsportsmanlike conduct but his latest action has ran the gamut of scorn and repugnance from the NFL analysts and fans alike . And why not as the has actions were rash and stupid which could have resulted in a far more serious injury for the Packers’ player Evan Dietrich-Smith. Andrew Webber/ Presswire @ copyrighted material all rights reserved . …. .

Thankfully , justice was served with the player (Suh) being ejected and the Packers led by prospective league MVP Aaron Rodgers coming away with a thoroughly convincing win (27-15) against an over-matched Detroit Lions’ team . At this juncture , I am not about to suggest that the wheels have fallen of the Lions’ wagon but suffice to say one or quite possibly two or more losses could in effect put their season jeopardy with regard to making the playoffs . At 7-4 and 5-1 within the NFC any misstep by Jim Schwartz’s players could lead to the Detroit Lions being on the outside looking in at the end of the regular season .

For Mike McCarthy and his marauding Green Bay Packers , still unbeaten and still looking to rewrite not only the team’s records but also that of the NFL .

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have on the salient points raised within this piece ? Simply leave a comment as you would deem fit .

Picture and slide show details below .

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(1) From left to right , Mike Tirico , Jon Gruden and Ron Jaworski who provide ESPN’s on air analysis and commentary for Monday Night Football . Gruden remains a likely candidate to fill any potential NFL team vacancy that is likely to come up during the off season . AP Photo / Mitch Murray ….

(2) Former Florida Gators’ coach Urban Meyer , currently an ESPN college football analyst . There is now mounting speculation that the analyst will relinquish his duties with the broadcast network to succeed —- Luke Fickle as the next head football coach of Ohio State . No formal announcement has been made by AD Gene Smith or university president Dr E Gordon Gee . But as the rumors abound across the college football landscape it is becoming increasing unlikely that Meyer can continue to deny the rumors and the alleged speculatory nature of a visit that is said to have taken place with the athletics department of Ohio State concerning the position . AFP Photos ….

(3) ANN ARBOR, MI – NOVEMBER 26: Head coach Luke Fickell of the Ohio State Buckeyes looks on from the sideline while playing the Michigan Wolverines at Michigan Stadium on November 26, 2011 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Michigan won the game 40-34 . Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images …

(4) Denard Robinson (16) of the Michigan Wolverines tries to get around the tackle of Ryan Shazier (10) of the Ohio State Buckeyes at Michigan Stadium on November 26, 2011 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Michigan won the game 40-34 . Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images ….

(5) Matt Prater (5) of the Denver Broncos kicks the winning field goal against the San Diego Chargers as Britton Colquitt (44) celebrates and Eric Weddle (32) of the Chargers looks on during the Broncos 16-13 overtime win in their NFL Game on November 27, 2011 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images) ….

(6) ….Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow (15), right, talks with San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) after an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 27, 2011 in San Diego. The Broncos won 16-13 . AP Photo/Denis Poroy ….

(7) FILE – In this Nov. 14, 2011, file photo, surrounded by NBA basketball players, Billy Hunter, right, executive director of the National Basketball Players Association Billy Hunter, right, speaks to the media as Players Association president Derek Fisher, left, listens during a news conference in New York. NBA owners and players reached a tentative agreement early Saturday, Nov. 26, 2011, to end the 149-day lockout and hope to begin the delayed season with a marquee tripleheader Dec. 25th 2011. AP Photo/Seth Wenig ….

(8) NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 26: The clique of idiots within the NBA ! (L-R) Maurice Evans , Derek Fisher, Billy Hunter, NBA Commissioner David Stern, NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver, and Peter Holt speak to members of the press to announce a tentative labor agreement to end the 149-day lockout on November 26, 2011 in New York City. Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images ….

(9) Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz talks with defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh (90) as he leaves the field being disqualified in the third quarter of an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers at Ford Field in Detroit. The Packers won 27-15 . Suh was ejected from the game after he stepped on a Packers offensive lineman. AP Photo/The Detroit News, Robin Buckson ….

(10) DETROIT, MI – NOVEMBER 24: Aaron Rodgers (12) of the Green Bay Packers talks with head coach Mike McCarthy during the third quarter of the game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on November 24, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. The Packers defeated the Lions 27-15. Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images …..

(11) DETROIT, MI – NOVEMBER 24: Aaron Rodgers (12) of the Green Bay Packers roles out to pass during the game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on November 24, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. The Packers defeated the Lions 27-15. Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images ….

(12) DETROIT, MI – NOVEMBER 24: Defensive end Ndamukong Suh (9)0 of the Detroit Lions argues with referee Terry McAulay (77) after Suh is ejected from the game for unsportsmanlike conduct in the third quarter against the Green Bay Packers during the Thanksgiving Day game at Ford Field on November 24, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images …….

(13) Let’s put this bitch out of his misery ! Suh stomps on the Packers’ Evan Dietrich Smith during the the Thanksgiving Day game between the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers . Ndamukong Suh reluctant at first to apologize for what was an unprovoked attack would later of offer up a less than contrite apology . The player has already been penalized financially this season for unsportsmanlike conduct but his latest action has ran the gamut of scorn and repugnance from the NFL analysts and fans alike . And why not as the has actions were rash and stupid which could have resulted in a far more serious injury for the Packers’ player Evan Dietrich-Smith. Andrew Webber/ Presswire @ copyrighted material all rights reserved . …. .
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Hot chic pic of the day ……… Rachelle Leah .

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Rachelle Leah/

Now you know how the The Three Bears felt . Who’s this sleeping in a bed ? Definitely not Goldilocks that’s for sure ! It’s Rachel Leah . Yowzah !

Can I Recant That ?

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Can I Recant That ?

By tophatal …….

So the Detroit Tigers’ Justin Verlander  having had a spectacular season with the team now gets himself acquainted in joining a select group of players to have won the Cy Young and MVP of the league (AL) in the same year . There were many who felt that the player should not have been in line to be a candidate of the league MVP but those detractors to my mind were very shortsighted and simply didn’t comprehend at all the type of season the player had . His stats alone this year bears this out not only within the AL but also more complementary to his team as a whole . ===========================================================================================

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For Verlander the only major disappointment might well have been the fact that he could not have led the Detroit Tigers further into the postseason . But that in of itself cannot detract from the player’s accomplishments this season . For the Boston Red Sox’s Jacoby Ellsbury  who finished second to the Tigers’ pitching ace in the AL MVP voting it simply was about what might have been . I clearly do feel however , that with the adjudicators having to hand in their votes at the end of the regular season and when one bears in mind the Red Sox’s malaise those events simply scuttled whatever chance he may well have had of joining team’s list of celebrated winners of the AL MVP award .

ESPN baseball analyst John Kruk  may not have been the biggest vocal opponent in not wanting to see a pitcher be a nominee for the AL MVP award but he certainly did make his voice be heard as a detractor . His gripe was that the pitchers already have their own award to begin and that was simply his main premise . But when asked by his co-host Karl Ravech  whether or not he felt that Verlander was a duly deserving candidate Kruk’s response was that he felt that simply based on his exploits this year he was a a rightful winner of the accolade . . Granted , Verlander’s task is usually to pitch every fourth or fifth day but nonetheless his contributions were no less than that of Curtis Granderson  , Ellsbury , Miguel Cabrera and Jose Bautista .

Call me naïve but the very thought that Boston Red Sox GM Ben Cherington  is now rumored to be considering Bobby Valentine to succeed Terry Francona  simply defies all logical thinking . I don’t know whether or not team President Larry Lucchino  simply said to the newly installed general manager … “ hire anyone , not just anyone but someone with a known pedigree “. But if Lucchino and senior managing partner John Henry now believe that Valentine is the best option out there , then indeed something has to be definitely wrong with the game . You simply cannot suggest that amongst the coaching staffs of all thirty teams within the game there isn’t an ambitious or capable assistant manager not willing to step into the fray and coach one of the most illustrious baseball franchises within the game ? “. The former New York Mets  and Texas Rangers’ manager has been an MLB analyst with the ESPN and some time providing commentary for scheduled televised games on the network. Whether or not this along with his considerable experience can matriculate in turning things around for the franchise remains to be seen should his hiring actually take place .

Given the issues that this baseball club faces with their impending free agents the upheaval after the departures of Theo Epstein and Terry Francona , it will be interesting to see how not only Cherington handles the situation but also any potential candidate who fills the vacant managerial position . Bobby Valentine has been away from the game of baseball for a considerable period of time and to make the jump back into managing a ball club that had its issues in the closing month of the season with the disruptive and somewhat petulant personalities on this roster may not be something that the former manager may well be able to deal with successfully. The Boston Red Sox organization have been quick in divesting itself of players who might be superfluous to their needs but you simply somehow know that they will be one of the big players in the free agency market this off-season. Money is obviously of no object for the organization given the financial means at their disposal with NESN  as being part of their treasure chest and their now considerable tie in with Roush Fenway Racing . Those associations bring in millions of dollars annually for the Boston Red Sox and that parlays into a vast revenue stream in acquiring the players they seek .

I have read repeatedly where a number of individuals within the forum have tried to make a case that the Chicago Bears’ (7-3) Jay Cutler just happens to be a quarterback who ought to be considered amongst the elite within the NFL . Given the player’s capriciousness and the idiocy of his most recent performance wherein he is now lost to the team quite possibly for the for the rest of the season I am still looking for any type of validation from anyone who can support that claim ! ! I certainly don’t believe that the Bears’ front office are paying Cutler to parlay his skills into trying to tackle a defensive lineman having thrown an interception during the game against the San Diego Chargers .

Though the Chicago Bears came away with a decisive 31-20 victory the potential loss of the player does impede the ambition of the organization . Lovie Smith and the coaching staff cannot have been entirely happy with Cutler’s decision in trying to try and tackle a marauding defensive player ( cornerback  Antoine Cason) who has a distinct weight advantage and how just happens to be far more athletic than the Bears’ quarterback. And as feeble an attempt as it may well have been , I have to ask the question what the hell was Jay Cutler thinking ? But it would be remiss to suggest that Cutler just happens to be one of the more intelligent quarterbacks within the NFL . The former Vanderbilt (Commodores’) quarterback has had his ups and downs within the league , most notably his tenure with the Denver Broncos but if anything it was last season’s NFC championship game which pretty much indicated what the player was simply about . Injury or not the way in which he simply abandoned his teammates very much gives credence to the fact that he’s not as tough as first thought . I dare say that there are rolls of Charmin’ tissue paper with more roughness and toughness to it than is possessed in Cutler’s entire body .

Caleb Hanie  as the backup quarterback will now have to prepare for Sunday’s game in which the Bears are the guests of the Oakland Raiders (6-4) at the Oakland /Alameda County Stadium , Oakland California , in front what is sure to be thousands of raucous and vociferous Raiders’ fans . I am sure that the high flying Raiders will not want to disappoint their fans as they go about seeking to widen the margin between themselves and their nearest rivals within the AFC West ! Oakland Raiders’ coach Hu Jackson now finds his team with a mere one game lead over the fast improving and rising Denver Broncos (5-5) . And anyone who has witnessed the play of the Broncos but also the team’s quarterback Tim Tebow  are now either mystified or completely aghast by what they have seen .

At this juncture with everything to play for should the Chicago Bears’ season go up in smoke then in all likelihood they can look back on Cutler’s attempt to show his bravado . In reality however he would have best served the team in the first place , having not thrown that interception . Jay Cutler still has a chip on his shoulder as he seeks to prove that he is far tougher than most believe him to be . ===============================================================================================

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(1) DETROIT, MI – FILE: Justin Verlander (35) of the Detroit Tigers throws a pitch against the Texas Rangers in Game Five of the American League Championship Series at Comerica Park on October 13, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. It was reported that Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers won the American League MVP award after being named the Cy Young winner November 21, 2011. Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images …

(2) NEW YORK, NY – FILE: Justin Verlander (35) of the Detroit Tigers looks on in the dugout against the New York Yankees during Game Five of the American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium on October 6, 2011 in the Bronx borough of New York City. It was reported that Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers won the American League MVP award after being named the Cy Young winner November 21, 2011. Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images ….

(3) Karl Ravech , John Kruk and former Mets’ GM Steve Phillips seen here in studio as ESPN’s host of Baseball Tonight . AP Photo / Gary Osborne …Karl Ravech , John Kruk and former Mets’ GM Steve Phillips seen here in studio as ESPN’s host of Baseball Tonight . AP Photo / Gary Osborne .. ….

(4) Bobby Valentine currently a baseball analyst is thought to now have the inside track on the current vacant managerial position with the Boston Red Sox. Though no formal announcement has been made it is thought the front office of the organization will come to a decision soon pending further interviews with other candidates . AFP/Getty Images North America / Paul Stephens …

(5) In this Sunday, Nov. 20, 2011, photo, Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler warms up on the sideline before going back in the game after injuring his right thumb in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game against the San Diego Chargers in Chicago. Bears coach Lovie Smith says Cutler suffered a broken thumb on his right throwing hand. He says it happened when Cutler helped tackle Antoine Cason  on an interception return in the fourth quarter. AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh …

(6) Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith talks about the injury to quarterback Jay Cutler at a news conference in Lake Forest, Ill., Monday, Nov. 21, 2011. Cutler has a broken thumb on his right throwing hand and will undergo surgery, putting his status for the rest of the year in question. AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast …

(7) In this Sunday, Nov. 20, 2011 photo, Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, right, falls to the ground slowing San Diego Chargers cornerback Antoine Cason  after Cason intercepted a Cutler pass in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game in Chicago. Also chasing on the play is Matt Forte (22) . Bears coach Lovie Smith says Cutler suffered a broken thumb on his right throwing hand during their 31-20 win against the Chargers. He says it happened when Cutler helped tackle Antoine Cason on an interception return in the fourth quarter. AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast …… ===================================================== =============================================

MLB news

MLB awards 2011

MLB transactions

MLB free agents

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Detroit Tigers’ news —————————————-

NFL news

NFL results week 11

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Who Amongst You …………… ?

Who Amongst You ?

By tophatal

Well in the aftermath of Oklahoma State’s loss to Iowa State 37-31 in double overtime the list of the un-beaten teams within college football is now down to one with the LSU Tigers atop of the BCS standings as the nation’s only program without a loss. Now in the midst of this mess , claimants as to whom may well feel they have the privilege to meet Les Miles’ team in a potential national title matchup will be looked upon with a great deal of intrigue . The BCS standings and its main supporters are going to be in one hell of a time trying to make some sense of this all. Oklahoma (Sooners) , Alabama (Crimson Tide) , Oregon (Ducks) and Arkansas (Razorbacks) are amongst those looking to lay claim as to the willing aspirants for the national title game .

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It is hard to envisage how things will all pan out but it is becoming clear with each passing season the proposers of a playoff format are gaining more support when such a scenario arises within college football. A one or quite possibly two loss team makes its way to the BCS title game while in all likelihood a program perhaps deemed more worthy remains on the outside looking in . One should remember that the premise behind the BCS system is one where the main teams eligible for the national title are usually from each of the BCS eligible conferences. The Pac 12 , Big 12 , Big East , ACC , SEC will be looking to see at least one of their programs be there when it matters most. From my own standpoint I simply find the present format in its present guise one that is literally filled with pitfalls but if anything it is one that is so corrupt in its guise that it really has no credence . But for the moment it is the best that the BCS conferences will offer the fans in spite of the growing opposition by its detractors.

Week 12 in College Football was actually crazy in so many way as was borne out in the results . Who could have guessed that 5 top ten teams would meet their demise against their opponents further muddying the waters on the collegiate football landscape. Truth be known these are the type of results that tends to make the game all the more appealing and exciting amongst the collegiate football fan . As of now it will be interesting to see how things now take flight . It all creates that so called impacted excitement we are told that tends to be missing from the BCS format but it simply does nothing but justify what many have felt all along ……….. a playoff format to debunk this continued idiocy that what was in place actually works ! The adage ” that if it is not broken then it doesn’t need fixing “ …………. what could now be more appropriate than simply adopting a scenario that would be far more equitable than what is in place at present ? In reality the conference commissioners of the major programs within the BCS would rather keep the status quo as is , with the coffers of the programs being laden to the tune of tens of millions of dollars each year . Sooner or later this corrupt system will be its own undoing and necessitate the federal government actually intervening .

The Chicago Cubs have decided upon Dale Sveum as the succesor to Mike Quade and in doing so the newly installed manager along with GM Jed Hoyer and President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein will now go about assessing the team’s roster . Granted , no one expects the fortunes of the Chicago Cubs to change overnight . And it is clear Cubs’ owner Tom Ricketts has no desire to see this organization continue to languish in the dumps. This past season the team offered little by the way of competitiveness within the NL Central and it is clear that the fans in attendance at Wrigley Field in Chicago can no longer tolerate the ineptitude of this organization.

Given the largesse of Jim Hendry as Epstein’s predecessor we simply saw the then general manager lavish exorbitant amounts of money on a number of players who simply underachieved this past season . Alfonso Soriano and Aramis Ramirez are two of the roster members who come to mind , and the duo between them were paid in excess of $35 million combined to simply offer this team absolutely nothing by way of offensive productivity . And from a pitching standpoint it is not as if the Cubs had a rotation that one would deem amongst the best within the NL .

With the off season now in full swing general managers , team owners and of course a number of prominent sports’ agents will be looking to see their clients signed by a prospective team . Two of the most high profiled unrestricted free agents on the market are Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols . At this juncture I am sure that Epstein and Hoyer are considering their options as to the legitimacy of signing either Fielder or Pujols to a long term contract that essentially makes either amongst the highest paid players in the game.

The Chicago Cubs with their impending free agents are likely to shed several players superfluous to their needs before they make any potential move before vying for one of the premiere free agents on the market . If anything it could very well be a work in progress for the Cubs as they embark upon the upcoming season . If anything I certainly don’t envisage the team vying for the divisional title or wildcard berth next year and that is even with the proposed changes with regard to the playoff format soon to be adopted by the league hierarchy having been approved by the board of governors , owners and union . This may well add to the intrigue and the desire sought by Bud Selig and his subordinates. The fans may well buy into it all but just because you dress a pig up as a sow and put a pretty bow on it doesn’t make it a sow and this is simply what MLB is trying to impress upon the baseball fan.

The New England Patriots (6-3) play hosts to the Kansas City Chiefs (2-7) on Monday night at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro’ , Massachusetts . For Bill Belichick and this team their hold on the division (AFC East) will be strengthened should they defeat Todd Haley’s Chiefs team in what ought to be a highly anticipated game .

Now while both teams have had their struggles this season it has to be said that the inconsistency of both teams the situation is likely to arise where the fans could be treated to something of a sub par product . In reality however , we are much more likely to see the Patriots stamp their authority on this game and simply waylay the Kansas City Chiefs . Granted , Dwayne Bowe and his teammates will be looking to take down their conference foes but I feel that Tyler Palko is likely to struggle under this intense scrutiny while he looks to lead the Chiefs in seeking out their third victory of the season.

As an avid fan of the New England Patriots I would like nothing better than to see these players put together a string of games where there’s some semblance of consistency from this team . Tom Brady for all of his exploits this season and that of his fellow quarterbacks within the NFL the three time Superbowl winning quarterback has had his issues this season.

Wes Welker this season has been performing at a very high caliber and he simply looks to rewrite the record books for this franchise . To my mind the player’s acquisition by the team having been cast aside by the Miami Dolphins is perhaps the best move made by Belichick , since he saw fit to have Tom Brady enter a game after an injury sustained by then starting quarterback Drew Bledsoe ….. and the rest as they say ….” is history ” .

There is no denying that there have been several horrendous games this season but if anything this was to be expected . The NFL lockout in large essentially made a mess a preseason while the NFLPA and league hierarchy acting like petulant children squabbling over a toy. And now that both sides are said to be back on track the league is now once again ready amp and hype their brand both on and off the field of play. Nothing wrong there if you tend to buy into what both Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith are selling ?

While there now seems to be peace within the NFL , consider the actual hypocrisy of the union and in particular DeMaurice Smith ! Having agreed in principle to a collective bargaining agreement that guarantees a decade of peace within the NFL we have the union reneging on the issue of game day testing of the players for HGH . Now the league hierarchy and union are now having to appease the government and in particular House Gov’t Reform & Oversight Committee . At some point the league and in particular Roger Goodell will have to prove that he possesses a pair of “cojones “ rather than running around like an eight octave eunuch .

When it’s all said and done the off-season within baseball will see a number of moves that will either bring a smile to the face of the most discerning fan or simply prove to be mystifying . As to the NFL the regular season has proven to be something of a real surprise perhaps nowhere more so than with the inexplicable fall of the Indianapolis Colts . Could they very well become the second NFL franchise post a 0-16 season since the Detroit Lions managed the same feat in 2008 ?

The 2012 NFL Draft could very well tell us what we might already know and that is Andrew Luck is about to make himself a truck load of money and at the same quite possible serve a well deserved apprenticeship under Peyton Manning . And though the four time regular season MVP’s career is not yet necessarily on the decline one has to admit with the now lingering and recurring injuries sustained by the player we might just be witnessing the passing of the torch .

Is it me but why the hell is it that Mike Florio of NBCSports believes that Brett Favre would have been a better option as the starting quarterback for the Houston Texans than backup Matt Leinart ? The Heisman Trophy winner will be the team’s starter with Matt Schaub having been lost the Texans for the season . Has it not occurred to Florio , that Favre left the game with his tail between his legs ? But then again , I can only surmise that Florio’s lips have been pressed firmly and will continue to be firmly pressed against Favre’s anus in order to lick whatever fecal excrement emanates from that particular orifice ! The NFL needs Favre’s return in a vein that most heterosexual males would relish seeing Rosie O’Donnell ” naked” …….. suffice to say I don’t want that ! And neither do I wish to see Brett Favre’s return to the NFL , not now and not at any time in the foreseeable future !

Florio may well be a very good NFL analyst but he simply ought to be informative rather than coming across as a moronic asshole ! The fans want to be informed , not be force fed the opinions of a so called informed NFL analyst whose insights are about as welcoming as being poked in the eye with a red hot poker iron . .

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(1) AMES, IA – NOVEMBER 18: Fans cheer on the Iowa State Cyclones against the Oklahoma State Cowboys at Jack Trice Stadium November 18, 2011 in Ames, Iowa. Oklahoma State would go on to lose 37-31 to Iowa in double overtime . Photo by Reese Strickland/Getty Images …

(2) AMES, IA – NOVEMBER 18: Jeremy Smith (1) of the Oklahoma State Cowboys is tackled by the Iowa State Cyclones at Jack Trice Stadium November 18, 2011 in Ames, Iowa. Photo by Reese Strickland/Getty Images …

(3) AMES, IA – NOVEMBER 18: James White (8) of the Iowa State Cyclones scores the game-tying touchdown against the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the fourth quarter at Jack Trice Stadium November 18, 2011 in Ames, Iowa. Photo by Reese Strickland/Getty Images …

(4) Chicago Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer, left, and president Theo Epstein, right, help new manager Dale Sveum put on Cubs jersey as he is introduced during a baseball news conference, Friday, Nov. 18, 2011, in Chicago. AP Photo/M. Spencer Green …

(5) Dale Sevum addresses the media after being introduced as the new manager of the Chicago Cubs baseball club during a news conference, Friday, Nov. 18, 2011, in Chicago. AP Photo/M. Spencer Green ..

(6) CHICAGO, IL – OCTOBER 25: Theo Epstein, the new President of Baseball Operations for the Chicago Cubs, speaks during a press conference at Wrigley Field on October 25, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images …

(7) New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, right, talks with teammate Wes Welker during NFL football practice in Foxborough, Mass., Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2011. AP Photo/Charles Krupa …..

(8) Plaxico Burress (17) of the New York Jets catches a touchdown pass against Antwaun Molden (27) of the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium on November 13, 2011 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Patriots would go on to defeat the Jets 37-16 . Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images

(9) EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – NOVEMBER 13: Deion Branch (84) and Wes Welker (83) of the New England Patriots celebrate after a touchdown against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on November 13, 2011 in East Rutherford, New Jersey . Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images …

(10) Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk (PFT) is seen here posing a question to members of the Pittsburgh Steelers prior to last season’s Superbowl staged at Cowboys Stadium , Arlington Texas . Florio who also co-hosts (Peter King) a NFL sports program on the NBC owned Versus Network is also a contributing editor for PFT . The analyst has suggested that the Texans should have been in contact with Brett Favre and signed him to a contract rather than installing Matt Leinart to replaced the now injured Matt Schaub. ARI Media / Scott Parsons ….

(11) TAMPA, FL – NOVEMBER 13: Quarterback Matt Leinart (1)1 of the Houston Texans warms up against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on November 13, 2011 in Tampa, Florida. Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images …..

(12) TAMPA, FL – NOVEMBER 13: Quarterback Matt Schaub (8) of the Houston Texans looks to hand the ball off against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the game at Raymond James Stadium on November 13, 2011 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images) ……

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NCAA Football week 12 results

NCAA Football news

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MLB news

Chicago Cub news

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NFL news

NFL standings by division

Week 11 schedule & results

NFL injuries week 10 & week 11

NFL transactions

Houston Texans news

Indianapolis Colts news

Kansas City Chiefs news

New England Patriot news

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Continue reading “Who Amongst You …………… ?”

I Can’t Go There Yet ………

I Can’t Go There Yet !

By tophatal

Well week 12 of the College Football season is upon is upon the fall of the unbeatens now leaves us with just one unbeaten program in the nation. Les Miles and the LSU Tigers now sit atop of the rankings . In the midst of this all many of the presumed Heisman Trophy candidates this season have seen their stars fall while other appear to be on the rise . And of these perhaps that of Stanford (Cardinals ) Andrew Luck may well have taken the biggest blow , albeit that many analysts believe that the player still remains the consensus favorite to lift the prestigious trophy at the Downtown Athletic Club in Lower Manhattan , New York City , New York .

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As Luck’s star may well have taken something of a hit it has to be said that Oklahoma State’s (Cowboys) Brandon Weeden is now soaring and his play and that of the team has many wondering whether or they are capable of playing for the BCS national title . I think that this season there have been a number of players who simply fit the mold that they have the look of a NFL player . Granted , a player of the caliber Michigan’s (Wolverines) Denard Robinson and whether or not he has all of the prerequisite skills to be a successful quarteback in the NFL . If Robinson can simply exceed the NFL career thus far of Vince Young then who can fault the player ? I mean since his entrance into the NFL as a draft pick of the Tennessee Titans in 2006 .

Vince Young’s troubled career with the team and his constant bickering with then coach Jeff Fisher and the very fact that the front office of the organization were simply clueless as to how best the address the ever growing rift between the much respected coach and the self absorbed NFL player. Titans’ owner Bud Adams perhaps the only franchisee who seems to be chronic sufferer from narcolepsy ! So oblivious was he to growing divide between the quarterback and Fisher that he simply sided with Young , even when it was quite obvious that after the player’s egregious actions of walking out on his teammates after a humiliating loss , having denigrated them and the coaching staff. Thankfully , Young is no longer with the Tennessee Titans now having joined the Philadelphia Eagles as a backup to Michael Vick . Let’s just say that at present the Eagles’ season now seems to be circling the bowl as it makes its way down along with the fecal matter and urine .

In the aftermath of the Alabama ( Crimson Tide’s) loss (9-6) to LSU Tigers both A J McCarron and Trent Richardson have seen the team’s season fall from grace with possible premise that they may not acquire a BCS bowl berth. Nick Saban a two time national title holder as a college coach still remains the figure head for the program that has him as one of the highest paid coaches in college football. Saban’s annual compensation along with incentives nets just under $5 million a year .

Marcus Lattimore also of South Carolina has made himself a prominent player amongst the Heisman hopefuls but as to whether not he can place himself amongst the top three the voters’ choices will be predicated upon his performances through now and the rest of the season . I am sure that Steve Spurrier would like nothing better than to see his team prevail in their remaining two games against The Citadel and Clemson Tigers rounding out their calendar . .

Although LSU Tigers now seems to have the inside track to the national championship having essentially steered their way through their schedule within the SEC and their non conference schedule .

Given what we have all witnessed over the course of the College Football season I have to admit that I have been impressed with a number of teams . Most notably LSU , Oklahoma State , Stanford and most notably the Oregon (Ducks) (9-1) under the tutelage of Chip Kelly and his coaching staff . With the standings within the Pac 12 being what they are and how things are likely to permeate between now and the end of the season it will be very interesting to see which teams are part of the conference championship . Granted, should the USC Trojans make it to the Pac 12 finale , even with the likelihood of a championship win , their postseason foray would end there . The NCAA imposed sanctions in the aftermath of the Reggie Bush ” scandal” has left the program as onlookers as others make their claim as legitimate national title contenders. That prohibition of being a participant in a Bowl or BCS Bowl game weighs heavily on AD Pat Haden , coach Lane Kiffin , his coaching staff and in particulary upon the players on this team .

Chip Kelly for his part has a very competitive and explosive team . Led by Darron Thomas , LaMichael James , De’Anthony Thomas and Kenjon Barner this a highly prolific and explosive offense . Can Chip Kelly have this back in the national title game and redeem themselves after their championship loss (22-19) to the Auburn Tigers last season ? That was in essence Cam Newton’s coming out party announcing himself to the world , which would end with the player being the recipient of the 2010 Heisman Trophy .

As to the aspirants for College Football’s most prestigious trophy I have to say inasmuch as the Heisman is Andrew Luck’s to lose in the aftermath Stanford suffering that loss (53-30) to Oregon . I feel that the gap has narrowed greatly between he and the likes of Trent Richardson , Brandon Weedum , Case Keenum , Denard Robinson , Justin Blackmon , LaMichael James , Ryan Broyles , Kellen Moore and Tajh Boyd .

David Shaw who succeeded Jim Harbaugh now has to place his own imprint on this team but at the same time carry on in a similar vain as they seek to make a success of their season . Teams rise and fall within the college game based on simple principles , preparation , play hard but above all play to your strengths and not down to your opponent ! I firmly believe that these very same traits are applied in the NFL !

Monday nights , Thursday nights , has the damn world suddenly shifted a little off its axis ? I think that we can all agree that this season in the NFL we have seen a number of horrendous performances on the specific nights where NFL games have been scheduled on the nights in question ? Last night was simply no different as Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos (5-5) hosted their AFC counterparts </a. the New York Jets (5-5) at Sports Authority Field /Mile High Stadium , in Denver , Colorado . Here , we had two teams both struggling within their respective divisions and most certainly looking for sense of respectability.

In what might perhaps a telling reason as to why the New York Jets have simply been inconsistent this season . In came Rex Ryan and his team looking far too smug and most definitely complacent . It that wasn’t enough the Jets’ defense was simply mystifying to watch . I wouldn’t necessarily say that they were bad but I had to entrust this unit perform with any sense of urgency then based on last night’s display I would be better off calling for the French military to mount a defense . Mark Sanchez performed below par his counterpart Tebow while animated is simply a player who possesses a great deal of zeal but not much skill at the position . His stats , <a href="http://nfl.com/gamecenter/2011111700/ ( 9/20, 104yds, 0TD’s , 0INT’s) passing stats in particular for the game were deplorable, albeit that the Broncos eked out a 17-13 win over the New York Jets to bring their record to a respectable 5-5 within the AFC West .

Not wanting to lambast the Broncos’ quarterback any further it is becoming increasingly clear that while the team is winning John Fox , Head of Football Operations John Elway and GM Brian Xanders are entirely happy. Because at this juncture their gamble seems to be paying off . The jokes and questions as to Tim Tebow’s ability and talent within the NFL are now being firmly set , as you can either still continue to criticize or state for a fact that without him this team would be nowhere . A win , is a win , ugly or pretty and at present the guise of the Denver Broncos is simply to win ugly because that is their trait ! And given how mediocre the AFC West division appears to be this season , this victory will be seen as a godsend for the organization . No pun intended !

Inasmuch , as I hate to say this but given some of the performances of the quarterbacks within the league this season , Tim Tebow is slowly beginning to make a believer out of me ! John Fox and quarterback’s coach Adam Gase , however , really do need to take the player under their wing and instruct him more succinctly . If not then the player’s career within the NFL might not be as long as he would like it to be.

It is hard to explain where the New York Jets go from here after this inexplicable loss . Rex Ryan has his ways about him but now as a coach , his gig is up , he can’t continue to be bellicose and a pompous asshole , while having little to show for it all . And no I have not forgotten that in each of the past two seasons he has taken this franchise to the AFC championship game . But as the saying goes , ” no one remembers the guy who finishes in second place ” ……. the fans simply want to see a winner . And as of yet under Rex Ryan’s tenure the New York Jets have yet to win a damn thing ! Need I say anymore on the matter ?

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(1) The Heisman Trophy bust . But who will raise the trophy this season ?

(2) (2) LSU head coach Les Miles, right, greets < Western Kentucky head coach Willie Taggart after their NCAA college football game in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011. LSU won 42-9 . AP Photo/Gerald Herbert …

(3) (3) Western Kentucky running back Bobby Rainey (3) is stopped by LSU linebacker Lamin Barrow (57) during the fourth quarter of their NCAA college football game in Baton Rouge, La., on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011. LSU won 42-9. AP Photo/Gerald Herbert ….

(4) Stanford running back Jeremy Stewart leaps over to score a touchdown against Oregon during the fourth quarter of an NCAA college football game in Stanford, Calif., Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011. AP Photo/Tony Avelar ….

(5) STANFORD, CA – NOVEMBER 12: Stanford Cardinal head coach David Shaw questions a call during their game against the Oregon Ducks at Stanford Stadium on November 12, 2011 in Stanford, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images …..

(6) STANFORD, CA – NOVEMBER 12: Andrew Luck (12) of the Stanford Cardinal throws the ball against the Oregon Ducks at Stanford Stadium on November 12, 2011 in Stanford, California. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images ….

(7) Andre Goodman (21) of the Denver Broncos intercepts a pass intended for Plaxico Burress (17) and returns it for a touchdown during the game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on November 17, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. Photo by Garrett W. Ellwood/Getty Images … …

(8) Tim Tebow (15) of the Denver Broncos is mobbed by his teammates after scoring the winning touchdown against New York Jets at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on November 17, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. Photo by Garrett W. Ellwood/Getty Images ….

(9) New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) and Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow (15) walk off the field together after an NFL football game Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011, in Denver. The Broncos won 17-13. AP Photo/Barry Gutierrez …..

(10) DENVER, CO – NOVEMBER 17: Head coach Rex Ryan of the New York Jets reacts as he coaches in the first quarter against the Denver Broncos at Invesco Field at Mile High on November 17, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images ……

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Brooke-Burke/

Hot chic pic of the day ……… Brooke Burke ” DWTS ” co host .

Take It For What It Is ………

Take It For What It Is

By tophatal ………..

As exhilarating as this NFL season has been I would have to say that in spite of the stellar play of a number of teams and the belief that there is parity within the NFL . I have come to the conclusion that parity being what we allegedly believe it to be , this so called ” equality” we seek simply isn’t there ! We simply have a number of good teams , one or two who are able to raise the level of their play and remain consistent. But what we do have is a drop in talent and the fact that there are a number of coaches in the NFL who simply are not as good as advertized . Over the past two seasons that NFL Draft has given us a plethora of talent , a number of which have been stellar, while a number of these players have failed to live up to expectations. This season Cam Newton has proven to be everything and great deal more , albeit that the Carolina Panthers (2-7) have struggled to remain relevant within their division as well as the rest of the league .

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And while the praise has been lavished upon Cam Newton , several of the other rookies taken alongside him this season have performed extremely well . Andy Dalton , Vonn Miller , A J Green and Julio Jones are proving that if you have the ability then you can be a success within the NFL . The teams afforded the privilege of taking those players in the draft have profited greatly from the performances of the aforementioned rookies . It is likely we will see one or two of these players in the postseason should their teams prove to be adept in battling their way to the latter stages.

If it is not enough to see the march of the Green Bay Packers (9-0) through the league as they have laid siege to each opponent that they have faced . Unbeaten and with Aaron Rodgers intent on rewriting the single season record books for the Packers one has to begin questioning which team in the NFL is up to the challenge of taking down Mike McCarthy and his legion , never-mind the vociferous Green Bay Packers’ fans. This Sunday Lambeau Field , Green Bay , Wisconsin , will be the venue where the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as guests are seeking to be the first team to defeat the NFL’s best unit .

This season for the Buccaneers has been one of inconsistency for this young team . And Raheem Morris , his coaching staff , specifically the front office led by GM Mark Dominik what they have witnessed this season has to have been an extremely disappointing . from every standpoint imaginable. It was felt that the this team would be fighting amongst the thick of things within the NFC South but this hasn’t been borne out by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ record of 4-5 .

The Buccaneers’ quarterback Josh Freeman perhaps the team’s best offensive player is having a down season and surely has not helped that the Morris’ players have become so ill disciplined needlessly in games where the results could have gone either way . Inexperience , youthful zest on the part of LeGarrette Blount , Preston Parker , Adrian Clayborne and Mason Foster . But what might be even more troubling has been that seasoned veterans such as Ronde Barber , Kellen Winslow and Jeff Faine have done little to curb the ill discipline of their young teammates . If this team is to stand any chance of resurrecting their season be thought of as a legitimate contender within the NFC South .

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ situation isn’t helped by the fact that divisional leader the New Orleans Saints (7-3) and the Atlanta Falcons (5-4) are firmly seated above them holding respectively a two and three game lead. From my own perspective the Buccaneers will be hard pressed to muster even 15 points against the Packers’ defense , never-mind the prolific efficiency of the team’s offense . Anyone who witnessed the Green Bay Packers’ clinical annihilation of the Minnesota Vikings (2-7) 45-7 will know that the Vikings offered very little resistance to a totally ravenous team. At no time could anyone be convinced that Leslie Frazier’s players were up to the task and like the Packers’ eight previous opponents the Minnesota Vikings simply fell by the wayside left like roadkill on the side of a highway or suburban road. Will the Tampa Bay Buccaneers meet the same fate ? Well that remains to be seen and it certainly will be intriguing to find out what the end result is likely to be .

It is hard to say who might be the most despised person in sports may well be . Beyond your typical narcissistic athlete outside of that realm I firmly believe that MLB agent Scott Boras might just stand head and shoulders above everyone else , perhaps with the exception of his NFL counterpart Drew Rosenhaus ! Along with the plethora of unrestricted free agents now on the market Boras’ biggest high profiled client just happens to be none other than Prince Fielder a likely contender for the NL MVP . Now while there is no denying that the Milwaukee Brewers’ player was amongst the most productive players in baseball this past season and it is now becoming increasingly clear that Brewers’ owner Mark Attanasio might not be able to compete with the asking price that is bound to be desired by Scott Boras on behalf of his client.

Fielder like his fellow NL counterpart Albert Pujols are seeking to be compensated as they feel that they rightfully should amongst the top players within the game if not at the position of first base . The Brewers’ first baseman is all about baseball but he thinks little about the financial rewards beyond that environment . However , Scott Boras knows that if his client is to be richly rewarded then it he might just have to consider one of the more high profiled and big money market teams in terms of seeking a lucrative offer.

In the the nine years years that Prince Fielder has been in baseball each season from 2005 onward his productivity has gradually increased as a player . His drafting by the Milwaukee Brewers six years ago has proven to be a boost for the organization and his coupling with that of Ryan Braun has proven to be fortuitous for the team this season as their collective production has shown . Braun is amongst the highest paid players on the Brewers’ roster this past season and it is this distinction that I feel that Boras would seemingly like to address for his client !

Now there is no denying that this would come as a tremendous disappointment to the Milwaukee Brewers’ fans in attendance at Miller Park , Milwaukee , seeing the considerable change of events within this ballclub in recent years were Prince Fielder not to be re-signed by the organization. I am sure that GM Gord Ash , manager Ron Roenicke and his coaching staff would like nothing better than to have both Braun and Fielder back on this team next season . But much of that now rests in the hands of Mark Attanasio , the front office and the decision that they are prepared to make .

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ST. LOUIS, MO -SEPTEMBER 7: Prince Fielder (28) of the Milwaukee Brewers and Albert Pujols (5) of the St. Louis Cardinals stand on first base at Busch Stadium on September 7, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Cardinals beat the Brewers 2-0 . Getty Images North America / Dilip Vishwanath ………

Scott Boras for his part has lost no time in essentially using his considerable skills to sell the virtues of his client. The uber-agent has produced an eighteen page glossary on Prince Fielder with numerous color pictures of the player undoubtedly at his best , there also his stats , a biography of the player detailing his likes and dislikes and what he envisions for himself in the future as a baseball player. Boras has been to project figures that he feels are within his clients reach within the next five years given his age . …….27. Whether or not the player can reach those goals remains to be seen but the targets annotated within the glossary make for interesting reading , home runs , walks , RBI’s and an average of would place fielder amongst the active leaders within the game today . And undoubtedly , Scott Boras must be of the opinion that he sees his client as a future of Hall of Fame inductee in Cooperstown , New York .

If the Milwaukee Brewers should make the decision not re-sign Prince Fielder then to my mind there would be no more than perhaps 5 or six teams prepared to acquire the player ! Certainly Theo Epstein as the head of Baseball Operations with the Chicago Cubs and his newly installed general manager Jed Hoyer would like nothing more than to make a considerable splash in showing the loyal Cubs’ fan that they mean to turn things around . For team owner Tom Ricketts money is of no option but I do believe that he will seek the advice of Epstein before coming to a decision of this magnitude . As it is , the Cubs’ roster is filled a number of players who are vastly overpaid and who have produced absolutely nothing for the organization this past season that would have given you the impression that they were competitive .

Certainly given the interest that there is bound to be in not only Prince Fielder but also Albert Pujols any proposed decision made by any prospective bidder for either of the duo has to be undertaken with due diligence . The type of money being bandied about and the perceived length of the contract in question would be enough to make most baseball fans shudder . But this is baseball , where many sensible options at times have simply been thrown out of the window by a number of general managers and team owners as they seek success and the perceived financial windfall that tends to come along with it. Are either Prince Fielder or Albert Pujols worth in excess of $25 million a year ? Conceivably when you go down the list of players in baseball exceeding that sum annually and you certainly might have to question the veracity that can be claimed as to both sides of that argument .

Other than the possible interest of the Chicago Cubs and the fact that the organization simply just wants to remain relevant in the eyes of the fans in general . I am not so sure that there will be any major takers for Prince Fielder beyond quite possibly one of the big money market teams making an outlandish splash for the player. Granted , with the Winter Meetings now taking place (in Milwaukee , Wisconsin) wherein the general managers , owners and league hierarchy get together along with many of the most influential agents within the game , all seeking to attain the best possible deal for their client. Bud Selig , apart from wanting to finalize the sale of the Houston Astros to Houston businesman Jim Crane also has to deal with the ratifying of a new collective bargaining agreement . That asides there is still is the ongoing matter as how best obtain a quick sale of the beleaguered Los Angeles Dodgers . God knows , the seven years of Frank McCourt’s ownership of the organization has to be considered an unmitigated disaster ! With the league hierarchy in conjunction of the presiding judge in the bankruptcy hearings deciding to bring an investment firm (The Blackstone Group ) to organize an auction of the baseball team , it remains to be seen how quickly this will be expedited . If there is no new ownership group in place by Spring Training 2012 then quite possibly MLB will have to assume control of the team until a new owner is found.

There may well be possible suitors for Los Angeles Dodgers but I doubt that they might want to pay as steep an asking price as is as likely to be sought required by the league hierarchy and the courts . I am sure that Judge Kevin Gross who presided over the the bankruptcy hearings in the state of Delaware , was glad to see the back of Frank McCourt and his attorneys ! Based on the premise of his case the now disgraced owner simply tried to apportion blame everywhere else but upon himself for many of the egregious acts he perpetrated upon the team . What might be even more intolerable is the very fact that GM Ned Colletti and Chief Financial Officer Peter Wilhelm at no time sought to question many of the decisions that Frank McCourt took . And one wonders why the team has been a catastrophic disaster as a viable concern within the game from a competitive and financial standpoint ? There was not one iota of intelligence being shown by any executive within the Los Angeles Dodgers from its upper echelons , on down ! I would place far more trust in a child running a lemonade stand , selling cookies and the aforementioned beverage than any of the damn as_#oles within the front office of the Los Angeles Dodgers !

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Concerning the points raised within this piece do you believe that either Prince Fielder or Albert Pujols will remain with their current teams ? Furthermore , do you also believe that either player is worth in excess of $25 million a year based upon the salaries of the highest paid players in baseball and their productivity ? Of the weekend’s NFL games which if ones will you be most keen to observe ? Simply leave a comment as you deem fit and thanks as always for the continued support !

Picture and slide show details below .

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(1) CHARLOTTE, NC – NOVEMBER 13: Cam Newton (1) of the Carolina Panthers points out a defender as he scrambles out of the pocket against the Tennessee Titans at Bank of America Stadium on November 13, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Titans defeated the Panthers 30-3 . Photo by Brian A. Westerholt/Getty Images …..

(2) Steve Smith (89) of the Carolina Panthers watches on from the sidelines dejected during their game against the Tennessee Titans at Bank of America Stadium on November 13, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images . …

(3) Cam Newton (1) of the Carolina Panthers runs with the ball during their game against the Tennessee Titans at Bank of America Stadium on November 13, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images ….

(4) Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Arrelious Benn (17) reacts on the bench late in their 37-9 loss to the Houston Texans during an NFL football game on Sunday, Nov. 13, 2011, in Tampa, Fla. AP Photo/Chris O’Meara …

(5) TAMPA, FL – NOVEMBER 13: Quarterback Josh Freeman (5) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers rushes upfield against the Houston Texans November 13, 2011 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images ……

(6) Running back Arian Foster (23) of the Houston Texans tumbles over Buccaneers’ defensive player Aqib Talib after a run in the first quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers November 13, 2011 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images …. …

(7) Sports agent Scott Boras is one the premiere leaders within the field of baseball in having one of the largest clientele within the game through his company Boras Corporation Inc . a multi faceted sports agency representing a select group of baseball players . AP Photo / Steve Marshall ……

(8) ST. LOUIS, MO -SEPTEMBER 7: Prince Fielder (28) of the Milwaukee Brewers and Albert Pujols (5) of the St. Louis Cardinals stand on first base at Busch Stadium on September 7, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Cardinals beat the Brewers 2-0 . Getty Images North America / Dilip Vishwanath ………

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Ali  Landry/

Hot chic pic of the day Dorito’s ad girl Ali Landry

Bye The Bye …….. It Is Not All That It Is Cracked Up To Be …………..

Bye The Bye …….. It Is Not All That It Is Cracked Up To Be …………..

By tophatal …….

So the NBA lockout now seems to be taking on a new depth of animus between the league hierarchy and union (NBPA) with the ever increasing possibility that the NPBA will de-certify and then challenge the league’s antitrust exemption within US Federal Court . At this juncture it is something that NBA Commissioner David Stern and the team owners wanted to avoid all along , as it would place them in something of an embarrassing predicament with having to open up their financial records for public scrutiny. From my own perspective when simple greed rather than common sense is in essence the means to the argument from both parties as is is the case here with this ongoing dispute then whatever the fallout is of the NBA and union’s own doing !

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It seems utterly ridiculous that the BRI (basketball related income) cannot be split equitably between the two sides but neither party at this juncture wants to be viewed as the weaker of the entities . NBPA President Derek Fisher and Executive Director Billy Hunter have remained steadfast at almost every point of these negotiations in stating that they would not made any concessions that would diminish their share of approximately $4.5 billion in revenues that the league garners each season . The collective bargaining agreement between the NBA and union expired on the 30th June of this past season and it seems rather idiotic that neither side had any prior meetings to at least preamble about any differences that the two parties may well have had . Instead , all we have witnessed from the league and the union , have been the rather petulant acts of children behaving badly . Imagine if you can , preschoolers/kindergartners fighting over a toy in a sand box and there you have it .

At this juncture should this idiocy continue the way that it has then neither side will come out of this with any sort of integrity intact . As it is the vast majority of the NBA fans are sick and tired of the idiocy and the bellicose stupidity being shown by both sides . Every damn photo op possible has been used by Stern and Fisher to rather denigrate the others’ stance . Simply put , when you have a bunch of multi millionaire athletes , multi millionaire and billionaire owners in a room trying to talk money , you simply know the bull_hit that is bound to come up as each side looks to make a fool out of the other . In reality both the hierarchy of the NBA and union executive committee of the NPBA just happen to be filled with blithering self aggrandizing idiots ! When it is all said and done I simply would like these as_holes to go away and remain where they are ! David Stern has made the decision to postpone the NBA calendar until the 15th December pending an agreement between the two parties . The NBA is about as wanted on the sports’ landscape at present as a pandemic would be welcomed on the continent of Africa .

Unfortunately , on Monday night the NFL fan had to be subjected to another rather lopsided game as part ESPN’s coverage of Monday Night Football . The Green Bay Packers hosted the Minnesota Vikings at Lambeau Field , Wisconsin , in-front of a packed crowd and a national television audience . Anyone who has witnessed the Packers’ assault on the rest of the NFL this season has witnessed a team that has been playing at a high level of consistency that doesn’t necessarily defy the odds but it may have many of us believing that Mike McCarthy’s players could very well be the first team since Bill Belichick’s New England Patriots to make a successful defense of the Superbowl title ( SBXXXVIII & SB XXXIX [SB38 & SB 39]) . Whether not the Green Bay Packers can possibly joint that select band of teams to have successfully defended the Lombardi Trophy remains to be seen but with each passing week in the NFL their task does seem to getting easier . But as we can all attest , it’s simply not what you do in the regular season but what you are actually capable of doing in the postseason that really determines a champion .

If there happens to be a quarterback in the NFL currently playing better than Aaron Rodgers I have yet to witness such an even this season . Granted, in week 10 the Houston Texans’ Matt Schaub lit up the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on their way to a 37-9 victory over a fast declining Buccaneers’ team . Rodgers for his part has been putting up exhilarating numbers over the course of the season and it easy to understand the reason why he has to be viewed as the front runner for the league MVP . .

Over the course of four quarters Aaron Rodgers was ably supported by teammates Greg Jennings , Randall Cobb , Jordy Nelson , John Kuhn and Matt Flyn as they disseminated and surgically tore through a Vikings’ defense that looked so out of sync that they would have been better off performing onstage in a geriatric home in front of a multitude of octogenarians ! And it easy to understand why the Minnesota Vikings possess the worst defense in the entire NFC . There is nothing about this Vikings’ defense that would suggest that they are capable of stopping anyone , be it from the pass or run defense . Head coach Leslie Frazier and his coaching staff if they are to redeem their season will certainly have to start playing at a higher level than they are currently doing . Suffice to say , the Vikings’ front office have their work cut out for them from now until the end of their season .

The Green Bay Packers came away from this game with a 45-7 victory over the Minnesota Vikings , pushing their record to 9-0 within the NFC North with a healthy 3 game lead over their closest rivals , jointly the Detroit Lions (6-3) and Chicago Bears (6-3) followed by the Minnesota Vikings (2-7). Three more wins for the Packers and there are most certainly guaranteed a playoff berth at least and the division as a whole if there any unforeseen letdowns .

Well the first of the MLB seasonal individual awards have been announced with the Rookie of The Year winners being Craig Kimbrel of the Atlanta Braves in the NL and Jeremy Hellickson of the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL . .Both players are deserving winners of this prestigious award and it bodes well for their immediate future . Kimbrel was one of the primary reason’s for the Braves’ success this past season , albeit that they narrowly failed to make the postseason . The player led all rookies within the NL in terms of saves and was in fact the outright leader in that specific category at the end of the season. That sort of start to a rookie career in baseball has to be exciting to say the very least .

Jeremy Hellickson was simply sensational for the Tampa Bay Rays once brought up by Joe Maddon from the minors . What the young rookie was able to contribute to the pitching rotation added to the belief that this team can contend once they get all of the prerequisite pieces in place . The financial constraints placed upon this organization has proven to be extremely difficult for GM Andrew Friedman ever since the current ownership group assumed control of the organization . It will be an infinite struggle for the Tampa Bay Rays to compete against such financial behemoths as the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees this upcoming season within the AL East . Anyone who believes that baseball is not about ” the haves and have nots ” has got to be medicating on Propofol courtesy of Dr Conrad Murray ! Need I say anymore on the matter ?

As many of you know I am no great admirer of MLB Commissioner Bud Selig but somehow fans of the game have had to endure this ass the game’s highest ranking official for close to two decades . The fact that he will be stepping down at the end of the 2012-2013 season , as far as I am concerned can’t come around soon enough ! And these inane idiot owners have backed him through thick and thin even when it simply wasn’t advantageous to their well being . The one lasting impression that the commissioner wants to leave us with is that of another divisional realignment which he believes will be for the betterment of the game . It’s simply putting the cart before the horse as he sees it without truly addressing the real inequities within baseball . I am not so sure that the commissioner was actually born with testicles because I get the impression that he may well have been born with both male and female parts in order that he can simply pleasure himself at will ! Where else can you have such an individual who has remained so frigging clueless while two of the games most respected ball clubs were resting on the edge of a precipice ? Simply read the well chronicled stories this season concerning the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets to understand the ineptitude that has been shown by Bud Selig !

It is envisioned that with the Winter Meetings now in session at the Pfister Hotel in downtown Milwaukee , Wisconsin , baseball’s general managers in conjunction with the team owners joining them on Wednesday will com to a agreement as to what vision realignment is liable to take . It is being speculated , subject to a formal confirmation that the Houston Astros will move from the NL Central to the AL West . But the final approval for the proposed moves must be voted upon by the board of governors of Major League Baseball . At the same time the hierarchy will also set about the finalizing the sale of the Houston Astros from present owner Drayton McClane to Houston financier and businessman Jim Crane . The Astros’ new owner has agreed in principle to the move and the deal will be sweetened with $60 million being given to the organization to make this all possible .

There had been some earlier controversy concerning the sale of the Houston Astros as it was said that the commissioner was not entirely happy with the proposed documentation forwarded the commissioner’s office concerning the deal. Furthermore , questions were also raised concerning a number of Crane’s companies stating that the entrepreneur was said to be a war profiteer and that many of those companies operating as government contractors in Afghanistan and Iraq have been corrupt in their dealing in both countries . Given the alleged actions of Frank McCourt , Fred_Wilpon and Saul Katz (co owners of the New York Mets ) that ought to be the least of baseball’s worries concerning the proposed sale of the team . It is not as if the league hierarchy under Selig’s tenure has been completely above board to begin with ! Who can forget the commissioner’s sworn testimony to the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee that he was completely unaware as to the ” prolific use of steroids “ within the game of baseball. What , the bulked up physiques of Barry Bonds , Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa wasn’t enough of a clue ? But then again this is baseball that we are actually talking about it is not as if common sense has ever actually been known to have prevailed within this game ! The mindset of the custodians of this sport has been short term thinking , with little consideration as to the future of baseball and its place on the social landscape .

The league hierarchy also has been working on a proposed long term collective bargaining agreement which in due time will be submitted to the MLBPA and its executive director Michael Weiner for his members to also peruse . For the good of the game neither side wants to see an impasse that has essentially shuttered the NBA as the hierarchy there and the union (NBPA) has a battle of wills . Needless to say , that rather odious battle has become infantile between the warring factors .

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What thoughts if any do you concerning the points raised the subject matter ? By all means do take time to offer up a comment as you deem fit .

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(1) (1) FILE – In this Nov. 10, 2011 file photo, NBA commissioner David Stern speaks during a news conference in New York. The NBA is entering a season Stern calls “nuclear winter.” The players have rejected the league’s latest proposal and begun disbanding their union in preparation for going to court. AP Photo/John Minchillo ….

(2) NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 14: Billy Hunter, Executive Director of the National Basketball Players Association and Derek Fisher, President of the National Basketball Players Association speak at a press conference after National Basketball Players Association met to discuss the current CBA offer at the Westin Hotel Times Square on November 14, 2011 in New York City. Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images ….

(3) NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 14: Billy Hunter, Executive Director of the National Basketball Players Association and Maurice Evans speak after a press conference after National Basketball Players Association met to discuss the current CBA offer at the Westin Hotel , Times Square on November 14, 2011 in New York City. Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images ….. ….

(4) GREEN BAY, WI – NOVEMBER 14: Aaron Rodgers (12) of the Green Bay Packers chats with (L-R) Everson Griffen (97), Jared Allen (69) and Kevin Williams (93 of the Minnesota Vikings during a time-out at Lambeau Field on November 14, 2011 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Vikings 45-7 . Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images …

(5) John Kuhn (30) of the Green Bay Packers runs for a touchdown past (L-R) Tyrell Johnson (25) , Erin Henderson (50)and Jamarca Sanford (33 ) of the Minnesota Vikings at Lambeau Field on November 14, 2011 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Vikings 45-7 . Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images …

(6) Albert Pujols (5) of the St. Louis Cardinals breaks his bat on a foul ball in the first inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on September 28, 2011 in Houston, Texas. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images …. ….

(7) NEW YORK, NY – FILE: Jeremy Hellickson (58) of the Tampa Bay Rays pitches against the New York Yankees on September 21, 2011 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. Hellickson was named the winner of the AL Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award on November 14, 2011. Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images …….

(8) Craig Kimbrel (46) of the Atlanta Braves pitches on his way to his 40th save in the 9th inning against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on August 23, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. Kimbrel was named the winner of the NL Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award on November 14, 2011. Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images … ….

(9) Jim Crane (right) the prospective new owner of the Houston Astros is seen here with Drayton McClane (left) whom the Houston businessman will succeed . Crane won the bid for the NL Central team in submitting a winning bid of $680 million . The Houston Astros have agreed in principle to move from the NL Central to the AL West pending the approval of the league hierarchy and board of governors for MLB . Houston Chronicle / Karyn White ….. …..

(10) Commissioner of Baseball Bud Selig answers questions during a news conference before Game 4 of baseball’s World Series Sunday, Oct. 23, 2011, in Arlington, Texas. AP Photo/Darron Cummings ….

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TI aka .. Tip Harris …. feat’g Big K.R.I.T ………” I’m Flexin”

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Wah, Wah , Wah …… ! I Am Not Bitching , I Am Just Telling You Like It Is ……


Wah, Wah , Wah …… ! I Am Not Bitching , I Am Just Telling You Like It Is ……

By tophatal ………

Now that sanity has begun to set in due to the inane stupidity being shown not just the alumni of Penn State but also indirectly those specifically whose job it was to protect these victims at the heart of an unconscionable crimes perpetrated by Jerry Sandusky . I would like to think that the school can move ahead with some degree of certainty but when I thought that was about to happen it would appear that with firing of Joe Paterno , the resignation of Tim Curley and the administrative leave supposedly taken by Gary Schultz we now have the board of trustees of the of the university have decided that they will conduct their own in-house investigation. In reality given the cover up that took place with former university president Gary Spanier in conjunction with the campus police and Curley simply covering up the acts of Sandusky .

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It’s simply even more reprehensible that Jerry Sandusky used his position as a board member of the charitable foundation he started The Second Mile Group to procure his young victims for his perverted sexual acts ! Now when such former Penn State greats such as Franco Harris and Matt Millen come out in support of the now beleaguered Paterno , to my mind it smacks of incredulity and a lack of understanding as to the serious ramifications and the allegations against the university itself ! Millen as a board member of Sandusky’s foundation has yet to step down from his seat on the charitable organization but yet he is simply looking to deflect much of the controversy away from the foundation while at the same time trying to be respectful to the victims. If he had any decency he would simply announce that he is indeed resigning his position from the board. .

Meanwhile interim head coach Tom Bradley has been advised that he will not be retaining the position long term as the successor to Joe Paterno . Also Mike McQueary has informed the players that he will not be with them on when they face the Nebrask (Cornshuskers) this past Saturday at Beaver Stadium . Newly installed Penn State president Rodney Erickson made the decision that it would not be appropriate for Mike McQueary to be on the sidelines for the football team . Fred Frazier a lawyer and spokesman on behalf of the university formally announced the intent to have an in depth inquiry as to the events that have taken place and what actions if any must be taken so that such an incident or incidents are not repeated again.

It would appear that McQueary knows that his tenure may well be up with administration but for now only time will tell. Pennsylvania governor Tom Corbett who also is a board of trustee member , can see that in order that if the school is to come out of this with some modicum of its image in tact , then any type of investigation has to show a great deal of transparency . Given the behavior shown by the school throughout this entire episode it would be in the school’s best interest if they actually bring in outside legal counsel to conduct the investigation . There is mounting evidence to suggest also that the State Attorney General’s Office headed by Linda Kelly working in conjunction with the state police under commissioner Frank Noonan may well obtain additional indictments against Sandusky . Scott Paterno the son of Joe Paterno has made the statement that his father sought legal counsel and has hired a criminal attorney. For now, let us hope that the transparency sought will be clear for all to see rather than the idiocy we have all witnessed .

The one thing that we do know that will happen concerning the football program as well as other athletic endeavors at the university is that it will have a profound and lasting effect as potential recruits shy away from their current or future commitment to the school. And from a purely academic standpoint it may well be the same for the none student athlete also . Thereby deepening the loss of revenue for Penn State . And one should also take into account the various corporate sponsors whose brand are tied in with the athletics program . Get the feeling that right about now they are not thinking cutting their ties with the school ? When there is said millions of dollars at stake you will either get to see the best or the very worst in people . So far we have seen the reprehensible and the nowhere near the best in what we ought to expect from an educational establishment those entrusted to be the custodians of the most vulnerable amongst us .

Well as far as I am concerned the off season of ( MLB) baseball involves a great deal of posturing by the agents , teams , general mangers and free agents as they seek the best terms available to them . With a number of players already on the move it should come as no surprise that the salaries being bandied about will exorbitant to say the very least. Johnathan Papelbon the former Boston Red Sox closer an unrestricted free agent signed a four year $50 milllion contract to succeed Brad Lidge as the Phillies’ closer for the 2012 season . Far be it for me to suggest that is not exactly money well spent but given the issues that the Philadelphia Phillies faced this past postseason I can only surmise that the team’s general manager Reuben Amaro feels that this was the best way to proceed for the organization as a whole .

As to the Boston Red Sox with the upheavals within the front office with the departure of Theo Epstein leaving to become the head of Baseball Operations with the Chicago Cubs , the former general manager was succeeded by Ben Cherington . His first priority will be to find a replacement for the now departed Terry Francona who was offered a contract extension in the aftermath of the team missing the postseason . The organization has interviewed a number of candidates for the vacant managerial position as well as interviewing several aspirees from within their own managerial staff . No decision as of yet has been made by Cherington and team president Larry Lucchino but I expect that the Boston Red Sox’s search will be very exhausting and thorough . For a team that was said to have underachieved a manager who is experienced , determined and prepared to light a fire under the ass of the players may well be what is needed for this organization.

Two of the most highly prized free agents this off-season are prospective NL MVP candidates Albert Pujols and Jose Reyes . Both players are coming off highly productive seasons for their respective teams and it will be very interesting to witness which of the two will end up with the game’s biggest individual prize. Pujols and the St Louis Cardinals won their second World Series title in the last six years and the organization’s fifth series overall over the course of its history. For Jose Reyes and the New York Mets this was simply another disappointing season for a beleaguered organization and team . On and off the field problems were simply too much to bear for the New York Mets as the year simply unraveled in front of their now weary fans , who attended the home games at Citi Field in Flushing , New York . That monstrosity was built at the cost of $775 million but was sparsely attended as the season progressed for the Mets and thing simply got from bad to worse , something that seemed to emblematic of the idiocy and stupidity exhibited the team’s joint owners Saul Katz and Fred Wilpon .

The New York Mets are on course to lose in excess of $200 million this season and given the fact that the organization and its two most prominent owners Katz and Wilpon are the defendants in a civil suit seeking to recoup monies received via the Bernard Madoff ” Ponzi Scheme . The lawyer representing the plaintiffs Irving Picard of the law firm Baker Hostetler LLC has steadfastly suggested that Fred Willpon , Saul Katz and senior executives within the Mets’ organization as well as senior executives of the duo’s investment company Sterling Equities Inc knew that the funds received over the course of almost a decade and a half were from a larcenous act. The case is currently being adjudicated in US Federal Court has yet to reach a verdict and baseball’s hierarchy we are informed is said to be closely monitoring those proceedings .

Well , if the league’s handling of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ ” mea-culpa” is anything to go by we might just be in for an off season of some really epic and comedic proportions. MLB Commissioner Bud Selig simply lowered his head , buried it in the sand as Frank McCourt , his now ex wife Jamie McCourt simply plundered and raided the coffers of the organization , which is now in bankruptcy proceedings —- ___ with the now beleaguered owner , McCourt , reluctantly agreeing to sell the team. As to what the future now holds with the Los Angeles Dodgers now up for auction to the highest bidder it will be interesting to see which potential suitors are prepared to throw their hats into the ring . I can only hope that the company handling the auction on behalf the court in conjunction with the league hierarchy will use due diligence as they seek a potential new owner for the team . The experience of The Blackstone Group would suggest that they are capable of doing this in providing the league with a credible new owner , which is clearly something that wasn’t the case when Selig , the hierarchy and team owners first approved the sale of the Los Angeles Dodgers to Frank McCourt.

With the Florida Marlins set to move into their new home (site of the Orange Bowl in downtown Miami) and be renamed the Miami Marlins you simply knew that the organization would want to make a really big splash. Having agreed in principle to hire Ozzie Guillen to succeed Frank McKeown the ownership group led by Jeffrey Loria have met privately with both Albert Pujols and Jose Reyes with a view to signing one , if not both players . Given the financial constraints placed on this team over the years I find it somewhat farcical Loria is now willing to dig deep into his pockets to acquire either player ! Both Pujols and Jose Reyes are likely to command a hefty premium in terms of the salaries sought .

Dan Lozano the agent for Albert Pujols is not likely to offer a hometown discount to the St Louis Cardinals and that clearly will not be the case with the Florida Marlins . Cardinals’ GM John Mozeliak and the team’s front office will continue to deliberate inhouse and negotiate with the now unrestricted free agent as they seek to find some common ground . It is obvious that Pujols feels that he ought to be rewarded commensurate with his talent but also in comparison to the top salaried players in the game . And it will d no doubt be the same for Jose Reyes who with his agent Scott Boras casting his eye over the whole landscape as many of his clients seek new contracts . To my mind it has been Boras and the inane idiocy of the general managers , the MLBPA (union) in conjunction with the league hierarchy that has brought the game to this financial morass . Scott Boras has been the omnipresent factor over the last decade and a half as he and his fellow sports agents within the game have simply driven up the asking price for players looking to extend their contracts or be signed as a free agent . Simply look at the Boras’ most recent high profiled clients such as Mark Teixeira , C C Sabathia , Barry Zito and most recently Stephen Strasburg and the contracts signed by those individuals ? It is clear that this off season the agent is about to make great deal of money by way of his commission , as the players he is entrusted to represent will be signing lucrative contracts .

Publicity gimmick , merely to entice the Latin community within South Florida as the Marlins seek to sign two high profiled players ? I will let you be the judge of that ! Personally , given the connivance of Jeffrey Loria as he has finagled , spoon fed and bamboozled the city of Miami , the Miami Dade County government and the state of Florida , has me wondering who in essence will actually end up paying for the owner’s machinations ! Since his tenure as the principal partner of the ownership group , we have seen the payroll of the team pared down repeatedly each season , while he has pled poverty . And at the same time the Marlins as an organization has been one of the biggest recipients of the league hierarchy’s idiotic and odious tax sharing revenue scheme or more appropriately scam !

The Florida Marlins as an organization may well be back on the way to seeking a modicum of respectability but given the fact that Jeffrey Loria’s actions have always been viewed of a a surreptitious nature. Granted, he has sought to bring in Ozzie Guillen as Jack McKeon’s successor , is a doubt in anyone’s mind that should things start to go South” between the animated manager and the ownership ____ we are likely to see the volatile relationship that he had with his former managerial team the Chicago White Sox and in particular with GM Kenny Wiliams .

I will continue to contend that the league’s tax sharing revenue scheme has done little to level the playing field concerning the game ! Not when many of the owners within the baseball would rather redirect those fundse elsewhere rather than bolstering their rosters . Bob Nutting , Lewis Wolff , David Glass , Jeffrey Loria and Drayton McClane . At some point the league hierarchy , team owners and the and union will begin to realize the template that for the league’s business plan just isn’t working.

So Thursday night’s 24-17 loss by the San Diego Chargers (4-4) to the Oakland Raiders (5-4) may well have been the team’s last ditched effort to turn their season around . At this point I have to believe that the Chargers’ front office led by GM AJ Smith who will have to assess Norv Turner and his entire coaching staff . Repeatedly over the past four seasons the coach and this team have come up short and this season fighting for their very existence it seems to be deja-vu all over again.

The struggles for the Chargers this season has come down to the fact that the defense has struggled and at the same time their Pro Bowl quarterback Philip Rivers does seem to be having a down year even by his own lofty standards . And as Rivers struggles then so does this team in all aspects of their game .

If doubts are coming into question concerning Philip Rivers then also those very same questions have to arise concerning the decisions made by Norv Turner concerning the team’s draft selections and their free agency acquisitions . The loss of such stalwarts as Darren Sproles , Shawne Merriman and LaDainian Tomlinson may not have seemed acute at the time but their departure has changed this team adversely.

Vincent Jackson , Antonio Gates and Ryan Mathews are viewed as the only potent weapons beyond the team’s quarterback . It is hard to envisage how the San Chargers turn their season around given the morass they now find themselves in. The AFC West finds itself with the Oakland Raiders (5-4) leading the San Diego Chargers (4-4) , who are then followed by the Kansas City Chiefs (4-4) and the Denver Broncos (2-6) . Such has been the banality of the play within the division that you cannot deny the fact the AFC West has to be one of the worst in all of the NFL !

I may well be wrong in my assumption but it may be time for Dean Spanos as owner of the San Diego Chargers to begin to weigh his option concerning the team’s head coach . Either he pulls the trigger by jettisoning Norv Turner at the end of the year or he chooses to retain the the coach. Obviously the premise behind this has to be whether not the Chargers making the postseason , either way something has to be done if only for the future of the franchise.

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What thoughts if any do you have concerning the points raised within this piece ? By all means do take time to proffer up a comment and as always thanks for the continued support.

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Contact : tophatal e-mail address ….. rapptu@gmail.com . Any suggestions that you might have with regard to the content matter or topics you would like to discuss.

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(1) In this photo provided by the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, former Penn State football defensive coordinator Gerald “Jerry” Sandusky, center, is placed in a police car in Bellefonte, Pa., to be taken to the office of Centre County Magisterial District Judge Leslie A. Dutchcot on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2011. Sandusky is charged with sexually abusing eight young men. Also, Penn State athletic director Tim Curley and Penn State vice president for finance and business Gary Schultz, 62, are expected to turn themselves in on Monday in Harrisburg, Pa., on charges of perjury and failure to report under Pennsylvania’s child protective services law in connection with the investigation into the abuse allegations against Sandusky. AP Photo/Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General via Commonwealth Media Services ….

(2) In his Nov. 12, 2011 file photo, Penn State tight end Andrew Szczerba takes a knee after the team’s 17-14 loss to Nebraska in an NCAA college football game in State College, Pa. Penn State played for the first time in decades without former head coach Joe Paterno, after he was fired in the wake of a child sex abuse scandal involving a former assistant coach. As Penn State leaves a harrowing week behind and takes tentative steps toward a new normal, students and alumni alike wonder what exactly that means. AP Photo/Matt Rourke …

(3) Penn State running back Brandon Beachum (3) is tackled by Nebraska’s Lance Thorell (23) during the fourth quarter of an NCAA college football game in State College, Pa., Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011. Nebraska won 17-14 . AP Photo/Gene J. Puska ….

(4) Rapper Pitbull performs at the Miami Marlins, formerly the Florida Marlins, unveiling of their new uniforms, name and logo in Miami, Friday, Nov. 11, 2011. AP Photo/Alan Diaz ….

(5) Previously the Florida Marlins, Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria holds up a Florida Marlins cap to toss away before introducing the Marlins new uniform, name and logo during an unveiling in Miami, on Friday, Nov. 11, 2011. AP Photo/Alan Diaz …

(6) FILE – In this Oct. 23, 2011 file photo, St. Louis Cardinals’ Albert Pujols prepares for Game 4 of baseball’s World Series , against the Texas Rangers, in Arlington, Texas. Pujols’ first free-agent tour is off to a surprising start: The three-time NL MVP is visiting the Florida Marlins, Friday Nov. 11, 2011. AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez …..

(7) FILE – In this July 16, 2011, file photo, New York Mets’ Jose Reyes jokes with teammates in the dugout during the seventh inning of baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field in New York. Reyes is being courted by the Florida Marlins, who treated the All-Star shortstop to a tour of their new ballpark and lunch on South Beach. Reyes was in Miami on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2011, team president David Samson said on his weekly radio show on WAXY-AM. AP. Photo/Paul J. Bereswill ….

(8) San Diego Chargers linebacker Antwan Barnes (98) sacks Oakland Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer (3) and causes a fumble during the third quarter of an NFL football game Thursday, Nov. 10, 2011, in San Diego. The Chargers recovered the fumble. The Raiders won 24-17 . AP Photo/Denis Poroy …

(9) SAN DIEGO, CA – NOVEMBER 10: Philip Rivers (17) of the San Diego Chargers leaves the field after throwing an interception to Matt Giordano (27) of the Oakland Raiders during the fourth quarter at Qualcomm Stadium on November 10, 2011 in San Diego, California. The Raiders won 24-17. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images …

(10) Head coach Norv Turner of the San Diego Chargers reacts to a 24-17 loss to the Oakland Raiders as he leaves the field at Qualcomm Stadium on November 10, 2011 in San Diego, California. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images …..

(11) San Diego Chargers cornerback Quintin Jammer (23) walks past as Oakland Raiders wide receiver Denarius Moore (17) celebrates his third-quarter touchdown catch with teammate T.J. Houshmandzadeh (84) in an NFL football game Thursday, Nov. 10, 2011, in San Diego. AP Photo/Gregory Bull ……
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A Game For The Ages Or Not !

A Game For The Ages Or Not !

By tophatal …………

At this time of the NFL season everyone can subscribe to the fact a number of teams are simply playing for dear life while others are seeking to separate themselves from the pretenders and be seen as legitimate contenders . And while there were a litany of games that had a great deal of appeal there were a number that simply were an abomination not only as an exhibit but aslo so compelling in their mediocrity were they that I have to believe that the NFL hierarchy had to have been embarrassed by it all !

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One game which has to stand out to my mind had to have been the match-up between AFC West participants the Denver Broncos (4-5) and Kansas City Chiefs (4-5) staged at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City , Missouri . I doubt that in terms of the spectacle which unfolded the fans will see a much more insipid and vapid teams that are simply going nowhere ! Never mind that the two quarterbacks involved in this display may well have given their worst performances of the season. The fans of the Denver Broncos may well have been calling for the name of Tim Tebow when teammate Kyle Orton simply wasn’t delivering . But the insertion of the former Florida Gators’ quarterback simply having given the team the spark it sought the player’s performances have become ever more mind boggling and bordering on near mediocrity . Granted, at the end of the day it is the end result that matters but Tebow’s performances have become simply inept at its worst or barely average at best . Nowhere was this more self evident than in yesterday’s game against the Chiefs as his statistics ( 2/8 att’s, 69 yds, 1TD ) simply stuck out like a throbbing sore thumb . And though he also had one rushing touchdown in amassing 43 yards on nine rushes , it begs the question can the player matriculate to become the quarterback that coach John Fox needs if this team is to become successful ?

Tim Tebow’s counterpart Matt Cassel was not that much better 13/28 att, 93yds, 1TD) and when one considers the offensive weapons at the quarterback’s disposal you have to wonder what the hell went on during this game . Dwayne Bowe , Steve Breaston , Jamaal Charles , Jon Baldwin and Jackie Battle are not slouches but the team’s quarterback offered them little by way of overall productivity that would enable them to be in with a signifant chance of being in this game.

The end result may well have been a 17-10 victory for the Denver Broncos away from home which if anything would have been a god-send for their long suffering fans . God knows , both the Broncos and Chiefs have been a blight on the NFL this season . And it is beginning to make a complete mockery of the AFC West overall in terms of the consistency of the teams. The Oakland Raiders (5-4) lead the division followed by the Denver Broncos , Kansas City Chiefs and San Diego Chargers all jointly tied with a record of 4-5 within the division . At this juncture it is anyone’s bet who is likely to come out of the AFC West given the play of the teams at present. As to the play quarterbacks and where they rank within the conference and division , well let’s just say that they leave a great deal to be desired .

I don’t know that there can be any real excuses that ought to be made for the sundry of mediocre games that have taken place this season within the NFL . The labor stoppage initially I would have suggest may well have played a role in it all but we are now past the midway point of the season and yet there once again the fans are being served a up plethora of terrible games with even more exacerbating results . I would hate to think that during the postseason we are liable to see more of the game ! God forbid , that should even happen because if anything , I truly believe that the fans of the NFL would become increasingly disenchanted with brand and the game , given the prices that they are being asked to pay for the apparent privilege of watching the events in question.

The once high flying Detroit Lions (6-3) have suddenly fallen back down to earth and that should not come as a surprise anyone . Granted, they had Matt Stafford playing some of the best football of his career this year , you suddenly became aware that sooner or later the wheels on this particular bus would start to wobble . Well yesterday when the Lions faced their divisional rivals the Chicago Bears (6-3) not only did the wheels come off but the damn bus essentially fell over the damn cliff. Jay Cutler and his teammates simply played the best game of the season thus far in completely annihilating the Detroit Lions 37-13 . Bears’ coach Lovie Smith and his coaching staff had to have been encouraged by what he saw from his players as they completely outplayed and out-coached Jim Schwartz’s team .

I for one know that there were a number of fans within this domain simply regaling as to how good the Detroit Lions are and that they should be thought of as legitimate contenders for the postseason . That being said , they are playing within a division (NFC North) where the Green Bay Packers (8-0) at present are simply laying waste to anyone placed in-front of them . That loss may well have been as demoralizing a defeat that Jim Schwartz’s players have suffered this season , perhaps with the exception of the 25-19 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in week 6 which the team suffered at Ford Field , Detroit , Michigan. That loss and in the aftermath of the events that took place when Jim Schwartz and his opposite number Jim Harbaugh had a minor on-field melee` . Schwartz may well have lost his cool but in doing so it clearly showed that the pressure was certainly getting to the coach.

The Detroit Lions now have to regain their composure and prepare themselves for their next game against the lowly Carolina Panthers (2-7) . It remains to be seen how Cam Newton and his teammates can contend with their NFC opponent in spite of their somewhat disappointing season .

Can someone actually explain to me how it is, that one moment the Baltimore Ravens (6-3) can look like all worldly contenders and then the next, perhaps are one of the most inept teams in the NFL ? I know that the Seattle Seahawks cannot really be looked upon as being one of the elite teams within the NFC much less the NFL . But for some reason on Sunday afternoon , somehow Peter Caroll’s Seahawks’ team were able to make the Ravens seem like that they were the boys playing amongst men. Let’s get real here , but no one would willingly subscribe to the fact the Seattle Seahawks are in fact world beaters but herein lies the truth ……..the adage that “within the NFL anyone on any given day can be beaten ” doesn’t necessarily hold true . Because to my mind a team is either prepared to play or they are not ! And clearly this was the case when the Ravens played the Seahawks at QWest Field in Seattle , Washington .

The Baltimore Ravens managed to dig themselves into a hole that they simply couldn’t extricate themselves from . Far be it for me to suggest but the team’s victory (23-20) over the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania , had to have been an apparition . Bear in mind also that the Baltimore Ravens have swept their divisional (AFC North) rivals in their series this season . Yet somehow the Ravens can manage to lose to a team that ranks 28th out of the 32 teams in the NFL when it comes to total offense . Am I actually missing something here ? Either the defense of the Baltimore Ravens is that bad or the Seattle Seahawks had an inspired game against the Joe Flacco and his teammates . I am inclined to believe that it might have been the latter but I could very well be wrong ! God knows , there have been some really inexplicable results within the NFL this season . In losing this game 22-17 to the lowly Seattle Seahawks ( 3-6) of the NFC West there has to be some sort of explanation for this all .

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

I know that there’s still a great deal to play for this NFL season but I would genuinely like to think that we will definitely see an upswing in the in the performances of the teams between now and the end of the regular season . If not then we could very well be in for something of an underwhelming run between now and the season finales . In week ten’s schedule which games in particular proved to be of a major disappointment to you ? Simply leave a comment as you would deem fit .

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(1) Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel (7) is sacked by Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller (58) during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 13, 2011, in Kansas City, Mo. AP Photo/Charlie Riedel ….

(2) KANSAS CITY, MO – NOVEMBER 13: Defensive tackle Marcus Thomas (79) of the Denver Broncos pressures quarterback Matt Cassel (7) of the Kansas City Chiefs during the first half on November 13, 2011 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. Denver defeated Kansas City 17-10 . Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images …

(3) (3) Quarterback Tim Tebow (15) of the Denver Broncos hands off to Lance Ball during the game against the Kansas City Chiefs on November 13, 2011 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images … …..

(4) Quarterback Tim Tebow (15) of the Denver Broncos rushes to the outside against the Kansas City Chiefs on November 13, 2011 during the first half at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images …

(5) D.J. Moore (30) of the Chicago Bears just misses an interception against the Detroit Lions at Soldier Field on November 13, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Lions 37-13 . Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images ….

(6) CHICAGO, IL – NOVEMBER 13: Matthew Stafford (9) of the Detroit Lions throws a pass against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on November 13, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Lions 37-13. Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images …

(7) Jay Cutler (6) of the Chicago Bears rolls out to look for a receiver against the Detroit Lions at Soldier Field on November 13, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Lions 37-13. Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images …..

(8) Head coach John Harbaugh of the Baltimore Ravens walks the sidelines during a game against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink (QWest Field) Field on November 13, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. Photo by Stephen Brashear /Getty Images …

(9) Head coach Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks gestures during the game against the Baltimore Ravens at CenturyLink Field on November 13, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. The Seahawks defeated the Ravens 22-17 . Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images ….

(10) Quarterback Joe Flacco (5) of the Baltimore Ravens drops back to pass during a game against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on November 13, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. The Seahawks won the game 22-17. Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images ……

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Nope We’re Just Not Quite There Yet ….

Nope We’re Just Not Quite There Yet ….

The AFC East is proving all I believe it would be with the exception of the rather mediocre Miami Dolphins ! However just when I thought they would still be in with a shot of playing their part in the Andrew Luck sweepstakes low and behold Tony Sparano’s players simply upend the Kansas City Chiefs by beating thier AFC opponent 31-3 . In garnering that victory the Miami Dolphins their sole win of the season and pushing their record to 1-7 . The Indianapolis Colts (0-9) now remain the only winless team in the NFL which now places them front and center as the prohibitive favorite for the Stanford Cardinals’ quarterback .

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The remaining residents within the AFC East are all tied atop of the division a record of 5-3 but by way of their conference record Buffalo Bills , New York Jets and New England Patriots . Personally, I am not so sure what to make of the Miami Dolphins as a team because they are so damn awful in so many facets of the game . This Sunday the Dolphins will play hosts to Mike Shanahan’s rapidly declining Washington Redskins . And if ever there was a time for Miami Dolphins to take advantage of an opponent then the Redskins are primed for the taking in the aftermath of their totally embarrassing 19-11 loss to the fast improving San Francisco 49ers .

In truth , I can honestly say that there have been some awful performances within the league this season as can be borne by the results. And granted , everyone is awe of the Green Bay Packers (8-0) who seem to be hell bent on proving to everyone that they are by far in way the best team in the NFL . Aaron Rodgers appears to be fast running away with the lead as early and prohibitive favorite as the league MVP. If there is a quarterback in the league playing any better than Rodgers at present , then I have yet to witness it . Coach Mike McCarthy’s team are certainly making everyone sit up and take note their commanding style . The Packers’ destruction of the error prone San Diego Chargers was simply proof of that as they notched up their league leading ninth win of the season in defeating their AFC opponent 45-38 . The margin of victory may well have been larger had the Green Bay Packers had not sought to take their foot off the gas pedal .

Chargers’ quarterback Philip Rivers is definitely having a down year but at present appears to be the least of Norv Turner and his coaching staff’s problems . Injuries asides it has been anomaly of things that has led the San Diego Chargers not meeting the expectations of their fans and in particular a number of NFL analysts , as they uncertainty now encompassing the AFC West . The division itself simply bearing out what I have always felt all along , it simply isn’t as competitive as some would have us believe . The combined records of the four combatants are a combined 15-17 (0.46875). The Kansas City Chiefs (4-3) , Oakland Raiders (4-3) , San Diego Chargers (4-3) jointly hold the lead atop of the AFC West but with the Denver Broncos’ (3-5) improbable win over the Oakland Raiders 38-24 , you simply get the impression that the division is still up for grabs. Would you care to take a guess as to may well come away with the division as its champion ? Not I !

I know that it’s too soon to make prognostications , as there is still a great deal to play for this NFL season . But the biggest surprise for me this year has been to see the rise of Alex Smith and the San Francisco 49ers (7-1) , their surprising start to their season . The Niners’ head coach John Harbaugh has brought about a vitality to this team not seen in a very long time . Smith has been playing at an exceptionally high level and with his confidence being at its peak this team seems intent on making their resurgence one that pays off not just for their fans but also for the organization as a whole. John Harbaugh and his coaching staff have got their players believing in themselves and it has shown in the play of Patrick Willis , Frank Gore and most notably Alex Smith.

Candlestick Park and the Niners will play host to Tom Coughlin’s New York Giants in an enticing NFC match-up between two first placed teams . Smith if he continues in this vein could end up being the NFL’s Comeback Player of The Year , no mean feat given his predilections previously.

All of a sudden there now seems to be life to the Cincinnati Bengals and that if anything has to be down to the growing confidence and play of Andy Dalton . Barring an almighty meltdown by the team over the remainder of the season coach Marvin Lewis’ job might well have been saved by his rookie quarterback . Many felt that with the departure of Carson Palmer , acquired by the Oakland Raiders in a trade wherein the Bengals obtained (1st round draft pick [2012] & conditional pick 2013) what a number of analysts and fans alike viewed as a rather generous offering . It remains to be seen who will end up benefiting the most from this particular deal. Palmer for his part has struggled for the Raiders whereas , Dalton is well on the way in gaining a deal of recognition. The former TCU (Frogs) quarterback as a rookie has notched himself a record having thrown 12 touchdowns which is one ahead of the record for first year quarterbacks in terms of that specific feat.

The Bengals’ front office led by GM Jim Lippincott and Head of Player Personnel Pete Brown . The organization certainly lucked out in acquiring Andy Dalton in in the 2011 NFL Draft which obviously has paid dividends for the Cincinnati Bengals and their surprising start to the season. It has certainly made a believer out of the much troubled veteran Cedric Benson who seems to be having one of his most productive spells in quite a while .

This Cincinnati Bengals’ ( 6-2) team does seem intent on shaking up the order of things within the AFC North this season. And clearly with there being as only one game separates the top three teams within the division. The hard battling Baltimore Ravens (6-2) share a similar record , followed by the Pittsburgh Steelers (6-3) and bringing up the rear we have the Cleveland Browns (3-5) . From my own perspective because of youthfulness and inexperience in the core of the Bengals’ roster , I do feel that they could very well come up short this season ! But if anything , it should prove to be a positive test as they seek to grow and build upon the organization’s aspirations .

It simply had to happen ! Bill Belichick as he continues his “Mad Scientist” experiments in continually tinkering with the New England Patriots’ defense . Never mind that at present the team just happens to be one of the worst defensive units in the NFL . Now comes word that the coach in his infinite wisdom has seen fit to jettison the unconditioned and less than productive Albert Haynesworth . No one at all should be surprised at this but here’s my question for Bill Belichick what in hell made him think he would be the one to work miracles and simply change the change the mindset of this player ? Haynesworth was a bust with the Washington Redskins and he has contributed about as much to the Patriots this season as a dog defecating and urinating on a fire hydrant ! He simply stank up the joint and it is likely to be the same with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers , the player’s latest home on his nomadic journey around the NFL .

Albert Haynesworth has yet to fulfill the monies paid to him , certainly not the $100 million contract so foolishly thrust upon him by the Washington Redskins . Dan Snyder as the owner of the franchise has yet to learn from the numerous mistakes the front office has made since he assumed control of the organization . The Redskins’ owner has squandered money wastefully like a drunken sailor on furlough in search of a high class hooker . In Bangkok and Phuket you tend to get what you pay for and many of the free agent acquisitions and draft picks made by the Washington Redskins have yet to truly pay any dividends .

I understand the Buccaneers’ need to acquire a defensive presence with the loss of Gerald McCoy for the season . But I feel that GM Mark Dominik and head coach Raheem Morris have made a monumental mistake ! Granted, the financial outlay for Albert Haynesworth will be minimal , as he was picked up off waivers but as I alluded to before the player has produced little to show that he would be of any real benefit to this Tampa Buccaneers’ defense or the team in general.

At 4-4 the Buccaneers are seated in third place within the NFC East behind the division leading New Orleans Saints (6-3) , second placed Atlanta Falcons (5-3) and rooted at the bottom are the Carolina Panthers (2-6) . Raheem Morris’ team faces a stern test when they host the Houston Texans this weekend at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa , Florida. Coming off a 27-16 loss to the New Orleans Saints it is imperative that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers get back to winning ways if they are going make inroads into the Saints’ divisional lead. A loss would further hinder their aspirations this season but clearly a victory could put them amongst the mix within conference and division if the chips were to fall their way this Sunday .

One of the things that was definitely prevalent in the divisional loss to the Saints were the needless penalties incurred by the team both on defense and offense . It has been a problematic issue for Raheem Morris and his coaching staff , as it involves many of the young players on the roster . That sort of ill discipline has to be erased and it must be up to seasoned veterans such as Ronde Barber , Kellen Winslow and Jeff Faine to implore their teammates to keep hold their tempers in check . Play aggressively , yes but for God’s don’t do so and give up needless penalties that gives your opponent an advantage . These are the stupid things that has hindered the Buccaneers over the course of their season .

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We have now passed the midpoint of the season and there is still a great deal to play for . But I think we are now getting to the point where a number of teams can be counted out because of their inconsistency and poor play ! It will be interesting to see what the second half of the season holds for the franchises and for the fans in general . Hopefully , we will get to see a number players and clubs meet the expectations rather than falling short of them . What thoughts if any do you have on the points raised within this piece ? By all means do leave a comment and once again thanks for the continued support !

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(1) (1) Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel (7) tries to keep Miami Dolphins free safety Tyrone Culver (29) at bay during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011, in Kansas City, Mo. The Dolphins would go on to defeat the Chiefs 31-3 to raise their record to 1-7 within the AFC . AP Photo/Charlie Riedel ….

(2) KANSAS CITY, MO – NOVEMBER 06: Running back Reggie Bush (22) of the Miami Dolphins rushes against linebacker Jovan Belcher (59) of the Kansas City Chiefs during the first quarter on November 6, 2011 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. Miami defeated Kansas City 31-3. Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images …

(3) Head coach Tony Sparano of the Miami Dolphins yells out some instructions during the second half against the Kansas City Chiefs on November 6, 2011 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. Miami defeated Kansas City 31-3. Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images ….

(4) (4) San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers stares back at the field as coach Norv Turner, left, walks past after Rivers threw his second interception for a touchdown against the Green Bay Packers during an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011, in San Diego. The Packers would go on to defeat the Chargers 45-38 . AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi …

(5) Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, right, and receiver Greg Jennings congratulate each other after connecting on a four yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter of the Packers’ 45-38 victory over the San Diego Chargers in an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011, in San Diego. AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi …..

(6) SAN DIEGO – NOVEMBER 6: Quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) of the Green Bay Packers scrambles from the pass rush in the pocket on the 1-yard line during the 4th quarter of the Green Bay Packers vs. the San Diego Chargers NFL Game on November 6, 2011 in San Diego, California. Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images …..

(7) LANDOVER, MD – NOVEMBER 6: Alex Smith (11) of the San Francisco 49ers passes against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field on November 6, 2011 in Landover, Maryland. Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images ….

(8) Andy Dalton (14) of the Cincinnati Bengals gives instructions to his team during the NFL game against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field on November 6, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee. The Bengals won 24-17 . Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images ….

(9) Head coach Raheem Morris of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looks on during the game against the New Orleans Saints at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on November 6, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Saints would defeat the Buccaneers 27-16 . Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images ..

(10) Preston Parker (87) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers stiff arms Will Herring (53) of the New Orleans Saints at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on November 6, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images ….

(11) FILE – In this Sept. 1, 2011, file photo, New England Patriots defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth looks on from the sideline during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game against the New York Giants at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. The Boston Herald is reporting Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2011, that the Patriots have released Haynesworth. The move came two days after Haynesworth did not play for most of the second half of Sunday’s 24-20 loss to the New York Giants. The Patriots would not confirm the report. The player has since been acquired off waivers by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers having lost defensive player Gerald McCoy for the remainder of the season . AP Photo/Stew Milne …..

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Neetu Chandra/

Hot chic pic of the day “Bollywood” actress Neetu Chandra .

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Goin’ ol’ skool ……….. Nicole Wray ….. feat’g Missy Eilliott ….” Make It Hot” . Spot the artists that Missy has either written for or co produced with Timbaland .

It’s Spinning Out of Control And Heading For The Edge of A Cliff ……

It’s Spinning Out of Control And Heading For The Edge of A Cliff ……

tophatal …..

It’s extremely difficult not to have a wry smile seeing the Philadelphia Eagles (3-5) get their comeuppance as their season unravels in front of the eyes of their fans and all of the NFL analysts who made them the prohibitive favorites for not only the NFC East but also the Superbowl . Somehow Andy Reid’s so called “Dream Team” and I’ll use that connotation loosely because the only thing only remotely akin to a dream team here is the mere fact the players got way ahead of themselves . The only baubles these Eagles’ players on the team will end up seeing is the fecal matter that describes their season !

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There’s a lackadaisical approach not only to this team but also on the part of Reid and his coaching staff and it seems to have manifested itself in the team’s play throughout much of this season . Michael Vick the team’s newly minted $100 million quarterback has is having an inconsistent year by his own lofty standards . That being said the team’s overall productivity is down in comparison to last season . But what might be even more worrisome Andy Reid has been the inexplicable poor showing of the team’s much vaunted defense and the error prone play of cornerbacks Nnamdi Asomugha , Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and the anguished Asante Samuels . And clearly with that sort of inconsistency from three Pro Bowl caliber players that does tend to effect the play of the entire team. And it would appear that the front office of the Philadelphia Eagles left no stone unturned when it came to expense with regard to the roster.

Monday night as the Eagles hosted the Chicago Bears at Lincoln Financial Field , in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania. The NFC East is built on the premise that it is the “glamor” division of the NFL but in reality nothing could be further from the truth . This season if anything as good as the division appears to the combined record of quartet of teams within the division is a mediocre 15-15 (.500). Leading the crescendo amongst the division are the New York Giants (6-2) , Dallas Cowboys (4-4) , Philadelphia Eagles (3-5) and the Washington Redskins (3-5). The Giants appear to be the presumptive favorites at this point given the form of the team and their play . But herein , lies the caveat with the New York Giants over the last two seasons at the midpoint of 2009 and 2010 they have posted marks of 5-3 and 6-2 only fall by the wayside . Another demise along those lines and the calls haranguing Tom Coughlin and the calling for his ouster could reach an octave not heard in the Big Apple in a number of years .

The aspirations of the New York Giants rest squarely upon the shoulders of Eli Manning , and he goes the so does this team , albeit that Osi Umenyiora and the Giants’ defense have been playing with a heightened sense of purpose .

If ever Jerry Jones was at a point to consider redoing some cosmetic surgery to reduce the stress and aging caused by how inept the Dallas Cowboys have been , especially in the light of the praise thrown upon Tony Romo . Praise him if you must but please don’t anoint him as the second coming of Roger Staubach or Troy Aikman for that matter. The Cowboys’ incumbent starting quarterback has been anything but average and the questions are now being asked as to how long before the front office and in particular Jones pulls the trigger on the player . Now while in recent weeks analysts have been awe of the performance by running back DeMarco Murray and his breaking the team’s single game rushing record [23 carries , 253yds , 1TD] by a running back . Beyond that feat there has little for the Dallas Cowboys’ fans to be happy about either at Cowboys Stadium or away from home .

There is little to be candid about concerning the Washington Redskins given their tepid displays this season. I am not so sure that $7.million a year Daniel Snyder is getting value for money from his coach Mike Shanahan . The ups and downs of the team and the very fact there’s no consistency in their play means simply that the Redskins are once again on the decline and their way to another season of mediocrity !

Going back to the Philadelphia Eagles , as I alluded to earlier their Monday night matchup against the Chicago Bears . This was a game that the Eagles need to win but once again they came up short and this so called star laden roster is simply proving that all that glitters is not gold ! The significance of this 30-24 loss by Andy Reid’s team leaves them in something of an unenviable position .

Looking at the Philadelphia Eagles (3-5) and it is hard to envisage how the team can play themselves back into contention within the the conference but more convincingly within the division . Another missed opportunity this season and much like the Miami Heat and their fall from grace last season within the NBA , the Eagles looks as if they are like a favored thoroughbred that has simply run out of speed before having reached the halfway mark of a horse race . And we all know what they tend to do lame horses in the end don’t we ? They shoot don’t horses they ? .

Of their last nineteen home games at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa , Florida sixteen have been blacked out due to the fact that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have not been able to sell the league mandated ratio of tickets to avoid the game not being shown in the local area market. This scenario has to be a worrying scenario for the Buccaneers’ organization and the surrounding businesses within the locale. For Raheem Morris and GM Mark Dominik it is not for the lack of trying as the coach and general manager have assembled a team that they believe can compete at the highest level of the NFL . So far this season the Buccaneers have hit a few major bumps along the way with a 4-4 record and their task won’t be getting any easier when they face the Houston Texans and their high octane rushing offense led by Arian Foster and Ben Tate .

As a sign of desperation I believe rather than of need the Buccaneers acquired Albert Haynesworth off waivers . The much traveled and under-performing Haynesworth can best be described as being thought of as a bust within the league . He has yet to live up to any part of the $100 million contract signed with the Washington Redskins . And far be it for me to suggest being an avid New England Patriots’ but when the team acquired him earlier on this season I simply started to question the mental state of Bill Belichick . Not only did the Patriots’ coach acquire Albert Haynesworth but also obtained the self ordained “FOH” (Future Hall of Famer) Chad Ochocinco . And Ochoinco much like his teammate can categorized in the same position this season in terms of his anemic performances for the Patriots . It would not surprise me if Bill Belichick were to also jettison the veteran wide receiver because here too , has been another experiment that simply hasn’t worked out ! Calling Randy Moss , calling Randy Moss ……….. your services are needed .

As to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it is imperative that they obtain a victory over Gary Kubiaks’ Texans . Anything short of that , and the aspirations of the team and organization simply go up in smoke . And when one bears in mind that they were simply one victory away last year from making the playoffs , you can understand what a tremendous disappointment this would be for the fans were the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to miss the postseason for a second consecutive year . From my own standpoint even if these are indeed hard economic times , I simply feel that team owner Malcolm Glazier , his sons Edward , Brian and Joel Glazier as the omnipresent executive faces of the organization merely treat this franchise as a bauble to show off to their close circle of friends . The family and the rather naive local beat writers for the print media and tv journalists simply hang their hats unto the franchise’s lone Superbowl (SBXXXVII)– win defeating the Oakland Raiders under then coach Jon Gruden . Beyond that there’s really nothing tangible that the Buccaneers have achieved since then .

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

I would like to think that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers can recoup something of their season but with a record of 4-4 things are now beginning to look extremely remote for the franchise at this juncture , in perhaps making something credible of what so far appears to an under-achieving year on all counts . What thoughts if any do you have concerning the points raised within this piece ? Simply leave a comment as you would deem fit .

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(1) PHILADELPHIA, PA – NOVEMBER 7 : LeSean McCoy (25) of the Philadelphia Eagles is tackled by Lance Briggs (55) , Charles Tillman (33) , and Nick Roach (53) of the Chicago Bears at Lincoln Financial Field on November 7, 2011 in Phildelphia, Pennsylvania. The Bears would defeat the Eagles 30-24 Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images ….

(2) A fan of the Philadelphia Eagles reacts to a play during the game against the Chicago Bears at Lincoln Financial Field on November 7, 2011 in Phildelphia, Pennsylvania. Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images …

(3) Matt Forte (22) of the Chicago Bears carries the ball against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on November 7, 2011 in Phildelphia, Pennsylvania. Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images ….

(4) Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick (7) is hit by Chicago Bears defensive end Israel Idonije (71) as he throws a pass in the second half of an NFL football game, Monday, Nov. 7, 2011, in Philadelphia. The Bears won 30-24 . AP Photo/Michael Perez …..

(5) Head Coach Andy Reid of the Philadelphia Eagles congratulates Head Coach Lovie Smith of the Chicago Bears after the game at Lincoln Financial Field on November 7, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images ……

(6) Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman (5) watches from the bench during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints in New Orleans, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011. The Saints won 27-16 . AP Photo/Bill Haber …..

(7) Head coach Raheem Morris of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looks on during the game against the New Orleans Saints at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on November 6, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images …..

(8) Teammates Leigh Torrence (24) of the New Orleans Saints and Jabari Greer (33) make a tackle on Mike Williams (19) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during their game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on November 6, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images …..

(9) Buccaneers’ GM Mark Dominik is seen here alongside head coach Raheem Morris . courtesy of St Petersburg Times …

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(10) Joel Glazer, left, Bryan Glazer, center, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers team owner and president Malcolm Glazer, right, at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Washington, Wednesday, May 25, 2005. Malcolm Glazer appointed his three sons Joel, Bryan and Avram , to the board of English Premier league soccer team Manchester United , on Tuesday, June 7, 2005, extending his control over the world’s richest soccer club. Malcolm Glazer, became majority shareholder of Man United on May 16, 2005. AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
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As tribute to the military servicemen and women everywhere who’ve their country their country with pride . From one military veteran to another I salute you all and your service of distinction ! Have a great Veterans’ Day ! Petey Pablo …………“Raise Up USA Remix ”

It’s Image First And Then A Matter of Perception …..

It’s Image First And Then A Matter of Perception …..

By tophatal ……..

November 7th 1991 should be a day that is synonymous with the NBA because that was the day when former Los Angeles Lakers’ great Ervin ” Magic” Johnson announced his retirement from the game , having contracted HIV the precursor to the full blown AIDS virus . Johnson since his retirement has been a staunch advocate of AIDS education , AIDS research and a philanthropist to numerous causes worldwide through his Magic Johnson Foundation . Now a multi-millionaire several times over, the former NBA player is now a very successful business entrepreneur through a multi faceted corporation that now bears his name Magic Johnson Enterprises Inc . The company now employs in excess of 15,000 people nationwide and through his latest endeavor Magic Johnson in association with Detroit native Dan Gilbert and Dave Bing , have joined the mayor of the city , in seeking to redevelop downtown Detroit , Michigan.

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Now inasmuch as I have enjoyed Johnson’s career as an NBA professional and his historical matches with sometime nemesis Larry Bird that simply heightened the presence before the Michael Jordan dominated era of the mid to early to late nineties . The shock of that announcement , that he had contracted the AID’S virus with the player stating he caught to the disease through his sexual proclivity in having sex with numerous sexual partners whilst on the road with the Los Angeles Lakers . Magic Johnson , a married man with two grown children and a devoted wife in Cookie Johnson , has been extremely lucky . His wife had she chosen to , could have successfully filed for divorce and taken half his considerable fortune which is now estimated to be in the region of $750 million . Johnson is still a well respected figure in the greater Los Angeles area and perhaps one the most beloved Lakers’ players of all-time .

A five time NBA champion , multiple MVP as well as Finals’ MVP winner . Magic Johnson’s career is littered with great achievements but perhaps as the player has stated , the Olympic gold as part of the USA Dream Team simply filled him with pride and his greatest professional accolade of all. That team was perhaps the greatest assembly of NBA talent in basketball history . Amongst those on that team roster were Karl Malone , David Robinson , Patrick Ewing , Michael Jordan , John Stockton , Chris Mullin and Scottie Pippen .. The team’s win at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain , if anything raised the profile of the NBA and its global presence because stars such as Johnson and Jordan. But if anything it is the former Chicago Bulls player who is more known across the globe .

Now one could choose to ignore Magic Johnson’s formal announcement as simply one of another player simply being caught up in another scandal of sexual impropriety . But here, it was more than an act of sexual proclivity but wherein , Johnson was announcing to the world he had HIV and which in its earliest form is the precursor to full blown AIDS . In the early nineties there was little that immunologists fully understood about the disease that would go on to kill in excess of 500,000 people over the next decade and where in certain parts of the world (African continent) it is almost a pandemic . The CDC , AMA , NIH as well as the UN (United Nations) have all conducted studies of the disease and how best to treat it . Anti-retroviral drugs such as AZT along with a slew of other drug cocktails is thought to be the best treatment to abate the spread of the virus and it has been this recipe that is thought to abate the spreading of HIV through Johnson’s body.

I cannot say that I feel any empathy towards Magic Johnson but the fact that the player had been in complete denial while still having the audacity to return home to his wife and having unprotected sex with her ____ having already slept with one of his numerous paramours. Does that remind you of anybody else ? Perhaps another well known sport’s icon who also happened to be at one time the world’s number one ranked golfer ? Tiger Woods may not have contracted HIV but his own sexual peccadilloes were no different from that of Magic Johnson, as both tried to initially to apportion blame for their actions elsewhere. And now while both individuals have acknowledged their misdeeds it has been their actions since that have created our own perceptions of both athletes . Woods is still thought of as a pariah amongst the public while the NBA great seems to be more beloved than ever before .

Joe Paterno and Bobby Bowden are both well respected collegiate coaches. The former Florida State coach may well have been forced out of his position as the Seminoles’ football coach . But the drama and latest scandal now enveloping Penn State and its football program might just bring about the demise of the illustrious football coach Joe Paterno. It may not well have been what the coach knew but what he might not have done in acting appropriately and with due diligence concerning his former assistant Jerry Sandusky .

If you’re unaware of the latest happenings with regard to Penn State , well it is the fact that Sandusky has been indicted by the state attorney’s general’s office on 40 counts of sexual assault , sexual battery , lewd and lascivious acts on several minors encompassing a span of fifteen years from 1992 up until 2007. Pennsylvania State Attorney General Linda Kelly in discussing the indictment against Sandusky this past Monday in Harrisburg , Pennsylvania has publicly requested the assistance of the general public asking that any other victims of Jerry Sandusky’s heinous acts come forward in that they can further pursue charges against the former coach. One such incident details in great length an attack by Paterno’s former assistant that has the assailant forcing himself on a ten year old boy in the showers of an campus locker room. The coach is said to have forcibly sodomized the victim anally in this reported incident of 2002. This event is said to have been witnessed by Mike McQueary a graduate assistant at the time , who then reported the attack to Joe Paterno. The head football coach reported this event to Tim Curley , now the former athletics’ director who is now said to be on administrative leave . Also advised of this attack was the school’s vice president Gary Schultz . The university’s vice president has now retired , but it is becoming increasingly clear that both will have to answer a number of questions concerning both administrators not taking the appropriate actions deemed necessary . Curley and Schultz failed to advise law enforcement of the attack and other incidents that are said to have taken place on the campus of the university. So egregious were the actions of Tim Curley and Gary Schultz that the duo are also now under indictment in charges filed upon further in depth investigations carried State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan’s office .

Jerry Sandusky used his foundation The Second Mile Group to procure these young boys for his alleged sexual procurement for his activities . And the very thought that the coach used the campus as a place to actually perpetrate some of his acts was deplorable . Now coming to Paterno’s defense is Matt Millen an alumni of the school , which to my mind is asinine given the allegations that have been made ! If Millen , who also sits on the aforementioned foundation , himself should be very disturbed ashamed by these allegations , rather than jumping to the defense of his former coach’s defense. If anything he ought to be perturbed and angry by the complete lack of accountability , compliance and the protection of these young adolescents . But then again this is simply what I would come to expect of an odious and self absorbed asshole to begin with ! Was it not Millen who as the former general manager and head of Football Operations for the Detroit Lions in his short tenure , simply made that organization a laughing stock within the NFL fraternity with his lack of assessing personnel only to make some considerable dubious draft selections during his sojourn with the organization .

What is also now coming into question are the actions of Joe Paterno , what he knew and what he may well have failed to have acknowledged . His relationship with his former assistant defensive coordinator is said to be a very close one , wherein Sandusky is said to be a trusted aide and confidante of the legendary coach. I have long felt that Joe Paterno should have retired from the ranks of collegiate football !. Instead he simply glided along chasing down and surpassing the records of collegiate football wins at the D1 level .While the football program of Penn State is an illustrious one and its reputation has been solely built upon the achievements and success of Joe Paterno , it has to be said that over the past few years the success under the coach has been fleeting. The school’s board of regents were said to be discussing with their legal counsel what steps should be taken in light of this latest scandal that has the school embroiled in a mounting web of deceit and callous behavior that has decimated the lives of several young innocent victims and their immediate family. If out of loyalty and an act of friendship Paterno has erred in judgment in protecting Jerry Sandusky then the only alternative the now beleaguered coach has , then it is to immediately step down from his position as head coach of a program that he has overseen for over three and a half decades.

No one can actually suggest that Joe Paterno should be allowed to retain his position as head coach of Penn State in light of these allegations . And that is even if he is not directly involved with the acts of Jerry Sandusky , what we can view this episode another case of a coach simply blinded by his own success and someone who is complete denial as to the serious ramifications of the allegations and the damage it has done in tarnishing the school’s reputation. I know that there will be a solid throng of loyal supporters , Penn State students and alumni included of Joe Paterno , but surely now even they have to realize that it is time for the veteran coach to step down ? If they cannot see that the coach’s lack of forthright action and if anything evidence of real compassion . Either these individuals are that naive or they are completely lacking an iota of intelligence !

Now there will be a number of people asking how this will affect the recruitment of future prospects for the program . My question for those individuals is who well fucking cares ? Surely what has happened to these victims is far more worthy of their attention than the rather self serving asinine stupidity in thinking that a school’s football program is far more important than the sexual assaults perpetrated numerous young victims who were far too young to comprehend exactly what they were being subjected by a callous sexual deviant ! It has been this sort of inaction and denial that we have all seen perpetrated by none other than hierarchy within the Roman Catholic church and particular within several dioceses across the country (United States) over the past two decades.

Paterno’s weekly conference wherein he discusses the program with the local and national media has been cancelled but the coach’s son Scott Paterno is said to be arranging a private conference for the print and television media , whereby his father can answer all of the questions which one would expect will encompass these allegations . From my own standpoint if the questions are pointed then there is no doubt in my mind the Paterno’s will be advised by their own legal counsel on how to respond to any question that could very well implicate the coach and the state attorney’s office and their ongoing investigation. Alas, we have another collegiate program that is teetering on the brink because of its sheer ineptitude in doing what was said to be right .

So dire and acute is the situation that NCCA President Mark Emmert is seeking a private meeting with Penn State University President Graham Spanier to discuss the matter privately . Publicly Emmert has said little on the matter other than to suggest that until all legal avenues have been totally resolved he cannot make any specific statement as to the matter of guilt or innocence concerning all of the parties involved . Once again another faux-pas within the collegiate athletic landscape that the NCAA is now left on the outside looking in . How many more catastrophes and acts of gross criminality must there be , before this specific hierarchy (NCAA) actually pull its finger out of its own ass and act appropriately instead of simply lifting up that finger merely to check which direction the wind is actually blowing ? Is that too much to ask at this juncture ?

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(1) Magic Johnson recounts his journey over the last 20 years, his retirement after contracting the HIV virus, during a Magic Johnson Foundation event in Los Angeles on Monday, Non. 7, 2011. Johnson shocked the world on Nov. 7, 1991, when he revealed his HIV diagnosis. In the 20 years since, the Lakers great’s strong health and tireless work in AIDS awareness have changed the world’s perception of the disease. AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes ….

(2) Magic Johnson takes questions from the media about living with the HIV virus during a Magic Johnson Foundation event in Los Angeles on Monday, Nov. 7, 2011. Johnson shocked the world on Nov. 7, 1991, when he revealed his HIV diagnosis. In the 20 years since, the Lakers great’s strong health and tireless work in AIDS awareness have changed the world’s perception of the disease. AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes ……

(3) Edison Learning President and CEO Jeff Wahl , left, and former NBA great Earvin “Magic” Johnson speak during a news conference announcing Johnson is lending his name and business prowess to an education company to benefit urban schools, Monday, Sept. 12, 2011, in Los Angeles. Magic Johnson Enterprises and EdisonLearning are forming a partnership that will concentrate on services to help urban school districts boost their performance and reduce dropout rates. AP Photo/Reed Saxon ….

(4) Johnson is seen here with his family , wife Earlitha “Cookie” Johnson , his son Eavrvin III, and adopted daughter Elisa . The former NBA star also has a son Andre Johnson from a previous relationship . Courtesy of BlackCelebs.com …. @ copyrighted material ……all right reserved

(5) Dan Gilbert, left, and Earvin (Magic) Johnson announce Thursday at Quicken Loans that Johnson has joined —- Detroit Venture Partners as a general partner. / Photos by SUSAN TUSA/Detroit Free Press ….

(6) TUSCALOOSA, AL – FILE: Head coach Joe Paterno of the Penn State ( Nittany Lions) during warmups before facing the Alabama (Crimson Tide) at Bryant-Denny Stadium on September 11, 2010 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. According to reports on November 9, 2011, Paterno will step down as head coach at the end of the season amid allegations that former assistant Jerry Sandusky was involved with child sex abuse. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images …..

(7) STATE COLLEGE, PA – NOVEMBER 08 Penn State University students sing outside of the home of head football coach Joe Paterno during November 8, 2011 in State College, Pennsylvania. Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images ….

(8) Penn State University head football coach Joe Paterno talks from inside his home to a large group of students who gathered at his house on November 8, 2011 in State College, Pennsylvania. Behind Paterno is his son Scott Paterno . (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images ……

(9) Members of the media stand outside of Beaver Stadium after the school announced that Penn State football head coach Joe Paterno’s weekly news conference was cancelled, November 8, 2011 in State College, Pennsylvania. Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images ….

(10) Penn State football Sports Information Director Jeff Nelson turns away from the media after reading a statement announcing that head coach Joe Paterno’s weekly news conference was cancelled, outside of the Beaver Stadium, November 8, 2011 in State College, Pennsylvania. Amid allegations that former football assistant Jerry Sandusky was involved in child sex abuse, Paterno’s weekly news conference was canceled about an hour before it was scheduled to occur. Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images …….

(11) Penn State athletic director Tim Curley walks out of the Magisterial District Court after being arraigned on charges of perjury and failure to report under Pennsylvania’s child protective services law on November 7, 2011 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Curley and Penn State university vice president Gary Schultz have resigned, and will face arraignment on charges they lied to a grand jury investigating suspected child abuse involving the university’s former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky. Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images ….

(12) Penn State university vice president Gary Schultz walks into the Magisterial District Court to be arraigned on charges of perjury and failure to report under Pennsylvania’s child protective services law on November 7, 2011 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Schultz and Penn State athletic director Tim Curley have resigned, and will face arraignment on charges they lied to a grand jury investigating suspected child abuse involving the university’s former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky . Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images ….

(13) FILE – In this Oct. 29, 2011 file photo, Penn State President Graham Spanier, left, and Athletic Director Tim Curley, center, present head football coach Joe Paterno with a plaque commemorating his 409th collegiate win after an NCAA college football game against Illinois in State College, Pa. Curley is expected to turn himself in on Monday, Nov. 7, 2011, in Harrisburg, Pa., as he has been charged with perjury and failure to report under Pennsylvania’s child protective services law in connection with the investigation into allegations former football defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky sexually abused eight young men, the state attorney general’s office said Saturday, Nov. 5, 2011. Getty Images/ Martin Scott …..

(14) Jerry Sandusky and Joe Paterno seen here at Beaver Stadium , College Station ,PA. Sandusky the former defensive coordinator and a close confidante of the octogenarian coach. Jerry Sandusky is now under several indictments stemming from a sexual assault dating back to 2002. However, there is mounting evidence to suggest that the state attorney’s office will also pursue other charges against the coach . AP Photo /Phil Rasmussen …..

(15) Linda Kelly, a longtime prosecutor in the Pittsburgh office of the U.S. attorney, appears at a news conference Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2011, in Harrisburg, Pa. Gov. Tom Corbett announced he would nominate Kelly to succeed him as Pennsylvania’s attorney general. AP Photo/Marc Levy ….

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Credibility ? You’re Not Going To Find It Within The NBA

Credibility ? You’re Not Going To Find It Within The NBA

By tophatal ….

As the farce of the league hierarchy induced labor stoppage continues unabated and NBA Commissioner David Stern’s image is now taking a beating . So much so , that his fiefdom now seems to be under siege . The “House That Stern” built in conjunction with NBA great Michael Jordan is now teetering on the brink of a calamity and collapse that for most fans they’re simply apathetic as to what is taking place in front of their very eyes. The union along with its executive committee are now intent , it appears on de-certifying and quite possibly challenging the league’s antitrust exemption status within US Federal Court . Stern , Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver along with Peter Holt and now joined by Charlotte Bocats’ owner Michael Jordan , are now looking at a peaceful accord whereby the NBA could quite possibly start their regular season , albeit that it would be a mere two and a half weeks behind schedule.

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It seems ridiculous that the two sides cannot reach an equitable agreement that would see both split their $4.5 billion in annual revenues on a 50/50 basis ! Even with the league apparently now stating they’re prepared make that ratio a favorable 51/49 in the players’ favor , the union’s executive committee led by Executive Director Billy Hunter and their president Derek Fisher have publicly stated that they are not prepared to acquiesce to any of the hierarchy’s demands. This whole saga now gets even more ridiculous when you now have NBA superstars such as LeBron James “tweeting ” messages suggesting that he and his fellow players are desperate for a quick resolution to the work stoppage. James by all accounts has gone on to suggest that the economic plight of the nation affects him just as much as it would the common citizen . From my own standpoint for a player , who is earning millions of dollars annually , his rather insidious statement smacks of the stupidity you would come to expect from an athlete who has been coddled throughout much of his career as a professional er from his high school days right up to his entry into the NBA , when he was drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2003 .

Courtesy of Associated Press in conjunction with Yahoo Sports

Stern: ‘Rational thing’ for union is to take deal

By Brian Mahoney , AP Basketball writer

NEW YORK (AP)—NBA players are facing a Wednesday afternoon deadline to accept the league’s current proposal or face a harsher one that calls for rolling back their salaries, and Commissioner David Stern said Monday “the only rational thing to do is for us to make that deal.”

“We think that there’s a great offer on the table and what we told the players is it’s getting late, the only rational thing to do is for us to make that deal because given what’s going on in our business and our industry, it’ll get worse from there,” Stern said during an interview on ESPN.

That proposal calls for players to receive anywhere between 49 and 51 percent of basketball-related income, though players argue it would be nearly impossible for them to get anywhere above 50.2. Stern said the next one will call for a 53-47 split in the owners’ favor, along with essentially a hard salary cap.

The second proposal also calls for “existing contracts rolled back in proportion to system changes in order to ensure sufficient market for free agents,” a person who has been briefed on its contents told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the contents were supposed to remain private.

The rollbacks were previously reported by CBSSports.com and The New York Times, which obtained a copy of the letter Stern sent to union executive director Billy Hunter on Sunday along with both documents.

The league had sought to roll back existing contracts to conform to a new collective bargaining agreement during an earlier proposal, but had since taken it off the table.

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As we all know LeBron James’ departure from the Cavaliers and the tumultuous tete-a-tete` between he and the team’s owner Dan Gilbert left a very unsavory taste in just about everyone’s mouth. As to the idiocy shown by the Cleveland Cavaliers’ fans , it would be safe to suggest James was about as well liked as former Cleveland Browns’ owner Art Modell . And the Browns’ former owner who simply feigned poverty and fled from the city like a thief in the night , only to surface later with in Baltimore , Maryland with a new NFL franchise to be known as the Baltimore Ravens . Modell is now a minority stake owner of the franchise which is now majority owned by Steve Bisciotti . LeBron James might now be more despised than the aged NFL veteran owner but it would be safe to say that if either were to return to the city , neither would be welcomed .

During the stoppage a number of players have either chosen to play abroad in such countries as Russia , France , Lithuania , Spain , Greece and Italy . Others however , who’ve refrained from pursuing that opening have organized a number of charity games displaying their skills across the country for the fans to see. All well and good , no doubt being done with altruistic motives as they and their union seek the fans’ sympathy . While this is now going on, it would appears that there’s a fracturing in the solidarity of the team owners and their support of the league hierarchy , with Charlotte Bobcats’ owner Michael Jordan now openly voicing his support for the NBPA and the players . Do you get the feeling that David Stern would now like nothing better than putting his boot to Jordan’s ass ?

Courtesy of AP & Yahoo Sports

NBA union: No deal; no fear of ultimatum, either

By Brian Mahoney , AP Sports Basketball Writer

NEW YORK (AP)—NBA players made it clear Tuesday: No deal.

No fear of Commissioner David Stern’s ultimatum, either.

“The current offer on the table from the NBA is one that we cannot accept,” players’ association president Derek Fisher said.

Instead, the players said they will ask for another meeting with owners before Stern’s Wednesday afternoon deadline—and sound willing to agree to a 50-50 split of revenues under the right circumstances—in an attempt to end the lockout and save the season.

In an interview on NBA TV, Stern said that whether he agrees to meet “would be guided by the labor relations committee.”

NBA spokesman Mike Bass said the league has not yet heard from Hunter.

A month of the season has already been lost, and the NBA risks losing fans without an agreement soon. Some already appear to have forgotten Blake Griffin , last season’s rookie of the year, stood around in the lobby of a busy hotel off Broadway and was rarely approached by fans.

The league’s current proposal calls for players to receive between 49 percent and 51 percent of basketball-related income, though union officials argue it would be nearly impossible to get above 50.2 percent.

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If the union were to de-certify and become a trade association it certainly makes their position a great deal easier in challenging the NBA hierarchy within the federal court system . Stern , the league hierarchy and team owners are not willing to have their books opened up for public scrutiny . But at the same time the commissioner and owners simply plead poverty , while the owners and general managers each season through their sheer avarice choose not to rein costs. If only the owners would simply practice what they preach when it comes to being financially prudent. David Stern may well have been at the helm of the NBA structure while its ascent from a small niche operation and sport , to where it now has become a multi billion dollar business entity whose tentacles now stretch across the globe. And inasmuch as the league’s popularity is still high , there are now quiet rumblings abroad as to the inaction of the league hierarchy and the very fact that not is the commissioner’s image tarnished but that too , of the NPBA (union).

The NBA’s fastest growing market has been in the Far East and in particular within the nation of China and its populace of 1.6 billion . The game’s ascent in popularity grew exponentially with the rise in popularity of Yao Ming . And with the player since having retired due recurring knee and feet ailments , specifically plantar fasciitis , you can understand the reason why the NBA would simply feel aggrieved if now they are being criticized by the print and television media within China because of the ongoing labor impasse . If the Chinese journalists who cover the NBA within its own country can be so terse in their criticism but here there has been about as much intense scrutiny of the stoppage without there being little if any in depth of analysis of the events as they have unfolded. Instead we are simply fed mere snippets and sound bytes from the paeans within the league’s hierarchy structure as when they deem it reasonable to do so.

David Stern’s grip on the league has been like that of a third world despot whose tyrannical reign might well have been along the lines of Idi Amin . While the former Ugandan dictator over the course of his rule is known to have committed numerous atrocities against the civilian population , as well as allegation of cannibalism . It can be said at this juncture the only thing that the commissioner has yet to do is to actually consume the head of one of the executive committee members of the NBPA . The animus between the union and league shows no sign of abating , it is now becoming increasingly clear that the impasse between the two sides has reached a point where perhaps it would be better if the two parties’ interest could be best determined within a courtroom. Arbitration between the two sides with a mediator from the FMCS has thus far served no real purpose . The governmental agency presided over by its director George Cohen has simply heard one side simply deride each other , with little inroads being made by either side to show any form of progress. Truth be known , the longer this impasse goes on the less relevant the NBA becomes and the likelihood of one or quite possibly two NBA teams could quite possibly fold . It has already been hinted at by Billy Hunter and there are already grave doubts as to the financial viability of the Sacramento Kings , albeit that team owner Joe Maloof and Geoff Petrie .

The Sacramento Kings to my mind have held the city of Sacramento hostage with their demands and rather naively the city’s mayor Kevin Johnson has began to cave into the organization’s demands . The former NBA star and now city politician is now looking at ways into working in conjunction with local businesses in building a state of the art facility for the team. Johnson has not stated that this publicly but it is clear that public monies in part , will be used to finance any such endeavor with very little guarantee that the Kings’ organization will show any type of reciprocity on their part, in assisting with the financing of such a venue . And I get the feeling that David Stern will be front and center in expediting any deal that would allow an NBA franchise to be once again the benefactor of public funds while also at the same time garnering a number of beneficial tax write offs . All this and the mayor has an unemployment rate that is slightly above the national average within his city and a growing homeless rate but his biggest push is to see the building of a state of the art facility for a family whose estimated net worth is said to be approaching $2.5 billion . Somehow , the NBA , its owners and league hierarchy not only has more than a credibility problem but also one of integrity , honesty as well as a serious image problem ! Anyone who believes that to be to the contrary may well have their lips firmly pressed against David Stern’s sphincter waiting to suck on that act of flatulence .

With the announcement having been made that the league will postpone the first two weeks of the November regular season schedule and now it would appear the month will be completely abandoned altogether. With the preseason having been already lost and an estimated $350 million in preseason revenues , you can understand the urgency behind the NBA’s wish to have the season commence at some point . However , for the union, anything that they can continue to do that would in essence purloin that premise for the league only further exacerbates the fact that they have no real urgency to see the league up and running. Were that the case, then we would already have had a resolution with which both sides would find amenable . The league’s players and union are selling the fans a “bill of goods” that now is of no real value . The NBA brand is no longer what it once and the fact that many of its brightest stars have simply become a slew of preening Prima-donnas whose only wish is to simply be viewed as the victims , rather than the antagonists in this rather idiotic drama that is now being played out for the fans and public’s consumption .

From my own perspective , I have become sick and tired of a bunch mindless idiotic millionaire athletes and multi millionaire owners simply bitch and whine they themselves have been real cause for the malaise that they now find themselves in ! It has been the same occurrence within baseball , football and hockey — ________ in reality the four major professional sports and the hierarchies who govern those pastimes have simply become bastions of greed and corruption . Doubt my word ? Simply ask yourself this what has the NBA done that has really been of benefit for the consumer ? Philanthropic efforts asides , that is merely a gimmick by those hierarchies to begin with , because they benefit far more by the largesse given to them not only by state and municipal agencies but also from the federal government .

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(1) Rudy Gay enters the arena for his charity basketball game at the Desoto Civic Center in Memphis Tennessee , on Tuesday Nov. 8, 2011. AP Photo/The Commercial Appeal, Nikki Boertman ….

(2) NPBA Executive Director Billy Hunter (left) and union president Derek Fisher address the convened press to discuss the ongoing impasse between the league and union concerning the equitable disbursement of BRI (basketball related income) . Neither side finds the others’ offer acceptable . The union now seems to be intent on taking the step to de-certify and perhaps challenge the NBA’s antitrust exemption within the US Federal Court as a way of forcing the league to in part acquiesce to their wishes. Something that NBA Commissioner David Stern would most definitely like to avoid . AP Photos/ Paul Matthews …..

(3) Miami Heat’s LeBron James shoots between the defense of Memphis Grizzlies’ Rudy Gay (22) and Corey Maggette (2) during Rudy Gay’s charity basketball game at the Desoto Civic Center Tuesday Nov. 8, 2011. AP Photo/The Commercial Appeal, Nikki Boertman …

(4) Billy Hunter, Executive Director of the National Basketball Players Association, and Derek Fisher , President of the National Basketball Players Association speak at a press conference after the NBPA held a meeting to discuss the NBA lockout at the Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers on November 8, 2011 in New York City. Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

(5) Oklahoma City Thunder owner Clay Bennett (L) and Miami Heat owner Micky Arison (R) arrive for NBA labor negotiations at Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers on November 5, 2011 in New York City. Players have been seeking 52.5 percent of revenues in their favor but owners want a deal at 53-47 along with a hard salary cap. Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images ……

(6) Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan arrives for NBA labor negotiations at Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers on November 5, 2011 in New York City. Players have been seeking 52.5 percent of revenues in their favor but owners want a deal at 53-47 along with a hard salary cap. Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

(7) NBA Commissioner David Stern talks with reporters, Monday, Oct. 10, 2011, in New York. Stern canceled the first two weeks of the season after players and owners were unable to reach a new labor deal to end the lockout. At left is Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver. Opening night was scheduled for Nov 1st 2011. AP Photo /David Karp …..

(8) In this photo taken Friday, May 13, 2011, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, right, discuss the Sacramento Kings basketball team with California state Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg , D-Sacramento, as they walk into Steinberg’s Capitol office in Sacramento, Calif. Johnson, a former NBA all-star with the Phoenix Suns, has worked the last couple of months to keep the Kings in Sacramento . AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli …

(9) Sacramento City Mayor Kevin Johnson is seen here with Gavin Maloof ,co-owner of the Sacramento Kings, also in picture is ESPN journalist & reporter Heather Cox . AP/Photo/Daily Life / Christopher Mayhew …..
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Blood In Blood , Blood Out ……..

Blood In , Blood Out ………….

By tophatal

We’re constantly being told that the NFL is more a business than anything else and the brand itself as a form of entertainment is solely a way for the respective parties to derive their revenues and a profit . The league hierarchy in conjunction with the team owners and union (NFLPA) in conjunction with one another , all have a common interest in making sure that the league is a smooth running , viable and profitable business concern . This being a $ 7 billion a year industry that has now seen its tentacles spread not just across North America but now into burgeoning markets within Europe , the continent of Africa and the Pan Pacific basin . And with the league now scheduling not only preseason games but also regular season games abroad , I would dare say that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is now seeking world domination , in line with the sport of soccer !

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Now while the NFL has returned to full action after a near five month layoff due to the hierarchy enforced stoppage not all of the major problems that we were seemingly told had met with an equitable agreement has been mutually beneficial for all. For the retired veterans of the league in particual those who retired during the late eighties and prior are now having a hard time dealing with many of the issues that the league itself and the union tried to suggest was always on their radar. It is clear when veterans such as Dave Duerson and Mike Webster die under such needless circumstances wherein they have had to go into debt merely to pay for their medical necessities it is a clear indication that the NFL and union have and are still letting their players down . But then again anyone who would profess to the fact that the league or union has actually cared for the retired veterans would be naive . It is the furthest thing from the truth and it this can be candidly proven by the statements attributed directly former NFLPA Executive Director Gene Upshaw who once had the temerity to suggest ….. that his only concern at the time was with the well being of the players now currently playing in the league rather than those who had retired years before . A clear slap in the face to many of the former NFL great’s peers . Upshaw’s successor DeMaurice Smith has said little about what he and his executive committee’s intentions are concerning many of the issues raised by retired veterans such as Carl Eller and other who are being denied certain benefits rightfully due to them . But the very fact that in the waning moments of the collective bargaining agreement deliberations and negotiation somehow $1 billion was set aside in a now sealed document as part of the deal has me now wondering what the league and union are not only hiding from the fans but also from the retired veterans , themselves !

US Federal Court Judge Arthur Boylan who presided over the hearings between the NFL and NFLPA sided with the league rather than the retired veterans on the issue of the details being sealed but somehow the so called NFL writers who cover the league saw nothing dubious or surreptitious in this arrangement . But such has been the machinations of all of the parties concerned it is only reasonable to presume that the league would rather not only continue to keep the fans in the dark but also many of the very individuals from the past who in essence made the NFL what it is today . Perhaps the league , the union and owners aren’t overly concerned as to the plight of these former NFL veterans ?

Monday night will pit the Chicago Bears (4-3) against the slowly resurgent Philadelphia Eagles (3-4) in a game that could very well in part ultimately give us an indication as to the direction that both teams appear to be heading in . The Bears and Eagles now find themselves adrift within their respective divisions with the Green Bay Packers (7-0) running away with the NFC North , while the New York Giants (5-2) are having one of their better seasonal starts under their coach Tom Coughlin within the NFC East .

Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania will be the setting for this clash between these two NFC teams . At this juncture it would be safe to say that after the Eagles’ annihilation of the Dallas Cowboys —- 34-7 the fans are perhaps no longer calling for the head of coach , Andy Reid . The players and the coaching staff still know that they have a steep hill to climb if they are to fare well over the remainder of their season . And it goes without saying that all eyes will be upon the team’s quarterback Michael Vick , because as he goes , then so does this team .

For the Chicago Bears their season has been engulfed with the continued deliberations as to whether or not the team’s running back Matt Forte is due a big payday . He has been the team’s most productive offensive weapon since being drafted by the team in 2008 . And this season has proven to be no different for the young running back as he looks to make himself invaluable to the team and the organization as a whole . Certainly , GM Jerry Angelo and senior managing partner Ted Phillips know that they can ill afford to mistreat the team’s most prized asset and not run the risk of making the player feel aggrieved and perhaps demand a trade. For the moment Forte has simply stated that he’s there to be a team player but I am now beginning to wonder how long that will last ! Especially in light of the fact he’s now seeing players such as Adrian Peterson and Chris Johnson being richly rewarded for their productivity . And needless to say with the Eagles’ LeSean McCoy simply running amok around the league it’d be safe to say also , that he too will be looking for a contract that is commensurate with his talent .

It is clear that if the Bears are to be successful they will need to be at their very best if they’re to have any chance within their division but much of the team’s aspirations will rest squarely on the shoulders of Jay Cutler . We know that the defense of this Bears’ team can be very good when they set their minds to the task at hand . And I am thoroughly convinced that Andy Reid’s offense will be looking to test that much vaunted defense of the Chicago Bears . .

As I alluded to earlier it will be interesting to see what moves may well be made by the Bears’ front office as it concerns Matt Forte . Does Jerry Angelo reward the player or simply look to use the franchise tag once again simply to underscore Forte’s undoubted talent , and at the same time deny him market value in terms of his true worth ? Clearly, this use of the ” tag “, simply as a ploy that benefits the teams rather than it simply being about being a bargaining chip that has some altruistic benefit for a player .

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What thoughts if any do you as it concerns Matt Forte and his impending contract negotiations ? And how do you view Chicago Bears as quite possibly a legitimate NFC contender this postseason ? As to the NFL lockout as a fan are you wholly satisfied by the negotiations that took place and the way that both the league and unions conducted themselves during their deliberations ? Simply chime in with a comment as you deem fit .

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(1) Lovie Smith head coach of Chicago Bears talks to officials during the NFL International Series match between Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Wembley Stadium on October 23, 2011 in London, England. This is the fifth occasion where a regular season NFL match has been played in London. The Bears defeated the Buccaneers 24-18 . Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images …

(2) Johnny Knox (13) of the Chicago Bears is tackled by Corey Lynch (41) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Aqib Talib (25) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the NFL International Series match between Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Wembley Stadium on October 23, 2011 in London, England. This is the fifth occasion where a regular season NFL match has been played in London. Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images ….

(3) A general view of play during the NFL International Series match between Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Wembley Stadium on October 23, 2011 in London, England. This is the fifth occasion where a regular season NFL match has been played in London. Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images …..

(4) Matt Forte (22) of the Chicago Bears attempts to gain ground during the NFL International Series match between Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Wembley Stadium on October 23, 2011 in London, England. This is the fifth occasion where a regular season NFL match has been played in London. Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images …..

(5) Matt Forte (22) of the Chicago Bears runs with the ball during the NFL International Series match between Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Wembley Stadium on October 23, 2011 in London, England. This is the fifth occasion where a regular season NFL match has been played in London. Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images ….

(6) LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 23: Quarterback Jay Cutler(6) of the Chicago Bears in action during the NFL International Series match between Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Wembley Stadium on October 23, 2011 in London, England. This is the fifth occasion where a regular season NFL match has been played in London. Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images ……

(7) DeSean Jackson (7) of the Philadelphia Eagles stiff arms Orlando Scandrick (32) the Dallas Cowboys during a game at Lincoln Financial Field on October 30, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Eagles defeated the Cowboys 34-7 . Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images ……

(8) LeSean McCoy (25) of the Philadelphia Eagles crosses the goal line as he scores a touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys at Lincoln Financial Field on October 30, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Eagles defeated the Cowboys 34-7. Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images ….

(9) Michael Vick (7) of the Philadelphia Eagles shakes hands with head coach Jason Garrett of the Dallas Cowboys after the Eagles defeated the Cowboys 34-7 at Lincoln Financial Field on October 30, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images …..
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The Silly Season ……. Well It’s Baseball Isn’t It ?

The Silly Season ……. Well It’s Baseball Isn’t It ?

By tophatal ………

The MLB postseason and many fans were in awe of the St Louis Cardinals fifth World Series title as they defeated the two time defending ALCS champions , in the Texas Rangers . Now with that in mind the offseason now enters its silly phase as the plethora of MLB sports agents and general managers around the game seek to sign many of the high profile agents that will the prized possession of any team seeking to bolster their respective rosters .

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Slide show for your perusal .

Both the St Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers have their issues to deal with concerning a number of impending free agents on their payrolls. Most notably for the Cardinals they will seek to retain their All Star first baseman Albert Pujols . For GM John Mozeliak , he and the front office must be at their wits’ end as to how best to maneuver themselves while not wanting to burst the bank or simply alienate the faithful Cardinals’ fans who passionately attend the games at Busch Stadium in St Louis , Missouri . Pujols’ agent Dan Lozano we’re told is not intent on giving the organization a home team discount by way of the the long term contract being sought by his client .

It’s hard to determine what Pujols is said to be worth where stats simply dictate everything about the game rather than the intangibles that a player brings . We know that Alex Rodriguez is the highest paid player in the game but by way of postseason productivity the Yankees’ third baseman simply isn’t in the same class as the Cardinals’ three time MVP . And while both have resumes` that will undoubtedly see one , if not both enshrined in Baseball’s Hall of Fame . For for the moment it is all about the here and now . Granted, with Rodriguez’s admitted guilt , as to his use of anabolic steroids , I am not so sure that the BBWAA will still be kind to the player at the time of his meeting the Hall’s eligibility criteria.

Having now seen the team in consecutive seasons come up short in the game’s postseason finale it has to be hard on Texas Rangers’ team president Nolan Ryan as well as general manager Jon Daniels to have seen the team flounder in the way that it has . The bullpen of the Rangers came up short when it mattered most during the postseason I am quite sure that the coaching staff and general manager will do what’s best to bolster the ballclub’s rotation . Jon Daniels knows however that the team can ill afford to lose starting pitcher C J Wilson . And though the player is not amongst the most highly paid pitchers the game but his performances this season has undoubtedly been the envy of some the general managers and managers within the game , seeking to bolster their pitching rotations.

The Texas Rangers are not starved for cash but herein lies the caveat with regard to the team and the thought process that may well be involved . Do they reward a player simply based upon a year and a half of stellar productivity or do they allow C J Wilson to seek his future elsewhere ? There’s no doubt in my mind that the pitcher played his part in the team’s success this season from a pitching standpoint .

So many teams fell by the wayside not only during the regular season but also during the postseason . But such has been the waywardness of these teams and the proclivity of the team owners , managers and general managers to simply overpay for moderate talent , that it has me wondering when will baseball’s league hierarchy simply wake up to the fact that they cannot continue down this route while seemingly think that they’re in a good enough position to carry down this route . One simply has to look at the egregious behavior of Frank McCourt the team’s front office while running or should I put that more aptly ruining the Los Angeles Dodgers ? The beleaguered owner simply ran amok by plundering the coffers of the ballclub while apportioning blame elsewhere for his own malfeasance . And I hear assholes simply espouse the fact that through their own experience of having insight into the game they can tell you that the issues that a number of teams face is not that all severe . Have you ever heard any such fucking bullshit in your life ? Is it any wonder that the MLB hierarchy and the owners are simply looked upon as buffoons and simpletons ? If only Bud Selig had a fucking brain to begin with !

The Detroit Tigers who won the AL Central with limitless ease only see their postseason foray derailed in the ALCS by the Texas Rangers have now made the decision that they will not be bringing back seasoned veterans Magglio Ordonez and Ozzie Guillen . Tigers’ GM Dave Dombrowski alongside Jim Leyland made that bold choice to jettison both of these seasoned veterans in order to assess what they now have within the organization by way of their overall talent. The team also looks as if it will retain Delmon Young while looking to simply go younger while having Justin Verlander as the fulcrum of this organization.

We are all aware no doubt as to the seismic meltdown during the final month of the Boston Red Sox’s season as they went 7-20 during the month of September and thereby costing the organization the wildcard berth in AL . In the aftermath of that all Terry Francona did not have his contract extension taken up by the front office while general manager Theo Esptein seemingly resigned his position with the organization to accept an offer from Tom Ricketts to become the Head of Baseball of Operations for the Chicago Cubs. The Red Sox have since promoted Ben Cherington to succeed Epstein but the new incumbent will now have to assess the roster and look to get rid of the “dead weight” on this team . It would be a safe bet to suggest that John Lackey , Johnathan Papelbon , Erik Bedard and