Don’t Start Something If You Can’t Say Something …………
By tophatal ………….. Monday, April 16, 2012 ,
At times it never ceases to amaze me as to the naivete` of the sports fan in general ! Here’s one of the asinine premises I’ve come across as of late and that’s ……….” I want to be entertained ” rather than seeing the usual staple of teams being served up perennially by the NBA , MLB , NHL and NFL ! Well considering that first and foremost the league hierarchies in question are actually a commercial enterprises whose primary goals are to make money and that of benefiting their franchise owners and players alike , as well as their numerous corporate sponsors and as well as the broadcast outlets who carry their product . So much of these individuals who claim to have a business degree of sorts . Unless it just happened to be a degree doled out by way of some none accredited educational establishment wherein , all that was required was a small monetary donation and in return came a diploma with a name festooned , denoted in bold calligraphy stating that the recipient was now a learned scholar .
Slide show for your perusal .
There’s a reason why the Los Angeles Lakers , Miami Heat , Boston Celtics of the will be part of the NBA televised schedule rather than that of their fellow teams carried by the outlets who carry league’s regularly seasoned schedule games. Legacy and success still carries weight over the perceived wishes of the consumer at times . And it is the same reason why the New York Yankees , Boston Red Sox , Los Angeles Angels , Los Angeles Dodgers and St Louis Cardinals will be seen on via the national broadcast and cable outlets more often their peers even via a regional outlets .
The NFL’s premise is to build around its more high profiled teams and that of its most popular players . There’s a reason why the Dallas Cowboys remains a ” major draw ” for the NFL beyond being the most profitable NFL franchise by far . The Cowboys draw viewers and that means added revenues for the broadcast outlets . Beyond the Dallas Cowboys you also have the New England Patriots , and the two prominent New York teams , albeit that they’re domiciled in the state of New Jersey , those being the New York Giants and New York Jets . I’d mention the Buffalo Bills in greater depth but in reality , let’s get real , what has this franchise done as of late that can be thought of as being meaningful ? Answer me that , if you can ?
The NHL is still trying to find its niche but undoubtedly without the appeal of Sidney Crosby , the Pittsburgh Penguins , Philadelphia Flyers , New York Rangers , New York Islanders , Boston Bruins , Montreal Canadiens , Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings the sport of hockey game of would barely register a blip in terms of ratings . And that is in spite of the renewed and rejuvenated attempt by the NBC Sports’ Network whose whole premise seems to be ” playing up the excitement” to be found during the playoffs this postseason .
The concerns for the hierarchies of the four major sports is to build around their most popular brands and to feed it to the consumer continually . Some of the hierarchies are more successful than others while some are still trying to figure it all out . Needless to say , we can figure out which of the sports in question are indeed troubled as to a following and some might say a dwindling fan-base . And which seem to be the ones who have seen their profiles raised not just domestically but also on a global front , their fortunes have changed dramatically over the past three decades at least . Care to suggest , as to which of the four major sports have met that specific criteria ?
This past Sunday marked the 65th anniversary (Jackie Robinson Day ) of the integration of Major League Baseball (MLB) , with Jackie Robinson being the first minority player of color to play in a fully integrated professional team sport . Consider at the time also , the US military wasn’t fully integrated , wherein African-American males could not fight alongside their Caucasian counterpart counterparts . They simply relegated to menial tasks or placed in all black platoons white officer presiding over them . It would not be until eight years after the end of WWII (World War II) that all branches of the US military would be indeed be fully integrated . Robinson paved the way for many social reforms that should have had a lasting effect upon our society . But in reality the country has fallen short of the of the wishes of not just Jackie Robinson the player , and social activist but also that of perhaps this country’s greatest disciple of effective social change , Dr Martin Luther King . Personally , I feel that the league hierarchy under Bud Selig have done little of real significance on this one issue and that is in spite the RBI initiative ( Returning Baseball to the Inner Cities) ! More money is now being spent by many of the league’s more prominent teams to build baseball academies in Latin America , the Caribbean , the African continent and Far East Asia , than the league itself spends on their so-called initiative . So much for that initiative then , don’t you think ?
Angels’ outfielder Torii Hunter may well have been unto something some years back when he stated that he could not consider Latino players as such , as being akin to his own ethnicity . Annually , Selig trots out the whole charade (Jackie Robinson Day) to remind us as to the steps that had been taken by Branch Rickey and the Brooklyn Dodgers . As recently as 1987 , the makeup of African-American players within the game of baseball was in excess of 30.8% of the rosters of the teams within the league at the time . In 2010 , that figure had fallen to below 8.7 % and for this Selig and the hierarchy has no meaningful explanation . Suffice to say , that in spite of the RBI initiative the interest amongst African-Americans for baseball is no longer there and has been on the decline over the last twenty-five years. A quick fix coming from MLB , not likely given the fact that a baseball scholarship is not as meaningful or as financially rewarding as obtaining a basketball or football scholarship at the D1 level . But you’d be hard pressed to have Bud Selig work in conjunction with the NCAA and Mark Emmert to change that landscape given the premise that MLB Draft profits greatly from having a high school declare his eligibility and then enter the process and likewise also , the players at the collegiate level who follow that same path.
So NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell decided to uphold his original decision to not to rescind the suspensions levied against the New Orleans Saints’ head coach Sean Payton , assistant , Joe Vitt and general manager Mickey Loomis . As great as this may well sound , this whole ” odious affair ” of the Saints’ bounty scandal has taken on a new face and life of its very own . The NFLPA (union) has in fact had in its possession evidence to suggest that this whole sordid affair was known to them for quite some time . Scott Fujita , former member player representatives for the NFLPA has admitted to Peter King of Sports Illustrated that while a player for the Saints , he had in-fact paid members of the team for “big plays” but not so , to hurt players of the opposing team . This however, doesn’t negate the fact that this all happened while Gregg Williams’ scheme was actually being enforced and suborned by the coaching staff of the New Orleans Saints . How Fujita believes his actions were any-the-less egregious than the actions that were already in place is beyond belief ! Consider the fact , that the players on the team are already being well compensated , why would any other financial in incentive be needed beyond the players' usual salary ? If this was all happening while Fujita was a player rep for the Saints , then it speaks to length and depth of this whole contrived conspiracy and how it was perpetrated . And now you have the idiocy of union itself advising its members who may well be embroiled in this mess to have their player representative at their side as well as legal counsel when questioned by the NFL investigators , who are still conducting their ongoing investigation into the affair.
The NFL , much less the NFLPA , has never been at all concerned with player safety , and this typically proves that fact ! It’s not so much the denials complacency and negligence of the league hierarchy in not acknowledging the cause-and-effect of the injuries suffered blunt force head traumas and Grade II concussions . But how has this has sat with the NFL , with the mounting evidence placed in-front of them , much of research into the injuries coming well-respected medical and universities of academia with years of experience in the area of neurology ? The league hierarchy continued to deny that the research had any merit whatsoever by stating own in-house medical advisers had conducted research which suggested evidence to the contrary . Goodell , much like his predecessor Paul Tagliabue have failed to address the issue of player safety and it has only been under pressure from the US government , specifically the House Commerce & Energy Committee , House Oversight & Gov’t Reform Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee that has now caused the league hierarchy to change its stance somewhat . And this continued idiocy that the NFL cares about its members is asinine and heightened all the more when one considers the abhorrent treatment meted out to old-time veterans , who were repeatedly denied benefits rightfully due to them . I would preface this by saying , the fact that the NFL is now the subject of two separate legal cases as a defendant at the state level and Federal level , may well be the reason why Goodell and the team owners are lining up all of their ducks in a row , as they seek to have both cases conjoined and heard within the US Federal Court System .
Courtesy of Cleveland Plain Dealer
By Mary Kay Kabot , The Cleveland Plain Dealer
CLEVELAND — Current Browns and former Saints linebacker Scott Fujita is among the players meeting in New York today with NFL officials about the Saints bounty program and other matters, according to Albert Breer of nfl.com.
Fujita, a member of the NFL Players Association’s executive committee, has admitted to Sports Illustrated’s Peter King that he paid teammates for big plays while in New Orleans, but not for hurting opponents and not as part of the bounty pool.
Saints quarterback Drew Brees, NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith and other members of executive committee besides Fujita arrived this morning at league offices to discuss sanctions against players involved in the Saints’ program.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has come down hard on current and former Saints employees involved in the program, including suspending coach Sean Payton for the 2012 season and general manager Mickey Loomis for eight games.
Click on link to read this article in full .
I’ve long-held the contention that the NFL and union have been disingenuous and more so simply devoid of creativity and intelligence ! Both have their own agendas , which has absolutely nothing to bringing to do with seeing the brand itself grow in stature . Roger Goodell has been quick to point to the fact that during the impasse that led to the preseason being abandoned but the entire regular season being enmeshed into a tighter pattern led to some exciting football being played at times but we also had situations where a number of teams simply performed badly . The commissioner was also quick to state that the league had been the recipient of an additional $1.25 billion in added revenues by way of a newly negotiated contract jointly with CBS and Fox Sports . You ever get the feeling that it will be never enough for the NFL , while at the same time they simply coerce municipal and state employees to granting them tax incentives repeatedly each season that has appreciated value for the team owners . While in reality those agencies tend to see a diminishing return by way of that largess . Doubt my word , then ask New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg how things seem to be working out concerning Citi-Field and what now appears to be a white elephant that has yet to be filled to capacity for a regular season … game . It is becoming abundantly clear that while the New York Mets may well be riding high within the NL East but the real issue still facing the front office is that of reining in costs as it relates to the team’s payroll .
Sandy Alderson and J P. Riccardi have been entrusted to reverse the recent misfortunes of the Mets’ organization . No small feat when one considers that it has been over two decades since the New York Mets won their sole World Series title . As to whether or the team in its current guise can aspire to those lofty heights will no doubt be predicated not only the team’s pitching but also how explosive that offense will be . And as good as the New York Mets appear to be at present I am not convinced that they are simply good enough to challenge the might of the St Louis Cardinals , Philadelphia Phillies , San Francisco Giants within the NL !
I’m no fan of the New York Mets as I have felt all along team owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz have been negligent , financially incompetent and derelict in their duties as the owners of this baseball club. Having dodged a bullet in their as defendant in a recent civil suit that sought the recovery of $1.15 billion received by way of the alleged investments derived from the Madoff Ponzi scheme . The Mets would settle with plaintiff’s attorney Irving Picard of Baker Potts LLC , for the rather minuscule sum of $165 million . There was enough evidence to suggest that Picard would have won the case for his clients but somehow they chose to settle . In the aftermath of this all , the 750 clients represented by the law would receive the meager sum of just over $210,000 before the legal fees of the attorney is taken into account. Someone got ” hosed ” in this whole episode and it certainly wasn’t the New York Mets ! Say what you will but the Mets are laughing , while I believe that the plaintiffs in this suit might have some issue with their lawyer ! Picard and his law firm will walk away with a tidy sum in legal fees for simply belittling the Mets . Nowhere near enough when you consider what the plaintiffs had originally sought.
The Charlotte Bobcats seem to be now bungling their way to NBA history as they seek to either rewrite the annals of the league for sheer ineptitude . With a mark of 7-52 and only seven games left before the culmination of the regular season on the 26th April, 2012. Granted , the season has been curtailed to one of 66 games and the all-time mark is that of the ‘ 73-74 Philadelphia 76ers’ 9-73 . But who knew at that the organization … owned by the game’s most beloved player Michael Jordan . The front office executive has said little concerning the woes of the team and the very fact that it is becoming increasingly likely that they will not surpass that Sixers’ mark . However , Paul Silas and Michael Jordan can look back on this season as one of not only missed opportunities but the very fact this team was simply uncompetitive and had no leadership coming from anyone on the roster , much less from Silas’ staff of coaching assistants . Nothing ventured , nothing gained and that has clearly been the case for the Charlotte Bobcats . Kemba Walker may well have entered the NBA Draft with high expectations. Unfortunately for the player , his rookie season it has been one lows than highs playing on a team that certainly won’t be able to shed this season from its memory anytime soon .
I was once told by grandmother ………. “if you can’t say anything nice about anyone then try to be respectful in pointing out their problems ” . I am not so sure I can be that kind and compromising when it concerns the Bobcats ! So much was made about how great the season would be and the fact that the teams would be playing at a highly competitive level . In some cases that has been true but herein lies my issues with the season , either teams have forgotten how to play defense or simply put the level and quality of the coaching within the NBA has now sank to an all-time low ! Personally , I believe it’s a combination of both and it is unlikely change anytime soon ! Paul Silas may well have been brought in by GM Rod Wiggins to provide the young players on this team some guidance and experience but that has fallen remarkably short upon a group of players whose combined basketball IQ might not even equal that of Sarah Palin’s and Paris Hilton’s combined ! And even if the Bobcats are part of this season’s NBA Draft Lottery , a possible resurgence of the franchise won’t be an overnight thing.
Picture gallery for your perusal .
What if anything do you feel to be pertinent concerning the points raised within the piece ? Simply leave a comment as you see fit .
Picture and slide show details below for your perusal .
Cleveland Browns’ defensive player Scott Fujita is seen here with NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith heading to a meeting with of the union’s executive committee and the NFL league hierarchy this past Monday. Fujita for former player rep while with the New Orleans Saints answered questions concerning his involvement in the Saints’ now infamous “bounty program” . Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press ……
(2) Charlotte Bobcats head coach Paul Silas , left, lowers his head as his son, assistant coach Stephen Silas , right, looks on during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Boston Celtics in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, April 15, 2012. Boston won 92-84 . AP Photo/Chuck Burton ….
(3) LOS ANGELES, CA – APRIL 15 : Vince Carter (25 ) and Brendan Haywood (33) of the Dallas Mavericks guard Andrew Bynum (17 ) of the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half at Staples Center on April 15, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images ….
(4) LOS ANGELES, CA – APRIL 15: Pau Gasol (16) of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts during a game against the Dallas Mavericks at Staples Center on April 15, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images ….
(5) Minnesota Twins’ Jamey Carroll , right, crosses home plate while New York Yankees’ catcher Russell Martin watches during the fifth inning of a baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York, Monday, April 16, 2012. The Twins won 7-3 . AP Photo/Seth Wenig …
(6) Curtis Granderson (14) of the New York Yankees is congratulated after making a catch hit by Justin Morneau (33) of the Minnesota Twins during their game on April 16, 2012 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images ……
(7) Pittsburgh Penguins’ Sidney Crosby warms up during NHL hockey practice in Pittsburgh, Tuesday, April 17, 2012. The Penguins face the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 4 of a first round Stanley Cup playoffs series in Philadelphia on Wednesday. The Flyers lead the best-of- seven games series 3-0 . AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar …
(8) New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano, left, and shortstop Derek Jeter join Rachel Robinson, widow of Jackie Robinson, on the field prior to the Yankees’ baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels on Jackie Robinson Day at Yankee Stadium in New York, Sunday, April 15, 2012. It is he 65th anniversary of his breaking the Major League Baseball color barrier. AP Photo /Kathy Willens …..
(9) Brooklyn Dodger infielder Jackie Robinson poses in May 1952. Courtesy of DP Archives /AP @ all rights reserved copyrighted material ….
” For The Love of Money ” ………………. to my mind the four major professional sports’ league hierarchies are no different from the illegal drug operations of fabled fictionalized character Nino Brown from the seminal movie “New Jack City ” @ circa 1991 !
Or have it another way via a more contemporary revamp from Easy E feat’g Bone Thugs-N-Harmony ………… ” For The Love of Money ” . Your Thoughts ?