You can only continue to kick the can so far down the street
The NFL preseason is proving to be a great deal more than a profound embarrassment for the league hierarchy. While we have the replacement referees adjudicating the games , the fans and public alike have witnessed the repeated blown calls . Yet somehow the fans are being made to endure this fiasco because NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s ego seems to know no boundaries. Goodell’s power and its reach have gone beyond the usual parameter but the game’s highest-ranking official and the team owners march to the beat of their very own drum . And the cacophony of noise in question, just happens to be the billions of dollars that rolls into the NFL’s coffers on an annual basis .
Slide show .
If the NFL is to continue to pander to the whims of the commissioner, then why can it not do so with a modicum of decency? Goodell has insisted that this league enforced lockout has been done because the officials of the NFLRA have not conducted these negotiations with any veracity , merely looking to circumvent at each and every turn in hindering any progress. The commissioner has been the one seeking an adversarial approach in these deliberations , while looking to paint the referees as the villains of the peace. Now three weeks into the preseason and we have seen a glut of blown calls , without any wherewithal from these college game-day officials , who made their mark at the D2 and D3 level of the collegiate ranks of the game.
The fans are having a hard time tolerating this fiasco , while the league hierarchy continues on their merry way with their subterfuge. At some point there will be an uproar and if this idiocy continues in its present guise , then the backlash against the NFL will be so vocal that not even Roger Goodell will be able to come up with a succinct enough answer for the ongoing problems. As we approach Week 4 of the preseason , it is becoming abundantly clear that the two parties are no closer to resolving this impasse , than they were at the beginning of these deliberations . The final glut of games begin this Wednesday , with the Washington Redskins (2-1) playing host to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1).
Redskins’ head coach Mike Shanahan may well see the drafting of Robert Griffin III , as the “silver lining” sought, in order to make the Washington Redskins a resurgent force once again. Griffin alongside his fellow Redskins’ draftees Josh LeRibeus , Kirk Cousins, Keenan Robinson, Adam Gettis , Alfred Morris , Tom Compton, Richard Crawford and Jordan Bernstine, this has to be viewed as their chance to shine , as they seek to make their present felt in the NFL. And coming off their 30-17 annihilation of the Indianapolis Colts , in a match-up that pitted Robert Griffin III against Andrew Luck , the player who preceded him as the number one draft pick in the 2012 NFL Draft . And so, far the rookies taken in this draft have slowly begun to acquit themselves to the rigors of the league and prove their worth to their respective teams.
Greg Schiano , head coach of the Buccaneers has seen his team perform inconsistently while at the same time he has lost one of the team’s defensive stalwarts in Davin Joseph . It is a significant loss for a defensive unit that prides itself on those specific capabilities but over the passed five seasons this is one of the areas where the franchise has been at their most inconsistent . This season if the Buccaneers are to fare well , then Schiano has to demand more out of his players and hold them more accountable . It was a lackadaisical effort and the very fact that Schiano’s predecessor , Raheem Morris’ failing to have the players more in line as a cohesive unit, that led to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers having a rather poor 2011 outing, with season low 4-12 record in the NFC South. This season, a great deal more is expected more from the team when they begin their 2012 when they begin their regular season schedule with a home opener against the Carolina Panthers and Cam Newton on the 9th September , 2012.
For the Buccaneers , specifically the front office led by GM Mark Dominik , the franchise has struggled this preseason and for much 2011 regular season, in filling —- Raymond James Stadium , in Tampa , Florida. Excuses could be made for the dire economic situation across the country but one can only use that premise for only so long. In the Buccaneers’ preseason schedule thus far, the Buccaneers have yet to sell out any of those preseason games. Now one could subscribe to the fact, even with the NFL changing the criteria set concerning the blacking-out of preseason and regular season games within a home television market. Chances are , for the better part of the franchise’s 2012 regular season schedule , at least 6 of the team’s eight games will be blacked out . Local radio and television talk show personalities in the area have sought best to overlook this situation that seems to be a troubling issue around the NFL . No explanation has been forthcoming from Mark Dominik , Brian Ford , VP Business Administration, Jason Dial , who heads the Buccaneers’ Marketing & Sales Department . As to what this may well suggest is open to a great deal of conjecture and speculation. To my mind, even with the financial outlay in the off-season with the organization acquiring free agent players such as Vincent Jackson , this simply has not proven to be a big enough lure for the fans to make that big enough gesture to come and witness the Buccaneers play.
As the impasse continues within the NFL between the league hierarchy and the NFLRA (referees’ union) , it should not surprise anyone that for the moment the commissioner seems to have the backing of the team owners . Sooner or later, they will have to realize that the longer these ongoing negotiations continue , the more harm will be done to the league’s image. That being said irreparable damage has been done already with regard to the hierarchy’s handling labor lockout , with the NFLPA (Players’ Union) and the subsequent poor handling of the New Orleans Saints’ bounty scandal . We should also consider the fact that the NFL finds itself in the midst of 25 separate legal suits at various levels of the US legal system but yet we have contributors within this forum speaking as to the continued benevolent image of the NFL . It is at times like this, when one has to wonder if there is really any intelligence to be found amongst number of individuals who call themselves NFL fans ? I consider it , simply to be apathy on the part of those fans who simply are not intelligent enough to realize what is simply happening within their midst !
The NFL during Roger Goodell’s tenure has sought to create the perception that all is right with the league , when it is clearly not . Anyone currently buying into the nonsense that the issues that the NFL now faces is simply that of an enterprise undergoing growing pains as well as outside forces , had better rethink that premise altogether . A great deal of the problems that the league hierarchy now finds itself embroiled in , are in fact of the league’s own making . And that has come about the sheer ineptitude shown by Roger Goodell and wielding a wide range of powers that in most people’s eyes would be seen used by despotic or tyrannical dictator of a third-world country . Owners such as Jerry Jones , Robert Kraft , Steve Bisciotti ,John K Mara , Woody Johnson , Paul Allen and Malcolm Glazer , are only all too happy with the commissioner’s edicts , just as long as the billions of dollars that roll in annually into the NFL’s coffers shows no signs of abatement . Anything else , by way of a bye-product that is to the league’s advantage can merely be seen as icing on the cake . Care to have a slice of that cake at this juncture?
As I alluded to earlier, concerning the Tampa Bay Buccaneers , Greg Schiano will have a hard time getting this young roster in the place where it they need to be. The NFC South in recent years has proven to be a very competitive , with a now resurgent Carolina Panthers , an ever forceful Atlanta Falcons and the now beleaguered New Orleans Saints . The team’s head to head meetings with the Falcons , Panthers and Saints in recent years has not proven to completely advantageous for the Buccaneers . I can only surmise that Greg Schiano’s players will seek to re-address those problems. If they are unable to do so , then I cannot see the team in its present guise winning more than 7 games at best over the course of their 2012 regular season schedule ! At a minimum ten games will be the bare minimum for the Buccaneers to win the NFC South and by way of gaining a playoff berth that very same figure would have to come into play if the franchise are to succeed . The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have not been a part of the playoff scene since 2002 . And that was the year when the franchise would go on to win it all, in defeating (48-21) the Oakland Raiders in Superbowl (SBXXXVII). In the subsequent years things have not been necessarily been to the Buccaneers’ advantage.
Buccaneers’ starting quarterback Josh Freeman has to show that last season’s frustrations and regression were merely a minor blip in his aspirations, as he seeks to viewed as one of the better —– quarterbacks in the NFL. This preseason Freeman’s game has been pretty much understated with nothing in particular that stands out . The fans will expect a great deal from the team this season and with rookies — Doug Martin, Mark Barron, David Lavonte, Najee Goode, Keith Tandy , Michael Smith and Drake Dunsmore . Each of the players in question will be hoping to contribute to the franchise in whatever they can this season. With the teams now having to cut their rosters down 73 players before the final cut to the season’s roster 54 players is made . Players taken in latter rounds of this year’s draft ( 5, 6 & 7) will undoubtedly be the ones under the greatest pressure to succeed . At the same time with a number of seasoned veterans recently being shown the door , one has to wonder what the future may have in store for the likes of Vince Young , Chad Johnson and Terrelle Owens at this juncture . In this case , talented players , who for one reason or another , simply were not able to find themselves in a position to contribute positively to the respective teams to which they were assigned . It is simply a “sign of the times” in today’s NFL , as the coaches are under to pressure “ win big , win now ” and that passed reputations of players no longer count because now it has essentially become about “ what can you do for me now “ ?
There is now a great deal at stake for a number of teams in the NFL this season beyond the competitive edge that becomes part and parcel of what the NFL has now become . Coaches will have their jobs stakes , a number of players will have a great deal prove beyond trying to justify their rather outrageous salaries , while at the same time these franchises seeking ingratiate themselves with their municipalities as they either seek upgrades or a new facility that will be financed by the cities in which they currently reside . With all of the billions of dollars in revenues derived by the NFL and the profitability of the franchises in question , it still remains mind-boggling that the team owners and the league hierarchy can justify their actions in such instances , while seeking to ignore so many other issues within their midst .
As a franchise the Tampa Bay Buccaneers can consider themselves lucky enough that the Glazer family as the owners of the franchise have done just about everything necessary to make sure that the Buccaneers remains a viable concern . However, as of late, one would be hard pressed to believe that fact as the family seems to be once again devoting even more time to their other sporting interest , the world-renowned soccer team Manchester United of the English Premiership League (EPL). In recent weeks with the team having been re-listed on world bourses , such as on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) , London Stock Exchange (LSE) , Deutsche Borse and Hong Kong Stock Exchange . It is this sort of unique presence and the global familiarity of the brand that makes the franchise the most profitable and valuable sports’ brand in the world. Add into that the success of the franchises and the Glazer family are sitting on a venerable gold mine , with a license to print money almost at will. With the recent IPO (initial public offering) offering of shares, there have been very few takers , most notably because of the fallout from the Facebook “ fiasco “ and the very fact that the shares on offer (Class A) do not carry as much weight as the Class B’s retained by the family . The Class B shares are weighted shares that pay off a great deal more in dividends as well preserving the voting power of the retainers of those , for which patriarch Malcolm Glazer and his family retain 68% of the soccer club and the voting rights of 90% of the stock voting rights afforded them. It has seemingly been viewed as one the main deterrents, as to the reasons why the offer has remain lukewarm amongst investors. From my own standpoint , I believe investors seeking a long-term investment will see their investment appreciate over time but those seeking an overnight profit , well, much like those who dove into the Facebook fiasco without using due diligence . In the end , you tend to get what you pay for , and for those investors still sitting on their Facebook shares having seen the IPO tender price ($38-00) —– depreciate some 70% since that initial offer , there is not much that left to be said that hasn’t already been said. Perhaps, other than that usual cautionary tale “buyers beware” has now become “buyers’ remorse “.
Picture gallery for your perusal .
What thoughts if any do you have with regard to the points raised within this article and do you believe that the NFL and the NFLRA will resolve their issues before the regular season begins ? By all means do take time to leave a comment as you see fit .
Picture and slide show details below .
(1) Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Josh Freeman (5) throws for a first down in the first half against the New England Patriots during their NFL preseason football game in Tampa, Fla., Friday, Aug. 24, 2012. AP Photo/Dave Martin ….
(2) Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano, left, and New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick shake hands in the center of the field following the Buccaneers’ 30-28 win over the Patriots at an NFL preseason football game Friday, Aug. 24, 2012, in Tampa, Fla. AP Photo/Brian Blanco ….
(3) General manager Mark Dominick, left, and coach Greg Schiano of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers watch a rookie practice at the Buccaneers practice facility May 4, 2012 in Tampa, Florida. Getty Images / Al Messerschmidt …..
(4) Damien Duff of Fulham celebrates scoring the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Fulham at Old Trafford on August 25, 2012 in Manchester, England. .
(5) Robin van Persie of Manchester United is congratulated by his team mates after scoring his team’s first goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Fulham at Old Trafford on August 25, 2012 in Manchester, England. United would go on to defeat Fulham 3-2 in the Premiership league game . Getty Images /Shaun Botterill …..
(6) Mark Schwarzer of Fulham reacts after Shinji Kagawa of Manchester United scored his team’s second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Fulham at Old Trafford on August 25, 2012 in Manchester, England. Getty Images /Shaun Botterill ….
(7) In this handout photo provided by the NYSE Euronext, Manchester United Executives David Gill (R), Joel Glazer (C, R) and Avram Glazer (C) prepare to ring the Opening Bell at the New York Stock Exchange on August 10, 2012 in New York City. Manchester United shares started trading at USD 14.05 at the opening of the New York Stock Exchange. Source / Getty Images …
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