It isn’t over, ‘til it’s over

It isn’t over ‘til it’s over

By Tophatal

With a now heated rivalry brewing into something that the AFC has long needed, and that is a competitive match-up of two like-minded teams. Unfortunately, for the fans, they are no longer accustomed to seeing this within the NFL. Franchises no longer have real longevity where they are dominant over a determinate period. Granted, the New England Patriots, New York Giants, and Pittsburgh Steelers are the only teams in this decade to have won multiple Superbowls in this decade. Only the Patriots and Indianapolis Colts , specifically, have been teams that have been able to produce double-digit wins each season while making multiple appearances in the postseason .


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Slide show .

The existing series (46-29[in favor of the Patriots]) between the Colts and Patriots still has some meaning to it but with AFC South franchise now in transition under a new quarterback , coaching staff and a crop of rookies and free agents . I seriously doubt that the vast majority of fans will still take a in keen interest, in this once intriguing rivalry ! Indianapolis Colts’ quarterback , Andrew Luck still has a no long way to go before he can rival the feats of his predecessor Peyton Manning , much less constitute and reinvigorate a this rivalry with Tom Brady and the Patriots. In years to come however, there may well come the scenario where we may well see Luck and the Colts challenging the pre-eminent teams within the league for supremacy as well as being perennial challengers for the Superbowl .

Week three brings about a slew of games that are as intriguing as they are in some respects dire for a number of teams. The New England Patriots this weekend will be the guests of the Baltimore Ravens when the two teams meet in a rematch the AFC championship game of the 2011—- post season . New England would go on to prevail over the Ravens 23-20 and thereby abruptly bringing an end to the Ravens’ postseason foray .

This season both AFC teams are off to shaky , but steady starts with each holding a 1-1 record and seated atop of their respective divisions . Coaches Bill Belichick and his counterpart John Harbaugh know though it’s still early days yet , but neither team can go afford enter week four with a 1-2 mark . Both teams have made the customary off-season revamping of their rosters and the draft choices made as each seeks to make their presence felt. In week two both teams both somehow inexplicably lost games that they each had within their grasp. . The Baltimore Ravens fell to the Philadelphia Eagles 23-24 in an error strewn game . Those flaws will need to be addressed Harbaugh and his staff before the team faces the Patriots at M&T Bank Stadium , in Baltimore, Maryland, For Ray Lewis and Ed Reed, two seasoned veterans thought to be in the twilight of their careers , this season both are in exceptional early season form.

Ravens’ quarterback Joe Falco has to be entirely happy that he finally has an offense that is capable of competing at the highest levels of the game. Ray Rice , Anthony Allen, Dennis Pitta , Anquan Bolden and Torrey Smith have all been able to profit from Flacco’s new-found resolve this season. If the Ravens are to succeed , then it will have to be their quarterback who shows the greatest poise beyond the other given and well-known attributes of this team.

Five appearances in the Superbowl in this decade, with three wins, have pretty much cemented Bill Belichick’s legacy as a candidate for the Hall of Fame . The franchise already has a future Hall of Fame enshrinee in Tom Brady . And it has been the league MVP’s desire , determination to add to his legacy and to lead this team to another triumph in the NFL’s postseason finale. The team’s inexplicable 20-18 loss in week two to the Arizona Cardinals , beyond the complacency shown , leads me to believe that the defensive woes evident last season, have once again returned to haunt the franchise once again in 2012. This must situation must be quickly and remedied by Belichick and his coaching staff , if the Patriots are to have any semblance of a successful season within the NFL.

The Patriots’ offense remains as potent as ever , and it remains the focus of the team as a whole . Admittedly, there are a number of established rivalries within the NFL but in the AFC , none might now prove to be as exciting or as intriguing as this budding rivalry and series between the Patriots and Ravens . Since the Baltimore Ravens’ reestablishment as a franchise in 1996, in Baltimore , Maryland , these two franchise have met eight times in total , with New England holding a 7-1 lead over the Ravens. No doubt John Harbaugh and his players would like to see that particular stat improved , and the belief that over the course of time , it will ! This game I believe , will be a game of two halves with both seeking to achieve some dominance . Undoubtedly, the slight advantage may well lie with the Ravens as they have been able to show something of a more balanced attack and with a physically ferocious defense , this all could come down to how effective the Patriots’ running game can be. And for Tom Brady and his counterpart Joe Flacco, this as such could be a contrast in styles , when the two players meet this upcoming Sunday.

Fresh off his team’s embarrassment, Greg Schiano remains unrepentant , as to the actions of his players, after their 41-34 loss to the New York Giants last Sunday. The Buccaneers’ head coach would have the public believe , that with his players being caught on camera throwing punches and looking to stamp on their opponents as Eli Manning was about to “ take a knee” to close out the game , this was meant to be sportsmanlike behavior. Schiano, for all of his eagerness to prove himself an NFL worthy coach , and having the respect of his peers . He has in effect , placed himself and the Buccaneers right in the crosshairs of the NFL , never-mind the fact that the less than sportsmanlike play has now gone unpunished by the NFL hierarchy . Yet we are told that NFL Commissioner , Roger Goodell , values safety , and the players’ safety is the paramount issue within the game and the NFL as a whole ! The NFL commissioner is a pompous ass , were he to commit an act of flatulence, he would certainly suffer an aneurysm. The league at present has enough to deal with , without another NFL head coach making a complete ass of himself , while the NFL fans now have to deal with a less than thrilling on-field product and replacement official , for who the speed of the game now leaves them gasping for air , beyond being indecisive when it comes to making even the most instant of decisions. However, this is what the fans are now being asked to deal with as the season enters week three of the regular sixteen game NFL schedule .

The Dallas Cowboys (1-1) will play hosts to their conference rivals, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, as both teams look corral the errors made that saw each , succumb to a loss against their most recent opponents . Jason Garret and his defensive coordinator , Rob Ryan , have several issues to address on a team , that if anything is overrated and continues to greatly under-achieve ! From my own perspective , I don’t believe that this game will be highly entertaining , if anything it would very well end up being one monotonous bore , given their recent performances in those aforementioned losses. Both offenses have struggled in part because neither quarterback has proven to be consistent enough , two weeks into the regular season. As good As good , as Josh Freeman and Tony Romo are said to be , neither player has really shown the prerequisite leadership that would make you believe that both teams are viable Superbowl candidates.

I’ll give it to the city of Los Angeles but the clamor to have an NFL franchise , no matter how bad the economic environment and the clear fact that for Antonio Villaraigosa and his horde of parasites seated on the city council . It should be noted that with the recent announcement by billionaire media mogul Philip Anschutz to sell his company AEG Inc ______ the possibility Anschutz being part of any deal to bring a franchise to the city of Los Angeles has gotten even more remote. The NFL hierarchy may well crave to see this happen but in this economic environment even the wealthiest of investors would not be stupid enough to even remotely consider bring a franchise to the nation’s second largest and populous city. Villaraigosa , for his part has substantial budgetary woe that he and his council members have failed to address but yet it is being reported that he is constant contact with Roger Goodell to gauge the NFL ‘s interest and the their timeline in bringing an NFL franchise to the greater Los Angeles area.

Courtesy of the Los Angeles Daily News

Philip Anschutz to hand off NFL stadium project near goal line

By Vincent Bonsigniore , Staff Columnist

As you might imagine, my cell phone has been blowing up since news broke that the Anschutz Company, headed by Denver billionaire Philip Anschutz, said it is looking for a buyer for its AEG interests, which also has ownership in L.A. Live in downtown Los Angeles, the NBA’s Lakers, NHL’s Kings and Los Angeles Galaxy soccer team.

Anschutz and AEG have been pushing to build an NFL stadium and revamp the Los Angeles Convention Center for more than a year. The proposal is now within two weeks of gaining full clearance from the L.A. City Council to commence building.

Only to have Anschutz announce Tuesday he’s going to sell, prompting a flood of calls from everyone ranging from people within Ed Roski Jr.’s competing NFL stadium project in the City of Industry to media types in San Diego interested in what this might mean to their Chargers, one of the teams most prominently mentioned as a possibility to move into one of the two stadiums being proposed.

Every one of them asking, essentially: Did you see this coming and what does it all mean to the Farmers Field stadium plan?

My answers being, “No,” and, “Who knows?”

Welcome to the world of billionaires, right?

Off the top of my head, one possibility comes to mind.

Based on private conversations I’ve had with people involved in the project, I never got the feeling Anschutz truly felt the stadium proposal AEG president Tim Leiweke was pushing on him would ever get as far as it has.
Anschutz kept telling Leiweke that he had his blessing, while never truly thinking Leiweke would navigate through all the political red tape and potholes in his way to actually get it to this point.

Now that Leiweke has carried the ball to the goal line, maybe Anschutz isn’t as “in” as we thought as he’s ready to hand it off to someone who is prepared to carry the ball into the end zone.

If so, Anschutz walks away with billions and a new, energetic, completely “in” owner takes it to a new level.

Click on link to read this article in full.


Anschutz is heavily vested in the downtown Los Angeles area , as owner of the Staples Center , Nokia Theater , as well as being a 30% owner in the NBA’s , Los Angeles Lakers, a majority stake owner in the L A Kings of the NHL and owner or minority stake holder in several MLS soccer teams beyond being the outright owner of the Los Angeles Galaxy . Though Anschutz maintains that an NFL franchise within the greater Los Angeles area still remains a viable concern , much of that is predicated upon the city and to a lesser extent the county providing the majority of the financing towards any proposed venue , albeit that another wealthy mogul , Ed Roski has seen his own ambitions for a similar maneuver take a backseat to Anschutz’s own proposal for the Los Angeles Convention Center , in downtown Los Angeles.

While there is a clamor to bring the NFL to los Angeles but yet, Villaraigosa has done little to address the city’s budgetary deficit, increasing poverty levels , a growing homeless population , increased crime rate, and a growing divide in the community across socio-economic lines .Throw in the fact that a number of private and mid-size businesses no longer see the city or state as a viable and business-friendly partner. Any immediate hope for a change in the fortune of that municipality seems further away than ever. Add in , the very fact that as part of his city’s own austerity measures, while truly not wishing to address Los Angeles’ dire financial situation , the mayor is now out the political stump , currying favor with the Hispanic voters , in seeking their support for the Presidential incumbent Barack Obama, in the upcoming Presidential elections . Roger Goodell supports the return of football to the city of Los Angeles but neither he , or any senior member of the league hierarchy has suggested how best to make this all possible. Furthermore , he has not stated whether or not the NFL would be a willing partner in engineering any proposed maneuver , at this moment in time. Talk is really cheap but actions speaks louder than words in such an instance , and that is all the fans will continue to see , not that they are entitled to anything beyond that.



Picture gallery .

Do you believe that the NFL currently has a rivalry that truly enthralls the fans? If so which pair teams or multiple rivalries within the league that actually does create the biggest interest ? With Philip Anschutz’s decision to sell his multi-media entertainment conglomerate , do feel that this now advances or hinders the prospect of an NFL franchise within the greater Los Angeles area ? By all means do leave a comment as you see fit and thanks as always for the continued support of this site .


Picture and slide show details below .

(1) New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin watches during the first quarter of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte, N.C., Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012. The Giants would go on to defeat the Panthers 36-7 , in a thoroughly lopsided victory . AP Photo/Bob Leverone ….

(2) Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) throws a pass under pressure from New York Giants defensive end Justin Tuck (91) during the second quarter of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012. AP Photo/Bob Leverone ….


(3) Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick dives in for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, Sept. 16, 2012, in Philadelphia. AP Photo/The Wilmington News-Journal, Suchat Pederson …

(4) Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (5) walks off the field after a 24-23 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in an NFL football game on Sunday, Sept. 16, 2012, in Philadelphia. AP Photo/Mel Evans ….

(5) New England Patriots wide receiver Brandon Lloyd , left, and tight end Kellen Winslow (82) run on the field during a team practice at Gillette Stadium, in Foxborough, Mass., Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2012. The Patriots announced Wednesday that they signed Winslow. AP Photo/Steven Senne ….

(6) Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald , left, pats the shoulder of New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick after an NFL football game at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., Sunday, Sept. 16, 2012. The Patriots lost 20-18 for their first regular season home loss since 2001. AP Photo/Elise Amendola …

(7) Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo throws in warm ups before an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Sept. 16, 2012, in Seattle. The Cowboys would go on to lose to the Seahawks 27-7 . AP Photo/John Froschauer …

(8) Seattle Seahawks’ Greg Scruggs, left, and Jason Jones (90) move in to sack Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 16, 2012, in Seattle. AP Photo/John Froschauer ……

(9) New York Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks (88) runs past Tampa Bay Buccaneers strong safety Mark Barron (24) for a touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Sept. 16, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J. AP Photo/Bill Kostroun ….

(10) Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (L) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Alejandro Mayorkas (R) hold a joint news conference at the Los Angeles Central Library on September 19, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. Villaraigosa and Mayorkas announced an initiative with the Los Angeles Public Library to bolster local immigrant integration efforts. Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images North America ….

(11) David Beckham (L) and Philip” Frederick” Anschutz attend the game between the New Orleans Hornets and the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center on April 20, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. Getty Images North America / Noel Vasquez …..




NFL news …… & ….. news from around the league

NFL schedules week three & NFL results

NFL transactions

NFL team injuries

Baltimore Ravens news

Dallas Cowboys news

New England Patriots news

Tampa Bay Buccaneers news

Author: tophatal ...........

Brit ex-pat living C Florida . Now working with a consultancy firm in the field of corporate governance on the international front , concerning economic policies . Also covering the area of finance , banking, international banking. An MBA graduate from the (LSE) and UCL (London) , M&A (mergers & acquisitions), economics , risk management & assessment . Martial artist (tae-kwondo, karate, savate , muy-thai) & an vowed sports ' fan , sports' junkie. Served in armed forces British ... Royal Marines . Taught unarmed combat to members of the military and also competed in tournaments prior to joining the Royal Marines . Also an avid motorcycle junkie & free running enthusiast . Tech geek and computer repair technician. Entertainment: Musical tastes _ reggae, r&b, soul, hip-hop, rap , jazz, classical. Film genres , Preferably thrillers , crime dramas Hobbies ..... reading biographies & anything by John Grisham Just a lil' something to make me feel comfortable ! Tophatal

14 thoughts on “It isn’t over, ‘til it’s over”

    1. Chris Humpherys (@SportsChump)

      That’s great for the Rays but what happens at the end of the season and they fail to gain that much expected wildcard berth . What then ? Paring down of team salary and back to the damn drawing board as you repeatedly suggest ? Why should the fans have to continually put up with that , when the ownership group shows no inclination to actually go after “real talent of “ or actually seek an outside investor with deep pockets ?

      Should they have to continue to put up with the meager and miserly ways of the organization and the continued excuses ?

      Tophatal ……….


  1. Billionaire Philip Anschutz

    I don’t believe that sports’ fans are fully appreciative of what they have within their midst concerning Philip Anschutz and the power that he has within the area of sports and entertainment . Not only does is is company AEG , as a sports conglomerate has vast tentacles but also the ticketing source and show promoter Live Nation is also an Anschutz owned company . He has proven to be more of a driving force to bring an NFL franchise to LA but the likelihood is that Raiders’ owner Mark Davis will fight tooth and nail to somehow fight a new franchise encroaching on the rights of the Raiders, as the ownership still feels that the greater Los Angeles area remains part of their territorial domain .

    “I cheated on my wife as an experiment . It wasn’t sex , it was an experiment I tell you ! Villaraigosa

    The Latin community’s answer to Bill Clinton .

    Antonio Villaraigosa remains a pompous a#s ! This guy is more about a photo-op than most politicians care about their damn electorate , and the reasons they were voted into office . His zeal to see a franchise within LA when the city is in a fu#king financial mess , shows that he and his fellow council members haven’t a damn clue !

    The Patriots vs Ravens should prove to be one hell of game , given the events that took place in the AFC Championship game and their previous meetings over the past eight or so years .

    Tophatal ……….


  2. Dallas should, and the operative word is should, defeat the Bucs handily on Sunday. Discard last weeks fiasco in Seattle as I’ve seen much better teams fall to defeat in one of the most noisiest of stadium’s in the league.
    Nice article Alan!


    1. fantasyfurnace /Hank

      Should , would and could, all have the same connotations as far as I’m concerned ! You simply don’t what to expect of this Cowboys’ team at present , as they’re as inconsistent as they can be impressive . That being said this Bucs’ team as led by head coach Greg Schiano have an identity that a lot of people bewildered . They can play but that defense remains a work in progress as can be seen from last week’s mess . Given what we saw from the Packers last season I’d say that the Bucs could well on pace to surpass that mark !

      “Don’t fu#k this up Roger , I’m handing the ball off you , take it into the endzone , score that god-damn touchdown . But whatever you do , don’t force the issue about a franchise in the city of LA , they don’t deserve it ” . Paul Tagliabue & Roger Goodell (also in picture Dan Rooney (left) and the Panthers’ Jerry Richardson)

      As to the city of LA , they need an NFL franchise , like they need another rap star to break unto the scene, to have another 15 seconds, not 15 minutes of fame . Antonio Villaraigosa spends more time seeking out photo ops , than he does dealing with representing the people who voted him into office . Los Angeles is on the verge of financial ruin but they act like it’s do or die in terms of having an NFL team. Meanwhile that proverbial ass-wipe Roger Goodell tries to press ahead with that issue , looking to cement his legacy and try to do something that his predecessor , Paul Tagliabue was unable to achieve .


  3. Who the fuck wants to business in LA. Illegals drain the city dry. Taxes are out the ass. Fuck that place. All business are leaving the LA and CA- a third world country fuck em- The Eagles-Cardinals game will be a war. Go Eagles. Who said the Steelers and packers were dead? I know the morons at ESPN.


    1. LA doesn’t need another NFL franchise while it has dire economic issues but yet these assholes within the city and the NFL hierarchy want it . How dumb are these people ?

      The Eagles may well be 2-0 and lead the NFC East by a game over the Giants but in no way are they best team within the division by a long shot . Vick has been way too inconsistent , having thrown 6 INT’s in two games . Not much of a quarterback is he ?

      The Packers will be fine and I see them winning their division because I don’t believe that the Bears are as good as advertized . Cutler is overrated as a quarterback in the NFL , as he lacks guts and leadership !

      Tophatal ……………


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