It’s all a numbers’ game

It’s all a numbers’ game

By Tophatal

Well now that the US Presidential election is now over , the incumbent Barack Obama has won a second successive term in office, as President of the United States . Obama’s opponent, Mitt Romney , the former governor of Massachusetts proved to a decisive loser , but if anything , also a brazen and immature petulant child . Romney , in directing his animus towards his own political party , the Republican Party . That anger and the mere fact that he the statements attributed to him , were that the hierarchy chose not to back him , as a mainstay candidate and true Conservative . Consider , the fact that, former White House Chief of Staff , Karl Rove , through his Super-Pac , American Crossroads , backed the GOP challenger , and numerous conservative Republican candidates to the tune of the $196 million in campaign ads . American Crossroads , is said to have raised in excess of a quarter of a billion dollars ($250,000,000) towards the ouster of Democrats at the state and federal level. But herein , lies the idiocy of Rove’s maneuvers , barely three percent of the candidates backed by his Super Pac were voted into office by the electorate at large . Indeed , such a high price to pay for such meager returns . If anything the donors in question , should now be confronting Rove , to ask for their monies , back. Yet there you have it , free speech , and all that it claims to be at work , and showing little in return for the Republicans at this juncture . The hierarchy of the Republican Party , should now be looking at themselves in the mirror, and asking ” how could we have fu#ked up this much , and still look such complete a#sholes in comparison to the Democrats “ ?

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The country yearned for change , but the status quo has remained the same, with the President being returned to office as well as several members of the House of Representatives and US Senate . The sad indictment of this election, and the asinine analysis by the pundits and electorate, is the damn fact that the vast majority of the electorate , just happens to be politically naïve and completely out of touch of reality , as to what the candidates actually stood for . Never mind the fact that the campaigns of both candidates were so light on specifics and as to the business acumen of Mitt Romney , if you buy into the fact that he’s a self-made millionaire because of his work with venture capital firm Bain & Co. LLC ,. Merely , look at the claims being made by Romney , as to his prowess an d the success as governor of Massachusetts . That state , in comparison to the state of California, which accounts for over 38% of the nation’s GDP of $13.6 trillion ($13,600,000,000,000) is like the wart on an elephant’s ass , in terms of Romney’s bold claims of handling an economy and being able to balance its budget . Many of the claims made , by former governor Romney , while valid, much of it, has to be taken with a pinch of salt , when one considers a great deal of creative accounting took place on the part of the Massachusetts’ administration under , the then governor. And we wonder why, Mitt Romney failed so miserably ? Here was a candidate , who simply could not identify with a clear policy goal , or simply explain himself with regard to the economy , foreign policy , much less , a slew of other social and political issues .

Consider the fact that over the course of this election cycle, in excess of $2.3 billion will have been spent on electoral ads, that simply portrayed falsehoods and misrepresentation of facts, that in the end served little purpose , other than to show how innately asinine the democratic process just happens to be here in the United States. Yet , this is the sort of democratic reform the people state that they want , when, in essence at the end of the day , nothing ever changes . And for those Tea Party advocates out there , how many of the candidates that you championed , found themselves elected into office , upon this asinine premise of continued lower taxes , and little else beyond that stance ? For the Democrats, don’t be fooled into thinking that because Barack Obama has been returned for a second term, things are likely to get any easier , because as the leader of the party , he has shown very little backbone if any, as a determined advocate , or as a disciplined leader. Platitudes, and being a great orator, can only get you so far , when you have little of substance going for you and your party . Especially when the likes of Senator Harry Reid (D Nv) , and House Minority Leader , Nancy Pelosi (D Ca) , remain as a yoke around the neck of the party , offering little of tangible substance , and with neither, seeking to be bipartisan , in order find a common ground, in how best to ail the country of its woes, foreign and domestic .

On patron of this site tried to suggest that Mitt Romney’s electoral platform , was clear , and succinct , on so many issues , but in no way was that clearly the case ! . Now, while not wanting to let Obama of the hook , on the same issue , this to my mind may well have been one the worst Presidential electoral campaigns , in recent history , given the credentials of both candidates ! In essence , the electorate , were the left with the choice , of choosing between “ the lesser of two evils” . As the saying goes, “ better the Devil you know , than the one you don’t “ .

Now let’s spend a little time delving into the world sports , and the world of baseball during this off-season , And lo, and behold, teams are on their various spending sprees. The Tampa Bay Rays have seen fit to resign Evan Longoria to a contract extension that will see the player earn $100 million over a six-year period , a deal set to commence in 2016. The Rays’ front office led by GM Andrew Friedman and senior managing partner, Stuart Sternberg , did not want to have to deal with a situation, wherein the Gold Glove winner and All Star would have to go through 2013 in the midst of negotiating a contract . This proposed deal , though yet to be ratified , may well lead to the departure of B J Upton , a player whose free agency status will certainly have risen , given his productivity for the Tampa Bay Rays in recent years . The fact that such a situation is likely to arise does leave the Rays’ middle order , in terms of its offense somewhat askew, when adjudged against their immediate counterparts within the AL East , as well as the rest of the AL , as a whole.

Joe Maddon and his coaching staff , have been extremely lucky in recent years to have attained the ongoing success , much of it attributed to the managerial acumen , of Maddon, himself . We can all attest to the fact that the Tampa Bay Rays have been one the small market teams that toils in the world of baseball , barely able to eke out a profit without the assist of the MLB hierarchy by way of the league’s tax sharing revenue scheme. And boy , what a scheme it has been , especially in the case a moribund franchise such as the Kansas City Royals , who with each season, the asinine claims are being made that the ball-club is on the move and about to be a credible contender within the AL and baseball as a whole . Clearly, the idiots, making those prognostications haven’t looked at the Royals’ recent record over the past decade plus , and the fact that the team hasn’t had a winning season in well over a decade . And this past season , the Royals in the AL Central , proved to be as competitive in their foray , as Romney’s Presidential quest.

What might all the more disturbing concerning the Royals’ laughable situation , is that David Glass , senior managing partner and owner , was once the CFO (Chief Financial Officer) of Wal-Mart , the world’s largest retailer , employer of approximately 2.3 million employees in the US and globally. It should not be forgotten that the retailer also happens to be one of the most profitable concerns in the world . Now if Glass, with his alleged cannot turn around a moribund ball club such as the Kansas City Royals , and turn it into a profitable and competitive concern , then what does that indicate to you about the organization and its hierarchy ? Chime in with your thoughts .

And for those out there who believe that MLB has a handle and the rampant use of PED’s (performance enhancing drugs) and the continued idiotic claims by Bud Selig that baseball has the stiffest possible penalties in all professional sports . Well , that maybe true , but those penalties , simply have not been enough of a deterrent to stop players using illicit substances. Today, the Philadelphia Phillies’ catcher, Carlos Ruiz was suspended for the misuse of an illicit substance , which will see the player miss 25 games of the regular season . However , the catcher , will be allowed to participate during Spring Training . And this is the sort , of nonsense we ought to expect from the hierarchy of baseball , when it comes to coming down harshly on players for flouting the game’s rules ? And to think I was once told by a patron that baseball was simply doing that the best it could with regard to the actions of the players who transgress the one of the most sacred rules of the game . The rules now mandated in terms of the punishment meted out , simply do not go far enough , neither are they severe enough to be a deterrent . In the past eighteen months , at the MLB level as well at the minor league level , collectively over 187 players have been netted in baseball’s drug policy of prevention. Here’s simple evidence that the hierarchy under Commissioner Bud Selig , simply does not know what the fuck it is doing, and the claims attributed to the commissioner’s office with regard to the fact , that they have been able to clamp down , and stop the rampant use of banned substances is asinine and untruthful . Close to two hundred players have been ensnared , but it still hasn’t stop the use of PED’s within the game .

At the age of ninety-five , former MLBPA Executive Director , Marvin Miller , a former US government employee, as an economist , died . Mitchell , became the first ever leader of the players’ union , which was formed in 1954, but whose power and profile was not raised with any great significance , until 1966. It was at Miller’s insistence that collective bargaining and the free agency was brought into being , with players being afforded the right of refusal to negotiate their futures with regard to their long-term contracts and salaries that reflected their worth , or being able to decide a destination by way of a trade , and the premise under which they were compensated . Long thought of as a pariah by the owners, throughout much of the sixties and seventies Miller was happy with the fact that his members were no longer indentured slaves. The eighties and nineties, definitely raised the profile of the players’ union (MLBPA) and the gargantuan power at their disposal. So much so, that the league hierarchy would cease to be defiant and crumbled in the wake of any disruption caused . Bud Selig and his ascent to the position first as interim commissioner , merely ruled the league with utter disdain and incredulity while bringing about some necessary changes , while eschewing other issues that were already acute and of great concern to the new owners within the game and their front office executives. A s the escalation in revenues grew within the game , so too did the demands of the players by way of their salaries . And with that came the bloated spending by the teams and the incessant belief by the general managers , that no expense should be spared in gaining the best talent available . no matter what the cost .

The median salary in baseball has exploded to the extent where it is now $2.3 million , whereas in 1973 , the median salary within the game was approximately $36,500 . The highest paid player in the game today , is the New York Yankees’ third baseman Alex Rodriguez , as he has been now , for close to a decade . When it is all said and done . Rodriguez , in baseball salaried earnings alone , will have garnered in excess of $525 million , having signed two multi-million contracts , that each time exceeded $250 million . And with the New York Yankees , not without the financial resources to avail themselves of such means, with its cable broadcast outlet YES Network , as well as a massive sales and marketing department within the organization . It has to be said that there is very little that goes uncovered , while still remaining in the hands of the Steinbrenner family , as the control and ownership is dealt with by Hank and Hal Steinbrenner .

Speaking of the venerable New York Yankees , and their abysmal failure in 2012 . their playoffs hopes were dashed by the abysmal showing of the team’s offense and pitching in the postseason . And nowhere was this particularly more relevant than amongst the team’s starting pitching, with the exception of C C Sabathia. With the formal announcement being made , that Andy Pettite has been resigned , for a one-year $11 million inked deal , it simply lets you know that the Yankees will once again be reliant on an aging arm, and a player whose best years are now behind him , and most certainly not ahead of him. It is hard to conceive how the this revamped Yankees’ team can be deemed competitive enough , to deal with the likes of a resurgent Baltimore Orioles’ franchise , as well as the ever-present Tampa Bay Rays. It remains to be seen , whether or not the Boston Red Sox , under their new manager , John Farrell and a newly revamped coaching staff , will actually bring to the table , after the abysmal and abject failure of Bobby Valentine in 2012 .

As we know the Red Sox were able to rid themselves of $173 million in salary commitments, by sending Josh Beckett , Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford to the Los Angeles Dodgers , an organization now seeking to become the New York Yankees of the Western seaboard , as well as the NL as a whole. With a new ownership group in place , headed by venture capitalist billionaires Mark Walter , Todd S Boehly, and former NBA great , Magic Johnson. It must be said that if the Dodgers are to be successful in 2013 , then a great deal of that success will come down to the acumen shown by GM Ned Colletti and team President & Head of Baseball Operations , Stan Kasten.

The Dodgers will certainly be looking to usurp the recent dominance of the San Francisco Giants and their recent successes in the postseason , as well as divisional champions within the NL West. And if recent history is anything to go by , when these two teams have met , then 2013 , could bring us a great deal of renewed interest in the rivalry , as well to the competitiveness of the division as a whole.

For Giants’ manager , Bruce Bochy , and the front office headed by GM Brian Sabean and team managing general partner & principal owner , Larry Baer , as they are target , the marked bulls-eye that everyone will be aiming for , as those teams seek to dethrone the reigning World Series champion. Bochy’s Los Angeles’ counterpart Don Mattingly , will most certainly be looking to show that his team are credible and legitimate contenders for the divisional crown as well as the NL pennant and the World Series title. I would dare say that the San Francisco Giants , are not likely to give up either one of those titles without a fight , with the Arizona Diamondbacks, as well as the Colorado Rockies , seeking to gate-crash the party of these two venerable and well-respected franchises.

In the immediate aftermath , of the wrath of the fans of the Miami Marlins’ fans, it should come as no surprise , that Bud Selig , being the venerable prick that he is , has seen fit to now question the actions of Marlins’ owner Jeffrey Loria , as he , and the front office continues with a “fire sale” , jettisoning many of the high-priced free agents that the organization brought in , prior to the start of the season. If Selig feels so interested in the actions of Loria and the staff, then why is it that when this very same exercise was undertaken in 2003 , when Loria having seen his franchise win the World Series that year , went about dismantling the roster , claiming that the franchise had lost millions of dollars , and that from a business standpoint , it was not economically viable to keep that team in place . Now unless , we are being misled by baseball’s hierarchy , a franchise that makes a deep postseason run during the baseball playoffs , can net several million dollars from such an endeavor , by way of sales , marketing and the ancillary rights’ fees that the teams obtain within their local market place , as well as the compendium of revenues derived from MLB’s other principal sources during such a run . The fact of the matter is , the team owners , and baseball’s hierarchy would rather keep their finances away from the prying eyes of the public , press and specifically the , municipal , state and federal governments alike. Is it any wonder there is such secrecy involved in many of the endeavors when a baseball team coerced and cajoles state , county and city municipalities into paying for in many cases cavernous venues that at times are rarely filled , with much of that money coming at the taxpayers’ expense. And yet we have these apathetic and moronic fans within the Tampa and Oakland markets yearning for their respective teams to have new facilities built for their use .

Consider the fact that, the financially cash-strapped New York Mets and their “ white elephant “ known as Citi-Field , built at the cost of $775 million , has yet have consecutive sellouts of regular season games over the past two years . Yet the city’s mayor , Michael Bloomberg , expresses his satisfaction that the edifice built , but having overran its original budget and construction time, was an effort well worth doing . Bloomberg, has now shone away from the fact, that the franchise remains a financial boondoggle as well as a flea-bitten piece of fecal matter in terms of the ball-club’s competitiveness since Citi Field was built. Only in New York , can a city with such ideas of grandeur , still try to come up smelling of roses, when it has been rolling around in shit !

The Miami Marlins on the other hand are unlikely to be severely punished by Selig’s office for their antics , simply because the commissioner hasn’t the stomach or the backbone to do so, considering his own involvement , having interjected himself in the negotiation of that franchise’s own ballpark , which has now embroiled the city of Miami in a federal investigation by the US Justice Department , as to the municipality’s actions , that led to its financing ($ 575 million) and specifically how they went about in approving the deal , which places the debt burden on the residents of Miami. The city’s mayor Tomas Regalado , has seen fit not to answer any questions publicly on the matter, referring all question to the city’s legal representative , while he , and the city’s commission , try to get a handle on their self-inflicted multi-million dollar deficit budget crisis. How fu#ked up is that situation , yet we have lame ass individuals bemoaning the fact that they’re being screwed over by the federal government when it comes to their taxes , but yet they are not in the slightest bit concerned when resources that is needed for their city’s infrastructure is being used to benefit billionaire and millionaire sports’ franchise owners . Apathy simply knows no boundaries when it comes to the sports’ fan in general . So make of it, what you will.

The dust has settled , the game’s individual awards have been bestowed upon the players, by whom the BBWAA felt were deserving in 2012. If there was a bone contention to be had, then it came voting for the AL MVP . The two leading candidates were, Mike Trout of the Los Angles Angels , and the Detroit Tigers’ hard-hitting first baseman , slugger Miguel Cabrera. Amongst the purists of the game, many favored Trout , as he was viewed as the better all-round player. Statistically, Cabrera , had the better season, and as the game’s first Triple Crown winner in just over a decade, many felt that the advantage laid with Miguel Cabrera .

Cabrera came away with the accolade and the Tigers’ second such win of the AL MVP , in the follow-up to Justin Verlander , in 2011 who won both the Cy Young as well as the game’s biggest individual honor.

While the New York Yankees , seeks to pare down salary by 2014 , it should be noted beyond resigning Pettite , GM Brian Cashman has sought to resign the game’s all-time saves’ leader Mariano Rivera. It would appear that the Yankees’ hierarchy seeks to be financially prudent , while many of their most heralded rivals are seeking to make deep inroads in terms of boosting payroll, specifically , the Los Angeles Dodgers , who at the end of 2012, have added in excess of $275 million in payroll . It remains to be seen whether or not the Yankees can remain competitive , and dominant within the AL East.

As I alluded to earlier , the Los Angeles Angels were a considerable disappointment over the course of 2012 , with team owner, Arte Moreno , and GM Jerry Dipoto having committed over $300 million in acquiring amongst others Albert Pujols and C J Wilson , to name but a few players added to the roster. The failure of the Angels during the season rested primarily with the lack of pitching from their frontline starters when needed . It would appear that widespread changes are about to be made concerning the current pitching roster , most notably with former Cy Young winner , Zack Greinke , being released by the team. The player was not able to show the form that won him the award , a couple of years ago, and it has been amazing to see his fall from grace in such a short period of time.

A “major player” in the Greinke sweepstakes, once again , would appear to be the “high spending” Dodgers , who will do whatever it takes , even if it means “breaking the bank” . I would like to think that the MLB hierarchy is closely watching the moves of these teams , as no expense is being spared to acquire players , while the small market ball-clubs struggle to survive and barely eke out a profit , without an assist , by way of baseball’s tax sharing revenue scheme . Financial expediency still has not caught on in baseball , in spite of the asinine claims of a number of individuals , who simply do not know what the hell they are talking about . When have you have ever heard the likes of well-respected baseball journalists , Buster Olney or Tim Kurkjian , much less MLB’s own CFO Jonathan Mariner , ever speak candidly about the financial situation of the game ? Leaving it to an asshole such as Bud Selig , in many respects, is akin to asking Sarah Palin to enlighten us with her views on world peace for that matter the vagaries of the US economy. In reality would you be prepared to listen , given the actual evidence right in front of your very own eyes ? I guess not ! We have already seen the commissioner’s haphazard handling of the Dodgers’ financial situation , and also that of the Cubs’ and Texas Rangers , and while his complete lack of oversight concerning the ongoing financial mess of the New York Mets , leaves a great deal to be desired . Should we really, in actuality , expect anything more , or any the-less from an ignorant oaf, such as Bud Selig? Need I remind you , of his own dubious rise to his current position, having been the former senior managing managing partner in the ownership group of the Milwaukee Brewers ? At a time when the commissioner has been calling for financial restraint from the MLBPA , Bud Selig , has been earning in excess of $20 million annually over the past five years ? How the fuck no one actually questions this , while apathetic fans call for stadiums to be built at the taxpayers’ expense should clearly indicate to us all how fucking stupid the vast majority of fans just happen to be ,

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Talking points , what if anything do you feel is likely to happen in terms of the major moves during this off-season . And what you feel can best done in order to rectify the clear financial imbalances that there are within the game of baseball ? Simply chime in with your comments and thoughts , on this and anything else pertinent on this subject matter .

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Picture and slideshow details below .
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(1) Moderator Candy Crowley of CNN tries to bring Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (L) and U.S. President Barack Obama back on topic during a town hall-style debate at Hofstra University October 16, 2012 in Hempstead, New York. During the second of three presidential debates, the candidates fielded questions from audience members on a wide variety of issues. Getty Images North America / Spencer Platt ….

(2) U.S. President Barack Obama (R) speaks as Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (L) and moderator Candy Crowley (C) listen during a town hall-style debate at Hofstra University October 16, 2012 in Hempstead, New York. During the second of three presidential debates, the candidates fielded questions from audience members on a wide variety of issues. Getty Images North America / Spencer Platt ….

(3) FILE – In this July 6, 2012, file photo, Tampa Bay Rays’ B.J. Upton hits an RBI-single off Cleveland Indians’ Nick Hagadone in the fifth inning of a baseball game in Cleveland. A person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press Wednesday, Nov. 28, the Atlanta Braves have reached an agreement on a five-year deal $75.2 million deal with Upton. AP Photo/Tony Dejak ….

(4) Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria , right, smiles as he answers questions with Rays’ principal owner Stuart Sternberg during a news conference after Longoria signed a six-year , $100 million, contract extension Monday, Nov. 26, 2012, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Longoria is signed with the Rays through the 2022 season. AP Photo/Chris O’Meara ……

(5) File-This is a 2008 file photo of Carlos Ruiz of the Philadelphia Phillies baseball team. Ruiz has been suspended for the first 25 games of next season following a positive test for an amphetamine in violation of Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. Ruiz’s suspension was announced Tuesday Nov. 27, 2012 by Major League Baseball. AP Photo/Keith Srakocic …. (6) MLBPA Executive Director Marvin Miller , is seen granting an interview with the convened press . Miller , the first director of the Players’ Union died at the age of ninety-five , due to ill-health and old age . Many of his contemporaries and team owners have offered their condolences , upon hearing the executive’s passing . Courtesy of CBS news @ copyrighted material all rights reserved

(7) Miguel Cabrera , right, of the Detroit Tigers , and his contemporary Mike Trout of the Anaheim /Los Angeles Angels . Both players were the leading vote-getters for the 2012 AL MVP , which was eventually won by the Triple Crown winner , Cabrera . A crowning achievement for the player after an exceptional 2012 season . AP Photo / Ryan Hall …

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MLB news & press releases from around MLB

MLB free agents

Highest paid players in baseball

MLB team salaries (2012)

MLB team salaries

MLB transactions

Kansas City Royals news

New York Yankees news

Philadelphia Phillies news

Tampa Bay Rays news

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MLB hierarchy

MLBPA (Players’ Union)

Michael Weiner , Executive Director of the MLBPA

MLB team owners

MLB general managers

This week in MLB history

Chronological information 28th November

Flava’ in your ear

Flava’ in your ear

By Tophatal

If there was one thing that week twelve in the NFL taught us , it is to at times expect the unexpected and then , not to. Not one to be truly surprised , I witnessed the New England Patriots simply destroy their divisional rivals the New York Jets , with consummate ease . If Rex Ryan truly wishes to secure his long-term future with the franchise , then the continued use of Mark Sanchez at the quarterback position , is clearly not the answer . Granted , the team’s issues go way beyond the inconsistency of the three-year starter, as the entire roster just happens to be a mess !

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Either , the Jets’ head coach has become delusional , or his implicit faith shown in Mark Sanchez continues to cloud his judgment . That being said, the alternatives to Sanchez are not that much better , as neither Tim Tebow or Greg McElroy have shown that they possess the mindset to lead this team with any degree of competency or certainty . Week thirteen , and the Jets will play host to the equally abysmal Arizona Cardinals, in a game to be played at MetLife Stadium , in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Suffice to say , that with both teams now seeing their respective seasons descend into an abyss of mediocrity , it should prove to be a godsend for the odds-makers in Vegas and the erstwhile fantasy geeks out there looking for an under-appreciated fantasy stud to put up some numbers.

Having railed of four consecutive victories before hosting the Atlanta Falcons at Raymond James Stadium , in Tampa, Florida, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had been one of the “hottest teams “ in the NFL . In a game that was filled with errors from both ball-clubs, it would be the Falcons who prevailed , maintaining their record (10-1) as the “ best team “ in the NFL . Missed opportunities by Greg Schiano’s players once again simply summed up the Buccaneers , and their season , thus far . And the very fact that they still remain a wildcard berth contender for the playoffs , is just as bewildering , but that has summed up the NFL season in 2012.

Now if there is a Buccaneers’ fan who can explain to me succinctly, why it is that the fans are not willing to come out in droves, to support this team , when they are vying for contention within the division . Then, I would like to hear their explanation , as to why this premise remains a constant for this organization . The Buccaneers’ home venue was not filled to capacity for this game , and that speaks volumes as to one of the many impediments that the franchise faces . Schiano has built a “ competent “ and competitive team , but yet the voices to be heard in a crowd at the stadium, are like that of silence , within a church vestibule .

Is it worthwhile continuing to lambast the Oakland Raiders ? Off-season changes , asides , there seems to be no improvement in this team from their woeful experiences of 2011 . And from an NFL Draft standpoint , this organization has not had a major triumph at that level in several years. This year has been no different , and it would appear that general manager Reggie McKenzie and team owner , Mark Davis , are seemingly out of their depth in the day-to-day-running of this franchise .

At 3-8 within the AFC West , with only the pitiful Kansas City Chiefs (1-10) , beneath them , it is hard to see things getting any better for the Raiders over the remainder of their season schedule. I firmly believe that head coach , Dennis Allen is imperiled in his current position , and that by season’s end , he could very well be shown the door ! As to this idiocy that the front office promoted Allen , rather than see him go elsewhere . Well that scenario speaks volumes Davis’ and McKenzie’s understanding of the issues at the time . It was not Hu Jackson’s fault that the team failed in the way that they had done. And as Allen’s predecessor, Jackson actually had the Raiders playing as a team. Can such a case be made for any of the games during 2012 , in which the Raiders are said to have turned up to play ? This team lacks conviction , has lost focus , and they simply do not possess a vocal leader of any sort on the entire roster .

Carson Palmer , the team’s quarterback , acquired to bring some semblance of consistent play to the Raiders’ offensive unit , has been anything but that during the season. If nothing else, it has simply magnified the franchise’s willingness to undertake any sorry-assed image makeover , even when it involves a player that if anything , can be best described as overrated ! Sunday afternoon, Palmer faced his old team , the Cincinnati Bengals , in an AFC conference game . I believe that we can all agree that the end result , a rather lopsided 34-10 victory for Andy Dalton and the Bengals, summed up where the Raiders presently are, in their aspirations, and where they desire to be . As to how the Raiders’ fans might now view this loss, that perhaps could be best explained , if there was one to found who’d be willing to speak publicly about the woes of the team and franchise as a whole . They tend to congregate en-masse at the O. Coliseum (Oakland-Alameda County Stadium) for home games , only to disappear , like a bear in hibernation , during winter , when things have not gone right for the organization .

They say “age is nothing but a number” , but to my mind when “Father Time” catches up with you physically , then it’s time to sit your ass down ! It may well have been the only option available to Mike Tomlin at the time , to have Methuselah , himself, in the “guise “ of Charlie Batch , start for the injured Ben Roethlisberger and Byron Leftwich . Granted, Batch is a serviceable veteran whose presence in the NFL has been well established , since 1998 , when he was drafted in the second round by the Detroit Lions. Batch’s career has been filled with some highlights and career lows , but in recent years , apart from being a backup to Roethlisberger and Leftwich on the Steelers’ roster , the player has been primarily known as an executive committee member of the NFLPA (Players’ Union).

Batch was entrusted on Sunday , to lead the Pittsburgh Steelers when they faced divisional rivals , the Cleveland Browns at Paul Brown Stadium , in Cleveland , Ohio. Unfortunately, for the veteran quarterback , his performance and that of his teammates , left a great deal to be desired , as the Steelers succumbed to their nemesis, 20-14.
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I’ll say this for the New Orleans Saints , were it not for the charade of the “Bounty Scandal”, and the half-assed way it has been haphazardly handled by the NFL hierarchy , led by Roger Goodell. Then I sincerely doubt , that the ongoing subterfuge and plotline would have been sustained this long ! Take it from me , Goodell , simply is not intelligent enough to have dealt with this episode , where it could have been resolved to everyone’s satisfaction . Yet there are those who would suggest that the commissioner’s handling has been appropriate . How so , when Goodell preaches “ the rule of law” , but simply does not follow the laws of jurisprudence . So I ask once again, is there an ounce of goddamn intelligence to be found within the NFL hierarchy, while Roger Goodell presides over the NFL ?

With regard to the Saints’ , the team of late , had been playing with a great deal of resolve , after a horrendous start to the season. Coming into Sunday’s game , the team stood at 5-5 , and looking to become a part of the playoff picture within the NFC . Playing at home , in the cavernous Mercedes-Benz Superdome , in New Orleans, Louisiana , the Drew Brees’ led team entertained the San Francisco 49ers , who had Colin Kaepernick , replacing the injured Alex Smith at the quarterback position. Advantage Saints ? You might well have thought so , given that this was Kaepernick’s first regular season start in the NFL .

What the nation was “ privileged “ to witness was a rookie quarterback , in Colin Kaepernick , after a few errant blunders , settle down , to lead the Forty Niners , to what in the end , was a comfortable victory (31-21) for the NFC West leading , San Francisco 49ers. Truth be told, another loss for the Saints over the remainder of their schedule and the team is likely to miss out on the postseason . Given what is at stake, in the aftermath of the ongoing idiocy , much of it of the Saints’ own making and I believe that , this would the most welcomed outcome amongst the vast majority of football fans around the NFL !

In what, on paper should have been a highly entertaining game turned out to be an event for Eli Manning to further exhibit why he now might just be most efficient manager of a game when a team is need of a score . The New York Giants hosted Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers . Tom Coughlin’s players had made recent slip-ups , and the thinking was that this match-up against the Packers could very well be the defining moment of the Giants’ schedule. Indeed , it was , as Rodgers and his teammates fell apart in this game , as somehow they allowed the Giants to get back into this conference match-up. The 31-10 defeat inflicted upon the Green Bay Packers , was the team’s worst loss of the season . Now it , has many scurrying around for reasons behind the defeat , and how things could have gone so horribly wrong .

The loss pushes the Green Bay Packers’ mark to 7-4, a game behind the NFC North leading Chicago Bears (8-3) . Eli Manning and the New York Giants (7-4) have a handy two-game lead over their closest rivals , the Washington Redskins (5-6) and Dallas Cowboys(5-6) , who share the same mark within the NFC East. As to what this now says, about the quite dire situation now facing the Redskins and Cowboys , as they each chase a wildcard berth within the NFC , now remains to be seen.

Say it isn’t so ? Are the Kansas City Chiefs intent on “tanking their season” , in order to afford themselves the top pick in the 2013 NFL Draft ? That is either is case , or Romeo Crennel , his coaching staff and the front office are putting on a vain attempt , in trying to create the perception that this team just happens to be competitive .

When a franchise is 1-10, is there really an upside as to the prospects for that team over the remainder of the season ? And try as one might to take away some positives as to the ineptitude shown by the Chiefs , there is simply nothing that one could rest one’s laurels on ! GM Scott Pioli , and Romeo Crennell , are likely to be shown the door , that is unless team President & COO Clark Hunt believes that there is a chance that the franchise could indeed benefit by having that number one overall pick from the 2013 NFL Draft. There are, a compendium of issues that need to be addressed by the organization , and most of all , it starts with a quarterback that is certainly capable of getting the job done. That clearly not the case , given the abject failure and performances of both Matt Cassel and Brady Quinn, over the course of this season.

On Sunday the Kansas City Chiefs did themselves no favors in their cause, to avert the wrath of their long-suffering fans , as they fell to their eighth consecutive loss , in a 17-9 home defeat at the hands of Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos.

Week thirteen, and the Chiefs will entertain the Carolina Panthers at Arrowhead Stadium , in Kansas City, Missouri , in what will be seen as , a do-or-die game for both teams. The Panther , this season , have their own struggles , with a moribund defense , and a less than enthusiastic quarterback , in Cam Newton , who has seen fit to throw his teammates repeatedly under the bus , at every opportunity available , over the course of the season , as the losses have mounted up for the team. And Newton has done himself no favors with his petulant and immature behavior during the Panthers’ post-game conferences and the conducted interviews with the convened press. It begs the question , will the organization continue to ride on the coattails of an individual , in who, they have invested millions of dollars , if he continues to disrespect the franchise , its fans and the public in general ?

The NFL season now enters , its final four games of the regular season schedule , and for a number of teams , there is said to be a “ great deal on the line” . Post season aspirations being what they are , it would now be fair to say , that we know whom amongst the franchises are “ pretenders” and which are definitely “credible contenders” . With records being what they are however, I must admit , that I don’t believe that there has been one truly dominant franchise over the course of 2012 !

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Picture gallery.

What to your mind has been the biggest disappointment this NFL season , beyond the initial lockout of the referees , and the ongoing saga concerning the New Orleans Saints ? Simply chime in with a comment as you see fit , on this and anything else you believe to be pertinent to the subject matter .

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(1)New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan reacts after quarterback Mark Sanchez fumbled and New England Patriots’ Steve Gregory returned it for a touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game on Thursday, Nov. 22, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Patriots would go on to defeat the Jets 49-19 in their divisional match-up this season . AP Photo/Bill Kostroun …

(2) New England Patriots strong safety Steve Gregory (28) is tackled by New York Jets running back Bilal Powell (29) after intercepting a pass during the first half of an NFL football game on Thursday, Nov. 22, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J. AP Photo/Bill Kostroun … (3) Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman (5) throws a pass as he is pressured by Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Corey Peters (91) during the first quarter of an NFL football game , Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012, in Tampa, Fla. AP Photo/Reinhold Matay …..

(4) Oakland Raiders head coach Dennis Allen , right, greets Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis after the Bengals’ 34-10 win in an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012, in Cincinnati. AP Photo/Tom Uhlman ….

(5) Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) passes as guard Clint Boling (65) blocks Oakland Raiders defensive tackle Tommy Kelly (93) in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012, in Cincinnati. AP Photo/David Kohl ….

(6) Oakland Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer (3) hugs Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) after the Bengals defeated the Raiders 34-10 in an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012, in Cincinnati. Palmer’s tenure with the Raiders so far can be best described as sporadic , for a team and organization that seems to have lost its identity and direction . AP Photo/David Kohl …..

(7) Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch (16) congratulates running back Chris Rainey after Rainey’s ——- 1-yard touchdown run against the Cleveland Browns in the second quarter of an NFL football game on Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012, in Cleveland. AP Photo/Ron Schwane …..

(8) San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) celebrates his rushing touchdown in the first half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints in New Orleans, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012.The 49ers won 31-21 . In what appears to be something of a budding quarterback controversy , it now looks as if Niners’ head coach Jim Harbaugh , will insert Kaepernick into the starting quarterback’s position role , thereby replacing Alex Smith . As to how this will be viewed by the Niners’ number one overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft , and the subsequent fact, that during the off-season the Niners’ front office pursued , then, free agent , Peyton Manning , might not sit well , with the now under-appreciated Smith. Kaepernick has started , a mere two games professionally in the NFL , but he is now seen as the Niners’ best option offensively, in terms of winning the subsequent games remaining on the team’s schedule . AP Photo/Bill Feig ….

(9) Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) talks with Kansas City Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel following an NFL football game at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012. The Broncos defeated the Chiefs 17-9 . Clark Hunt , team owner ,President & COO , may well seek to replace his beleaguered head coach and general manager , Scott Pioli , in light of the Chiefs’ disastrous 2012 season , which sees the franchise with the worst record in the NFL . AP Photo/Ed Zurga…

(10) Kansas City Chiefs running back Shaun Draughn (20) is tackled by Denver Broncos strong safety Mike Adams , right, during the first half of an NFL football game at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012. AP Photo/Charlie Riedel …..

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The Roots …. “ Don’t Say Nuthin’ ”

Too early to crown their ass ? Yes , because , they suck !

Too early to crown their ass ? Yes , because , they suck !

By Tophatal

Week eleven has closed its books , and lo and behold , the NFL is what we believed it to be , a watered down product , with one or two good teams, a number of marginal aspirants and several teams that have simply stunk up the joint , so far in the NFL schedule . And last night was further evidence of that as the often lofted expectations of the Chicago Bears , were one again brought back down to earth . I have often maintained, that Jay Cutler is simply not an elite quarterback , great arm , but his football IQ , might just be on par with that of Paris Hilton’s overall intelligence quotient . And please don’t try to suggest that Bears’ issues this season . has more to do with injuries , rather than their play on the field.

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Having acquired former Miami Dolphins’ wide receiver , Brandon Marshall to add potency to the Bears’ offense , but it would appear that the team’s opponents this season have caught on to what actually makes Jay Cutler and this team , tick offensively.

Monday night’s game between the Chicago Bears and San Francisco 49ers was simply an unattractive affair , as only one team came to play . Suffice to say , that team certainly was not the Bears ! If anything , Lovie Smith , his coaching staff and the Chicago Bears should be hanging their heads in shame , after such an embarrassing display . As to their much vaunted defense, well it was nowhere to be seen . Granted , Cutler , was not on the field of play , as backup , Jason Campbell , was asked to assume the reins , for the absent Jay Cutler, who remained sidelined by an injury. But the night belonged to the Niners’ Colin Kapernick , as he led the team with his arms and his legs . Note to the Jets’ coaching staff , if you want to know how best to utilize the “ so-called “ best attributes of Tim Tebow , then please seek the advice of Jim Harbaugh and his coaching staff, you bunch of dumb morons ! Kapernick, was called in for the late scratch of starting quarterback , Alex Smith , who was still overcoming the effects of concussion suffered in week ten . The Niners’ 32-7 defeat of the Chicago Bears , gives Harbaugh’s team enough of a cushion within the labored NFC West, a division that simply can be so monstrously mediocre , even at the best of times. Week twelve , and the Forty Niners will be the guests of the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, in New Orleans , Louisiana , this upcoming Sunday. 25th October ,2012.

The Chicago Bears (7-3), are tied for first place in the NFC North , alongside the Green Bay Packers (7-3) , but the Packers , with a better divisional and conference record are as such viewed as the leaders of the division from a statistical standpoint. Lovie Smith and the Chicago Bears will entertain the Minnesota Vikings (6-4) , in a pivotal divisional game when the two teams meet. A loss for the Bears , would certainly put a dent in their divisional and postseason aspirations , but with the stakes being so high , an all-out win is the desired result, for this very inconsistent team.

Is it still OK , to harangue and lambast the Philadelphia Eagles for having such a horrendous season , when their head coach , Andy Reid, and quarterback , Michael Vick , are at the lowest points of their respective NFL careers ? Vick is having an indifferent season , and is now sidelined with a concussion . The team itself has lost focus , and their seems to be no vocal leadership coming forth from any member of this roster . Reid , head steadfastly stood by , in support of veteran quarterback , and with each passing moment , the calls for the coach’s dismissal , is getting louder and louder.

It certainly would be a magnanimous gesture , were Andy Reid to step down , rather than the head coach , being forced out , and dismissed , under the orders of team owner, Jeff Lurie and the executives of the Eagles’ front office . Coming off , another catastrophic loss , the Philadelphia Eagles’ season , seems to be going up in flames, while several players on the roster are giving a less, than adequate effort , in trying to reverse their misfortune. While, I do not believe that either the head coach or player would be sidelined , then to be dismissed at this point of the season , it is my belief , that one if not both will no longer be with the franchise at the beginning of the preseason in 2013. If Lurie and team President , Dan Smolenski and GM Howie Roseman , do make that switch, with a view to the hiring of a new head coach and quite seeking out a top-flight free agent quarterback , as well as obtaining a quarterback from the 2013 NFL Draft , then now might be the time to set the ball in motion, with regard to planning ahead. There are a number assistant head coaches in the NFL that might meet the requirements of the Eagles , yet in terms of a skilled enough player to assume the role of a starter , that may well prove to be more difficult of the two tasks , in question.

Call me naïve , but for the life of me , when I look at how far the Buffalo Bills have fallen from the years when they made four successive Superbowls in the nineties , which they each , lost , to my mind is simply astounding and staggering ! This is an organization where if a black cat were to walk across the path of one of their players , the next day , you might read about that very same player being placed on the injured-reserve list for the franchise . This team , has been snake bit , kicked in the head , and repeatedly punched in the mouth, as if they were participants in a street fight . I am not about to suggest that they are about to be “counted out” , but if there were a boxing referee in close proximity , he would be questioning the participant, as to whether or not , they could still carry on , while being able to protect themselves adequately. This season the Bills have not been able to protect anything , as their record (4-6) now seems to bear this out .

Head coach , Chan Gailey and his beleaguered coaching staff , now seem to be out of their depth , and it is my firm belief , that he will be one of several head coaching casualties that will be dismissed at the end of this season ! An indifferent start in 2012 has simply permeated through what we all witnessed in 2011 , with the team , and how they fell apart at the end of the season .

The front office of the Buffalo Bills , led by renowned general manager , Buddy Nix , has pretty much stated that the franchise will seek to draft a quarterback in the upcoming Draft , but therein lies the dilemma , because Nix. threw his support behind incumbent starter , Ryan Fitzpatrick , only for the player to have performed erratically over the course this season , with only fleeting moments where they player actually showed some signs progress and promise . his situation , has been further compounded by Fitzpatrick not being able to stay healthy , but at the same time , the team’s offensive line , has given the quarterback , very little protection , if any , that would assist him, in being effective in the efficiency of the offense . When Fitzpatrick was not available , it has been Tavaris Jackson , and Tyler Thigpen who have been entrusted, and asked, to step up to the plate , while offering meager returns, in such an instance. The picture simply does not get any clearer , when you view the options , beyond Fitzpatrick and Jackson as alternatives , at the position . Bleak , might be the appropriate ” word “ to be used !

Nix and Gailey sought to draft prudently in 2012 , to meet the team’s needs both on defense and offense , but the players taken , have yet to make their mark , either in the preseason or the regular season , for that matter. If the Bills are to fare any better over the remaining six games on their schedule , then it will be incumbent upon , Stephen Gilmore , Cordy Glenn, T J Graham, Nigel Badham , Ron Brooks , Zebrie Sanders , and Tank Carder , will have to show their zeal for the game , as the rookies on the roster. If there’s said to a bright spot on this Bills’ team , then the play of C J Spiller , Fred Jackson and Steve Johnson and Scott Chandler , Nick Barnett, and Donald Jones , might be the only high points that have been provided , from an otherwise disappointing season for the franchise .

Chan Gailey and his players will have to be wary, when they face the Indianapolis Colts , when the two teams meet at Lucas Oil Stadium , in Indianapolis , Indiana , in a week twelve showdown . The Colts are still “ smarting” from a tough lesson learned at the hands of the New England Patriots , who simply steamrolled over a young and resurgent Colts’ team , on their way to a 59-24 victory over Chuck Pagano’s players. . I am pretty sure that the bitter taste of defeat will have got Andrew Luck riled up enough to the point , where , he will want to redeem himself and get the team back to winning ways . This could be game to savor , if both teams are ready to play . but I somehow get the feeling that the Bills , will once again raise the “ white flag of surrender” , while taking on another defeat in the loss column! .

So the “prodigal son” has returned , as the Pittsburgh Steelers have signed Plaxico Burress , a Superbowl winner with the franchise . The wide receiver was acquired , because of a depleted receiving corps, due to injuries of players at the position , and never-mind the fact that , Ben Roethlisberger just isn’t able to find a receiver capable of holding onto the ball this= season, with any regularity . Burress , brings with him , an ability to make something out of nothing , and has always been a “ deep ball” threat , though that was never really on show , while he was with the New York Jets , for a mere season . Risks , versus reward ? Well , if it means that Mike Tomlin can get this team into the playoffs , after an indifferent season, then you simply know that once the postseason begins, this will be a roster playing with a purpose . . If there is one thing that is clear from this move , it is that Burress will relish the chance to reestablish himself as a one of best wide receivers in the NFL , but more to show his appreciation to the Steelers and their fans , and the place where he first made his name as a professional .

The Steelers are coming off a disappointing 13-10 loss to divisional rivals , the Baltimore Ravens , in a game , that if anything , meant a great deal more than the coaching staff would have you believe. Mental errors and an error prone Byron Leftwich , who substituted for an injured Ben Roethlisberger , essentially played its part , in the loss for the Steelers at Heinz Field , in Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania . Baltimore simply took advantage of the Steelers with a mix of a strong running game but above all , and their renowned defense , with Ed Reed leading by example , as his teammates followed his lead. Ravens’ head coach John Harbaugh , essentially summed it all up , in his postgame interview , when he stated , “ team effort” , “team defense and team offense, leads to wins” . And having opened up a two-game lead within the AFC North , at 8-2 , things right about now , are simply looking a great deal rosier for the Baltimore Ravens.

Both the Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers face not particular stern tests , in their next scheduled games , of which both are AFC match-ups . Mike Tomlin, will lead his Steelers into Paul Brown Stadium in Cleveland , Ohio, to face off against the Cleveland Browns , in a highly anticipated match-up of divisional rivals .

Baltimore, for their part will travel cross-country to face the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium , in San Diego , California . And how many times have you heard this before ? This might be the game that Norv Turner will either be made to sink or swim as the head coach of the Chargers . Let’s put it this way, Turner has simply used up all of the goodwill he could have mustered , because in recent years , but more notably so , this season , the performances of this team have been exceptionally mediocre ! A great deal of the responsibility for the current mess rests squarely on the shoulders of Turner , his coaching staff , general manager A J Smith , and the players, themselves .The mere fact that Smith and Chargers’ COO & Chairman , Dean Spanos , and his family, as owners of the franchise , countenanced the retention Norv Turner , after last season’s abysmal failure , clearly indicates to me that their happens to be , a complete lack of intelligence within the organization ! I firmly believe that Turner will be one of perhaps four or five head coaches , who quite possibly , will be shown the door at the end of this season !

Care to offer up an opinion or thought on the points raised within this ? Simply leave a comment as you see fit , and thanks as always for the continued support , as it is greatly appreciated !

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Slideshow details below .

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(1) San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) talks with head coach Jim Harbaugh during the first half of an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears in San Francisco, Monday, Nov. 19, 2012. The 49ers would go on to defeat the Bears in a lopsided 32-7 victory AP Photo/Tony Avelar …

(2) Chicago Bears quarterback Jason Campbell (2) is sacked by San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle Justin Smith (94) and linebacker Aldon Smith , not pictured, during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game in San Francisco, Monday, Nov. 19, 2012. The 49ers won 32-7 . AP Photo/Tony Avelar ….

(3) San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore (21) leaps past Chicago Bears strong safety Major Wright (21) during the second quarter of an NFL football game in San Francisco, Monday, Nov. 19, 2012. AP Photo/Tony Avelar …

(4) Washington Redskins wide receiver Aldrick Robinson (11) celebrates his touchdown with defensive end Chris Baker (92) during the first half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles in Landover, Md., Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012. AP Photo/Nick Wass

(5) Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid speaks during a news conference at the team’s NFL football practice complex, Monday, Nov. 19, 2012, in Philadelphia. The Eagles are 3-7 and have lost six straight, accelerating the countdown toward the possible end of Andy Reid’s 14-year tenure as coach. AP Photo/Matt Slocum ..

(6) Buffalo Bills running back C.J. Spiller (28) goes against Miami Dolphins’ Karlos Dansby (58) during the first half of an NFL football game on Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012, in Orchard Park, N.Y. AP Photo/Gary Wiepert ..

(7) Head coach Pat Shurmur of the Cleveland Browns shakes hands with head coach Chan Gailey of the Buffalo Bills after the Bills defeated the Browns at Cleveland Browns Stadium on September 23, 2012 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Bills defeated the Browns 24-14 . Getty Images North America / Jason Miller …

(8) FILE – In this Dec. 18, 2011, file photo, New York Jets wide receiver Plaxico Burress (17) catches a pass for a touchdown in front of Philadelphia Eagles corner-back Nnamdi Asomugha (24) during the second half of an NFL football game in Philadelphia. The Pittsburgh Steelers signed Burress on Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012, to provide depth at a position decimated by injuries . AP Photo/Matt Slocum …

(9) Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Byron Leftwich (4) walks off the field after a 13-10 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in an NFL football game in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012. AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar …

(10) Head coach Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers works the sidelines during a game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on November 4, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. …

(11) San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) is sacked by Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller (58) in the second quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) ….

(12) Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) is greeted by San Diego Chargers coach Norv Turner at the end of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012, in Denver. The Broncos won 30-23. AP Photo/Jack Dempsey …..

(13) San Diego Chargers’ first-round draft pick Larry English , second from right, holds up his new jersey as, from left to right, general manager A.J. Smith, team President & CEO Dean Spanos and head coach Norv Turner look on during a news conference Sunday, April 26, 2009, in San Diego. English, a linebacker, is from Northern Illinois. AP Photo/Jack Smith ……….

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D`Angelo …… “Cruisin’ ”

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder ……

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

By Tophatal

Many of my friends believe me to be unconventional, as they feel that the fact I am an Englishman , the given stereotype, is of someone who is reserved and somewhat shy. In many respects, for a lot Anglophones that may well be true . For myself , I think I’m the contrarian to that particular stereotype. Much of that I believe, comes from my familial ties and ancestry. I may well have been born in the UK , but my heritage is primarily that of the Caribbean , specifically from the island of Jamaica. From the age of three , to the age of twelve, I lived in the country, with my initial education , being within the primary school educational system , which was very structured and based upon , reading , writing and arithmetic (mathematics). Fast forward , and my teenage years were spent in the United Kingdom , and there , the environment was a change in pace and in learning , less rigid but nonetheless , education was the main priority, especially, in the case , where three children were being raised by a single working mother ,who as the matriarch and patriarch for the three of us (my younger sister and brother).

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And as a teenager , before an almost ten-year stint in the military , I found myself in my fair share of trouble , but nothing too serious , albeit , that one run-in with the law , got me jailed for protesting outside the South African Embassy in London , during which, I was protesting against the apartheid regime in the country of South Africa , and the continued incarceration of political activist, Nelson Mandela . Thankfully, Mandela was subsequently freed , led the country through a peaceful transition and a democratic government . In the midst of this all, the support was none existent , in spite of the idiotic claims being made by political historians in the United States. The issue was simply “paid lip service “ to by successive administrations down the years. But upon Mandela’s release , he was being feted by the US administration as a “ conquering hero “. Clearly , when it comes to diplomacy and foreign policy , everything about the US spells window dressing” with little common sense being shown.

My buddies and I, differ on a number of views , but our love of sports , remains the tie that binds us together . Well that , with our love of the female form , and an appreciation of good food and liquor , though not necessarily in that order.

Recently , with the death of famed boxing trainer Emanuel Steward , it simply rang true , that the sport is now dying , or one could say , it is in the process of being given its last rites. Boxing has become a joke , where there are no longer any major title fights of any significance , especially within the inconsequential and labored heavyweight division. At the lower weight categories , there are no really widely known fighters, beyond Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao , two fighters , now in the waning years of their respective careers. The long-desired fight between the two, is unlikely to take place , with both fighters simply squabbling over who should get the larger slice of the proposed purse , never-mind the ancillary rights for such a proposed mega-fight. As a topic of conversation between myself and my four close friends , I made the suggestion that they would better off watching the fast rising sport of MMA (mixed martial arts) fought under the UFC banner . It has now become the fastest participation sport in North America , with gyms now clamoring to take in students introduce them to the genre , students , who just happen to be young and old .

The rise of MMA , under the auspices of Dana White , President of the UFC , has been spectacular over the past decade , with the sport now having secured a multimillion dollar television contract, as well creating a multibillion enterprise . A burgeoning television audience has also played a part , from the organic , to a spectacular growth within sport . Recently, I read a somewhat asinine article by an individual within this forum, who tried to suggest that MMA was on the decline, whereas , hockey remained preeminent amongst the four major professional team sports . The NHL has seen its revenues decline , and the sport itself , is now in the midst of its fourth mandated labor stoppage of the last two decades. I mean, if you are going to write candidly and passionately about something , at least have the goddamn common sense , to show some intellect and common sense concerning the subject matter. NHL Commissioner , Gary Bettman is so damn clueless , that it is easy to understand why this sport remains a constant joke , where the players and their union (NHLPA) are able to make the NHL hierarchy simply cower in a corner , afraid of their own damn shadow . To date , Bettman and his Deputy Commissioner , Bill Daly , have met repeatedly with the NHLPA , behind closed doors , trying to negate the discontent amongst the fans as the current labor stoppage enters its second month , and find common ground between their two parties . The idiocy of this ongoing situation, is that with each passing month , the sport is losing in excess of $175 million a month in revenues . And clearly the longer this lockout continues , the growing anger of the fans will most certainly grow beyond their alienation , but with them , totally abandoning the sport altogether . Bettman and his opposing union counterpart , Donald Fehr , are no closer to finding a solution , and to my mind , this duo could not find ice , if they were placed in the midst of a freezing Alaskan tundra !

Two of my friends , are so passionate about the sport of hockey , but with their growing dismay in the handling of the labor stoppage , they are now ready to completely give up on the sport , once and for all. And who at this juncture , would blame them ? I have never been to a professional hockey game , nor have I the desire to do so ! If I want to participate in hitting someone , then I simply place on a set of gloves , get into an octagon and simply pound on an opponent at will , while following the rules of MMA . Having boxed as a teenager , before taking up martial arts (karate , kendo & taekwondo) and competing in the sport at the high school level , I have to admit that the sport of boxing was my first love , followed by soccer. However , I became dismayed with the sport of boxing several years , ago when it became more apparent , that a sport , which claims self-governance at the international level , was now becoming as corrupt as the promoters , who now governed boxing from the promotional side. Needless , to say, Don King and Bob Arum , would like to have you believe that they have played their part to clean up the sport , while making it more profitable and a much safer environment for the fighters in general . Many of you , undoubtedly know how the organized crime has become a multibillion business entity ? Well , the sport of boxing , is simply no different under the reins of Arum and King . The duo are , and still remain , two of the most dominant and powerful figures in with the sport , where their reign and business practices go unquestioned. At the domestic level , here in the United States , the sport is governed by various state athletic commissions , and where no one body, as an entity, has the exact same mandate for the licensing of the boxers and promoters , let alone setting the uniform regulations to govern the sport nationally . In essence it is one great hodgepodge of dumb rules that simply makes no sense to a layman , who takes in an interest in the sport .

Well, if this season in College Football is anything to go by , then next two weeks will either draw our angst or happiness . Just when you thought that things were following the script , somehow the complacency of the nation’s two top-ranked teams suddenly took a turn for the worst . Oregon (Ducks) and Kansas State , had their worlds turned upside down with their defeats in two games , which they were favored to win. The odds-makers in Las Vegas are obviously smiling with a great deal of joy , not that they are never smiling when they are taking money off the hands of their customers .

With Oregon and Kansas State’s demise on Saturday, rising to the top of the BCS / AP Polls , is the renowned program of Notre Dame . Not wanting to disparage the accomplishments of Brian Kelly this season , of which they are great , but if this team is now the best in the nation , albeit that they remain unbeaten at 10-0 . Then clearly , the quality of the football being played at the D1/FBS level , has markedly decline over last season. The Fighting Irish coming off their lopsided 38-0 victory over Wake Forest , have sent a message that they are back and supposedly ready to take on all-comers . Well , we shall see , when Kelly takes his team to Southern California to take on Lane Kiffin and the USC Trojans . It is pretty much safe to say that this ritual between these two-storied programs has a great deal of meaning for both sets of fans. As an outside of observer , I get it , and then I don’t ! To my mind in recent seasons , we have come to find out , how the USC Trojans were said to be operating with regard to many areas of the school’s athletics program . Anyone who believes that the rampant widespread malfeasance that took place was simply within the basketball and football programs , are clearly misguided and naïve . Granted, Kiffin has a program that has just come off massive sanctions , for having severely violated numerous NCAA rules . The fact remains that the Trojans’ head coach , has skirted and still skirts the rules , only to play the fool , by suggesting that he had not knowingly committed a transgression . Lane Kiffin , may well be considered a very good coach , but his failure to acknowledge his misplaced judgment , shows him to be a person , who simply cannot be trusted to actually tell the truth.

With a ten win season , Notre Dame is now guaranteed a BCS Bowl berth , but their aspirations lie within winning a national championship ,which would be their first since 1988 , under then , coach, Lou Holtz when they defeated West Virginia 34-21 in the Fiesta Bowl . Eleven national titles overall , but none coming during the BCS Bowl “ era” . Definitely something, that, Brian Kelly, is intent on changing this season, if he can. All of my friends, are keep college football enthusiasts , though I have no affinity for any particular program , albeit, that I reside within one of the nation’s hotbeds , when it comes to the college game, here in the state of Florida. Programs such as Florida (Gators) , Florida State (Seminoles) and the Miami Hurricanes , cast a giant shadow to an extent, over the prominence of the three NFL franchises within the state , with Jacksonville Jaguars , Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers laying claim to being the three professional teams in question.

One of the things that will arise out of the success of Notre Dame , will be the growing certainty, that one of the beleaguered NFL teams , seeking an NFL coach , is sure to make an overture to Brian Kelly , to gauge his interest in becoming a head coach in the NFL. If that were to happen , I am not so sure that Kelly would be able to turn down such an offer . OK , so there are not many bigger or more profound college football programs than Notre Dame. Yet the lure of the NFL cannot be far from the back of Kelly’s mind. It is undoubtedly where the best of the colleges who have taken that next step , have sought to succeed amongst their professional peers. Will , Kelly make that jump and forsake a program that he has successfully rebuilt , after the wasteful years under Charlie Weis ? Well that remains to be seen , but for the moment there still a regular season and a postseason foray to be dealt with .

Week eleven presented us with the good, the bad and the ugly within the NFL, and out of deference to you all , I will allow you to decide which results befits the criteria’s mentioned ! If anyone, can now justify why Andy Reid should be allowed to retain his position as the Philadelphia Eagles’ head coach , after yesterday’s debacle . Then I would like to have some plead Reid’s case for his retention . OK , so we all know, that he has been on an emotional roller-coaster ride , with regard the issues of his son, Garrett Reid , and his son’s untimely death. Yet, that should not hide the fact that this team , has been horrendous throughout much of this season . Vastly overrated , and it would appear that Michael Vick possesses the balance and poise of a newborn baby, simply stumbling to take its very first steps , the moment he has stepped onto the field of play , each time , during this season. The Eagles were the guests of the Washington Redskins , at Fedex Field , in Landover, Maryland , on Sunday afternoon. The events as they unfolded , became a clear indication , that this game would indeed be lopsided , in its manner of determining a victor .

Vick was not on the field of play, as he was subject to the league’s mandated seven-day concussion policy . The veteran quarterback along with what one could deem several key players were on the team’s injured reserve list . In no way should that excuse the Eagles’ poor play over the course of this season . As Michael Vick’s play has been on the decline for the last eighteen months , but yet it was Reid’s belief that the player was the Eagles’ best option to win . Clearly, that has not been the case over the course of this season , with franchise bearing a 3-6 record and the sole recipient of last place within the NFC East . Nick Foles , Vick’s backup was inserted into the starter’s role for this game, but his play was far from being conclusive , as to whether or not, he is seen as the long-term solution for the Eagles’ problems at the quarterback position. The Redskins’ 31-6 victory , could well have signaled the end of quite possibly both Michael Vick’s and Andy Reid’s career with the Philadelphia Eagles . There have been wildly unconfirmed but yet speculative rumors that GM, Howie Roseman , team President , Don Smolenski , in conjunction with team owner, Jeff Lurie will come to a decision concerning the futures of the veteran quarterback and the distinguished head coach. In my honest opinion , I do not believe that either the player (Vick) or Reid will be relieved of their duties before the season plays itself out ! But there are ominous signs that things are about to change for the franchise. Your thoughts on this and the Eagles bemoaned season ?

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What thoughts if any do you have concerning the salient points mentioned within this article and what of the results that took place within the world of the NFL and College Football , which to your mind was the most surprising ? Do leave a comment on this and anything else you believe pertinent to the subject matter.

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Slideshow and picture gallery for your perusal .

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(1) Sandals resort in Montego Bay , Jamaica . A luxurious resort in the Northeast of the island in one of more idyllic spots in all of the Caribbean . @ copyrighted material all rights reserved

(2) (L) Boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. poses with (M) promoter Oscar De La Hoya and (R) boxer, Juan Manuel Marquez of Mexico to promote the July 18 bout between Mayweather Jr. and Marquez during the news conference at the Hollywood Theatre in the MGM Grand Hotel/Casino May 2, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mayweather has not boxed since his bout against Ricky Hatton of England in December 2007. The long-awaited fight between Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao has yet to materialize , yet the fans are being gouged with PPV prices and rather mundane talent being exhibited in those bouts. Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images …

(3) UFC welterweight champion Georges “Rush” St Pierre, is seen here, pinning his opponent and challenger for his title , Carlos Condit . St Pierre defeated Condit in a unanimous decision , and now awaits the possible negotiation of a mega-fight with middleweight champion Anderson Silva . If as anticipated , the bout could be the biggest PPV event UFC and MMA history. This defense of the welterweight title , was as St Pierre’s ninth successful victory since gaining the UFC championship belt . The bout was the headliner , for UFC 154 staged at the Bell Center , in Montreal , Canada , home of the reigning champion . AP /Reuters / Christian Golovin ….

(4) Notre Dame wide receiver John Goodman , right, makes a catch for a touchdown over Wake Forest corner-back Merrill Noel during the first half of an NCAA college football game in South Bend, Ind., Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012. Notre Dame defeated Wake Forest 38-0 . AP Photo/Michael Conroy …….

(5) Head coach Brian Kelly of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (with towel) yells instructions to his team during a game against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at Notre Dame Stadium on November 17, 2012 in South Bend, Indiana. Notre Dame defeated Wake Forest 38-0. Getty Images / Jonathan Daniel …

(6) Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid pauses while speaking at a news conference at the team’s NFL football practice complex, Monday, Nov. 19, 2012, in Philadelphia. The Eagles are 3-7 and have lost six straight , accelerating the countdown toward the possible end of Andy Reid’s 14-year tenure as coach. AP Photo/Matt Slocum ….

(7) Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, left, is tackled by Dallas Cowboys inside linebacker Ernie Sims , defensive end Jason Hatcher and outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware in the first half of an NFL football game , Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012, in Philadelphia. AP Photo/Julio Cortez ….

(8) Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles lies on the turf after a tackle during the second half of an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins in Landover, Md., Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012. The Redskins won 31-6 . AP Photo/Nick Wass …..

(9) Sandals , Montego Bay , Jamaica . The claims that the state of Florida having the best beaches in the world are ” simply a f##king joke ” ! Clearly those claims are being made by an anally retentive as#hole , who probably has never traveled to such places as Montego Bay , Bondi Beach , Australia , Copacabana Beach , Brazil , or St Tropez ,South of France or walked on the beaches in the Turk & Caicos .

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NFL related piece : A Sporting weekend to behold , maybe

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Boxing related news

MMA related news & UFC

NHL news

NCAA Football news

NCAA Football results week 12

NFL news

NFL results week 11

NFL standings by division

A Sporting weekend to behold , maybe

A Sporting weekend to behold , maybe

By Tophatal

So here we are , week eleven of the NFL season , and for some teams , their hopes seem to have gone up in a cloud of smoke. With so many franchises in a dire situation , it is hard to envisage how the teams will somehow extricate themselves from the mess they created . Nowhere , is this more evident , than with the continued plight of the New York Jets , as from one moment to the next , the NFL’s biggest sideshow gets more comedic by the second . From unconfirmed players , being critical of backup quarterback Tim Tebow , to Jets’ head coach, Rex Ryan , trying to explain away his team’s woes , while trying to keep his own position safe . If there is one thing that you can be sure of , how Ryan handles this situation and whether or not the Jets can turn around their season , will most certainly play a part, as to whether or not, he is retained by the organization.

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Slideshow .

Indifference , stupidity , and the mere conceitedness of Ryan, and his coaching staff , has led to the Jets’ malaise . This team simply isn’t good enough to be viewed as a legitimate candidate for the Superbowl . Yet at the beginning of the season, after the acclaim thrown upon Tim Tebow , and the thought that he could contribute to the success of the franchise. There is absolutely nothing tangible to be shown , by way of anything that can be deemed a success. That is unless you would consider a 3-6 record , while sitting at the bottom of the AFC East , a sign of success , eleven weeks into the NFL schedule ? There are litany of issues that Rex Ryan has failed to address concerning the team , while at the same time the beleaguered head coach seems at a loss for words concerning the team’s continued frailties on both sides of the ball. Mark Sanchez , is having an indifferent season , completely lacking in confidence , and while there might calls for Tim Tebow to replace the incumbent starting quarterback . In reality, the young backup , as an option , does not offer the franchise the best chance of long or short-term success.

One of the more enticing games on this weekend’s schedule , is a meeting , of two of the NFL’s most successful franchises over the last decade. The Indianapolis Colts , led by the 2012 NFL Draft, number one one overall pick , Andrew Luck, will get the chance to pit himself against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots , when these two teams meet at Gillette Stadium, in Foxboro’ , Massachusetts, this upcoming Sunday.

The game itself might be considered the “heir-apparent” seeking to pit gauge himself against perhaps , the league’s best quarterback of the past decade . Brady’s resume’ simply gives credence to that fact , whereas Luck , has been exceptional this season , while leading the Colts to an impressive 6-3 start , bettered by only the Houston Texans (8-1) , within the AFC South , where the team now sits in second place . Much of the Colts’ season has been encapsulated around the untimely issues , concerning the health of what now appears to be a cancer free , Chuck Pagano . While the head coach , has been undergoing exhaustive chemotherapy for cancer of the lymph nodes , his team has set about winning games, and rallying behind his calls for “getting the job done” . So much so , that it has now become the “rallying cry” , not just amongst the players , but the entire Colts’ organization and their raucous fan-base. If Luck is able to lead his teammates to an improbable win , it would have to be viewed as one of the high points of Indianapolis Colts’ already impressive season.

There is a quiet confidence about the Colts , not witnessed , since Peyton Manning was leading the reins of this franchise to a great many of their unprecedented successes. The question now being asked , is can Manning’s successor , lead them forward, along in the next chapter of the franchise’s history ? All signs now point towards that being “ an emphatic yes , on all counts” .

The one thing that is abundantly clear about this Colts , Patriots’ meeting , and it is that the defense of the New England Patriots will be severely tested by a young and talented Indianapolis Colts’ offense. And if their previous meetings are anything to go by, these two AFC teams , will put on a thoroughly exciting display.

If it’s not broken , then why try and fix it ? However, if it is broken , then get out the brooms and “ clean house “ . You will not have to go a long way to find the sort of ineptitude now being exhibited by the Jacksonville Jaguars (1-8) , Carolina Panthers (2-7) and Kansas City Chiefs (1-8) , Cleveland Browns (2-7) and Oakland Raiders (3-6) . Far be it for me to suggest, but I believe that these teams have lost their direction , and from hereon-in. the head coaches in question, will remain on the clock, as to whether or not their tenures will last the entire 2012-13 season.

Now while the Philadelphia Eagles (3-6) have labored under the perception that they were a championship caliber team . Their performances this season , have been nowhere near, what would be expected of a championship-caliber franchise. Many of the Eagles’ issues, as their season has unfolded , lay squarely upon the indifferent and rather poor performances of Michael Vick , this season . The player has a declining —- skill-set, which has now become an embarrassment for Vick and the Eagles’ franchise as a whole. What now exacerbates this situation , has been the very fact that head coach, Andy Reid , has stood steadfastly behind in his support of Michael Vick, and his bewilderingly inept displays this season. And with each post-game interview granted by Reid , his stance has remained the same , that is until Michal Vick suffered a concussion , which forced the head coach to insert Nick Foles into the lineup, as the their game against the Dallas Cowboys ,which ended in a 38-23 loss for the Eagles. Foles did enough to suggest that for the rest of the season . he might be the person to lead this team to semblance of respectability. Things are not going to get any easier for the Eagles , they face off against the Washington Redskins (3-6) , in what will be “ a must win situation “ for both of these beleaguered teams .

As things now begin to heat up within College Football , the nation waits to see what remaining teams amongst the unbeaten , will suddenly fall flat . As we know , the Ohio State (Buckeyes) are not BCS Bowl eligible , and are not eligible for any of the postseason fare normally associated with BCS , and the plethora of games that will be scheduled. Unbeaten at 10-0 , the Buckeyes , this season , have simply played with an intensity and a purpose , as they seek to remain relevant in the world of College Football. Urban Meyer , having succeeded disgraced former head coach , Jim Tressel , will now seek rebuild and redeem the reputation of this once prestigious program. Granted, upon Tressel’s dismissal , Luke Fickle was given the position of interim-head coach , it was clear that Gene Smith , the school’s athletic director , in conjunction with university President , Dr E Gordon Gee , would seek to hire a big name coach . The two-time national championship head coach with Florida , may well have picked up from where left off , but it is clear that Urban Meyer would have relished locking horns with the likes of Kansas State , Oregon (Ducks) , or even Notre Dame during the Bowl schedule . Instead , an unbeaten season , and national acclaim is all that can be attained by the Buckeyes in 2012 .

The Buckeyes will face the Wisconsin Badgers this Saturday , in what should be a highly anticipated and competitively fought battle . During that game we should get to see if the continued hype over Braxton Miller , is indeed justified . Miller, the Buckeyes’ quarterback has simply been stellar , all season , putting up astonishing numbers , while leading this team on their unbeaten run. The player is amongst the leading candidates for this year’s Heisman Trophy , but it is unlikely that he will beat out the three perceived favorites at this juncture , and the candidates in question are Colin Klein , Johnny Manziel and Manti Te`o .

I do believe that within the world of College Football , there are some coaches you simply despise, and teams that you simply hate with such venom ! When it is all said and done , I do not think I can honestly , say that there is a program I dislike more , with such intensity , than that of Notre Dame. Granted , in the aftermath of the Penn State tragedy , and one seriously doubts , if there is a more disliked program in all collegiate athletics. Suffice to say, with all of the detailed and insidious acts perpetrated by Jerry Sandusky , it seems sheer lunacy , that those in a position of power would seek to cover up such egregious malfeasance . Yet as this all came to light , there idiots out there still trying deflect that the justified criticism not only aimed at the school , but also the now disgraced former head football coach, Joe Paterno . His actions , if nothing else , were simply beyond reason , as he tried to explain away his lack of understanding what had gone and the very fact that he should have investigated further the allegations made against his one-time assistant coach . If nothing else , for sheer incompetence , the punishment rendered against the program was more than justified . However, the legal issues , in terms of the civil suits that will be undoubtedly lodged against Penn State will further tarnish the reputation of that academic institution

As I alluded to earlier , Notre Dame is a program , that is granted far too much reverence . Much of that I believe actually stems from the fact that the school’s benefactor , none other than NBC Sports and the money simply bestowed upon the school, by way of the multi-billion dollar television contract , carries way too much sway —- within BCS circles . OK, so one could allude to the fact that this season , unbeaten at 9-0 , and ranked number three , behind number one ranked Kansas State and at number two , Oregon. . In spite of what appears to be, on the surface a terrific season, you simply cannot hide the fact that this team just isn’t that good . Their record may not bear this out but simply look at the team statistics , when adjudged against other teams at the D1 level of College Football ? Winning however, trumps everything, , and that is what the Fighting Irish have been able to do, without a great deal style or substance, and with a schedule , that one could view as somewhat embarrassing in some circles.

NBC has never been any able to disguise their partiality towards the Notre Dame program , and the very fact that the programmer’s former head of the sports’ division is a proud well respected graduate of the school , merely adds further credence to that very fact. Dick Ebersol , a now a senior consultant in an advisory role for of NBC Sports , is one of the nascent pioneers of sports’ programming, has simply corralled his superiors in making sure that the Notre Dame program’s coffers are filled annually , while fellow alumni and boosters play their part in making sure that the “ gravy train” —- remains almost unparalleled in their exercise of raising money for the school. The football program remains one of the few bright spots for NBC , in terms of it sports’ content , for prime-time viewers and ratings , as everything else within its cupboard , has become extraordinarily stale and unimaginative .

Notre Dame’s head coach Brian Kelly is fully vested in bringing about success to the program, and with it heightened recognition . As a stand-alone Independent within the conferences , the school is afforded a great deal of latitude , and with that comes the fact , that as an adjudicator in determining who plays for the BCS national title. I do believe , that certainly muddies the waters , but such is the a sway held by Notre Dame , their authority in this matter , goes unquestioned . Furthermore , by merely winning six games on their schedule in any given season , they’re automatically granted a Bowl berth , when other programs with better records and from none BCS conferences, are not afforded such a chance . Yet, there are those , who view the whole BCS system and the soon to be adopted playoff format , as being fair and equitable. That system is flawed , but moreover , it is , and has been , and will always be driven by the premise of money , and not much else beyond that ! Until the system is looked at in-depth , rather favoring a selected group of conferences and programs , not everyone will be allowed “ a bite of the apple” .

Notre Dame’s next game will be a match-up against the ACC’s Wake Forest . It will be interesting to see whether not sophomore quarterback, Everett Golson , can lead this team with any great authority . If Golson , gives a more structured performance , then all roads lead to a Notre Dame victory . On the other hand, an upset could be in the making , if for any reason , Brian Kelly’s players have any lingering doubts and become complacent , then it should be beyond the realms of probability that they could suffer their first loss of the season. It is in this endeavor , that , Manti Teo, Carlo Calabrese, Kevin Carr , and Stephon Tuitt will seek to put this game beyond the reach of the Demon Deacons of Wake Forest.

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What if anything are you most looking forward in terms of the college games and by way of those within the NFL ? Simply chime in with a comment on this , and anything else you believe pertinent to the subject matter .

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Picture and slideshow details below .

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(1) FILE – St. Louis Rams offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer , center, talks with quarterbacks Kellen Clemens (10) and Austin Davis (9) during NFL football practice, in this June 14, 2012 file photo taken in St. Louis. Brian Schottenheimer is trying to treat the St. Louis Rams’ game against his former team, the New York Jets, Sunday Nov. 18, 2012 as just another game . AP Photo/Tom Gannam …

(2) New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan walks off the field after his team lost to the Seattle Seahawks in an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012, in Seattle. The Seahawks won 28-7 . AP Photo/Elaine Thompson ….

(3) New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow heads off the field after the Jets lost to the Seattle Seahawks in an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012, in Seattle. The Seahawks won 28-7 . Tebow ran four times for 14 yards, and was 3 of 3 passing for 8 yards . AP Photo/Elaine Thompson …

(4) New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) sits on the bench near backup quarterback Tim Tebow, left, late in the second half of an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012, in Seattle. The Seahawks won 28-7. Sanchez finished 9 of 22 for 124 yards . Tebow ran four times for 14 yards, and was 3 of 3 passing for 8 yards. Those are the sort of “stats” that should get a quarterback benched , but now , idiots are seeking the insertion of Tim Tebow to be now inserted as the team’s starting quarterback . AP Photo/Elaine Thompson …

(5) FILE – This Nov. 4, 2012 file photo shows Indianapolis Colts general manager Ryan Grigson before the start of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins in Indianapolis. The Colts gave Grigson his first chance to build a team . All Grigson has done is build a masterpiece by taking chances on players who didn’t pan out elsewhere and have somehow worked out in Indy, which is 6-3 and in the playoff hunt . AP Photo/Darron Cummings …

(6) Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) throws against the Miami Dolphins during the first half of an NFL football game in Indianapolis, Sunday, Nov. 4, 2012. Luck threw for 433 yards and two touchdown passes , breaking Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton’s single-game passing record (422 yards) for a rookie ,as he led the Colts to a 23-20 win. AP Photo/AJ Mast …

(7) New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) throws during the first quarter of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012. The Patriots would defeat the Bills 37-31 to remain atop of the AFC East divisional standings . AP Photo/Elise Amendola …

(8) Head Coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes congratulates Bri’onte Dunn (25) of the Ohio State Buckeyes after he scored a touchdown against the Illinois Illini on November 3, 2012 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State defeated Illinois 52-22 . Getty Images North America /Kirk Irwin …

(9) Braxton Miller (5) of the Ohio State Buckeyes runs the ball in for a touchdown against the Illinois Illini on November 3, 2012 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State defeated Illinois 52-22 . Getty Images /Kirk Irwin ….

(10) Head coach Frank Spaziani of the Boston College Eagles walks the sideline in the second half of their game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish during the game on November 10, 2012 at Alumni Stadium in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. Getty Images / Jared Wickerham …..

(11) Head coach Frank Spaziani of the Boston College Eagles shakes hands with Notre Dame Fighting Irish head coach Brian Kelly following their game on November 10, 2012 at Alumni Stadium in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. Notre Dame would defeat Boston College 21-6 . Jared Wickerham / Getty Images ….

(12) Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson scrambles away from Boston College’s Kasim Edebali during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Boston on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012. AP Photo/ Winslow Towson …

(13) Quarterback Denard Robinson (16) of the Michigan (Wolverines) is tackled by linebacker Manti Te’o (5) of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and teammates in the first quarter of a game played at Notre Dame Stadium on September 22, 2012 in South Bend, Indiana. Getty Images / Johnathan Daniel ….

(14) NHL Commissioner , Gary Bettman ,left , is seen here with Dick Ebersol , former head of NBC Sports . Ebersol having left the program outlet , returned at the request of parent company Comcast in a senior advisory role for the sports’ broadcast division . Mark Lazarus now heads NBCSports , as Ebersol’s successor . AP Photos / Mark Shaw ….
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NFL related links: Redemption time for the Cowboys

Commissioner discusses safety in football at Harvard

Sean Payton expected to keep contract negotiations , open

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NFL news & news from around the league

NFL schedule important dates

NFL schedule week 11 & week 12 schedule

NFL results week 10

NFL team injuries

NFL transactions

NFL standings by division

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NCAA Football

NCAA Football news

NCAA Football schedule & …. week 11 results

Notre Dame football news

Ohio State football news

Penn State football news

NCAA Football standings (FBS)

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Wendy Fiore packing in a whole lot of ” goodies” into that fine a#s frame ! I like it !

Fu#k you Bud Selig , and the rest of the lying mother-f##king cronies of the Miami Marlins !

Fu#k you Bud Selig , and the rest of the lying mother-f##king cronies of the Miami Marlins !

Tophatal

It never ceases to amaze all of these pious idiots who try to suggest that the game of baseball has a redeeming quality about it ! Case in point , two prominent players (Melky Cabrera and Bartolo Colon) at the MLB level were given a mandatory 50 game suspension for deliberately running afoul of the league’s steroid policy. Yet at the minor league level of the game in the past thirty months , 186 players have been reprimanded by the league hierarchy in terms of the mandates that cover the policy in the illicit use of steroids and PED’s (performance enhancing drugs) .

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Slideshow for your perusal .

Fast forward today , and at a time when baseball should be applauding the achievements nominees for the season’s individual awards , and we are now surrounded by a moribund organization conducing their “own fire sale “ after a season of abject failure . I don’t believe that there can be any other way to explain away the abysmal showing of the Miami Marlins , after a year of high expectations , and of the monies spent on acquiring free agents by the truck load , as orchestrated by front office executives , GM Michael Hill , SVP David Sansom and team President , Larry Beinfest. Never-mind the fact that the hiring of Ozzie Guillen , was meant to send a message to the team’s fan-base that they were about to enter big-time once again. Need we also be reminded that the ball-club had opened their new state of the art 43,500 seated Marlins Ballpark , in downtown , Miami , built at the cost of some $575 million , at the taxpayers’ expense. Somehow , with a great deal of coercion by Bud Selig, and the Marlins’ front office , the city of Miami were dumb enough to fast-track the proposal , that would lead to a quickly expedited vote for the financing of the aforementioned venue. Clearly, not a great deal of thought was made when the city’s mayor Tomas Regalado and the city council thought that it would be appropriate to build the venue , with the view, that it would enrich the locale and also bring an economic boost to a blighted downtown area of Miami. If anything it has done the complete opposite, as this season the eighty-one home games of the Miami Marlins , were sparsely attended over the course of the team’s schedule.

A last place finish in the NL East with a record of 63-99, barely missing the mark of losing 100 games during 2012. This was the sort of ineptitude that the impoverished Marlins’ fans were asked to endure as Guillen spent more time making a complete ass of himself , both on and off the field of play, over the course of the season. Michael Hill, David Sansom and team owner, Jeffrey Loria , tried to maintain that degree of composure often seen in a con-man when under investigation by law enforcement , as they go about conducting an investigation into a fraudulent criminal act. . Mark my words , what was foisted upon the fans of the Miami Marlins this season , was a willful act of fraud , that it has been so egregious and unconscionable that no amount of excuses can now be made to appease the fans ,much less allow Loria and his fellow executives to obfuscate their responsibilities . As for this simplistic and damn well asinine belief, that baseball has parity . Those who believe it , are clearly delusional , and damn well don’t know any better !

Courtesy of MLB.com


Miami close to dealing JJ, Reyes, Buehrle to Toronto

Marlins would get at least seven players, nearly $160 million in payroll flexibility

By Joe Firsaro , MLB.com

MIAMI — When the Marlins hired Mike Redmond as manager last week, it opened a pipeline with the Blue Jays.

The two organizations didn’t waste much time tapping into each other’s resources.

On Tuesday night, Miami was reportedly working on a blockbuster trade with Toronto, sending off five established veterans, including Josh Johnson and Jose Reyes, while shedding nearly $160 million in payroll commitments.

Heading to Toronto would be Johnson, Reyes, Mark Buehrle, Emilio Bonifacio and John Buck. In return, the Marlins would receive shortstop Yunel Escobar, second baseman Adeiny Hechavarria, right-hander Henderson Alvarez, left-hander Justin Nicolino and catcher Jeff Mathis.

Miami also would acquire outfield prospect Jake Marisnick, who played for Redmond at Dunedin, and right-hander Anthony DeSclafani. The trade was not officially announced as of Tuesday night, but players like Johnson were informed that they were being dealt.

“I enjoyed my time in Florida,” Johnson told MLB.com. “Thank you, fans, for everything. You always supported me, and I appreciate that.”

The blockbuster deal comes a year after the Marlins underwent a rebranding — with name and uniform changes — and made major roster additions. Bolstered by revenue generated from their retractable-roof ballpark, the Marlins were the talk of last year’s Winter Meetings, signing Reyes, Buehrle and Heath Bell for a combined $191 million.

Now, all three will be gone.

Bell was the first to be sent out, when the former three-time All-Star closer was traded to the D-backs on Oct. 20 for Minor League third baseman Yordy Cabrera.

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One could see that the Marlins would bail on their season , as the defeats kept mounting up through the greater part of the year , with their being little evidence shown that Ozzie Guillen and his staff could extricate themselves out of those problems, while leading the team back to some semblance of normalcy . I have never been a great admirer of Guillen as a manager , or as a matter of fact as a human being ! He is if anything , a person who is simply bellicose , verbose and disrespectful to others , while simply believing that his behavior is called for , whatever the environment just happens to be . The fact that this hire was simply looked upon as a matter of marketing the manager to the Latino community , which makes up a prominent demographic of the Marlins’ fan-base , and it shows that the front office’s only concern was to appeal to that part of the South Florida community. Now one could question the managerial acumen of Ozzie Guillen , albeit that he guided the Chicago White Sox to a World Series championship in 2005 , with a rather lopsided series’ victory over (4-0) the Houston Astros . In the aftermath of the White’s Sox triumph , the relationship between Guillen and the team’s general manager , Kenny Williams , and team owner, Jerry Reinsdorf , would sink to new depths of sheer animosity . In part , much of this was down to the fact Ozzie Guillen sought a new long-term contract, which at the time the White Sox’s front office were unwilling to acquiesce to . Guillen would be vocal with his indifference towards both Reinsdorf and Williams , often being derogatory of both front office executives.

The fact that Ozzie Guillen’s tenure in Miami came to such an abrupt end , with the decision being made to fire the manager after such a disastrous season , can only be slightly less embarrassing than Bobby Valentine’s equally inept tenure with the Boston Red Sox. And as we have now witnessed , Valentine would seek to apportion blame elsewhere for the team’s poor showing and his lack communication with the Red Sox players . If that is not a recipe for an unmitigated disaster , then what is ?

With the departure of Ozzie Guillen , a replacement was found in Mike Redmond a first-time manager and former player with the Marlins. Beyond the recent fire sale with the jettisoning of $165 million in salary commitments , with departure of Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Emilio Bonifacio and John Buck, in exchange for Yunel Escobar , and Yunel Escobar , second baseman Adeiny Hechavarria, right-hander Henderson Alvarez, left-hander Justin Nicolino and catcher Jeff Mathis.

Miami also would acquire outfield prospect Jake Marisnick , who played for Redmond at Dunedin, and right-hander Anthony DeSclafani . The trade was not officially announced as of Tuesday night, but players like Johnson were informed that they were being dealt. As to how this will now sit with the Marlins’ who expected to see Reyes be one of the lynch pins on the Marlins’ roster alongside Giancarlo Stanton , has a number of fans wondering what the hell is now going as the roster has been systematically shredded and decimated to the degree that there are those who feel that this franchise has taken a step backwards . From a public relations’ standpoint this situation now becomes a complete nightmare for the Miami Marlins’ organization. Jeffrey Loria will have a hard time trying to sell this scenario , that the organization is now heading in the right direction, after these proposed moves .

For this once proud franchise , this has been the third such instance where the ball-club has seen fit to jettison players as a face-saving exercise and with regard to paring down salary . H D Wayne Huizenga , the franchise’s very first owner , with the Marlins’ having won the first of their two World Series crowns , would seek to deplete the roster in aftermath of their historic win in 1997 . The backlash against the incumbent owner was widespread and undeniably venomous and seething with rage. Huizenga would subsequently sell the franchise , and bow out of owning the team altogether . To parallel those moves , Jeffrey Loria , followed the same path , claiming financial hardship for the ball-club and the claims that the Marlins were hemorrhaging red ink all over the balance . Many felt that Loria’s claims were disingenuous and totally filled with falsehoods . The Marlins’ triumph in 2003 over the heralded —- New York Yankees , brought pandemonium on the streets of South Florida , and a great deal of enjoyment amongst the ball-club’s supporters at the time. Yet once again, the bloodletting began , with the front office deciding to simply jettison themselves of players they felt were superfluous to their needs .

Many of you will know, that I was once a firm advocate and an avowed supporter of the Miami Marlins , and having witnessed this franchise through their highs and lows , I became disenchanted with the disingenuous-ness of the organization ! Deceitful acts of the management, of the ball-club, lies , deceptive practices, and their business dealings with their corporate sponsors , but above all with the fans general public alike , caused me to disavow my support of the ball-club. The memories which I have of the franchise are fond ones , but they were then to be outweighed by the acts of egregious malfeasance , which all seemed to be suborned by the MLB hierarchy , as well as by several owners within baseball’s fraternity . If there is no clear leadership or oversight being shown , then what hope is there for the game of baseball , when there is a complete lack of integrity being shown by the overseers of the game ? Answers please ?

Do you believe the actions of the Miami Marlins in this instance , are good for the game ? Or do you feel that this was simply the act of brazened opportunists who were simply looking to absolve themselves from a major mistake ? By all means , do leave a comment as you see fit on this , and anything else you feel pertinent to the subject matter .

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Picture and slide show details below .

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(1) This photo combo made from file photos shows Miami Marlins players, from left, pitcher Mark Buehrle, shortstop Jose Reyes, and pitcher Josh Johnson . Miami traded the three players to the Toronto Blue Jays, a person familiar with the agreement said Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012. The person confirmed the trade to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the teams weren’t officially commenting. The person said the trade sent several of the Blue Jays’ best young players to Miami. AP Photos ….

(2) Miami Marlins new manager Mike Redmond, center, shows off his new jersey as president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest , left, and vice president & general manager , Mike Hill assist during a baseball news conference in Miami, Friday, Nov 2, 2012. AP Photo/Jeffrey Boan …

(3) FILE – In this April 6, 2004, file photo, Florida Marlins catcher Mike Redmond celebrates his team’s 4-3 win over the Montreal Expos after a baseball game in Miami. The former major league catcher was hired as manager of the Miami Marlins on Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012, to replace Ozzie Guillen, who was fired last week after a last-place finish. He spent the past two years managing Class A teams in the Toronto Blue Jays’ system. AP Photo/David Adams ……

(4) FILE – This April 10, 2012 file photo shows Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen listening to a question during a news conference about comments he made about Fidel Castro , at the Marlins Stadium in Miami. Guillen has been fired after one year as manager of the last-place Marlins, whose promising season began to derail in April when his laudatory comments about Fidel Castro caused a backlash. The Marlins announced the firing Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012. AP Photo/Lynne Sladky ….

(5) (L-R) Florida Marlins team President David Samsom , former City of Miami Mayor Manny Diaz , MLB Commissioner Bud Selig, Florida Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria and Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez attend the groundbreaking ceremony for the Florida Marlins baseball team’s new stadium on July 18, 2009 in Miami, Florida. The park is scheduled to open in 2012 and the team intends to change its name to the Miami Marlins prior to the completion of the ballpark. Getty Images North America /Marc Serota …….

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Game Rewind ………..

Game Rewind

By Tophatal

Monday morning rewind , and the NFL simply proved once again , what we all knew concerning so many of these teams . All of the hyperbole in the world cannot hide the fact that so many of these perceived franchises that had the championship caliber moniker thrust upon them . Well it certainly wasn’t warranted , for the franchises in question. The reigning Superbowl champions , the New York Giants were simply embarrassed by Andy Dalton and the Cincinnati Bengals in a game that simply defied all logic . Yet , somehow the Giants were on the wrong side of a rather embarrassingly lopsided defeat .

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For Giants’ head coach, Tom Coughlin , I am sure that he simply doesn’t want to revisit another season where his team comes under a great deal of scrutiny , as why they are once again in a November “swoon” . , as has the case in 2007 and 2011 . Granted, the team was able to recover from those meltdowns during the two seasons in question , and need we be reminded they went on to win the Superbowl , by defeating the New England Patriots , on both occasions ? There is no doubt in my mind that the Giants will make the postseason , but if their complacency continues to show , along with an uncomfortably and rather sub-par performance from Eli Manning , then, we could all be questioning the credentials of the Giants at this juncture . And for Eli and the Giants, their next test will come in a game to be played in week twelve , but week eleven, becomes a bye-week during which Coughlin and his coaching staff can go about rebuilding the psyche of the team . The Green Bay Packers will be the guests of the Giants when these two teams meet at MetLife Stadium , East Rutherford, New Jersey, on the 25th November , 2012.
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OK , so the longer the season continues to the more comical the New York Jets’ schedule has become , and one can surmise , with each idiotic statement forthcoming from the mouth of head coach , Rex Ryan , the more one has to question whether or not, Ryan can ride out this storm . Sunday’s 28-7 loss to the Seattle Seahawks at Century Link Field in Seattle , Washington , could very well make the coach’s position almost untenable , given the fact that the organization expected a great deal more out of this , rather than what is currently borne out by a team with a 3-5 record , and who are losers of five of their last six games . The team’s quarterback , Mark Sanchez , is having an indifferent season by his own estimation , and that of the fans , who expected to see a great deal more from this team. And factor in, the idiocy and stupidity of observers from afar stating that Jets’ backup , Tim Tebow should now be inserted as the starting quarterback .

It is this sort of lunacy and the fact that GM Mike Tannenbaum remains absolutely clueless in what it takes to build a championship caliber team. In reality , the Jets’ season is now a monumental disaster , with a quarterback whose confidence is completely shattered , and who now has a target of a bulls-eye embedded on his back. Anyone, who now believes that the Jets’ fans still see the former USC Trojans’ quarterback as a savior . One only has to listen to the repeated and mounted criticism that has been forthcoming by perhaps the franchise’s most famous player, Joe Namath. The Hall of Famer has berated the young quarterback for his poor play , lambasted Rex Ryan , and his coaching staff for being unprepared and uncreative . And to my mind , Joe Namath is absolutely right with his observations and criticism of this team , and anyone who believes to the contrary , is clearly misguided and delusional !

As we approach the holiday season , one of the highlights of the NFL schedule , happens to be the Thanksgiving schedule each season, and with that comes the customary games featuring the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys , as part this seasonal extravaganza . This just in, neither of these two teams have anything to offer , by an opponent being fearful of either the Cowboys or Lions this season . Both quarterbacks , Tony Romo and Matt Stafford are having indifferent seasons . Romo and the Cowboys are coming off a divisional win over the beleaguered —- Philadelphia Eagles , a team that might just be on the cusp of jettisoning head coach , Andy Reid , as well as the team’s veteran quarterback , Michael Vick .

The 38-23 loss suffered by the Eagles on their home-field of Lincoln Financial Field , in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania , was enough a clear in indicator that a 3-6 Eagles’ team, is now heading in the wrong direction. Vick suffered a concussion that will see the player miss the team’s next scheduled game against the Washington Redskins at Fedex Field , in Landover, Maryland , on the 18th November, 2012. The less said about Reid and Vick at this juncture . I believe the more we can actually make a succinct diagnosis of some of the other game that took place this past weekend !

After the Cowboys’ defeat of the Eagles, this Romo led team is still under a great deal of pressure to succeed and make the postseason. The team’s divisional rivals as detailed earlier suffered a rather embarrassing defeat at the hands of the Cincinnati Bengals , which gives Jason Garrett’s players a minutiae of hope that they can derail the ambitions of the New York Giants. The Dallas Cowboys have been far too inconsistent over the course of this season to be considered a legitimate threat within the NFC much less the rest of the NFL. Jerry Jones might not be the most respected owner in the NFL , but he is by far the most bellicose , absurd and caricatured characters in the league. His constant selling of his franchise even when they have been horrendously bad is a clear indication why Cowboys need all the publicity they can get.

The Detroit Lions to my mind have proven to be a major disappointment on a number of counts , but most notably because the team’s offense has regressed from where they were at this point last season. Matt Stafford , hasn’t been able to find his most reliable target , Calvin Johnson . And the Lions’ much vaunted defense , has been anything been extremely disappointing. Now do I believe that Jim Schwartz’s position as the head coach is jeopardy ? Well that would be dependent upon one’s point of view and whether or not you would consider a 4-5 Lions’ team as one that has under-achieved ?

The Lions will host the Green Bay Packers this upcoming weekend at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan . This will be a game that could make or break the Lions’ season , because a loss would simply derail the team’s ambitions within the NFC North . Thanksgiving Day, 22nd November will offer the fans a bumper crop of three games , with the Cowboys and Lions’ games for the day in question. Also on the agenda , the New York Jets as they take on the New England Patriots , in what should be a pivotal AFC East game between these two arch-rivals .

For the first time in four seasons there was a tied game in the NFL . The San Francisco 49ers and St Louis Rams , presented the fans and television scenario , wherein the Rams and 49ers went into overtime , which resulted in 24-24 tied event. However, what might seem all the more inconceivable was the fact that several players on both rosters were unaware that a scheduled NFL regular season game could end in a tie. Unless I am mistaken, Jeff Fisher are either that stupid or not fully cognitive of the rules, with the Rams’ having what appears to be a complete meltdown in terms of his actions in the lead-up to the end of this > NFC match-up . Chances are , as infrequent as infrequent as these events are , it begs the question is it possible for the league hierarchy to reconsider their options in such cases ? .

The constant wish for the NFL to have a franchise in the city of Los Angeles , will either become an urban legend or a reality. It has long been the desire of Roger Goodell to see this situation come about , with the league hierarchy making overtures in recent seasons with the various city administrations and the current hierarchy of Antonio Villaraigosa , the city’s mayor. The latest machination with regard to a current franchise being relocated to the nation’s second largest city , has the NFC South’s Carolina Panthers being lured to the locale. Panthers’ owner , Jerry Richardson , having seen his team struggle this season , with struggling sophomore quarterback , may well choose to make that upheaval , but believe that premise to be unlikely ! This premise may well hold true for the moment, however Villaraigosa has far more acute issues to deal with within his city, such as a massive budgetary shortfall , and growing discontent amongst his residents with regard to a decaying infrastructure. All that glitters , is not gold in the city of Angels.

If such a premise were to arise where the Panthers were to be lured away from the state of North Carolina , I don’t believe that the city of Charlotte , North Carolina , would give up without a fight , and therein too, lies the breaking of the lease agreement that the city has with the NFL franchise .

If such a premise were to arise where the Panthers were to be lured away from the state of North Carolina , I don’t believe that the city of Charlotte would give up without a fight and therein too lies the breaking of the lease agreement that the city has with the NFL franchise . One doubts that the franchise would wish to be part of a contentious piece of litigation , that could possibly cost Richardson and the front office several million dollars out of abject greed on their part . I have often heard it said , that ” money can solve all problems “ , especially when those statements are being made by naïve sports’ fans who simply have no damn idea what the hell they are talking about when it comes to such an issue. Money may well ease an issue to a certain degree , but it never truly solves an issue , because in truth it simply exacerbates a problem such as this .

Courtesy of the L A Times

Is Los Angeles flirting with Carolina Panthers ?

By Sam Farmer

November 11, 2012, 2:11 p.m.

ESPN, citing a source familiar with the discussions, reported Sunday that high-powered California political officials have been courting Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson about moving the franchise to Los Angeles.

The Panthers are one of four teams that own their own stadium, so they could move without breaking a lease. And the politicians reportedly spoke to Richardson at the recent Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., where L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was chairman of the convention.

Richardson issued a statement Sunday saying he’s dedicated to staying: “It has always been my desire that the Carolinas would be home of our Panthers. Nothing has changed. As someone who was born in North Carolina and lived much of my life in South Carolina, I hope that there would be no doubts about my personal devotion to the Carolinas.”

This is a telegraphed pass. The way for teams to fire a shot over the bow of their home cities is to bring up L.A. – or have it brought up for them. It’s no accident that in his statement Richardson doesn’t completely rule out the possibility of leaving. He leaves that door unlocked, by simply saying that it’s his desire to stay.

It’s not a coincidence that the Panthers are about to unfurl plans for a stadium renovation, and politicians in North Carolina have indicated that they’d be willing to help pay for them. What better way to firm up those commitments than to raise the possibility of a relocation to L.A.? That worked for Indianapolis, Seattle, New Orleans and others.

On top of that, Richardson is close friends with Patrick Soon-Shiong, the L.A. billionaire who is interested in buying AEG and being an owner of an NFL team playing in a downtown stadium. He has been Richardson’s guest at least one Panthers game this season.

So it’s not inconceivable for Soon-Shiong, who needs Richardson to pave the way for him with the NFL, to do the Panthers owner a solid by nudging an L.A. politician to gin up interest in Carolina’s team, even if there are other franchises far more likely to relocate.

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What could very well pave the way for the Panthers to move , would be for a one time only payment to made to the city of Charlotte , North Carolina , that would meet the cost of breaking the lease on the Panthers’ home venue , with some additional funding being thrown in by mogul Patrick Soon-Shiong , who has met privately with both Jerry Richardson and Antonio Villaraigosa. Soon-Shong , is amongst one of several interested parties (syndicated groups) seeking to buy Philip Anschutz’s media and sports’ entertainment company AEG (Worldwide) Inc., a company that owns several sports’ properties and venues globally , as well as being the owners of the Staples Center , Home Depot Center , Nokia Theater , and the ongoing developer of a commercial tract of land that formerly housed the LA Convention Center , for which there is a proposal to build a football stadium , with a view to luring an NFL franchise to the new venue. Any such relocation also , would have to have the NFL hierarchy’s blessing , of which I am sure that some owners may well disapprove , given not necessarily the complexity of such a maneuver , but the mere fact that at a time when a number of teams are said to be seeking a new venue or league assistance , it has not always been forthcoming .

Moreover , Roger Goodell , and the league itself , has sought to coerce state or municipal governments to actually spend vast sums for the benefit of the NFL’s billionaire owners , when those governmental agencies have vast budget deficit problems that remain unsolved. One simply has to look at what has taken place in the state of Minnesota , after both legislative chambers simply caved , after the undue pressure , that was brought to bear on the state House of Representatives and the Senate Legislature. Governor , Mark Dayton signed into law , a bill that would finance the building of $1.255 billion mixed commercial and residential enterprise , that would see the state’s NFL franchise , the Minnesota Vikings , have a new stadium, with the Vikings’ ownership only have to put up $165 million towards the venture . As to how this would make any sense to residents of the state, when the legislature tries to tackle a $5.3 billion budget deficit within the state . One has to truly wonder what goes on inside the heads of the legislators within the state of Minnesota , in particular Mark Dayton , himself , who originally opposed the use of state funds to build the venue in the first place. Zygi Wilf and the Vikings’ ownership simply lined up all their “ducks in a row” and then courted state legislators , backed them financially, as well as availing themselves the use of a lobbying firm to press ahead with Wilf’s agenda. There’s a sucker born every minute , but in the state of Minnesota , they come at a dime a dozen , who will simply do anything necessary to appease a billionaire sports’ franchise owner !

No slight to Scott Pioli , as I understand that the former Patriots’ front office executive wanted to make a name for himself, by stepping away from under the giant shadow cast by head coach Bill Belichick . However , since this former wunderkind departed to join the Kansas City Chiefs , in a front office capacity as the team’s general manager, success if it can be measured in any term, has been fleeting. Sitting at the bottom of the AFC West , with the league’s worst record , which they jointly hold with the equally moribund Jacksonville Jaguars (1-8) . It is now becoming easy to understand why there are mounting calls for not only Scott Pioli to be dismissed , but the entire Chiefs’ coaching staff , headed by Romeo Crennel .

To suggest that the Chiefs’ season has failed to live up to expectations , could be likened to the defeat of Mitt Romney, in the Presidential elections, as being mild . Expectations were high for the team at the beginning of the regular season , but unfortunately they have fallen flat , as the players and coaches have simply failed to perform or meet the approval of team owner , Clark Hunt , who also happens to the Chairman & CEO for the franchise. It would be safe to say, that any perceived upheaval that will undoubtedly take place , will be based upon how the team now performs over the seven remaining games on their schedule. Clearly , Scott Pioli and Romeo Crennel are on the “hot seat” , and with each passing day , their positions now appear to be untenable , because of the mounting criticism of the duo, their lack of handling in player personnel decisions. Furthermore , the situation has been exacerbated by the fact that having acquired Matt Cassel as a free agent , the quarterback having parlayed one season as a starter for the Patriots into a financially rewarding payday , and where has simply been mediocre at best in the vast majority of his starts for the Kansas City Chiefs. And if things could not get any worse , when has Cassel has been sidelined by an injury , his backup , Brady Quinn , has brought nothing to the table by way of his ability or leadership skills. This season , the Chiefs on both sides of the ball , have been horrendous , with Quinn and Cassel leading the way in turnovers, interceptions and fumbles, jointly as a pairing amongst quarterbacks within the NFL . Any reasonable individual can surmise that without an effective pass offense, the Chiefs cannot in any way survive within the NFL , in any shape or form. In this one lone category , statistically , the Kansas City Chiefs are the most inept performers in the league. And things do not fare any better for the team as a defensive mainstay where they are giving up on average 30 ppg almost 350 yards per game , and where they rank sixteenth overall , amongst the NFL’s 32 teams. Clearly , not a formula for winning in today’s modern NFL !

A recipe s for a disaster is now brewing in San Diego , after the Chargers’ 34-24 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in front a sparsely attended crowd for a game played at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa , Florida , this past Sunday. Is there anyone who now believes that Norv Turner and GM AJ Smith should be allowed to retain their positions at the end of the season , even if the team finishes with a record above . 500 ? The Spanos’ family , as owners of this once respected franchise, have simply mismanaged the organization , while leaving Smith and Turner to make some befuddling and bemusing moves , in terms of the draft and free agency transactions in recent seasons. As shocking as it might seem , Smith and Turner were allowed to remain in their current positions , in light of another disappointing foray in 2011 , with the team once again failing miserably. If this is what the Chargers’ fans will be asked to tolerate for the foreseeable future , then I for one see no sense for them to continue to support the team !

The loss places the San Diego Chargers in an unenviable position within the AFC West , a division by its lack of quality , has simply been abysmal in recent seasons. Philip Rivers , perhaps the team’s best player , I now firmly believe, has become disillusioned and repulsed by the lack of progress under Norv Turner , and that may well be true in terms of the player’s entire playing career with the San Diego Chargers. Probowl appearances , asides , Rivers has seen many of his contemporaries at the quarterback position from the 2004 NFL Draft , simply excel , while establishing themselves as champions or perennial contenders for the NFL MVP . Rivers for his part , has simply been putting up the statistics that makes him one of the more consistent performers in the league , since his entrance into the NFL , in 2004. Beyond , that , there is not much else that needs to be said concerning the player or for that matter about the San Diego Chargers , as a franchise in general. Moribund and under-achieving would be the best way to describe the organization !

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Picture gallery .

Week ten and the events that unfolded , what if anything has proven to be biggest surprise ? And at this point of the season , which teams do you feel have provided the greatest overall disappointment ? Chime in with your thoughts on this and anything else you believe pertinent to the subject matter.

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Picture and slideshow details below.

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(1) New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning is helped up after being sacked in the second half of an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012, in Cincinnati. The Bengals would go on to defeat the Giants 31-13 . AP Photo/Tom Uhlman ….

(2) Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) meets with New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) after the Bengals’ 31-13 win in an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012, in Cincinnati. AP Photo/Tom Uhlman …

(3) Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green, left, catches a 56-yard touchdown pass against New York Giants corner-back Corey Webster (23) in the first half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012, in Cincinnati. AP Photo/Michael Keating ….

(4) Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick walks towards the sidelines in the first half of an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys, Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012, in Philadelphia. AP Photo/Julio Cortez ….

(5) Magic Johnson greets Patrick Soon-Shiong during a Urban Economic Forum co-hosted by the White House Business Council and U.S. Small Business Administration . They could be partners (sort of) if Soon-Shiong and Guggenheim Partners buy AEG. Patrick Shoo-Shiong , it is being reported may well seek to make an outright bid to purchase the Carolina Panthers from owner Jerry Richardson , with a view to relocating the franchise to Southern California . Such a move, would need league approval , alongside an agreement with the Charlotte /.Mecklenburg County government , as the leasehold for Bank of America Stadium ,in Charlotte , North Carolina is owned by the municipality and leased by the franchise. That lease has several more years before it is due to expire , and any breach of that agreement would lead to severe financial penalties for the Panthers’ ownership group . Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images ….

(6) Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) is sacked by Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker Tamba Hali (91) in the third quarter of an NFL football game, Monday, Nov. 12, 2012, in Pittsburgh. Roethlisberger left the game with a right shoulder injury. The Steelers came away with a hard-fought overtime victory, narrowly defeating the Chiefs 16-13 . AP Photo/Don Wright …

(7) Quarterback Philip Rivers (17) of the San Diego Chargers runs up-field against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers November 11, 2012 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. Tampa won 34 – 24 . Al Messerschmidt /Getty Images North America ……

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Select NFL related articles : Comes courtesy of NFL.com & Profootballtalk.com

Schottenheimer might joint Chiefs as front office adviser

Vick has significant concussion

Leaving the flock: Edwards cut by Falcons in surprising move

Minnesota governor threatens to undo stadium deal

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NFL news & news from around the league

NFL standings by division

NFL standings by conference

NFL results week 10

NFL schedule week eleven

NFL stats teams

NFL stats players

NFL team injuries week 10

NFL transactions

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Carolina Panthers’ news

Dallas Cowboys’ news

Detroit Lions’ news

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Yaris Sanchez

Why am I here again ?

Why am I here again ?

By Tophatal

The sporting world has been turned on its’ ear within the past forty-eight hours , with the biggest story of them all being the firing of Mike Brown by the Los Angeles Lakers’ hierarchy led by Mitch Kupchak and the team’s Head of Basketball Operations and SVP Jim Buss . In what might not be a shocking turn of events , the decision was made to relieve second year coach of his position. Buss and Kupchak , after the departure of Phil Jackson, the decision was made to head in a new direction, in terms of a coach and in coaching philosophy. One of Jackson’s assistants , thought to have the inside track for the position , Brian Shaw , having been interviewed for the vacant position , the executives’ decision to hire Brown , a former head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers , was something of a shock, as it was solely based on the premise of Brown’s handling of LeBron James .

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Now while I am surprised by the quickness of this decision , it should not have come as a surprise, as to how this was executed , it may well have been the thing that struck the public as surprising. To my mind , this situation now makes Buss and Kupchak , a pair of blithering idiots, as they now go off running , cap in hand , seeking to gauge Phil Jackson’s interest in returning to the franchise he guided to five NBA titles , and seven Finals’ appearances over his tenure with the Los Angeles Lakers. Among the now for appearances only, interviewees Mike Dunleavy, and Mike D’Antoni, when it is abundantly clear that Jackson will be hired to succeed Mike Brown. This clearly shows the lack of insight , and intelligence shown by Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak, who merely use the Lakers’ financial resources , and legacy as a way of luring a coach and talent to become that organization. Consider, the fact that the Lakers’ history of draft choices of the past decade, have proven to be a less than bona-fide success, and in terms of the coaching fraternity , other than Jackson , their has not been a great deal of success beyond the achievements of Pat Riley over the past two decades.

The Lakers’ performances this season have been erratic and let’s just say , not in line with organization’s expectations . With the Brown’s dismissal , Bernie Bickerstaff has been promoted ,and now holds the position of interim-head coach , until a permanent successor to Mike Brown has been named . Something of a formality , given the acuteness of the situation at present .

So on the way to “Looney-ville someone decided that the time was ripe to upset the apple cart in terms of the season’s rankings within the BCS . OK, so it wasn’t that much of a surprise to see always overbearing Nick Saban brought back down to earth , with an emphatic thud. Yesterday, was to be that day , as Alabama on their home turf , were upset by Texas & AM in a rather surprising game . With that defeat , it is now clear that Alabama is liable to slide several places down the BCS rankings, and thereby , placing a dent in the national title hope aspirations .

While the paint is yet to dry , can those now making up the scrolls as to whom they deem fit to be viewed as being amongst the Heisman Trophy candidates. Is their now enough good reason to add the Aggies’ Johnny Manziel to that list ? Manziel’s display in this game was simply stunning , and perhaps impressive enough to lure a number of NFL coaches to sit up and take note . AJ McCarron , Johnny Manziel’s counterpart for the Crimson Tide , stellar throughout much of the season , had one his worst games of the year statistically. Now a season full of hope is now on the line, with questions will now be asked as why this has fallen apart for Nick Saban and the Tide.

Week ten in the NFL will offer us several enticing games to wet our appetites , while a number of those games on the schedule are a reminder why at times , we have to question the common sense being shown by the NFL hierarchy . One of the more appealing games will be a match-up of two 7-1 teams , when the Chicago Bears face the Houston Texans at Soldier Field in Chicago , Illinois , this Sunday . For quarterbacks Matt Schaub and Jay Cutler , the two players will be seeking to further enhance their success this season , while being possibly looked at as a credible league MVP. Now as good as the Texans appear to be , with a highly potent offense , and a rapidly improving defense , it has been the fact that Gary Kubiak’s team in the postseason , have yet to truly show how good they are. Last season was the first the Houston Texans made an appearance in the postseason , and what should not be lost in the midst of this all, Matt Schaub was not the quarterback , who led the team into the postseason , but Schaub’s backup , TJ Yates . Funny , this is never brought to light by those who continue to place Texans’ credentials up in lights as credible contenders within the AFC.

Would it be prudent to suggest that if the Chicago Bears fail to make the postseason, the calls for the dismissal of Lovie Smith will reach a cacophony not often associated with the Bears’ fans at large. Granted , Smith is not the only cause for concern on this team , as I truly believe that Jay Cutler , for all of the prodigious talent he shows , the underlying question has to be , is Cutler capable of leading a team deep into the postseason . These two combatants should enlighten us with a great game , and something we hope we can be entertained by.

For all those who were ready to “write off “ Peyton Manning this season , consider the fact that he has thrown for the three touchdowns in each of his last five games . Along the way, the Denver Broncos have romped to seemingly easy victories , while taking command of what has always been an impoverished AFC West division .

When the Carolina Panthers play hosts to the Denver Broncos , Manning and his teammates , will face a beleaguered Panthers’ team led by 2011 number one NFL Draft pick Cam Newton. The Panthers’ quarterback in his own inimitable way has struggled this season, while at the same time looking to distance himself from the team’s woes . Jumping to the player’s defense , has been his mentor and famed quarterback , Warren Moon , who has suggested that the criticism of his young protegé has been not been justified and bordered on being racially motivated . Warren , wake up and smell the coffee , Cam Newton , while a gifted talent , he remains an immature individual . If you want to truly witness what a racial bigot now looks like ? Look no further than the actions of Donald Trump , in the immediate aftermath in the Presidential defeat of Mitt Romney , a person who Trump staunchly supported throughout the entire election process. Now that’s a , racial bigot within the public’s midst, and apparently no one actually gives a rat’s ass concerning this all. Did I miss something here ?

If Cam Newton truly wants to set himself apart from his peers of 2011, then he ought to be applying himself to learning his craft , instead of being so bellicose and indifferent to the Panthers’ fans and public alike . The game should prove to be an offensive explosion and a nightmare for the Panthers’ defense, one of the poorer performing secondary’s in the NFL . . Everything about this game suggest a monumental blowout , and it could very well place Ron Rivera’s position as the Panthers’ head coach in extreme jeopardy and with the possibility that team owner, Jerry Richardson , may well seek a coaching change as well as a major upheaval in the team roster .

When your team just happens to be 3-5 , I think it tends to reflect how bad that team just happens to be ! However, try telling that to both Jerry Jones and Andy Reid of the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles , respectively. These two NFC East franchises will meet in a divisional game , the question arises , are the careers of Tony Romo , Michael Vick and Jason Garrett safe , should either of these individuals be on the wrong side of a loss today ? Reid, I believe could be very well on the way out at the end of the season , should the Eagles fail to garner a playoff berth ! Emotional issues asides, it is time the head coach to step aside. The team , is no longer responding to his tutelage , and it has become abundantly clear that Michal Vick , is no longer the quarterback , many believed him to be. Vick’s counterpart, Tony Romo, has simply proved that the hype surrounding an un-drafted free agent, generally reflects something , in the case of the player, it has one of hype over substance , as he has yet to win a meaningful game over the course of his career, specifically in the postseason. Care to make a prognostication concerning today’s game ?

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Picture gallery .

Are there games today, which you believe will be of heightened interest to you ? And of the events that have been mentioned , which do you believe has been the most surprising ?

Picture and slide show details below.

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(1) Los Angeles Lakers head coach Phil Jackson during Game 4 of a second-round NBA playoff basketball series against the Dallas Mavericks, Sunday, May 8, 2011, in Dallas. The Mavericks won 122-86 . AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez …

(2) LOS ANGELES, CA – NOVEMBER 9: Dwight Howard (12) and Kobe Bryant (24) of the Los Angeles Lakers cheer their teammates on from the bench against the Golden State Warriors at Staples Center on November 9, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images ….

(3) FILE – This March 21, 2012 file photo shows Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike Brown arguing a call during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks, in Dallas. A report from USA Today says the Lakers have fired Brown after a 1-4 start to his second season in charge of the team. The newspaper report Friday, Nov. 9, 2012 cited Brown’s agent, Warren Legarie , as the source of the information. AP Photo/Brandon Wade ….

(4) Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) is stopped after a first down run by Alabama defensive back Dee Milliner (28) and defensive back Vinnie Sunseri (3) during the first half of an NCAA college …

(5) Wide receiver Mike Evans (13) of the Texas A&M Aggies is tackled by corner-back John Fulton (10) of the Alabama Crimson Tide during the game at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 10, 2012 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. …..

(6) Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) gets past New York Giants middle linebacker Chase Blackburn (93) to score a touchdown won during the second half of an NFL football game , Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, in Arlington, Texas. AP Photo/Sharon Ellman ….

(7)Denver Broncos head coach John Fox , left, talks with Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera, right, before an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012. AP Photo/Bob Leverone …

(8) Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning throws a towel into the stands after the Broncos defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 31-23 in an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 4, 2012, in Cincinnati. AP Photo/Tom Uhlman ….

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NBA news & archived news

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NBA results 10th November

NBA standings by division

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NFL news & …. news from around the league

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NFL week nine results

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NFL rookie stats 2011

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NCAA Football week 11 results

The bouncing ball and the NBA

The bouncing ball and the NBA

By Tophatal

The NBA season is but a mere eight days old , and already we have seen the rise of the Houston Rockets and the effect that the James Harden trade had added excitement to this franchise . And now with it comes the expectation of tangible success , as Kevin McHale and this team are riding on the crest of a wave.

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It is still early days yet , but there are no real early surprise as the season unfolds, It is still early days yet , but what has come to the fore , have been the number players now on the NBA injury , which in certain instances will deal a great blow to the championship aspects of so many teams. As of Wednesday night, the New York Knicks (3-0) remained the NBA’s lone undefeated team , as they lead the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference by 1 ½ games over the Philadelphia 76ers (2-2). My own inclination is while the season still remains in its infancy , we are unlikely to see any real surprises . Questions will undoubtedly abound , as to how effective the rookies will be , and the sort of impact they are like to have for their respective teams. With the New Orleans Hornets’ Anthony Davis already sidelined with a concussion , it now also begs the question how safe is the game of basketball within the NBA ? This season , a strict new criteria has been initiated by the league hierarchy , which already has a number of coaches questioning the over-zealousness of the league. Hornets’ head coach, Monty Williams hinted that he was not entirely happy with the fact that Davis would have to miss two games , but also with the league’s new stance on concussions. Far be it for me to suggest , but I would have thought more prudent to err on the side of caution , rather than risk the health , livelihood and the investment placed upon a player, rather than reinserting the athlete back into a game, when he has not been fully cleared by a medical professional !

If the fast start of the Houston Rockets has come as a surprise , then most certainly the fact that the New York Knicks, apart from being unbeaten , it is the fact that the team is playing solid defense over a forty-eight minute period , and that they are doing so without the aid of Amare’ Stoudemire , who remains sidelined by an injury. In Stoudemire’s absence, others have stepped up to the plate , to aid Carmelo Anthony in the team’s offensive productivity , while Tyson Chandler leads the defensive efforts on this roster. It seems somewhat idiotic at present that there would be calls for Amare Stoudemire to be traded at this point of the season , when the trade deadline is not until early February , but there is a thought that the return of the power forward would upset the cohesive flow of the team. Clearly, head coach, Mike Woodson at present, is unwilling to address the issue , while the front office led by GM Glen Grunwald remains mute on the subject. Any proposed trade of Stoudemire to begin with , is littered with pitfalls , as the player is still owed in excess of $62 million over the three remaining years of his existing contract. The sheer idiocy of the fans and analysts alike , who raise such a premise , when having no full knowledge of the inner workings and the business side of the NBA, is a clear indication , as to why this country finds itself in such an economic mess . Sheer stupidity, not only runs amok within the federal government , but also within a large majority of a clueless sporting public , whose IQ is barely above that of a gnat.

So all is not quite right in ‘La-La Land , as the beleaguered Los Angeles Lakers (1-4) now find themselves at the base of the Pacific Division , looking up at divisional leaders , the Golden State Warriors (3-2), who are followed by the Los Angeles Clippers (3-2), Sacramento Kings (2-3), and Phoenix Suns (2-3), in that order . With all of the hoopla made after the big splash with the Lakers’ acquiring two-time league
MVP
, Steve Nash and three-time Defensive Player of the Year , Dwight Howard , all the elements were said to be in pace for this team to be dominant within their division and the Western Conference. An out of shape, Dwight Howard reported for duty , chiming in that he was ready to bring a great deal of success to a franchise that has simply known nothing but success for the greater part of its existence. Nash, the “ ageless wonder” , remains sidelined by a leg injury (leg contusion & swelling of the knee) that is taking longer than anticipated to heal.

If there is said to be one coach who will be under a great deal of scrutiny this season , then it will have to be Mike Brown of the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers’ issues last came to light , with the team’s dismissal in the 2012 NBA Playoffs , by the Oklahoma City , who would go on to be the 2012 Western Conference champions , and losing finalist to the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals of last season. That disappointment spoke volumes as to the deficiencies of the team in 2012, and why GM Mitch Kupchak and Lakers’ SVP, Jim Buss made the decision to revamp the roster . Success, and by that I mean the Los Angeles being viewed as a perennial contender and going deep into the playoffs , is the deepest desire of the owners of the franchise, with the ultimate goal of being crowned NBA champions.

Kobe Bryant , seasoned veteran, current face of the franchise , and elder statesman of the team, still remains eager to win , and like his younger counterpart LeBron James . That appetite, and zeal to be viewed as amongst the very best to have ever played the game, winning multiple titles , remains at the forefront of their reasons to be playing, and entertaining the fans. Between the pair, Bryant and James have won six NBA titles , four league MVP awards , and three NBA Finals’ MVP awards , and Olympic gold , representing Team USA at the Olympics.

What we have witnessed from the Lakers through their first five games , have been the defensive deficiencies of the team . Mike Brown’s failure , and that of his coaching staff , in trying to instill this trait in his players , has been the primary reason behind many of the Lakers’ lackluster performances this season . Metta World Peace , one time Defensive Player of the Year, has lost a considerable step or two , as a defensive stalwart, and as an offensive presence. While I have always been a great admirer of the Los Angeles Lakers from afar , I now get the feeling that as Kobe Bryant approaches the twilight of his career , this franchise will simply lose traction as a perennial contender for postseason honors ! When Kobe has an off-night, there is no one , that you could actually point to , and state categorically , that player will actually lead by example and pick up the slack. If you clearly believe that I am wrong in that context , then clearly state your reasons why ?

As an impassioned fan of the San Antonio Spurs , it is my hope that the team will have learned profound lessons from their experiences of last season , and specifically from the events that led to their ouster in the conference finals to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Gregg Popovich , remains the quintessential coach , admired by his peers and fans alike. Popovich , is amongst the four current head coaches in the NBA, with an NBA title on their resume`. Rick Carlisle , Erik Spoelstra , Doc Rivers , and the current Spurs’ coach , are the only individuals with that distinction currently coaching in the NBA. It certainly now gives credence as how thin the current makeup of the coaching fraternity just happens to be within the NBA. And one should consider the following of the twenty-two NBA finals decided since 1990 , fifteen of those finals have dominated by the presence Phil Jackson and Gregg Popovich , finally holding aloft the Larry O’Brien Trophy at the culmination of those Finals. What says about the dominance of these two individuals as NBA head coaches , certifies the fact, that both will be future inductees into the Basketball Hall of Fame .

The knock against the San Antonio Spurs in recent seasons , is the very fact that , Tim Duncan , Manu Ginobli and Tony Parker are getting old , and have lost a step or two . Last I looked , this trio, as part of this franchise, are one of the nascent reasons behind some of the Spurs’ most historic moments ,while along the way , since the triumvirate have been together , they have guaranteed the fact, each year over the past decade ,with the exception of the curtailed seasons , they have finished with an above .500 record and have averaged 50 plus wins in each of the seasons mentioned . No other franchise in NBA history can match that feat , in having established such a run.

The makeup of the Spurs’ roster this season , is a blend of youth and experience. Team GM, R C Buford , team owner,Peter Holt and Popovich have established a successful franchise, that still remains the envy of the NBA . . Buford through judicious choices in the NBA Draft , and making the most of the free agency market over the years has been able to assemble a roster that he and Popovich believes will be competitive over a long and arduous season. The team’s choice in this year’s Draft was Marcus Denmon , taken as the 59th pick overall in the third round of the NBA Draft by the Spurs. Denmon is likely to spend some time in the NBA Development League , honing his game before that expected call-up to contribute as a starter on the team. Marcus Demon will be assigned with the Spurs’ D League affiliate , the Austin Toros . Taylor Jenkins and his coaching staff will seek the young rookie’s skills , as they have previous done with DeJuan Blair , Gary Neal and Tiago Splitter , players who are currently on the Spurs’ roster, and proving to be invaluable assets for the team this season. If the team is to prevail over the course of the season , then it will be incumbent for the Spurs to get consistent performances from their heralded trio , as well as from the role players on the roster.

Defending NBA champions , the Miami Heat are the prohibitive favorites to make a successful defense of their title . And it is hard to against the grain , when you consider how talent laden that roster now happens to be. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade , Chris Bosh and Ray Allen , not only add versatility to the makeup of that team , on the bear face of it this might just be a better roster than the Heat team that decisively defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder. . Head coach , Erik Spoelstra , under the watchful eye of his mentor and team President , Pat Riley have molded a resilient team of seasoned veterans with a splattering of youth . Now with their being repeated conversations, that the team is capable of surpassing the Chicago Bulls’ 72-10 record , from their championship winning season of 1995-96 . Are we as such putting the cart before the horse ? Now as good as this Heat team might appear to be on paper , does anyone truly believe that with LeBron James leading this roster , they would be able to challenge that Bulls’ mark ? Never mind the fact that the quality of the rosters then and now would have to be taken into account . What thoughts if any , do you have on the matter ? ? People also seem to be forgetting how dominant that Michael Jordan led team just happened to be , and that is with no disrespect to this current Miami Heat team. . I do believe that the Miami Heat can make a serious assault on that record , but in the end they are liable to fall short .

There seems to be this continued asinine assignation within the world of sports that municipalities are there to provide the billionaire and multimillionaire owners with the facilities needed to house their various sports’ franchises. Nowhere is this more prevalent than each of the four major professional sports __ specifically within the NFL , NBA and Major League Baseball . And along with it comes this apathetic absurdity of the fans who believe it appropriate that municipalities’ resources , be used to build such venues . Someone needs to ask Michael Bloomberg , if he still believe it was money well spent , in spending $775 million to build Citi-field , home to the New York Mets , a venue that in 2012 was never filled to capacity for any of the team’s home games . In light of that, we now have the continued idiocy of what has been an ongoing situation in Sacramento , California between the city , led by its mayor and former NBA star Kevin Johnson , as he tries to appeal to sense of fairness , from the egotistical traits of Joe and Gavin Maloof , co-owners of the Sacramento Kings’ franchise .

Groveling , as Johnson has been repeatedly doing , as he has not dealing from a position of strength , shows he, and the city of Sacramento , to be in a desperate situation . What might be even more unpalatable about this unsavory affair , is the very fact that the Maloofs have been duplicitous during this whole episode , while David Stern monitors this all from afar. One should remember the events now taking place , are almost an exact repeat , in the chain of events in Seattle that led to the departure of the then, Seattle Supersonics , who, having been purchased by Clay Bennett , were relocated to Oklahoma City. It should be remembered , at the very beginning David Stern and the owners promised that the franchise would not be moved outside the confines of Seattle . Yet lo and behold once the powers that be in Oklahoma City, threw its hat into the ring , with a sweetheart deal of deferred taxes for the proposed new franchise (Oklahoma City Thunder) , all bets were off with the city of Seattle . It should be noted that the commissioner interjected himself in the midst of those deliberations , repeatedly siding with Clay Bennett , rather than being an impartial bystander . A $25 million payout was made to the city of Seattle , and off went the Sonics, to their new-found home. The rest as they say is history , with a forlorn city left with nothing but a white elephant , that once housed an NBA franchise .

For the city of Sacramento, with its own budgetary woes , as the nation is in the midst of an economic blight , shows a lack a of unpreparedness , initiative but above all a complete lack of common sense on the part of the leadership hierarchy of the city, itself. If Johnson feels that his city should be using their much-needed resources to aid a billionaire family such as the Maloofs , without their being any reciprocal offer from the franchise , then whatever the fallout may well be from this all , it will not be of any benefit to the city, while it remains in the midst of a financial crisis of its own making , and further looking to embarrass themselves and their residents, with their continued groveling and ass kissing of Joe and Gavin Maloof. The Sacramento Kings have been hemorrhaging red ink all over the damn place , as this once proud franchise has become a comical caricature of sheer incompetence while being completely mismanaged both on and off the field of play. There is no accounting for apathy or stupidity, but it now apparently, is the norm within the city of Sacramento, amongst its politicians and most certainly amongst the fans, as they consider being screwed over repeatedly by the Sacramento Kings’ ownership group. Couldn’t happen to a bunch of more misguided souls !

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Picture gallery.

At this point of the NBA season , what if anything has been the biggest surprise to you ? And which teams do you believe will be amongst the league’s big contenders over the course of this NBA schedule ? Chime in with a thought as you see fit .

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Picture and slideshow details below.
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(1) Houston Rockets’ James Harden (13) is fouled by Denver Nuggets’ Kenneth Faried (35) in the second half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, in Houston. Denver won 93-87 . AP Photo/Pat Sullivan …

(2) New York Knicks’ Rasheed Wallace (36) celebrates with Tyson Chandler , right, at the end of the third quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, in Philadelphia. The Knicks won 110-88 . AP Photo/Michael Perez …

(3) PHILADELPHIA – NOVEMBER 5: Carmelo Anthony (7) of the New York Knicks shoots against Dorell Wright (4) and Thaddeus Young (21) of the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center on November 5, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images …

(4) The Knicks’ Amar’e Stoudemire , left, smiles along with Raymond Felton during Media Day at the New York Knicks training facility in Greenburgh, N.Y. Monday, Oct. 1, 2012. AP Photo/Craig Ruttle ….

(5) FILE – This July 11, 2012 file photo shows Los Angeles Lakers head coach Mike Brown, left, and owner Jim Buss laughing during a news conference at the basketball team’s headquarters in El Segundo, Calif. A report from USA Today says the Lakers have fired Brown after a 1-4 start to his second season in charge of the team. The newspaper report Friday, Nov. 9, 2012 cited Brown’s agent, Warren Legarie, as the source of the information. AP Photo/Reed Saxon …..

(6) Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak talks about the NBA basketball team’s firing of coach Mike Brown, during a news conference in El Segundo, Calif., Friday, Nov. 9, 2012. Assistant coach Bernie Bickerstaff will coach the Lakers against the Golden State Warriors later Friday while the club’s top brass searches for Brown’s replacement. AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes …

(7) In this photo taken Oct. 21, 2012, Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant passes the ball as a fan holds up a sign regarding Lakers coach Mike Brown during the second half of a preseason NBA basketball game against the Sacramento Kings in Los Angeles. The Lakers fired Brown on Friday, Nov. 9, 2012, after a 1-4 start in his second season in charge. Prior to the start of the preseason , former Lakers’ great , Magic Johnson , indicated that the the franchise needed to win and win big this season , as Mike Brown would be under an all too public microscope, because of the mere fact that was thought to be a deeply talent laden team . Looks can be , oh so deceiving , and the Los Angeles are simply proof of that . With the rumors now seeming to foment that Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak will seek to gauge former head coach Phil Jackson and his interest in returning the team, that he guided to five NBA titles during his tenure with the Los Angeles Lakers . AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill …

(8) Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) looks for an open teammate past Brooklyn Nets guard Joe Johnson (7) during the first half of an NBA basketball game , Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, in Miami. AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee …

(9) From left to right Joe Maloof , Sacramento mayor , Kevin Johnson and Gavin Maloof , are seen here prior to an NBA game in 2011 . The Kings’ ownership and the city of Sacramento are in the midst of what best can be described an acrimonious deliberation process concerning the retention of the franchise and the building of a multimillion dollar facility in a joint public and private enterprise partnership for the Sacramento Kings. At present the franchise plays in the Power Balance Pavilion Arena in downtown Sacramento , California . The venue is now twenty four years old , and in need of a major upgrade, however, the franchise ownership group is unwilling to pay for the renovation in partnership with the city. AP Photo / Mark Hall ….
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NBA related links : Kings reportedly talking to Virginia governor about relocating

Pacers’ Granger has knee procedure , to miss three months

Monty Williams fined over remarks on concussions

Lakers’ guard Blake fined $25,000 by league

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NBA posts within this site & NBA pieces

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NBA news & …….. archive news

NBA important dates

2012 NBA Draft

NBA schedule 9th November

NBA results 11/08/2012

NBA standings by division

NBA standings by conference indicating margin differentials

NBA transactions

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NBA team valuations’ list

NBA top salaries

NBA team salaries

NB: Note there is a ‘ soft salary cap’ mandated by the league hierarchy of $58.044 million for the 2012-13 season

NB: At the time of my beginning to compile this article , I was not aware that the Lakers had just fired the team’s head coach Mike Brown , after franchise’s disastrous 1-4 start to the season . For more details on the story please click on the links provided below.

Los Angeles Lakers news & news features

Lakers’ news courtesy of Yahoo.com

Lakers fire Mike Brown after 1-4 start

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Hot chic pic of the day Tahiry Jose`

16-0 is nice, 19-1 is considered great, but 20-0, is damn brilliant!

16-0 is nice, 19-1 is considered great, but 20-0, is damn brilliant!

Well as the Atlanta Falcons (8-0) move towards securing a place in NFL history , the detractors and supporters, wishing to see a “ perfect season” , are already out like a predatory group of carnivores , ready devour their prey. Head coach Mike Smith and his coaching staff will seek to impart some wisdom into his team, as they embark on the second half of their season. The Falcons have handily dispatched a number of their opponents on the early part of their schedule with some ease , while not being severely tested to date.

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Slideshow for your perusal .

Falcons’ owner Arthur Blank has presided over the renaissance of this franchise after the unholy tenures of former head coaches , Jim Mora Jr , and Bobby Petrino. Less we forget also, Blank had to deal with the unsavory antics of Michael Vick and the odious group of anally retentive individuals , who simply jumped to the player’s defense because of his ethnicity, rather than dealing with the heinous crimes of Vick , and the fact that he repeatedly lied about his involvement in an illegal gambling ring, as well as the torturing and killing of canines in his keep , which he used as fighting dogs. As to the idiocy of the suggestion that dog-fighting was part of his familial environment growing up as a youngster , it is simply utter bullshit ! The player, knew right from wrong, and simply made a decision to profit financially, from those misdeeds. His subsequent incarceration at a federal facility and release , has seen the return of Michael Vick to the playing field , though not necessarily for the better , as can be evidenced by his inconsistent displays this season as the Philadelphia Eagles(3-5) have faltered and stumbled this season. As things now stand for the franchise , this might just be the waning moments in the careers of Vick and the team’s head coach , Andy Reid.

GM Thomas Dimitfroff and team President Rich McKay have steadfastly brought construct this team through free agency and through the NFL Draft. And these players have excelled this season for the Falcons , as the team has made the NFC and the NFC South their own , over the course of the season. What has really piqued the interest of most fans this season , has been the play of team quarterback Matt Ryan . With Ryan’s play , the benefits have been numerous for the offense and most notably in the pass offense of the Atlanta Falcons . The beneficiaries of this all , have been Tony Gonzalez, Michael Turner , Jacquizz Rodgers , Harry Douglas , Roddy White , and Julio Jones. And this offense, has become one of the most efficient and prolific in the NFL this season . It should be noted also , the team defense ranks in the top ten , in points allowed per game.

At this time of the season each year , over the past few seasons where there has been an unbeaten team at this point , there is the tendency to compare that team , with the 1972 Miami Dolphins, that went 14-0 during the regular season , and then triumphed in the Superbowl (SBVII) , to set the precedent of being the only undefeated team during the regular and postseason in NFL history. The moment that this scenario has arisen for teams that have embarked upon this journey , the greater there happens to be a heightened interest in not only on the team , but also several of the players and the coaching staff, in question. The indelible mark left on us all , after the New England Patriots’ memorable march in looking to assail the Dolphins’ mark in 1972 , still resonates with many, In 2007, Bill Belichick led the team to an unbeaten 16-0 , regular season record. In achieving that feat, the franchise became only the second franchise in NFL history to go through entire regular season , as an unbeaten team.

Having earned the number one seed within the AFC , which gave Tom Brady and his teammates a bye in the first round of the playoffs of that season . The Patriots would systematically march through divisional round , with an efficient 31-20 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars , with the AFC championship against the San Diego Chargers , starting off as something of a chess match , before New England’s offense seemingly took charge of the game. A berth in Superbowl 42 (SB XLII) against the New York Giants , with NFL immortality , said to be awaiting the New England Patriots , should they prove to be victorious . As we now know , things are not necessarily written in stone , during which one’s fate is said to be determined. Highly favored, as the Patriots were said to be, the script was flipped, as the Giants showed their determination and resilience in upending the New Patriots , hoisting them on their backside, and soundly beating the favorites, in thrilling fashion . That defeat and the bitter taste that came with it, has pretty much cemented the fact that, the Patriots went in complacent and too cocksure of themselves. The fact that in Superbowl (SBXLVI) would be a repeat meeting with again almost the same result , ended whatever thoughts Bill Belichick may well have had to redeem himself and the franchise , was sealed with an error laden display by the New England Patriots . A cautionary tale for any franchise, now going deep into the postseason with an unbeaten record.

As much as a story about an unbeaten team heightens the interest of the NFL fans in general, but for the Atlanta Falcons on paper at least their schedule does appear to be looking somewhat easier. Having defeated the Dallas Cowboys in week nine, with a convincing a 19-13 victory, that lead this team, as they now seek their tenth consecutive win of the season. The next game on Atlanta’s schedule will be a divisional match-up against the New Orleans Saints to be played at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome , in New Orleans, Louisiana , this upcoming Sunday, 11th October,2012. Previous meetings between these two franchises have proven to be high-scoring affairs , with a great deal offense being provided by both teams. As I alluded to earlier, Atlanta’s schedule does look a little pointed in their favor , and if they should prevail in Sunday’s meeting , then the anticipated second meeting which takes place in week thirteen in Atlanta , Georgia , at the Georgia Dome, should prove to decisive. Beyond that, the only other game that is likely to be a stern test for the Falcons would be a conference match-up on the 16th December ,2012 in week fifteen against the reigning Superbowl champions, the New York Giants.

While I see nothing wrong in chasing after NFL history , one thing has become abundantly clear , is the very fact that complacency tends to set in with a number of teams who go through a multi-game unbeaten streak . Are the Atlanta Falcons good enough to make a legitimate run , and quite possibly equal the regular season feats of the Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots ? Well that is now open to a great deal of conjecture and speculation. From my own perspective, I would rather witness the Falcons lose a regular season, go into the postseason with a single-minded approach, with a goal to achieve , rather than have that mountain of expectation being heaped upon this team’s shoulders !

The departure of Scott Pioli from the New England Patriots, to fill a similar role as the general manager of the Kansas City Chiefs , was a position I felt that was filled with so many dangerous pitfalls. Upon his arrival , Pioli simply went about revamping the roster and drafting rather judiciously , with a view to building the franchise to be competitive in the future. Two years removed from his arrival, Scott Pioli and the Kansas City Chiefs, are a downtrodden organization that is simply bereft of ideas, creativity , both on and off the field of play. And did I mention that this team is 1-7 , stands at the bottom of the AFC West along with possessing the worst record in the NFL alongside the Jacksonville Jaguars ?

Head coach, Romeo Crenel and Pioli pinned their hopes on a quarterback in Matt Cassel , who simply had one breakout season in 2008 , when he under-studied for an injured Tom Brady. And based upon those displays , Cassel was able to garner himself a multi-year contract , signing as a free agent with the Kansas City Chiefs , having been acquired in a trade and then be offered a six-year $62.5 million contract by the organization. I do believe that someone was shortchanged in this deal! It is hard to envisage where the Chiefs now go from here with their being mounting speculation as to the impending futures of Scott Pioli and Romeo Crennel. Pioli, the wunderkind , who worked in conjunction with Bill Belichick to bring about a great deal of success that has been attained by the New England Patriots , as the ” Midas Touch” , has now been lost by the young general manager.

Looking at the Chiefs’ roster , one could readily identify perhaps one or two play-makers on that team . In reality , however , the cupboard looks extremely bare in terms of the franchise’s long-term future , and that is in spite of the draft policy of Scott Pioli , this season and in previous seasons . . Dwayne Bowe, Jamaal Charles , Peyton Hillis , Shawn Draughn, Dexter McCluster, Jon Baldwin , Derrick Johnson , Eric Berry , Justin Huston and Tamba Hali , will each have to contribute a great deal more than they have been doing , if the Chiefs are able to redeem their season. And if you thought things were about to get easier for Romeo Crennel’s players , well this weekend , they will be the guests of the Pittsburgh Steelers (5-3) , in a game to be played at Heinz Field, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania ,. There may well be a great deal still to be played for by this franchise , such as self-respect, and a competitive attitude , but above all , to simply indicate to the fans by the players , that it is not their intent to give up on the season. OK, so the presumption could be made, that the Chiefs may seek to “tank” the remainder of their schedule , in order to go get the number one overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft , which could prove to be productive , by producing a bountiful crop of extremely talented players. At this juncture who knows what may be lingering with regard to the mindset of the Kansas City Chiefs’ front office ?

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Picture gallery.

As an NFL fan , do you believe that the Atlanta Falcons can remain unbeaten over the course of their remaining schedule ? If so, do state the reasons why. Likewise , if you feel that they will suffer a loss , which team do you believe will be the one to inflict that defeat ? In your own estimation , what do you believe has been the biggest hindrance for the Kansas City Chiefs this season in terms of their play ? Do take time offer up a comment on this and anything else you think relevant to the subject matter.

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Picture and slideshow details below .

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(1) Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) throws under pressure from Dallas Cowboys nose tackle Jay Ratliff (90) during the first half of an NFL football game , Sunday, Nov. 4, 2012, in Atlanta. AP Photo/Rich Addicks …

(2) Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett reacts during the second half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta, Sunday, Nov. 4, 2012. Atlanta won 19-13 . AP Photo/Chuck Burton …

(3) Atlanta Falcons’ Julio Jones (11) tries to run past the grasp of Dallas Cowboys’ Gerald Sensabaugh (43) during the second half of an NFL football game in Atlanta, Sunday, Nov. 4, 2012. Atlanta won 19-13 . AP Photo/Rich Addicks …

(4) Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez (88) makes a catch as Dallas Cowboys safety Gerald Sensabaugh (43) defends during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 4, 2012, in Atlanta. AP Photo/Rich Addicks ….. (5) Head Coach Mike Smith , right, and owner and CEO Arthur Black of the Atlanta Falcons look on during opening day of training camp on August 1, 2009 at the Falcons Training Complex in Flowery Branch, Georgia. Getty Images North America / Kevin Cox …

(6) In happier times , Michael Vick is seen here with Atlanta Falcons’ owner Arthur Blank . The two at the time , it was thought had a healthy and respectful relationship. Unbeknownst to us all , it would then unravel with a web of lies and egregious acts of deceit by the player ,as his involvement in an illegal gambling ring and his presiding over an illegal dog-fighting enterprise came to the fore . Vick having gone to trial , pled guilty and was incarcerated in a federal facility . The resumption of his career , came as a backup to Donovan McNabb , with the Philadelphia Eagles . AP Photo / Bruce Welch …

(7) Kansas City Chiefs’ general manager Scott Pioli , is seen here with the team’s head coach Romeo Crennel , on the field at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City , Missouri. The team is off to a disastrous 1-7 start this season , and questions abound , as to whether or not the head coach and general manager can survive this season , serving in their current capacity within the organization . AP Photo / Chris Rogers ….
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NFL related links :

NFL news Source Yahoo Sports

Kansas City’s Quinn out again with concussion

Bengals try end slump against another Manning

Surging Colts show up in prime time

😉

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NFL news & —- around the league

NFL schedule week 10

NFL week nine results

NFL standings by division

NFL transactions

NFL team injuries

Atlanta Falcons’ news

Kansas City Chiefs’ news

New England Patriots’ news

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Hot chic pic of the day . Ayesha Mathis

Sports can be such a barbaric business ….. In baseball there are still lessons to be learned …

Sports can be such a barbaric business ….. In baseball there are still lessons are to be learned

by Tophatal

I’m not so appreciative of this nonsensical notion that we can continue to abide by the idiocy that the government knows best . I mean by 11.00PM EST , Tuesday night , we should know whether or not the incumbent , Barack Obama will have done enough to retain his position as the President of the United States. His erstwhile opponent , self- styled businessman Mitt Romney , whose claims as to his financial acumen are almost as robust as his apparent knowledge of the country’s foreign policy , which in truth has been non-existent for over four decades . I’m no great admirer of Barack Obama or Mitt Romney , and be truth be known I find that both main political parties to be just as disingenuous as the other ! The Democratic and Republican Party would rather “ browbeat” the electorate into believing their opponent just happens to be a monstrous demagogue . Make of it, what you will.

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Slideshow.

OK, so the MLB season has ended , we have a new World Series champion , as the San Francisco Giants have won their second world title within the past five years. Heroics asides, the effort put forth by the Giants’ opponents , the Detroit Tigers , can be best described as being anemic . It is one thing to be swept, as the Tigers were , but for this team not to show up for any of the four games in question , simply adds insult to injury . Bud Selig , may well have felt happy with his new revised playoff format. In essence, by comparison the divisional and championship series were far more entertaining than baseball’s postseason finale, itself. Bruce Bochy , comes away with title number two, legacies were further added for the Giants’ franchise and now the Bay area of California becomes the epicenter of the baseball world. Sorry New York (Mets & Yankees), and that is even light of Superstorm Sandy , my condolences , all the same . Now the bloodletting begins as teams seek to offload many of those ridiculous contracts and unproductive players that slighted their ambitions. And for the general managers within the game , the question could be asked , have the majority of them truly earned their money ? Brian Sabean has excelled over the past few seasons , while acknowledging the franchise’s success would not have come about , without the largess of team owner , Bill Neukom , and his syndication of partners. Baseball franchises when ran , as a business enterprise, can indeed have an incredible amount of success , commercially , as well as competitively. More often than not, the team owners are simply running these franchise purely as a form of opulent pleasure , fully aware of the fact that their losses can be written off legally as a tax based incident against another business enterprise .

As an avid Atlanta Braves’ supporter, this was something of an emotional season for the team and franchise as a whole. Having made the postseason, their foray was short-lived as they were summarily dumped from the extravaganza. Chipper Jones bade farewell , with his usual aplomb , while being acknowledged by the fans of the game. Next stop, Cooperstown, New York, one would hope, at least . As much of a disappointment as it was to see the Braves bow out in the wildcard divisional round of the postseason, it was an even bigger disappointment to know that Jones’ postseason would come to such an abrupt end . I am sure that Chipper Jones will take his place alongside many of the Braves’ all-time greats , as it is an honor that is so “ richly “ deserved .

Frank Wren , general manager of the Atlanta Braves , along with team manager , Fredi Gonzalez and his coaching staff , must now spending this off-season assessing the needs of the team , as they seek to become a real competitive force in 2013. With the abundance of free agents having declared their status , it remains to be seen whether or not the Braves will seek to delve into that particular market , beyond re-signing the club’s own free agents they deem to be a necessity to the franchise’s ambitions and long-term future. And though this organization does not have to operate on a shoestring budget by way of the team’s payroll , the troubling issue facing the Braves, is that as salaries escalate to ridiculous highs , they are either forced to overpay for talent that isn’t significantly better than what they already have at their disposal.

Pitching is at a premium , and there are several marquee free agent pitchers that are there to be picked up for a nominal fee. With sports agents such as Scott Boras , hovering like vultures flying over the entrails of the dead carcass of an animal, this will be one of the many scenarios that will be played out during this baseball off-season. Amongst the Atlanta Braves’ free agents , upon which decisions will have to made , are the following players, Michael Bourn, Jeff Baker, Miguel Batista , JC Boscan , D J Carrasco , Chard Durban , Eric Hinske , Reed Johnson , Peter Moylan, Lyle Overbay, David Ross and Ben Sheets.

While I have felt that pitching was prevalent for the Braves to succeed , but the offense and specifically the hitting was something that I felt could be more beneficial for the team and organization as a whole . At times, the team struggled in close games and it factored into a number of the Braves’ losses during 2012. Freddie Freeman , Dan Uggla , Jason Heyward , Martin Prado , Michael Bourn and David Ross , were major contributors the franchise during the season.

The Braves’ salary commitments in 2012 , came to $97.5 million , but with their being a march to what Frank Wren states will be prudent financial responsibility on the part of the organization, that figure is liable to be pared down in the coming season, unless there is a necessity to go after a major free agent , without being forced to break “the bank”. Turner Field /Fulton County Stadium , in Atlanta , Georgia, remains one the bastions in terms of heralded ballparks in the game of baseball. It should come as no surprise the MLB hierarchy of baseball , is seemingly at a loss as why there is seems to be no restraint concerning the gratuitous spending by the teams. Bud Selig is clearly at a loss , but considering the fact as the game’s highest ranking executive, you would have to be angered by the fact that the commissioner earns in excess of $25 million a year , which would rank Selig’s salary amongst the ten highest paid players in the game of baseball. Personally , I would like pose the question to the commissioner and ask him “ when, and how will he seek to have baseball’s teams become financially responsible rather than capricious in their spending” ? what now, becomes of the game as we know it?

After a tumultuous season, during which the Tampa Bay Rays fell out of contention , for an AL wildcard berth . The real issue beyond failing to make baseball’s postseason fare was not only a big surprise, but once again, it heralded in the continued questions as what direction this franchise now happens to be heading in ? Care to proffer up your thoughts on the matter? Rays’ manager Joe Maddon, the consummate master of the understated, was able to do a miraculous job , as he has always done, since he succeeded Lou Piniella as the team’s manager.

Stuart Sternberg , team owner and GM, Andrew Friedman now have the unenviable task of making the decisions , as to which players they feel will be superfluous to their needs . Amongst the players currently on the Rays’ roster now declaring free agency are BJ Upton, Jeff Keppinger, Carlos Pena , Kyle Farnsworth , Joel Peralta , J P Howell , and Luke Scott.

We are constantly reminded that the Tampa Bay Rays are a small-market team, with limited resources, and a payroll , that is amongst the lowest in all of baseball. These are one of the many constant reminders that so many of the impoverished teams within the game, for which there does not appear to a clear answer. The fans may well feel slighted by what has taken place during this season, but what is becoming transparently clear, while the Rays struggle to be competitive. There is a great deal of false bravado amongst the approximately 15,000 hardcore fans of the franchise, and not the figures claimed by baseball’s hierarchy in terms of the team’s home games’ attendance in 2010 , 2011 and 2012 . In this past season the Tampa Bay Rays ranked fourteenth out fourteen of the AL teams within the game of baseball . Yet this constant idiocy remains , concerning the franchise “if we build it, they will come” . Well, how the hell can that be, when for the team’s home games there is barely anyone in attendance at Tropicana Field , in St Petersburg, Florida,. ? Never-mind the fact that , it will the resources of a municipality’s resources that will be used to build the venue that the ownership desires without any financial commitment being forthcoming from Stuart Sternberg or his partners. But somehow the anally retentive fans within the community as well as the blithering idiots of the local sport’s media market will continue with their asinine suggestion that this is the best step forward for the franchise , with the building of a multimillion dollar state of the art venue for the Tampa Bay Rays. Somehow the issues that have befallen both the Miami Marlins and New York Mets are not lessons that the anyone seems to have learned from , as how not to conduct your business operations . The Marlins’ unquestionably, one of the biggest failures of 2012, now finds the city of Miami under investigation by the US Justice Department for how the financing was raised , and whether or not there was undue coercion by the franchise and MLB hierarchy , forcing the city council in passing their finance bill , that brought about the final seal of approval for the now, $575 million 34 ,000 seat venue , known as Marlins’ Ballpark , in downtown, Miami. As we know the Mets were another of baseball’s teams that failed to live up to expectations , with a high-priced payroll at the start of the season , and little to show for it all , by way of the team’s performances over the course of the season. Citfi-Field became an elephants’ graveyard, and the Mets’ home performances left a somewhat bitter taste in the mouth, if you just happened to be a fan of this ball-club . Bud Selig and Jeff Loria, owner, of the Miami Marlins have refrained from answering questions when approached concerning this matter , leaving it up to the public to speculate on what may well have taken place , as this whole episode was enacted .

New York Mets’ team President , Sandy Alderson, J P Riccardi , SVP, co-owners, Saul Katz and Fred Wilpon , seem to be at a loss for words , as to how best to rectify the numerous problems the Mets now face from a competitive and financial standpoint. The franchise barely escaped by the skin of their teeth in a legal suit wherein , claimants who lost billions of dollars in the “ Bernie Madoff” scandal , sought to recoup $1.6 billion from co-defendants Saul Katz, Fred Wilpon and the New York Mets’ franchise, who profited and received an estimated $1 billion , as part of that now infamous scheme. The defendants claimed that there was never any wrongdoing on their part, albeit, that there was enough evidence to suggest that there were certain executives within Katz and Wilpon’s investment vehicle , Sterling Equities , who knew otherwise and chose to hide those facts from the public as well as the claimants’ legal representatives. The matter was settled out of court with the defendants paying a reputed $ 175 million to fulfill the claims. That figure seems somewhat ludicrous as a final settlement , but it somehow has brought this baseball franchise even closer to a financial precipice , which the front office has now began to acknowledge. What this now tells us , as to how baseball from an economic standpoint conducts its business , can be seen as another lesson as to why this game fails so miserably as an entrepreneurial enterprise , when you simply peruse the financial statements of baseball’s thirty teams. Do bear in mind also, that for many of the teams in question, profitability comes by way of an assist from baseball’s hierarchy , by way of its asinine tax sharing revenue scheme, which is meant to aid the game’s small market teams.

As a keen observer of the Tampa Bay Rays, how the front office now deals with the off-season by way of the decisions to be made , will actually go a long way in not only determining this team’s future but also indicating whether or not they remain a viable competitive force within the game. From my own perspective, as long as Joe Maddon remains a part of this organization , it is an added advantage they have over their opponents . Yet , there is now some indication to suggest that not only is Maddon feeling somewhat frustrated , but so too are a number of the franchise’s so called diehard fans , because of the lack of real commitment that has been forthcoming from the ownership. A patron once suggested , that the Rays cannot simply go out and spend money , but more to the point the question I feel that ought to be asked , when have the Tampa Bay Rays truly made a big splash in acquiring a player , let alone paying the “big bucks” for one to begin with ? So that point, now becomes, mute in terms of that patron’s assertion.

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Picture gallery .

What if anything do you hope to see come out of the baseball off-season by way of undoubted trades that will take place ? And do you believe that baseball has done enough to get its financial house in order? Simply state your reasons as what you see as being currently beneficial within the sport economically and what you think has been a great error in judgment by the league hierarchy .

Picture and slideshow details below.
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(1) San Francisco Giants pitcher Sergio Romo holds up a flag during the baseball team’s World Series victory parade, Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012, in San Francisco. AP Photo/Jeff Chiu …

(2) San Francisco Giants players pose for photographs after a ceremony celebrating the baseball team’s World Series victory at City Hall in San Francisco, Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012. AP Photo/JeffChiu …

(3) SAN FRANCISCO, CA – OCTOBER 31: San Francisco Giants Sergio Romo holds the World Series Trophy as singer Tony Bennett sings “I left my heart in San Francisco” during the Giants’ victory parade and celebration on October 31, 2012 in San Francisco, California. The Giants celebrated their 2012 World Series victory over the Detroit Tigers. Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images …

(4) SAN FRANCISCO, CA – OCTOBER 31: The Mayor of San Francisco Edwin Lee (R) presents the key to the City to San Francisco Giants President and CEO Larry Baer (L) during the Giants’ victory parade and celebration on October 31, 2012 in San Francisco, California. The Giants celebrated their 2012 World Series victory over the Detroit Tigers. Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images …..

(5) A triumph for the ages, as teammates , Sergio Romo (left), and Buster Posey , realize that the San Francisco Giants have just won game four , and with it, the ball-club’s second World Series’ title in four years. San Francisco Giants celebrate after the Giants defeated the Detroit Tigers, 4-3 , in Game 4 of baseball’s World Series Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, in Detroit. The Giants won the World Series 4-0 . AP Photo/Patrick Semansky …

(6) Officials stand in the center of the field as fans throw trash during the eighth inning of the National League wild card playoff baseball game between the Atlanta Braves and the St. Louis Cardinals, Friday, Oct. 5, 2012, in Atlanta. The Cardinals won baseball’s first wild-card playoff, taking advantage of a disputed infield fly call that led to a protest and fans littering the field with debris to defeat the Braves 6-3 . AP Photo/Todd Kirkland …

(7) (C) Chipper Jones (10) of the Atlanta Braves walks to the dugout before taking on the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Wild Card playoff game at Turner Field on October 5, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia. ….

(8) Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon gestures as he answers a question during a season wrap-up news conference , Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012, in St. Petersburg, Fla. The Rays’ season ended Wednesday with a 4-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles. AP Photo/Chris O’Meara ….

(9) Andrew Friedman , right, Tampa Bay Rays executive vice president of baseball operations, gestures as manager Joe Maddon looks on during a season wrap up news conference, Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012, in St. Petersburg, Fla. The Rays’ season ended Wednesday with a 4-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles. AP Photo/Chris O’Meara ….

(10) Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Wade Davis leaves the clubhouse after packing his belongings, Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012, in St. Petersburg, Fla. The Rays’ season ended Wednesday night with a 4-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles. AP Photo/Chris O’Meara …

(11) Sept 28, 2011; Miami, FL, USA; Florida Marlins new manager Ozzie Guillen (left) and owner Jeffrey Loria (right) during a press conference before the game against the Washington Nationals at Sun Life Stadium. Guillen was fired after the Marlins’ disastrous season that saw the franchise miss the postseason , having finished with a sub.500 record and at the bottom of the NL East standings for 2012. Behind the scenes , Loria has come under increasing suspicion, as to his actions , intertwined with those of Commissioner Bud Selig into coercing the city of Miami , concerning how the votes were secured with regard to the bond issue which facilitated the building of the Miami Marlins Ballpark , in downtown Miami. The cost of the 34,000 seat facility , is a reputed $575 million , for which the residents of Miami are entirely on the hook for , should the city not be able to pay off the debt financing instrument , inclusive of principal and interest. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE ……

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NB: Baseball related links .

Deal done : Big Papi in Boston for next two years

Trout, Bourn, Braves top Wilson defensive awards

Can a rough October hinder payday for free agents?

Giants don’t plan on relaxing, eye repeat in 2013

😉

Baseball posts within this site : Tophatal’s baseball pieces

A tale of one city but two teams that now seem to be at a loss

Giving it one last try

Atlanta Braves’ related pieces

Tampa Bay Rays’ related pieces

Desperate measures call for desperate remedies , in desperate times

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MLB news

MLB transactions

MLB free agents

MLB team payrolls (2012)

MLB important dates

This week in baseball history

2012 MLB postseason schedule

2012 World Series

AL & NL pennant series

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Atlanta Braves news ….. & …. Braves’ press releases

Atlanta Braves head-to-head results (2012)

Atlanta Braves’ 2012 results overview

NL East final standings (2012)

Atlanta Braves revenues & profitability
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Tampa Bay Rays’ news

Tampa Bay Rays head-to-head results (2012)

Tampa Bay Rays’ 2012 results overview

AL East final standings

Tampa Bay Rays’ revenues & profitability

MLB team values

MLB team payrolls

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Hot chic pic of the day , actress, Jennifer Lawrence

Something old, something new, something borrowed though not necessarily blue ….

Something old, something new, something borrowed though not necessarily blue

By Tophatal 2012/11/04 4:45:52 PM (EST)

Today, in an NFC conference game , the Carolina Panthers are the guests of the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland. The match-up pits the top two picks from the 2011 and 2012 NFL Draft , in Cam Newton , and Heisman Trophy winner, Robert Griffin III. Newton this season has been inexplicably poor in his play , whereas, his Redskins’ counterpart , Griffin has been excelling in the environment of the NFL .

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The two players are seen as part of the NFL’s rich future , as seasoned veterans such as , Eli Manning , his brother Peyton, Drew Brees , Tom Brady , Aaron Rodgers , Matt Scab , Joe Falco and Matt Ryan have established, or are seeking to establish themselves in the upper echelons of the game , in the positions they currently play. And during this decade we might just be witnessing some of the best play possible of this or any other era during which the NFL has become known as the Superbowl ”era”

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Cam Newton, if he is to be seen as a leader of this Panthers’ team , then beyond his poor play , he will undoubtedly have to show a great deal more maturity than he has been currently showing. Granted, when you are playing on a 1-6 team , as Newton has been , there is not a great deal of positives that can be taken away from those experiences . And for head coach , Ron Rivera , the most exacerbating situation facing him , has been the fact that his quarterback become so inconsistent , while his game has regressed to such a level, that there is a feeling that without some real guidance , Cam Newton’s career in the NFL could very well be short-lived.

Robert Griffin III, for his part, has brought back the excitement long sought by the Redskins’ franchise. Thankfully, the team’s offensive coordinator, Kyle Shanahan , has not found a way to mess a good thing up , as Griffin has excelled while leading this Redskins’ team . Head coach, Mike Shanahan, might well be coaching the “ best pure talent”, he has coached over the course tenure of his career , with the exception of Hall of Fame quarterback , John Elway. High praise indeed, for a young quarterback who has exhibited all of the prerequisite abilities that Shanahan and GM Bruce Allen sought , when they made him their number one pick in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft. If the previous meetings of the Panthers and Redskins are anything to go by , then Sunday afternoon’s game should prove to be an explosive and offensive laden treat .

There are two games played during week nine , which I firmly believe will determine the seasons of the quartet of teams involved ! The New Orleans Saints play host to the Philadelphia Eagles at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome , in New Orleans , Louisiana, in Monday night’s game. There are constant excuses being made by fans and analysts alike concerning the inconsistent and poor play of not only Michael Vick , but also the team as a whole . Foreseen as what was said to be a legitimate contender within the NFC , the Eagles have been anything but that, over the course of the season , as they have seemingly struggled to find a footing and some semblance and consistency to their game. While everyone, may well feel compassionate towards head coach Andy Reid, after the death of his son, Garrett Reid, there can be no denying that the coach has done an exceptionally poor job in his capacity as the head coach , in the preparation of his team this season.

In the case of the New Orleans Saints, it has been the team’s off the field issues that still remain in the spotlight. And just when you thought that things could not possibly get any worse for the franchise , it has been made public that Commissioner Roger Goodell, has voided the contract of head coach Sean Payton , making the beleaguered and suspended Saints’ employee a free agent at the end of this season . It would appear in the way the coach’s contract was worded , made it ambiguous and most certainly in the view of many , by no way a legally binding contract given the stipulations in the contract’s details. What might be more asinine concerning this all, is the very fact, that all NFL employee contracts as it relates to NFL personnel , has to be approved by the commissioner’s office. In light of this , one might ask who within Roger Goodell’s office gave this deal , their “final seal of approval” , if not the commissioner himself ? It has been bad enough to witness Goodell’s handling of the Saints’ bounty scandal , and the now laughable assertion and notion that by the commissioner recusing himself from presiding over the appeals’ process of the four players embroiled in and at the center of the ongoing controversy , by inserting Paul Tagliabue into the mix , this now makes things better. It is clear that Roger Goodell’s comprehension of the “rule of law” has nothing to do with the law itself , but more to do with his hanging on to his considerable power and influence within the NFL. The idiocy however, is the very fact that the team owners have continued to back Goodell’s play. And the last time I looked , the commissioner was not holding a good hand in terms of his risky stake of poker here or determinedly sheer lunacy , as he seeks another PR win , after some highly debatable and embarrassing losses suffered by the league hierarchy.

At this point , it would be realistic to suggest that Sean Payton will remain with the New Orleans Saints , because of the extremely amicable relationship that he has with the team owner , Tom Benson , but specifically with the team’s quarterback, Drew Brees. The duo of Payton and Brees are the primary reasons why the Saints were victorious in their 31-17 Superbowl victory over the Indianapolis Colts in 2009 , after an entirely exciting 2008 season , in which we witnessed the franchise reach unprecedented heights , as the city of New Orleans and the state of Louisiana sought to recover from the after-effects of Hurricane Katrina . In 2012, and we are witnessing an entirely different set of circumstances concerning the Saints , as they have simply labored along while becoming one of the league’s more erratic teams, as evidenced by their results . A loss on Monday for the Saints , would do a great deal more than simply stall their season’s ambitions , as I do not believe they can be taken as a legitimate contender for the Superbowl this season. There has been far too much off the field drama , and it certainly hasn’t helped with the high-wire circus act, concerning Joe Vitt and Aaron Kromer sharing the head coaching responsibilities , while Sean Payton serves his year-long mandated suspension.

Atlanta Falcons’ head coach, Mike Smith has got his team off to an unbelievable start as they remain undefeated at 7-0 , which just happens to be the franchise’s best start in their history. When the Falcons host the beleaguered Dallas Cowboys in NBC’s Sunday night coverage , we should get to see whether or not Matt Ryan can lead the team to a league leading eighth victory .

Jerry Jones , the ever colorful owner of the Dallas Cowboys has done more to hype up the Cowboys than anything than is said to have taken place on the field of play from the team this season . At 3-4, a mark which they currently share with the Philadelphia Eagles , the franchise currently sits in second place , behind the NFC East leading New York Giants (6-2) . There is no denying that the team has under-achieved , while the knock remains , can Tony Romo lead a Cowboys’ team deep into the postseason, much less win a meaningful game during the NFL’s postseason fare ? While that conversation remains a “water cooler” topic and a continued point of many heated debates , and the Cowboys quarterback’s career will continue to be defined by that one premise alone. In my honest opinion, the judgment of many has simply been clouded by the fact that Romo plays for this renowned franchise. The giant shadow, cast by the careers of Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach have pretty much shown us that Romo still two giant pair of shoes to fill. The pressure is being brought to bear upon the shoulders of not only Tony Romo, but also the team’s head coach Jason Garrett. And you can bet , the speculation will arise concerning whether or not Jerry Jones would be bold enough to seek out Sean Payton, to gauge his interest in returning to the Dallas Cowboys. Prior to being hired as the head coach of the New Orleans Saints , it should be remembered that Payton served as the quarterbacks’ coach and offensive coordinator , while serving under , then coach Bill Parcells . It would not be remiss to suggest that in the ensuing years since the departure of Parcells , there have been some extremely lean years for the Dallas Cowboys .

You can fool some of the people some of the time you can’t fool all of the people all of the time . They may well have started fast out of the gates this season , but there’s now a reason why the Arizona Cardinals have fallen down back to earth with an emphatic thud . Now losers of three straight, Ken Whisenhunt now has to deal with a team that is bereft of an identity, and the lack of real presence at the quarterback position. John Skelton and Kevin Kolb , have proven to be not exactly the pick of the litter, in terms of the options at Whisenhunt’s disposal. Neither player has commanded the position with any great authority and it has been inconsistency or injuries to both , that has pretty much summed the team’s woefully inept season. Somehow , Kolb was able to parlay several makeshift games whilst on the Eagles’ roster to avail himself with an audacious and preposterous 6 year $63.5 million deal , of which $12 million was guaranteed money . Whatever was going on inside of the Cardinals’ front office at the time to suborn this idiotic offer , simply explains another reason why this franchise has been in the wilderness over the past few seasons. GM , Rod Graves , must now feel that the contract offer to Kevin Kolb has been a monumental waste , not that Skelton has been a considerable success for the Arizona Cardinals this season .

Today, like any other day, that has the Cardinals on the field of play and somehow they once again failed miserably , in a giving a rather lackluster display against the Green Bay Packers , when the two met at Lambeau Field , in Green Bay , Wisconsin . Don’t let the Packers’ 31-17 victory fool you , as the margin of victory could have far greater , than is reflected on paper , as a matter of record. It is my belief that Ken Whisenhunt’s position as the head coach of this franchise will be in jeopardy , should he not be able to turn things around in a timely manner. Guess what, nine weeks in , and Cardinals’ record of 4-5 simply reflects what this team just happens to be. Sub .500 , and it is not exactly going to get any better at this juncture .

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Picture gallery.

Week nine , what if anything has been of the biggest surprise you in the games played and about to be played on this schedule ? And which of the current head coaches do you believe will be in jeopardy to take the fall at season’s end? Chime on this, and anything else you believe to be pertinent to the subject matter.

Picture, and slideshow details below.
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(1) Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy , left, hits Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III and is charged with a roughing the passer penalty during the first half of an NFL football game , Sunday, Nov. 4, 2012, in Landover, Md. AP Photo/Nick Wass ….

(2) Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, left, greets Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III after an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 4, 2012, in Landover, Md. The Panthers won 21-13. AP Photo/Richard Lipski …

(3) Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid speaks to the media after NFL football practice at the team’s training facility, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012, in Philadelphia. AP Photo/Matt Slocum …

(4) Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick throws a pass during NFL football practice at the team’s practice complex, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012, in Philadelphia. AP Photo/Matt Slocum …

(5) New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) is hit as he throws by Denver Broncos defensive tackle Kevin Vickerson (99) in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game , Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, in Denver. AP Photo/David Zalubowski ….

(6) In a moment of levity Dallas Cowboys’ head coach Jason Garrett is seen here with team owner Jerry Jones . Team owner , Jones, knows that should the team fail this season , to make the NFL postseason , then questions will arise concerning not only the future of the franchise but also the long-term future the head coach , and the team’s Probowl quarterback Tony Romo . A great deal is riding on tonight’s game against the Atlanta Falcons . AP Photo /Mark Hall …. ….

(7) NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is seen here with his predecessor Paul Tagliabue . The commissioner has recused himself presiding over the appeal’s process for the four NFL players embroiled in the Saints’ bounty scandal . Tagliabue has been requested by the NFL to preside over the hearing , but the NFLPA (Players’ Union) seeks an injunction stopping this procedural hearing , questioning Tagliabue’s impartiality in this whole process. When asked why the league had not sought to utilize the services of a Federal Court judge concerning this matter , Goodell was essentially non-committal and non-responsive . AFP/REUTERS / Max Averill …

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Looking for a few good men ………

Looking for a few good men

By Tophatal

It’s getting somewhat serious as the MLB off-season reaches its crescendo with a number of teams looking cement their rosters through free agent acquisitions. Nowhere has this been more self-evident than with the upheaval taking place concerning the Los Angeles Angels , with the front office seeking to rid itself of a number of high-priced unproductive players on their roster. Manager, Mike Sciocsia , after what was a tremendously disappointing season , must have been in agreement with the decisions made by GM, Jerry Dipoto , and owner Arte Moreno to make these changes .

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Once a stalwart on the team’s pitching rotation , Ervin Santana was traded to the Kansas City Royals , within the AL Central. And given the issues of that organization over the past few seasons , it would be hard to see how much of an improvement Santana would be able to provide to a team that has labored with so many problems beyond their pitching within the AL . Dan Haren, once a prominent starter with the Angels , was due $15.5 million for the upcoming season , but the decision made by the organization to buyout his contract for a mere $3.5 million, allowing Haren to become an unrestricted free agent. In a turnaround the Angels , then made the decision to trade the pitcher to the Chicago Cubs in exchange for Carlos Marmol .

How the Los Angeles Angels seeks to rebuild their roster during this off-season , should give us a clear indication as to the direction they seek to take. Mike Sciocsia’s players were never truly in contention for the AL West throughout much of the season , having fallen by the wayside. Ultimately, that situation would prove fortuitous for the Oakland Athletics, as they prevailed in supplanting the Texas Rangers as the AL West champions in 2012. Far be it for me to suggest, but the Rangers having led the division for one hundred and seventy-eight days of one hundred and eighty-seven days of baseball played over the 162 game schedule. It was simply exacerbating to see the Rangers wilt under pressure as they fell to the A’s in their final game of the season, thereby allowing Bob Melvin and his players to celebrate their first divisional title in several years. That situation, left Rangers’ team President , Nolan Ryan and GM Jon Daniels looking for answers , as to the reasons why the team failed so miserably in 2012. One of the biggest decisions the front office will have to make, concerns the future of outfielder Josh Hamilton. It should come as no surprise that the player will undoubtedly become one of the biggest and most prized marquee free agents during the off-season, should the team choose not to re-sign Hamilton. A long-term deal is being sought by the player , but it appears doubtful that the Texas Rangers would seek to offer the player an eight or ten-year deal , as is being sought. All evidence points to the fact , that anything short of decade long $260 million deal would fall short of what Hamilton seeks. That type of contract would place the player in the upper echelons of being one of the highest-paid players within the game of baseball. It remains to be seen whether or not the Rangers will seek to meet the demands of the player’s agent , whatever those terms might be.

St Louis Cardinals’ hitting coach, Mark McGwire , has informed the organization that he will be leaving the team, vacating his role, to take up a similar position with the Los Angeles Dodgers.We all knew that the Dodgers’ intent was to spend at will , in order to be competitive , and this was borne out in their commitment to trade for the Adrian Gonzalez , Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett , and thereby committing themselves to $265 million owed to the three players. Dodgers’ managing partner, Mark Walter, Head of Baseball Operations, Stan Kasten and Magic Johnson and GM Ned Colletti are keenly aware as to what the fans’ expectations were this past season and this upcoming season. Don Mattingly , the team’s manager knows , he has a roster built to win now, but having fallen way short in 2012, questions now abound as to what happens next? Trying to figure out as to what McGwire can offer a team , that once they hit their stride are as talented offensively , as any other team within baseball. Personally, I am not so sure what the former slugger can now seek to pursue from this all, other than to suggest that this is simply a progression for Mark McGwire , as he not only seeks redemption for his past indiscretions , but also some semblance of respectability, as he seeks to move up the managerial ladder.

After a disastrous season in 2012, the Boston Red Sox rid themselves of Bobby Valentine , and hired former pitching coach, John Farrell , at the time , manager of the Toronto Blue Jays. To listen to the explanation of GM Ben Cherington explain the reasons behind Valentine’s firing , was akin to listening to a child claim why he failed to listen to a parent ,when told not to disobey a direct order. In truth, much of the blame for this malaise was not solely because of Valentine’s incompetence , but also, the sheer stupidity shown by Red Sox team President , Larry Lucchino , in overriding the general manager’s decision to hire a manager who was simply “ full of air” , rather than managerial acumen.

One of the big decisions by the organization by the Red Sox was to re-sign DH, David Ortiz , to a two-year extension that will pay Ortiz $26 million , with an additional $ 4 million in incentives , making the deal worth $30 million. The slugger , proved to everyone during 2012 , why it is , that he is one of the franchise’s most productive players over the course of the team’s history, putting up stellar numbers , albeit that he missed several games to due to a litany of injury woes. As to whether or not the Red Sox can see Ortiz season highs in 2013 , wherein we will also more productive numbers from Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia, along with several of the other seasoned veterans on this roster. There is no denying that beyond a lack productivity in producing runs, it has been the team’s pitching that has been woeful over the past two seasons. Whether or not, Ben Cherington will seek additional pitching strength, by pursuing a top-flight free agent pitcher to complement a rotation led by Jon Lester and Clay Bucholtz , remains to be seen. However, there is the belief that the franchise’s farm system and top prospects will bear a treasure trove of top-notch pitching talent.

We may not have liked what we witnessed during the 2012 World Series , but there is no denying that Pablo Sandoval and his teammates raided and laid the cupboard bare when they marched through the postseason like a panzer movement of sheer precision , showing grittiness and determination. What might be even more astounding is the very fact that the Detroit Tigers, as the AL pennant winners were so listless , on their way to being swept 4-0 in such a lopsided series. Sandoval was named the Series’ MVP , allowing Bruce Bochy , his managerial staff to come away with the franchise’s second World Series’ crown in four seasons. Giants’ owner Bill Neukom and GM Brian Sabean , I believe will simply be prudent and make the decisions the feel best , in bolstering the team’s roster as they have done so often in previous seasons. There is a reason why the San Francisco Giants were dominant this season , and much of that came by of this team’s determination and their “never say die attitude”. Unfortunately, that was not seen the vast majority of teams within baseball over the course of this season.

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What thoughts if any do have concerning the points raised within this article ? And do you believe that the San Francisco Giants can be dominant once again in 2013 ? Or will be there another team either within the AL or NL,that can overcome the current World Series’ champions?

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(1) Ervin Santana (54) of the Los Angeles Angels reacts after he was replaced by a relied pitcher against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on August 21, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts. Jim Rogash / Getty Images North America …

(2) File-This Feb. 29, 2012 file photo shows pitcher Dan Haren of the Los Angeles Angels baseball team. The Los Angeles Angels have agreed to trade Haren to the Chicago Cubs for closer Carlos Marmol . The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Friday Nov. 2, 2012, because the deal had not been completed yet. AP Photo/Morry Gash ….

(3) Mark McGwire (right) is seen here in the dugout with manager Mike Matheny , far right during a game played at Busch Stadium , St Louis, Missouri during the postseason . McGwire has revealed that he will be leaving his position as the Cardinals’ hitting instructor to take a similar role with the Los Angeles Dodgers . One would assume that the former player , sees this as the next step , in what he hopes will lead to managerial career within the game . AP Photo/ Mark Thompson …

(4) FILE – In this Aug. 14, 2012, file photo, Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine, right, talks with, from left, Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz and first base coach Alex Ochoa in the dugout before a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles in Baltimore. Valentine told NBC’s Bob Costas in an interview Tuesday, Oct. 23, that Ortiz spent more time than expected on the disabled list then returned to it after playing one game when the team made a major trade that signaled it would not compete for a postseason berth. AP Photo/Nick Wass …..

(5) Los Angeles Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti , left, presents Carl Crawford with his new Dodgers jersey, during a news conference at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Friday, Oct. 26, 2012. Crawford was acquired by the Dodgers in August from the Boston Red Sox in a trade, along with players Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, and Nick Punto . AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes ….

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Hot chic pic of the day Laeann Moss .

The Ball is in your court ……

The Ball is in your court …..

By Tophatal

The NBA season hit its stride with an opening night schedule , which the defending champions the Miami Heat , open up the defense of their title , also with the members of the team receiving their NBA championship rings. LeBron James the reigning MVP and Finals’ MVP, will almost certainly be looking to make successful defense of their title. James along with new teammates, Rashard Lewis , Ray Allen , joining Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade to what on paper looks to be an already formidable lineup .

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Tuesday night , the Miami Heat played host to the Boston Celtics in their season opener at the AA Arena in Miami, Florida. Heat executives, Micky Arison, and team President ,Pat Riley, have assembled a roster , that they believe will be successful , over the course of this season, with the ultimate goal of making a successful defense of the NBA title. Considering , that there has not been a back-to-back winner of the title, since 2010 , when the Los Angeles Lakers made a successful defense of the NBA championship won, previously in 2009. Complacency might be the only thing standing in the way of the Miami Heat , in defense of their title , although there is a common belief that the team they defeated in last season’s finals will seek to redeem themselves. Head coach, Erik Spoelstra , I do not believe will be susceptible to such an inclination, albeit that the Oklahoma City Thunder , in spite of their being a minor shakeup in their starting lineup , with the loss of the James Harden , via a trade to the Houston Rockets. How the Thunder’s Rockets’ fans may now feel about the loss of Harden, will obviously be dependent upon how they view the start of the team’s season and how the players acquit themselves in such an instance. GM , Sam Presti and head coach, Scott Brooks were forced with a situation where it came down to what was best for the organization . As a small-market franchise , with a limited revenue streams , the franchise was less committal in granting Harden’s wish for a sizeable contract. The vast majority of the Thunder’s financial commitment in team salary , was in fact tied up in the team’s two best players, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. James Harden has since signed a five-year $80 million contract with the Houston Rockets , to be on a team, whose ascent within the NBA is not seen as something that sees the franchise being sought and thought of as legitimate contender this season for the NBA title.

The Houston Rockets’ GM Daryl Morey’s wish, if anything, is to create more of an offensive minded team, but I do not believe that this current roster is simply good enough to even be considered amongst the elite teams within the NBA ! And the team’s opening game of the season , and their convincing victory over the Detroit Pistons , may well go a long way in convincing the fans that this might have been such a bad move after all , in acquiring James Harden.

Don’t look now, but something is not so right in “ Tinseltown” , with the Los Angeles Lakers getting off to an 0-2 start to their season . Mitch Kupchak, and Jim Buss , simply wanted to make a big splash in off-season , and that they did , with the acquisitions of Dwight Howard and Steve Nash . Whether or not the Lakers’ non too fickle fans are amenable to such a lackadaisical start to the season , remains to be seen. For head coach , Mike Brown , should this team stall , and simply not find flight , then his stay in the “city of Angels” , could very well come to an abrupt end.

The Los Angeles Lakers were the guests of the Portland Trailblazers in a game that pitted a new look Blazers roster and a coaching staff led by Terry Stotts . In a game of contrasting styles , it was the Trailblazers who dictated the pace against a lethargic Lakers’ offense and defense in transition. And though Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard , led all scorers with a combined 66 points , for the Lakers in their second successive loss of the season. It was Nicholas Batum , LaMarcus Aldridge , Wesley Matthews and Damien Lillard , who led the way for the Traiblazers , as they knocked off their Western Conference counterparts 116-106 . The Lakers’ scheduled event, will see them take on the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center , which will be a home game Lakers who share the venue with their namesake. The series’ meeting between these two historic franchises is somewhat lopsided, with the Lakers leading the Clippers 143-49 , in their one hundred and ninety-two meetings.

Steve Nash may well have to miss the game due to a bruised right knee and contusion of his right leg. In what was hoped to be a classic match-up of two of the NBA’s marquee point guards, will now be left for a subplot to be written all of its very own. Clippers’ point guard Chris Paul, was amongst the most productive players at the position within the NBA. And in 2012, though we are a mere two games into the season we are a number players rising to the occasion . The Clippers for their part, coached by Vinny Del Negro must seek to see a more defensive approach and presence from this team. Del Negro and his coaching staff have revamped the roster to complement the skillset of Blake Griffin , Chris Paul, Lamar Odom , Grant Hill , Chauncey Billups and Ronny Turiaf .It may well be seasoned veterans such as Hill , Billups , Odom and Turiaf, who will have to provide a major contribution if the Clippers are to fare well over the course of this season. Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling and team general manager Gary Sacks in recent seasons has often been viewed as an owner who was averse to spending money on his franchise in terms of team salary. Chances are the Los Angeles Clippers will seek to make themselves a contender for the NBA title, and most certainly a viable candidate for the Western Conference title.

The city of Detroit has seen its NFL franchise , the Detroit Lions rise from the ashes like a phoenix, albeit that this season, the team seems to have fallen on hard times . With the NHL now shuttered down , with their being signs of this fiasco being found an amenable ending to their nonsensical drama. That would leave us with the Detroit Tigers and Detroit Pistons at the professional level , in terms of our sporting entertainment. The Tigers as we now know fell, all too listlessly to the San Francisco Giants in one of the embarrassing and lopsided defeats in World Series’ history.

The Pistons, ever since their NBA Finals’ triumph in 2004 over the labored , albeit the then overzealous Los Angeles Lakers , And that specific roster was filled a quartet of future Hall of Famers , that included Kobe Bryant, Karl Malone, Gary Payton, and Shaquille O’Neal, along with legendary coach , Phil Jackson. That series’ loss 4-1 to the Detroit Pistons would prove to be one of the biggest upsets in NBA Finals’ history. In the subsequent years since that loss, the Pistons’ franchise has had it high and low points. The organization has changed ownership with a new executive structure in place , with Joe Dumars, having become the Head of Basketball Operations, with Tom Gores , billionaire venture capitalist, owning the venerable NBA franchise. Head coach, Lawrence Frank, has been entrusted with the considerable task of coaching this team , having assembled an abled group of assistants . And the roster itself, it is not one that on paper looks overly impressive or distinguished . If anything , it is workmanlike in its makeup , led by ten-year and thirteen-year veterans , Tayshaun Prince and Corey Maggette. Considered to be the Pistons’ best player, Rodney Stuckey, he will be asked to do a great deal as the leader of this team, as they embark upon their schedule this season. In light of the Pistons’ 105-96 loss to the Houston Rockets , it will be interesting to see how they acquit themselves when they take on the Phoenix Suns at the US Airways Center , in Phoenix, Arizona , this Friday.

Another season, another year of low expectations , dependent upon how one looks upon the Charlotte Bobcats as an NBA franchise. And it does seem somewhat asinine to keep on repeating the fact that, this organization has been mismanaged, and the face of it , they seem bereft of creativity and intelligence within the front office . Yet , it is a fact that since Michael Jordan assumed control of this franchise, they have been incredibly inept right across the board , from management , on down to the players on the roster. One year removed , from having posted one of the worst records in NBA history , albeit that the season was one of sixty-six games , rather than the customary eighty-two game schedule. Nothing can be left to chance in 2012 , as it relates to the Charlotte Bobcats , and what the prognosticators might be suggesting concerning the franchise, as they embark upon their schedule. I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings , but I would be pleasantly surprised if the Bobcats were able to surpass last season’s mark of 7-59 !

I certainly don’t believe that the Bobcats were assisted in the subsequent NBA Draft Lottery or the Draft itself . If anything this format, insisted upon by the soon to be outgoing commissioner , David Stern , does not add intrigue or suspense to the whole system itself. It has become rather mundane, asinine, and if anything , it makes the NBA “ the laughing-stock “ of the sports’ world . Yet somehow , on each occasion that this ridiculous event takes place , there stands the commissioner , grinning from ear to ear , like a cat about to take a sip from a plate of milk. “Milk, may well do a body a great deal of good” , but it certainly hasn’t added to Stern’s intellect or overall intelligence. The 2012 NBA Draft , said to be littered with high-quality talent , and what should appear to be breakout prospects , could very turn out to be a monumental bust. The Charlotte Bobcats for their part under the auspices of head coach, Mike Dunlap, GM Rick Cho , and President of Basketball Operations , Rod Higgins, chose Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Jeff Taylor as their picks within this year’s NBA Draft. It remains to be seen whether or not these two highly sought after recruits can make a name for themselves within the NBA , on a team , being coached by a first-year coach , in Mike Dunlap. The odds are more stacked against the team and their freshman coach , than one would come to expect given the franchise’s overall lack of success since the Bobcats came into existence . As the team’s best player Kemba Walker may well struggle once again to find some semblance of success over the course of this season.

Everyone seems to enthralled with the very fact that the city of New York now has two NBA franchises , presumably of relevance. Yet when you bear in mind that last season was the first time that the New York Knicks had ventured into the NBA Playoffs, it was for the very first time in after their disastrous foray in 2011 . There, a first-round loss (4-0) to the Boston Celtics , sealed their fate during the postseason schedule. Prior to that, the franchise’s last appearance came in 2004 , where again, they were not so lucky , as they fell to the New Jersey Nets . Joining, the Knicks in the “Big Apple” will be the Brooklyn Nets , formerly the New Jersey Nets. The franchise having moved into their new venue , the aptly named , Barclays Center , in Brooklyn , New York , a luxurious , half-billion dollar ($500,000,000) edifice , that might the most palatial of all of the NBA’s thirty arenas. Certainly, for Nets’ owner,Mikhail Prokhorov , beyond his investment of having purchased the franchise , there was also his stake in that multibillion dollar venture of commercial and residential estate deal , that should reinvigorate the community at large . Whether or not, the fans in attendance will be there on a regular basis , will most definitely be defined by the amount of success that is attained on the courts by the Brooklyn Nets.

Nets’ coach , Avery Johnson , and his coaching staff have assembled a capable roster of seasoned veterans along with core group of youngsters , to go alongside their 2012 NBA Draft picks. The “pecking order” and bragging rights will be up for grabs this season , as to who should be viewed as the city’s best NBA franchise. James Dolan , as owner of the New York Knicks will now have to match wits with the ambitious Russian billionaire, Mikhail Prokhorov, who also happens to be one of the wealthiest men in the world , with an estimated $13.2 billion fortune , far exceeding Dolan’s reputed $4.2 billion , net worth.

The Brooklyn Nets were due to host the New York Knicks at the Barclays Center, in what was meant to be the inaugural regular season game at the venue. That game has now been postponed until the 26th November , in the aftermath of Super-storm Sandy, which has simply decimated the city of New York and much of the Northeast United States , but specifically the eastern seaboard. As to the mindset of New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, still thinking it appropriate to proceed with the New York City Marathon , this upcoming Sunday , while many of his city’s residents are without a home, electricity , and a number of other staples needed to carry on with daily lives , seems to smack incredulity and incompetence on the mayor’s part, with his stating the staging of the event will boost the morale of the city, and not take away from the city’s resources in terms of the residents’ safety. PR image or not, Bloomberg’s , Chief of Staff and Press Information officer , Howard Wolfson , obviously are not of the opinion that the city’s plight and that of its residents , should take precedence over an event, that should be postponed and rescheduled for a later date. Bloomberg, in my opinion is simply looking for the nation’s sympathy as well as making the Marathon itself more of an event than it really needs to be at this moment in time. And why this decision by the mayor has not drawn the anger New York’s residents is simply beyond belief.

Courtesy of NBC News (NBCnews.com)

Backlash erupts as New York City prepares for marathon

By Andrew Mach and Elizabeth Chuck, NBC News

NEW YORK – Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s decision to allow the world’s largest marathon to proceed on Sunday has drawn a severe backlash from some quarters of the city.

“If they take one first responder from Staten Island to cover this marathon, I will scream,” New York City Councilman James Oddo, who represents parts of Staten Island and Brooklyn, said on his Twitter account. “We have people with no homes and no hope right now.”

Staten Island, the marathon’s starting point, suffered some of the worst destruction from Superstorm Sandy. At least 19 of New York’s 37 deaths occurred in the oft-forgotten borough, home to 500,000. Officials are still searching homes for survivors.

On Thursday, the bodies of two children who had been missing since the storm were found. The boys, ages 2 and 4, were swept away from their mother’s arms Monday night after the car they were driving was swamped by floodwaters on the island.

“The prudent course of action here — postpone the marathon, come back a different day,” Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer told TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie. “Our first priority, let’s help people who lost their homes, who are missing loved ones.”

Stringer said downtown Manhattan, the city’s financial hub, “looks like a wasteland” and is nowhere close to being ready for the race, which goes through each of New York’s five boroughs.

Bloomberg has vowed the marathon will not divert any resources from victims, and expects power to be restored to downtown Manhattan by race day. In defending his decision to go forward, the mayor cited the thousands of out-of-town visitors who come for the marathon.

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As to the proposed game between the Knicks and Nets, as I alluded to earlier , that event has been rescheduled. The Brooklyn Nets’ inaugural regular season game will now be against the Toronto Raptors on the 3rd November , which will be followed by a second home game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on the 5th November , 2012. There is a great deal that the NBA fans will have to look forward to over the course of this season as the Knicks and Nets get their season’s schedules underway. Most notably though, will be the meetings between these two franchises. The stars may well align for one if not both of these teams at some point during the season, but much of that will predicated on the play and coaching styles adopted by Avery Johnson of the Nets and Mike Woodson of the New York Knicks. Issues already abound for the Knicks , as they are like to be without C/PF , Amare’ Stoudemire, who could be out for for 6 to 8 weeks , with having to undergo knee surgery . I’ve always maintained, that prudent decision-making by way of the Knicks’ front office and specifically that of GM Glen Sather has left a great deal to be desired . Stoudemire has failed to live up to the almost $100 million contract , which expires in 2015 . The outlay made to the player by the organization, is just more of the continued idiocy that the Knicks have become known for in recent years . And yet to no avail, has there been any financial expediency been shown by Sather or for that matter by the owner , James Dolan.

Granted, as the NBA’s most valuable franchise does assist the New York Knicks in how they conduct their business operations , something that is not afforded to the vast majority of the league’s thirty teams . Much of the financial malaise that the NBA currently finds itself in , has been summarily been brought on by the lax rules applied to the NBA “soft salary cap” ($58.044 million). And there seems to be this tendency to believe that NBA Commissioner David Stern is without blame for this continued idiocy. However, do bear this in mind, the commissioner’s annual salary is in excess of $25 million , which would place him amongst the highest paid players in the NBA . Far be it for me to suggest, if Stern is asking the NBPA (Players’ Union) to make concessions in terms of their share of the league’s revenue pie . How is that, he, has never indicated that league hierarchy is prepared to the same? Clearly, that is something that has never been posed to David Stern as a question. What thoughts if any do you have on that premise? Billionaire owners , multimillionaire NBA athletes simply pissing into a lake, to see how much of a ripple effect is made , meanwhile the fans are being imbued with a less than satisfactory product ! Fuck it! Professional sports, has no integrity or morals, as cash rules everything . Anyone who believes to the contrary , is seriously delusional .

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Picture gallery.

What thoughts if any , do you have concerning the points raised within this piece ? And what do you wish to see come out of this NBA season by way of the players’ and teams’ performances ? By all means do you leave a comment on this and anything else you believe pertinent to the subject matter .

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Slideshow and picture gallery details below.
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(1) Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade holds his 2012 NBA Finals championship ring during a ceremony before a basketball game against the Boston Celtics, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, in Miami. AP Photo/J Pat Carter ….

(2) From left, Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and LeBron James pose with their 2012 NBA Finals championship rings during a ceremony before a basketball game against the Boston Celtics, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, in Miami. AP Photo/J Pat Carter …

(3) Boston Celtics’ Kevin Garnett (5) backs down Miami Heat’s Udonis Haslem (40) during the first half of their NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, in Miami. AP Photo/J Pat Carter …..

(4) Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) drives to the basket against Detroit Pistons center Greg Monroe (10) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012, in Detroit. AP Photo/Duane Burleson …

(5) Amar’e Stoudemire (C) of the New York Knicks introduces new players Carmelo Anthony (L) and Chauncey Billups (R) at a press conference at Madison Square Garden on February 23, 2011 in New York City. Chris Trotman / Getty Images North America ….

(6) Brooklyn Nets’ owner Mikhail Prokhorov , the billionaire entrepreneur seeks to make the NBA franchise a worldwide brand , as he seeks to the Nets a competitive force in the NBA .
AP Photo / Richard Laurence ……..

(7) New York City Mayor , Michael Bloomberg ,foreground, is seen here with the city’s police chief , Ray Kelly . Bloomberg made the decision to proceed with the staging of the New York City Marathon , this Sunday , which will have 24,550 competitors for the event . There has been a great deal of anger at the mayor’s decision , in light of the recent devastation in the city , causing billions of dollars of damage to New York City’s infrastructure , residential and commercial property . AFP / REUTERS / Keith Hammond ….

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NBA related links: Hornets’ Gordon says knee injury legitimate

NBA, NBPA pledge $1 million for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts

Barclays Center Suites to Become ‘Your Home Away from Home

NBA pieces within this site
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NBA news & archival news’ pieces

NBA Calendar key dates

NBA standings by division

NBA results 1st November 2012

NBA results 31st October 2012

NBA schedule 2nd November, 2012 (12 games to be played)

NBA transactions

Brooklyn Nets’ news

New York Knicks’ news

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Amber Lynne, currently a member of the Miami Spice of The Bikini Basketball League , a new start-up women’s professional basketball league where the uniforms are in fact a two piece swimsuit. What’s bad about that?