Beauty is in the eye of the beholder
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).
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 ?
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.
Slideshow and picture gallery for your perusal .
(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 .
NFL related piece : A Sporting weekend to behold , maybe