Come on, you have never had it so good , we are providing you with entertainment, sports’ entertainment , so suck it up, you son of a bitch …

Come on, you have never had it so good , we are providing you with entertainment, sports’ entertainment , so suck it up, you son of a bitch …

By Tophatal

With the NFL regular season now coming to a close , Sunday brings about week seventeen of the sixteen week schedule for 2012 . In large part, the divisions have been decided , but some playoff berths within the AFC and NFC , have yet to be settled, but Sundays’ results will bring about closure for the teams . One of the most intriguing games on this weekend’s schedule , will be the NFC East match-up , between the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Redskins. It is a game that will be played at FedEx Field , in Landover , Maryland . This, is a last ditch effort for the Cowboys, to make their way into the postseason. A win, guarantees them, the divisional title and some semblance of redemption after a somewhat disappointing season.

======================================================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

========================================================================

Slideshow.

The opposing quarterbacks in this divisional match-up will be Robert Griffin III of the Redskins, facing off against Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys. And for the Cowboys’ quarterback , this may well be the last chance made available to him, as he seeks to lead this team back into the postseason.

Now there’s no denying that Robert Griffin III , has proven to be one of the exceptional rookie talents to have exploded unto the NFL stage this season. The Redskins’ rookie along with freshman players , Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson , have simply been exceptional throughout much of 2012. Luck and Wilson, have led both their teams to double-digit wins for the season , as well having secured a playoff berth for the Indianapolis Colts and Seattle Seahawks , respectively. A truly astonishing feat , when one considers the inexperience of both players at the highest level of the game. There will be a great deal of intrigue and suspense to be played for the fans over the course of this weekend’s NFL schedule .

While the NFL regular season schedule seeks a finality , its NBA counterpart , is now a mere twenty plus games into their own long and arduous schedule . The season has already had its very first managerial casualty with the summary firing of the Brooklyn Nets’ head coach, Avery Johnson. Would it be appropriate to suggest that Nets’ point guard , Deron Williams , has now become a “ coach-killer “ ? It would appear that whenever the superstar becomes unhappy , with his environment or the level of his teammates’ play , he tends to cast a veiled displeasure and an indirect threat at his head coach. That was certainly the case, when Williams was formerly a player with the Utah Jazz , which ultimately led to the resignation of Jerry Sloan , and it certainly appears that Williams played his part in the firing of Avery Johnson. The idiocy of this whole situation cannot be underscored by the formal statement made by Nets’ GM, Billy King , in stating that the star point guard had nothing to do with the decision made by the front office that led to the dismissal of the beleaguered head coach. Kind of makes you wonder, if not for the player’s displeasure , would the franchise have “pulled the trigger “ and fired the head coach?

If the Nets’ general manager would take a single step back , and simply review his statement, he would suddenly realize that he cannot blow smoke up everyone’s ass, while trying to keep a smile on his face . And with the dismissal , it’s now hard to see how anyone can take the front office of the Brooklyn Nets all that seriously, never-mind their rather unenlightened and idiotic fans who proclaimed, that this team would be a worthy challenger to the likes of the , Miami Heat, New York Knicks , and Boston Celtics within the Eastern Conference. There was no body of work to suggest that this team was ready to even challenge the aforementioned trio , so now , those idiots , can sit back , and begin to eat crow , and deservedly so !

It is somewhat asinine to think that the Brooklyn Nets have sought to make such an exorbitant outlay , by committing in excess of $88, 257,129 for a team that now sits with a 0. 514 mark of 15-14 within the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference. Deron Williams and Joe Johnson account for almost 41% of the team’s salary commitment for 2012-13, with the two combining for just under $37 million of the eighty-eight million plus in the Nets’ 2012 salary outlay. Team owner, Mikhail Prokhorov , the Russian multi-billionaire entrepreneur , made it known , that money would be of no object , as he sought to make the Nets not just a competitive force within the NBA , but also a global brand, fittingly with a presence in Eastern and Western Europe , but most notably in his native Russia . With that commitment from Prokhorov , has come the billion dollar outlay in buying the majority stake in the Barclaycard Center/Atlantic Yards Development , which houses the Brooklyn Nets , as well as a commercial and residential complex . As of now, that investment, does seem extremely costly , with barely any dividends , being shown on-court , by way of anything being remotely competitive from this team . I firmly believe that Deron Williams lacks the leadership qualities to make the Brooklyn Nets a resounding success , and this idiocy that Joe Johnson , would be a player capable of supporting the skill-set of Williams , as diminishing those returns now appear to be ! PJ Carlisemo has now been installed as the interim-head coach , with rumors that Billy King , at the behest of Mikhail Prokhorov is said to be seeking out Phil Jackson , to gauge his interest in coming to Brooklyn , to coach the newly relocated franchise . There are only two coaching positions within the NBA , that are likely to pique the interest of the famed head coach , and at present , as neither the Knicks or Lakers’ coaching positions are vacant . One can only speculate , and in all likelihood, it is my firm belief that Jackson will turn down the approach from the Russian billionaire owner ! And even , if Jackson is offered a reputed five-year $60-$75 million contract , there is no guarantee of success , for a team that at present is in complete disarray .

Now while there are now those seeking to thrust the New York Knicks further into the limelight , and God knows that franchise needs to be relevant once again, after years of ineptitude in the wilderness , with the mismanagement by team owner, James Dolan , GM Glen Grunwald and his predecessors , Donnie Walsh and Isiah Thomas . While the NBA franchise remains the “ jewel in the crown” in terms of value and profitability as the most valuable NBA team in the league . There can be no denying, that were it not for the fact , that the New York Knicks are domiciled in the nation’s largest ad-market , New York City , and that it is part of a vast array of sports and entertainment interests owned under the umbrella of the privately held business entity, MSG Entertainment Inc. . , a wholly owned company, shrouded in secrecy , and presided over by James Dolan, and his family. One seriously doubts that the franchise would be in its present position, of being to lavish itself with such luxuries , with the salaries afforded to the likes of Tyson Chandler , Carmelo Anthony , Amar`e Stoudemire , Jason Kidd and J R Smith.

The Knicks , coming off a narrow one-point 106-105 loss to the Sacramento Kings , are now 21-9 , while seated atop of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference . And while that record is impressive , let’s not kid ourselves into believing that this team is the most dominant franchise in the conference , while they are 6-4 on the road and impressive 12-2 within the conference. It begs the question, what is the true measure of real dominance within the NBA and specifically with regard to the Knicks ? Yes , they do possess one of the most forceful and naturally gifted scorers in the game , with Carmelo Anthony , who has been ably abetted this season by JR Smith . However, my position is that, until there’s a body of work , by which this team can be adjudged , there cannot be an assertion that this team is , or has been one of the more dominant franchises within the NBA this season !v . The team’s longest winning streak over the course of their schedule is one of six games , during the month of November, but they have been able to maintain a consistency by not having anything more than a two-game consecutive loss streak during their 2012-2013 sojourn .

Knicks’ head coach, Mike Woodson , has been able to mold together an aggressive cohesive unit that has proven to be an effective offensive corps of players . The team at 102.27 points per game lies seventh in the NBA in that offensive category , and second within Eastern Conference, behind the Miami Heat (103.4 points per game) . Defensively , in allowing 97 ppg , the Knicks are the ninth within the conference , and fourteenth within the NBA , of the of the league’s 30 teams.

In determining the margin of victory , at 5.3 points per game , Mike Woodson’s players sit comfortably in fifth place within the NBA , where the high-flying Los Angeles Clippers lead the way. For their part , the Clippers , led by Blake Griffin and Chris Paul , have been on an impressive run , having won a franchise best sixteen straight games , the best run in the NBA this season . Vinny Del Negro , and his coaching staff , has this Clippers’ team playing with a great deal of resolve and commitment , while ” overshadowing” their more illustrious rivals and namesake , the Los Angeles Lakers .

And for the Lakers , the infancy of their season has been a tumultuous one , with the firing of Mike Brown five games into their schedule (1-4) and Mike D’Antoni being brought in by GM , Mitch Kupchak and SVP, Jim Buss . The hiring of D’Antoni , was bewildering to fans NBA analysts alike , as front office had sought Phil Jackson , to gauge his interest in returning to the franchise he guided to five NBA titles while coaching the Lakers over two separate terms. And while Jackson had sought time to make a decision, it would appear that Kupchak and Jim Buss approached D’Antoni, offered him the position and then made the formal announcement that the once vacant position had now been filled by the former Knicks and Phoenix Suns’ head coach.

Injuries, and inconsistent play from the Los Angeles Lakers , with no clear sense of a real coaching strategy has simply played its part , in defining the under-achieving Lakers. Take into account , that Kobe Bryant is being asked to provide the bulk of the team’s offensive output , with an aging Steve Nash , and a rather lackluster showing , in a number of outings from Dwight Howard , and a recipe for disaster has now been created , as the franchise’s record (15-15) and standing reflects their continued poor showing .

While the Lakers swoon , the Oklahoma City Thunder are riding high , and they’re no doubt seeking to make a quick return to the NBA Finals , and redeem themselves after last season’s poor showing in the postseason finale . Kevin Durant and his erstwhile teammate , point guard Russell Westbrook , are the most prolific combination duos , now playing in the NBA , and such has been their productivity , that it should come as no surprise why there are and still remain the prohibitive favorites to repeat as the Western Conference champions this season. If there is a serious challenger within the conference , to the Thunder’s present supremacy , then that challenge may well come , jointly from, the Los Angeles Clippers , Memphis Grizzlies and four-time NBA champions , the always dangerous San Antonio Spurs . Gregg Popovich, a former coach of the Year award winner , coach of all four of Spurs Finals’ triumphs , places the illustrious coach in a select group of NBA coaches to have won multiple titles . Adding a fifth , would cement Popovich’s legacy, and further enhance his status as a future Hall of Fame inductee , alongside current players and likely future occupants , Tony Parker , Manu Ginobli and Tim Duncan , the elder statesman on the current Spurs’ roster , and the lynch pin for much of the franchise’s success , since his being drafted , as the number one pick in the 1997 NBA Draft by the San Antonio Spurs.

If the Spurs are to be a collective force , then beyond the productivity provided by Tony Parker , Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobli , then players such as , Kawhi Leonard , Danny Green , Gary Neal , Tiago Splitter , Stephen Jackson , and Boris Diaw , will have to step up and answer the call, as and when needed .

Saturday night’s schedule offers the fans eleven games of note , but essentially Sunday , is when the nation will be watching , if they are not transfixed by the NFL scheduled games being televised by the broadcast networks. The Spurs will be part of the afternoon’s four game sortie , when they face the Dallas Mavericks in a game to be played at the American Airlines Arena in Dallas , Texas. The team leads the season series 1-0 , having met on the 23rd December in San Antonio , when the Spurs came away with a lopsided forty-eight point victory in defeating the Mavericks 129-81 , a loss that sent Rick Carlisle’s team reeling , with many questioning whether or not the current rebuilding process now being undertaken , is actually working . At this juncture , I think it’s pretty safe to say that Carlisle and the Mavericks’ front office will certainly have to look at the underlying issues the team now faces. Team owner, Mark Cuban , saw fit make a radical decision upheaval of their roster and rebuilding afresh. GM , Donn Nelson , entrusted with this task has seen fit to also reduce the team’s payroll considerably from last year . A considerably sharp decline, from when the Mavericks’ carried a payroll that would place them among the highest in the NBA .

In 2012, with the league’s “soft salary cap” of $58.044 million , it would appear that the teams would rather ignore that plateau , as they seek all-out success and glory , no matter what the financial stake may well be, and the morass that such extravagance might bring about . And for this idiocy , we have the league hierarchy to thank , led by NBA Commissioner, David Stern , and the lackadaisical attitude of the team owners , who plead poverty , . but who still choose not to rein in their costs .

The commissioner would rather have us believe that the NBPA (Players’ Union) bears the responsibility for the league’s financial malaise , but nothing could be further from the truth , as this all comes down to the lack of restraint being shown by all sides , as it relates to curtailing financial costs and the league’s own response to the criticism being leveled at them by the fans , television and print media .

===============================================================

===============================================================

Picture gallery.

What do you believe has been one the high points of the NFL season ? In your opinion, what should we expect to see over the course of the postseason ? With all of news now unfolding within the NBA , rightly or wrongly , what if anything gives you the greatest cause for concern for the league still in its infancy of its schedule , this season? Simply , leave a comment as you see fit , and thanks as always for the continued support of this site , as it is gratefully appreciated !

😉

Picture and slideshow details below .
====================================================================

(1) Washington Redskins’ Robert Griffin III passes in the second half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, in Philadelphia. Washington won 27-20 . AP Photo/Michael Perez …

(2) Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan , left, and Philadelphia Eagles’ coach Andy Reid meet after an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, in Philadelphia. Washington won 27-20 . AP Photo/Michael Perez …

(3) Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) leaves the field after overtime play of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. The Saints won 34-31 . The Cowboys’ quarterback and his well chronicled postseason experience has been more ” hyperbole “ , rather than anything productive for the player and the Cowboys , since he became the full-time starting quarterback for the franchise . AP Photo/Sharon Ellman …

(4) Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) passes the ball as New Orleans Saints defensive end Will Smith (91) moves in during the first half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, in Arlington, Texas. AP Photo/Brandon Wade …

(5) Brooklyn Nets’ Deron Williams looks to pass away from Cleveland Cavaliers’ Kyrie Irving , right, during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012, in New York. The Nets would go on to defeat the Cavaliers 103-100 . PJ Carlesimo since his being installed as the interim head coach the team is off to a 2-0 start in his tenure , in the position . AP Photo/Frank Franklin II …

(6) Brooklyn Nets interim coach P.J. Carlesimo calls out to his team during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012, in New York. The Nets won 103-100. AP Photo/Frank Franklin II …

(7) FILE- In this Dec. 17, 2011, file photo, New Jersey Nets head coach Avery Johnson , right, talks with assistant coach P.J. Carlesimo during the first half of an NBA preseason basketball game against the New York Knicks in Newark, N.J. The Nets fired Johnson on Thursday, Dec. 27, 2012, and Carlesimo will coach the team on an interim basis, starting Friday night with a home game against Charlotte. AP Photo/Mel Evans …..

(8) SACRAMENTO, CA – DECEMBER 28: James Johnson (52) of the Sacramento Kings is congratulated by teammates after he made a three-point basket at the buzzer to beat the New York Knicks 106-105 at Sleep Train Arena on December 28, 2012 in Sacramento, California. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images ….

(9) San Antonio Spurs’ Tim Duncan (21) works the ball around Houston Rockets’ Marcus Morris, left, during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game on Friday, Dec. 28, 2012, in San Antonio. AP Photo/Eric Gay ….

(10) San Antonio Spurs’ Manu Ginobili (20) , of Argentina, is fouled as he drives to the basket against Houston Rockets defenders Cole Aldrich (31), Daequan Cook (14) , James Harden (13) and Chandler Parsons , right, during the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Dec. 28, 2012, in San Antonio. San Antonio won 122-116 . AP Photo/Eric Gay ….

—————————————————————————————————————————-

======================================================

NFL news & news from around the league

Dallas Cowboys news

Washington Redskins news

All time head to head match-ups between the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins

NFL standings by division

NFL standings by conference

NFL schedule week seventeen

NFL stats weekly leaders week 16

NFL team stats

NFL team injuries

————————-

NBA news & archived news

Brooklyn Nets news

New York Knicks news

NBA standings by division

NBA standings by conference

NBA team salaries & NBA soft salary cap of $58.044 million for the 2012-13 season

Highest paid player salaries (NBA)

NBA team values – revenue streams & profitability

========================================================

Analicia Chaves , picture comes courtesy of King Magazine

It wasn’t meant to be this way , as we had such high hopes ….


It wasn’t meant to be this way , as we had such high hopes ….

By Tophatal

So the final week of the NFL season is upon us and pretty much it all comes down to these final games , with a great deal still being up for grabs by way of divisional titles as well as a playoff berth for the postseason . And in the midst of this all the rancor within the New York Jets’ organization continues . Please , the team and the ongoing Tim Tebow , “ woe is me , you promised this , but instead I got that “ , is now beginning to wear thin and become a real pain in the ass ! Common sense, ought to now prevail , but fans are now literally _____ have been blinded by emotion , rather than using their sheer intelligence ! .

=====================================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

===================================================

Slideshow .

The Jets’ season has spiraled out of control , and Rex Ryan is seeking to apportion blame elsewhere , but the “ mean-spirited “ Evil Queen , repeatedly uses the mirror, and magically places it , in front of Rex , in order for him to fully appreciate where the real blame really does lay . Personally , from the moment the trade was made for Tebow , with the organization acquiring the third year player from the Denver Broncos , I simply knew that a sideshow was about to begin ! The Jets’ coaching staff simply lacked the intelligence to know how best to use the young quarterback , and this continued idiocy , that he was good enough to be a starter in the NFL , merely because of a few fleeting moments in 2011 , was enough to indicate Tebow was a worthwhile backup to Mark Sanchez , was asinine and a real insult to those who claim to knowledgeable about the NFL . The Kool-Aid must now be the ” new elixir of life “ , either replacing 5 Hour-Energy or Viagra ? Fans , are now letting their emotions rule , rather than simply using common sense and logic in their decision-making . However, it doesn’t really come as a surprise when you read the statements being made by the fans . I wonder how many of them , with a game on the line , with their team needing a score would actually have Tim Tebow as their quarterback at such a crucial time or pivotal moment ? Chime in, with your thoughts on this .

If there’s a real story to be had in the NFL in 2012 , then it would have to encompass the play of three rookie quarterbacks this season , who have literally turned the NFL upside down, on its ear. Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson , have pretty much guaranteed their respective teams a postseason berth , whereas , Robert Griffin III , will seek to add the Washington Redskins in amongst the mix , by defeating the Dallas Cowboys in a crucial divisional game that will have a great deal more than the result riding on the outcome . A win for either for either team guarantees the NFC East divisional crown and a coveted playoff berth. Defeat , and it comes down to a season of missed opportunities , and questions arising as to where “ did we go wrong “ ?

The game itself, between the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins , will be perhaps be the most eagerly anticipated of all the games taking place during the final week of the regular season schedule.

In the AFC , the picture is essentially clear, as to the makeup for the postseason , however, what still remains undecided , are the top two berths and descending order , as three teams are seeking at least to claim one of the two spots , that guarantees a bye in the first round of the postseason . At present the Houston Texans (12-3) , Denver Broncos (12-3) and the New England Patriots (11-4) , are each vying for the two berths in question. The Texans face a daunting task, as they meet divisional rivals the Indianapolis Colts , in what is a “must win “ situation for either team .

Denver will play host to the Kansas City Chiefs at Sports Authority Field , in Denver , Colorado , and the Patriots host the fast-sliding Miami Dolphins . And as interesting as those games are likely , the buildup and the games themselves will provide a great deal suspense .

Disappointment also, can come in many guises , be it through a team’s record or the injuries sustained over the course of the season . Yet , nothing can hide the fact that in large , many of the problems suffered by the franchises , came by way of their inept play over the course of the 2012 schedule. Say what you will , but to my mind , while the jury may well still be out on the Chicago Bears (9-6), Detroit Lions (4-11), New Orleans Saints (7-8) , Pittsburgh Steelers (7-8) , Philadelphia Eagles (4-11) , and last but not least the San Diego Chargers (6-9) . It now has me wondering which head coaches , and how many will be relieved of their duties this off-season ? There’s no denying that waiting in the wings are the likes of Jon Gruden , Bill Cowher , and amongst the college ranks , Brian Kelly , Chip Kelly and dare I say it, the ubiquitous Nick Saban ?

The return of Nick Saban to the ranks of the NFL wouldn’t necessarily be a shot in the arm , but given his experiences on his first go-around , is there anyone with of the belief that he would prove to be a success at the helm of a franchise as an NFL head coach ? The asking price would be considerably high, given the success attained by Saban at the college level , but therein lies the dilemma facing an organization who might care to pursue the Alabama head coach. There is however , the belief that the coach will be one of the names atop of the list of a number of teams that will undoubtedly cast their nets afar , as they seek a replacement for a beleaguered incumbent head coach .

There now seems to be conflicting rumors as to whether or not Norv Turner will asked to return to the Chargers’ franchise in 2013. Chairman & team President , Dean Spanos , seem to be sending out mix signals concerning the head coach, as well as the future of general manager , A J Smith . I’m of the opinion that both should be relieved of their positions , once the season is over , with the organization seeking to fill both positions , in the lead-up to the 2013 NFL Draft ! A disastrous season mixed in , with some rather unbelievable decision-making by Norv Turner during the Chargers’ season , pretty much summed up the ineptitude of the team’s play over the course of 2012. And as admirable, as Philip Rivers may well have performed , I now get the feeling that the veteran quarterback’s days with the franchise are now numbered ! I truly do not believe, that the player wishes to remain with the Chargers , but demanding a trade would prove to be futile , unless a team came in with a rather generous offer for the player.

For the Philadelphia Eagles the plight of their season has been well chronicled and it now seems all but certain , that this will be the last fans will undoubtedly see of head coach Andy Reid and the team’s veteran quarterback , Michael Vick. From Vick’s indifferent play this season to the injuries that have befallen the roster , things have simply spiraled out of control for Reid and his coaching staff . The veteran will replace Nick Foles , who having started his first game for the franchise , the rookie is now on the team’s injured reserve list , having suffered a broken hand. Vick will be asked to lead the team in when they face the New York Giants at Met-Life Stadium , in East Rutherford , New Jersey. And for Eli Manning and the Giants , it is now time to put up , or shut up , as this now seems to be a team that has lost its sense of direction and purpose , Tom Coughlin’s players seek to make a late postseason charge , as they seek to claim a playoff berth. How many times must the Giants’ fans have to endure the late season antics of this franchise ?

So, what if Calvin Johnson has broken Jerry Rice’s single season receiving yards’ mark ? Given the Lions’ record this season , is that that the sole reason to laud and applaud this team ? Jim Schwartz has lost control , and the roster of players have become ill-disciplined lackluster , never mind the antics of Lions’ defensive player Ndamukong Suh , who is being given every excuse possible by the NFL hierarchy to carry on with his disgusting on-field antics ! Anyone who believes to the contrary clearly has to watching the Lions through rose-tinted glasses. Matt Stafford may well be able to sling the ball all over the field , but when the team isn’t winning , those stats simply counts for nothing .

Mike Tomlins’ Steelers played themselves in and then out of contention, and now they’re on the outside looking in. Ben Roethlisberger , the two-time winning Superbowl quarterback has been erratic throughout much of 2012 , but the biggest issues concerning the roster has been the aging core of the team and the mere fact that the rookies from 2011 and 2012 have not proven to be productive enough to put the Pittsburgh Steelers in a position to win. And for franchise that built its reputation on having a staunch defense and a decisive running game , those two facets have been missing at times throughout much of this year.

Thankfully the asinine saga of the New Orleans Saints has come to pass and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s image is now lower than an invertebrate . Being such an asshole , Goodell can step back stage , rather than come up with another lame ass suggestion to curry favor with the fans and public at large . The commissioner’s latest notion, is to increase the number of playoff teams in the postseason . As if that’s really going to heighten the interest of the fans at large , a buffoon such as Roger Goodell really needs to make a cursory exit , stage left, and remain there ! Drew Brees and the Saints’ plight can be best summed up by stating …. “ the us against the world bullshit just didn’t cut it this season” , and the team was simply deserving of its fate this season !

The fact that, the best the NFL hierarchy could come up with in this rather disgusting episode was to state that there was an environment of deceit, lies and lack of overall accountability from within the Saints’ hierarchy , pretty much sums up how out of touch with reality the NFL just happens to be ! Never-mind , the fact that Paul Tagliabue , who rendered the verdict , overturning the suspensions of the four players ( Jonathan Vilma, Anthony Hargrove, Wil Smith & Scott Fujita) embroiled in the saga (Bounty scandal) , was very much a conduit for much of what we have witnessed in terms of a lack of real leadership within the NFL hierarchy. Not unlike the current President , his administration and the shoveling of shit , that he and the US Congress would rather pile into a hole of fecal matter , that they themselves , have dug and continue to fill with their platitudes rhetoric . The NFL at present , is simply bereft of any goddamn intelligence and common sense , and the owners and the union are not that far behind , in those aspects , either !

Tagliabue , Roger Goodell’s predecessor , has been a commissioner who showed little authority , and likewise , his successor in his current role, as commissioner , has shown himself to be a considerable ass , of the highest order !

While I live within the Central Florida area , it has to be said that the three NFL franchises within the state , have proven to be a profound disappointment . The always inconsistent Tampa Bay Buccaneers(6-9) , alongside the Jacksonville Jaguars (2-13) , and the equally abysmal Miami Dolphins(7-8) , has me wondering , if the state is meant to be such a “hotbed of superlative talent” , then how the hell is it , that we can never see any semblance of consistency , much less success from either of these three instate franchises ? Your thoughts, on this, by way of a response ?

I am not about to suggest that Greg Schiano , a first-year coach , or Mike Mularkey , and Joe Philbin should be relieved of their duties as head coaches for the franchises in question ! Yet the futility shown by all three teams must make you wonder , is the state of Florida really a place that’s amenable to the NFL , in spite of apparent fervor that is said to be shown for all three teams ? In terms of home attendance, the Jaguars rank thirteenth (519,872) , amongst the NFL’s thirty-two teams , Miami Dolphins (22nd) , with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (25th- [440,819]) bringing up the rear. . Perhaps, those figures are not necessarily the best way to gauge the fan-base of the teams in question, but even if you judge by the average attendance per home game , these figures do remain paltry .

Granted , the Miami Dolphins , remains a work in progress , with a rookie helming the team at the quarterback position . Ryan Tannehill is being asked to accomplish a great deal in his first season with the Dolphins , and it is clear that while he appears to be a competent player , he is not going to set the world alight , in spite of some the idiotic prognostications that came by way of the NFL analysts and like-minded fans within this forum and at large .

The Jacksonville Jaguars are aimlessly heading nowhere , and the mildly amusing chatter , suggesting that the franchise acquire Tim Tebow , while being laudable , and trumpeted by a cacophony of “ Tebow supporters “ , this is all becoming so asinine that it is beyond belief ! Since when has the NFL become an entitlement league ? Is there a welfare check to be had ? Fuck , where is this idiocy coming from, amongst the fans ?

Josh Freeman , the Buccaneers’ first round pick (seventeenth overall) from the 2009 NFL Draft, has once again proven to be a profound disappointment in 2012. Whatever , is being taught to Freeman by Bucs’ quarterbacks coach , Ron Turner , just doesn’t seem to be sinking in with the three-year starter , as his in-game decisions have become wildly errant and bewildering to say the very least , and that is especially true with the Buccaneers this season , as evidenced by his play . If there’s said to be a bright spot with regard to the team’s play , then based upon the resounding evidence , rookie running back , Doug Martin , has proven himself to be one of the more pleasant surprises in the NFL this season . Amongst the cotillion of rookie running backs from this year’s draft , only the Redskins’ Alfred Morris , has statistically shown to be better than his NFC counterpart. Something for the Buccaneers’ fans to pin their hopes on , alas , the issues will still remain concerning the lack of a potent passing offense and a good enough defense, to be truly competitive in the NFL , for this particular franchise.

==============================================================

By clicking on the formatted frame you can view that picture in a larger size.
===============================================================

Picture gallery

As the NFL season is about to come to a close , which team , teams or players to your mind has provided you with the best performances of 2012 ? And who in your honest opinion has proven to be the biggest letdown of the season , by way of a player or team ? Simply leave a comment as you deem fit , and continued thanks, for the overwhelming support of this site throughout 2012 , and my heartfelt wishes to you all , for a prosperous and successful 2013 ! Thanks, as always !

😉

Picture and slideshow details below .
====================================================================

(1) New York Jets quarterback Greg McElroy , bottom, is sacked by San Diego Chargers defensive end Corey Liuget , front left, during the second half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Chargers won 27-17 . AP Photo/Bill Kostroun …

(2) New York Jets quarterbacks Mark Sanchez , left, and Tim Tebow stand next to each other during the second half of an NFL football game against the San Diego Chargers, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J. AP Photo/Kathy Willens …

(3) New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan reacts during the second half of an NFL football game against the San Diego Chargers, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J. AP Photo/Kathy Willens

(4) FILE – This Nov. 11, 2012 file photo shows New York Jets’ Tim Tebow on the field before an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks in Seattle. Rex Ryan acknowledged Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012 that he had higher expectations for the seldom-used Tebow in the Jets’ wildcat-style offense. And, so did the NFL’s most popular and maligned backup quarterback. Now when I last surveyed the NFL , I wasn’t made aware that the player was owed anything, much less that the NFL had become a ” welfare program” for the underprivileged and less talented ! . So unless Tebow is expecting a ” welfare check” , he should keep his damn mouth shut , and set about honing his goddamn game , and stop whining like a little bitch ! AP Photo/Elaine Thompson ….

(5) Far exceeding expectations, the three top performing rookie quarterbacks from the 2012 NFL Draft . From left to right , Andrew Luck , of the Indianapolis Colts , Robert Griffin III , of the Washington Redskins and Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks . RGIII seeks to join his rookie counterparts in gaining postseason berth for the Redskins . Add into the mix, the play of Andy Dalton , sophomore quarterback for the Cincinnati Bengals , who has now guided that franchise to their second successive postseason appearance in two years . Courtesy of the NY Daily News / Getty Images ….

(6) After making a field goal to win the game , New Orleans Saints kicker Garrett Hartley (5) joins teammates Chase Daniel (10) , Mike Higgins (81) and Jermon Bushrod (74) in celebration during overtime play at an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, in Arlington, Texas. The Saints won 34-31 in overtime . AP Photo/Sharon Ellman …

(7) NFL Commissioner , Roger Goodell, left, is seen here with his predecessor , Paul Tagliabue , now a corporate lawyer, in private practice, with the nationally renowned law firm , Covington & Burling LLP,. of which Taglibue is a senior partner and co-founder of the D.C. based firm. Goodell , recently recused himself from hearing the appeals’ process for the four players embroiled in the Saints’ bounty scandal. Those suspensions of Jonathan Vilma , Scott Fujita , Anthony Hargrove and Wil Smith were overturned by Paul Tagliabue , who presided over the appeals’ hearing at the behest of Roger Goodell. The commissioner was not entirely happy with the verdicts rendered , as he felt the decision undermined his authority as the NFL’s highest ranking executive , which Goodell believes gives him unlimited powers , and a wide latitude to deal with regard to players’ behavioral conduct . AP Photo / Max Glover ….

(8) St. Louis Rams corner-back Janoris Jenkins (21) runs into Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman (5) after intercepting Freeman’s pass and returning it 41 yards for a touchdown during the second quarter of an NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, in Tampa, Fla. Rams is Robert Quinn (94) blocks. AP Photo/Reinhold Matay ….

===================================================================

NFL related links :

I did it may way

Somewhere to hang one’s hat

Hits , misses and a bye your leave

The year of the young guns

And clearly we’re about to agree to disagree

=================================================

NFL news & news from the around news

NFL archived news

NFL week 17 schedule

NFL standings by division

NFL standings by conference

NFL weekly leaders week 16 & week sixteen results

NFL teams stats

Jacksonville Jaguars news

Miami Dolphins news

Tampa Bay Buccaneers news

======================================================

Hot chic pic of the day Draya Michelle . No bra , just panties , and a few droplets of water in running over all of the right places , simply leaves nothing to the imagination . Wouldn’t you agree ?

—————————————————————————-

Kickin’ it with some good ol’ R&B …. Miguel ……. “Adorn”

Just Kick the fucking can down the road , as it’s how you deal with the issue or issues ….

Just Kick the fucking can down the road , as it’s how you deal with the issue or issues …..

To read on merely click on to the link provided below .

Just kick the fucking can down the road as it’s how you deal with the issue or issues

Tophatal ………

Just Kick the fucking can down the road , as it’s how you deal with the issue or issues ….

Just Kick the fucking can down the road , as it’s how you deal with the issue or issues ….

By Tophatal ….

It has not come as a surprise to see the ongoing incompetence of a Congress and Presidential administration that remains so damn clueless ! President, Barack Obama having been returned to office for a second successive term , he still remains a powerless individual . And while I believe him to be the better of the two candidates ,, who sought the nation’s highest political office , in no way should that be viewed as an outright ringing endorsement of Obama the man . His failings on a number of political issues across the political panacea have been mounting and still show no signs of abating.

========================================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

========================================================

Slideshow .

In the aftermath of the tragic events of Newtown , Connecticut , and the loss of twenty six innocent lives , of which 20 of those were students under the age 12 , at Sandy Hook Elementary School . The nation angered by this latest atrocity , and it has once again been left to the idiocy of the Democrats and Republicans to argue over “gun control” , and what might be seen as an effective policy and far-reaching statute that would keep multi-faceted automatic weapons out of the hands of criminals but also individuals with mental health issues . Once again, in comes the NRA , and their overzealous and often insidious Chairman Wayne LaPierre . LaPierre , would have us believe that his organization’s lobbying to have strict and effective gun control policy basically “watered down” effectively assisting the arms’ manufacturers even greater profits than even they could have possibly imagined . Over the years , whatever “teeth” there has been to any effective mandate as it relates to gun control , has had the heart ripped out of it completely. And the statutes now on the books simply does not go far enough to negate the violence now within our midst that takes the lives young innocent children among us .

(4)

The names of the twenty six lives lost in the tragedy of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown Connecticut ,. … @ copyrighted material ABC news all rights reserved …

Mass killings and the hundreds of lives that have been lost on the streets of Chicago over the past eighteen months , should be enough of a horror to make even the most hardened amongst us repulsed . Yet , somehow these harrowing statistics , that places the United States atop of the ladder of developed nations with regards to homicides per capita and per 10,000 remains the highest in the industrialized world . This is not something that the country can take pride in at all. It’s now open season on children and women in terms of the violence now taking place , and these fucking politicians now seem to be intent on sitting on their ass ,while not doing anything positive or proactive on a variety of issues, and the uninitiated masses who offered up their synopsis on this election seeming glossed over so much , merely because they haven’t a fucking clue as to the issues that now affect the country domestically and internationally !

With that in mind , what else should the can the electorate now look forward to ? The economic malaise we’re now told is a “ fiscal cliff” has become a cluster fuck that stinks to high heaven , and at no time over the past four years , has either side sought to deal with this , the most acute of the issues the country now faces . The Democrats and Republicans the ” two bumbling ” and more prominent of the political parties , are now behaving like children fighting over a new toy in a sandpit . House Leader , John Boehner , has all but made sure that there will be no clear-cut solution or compromise before the Congress takes their winter recess . The President for his part remains a toothless tiger without the leadership traits many felt sought in him, as a political leader and statesman . Basically , it’s back to kicking the can down the road as relates to dealing with the nation’s problems . Nothing ventured, nothing gained as they say.

The NBA season is now up and running , and a mere third of the way through its eighty-two game schedule . Leading the way within the Eastern Conference , as well the Atlantic Division , are the New York Knicks (19-7) , the team with the best record within conference , but the fourth best record in the NBA , behind the Oklahoma City Thunder (21-5) , San Antonio Spurs (20-8), and the Los Angeles Clippers (20-6) .

Now while Mike Woodson’s players are off to an impressive start to the season , one could attest to the fact that for the moment they might just be the best team in the conference. Yet the reigning champions the Miami Heat , in spite of their recent hiccups , LeBron James and his teammates do have something to prove , as they seek to make a successful defense of their NBA title .

Now while many might feel that the Heat’s start is somewhat indifferent , it has to be said , if anything this team is simply pacing themselves for the long haul of an arduous season. The NBA schedule , much like a marathon , is not a sprint , but an attrition sapping course of events that simply takes its toll upon the players . So while the Knicks and their fans feel something to excited about at present , let’s not get ahead of ourselves , especially in light of that ugly ….. loss to the Chicago Bulls at home , while playing at Madison Square Gardens, in New York City , New York . Riding high , behind the play of Carmelo Anthony , undoubtedly one of the early season candidates and leaders for the league MVP . Behind some resolute defense and an equally imposing offense , the much maligned Knicks now have the rest of the NBA sitting up and take note.

From the good to the bad , and oh yes , it is really bad , as the woefully inept Washington Wizards (3-20) , either are unknowingly wanting to look bad , or the Wizards’ players are simply that horrendous . Far be it for me to suggest that I can’t spot bullshit when I see it , but the NBA hierarchy should now be investigating whether or not there is a real intent by the franchise to play competitively . If not , then I guess their record and play is indicative how bad they just happen to be. Personally, I just can’t see any light at the end of the tunnel for this laboring franchise ! They are simply not a championship caliber team by any stretch of the imagination

You can build a team around a number one draft pick but you’d better sure as hell have the players to go alongside him to match his skill-set . Two years removed from being the number one pick in the 2010 NBA Draft , John Wall remains something of an enigma , while his teammates , are simply lackluster and dispassionate . Head coach , Randy Wittman , may well be in for an arduous season with his young team . as they try to find a way to remain relevant within the NBA this season .

In the Western Conference , everything has been encapsulated by the might of the Oklahoma City Thunder , led by their All Stars , Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook . And for Westbrook, who might just be the most electrifying talent at the point guard position currently playing in the NBA , and that is with due respect to Chris Paul, Deron Williams and Rajon Rondo .

In the midst of this all , Kevin Durant remains the lynch pin that holds this team together , under the erstwhile coaching abilities of Scott Brooks and his coaching staff . . Thunder GM , Sam Presti , a former front office executive with the San Antonio Spurs has simply molded the franchise using a similar template , by drafting judiciously over the years , garnering , Durant , Westbrook, James Harden , and in 2012, it appears another bumper crop of talented players that Brooks can enmesh into this roster , with them making contributions in assisting the franchise’s aspirations.

Harden , in the midst of contract negotiations with the team could not reach an agreement wherein his contributions with the Thunder have made this franchise a force to be reckoned with over the past two seasons . The negotiations between James Harden and Sam Presti broke down , with the front office deciding to trade the player being traded to the Houston Rockets , in exchange for Kevin Martin and several role players. Harden , for his part having joined the Rockets , he has made more than a solid a contribution for the team , and outshining Jeremy Lin , the “supposed face of the franchise” in the wake of esteemed career of Yao Ming .

The Rockets (14-12) sits third behind the Memphis Grizzlies (18-7) and the San Antonio Spurs within the Southwest Division . From his “hot start” with the Rockets, both Harden and the team

seem to have cooled down with the franchised on a three-game winning streak, but 6-4 over their last ten games .

While there seems to be a new chapter being written in burgeoning career of Blake Griffin and Chris Paul , as the duo lead the Los Angeles Clippers to new unprecedented heights of recent success. The team is now on a twelve-game winning streak , the longest such streak in the NBA this season . Griffin and his teammates have simply been the story in LA , while their more celebrated neighbors the Los Angeles Lakers are struggling under the wealth and weight of expectation . The firing of Mike Brown after a 1-4 start , and the hiring of Mike D’Antoni as Brown’s successor has left the fans of one of the NBA’s most heralded franchises asking what the hell just happens to be going on.

DAntoni for his part is having a hard time in trying to win over the die-hard Lakers’ fans , whose wish it was , was to see either the return of Phil Jackson or the vacant position at the time , be filled by Jackson’s former assistant , Brian Shaw. The decision for the hiring of Mike DAntoni was made by general manager , Mitch Kupchak and SVP Jim Buss , the son of team owner, Dr Jerry Buss .

I have never been a great admirer of Mike D’Antoni as an NBA head coach , as I believe coaching to be fundamentally unsound , especially in light of the fact he has never been avowed teacher of defensive fundamentals , with regard to coaching in the NBA . Dantoni’s teams throughout his coaching , are not known for their defensive prowess. And that is now clearly the case at present, as it relates to the Lakers . And the idiocy is that the fans are now meant to believe that D’Antoni will adjust his coaching style to make such a thought a reality , is simply beyond belief .

Kobe Bryant is the lone constant on the roster of the Lakers , and their primary offensive source , as well as a defensive stalwart for this beleaguered franchise. With Kupchak and Jim Buss having made the decision to hire D’Antoni , it should be noted that they team’s roster also was revamped with the acquisitions of Steve Nash and Dwight Howard to complement to skill-set of Bryant and Pau Gasol. From my own standpoint , with injuries already sustained to Howard , Gasol and Nash , there seems to be a lingering concern as to the overall health of three players. In part, this has played a role in the ongoing owes of the team and the sub .500 record (13-14) now held by the franchise within the Pacific Division of the Western Conference.

The Lakers in their most recent game , came away with a hard-fought 118-115 victory over the Golden State Warriors . On Christmas Day , when to my mind , it gives us a clear-cut picture as to how the teams are faring , as by now we should be witnessing the well-formed intentions and their chase for a playoff berth .

Beyond the off the field issues facing the Sacramento Kings under the connivance of team owners , Joe and Gavin Aloof , there can be no denying that this franchise remains a work in progress both on and off the field of play. Head coach , Keith Smart , still has to deal with a malcontent in DeMarcus Cousins , player with a great deal of talent , but the attitude of a pig , and who lacks the maturity to be seen as a genuine leader of this team. I was once told by a patron, who just happened to be a Kings’ fan , he wasn’t at all concerned about a player’s issues , just as long as he came to play the game. Well, that sort of attitude is so typical of the vast majority of sports’ fans in general today , as they would rather excuse the gross misbehavior of an athlete as being part of the “norm” . Well, it no longer becomes the norm when a player chooses to disparage his head coach and indirectly his teammates . Cousins has been suspended indefinitely by the franchise, for conduct detrimental to the team and organization . Anyone within front office who didn’t see this incident coming has to be either naïve or convinced that DE Marcus Cousins had in fact turned over to a new a leaf.

Cousins remains an enigma , malcontent , talented and a conundrum all rolled up into one human being. The fact that he cannot be quelled and that his off the field antics have been tolerated for so long , speaks volumes as to the incompetence that has been shown by the Kings’ front office as well as the NBA hierarchy as a whole . Repeated infractions by the player, and he has simply been coddled by the Kings’ coaching staff , until this latest incident . Highly sought after , Cousins , as a player, while a player at Kentucky (Wildcats) under John Calipari, a coach whose idea of making players under his tutelage be productive citizens , is akin to seeing Al Capone choosing not to profit from the era of prohibition . And if you sincerely believe that Calipari has ever had the best interests of the players to have been under his tutelage , then simply peruse the minutiae of coaching resume` in detail to see the trail of trouble and NCAA investigations conducted at the programs where he has been a college coach. NCAA champions or not , albeit that the coach is well-respected by his peers and Wildcats’ fans alike , there remains a distasteful stench surrounding anything associated with John Calipari and much of the success he has attained .

As to Cousins impending future and whether or not he remains a player with this franchise in the future , it now remains to be seen .

As I alluded to earlier , Christmas Day becomes the point at where we can truly gauge the progress of the teams. In 2011 , that was certainly the case , as it has always been during previous seasons within the NBA and their usual festivity appealing schedule . Five games are on schedule for the 25th December , of which the “ marquee match-ups” are the Boston Celtics facing the Brooklyn Nets at the Barclays Center , in Brooklyn , with the other game in question, being the New York Knicks facing the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center , in Los Angeles , California, . Hopefully , a genuine treat will be served up by the teams in question in those five scheduled games .

What thoughts if any do you have with regard to the NBA season , and how the year has progressed so far ? And do you feel that the right action has been taken by the Sacramento Kings in the suspension of DeMarcus Cousins ? Merely leave a comment as you see fit on this and anything else you believe to be pertinent on the subject matter in question .

====================================================

===================================================

Picture gallery

To the patrons of this site and the first-time observer my sincerest wishes is for you all to have a wonderful Christmas and a prosperous New Year , with the same sentiment to your immediate families !

Picture and slideshow details below
===================================================

(1) U.S. President Barack Obama (R) shakes hands with Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) during a meeting with bipartisan group of congressional leaders in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on November 16, 2012 in Washington, DC. Obama and congressional leaders of both parties are meeting to reportedly discuss deficit reduction before the tax increases and automatic spending cuts go into effect in the new year. Source: Pool images /Getty North America ….

(2) U.S. President Barack Obama (C) speaks as Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) (L) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) looks on during a meeting with bipartisan group of congressional leaders in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on November 16, 2012 in Washington, DC. Obama and congressional leaders of both parties are meeting to reportedly discuss deficit reduction before the tax increases and automatic spending cuts go into effect in the new year.
Pool Images/ Getty North America …

(3) National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre calls on Congress to pass a law putting armed police officers in every school in America during a news conference at the Willard Hotel December 21, 2012 in Washington, DC. This is the first public appearance that leaders of the gun rights group have made since a 20-year-old man used a popular assault-style rifle to slaughter 20 school children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, one week ago. Either LaPierre is that much of a cynic if this is the best suggestion , he believes is necessary to stem the tide of violence now encompassing the fabric of our society . Clearly, he feels the gun manufacturers has no place to be a part of the wider debate , as it relates to “gun control” . Getty Images / Alex Wong ….

(4) The names of the twenty-six lives lost in the tragedy of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown Connecticut ,. … @ copyrighted material ABC news all rights reserved …

(5) New York Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony (7) ) drives the ball around Minnesota Timberwolves’ Ricky Rubio (9) in the first half of an NBA basketball game on Sunday, Dec., 23, 2012, at Madison Square Garden in New York. The Knicks won 94-91. AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek …

(6) Washington Wizards point guard John Wall talks with the news media following a team practice at the Verizon Center in Washington, Monday, Dec. 17, 2012. Wall, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 draft, has been recovering from a stress injury to his left knee cap. AP Photo/Susan Walsh …

(7) Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant (24) dribbles next to Golden State Warriors’ Klay Thompson (11) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Oakland, Calif., Saturday, Dec. 22, 2012. AP Photo / Paul Parsons …

(8) Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins , right, drives to the basket around Golden State Warriors defender Festus Ezeli during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Sacramento, Calif., on Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012. The Kings won 131-127 . Cousins has been suspended indefinitely for conduct unbecoming and detrimental to the organization . Kings’ head coach Keith Smart and Geoff Petrie , general manager have yet to state whether or not the player will be reinstated and length of the suspension will take . AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez ….

(9) Sacramento Kings’ GM , Geoff Petrie is seen here with the team’s 2012 NBA Draft pick (5th overall in the 2012 NBA Draft) , Thomas Robinson ,alongside head coach, Keith Smart . AP Photo / Matt Marsh ….

———————————————————————————-

==============================================

NBA history & archival stories

NBA news

NBA standings by division

NBA standings by conference

NBA schedule 23rd December , 2012

NBA schedule 25th December 2012

NBA teams offense

NBA teams defense

NBA teams’ history

NBA player statistics :

NBA scoring leaders

NBA blocked shots

NBA rebounds

NBA

Points, reb’s & assists

————————————————

Hot chic pic of the day a very sexy female Santa , spreading some Yuletide joy.

Somewhere to hang one’s hat …….

Somewhere, to hang one’s hat

By Tophatal …..

In amidst the craziness of the NFL season, the biggest story of year , remains the fall from grace of the New York Jets , and this goddamn asinine notion that Tim Tebow is entitled to the chance of being a starter with the Jets . In many of the articles I’ve read within this forum , nowhere have I read , where anyone has stated that the player’s game has simply regressed . Instead , it has been the cries, that he’s being mistreated by the Jets’ coaching staff and the organization as a whole . Has anyone, seen this team’s play over the last eight games , at all ? The truth of the matter , this is not a very good team , one which is simply devoid of leadership both on and off the field of play , and no one , in their given prognostications has been acutely intelligent enough, to state in print, within this forum .

===============================================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


================================================================

Slideshow .

As I alluded to , fans are simply seeking out a feel-good story , especially as it relates to Tim Tebow , Heisman Trophy winner , and a nice guy . Look , in the “real world” , you have to earn the right to be afforded the respect due , and so far in the NFL , Tebow has yet to earn that amongst his peers ! If he cannot cut it at this stage of his career , then his immediate and long-term future is not all that bright .

While Tebow had a stellar career with the Florida Gators , his career in the NFL can be best described as marginal at best. And but for a few fleeting moments in 2011 , with the Denver Broncos and the postseason of that year , has there been anything memorable about Tim Tebow’s career, that now merits his succeeding , Mark Sanchez , as the team’s starter this Sunday and the Jets’ final game of the season ? Ask yourself that , before proffering up a succinct answer .

During , a six game stretch during 2011, for the Denver Broncos, Tebow’s quarterback rating was amongst the lowest in the entire NFL , yet even the most knowledgeable of supporters of the player , somehow chooses to overlook this all. Oh, to be so naïve , and show such a great deal of bias , without trying to lay out an argument either way as to the pros and cons , concerning the player. If a player , in the NFL , was merely playing in the league because of his likability , then everyone , who has ever shown the propensity to aspire to play in the NFL , would be afforded that privilege . Yet , the fact that of the matter , just happens to be, a player succeeds in this league , based on his ability , and not because the fans, merely , want to see a nice guy, get his due . This is not how the NFL operates , where image , power but above all else , money counts for everything . And as marketable as Tebow , just happens to be , his star , is now on the decline , while the luster also has diminished .

The fate of the New York Jets over their final two games , may well rest in the hands of their third-string starter Greg McElroy. And the fact that Tebow , now having recovered from a rib injury , was overlooked by head coach , Rex Ryan for the upcoming game against the San Diego Chargers , speaks volumes as to his and the coaching staff’s lack of faith

in the player’s abilities . Ryan , has tried to suggest and play this all down , by stating that the trade for Tim Tebow was a misjudgment on his part, and the fact that they have been unable to utilize his talents in any phase of their game strategies . When a head coach makes a statement of that magnitude , then you simply know that the future does not bode well for that player . Rex Ryan’s own future with the New York Jets , now comes under a “ cloud of conjecture” and a great deal of speculation .

Clearly , the front office of the Jets’ organization , has to be at odds with the coach staffs’ handling of the team’s malaise this season, and the very fact that they will miss the postseason for the second consecutive year . Team owner , Woody Johnson and GM Mike Tannenbaum must now come to a decision , as to the immediate futures of not only Mark Sanchez , Tim Tebow , but also the entire coaching staff, led by Rex Ryan . The drama on the field of play, was outshone by the sheer ridicule to be found , of the three-ringed circus acts , that unfolded over the course of the Jets’ season , and the idiocy to be found within the Jets’ organization .

Whatever fate now holds for the main characters in this melodrama , the season cannot end soon enough for the success starved fans of the New York Jets . Surely , they deserve a great deal more from the franchise , than they have been subjected to , this season ? And for those asinine ingrates , who felt that the criticism by Joe Namath leveled not only at Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow but also at the Jets’ coaching staff , was undue. My advice would be , isn’t it right about now “ that you should be eating crow” ? Better yet , seek life elsewhere , because in the real world where criticism is valid, one looks at all sides of the argument objectively, and not through a paradigm of favoritism and likability.

There may well have been a rush to judgment in the belief that the New York Giants would be on their way to another postseason berth after last season’s triumph in the Superbowl . This season , the 8-6 Giants, are in the middle of a three-way dogfight for the NFC East , with the two teams who fall short , likely to miss the postseason . Joining the New York Giants in the midst of this drama and intrigue are the Dallas Cowboys (8-6) and Washington Redskins (8-6), which clearly creates even more suspense than even Eli Manning and his teammates would have wished for at this juncture . They will once again come under the microscope , with questions arising as to whether or not they can make a late season surge and garnering a postseason berth. In their last five games , Tom Coughlin’s players are 3-2 , and with m those losses , their hold on the division is now essentially up for grabs .

The Giants will face a stern test when they meet the Baltimore Ravens , a team with struggles of their own ,as they seek to rebound from a set of rather indifferent games . Suffice to say, a defeat, for either team , would effectively seal their fate , as they each have postseason aspirations . This was not meant to be part of the scenario that Tom Coughlin had envisage for his team , as the knock against the Giants over the past two seasons , was their insistence at making their run for the postseason in the latter half of their regular season schedule . The fallout for the team, should they fail to garner that much-envied berth , could very well be catastrophic. . From, hereon-in , one could speculate where this leaves the Giants and their season should this chapter prove to be disappointing .

I’ll repeat this again and again , the Chicago Bears might just be the most be the overrated 8-6 team in the NFL , bearing that mark within the league . And therein , lies the misnomer as to why they are being viewed as a contender for the postseason . A great deal of the issues facing this team have been the very the fact that rush offense for the Bears has been a constant struggle , and most definitely erratic . Given the caliber of the team’s running back Matt Forte, this could very well be seen as misleading , but much of this falls on the shoulders of Jay Cutler , and the very fact the quarterback has proven to be a major disappointment throughout much of the Bears’ season .

Cutler’s entrance into the NFL were lauded , simply because of his exploits , while attending Vanderbilt (Commodores) . As the eleventh overall pick from the 2006 NFL Draft was enough to suggest that the Denver Broncos might well have been unto something, as they sought a successor who could simply replicate the feats of Hall of Fame inductee John Elway, the franchise’s all-time leader in several passing categories for the Broncos.

The Bears’ 23-16 loss to divisional rivals , the Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field , in Chicago , Illinois , could very well be the defeat that either sends a signal to the front office that changes will have to be made this off-season. GM , Phil Emery , may well seek to discuss the team’s problems with President & CEO Ted Phillips , and Chairman , George H McCaskey, as to the likely moves that can be made . Certainly , Lovie Smith’s position as the team’s head coach may well come under even more scrutiny , than he has been accustomed to , in recent years. Moreover, it is my belief , that Jay Cutler’s position will become even more tenuous with many questioning whether or not he can actually lead this team deep into the postseason.

Up next for the Chicago Bears will be a conference match-up against the woefully lamentable Arizona Cardinals. For Cardinals’ head coach, Ken Whisenhunt , a win is of the utmost necessity, if only to stave off, the now fomenting discussions as to his immediate future and that of several members of his coaching staff , as well as a number of players on the Cardinals’ roster.

Whatever , you may well feel about the Chicago Bears , the undeniable question has to be , what will it take for this team to make the next step into the upper tier of the teams seen as the amongst the elite within the NFL ? From my own perspective , there have been no truly dominant franchises within the league this season , and that is in spite of the ongoing records and several of the results over the course of the 2012 regular season schedule !

The Atlanta Falcons (12-3) may well be riding high , and for Matt Ryan, a possible candidate for league MVP , he knows better than ever , that the time is now , for this team to truly show the fans of the NFL that they are a force to be reckoned with . I have my own misgivings about this team , because the team’s quarterback has yet to indicate to me , that he has the wherewithal to lead a his franchise to their desired destination , a berth in the Superbowl.

Falcons’ head coach , Mike Smith , has a team built around the explosiveness of his offense led by Tony Gonzalez, Roddy White , Michael Turner , Julio Jones and with a defense that gives up 18.5 ppg and 354.4 total yards per game this season. It may well be enough to cede the ball club to their desired destination . Whether or not that will be enough , it remains to be seen at this juncture . Having secured the #1 seed in the NFC , the Falcons will face the fast declining Detroit Lions in a Saturday evening game being played at Ford Field , in Detroit , Michigan,. Given the woes of Lions’ franchise this season . I get the impression that they could very well be on wrong side of a rather lopsided defeat !

Nothing , absolutely nothing , has gone right for the Detroit Lions (4-10) over the course of this season , as the franchise seems to have regressed back to the team , that we all witnessed , have one of most infamous seasons in NFL history , in posting an 0-16 record in 2008. There’s nothing else , that needs to be said left to be said at this juncture !

A disappointing season all-round for the Lions but most notably , I believe for Matt Stafford , after having a breakout season in 2011! His erstwhile teammate , Calvin Johnson , just seems to be nonchalantly going about his business while cementing himself as the NFL’s best wide receiver by quite a wide margin over the rest of his peers .

=============================================================

==============================================================

Picture gallery .

With one week left on the NFL regular season , after Saturday and Sunday’s slew of games , it will be interesting to see how a number teams fare, as they seek to make that final push for a playoff berth . With seven spots already secured there still remains, seven places up for grabs, and it remains to be seen which of these ball-clubs will be up to the task. Chime in , with a comment , as you see fit , on this, and anything else, you feel pertinent, as to the subject matter .

😉

Picture and slideshow gallery below .
———————————————————————————————

(1) FILE – This Nov. 11, 2012 file photo shows New York Jets’ Tim Tebow on the field before an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks in Seattle. Rex Ryan acknowledged Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012 that he had higher expectations for the seldom-used Tebow in the Jets’ wildcat-style offense. And, so did the NFL’s most popular and maligned backup quarterback. AP Photo/Elaine Thompson ….

(2) Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson (28) runs for a 94-yard touchdown against the New York Jets in the second quarter of an NFL football game, Monday, Dec. 17, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn. AP Photo/Wade Payne …

(3) New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) passes against the Tennessee Titans in the second quarter of an NFL football game, Monday, Dec. 17, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn. AP Photo/Wade Payne …

(4) New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) passes against the Tennessee Titans in the second quarter of an NFL football game, Monday, Dec. 17, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn. AP Photo/Wade Payne

(5) New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow (15) is sacked for a 2-yard loss by Tennessee Titans linebacker Zach Brown (55) in the second quarter of an NFL football game, Monday, Dec. 17, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn. AP Photo/Wade Payne ….

(6)New York Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan (C) Owner Woody Johnson (R) and General Manager Mike Tannenbaum pose for a photo at a press conference naming Ryan as the new Head Coach of the New York Jets at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center on January 21, 2009 in Florham Park, New Jersey. Johnson’s involvement with the company that bears the familial name Johnson & Johnson Inc is now at a bare minimum , but it is strange to see the pharmaceutical giant be successful , yet an NFL franchise , where Woody Johnson is the CEO is ran with such poor decision-making , which seems to be reflected in the team’s play this season and their standing in the AFC East . Photo by Andy Marlin/Getty Images …

(7) Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall (15), second from right, sits on the bench in the second half of an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers in Chicago, Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012. The Packers won 21-13 to clinch the NFC North division title. AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh …

(8) Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) is sacked by Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews , left, in the second half of an NFL football game in Chicago, Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012. At right is Packers linebacker Dezman Moses . The Packers won 21-13 to clinch the NFC North division title. AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh …

(9) Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) works against the New York Giants during the second half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012, in Atlanta. The Falcons would go on to defeat the Giants 34-0 . AP Photo/Rich Addicks …

(10) Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson (81) cannot pull in a pass as Arizona Cardinals corner-back ,Patrick Peterson (21) defends during the first half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012, in Glendale, Ariz. AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin ….

(11) Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) is pressured by Arizona Cardinals defensive end David Carter (79) during the first half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012, in Glendale, Ariz. AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin …

——————————————————————————————-

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

NFL related links : Football

Hits. misses and a bye your leave

The year of the young guns

And clearly we’re about to agree to disagree

Who says you can’t go home and be welcomed back like a prodigal son ?

=============================

NFL news & news from around the league

NFL archived news

NFL week 16 schedule & week fifteen results

NFL full 2012 regular season schedule

NFL standings by division

NFL standings by conference

NFL stats weekly leaders

NFL stats teams

😉

Atlanta Falcons news

Chicago Bears news

Detroit Lions news

New York Jets & archived news

==========================================================

Jaime Edmondson the quintessential Patriots’ fan

They haven’t got a pot to piss in , much less a window to throw it out of ….. ideas of grandeur , baseball style .

They haven’t got a pot to piss in , much less a window to throw it out of ….. ideas of grandeur , baseball style .

By Tophatal

Well the MLB off-season is proving to be just as thrilling as teams seek to shed payroll , while others seek to increase payroll , with the ultimate goal of glory , success , and all that it may entail . No need to guess , who the big winners are at this juncture before the season has even started . Both the Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels have sought to make their “big splash” , while north of the border , the Toronto Blue Jays have sought to revamp their roster and increase their payroll .

=====================================================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


========================================================================

Slideshow

The biggest acquisition made by the Blue Jays has been that of Cy Young Award winner R A Dickey, from the New York Mets , and given the franchise’s ongoing precarious financial position , of which their idiotic fans seem to fail to comprehend , it is my firm belief that the front office will continue on , with its own self-styled fire sale . Granted , the Toronto Blue Jays were made privy to the Miami Marlins’ fire sale , where the South Florida franchise has once again embarked upon divesting of the big-money contracts they were handing out out to those free agents like “ cotton candy”. A hellacious season of inept performances , the firing of a manager and the Marlins’ foray in 2012 can be best described as an almighty cluster fuck of “gargantuan proportions” .

In the midst of this mess , the “so-called in-depth investigation “ that Bud Selig has stated would take place , has actually failed to materialize , with no one having been empaneled by the commissioner to even remotely ascertain how and why team owner, Jeffrey Loria , and other Marlins’ front office executives, team President, Larry Beinfest , GM, Michael Hill and EVP ,Dave Sansom , have been allowed to simply wreak havoc upon this franchise, while at the same time giving the team’s fans false hope. It has been this sort of mismanagement that continues to take place around the game , under premise harsh economic times . Personally , I believe it to be “ one great big fucking lie” being suborned by the team owners and countenanced by the MLB hierarchy !

And lo and behold , it is this sort of apathy by the fans who buy into a franchise’s premise that because they have failed to meet certain goals , then they have to divest themselves the “ burdensome salaries” on their books. Unless I am mistaken, these self-styled executives and owners went into these negotiations with the players and their agents with their eyes wide open , did they not ? Furthermore , a close acquaintance patron of this site suggested to me that the Tampa Bay Rays , a franchise , who only in recent years has found a modicum of success has been profitable , due to the erstwhile financial expediency shown by GM Andrew Friedman . That might be the “biggest crock of shit “ within the Tampa Bay area , other than the continued stupidity being showed by the local politicians within the locale. The only reason the Tampa Bay Rays have been financially sound , has nothing at all to do with the accounting acumen of Friedman , because it has more to do with the fact that the franchise like several others , are the recipients of monies , made available to them by way of the league’s tax sharing revenue scheme . In the last seven years alone , the Rays as a ball-club has benefited to the tune of some $146 million . Given the menial profits attained by the franchise , a $20 million off-balance sheet boost can make that final earnings’ mark quite alluring to any fan merely glancing over a pro-forma spread-sheet detailing the Rays’ finances .

Yesterday, another stalwart of the Rays’ franchise in recent years allowed to leave with first baseman , and former Gold Glove winner , Carlos Pena , who signed a one year deal to become the newly designated hitter (DH) for the Houston Astros in 2013 . Pena and his new team will be part of the new league realignment, that sees the Astros making the move from the NL Central to the AL West . Pardon me for saying this , but given Astros’ woes in 2012, I am not so sure that their league mandated move will truly be of benefit for the franchise . Once there , they will have to face off against Los Angeles Angels , Oakland A’s , Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers . And given the resurgence of the A’s and the likelihood that we will continue to see improvement in the play of the Angels and Rangers , there has to be a team within the division, that will end up being the “ whipping post” and “ bitch “ that everyone else gets to “ ravage” . So why not the moribund Astros ?

Astros’ owner , Jim Crane , with the then record amount of $775 million paid to purchase the franchise . He has to know, that he faces an uphill battle in getting this team in a competitive state to take on the likes of the aforementioned teams within the AL West , Manager , Bo Porter and his managerial staff will most certainly make the most of the off-season preparation schedule of Spring Training to get players ready as they embark upon their first season in the AL , in 2013. The Astros first regular season series of will begin a three-game set against the Texas Rangers at Minute Maid Park , in Houston , Texas , starting on 2nd April, 2013.

With a ready-made instate rivalry right off the bat against the Rangers , this should bode well for the Houston Astros , if they feel that they are up to the task. Add in the fact, that Nolan Ryan , current team President and part-owner of the Texas Rangers , was himself , once a player with the Astros , this certainly adds a great deal of intrigue to the panacea of the events that are likely to unfold between these two franchises.

One of the more asinine insinuations being made and which I read in an article written within this forum , given the complete lack of knowledge of the individual , who seemingly only chose put the words on paper , rather than conducting any research whatsoever, This individual , along with the more anally retentive supporters of the Mets’ franchise , tried to suggest that the financially cash-strapped franchise remains a viable and financially solvent concern. Fuck it , when you lose in excess of $40 million , and are projected to lose another $60 million in the subsequent year , you are in no way on a sound financial footing , especially when one of your primary creditors no longer wishes to extend you any further credit facilities . This has been the idiocy , that is being countenanced by so many of the team owners , for which Bud Selig is not prepared to offer the public or the fans an answer. Instead, he chooses to blow smoke up everyone’s ass, as to his own importance , and the fact that baseball has sound business practices .

Funny , I don’t ever once recall , Selig ever delving into the reasons why the Los Angeles Dodgers were taken into bankruptcy proceedings (Chapter 11) when there was clear evidence that the former owner , Frank McCourt had been recklessly running the franchise into the ground , while repeatedly using the team and other assets as collateral for several of his own personal business deals . In the aftermath of the franchise’s multibillion dollar sale , McCourt was able to walk away with an estimated $435 million free and clear , as he was also said to be a creditor of the ball club he took into bankruptcy reorganization. How the fuck can that be allowed to happen ? Wherein an owner, knowingly flout one of the most sanctified rules of the game from an executive standpoint , but yet he escapes unpunished . Meanwhile, a player who violates the league’s substance abuse policy for a second time , faces a 100 game suspension and becomes a “pariah” within the game . Yes, this is the mendacity and goddamn stupidity that Bud Selig lovingly presides over, but yet no one within the game much less the media questions his authority or decision-making .

Having recently signed David Wright to a eight-year $147 million deal , the New York Mets were was unable to retain the services of R A Dickey. To my mind that one move, has pretty much epitomized why the New York Mets remains a fucking mess ! Sandy Alderson, J P Ricciardi and Paul DiPodesta may well have at one time graced the game with their alleged acumen , but they were brought in to right the wrongs wrought under Omar Minaya , while he was the general manager of the New York Mets . Instead , the same old fucking idiocy appears to be continuing within the ball-club, as they capriciously spend money on a player , who does not possess any leadership ability, and is simply looked upon as the “ poor man’s “ Derek Jeter . If ever there was more apt description, to describe David Wright , then those words, best sum up, how he is genuinely viewed within the game . Fans can now prognosticate and pontificate as to what awaits the team for this upcoming season as they begin their Spring Training schedule under Terry Collins and his coaching staff . While that takes place , you can be sure that the team’s primary owners, Saul Katz and Fred Wilpon will continue to wreak havoc within this ball-club , without their being any oversight whatsoever coming from baseball’s hierarchy.

It was the end of an era , as one the best switch hitters ever to play the game simply stepped down , from being a player with the Atlanta Braves . Chipper Jones leaves the game as one of the most celebrated and beloved in Braves’ history , and most definitely a player who was respected by his peers past and present. With his departure, GM , Frank Wren sought to bring in a productive center-fielder , and thought to be someone capable of filling that void was former Rays’ outfielder B J Upton . With Upton’s introduction as the newest member of what is considered to be an already productive lineup within the NL , and it is hoped that the player can simply increase his career numbers while providing the solid defensive prowess he has come to be known for . Upton, will be richly rewarded witha 5 year $75 million contract , making him one of the highest paid players on the Braves’ roster.

One of the deficiencies that blighted the Fredi Gonzalez’s players last season , was the inconsistency of the pitching , and the lack of timely hitting at crucial points during a game. The team will begin their Spring Training Schedule in the month of March with a slew of games that should in fact get these players ready for the upcoming regular season schedule which begins on the 3rd April , with a three game set at home against the Philadelphia Phillies at Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta , Georgia,. A long and arduous 162 game schedule now awaits the teams as they each to succeed the San Francisco Giants as the World Series champions in 2013.

During the course of this off-season , more than $1.4 billion in contract negotiations will have been dealt with by the general managers and with agents such as Scott Boras , Arn Tellem , Casey Close , Dan Lozano , Larry Reynolds and John Courtright . There’s a reason why these individuals have now become the bane of the general managers around the game . To my mind , however, the owners are equally as responsible because they also have a responsibility , as they have a right not to acquiesce to the demands the players seeking these exorbitant salaries . But you would be hard pressed to convince a number of fans and purists alike who is actually in right or wrong as it relates to the “ escalating salaries “ within the game of baseball.. I am sure that Michael Weiner , Executive Director of the MLBPA (Players’ Union) would like to see the status quo remain as it is , with his members , as they see their salaries rise consistently in line with the demands they make of league’s owners and the respective teams . .

Courtesy of the New York Times

Baseball Ties Olympic Reinstatement Bid to Women’s Game

By Jere`Longman of the NY Times

Having whiffed on an attempt to link its Olympic future with women’s softball, baseball is now following another gender-equity route in an attempt to gain reinstatement to the Summer Games of 2016.

Baseball officials have aligned with the relatively seldom-played game of women’s baseball to burnish its chances of gaining re-entry into the Olympics after being dropped from the 2012 Summer Games in London.

It is too early to know whether such a move will prove shrewd or merely desperate by baseball, which was evicted from the Olympics for several reasons, including concerns over the lack of participation by major leaguers and widespread doping.

In October, the International Olympic Committee will award the 2016 Games to Chicago, Tokyo, Madrid or Rio de Janeiro. Two additional sports will be proposed for those Games, to be chosen among baseball, softball, golf, karate, roller sports, rugby and squash.

In February, baseball was given the cold shoulder when it attempted to persuade softball to make a joint bid to regain their Olympic status. At the time, Don Porter, president of the International Softball Federation, said in a statement that softball would keep its bid separate, adding, “We have offered the I.O.C. a doping-free, universal team sport that reflects the values of Olympism all over the world.”

Translated, softball did not want to be aligned with a sport that is awash in drug scandals and offers competitions, like the World Series and the World Baseball Classic, that may be considered more prestigious than the Olympics.

By contrast, the Olympics represented the height of international softball competition for the 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008 Summer Games before the sport was eliminated, many believe, because of American dominance.

All of the world’s top softball players would be expected to participate in the 2016 Summer Games. Or as Porter said in another recent statement, in a thinly veiled reference to baseball, “The Olympic Games would not be just another competition in an overcrowded schedule for softball.”

Rebuffed by softball, baseball chose to pair its Olympic proposal with women’s baseball, which is rarely played in the United States but, officials say, is played in more than 30 countries by more than 100,000 participants. Still, it is much less visible than softball, which officials said is played in 127 nations by 8.5 million participants.

======================================================
Click on link to read in full .

=====================================================

Baseball has been caught between a “rock and a hard place “ by way of its endless greed , while not caring to truly look after its on-field product , and how it markets itself not just on the domestic front , but also as a global brand . The game’s situation has further hampered by the intransigence shown by the league hierarchy under Bud Selig . Were it not for his sheer and utter stupidity in caving in to the union , the sport itself would still be part of the Summer Olympics . Selig at the time while trying to portray the image that MLB wanted to remove the illicit use of PED’s within the game , simply acquiesced to the wishes of the MLBPA , in not wanting to fully adhere to the testing protocols of WADA , as followed by the IOC . Now , with their being a joint effort with the International Softball Federation (ISF) to get both sports reinstated by back into the fold, as part of the Summer Games , it will be interesting how both parties will represent their joint case to the International Olympic Committee(IOC). The ISF along with baseball’s international governing body , International Baseball Federation (IBAF) and Bud Selig will seek to present their case at the headquarters of the IOC , in Lausanne , Switzerland . It is not so much that baseball is unpopular as a global sport , which it is not , the real issue has always been Bud Selig’s lack of real authority of the sport he presides over in North America , as the highest ranking executive within the league’s hierarchy . It has been Selig’s penchant for saying great deal while in actuality not doing anything that has in essence made him look a blithering idiot in the eyes of the fans.

What is a precedent here, is the very fact the men’s game of baseball is in fact seeking to ride in on if not piggy-back in, on the coat-tails in the growing popularity of the women’s game of softball , as it seeks reentry back into the Summer Olympics . If that isn’t a first , then what is ? And even though the World Baseball Classic (WBC) has yet to truly take hold internationally , there is a growing belief , if Selig , simply lets the IBAF take the reins , rather than trying to be the dominant partner in the staging of the event , there would indeed be a greater interest in the quadrennial event , which is next due up in 2013 , with the qualifying rounds set to start in December , 2012, but the main tournament not due to begin until March , 2nd ,2013 with the group phase of the tournament . It now makes you wonder what the fuss has been about concerning the WBC , especially light of the fact that the television coverage and viewership of the event in North America , has been sparse indeed. Yet , on the international front , specifically in the Far East Asia , Latin America and the Caribbean , the fans cannot seem to get enough of the event . Which begs the question , is it not time for Bud Selig to immediately step down , rather than retiring in 2014, as he claims , will be his intent ? A fresh influx of new and progressive ideas are needed within the game , rather than , this ” doing it by the numbers approach” of “hits and misses” , by Selig and baseball’s hierarchy. The irony here will be , if Selig does step down , then joining him also , will be , NBA Commissioner , David Stern , who formally announced , that he will step down in his role , a position that he has held within the NBA hierarchy for almost twenty-five years . A term , slightly out doing his MLB counterpart , as the duo have battled all concerns , friends , foes , and their respective unions , repeatedly over the lengths of their service. Selig has not named or intimated, who his successor might be , but we have been made aware that Adam Silver , NBA Deputy Commissioner, will succeed , David Stern. I do believe that Bud Selig , will countenance the promotion from someone already within the hierarchy , with the support of the team owners . If anything , Selig , will simply seek out a like-minded individual to carry on his policies , while his persona will continue to leave an indelible and some might say a “stain ridden mark” upon the ” game “ .

=====================================================================

====================================================================

Picture gallery .

What, if anything , do you hope to see being achieved during the upcoming season within the game of baseball ? Also , are you of the opinion that the sport needs to adopt a “ hard salary cap” that would see the teams getting an equitable share of television and other ancillary revenues ? Do take time to leave a comment as you see fit on this , and anything else you believe relevant to the subject matter.

😉

Picture and slideshow details below.
=================================================

(1) New Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher, Zack Greinke adjusts his cap during a baseball news conference announcing his $147 million, six-year contract, Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012, in Los Angeles. The Dodgers have seen fit to make several deals this off-season , as GM , Ned Colletti has been given the go-ahead by the front office executives to pursue these transactions . At the commencement of the 2013 regular season , the Dodgers will by far have the biggest payroll in Major League Baseball , far exceeding $200 million. AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes ….

(2) Free-agent outfielder Josh Hamilton, right, and his wife, Katie , talk to the media during a news conference in Anaheim, Calif., Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012. Hamilton, formerly of the Texas Rangers, joins the Los Angeles Angels MLB baseball team after signing a $125 million, five-year contract. The acquisition of Hamilton was prompted by Angles’ owner Arte Moreno not wanting to see the franchise left lagging behind the Dodgers in the free agents’ sweepstakes . Moreno instructed GM Jerry DiPoto do whatever it takes to land the “big league slugger” . AP Photo/Chris Carlson …

(3) FILE – This Sept. 27, 2012 file photo shows New York Mets starting pitcher R.A. Dickey reacting to fans as he celebrates his 20th victory of the season after the Mets 6-5 win against the Pittsburgh Pirates in a baseball game at Citi Field in New York. A person familiar with the deal tells The Associated Press that Dickey and the Blue Jays have agreed on a new contract , clearing the way for the New York Mets to trade the Cy Young winner to Toronto. The person spoke on condition of anonymity Monday, Dec. 17, 2012, because the trade was not yet complete. The 38-year-old knuckle-baller must pass a physical before he joins the Blue Jays. The Mets would get prized catching prospect Travis d’Arnaud as the centerpiece of the multi-player swap . AP Photo/Kathy Willens …

(4) New York Mets third baseman David Wright, center, walks from one interview to the next at baseball’s winter meetings on Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn. Wright and the Mets finalized a $138 million, eight-year contract on Tuesday, the largest deal in the team’s history . AP Photo/Mark Humphrey …

(5) FILE – This Sept. 26, 2012 file photo shows Tampa Bay Rays’ Carlos Pena following through on a two-run home run as Boston Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia watches in the fifth inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston. The Houston Astros have signed veteran Carlos Pena to be their designated hitter , addressing a key need as they prepare for their first season in the American League. AP Photo/Elise Amendola …

(6) Atlanta Braves newly signed center fielder B.J. Upton , right, and general manager Frank Wren pose with Upton’s jersey during a news conference introducing Upton, Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012, in Atlanta. Upton replaces free agent Michael Bourn in center field and should provide needed power from the right side. AP Photo/John Bazemore ….

(7) National Basketball Association Commissioner David Stern (L) greets Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig before testifying with the heads of the NFL and the NHL to the US House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection about the use of illegal performance-enhancing drugs in professional sports on Capitol Hill February 27, 2008 in Washington, DC. The subcommittee also heard testimony from officials from the US Olympic Committee , National Thoroughbred Racing and the US Anti-Doping Agency . Getty Images / Chip Somodovilla …

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

E-mail rapptu@gmail.com

=================================================================

MLB news & press releases

MLB transactions (December-2012) , November

MLB calendar important dates

This week in MLB history overview

This week in MLB history

December 19th

MLB Spring Training schedule

MLB regular season begins

MLB team owners

MLB general managers

😉

Highest paid players in baseball

MLB team values & profitability

😉

MLB final divisional standings & wildcard standings

2012 MLB postseason

Hits ,misses and a bye your leave …….

Hits ,misses and a bye your leave

By Tophatal

Week fifteen is in the books , as far as the NFL goes , and with two penultimate weeks are left , before we hit the postseason . The once glamorous “best division” in football has become the moniker for ineptitude and mediocrity . There’s now a three-way tie atop of the NFC East , guys , so take your pick from really bad bunch of teams .

============================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


============================================

Slideshow.

It would be fair to say , that should the Dallas Cowboys (8-6) make the postseason , then team owner, Jerry Jones , will be bellowing it from the rafters , that “ America’s Team is back “ . In an ungodly mess of a game , the Cowboys somehow managed to overcome a Pittsburgh Steelers’(7-7) team that was as equally mediocre in terms of their play. Big Ben may well be , Big Ben , but I can’t help but wonder what the hell Ben Roethlisberger thought he was doing , when he made an errant and mistimed pass late in the fourth quarter, that was ultimately the deciding factor in this game , that went into overtime and a three-point 27-24 victory for the Cowboys , in front of a near sellout crowd at Cowboys Stadium , in Arlington , Texas.

While the Dallas Cowboys were defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers , their bitter divisional rivals , the New York Giants (8-6) were somehow finding ways to embarrass themselves further ,by giving their worst display of the season , in a lopsided 34-0 shutout loss to the Atlanta Falcons (12-2) , led by their MVP contender, Matt Ryan . As to Ryan’s NFC counterpart , well let’s just say this might have one of those days at the office , that Eli Manning would rather forget , as his own display , was equally as puerile as the team’s real lack of effort on the day. As to what this says about the mental and physical toughness of the Giants , I’ll leave it for you to be the judge of that ! Suffice to say , should the team miss the postseason , then they can point to this defeat as one of the many reasons why their season was such a failure .

Giants’ coach Tom Coughlin cannot be pleased with this effort, t put forth by his players, and it doesn’t augur well for the team , as they face Baltimore Ravens’ , in week sixteen, in a game that will be of significant meaning for both teams. A further loss by either team may well put to rest and extinguish their postseason hopes altogether.

In the aftermath of the Roger Goodell , debacle and the overturning of the suspensions of the four players that were said to be at the center of the Saints’ bounty scandal. What better way than for the New Orleans Saints “ to the thumb their noses” up at the league hierarchy and send an emphatic message to the rest of the NFL , that this team is , or was by no means “ dead in the water” . Drew Brees and his teammates feasted on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers , like a lion devouring its prey . I’m sorry there may well be teams in the NFL , with a far worst record than the Buccaneers , but I doubt if those teams in question simply lack the heart and are as ill-disciplined , as this team has shown itself to be. All the rhetoric in the world and post-game idiocy, exhibited by Greg Schiano , cannot hide the fact that this a badly coached and poorly executing team , in just about every facet of the game . Josh Freeman , lacks poise , and his in-game decision-making is now coming into question more and more . And if you are looking for an indication as how Freeman’s performance was in this game , then his 37.5% quarterback rating , to add with his game stats of 26/47, for 279 yards and 4 interceptions , should be enough to tell you , how poor a game Freeman had , this past Sunday. The win for the Saints (6-8) moves them into a two-way tie for second place within the NFC South , and it now leaves Joe Vitt’s players , with an ever so slim chance of garnering a postseason berth. In order for that to be facilitated for the New Orleans Saints , they would have to “ win out “ , while others immediately ahead of them in the NFC standings , would simply have to falter over the remainder of their respective schedules .

Of the scheduled games on Sunday , perhaps AFC West match-up between the Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders might well have been one of the worst games , that the NFL fans have been asked to witness and endure in the last five years. For two teams so bereft of talent on both sides of the ball , the fact that this game was decided by five field goals , speaks volumes as how goddamn awful both of these ball-clubs actually were . Sebastian Janikowski may well have earned his money on the day , but what does that suggest to you , concerning the lack of talent , as it concerns both the Chiefs and Raiders ?

This was not a game that the paying or viewing public should have been subjected to , under any circumstance ! Five fucking field goals , for a 15-0 Raiders’ victory , was the only way to decide this game ? Are you kidding me ? If this was the best that the Chiefs and Raiders had to offer , much less the NFL , then I would have preferred to have watch three hours of gratuitous porn ! No plot-line you might say , well it would have been a whole lot more enjoyable and preferable than continuing to watch the Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders’ play in this comedic farce ! Hell , two elephants going through their “ ritual mating rights” would have been far more entertaining than the bullshit served up by these two AFC teams ! But that is to be expected , if you simply look at the history of the match-ups between these two teams over the past decade . In terms of relevance their games , have never really been a worthwhile spectacle !

With the Denver Broncos having won the AFC West with relative ease , distancing themselves from their closest divisional rivals with so much distance that even the Hubble Telescope might not have been a useful aid in guessing the distance . Suffice to say , once Peyton Manning graced the Broncos with his presence and the AFC West as a matter of fact , you simply knew that the division would be a one-horse race . And at a time , when it looks as if Romeo Crennel and Dennis Allen might well be relieved of their duties , the San Diego Chargers have made it known that Norv Turner will be asked to return for 2013. And one wonders why that particular franchise is in such a goddamn mess ? The Spanos’ family , as owners the Chargers, do not have a propensity for showing common sense , and the apathetic fans of the team , will gladly continue to accept themediocrity being passed off as football by the San Diego Chargers.

Dean Spanos continues to be a bombastic ass , who has done more harm to the franchise , his family owns, by retaining the services of general manager, AJ Smith and Norv Turner , than the damage that could have been wreaked by an earthquake hitting Qualcomm Stadium , in San Diego , California , home venue of the Chargers. And Norv Turner’s team did their utmost on Sunday , in their 31-7 loss to the Carolina Panthers to reiterate why, they have been such a monstrosity this season.

The Broncos for their part have been the “hottest team” in the NFL , having won nine of their last ten games , while Manning has simply been electrifying , not merely over that stretch , but over the entire season , in leading the franchise to the third best record (11-3) in the entire NFL , and second best mark in the AFC . Coming off the Broncos’ emphatic win over the Baltimore Ravens (9-5) in something of a 34-17 rout of the AFC North franchise, Manning and his teammates have a realistic shot at ending up with the second seed within the conference , and earning a first-round bye in the playoffs..

The Chicago Bears (8-6) may well be the most deceptive of the teams in with an 8-6 record the NFC , in the midst of the midst of the playoff mix . This is a team which has been lauded over but in truth , they are not that good , in spite of the statistics that would suggest that they have one of the “better defensive units” within the NFL.

Bears’ head coach Lovie Smith , in witnessing the team’s latest defeat (21-13) , in a game played at Soldier Field , in Chicago, Illinois , against the Green Bay Packers , has to be asking himself what else does he have to do to get this team playing with passion much less pride . Instead, this lineup merely goes through the motions , and the lauded duo of Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall , who were meant to be this “dynamic duo” that would add potency to the offense , have been about as effective as a Rabbi seated in a mosque reading from the Torah , to a group of radical Muslims . No good can come of it , and that has definitely been the case in terms of the effectiveness of the pairing . Not only that , but this Bears’ rushing attack can’t can’t run on anyone and they are one of the poorer offensive units within the NFL , in that specific category. . And should the Bears make the playoffs, then a great deal more has to be expected out of the defense and the team’s rushing attack led by Matt Forte , but most of all Jay Cutler has to show that he is a leader , rather than going through the motions and continuing to disappoint each season .

Don’t look now , but it would appear that the Seattle Seahawks have found themselves a quarterback , who has the poise and promise, that could quite possibly lead to a title , at some point in their future . Russell Wilson, to my mind , beyond the heralded exploits of Robert Griffin III and Andrew Luck, has been by far the best quarterback to have exploded onto the scene this season , not named Griffin or Luck . Many , had the likes of Brandon Weeden and Ryan Tannehill , and deemed that duo , as B1 or perhaps B2 of the players taken at the position in the 2012 NFL Draft . Tannehill and Weeden are playing on teams that have struggled throughout the season , and it should also be noted that neither has shown the poise or leadership qualities now being exhibited by the Seahawks’ rookie quarterback. Stats asides , the intangibles are what should be looked at, rather than simply making comparisons a in player’s statistics , those intangibles and leadership qualities have to count for something . Yet all I’ve read, is this idiocy of making comparisons by way of statistics as the sole reason to judge a player’s abilities !

Wilson has led the Seattle Seahawks to an admirable 9-5 record within the NFC West and good enough for the fifth seed and quite possibly a playoff berth within the NFC. Winning out in their final two games , would be “icing on the cake” for a team that many may well have felt would not be not in the running for a postseason seeding as an NFC representative . Those final pair of games for the Seahawks will be a home game at Q West Field , in Seattle , Washington in week sixteen against Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers . Week seventeen and once again another home game that pits the Seahawks pitted against divisional rivals the St Louis Rams . Cautiously optimistic , I believe that Pete Carroll would gladly like to take this team back to the playoffs , as he had done in 2010 , when they surprised the then, reigning Superbowl champions , the New Orleans Saints 41-36 in the wildcard round of the 2010 postseason . The Seahawks’ foray was short-lived as they suffered a 35-24 loss in the divisional round to the Chicago Bears. All eyes on the Seahawks as a worthy “dark horse” in the NFC ? Your thoughts ?

=================================================


================================================

Picture gallery.

In truth a great deal of the NFL season has proved to be exciting but in a number of ways it has also proven to a tremendous disappointment because of the off the field issues and the very fact that Roger Goodell as the NFL commissioner , has done his utmost to render more harm to the NFL brand than anyone could ever have imagined .

😉

Picture and slideshow details below.
=========================================

(1) Dallas Cowboys corner-back Brandon Carr (39) celebrates after the Cowboys beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 27-24 in overtime of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. Carr intercepted the ball in overtime to set up the winning field goal. AP Photo/LM Otero …

(2) Dallas Cowboys defensive end Marcus Spears (96) sacks Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. AP Photo/LM Otero …

(3) Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) walks off the field after the second half of an NFL football game against the New York Giants, Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012, in Atlanta. The Falcons won 34-0 . AP Photo/John Amis …

(4)Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) makes a touchdown catch as New York Giants corner-back Jayron Hosley (28) defends during the second half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012, in Atlanta. AP Photo/John Amis …

(5) New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) sits on the bench during the second half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012, in Atlanta. The Falcons would go on to defeat the Giants 34-0 . AP Photo/John Amis …

(6) Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman (5) sits on the bench in the second half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012. The Saints won 41-0 . Freeman had another atrocious game which saw him end up with a 37.5 QB rating in an error strewn unproductive game by the quarterback . AP Photo/Bill Feig …

(7) Oakland Raiders place kicker Sebastian Janikowski (11) kicks a 57-yard field goal from the hold of punter Shane Lechler (9) during the second quarter of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012. The Raiders won 15-0 . This was just one of five field goals kicked by Janikowski in the Raiders’ victory over their AFC West rivals in an offensively and rather mediocre display from both teams . AP Photo/Ben Margot ….

(8) San Diego Chargers’ Quentin Jammer and Eric Weddle watch as Carolina Panthers’ DeAngelo Williams(34) and Cam Newton(1) celebrate their 45 yard touchdown pass during the first half of a NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012, in San Diego. AP Photo/Gregory Bull ….

(9) Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh looks at quarterback Joe Flacco as he walks off the field during the second half of an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos in Baltimore, Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012. The Ravens would end up being on the wrong sided of a lopsided 34-17 loss to the Broncos who won their ninth straight game in the NFL on Sunday . AP Photo/Patrick Semansky …

(10) Green Bay Packers outside linebacker Clay Matthews (52) celebrates after sacking Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) in the second half of an NFL football game in Chicago, Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012. The Packers won 21-13 to clinch the NFC North title. AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh …

(11) Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) walks off the field after the Bears’ 21-13 loss to the Green Bay Packers in an NFL football game in Chicago, Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012. The win clinched the NFC North division title for the Packers. AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh ….

(12) Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) runs the ball against the Buffalo Bills during the first the half of an NFL football game in Toronto, Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012. The Seahawks demolished the Bills in a 50-17 rout , with Wilson capping the day with three rushing touchdowns of his own in a scintillating performance by the Seahawks’ rookie quarterback . AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Nathan Denette ……

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

NFL related links :

The year of the young guns

My hard on , is better and bigger than yours

Mo-fo’ protect your neck or you’ll get knocked the fu#k out

Who says you can’t go home and be welcomed back like a prodigal son

=============================================

NFL & news from around the league

Older archive stories

NFL standings (divisional)

NFL standings (conference)

NFL results week fifteen

NFL team injuries

NFL transactions

NFL stats weekly leaders

NFL stats teams

===================================================================================

Hot chic pic of the day Bianca Beauchamp . Canadian performance artist and ingenue .

The year of the young guns …….

The year of the young guns

By Tophatal

Well , in the aftermath of last season in the NFL , we saw the rookies excel and explode unto the scene . Perhaps , none more so, than Carolina Panthers’ quarterback , Cam Newton , whose rookie season entered the record books , under the applause of the fans and NFL analysts like.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Slideshow.

Granted , in 2012 , Newton has suffered something of a “sophomore slump”, but as of late the player , seems to have got his “ swagger back” , having led the Panthers to , two victories , in their last three games . The Panthers (4-9) though out of the divisional race within the NFC South , can play “ spoiler” over the remainder of their schedule , in hurting the conference and divisional aspirations of the teams they face while aiding others with a view to gaining a postseason berth. In truth, there are many, who still doubt the ability of Cam Newton , in spite of the momentary flashes of brilliance exhibited by the sophomore quarterback during this season. And a great deal of that criticism is valid, when you consider the candor and lack of maturity shown by the player. If he is to improve , then it will be incumbent upon, head coach , Ron Rivera , his quarterbacks’ coach , Mike Shula and offensive coordinator , Rob Chudzinski to get the best out of the Newton , not just as a player but also as a much more amenable character. If those traits can be imbued upon Newton , then there’s no reason not to believe why the Panthers can’t be successful in the future .

Next up for the Panthers, will be a game against the long-suffering San Diego Chargers , whose season just seems to be spiraling completely out of control. And to top it all , it is being reported that beleaguered head coach , Norv Turner , will be retained and brought back next season . My question would be , an emphatic , why ?

To discuss the issues of the Chargers would , constitute having to go through their litany of woes, one-by-one . But this call dealt with succinctly in complete sentence . Get rid of Norv Turner and general manager A J Smith , and start afresh , with regard to a new front office executive in charge of the player personnel operations , and a head who is acutely aware as to what it takes to create “ a winning brand of football “ in today’s NFL !

Veteran quarterback , Philip Rivers has been laboring under a great load , over the past three seasons at least, with the organization , under the belief that he can carry the franchise upon his shoulders , while playing at a high-caliber. If the Chargers can’t give the player , the tools to get the job done , then at least , do him the service , of allowing him to leave , rather than have him decline , while playing on an extremely bad team . For Rivers, who entered the NFL as part of that of well-versed quarterbacks in the 2004 NFL Draft , that provided us with “signal callers” , Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger , JP Losman , Matt Schaub, Craig Krenzel , Jim Sorgi , and shall we say “ several characters “ that were never to be heard from again ? Manning and Roethlisberger , between them, have won four Superbowls in their first eight seasons , joining a select group of players to share that distinction of multiple Superbowls , while playing the quarterback position , in the NFL’s biggest postseason fare.

In 2012, as it relates to this season’s Draft , and the players , who have contributed to their team’s productivity and victories . Let’s just say, we have been very privileged to have witnessed the exploits of many of these young players, over the course of this arduous sixteen-game regular season schedule. And while it has been the talents of Robert Griffin III , Andrew Luck , Doug Martin , Russell Wilson , Trent Richardson, Chandler Jones , Ty Hilton , and Alfred Morris who have had an impact this season .

Granted, it has been the “skilled positions” , such as the quarterbacks , running backs , wide receivers , tight-ends and corner-backs , from this year’s NFL Draft , who tend to attract the glare of the limelight . It should be noted that the contributions have come farther afield , and from the most unlikely of sources in terms of this particular crop of rookie players .

Certainly , in 2011 , it was Cam Newton who stood out amongst his particular rookie class . Those players , now sophomores can only hope to maintain that promise shown , in their first year , otherwise known “as their baptism of fire “ .

Andrew Luck in 2012 , has simply been stellar this season, leading an Indianapolis Colts’ team, that no one would have guessed or suggested , would be on the cusp of gaining double-digit wins, while challenging the Houston Texans (11-2) for divisional supremacy (AFC South) , and with a rookie quarterback in tow, helming the roster. The faith shown in Luck by Colts’ GM , Ryan Grigson , in making the player the team’s number one pick

in this draft, has been repaid numerous times over. I am not about to suggest that Andrew Luck , has made the fans forget about the exploits of Peyton Manning and the almost fourteen years , he spent as the franchise’s quarterback and simply obliterating whatever records that stood on the Colts’ books ! Yet, you have to admit that no one saw this coming , as it relates the player’s skill-set , or that the franchise’s fortunes would take this much of an upswing in Luck’s first season.

The Colts will face a daunting task this Sunday , when they are scheduled to take on the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium , in Houston , Texas . This is a pivotal game for both teams , with their being so much at stake , at this point of the season. This is but one, of a slew of potentially exiting games on the schedule for week fifteen. A victory for the Colts pretty much places a great deal of pressure upon Gary Kubiak and his team , as they seek to make a second consecutive appearance in the postseason. In 2011, the team had a humbling experience , when having won their first playoff game in franchise history , a 31-10 blowout of the Cincinnati Bengals in their very first postseason victory. The Texans’ subsequent match-up would be against the Baltimore Ravens in the divisional round of the 2011 postseason , a game , in which Kubiak’s players were simply outmatched , as they suffered a “stinging “ 20-13 loss .

The groundswell of support for Robert Griffin III , and what he has been able to achieve for the Washington Redskins , simply indicates to me, all of the ballyhooed hype over Tim Tebow was not warranted ! Jersey sales my ass ! How about Tebow actually showing that he possesses the damn acumen to actually play the position of quarterback , rather than these lame-assed interviews he conducts concerning wanting to be a good teammate , and help his team improve ? Rex Ryan and the entire New York Jets’ front office obviously woke up that morning , kissed each other on the ass , before deciding to trade for Tebow . I knew that Denver Broncos’ GM, John Elway built his half-billion fortune ($500,000,000), through his vast business interests , having owned several car dealerships in around the greater Denver area , as well as around the state of Colorado. It’s obvious however, he didn’t need to do a lot of arm-twisting to get the idiots from the Jets to be a “sold “ on Tebow . Does the state of New Jersey not have “lemon laws” ? Never mind , “ Snooki “ , and “ The Situation” are now researching that on behalf of the Jets’ front office . That’s great ! LOL,LOL,LOL !!!

RGIII, the “moniker “ , so commonly used to describe one of the league’s best young players . The quarterback has now made believers out of his doubters , as he now has the Redskins (7-6) , in the mix for a playoff berth within the NFC , as they sit a game behind the sixth-placed Chicago Bears (8-5) . And though the franchise has greatly improved this season , primarily because of the play of Griffin and his fellow rookie teammate , Alfred Morris. There is no denying , that there is still need for improvement , from this team . Griffin, I believe is fully cognizant of this fact , that he and his teammates will seek to do their utmost , in claiming one of those four berths available , with the top two teams from each conference gaining an automatic bye in the wildcard-round of the NFL postseason.

Teams come , and teams go , but over the past few seasons I have looked at the Seattle Seahawks and said “ were it not for their multi-billionaire owner , no one would really take notice of the franchise “! . Paul Allen , co-founder of Microsoft , passionate about the sports’ franchises he owns , but in particular about the Seahawks , has simply thrown money at almost every problem that has befallen the franchise. Case in point , can anyone justify how it is that the team’s head coach , Pete Carroll , is earning , close to $7.5 million a year ? The coach we knew had unprecedented success while at USC (Trojans) . Cheat ! Now there’s no call for that , as this was how the game was being played at the time , with just about everyone involved in College Football , suborning the actions of a school , that simply didn’t care or give a damn about NCAA violations . There were millions of dollars to be made and the Trojans’ program simply backed up their Brinks’ trucks and those in support of the program , just filled those motherfuckers up , at will .

Now look , am I saying I’ve got proof ? No , I am not , but here’s my take and I’m sticking with it , follow the goddamn money trail and it will lead you not just to the athletics department , but all the way up the ladder to hallowed offices of the board of trustees and the university’s President. ! It’s not fucking rocket science , unless you choose to be that naïve . There was a reason why then AD , Mike Garrett , stepped down , along with it came a golden pension that remains intact , without any admittance of wrongdoing on his part . As for Pete Carroll, ask him a question as to what went on , and just watch his nose extend as lie , upon lie is, uttered from his mouth . Pete , we get it , there was money to be made and Reggie’s family (Bush) needed to get theirs , as well. Nothing wrong with earning money dishonestly , just don’t fucking lie about it , that’s all . Pimpin’ “isn’t easy” , as every whore comes with a price tag , no matter how cheap or expensive the services rendered are . “Big-ups “ to you bro ! Gotta’ get paid just like everybody else .

If Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III are to viewed as the A1-A2 of the quarterbacks taken in this draft , then based upon his performances this season , the Seahawks’ Russell Wilson has to viewed as perhaps B1 ? At 8-5 , Peter Carroll’s team have slowly but surely made themselves a legitimate contender for a postseason berth , but can they viewed as a legitimate contender for the Superbowl (SBXLVII) to be staged at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome , in New Orleans, Louisiana . The Seahawks’ quarterback has found himself likely offensive weapons in Marshawn Lynch , Golden Tate and Sidney Rice . The latter pair , between them have accounted for fourteen of the twenty touchdowns passes thrown by Wilson in 2012 . There’s no denying that Seahawks are more than happy with the accomplishments of their young rookie quarterback , as they probably are with the rookies , now on the team’s roster. The surprising thing , is that while there now seems to be a budding quarterback controversy with another NFC West occupant . the San Francisco 49ers . It would appear that the Seahawks may well be set at the position for the foreseeable future , as Wilson seeks to stamp his own name , and make an indelible mark in the franchise’s record books. And with that in mind, I fully expect Wilson to feast on the Buffalo Bills’(5-8) tawdry defense when the two teams meet this upcoming Sunday in a game to be played at Ralph C Wilson Stadium , in Buffalo , New York. Your thoughts on the possible result of this upcoming event ? Chime in with a thought, as you see it .

Within the space of three weeks the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-7) have fallen out of divisional and playoff contention to being an “ also ran” and hoping that others will provide them with an assist , if they are to make the postseason. Along the way however, the lone bright spark , on an otherwise lackluster season from the Buccaneers , has been the play of the team’s rookie running back , Doug Martin. And while the questions arise as to the topsy-turvy play of quarterback , Josh Freeman , I am not so sure where this team now goes from here , and how Greg Schiano intends to rectify the ongoing problems with the Buccaneers . Inconsistency has essentially killed the hopes of this franchise and long with once again a fan-base that now seem even more disinterested in the week-to-week exploits of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Can’t say that I would blame the fans given the fact that the Avram Glazer shows about as much business acumen , in seeking to make the Buccaneers’ brand more appealing to the fans , as there at times seem to be a contempt being shown by the Glazer family (owners of the franchise) and how the view the locale at large. The Buccaneers have simply conned the city and county government , as they have sought exploit every single financial opportunity offered by those anally retentive governmental agencies !

========================================


=========================================

Picture gallery.

Which 2012 NFL rookie have you been impressed with this season , and do you believe that they will indeed be hampered by that “customary sophomore slump “ that many seem to have grown accustomed to having ? Take time to comment as you see fit, and thanks always for the continued support of this site , as it is greatly appreciated !

😉

Picture and slideshow details below.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

(1) FILE – In this Dec. 9, 2012., file photo, Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) dives into the end zone for a touchdown as Atlanta Falcons’ Chris Owens (21) pursues during the second half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C. The Panthers second-year quarterback had his best game of the season, but the highlight occurred as he was crossing the goal line to complete a 72-yard scoring run . He somersaulted into the end zone, and as his legs were in the air, he was nudged slightly by a Falcons defensive back. AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt …

(2) Carolina Panthers’ Greg Olsen (88) and Cam Newton (1) celebrate Olsen’s a touchdown catch against the Atlanta Falcons during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt ….

(3) Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) scrambles past Atlanta Falcons’ Chris Hope (24), Kroy Biermann (71), and Sean Weatherspoon (56) during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. AP Photo/Bob Leverone ….

(4) Indianapolis Colts’ Robert Mathis (98 lifts Cassius Vaughn (32) after Vaughn intercepted a pass from Tennessee Titans quarterback Jake Locker and returned it for a 3-yard touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game , Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, in Indianapolis. AP Photo/Jeff Roberson …

(5) Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) looks up during the first half of an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, in Indianapolis. AP Photo/Jeff Roberson ….

(6) Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) passes against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half of an NFL football game in Seattle, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. The Seahawks would go on to defeat the Cardinals 58-0 . AP Photo/Stephen Brashear …

(7) Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin (22) celebrates with teammate wide receiver Tiquan Underwood after scoring against the Philadelphia Eagles during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, in Tampa, Fla. AP Photo/Chris O’Meara ….

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

😉

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

NFL related links : All within Tophatal’s blog

And clearly we’re about to agree, to disagree ….

Mo-fo’ protect your neck or you’ll get the fuck out

Who says you can’t go home and be welcomed back like a prodigal son

For whom the bells toll , it tolls for thee

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

😉

==================================================

NFL news & news from around the league

NFL news archived articles & latest hot of the press pieces

NFL schedule week 15

NFL standings by division

NFL standings by conference

2012 NFL Draft & their rookie stats

2011 NFL Draft & their stats from that season

======================================================================

Elisha Cuthbert .

😉

Mila Kunis

Cuthbert & Kunis . And who wouldn’t mind being in the middle as part of a triple-decker sandwich ? I know that I wouldn’t mind ! Are you in ?

Hot chics pic of the day Elisha Cuthbert & Mila Kunis .

Stability , spelled , S T A B I #### , Oh hell no !

Stability , spelled , S T A B I #### , Oh hell no !

By Tophatal ….

It’s really been interesting to see the fallout politically, in the aftermath of the Presidential and Congressional elections . With over $2.5 billion spent on television ads , to serve up the usual diatribe , not a goddamn thing changed in terms of the makeup of the Congressional chambers or within with the White House . Yet , we now have the two main political parties haranguing one another, for their lack of inaction , in getting about , and conducting the nation’s business within both chambers . I will look at this way , Rep. John Boehner , as House Leader and his Democratic counterpart in the Senate , Harry Reid , are two self-indulgent and conceited bastards ! . With their bumbling and fudging on so many issues , one has to question why the fuck they’re now acting so concerned over the “fiscal cliff malaise” . The Democrats and Republicans , collectively , have never shown the slightest concern over this issue , until the stakes were raised concerning the expiration of the Bush tax cuts “ . Now that was a man , who knew how to fuck things up , and not be prepared to take responsibility for his actions ! His successor, Barack Obama, having inherited a mess , well, his idea was to surround himself with a bunch of plutocrats and intellectuals whose idea of the real world , has been, to wet their finger , stick it up in the air and use it as a kind of weather vane to test the political climate . Why, they simply didn’t insert their fingers into each others’ ass as a true measure , might well have proven to be more productive for all of the use that it would’ve done . Smells like it shit , but it can’t be shit, because taste is so appealing to these congressmen and women . Guess what ? Shit to a congressman might just be the ” elixir of life “, and their reason to exist and live !

================================================================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

================================================================================

Slideshow .

Adding insult to injury , was a recent interview granted jointly, by Boehner and Reid , to Scott Pelley , the CBS news’ anchor and also one the co-hosts and presenters on the broadcast outlet’s popular prime-time news’ magazine program “60 Minutes” . The two congressional law-makers , suggested that there was a great deal of bilateral unity and that the US Congress has been productive . WTF ! Perhaps , I might have missed the day that they passed the bill , that allowed a statute ,an allotted $2 billion in pork barrel spending for projects such as the beautification of privately owned land in states such as Pennsylvania , Michigan , Wisconsin , California and Montana on a wide variety of unproductive and meaningless studies and alleged workforce related projects . Getting ten guys to dig an even bigger hole than the one they have already dug , only then to fill it in at a later date , is actually counter-productive , unless that hole will be used to dump human waste matter , Well , if that’s the case , then why not corral all 535 Congressional members and simply dump their ass in that hole along , with rest of the human waste ? .

Speaking of things that have not changed , how asinine is the situation now surrounding the New York Mets ? Having signed David Wright , their All Star , third baseman to an exorbitant and extravagant six-year $147 million deal , the cash-strapped financial organization , which last season lost in excess of $40 million , and who were pleading with wealthy New Yorker’s to do their civic and well-meaning duty by purchasing a stake in the cash-starved ball-club, as a way of providing it with some liquidity . This bright idea was initiated by none other than Mets’ COO Jeff Wilpon , who along with his father , Fred Wilpon and the team’s senior managing partner, Saul Katz , have presided over this financial morass . Funny, the damn clueless Mets’ fan, overlook the ball-club’s financial woes , but would rather point to the fact that by retaining Wright , and signing him to such a contract , provides the organization with stability. Yes , this is the sort bold-faced idiocy, one should now expect from the fans of the New York Mets . Citi-Field is > now an elephant’s graveyard and will remain that way , as long as the Wilpon family and Saul Katz are allowed to preside and reign of that franchise . Anyone who believes to the contrary , clearly knows nothing , concerning the ongoing mess that has encompassed the ball-club. Ignorance is bliss, and amongst the Mets’ fans, it has also become a way of life ! LOL,LOL,LOL !!!

And while Wright now has that “guaranteed contract” to live up to , the Mets’ Cy Young Award winner , R A Dickey, is left to haggle with the organization over a contract extension . Stability , I ask once again ? Sandy Alderson , Paul Di Podesta and J P Ricciardi do not understand the meaning of the word “ stability”, and of they happened to trip over a sign mentioning that very same word . I would dare say, that their intent would be to ignore it ! All three were brought in to revamp the organization, with regard to its personnel, gauge their prospects and the organization’s farm system . Well, let’s just say eighteen months into their soiree , and the results have added insult to injury

. Uncompetitive , lackluster and genuinely devoid of leadership on and off the field of play , and it is understandable to see why this team has struggled in the way that it has during 2012 .

Next season may not bring much joy or success for the New York Mets , as they will undoubtedly seek room for improvement , as too will their divisional rivals , the Atlanta Braves , Miami Marlins , Philadelphia Phillies and the Washington Nationals . The chasm between the Mets , and the divisional winners , Davey Johnson’s Nationals , should prove to be enough an indicator , of how high a mountain , Terry Collins and his managerial staff will have to climb.

I’ll say this, for Magic Johnson and the syndicated partners who purchased the Los Angeles Dodgers for a staggering $2.156 billion , leaving no one in any doubt that the purchase price paid , was merely a sign of things to come . The changeover from the old brigade of Frank McCourt , and CFO Peter Wilhelm , was long overdue . But there have been some holdovers , with Tommy LaSorda and GM Ned Colletti remaining with the organization. LaSorda’s position , is a roving goodwill ambassador special consultant . In other words Tommy still gets to keep that corner office overlooking the parking lot , in order for him to take his mid-afternoon naps and stay the hell out-of-the-way of Don Mattingly and his managerial staff. Colletti, for his part, will have to show his acumen, as it relates to the personnel decisions that will have to be made. Stan Kasten , specifically brought in by Johnson and senior managing partner, Mark L Walters , will be directly over Ned Colletti , in the hierarchy structure of the newly revamped Dodgers organization. As to things begin to take shape , will be predicated upon the inevitable changes that will undoubtedly be ,made and the overall decision-making of the senior executives .

We were able to see for ourselves how gregarious Magic Johnson was said to be , when he initiated the initial overtures to the Boston Red Sox to acquire Nick Punto , Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez , while adding $176 million in future salary commitments for the team. In all four former Red Sox players were acquired in what was a ten-player two team trade . The addition of the aforementioned players was not enough to secure the Dodgers a playoff berth , as the franchise saw the San Francisco Giants not only take the NL West divisional crown , but also the NL pennant , and to top it all , the World Series, itself. The triumph of the San Francisco Giants
will have left a bitter taste in the mouths of the Dodgers’ fans
, as well as the organization as a whole .

The Dodgers have been quick to pull the trigger this off-season quickly releasing players that they felt were superfluous to their needs . Once a mainstay on the Dodgers’ roster , James Loney . recently found himself a new home , signing one year deal with the Tampa Bay Rays. That addition will undoubtedly help the Rays and their lackluster offense . As to the Dodgers’ own needs , well it has been one of pitching , and that was plain for all to see by way of the team’s statistics . With that mind , Don Mattingly made an outlandish offer to the 2009 NL Cy Young winner Zach Greinke as the starting pitcher was given a six-year $147 million deal , making Greinke the highest paid pitcher on the team’s staff . With money now being of no option to the Dodgers , with the backing of venture capital firm Guggenheim Partners LLC , the primary owners of the baseball franchise through their sports’ holding unit Guggenheim Sports & Investments LLC . Guggenheim with assets of $180 billion , the company is headed by Mark L Walters and Todd S Boehly , with the venture capital firm having offices around the globe , most notably in some the major international financial capital markets . .

I’ve no doubt that the Los Angeles Dodgers will be competitive for the foreseeable future but the biggest obstacle to that will be the San Francisco Giants . Their meetings over the past five years have proven to be thrilling . It will be interesting to see how Greinke fits in with the existing rotation of the Dodgers, headed by Clayton Kershaw , Chris Capuano, Aaron Harang , Chad Billingsley, Ronnie Belisario and the relief pitching staff .

While the Los Angeles Dodgers look to “become “ the New York Yankees of the NL , the actual AL franchise is now troubled by injuries to key players and with an aging roster , questions are being asked , as to what players are being developed through their farm system , that might be ready for promotion up the ranks . Alex Rodriguez will be sidelined through to the month of June , as he undergoes hip surgery and the recuperation process. The loss of the third-baseman might not be as pressing as some might perceive, given the player’s lack of productivity during the regular and postseason for the team . The Yankees’ foray in the playoffs was short-lived , due to the lack of productivity by the players under Joe Girardi’s command. Curtis Granderson , Mark Teixeira , Nick Swisher , Brett Gardner and Rodriguez failed miserably as the team fell to the Detroit Tigers .

With Alex Rodriguez sidelined , the Yankees’ opened up their pocket-book and offered a one-year $12 million contract , to former Boston Red Sox , first baseman , Kevin Youkilis , acquiring the player as a free agent . Youkilis , if you remember , ran afoul of former Red Sox manager, Bobby Valentine , who engineered the player’s trade to the Chicago White Sox , during the season . If anything, that was a sign of things to come for franchise, as their season fell apart , with it, ultimately leading to Valentine’s dismissal , but not before , other major upheavals amongst the playing staff led to discord amongst the fans and the local media personalities , with their heated criticism of the then , beleaguered, Bobby Valentine, as well as the front office , with much of their heated venom directed at team President , Larry Lucchino and team owner, John Henry . With the firing of Bobby Valentine , GM Ben Cherington has hired , the candidate he originally sought for the managerial position , John Farrell . The newly installed manager , a former pitching coach with the ball-club , is certainly well-liked by a number of players on the roster , especially amongst the current pitching staff. Cherington, hopes that Farrell can engineer an immediate turnaround, that will see the team become a major challenger to the ever-present Yankees , Tampa Bay Rays , as well the reinvigorated Baltimore Orioles, and the middle of the road contender , the Toronto Blue Jays. Baseball’s need for the AL East to be competitive and exciting , year in , and year out , is paramount , if it is to attract the attention of the fans throughout the season.

I’m sorry, but being sent to “ baseball purgatory “ , is nothing to be proud of ! When the Tampa Bay Rays , made the announcement that they would be sending pitchers , Wade Davis and James Shields to the Kansas City Royals . Not only was I surprised , but I kept asking myself , did either of the two players do something to piss off management , much less the ownership group ? That might well be one explanation , but the fact that both now , Davis and Shields , are now said to be excited about playing for the Royals . Well, it leads me to believe , that they may well have been duped ! In return for the trade , Joe Maddon , gets budding prospect , Wil Myers and four other prospects from the Kansas City Royals. Long-term, this trade may well benefit the Rays , but with regard to the team’s needs and its immediacy , this was nothing more than a penny-pinching exercise by GM Andrew Friedman .

Joe Maddon and Friedman , will have a hard time trying to convince the most vocal of Rays’ supporters , of which they are not that many, that the loss of Shields in particular will not be felt . Beyond Shields and David Price , they were few pitchers in the Rays’ starting lineup , that could give the manager some “quality innings ” and starts during 2012 . And with the credible presence of Jeremy Hellickson , I firmly believe that the Rays will regress in terms of their overall pitching this upcoming season ! And predicated upon what we already know to be true, Friedman will not overpay for talent , because of the ball-club’s wish to be financially prudent .

Bearing in mind, that this month the Rays’ sought to make Evan Longoria the highest-paid player in the franchise’s history , by offering him a contract , worth $100 million over six years , effective, in 2016. Granted, Longoria is seen as the “ face of the franchise “, and perhaps , one the most popular players in Rays’ history.One man . on his own , cannot carry the load, that is being asked of Longoria by the organization, and it is incumbent upon Andrew Friedman to place the best roster around a player of Evan Longoria’s skill-set , in order for the Rays to succeed. As of now , I don’t believe the evidence is there to suggest the success sought will come about in a short matter of time. This ball-club has toiled for its success over the past fourteen seasons , but it has only been in the last six years , where the Rays’ peers and their fans have really stood , and taken note of the franchise’s success . True in part , one appearance in the World Series and a series’ defeat , has to be seen as minimal , but for the Rays’ fans who have had to endure those losing seasons , they would rather take that lone appearance , and the recent successes, over the years in the wilderness when this ball-club was being ridiculed every step of the way.

===============================================================================

==============================================================================

Picture gallery

What opinions if any, do you have that might be on appearance deemed capricious spending by the teams as they sign contracted players to long-term deals or in the case of Zack Greinke , a rather ludicrous and exorbitant contract , that simply makes no sense, given his lack of tangible success since 2009 ? And do you believe that either the New York Mets or Tampa Bay Rays can be truly competitive this upcoming season ? Chime in with your thoughts and anything else you believe warrants interest as it relates to the subject matter .

🙂

Picture and slideshow details .
============================================================

(1) President Barack Obama and former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney shake hands in the Oval Office after their lunch Thursday at the White House. The two met in hope of forming a bilateral approach , in tackling many of the nation’s underlying issues . The former Massachusetts’ governor has promised to aid the President in any way that he can. AP Photo / Mark Hanson …

(2) U.S. President Barack Obama (2R) shakes hands with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney as first lady Michelle Obama (L) and Ann Romney look on after the debate at the Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center at Lynn University on October 22, 2012 in Boca Raton, Florida. The focus for the final presidential debate before Election Day on November 6 is foreign policy. Getty Images North America/ Joe Raedle …

(3) Speaker of the House , John Boehner , left , is seen here alongside President Barack Obama , center, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid . The three have routinely met in recent months , trying avert a “fiscal crisis ” , but in recent months in the lead-up to the automatic “kick in” of tax increases on January 1st , 2013, there have been more frequent meetings and telephone conversations tasking between the President and the Speaker, Boehner as they seek to avert this looming financial crisis . With Congress due to vacate Capitol Hill for their winter break by 20th December , there seems little doubt as to the urgency and delicateness of the matter , but because of the incessant bickering between the “two sides” no common ground has been found . AFP/REUTERS/ Anatoly Litvikov ….

(4) FILE – In this Sept. 27, 2012, file photo, New York Mets starting pitcher R.A. Dickey delivers against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the first inning of a baseball game at Citi Field in New York. Dickey and Mets general manager Sandy Alderson can agree on one thing _ they would prefer to have closure before opening day. The Cy Young Award winner can become a free agent after the 2013 season and says he won’t negotiate once it starts, so the Mets probably have to sign him to an extension or trade him to get the best return. AP Photo/Kathy Willens ….

(5) New Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke adjusts his cap during a baseball news conference announcing his $147 million, six-year contract, Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012, in Los Angeles. The Dodgers also closed a deal when signing South Korean pitcher, Ryu Hun-Jin , to a six-year $36 million contract . AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes …

(6) Los Angeles Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti , left, and co-owner, Magic Johnson, right, present pitcher Ryu Hyun-Jin , center, of South Korea, during a baseball news conference announcing his $36 million, six-year contract, Monday, Dec. 10, 2012, in Los Angeles. Ryu becomes the first player to go directly from the Korea Baseball Organization to the United States big leagues. AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes …

(7)Kansas City Royals pitcher James Shields, center, held up his new jersey, flanked by Royals general manager Dayton Moore, left, and Royals head coach Ned Yost , during a press conference at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012. Shields and Wade Davis arrived in Kansas City to undergo physicals and check out the stadium from the home clubhouse for the first time. Shields and Davis became members of the Royals on Sunday in a blockbuster trade that sent top prospect Wil Myers and three other minor leaguers to Tampa Bay. AP Photo/The Kansas City Star, David Eulitt …

(8) Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria , smiles as he answers questions during a news conference after signing 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 …..)

=================================================================

😉

MLB pieces within this site

===========================================================================

MLB news & press releases

MLB news archives & MLB press releases

MLB transactions

MLB final standings

MLB final wildcard standings

MLB postseason (2012)

MLB free agents 2013

——————————————————————————————————————

Kansas City Royals news

Los Angeles Dodgers news

New York Mets news

San Francisco Giants news

Tampa Bay Rays news

MLB Draft

MLB Top 20 prospects

🙂

MLB team salaries

MLB teams’ market capitalization & profits

MLB teams’ profits in ascending order

😉

MLB team salaries 2012

Highest paid players in baseball

Highest paid short-stop

Highest paid third baseman

=========================================================

US Jamaican native Vanessa Veasley .

And clearly we’re about to agree, to disagree …

And clearly we’re about to agree, to disagree ….

By Tophatal

Call me naïve but all of the hype over the teams at the start of the season doesn’t bear out the claims being made by the pundits and fans alike . BCS / College Football anointed USC (Trojans) the number one ranked team in the nation, only to see that program fall from grace faster than a speeding bullet shot up into the air , and with that projectile swiftly falling . The fact that Lane Kiffin tried to play down his team’s woes as being nothing more than complacency and inexperience , clearly indicates that the coach , himself , didn’t believe the “ bull “ he was readily extolling , as he tries to hide behind the disappointment of what might have been .

===========================================================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


========================================================================

Slideshow .

The Trojans were 7-5 in overall play and 5-4 within conference ( Pac 12) , in essence when you consider this team was highly-touted as the Pac 12 champions, as well as a bonafide contender for the BCS national title . Well the Trojans’ Bowl aspirations will be down to one of second-tiered Bowl games , and in this case , it will be the Hyundai , sponsored , Sun Bowl , in El Paso , Texas on the 31st December ,2012, when the USC (Trojans ) take on Georgia Tech (Yellow-jackets) . A nondescript game , with a $2 million payout for the winning program, on the day . And we wonder why the BCS in conjunction and the major conferences , have been so slow in dragging their feet and adopting a clear cut formatted playoff system that would be equitable for all? With these multi-million dollar payouts at thee bowl games , it’s better to “ keep the gravy train” rolling along as it is , rather than further having divide the spoils amongst many of the lesser programs who aspire to be playing amongst the big boys of the FBS . As Ohio State Buckeyes’ President , Dr E Gordon Gee once stated “ we’ve no need for programs who can’t play at a higher level and pay for the privilege of doing so “ . Need we be reminded of what was going on at the Buckeyes’ program between 2009 through to 2010, under then , head football coach , Jim Tressel ?

Let’s just say , the stench to be found on the college’s campus , could only be outdone by lies and deceit countenanced by Tressel , his coaching staff and numerous players with the football program at the time. Pay to play , pimp by ride , and I’ll one-up you with , I’ve got a bag a weed , a major drug dealer and gambler handling bets for the players , and a car dealer offering “free rides” (cars) for players to roll around in , with some of the finest ” bling-bling” and “honey dips” (females) available for sexual gratification. Yet somehow this all escaped the watchful eye of AD Gene Smith and the Athletics Department’s compliance officers ? Stevie Wonder could’ve detected that rancorous stench and told you , what , when , why and how ? Buckeyes’ Nation , more like, Fuck You Nation ! And if anyone believes that the installment of Urban Meyer , as the coach of the football program , will bring about a renewed search , for academic and athletic excellence , then , think again ! .

This past weekend within the NFL ,there were a number of results that may well have left you in sheer apoplexy . First off the bat , I will reiterate , there are no do-overs in the NFL , and the Arizona Cardinals cannot , and will not be allowed a second bite of the apple , after their 58-0 shellacking at the hands of the Seattle Seahawks . I am English , and results such as this, normally takes place during a rugby match and not , in an NFL game ! At what point was Cardinals’ head coach Ken Whisenhunt going to press his secondary into making a serious attempt at playing some defense ? Last , I looked , Russell Wilson was not the second coming of Joe Montana , and Marshawn Lynch could not be mistaken for Barry Sanders . Yet somehow, the performances of the Seahawks’ offensive players in this game were somewhat reminiscent of the Forty-Niners at their very best . But let’s take a step back , this is the Arizona Cardinals we are talking about, a franchise that hasn’t been relevant since Kurt Warner was leading them to regular season victories with a great deal of aplomb , before choosing to ride off into the sunset and into the arms of a loving family . Do you get the feeling that the Cardinals’ front office < might not now contemplate giving Warner a call , to gauge his interest in returning to the NFL ? It’s not as if Kevin Kolb , John Skelton and Ryan Lindley , have been able to do that much at the quarterback position for the Arizona Cardinals this season. The trio are amongst the worst performing players at the position within the NFC , and not far off being amongst the worst of a terrible bunch within the NFL as a whole !

I know it’s not Groundhog Day , but the frequency of the losses for the Kansas City Chiefs , have become repetitive and damn monotonous . In the aftermath of the Jovan Belcher “ tragedy” , a rallying cry was heard and a victory came out of an unnecessary tragedy . That being said, it’s back to the ineptitude we’ve seen exhibited with ever-growing frequency from a team that apparently has lost its will to win , and whose coaching staff now seems to be out of their depth.

Sunday afternoon , the Chiefs were the guests of the Cleveland Browns , in a game that would have significant meaning for the Browns , as they sought to keep within striking distance of the Cincinnati Bengals , and avoid ending the season , as bottom feeder within the AFC North . Brandon Weeden was not asked to do a great deal , other than to be efficient , and not put his team at risk during the game. Cleveland came away with a 30-7 victory , which improves their record to 5-8 , while dropping the hapless Kansas City Chiefs to a mediocre 2-11, with only three games left , in order to end their schedule and not further subject their fans to this misery.

For team that was said to have a great deal of of aspiration for the postseason , the Houston Texans have proven to as elusive as they are thrilling . Everything about this team at the start of the season , suggested that they were ready to “ hit the big time” . Well, take into account their first postseason berth , and their displays in 2011 , all that was being asked of Gary Kubiak’s players on Monday night , would be , that they go out, and acquit themselves well . Instead , the Texans ran into the New England Patriots and their buzz-saw offense that simply laid waste to an apathetic and woefully inept Texans’ secondary , that on the day looked lackluster and did in fact play lethargically . I’m not a heavy gambler , but it would be a cold day in hell , before you would be able to entice me to bet on the Houston Texans in any type of a meaningful wager ! This team and franchise has no “ real body work” behind it, other than a exceptionally explosive offense , that plays well during the regular season , but seems to come up short , when it matters most .

We are all aware of what Tom Brady has been able to do over the course of his career , especially during the regular season . Monday , was not necessarily the exception to the rule , but it damn well near came close to it , as the quarterback put on an exhilarating aerial display , that was complemented by a solid rushing game led by Stevan Ridley , Danny Woodhead , Shane Vereen ,and Brandon Bolden making the Patriots’ offense was relentless on the ground. And as much we have seen the defense of the AFC East franchise play poorly during this season , we were able to finally see a game from where all the parts seem to come together . A secondary that on average , this season, has been giving up 376 yards and 21.1 points per game through the first thirteen games of 2012. Given the fact that Patriots’ head coach, Bill Belichick and defensive coordinator, Matt Patricia , simply put together a scheme and sets that stymied the Texans’ offense from the beginning to the end of the four quarters . And to see Matt Schaub , perhaps in his worst game of 2012 , it was enough an indicator , to suggest the quarterback is just capable of putting up great numbers , and little else beyond that. Schaub , has yet to win a playoff game in his career , and this is where I believe far too many people have bought into the idiocy that this is the team to beat in the AFC . Well , Monday night , was a clear indication that the Texans are not as good as advertised , because fans only saw what they wanted to see , rather than what was clearly there to be seen

Now while it appears the final verdict has been rendered , with presiding adjudicator , Paul Tagliabue’s decision to overturn Roger Goodell’s original suspensions of Wil Smith , Scott Fujita , Anthony Hargrove and Jonathan Vilma . Tagliabue’s verdict does not excuse the player’s actions but he believes that the preponderance of evidence gathered shows the actions of the New Orleans Saints in this “ Bounty Scandal “ was in fact initiated by the actions of Sean Payton , Gregg Williams , Joe Vitt and countenanced by GM Micky Loomis . This remains a damning indictment of the NFL franchise but of anything , it also indicates that the commissioner far exceeded his authority .

Goodell, has always maintained his actions followed the “letter of the law”. But at no time has the commissioner acted accordingly in his deliberations and interviews with the alleged defendants when they met in private. Much , much to the dismay of the fans , the public and those amongst the legal establishment , the actions of Roger Goodell were not tempered by any sound judgment and the impartiality sought from someone who has to assess the evidence based on the facts as they are known to be . And no matter what concessions that were made by the NFLPA (Players’ Union) , as it relates to their collective bargaining agreement with the NFL hierarchy , at times the commissioner’s actions bordered upon being those of individual who simply sought to make a scapegoat of the players , rather than the Saints’ franchise as a whole . Paul Tagliabue may well be seen as a reprieve for the four players , but in no way it should it be viewed that way. They are guilty , it is just that their guilt is mitigated by overwhelming proof that without the direct orders of the coaches , much of what we now know to have taken place would not have been executed without the “ say so” and implicit orders of Micky Loomis , Sean Payton and the head coach’s subordinates , Gregg Williams and Joe Vitt. Which now begs the question , how is it that Roger Goodell could not have come to this conclusion and have rendered a decision that would have been amenable to all of the parties concerned , and wherein a monetary fine that could have, and should been levied against the four players , rather than the continued idiocy we have witnessed ? Tagliabue, upheld the commissioner’s original suspensions of Payton , Vitt , Loomis and Williams , without making any recommendations that any further action be taken . Should we now consider the matter closed ? Well , that would be dependent upon whether or you believe Paul Tagliabue’s decision to be fair and impartial . From my own perspective , even with the union’s original decision to challenge the former commissioner’s impartiality to preside over such a matter , we did in fact get to see how a legal mind does work, when you have someone with a legal background presiding over such a case .

Appears Courtesy of the Washington Post

Paul Tagliabue vacates all discipline for players in Saints bounty case

By Mark Maske , Washington Post

Former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue on Tuesday overturned the suspensions of four current and former New Orleans Saints players and declined to fine them for their roles in the team’s alleged bounty scandal .

Tagliabue, appointed by Commissioner Roger Goodell to hear the players’ appeals, agreed that New Orleans conducted a program that paid players for hits that injured opponents, and that three Saints — linebacker Jonathan Vilma and defensive linemen Will Smith and Anthony Hargrove — were guilty of conduct detrimental to pro football.

But because “this entire case has been contaminated by the coaches and others in the Saints organization,” Tagliabue wrote that he would not impose fines either.

A fourth player, linebacker Scott Fujita, did not engage in conduct detrimental to the NFL, Tagliabue concluded in his 22-page decision.

“I affirm Commissioner Goodell’s factual findings as to the four players,” Tagliabue wrote in his 22-page ruling. “I conclude that Hargrove, Smith and Vilma — but not Fujita — engaged in ‘conduct detrimental to the integrity of, and public confidence in, the game of professional football.’

“I fully considered but ultimately rejected reducing the suspensions to fines of varying degrees for Hargrove, Smith and Vilma,” Tagliabue added.

None of the players has missed a game because of suspensions. They have been allowed to play while appeals are pending, though Fujita is on injured reserve and Hargrove is not with a team.

A league official called Tagliabue’s ruling the end of the process under the collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and its players’ union.

=================================================================

Click on link to read this article in full .

==================================================================

Paul Tagliabue , whose legal background and experience as a corporate trial attorney and managing senior partner with law firm , Covington & Burling LLC , of which he was also a founding partner , gave him greater insight than any , that could have been found with his NFL successor , Roger Goodell. What this now further does in quite possibly lowering the public’s perception of the NFL , has to be tempered by one’s own opinion of Roger Goodell’s , as the hierarchy’s commissioner . There’s no denying that he has , and will continue to make decisions that far outreach the parameters of his responsibilities, and many of the verdicts rendered will be looked upon as being asinine in a number of cases , whereas in others, they will actually make some common sense . But in all honesty, in recent years, Roger Goodell’s decision-making has more to do with sheer buffoonery , rather than being sound in its reasoning ! He has been in large part, a simpleton on appearance , been someone who cannot be succinct or for that matter , and as an individual , his communicative skills border on that of someone, who has a considerably hard time of making sense of the English language, orally , as well as, in the written word ! .Your opinion on this ?

===========================================================

===========================================================

Picture gallery .

What thoughts if any , do you have with regard to the NFL season so far , and which teams do you now feel have more to worry about with regard to their ongoing precarious plight ? And is there any one ball club that you feel over the past three weeks has stood out as a legitimate contender for the Superbowl , above everyone else ? Also are you in agreement with this verdict rendered by Paul Tagliabue and do you see it as an end to this long episode concerning the New Orleans Saints and Roger Goodell ? Simply chime in with your thoughts on this and anything else you feel may well be pertinent to the subject matter .

Picture and slide show details below .

==========================================================================

(1) Head Coach Lane Kiffin of the USC Trojans greets senior, Matt Barkley (7) before the game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 24, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. USC would go on to lose the game 23-13 to the Fighting Irish. Harry How / Getty Images North America …

(2) Everett Golson (5) of the Notre Dame (Fighting Irish) runs an option as he is pursued by Leonard Williams (94) of the USC Trojans at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 24, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. Getty Images / Harry How …

(3) New England Patriots wide receiver Donte’ Stallworth (19) catches a pass in front of Houston Texans defensive back Brandon Harris (26) before running it in for a touchdown during the third quarter of an NFL football game in Foxborough, Mass., Monday, Dec. 10, 2012. The Patriots would go on to defeat the Texans 42-14 . AP Photo/Elise Amendola ….

(4) Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub (8) and head coach Gary Kubiak talk during the second quarter of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots in Foxborough, Mass., Monday, Dec. 10, 2012. AP Photo/Steven Senne …

(5) New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) celebrates his 37-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Brandon Lloyd (85) during the first quarter of an NFL football game against the Houston Texans in Foxborough, Mass., Monday, Dec. 10, 2012. AP Photo/Elise Amendola ….

(6) (6) NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, left , is seen here alongside Paul Tagliabue , who at one time held the position as commissioner before choosing to step down and to be succeeded by Goodell. The incumbent was a protege` of Tagliabue who returned to private practice with the DC based law firm, Covington & Burling LLC . Roger Goodell , having recused himself from presiding over the appeals of the four Saints’ players embroiled in the “bounty scandal ” appealed to Paul Tagliabue to preside over that hearing . Paul Tagliabue’s decision was to overturn the originally rendered verdict of Roger Goodell , but he also cited that the players’ “actions while egregious “ they did not bear the greatest responsibility of the ensuing actions they were said to be involved in. Tagliabue pointed to the fact that an environment of contempt , deceit and greed was fostered and engineered by head coach Sean Payton, along with the compliance of Joe Vitt , former assistant , Gregg Williams , and general manager , Micky Loomis . Picture appears courtesy of CBS Sports @ all rights reserved copyrighted material …

(7) Saints’ defensive player Jonathan Vilma is seen here arriving at NFL headquarters in New York City , to answer questions by the league’s investigators into the Saints’ bounty scandal . Vilma refused to answer any of the questions asked, citing the league’s lack of evidence, and the very fact much of the evidence gathered was ” hearsay” with no tangible proof of his direct involvement . The player’s legal representation was provided by the NFLPA (Players’ Union) at the request of NFLPA Executive Director , DeMaurice Smith . Courtesy of the Los Angeles Times/ Alex Ortega ….

=========================================================================

————————————————————————————————————-

If at all interested , do take time to participate in the polls indicated .

😉

================================================

NCAA Football

USC (Trojans) Football

USC (Trojans) Football news

USC (Trojans) football roster

US (Trojans) Individual game stats 2012-13

USC (Trojans) schedule 2012-13

————————

NFL results week 14

NFL standings by division

NFL standings by conference

NFL standings by league

NFL stats weekly leaders

NFL stats teams

😉

NFL news ….. and news from around the league

NFL archived stories

Houston Texans news

New England Patriots’ news

New Orleans Saints’ news

==================================================================================

Hot chic pic of the day , Latoya Ophilia-Bledsoe .

My hard on, is better, and bigger than yours …………….

My hard on, is better , and bigger than yours …..

Tophatal

So here goes , we now have another medication in the world of sports that athletes will now choose to hide behind , as they choose to enhance their athletic abilities on the field of play. In recent weeks , several players in the NFL as well as the NBA and MLB have come forth and stated that they have been taking , or have been caught taking the drug Adderall , a drug that is normally used in treating and abating ADD and ADHD . Now, far be it , for me to suggest, that these athletes are not suffering from a genuine malady , but what does it suggest , when a number of these stars have chosen deliberately to skirt the rules , and have failed to advise a medical professional , in the organization where they are employed of their actions ? In the midst of this all, comes further proof that the MLB hierarchy under Bud Selig , remains , hapless , as well clueless , as we are now made aware that a trio of players embroiled in the game’s “ steroid era “ will be placed on the 2013 Hall of Fame ballot . Seven-time NL MVP , Barry Bonds , along with Sammy Sosa and seven-time NL Cy Young Award winner , and recently exonerated , Roger Clemens , will be on the ballot in question . What might make this idiocy all the more inexplicable , is the fact that the names in question are usually forwarded to the BBWAA (Baseball Writers Association of America) , by baseball’s hierarchy , who go through the merits and carry out the adjudication process of the proposed nominees .

=================================================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

==================================================================

Slideshow .

Bud Selig never ceases to amaze , and his continued stupidity is only matched , by that shown by team owners within the game , who sat by and chose to do nothing while this massive fraud in the rampant use of steroids , was being perpetrated on the baseball fans within the game . Needless to say, in 2012 that still is the case, and when one considers that in excess of 185 players in the last thirty months at the MLB and MILB (Minor League Level) have been caught and penalized , because of their misuse of steroids. There is no way, that the commissioner , can claim with any veracity , that baseball has stamped out the widespread of use of PED’s and the illicit use of other banned substances . Not when the use of steroids still remains at the forefront of the game .

Consider also , that , the active home runs’ leader , Alex Rodriguez , having admitted his use of “boli” (anabolic steroids) , a mere six months after his much publicized admission , the player’s name once again surfaced, when it was revealed that he was a patient of Orlando medical professional , Dr Anthony Galea . Galea , now incarcerated at a federal facility , after reaching a plea agreement with the US Justice Department , for illegal interstate commerce , the transporting and trafficking of narcotics and the distribution and selling of PED’s as well several other prescription medication brought across from Canada , illegally for sale in the United States .In light of those revelations , Bud Selig , has once again chosen to turn a blind eye , yet the fans are to believe that he has the game’s best interests at heart ? And for the apathetic fans who believe that misuse of steroids does no harm , consider the fact that, renal failure , degenerative bone loss , cardiac problems and impotency are but a few of the side effects that can take place from the misuse of steroids . How about those apples ?

Forever the cries are for Pete Rose , the all-time hits’ leader and his inclusion into the Hall of Fame , but how the fans excuse his actions with regard to his willful neglect of the rules , and concerns the player’s now well publicized admission of guilt that he did in fact bet on games . And this came in light of Rose’s years of constant denial, of any wrongdoing on his part

. It is this sort of lunacy and apathy from the fans that never ceases to amaze . Rose’s acts are , and were just as egregious, as the willful flouting of the game’s rules as it concerns the use of a banned substance but yet , because this is said to be “ a victimless crime” in the eyes of the public , it is felt that he should now be excused and afforded the highest individual honor the game can bestow upon a player in recognition of their achievements , and that is entrance into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown , New York . Of course there has been a victim in the case of Rose’s conduct , if he’s said to be fixing games , in order for him to profit from those events financially . If results were being determined, by cheating wherein, Rose engineered the result of a game , that was to his favor, then who is actually being hurt by those actions ? Most certainly, the fans in this a case, and the general public at large . Or is it appropriate that the fans should actually overlook that issue , and simply let bygones be by bygones, with Pete Rose inclusion into the Hall of Fame ? Your thoughts ?

Adderall , itself is a banned substance , but the NFL does allow its use , only where it has been prescribed for use by a medical professional to an individual who’s said to be suffering from ADD or ADHD. . And it’s illicit use by Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ defensive player Eric Wright , has once again brought this issue into the spotlight Wright has been in violation of the league’s substance abuse policy once before , so my question would be , is this latest infraction , was it for a legitimate issue on the player’s part or simply Wright’s willingness to violate the rules once again? The fact that he gave the explanation that he suffers from ADD , but nowhere was this mentioned by Wright when he was acquired by the team as a free agent. Strike you as curious ? Chime in with a comment as you see fit .

Much to my dismay, I am trying still trying to fathom how in two successive weeks the Buccaneers have managed to squander away games where victory seemed to be well within their grasp ! In two of the last three weeks , Josh Freeman and his teammates let slip what was certainly a game that was theirs and winnable . In week twelve , it was a game against the Atlanta Falcons , and a one point loss (24-23) . Whatever , Greg Schiano has been trying to instill into his players , clearly is not working , as it would appear that complacency as well as inconsistency has become the norm within this ball-club.

This past Sunday , the Buccaneers hosted the Philadelphia Eagles (3-9) at Raymond James Stadium , in Tampa , Florida ,. Beyond the events on the field , it should be noted that the game was blacked out in the local television market , as the fair-weather fans of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were nowhere to be seen. It is at times like this , when I have to wonder if the city of Tampa should be imbued with the privilege of an NFL franchise within their midst, much less any type of professional sports’ franchise ! If the fans can’t come out to support this team , much less the Tampa Bay Rays or Tampa Bay Lightning , then why the hell try to assert that the city is indeed a sport’s related locale that can support three of the four major professional team sports ? Truth be known , the fans barely come out to support either of the aforementioned franchises, even in the best of times . Yet , for all of the grandiose ideas of from the city of Tampa and the neighboring city of St Petersburg, it is becoming increasingly clear that the local politicians within the locale are just as devoid of intelligence and business acumen as the owners who preside over three franchises in question. The Glazers may well have made their billions in the world of commercial real estate , but their day-to-day business operations as it concerns the Buccaneers’ franchise could be likened to a small grocery store , where the produce is rotting and the sales’ staff are simply disinterested in their environment.

In terms of the Rays , well it’s back to the annual exercise of penny-pinching by GM Andrew Friedman at the behest of team owner , Stuart Sternberg , while “seeking out” not necessarily the best talent available , but the cheapest , while the organization seeks to divest itself of some of their best players in recent years . As to the Lightning , well let’s just say , that as long as the NHL finds itself in the midst of another labor stoppage , then we might as well be talking about the merits of whether not a female with D cup sized breasts, are far more alluring than a female with C cups ? Tampa Bay Lightning owner , Jeff Vinnick must now wish he’d never set eyes on the hockey franchise and then to “pony up” the alleged $110 million purchase price for the team . With losses now mounting up and this continued idiocy by fans that this sport remains relevant , is it any wonder that one can continue to make a mockery of the their repeated suggestion that the sport can regain its financial footing ! What f#cking planet are those fans living on , might I ask ? Now almost three months into a league enforced lockout and no apparent sign that the two sides are any closer to reaching a compromise . The NHLPA (union) and hockey’s hierarchy seem intent on self-destruction . My response … “ have at it , you assholes ( hierarchy and union) , as you never knew when you were unto a good thing in the first place “ !

In the game on Sunday , between these two NFC combatants , the Eagles given their issues both and off the field were not seen as favorites to upset the Tampa Bay Buccaneers . However , in front of a sparse crowd , the team led by rookie quarterback , Nick Foles , as he and teammates , with a great deal of composure , came back from a ten-point deficit in the final 2 ½ minutes of the game to essentially all, but now derail the Buccaneers’ hopes of making the postseason . The loss drops the Buccaneers to (6-7) within the NFC South , they will now have to rely on others ahead of them in the NFC standings in order to move ahead of their conference rivals seeking a playoff berth . Another losing for the Buccaneers , albeit with a rookie coach and there you have their season all wrapped up in a neatly packaged parcel and a bow . Unfortunately, this was a not a season of gift giving by way Greg Schiano’s players being the recipient of a gift . The Buccaneers will have to seriously look at this roster and the issues that they have , a lack a truly vocal leader . And when you have such a seasoned veteran , such as , Ronde Barber , bitching and whining , while offering very little by way of leadership to the younger players on the roster , then it is easy to understand why this team has failed so miserably this season ! .

=====================================================================

=====================================================================

What thoughts if any do you have concerning a number of the points raised within this article ? By all means do leave a comment as you see fit and thanks as always for the continued support of this site , as it is greatly appreciated !

🙂

Picture and slide show details below .
==============================================================

(1) From left to right, Sammy Sosa , Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds . All three former Big League players are on the 2013 Hall of Fame ballot , which in some circles has drawn the ire of fans and MLB analysts alike . The BBWAA which adjudicates the process , have accepted the nominations , but no results will be forthcoming as to what their final decision may well be , on whether or not all three , will be due for enshrinement having met the criteria of gaining 75% of the votes allocated . AP Photo/ Paul Hart ….

(2) Barry Bonds , left , and Sammy Sosa are seen here prior to a game between their two teams respectively , the San Francisco Giants and Chicago Cubs . The two friends and adversaries have combined for over 1400 home runs and 4600 hits over the course of their careers . AFP/REUTERS/ Matthew Harris ….

(3) Pete Rose the all-time hits’ leader is seen here on the twenty-fifth anniversary celebrating his surpassing what was then the hits’ mark of 4,192 . Rose would go on to on set the new mark of 4,256 career hits , which still remains intact today The former Cincinnati Reds player and manager has been reticent in having admitted his guilt, in betting on games , whilst a manager of the baseball franchise . In the subsequent since years his retirement, the former big league star has seen his hopes dashed of being accepted into Baseball’s Hall of Fame . It does appear that seems little hope that Rose will gain entrance into that hallowed establishment , unless the decision is made by the Veterans’ Committee of the BBWAA . Paul Mathis / AP Photo …….

(4) Bucs’ defensive player , Eric Wright seen here with the team at their practice facility at One Buc Place earlier this season, Wright is having to sit out four games , due to violating the league’s substance abuse program . It is is the player’s second such violation , in the past eighteen months . This time however, it was for the use of the prescription drug Adderall , without having advised the team of his use under an approved script of a medical professional . Wright’s other suspension had to with a DUI infraction , which subjected to him that prior infraction . AP Photo/ Keith Franklin …

(5) Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles (9) runs 10-yards for a touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, in Tampa, Fla. AP Photo/Brian Blanco …..

(6) Philadelphia Eagles tight end Clay Harbor (82) pulls in a touchdown in front of Tampa Bay Buccaneers strong safety Mark Barron (24) during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, in Tampa, Fla. The Eagles won the game 23-21 . With the win, the Eagles’ record moves to 4-9 within the NFC East , still leaving the team firmly rooted at the bottom of the division and with one of the worst records in the NFC as a whole , mounting to on ongoing speculation that head coach Andy Reid and his coaching staff will be relieved of their duties at season’s end . AP Photo/Chris O’Meara …

(7) Tampa Bay Buccaneers free safety Ronde Barber (20) reacts after the Philadelphia Eagles scored the game-winning touchdown with no time left on the clock during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, in Tampa, Fla. The Eagles won the game 23-21. AP Photo/Chris O’Meara …..

(8) This is a 2012 photo of Wil Myers of the Kansas City Royals baseball team. The Kansas City Royals have acquired starting pitchers James Shields and Wade Davis from the Tampa Bay Rays for outfielder Myers and a package of minor league prospects , Sunday Dec. 9, 2012. AP Photo/Charlie Riedel …..

(9) Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher James Shields delivers to the Baltimore Orioles during the first inning of a baseball game , Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Shields along with teammate, Wade Davis were traded to the Kansas City Royals’ top outfield prospect Wil Myers, and a batch of other minor league prospects, in a seven-player trade that took place this past Sunday. Spelling the customary cost-cutting exercise that has been in place with the Rays’ franchise over the past few seasons , as they seek to cut payroll while seeking to remain competitive within the AL East . AP Photo/Chris O’Meara ….

(10) NEW YORK, NY – DECEMBER 05: Chief Executive Officer and Alternate Governor of the Tampa Bay Lightning Tod Leiweke leaves the leagues legal offices following the National Hockey League Board of Governors’ meeting on December 5, 2012 in New York City. Eighty-six days into the league enforced lockout and the two sides are still farther apart, than they were, at the beginning of the dispute, with no clear signs that either side , the league hierarchy or the union (NHLPA) , are prepared to acquiesce to the other parties’ demands. Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images …..

(11) Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik is seen here addressing the convened press in an interview after his purchase of the troubled NHL franchise from previous owners tv mogul Oren Koules and his business associates for a reputed $110 million . Vinik an investment banker, and real estate developer, has seen the value of the franchise decline because of the ongoing lockout , and is now seeking to develop ways to attract more fans to future Lightning games as well as seeking to lure more high-end consumers to his new redevelopment of the Channel-side area of downtown Tampa, which he recently purchased for an undisclosed sum . Tampa Bay Tribune … @ copyrighted material all rights reserved ….

==================================================================

😉

===================================================================

MLB news & press releases

MLB transactions

Batting

Home run careers list & HR active list

Hits’ career list & active hits’ list leader

Pitching

Pitching career wins & Active wins’ list

ERA career & ERA active

——————————————-

NHL news

NFL news

NFL divisional standings

NFL results week 14

Monday night game between the Houston Texans (11-1) and New England Patriots (9-3) at Gillette Stadium , in Foxborough , Massachusetts ,.

Mo-fo’ protect your neck or you’ll get knocked the f#ck out .

Mo-fo’ protect your neck or you’ll get knocked the f#ck out .

By Tophatal

So normally on the weekends when the chance becomes available, I will hit the gym for the two and-a-half workout, mixing in some calisthenics , cardio, and then a minimum forty minutes of some muy-thai (kickboxing) and jujitsu , in the octagon . Boxing as a sport, was once something that apart from being a passion for me , it also became a way of life in my youth, as I boxed while in high school , competing in tournaments as an amateur . Come full circle , and the sport I once loved , I have all but abandoned . In recent years , boxing has become a complete joke and for the long-suffering fans out there , the time has now come to walk away and seek solace elsewhere. A number of my friends , themselves, having served in the military , have been truly loyal and loved the honor of having served their country passionately. As an almost ten-year veteran of the British Royal Marines , I have to admit there’s nothing better than being around fellow military service members and discussing the sports’ environment and the stories to be discussed .

======================================================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


========================================================================

Slideshow.

Now when it comes to sports we’re all passionate about what we like and dislike . We love the NFL , we hate the bad teams currently in the league by way, of their record . We hate boxing , because there are no longer any major title fights that take place , and please do not suggest that what is now said to be taking place within the heavyweight division should ever be taken seriously . There’s more excitement to be found in watching two hours of programming on the Animal Planet , and seeing a female elephant give birth , but as the saying goes , “ it is , what it is “ . Apathy , if you want to accept it , then it’s down to you , but incompetency and the fact that fans are willing to accept that shit , then you’re deserving of what you get.

Call me naïve , but what was the point of Manny Pacquiao meeting Juan Manuel-Marquez for the fourth time ? Far be it for me to suggest, but Pacquiao’s promoter , Bob Arum , has been a constant asshole in recent years, trying to suggest that he has been doing his utmost get that much-anticipated super-fight, with Pacquiao taking his long time antagonist Floyd Mayweather . Over the past three years the two sides have simply been antagonistic , as each camp has looked to belittle each other. Guess what ? No one now gives a fuck whether or not the fight ever took place , especially when both they’re seeking to gouge the fans in asking them to pay anywhere between $49-95 to $59-95 for the privilege to witness two over the hill fighters . Don’t believe that either fighter now just happens to be over the hill ? Simply look at who Mayweather and Pacquiao have fought in their most recent fights over the past four years , and the quality the opponents faced in question ?

Pacquiao and Marquez met for the fourth time , and essentially this was simply a fight meant to place Manny back in the limelight after his loss to Timothy Bradley , and for those who do not believe that Pacquiao lost the bout , simply review that fight and try indicate where the then , titlist (Pacquiao), dictated and overwhelmingly won that fight ? Manny Pacquiao lost the fight because he placed it , in the hands of referees , rather than seeking to knock his opponent out . And let’s not forget which of the two fighters left that bout battered and bruised ? Fight fans ? More like , fans who simply align themselves with a fighter because of name recognition , and not much else beyond that ! Well it was confirmed for us on Saturday night , what many of us believed has been the case for the Filipino , Manny Pacquiao as he went toe to toe with Juan Marquel-Marquez, in what turned out to be not an epic fight , but one in which Pacquaio met his match , as he in the end succumbed to a thunderous knockout punch that sent his world and professional career crashing in the sixth round , of what was meant to be a fight, that would put him back on the map . Well as of now , Pacquaio’s ass is lost inside the “Bermuda Triangle “ and he is not going to find himself back to the world of reality. The $20 million payday for the Filipino fighter may well have been a sweetener , by comparison Marquez comes away $ 5 million richer , and the world his “oyster” in terms of his next professional challenge. A rematch at this juncture with Pacquiao would be a complete waste of time as there are far more potentially lucrative fights to be had , rather than facing an aging , and on the decline Manny Pacquaio. As to what Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum and the fighter’s trainer, Freddie Roach might think about seeing their fighter lying prostrate on the canvas, may well be worth a thousand words . I’ve a few that come to mind , your man got the fuck knocked out , how ’bout them apples motherf#ckers ?

Week fourteen of the NFL schedule , and I am at the point , where the stories this season , have simply been repetitive and nondescript ! How good , is Peyton Manning ? Why the hell ask ? Isn’t his body of work enough of an indicator to tell you , that he’s amongst the best to have ever played the game , especially at the quarterback position ? And this season , Manning has been at his very best , as he has led the Denver Broncos to a spectacular season . With the team having already secured the AFC West with consummate ease , the Broncos now seem intent on chasing down the Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots for the second seed in the AFC , as well as obtaining a bye in first round of the postseason.

Having dispatched the Oakland Raiders in their most recent game , everything that we have come to expect from Peyton Manning was on display , during a match-up that the Raiders simply had no answer for Manning’s exhilarating display . The Broncos came away with a victory and the Oakland Raiders , are back to doing what they do best , and that’s to exhibit what is now wrong with the NFL , and what worst teams do with increasing frequency , exhibiting futility . Manning to my mind , is as close a certainty, to be amongst the favorites for this season’s league MVP that you would be hard-pressed to go against the veteran’s quarterback’s candidacy.

Is there anyone now who believes that Andy Reid , can now escape the madness now engulfing the Philadelphia Eagles , and still come out of this all , with his reputation intact , along with retaining the head coach’s position with the team? The Eagles this season , have been indifferent and a complete mess , never-mind that the head coach’s blind-faith in a quarterback, whose displays this season , have been on the decline . Reid has stood by Michael Vick , with a loyalty that in this day and age can cost a head coach his position , especially where a player’s talents are most definitely on the decline . It took an injury , Vick being concussed , before Reid would actually made the decision to make Nick Foles a starter , and the young rookie third round pick by the franchise in the 2012 NFL Draft , has given every indication , that given the chance , he could very well be the franchise’s answer to their long-term problems at the quarterback position. Today , the Eagles face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium, as the both teams seek to resurrect their respective seasons . A loss for the Eagles (3-9) against the Buccaneers (6-6) pretty much seals their fate , as the only thing left for the Eagles’ players to fight for , would be their dignity and self-respect. And dignity and low self-esteem , seems to be rampant and widespread within the Eagles’ organization from top to bottom.

Talking about a season that was said to be filled with promise but now the only thing left , seems to be the charred embers , and you have to wonder what the hell was going on inside of the Detroit Lions’ (4-8) organization . In the space of one season how can a franchise that made the postseason in 2011 , could have fallen so far off a cliff that you would have to question whether or not they were an aberration last year . And with the ongoing issues of Ndamukong Suh , and now the asinine situation that Roger Goodell doesn’t believe that the player was not an imminent danger to others , then either the commissioner , is still blinded by his ongoing stupidity or the fact that he feels that Suh will somehow have learned his lesson . Guess what , Goodell was never that intelligent to begin with , and Ndamukong Suh will remain the asshole we now know him to be !

For Matt Stafford , his season has simply been one of inconsistencies , and the fact that his most reliable target , wide receiver , Calvin Johnson , has been a marked man , as defenses have simply found a way to take him out of a game . The Lions face off , in a divisional game against the Green Bay Packers in the late Sunday night match-up at Lambeau Field , Green Bay, Wisconsin ,. The Packers will be looking for that victory that widens their lead over their divisional rivals within the NFC North , and at this juncture , and I firmly believe that Mike McCarthy and his team will be more than prepared to face their opponents ! The hype over this Lions’ defense just isn’t justified as they been amongst the worst performing secondary’s, not just within the NFC but the league as a whole .

If ever there was a season to rejoice , then 2012 would have to be the year to extol the play of the rookie quarterbacks this season . And leading the way have been rookies, Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III . The two players taken #’1 and number two , in the NFL Draft , as both of have excelled and surpassed all expectations . Luck , if anything has made the Colts’ fans wonder what all the fuss was about after the departure of Peyton Manning , as the young rookie has now led his team to an impressive 29-23 win , for their ninth victory of the season , and placing the Indianapolis Colts , firmly in line for a playoff berth this postseason.

For his part , Robert Griffin III , has been by no means a slouch , with his own play as he has been as equally impressive for the Washington Redskins . In what as an exceptionally thrilling game between the Redskins and Baltimore Ravens , the young quarterback led his team with a great deal of aplomb as they got an impressive victory over the Ravens , a franchise thought to be one the franchise whose secondary was thought amongst the most efficient in the NFL . This season however , the Ravens’ defense have been giving up an astonishing 380 yards per game , which ranks the team in the bottom quarter of the NFL’s 32 teams .

OK , did any of you have the pleasure of watching the Arizona Cardinals , and their utterly putrid display against the Seattle Seahawks in a game played at Q West Field in Seattle , Washington ? I’m sorry but the “mercy rule” should be adopted in all NFL games , once a team goes at least three scores up on an opponent . Russell Wilson and the Seahawks ” pounded “ the Cardinals beyond submission , while coming with the team’s biggest victory of season , in defeating their divisional opponent 58-0 . And no , that final score was not a misprint </b , that result e though not the biggest score recorded this season in the NFL , but the margin of victory , certainly was. As to what this might do with regard to immediate future of Cardinals’ head coach , Ken Whisenhunt , this defeat , could very well signal and quicken the head coach’s departure from the franchise . And if you were in any doubt , as to one of the primary reasons for the Cardinals missteps this season , then look no further than the monstrous displays by team’s pair of quarterbacks over the course of their schedule . John Skelton and Kevin Kolb , have simply shown us all that incompetence and ineptitude can be found today in the NFL , and it can be found in the state of Arizona , with the Cardinals’ pair of signal callers . With the upcoming NFL Draft filled with a number of very good quarterbacks , likely atop of the pecking order of the players likely to be taken by Arizona Cardinals , and several other teams in need of a competent player at the position and likely to improve the passing offense of that team.

====================================================================

===================================================================

Picture gallery .

In light of Saturday night’s result between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel-Marquez , do you feel that the veteran Filipino fighter , should now retire from the sport that he has graced for well over a decade ? Or do you feel that he should continue with his career ? And of the results and teams during week fourteen in the NFL , which event if anything was the most surprising of all ? Chime with your observations and thoughts, as you see fit .

😉

Picture gallery and slideshow details .

=======================================================================

(1) Juan Manuel Marquez, left, begins to celebrate as referee Kenny Bayless calls Manny Pacquiao down for the count in the sixth round during a WBO welterweight fight, Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012, in Las Vegas. AP Photo/Julie Jacobson …

(2) Juan Marquez is seen here alongside promoter , Bob Arum speaks during a press conference after his 6th round knockout victory over Manny Pacquiao, Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012, at The MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. AP Photo/Eric Jamison ….

(3) Juan Manuel Marquez, from Mexico, right, lands a right to the head of Manny Pacquiao, from the Philippines, during their WBO world welterweight fight Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012, in Las Vegas. Marquez won by a knockout. AP Photo/Julie Jacobson …

(4) Juan Manuel Marquez, from Mexico, wears the champion’s belt as his fist is raised by referee Kenny Bayless after his sixth round knockout of Manny Pacquiao, from the Philippines, in their WBO world welterweight fight Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012, in Las Vegas. AP Photo/Julie Jacobson ….

(5) Referee Kenny Bayless, left, calls the fight as Juan Manuel Marquez, from Mexico, right, celebrates after he knocked out Manny Pacquiao, from the Philippines, lower left, in the sixth round of their WBO world welterweight fight Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012, in Las Vegas. AP Photo/Eric Jamison ….

(6) Juan Manuel Marquez, from Mexico, left, celebrates his win over Manny Pacquiao in their WBO world welterweight fight Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012, in Las Vegas. AP Photo/Eric Jamison ….

(7) A Filipino boy watches Filipino boxing hero Manny Pacquiao lying on the mat after he was knocked out by Mexican Juan Manual Marquez during a live TV broadcast at a multi-purpose hall in suburban Paranaque, south of Manila, Philippines on Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. Many Filipinos were stunned by Pacquiao’s knockout defeat to Marquez, dampening the spirit of a nation battered recently by a powerful typhoon. AP Photo/Aaron Favila

(8) Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jason Avant (81) makes a catch of a pass during the second quarter of an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, in Tampa, Fla. AP Photo/Brian Blanco ….

(9) Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (93) sacks Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles (9) during the first quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, in Tampa, Fla. AP Photo/Chris O’Meara

(10) Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid, right, consols Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano after the Eagles defeated the Buccaneers 23-21 during an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, in Tampa, Fla. AP Photo/Chris O’Meara …..

======================================================================

😉

====================================================================

Boxing news

😉

NFL news and news from around the league

NFL news archives

NFL week 14 schedule 14

NFL transactions

NFL team injuries week 14

NFL standings by division

NFL standings (conference)

NFL player stats

Don’t start to cash that check , when you have no money in the bank or the words to back it up

Don’t start to cash that check , when you have no money in the bank or the words to back it up

Tophatal

Sputtering along and granted, it’s still early days yet , but the teams will be soon set in their mode , and the NBA season will truly have kicked into gear once we enter the Christmas week with a slew of game encapsulating that period from the 22nd of December though to the 29th of December , 2012. The reigning NBA champions , the Miami Heat , somehow inexplicably lost to the lowly and some might say the inept Washington Wizards (2-13). In garnering their second victory of the season, in defeating the Heat 105-101 at the Verizon Center , in Washington , DC this past Tuesday , 4th December . It should not be viewed as a complete shock given the somewhat complacent manner of this Heat team as of late .

============================================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

===============================================================

Slideshow .

Wizards’ coach Randy Wittman and his coaching staff will have their work cut out for them over the course of this season. Given the infrequency of their wins and their poor showing in the Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference , one has to wonder whether or not the fans will have to endure a year of complete ineptitude from the players on the roster . With a truncated season for the 2011-12 season , the fans had were imbued in having to witness the Charlotte Bobcats finish the season with a 7-59 in what was at the time , a reduced schedule from the customary eighty-two games , to sixty-six games. The common feeling around the league amongst the NBA pundits and fans alike , is that the Washington Wizards will be a seriously challenger to the Bobcats’ season of ineptitude .

The big story, in the infancy of this NBA season , has been the rise of the New York Knicks(13-4) and their flying start right out of the gate , which has seen this Mike Woodson coached team seated atop of the Atlantic Division , with the franchise also holding the best record in the Eastern Conference , by a mere 0.15 percentage points over the Miami Heat (12-4) . There now seems to be “a major buzz” about the New York Knicks this season , as Madison Square Gardens is packed to the rafters, with eager Knicks’ fans looking to see how this Carmelo Anthony , led team will seek to acquit themselves against an opponent . So far , so good , with Anthony being ably assisted by seasoned veterans Marcus Camby , Rasheed Wallace , Jason Kidd , and Kurt Thomas . At some point in the Knicks’ season , these very same veterans will begin to ache , as their aging bones will being to feel the toll of an arduous eighty-two game schedule . It would be remiss to suggest that will be the only issue to trouble the Knicks over the course of the season . Compounding this all , may well be how the team seeks to use Amare` Stoudemire , as the player has been plagued by injuries in the infancy of the Knicks’ sojourn. Coming off the bench , would provide the Knicks with a good backup to what is many ways is beginning to look somewhat of a capable bench , but the team would need to have a vested interest in seeing Stoudemire adopt this new-found role, without protest . Something, that I am not so sure that the player might willingly accept without some future guarantee from Woodson and GM Glen Grunwald that they are amenable to see him return to a starting role for the franchise .

The Knicks face a stern test when they are scheduled to meet the Miami Heat in a Eastern Conference matchup this Thursday, at the Heat’s Miami venue , the AA Arena , in Miami , Florida. Some might see this as something of a precursor to a possible Conference Finals’ series . Both teams come with highly potent offenses , but the Heat , has that added advantage of being a more coherent defensive unit overall . And with the Miami Heat still “ smarting” after their embarrassing loss , suffered at the hands of the Washington Wizards. As Carmelo Anthony goes , then so does this Knicks’ team , and it will be incumbent Anthony’s leadership qualities to take the Knicks to their desired destination , and that is a NBA title and raising the Larry O’Brien Trophy.

While the New York Knicks have been on the move , their new neighborhood crosstown rivals the Brooklyn Nets (11-6) have made themselves heard around the league . Head coach, Avery Johnson knows that with having two prominent All Stars in his roster lineup , great things will be expected from Deron Williams , Joe Johnson and the team at large . Newly housed in their home venue the Barclaycard Center in Brooklyn . There’s a feeling that the NBA needs a budding rivalry in the nation’s largest ad market that would rival, that of the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers during their heyday. However, a rivalry of that magnitude would mean these two teams being credible and perennial contenders for the NBA title . In reality , would anyone now be prepared to state that the Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks are bonafide candidates for an NBA championship ? ? The Nets are coming off a hard fought 117-111 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder . It will be games such as this that the Nets will have come big in , in order to be viewed as viable contenders.

At 14-4 , the San Antonio Spurs have the best record in the Western Conference but statistically in terms of percentage points the Memphis Grizzlies (13-3) are viewed as the team with the better record. With both of these teams in the Southwest Division , a budding rivalry now seems to be in the making , and there seems to be no love lost , between the two sets of fans , in showing their allegiance to their respective teams. Gregg Popovich , of the Spurs and his opposite number , Lionel Hollins of the Grizzlies , are keenly aware of the expectations from both of their teams. And while Popovich has that legacy of success with the franchise , Hollins is seeking to establish a foundation upon which his team can build for the future. . And the Grizzlies have proven to be formidable this season , having established a rhythm , and along the way defeating the Miami Heat , Los Angeles Lakers , Denver Nuggets , Houston Rockets , Oklahoma City Thunder and the New York Knicks . The Eastern Conference may well have the balance of power but within the Western Conference , it is here where the fans get to see a high-caliber of basketball being played and that is without deference to the West’s rivals in the East.

In light of David Stern’s idiocy, in rendering a fine of $250,000 on the San Antonio Spurs after Gregg Popovich’s decision, in not suiting up four of his regular season starters for a game against the Miami Heat , the decision speaks volumes of the commissioner’s autocratic rule ! Now in light of that fact , I find it somewhat asinine that the NBA Commissioner can be so intransigent and at times, act as petulant as a child , merely because he’s not the center of attention, with regard to matters concerning the NBA not involving the players. Stern has in essence, become a “ publicity seeking whore” of the highest order ! In doing so glosses over many of the acute and dire issues that still currently affects the NBA , its brand and financial viability. Furthermore , he has never sought to have the fans’ best interests at heart , more often than not , siding with the league hierarchy and owners on issues that directly and indirectly , affects the fans . And it now appears , that the commissioner will do whatever it takes, to coerce the city of Sacramento to make a grave decision that will affect that municipality long-term , as it seeks to resolve a long-standing issue as to how best to retain that city’s NBA franchise , the Sacramento Kings .

Courtesy of USA Today

Kobe Bryant calls David Stern’s idea ‘stupid’

By Tim McGarry USA Today

NBA Commissioner David Stern recently floated a proposal to restrict NBA players over the age of 23 from participating in the Olympics. Kobe is not a fan of the idea.

From ESPN:

“It’s a stupid idea,” Bryant told local news reporters at the reception to welcome them to Manchester in advance of Thursday night’s exhibition game against Team Great Britain. “It should be a (player’s) choice.”

Asked how much he and his Team USA teammates have talked about Stern’s proposal since getting together in Las Vegas on July 5, Bryant said: “Our discussion is this: Basically, it’s just a dumb idea and we (discuss) it that way.”

Stern’s proposal, similar to the system currently in place for Olympic men’s soccer, would establish an age cap and allow teams three over-age players.

Meanwhile, the FIBA World Championship would be open to all other NBA players. Unlike the Olympics, NBA owners would receive a share of the revenue when their players participate in the FIBA World Championship. Kobe’s response:

When asked if he understands the concerns of NBA owners, Bryant scoffed, saying such reservations are motivated by owners merely wanting “to protect their investments.”

If the proposal passes, 2012 could be the last time the NBA’s top talent comes together to represent the USA in the Olympics.

The ball’s in your court, Mr. Stern.

See photos of: Kobe Bryant , David Stern, Team USA

—————————————————————————————————————-

====================================================================

The front office of the Sacramento Kings have long-sought a replacement for the archaic and run-down Power Balance Arena( Pavilion) in downtown Sacramento. But at no time have owners , Joe and Gavin Maloof , expressed any wish to either facilitate their assistance in aiding financially, the city in such a project. Instead , the Maloofs have tried to suggest that the city’s council have proven to be intransigent , and likewise the municipality’s mayor, former NBA star , Kevin Johnson , has expressed his doubts, that the Maloofs have dealt with his executives and its residents honestly , concerning the franchise’s desires to remain within the city of Sacramento . The Kings are indeed a large part of the Maloofs’ business interests , but the franchise in recent years, because of its lack of competitiveness and profitability has become something of a financial drain on the family , not that other parts of the Joe and Gavin’s business concerns have fared that well, in what has been a dour economic climate all-round . Yet , there has been the belief, that the NBA franchise has been mismanaged and more often than not, completely neglected by the owners as well as by the senior executives entrusted with the day-to-day care in running the operations of the Sacramento Kings . And I think that we can all agree that this episode will not end nicely for the city of Sacramento if they seek undertake the use of public and private funds to assist a group of multimillionaires to aid them in building a venue for their uncompetitive and unprofitable sport’s franchise . Things like this never end nicely , especially in wake of the city of Sacramento’s ongoing financial budgetary crisis but yet they ever uninformed and anally retentive fans of the Kings believe it to be a good thing to undertake such an endeavor . I’ll say this once , and once only , ” you idiots deserve what you get at the end of the day , because you are pretty much , devoid of any real intelligence ” !

David Stern talks out of both sides of his mouth, and he is and has disingenuous to a fault , that , he now makes some of the most corrupt and deceitful politicians to be found up on Capitol Hill, seem like young acolytes or choirboys . Hold it for one moment , why is that priest raising his cassock and asking that young boy to kneel ? Stern ”talks a good talk” , but rarely does he ” walk the walk”, and realize what is happening in the real world . Here is an individual who is the league hierarchy’s chief executive earning in excess of $20 million a year , which is on par with some of the highest paid players in the game , but yet, he had the audacity to seek concessions from the union ( NBPA ) , without seeking from the team owners and their front office executives any initiative , where they would also seek to pare down their capricious spending when it came to team payroll and other ostentatious spending . When I last looked placing ornate gold leaf hand rails in an executive sky-box suite did not make an NBA franchise a great deal more competitive ! But who am I to question how the NBA conducts its business ? I know I am a paying fan who’s now being placed over a barrel while Stern places a projectile in my rectum for good measure in terms of product that’s now being placed on the NBA basketball courts around the league . And can someone explain to me , why it is the NBA has a “soft salary cap “ ( this season $58.044 million) when so many of the teams in the league refuse to adhere to it , as best they can ? But yet, you now have Dallas Mavericks’ , owner , Mark Cuban , now complaining as to the fact that his franchise has been forced to pay in excess of $73 million over the past three years , because of this league mandated rule . . Hey , Mark, you paid for your championship , now how about you , inspiring the front office to go about the business of rebuilding that franchise and turning it into a championship caliber team , and stop with your f##king bitching and whining !

It seems even with the hiring of Mike D’Antoni , to succeed the recently fired Mike Brown , things are still not yet back on an even keel for the Los Angeles . An ailing Steve Nash , fit or not , I don’t believe will be any of any great benefit to a team that has been errant and lackluster , disinterested in playing the games , albeit that they are being handsomely rewarded . To my mind , D’Antoni’s free-flowing style of coaching and what he demands of his players , is not the game I feel that the Lakers are uniquely attuned to ! A fit Nash, or not , the point guard is not the player he was four years ago , six years ago , let alone his recent form with the Dallas Mavericks .

Currently playing sub .500 basketball (9-10 [.474]) , to suggest that the team is struggling Los Angeles Lakers , as they try to adapt to D’Antoni’s style of play , is to witness a sense of insecurity from these players . Kobe Bryant, may well have joined a select group of players to have scored 30,000 points over the course of their careers , but at the end of the day the fans are not going to be in the least bit concerned about Bryant’s latest achievement , if the Lakers fail to make the postseason. The achievements of Kobe Bryant have already cemented his legacy, as a Future Hall of Fame inductee . Yet , that is for the future , it is the immediacy of here and now , that concerns the Lakers’ fans the most . A recent 103-87 victory over the New Orleans Hornets , for the moment , gives the Lakers a boost of confidence , but up next , they face the Oklahoma City Thunder in a Friday night game to be played at the Chesapeake Energy Center, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma . It’s pretty safe to suggest that Kevin Durant , Russell Westbrook , Kevin Martin and Serge Ibaka will be looking to inflict even more pain upon the beleaguered Lakers . Your thoughts , on this all ?

.

Accentuate the positives , but also eliminate the negatives . Well I guess, that’s how you could adjudge the Orlando Magic’s off-season , in light of the upheaval that took place within the organization . Gone are , former head coach , Stan Van Gundy , GM , Otis Smith , and the team’s former celebrated center , Dwight Howard , who now finds himself in “Tinseltown” playing alongside , Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers . Replacing Van Gundy , is first-time head coach, Jacque Vaughn , with Rob Hennigan , being promoted from within organization to succeed Otis Smith . Overseeing this all was the Magic’s CEO Alec Martins , who, himself was asked to take over the CEO role, by owner , Rich De Vos , after De Vos’ son-in-law , Rob Vanderweide , stepped down to seek outside business opportunities. I guess that was De Vos’ cordial way , of telling Rob , ” go fuck yourself and don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out , after you , Smith and Van Gundy created all of this goddamn drama “.

The departure of Howard was not surprising , only the fact that it took so damn long , given the player’s animated and often petulant behavior . Good riddance to a self-absorbed asshole such as Dwight Howard ! Great player , when he sees the need to be , but he has never been that much of a leader , or a great motivator to begin with . And one, but can only hope that with the retirement of Kobe Bryant , Howard can at least show that he is prepared to assume the role of a leader, on what may well be viewed as a championship caliber team . But given the Lakers’ recent penchant for drama , I am not so sure that the Los Angeles Lakers will returning to an NBA Finals anytime soon , and the same has to be said for the Orlando Magic. The “ window” of opportunity for the Lakers is almost closed , and even with heralded arrival of Steve Nash and Dwight Howard, only a fool would even consider them to be a clear-cut favorite to come out of the Western Conference as champions . Orlando , for its apart starts afresh , with their rookie head coach, the acquiring of a few free agents , holdovers from last season and the players obtained in the NBA Draft .

The Magic’s most experienced players , determined by their years in the NBA are Al Harrington , Hedo Turkoglu , and Jameer Nelson. However, in terms of determining the team’s best player, were you to adjudge it on scoring , then , Arron Afflalo would have to be deemed to have assumed that role . Coming off an away game 81-87 loss to the Utah Jazz , the Magic (7-11) now find themselves 5.5 games adrift of the Miami Heat (12-5) within the Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference . And clearly, as Jacque Vaughn tries to find his footing as a rookie coach , then so too, will this Magic team as they look to make some headway this season . Are they capable of making the playoffs ? Who can say , at this juncture , because they have nothing to lose if they are not at least prepared to try. And one of the continued adversities for the Orlando Magic as a franchise , is that having built a relativity new venue which is less than three years old , is the very fact that now , in terms of attendance , the teams has one of the lowest attendance rates in all of the NBA . And this certainly doesn’t bode well from a financial standpoint for the organization or the ambitions of executives envisaged with the task of making this brand a profitable concern. Lack of a real fan-base , a somewhat inconsistent and uncompetitive team, and there you have a recipe for disaster . Yet these are the things that David Stern refuses to address , but yet he has the audacity to rebuke well-respected coaches and the organizations they represent for the most innocuous of things. Somehow not only the commissioner trying to write a check that even he can’t cash , in spite of his annual salary , but so too are a number of franchises around the NBA . And you wonder why at times why the fans become disengaged with the brand ?

Plainly put, it’s me mentality that now exists within the game and how it’s being sold as a consumer product to the fans and public alike . Within the NBA it is no longer about the teams but more about the league’s superstars , their agents and the entourage that simply makes sure that their profile is always kept high. Unfortunately, this is the road that the league chose to go down and now there is no turning back . !

===============================================================


===============================================================

Picture gallery .

Over the past eight years do you believe that the fans’ best interests have been served by some of the decisions made by the NBA Commissioner , David Stern ? And do you believe that his successor , Adam Silver , the current Deputy Commissioner , will bring about some much-needed changes to the league , and how it essentially operates as a business entity , as well as, from what we see competitively happening on the courts today ? Simply leave a comment as you see fit .

Picture and slideshow details below .

==============================================================

(1) MIAMI, FL – DECEMBER 6: J.R. Smith (8) of the New York Knicks gets pumped up after a play during a game on December 6, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. The Knicks would go on to defeat the Heat 112-92 . Photo by Gregory Shamus/NBAE via Getty Images …

(2) New York Knicks players give high-fives to Raymond Felton (2) during a timeout in the final minutes of an NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat Thursday, Dec, 6, 2012, in Miami. The Knicks won 112-92. AP Photo/Alan Diaz …

(3) Miami Heat’s LeBron James (6) is fouled by New York Knicks’ J.R. Smith (8) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Dec, 6, 2012, in Miami. The Knicks won 112-92. AP Photo/Alan Diaz ..

(4) WASHINGTON, DC – DECEMBER 4: Martell Webster (9) of the Washington Wizards celebrates a win against the Miami Heat after the game at the Verizon Center on December 4, 2012 in Washington, DC. The Wizards defeated the Heat 105-101 . Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images ….

(5) Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant (24) is greeted by point guard Chris Duhon (21) at the end of the first half of an NBA basketball game against the New Orleans Hornets in New Orleans, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012. Bryant became the youngest player in NBA history to break …….. 30,000 points during the half. AP Photo/Gerald Herbert ..

(6) Sacramento , CA – FEBRUARY 28: Sacramento Kings owners Joe Maloof, left, and Gavin Maloof, right, celebrate with Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson during a game against the Utah Jazz on February 28, 2012 at Power Balance Pavilion in Sacramento, California. The city of Sacramento and the Maloofs are still in the midst of a contentious battle with neither side seeking to back down . Johnson believes the Kings’ owners to be lacking in good faith , and goodwill, concerning a proposed venue to replace to the now aging Power Balance Pavilion , that is home to the NBA franchise . The Sacramento Kings , are now amongst the least supported teams in the NBA , and it has been this way for a number of years . With the decline in attendance, has also come declining revenues , and now an uncompetitive team, which is mirrored in their NBA standing . Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images @ copyrighted material all rights reserved

(7) Deron Williams (8) of the Brooklyn Nets addresses the crowd with commissioner David Stern before the game against the Toronto Raptors at the Barclays Center on November 3, 2012 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City . Getty Images North America / Elsa Amendola …

(8) Orlando Magic head coach Jacque Vaughn watches in the second quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012, in Salt Lake City. AP Photo/Rick Bowmer …

(9) Orlando Magic guard Arron Afflalo (4) loses control of the basketball as Utah Jazz’s Mo Williams (5) and Marvin Williams (2) watch during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012, in Salt Lake City. The Jazz won 87-81 . AP Photo/The Desert News, Ben Brewer …

(10) Orlando Magic point guard Jameer Nelson (14) drives to the basket as Utah Jazz power forward Paul Millsap (24) defends in the second quarter of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012, in Salt Lake City. The eight-year veteran point guard is seeking to establish himself as the Magic’s on-court vocal and team leader in the aftermath of the crazed departure of former teammate, Dwight Howard . AP Photo/Rick Bowmer ..

=============================================================

😉

NBA related links : Knicks’ Anthony out, vs Heat with finger injury

Trailblazers lay off 3 long-time executives

Wolves find success with international players

Sterns says ” Spurs rested players too soon “

Bryant becomes youngest player to ” reach “ 30,000 points

NBA pieces within this site

====================================================================

NBA news & News archives

NBA schedule 7th December , 2012

NBA standings by division

NBA results 6th December 2012

NBA results 5th December

😉

2012 NBA Draft

😉

NBA team statistics (defense)

NBA team statistics (offense)

Player scoring

3 Player point scoring

Assists

Blocked shots

Double doubles

Rebounds

Field goal percentage

Turnovers

Efficiency

😉

Brooklyn Nets news

Miami Heat news

New York Knicks news

Orlando Magic news

San Antonio Spurs news

NBA season overviews

NBA 2011-12 season review

NBA teams revenues and their profitability as provided by Forbes Magazine

Top paid players in NBA

NBA team salaries (“Soft salary cap ” $58.044 million)

NBA hierarchy —- NBA Commissioner David Stern

NBPA (Players Union) & leadership structure ——– Billy Hunter Executive Director

Active points leader NBA & Career points leader

=====================================================================

Lucy-Liu

Asian American actress and author Lucy Liu .

==================================================================================

Depeche Mode …………. ” Personal Jesus ”

Who says you can’t go home and be welcomed back like a prodigal son ?

Who says you can’t go home and be welcomed back like a prodigal son ?

By Tophatal

As an ardent and passionate New England Patriots’ fan, nothing gives me greater pleasure than to see the team playing at their very best ! Granted , while the offense seems to be clicking on all cylinders , the defense remains a work in progress , leaving a great deal to be desired . For all of the audaciousness and brilliance of head coach, Bill Belichick , he can at times be ever so , conceited . Perhaps , that is the reason behind his brilliance after-all ? The Patriots’ defense is now giving up an astonishing 380 yards per game , ranking the franchise well below the bottom-half of the franchises within the NFL . This lone issue of a porous defense , has remained a sore point , not just with myself , but with the vast majority of Patriots’ fans up and down the country .

========================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


=========================================

Slideshow.

Now while the defense remains an eyesore each week , the offense of the Patriots seems to be as explosive as ever , with veteran quarterback Tom Brady leading the way for the team. However, without that arsenal of receivers and backs , Brady in terms of his performances would be somewhat pedestrian , by comparison to a number of his peers within the league and AFC , this season. Brady , has been joined by his one-time nemesis , Peyton Manning , who himself , has been having an exceptional season , even by his own lofty standards, in putting together a string of superlative performances. And if you doubt my word , simply look at Manning’s escapades this season for the Denver Broncos , as they now seem to be marching towards a successful defense of their AFC West divisional title with consummate ease . . Kind of makes you wonder , if Tim Tebow had remained in Denver , rather than being traded , and now being ridiculed en-mass for his lack play , and the messiness of the going drama with the Jets . One now has to wonder what predicament might the Denver Broncos now find themselves in , had the player remained with the franchise ? Care to answer that very question , at this juncture ?

With injuries now plaguing teams at this point of the season, as they seek to set themselves for the final stretch run of the schedule , franchises around the league are now seeking out unrestricted free agents , or assessing their needs by looking at their practice squads to see if they can find themselves “ a diamond in the rough” . Bill Belichick , and his coaching staff , having seen Wes Welker , Rob Gronkowski , Stevan Ridley and Aaron Hernandez, amongst the Patriots’ frontline players to have gone down injured over the course of the season , the head coach sought out former player , Donte` Stallworth , and signed the wide receiver for the remainder of the New England’s perceived schedule . Having overcome his own personal issues and professional struggles in recent years , and laboring with several teams during that time-span, since he was last in a Patriots’ uniform . It has to be said that this decision by Belichick should not have come as a surprise , given his past propensity in dealing with reclamations projects , such as Corey Dillon ,Randy Moss, and Chad Johnson (Ochocinco) . The most least successful of the triumvirate being , Johnson, whose one season in New England , proved to be counterproductive , rather than being enlightening and to the franchise’s benefit . What might have been more hideous was Chad Johnson’s lack of effort during the postseason and in particular during last season’s Superbowl (SBXLVI) and the New England’ Patriots’ defeat , suffered at the hands of the New York Giants , in their second such meeting , in the NFL’s showcase event .

With the acquisition of Donte` Stallworth , it doesn’t bode well for Justin Edelman , who is at present the Patriots’ injured reserve list having suffered a right foot injury. It is hoped that Edelman will be able to make a speedy recovery in time for the Patriots anticipated push for the playoffs. The team (9-3) has a comfortable lead within the AFC East over their closest rivals , the New York Jets( 5-7), Buffalo Bills (5-7) and the Miami Dolphins (5-7), all of whom share the same record.

New England, coming off what was a hard-fought 23-16 victory over the Miami Dolphins in week thirteen .. The Patriots will face the Houston Texans (11-1) in a highly anticipated game in week fourteen, on Monday night , in a conference match-up between a pair of teams with the best records in the AFC . With that being said, it is quite clear that the Texans will end up with the number one seed within the conference and thereby foregoing the wildcard round of the postseason , in gaining a bye in the opening round. For Gary Kubiak , as the head coach of the Texans , this might well be a blessing in disguise , for his team , as they prepare themselves for their second successive appearance in the NFL postseason in two years. As to whether or not this Texans’ franchise can make a deep playoff run this postseason, will be predicated upon the play of the team’s quarterback , Matt Schaub , and their explosive offense led by wide receiver , Andre Johnson , and running back, Arian Foster . And what has been markedly noticeable concerning the Texans , has been the improvement in the team’s defense in 2012 , in comparison to last season , and in all likelihood one of the primary reasons behind the Houston Texans’ results this season.

Courtesy of NFL.com (New England Patrtiots news’ page)

Donte` Stallworth, New England Patriots to reunite

By Gregg Rosenthal , NFL.com

The New England Patriots are going back to an old friend to help fill a hole on the wide receiver depth chart. And it’s not Deion Branch this time.

NFL.com’s Albert Breer reported the Patriots will sign Donte’ Stallworth on Tuesday, according to a source who spoke with player. Stallworth, 31, has tried out for a few teams since the Patriots cut him in August, but he hasn’t been on a roster this season.

Stallworth’s anticipated signing doesn’t bode well for Julian Edelman, who injured his foot during Sunday’s win over the Miami Dolphins. He was seen on crutches after the game. The Patriots are lacking depth after cutting Branch last month and losing practice-squad player Greg Salas to the Philadelphia Eagles on waivers.

Stallworth was with the Patriots for their 2007 run to the Super Bowl, and this could give him one last chance to be part of a championship team.

===================================================

Looking beyond Monday night’s game , the remainder of the Patriots’ regular season schedule does seem amenable for the team to pull off three consecutive victories . With those upcoming games against the San Francisco 49ers (week15), Jacksonville Jaguars and the Miami Dolphins , to close out their season in 2012. Not necessarily a daunting task , but one, which I believe that Belichick and the coaching staff will emphasize to his players ! That feat , has to be utmost on the minds of the fans’ who will be in attendance at two of the three remaining games that will be played at Gillette Stadium , in Foxborough , Massachusetts , home to the New England Patriots. .

For Donte` Stallworth , I would like to believe, that his return to the Patriots will be viewed as the “return of a long lost , prodigal son” . And while his resume` has never been looked upon as one of the more illustrious careers in the NFL , as that of a prolific wide receiver , who was taken in the 2002 NFL Draft as the thirteenth overall pick in the first round by the New Orleans Saints of that season . Stallworth , as a rookie , had 42 receptions , for 542 yards and 8 touchdowns . If the veteran can be even remotely productive in assisting the team and the plethora of wide receivers on the Patriots’ roster , then it could very well lead to Donte` Stallworth achieving his greatest wish, and to bow out with that much cherished Superbowl ring. However, great deal of that will have to be predicated upon the improved play of the Patriots’ defense , which if anything, has been unimpressive and erratic throughout much the regular season, giving up on average 380 yards per game and ranking the team twenty-sixth overall of the NFL’s 32 teams in 2012 . So for the members on the Patriots’ secondary , such as Jerod Mayo , Vince Wilfork , Kyle Arrington , Chandler Jones , Dont’a Hightower , and Brandon Spikes , as they are expected to raise the level of their play over the remainder of the regular and postseason .

===========================================