All hail the conquering hero
Week eight of the NFL departed in a cloud of despair for a number of teams , with many having seen their season implode with a great deal of smoke . For the win-less Jacksonville Jaguars (0-8) and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-7) , we could very well be seeing the last remnants of both Gus Bradley and Greg Schiano as head coaches in the league . Albeit , it is my belief that the Buccaneers would rather not have to let their head coach go and then still have to fulfill the financial obligations of existing contract . As of 2012 they were still paying former head coach Jon Gruden , and they also owe Schiano’s predecessor Raheem Morris monies due from the final two seasons of his original deal . Which begs the question , Joel and Avram Glazer , as well as GM Mark Dominik , are they as smart, as some would try and suggest ? The Buccaneers remain one of the franchises within the NFL , that persistently has trouble attracting fans for regular season home games as well the preseason , but yet, all I tend to hear from their weary fans, are that due to harsh economic times this has been the norm . That is simply utter idiocy , as prior to the most recent downturn in the economy , the franchise still could not attract fans . It has become the norm in the Tampa Bay area market, where the fans are simply fair weather fans , only jumping unto the bandwagon, when things are good .
In the Buccaneers rather lopsided 31-13 home loss to the Carolina Panthers , it was the franchise eleventh defeat in their last twelve regular season games dating back to 2012 . Anyone under the slightest impression that this Greg Schiano coached team had within the slightest chance of winning the game , either had to have been under prescribed medication or simply saw something that just was not there . Defensively , the team lacks a great deal of discipline and from an offensive standpoint they are as equally inept and just as awful as the word ” offensive” would suggest or con-notate in another vernacular. The real issue with this team and the coaching staff as well , is that there are no leaders and absolutely no one held is accountable in either juncture . And the opinions I have read by Buccaneers’ fans concerning the team simply glosses over that fact , as they look elsewhere for answers .
With the mid-season trade deadline set for 4:00 PM Eastern Standard Time on Tuesday 29th October, it will be interesting to see whether or not Mark Dominik sees fit to make one or two moves that might suggest that the Buccaneers will seek to amass draft picks for the 2014 NFL Draft , while giving up on the remainder of this season . There certainly is not any point in them trying to make a run at the division given the fact that they are firmly rooted to the bottom of the NFC South with only the hapless Atlanta Falcons looking as equally abysmal a franchise, within the division . The Carolina Panthers have been the surprise team from within , while a resurgent New Orleans Saints’ team looks to make themselves a force to be reckoned this season , not just within the conference but also the NFL as a whole .
Week nine and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will head West , where they will take on the Seattle Seahawks (7-1) in an NFC match-up of two teams heading in opposite directions. The Seahawks will be looking to firmly tighten their grip on the NFC West , while distancing themselves from their closest divisional rivals the San Francisco 49ers (6-2).
Greg Schiano was brought in as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ head coach , under the belief, that what was needed was a stern , strict disciplinarian and someone with an eye for coaching and developing young talent . Unfortunately , if this season is anything judge by , then he has failed miserably on both fronts . It is hard to see where the franchise now goes from here and one also has to ask the question , is Mark Dominik the right person for the job as the team’s general manager ? Clearly , other than the drafting of Doug Martin in 2012 , the Buccaneers have little to show for their lack of any type of tangible success , and another season of setbacks , only profligates another year of discontent for their long suffering fans , who have not seen the franchise in the postseason since 2007 .
There seems to be a constant struggle between ” good ” and ” evil ” within the NFC East each season . Either the teams there, will serve up some great football , or it tends to be the kind that will have you yearning for days when there were said to be highly skilled players within the division . Granted , from season to season , what you see is what you get . Yet , in 2013 , beyond the plethora of bad performances without having to cite injuries , there can be no excuse for the fact that the Dallas Cowboys (4-4) , Philadelphia Eagles (3-5) , New York Giants (2-6) and Washington Redskins (2-5) are no better than . 500 in terms of their overall records . To say that the division sends a bad message about the football now being played in the NFL would be an understatement , but how else can you explain the woefully inept displays from a quartet of teams , that is said to house the best division in the entire NFL ? Personally , I believe the NFC East to be overrated , with a number of players , either past their prime or steadily on something of a downward spiral . As good as Tony Romo is said to during the regular season , we can agree can we not that when it comes to the postseason , the Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback is simply like a deer caught in headlights. He may well be a fantasy geek’s dream during the regular season , because that is all he ever will be .
Someone will have to explain to me , how the Dallas Cowboys can somehow lapse into a complete breakdown , having led the Detroit Lions … through three quarters with a 13-7 lead , only to then give up twenty four points in the final quarter and then succumb to the Lions 31-30 . Jason Garrett and his coaching staff either like to be far too conservative , or there appears to be a nonchalant attitude in how they view each opponent on a week to week basis . The Cowboys either choose to play up or down to the level of the opposition they face . More often than not , it has been beneath the level of the foe they have to face, during the course of this season .
I would dare say that when the Dallas Cowboys face the Minnesota Vikings (1-7) this upcoming Sunday , there is no likelihood of being able to clarify how that game is likely to turn out , if we base our knowledge on what is said to have taken place during week eight . All things should point to an easy win for the home team , but as I alluded to before , Dallas more often than not, has chosen to play down to the level of an opponent they have faced during this season . So make of it, what you will .
In what proved to be a pivotal game five of this season’s World Series , the Boston Red Sox pulled off a 3-1 victory over the St Louis Cardinals , to place themselves one win away from capturing their third World Series’ title in the past nine years. In what turned out to be a thoroughly thrilling contest , very much in the vein of this series , this game ebbed and flowed as both combatants tried to outwit each other over nine innings .
Jon Lester of the Red Sox out-pitched his opposing number Adam Wainwright but once , again as so often before , it was left to David Ortiz to provide the heroics for the team as he has often done before . Should Boston go on to take this series , then it is my firm belief that Ortiz is likely to be named the series’ MVP . Yet , with their being two games left of this current contest , it would be completely foolish to write-off the St Louis Cardinals at this juncture . The NL pennant winners are far too resolute a team to call it a day , and simply give up . It is certainly not within the players’ or coaching staff’s mindset that all is lost . And even if the final two games are being played in Boston at Fenway Park , all that is needed , is for a game six victory St Louis to even the contest and then, this series now becomes a one game sudden death , all or nothing sweepstakes .
With all the controversy that has plagued this baseball season , it is still good to know that the continued idiocy is not far away from the headlines ,even if the purists and apathetic would prefer to look the other way in spite of the irreparable damage done to the sport . As we all know at the end of this postseason soiree , the MLB hierarchy will seek to press ahead with their action against Alex Rodriguez in seeking a multi-game suspension of the player . Not to be outdone, Rodriguez in turn has sought to press ahead with a federal civil suit against baseball (MLB) citing slander , emotional distress and damage to his reputation , with the game’s hierarchy in seeking to suspend him from baseball , with a two hundred and fourteen game suspension . The hiring of two prominent New York City criminal attorneys in John Tacopina and David Cornwell to represent the player not only at the tribunal hearing, but also in his defamation lawsuit , has me wondering how much longer can this absolute farce be maintained ! No one seems intent on giving an inch , and it has become abundantly clear that this case is now taking on some rather unsavory racial overtones , quite possibly with a great deal of this being orchestrated by Rodriguez’s legal team , in some part .
Hordes of demonstrators in support of the New York Yankees’ third baseman have turned up outside the MLB headquarters, protesting the unfairness of baseball’s investigation and the fact that Alex Rodriguez is being made a scapegoat because of his ethnicity . Back in March of 2010 , I do not believe that was said to be the case when Alex Rodriguez , willingly chose to proffer up what was then an insipid act of contrition , in apologizing for his use of a banned substance . Yet , somehow four years later , when what is said to be tangible evidence of the player willingly having bought several illicit substances for his own personal use and with sworn subpoenaed testimony from Anthony Bosch (founder) of Biogenesis that Alex Rodriguez was indeed a client , who purchased products from his company . It would appear , that now would be the time to use race and ethnicity , as a way to sully what has already become a sordid affair . From my own perspective , baseball , specifically its hierarchy , owners and the union have never treated the issue of steroids with the seriousness it deserves . Yet , for the tens of millions dollars that have been made by the teams , players and the game as a whole during the era of steroids , in reality for all of the suspensions meted out by Bud Selig , not much has really changed to abate the rampant epidemic , that has further soiled the reputation of the game.
Once the World Series reaches its finale , baseball’s season will carry on at length , as it becomes a legal issue concerning Rodriguez’s appeals hearing in front of mediation specialist Fred Horowitz , and then onwards , dare I say downwards, with what is likely to be a rather comedic federal trial ?
Speaking of which , just when you thought you had heard the last of Barry Bonds , his name is amongst the list of eligible Hall of Fame candidates for 2014 . However , you will be pleased to know , that Bonds too , is seeking his own legal recourse in having his 2011 federal trial verdict of guilty be overturned in an appeals’ court hearing . The former San Francisco Giants’ slugger along with his attorneys have filed an appeal in the Ninth District Court of Appeals to have his case be re-heard by eleven Appeals’ Court judges , where their finding would hopefully overturn the original conviction and verdict of guilty on counts of obstruction of justice and perjury . If Bonds’ request were to be turned down then his only course of action left would have his case be heard by the US Supreme Court , in front of the Justice there. Which begs the question , will Antonin Scalia and Sonia Sotomayor be feigning or actually drooling over the player , upon his entrance into their hallowed chambers ?
For Bonds who believes that his testimony that he never knowingly took a banned substance and that because he is the son of a famous sports’ personality , it equated , whereby he was seen somewhat differently by a jury of his peers , doesn’t seem to quite wash with how the player was known to acquit himself on the field of play as some have stated , he often remained aloof from many of his teammates during the latter part of his career , as he sought after many of the game’s titular records from in terms offense and their notoriety. The seven-time NL MVP’s once meteoric star and his ascent to the top of the game, with its fall , came the distrust of many of the game’s most ardent fans . Though one cannot deny Bonds’ greatness prior to any of the alleged use of a banned substance , it has been the player’s reasoning and deniability that has continued to be a real cause for concern , as he often used his status for a number of noteworthy causes . I am not so sure that even in light of that fact , one can still look at Barry Bonds in a positive light and deem him to be a role model for anyone .
With the resignation of Jim Leyland , as the manager of the Detroit Tigers , . I believe that the organization should look for a successor from within their current coaching staff. It certainly has not hurt , that both of the managers in this season’s World Series were at one time assistants on the respective teams that they are now managing in baseball’s showcase finale . Continuity , I believe is at times, the best way to proceed , rather than seeking to go after a high-profiled name . That was clearly the case in 2012 when the Boston Red Sox made the horrendous mistake with the hiring of Bobby Valentine . GM Ben Cherington was against the hire , but team President & CEO Larry Lucchino somehow convinced the other senior partners along with majority stake holder John W Henry that Valentine was indeed the man for the job . Last season for the Red Sox , beyond the infamy of the sheer ineptitude and the last place finish within the AL East , was also memorable , equally comedic and utterly diabolical for the sound-bytes uttered by the then beleaguered Valentine , who sought to blame everyone else but himself , for the team’s miserable year in 2012. How quickly was Valentine’s successor John Farrell able to turn things around ? Well, the proof has been in witnessing where the team now just happens to be . Is it possible, that this type of situation can be replicated with the Tigers , if GM Dave Dombrowski makes the right decision by promoting from within ? The Tigers’ general manager is not keen to show his hand at present, but he is likely to weigh up all of the possible options available to him , while remaining in close contact with team owner Michael Ilitch .
Brad Ausmus , former catcher in the Big Leagues and now a special assistant within the San Diego Padres’ organization appears to be the front-runner to succeed Jim Leyland , after what are said to be an encouraging round of interviews with both Dave Dombrowski and Michael Ilitch. . Yet, amongst the Tigers’ coaching staff there are candidates such as Lloyd McClendon , Rafael Belliard , Gene Lamont and Tom Brookens . All of whom , if given the chance could quite possibly fill the vacancy left with the resignation of Jim Leyland . Players on the staff such as Justin Verlander , Miguel Cabrera , Prince Fielder and Max Scherzer are likely to be gauged as to their thoughts on the managerial vacancy , but off course the final say will rest with the general manager and team owner . Jim Leyland has served the game well and his departure from the game , though unexpected, came at the right time , for the now legendary manager , whose resume` is an accomplished one .
Picture gallery .
Heroes within the world of sports can at times be characters with flawed personalities , or they can be someone , we can have a great deal of respect for . Yet somehow, there is a chance what we deemed to be a hero in one person’s view , can very much be the opposite for someone else . Do you believe that as a sports’ fan , there is room the modern-day hero within the world of sports ? Or do you best believe , that these athletes are simply nothing more than gifted individuals within their chosen professions , who are deservedly rewarded , for what they do ? By all means , do leave a comment as you see fit on this and anything else pertinent to the subject matter.
Picture and slideshow gallery details below .
(1) Gus Bradley of the Jacksonville Jaguars who as head coach of the team , has seen them fall to an 0-8 start and currently are at the bottom of the AFC South joining NFC compatriot the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for having the two worst records in the NFL . AP Photo / Martin Bucknell …
(2) Mike Glennon (8) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers calls a play in the huddle during a game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Raymond James Stadium on October 13, 2013 in Tampa, Florida. The Buccaneers would go on to lose the game , which is one of seven straight consecutive losses , for a franchise that has lost eleven of their last twelve regular season games dating back to 2012. Getty Images / Mike Ehrmann …..
(3) A Boston Red Sox fan holds up a sign for manager John Farrell (53) of the Boston Red Sox prior during Game Five of the 2013 World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on October 28, 2013 in St Louis, Missouri. Rob Carr / Getty Images North America ….. Getty Images / Rob Carr …..
(4) David Ortiz (34) of the Boston Red Sox runs after hitting an RBI double scoring Dustin Pedroia (15) in the first inning against the St. Louis Cardinals during Game Five of the 2013 World Series at Busch Stadium on October 28, 2013 in St Louis, Missouri. . Getty Images / Elsa Martinez …. (5) Alex Rodriguez is seen here signing autographs for fans , having just left the MLB headquarters in New York City , where he and his attorneys met members of the MLB hierarchy and their investigators . Courtesy of ESPN / all rights reserved …
(6) Fans of Alex Rodriguez come out to show their support for the player as he departs from the league’s headquarters in lower Manhattan , New York City . Ed Marsh / NY Daily News …
(7) A small gathering of Rodriguez’s fans show their support for the beleaguered player . AP Photo / Tom Archer ….
(8) Barry Bonds is seen here leaving the 9th District Court of Appeals where he and his legal team are seeking to have his April 2011 guilty verdict appealed and overturned with a special trial in front of an empaneled court of Justices within the Appeals Court’s jurisdiction. If Bonds gains no recourse, then his only remaining alternative is for his case to be heard by the United States Supreme Court . AP Photo / Todd Hatcher ….