Ours is not to reason why , it is merely to …………
With NBA season having just begun and with the MLB season all but having reached its climax . It is good to know that the fans still have the NFL season going in earnest , even if the fans and those in attendance have been witness to some terrible performances this season . Speaking as a fan of the New England Patriots (6-2) , my loyalty is not in question , but my willingness to see this team ebb and flow in terms of their play this season has simply kept me wondering why I continue to endure such pain !
As Bill Belichick continues to tinker with the defense alongside coordinator Matt Patricia , one can understand why even at this juncture things have simply not fared as well as they should ,. because of a lack of leadership within the secondary . The loss of Vince Wilfork cannot be made up by thinking that a number of first and second year players are ready to step into the fray . Never mind the fact that even with the return of Rob Groknowksi , this offense is far from the one witnessed .in 2012. Aaron Hernandez’s ongoing legal problems notwithstanding , the receivers on the team are nowhere the caliber of their counterparts of 2012. Danny Amendola is proving to be as soft as a baby’s backside and any type of innocuous injury has to be a cause of concern for the coaching staff as well as the front office , given financial outlay made to the player .
This upcoming Sunday , New England will play host to the struggling Pittsburgh Steelers (2-5) , as they look to make something of what is turning out to be something of a forlorn season . A loss in this game and questions may well be raised concerning the future of a number of players on the roster and quite possibly of the head coach Mike Tomlinson . To my mind , his dismissal would not be in the best interests of the franchise or that of the players . The real issue with the team has been a lack of depth in a number of key areas both on offense as well as defense . And the outcome of this contest may well come down to which team has the desire to win and also by way of time of possession in controlling the clock .
Can a clearer picture now be painted of how bad the Minnesota Vikings (1-6) just happen to be ? The longer the fans have to bear witness to this atrocity , the more one has to ask whether or not both Leslie Frazier and GM Rick Spielman should remain in their current positions. Having gone through their roster of struggling quarterbacks , this has become a team totally devoid of any substance or leadership , with the talents of both Jared Allen and Adrian Peterson being wasted this season . Hard to believe that this is the very same running back who came within a couple of yards of breaking the single season rushing mark of Eric Dickerson .
Now firmly rooted to the bottom of the NFC North the Minnesota Vikings are now playing for pride self-respect at this juncture . And even with the so called light at the end of the tunnel by way of an almost $1.5 billion facility expected to house the franchise for the 2016 NFL season . Does anyone really believe that by then this organization will be able to turn things around based on the current environment within the franchise ?
Leslie Frazier will take his team on Sunday to visit the equally abysmal Dallas Cowboys , a team that has continually underachieved over the past eight seasons , in spite of comedic and outlandish statements made by team owner Jerry Jones . Not far behind that context now appears to be wide receiver Dez Bryant , who recently proclaimed himself just as good a wide receiver as the Calvin Johnson of the Detroit Lions . Somehow Bryant’s statistics were not the equal of his opponent in the Cowboys’ inexplicable loss , where they led for almost three quarters of that contest . . It would be safe to say , that there will not be a great deal of interest in the contest between the Cowboys and Vikings this upcoming Sunday , other than for the fantasy geeks, seeking to gauge how their players acquitted themselves during the games in question .
The Boston Red Sox were able to pull off the victory (6-1) needed to secure that franchise’s third World Series in the past ten seasons . Manager John Farrell’s influence was clearly seen in the team’s play throughout this series and it was a great sense of achievement after a 2012 season that was filled with the comedic revelry and incompetence provided by Farrell’s predecessor Bobby Valentine > . If there is any justice to this 2013 season by way of the awards given , then Farrell should be a consensus favorite to win the AL Manager of the Year Award .
Game six was simply about the performances of two Red Sox players , most notably their starting pitcher John Lackey and the DH David Ortiz , whose legend with the franchise has now grown to legendary status , simply because of his career with the ball club. Anyone, who now feels that there will be a fall off from this team as next season approaches , his clearly misjudged the mindset within this organization . Farrell and his managerial staff along general manager Ben Cherington will undoubtedly seek to fortify the roster making the changes where necessary , while promoting from within . It is my belief that the Boston Red Sox will start as the clear favorites to retain and make a successful defense of their AL East title . I simply cannot see an aging … New York Yankees’ roster or the cash starved Tampa Bay Rays or Baltimore Orioles making any inroads on a team who simply made a mockery of the division along with the rest of the AL , by way of their play and domination of the opposition throughout the season . The postseason pitching and offense of the Red Sox was very resolute and the managerial acumen of John Farrell was unquestionable .
For the St Louis Cardinals who came up short in this series , they can simply take heart from the fact that they acquitted themselves well , but during the six games of this best of seven series they were simply outplayed .
The NBA year tipped off on the 29th October , that for 2013 has begun a little earlier than usual . Yet for all of the nuances sought by David Stern to create an even greater allure for the fans and corporate endorsers alike . The league and its brand can only be sustained by the game’s elite stars and many of the more popular and successful teams . With the Boston Celtics having gone the through a major upheaval during the off-season with the departures of Kevin Garnett , Paul Pierce and Jason Terry as well former head coach Doc Rivers . It remains to be seen as to whether or not Brad Stevens as Rivers’ successor can lead a newly revamped Celtics’ roster to any type of success this season . It may well be a year or two before Rajon Rondo and his teammates can aspire to reach the level of success attained under his former coach .
An opening season 93-87 loss to the Toronto Raptors was not a cause for concern for Boston , but it may will certainly punctuate what it is likely to a season which will be gauged as something of a learning curve for this young and inexperienced team along with Stevens’ coaching assistants . Next up for the Celtics will be a home game against the Milwaukee Bucks as they seek to obtain their first win of the season within the Eastern Conference as well as the Atlantic Division .
So now, there is no chance of the Miami Heat going 82-0 , and I do believe that 81-1 is also unlikely ! As a reminder to ESPN’s contributors Skip Bayless and that proverbial fool Bill Simmons , who are of the opinion that the Heat will march unchallenged to another title . This team led by LeBron James , Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh will undoubtedly have a very good season and are likely to be dominant during their regular season schedule . Yet , they cannot and should not be placed in the same pantheons of those great Lakers , Celtics or even the Bulls’ teams that were so dominant during their impressive reigns . Granted , on paper this is a very good team , but beyond the mainstay of their big three and the sharp shooting Ray Allen , is there anyone who feels that there is a really great deal of depth to this roster ?
Out of the gate with a 1-1 record , it should be noted that while there should be no cause for concern as of yet . An opening night victory , against the Chicago Bulls at home, as the defending NBA champions was to be expected. However , what followed in their next game against the Philadelphia 76ers , on the night that Allen Iverson formally announced his retirement from the league , came as a jolt to many , as the Heat put on what can only be seen as a lackluster performance against a Sixers’ franchise that the champions have simply had the better of during their regular season meetings over the past few years . Erik Spoelstra need not be worried , as he is unlikely to lose his job this early in the season and his mentor Pat Riley is likely to see this as only a mere blip on the radar screen, as the team goes about their season . Yet to my own mind, I believe that this defeat came more out of a sense of complacency , more than anything else , with this team , as they were still busy celebrating last season’s triumph . The Heat, will look to rebound from that loss when they take on the Brooklyn Nets at their palatial venue the Barclays Center , in Brooklyn , New York on Friday night . With a combined payroll in excess of $215 million on display , one can only hope that the two teams will offer up something that can be deemed as being a highly competitive and entertaining game .
In the aftermath of the sale of the Sacramento Kings by the Maloof family to tech entrepreneur Vivek Ranadive . It will be interesting to now see where the franchise goes from here . Certainly not the league hierarchy, never mind David Stern’s failure to acknowledge what mismanagement of the franchise by the team’s then primary partners Joe and Gavin Maloof . To my mind , the NBA commissioner in spite of his alleged business acumen , is simply an opportunist, who prefers the glare of the spotlight upon himself and his achievements , rather than seeking to deal with many of the acute issues that currently affect the NBA . Stern was quick to originally back the plan of the sale of the Kings to Microsoft Chairman Steve Ballmer and venture capitalist billionaire, Chris Hansen , who planned to relocate the Kings to Seattle, Washington , thereby bringing back an NBA franchise to the city , after the hasty and surreptitious departure of the Seattle Supersonics . As if that deal was not underhanded enough, it should be noted that the commissioner promised the city that he would do his utmost hasten the return of NBA team back to the Northwest . Yet in the time, since the Sonics’ departure , very little has been done by the league hierarchy to assist in that venture .
Ballmer and Hansen’s original bid to purchase the Kings was considerably more than with the winning bid of Ranadive’s whose insistence that the franchise would be retained in Sacramento finally won the day with the NBA’s Board of Governors and with the city’s mayor Kevin Johnson , himself a former NBA player . It should be noted also , that Johnson also seeks to use public funds to aid the new ownership in making upgrades to the Kings’ current home , before seeking to finance the building of a new venue for the team. All of this while, his own city has steep financial budgetary concerns and a fiscal deficit , not uncommon across the state of California or at the state level , where Governor Jerry Brown and the State Legislature are at loggerheads as to how best reduce their debt and fiscal anomalies brought on by years of largess and no financial restraint being shown by both legislative chambers and with Brown’s predecessor Arnold Schwarzenegger , hardly putting a dent in the deficit and debt crisis that he promised he would be able to deal with , through proper fiscal constraint and the cutting of a number of state ran programs .
Away from this all , the Kings’ first year head coach Michael Malone has to get this team all on the same page , while having to deal with the often mercurial and temperamental talent of DeMarcus Cousins . If the franchise is to have any type of chance at success over the course of this season , then the often criticized center will have to raise the level of his play while leading by example . And if there is one thing we know to be true concerning the player it is that he remains immature and someone who often seeks a confrontation with an official , if things don’t necessarily go his own way on the court of play.
The Kings started off the season with an impressive victory over the Denver Nuggets , where it was an all-round effort by this young team . On Friday , it should be a true test of their mettle where they are due to face conference rivals the Los Angeles Clippers in a contest which should prove to be a very good match-up of teams with postseason aspirations .
Picture gallery .
At the halfway point of the NFL season , we can now look to a second half where there will be a great deal to play for amongst those seeking to make themselves a serious playoff contender . With the MLB postseason , now having come to an end , the only remaining issues are that of the individual awards and that takes place by way of the legal overtures now in play . A successful season overall ? I believe it only appropriate to let you be the judge of that ! With the NBA schedule in its infancy , I certainly do not believe that the teams will begin to find their rhythm until we are at least three weeks into the year’s calendar of games . By all means do leave a comment as you think fit on this and anything else you believe pertinent to the subject matter .
Picture and slideshow details below .
(1) Patriots’ head coach Bill Belichick , right , is seen here with the team’s defensive coordinator Matt Patricia , as they discuss a defensive scheme during a game this season . Off to a 6-2 start after eight games, the team’s defense still remains a work in progress and has proven to be inconsistent . Belichick delved into the market at the trade deadline looking to shore up and fortify a still struggling secondary. AP Photo / Paul Ross …..
(2) Former Catholic High School star Harrison Smith, second from right, stands with Minnesota coach Leslie Frazier, from left, No. 3 overall pick Matt Kalil and general manager Rick Spielman at the Vikings’ facility in Eden Prairie, Minn., on Friday. Smith and Kalil were both taken in the first round on Thursday in the 2012 NFL draft. Getty Images / Elsa Martinez …
(3) World Series’ MVP David Ortiz celebrates , pointing to the appreciative Red Sox fans after the team’s 6-1 rout of the St Louis Cardinals in game six of the World Series . The series’ win would be the franchise’s third in the past ten years and their eighth overall . For manager John Farrell this would be his first title in his first year with the franchise as its manager. Ortiz’s stats were franchise highs in the World Series for the ball-club. MLB.com all rights reserved copyrighted material ….
(4) WALTHAM, MA – JULY 5: New Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens (R) is introduced to the media by President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge July 5, 2013 in Waltham, Massachusetts. Stevens was hired away from Butler University where he led the Bulldogs to two back to back national championship game appearances in 2010 and 2011 . Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images ….
(5) Sacramento Kings’ owner , tech entrepreneur Vivek Ranadive is seen here with the city’s mayor Kevin Johnson . Ranadive and his group bought the Sacramento Kings for an inflated price of $535 million . An apparent higher bid from a consortium led by Steve Ballmer and Chris Hansen was turned down by the NBA Board of Governors , who voted against the relocation of the Kings to Seattle after a long-held promise by the commissioner that he would seek to secure the return of an NBA franchise the city in Washington State.
tophatal ……………… .
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Bottoms up , bottoms down
More jiggle and wiggle to make jello seem so proper .
Don’t worry there can never be too much junk in the trunk ! Your thoughts on that ?