The ugly side to sports is no different from its image in general , still goddamn ugly

The ugly side to sports is no different from its image in general , still goddamn ugly

For the past few weeks I have been intently assisting a friend get his newly established and relocated business off the ground. He and his family moved across the county to reestablish his Caribbean styled family restaurant here in the small rural town of Dundee, Florida . Like everything else that involves the reshaping of a business , along with it comes a great deal of bureaucracy, in dealing with a new municipality as well as with a state governmental agency . Top-heavy , with way too much bureaucracy and with their being no intelligence in sight . The same could be said for the state of play in the world of professional and collegiate sports, where leadership is definitely lacking but the sheer ineptitude and apathy of the fans would have you believe that there is some integrity and leadership within the hierarchies of the NFL, NBA , NCAA , MLB , NHL and FIFA . With the latter being a prime example of how the world’s most popular sport while not lacking appeal is still mired in controversy , along with ongoing corruption at the highest levels.

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My friend’s restaurant is off to a flying start but his issues remain, in dealing with the town and the state for varying reasons, as to the degree of difficulty. The sign that adorns the restaurant is not visible to the passing vehicular traffic, because of the trees that border the pedestrian sidewalk. The trees were planted by the town , with a grant provided by the state, but it remains the municipality’s duty to have those trees properly maintained. Yet, when having made a request to the town manager, we were informed because the shrubbery is along a state highway, the responsibility in seeking any changes would have to come with state approval. It would not be so asinine , were it not for the fact the town received the grant from the state for the beautification project, with the planting of the trees. Go figure, a municipality that defers to the state, because they cannot make pertinent decision that actually affects the town more than the state.

The NFL continues the hyping of its off-season, with the meaningless news of rookies who are told are now said to be setting their training camps alight with their understanding of the playbook and their acknowledgment of their more experienced peers. Far be it for me to suggest, but the preseason is nothing more than a parade , with the regular season being the true test of the rookies’ character and skills. Jadeveon Clowney of the Houston Texans will have a great deal to prove in his rookie season , along with the considerable hype that also followed Johnny Manziel , who was a first round pick of the Cleveland Browns . For the Browns this might be a season where the disasters of 2013 are likely to be revisited. Mike Pettine and his staff have a great deal to prove, as do the players under his tutelage.

Given the Browns’ on and off the field issues in recent seasons, I personally do not see the team making any inroads within their division or the AFC once the season gets underway . Cleveland will begin their season with an away game against divisional AFC North rivals the Pittsburgh Steelers in a contest to be played at Heinz Field , in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania ,on the opening weekend of the 2014 week one regular season schedule . Pettine and his team are likely to have a season of ups and downs but nothing that would suggest they are likely to seen as a major contender within the AFC this season.

If the NFL cannot find a way to keep itself out of the spotlight, you can rest assured that it will be left to either Roger Goodell or one of the league’s team owners to make a complete ass of themselves. The NFL Commissioner continues to wax on lyrically as to the ever increasing profits of the NFL, but his continued failure to discuss the most acute issues that the NFL continues to face is another reason why the league continues to have ongoing problems. Goodell lacks leadership grit and the owners remain selfless self-serving bastards. It would be idiotic to try to suggest otherwise now.

Dan Snyder and the Washington Redskins continue to be on the wrong side of an argument and debate that neither he or the franchise can win. No matter what type of magnanimous gesture is made by the Redskins’ owner , it will never be enough to appease the Native American Indians across the country. While I believe there to be a great deal of hypocrisy on both sides of the debate concerning, using the word ‘ Redskins’ as it relates to the franchise’s name. The fact that the United States Patent Office has seen fit not to renew the Redskins’ trademark of the name, smacks of government interference in a matter that should be either dealt with in the courts or through an amicable settlement between the parties concerned.

The US Trade & Patent Office stated that their why not renewing the Washington Redskins’ trademark agreement stemmed from the fact, they believed the term “ Redskins” was a derogatory use the word that denigrates the Native American Indians. Perhaps that governmental agency needs to take a look at what the Department of the Interior is presently doing as it relates to the tribes across the country to truly comprehend the meaning of the word ” denigrate ” and the meaning also of the word derogatory . Native American Indians may well be and their lands are deemed sovereign, but their treatment by the federal government remains reprehensible and often scandalous . Simply consider the lack of proper education in spite of the statistics continually spewed by the governmental agency in question , with their also being a prolific rise in drug use and crime but yet they feel the using of the word Redskins to be derogatory in this day age. If things were not so fucked up I would take less in delight in lambasting not only Department of the Interior , but also a Congress and Administration that remains clueless on so many fucking issues , that it should be viewed as criminal and extremely calculated .

Away from that specific issue for the Washington Redskins , they will embark on a new season with the new head coach and coaching staff in tow. Jay Gruden will now be given the task of turning things around for the team after a year of lackluster results and performances , with many questioning the leadership and playing ability of Robert Griffin III. Add in the fact, Griffin’s teammate Kirk Cousins sought to extricate himself from an organization that simply had lost a sense of direction. Snyder remained in the background while Mike Shanahan and Kyle Shanahan ran amok , with team GM Bruce Allen showing no sense of urgency in seeking to calm the maelstrom within his sight. I have always felt that the four teams within the NFC East were overrated along just about every element of the teams’ play within the division. As to the season by Philadelphia Eagles’ quarterback Nick Foles , does anyone really believe that he will be able to replicate those performances in 2014? Add in the fact the Eagles saw fit to rid themselves of their best offensive weapon last season when they allowed DeSean Jackson to leave as a free agent. Safe to say, that the Eagles’ loss will be the Washington Redskins’ gain.

This past NBA postseason showed once again why the NBA remains suckers’ game if you are always willing to bet on what you believe to be a sure thing. As to the idiocy of those, whose only explanation to favor the Miami Heat was because of the presence of LeBron James on the Heat’s roster . Last I looked James was yet to make the ascent where he can thought of as being on the same plateau as his idol Michael Jordan , whose postseason exploits have been well chronicled. Miami’s decisive 4-1 series loss was enough to suggest how overrated the Heat were said to be without having to witness LeBron James’ labor in these Finals without very little aid coming from his teammates. As to this asinine notion, that their Big Three should remain together , the real issue should be with an aging Dwyane Wade offering a mere measure of the player he was six years ago , the inconsistency of Chris Bosh and a bench whose only apparent virtue appears to be as a band of cheerleaders for their four-time League MVP winning teammate. Rashard Lewis has aged faster than an octogenarian with the early onset of Alzheimer’s and Ray Allen’s shooting can now be placed on the same level as Dick Cheney on a pheasant hunt, not likely to be the target he’s aiming for , but he is liable to hit something near.

James’ decision to opt out of his contract now creates a feeding frenzy within the NBA, with general managers around the NBA scurrying to make salary cap space available , as they seek to land one of the big fishes among the list of ” highly prized “ free agents currently on the market. Joining LeBron James , is his close confidante Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks and the possibility seems remote that the pairing could now land on the same team making that franchise a legitimate title contender.

So now for the second time in six years, the fans will be placed in the midst of this drama, as James serves notice, that he believes himself bigger than the game. It would not be so bad, if the first merry-go-round of this circus were not staged , with ESPN journalist Jim Gray , all but licking James’ sphincter and testes, while asking some of the most asinine questions posed to an athlete concerning their future. As to James and his posse of clown advisers, stating that the player’s fee, for that now infamous diatribe and garbage went to a needy cause , of the Boys & Girls Club of America. For a player who was one of the league’s highest paid players and with a reputed $40 million annually in off-court earnings. I believe the $250,000 paid out by ESPN would have been a small price to pay, had James simply donated that money to the charity himself, rather than Gray making the statement and interview had a measure of journalistic integrity to it all. That would be suggesting that the plot-line for a thirty minute porn flick, does have a measure of artistic integrity in terms of the portrayals on-screen. Everyone knows how to fuck and I guess faking an orgasm does come easy (pardon the pun) when you have practiced the art several times over. James and Gray were not very versed and the interview itself, was simply one more reason why ESPN can no longer be taken seriously as sports’ programming network .

LeBron James will be seen as a very poor version of what the NBA seeks in the second coming of Michael Jordan. The league hierarchy , still yearns for someone to carry that mantle, but unfortunately since Jordan’s retirement the players seeking to fill those shoes have repeatedly come up short. The Miami Heat player can now toy with the emotions of the Miami Heat and in particular with the fans and Pat Riley . However, should he seek to bolt from a franchise for a second time , his legacy will not only be further tarnished, but I do believe the fans around the league will not be so forgiving the second time around.

Unless I am mistaken, the season in which baseball yearned to see some great play from some of the game’s best teams , has in essence provided us with something of a letdown. The defending World Series’ champions the Boston Red Sox have performed nothing like what you would come to expect of a ball-club seeking to make a successful defense of their title. It is becoming hard to explain why John Farrell’s players have performed so badly, as we come to closing out the first half of this baseball season. The always competitive AL East remains a two-horse race at present with the Toronto Blue Jays leading the Baltimore Orioles followed by the big spending coffers of the New York Yankees . Rounding out the division we have the Red Sox followed by the last placed Tampa Bay Rays .

The Rays have proven to be pitiful and no amount of idiotic excuses can be made for the poor play from the team . Winning a series for this franchise, has become about as customary as witnessing a solar eclipse of Halley’s Comet crossing the sky at high-speed. Far be it for me to suggest , but now might be the time for fans in the Tampa Bay area to look elsewhere for their excitement this Fall ,as this franchise is unlikely to be playing any part in the Fall Classic.

Rays’ manager Joe Maddon known for serving up a great deal of rhetoric, has rarely called out his players even when they have performed poorly. Leadership is certainly lacking among the Rays and with seasoned veterans on the roster such as David Price, James Loney, Jose Molina , Evan Longoria and Erik Bedard , it is becoming extremely difficult by the second to suggest that there are any signs of a positive note to be witnessed from this team. Coming off three consecutive losses to the Pittsburgh Pirates at Tropicana Field in St Petersburg, the Rays will now hope for more luck on the road when they are due to face the Baltimore Orioles in a four-game series to be played at Camden Yards in Baltimore , Maryland. That series will tell us a great deal about the temperament of the Tampa Bay Rays and the direction that they are said to be heading in. The first of the quartet of games will begin on Friday 27th June ,2014 with Alex Colome taking to the mound for the Rays against a yet to be named opposing pitcher.

The longer Mark Emmert remains as the NCAA President the less credibility he continues to have. His change of tone, concerning the issue of collegiate athletes being paid is another reason why the NCAA cannot be taken seriously when it comes to addressing this matter. Whether or not, if he is being pressured by major conference commissioners or by the university presidents, it is becoming abundantly clear that Emmert’s lack of leadership and communicative skills will ultimately lead to his own undoing. Collegiate Athletics’ governing body now finds itself as a major defendant in a class action lawsuit in which one of the leading plaintiffs is former UCLA (Bruins) basketball star Ed O’Bannon . The Bruins’ star and his joint plaintiffs claim that their likeness was being used without their permission and whereby the NCAA and the colleges have profited greatly from using their images, in selling a wide assortment of sports’ paraphernalia. With the billions of dollars reaped and the claims made by the NCAA and the collegiate establishments that these funds are used for the benefit of the student athlete .That case is becoming hard to prove, when neither the NCAA or many top-tiered sports’ programs are willing to open up their books for public scrutiny. In spite of the outcry from the public , the NCAA has been able to harness their lobbying power to make sure that Congressional leaders and members are quick to avert their eyes and ears, in seeking to make changes in the antitrust exemption status granted to collegiate athletics’ governing body as well as the four major professional sports’ governing bodies.

The world’s most popular sport of soccer and the sport’s international governing body staging the World Cup in Brazil, in this quadrennial tournament being seen as a grand stage to raise the profile of South America’s most powerful economy. Staged at a cost of over $12 billion , the country is also facing a great deal internal strife ,with their being a great deal of opposition in the staging of the World Cup while there is a growing chasm between the rich and the poor within the country. Needless to say , the government states that those issues will be fully addressed once the tournament is over but for the moment soccer is now being played on the grandest of stages with the host nation being viewed as a consensus favorite.

FIFA President Joseph ‘Sepp’ Blatter , no stranger to controversy , having faced allegations of graft and corruption without his ever being indicted for any of the charges lodged against him. Others have somehow fallen on the sword, willing to take the blame for an executive who continues to point an accusing finger at the press for making the false accusations concerning his actions during his tenure as FIFA’s highest ranking executive.

This tournament has not been without controversy and the biggest of them all deals with the unsportsmanlike conduct of Uruguayan international Luis Suarez as he bit an Italian defender during a game between the two teams. With his team having qualified for the second round phase of the World Cup , fans now wait to see what punishment will be meted out against the player. This disgusting act was missed by the game’s officials but picked up by the cameras televising the game. Blatter and the FIFA Committee on Player Conduct will reexamine the incident, but it is s already becoming clear that the punishment levied against Luis Suarez is likely to be severe. The Uruguayan contingent have until Thursday midnight, to come up with an explanation as to the player’s behavior and the reasons behind his actions. Suarez has brushed aside this latest mea-culpa,but with his past behavior and having fined twice before for similar actions, FIFA can ill afford to have the player be let off the hook. Personally, I believe that Suarez should be suspended for the rest of the tournament, but I also find it rather bewildering that the Uruguayan delegation has not seen fit to offer a public apology for their player’s wanton misconduct.

Officiating at the World Cup has been very inconsistent with a number of on-field mistakes being made during the games , many of them proving to be costly for several of the teams on the wrong end of a decision. Reigning champions, Spain have fallen from grace and their exit in the first round stage has been a complete shock. Meanwhile, host country, Brazil , has found a consistent rhythm, after a somewhat indifferent start to the tournament. Their best player, Neymar Jr , is certainly justifying the raves reviews received, as he and the team go on their quest for a fifth World Cup title. Jose Felipe Scolari , as Brazil’s head coach is under a great deal of pressure to deliver a long-awaited title, but all roads will have to go through either Germany or the Netherlands , as both European teams have been among the most impressive of the participants playing in the tournament.

England’s failure comes as no great surprise with the team’s efforts having been ridiculed in the press back in the UK. Roy Hodgson’s tenure as the team’s head coach is likely to come to an abrupt end with his resignation being sought or being fired. Let’s just say the high expectations as one of the favorites is a thing of the past and will remain so for the foreseeable future as the country no longer produces the talent necessary to be seen as a legitimate World Cup contender.

For Jürgen Klinsmann and Team USA, the team’s pivotal final game in the first round on Thursday night is a make or break contest for both teams. Although a tie would benefit both teams , with each qualifying as the top two within their group standings. I believe it would be suicidal were both to rest on their laurels and simply play for the draw , as their opponent in the knockout stages is likely to be team that neither can afford to take lightly. As to this contest, it could very well be one where we get to see the best of this USA team , with Klinsmann missing one of the team’s best offensive players in Jozy Altidore. Whatever the outcome of the contest, it must be said that team has exceeded the expectations of their fans and I believe the majority of analysts in general covering the game for ESPN.

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Picture gallery .

In light of the recent news’ stories what do you believe to be the most interesting thing that is now happening in the sports’ world ? With team USA’s upcoming match against Germany, are they likely to be triumphant? Last but not least, what are you views on LeBron James choosing to opt out of his contract and what part is it likely to make on the decisions to be made by the NBA’s general managers ?

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Picture and slideshow gallery details below.

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(1) Seen here are the Orville Mongol restaurant owner and Dundee town Mayor Sam Pennant . The recently opened restaurant has become a downtown attraction and the center for numerous activities among the residents in the town.

(2) Jamaican Style Grill & Lounge DBA Golden Tropical Bar & Grill . The restaurant offering Jamaican styled cuisine is located in the downtown center of Dundee, located in Eastern Polk County , Florida . Seen here, pictured from left to right , Chef Donovan, Mayor Sam Pennant , Town Commissioner Bertram ‘Bert’ Goddard, Dorothy Mongol, Commissioner Steve Glenn (background) and restaurant owner Orville Mongol . The restaurant offers of a variety of Jamaican dishes featuring delicacies known among the West Indian community . Also served are vegetarian meals for those who prefer a health conscious diet , but in general patrons can find something on the menu that will be to their liking .

(3) Pictured are Jadeveon Clowney (above) and Johnny Manziel . Both players were part of the 2014 NFL Draft class of this year . Clowney and Manziel are hoping to productive contributors for their respective teams this upcoming season . AP Photo/Gerry Mason …

(4) Washington Redskins’ quarterback Robert Griffin III is seen here with team owner Dan Snyder on the sidelines during a game in 2013 played at FedEx Field in Landover Maryland . After an indifferent season last year the Redskins hope to bounce back with a new attitude and coaching staff led by Jay Gruden who succeeds fired former head coach Mike Shanahan . Dan Snyder faces mounting criticism from Native American Indians as well as the US Patent & Trademark Office , with the franchise’s refusal in changing the name of the team. The owner has routinely sought the input from Native Americans on the issue but a great deal of the negotiations between the two parties have become highly animated . Getty Images / Paul Ross …

(5) LeBron James is seen here with Miami Heat Team President and part owner , Pat Riley . With James opting out of his existing contract , it has led to a feeding frenzy among the NBA’s general managers as they seek to make available cap space , in quite possibly making a play to lure the Heat player. LeBron James , a four-time League MVP and two-time Finals MVP has yet to make a decision on his immediate future beyond the decision but most are of the opinion he will remain with the Miami Heat. Although were he to leave the franchise , there would be a great deal of disdain for a player, who now seems to make this type of a maneuver a routine occurrence when things are not to his satisfaction. AP Photo/ Mary-Ann Phillips ….

(6) Pitcher David Price (14) of the Tampa Bay Rays is taken off the mound by manager Joe Maddon (70)of the Tampa Bay Rays after walking J.J. Hardy of the Baltimore Orioles to load the bases during the seventh inning of a game on May 8, 2014 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. There now seems to be mounting speculation that the Rays will seek to trade the 2012 AL Cy Young Award winner at or prior to the trade deadline , with the team at present floundering within the AL East . Getty Images North America/ Brian Blanco …

(7) Former UCLA basketball star Ed O’Bannon is seen here talking to the convened press to discuss his civil suit against the NCAA . O’Bannon whose brief career in the NBA was understated lodged his suit in US Federal Court seeking punitive and unspecified damages for what he says, was the unauthorized use of image to sell merchandize by the collegiate athletics’ governing body . The NCAA has reaped billions of dollars annually from merchandize sales but there seems to be no figures indicating how much is plowed back into the college programs nationally . NCAA President Mark Emmert who suggested that he believes that student athletes should be paid a monthly stipend has since shied away from that stance stating that the rules in place are satisfactory for the NCAA and the educational institutions.

(8) NATAL, BRAZIL – JUNE 23: Luis Suarez of Uruguay looks on during press conference at the Dunas Arena in Natal on June 23, 2014 in Natal, Brazil. It remains to be seen what form of punishment will be rendered against the player after an unsavory incident that took place between Uruguay and Italy during their group match . Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images …

(9) MANAUS, BRAZIL – JUNE 22: Clint Dempsey of the United States walks out to the pitch prior to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil in the Group G match between USA and Portugal at Arena Amazonia on June 22, 2014 in Manaus, Brazil. Photo by Stuart Franklin – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images ……

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Not so newsworthy moments in the world of sports and then there are some, that are worth contemplating


Not so newsworthy moments in the world of sports and then there are some that are worth contemplating

Well, after a rather lackluster display by the Miami Heat , the consensus favorites for this season’s NBA title , were summarily given a lesson in humility , and Heat power forward Chris Bosh had to eat crow. As to the whining by fans who felt that the title was the Miami Heat’s by divine right, begs the question, are they really as dumb as they tend to sound and look ? During the off-season, Heat Team President Pat Riley and team owner , Micky Arison will be left to ponder whether not paying out the ” big bucks” actually amounts to anything, when the organization was counting on making history this past postseason. Four consecutive NBA Finals , two victories and two rather embarrassing losses in which the Heat were favored both times , now leaves the league deciding, what can they do next to sell the fans by way of an image. David Stern and his successor , Adam Silver, have never been the ones to champion the less glamorous teams within the NBA and most certainly it would seem, that the only people favoring the San Antonio Spurs to win the title, were the Spurs fans themselves and perhaps the uninitiated and first time observer of the NBA.

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A 4-1 series’ win and in many ways reminiscent of the Detroit Pistons annihilation of the 2004 Los Angeles Lakers , in that season’s NBA Finals . This series provided the fans of the NBA another lopsided contest , during which the game’s best player LeBron James , could not single handedly defy the odds stacked against him, while seeking pull his team out of a hole that they dug for themselves during the NBA Finals. Where the Miami Heat now goes from here is rather dependent upon the mindset of the front office led by team owner , Micky Arison and Team President Pat Riley . There is no doubt that the roster will have to be rebuilt from the ground up , with several of the players being jettisoned. One , if not two members from the Heat’s core of their Big Three are likely to be shed and the likelihood that Dwyane Wade could very well be the player seen as superfluous to the team’s needs.

The astonishing achievement of the San Antonio Spurs cannot be praised enough, with a fifth title to the franchise’s already impressive history, beyond the Spurs making the postseason for the sixteenth consecutive season. Something that has not been accomplished by another NBA franchise since Bill Russell was a member of those memorable Boston Celtics’ teams that won nine championships during an eleven-year span.

The NBA has never been truly appreciative of their teams, but the t hierarchy is now inclined to sell their superstars to the public along with the persona built up by a litany of agents, lawyers, advisers and image consultants. Unfortunately, what should be seen as a team sport has now become all about individualistic achievement , with the fans buying into the garbage being sold by the league. The San Antonio Spurs’ win of the title might not necessarily change the face of that premise but it might somehow change the landscape if only momentarily , with some fans actually getting to know what the meaning of team achievement is all about.

As the NFL off-season is summarily about the chance for the rookies acclimatizing themselves with the rigors of playing football at the professional level. The league suffered a heart rendering loss with the passing of four-time winning Superbowl coach , with the death of Pittsburgh Steelers’ legend Chuck Noll . The eighty-two year old former head coach died this past weekend and will be sorely missed by the Steelers’ fans as well as the rest of the NFL. There might not have been a more revered coach in NFL history than Noll, perhaps with the exception of Vince Lombardi , whose name adorns the Superbowl Trophy. I am sure the league as well as the Pittsburgh Steelers will find a way to commemorate Noll during this upcoming season . Pittsburgh has always been appreciative of their heroes and Chuck Noll was certainly a great deal more than that, within the steel town. He lived and breathed the game and the success attained was symbolic of what the franchise was said to be about, during his reign as the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Last season would prove to be disappointing for the Pittsburgh Steelers, within Mike Tomlin’s players failing to make the postseason with the team performing poorly within the AFC North, AFC and the league .

The Steelers’ failure was more to don with GM Kevin Colbert not seeking to bolster the team’s roster after some significant departures of several seasoned veterans. Cost-cutting by the front office might well have seemed prudent , but it severely hampered the chances of the team to be competitive last season. This off-season proved to significant for the coaching staff , front office , with Tomlin and Colbert seeking to make what they feel were the necessary adjustments needed by way of the draft and free agent acquisitions. . I truly believe that the Steelers will only go as far as Ben Roethlisberger is capable of carrying the team and in recent years the Steelers’ quarterback knows that he has failed to do at the level leading many to believe that the two Superbowl victories were not a simple aberration. Troy Polamalu, a teammate of Roethlisberger over the past few years and member of the rosters in the franchise’s most recent victories in the Superbowl, is essentially in the twilight of his career. Injuries , have begun to plague the defensive player and this could very well be his last season with the team.

It will be interesting to see how the Pittsburgh Steelers fare during the regular season ,with their preseason merely being viewed as a dress rehearsal for the team’s sojourn in 2014. Pittsburgh will being their season with a week one divisional contest against the Cleveland Browns . Cleveland for their part will want to start a new chapter afresh, even with the advent of the hyperbole surrounding their drafting of Johnny Manziel . Whether or not Manziel can beat out the presumptive starting quarterback, Brian Hoyer , remains to be seen. Browns’ heads coach Mike Pettine believes Hoyer to have the edge over his rookie teammate. Yet, with the Cleveland fans likely to be clamoring to see the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner, it will see interesting to see how this duel will pan out over the course of the Browns’ schedule.

I am not one to always start shouting, ” buyers beware” ,but with the career of Josh Freeman now in complete tailspin , it is hard to imagine how Jon Gruden will z be of any real aid to the former Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ starting quarterback . While the winning of a Superbowl can add some legitimacy to a coach’s resume’, in the case of Gruden after that victory, his career simply spiraled downwards, while his ego took on gigantic proportions. Now an NFL analyst for ESPN , the former head coach spends a great deal of his time now assessing the quarterbacks recently drafted in the NFL. As to his thoughts on Freeman, well those are not publicly known. I can only surmise, Jon Gruden still believes that Josh Freeman is capable of being a starting quarterback in the NFL or quite possibly a capable backup in the league. Having been let go by the Buccaneers in late 2013 ,Freeman was picked up by the Minnesota Vikings whose passing game was definitely challenged with Christian Ponder holding down theposition as the team’s starting quarterback. Ponders’ lack of leadership and with their being very little faith in his abilities , along with a the preponderance to be injury prone, has led to not only his likely demotion, but his career possibly coming to an end with the franchise.

Josh Freeman regaining any type of form , is unlikely to see his career resumption as a starter in the NFL. He was unable to command the respect of teammates while with the Buccaneers and his later playing time with the Vikings can be best described as being mediocre.

The passing of a legend in any sport has to be met with a moment of solitude and solemnity. Hall of Fame baseball player Tony Gwynn’s death at the age of fifty-four comes not only as complete shock, but as a complete surprise to those who knew him best. He might well be viewed as one of the greatest players in San Diego Padres’ history and to my mind the greatest pure hitter of his generation and one of the top-ten in baseball history. Gwynn’s accomplishment as a seven-time NL batting champion and the player who has come closest to hitting the .400 plateau in the modern era. A feat last matched by another Hall of Fame player who was as much beloved as Tony Gwynn by his peers and his successors. Ted Williams remains among the pantheon of baseball greats as does Tony Gwynn and it seems sacrosanct to think that a game where we once applauded the achievements of Gwynn and Williams are now overshadowed by the failings and deceit by players such as Ryan Braun and Alex Rodriguez .

Baseball’s failure under the leadership of Bud Selig , remains a microcosm of what only bedevils the sport, but sports in general and one simply has to look at the ongoing idiocy within the NBA., NFL and the lack of leadership being shown by Adam Silver and Roger Goodell . Gwynn’s passing and the difficulties now facing the San Diego Padres is another painstaking reminder of what can happen with the continued failings of a once proud baseball franchise . There is little to suggest that the Padres can be competitive within the NL West this season and while the San Francisco Giants now seem to be running away with the division. Two months into the MLB season and the Giants are not only the best team in the NL but they are by far in a way the best ball-club in baseball , based not just on their record, but also in terms of their all-round play. Bruce Bochy’s players are playing with a great deal of intensity and with their pitching staff being remarkably consistent along with an offense that seems to be getting some timely hitting when least expected.

Coming into today’s game against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field in Seattle , Washington , the Padres are the losers of eight of their last ten games, while on a two-game losing streak . For manager Bud Black , his coaching staff , and the team in particular , these are some trying times for ball club now sitting in third place within the NL West just above the Arizona Diamondbacks (30-43) who have a better overall record , but from a percentage standpoint they sit at the bottom of the divisional standings. On the mound for the Padres will be Eric Stults facing off against Roenis Elias of the Mariners in an inter-league game between the two ball-clubs.

How baseball now chooses to honor Tony Gwynn’s passing will say a great deal as to how much they revere their heroes . Certainly, the Padres’ player was one of the most beloved players of his era and most definitely his induction into the Hall of Fame was justified and a worthy bestowing upon Gwynn. There have been few players who carried themselves with such grace and poise on and off the field ,while being appreciated by the fans and his fellow peers alike.

Far be it for me to suggest, but witnessing the falling apart of the Tampa Bay Rays’ season from their own self- inflicted wounds , has been very much like a child who has been repeatedly told not to place their hands upon a hot stove. Coming into the this year , there were those lauding the Rays as the best team in the AL East and the favorites to in that highly competitive division outright. Instead, we have witnessed a team playing with little consistency , lacking leadership among the playing and coaching staff . As to the rather asinine rhetoric coming from manager Joe Maddon . You simply have to ask yourself is the best he can come up with, in spite of the claims he is one of the best managers in the game of baseball. Maddon may well have been able to achieve miracles over the years , with the organization paring down salary to compete with the very best, but there comes a point where you have to ask , how much longer can this go on and how much tolerant will the fans be? It should be noted also, the Rays play at Tropicana Field , where their fan-base is marginally above 15,000 in attendance , but there remains the constant cry that they are in need of a new venue. Clearly, the front office , their fans and baseball’s hierarchy are not in a position to understand the lack of feasibility of a ball club that is far from being self-sustaining from a business standpoint . Whenever I have posed the question to a die-hard Rays’ fan about the ball-club moving to a new venue. The response has often bordered on being absolutely idiotic and nonsensical , with their giving an answer , the money is there to make this all happen.

If the owners of the Tampa Bay Rays, can barely afford to have a payroll in excess of $65 million , while remaining uncompetitive. Then what would lead them to believe that fans or should I say, the city of St Petersburg, Pinellas or Hillsborough County would be willing to make that sort of financial outlay for a baseball stadium, that would be barely filled for an eighty-one game schedule? If the MLB hierarchy are unwilling to assist the Tampa Bay Rays , then clearly the issue at hand is not simply about baseball , but it does seem to have more to do with Bud Selig playing favorites , while looking down upon some teams and their owners. Anyone care to offer up another viewpoint on that particular issue, given the fact , Selig came to the aid of New York Mets , New York Yankees and Miami Marlins in the building of new stadiums for the three organizations in question ?

The world’s biggest sporting spectacle is now under way and with due respect to the Superbowl , that specific sporting event, cannot in any way measure up to the Summer Olympics or the FIFA World Cup now being staged in Brazil. The host country , in the opening game of the tournament came away with a lackluster 3-1 victory over Croatia and England’s chances may well have been severely hampered with a 2-1 defeat suffered at the hands of Italy , in their opening game. Jurgen Klinsmann , head coach of Team USA saw his players come through unscathed with a very good win over African powerhouse Ghana . Though Klinsmann , might now feel extremely worried with the injuries suffered by Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey during what was a very physical contest. Reigning champions, Spain , may well have seen their hopes go up in flames when they fell to the Netherlands in a 5-1 thrashing , that was the largest margin of defeat suffered by a world champion during the World Cup tournament.

As this tournament proceeds , we are likely to see the boisterous passion of the fans be exhibited. Behind this all, lies a country where there exists a great deal of distrust of the government and where the allegations of bribery and corruption have been revealed with the Interior Ministry and FIFA making claims that the allegations are unfounded. Unfortunately, there exists a pattern of behavior by soccer’s governing body that has become endemic within the world of sports. Joseph ‘Sepp’ Blatter, FIFA’s President has been the subject of close scrutiny in recent years and his tenure as that body’s highest ranking executive has left him untouched by the scandals, even some of his closest allies and subordinates have been embroiled in a variety of misdeeds. Falling on the sword for your superior is one thing, but for him to also point the finger while also swinging the blade above your head , might be something different altogether . Explain that to me, if you can ?

Now Blatter has sunk the level of those, whom he believes have begun to make sport of soccer so vile , by suggesting that those who have been critical of the officiating during the tournament , are nothing more than avowed racists. That is now all we need to bring the game down to the gutter level now witnessed within the NFL and NBA. Thanks, but, no thanks !

The second golf major of the PGA season came and went without a great deal of excitement and with no home-grown player, from the US, being able to mount a credible challenge to Martin Kaymer of Germany, as he completely dominated the US Open at Pinehurst Resort in Pinehurst , North Carolina. Kaymer’s margin of victory had more to do with his exceptional play over four rounds of golf as his fellow competitors simply struggled . It was the German’s second major of his professional career , having won the 2010 PGA Championship , pushes Kaymer back up the world golf rankings , where , having moved seventeen places to sit in the eleventh spot of the rankings. Current world number one Adam Scott is followed by Henrik Stenson , Bubba Watson , Tiger Woods , Matt Kuchar and Rory McIlroy , rounding out the top five.

With Tiger Woods having missed the US Open , there remains mounting speculation as to whether or not he can or will make a successful return to the PGA Tour this season. Woods may well be saying the right things, while trying to remain positive ,but the issues with the player, have become his physical health and the state of his overall game .His performances this season have been lackluster and under-achieving by even his own lofty goals. With official tour prize money winnings in excess of $100 million , off-course earnings exceeding $65 million annually and estimated fortune of $600 million . I am beginning to wonder if Tiger Woods has now become tired of the drudgery of being full-time professional on PGA Tour! At the same time, his pursuit of Jack Nicklaus’ eighteen Grand Slam major victories , once seen as a certainty , now seems all the more distant with each passing misstep by the player, as he seeks to pass his idol.

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At this point of his career Tiger Woods has proven himself to be the best player of his generation , but he will continue to be adjudged against the accomplishments of Jack Nicklaus. Unless Woods is able to surpass Nicklaus’ mark of Majors’ wins , then he will be always be thought as second best and not much else beyond that. Your thoughts on the points raised and what other sports’ stories have been of interest to you over the past ten days ?

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Picture and slideshow details below .

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(1) Members of the San Antonio Spurs celebrate their winning of the 2014 NBA Finals after their lopsided game five victory over the Miami Heat. Kawhi Leonard of the Spurs was named the Finals’ MVP , after an astonishing Finals’ series by the player. AP Photo / Garry Heard …

(2) Peter Holt , CEO & owner of the San Antonio Spurs is seen here taking receipt of the Larry O’Brien Trophy from NBA Commissioner Adam Silver , signifying the franchise being crowned the 2014 NBA champions . This was the Spurs’ fifth win of the title in their history with all five championships victories having been coached by Gregg Popovich . AP Photo / Amy Jones …..

(3) “The big three” of Manu Ginobili , Tony Parker and Tim Duncan have won four NBA championships together. Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images …

(4) Chuck Noll , a legendary coach who died at the age of eighty-two, having led the Pittsburgh Steelers to four of their six Superbowl victories. An inductee in the Hall of Fame , Knoll joins a hallowed group of individuals associated with the franchise. Courtesy of ESPN

(5) ESPN analyst and commentator Jon Gruden is seen here with Josh Freeman . Gruden has agreed to take the player under his wing while seeking to assist Freeman in resurrecting his game. The player a first round draft pick in the 2009 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers , with an uneven group of performances littering an otherwise understated career in the league . AP Photo / Rick Fowler ….

(6) .Hall of Fame player Tony Gwynn whose death from cancer has come as a shock to the baseball world . For the past few years he was rarely seen in public , with his health deteriorating from this particular form of oral cancer (parotid cancer of the salivary gland). A career .308 hitter , Gwynn’s career was littered with accolades , and his legacy with the San Diego Padres are well chronicled as are his noted feats of achievements . Getty Images North America / Ron Smith …

(7) Clint Dempsey (8) celebrates his goal after eleven seconds into the first half of Team USA’s game against group opponents Ghana . The win places the US team in a favorable position to advance to the next round , but their next two games will prove to be extremely difficult . REUTERS/UPI / Tony Harris …

(8) Jun 15, 2014; Pinehurst, NC, USA; Martin Kaymer poses with the trophy in front of the leader board during the final round of the 2014 U.S. Open golf tournament at Pinehurst Resort Country Club #2 Course. Kaymer won the event with considerable ease and was never seriously challenged < leading wire to wire throughout the tournament. Kevin Liles/ USA TODAY Sports ……..

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Back on the plantation, that was never left, America’s poor history on race within sports, which was never addressed ….

Back on the plantation, that was never left, America’s poor history on race within sports, which was never addressed ….

Much to their own ongoing embarrassment Donald Sterling simply will not go away and the NBA are as much to blame for this latest mea-culpa by league hierarchy and this continued belief that Donald Sterling is solely to blame for the conduct we have seen in recent years. This has been emblematic and symptomatic behavior a league , that simply has no respect for common decency among the players , general managers and the owners themselves. And while Adam Silver seeks to placate this latest outrage by banning the Los Angeles Clippers’ owner for his ongoing behavior. Repeatedly, Sterling’s behavior has been ignored by the present NBA Commissioner and his predecessor David Stern, never-mind the asinine outrage now being shown by apathetic fans, who acted as if they were unaware of the bigoted acts of racism being espoused and practiced within the league.

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Sterling is not the only owner within the league to have shown such behavior and he definitely will not be the last , in spite of the punishment meted out by the league. Less we forget, for some reason the league has not seen fit to pursue the actions of Rich De Vos of the Orlando Magic , but the yet the press, the fans and the league itself continues to show their apathy and downright ignorance to an issue that is certainly on the way to becoming an epidemic . America believes it has overcome its past on race relations , when in fact, the so-called advances that have been claimed are no more than a child’s footsteps, as they first learn to walk. David Stern a self-absorbed executive who has simply shown himself to be an autocratic leader and not a great deal beyond that. As to the reasons why Stern refused to act with impunity when Donald Sterling’s behavior first became clear , is as befuddling as to his refusal to offer a public statement why he failed to act.

Donald Sterling before making his fortune as a commercial and residential real estate mogul, the beleaguered owner was a highly successful corporate and criminal litigator. As to the idiocy, that he would be forced to relinquish control of the team, now seems mute. ,Sterling’s estranged wife, of whom to two are in the midst of a rather nasty battle over the pairings’ matrimonial assets. As an owner in the NBA, Sterling is among the wealthiest owners with an estimated wealth of over $2.0 billion . With his hiring of a litany of private investigators as well a high-powered Los Angles’ law firm, the upcoming battle between the league and now disgraced owner could very well open up a Pandora’s Box that is unlikely to be closed once open. Certainly owners, such as Mark Cuban , Mikhail Prokhorov, James Dolan and Dan Gilbert will definitely not like their private lives be delved into concerning any misdeeds on their part, criminal, NBA dealings or by way of their own conduct as it relates to their business. Any action now taken by the league, through an injunction or that of any owner seeking to have Sterling’s investigation be rescinded, will likely be seen as the league and its owners having something to hide. And hid they have, with no owner seeking to speak publicly on another peer’s insidious and disgraceful behavior. I have yet to read any fans’ statement on why there has been no outrage concerning the lack of action by another owner being critical of Donald Sterling. Instead, it has been their ongoing apathy and stupidity in simply seeking to blame Sterling alone.

While LeBron James and the Miami Heat now find themselves in a hole, with the Heat now down 3-1 in the NBA Finals to the San Antonio Spurs . It has been James’ own incredulity and his statement that shows him to be devoid of intelligence and insight. His calls to his fellow players for them to go on strike during the NBA postseason , was something like a “call to arms “ , prior to when you are on the brink of defeat during a major battle. There was no way in hell that the NBA postseason would have been brought to a grinding halt at the high point of the Playoffs. Yet there are those who backed James’ call to arms and a stoppage.

The NBA is not the only sport that finds itself within a morass of widespread racism and misogyny within that particular fraternity Richie Incognito’s behavior and that of his teammate Mike Pouncey , was simply more of the widespread behavior that continues within the NFL and the can of worms opened, which Roger Goodell and the league would rather have not seen exposed to the public’s view. Ted Wells’ report commissioned by the NFL was a simple “whitewash” , with Wells finding no wrongdoing within the Miami Dolphins’ organization , other than that of three players’ misconduct. An assistant coaching staff member of Joe Philbin’s assistants was subject to the abuse first directed towards Jonathan Martin , yet the head coach, stated that he was completely unaware of the players’ behavior. Either, Philbin was in complete denial or he chose to ignore the behavior of the players in question , without ever seeking to reprimand them.

As the NBA Finals have progressed we have seen how flawed the Miami Heat have become without their being any signs of life from LeBron James’ teammates during this series, with questions now being pointed against Dwyane Wade and his inconsistency . Team game or not, it is now becoming abundantly clear that the Heat have no answer for the speed and athleticism being shown by the San Antonio Spurs ,who may well have found another budding postseason star with the performances and productivity shown by Kawhi Leonard .As to the doubters of San Antonio , they now seem to be singing another tune.

Game five on Sunday evening will be a pivotal contest and with the Miami Heat on the brink of elimination , thoughts of a “three-peat” will be out of the question. Erik Spoelstra’s players will have to be at the top of their game when the two teams meet at the AT& T Center in San Antonio , Texas. Defeat for the Miami Heat and all of this talk of a dynasty ,can be put to rest , once and for all. Tonight, we will either see the best of the Miami Heat or we shall see a team whose fall from grace will be astonishing, given the hyperbole surrounding a team that beyond their four three major stars, there was very little depth to their roster. Yet, fans begun to buy into the force-fed garbage being sold them to them by the print and television media alike. As to the fan, s with their idiocy not being willing to see beyond the bigger picture and the rationale that is it not Miami’s fault that their opposition within their conference has been so poor over the past five seasons., I would ask those fans how do they believe that Miami would fare , were they playing in the Western Conference in the NBA where the level of competition is a great deal tougher on a year-round basis. Never , have I heard anyone seek to discuss that issue , other than to suggest that the fans should simply be in awe of the Heat’s achievements and simply leave it at that.

While Phil Jackson seeks to make the overtures to Carmelo Anthony , it cannot help but fill the intrigue in New York , when it was recently announced that Pat Riley has sought the input of LeBron James and his thoughts as the Heat front office are seeking to acquire the Knicks’ forward. James and Anthony are known to have a very close relationship and this could very well prove to more than inducement should Carmelo Anthony make the decision to leave the New York Knicks. The Knicks’ player has all but hinted, that he will indeed opt out of them final year of his contract to be become an unrestricted free agent. Riley, with the blessing of Micky Arison, is likely to be given the go-ahead to pursue Carmelo Anthony and with the likelihood that the team’s main stars agreeing to take a sizable pay cut in terms of their annual salaries.. The likelihood of Anthony joining the Miami Heat is more of a reality , than the player joining either the Boston Celtics or Los Angeles Lakers , as has been previously reported. The Celtics and Lakers are long way from being considered legitimate NBA contenders for an NBA title and the issues of both franchise during this past season have been well chronicled.

Riley knows that the Miami Heat can ill afford can fall foul of the way of Los Angeles Lakers as they fell (4-1) to the Detroit Pistons in the 2004 NBA Finals. A star laden team filled with Gary Payton , Karl Malone , Kobe Bryant , Shaquille O’Neal , Derek Fisher , Rick Fox and coached by Phil Jackson. Falling to the Pistons in five games with Chauncey Billups being named the Finals’ MVP , after Billups’ performances were simply exemplary. That being said, the NBA seeks to create the perception that its league is about the teams but in reality , it has now become about their marquee stars and not much else beyond that. A series’ win by the San Antonio Spurs brings back semblance of normalcy to a league that in recent years has, become more about the antics of the players, general managers , owners and the league hierarchy during the tenure of David Stern.

I do believe that a win for the San Antonio Spurs will be the greatest benefit for the NBA ! Granted, for those who believe that the league demands that history be ongoing, consider the achievements of the Spurs this season and their qualifying for the postseason for the sixteenth consecutive season, but shamelessly, anal retentive fans seek to only acknowledge what they see happening within their midst, rather than acknowledging true greatness. A fifth NBA title awaits the San Antonio Spurs, whether or not that takes place tonight or in game six , or game seven, but now it is now clear the Miami Heat, while being a very good team, they are nowhere near being a truly great team or a dynasty for that matter .

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Picture gallery and slideshow details below .

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(1) Rich Cho , general manager of the Charlotte Hornets is seen here alongside Hornets’ player Cody Zeller . After a successful season which saw the Hornetst make the postseason the franchise will seek to bolster the roster while seeking to be more competitive within their division and conference this upcoming season. Cho and Jordan believe that Zeller can be a big part of that process. AP Photo / Adam Gonzalez ….

(2) Mikhail Porokhorov ,left, owner of the Brooklyn Nets is seen here along with Dallas Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban . The two NBA team owners are likely to have their personal and public lives delved into with Donald Sterling having hired a high-profiled Los Angeles private investigative firm to dig deep into the business practices of the NBA’s franchise owners and the league hierarchy. It seems unclear whether or not an injunction will be sought by the NBA or any of the team owners to stop Sterling’s actions. Getty Images North America / Christina Fox ….

(3) LeBron James of the Miami Heat is seen here speaking with the convened press after his team’s lopsided loss to the San Antonio Spurs in game four of the NBA Finals . The team now finds itself with a 3-1 deficit and a game five where a victory is imperative for the Miami Heat , if there are to have any chance of winning a third consecutive NBA title. James leads all scorers in the NBA Finals’ series , but his teammates have failed to be as consistent this postseason as the four-time League MVP Miami Herald / Richard Vasquez …

(4) Kawhi Leonard(2) of the San Antonio Spurs controls the ball as LeBron James (6) of the Miami Heat defends during Game Two of the 2014 NBA Finals at the AT&T Center on June 8, 2014 in San Antonio, Texas . Getty Images North America/ Andy Lyons …

(5) A pensive Carmelo Anthony ,. sits on the sidelines during a game played at Madison Square Garden in New York City , New York , this past season. With the New York Knicks failing to make the postseason , Anthony has become disgruntled with the progress made by the franchise and specifically with the front office , where Phil Jackson is now in charge as the Head of Basketball Operations. Jackson’s boldest move has been the acquisition of aging veteran Lamar Odom . As to the idiocy because Odom is aware o the Triangle Offense, this will somehow aid the Knicks. Less I am mistaken, Lamar Odom’s productivity has dropped to an all-time low , without having to deal with his well publicized off-court issues. How is that meant to impress Carmelo Anthony is almost as idiotic, as the claims that Phil Jackson’s return to coaching would give the New York Knicks instant legitimacy as a contender for the NBA title . The Knicks’ coaching vacancy for the moment remains unfilled . AP Photo/ Matthew Bishop ….

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With the failure of the NBA in corralling the antics of Donald Sterling and the print and television media, seeking to apportion blame solely with regard to the behavior of the Clippers’ owner , this situation further indicts the country as still being entrenched with racial bigotry within all areas of sports. America, has failed miserably over the past four decades, while pompously portraying itself as a leader with regard to moral ethics. If only the hierarchies actually showed that there was some semblance of intelligence and leadership within their midst , rather than the continued apathy and that of the fans showing their ongoing stupidity.

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Just like the Miami Heat she’s feeling the burn and the real Heat of failing to produce .

She certainly handles her assignments better than Dwyane Wade this postseason ;

She feels the need for the “squeeze” .

It’s not the fight that is left in the dog , but whether or not, its bark and bite might send you running

It’s not the fight that is left in the dog , but whether or not, its bark and bite might send you running

It no longer pains me to say this , but the sport of boxing is now dead ! Granted, we are led to be believe that Floyd Mayweather still provides a great deal of excitement in a boxing ring. My question however , does a Mayweather fight truly induce the fans to appreciate what remains a sport that is really devoid of talent , once you take multi-talented champion out of the picture ?

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Aging veteran, Sergio Martinez recently lost his middleweight title against Miguel Cotto in a tenth round stoppage. Cotto’s record coming into this bout was not overly impressive but his manager and promoter are now seeking a bout against Floyd Mayweather , in what would prove to be the biggest purse of Miguel Cotto’s career. For Mayweather , he would once again be on his way to banking another $25-$35 million for a meaningless bout . Yet, this is now what the sport of boxing has come to , with their no longer being any meaningful fights taking place, where an undisputed champion is created.

To understand how far this sport has fallen, once can equate that with the Fall of the Roman Empire with the Emperor Nero playing an instrument while that city burned. Suffice to say, the same scenario is now set with the state of play within boxing. Richard Schaefer , former CEO of Golden Boy Promotions Inc , the boxing promotion company founded by Oscar De La Hoya . The former championship title holder and Schaeffer are said to have had a difference of opinion on the direction that the company was being directed . Golden Boy Promotions , Don King Promotions and Top Rank Inc , remain the three largest boxing promotions’ companies in North America, with the triumvirate battling to decide which of them holds sway and the power within the sport.

Oscar De La Hoya , Don King and Bob Arum are the three executives who run the respective companies that seem to have a stranglehold on the sport of boxing, where corruption , incompetence and a great deal of mismanagement reigns supreme . While all three promoters see themselves as champions of the sport in selling it to the masses, in reality, the biggest obstacle to the sport remains the fact, there are no undisputed champions in any of the weight divisions within boxing . One has to bear in mind also , with four main international governing bodies , boxing remains splintered among the WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO . Given the issue , that neither of these bodies in question seems intent on perhaps merging or sharing similar standards , the only constant has been their title fights remain twelve round contests .

With Manny Pacquiao coming off his recent defeat of Timothy Bradley , the Filipino fighter is once again a world champion. However, in light of that fact, Pacquiao and his promoter, Bob Arum, remain unable to engineer the long-awaited bout with Floyd Mayweather . Both fighters are on the downside of their illustrious careers and the possibility of a mega-fight now taking place does seem remote. Unless the payout in the prize money is right and Mayweather’s favor. Then such a fight remains a major topic of debate and conjecture , with no one profiting from their continued stupidity. If the two combatants, cannot come to meet in a civil way, whereby they split a fair share in what would be the biggest boxing match in history. It seems redundant at this point, to consider a proposed bout would still ignite any type of intensity among a fan base of the sport of boxing. Quite possibly, there might be a record number of Pay-Per-View (PPV) buys for such an event, with Mayweather and Bob Arum’s Top Rank co-promoting the event.

There are a number of fighters positioning themselves to be viewed as likely challengers for Manny Pacquiao , Miguel Cotto and Floyd Mayweather , but none of them I believe will elicit enough interest whereby fans would be willing to pay $49.95 for the privilege of witnessing such a bout. Mayweather still remains the biggest draw within the sport of boxing , but he has already hinted that upon fulfilling his six-fight deal with Showtime PPV , for which he will earn $200 million . The boxer is likely to retire, with his record remaining intact, without having suffered a loss.

Richard Schaefer’s decision to leave Golden Boy Promotions , leaves a void within the organization altogether , with his business acumen engineering the substantial growth of the company. Golden Boy Promotions beyond staging and promoting fights also manages fighters , has a publishing arm , as well as branching out into other lucrative area of the sport and into the area of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). These business decisions have made Oscar De La Hoya an extremely powerful and wealthy man, with a voice big enough to influence a number of major decisions within the sport. Yet, for all the decisions made , boxing has regressed to the point where it is now having to play catch-up to the more competitive and exhilarating genre of MMA , under the UFC banner. Schaefer is likely to start his own company or possibly join Al Haymon or Mayweather Promotions Inc, where Floyd Mayweather is the primary owner of that particular business entity.

The threat to Oscar De La Hoya now, is how to keep his company relevant while remaining among the top promotional groups within the sport. His retention of fighters may well prove difficult if they are close to the end of the contracts with the company. Also bear in mind, many of the fighters saw Schaeffer more as the real brains behind Golden Boy Promotions , with De La Hoya seen as a figurehead, because of his name recognition. Boxing is now self-imploding, because of the ongoing idiocy within the sport and the dog eat dog mendacity being shown between rival groups of promoters, the seediness of the international governing bodies and dare one say , the incompetence of the Nevada State Athletic Commission and their failure to have any proper oversight of their officials ? Las Vegas remains the Mecca for the sport of boxing, but as of late , it has been the state’s Athletic Commission, that has many of the sport’s fans up in arms concerning the integrity of that agency and its failure to conduct in-depth investigations into the character and integrity of the boxing judges and referees under its jurisdiction.

There is no denying, the explosion in the growth of MMA over the past decade has primarily come from the marketing and shrewdness shown by UFC President Dana White . His eye, for what was considered to be in some circles, a barbaric sport, has now become the fastest growing global phenomena of combative competition in the world and the popularity of MMA has exceeded boxing, with many of its top practitioners being more widely recognized than some of boxing’s biggest named fighters. White , his co-founding partners , Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta , now preside over a multi-billion dollar empire , with the mercurial President running the show. Unfortunately, in recent months, Dana White has begun to make a complete ass of himself , with either veiled criticism or threats of fighters who have made the sport so popular , bringing along legions of rabid and loyal fans. Yet, for all the pomposity shown by the executive, he also must now realize that his sport is under threat when he fails to act judiciously in reprimanding fighters who fail to adhere to the sport’s strict rules .

For the third time in his career, former middleweight title challenger Chael Sonnen has failed a random drug test , with the fighter now announcing his immediate retirement. Yet, for Sonnen’s wrongdoing , White is now seeking to blame the Nevada State Athletic Commission for their draconian measures in suspending the fighter and asking that his license within the state be made permanently inactive. If Dana White wishes to uphold the integrity he believes MMA to have , then he should be pursuing the banishment of Sonnen from the UFC altogether , rather than seeking to support the fighter. It has been a pattern of behavior with Chael Sonnen, which should not be condoned as being in the best interests of the UFC or the genre of MMA. The issue may well be that with the lack of charisma of the current middleweight champion Chris Weidman and the very fact the UFC’s greatest fighter and the division’s former champion Anderson Silva is in the twilight of his career. UFC now finds itself in a position where its biggest and most popular asset is a champion in Jon ‘Bones’ Jones , a fighter who marches to the beat of his own drum and is someone who is not ready to have White dictate the terms of when and who he should fight. As immense as Dana White’s power is now said to be , he is being looked upon as an executive, who is seeking to become bigger than the sport he has built into global phenomena.

Should one man (White) be able to wield that much power? Well, dependent upon the authority and knowledge shown, I believe that some fans might not have a problem with that ! Yet , in today’s sports environment , we have executives such as Bud Selig, David Stern, Mark Emmert and Roger Goodell continually showing a great deal of incompetency , without fully understanding the ever-changing environment around them . One only has to look at Selig’s handling of the steroid issue within baseball, Stern’s apparent behavior and his failing to reprimand Donald Sterling for his behavior prior to this latest outrage in the NBA . NCAA President Mark Emmert’s ongoing lack of credibility on a slew of issues affecting collegiate sports and last, but not least, Goodell’s insistence, at the NFL all along, has acted in the best interests of football’s retired elderly veterans. With the ongoing apathy of some fans and their staunch support for idiots such as David Stern , I have no reason to believe that things are likely to get any better ! The same can be said for the lack of leadership now being shown within Congress and by a President , who now seems to be bungling his way through his second term in office, as his tenure begins to wind down.

The UFC seeks to bring the best contests possible and those events tend to have the best talent available, in marquee match-ups that headlines each of these shows. On Saturday, another of UFC’s usual fare will be on display , when they stage UFC174 , to be held at the Rogers Arena , in Vancouver, Canada, with another championship contest being staged. Headlining the card will be the marquee bout featuring Demetrious Johnson against Ali Baugautinov , as Johnson defends his UFC Flyweight Title . . This will be Johnson’s fifth defense of his title, as he seeks to cement his own legacy within MMA and specifically UFC and the champion is a firm favorite in this contest. On the under-card we have welterweight contenders Rory McDonald facing off against Tyrone Woodley, with the winner a likely future opponent for the newly crowned welterweight champion Johny Hendricks . For the welterweight champion, Hendricks would like nothing more than to prove that he is a worthy successor to Georges St Pierre , who relinquished the title rather than be forced to defend it . A great deal of criticism was leveled directly against the former champion by Dana White , who suggested that St Pierre should be willing to defend the title against all contenders. Granted, while that may well true, it might well have escaped White’s notice Georges St Pierre was one of the most active champions in UFC history , having made eleven successful defenses of the welterweight title, within a seven-year span. Yet, White with all of his bombastic attitude , sought to somehow ridicule the Canadian and many of his accomplishments within UFC. Makes one wonder, does the UFC President believe that he is above any criticism, while also being critical of Anderson Silva ? It might now be time, for Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta to consider having a new President replace their incumbent partner.

As boxing seeks to steer its way through another crisis of its own making , I firmly believe that the sport cannot regain its lofty status of being one of the country’s most beloved pastimes . A famine has ravaged boxing of real talent beyond that of an aging Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather , who are now in the twilight of their careers. Miguel Cotto may well have added to his legacy by winning another world title , but he is no longer the once dominant of five years ago . Within the heavyweight division of the sport, the most dominant champion, just happens to be a Ukrainian still seeking name recognition in North America. Wladimir Klitschko might well be the heavyweight champion , holding the titles that count, but he still remains something of a paradox in what is expected of a truly great champion .

Coming off a lopsided unanimous decision over Alex Leapai , Wladimir Klitschko’s next opponent has yet to be decided. With no real credible challengers within the heavyweight division, you simply have to wonder why anyone would bother to take an interest in any boxing match, taking place within this specific weight category. Long gone, are the days of a truly dominant champion, where everyone took note his title bouts. It has been a decade or more since the division had an undisputed champion , with that accomplishment being achieved by Lennox Lewis of Great Britain . Lewis’ title defenses were not necessarily memorable, but there were nonetheless the only thing that validated the division, without going overboard.

While boxing remains something of staple across the country , Mixed Martial Arts has yet to make a major inroad within the state of New York. The sport is banned by the New York State Legislature and the <a href=http:// New York State Athletic Commission despite receiving countless petitions by the fans and from Dana White and his partners from the UFC , the ban remains in place . Repeated votes within b both legislative chambers of the New York State Legislature, have seen the members simply reiterate their wish, to not grant a statute for the sport to become legal within New York State. The economic impact for the state would be immense ($135 million annually) but yet, there seems to opposition to a sport that is more regulated than the sport of boxing and where the issues of injuries and specifically neurological in nature, are taken far more seriously than the incompetency that has been witnessed with the an-nihilistic nature of pugilism (boxing) .

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m Do you believe, the sport of boxing is under threat from the genre of Mixed Martial Arts? In addition, what are your thoughts to the possible reasons why Richard Schaefer would leave Golden Boy Promotions under such a cloud? Finally, have the members of the New York State Assembly made a monumental mistake, in not legalizing the sport of MMA within the state? Simply leave a comment on this and anything else you believe relevant to this topic and thanks as always for the continued support of this site as it is greatly appreciated !

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(1) For the second time in three years , Floyd Mayweather has been named the world’s highest paid athlete , having earned $105 million in the last calendar year. The boxer hopes to have a scheduled fight in September 2014 , with the venue being the MGM Grand Casino & Resort Complex , in Las Vegas, Nevada. AP Photo / Richard Trent ….

(2) Miguel Cotto , right , is seen here dispatching middleweight champion Sergio Martinez in their WBC title fight staged at Madison Square Garden in New York City , New York this past Saturday . Also in picture , is referee Michael Griffin . Cotto won the fight with a tenth round knockout of the former champion . AP Photo/ Arturo Gomez ….

(3) LAS VEGAS, NV – MAY 01: CEO of Golden Boy Promotions’ Richard Schaefer (L) introduces President of Golden Boy Promotions Oscar De La Hoya at the final news conference for the bout between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Robert Guerrero at the MGM Grand Hotel/Casino on May 1, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mayweather will defend his WBC welterweight title against Guerrero. An acrimonious split between Schaefer, a co-founder of Golden Boy Promotion Inc and De La Hoya , has now left that company facing a great deal of uncertainty . Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images ….

(4) UFC Light-heavyweight champion Jon ‘Bones’ Jones (left) is seen here with UFC President Dana White . The UFC executive has been extremely critical of late, of two of the sport’s biggest stars , Georges St-Pierre and Anderson Silva . St-Pierre has called for more stringent testing protocols within the sport, having at times come under a cloud of suspicion as to his presumed use of a banned substance . The fighter has never tested positive at any time during his professional career within the UFC . However, it now seems ironic, White would leap to the defense of Chael Sonnen , who has now tested positive for the third time in his career , within the sport . A second positive test brings about a mandatory suspension by the UFC , and a third such violation , calls for the immediate banning of that fighter, for life . AP Photo / Rich Arnold ….

(5) Chael Sonnen, a former UFC middleweight and light-heavyweight contender announced his retirement from the sport , having tested positive for the third time during his career. Sonnen has yet to give an explanation for the reasons behind testing positive for a banned substance . This was the third transgression by the fighter , that calls for a mandatory lifetime ban from the sport. Courtesy of MMA World …..

(6) Wladimir Klitschko , left , the linear heavyweight champion is seen here defeating Alex Leapai of Samoa during their WBA , WBO and IBF world title fight . Getty Images North America/ Julio Hernandez ……

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Buyer beware, caveat being, we need our racists, idiots running and blemishing the reputation of sports

Buyer beware, caveat being, we need our racists, idiots running and blemishing the reputation of sports

Just when you might have thought that the ongoing within the NBA had died down , Los Angeles Clippers’ beleaguered and disgraced owner , Donald Sterling has opposed the deal that would allow his estranged wife to sell the team. Sterling , once a practicing lawyer in the area of corporate litigation, before making a name of himself, as one of the city of Los Angeles’ biggest residential and commercial landlords, is ready for a legal battle , while he pursues the NBA , its hierarchy and in particular , present NBA Commissioner Adam Silver . The owner’s lawsuit , which will be filed in the US Federal Court, could lead to a long protracted legal battle, that is likely to show the inner workings of the league hierarchy , with a number of the league’s more inappropriate actions , likely to lead to a great deal of embarrassment for Adam Silver and his predecessor David Stern.

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The NBA Postseason now down to the final two participants, with the defending champions the Miami Heat seeking to defeat the San Antonio Spurs and win their third consecutive NBA title and the franchise’s fourth overall. This chapter for the NBA has overshadowed the postseason as it began to unwind. It certainly did not help, with the league itself, showing very little solidarity from the outset. Mark Cuban inferred, while there are stereotype approaches within sports and the NBA in particular, there remains a lack of understanding of the outside world beyond the domain that they cannot control.

Steve Ballmer’s $2 billion bid is now likely to be placed on hold , because Sterling can and will seek to have an injunction seeking to negate the sale and any action that the league would seek to fully carry out Ballmer’s purchase of the Los Angeles Clippers. I firmly believe at the end of this all, Donald Sterling is simply seeking to further embarrass the NBA , while the players , NBPA (Players’ Union) and owners should be also looking at themselves , concerning their lack of action , when it was widely known of the inclinations of the Clippers’ owner and his stance on race. Public interviews and his now being embraced by idiots within the African-American community, such as the NAACP and a number of African-American churches, cannot hide the statements made by this now disgraced owner.

As the news first came to the attention of the media and public alike, it was rather idiotic to witness, not only the press’ own reporting of the story, but also the complete apathy of the fans, with some rather asinine comments being made by fans. Perhaps I may well have missed something , but at what point has the United States advanced in terms of race relations ? Is it, because the electorate voted for a President, who just happens to be biracial? Or as a feel-good moment, they can actually say “ well, I have friends who are African –American and I have never used the ‘N’ word “ . If blame is to be apportioned anywhere concerning what has now happened within the NBA, then it falls squarely on the shoulders of the players , union , league hierarchy , and coaches in their failure to discuss the matter. The NBA, like their counterparts within Major League Baseball (MLB) , the NHL and NFL , have failed miserably, in dealing with a social issue that is now becoming an epidemic. If players such as LeBron James , Dwyane Wade , Tim Duncan and Kevin Durant failed to let their voices be heard , while respected coaches such Gregg Popovich , Doc Rivers , Rick Carlisle , Erik Spoelstra and Tom Thibodeau ” goose-stepped ” .behind the idiocy of Adam Silver and his predecessor David Stern, then it simply shows how completely out of touch the league remains. As to the owners themselves , prominent individuals such as James Dolan , Mikhail Prokhorov , Peter Holt , Jim Buss and Michael Jordan have all remained silent , while the incompetency of the league simply mishandled this mess, never-mind an owner such as Rich DeVos remains untouched after his homophobic diatribe . It begs the question , the NBA tolerates some egregious and heinous actions, while seeking to make an example of others , merely to curry favor with their fans.

I don’t profess to having all the answers concerning the ongoing stupidity of the NBA , but this belief, the hierarchy as led by Adam Sterling, has any real idea about what they are now doing . If this particular league, can continue to show as much incompetency, as witnessed throughout this monumental farce. Why would anyone now believe , that the league hierarchy, now has the wherewithal to defeat an owner they simply enabled over the years to get away with some of the most heinous actions one would have thought possible , especially when you consider the makeup of the league’s players in terms of ethnicity ? As to the damn idiocy, that David Stern has acted in the best interests of the NBA . Well perhaps, it would be the case, if your are simply considering how the revenues of the league have risen during his tenure, as anything else, would have to be considered a miserable failure

After two games of the best of seven games NBA Finals’ series , it will be interesting to see this rematch between the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs . Game one , was a lopsided contest, with Tim Duncan and his teammates prevailing in that victory. Sunday and the Miami Heat rebounded from that loss with a narrow two-point win in game two , with LeBron James leading the way for the defending champions. Miami are seen as the prohibitive favorites to repeat as champions and join a select group of franchises to have won three consecutive NBA championships. Gregg Popovich is likely to try and make that premise as difficult for the Eastern Conference champions as is humanly possible. From my own standpoint, I feel that this series is far from being cut and dried , with true test coming from the determination shown by the Spurs’ bench , if the team is to prevail in this series.

LeBron James and Tim Duncan between them, have won six NBA titles , six League MVP Awards , four Finals’ MVP trophies and made a slew of All Star appearances , as well as being named to the All NBA First Team repeatedly , throughout the large part of their respective careers. As Duncan , having now reached the pinnacle of his career , he can perhaps now look back and review his list of achievements . Undoubtedly, the greatest player in San Antonio Spurs’ history, there is little left by way of feats, left for him to achieve , but, there is still more to be written in the Duncan bio. LeBron James in his brief tenure with the Miami Heat beyond rewriting the history books , he has sealed himself and his legacy as being that franchise’s greatest player and that is with due respect to Dwyane Wade and Alonzo Mourning .

Game three at the AA Arena in Miami , Florida on Tuesday night should prove to be something of a precursor about what the fans could very well expect over the remainder of this series . With the 2-2-1-1-1 revised format added to create more of a suspenseful postseason finale , it is clear that Miami will want to take both home games before having to once again embark on the road to face the Spurs at the AT&T Center in San Antonio , Texas,. While LeBron James is expected be dominant throughout the series , I believe that the pivotal players in these Finals are the bench players of both the Heat and Spurs. Kawhi Leonard , will have to raise the level of his play and it is likely that Erik Spoelstra will be aware of the fact .

Last season’s NBA Finals and the very fact the San Antonio Spurs had the series well within their grasp , only have it wrestled from their hands through their complacency and the determination shown by LeBron James. For the Miami Heat player in having won his second NBA title and second consecutive Finals’ MVP Award , it suggests that James’ will to win and to prove himself the greatest player of this era and certainly one of the best ever to play the game.

LeBron James’ intent on winning a third consecutive championship is likely to play a great deal concerning his impending future with the Miami organization. A likely target during the off-season, James is unlikely to opt out of his current contract , unless the team fails in their current attempt. A series’ win and Pat Riley will be looking to start negotiations with the player , signing him to a deal that will make undoubtedly one of the highest paid players in the NBA , in terms of a salary and contract . His teammates, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade will be in a similar position , but as I alluded to earlier, a third title , makes it but a foregone conclusion that the core of the current roster will remain intact. It seems improbable, James would seek to play elsewhere , with the Heat having achieved a great deal of success over the past four seasons. Speculation that the player could be lured to New York to play alongside his close confidante Carmelo Anthony does seem unimaginable and with Phil Jackson, yet to have found a coach to fill the vacancy left after the firing of Mike Woodson . It does seem even with the likelihood of Derek Fisher being hired to succeed Woodson , there still remains the matter of rebuilding the Knicks’ roster and making it a competitive team for the upcoming season.

Money , undoubtedly be of no object for the Knicks’ organization , yet , the question one might ask , is there any common sense to be found with this particular franchise ? If so, then please explain to me , what Phil Jackson hopes to gain by acquiring Lamar Odom and adding the veteran to the roster ?

The New York Knicks remain a franchise that has fallen upon hard times and much of it, comes from the ineptitude shown by the front office , while James Dolan has presided over this entire mess . Phil Jackson has come in and yet the idiocy still continues , with the once venerable head coach now carrying on where his predecessors have left off . Care to take an opposing view, on that particular issue , where the franchise has actually ran aground ?

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Where do you believe that the NBA has made a litany mistakes in their handling of the Donald Sterling affair ? Do you think that the league can in fact win a legal argument , in terms of their action against the plaintiff (Sterling) , with their not having seriously reprimanded him for prior bad acts ?

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(1) NBA Commissioner Adam Silver pictured left and Donald Sterling , beleaguered owner of the Los Angeles Clippers. . Sterling has filed a civil suit in US Federal Court seeking damages of $1 billion and a second suit has been filed by the real estate mogul to stop the sale of the franchise. If this legal action becomes a protracted affair , the NBA is likely to see its credibility further tarnished . AP Photo / Aidan Mitchell ….

(2) Former Microsoft Chairman Steve Ballmer whose $2 billion bid for the Los Angeles Clippers is likely to be threatened by a legal suit, with Donald Sterling looking to negate the purchase of the team. Getty Images / Chris Moore …..

(3) LeBron James of the Miami Heat looks on prior to the start of Game Two of the 2014 NBA Finals against the San Antonio Spurs at the AT&T Center on June 8, 2014 in San Antonio. . Getty Images/ Andy Lyons ….

(4) Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs shoots against Ray Allen (34) of the Miami Heat in Game Two of the 2014 NBA Finals at AT&T Center on June 5, 2014 in San Antonio. Getty Images North America/ Nathaniel S Butler ….

(5) The Miami Heat celebrate after defeating the San Antonio Spurs 98-96 in Game Two of the 2014 NBA Finals at the AT&T Center on June 8, 2014 in San Antonio. Getty Images / Chris Covatta …..

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I always knew that she preferred the crossover dribble to a slam dunk ! Yet , I get the impression she just wants to play with a pair of balls .

It is , all about me !

It is , all about me !

They are willing to talk the talk, but not often enough do they walk the walk. I find it rather disingenuous, when I read or hear an analyst’s or sports’ journalists using an athletes’ background or ethnicity , to suggest that they have been through a troubled life . In recent months. we have seen the hypocrisy of today’s athlete manifest itself in a some ways and following suit, have been the anal retentive fans , through their own ignorance and stupidity seeking to make excuses for the behavior of these athletes. Nowhere has this been more clear than within the NBA and NFL , where there the respective hierarchies seem to be just as idiotic as the players themselves.

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In the NBA , perhaps the player with the biggest image and profile , is that league’s four-time regular season MVP and current member of the of two-time defending NBA champions , the Miami Heat . Globally, LeBron James has become a superstar , and he might now be the closest thing that the fans have seen to Michael Jordan , since the six-time NBA champion walked away from the game for the final time. James, like Jordan, has closely manicured an image that has seen very little major controversy. Granted, Michael Jordan’s private life has seen some controversy, with his penchant for gambling and what was said to be a multi-million dollar divorce from his now ex-wife Juanita Jordan . The former NBA great and current owner of the Charlotte Hornets is now seeking to make that franchise a competitive entity within the league and so far Jordan and the reviews of his achievements have not exactly been favorable.

For much of his playing career , Michael Jordan stayed out of the political fray , choosing not make his thoughts felt on a range of subjects , even when one of his main corporate sponsors Nike Inc was facing charges of using child labor in the Far East to make apparel that bore the Nike and Jordan name . Somehow , the league and then NBA Commissioner , David Stern did not feel it proper to step in and even make a statement on the matter , even when it became abundantly clear that Nike was in fact ethically wrong, without an admission of guilt on their part.

Phil Knight over the past decade , has tried to create a much softer and socially conscious image of the company he founded , which also made him an extremely wealthy individual . Nike remains one of the most recognized names in sports’ apparel manufacturing, with a global presence on all seven continents. Their presence will be seen and felt at the 2014 FIFA World Cup , where they are one of the tournament’s major corporate advertisers. on soccer’s biggest international stage and the world’s second biggest sporting event behind the Summer Olympics, upwards of 1.7 billion people will be watching this month-long tournament to decide international soccer’s next world champion..

Today’s athlete, rarely speaks out on any type of political issue or social injustice. When they seek to do so , their response tends to be either innocuous or actually downright idiotic, almost as if, they are uninformed and lacking an education, much less being knowledgeable on a specific issue. Prior to the 2008 Beijing Olympics , LeBron James was questioned about his thoughts on the actions taken by the Chinese government at Tiananmen Square in the Chinese nation’s capital. The player’s response was befuddling and somewhat idiotic , but then again, I would not have expected anything less from someone who now espouses education and being informed. Yet , here is a player, who simply eschewed a college education , because it was widely known that he would have been sanctioned by the NCAA, coming under a great deal of scrutiny by college athletics’ governing body for what is believed to be unsolicited monetary payments made indirectly to James and a member of his family. James for his part , with his battery of advisers , tries to now represent himself as a spokesman for his peers.

In light of the recent controversy surrounding Donald Sterling , it was once again rather amusing to hear LeBron James suggest that if the league hierarchy did not take action against the beleaguered Los Angeles Clippers’ owner , he and many of the peers would take action , by simply failing to show up for the remainder of the NBA postseason . I believe the player’s bark is actually worse than his bite and his stance was nothing more than a show of strength , that in reality , his proposed action would never have taken place.

As great a player as LeBron James is said to be , he has yet to truly step into the fray and be truly vocal on any type of issue. Handing out bicycles as part of a philanthropic effort , means nothing, when on the other hand , you brazenly suggest that your biggest wish, is to become a billionaire and shower your teammates ostentatiously, while within earshot of the Miami home venue , you have over 7,500 homeless individuals, sleeping on the streets , many of them children and US military veterans. A further case can be made, about how out of touch with reality the NBA and their players are said to be. In what was known to be a very emotional case, where the justice system failed miserably , the shooting death of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman held the nation spellbound for weeks, as the trial unfolded on national television. The failure here, was not only shown by the incompetency of Florida legal system but also the complete lack of intelligence of the jury and the incompetence of the State’s Attorney prosecuting the case. Somewhat reminiscent of the incompetency shown by Christopher Darden and Marcia Clarke , in their handling of the OJ Simpson ” trial “ in Los Angeles County two decades ago. Simpson , as we now know, is incarcerated , for kidnapping and taking two victims hostage , while he and his accomplices are said to have confronted his victims , with a view to gain what was said to be his personal property. You win some and you lose some.

The NBA players’ response, in showing solidarity with the victim Trayvon Martin was to take the action of wearing hoodies and standing to attention in a moment of silence. As to what this ultimately signified , can be best left for the players themselves to answer, in particular LeBron James and his teammate Dwyane Wade , who in the aftermath of their actions could not succinctly explain what was achieved. The tragedy here was that Trayvon Martin’s slaying was just one of countless deaths that have been similar in fashion, to have taken place in the state of Florida during the past eighteen months and it should not matter concerning the ethnicity of the victim. It should be noted also , that prior LeBron James’ entry into the NBA in 2003 , David Stern saw fit to use as a sales’ gimmick the genre of gangster rap to market the NBA brand to America’s youth , while on the streets of Los Angeles , teens and gang members were being needlessly gunned down. Unfortunately, neither Stern, nor anyone from within his odious group of subordinates, saw fit to proffer up an apology. I guess even when you are an autocratic asshole , you see no wrong in your actions, even when they are lacking in taste ? Meanwhile, the players themselves , whose majority remains African-American in its makeup, did nothing, by way of any type of vocal protest against the commissioner’s actions .

The NBA remains a hotbed of controversy , ran by a bunch of incompetent buffoons , where the owners are simply about greed and wealth . Never mind , that you still have a union that remains in complete disarray. No Executive Director and no real consensus, on how they are likely to deal with a legal suit of which they are the defendants and the likelihood of a loss could lead to a multi-million dollar payout in a settlement, should they lose the case.

While LeBron James leads his teammates in a rematch of the 2013 NBA Finals as they seek to make a successful defense of their title against the San Antonio Spurs . Around the league , the coaching carousel began, with the notable rebuff by Steve Kerr , as he turned down the opportunity to become the next head coach of the New York Knicks . I guess that as impressive a head coach as Phil Jackson was said to be , as an NBA Executive he is still steering his way through the maelstrom of continued idiocy within the Knicks’ organization . Adding insult to injury , I believe was the decision to sign an aging Lamar Odom to a team that remains in disarray and where there is no guarantee that the team’s best player , Carmelo Anthony , will be a part of the playing staff for the upcoming season.

As Jackson tries to bring a sense of normalcy to the Knicks after a season of disappointment. Anyone who believes that the eleven-time championship winning head coach can bring about overnight success for one of the NBA’s most famous franchises , will have to wait for a considerable amount of time before that situation is likely to materialize.

Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown , never one not to let his voice be heard , has been extremely vocal and critical of many of today’s top athletes . He has not been afraid to call Los Angeles Lakers’ star Kobe Bryant “soft” and someone caught up in his own self-importance. Brown may well be right , but those criticisms valid or not , this is not the place where such a debate should take place, without both parties being ready to discuss the issue. Bryant for his part is something of a hypocrite by suggesting he does indeed take a great deal of interest in the issues that affect not only the African-American race , but the nation in general . Unfortunately, Bryant’s words mean nothing, when his deeds , mean little and where his own immaturity and credibility continues to come into question and under a cloud of suspicion. . Bryant after the barrage of criticism leveled at him by Brown , tried to suggest that the Hall of Fame great didn’t know what he was talking about . The Las Angeles’ guard may well have not been aware that Brown stood alongside such luminaries as Dr Martin Luther King , Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X , as the triumvirate stood up for equal rights , being at the forefront of the Civil Rights’ Movement and the fight for equality for African-Americans. Lower Merion High School in Pennsylvania, might well have fallen short in the education of Bryant , albeit , that the player has also lived abroad , in Italy , while his father , Joe Bryant sought to pursue a professional basketball career in Europe.

Kobe Bryant now lives the life of luxury and in no way can he understand the plight of the African-American , much less the economic divide between the rich and the poor in the country at present. Any thought, he understands those issues, have never been mirrored in any action that he has undertaken within the city of Los Angeles , as he has often stood aloof from many of his peers , while seeking out the press only when he believes it right, to belittle the Lakers’ organization led by owner Jim Buss and GM Mitch Kupchak , or a number of his teammates . Less than ten miles away from the Staples Center , a hotbed of violence remains and at no time has Kobe Bryant ever spoken out on the issue of gang violence, that continues to be a pandemic within the city . Brown for his part, has been front and center , in seeking to be a mediator and negotiator , in the stemming of the rising tide of gang violence , rising proliferation in the use of hard drugs . Last I looked, the likes of Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, were not voicing their opinions on such issues , but merely looking to try and uphold their pristine images , while selling their overpriced wares to an unsuspecting public. Get the feeling their alleged biggest concerns have nothing at all to do with the pubic at all , but merely a facade created by their agents and litany of advisers and handlers alike ?

The now departed head coach Mike D’Antoni after his abrupt resignation, has left the Los Angeles Lakers’ franchise without a head coach for the second time in the space of eighteen months . Now the Lakers, are left in search of another coach, while the playing staff itself has become uncompetitive and old. Bryant is at the end of an illustrious career and it seems highly unlikely that he will be guiding this franchise to another NBA title anytime soon.

In the aftermath of the Jonathan Martin , Richie Incognito “affair” , it was simply amazing to witness the incompetency of the NFL , Roger Goodell and the complete ambivalence of the Miami Dolphins’ organization . Even worse were the actions of head coach Joe Philbin and his coaching staff, who claimed that they were completely unaware of Incognito’s behavior . The fact that a member of Philbin’s own coaching staff, was also subject to a torrent of racial abuse, without his knowing was simply farcical and actually comedic. With Mike Pouncey , also having joined Richie Incognito in orchestrating the abuse of not only that coaching assistant but also Jonathan Martin., leads me to believe that the Dolphins as an organization, was simply bereft of intelligence as well as accountability within the franchise . Say nothing of which, team owner Stephen Ross made the idiotic statement of his wishing to see those involved be punished to the full extent and with every measure possibly allowable by the NFL. The league’s punishment of Pouncey was soft , while Incognito’s career which now seems to be on hold , is likely to find himself back in the NFL at some point in the future . Mike Pouncey for his part, still believes he did nothing while stressing that he has put the episode behind him. As to the idiocy of those who question Jonathan Martin’s soft nature , I wonder how many of those anal retentive fans, believe that racism and misogyny is the right environment for the NFL ? Fu#k you all , with your downright stupidity , complete lack of education and intelligence.

The NFL’s elite players are often seen as their quarterbacks , running backs and wide receivers . We know that the likes of Peyton Manning , Drew Brees and Tom Brady can be seen to uphold that age-old tradition, of having the league be seen in a positive light . It must be said , in spite of the pratfalls of Roger Goodell and the league hierarchy , I am not so sure that the NFL is completely out of the woods as of yet ! Goodell has seen fit to be less than economical with the truth, in dealing with a litany of issues , none more so, than the constant rhetoric of the commissioner and his dealing with veteran players and neurological disorders. Strange as it seems , the hypocrisy does not just stop with the league hierarchy but also with NFLPA (Players’ Union) and the current players in the league , whose whole approach to this issue, remains completely mystifying. Elderly retired veterans of the NFL , are having to cry foul , on how they have been mistreated , with the denial of benefits and only now , has the NFL seen fit to discuss the matter head on . Meanwhile, the likes of Manning (Peyton) , Brady and Brees remain silent on the matter , not wanting to upset the apple cart and that of the union hierarchy. Credibility seems to be lacking all-round , in a number variety of aspects concerning the league’s conduct and practices.

I was once told that the world that we currently live in a world where things have changed and where we now have a dialog between the masses and the races that make up the country . Personally , I believe that simply to be a great deal of garbage , because, when we still have athletes owners simply wanting to behave like assholes , and their actions go unchecked , with the equal stupidity being shown by fans with their ongoing apathy. It simply shows the signs of the country having made no real advancements socially or economically at all. The voices of such luminaries as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Muhammad Ali, Tommie Smith, John Carlos , Arthur Ashe , Bill Russell and Jackie Robinson are now left hanging in the wind , while today’s athletes spoiled by wealth , have nothing meaningful to say.

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Picture gallery .

Do you believe that today’s athlete can be positive, without being seen to hurt their corporate image by simply speaking out on a social issue ? Or should that aspect of their lives, be left private and the public not be made aware of their thoughts on such matters ?

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Picture and slideshow gallery details below.

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(1) Miami Heat forward LeBron James shoots the ball during practice on Saturday, June 7, 2014, in San Antonio. The team plays Game 2 of the NBA Finals against the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday. James leads the team in scoring during this current series against the Spurs , with things now even at one game apiece (1-1) after Sunday’s narrow two-point victory by Miami . AP Photo/Eric Gay …

(2) Michael Jordan , team owner and Chairman of the Charlotte Hornets , hopes that with a new franchise name and .logo the team can resurrect past glories while seeking to be competitive within the NBA. Getty Images North America / Jeffrey Hodges …..

(3) Phil Knight , founder of sports’ apparel company Nike Inc. With annual revenues exceeding $8 billion , the company is one of the most powerful business enterprises in all of professional and collegiate sports. Knight in recent years has tried to soften the image of the company , while also seeking to make it socially responsible. Nike is a corporate sponsor of some of the biggest names in sports across the globe . UPI / Christopher Mitchell ….

(4) Members of the Miami Heat are seen here wearing hoodies , as they show solidarity and support in the aftermath in the death of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin . However , very little was achieved by the stance , with the players themselves saying little about the case or the very fact Martin’s death, was one of several, where a young unarmed African-American teen was gunned down by an assailant. The determination the Florida ” Stand Your Ground Law” has become a subject of great debate within the state , with no real consensus about how this statute can be reviewed and changed within the state legislature. Getty Images / Chris Robinson …..

(5) Phil Jackson a SVP & Head of Basketball Operations for the New York Knicks, having been rebuffed by Steve Kerr who accepted the vacant coaching position with the Golden State Warriors. Jackson now seems to be down to secondary alternatives. A person speaking in with anonymity has stated that the former Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers’ head coach has his eyes firmly set on hiring Derek Fisher currently a point guard with the Oklahoma City Thunder . Fisher is said to be keenly interested in coaching within the NBA . but there are those who believe that the Knicks might not be the perfect fit for the veteran point guard. AP Photo / Austin Pearce ….

(6) Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown , left, has been critical of Los Angeles player Kobe Bryant , pictured right . Brown’s stinging act of the player has set of a wave criticism within the print and television media who have come out in support of the NBA players. However, there are those who feel that Jim Brown’s pointed attacks are not without merit and where by comparison it would seem that Bryant and a great many of his peers would shy away from many hot-potato topics merely to appease their corporate sponsors. AP Photo/ Robert Hall ….

(7) Drew Brees , left , and Peyton Manning , two of the most revered quarterbacks now playing in the NFL . During their destined Hall of Fame careers , both players have done a great deal within their respective communities , with their philanthropic and humanitarian efforts , but have rarely placed their names or let their thoughts be known on certain political topics. Even the issue of the denial of rightful benefits to veteran NFL players , neither Brees or Manning were seen to offer their thoughts on the matter. A distinct belief , was with their union being part of the legal suit where in part the NFLPA was a co-defendant in the suit . It was best left to the legal counsel of the Players’ Union to publicly comment on the matter . Getty Images North America / Scott Halleran …..

(8) From left to right Bill Russell , Jim Brown , Muhammad Ali and Lew Alcindor, more commonly known today as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The quartet joined together to speak up vocally on the rights of African-Americans and their struggles during the Civil Rights’ era , with all four being supporters of Dr Martin Luther King Jr . Unfortunately , in today’s world of sports such voices are rarely heard being vocal on any type of real social injustice , because of the athletes not wanting to scare of their major corporate sponsors . Russell , Brown and Alcindor backed Ali , at a time when he was made a pariah for his objecting to be drafted to fight the war in Vietnam, a conflict that the boxer felt was unjust and senseless. Time Magazine …….. all rights reserved .

(9) Arthur Ashe , US Tennis player and a Grand Slam tournament winner, who during his career , became the first African-American , male or female to be ranked number one in the world. Ashe was also vocal supporter for the boycotting of South Africa at a time when the US’ policy on apartheid was favorable , while the rest of the world had began to impose sanctions on the country of South Africa . Yet the idiocy, that Ronald Regan played a part in the political change in the climate of the South African nation remains a complete fallacy and flight of fantasy of ” Reaganites” who try to portray the former President as someone who was compassionate , understood that particular conflict and situation . UPI/REUTERS/ Paul Drew …..

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Liar , liar , pants on fire ………..

Liar , liar , pants on fire ….

Liar, liar, pants on fire

In recent years the NFL has really gone through so many pratfalls , many of them of their own making . Image problem , well let’s just say while idiot fans champion the popularity of the brand and sport , with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell , simply espousing the league’s ever increasing revenues , you simply have to wonder if the NFL does have a compassionate side. In conjunction with the NFLPA (Players’ Union) , the league’s handling of the issue for game based injuries , in particular the matter of CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy ) and other neurologically based disorders. For the better part of the past two decades, the well-chronicled issue has remained a hot topic debate. Now, in light with the ongoing stories of the bureaucratic mismanagement of the Veterans Administration (VA) and the calls for the firing of VA Secretary General Eric Shinseki .

(4) Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ wide receiver Mike Evans , center is seen here with team GM Jason Licht ,left, is also seen with team head coach Lovie Smith , far right . Evans provides a receiving threat that the team rarely possessed last season . AP Photo / Collin McMillan …..

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The issues of the NFL and how they have dealt with the injuries of their retired veteran players and how the US military veterans are now treated by that governmental agency , does seem to bear a remarkable resemblance. Therein, lies the idiocy of the fans, who continue to make light of this topic with their inane comments, that the players themselves knew the risks when they first entered the NFL . Perhaps , if the league chose not to subvert a great deal of their own in-house research conducted by their own medical staff and researchers , this matter could have been handled with more authority and urgency . Instead, both Goodell and his predecessor Paul Tagliabue, hid behind a veil of secrecy, deceit and lies.

There are now several cases at various levels within the Justice System where the NFL is now a lead defendant in numerous civil suits brought by current and retired players. In recent days, former Miami Dolphins’ quarterback and Hall of Fame inductee Dan Marino, has added his name, to a suit , that seeks unspecified and punitive damages. That civil suit details what the player believes were actions, that sought have himself and many of his peers to be subjected to use painkillers and antidepressants , to remain on the field during a game. While I believe that there is a great deal of justification in the players taking this route, with a civil suit , I do believe that there that has been a great deal of hypocrisy on the part of the team owners , league hierarchy and specifically the Players Union , itself ! That body’s Executive Director DeMaurice Smith has proven to be no different from that of his predecessor the late Gene Upshaw in taking this matter with a great deal of urgency and actually doing something proactive. A settlement that in some circles was greeted with a great deal of derision , awarded 2,300 players $ 775 million , with a further $1 billion being set aside , for what Roger Goodell suggested would be in-depth research into the cause and effect of neurological disorders , suffered during an NFL game .

With their own prior research, the league and commissioner suggested, there was actually no cause and effect , with their being absolutely no connection between the issues in question. Now an about-face , and here we have the NFL seeking to show its compassionate side without any admission of guilt on their part. Meanwhile , the union with a vested interested in this issue ., has simply done little to benefit their retired veterans on the matter . As I alluded to earlier, the glaring similarities of the league’s actions and that of the VA and Barack Obama’s own handling of this issue, now shows why the NFL and government remains a damn farce , where they are simply lacking real leadership , much less leaders, who really can be viewed as individuals who have any credibility.

With further evidence about how much of a mess, this whole chapter has become , it is now being reported that Dan Marino will withdraw his name from the civil suit against the NFL . As to the reasons behind this change of heart does seem ambiguous and unclear, by the Dolphins’ legend. My belief behind this all, stems from the fact, Marino’s credibility will come into question. His private life remains in turmoil in spite of his act of contrition, after repeatedly denying he was the father of a child born to a former CBS female intern . An act, the quarterback suggests was completely out of character, which brought about some unwanted attention and a great deal of embarrassment for himself and his family.

The more this story remains in the spotlight, with no real conclusion in sight, the less credibility there remains within the NFL , its hierarchy , union and among the owners themselves . There has been way too much rhetoric coming from the league, along with the usual amount of pragmatism one would come to expect from a group of individuals, where greed remains the key and their being little compassion from anyone within the groups mentioned.

As this NFL off-season comes more into the spotlight, as teams prepare for the upcoming preseason and then their regular season schedules . A number of franchises have sought renegotiate deals or cut some players, from their rosters. Meanwhile, this season’s group of rookies have begun to acclimatize themselves with the rigors of the NFL at the professional level. Jadeveon Clowney , beyond all the hype has seen his teammate and defensive counterpart JJ Watt show to him that it will not be that easy to just simply step unto an NFL field and believe that an opponent will simply pay him homage and respect.

For Clowney, before he gain that respect , he will have to pay reverence to those before him and to many of the players he is likely to face over the course of this season . The Houston Texans are expecting a great deal out of the number one pick from the 2014 NFL Draft. A losers of fourteen consecutive games , once they entered their week three schedule of last season, it was easy to understand why the Texans fell apart at the seams under the coaching of Gary Kubiak and his coaching staff . The woes of the Houston Texan were well-chronicled, to the point where many wondered if the team and staff could actually dig themselves out of the hole created. At season’s end, their record of 2-14 was a true reflection of the Houston Texans and how bad this team was said to be.

Bill O’Brien, who succeeded Gary Kubiak , after his expected dismissal, will now look to resurrect the fortunes of this franchise , where there are not seen to be many major challengers to the Indianapolis Colts’ and their dominance of the AFC South in recent years. Houston’s regular season meetings with Andrew Luck and his teammates , should provide us with a great deal of evidence about the aspirations of the team. Those two regular season contests in week six and fifteen , may well be something , O’Brien can use as a gauge, about where the Texans will need to be, in order that they are considered a legitimate threat within the AFC this upcoming season.

The firing of Greg Schiano , as the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the aftermath of another horrendous season by the franchise, in reality , was of no great surprise . Schiano’s brash demeanor, simply could not hide the fact, he was clearly out his depth as a head coach in the NFL . He brought absolutely no discipline to the team from a coaching standpoint and once again, the idiotic claims by Buccaneers’ fans, there was a sense of consistency to the Buccaneers , was nowhere to be seen , all season long. Beyond that, the franchise then had to the issues of their troubled former quarterback Josh Freeman , whose career with the franchise can be best characterized by saying it was simply one of abject failure. Indeed this organization has not had a quarterback with any great sureness in several years and that includes their Superbowl winning quarterback Brad Johnson , whose 2002 season was understated even with the Superbowl victory among his personal achievements.

Schiano’s firing and the Buccaneers’ decision not to extend the contract of GM Mark Dominik , has led to a new structural hierarchy within the front office . Jason Licht replaces Dominik and the return of a former Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ assistant Lovie Smith to claim the reins of Greg Schiano , begins a new chapter for the organization. Smith’s coaching philosophy is one of a defensive mindset , with the players being held accountable and where the opportunities that arise on offense are duly taken . With Greg Schiano , it was simply a hodgepodge of schemes , with no clear path about what was being achieved. . As damning an indictment as that statement appears to be , the truth cannot be overlooked and the Buccaneers in 2013, were one of the worst performing teams in the NFL , in a wide variety of areas. At no point in the season could one believe that this team was actually in with a chance of winning the NFC South , much less be viewed as a legitimate contenderwithin the NFC . This preseason, a number of dubious prognosticators are now suggesting that this might be the year that the Buccaneers actually turn things around. A few off-season acquisitions and a moderately average draft will not put this team in the driver’s seat within their division. If anything, the Buccaneers at best are likely , to be no better than the third or fourth best team within the NFC South and record within the conference was a clear reflection of who they are within the league as a whole last season.

I believe Lovie Smith brings a great deal more credibility to the role as the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and he does a proven track record, unlike that of his predecessor . Granted , the issue of this organization I believe stems from the ongoing mindset of the Glazer family and where their intentions truly lay. Is it their ownership of the NFL franchise or the ownership of the far more successful ownership of their English Premiership (EPL) team Manchester United ? Within both entities, over the past six weeks we have seen some major upheavals . The firing of David Moyes as manager of the EPL giants after only a year, was welcomed in all circles because of David Moyes’ continued mishandling of team affairs and his level of incompetence . Certainly, United’s failure to win a domestic trophy and their poor showing in the UEFA Champions League played a part in his own downfall. Moyes’ successor , is the no-nonsense and highly regarded Dutchman Louis Van-Gaal , who is likely to be more demanding of his players, while taking more input from the members of his coaching staff and the team in general . Something, David Moyes was unaccustomed to doing throughout his entire tenure with Manchester United.

Away from the field of play, the recent death of Glazer family patriarch Malcolm Glazer, there has been renewed speculation that the family may well seek to sell one , if not both of their professional sporting interests. Tampa resident Eddie DeBartolo Jr , former owner of the San Francisco 49ers is known to be seeking a return to the NFL in some capacity. In the UK, the continued calls for the sale of United continues unabated, because of the lackluster showing of the team, but more so, because of the family’s incompetence in their ownership of the soccer club and then their placing the club with a mountain of debt , that still stands at unprecedented level . That figure in some circles, is being reported to be as high as $1 billion and as low as $600 million . The real issue, is whether or not this upcoming season, will the club fall in line with the UEFA mandate of the “Fair Play Act” , in meeting the financial requirements to be eligible for all UEFA sanctioned club competitions ? The financial windfall the Champions League provides, is something that the club counts on, beyond the revenue derived from the domestic competitions in the England of which the two most important are the Premiership and the FA Cup . Competitions where Manchester United have attained a great deal of success in recent years, as well as throughout their history.

Joel and Bryan Glazer have been emphatic, that neither Manchester United, nor the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be put up for sale, but I cannot help, but wonder , if their appetite has not been whetted by the recent $ 2 billion bid made by Steve Ballmer to buy the NBA’s beleaguered franchise the Los Angeles Clippers ? Pending, the league’s approval, that will be the highest price paid for an NBA franchise in league history. We also witnessed in 2013, the Los Angeles Dodgers being purchased for the seemingly unbelievable price of $2.156 billion . This sum, I believe in many ways, was forced upon the winning syndicate by the behind the scenes shenanigans of MLB Commissioner Bud Selig , in demanding that the sale not only take place , but his forcing his will upon the presiding judge in the US Bankruptcy Court, in the state of Delaware.

Far too often in recent years we have seen the Tampa Bay Buccaneers fail to live up to expectations and I do not believe that this season will be any different . A new coaching staff , rookies and the inexperience of second year starting quarterback Mike Glennon is a great deal to ask of a team , where last season in their old guise they simply fell apart at the seams .

If Glennon is not up to the task, the insertion of a durable veteran such as Josh McCown is by no means a guarantee of success for the Buccaneers. Their rivals within the NFC South , the Carolina Panthers, Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints are likely to be considerably better than they were in 2013 , by way of the NFL Draft and through their own off-season acquisitions . It is highly unlikely that Ron Rivera , Mike Smith and Sean Payton would have stood by and waited to see what was being done by the Buccaneers . But this has been the mindset of the moronic tendency of the print and television media within the Tampa Bay area, with their prognostications concerning the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ upcoming regular season . How many times, have they and the fans got those assessments wrong and would they be willing, to admit that fact ?

The Buccaneers’ draft class of Mike Evans , Jenkins Seferian , Charles Sims, Kadeem Edwards , Kevin Pamphile and Robert Herron are thought to be the players Lovie Smith believes will be able to complement his roster and be productive throughout the course of this upcoming season. Their preseason schedule should prove to be interesting , with their first contest being against the Jacksonville Jaguars, at Ever-Bank Field in Jacksonville , Florida on Friday 8th August , 2014. The remaining three exhibition games will be against the Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills and Washington Redskins . The team’s first regular season contest will be a home game at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa against Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers , reigning NFC South champions. Tampa needs a sound regular season start and what better way than to obtain a win against a divisional rival , who this season has to be viewed as one of the favorites within the NFC .

I will say this, for Trent Baalke, as the general manager of the San Francisco 49ers as he has busy during the off-season, in acquiring players in such a creative way, while also trying to stay within the salary cap . Yet , his biggest accomplishment might well have been in succeeding to have Colin Kaepernick sign a five-year contract extension for a quarterback who if anything, has made the Niners, a team to watch for the foreseeable future . Kapernick now has the weapons to succeed , but the question remains , has he grown as a player, showing maturity, as well as the potential leadership qualities sought by head coach Jim Harbaugh ? These are the traits that will be genuinely sought by the Niners’ coaching staff and their fans as the team embarks on their preseason and regular season schedule. A postseason berth and the likelihood of a Superbowl appearance are the ambitions of the Niners , where Kaepernick, can seek to avenge the loss suffered at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens in 2013.

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Picture gallery.

Your thoughts on the points raised within this article and how best do you believe that the NFL can best solve the ongoing legal issues that they are now embroiled in ?

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(1) Hall of Fame quarterback , Dan Marino and now an NFL analyst with CBS , who at first signed on to be plaintiff in a legal suit against the NFL , concerning the league’s actions in forcing players to deliberately take painkillers and other prescriptive medications , that may well have caused unnecessary harm and other health issues. Marino has since withdrawn his name from the suit, but has not offered a full explanation as to the reasons , behind the change of heart. Getty Images / Paul Matthews …..

(2) NFLPA Executive DeMaurice Smith ,left. is seen here with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell . Smith has been extremely critical of Goodell and his handling of Indianapolis Colts’ owner Jim Irsay’s sobriety issues and the fact the owner has now received his second DUI in the past five seasons . It was widely known that Irsay’s issues were ongoing and that his dependency upon alcohol and wide variety of narcotics (cocaine, marijuana and Oxycontin). While his criticism may well be valid , Smith is not without blame as it relates to his own lack action concerning the issue of retired NFL veterans and their being unable to receive their rightful medical benefits. AP Photo / Glenn Mitchell ….

(3) The Houston Texans’ Jadeveon Clowney ,left, is seen here with the team’s General Manager Rick Smith as the player addresses the convened press at the Texans’ Reliant Stadium in Houston , Texas. Having signed his rookie contract , Clowney now becomes a part of a team that will be looking to revamp its reputation as one of the league’s worst performing defenses in 2013. AP Photo / Samantha Mitchell ….

(4) Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ GM Jason Licht , left, is seen here with the team’s number one first round draft pick , wide receiver , Mike Evans , center and team head coach Lovie Smith . The head coach and executive hope that Evans can provide a deep receiving threat they sought last season , but was rarely seen during last season , leading to the franchise having one of the worst offenses in the NFL in 2013 . AP Photo / Samantha Morton ……

(5) Buccaneers’ starting quarterback Mike Glennon (8) is seen here with teammate and seasoned veteran Josh McCown . Lovie Smith has emphasized that Glennon remains the starter but it is clear that McCown is there to challenge the second-year player for that position. AP Photo / Rick Barnes …

(6) Colin Kaepernick (7) is seen here with San Francisco 49ers’ head coach Jim Harbaugh . Kaepernick , already with back to back postseason appearances to his career as well as a Superbowl appearance now hopes to lead the franchise to another appearance in the NFL’s biggest showcase event of their postseason. Getty Images / Sam Harris …
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On the mound …..

On the mound …..

We are now two months into the MLB season and things are looking rather perilous for a number of teams within baseball , as their seasons are sitting perilously close to being viewed as disastrous. In the AL , both the Kansas City Royals and Tampa Bay Rays sit at the bottom of their respective divisions. Tampa as of Sunday evening , stood 10 ½ games behind the division leading Toronto Blue Jays , who sat atop of the AL East . Somewhat surprising when you consider that in 2013 the Blue Jays with all of their acquisitions proved uncompetitive and barely challenged within the division or the AL for that matter. A year later and he we are looking at a team that appears to have all the confidence in the world , with pitcher Mark Buerhle leading the AL in a number of pitching categories beyond his own statistics this season.

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Far be it for me to suggest, but this continued belief that the small market teams are still able to compete even when their payrolls are said to be nowhere as competitive as the top teams within the league. Last season, the New York Yankees led the way with a team payroll well in excess of $200 million , and the Yankees failed to make the postseason. This year it is their NL West counterparts the Los Angeles Dodgers and their newly bloated commitment of over . $218 million that leads the way within MLB , paying out over $3 billion in salary commitments for the second consecutive year. . And we are to believe, Major League Baseball can remain solvent , with their teams not failing from an economic standpoint, when seven-figure salaries and contracts have now become like confetti (rice) being thrown to celebrate the nuptials of a newly wed couple , without their being any serious future ramifications for the game ?

The Tampa Bay Rays are losers of seven of their last ten games with seven consecutive losses being part of that tally , with their last victory coming against the Boston Red Sox on the 25th May. The struggles of the team beyond their injuries woes simply stem from the fact the Rays are not afforded a situation where they can go out and obtain the best players available , as they are severely restricted by fiscal constraints . It has been left to the ingenuity of GM Andrew Friedman and the managerial acumen of Joe Maddon in determining how the obtain the best players possible without having to pay above market prices , in acquiring the resources needed. Monday’s 3-1 loss to the Miami Marlins , was a further indication , as to where the Rays are now at and how far they have fallen , without delving further into the ambiguity and apathy now being shown by their lackluster fans, who barely come out in support of the team , when their games are played at Tropicana Field , in St Petersburg , Florida. Joe Maddon and his players will once again be the guests of the Miami Marlins when they are scheduled to meet at Marlins Ballpark in Miami , Florida, on Tuesday afternoon . On the mound for the Rays will be Chris Archer for the Rays against the Marlins’ Henderson Alvarez in what should be a very entertaining contest between two of the league’s best young pitchers playing today. As to an outcome , I believe that can be best summed up by simply looking at the between these two teams over the past five seasons to perhaps guessing the likely outcome.

It would be fair to suggest that over the past ten years the Kansas City Royals have perhaps been one of the most inept organizations in all of baseball over the last fifteen years. One simply has to look at their record during that time span and the very fact that the Royals have not made the MLB Postseason in over fifteen years, with their last appearance coming in 1985, when they made the World Series and faced the St Louis Cardinals , with Kansas prevailing in that series 4-3 . In the later years , after that triumph, the years have been lean and not exactly kind to this beleaguered AL Central franchise and their now well chronicled history.

It would also be fair to acknowledge, that team owner , David Glass has failed miserably , in steering this organization with any semblance of urgency or seeking to make the ball-club competitive . Instead, it has been this continual idiocy by their fans and media savants alike in suggesting that the development of their farm system will bring about their long-awaited return to success. This season, that has definitely not been the case and last year was just as demonstrative , in their lack of competitiveness within the division and around the AL overall. A 27-30 record has the Royals now sitting just above the last placed Minnesota Twins and having only won four of their last ten games , you simply have to wonder how likely it is that there would be any type of life seen from this team. Ned Yost and his managerial staff have steered through the calm and the storms of uncertainty during his managerial career with this franchise. Yet, is my belief the Royals will continue to be a ball-club not suited to challenging for a divisional title , pennant , or World Series’ title, while David Glass is unwilling to bolster the team’s payroll . For years, they have remained close to being at the bottom rung of teams by way payroll and that appears unlikely to change for the foreseeable future under Glass’ tenure.

A 6-0 triumph over the St Louis Cardinals in a game played at Busch Stadium in St Louis , Missouri, might well have provided some respite for Yost’s players and that series will continue with a Tuesday afternoon contest that sees James Shields taking the mound for the Royals against Jaime Garcia of the Cardinals . A win for the Kansas City is a necessity rather, than dropping another game and then further endangering their season at this point of their schedule. If nothing else, it would be great to provide a certain amount of positivity for their fans , rather than the constant feeling that the effort shown is simply meaningless .

In 2013 the Texas Rangers’ starting pitcher Yu Darvish was simply spectacular and were it not for a late season injury , I firmly believe that he would have won the AL Cy Young Award , rather than the accolade going to the Detroit Tigers’ pitching ace Max Scherzer. The Tigers’ pitcher for his part, chose to turn down the offer from GM Dave Dombrowski , that would have seen the player be awarded a six-year $144 million contract . I get the feeling that Scherzer’s agent might well be cursing his client for not signing on the bottom line of a deal that would have made him one of the highest paid starting pitchers in the Majors . At the same time, you have to wonder whether Scherzer has made a tremendous mistake in turning down that deal. An injury at this point of the season and the likelihood of his value plummeting as a free agent, beyond his perhaps seeking a more lucrative deal.

Scott Boras , one of the premiere agents within the game of baseball , may well feel that he will be in a suitable position to drive a hard bargain in the off-season with the Tigers’ front office , should Max Scherzer remain healthy over the course of the season , while ending up with a winning record . Yet , we all know that the agent is also likely to start a bidding war for his client’s services , as has often been the case in his negotiating ploys with many of the general managers within the game of baseball. . For the moment Scherzer’s $15 million deal will have to be one where the player feels is justified as he seeks garner something more commensurate with a player of his stature .

Since being acquired by the New York Yankees , their Japanese starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (8-1) has been among the best pitchers in the AL , certainly on the Yankees’ pitching staff this season . If nothing else, he could prove to be just as dynamic as his Japanese counterpart Yu Darvish of the Rangers. If there was said to be a weakness with the New York Yankees this season , many believed that it would be their pitching and what many believed to be a sub-par lineup, when measured against the rest of the AL and MLB overall . Tanaka’s seven-year $155 million deal now seems worthwhile, as the team remains in contention within the AL East. Now comes the hard part for the pitcher, can he and his teammates on the pitching rotation , to remain consistent over the course of this season. If they are able to do so, while their offense remains potent , this could all bode well for the New York Yankees as they seek to make a return the postseason and win their first World Series’ title since 2009. Yankees’ short-stop and team captain Derek Jeter would certainly like to end his career on a high note, winning a sixth World Series’ ring , joining distinguish group of players with more than five titles to their name.

The New York in their last game against the Seattle Mariners , in a contest played at Yankees Stadium in New York City , New York , were on the wrong side side of a lopsided 10-2 loss at the hands of Mariners . Losing pitcher David Phelps performed poorly , but the team’s woes went far beyond their pitching , because this loss was a collective one , with the offense nowhere to be seen throughout this entire game. . Joe Girardi’s players can perhaps exorcise that loss, when they take on the Oakland A’s on Tuesday afternoon, with Hiroki Kuroda on the mound to face off against Scott Kazmir of the A’s .

One of the more intriguing pitching contests of the day, pits the Blue Jays’ Drew Hutchinson against Anibal Sanchez of the Tigers , in an AL duel of two of that league’s brightest stars. I would like to think that the Detroit Tigers this season can make up for some weak postseason appearances over the last few years . Certainly , in the aftermath of Jim Leyland’s retirement , the lasting impression I have of the Tigers , is that of their famed former manager placing his teams in a position to win a World Series , but each time , they failed miserably , with many questioning the acumen of Leyland, when in reality, the fault laid with the teams in question .

Brad Ausmus , has now been entrusted with the managerial role of guiding the Tigers to their first World Series’ win since 1984, with this season marking the thirtieth anniversary of that triumph. It will be very interesting to see how this team fares over the remainder of the season , with just about everything on the line including their trying to win the AL Central title , which of late has been the franchise’s personal bauble.

Rare feats within baseball, are things , which excite the fans and MLB analysts alike . A no-hitter , the perfect game , a four home run game , unassisted triple play and hitting for the cycle , are feats which we all enjoy and will continue to applaud , no matter era of the game. Josh Beckett’s, recent chase at perfection, ended with the pitcher capturing the first “no-hitter” of his career. The fact that he achieved that feat against the hapless Philadelphia Phillies should in no way be seen, as the diminishing of that accomplishment achieved at Citizens Bank Ballpark in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania , was a great day for the player and his Los Angeles Dodgers’ teammates.

Beckett’s later outing was not as relishing as his last , with his losing that particular game to the Pittsburgh Pirates by a narrow margin , with the Pirates eking out a 2-1 victory . The Dodgers’ starting pitcher, was unable to carry out another rarity, with back to back ” no hitters” . With the Dodgers having the biggest payroll in the game and several of their pitchers and players among the highest paid in the game, it is easy to understand why there will be added pressure on the team to succeed, as well as upon the shoulders of Don Mattingly and his managerial staff. The manager has now been given just about every tool at his disposal , with an All Star at almost every position possible ,as they seek to win their first World Series’ crown in over two decades. Say nothing of which , with the recent news of the pending sale of the Loss Angeles Clippers , this franchise is not the biggest news’ story in the City of Angeles now. And with the tailspin of the Los Angeles Lakers and their no longer death defining fall from grace , one has to wonder , who now takes up the slack of providing the biggest story in the world of sports within the city. Oh sorry , I almost forgot , the Los Angeles Kings have garnered themselves a berth in the Stanley Cup Finals , as the Western Conference representatives, where they will meet the New York Rangers , in what might be the most highly anticipated Finals in recent years , in a meeting of two of the NHL’s most popular teams . Anyone interested, in that particular morsel of information ?

Roughly a third of the way through the MLB schedule and there is not really much that we have really learned about the season, so far. We know , there are some very good teams , but also , several franchises that are under-achieving and a number of players who have yet to hit their stride by way of their productivity with the bat or off the mound . One could gauge this point of the season and then look at the same state of affairs in the month June of last year to see how things might well possibly pan out. In reality, that might be something of foolhardy exercise , as it simply cannot account for any number of variables that might possibly take place.

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As baseball meanders towards the midpoint of its season , what if anything , do you feel has been missing from the game ? Also which rookie or major star will have the biggest impact on the season and quite possibly lead their team to a postseason berth ? Take the opportunity, to leave a comment on this topic and anything else you believe to be relevant .

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(1) Kansas City Royals Chairman & CEO David Glass is seen here with team GM Dayton Moore as the pair peruse the outfield at Kauffmann Field in Kansas City , Missouri. The Royal have remained uncompetitive over the past decade and have failed to meet the expectations of their fans. As to the organization itself, there appears to be a constant stream of rhetoric and little by way of action in terms of seeking to bolster the team’s roster or actually increase the payroll by a considerable amount . AP Photo / Ken Walker ….

(2) Miami Marlins starting pitcher Henderson Alvarez , right, shakes hands with catcher Jeff Mathis (6) after Alvarez pitched a complete game and the Marlins defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 1-0 in an inter-league baseball game , Tuesday, June 3, 2014, in Miami. AP Photo/Lynne Sladky …

(3) Tampa Bay Rays’ Evan Longoria walks to the dugout after striking out in the fourth inning of an inter-league baseball game against the Miami Marlins, Tuesday, June 3, 2014, in Miami. AP Photo/Lynne Sladky …..

(4) Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer throws during the first inning of an inter-league baseball game against the Miami Marlins, Tuesday, June 3, 2014, in Miami. AP Photo/Lynne Sladky ….

(5) Miami Marlins’ Christian Yelich , right, is out at second on a fielder’s choice as Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Yunel Escobar , left, throws to first during the first inning of an inter-league baseball game, Tuesday, June 3, 2014, in Miami. AP Photo/Lynne Sladky ….

(6) New York Yankees starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda delivers in the first inning of a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics at Yankee Stadium in New York, Tuesday, June 3 , 2014. AP Photo/Kathy Willens …

(7) Masahiro Tanaka (19) of the New York Yankees delivers a pitch in the first inning during MLB action against the Toronto Blue Jays on April 4, 2014 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Japanese star is off to an impressive start this season leading the Yankees’ pitching staff in wins , while being among the top pitchers in the AL and a likely candidate for AL Rookie of the Year. Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images ….

(8) A jubilant Josh Beckett is seen here being hugged by teammates after he pitched a “no hitter” on the 25th May, as the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Philadelphia Phillies in a lopsided 6-0 victory in a game played at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania. This was the first no hitter pitched by Beckett of his career and the first in the Majors this season . AP Photo / Eric Temple …

(9) Los Angeles Dodgers’ manager Don Mattingly left, speaks with players Yasiel Puig and Juan Uribe (right) in the dugout at Dodgers Ballpark , in Los Angeles , California during a game . Mattingly and his managerial staff are under a great deal of pressure to deliver that long-awaited first World Series since their last appearance in the Fall Classic some twenty-six years ago , when the franchise was triumphant in winning their fifth World Series’ title . AP Photo Hector Munoz ….

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If we build it they will come ,but what happens if we don’t ? Who gives a fu#k?

If we build it , they will come , but what happens if we don’t ? Who gives a fu#k ?

The NFL yearns for an NFL franchise back in the city of Los Angeles, but here lies the continued idiocy of the issue. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell knows the very fact , the city has severe financial budgetary woes, but still, as usual, the league will try to suggest the addition of a franchise would be of benefit to the municipality and the state . California and its legislature are odds over how to deal with the state’s fiscal issues and Governor Jerry Brown has yet to come up with a satisfactory solution and both legislative chambers in Sacramento , continue to bicker among themselves as who is ultimately to blame for the financial morass. Brown’s predecessor former Hollywood action star Arnold Schwarzenegger was like a ” bull in a China shop” during his tenure as the state’s top elected official, having, not come up with one economic solution for the state’s economic crisis. If that were not enough, the debt has increased, along with a litany of other growing issues for the state, with several municipalities statewide facing severe budget crunches.

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California might well be one of the most populated states in the country and the city of Los Angeles might well have the nation’s second largest advertising market behind New York City , but the underlying issues are , teams that were once domiciled within the city chose to leave for a litany of reasons. Clearly , if those reasons have not been addressed and clarified by the league hierarchy and the primary political leaders at the municipal , county and state levels , then the likely return of a franchise to the city of Los Angeles will not come about for the foreseeable future. Teams such as the San Diego Chargers , St Louis Rams and Oakland Raiders are said thought to be the likely franchise that would benefit from brought to the city , because of the uncertainty concerning their various stadium issues .

The Chargers are currently playing in the archaic Qualcomm Stadium and were team owner, Dean Spanos to uproot the team to move the franchise , then the organization would be subject to a large financial penalty , having broken their existing lease with the city of San Diego, who are the owners of the municipally owned venue. Mark Davis , owner of the Oakland Raiders , long dissatisfied with the O. Coliseum in Oakland, California , would like nothing better than to return to the city of Los Angeles where the Raiders’ name and franchise still resonates with reverence among some NFL fans. Yet, it is my belief, there still remains a deep hatred of the franchise by a large sector of Los Angeleans, because of the antics of Davis’ father the late Al Davis , and how he left Los Angeles, when he took the franchise out of the city under a cloud of suspicion. The Raiders still have a long and passionate fan-base across the nation , but their greatest stronghold remains among the greater Los Angeles area and within the city of Oakland . Whether or not, that would prove to be enough of a lure for the envisioned return of a franchise back in Los Angeles, remains to be seen.

The St Louis Rams had a presence in Los Angeles, when they were known as the Los Angeles Rams , but their later move, to St Louis Missouri, brought about a name change and then the change in ownership, with the franchise now owned by billionaire businessman Stanley Kroenke . His other sporting interests also include the Denver Nuggets , Colorado Rapids , Colorado Mammoth and Arsenal FC of the English Premier League (EPL) , with retailers Dick’s Sporting Goods , also being a part of Kroenke’s other business and sports’ holdings , through his Kroenke Sports Enterprises holding company.

If the NFL can continue without an NFL franchise being within the city of Los Angeles for over a decade , then I see no reason why they cannot continue to be without a team for the foreseeable future ! It is not as if the fans of the league within Los Angeles, have made an impassioned plea to the league hierarchy for the return of football to the nation’s second most populated city . This whole issue has been driven by the NFL , the team owners and specifically of late, by Roger Goodell , who saw his predecessor’s attempts failed miserably , with Paul Tagliabue in the end acknowledging , the time simply wasn’t right for the return of an NFL franchise to the city . What has brought this issue back into focus, have been recent events surrounding the pending sale of the Los Angeles Clippers , which now seeks the approval of the NBA Board of Governors and com league hierarchy before billionaire Microsoft co-founder and former Chairman Steve Ballmer becomes the NBA’s newest franchise owner. Ballmer , if nothing else, now becomes the wealthiest owner in the NBA and perhaps the wealthiest of owner in all four major professional team sports . I guess that when the Clippers meet the Brooklyn Nets during the 2014-15 regular season, both Steve Ballmer and his opposite number Mikhail Prokhorov , can compare notes, concerning the size of their respective fortunes and which of the two franchises , does indeed have the better team ?

The NFL sees the city of Los Angeles as providing a revenue windfall, with what they believe to be untapped resources and the tens of millions of dollars that can be provided as an extra revenue stream . The likelihood also, would also bring about a rise in value of any franchise now residing in the city. That however is purely speculative in nature , with the basis for that coming from this unprecedented value in the sale of the Clippers . Granted, we should not have been really surprised by this all, when in 2013, a private consortium led by Mark Walter , Todd Boehly , Magic Johnson and Peter Guber , paid over $2 billion for the Los Angeles Dodgers , with many suggesting that MLB Commissioner Bud Selig , pulled strings behind the scenes, to insure that the winning bid, would be extortionate high and absolutely preposterous . The NFL, like any other business entity, is simply about making money for themselves and their known associates, in this case, the owners and adjunct , joint interests . With billions, reaped annually, in revenues , the league has almost reached its zenith, in terms of exposure with regard to the North American marketplace. And where, there are said to be untapped streams , it is hard to see how the league can actually have a major presence there, without their being a franchise or a large following of fan-base within close proximity. In the case of the city of Los Angeles , the choices within the state, beyond the college programs within the Pac 12 , the craving for the NFL at the professional level is not necessarily hard to gauge, but the question one might have to ask, are the fans ready to accept the alternatives ?

It is hard to put Philip Rivers’ career in the NFL into context , as I believe he was dealt a lousy hand . Were it not for selfish attitude of Eli Manning and the connivance of his father Archie Manning , during the events of the 2004 NFL Draft and the aftermath of the behind the scenes backdoor dealings that were said to have taken place . Manning found himself with the New York Giants and Rivers, having been taken by the San Diego Chargers as Eli’s replacement and the rest as they say , “ is history “ , with the New York Giants going on to success, with their two Superbowl victories and Peyton Manning’s younger sibling leading the franchise to those triumphs. Philip Rivers for his part, has labored over the years , with repeated changes in the team’s lineups , changes in the coaching philosophies of the coaches he has played for and the complete denial of the Chargers’ front office that the supporting cast that surrounded Philip Rivers was never truly good enough. At the same time , when you have the likes of Antonio Gates and LaDanian Tomlinson, as part of your offensive artillery and you are still failing miserably , there has to be something wrong either with the play calling or there just doesn’t seem to any type of real vocal leadership on that team .

Coming off a 9-7 season , in what was a highly competitive AFC West division , the San Diego Chargers’ third place finish might well have been extremely disappointing , but it was not without merit in 2013. Consider the teams within the AFC who made the postseason , but who were nowhere near as competitive as the Chargers showed themselves to be over the course of last season .

Chargers’ head coach Mike McCoy and GM Tom Telesco will seek to have this team for the 2014 season ready to play, with their main aim likely to be, dethroning the Denver Broncos as the divisional champions , with a mindset also in making the postseason . That task is likely to be a very tall order with the Broncos certainly having gotten better with their off-season acquisitions, but also by way of the NFL Draft . The same claims can also be made of both the Kansas City Chiefs and the Oakland Raiders , albeit , that the bone of contention remain that the Raiders are likely to find a way to make a complete mess of their season , as they have done for last the decade . Mark Davis GM Reggie McKenzie continue to mystify not only the franchise’s fans but also, the majority of fans and analysts, who cover the NFL. The Raiders’ draft history and trades , still remain a source of ridicule and amazement , with many of those players becoming complete busts in a short space of time , while the franchise has paid out millions in terms of bloated contracts . Oakland will enter into their season with a number of expectations, of which the biggest is likely to be , not to repeat last season’s form or performances that resulted in another last place finish within the AFC West.

While I believe that the AFC West will once again provide the fans with a great deal of excitement this upcoming season . I firmly believe, that the San Diego Chargers could very well pull off a major surprise by making things extremely tough for both the Broncos and Chiefs during 2014 ! As great as Peyton Manning and his teammates were said to be last season , that Superbowl defeat , suffered at the hands of the Seattle Seahawks , was damaging psychologically , as well as physically for the franchise. Seen as the consensus favorites, to waltz through the postseason, that match-up against the Seahawks was further proof , how overrated the Broncos were said to be , with that lasting impression of a downtrodden Peyton Manning exemplifying how disappointed he and his teammates were , with their overall performance against Pete Carroll’s players.

Week one of the regular season, will see the San Diego Chargers pitted against the Arizona Cardinals in a Monday night game played at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Phoenix , Arizona . The Oakland Raiders will be the guests of the New York Jets , in an AFC contest played in East Rutherford , New Jersey . Denver will host the Indianapolis Colts, in a game, where Peyton Manning will renew old acquaintances, with his former team. Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs will host the Tennessee Titans at Arrowhead Stadium , in Kansas City , Missouri , in what is sure to be an intriguing contest on the first Sunday of the NFL regular season .

With the teams around the NFL now conducting preseason practices with their organized team activities (OTA’s) , it will be interesting to see how the franchises and their rookies acclimatize to the rigors of this upcoming regular season. In 2013, we were asking, which players drafted , would be making a sizable impact on the season . In 2014 , it is likely to that very same premise arising along with, will this be the last opportunity for seasoned veterans such as Peyton Manning , Tom Brady , Philip Rivers and Tony Gonzalez to have one last opportunity to add to achievements to their illustrious careers with some postseason glory ? This is likely to a season where those questions are likely to be answered , with other areas of drama likely to be thrown in for good measure . What thoughts, if any do you have concerning this topic ? Also, do you believe, that the NFL is in need of a franchise within the city of Los Angeles for the fans there to still show an interest in the league ?

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(1) California Governor Jerry Brown (D-Ca) is being pressured by certain state and Los Angeles’ dignitaries to have a bill introduced within the state legislature that would see the state finance in part the building of a venue that would house a potential NFL franchise within the city of Los Angeles. Efforts , concerning private enterprise have either stalled or are bogged down by bureaucracy or have simply no real interest in the project. Meanwhile , NFL Commissioner is still pressing ahead with his efforts to bring about his bold ambition to succeed where his predecessor Paul Tagliabue failed . LA Times / Ernesto Torres …..

(2) Dean Spanos of the San Diego Chargers is seen here at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego , California , home to the franchise that he owns . AP Photo / Mark Thompson …..

(3) Mark Davis , owner of the Oakland Raiders , whose season in the NFL will come under a great deal scrutiny by fans and analysts in general . AP Photo / Tom Monroe ….

(4) Eli Manning ,left, is seen her with Philip Rivers . The two players were part of the 2004 NFL Draft class , with the pair of quarterbacks creating a great deal of drama during the draft process that year . AP Photo / Mark Fisher ….

(5) St Louis Rams’ owner Stanley Kroenke , seen here alongside the team’s head coach Jeff Fisher as the two discuss with the convened press their hopes for the team’s aspirations in 2013 . It is being reported that Kroenke would indeed be opened to the idea of relocating the Rams elsewhere., if he cannot get a new arena built for the franchise within the state of Missouri . The state’s legislature is not in a position to make the funds available for such a project in spite of calls, that monies can be raised , with small incremental increases in some state fees and services . Something that the state’s governor , Jay Nixon is set against and would likely veto , if he felt that this were not in the best interests of his state. AP Photo / Richard Hart …..

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Cap it with what ?

Cap it, with what ?

With the pending approval, in the sale of the Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft Chairman Steve Ballmer. The NBA hierarchy, will now be in a rough ride, with the beleaguered Donald Sterling seeking to sue the league for a reputed $1 billion ($1,000,000,000) . Any protracted litigation in the US Federal Court will be damaging to the NBA, its owners , the union (NBPA) and to the brand itself . Adam Silver, in banishing Sterling for life, from the NBA, while welcomed, was too little, too late. The commissioner’s predecessor, David Stern , is just as culpable, with his lack of action , in not dealing with this particular owner’s abhorrent actions, and it is a prime example of why his tenure was often filled with as many pratfalls, as the ongoing ridiculous claims, that he was indeed good for the NBA.

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This sale, is likely to ignite an NBPA leadership , that will have the bit between their teeth, in dealing with future labor negotiations between themselves and the NBA hierarchy. Claims of poverty, can no longer be made by the team owners or anyone from within the league hierarchy. A record $2 billion, inflated price tag , for a franchise that in reality, is not worth sixteen times its gross revenues is not only staggering , but simply endemic of all the things that the league has tried suggest that they were finally dealing with the economic plight of their brand. Five years on, from David Stern’s bailout of twenty franchises, something that seems to have escaped some of the apathy of the fans , whose knowledge of the economy sports ranks up alongside Sarah Palin’s knowledge of domestic and the foreign policy of the United States. Far be it for me to suggest , that Palin, has any clear idea on any particular subject that she is likely to be debated on , but , when you have a political lightweight such as this Tea Party Grand Dame of Stupidity. I really, do believe , it is symbolic of the growing lack of intelligence among the sports’ fan in general, as well as the electorate in this country .

I once had a patron allude to me, that the woes of the NBA were not created by David Stern. Anyone, with an ounce of fucking common sense, would realize that many of the changes made within the league during his tenure, had his imprint and were his creation, which, he then duplicitous , sold to the union , under the pretense, it would be to their benefit. . The NBPA remains in tatters, having no Executive Director and where the last person to hold the position , has now filed wrongful dismissal lawsuit in the US Federal Court against the union . Billy Hunter, a former corporate litigator is seeking unspecified damages , while seeking punitive damages in adjoining suit for libel slander filed jointly against former union President Derek Fisher and the NBPA. If that were not enough , the union itself , while in a state of disarray , now has contend with the fact, that they have to deal with a number of financial irregularities , that were never fully addressed , prior to their vote to dismiss Hunter, from his position, as that union’s top executive. Yes , this is what the NBA has now become , a brand that is now engulfed with racial bigotry hypocrisy , homophobia, misogyny and there are fans who remain apathetic and clueless, concerning the ongoing malaise within this league.

This NBA Postseason has become something of ” an us against the world mentality” , as the Indiana Pacers seek to overcome the Miami Heat in their Eastern Conference Finals’ Series . LeBron James and his Heat teammates enter a game six contest where the prize for Miami, will be a third consecutive berth in the NBA Finals . Currently leading Indiana 3-2 , tonight’s (Friday) game being played at the AA Arena in Miami , Florida , will likely lead to closing out the series and the likelihood, that Larry Bird as Head of Basketball Operations for the Indiana Pacers, will break up this roster and rebuild the team. One casualty , may well be Pacers’ center Roy Hibbert , whose inconsistent play in this series and throughout much of the postseason , has many questioning the player’s maturity, as well as skill-set under pressure. Hibbert’s teammate, Lance Stephenson having ran afoul of the officials in game five and then given a $25,000 fine for flopping, was also reprimanded by Bird , subsequent to the contest for his conduct . What this now means for Stephenson, is simply a further indictment of how far the Pacers have fallen from grace this season. This team lacks leadership, maturity and the premature belief that Paul George had finally arrived and could be looked upon as top-ten player in the NBA , when the now growing evidence that George has failed to meet those lofty expectations. In the midst of this all, there is now mounting speculation , that head coach Frank Vogel’s position could very well be in danger. His dismissal , were it to take place, might well be the most asinine decision that the Pacers’ front office could actually make . Yet, here we are, now debating, whether or not; Frank Vogel should be relieved of his duties. Bird, as a former head coach of this very same franchise, knows the pratfalls a coach has to go through , having relinquished that role for health reasons.

Steve Kerr’s rebuff of Phil Jackson’s overtures to become the next head coach of the New York Knicks , is another reminder why this particular franchise remains a complete laughing-stock around the NBA, while their idiotic fans continue to make excuses for that team’s continued malaise . Dysfunctional from top to bottom, the thought that Jackson’s insertion into the front office and his reputation would bring about a glow to the Knicks’ downtrodden reputation would be akin to spraying rose petal essence into a bucket of fecal matter and then telling an unsuspecting passer-by, that it was indeed a new fragrance created by a cosmetic company. Perhaps if the New York Knicks continuance in stinking up the joint as an NBA Eastern Conference franchise would not be so bad, if there were modicum of talent on this roster beyond Carmelo Anthony. That player’s indecision concerning his long-term future, can only be of deep concern for Phil Jackson and for the fans of this franchise. The longer the player chooses to delay his decision, the less likely it seems that he will return to the franchise , where he has become their best player ever since the trade that saw his departure from the Denver Nuggets in late 2010.

New York’s malaise is to the detriment of the NBA and specifically to the conference in which the franchise plays . With the Indiana Pacers, simply being the pale shadow of what in reality , is an average team and no real rivalry in the contests between themselves and the Miami Heat . One can only aspire to see the renewed rivalry that once epitomized regular and postseason match-ups, between the Knicks and Heat. Granted, those days, may well be viewed as long gone, but one can live in hope, that the intensity can be reopened on some level. Senior Miami Heat Executive and part owner , Pat Riley , whose association with both franchises are well-known to the fans and media analysts alike who cover the NBA, have a vested interest in seeing that rivalry resurface. From a financial standpoint , it would provide a major boost to the NBA , albeit , the Knicks remain one of the most valuable teams in the league . James Dolan’s ownership of the franchise, has seen the one constant , and that has been the appreciation in the value of the New York Knicks over the last decade , to the point where its value is in excess of $1 billion , with only the Los Angeles Lakers on the same plateau, in terms of value .

The era of Patrick Ewing leading the New York Knicks in a contest against the Miami Heat was looked upon as a contest or series of contests that were bound to bring out the best and the worst in both teams. Beyond the heated rivalry , there was a distinct dislike between the two teams , often seen through the eyes of Ewing’s teammates , John Starks and Larry Johnson and Charles Oakley . On the opposing team , Heat center Alonzo Mourning possessed a great deal of disdain for his foe at the time and though upon his retirement he reflected on those contests as being some of the most memorable of his career . It has to be said that the NBA , in its present guise there is no current rivalry in the NBA that is on par with those classic match-ups between the Miami Heat and New York Knicks . Certainly, there are competitive player rivalries , but team rivalries, those days are clearly are of a bygone age within the NBA.

LeBron James, perhaps the best player in the game today, has simply raised the bar to unexpected heights since his entry into the NBA in 2003. And while some claim, that his rivalry with Kevin Durant will provide the league with a player and team rivalry that the league longs for . The fact of the matter has been, the Oklahoma City Thunder have not fared well in their postseason contests against the reigning NBA champions. At present Durant and his teammates are on the brink of elimination looking to stave off their 3-2 deficit against the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference Finals . A pivotal game six , will be played on Saturday night at the Chesapeake Energy Center in Oklahoma City , Oklahoma, . in-front of, what is sure to be a raucous sold-out arena, filled with passionate Thunder fans, who are likely to outnumber their opponent’s fan in size.

In all honesty , the NBA is a monster, of its own making. As it has marketed with professionalism and a great deal of guile ,but , where it has fallen flat , has been , that it has not noticed , the issue of the declining state of play , with the level of coaching having dropped precipitously low , with their being only a handful of very good coaches in the league at present. Furthermore , the league itself has also become arrogant , pompous and brazen and nowhere has this been more expressed than during the tenure of David Stern , with his overbearing and autocratic rule of what he believed was his own personal fiefdom. Like the Pied Piper of Hamlin , some dumb ass fans , simply nestled their lips firmly against his sphincter , willing to lick any morsels of excreta that he would be let loose from his bowels. Simple apathy , has indeed become the norm of the fans, with them having very little knowledge or being able to actually think for themselves .

If the New York Knicks are said to have an indifferent season , then the travails of the Los Angeles Lakers and their staggering decline should come as something of a major shock . Hard to believe, that the Lakers fell so far, where they barely challenged within their division for supremacy, and if that were not enough, they saw their fellow inhabitant of the Staples Center , the Los Angeles Clippers make the postseason as the Western Conference’s number three seed . Steph Curry and his teammates’ postseason foray would be short-lived, with them falling to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the conference semi-finals 4-2 .

Mike DAntoni’s tenure as the head coach of the Lakers was simply uncompromising as he and his staff simply had no idea in how to get the team to play with any sense of unity . Defensively , the Lakers’ players were simply poor all season long and their situation was made all the more untenable with the loss of Kobe Bryant, whose presence was sorely missed . Los Angeles Lakers’ executives , GM Mitch Kupchak and team owner Jim Buss , will now have to conduct an in-depth search for a successor to the now departed D’Antoni . The former coach’s decision, to offer his resignation, was indicative of the ongoing mess within this organization and Kupchak’s failure, with that of Buss to deal with the franchise’s ongoing problems. With criticism coming from various circles, most notably from former Lakers’ players Magic Johnson , Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and James Worthy and their impassioned pleas, for both front office executives to be proactive in acquiring the players needed the franchise to be competitive. Yet , the biggest call, might well have been Johnson’s calls for the Los Angeles Lakers to rehire Phil Jackson in a front office capacity, at the time of his being available. Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss had other ideas and simply did not wish to revert to the past. Therein lies, one of the many reasons why I believe the Los Angeles Lakers are unlikely to regain the stature within the NBA in terms of their most recent success ! Bryant, at the end of a well-chronicled career , with no heir apparent and I get the feeling that Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss are now without a clue, as to the next steps that needs to be taken !

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Picture gallery

The NBA Finals for this season has two known occupants with a rematch of last season’s contest , where the defending champions the Miami Heat likely to be viewed as a consensus favorite against the San Antonio Spurs. I firmly hope, that the series will live up the drama and competitive play witnessed during the 2013 NBA Finals . As to the outcome , well that is now down to the two combatants, as the series gets ready to unfold on Thursday 5th June with the Spurs hosting game one at the AT&T Center in San Antonio , Texas .

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Picture and slideshow gallery .

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(1) Former Microsoft Chairman Steve Ballmer whose $2 billion bid for the Los Angeles Clippers, pending the approval by the NBA Board of Governors , which requires a majority decision or as mandated by the league hierarchy and twenty-five of the NBA’s thirty teams . AP Photo / Mark Edwards …

(2) Dallas Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban whose recent comments concerning the NBA and its issue of not being able to deal adequately with the issue of race , albeit that over seventy per-cent of the playing roster is made of minorities , primarily African-American players. The owner would also delve publicly into his own perception of racial profiling , and also the league’s lack of candor, as to its economic template . Getty Images North America / Paul Brown …

(3) Former NBPA Executive Director Billy Hunter , having sought legal recourse with a filing of a civil suit against his former employer as well as that union’s former President Derek Fisher . The case will be based on his wrongful dismissal , and the actions of libel and slander as engineered by Fisher and the NBPA leadership. A trial date has yet to be set concerning this legal action . UPI / Elizabeth Parker …..

(4) Indiana Pacers’ head coach Frank Vogel , left, is seen here with the team’s Head of Basketball Operations Larry Bird . With the Pacers falling to the Miami Heat in six games in the Eastern Conference Finals, the franchise faces an off-season of indifference and some major decisions concerning the makeup of the roster and the resounding disappointment of not making this season’s NBA Finals , a privilege that now goes to the Heat as the conference’s representative in the league’s postseason finale . AP Photo/ Amy West …….

(5) Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks who has yet to make a decision concerning his long-term future with the franchise. Phil Jackson has spoken intensely with the Knicks’ star , seeking to persuade the player of that it is his intent to improve the supporting cast around Anthony. N Y Time / Anthony DeMarco ….

(6) Patrick Ewing ,right and Alonzo Mourning , left , contest the possession of the ball during a game played between the Miami Heat and New York Knicks . During the duo’s playing careers their fierce competitiveness was always represented by the intensity seen during the contests between these two teams . In the regular , postseason and games overall , these contests were very hostile and enthralling for both sets of fans . AP Photo/ Matt Harper …

(7) Between the pairing of Kevin Durant (35) and LeBron James , they share five League MVP crowns , of which Durant was this season’s League MVP. Unfortunately, for the Oklahoma City Thunder player , his quest to make this season’s NBA Finals were dashed when they fell to the San Antonio Spurs in six games during the Western Conference Finals . This now sets up a rematch of the 2013 NBA postseason finale where the Miami Heat prevailed over the Spurs in seven games . Getty Images / Harry Howe ….

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