Something Wicked This Way Comes …

Something Wicked This Way Comes …….

Week three
of the NFL season is now in our rear-view mirror and with it came the results leaving a great deal of the league in something of an after-shock. We have seven unbeaten teams , with the AFC on appearance having the better of the showing in terms of the success seen among the franchises. NFC champions the Seattle Seahawks remains a team in a state of disarray , albeit , they had their first win of the season with a 26-0 thrashing of the Chicago Bears , a team I believe will likely be among the worst of the NFL’s thirty teams this season.

Jay Cutler remains more of a liability to the Bears than he is an asset. Among the other NFC franchises, we have the San Francisco 49ers , looking as if they have been caught in a head-on collision , having been hit by a sixty-foot semi-trailer at high speed. Niners’ quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s season thus far has been one of sheer disappointment, while fans of the San Francisco 49ers appear to be pointing fingers at team CEO Jed Yorke and GM Trent Baalke for the franchise’s disarray.

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The Niners’ assuredly embarrassing loss to the Arizona Cardinals was as abhorrent a sight as one would not wish to see on an NFL field. Head coach Jim Tomsula and the coaching staff are as much to blame for this defeat as the players themselves. This Niners’ team lacks not only confidence but also a great deal of leadership and discipline. There can be no excuse for the loss , even if one could attribute it the loss , to the fact the Cardinals were the better team on the day.

In week four the San Francisco 49ers will play host to the unbeaten Green Bay Packers (3-0) , where quarterback Aaron Rodgers seems to be on a record breaking pace for the season in terms of his own personal achievements during the Packers’ regular season schedule . Personally, I do not believe the Packers will face much of a daunting task from their divisional rivals within the NFC North during 2015 !

While I believe over the past two seasons we have seen the growth of Cam Newton as a player, until he leads the Carolina Panthers (3-0) on a deep run in the NFL postseason , for the moment, he will just be considered a very athletic and gifted quarterback. He possesses a great deal of athleticism which is undeniable, yet he is complemented by a roster of players who have yet to meet the goals expected of the fans or the ownership at the moment. Head coach Ron Rivera and the Panthers’ coaching staff have slowly begun to mold this roster into a competitive force within the NFC South as well as the NFL , but the real goal for this organization has to be deep run in the postseason and ultimately a Superbowl victory.

The Panthers romped to a victory over a very labored New Orleans Saints’ (0-3) team missing Drew Brees in this contest. Granted, Brees’ back Luke McCown was being asked to do a great deal in this match-up , this loss was indicative of how bad , the Saints have become this season. Three games into their schedule and I am not so sure the New Orleans Saints are capable of extricating themselves out of a hole of their own making. Next up for the Saints will be a home game against the Dallas Cowboys (1-2) , in a must-win contest for both teams , if either of these two franchises are to make sense of their season.

Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers will be taking their show on the road to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers , where Jameis Winston will be looking to acquit himself after his rather lackluster display in the Buccaneers’ week three loss , suffered at the hands of the Houston Texans. Going into this contest against the Panthers , I would be very surprised if the home team is able to pull of a victory against the visitors in this contests . Games between the two teams since Cam Newton was drafted by Carolina have been in favor of the Panthers’ quarterback.

Say what you will , in the aftermath of the debacle which engulfed and embarrassed the NFL hierarchy with Tom Brady seeing his proposed four game suspension bite the dust with US Federal District Court Judge Richard M Berman, siding with the player, The judge stated, the league had overstepped its limits in seeking to suspend the New England Patriots’ quarterback for the first four games of the Patriots’ regular season schedule. Deflate-Gate as this debacle and unmitigated disaster, has come to be known, isn’t simply about the accusations of the New England Patriots cheating , but it is a damning indictment of a league lacking in leadership from the hierarchy on down to the front office executives and among the players themselves.

Meanwhile, clueless individuals , notably the anal retentive fans pointing an accusing finger at the Patriots’ franchise , have been quick to overlook the misdeeds of coaches such as Rex Ryan , Josh McDaniels , Sean Payton and a slew of bothers. Needless to say, these same blithering idiots , with their short-term memory loss have quickly forgotten the antics of the New Orleans Saints’ organization and the antics surrounding the Bounty-Gate Scandal. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell remains the consummate imbecile , while the anal retentive and apathetic fans of this league continue to wax on lyrically about how great the NFL happens to be , but they appear to be nowhere intelligent enough to be succinct in their criticism of a clueless commissioner.

Tom Brady for his part has led the New England Patriots to an unbeaten three-game start to the season, with the Patriots’ quarterback going about his business , as if the scandal which engulfed his reputation was simply a meaningless obstacle. Questions may will still arise as to player’s innocence or guilt, but given the fact the league’s case as so ill-prepared , even the NFL’s SVP and Chief Legal Counsel Jeff Pash failed to take the stand to explain the NFL’s case against Brady , has simply been another indicator of the ongoing incompetence of this hierarchy under Roger Goodell’s leadership.

Tom Brady and the New England Patriots annihilated the Jacksonville Jaguars on their way to a 51-17 victory for their biggest win of the season , with their schedule still in its infancy . Brady has already amassed over 1,000 passing yards on the season , thrown seven passing touchdowns without an interception , with a completion percentage above sixty-five percent (65% ) and a QB rating in excess of 115.00 . Outstanding statistics for the four-time Superbowl winner, three-time Superbowl MVP and two-time League MVP . Awards being what they are and even in light of the most recent allegations , Brady has remained at the top of his game without any real distractions. Granted , there still remains the idiocy of the league , still holding out some hope they are able to suspend the player at some point during this season, but given the league’s poor presentation of their original case , there seems little chance of their having a successful ruling in a Federal Appeals Court , which renders Richard Berman’s verdict null and void.

Brady now remains single-minded in his pursuits , with franchise records and a number of career milestones now within his sight, but perhaps the biggest achievement yet remaining for the player , might be the chance to win a fifth Superbowl ring and championship with the Patriots’ franchise. His six appearances in the NFL’s biggest showcase event is a testament to his career and while there will remain detractors , the fact of the matter remains, neither player or the organization are solely to blame for the malaise and bad publicity this latest scandal has brought the NFL. The leadership within the NFL remains weak , and the owners seem more concerned with , money , profits , team value and less about a positive image, while Roger Goodell’s continued incompetency and lack of real leadership ,drags the NFL further into a quagmire of its very own making.

The New England Patriots will head into week four with a bye , though still looking to increase their lead within the AFC East , while also seeking to remain among the front-runners within the AFC. Their next opponents will be the Dallas Cowboys , whom they will meet in week five of the regular season at Cowboys Stadium , Arlington , Texas on the 11th October , 2015. Defensively , the Patriots still leave a great deal to be desired , as the defensive coordinator Matt Patricia will certainly have to assess the issues of the secondary and their continued woes. It remains the one area Bill Belichick must have his deepest concerns and reservations about , as the team seeks to progress this season .

Heading into this season, it was felt, both the Baltimore Ravens (0-3) and Oakland Raiders (2-1) might be in a position to do something special within their respective divisions in 2015. Three weeks into the season and the struggles of both franchises can be chronicled with just a couple of words, “ they have been abysmally awful “ . The Raiders might well be off to one of their best starts in recent seasons , but head coach Jack Del Rio knows a great deal more consistency will be needed from this team , especially from quarterback and presumed on-field leader Derek Carr . The AFC West could become a highly competitive division with the starting quarterbacks within, all looking to play a significant role in their teams’ success. The Raiders will be looking to make sure that their fortuitous start to the season doesn’t come crashing down around their ears when they face the lowly Chicago Bears (0-3) in a game where the visiting Raiders take to Soldier Field in Chicago , Illinois on Sunday , 4th October , 2015.

Joe Flacco is coming off a season where by his own lofty standards , he was less than satisfactory for the Baltimore Ravens. Their indifferent start to this season makes his and the team’s situation all the more bewildering. An early season favorite for the Superbowl and now win-less, they might not be in a position to win the AFC North or gain a postseason berth given their poor start to the year. It doesn’t seem that long ago when Flacco’s postseason exploits which led the franchise to their second Superbowl title was being lauded as one for the ages . Out of those scintillating performances from 2012 , Flacco was able to land himself a six-figure deal making him one of the highest paid quarterbacks in the NFL . Now while the Ravens have been frequent visitors to the NFL postseason since their 2012 triumph over the San Francisco 49ers , the real issues have been their failure to draft well , ill-timed free agent acquisitions, while several players on the team have failed to meet the expectations of the coaching staff and front office . GM Ozzie Newsome may well be feeling the need to look over this roster and begin to cut the waste from this lineup.

When the Baltimore Ravens take to the field to play the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on 1st October , 2015 in their Thursday night contest , should the Ravens fail to gain their first win of the season. In all probability John Harbaugh will likely be under a great deal of pressure in his role as the head coach , beyond the fallout of a fourth consecutive loss for the franchise.

Things are not all that sunny on the beaches of Miami or with the South Florida based Miami Dolphins (1-2). Quarterback Ryan Tannehill along with his teammate Ndamukong Suh have bared the brunt of the criticism leveled at the team as well as Joe Philbin and the coaching staff . One could question the fact the Dolphins chose to make Suh one of the highest paid defensive players in the league, with Suh yet to show the leadership or ability sought to lead this defense . With the New England Patriots off to a solid start and the New York Jets (2-1) under Todd Bowles , seemingly revitalized by the stabilizing lay of Ryan Fitzpatrick and seasoned veteran corner-back Darrelle Revis back to his best as he has played with a great deal of zeal, leading the Jets’ secondary , among the best in the league at this point of the season.

Ryan Tannehill and the Miami Dolphins will play host to the New York Jets on Sunday afternoon in a divisional clash, with Miami seeking to avoid a third consecutive loss at this early stage of the season. Tannehill will be tested in this contest and his play has to be at its very best , if the Dolphins are to overcome this very confident Jets’ team .

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At this stage of the season with there still being a great deal to play for , several of the teams who remain win-less now will now have to play solid football over the remainder of the season if they are to prevail with their season’s ambitions. Yet, for all we have witnessed from the teams, I cannot help but wonder what is likely to happen next.

Tophatal …….

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The buck doesn’t stop here but it should …

The buck doesn’t stop here but it should …

So  two weeks into the  NFL season and already we’re  witnessing  how  banal so many of the teams just happen to be . Nonetheless, things are likely to get far more problematical for several of these franchise before possibly getting better.

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In the NFC East , the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants having opened their respective season schedule with two consecutive losses are proving to be among the pick of the litter when it comes to sheer ineptitude. Far be it for me to suggest, but head coaches Chip Kelly of the Eagles and Tom Coughlin of the Giants are likely to know their jobs are on the line. Team owners , Jeffrey Lurie and John K Mara cannot be entirely happy with what they have both witnessed from their respective teams to start the season.

The Philadelphia Eagles were on the wrong side of an inept performance , with a week two loss to the Dallas Cowboys , whose 20-10 victory , also saw the loss of quarterback Tony Romo due to an injury. This all could spell some serious issues for the Cowboys, having lost Romo quite possibly for a sizable chunk of their regular season schedule. Dallas’ head coach Jason Garrett will now have to reassess Tony Romo’s fitness and the likelihood of possibly going with his backup, Brandon Weeden , should Romo not be available for Dallas’ week three contest against the Atlanta Falcons on the 27th September, 2015 at Texas Stadium in Arlington. Texas,. Inasmuch as analysts and fans alike try to attribute Tony Romo’s toughness to his abilities , in reality the player lacks real leadership and tends to apportion blame elsewhere when his play has been mediocre.

A great deal is being asked of Brandon Weeden, should he be entrusted with the task of leading the Cowboys into battle against the Falcons next Sunday.

For the New York Giants and their start to the season appears to be inexplicable, but at the same you cannot overlook the fact Eli Manning and his teammates have failed to deliver when all is said to be on the line. Granted, Manning has led the Giants to two highly celebrated Superbowl victories over the New England Patriots in the last six seasons. Losses in week one and week two to the Dallas Cowboys and Atlanta Falcons respectively, have left many wondering where do the New York Giants now go from here. The Giants’ defense and offense have proven to be equally inept and with receivers Odell Beckham and Victor Cruz yet to show anywhere near the skill-set sought for the team to viewed as legitimate contenders within the league this season. Cruz remains sidelined and there seems to be no indicator as to when the Giants will see his return to their starting lineup. The New York Giants’ next game will pit them against the Washington Redskins on the 24th September , 2015 in a Thursday night contest.

Over the last two seasons , I believe quarterbacks Jay Cutler and Matthew Stafford have failed to show what they are capable of players in their respective roles. With the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions both getting off to inauspicious starts to their season , these two teams are likely to be in for a torrid time as the NFL schedule pans out. Neither the Bears or Lions can afford to go through their first three games with consecutive losses , but given their play at present , it simply doesn’t bode well for either of these two teams. Sunday afternoon, we witnessed the Chicago Bears falling to the Arizona Cardinals in a high-scoring contest 48-26. Stafford and the Lions fell to the Minnesota Vikings in a result which simply reflects how bad Detroit just happens to be , as they succumbed to the Vikings 26-16.

While I am not about to suggest at this point of the season the NFC as a conference is less superior than the AFC , there do seem to be pointers which may reflect this position , albeit , two weeks into the schedule should not be truly reflective of the position. By week four , one quarter of the way through the NFL season , the teams should have found their rhythm, as they look to play themselves into divisional and conference contention.

There are thirteen games left in the baseball schedule , for the league’s thirty teams , with several of the divisions still to be decided as of the 20th September . For much of the season , both the St Louis Cardinals and Kansas City Royals have remained among the two best ball-clubs within the game. Whether or not the two teams will clash in this year’s World Series remains to be seen and will be predicated on their play as schedule plays out to the likely intensity we have seen in recent weeks. The Royals under manager Ned Yost might well be seen as the likely front-runner for this year’s AL Manager of the Year , with among his closest rivals being AJ Hinch , John Gibbons , Jeff Banister and Paul Molitor .

The Kansas City Royals coming off a decisive 10-3 win over the free-falling Detroit Tigers will seek to increase their lead within the AL Central when they face the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field in Seattle , Washington on 22nd September ,2015. On the mound for the Mariners will be Hisashi Iwakuma as he faces Jeremy Guthrie of the Royals.

Kansas now has the inside track on the division, with the Minnesota Twins unlikely to build up a big enough challenge for the AL Central. With the reverberations from the faltering Tigers , in the aftermath with the abrupt departure of former GM Dave Dombrowski . There is now the belief that Dombrowski’s successor Al Avila will make the decision not to extend the contract of the team’s manager Brad Ausmus , leading to further turmoil within the organization. The Tigers’ players have yet to make their thoughts known on the possible departure of Ausmus , but there seems to be a widespread belief Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera are not entirely happy with the situation, in spite of their indifferent seasons and it is easy to understand the many reasons why the Detroit Tigers have failed so miserably this year. The changes for the Tigers during the off-season could very well be dramatic and very nerve shattering, as a number of high-priced players are likely to be jettisoned. Seeking to assess the players , within their farm system is now likely to be an option for Al Avila , as looks to rebuild for next season.

It would be the ultimate tale of sheer stupidity if Mike Matheny was not awarded the NL Manager of the Year Award for this season. He has clearly been the best manager in baseball this year and has been a worthy successor to Tony La Russa . If Matheny can now take this Cardinals’ team in the postseason where they are likely to be the clear favorites for the NL Pennant , then there is no reason to believe why St Louis cannot go on to win their twelfth World Series title, with their last coming in 2011 when they crushed the the Texas Rangers in seven games . The series’ result might suggest the Rangers might have been in with a chance through the entire seven-game series, but at no point did they ever take advantage of St Louis during the showcase series’ finale .

Mike Matheny and the St Louis Cardinals have been a model of consistency throughout much of the season , with their pitching and offense being equally potent on all fronts. To round out their three-game weekend schedule against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field in Chicago , the Cardinals came away with a well-deserved 4-3 victory over their divisional rivals . On Monday evening the St Louis will play host to the Cincinnati Reds , with John Lamb of the visiting team on the mound to face his opposing number , Jaime Garcia of the Cardinals.

With Tiger Woods now falling off the face of the PGA Tour and this ongoing stupidity he still remains the biggest draw in the game. I have to wonder what type of idiot , there remains within realms of the sports’ world in terms of the fans who simply have no idea as to what the hell they are talking about ! Woods has not come close to winning a tournament on the PGA Tour in almost two years and his last major Grand Slam title was almost six years ago . He has fallen so far down the world rankings (292 nd) , that he is no longer deemed to be a worthy talking point , unless you want to discuss his ongoing medical ailments. A second back surgery , is now in the offing and Woods’ game has deteriorated to such an extent , that only the player himself has any belief he will be able to resurrect his play to the level where he was once considered the heir-apparent to Jack Nicklaus .

There are now much younger players on the Tour , who are just as determined as Tiger Woods , when he was at his best , but they have shown themselves to be more resilient and less prone to litany of mistakes which have become part of Woods’ current persona on a golf course. Jordan Spieth , Rory McIlroy and Jason Day have become the new faces of the PGA Tour , as well being major draws , and a boost to the television ratings.

Jason Day’s five wins on the season which include the PGA Championship , The Barclays Championship and this past weekend the BMW Championship has pushed the Australian to the top of the world rankings , pushing both Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy to second and third within the standings. With those five wins and ten top-ten finishes on the PGA Tour , Day tops the Fedex Cup standings and is line for the $10 million payout which comes with a first place finish in the Fedex Cup overall final placings. If golf and in particular the PGA Tour is to withstand the loss of Tiger Woods and the deterioration of his game. Then the likes of Jason Day , Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy will now have to stand tall in face of the overwhelming odds that fans yearn a dominant and charismatic player within the sport. Woods had the game, but his indiscretions and willingness to cite others for his problems, was simply another indication of a self-absorbed athlete who yearns the limelight but when faced with off-field adversity, they simply haven’t the intellect to handle it well.

A top-five finish in the Tour Championship at the East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta , Georgia , which is the final tournament of the PGA Tour schedule , could see Day come away with the $10 million bonus payout and quite possibly the Player of the Year Honors, albeit , Jordan Spieth’s two Major victories on the year do make his credentials all the more impressive. Yet if consistency is to be the measure on the season , then the Australian has fared better than his American counterpart.

There are howls of laughter as Floyd Mayweather Jr maintains his wish to now retire from the sport of boxing, having defeated Andre Berto in the defense of his WBA and WBC welterweight titles . Still recognized by Ring Magazine and several of the top analysts within the sports as the Pound-for-Pound King of The Ring and best fighter on the planet. I personally do not believe Mayweather can simply walk away from his unbeaten 49-0 record without seeking to push that mark to 50-0 ! Granted , for an athlete who in the last two years has earned in excess of $400 million from the sport of boxing , there might be few challenges left for a fighter of his caliber. He has the admiration of legions of fans the world over , but he has never been able to truly gain the respect of some of the passionate fans of the sport as well many of the women who follow the sport of boxing from afar.

Floyd Mayweather has failed miserably in trying to allay the persona of his misogyny and denigration of women, albeit , his open invitation of Jen Welter to a press conference and to his bout with Berto was met with a great degree of sarcasm and some embarrassment for Welter , who initially accepted the invitation for both events. Yet it cannot be denied , with Mayweather’s well-chronicled troubles concerning his ex-fiancee and the mother of two of his children , there can be little left to believe the boxer is indeed trying to change his ways. His publicists and management company are trying to create the persona of a social activist , philanthropist and boxing promoter seeking to not only clean up the sport, but also show Floyd Mayweather to be a man of the people. Yet, when it is all said and done, the boxer’s actions outside the ring and his outlandish behavior simply proves the persona created has been nothing more than a charade.

Mayweather still yearns the respect of the purists who cover the sport within the media , even with his impressive fight record. Mayweather Promotions Inc , the boxer’s own management company will certainly be surveying the landscape for a fighter seen as his next challenger. A rematch against Manny Pacquiao would simply be a waste , considering the hype over their first fight and lack of competitiveness seen from the Filipino boxer on his way to a unanimous defeat, was not only embarrassing for the sport of boxing, but also a general fleecing of the paying public and the reputed $500 million gross revenues gained from the bout. Mayweather’s reputed $300 million payday before expenses for the highest grossing title and fight in boxing his history, was nothing more than a comedic mess of gigantic proportions.

The international governing bodies (IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO) for the sport of boxing have been nothing more than a travesty , with Mauricio Sulaiman , Gilberto Mendoza , Daryl Peoples and Francisco Varcarcel have simply forgone their obligations to oversee the sport with robust stewardship, instead leaving it to the unscrupulous boxing promoters to reign over the sport, while leaving the Nevada State Athletic Commission with their connivance and corrupt activities continue to make a mockery of boxing . Conflicts of interests, inexperienced ringside judges adjudicating title bouts have seen the state Athletic Commissioner Francisco Aguilar has been quick to suggest the officials who have judged many of the most recent title fights within the state’s jurisdiction have been without reproach. Yet, in the aftermath of the fiasco concerning the judging Mayweather’s most recent bouts against Manny Pacquiao and Andre Berto has left a great deal to be desired about Aguilar’s claims.

If boxing is left in something of a void in spite of the rise of Deontay Wilder as a titleholder among the heavyweight champions. Yet in reality, Wilder can only be seen as seen as either stepping stone for Wladimir Klitschko to further enhance his claims of being the best heavyweight boxer in the world. Klitschko’s own record has been filled with challengers whose records if nothing else, can only be viewed as comedic and idiotic. The rise of MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) under the UFC banner , has seen the growth of the fastest growing combative sport in the world. UFC’s fighters are now becoming household names with Ronda Rousey leading the way for the sport along with the sudden emergence of Fabricio Werdum as the undisputed heavyweight champion. Werdum’s devastating victory over Cain Velazquez was not only for the title was not only exciting but it also breathed life into a sport , where in recent months , we had witnessed the fall of established stars such as Jon Jones , Nick Diaz and Johny Hendricks either through misdeeds outside the octagon ring or through poor performances within.

UFC President Dana White has proven to be an autocratic and somewhat tyrannical ruler of the governing body of the sport , dictating his whims as to what he believes best serves the interests of the sport. Unfortunately. White has proven to be less than forthright as to a number of decisions he has made concerning fighters, who are known to have known to have used substances prohibited by the UFC. Dana White has been complicit in allowing fighters such as Jon Jones , Nick Diaz, Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen to have fought , having then been tested for a banned substance.

Sonnen, now an analyst covering the UFC has not issued a statement concerning his twice being suspended for the use of performance enhancing drugs , while Nick Diaz has continually derided White and suggested he will continue with his use of marijuana as and when he pleases. Silva a former middleweight champion will be making his long-awaited return to the octagon, but with the revelations of his testing positive steroidal medication as well as for an anxiety medication during his rematch with Chris Weidman for the middleweight title at UFC 183.

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Sports , amateur and professional sports, have now become a fickle industry promulgated by profligate athletes and hierarchies, where accountability has become a simple bye-word for lack of leadership, athletes without any real integrity and the continued belief that an act of social responsibility paints them as a person moral integrity.

Floyd Mayweather continues to be indicative of such a persona , while Tiger Woods might well now be wishing he could turn back the hands of time. Hierarchy leaders such as Roger Goodell, Adam Silver , Garry Bettman , Dana White , Rob Manfred and Mark Emmert have become oblivious of what needs to be done to actually clean up the mess they preside over , and can only point to the one known fact they actually care about and that is to make millions of dollars at the expense of the consumers , otherwise known as the fans. Accountability remains the farthest thing from their minds while the fans remain apathetic to what is actually now within their midst.


Tophatal ……. 2015/09/21

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Still looking for a hero …

Still looking for a hero

Well this weekend, within the sports world there have been the slew of news’ stories which will likely inspire us or simply let us down. With the US Open recently coming to an end , Serena Williams was unable to make history by completing a Grand Slam of Majors , by seeking to win all four Major Grand Slam tennis title within the calendar year. Williams’ fell in the semi-finals of the US Open where she was surprisingly beaten in three sets by Italy’s Roberta Vinci . William’s conqueror however, would go on to lose in the finals to fellow Italian, Flavia Pennetta , for Pennetta’s first Grand Slam title at the age of thirty-three.

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In the Men’s Open Final , Novak Djokovic won with a great deal of ease , defeating Roger Federer , to win his tenth Grand Slam title of his professional career. For Djokovic , it also cemented his standing as the number one player in the world in the ATP standings. The Serbian can now lay claim to three of the four Majors for this calendar year and looking forward to another successful foray on the ATP Tour . As this season rounds out its schedule on both the ATP and WTA Tours , there can be no denial as to who the best two players in the world have been on either tour. Serena Williams remains the best player of her generation , while Novak Djokovic continues his dominance among the male players , especially true over the past six years.

Serena Williams will seek to add to her career resume’ in the coming year, with biggest quest being an another Grand Slam singles’ title , the twenty-fourth of her professional career which would equal the career tally of Steffi Graf , the last female , achieving the Grand Slam (winning all four Majors – Australian, French , Wimbledon US Open).

It has now come to the point where the sport of boxing remains not only on the decline but the international governing bodies of the sport have become something of a farce. Evidence of this was certainly in place , when welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr faced the latest challenger for his titles , with Andre Berto took to challenging the unbeaten champion. Mayweather sought to equal the unbeaten record of the late heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano , whose 49-0 unbeaten record remains a standard bearer within the sport. Berto , was not considered a worthy challenger to the champion, but as of late, Floyd Mayweather would rather cherry-pick his challengers based on their lack of talent rather than the competitiveness of really being challenged in the ring.

Mayweather entered his bout with his record intact at 48-0 and the chance of boxing immortality were he to equal Marciano’s feat. With the fight being staged at the boxing Mecca for the sport. The MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada , was the site for this lavishly staged pay for view (PPV) event where Mayweather was due to receive an estimated $35 million upfront payday without taking into account post-fight revenues . Berto received his guaranteed $ 4milllion purse , but in essence it led to a farce in the ring, with the challenger barely doing anything of note during this bout.

Floyd Mayweather won the fight by a unanimous decision, but there had been a great deal of controversy when it was widely announced that one of the three judges actually scored the bout to be a draw.

Officials from the WBA and WBC were quick to jump to defense of the judges , but with there being no acknowledgment of the scorecards having been revised. One has to question which of the three judges ringside, among Adalaide Boyd , Dave Moretti and Steve Weisfeld , could have seen fit to believe this title fight had in fact been a draw ?

Where Floyd Mayweather now stands among the pantheon of boxers considered to be among the all-time greats can be best judged by your like or dislike of the boxer or how you view the sport , by what it has become or what it once was. I believe Floyd Mayweather Jr to be an extraordinary talent and a fighter who at his best was supremely gifted. Do I believe him to be better than fighters such as Marvin Hagler , Muhammad Ali, Ray Robinson , Larry Holmes , Sugar Ray Leonard , Mike Tyson or any other of the great boxers over the past six decades who have graced the sport.

Mayweather has stated this was to be his last fight as a professional and to my mind his possibly bowing out , with two rather unimpressive and lackluster victories , further points to why the sport of boxing is in such disarray. The welterweight champion’s last fight against a fighter believed to be his greatest challenger and nemesis proved to be something of great farce as Manny Pacquiao simply put up a less than spirited challenge in their title bout. Pacquiao lost in a unanimous decision and then went to claim that an injury suffered during a pre-fight training session led to his underwhelming performance. Pacquiao himself has suggested his next fight will be his last professional bout before he enters the world of politics, as he seeks to become President of the Philippines during the country’s next Presidential elections.

Week one of the NFL season has now come into focus , with the schedule having began with last Thursday night’s game which pit the Pittsburgh Steelers against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium, in Foxboro’ Massachusetts. The Patriots came away with something of a narrow seven-point victory , but in reality Tom Brady in his return to the NFL , could have put up fifty points on a Steelers’ defense which was lackluster and completely out of their element. With the win in the aftermath of the Deflate-Gate Scandal the New England Patriots can set about seeking to make a successful defense of their AFC East divisional title.

Meanwhile, the NFL hierarchy and Roger Goodell will seek to make some sort of amends for the league’s ongoing stupidity and lack of real oversight of a league now completely bereft of intelligence and leadership. Beyond that, there is not much which really needs to be said concerning the league at present.

Of the more surprising results to have taken place on Sunday was the thrilling victory by the St Louis Rams over the Seattle Seahawks in a game filled with missed opportunities by the visiting Seahawks who failed to capitalize on numerous mistakes made by this Jeff Fisher coached team during the contest. The end result was a 34-31 victory for the Rams, as they begin their season with a win. Next up for both teams in week two will be the St Louis Rams taking on the Washington Redskins at Fedex Field in Landover, Maryland, while Maryland, while the Seattle Seahawks will enter the second game of their season where they will meet the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field , in Green Bay Wisconsin on Sunday, 20th September,2015.

The hype of the meeting between the last two Heisman Trophy winners , came by way of the Tennessee Titans facing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota , the two players taken in number one and number two in the 2015 NFL Draft , was meant to be a contest of two very astute and good quarterbacks . The events as they unfolded indicated Winston was not the player the Buccaneers hoped for as the home team suffered a rather embarrassing and lopsided twenty-eight point loss , 42-14 to the Titans. Whatever was expected from Jameis Winston was nowhere to be found during this contest , whereas Mariota was able to show a great deal of composure during his first professional start in the NFL. As to what this contest might suggest about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers , can be best summed up by the quotes attributed to Jameis Winston during his post-game interview and that of head coach Lovie Smith , as he seeks to make sense of the home team’s lackluster display.

While I don’t believe the Buccaneers will have as abysmal a season as in 2014 , but this team on paper, appears to be no better than the roster of last season where their accomplishment of winning two games was a testament to the incompetence and ineptitude shown by the entire organization from the top down . Lovie Smith has already began to use a great deal of rhetoric and pragmatism to describe what is now becoming an indelible trait for the Buccaneers’ organization and that is to lose with alarming regularity .

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will seek to get back on an even keel when they face divisional rivals the New Orleans Saints on the road at the Mercedes Benz Superdome in New Orleans Louisiana , in week two of their regular season schedule . I expect Drew Brees and the Saints to overcome their week one failure against the the Arizona Cardinals , which a resulted in a stunning 31-19 loss to their NFC counterparts.

In the space of three years, Robert Griffin III has gone from being the quarterback thought to be the future of the Washington Redskins’ franchise to persona non-grata, as Jay Gruden and his coaching staff continue to show just how out of their depth they just happen to be. Griffin has gone from being the incumbent starter to the either number two or three on the team’s depth chart of backup quarterbacks. Kirk Cousins in the Redskins’ week one encounter has simply shown that he might not be that much better than his counterpart and teammate on the roster. In Washington’s 17-10 home loss to the Miami Dolphins , their display was as abysmal and uninspired a defeat as one might expect of team lacking in confidence , a soul complete lack of leadership and coaching acumen on or off the field of play.

Judging by the outcome of this game, beyond the anemic offense shown by the Redskins and the secondary being equally incompetent . I would dare say the NFC East based franchise will be in for a hell of a torrid time this season . Cousins’ own play was indecisive and was one of the many facets which made this loss all the more probable and likely unacceptable to not only the fans, but also team owner Daniel Snyder and certain members the front office.

Jay Gruden and the coaching staff will have a week to prepare for the St Louis Rams’ visit to FedEx Field on Sunday, 20th September , where I fully expect the visitors to take advantage of the home team on the day , with a win, pushing mark to 2-0 in starting their season.

Josh McCown out and Johnny Manziel is in and with that beckons perhaps, another go around for the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner out of Texas A&M . Cleveland Browns’ head coach Mike Pettine had no other alternative but to give Manziel the second start of his professional career in the NFL. Manziel and Cleveland would start out fast , but the game ended in a blowout loss to the New York Jets in a 31-10 rout of the Browns. I am not about to suggest there has been a remarkable improvement in the play of the Jets, but Cleveland’s defense from the second quarter on-wards, was nowhere to be seen during this game. Todd Bowles and the New York Jets came into this contest well-prepared and looking to make a statement , one that will be widely seen around the NFL. It would not be unfair to suggest the Cleveland Browns might just have the worst secondary and offensive unit in the entire NFL , with the league being only one game into the season.

Johnny Manziel has transitioned from being a very good college player to being a little less than average as a NFL player and quarterback. The blame I believe lies in Manziel’s own ego and the very fact the Browns’ coaching staff hasn’t best figured how to best utilize the passer on the field. The blame I believe lies in Manziel’s own ego and the very fact , the Browns’ coaching staff hasn’t best figured out how to utilize the passer on the field.

Cleveland Browns’ head Mike Pettine is now caught between a rock and a hard place, because I do not believe, having Manziel suit up for the Browns’ next game will be of any benefit to the player’s mental ability when he has shown his game, is still a long way off from where it needs to be if Cleveland are to be considered legitimate contenders within their own division , much less the AFC and the entire NFL. The Browns are now a team low on morale , lacking leadership and where the coaching staff does seem to be completely bereft of ideas .

It now all comes down to this and the last twenty-plus games of the MLB season, with several teams still in contention for a postseason berth. As an avid fan of the Atlanta Braves and witnessing their season-long collapse, has been nothing short of a major disappointment. Idiotic roster moves with the departure of several notable players, has led to a dysfunctional team and coaching staff led by a completely clueless Fredi Gonzalez . The Braves’ roster as it now stands has no one with the leadership ability of Chipper Jones , Tom Glavine , John Smoltz or even Greg Maddux. The playing ability of the players on the current roster is less than mediocre , for which a great deal of the blame must rest with GM John Hart and team President John Schuerholz.

The Braves have been falling apart at the seams for the past five years and their last postseason appearance was simply emblematic of the ongoing issues still facing this organization. Their concentration on the building of a new ballpark is only outlasted by their sheer idiocy in the belief that a new venue (stadium) will be the solution to their problems, when the on-field product has been less than desirable over the past five seasons.

Atlanta remains a small-market team with large-market ideas befitting the likes of the New York Yankees , but in reality, the Braves do not possess the drive or the ambition to really pull off or create the type of success needed to win multiple titles or be a perennial contender for the World Series. The years of success under Bobby Cox are now long-gone and simply looking back to the past without, learning any lessons from those events have gone a long way in placing the Atlanta Braves in their present situation. This season will be one of the worst on record for the franchise with their being a realistic possibility of the Braves being on track to lose 100 hundred games for the very first time in recent franchise history.

As of September 14th the Atlanta Braves were 56-88 , twenty-seven games behind NL East divisional leader the New York Mets (83-61) . As the losers of eight of their last ten games. Victories for this Braves’ managed team have been infrequent and in so many ways, it has been reflective of the game performances of the Atlanta Braves this season.

Coming off another emphatic loss to the New York Mets on the 13th September , 2015 , the Braves will resume their schedule with a home game against the high-flying Toronto Blue Jays when the two teams meet on Tuesday evening at Turner Field in Atlanta, Georgia ,. John Gibbons , I believe has done a phenomenal job in molding together a team in the true sense of the word , a team which has played with a great deal of tenacity and unison. Gibbons might now be the front-runner for the AL Manager of The Year Award , but there are several noteworthy candidates for the award. Yet , is my belief the owners, would rather see this team not only win the AL Pennant but also top off their season with a triumphant win of the 2015 World Series. Bringing about the first title for the Jays since their back-to-back triumphs in 1992 and 1993.

If the Atlanta Braves are having a lamentable season, then for the Philadelphia Phillies , this will prove to be a year they would rather forget as the entire front office have failed disastrously. Interim manager Peter Mackanin has struggled to get the best out of a team that has simply been a horrendous eyesore. Ryan Howard is being rewarded handsomely , but his statistics this season have been absolutely feeble . To justify his $20 million salary in this day and age when players are earning that sum and a great deal more now is almost inexplicable. Yet bear in mind , the $300 million payroll of the Los Angeles Dodgers and you have to wonder when baseball will seek to get its financial house in order.

The Phillies will be taking on the Washington Nationals at Citizens Bank Ballpark in the second of a three-game home series. Tuesday afternoon will pit Philadelphia starting pitcher David Buchanan against Stephen Strasburg of the Nationals in this NL contest. Philadelphia’s 8-7 loss to the Washington Nationals where former Phillies’ closer Jonathan Papelbon was the winning pitcher placed the home team in a now untenable position within the NL , with their now having the worst record in the league. There has been now consistency with regard to the play of the Phillies this season and the mere fact they’re now seeking to use players from their farm system at this point of the season further highlights the issues now to be found with this entire roster .

The ouster of Philadelphia Phillies’ GM Ruben Amaro is widely expected to take place, with the rumblings of team President Pat Gillick , Chairman David Montgomery , Bill Giles and several senior executives simply dissatisfied and angered with the team’s failure this season. Amaro’s expected departure could also be followed by several impending free agents as well as of a number the high-priced players this season who have been an abysmal failure . .

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The world of sports tends to focus far to much on the stars, because they are often seen as the supposed heroes on a team. Unfortunately, when those athletes tend to fail , blame is apportioned elsewhere, rather than actually seeking out the real stars on a team, the ones who are the leaders and the real heroes____ vocal leaders, ones who are judged by their deeds .

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There’s an app for that ….

There’s an app for that

It might well be apathy, but I suspect a great deal of stupidity on the path of fans when it comes to fans the world of sports and the very fact they seem to think there is no correlation between the world of sports and politics. Then again, here in the sports’ fan here in the United States are not the most enlightened or intelligent to be found on the planet. If the league can find itself with a great deal of lobbying power within Congress and idiots not believe sports and politics not be intertwined, then I would like to know how they might feel in knowing that the NFL is a sanctioned non-profit enterprise , not taxable and afforded the exclusivity of write-offs not afforded many of their own consumers and fans ?

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The NFL remains awry after Federal Court Judge Richard M Berman rescinded Tom Brady’s four-game suspension , but this episode is far from over as an embarrassed league hierarchy now finds itself in the midst of further stupidity as Roger Goodell seeks recourse in US Federal Court of Appeals . To my mind , the league’s position was weakened when NFL Chief Legal Counsel Jeff Pash refused to take the stand to explain the NFL’s position in seeking to suspend the New England Patriots’ quarterback and with the Wells’ Report far from being conclusive with regard to the evidence gathered , it suggests the league was simply over-confident with their think the presiding judge would find in their favor.

The NFL season will open its 2015 regular season schedule with the defending Superbowl champions the New England Patriots playing host to the Pittsburgh Steelers at Gillette Stadium , Foxboro’, Massachusetts , on Thursday 10th September , 2015. Sunday’s slew of week one games will pit several teams seeking to make amends for a poor 2014 season , with several new head coaches seeking to make a positive start to their roles within the league.

For Tom Brady as he resumes his career in the NFL , there is no denying that he will remain under the scrutiny of not only by the fans but also the sports’ world in general. It certainly will be interesting to see how not only Brady fares over the course of this season , but also his teammates as well as the franchise itself , as it remains at the center of attention.

Away from the NFL , baseball remains awash with teams still seeking to make something of their season. In some cases , several franchises have already fallen by the wayside out of divisional as well as the wildcard contention and the chance of making the postseason. The Los Angeles Dodgers while having a commanding lead over their NL West rivals , several of the Dodgers’ fans feel the team will have something of a cake-walk through the postseason. To my mind based on their performances of 2013 and last season , the Don Mattingly managed team is far from being in a commanding position to be viewed as the best team in the National League , much less the best ball-club in baseball. The Los Angeles Dodgers with an 8 ½ game lead can essentially look to closing out their schedule with Mattingly looking to assess his best lineup of players and gauging the opposition they are likely to face once the postseason gets underway.

Don Mattingly and his players will meet crosstown rivals the Los Angeles Angels when the two teams take to the field at Angels Ballpark in Anaheim California , in a late evening contest on Monday , 8th September . On the mound as the opposing starting pitchers will be Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers facing Andrew Heaney of the Angels. Coming off their 7-5 victory over the Angels on Sunday afternoon , it will be interesting to see if the Los Angeles Dodgers can make it a second consecutive victory for the NL based ball-club.

As the season steers itself towards the culmination of its schedule , the individual player awards should create great deal of interest among the fans and analysts in general. The AL and NL MVP Awards will be of focus , but I also believe the AL and NL Cy Young Awards will be of equal importance within both leagues. Zack Greinke would seem to be the consensus leading candidate within the NL , as he looks to succeed teammate Clayton Kershaw as the Dodgers’ most recent winner of the NL Cy Young Award. A player-double seems out of the question with Greinke possibly winning the NLMVP also , as it would appear to be Bryce Harper’s to lose , considering Harper’s extraordinary season. The Washington Nationals are out of the hunt for the NL East divisional title but the NL wildcard berth appears to be something within their grasp, if they can maintain some semblance of consistency over the remainder of their schedule.

Harper and the Nationals were on the wrong side of an 8-5 loss to the New York Mets and will be looking to make amends for the defeat when the two teams meet again in the nation’s capital on Tuesday afternoon.

If there has been one team to my mind , which has been an extreme disappointment this season, it would have to be clear decline of the Los Angeles Angels over their last fifteen games . I am not so sure Arte Moreno is willing to be patient any longer with the managerial staff of Mike Sciocsia as the team’s decline has been so startling and with no signs of any real determination from the players let alone Sciocsia as the manager. With only nine victories in their last fifteen games, it is easy to understand why the Angels’ missteps have been so symptomatic , explicable as to their pitching and offense being so mediocre . If the Angels are to make any inroads on the divisional lead of the Houston Astros within the AL West, while also seeking to surpass the Texas Rangers for one of the two wildcard berths within the AL. It might prove to be too tall a task to ask of an Angels’ team which has under-achieved not only his season, but also over the past five years.

Teammates Albert Pujols and Mike Trout have led the Angels’ offense this season , but inconsistency has been the thing which has plagued the team all season long. Failure at this point I can only believe will lead to Mike Scioscia’s dismissal at the end of the season. Team owner Arte Moreno has continued to spend in earnest over the past five seasons with little to show for it over the time-frame in question. Postseason appearances since 2009 and have been somewhat lean and the ALDS loss to the Kansas City Royals last season was simply symptomatic of what has been wrong with the Angels as a franchise and it is they lack heart. One can apportion blame on the players , but I also believe it comes down to the managerial style of Mike Scioscia and the very fact he remains complacent and far too soft with his players , not holding them accountable or asking more of them on the field of play.

Mike Trout might not be in a position to win back-to-back ALMVP Awards, but he remains the best player in the game , by a considerable margin over his peers. The Angels’ chances of an AL wildcard berth are hanging by a single thread , which to my mind has begun to break. With the New York Yankees, Texas Rangers and Minnesota Twins ahead of the Los Angeles Angels in those wildcard standings, it is difficult to see how the team can now leap-frog all three to jump ahead of the pack.

Pitching and defense win games and in baseball, that has to be one of the most numerable traits needed within the game. Yes, the heroics of Zack Greinke have been well-chronicled this season , but the AL has its fair share of heroes on the mound in 2015. Dallas Keuchel of the Houston Astros has been by far the most impressive pitcher in the AL this year and his stats have gone a long way in making the Astros the surprise team within the league this season and Cinderella Story of this 2015 campaign . Keuchel is likely to seen as the prohibitive favorite as the AL Cy Young Award winner for this season. Astros’ team manager A J Hinch and his managerial staff might well have done the best job of any AL team this season and that is inclusive of the Kansas City Royals’ staff led by Ned Yost. Both managers are likely to be among the top contenders for the AL Manager of the Year .

Tuesday evening, the Houston Astros will be on the road to face the still all too inconsistent Oakland A’s at the O Coliseum , in Oakland California with Scott Kazmir on the mound to face Sonny Gray of the A’s. This contest should tell us a great deal about the intent of both teams and the apparent directions they are likely to be heading in currently.

Clear-cut winner of the NL Manager of the Year ? Not so fast , given the naiveté and stupidity often shown by the voters on the awards for baseball’s top regular season individual honors . Mike Matheny of the St Louis Cardinals has and should be seen as the runaway winner of this accolade , but I somehow get the feeling as the manager of the team with the best record in baseball, his being the recipient of this prestigious award could very well be denied. The BBWAA (Baseball Writers’ Association of America) tends to march to the beat of its very own drum , with common sense and intelligence being the farthest things from their minds a great deal of the time. Yet , they are given so much credence for the work they are said to do , alongside with their perceived insight into the game of baseball. It continues to make me wonder , where were these so-called scribes of baseball during the steroid era and were they simply blinded with ignorance , apathy and the unwillingness to right about the truth of what was taking place !

Each year when these awards are bestowed on the best that the game has to offer there tends to be little questioning as to how the adjudicators come to their decision. If Mike Matheny is not this year’s recipient of the NL Manager of the Year, I believe that a great injustice will have been done ! The Cardinals have simply been impressive all season long and the contributions to the team have been all an all-round effort from all members of this roster. Matheny’s acumen along with that of his managerial staff , have simply been fantastic. Granted, there are those who are of the opinion , Don Mattingly has been just as successful as the Cardinals’ manager, achieving his success over the course of this season. It is easy . when you have the unlimited resources of a multi-billion corporation as the team’s exclusive owner and lavish payroll expense exceeding $300 million for this season, as has been the case with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The St Louis Cardinals were on the wrong side of a Tuesday night loss to their divisional rivals the Chicago Cubs , their lead within the NL Central remains a healthy one , inspite of the Cubs’ own aspirations for the season under their inspirational manager Joe Maddon. It would seem the efforts of GM Jed Hoyer and team President Theo Epstein are now finally beginning to pay off . These two teams will renew their season long rivalry , when they reacquaint themselves once again on Wednesday afternoon with a game to be played at Busch Stadium in St Louis , Missouri, with Carlos Martinez taking the mound for the home team against Jon Lester of the Cubs.

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With the preseason being the precursor of what will likely be a fairly controversial NFL season , what do you believe we are likely to witness from the regular season within the NFL ? Also, do you believe the league is justified in seeking recourse to within the US Court of Appeals to overturn the verdict reached in the US District Court , Southern District of New York ? Finally, what are your thoughts on the impending postseason within baseball, and which teams do you believe will rise to the occasion and represent the two leagues in the 2015 World Series ?


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What now brown cow or you piece of turd ?

What now brown cow or you piece of turd ?

I have repeatedly been told that Roger Goodell is a smart individual , but in all honesty , his tenure within the NFL since succeeding Paul Tagliabue as the NFL Commissioner has been a complete embarrassment. The Ted Wells’ Report encompassing the Deflate-Gate Affair was filled with potholes and it didn’t take a legal scholar to prove that Wells and the league were simply in the midst of a witch-hunt , with the absurdity of the claims without actually have in substantive evidence beyond the allegations and claims.

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Ted Wells for his part, must be embarrassed with the fact his investigation was looked upon with little credibility by US Federal District Court Judge Richard Berman . The judge for his part was disdainful with the lack of cooperation from both parties as Tom Brady sought to have his suspension overturned in US Federal District Court within the Southern District of New York State. With the news emanating that the league’s action was overturned within the legal system , it now leaves Brady to pursue his career as well as the New England Patriots having their starting quarterback ready as they kick off their regular season schedule with their week one game against AFC rivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Brady and the Patriots will be looking to get off to a winning start to the season as they seek to make a successful defense of their AFC East divisional title. From my own perspective, while New England will remain under the microscope for the entire season, the league itself will and specifically Roger Goodell will continue to be questioned as to his leadership and the direction the NFL is said to be heading in. Goodell, has repeatedly failed with his leadership, lack of communicative skills and the very fact the fans have lost faith in his ability to lead. The team owners will continue to support the beleaguered executive , but I do believe it is now time to jettison the league’s highest ranking executive and for the hierarchy to seek out a successor with the ability to lead while having the best interests of the game at heart. Roger Goodell remains a paradigm and his relationship with NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith continues to be an adversarial one on so many levels.

As if the preseason for the Washington Redskins hasn’t been a controversial one with their now being doubts about the future of the team’s 2012 first round draft pick , quarterback Robert Griffin III. Now comes the news that Jessica McCloughan , wife of the Redskins’ general manager Scott McCloughan has suggested that an ESPN reporter Dianna Russini offered sexual favors in order to get a news’ scoop on a story featuring the beleaguered quarterback and his fall from grace within the organization. The general manager’s wife has since apologized for her statement and the fact it went viral through social media (Twitter) , then to be picked up by various news’ organizations around the country. This all suggests for the Redskins this season, will be equally as controversial off the field as it has been on the field with Jay Gruden and his coaching staff yet to find any semblance of consistency much less any real effort from the players to succeed.

The preseason for Robert Griffin III has been one of missed opportunities for the player and injuries once again look as if they are likely to plague his season. Griffin has been less than confident during the preseason and it should come as no surprise Jay Gruden has gone with the decision to make Kirk Cousins his starting quarterback for the Redskins’ regular season opener against the Miami Dolphins at Fedex Field in Landover , Maryland on 13th September , 2015. The Washington Redskins will need to get out to a fast start to their season , because I believe there will be a great deal to fight for within an NFC East division which I believe to be the most puerile in the entire NFL based on last season’s performances from the teams within the division. Aberration or not , the Dallas Cowboys’ overall record was buoyed by the fact its divisional and conference rivals were just mediocre in 2014.

Jay Gruden out of deference to Cousins will hope the player can prove to be far more of a success than his draft class counterpart of 2012 , with both players having some semblance of success for the franchise since being drafted three years ago. Offense will be one of the issues plaguing the Redskins but I also believe their defense will have a role to play if this team is to have any type of real success this upcoming season. Final rosters are not yet set for teams as they enter the regular season, so with their being jobs on the line and roster spots due to be finalized to fifty-three players . It will be interesting to see what steps are likely to be taken by the coaching staff and front office of the Washington Redskins concerning the final list of players likely to make the team.

Gruden will get the opportunity to assess his roster as the Redskins join the league’s thirty-one other teams to close out the preseason with game four of the exhibition schedule of 2015. That contest will be against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Everbank Field on Thursday , 3rd September. The proposed starters will likely play several series in this game with those said to be on the cusp of making the final cut being given a final chance to prove their worth. For Robert Griffin, this will likely be the last chance for the player to resurrect his career with the franchise , as I believe he could very well be jettisoned by the franchise , in their last ditch attempt to save face.

Billionaire businessman Terry Pegula having purchased the Buffalo Bills will be seeking to bring back the former glory of this once proud franchise. Granted, the heyday of the Bills were long ago under the guise Marv Levy, with both Jim Kelly and Thurman Thomas reigning supreme for the AFC based Buffalo Bills. Unfortunately , the lean years for the franchise have been unending and now with Rex Ryan taking over the reins as head coach along with a revamped coaching and playing staff , leads me to believe to Bills are likely to be in for another bumpy year and ride . Ryan’s last two seasons with the New York Jets were simply awful and there is nothing to suggest, his taking over the Bills will lead to a quick turnaround for the AFC East based franchise.

Listing the issues Rex Ryan had with the Jets during 2013 and 2014 , are easy enough to sum up , his coaching abilities were simply nowhere to be seen and quarterback Geno Smith was simply an eyesore in terms of his of ability and continued ineptitude. A case could be made , the Bills’ head coach will face the same issues he left with the Jets , having now taken over the reins from his predecessor Doug Marrone.

Though I don’t place a great deal of emphasis on what the NFL preseason has to offer . As I believe it simply a way of the league hierarchy and the owners wanting to have their way with the fans, by having them pay for an inferior on-field product during the exhibition season ! Not that the regular season tends to be any better by any stretch of the imagination, but the league and some fans in general as well as the NFL analysts believe it something we ought to salivate over.

Three weeks into the preseason and the Buffalo Bills have posted a 2-1 record , a mark they share jointly with the New England Patriots and New York Jets , as the three teams share the AFC East divisional lead during the preseason. Rex Ryan will take Buffalo Bills on the road to face the Detroit Lions at Ford Field in Detroit , Michigan to close out their preseason schedule. It affords Rex Ryan the opportunity and final chance to assess his roster , as he seeks to cut the figure down to his final spot of fifty-three players for the regular season.

Week one of the regular season will pit the Buffalo Bills against the against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis , Indiana in a game which will likely give us some indication about how the Bills seek to gauge their season against one of the AFC’s best teams over the last three seasons and in particular since Andrew Luck entered the league in 2012. For Rex Ryan the preseason has provided the problematical issue of having to sort through a group of quarterbacks not really deemed to be among the best in the league let alone being average. Having to choose from among E J Manuel and Matt Simms is not something one believe to be envious for an NFL head coach would accede to. Tyrod Taylor and Matt Cassel are two of the four quarterbacks that Rex Ryan will have to make his ultimate choice from, as to who his starter will be for the regular season. As a passing offense the Bills have been one of the poorest teams in the NFL over the past three seasons and I seriously doubt that scenario is likely to change over the course of this season.

Odell Beckham in his rookie season with the New York Giants may well have had a breakout year, but when it was all said and done , neither he or the Giants can conclude 2014 was a tremendous season for the team. They failed to make the postseason and Eli Manning simply did not live to much less meet perceived expectations sought by fans and the front office . In spite of the idiocy one particular patron and something of an infrequent visitor to this site with his idiotic claims Eli Manning now has the best receiving corps in the NFL . I would like to know where and what this idiot might actually be thinking.

For Giants’ head coach Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning this might be the last season the two in tandem will be given the chance prove their self-worth. Manning will be hoping to have a successful year in order to fortify himself with a highly lucrative contract . If the rumors are believed to be true , Eli Manning will be seeking to become one the highest paid quarterbacks in the NFL by way of annual salary as well as by his presumed contract , likely to be a six-figure , five or six-year deal . Eli Manning is now thirty-four years old and a twelve-year veteran of the NFL and I am not so sure he has it within him to guide Giants to a third Superbowl title during his tenure with the franchise.

Far too many people still remain in awe of the Eli’s two singular moments with the Giants’ triumph over the New England Patriots in Superbowl’s XLVI and XLII , but they tend to overlook his failures of late during the regular season. More so, they have overlooked his lack of leadership ability and willingness to admit to those failures. Signs to my mind, indicating conceit and a willingness to apportion blame elsewhere ! . Something often associated with players who are narcissists . A trait I believe Eli Manning also shares with fellow NFC quarterback Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys in several instances.

With no real challengers to his position as the Giants’ quarterback heading into the regular season , it is clear that Tom Coughlin will have to ride with Eli Manning until he sinks or swims . Many believe it will likely be the latter , but there remains this prevailing belief Peyton Manning’s younger brother is now in the waning years of a very good career , viewed in many areas of his being possibly a borderline candidate for the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio,. With the Giants closing out their preseason with a contest against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough . Massachusetts,. The team’s regular season opener will certainly provide the fans with something to look forward to and likewise for their opponents the Dallas Cowboys who they will face at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas in week one of the 2015 regular season schedule .

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In light of Judge Richard Berman’s findings, favoring Tom Brady in the US District Court, do you believe an appeal in US Federal Appeals’ Court will overturn the decision or should the NFL simply accept their failure , having not prepared their case with any real veracity and the very fact Roger Goodell and Jeff Pash as the NFL’s Chief Legal Counsel were simply negligent in their zeal to win ? Finally, with the preseason having come to an end , did you find any of the contests to be meaningful on any level ?

Tophatal ………..

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