Clearly, they know not what they do …

Clearly, they know not what they do ….

Well as the MLB postseason come into the nation’s focus after a thrilling game one in the World Series with the Kansas City Royals beating the New York Mets in a thrilling fourteen innings’ thriller . Game two on Wednesday night might not live up to the fireworks seen in game one. Again the two teams will be back it at Kauffmann Field in Kansas City , Missouri with the Royals looking to take a 2-0 lead in the best of seven-game series. If the New York Mets were to lose the game, then their task of looking to win the franchise’s first title in almost three decades would become even more difficult. This is a Royals’ team , once given an advantage, they are not likely to relinquish it without a fight, something I do not believe the Mets have within them , and the game one result was merely proof of that fact.

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On the mound in game two for the Kansas City Royals will be Johnny Cueto facing Jacob deGrom of the New York Mets.

Away from the field of play, former Philadelphia Phillies’ player Lenny Dykstra continues to be as much an embarrassment to himself as his post career has been , with a litany of financial , legal and personal issues. Dykstra now claims he hired private investigators to dig up dirt on Major League umpires in order to blackmail them. From my own point of view, the former big league player should not necessarily be been , but most certainly he does not need to be heard. Away from the camera is definitely better, than seeing him on camera.

Don Mattingly is now seen as the leading candidate to become the new manager of the Miami Marlins and once again we have a franchise in need of not only an identity , but also one in need of a leader and players capable of winning. The Marlins have not made the postseason since 2003 when they last won the World Series for the second of the franchise’s two triumphs in baseball’s postseason finale. Beyond players with the stature of Jose Fernandez and Giancarlo Stanton there has been little of note to be excited about concerning this NL East based franchise. Marlins’ Ballpark in Miami , Florida , remains cavernous entity, barely filled to capacity (34,500) for the team’s home games played at the venue.

One seriously doubts in 2016 , things will be any different for the ball-club, as they seek to make their presence felt within baseball. One also seriously doubts Don Mattingly will be able to show the managerial acumen needed to guide the team where they want to be. I understand the fact Mattingly was admired for all the recent success he attained with the Los Angeles Dodgers , but in essence , he was given the keys to a Ferrari , but in the end, he stalled at the most crucial of moments , never managing to get the team to the “ Big Dance” . By comparison the Marlins , have few players of any real talent beyond Giancarlo Stanton and Jose Fernandez , so it is hard to imagine how much of an impact as a manager he is likely to make with this team.

Marlins’ GM Michael Hill and team owner Jeffrey Loria have repeatedly flubbed their lines and the maneuvers made concerning the player personnel in recent years has left , little to be admired at all. Decisions will have to be made concerning several of the Marlins’ impending free agents as well as seeking ways of paring down the team’s salary for the upcoming season. While I do not believe the Miami Marlins will be major players in the free agency market during the off-season , I do expect them to make one or two acquisitions . Whether or not, Don Mattingly becomes the new manager of the Miami Marlins will solely be made upon the desire of both parties to work out a deal based on their needs .

Last night saw the opening tip-off for the official regular season start of the NBA and the defending champions the Golden State Warriors began the defense of that title. With a target on their back , this is now the team to beat in the league . Dating back to the NBA playoffs and then the latter part of the regular season , Steph Curry and his teammates have been the “ class of the league” on the road or at home . Almost unbeatable wherever they have played and it was nowhere more evident than in the NBA Playoffs themselves. Golden State’s victory over the New Orleans Pelicans was easy, with Curry getting a game-high forty points , leading all scorers in the contest.

Next up for the Golden State Warriors will a contest against Western Conference rivals the Houston Rockets in a game to be played at the Toyota Center in Houston Texas on the 30th October , 2015. I believe the Warriors will remain a force to be reckoned with over the course of this season especially within their conference and division.

Another year and yet again , the news’ print will encapsulate what is likely to make the Los Angeles Lakers tick ? With the declining skill-set of Kobe Bryant , I do not see any real long-term for the franchise. LeBron James won’t be leaving Cleveland unless Cleveland Cavaliers’ owner Dan Gilbert fails to massage the player’s easily bruised ego once again. Lakers’ fans hope that it will be either James or Kevin Durant looking to assume the mantel of the next big thing in Los Angeles . At this moment in time, the Lakers might just be the worst NBA franchise in the state of California . Who would have thought the Los Angeles Clippers and Sacramento Kings might have more going for them competitively than the Los Angles Lakers ?

Byron Scott and the coaching staff have to also deal with the nonsensical ideas of the Buss siblings , while also having to deal with Mitch Kupchak . Scott may well have been a second-tier member of the Showtime Lakers and having some success with the Brooklyn Nets , but his tenure with the Los Angeles Lakers has been unmitigated disaster on every level. Byron Scott’s coaching staff remains clueless and the franchise’s development of players from within , has proven to fruitless and the draft history in recent years, have yet to bear fruit. This past season and the NBA Draft therein, had the Lakers taking D’Angelo Russell , Larry Nance Jr and Anthony Brown . This season will tell us a great deal about these players and whether or they can give to the team .

The Los Angeles Lakers will begin their schedule with a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves , where the visiting Timberwolves are still mourning the loss of Flip Saunders who died earlier this week from the debilitating illness , Hodgkins’ Lymphoma . As the NBA mourns and is saddened by the death of Saunders , life must go on and so too will the game, as the league’s fraternity remembers one of their very own. These two teams will have a great deal to play for over the course of this season , though I do not expect both to be clear-cut favorites to make the NBA Playoffs.

In recent years , sixty-win seasons have not been the norm for the Atlanta Hawks , but yet, the playoffs have remained their Achilles’ Heel . For all the team camaraderie seen , this has been a franchise short on success , while being very talented. However, the NBA remains a league which tends to remember its franchises based on the success achieved and that means the winning of titles and not singular achievements.

Hawks’ coach Mike Budenholzer will be expected to take this franchise back the NBA Playoff this season, where it is hoped they can make a much greater impact than seen last year . With something of a rebuilt roster , draft picks . free agent acquisitions , Budenholzer and the front office will expect the Hawks to compete all season-long , with the certainty of a playoff berth as part of the plan, with the goal being an NBA championship. Having stumbled out of the gate losing to the Detroit Pistons , the Atlanta Hawks will now prepare for the New York Knicks in a game to be played at Madison Square Garden , New York City, New York on Thursday night.

We are almost at the midway point of the NFL season and the fallout will continue , along with the likelihood there will be at least one more coach-firing before the season ends. As to who might be the leading candidate, is now a matter of not when this is now going to happen , but how soon this will all take place. . The week eight opener will provide the fans with the opportunity to see Miami Dolphins (3-3) taking on the New England Patriots (6-0) in an AFC East divisional clash . For opposing quarterbacks , Tom Brady of the Patriots and Ryan Tannehill of the Dolphins this contest should prove to be in an interesting contrast in styles .Brady will likely lead the Patriots to their seventh consecutive win of the season and also improve on his record against Miami. However, with Deflate-Gate still fresh in the minds of many . even after the debacle of the league hierarchy’s case against the quarterback, I cannot help but wonder, when and if this will all end !

Roger Goodell remains adamant , justice must be seen to be done ,but as commissioner , he has failed to answer questions about why Chief Legal Counsel & SVP Jeff Pash failed to give any testimony whatsoever to bolster the NFL’s case against Tom Brady. Something does stink in Denmark , otherwise known as the NFL headquarters and if the fans who are still in uproar would actually care to use some common sense , rather than being bellicose and absolute @assholes , then they would see the league is just as complicit in this mess, as are the Patriots.

The best game on the weekend schedule during week eight might well be the contest between two unbeaten teams . Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers (6-0) will take their show on the road to face the Denver Broncos (6-0 at Sports Authority Field /Mile High Stadium , in Denver , Colorado, where Peyton Manning awaits his NFC guests. Questions have continued to swirl concerning Manning’s apparent decline, but on any given day when not even seventy-percent fit , the four-time League MVP is still a great deal better than many of his counterparts within the NFL . This game should prove worthy of the audience’s viewing and I believe the winner will be in line for a divisional title as well as a playoff berth for the postseason .

For both Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers their accomplishments can be debated, but a second Superbowl victory for either would certainly pave their way to the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

Two weeks ago, F1 (Formula One) race car driver Lewis Hamilton won his third consecutive Grand Prix race of the season , winning the US Grand Prix . With the victory Hamilton also secured the world title and with it, the third of his career and a part of racing history among his peers and predecessors.

Lewis Hamilton has become the most high-profiled and most popular driver in Formula One racing and granted Kimi Raikkonen has won the title four times during his career , both still trail far behind seven-time champion Michael Schumacher still considered the greatest driver in history. Schumacher’s record speaks for itself and one of the reasons why he still revered within the sport and worldwide as a sports’ icon.

In the aftermath of his US Grand Prix victory we witnessed the ugly side of Formula One Grand Prix , with the rather disgusting and petulant tirade from the British driver , Lewis Hamilton. If there is one thing this sport does not need in terms of its image being dented and it is its most popular driver acting like a thug , with his use of profanity directed towards a fellow driver. As to the message Hamilton was trying to send , while also wanting to be viewed as a role model youngsters. I am not so sure he has an explanation , much less his act of contrition being believable.

Formula One racing has yet have a firm footing on the North American continent and specifically within the United States , where it lags behind NASCAR and the IRL (Indy Racing League) in popularity , attendance levels and television ratings. All three sports are seeing marked declines in the three areas in question and in spite of the format changes within NASCAR , with the impending retirements of Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart within the sport. NASCAR now finds itself at a point where it is now looking for the younger drivers within its fold to make an impact and bring in a new star with likability. Dale Earnhardt Jr remains popular, but his having not won a NASCAR title at the highest level , speaks as to the volume of his lack of success , while still being so popular.

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As a sport’s fans do you believe athletes have to set an example concerning their conduct in the eyes of the public ? Or do you believe human frailties can be overlooked when at a moment’s notice their anger and emotion is shown ?

Tophatal ……… 10/28/2015 11:50 pm

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Busta Rhymes & Method Man (Tical) ” What’s Happening ”

News , views and chews ….

As Major League Baseball awaits the victor of the ALCS series which now stands at 3-2 , with the Kansas City Royals leading the Toronto Blue Jays in the series. We await the outcome of game six which will be played at the Kauffmann Field , in Kansas City . Missouri, on Friday evening.

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Taking the mound for the home team will be former AL Cy Young winner David Price who will face Yordano Ventura of the Royals in what will be a pivotal game for both teams. A win for Kansas puts them in this year’s World Series , while a win for the Blue Jays forces an exciting game-seven decider between the two AL teams. Awaiting the winners of the AL Pennant will the their NL counterparts the New York Mets , whose convincing series’ win over the Chicago Cubs was as good as the Mets have been in a recent postseason foray. Both their pitching and offense was of the highest level expected from a well-managed Terry Collins’ team.

Away from the on-field foray has been the big news to hit the world of baseball with Don Mattingly and the Los Angeles Dodgers mutually agreeing to part ways. Unfortunately, the public explanations being given in the interviews granted to the press remain unconvincing from both parties , with neither the front office executives or Mattingly , himself , being truly convincing with their summation as to the reasons behind their abrupt dismemberment. One thing is for certain , Andrew Friedman as the Head of Baseball Operations has been given full control to make the decisions necessary to bring about a real turnaround for this franchise. The complacency seen which has been seen from the Dodgers over the past four seasons during the MLB postseason , is unlikely to be tolerated by Friedman or the team’s general manager Farhan Zaidi.

Having spent over $1 billion on salary since their acquisition of the franchise the owners have seen the team simply implode at almost every hurdle during recent postseason play . This season in particular the Los Angeles Dodgers were never good enough to convince anyone they could be seen as the presumptive favorites for the World Series. A $315 million payroll , the highest in the game , and all we witnessed from the Dodgers throughout much of the season were the thrills and spills of a highly overrated team. Granted, Zach Greinke had an exceptional season for the team and will likely be crowned the 2015 NL Cy Young Award winner for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Typically, one would laud the feat as being a great achievement, but in retrospect , singular awards while credible , for this franchise the only success sought, was that of a World Series’ triumph , something last achieved by the Dodgers in 1988.

There can be no denying the NFL season so far has proven to be nothing more than the usual storm in a teacup. Granted, there are several teams we knew would be either be bad or just mediocre , while there will always will be one or two surprises which have left us bewildered. Who knew at this point of the season the Cincinnati Bengals (6-0) would be one of the best teams in the AFC as well as the league in general ? Coming off a week six victory over the Buffalo Bills. The Bengals have a bye-week during week seven , whereby they can rest and recuperate before resuming their schedule in week eight , with a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on 1st November,2015.

Two games on this weekend’s schedule , will likely have the fans’ attention, will be conference contests featuring the New York Jets facing the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro’ Massachusetts. Tom Brady is having an excellent season and it would appear the idiocy of the Deflate-Gate scandal now seems to be in the rear view mirror of the four-time Superbowl winning quarterback. No doubt Brady will be looking to extend his regular season record against the Jets , while the team seeks to increase their lead over the Jets within the AFC East. The other game of note, pits the Dallas Cowboys against the New York Giants , in a must-win contest for both teams. Given the mediocrity of the NFC East . there remains the possibility that the winner of the division could be no better than 8-8 or 9-7 at the end of this season.

Eight weeks into the College Football season and as expected , the talk begins as to which teams are deserving to be called the best in the nation. The Ohio State Buckeyes remain unbeaten and atop of the heap in the College Football rankings . Saturday afternoon , the Buckeyes will be on the road as they visit Piscataway , New Jersey to fact Rutgers University. Somehow , I believe this game will end in a rout , with Ohio extending their unbeaten run to twenty games dating back to last season. This Buckeyes’ team is playing at an exceptional level , barely being challenged by their opponents this season.

Texas Christian (TCU) , Baylor, Utah and LSU (Tigers) are among the unbeaten teams all vying for a playoff berth. Les Miles head coach of the Tigers will be hoping to see his team prove their worth in their scheduled contest on Saturday afternoon when they face Western Kentucky. Leonard Fournette , Louisiana’s all blistering running back will be looking to excel in this game while also showing himself to be a viable candidate for this year’s Heisman Trophy.

With four games left to the College Football schedule , there remains a great deal to play for as the season seeks slowly winds down .

The NBA regular season will begin on Tuesday 27th October , but for the moment the preseason is still winding down. Defending NBA champions the Golden State Warriors will be looking to make a successful defense of their title while also seeking to become the first back-to-back titlists since the Miami Heat were able to were able to achieve the feat in 2012 and then again in 2013 . The team was unable to make it a triple , succumbing to the San Antonio Spurs in 2014 . This season the Heat will seek to make their presence felt within the Eastern Conference where the Cleveland Cavaliers will be seen as the prohibitive favorites for the conference title.

Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh are the elder statesmen on the Heat’s playing staffand they are being entrusted to lead a roster with a mix of youth and experience. Erik Spoesltra and his coaching assistants will certainly have their work cut out for them over the course of Miami’s schedule. The team will begin their regular season schedule with a home game against the Charlotte Hornets on 28th October, 2015 . However, I believe the true test for the Miami Heat will come in their conference meetings with the Chicago Bulls , Cleveland Cavaliers and Atlanta Hawks , three of the better teams within the Eastern Conference , based on last season’s standings. The Heat will also be counting on their young rookie Justise Winslow to make a major contribution to the team this season , as he comes under the wings of his mentor Dwyane Wade.

For the Eastern Conference champions of last season , the Cleveland Cavaliers after being soundly beaten by the Golden State Warriors in last season’s NBA Finals , this season will be their chance at seeking redemption. The Cavaliers’ front office led by team owner Dan Gilbert and GM David Griffin have acquiesced to all of LeBron James’ whims facilitating him with a roster , he believes can win the franchise a title. Big money contracts have been offered to players such as Tristan Thompson , with the hope Thompson can prove to be productive for the team.

LeBron James and his Cavaliers’ teammates will begin their regular season schedule against divisional rivals the Chicago Bulls in their game to be played at the United Center in Chicago , Illinois,. While I believe the Cleveland Cavaliers remain the best team in their conference, and likely to repeat as conference champions this season, my belief remains the this team will struggle to beat any of the top-three teams within the Western Conference.

Kevin Garnett has returned to the franchise where he first made his professional league debut. The fact that Garnett now in the twilight of his career is once again with the Minnesota Timberwolves seems not only fair , but brings back memories of a time when he was among the best all-round players in the league, able to play every position possible , without there being a problem for this once agile player. Now he brings to this team , age , experience and a basketball mind second to none , with perhaps only Tim Duncan and Kobe Bryant with an adept knowledge of the game and what is needed to succeed. Having won a title with the Boston Celtics as well as multiple appearances as NBA All Star and a League MVP in 2003 . It could be said Garnett’s career has come full circle, without him having much else to prove , other than being a mentor to a young team in need of real leadership.

Flip Saunders , head coach GM , Head of Basketball Operations as well as a minority stakeholder in the Timberwolves, will seek Kevin Garnett’s assistance in providing the on-court stability needed to make Minnesota competitive this season. Karl-Anthony Towns the franchise’s first round draft pick , alongside Andrew Wiggins and Ricky Rubio are seen as the primary contributors for the team as they embark upon their schedule. The true test for the Minnesota Timberwolves will come when they take on the best the Western Conference has to offer , beginning with their regular season opener against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Speculation will continue to surround the events which led to former NBA star Lamar Odom being found lying unconscious in the room of a Nevada brothel. Unfortunately, this simply adds another episode in the life of a player who never lived up to the expectations sought as a parent or as a teammate , in spite of the sympathetic words now being used as a cacophony to make up for another athlete’s shortcomings as a habitual drug user.

Odom through his publicists and his estranged wife Khloe Kardashian have thanked the press and public alike for their well-wishes , but this latest episode cannot hide the fact the NBA actually continues to enable and facilitate the use of banned substances within the game. The league’s so-called policy on banned substances remains weak and the fact the NBPA has sought to weaken the original structure of the policy simply goes to show how much of a ferret David Stern just happened to be, before handing over the reigns as commissioner to his chosen heir-apparent Adam Silver. The NBA Commissioner has yet to issue a public statement concerning Lamar Odom’s issues, purely on the basis the player is no longer active within the league. However. it should be noted , Odom never officially announced his retirement from the NBA and was still hoping to pursue a career , by returning to the league, signing with a team seeking an experienced veteran.

The NBA Commissioner has yet to issue a public statement concerning Lamar Odom’s issues, purely on the basis the player is no longer active within the league. However. it should be noted , Odom never officially announced his retirement from the NBA and was still hoping to pursue a career , by returning to the league, signing with a team seeking an experienced veteran. It seems doubtful a franchise would be willing to risk all. after this latest debacle concerning Lamar Odom.

Speaking of athletes with some off-field issues , with his recent plea agreement with the State’s Attorney’s Office former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon “Bones” Jones has been reinstated by the UFC , allowing the fighter to makes his return to the octagon. Jones was stripped of the title , after it was revealed he fled the scene of traffic accident while under the influence. It was later revealed the fighter had high level traces of cocaine within his system. Now while he has attended drug intervention program and the fact UFC President Dana White issued an indefinite suspension of the former champion. What cannot be denied, has been the fact, White has been very lax in whom he chooses to punish with impunity when he feels it is necessary.

Jon Jones in his last bout before being stripped of the title tested positive for a banned substance and it was widely reported that several top executives were prive’ to the fact Jones’ test had come back positive on the eve of his title defense against Daniel Cormier. Dana White for his part brushed aside those claims aside , stating it was pure fabrication on the part of detractors of the UFC. However, the Nevada State Athletics Commission which governs the sport within the state has records to prove the UFC hierarchy were well aware of the positive tests. Cormier the current Light Heavyweight Champion would like to make a defense against Jon Jones , knowing such a match-up would lead to a big money payday for himself as well has his challenger. There are very few fighters with the appeal and athleticism of Jones within the UFC at present and the biggest draw currently is the Women’s Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey who seems be totally unbeatable within her weight class.

Rousey will be looking to parlay her ongoing fame and notoriety in her next bout when she meets Holly Holm at UFC 193 scheduled to take place at the Etihad Stadium in Melbourne , Australia on the 15th November, 2015.

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In light of the latest occurrences in the world of sports what do you feel will be the main talking points in the coming days or over the next week ?

Tophatal …

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A Moratorium on Stupidity or What Actually Makes The NFL Tick?

A Moratorium on Stupidity or What Actually Makes The NFL Tick?

Six weeks into the NFL season and the results have come thick and fast. Nonetheless, things have began to pan out within the divisions , conferences and the league standings overall. At the top of the food chain surprisingly enough are the Cincinnati Bengals coached by Marvin Lewis and where quarterback Andy Dalton looks as if he has found his presence as a leader of this team. Whether or not the Bengals can make a successful run at claiming the AFC North crown remains to be seen , but they keep apace with the six consecutive victories , with a win in week eight and the team having a bye in week seven. Then I am of the opinion Cincinnati will be in a position to claim their first divisional title in several years.

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The Cincinnati Bengals got the better of the Buffalo Bills in their week six contest defeating their AFC compatriots 34-21 , in a game where the Bills were never really in with a chance of winning. Marvin Lewis for his part has to be extremely pleased by what he has seen from the Bengals’ players at this stage of the season. Elsewhere within the AFC North the Pittsburgh Steelers got by the Arizona Cardinals , winning that contest 25-13. The Baltimore Ravens continued their woeful season with a 25-20 loss to the San Francisco 49ers and the Cleveland Browns were on the wrong end of an overtime defeat suffered at the hands of the Denver Broncos .

Chances are the Carolina Panthers (5-0) are looking more likely to be the divisional winners of the NFC South with no clear challenge coming from any of their divisional rivals . Cam Newton has led the Panthers to a 5-0 start to their season with their most recent victory coming in a thrilling 27-23 win over the Seattle Seahawks (2-4). Newton for his part has been proving why the ongoing signs of maturity has Ron Rivera believing in his quarterback and why he believes him to be among the elite players at the position currently in the NFL . If the Carolina Panthers are to gain any semblance of success sought , then it will be predicated on the heightened postseason play of Cam Newton and his teammates .

Week seven is on the horizon and Carolina will certainly look to their bye-week as a way of preparing for their week eight contest against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium , in Indiana , Indianapolis on the 2nd November, 2015.

A great deal of hyperbole was being made of the game between the New England Patriots (5-0) and Indianapolis Colts this past Sunday. A renewal of their AFC championship clash which led to the aftermath of the Deflate-Gate Scandal, was seen as another premise to raise the alleged animus between these two franchises. The media have played their part in this ongoing circus , but most certainly the league hierarchy played their role in this melodrama with the sheer incompetency shown by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and several of his subordinates throughout this whole charade of one-upmanship .

For New England Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady the contest provided the player with another chances to show his superiority over the Colts and in particular his counterpart Andrew Luck who remains win-less against New England during the regular and postseason since his entry into the NFL in 2012. Brady and his teammates piled on the pressure in a contest which came down to an erroneous play sealing the victory for the AFC East based franchise. Questions are still being asked as of the Colts’ coaching staff led by Chuck Pagano which led to his team’s debacle in this game .

The Indianapolis Colts (3-3) now find themselves atop of a puerile AFC South division where the play has simply been horrific by all of the division’s occupants. Pagano certainly knows after this loss, Indianapolis will certainly have to reset themselves before entering into their week seven contest against Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints (2-4) at home. The Saints are in need of a win if their season is to show any signs of a turnaround after a rather disastrous start to their schedule. A defeat suffered against the Indianapolis would certainly begin to bring the curtain down New Orleans’ season and likely to have some questioning the virtue of Sean Payton keeping his position as the head coach of the team , given their indifferent start to the season and and lack of cohesion from the players. Next up , one the Saints’ schedule will be a game against the always intriguing Indianapolis Colts. Defense is likely to play a significant part in this contest , with both teams having struggled to this point of the season.

Philip Rivers , quarterback of the San Diego Chargers (2-4) put on an aerial display in the Chargers’ game against the Green Bay Packers (6-0) , only to see it become of no avail in the team’s loss to the Packers. Rivers had a career-day throwing for over 500 yards in the game , along the way throwing two touchdowns , no interceptions , completing forty-three of sixty-five pass attempts , completion percentage of 66.15 and a QBR of 99.7 in the contest. By comparison one could surmise Aaron Rodgers simply had a routine day at the office , leading Green Bay to their well-deserved 27-20 victory over the San Diego Chargers.

Of the unbeaten teams in the league the Green Bay Packers might well be considered the best team in NFL , given their schedule so far , when measured against those of teams yet to taste a loss this season. Rodgers is well on the way to cementing his legacy and also erasing the memory of Brett Favre among Packers’ fans. The Green Bay Packers appear to be sprinting towards another NFC North divisional title and a high seed within the NFC , with the postseason activity still over two months away. A bye-week during week seven will provide Mike McCarthy’s players time recuperate from any injuries sustained as they prepare for their week eight contest against the Denver Broncos (6-0) and Peyton Manning at Mile High Stadium/Sports Authority Field in Denver , Colorado. This might be the game of the day during week eight , if both teams remain unbeaten at the time kick-off on the 1st November , 2015.

Don’t look now , but the New York Jets (4-1) might be back to their best , but like any other New York based professional sports’ franchise with ideas above their station, the Jets remain a work in progress under Todd Bowles who succeeded Rex Ryan as the teams’ head coach. Defensive backs , Darrelle Revis, and teammate Marcus Williams seem to be having their way against opposing quarterbacks with a litany of takeaways and interceptions this season. Certain Jets’ players are now talking about the first of their regular season match-ups against the New England Patriots. When these two teams meet on October 25th at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro’ Massachusetts, this game might just prove to be the one where the Jets will either sink or swim.

As good as the Jets’ defense might appear to be , I believe their quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick will have a difficult time trying to pick apart a Patriots’ defense , while his record against New England is not a favorable one at this juncture of his career. Recent contests over the past three seasons between the two teams would suggest the New England Patriots will come away with another home victory over their divisional rivals.

Somewhere, the Football Gods might well be looking down on the NFC East and simply thinking among themselves , what the hell must be going on within the division ? A Monday Night Game featuring the New York Giants (3-3) and Philadelphia Eagles (3-3) should be considered , league cannon fodder and diatribe . given their respective records. The Eagles having demolished a mediocre Giants team on their way to a lopsided victory can bask in the limelight of just being average .

In the lead-up to the start of the NFL season and we had Roger Goodell seeking to address the issue of player misconduct , domestic violence and seeking the input of the National Organization of Women (NOW) as to how best to address the issue of abuse by players against their spouse or girlfriend. One should also bear in mind the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ sexist imagery and undoubted archaic male view as to what appeals to a female in selling the NFL brand to women , can be seen as how out of touch the league and its hierarchy remains , while Roger Goodell suggests they (NFL) are making well-observed strides in dealing with the issue. I would like to suggest the commissioner take a look at his actions and decisions, as it relates to Greg Hardy and Ray Rice , considering the lenient sentences handed down to both of these players.

Furthermore , if at every step the NFLPA (Players’ Union) seeks to challenge the authority of the NFL when there is a clear pattern of misconduct by its members concerning domestic abuse. I would like to know why DeMaurice Smith as the Executive Director of the NFLPA has failed to address the issue in public, rather than seeking to challenge the league and the punishment of the players , by suggesting the commissioner is overstepping his authority ? Never mind the fact , when you have imbecilic and apathetic fans making excuses for the players and suggesting the NFL should leave the issue to the Justice System. It begs the question do these assholes actually understand the law, much less comprehend there is a code of conduct within the league concerning the players’ on and off the field behavior ?

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In spite of the NFL being a multi-billion dollar business enterprise , it continues to be poorly ran , with a hierarchy completely devoid of intelligence, a fan-base made up of a large majority of male Neanderthals , whose concept of the game continues to border on stupidity. Nonetheless, without the demographics in question, the NFL as we know it, might not continue to thrive, but baser instincts would suggest otherwise. Stupid is, as stupid does and in the NFL , where else can you find this much stupidity on display both and off the field of play ?



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A Diamond In the Rough

A Diamond In the Rough ..

The MLB postseason is now upon us and baseball’s most famous and successful franchise bowed out with an unceremonious loss in the wildcard round of the postseason. Needless to say , the front office of the New York Yankees led by senior managing partner Hal Steinbrenner and GM Brian Cashman , will seek to rectify what I believe to be a ship , sinking faster than the Titanic. This Yankees’ roster was not built for the postseason and this constant idiocy as to the season of alleged acclaim by Alex Rodriguez should be lauded is simply a damning indictment of the game in general, as well as the very fact , Rodriguez’s act of contrition was simply not believable or actually one of solemnity.

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Yankees’ manager Joe Girardi will now have to look to next season and the players likely to be promoted from within their farm system for their solid contributions and consistency over a one hundred and sixty-two game schedule. The New York Yankees failed miserably in seeking to win the AL East and barely survived obtaining a wildcard berth within the AL.

Alex Rodriguez for his part may well have had one his best seasons in recent years after his suspension from the game in 2014, but in all essence the three-time ALMVP has been a poor excuse as a player and leader with the Yankees and his failure to be seen as the heir-apparent to Derek Jeter , shows that the monies invested in the slugger has been poorly served.

The New York Yankees’ dismissal at the hands of the Houston Astros in the wildcard round resulted in a 3-0 home defeat at Yankees Stadium in New York City , New York on the 6th October,2015. AJ Hinch and his Astros’ managerial staff having advanced through to the ALDS , where they are currently locked in a competitive series with the Kansas City Royals , which might just be the best series being played at this stage of the baseball postseason. Houston are seeking to be the AL’s 2015 version of their AL opponents , who last season played some exhilarating baseball before falling in the World Series to the San Francisco Giants. With the series now tied 2-2 , the all pivotal game five will now be about which team desires the win the most , knowing full well the winner has the advantage , with the series now being theirs for the taking. On the mound on Wednesday evening ,will be Collin McHugh of Astros to face Johnny Cueto of the Royals at Kauffman Field in Kansas City Missouri ,.

Runaway winners of the NL West and it would appear the Los Angeles Dodgers should view this postseason , as one would believe destiny is meant to be on their side. Don Mattingly has seen both Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke have exemplary seasons for the Dodgers with both likely to be among the leading candidates for the NL MVP . There have been solid contributions all round from the entire playing staff over the course of the season. Mattingly knows this is likely to be his last chance to guide the Dodgers to a World Series’ title given their woes in recent postseason appearances. Repeatedly caught like deer in headlights the ball-clubs woes have been well-chronicled. Having spent in excess of $800 million on salary commitments between 2013 and 2015 , with a recent change in front office hierarchy. It has become abundantly clear , lead managing partners Mark Walter , Todd Boehly and Magic Johnson are no longer prepared to tolerate the lackadaisical approach of the managerial and playing staff.

The Los Angeles Dodgers have wasted numerous chances in their NLDS contests against the New York Mets to have taken a 3-0 lead, but instead after Monday’s night’s astonishing 13-7 loss to the Mets, I am not so sure the Dodgers can still be seen as the presumptive favorites in the series as thing have been currently unfolding. These two teams will resume their series on Tuesday evening with Clayton Kershaw on the mound to face left-hander Steven Matz in a crucial game four to be played at Citi-Field in Flushing , New York.

Finally, it looks as if the Chicago Cubs have finally assembled a roster capable of making a deep postseason run. Granted, for the past four seasons Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer as the senior-most front office executives in charge of the Cubs’ Baseball Operations have squandered their chance to make the ball-club a viable competitive franchise until this season. Joe Maddon was brought in to add some managerial acumen to the playing staff. Locked in a highly entertaining NLDS contest against the St Louis Cardinals , Maddon and his players have now got the Cardinals on the ropes, looking to land that “knockout punch” in this series. Chicago has squared the series at taken a 2-2 with game five the schedule for (Tuesday) tonight , when the two teams meet at Wrigley Field , in Chicago , Illinois with John Lackey of the Cardinals facing Jason Hammell for the home team


Game three of this series , fans witnessed the Chicago Cubs play some great all-round baseball , playing to their strengths while showing some of the weaknesses within the St Louis roster . Mike Matheny and the Cardinals will be looking to even the series , rather than falling deeper into a bigger series’ deficit , on the verge of bounced from the postseason.

Josh Hamilton is back with the Texas Rangers while teammate Prince Fielder is having one of the best seasons of his career. Together the two have played their part in the Rangers winning the AL West and with it a postseason berth . All square in their ALDS contests against the Toronto Blue Jays , Texas will be looking to win another ALCS Pennant , while for the Blue Jays, this has been their first appearance in the postseason in over two decades. Toronto by far the best team in the AL all season long in terms of their offensive productivity , easily won the AL East , subduing their divisional opponents and along the way their being singular season performances from their big hitters on the team’s roster. Jose Bautista , Josh Donaldson, Troy Tulowitzki and Russell Martin have been the main reasons behind the Blue Jays’ productive offense, while David Price, Mark Buehrle , R A Dickey and Roberto Osuna have played their roles effectively with their pitching.

John Gibbons
as the manager of the Toronto Blue Jays might well be a consensus favorite for the AL Manager of The Yea , but with other candidates such as Ned Yost and A J Hinch , this all could make for a very interesting race for the award. From my own perspective all three are noteworthy candidates for the award !

Over the past four years the problems of the New York Mets have been well-chronicled both and off the field. Doubts have been raised as to the mettle of the team , while Terry Collins and his managerial staff have at times made some rather unfathomable moves concerning the playing staff. Sandy Alderson and J P Ricciardi have held sway over this all, while in the background Fred Wilpon , Jeff Wilpon and Saul Katz have watched closely over the problems and progression of the franchise. It should be noted in the darkest times of Mets’ problems , there was a possibility the ball-club might not have survived , with it being on the verge of bankruptcy . Persistence was the key along with the favorable views and help of financiers on Wall Street, the New York Mets survived their financial woes with the owners of the ball-club coming out unscathed with their reputations somewhat intact.

Tuesday night’s meeting between the Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers will tell us a great deal about the New York based franchise and whether or not this postseason will be the one where they will rise to the top of the baseball world. The pitching staff has excelled to the point where the arms of Jeurys Familia , Jacob deGrom, Bartolo Colon, Matt Harvey , Noah Syndergaard and Hansel Robles have carried the staff to their current position . Yet , while the pitchers have received a great deal of praise throughout the season, the Mets’ offense have also won over the fans and analysts with their timely hitting and productivity. It is clear baseball needs for there to be a presence of either of the two New York based franchises playing a part in the postseason. Without either the New York Mets or New York Yankees , the interest in the Fall Showcase becomes almost irrelevant. The television ratings will take the expected fall-off unless there is a Cinderella type aspect to the postseason , there rarely is a reason to be a willing participant in watching the postseason unfold.

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Legends and legacies are made during the MLB postseason and this year it is hard to say which player is likely step up and make their presence felt with either the bat or the ball . It will incumbent on the stars or some might say the leaders on their respective teams, step up to the plate and really lead by example , rather than remaining in the shadows. Which player or team do you believe will accept the challenge this postseason and simply rise to the occasion ?


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My balls, my rules in the NBA ….

My ball, my rules in the NBA

The NBA preseason is now upon us and the reigning league champions the Golden State Warriors will begin their quest to make a successful defense of their title with their preseason schedule as Steph Curry and his teammates seek to make it all once again be a reality. For Steve Kerr , his coaching staff as well as the front office led by co-owners , Joe Lacob and Peter Guber , as they have seen a spectacular rise in the value of the franchise, but also a marked increase in the revenues and attendance levels for the team. With the imminent move to a more fan-friendly and more attractive venue for the NBA’s current champions. The signs are, the Warriors’ ascent to the top of the basketball world has been well thought out and the intent of the franchise to have a lasting and long-term impact on the league.

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Steve Kerr and Steph Curry were recipients in the running for two of the top individual regular season awards of last season , with Kerr coming in second for the NBA Coach of The Year Award , while the point guard won the league’s Most Valuable Player Award after a scintillating season. Curry along with Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala will be relishing to get back unto the court and begin the defense of their title. The NBA Draft itself, saw the Warriors simply bolster their roster, with some young talent and these players are likely to get their chance at some point during the season to shine.

Without a doubt, the Golden State Warriors will have to be seen as the presumptive favorites within the Western Conference to make a quick return to the NBA Playoffs alongside perennial playoff bound and five-time champions the San Antonio Spurs. During the off-season, San Antonio without a doubt were the biggest winners in the free agency market , having acquired Texas native LaMarcus Aldridge alongside veteran power forward David West. Departures from last season’s roster were expected and the losses were certainly outweighed by acquisitions made by the franchise , whose general manager R C Buford has stood stall, showing his executive acumen and one of the many reasons why he has to be considered one of the very best general managers in NBA history.

San Antonio will also see the return of veteran players Tim Duncan , Manu Ginobli and Tony Parker for another year together , with the trio having won over five-hundred regular season games together as a combination as well as four of the franchise’s five championships all under the coaching tutelage of Gregg Popovich . All three players as well the head coach are future bound and likely inductees into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame joining another Spurs’ luminaries already enshrined in basketball’s most hallowed institution, George Gervin and David Robinson , the two most notable Spurs’ inductees were the starting point for the history of one of the NBA’s most respected franchises. However, it has been the astonishing success under coach Gregg Popovich which has been the template seen , which has led San Antonio to its present time.

The NBA during its preseason schedule will be playing second fiddle to the MLB postseason which begins on Tuesday , while the NFL season though in its infancy has begun to take on a life of its own. Away from the basketball court , there have been some less than palatable story-lines which have come into focus. Former League MVP and Chicago Bulls’ point guard Derrick Rose finds himself at the center of allegations of sexual assault and battery claim from a female victim. A charge which the player categorically denies and he has been very adamant with his repeated denials of the alleged victim’s claims.

As to how this is viewed by the Bulls’ front office led by GM Gar Forman and Head of Basketball Operations John Paxson . Well, the executives have simply issued what can only be deemed a standard response, with the view , until there has been a legal investigation and legal outcome, the organization will continue to show support for the player.

For Derrick Rose , his failure to make an impact for the Chicago Bulls over the course of last season must come into question given the franchise’s long-term financial commitment to the player , who has missed over 100 games over the past two and a half seasons. This past season, Jimmy Butler stepped up to the plate for the Bulls and though they made the NBA Postseason their foray was somewhat short-lived . Rose for his part was simply a peripheral character in the team’s attempts to make a deep playoff run . The firing of Tom Thibodeau , with his being replaced by Fred Hoiberg as the new head coach of the Chicago Bulls , opens a new chapter for the franchise. It will be interesting to see what Hoiberg and his newly assembled coaching staff brings to the table as the Bulls begin their preseason schedule and then on into the regular season.

Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls will begin their regular season, when they open up with their first game against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in a contest at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois on 27th October, 2015. If the Bulls are to have a chance of prevailing within the Central Division of the Eastern Conference much less against the rest of the league , then it will be predicated upon of the play of Rose and the team over the entire schedule in 2015.

This season there will be a great deal of pressure on LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. The four-time League MVP had a roster built around a team which had his own personal blessings and specific wishes. The fact that idiot fans , bought into the belief James would be capable of leading the Cavaliers to their first NBA championship solely based on his play was utterly ridiculous. As good as LeBron James over the course of his career in the NBA , certain things were being overlooked by the James’ supporters. A rookie head coach with little NBA or postseason and a team, where the players , other than Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love would be barely thought of as being competitive in comparison to the other lineups around the league.

Cavaliers’ owner Dan Gilbert along with GM David Griffin have a great deal riding on keeping in the good graces of LeBron James and the player’s yearning to bring a title to the franchise. Two appearances in the NBA Finals have ended up in significantly embarrassing series’ defeats each time for James, as a member of the franchise.

What is becoming abundantly clear is the very fact LeBron James remains an impatient individual who seeks not only to be acknowledged by his peers, but also by the NBA analysts and fans as the greatest player of his generation and the greatest player in NBA history. A tall order indeed, when one considers he has fallen short of the accomplishments of his idol , Michael Jordan. While I do not believe it pertinent to make comparisons between players of the past against players of the present. It is clear, James wishes to be seen as the heir apparent to the six-time NBA champion , Finals’ MVP and League MVP . Such comparisons are best made upon the retirement of both subject as it is best then start a meaningful debate over the accomplishments of the subjects in question.

This season might well be the last opportunity for both Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to reestablish their legacies with the Miami Heat. The departure of former teammate LeBron James left the franchise in complete disarray. Inasmuch as there was criticism being leveled at James by Heat Executive Alonzo Mourning , what became abundantly clear was the fact the front office became lackadaisical and negligent in failing to bolster an aging roster , believing it best , James as a one-man band could simply lead Miami to another title. With LeBron James’ departure the Miami Heat became a listless team , with neither Bosh or Wade contributing much to the Heat’s mediocre showing and season in 2014 .

During the off-season, Pat Riley and the Heat’s coaching staff led by Erik Spoelstra bolstered the roster through the NBA Draft and free agency . Miami’s rookies will be expected to make solid contributions to the team over the course of the Heat’s eighty-two game schedule. Justise Winslow and Josh Richardson , the two rookies taken in this past draft will get their opportunities this season and I believe Erik Spoelstra expects to see some great play from these two young players. Miami will open up their regular season schedule when they face the Charlotte Hornets on the 28th October ,2015 at the AA Arena in Miami , Florida.

With the recent news that James L Dolan , owner of the New York Knicks has seen fit to relinquish control of the Cablevision , the public company where the Dolan family still has a sizable presence. The questions now being asked are , will the family quite possibly seek to sell their controlling stake in the Madison Square Garden Company which presides over the family’s sports’ interests ? Can the team actually be competitive this upcoming season ? Is it possible for the New York Knicks to be even worst off, than they were last season ? As woeful as the New York Knicks have been this past season under the guidance of Phil Jackson and Derek Fisher as the team sank to new levels of of sheer incompetence while supporters of Jackson are still trying to suggest the former NBA coach has a Master Plan for the resurrection of the Knicks’ fortunes.

To understand the incompetency of the New York Knicks , one simply has to look for an explanation as to the Phil Jackson first round draft pick of Kristaps Porzingis and how Jackson has tried to placate the fans with his thoughts on the matter. There can be no denying the choice had and still has a number of people perplexed and wondering what the hell is going on within the Knicks’ hierarchy and whether or not there is any semblance to be found there at all ?

Porzingis was taken as the fourth overall pick in the first round and is seen as a solid front court player , but in reality , the player is likely to remain a work in progress and not likely to be a major contributor to this team, which is need offensive talent as well as a solid defensive presence. Triangle Offense or not the basketball IQ on this team is way below average and almost a certain obstacle in the way of a franchise where the coaching staff has to be deemed equally incompetent as the players and the front office executives within the organization. The only saving grace for the New York Knicks has been the fact the franchise remains among the profitable of all the teams in the NBA and that remains about it. From my own standpoint, I do not believe the team in its current guise will pose that much of a threat to their divisional opponents or conference rivals this upcoming season.

Speaking of another vastly overrated NBA franchise, has anyone ever wondered where elephants usually go to die ? If there was said to be an elephants’ graveyard in the league, then it would have to be the Barclays Center , home to the Brooklyn Nets . From one year to the next this franchise over the past six seasons has been a monumental eyesore . For all the wealth of Russian billionaire tycoon Mikhail Prokhorov as the Nets’ owner . This organization would not be able to spot talent if the coaching staff of the franchise were given the aid of a flashlight , night vision glasses, if they were left in a darkened room and asked to figure it out all by themselves.

GM Billy King has outlived his usefulness and the only sound decision he has made was the jettisoning of Deron Williams , a player whose talents remain vastly overrated as a point guard . He certainly doesn’t excel under pressure and by no means can he be considered a leader much less the equal of several of his peers within the game today.

With Deron Williams having joined the Dallas Mavericks, it remains to be seen how much of an improvement his addition will be to the team and how competitive they’re likely to be over the course of this season. Dirk Nowitzki remains the best player on the current roster by far. If the Mavericks are to succeed as they seek to win a second NBA title , then it will be predicated Nowitzki’s indomitable play and leadership ability , because none the traits in question , are to be seen even vaguely in any of his teammates.

Two teams with something to prove this season, will be the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder. James Harden and Kevin Durant are now viewed as being among the elite players in the NBA and there can be no denying that fact. Both of these superstars are likely to be viewed as early preseason candidates for the League MVP this season. The disappointment of the NBA Playoffs was there for all to see as the Rockets failed to get by the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals last season. Harden and teammate Dwight Howard were simply not enough to get by the best team in the NBA during the playoffs. I certainly believe games between the Rockets and Thunder as seen last season and will prove to be extremely competitive.

Oklahoma City Thunder under their coach Billy Donovan will seek to make this season their big opportunity to advance to an NBA Finals for the second time under the ownership group of Clay Bennett and his partners. GM Sam Presti knows it is in the franchise’s best interests to keep the services of Kevin Durant, knowing the player is likely to weigh up his options as an impending free agent in 2016, the Thunder must know their best chance to have Durant within their organization is to have a successful season ,with the ultimate goal being to win a world championship. Kevin Durant and his teammates will begin that quest this season opening up their schedule with a home game against the San Antonio Spurs on 28th October ,2015.

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The NBA hierarchy enters this season looking to avail themselves of the best publicity possible , but I cannot help wonder what the biggest controversy is likely to be once the season gets into full swing .


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