Exit stage right or is it , stage left ?

Exit stage right or is it , stage left ?

Well , the curtain has finally come down on the career of the NFL’s , five-time League MVP and two-time Superbowl champion Peyton Manning . With the undoubted acclaim which will now come , it does appear the recent controversy surrounding Manning’s career will bear some light upon how he is viewed in certain circles. To my mind the Denver Broncos’ quarterback is among the best quarterbacks of his generation and I would certainly rank him among the top-five players at the position in NFL history.

Peyton Manning will have his detractors, but what cannot be denied, has been the tenacity shown by the player and his willingness to take a team on his back and lead them with a great deal of authority. He is one of the few quarterbacks over the course of their careers to have averaged at last ten wins per season throughout their tenure. Manning could teach his younger sibling Eli Manning a thing or two about what it is like to be a leader , while also seeking to limit the excuses when his performances have been poor.

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Courtesy of ESPN (Transcript of Manning’s retirement speech)

Transcript of Peyton Manning’s retirement speech

ESPN.com Staff

Here is the transcript from Peyton Manning’s retirement speech Monday:

“In my very first NFL game, I completed my first pass to Hall of Fame running back Marshall Faulk. I threw a touchdown in that same game to Marvin Harrison, who would be inducted into the Hall of Fame this August.

“The quarterback for our opponent, the Miami Dolphins, was — after my dad, my favorite player — Hall of Famer Dan Marino, who on the first third down of the game completed a 25-yard skinny post. And it was the damndest throw I’d ever seen.

“Later, I completed a pass to tight end Marcus Pollard down the middle and somebody hit me really hard and after I got up, I told myself, ‘I know I can play in this league.’

“Later in that struggling season, we played in and lost to Baltimore. It was the first time that the Colts had returned to Baltimore since they had moved back in 1984. We didn’t exactly get a warm reception that day. The fans were screaming at me and I kept thinking, ‘Hey, I was only 8 years old then, get off of my back.’

“I had met him once before, but when the game was over I had the chance to shake Johnny Unitas’ hand. He told me, ‘Peyton, you stay at it. I’m pulling for you.’

“Well, I have stayed at it. I’ve stayed at it for 18 years and I hope that old No. 19 is up there with his flat top and maybe his black high tops on and I hope he knows that I have stayed at it, and maybe he’s even a little proud of me.

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Click on link to read article in full.
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In many respects it was clear to see , this was bound to be Peyton Manning’s last year in the NFL after nineteen seasons torturous play and the type of physical exertion on his body , which left him mentally and dare I say it physically in a state of disrepair. What I believe was a telling sign during this last season , was Manning admitting the fact he played through one or two games injured and that his throwing arm , showed signs of weakness and some nerve damage. Wear and tear and most notably the accuracy of his passes were very telling and to the detriment of the team. Either way, had Peyton made the decision to return for a nineteenth season , I do believe Broncos’ Head of Football Operations and a former quarterback for the franchise , John Elway would have made the decision not to re-sign Manning, solely for the reason of cap space availability and avoiding having to pay the player the almost $20 million he would have been due in 2016. The era of Brock Osweiler now beckons and it will be interesting to see what the future now holds for the Broncos , as well as for Osweiler, who now steps into some rather gigantic shoes , having to succeed Peyton Manning.

The baseball season has started and already the game finds itself in the midst of further controversy. New York Yankees’ pitcher Aroldis Chapman has been given a thirty-game suspension by the league hierarchy for conduct unbecoming the game , after his being charged with domestic violence . The player’s act of contrition has been somewhat lukewarm and one has to bear in mind while seek to portray it all as a random act , it is believed this was not be the first time Chapman has been abusive towards his spouse, although there are no records counteract the allegations. Baseball much like the NFL has been slow to react to the issue of domestic abuse and the social ramifications seen from the behavior from the athletes with both sports. It certainly has not helped with either union , from the MLBPA and the NFLPA remain so silent on this issue , which itself is extremely disturbing. Rob Manfred , the current MLB Commissioner , his predecessor Bud Selig and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell appear to be no clearer to addressing the issue , much less having sought to make the public aware of their respective leagues’ stances on what has become a social virus.

Another controversy engulfing the sport of baseball was the lifetime banishment of New York Mets’ pitcher Jennry Mejia , for a third positive test of a banned substance (performance enhancing drug / PED), in violation of the league’s substance abuse policy. For the current NL Pennant winners this was just another blow for the franchise , many of whom believe the Mets might be the team to beat this upcoming season within Major League Baseball. Pitching might well have been the strength of the New York Mets’ team last season , but I do believe they will be hard-pressed to eclipse the form shown during the early rounds of the postseason before the World Series failings against the Kansas City Royals .

Mets’ manager Terry Collins has yet to give a public statement concerning Mejia’s lifetime ban and what might be even more nonsensical concerning the player’s banishment is the little known fact , Jennry Mejia can be reinstated by the league hierarchy after two years at the league’s discretion. Mejia can return to the game, but Pete Rose remains a pariah within the game of baseball ? This is the sort of stupidity Major League Baseball has become known for , along with the buffoons at the upper echelons of the game, who clearly show no common sense whatsoever.

The New York Mets are involved in two split-squad games involving the St Louis Cardinals and Detroit Tigers as opponents on Monday afternoon. Reigning World Series’ champions the Kansas City Royals will be taking on the Chicago Cubs and Oakland A’s in another set of split-squad games being played.

Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer have been in charge of the Chicago Cubs’ front office , dealing with all of the franchise’s player-personnel dealings, while the Ricketts’ family as the owners of the Cubs have sought to bring back some shine to the club’s laughable legacy over the past eighty-five years . It is bad enough Tom Ricketts has now seen fit to embroil himself in the current political climate with a Super-PAC (Political Action Committee) now in place , which is said to favor ‘ Conservative Causes ‘ and policies , while also seeking to oppose the support of Republican Presidential candidate and the party’s front-runner for the nomination , Donald Trump . It is at times like this , which has me wondering where the two areas collide , but then I look at how baseball and specifically the MLB hierarchy plays both sides of the political aisle , as they seek to maintain their status and hold unto their antitrust exemption granted to them by the Congress. Massaging the egos of the five hundred and thirty-five members within the legislature , does have its merits.

From my own standpoint, I don’t believe the Cubs will be competitive enough to be a force within the NL Central . Joe Maddon and his managerial staff , along with the team will need to be completely focused if they are to compete with their divisional counterparts this upcoming season. The Cubs’ season will begin with a game against the Los Angeles Angels on Friday , 4th April , in what will be viewed as the road game for the Chicago Cubs.

So at what point , do the naysayers start to it up and take note , the Golden State Warriors are for real and their exploits this season are not just a flash in the pan ? Over their last fifteen games, led by Steph Curry and his teammates , have been “torching” their opponents with ease , while , posting the best record in their division , as well as the Western Conference and the league , overall . The question now remains , can this Steve Kerr coached team which has set franchise records and league records , as they seek to surpass the achievements of the Chicago Bulls and the record breaking season on their way to the NBA championship in 1995 and eliminate the Bulls’ mark from the record books ? The Bulls went 72-10 during that year , with Michael Jordan leading the way for the team . A recent loss by the Golden State Warriors suffered at the hands of the Los Angeles Lakers has done nothing to deter the Warriors , as they seek to make press along with their historic run this season. The victory has been one of the few bright spots for the Lakers this season and I firmly believe , Byron Scott will not be returning to the franchise next season to coach this Los Angeles’ team . With Kobe Bryant’s retirement coming at the end of this season , the prayers being asked by the franchise’s fans is their wish the Lakers pursue Kevin Durant who will be one of the many free agents , but among the marquee list of players who might be looking for a new home which beckons in the 2016 NBA season.

A prohibitive favorite to win the League MVP for a second successive season , Steph Curry has been rewriting the records books and stamping his mark on what might turn out to a historic season for the player and this Warriors’ team. The consensus appears to be , not that Golden State will break single season mark of the Chicago Bulls , but which team in the league has the best chance of defeating the team during the NBA Playoffs. Gregg Popovich and the San Antonio Spurs might well have the second-best record in the league , but the Spurs have proved to be no match for their conference rivals during their meetings this season . I am inclined to believe that will also be the case should the two teams meet during the Conference Finals this postseason ! Golden State will back on court , Monday night , when they face the Orlando Magic in what will likely turn out to be a thoroughly entertaining game.

The UFC staged another of their marquee events with two title holders being the main draw for their fight card of UFC 196 , which was staged at the MGM Grand Arena , Las Vegas , Nevada , this past Saturday, 5th March, 2016. Heading up the card were title Conor McGregor facing Nate Diaz , as McGregor faced Diaz in a catch-weight contest without his Lightweight Title not on the line. The other main attraction was Holly Holm making the first defense of the UFC Women’s Bantamweight title against Miesha Tate , A title which Holm won A in convincing fashion , defeating former champion Ronda Rousey . What should have been a lopsided contest turned out to be a shocking defeat for Holm , as she surrendered her belt in an unbelievable manner.

Two major upsets all on the same night , with McGregor being forced to submit by Nate Diaz and Holm’s inexplicable loss , has left many wondering, is the depth of talent in the UFC really that good or is it merely the hype and the skilled marketing by UFC President Dana White , which has us believing , the bouts staged, are as good as advertised ?

For Holly Holm, it’s back to the drawing board and for Miesha Tate, she can look forward to a lucrative payday , with a contest being lined up against former nemesis Ronda Rousey. Conor McGregor for his part, might well have been magnanimous in his loss , but I cannot help but wonder , during the pre-fight publicity junket , all of the well-staged publicity was all being done in the name of hype for a champion , McGregor, took his opponent way too lightly and who was very much complacent during the bout against Nate Diaz !

The English Premier League (EPL) is now heading into the final stretch of what has turned out to be a surprising season . Sitting at the top of the divisional standings are the surprising minnows of the division , Leicester City . Bought by the current owners for less than $500 million dollars just under four years ago . Should , Leicester win the title , it would be the biggest upset in English soccer history, since the Premiership came into being. The likes of Chelsea , Arsenal , Manchester United and Manchester City with their big-money stars and an abundance of success , have been cast into the shadows by an exceptional all-round team managed by their unheralded coach Claudio Ranieri , are now on the cusp of achieving something truly historic for the club.

In their most recent game , Leicester City were the victors over Watford , winning the game 1-0 . Granted , the Premiership contests are not known for high-scoring games , but what was on evidenced in this contest , was the stealth and resilience shown by Ranieri’s players . Next up for Leicester City will be a game against Newcastle on March, 14th, 2016. A victory in this game , while not making the conclusion of the season a formality, it would certainly go a long way in laying the foundations of what has been a memorable season for The Toffees , as they are more commonly known by their fans. What comes out of this season could very well set the template moving forward for a number of teams in upcoming seasons. Clearly , n the case of Leicester City as well as the Kansas City Royals , Golden State Warriors and Denver Broncos, their success was attained by the use of due diligence , an eye for detail and placing an emphasis of having the players and management in place to achieve their goals sought.

Do you believe the decision made by Peyton Manning to retire from the NFL was the right choice   ? Of the sporting events  that  took place over this past weekend , which would you consider to be the most relevant of all ?

 

 

 

 

 

Tophatal ……………. 2016/03/07

By  clicking  on  an  individual   image  seen below  , you   can view  a  picture  in a reformatted size  along  with an  accompanying  narrative.

NFL news

MLB news

MLB results 6th March and schedule

MLB standings (Spring Training)

NBA news

NBA results 6th March

NBA schedule 7th March

NBA standings (divisional)

NBA standings (conference)

NBA Playoff Picture (projections)

UFC news

Results from UFC 196
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EPL Premiership soccer , Premiership news

This past weekend’s results , form guide

Premiership league table
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65 thoughts on “Exit stage right or is it , stage left ?

  1. The Ricketts’ family should be more concerned with the plight of the Chicago Cubs , rather than what Donald Trump may or may not do should he become President .

    Tom Ricketts , owner of the Chicago Cubs.

    I’d like to know what the fu#k were certain members of the family (Ricketts) doing when George Bush was President and repeatedly fuc#king the country over , in just about every direction possible ? Now these dumb @ssholes want to berate Trump because he doesn't represent the ideals they believe is befitting of a Right-Wing Conservative.

    We all know , Donald Trump to be an ego-driven supercilious as$hole of the highest order and things are not about to change for the better once he takes office , should he win. Trump has never stated he wants to see big money being taken out of the arena of party politics or during the state or Presidential elections. So for all of his supporters out there , what are the principles that he stands for and what is it , that makes him such a sound candidate ? His knowledge and acumen when it comes to domestic policy , foreign policy and the economy , can be best described as mediocre !

    This season in the NL Central the Chicago Cubs had better start out fast and continue to maintain that consistency , because as good a manager as Joe Maddon happens to be , even he his not capable pulling this team

    together after Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer sought to rid themselves of several players from last season’s roster to apparently go with a younger and less experienced lineup for 2016.

    Tophatal …………….

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  2. So Arian Foster was cut by the Houston Texans as the franchise seeks to get its offense and defense back on track . This upcoming season for the Texans will be an extremely tough one, as they wish to forge ahead and get the better of their divisional rivals within the AFC South.

    Arian Foster .

    Arian Foster now becomes one of the premiere free agents now on the market and perhaps the best player available at the running back position among free agents.

    Houston Texans news

    Tophatal …………

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  3. With Derek Fisher being cast aside as the New York Knicks’ head coach and Kurt Rambis having succeeded Fisher at the behest of the front office led by Phil Jackson , GM Steve Mills and owner James L Dolan giving the move his full blessing , It remains to be seen what the Knicks are now capable of doing with their being so little to play for , for New York at this stage of the season .

    Knicks’ interim head coach Kurt Rambis is seen here with Carmelo Anthony (7) , court-side during a game.

    Kurt Rambis has yet to prove he has the coaching acumen to turn things around for the New York Knicks and it is becoming abundantly clear , Phil Jackson has become disenchanted with the lack of success seen this season from the team .

    Given the lack of resilience shown by the New York Knicks and the fact the team has not panned out by way of their performances . I am not so sure Phil Jackson, given his ego , will tolerate one more year of mediocrity , whereby the coaching staff , players and organization have shown a complete lack of commitment and ability to do anything of note. As Head of Basketball Operations , I do not believe Jackson will fulfill the obligations of his contract with the Knicks and could very well resign than honor the three remaining years of his five-year $60 million deal with the New York Knicks.

    NBA news and New York Knicks news

    NBA results 7th March

    NBA standings (divisional) and conference standings

    NBA stats’ leaders

    NBA rookies’ stats

    Tophatal …………

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  4. The big news in the world of sports appears to the story concerning five-time Grand Slam tournament tennis champion Maria Sharapova and the fact the player tested for a banned substance which she states was unknown to her. What is very misleading about Sharapova’s statement is the fact the Russian tennis star received an official letter not from not only her national federation (Russian Tennis Federation) , ITF (International Tennis Federation) , but also from the WTA (Women’s Tennis Association) advising her of the soon to be banned substance (Meldonium) . She had been previously advised Meldonium would be placed on the banned substance list and that WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) in conjunction with the IOC (International Olympic Committee) sought to have the drug banned as it is deemed a performance enhancing drug. Sharapova states she ignored the correspondence sent to her and that the mistake was solely her’s and none else’s .

    Maria Sharapova speaking to the convened press on Monday afternoon in Los Angeles , California , announcing she had been informed of testing positive for a banned performance enhancing drug at the Australian Open.

    Maria Sharapova is by far the highest-profiled female athlete caught in a drug related scandal . From my own standpoint. I believe Sharapova and her entourage tried to use a great deal of subterfuge in hiding her actions and it should come as no great surprise , the player has no real support from her peers . Maria Sharapova tested for this substance at the 2016 Australian Open , the first of the four Grand Slam events of the calendar year , which is held in January , Melbourne, Australia,.

    Martina Hingis , along with Sharapova are known to be the only female athletes in women’s tennis to have been positively tested for a banned substance. As a top-earning athlete , Maria Sharapova is highest earning female athlete in the world , earning in excess of $25 million a year . Her earnings by comparison to the top male athletes is certainly minuscule , but nonetheless , she could be looking at possibly an eighteen month to four-year ban by the ITF. Nike and Tag-Heuer are major sponsors of Maria Sharpova , have already announced they will be dropping the Russian star from their stable of athletes immediately, voiding all deals they have with the the tennis player.

    Tophatal ………..

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  5. The MLB schedule for Tuesday 8th March , 2016 will see a full slate of games on the field . Nothing overly impressive has yet taken place and we cannot put much store in the performances seen at this stage of the Spring Training schedule . A number of teams will have something to prove this upcoming season , most notably the Houston Astros , whose manager , A J Hinch has just signed a new deal with the organization . Hinch and the team will be looking to build upon last season’s success where Houston made the postseason , getting by the New York Yankees in the wildcard round before falling to the Kansas City Royals in the ALDS of 2015.

    A J Hinch and the team will have a home game at Minute Maid Park , in Houston, Texas , where they will take on the Washington Nationals . Wednesday , the Astros will be back on the field to take on the Atlanta Braves .

    MLB news

    MLB schedule 8th March

    Tophatal ………….

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  6. The chase is on as teams will be looking to take down Leicester City in the coming weeks as the season winds down in the Premiership . Claudio Ranieri’s players have the advantage, but will be looking to solidify their position within the league .

    Leicester City’s next game will pit them against Newcastle on Monday ,14th March . And another victory will inch them closer towards their goal of winning their first Premiership title .

    Premierleague and news from around the EPL

    Premierleague standings

    Premierleague recent form guide

    Tophatal …………..

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  7. The rumors are still ongoing, but if the latest speculative reports are to be believed , then after eleven seasons the Detroit Lions’ wide receiver Calvin Johnson will most certainly call it a day in the NFL. Johnson will have joined Peyton Manning and Logan Mankins , in announcing their retirement from the league , all within the past forty-eight hours. It seems unfortunate that the receiver has never had the benefit of having appeared in the Superbowl , though having made postseason appearances for the franchise. He was never surrounded with the talent to complement his skill-set and Matt Stafford never provided the play-making ability for Johnson to ever truly show Calvin Johnson’s worth during the postseason .

    Pro Bowl appearances asides , Calvin Johnson is one of the best wide receivers of his generation and I would certainly place him A among my own personal top-ten players at the position in NFL history .

    Calvin Johnson might just be the second-best player in Detroit Lions’ history with only Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders ahead of him on the list .

    Calvin Johnson (left) and Barry Sanders .

    Whatever decision is now made by the Detroit Lions as to their impending draft concerns in the NFL Draft they will most certainly have to look at the list of wide receivers at the collegiate level who have declared themselves eligible , beyond the list of free agents now on the market . Detroit’s draft history being what it is , has been something of a ” hit or miss” down the years . Yet , it will be interesting to see the decisions made during this upcoming draft and their needs at various positions on the team’s roster . The Lions’ front office led by GM Bob Quinn and the coaching staff of Jim Caldwell will have some major decisions to make during this off-season in the lead-up to the NFL Draft. Moves which are likely to have a long-lasting effect on the franchise’ s future and how competitive they are likely to be in the coming years.

    NFL news

    Detroit Lions’ news

    Tophatal ……………

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  8. A touch of reality has begun to set in as the NBA season is beginning to wind down . Tuesday night’s results have set in motion things which are now beyond control for a number of teams as they each seek to make one final push for a divisional title and conference playoff berth for the NBA Playoffs .

    While there is no denying all season long the Golden State Warriors have been impressive , with the Warriors and San Antonio Spurs being the only two teams in the league with an unbeaten home record and I do believe, there are only two serious candidates this season for the NBA Coach of The Year ! My two choices would be , Steve Kerr for the Golden State , with their impressive record all-round and the other contender , Brad Stevens of the Boston Celtics who possess the third-best record in the Eastern Conference and who might be one of the most dangerous teams in the conference in the lead-up to the NBA Playoffs based on their recent record over their last fifteen games .

    NBA news

    NBA results 8th March

    NBA standings (division) and conference standings

    NBA Playoff picture

    Boston Celtics news

    Tophatal ………….

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  9. The Miami Heat have been very impressive since the loss of power forward Chris Bosh , while the presence of Joe Johnson seems to have added not only veteran experience on the roster , but also added impact to the team’s offense . With Bosh likely to miss the rest of the regular season and quite possibly for the entire postseason dependent upon the resilience shown by the Heat. It will be interesting to see how the team fares over the remaining nineteen games on their schedule.

    Erik Spoelstra and the coaching staff will have to muster the best out of his players moving forward , if Miami is to have any chance of making a deep run during the NBA Playoffs. The Heat are currently at the top of the Atlantic Division and as the fourth seed within the Eastern Conference . A first round match-up for Miami would pit them against their divisional rivals the Atlanta Hawks , over whom they lead their regular season meetings by the margin of 3-1 .

    Miami Heat news

    Tophatal ………

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  10. Scheduled games for Wednesday in the NBA will offer several enticing contests for the fans . For the New York Knicks , things are still incredibly bad , all this under the auspices of Phil Jackson , who continues to not misjudge the on-court talent , but also the ability of his entire coaching staff , who continue to be an absolute embarrassment for the organization and the legacy of this franchise . Not since Isiah Thomas was the de-facto Head of Basketball Operations and head coach , have the Knicks been so bad on all fronts. On Wednesday night the New York Knicks were on the road to face the Phoenix Suns , in a game which would prove to be a high-scoring affair.

    Tophatal ……..

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  11. Spring Training in MLB (Major League Baseball) and there were a slew of games played , split-squad as well as full-on contests between teams. While , it’s still early days in the schedule there is nothing to suggest we can read lot by way of the standings as they are and then base them on what was seen at this point last season.

    Atlanta Braves’ GM John Coppollela made the decision to keep manager Fredi Gonzalez , a decision which I believe to be a tremendous mistake. Gonzalez’s decisions were often error-filled and led to several games lost last season which were within the team’s grasp. During the off-season the Braves made several moves , as they sought to bolster the roster. With a record of 2-6 the Atlanta Braves have been far from impressive . Thursday will provide the fans with the chance to see this Braves’ lineup take on the Miami Marlins at Marlins Ballpark , in Miami , Florida . Bud Norris of the Braves will be on the mound to face the Marlins’ Jose Urina in the game being played between the two teams.

    MLB news

    MLB results 9th March , 2016

    MLB schedule 10th March, 2016

    Tophatal ……..

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  12. So after four years of high hopes and expectations the Washington Redskins have rid themselves of their former number one pick from the 2012 NFL Draft by cutting quarterback Robert Griffin III . For his part Griffin proved to be something of a pariah , while never actually showing the leadership sought , but his being cut seems to have been a humbling experience for the player. He now joins several unrestricted free agent quarterbacks currently on the market and there remains a very good chance the player will likely find a home with a new team.

    Redskins’ head coach Jay Gruden was never truly convinced of Robert Griffin’s abilities and favored his teammate and fellow draftee from 2012 , Kirk Cousins . It remains to be seen if Cousins can prove to be the savior for the Redskins or simply another bust for a franchise which has been starved of great quarterback play over the last eight seasons .

    Courtesy of CBS Sports

    No one on the Redskins liked Robert Griffin, says a former teammate

    By Will Brinson , NFL Writer

    The Robert Griffin III era is over in Washington, with the Redskins cutting him after just four years on the roster. There’s no debating it was off the rails, but it now appears to be a rollercoaster that went off the rails.

    You can probably fill multiple books — volumes, even — on the drama surrounding RG3 and fellow 2012 draftee Kirk Cousins, now the franchise quarterback.

    That idea was given even more credence by former Redskins tight end Chris Cooley, who looked back on RG3’s time in D.C. this week on ESPN 980 (via Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post) and provided some insight into that relationship.

    Specifically, the two aren’t drinking buddies.

    “There’s a working relationship where guys show up and they work. I would drink a beer with Mike Shanahan today; I did not like him as a head coach. I like him as a dude,” Cooley said. “That said, I don’t think Kirk Cousins and Robert Griffin are going to be drinking any beers together. One, Robert doesn’t drink, [and] Kirk rarely drinks. But there was never a friendship relationship. From the moment Kirk was drafted, I think Robert had animosity towards him.

    “A lot of people in this area hated that fourth-round pick; I don’t think anyone hated it as much as RG3 hated it.”

    More specifically: not buddies at all.

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    The Washington Redskins’ front office have simply muffed when it comes to dealing with free agents , draft picks , issues on and off the field of play. This upcoming season , it will be up to the coaching staff and in particular for Kirk Cousins as the Redskins seek to make a return to the postseason .

    Washington Redskins news

    Tophatal ………

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  13. Brock Osweiler , the backup quarterback to Peyton Manning and the Superbowl winning Denver Broncos has gone from being a nondescript role-player to a four-year , $72 million dollar-type player , having signed with the Houston Texans ? Clearly, the Texans are grasping at straws if they believe Osweiler is the answer to their prayers at the position . Furthermore , the real issue with the franchise remains with the front office and the lack of acumen shown , with their having released several players over the last ten days as they seek to pare down payroll to serve up cap-room availability in pursuance of free agents and the NFL Draft this year.

    Brock Osweiler , formerly of the Denver Broncos who signed a four-year deal to become a member of the Houston Texans .

    Texans’ head coach Bill O’Brien , GM Rick Smith and team owner Robert McNair have a long way to go before the franchise can once again be seen as truly competitive . The Texans have aged fast over the past four seasons and a great deal of that had to do with not having a well-thought out strategy for the long-term. While, JJ Watt remains their best player , the question has to be asked , how long before Watt believes his best chance of winning lies elsewhere ? Awards and accolades asides , Watt’s window of opportunity to win a Superbowl with Houston is quickly closing and even with the advent of their having made a big splash with a rash of signings , it doesn’t negate the fact the team is in need of a productive quarterback and several play-makers on offense.

    Courtesy of ESPN

    QB Brock Osweiler says Texans on ‘cusp of doing something great’

    Tania Ganguli , Staff Writer

    HOUSTON — His flight was delayed by a thunderstorm, but moments after he finally landed at George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Texans quarterback Brock Osweiler arrived in Houston on Wednesday night itching to get to work with his new franchise.

    “Coming to Houston was an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up,” Osweiler said. “What I see with this football team is something special. I believe this organization is on the cusp of doing something great. That’s something I want to be a part of. I’m very excited to be here and just get to work.”

    The Texans reached an agreement to sign Osweiler just before the league year opened Wednesday. The four-year deal is worth $72 million, according to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, making Osweiler one of the 10 highest-paid quarterbacks in terms of average salary. He is guaranteed $37 million .

    The Texans have historically lacked consistency at quarterback. Under coach Bill O’Brien, they started seven quarterbacks in the past two seasons and managed a winning record in both campaigns. Last season, the Texans made the playoffs, winning the AFC South with a 9-7 record, only to have quarterback Brian Hoyer throw four interceptions and lose a fumble in a 30-0 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in the wild-card round.

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    Click on link to read this article in full.
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    Andre Johnson and Arian Foster are no longer with the Houston Texans and the current roster is not reflective of a team with a great deal of ability on offense.

    Houston Texans news

    Tophatal ………

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  14. Chairman & CEO Jed York and the San Francisco 49ers’ GM Trent Baalke having deemed it to dismiss Jim Tomsula and Jim Harbaugh in the last two seasons , have now acquired Chip Kelly to coach the team. Now one has to bear in mind Kelly’s last season was a woefully inept encounter for the Philadelphia Eagles , where the team was abysmal on all fronts. Now with a chance to redeem himself , it looks as if the Forty Niners’ new head coach will seek to rebuild the roster to his own likeness .

    Rumors are already being fomented in which , Chip Kelly does not see Colin Kaepernick as part of his future plans for the team . Trent Baalke and Jed York would be foolish to give Kelly the latitude he received in Philadelphia , to be in charge of all personnel decisions while Eagles’ owner Jeff Lurie and GM Howie Roseman stood idly by. Colin Kaepernick has taken the Forty Niners to two consecutive postseason appearances and a berth in the Superbowl , where San Francisco would fall to the Baltimore Ravens .

    Colin Kaepernick (left) and Robert Griffin III .

    Chip Kelly will have to go a long way to impress the hardcore fans of the San Francisco 49rers and also some of the most revered members of the franchise to have ever played for the Forty Niners. Hall of Fame players Jerry Rice and Steve Young have been very outright in their assessment of the decision to hire Chip Kelly , but the tone taken , has not been one where both players have sought to demean the choice , but merely pointing to the potential dangers they see.

    Colin Kaepernick is due to become a free agent until 2021 and any thought of the organization seeking to cut the player when he only recently signed his six-year $126 million deal would be ludicrous . The Niners’ might well seek to trade the quarterback , while seeking a great deal in return by way of future high first and second round draft picks for a player of Kaepernick’s caliber. Whether or not such a deal might happen will be dependent upon the willingness of Jed York and Trent Baalke’s wish to part with the Niners’ starting quarterback. The alternatives for the team at the position beyond Blaine Gabbert are not enticing . Rumors are now swirling San Francisco are showing a keen interest in Robert Griffin III and Mike Glennon and if John Elway , Head of Football Operations for the Denver Broncos , having seen the retirement of Peyton Manning and the departure of Brock Osweiler to the Houston Texans . It would certainly make sense for the Broncos to pursue Colin Kaepernick as a replacement for Peyton Manning , while the Broncos would still have some cap room maneuverability .

    If Kaepernick were agreeable to such a move then it would be to his benefit , given the uncertainty surrounding his future with San Francisco 49ers. Denver coming off their Superbowl victory over the Carolina Panthers , remain a very good team with an abundance of youth , skilled players and experience on the current roster.

    San Francisco 49ers news

    Tophatal ………….

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  15. With his victory over Conor McGregor at UFC 196 , Nate Diaz has a new world opening up for him with an abundance of opportunities to make a great deal of money. Yet. Diaz remains the ” Bad Boy” of the UFC , flouting the rules and imagery sought by UFC President Dana White . Yet, White the consummate businessman and marketing genius knows , Nate Diaz remains a ” big draw ” , while still being an effective and talented fighter . His record suggests , he is as good as it reflects it to be , without his ever having ducked a high-profile opponent .

    Nate Diaz (left) against Conor McGregor

    The rear-naked choke hold which forced McGregor to tap-out with Nate Diaz being named the victor.

    Nate Diaz has fluctuated between fighting at the lightweight and welterweight divisions , but I believe the fighter would prefer to fight within both divisions , with the ambition to hold both titles simultaneously .

    UFC and UFC news

    UFC scheduled events (upcoming)

    Tophatal …………

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  16. Sam Hinkie is out as the general manager of the Philadelphia 76ers and even with introduction of Jerry Colangelo as the new Head of Basketball Operations the Sixers still remain abysmal as a team and a badly ran franchise . Team owner Josh Harris has repeatedly stated he seeks excellence from 76ers , but nothing could be further from the truth with Philadelphia with the Sixers on route to having another bad season , as well as the likelihood of having another top-five lottery pick in the NBA Draft .

    Former Sixers’ GM Sam Hinkie .

    Brett Brown and the Sixers’ coaching staff remain completely out of their depth as are the players on the team , who show no signs as to what it takes to overcome real adversity on a basketball court. Over their last fifteen games played the Philadelphia 76ers have been one of the worst performing teams in the NBA . The Sixers’ record of 8-56 is a sad reflection upon the NBA and in particular the Sixers’ franchise .

    Josh Harris , left, owner of the Philadelphia 76ers and Jerry Colangelo .

    Philadelphia’s last victory came on 6th February when they defeated the equally abysmal Brooklyn Nets winning the contest 103-98 . The Brooklyn Nets will play host to the Philadelphia 76ers when the two meets again as part of their regular season series this Friday at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York .

    Philadelphia 76ers news

    Tophatal ………..

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  17. MLB games scheduled for today and the weekend schedule . The Boston Red Sox and their assortment of high-profiled stars will be looking to have a great Spring Training season. Red Sox manager John Farrell and his managerial staff will be looking to prepare the team for their arduous season ahead. With their exhibition schedule already underway , the Red Sox will be looking to have their players in sync for the regular season start.

    David Price of the Boston Red Sox will be on the mound today when they take on the Minnesota Twins , with Ervin Santana being the opposing pitcher in this afternoon’s contest . The Red Sox will be back on the diamond tomorrow where their opponents will be the Toronto Blue Jays . Pitchers’ Steven Wright of the Boston Red Sox will face Marcus Stroman of the Blue Jays.

    In acquiring a major front-line starter to head to pitching roster , it was very clear the Boston Red Sox wanted a high-caliber player and Price fits the role. David Price will be part of a very talented pitching lineup . If the team can overcome their issues of last season then there is every reason to believe the Boston Red Sox will be a major contender for the AL East divisional crown this upcoming season.

    As one of the highest paid pitchers in the game , David Price is expected to live up to the billing . His $217 million seven-year deal might well be viewed as exorbitant , but it was a price the front office as willing to pay. Red Sox Head of Baseball Operations & SVP David Dombrowski had the blessing of the ownership group and manager John Farrell to pursue the former AL Cy Young Award winner .

    There can be no denying last season’s World Series champions the Kansas City Royals will be viewed as the team with a bulls-eye on their backs as the main targets within the AL this season. An emphatic series’ victory over the rather hapless New York Mets in spite of the Mets’ so-called young pitching rotation , who did nothing at all to negate the hitting on the Royals’ offense during the series . Kansas City will be in the driver’s season with a managerial staff , which has among the best in all of baseball. Though it’s early days yet in the Kansas City Royals exhibition schedule , but their players are beginning to get into sync before the start of the regular season schedule .

    It will be interesting to see if the current two-time AL Pennant winners and current World Series champion can make a third consecutive appearance in the Fall Classic and become the first back-to-back champions in over a decade. The Royals’ weekend schedule starting today , should prove interesting .

    Kansas City will play the Arizona Diamondbacks in a Friday afternoon contest . I believe the Royals are good enough to make a successful defense of their title and still the best team in the AL by far even of their payroll is not as gargantuan as the Los Angeles Dodgers’ , New York Yankees or Los Angeles Angels .

    MLB news

    Kansas City Royals news

    MLB standings (Spring Training)

    MLB results 9th March

    MLB schedule 10th March

    MLB probable pitchers

    This week in MLB history

    On this day in MLB history

    Tophatal ………….

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  18. Wild week in sports, Al.

    Two big upsets in the octagon, players continuing to be suspended for being stupid, Cavs in disarray, NFL players going to places we hadn’t considered.

    What in the world is going on?

    It’s March. Must be madness.

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  19. SportsChump / Chris Humpherys

    I wasn’t surprised by the results at UFC 196 , just the manner in which both Conor McGregor and Holly Holm were defeated !

    The Cleveland Cavaliers might well have been considered the best team in the Eastern Conference at the start of the season , but they have been far from being considered the best to date , their record over their last twelve games would suggest otherwise .

    David Griffin GM of the Cavaliers essentially stood pat and it could lead to their losing LeBron James at the end of the postseason should Cleveland not win the NBA title . James may not have played a major part in the dismissal of David Blatt , even with Tyronn Lue having been named Blatt’s successor , but behind the scenes , there is every reason to believe LeBron’s feelings and disqualification were known to his teammates , as well to the front office led by team owner Dan Gilbert and the general manager .

    This time of year in the NFL can be equated to their ” silly season ” , just like the idiocy which takes place on the PGA Tour , with Chairman Tim Finchem , wanting the fans of golf to believe between December 28th and to mid March ought to mean something on the Tour schedule . It’s the same type of idiocy also concerning NASCAR and their thinking so much excitement is created with the Sprint Cup title championship with their having the Daytona 500 to open up their season , with race itself being the ” biggest event ” on their scheduling.

    Personally, I believe the hierarchy of the NFL and that of NASCAR , have some of the dumbest executives in all of professional as well as collegiate sports ! By the way who in their right mind would offer a player such as Brock Osweiler a four-year $72 million deal with the type of guaranteed money and average salary of $18 million a year ? Osweiler remains an unproven commodity and idiots who believed him to be the future of the Houston Texans , much less a worthy successor to Peyton Manning would have to be among the dumbest @ssholes on the face of the planet ! What has Brock Osweiler actually achieved as a player in the NFL , other than winning a championship ring by default, as the backup to Peyton Manning ? Way too many fans here in this country , are way too frigging stupid for their own good and barely intelligent enough to think for themselves .

    Thanks for chiming in with a comment !

    USA Today Sports news

    Tophatal ……………

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  20. The NCAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournament will soon begin in earnest, but for the moment conference tournaments are now in full swing to determine the participants in the respective national championships.

    Rankings will most certainly play its part in the brackets for the Men’s and Women’s National Championships , but at the end of the day it will all boil down to the determination shown by the respective teams.

    The Kansas Jayhawks head the Men’s rankings as the team coached by Bill Self will be looking to justify their number one ranking in the nation.

    Bill Self of the Kansas Jayhawks.

    Geno Auriemma head coach of the U Conn Huskies’ Women’s Basketball team will be seeking to make a successful defense of the title they won in 2015. Should Auriemma and the Hukskies prove successful in their quest , it would be the eleventh national title won by the esteemed coach and surpassing the mark of the late John Wooden .

    Geno Auriemma .

    NCAA Men’s Basketball news

    NCAA Men’s Basketball schedule 11th March

    NCAA Men’s Basketball results

    NCAA Women’s Basketball news

    NCAA Women’s Basketball results

    NCAA Women’s Basketball schedule 11th March

    Tophatal ………………

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  21. Last night’s results in the NBA and how teams have fared over their last eight games played . The San Antonio Spurs (55-10) who have the second best record in the league are in close pursuit of the Golden State Warriors (57-6), whose own trendsetting pace could see the team break the league franchise record of the Chicago Bulls during the 1995-96 season and their mark of 72-10.

    Kobe Bryant will bow out of the game as a Los Angeles Lakers’ player having achieved some notable career-firsts with the franchise and as one the leading players in Lakers’ history. Unfortunately, one of the dubious distinctions for Bryant and the team will be the fact this will one of the worst seasons in recent years . Head coach Byron Scott and the coaching staff have been unable to gain any type of consistency sought from the players over the course of the season .

    Coming off a loss in their most recent game where they faced the Cleveland Cavaliers , the Los Angeles Lakers’ next opponent will be the New York Knicks in a game to be played at the Staples Center , in Los Angeles , California on March 13th , 2016.

    NBA news

    NBA results 11th March

    NBA news

    Tophatal ………..

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  22. Now retired NFL wide receiver Terrell Owens is aggrieved he wasn’t part of the 2016 Hall of Fame class being inducted into Canton , Ohio this year. Owens’ storied career has seen its highs and lows along the way . His most productive years came with the San Francisco 49ers . Yet , in recent years , he has become more accustomed to being known as a self-absorbed ingratiated fool , alongside his formally announcing the endorsement of Donald Trump as the Republican Presidential candidate .

    Courtesy of The Washington Post

    The Trump Circus ….

    By Rachel Van Dongen

    WaPo’s Ben Terris writes about Tuesday’s announcement that The Donald finally did it — that is, throw his lear jet into the 2016 Republican presidential race.

    Descending from a golden escalator in his namesake Trump Tower in Manhattan, the real-estate mogul declared that he will be the “greatest jobs president that God ever created” and save America from being a “laughing-stock” since its currently run by “losers.”

    Trump estimated that he was “really rich:” with assets of $9.2 billion and a net worth of $8.7 billion. But he’ll have to be more specific than that in filing financial disclosure forms that are required within 30 days of announcing your candidacy. Trump is aiming to make the cut for the first Aug. 6 Fox presidential debate.

    The scene was as much show as substance. Terris writes that supporters chanted:

    “We Want Trump!” as a man in a suit walked around holding out a bullhorn for them to yell in. Outside, a man who would say only that he “worked for Trump” offered passersby free T-shirts and ready-made signs to hold if they would come on in and see the show. “Only in New York,” he said to a group of tourists. “Come inside and make some memories.”

    The Donald does have at least one dedicated supporter.

    Pro-football player and celebrity Apprentice contestant Terrell Owens announced he was endorsing Trump, telling TMZ: “With that being said, Trump … YOU’RE HIRED”

    ——————————————————————
    Click on link to read this article in full.
    ————————————————————–

    If Terrell Owens had shown more dedication to his craft , rather than his always wanting to be in the limelight and not being more of a leader on the field of play , perhaps he would not find himself in such a predicament , where he has disavowed his children , claimed poverty , while having earned over $100 million over the course of his fifteen year career , but is now on the brink of bankruptcy . Granted, Owens is among the top wide receivers in NFL history and at same point in the future , he is likely to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

    For the moment however, Terrell Owens will just have bear the pain of simply being looked upon as being nothing more than a malcontent , who believes the NFL should be giving him more credit than he actually deserves.

    Donald Trump and Terrell Owens are two peas in a pod with out-sized egos with Trump’s overvaluation of his self-worth and wealth and where stands as an entrepreneur and ranking among the world’s wealthiest individuals . In the case of Owens, it has been about his failing to recognize , before you earn respect , it has to given to others , especially among your peers , contemporaries and specifically your family .

    With Donald Trump it has been his claims as to business acumen and wealth which takes some believing concerning his claims . His estimated wealth is far closer to $5.5 billion than the $10 billion he would like the world to believe and even with taking into account the assets of the Trump Organization , his privately owned group of companies , where at best , Trump’s overall wealth is likely to be no more than $12 billion at best taking into account the value of the company and branding. His failings have been well-documented and the unwillingness of Trump to discuss in part, the failings of Trump University , the academic establishment bearing his name, which is now subject subject to a class action lawsuit in the State of New York by State Attorney General , Eric Schneidermann , speaks volumes as to the dubious practices in place by the front-running GOP Presidential candidate. . .

    Tophatal ……………….

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  23. I may well be missing the mark in my assessment of the Detroit Tigers , but I believe this upcoming season will be one of make or break for the team , managerial staff and the franchise in general ! Team owner Michael Ilitch has not been afraid to spend money when necessary to bring in high-profiled stars. Yet, the repeated failures of the Tigers over the past six seasons have been heartbreaking as well as a major disappointment to the fans and the franchise.

    Brad Ausmus and the managerial staff will face a stiff challenge in trying to get the better of AL Central divisional rivals the Kansas City Royals who are the reigning World Series’ champions . For Miguel Cabrera and teammate Justin Verlander this might be the season where the two can combine to provide the leadership needed to get the Detroit Tigers over the hump of the final obstacle known as the postseason. Always the bridesmaid , never the bride , seems to be the saying which best sums up the Tigers. On Saturday , the Tigers will take to the field where they will face the Pittsburgh Pirates . The opposing pitchers will be Jeff Locke of the Pirates against Mike Pelfrey of the Tigers in this contest.

    Andrew McCutchen the Pittsburgh Pirates former NL MVP will be looking to reproduce the form which won him the award in 2012 , as he seeks to lead the team to success this season. In recent years Pittsburgh has made the postseason , but have failed to advance beyond the NCLS and to the World Series.

    Detroit Tigers news

    Pittsburgh Pirates news

    Tophatal ……………

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  24. Could things get anymore interesting than they are at the moment within the divisions of the NBA ? Stan Van Gundy and the Detroit Pistons (32-32) are looking to play themselves into contention within the Eastern Conference. The team has been inconsistent borne out by their record over their last twelve games played . The Pistons now find themselves in a tight race against the Chicago Bulls (32-32) for the eighth and final spot for a playoff berth this postseason . The Detroit Pistons will be in action on Saturday afternoon when they face the lowly and incomparable Philadelphia 76ers .

    Stan Van Gundy head coach of the Detroit Pistons .

    Detroit’s best player this season based on performances this season has been Reggie Jackson , but there have been solid performances also from teammates , Andre’ Drummond and Tobias Harris . Stan Van Gundy and his coaching staff have to pleased with what they have witnessed from the team at this point of the season .

    Chicago Bulls’ head coach Fred Hoiberg in rookie season with this young team has to navigate his way through the pitfalls expected of a first-time head coach in the NBA.

    Bulls’ GM Gar Forman (left) and Head of Basketball Operations John Paxson .

    Bulls’ head coach Fred Hoiberg .

    Jimmy Butler and Derrick Rose have now become the core of this Bulls’ lineup . The Bulls’ front office has been steadfast in their approach this season, while standing pat at the trade deadline . There had been various rumors the Bulls were prepared to trade Joakim Noah , even though based on cap value the player was not thought to be expendable. Yet the Bulls’ issues came from the fact they were not meeting the expectations of the front office who believed this team was in fact capable of being a number two or three seed within the Eastern Conference at season’s end .

    Chicago Bulls news

    Detroit Pistons news

    —–

    Getting in some practice before they hit the clubs.

    🙂

    Tophatal ……………

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  25. Another season filled with hope , but I get the feeling , it will be one of disappointment for the Miami Marlins . A new managerial staff in place headed by Don Mattingly , with Barry Bonds also being hired as a team consultant and hitting instructor. Pardon me for considering possible conspiracy theories, should the team’s offensive statistics take a rapid spike through the roof. Fingers would be pointing directly at Bonds as well as the front office as well as Don Mattingly for the hire and simply looking past Barry Bonds’ alleged indiscretions. The biggest beneficiary of this all could be their All Star slugger and possible NL League MVP candidate , Giancarlo Stanton .

    The Miami Marlins have started their exhibition season rather slowly , but the team will likely hit their stride as the schedule hits the final weeks before entering the start of their regular season schedule.

    Don Mattingly will be managing a roster of players where the payroll is less than one half of Los Angeles’ Dodgers’ payroll for this year and last year . Competitiveness being what the MLB hierarchy would like to see , it is hardly possible for the two teams to compete on the same footing .

    Sunday afternoon the Miami Marlins will play the New York Mets in what will be deemed a home game for the Marlins. On the mound for Miami will be their starting pitcher Tom Koehler against the Mets’ Matt Harvey .

    MLB news

    MLB schedule

    MLB results 12th March

    Miami Marlins news

    Tophatal ……..

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  26. Saturday’s results in the NBA and how teams have fared over their last eight games up to this point of the season . Teams are now playing as if their very lives depended on it and the conference races , as well as the divisional races are now setting the tone for a number of franchises.

    Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol are two of the reasons why the Memphis Grizzlies are currently the fifth seed in the Western Conference. Grizzlies’ head coach Dave Joerger and the Memphis Grizzlies are looking to make this season a successful one . Gasol and Randolph remain the heart of this team and if the Grizzlies are to have an element of success the duo will certainly have to raise the level of their game .

    Dave Joerger .

    The Memphis Grizzlies’ next game will have the team facing the Houston Rockets in a conference match-up between the two teams . Memphis’ last appearance in the NBA Playoffs came during the 2014-15 postseason .

    Zach Randolph (50) and Marc Gasol (33) .

    NBA news

    NBA results 12th March and today’s NBA schedule

    NBA news one year ago and results for 13th March 2015 .

    Tophatal ………..

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  27. The loss of Los Angeles Clippers’ forward Blake Griffin has been a resounding blow to the team . It has yet to be decided by the front office , specifically Head Coach & SVP , Head of Basketball Operations Doc Rivers if Griffin will return to the Clippers’ lineup during the NBA Playoffs and his long-term future with the franchise. Team owner Steve Ballmer is known to have been greatly dissatisfied with the player’s well publicized altercation with a team employee and the adverse publicity received by the franchise. It certainly did not help the situation with Rivers’ own idiotic statement on the matter , when his comments appeared to be of more concern with the loss of Blake Griffin and the fact it diminished the team’s chances during the playoffs. In light of the Donald Sterling ‘ scandal’ , the Los Angeles Clippers and the NBA did not need another light being shone on league and of its more popular franchises for all of the wrong reasons.

    On Sunday night the Los Angeles Clippers were on the wrong side of a rather embarrassing twenty-four point loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers and it should tell you a great deal when the team’s top-scorer in the contest was JJ Redick , with nineteen points in the resulting defeat suffered at the hands of the Cavaliers.

    Los Angeles Clippers news

    Tophatal ……….. 2016/03/14 03:33 am

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  28. There is an inevitability about the season for the Los Angeles Lakers as Kobe Bryant’s career is about to come to an illustrious end. The multiple time All Star , League and Finals’ MVP will leave the game ranked among the league’s all-time greats and as one of the best players in Lakers’ history . Byron Scott and the coaching staff have been unable to get any semblance of consistency from this team over the course of the season .

    Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers in the last game met the the New York Knicks in an intra- conference match- up . How the Los Angeles Lakers will now fare is very much dependent the mindset of the players over the remainder of their schedule. The Los Angeles Lakers will back on court , Tuesday , 15th March to face the Sacramento Kings .

    Los Angeles Lakers news and team player stats .

    Tophatal …….

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  29. Last season within the Eastern Conference it was the Atlanta Hawks who were said to be the surprise team within the conference during the regular season finishing as a top-five seed before entering the playoffs . Atlanta would fall in the conference finals to the Cleveland Cavaliers .

    In this current year , the surprise team within the East might well be the Toronto Raptors . The team currently does have the best record (conference games won) within the East though not overall record and could well pose a real danger to their conference counterparts . The Raptors are a very good team with several players along with a coaching staff led by Dwayne Casey . DeMar DeRozan and his teammates will be looking to obtain high enough seeded position to secure an easy first round opponent . How things now play out for the Raptors will be dependent on how they fare at home and on the road over the remainder of their schedule.

    Toronto Raptors news

    NBA results 14th March

    NBA schedule March 15th

    Tophatal ……….

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  30. Former New York Jets and Philadelphia Eagles’ quarterback Mark Sanchez has now signed with the defending Superbowl champions the Denver Broncos . Since being drafted as a first round draft pick in the 2009 NFL Draft , Sanchez’s career has seen its highs and lows , with the player having led the Jets to postseason appearances , but subsequent to those highs his career hit a low with his then being cut by the franchise.

    Denver Broncos’ part owner , SVP & Head of Football Operations John Elway believes Mark Sanchez to be a worthy successor to Peyton Manning and most certainly an upgrade over Manning’s backup of this past season , Brock Osweiler . Osweiler has since left the Broncos as a free agent, signing a four-year $72 million deal to join the Houston Texans to become the franchise’s starting quarterback .

    NFL news

    Denver Broncos news

    NFL transactions

    NFL free agents and free agents still available as of 14th March

    Tophatal ……..

    Tophatal ……..

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  31. Former New York Jets and Philadelphia Eagles’ quarterback has now signed with the defending Superbowl champions the Denver Broncos. Since being drafted as a first round draft pick in the 2009 NFL Draft , Sanchez’s career has seen its highs and lows with the player having led the Jets to postseason appearances , but subsequent to those highs his career hit a low with his then being cut by the franchise.

    Denver Broncos news

    Tophatal ……..

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  32. The divisional and conference standings in the NBA are playing out to a rather uneven pace among the teams . If the NBA Playoff projections were to remain as they are , perhaps the most intriguing match-up of the first round might be the series featuring Chicago Bulls taking on the the Cleveland Cavaliers . Cleveland by no means would they be a foregone conclusion to win a seven game series between the two teams.

    Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors continue to waltz through the league with no real opposition from the teams they have faced . A first round match-up for Golden State would pit them against the Dallas Mavericks .

    Tonight’s games in the league will offer the fans the following contests , the Boston Celtics in a match-up against the Indiana Pacers , the Denver Nuggets against the Orlando Magic in an intra-conference match-up , Philadelphia 76ers tip-off against the Brooklyn Nets , the Toronto Raptors facing an opponent , the Milwaukee Bucks , the Los Angeles Clippers facing the San Antonio Spurs and finally the Sacramento Kings against the Los Angeles Lakers in another conference match-up .

    Brad Stevens and the coaching staff have seen the team go on an impressive run over their last fifteen games played .

    NBA news

    NBA schedule

    NBA results 14th March

    NBA Playoff projections

    Tophatal …………..

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  33. It never ceases to amaze, the lack of intelligence to be found among New York Knicks’ fans. With Carmelo Anthony having recently sat down with the team’s SVP & Head of Basketball Operation Phil Jackson as well as GM Steve Mills , the player voiced his concerns over the direction the team has been heading . Granted , Jackson may well have an impressive resume’ having twelve championship rings as a head coach and one as a player with the Knicks . Yet , as a front office executive for the fans to believe Jackson still deserves a pass , because of his record is akin to suggesting the Vatican Church (Roman Catholic Church) should be obfuscated of their responsibilities because of the sex abuse scandals , which hit the institution and which has continue soil and sully its reputation worldwide.

    Courtesy of the New York Times

    Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony Heartened in Talk With Phil Jackson

    By Andrew Keh ,

    LOS ANGELES — Carmelo Anthony said he felt positive about his one-on-one meeting with the Knicks’ president, Phil Jackson, last week in which the two discussed the direction of their struggling team.

    Anthony, 31, has three more seasons left on his contract, and he has, at times, expressed frustration and disappointment about losing this season as the Knicks, who seem assured of missing the playoffs, have once again stumbled into irrelevance.

    “The only thing I’m going to say about it, I thought it was a good conversation,” Anthony said late Sunday after the Knicks’ last-second victory over the Los Angeles Lakers. “I thought it was good timing for us to sit down and talk.”

    Jackson revealed last week that the two had met. He told reporters that Anthony had seemed committed to the team, that he told Anthony he remained the cornerstone of the team, and that Anthony was engaged in the discussion, asking direct questions.

    ———————————————————————
    Click on link to read this article in full.
    ———————————————————————

    ” Failure to launch, complete failure to communicate or to be on the same page” . From left to right , James Dolan , Phil Jackson and Carmelo Anthony.

    In the past eighteen months the New York Knicks have gone from being one of the worst franchises in the NBA to now being barely recognizable in terms of any type of leadership from the hierarchy on down. Carmelo Anthony chose to remain inside the lunatic asylum as the Knicks have continued spiral downwards and completely out of control . Anthony remained based solely upon the promises of their being an improvement in the make up of the team’s roster . Well , nothing much has changed in terms of the team’s lineup over last season and the current roster now on display.

    Derek Fisher was ousted as the team’s head coach only to be succeeded by Kurt Rambis , with Rambis’ own coaching acumen and ability to motivate the players having come into question . It seems remarkable how any can continue to believe Phil Jackson knows what he is doing and that he has the ability to spot talent. There was a reason why the likes of Jerry West and Jerry Krause were in place as the respective general managers of the Los Angeles Lakers and Chicago Bulls . It was their insight at being able to draft and acquire players which created the environment for Jackson to win the titles as a head coach. Perhaps , if there was a modicum of intelligence being shown by fans of the New York Knicks to realize this fact, then it would be easy enough for them to understand the reasons why the Knicks have failed on such a vast level this past season and over the course of their current schedule .

    The New York Knicks are likely to miss the NBA Playoffs again this season and questions have to be asked , whether or not Jackson is worth the estimated $12 million a year he is being paid and whether or not Carmelo Anthony’s contract and salary can be justified on any level ? Ambivalence , naivete’ and sheer stupidity remain common-place among Knicks’ fans and the hierarchy of the organization and I don’t expect it to change in the foreseeable future. !

    Team owner , James Dolan can only bask in the fact the franchise remains the most valuable and profitable of all the NBA’s thirty franchises . Nothing else at this point actually appears to matter for the organization , because in reality , nothing else actually will, of they are continued to be led by Phil Jackson while also being coached by Kurt Rambis. The Jackson Experiment is proving to be an unmitigated disaster on so many levels , and the failure of the Knicks’ fans , erstwhile observers and supporters of Phil Jackson to acknowledge this fact , continues to show how bland and out of touch with reality these groups are said to be.

    Over their last eight games the New York Knicks have been among the worst performing teams in the league.

    NBA news

    New York Knicks news

    Tophatal ………

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  34. It is time Manning to get out. the Foxes are on the verge of pulling off a once in a lifetime deal. Shitty for all of their firepower have eight losses on the season. Man U is digging themselves out of a huge hole. Arsenal is good but not great. Tottenham is a surprise sitting in second place.

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    1. bobby gee

      You’re right , it was time for Peyton Mannning to step away from the game , but he steps away under a cloud of controversy , with the league and media would rather overlook concerning his taking banned substance and allegations of sexual misconduct and impropriety, while he was a player at the University of Tennessee as a Volunteers’ player . His conduct there and his exposing himself to a female team masseuse on the staff , shows that Manning , is not the sacrosanct saint , so many believe him to be . Furthermore , his explanation, concerning his taking a banned substance, is about as believable , as the claims made by WTA (Women’s Tennis Association) player Maria Sharapova. . It’s not believable and the apparent act of contrition, is simply being done to ward off any type of long-term punishment by their respective hierarchies , which in this case just happens to be the NFL and the ITF (International Tennis Federation) .

      The Premiership (EPL) , will continue to be what we have always known it to be , league filled with an abundance of mediocre teams and a number of above average soccer clubs (teams). The results this season have actually mirrored that very fact .

      NFL news

      International Tennis Federatiion news and WTA news

      English Premier League (EPL) news .

      Tophatal …………..

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      1. The EPL has and is going downhill very fast. Leicester City won today. This would be great for the EPL if the Foxes win the title.

        Like

                    1. Aston Villa and Toons. Man Shitty with nine losses. Who would have thunk it. Leicester City the won enchilada. Not in this lifetime. It looks like the Foxes will win it.

                      Like

  35. bobby gee , bobby gee & SportsChump (Chris Humpherys)

    Let me know what you think concerning the following . In order to view merely click on the link seen below .

    https://topsplace.wordpress.com/2016/03/18/a-tale-of-two-cities-and-two-franchises-commonly-intertwined-through-familiarity-scorn/

    bobby ,

    Your thoughts on Neymar being found guilty of tax evasion concerning the source of his income ?

    Neymar of FC Barcelona

    Tophatal …………

    Like

  36. The big story of the day in the NFL has been the death Baltimore Ravens’ CB Tray Walker in a dirt-bike accident. There has been an official press statement put out by the Ravens’ front office expressing the loss in this tragedy , with several players and the coaching staff mourning the loss.

    Tray Walker of the Baltimore Ravens .

    It now appears the Cleveland Browns are close to signing Robert Griffin III to become the team’s new starting quarterback for the upcoming season . Hu Jackson , head coach of the Browns , has yet to issue a formal statement , but all signs appear to be pointing to, Griffin accepting a deal with the organization pending a physical . However, it is known, there are several other teams interested in pursuing the former Washington Redskins’ passer.

    NFL news

    Baltimore Ravens news

    Cleveland Browns news

    Tophatal ………

    Like

  37. Well the season is now within sight for the teams , their divisions and conference berths are pretty much assured , barring a last minute catastrophe by one of the top contenders within the NBA .

    There are several games scheduled for Wednesday 23rd March , 2016 . Of the games being played , several should prove to be competitive with a number of things being at stake for the teams. It does seem remarkable that only five teams will end their season with more than fifty victories for the league’s entire schedule.

    The Golden State Warriors will face the Los Angeles Clippers in a conference clash , which still sees the Warriors pursuing the Chicago Bulls’ season-best mark of seventy-two (72-10) wins. That year Chicago would go on to win the NBA title .

    Tophatal …………………………

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  38. New York Yankees’ former third baseman , short-stop and now DH, Alex Rodriguez has formally announced that the end of the 2017 MLB season he will retire to spend more time with his family. The player whose career has been mired in controversy , ever since it was revealed he was associated with the Biogenysis ‘ scandal’ , which at first he denied , then sought to suggest the motives behind his name being linked the company was racially motivated as well as it being a witch hunt orchestrated by the MLB hierarchy . Rodriguez had his flock of supporters , but what became apparent was the fact the player lied repeatedly though not under oath as to his actions and whether or not during any point of his career he had ever used a banned substance .

    Alex Rodriguez .

    In 2014 , had a banner year , in what might be described as his best season since 2005 , the last time Alex Rodriguez hit above .300 in the league. As a three-time AL MVP , multiple time All Star with all three ball clubs where he’s played , it could be said the notoriety gained by the player has been larger than his career itself. It will be at least six years after his retirement, where I expect to see Rodriguez’s name on a Hall of Fame ballot as an eligible player . I seriously doubt that he will be inducted on his first attempt and it will be interesting to see the stance being taken by the voters within the BBWAA (Baseball Writers’ Association of America) who themselves are less than trustworthy or credible in terms of their own behavior and logic behind their voting on eligible candidates .

    MLB news

    New York Yankees news

    MLB standings

    MLB schedule 23rd March

    MLB results 22nd March

    Tophatal …..

    Like

  39. Jimmy Haslam , owner of the Cleveland Browns has shown a great deal of incompetence ever since he assumed control of the franchise . This was first noticed, when Haslam sought to blame the Athletics Department of Texas A&M after the Browns drafted Johnny Manziel , to become the the team’s starting quarterback. As we have all witnessed Manziel’s record with Cleveland has a been real embarrassment , as was the team during the player’s tenure with the Cleveland Browns.

    Robert Griffin III

    Cleveland Browns to sign Robert Griffin III

    By Pat MacNamon , ESPN Staff Writer

    The Cleveland Browns appear to have found one piece to their quarterback puzzle, announcing they have signed Robert Griffin III on Thursday.

    Griffin, who made the decision after meeting with Browns coach Hue Jackson and associate head coach Pep Hamilton, is guaranteed $6.75 million and can make up to $11 million with incentives in 2016 as part of the two-year, $15 million deal.

    Griffin received a $3.5 signing bonus and a fully guaranteed base salary of $3.25 million this season. He can make another $750,000 in per-game roster bonuses and $3.5 million in individual performance incentives for playtime, passing yards and passer rating.

    “This isn’t about me, to be honest with you. I just want to go out and help this team win football games,” Griffin said when asked during a conference call how important it was for him to get his career back on track. “I believe in what Coach Hue is preaching. I believe in Pep Hamilton and what they plan to do.

    “That’s really what it’s about for me. It’s about the team, it’s about Coach believing in this team and the city. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have [taken] the job. And if he didn’t believe in what I could do, he wouldn’t have brought me to Cleveland with him. I’m just real excited about the opportunity. It’s not about me or my career. It’s about this team and growing with this team, and that’s what I set out to do.”

    ————————————————————————–
    Click on link to read this article in full.
    ————————————————————————-

    Hu Jackson has since been named the new head coach of the Browns along with an entirely new coaching staff . Jackson for his part has issued very bold statements as to what he expects from his teams as they encounter the upcoming season. Yet, the biggest expectation might well be what is expected of their new signee’ quarterback Robert Griffin III , who signed a multi-year deal with the franchise to become the new starting quarterback. Griffin is most certainly an upgrade over Johnny Manziel , Brian Hoyer as well as Brandon Weeden . The biggest issue for the Browns remains a lackluster offense and a mediocre defense . Robert Griffin now finds himself at the crossroads of a career , where initially it was felt he might well have been the face of the Washington Redskins for years to come . Unfortunately , a change in the coaching staff as well as Griffin seeking to play capriciously led to injuries and inconsistent performances by the player as well as the Redskins during his tenure.

    Redskins’ GM Scott McCloughlan and team President Bruce Allen felt it necessary to cut Robert Griffin during the off-season , saving themselves cap-space as well as supplanting the player with fellow teammate and 2012 NFL quarterback draftee , Kirk Cousins . Cousins has been signed to an extravagant deal by the Redskins , with the hope he can lead the franchise to where they feel they need to be .

    From my own perspective, I believe the Washington Redskins will be no more than an average team playing what has become a monstrously mediocre NFC East division as a whole.

    The AFC North based Cleveland Browns have not won a divisional title in over a decade , with their last postseason appearance coming in 2002 . Since those heady days, the Browns have gone through a litany of head coaches as well as players and quarterbacks in the starting role for the franchise. It remains to be seen what the Browns are capable of doing this upcoming season with Robert Griffin in his new role with the team.

    NFL news

    Cleveland Browns news

    Tophatal ……………..

    Liked by 1 person

  40. With less than eight games to go before the season ends in the NBA teams are jockeying for positions within the divisions and both conferences of the league. Is there anyone now capable of depriving the Golden State Warriors (64-7) of the chance to beat the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls’ mark of 72-10 ? Golden needs only to win nine of their remaining eleven games on their schedule .

    LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers (51-21) are far from being the dominant team everyone witnessed last season . For some inexplicable reason the Cavaliers are now floundering against not only conference opponents this season but also against the rest of the NBA for some unknown reason. For some unknown reason the Cavaliers thought it best to lay down like lambs to the slaughter in their most recent game against conference rivals the Brooklyn Nets (21-51) .

    NBA news

    NBA results 24th March

    NBA schedule 25th March , 26th and 27th .

    NBA team stats

    NBA player stats

    NBA player stats (rookies)

    Tophatal ………..

    Like

  41. Just a few more days before Opening Day of the regular season in Major League Baseball and the teams are playing themselves into a rhythm before they open their schedules. Games scheduled over the weekend period begin with a slate of scheduled contest on Friday , with several of them being nothing more than nondescript match-ups .

    The San Francisco Giants will play host to the Kansas City Royals at AT&T Park (Giants Ballpark) in San Francisco, California,.

    Giancarlo Stanton and the Miami Marlins will host the Washington Nationals as the two NL East teams meet in an NL divisional contest.

    MLB news

    Tophatal ………….

    Like

  42. I’m now having a hard time making sense of the Chicago Bulls'(36-35) season in spite of the injuries suffered by players on the roster . Head coach Fred Hoiberg in his rookie season alongside his coaching staff are simply having a torrid time of it all. Over their last ten games the Bulls have struggled and their now imperiled with regard to their chances of making the NBA Playoffs . Chicago are currently sitting in ninth place within the Eastern Conference behind the Detroit Pistons in a closely contested race among the teams in positions, four through nine within the conference .

    In their last game the Chicago Bulls fell to the New York Knicks (30-43) . For both teams this season can be best summed up as being a monumental disaster .

    NBA standings (conference)

    Chicago Bulls news

    Tophatal ……….. 2016/03/25 11:23 pm

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  43. It is becoming apparent the NFL are clutching at straws , but their intent is still to make Tom Brady pay for his alleged activities in Deflate-Gate and just about everything else the league hierarchy believes the player and the New England Patriots are responsible for. What has become abundantly clear , is the very fact the NFL’s case against Brady is built upon a preponderance of hearsay and little substantive evidence. Granted , Roger Goodell points to the fact the Patriots’ quarterback destroyed his phone , but even with the evidence gathered from the device and accessed through the carrier, their case remained weak. When questioned as to the reasons why Jeff Pash as Chief Legal Counsel & SVP of the NFL and his refusal to give testimony in the original hearing, which saw Brady victorious in his appeal . Neither Goodell or Pash were forthcoming as to a response. It begs the question, is this more of a witch-hunt or does it have more to do with the NFL Commissioner seeking strengthen his position as an autocratic ruler , while also seeking punish Tom Brady with impunity ?

    Jeff Pash (foreground) and Roger Goodell.

    With the league now seeking to appeal Tom Brady’s reinstatement and the three judges overseeing his appeal now apparently siding with the commissioner, it does look as of the Patriots’ front office and team owner Robert Kraft might well seek their only legal recourse with the US Supreme Court or through the Council For Arbitration of Sports (CAS) . Kraft’s own relationship with Roger Goodell has soured and I do believe among his peers (fellow franchise owners) , things are now about to get considerably less amicable in terms of a productive relationship !

    Roger Goodell had the support of Robert Kraft, Steve Bisciotti , Jerry Jones, Tom Benson and Woody Johnson among the NFL owners who believed him to be the best fit as the successor to Paul Tagliabue as NFL Commissioner. The fact that Tagliabue was given such latitude to have his own hand-picked successor , while the voting itself was something of a formality . Well, it simply points to the fact ,this league (NFL) remains a joke , with there being very little transparency seen concerning its business conduct , let alone, its other dealings professionally, as well as from an activism standpoint .

    During this off-season the New England Patriots have made several surprising moves , one of which saw the departure of Chandler Jones to the Arizona Cardinals . The linebacker was a surprising release, as the Patriots sought to pare down salary from last season , while placing themselves in a position to sign a number of their impending free agent.

    Goodell, left, is seen here with Robert Kraft.

    Courtesy of NBC Sports

    Roger Goodell gets dig in at Robert Kraft while denying request for pick

    By Darin Gannt , NBC Sports

    Not only did NFL commissioner Roger Goodell not give Patriots owner Robert Kraft his first-round pick back, he also revealed Kraft to be a bit of a grand-stander.

    When Goodell announced at his press conference yesterday that the Patriots weren’t going to get any relief from their #Deflategate penalties, he added something to the timeline that Kraft hadn’t.

    “I responded to him two weeks ago and told him that I had considered his views and I didn’t think there was any new information in there that would cause us to alter the discipline,” Goodell said, via Tom Curran of CSNNE.com. “So there will be no change to the discipline.”

    ————————————————–
    Click on link to read article in full.
    ————————————————–

    Bill Belichick , GM Nick Caserio and the coaching staff will now seek to improve the roster based upon their needs , while also assessing the free agency market. Having to forgo their pick in the first round of the upcoming NFL Draft as part of the punitive punishment sought by the league and the reality of possibly losing Tom Brady for the first four games of this upcoming season should all of the Patriots’ legal actions fail. It would leave the franchise in a rather tenuous position without their incumbent starting quarterback. Brady’s backup Jimmy Garoppolo has seen some action for the team but has yet to start a game for the Patriots since being drafted by the franchise in the 2014 NFL Draft. Alternatives for the Patriots on the depth chart at the quarterback position are not enviable beyond Garoppolo.

    New England Patriots news

    Tophatal ……………………

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  44. Alex Smith’s years with the San Francisco 49ers were filled with a great deal of criticism and claims of his not being able to lead the franchise to any real degree of success. Smith’s tenure with the Forty-Niners had more to do with the lack of direction of San Francisco and the coaching staff in place at the time . As we have seen with the San Francisco 49ers over the last two seasons , this is an organization without a clue where during the latter years of Jim Harbaugh’s coaching tenure the Niners were an abhorrent team on both sides of the ball. The team’s quarterback Colin Kaepernick became self-absorbed , complacent , lacking the real leadership skills to viewed as the vocal leader for the team.

    Inasmuch , as some might feel there should be criticism of Kaepernick , a great deal of the team’s misfortunes rests squarely on the shoulders of Jim Harbaugh and the entire front office. With the team still swirling and the subsequent dismissal of Jim Tomsula , Chip Kelly has been hired to turn things around and there are already claims being made the team’s incumbent quarterback Colin Kaepernick will no longer be part of the Kelly’s plans moving forward, as he seeks to bolster the roster for the upcoming season. Niners’ CEO Jed York and GM Trent Baalke , I believe will be opened up to a great deal of criticism should the hire backfire , with San Francisco failing to win the NFC West or actually make the postseason !

    Alex Smith and Andy Reid (right) .

    For Alex Smith his move to the Kansas City Chiefs has in part brought about a rejuvenation of the player’s career . Andy Reid the head coach of the Chiefs believes a great deal in the player and the consistency he brings to the team with his game. For their part I believe , Kansas City might be the team capable of derailing the hopes of the Denver Broncos , in the aftermath with the recent announcement of Peyton Manning’s departure from the NFL and Brock Osweiler joining the Houston Texans . Broncos’ GM & Head of Football Operations John Elway ] wasted no time in procuring a a recruit to succeed Manning , with the team signing Mark Sanchez to a multi-year deal with the franchise. Sanchez will have a great deal to prove as he embarks on playing for the third team of his NFL: career.

    The AFC West , where the four teams occupying the division are the Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs , Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers , remains one of the worst divisions in the entire NFL . Suffice to say other than the Broncos being the cream of the crop since 2012 , no other team within the division has been able to put up much of a challenge to the Denver based franchise during that time. Alex Smith has been able to lead the Chiefs to a playoff berth , but their sojourn on each occasion was short-lived . This upcoming season will be the one where Andy Reid , his coaching staff and the front office believes the Chiefs will be able to take the next step and make real attempt of a long postseason run with the ambition being able to win the Superbowl .

    NFL news from around the league

    NFL transactions

    Denver Broncos news

    Kansas City Chiefs

    San Francisco 49ers news

    Tophatal ………….

    Like

  45. The official beginning of the MLB season starts on Sunday 4th April 2016 , but a full slate of games will be on the schedule for the 5th and 6th April .

    Defending World Series champions the Kansas City Royals will begin the defense of their title with a two-game road series against the Arizona Diamondbacks before their home opener at Kauffman Stadium against the New York Mets on the 5th April,2016. For the Mets this will be the season where they try to prove their exploits of last year, in winning the NLCS was not a misnomer and that the team is competitive enough to repeat as the NL Pennant champions and quite possibly win the World Series.

    Over the last five seasons both the Kansas City Royals and New York Mets have sought to raise their respective payrolls and seek to be competitive enough against their peers within the league.

    MLB news

    MLB schedule 27th March

    MLB results 26th March

    Kansas City Royals news

    New York Mets news

    Tophatal …………

    Like

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