Rio or Bust and Beyond ….

Rio or Bust and Beyond

The Olympics are now underway and Rio de Janeiro now becomes the sporting center of the universe. Controversy remains , with IOC Executive Committee made the decision not to ban the entire Russian delegation at these games. The first medal of the tournament was won a by US athlete, when Ginny Thrasher took the gold medal in the Women’s 10 meter Air Rifle event and with it comes the $55,000 paid out to each winner of an individual event by the US Olympic Committee . Michael Phelps remains the most honored athlete in Olympic history having won a total of twenty-five medals in all competitive events, swam at the Summer Olympics. Competing in his fifth Summer Games , Phelps will be looking to add to his tally and further immortalize himself as the most successful US athlete in Olympic history. As to whether or not he is the greatest Olympian of all-time, can be best judged, as to how one determines greatness. Is it adjudged by the level of competition faced, being able to overcome all adversity placed in your way , or can it be judged by the overall pressure to succeed.

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I certainly believe Michael Phelps is a great athlete, but I do not believe he is the greatest athlete or competitor in Olympic history. Phelps’ fellow teammate, Katie Ledecky will also be seeking to place her name in the annals of USA Olympic history, as he chases down even more records. Ledecky remains by far the most dominant female swimmer in US history and certainly the best of the current crop of athletes competing at the Rio Games in the Women’s events. She has been dominant form at the start of the swimming events and there is the likelihood , she will leave Rio as the most decorated female athlete at these games.

Gabby Douglas left the 2012 London Olympics , making history as the first African-American female athlete to have won the female All -round Competition, bringing home Olympic gold. Team USA dominated in winning the team competition, but it will be the individual events , which will now garner the most attention, as Douglas , along with teammate , current three-time world champion Simone Biles will be expected to contend for the individual all-round event as well as several as the other individual events. Biles is heavily favored in several of the individual events, as well as the all-round competition , given her status as the reigning world champion. It will be interesting to see if the duo can provide the level of competition and thrills expected, when they compete as individuals ,rather than as teammates..

My three favorite Olympic sports remain , Boxing , Taekwondo and Track & Field . It will be on the main track at the Olympic Stadium where we are going to see whether or not, track star , Usain Bolt can continue his dominance in the sprint events of the Men’s 100 and 200 meters, as well as the 4 by 100 meters Men’s Sprint Relay. The Jamaican star has completed the Olympic triple of having won the events at 2008 Beijing Olympics , repeated the feat in London , in 2012 and will be seeking to make history in Rio de Janeiro , Brazil .

From my own perspective , this quadrennial event has now lost its integrity , soul and is no longer about the spirit of true competition ! The Summer and Winter Olympics have now become about excess , greed and a great deal of corruption at the highest levels of the Executive Committee (hierarchy) of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) . Like so many other sporting institutions around the globe be it at the national or international level, once the hooks of corruption are locked in , absolutely nothing good can ever come from within . The IOC remains corrupt and duplicitous on so many levels , that not one of the the Presidents of what was once a venerable institution can be viewed as unscathed. Current IOC President Thomas Bach has already placed himself in the line of fire , with the decision to have Russia compete in Rio , when there were calls for there to be a complete ban of the delegation. Russian athletes have been involved in some of the biggest doping scandals to have hit the Olympic movement of the past four decades. A partial ban of several athletes from Russia has not sat well with many of the member nations of the IOC. At the end of the day , the Olympic Games must go on and the success of the Rio Olympics will be based on the level of integrity , sportsmanship , spirit of competition shown , without there being any signs of major controversy.

With what was meant to be the official Kick-Off to the start of the NFL Preseason ended up being another fiasco , which the NFL hierarchy and the Pro Football Hall of Fame showed a great deal of incompetence. With eight new inductees being enshrined in Canton, Ohio, the preseason opening game between the Green Bay Packers and Indianapolis Colts had to be postponed . Official reason for the game failing to be played , came from there being far too much paint on the field at Tom Benson Stadium in Ohio , along with the excuse , that the playing surface was unfit to host the contest. A spokesperson for the organizers of the game , did stipulate a full refund will be given to all of the fans in attendance of the postponed event. As to what this suggests about the league (NFL) can be best summed up in two words , utter incompetence .

Brett Favre and Tony Dungy are two of the most celebrated and revered individuals to be associated with the NFL over the past four decades and the level of respect shown to both at their induction , was very much a show of appreciation and gratitude for their contributions to the game of football. The achievements of both Favre and Dungy have been well-chronicled and there isn’t really a great deal more which needs to be said about their respective accomplishments .

Robert Griffin III will get the chance to begin a new chapter in his NFL career , one which has created a deal of disillusionment for some , while there continues to be a belief , the best is yet to come from the player. The Cleveland Browns are the beneficiary’s of Griffin’s talent and with it comes not only the baggage , a but a great deal of expectation from the fans of the Browns. Over the past ten years there has been very little to write home about concerning this franchise. Browns’ manager Hu Jackson has been envisioned with bring the best out of this team as they head in to their preseason and regular season schedule . The players will begin that journey when they open up their exhibition season against the Green Bay Packers on Friday, 12th August , 2016 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay , Wisconsin. I don’t believe there is likely to be a quarterback competition for the starting role on the Cleveland Browns. The Browns were threadbare in that particular role last season and it led to one of the many reasons why the team was so ineffective in 2015. If the Cleveland Browns are to have any chance being a competitive franchise this upcoming season then every facet of their game will have to be improved.

As I alluded to earlier, no quarterback competition is on the horizon , but I do believe Hu Jackson and the Cleveland Browns’ coaching staff will use every opportunity available to assess the talent of Josh McCown and whether or not he can be relied upon as a backup to Robert Griffin III. McCown and Griffin are likely to get a great deal of playing time during the preseason , before the regular season beckons. The first game on the Cleveland Browns’ schedule for the regular season , will pit them against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania on the 11th September , 2016 .

Andy Dalton and the Cincinnati Bengals have to prove themselves worthy of being considered legitimate contenders within the AFC this upcoming season . Since his introduction as the Bengals’ starting quarterback Dalton has proved himself to be very good player in the regular season, but he continues to falter during the postseason . I certainly believe Andy Dalton is capable of leading a team to a long playoff run if he’s surrounded by the talent good enough to make this a reality. This is where I believe Marvin Lewis , his coaching staff and the Browns’ front office must come in and make the pertinent decisions to make such an event a real possibility.

The Cincinnati Bengals’ draft class is considered to be one of their best in recent years and the rookies are ready to make themselves known to the ever raucous fans of the franchise. Cleveland’s coaching staff are preparing the players for their preseason opener against the Minnesota Vikings in their home exhibition season opener. Andy Dalton and his Bengals’ teammates will begin their regular season schedule with a game against the New York Jets at Met-Life Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey on the 11th September, 2016 .

While I am hoping to see an entertaining preseason in the NFL , I know for all sense and purpose there is not a great which can be be placed on the games played , but I do feel for a number of teams , the exhibition schedule could go a long way in telling us about their determination to get better . For the New England Patriots and the decision to sit Tom Brady for the first game of their preseason schedule , a great deal will be expected of Jimmy Garopollo over the course of their schedule and heading into the regular season. Brady will miss the first four games of the Patriots’ regular season start, having given up his task of seeking reinstatement , providing his backup, Garopollo with the chance to prove himself as a capable starter as Tom Brady’s understudy and perhaps the heir-apparent to the two-time League MVP .

Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots’ coaching staff will be expecting a great deal from the team this season and a chance to make up for last season’s rather pedantic display in the postseason. New England’s loss to the Denver Broncos in the AFC Championship game which provided the chance Brady to cross swords with long-time adversary Peyton Manning , was something of a disconcerting defeat . With Manning now retired and assured of being a first ballot Hall of Fame inductee in 2021 . The question now being asked , how many more years can Tom Brady play and can he still maintain the high level of success achieved throughout much of his career ?

No more ‘Mr Nice Guy ‘ . This now has to be the mindset of Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers , albeit over the last two seasons the Panthers have proven themselves to be the best team in the NFC . Head coach Ron River a must know this team does have another window of opportunity to get the job done , winning the franchise’s first Superbowl . Last season’s meltdown against the Denver Broncos , showed the inexperience of the players on the Big Stage. I believe it will be a lesson well-learned for those returning to the fold. The departure of Josh Norman came as something of a shock , with the corner-back having signed with the Washington Redskins for a substantial deal . Rivera will likely look to several players on the depth chart to step up to the plate , seeking to replace one of the Panthers’ most dominant players on their secondary last season. There was a very good reason why the Carolina Panthers proved to be a very good defensive team during the regular season.

Cam Newton was the consensus winner of the League MVP in 2015 and will look to repeat the form seen last season , entering what will be his sixth season in the NFL , having been the number one overall pick by the Carolina Panthers in the 2011 NFL Draft . Newton was among a group of college quarterbacks taken in the Draft of that year, thought to be prototypical passers. As a player the Panthers’ quarterback poses as a duel threat, as a passer and a rusher. I firmly believe given the singular success achieved by Cam Newton he is now on the verge taking it to the next level and be considered an elite quarterback in the NFL ! With departure of Peyton Manning there remain possibly, just a handful of players in the league who could be considered of that status . Namely among those are Aaron Rodgers , Tom Brady , Drew Brees , Andrew Luck , Russell Wilson and Philip Rivers . With all due respect to Tony Romo , until he has proven himself capable of leading the Dallas Cowboys on a prolonged run during the postseason , all he will be remembered for is consistency seen during the regular season , a propensity to get injured, the mediocrity of his form and constant excuses for his and the team’s poor play during the NFL postseason.

This season’s schedule could prove to be a tough one for the Carolina Panthers , where their toughest divisional competitor is likely to be the New Orleans Saints within the NFC South. It is my belief the Atlanta Falcons are now on a steady decline , while the Tampa Bay Buccaneers remain a work in progress and where the jury still out on their quarterback Jameis Winston . Weeks’ six and eleven will provide the Panthers’ fans with the chance to see how Cam Newton will fare against his opposite number Drew Brees in those two divisional contests during the regular season. The Panthers will be a strong candidate among the presumed NFC contenders for the Superbowl and I believe they have to be seen as the prohibitive favorite within the conference as a postseason contender for the conference title and to raise the Lombardi Trophy as the next Superbowl champions .


Picture gallery. By clicking on an image you can view that picture in a reformatted size along with the accompanying narrative.

What have your impressions been of the Olympics, the coverage provide by NBC Sports and their affiliate stations. Which athletes do you believe will prove to be the most impressive of these games ? With the start of the NFL preseason due to begin on Thursday evening with several games scheduled , what are you hoping to see from the teams this early in the NFL exhibition schedule and then leading off into the start of the regular season ?


Tophatal …..

Olympics , Olympic Sports

Olympic schedule and results

2016 Rio Olympic Games


NFL news and NFL transactions

NFL preseason schedule and week one of the

NFL free agents (available)

NFL preseason standings (divisional)

NFL player stats preseason (2015)

NFL team stats preseason (2015)

Pro Football Hall of Fame

This month in NFL history

NFL team cap payrolls (2016)

Author: tophatal ...........

Brit ex-pat living C Florida . Now working with a consultancy firm in the field of corporate governance on the international front , concerning economic policies . Also covering the area of finance , banking, international banking. An MBA graduate from the (LSE) and UCL (London) , M&A (mergers & acquisitions), economics , risk management & assessment . Martial artist (tae-kwondo, karate, savate , muy-thai) & an vowed sports ' fan , sports' junkie. Served in armed forces British ... Royal Marines . Taught unarmed combat to members of the military and also competed in tournaments prior to joining the Royal Marines . Also an avid motorcycle junkie & free running enthusiast . Tech geek and computer repair technician. Entertainment: Musical tastes _ reggae, r&b, soul, hip-hop, rap , jazz, classical. Film genres , Preferably thrillers , crime dramas Hobbies ..... reading biographies & anything by John Grisham Just a lil' something to make me feel comfortable ! Tophatal

50 thoughts on “Rio or Bust and Beyond ….”

  1. Fun times now to be had at the Olympics . Team USA leads the medal tally by a considerably wide margin. Katie Ledecky and Michael Phelps are now well on their way to swimming immortality, as the most successful American aquatic Olympians , male or female.

    Usain Bolt has yet to hit the track , but the world will be watching with anticipation as he chases after what will be a remarkable triple .

    With the NFL preseason set to begin tomorrow night (Thursday). It will be interesting to see how the teams will fare through their initial contests .

    Tophatal …………..

    Liked by 1 person

  2. One week into the Rio Olympics and the stories are coming thick and fast from various sources as the events unfold. Michael Phelps continues to be a mainstay as are Katie Ledecky and Gabby Douglas for Team USA , the leading country in terms of the overall medals’ haul . Host nation Brazil is already on the board in terms of their medal tally.

    Friday’s schedule of events is must-see for those who wish to see a wide variety of sporting events.

    Tophatal ……


  3. Don’t look now , but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are back in the same old mode . Head coach Dirk Koetter has to be deeply troubled already as the team’s secondary continues to be as mediocre as usual. In their opening game of the preseason the Bucaneers find themselves down 14-6 , with two minutes to play in the second quarter of their contest against the Philadelphia Eagles . Thankfully , this game is on the road and not being played at Raymond James Stadium , in Tampa , Florida . Last season the venue was never once sold out for any of the Buccaneers’ games played at home .

    NFL news

    Thursday night results in the NFL (week one preseason)

    NFL divisional standings (preseason)

    NFL player stats preseason

    NFL team stats preseason

    Tophatal ……………… 2016/08/11 08:36 pm


  4. Great start to the preseason for the New England Patriots , with their win (34-22) over the New Orleans Saints . Patriots’ starting quarterback Jimmy Garopollo had a solid if not spectacular out in the victory , which was an all-round effort by the team . New England’s head coach Bill Belichick and his coaching staff must have been please with what they witnessed from Tom Brady’s understudy and it bodes well for the start of the regular season for the franchise. The Patriots’ depth chart was put to good use by New England’s staff, as Belichick got to see something out of his rookies and potential reserves seeking to make the team’s starting roster.

    Jacoby Brissett , a starting quarterback for the Florida Gators , as a the third-string starter also got some playing time for the New England Patriots and it will be interesting see whether or not he makes the final cut unto the team’s roster. If Brissset doesn’t make it unto the team as a quarterback , then there is the likelihood , Bill Belichick and the coaching staff could convert the player to become a wide receiver , joining what is already a very talented receiving corps .

    Jacoby Brissett (7) , foreground, of the New England Patriots . Also seen in the background , Josh McDaniels , offensive coordinator for the Patriots.

    Week two of the the New England Patriots’ preseason schedule will see them face the Chicago Bears at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro’ , Massachusetts on the 18th August , 2016. Jimmy Garopollo will likely be the starting quarterback in the contest, but I do expect to see Tom Brady on the field for a couple of reps , as he looks to keep the rust off , knowing his mandatory four-game suspension comes into play for the first four games of the Patriots’ regular season schedule.

    New England Patriots news

    Tophatal …………


  5. History was made in astonishing fashion in the Finals of the Women’s 100 Meters Freestyle as Simone-Manuel” rel=”nofollow”> Simone Manuel won the event in Olympic record time of 52.70 , sharing the gold with Canada’s Penny Oleksiak . The historical meaning of the victory, was the fact Manuel became the first African-American female to medal in an individual event.

    Simone Manuel of the United States.

    Cullen Jones was the first African-American to win a medal , but it was in a Men’s Sprint Medley Relay ,as a teammate in the 4 x 100 meters Men’s Medley Relay at the London Olympics in 2012. Jones also won a Sprint Medley in the 4 x 100 meters Freestyle Event in 2008 .

    Cullen Jones.

    In the aftermath of her triumph , Simone Manuel’s speech to the public, was of great significance , as she spoke eloquently about the racial injustice now being seen in the country of her birth , while the nation’s political leaders simply do nothing.

    Tophatal ………….


  6. Team USA in the Men’s Basketball have opened themselves up to a great deal of criticism , in what many believe to be the players’ lack of respect for the opponents faced at this stage of the competition. Head coach Mike Krzyzewski has sought to discipline from the roster as well leadership from the veterans on the roster. Yet, that has not been evident with their displays , although they remain unbeaten in Group Competition .

    Carmelo Anthony is seen as the veteran leader on the USA roster , and one can see why , but at the end of the day Anthony’s career will be primarily wrapped around the fact he remains a great scorer , but offering nothing by way of leadership at any level or where he has played professionally or even at the national level representing the USA.

    Carmelo Anthony of Team USA , seen here at Rio Olympics . Anthony will be looking to win his third Olympic gold medal , having already surpassed LeBron James as the country’s leading scorer in Olympic games’ history.

    Team USA in their last game , barely got by the scrappy and determined Australian Team which had a number of NBA experienced players on their roster . Somehow this Mike Krzyzewski coached US Team found themselves in an extraordinary game , where the Boomers were on the verge of pulling off the biggest upset in Olympic Basketball history , before going down to the US in a narrow ten-point 98-88 victory .


  7. There are a number of games on Friday’s preseason schedule in the NFL . Among the teams playing are the New York Giants playing host to the Miami Dolphins , Detroit Lions facing the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field in their game being played tonight. Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers will face off against Robert Griffin III and the Cleveland Browns . This will be Griffin’s first game in a Browns’ jersey.

    There still remain a number of players as free agents still unsigned . Among the quarterbacks still seeking a new home Johnny Manziel , where I believe, there will be ‘no takers’ for the troubled player ! Thirteen-year veteran Michael Vick who spent last season with the Pittsburgh Steelers as the backup to Ben Roethlisberger will be looking to parlay his experience once again as a backup with an NFL franchise. Vick as a veteran with the Steelers earned ($970,00) roughly the veterans’ minimum at the position.

    Michael Vick currently a free agent still looking for a team.

    Having been drafted first overall in the 2001 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons Michael Vick’s best years were considered to be with the franchise as he took them to the postseason in 2002 and 2004 . He would also have the opportunity to do the same while playing for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2009 and 2010.

    Courtesy of the Dallas Morning news

    Laufenberg: Why Michael Vick is a realistic option as a backup QB for the Dallas Cowboys

    Babe Laufenberg

    Question : Did you see the play where [Kellen] Moore was injured? Why would a lineman even get close to a quarterback if it’s just training camp drills?

    Laufenberg : Yes. Play happened right in front of me. My heart went out to Moore when I saw him carried off the field. here is a guy who has been battling his rear end off to prove he belongs, finally gets his opportunity, then three days into camp it is gone. It was an unfortunate injury, but injuries happen. All you hear at camp is coaches yelling at players to, “stay up!” This time, one didn’t.

    Question : Do you think Michael Vick would be a viable option?

    Laufenberg : I honestly think he is an option. Went 2-1 with Pittsburgh last year. Don’t know what kind of shape he is in (yes, I did see the YouTube video) but you have a guy who has played in the league and won a bunch of games. He has had 12 straight years of throwing more TDs than interceptions.I would certainly kick the tires on him and work him out. Why not?

    Question : Do you agree with the Cowboys’ no-hurry approach to finding another backup QB now that Moore is out?

    Click on link to read in full.

    Gone are the days when Vick was one of the most talked about players in the NFL and as seen as a dual threat . The question now likely to be asked , is how much does Michael Vick have left in the tank and is he still capable of playing at a moderately competitive level ? Where Michael Vick next lands as a player , it will likely be the last destination of his NFL career.

    Tophatal ………


  8. Results from Friday night’s games in the NFL and how the divisional standings now look along with those of the conferences .

    Dak Prescott was one of the most talked about college quarterbacks in College Football before his collegiate career came to an end . Prescott was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the fourth-round of the NFL Draft of 2016. The Mississippi State quarterback is seen as a long-term fit to a solution which the front office and coaching staff must now start contemplating as the future of Tony Romo takes on a new perspective. Romo has become injury-plagued , has always been lacking of leadership and the excuses for the unexpected losses have become far too prevalent.

    Dak Prescott (4) of the Dallas Cowboys.

    Dallas’ depth chart at the quarterback position is not too impressive , which gives fans and analysts alike many reasons to believe team owner Jerry Jones will acquire a seasoned veteran before the start of the regular season. For the moment he and head coach Jason Garrett are likely to assess their options among the players available on the roster . Brandon Weeden is clearly not the answer as a backup and neither was Matt Cassel last season .

    The Dallas Cowboys will begin their preseason schedule with a game against the Los Angeles Rams , as the Rams get to open up a new season and chapter in the franchise’s history .

    Dallas Cowboys news

    Tophatal …………..


  9. Matt McGloin was impressive , as the Oakland Raiders beat the Arizona Cardinal , whose game was simply made up of repeated errors and mistimed throws . The 31-10 loss by Arizona was indicative of a poorly played game by the second and third stringers on the team’s roster. Bruce Arians can only hope for things to get better in Arizona’s second game of their preseason schedule . Arians will now prepare the team to face the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego ,California ,.

    For the Oakland Raiders this was an impressive way to start their preseason . It creates confidence for the Raiders’ players as well as the coaching staff of Jack Del Rio . Oakland’s next game will see them face the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin on 19th August ,2016.

    Tophatal ………….


  10. Week one of the NFL preseason comes to a close with no real surprises , though teams are hoping to avoid injuries to any of their front-line players. The Chicago Bears (0-1) continue to be a team continually devoid of common sense and talent , as they have been for the past four years . Jay Cutler remains the team’s starting quarterback for the moment with there being little depth or option at the position on the roster.

    In the Bears’ opening game of the preseason they suffered a rather embarrassing loss to the reigning Superbowl champions the Denver Broncos . The Chicago Bears’ coaching staff headed by John Fox will be under a tremendous amount of pressure to succeed this season . Chicago has not won the NFC North divisional crown in several years and their last postseason appearance ended abysmally for the franchise. The Chicago Bears would go on to lose to the Green Bay Packer in the NFC title game , where Jay Cutler’s performance was woefully inept . Cutler remains a player who is vastly overrated , overpaid and completely lacking any type of leadership ability.

    In week two the Chicago Bears will meet the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro’ , Massachusetts on the 18th August , 2016.

    Chicago Bears news

    Tophatal ………..


  11. Usain Bolt added to his legacy , winning the Men’s 100 Meters Final , defeating nemesis Justin Gatlin , on his way to a third straight gold medal in the event. Bolt did not break his own world record but has stressed his intent to try and break the 200 Meter world record (19.32) , which he holds in this event , as well as the Olympic record. The Jamaican sprinter will also seek to add the Men’s Sprint Relay (4 x 100 Meters) to his tally of medals won at the Rio Games , to make himself the most successful athlete in Olympic Games’ history. Only Al Oerter has managed to win four gold medals (discus thrower) in the same event at four successive Olympic Games over the course of his athletic career.

    Jamaican , Usain Bolt wins the Men’s 100 Meters in Rio .

    Usain Bolt has stated, the 2016 Olympic Games will be his last international competition at the Summer Olympics, but he will compete in the 2017 IAAF World Championships for the very last time.

    Two world records have been broken at the Rio Games , with the first coming in the Women’s 10,000 Meters which was won by Ethiopian , Almaz Ayana , whose record winning time 29 minutes ,17.45 seconds , slashed the record by some fourteen seconds. The Men’s 400 Meters was won by South African , Wade van Niekerk , who obliterated (winning time 43.03) the seventeen-year old record (43.17) of the former holder Michael Johnson . LaShawn Merritt , of the United States took the bronze , having returned from a mandatory two-year doping ban.

    Wade van Niekerk seen here at the start of the Men’s 400 Meters Finals at the Rio Olympics.

    Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia .

    It does seem somewhat asinine with there being so much criticism of the Russian delegation when we now have two US track stars (male, Justin Gatlin & LaShawn Merritt) having medalled in these games , who just happen to be users of banned substances , which contravenes both the USADA (United States Anti Doping Agency) as well as WADA and the IAAF (International Amateur Athletics Federation) rules . Yet, there you have it folks, the hypocrisy of the US Olympic Committee , IAAF and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and their now lame rules and rulings. If you have tested positive for a banned substance more than once , then there should be no way as an athlete , you are allowed to compete in the Olympic Games ! Live by a set of rules , rather than change , solely based on the power held by a member country or the financial contributions made to the IOC.

    LaShawn Merritt (left) and Justin Gatlin .

    Rio Olympics

    Tophatal ………………….


  12. Week two of the NFL preseason will begin on Thursday night with a complement of games being played. On the schedule will be Philadelphia Eagles (1-0) taking on the Pittsburgh Steelers (0-1) at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania , on the 18th August , 2016. Also featured will be the Cincinnati Bengals (0-1) taking on the NFC’s Detroit Lions (1-0) at Ford Field in Detroit , Michigan .

    Also of consequence will be three other games scheduled for Thursday evening , of which the most intriguing might be the contest between the Chicago Bears (0-1) and the New England Patriots (1-0) .

    NFL news

    NFL transactions


  13. If the stories are to be believed then either swimmer , Ryan Lochte and teammates may well have fabricated their story of being robbed at gunpoint or the police have no real evidence to go and investigate this robbery further . Scant eyewitness details, evidence , or a detailed account as to what was stolen from the three has the police mystified . Lochte for his part is adamant the crime took place and has reiterated the fact.

    Ryan Lochte and three male teammates were robbed at gunpoint following what was believed to be a traffic stop by men alleged to be police officers. The victim were seated in a taxi, were asked to get out and hand over whatever valuable belongings had in their possession.

    Courtesy of USA Today

    Ryan Lochte: ‘We were afraid we’d get in trouble’

    By Nicole Auerbach , USA Today

    RIO DE JANEIRO — Ryan Lochte told USA TODAY Sports on Tuesday that he initially did not tell the U.S. Olympic Committee that he and three other American swimmers were victims of a robbery early Sunday morning “because we were afraid we’d get in trouble.”

    Ryan Lochte

    Lochte’s initial response appears to clear up early confusion by Olympic officials about whether Lochte and his teammates were robbed. A spokesman for the International Olympic Committee at first said Sunday that the reports of a robbery were not true and attributed the information to the U.S. Olympic Committee.

    The four swimmers told USOC officials that they had been taking a taxi home early Sunday from France House when “their taxi was stopped by individuals posing as armed police officers who demanded the athletes’ money and other personal belongings,” according to a USOC statement.

    It was many hours before Lochte met with U.S. authorities, according to Jeff Ostrow, Lochte’s attorney. Ostrow told USA TODAY Sports on Tuesday that Lochte met with representatives from the State Department, FBI, Tourist Police and the USOC’s security team at about 7:30 p.m. Sunday night. It was Lochte’s first interaction with police and he gave his statement with Ostrow on the phone.

    Click on link to read in full.

    What seems abundantly clear, the guidelines being provided to the US athletes are not being strictly adhered to by the athletes themselves or by the delegate officials of the US Olympic Committee . After the embarrassment of three team members of the Men’s US Basketball Team leaving the Olympic Village to make their way to a Rio brothel, only to then have members of the NBA and a spokesperson from USA Basketball deny claims DeMar DeRozan , DeMarcus Cousins and De Andre Jordan were seen leaving the vicinity of a brothel in the early hours of Friday night , Saturday morning .It begs the question, are the athletes themselves, simply stupid or is there no accountability or standards being upheld by the USOC when a delegation heads overseas to represent the nation at the biggest sports’ event in the world ?

    Tophatal …………….


  14. Events on tap for today (Wednesday) at the Olympics , with Simone Biles and Michael Phelps being the most feted and successful athletes at these games. Perhaps, the athlete with the biggest upside could very well be judoka Kayla Harrison who won her successive gold medal in Judo making a successful defense of the title she won in 2012 at the London Olympics. Harrison is now seen as the ‘next’ Ronda Rousey and it is believed overtures will be made to sign the two-time Olympic Bantamweight champion to a lucrative contract with the UFC .

    Kayla Harrison .

    Dana White knows the sport needs a new infusion of young talent especially among the women . Yet at the same time with the return of such established stars as Anderson Silva , Georges St Pierre and highly overrated Brock Lesnar , the UFC President knows , this still might not be enough for the franchise to remain the fastest growing and most popular combative sport in the world .

    UFC news

    Tophatal ……


  15. Week two of the NFL preseason begins tonight with a number of games on the agenda . Chip Kelly has been given a second bite of the apple , having been hired to succeed Jim Tomsula as the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers . The organization remains in complete disarray , with CEO Jed York making a hire which many Niners’ fans have no implicit faith in. Meanwhile , GM Trent Baalke made a number of off-season moves which still have a number of people bemused . There also remains a great deal of uncertainty about the caliber of the players drafted in their most recent draft class. To top it all there is said to be a quarterback competition ensuing between long-time starter Colin Kaepernick and his backup Blaine Gabbert . Kaepernick in the past year has become complacent , temperamental and if anything more concerned with off the field issues , rather than seeking to improve his game and that of the franchise.

    Blaine Gabbert (2) and Colin Kaepernick (7).

    The San Francisco 49ers are no longer seen as being among the best in the NFC , much less within the NFC West , with the class of the division now being the Seattle Seahawks . What now seems abundantly clear , is the very fact , this will be a make or break season for the Forty-Niners in more ways than one. Levi’s (Strauss) Stadium in Santa Clara , California , is one of the best venues in the NFL , well-supported in terms of the fan-base while the San Francisco 49ers appears to be one of the league’s most profitable and most valuable teams .

    Heading into week two where the San Francisco 49ers will meet the Denver Broncos (1-0) at Sports Authority Field (Stadium) in Denver , Colorado,. Chip Kelly will be looking for a vast improvement from the team after the Niners’ defeat suffered in week one at the hands of the Houston Texans (1-0) . It will be interesting to see who gets the start in this game as Chip Kelly looks to made a decision between Colin Kaepernick and Blaine Gabbert at the quarterback position.

    NFL news and preseason divisional standings

    San Francisco 49ers news

    Tophatal ………….


  16. Of the the three franchises now within the state of Florida , perhaps the two best teams will be seen this within the next few days as part of the week-two preseason schedule. Make no mistakes , the Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1) , Miami Dolphins (1-0) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-1) leave a great deal to be desired in terms of their respective pedigrees . All three franchises have quarterbacks who have struggled since their entrance into the NFL .

    When the Jacksonville Jaguars play host to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Saturday evening this will be just another in a long-line of sometimes meaningless contests between these two teams. For Dirk Koetter and his Jaguars’ counterpart Gus Bradley this will provide both head coaches with a chance to assess their respective teams’ style of play. Both the Buccaneers and Jaguars remain win-less after an inauspicious starts to the preseason.

    Blake Bortles and Jameis Winston will be the two opposing quarterbacks when the Jaguars and Buccaneers meet in this intra-conference match-up . Contests between the two franchises tend to be not very competitive with the last game between the two taking place during the 2015 NFL season and week six of the regular season schedule .

    It would not be unreasonable to suggest the Miami Dolphins remain an enigma and a conundrum all rolled into one. The franchise has not made the postseason since 2008 , which resulted in a wildcard round loss to the Baltimore Ravens . The Dolphins have been beset by complacency and a complete lack of leadership on and off the field of play.

    Ryan Tannehill has been entrusted to lead the team this season as the quarterback and it remains to be seen what we are likely to see from the player. Tannehill has continued to disappoint , showing very little composure or maturity in his role.

    Adam Gase has been brought in to coach a team which appears to be in in a rebuilding mode once again. Arian Foster has been added to the roster as the front office and coaching staff will be looking to get the best out of the team for this upcoming season. A victory in week one , put the Dolphins in the right position as they seek some momentum heading into the start of the regular season. The Miami Dolphins’ week two opponent will be the equally enigmatic Dallas Cowboys (0-1) .

    Jacksonville Jaguars news

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers news

    Miami Dolphins news

    Tophatal ……………..


  17. There was always more to this Ryan Lochte story, than the swimmer was prepared to let on . Now it leaves the USOC and USA Swimming in a very embarrassing position , having to explain the exact circumstances concerning the swimmer’s story of being robbed at gunpoint by four allegedly armed Brazilian police officers. If the story now emanating from a high-ranking official within the Rio Police Department is to be believed. Then it would appear Ryan Lochte’s story was pure fabrication , in order to hide the fact he and four other teammates vandalized a Rio nightclub after a night out on the town. This being the second incident , where members from Team USA have lied about an incident involving athletes from the US delegation. USA Basketball , had to answer questions concerning the behavior of four players from the Men’s Basketball Team who were seen leaving a Rio brothel , after claims were made , that the players were in fact at a day spa. It seem idiotic and childish for spokesperson making the claim these four players were leaving a day spa in the early hours of Saturday morning .

    Courtesy of USA Today Sports

    Police say Ryan Lochte, swimmers lied about alleged robbery

    RIO DE JANEIRO — Rio police said four U.S. swimmers lied about being held up at gunpoint Sunday morning.

    “No robbery was committed against these athletes. They were not victims of the crimes they claimed,” Fernando Veloso, chief of civil police, said during a news conference Thursday afternoon.

    Police said the swimmers were confronted by security guards carrying guns after leaving a party at the French hospitality house. The latest developments in the case led to more questions and confusion about the swimmers’ account of what happened when they said they were robbed at gunpoint.

    Earlier in the day, the Associated Press reported that Ryan Lochte fabricated the story of the incident, citing a Brazilian police official.

    The official has direct knowledge of the investigation, according to the AP, and spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak about an ongoing investigation.

    Lochte and U.S. teammates Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and Jimmy Feigen went to a gas station at about 6 a.m. Sunday, the official told AP, and broke a door to an outside bathroom when they couldn’t get in.

    They were confronted by an armed security guard, but he did not point the gun at the athletes, the official said.


    Click on link to read this article in full.

    Ryan Lochte is now back in the United States and a request has been made by the Brazilian Interior Ministry for his return to answer further questions as to what in-fact took place. Lochte’s four teammates who were the alleged victims of this robbery still remain in Rio ,with their passports having been confiscated , as the authorities conduct their ongoing investigations into the claims made. If the allegations are found to be untrue , then all five individuals would face a fine , but the repercussions from the USOC (US Olympic Committee) and USA Swimming could lead their facing a suspension and fines by both US based sports’ institutions.

    Tophatal …………


  18. Friday night lights as two teams looking to resurrect glories from seasons past, will try to make some sense to their respective fortunes in recent years. Opposing head coaches Jason Garrett of the Dallas Cowboys and Adam Gase of the Miami Dolphins will lead their respective rosters unto the field of play, when the Cowboys will play host to the Dolphins at AT&T Stadium in Arlington , Texas. While I expect this to be an entertaining game I don’t believe it will play any emphasis as to what we are likely to see during the regular season from both teams. Coming off lackluster seasons in 2015 for both franchises , there might well be some improvement from both the Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins , but not to the point where both are likely to be considered contenders for their respective divisional titles , much less a wildcard berth for the postseason during this season’s upcoming regular season schedule .

    Ryan Tannehill and Tony Romo are likely to see some playing time in tonight’s game , perhaps playing no more than four or five series each.

    I believe the Dallas Cowboys should be competitive enough this regular season to be at least worthy a contender in the NFC , but I certainly don’t believe the team will be good enough to win their division ! Tony Romo has now become an injury riddled individual and as we know his playoff record remains mediocre .

    Nothing else needs to be said about Ryan Tannehill , than his being an overrated talent , overpaid , lacking leadership and a complete anathema as a player .

    Tophatal ………….


  19. Friday nigh results in the NFL , heading into Saturday’s games and how things stand at present within the divisions and respective conferences . There were no real overwhelming performances by way of the results or singular individual performances . However, the Dallas Cowboys’ 41-14 destruction of the Miami Dolphins at AT&T Stadium in Dallas , Texas, should be real cause for concern for the defeated Dolphins and in particular for Adam Gase and the Dolphins’ coaching staff . Miami’s secondary was absolutely deplorable and they could not handle the rush or pass throughout the contest.

    Dak Prescott was impressive for the Dallas Cowboys and the coaching staff should feel they have an heir-apparent to Tony Romo should the veteran starter fall prey to any type of injury during the upcoming regular season schedule.

    In week three the Dallas Cowboys are due to face the Seattle Seahawks at Century-Link Field in Seattle , Washington on Thursday 25th August , 2016. Meanwhile , the Miami Dolphins will have their eyes firmly set on regrouping when they are due to meet the Atlanta Falcons on the road at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia on the same day.

    Tophatal ……….


  20. If Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers are to have any chance of making the NFL postseason then this year will have to be the year where this team is finally on board and playing at a heightened level. Rivers a seasoned veteran of thirteen-years will be looking to establish himself as more than just one of the franchise’s best players in their history. There can be no denying playing one of the NFL’s more competitive divisions the Chargers will be tested this season. So far bearing a 1-1 record to start the preseason the San Diego Chargers have proven themselves to be a moderately efficient team .

    In the San Diego Chargers’ second game of the preseason they got the better of the Arizona Cardinals in a rather low-scoring contest , winning the match-up 19-3 . There might well have been more concerned elsewhere for the Cardinals’ players and coaching staff with the realization there are health concerns for the team’s head coach Bruce Arians , who was hospitalized earlier this week , suffering from chest and stomach pains.

    Arizona Cardinals news

    Tophatal ………………..


  21. Pittsburgh Steelers’ defensive player James Harrison’s short-lived retirement away from the franchise was not really much of a surprise . However , what now seems to be weighing down on the shoulders of the player is his being named in an expose’ by US media and news gathering organization Al Jazeera (USA) , with Harrison being named in a steroid probe. Also named are Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers along with the now retired Peyton Manning . The famed and future Hall of Fame bound Manning , was cleared by the NFL of any impropriety of or wrongdoing after what was said to be a thorough investigation by the league.

    USA Today

    James Harrison calls Roger Goodell ‘crook,’ wants televised PED interview

    By Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz , USA Today Sports

    James Harrison acquiesced to the NFL’s demand for an interview in its ongoing performance-enhancing drug probe, but the Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker isn’t backing down from the league.

    James Harrison of the Pittsburgh Steelers .
    After agreeing to make himself available to the NFL on Aug. 30 at the Steelers’ facility, Harrison called NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell a “crook” and advocated the idea that the interview should be broadcast live.

    “Whatever evidence they might have or reasoning for questioning for me is out of my control, I don’t know,” Harrison said Thursday after the Steelers’ 17-0 preseason loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. “I wouldn’t have a problem with it being filmed live. I’ve been prosecuted and persecuted publicly in the media by them for something I didn’t do, so I don’t see why we couldn’t have the media there and do a live interview. They can ask the questions and I can answer them, and y’all can see whatever evidence it is they say they got.

    Harrison’s proposed Aug. 30 date is five days after the deadline the NFL gave four active players to conduct interviews into the probe on allegations made in the Al Jazeera America documentary The Dark Side. He, along with Green Bay Packers linebackers Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers and free agent linebacker Mike Neal, had maintained they did not need to submit to in-person interviews because Charlie Sly, the former anti-aging clinic intern featured in the movie, later recanted his hidden-camera claims.

    But the NFL said in a letter first obtained by USA TODAY Sports on Monday that the players would face suspension for conduct detrimental if they did not agree to the interviews. Matthews and Peppers also agreed Thursday to interviews, while Neal has yet to do so, a person with knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.

    Click on link to read in full.

    Adolphus Birch III , Head of Labor Relations for the NFL is being kept abreast of the proceedings and James Harrison has now stated he is willing to cooperate with the league , giving a statement at time and date to be arranged. In the case of both Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers , it is not known if the two players will meet with league official or be entirely cooperative in any type of investigation. It is widely believed the Players’ Board of Representatives for the NFLPA (Players Union) have been advising the players of their rights as well as being prepared to provide their members with legal representation , should it be needed. While the claims of threats of suspension have been bandied about if there is said to non-cooperation on the part of the players . It seems highly unlikely Roger Goodell or the league hierarchy would be prepared to take such a route in light of the mistakes made in the Tom Brady , Deflate Gate scandal , albeit , the league won their case after a long and hard-fought battle with the New England Patriots’ quarterback.

    James Harrison has been a participant in the Pittsburgh Steelers’ preseason schedule with the team off to something of a lackluster start . Steelers’ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will be looking to rebound from last season after something of a tumultuous year, which saw the player miss several games for the team . The current Steelers’ roster is one which should be well-equipped to undertake the rigors of this season and they are expected to contend for the AFC North divisional crown. I still believe there are at least three more years of good football left in Ben Roethlisberger if he able to avoid any serious injuries ! Steelers’ head coach Mike Tomlin and his coaching staff will be ready when the regular season gets underway .

    Last night’s game for the Pittsburgh Steelers was something of a non-event , with the team performing poorly in a 17-0 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles , while playing at home in Heinz Field , Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania .

    Pittsburgh Steelers news

    Tophatal ………….


  22. A unique and historic triple was completed by Jamaican track star Usain Bolt when he added gold in the Men’s 4 x 100 Meters Sprint Relay for his country. This was Bolt’s third gold medal at the Olympics and ninth overall at three consecutive Summer Games dating back to Beijing , China in 2008 . The Jamaican track star’s unprecedented feat will certainly mark him as the greatest track athlete in history and now with the recent announcement of his having signed the richest endorsement Nike’s (inc) history , the question being asked is , what will Usain Bolt seek to do next ? Bolt has made it clear the games in Rio would be his last at the Summer Olympics , with his plans to retire after the 2017 IAAF World Track & Field Championships being held in London , England , This will certainly be the last time fans around the world will see the star compete internationally for his country.

    Triple Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt of Jamaica .

    Usain Bolt is considered to be the highest-earning track and field athlete in the world, with earnings in excess of $30 million annually . With a reputed net worth of $65 million , making him perhaps the richest athlete his country has ever produced , Usain Bolt is now considered not only a global icon in the world of track and field , but also one of the most recognizable faces in the world of sports.

    If Usain Bolt’s accomplishment’s were historic , then so too was the feat accomplished by Ashton Eaton , who won gold for Team USA in the Men’s Decathlon , joining Daley Thompson as the only other athlete to have made a successful defense of the title . Eaton’s total of 8.893 points was also an Olympic record and just one-hundred and fifty-two points short of the world record (9,045 points) held by the American athlete. Ashton Eaton is one of only two people to have broken the 9,000 points’ barrier with the other being Roman Sebrle of the Czech Republic .

    Two-time Olympic Decathlon champion Ashton Easton of the United States (USA).

    As a sport the decathlon (ten arduous individual events ) is considered to be the most grueling event of all the competitive contests which make up a track and field competition at the international level of competition.

    Ashton Easton given his age , will likely seek to compete at the 2020 Summer Olympics , being held in Tokyo, Japan.


  23. The reigning Superbowl champions the Denver Broncos who defeated the Carolina Panthers in a somewhat sloppy game have begun the defense of their title with their preseason schedule . With the retirement of Peyton Manning , a new era begins for the franchise and the first point of call for John Elway , current Head of Football Operations for the Broncos , are for he and Gary Kubiak to make a choice as to the starting quarterback for this team as the regular season beckons. Having acquired quarterback Mark Sanchez after the defection of the seemingly overrated Brock Osweiler , the Broncos find themselves with several options on their hands. Besides Mark Sanchez on the depth chart at the position , there are the following players looking to become the number one starter at the position , Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch . For the moment Mark Sanchez remains the best option given his experience , but overall , I believe Gary Kubiak and the coaching staff would like see all three players make a competition of being named the number one starter at the position.

    With a win and a loss to begin their preseason the Denver Broncos will be preparing themselves for their week three opponents the Los Angeles Rams .

    Denver Broncos news

    Tophatal ……………


  24. They moved from St Louis , Missouri back to the old haunting grounds of the greater Los Angels area and the newly revamped Los Angeles Rams yearn for times lost and with a new legion of fans in tow. Team owner , billionaire , Stanley Kroenke and the front office see the franchise as the perfect fit for the second largest ad-market and city, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell finally feels vindicated with the return of football back to the city of Angels. The league hierarchy’s motives here were simply to increase revenues as well the NFL’s profitability . This was the only reason the relocation of the franchise was granted by the franchise owners across the league . If one team gains , then they all do to a certain degree and it is done at the expense of the consumers, who just happen to be the ordinary fans.

    With the Los Angeles Rams playing in what is seen as a competitive NFC West division , this season could prove to be one of the toughest in the Rams’ history. Head coach Jeff Fisher and his coaching staff along with the team led by quarterback Case Keenum , but where rookie college sensation Jared Goff is seen as a likely starter if he proves himself the better option during the Rams’ preseason . Off to something of a rough start to their exhibition schedule the Los Angeles Rams will be looking to regroup when they take on the Denver Broncos in week three of the preseason schedule. Case Keenum , Sean Mannion and Jared Goff will likely see more playing time as Jeff Fisher assesses his three quarterbacks . In week four the St Louis Rams will be looking to improve to 4-0 for the preseason . Their opponent in the game will be the Minnesota Vikings at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota on the 1st September , 2016 .

    Los Angeles Rams news

    Tophatal ….


  25. The era of Tom Coughlin as the head coach of New York Giants came to an abrupt close when the front office decided not to re-sign well-respected coach to a contract extension. Idiotic Giants’ fans blame Coughlin for the team’s malaise that season , when in fact the players should have borne the brunt of the blame for another diabolical season. Eli Manning , forever seeking to lay blame elsewhere, chose to make excuses while the fans of the franchise with their constant idiocy and complete lack of knowledge bought into stupidity of what the quarterback was actually selling to the public. Manning made his name because of the two Superbowl victories over the New England Patriots . Yet since their last postseason appearance , the player has yet to reestablish himself as one of the elite players in the league at the position. His yearning to be paid as an elite quarterback has not been fulfilled , nor should it be , given his lack of leadership ability, Yet such remains the idiocy of the New York media market, where they are likely to heap praise on an athlete even when they are mediocre at best , nowhere near being elite.

    If nothing else we know the New York Giants continue to play in an overrated division of the NFL , with the franchise last winning the NFC East in 2011 .

    With Ben McAdoo now succeeding Tom Coughlin as a rookie head coach of the New York Giants , McAdoo also inherits a team which is now fundamentally long in the tooth in certain areas , while having several players of limited experience . McAdoo and his coaching staff have gotten off to a rough start to the preseason . Ben McAdoo and the New York Giants will be preparing to face the New York Jets on the 27th August , 2016 at Met-Life Stadium in East Rutherford , New Jersey , a venue which is jointly shared by both of these NFL franchises.

    New York Giants news

    Tophatal ………………


  26. Well , the Summer Olympics have ended and it’s on Tokyo , Japan in 2020 . Yet, the spirit of competition in Rio hasn’t come to a complete end as the Paralympics will also be held in Brazil’s second largest city. Once again, with the controversy surrounding the Russian delegation , the IOC Executive Committee has seen fit to ban the entire delegation from Russia from the event.

    Courtesy of The Independent UK

    Rio 2016: Russia given Paralympics ban as ‘medals over morals attitude’ leaves president Philip Craven disgusted
    Russia has been banned from the Paralympics, but will appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport

    By Ian Herbert, Rio de Janeiro

    All Russian athletes have been banned from the Paralympic Games, whose organisers on Sunday launched an eviscerating attack on the country’s ‘disgusting’ and ‘abhorrent’ state-sponsored doping regime

    In a move which calls into question the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) unwillingness to issue a blanket ban on Russians, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) revealed that it had secured an additional ten suspect swapped Russian Paralympic urine samples – taking the total to 45, involving 44 athletes, with more expected.

    The Russian Government had “catastrophically failed its athletes,” the IPC president Philip Craven said, as he announced the ban. “The medals over morals attitude disgusts me.”

    The Russians will appeal the IPC ban to the Court for Arbitration in Sport, who have already upheld a blanket ban imposed by athletics’ governing body – the IAAF, Russia sport minister Vitaly Mutko told the TASS news agency. The Paralympic governing body said that if CAS upholds any appeal then the Russians will be back in.

    Click on link to read in full.

    It would appear International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach is as big a hypocrite as first thought. A partial ban of the delegation from Russia for the Summer Games , but a complete ban for their disabled athletes ? Clearly indicating the decision was based not only the surreptitious acts the Sports’ Federation in Russia and the country’s Olympic Federation , but also the possible loss money by way of profits reaped from the event. With a much smaller devotee, in terms of a global audience , it is now becoming a great deal clearer why the Committee has seen fit to punish Russia with impunity.

    Tophatal …………


  27. An early preseason scare for the Dallas Cowboys as their veteran quarterback Tony Romo had to leave a preseason game as a a safety precaution after an injury scare . I firmly believe Romo is now at the end of his career and that his best days are not ahead of him , but clearly behind him . Rookie quarterback and early preseason sensation Dak Prescott might well have done enough to convince everyone that the Cowboys are now in safe hands for their long-term future. As to Romo himself, this is a player who has become so susceptible to even a minor injury , that you get the feeling his career could be over with the slightest hit to hit to his upper body.

    This latest scare concerning Tony Romo came last night in the Cowboys’ road game against the Seattle Seahawks , which was won by the Seahawks in what will be the penultimate preseason game for both of these NFC teams.

    Courtesy of USA Today

    Cowboys fans got the biggest scare when Tony Romo went down with a back injury

    By Steven Ruiz , USA Today

    This is every Cowboys fan’s worst nightmare come to life: Tony Romo clutching his surgically-repaired back after taking an unnecessary hit in a meaningless game.

    Quarterback Tony Romo gave the Cowboys’ fans another injury scare.

    Romo stayed down on the field for a few moments before walking off under his own power.

    Dak Prescott replaced him and picked up where he left off last week, leading the Cowboys on an 80-yard touchdown drive on the ensuing possession.

    After some intense stretching on the sideline, Romo tried to convince Dallas coaches to let him back in the game but was quickly denied.

    Click on link to read this article in full

    Dallas Cowboys’ head coach Jason Garrett must now assess the risks , whether or not it would be wise to start Romo in Dallas’ first game of the regular season or start the rookie Dak Prescott. Awaiting the Cowboys in that particular contest will be their divisional rivals the New York Giants .

    Jerry Jones has remained extremely loyal to Tony Romo over the years , but he has to now realize , there is a changing climate concerning the franchise and their long-term future . Romo has been well- compensated during his time with the Dallas Cowboys , often to the point of ridicule concerning his contracts , with the dividends of return being so meager .

    Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones .

    Tophatal ……………..


  28. This might well be the very last year in which Atlanta Falcons’ quarterback and Pro Bowl player Matt Ryan will have to prove himself. In the eight years since he was drafted by the franchise , the player has seen his series of highs and lows within the game. Unfortunately, the highs have been far outnumbered by the lows and last season was no exception as the team failed miserably .

    Coaching changes appeared to have not stemmed the tide of inconsistency. For Matt Ryan his play can largely be judged by the success attained by the veteran quarterback. Team owner , Arthur Blank , billionaire and co-founder of Home Depot has spent a great deal of money on the franchise , with a view to making among the best supported and most competitive teams in the league. The Atlanta Falcons roster as it has been currently constructed is viewed as a team which should be able to compete this season . During the preseason the Falcons have been able to show good they intend to be before heading into the regular season. Last night’s 17-6 loss to the Miami Dolphins , simply summed up some of the issues still faced by the Atlanta Falcons as they prepare for the final game of their preseason schedule. Their opponents will be the Jacksonville Jaguars , a game which will be played at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta , Georgia on 1st September , 2016.

    Arthur Blank and Matt Ryan (2) . Can the player win a Superbowl for the franchise ?

    In week one of their regular season schedule the Atlanta Falcons will meet the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a home game at the Georgia Dome. Matt Ryan’s record against the Buccaneers has been favorable over the years (10-6) .

    Atlanta Falcons news

    Tophatal …..


  29. The San Diego Chargers’ first round draft pick Joey Bossa still remains unsigned as the rookie , his agents and executives from the Chargers’ front office have yet to reach an agreement on a deal for the player. Bosa has remained in camp with the San Diego Chargers but has yet to participate in their preseason schedule . Off to 1-1 start to their season the Chargers will be preparing to face be preparing to face the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday afternoon in a road game against the NFC based Vikings.

    Courtesy of UPI

    San Diego Chargers, Joey Bosa remain at impasse

    By Jay Paris , Sports Exchange

    SAN DIEGO — Another preseason game arrives and still no Joey Bosa.

    The former Ohio State star remains locked in a contract dispute with the Chargers.
    The team has lifted its offer after declaring Bosa, a defensive end and the team’s top draft pick, would be unable to contribute an entire season after missing all of training camp and the first three preseason games.

    Joey Bosa (left) is seen here with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell .

    The holdup is over when his $17 million bonus will be distributed.

    The Chargers issued a pointed barb at Bosa for not accepting their latest offer.

    Bosa’s representatives responded by saying the team isn’t building much of a relationship with Bosa by going public with their contract offer.

    Coach Mike McCoy has tried to strike a softer tone since.

    “We all understand the type of player Joey is,” McCoy said. “He loves the game, he plays with passion. So I’m sure he is going crazy being back home and not with his teammates. We all want him here.

    Click on link to read in full.

    Joey Bosa for his part feels the deal offered to him by the San Diego Chargers is not commensurate with what the other rookies at his position (defensive end) are known to be worth. From my own standpoint , I feel the player and his representatives at CAA Sports have erred and placed their client in an impossible situation. For now the Chargers retain the rights to Joey Bosa , but I believe they are likely rescind those rights and Bosa will then be able to enter the 2017 NFL Draft , where is he likely to be no better than a third or fourth-round draft pick .

    It does seem rather idiotic the holdout between the player and the San Diego Chargers is all over a $17 million signing bonus

    San Diego Chargers news

    Tophatal …


  30. Week three of the NFL preseason is now over and teams are now beginning to cut their respective rosters down to their final fifty-three players for their rosters. The results in week three were not particularly surprising .

    Though there seems to be some growing controversy surrounding the stance now being taken by San Francisco 49ers’ quarterback Colin Kaepernick and his refusal to stand while the national anthem is being played at games . The player’s stance is one of his own personal take , as he feels it is the only way to voice his disapproval of the number of young people of color being gunned down by members of law enforcement. Threats of violence against Kapernick , have come thick and fast , but Colin Kaepernick remains unequivocal in his stance , he will not stand while the anthem is being played unless he sees positive change and action being taken by Justice Department as well as the various law enforcement agencies across the nation.

    While I believe in a person’s right to free speech , I do believe the stance taken by Colin Kaepernick is not one being done in an appropriate manner ! It is my belief were he more vocal in his approach , delivering his own thoughts on what he believes are the inequalities along racial and economic lines , rather than his current action . Then I believe , the public in general might well be willing to take a much different approach with his stance. Then again, this country has a history , which has been built upon continued racial divide which, has been perpetrated by both political parties ( Republican and Democrats as well as the two current Presidential candidates ( Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton ) .

    On the field of play the San Francisco 49ers’ preseason season has been one of inconsistencies , with head coach Chip Kelly now said to be in the process of having to choose between Colin Kaepernick and Blaine Gabbert as to which of the two quarterbacks will be the starter for the team in week one when they open their schedule against the Los Angeles Rams in what will be the first game of the visiting Rams since their relocation back to the city of Los Angeles .

    In their final game of the preseason Chip Kelly’s team will be facing the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego , California on 1st September ,2016.

    NFL News

    NFL transactions

    NFL standings (divisional)

    Tophatal ……….


  31. Todd Bowles , head coach of the New York Jets got off to a great rookie season as the coach of the team leading the franchise to their best finish in the last three years , having narrowly missed the postseason in 2015. The Jets had several issues over the course of the season of which the most pressing just happened to be the team’s pass offense . On the roster last season , Ryan Fitzpatrick and Geno Smith were the two main starters but inconsistency from both led the front office making the decision, of the need for a quarterback being drafted in the 2015 NFL Draft . The player drafted to fit the role was Bryce Petty , a very good college quarterback during his collegiate career . Now it appears rumors are being floated , the executives within the front office would not be a averse to trading one of the four quarterbacks currently on the team roster .

    Cap space asides , it seems unlikely the Jets would be willing to part ways with Christian Hackenberg or Bryce Petty , but it would appear Geno Smith might well be the player being placed in such a position , though the rumors are being touted Bryce Petty would also among the quarterbacks the front office would seem interested in trading. It begs the question , is GM Mike Mccagnan really in his right senses concerning the possibility of trading a rookie quarterback such as Bryce Petty ?

    Bryce Petty has seen some playing time during the New York Jets’ preseason schedule excelling in certain aspects of his game. The Jets are off to a 1-2 start to their preseason and they will entertain the Philadelphia Eagles (3-0) in week four of a road game being played on the 1st September , 2016. These games will close out the preseason schedule as teams seek cut their respective rosters down to fifty-three players .

    The four quarterbacks currently on the Jets’ roster are Christian Hackenberg (5) , Bryce Petty (9) , Geno Smith (7) and Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) .

    Todd Bowles and the New York Jets will open up their regular season with a game against the Cincinnati Bengals at home on the 11th September , 2016.

    New York Jets news

    NFL transactions

    NFL free agents

    Tophatal ………….


  32. In one failed swoop it looks as if the hopes of the Minnesota Vikings’ season have been dashed with the announcement that their star quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has a torn ACL in his shoulder and a dislocated knee , which likely mean Bridgewater will miss the bulk of the regular season if not the entire schedule altogether . Having seen limited action during the preseason schedule with barely a handful of reps . It is now left to the coaching staff of head coach Mike Zimmer to make the necessary adjustments while assessing the backups on the team’s roster . This injury could not have happened at a worse time for the Minnesota Vikings , with there being the belief the team was quite possibly able to mount a serious challenge within the NFC North this season .

    Since being drafted by the Vikings in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft , Teddy Bridgewater has shown signs of gradual improvement , good enough to where he now has the backing of his teammates, most notably running back Adrian Peterson .

    Shaun Hill and Joel Stave are the two backups on the Minnesota Vikings’ depth chart . I am not so sure this will provide the Vikings with the pass offense needed to mount any sort of challenge within the NFC this season. Most definitely not based on their collective showing during this preseason .

    Teddy Bridgewater (left) and Mike Zimmer.

    Three games into the preseason and the Minnesota Vikings are one of the few unbeaten teams left in the NFL . In their last game the Vikings got the better of their opponents the San Diego Chargers in a contest played at Qualcomm Stadium , in San Diego, California ,. In the final game of their preseason schedule the Minnesota Vikings will be facing the Los Angeles Rams .

    Vikings number three quarterback Joel Stave.

    Shaun Hill.

    To open week one of the regular season the Minnesota Vikings will be facing the Tennessee Titans

    Tophatal ………………….


  33. Several teams will enter the final week of the preseason under a could , unsure about the health of a number of players on their rosters . Most notably , this will be the case for the Minnesota Vikings who have lost starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater for the entire season. The reigning Superbowl champions the Denver Broncos , having seen the retirement of Peyton Manning and the loss of Brock Osweiler to free agency. Broncos’ head coach Gary Kubiak now has to make the choice between Mark Sanchez , Paxton Lynch and Trevior Siemian as to who will be starting quarterback in week one of the regular season for the Denver Broncos. During the preseason there has not been a great deal to distinguish or really separate the aspirants for the starter’s role on the team .

    Trevor Siemian of the Denver Broncos .

    Courtesy of ESPN

    An eight-play look at why Trevor Siemian won the Broncos’ QB job

    By Jeff Legwold , Senior ESPN Writer

    ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — There were plenty of reasons Gary Kubiak picked Trevor Siemian to start at quarterback for the Denver Broncos — Kubiak called it “the body of work.” But the capstone might have been an eight-play collection in the second quarter of Saturday night’s preseason win over the Los Angeles Rams.

    The first of the eight plays was a mistake. Siemian threw a pass with just over 10 minutes remaining in the first half that was intercepted by Rams safety Cody Davis. But the fact Siemian, when he was still trying to win the quarterback job, went for the deep ball up the right sideline and put a dart into Cody Latimer’s hands roughly 50 yards away showed a certain amount of backbone.

    It showed what Kubiak had often talked about as part of he wanted to see from his starting quarterback — the willingness to make a play and put the ball in a place that gave a receiver a chance.

    “I want him to be aggressive,” Kubiak said. “He’s going to make mistakes. All players are going to make mistakes. He’s going to make some. What I really liked is how he came back after it.”

    Click on link to read this article in full.

    It would appear however, Gary Kubiak has come to a decision which has the blessing of John Elway , Head of Football Operations for the Denver Broncos , as the franchise seeks to make a successful defense of their title. Rounding out their preseason schedule the Broncos will be taking on the Arizona Cardinals . Trevor Siemian will be given the chance to prove himself , when he opens the Denver Broncos’ regular season when they face the Carolina Panther in a repeat of last season’s Superbowl .

    While I believe it ludicrous for the Denver Broncos to consider trading away either Paxton Lynch or Mark Sanchez , there seems to be a growing belief, it is something being considered by John Elway and several other executives within front office . Needless to say , questions would then be asked as to why Sanchez was signed in the first place and be offered his current contract .

    Denver Broncos news

    NFL news

    Tophatal ……………..


  34. Say what you will, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-2) continue to find numerous ways to disappoint during the preseason and last night’s rescheduling of their week-four contest was no exception. I certainly don’t believe Dirk Koetter and his coaching staff can take much pride out of the result and with his having to cut down the roster from seventy-five to his final fifty-three by Saturday evening. I am inclined to believe he will do so with a great deal of diligence.

    In Wednesday evening’s home defeat to the Washington Redskins (3-1) again showed why the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are likely to have a great deal of difficulty against their conference rivals this season . Quarterbacks Mike Glennon and Jameis Winston have shared a great deal of playing time throughout the preseason and their play might well be indicative of Buccaneers’ regular season .

    Jameis Winston (left) and Mike Glennon.

    The ‘class’ of the NFC South will remain firmly in the hands of the Carolina Panthers , as they have been the dominant team within the division over the last three years . The Tampa Bay Buccaneer and Carolina Panthers will meet twice over the course of the regular season. Their first meeting will take place during week five when the Panthers will host the Buccaneers. The return meeting will take place at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa , Florida on January 1st , 2017, the final week of the regular season schedule . I fully expect Panthers’ quarterback Cam Newton to have continued success against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

    Dirk Koetter and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will now prepare for their week one game against the Atlanta Falcons who will be led by quarterback Matt Ryan . The roster cuts by the Buccaneers should prove to be very interesting.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ GM John Idzik will certainly look to equate the cap of the team in comparison to last year and this season .

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers news

    Tophatal …………..


  35. Week one of the NFL regular season will kick-off in a blaze of glory and while sport’s world seems to be the unfolding story around the San Francisco 49ers’ quarterback Colin Kaepernick . I have to wonder if the general managers and owners around the league now critical of the player aren’t cognizant of their own hypocrisy ? This has been a league which has turned a blind eye to racist views by players ( Riley Cooper , Richie Incognito ) , homophobic slurs , misogyny , and spousal abuse . Yet , because a player choose to be critical of the country and the intolerance being shown by law enforcement officers , Kaepernick is viewed as unpatriotic . I guess when Hall of Famer Jim Brown expressed similar views during and at the end of his professional career , there was nothing to be said by anyone ? Now we have idiots such as Jerry Rice , Drew Brees and Jim Harbaugh , showing what real imbeciles they just happen to be with their criticism of the San Francisco 49ers’ quarterback .

    Away from this ongoing controversy surrounding Colin Kaepernick , with the preseason coming to an end . There are some lingering story-lines still to be fully completed of which the biggest might be which teams are truly in a position to be dominant this upcoming season ? .

    NFL news

    Tophatal ……………….


  36. Has Dak Prescott done enough to oust Tony Romo for the starting role in the first two games of the Dallas Cowboys’ regular season ? Clearly, during the preseason Prescott was impressive and might well have been the most impressive of the rookies who saw some game time during the preseason.

    Granted, not a great deal is placed on the exhibition games which take place , yet there was cause for concern when veteran starter Romo went down injured during game- three of the Cowboys’ preseason schedule. Angst and near apocalyptic expressions could be seen on the faces of the fans, coaches and dare I say the entire front office ? Team owner , Jerry Jones must be coming to the conclusion the writing is now on the wall concerning Romo’s immediate and long-term future . The quarterback has become injury-prone , continues to apportion blame upon others rather than taking a good look at himself in the mirror. It should be stated Tony Romo’s postseason forays have now taken on epic proportions in terms of the never-ending mediocrity.

    I believe the decision concerning Tony Romo playing in the regular season opener will actually come from Jerry Jones , rather than head coach Jason Garrett .

    Dallas Cowboys news

    Tophatal …………..


  37. Having come through the preseason without any major issues it will be interesting to see what the Washington Redskins are capable of doing under their second-year head coach Jay Gruden . The departure of Robert Griffin III and acquiring Josh Norman might well have been the biggest surprises of all to the makeup of the team’s roster . Yet. given the complexities of the NFC East , a division I have always felt to be extremely overrated . This might well be the year in which the Redskins are able to get over the hump , win the division with authority and make a strong claim they are one of the better teams in the NFC .

    Redskins’ free agent signing Josh Norman .

    Josh Norman was brought in to shore up the Washington Redskins’ defense which proved to be an unmitigated disaster last season . As to the quarterback controversy which reigned over the Redskins for much of last season . Kirk Cousins having won the battle , now has to prove he is up to the task required . Cousins will have to show he has made progress and that test will certainly happen during the first four games of the Redskins’ regular season schedule . Washington’s opening game of the season will be against the Pittsburgh Steelers at FedEx Field in Landover , Maryland on the 12th September , 2016.

    Kirk Cousins (8) and Redskins’ head coach Jay Gruden.

    An inability to put points on the board and first-down efficiency was a struggle for the Washington Redskins in 2015 . Improvements have to be made if they are to have any chance this season within the NFL .

    Washington Redskins news

    Tophatal ………….


  38. There can be no denying since Mike McCarthy succeeded his predecessor Mike Sherman , he has been the Green Bay Packers’ most successful head coach since the heydays of Mike Holmgren with the Packers. It certainly does help McCarthy’s aspirations when he has perhaps the best quarterback in the NFL not named Tom Brady, Peyton Manning or Drew Brees . To my mind with both Brady and Manning in the latter years of their respective careers, Aaron Rodgers is the best quarterback in the NFL. Rodgers’ statistics bears this out and each year since succeeding Brett Favre , the player has shown his unique ability, while leading the Packers to consistency .

    Aaron Rodgers (12) and Mike McCarthy.

    During the Green Bay Packers’ preseason schedule we saw a great deal from this team to indicate they would once again be the favorites within the NFC North , while being among the leading contenders within the NFC this upcoming season . Green Bay remains the class of the division and most definitely among the top-five teams in the conference.

    Under Mike McCarthy the Green Bay Packers have been able to show solid qualities , defensively and on offense . Over the last decade Green Bay has been a model of consistency in their draft classes . Current rookies on the roster are expected to contribute this season. With both Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers having been cleared of any wrongdoing over the allegations having used a banned substance . It will be interesting to see if the two stalwarts on the Packers’ secondary can raise the level of their respective games over the course of the season. The first game of Green Bay’s regular season schedule will see them facing the Jacksonville Jaguars at Everbank Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida on the 11th September , 2016.

    Julius Peppers (left) and Clay Matthews .

    An injury to quarterback Teddy Bridgewater , the Minnesota Vikings acquired Sam Bradford for two unconditional future draft picks ( 2017 and 2018 ) . It was a necessity for the Vikings as their depth chart at the position was somewhat threadbare . Bridgewater is likely lost for the entire season and head coach Mike Zimmer wasn’t entirely convinced the backups were capable of offering what was desired to make the team competitive.

    Sam Bradford’s insertion into the Minnesota Vikings’ lineup will add nothing of note . The alternative being Shaun Hill , again offers nothing at all to the Viking’ chances of success.

    Green Bay Packers news

    NFL transactions (September)

    Tophatal ………


  39. From Lane Kiffin to Steve Sarkisian to whatever individual USC (Trojans) now feels worthy to oversee a collegiate football program which has been on a downward spiral for the past six years . Let it not be said when in times of sheer incompetence the USC Trojans are more than capable of showing that to their supporters.

    In the opening weekend of College Football the USC Trojans started off with such an embarrassing loss , that seeing was believing. The mediocrity of the team’s play was only outdone by the lack of ingenuity shown by the coaching staff.

    Clay Helton the newly installed head coach of USC , watched as his team was steamrolled by Alabama (Crimson Tide) in a totally lopsided game, which saw numerous errors by the visiting team in a 52-6 rout of the Trojans.

    Clay Helton’s (pictured) days as USC’s head football coach could very well short-lived after Saturday’s embarrassing loss.

    Week one College Football

    USC Trojans football news

    Tophatal ………….


  40. After a disastrous preseason , Mark Sanchez finds himself on the ‘outs’ with the Denver Broncos after the front office made the decision to release the quarterback. No sooner was Sanchez dumped by the AFC franchise , he was immediately picked up by the Dallas Cowboys . For the always beleaguered Cowboys their biggest worry remains the health of their veteran quarterback Tony Romo who was injured during the preseason. While rookie Dak Prescott has been impressive during the preseason, perhaps the most impressive of the rookies , Prescott’s experience in NFL has simply encompassed the four games he has been a participant in during the Dallas Cowboys’ preseason schedule .

    NFL transactions

    Dallas Cowboys news

    Denver Broncos news

    Tophatal …….


  41. Well week one of the College Football season got off to a flying start . Yet there is one game being played today between two FBS schools with historic pasts befitting their status. Mississippi (Ole Miss) will be the guests of Florida State (Seminoles) , when the two meet in a televised game this Labor Day.

    Week two of the schedule will begin in earnest on Friday, 9th September , 2016.

    NCAA Football

    NCAA Football standings (FBS)


  42. One year ago prior to the start of the NFL season teams had began to whittle down their rosters . As to what followed in the ensuing weeks were well-chronicled and added to the annals of the league’s history . As things now stand with teams having cut their rosters down to their final fifty-three players , it will be interesting to see if any pickups will be made during the first three to four weeks of this regular season schedule. There are several notable names who are now free agents waiting to be picked up by a franchise.

    Tophatal …………


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