Mine is not to reason why , only to ask the questions when needed

Mine is not to reason why , only to ask the questions when needed

Well the NFL Draft came and disappeared , leaving a great many fans , either overjoyed or extremely disappointed with the decisions made by their respective teams . And for the franchise with the ignominy of having that final pick for the last player to be taken . Let’s just say , for that player and others taken in the seventh and final round ,it is simply nothing to be ashamed of. If memory serves me correctly , a certain three-time Superbowl winning quarterback and future Hall of Fame inductee by the name of Tom Brady , dropped from the middle rounds , only to be taken as a sixth round pick in the 2000 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots . And as we know , the rest as they say “ is history “ , not just for Brady and his undoubted postseason exploits but also for that of the franchise .


Cincinnati Bengals first-round draft pick Tyler Eifert (85), a tight end from Notre Dame, catches a pass during NFL football rookie mini-camp , Friday, May 10, 2013, in Cincinnati. AP Photo/Al Behrman …

As a die-hard Patriots’ fan , I must say that I was not overly enamored with a number of the picks made in this draft by the front office of the organization . However, in light of the team’s defensive woes over the past few seasons . I can only assume and hope that GM Nick Caserio , Bill Belichick and the coaching staff , will have firmly addressed the needs of the team . Certainly , in 2012 , this secondary of the New England Patriots were found to be wanting in the most explicable of moments , but specifically during the regular season . As to the postseason and the team’s exploits there . Well, the cupboard was laid bare, during the AFC championship game , against the eventual Superbowl champions , the Baltimore Ravens . Not only was that cupboard empty , but the anemic performances rendered by the Patiots’ players in that conference title game , led me to believe that they simply gave up before the second quarter, simply thinking that they could rest on their laurels , because of a 13-0 lead over a Ravens’ staff that at the time seemed ill-prepared .

The second half of the game would prove to be Belichick’s undoing , as the team was unable to muster a single point in the final two quarters of game . Someone perhaps, should have told Bill Belichick that the best performing quarterback during the postseason was in fact in fact a member of the Baltimore Ravens . Joe Flacco , simply excelled , out playing his counterpart , and further emphasizing why during this off-season the Ravens’ front office were simply prepared to “break the bank” in offering the four-year starter a whopping six-year …. $120 million contract , making one of the highest paid players in the NFL and certainly amongst the “ highest paid “ at the quarterback position . Needless to say, Ravens’ owner , Steve Bisciotti and GM Ozzie Newsome believe to be , money well spent .

The Baltimore Ravens’ off-season has been well chronicled , with their being a number of departures , from the players who were part of that Superbowl winning team . One might surmise that John Harbaugh and his coaching staff might well be despondent after the defections and retirement of certain players, but such has been the astuteness shown by Ozzie Newsome and his continued brilliance , concerning his this and previous draft classes . It would take a foolish individual to bet against the Baltimore Ravens making a quick return to the postseason .Simply consider Habraugh’s coaching record and the playoff appearances made by the franchise since he succeeded Brian Billick in 2008 .

In many respects, I do believe that there has been a disconnect between Belichick and what he believes to be are not his flaws as a head coach. Conceited , obnoxious and clearly, he is not willing to admit when he has definitely made a monumental mistake . Much of that has led to many of the on field coaching miscalculations, which now seem to be all too prevalent in the Patriots` play over the past two seasons. The AFC East this season will be filled with pratfalls for the Patriots as they go about seeking another divisional title and making the postseason .

Bill Belichick and his players , will open up their season with a quartet of preseason games beginning with a game against the Philadelphia Eagles and in many respects , I do believe that there has been a disconnect between Belichick and what he believes to be are not his flaws as a head coach. Conceited , obnoxious and clearly, he is not willing to admit when he has definitely made a monumental mistake . Much of that has led to many of the on field coaching miscalculations, which now seem to be all too prevalent in the Patriots` play over the past two seasons. The AFC East this season will be filled with pratfalls for the Patriots as they go about seeking another divisional title and making the postseason .

As I alluded to earlier , the Patriots will open up their season with a quartet of preseason games beginning with a game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field , in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania , on the 9th August , 2013 , week one of the NFL`s preseason schedule . The team will open up their regular season with a game against divisional rivals , the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium , in Orchard Park , New York , which kicks off the NFL`s regular season schedule .

Now, while this off-season has been filled with stories , that the ever demanding NFL fans yearn for and a great deal more . Perhaps the biggest story may well be that of the New York Jets` drafting of quarterback Geno Smith and the player`s demeanor and rallying cry that he “ entered the NFL to win “ . Conceited, bellicose and full of bravura , Smith may well feel that he has something to offer the Jets , considering their disastrous 2012 season , where Rex Ryan could seem to get noting right and where the continued idiocy surrounding both Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow became cannon fodder for print and television media alike . Never mind the anecdotes that the late night television talk show were graced with, in terms of never-ending comedic content ……. “how far can Tebow throw ? Obviously not far enough. “ How many Jets` players does it take turn on a light switch? None , they still live in the dark ages and no one on last season`s roster, is actually intelligent enough, to even know that Edison invented the incandescent light bulb.

GM John Idzik has been entrusted to rebuild the roster through the draft and via free agency . Given Idzik`s experience and is astuteness in the drafting of Seahawks` quarterback Russell Wilson in 2012 as a third round draft pick in last season`s draft by the Seattle Seahawks , when Idzik led the franchise`s front office . The Jets are hoping that he can work his magic for a second time in such an instance, by having a quarterback competition amongst the quarterbacks on the Jets` roster . It was under such a premise that Wilson won the starting spot on the Seahawks` roster . . Russell Wilson would show is maturity , leadership and dexterity in leading Seattle into the playoffs , where they would succumb (28-30) to the Atlanta Falcons in the divisional round of the postseason .

It would be asking a great deal of Geno Smith to beat out Mark Sanchez for the starting role at the quarterback position , yet given Sanchez’s woes this past season , it would not come as a surprise , should that situation arise . Sanchez is under a great deal of pressure to prove that he is still a viable commodity as a quarterback in the NFL , after all the of plaudits and acclaim received in the first two years of his career .

The Jets will open their regular season with a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida , on the 8th September , 2013. It should be a game that will be a test for both sides as each seeks to resurrect their flagging franchise’s fortunes.

Speaking of a franchise with flagging fortunes , what chance is there for the Jacksonville Jaguars to turn things around ? First time head coach Gus Bradley will have a difficult season , along with new owner , Shahid Khan , having spent $773 million to purchase the franchise, and now seeking push a declining attendance level , and place it amongst the upper echelons of the NFL . For one of the NFL`s least profitable franchises , it must be said that the Jacksonville Jaguars are in a market, where it is barely self-sustaining . Yet for some reason , there is this continued belief that the franchise can maintain a presence in the Central Florida market place , while remaining part of the NFL .

The Jaguars` season in 2012 , started and ended with the ineffectiveness of quarterback Blaine Gabbert , and the problem that apart from not being able to put up points on the scoreboard , with both the defense and offense of team was simply anemic , if not mediocre overall ! ! The struggles of Jaguars will be littered with obstacles this season , which I do not believe that they will be able to overcome. The team in its present guise, simply is not good enough , in spite of the players drafted and their off-season maneuvers in terms of the acquisition of free agents . Call me naïve , but the Jaguars have not been of any relevance in the NFL in over a decade and to think that because an owner (Shahid Khan) , no matter what the success attained in the business world . It is by no means a dead-on certainty, that he will be able to replicate that success in the NFL , even with the professionals that make up the Jaguars` front office and tat of the coaching staff .

For Gabbert , this season will place the quarterback under a great deal of pressure , as he has seen many of his contemporaries from the 2011 NFL Draft have a considerable amount of success, while the player himself , has continually struggled throughout his entire two-year career in the league . Bear in mind also, the quarterback is amongst the highest paid players on the Jaguars` roster . Gus Bradley , has few alternatives , if his quarterback is unable to lead this team to even some moderate success in the AFC South , much less in the league over the course of the season.

I am of the opinion that players ought to be rewarded , based upon their productivity and not solely upon potential or acclaim . Yet for some reason, this off-season Cowboys` general manager and team owner , Jerry Jones saw fit to reward the team`s starting quarterback , Tony Romo with a seven-year $119 million contract , that makes Romo amongst the highest paid players at the position in league . Consider the fact , that while many would consider Tony Romo a very good regular season quarterback . The player`s failings and continued failure in the postseason belies the fact, that Romo has yielded little in return for the franchise over the course of his ten-year career. One playoff win , and he gets rewarded with an exorbitant contract , for a player who lacks leadership skills and were he and his teammates continue make excuses, with alarming regularity for their recent postseason woes . For Romo , one win in four playoff postseason appearances would suggest to me, that there isn`t an ounce of goddamn common sense to be found inside the Cowboys` front office and even less amongst their ever under-achieving playing staff .

Sooner or later , Jerry Jones will begin to realize that Jason Garrett simply isn`t good enough a coach , to guide Cowboys to were think that they ought to be , much less realize the fact, that the team last season was not good enough to garner a playoff berth . Now the Dallas Cowboys, are now seeing their divisional rivals back amongst the upper echelons of the NFL.


File- This Dec. 30, 2012 file photo shows Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) standing during the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins in Landover, Md. Romo and the Cowboys have agreed on a six-year contract extension worth $108 million, with about half of that guaranteed . The agreement was reported on the team’s website Friday March 29, 2013. AP Photo/Alex Brandon ….

Sooner or later Jerry Jones will begin to realize that Jason Garrett simply isn`t good enough a coach to guide Cowboys to were think that they ought to be , much less realize the fact, that the team last season was not good enough to garner a playoff berth . Now the Dallas Cowboys, are now seeing their divisional rivals back amongst the upper echelons of the NFL. Now the Dallas Cowboys, are now seeing their divisional rivals back amongst the upper echelons of the NFL . What better way for the Cowboys to begin their regular season than a match-up against New York Giants ? A franchise that in recent years under head coach Tom Coughlin , seems to have found a way to achieve what the Texas franchise has failed to do in almost two decades , and that is to win a Superbowl . In recent years the contests between these two teams have been highly competitive and all too physical . And the NFC East is all the better , when both the Cowboys and Giants are both playing at very best . Your thoughts on the matter ?

As usual, there is always a reason to heed each season cautiously , as the head coaches are going to be on “the hot seat“ . Much of that, boils down to the play of the teams , and how they fare over a sixteen-game schedule . It will be interesting to see which of the head coaches are, or will fall from grace !


New Oakland Raiders head coach Dennis Allen (L) greets Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie (c) and team owner Mark Davis , during a press conference on January 30, 2012 in Alameda, California. Dennis Allen was introduced as the new coach of the Oakland Raiders, replacing Hue Jackson who was fired after one season . Getty Images / Justin Sullivan ….

! I may well be, rushing to a presumption of judgment , but having seen the customary merry-go-round as the usual plethora of firings take place amongst coaching staffs and front office executives . Given frequency with which the Oakland Raiders tend to fire their head coaches in recent seasons. I get the feeling that Dennis Allen`s tenure could very well be sort-lived ! Team owner , Mark Davis and GM Reggie McKenzie , I believe are deeply distrusted by the vast majority of Raiders` fans . Yet , rarely do I ever hear them being critical of the front office in recent years and the confounding ways in which they have conducted personnel decisions. Needless to say , once again the Raiders` draft class and recent acquisitions will be questioned in many areas , and quite honestly , I would not expect it to be any other way !


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Slideshow .

With the preseason a little more than three months away , but with a number of teams having brought in their rookies for their symposiums , organized training activities (OTA`s) and none roster invitees . It should be very interesting to see how a number of the first round draft picks will fare , in comparison to their predecessors of last season. Your thoughts on the upcoming season and in particular, which teams , do you believe will be a credible contender for the Superbowl ? Chime in with a comment as you see fit .


(1) Cincinnati Bengals first-round draft pick Tyler Eifert (85), a tight end from Notre Dame, catches a pass during NFL football rookie mini-camp , Friday, May 10, 2013, in Cincinnati. AP Photo/Al Behrman …

(2) New England Patriots NFL football head coach Bill Belichick speaks during a news conference at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., Friday, May 3, 2013. AP Photo/Michael Dwyer …

(3) FILE – In this Jan. 20, 2013, file photo, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) talks to wide receiver Wes Welker (83) before the NFL football AFC Championship football game against the Baltimore Ravens in Foxborough, Mass. The Denver Broncos have found a new target for Peyton Manning , agreeing to a two-year deal with Pro Bowl receiver Wes Welker . AP Photo/Elise Amendola, ….

(4) Broadcaster Jim Nantz interviews Baltimore Ravens quarterback and Superbowl MVP , Joe Flacco (5) after the Ravens defeated the San Francisco 49ers 34-31 in the NFL Super Bowl XLVII football game Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013, in New Orleans. AP Photo/Bill Haber …

(5) File- This Dec. 30, 2012 file photo shows Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) standing during the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins in Landover, Md. Romo and the Cowboys have agreed on a six-year contract extension worth $108 million, with about half of that guaranteed . The agreement was reported on the team’s website Friday March 29, 2013. AP Photo/Alex Brandon ….

(6) Rookie head coach, Gus Bradley , is seen here overseeing workouts with the Jacksonville Jaguars` first team squad . Bradley has an arduous season ahead with quarterback Blaine Gabbert, who has failed to live up to expectations as a two-year starter with the Jaguars` franchise . Gabbert enters his third season , while under a great deal of pressure from his backups , Chad Henne , Jordan Rodgers , and Matt Scott . Florida Times Union / Mark Cready …..

(7) New Oakland Raiders head coach Dennis Allen (L) greets Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie (c) and team owner Mark Davis , during a press conference on January 30, 2012 in Alameda, California. Dennis Allen was introduced as the new coach of the Oakland Raiders, replacing Hue Jackson who was fired after one season . Getty Images / Justin Sullivan ….



NFL related articles and links : Courtesy of NFL.com & Yahoo sports

Packers’ rookie running backs having friendly competition

Tannehill gushes over Wallace

Draft Fallout: Urlacher era is over

Raiders CEO Trask resigns after 25 years with organization

Giants sign 5, waive 6 after rookie mini-camp


Tophtal 2013/05/10


NFL news and archived stories

NFL transactions and for the month of April

NFL schedule (2013) , week one , two and three and four

NFL preseason schedule

2013 NFL Draft

2012 NFL standings (division) and by conference

2012 NFL regular season results and postseason results

2008 NFL regular season and postseason

2008 NFL divisional standings & conference standings from that season


New England Patriots’ overview & profile

New England Patriots’ news and archived stories

New England Patriots’ schedule and their preseason schedule

New England Patriots’ 2013 draft class

Patriots’ off-season transactions (May) and for the month of April



Hot chic pics of the day . Bar Refaeli (above), and actress Kerry Washington , below and Vanessa Minnillo ..

Bada-bing bada-boom ! Wow , she`s hot , is Kerry Washington , damn hot !

Minnillo , is she a naughty schoolgirl or what ? Your thoughts on the matter ?

Mo-fo’ protect your neck or you’ll get knocked the f#ck out .

Mo-fo’ protect your neck or you’ll get knocked the f#ck out .

By Tophatal

So normally on the weekends when the chance becomes available, I will hit the gym for the two and-a-half workout, mixing in some calisthenics , cardio, and then a minimum forty minutes of some muy-thai (kickboxing) and jujitsu , in the octagon . Boxing as a sport, was once something that apart from being a passion for me , it also became a way of life in my youth, as I boxed while in high school , competing in tournaments as an amateur . Come full circle , and the sport I once loved , I have all but abandoned . In recent years , boxing has become a complete joke and for the long-suffering fans out there , the time has now come to walk away and seek solace elsewhere. A number of my friends , themselves, having served in the military , have been truly loyal and loved the honor of having served their country passionately. As an almost ten-year veteran of the British Royal Marines , I have to admit there’s nothing better than being around fellow military service members and discussing the sports’ environment and the stories to be discussed .


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Now when it comes to sports we’re all passionate about what we like and dislike . We love the NFL , we hate the bad teams currently in the league by way, of their record . We hate boxing , because there are no longer any major title fights that take place , and please do not suggest that what is now said to be taking place within the heavyweight division should ever be taken seriously . There’s more excitement to be found in watching two hours of programming on the Animal Planet , and seeing a female elephant give birth , but as the saying goes , “ it is , what it is “ . Apathy , if you want to accept it , then it’s down to you , but incompetency and the fact that fans are willing to accept that shit , then you’re deserving of what you get.

Call me naïve , but what was the point of Manny Pacquiao meeting Juan Manuel-Marquez for the fourth time ? Far be it for me to suggest, but Pacquiao’s promoter , Bob Arum , has been a constant asshole in recent years, trying to suggest that he has been doing his utmost get that much-anticipated super-fight, with Pacquiao taking his long time antagonist Floyd Mayweather . Over the past three years the two sides have simply been antagonistic , as each camp has looked to belittle each other. Guess what ? No one now gives a fuck whether or not the fight ever took place , especially when both they’re seeking to gouge the fans in asking them to pay anywhere between $49-95 to $59-95 for the privilege to witness two over the hill fighters . Don’t believe that either fighter now just happens to be over the hill ? Simply look at who Mayweather and Pacquiao have fought in their most recent fights over the past four years , and the quality the opponents faced in question ?

Pacquiao and Marquez met for the fourth time , and essentially this was simply a fight meant to place Manny back in the limelight after his loss to Timothy Bradley , and for those who do not believe that Pacquiao lost the bout , simply review that fight and try indicate where the then , titlist (Pacquiao), dictated and overwhelmingly won that fight ? Manny Pacquiao lost the fight because he placed it , in the hands of referees , rather than seeking to knock his opponent out . And let’s not forget which of the two fighters left that bout battered and bruised ? Fight fans ? More like , fans who simply align themselves with a fighter because of name recognition , and not much else beyond that ! Well it was confirmed for us on Saturday night , what many of us believed has been the case for the Filipino , Manny Pacquiao as he went toe to toe with Juan Marquel-Marquez, in what turned out to be not an epic fight , but one in which Pacquaio met his match , as he in the end succumbed to a thunderous knockout punch that sent his world and professional career crashing in the sixth round , of what was meant to be a fight, that would put him back on the map . Well as of now , Pacquaio’s ass is lost inside the “Bermuda Triangle “ and he is not going to find himself back to the world of reality. The $20 million payday for the Filipino fighter may well have been a sweetener , by comparison Marquez comes away $ 5 million richer , and the world his “oyster” in terms of his next professional challenge. A rematch at this juncture with Pacquiao would be a complete waste of time as there are far more potentially lucrative fights to be had , rather than facing an aging , and on the decline Manny Pacquaio. As to what Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum and the fighter’s trainer, Freddie Roach might think about seeing their fighter lying prostrate on the canvas, may well be worth a thousand words . I’ve a few that come to mind , your man got the fuck knocked out , how ’bout them apples motherf#ckers ?

Week fourteen of the NFL schedule , and I am at the point , where the stories this season , have simply been repetitive and nondescript ! How good , is Peyton Manning ? Why the hell ask ? Isn’t his body of work enough of an indicator to tell you , that he’s amongst the best to have ever played the game , especially at the quarterback position ? And this season , Manning has been at his very best , as he has led the Denver Broncos to a spectacular season . With the team having already secured the AFC West with consummate ease , the Broncos now seem intent on chasing down the Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots for the second seed in the AFC , as well as obtaining a bye in first round of the postseason.

Having dispatched the Oakland Raiders in their most recent game , everything that we have come to expect from Peyton Manning was on display , during a match-up that the Raiders simply had no answer for Manning’s exhilarating display . The Broncos came away with a victory and the Oakland Raiders , are back to doing what they do best , and that’s to exhibit what is now wrong with the NFL , and what worst teams do with increasing frequency , exhibiting futility . Manning to my mind , is as close a certainty, to be amongst the favorites for this season’s league MVP that you would be hard-pressed to go against the veteran’s quarterback’s candidacy.

Is there anyone now who believes that Andy Reid , can now escape the madness now engulfing the Philadelphia Eagles , and still come out of this all , with his reputation intact , along with retaining the head coach’s position with the team? The Eagles this season , have been indifferent and a complete mess , never-mind that the head coach’s blind-faith in a quarterback, whose displays this season , have been on the decline . Reid has stood by Michael Vick , with a loyalty that in this day and age can cost a head coach his position , especially where a player’s talents are most definitely on the decline . It took an injury , Vick being concussed , before Reid would actually made the decision to make Nick Foles a starter , and the young rookie third round pick by the franchise in the 2012 NFL Draft , has given every indication , that given the chance , he could very well be the franchise’s answer to their long-term problems at the quarterback position. Today , the Eagles face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium, as the both teams seek to resurrect their respective seasons . A loss for the Eagles (3-9) against the Buccaneers (6-6) pretty much seals their fate , as the only thing left for the Eagles’ players to fight for , would be their dignity and self-respect. And dignity and low self-esteem , seems to be rampant and widespread within the Eagles’ organization from top to bottom.

Talking about a season that was said to be filled with promise but now the only thing left , seems to be the charred embers , and you have to wonder what the hell was going on inside of the Detroit Lions’ (4-8) organization . In the space of one season how can a franchise that made the postseason in 2011 , could have fallen so far off a cliff that you would have to question whether or not they were an aberration last year . And with the ongoing issues of Ndamukong Suh , and now the asinine situation that Roger Goodell doesn’t believe that the player was not an imminent danger to others , then either the commissioner , is still blinded by his ongoing stupidity or the fact that he feels that Suh will somehow have learned his lesson . Guess what , Goodell was never that intelligent to begin with , and Ndamukong Suh will remain the asshole we now know him to be !

For Matt Stafford , his season has simply been one of inconsistencies , and the fact that his most reliable target , wide receiver , Calvin Johnson , has been a marked man , as defenses have simply found a way to take him out of a game . The Lions face off , in a divisional game against the Green Bay Packers in the late Sunday night match-up at Lambeau Field , Green Bay, Wisconsin ,. The Packers will be looking for that victory that widens their lead over their divisional rivals within the NFC North , and at this juncture , and I firmly believe that Mike McCarthy and his team will be more than prepared to face their opponents ! The hype over this Lions’ defense just isn’t justified as they been amongst the worst performing secondary’s, not just within the NFC but the league as a whole .

If ever there was a season to rejoice , then 2012 would have to be the year to extol the play of the rookie quarterbacks this season . And leading the way have been rookies, Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III . The two players taken #’1 and number two , in the NFL Draft , as both of have excelled and surpassed all expectations . Luck , if anything has made the Colts’ fans wonder what all the fuss was about after the departure of Peyton Manning , as the young rookie has now led his team to an impressive 29-23 win , for their ninth victory of the season , and placing the Indianapolis Colts , firmly in line for a playoff berth this postseason.

For his part , Robert Griffin III , has been by no means a slouch , with his own play as he has been as equally impressive for the Washington Redskins . In what as an exceptionally thrilling game between the Redskins and Baltimore Ravens , the young quarterback led his team with a great deal of aplomb as they got an impressive victory over the Ravens , a franchise thought to be one the franchise whose secondary was thought amongst the most efficient in the NFL . This season however , the Ravens’ defense have been giving up an astonishing 380 yards per game , which ranks the team in the bottom quarter of the NFL’s 32 teams .

OK , did any of you have the pleasure of watching the Arizona Cardinals , and their utterly putrid display against the Seattle Seahawks in a game played at Q West Field in Seattle , Washington ? I’m sorry but the “mercy rule” should be adopted in all NFL games , once a team goes at least three scores up on an opponent . Russell Wilson and the Seahawks ” pounded “ the Cardinals beyond submission , while coming with the team’s biggest victory of season , in defeating their divisional opponent 58-0 . And no , that final score was not a misprint </b , that result e though not the biggest score recorded this season in the NFL , but the margin of victory , certainly was. As to what this might do with regard to immediate future of Cardinals’ head coach , Ken Whisenhunt , this defeat , could very well signal and quicken the head coach’s departure from the franchise . And if you were in any doubt , as to one of the primary reasons for the Cardinals missteps this season , then look no further than the monstrous displays by team’s pair of quarterbacks over the course of their schedule . John Skelton and Kevin Kolb , have simply shown us all that incompetence and ineptitude can be found today in the NFL , and it can be found in the state of Arizona , with the Cardinals’ pair of signal callers . With the upcoming NFL Draft filled with a number of very good quarterbacks , likely atop of the pecking order of the players likely to be taken by Arizona Cardinals , and several other teams in need of a competent player at the position and likely to improve the passing offense of that team.



Picture gallery .

In light of Saturday night’s result between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel-Marquez , do you feel that the veteran Filipino fighter , should now retire from the sport that he has graced for well over a decade ? Or do you feel that he should continue with his career ? And of the results and teams during week fourteen in the NFL , which event if anything was the most surprising of all ? Chime with your observations and thoughts, as you see fit .


Picture gallery and slideshow details .


(1) Juan Manuel Marquez, left, begins to celebrate as referee Kenny Bayless calls Manny Pacquiao down for the count in the sixth round during a WBO welterweight fight, Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012, in Las Vegas. AP Photo/Julie Jacobson …

(2) Juan Marquez is seen here alongside promoter , Bob Arum speaks during a press conference after his 6th round knockout victory over Manny Pacquiao, Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012, at The MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. AP Photo/Eric Jamison ….

(3) Juan Manuel Marquez, from Mexico, right, lands a right to the head of Manny Pacquiao, from the Philippines, during their WBO world welterweight fight Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012, in Las Vegas. Marquez won by a knockout. AP Photo/Julie Jacobson …

(4) Juan Manuel Marquez, from Mexico, wears the champion’s belt as his fist is raised by referee Kenny Bayless after his sixth round knockout of Manny Pacquiao, from the Philippines, in their WBO world welterweight fight Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012, in Las Vegas. AP Photo/Julie Jacobson ….

(5) Referee Kenny Bayless, left, calls the fight as Juan Manuel Marquez, from Mexico, right, celebrates after he knocked out Manny Pacquiao, from the Philippines, lower left, in the sixth round of their WBO world welterweight fight Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012, in Las Vegas. AP Photo/Eric Jamison ….

(6) Juan Manuel Marquez, from Mexico, left, celebrates his win over Manny Pacquiao in their WBO world welterweight fight Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012, in Las Vegas. AP Photo/Eric Jamison ….

(7) A Filipino boy watches Filipino boxing hero Manny Pacquiao lying on the mat after he was knocked out by Mexican Juan Manual Marquez during a live TV broadcast at a multi-purpose hall in suburban Paranaque, south of Manila, Philippines on Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. Many Filipinos were stunned by Pacquiao’s knockout defeat to Marquez, dampening the spirit of a nation battered recently by a powerful typhoon. AP Photo/Aaron Favila

(8) Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jason Avant (81) makes a catch of a pass during the second quarter of an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, in Tampa, Fla. AP Photo/Brian Blanco ….

(9) Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (93) sacks Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles (9) during the first quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, in Tampa, Fla. AP Photo/Chris O’Meara

(10) Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid, right, consols Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano after the Eagles defeated the Buccaneers 23-21 during an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, in Tampa, Fla. AP Photo/Chris O’Meara …..




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What In The Wide World of Sports ……… ?

What In The Wide World of Sports ………..

By tophatal

It would appear that sports could not confine itself to being competitive in nature without being embroiled in one form of controversy or another . After the idiocy that took place recently in the WBC welterweight title bout between Timothy Bradley and Manny Pacquiao . We now have Arizona State senator John McCain (R-AZ) , weighing in on the matter , calling for a congressional hearing on the state of boxing . To my mind that is almost as asinine as the recent hearings , which were held up on Capitol Hill , in Washington DC , with the appearance of JP Morgan Chase senior executive , Chairman & CEO Jamie Dimon to answer questions as why it was a unit of the major final concern had lost $2 billion ($2,000,000,000) . A conservative estimate by most , , because there is the believe that the amount to be considerably more , a great deal more , as a matter of fact .


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Slide show gallery for your perusal .

Now while the members of the House Banking & Finance Committee fawned over the executive , Dimon for his part feigned his concerns as to the intent of the members in question. It is not as if any of the empaneled committee members have an acute understanding of the global financial markets , much less the use of the various derivatives used within the sector. Somehow , they posed questions to Jamie Dimon seeking answers as to why one unit of this vast financial concern could lose the aforementioned sum in question , while and his fellow executives failed to notify shareholders of the incident and the underlying issues at hand . Dimon was quick to point out that he was not made aware of the mounting losses that escalated in the final quarter of 2011. It has been this sort of gross misconduct within the financial sector, that goes on unimpeded and with their being little oversight coming from either the SEC (Securities & Exchange Commission ) , Treasury Department or the Federal Reserve . We were told that there is enough oversight in place to monitor to actions of the banking industry . Consider however , it was this very same sector , that brought the nation to its very knees and sent the international global financial industry into a tailspin. Since then , absolutely nothing has been truly forthcoming from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke or Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner , by way of any meaningful oversight by their respective agencies .

John McCain is simply naïve , if he feels that a Senate hearing will or would be enough to bring about changes across the landscape of boxing . As it is when it comes to meaningful pieces of legislation brought about by the senator , he has been found wanting , to say the very least . Boxing has always been a corrupt sport and it has not helped that the two most powerful individuals across its panacea have failed to be proactive in actually trying to preside the very sport they promote . Promoters , Bob Arum and Don King , alike , can be best described as chameleons , that will take whatever shape or view possible , just as long as they can make a quick buck . As to the apathy of the fans questioning the result of the bout between Bradley and Pacquiao. All you need to know about that verdict , can be tied up in the following …………….. Arum’s company Top Rank Inc promoted the fight , the Nevada State Athletic Commission licensed the three judges who presided over the bout and rendered the verdict , albeit that one judge , whose experience was limited at best . But yet , he had the approval of not only the state athletic commission but also that of Bob Arum . So for the uninformed out there forming an opinion on the matter , simply get a god damn clue and stop being an ass !

A Senate hearing of any type covering the world of sports has never brought any meaningful legislation . Merely look at the antitrust exemption legislation that covers the four professional major sports ? Never mind the farce that has been enacted at the collegiate level , that sets up the NCAA as nothing more than a commercial enterprise but whose status is that of a non-profit charitable organization . And an ass such as John McCain believes that he and the members of a senate committee can bring about some semblance of change. Is it not bad enough that McCain has flip-flopped on a number of issues , and is simply clueless when it comes to matters of the US economy and foreign policy .

If the sport of boxing is or wants to be taken seriously then the four major prominent international bodies will have to get together and act as one unified voice and not currently as they do , as four self-serving entities with their own interests at heart. This is what besets the state of boxing with the WBA , WBC , IBF and WBO . Separate bodies , with their own set of rules , and who are simply so corrupt , that they are open to the highest bidder . Funny, everyone wants something but here within this particular environment no one simply has a god-damn clue as to how best to seek some sort of meaningful accord . And McCain , like many of his peers within the legislative chamber in which he serves is simply paying this issue “lip service” rather than going about and getting this country back on track . 535 members collectively, within the House of Representatives and Senate , and not one of them has any fu#king clue , as to how best to steer the country in some meaningful direction .

Alas, baseball as of late has seen its highs and lows , on and off the field of play. Away from the diamond , came the verdict that saw the acquittal of Roger Clemens , by twelve of his peers in a US Federal Court . And once again the prosecution , in this case the inept US Justice Department and their attorneys were left with “egg on their faces” and several million dollars spent on a case that really had no merit . If that is not bad enough , Attorney Eric Holder as the nation’s most senior law enforcement official is now embroiled in an unsavory matter , that not only questions his conduct but also his character in terms of his honesty . Anyone who has been keenly following the implementation of the “ Fast & Furious Program “ , wherein the Holder’s agency presided over the tracking of gun-running , specifically firearms legal and illegal that were sent down to Mexico and into the hands of the violent drug cartels , south of the border . Countless , lives have been lost on both sides of the US/Mexican border and specifically that of US Border Patrol guard .

Holder’s stance , has been that he was not fully made aware as the depth of this covert operation and the very fact of its magnitude . It has now led to a contempt of Congress vote” in the House because of the US Attorney General’s unwillingness to turn over information to the Congress. With President Barack Obama now stepping in to aid the head of that agency , by citing “executive privilege” , it begs the question how much more will the nation have to put up with , to realize that its’ government is not only broken but also lacking in integrity and leadership ?

I have always felt the AL East to be one of the most competitive divisions in all of baseball . The Baltimore Orioles this season held sway atop of the division in part , so too have the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays . With the recent spate of interleague games that took place between the members of the AL and NL , it was interesting to see how those teams fared .

Joe Maddon and the Rays in recent games have not fared that well against their NL opponents . That was there for all to see in the series that pitted this Tampa Bay Rays’ team against the division leading Washington Nationals of the NL East . For the opposing managers Joe Maddon and Davey Johnson , things seem to be spiraling out of control in terms of their conduct towards each other . In a recent game their respective teams , an assistant of Johnson pointed to the fact that Rays’ reliever Joel Peralta was using an illicit substance while pitching against the Nationals . The umpires intervened and carried out an inspection of Peralta’s mitt and hands . Pine tar was found on his hands and on the mitt , which led to his ejection from the game . Maddon , for his part weighed on the ejection by stating that he felt that the coaching staff of the Nationals being classless and that Davey Johnson was nothing more than a coward . Don’t get me wrong I do not condone the actions of Peralta but I do feel Joe Maddon has proven himself to be a complete idiot with his behavior here and then not condemning the actions of Peralta !

Courtesy of the Tampa Bay Times

Managers Joe Maddon and Davey Johnson continue sniping as Joel Peralta awaits his penalty

By Marc Topkin , Staff Writer

WASHINGTON — The eye black and gladiators T-shirt Joel Peralta wore around the Rays clubhouse Wednesday may have been a statement, along with the impressive eighth-inning performance. But otherwise the veteran reliever awaited his pending suspension in media silence, declining to say any more about being ejected from Tuesday’s game when umpires found pine tar in his glove after the Nationals asked for a check.

But Rays manager Joe Maddon and Nationals counterpart Davey Johnson filled the void, and the notebooks, exchanging a series of shots in separate media sessions before the teams met again on the field.

A sampling:

Johnson called Maddon “a weird wuss,” referred to him as “the guru over there,” poked fun by pointing out he also had a doctorate degree and said Maddon needs to “read the rule book.”

Maddon termed Johnson’s Tuesday tactics “underhanded” and possibly “a form of cheating,” said free-agent players may “think twice” about coming to Washington given how the staff was willing to “rat on” a former teammate and continued to strongly suggest (though without proof) that current Nationals were unhappy with what happened.

Peralta, using teammate Jeremy Hellickson’s glove, pitched Wednesday without incident, fans booing and a few chanting “Cheat-er.”

The next official action could occur today, as Major League Baseball officials will complete their evaluation of Peralta’s glove, which was confiscated during the game and shipped to New York on Wednesday, and announce discipline.

The rules mandate a suspension, and while 10 games is an established precedent as well as the minor-league standard, Rays executive vice president Andrew Friedman said there can be some flexibility. “I don’t think it’s that cut and dry,” he said. “Personally, I think it will be less than that, but I don’t really know. It’s in their hands.”

Johnson said he thought an ejection was enough of a punishment and that a 10-game suspension was “way too severe.”

Whatever the term, the Rays will be shorthanded, forced to play with a 24-man roster. To adjust for Peralta’s absence, they are planning to send down a position player (likely outfielder Rich Thompson) and bring up another reliever.

Furthering their woes, they are prohibited by rule from bringing back their best candidate, Brandon Gomes, who (barring an injury situation) is required to spend 10 days in the minors since last being sent down, on Monday. The leading candidates are right-handers Dane De La Rosa and Josh Lueke.

“It’s going to have a great impact on us,” Maddon said. “But even beyond that, I’m more concerned about (Peralta) personally, and the impact it may have on him.”

Several Rays said they were concerned that Peralta would be — unfairly — labeled. “He looks like a cheater,” reliever J.P. Howell said. “He looks like a jerk. And he’s not. He’s not at all. And that’s just too bad.”

They also echoed Maddon’s comments, as did some others around baseball, that use of pine tar by pitchers was widespread, and not too much advantage as it primarily served to help them hold the ball, not throw it with more movement.


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The reliever as I stated was ejected from the game played , which resulted in a 5-4 victory for the Tampa Bay Rays. Maddon’s team tonight , plays the deciding rubber of game of what has turned out to be a highly animated three-game series . And I am thoroughly convinced that the fans in attendance at Nationals Ballpark , Washington The , DC , will no doubt let their thoughts be known as it relates to the Rays’ manager . On the mound as the opposing pitchers will be Matt Moore (4-5, 4.16 ERA) of the Rays and Gio Gonzalez (8-3, 2.52 ERA) of the Nationals . These two young pitchers have been very good over the course of the season for their respective teams , albeit that in part the statistics may not bear this out . It has been a lack of consistent and timely hitting , and inconsistent pitching that has placed the Rays in their present predicament . And if the team is to gain any traction while looking to erase some of the lead that the New York Yankees have built up , as they sit atop of the AL East . Then now would be the time for the ball-club to get back on track with a number of game and series’ wins .

At the culmination of tonight’s game the Rays’ task will not get any more enviable , as they face the Philadelphia Phillies in a three-game series at Citizens Bank Ballpark , in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania . . Over these three games , it will be incumbent upon James Shields , Alex Cobb and David Price to get the club off to a very start in the hope that the offense and defense can provide the team with the added boost needed . From thereon in , one can only surmise that they will be able to play themselves back into contention , while defeating a Phillies’ team that appears to be having something of a down year on all fronts .

At this juncture , I would certainly like to think that the Rays are still in with chance of the wildcard berth within the division , if not the AL East , itself . But so much has been left to chance with the team and the mere fact that Joe Maddon’s psyche now seems to be under stress , he and the players appear to be falling apart at the seams . This roster was built this season with a view to winning the World Series . GM Andrew Friedman is seeking to be as economical in paring down the payroll . While keeping the salaries to a manageable size within the front office’s budgetary parameters. As we know each year , it has been an ongoing problem for the Tampa Bay Rays to remain competitive from an economic standpoint , and this season has been no different.

While we can lament the woes of the organization it must be said Bud Selig and the MLB hierarchy has been less than compassionate in terms of the Rays’ needs and their ultimate goal of acquiring a new venue . It no longer seems worthwhile chronicling the disparaging remarks that Bud Selig has made about not only the Rays’ ownership group , the county governments of Hillsborough and Pinellas County . Suffice to say , the commissioner has proven to be one of the biggest assholes to come down the pike and become the highest-ranking executive in baseball. Do we really need this moron in office for two more fu#king years , while the game slides further into an abyss ? Your thoughts , on the matter ?



From my own standpoint , I find it idiotic that the government takes time to intervene on matters concerning the sports’ landscape but yet the 535 federal legislators cannot enact a meaningful piece of legislation . Can we anoint this present administration as being inept and completely bereft of intelligence and common sense ! If these morons cannot steer this country along the path of greatness , then what would make an ass-wipe like John McCain believe that he holds the moral high ground with regard to turning around the state of boxing ? Joe Maddon for his part should consider getting the Rays back on track rather than looking like a complete ass ! What thoughts if any do you have concerning the points raised within this article ? Simply leave a comment as you see fit .


Picture and slide show details below .
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(1) Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley are seen here fighting at the MGM Grand Casino & Resort Complex in Las Vegas , Nevada, The fight for the WBC welterweight title ended in a controversial split decision , with Bradley taking the belt from Manny Pacquiao, who would suffer his fist loss in seven years . AP Photo Grant Chisholm …

(2) Sen John McCain (R-Az,.) is seen here alongside Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich) , the ranking Democrat on the Senate Arms Services & Intelligence Committee , of which McCain is also a member . The Arizona senator would like to convene a congressional hearing to investigate the state of boxing , in light the recent Timothy Bradley Manny Pacquiao welterweight title fight that ended with a controversial split-decision verdict that went to the challenger , Bradley. Getty Images North America / Ken Phillips ….

(3) Promoters Bob Arum (L) and Don King (R) shake hands prior to the weigh in for the Miguel Cotto vs Ricardo Mayorga WBA Super Welterweight title fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on March 11 , 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Al Bello / Getty Images North America …

(4) JP Morgan Chase & Co Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon testifies before the House Financial Services Committee on Capitol Hill June 19, 2012 in Washington, DC. After testifying before the Senate last week, Dimon answered questions from the committee about his company’s $2 billion trading loss earlier this year. Getty Images North America / Chip Smodevilla

(5) Umpire Chris Guccione leaves with the glove of Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Joel Peralta during the eighth inning of the Rays’ baseball game against the Washington Nationals on Tuesday, June 19, 2012, in Washington. Peralta was ejected in the eighth inning for having a foreign substance on his glove. AP Photo/Alex Brandon ….

(6) Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon, right, talks with the umpires after relief pitcher Joel Peralta was ejected after umpires found a foreign substance on his glove, during the eighth inning of the Rays’ baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on Tuesday, June 19, 2012, in Washington. The Rays won 5-4 . AP Photo/Alex Brandon …

(7) WASHINGTON, DC – JUNE 19: Home plate umpire Tim Tschida talks with Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon (70) about the glove of Joel Peralta (62) during the eighth inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on June 19, 2012 in Washington, DC. A foreign substance was found on the glove which led to Peralta being ejected from the game. Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images ….


Boxing news

MLB news

MLB results 21st June 2012

MLB schedule 22nd June 2012

MLB probable pitchers 22nd June 2012

MLB Standings

MLB team stats

MLB player stats pitching

MLB players stats batting


Tampa Bay Rays news

Biting Off More Than He Could Chew …………….

Biting Off More Than He Could Chew ……

tophatal ….

I am not so sure what to make of the upcoming NFL season with so much being on the line for a number of teams and specifically their head coaches . But if anything the person said to be most under the pressure may well be NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell . With the ongoing scandal that has embroiled the New Orleans Saints and further tarnish the image of the sport as a whole . Unfortunately , there’s said to be great deal of apathy among a number of fans who feel that while the game remains as popular as ever they would rather simply look at what takes place on the field of play.


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The NFL this season has a great deal going for it with many of the fans simply looking to see if the rookies taken in the first round of the NFL Draft will matriculate into something special . Cam Newton had a spectacular season in 2011 while leading the Carolina Panthers to an extraordinary season . Granted, the Panthers failed to win the NFC South or make the postseason but quite obviously the front office were extremely pleased that the top pick from the 2011 NFL Draft exceeded their own expectations .

Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III will have something to prove along with their peers taken in the Draft. And most notably the quarterbacks chosen will be under the greatest scrutiny of all. Ryan Tannehill and Brandon Weeden might not be starters in week one for their respective teams the Miami Dolphins and Cleveland Browns. Those two teams in question are now at a crossroads in terms of the paths taken . Both aspire to be forces within the AFC and they each have a long way to if they are to surpass the peaks scaled by the New England Patriots , Pittsburgh Steelers , Baltimore Ravens and Indianapolis Colts . The quartet of teams between them have 11 Superbowl titles collectively .

Before the season gets underway the league could be facing a another major dilemma as the NFL hierarchy are in protracted negotiations with the NFLRA (union) [referees’ union] as the league sets about renegotiating a new collective bargaining agreement with the union . Roger Goodell , simply thinks that with one perceived victory in overturning appeals of the four suspended New Orleans Saints’ players at the center of the team’s bounty scandal . The NFLRA are adamant that they will not acquiesce to any deal that would see them having to take a cut in their salaries as well as reduced benefits. If this is Goodell’s idea of a joke , then it is not a very good one considering issues he had with the NFLPA and their hard-fought battle that went before the FMCS and then before a Federal Court appointed mediator. The commissioner’s inter-actions with his counterpart , DeMaurice Smith , left a great deal to be desired . The biggest joke about those deliberations was the very fact within months an agreement the two sides are once again adversaries , as Smith seeks to protect his members at what he believes to be a witch hunt . At the center of this all is whether or not the evidence gathered and used to prove the league’s case against Johnathan Vilma , Anthony Hargrove , Scott Fujita and Will Smith . Vilma has filed a civil suit against the commissioner and the NFL , claiming defamation of character , libel and slander . That case , should it go to trial , would place Goodell , on the witness stand having to recollect how the league’s investigators went about conducting their investigation and collecting evidence . It should be noted that Vilma when asked to attend the NFL headquarters for questioning , even though the union would be providing him with a player rep and lawyer to represent his interests while being questioned . It should be noted , that the player (Vilma) chose not attend , stating it came under advisement from his legal counsel . That , in of-itself doesn’t preclude us from coming to a decision as to Vilma’s guilt or innocence but I firmly believe the player has done himself no favors with his actions. And that is also further substantiated by the coaches who were embroiled in this mess with their admission of guilt but less than contrite apologies . Personally, for the idiots out there rallying behind the commissioner , coming to his support , without fully comprehending the intricacies of an agreement between the league and union that simply wasn’t worth the paper it was written on ! Only an asshole would believe that the two sides tried to suggest what was a binding an arbitrary agreement is one that resolved their divisions . It was simply nothing more than one big cluster fuck and a complete charade ! The union has reneged on the testing for HGH and steroids of their members, while trying to suggest that the league’s testing protocols and regimen are not in line with that of the USOC or that of WADA . As asinine as it sounds , somehow Goodell has relented and once again he cowers from steering down the NFLPA and forcing them to abide by their agreement , that was ratified by the NFLPA’s Executive Committee Does anyone now truly believe that the NFL is currently on a great footing in terms of its overall image ?

Goodell may well be over-reaching his boundaries in now seeking another out another adversary in the NFLRA , as he can ill-afford to have a possible delay to the start of the NFL season, this year . But it could very well come down to that, should things become contentious between the two parties . As of now , it would appear that calmer heads are prevailing . My question however , but for how long ? Your thoughts ?

Courtesy of Associated Press & Yahoo Sports

NFL refs association: no strike contemplated

By Barry Wilner , The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) The NFL Referees Association is disputing a claim by the league that the officials threatened to take a strike vote after their contract expired.

Mike Arnold , counsel for the officials, says Tuesday that claim is ”patently false.”

”The NFLRA has never threatened to strike,” Arnold said. ”After repeated references by the NFL during negotiations regarding its plans to obtain replacement officials, the NFLRA briefed its members at its annual meeting on April 21, 2012. No strike vote was taken at the meeting.

”In fact the NFLRA’s directive to its membership was to prepare for the season and to perform each and every task assigned to them both before and after CBA expiration. This continues to be the position of the NFLRA.”

The collective bargaining agreement ended after the 2011 season. The sides had been meeting since October, but mediation lasted only two sessions and talks broke off Sunday.

On Monday, the league said it will begin hiring and training replacement officials.

The officials say that the NFL offered salary increases lower than those obtained in the 2006 agreement.

”They heard about the increases that team and league employees receive, far less than the increases we proposed for the game officials, even without considering the improved offer made on Sunday,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said. ”Do the officials get the same kind of raises in their other jobs as they did in 2006?”

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Roger Goodell may well be happy with the fact that the league was able to add an additional $2.65 billion in additional revenues by extending and renewing a number of television contracts that were set to expire . The commissioner’s gleeful joy over this paints a rather grim picture when you take into account that he , the union and the team owners have been less than forthright when dealing with the issue of player safety as it relates to severe blunt force head trauma , concussions Grade II and above , as well as the issue as to how the NFL has dealt with CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy). The latter malady is often seen as a precursor to long-term memory loss , Alzheimer’s Disease and other maladies not normally associated with the game , until later on , long after many of these players have retired and left the game. Consider the untimely death of Junior Seau , due to a self-inflicted gunshot wound , and the very fact that he sought out medical help in terms of a therapist but failed to attend the prescribed meetings . Neither the league or the union provides any help to the players under such circumstances but the commissioner has the temerity to suggest that hierarchy does its best to assist the players in their times of utmost need. That has never been the case , if truth be known , as they only provide assistance to players when they break the league’s the drug (substance abuse) policy as it relates to their mandated edicts . Beyond that , the league’s scope and assistance has been minuscule as they have chosen to keep the seasoned veterans at arm’s length . What might now be inconceivable , in the aftermath of the agreement presided over by the arbitrator the league and union saw fit to set aside $1 billion in a sealed document , which we are told will be disbursed to assist the veterans in paying for medical benefits. However , with the NFL being defendants in seven separate legal civil suits filed in US Federal and US District Court as well as the case that may well set the precedence , and that is the civil suit filed by the family of the late Dave Duerson in Cook County Court , Chicago , Illinois,. Should the family prevail in their suit and a judgment is rendered in their favor , then it is highly likely that the jury could seek to compensate the Duersons with punitive and compensatory damages in their wrongful death suit . The very fact that as the defendants in this case , the legal ramifications for the NFL could be disastrous should they be on the losing side of this suit . The fact that the league sought to have all of the cases conjoined in the US Federal Court in the 4th Circuit should be enough of an indication as to how serious the league views this situation . The NFL’s Chief legal counsel Jeff Pash and their head of Labor Negotiations Adolphus Birch III are providing Goodell with legal insight , as both of these legal minds will be tested as to how they will ultimately address this issue for the NFL , as a matter of jurisprudence .

September 5th may well bring about a sensational season , with all 32 teams vying for the Superbowl but if anything it has and will be the off the field problems that for now will provide the fans with a great deal of intrigue. And how this is all addressed by the NFL will give us something of an indication as to how we should perceive the league . Roger Goodell and the league hierarchy faces an uphill battle as they seek to rebuild the NFL’s image especially in light of these controversies . The NFL commissioner like his predecessor Paul Tagliabue may well be two of the poorest executives in all professional sports during which their tenures can best described , as being mediocre ! That last premise is with due respect to both David Stern , Bud Selig and Gary Bettman . And given the ineptitude shown by each in recent season as they have repeatedly used an acute economic crisis for the woes that their respective brands have faced and continue to face , even when it is abundantly clear that their issues have not been properly dealt with . Greed , and dare one say corruption , if nothing else has been the opportune word that could best describe why these sports now find themselves engulfed with a litany of issues of one form or another . Your thoughts on the matter ?

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In your judgment do you believe that the NFL and union have been culpable in their mistreatment of the NFL veterans ? Also Roger Goodell’s scope as NFL commissioner do you believe him to be adroit enough to be considered a good enough chief executive or is he simply an individual who does not have a complete grasp as to what is needed , as required for the NFL’s highest ranking position where authority and very good communicative skills are needed ? By all means chime on this and anything else you believe to be pertinent with regard to the subject matter .


Picture and slide show details below .

(1) Chicago Bears defensive end Julius Peppers , right, talks with wide receiver Johnny Knox during NFL football practice in Lake Forest, Ill., Wednesday, June 6, 2012. AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh ….

(2) Tennessee Titans quarterbacks Jake Locker (10) and Rusty Smith (11) pass during a workout at the team’s NFL football training facility on Wednesday, June 6, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn. AP Photo/Mark Humphrey

(3) DAVIE, FL – MAY 4: Ryan Tannehill (17) of the Miami Dolphins talks to the media after the rookie mini-camp on May 4, 2012 at the Miami Dolphins training facility in Davie, Florida. Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images …

(4) Cleveland Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden (3) and Thaddeus Lewis (9) watch Colt McCoy (12) during practice at the NFL football team’s headquarters in Berea, Ohio Tuesday, June 5, 2012. AP Photo/Mark Duncan …

(5) Executive director of the NFL Players Association DeMaurice Smith (L) and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (R) speak outside the NFL Players Association Headquarters in Washington July 25, 2011. The NFL and players have agreed to terms to end their four-month lockout and ensure America’s most professional sport will go ahead as planned next season. The commissioner is now taking aim at the NFLRA (National Football League Referees’ Association [union]) as he seeks to weaken their stance . The union’s collective bargaining agreement is set to expire at the end of the 2012-13 season , however , they sought to obtain an extension of the agreement but the league hierarchy is said to be seeking sweeping concessions from the NFLRA , while at the same time setting out they believe to be are scurrilous claims made by the union concerning their demands . For the moment the NFLRA states that they have no intentions of going on strike and delaying the start of the 2012-13 season . But the commissioner is said to be already contemplating the use of replacement officials should the union cal an all-out strike . “The more things change the more they remain the same” . Goodell at his best but most notably , at his worst ! REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque ….


NFL news

NFL Draft 2012 by round

Quarterbacks taken in the 2012 NFL Draft

NFL Schedule 2012-12 ……. week 1 5th September 2012

The Idiot Balked I Tell You …. Don’t Call Bud Selig An Idiot …..

The Idiot Balked I Tell You …. Don’t Call Bud Selig An Idiot …..

tophatal …….. 6/1/2012 ……… 10:52:52 PM (EST)

So just as the fans were beginning to hype up the Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles , with those two teams seated atop of their respective divisions . Each now finds itself in something of a dog fight to maintain their leads within the NL East and AL East . Those two divisions at present appear to be the most closely contested within baseball , with the leads within each no more than 1/2 a game . The smallest margin is that of the Nationals over the fast improving Miami Marlins . Leading the onslaught has been the offense of Ozzie Guillen’s …. team . And it has been Giancarlo Stanton in the month of May with his prowess that has led the way . Stanton essentially went on hitting spree as the Miami Marlins slowly erased what was a 5 1/2 game lead by the Nationals .


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Ozzie Guillen for his part , having returned from a club mandated five game suspension after his comments concerning Cuban dictator and leader , Fidel Castro . The manager’s comments were not meant to alienate the South Florida fan-base of the organization but what was meant to be an innocuous and a non-venal statement created a firestorm against the Anti-Castro community , not only within the state but right across the country. GM Michael Hill , team President Dave Sansome went on a wild off-season spending spree in acquiring several high-priced free agents to bolster the roster . If only the Marlins’ front office could have shown some clear transparency as to its business dealings beyond that of player personnel decisions , rather than the continued misleading statements that were also littered with an abundance of lies . But this has been , and still remains the environment under which Major League Baseball (MLB) still operates under . Greed , corruption , lies and a hierarchy that is so out of touch with reality , that has you wondering if their makeup , is one of mentally challenged individuals ! The fact of the matter is that the vast majority of the fans simply don’t give a shit , even when they are being asked to financially assist the owners in building their cavernous edifices meant to house their teams !

The Miami Marlins are the guests of the Philadelphia Phillies who themselves have gotten off to a horrendous start to the season. For Charlie Manuel , his coaching assistants and GM Reuben Amaro are under an extreme amount of pressure to turn things around , make a credible and successful attempt in defending their NL East title . With both teams now said to be seemingly awash with cash having spent lavishly on acquiring fee agents over the past two seasons . And with the ebullience of Michael Hill and team owner Jeffrey Loria , it has to be said anything short of making the postseason would be deemed a failure in light of the franchise’s multi-million dollar stadium and the very fact that the city of Miami also is under a great deal of pressure to answer never-ending stories concerning how they went about their deliberations in the progression of financing the deal committing the city to underwrite the building of the new ballpark .

With US Attorney General Eric Holder’s office the US Justice Department now issuing subpoenas at the drop of a hat , to a wide variety individuals on the city’s council as well as the city Mayor Tomas Regalado . The mayor has remained decidedly moot on the matter as too have the senior front office executives of the Miami Marlins . Not to be left out this at all has been Bud Selig who as the league’s highest ranking executive championed the Marlins’ efforts for a new ballpark. Funny isn’t it , while he goes about doing this to the benefit of the South Florida franchise , their in-state counterparts, the Tampa Bay Rays are treated like lepers when it comes to Stuart Sternberg seeking the league’s assistance in a similar endeavor. It also has been the same for the Oakland A’s Lew Wolff and the team’s general manager Billy Beane . Still under the impression that the commissioner has always had the teams’ best interests at heart ? You are simply naive to think that Selig doesn’t favor some teams over others. And for the individual with his assessment of the sports’ landscape at present assessing it as if it were stock indices to analyzed how is it that a stories such as this are overlooked , while we have players who are violently attacking public bystanders in the street , and the commissioner’s idiocy that its steroid policy is one that is above reproach . Cherry picking stories merely to paint the baseball environment and other sports as being a place of Utopia is about as asinine as it can get !

For the Miami Marlins if they can erase the lead of the Washington Nationals I believe that Davey Johnson and his team fall back to earth with an almighty thud ! The Nationals don’t have a pedigree of success and even though they are currently the “flavor of the month” . Ask yourself this , what happens the moment that either Bryce Harper or Stephen Strasburg is lost to a prolonged injury ? And make of it what you will but Mike Rizzo at present is simply blowing smoke up everyone’s ass because the press are taking notice of his organization at the moment . If only he possessed the same sort of bravado at this point last season and even later in 2011 .

The Nationals were due to host the Atlanta Braves who themselves are a mere two games behind the NL East divisional leader . Johnson’s players knowing that if they want to prove their legitimacy as contenders for the NL pennant as well as the World Series . Then it will be incumbent upon the likes of Harper , Strasburg , Gio Gonzalez , Ryan Zimmerman , Adam LaRoche , Ian Desmond and Rick Ankiel to prove to the baseball world that they are indeed ready to take that step to the next level . The game was postponed due to rain with it being rescheduled at a later date .

Say what you will but the AL East will and always has been the division everyone seems to be enamored with . It does possess two baseball’s most illustrious and revered teams . And that is with due credit to the likes of the Tampa Bay Rays , Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays . The Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees are looked upon as the “class of the division” and pennants and World Series won by the two teams in question has them being looked upon with a certain type of reverence . And it is primarily why the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees are held in such high esteem . And for Buck Showalter who by any estimation has to be one of the best managers in the game today. One should remember as Joe Torre’s predecessor with Yankees , Showalter was one of the primary reasons why Derek Jeter , Jorge Posada , Andy Pettite and Mariano Rivera broke through with organization , in which the success of the franchise can be clearly defined in the late nineties .

It is clear that with Showalter’s ingenuity and that of his coaching staff is one of the primary reasons why the Baltimore Orioles are having such a successful season . Now jointly atop of the AL East with the Tampa Bay Rays (29-22) .During the month of June how both teams will fare. The Rays will play . hosts to the Orioles Friday night , Saturday and again on Sunday . Those three games should prove to be a clear indicators as to the ambition and direction that both teams would like to be heading in. Wei-Yin Chen (4-1,3.31 ERA) and David Price (6-3, 2.71 ERA ) face off against each other on the mound in the first of the three-game-series . Price is amongst the AL’s most successful pitchers behind Yu Darvish (7-2, 2.97 ERA) , who sits atop in wins amongst all AL starting pitchers. That duel between David Price and Bruce Chen should prove to be intriguing with their contrasting styles but it will the offenses of both teams that could provide us with a great deal of intrigue .

The genius that is Joe Maddon and his micromanaging has brought about a great deal of success for the Tampa Bay Rays in recent years . The players on the roster believe in their manager and his coaching assistants without any questions being asked . That has certainly paid off with the team’s recent results in the month of May , which now seems to be carrying over in to June . And with the organization’s recent acquisition with veteran DH , Hideki Matsui , it provides the Tampa Bay Rays’ offense with that much need extra fire power. However, Maddon knows that his team’s pitching and defensive capabilities that will be of the utmost need , if the Rays are to prevail over the course of this season.

Now a great deal is being made of this season with the addition of an added wildcard berth for each league with baseball . Done under the guise of creating additional excitement and intrigue for the fans . I am not so sure that Bud Selig actually gets it , with regard dire straits that the game finds itself concerning the financial viability amongst the vast majority teams within baseball. Granted , for the uninitiated exorbitant prices have been paid in the purchase of a number of franchise . Most notably the unheard of $2.15 billion ( $2,150,000,000) paid by the consortium , who purchased the Los Angeles Dodgers . That figure still hasn’t sunk in for a number of fans and it adds to speculation as to how valuable the New York Yankees might just be. $2 billion for the Dodgers ? If that’s the case, then how much would the New York Yankees be worth ? $ 3 billion ? $ 4 billion to $5 billion ? With it now being widely being speculated upon , that John Moores , managing partner of the San Diego Padres now ready to relinquish control in his majority stake of the organization , it remains to be seen how much could be realized from the sale of that majority share. At present there are only two known consortiums said to be showing interest in purchasing the Padres. One of the groups is led by PGA Tour golfer Phil Mickelson , businessman ,Tom Seidler , and the four surviving grandchildren of the late Walter O’Malley , former owner of the Dodgers , are part of one group . The other , is led by former Padres’ great and Hall of Fame inductee Tony Gwynn , who’s still beloved by the fans and the organization as a whole . Either way , until there’s a final decision rendered by the league hierarchy we will not know what value can be placed on the San Diego Padres.




Picture gallery for your perusal .

Which of the divisional races do you believe provides the greatest interest and which of the teams do you think will be there at the end and be determined a divisional winner ? By all means leave a comment on this and anything else you believe pertinent to the subject matter .


Picture and slide show details below .


(1)Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Fernando Rodney , left, high-fives teammate Carlos Pena after closing out the Baltimore Orioles during the ninth inning of a baseball game on Friday, June 1, 2012, in St. Petersburg, Fla. The Rays won the game 5-0 . AP Photo/Chris O’Meara …

(2) ST. PETERSBURG – JUNE 01: Pitcher Fernando Rodney (56) of the Tampa Bay Rays is congratulated after his save against the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field on June 1, 2012 in St. Petersburg, Florida. Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images …

(3) Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter, left, argues with second base umpire Chris Guccione after a close play at second base during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays, Friday, June 1, 2012, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Guccione ruled Orioles’ Adam Jones out at second on a fielder’s choice by Matt Wieters . AP Photo/Chris O’Meara …

(4) First baseman Carlos Pena (23) of the Tampa Bay Rays is thrown out at home as catcher Matt Wieters(32) of the Baltimore Orioles applies the tag during the game at Tropicana Field on June 1, 2012 in St. Petersburg, Florida. Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images

(5) The Washington Nationals grounds crew works to keep the water off the tarp as the rain falls before a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves, Friday, June 1, 2012, in Washington. The game was postponed due to severe weather in the area. AP Photo/Alex Brandon …

(6) (6) Freddy Galvis (13) of the Philadelphia Phillies throws to first base past Donnie Murphy (22) of the Miami Marlins at Citizens Bank Park on June 1, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies won 6-4 . Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images …

(7) Manager Charlie Manuel (41) of the Philadelphia Phillies stands on the mound and talks with pitching coach Rich Dubee (30) after Jose Contreras (52) was injured during the . game against the Miami Marlins at Citizens Bank Park on June 1, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies won 6-4 . Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images …




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I Got No Money In My Pocket Yo’ ….

I Got No Money In My Pocket Yo’ ….

By tophatal ………. 05/29/2012 03:45 AM (EST)

I must’ve missed something recently concerning the Chicago Bears and the team’s with their restricted fee agent running back Matt Forte . It would appear that the . front office of the organization seem to be more intent on alienating their productive running back rather than upping the ante and rewarding the player with a contract commensurate with his already prolific talent . Now in spite of the recent off-season acquisitions and the upheavals in the team’s roster it would appear that with the recent acquisition of Brandon Marshall and his re-acquaintance with former Broncos’ teammate Jay Cutler , this is said to be the highlight for the Chicago Bears this off-season.


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Now unless I am mistaken either the Bears are playing fast and loose or they are simply intent quite possibly losing the player free agency . Granted , what we do know is the very fact the football club can choose to “franchise tag” and then pay him the league average of salaries of the top five players at the position within the NFL . For Matt Forte seeing LeSean McCoy and Arian Foster have their salaries risen considerably with their respective teams. It has to be said the Bears’ running back does have a valid argument in seeking a raise. Under the pretext that Matt Forte has a troubling recurrence of a knee injury this is said to be the falsehood that they are now subscribing to , in not paying the franchise’s most productive player over the last four seasons. Since the player was drafted by this organization in 2008 Matt Forte has only missed four games in his entire professional NFL career. It begs the question prior to , and after former GM Jerry Di Angelo’s departure , what common sense if any was actually being shown by anyone within this organization ?

If this is the pretext that the Bears will be using to lure their fans into the false sense of security that they are intent on being viewed as a legitimate contender in what is an already competitive of NFC North . From my own personal standpoint , I have never been that high on the Chicago Bears and that comes from the very fact that Jay Cutler has yet to fulfill the so-called accomplishments he’s said to be capable. Analysts and fans alike tend to affix labels upon athletes ……….. in this case the NFL player , purely because we desire it to be so . Cutler is a top-five quarterback ……… Cutler is an elite quarterback ………. Cutler is a championship caliber quarterback . Which is it ? Because I have yet to see any one of the aforementioned traits in this player over the course of his NFL career to date ! And as great as a number of quarterbacks were said to be during 2011 , nowhere is Jay Cutler’s name mentioned in the upper echelons of the statistics that matter concerning the league’s leading passers. And though the Bears were an immense …. disappointment during 2011 any perceived improvements sought will have to be taken under advisement when one considers the very fact that the Detroit Lions , Green Bay Packers and some might say the Minnesota Vikings will have improved considerably due to the draft and their off-season acquisitions .

Lovie Smith is under a great deal of pressure to succeed and most definitely the coach’s position his immediate future and that of his staff is very much on the line. You would have to be naive to think otherwise and it is clear that Smith has to be concerned over the impromptu lack of productivity from his players over the past two seasons ( 2011 & 2010 ) . Way too much talk even from the Bears’ players , an aging Brian Urlacher and a less than emphatic Julius Peppers . Urlacher for all of his proselytising is now on the downside of an illustrious career but at the end of the day when all you have to show for that success is , you equating the fact your quarterback is a leader when at the time , the whole world saw him abandon his teammates in their time of need , then there’s not much else that is left to be said . The NFC championship game and the loss to the eventual Superbowl champions that season pretty much summed up the ineptitude shown by the Chicago Bears .

There’s no denying that 2011 saw the “coming out” party for the Detroit Lions and their successful season . Matt Stafford proved to be everything that finally Jim Schwartz thought would come to fruition . And that was certainly borne out by the player during the regular and postseason for the Lions . And while the offense of the Detroit Lions was said to be prolific , the team’s defense also played their role as well. Kyle Vanden Bosch , Ndamokung Suh and Nick Fairley are seen as the fulcrum to that defense . And as I alluded to earlier in this piece the Lions can only get considerably better , rather than worse . However , what might be even more troubling is the fact that Fairley in the past six weeks has twice ran afoul of the law. Once in his home state of Alabama where he was charged with a DUI and possession of a controlled substance (marijuana). And most recently this past weekend where the player in trying to evade law enforcement while speeding ……….. being clocked at 120 mph in a 55 mph zone after fleeing the scene of an accident . Also again in the player’s possession was marijuana and other opiates. I can’t help but wonder how Schwartz and the Lions’ front office will deal within this latest PR nightmare for the franchise.

Nick Fairley’s college career with Alabama was clouded in controversy and anyone who considers Nick Saban was never concerned with the player’s behavior has to be in complete denial . Saban to my mind has to be one the most insincere coaches in College Football ! The Alabama Crimson Tide’s coach has tried to suggest that his players while under his tenure ____ he has tried to curb their recklessness and make them more productive individuals . If anything Alabama’s program has been clouded in a great deal of controversy , mystery , the lengths and depths which the coach and his staff have gone to , simply to make sure that accusations concerning the players’ improprieties have disappeared. Fairley’s transgressions cannot be seen as a first-time_ chain of events , it has to be seen as a pattern of behavior .

God knows, there is enough of a fucking mess in the NFL at present without having to deal with an immature player seeking to evade the police merely because he doesn’t want to be caught having fled an accident and was found in possession of a controlled substance. But here we are once again and the league or should I say one of its more renowned franchises has another black eye and a PR nightmare within their midst . And given the stupidity that will be undoubtedly be shown by Tom Lewand and Lions’ ownership . It wouldn’t at all surprise me if the franchise now chooses to have the NFL deal with this matter while at the same time they wait for the matter to take its legal course. Now had Nick Fairley killed a bystander , I wonder whether or not the Detroit Lions would have chosen to take such a wide latitude in dealing with both of these incidents ? The Lions would be within their right to suspend the player without pay pending an investigation but we now work on a “premise of innocent until proven guilty” . Truth be known that is now and will continue to remain the biggest joke in jurisprudence . Fairley’s actions speaks volumes to his immaturity and the very fact that once again we have athletes continually being coddled by not only their NFL teams but also by the coaches and the owners alike .

Roger Goodell as the league’s highest ranking executive may well punish players with impunity when they transgress and violate the league’s rules as it regards players’ conduct said to be detrimental to the game. But let’s be real it is and always remain an exercise in futility by the NFL . Goodell’s , biggest and only concern is to try to uphold the image of an already tainted game that simply doesn’t know how to drag itself out of this already pitiful abyss of ineptitude . Personally , I find the NFL to be one big fucking environment of corruption , stupidity and a union (NFLPA) led by an executive committee that simply is one of greed and not much else . The owners , themselves are not so far behind , as they have repeatedly cajoled , threatened politicians at all levels of government . One can only look to the idiocy that recently took place within the state of Minnesota as the governor Mark Dayton (R-Mn) and the state legislature cowered a corner the corner like a bitch having been sodomized by the Minnesota Vikings’ ownership and the NFL hierarchy. How in fu_k’s name can a state said to be facing an acute economic crisis with a near $ 6 billion budget deficit ($6,000,000,000) and seek to finance in part , a $735 million new stadium for the NFL franchise while laying off state employees and cutting their budget expenditure on projects that would be far more beneficial to the state’s infrastructure than that of the building of a new stadium for the Minnesota Vikings . It wouldn’t have been so bad , had the governor not fudged and then reneged on his original view as to enacting this stature within his state legislature. In reality however , like the federal government where both legislative chambers …… ( House and Senate) are simply open to the “highest bidder” when a law needs to come into being especially those without any real benefit to the nation as a whole .

Fuck the dumb asses out there who continue to bitch and whine about their income taxes being too high but yet choose not to question when they’re being asked to subsidize the building of a sport’s venue for either a millionaire or billionaire owner . You simply deserve what you get , nothing more , nothing less ! And while this charade continues Vikings’ owner Zygi Wilf and his partners are now laughing all the way to the bank and the smiles on their faces are not about to abate anytime soon ! And for the di_khead residents within the city of Sacramento ……… simply buy into the bullshit your mayor Kevin Johnson is now selling you ! You are all seem to be on board with this idiocy that in building a new venue for the Maloofs will be a savior for the Sacramento Kings . Grow the fuck up , and for the moron who claims than when the venue now known as the Power Balance Arena was the place to be seen , what he fails to state and indicate is the very fact that franchise simply wasn’t winning anything of note much less being competitive . This is the simple apathy that can now be found within the state of California when it comes to many of their sports’ franchises. Call me , when the Kings are of relevance within the NBA and not before !

While I’m looking forward to the upcoming NFL season , at the same with the ongoing controversies now said to be engulfing the NFL , does anyone truly believe that Goodell has the mindset to deal with many of the ongoing controversies that have come to the fore and mired the game ? I mean it is not as if the commissioner has handled any of these issues with the clearest sense of transparency while at the same creating the perception or the belief that he actually knows what the fu_k he is doing to begin with ! And for those who continue to drink from the porcelain pot that Roger Goodell continues to defecate and urinate in , well congrats to you for being the complete dumb asses you have actually been ! The NFL commissioner has yet to accomplish anything of note during his tenure so far and it is unlikely that he ever will .



Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have concerning the points raised within this piece ? By all means simply chime in with a comment as you see fit .


Picture and slide show details for your perusal .


(1) Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall , right, catches a pass as defensive back Tim Jennings defends during NFL football practice, Wednesday, May 23 2012, in Lake Forest, Ill. AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

(2) Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, left, talks with quarterback coach Jeremy Bates during NFL football practice, Wednesday, May 23 2012, in Lake Forest, Ill. AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast ….

(3) Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, left, talks with head coach Lovie Smith during an NFL football organized team activity, Wednesday, May 23 2012, in Lake Forest, Ill. AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast ….

(4) Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, left, talks with wide receiver Brandon Marshall during an NFL football organized team activity, Wednesday, May 23 2012, in Lake Forest, Ill. AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

(5) Matt Forte (22) of the Chicago Bears tries to get around the tackle of Aaron Berry (32_ of the Detroit Lions during a second quarter run at Ford Field on October 10, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. Getty Images/Gregory Shamus …

(6) Detroit Lions defensive tackle Nick Fairley (98) and Corey Williams (99) break from NFL football practice in Allen Park, Mich., Tuesday, May 29, 2012. Fairley has been arrested in Alabama on charges of driving under the influence and attempting to elude police Sunday, May 27, 2012, his second arrest in his home state in two months. AP Photo/Paul Sancya ….

(7) Minnesota state governor Mark Dayton (R-Mn) in the foreground , is seen here addressing the state assembly after the formal voting had taken place within both legislative chambers announcing that the Minnesota e would in part finance the majority of the costs for the new stadium for the Minnesota Vikings . The $935 million venture will be financed with a $565 billion bond issue and increase in certain state taxes. The remainder will be funded by team owner Zygi Wilf (background) and his partners . AFP Reuters /Mitchell Todd …

(8) NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell , foreground is seen here taking questions from the convened press concerning the Vikings’ stadium issue . In the background , is Minnesota state governor Mark Dayton . The governor initially was reluctant to back the original ” finance “bill” when it was first tabled for a vote . However , it is widely believed that with the cajoling , and coercion from the NFL hierarchy and the ” hundreds of thousands of dollars “ spent by Zygi Wilf , via lobbyists , this bill was passed with very little opposition within the state House and Senate , of within the chambers in question , in of the state of Minnesota . REUTERS /Clint Roberts …..





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Hot chic pic of the day , actress Eva Mendes . Ha , cha-cha , cha !

Someone’s duty to “hit” Eva’s “coochie ” don’t you think ?

Making Hay While The Sun Shines ………..

Making Hay While The Sun Shines ………..

By tophatal ……… 05/25/2012 …… 00.35 AM (EST)

The 4th April saw the Opening Day of the MLB (baseball ) season . Having gone through the month and as we now near the end of May it has to be said that there have been one or two surprises around the league . The Baltimore Orioles are still riding high atop of the AL East and the Cleveland Indians for the moment appear to be having the time of their lives within the AL Central .


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To be fair it’s still early days yet and at this time last season I am quite sure we were also being surprised by not only the play of the teams but also where they stood within their respective divisions . Clearly the managers and their staffs would like nothing better to see their clubs simply maintain their momentum , specifically those who are said to be on a current winning streak . For those firmly rooted at the bottom of the divisions who with no real traction you can be sure that there players who would like nothing better than to see their clubs simply play themselves into contention . Now as crazy as this may of the six teams with the highest payrolls in the game four are currently are in an unaccustomed position , and that is the fact that they’re either currently in last place , or simply mid-table within their division .

Imagine , the onlookers who are now seeing both the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees simply looking up within the AL East , while the Baltimore Orioles , Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays vie for the leadership within the division . And if you think that on the “senior circuit” (NL) there doesn’t appear to be problems then simply look at situation of the Philadelphia Phillies . I hardly think that this is what either Charlie Manuel , his coaching staff or GM Reuben Amaro had envisaged for the team ! Now while it would be remiss to suggest that injuries haven’t plagued a number of teams as the season got underway . It seems to have been so acute for the Phillies that it now has their fans wondering whether or not the returns of Ryan Howard and Chase Utley will be imminent. That’s notwithstanding the issues that the team currently faces go beyond injuries as their problems seem to be the lack of productivity from their offense and pitching . With the exception of Cole Hamels ( 7-1,2.17 ERA) who leads the NL in wins . Much of the offense this season for the Phillies has been provided by Carlos Ruiz and Hunter Pence .

Not wanting the deflate the balloon any further for the Philadelphia Phillies but apart from their most recent win of the World Series in 2008 , it has to be said that the organization has simply underachieved in spite of the talent and that formidable ….. payroll . It kind of makes you wonder if finances alone are an actual guarantee of overwhelming success ? It works for some , while for others it can actually prove to be a monumental bust . Simply look at the New York Mets as proof of that and their lack of pertinent success over the past decade . And that “white elephant” known as Citi-Field , home to the New York Mets , built at the cost of $775 million is at times so sparsely filled for the team’s home games that it has become one of the most embarrassing topics of conversation in the baseball world . Forgive me for say this , but New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg either had to have been duped by the Mets’ ownership group in financing this venue or he simply felt it was another way of screwing over the city’s residents , while adding to his already dubious legacy as the mayor. It’s not as if he has actually accomplished anything of note during his two terms as the city’s highest ranking executive to begin with ! And somehow the apathetic residents returned him back to office , to serve a third term in office . WTF !

Now while a great deal is being made about the great season that David Wright is now said to be having . Let’s get one thing clear Wright can’t take this team on his back and lead them to where they need to be . As capable as he is , he’s simply doesn’t possess the mindset wherein his teammates will eagerly follow. In other words simply look at him as a meek and version of a Derek Jeter ” wannabe ” . Wright may well be leading the NL in batting average but in no way can one say he’s having the sort of season or showing the sort of productivity we're now seeing from Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp of the Los Angeles Dodgers . Now they are for real and the team is now proving that point .

Now one could start to question whether or not Arte Moreno and Jerry Dipoto can continue to accept the malaise of the Los Angeles Angels . Granted , of late it would appear that Albert Pujols has began to turn things around in terms of his productivity with the Angels have been winners of their last two games but are 5-5 overall in their last ten . Certainly with the the near $330 million commitment made to Albert Pujols and C J Wilson , one would have expected a great deal more from this Angles’ team . Languishing at the bottom of the AL West Mike Sciocsia players already find themselves 7 games behind the marauding Texas Rangers (27-18) who seem to be on course to repeat as divisional champions for a third consecutive season . This hasn’t been lost on Los Angeles Angels , who have seen the Rangers become the dominant force within the division and one of the preeminent teams within the game. And undoubtedly for Nolan Ryan and GM Jon Daniels , they would like nothing better than making a successful run through the postseason . In 2010 and 2011 , the Texas Rangers fell short at the final obstacle placed in front of them . Ron Washington has to be entirely happy with the play of his team and with Josh Hamilton seemingly knocking the hide of the ball and pitching sensation Yu Darvish , one would have to ask is there a AL team capable of taking down the mighty Texas Rangers ?

Money can’t buy you happiness but it sure as hell has brought a tremendous smile to the faces of the fans of the Los Angels Dodgers and the new ownership group headed by Magic Johnson , Stan Kasten , Peter Guber and the senior executives of the venture capital firm Guggenheim Partners LLC . Mark Walter and Todd S Boehly bring along their financial acumen behind and expertise of their company with assets of over $125 billion . Whereas , Johnson and Kasten now become the face of the franchise , relics of the past remain within the front office with Ned Colletti and Tommy LaSorda still being part of the now infamous reign of Frank McCourt . To my mind given the egregious actions of the former owner I find it hard to believe that Magic Johnson and his partners still feel that both Colletti and LaSorda has something to offer to this organization . Each remained remarkably quiet while McCourt and his ex-wife Jamie McCourt plundered the coffers of the baseball club , and in doing so , it led to the franchise being taken into bankruptcy reorganization proceedings . At the time of the filing the Dodgers were laden with debts in excess of $1.6 billion and assets totaling $700 million . And though franchise was sold for an over-inflated price of $2.15 billion , there is the belief that the final sticker price was simply there to create this charade that the health and wealth of the game is on a sound financial footing . If you believe that to be true , then clearly relate to me where you see that just happens to be the case ?

We all knew that the Chicago Cubs would be a work in progress for the newly installed Theo Epstein and GM Jed Hoyer , as they sought to turn around the fortunes of this once revered ball-club . Stymied by sheer ineptitude manager Dale Sveum and his staff have their work cut out for them over the course of this season . At 15-29 the Cubs now find themselves 10 games behind the division leading St Louis Cardinals (25-19) within the NL Central . Issues abound all over the Cubs’ roster from an anemic offense to pitching rotation that at its best is beyond belief in its sheer ineptitude . And though with the recent retirement of Kerry Wood the salutary applaud for a player who by most expectations simply failed to live up to expectations . Once a bright prospect , having been drafted by the Cubs in 1999 , one can allude to the fact that the highlight of Wood’s career was a 20K strikeout feat that propelled him into the spotlight . Since that revelation , the often player never fully regained the form or promise shown at the beginning of his professional foray in baseball (MLB).

It may well be at the end of this season Epstein and Hoyer in consultation with team owner Thomas “Tom ” Ricketts will seek to make some tough decision as it relates to makeup of the of the roster with many of the high priced …. free agents quite possibly being jettisoned by the organization. And for the engima that just happens to be Alfonso Soriano , it is clear that this is a player who has simply failed to live up to the expectations sought from this once highly productive outfielder. The fact that his career has been on the decline over the past four seasons should be enough an indicator that his contract was bloated and simply ridiculous ! And the very fact that Hoyer’s predecessor Jim Hendry initiated this exercise in stupidity , should tell you all you need to know as one of the endless reasons why the Chicago Cubs remains a laughing stock in all corners of the game .

The Washington Nationals may well be the flavor of the month in terms of the discerning fan jumping on that bandwagon . But simply peruse the team’s record and you can see overall it is not as impressive when you delve deeper . Perhaps it could well be that the four other teams within the NL East have been under-whelming in terms of their play. The Nationals are 5-5 in their last 10 games , 8-5 within the division . The awe and drama has been brought about by the presence of Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg the organization’s top draft picks from 2009 and 2010 , respectively . Now the question one should be asking however , is well these two players still be with the Nationals two or even three years down the line when they both become free agents ? It’s all well and good to try and make the claim that this team is simply playing great baseball and they may well be the surprise ball-club of the season . But let’s get something clear the Nationals have yet to prove themselves as being a legitimate contender in anything but name . I mean this franchise has yet make a meaningful run in the postseason . Apathy amongst the fans never ceases to amaze ______________ these fans would lick a piece of s_#t if it would create the perception that all is well within the game. GM Mike Rizzo plays hardball but come time to renegotiate the contracts of both Strasburg and Harper when Scott Boras , the representative of both players is seated across the table from the general manager . I can assure of this , Rizzo will be the one shitting in his pants because he hasn’t mental approach to deal with a blood-sucking leech like Boras . Anyone who thinks otherwise has never seen this agent at work , bear in mind that of the 22 highest paid players in the game Scott Boras has either negotiated their contracts or still remains their agent in that capacity . Need I say anymore on the matter ?

As the season progresses it will be interesting to see how the teams fare of the schedule . June will bring along a number of games that should tell us a great deal about the direction they intend to be heading in . At this point last season there were a number of things that we were beginning to learn and <a href="http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/scoreboard/index.jsp#date=06/02/2011 so … much more . It could be something of a precursor as the latter part of the year post All Star Game . This year’s mid-season showcase will be staged at Kauffman Stadium , Kansas City , Missouri ,. With a great deal at stake for the winning league , it will be interesting to see the preparation , strategies and the makeup of the teams from each league. Undoubtedly , for the managers in question and the fans who vote in large part for the majority of the players that’ll make up the roster the event itself should prove to winner amongst the public and fans alike .

As an avid Atlanta Braves’ fan I have followed their season with a great deal of relish . Fredi Gonzalez seems to have team heading in the right direction , albeit that they’re looking up at the Nationals within the division . The Braves’ third baseman Chipper Jones enters his last season with the organization , seeking that elusive World Series ring . The unprecedented years of success with multiple divisional titles and postseason appearances were gratifying but that lone championship win seems somewhat redundant because so much had been expected.

The team has been built around a young core of players of built around Craig Kimbrell , Jayson Heyward , Michael Bourn , Johnny Venters and the veteran experience of Tim Hudson and Chipper Jones. I say let the chips fall where they may because this season more than any I firmly believe that the Braves can actually make it to the postseason ! The expanded format this season should make the final month of the season extremely interesting. Saturday and Sunday the Braves will host divisional rivals and the Washington Nationals and that if anything should tell us a great deal about the merits , temperament and their undoubted ambitions.

I would like to think that the starting pitchers can lead the team in the mode I believe that they are capable of ! I know that the Atlanta Braves no longer have that formidable pitching lineup that was in essence the admiration of baseball as John Smoltz , Greg Maddux , Tom Glavine and Steve Avery made that starting rotation one of the best ever to play the game .

Misery loves company , and nowhere is this more evident than in witnessing the dire circumstances of the Minnesota Twins . Certainly their record simply bears this out as they are amongst the worst teams …. playing in all of baseball. And certainly with the AL alone the Twins this season are a major cause for concern. Ron Gardenhire and his coaching staff have no answers as to the reasons why this team has been performing so poorly . Team owner Jim Pohlad has become the butt of so many jokes around the league and one could attest to that fact by simply observing the Twins play . Losing has become an “art form “ . It could well prove to be another year of complete ineptitude being borne out again this year as it was in 2011 .

Injuries could once again be used as a crux by the Twins but even that asides cannot hide the fact that this team is extremely bad . Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau are seen as the faces of this franchise and and compensated to that effect . But one now has to consider the very fact that neither player has shown that they have the capacity to lead this team to any great height of success in spite of the reverence and esteem in which they are held by the fans at Target Field . Minneapolis , Minnesota . At season’s end the front office will have some serious decisions to make about the makeup of this roster and also whether or not Mauer and Morneau can co-exist as teammates and be productive . It hasn’t happened this season and you simply get the impression the longer this farce continues the more unlikely things will actually change . Gardenhire’s record impressive as it appears to be you simply cannot hide the fact that a great deal more was expected . As to the reasons why the team in recent years has failed ……. well it’s open to a great deal of conjecture and speculation but it is becoming abundantly clear that the Minnesota Twins are now at a crossroads in more ways than one. They can either continue down this road or choose to change course and head in a completely new direction. Whether or not this means the breaking up of this team and perhaps the dismissal of Ron Gardenhire , well it remains to be seen. Should the ball-club fail at least to garner a wildcard berth then to my mind the latter premise mentioned has to become a reality ! Your thoughts on the matter ?



Picture gallery for your perusal .

As the season has progressed what if anything has been the biggest surprise to amongst the teams and the players ? Simply chime in with your thoughts on this and anything else you believe pertinent to the subject matter .


Picture and slide show details below .

(1) Baltimore Orioles’ Adam Jones breaks his bat as he hits a foul ball in the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals in Baltimore, Friday, May 25, 2012. The Royals would go on to defeat the Orioles 8-2 . AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

(2) TORONTO, CANADA – MAY 28: Edwin Encarnacion (10) of the Toronto Blue Jays rounds second after a two-run home run against Tommy Hunter (29) of the Baltimore Orioles during MLB action at The Rogers Centre May 28, 2012 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images ….

(3) Wilson Betemit ((24) of the Baltimore Orioles strikes out against the Toronto Blue Jays during MLB action at The Rogers Centre May 28, 2012 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images …

(4) Gerald Laird (9) of the Detroit Tigers rounds the bases after hitting a home run as Will Middlebrooks (64) of the Boston Red Sox looks on in the fifth inning at Fenway Park May 28, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts. Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images …..

(5) Phillies’ Jimmy Rollins (11) slides safely into second base behind New York Mets’ shortstop David Wright in the seventh inning of a baseball game, Monday, May 28, 2012, at Citi-Field in New York. The Phillies won 8-4 . AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek …..

(6) Oakland Athletics Josh Reddick slides safely into third base on a triple as Minnesota Twins third baseman Trevor Plouffe loses control in the sixth inning of their baseball game won by the Twins 5-4 , Monday, May 28, 2012 in Minneapolis. AP Photo/Andy King …..

(7) Brian McCann (16) of the Atlanta Braves reacts after grounding into a double play in the eighth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Turner Field on May 28, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images




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Talib Kweli ………… ” Beautiful Struggle ”

It’s Back To The Drawing Board …………

It’s Back To The Drawing Board

By tophatal ……………. 05/21/2012

Not totally unexpected but the NBA …. postseason has seen the firing of its first coaching casualty , with the Orlando Magic having fired Stan Van Gundy this afternoon . GM Otis Smith was also asked to relinquish his duties with the beleaguered general manager and Magic hierarchy agreeing to mutually part ways . COO Alex Martins now has to conduct an exhaustive personnel search for an insighftul general manger and and an astute head coach . Both Van Gundy and Smith over the course of their tenure at best , have simply been completely oblivious as to what is needed to construct a championship caliber team . And it certainly hasn’t helped that Dwight Howard has become a petulant and tiresome ass , who’s biggest attribute is no longer his game but the mere fact that he plays the clown so adroitly ! Nothing says I’m an asshole than an athlete simply being self-absorbed and believing himself to be bigger than the team . The coaches who have held the position with the Magic don’t seem overly impressive when you peruse the list of abject failures in spite of the success of Chuck Daly , Doc Rivers and Brian Hill . I simply get the feeling that the off-season will be a long an arduous one for Alex Martins and his staff , as they seek replacements for Stan Van Gundy and Otis Smith .


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With the Orlando Magic being unceremoniously dumped in the first round of the playoffs by the Indiana Pacers was enough to suggest that that this Magic organization was completely out its depth . This Orlando Magic team was simply made up of ill-fitting pieces and a coach whose best attribute was to be animated and continue to whine like a stuck pig before it’s placed on a spit grill to be roasted . OK , so Ryan Anderson was said to be the most improved player in the NBA this past season . But really is that asking too much of Anderson , given the fact that before this past year season no one would have known whom he was said to be . And please forgive me when I state that J J Redick , Hedo Turkoglu , Jason Richardson and Jameer Nelson are about as scary an opponent in the NBA as Clay Aiken would prove to be in a room filled with naked , openly gay males . Over course of their season schedule the Orlando Magic were simply hideous . Let’s be succinct here , who the fu_k believed that this team was simply good enough to beat any of the Eastern Conference participants in this season’s playoffs ? Come on , ask yourself the question , were the Magic good enough to ” beat” the Pacers ? We all saw that the players simply gave up , rather than seeking to be competitive .

The relationship between Dwight Howard and Stan Van Gundy had already been seething , with there being growing animus between player and coach . Van Gundy approached the senior executives to question whether or not Howard had approached them to have him fired . Oh Stan, get over yourself , as you’re not that great a coach to begin with ! There’s a reason why your tenures with both the Miami Heat and Orlando Magic were not only clouded in controversy but the abrupt way that you’ve now left both organizations has to speak volumes as to your lack of ability as a head coach . There’s a great deal that has be done within this organization , the hiring of a successor to Van Gundy and the upcoming NBA Draft Also there has to be roster personnel decisions with regard to the potential free agents beyond the team’s All Star center Dwight Howard . The player , had the chance to leave the organization earlier this season at the trade deadline and it would appear that either Smith didn’t believe that the teams said to be interested in acquiring the player , simply were not prepared to meet the asking price of the Magic. The Los Angeles Lakers eschewed the idea of acquiring the player in exchange for either Andrew Bynum or Pau Gasol , and the perceived interest from the New Jersey Nets simply went up in smoke the moment that Brook Lopez went down injured .

The potential list of candidates that Alex Martins might seek to interview for the position probably will be not be that great. There simply doesn’t appear to be a viable candidate I believe, that might deemed a suitable successor to Stan Van Gundy ! A retread of someone like Larry Brown , Mike Fratello or P J Carlesimo and the organization might as well call on Brian Hill or Matt Guokas . And if the aforementioned executive should seek to go the collegiate route for that successor , then Alec Martins might seek to hire Billy Donovan , Tom Izzo , or Tom Crean . But I seriously doubt that that Martins has the mendacity or the ambition to gauge the interests of the aforementioned collegiate coaches ! Over the years , I simply wonder what ambition if any there has been within the Orlando Magic organization ! Unfortunately , the misguided fans within the Central Florida area bought into the bullshit that Rich De Vos ever possessed the acumen to make the Magic a real success . He may well have co-founded turned the direct sales product company Amway made it a multi-billion dollar , multi-marketing level behemoth but beyond that he has simply sleep walked as the basketball franchise has simply slipped into deep obscurity . Two appearances in the NBA finals and each time the team fell at the final obstacle in the NBA’s postseason showcase finale . It’s hard to fathom where the Magic now go from here , as I believe that if they choose to rebuild around Dwight Howard there is the likelihood that they will struggle find the prerequisite pieces to complement the Howard’s skill-set. Try as they have , it has already been a complete failure from the moment Dwight Howard was drafted #1 overall in the 2004 NBA Draft . From thereon-in it has been one prat-fall after another with this organization with no semblance of common sense from anyone within the front office to the coaching staff on down . Pretty much damned , and be damned , as it relates to the Orlando Magic .

The ongoing fiasco that happens to be Bud Selig being viewed as the consummate senior executive within baseball’s hierarchy simply knows no boundaries . From his his mishandling of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ financial woes , to that of the New York Mets , the commissioner’s handling of each has left a lot to be desired. And who can forget his and the fu#king asinine rant of one of the commissioner’s subordinates , Rob Manfred questioning arbitration verdict of Shyam Das in overturning Ryan Braun’s 50 game suspension after an alleged banned substance was said to be found within this system ? As we all now know , the testing laboratory facility failed to follow the proper protocols as it related to the gathering and storing of the test specimens of a subject (player) . But somehow rather than rebuking the hired facility these two dumb fu_ks sought to question the arbitrator’s decision after he followed the “rule of law” . And so the saga continues and the lame ass supporters of Bud Selig are still jumping out of the woodwork like termites after an exterminator is within their midst.

Is there a day that day goes by when there’s not some controversy said to be fomenting within baseball ? Within the Tampa Bay area there’s a growing discontent between the Tampa Bay Rays’ ownership group led by managing partner Stuart Sternberg and city of St Petersburg , home to the Rays and their home venue at Tropicana Field , St Petersburg, Florida . Throw in the county government of Pinellas County and their bordered county government neighbor of Hillsborough County , as each seeks to lure or retain the baseball franchise . Sternberg seeks the financial assistance of the city of St Petersburg in the building of a new downtown venue. The city of Tampa and its mayor Bob Buckhorn seeks to lure the baseball club to his city with the financial inducement of a lesser tax burden . But as with any other governmental agency , it will be the residents who in the end will suffer , as the use much of needed resources will be directed elsewhere in order to assist a multi-millionaire sports’ franchise owner . This is the very same bullsh#t that is now transpiring within the city of Sacramento but with their apathetic fan-base trying to suggest that the use of city’s resources in building a new $391 million venue for a basketball franchise , the Sacramento Kings , whose fan-base has been steadily on the decline for the last eight years will be of benefit to the residents as a whole . If that wasn't bad enough the city's Mayor Kevin Johnson seems to be a bumbling ass . His city has an enormous budget deficit but he feels the best way forward to spend funds that they simply haven’t got while furloughing city employees , cutting none-discretionary spending and simply cutting their budget overall . The Sacramento Kings’ ownership group led by Joe and Gavin Maloof have been less than forthright in their dealings with Johnson and his city’s council members . You have the NBA Commissioner David Stern , remaining remarkably moot on the issue but you simply know that this conniving bastard will undoubtedly side with the ownership group of the franchise , if the Maloofs are unable to have their demands met ! I’ll say no more , as I simply don’t want to decry those fans in Sacramento anymore , their idiocy seems to know boundaries !

The Tampa Bay Rays in spite of their recent success have simply languished under the misapprehension that Bud Selig will come riding to the rescue to assist them in their pursuit of a new ballpark . That’s not going to happen anytime soon , as the commissioner has not only rebuffed and rebuked the Rays’ ownership but he has has had the temerity to suggest that the franchise will never play host to an MLB All Star Game until they have a state of the art new venue . Pray Bud , and where will the Tampa Bay Rays get the much needed financing , an approximate $ 575 million to build the proposed new venue come from ? Rays’ GM Andrew Friedman has tried to be very diplomatic concerning this most acute of issues , while not looking to run the wrath of the commissioner’s authority or that of the governmental agencies in question . Over the ensuing months it will be interesting to see how this all pans out .

Now while the two franchises , the > Los Angeles Angels and Los Angeles Dodgers have divergent seasons . It has to be said it is troubling to see the Angels simply flounder from one inept performance to another . If they maintain this type of mediocrity they’ll be hard pressed to finish their season with an above .500 record . The offense has had its problems and their high priced acquisition , Albert Pujols , I’ve no doubt wishes that he were still playing on the senior circuit of the NL ! I’m not saying he’s having issues acclimatizing with his new team but it’s like placing a lamb being led to the slaughter as he tries to acclimatize himself within the AL this season. And other than Jered Weaver’s ….. no hitter for the team this season there has been little to write home about for the Angels this season . Arte Moreno and GM Jerry Dipoto have to be wondering what to make of this team and the coaching staff led by Mike Sciocsia .

While the Angels appear to be fizzling the Los Angels Dodgers are simply on a tear within the NL West . This division could very well be sewn up before we hit the month of August . And at this juncture it’s pretty safe to say that the feats of Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp have pretty much made themselves the early season and prohibitive favorites for the NL MVP.

Confrontations good , bad or indifferent , are never a premise that the game of baseball should operate under. But there’s one now brewing between the San Francisco Giants and Oakland A’s . Lew Wolff seeks to now relocate the franchise if there is no agreement to build a new ballpark for renowned franchise . With no agreement as to a new venue and the aging O Coliseum (Oakland Alameda County Coliseum) now teetering on the brink of being obsolete . The the A’s are seeking to move to Santa Clara County and to a proposed site on the outskirts of San Jose . But herein lies the issue, as the the Giants state that it encroaches upon their territorial boundary and would create a dilution in terms of the fans and their own drawing power within that territory . Just when you thought there was common sense to be found , up comes the fecal matter to simply emit an odor that’s so rancid that it makes you gag.

Courtesy of the San Francisco Examiner in conjunction with Reuters

Territorial rights for SF Giants, Oakland A’s still up in the air

By Reuters

Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig said Thursday there has been no resolution regarding the Oakland A’s and San Francisco Giants’ territorial rights to San Jose after both parties made presentations to Major League Baseball’s executive council on Wednesday, MLB.com reported.

The A’s would like to build a new ballpark in San Jose and play there, but the Giants have not relinquished their rights to San Jose and Santa Clara County. Those rights have been part of the MLB constitution since 1990.

“This is part of the process we’re going through, but I certainly can’t give you a timetable,” Selig told the media Thursday. “As I’ve said before, it’s a complicated, complex issue. People think it’s taking a long time, but if you look at all the issues, you’d understand it better. … The idea is to get it right and if it takes a little longer, that’s fine.”

When asked whether the A’s would be allowed to consider relocating outside of the Bay Area, Selig said, “You’d have to ask [A’s managing partner] Lew Wolff. That’s really his decision to make.”

Approval from 75 percent of the other 29 owners is required for the A’s to move their franchise out of their territory, whether that be to San Jose or elsewhere.

“[The A’s] have to go through an approval process,” Selig said.

Meanwhile, baseball owners approved a new division series format that could actually favor the underdog. Top division winners will play two games on the road before coming home for all necessary remaining games in the five-game series format. When wild-card teams were first added to Major League Baseball playoffs, the format was 2-3. Next season, the plan is to restore the 2-2-1 series format in the first round.


Now the question that may well be asked by the fans , is how can this matter be best resolved to acceptance of the parties involved . Bud Selig has known of the issues that the Oakland A’s have had, as they seek a new venue for the ball-club but rarely has the commissioner spoken publicly on the matter. But somehow he has been front-and-center in aiding the ownership groups of the Miami Marlins , New York Mets and New York Yankees obtaining new baseball stadiums . And those venues have been built at the collective cost of $ 2.855 billion ($2,855,000,000) , all at taxpayers’ expense . New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his Miami counterpart Tomas Regalado have each lauded the commissioner for the assistance and input provided . But somehow the A’s and Rays , now seen as mere paupers within the baseball world are now being left to fend for themselves . I can’t help but wonder if the team owners within the game have such a close fraternal order , then how is it that the likes of Jeffrey Loria , Hank & Hal Steinbrenner and the duo of Saul Katz and Fred Wilpon can seemingly look down on their peers as nondescript miscreants not worth assisting in such an endeavor ! I’ve heard all this bull_hit about there being parity within the game of baseball because there has been not a back-to-back winner of the World Series in over a decade . That means absolutely nothing , where it really counts , and that’s from a economic and financial standpoint . The big market teams within the financial resources at their disposal can simply cakewalk their way to a title , merely by picking up a high priced free agent that meets their prerequisite needs. Not so , for the small market teams around the league ( MLB) but you would be hard pressed to suggest that to many purists and those who claim to have some so-called knowledge of the game from a financial standpoint . I’ve yet to hear anyone explain it succinctly to me , why it is that the game of baseball has such a financial imbalance as it relates to the teams. The New York Yankees think nothing of dropping a $200 million plus payroll on their roster for each of the last five seasons , while the minnows of the game such as the Kansas City Royals , Tampa Bay Rays and Pittsburgh Pirates are left to pick at the dog scraps left in a bowl .

Anyone who believes that Bud Selig cares about all of the baseball teams within the game is simply misguided and hasn’t got any god-damn common sense . The MLB commissioner puts profits above all else , much like his NFL counterpart Roger Goodell , who himself , is currently under siege for his apparent lack of inaction thereof , in dealing with the now ” lingering stench ” of the New Orleans Saints’ scandal with a modicum of real transparency . . There’s a reason why Goodell has no comprehension of jurisprudence (law) , and how to apply it with veracity and judiciously . And even with the in-house legal counsel being provided the NFL commissioner still comes up looking like a complete ass ! .



Picture gallery for your perusal .

Are you at all surprised by the dismissal of Stan Van Gundy as the coach of the Orlando Magic ? And what of the now growing feeling that the Los Angeles Angels now have some major issues to deal with concerning their lackluster performances this season ? That asides what needs to be done concerning the concerns or the Giants and their issues with the possible move of the A’s ? Chime in on this and anything else you believe pertinent on the subject matter. Thanks as always for the continued support of this site as it is greatly appreciated ! .



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Picture and slide show details below for your perusal .


(1) DENVER, CO – APRIL 22 : Head coach Stan Van Gundy leads the Orlando Magic against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center on April 22, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. It was reported on May 21, 2012 that the Orlando Magic fired Head Coach Stan Van Gundy and GM Otis Smith. Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images …

(2) ORLANDO, FL – DECEMBER 18 : Orlando Magic General Manager Otis Smith speaks to the media regarding the acquisition of Gilbert Arenas from the Washington Wizards, Jason Richardson , Hedo Turkoglu, and Earl Clark from the Phoenix Suns at Amway Arena on December 18, 2010 in Orlando, Florida. It was reported on May 21, 2012 that the Orlando Magic fired Head Coach Stan Van Gundy and GM Otis Smith. Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images ….

(3) Dumber and dumber . MAITLAND, FL – SEPTEMBER 29: Orlando Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy and general manager Otis Smith pose for a portrait during NBA Media Day on September 29, 2008 at the RDV Sportsplex in Maitland, Florida. Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images …

(4) Orlando Magic CEO Alex Martins , left, smiles as Dwight Howard answers questions during a news conference,Thursday, March 15, 2012, in Orlando, Fla. Howard signed papers Thursday agreeing to waive the early termination option in his contract, guaranteeing he will be with the Magic at the beginning of the 2012-13 season. That situation now seems a little more uncertain with the recent upheavals within the organization and the player’s own immediate future . AP Photo/John Raoux ….

(5) Rob Manfred (left) and Bud Selig are seen here being interviewed by the press prior to the MLB All Star Game in 2011 . Both senior executives were unhappy with the ruling rendered by Shyam Das during the arbitrator’s presiding over the Ryan Braun mediation case . Das sided with the player after it was shown that the testing facility hired by the league failed to follow the proper protocols in its chain of custody in handling Braun’s test samples . AP / Ian Shaw …….

(6) Oakland Athletics’ owner Lewis Wolff , right, talks with vice president and general manager Billy Beane during the A’s spring training baseball workout in Phoenix, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2007. Beane, the architect behind Oakland’s four division titles since 2000, was rewarded with a seven-year contract extension Wednesday, June 13, 2007. The duo are said to be unhappy with the prolonged efforts of the MLB hierarchy in seeking the owners’ approval and a vote in setting about the chain-of-events that would see the organization move from their present site to a proposed new venue in San Jose (Santa Clara County) California . At the heart of this all , is a brewing territorial dispute between the A’s and San Francisco Giants . AP Photo/Eric Risberg …..

(7) Bochy , Sabean , Cain , Baer of the San Francisco Giants . From left to right San Francisco Giants’ manager Bruce Bochy , GM Brian Sabean , pitcher , Matt Cain and the team’s managing general partner & CEO Laurence Bear . Baer has stated that the Giants have no wish to relinquish their territorial rights which came by way of an agreement that has been in existence since 1990. It is becoming abundantly clear that this matter may well end up being a protracted legal argument , unless the two sides and the MLB hierarchy can reach some sort of a compromise amenable to all of the parties concerned . AP Photo / Chris Chadwick ….. …..




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The Game ……. The Games

The Game ……… The Games

Week 13 in the NFL and there are two prestigious games on this weekend's schedule . One game pits the Baltimore Ravens against the Pittsburgh Steelers in a match-up that will no doubt have grave consequences for both teams as they seek to attain some traction and postseason aspirations within the AFC . Meanwhile the New England Patriots play hosts to the New York Jets in a titanic AFC East battle for divisional supremacy and be viewed as the best team within the conference.


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Now while I’m under no illusion that there are a slew of games that will grab the fans’ attention over the course of this weekend’s schedule and therein lies the dilemma facing fans around the NFL as to what’s on their menu as far as what games will be ultimately of interest to them. But looking beyond these two games I for one don’t really see a match-up that catches my attention . OK within the AFC West the resurgent San Diego Chargers take on their divisional rivals the always befuddling Oakland Raiders . For Tom Cable and this team it’s about a lack of intensity and consistency from game to game . Win one, lose two , win three straight, have the fans believing that they’re back on the right track and now they’re back to the same old routine wherein they are perplexed and somewhat disillusioned with the team’s performances this season . I can only surmise that sooner or later the fans will cotton on to the fact that this team is only willing to beguile their fans rather than delivering the goods. Is there really anything else to be said about the Oakland Raiders at this juncture ?

The San Diego Chargers for their part are looking to shoot down the aspirations of the division leading Kansas City Chiefs and making that division their domain as this season’s champion designate. If the Chargers can pull off this feat and parlay that into a successful postseason then it will augur well for this team and in particular their leader on the field Philip Rivers . The player has had an outstanding season and looks an almost odds on certainty to win the league MVP Award. Other leading candidates such as Tom Brady , Peyton Manning and Atlanta Falcons’ wide receiver Roddy White though having outstanding seasons themselves their stats pale into comparison when measured against that of the Chargers’ quarterback.

The game between the Ravens and Steelers will no doubt be a physical battle of wills and brawn. And given the jawing back and forth between the players on both teams this could well turn out to be something of a bloodbath as well as a highly competitive game. James Harrison the Steelers’ defensive player who has caught the wrath of Roger Goodell’s office with an unprecedented sum of $125,000 in penalized fines may well add to that figure once this game has ended. He’s made it abundantly clear that his game will not change and that he’ll continue in a similar vein in terms of his play. For the Ravens’ Terrell Suggs , Ed Reed and Ray Lewis this is merely seen as a battle they must win and it’s going to take a brave individual to pick the outcome of this game. With the Steelers’ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger suited up ready to play even though he’s carrying an injury , this game will most definitely be one to watch and it could all come down to the decision making of the respective quarterbacks and that of how sucessful both defenses are on the day. This much is certain for Joe Flacco this will be another test of his progression as a quarterback within the NFL.

On the offensive side of the ball the Steelers and Rashard Mendenall will be tested and equally as well so too will Ray Rice and Todd Heap of the Baltimore Ravens as these two 8-3 teams battle it out at MT& Bank Stadium in Baltimore , Maryland this upcoming Sunday. Make no bones about it there’s a lot more at stake here than simply bragging rights amongst these two teams as there’s a great deal riding on the outcome as to their postseason ambitions.

Gillette Stadium stages what might be deemed the marquee matchup of the weekend as I alluded to earlier between the New England Patriots and New York Jets. As we all know the Jets’ coach Rex Ryan has made it clear that he feels that his team is now the equal of the three time winning Superbowl champions. Be that as it may given the fact that the Jets haven’t raised the Lombardi Trophy in over three decades I can only surmise when that’s all you have stake as your claim then you might as well swing for the fences. Bill Belichick and his team will look to avenge their early season loss (28-14) to their divisional rivals and this ought to dispel once and for all that there’s any love lost between these two teams. Tom Brady has reiterated his dislike for the Jets and I’d dare say that the feeling is mutual from the players on the Jets’ roster ! So the bye product of this all could be one hell of a war within the trenches as these two clash .



Picture gallery for your perusal .

Patience and virtue will be of an essence if Brady and the Patriots are to defeat the New York Jets and the defense of the New England Patriots will have to be ready for the onslaught that will no doubt take place as Mark Sanchez , Santonio Holmes and Dustin Keller take aim at knocking off their heated foe. The Pats high scoring offense led by Aaron Hernandez , Rob Gronkowski , Deion Branch , Wes Welker and Danny Woodhead this ought to be the chance they seek to put the Jets in what they believe to be is their rightful place and that’s looking up at the Patriots in the divisional standings. With both teams at 9-2 with not only the division up for grabs but also a playoff berth this is a must win game for both teams. And the deciding factor in this all may well come down to who wants the victory more and their unwillingness not to make mistakes in terms of the least amount of turnovers . That to my mind will be the determining factor with this game .

What games amongst this weekend’s schedule as such will have your undivided attention ? And which teams do you think will ultimately prevail in the games being played this weekend ? Simply chime in with a comment as you see fit and thanks as always for the continued support .


Alan aka tophatal ……………. 🙂


Erstwhile video vixen and eye candy Jessica Rabbit


Kanye West …………. “Power”

Simply Follow The Money Honey

Simply Follow The Money Honey

Just as in the silly season with the PGA Tour where they have their non-sensical and end of season tournaments that’s merely another way for the Tour players to pad their already burgeoning bank accounts the same thing applies to MLB (baseball) as prospective restricted and free agents look to cement their bank accounts also. However whereas golf has a wealth of corporate sponsors eager to have their names associated with the sport although the game’s biggest draw _ Tiger Woods has fallen from grace somewhat ,the sport as such still resonates with the fans whenever he’s on the golf course wielding his clubs and not wielding it in the direction of some buxom nubile young female.


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Continue reading “Simply Follow The Money Honey”

Fill In The Blank or Blanks As The Case Maybe ……………….

Fill In The Blank or Blanks As The Case Maybe ……………….

Well now that the NBA Playoffs have reached the conference semi-finals stages. It’s beginning to look like the “presumed favorites” as it now stands ought to be making their way to the respective conference finals. As an avowed Spurs’ fan all I’ve got to say about the team at present is “……….what the hell are you guys doing or thinking” ? Were the San Antonio Spurs a race horse and they came up lame up as they have done is this series against the Phoenix Suns , thus far. Then I for one would have them euthanized. How the hell can Gregg Popovich have himself be out-coached by Alvin Gentry ? That’s akin to having someone subscribed to the statement that Britney Spears is a far much better performer and singer than Alicia Keys ? So now lip syncing now beats out sheer raw talent ? What is the world now coming to ? I guess that’s why we’ve got “American Idol” on Fox television ?

Performers can come and go but “real talent” stands the test of time !

Fill in the blank as to what Kobe might be saying to Lamar or vice versa ?

Here are few suggestions to start you off concerning the perceived exchange being made between the duo.

1) “Man, Khloe is a ‘ho in the bedroom but a lousy cook” ! Lamar

2) “Vanessa doesn’t like it when I ask her stop drop and roll during sex” Kobe

3) “I still think that I’m in with a chance of nailin’ Khloe’s mom , Kris Jenner “! Lamar

4) “Damn man that’s what I was thinking too ” ! Kobe

5) “I’d definitely like to try having oral sex with Kim just to see if she’s any different from that chick in Eagle, Colorado. She gave “good head” and that was it . The rest wasn’t all that “! Kobe

6) “Dang Kobe why you gotta go there man” ? Lamar

7) “I dunno’ ’bout you but I don’t think LeBron is all that ” !___ Lamar. ” That’s for sho’ he ain’t got goin’ on like me. He ain’t poppin’ it like me and I’m off the chain fo’ shizzle ” ! ____ Kobe

(8) “Kobe do ya’ think the sistas hate us ’cause we’ only been with “white chicks” ? ___ Lamar. “Man shut the _uck up I dated a sista’ in high school and I took Brandy to her prom. That’s gotta count for somethin’ ! ” _________ Kobe.

So guys chime on in with a comment concerning the caption as well as your thoughts on the NBA Playoffs so far.


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Slide-show for your perusal.


For now I’ll abide by whatever, fate has in store for my “team” but I can’t say at all that I’m entirely happy with their display in the series so far ! It’s as my Royal Marine drill instructor one told us on an exercise . “We’re not here to merely play games we’re here to fight and it’s my duty to make men out of you ……… “you bunch of cherry assed choirboys ” ! Do I like what I see from the Spurs as of now ? Hell no ! But I’ll support them come hell or high water but at the same time I’ll call their asses out if they’re playing like a “bunch of wimps” ! Which is exactly what they’re now doing in this series. It’s hard to believe that this is the same team who dealt with the Dallas Mavericks so clinically in the previous round !


Picture gallery .


Click on the respective links provided to view the details of the series now underway in the NBA Playoffs.

Conference semi-finals

Eastern Conference * Denotes team with home-field advantage.

* Cleveland Cavaliers vs Boston Celtics . _____ Click here .

* Orlando Magic vs Atlanta Hawks . ____ Click here .

Western Conference

* Los Angeles Lakers vs Utah Jazz ___ Click here .

* Phoenix Suns vs San Antonio Spurs ___ Click here .

Alan Parkins aka tophatal ………………..

Jamie Foxx feat’g Justin Timberlake & TI ………….”Winner”


<font face="andalus"  size="3">   Brittany  and   Surelyn   packin'  a  whole  of  <b> fire   power    in  their   "as_ses" </b>   don't   you  think  ?  </font>

Models Brittany (left) and Surelyn (right). Each seems to be packin’ a great “deal of firepower” in their “bootylicious” booty’s don’t you think ?

Meet Some of My Newest Friends From ’round The Way …………….

Meet Some of My Newest Friends From ’round The Way …………….

Well guys now that the Duke Blue Devils have done their thing in winning a fourth national men’s NCAA title in defeating Butler 61-59 . We can applaud them and coach Mike Krzyzewski on a job well done ! Now let’s get down to brass tacks ? Here are just a few of my latest friends courtesy of a certain renowned men’s magazine commonly subscribed to by many African American males . King Magazine is the publication in question and its content of luscious females goes unmatched even surpassing I’d say, the “swimsuit issue” of Sports Illustrated to my mind ! So without further ado enjoy the content matter . And by all means do chime in with a comment as each and every one is more than welcomed !


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Enjoy contemplate but most of all do have fun while perusing the slide-show gallery .


Picture gallery ………. click on each pic to view up close and personal.


Continue reading “Meet Some of My Newest Friends From ’round The Way …………….”

I’ve Got A Pot To Pi_s In And My First Task Would Be To Pour It In The Direction of The Following …….

I’ve Got A Pot To Pi_s In And My First Task Would Be To Pour It In The Direction of The Following …….

I don’t know about you but I found this past weekend to be something of an uneventful one sports-wise. OK, so it was Valentine’s Day weekend and the girlfriend brought me a puppy as a gift. I’ve decided to name him ‘Buster’. And hopefully he can get me some ‘play’ when she’s out of town away on business or visiting her family on the West Coast ! And the one thing that Buster had better be is domesticated, in the fact that he won’t be urinating all over the home. That’ll be an ongoing thing no doubt. !

As I stated , I found the weekend’s noted sport’s activities to be one big monotonous bore ! And my interest in the Winter Olympics rates up there somewhere alongside my interest in Sarah Palin’s thoughts on the economy. Her knowledge of it, when matched against that of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers is essentially like measuring the difference between night and day. She ought to stick with what she knows best and that’s placing lipstick on a pig and making a complete ass of herself . Any other utterances out of her mouth just isn’t worth a damn !

The NBA All Star Weekend was the personification of exuberance and ostentatiousness . And even thought the events were staged at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington , Texas. One had the feel that everything about the event was superficial and lacking in real substance. There, you had Mark Cuban as host of the event , as the game was meant to be originally set at the Dallas Mavericks’ home venue. But what better way for David Stern , Jerry Jones and Cuban , himself , to show off everything that’s meant to truly gaudy, while still at the same time trying to appease the fans of the NBA ? And it wouldn’t at all surprise us to know that each of the trio has never been known to shy away from the prying eyes of the media. As each craves the press almost as much as a junkie craves a hit of their next fix. They’ll essentially whore themselves out to the highest bidder if it gets them the print or tv coverage that they desire.

Dallas -February  15th ,2010. New Dallas Mavericks player <strong>Caron Butler </strong>(l) and Mavericks' head coach Rick Carlisle appear at a news conference at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. photo appears  courtesy  of  NBAE/Getty  Images/  Glenn James  .........
Dallas -February 15th ,2010. New Dallas Mavericks player Caron Butler (l) and Mavericks' head coach Rick Carlisle appear at a news conference at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. photo appears courtesy of NBAE/Getty Images/ Glenn James .........

Well, what was meant to be ‘NASCAR’s showcase event’ of the season , their ‘Superbowl’ , essentially became a comedy of errors. And no one other than NASCAR is to blame for the events that took place at Daytona International Speedway for the Daytona 500 . And though the race was won by Jamie McMurray with Dale Earnhardt Jr finishing a close second. One can’t help but feel that the race and the events in the midst and subsequently surrounding it made it all more of an afterthought. And no amount of PR hoopla that was forthcoming could actually stave off the warranted criticism of the event and of the officials presiding over Daytona , itself. ISC , the holding company and umbrella operation of NASCAR , which owns the track, doesn’t even have the decency to apologize to the fans for the debacle. But then again what would one come to expect of a a hierarchy that has literally lost touch with its fan-base over the years. Brian France as CEO and Chairman of NASCAR alongside Mike Helton , NASCAR’s President , have about as much insight and intelligence as that of a mentally challenged child. But the belief is that as custodians of the sport they have it now going in the right direction. With the loss of several major corporate sponsors and the still acute situation of the domestic auto industry. These are still some very acute times for the sport in general and financially as well as competitively it is becoming extremely tough to remain competitive as well as financially viable. A number of the smaller teams operating within the upper echelons of the sport will either cease operations , scale back or leave the sport altogether . It’s not just the economy that’s playing a factor in this but the mere fact that the rules within the sport isn’t consistent and is forever changing. Hardly an emphatic endorsement for a sport that is meant to be fan friendly.

Team owner Chip Ganassi, left, and NASCAR driver Jamie McMurray are interviewed after winning the Daytona 500 auto race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla.  photo appears  courtesy of  Associated  Press/ John  Raoux .......
Team owner Chip Ganassi, left, and NASCAR driver Jamie McMurray are interviewed after winning the Daytona 500 auto race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. photo appears courtesy of Associated Press/ John Raoux .......

Much of the pre-hype leading up to the race itself was the official baptism of fire Danica Patrick. She will now drive in the sport but in the lower level of the Nationwide Series for the Jr Motorsports team, co-owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr and Rick Hendrick . Now considering the hype over Patrick , who has but one win in the Indy Series . I find it somewhat asinine the attention that she’s now getting, when in Jimmie Johnson , the sport has its first four time consecutive NASCAR champion. The PR that NASCAR has used their champion for, borders on being insulting. It has been minimal at best and on a national scale the print media hasn’t shown little evidence of supporting the NASCAR champion. But that’s something that’s best left for their erstwhile fans to discuss. I mean if Jimmie Johnson’s feats aren’t worth discussing then why the f_ck are they falling over themselves concerning Danica Patrick ? When last l looked she wasn’t racing stark naked , nor was she adorning the front of her vehicle scantly clad. So why all the hype ?

 Jamie McMurray, driver of the (#1) Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet, crosses the finish line to win the the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 14, 2010 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  photo appears courtesy  of Getty Images/  NASCAR/ Jason  Smith ..................
Jamie McMurray, driver of the (#1) Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet, crosses the finish line to win the the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 14, 2010 in Daytona Beach, Florida. photo appears courtesy of Getty Images/ NASCAR/ Jason Smith ..................

Can the travails of the New York Knicks get any worse at the moment ? Here you have a team that is so inept and lacking in overall talent. That one has to wonder why they’re simply not playing in the developmental league of the NBA . That way the alleged players on this ‘so called Mike D’Antoni coached team’ can hone their talents. Having posted a 19-32 record within the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference . It’s hard to see what direction that D’Antoni is trying to lead the team in. Young and naive at heart this team doesn’t even possess the natural ability to play as a cohesive unit. But yet I’m being told that they have some rather good young players on their roster.

 Nate Robinson (#2) of the New York Knicks celebrates his third dunk title during the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest on All-Star Saturday Night as part of the 2010 NBA All-Star Weekend at the American Airlines Center on February 13, 2010 in Dallas, Texas. photo appears courtesy  of NBAE/Getty Images/  Nathaniel  S.  Butler ...................
Nate Robinson (#2) of the New York Knicks celebrates his third dunk title during the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest on All-Star Saturday Night as part of the 2010 NBA All-Star Weekend at the American Airlines Center on February 13, 2010 in Dallas, Texas. photo appears courtesy of NBAE/Getty Images/ Nathaniel S. Butler ...................

Courtesy of Yahoo Sports

Knicks in serious talks for McGrady

By Adrian Wojnarowski and Marc J. Spears , Yahoo Sports Writers

The New York Knicks are getting closer to reaching the Houston Rockets’ demands for Tracy McGrady(notes) and his $23 million expiring contract, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

The Knicks and Rockets have designed the framework of a deal that would unload New York’s Jared Jeffries, Jordan Hill and either Al Harrington or Larry Hughes for McGrady, Joey Dorsey and Brian Cook.

As talks stood on Monday, the price of dumping the burdensome contract of Jeffries – who is owed $6.9 million next season – comes with the Knicks and Rockets exchanging 2011 first-round picks and the Knicks’ 2012 first-round choice going to Houston. New York also might include a 2010 second-round pick.

The Utah Jazz own the Knicks’ first-round pick in 2010.

The discussion on potential draft picks changing hands remains fluid.

The completion of the deal isn’t imminent, but sources involved in the discussions are increasingly confident that after months of back and forth, which intensified over All-Star weekend, an agreement is within reach. TNT’s David Aldridge first reported that talks between the teams had picked up.

One of the hang-ups in the deal, sources said, could be the Knicks’ inclusion of either Harrington or Hughes. There are slight variations of the trade that would change depending on which of the two veteran Knicks’ expiring contracts are included. With Harrington over Hughes in the deal, the Rockets wouldn’t need to include Cook.

For the Knicks, the trade would accomplish two important things: First, it would get Jeffries’ salary cleared out, something general manager Donnie Walsh has tried to do since taking the job. This would give the Knicks even more flexibility to be a major player in this summer’s free-agent market. Also, the Knicks want to take a good look at McGrady and let him play as much of a role as he can handle the rest of the season. They may consider re-signing him for next season, based on his performance.

Rockets GM Daryl Morey would get Hill, the untested eighth pick in the 2009 draft, and first-round picks that could prove valuable. This will get the Rockets a significant measure of value for McGrady, who they exiled in December. McGrady, sources said, is excited about the possibility of joining the Knicks.


And when the claim to fame of your so called best player is that he’s a three time NBA Slam Dunk champion that doesn’t exactly set the opposition running for cover. But that’s what we see as the evidence in watching Nate Robinson play. For all of his posturing, I seriously doubt that he’d even make it on the bench of the New Jersey Nets the one team in the conference that is considerably worse than the Knicks ! And for my buddy the sportschump , who simply lives to breathe and gush over anything that’s worthy of mentioning, concerning a Florida Gator athlete. I won’t disappoint him, by saying that although David Lee is having a solid year for the Knicks. On any other team he might well be a backup. But for the New York Knicks , he’s the lone star on this seemingly dysfunctional team !

Were the playoffs to start today the New York Knicks would miss that scenario entirely. In fact being some 5 1/2 games behind the 8th placed Chicago Bulls (25-16) in the seedings, indicates how dire the situation is at present for the organization. And with the conference actually now showing signs of competitiveness. It comes as something of a surprise to find the top eight teams playing .500 ball . As to whether or not that will be the situation at season’s end remains to be seen. But raises hopes that within the Eastern Conference there’s signs of life beyond the Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics , Orlando Magic and the surprisingly resilient Atlanta Hawks. Never mind the fact that the Charlotte Bobcats might just now be the ‘surprise team’ within the Eastern Conference.

Knicks’ Vice President and Head of Basketball Operations Donnie Walsh has his work cut out for him in the off-season. It certainly doesn’t make sense for him at present to enter into the fray in terms of acquiring a player before the trade deadline. And even if it amounts to a salary dump in order to clear the way for a full fledged assault on landing LeBron James , as part of the ‘free agency’ sweepstakes that may well take place in the off-season. What will Walsh be surrounding the player with, in the terms of a complementary roster to begin with ? It’s not as if any of the parts of this current team is moderately good to begin with ! This has been a team assembled from ill fitting pieces that essentially hasn’t understood what it takes to play as a cohesive unit and win as a team. And all this, coming from the tutelage of Mike D’Antoni, whose effective communicative skills when it comes to basketball , borders on that on that of a mute !

Now if the rumors now sweeping NBA circles are true , then the impending departure of the Rockets’ guard , Tracy McGrady to the Knicks would come as a great surprise to many. Rockets’ GM Daryl Morey would like nothing better than to rid himself of the player , who of late has become nothing more than a whining prima-donna. And who if anything, his best days as a once ‘elite player’ is no longer visible on the courts, in terms of his play or his desire to win for that matter ! The thoughts of McGrady being on a Knicks’ team while not necessarily enthralling, brings about as much desire, as being forced to see Rosie O’Donnell naked and her acting provocatively, while enticing you to have sex with her . Not a pleasant sight at all ! And for the devoted Knicks’ fans out there who immediately think that the addition of McGrady will automatically make them a legitimate contender within the Eastern Conference. Think again , as nothing could be further from the truth. Having McGrady on board is essentially like, having Sarah Palin being added to John McCain’s Presidential ‘election race ticket’. On appearance, it was thought to be quite attractive and a winnable prospect. But when the evidence arose that Palin was nothing more than an unintelligent buffoon. Then all bets were off and it’ll be the same scenario with Tracy McGrady and the New York Knicks ! He’ll bring absolutely nothing to the table other than a player with a declining skills and an attitude that still borders on being narcissistic. And any aspirations that the Knicks might still possess with regards to obtaining a playoff spot are somewhat remote at this juncture.

Did I miss something during the college football season ? Can someone help me out please ? Unless , I’m mistaken Notre Dame had a woefully inept season and their coach Charlie Weis was abruptly fired after four lackluster years of sheer ineptitude . Why the school’s AD, Jack Swarbrick didn’t possess the ‘balls’ to do this sooner , is still beyond me ! But given the fact that NBC is by far in a way, the school’s biggest donor in terms of their tie-ins with the establishment and the ongoing relationship between NBC’s Head of Sports Programming, Dick Ebersol . This may well have been one of the primary reasons that it took Swarbrick so damn long to come to a decision. Ebersole as a graduate of the school, has shown far too much obeyance and partiality to the establishment. But when one considers how poor the station has been doing as of late, as a producer of quality programming. It’s easy to understand the reason why they continue to pin their hopes on crap such as ‘Notre Dame football’ and their continuous coverage of the Winter and Summer Olympics . Is there anyone actually still showing a keen interest in either ? With their coverage of the Vancouver Games said to be bringing the station losses estimated that will be in excess of $300-$400 million. One wonders who the hell has the common sense to be over bidding for the so called privilege of covering the games ? Only an idiot, without the business acumen would continue to wonder down this path while continuing to see the mounting losses and diminishing viewership for the spectacle to begin with ! But NBC is no longer being ran by sane people , more like it’s being ran by a bunch of brainless, moronic zombies !

Notre Dame head football coach Brian Kelly talks to reporters after his press conference about prospective student-athletes who have signed and submitted their letter of intent to Notre Dame on national signing day, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2010 in South Bend, Ind.  photo  appears courtesy  of  Associated  Press/ Joe Raymond ......
Notre Dame head football coach Brian Kelly talks to reporters after his press conference about prospective student-athletes who have signed and submitted their letter of intent to Notre Dame on national signing day, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2010 in South Bend, Ind. photo appears courtesy of Associated Press/ Joe Raymond ......

Courtesy of Yahoo Sports -Blog ( Shutdown Corner)

Combine Watch List : Quarterbacks

By Doug Farrar , Yahoo Sports

With the 2010 Scouting Combine coming up next week, it’s time to take a look at the potential stars at every position in this year’s draft class. Yours truly will be in Indianapolis to cover the event (it will be my fourth), and we’ll start with the five quarterbacks who will be on most minds.

Sam Bradford (Oklahoma): Bradford might have been the first overall pick had he declared for the draft after the 2008 season, but he stayed to see if he could win a national championship with the Sooners. The departure of four offensive linemen from what had been the NCAA’s best line showed its effects in the 2009 season opener against BYU, when Bradford was slammed to the turf and suffered a shoulder injury. Another injury against Texas ended his season. Bradford has the arm strength and accuracy to make any NFL scout drool, but there are questions about his durability at 6-foot-4 and 223 pounds, his ability to adapt to pro-style offenses. Notre Dame’s Jimmy Clausen (pictured) is now seen by most to be the most pro-ready quarterback. Bradford, however, is the pick with the most potential over time. Scouts already know about his arm, but it will be good for Bradford to prove that it’s all still there and ready to go.

Jimmy Clausen (Notre Dame): Clausen declared for the draft after the firing of head coach Charlie Weis — he had gone to Notre Dame specifically to learn under a coach who had NFL experience. He doesn’t have a rocket arm, but in a slightly depressed class at the position, Clausen’s probably the most interesting to those teams who need a franchise quarterback now. He’s the one draft-eligible quarterback with specific NFL-ready tools, extended experience in the kinds of offenses he’ll work at the next level, and the kind of intangibles that will endear him to his new teammates. As such, he’s a good bet to go first among the quarterbacks, especially if he does well in the throwing drills.

Colt McCoy (Texas): He fell short of a BCS Championship after a shoulder injury took him out against Alabama, but McCoy is an interesting prospect for certain kinds of teams. His high efficiency and favorable touchdown-to-interception ratios tell a story of an offense predetermined to shorter throws, but the Saints just won the Super Bowl with a 70 percent completion rate and a lot of screens and quick outs. McCoy’s toughness and intelligence aren’t questioned, but like Bradford, he’ll do well to answer questions about his shoulder with his throwing session.

Tim Tebow (Florida): No draft prospect causes more division among scouts, analysts and columnists than Tebow. There are those who believe that if the NFL can’t find a place for him, it’s the NFL’s problem. And there are those who believe that Tebow will never make it in the NFL as a quarterback. His experience in option offenses and super-slow delivery are precedents which seem to relegate him to the NFL scrap heap as a quarterback, but his intangibles have some willing to take draft chances they probably shouldn’t. No player will benefit more from a great session on the turf of Lucas Oil Stadium — if Tebow shows a buggy-whip release and an ability to zing 30-yard post-corner routes, he’ll have a lot of draft boards scrambling. Still, he’d probably be wise to catch passes with the tight end group as well…

Tony Pike (Cincinnati): Another guy with size and injury concerns (6-6, 212), Pike blew it up for the Bearcats in 2009 and really impressed during Senior Bowl practices. But he missed three games during 2009 with an injured (non-throwing) forearm, a year after a six-inch plate was inserted in that same arm. Pike met with Ben Roethlisberger before the Senior Bowl to get some tips on the next level, but he’ll certainly want to avoid Big Ben’s tendency to attract sacks.


Irish QB Jimmy Clausen has never seen the type of attitude in Notre Dame's players that they are showing at this year's spring practice.
Irish QB Jimmy Clausen has never seen the type of attitude in Notre Dame's players that they are showing at this year's spring practice. photo appears courtesy of Getty Imges/ Christian Petersen ............

If the machinations of ESPN’s NFL Draft guru, Mel Kiper Jr, is anything to go by . Then it’s likely that the Irish’s quarterback Jimmy Clausen may well be taken as the first quarterback picked in the upcoming NFL Draft in April. He’s viewed by many as the best NFL ready college quarterback available in this upcoming draft. Now don’t get me wrong it’s Kiper’s and others’ own assessment of Clausen and their belief in the player’s worth. And while I admire what it is that Kiper does. Let’s just say his idea of blowing smoke up everyone’s ass, differs from mine, in the assessment of Jimmy Clausen as a player and most definitely as one of the better college quarterbacks on display last season and for his entire college career. He’s a solid player but he’s nowhere near the player that Kiper and others are making him out to be ! At best he’ll be a mid first round or early second round pick for an NFL team in need of a quarterback . When judged against the body of work and the abilities amongst his peers such as , Sam Bradford , Colt McCoy and Tony Pike, Clausen does leave a great deal to be desired. But then again, I get the feeling that when the likes of Kiper and Kirk Herbstreit assess the talents of Jimmy Claussen. I somehow get the impression that they’re swooning over a busty young female while they’re seemingly enjoying their respective erections ? Oh damn , both Herbstreit and Kiper have both shot their wads at the same time. Talk about premature ejaculation ? These guys are stark staring mad !

Golden Tate #23 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish runs the ball past Blake Carter #1 of the Navy Midshipmen on November 15, 2008 at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland. Notre Dame defeated Navy 27-21.
Golden Tate (#23) of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish runs the ball past Blake Carter (#1 ) of the Navy Midshipmen on November 15, 2008 at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland. Notre Dame defeated Navy 27-21. photo appears courtesy of Getty Images North America/ Jim McIsaac ................

The sole reason why Clausen looked so good may well have been the fact that he had Golden Tate as a receiver on his team, while he was Notre Dame. If Tate couldn’t catch it, then it couldn’t be caught by anyone else within college football. Because of his sheer athleticism ,Tate was able to make the impossible happen when it came the passes of Clausen. And it wasn’t as if Clausen was all that accurate a passer to begin with. Never mind as a player he lacks leadership skills and his character at times has come into question. The great quarterbacks within the NFL possess a number of these traits , and those are leadership, accuracy , being able to adapt under pressure but most of all being able to lead by example. And that’s something, Clausen clearly hasn’t exhibited over the course of his college career. And I’m to believe that an NFL team will be prepared to invest anywhere between $45million-$60 million in his abilities as a player ? Can someone please throw this pot of pi_s I’ve got at both Herbstreit and Kiper, before I do ? These two buffoons are about as insightful on the college game , as Pat Robertson is on the tenets of the bible and Christianity. And given Robertson’s asinine outbursts and his denigration of the Haitian people , I’m inclined to believe that fuc_ing racial bigot wouldn’t know his ass from his elbow, much less what time of the friggin’ day it is !

There you have it guy my pot of pi_s and who I’d now be squarely aiming it at. Is there anyone or any team that you’d be directing a pot of pi_s towards because the sheer stupidity that they’re said to be showing ? By all means vent by leaving a comment on this particular subject matter. I look forward to reading and then responding to each of your comments accordingly. Thanks as always for the continued support. It’s most definitely appreciated !

Alan Parkins aka tophatal …………


The Family Stand gives you ‘Ghetto Heaven’. Feel the beat , it’s a great deal better than a lot of the crap that’s been espoused as good music nowadays !

And for the young guys out there who’ve never heard of or even appreciated what Rosie Perez was about . Then sit back and watch as she lays it out all on the line. The ‘original ‘Fly Girl’ who created and choreographed the dance troupe that appeared on the Fox satirical comedy show ‘In Living Color’ . Appreciate also Public Enemy’s socially conscious track ‘Fight The Power’ . This is the theme to the Spike Lee joint ‘Do The Right Thing’ . On a side-note , this is where Jennifer Lopez first came to our attention, as she was an original ‘Fly Girl’ .

Was It Good For You ……. ?

I don’t know if many you may well have caught the end to that ‘phenomenal’ game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Utah Jazz ? As great a game as there have no doubt been in the NBA this season and no doubt throughout the remainder of the season. I doubt that you’ll have find one that had such an exhilarating ending to it and with such an unlikely ‘hero’ to it all at the end of the day’.

The player in question who outshone the likes of LeBron James and even his own ‘Jazz’ ‘teammates’ such as Kyle Korver, Andrei Kirilenko, Carlos Boozer and Paul Millsap was NBA D developmental league payer , Sundiata Gaines. His heroics, in the nine total minutes he was on the court for the Jazz has made him a hero and left an indelible mark on the Utah Jazz fans.
And the 97-96 victory that came about will be something that Gaines can have as a story to tell his kids as well as his great-grand kids and great-great grand kids for years to come. Such were ‘his heroics’ on the night.

Savor it whilst you can, cause not even ‘Hollywood’ could’ve scripted a better story or ending.

Tina Turner’s rendition of the song ‘Hero’ from the post apocalyptic movie Mad Max movie trilogies. ‘Beyond Thunderdome’

Alan Parkins

Your Thoughts On This NFL Season ….. Surprises , None Surprise And If Any Exceeded Your Expectations

The NFL season has ended and the qualified now teams embark upon postseason play, with the aspiration of winning the Superbowl , thereby being anointed world champions. The fascination for me when I first heard this was , world champions ? World champions of what ? Considering in large part that all 32 teams are situated here in the US. That hardly constitutes that they ought to be designated world champions. But such are the vagaries that we ought to merely just leave it at that !

Orchard Park, Ny . Peyton Manning (#18) of the Indianapolis Colts looks to pass against the Buffalo Bills  at Ralph Wilson Stadium on January 3, 2010 in Orchard Park, New York. Buffalo won 30-7.  picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Rick  Parry .........
Orchard Park, Ny . Peyton Manning (#18) of the Indianapolis Colts looks to pass against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium on January 3, 2010 in Orchard Park, New York. Buffalo won 30-7. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Rick Parry .........

Records asides , the Indianapolis Colts (14-2) and the New Orleans Saints (13-3) ended up with the best regular season records within their respective conferences and handily won their divisions. In doing so, they automatically became the number one seeds within the AFC and NFC conference and thereby obtaining a bye in the first round of the playoffs. Postseason play commences this weekend with the first round match ups of the wildcard seeds and divisional winners who did not obtain a bye.

Charlotte, Nc,.  (R-L) Jon Beason (#52) , Charles Godfrey (#30) and Chris Harris (#43) of the Carolina Panthers tackle Darnell Dinkins (#80) of the New Orleans Saints in the second half of the game at Bank of America Stadium on January 3, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  picture appears courtesy of Getty Images / Scott Halleran  .......
Charlotte, Nc,. (R-L) Jon Beason (#52) , Charles Godfrey (#30) and Chris Harris (#43) of the Carolina Panthers tackle Darnell Dinkins (#80) of the New Orleans Saints in the second half of the game at Bank of America Stadium on January 3, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images / Scott Halleran .......

In the AFC on Saturday we’ll see the New York Jets takes on the Cincinnati Bengals , both teams being two of the four AFC representatives at this stage of the proceedings. We’ll also get to see the Dallas Cowboys take on their heated divisional (NFC East) rivals, the Philadelphia Eagles. And considering the outcome of the last regular season meeting this past week. Can we say that for Donovan McNabb and his Philadelphia Eagles’ teammates ‘….revenge is sweet when it’s best served up cold’ ? And were they to upset the applecart with a win in the playoffs. Then not would it only equate with it being a disastrous season for the Cowboys but it would also make it almost fifteen years without a playoff series’ win. That sort of ineptitude is not something that Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones is willing to tolerate.

Sunday pits the Baltimore Ravens against the New England Patriots of the AFC and we’ll also see the Arizona Cardinals take on the Green Bay Packers of the NFC. All of these games ought to be enticing for their fans, as well as the fans of the NFL. And for myself being a die-hard New England Patriots’ fan, I can only but hope that they’ll acquit themselves well against coach,John Harbaugh’s Ravens. If not, then it’s bye ,bye Pats. But much of that will be predicated upon which Patriots’ team considers to show up. The one led by Pro Bowl quarterback , Tom Brady that’s playing at a high level or the one where they become error prone , lackadaisical, wherein the coach, Bill Belichick is trying second guess himself and everyone else around him ? That’s the dilemma that this may well face.

Now I’m not going to try and analyze these games and offer up what’s deemed to be an expert’s opinion which it won’t be. I’m no expert when it comes to the NFL and the games as to when they’re played. But what I can tell you is that just about any other ardent fan of the NFL , I really do know what I like about the game when I see it. And hopefully each of these games will be highly competitive with each giving it their very best on the day. That’s all any real fan of the NFL can ask for. Oh , I should preclude that of course, with that you’d want your team to win.

The games will definitely have their plot lines as will the remainder of the season. Will we see Bill Belichick raise his fourth Lombardi trophy and thereby join Chuck Noll as the winningest coach in Superbowl history ? Or could we see the likes of Sean Payton, Jim Caldwell, John Harbaugh , Wade Phillips, Ken Whisenhunt , Rex Ryan , Andy Reid , Mike McCarthy, Brad Childress and Marvin Lewis become first time recipients as winners of the Superbowl ? This much is sure, when the fervor of the playoffs begin , anything and everything is liable to happen. As to the event itself , it merely becomes one great big holiday bash where we can all celebrate. Never mind the fact that the televised event will be watched by in excess of 1 billion viewers world-wide. For myself, the event other than the game has become very much about the comedic value of the ads that are shown. From the Go Daddy.com girls to the Clydesdale horses for the Budweiser commercials. And as usual Hollywood has to parlay its part with its summer blockbusters that’ll be on tap. I wonder what Will Smith or Scientology’s favorite son, Tom Cruise will be rendering us with ? For God’s sake Tom you can’t speak with a German accent , so you were fooling no one with your asinine attempt at playing a commandant in the movie ‘Valkyrie’ (2008). Your lame ass attempt dragged that movie into an abyss from which it could never fully recover !

Running back Chris Johnson (#28) of the Tennessee Titans rushes against the Seattle Seahawks on January 3, 2010 at Qwest Field in Seattle, Washington. The Titans defeated the Seahawks 17-13.  picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/  Otto Greule Jr  ..........
Running back Chris Johnson (#28) of the Tennessee Titans rushes against the Seattle Seahawks on January 3, 2010 at Qwest Field in Seattle, Washington. The Titans defeated the Seahawks 17-13. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Otto Greule Jr ..........

The regular season brought us some of the usual controversy that we as fans have come to expect. And right up there as always has been the inconsistency of the officiating. ‘nough said ! Sadly , we also saw the loss of Bengals’ wide receiver Chris Henry in what is being reported as an accident . The death itself is still under investigation by homicide detectives. Also there was also the untimely loss of Steve McNair in a murder suicide death , that not even the most fans of the NFL were able to comprehend or who saw coming. These events as such, encapsulated the worst events that transpired throughout the regular season of the NFL.

On the field of play, both the Indianapolis Colts and New Orleans Saints were in pursuit of perfection. A regular unbeaten season of 16-0 seemed to be well within both of their reach. But somehow they inexplicably failed to meet what appeared to be easy objectives coming down the stretch. And as we all know when that ’72 Miami Dolphins’ mark appears to be in jeopardy we have the lone representative from that team, Mercury Morris comes out to remind us that ‘perfection’ was theirs and theirs alone, in having an unbeaten season and then winning the Superbowl. In 2007, the New England Patriots matched the Dolphins’ feat of having an unbeaten regular season but they would succumb to the New York Giants in SB XLII , losing the game 17-14. A memorable Superbowl for those in attendance as well as for the tv viewing audience.

The traveling circus otherwise known as Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings are still in full swing. One wonders what the fallout might be, should Favre and Vikings’ coach Brad Childress fail to meet the expectations of the fans ? Needless to say, that Favre may well entrench himself once again, considering re-retirement. I mean he’s self serving enough to do that given his track record. And speaking of records concerning Favre, he added another credible one to his list of already astonishing achievements. He became the first quarterback in NFL history to have nine season where he has thrown for 30 touchdown passes or more. Great when your team is winning and winning consistently. But when they’re not its akin to comparing apples and oranges.

The Tennessee Titans having started off the season (0-6), made a laudable effort to make the playoffs. And were it not for that erratic start to the season they might well have made the playoffs. Jeff Fisher’s job as coach became as tenuous one could ever envisage. But in the end it was left to the heroics of the team’s quarterback, Vince Young and running back Chris Johnson to almost lead them there. Johnson for his part had what I would describe as one of greatest seasons ever by running back in the history of the NFL. His 2,509 all purpose yards broke several NFL records. And of those yards it equated with 2006 on the ground and the remaining 503 coming through the air. That’s better than the primary targets of the Tampa Buccaneers’ receiving corps and then some ! If anything there’s the consolation of that feat and the very fact that this team steered adversity in the face and came very close to overcoming it all.

 Mike Shanahan arrives at a press conference to be introduced as the new head coach of the Washington Redskins on January 6, 2010 in Ashburn, Virginia. Shanahan replaces former head coach Jim Zorn who was released January 4 following a 4-12 season.  picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Win McNamee   ..........
Mike Shanahan arrives at a press conference to be introduced as the new head coach of the Washington Redskins on January 6, 2010 in Ashburn, Virginia. Shanahan replaces former head coach Jim Zorn who was released January 4 following a 4-12 season. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Win McNamee ..........

And with the usual merriment that usually accompanies such a situation , it’d appear that the revolving door policy of the Washington Redskins continues to this day, when it comes to coaching upheavals. With the dismissal of Jim Zorn, the organizations has hired Mike Shanahan as Zorn’s successor. Whether or not, Shanahan is able to reproduce the success that he attained in the Elway era of successive Superbowl wins with the Denver Broncos remains to be seen . But I guess that’s why Redskins’ owner, Daniel Snyder is willing to pay his new coach $7 million (5 yr $35 million contract) per to find out, if this is all possible ? Given Shanhan’s set of ensuing circumstances , I too would take the money and run. It’s not as if this team in any form will be able turn things around overnight. Especially not within the environment that is the always competitive and contentious NFC East division. I don’t what Redskins’ GM Bruce Allen states when he says ‘…….Redskins’ football isn’t representative of being in last place’. My advice to him. ‘ Bruce get use to it. It’s been that way for quite a while now and there’s more to come before you can even think it’s going to get better’.

Ashburn , Va,. Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder (2nd L) prepares to leave a press conference where Mike Shanahan was introduced as the new head coach of the Washington Redskins on January 6, 2010 in Ashburn, Virginia. Shanahan replaces former head coach Jim Zorn who was released January 4 following a 4-12 season. Also pictured are Bob Rothman (L), Tanya Snyder (2nd R) and Peggy Shanahan (R). picture appers courtesy of  Getty Images/ Win McNamee ......
Ashburn , Va,. Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder (2nd L) prepares to leave a press conference where Mike Shanahan was introduced as the new head coach of the Washington Redskins on January 6, 2010 in Ashburn, Virginia. Shanahan replaces former head coach Jim Zorn who was released January 4 following a 4-12 season. Also pictured are Bob Rothman (L), Tanya Snyder (2nd R) and Peggy Shanahan (R). picture appers courtesy of Getty Images/ Win McNamee ......

Courtesy of Associated Press and Yahoo Sports

Shanahan debuts as Redskins’ coach, executive VP

By Joseph White, AP Sports Writer

Ashburn, Va. (AP)—At the podium stood Mike Shanahan, who has a $35 million, five-year contract that gives him final authority over football decisions as head coach and executive vice president of the Washington Redskins.

Seated at a nearby table was Bruce Allen, the first general manager Dan Snyder has hired in 11 years of owning the team.

And nowhere on the stage was Snyder, who sat next to his wife Tanya as a member of the audience in the Redskins Park auditorium. It was the first time he hasn’t introduced a new coach, a powerful symbol of how the balance of power has shifted within a proud franchise.

“Dan Snyder has directed us to please get this team back to the levels where it’s been in the past,” Allen said. “And I believe he’s going to be our most supportive fan.”

Shanahan made his formal debut Wednesday, one day after signing his contract and just two days after Jim Zorn was fired following a 4-12 season. The winner of two Super Bowls in the 1990s with the Denver Broncos spoke mainly in generalities with polish and confidence, far from the nervous and ragged performance given by rookie coach Zorn 23 months ago.

“It doesn’t happen overnight,” Shanahan said, “but we’re going to give it the best shot we have.”

For most of his time as owner, Snyder has been a hands-on manager yielding a strong influence on roster decisions. But the Redskins are 82-99 on his watch, missing the playoffs in eight of 11 seasons, so three weeks ago he hired Allen and ousted longtime front office confidant Vinny Cerrato.

Therefore, in less than a month, the Redskins have gone from an organization that revolved primarily around Snyder and his yes-man to one that includes two established decision-makers firmly in charge.

Shanahan, who had a similar arrangement with the Broncos, downplayed the power he’s been given.

“I do have final say,” Shanahan said, “but I never used it in Denver.”

Snyder tried this once before with coach Marty Schottenheimer in 2001— before the two butted heads and Schottenheimer was fired after an 8-8 season. Snyder also deferred to Joe Gibbs when the Hall of Fame coach came out of retirement, but this is the first time the owner has taken this much of a back seat.

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This season when it came to abject futility within the NFL and many of its teams. Nowhere was this more representative than with the following, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Seattle Seahawks, Kansas City Chiefs, St Louis Rams , Oakland Raiders , Cleveland Browns, Buffalo Bills and the ever mediocre Detroit Lions . Whom if given the chance of a do-over would still find ways of screwing that up and disappointing there fans as well. We hear all this talk about parity but surely ‘parity’ wasn’t meant to represent this ? Commissioner, Roger Goodell and the NFL’s hierarchy are really in need of seeing the dire consequences of this , when there are so many franchises this abysmally bad ! But I guess his and their priorities lay elsewhere ?

Though we know it’s extremely difficult to successfully defend a Superbowl championship. Who would’ve expected to see coach, Mike Tomlin’s Pittsburgh Steelers fail to make the playoffs with an effort that was so lackluster that it doesn’t even bear thinking about. I’m not saying that they bowed out with their tails hanging between their legs. But no real excuses can be found with regard to the team’s inconsistency. OK, Steelers’ fans will take umbrage and say ‘… we lost Troy Polamalu for much of the season’. But shouldn’t equate with the fact that the team under Ben Roethlisberger’s leadership were about as resolute as French army were against the German military might of World War II. So much for the fans of the NFL being able to witness something this special in this decade. It has been during the decade by the Patriots with their back to back defense of Superbowl wins in 2004 and 2005. But since then ‘nada’, ‘nothing’ , ‘zero’ and ‘zilch’ . We may well have no dominant teams within the NFL anymore. But I’d like to think that the vast majority of the NFL franchises are competitive. Somehow that hasn’t been the case for the greater part of this decade. I’d certainly to think that with this upcoming decade we’ll see one or at least two teams who seek to aspire to those heights.

Well, as the playoffs are about to commence and I for one, just hope that the games can live up to much of the preconceived hype that seems to abound many of these match-ups. What do you think about that , as well as what transpired throughout much of the regular season within the NFL ?