Witnessing the good , the bad and the ugly ….

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Witnessing the good , the bad and the ugly ….

Twelve weeks into the NFL season and in reality there is not a great deal to rejoice about , as several teams have simply failed to live up to expectations. Needless to say at the end of the regular season or perhaps the postseason, a number of head coaches are likely to be dismissed along with their coaching staffs. Topping that list is likely to be the New York Jets’ head coach Rex Ryan who has led his team to a 2-9 season, with the Jets firmly rooted at the bottom of the AFC East .

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To realize how bad the New York Jets have been , you simply have to look at their performance against their divisional rivals the Buffalo Bills. The fans were subjected this monstrous perversion as being great football in the NFL. Laughable to say the very least when you consider the team’s two quarterbacks combined for a performance that would make an NFL fan cringe in revulsion, as to what they had just witnessed. Geno Smith and Michael Vick together went for seventeen of thirty-one in their completions , with 165 passing yards and one interception . If this is what the Jets insist upon selling to their fans and the rest of the NFL in what turned out to be a 38-3 blowout and travesty of a game . Then we need not lament the loss of Rex Ryan , Geno Smith or Michael Vick at the end of this season. As to the idiots, who believe Smith can still become a serviceable quarterback in the NFL , then my answer to you all , bring back Mark Sanchez . Even at his worst , Sanchez was never as incompetent as we have witnessed with Smith this season and last year in particular .

From a defensive and offensive standpoint the New York Jets have been woefully inept and the very fact Rex Ryan and his coaching staff have failed to address those issues have led to their present predicament.

In week thirteen the New York Jets will play hosts to the Miami Dolphins in a home game played at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford , New Jersey. I am not so sure that the Jets’ fans will be there to cheer on their home team or simply boo them , while welcoming the Dolphins with open arms ! In all honesty , all this team has provided their fans all season long , has been nothing but never-ending heartache and little else beyond that . Ryan and the Jets will look to seek their third win of the season, while seeking to make up for a disastrous three-quarters of the schedule having pass the Jets’ fans by .

A five-game losing streak can tell you a great deal about a team and the direction they are said to be heading in. Perhaps no other franchise epitomizes that fact than the Carolina Panthers . They may not be rooted at the bottom of the worse division in the NFL at present . Yet there is little to suggest last season’s NFC South divisional champions can now equal that feat in what has been a disastrous season for the team . Head coach Ron Rivera has to be at a loss in explaining how things could have gone so ” far south” for a team where a great deal had been expected from them in 2014. Were it not for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-9) and their mediocre showing , we might be discussing which of the quartet of teams within the division might just be the worst. All four teams within the NFC South bear a sub. 500 record a and it seems a travesty, the likely winner of the division will have the privilege of being a part of the postseason at the expense of a team likely to better record overall within the conference (NFC). Such are the vagaries of the system and rules put in place by the NFL.

A bye in week twelve gave the Panthers a chance to recuperate while injured players could regain their active status but their their loss in week eleven to the Atlanta Falcons provided us with litany of reasons why the Carolina Panthers’ season has been so woefully inept. Panthers’ quarterback Cam Newton seems to be off his game for a variety of reasons . Without a passing game to assist the team and a running game barely consistent there seems to be nothing left in the tank for this team.

Carolina will be on the road in week thirteen when they face conference rivals the Minnesota Vikings in a “must win game ” if they are to have any chance of making inroads on the divisional lead of the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons for their part will be taking on the best team in the NFC this season, when they host the Arizona Cardinals (9-2) , the surprise of the NFL this year. A win for Bruce Arians’ Cardinals guarantees them a playoff berth and leaves the three remaining teams beneath them within the NFC West scrambling to make good on the remainder of their season. As to what might this suggest, specifically for the San Francisco 49ers (7-4) and the Seattle Seahawks (7-4) with their being so much at stake , will likely lead to one, if not both of these teams quite possibly missing a postseason berth.

When Lovie Smith succeeded Greg Schiano as the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers , it was thought he would bring a great deal of discipline to the franchise , something lacking in his predecessor. Granted, for the one season Schiano was in charge of the team , they played hard , but unfortunately , playing hard does not equate to wins or success for that matter . This season Smith has failed to instill discipline into this team , a fact borne out by their record , fumbles and penalties accumulated throughout their entire schedule. The one bright spot one might care to acknowledge, has been the play or their rookie wide receiver and best player this year , Mike Evans . Anything else can simply be viewed as being downright mediocre .

Coming off a ham-fisted loss (21-13) to the Chicago Bears, it easy to understand why the Buccaneers have been so inconsistent this season. At no time during this game , were you ever given the impression they had the chance to win the contest . Certainly not in the second half of the game , where they could only muster three points and that was solely through a field goal attempt. It certainly does not paint a pretty picture of this team from an offensive standpoint , let alone delving into the fact their defense has been mind-bogglingly absurd and inefficient. We are likely to see more of that ineptitude when the Buccaneers entertain the Cincinnati Bengals (7-3) at Raymond Stadium in Tampa , Florida this upcoming Sunday. A game which is likely to be used as a springboard for the Bengals as they seek to maintain their slender lead in the AFC North .

As a precursor to Sunday’s games , as is usual at this time of the year, the traditional Thanksgiving Day rollout , has the customary participants the Dallas Cowboys (8-3) and Detroit Lions (7-4) vying for the privilege of making the fans’ festivities on the day seem that little bit more special . Yes, the Cowboys might be in the midst of a competitive battle with the Philadelphia Eagles (8-3) for divisional supremacy in the NFC East. A division to my mind which has been brought back down to earth by the ineptitude shown of the New York Giants (3-8) and Washington Redskins (3-8) or whatever they are likely to call themselves at some point in the future, pending their litigation in US Federal Court . The fact of the matter remains Tony Romo is one hit away from having his season come to a debilitating end. Equally as important to his team , Matt Stafford has to know his game has to be played at more rational pace rather than helter-skelter, as has often been the case.

When the Dallas Cowboys take aim at knocking off the Philadelphia Eagles at Cowboys Stadium on Thursday afternoon, it will be part of a three-game trilogy on the day. The Detroit Lions will host the Chicago Bears at Ford Field in Detroit , Michigan , with the final game on the Thanksgiving Day schedule being a match-up between the Seattle Seahawks playing the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara , California , . All three games promise to be highly competitive divisional contests and likely to add a great deal more intrigue to the season with so much being at stake for all six teams involved.

Sunday’s games will also also likely to provide the fans with their fair share of suspense, but we can also count on several of those contests to be bone chillingly lopsided affairs or worse . One game likely to have the fans on the edge of their seats will pit Tom Brady and the New England Patriots (9-2) as they go on the road to face Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers (8-3) at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin,. This game will pit two of the NFL’s best quarterbacks over the past five seasons as these two titans of the game square off for the for only second time in their careers . Hard to believe, given the legacies both Brady and Rodgers have established for their respective franchises. In that first meeting in 2006 , where the Packers were on the wrong end of a 35-0 humiliation at Lambeau Field, something ideally the Packers’ quarterback and his teammates are not likely to forget . This contest I believe, will be a great deal closer and it is my opinion , the visiting team will come away with the victory , purely from the standpoint they are a more well-balanced team and their defense has been very consistent over the course of this season , and specifically over their last five games where they have managed to shut down their opponents with consummate ease.

Perennially bad teams in the NFL are not uncommon, and this season the Jacksonville Jaguars (1-10) and Oakland Raiders(1-10) seem intent on making it a reality of upholding that longstanding tradition which embodies ineptitude. These two teams are a combined 2-20 , and 1-4 in their last five games. The fact they possess the two worst records in the NFL should not be looked upon with deference at all.

It is clear what ails the Jaguars and Raiders goes far beyond ineptitude and has everything to do with bad coaching and some whimsical and often asinine notion by fans and analysts alike , that teams can simply create their success by spending big , acquiring talent via free agency , often overrated and they will be well on their way to success. It has not worked for the Raiders over the past six seasons and it definitely has not worked for Jacksonville since Shahid Khan assumed control of the Jaguars’ franchise. From a draft standpoint , both teams have failed miserably bolster their respective rosters to be competitive enough this season , let alone last season. Yet, he we are once again watching both the Jacksonville Jaguars and Oakland Raiders swoon while both franchises have seen a precipitous drop in their attendance levels in comparison to 2013. With both teams now subject to relocation rumors it begs the question, which municipality would really try to endear themselves to a losing NFL franchise solely on the basis of the perception of it all making sound economic sense ?

As popular as the league( NFL) is said to be on the North American landscape and with the NFL now having global tentacles .The he fact of the matter remains , the greater Los Angeles area has no wish for an NFL franchise , where the city itself will be on the ” financial hook” for a venue to house that team. No matter how anyone tries to spin it , the NFL is now being ran by a by a bunch snake oil salesmen . Roger Goodell , is simply leading the charge , while pulling the wool over the eyes of everyone . with a diluted and mediocre product, where he can simply point to the increased revenues of the NFL and not much else.

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Picture gallery .

The popularity of the league’s marquee players will remain popular , until their retirement, but what then happens when the cupboard is bare and there is no one yet deemed ready to step into the shoes of a Tom Brady , Peyton Manning , Drew Brees , Aaron Rodgers , Larry Fitzgerald or Reggie Wayne for that matter ? Care to have take on it all ?

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Picture and slideshow details below.

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(1) Scott Chandler(84) of the Buffalo Bills scores on a nineteen yard second quarter touchdown as Jaiquawn Jarrett (37) of the New York Jets defends during the game at Ford Field on November 24 , 2014 in Detroit, Michigan. The Bills would go on to defeat the Jets 38-3 in a lopsided contest. . Getty Images North America / Leon Halip …

(2) Quarterback Geno Smith (7) of the New York Jets throws against the Buffalo Bills in the fourth quarter at Ford Field on November 24, 2014 in Detroit, Michigan. Buffalo defeated New York 38-3. Getty Images/ Jamie Sabau …

(3) New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) and New York Jets quarterback Michael Vick (1) on the sideline in the first quarter of their NFL preseason football game in East Rutherford, New Jersey, August , 22, 2014. Reeling at 2-9 this season the Jets are firmly rooted at the bottom of the AFC East with the duo quite possibly the worst tandem in the AFC and the league this season, with no signs the Jets’ passing game is likely to improve over the remainder of the season. AP Photo/ Ray Stubblebine …

(4) New York Jets’ head coach Rex Ryan is seen here on the sidelines during a regular season game. The beleaguered Ryan is seeking to save his job as well as the team’s season , but it is beginning to look as if he is in the last throes of coaching this franchise , along with a roster of players who have greatly underperformed this season. No formal statement has been made by anyone from within the front office , as the belief seems to be the coach will be fired at the end of this season. AP Photo / Paul Hobbs …

(5) Cam Newton (1) quarterback of the Carolina Panthers is seen here during a game played against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania. The Eagles would defeat the Panthers in the contest and prolong their losing streak . AP Photo / Amy Hughes …

(6) May 9, 2014 – Tampa, Florida, U.S. – DANIEL WALLACE | Times.Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith , left, listens to wide receiver Mike Evans as he answers questions after being introduced to local media at One Buc Place on Friday, May 9, 2014. Evans was named the Buccaneers 2014 NFL Draft first-round pick on Thursday night. . Evans has been a revelation for the Buccaneers this season and one of their most productive players on a consistent basis all season long. Credit Image: © Daniel Wallace/Tampa Bay Times/ ZUMAPRESS.com copyrighted material all rights reserved ..

(7) Matt Stafford (9) ,left, of the Detroit Lions and Tony Romo of the Detroit Dallas Cowboys will lead their respective teams into this season’s Thanksgiving Day games against divisional rivals . Both players are hoping to be as productive for their teams as they were last season at the same point of the 2013 schedule. Getty Images / Adam Holmes ..

(8) Tom Brady of the New England is seen here with his Green Bay Packers’ counterpart Aaron Rodgers , basking in the revelry of the Kentucky Derby . The two players will be on opposite sides of the field when their two teams meet on Sunday afternoon at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin ,. This will be only the second professional meeting between these two much heralded quarterbacks , with Brady coming out the winner in that first contest and a Patriots’ 35-0 victory over the Packers. Sunday’s contest is unlikely to be that lopsided a game between the two franchises. AP Photo / Matt Holcomb …

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Tophatal …. 11/26/2014 02:45 AM EST

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Come Get Some …………….

Come Get Some …

Try as hard as I can it sometimes come down to complete idiocy when I hear a former player of a team being critical of current players on a franchise ! Ridiculous as it may seem we now have a once great quarterback in Joe Namath being critical of Rex Ryan and in part the team assembled in his guise and that of the front office of the New York Jets . From my own perspective anything that Namath has to say on any subject be it on the subject of the NFL or domestic or foreign policy is simply not worth listening to ! Beyond the fame and accolades the player’s greatest accomplishment in recent years was to embarrass himself in front of the public whilst in a semi drunken stupor by suggesting to ESPN on air reporter Suzy Kolber that he would like to kiss her rather suggestively . . Can someone remind me beyond his achievements in the organization’s lone Superbowl win , is there anything else that Namath has achieved that has been notable in his professional career or beyond that ?

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With the New York Jets off to an inauspicious start to the season at 2-2 within the AFC East the team and its coach now find that they are being questioned as to the competitiveness of the players ans whether or not they lack the will to win. For the past two season the New York Jets made the AFC championship game 2009 and 2010 . Clearly many felt that this team was finally ready to stop the dominance of the New England Patriots and the apparent stranglehold that they have had on the AFC East. And as dominant as the Patriots have been the New York Jets have been the Achilles’ Heel and the irritant in the ointment , that of the fans and their divisional foe . The swagger of Rex Ryan was exemplified by the attitude of several players on this team , most notably Darrelle Revis , Santonio Holmes and to a lesser extent Mark Sanchez .

Like many of the teams during the NFL lockout the New York Jets sought to be competitive through the usual free agent acquisitions one would usually be accustomed to seeing . And most certainly through their draft choices from the 2011 NFL Draft Rex Ryan and his assistant coaches are now looking to make this team a cohesive and competitive unit .

As I alluded to earlier , the Jets’ start to the season was an inauspicious one and the very fact that the team now finds itself sitting above only the Miami Dolphins within the AFC East. Things are not about to get any easier this weekend as the New England Patriots play hosts to the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium , in Foxborough , Massachusetts. Bill Belichick knows that his team needs to answer more than a few questions especially with regard to the defense . The Patriots rank dead last within the NFL in total defense AND within the AFC overall things simply embodies the real problems that they face altogether. And as combustible and prolific as the offense is , there is no denying unless the New England Patriots can shore up the defense then they will be in for a great deal of trouble once the postseason comes around .

There is an animus between these two teams ___ the Jets and Patriots that I don’t believe is typified by any other current rivalry in the NFL today, with the exception of a meeting between the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers ! If there is currently as combative a match-up beyond these two rivalries existing within the league currently , then I have yet to witness it . Sunday afternoon should give us a peek into the mindset of both teams , with Tom Brady , Wes Welker , Rob Gronkowski , Steven Ridley and Benjarvius Ellis-Greene will be looking to stamp their authority on this division as well as sending a signal to the rest of the NFL that they are a team to be reckoned with .

Now while I’m not under the pretense that the New England Patriots will have this game all to themselves I do believe that if they are not complacent then they will prevail over their most hated foe . During the playoffs last season when the two teams met the Jets under Sanchez’ leadership made a mockery this Patriots’ team . In order for the New York Jets to win I think that it will be incumbent upon Mark Sanchez to get his passing game at his optimum level to take advantage of the Patriots’ very suspect secondary . This will become a test of wills between the two teams as well as the respective coaching staffs of the New York Jets and New England Patriots .

I have no doubt that Bill Belichick would like get this game over and done with , placing the Jets in his rear view mirror and take advantage of putting his team at the top of the AFC East with there being some separation between themselves and co-leaders the Buffalo Bills who are off the a surprising start to their season (3-1) under their coach Chan Gailey . The Bills for their part will play host to the surprisingly lax Philadelphia Eagles who at 1-3 clearly are defying all logic in terms of being viewed as the early prohibitive favorites in the NFC for the Superbowl . Clearly Andy Reid , his coaching staff and the team have great deal to worry about . ” Dream Team” or not the Eagles are currently the ” laughing stock” of the NFL . And with the demise of the Philadelphia Phillies in the NLDS at the hands of the St Louis Cardinals do you get the feeling that things could very well erupt within the city of ” Brotherly Love” this weekend should Philadelphia Eagles also meet the same fate as their baseball counterpart ?

While Andy Reid now has to be looking over his shoulder while the Eagles’ front office staff assess not only his performances , that of the coaching staff as well as the team . Clearly in the case of Chan Gailey for now, all appears to be right in the world for he and his players . Well that’s until they face their first sense of real adversity and since the start of their season the team has been playing with the heart and passion not seen from the organization in a number of years. If the Buffalo Bills are truly back as their fans now believe them to be then this will be the season for the team to truly show that they belong amongst the elite within the game. If not , then they will be considered what we have all contended that they are meant to be ………….. an also ran .

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

Which of the weekend match-ups within the NFL are you most enthralled by ? And which game or games you least interested in ? Leave a comment as to your thoughts and anything else you believe to be pertinent on the subject matter.

Alan aka tophatal …………

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(1) BALTIMORE – OCTOBER 2: Head coach John Harbaugh of the Baltimore Ravens shakes hands with Mark Sanchez (6) of the New York Jets at M&T Bank Stadium on October 2. 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ravens defeated the Jets 34-17 . Photo by Larry French/Getty Images ….

(2) Head Coach Rex Ryan of the New York Jets hugs head coach John Harbough of the Baltimore Ravens after the game at M&T Bank Stadium on October 2. 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ravens defeated the Jets 34-17. Photo by Larry French/Getty Images …

(3) LaQuan Williams (5) of the Baltimore Ravens runs the ball against Jim Leonhard (36) of the New York Jets at M&T Bank Stadium on October 2. 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ravens defeated the Jets 34-17. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images …..

(4) Mark Sanchez (6) of the New York Jets hands off against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on October 2. 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ravens defeated the Jets 34-17. Photo by Larry French/Getty Images …….

(5) New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick listens to a reporter’s question during an NFL football media availability in Foxborough, Mass., Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2011. AP Photo/Charles Krupa …..

(6) OAKLAND, CA – OCTOBER 02: Wes Welker (83) of the New England Patriots tries to run away from Chimdi Chekwa (35) of the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum on October 2, 2011 in Oakland, California. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images …..

(7) Tom Brady (12) of the New England Patriots celebrates after the Patriots scored a touchdown against the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum on October 2, 2011 in Oakland, California. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images ……..

(8) Kevin Boss (87) of the Oakland Raiders is tackled by Gary Guyton (59) of the New England Patriots at O.co Coliseum on October 2, 2011 in Oakland, California. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images …….

(9) Heartfelt commiserations to the Oakland Raiders’ fans and the untimely death of the team’s owner Al Davis at the age of 82 . Davis seen here looks on from the sideline as he watches the Raiders 32-27 pre-season victory over the New England Patriots on August 25, 1995 at Stanford Stadium in Palo Alto, California. Davis the long time owner of the Oakland Raiders was reported as passed away on the team’s website. Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images …

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Failure Is Not An Option ………………….

Failure Is Not An Option ………………..

Well it was all about the San Diego Chargers supposedly marching to an AFC West title but alas it wasn’t to be . Repeatedly the Chargers and their fans seem to believe that for them the season is one of simply playing 8 meaningful games out of sixteen and then they’re assured a place in the postseason . Well for the prognosticators out there who felt that way it goes to show that for all of your bravura you simply have no respect for what’s happening within the division as a whole. What gave you the impression that this Chargers’ team was simply good enough to begin with ? Being in awe of the season of Philip Chargers and what he’s been able to achieve is simply meaningless when the rest of the team can’t respond to pressure when it really counts ? Excuses may well be made that that they’ve had injuries and then the off the field problems concerning Vincent Jackson but at the end of the day it all comes down to the preparation of the coaching staff and that of the players .

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Chargers’ GM A J Smith and Norv Turner’s coaching staff really now have to assess the needs of this team as clearly they’re not where they need to be . And with the team being summarily being dispatched by the lowly Cincinnati Bengals this past Sunday would suggest that the AFC West is no longer the Chargers’ personal domain. With the loss (34-20)the team was eliminated from the playoffs and with the now resurgent Kansas City Chiefs now winning the division, a playoff berth ____ Turner and the Chargers now have to look at their season as one of , what might have been.

Courtesy of Associated Press & Yahoo Sports

Bengals knockout Chargers ….

By Joe Kay , AP Sports Writer

CINCINNATI (AP)—This big chill isn’t going to ease anytime soon.

The NFL’s best team in December couldn’t handle its first snowy afternoon. The Chargers dressed for warmups like it was a day at the beach, then froze up the first time they touched the ball. With everything at stake, they went slip-sliding right out of contention.

Carson Palmer was nearly perfect in the swirling snow—four touchdowns, no interceptions—in the Cincinnati Bengals’ 34-20 win on Sunday that ended the Chargers’ streak of four straight years in the playoffs as AFC West champs.

“It’s tough anytime you’re eliminated from a chance of playing for the postseason,” said quarterback Philip Rivers , who had an ordinary game in his usually superlative month. “It’s something I haven’t dealt with since I’ve been playing here. This was the final straw.”

The Chargers (8-7) knew they had to win to stay a game behind Kansas City (10-5), which beat Tennessee earlier Sunday. A loss would knock them out of contention and give the Chiefs the title.

San Diego had won 20 of its last 21 games in December, though most of those came in favorable climates or domed stadiums. Playing their coldest game in nearly three years, the Chargers froze and cracked.

“Words can’t really explain how we feel right now,” safety Eric Weddle said. “Our season is done. It’s probably the worst feeling you can have.”

The Bengals (4-11) are ending one of their worst seasons with telling satisfying moments.

Palmer, a Southern California kid, led them to their second straight win with a cast of reserve receivers. His 59-yard touchdown to Jerome Simpson — playing in place of the injured Chad Ochocinco —highlighted a 21-point fourth quarter against the league’s top-ranked defense.

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Questions will be have to be asked and answered as what needs to done in order to make this team more resilient and consistent. It’s hard to see also how Turner can be retained as the team’s coach if even he can’t explain the team’s failings . As I alluded to earlier it makes no sense simply being in awe of a team that simply plays half the season and then the feeling is that they are the “team” to be feared .That’s complete idiocy and naivete to begin with and furthermore it lends credence as to how god-damn awful the division actually is when a team barely squeaks into the playoffs with mediocre play and not much else that’s actually substantive .

Hopefully team Presdient & CEO Dean Spanos and the infusion now made financially made by billionaire Philip Anschutz will make some sort of difference as to the direction to be taken by the organization . Qualcomm Stadium at present remains the home of the Chargers but with there being ever growing frustration between the city (San Diego) and the team now seems to be awry but the rumblings of a possible relocation to the greater Los Angeles area could very well be pushed to the foreground. The clamor for a team in LA s now reaching seismic proportions but given the city’s financial quagmire and the fact that Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s intent of bringing the NFL back to the city is one of his top priorities I’d like to ask this question ….. since when does the NFL trump the needs of the city in terms of the city cutting programs when it’s running a large budget deficit and at the same time laying off and furloughing staff , then looking to spend money to refurbish a venue that would meet the needs of the NFL and that of the relocated franchise to the city ? Sorry but clearly the city of Los Angeles is showing its naivete’ and sheer stupidity at this juncture ! And it certainly doesn’t augur well for Villaraigosa if he does see this as his best bet of winning over the city’s populace not when he has more acute issues to deal within the “City of Angels”.

From my own perspective what has taken place this year with the Chargers is one of their own making but looking to apportion blame elsewhere would be plainly stupid. How else can one explain it when you’ve a coach who simply lacks passion and a team that is overly reliant one their quarterback repeatedly week in week out to pull them from the precipice of a cliff ? Defensively the Chargers have had their fair share of woes but it’s also clear that in spite of the injuries on offense this team I believe sorely misses LaDainian Tomlinson ! Releasing the player when they could clearly have retained him for one more season could have been the spur needed. Instead their fall from grace will show that the decision made by A J Smith and Dean Spanos would prove to be ever so costly. In the NFL failure isn’t really an option but clearly competitively it hurts an organization but from a financial standpoint it has also placed the Chargers in something of a conundrum as to what their next move should be and that of their long term future . At this juncture those failings are far more than the Chargers’ organization is willing to admit .

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have on the Chargers’ fall from grace this season and what choices do you feel that they have as it relates to their immediate future ? By all means leave a comment as to your own thoughts on this topic and anything else as it relates to the NFL this season ?

NB By clicking on the link s provided below you can view details on the San Diego Chargers

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Alan aka tophatal ……………………..

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Casci-XXL  Magazine

Eye candy ………… Courtesy of XXL Magazine Casci as usual looking delicious !

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Nepotism Can Be A Double Edged Sword ….. That Bitch Can Cut Both Ways And It Hurts !

Nepotism Can Be A Double Edged Sword ….. That Bitch Can Cut Both Ways And It Hurts !

I don’t know about you but as a youngster I had no real interest in following of the footsteps of my father professionally. He worked for almost three decades in factory as a machine operator for a company that made office furniture. Not that there was anything wrong with that as a profession and the relationship between he and myself wasn’t one that was close to begin with. He left the family home recusing himself of all responsibilty of being a father first and then a man. But that asides he had his moments in the lives of myself and my two younger siblings , my brother and sister. Over the remaining years prior to his leaving the UK to return to the Caribbean our paths crossed but not always on the most amicable of terms.

As I grew up I simply knew that I had no intention of following in my father’s footsteps professionally as I sought to make my own way in the world. Having graduated from high school I joined the military and for the nex eight years I saw a great deal of Europe and North Africa serving in the British Royal Marines . Fulfilling my obligations there , I was lucky enough to be hired by large financial concern and over the next decade I spent working in the world of high finance. Along the way I was lucky enough to be the proud beneficiary of my employer’s in house educational program , wherein they paid for my entire college education. I put that education to good use in the world finance which was mutually beneficial for both parties at the time.

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Slide show for your perusal .

In the NFL rarely has it worked with great success where a father and son have achieved success at the highest order. Especially when it comes to the field of coaching albeit that we’ve seen where the likes of Buddy Ryan and Mike Shanahan have achieved a great deal of notoriety and success. In the case of Ryan he has seen his son Rex follow in his footsteps first becoming a coordinator before being entrusted to take over the helm of the New York Jets as their head coach. Kyle Shanahan eager to follow in his father’s foosteps also is now the offensive coordinator and assistant coach alongside his father Mike Shanahan with the Washington Redskins . Now one can surmise that it’s never easy to try and succeed much less outdo the acvhievements of one’s parents. But there is a case to be made that when that comes about a parent never ceases to be proud of that very moment and the fact of the matter is those moments are a lasting legacy of the very achievement itself.

Ryan in his first season with the Jets he got the team to the AFC championship game where they would fall short in their loss to the Indianapolis Colts with the result being a 30-17 defeat . This season within the AFC East the Jets are off to a 5-2 start and it would appear are comfortably placed to make the postseason . For all of the bravado comming from Ryan and his team and the belief that they’re capable of winning the Superbowl . There is a widespread belief that Rex Ryan is merely amping up the rhetoric and hype in order to deflect any attention and undue pressure upon the New York Jets. At times actions such as this can do more harm than good to his team . And within the cauldron that is New York City where the fans and press can merciless and unflattering , either Ryan will be able to put up or he’ll have to simply shut the hell up. This much we do know if he’s unable to guide this team to the promise land it won’t be long before the fans there in New York start to clamor for his head on a platter and his blood to be spilled all over the New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford New Jersey. Granted, while this is a very talented Jets’ team there’s no denying that their humbling 9-0 loss at home to the Green Bay Packers having come off a bye week showed not only how unpredictable the NFL is but also that there’s way too much hype placed on a team that simply hasn’t achieved anything in the past three decades that is of any real note.

Often thought as one of the elite division of the of the NFL the NFC East has been anything but that this season . Mired in mediocrity for much of early half of the season I sincerely doubt that we’ll see a clear cut and dominant team within the conference as a whole. Many of the top tiered teams within the NFC as viewed by the press and tv analysts alike have performed like they’ve been hampered by some unseen obstacle. Based on what I’ve seen of the teams in question namely the Dallas Cowboys , Minnesota Vikings , New York Giants and New Orleans Saints a case can be made that hype , complacency and the mere fact that a number of these teams simply aren’t that good.

Redskins work out ex-Oakland QB JaMarcus Russell

Ashburn , Va. (AP) —Former Oakland Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell worked out with the Washington Redskins on Tuesday, just three days after Donovan McNabb was benched in the closing minutes of a loss to Detroit.

Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said Russell was one of many players, including a few other quarterbacks, who were getting a look from the team.

“We’ll evaluate him and everyone else out there,” Shanahan said.

The Redskins routinely invite out-of-work players for workouts on Tuesdays, but the timing of Russell’s visit only added to the team’s quarterback drama of the last few days. McNabb’s benching raised questions about the six-time Pro Bowl player’s future with the team, and coach Mike Shanahan added to the confusion by offering varying explanations for the decision.

Russell, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 draft, was released in May after three disappointing seasons with the Raiders. He regressed on the field, was fined for being overweight and was criticized by the coaching staff for his work ethic.

Kyle Shanahan praised Russell’s talents, but said the other factors do come into consideration when evaluating a player.

“I don’t think you consider anyone just based off of talent,” Kyle Shanahan said. “Everyone in the NFL’s pretty talented. (It’s) other stuff that really separates you. He is very talented, so I think he can overcome some of the stuff that he struggled with. I don’t really know that personally, but if he looks like he’s in good shape out here and he’s working, and that’s all you can evaluate. Sometimes when guys do get a second opportunity, they can change their stripes.”

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We’ve seen the unraveling of the season for the Cowboys and Vikings and there’s a great possibility that one if not both teams will most certainly miss the playoffs . And who’s now prepared to lay odds that Brad Childress and Wade Phillips aren’t on the proverbial “hot seat” as far as their NFL coaching positions are concerned ? This is much is certain with the tumultuous maelstrom and storm said to be surrounding both organizations at present nothing short of divine intervention will actually save either Childress or Phillips by season’s end. Jerry Jones and Zygi Wilf are now backed into a corner and as owners, they have to be completely embarrassed by the very circumstances that their respective teams are now in. Unrest amongst the respective coaching staffs and what could amount to be a certain amount of dissention has effectively cacaded out of control. And while this has all been going on we’ve seen some rather asinine displays of immaturity being shown not only by some of the player on these respective team but also by the coaches. Childress has waived wide receiver Randy Moss after a mere four games played having acquired the player via a trade from the New England Patriots. And less we forget he still has to deal with the now injured “primadona” Brett Favre whose play this season has bordered on being mediocre at best. It’s obvious that the $20 million spent this year on Favre won’t be getting this piece of crap anywhere at all !

Jerry Jones has a dilemma on his hands does he jettison Wade Phillips now or at the end of the season ? In doing so, knowing that in hiring a coach and complementary staff there is a good chance that next season will see the possibility of a labor stoppage. Why waste paying upwards of between $8 million to $12 million needlessly when there’s said to be a great deal of uncertainty as to what next season holds ? A slumping team and what appears to be a lame duck coach and owner whose ego knows no boundaries. Could Hollywood have scripted this any better ? All that now awaits is the self combustion of Jones’ brain matter all over the executive suite of his office inside Cowboys Stadium . A fitting end no doubt to the Cowboys’ comical and disastrous season don’t you think ?

While I’m under no illusion as to how average the Washington Redskins are , at best , I do know that this team simply isn’t capable of playing with any degree of consistency throughout the season . Now we have the idiocy of the coach and his son , Mike and Kyle Shanahan trying making contrary statements as to the fitness and play of starting quarterback Donovan McNabb . Furthermore, given the deficiencies of the Washington Redskins at present I’d say that their worries over McNabb are being exaggerated and without basis. Their real concern ought to be how best get this team playing with a great deal more consistency. Now the duo are trying downplay their statements and in doing so they’ve made themselves a complete laughing stock and have no doubt loss the immediate respect of the player. If they now had these concerns then why trade for him in the first place ? Clearly Mike Shanahan and his son are either unsure of what they want or they simply now have misgivings and are too afraid to admit to the fact that they made a monumental mistake in aquiring the player. What might now be even more ludicrous is the fact that the team’s offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan has brought in former NFL players JaMarcus Russell and J P Losman for quarterback tryouts. Is there a reclamation project now being put in place as they seek to perhaps replace McNabb ? Never mind the fact that the team has another “washout” in Rex Grossman as its backup . What are the Redskins’ fans to make of this latest turn of events ?

Given the mediocrity of the play now taking place within the NFC and specifically within the NFC East at present. We could very well see an 8-8 or 9-7 team make the playoffs this season from within the conference. How bad on appearance would that be ? No doubt what the fans have been served up within the conference would considered to be mediocre at best. But such are the vagaries of the game and the fact from week to week within the NFL one simply never knows what’s about to be served up next. It would be remiss to think that NFC is the only conference where the fans are getting a drab brand of football on display each week. As within the AFC at the lower rungs of the conference the teams there might be just as bad as those now in the middle and lower end of the NFC.

From my own perspective the mediocrity of the play this season isn’t merely about the teams but also about the apparent lack of real quality coaching and some of the asinine decisions that the fans have witnessed throughout much of the season as it has progressed. The remaining 8 weeks and the postseason has a great deal in store for the NFL fan and one would hope that it’ll be an improvement on what we’ve witnessed so far this season. As to the futures of Rex Ryan and Kyle Shanahan they will be judged by the decisions they make and the success achieved by their respective teams. This much I do know it’s clear at present given what’s going on they can’t really do much worse than many of the other head coaches around the NFL at present.

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

What are your own feelings concerning the current situations that have befallen the Redskins, Cowboys and Vikings ? And do you feel that in the cases of Mike and Kyle Shanahan they’ve made themselves something of a laughing stock around the league and in the eyes of the fans ? And what are your thoughts concerning familial ties within the league and how it plays out concerning the individuals mentioned within this piece ? Simply chime in with a comment as you see fit .

NB List of NFL coaches including their 2010 record .

List of NFL teams’ coaching staffs including assistants .

NFL Week 9 schedule

Team with byes Broncos, Titans , Jaguars , Resdkins , Rams & 49ers

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😦

Alan aka tophatal …… 🙂

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Azzareya-Crystal-Curtis

Eye candy …….. Azzareya Crystal Curtis (left) & friends
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Sly & The Family Stone …… “Family Affair” (Remix)

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