It’s Not About The Way You Start But How You Finish ……….

Well, we’re almost three quarters of the way through the NFL season and it’s pretty much safe to say that even the most ardent NFL fans have something to be pleased about. While others mightn’t be feeling all that happy about their team or teams as the case maybe. Suffice to say, that if you’re team isn’t in the midst of things with of aspirations of making a playoff push. Then you might as well call it a day.

The delectable  Taryn Manning  who  in Craig Brewer's  critically and commercially  acclaimed film  'Hustle & Flow' played the  hooker  with  a  'heart of gold'  .   She co-starred alongside  Terrence Howard, Taraji P. Henson, Chris 'Ludacris' Bridges  and  Anthony  Anderson .  For which  Howard  received  an  Oscar  nomination  nod  and went  on to 'leading man status'  after the role.  Given the Giants'  fortunes of as of late , this'd  be   the  Manning that  I'd prefer to  see  instead  of  their  quarterback , Eli  Manning.   picture appears courtesy  of  FHM / Chris Howard ............
The delectable Taryn Manning who in Craig Brewer's critically and commercially acclaimed film 'Hustle & Flow' played the hooker with a 'heart of gold' . She co-starred alongside Terrence Howard, Taraji P. Henson, Chris 'Ludacris' Bridges and Anthony Anderson . For which Howard received an Oscar nomination nod and went on to 'leading man status' after the role. Given the Giants' fortunes of as of late , this'd be the Manning that I'd prefer to see instead of their quarterback , Eli Manning. picture appears courtesy of FHM / Chris Howard ............

Suffice to say that while sitting with my notebook computer in my lap, watching ESPN’s Monday night broadcast of the game between the New England Patriots and the New Orleans Saints. I’ve come to a new found admiration for the undoubted talents of Saints’ quarterback, Drew Brees. To my mind, with his play as of late and as a matter of fact over the last three or four years. He has in essence, become one of the ‘elite quarterbacks’ in the league. And that is of course with due respect to Manning Brady and Favre. He ranks up there alongside that noted triumvirate. And just in case you’re wondering which of the Mannings, I’m talking about , it’s not Eli or that rather ‘fine actress’, Taryn Manning but Peyton Manning. Eli is just proving once again what I’ve always thought about him. He can’t string together, back to back, to back, a set of consistent performances in this league. In many ways it’s liking watching an Alcoholics Anonymous participant repeatedly fall off the wagon. $100 million certainly doesn’t buy much in the league nowadays, does it ? Albert Haynesworth, you need to call your accountant as Daniel Snyder is about to come a calling, asking for his money back, in order for him to actually reinvest that money into something that’d resemble a team ! Because at the moment, what you’ve actually brought to Washington Redskins bears nothing that of a player, who was said to be ‘one of the most feared defensive players’ in the entire NFL. There’s more ferocity shown by a bunch of pre-op male trans-sexuals, than you’ve shown on an NFL field this season !

New Orleans-November 30th ,2009. David Thomas (85) of the New Orleans Saints runs for yards after the catch the New England Patriots at Louisana Superdome on November 30, 2009 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Saints won 38-17. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Scott Halleran ........
New Orleans-November 30th ,2009. David Thomas (85) of the New Orleans Saints runs for yards after the catch the New England Patriots at Louisana Superdome on November 30, 2009 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Saints won 38-17. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Scott Halleran ........

Monday night’s game itself, proved if anything that the Saints , Indianapolis Colts and the Minnesota Vikings are ‘the cream of the crop’ and ‘the class of the NFL’ this season. With both the Colts and Saints being (11-0) and the Vikings at (10-1). One can start to feel why their fans are chomping at the bit to see their teams in the post-season. If nothing else they’re looking to make it their rallying call to bare arms and support their team.

Randy Moss (81) of the New England Patriots is tackled after he made a reception in the second half by Darren Sharper (42) of the New Orleans Saints at Louisana Superdome on November 30, 2009 in New Orleans, Louisiana. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Scott Halleran .........
Randy Moss (81) of the New England Patriots is tackled after he made a reception in the second half by Darren Sharper (42) of the New Orleans Saints at Louisana Superdome on November 30, 2009 in New Orleans, Louisiana. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Scott Halleran .........

Inasmuch, as I continue to support the Patriots and bearing mind, I felt that if Tom Brady could in some way hold his own against Drew Brees. I felt that the team was in with a very good shot to derail the Saints’ effort in going unbeaten on the night. Boy was I wrong in a very big way ! The Saints harassed and hurried Brady into making several mistakes and errant plays that you wouldn’t normally associate with the normally cool, calm and collected quarterback. And it certainly didn’t that the team’s pass defense was about as noticeable as the ‘Invisible Man’. Brees was allowed to shred the team with all too accurate passing , on an offense that on their might just be the very best in the NFL. So good were they on the night, that the end result of the Saints’ 38-17 victory could’ve been of a wider margin, by far. To say I wasn’t disappointed at the end result , would be an understatement. The Patriots may well have went down fighting . But by no means was it a gallant effort by Bill Belichick’s team. Belichick and his coaching staff have a great deal of work to do , if this team is indeed to make the playoffs. And no, I’m not of the opinion that Charlie Weis should be brought by back to the team , to reassume the defensive coordinator’s responsibilities.It has been bad enough with Weis, having literally singled handedly destroyed whatever remnants there was left of Notre Dame football, as we know it. And what’d make anyone think tha Belichick would want him back to begin with ? His (Belichick’s) demeanor at times has been less than complimentary towards many of his former coaches that have left his employ. And with Weis it’d be no different !

The once remarkable Jim Mora Sr and his singularly most famous sound byte ever. ‘Playoffs’ ? ‘ What playoffs’ ? Need one say anymore ?

With the meat of the season now out of the way. Teams are now jockeying for positions in terms of a playoff berth. It looks pretty safe to say that the divisional leaders have their fates in their own hands. However those seeking a wildcard berth , most definitely still have something to play for. And who’d have thought that the now improbable , Vince Young led, Tennessee Titans (5-6) could still be in with a shot of making the playoffs ? Where’s Jim Mora Sr., when you need him ?

Tennessee Titans quarterback Vince Young (10) passes from his own end zone as Arizona Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell (93) rushes him in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 29, 2009, in Nashville, Tenn. Young led the Titans on a 99-yard drive to score the winning touchdown in the Titans' 20-17 win. picture appears courtesy of  AP/photo/ Mark  Goodwin   ...........
Tennessee Titans quarterback Vince Young (10) passes from his own end zone as Arizona Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell (93) rushes him in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 29, 2009, in Nashville, Tenn. Young led the Titans on a 99-yard drive to score the winning touchdown in the Titans' 20-17 win. picture appears courtesy of AP/photo/ Mark Goodwin ...........

Now I’m not about to waste my time denigrating teams that’ve played some less than inspiring football this season and who are languishing in the depths of ineptitude. As those teams and their fans know who they are and how god-damn awful they’ve now become. Suffice to say, that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-10), Oakland Raiders, Kansas City Chiefs, St Louis Rams, Seattle Seahawks and Cleveland Browns really do need to show some pride ,not wallow in self pity and most of all not have their coaches come and give the public and the fans some asinine excuse as to the inherent problems of their respective teams. At the end of the day it doesn’t amount to a ‘hill of beans’ and it makes them on appearance look like a complete buffoon and a clown to top it all of !

Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Raheem Morris yells instructions to his team during the fourth quarter of their NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2009. picture appears courtesy of AP/Photo/ Dave Martin  .......................
Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Raheem Morris yells instructions to his team during the fourth quarter of their NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2009. picture appears courtesy of AP/Photo/ Dave Martin .......................

A word of advice for the inexperienced Bucs’ coach, Raheem Morris. All the sound bytes and excuses in the world can’t hide the fact that this is ‘your team’ . It’s the one that you and general manager, Mark Dominik, hitched your wagons to. So get over it , shut the f_ck up and do your god-damn job ! You’re now sounding like a damn child with each additional interview that you give to the media. And for god’s sake be man enough and stand up and be held accountable for the choices you made. You and those blithering idiots from the Pewter Report,instead of clogging up the local radio airwaves in the local Tampa market with your inane drivel, in trying make lemonade out of rat’s urine. At least have the temerity to admit that ‘the team’, just isn’t that good, at all . It does a complete disservice to the public and the NFL fans in general. They’re not all children and by the way ‘fairy tales’ went out a long time ago. Unless you hadn’t noticed ? So stop hitching your wagons to one !

Atlanta-November 29th, 2009. Roddy White (84) of the Atlanta Falcons celebrates his game-winning touchdown in the final seconds against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with Eric Weems (14) and quarterback, Chris Redman (8 )at the Georgia Dome in in Atlanta, Georgia.  picture  appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Kevin C. Cox .......
Atlanta-November 29th, 2009. Roddy White (84) of the Atlanta Falcons celebrates his game-winning touchdown in the final seconds against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with Eric Weems (14) and quarterback, Chris Redman (8 )at the Georgia Dome in in Atlanta, Georgia. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Kevin C. Cox .......

So as of now,for the teams of the NFL, it’s not actually how you start but how you indeed finish that’ll dictate and create the mindset of how determined you’re going to be. A reminder to you all, and that includes the fans of the NFL , as well.

NB: NFL Week 13 Schedule- Dec 3rd to the 7th …… Click the link provided to review in full.

Thu, Dec 03 Stadium Time (ET) Tickets Network DIRECTV SIRIUS Westwood One
NYJ @ BUF Rogers Centre 8:20 PM Tickets NFLN 212 126 (NYJ) 125 (BUF) Radio
Sun, Dec 06 Stadium Time (ET) Tickets Network DIRECTV SIRIUS Westwood One
STL @ CHI Soldier Field 1:00 PM Tickets FOX 710 151 (STL) 127 (CHI)
DEN @ KC Arrowhead Stadium 1:00 PM Tickets CBS 706 121 (DEN) 154 (KC)
TEN @ IND Lucas Oil Stadium 1:00 PM Tickets CBS 704 123 (IND)
PHI @ ATL Georgia Dome 1:00 PM Tickets FOX 708 129 (PHI) 126 (ATL)
NE @ MIA Land Shark Stadium 1:00 PM Tickets CBS 126 (NE) 127 (MIA)
NO @ WAS FedEx Field 1:00 PM Tickets FOX 712 123 (NO) 152 (WAS)
OAK @ PIT Heinz Field 1:00 PM Tickets CBS 707 157 (OAK) 122 (PIT)
TB @ CAR Bank of America Stadium 1:00 PM Tickets FOX 709 158 (TB) 130 (CAR)
HOU @ JAC Jacksonville Municipal Stadium 1:00 PM Tickets CBS 705 125 (HOU) 153 (JAC)
DET @ CIN Paul Brown Stadium 1:00 PM Tickets FOX 711 155 (DET) 91 (CIN)
SD @ CLE Cleveland Browns Stadium 4:05 PM Tickets CBS 713 121 (SD) 91 (CLE)
DAL @ NYG Giants Stadium 4:15 PM Tickets FOX 715 123 (DAL) 125 (NYG)
SF @ SEA Qwest Field 4:15 PM Tickets FOX 716 126 (SF) 130 (SEA)
MIN @ ARI University of Phoenix Stadium 8:20 PM Tickets NBC 714 122 (MIN) 127 (ARI) Radio
Mon, Dec 07 Stadium Time (ET) Tickets Network DIRECTV SIRIUS Westwood One
BAL @ GB Lambeau Field 8:30 PM Tickets ESPN 206 126 (BAL) 125 (GB) Radio
Byes: None

Free Agency ……It’s Never Been That Simple

Free Agency ………It’s Never That Simple

It’s remarkable to see that the NFL is nothing more than a business driven machine. But herein lies the problem for many of its players. How do you explain to them that it’s never that simple to simply pursue the money instead of the greater glory of winning ? Far too often that at the height of a player’s career after achieving a modicum of success with one club , he’s then saying that he wants out unless he gets paid. We often hear ‘I’ve been disrespected ‘ !. Or for some reason when the player becomes either a restricted or unrestricted free agent that the contract negotiations begin with a club. There seem s to be an impasse reached between the two vested parties over money. The club is willing to pay but not overpay for that player’s services.

Seahawks'   wide  receiver   T J Houshmanzadeh   shows   off  his   new  jersey   replete  with  his   name  and   number.  Pity   however  the  player  has   yet  to  show  the  form  for  his  new  team  that  made   such  a  highly  sought  after   free  agent  .    picture  appears  courtesy  of    ap/photo/  Kevin  P. Casey  .............

Seahawks’ wide receiver T. J Houshmanzadeh shows off his new jersey replete with his name and number.Pity however,the player has yet to show the form that made him such a highly sought after free agent. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/Kevin P. Casey….

Fast forward and take a look at the situation that involved two of the most noted free agents to have hit the market within the NFL. First there was former Cincinnati Bengals’ wide receiver T.J Houshmanzadeh. A terrific player, who’d been productive with the Bengals and he alongside, Chad Ochocinco , were once viewed as one of the best receiving duos in the league. He simply made life easier for Bengals’ quarterback, Carson Palmer , with his electric speed , blocking ability and most exceptional were his catches and the yardage gained after the catch. Bengals’ coach Marvin Lewis was visibly upset with the loss of the player ,when he left the team , to sign with the Seattle Seahawks.

Houshmanzadeh’s career seems to have taken a turn for the worse, as the Seahawks have tumbled out of relevance within the league. The excuses are made that the team declined with the injury bug that hit the roster , with the loss of quarterback , Matt Hasselbeck. Some have said that the departure of former coach, Mike Holmgren , upon his retirement -the team were never the same. Holmgren’s successor Jim Mora Jr. has seemingly been unable to maintain the success attained by Holmgren . And Houshmanzadeh ‘s play has just simply declined in the aftermath. While all of this has been happening , the Bengals as a team , is now on the rise. And the play of Palmer and Ochocinco has been exceptional. Marvin Lewis has the team playing with a great deal of passion and resolve . They’ve also become competitive within the AFC North and the NFL , as a whole.

For $ 100 million you’d be better bringing a lunch bucket to work , rather than a sandwich box. It’s simply amazing to hear of a player being paid such an excessive sum , only having simply produced , merely just one year’s body of work , having been in the league for a number of years going unnoticed.But simply put , the Washington Redskins have never been averse to overpaying for marginal talent. It’s been their coup de gras over the years. Think of it , as desiring a Maserati and you end up buying a hoopty. The Redskins sought and pursued former Tennessee Titans’ defensive player Albert Haynesworth with a great deal of zeal. Justified or not, the team to my mind had far greater needs in a variety of areas. And on another level , the team’s general manager, Vinny Cerrato at the behest of team owner , Daniel Snyder , simply has played fast and loose in spending money , on players who’ve never panned out with the Redskins. Just look down the list and it’s who’s of infamy- players who just haven’t lived up to the perceived hype about their abilities.

Haynesworth  seen  here  with   Redkins'  coach  Jim  Zorn

Haynesworth seen here with Redskins’ coach Jim Zorn just after formally agreeing to and signing a $100 million, 7 year contract offer with the team. Of which $45 million was in guaranteed money.Haynesworth’s form for the team has fallen far short of the contract’s worth. picture appears courtesy of getty images-north america/ Mitchell Layton…………

Haynesworth, having had a tremendous season with the Titans, was on the market as a free agent. And in essence, he was one of the most desirable of them all, out there. Far be it for me to suggest otherwise. But I do think that the play of Haynesworth’s former teammate , Kyle Van Den Bosch , played a great part in the player’s perceived importance and Albert’s belief in his own self worth. Haynesworth may well have been the fulcrum that held the team together . But to my mind Van Den Bosch played just as great a part in the team’s success last season under coach , Jeff Fisher and their 13-3 regular season of last year. Unfortunately, their loss in the playoffs was something of a surprise to many , who felt the team was destined for something better. But it wasn’t to be.

The Titans this season are (0-6) in the NFL ,soon to be quite possibly , (0-7) and further descending into depths of banality. But if anything , there’s more synergy and camaraderie within the Titans’ organization and the team’s respect for their coach.Their problem I believes is in the fact that the team’s quarterback ,Kerry Collins,has lost the confidence of his teammates and his leadership skills appears to be on the decline. As are Collins’ skills as a quarterback. Waiting in the wings, is said to be a rejuvenated Vince Young,who’s set to prove to the organization and its fans that he is the same player whose performance in the Texas Longhorns’ celebrated win over the USC Trojans, has been the highlight of his football career thus far. He’d like to show them that he’s regained that type of form. If Young can resurrect his career and play the Titans back into competitive contention. Then all will be forgiven in the eyes of many.

Haynesworth, for his part, now appears to be a character from the H G Welles’ classic novel ‘The Invisible Man’. If his name comes up any of the Redskins’ stats sheet, then can someone show it to me , please ! It was never about the money was it Albert ? Don’t bullshit me , please ! You say you wanted to play for a successful organization and build further upon their success ? What happened ? The fact of the matter is that the Washington Redskins under their coach, Jim Zorn ,have been totally abysmal . And the team and the organization has lost all confidence in the coaching abilities of Zorn. But what might be more damning ,may well be the fact of the lack of passion shown by the players on the field. Haynesworth ,quarterback, Jason Campbell are front and center. Obviously , they’re all are equally to blame for the abysmal showing of the team. There has no leadership shown from either and Zorn quite simply put, isn’t NFL coaching material. Plainly and simply, the organization has made another one of their several faux pas over the years. Think back to the Steve Spurrier era for the Redskins ? Was he bad or what ?

As I’ve alluded to earlier, it may well have not been about the money but simply wanting to build upon their legacy. But for Albert Haynesworth and T J Houshmanzadeh , the decision made to leave for pastures green, just hasn’t seemed to have worked out at all. It has been a complete and unadulterated mess for both. And it’s hard to see where both can go from here. Up you might say ? But that’d be predicated upon viewing both the Washington Redskins and Seattle Seahawks getting a new lease on life and starting to win and perform better than they are now doing . And based on the evidence as the season has unfolded ,they appear to be a hell of a long way off from where they desire to be. Simply put ,Haynesworth and Houshmanzadeh made a decision about the careers that has been nothing short of being disastrous. Would you agree on that summation ?