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The always curvacious and effervescent Denise Milani .

Some year, but it was 2012, just like any other year

Some year, but it was 2012, just like any other year

Tophatal

The first week of 2013 will come to an end from a sporting standpoint , we can either seek to relook at 2012 as a successful year in sports or we can simply say “ well it was good but the drama and infamous moments far outstripped the great moments “ .

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Biggest story, by far, had been the outrage and scandal that engulfed the famed football program of Penn State. And the very fact that the state’s self-absorbed governor ,Tom Corbett now seeks to address a matter that he and his fellow trustee members of school had decided that they would not seek to veto any punishment mandated by the NCAA , in light of the findings of the school’s request of an in-depth investigation carried out former FBI Director , Louis Freeh , in what has been detailed in “The Freeh Report” . With Corbett now seeking to overturn the $60 million monetary penalty that the NCAA rendered as a verdict , the governor’s actions smacks of self-indulgence and the very fact that there seems to be a lack of common sense on his part. Well , I suppose it always came down to greed and not much else as it related to many of those within the hierarchy of the once proud educational establishment . Anyone who backs Corbett’s stance should be ashamed , given Penn State’s now infamous decision to cover up the actions of the disgraced and incarcerated Jerry Sandusky. Suffice to say, Tom Corbett should bury his head in shame, rather than his asinine comments stating that the NCAA , far out-reached their authority. My question for Tom Corbett , as a trustee member , why did you not seek to hold former , university President, Graham Spanier and Tim Curley accountable for their actions ?

I’m sorry, but with Lance Armstrong now stating that he is now prepared to admit his guilt , with the fact that he has lied about his actions in stating , that he had not taken performance enhancing drugs (PED’s). At what point, should the public seek to say simply say to the disgraced athlete , why did you simply not admit from the very beginning you have been lying , instead of hiding behind a pack of lies and a great deal of deceit ? Clearly, with Armstrong all along , it has been the ” financial gain ” , and the reputed $ 100 million fortune , he sought to protect . And for the anally retentive assholes, who jumped in, with their idiotic support of the disgraced cyclist, and the claim that neither USADA (US Anti-doping Agency) or WADA had no jurisdiction or standing in punishing the athlete. Perhaps, those very same idiots should actually review what this non-governmental agency, is asked to do , by way of their work? The USADA at the behest of the USOC (US Olympic Committee) , has a mandate to carry out investigations of what they believe to be suspicious acts of illicit drug use . And though that agency does not have subpoena powers , when they seek to act in conjunction with the US Justice Department , it does carry credence to the work they carry out. It is amazing to actually how damn uneducated a great number of the public seem to be , when they choose to not actually seek out the information for themselves and simply feed off the bile and diatribe that is continually served up within their midst !

Having been stripped of his seven Tour de France titles as well as Olympic gold , Armstrong’s legacy and reputation is now in complete tatters along with that once pristine reputation . But then again, Lance Armstrong’s actions all along in this whole saga all along spoke to his lack of character to begin with ! He was so steadfast as to his innocence that even when his former teammate , Tyler Hamilton , revealed his claims under a signed affidavit and then subpoena, that both he and Armstrong had been facilitated with the use of EPO (erythropoietin) , and stanazolol amongst a slew and battery of illicit and prohibitive substances banned by the IOC as well as by the ICU (International Cycling Union) , the international governing body for the sport of cycling . It has also been the ICU’s own lackluster efforts , that should also come into question throughout this whole episode, that has engulfed not only Lance Armstrong but several world-class riders over the past decade.

In the world of baseball , the San Francisco Giants marched through the postseason with the utmost ease , serving notice to the rest of the baseball world , that they will not be an easy pushover in 2013. As the reigning World Series champions, and twice winners of the title in the past five years , it begs the question , who is capable of stepping up to the plate and stopping the dominance of the Giants within the NL , much less the rest of baseball ? Will it be, the free-wheeling and big spending Los Angeles Dodgers or the newly revamped Los Angeles Angels ?

World Series MVP , Pablo Sandoval , essentially, cemented his legacy with the San Francisco Giants, and now he seeks to be the dominant force on what is now a very good Giants’ team. The front office of this organization has been well led, and prudent in their spending . GM Brian Sabean and lead managing partner, Larry Baer , will be intent on seeing growth with this team , while manager, Bruce Bochy and his coaching staff , will carry on from where they left off from last season.

The Miami Heat , reigning champions of the NBA . Head coach , Erik Spoelstra and team President , Pat Riley have sought to revamp the team’s roster from last season . The additions of Rashard Lewis and Ray Allen , has been fortuitous , adding a mix of veteran experience as well an offensive presence , that should bode well for the team over the course of this season.

Now while the reigning champions seek to find their best lineup , and contend with their conference rivals , one of the major storylines of the season, has been the rise of the New York Knicks. And for the Knicks this season , their All Star forward Carmelo Anthony has simply been playing the best basketball of his career , in leading the team to the second best record in the Eastern Conference , while leading the starting roster to their present position , as the leaders of the Atlantic Division with a mark of 23-10.

With the recent reintroduction of Amar`e Stoudemire back to the roster, it remains to be seen how the forward will be able to acclimatize himself back into playing shape.

I firmly believe, that the Knicks will be in contention for a top five seed within the Eastern Conference at <a season’s end , but for now it is all about seeing how Mike Woodson’s players fare , as they seek rewrite a new chapter in the franchise’s history .

The Heat’s opponents in last season’s finals , the Oklahoma City Thunder are riding high while leading their division (Northwest) and are second in Western Conference. Though the Los Angeles Clippers (27-8) lead the Pacific Division of the Western Conference and like the league as a whole , it would take a fool to suggest that the Clippers are by far the best team in the NBA at present . As good as they have been , there is no real body of work other than this season to go by, whereas the Thunder over the last two seasons have have shown us their merits.

Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook , Serge Ibaka and Nick Collison seem to moving along nicely ,as they seek to make a quick return to the NBA Finals.

From last season to this season and the expectations that beckon , the fans are being subjected to some great basketball . However, that may well be taking on a whole new meaning when you consider play of the Charlotte Bobcats (8-24), Cleveland Cavaliers (8-27) and the woefully inept Washington Wizards(4-27). Are there some bad teams in the NBA , or simply bad coaches ?

A brief, and momentary mention for the NHL , yes we know that the Los Angeles Kings are the reigning Stanley Cup champions , here’s a thought, the league hierarchy have reached a tentative agreement with the NHLPA (Players’ Union) to return for a shortened season, after their almost four-month league mandated lockout. I’m sorry, but do you, still consider hockey one of the four main professional team sports? For an industry with revenues of $2.5 billion annually , the NHL hierarchy and the players’ union have completely lost their senses , while obfuscation their responsibilities as the custodians of the sport. As to the idiots, who would suggest that the popularity of the NHL remains as high as ever. Well, that might be true, if you were comparing the sport’s popularity to that of the approval ratings of the US House of Representatives , Senate and the present Presidential US administration. The NHL would be hard-pressed to be even considered as remotely popular, as College Football , College Basketball , much less their peers at the professional level within the , NBA , NFL and Major League Baseball (MLB).

Last season in the NFL, the fans of the league were swept away in the euphoria of witnessing the New York Giants win their second Superbowl in the past five years . The Giants’ scintillating victory over the New England Patriots added a further chapter in Eli Manning’s ongoing career, albeit that the teamfailed to make the postseason in 2012. Now through in the fact that at the culmination of the regular season , seven teams saw fit to fire their head coaches , with the biggest casualties of them all , being Lovie Smith , formerly of the Bears and Andy Reid , with the Eagles .

Andy Reid , having met with the Kansas City Chiefs’ hierarchy , formally accepting the vacant head coach’s position with the franchise. As to how Reid will seek to turn around the fortunes of a team that went 2-14 in 2012. Unfortunately, the problems for Romeo Crennel , Reid’s successor , it all stemmed from the extremely poor quarterback play from Matt Cassel and Brady Quinn . The pairing might just be two of the worst quarterbacks in the league over the course of the season , gives credence as to one of the many reasons why the Chiefs failed so miserably. Kansas City may well seek to address that issue during the off-season, either by obtaining a free agent quarterback or by way of the upcoming NFL Draft (2013).

With two of the wildcard round games having given us results , in which we see Green Bay Packers and Houston Texans , march on to the divisional round of the postseason. Sunday, offers the remaining two scheduled match-ups , with the Baltimore Ravens playing host to Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts . Luck, the first quarterback taken in the 2012 NFL Draft , has led the Colts to double-digit wins, in his rookie season , while essentially making believers out of the vast array of NFL fans around the league.

The other game the fans are eager to see , will pit two rookie quarterbacks , who themselves have set the league alight . When the Washington Redskins host the Seattle Seahawks at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland , the opposing quarterbacks will be Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson . And the Seahawks quarterback has been the hottest quarterback in the NFL during the month of December as the team has been on ” tear “ within the league. And with two highly explosive offenses , the Seahawks and Redskins should provide the fans with an exhilarating game.

The College Football season has given us great deal to appreciate, and yes we still yearn for postseason playoff format that isn’t a charade , in spite of what the BCS and major conference commissioners continually insinuate . College Football has now become about those who have and those who do not ! When you have programs bringing in excess of $100 million annually in revenues , while programs not considered members of the major conferences are left “ fighting for the scraps “ left at the table . It begs the question , in whose best interests does the BCS operate ? It is pretty safe to say , it not in the interests of the schools outside of the major conferences.

The BCS national championship game pits number one ranked Notre Dame (12-0) against Nick Saban’s number two ranked Alabama (Crimson Tide) , which will be played on Monday <a href night , at the Sun Life Stadium , in Miami , Florida. Brian Kelly , head coach of Notre Dame, subject of so much speculation with the belief that he will be offered one of the several NFL vacancies that at present remain open. I certainly don’t believe that Kelly will leave the program after merely a year in charge and with the growth of the players under his tutelage . And for freshman quarterback Everett Golson and defensive stalwart , Manti Te’o , this season must have been unimaginable , when one considers the issues with the Fighting Irish , have faced in recent years. A rise back to prominence and all is well , once again at one the most esteemed programs in college football.

If there is one thing that I do know and that it is , you simply do not put much store in the Men’s Basketball rankings too early in the season ! And I certainly don’t put any store with regard to the prognostications of individuals such as Digger Phelps and Dick Vitale . Moreover, if their calls prove to be wrong , it is very rare that you will hear either admit to that fact. At present , the Duke , 14-0 (Blue Devils sit atop of the rankings as they are undefeated . Mike Krzyzewski , perhaps the most respected and revered coaches in the game today , has this program playing with a great deal of passion . Leading the way for the team are Mason Plumlee , Seth Curry , Ryan Kelly and Rasheed Sulaimon . The players are answering the call of Coach “K” as he seeks his fifth national title as a head coach . And the defending champions , the Kentucky (Wildcats) appear to be having something of an indifferent season , it should be noted , John Calipari, as a head coach , has a way of getting his players ready for the NCAA Tournament , at a time when it matters most.

Calipari, for his part, continues to be an individual, that many continue question , as to his integrity and character. From my own personal standpoint , while the Wildcats’ basketball coach can continue to skirt the rules of the game, with the NCAA simply overlooking what on the face of it are violations , then in no way can we consider to take NCAA President , Mark Emmert at his word, when he states that he would like to create an environment within collegiate sports , where there is transparency at all levels within the various programs of collegiate athletics and within the universities themselves. So far, Emmert , the NCAA and college sports are batting way below the Mendoza Line , and then some ! Now many might conclude that the actions of the NCAA in penalizing the Penn State were appropriate , when you take into account the heinousness of Jerry Sandusky’s “ acts of depravity”. However , when also called upon to act with integrity , the NCAA has proven to a rather archaic and an all too pedantic authoritative force .

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(1) Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett speaks at a news conference following a night of rioting in response to the firing of head football coach Joe Paterno in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal on November 10, 2011 in State College, Pennsylvania. Corbett is the former state attorney general who launched the investigation in 2009 that eventually brought criminal charges against three former Penn State officials this week. As governor, Corbett is an ex-officio member of Penn State?s board of trustees . Paterno was fired amid allegations that former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was involved with child sex abuse. Corbett has sought to challenge the NCAA’s authority in rendering a $60 million fine against Penn State , in what the governor sees as NCAA President Mark Emmert and the NCAA overstepping their authority . It should be noted that Corbett sat on the board of trustees , who themselves , sought not to originally challenge Emmert’s decision . There now seems to few supporters for Mark Corbett’s actions in light of the heinousness of Jerry Sandusky’s depraved crimes . Getty Images North America / Mario Tama …

(2) Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong is now consulting with his legal counsel with the intent of issuing a public statement admitting his use of performance enhancing drugs . The cyclist also faces a legal fight in the UK for $2.5 million for a payment made to the cyclist by a UK media conglomerate and the original suit, in which Armstrong was victorious in a defamation lawsuit . AP Photo / Victor Allen …. .

(3) FILE – In this Oct. 28, 2012 file photo, San Francisco Giants celebrate after the Giants defeated the Detroit Tigers, 4-3 , in Game 4 of baseball’s World Series in Detroit. The Giants won the World Series 4-0 . AP Photo/Charlie Riedel …. (4) 2012 World Series MVP Pablo Sandoval is seen here with his World Series trophy after the Giants 4-0 sweep of the Detroit Tigers in the World Series for the organization’s second triumph in the past five years . Getty Images North America / Jason Riordan …

(5) Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III sits on the bench after a knee injury during an NFL wild card playoff football game against the Seattle Seahawks in Landover, Md., Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013. The Seahawks defeated the Redskins 24-14 . In Griffin’s first postseason appearance he was somewhat pedantic , with less than stellar figures in the Redskins’ defeat. AP Photo/Evan Vucci …

(6) Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson greets Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III after an NFL wild card playoff football game in Landover, Md., Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013. The Seahawks defeated the Redskins 24-14 . AP Photo/Evan Vucci …

(7) Alabama head coach Nick Saban and Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly pose with The Coaches’ Trophy during a news conference for the BCS National Championship college football game Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013 . AP Photo/ Giles Moor ….

(8) Alabama’s Eddie Lacy interviews Christion Jones during Media Day for the BCS National Championship college football game Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013, in Miami. Alabama faces Notre Dame in Monday’s championship game. AP Photo/David J. Phillip …..

(9) Duke’s Quinn Cook ,right, challenges Wake Forest’s Codi Miller-McIntyre for the loose ball in a game played between Duke and Wake Forest at Cameron Indoor Arena , Durham , North Carolina ,. The Blue Devils would defeat the Demon Deacons 80-62 . @ copyrighted material all rights reserved Washington Post/ Ted Richardson Associated Press …

(10) Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski directs his team during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Wake Forest in Durham, N.C., Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013. Duke won 80-62 . AP Photo/Ted Richardson …

(11) Duke’s Seth Curry drives to the basket ahead of Wake Forest’s C.J. Harris , bottom right, during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Durham, N.C., Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013. Curry scored 22 points , and Duke won 80-62. AP Photo/Ted Richardson ..

(12) Kentucky head coach John Calipari looks to his bench during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Eastern Michigan at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky., Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013. Kentucky won 90-38 . AP Photo/James Crisp …

(13) Eastern Michigan’s Da’Shonte Riley (1) fouls Kentucky’s Nerlens Noel during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky., Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013. Kentucky won 90-38. AP Photo/James Crisp …

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Last year proved to be an exciting season of sports and although I have not covered areas of boxing or MMA , at a later date I will carry an introspective look at both sports and the events that unfolded over the calendar year. Simply chime in with your thoughts as what you believe were some of the sporting highlights of 2011.

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MLB news

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NFL news

NFL postseason schedule

NFL stats players (postseason)

NFL stats teams (postseason)

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NBA news

NBA schedule
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NCAA Football

NCAA Football & BCS schedule (postseason)

NCAA Football news

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NCAA Basketball men’s results

NCAA men’s basketball news

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The always , sensual , Penelope Cruz , above , and below Scarlett Johansson .

Scarlett Johansson

Did I miss something ? Culling baby seals was meant to be compassionate , not so the case , when it comes to the NFL

Did I miss something ? Culling baby seals was meant to be compassionate , not so the case , when it comes to the NFL

By Tophatal

The fallout, in the NFL has begun, with teams now looking to rid themselves of their head coaches and staff . As their horrendous seasons , poor performances of the teams, and that of the players , who are being paid a King’s ransom for their services , which sent these franchises crashing back down to earth. To date, and counting, there have been five NFL head coaching firings , with quite possibly more to come , down the pike .

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As if the fans needed any further evidence, to emphasize the fact that the New York Jets remains a franchise heading in the wrong direction , after a season of inept performances , and the continued cry for Tim Tebow to be installed as the team’s starting quarterback . Haven’t we seen enough ineptitude over the past four years by this Presidential administration and Congress , without wanting to add this idiocy ? However , it would appear that apathy is now the acceptable norm , for such fans , rather than their intelligence being shown.

Five NFL coaches , have now been relieved of their duties and there is the belief that there could very well be a few more names added to that list . Andy Reid has been fired as the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles . No great surprise there , considering the fact that , the players simply quit on their head coach , rather than giving the best of themselves over the course of this season .

With the postseason schedule now being set , with the twelve participants from the two conferences , now waiting to get this part of the NFL’s schedule off and running . It will be interesting to see which of these teams will now be viewed as the prohibitive favorite for the Superbowl . Over the course of the regular season , there has not been one dominant team, where you could categorically state that , such team/franchise should undeniably be viewed as an outright favorite . Gary Kubiak and the Houston Texans , having looked like a well-deserving number one seed in the AFC , have within the past three weeks , played as a team, whose playoff inexperience and lack of authority, could very well make them a first round casualty during these playoffs . They have essentially slipped down the pecking order within the AFC , to become the number three seed , who will now have to play host to the Cincinnati Bengals, and sophomore quarterback, Andy Dalton , and his fast charging teammates , who will be looking to acquit themselves well, this postseason.

On Sunday night , in what was a vastly entertaining game , during which , a great deal was said to be on the line for both teams. The Washington Redskins , seeking to win their first divisional title (NFC East) since 1999, that scenario played out like a riveting suspense thriller , for merely a quarter . And for all of this asinine assertion that Tony Romo , being a great regular season quarterback, while the stats may well bear this out , when it matters most , the Cowboys’ quarterback , simply has “no stomach “ for a real down in the trenches ____ full-blown out fight . Truth be known , Romo , is vastly overpaid , in terms of what he has offered the franchise , in terms of a dividend . In contrast , Romo’s counterpart , in last night’s event , rookie quarterback , Robert Griffin III, indicated why it is , that for much of the season , he has been the main focus behind the success of the Redskins’ extraordinary season. Add in the play, of rookie , Alfred Morrisand wide receiver , Pierre Garcon, and you can understand why the fans in and around the DC area, feel that they have a great to be excited about . There is a sense of urgency to the Redskins, and that something special is now on the horizon .

With the Redskins coming away with a decisive 28-18 victory and pretty much putting an end to another season of sheer ineptitude by the Dallas Cowboys, which pretty much shuttered whatever hopes that they might have had for the postseason. There will now be decisive questions being asked of not only head coach , Jason Garrett and his impending future , but also whether or not Tony Romo is indeed the quarterback needed to lead this team , long-term . Team owner, Jerry Jones , can continue to make all the excuses he wants , but even he , must now come to the realization for the money being paid out in payroll , the dividends reaped have been miniscule , to say the very least .

If the Cowboys are viewed as one of the major disappointments of this season, then one would have to place the under-achieving Chicago Bears alongside their NFC counterpart. Far be it for me to suggest , but if you are placing your hopes on Jay Cutler to lead you anywhere , then you would be better of shoving your finger up your own ass , removing it, and then sniffing, to see if the bouquet is just as rancid a stench, as served up by the Bears over the course of this season. Brian Urlacher, fit, or not, is now on the downside of what one could describe as a moderate career. Future Hall of Fame inductee , well that remains to be seen , but given what we’ve seen from Urlacher over the years , he is a possible candidate , once having met the criteria .

In order for Lovie Smith’s players to have made the postseason , a victory was necessary over the Detroit Lions . God knows, the Lions, have been equally as abysmal , and that is with Calvin Johnson having surpassed the single season receiving yards’ mark , a record held by the illustrious Jerry Rice . Having secured, a narrow 26-24 victory , the Bears also needed assistance , with both the Seattle Seahawks and Minnesota Vikings needing to lose in their respective games on Sunday afternoon. That would not be the case, with the Seahawks defeating (20-13) the St Louis Rams , and the Vikings pulling off a surprising victory (37-34) over the Green Bay Packers . Those two wins , pretty much sealed the fate of the Bears for the season, and with it all leading to the dismissal of Lovie Smith, as the head coach of the franchise.

While there seems to apoplexy , with the firings of five coaches in the NFL , it has to be said while the blame is being placed upon their shoulders . One has to ask , of the so-called players thought to be leaders on the teams that have failed so miserably, who are highly paid , yet when it mattered most , they were nowhere to be seen.

During the off-season , you can be sure that there will be a major upheaval of the player personnel rosters around the league , as a number of high-priced and overvalued free agents will be placed on the market . The likelihood will be , that a number of teams will be foolish enough to acquire those players , as they seek to revamp their rosters.

With College Bowl season now underway , a number of the likely coaching candidates that may well viewed as potential hires in the NFL , will be on view for the front office executives and team owners seeking a new head coach. Atop of that list , is said to be Nick Saban , along with Brian Kelly , Chip Kelly , Mark Richt , Mike Nolan and quite obviously the former NFL coaches now on the sidelines as NFL analysts , Jon Gruden , Bill Cowher and Brian Billick. To my mind however, one of the potential possible hires , has to be Indianapolis Colts’ coaching assistant Bruce Arians . While , head coach, Chuck Pagano underwent chemotherapy for cancer , it was Arians who led the Colts to some highly unlikely victories during 2012. Yet , while praise has to be heaped upon Bruce Arians , you simply cannot overlook the “ astonishing “ rookie season of Andrew Luck , who was asked to step into the larger than life shoes of Peyton Manning . And the rookie did not fail to deliver , with the Colts garnering double-digit wins , on their gaining a postseason berth and a potential blockbuster game against the Baltimore Ravens in the wildcard round of the playoffs.

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As to what the postseason now holds for the teams now eager to get this part of the season underway , it makes for a great deal of suspense for the fans and analysts alike , who view this part of the NFL season as one of the most exhilarating facets of the NFL calendar. Your thoughts, on this all, and what deem to be the most fascinating time of the year within the league ? Simply leave a comment as you see fit and thank you for what has been a highly insightful year within this community . May you all, have a prosperous and peaceful New Year !

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(1) Norv Turner speaks during an NFL football news conference, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012, in San Diego. Turner was fired as head coach by the Chargers Monday, along with general manager A.J. Smith , after missing the playoffs for the third straight season. AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi …

(2) FILE – In this Dec. 23, 2012, file photo, Arizona Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt appears before an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears in Glendale, Ariz. The Cardinals fired Whisenhunt Monday, Dec. 31, after six seasons that included the long-suffering franchise’s only Super Bowl appearance. AP Photo/Paul Connors …

FILE – In this Dec. 30, 2012 file photo, Buffalo Bills head coach Chan Gailey walks off the field after his team’s 28-9 win over the New York Jets in an NFL football game in Orchard Park, N.Y. Gailey has been fired by the Buffalo Bills after three losing seasons, the team announced Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. AP Photo/Gary Wiepert ….

(4) FILE – In this Dec. 2, 2012, file photo, New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan, left, stands with general manager Mike Tannenbaum , center, and owner Woody Johnson before an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals in East Rutherford, N.J. Ryan insists he’s a Jet all the way and wants to coach the team for the “next 15 years.” He dismisses as “untrue” a report that says he would welcome being fired if Johnson doesn’t upgrade the offense. Tannenbaum was summarily dismissed by Johnson , and it was felt that it was “something of a warning” to Ryan , as to how close , the coach himself , came close to  being fired    , by the beleaguered owner . AP Photo/Kathy Willens ….

(5) The ” not so magnificent seven ” . Seven NFL head coaches fired on what has come to be known as ” Black Monday” . From top left, to bottom right , Chan Gailey, Norv Turner, Pat Shurmur , Lovie Smith , Ken Whisenhunt , Romeo Crennel and Andy Reid . AP Photo/ Reid Harper ….

(6) Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) runs away from Dallas Cowboys outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware (94) during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012, in Landover, Md. The Redskins won 28-18 . AP Photo/Richard Lipski ….

(7) Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) greets Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III after an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012, in Landover, Md. The Redskins won 28-18, securing a playoff berth. AP Photo/Evan Vucci …

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NB: It is now official, that the number of head coaches fired , on what is now being described as “Black Monday” has risen from five to seven head coaching officials .

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NFL news & news from around the league

NFL news archived stories

NFL results week seventeen

NFL results 2012-13 regular season

NFL standings by division

NFL standings by conference

NFL postseason schedule 2012-13
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Alicia Keys …. “I’m ready ”

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Selena Star offers up a cornucopia of eroticism with her wiles . Are you going to be one of the complainants in such a case ?

Come on, you have never had it so good , we are providing you with entertainment, sports’ entertainment , so suck it up, you son of a bitch …

Come on, you have never had it so good , we are providing you with entertainment, sports’ entertainment , so suck it up, you son of a bitch …

By Tophatal

With the NFL regular season now coming to a close , Sunday brings about week seventeen of the sixteen week schedule for 2012 . In large part, the divisions have been decided , but some playoff berths within the AFC and NFC , have yet to be settled, but Sundays’ results will bring about closure for the teams . One of the most intriguing games on this weekend’s schedule , will be the NFC East match-up , between the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Redskins. It is a game that will be played at FedEx Field , in Landover , Maryland . This, is a last ditch effort for the Cowboys, to make their way into the postseason. A win, guarantees them, the divisional title and some semblance of redemption after a somewhat disappointing season.

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The opposing quarterbacks in this divisional match-up will be Robert Griffin III of the Redskins, facing off against Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys. And for the Cowboys’ quarterback , this may well be the last chance made available to him, as he seeks to lead this team back into the postseason.

Now there’s no denying that Robert Griffin III , has proven to be one of the exceptional rookie talents to have exploded unto the NFL stage this season. The Redskins’ rookie along with freshman players , Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson , have simply been exceptional throughout much of 2012. Luck and Wilson, have led both their teams to double-digit wins for the season , as well having secured a playoff berth for the Indianapolis Colts and Seattle Seahawks , respectively. A truly astonishing feat , when one considers the inexperience of both players at the highest level of the game. There will be a great deal of intrigue and suspense to be played for the fans over the course of this weekend’s NFL schedule .

While the NFL regular season schedule seeks a finality , its NBA counterpart , is now a mere twenty plus games into their own long and arduous schedule . The season has already had its very first managerial casualty with the summary firing of the Brooklyn Nets’ head coach, Avery Johnson. Would it be appropriate to suggest that Nets’ point guard , Deron Williams , has now become a “ coach-killer “ ? It would appear that whenever the superstar becomes unhappy , with his environment or the level of his teammates’ play , he tends to cast a veiled displeasure and an indirect threat at his head coach. That was certainly the case, when Williams was formerly a player with the Utah Jazz , which ultimately led to the resignation of Jerry Sloan , and it certainly appears that Williams played his part in the firing of Avery Johnson. The idiocy of this whole situation cannot be underscored by the formal statement made by Nets’ GM, Billy King , in stating that the star point guard had nothing to do with the decision made by the front office that led to the dismissal of the beleaguered head coach. Kind of makes you wonder, if not for the player’s displeasure , would the franchise have “pulled the trigger “ and fired the head coach?

If the Nets’ general manager would take a single step back , and simply review his statement, he would suddenly realize that he cannot blow smoke up everyone’s ass, while trying to keep a smile on his face . And with the dismissal , it’s now hard to see how anyone can take the front office of the Brooklyn Nets all that seriously, never-mind their rather unenlightened and idiotic fans who proclaimed, that this team would be a worthy challenger to the likes of the , Miami Heat, New York Knicks , and Boston Celtics within the Eastern Conference. There was no body of work to suggest that this team was ready to even challenge the aforementioned trio , so now , those idiots , can sit back , and begin to eat crow , and deservedly so !

It is somewhat asinine to think that the Brooklyn Nets have sought to make such an exorbitant outlay , by committing in excess of $88, 257,129 for a team that now sits with a 0. 514 mark of 15-14 within the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference. Deron Williams and Joe Johnson account for almost 41% of the team’s salary commitment for 2012-13, with the two combining for just under $37 million of the eighty-eight million plus in the Nets’ 2012 salary outlay. Team owner, Mikhail Prokhorov , the Russian multi-billionaire entrepreneur , made it known , that money would be of no object , as he sought to make the Nets not just a competitive force within the NBA , but also a global brand, fittingly with a presence in Eastern and Western Europe , but most notably in his native Russia . With that commitment from Prokhorov , has come the billion dollar outlay in buying the majority stake in the Barclaycard Center/Atlantic Yards Development , which houses the Brooklyn Nets , as well as a commercial and residential complex . As of now, that investment, does seem extremely costly , with barely any dividends , being shown on-court , by way of anything being remotely competitive from this team . I firmly believe that Deron Williams lacks the leadership qualities to make the Brooklyn Nets a resounding success , and this idiocy that Joe Johnson , would be a player capable of supporting the skill-set of Williams , as diminishing those returns now appear to be ! PJ Carlisemo has now been installed as the interim-head coach , with rumors that Billy King , at the behest of Mikhail Prokhorov is said to be seeking out Phil Jackson , to gauge his interest in coming to Brooklyn , to coach the newly relocated franchise . There are only two coaching positions within the NBA , that are likely to pique the interest of the famed head coach , and at present , as neither the Knicks or Lakers’ coaching positions are vacant . One can only speculate , and in all likelihood, it is my firm belief that Jackson will turn down the approach from the Russian billionaire owner ! And even , if Jackson is offered a reputed five-year $60-$75 million contract , there is no guarantee of success , for a team that at present is in complete disarray .

Now while there are now those seeking to thrust the New York Knicks further into the limelight , and God knows that franchise needs to be relevant once again, after years of ineptitude in the wilderness , with the mismanagement by team owner, James Dolan , GM Glen Grunwald and his predecessors , Donnie Walsh and Isiah Thomas . While the NBA franchise remains the “ jewel in the crown” in terms of value and profitability as the most valuable NBA team in the league . There can be no denying, that were it not for the fact , that the New York Knicks are domiciled in the nation’s largest ad-market , New York City , and that it is part of a vast array of sports and entertainment interests owned under the umbrella of the privately held business entity, MSG Entertainment Inc. . , a wholly owned company, shrouded in secrecy , and presided over by James Dolan, and his family. One seriously doubts that the franchise would be in its present position, of being to lavish itself with such luxuries , with the salaries afforded to the likes of Tyson Chandler , Carmelo Anthony , Amar`e Stoudemire , Jason Kidd and J R Smith.

The Knicks , coming off a narrow one-point 106-105 loss to the Sacramento Kings , are now 21-9 , while seated atop of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference . And while that record is impressive , let’s not kid ourselves into believing that this team is the most dominant franchise in the conference , while they are 6-4 on the road and impressive 12-2 within the conference. It begs the question, what is the true measure of real dominance within the NBA and specifically with regard to the Knicks ? Yes , they do possess one of the most forceful and naturally gifted scorers in the game , with Carmelo Anthony , who has been ably abetted this season by JR Smith . However, my position is that, until there’s a body of work , by which this team can be adjudged , there cannot be an assertion that this team is , or has been one of the more dominant franchises within the NBA this season !v . The team’s longest winning streak over the course of their schedule is one of six games , during the month of November, but they have been able to maintain a consistency by not having anything more than a two-game consecutive loss streak during their 2012-2013 sojourn .

Knicks’ head coach, Mike Woodson , has been able to mold together an aggressive cohesive unit that has proven to be an effective offensive corps of players . The team at 102.27 points per game lies seventh in the NBA in that offensive category , and second within Eastern Conference, behind the Miami Heat (103.4 points per game) . Defensively , in allowing 97 ppg , the Knicks are the ninth within the conference , and fourteenth within the NBA , of the of the league’s 30 teams.

In determining the margin of victory , at 5.3 points per game , Mike Woodson’s players sit comfortably in fifth place within the NBA , where the high-flying Los Angeles Clippers lead the way. For their part , the Clippers , led by Blake Griffin and Chris Paul , have been on an impressive run , having won a franchise best sixteen straight games , the best run in the NBA this season . Vinny Del Negro , and his coaching staff , has this Clippers’ team playing with a great deal of resolve and commitment , while ” overshadowing” their more illustrious rivals and namesake , the Los Angeles Lakers .

And for the Lakers , the infancy of their season has been a tumultuous one , with the firing of Mike Brown five games into their schedule (1-4) and Mike D’Antoni being brought in by GM , Mitch Kupchak and SVP, Jim Buss . The hiring of D’Antoni , was bewildering to fans NBA analysts alike , as front office had sought Phil Jackson , to gauge his interest in returning to the franchise he guided to five NBA titles while coaching the Lakers over two separate terms. And while Jackson had sought time to make a decision, it would appear that Kupchak and Jim Buss approached D’Antoni, offered him the position and then made the formal announcement that the once vacant position had now been filled by the former Knicks and Phoenix Suns’ head coach.

Injuries, and inconsistent play from the Los Angeles Lakers , with no clear sense of a real coaching strategy has simply played its part , in defining the under-achieving Lakers. Take into account , that Kobe Bryant is being asked to provide the bulk of the team’s offensive output , with an aging Steve Nash , and a rather lackluster showing , in a number of outings from Dwight Howard , and a recipe for disaster has now been created , as the franchise’s record (15-15) and standing reflects their continued poor showing .

While the Lakers swoon , the Oklahoma City Thunder are riding high , and they’re no doubt seeking to make a quick return to the NBA Finals , and redeem themselves after last season’s poor showing in the postseason finale . Kevin Durant and his erstwhile teammate , point guard Russell Westbrook , are the most prolific combination duos , now playing in the NBA , and such has been their productivity , that it should come as no surprise why there are and still remain the prohibitive favorites to repeat as the Western Conference champions this season. If there is a serious challenger within the conference , to the Thunder’s present supremacy , then that challenge may well come , jointly from, the Los Angeles Clippers , Memphis Grizzlies and four-time NBA champions , the always dangerous San Antonio Spurs . Gregg Popovich, a former coach of the Year award winner , coach of all four of Spurs Finals’ triumphs , places the illustrious coach in a select group of NBA coaches to have won multiple titles . Adding a fifth , would cement Popovich’s legacy, and further enhance his status as a future Hall of Fame inductee , alongside current players and likely future occupants , Tony Parker , Manu Ginobli and Tim Duncan , the elder statesman on the current Spurs’ roster , and the lynch pin for much of the franchise’s success , since his being drafted , as the number one pick in the 1997 NBA Draft by the San Antonio Spurs.

If the Spurs are to be a collective force , then beyond the productivity provided by Tony Parker , Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobli , then players such as , Kawhi Leonard , Danny Green , Gary Neal , Tiago Splitter , Stephen Jackson , and Boris Diaw , will have to step up and answer the call, as and when needed .

Saturday night’s schedule offers the fans eleven games of note , but essentially Sunday , is when the nation will be watching , if they are not transfixed by the NFL scheduled games being televised by the broadcast networks. The Spurs will be part of the afternoon’s four game sortie , when they face the Dallas Mavericks in a game to be played at the American Airlines Arena in Dallas , Texas. The team leads the season series 1-0 , having met on the 23rd December in San Antonio , when the Spurs came away with a lopsided forty-eight point victory in defeating the Mavericks 129-81 , a loss that sent Rick Carlisle’s team reeling , with many questioning whether or not the current rebuilding process now being undertaken , is actually working . At this juncture , I think it’s pretty safe to say that Carlisle and the Mavericks’ front office will certainly have to look at the underlying issues the team now faces. Team owner, Mark Cuban , saw fit make a radical decision upheaval of their roster and rebuilding afresh. GM , Donn Nelson , entrusted with this task has seen fit to also reduce the team’s payroll considerably from last year . A considerably sharp decline, from when the Mavericks’ carried a payroll that would place them among the highest in the NBA .

In 2012, with the league’s “soft salary cap” of $58.044 million , it would appear that the teams would rather ignore that plateau , as they seek all-out success and glory , no matter what the financial stake may well be, and the morass that such extravagance might bring about . And for this idiocy , we have the league hierarchy to thank , led by NBA Commissioner, David Stern , and the lackadaisical attitude of the team owners , who plead poverty , . but who still choose not to rein in their costs .

The commissioner would rather have us believe that the NBPA (Players’ Union) bears the responsibility for the league’s financial malaise , but nothing could be further from the truth , as this all comes down to the lack of restraint being shown by all sides , as it relates to curtailing financial costs and the league’s own response to the criticism being leveled at them by the fans , television and print media .

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What do you believe has been one the high points of the NFL season ? In your opinion, what should we expect to see over the course of the postseason ? With all of news now unfolding within the NBA , rightly or wrongly , what if anything gives you the greatest cause for concern for the league still in its infancy of its schedule , this season? Simply , leave a comment as you see fit , and thanks as always for the continued support of this site , as it is gratefully appreciated !

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(1) Washington Redskins’ Robert Griffin III passes in the second half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, in Philadelphia. Washington won 27-20 . AP Photo/Michael Perez …

(2) Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan , left, and Philadelphia Eagles’ coach Andy Reid meet after an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, in Philadelphia. Washington won 27-20 . AP Photo/Michael Perez …

(3) Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) leaves the field after overtime play of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. The Saints won 34-31 . The Cowboys’ quarterback and his well chronicled postseason experience has been more ” hyperbole “ , rather than anything productive for the player and the Cowboys , since he became the full-time starting quarterback for the franchise . AP Photo/Sharon Ellman …

(4) Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) passes the ball as New Orleans Saints defensive end Will Smith (91) moves in during the first half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, in Arlington, Texas. AP Photo/Brandon Wade …

(5) Brooklyn Nets’ Deron Williams looks to pass away from Cleveland Cavaliers’ Kyrie Irving , right, during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012, in New York. The Nets would go on to defeat the Cavaliers 103-100 . PJ Carlesimo since his being installed as the interim head coach the team is off to a 2-0 start in his tenure , in the position . AP Photo/Frank Franklin II …

(6) Brooklyn Nets interim coach P.J. Carlesimo calls out to his team during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012, in New York. The Nets won 103-100. AP Photo/Frank Franklin II …

(7) FILE- In this Dec. 17, 2011, file photo, New Jersey Nets head coach Avery Johnson , right, talks with assistant coach P.J. Carlesimo during the first half of an NBA preseason basketball game against the New York Knicks in Newark, N.J. The Nets fired Johnson on Thursday, Dec. 27, 2012, and Carlesimo will coach the team on an interim basis, starting Friday night with a home game against Charlotte. AP Photo/Mel Evans …..

(8) SACRAMENTO, CA – DECEMBER 28: James Johnson (52) of the Sacramento Kings is congratulated by teammates after he made a three-point basket at the buzzer to beat the New York Knicks 106-105 at Sleep Train Arena on December 28, 2012 in Sacramento, California. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images ….

(9) San Antonio Spurs’ Tim Duncan (21) works the ball around Houston Rockets’ Marcus Morris, left, during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game on Friday, Dec. 28, 2012, in San Antonio. AP Photo/Eric Gay ….

(10) San Antonio Spurs’ Manu Ginobili (20) , of Argentina, is fouled as he drives to the basket against Houston Rockets defenders Cole Aldrich (31), Daequan Cook (14) , James Harden (13) and Chandler Parsons , right, during the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Dec. 28, 2012, in San Antonio. San Antonio won 122-116 . AP Photo/Eric Gay ….

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All time head to head match-ups between the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins

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Analicia Chaves , picture comes courtesy of King Magazine

It wasn’t meant to be this way , as we had such high hopes ….


It wasn’t meant to be this way , as we had such high hopes ….

By Tophatal

So the final week of the NFL season is upon us and pretty much it all comes down to these final games , with a great deal still being up for grabs by way of divisional titles as well as a playoff berth for the postseason . And in the midst of this all the rancor within the New York Jets’ organization continues . Please , the team and the ongoing Tim Tebow , “ woe is me , you promised this , but instead I got that “ , is now beginning to wear thin and become a real pain in the ass ! Common sense, ought to now prevail , but fans are now literally _____ have been blinded by emotion , rather than using their sheer intelligence ! .

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The Jets’ season has spiraled out of control , and Rex Ryan is seeking to apportion blame elsewhere , but the “ mean-spirited “ Evil Queen , repeatedly uses the mirror, and magically places it , in front of Rex , in order for him to fully appreciate where the real blame really does lay . Personally , from the moment the trade was made for Tebow , with the organization acquiring the third year player from the Denver Broncos , I simply knew that a sideshow was about to begin ! The Jets’ coaching staff simply lacked the intelligence to know how best to use the young quarterback , and this continued idiocy , that he was good enough to be a starter in the NFL , merely because of a few fleeting moments in 2011 , was enough to indicate Tebow was a worthwhile backup to Mark Sanchez , was asinine and a real insult to those who claim to knowledgeable about the NFL . The Kool-Aid must now be the ” new elixir of life “ , either replacing 5 Hour-Energy or Viagra ? Fans , are now letting their emotions rule , rather than simply using common sense and logic in their decision-making . However, it doesn’t really come as a surprise when you read the statements being made by the fans . I wonder how many of them , with a game on the line , with their team needing a score would actually have Tim Tebow as their quarterback at such a crucial time or pivotal moment ? Chime in, with your thoughts on this .

If there’s a real story to be had in the NFL in 2012 , then it would have to encompass the play of three rookie quarterbacks this season , who have literally turned the NFL upside down, on its ear. Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson , have pretty much guaranteed their respective teams a postseason berth , whereas , Robert Griffin III , will seek to add the Washington Redskins in amongst the mix , by defeating the Dallas Cowboys in a crucial divisional game that will have a great deal more than the result riding on the outcome . A win for either for either team guarantees the NFC East divisional crown and a coveted playoff berth. Defeat , and it comes down to a season of missed opportunities , and questions arising as to where “ did we go wrong “ ?

The game itself, between the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins , will be perhaps be the most eagerly anticipated of all the games taking place during the final week of the regular season schedule.

In the AFC , the picture is essentially clear, as to the makeup for the postseason , however, what still remains undecided , are the top two berths and descending order , as three teams are seeking at least to claim one of the two spots , that guarantees a bye in the first round of the postseason . At present the Houston Texans (12-3) , Denver Broncos (12-3) and the New England Patriots (11-4) , are each vying for the two berths in question. The Texans face a daunting task, as they meet divisional rivals the Indianapolis Colts , in what is a “must win “ situation for either team .

Denver will play host to the Kansas City Chiefs at Sports Authority Field , in Denver , Colorado , and the Patriots host the fast-sliding Miami Dolphins . And as interesting as those games are likely , the buildup and the games themselves will provide a great deal suspense .

Disappointment also, can come in many guises , be it through a team’s record or the injuries sustained over the course of the season . Yet , nothing can hide the fact that in large , many of the problems suffered by the franchises , came by way of their inept play over the course of the 2012 schedule. Say what you will , but to my mind , while the jury may well still be out on the Chicago Bears (9-6), Detroit Lions (4-11), New Orleans Saints (7-8) , Pittsburgh Steelers (7-8) , Philadelphia Eagles (4-11) , and last but not least the San Diego Chargers (6-9) . It now has me wondering which head coaches , and how many will be relieved of their duties this off-season ? There’s no denying that waiting in the wings are the likes of Jon Gruden , Bill Cowher , and amongst the college ranks , Brian Kelly , Chip Kelly and dare I say it, the ubiquitous Nick Saban ?

The return of Nick Saban to the ranks of the NFL wouldn’t necessarily be a shot in the arm , but given his experiences on his first go-around , is there anyone with of the belief that he would prove to be a success at the helm of a franchise as an NFL head coach ? The asking price would be considerably high, given the success attained by Saban at the college level , but therein lies the dilemma facing an organization who might care to pursue the Alabama head coach. There is however , the belief that the coach will be one of the names atop of the list of a number of teams that will undoubtedly cast their nets afar , as they seek a replacement for a beleaguered incumbent head coach .

There now seems to be conflicting rumors as to whether or not Norv Turner will asked to return to the Chargers’ franchise in 2013. Chairman & team President , Dean Spanos , seem to be sending out mix signals concerning the head coach, as well as the future of general manager , A J Smith . I’m of the opinion that both should be relieved of their positions , once the season is over , with the organization seeking to fill both positions , in the lead-up to the 2013 NFL Draft ! A disastrous season mixed in , with some rather unbelievable decision-making by Norv Turner during the Chargers’ season , pretty much summed up the ineptitude of the team’s play over the course of 2012. And as admirable, as Philip Rivers may well have performed , I now get the feeling that the veteran quarterback’s days with the franchise are now numbered ! I truly do not believe, that the player wishes to remain with the Chargers , but demanding a trade would prove to be futile , unless a team came in with a rather generous offer for the player.

For the Philadelphia Eagles the plight of their season has been well chronicled and it now seems all but certain , that this will be the last fans will undoubtedly see of head coach Andy Reid and the team’s veteran quarterback , Michael Vick. From Vick’s indifferent play this season to the injuries that have befallen the roster , things have simply spiraled out of control for Reid and his coaching staff . The veteran will replace Nick Foles , who having started his first game for the franchise , the rookie is now on the team’s injured reserve list , having suffered a broken hand. Vick will be asked to lead the team in when they face the New York Giants at Met-Life Stadium , in East Rutherford , New Jersey. And for Eli Manning and the Giants , it is now time to put up , or shut up , as this now seems to be a team that has lost its sense of direction and purpose , Tom Coughlin’s players seek to make a late postseason charge , as they seek to claim a playoff berth. How many times must the Giants’ fans have to endure the late season antics of this franchise ?

So, what if Calvin Johnson has broken Jerry Rice’s single season receiving yards’ mark ? Given the Lions’ record this season , is that that the sole reason to laud and applaud this team ? Jim Schwartz has lost control , and the roster of players have become ill-disciplined lackluster , never mind the antics of Lions’ defensive player Ndamukong Suh , who is being given every excuse possible by the NFL hierarchy to carry on with his disgusting on-field antics ! Anyone who believes to the contrary clearly has to watching the Lions through rose-tinted glasses. Matt Stafford may well be able to sling the ball all over the field , but when the team isn’t winning , those stats simply counts for nothing .

Mike Tomlins’ Steelers played themselves in and then out of contention, and now they’re on the outside looking in. Ben Roethlisberger , the two-time winning Superbowl quarterback has been erratic throughout much of 2012 , but the biggest issues concerning the roster has been the aging core of the team and the mere fact that the rookies from 2011 and 2012 have not proven to be productive enough to put the Pittsburgh Steelers in a position to win. And for franchise that built its reputation on having a staunch defense and a decisive running game , those two facets have been missing at times throughout much of this year.

Thankfully the asinine saga of the New Orleans Saints has come to pass and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s image is now lower than an invertebrate . Being such an asshole , Goodell can step back stage , rather than come up with another lame ass suggestion to curry favor with the fans and public at large . The commissioner’s latest notion, is to increase the number of playoff teams in the postseason . As if that’s really going to heighten the interest of the fans at large , a buffoon such as Roger Goodell really needs to make a cursory exit , stage left, and remain there ! Drew Brees and the Saints’ plight can be best summed up by stating …. “ the us against the world bullshit just didn’t cut it this season” , and the team was simply deserving of its fate this season !

The fact that, the best the NFL hierarchy could come up with in this rather disgusting episode was to state that there was an environment of deceit, lies and lack of overall accountability from within the Saints’ hierarchy , pretty much sums up how out of touch with reality the NFL just happens to be ! Never-mind , the fact that Paul Tagliabue , who rendered the verdict , overturning the suspensions of the four players ( Jonathan Vilma, Anthony Hargrove, Wil Smith & Scott Fujita) embroiled in the saga (Bounty scandal) , was very much a conduit for much of what we have witnessed in terms of a lack of real leadership within the NFL hierarchy. Not unlike the current President , his administration and the shoveling of shit , that he and the US Congress would rather pile into a hole of fecal matter , that they themselves , have dug and continue to fill with their platitudes rhetoric . The NFL at present , is simply bereft of any goddamn intelligence and common sense , and the owners and the union are not that far behind , in those aspects , either !

Tagliabue , Roger Goodell’s predecessor , has been a commissioner who showed little authority , and likewise , his successor in his current role, as commissioner , has shown himself to be a considerable ass , of the highest order !

While I live within the Central Florida area , it has to be said that the three NFL franchises within the state , have proven to be a profound disappointment . The always inconsistent Tampa Bay Buccaneers(6-9) , alongside the Jacksonville Jaguars (2-13) , and the equally abysmal Miami Dolphins(7-8) , has me wondering , if the state is meant to be such a “hotbed of superlative talent” , then how the hell is it , that we can never see any semblance of consistency , much less success from either of these three instate franchises ? Your thoughts, on this, by way of a response ?

I am not about to suggest that Greg Schiano , a first-year coach , or Mike Mularkey , and Joe Philbin should be relieved of their duties as head coaches for the franchises in question ! Yet the futility shown by all three teams must make you wonder , is the state of Florida really a place that’s amenable to the NFL , in spite of apparent fervor that is said to be shown for all three teams ? In terms of home attendance, the Jaguars rank thirteenth (519,872) , amongst the NFL’s thirty-two teams , Miami Dolphins (22nd) , with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (25th- [440,819]) bringing up the rear. . Perhaps, those figures are not necessarily the best way to gauge the fan-base of the teams in question, but even if you judge by the average attendance per home game , these figures do remain paltry .

Granted , the Miami Dolphins , remains a work in progress , with a rookie helming the team at the quarterback position . Ryan Tannehill is being asked to accomplish a great deal in his first season with the Dolphins , and it is clear that while he appears to be a competent player , he is not going to set the world alight , in spite of some the idiotic prognostications that came by way of the NFL analysts and like-minded fans within this forum and at large .

The Jacksonville Jaguars are aimlessly heading nowhere , and the mildly amusing chatter , suggesting that the franchise acquire Tim Tebow , while being laudable , and trumpeted by a cacophony of “ Tebow supporters “ , this is all becoming so asinine that it is beyond belief ! Since when has the NFL become an entitlement league ? Is there a welfare check to be had ? Fuck , where is this idiocy coming from, amongst the fans ?

Josh Freeman , the Buccaneers’ first round pick (seventeenth overall) from the 2009 NFL Draft, has once again proven to be a profound disappointment in 2012. Whatever , is being taught to Freeman by Bucs’ quarterbacks coach , Ron Turner , just doesn’t seem to be sinking in with the three-year starter , as his in-game decisions have become wildly errant and bewildering to say the very least , and that is especially true with the Buccaneers this season , as evidenced by his play . If there’s said to be a bright spot with regard to the team’s play , then based upon the resounding evidence , rookie running back , Doug Martin , has proven himself to be one of the more pleasant surprises in the NFL this season . Amongst the cotillion of rookie running backs from this year’s draft , only the Redskins’ Alfred Morris , has statistically shown to be better than his NFC counterpart. Something for the Buccaneers’ fans to pin their hopes on , alas , the issues will still remain concerning the lack of a potent passing offense and a good enough defense, to be truly competitive in the NFL , for this particular franchise.

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As the NFL season is about to come to a close , which team , teams or players to your mind has provided you with the best performances of 2012 ? And who in your honest opinion has proven to be the biggest letdown of the season , by way of a player or team ? Simply leave a comment as you deem fit , and continued thanks, for the overwhelming support of this site throughout 2012 , and my heartfelt wishes to you all , for a prosperous and successful 2013 ! Thanks, as always !

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(1) New York Jets quarterback Greg McElroy , bottom, is sacked by San Diego Chargers defensive end Corey Liuget , front left, during the second half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Chargers won 27-17 . AP Photo/Bill Kostroun …

(2) New York Jets quarterbacks Mark Sanchez , left, and Tim Tebow stand next to each other during the second half of an NFL football game against the San Diego Chargers, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J. AP Photo/Kathy Willens …

(3) New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan reacts during the second half of an NFL football game against the San Diego Chargers, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J. AP Photo/Kathy Willens

(4) FILE – This Nov. 11, 2012 file photo shows New York Jets’ Tim Tebow on the field before an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks in Seattle. Rex Ryan acknowledged Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012 that he had higher expectations for the seldom-used Tebow in the Jets’ wildcat-style offense. And, so did the NFL’s most popular and maligned backup quarterback. Now when I last surveyed the NFL , I wasn’t made aware that the player was owed anything, much less that the NFL had become a ” welfare program” for the underprivileged and less talented ! . So unless Tebow is expecting a ” welfare check” , he should keep his damn mouth shut , and set about honing his goddamn game , and stop whining like a little bitch ! AP Photo/Elaine Thompson ….

(5) Far exceeding expectations, the three top performing rookie quarterbacks from the 2012 NFL Draft . From left to right , Andrew Luck , of the Indianapolis Colts , Robert Griffin III , of the Washington Redskins and Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks . RGIII seeks to join his rookie counterparts in gaining postseason berth for the Redskins . Add into the mix, the play of Andy Dalton , sophomore quarterback for the Cincinnati Bengals , who has now guided that franchise to their second successive postseason appearance in two years . Courtesy of the NY Daily News / Getty Images ….

(6) After making a field goal to win the game , New Orleans Saints kicker Garrett Hartley (5) joins teammates Chase Daniel (10) , Mike Higgins (81) and Jermon Bushrod (74) in celebration during overtime play at an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, in Arlington, Texas. The Saints won 34-31 in overtime . AP Photo/Sharon Ellman …

(7) NFL Commissioner , Roger Goodell, left, is seen here with his predecessor , Paul Tagliabue , now a corporate lawyer, in private practice, with the nationally renowned law firm , Covington & Burling LLP,. of which Taglibue is a senior partner and co-founder of the D.C. based firm. Goodell , recently recused himself from hearing the appeals’ process for the four players embroiled in the Saints’ bounty scandal. Those suspensions of Jonathan Vilma , Scott Fujita , Anthony Hargrove and Wil Smith were overturned by Paul Tagliabue , who presided over the appeals’ hearing at the behest of Roger Goodell. The commissioner was not entirely happy with the verdicts rendered , as he felt the decision undermined his authority as the NFL’s highest ranking executive , which Goodell believes gives him unlimited powers , and a wide latitude to deal with regard to players’ behavioral conduct . AP Photo / Max Glover ….

(8) St. Louis Rams corner-back Janoris Jenkins (21) runs into Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman (5) after intercepting Freeman’s pass and returning it 41 yards for a touchdown during the second quarter of an NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, in Tampa, Fla. Rams is Robert Quinn (94) blocks. AP Photo/Reinhold Matay ….

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NFL related links :

I did it may way

Somewhere to hang one’s hat

Hits , misses and a bye your leave

The year of the young guns

And clearly we’re about to agree to disagree

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NFL news & news from the around news

NFL archived news

NFL week 17 schedule

NFL standings by division

NFL standings by conference

NFL weekly leaders week 16 & week sixteen results

NFL teams stats

Jacksonville Jaguars news

Miami Dolphins news

Tampa Bay Buccaneers news

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Hot chic pic of the day Draya Michelle . No bra , just panties , and a few droplets of water in running over all of the right places , simply leaves nothing to the imagination . Wouldn’t you agree ?

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Kickin’ it with some good ol’ R&B …. Miguel ……. “Adorn”

The year of the young guns …….

The year of the young guns

By Tophatal

Well , in the aftermath of last season in the NFL , we saw the rookies excel and explode unto the scene . Perhaps , none more so, than Carolina Panthers’ quarterback , Cam Newton , whose rookie season entered the record books , under the applause of the fans and NFL analysts like.

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Granted , in 2012 , Newton has suffered something of a “sophomore slump”, but as of late the player , seems to have got his “ swagger back” , having led the Panthers to , two victories , in their last three games . The Panthers (4-9) though out of the divisional race within the NFC South , can play “ spoiler” over the remainder of their schedule , in hurting the conference and divisional aspirations of the teams they face while aiding others with a view to gaining a postseason berth. In truth, there are many, who still doubt the ability of Cam Newton , in spite of the momentary flashes of brilliance exhibited by the sophomore quarterback during this season. And a great deal of that criticism is valid, when you consider the candor and lack of maturity shown by the player. If he is to improve , then it will be incumbent upon, head coach , Ron Rivera , his quarterbacks’ coach , Mike Shula and offensive coordinator , Rob Chudzinski to get the best out of the Newton , not just as a player but also as a much more amenable character. If those traits can be imbued upon Newton , then there’s no reason not to believe why the Panthers can’t be successful in the future .

Next up for the Panthers, will be a game against the long-suffering San Diego Chargers , whose season just seems to be spiraling completely out of control. And to top it all , it is being reported that beleaguered head coach , Norv Turner , will be retained and brought back next season . My question would be , an emphatic , why ?

To discuss the issues of the Chargers would , constitute having to go through their litany of woes, one-by-one . But this call dealt with succinctly in complete sentence . Get rid of Norv Turner and general manager A J Smith , and start afresh , with regard to a new front office executive in charge of the player personnel operations , and a head who is acutely aware as to what it takes to create “ a winning brand of football “ in today’s NFL !

Veteran quarterback , Philip Rivers has been laboring under a great load , over the past three seasons at least, with the organization , under the belief that he can carry the franchise upon his shoulders , while playing at a high-caliber. If the Chargers can’t give the player , the tools to get the job done , then at least , do him the service , of allowing him to leave , rather than have him decline , while playing on an extremely bad team . For Rivers, who entered the NFL as part of that of well-versed quarterbacks in the 2004 NFL Draft , that provided us with “signal callers” , Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger , JP Losman , Matt Schaub, Craig Krenzel , Jim Sorgi , and shall we say “ several characters “ that were never to be heard from again ? Manning and Roethlisberger , between them, have won four Superbowls in their first eight seasons , joining a select group of players to share that distinction of multiple Superbowls , while playing the quarterback position , in the NFL’s biggest postseason fare.

In 2012, as it relates to this season’s Draft , and the players , who have contributed to their team’s productivity and victories . Let’s just say, we have been very privileged to have witnessed the exploits of many of these young players, over the course of this arduous sixteen-game regular season schedule. And while it has been the talents of Robert Griffin III , Andrew Luck , Doug Martin , Russell Wilson , Trent Richardson, Chandler Jones , Ty Hilton , and Alfred Morris who have had an impact this season .

Granted, it has been the “skilled positions” , such as the quarterbacks , running backs , wide receivers , tight-ends and corner-backs , from this year’s NFL Draft , who tend to attract the glare of the limelight . It should be noted that the contributions have come farther afield , and from the most unlikely of sources in terms of this particular crop of rookie players .

Certainly , in 2011 , it was Cam Newton who stood out amongst his particular rookie class . Those players , now sophomores can only hope to maintain that promise shown , in their first year , otherwise known “as their baptism of fire “ .

Andrew Luck in 2012 , has simply been stellar this season, leading an Indianapolis Colts’ team, that no one would have guessed or suggested , would be on the cusp of gaining double-digit wins, while challenging the Houston Texans (11-2) for divisional supremacy (AFC South) , and with a rookie quarterback in tow, helming the roster. The faith shown in Luck by Colts’ GM , Ryan Grigson , in making the player the team’s number one pick

in this draft, has been repaid numerous times over. I am not about to suggest that Andrew Luck , has made the fans forget about the exploits of Peyton Manning and the almost fourteen years , he spent as the franchise’s quarterback and simply obliterating whatever records that stood on the Colts’ books ! Yet, you have to admit that no one saw this coming , as it relates the player’s skill-set , or that the franchise’s fortunes would take this much of an upswing in Luck’s first season.

The Colts will face a daunting task this Sunday , when they are scheduled to take on the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium , in Houston , Texas . This is a pivotal game for both teams , with their being so much at stake , at this point of the season. This is but one, of a slew of potentially exiting games on the schedule for week fifteen. A victory for the Colts pretty much places a great deal of pressure upon Gary Kubiak and his team , as they seek to make a second consecutive appearance in the postseason. In 2011, the team had a humbling experience , when having won their first playoff game in franchise history , a 31-10 blowout of the Cincinnati Bengals in their very first postseason victory. The Texans’ subsequent match-up would be against the Baltimore Ravens in the divisional round of the 2011 postseason , a game , in which Kubiak’s players were simply outmatched , as they suffered a “stinging “ 20-13 loss .

The groundswell of support for Robert Griffin III , and what he has been able to achieve for the Washington Redskins , simply indicates to me, all of the ballyhooed hype over Tim Tebow was not warranted ! Jersey sales my ass ! How about Tebow actually showing that he possesses the damn acumen to actually play the position of quarterback , rather than these lame-assed interviews he conducts concerning wanting to be a good teammate , and help his team improve ? Rex Ryan and the entire New York Jets’ front office obviously woke up that morning , kissed each other on the ass , before deciding to trade for Tebow . I knew that Denver Broncos’ GM, John Elway built his half-billion fortune ($500,000,000), through his vast business interests , having owned several car dealerships in around the greater Denver area , as well as around the state of Colorado. It’s obvious however, he didn’t need to do a lot of arm-twisting to get the idiots from the Jets to be a “sold “ on Tebow . Does the state of New Jersey not have “lemon laws” ? Never mind , “ Snooki “ , and “ The Situation” are now researching that on behalf of the Jets’ front office . That’s great ! LOL,LOL,LOL !!!

RGIII, the “moniker “ , so commonly used to describe one of the league’s best young players . The quarterback has now made believers out of his doubters , as he now has the Redskins (7-6) , in the mix for a playoff berth within the NFC , as they sit a game behind the sixth-placed Chicago Bears (8-5) . And though the franchise has greatly improved this season , primarily because of the play of Griffin and his fellow rookie teammate , Alfred Morris. There is no denying , that there is still need for improvement , from this team . Griffin, I believe is fully cognizant of this fact , that he and his teammates will seek to do their utmost , in claiming one of those four berths available , with the top two teams from each conference gaining an automatic bye in the wildcard-round of the NFL postseason.

Teams come , and teams go , but over the past few seasons I have looked at the Seattle Seahawks and said “ were it not for their multi-billionaire owner , no one would really take notice of the franchise “! . Paul Allen , co-founder of Microsoft , passionate about the sports’ franchises he owns , but in particular about the Seahawks , has simply thrown money at almost every problem that has befallen the franchise. Case in point , can anyone justify how it is that the team’s head coach , Pete Carroll , is earning , close to $7.5 million a year ? The coach we knew had unprecedented success while at USC (Trojans) . Cheat ! Now there’s no call for that , as this was how the game was being played at the time , with just about everyone involved in College Football , suborning the actions of a school , that simply didn’t care or give a damn about NCAA violations . There were millions of dollars to be made and the Trojans’ program simply backed up their Brinks’ trucks and those in support of the program , just filled those motherfuckers up , at will .

Now look , am I saying I’ve got proof ? No , I am not , but here’s my take and I’m sticking with it , follow the goddamn money trail and it will lead you not just to the athletics department , but all the way up the ladder to hallowed offices of the board of trustees and the university’s President. ! It’s not fucking rocket science , unless you choose to be that naïve . There was a reason why then AD , Mike Garrett , stepped down , along with it came a golden pension that remains intact , without any admittance of wrongdoing on his part . As for Pete Carroll, ask him a question as to what went on , and just watch his nose extend as lie , upon lie is, uttered from his mouth . Pete , we get it , there was money to be made and Reggie’s family (Bush) needed to get theirs , as well. Nothing wrong with earning money dishonestly , just don’t fucking lie about it , that’s all . Pimpin’ “isn’t easy” , as every whore comes with a price tag , no matter how cheap or expensive the services rendered are . “Big-ups “ to you bro ! Gotta’ get paid just like everybody else .

If Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III are to viewed as the A1-A2 of the quarterbacks taken in this draft , then based upon his performances this season , the Seahawks’ Russell Wilson has to viewed as perhaps B1 ? At 8-5 , Peter Carroll’s team have slowly but surely made themselves a legitimate contender for a postseason berth , but can they viewed as a legitimate contender for the Superbowl (SBXLVII) to be staged at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome , in New Orleans, Louisiana . The Seahawks’ quarterback has found himself likely offensive weapons in Marshawn Lynch , Golden Tate and Sidney Rice . The latter pair , between them have accounted for fourteen of the twenty touchdowns passes thrown by Wilson in 2012 . There’s no denying that Seahawks are more than happy with the accomplishments of their young rookie quarterback , as they probably are with the rookies , now on the team’s roster. The surprising thing , is that while there now seems to be a budding quarterback controversy with another NFC West occupant . the San Francisco 49ers . It would appear that the Seahawks may well be set at the position for the foreseeable future , as Wilson seeks to stamp his own name , and make an indelible mark in the franchise’s record books. And with that in mind, I fully expect Wilson to feast on the Buffalo Bills’(5-8) tawdry defense when the two teams meet this upcoming Sunday in a game to be played at Ralph C Wilson Stadium , in Buffalo , New York. Your thoughts on the possible result of this upcoming event ? Chime in with a thought, as you see it .

Within the space of three weeks the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-7) have fallen out of divisional and playoff contention to being an “ also ran” and hoping that others will provide them with an assist , if they are to make the postseason. Along the way however, the lone bright spark , on an otherwise lackluster season from the Buccaneers , has been the play of the team’s rookie running back , Doug Martin. And while the questions arise as to the topsy-turvy play of quarterback , Josh Freeman , I am not so sure where this team now goes from here , and how Greg Schiano intends to rectify the ongoing problems with the Buccaneers . Inconsistency has essentially killed the hopes of this franchise and long with once again a fan-base that now seem even more disinterested in the week-to-week exploits of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Can’t say that I would blame the fans given the fact that the Avram Glazer shows about as much business acumen , in seeking to make the Buccaneers’ brand more appealing to the fans , as there at times seem to be a contempt being shown by the Glazer family (owners of the franchise) and how the view the locale at large. The Buccaneers have simply conned the city and county government , as they have sought exploit every single financial opportunity offered by those anally retentive governmental agencies !

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Which 2012 NFL rookie have you been impressed with this season , and do you believe that they will indeed be hampered by that “customary sophomore slump “ that many seem to have grown accustomed to having ? Take time to comment as you see fit, and thanks always for the continued support of this site , as it is greatly appreciated !

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(1) FILE – In this Dec. 9, 2012., file photo, Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) dives into the end zone for a touchdown as Atlanta Falcons’ Chris Owens (21) pursues during the second half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C. The Panthers second-year quarterback had his best game of the season, but the highlight occurred as he was crossing the goal line to complete a 72-yard scoring run . He somersaulted into the end zone, and as his legs were in the air, he was nudged slightly by a Falcons defensive back. AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt …

(2) Carolina Panthers’ Greg Olsen (88) and Cam Newton (1) celebrate Olsen’s a touchdown catch against the Atlanta Falcons during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt ….

(3) Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) scrambles past Atlanta Falcons’ Chris Hope (24), Kroy Biermann (71), and Sean Weatherspoon (56) during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. AP Photo/Bob Leverone ….

(4) Indianapolis Colts’ Robert Mathis (98 lifts Cassius Vaughn (32) after Vaughn intercepted a pass from Tennessee Titans quarterback Jake Locker and returned it for a 3-yard touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game , Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, in Indianapolis. AP Photo/Jeff Roberson …

(5) Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) looks up during the first half of an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, in Indianapolis. AP Photo/Jeff Roberson ….

(6) Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) passes against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half of an NFL football game in Seattle, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. The Seahawks would go on to defeat the Cardinals 58-0 . AP Photo/Stephen Brashear …

(7) Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin (22) celebrates with teammate wide receiver Tiquan Underwood after scoring against the Philadelphia Eagles during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, in Tampa, Fla. AP Photo/Chris O’Meara ….

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NFL related links : All within Tophatal’s blog

And clearly we’re about to agree, to disagree ….

Mo-fo’ protect your neck or you’ll get the fuck out

Who says you can’t go home and be welcomed back like a prodigal son

For whom the bells toll , it tolls for thee

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NFL news & news from around the league

NFL news archived articles & latest hot of the press pieces

NFL schedule week 15

NFL standings by division

NFL standings by conference

2012 NFL Draft & their rookie stats

2011 NFL Draft & their stats from that season

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Elisha Cuthbert .

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Mila Kunis

Cuthbert & Kunis . And who wouldn’t mind being in the middle as part of a triple-decker sandwich ? I know that I wouldn’t mind ! Are you in ?

Hot chics pic of the day Elisha Cuthbert & Mila Kunis .

Stability , spelled , S T A B I #### , Oh hell no !

Stability , spelled , S T A B I #### , Oh hell no !

By Tophatal ….

It’s really been interesting to see the fallout politically, in the aftermath of the Presidential and Congressional elections . With over $2.5 billion spent on television ads , to serve up the usual diatribe , not a goddamn thing changed in terms of the makeup of the Congressional chambers or within with the White House . Yet , we now have the two main political parties haranguing one another, for their lack of inaction , in getting about , and conducting the nation’s business within both chambers . I will look at this way , Rep. John Boehner , as House Leader and his Democratic counterpart in the Senate , Harry Reid , are two self-indulgent and conceited bastards ! . With their bumbling and fudging on so many issues , one has to question why the fuck they’re now acting so concerned over the “fiscal cliff malaise” . The Democrats and Republicans , collectively , have never shown the slightest concern over this issue , until the stakes were raised concerning the expiration of the Bush tax cuts “ . Now that was a man , who knew how to fuck things up , and not be prepared to take responsibility for his actions ! His successor, Barack Obama, having inherited a mess , well, his idea was to surround himself with a bunch of plutocrats and intellectuals whose idea of the real world , has been, to wet their finger , stick it up in the air and use it as a kind of weather vane to test the political climate . Why, they simply didn’t insert their fingers into each others’ ass as a true measure , might well have proven to be more productive for all of the use that it would’ve done . Smells like it shit , but it can’t be shit, because taste is so appealing to these congressmen and women . Guess what ? Shit to a congressman might just be the ” elixir of life “, and their reason to exist and live !

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Adding insult to injury , was a recent interview granted jointly, by Boehner and Reid , to Scott Pelley , the CBS news’ anchor and also one the co-hosts and presenters on the broadcast outlet’s popular prime-time news’ magazine program “60 Minutes” . The two congressional law-makers , suggested that there was a great deal of bilateral unity and that the US Congress has been productive . WTF ! Perhaps , I might have missed the day that they passed the bill , that allowed a statute ,an allotted $2 billion in pork barrel spending for projects such as the beautification of privately owned land in states such as Pennsylvania , Michigan , Wisconsin , California and Montana on a wide variety of unproductive and meaningless studies and alleged workforce related projects . Getting ten guys to dig an even bigger hole than the one they have already dug , only then to fill it in at a later date , is actually counter-productive , unless that hole will be used to dump human waste matter , Well , if that’s the case , then why not corral all 535 Congressional members and simply dump their ass in that hole along , with rest of the human waste ? .

Speaking of things that have not changed , how asinine is the situation now surrounding the New York Mets ? Having signed David Wright , their All Star , third baseman to an exorbitant and extravagant six-year $147 million deal , the cash-strapped financial organization , which last season lost in excess of $40 million , and who were pleading with wealthy New Yorker’s to do their civic and well-meaning duty by purchasing a stake in the cash-starved ball-club, as a way of providing it with some liquidity . This bright idea was initiated by none other than Mets’ COO Jeff Wilpon , who along with his father , Fred Wilpon and the team’s senior managing partner, Saul Katz , have presided over this financial morass . Funny, the damn clueless Mets’ fan, overlook the ball-club’s financial woes , but would rather point to the fact that by retaining Wright , and signing him to such a contract , provides the organization with stability. Yes , this is the sort bold-faced idiocy, one should now expect from the fans of the New York Mets . Citi-Field is > now an elephant’s graveyard and will remain that way , as long as the Wilpon family and Saul Katz are allowed to preside and reign of that franchise . Anyone who believes to the contrary , clearly knows nothing , concerning the ongoing mess that has encompassed the ball-club. Ignorance is bliss, and amongst the Mets’ fans, it has also become a way of life ! LOL,LOL,LOL !!!

And while Wright now has that “guaranteed contract” to live up to , the Mets’ Cy Young Award winner , R A Dickey, is left to haggle with the organization over a contract extension . Stability , I ask once again ? Sandy Alderson , Paul Di Podesta and J P Ricciardi do not understand the meaning of the word “ stability”, and of they happened to trip over a sign mentioning that very same word . I would dare say, that their intent would be to ignore it ! All three were brought in to revamp the organization, with regard to its personnel, gauge their prospects and the organization’s farm system . Well, let’s just say eighteen months into their soiree , and the results have added insult to injury

. Uncompetitive , lackluster and genuinely devoid of leadership on and off the field of play , and it is understandable to see why this team has struggled in the way that it has during 2012 .

Next season may not bring much joy or success for the New York Mets , as they will undoubtedly seek room for improvement , as too will their divisional rivals , the Atlanta Braves , Miami Marlins , Philadelphia Phillies and the Washington Nationals . The chasm between the Mets , and the divisional winners , Davey Johnson’s Nationals , should prove to be enough an indicator , of how high a mountain , Terry Collins and his managerial staff will have to climb.

I’ll say this, for Magic Johnson and the syndicated partners who purchased the Los Angeles Dodgers for a staggering $2.156 billion , leaving no one in any doubt that the purchase price paid , was merely a sign of things to come . The changeover from the old brigade of Frank McCourt , and CFO Peter Wilhelm , was long overdue . But there have been some holdovers , with Tommy LaSorda and GM Ned Colletti remaining with the organization. LaSorda’s position , is a roving goodwill ambassador special consultant . In other words Tommy still gets to keep that corner office overlooking the parking lot , in order for him to take his mid-afternoon naps and stay the hell out-of-the-way of Don Mattingly and his managerial staff. Colletti, for his part, will have to show his acumen, as it relates to the personnel decisions that will have to be made. Stan Kasten , specifically brought in by Johnson and senior managing partner, Mark L Walters , will be directly over Ned Colletti , in the hierarchy structure of the newly revamped Dodgers organization. As to things begin to take shape , will be predicated upon the inevitable changes that will undoubtedly be ,made and the overall decision-making of the senior executives .

We were able to see for ourselves how gregarious Magic Johnson was said to be , when he initiated the initial overtures to the Boston Red Sox to acquire Nick Punto , Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez , while adding $176 million in future salary commitments for the team. In all four former Red Sox players were acquired in what was a ten-player two team trade . The addition of the aforementioned players was not enough to secure the Dodgers a playoff berth , as the franchise saw the San Francisco Giants not only take the NL West divisional crown , but also the NL pennant , and to top it all , the World Series, itself. The triumph of the San Francisco Giants
will have left a bitter taste in the mouths of the Dodgers’ fans
, as well as the organization as a whole .

The Dodgers have been quick to pull the trigger this off-season quickly releasing players that they felt were superfluous to their needs . Once a mainstay on the Dodgers’ roster , James Loney . recently found himself a new home , signing one year deal with the Tampa Bay Rays. That addition will undoubtedly help the Rays and their lackluster offense . As to the Dodgers’ own needs , well it has been one of pitching , and that was plain for all to see by way of the team’s statistics . With that mind , Don Mattingly made an outlandish offer to the 2009 NL Cy Young winner Zach Greinke as the starting pitcher was given a six-year $147 million deal , making Greinke the highest paid pitcher on the team’s staff . With money now being of no option to the Dodgers , with the backing of venture capital firm Guggenheim Partners LLC , the primary owners of the baseball franchise through their sports’ holding unit Guggenheim Sports & Investments LLC . Guggenheim with assets of $180 billion , the company is headed by Mark L Walters and Todd S Boehly , with the venture capital firm having offices around the globe , most notably in some the major international financial capital markets . .

I’ve no doubt that the Los Angeles Dodgers will be competitive for the foreseeable future but the biggest obstacle to that will be the San Francisco Giants . Their meetings over the past five years have proven to be thrilling . It will be interesting to see how Greinke fits in with the existing rotation of the Dodgers, headed by Clayton Kershaw , Chris Capuano, Aaron Harang , Chad Billingsley, Ronnie Belisario and the relief pitching staff .

While the Los Angeles Dodgers look to “become “ the New York Yankees of the NL , the actual AL franchise is now troubled by injuries to key players and with an aging roster , questions are being asked , as to what players are being developed through their farm system , that might be ready for promotion up the ranks . Alex Rodriguez will be sidelined through to the month of June , as he undergoes hip surgery and the recuperation process. The loss of the third-baseman might not be as pressing as some might perceive, given the player’s lack of productivity during the regular and postseason for the team . The Yankees’ foray in the playoffs was short-lived , due to the lack of productivity by the players under Joe Girardi’s command. Curtis Granderson , Mark Teixeira , Nick Swisher , Brett Gardner and Rodriguez failed miserably as the team fell to the Detroit Tigers .

With Alex Rodriguez sidelined , the Yankees’ opened up their pocket-book and offered a one-year $12 million contract , to former Boston Red Sox , first baseman , Kevin Youkilis , acquiring the player as a free agent . Youkilis , if you remember , ran afoul of former Red Sox manager, Bobby Valentine , who engineered the player’s trade to the Chicago White Sox , during the season . If anything, that was a sign of things to come for franchise, as their season fell apart , with it, ultimately leading to Valentine’s dismissal , but not before , other major upheavals amongst the playing staff led to discord amongst the fans and the local media personalities , with their heated criticism of the then , beleaguered, Bobby Valentine, as well as the front office , with much of their heated venom directed at team President , Larry Lucchino and team owner, John Henry . With the firing of Bobby Valentine , GM Ben Cherington has hired , the candidate he originally sought for the managerial position , John Farrell . The newly installed manager , a former pitching coach with the ball-club , is certainly well-liked by a number of players on the roster , especially amongst the current pitching staff. Cherington, hopes that Farrell can engineer an immediate turnaround, that will see the team become a major challenger to the ever-present Yankees , Tampa Bay Rays , as well the reinvigorated Baltimore Orioles, and the middle of the road contender , the Toronto Blue Jays. Baseball’s need for the AL East to be competitive and exciting , year in , and year out , is paramount , if it is to attract the attention of the fans throughout the season.

I’m sorry, but being sent to “ baseball purgatory “ , is nothing to be proud of ! When the Tampa Bay Rays , made the announcement that they would be sending pitchers , Wade Davis and James Shields to the Kansas City Royals . Not only was I surprised , but I kept asking myself , did either of the two players do something to piss off management , much less the ownership group ? That might well be one explanation , but the fact that both now , Davis and Shields , are now said to be excited about playing for the Royals . Well, it leads me to believe , that they may well have been duped ! In return for the trade , Joe Maddon , gets budding prospect , Wil Myers and four other prospects from the Kansas City Royals. Long-term, this trade may well benefit the Rays , but with regard to the team’s needs and its immediacy , this was nothing more than a penny-pinching exercise by GM Andrew Friedman .

Joe Maddon and Friedman , will have a hard time trying to convince the most vocal of Rays’ supporters , of which they are not that many, that the loss of Shields in particular will not be felt . Beyond Shields and David Price , they were few pitchers in the Rays’ starting lineup , that could give the manager some “quality innings ” and starts during 2012 . And with the credible presence of Jeremy Hellickson , I firmly believe that the Rays will regress in terms of their overall pitching this upcoming season ! And predicated upon what we already know to be true, Friedman will not overpay for talent , because of the ball-club’s wish to be financially prudent .

Bearing in mind, that this month the Rays’ sought to make Evan Longoria the highest-paid player in the franchise’s history , by offering him a contract , worth $100 million over six years , effective, in 2016. Granted, Longoria is seen as the “ face of the franchise “, and perhaps , one the most popular players in Rays’ history.One man . on his own , cannot carry the load, that is being asked of Longoria by the organization, and it is incumbent upon Andrew Friedman to place the best roster around a player of Evan Longoria’s skill-set , in order for the Rays to succeed. As of now , I don’t believe the evidence is there to suggest the success sought will come about in a short matter of time. This ball-club has toiled for its success over the past fourteen seasons , but it has only been in the last six years , where the Rays’ peers and their fans have really stood , and taken note of the franchise’s success . True in part , one appearance in the World Series and a series’ defeat , has to be seen as minimal , but for the Rays’ fans who have had to endure those losing seasons , they would rather take that lone appearance , and the recent successes, over the years in the wilderness when this ball-club was being ridiculed every step of the way.

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What opinions if any, do you have that might be on appearance deemed capricious spending by the teams as they sign contracted players to long-term deals or in the case of Zack Greinke , a rather ludicrous and exorbitant contract , that simply makes no sense, given his lack of tangible success since 2009 ? And do you believe that either the New York Mets or Tampa Bay Rays can be truly competitive this upcoming season ? Chime in with your thoughts and anything else you believe warrants interest as it relates to the subject matter .

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(1) President Barack Obama and former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney shake hands in the Oval Office after their lunch Thursday at the White House. The two met in hope of forming a bilateral approach , in tackling many of the nation’s underlying issues . The former Massachusetts’ governor has promised to aid the President in any way that he can. AP Photo / Mark Hanson …

(2) U.S. President Barack Obama (2R) shakes hands with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney as first lady Michelle Obama (L) and Ann Romney look on after the debate at the Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center at Lynn University on October 22, 2012 in Boca Raton, Florida. The focus for the final presidential debate before Election Day on November 6 is foreign policy. Getty Images North America/ Joe Raedle …

(3) Speaker of the House , John Boehner , left , is seen here alongside President Barack Obama , center, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid . The three have routinely met in recent months , trying avert a “fiscal crisis ” , but in recent months in the lead-up to the automatic “kick in” of tax increases on January 1st , 2013, there have been more frequent meetings and telephone conversations tasking between the President and the Speaker, Boehner as they seek to avert this looming financial crisis . With Congress due to vacate Capitol Hill for their winter break by 20th December , there seems little doubt as to the urgency and delicateness of the matter , but because of the incessant bickering between the “two sides” no common ground has been found . AFP/REUTERS/ Anatoly Litvikov ….

(4) FILE – In this Sept. 27, 2012, file photo, New York Mets starting pitcher R.A. Dickey delivers against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the first inning of a baseball game at Citi Field in New York. Dickey and Mets general manager Sandy Alderson can agree on one thing _ they would prefer to have closure before opening day. The Cy Young Award winner can become a free agent after the 2013 season and says he won’t negotiate once it starts, so the Mets probably have to sign him to an extension or trade him to get the best return. AP Photo/Kathy Willens ….

(5) New Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke adjusts his cap during a baseball news conference announcing his $147 million, six-year contract, Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012, in Los Angeles. The Dodgers also closed a deal when signing South Korean pitcher, Ryu Hun-Jin , to a six-year $36 million contract . AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes …

(6) Los Angeles Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti , left, and co-owner, Magic Johnson, right, present pitcher Ryu Hyun-Jin , center, of South Korea, during a baseball news conference announcing his $36 million, six-year contract, Monday, Dec. 10, 2012, in Los Angeles. Ryu becomes the first player to go directly from the Korea Baseball Organization to the United States big leagues. AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes …

(7)Kansas City Royals pitcher James Shields, center, held up his new jersey, flanked by Royals general manager Dayton Moore, left, and Royals head coach Ned Yost , during a press conference at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012. Shields and Wade Davis arrived in Kansas City to undergo physicals and check out the stadium from the home clubhouse for the first time. Shields and Davis became members of the Royals on Sunday in a blockbuster trade that sent top prospect Wil Myers and three other minor leaguers to Tampa Bay. AP Photo/The Kansas City Star, David Eulitt …

(8) Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria , smiles as he answers questions during a news conference after signing a six-year, $100 million, contract extension Monday, Nov. 26, 2012, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Longoria is signed with the Rays through the 2022 season. AP Photo/Chris O’Meara …..)

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US Jamaican native Vanessa Veasley .

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.

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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 .

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Picture gallery and slideshow details .

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(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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Bang The Drum Loudly …… The NBA Is … Better Than Ever ?

Bang The Drum Loudly …… The NBA Is … Better Than Ever ?

By tophatal … 06/15/2012 …. 11:45PM (EST)

The NBA postseason is definitely now in full swing , and the league hierarchy under David Stern have to be feeling extremely pleased with themselves . The very fact that two teams contesting the NBA Finals are considered the two best left at this stage of the competition . It pits perhaps the league’s best all round player against its most prolific scorer. The Miami Heat the Eastern Conference representative against the Oklahoma City Thunder , and their team led by Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook . To counteract the presence of Durant and Westbrook , coach Erik Spoelstra knows that he can rely upon LeBron James and Dwyane Wade to provide his team with the brunt of the offensive productivity sought throughout this series .

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For team franchise owners’ Micky Arison and Clay Bennett have been given the authority and responsibility to be make sure that fans are best entertained by the play exhibited on court . I have no doubt that both Arison and Bennett will imbue their respective head coaches Erik Spoelstra and Scott Brooks as to what is expected during the 2012 NBA Finals . The series is now tied at (1-1) one game apiece after the Heat’s narrow but spirited victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder. Games three through five , now reverts to the city of Miami where those games will be played at the AA Arena , in Miami , Florida . Sunday , in what is sure to be a sellout crowd in attendance , the resumption of the series is again up and running , with the Heat looking to make sure that the home-court advantage does work in their favor .

If LeBron James and his teammates can attain a victory then most definitely the series tilts in their favor . Beyond the Heat’s ‘Big Three’ of James , Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh , it would appear that in game two the Miami Heat found themselves a new go-to-guy in Shane Battier . Now whether or not Battier can reproduce the form shown in that game or perhaps another Heat role player can step up to the plate , it remains to be seen .

Scott Brooks knows that his team could have been 2-0 up in these Finals , had his players handled the ball more securely . Game two , exhibited turnovers by Oklahoma City Thunder , something that Brooks will seek to have his players address . And that will most certainly be something that Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook will have to take care of. Moreover , the players cannot afford to start these game off slowly , in allowing the Miami Heat to take an early lead and letting them retain that lead . Thabo Sefalosha , Kendrick Perkins , Serge Ibaka , Derek Fisher and Nick Collison will most certainly have to contribute a great deal more to this series , and when one bears in mind what Durant , Westbrook and James Harden have been able to achieve throughout the NBA Playoffs has been remarkable.

Undoubtedly , 2012 NBA Finals are living up to the “hype “ and a great deal more . However, with comparisons now being made with the apparent era of Durant & James , now we are told has begun . Many NBA writers and analysts are describing this budding rivalry as being similar in its magnitude as to the “ epic battles “ between Hall of Fame players , Larry Bird and Magic Johnson , when the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers had those monumental Finals’ series , as well as those regular season games .

Inasmuch , as I like the attributes that Durant and James bring to the game , it is far too early to make such comparisons , as to a rivalry that is on a similar scale as that Bird and Magic Johnson . Those icons of the game have certainly cemented their legacies and without a doubt one simply cannot deny what they were able to do , that raised the profile of the game at the collegiate level and then within the professional ranks of the NBA . Kevin Durant and LeBron James are a long way off from achieving the accolades and acclaim of the famed duo from perhaps the “ richest era “ of the NBA’s history . Moreover , that is with due credit of the Michael Jordan “ legacy “ and “ era “ within the NBA and the historical achievements with the Chicago Bulls .

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

What if anything do you anticipate seeing as the NBA Finals now unfolds ? Do leave a comment as you see fit and thank s as always for the continued support of this site .

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(1) Chris Bosh (L) of the Miami Heat is guarded by James Harden (R) of the Oklahoma City Thunder during Game 3 of the NBA Finals on June 17, 2012 at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. The Heat won 91-85 to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series . AFP PHOTO / DON EMMERTDON EMMERT/AFP/GettyImages ….

(2) Head coach Scott Brooks of the Oklahoma City Thunder looks on as he answers questions from the media after the Thunder lost 91-85 against the Miami Heat in Game Three of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 17, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images …..

(3) Nick Collison (4) of the Oklahoma City Thunder goes to the basket against Dwyane Wade (3) of the Miami Heat in Game Three of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 17, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. Photo by Mike Segar-Pool/Getty Images …

(4) Oklahoma City Thunder Kevin Durant gets off a shot against Miami Heat during the NBA Finals game between the Miami Heat and the Oklahoma City Thunder 17 June, 2012 at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. AFP PHOTO/POOL/LARRY SMITH …Larry W Smith/AFP/GettyImages …

(5) MIAMI, FL – JUNE 17: (L-R) Kevin Durant (35) and LeBron James (6) of the Miami Heat look on in the second half of Game Three of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 17, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

(6) Magic Johnson (left) and Larry Bird seen here as college athletes , whose friendship and rivalry at the collegiate level and within the NBA simply transcended the sport . Today the duo have a life-long friendship that has stood for over three decades . Mike Portmann ….

(7) Bird and Magic square off in the 83-84 NBA Finals in which the Celtics would prevail in the series 4-3 . Reuters/ Arnold Hughes …..
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Nas …. feat’g …. Kanye West …. ” Still Dreaming ”

Volume ………………..

Volume ……………


I don’t know whether it’s sheer stupidity on my part or just my love of sports and the fact that I love to exchange thoughts on a wide variety of subjects that are far reaching and that have depth. But sports for me is the one topic I find that the inter change between myself and others within this particular forum can be insightful. Obviously we can’t always agree on any one particular aspect of a subject matter. But as long as there’s a healthy respect between the two parties then it’s all well and good.

As  long as  we  can  have   fun  doing  this  , then  it  all becomes worthwhile   !
As long as we can have fun doing this , then it all becomes worthwhile !

Within the wordpress.com forum, I initiated four sites that I actually write within. I was also asked to contribute to another site wherein there was a sister site also. The two sites in question were the basketballoracle.com and the americansportsblog . Both of the proprietors of the sites in question , are rabid sports’ fans . But unfortunately, their naivete’ and a total lack understanding of what it takes to build up a site to respectability and interest in my opinion, has led to their somewhat lack of interest and response from readers this sphere and forum.

Since my departure from the Fox forum and their somewhat archaic values ! I’ve found a ‘new lease of life’ branching out and doing my own stuff, here within wordpress. And along the way it’s been fun to find out that many of my other acquaintances from Fox have gone and branched out themselves. From Moon Dog , to sportschump to , ‘KP’ with his , ‘the wife hate sports’ site ( http://thewifehatessports.com/ [ highly recommended reading !]) . Well, it’s been fun to find out that these guys now flourishing in their new endeavors and that the content of their work is still, as good as ever !

Along the way also in surfing the ‘net’ and the blog sites devoted to sports, I’ve found the following that I for one thoroughly enjoy. These sites though sports oriented , do cover other off-beat and topical subjects as well as sports. The guys of ‘Too Old For Maxim Too Young For Esquire http://2oldformaxim.wordpress.com have a ‘great site’ that is as funny as they come. Often topical, often upbeat but always very sincere and reverent, with regards to their subject matter. ‘Ronin’, ‘Erik’ and ‘Steve’ make this a fun and topical site, where your comments though not always initially answered are given due respect when they respond. The same too can be said of the guys of ‘doin-work.com’ ( http://doin-work.com) and their site. Chicken soup for the soul shall we say ? Boy, do these guys know how to have fun or what ? Never mind that they’ll blow their own trumpet as with regards to their teams with their unbridled passion for them all. And given the fact that their support for teams such as the ‘Raiders’ and ‘A’s’ is unyielding. I wouldn’t expect any-the-less from this quartet of rabid sports’ fans ! chappy 81, mceezy, dyslecix and cali4dre just seem to have been ‘hittin’ the long ball’out of the ballpark for quite a while now. Kudos to them for the efforts !

<strong>  And   guys  <em> for  God's   sake try  not  to  do  this </em>....at  home    !  </strong>   In  the end   <strong> it  hurts us  more than  we tend  to  gain  from  it  ! . Please ......... learn  </strong>  from  the  experience   ?
And guys for God's sake try not to do this ....at home ! In the end it hurts us more than we tend to gain from it ! . Please ......... learn from the experience ?

Bobbygee , ( http://defutebol.net/ ) the ‘irreverent soccer nut’, simply won’t let the sport go down without an impassioned fight. He gives you updates on all of the major leagues that matter and his insight on the sport is second to none. And even if you aren’t a fan of the game he simply lays it out all to you in layman’s terms. If you’re unable to comprehend then there’s got to be something wrong on your part. Either that , or you find the sport about as interesting as watching paint dry or Rosie O’Donnell disrobe, while trying to prove to you that, she too can be as sexually overt as Angelina Jolie . Heavens forbid but O’Donnell stripping has to be an utterly ghastly sight !

Staying with the sport of soccer in general . There aren’t too many females with a knowledge of the sport , much less a thorough and wide ranging knowledge of sports in general. But here I’ve found a fellow Brit, like myself, who knows a thing or two about the sport. Her in depth look at the Premiership (EPL) and the teams therein, are as factual and insightful as any guy or reputable writer on the sport there is. Vaishali Bhardwaj’s site(http://vaishalibhardwaj.wordpress.com ) is good as they come but as I’ve alluded to before . Unless you’re a keen ‘soccer buff’, then you won’t find the sport or her analysis at all interesting. But make of it what you will.

The quartet of sites that I maintain within the forum are essentially on all on sports. But I have been known to delve outside the genre to cover politics and international affairs as well as business. But that asides, sports is an unbridled passion of mine. Just call me a sport’s geek , as that’s how I like to think of myself. Especially as an avid fans of the Spurs (NBA), Patriots (NFL), Marlins, (MLB) and of ‘both’ Premiership (EPL) soccer teams, Chelsea and Manchester United . What can I say ? I’m literally ‘torn between the two teams’ when it comes to my supporting them both. Four sites , 350 posts, well over 153,000 hits and 2,200 plus responses. So to my mind, there’s to be room for improvement on all fronts, creatively and content wise. I’ll aim to do my best in offering up pieces that you’ll not only find interesting but will also provide you with some room for thought ? So thanks as always for your continued support and comments . For my fellow bloggers out there , just keep up the good work !

Sites ……………..

https://tophatal.wordpress.com

http://abritishman.wordpress.com

http://theoraclesays.wordpress.com

http://tophatal1.wordpress.com

Alan Parkins aka ‘tophatal’ …………..

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Bollywood star actress and model Anjanu Sukhani . Voted one of India's most beautiful women , she's one of her country's most sought after and well respected celebrities , male or female.

‘Bollywood’ actress and movie star Anjanu Sujkhani. Voted one of India’s most beautiful women , she’s also one of her country’s most sought after celebrities , male or female. Though yet to make it big internationally , Sukhani is now beginning to reach a much wider audience internationally as her movies are becoming more widely accepted on the international film arena. She’s quietly building a budding international fan-base.