The Work You Put In Provides You With Results In The End ….

 

The Work You Put In Provides You With Results In The End ….

Well, it’s been a long time coming, after a season of thrills, spills and in some cases utter despair. Now the NFL Postseason is upon us and the wildcard round began in earnest with some thrilling games. None more so perhaps, than the game between the Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts , two divisional rivals who split their season series in 2018. With so much at stake both quarterbacks , Andrew Luck of the Colts and DeShaun Watson of the Texans had to be at their very best. This was clearly the case as both players sought to exhibit their very best during this AFC Wildcard Round contest.


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Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts steamrolled through a Houston Texans’ defense which appeared non-existent on their way to a 21-7 victory . The Colts will now look forward to meeting the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Divisional Round of this postseason .

Far be it for me to suggest , but Jason Garrett of the Dallas Cowboys must have known that it had to be now or never to prove himself as the Head Coach of this franchise. Garrett’s record in the postseason has not been an enviable one in comparison to many of his predecessors. In Saturday’s home game against the Seattle Seahawks , the Dallas Cowboys were up against a team looking to make their mark once again. Opposing quarterbacks Dak Prescott of the Cowboys and Russell Wilson entered into this game needing to prove that they were among the best within the league and most certainly among the best within the NFC over the course of the season. Dallas would get the better of the Seahawks in the contest , moving on to the next round where they will meet the Los Angeles Rams on the road , in a game which should prove to be very exciting.

OK , so with the NFL now moving on to the Divisional Round , it will be interesting to see who these match-ups will play out and what the teams will bring to the table by way of their play. Defending Superbowl champions the Philadelphia Eagles were lucky to get by the Chicago Bears , whose defense simply didn’t do enough to allow the team to get any type traction in the game. Mitch Trubisky played well , but his counterpart Nick Foles played with a lot more poise and showed leadership when needed. Of the Divisional Round contests set to take place this upcoming weekend , the most appealing might well be the contest between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Indianapolis Colts . Yet I do believe the game between the Los Angeles Chargers and New England Patriots , could provide a major upset as Chargers’ quarterback Philip Rivers takes this franchise to their furthest appearance in the postseason of the past fifteen years.

The past three days within the NBA and the results seen should be a real indicator of what not actually to expect given the inconsistency seen from the teams. The Los Angeles Lakers have been without LeBron James for the past couple of games during which the team has not fared that well. A blowout loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves , just proved that their victory over the Golden State Warriors should be seen for what it was , merely an aberration . Next up for the Los Angeles Lakers will be a match-up against the Dallas Mavericks on Monday evening , a game where the Lakers will have to be at their very best against a Mavericks’ team looking to play their way into playoff contention . With aging veteran Dirk Nowitzki now playing a slightly less competitive role for the team , it will be interesting to see how Dirk performs against the Lakers in this contest .

Of late both the Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs have been on impressive win streaks , with notching a mark of 8-2 . San Antonio’s most impressive victory would have to be the one over the Toronto Raptors , the team with the best record in the league at this juncture , with the Raptors being the first to notch thirty victories this season within the NBA . Since that victory the Spurs have played with consistency , with production coming from all of their players. Next up for the Spurs will be a game against the Detroit Pistons on the road against a very good Eastern Conference team.

The firing of Tom Thibodeau as the Head Coach and as a
front office executive
within the Minnesota Timberwolves’ franchise, sent shock waves around the NBA. After the death of Flip Saunders , there was enough tumult within the organization . Ryan Saunders has since assumed the interim coaching position for the Timberwolves , with Scott Layden assuming the General Manager’s position . Glenn Taylor remains team owner , but his advanced age has seen him relinquish certain roles to subordinates within the Timberwolves’ hierarchy . The upheaval and the constant bickering with Thibodeau unable to corral his players led to the dismissal of the coach for the second time during his professional career , with his first firing coming as the former Head Coach of the Chicago Bulls , who this year fired Fred Hoiberg , after that team’s abysmal start to the season .

It is becoming extremely difficult to see where the Minnesota Timberwolves no go from here. With an extremely young roster , and winning having become extremely difficult for the team. It will be interesting to see if Ryan Saunders can show the pedigree of his late father, Flip Saunders , as he seeks to lead the franchise back to prosperity and success. Over their last fifteen games the Timberwolves are 6-0 , though not among the worst in the league, but their last ten games have shown the team to be in a truly dire situation . In their next game the Timberwolves will be facing the Oklahoma City on the road on the 8th January ,2019 , one of the slew of games being played on Tuesday evening . . With Minnesota having built their roster around the Karl-Anthony Townes , Andrew Wiggins and the veteran presence of former League MVP point guard Derrick Rose . A rebuilding process cannot be allowed to ensue within a franchise which is in such dire straits

If the Minnesota Timberwolves are said to be floundering, then the woes of the New York Knicks continue unabated . This franchise remains in a quagmire even after the three moribund and unproductive years under Phil Jackson’s tenure as a front office executive within this franchise. The fact of the matter is , even with Dave Fizdale coaching this roster , this team is simply not good enough to win on a consistent basis . The longest win-streak put together by this team lasted no more than three games. A sad state of affairs for a franchise considered to be one of the most renowned in the NBA. . Fizdale and the team are in action for their next game which pits the New York Knicks against the Golden State Warriors . This is not a game I believe the Knicks are capable of winning at all and it is likely to end in a rout of the Eastern Conference franchise .

So what was heralded as a memorable slug-fest turned out to be a complete rout as Clemson annihilated Alabama to win their third BCS National Title in the last five years . Alabama long revered as the best program in College Football now sees itself as having been surpassed by this Dabo Swinney coached team . Swinney’s opposite number Nick Saban must now think hard as to what needs to be done in order for Alabama to remain relevant and at the top of the food chain.


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With the sporting events you have witnessed over the past week or so , what do you believe were the biggest failings of the teams or athletes who failed to deliver ?


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The Ball Is In Your Court ….

The Ball Is In Your Court ….

We’re not yet a month into the NBA season and already there has been a coaching dismissal within the league when it was announced that the Cleveland Cavaliers fired Tyronn Lue from his position as the Head Coach of the franchise . Lue had coached the Cavaliers to the 2016-17 NBA Finals . Cavaliers’ team owner , billionaire Dan Gilbert and team General Manager Koby Altman have named Larry Drew as the Interim Head Coach for the rest of the season.

Six games into this season and the Cleveland Cavaliers are win-less , with the worst record in the league. Granted , the departure of LeBron James , with his joining the Los Angeles Lakers would definitely leave a gigantic chasm within the organization. Yet at the end of the day, poor decisions made by the front office has led to this debacle. It remains to be seen how the Cavaliers will seek to dig themselves out of this hole , especially as the team enters the Christmas schedule, the play tends to dictate what we would should expect over the remainder of the season.


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The next game up for the Cleveland Cavaliers will see them face the Denver Nuggets , one of the hottest teams in the Western Conference at this point of the season. That match-up will take place on the 1st November at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland , Ohio , where the Cavaliers are win-less .

With all of the bally-hoo that surrounded LeBron James’ arrival in Los Angeles, with his joining the Los Angeles Lakers. You would have thought that the whole world was about to fall off its axis. Lakers’ fans were replete with their new jerseys bearing James’ name and number. The thinking was , with James’ signing with the franchise , a slew of free agents would be willing to join him as well. It didn’t happen and if you think that Rajon Rondo is going to provide the Lakers with the offense they need, then think again. Rondo’s best years are behind him rather than ahead of him. Coached by Luke Walton , the Los Angeles Lakers have stumbled out of the gate , performing like a team lacking in direction. I understand that it will take time for LeBron James to acclimatize himself to his new surroundings , but his teammates have hardly made their presence felt at all this season.

Next up for the Los Angeles Lakers will be a game against the Dallas Mavericks at the Staples Center , in Los Angeles , California on Wednesday , 31st October. There have been rumblings with the Lakers having begun the season so languidly , calls for the firing of Luke Walton as the Head Coach have been on the rise. I seriously doubt that Magic Johnson , Head of Basketball Operations or GM Rob Pelinka would consider Walton’s dismissal at this juncture.

The Milwaukee Bucks are the only remaining team in the NBA who have yet to lose a game. Led by their All Star, Giannis Antentokounmpou , this is a team where there are great expectations for this season. . With the lineup that the Bucks have and the coaching ingenuity being shown by Mike Budenholzer , there is a very good chance this team could very well make the NBA Playoffs .

All teams will have to go through the Golden State Warriors , if it’s their belief that they have what it takes to win the NBA title for this season. Now while Los Angeles Lakers’ fans believe they will have a say within the Western Conference, they have done nothing at all to convince me that they can compete with the best that the conference has to offer. Klay Thompson might not be the best player on the Warriors’ roster , but anywhere else he might be among the top-two players on any other franchise within the NBA . Thompson chalked up another franchise and personal best in a recent game for the Warriors when he recorded fourteen three-pointers made in a match-up
against the Chicago Bulls , who appeared to be a completely listless team .

I have no doubt in my mind the Golden State Warriors are by far the best team in the NBA and their only chance of not making a successful defense of their title will come through their own complacency !

Well we’ve reached the halfway point of the NFL season and the trade deadline is about to come into play. Yet the main news’ story within the league , has been the dismissal of Hu Jackson as the Head Coach of the Cleveland Browns along with offensive coordinator Todd Haley . Gregg Williams has been made the interim Head Coach until the end of the season and could parlay the gig if he is able to lead the team to moderate finish and standing in the NFL by season’s end. Baker Mayfield who was the number one overall pick in the NFL Draft as well as the top quarterback taken , has performed inconsistently through no fault of his own. On defense as well as offense the Browns have been abysmal all season long. Suffice to say, if they don’t end up with the worst record in the NFL , then once again they could be assured of having another top-five pick in the next NFL Draft.

With a record of 2-5-1 , at least the Cleveland Browns are assured of bettering last season’s mark within the NFL. Next up for the Browns in week nine , they will face the Kansas City Chiefs (7-1) in a game that should prove to be very entertaining. Victory for the Chiefs assures them of clinching their division as well as a postseason berth within the AFC .

It wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility to suggest that Eli Manning is now treading water as it relates to his career ? Two Superbowl victories are > accommodating when padding out his career achievements, but over the last four seasons , Manning has been nothing more than a moderate quarterback at best. His and that of the New York Giants’ record for this season (1-7) is truly reflective of a really bad team on its very last legs. Odell Beckham has proven to be just a player known for spectacular one-handed catches , but when it comes showing leadership and maturity, he is nowhere to be seen . Giants’ Head Coach Pat Shurmur is on the ‘ hot seat’ and it seems unlikely he will be returning next season , given the lack of success seen this season. The New York Giants are in need of an upgrade across their entire roster.

When the Pat Shurmur prepares his team for their next outing let’s hope that the New York Giants’ performance is a great deal better than their last five games combined. The team will be facing conference rivals the San Francisco 49ers in a game where a victory is certainly needed by both teams.

While the Philadelphia Eagles caught everyone by surprise
during
the postseason of 2017 on the way to the franchise’s
first Superbowl victory. This season the team has fallen back to earth with a colossal thud. They’re barely competing within the NFC East , perhaps the most overrated division in all of football. . The only team with a winning record in the division are the Washington Redskins (5-2) as they head into week nine of the regular season. Doug Pederson will prepare the Eagles to face the Dallas Cowboys in week ten of the schedule , while the Redskins will be in action against the Atlanta Falcons during week nine .

The runaway leaders within the NFC are the unbeaten Los Angeles Rams (8-0) led by their quarterback Jared Goff , whose talents have been on display throughout much of this season for his team . Jared Goff has led the Rams to an eight-game unbeaten streak by far the best in the league this season as the team has the best record in the NFL. Goff’s teammate Todd Gurley might well be the runaway leader in the first half of the season for League MVP . His all-round contributions for the Rams have been impressive to say the very least. I fully expect the Los Angeles Rams to extend their winning streak to nine games when
they face the New Orleans Saints (6-1) on Sunday afternoon . This is likely to be one of the better contests taking place in the NFL that afternoon.

I’ve always maintained that with the death of Al Davis , the Oakland Raiders would never be the franchise where there would be a constant interest in . That has rang true with his son Mark Davis taking over the reins of the franchise with Reggie McKenzie still in charge as the General Manager. Unfortunately their luring Jon Gruden out of retirement hasn’t worked wonders for the Raiders this season . Bear in mind Gruden was offered a ten-year $100 million deal , making him the highest coach in the NFL . A 1-6 record at this point of the season , with the Raiders having one of the worst defenses in the league and you can well understand why there might be clamoring for something drastic to take place among the team’s lineup .

If Jon Gruden is building for the future then , it doesn’t bode well for the Oakland Raiders then his track-record should be seen as a warning sign. During his time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as well as his earlier stint with the Raiders, he has never drafted or developed a player of real note. All the optimism in the world among the franchise’s fans cannot hide the fact that this was an erroneous in the hiring of Jon Gruden. The coach will now have to muster the masses as he seeks to get the Oakland Raiders’ second win of the season when this team takes on the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday night .

It might well have been the most lopsided World Series in the last decade, with the Los Angeles Dodgers (1-4) falling to the Boston Red Sox (4-1) with the utmost of ease. All of the money spent by the franchise on players since 2012 , has been well in excess of $1.6 billion and then you factor in the $2.2 billion paid by the ownership group to purchase the franchise. You simply get the feeling that there’s been more waste expended by the club than was needed. The lone factor of hope out of this all might well be that the Dodgers’ front office might have solved a glaring need when they obtained Manny Machado in a trade from the Baltimore Orioles. Machado and Walker Buehler were the only bright spots for the Dodgers through much of the postseason.

With Clayton Kershaw now said to be considering opting out of his contract , which still has two years left on one of the most expensive deals in baseball history . It would be foolish if the Los Angeles Dodgers were to allow Kershaw to leave , but at the same I can truly understand the player’s frustration with their continued lack of success during the postseason. They’re unable to play as a team and there sure as hell isn’t any leadership to be found anywhere among the players let alone among the managerial staff of Dave Roberts .

What if anything do you believe has been the most riveting piece of sports’ news of the past two weeks and please state your reasons why ?

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Not on my watch …

Not on my watch

Well,the NFL regular season came to an end and teams seemingly squandered their chance at a postseason berth . With the wildcard round underway , the participants provided the fans with a great deal of excitement and disappointment and nowhere was this more prevalent than the games which saw the demise of both the Cincinnati Bengals and Minnesota Vikings . Both teams entered the postseason as divisional champions and were perhaps widely expected to make their way to the divisional round of the postseason. It was not to be for the Marvin Lewis coached Bengals as they completely fell apart in their astounding loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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Cincinnati’s defensive player Vontaze Burfict imploded showing his wrath , denigrating officials , his head coach as well as opposing players on the Steelers’ roster. As to what this suggests about the Cincinnati Bengals , can best be summed up by simply stating this was a team completely out of control , with the coaching staff showing little, if any experience in their coaching acumen.

For Mike Zimmer and the Minnesota Vikings their loss might well as have been as dramatic as anything seen in the NFL over the past eight seasons in NFL postseason history. The continued knock against the Vikings will be the fact they are not as competitive as many believe them to be. It might well have been a complete fluke the team actually won the NFC North , but herein lies the issue for the franchise, Teddy Bridgewater the Vikings’ junior rookie quarterback still remains a work in progress , while the defense though steady , have yet to reach the level of consistency expected of a perennial championship contender. Adrian Peterson a year removed from his suspension , came back with something of vengeance , but he proved that a player of his caliber cannot do it all by himself. At this stage of Peterson’s career , I am not thoroughly convince Minnesota remains the best place for him to round out his career or the franchise gives him his best chance of winning a Superbowl !

With the Cincinnati Bengals and Minnesota Vikings now bowing out of the postseason, it’s now onto the divisional round of the NFL postseason where the match-ups become all the more intriguing.

The top seeds within the AFC and NFC will enter postseason play with the Carolina Panthers led by Cam Newton facing the Seattle Seahawks , while the Green Bay Packers will be the guests of the Arizona Cardinals. In the AFC Peyton Manning makes a welcome return to postseason play , while the idiot Brock Osweiler supporters, can simply shut the hell up with their idiocy of Osweiler being the immediate future for the Broncos. The backup quarterback in the last of his regular season performances proved himself to be barely adequate in his role , but many believed him to be the answer to the Broncos’ prayers. Denver will face the Pittsburgh Steelers at Sports Authority Field in Denver, Colorado on Saturday afternoon. The other AFC contest will feature defending Superbowl champions the New England Patriots facing the Kansas City Chiefs , with Patriots’ head coach Bill Belichick seeking to win his fifth Superbowl title as a head coach. Belichick and Tom Brady should they win the title , can also use the spectacle as a poke in the eye of the NFL hierarchy for their ham-fisted approach in seeking to punish the player and franchise for their alleged actions in the Deflate-Gate Affair. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and the league hierarchy are still hoping to punish the player albeit , after their suspension of Brady was overturned in a US Federal Court Judicial process. Goodell is adamant the quarterback is guilty of the allegations, but the league’s own evidence supporting the charges are circumstantial and held very little merit.

When your teams’ season can only be viewed as a disaster , then there isn’t a great which can be done to appease your fans other than to uproot your franchise and move elsewhere. With the recent announcement that the NFL has granted their wish to see both the San Diego Chargers and St Louis Rams back in the city of Los Angeles. The one question I have to ask, will the league seek to make their feasibility study on the issue public or will we simply have to take their word this is in the best interests of both teams as well as the city of Los Angeles along with their residents ? This much is abundantly clear, the taxpayers are on the hook for this whole process from a financial standpoint. The NFL as constituted , is seen as a not for profit business, but repeatedly , all Roger Goodell has sought to address throughout his tenure , has been the rise in revenues, the profitability of the teams and the league’s growing expansion around the globe. Never let it be said , the league hierarchy actually cares about the fans , much less the players, who are essentially overpaid subjugated slaves.

For the moment it would appear the St Louis Rams are a definite go with their return to Los Angeles set for 2016, but the San Diego Chargers have not yet made their thoughts known on the league’s approval. Alex Spanos and his family as the owners of the Chargers will likely move , with arrangements being made for a venue to be made available for the team’s home games in 2016. Where this now leaves the Oakland Raiders and their long-held ambitions to also make a return to Los Angeles is just about anyone’s guess at this juncture. As to the thoughts the Raiders would be a playing a greater part in determining the AFC West title. Well that came and went with the absurdity of the team’s performances on the field of play last season !

In what has to be seen as one of the best national title games in recent College Football history , as Alabama rolled past the Clemson Tigers , with both teams putting on an exhilarating display of football. Nick Saban claimed his fifth title as a collegiate head coach , while Alabama (Crimson Tide) won their fourth title in the past eight years . The Crimson Tide will round out their year as the national champions , ranked number one again and have to be seen as a prohibitive favorite for the national title next season. DeShaun Watson and Derrick Henry solidified their respective positions as two of the best players in College Football during 2015,

The Golden State Warriors’ indomitable start to the season and their continued dominance has placed this team among the most consistent seen in recent NBA history. In the absence of Steve Kerr , Luke Walton is proving himself to be of considerable worth to the franchise as the team’s head coach. In all likelihood , Walton could very well end up being a head coach with a team at the start of next season. All signs now seem to be pointing to this and it only seems a matter of time before it all becomes a reality. Steph Curry , Draymond Green and Klay Thompson are the primary reasons why the Warriors have been so good this season. As to the nay-saying idiots seeking to detract from Thompson’s play this season , perhaps they need to be reminded this is a team game and solely about individual glory?

Golden State in their most recent contest took care of the Miami Heat with consummate ease getting by their Eastern Conference opponents on their way to an eight-point victory . The Warriors next game will see them on the road when they face the Denver Nuggets in a Western Conference road contest . Golden State is well on its way to nothing up their fortieth win of the season, leading their closest rivals by a considerable margin in the wins’ tally .

While the Golden State Warriors have remained dominant the same cannot be said for the Brooklyn Nets , who in mid-season have decided to rid themselves of head coach Lionel Hollins and general manager Billy King, The upheaval within the front office with King’s dismissal was not unexpected bu the firing of Hollins , may well have caught everyone by surprise. While there may well be justification for the coach’s dismissal , a great deal of the blame must rest on the shoulders of the team’s billionaire Russian entrepreneur , mogul and owner Mikhail Prokhovorov. The owner gave cart-blanche for King to try and outspend their rivals in assembling a high priced roster which was all to no avail repeatedly over the past five seasons. The fact, the current roster bears no likeness to the roster fielded during the 2012-13 season , should give you an indication as to how far things have come with this franchise and the present predicament they now find themselves in .

Tony Brown is now the interim head coach of Brooklyn Nets and I believe it is unlikely he will be given the position on a full-time basis. Rumors are now already in motion , with the front office seeking to gauge the interest of Kentucky Wildcats’ head coach John Calipari. Calipari does have NBA experience having been a former head coach of the Nets , but I believe he is far too comfortable in his role and clearly doesn’t want to deal with the bloated egos of the players at the professional level. Besides, he’s the coach of one of the most envied and wildly known programs in all of Men’s College Basketball.

Over their last fifteen games played the Brooklyn Nets have labored during the time-span in question.The Nets’ last victory came by way of a win over the Boston Celtics on the 2nd January, a span of six games , during which the Nets posted an anemic 1-5 record. Tony Brown will now prepare the Brooklyn Nets for a Wednesday night game against conference rivals the New York Knicks which will be played at the Barclays Center , Brooklyn, New York. Considering the intense rivalry between these two teams over the past three seasons this contest should tell us a great deal about the directions the two clubs are heading in .

For the New York Knicks this season has been something of an indifferent year , with the team having its struggles, but suddenly showing some signs of life. Derek Fisher might well be finally coming into his own as an NBA coach . The Knicks find themselves in second place within the Atlantic Division behind the Toronto Raptors(24-15) and with the team playing some credible basketball.

Sitting mid-table within the Eastern Conference , the New York Knicks might well be considered a playoff contender , but I feel the team is still a long way off from where they need to be ! How the Knicks fare over the remainder of the season will be predicated on the mindset of the team.

Pat Riley , now a senior executive with the Miami Heat has an association with the well-known NBA franchises., with his first professional mark coming as a player with the New York Knicks , also as a head coach with the New York Knicks , finally to be followed with the Heat. Having been the architect of all three champions successes for the Miami Heat., you can well understand why his success has left an indelible mark with all three NBA franchises. This season for the Miami Heat , without LeBron James having left the team after their last title , the franchise now finds it self at a crossroads. Their two elder statesmen Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade are now in the twilight of their respective careers. Amare’ Stoudemire is proving to be nothing more than a stop-gap measure, even if his salary is deemed minimal . Yet , there might be nothing more Pat Riley would like to prove to his detractors, than to win another title without four-time League MVP LeBron James . His departure from the Heat might not have created a great deal of anger, but in some circles it was deemed James felt he was ill-served by Riley’s unwillingness to bolster the roster .

Erik Spoelstra as the Miami Heat head coach along with the coaching staff have worked diligently to have the team playing with a great deal of resolve, This can be seen with the play of several of the Heat’s youngsters on the playing staff, while the veterans also continue to show they have what it takes. Whether not the Heat has what it takes to beat the best in the East , we will have to take under advisement. Miami over their last eight games have been fairly competitive , but the feeling remains consistency , year-long will be the key for the team. In their last contest the Miami Heat fell to the Golden State Warriors in a 111-103 loss, with the defending champions showing why they continue to have the better of the Eastern Conference. Miami will be on the court Wednesday night when they face the Los Angeles Clippers led by Blake Griffin and Chris Paul .

How bad can an NBA franchise be and why does the NBA hierarchy allow teams to intentionally tank their seasons , while the fans are actually being defrauded ? Oblivious to this all, are some of the idiot fans and analysts who subscribe to the belief a team will be able to resurrect their fortunes by way of the NBA Draft . It doesn’t appear to be working out for the Philadelphia 76ers as their season continues to implode before our very eyes.

Joshua Harris as owner of the 76ers has been extremely negligent from a business and competitive standpoint , concerning the franchise over the past six seasons. Brett Brown and the coaching staff remain completely out of their depth. The firing of Sam Hinkie as the general manager will not cure what ails this franchise and I seriously doubt the hiring of Jerry Colangelo to head the franchise’s Basketball Operations will lead to an immediate turnaround in the short or long-term ! Key players such as the Sixers’ last two first round picks , I certainly don’t believe will be sticking around to play for an noncompetitive organization. Harris for his part, has sought to apportion blame elsewhere for the team’s continued woes, when he has been just as complicit in the debacle as the players and coaching staff in recent years.

Jahlil Okafor and Joel Embiid have yet to make their mark for the Sixers and in all likelihood both players will continue to struggle with the franchise. If the coaching staff is unable to get the best out of these two young players then the chances of Philadelphia getting better anytime soon will not be happening for the foreseeable future. Free agents will be unwilling to come to a franchise where there is no track record of recent success. Cap space availability now and next season doesn’t portend to anything meaningful. Granted, with the acumen of Jerry Colangelo , anything is possible , but as I have stated before the damage has already been done , due to the negligence shown by Joshua Harris.

At no point during their season have the Philadelphia 76ers been able to put together a winning streak of two games or more and considering their record it is easy to understand the reasons why !

Statistically , beyond the lack of coaching acumen shown by Philadelphia 76ers, the fact there seems to be some sort of pleasure being gleamed from the ineptitude indicated , there is no way the NBA hierarchy can continue to suborn this type of incompetency and believe it best serves the interests of the league . It is an insult to the fans of the game and if nothing else indicates the league’s top executives are just profit-driven and not much more beyond that ! The Sixers for their part , can continue to be among the least supported teams in the league alongside being its worst .

Do you believe professional sports’ hierarchies have an obligation to ensure the fans are provided with the best product available or just there to simply make money for their teams ?

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” As We Enter” … Nas & Damian ‘Jr. Gong’ Marley

 

Wake up everybody , it’s NFL and College Football time

Wake up everybody , it’s NFL and College Football time

Well , week one of the College Football season has past us by with the number one ranked Florida State Seminoles coming off a rather close victory over Oklahoma State in the first contest of their season schedule . Seminoles’ head coach Jimbo Fisher knows his team will be under a microscope, while quarterback and reigning Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston will have a great deal to live up to after an exhilarating season for the team in 2013. Within the ACC , I do believe Florida State will once again be the team to beat , with their being very few challengers within the conference about their dominance. In week two the Seminoles will face off against the Citadel in a game to be played at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, Florida this upcoming Saturday when there will be a slew of games on the schedule.

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Elsewhere within the Collegiate Football landscape, erstwhile SEC powerhouses , Florida (Gators) , Alabama , Auburn and LSU (Tigers) will be looking to rebound while seeking to prove the ACC’s ascent will be nothing more than a passing fad. In six of the past seven seasons it has been an SEC program which has been anointed the national champion at the FBS Level in College Football. Nick Saban and his Crimson Tide team are seeking to put in the past a rather demonstrative 2013 season , where they fell apart at the seams in more ways than one. . That disappointment will have disappeared , with Saban coming into this season with a fresh crop of rookies , as well have holdovers in his sophomore , juniors and seniors, as the program seeks to add another illustrious chapter to their well-chronicled history.

Alabama’s pounding of West Virginia with a 33-23 romp was something of a cruise, but the team’s schedule is likely to become a great more difficult in the upcoming weeks. The second game of their season will see them host Florida Atlantic at the Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa , Alabama on the 6th September ,2014. However , their week five showdown against SEC rivals , Wil Muschamp’s Florida Gators will provide fans nationwide as well of the program with the chance to see how far the team will have progressed in their season.

Nick Saban, as he seeks to re-energize Alabama’s standing within College Football and will have to no doubt relieve the memories of last season’s six-point 34-28 loss to Auburn, only to then further compound the lackluster effort with another defeat suffered at the hands of Oklahoma Sooners in the Allstate Sugar Bowl , one of the now meaningless end of season postseason games, which the NCAA and the BCS believes benefits College Football as well as the fans. Well , if adding tens of millions of dollars in revenues to the programs , with very little finding its way benefiting the student athlete , then I am sure College Football does indeed benefit from that type of largesse on a grand scale. The fact of the matter remains, the NCAA’S finances , that of the BCS and major programs are not always opened up for public scrutiny , in spite of claims to the contrary being made by proponents of the present system.

For Wil Muschamp and the Florida Gators, this will be a season where the coach and his staff will have to prove to their fans and the nation at large , the program remains among the elite within the college game. Last season however, was something of a nightmare on all fronts as the players failed to respond on the field , ending the season with a rather lackluster record (4-8) and a poor national ranking at year-end. . Florida will enter into week two , when they will square off against Eastern Michigan in a game that neither side can really afford to lose. Ben Hill Griffin Stadium will be the venue for this contest which will be seen nationwide. Tyler Murphy and Mack Brown will be looking to provide the impetus for the Gators’ offense in this game as their opponents will have Reginald Bell , Bronson Hill and Tyreese Russell looking to get the Eagles up and running from an offensive standpoint , while their defense seeks to quell the offense of the Gators.

Perhaps it is me , but I have always felt once the truth became known about how callous, conniving and widespread the cheating had become within the USC Trojans’ program . The rats would begin to desert the vessel, like a sinking ship amidst a turbulent storm in the middle of the ocean . Pete Carroll’s feet barely touched the ground , as he left the football program , but that may well have had more to do with the five-year $35 million offer from the Seattle Seahawks , rather than his seeking to stick around to answer any questions from the NCAA and investigators from the Infractions Committee . Reggie Bush’s Heisman was more tainted than a Petri dish filled with bacterial microbes and former AD Mike Garrett seem to be always nonplussed when asked to explain what was going on within the program he presided over as the athletics director. Carroll’s successor , Lane Kiffin proved to be as effective a head coach as sponge would be in aiding a crew on a capsizing vessel at sea with his record at USC speaking volumes about why the football program almost sank without a trace.

Mike Garrett’s departure brought in Pat Haden to oversee the athletics’ program and to steer it back onto the right path , but it has to be said in the first few months of his tenure Haden allowed Kiffin to run amok in violating several of the NCAA’s rules , but there are some under the impression his reputation is one above reproach and makes him a great candidate to be now seated on the panel, which will bring about changes in College Football and a playoff format in deciding a national champion at the FBS Level . The system is likely to have initial teething problems just like anything else , but it will continue to have its detractors within and outside of the game , because anything which brings about change of this size leading to some programs and conferences getting even less of the revenue pie will ultimately lead to a revolt. Barack Obama in 2008, went behind of the mantra “ change is good” , yet six years later the changes he envisioned have not led to the betterment of the country overall. Can and will the same be said of the proposed changes for College Football?

USC in recent years have fallen upon lean times in terms of success and have not been part of the national championship picture in several years . Last season was an abysmal year all round with Lane Kiffin and his players falling short of the general expectations while the Pac-12 title and championship was never within their grasp. This season and it has been left to Steve Sarkisian to take over the reins as the head coach of the football team along with an experienced coaching staff to assist him in his endeavors . The USC Trojans kicked off their 2014 season schedule with a 52-13 trouncing of Fresno State in a contest that was hardly competitive for Sarkisian’s players. Their week contest will be against the eleventh ranked Stanford Cardinals coached by David Shaw , in a game likely to prove to be one of the highlights of the Pac 12 schedule for the day and the season .

Away from the spotlight of the Trojans’ season, have been the off the field issues concerning two members Steve Sarkisian’s roster , with the ugliness of lies , deception and claims of racial bias among the coaches. Josh Shaw , has been suspended indefinitely for lying about an injury sustained when he claims , he rescued a seven-year old relative from drowning . When pressed to provide further details of the rescue attempt and his alleged bravery , Shaw admitted he lied about the incident and the injuries to both of his ankles , which were sustained during a dare, when he jumped from a second story balcony into a pool below at a motel. As to Josh Shaw’s reasoning behind the subterfuge, I can only surmise the level of education being provided at USC is on the decline and being a member of the football team has nothing at all to do with honesty or intelligence ! Allegations of racism cannot be overlooked, but when it comes from a player, who levels those accusations against coaches as well as the educational establishment , one has to delve deeper to make sure there are no underlying issues or any veracity to those claims. Anthony Brown , one of a bevy of running backs on the USC Trojans’ team has leveled those allegations against the program. Brown’s claims are troubling and the coach has refuted the claims defending himself vehemently against the accusations of racism. Brown has left the program, but it does make you wonder what the hell must be going on at an educational establishment and renowned collegiate sports’ institution still trying erase the memories of their most recent scandals touching the basketball and football programs.

Hard to believe it has been a mere six months since the NFL season ended with the lopsided victory of the Seattle Seahawks over the Denver Broncos in the Superbowl . Peyton Manning’s season came to a crashing end, when he and his teammates fell apart at the seams in the NFL postseason finale. Jon Fox and the Broncos will be looking to put that mishap in their rear view mirror, but it will be hard to do so , as they will enter the regular season without the aid of Wes Welker through the first four games of the season. Welker’s four-game suspension for the use of a banned substance (MDMA), amphetamines comes as something of a shock , but his explanation about how he might well have ingested the substance is laughable to say the least. The wide receiver believes his drink was “spiked” , while attending a horse racing event with friends. Having failed the test, it should be noted Wes Welker suffered a concussion in a preseason game while playing for the Broncos. It was the third concussion the player has suffered over the past eighteen months and the tenth of his NFL career.

The Broncos’ will begin their season in what is likely to be a hard-fought game against the Indianapolis Colts, in a contest to be played at Sports Authority Field , in Denver, Colorado ,.

Officially , the 2014 regular season schedule opens up on Thursday night when the Superbowl champions, the Seattle Seahawks begin the defense of their title against the Green Bay Packers , led by Aaron Rodgers . The Packers’ quarterback will be the guests in the boisterous atmosphere of Century Link Field in Seattle, Washington, and this could be seen as a contest of two of the NFC’s heavyweight titans. If the off-season moves and the draft class of Mike McCarthy and his coaching staff are anything to go by, then the Packers are likely to be seen as one of the favorites within the conference and a possible Superbowl contender. Green Bay I believe are good enough to win the NFC North with considerable ease, because I do not believe any of their divisional rivals have the talent to challenge this Green Bay Packers’ team over the course of the season ! The defense and offense re likely to be considerably better than witnessed last season.

It would be fair to suggest the Atlanta Falcons have proven to be a major disappointment in 2012 and 2013 , with the franchise failing miserably in each of the seasons in question when it came to the postseason. Matt Ryan proved to be vulnerable and questions arose as to leadership skills and the money vested in one of the NFL’s highest paid players and quarterbacks in the league. Mike Smith and the coaching staff , will be hoping to rebound from the team’s 4-12 showing last season when the play of the Falcons was a monumental disaster. With a new stadium on the horizon, I seriously doubt team owner , Arthur Blank and the front office would like to see this team fall even further into the depths of mediocrity .

The woes of the Atlanta Falcons were on full display in 2013 and one can only hope their showing for 2014 will be a great deal better than last year. A fresh influx of free agents and a rookie draft class should provide Mike Smith with the tools needed , while Matt Ryan will certainly have to show he is not simply a good regular season quarterback who gets derailed during the postseason. Ryan will have to prove he is capable leading a team deep into the postseason and try to justify the claims he is one of the best quarterbacks to have been drafted in the NFL over the past seven years .

Atlanta will open their regular season schedule with an all divisional contest against the New Orleans Saints when Drew Brees and his teammates will be the guests at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta , Georgia ,. The Saints have not been the NFC South champions since 2011, a season in which the team would make it to the postseason , only to fall in the divisional playoffs. Since then , it has been the Saints as franchise , with one of the league’s most explosive teams in terms of offense. All four teams within the NFC South this season, are likely to be seen as viable candidates as a potential divisional champion, but I believe there will be three teams likely to make the division competitive in the NFL . Those three teams are the Carolina Panthers , New Orleans Saints , Tampa Bay Buccaneers and a toss-up between the Atlanta Falcons and the Buccaneers as to which of the duo will be filling in the final position within the NFC South.

Week one of the regular season of the NFL will merely provide us an appetizer and entrée for the remainder of the season . I would like to think the fans will be satisfied with what is on view and we are thoroughly entertained, after-all it is what we have now come to expect of the NFL over the years .

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What if anything, are you hoping to see out of the College Football season and within the NFL? Your comments are welcomed, so by all means chime in with your thoughts as you see fit.

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(1) Jameis Winston (5) of the Florida State Seminoles directs the offense against the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the first half of the Advocare Cowboys Classic at AT&T Stadium on August 30, 2014 in Arlington, Texas. Getty Images North America / Ronald Martinez

(2) Jameis Winston (5) of the Florida State Seminoles passes against the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the first half of the Advocare Cowboys Classic at AT&T Stadium on August 30, 2014 in Arlington, Texas. Getty Images / Ronald Martinez …

(3) Head coach Will Muschamp of the Florida Gators signals to the team to head back to the locker rooms after it was announced that there has been a lightning strike near the stadium and players must return inside after the kickoff of the game against the Idaho Vandals on August 30, 2014 in Gainesville, Florida. The game was then terminated for weather and unsafe playing conditions. Getty Images / Rob Foldy ….

(4) Nick Saban, head coach of the University of Alabama football team . Saban will be looking to make the Crimson Tide once again one of the elite teams within the SEC , as well as back on the national stage, with a view to winning the national title . AP Photo/ Chris Murray …

(5) USC President C.L. Max Nikias (L) , Steve Sarkisian (C) , and USC Athletic Director Pat Haden pose for photos at a press conference introducing Sarkisian as the new USC head football coach at the John McKay Center at the University of Southern California on December 3, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. Stephen Dunn / Getty Images …

(6) USC Trojans’ running back Anthony Brown , whose allegations of the team’s head coach Steve Sarkisian and members of his coaching staff has raised more than a few eyebrows concerning the program this season Sarkisian has refuted the player in essence calling them groundless . Brown has since left the football team of his own volition . LA Times / Hector Ramirez …

(7) Josh Shaw , pictured here was formerly a corner-back with the USC Trojans before being suspended indefinitely by Steve Sarkisian for lying about an injury sustained prior to the start of the team’s season . Courtesy of the LA Times…

(8) Wes Welker , wide receiver with the Denver Broncos and quite possibly the most high-profiled player to have been suspended by the NFL: over the past two seasons to have been suspended for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Welker tested positive for the use of MDMA (‘Molly’) an amphetamine based PED banned by the NFL, which the player claims was “spiked” into his drink taken, when visiting a sports’ event with friends. The Denver Broncos will be without the wide receiver for the first four games of their regular season schedule before he returns in week five for a game against the Arizona Cardinals . AP Photo / Matthew Hurd …

(9) Matt Ryan , right , quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons is seen here with teammate, wide receiver Julio Jones . If the duo are to provide an effective tandem, then it is imperative Jones stays healthy and Ryan performs consistently at a very high level this upcoming season . Getty Images / Paul Matthews …

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NCAA Football and NCAA Football news

NCAA Football schedule week two

NCAA Football week one results

NCAA Football standings (conferences)

AP Polls

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NFL news around the league

NFL regular season schedule week one

NFL standings (division)

Trouble in paradise ……..

Trouble in paradise ………

College Football’s season is well under way , with schools now heading into the fourth week of their scheduling . Alabama remains atop of the AP Poll , as the number one ranked team in the nation. Nick Saban and his team survived a minor scare when they were pushed by Johnny Manziel and the Texas A&M (Aggies) in a game played at College Station, Texas . Manziel proved once again, why he might just be the most electrifying player in college football at present. Far be it for me to suggest that the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner can repeat as a back to back winner of college athletics’ most prestigious individual honor .

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Amongst the collegiate football landscape, there does not seem to be any bona-fide standout nominees at present, to perhaps challenge Johnny Manziel as a repeat winner of the Heisman, , albeit that there seems to be the ridiculously over-hyped hyperbole surrounding South Carolina’s defensive tackle Jadaveon Clowney. And as good as Clowney is said to be , unless Steve Spurrier’s Gamecocks are in the midst of the SEC championship aspirations, little if anything , is likely to come out of the arguments and sentiments that now surrounds the player . For the defending BCS national champions, this season has seen the showing something of an immense drop off in terms the play in comparison to last season . Granted when a program loses that many players to the NFL by way of the NFL Draft , it does become something of a boon as well as a boost to the school’s notoriety ,while adding to Nick Saban’s already illustrious legacy .

At 2-0 , Alabama’s next game will be against Colorado State (Rams) to be played in Tuscaloosa , Alabama at the cavernous Bryant-Denny Stadium. The match-up itself , will be the Crimson Tide’s home opener, and there is likely to be a packed venue to see the highly favored national champions make a statement as to their intent , of making a successful defense of their national title. For juniors and seniors such as A J McCarron , Cyrus Kouandjio , Kyle Zazakevicius , Kevin Norwood , Kenny Bell and Deion Belue , this game can be seen as an initial audition for many of the NFL’s scouts , general managers and head coaches. While I believe that Alabama are likely to be tested , I do not think it will prove such a competitive contest, wherein they are likely to be on the wrong side up an upset defeat . We tend to see that sort of complacency shown by the likes of former top-fifteen ranked Florida and their inexplicable loss (21-16) to instate rivals the Miami (Hurricanes) . Florida coach Wil Muschamp now has to reassess where the mistakes were made beyond the defensive lapses and errant plays by quarterback Jeff Driskell during this game .

. If Florida are to have any hope of regaining their momentum, then every effort will have to be made to remedy their mistakes , as their next game will be at home against SEC rivals the Tennessee Volunteers (2-1) coached by Butch Jones . The Volunteers are a team that should not all be taken that lightly , at this point of the Gators’ season . A second slip up , especially in a conference game is likely to put any chances to their own conference championship aspirations as well as an appearance in a major BCS Bowl match-up into a tailspin . Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida, will be packed with two sets of intensely rabid fans showing their support for their respective programs.

The hiring of Urban Meyer to replace the now disgraced former head coach , Jim Tressel at Ohio State (Buckeyes) did not come as a great surprise ,but the coach’s demeanor since his being installed into the position, has left many people wondering how conceited Meyer has become. Beyond his criticism leveled at his former employers , Florida, it has also emboldened the coach to deny any culpability of a program that he coached for six years , where he won two national titles , but also this was a program mired in controversy, which Meyer and AD Jeremy Foley may well have clandestinely sought to cover up a great many of the misdeeds carried out by the players under his tutelage . Allegations of sexual assaults , drug use, theft , grand larceny and academic fraud , much of it unsubstantiated , but there were also clear indications that Foley had boosters intervene to smooth things over with local law enforcement and specifically with the Gainesville Police Department and the Alachua County Sheriff’s Department , where there was said to be misconduct by members of the team .

Meyer having taken over a program that itself was mired in its own controversy , with much of the facts coming to the fore, only after a state and federal investigation was undertaken after it came to light that several players were known to have accepted illicit monetary payments from a known felon , gambler and drug dealer. A great deal of the subterfuge was actually enacted by Tressel , to cover up his own misconduct, web of lies and deceit enacted by himself , and assistant coaches players. While this was going on, both university President , Dr E Gordon Gee and AD Gene Smith stood steadfastly by and vehemently defended the beleaguered coach as the mountain of evidence grew and was then substantiated .

The NCAA , long thought to be the moral voice of reason, saw fit to punish Ohio State, only after the somewhat ridiculous self-imposed sanctions that the program’s Athletics Department was said to be willing to impose upon itself. A mere slap on the wrist for Tressel, with the coach being given a punitive monetary fine and having to sit out a six game suspension, was prescribed by Gene Smith and sanctioned by Gordon Gee. Take into consideration that a $250,000 fine and being told to stay away from the program for six games should be deemed somewhat laughable , when you are made aware that Jim Tressel’s annual salary with Ohio State at the time was in excess of $3.5 million a year . The Infraction’s Committee’s investigation and findings, concluded that there was gross negligence on the part of the Athletics Department’s compliance office, as well as by several administrators . That level incompetency went to the very top of the school’s hierarchy and showed also the complete lack of oversight by Gene Smith in its entirety . The fact that both Gee and Smith are still in the employment of Ohio State, either should be seen as a worrying sign or the fact that Gene Smith would be true to his word and actually make the changes recommended as well accepting the academic probation , with the loss of several scholarships and the forfeiture one year of non-appearance in College Football’s postseason jamboree .

A year removed, from having undergone their sanctions and prohibited from postseason play in 2012. The Buckeyes went through their schedule unbeaten , compiling a 12-0 record with a team , filled exciting players . This season brings about new set of challenges and a chance to see whether or not Braxton Miller is in fact the real deal . With Miller having to sit out the last game in Ohio State’s somewhat lopsided 52-34 victory over the California (Golden Bears) , it was left to Kenny Guiton take over the reins and guide the team to the win . Say what you will about Urban Meyer , but I believe that it is his intent to prove this season that the Buckeyes are justifiably the number two ranked team in the country . although based upon the recent performance of Oregon (Ducks) , some might believe that the Pac 12 program should be fitting of that role, as the second best team in the nation . . Oregon’s 59-14 pummeling of Tennessee, shows that they have no intention of being overlooked in the polls that matter the most, the BCS and AP Polls . The racking up of victories and the piling up of stats seems to be the thing that generates the most votes amongst the adjudicating officials . For Ohio State their next scheduled game will be against Florida A&M in Columbus , Ohio , this upcoming Saturday , at the program’s state of the art facility Ohio Stadium .

Since succeeding Pete Carroll as the head coach of USC (Trojans) , it would be easy to suggest Lane Kiffin has under-achieved in his position as the football program’s head coach. From my own perspective, Kiffin has been controversial from the very day that he was formally announced in that role . Within eighteen months of succeeding Carroll, Lane Kiffin was already within the cross-hairs of the NCAA for having violated several minor infractions. All this , while the program was still under probation in the aftermath of the improprieties of both the basketball and football programs coached at the time by Tim Floyd and Pete Carroll . Mike Garrett , the former AD was either simply naive or was somehow collusive with many of the actions that brought the program into disrepute. With former Heisman Trophy honoree, Reggie Bush , having to return his trophy after bringing dishonor to the school. It has to be said that a great deal more was expected of Lane Kiffin as a head coach. Instead it has been one pratfall after the other , with countless apologies being proffered and the excuse of being unaware as the NCAA requirements . Much to the embarrassment of present AD Pat Haden , who in having succeeding Mike Garrett, has done his leveled best to clean up the program and bring back some respect to one of college athletics’ most high-profiled and visible names .

Last season , was far from being deemed a successful year for the Trojans , who finished with a rather average 7-6 record overall and a 5-4 mark within the Pac 12 . Suffice to say, that with expectations being high, this misstep was seen as step backwards , rather than forward. Off to a 2-1 start in 2013, the team’s first loss (10-7) came by way of Washington State (Cougars) and much to the chagrin of the local media and boosters alike. When you are said to be one of the powerhouse programs of the Football Subdivision (FBS/D1) , these types of losses will not be tolerated easily. Kiffin for his part and his coaching staff seem to be at a loss to explain another haphazard and lackluster performance by the team. With the constant rumors now swirling and calls for Lane Kiffin’s ouster, you simply now get the feeling that his days in Southern California could very well be numbered. And you can bet that those call will not waver, should the situation become more dire for the program, with university President C L Max Nikias likely to be attuned to any changes that Pat Haden might well deem necessary to make . I do however, believe that Lane Kiffin will be allowed to fulfill his obligations for the year and then a decision will be made at the end of the season, concerning his long-term future with the program. There is no denying that Kiffin can recruit , but it would appear, that he has been unable to harness the talents of his players and the get the best possible performances out of them .

Beyond the issue of the team’s defense, it has been inconsistent play of quarterbacks Cody Kessler and Max Wittek , that has to be a cause for concern for Lane Kiffin and the USC Trojans .

Utah State awaits Lane Kiffin and the USC Trojans, this upcoming Saturday , in a game that they must win emphatically. The home crowd will be there at the Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California, to show their ravenous support. The question however, will it be all in vain ?

Jaded, condescending, conceited and complacent. All of these traits, I believe best sum up Mack Brown and the University of Texas (Longhorns) ! Granted , Brown and DeLoss Dodds seem to have a stranglehold on the entire athletics’ program and the way that it is ran . With annual revenues conservatively estimated at between $120 million to $145 million annually , this does not take into account the joint ownership of the Longhorns Network between the school and the ESPN sports and cable broadcast outlet, where the two parties share jointly in the revenues derived of the agreement . Suffice to say, that Brown’s and Dodds’ imprints were all over that deal , with the football program undoubtedly being the biggest beneficiary of it all .

Off to an inauspicious start the Texas Longhorns are 1-2 , uncompetitive and Mack Brown has taken to apportioning the team’s shortcomings on his coaching assistants , rather than accepting the brunt of the responsibility in not having his players prepared . Losses to BYU , 40-21 and Ole Miss , 44-23 , now has the boosters , fans and analysts questioning the direction of this program and even the coach’s own mindset and that of assistant coaches. Defensive coordinator Manny Diaz was summarily fired and replaced by Greg Robinson , but the question will remain . What happens, if the Longhorns suffer another embarrassing and lopsided defeat over the remainder of their schedule ?

Courtesy of Yahoo Sports & AP


Texas fires defensive coordinator Manny Diaz, tabs former coach Greg Robinson as replacement

By Pat Forde , Yahoo Sports

Reeling after surrendering 40 points and 550 rushing yards in an upset loss to Brigham Young on Saturday night, Texas coach Mack Brown didn’t waste any time making a change. Yahoo Sports sources confirmed what was originally reported by Orangebloods.com: Brown fired defensive coordinator Manny Diaz on Sunday afternoon.

Diaz was replaced by former Texas defensive coordinator Greg Robinson, who was last in that role at the school in 2004. After several unsuccessful tenures elsewhere, Robinson returned to Texas this offseason as a program analyst. His presence and availability probably shortened the leash on Diaz, whose Longhorns defense last year was among the worst in recent Texas history, allowing more than 400 yards and 29 points per game.

“Our performance on defense last night was unacceptable, and we need to change that,” Brown said in a Texas release issued Sunday evening.

[Related: Mack Brown looks out for Mack Brown]

The dismissal of Diaz may only be a prelude to bigger changes if this season continues on a disappointing path for the Longhorns. Brown, who has won 151 games and a national title in 16 seasons at Texas, will be under serious pressure.

Brown told Yahoo Sports last month, “I’m not going to (be fired).” He also said he wants to coach through the end of his contract in 2020. But Brown acknowledged that his program’s performance the past three seasons – a 22-16 record, just 11-15 in Big 12 play – was not up to the standard he’s set at Texas.

Coming off a 9-4 record last year, Brown was optimistic heading into 2013 that he had his best team since going 13-1 in 2009.

“We could win nine again and be disappointed,” Brown said. “Or we could win all of them.”

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With a slew of games set for week four of the College Football Schedule , it will be interesting to see how a number the top programs fare. The Texas Longhorns will play host to Kansas State (Wildcats ) at the Darrell K Royal/ Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas. That contest should give us a clear indication as to how Mack Brown will intend to ride out the rest of the season with this team and their aspirations within the Big 12 .

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Though I have not always been an avid College Football fan, I do believe the game in its purest form is one of the most exhilarating pieces of sports’ entertainment to be found on the sporting landscape . Now while we will continue to question the integrity of the NCAA and the tenure of its President Mark Emmert, I have to admit that the biggest I have within collegiate athletics at present , has been the lack of oversight and leadership provided at all levels within the college sports. Billions of dollars on annual basis, finds its way into the coffers of the NCAA and the college programs nationwide. Yet at the end of the day, there seems to be nothing tangible to show for it all , beyond the lavish and palatial venues and the continued controversies that envelopes college sports by way of corruption and unabated violations that continually takes place . What thoughts if any do you have concerning the points raised in this article and your expectations for this College Football season ? Your comments are greatly welcomed, so by all means chime in with your thoughts.

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(1) College Station , Texas , a fan of Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel poses near the stadium before the start of the game between the two SEC programs Alabama (Crimson Tide) and Texas A&M this past Saturday at Kyle Field . Alabama would go on to defeat the Aggies 49-42 in what was a thrilling contest , with Manziel giving an exceptional performance that saw his team come up just short in defeating Alabama for the second successive season . Getty Images / Scott Halleran ….

(2) Head Coach Kevin Sumlin (L) of the Texas A&M Aggies and Head Coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide talk before the game at Kyle Field on September 14, 2013 in College Station, Texas . Getty Images / Scott Halleran …..

(3) Johnny Manziel (2) of the Texas A&M Aggies throws a pass as Brandon Wilson (36) and A’Shawn Robinson (86) of the Alabama Crimson Tide bears down on him at Kyle Field on September 14, 2013 in College Station, Texas. Getty Images / Scott Halleran …..

(4) Florida coach Wil Muschamp wipes his face during the game the Miami Hurricanes , a clash between the two in-state rivals played at Sun Life Stadium , in Miami , Florida . Errant plays , turnovers and inconsistent play led to the Gators’ defeat by Miami 21-16 . AP Photo / Alan Diaz …

(5) Stephen Morris (17) of the Miami Hurricanes celebrates with teammate Shayon Green (51) celebrate after a touchdown during the first half of the game against Florida played on Saturday , 7th September , 2013. AP Photo / J Pat Carter ….

(6) Devin Smith of Ohio State, out-runs Damariay Drew of Cal, as he makes his way to the end-zone for a touchdown in the first quarter of a game played in Berkley , California on the 14th September , 2013 ,.. AP Photo / Ben Margot ….

(7) Teammates Kenny Guiton (13), Devin Smith (9) and Andrew Norwell (78) celebrate another touchdown in the Buckeyes’ 52-34 romp over the Cal (Golden Bears) in Berkley ,California . AP Photo / Ben Margot …

(8) Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer , right, is seen here with the program’s AD Gene Smith . Coming off academic probation this past season , Meyer hopes to have his team challenging for a Big Twelve championship as well as the BCS national title . Currently ranked at number three in the nation behind second placed Oregon and the number one ranked Alabama , Urban Meyer knows that the road to the national title will warrant an unbeaten season . Critical of his former employers , Florida, Meyer has been courting controversy over the past ten months . AP Photo / Andrew Matthews …

(9) USC Trojans’ AD Pat Haden is seen here at the Trojans Galen Center , home to the basketball program . Haden has some real issues concerning the poor play of the Trojans’ football program and their lackluster performances this season . Lane Kiffin is now under a great deal of pressure to succeed but there are growing calls for the head coach’s removal of the football team . LA Times / Paul Garcia ….

(10) Head coach Lane Kiffin of the USC Trojans reacts during the game against the Washington State Cougars at Los Angeles Coliseum on September 7, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. The Cougars won 10-7. Kiffin remains now under a great deal of pressure in spite of the team’s rout of Boston College in a 35-7 victory . The Trojans are 0-1 in the Pac 12 but 2-1 overall , yet they are seated at the bottom of the South division .

(11) DeLoss Dodds AD of the Texas Longhorns is seen here at the Darrel K Royal Memorial Stadium in Austin , Texas. Dodds in conjunction with Mack Brown have been the architects in the program’s joint deal with ESPN for the Longhorns Network , for which the derived revenues would be shared equally . The Longhorns’ AD will be placed under a great to deal with the now growing calls to fire the head coach of the program , calls that are significantly coming from boosters of the University of Texas . Paul Walsh / Summit Enterprises ….

(12) Head coach Mack Brown of the Texas Longhorns waits on the sideline during the game against the Ole Miss Rebels at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on September 15, 2012 in Oxford, Mississippi. The Longhorns’ head coach has seen the team’s season turn upside down as they are now 1-2 , and facing mounting criticism from the press and boosters alike for the Longhorns’ lackluster performances this season . Brown fired Manny Diaz and promoted Greg Robinson to become the new defensive coordinator . It remains to be seen whether not , there will be an improvement from the team’s secondary . Getty Images / Matt Shaw ….

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tophatal ………………………….. 09/19/2013

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BCS Football news

NCAA College Football

NCAA Football news

NCAA Football week four schedule

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Sheneka

Hot chic pic of the day model , Sheneka Adams .

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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Slideshow .

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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Picture gallery

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Picture and slideshow gallery details
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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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NFL news

NFL postseason schedule

NFL stats players (postseason)

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NCAA Football

NCAA Football & BCS schedule (postseason)

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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

And so the idiocy continues ..

And so the idiocy continues ..

Tophatal …..

Just when you thought you’d heard the last of the Penn State “ scandal “ , it now appears that the state’s governor Tom Corbett will seek to challenge the NCAA’s $60 million fine penalizing the educational establishment in light of the heinous actions of former assistant coach , Jerry Sandusky, who is now incarcerated , having been sentenced to 60 years imprisonment having been found guilty on forty-five of forty-eight counts of sexual assault , battery , sexual battery , lewd and lascivious acts . What, we have now been made aware of, concerning all of the parties embroiled in this sordid affair. The now deceased, former head coach, Joe Paterno , has seen his legacy diminish , with it now being in tatters , with allegations in part that ,he failed to monitor the actions of Sandusky, even in light of other allegations of sexual misconduct , after the famed coach reported an incident not just to the campus police but also to the board of trustees of the now disgraced university.

And so the idiocy continues ..

Tophatal …..

Just when you thought you’d heard the last of the Penn State “ scandal “ , it now appears that the state’s governor Tom Corbett will seek to challenge the NCAA’s $60 million fine penalizing the educational establishment in light of the heinous actions of former assistant coach , Jerry Sandusky, who is now incarcerated , having been sentenced to 60 years imprisonment having been found guilty on forty-five of forty-eight counts of sexual assault , battery , sexual battery , lewd and lascivious acts . What, we have now been made aware of, concerning all of the parties embroiled in this sordid affair. The now deceased, former head coach, Joe Paterno , has seen his legacy diminish , with it now being in tatters , with allegations in part that ,he failed to monitor the actions of Sandusky, even in light of other allegations of sexual misconduct , after the famed coach reported an incident not just to the campus police but also to the board of trustees of the now disgraced university.

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The “Freeh Report” was a damning indictment of the school , and their lack of accountability shown , where it showed that at all levels of the hierarchy of the academic facility , they were complicit in a widespread cover-up that was so egregious , that this now makes Corbett’s actions , all the more inconceivable . Tom Corbett, a former , state attorney general , is now himself a seated member of the board of trustees , and it begs the question , what if anything, might well have been known , their actions , and how it all played out , as law enforcement and journalists alike uncovered the magnitude and egregious of Sandusky’s actions .

Courtesy of ESPN


Penn State’s failure of power

By Howard Bryant , ESPN

Even now, as the heartbreaking details emerge, pages of grand jury testimony are absorbed and parsed, and a seamy picture of alleged child abuse and the subsequent failures to act comes into clear, indefensible focus, the reflex of the Penn State hierarchy involved is one of tone deafness.

That focus revolves not around the children who most needed the adults to be grown-ups but around protecting the power: the big, untouchable football program with its legendary coach with the big name and the big reputation, the do-gooder charity with the board of directors with the big names on it.

Surrounded by so much bigness, virtually everyone in a position of authority at Penn State has, thus far, seemed to come up very small. Jerry Sandusky might not be innocent, but, as of today, he is legally not guilty. He was charged with 40 counts of felony sex abuse against minors. Despite anger and public opinion, Sandusky deserves the due process of the court of law as well as the presumption of innocence until his case is complete.

But Penn State president Graham Spanier, athletic director Tim Curley, vice president for business and finance Gary Schultz and coach Joe Paterno should be held to a higher standard. So should The Second Mile, a charity that was founded to help children. Whether or not Sandusky is convicted, each was faced with a critical choice with damning information and chose to protect the program. This is what power has become. More accurately, it is what power has always been, in existence to protect itself.

There is no defense for the number of people in positions of authority who had an opportunity to stop Sandusky and did not.

The university, responding to information provided by a graduate student in 2002 that he witnessed Sandusky performing anal sex in the shower on a boy about 10 years old, did nothing. The university did not call authorities and did not ever sever ties with Sandusky, allowing him to maintain an office on campus for years.

The entire edifice of the Penn State monument is crumbling, yet no one involved seems capable of producing the most obvious, and decent, response, to acknowledge that each of these men failed to uphold his responsibilities spectacularly. They failed their communities, and they failed the eight young boys the state is accusing Sandusky of sexually abusing.

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Tom Corbett, is a buffoon , if he now feels that the proposed legal action is likely to be an outright success . It should also be noted , that there are several other parties , who as a bye product of this subterfuge have been indicted , and who now await trial on a litany of charges , ranging from perjury to the obstruction of justice . Graham Spanier , Gary Schultz and Tim Curley await their trial dates , whereas , Mike McQueary seeks damages in a $ 4 million whistle-blower lawsuit lodged against Penn State. This whole sordid affair , simply won’t go away , and those now embroiled in the drama, seek recourse and financial reward . Meanwhile, the victims , so often overlooked , will still be left with their lives in ruins , albeit that the university states , that they will provide the victims with whatever assistance they seek to reclaim their lives .

As I alluded to earlier , Governor Corbett , a former state attorney general , has not been able to downplay his often imbecilic actions during his agency’s investigation of the infamous “Hersey School “ sexual abuse scandal and the indictment and prosecution of a former school employee involved in sexual assault and battery on the students at the school . Corbett as the District Attorney was said to have handled this prosecution “ so haphazardly “ that it made a mockery of the legal system within the state of Pennsylvania . Yet somehow we’re now to believe, he is trying to morally and ethically appropriately do the proper thing , to “ right an egregious wrong” ? A procedural hearing and trial will be heard within the US Federal Courts in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania,.

There has yet to be a formal response from NCAA President, Mark Emmert on the pending legal action by the state of Pennsylvania , in seeking to have the fine and action reversed , but there is this a growing suspicion that this is simply being done to save face by Tom Corbett and further reduce the impact and damage done to Penn State’s already tarnished image .

The Dallas Cowboys’ 28-18 loss to the Washington Redskins in their final regular season scheduled game , has not yet led to repercussions for the franchise , but it has clearly expressed the futility of the Cowboys’ year . Team owner , Jerry Jones , and the team’s beleaguered quarterback , Tony Romo are off once again , now doing the rounds , and making excuses as to the reasons why the franchise has once again came up short . Repeatedly , year in and year out , claims are made , that , this will be the season in which the Cowboys will reign supreme , and it has now become “ a broken record” which no one , longer wishes to hear !

Granted , the ones who disavow common sense within the ranks of the pundits of the broadcast media , would rather make their bold predictions , rather than being insightful with their prognostications. And it has to be at this point , that we need to ask , what else is needed by the Dallas Cowboys , to make that team a great deal better ? A Pro Bowl quarterback , who has clearly failed to meet expectations , is being handsomely rewarded by the team and league standards

. Yet somehow, for all of those regular season statistics , Romo has nothing to show for it all . In a game, that was of equal importance to both teams, it was the Cowboys’ quarterback who blindsided the fans with his errant plays , leading to three costly interceptions in the game against the Washington Redskins. What also exacerbated , this whole situation , was that Romo’s opposite number , Robert Griffin III, was having a less than exemplary game , when one considers his exploits over the course of this season .

With the Dallas Cowboy being unceremoniously dumped , and missing the playoffs for a second successive year , one has to wonder where Jerry Jones , now goes from here . Draft picks asides, the Cowboys’ offense can be bewildering , one minute being the model of consistency , to the next , being completely incompetent and simply being devoid of creativity. The ramifications for the Cowboys , are twofold , one , in missing the postseason , it’s another missed opportunity for a lucrative payday , and two , with each passing season , failure by this team simply places an even greater burden upon Jason Garrett , to prove himself worthy of being a head coach in the NFL . Alright, so he wasn’t plucked from obscurity by Jerry Jones to become the head of the franchise , having succeeded Wade Philips.

So let me get this straight , a team that finishes 10-6 , having missed the playoffs , because a divisional rival , the Minnesota Vikings secured a victory in their final game of the season . In essence , it meant that Lovie Smith deserved to be fired , thereby sealing his fate and that of the Chicago Bears for the season ? Bears’ general manager , Phil Emery , has to be either the most gullible of individuals , or he simply has to no wish to apportion blame where it rightfully belongs , and that is upon the shoulders of not only Smith , but the entire roster of the Chicago Bears . It was primarily upon Emery’s insistence that the franchise acquired the highly inconsistent quarterback , Jay Cutler , who in his six years in the NFL has yet to win a meaningful game for either of the franchises where he has played.

Cutler’s propensity for simply wanting to pass the vast majority of the time, simply doesn’t assist in the play of the Bears and if anything , the quarterback becomes even more of a liability, as he has a propensity for turnovers , interceptions and need I say being sacked , numerous times throughout the season? Jay Cutler spends more time laying on his back, in a prostrate position, than a female porn star has been known to , on a film set , when asked to do a retake , simply because the director isn’t at all happy with the aesthetic imagery he is said to be seeking . Here’s a thought, perhaps Jay Cutler should give up playing in the NFL and ply his trade in the adult entertainment field. A quarterback, who can spend that much time on his back, has to be good for something , don’t you think? He may well give a whole new meaning to “taking one for the team” . Lovie Smith, is likely to fill a coaching vacancy elsewhere in the NFL , after Monday’s purge of the coaching positions around the NFL , with seven head coaches being relieved of their duties , all in a single day.

There is no denying that the Jacksonville Jaguars had a monstrous season in 2012 , with the team only being able to muster two wins over the course of their sixteen game schedule . Team owner, Shahid Khan , subsequently , has fired general manager , Gene Smith , and it would now appear that head coach , Mike Mularkey’s future could very well be in jeopardy . For much of the season the team , played without their running back , Maurice Jones-Drew , due to the player’s injury issues . Yet, that alone, cannot account for the team’s woefully inept performances over the course of 2012 . Continued poor play from both of the quarterbacks on the team’s roster became an ongoing recipe for disaster “. Suffice to say , that Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne , will not be atop anyone’s list of the most sought after quarterbacks should either be placed on the free agency market , this off-season. And now for the comical side to this all , with widely speculating rumors that the New York Jets may well seek to jettison one , if not two of the three quarterbacks now on their roster .

With Shahid Khan, showing a distinct interest in bringing Tim Tebow back to the Jacksonville area , as the city has now become the familial home for the Tebow clan. One has to speculate, is this simply being done, more for show , or is Khan really of the belief that the much maligned three-year player has something to offer the franchise by way of his play ?

Personally, after Tebow’s season with the New York Jets , I am not so sure his departure from a franchise that had more in common with a lunatic asylum , and where indecision at every point in the New York Jets’ thought process became the norm , might not be considerably better , than a franchise where having gone 2-14 , there is even more indecision within that organization (Jaguars) , than can be found with a virgin , unsure that the prom would be the best night for her to be deflowered , by her so-called steady boyfriend , who she’s only gotten close to , over the past three months. A little bit of “petting “ but not allowing him to get to third base may well seem fine , but now it’s all in (pardon the pun) , as everyone seeks to be gratified . There is no guarantee that such a move for Tim Tebow, will give him the opportunity he seeks. And in all honesty , the Jaguars are a hell of a long way off from where they need to be , to even mount a serious challenge in the AFC South , against all three of their rivals within the division . And last I looked, God , himself , had not bestowed upon Tim Tebow any miraculous traits , that would in essence , turn him from being a mediocre player, into one of the most sought after and gifted athletes currently playing in the NFL. You heard me right , Tebow isn’t gifted , nor is he that great a player , he is simply an affable guy , and the sooner fans realize that fact , the better off the NFL will be , without the ridicule of having to discuss his merits as a player, and where he should stand on any franchises’ pecking order as a quarterback .

The NFL is not a governmental welfare agency handing out food stamps , or in this case giving a player a chance to play , merely because he is on a team’s roster . Tebow’s current coach , Rex Ryan apart from admitting that the staff made a mistake in their usage of the player , has gone on record in stating that the quarterback has a fantastic “ work ethic” . My question is for Rex Ryan and for all of the fans who called for the player’s installation as Mark Sanchez’s successor when the incumbent starter , had his on-field issues . Why was it that Tim Tebow, was unable to dethrone Sanchez for that starting role , if as alleged by the head coach that the player was said to be working so hard ? If all of that hard work had been paying off , then would it not be a fact that Tim Tebow would have had at least one , if not two or three regular season starts for the New York Jets ? Yet fans who are clearly are not using the damn intelligence given to them , would rather make the asinine statement that Tebow is simply not being given the chance to start in the NFL . A few fleeting moments in 2011 , doesn’t make you an overnight sensation or a Pro Bowl caliber player . Suck it up guys , Tim Tebow is human , and I repeat not the second coming of Joe Montana or Johnny Unitas for that matter . Get over it, once and for all, and get on with your lives.

So finally , after three years of misinformed judgment , another season of infamy was needed for the Spanos family to come to the decision to relieve both Norv Turner and AJ Smith of their duties within the San Diego Chargers’ organization. There had to have been not only sighs of relief , but also tears of joy for the long-suffering Chargers’ fans . Far be it for me to suggest ,much less pose the question but would Dean Spanos have waited one more year and wasted another sixteen game schedule for a repeat of the diatribe served up by the head coach and the now former general manager ? The two having worked in conjunction , collectively ,they have had more misses than hits in assembling a competitive roster and identifying the needs of the franchise during their reign.

In light of his dismissal , Norv Turner has been vociferously critical of the Spanos’ family (owners of the Chargers) for their actions . Yet somehow , he has failed to acknowledge his own contributions that led to his being fired . In the last three seasons, Turner has gone a combined 24-24 (0.500) , and during which the Chargers’ last winning season came in 2010, and prior to that in 2009, with his best season, being that very same year. As a head coach of the San Diego Chargers , Turner took the team to the playoffs on three occasions , where they managed an appearance in the 2007 AFC championship game , which ended in a loss to the New England Patriots , who would themselves go on to the Superbowl of that year.

It has been a complete travesty having to witness the Chargers play at Qualcomm Stadium , in San Diego , California , and there can be no denying that Dean Spanos would like nothing better than to relocate the franchise to the downtown Los Angeles area . For the moment, the Chargers will remain a tenant at Qualcomm, subject to the existing lease agreement, with the city and its expiration date. . Meanwhile, veteran Chargers’ quarterback , Philip Rivers labors under the burden of a heavy yoke around his neck , with a team that is lacking in zeal and one which possesses not an iota of leadership from anyone on the roster . One lay the blame at Rivers’ feet , but he is not the only person on the team , who should be held accountable , beyond the ineptitude shown by Norv Turner and his coaching staff . Everyone fell asleep at the wheel, while the Chargers simply careened out of control over the past few years . Had they gone over a cliff, would anyone have noticed? I guess not!

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Picture gallery .

With the postseason beckoning , this off-season will see a great deal of activity from a number of teams , specifically those who have made the moves to change their coaching status . Last season , we did not see any major coaching upheavals amongst the coaching staffs .However, we were witness to a number free agency moves across the NFL landscape. Do you believe that we are liable to witness any major moves this off-season and which teams do you think will be among the “major players” in such a scenario ? Tom Corbett’s decision, to rescind the NCAA’s fine of Penn State , do you think it a prudent decision by the Pennsylvanian governor ? Merely state your thought on this and anything else you believe pertinent to the subject matter .

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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 now 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. Mario Tama/ Getty Images North America …

(2) Penn State Board of Trustees member John Surma listens the board holds an open public meeting in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal at the Nittany Lion Inn, November 11, 2011 in State College, Pennsylvania. Penn State’s interim president Rodney Erickson was introduced at the meeting. Head football coach Joe Paterno was fired amid allegations that former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was involved with child sex abuse. Getty Images North America / John Smith …

(3) Penn State president Graham Spanier , left, and athletic director Tim Curley , center, celebrated coach Joe Paterno’s 409th win . Both Curley and Spanier , having been forced to resign or having taken early retirement, now face charges within the state’s court system , as to their actions in the “alleged ” cover-up that took place at Penn State . The former high-ranking officials at the university vehemently deny any involvement in a cover-up and have promised to shed light on the details they say were details overlooked in the ” Freeh Report” . AP Photo/ Gene J. Puskar ……

(4) Penn State assistant football coach Mike McQueary (L) leaves court following a preliminary hearing for former Penn State athletic director Tim Curley and vice president Gary Schultz on December 16, 2011 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Both Curley and Schultz are charged with lying in a grand jury investigation about Jerry Sandusky’s alleged child sex abuse. Getty Images / Robb Carr …

(5) Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett , left, greets Washington Redskins’ coach Mike Shanahan after an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012, in Landover, Md. The Redskins won 28-18, securing a playoff berth . AP Photo/Nick Wass …

(6) Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) pauses during a media availability after an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins Monday, Dec. 31, 2012, in Landover, Md. The Redskins won 28-18 , securing a playoff berth. Romo failed to deliver once again , when his team needed him the most , with questions now arising as to whether or not he is indeed capable of leading the franchise deep into the playoffs , let alone a Superbowl victory . AP Photo/Evan Vucci …

(7) Lovie Smith , foreground, is seen here with Bears’ GM Phil Emery , background at the Chicago Bears 1st summer camp practice Thursday at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Illinois, on the July 26, 2012,. Emery made the formal announcement that Smith had been fired , having guided the Bears to a winning record (10-6), only for the team to miss out on a playoff berth , after the Vikings’ narrow victory over the Green Bay Packers . Phil Velasquez/ Chicago Tribune …

(8) Jacksonville Jaguars’ owner Shahid Khan , is said to be keenly interested in acquiring disgruntled Jets’ quarterback Tim Tebow , and have him compete and earn the starting quarterback role with the franchise. Both Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne have failed miserably this season in guiding the team , who ended the season with a 2-14 record and will be afforded the right of having the number one overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft . AP Photo/ Charles Howard ….

(9) Former Chargers’ head coach Norv Turner is seen here addressing members of the convened press at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego , California . The coach of six years was dismissed by Dean Spanos , COO of the NFL franchise , who also terminated the services long-serving front office executive GM , A J Smith . Turner voiced his disapproval of the timing of dismissal , suggesting that the Spanos’ family had reassured him that he would be brought back to coach the San Diego Chargers for the 2013 season . AP Photo / Olivier Pacheco …..

(10) Chargers’ COO Dean Spanos, left, is seen here with Norv Turner center-field at Qualcomm Stadium , prior to a home game during this season . AFP/REUTERS/ Paul Rutland …

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Penn State Football news

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Meek Mill & Kirko Bangz ……. ” Young & Gettin’ It “

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Gloria Jiminez . Ay caramba !

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

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

By Tophatal

Call me naïve but all of the hype over the teams at the start of the season doesn’t bear out the claims being made by the pundits and fans alike . BCS / College Football anointed USC (Trojans) the number one ranked team in the nation, only to see that program fall from grace faster than a speeding bullet shot up into the air , and with that projectile swiftly falling . The fact that Lane Kiffin tried to play down his team’s woes as being nothing more than complacency and inexperience , clearly indicates that the coach , himself , didn’t believe the “ bull “ he was readily extolling , as he tries to hide behind the disappointment of what might have been .

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The Trojans were 7-5 in overall play and 5-4 within conference ( Pac 12) , in essence when you consider this team was highly-touted as the Pac 12 champions, as well as a bonafide contender for the BCS national title . Well the Trojans’ Bowl aspirations will be down to one of second-tiered Bowl games , and in this case , it will be the Hyundai , sponsored , Sun Bowl , in El Paso , Texas on the 31st December ,2012, when the USC (Trojans ) take on Georgia Tech (Yellow-jackets) . A nondescript game , with a $2 million payout for the winning program, on the day . And we wonder why the BCS in conjunction and the major conferences , have been so slow in dragging their feet and adopting a clear cut formatted playoff system that would be equitable for all? With these multi-million dollar payouts at thee bowl games , it’s better to “ keep the gravy train” rolling along as it is , rather than further having divide the spoils amongst many of the lesser programs who aspire to be playing amongst the big boys of the FBS . As Ohio State Buckeyes’ President , Dr E Gordon Gee once stated “ we’ve no need for programs who can’t play at a higher level and pay for the privilege of doing so “ . Need we be reminded of what was going on at the Buckeyes’ program between 2009 through to 2010, under then , head football coach , Jim Tressel ?

Let’s just say , the stench to be found on the college’s campus , could only be outdone by lies and deceit countenanced by Tressel , his coaching staff and numerous players with the football program at the time. Pay to play , pimp by ride , and I’ll one-up you with , I’ve got a bag a weed , a major drug dealer and gambler handling bets for the players , and a car dealer offering “free rides” (cars) for players to roll around in , with some of the finest ” bling-bling” and “honey dips” (females) available for sexual gratification. Yet somehow this all escaped the watchful eye of AD Gene Smith and the Athletics Department’s compliance officers ? Stevie Wonder could’ve detected that rancorous stench and told you , what , when , why and how ? Buckeyes’ Nation , more like, Fuck You Nation ! And if anyone believes that the installment of Urban Meyer , as the coach of the football program , will bring about a renewed search , for academic and athletic excellence , then , think again ! .

This past weekend within the NFL ,there were a number of results that may well have left you in sheer apoplexy . First off the bat , I will reiterate , there are no do-overs in the NFL , and the Arizona Cardinals cannot , and will not be allowed a second bite of the apple , after their 58-0 shellacking at the hands of the Seattle Seahawks . I am English , and results such as this, normally takes place during a rugby match and not , in an NFL game ! At what point was Cardinals’ head coach Ken Whisenhunt going to press his secondary into making a serious attempt at playing some defense ? Last , I looked , Russell Wilson was not the second coming of Joe Montana , and Marshawn Lynch could not be mistaken for Barry Sanders . Yet somehow, the performances of the Seahawks’ offensive players in this game were somewhat reminiscent of the Forty-Niners at their very best . But let’s take a step back , this is the Arizona Cardinals we are talking about, a franchise that hasn’t been relevant since Kurt Warner was leading them to regular season victories with a great deal of aplomb , before choosing to ride off into the sunset and into the arms of a loving family . Do you get the feeling that the Cardinals’ front office < might not now contemplate giving Warner a call , to gauge his interest in returning to the NFL ? It’s not as if Kevin Kolb , John Skelton and Ryan Lindley , have been able to do that much at the quarterback position for the Arizona Cardinals this season. The trio are amongst the worst performing players at the position within the NFC , and not far off being amongst the worst of a terrible bunch within the NFL as a whole !

I know it’s not Groundhog Day , but the frequency of the losses for the Kansas City Chiefs , have become repetitive and damn monotonous . In the aftermath of the Jovan Belcher “ tragedy” , a rallying cry was heard and a victory came out of an unnecessary tragedy . That being said, it’s back to the ineptitude we’ve seen exhibited with ever-growing frequency from a team that apparently has lost its will to win , and whose coaching staff now seems to be out of their depth.

Sunday afternoon , the Chiefs were the guests of the Cleveland Browns , in a game that would have significant meaning for the Browns , as they sought to keep within striking distance of the Cincinnati Bengals , and avoid ending the season , as bottom feeder within the AFC North . Brandon Weeden was not asked to do a great deal , other than to be efficient , and not put his team at risk during the game. Cleveland came away with a 30-7 victory , which improves their record to 5-8 , while dropping the hapless Kansas City Chiefs to a mediocre 2-11, with only three games left , in order to end their schedule and not further subject their fans to this misery.

For team that was said to have a great deal of of aspiration for the postseason , the Houston Texans have proven to as elusive as they are thrilling . Everything about this team at the start of the season , suggested that they were ready to “ hit the big time” . Well, take into account their first postseason berth , and their displays in 2011 , all that was being asked of Gary Kubiak’s players on Monday night , would be , that they go out, and acquit themselves well . Instead , the Texans ran into the New England Patriots and their buzz-saw offense that simply laid waste to an apathetic and woefully inept Texans’ secondary , that on the day looked lackluster and did in fact play lethargically . I’m not a heavy gambler , but it would be a cold day in hell , before you would be able to entice me to bet on the Houston Texans in any type of a meaningful wager ! This team and franchise has no “ real body work” behind it, other than a exceptionally explosive offense , that plays well during the regular season , but seems to come up short , when it matters most .

We are all aware of what Tom Brady has been able to do over the course of his career , especially during the regular season . Monday , was not necessarily the exception to the rule , but it damn well near came close to it , as the quarterback put on an exhilarating aerial display , that was complemented by a solid rushing game led by Stevan Ridley , Danny Woodhead , Shane Vereen ,and Brandon Bolden making the Patriots’ offense was relentless on the ground. And as much we have seen the defense of the AFC East franchise play poorly during this season , we were able to finally see a game from where all the parts seem to come together . A secondary that on average , this season, has been giving up 376 yards and 21.1 points per game through the first thirteen games of 2012. Given the fact that Patriots’ head coach, Bill Belichick and defensive coordinator, Matt Patricia , simply put together a scheme and sets that stymied the Texans’ offense from the beginning to the end of the four quarters . And to see Matt Schaub , perhaps in his worst game of 2012 , it was enough an indicator , to suggest the quarterback is just capable of putting up great numbers , and little else beyond that. Schaub , has yet to win a playoff game in his career , and this is where I believe far too many people have bought into the idiocy that this is the team to beat in the AFC . Well , Monday night , was a clear indication that the Texans are not as good as advertised , because fans only saw what they wanted to see , rather than what was clearly there to be seen

Now while it appears the final verdict has been rendered , with presiding adjudicator , Paul Tagliabue’s decision to overturn Roger Goodell’s original suspensions of Wil Smith , Scott Fujita , Anthony Hargrove and Jonathan Vilma . Tagliabue’s verdict does not excuse the player’s actions but he believes that the preponderance of evidence gathered shows the actions of the New Orleans Saints in this “ Bounty Scandal “ was in fact initiated by the actions of Sean Payton , Gregg Williams , Joe Vitt and countenanced by GM Micky Loomis . This remains a damning indictment of the NFL franchise but of anything , it also indicates that the commissioner far exceeded his authority .

Goodell, has always maintained his actions followed the “letter of the law”. But at no time has the commissioner acted accordingly in his deliberations and interviews with the alleged defendants when they met in private. Much , much to the dismay of the fans , the public and those amongst the legal establishment , the actions of Roger Goodell were not tempered by any sound judgment and the impartiality sought from someone who has to assess the evidence based on the facts as they are known to be . And no matter what concessions that were made by the NFLPA (Players’ Union) , as it relates to their collective bargaining agreement with the NFL hierarchy , at times the commissioner’s actions bordered upon being those of individual who simply sought to make a scapegoat of the players , rather than the Saints’ franchise as a whole . Paul Tagliabue may well be seen as a reprieve for the four players , but in no way it should it be viewed that way. They are guilty , it is just that their guilt is mitigated by overwhelming proof that without the direct orders of the coaches , much of what we now know to have taken place would not have been executed without the “ say so” and implicit orders of Micky Loomis , Sean Payton and the head coach’s subordinates , Gregg Williams and Joe Vitt. Which now begs the question , how is it that Roger Goodell could not have come to this conclusion and have rendered a decision that would have been amenable to all of the parties concerned , and wherein a monetary fine that could have, and should been levied against the four players , rather than the continued idiocy we have witnessed ? Tagliabue, upheld the commissioner’s original suspensions of Payton , Vitt , Loomis and Williams , without making any recommendations that any further action be taken . Should we now consider the matter closed ? Well , that would be dependent upon whether or you believe Paul Tagliabue’s decision to be fair and impartial . From my own perspective , even with the union’s original decision to challenge the former commissioner’s impartiality to preside over such a matter , we did in fact get to see how a legal mind does work, when you have someone with a legal background presiding over such a case .

Appears Courtesy of the Washington Post

Paul Tagliabue vacates all discipline for players in Saints bounty case

By Mark Maske , Washington Post

Former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue on Tuesday overturned the suspensions of four current and former New Orleans Saints players and declined to fine them for their roles in the team’s alleged bounty scandal .

Tagliabue, appointed by Commissioner Roger Goodell to hear the players’ appeals, agreed that New Orleans conducted a program that paid players for hits that injured opponents, and that three Saints — linebacker Jonathan Vilma and defensive linemen Will Smith and Anthony Hargrove — were guilty of conduct detrimental to pro football.

But because “this entire case has been contaminated by the coaches and others in the Saints organization,” Tagliabue wrote that he would not impose fines either.

A fourth player, linebacker Scott Fujita, did not engage in conduct detrimental to the NFL, Tagliabue concluded in his 22-page decision.

“I affirm Commissioner Goodell’s factual findings as to the four players,” Tagliabue wrote in his 22-page ruling. “I conclude that Hargrove, Smith and Vilma — but not Fujita — engaged in ‘conduct detrimental to the integrity of, and public confidence in, the game of professional football.’

“I fully considered but ultimately rejected reducing the suspensions to fines of varying degrees for Hargrove, Smith and Vilma,” Tagliabue added.

None of the players has missed a game because of suspensions. They have been allowed to play while appeals are pending, though Fujita is on injured reserve and Hargrove is not with a team.

A league official called Tagliabue’s ruling the end of the process under the collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and its players’ union.

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Paul Tagliabue , whose legal background and experience as a corporate trial attorney and managing senior partner with law firm , Covington & Burling LLC , of which he was also a founding partner , gave him greater insight than any , that could have been found with his NFL successor , Roger Goodell. What this now further does in quite possibly lowering the public’s perception of the NFL , has to be tempered by one’s own opinion of Roger Goodell’s , as the hierarchy’s commissioner . There’s no denying that he has , and will continue to make decisions that far outreach the parameters of his responsibilities, and many of the verdicts rendered will be looked upon as being asinine in a number of cases , whereas in others, they will actually make some common sense . But in all honesty, in recent years, Roger Goodell’s decision-making has more to do with sheer buffoonery , rather than being sound in its reasoning ! He has been in large part, a simpleton on appearance , been someone who cannot be succinct or for that matter , and as an individual , his communicative skills border on that of someone, who has a considerably hard time of making sense of the English language, orally , as well as, in the written word ! .Your opinion on this ?

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What thoughts if any , do you have with regard to the NFL season so far , and which teams do you now feel have more to worry about with regard to their ongoing precarious plight ? And is there any one ball club that you feel over the past three weeks has stood out as a legitimate contender for the Superbowl , above everyone else ? Also are you in agreement with this verdict rendered by Paul Tagliabue and do you see it as an end to this long episode concerning the New Orleans Saints and Roger Goodell ? Simply chime in with your thoughts on this and anything else you feel may well be pertinent to the subject matter .

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(1) Head Coach Lane Kiffin of the USC Trojans greets senior, Matt Barkley (7) before the game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 24, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. USC would go on to lose the game 23-13 to the Fighting Irish. Harry How / Getty Images North America …

(2) Everett Golson (5) of the Notre Dame (Fighting Irish) runs an option as he is pursued by Leonard Williams (94) of the USC Trojans at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 24, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. Getty Images / Harry How …

(3) New England Patriots wide receiver Donte’ Stallworth (19) catches a pass in front of Houston Texans defensive back Brandon Harris (26) before running it in for a touchdown during the third quarter of an NFL football game in Foxborough, Mass., Monday, Dec. 10, 2012. The Patriots would go on to defeat the Texans 42-14 . AP Photo/Elise Amendola ….

(4) Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub (8) and head coach Gary Kubiak talk during the second quarter of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots in Foxborough, Mass., Monday, Dec. 10, 2012. AP Photo/Steven Senne …

(5) New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) celebrates his 37-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Brandon Lloyd (85) during the first quarter of an NFL football game against the Houston Texans in Foxborough, Mass., Monday, Dec. 10, 2012. AP Photo/Elise Amendola ….

(6) (6) NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, left , is seen here alongside Paul Tagliabue , who at one time held the position as commissioner before choosing to step down and to be succeeded by Goodell. The incumbent was a protege` of Tagliabue who returned to private practice with the DC based law firm, Covington & Burling LLC . Roger Goodell , having recused himself from presiding over the appeals of the four Saints’ players embroiled in the “bounty scandal ” appealed to Paul Tagliabue to preside over that hearing . Paul Tagliabue’s decision was to overturn the originally rendered verdict of Roger Goodell , but he also cited that the players’ “actions while egregious “ they did not bear the greatest responsibility of the ensuing actions they were said to be involved in. Tagliabue pointed to the fact that an environment of contempt , deceit and greed was fostered and engineered by head coach Sean Payton, along with the compliance of Joe Vitt , former assistant , Gregg Williams , and general manager , Micky Loomis . Picture appears courtesy of CBS Sports @ all rights reserved copyrighted material …

(7) Saints’ defensive player Jonathan Vilma is seen here arriving at NFL headquarters in New York City , to answer questions by the league’s investigators into the Saints’ bounty scandal . Vilma refused to answer any of the questions asked, citing the league’s lack of evidence, and the very fact much of the evidence gathered was ” hearsay” with no tangible proof of his direct involvement . The player’s legal representation was provided by the NFLPA (Players’ Union) at the request of NFLPA Executive Director , DeMaurice Smith . Courtesy of the Los Angeles Times/ Alex Ortega ….

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Hot chic pic of the day , Latoya Ophilia-Bledsoe .

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder ……

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

By Tophatal

Many of my friends believe me to be unconventional, as they feel that the fact I am an Englishman , the given stereotype, is of someone who is reserved and somewhat shy. In many respects, for a lot Anglophones that may well be true . For myself , I think I’m the contrarian to that particular stereotype. Much of that I believe, comes from my familial ties and ancestry. I may well have been born in the UK , but my heritage is primarily that of the Caribbean , specifically from the island of Jamaica. From the age of three , to the age of twelve, I lived in the country, with my initial education , being within the primary school educational system , which was very structured and based upon , reading , writing and arithmetic (mathematics). Fast forward , and my teenage years were spent in the United Kingdom , and there , the environment was a change in pace and in learning , less rigid but nonetheless , education was the main priority, especially, in the case , where three children were being raised by a single working mother ,who as the matriarch and patriarch for the three of us (my younger sister and brother).

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And as a teenager , before an almost ten-year stint in the military , I found myself in my fair share of trouble , but nothing too serious , albeit , that one run-in with the law , got me jailed for protesting outside the South African Embassy in London , during which, I was protesting against the apartheid regime in the country of South Africa , and the continued incarceration of political activist, Nelson Mandela . Thankfully, Mandela was subsequently freed , led the country through a peaceful transition and a democratic government . In the midst of this all, the support was none existent , in spite of the idiotic claims being made by political historians in the United States. The issue was simply “paid lip service “ to by successive administrations down the years. But upon Mandela’s release , he was being feted by the US administration as a “ conquering hero “. Clearly , when it comes to diplomacy and foreign policy , everything about the US spells window dressing” with little common sense being shown.

My buddies and I, differ on a number of views , but our love of sports , remains the tie that binds us together . Well that , with our love of the female form , and an appreciation of good food and liquor , though not necessarily in that order.

Recently , with the death of famed boxing trainer Emanuel Steward , it simply rang true , that the sport is now dying , or one could say , it is in the process of being given its last rites. Boxing has become a joke , where there are no longer any major title fights of any significance , especially within the inconsequential and labored heavyweight division. At the lower weight categories , there are no really widely known fighters, beyond Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao , two fighters , now in the waning years of their respective careers. The long-desired fight between the two, is unlikely to take place , with both fighters simply squabbling over who should get the larger slice of the proposed purse , never-mind the ancillary rights for such a proposed mega-fight. As a topic of conversation between myself and my four close friends , I made the suggestion that they would better off watching the fast rising sport of MMA (mixed martial arts) fought under the UFC banner . It has now become the fastest participation sport in North America , with gyms now clamoring to take in students introduce them to the genre , students , who just happen to be young and old .

The rise of MMA , under the auspices of Dana White , President of the UFC , has been spectacular over the past decade , with the sport now having secured a multimillion dollar television contract, as well creating a multibillion enterprise . A burgeoning television audience has also played a part , from the organic , to a spectacular growth within sport . Recently, I read a somewhat asinine article by an individual within this forum, who tried to suggest that MMA was on the decline, whereas , hockey remained preeminent amongst the four major professional team sports . The NHL has seen its revenues decline , and the sport itself , is now in the midst of its fourth mandated labor stoppage of the last two decades. I mean, if you are going to write candidly and passionately about something , at least have the goddamn common sense , to show some intellect and common sense concerning the subject matter. NHL Commissioner , Gary Bettman is so damn clueless , that it is easy to understand why this sport remains a constant joke , where the players and their union (NHLPA) are able to make the NHL hierarchy simply cower in a corner , afraid of their own damn shadow . To date , Bettman and his Deputy Commissioner , Bill Daly , have met repeatedly with the NHLPA , behind closed doors , trying to negate the discontent amongst the fans as the current labor stoppage enters its second month , and find common ground between their two parties . The idiocy of this ongoing situation, is that with each passing month , the sport is losing in excess of $175 million a month in revenues . And clearly the longer this lockout continues , the growing anger of the fans will most certainly grow beyond their alienation , but with them , totally abandoning the sport altogether . Bettman and his opposing union counterpart , Donald Fehr , are no closer to finding a solution , and to my mind , this duo could not find ice , if they were placed in the midst of a freezing Alaskan tundra !

Two of my friends , are so passionate about the sport of hockey , but with their growing dismay in the handling of the labor stoppage , they are now ready to completely give up on the sport , once and for all. And who at this juncture , would blame them ? I have never been to a professional hockey game , nor have I the desire to do so ! If I want to participate in hitting someone , then I simply place on a set of gloves , get into an octagon and simply pound on an opponent at will , while following the rules of MMA . Having boxed as a teenager , before taking up martial arts (karate , kendo & taekwondo) and competing in the sport at the high school level , I have to admit that the sport of boxing was my first love , followed by soccer. However , I became dismayed with the sport of boxing several years , ago when it became more apparent , that a sport , which claims self-governance at the international level , was now becoming as corrupt as the promoters , who now governed boxing from the promotional side. Needless , to say, Don King and Bob Arum , would like to have you believe that they have played their part to clean up the sport , while making it more profitable and a much safer environment for the fighters in general . Many of you , undoubtedly know how the organized crime has become a multibillion business entity ? Well , the sport of boxing , is simply no different under the reins of Arum and King . The duo are , and still remain , two of the most dominant and powerful figures in with the sport , where their reign and business practices go unquestioned. At the domestic level , here in the United States , the sport is governed by various state athletic commissions , and where no one body, as an entity, has the exact same mandate for the licensing of the boxers and promoters , let alone setting the uniform regulations to govern the sport nationally . In essence it is one great hodgepodge of dumb rules that simply makes no sense to a layman , who takes in an interest in the sport .

Well, if this season in College Football is anything to go by , then next two weeks will either draw our angst or happiness . Just when you thought that things were following the script , somehow the complacency of the nation’s two top-ranked teams suddenly took a turn for the worst . Oregon (Ducks) and Kansas State , had their worlds turned upside down with their defeats in two games , which they were favored to win. The odds-makers in Las Vegas are obviously smiling with a great deal of joy , not that they are never smiling when they are taking money off the hands of their customers .

With Oregon and Kansas State’s demise on Saturday, rising to the top of the BCS / AP Polls , is the renowned program of Notre Dame . Not wanting to disparage the accomplishments of Brian Kelly this season , of which they are great , but if this team is now the best in the nation , albeit that they remain unbeaten at 10-0 . Then clearly , the quality of the football being played at the D1/FBS level , has markedly decline over last season. The Fighting Irish coming off their lopsided 38-0 victory over Wake Forest , have sent a message that they are back and supposedly ready to take on all-comers . Well , we shall see , when Kelly takes his team to Southern California to take on Lane Kiffin and the USC Trojans . It is pretty much safe to say that this ritual between these two-storied programs has a great deal of meaning for both sets of fans. As an outside of observer , I get it , and then I don’t ! To my mind in recent seasons , we have come to find out , how the USC Trojans were said to be operating with regard to many areas of the school’s athletics program . Anyone who believes that the rampant widespread malfeasance that took place was simply within the basketball and football programs , are clearly misguided and naïve . Granted, Kiffin has a program that has just come off massive sanctions , for having severely violated numerous NCAA rules . The fact remains that the Trojans’ head coach , has skirted and still skirts the rules , only to play the fool , by suggesting that he had not knowingly committed a transgression . Lane Kiffin , may well be considered a very good coach , but his failure to acknowledge his misplaced judgment , shows him to be a person , who simply cannot be trusted to actually tell the truth.

With a ten win season , Notre Dame is now guaranteed a BCS Bowl berth , but their aspirations lie within winning a national championship ,which would be their first since 1988 , under then , coach, Lou Holtz when they defeated West Virginia 34-21 in the Fiesta Bowl . Eleven national titles overall , but none coming during the BCS Bowl “ era” . Definitely something, that, Brian Kelly, is intent on changing this season, if he can. All of my friends, are keep college football enthusiasts , though I have no affinity for any particular program , albeit, that I reside within one of the nation’s hotbeds , when it comes to the college game, here in the state of Florida. Programs such as Florida (Gators) , Florida State (Seminoles) and the Miami Hurricanes , cast a giant shadow to an extent, over the prominence of the three NFL franchises within the state , with Jacksonville Jaguars , Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers laying claim to being the three professional teams in question.

One of the things that will arise out of the success of Notre Dame , will be the growing certainty, that one of the beleaguered NFL teams , seeking an NFL coach , is sure to make an overture to Brian Kelly , to gauge his interest in becoming a head coach in the NFL. If that were to happen , I am not so sure that Kelly would be able to turn down such an offer . OK , so there are not many bigger or more profound college football programs than Notre Dame. Yet the lure of the NFL cannot be far from the back of Kelly’s mind. It is undoubtedly where the best of the colleges who have taken that next step , have sought to succeed amongst their professional peers. Will , Kelly make that jump and forsake a program that he has successfully rebuilt , after the wasteful years under Charlie Weis ? Well that remains to be seen , but for the moment there still a regular season and a postseason foray to be dealt with .

Week eleven presented us with the good, the bad and the ugly within the NFL, and out of deference to you all , I will allow you to decide which results befits the criteria’s mentioned ! If anyone, can now justify why Andy Reid should be allowed to retain his position as the Philadelphia Eagles’ head coach , after yesterday’s debacle . Then I would like to have some plead Reid’s case for his retention . OK , so we all know, that he has been on an emotional roller-coaster ride , with regard the issues of his son, Garrett Reid , and his son’s untimely death. Yet, that should not hide the fact that this team , has been horrendous throughout much of this season . Vastly overrated , and it would appear that Michael Vick possesses the balance and poise of a newborn baby, simply stumbling to take its very first steps , the moment he has stepped onto the field of play , each time , during this season. The Eagles were the guests of the Washington Redskins , at Fedex Field , in Landover, Maryland , on Sunday afternoon. The events as they unfolded , became a clear indication , that this game would indeed be lopsided , in its manner of determining a victor .

Vick was not on the field of play, as he was subject to the league’s mandated seven-day concussion policy . The veteran quarterback along with what one could deem several key players were on the team’s injured reserve list . In no way should that excuse the Eagles’ poor play over the course of this season . As Michael Vick’s play has been on the decline for the last eighteen months , but yet it was Reid’s belief that the player was the Eagles’ best option to win . Clearly, that has not been the case over the course of this season , with franchise bearing a 3-6 record and the sole recipient of last place within the NFC East . Nick Foles , Vick’s backup was inserted into the starter’s role for this game, but his play was far from being conclusive , as to whether or not, he is seen as the long-term solution for the Eagles’ problems at the quarterback position. The Redskins’ 31-6 victory , could well have signaled the end of quite possibly both Michael Vick’s and Andy Reid’s career with the Philadelphia Eagles . There have been wildly unconfirmed but yet speculative rumors that GM, Howie Roseman , team President , Don Smolenski , in conjunction with team owner, Jeff Lurie will come to a decision concerning the futures of the veteran quarterback and the distinguished head coach. In my honest opinion , I do not believe that either the player (Vick) or Reid will be relieved of their duties before the season plays itself out ! But there are ominous signs that things are about to change for the franchise. Your thoughts on this and the Eagles bemoaned season ?

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Picture gallery

What thoughts if any do you have concerning the salient points mentioned within this article and what of the results that took place within the world of the NFL and College Football , which to your mind was the most surprising ? Do leave a comment on this and anything else you believe pertinent to the subject matter.

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Slideshow and picture gallery for your perusal .

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(1) Sandals resort in Montego Bay , Jamaica . A luxurious resort in the Northeast of the island in one of more idyllic spots in all of the Caribbean . @ copyrighted material all rights reserved

(2) (L) Boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. poses with (M) promoter Oscar De La Hoya and (R) boxer, Juan Manuel Marquez of Mexico to promote the July 18 bout between Mayweather Jr. and Marquez during the news conference at the Hollywood Theatre in the MGM Grand Hotel/Casino May 2, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mayweather has not boxed since his bout against Ricky Hatton of England in December 2007. The long-awaited fight between Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao has yet to materialize , yet the fans are being gouged with PPV prices and rather mundane talent being exhibited in those bouts. Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images …

(3) UFC welterweight champion Georges “Rush” St Pierre, is seen here, pinning his opponent and challenger for his title , Carlos Condit . St Pierre defeated Condit in a unanimous decision , and now awaits the possible negotiation of a mega-fight with middleweight champion Anderson Silva . If as anticipated , the bout could be the biggest PPV event UFC and MMA history. This defense of the welterweight title , was as St Pierre’s ninth successful victory since gaining the UFC championship belt . The bout was the headliner , for UFC 154 staged at the Bell Center , in Montreal , Canada , home of the reigning champion . AP /Reuters / Christian Golovin ….

(4) Notre Dame wide receiver John Goodman , right, makes a catch for a touchdown over Wake Forest corner-back Merrill Noel during the first half of an NCAA college football game in South Bend, Ind., Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012. Notre Dame defeated Wake Forest 38-0 . AP Photo/Michael Conroy …….

(5) Head coach Brian Kelly of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (with towel) yells instructions to his team during a game against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at Notre Dame Stadium on November 17, 2012 in South Bend, Indiana. Notre Dame defeated Wake Forest 38-0. Getty Images / Jonathan Daniel …

(6) Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid pauses while speaking at a news conference at the team’s NFL football practice complex, Monday, Nov. 19, 2012, in Philadelphia. The Eagles are 3-7 and have lost six straight , accelerating the countdown toward the possible end of Andy Reid’s 14-year tenure as coach. AP Photo/Matt Slocum ….

(7) Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, left, is tackled by Dallas Cowboys inside linebacker Ernie Sims , defensive end Jason Hatcher and outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware in the first half of an NFL football game , Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012, in Philadelphia. AP Photo/Julio Cortez ….

(8) Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles lies on the turf after a tackle during the second half of an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins in Landover, Md., Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012. The Redskins won 31-6 . AP Photo/Nick Wass …..

(9) Sandals , Montego Bay , Jamaica . The claims that the state of Florida having the best beaches in the world are ” simply a f##king joke ” ! Clearly those claims are being made by an anally retentive as#hole , who probably has never traveled to such places as Montego Bay , Bondi Beach , Australia , Copacabana Beach , Brazil , or St Tropez ,South of France or walked on the beaches in the Turk & Caicos .

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NFL related piece : A Sporting weekend to behold , maybe

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