Losers , winners and mere simpletons ..

Losers , winners and mere simpletons ..

Repeated pratfalls by the NFL and it would seem some fans believe a less than forthright apology by Roger Goodell now rectified the idiotic decisions the commissioner made in light of the league’s handling of the Ray Rice “affair”. Escalating acts of misconduct by the NFL’s players over the years and it would seem that neither league hierarchy , the commissioner or many of the NFL’s apathetic and lame ass fans have learned a damn thing about the league, much less the fact the commissioner is so damn clueless. Theirs seems to be the belief as long as the NFL trudges along providing the fans with a banal on the field product , with a group of pompous and asinine on air prognosticators, the league can survive in its present guise.

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The players and their union (NFLPA) continue to hide behind privacy rights and the issue of due process , but at a time where the league has seen a rise in misconduct , the Players’ Union has done little to discuss the issue, much less player representatives or union Executive Director DeMaurice Smith have done little to rein in the misbehavior of their players or sought to discuss the issue publicly.

With news coming to light, where certain executives within the Baltimore Ravens organization might well have been privee’ to the taped incident of Ray Rice assaulting Jenay Parker , it begs the question, if the franchise was indeed in receipt of this information , then why was it not passed on to the league head office ? The NFL and the Ravens have been complicit in another unsavory cover-up and an episode which further suggest the ongoing incompetency of the league during Roger Goodell’s disastrous tenure. If to make matters worse, the commissioner is now of the belief in bringing in former FBI Directors Robert Mueller and Louis Freeh , it adds credibility in his seeking to rectify the problems he has long ignored concerning player misconduct. Nothing could be further from the truth , as we have seen in the lackadaisical way , with which the commissioner has failed to show consistency in how he metes out punishment to players guilty of misconduct.

Freeh and Mueller are essentially bureaucrats being brought in as the commissioner suggests in assisting the league to formulate a code of conduct and policy to be followed by all of the NFL’s thirty-two teams . If such a provision was never properly enacted or there was never a firm policy in place , then Roger Goodell is being a mere fool , if he now believes such a policy will be willingly accepted by the union and the players , when there has been a continued mistrust between the two parties all along.

Week three in the NFL offered the fans very little respite with the usual amount of anomalies one would now come to expect , with several teams giving the type of performances they and their fans would rather forget. This was highlighted by the inept display of the league’s worst team the Tampa Bay Buccaneers , who were on the wrong side of a lopsided loss , in their 56-14 defeat suffered at the hands of the Atlanta Falcons. Lovie Smith , his coaching staff are now coaching a roster with the worst record in the NFL , with the Buccaneers now 0-3 , having posted this record for the third time in the last six seasons in a start to a regular sixteen game NFL schedule. Where Tampa now goes from here is anyone’s question, with the team showing little signs of life , in terms of competitiveness or any real leadership from the players. The Pittsburgh Steelers will play host to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which will be a Sunday afternoon game for the two teams in question, part of the week four schedule for the NFL.

A 2-0 start to the season may well have had everyone believing the Buffalo Bills were off to very good start , but they were quickly brought back down to earth as they fell 22-10 to the San Diego Chargers at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park , New York. For the Bills’ new owner , billionaire developer Terry Pegula , this was definitely not the way he wanted to start off his reign as the franchise’s and the NFL’s newest owner. The defeat , brings the Bills back to the pack as they share the lead in the AFC East with the New England Patriots , whose hard-fought victory over the Oakland Raiders was one of the less memorable games in the NFL over this past weekend . New England will look to follow-up with a second consecutive victory , when they face the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium , in Kansas City, Missouri in week four.

It is still early days yet in the NFL season, but I believe not until after week five can we really have a real insight how good the teams are , and the likely direction they will be heading. Granted, one or two teams are already showing signs they are likely to be uncompetitive as witnessed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.Yet, there is every reason to believe the likes of the Buccaneers , Jacksonville Jaguars and Oakland Raiders will likely struggle over the remainder of the season given their lack of competitive play at this point of their respective schedules.

Kirk Cousins is now providing something of a lovely headache for Jay Gruden and the Washington Redskins’ coaching staff. The Redskins’ backup quarterback is proving to be a more than adept substitute for the usual starter Robert Griffin III , whose first two years in the NFL have proven to be somewhat erratic. Griffin however, is seen as the face and future of the franchise without delving into the financial investment made in the player, who was taken as the number two overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft , where he was drafted behind Andrew Luck of the Indianapolis Colts.

While Washington is rooted at the bottom of the always overrated NFC East , it has to be said other than the Philadelphia Eagles , who have found a way to distance themselves from the rest of the pack within the division, the other three inhabitants are pretty much the best of a rotten bunch of apples.

Jay Gruden will take the Washington Redskins will be at home in week four where they will meet up against divisional rivals the New York Giants who will be led by Eli Manning , as the Giants’ quarterback will be looking to resurrect what was a very disappointing season in 2013 for the player. If the New York Giants fail to gain a postseason berth this season , then there are likely to questions raised, concerning the long-term future of Tom Coughlin , his coaching staff and the ten-year veteran quarterback of the NFL.

With a week to go before the end of the MLB season , several of the divisional races have all been sewn up. The Washington Nationals have clinched the NL East over a very disappointing Atlanta Braves team which did not provide much of the competitive race or competition for the Nationals over the course of the season. Now there seem to be rumors surfacing that GM Frank Wren will be shown the door by Braves’ organization. My own beliefs are , he front office should also be assessing the failings of Fredi Gonzalez and his managerial staff , as well as certain members of the team who failed miserably . At the end of the season, a decision is likely to be made concerning Frank Wren , but it is not likely to be the only changes made concerning the internal makeup of the front office , managerial staff and playing roster going into next season .

Elsewhere, there has to be a great deal of adulation within the state of California , with the knowledge both baseball clubs in the greater Los Angeles area have made the postseason. The Los Angeles Dodgers swept through to an easy defense of their NL West title and now look to make up for last season’s failings in the MLB postseason. The Dodgers’ AL counterparts the Los Angeles Angels made light work within the AL West dethroning the two-time defending divisional titlists the Oakland Athletics , bringing the Angels their first divisional title in five years , their last coming in 2009.

With there now being talk of a possible all Californian World Series’ finale, with the Los Angeles Angels facing off against the Los Angeles Dodgers . I would dare say this would be the sort of showcase finale baseball requires and needs, in light of the failure of the New York Yankees not being part of baseball’s postseason fare. Derek Jeter bows out of baseball after two decades of a career, which can be best summed as being exemplary. By contrast, it has to be said the AL East new divisional champions the Baltimore Orioles come into the postseason , with several notable achievements for the team , but a major blemish to their image, with Chris Davis having been suspended for failing the league’s steroid policy , all of this , from a player who swore blindly he had never once used a banned substance. Personally, if Davis can afford to be tutored by Brady Anderson , whose career was always suspect, given one standout year in an otherwise under-achieving career. There isn’t much else that really needs to be said concerning the accomplishments of both players and the apathy of the Orioles’ fans who believe Chris Davis and Brady Anderson, can be considered genuinely great players for the franchise .

Buck Showalter will take the Baltimore Orioles on the road where they will be the guests of the New York Yankees at Yankees Stadium in New York City, New York , on Monday evening. On the mound for the visiting team will be Bruce Chen as he faces off against Michael Pineda of the Yankees.

In the space of fifteen days the Kansas City Royals have gone from a sure thing, to a team intent on self-imploding as the final month of their season seems to be falling apart at the seams. The Royals are now 1 1/2 games behind of the Detroit Tigers within the AL Central , with only eight games left to salvage their year or otherwise , become part of the wildcard foray, where they are likely to face the Oakland Athletics in the wildcard round of the MLB postseason, In what is simply a one and done contest , such a game between the two teams is not likely to favor the Royals , who would have to face the A’s at the O Coliseum in Oakland, California , with the winners going on to the divisional round (ALDS) of baseball’s postseason fare. Kansas City may well be leading their season series in 2014 , having won five of their seven meetings , but it would take a real betting man to believe Bob Melvin and his staff will allow his players to let the Kansas City Royals run over them , given the A’s recent postseason experiences, for which the last visit for the visiting team their last such foray came two decades ago. Kansas City has been in meltdown mode and their last ten games (4-6) have been ample evidence of that very fact.

The Kansas City Royals will take on the Cleveland Indians as they look to make inroads into the lead of the Detroit Tigers . Brad Ausmus and the Tigers will be remain at Comerica Park in Detroit , Michigan where their guests will be the lowly Chicago White Sox . That particular match-up should prove to be a lopsided contest if their season series is anything to go by , with the game favoring the home team.

The Boston Red Sox as the reigning World Series’ champions were expected to contend this season not only within the AL East, but also in the American League (AL). Unfortunately. for John Farrell and his managerial staff this was to be a season of more lows than highs , with the team showing no signs of competitiveness or leadership from anyone on the roster. A far cry from last season, when the team swept through the postseason with the utmost of ease and they were barely challenged within the division of having out-gunnned their divisional rivals.

David Ortiz may well have been the World Series’ MVP last season and while his stats for this year have been far from impressive , but the real issue has been , why the falloff from a ball-club which was so competitive and decisive in 2013? One could possibly point to the issue of GM Ben Cherington choosing to assemble a roster which failed to live up to expectations . with several players nowhere near as good as was first thought. How and why AJ Pierzinski was ever thought to be a player with the ability to lead , much less provide the type of productivity sought has to be as bewildering as the acquisition itself by the ball-club. Boston has not only fallen out of contention, but will finish with its worst divisional placing in several years. With no game scheduled for Monday 22nd September, the Red Sox will resume their schedule on Tuesday 23rd September when they play host to the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park in Boston Massachusetts , in a contest between two AL East teams heading in the wrong direction . direction.

If the NFL is said to be rife with incompetence and utter stupidity, then NBA cannot be all that far behind ! It took the utter audacity and bigotry of Donald Sterling to in some ways show what is now going on behind the closed doors of this old boys’ fraternity made of up buffoons among the league’s hierarchy and owners , without delving further into the stewardship of former NBA Commissioner David Stern or his neophyte successor Adam Silver . Having to deal with the damage to its image, caused by the racial insensitivity of the tirade of Donald Sterling , which in some circles was simply being treated rather apathetically by fans ,as merely an owner having the right to freely express himself .

The NBA has since had to deal with the rather nonsensical uttering of two Atlanta Hawks’ executives further reiterating how bigoted and racially intolerant this league just happens to be. And for the idiots trying to suggest because of the makeup of the NBA is largely ethnic based, with a preponderance of the players being minority in their background. It simply cannot hide the fact, Bruce Levenson and Danny Ferry were showing a now obvious side to the league , which both Stern and his successor have failed to address over the years. If both Levenson and Ferry can be allowed to get away with such behavior and then one adds the depraved rants of Rich DeVos into the mix , while trying to negate DeVos’ idiocy with the fact, he might well have donated thousands of dollars to the transgendered and gay causes, it simply cannot detract from the statements made by the Orlando Magic owner concerning a specific demographic within society. This is not a not fictional drama being played out , but real life events , and in many ways , fools are now seeking to excuse such behavior as being acceptable within society , without ever mentioning the words , “ common decency and the respect of others “ .

You have to hand it to Glenn Taylor of the Minnesota Timberwolves who continues to bitch and whine about having to trade All Star power forward Kevin Love to the Cleveland Cavaliers . Things would not have become so farcical for the Timberwolves had either Taylor or Flip Saunders sought to build a roster competitive enough which would have persuaded Love to remain with the franchise . Instead , both executives have continued to take parting shots at the now departed star. As if to further exacerbate the situation, the front office now has to deal with a disgruntled Ricky Rubio,perhaps the only valuable asset left on the roster. The Spaniard has let it be known he is not entirely happy with the direction the franchise is now heading in , with even head coach Flip Saunders seemingly unsure about what his best lineup is likely to be during the exhibition season as well as starting the Timberwolves’ regular season schedule which sees the team with an opening against the Memphis Grizzlies. Saunders as the de-facto GM and head coach will have to make a decision before the start of the season or seek persuade Ricky Rubio to remain with the team , while he seeks to bolster the roster. Easier said than done , as I believe Rubio no longer has any desire to be with the Timberwolves . It certainly will be interesting to see what transpires between now and the start of the season, as the Minnesota Timberwolves seek to placate another disgruntled star.

Rex Chapman come down and take a bow. Having earned over $22 million over the course of your professional career in the NBA , you took it upon yourself in retirement to prove you were nowhere as intelligent as many believed you be . As a former Kentucky Wildcat may well have achieved some semblance of collegiate success , but in the aftermath of that career and the nondescript years in the NBA , you have now brought some unwanted attention upon yourself , being accused and then being charged with nine counts of theft of $14,000 worth of items from an Apple Store and then seeking to pawn those very same items in a pawn shop in Scottsdale , Arizona. Pardon me for saying this , but , how much of an asshole is Rex Chapman and are certain collegiate alumni from Kentucky that frigging dumb ?

While Rex Chapman is no longer a part of the NBA fraternity, the ex-player’s behavior is somewhat typical of the ongoing idiocy one continues to see within the league and player misbehavior. If left to the general managers , owners and league hierarchy to deal with such issues , more often than not the NBA tends to treat the players with kid gloves” . As to those who prescribe to the fact the Justice System has a way with dealing the misdeeds . State Attorney Generals at the state level and then at the county level , tend to seek a plea deal from the offenders who are then offered rather lenient sentences in such instances or if a case should go trial, you tend to have a jury not often aware of the law, even when under the advice being given to them by a presiding judge. Justice for all ? No , justice tends to be given to those who can afford the privilege of being treated with leniency, while the victims have no real rights of recourse.

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In light of baseball’s season now almost reaching its culmination, what do you believe have been some of the major highlights of the season ? Secondly, the NFL season is becoming more known for the off-the field issues , rather than for the play on the field . Do you believe the league has been able to deal with these issues appropriately ? Finally , how do you see the NBA season panning out and do you believe Ricky Rubio will be a player for the Minnesota Timberwolves at the start of the season or will he be traded ? Chime in with your thoughts on this and anything else you believe pertinent to the topics raised in this article.

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(1) From left to right , Baltimore Ravens’ executives, team President Dick Cass , GM Ozzie Newsome and team owner Steve Bisciotti . Bisciotti has been critical of the claims being made by ESPN that the franchise had been receipt of the taped evidence showing Ray Rice assaulting his then fiancée Jenay Parker . The Ravens’ owner refutes the allegations but does state he wished he had approached the league earlier to decide whether not the franchise could take action against the player directly, rather than leaving the matter in the hands of the league hierarchy to deal with. AP Photo / Richard Walker …

(2) Tight end Levine Toilolo (80) of the Atlanta Falcons fumbles the ball against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during a game at the Georgia Dome on September 18, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. Getty Images North America/ Kevin C Cox …

(3) Running back Antone Smith(35) of the Atlanta Falcons gets tangled with corner-back Johnathan Banks (27) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after a fumble during a game at the Georgia Dome on September 18, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. Getty Images/ Kevin C Cox …

(4) Buffalo Bills’ quarterback EJ Manuel looks to make a play in the game against the San Diego Chargers this past Sunday. San Diego would end up being the victors the in this contest defeating the Bills 22-10 . AP Photo / Paul McGee …. ….

(5) Oakland Raiders defensive end LaMarr Woodley (58) puts pressure on New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) in the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014, in Foxborough, Mass. AP Photo/Elise Amendola … ….

(6) Deposed GM Frank Wren who o summarily fired by the Atlanta Braves with a six games left in the regular season . Braves’ team President John Scheurholz made the decision in consultation with senior executives within the organization. John Hart will assume the role as interim-general manager until a permanent successor can be found. About the only real bright spot to the season has been the productivity of Braves’ outfielder Justin Upton who led the team in a number offensive categories in 2014 . AP Photo/ Gerry Parsons …

(7) Ricky Rubio (9) is seen here alongside his former teammate Kevin Love (42) . The pair led the Minnesota Timberwolves in a number of offensive categories last season but it was simply not enough for the team to get into the postseason. Love has since been traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers leaving the Timberwolves without a proven scorer on the current roster. Rubio has voiced his displeasure in the trading of his former teammate and it is believed he too will seek a trade away from the franchise. Getty Images/ Adam Harris …

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Liar , liar , pants on fire ………..

Liar , liar , pants on fire ….

Liar, liar, pants on fire

In recent years the NFL has really gone through so many pratfalls , many of them of their own making . Image problem , well let’s just say while idiot fans champion the popularity of the brand and sport , with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell , simply espousing the league’s ever increasing revenues , you simply have to wonder if the NFL does have a compassionate side. In conjunction with the NFLPA (Players’ Union) , the league’s handling of the issue for game based injuries , in particular the matter of CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy ) and other neurologically based disorders. For the better part of the past two decades, the well-chronicled issue has remained a hot topic debate. Now, in light with the ongoing stories of the bureaucratic mismanagement of the Veterans Administration (VA) and the calls for the firing of VA Secretary General Eric Shinseki .

(4) Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ wide receiver Mike Evans , center is seen here with team GM Jason Licht ,left, is also seen with team head coach Lovie Smith , far right . Evans provides a receiving threat that the team rarely possessed last season . AP Photo / Collin McMillan …..

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The issues of the NFL and how they have dealt with the injuries of their retired veteran players and how the US military veterans are now treated by that governmental agency , does seem to bear a remarkable resemblance. Therein, lies the idiocy of the fans, who continue to make light of this topic with their inane comments, that the players themselves knew the risks when they first entered the NFL . Perhaps , if the league chose not to subvert a great deal of their own in-house research conducted by their own medical staff and researchers , this matter could have been handled with more authority and urgency . Instead, both Goodell and his predecessor Paul Tagliabue, hid behind a veil of secrecy, deceit and lies.

There are now several cases at various levels within the Justice System where the NFL is now a lead defendant in numerous civil suits brought by current and retired players. In recent days, former Miami Dolphins’ quarterback and Hall of Fame inductee Dan Marino, has added his name, to a suit , that seeks unspecified and punitive damages. That civil suit details what the player believes were actions, that sought have himself and many of his peers to be subjected to use painkillers and antidepressants , to remain on the field during a game. While I believe that there is a great deal of justification in the players taking this route, with a civil suit , I do believe that there that has been a great deal of hypocrisy on the part of the team owners , league hierarchy and specifically the Players Union , itself ! That body’s Executive Director DeMaurice Smith has proven to be no different from that of his predecessor the late Gene Upshaw in taking this matter with a great deal of urgency and actually doing something proactive. A settlement that in some circles was greeted with a great deal of derision , awarded 2,300 players $ 775 million , with a further $1 billion being set aside , for what Roger Goodell suggested would be in-depth research into the cause and effect of neurological disorders , suffered during an NFL game .

With their own prior research, the league and commissioner suggested, there was actually no cause and effect , with their being absolutely no connection between the issues in question. Now an about-face , and here we have the NFL seeking to show its compassionate side without any admission of guilt on their part. Meanwhile , the union with a vested interested in this issue ., has simply done little to benefit their retired veterans on the matter . As I alluded to earlier, the glaring similarities of the league’s actions and that of the VA and Barack Obama’s own handling of this issue, now shows why the NFL and government remains a damn farce , where they are simply lacking real leadership , much less leaders, who really can be viewed as individuals who have any credibility.

With further evidence about how much of a mess, this whole chapter has become , it is now being reported that Dan Marino will withdraw his name from the civil suit against the NFL . As to the reasons behind this change of heart does seem ambiguous and unclear, by the Dolphins’ legend. My belief behind this all, stems from the fact, Marino’s credibility will come into question. His private life remains in turmoil in spite of his act of contrition, after repeatedly denying he was the father of a child born to a former CBS female intern . An act, the quarterback suggests was completely out of character, which brought about some unwanted attention and a great deal of embarrassment for himself and his family.

The more this story remains in the spotlight, with no real conclusion in sight, the less credibility there remains within the NFL , its hierarchy , union and among the owners themselves . There has been way too much rhetoric coming from the league, along with the usual amount of pragmatism one would come to expect from a group of individuals, where greed remains the key and their being little compassion from anyone within the groups mentioned.

As this NFL off-season comes more into the spotlight, as teams prepare for the upcoming preseason and then their regular season schedules . A number of franchises have sought renegotiate deals or cut some players, from their rosters. Meanwhile, this season’s group of rookies have begun to acclimatize themselves with the rigors of the NFL at the professional level. Jadeveon Clowney , beyond all the hype has seen his teammate and defensive counterpart JJ Watt show to him that it will not be that easy to just simply step unto an NFL field and believe that an opponent will simply pay him homage and respect.

For Clowney, before he gain that respect , he will have to pay reverence to those before him and to many of the players he is likely to face over the course of this season . The Houston Texans are expecting a great deal out of the number one pick from the 2014 NFL Draft. A losers of fourteen consecutive games , once they entered their week three schedule of last season, it was easy to understand why the Texans fell apart at the seams under the coaching of Gary Kubiak and his coaching staff . The woes of the Houston Texan were well-chronicled, to the point where many wondered if the team and staff could actually dig themselves out of the hole created. At season’s end, their record of 2-14 was a true reflection of the Houston Texans and how bad this team was said to be.

Bill O’Brien, who succeeded Gary Kubiak , after his expected dismissal, will now look to resurrect the fortunes of this franchise , where there are not seen to be many major challengers to the Indianapolis Colts’ and their dominance of the AFC South in recent years. Houston’s regular season meetings with Andrew Luck and his teammates , should provide us with a great deal of evidence about the aspirations of the team. Those two regular season contests in week six and fifteen , may well be something , O’Brien can use as a gauge, about where the Texans will need to be, in order that they are considered a legitimate threat within the AFC this upcoming season.

The firing of Greg Schiano , as the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the aftermath of another horrendous season by the franchise, in reality , was of no great surprise . Schiano’s brash demeanor, simply could not hide the fact, he was clearly out his depth as a head coach in the NFL . He brought absolutely no discipline to the team from a coaching standpoint and once again, the idiotic claims by Buccaneers’ fans, there was a sense of consistency to the Buccaneers , was nowhere to be seen , all season long. Beyond that, the franchise then had to the issues of their troubled former quarterback Josh Freeman , whose career with the franchise can be best characterized by saying it was simply one of abject failure. Indeed this organization has not had a quarterback with any great sureness in several years and that includes their Superbowl winning quarterback Brad Johnson , whose 2002 season was understated even with the Superbowl victory among his personal achievements.

Schiano’s firing and the Buccaneers’ decision not to extend the contract of GM Mark Dominik , has led to a new structural hierarchy within the front office . Jason Licht replaces Dominik and the return of a former Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ assistant Lovie Smith to claim the reins of Greg Schiano , begins a new chapter for the organization. Smith’s coaching philosophy is one of a defensive mindset , with the players being held accountable and where the opportunities that arise on offense are duly taken . With Greg Schiano , it was simply a hodgepodge of schemes , with no clear path about what was being achieved. . As damning an indictment as that statement appears to be , the truth cannot be overlooked and the Buccaneers in 2013, were one of the worst performing teams in the NFL , in a wide variety of areas. At no point in the season could one believe that this team was actually in with a chance of winning the NFC South , much less be viewed as a legitimate contenderwithin the NFC . This preseason, a number of dubious prognosticators are now suggesting that this might be the year that the Buccaneers actually turn things around. A few off-season acquisitions and a moderately average draft will not put this team in the driver’s seat within their division. If anything, the Buccaneers at best are likely , to be no better than the third or fourth best team within the NFC South and record within the conference was a clear reflection of who they are within the league as a whole last season.

I believe Lovie Smith brings a great deal more credibility to the role as the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and he does a proven track record, unlike that of his predecessor . Granted , the issue of this organization I believe stems from the ongoing mindset of the Glazer family and where their intentions truly lay. Is it their ownership of the NFL franchise or the ownership of the far more successful ownership of their English Premiership (EPL) team Manchester United ? Within both entities, over the past six weeks we have seen some major upheavals . The firing of David Moyes as manager of the EPL giants after only a year, was welcomed in all circles because of David Moyes’ continued mishandling of team affairs and his level of incompetence . Certainly, United’s failure to win a domestic trophy and their poor showing in the UEFA Champions League played a part in his own downfall. Moyes’ successor , is the no-nonsense and highly regarded Dutchman Louis Van-Gaal , who is likely to be more demanding of his players, while taking more input from the members of his coaching staff and the team in general . Something, David Moyes was unaccustomed to doing throughout his entire tenure with Manchester United.

Away from the field of play, the recent death of Glazer family patriarch Malcolm Glazer, there has been renewed speculation that the family may well seek to sell one , if not both of their professional sporting interests. Tampa resident Eddie DeBartolo Jr , former owner of the San Francisco 49ers is known to be seeking a return to the NFL in some capacity. In the UK, the continued calls for the sale of United continues unabated, because of the lackluster showing of the team, but more so, because of the family’s incompetence in their ownership of the soccer club and then their placing the club with a mountain of debt , that still stands at unprecedented level . That figure in some circles, is being reported to be as high as $1 billion and as low as $600 million . The real issue, is whether or not this upcoming season, will the club fall in line with the UEFA mandate of the “Fair Play Act” , in meeting the financial requirements to be eligible for all UEFA sanctioned club competitions ? The financial windfall the Champions League provides, is something that the club counts on, beyond the revenue derived from the domestic competitions in the England of which the two most important are the Premiership and the FA Cup . Competitions where Manchester United have attained a great deal of success in recent years, as well as throughout their history.

Joel and Bryan Glazer have been emphatic, that neither Manchester United, nor the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be put up for sale, but I cannot help, but wonder , if their appetite has not been whetted by the recent $ 2 billion bid made by Steve Ballmer to buy the NBA’s beleaguered franchise the Los Angeles Clippers ? Pending, the league’s approval, that will be the highest price paid for an NBA franchise in league history. We also witnessed in 2013, the Los Angeles Dodgers being purchased for the seemingly unbelievable price of $2.156 billion . This sum, I believe in many ways, was forced upon the winning syndicate by the behind the scenes shenanigans of MLB Commissioner Bud Selig , in demanding that the sale not only take place , but his forcing his will upon the presiding judge in the US Bankruptcy Court, in the state of Delaware.

Far too often in recent years we have seen the Tampa Bay Buccaneers fail to live up to expectations and I do not believe that this season will be any different . A new coaching staff , rookies and the inexperience of second year starting quarterback Mike Glennon is a great deal to ask of a team , where last season in their old guise they simply fell apart at the seams .

If Glennon is not up to the task, the insertion of a durable veteran such as Josh McCown is by no means a guarantee of success for the Buccaneers. Their rivals within the NFC South , the Carolina Panthers, Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints are likely to be considerably better than they were in 2013 , by way of the NFL Draft and through their own off-season acquisitions . It is highly unlikely that Ron Rivera , Mike Smith and Sean Payton would have stood by and waited to see what was being done by the Buccaneers . But this has been the mindset of the moronic tendency of the print and television media within the Tampa Bay area, with their prognostications concerning the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ upcoming regular season . How many times, have they and the fans got those assessments wrong and would they be willing, to admit that fact ?

The Buccaneers’ draft class of Mike Evans , Jenkins Seferian , Charles Sims, Kadeem Edwards , Kevin Pamphile and Robert Herron are thought to be the players Lovie Smith believes will be able to complement his roster and be productive throughout the course of this upcoming season. Their preseason schedule should prove to be interesting , with their first contest being against the Jacksonville Jaguars, at Ever-Bank Field in Jacksonville , Florida on Friday 8th August , 2014. The remaining three exhibition games will be against the Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills and Washington Redskins . The team’s first regular season contest will be a home game at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa against Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers , reigning NFC South champions. Tampa needs a sound regular season start and what better way than to obtain a win against a divisional rival , who this season has to be viewed as one of the favorites within the NFC .

I will say this, for Trent Baalke, as the general manager of the San Francisco 49ers as he has busy during the off-season, in acquiring players in such a creative way, while also trying to stay within the salary cap . Yet , his biggest accomplishment might well have been in succeeding to have Colin Kaepernick sign a five-year contract extension for a quarterback who if anything, has made the Niners, a team to watch for the foreseeable future . Kapernick now has the weapons to succeed , but the question remains , has he grown as a player, showing maturity, as well as the potential leadership qualities sought by head coach Jim Harbaugh ? These are the traits that will be genuinely sought by the Niners’ coaching staff and their fans as the team embarks on their preseason and regular season schedule. A postseason berth and the likelihood of a Superbowl appearance are the ambitions of the Niners , where Kaepernick, can seek to avenge the loss suffered at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens in 2013.

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Picture gallery.

Your thoughts on the points raised within this article and how best do you believe that the NFL can best solve the ongoing legal issues that they are now embroiled in ?

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Picture and slideshow details below .

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(1) Hall of Fame quarterback , Dan Marino and now an NFL analyst with CBS , who at first signed on to be plaintiff in a legal suit against the NFL , concerning the league’s actions in forcing players to deliberately take painkillers and other prescriptive medications , that may well have caused unnecessary harm and other health issues. Marino has since withdrawn his name from the suit, but has not offered a full explanation as to the reasons , behind the change of heart. Getty Images / Paul Matthews …..

(2) NFLPA Executive DeMaurice Smith ,left. is seen here with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell . Smith has been extremely critical of Goodell and his handling of Indianapolis Colts’ owner Jim Irsay’s sobriety issues and the fact the owner has now received his second DUI in the past five seasons . It was widely known that Irsay’s issues were ongoing and that his dependency upon alcohol and wide variety of narcotics (cocaine, marijuana and Oxycontin). While his criticism may well be valid , Smith is not without blame as it relates to his own lack action concerning the issue of retired NFL veterans and their being unable to receive their rightful medical benefits. AP Photo / Glenn Mitchell ….

(3) The Houston Texans’ Jadeveon Clowney ,left, is seen here with the team’s General Manager Rick Smith as the player addresses the convened press at the Texans’ Reliant Stadium in Houston , Texas. Having signed his rookie contract , Clowney now becomes a part of a team that will be looking to revamp its reputation as one of the league’s worst performing defenses in 2013. AP Photo / Samantha Mitchell ….

(4) Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ GM Jason Licht , left, is seen here with the team’s number one first round draft pick , wide receiver , Mike Evans , center and team head coach Lovie Smith . The head coach and executive hope that Evans can provide a deep receiving threat they sought last season , but was rarely seen during last season , leading to the franchise having one of the worst offenses in the NFL in 2013 . AP Photo / Samantha Morton ……

(5) Buccaneers’ starting quarterback Mike Glennon (8) is seen here with teammate and seasoned veteran Josh McCown . Lovie Smith has emphasized that Glennon remains the starter but it is clear that McCown is there to challenge the second-year player for that position. AP Photo / Rick Barnes …

(6) Colin Kaepernick (7) is seen here with San Francisco 49ers’ head coach Jim Harbaugh . Kaepernick , already with back to back postseason appearances to his career as well as a Superbowl appearance now hopes to lead the franchise to another appearance in the NFL’s biggest showcase event of their postseason. Getty Images / Sam Harris …
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On this day 5th June

For Whom The Bells Toll ……….. It Tolls For Thee !

There’s not a great deal happening in the world of sports at present and with the Opening Day of baseball (MLB) set for this Thursday beyond that there isn’t a great deal to actually have the sport’s fan greatly enamored. The NBA regular season is slowly approaching the final straight and there too a number of teams are striving to gain some form of momentum in order to have themselves playoff ready for the postseason .

For Whom The Bells Toll ……….. It Tolls For Thee !

There’s not a great deal happening in the world of sports at present and with the Opening Day of baseball (MLB) set for this Thursday beyond that there isn’t a great deal to actually have the sport’s fan greatly enamored. The NBA regular season is slowly approaching the final straight and there too a number of teams are striving to gain some form of momentum in order to have themselves playoff ready for the postseason .

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Slide show for your perusal

With the NBA postseason set to commence in the second week or third week of April (April 16th), it’s easy to understand why these teams contending for a playoff berth would want to hit form of consistency that sets them on the right track as the playoffs approach . My own thoughts are that the teams looking to make a postseason berth are going to have to raise the level of their game as the playoffs approach.

A work colleague of mine brought up the subject of the NFL labor dispute and the lockout and made the statement that how is that all of a sudden the league now sets to paint the NFLPA in a dark light bearing in mind that they were the ones who sought instigate the lockout because the Executive Committee of the union were unwilling to acquiesce to a number of conditions that league proposed ? With Neil being a labor relation’s lawyer I found it somewhat surprising that he raised that point ! One of the sticking points now appears to be the league’s wish to have a comprehensive drug testing policy as it relates to PED’s and in particular HGH . For some reason I was under the impression that the league already had what they’d deemed to be a comprehensive drug testing policy but obviously it’s no better than the policy that MLB hierarchy has in place . Now if this is one of the real sticking points said to be many that the league and the union are said to be far apart on then it this lockout suddenly becomes not merely about money but a great deal more.

I know that the league (NFL) does test for certain prohibitive substances , namely marijuana , anabolic steroids and certain other illicit opiates but if they weren’t already testing for HGH then this is the question I’ve got to ask what the hell is going on within the NFL and their own credibility as it relates to the use of HGH ? Given the fact that we’ve all seen the dangers of abusing steroids and in particular a number of these opiates how is it that they’ve continued to not address the issue of HGH being used by the players . I know that it’s use has to be closely scrutinized by a medical professional. But herein lies the caveat if it’s only now that the league hierarchy under NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is prepared to address this issue then clearly there’s something that the NFL and owners weren’t prepared to make public unless they’re prepared to use it as leverage against the union. At the same time in the midst of this all Tennessee Titans’ owner Bud Adams issued a public statement saying that it is his belief that a 2011-12 season will commence on time . Unless Bud Adams is actually fully aware of some upcoming turn of events then clearly the league feels that they now hold the upper hand in any proposed return to the table concerning resolving the labor negotiations.. I’m not so sure that now appears to the case as I do believe that Goodell and the owners have been out-maneuvered by the NFLPA headed by Executive Director DeMaurice Smith .

Courtesy of NFL.com

NFL wants its players tested for human growth hormone

By Steve Wyche of NFL.com

The NFL believes now is the time to include human growth hormone testing in its banned substances policy and is pushing players to add it to a collective bargaining agreement — whenever one is reached.

The NFL and NFL Players Association discussed the policy before the union decertified March 11 and league owners imposed a lockout March 12, but no details were provided regarding where things stood.

News of the league’s insistence on HGH testing being part of the new CBA was first reported Thursday by FoxSports.com.

Adolpho Birch, the NFL’s vice president of law and labor policy, said Friday that the league has pushed for HGH testing since 2008, but with the opportunity to re-cast terms of a labor deal, it has become a priority. The NFLPA had resisted it in the past because of HGH testing methods and the reliability of results.

Blood testing remains the most reliable means to detect the presence of HGH, and that has been the sticking point — not both sides’ desire for fair play, Birch said.

“In terms of the policy, we’ve always been in lockstep with the players,” Birch said. “It’s an important tool in deterring — that’s maybe the most important part — and detecting those who are using (HGH). It helps the public understand what they are seeing is legitimate and that it’s not the result of artificial means. It’s equally important to players to know that someone hasn’t gained an artificial advantage over them.”

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Click on the link shown to read the article in its entirety.

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At this juncture the whole labor dispute nonsensical and personally with each passing day with the damage being done to the image of both parties , I now feel that the fans couldn’t give a sh_t how things turn out. It’s not as if the league or players have ever had the fans’ best interests at heart any time during their deliberations !

With the trial of Barry Bonds now hitting its stride it’s amazing to see to read or hear about the testimony now be given by the number of witnesses subpoenad to appear at the trial by the prosecution in this case the US Justice Department and the attorneys representing the People of the US. With Jason Giambi having testified that he was a recipient of steroids from Bonds’ former personal trainer Greg Anderson and Bonds’ former mistress Kimberly Bell testifying that in her time spent with the MLB slugger over the course of their relationship the player got considerably bigger. I can only surmise that apart from Bonds’ rigorous training regimen that she was trying to allude to the fact the player was using something illicit to spurt his growth or could it be that she was also taking about the size of his member ? And as absurd as this case has become I do believe that we’re going to hear a great deal more than goes from the sublime to the ridiculous !

The longer this charade goes on as to the money being spent on this case the more I continue to question the asinine stance of the MLB hierarchy under the tenure of MLB Commissioner Bud Selig , in particular the owners within the game , managers and the MLBPA under then Executive Director Donald Fehr who now holds a similar position with the NHLPA . If the NHL and the sport of hockey hasn’t gone through enouhh problems as it is ther Players’ Union hires Fehr to become their Executive Director ? Are they fu_king mad ? The game is still in a financially tenuous position and it’s not as if Gary Bettman as the NHL Commissioner has actually got them now heading in the right direction as of now is it ?

As it now stands the legacy of the game throughout the nineties and into the early part of this decade has been irrevocably damaged and harmed ! With the advent of the regular season about to start as of tomorrow I can’t help but wonder what the teams , owners , union , fans and the game’s hierarchy hope to see when in large part the fans are still being reminded of the inane stupidity of the league hierarchy’s lackadaisical approach to the steroid issue . Bud Selig and his then counterpart Donald Fehr and the union as a whole were complicit in perpetrating this fraud upon the public and wherein the teams and players had a financial windfall. Were this a white collar crime committed I can assure you that the FBI , Justice Department and dare I say it the idiots within both Congress and the Senate would be asking that there be indictments of all of the guilty parties concerned ! But instead those blowholes have remained mind numbingly silent , even with those odious and sleep inducing Congressional hearings that took place and was overseen by the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee and the House Committee on Energy & Commerce . What was achieved by those hearings dependent upon one’ s views ranged somewhere between the idiotic with the grandstanding by those congressional committee members and the idiotic statements and testimony given by the league hierarchy and the players subpoenad to testify !

The one thing I for one question now is given what we may or may not know to be true is how the public view the records attained by players during the steroid era and how they ought to be viewed by the fans and public in general ? God knows the single season home run record as well as the home run record ought to have an asterisk placed at their side . I don’t state this as a damning indictment of Bonds alone . But I do feel if that he’s now to be viewed as the face of the steroid era along with Jose Canseco and several other players whom we all know to be associated with the illicit use of steroids amongst other substances banned by the game then we also ought to question silence maintained by players such as Derek Jeter , Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine who’ve often been viewed as what’s right within the game but with their avowed silence on the issue , has to have the fans thinking up to a point whether or not they condoned the actions by their fellow players ? I mean even the most menial and lowly of the low within the union (MLBPA) as well as the marquee names have profited greatly from the era having seen their salaries rise not merely based on potential alone but from the stats that were achieved during the era . And with the idiot general managers then willing to pay exorbitant salaries to players while being lassoed in by uber-agents such as Scott Boras , Arn Tellem and Leigh Steinberg making the players immeasurably wealthy beyond their wildest dreams . It now begs the question what credibility does the game of baseball really have as to its legitimacy in being viewed as the nation’s favorite pastime as well as the integrity of its players , managers and the league hierarchy itself ?

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

As the NFL labor dispute continues to meander along whatever route it presumably takes how do you as such view the situation as a discerning fan of the game ? Do you also feel that the league’s stance with regard to them wanting to instigate a test for HGH via blood testing is the proactive thing to do by the NFL ? Or do you feel that a the federal laws in place as it relates to the use of steroids is enough of a deterrent to the players as a whole ? And what thoughts if any do you have with regard to the recently commenced federal trial of former San Francisco Giants’ slugger Barry Bonds ? Simply leave a comment on your thoughts as to the points raised within this piece and anything else you believe to be pertinent to the subject matter as you’d deem fit .

Picture and slide show details below .
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(1) Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award finalists Nnamdi Asomugha (R) of the Oakland Raiders and Israel Idonije (2ndR) of the Chicago Bears pose with the Peyton family, Connie Payton (2ndL), wife of former Chicago Bears great Walter Payton, and her children Brittney (3rdL), Jarrett (3rdR) and Adolpho Birch (L) during a press conference at the Super Bowl XLV media center on February 4, 2011 in Dallas, Texas. The Green Bay Packers will play the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV on February 6, 2011 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Getty Images North America Inc / Doug Pensinger ……..

(2) Birch (center) seen here with officials of the NFL and local dignitaries in Arlington , Texas prior to this past season’s Superbowl played at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington between the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers . AP Photo Chris Morgan ………

(3) DeMaurice Smith (R), NFLPA executive director, arrives with NFL Players Association Spokesman George Atallah (L) and Kansas City Chiefs player Brian Waters (C) for an extra day of negotiations at the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service building March 4, 2011 in Washington, DC. Representatives from the National Football League (NFL) and National Football League Players’ Association (NFLPA) continue to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement between players and owners during a 24 hour extension in negotiations. Brian Smialowski / Getty Images North America …..

(4) Former TN. Govenor Phil Bredesen, Honoree/Owner NFL TN. Titans Bud Adams, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and current TN. Governor Bill Haslam present Bud Adams with the “Lifetime Humanitarian Award” at the 2011 T.J. Martell Foundation Honors Gala at the Hutton Hotel on March 28, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee. Rick Diamond / Getty Images ……

(5) Former Major League Baseball player Barry Bonds leaves federal court at the end of the day on March 29, 2011 in San Francisco, California. Barry Bonds’ perjury trial accusing him of lying to a grand jury about his use of performance enhancing drugs when he played for the San Francisco Giants enters its second week. The trial is expected to last two to four weeks. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images ……..

(6) Major League Baseball player Jason Giambi leaves federal court after testifying during Barry Bonds’ perjury trial on March 29, 2011 in San Francisco, California. Barry Bonds’ perjury trial accusing him of lying to a grand jury about his use of performance enhancing drugs when he played for the San Francisco Giants enters its second week. The trial is expected to last two to four weeks. Justin Sullivan/ Getty Images North America ….

(7) Kimberly Bell the former mistress of Giants’ slugger Barry Bonds is seen here leaving the US Federal Courthouse in San Francisco , California, having given her testimony in the player’s obstruction of Justice and perjury trial . AP Photo / Phil Montgomery …

(8) Former Major League All Star Jose Canseco known steroid user whose revelations of widespread steroid and PED use amongst his peers in the league led to widespread outrage along with the watered down Mitchell Report and MLB ‘s inane drug policy . AP/Reuters / Keith Pettigrew ……….

(9) Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig (L) is pictured alongside then Executive Director of the Major League Baseball Players Association Donald Fehr during testimony at a House Oversight and Government Reform committee hearing on the Mitchell Report into the use of steroids in baseball, on Capitol Hill in Washington January 15, 2008. Former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell told the U.S. Congress on Tuesday that Major League Baseball’s players and owners must come together “in a well-planned, well-executed and sustained effort” to remove steroids from the national pastime . Andy Krupp /Reuters ……

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Alan aka tophatal …………….

https://tophatal.wordpress.com/

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NBA News

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Bubba Sparxxx ………………………….”Ugly ” .

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Dre Dre ……. feat’g ……… Snoop Dogg …………………… ” Let Me Ride ”

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TI ………… feat’g ………. Christina Aguilera ……….” Castle Walls ”

Could this better describe the situation now facing both the MLB and NFL and their respective images as they each perceive it to be ?
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Got Yourself A Headache ? Try Being An NFL Player ?

Got Yourself A Headache ? Try Being An NFL Player ?

It’s often said ………’it takes a tragedy to happen before we truly understand or appreciate one’s mortality’ and truly that saying hits home every time. Sadly last night while having a drink in a bar with friends after work it was reported that former NFL star , two time winning Superbowl player and Pro Bowler Dave Duerson died from a self inflicted gun shot wound. Unfortunately this tragedy doesn’t encapsulate the whole facet of the player’s life after his retirement from the NFL. The player had taken his life this past Thursday at his South Florida home in Sunny Isles .

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Slide show for your perusal .

Duerson lost his wife to an acrimonious divorce and his post professional life saw him lose his business to financial mismanagement and bankruptcy. Dave Duerson was also a rights’ advocate for current and former NFL players , specifically those who’d suffered from mental health issues related to chronic head traumas . In his will the player left specific instructions that his brain be donated to science for research into blunt head trauma injuries and chronic traumatic encephalathopy ( CTE). Neuro surgeons and Research Fellows at Boston University will be the recipients of the player’s brain and it has been there within the university’s School of Medicine and Neuroscience where research will and has been conducted into head traumas and other neurological health related injuries and diseases as it relates to the NFL. Duane Duerson during his career had suffered repeatedly from chronic symptoms of concussions on the field of play which saw him win a Superbowl with that heralded Chicago Bears’ team coached by Mike Ditka. His second triumph was gained with the New York Giants coached by Bill Parcells .

Courtesy of NFL.com wire reports

Ex-NFL safety Duerson found dead; police await word on cause

Dave Duerson, a four-time Pro Bowl safety who played on Super Bowl winners with the Chicago Bears and New York Giants, has died. He was 50.

The Bears released a statement Friday saying they were “stunned and saddened” by the news and called Duerson “a great contributor to our team and the Chicago community.”

“Today is a difficult day for all of us who loved Dave,” the team said. “We’ll miss him. Our prayers are with his family.”

Miami-Dade Police Detective Robert Williams said the body of a Dave Duerson was found Thursday in Sunny Isles Beach, Fla. Computer records show that the Duerson who lived at the address was born the same month and year as the player.

Investigators haven’t determined the cause of death. Williams said detectives are awaiting the medical examiner’s report.

Duerson’s ex-wife, Alicia Duerson, told NBC Chicago that the former player “loved and cherished his family” and was “extremely proud” of Notre Dame and the Bears.

A native of Muncie, Ind., Duerson was a third-round draft pick by the Bears in 1983 out of Notre Dame and became a key figure on one of the greatest defenses ever assembled.

Who can forget the 1985 Chicago team mauling opponents while shuffling all the way to the championship with Hall of Famers such as Mike Singletary, Dan Hampton and Richard Dent up front? With Todd Bell sitting out the entire season, Duerson played a big role in the backfield with five interceptions that year and made the first of four consecutive Pro Bowls.

“He was a great player for us,” former Bears coach Mike Ditka told The Associated Press. “He stepped in and did a great job. It’s very sad.”

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Click on link to read article in its entirety .

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With all that’s now going on concerning the NFL , the NFLPA and their ongoing collective bargaining agreement . It goes without saying that this issue may not be a part of the two parties’ ongoing negotiations. And with the two parties now said to be hard at trying to eke out and reach an amicable agreement as both NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell , NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith , union President Kevin Mawae have met with a US Federal Court appointed and mandated mediator to mediate and address the issues brought up by both sides. In spite of the league’s and union’s appearance in front of the House Congressional Oversight Committee and their investigation into head traumas , their cause and effects with regard to the concussions and other neurological injuries. What we’ve now come to know is that the NFL and the union have never taken these issues seriously and that’ s in spite of the statements attributed to Goodell, Smith and members of the union’s Executive Committee .

Sadly, it may well have to take such tragedies as this , Duerson’s death, before the whole world wakes up the acute problems that players current and former face when they put their very health at risk all in the pursuit of excellence and wealth on the field of play. Granted, the life span of an NFL player on average is no more than six years at best but for those who’ve been involved in th game even longer the long terms effects of repeated injuries be they head trauma or some other inury, the aftermath at times can be catastrophic ! We now have players who’ve been retired no more than two years now suffering from early onsets of Alzheimers’ disease , debilitating and chronic head pains and other far more acute neurological disorders. Dave Duerson was a victim of repeated chronic head pains in the aftermath of the repeated concussions suffered over the course of his career. I’ve often heard the idiotic comments by fans and members of the public alike who state ….‘ let them play because this is a man’s game and they know the risks’ . Well one of the risks isn’t as such to end up in a damn wheelchair and then not knowing who members of your family are or what day of the week it is . This is the sort of asinine , idiotic statement that one would come to expect from someone who’s completely undeducated and without about as much common sense as an invertebrate !

If there’s to be an in depth study into these medical issues by independent as well the NFL’s own medical professionals then it ought to be a concerted effort by all of the parties concerned. Goodell and his predecessor Paul Tagliabue had repeatedly and it certainly hadn’t help that Smith’s predecessor Gene Upshaw were about as contrite in dealing with these issues as former Iraqi leader Sadaam Hussein had been before he decided to gas several hundred thousand Kurdish refugees in Northern Iraq as a precursor to the first Iraqi war. In realiy it has only been in recent years that the NFL and NFLPA have been proactive in dealing with this issue. Goodell and the league’s own inhouse medical professionals have long held the view that injuries suffered by players within the game , many of them at times have been or were pre-existing . Now they’ve begun to change their tune and shown a change in their attitude but they haven’t yet been completely swayed. Goodell’s counterpart , DeMaurice Smith has merely given the public sound bytes but in reality his stance hasn’t been any different than that of Gene Upshaw.

And Upshaw as a player has been someone who I’ve admired but as a union representative he has my complete and utter contempt ! His primary concern has always been how much money came rolling into the NFLPA’s coffers by way of the league’s collective bargaining agreement. His concern , if any , was never for any of his peers or the retired players and there have been public statements that can be attributed to the late union chief executive. Meanwhile the fans out there continue to be completely in awe by what they see on the field of play but rarely do they show any real wish to view after the after life of an NFL player and many of the problems that they face. I liken it how the VA (Veterans’Administration), the government and public at large say that they stand behind the troops in their support but most days they wouldn’t give a soldier the time of day much less say hello . Doubt my word ? Then ask yourself this, when was the last time you offered some form of assistance to a returning veteran much less having spent some time with one either at a military facility such as a hospital or VFW lodge ? Go ahead give it a try and let me know what the experience was like ? It may well change your mindset as to how you actually view their plight. I mean the whole world felt aggrieved with the loss of former NFL star Pat Tillman even in the advent of his death being due to friendly fire but you’d be hard pressed to hear anyone say what happened in the aftermath as to the coverup concerning his death by the Defense Department and the US Army itself ?

The NFL has long maintained that it cares about the players and their well being but you’d be hard pressed to actually believe that statement . And I do believe that the league as a whole as well as the owners as a fraternity are a bunch of conniving and greedy bastards ! Nothing that they’re liable to say as it relates to the health issues of current and former NFL players can be taken with any type of veracity and the NFLPA for their part will merely act as if their concern has always been that of their union members. What I find galling by this whole travesty has been the utter contempt shown by the league in treating this matter with the seriousness ad dignity it deserves. But instead it continues to sweep the matter under the carpet until the next crisis or incident catches the public’s and media’s attention and then it tends to act in something of a diplomatic manner.

I’d certainly like to think at this juncture some common ground can be found where both the NFL and union can work in conjunction with the medical community as well as academia in thoroughly investigating and looking to safeguard the well being of current and former NFL players not just neurological disorders but also all forms of life threatening injuries that can and are suffered over the course of a player’s career. Rather than then seeing a player being pushed aside then left to fend for themselves and more often than not being egregiously denied benefits that’s rightfully due to them. At present there’s a civil suit filed by current and former players against the NFL as the sole defendant that charges them with gross malpractice , fraud and grand larceny in the denial of benefits due to the plaintiffs , in this case a collective of seventy five current and former NFL players. The suit has been filed within the US Federal Court System in Los Angeles for which a trial date has yet to be set. The plaintffs seek unspecified as well as punitive damages . The NFL and owners for their part haven’t as such issued a public statement concerning the matter but I’ve no doubt that the league’s general counsel in all due time with gave that rather perfunctory statement saying that …..” the plaintiffs’ case is without merit”.

In light of Duane Duerson’s death and the health problems that the player is said to have sustained during his professional post NFL career do you firmly believe that the league and union has done enough with regard to safe guarding the well being and health of the players ? Or do you believe that they’ve simply obfuscated their responsibilities and would rather see the players simply deal with their own health concerns themselves ? Bear this in mind the rate of neurological health issues suffered by NFL players is far higher than the general population at large and when compared to the geriatrics (elderly) the actual rate is almost 33% higher . Cause for concern don’t you think when players in their late thirties and forties in some cases are suffering from the early onset of such afflictions as ALS , Alzheimers’ disease , Parkinson’s disease , epileptic seizures, or CTE or an abundance of other life threatening maladies ? Say what you will but at this juncture but this is no longer an issue that can be swept under the carpet as it has been repeatedly done by both the NFL and NFLPA over the years . It’s time for them to do what’s morally and legally right rather than hiding behind that veil of ignorance and complete stupidity !

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

Simply chime in with your thoughts on this matter and any other issue you feel is pertinent as it relates to the NFL and this topic . Thanks as always for the continued support as it’s greatly appreciated !

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(1) Dave Duerson (right) is seen here testifying before Congress in June of 2007 . In the background seated is former Dallas Cowboys’ player Darryl Johnston . Duerson’s testimony to Congress dealt with the issues of neurological disorders suffered by current and retired players. He was a stauch advocate also for the rights of players with regard their medical plight , denial of benefits and numerous other health related issues. He was only 50 years old at the time of his death. AP/ Malcolm Warren ……….

(2) Duerson seen here during an game for the Chicago Bears playing against the Dallas Cowboys at Soldier Field in Chicago , Illinois . AFP/Reuters / Phil Pressman ………..

(3) Chicago Bears former safety Dave Duerson holds up his drivers’ license during a public tribute to his teammate Walter Payton at Chicago’s Soldier Field in this November 6, 1999 file photo. Duerson, a key member of the team that won the 1985 Super Bowl, has died, police said on Friday. Duerson, 50, was found dead this past Thursday night at his home in Miami, said detective Robert Williams, a spokesman for the Miami Dade Police Department. No immediate cause of death was given. REUTERS/Sue Ogrocki …..

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Alan aka tophatal …………………

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DMX ………………. “Slippin”

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Thanks For The Memories …………. But No Thanks !

Thanks For The Memories …………. But No Thanks !

Can answer be found for the utter stupidity now being shown by both the NFL , the owners and that of the NFLPA . It now appears the line that couldn’t be crossed has been as Commissioner Roger Goodell , NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith and the union’s executive committee seems to be now at a point where no one seems to be making any sense. Both sides claim that they want there to be a 2011-12 season but it’s becoming abundantly clear that scenario isn’t about to happen anytime soon. An NFL imposed lockout and labor stoppage will lead to a cataclysmic problem for the NFL from a financial standpoint and that of their major corporate sponsors. It has been estimated that each week of the regular season schedule of the NFL brings in an estimated $ 300 million in gross revenues for the league . And less we forget the postseason reaps an even bigger bonanza for all concerned .

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Slide show for your perusal .

What might now be a cause for concern will be the fate of the unrestricted free agents that will come to the market in the offseason. Any lockout leaves those players in limbo without an existing contract and as such without a team . And while we know that the NFL Draft will still take place the contention of the league is that process goes ahead without any hindrance. At what point does the idiocy stop with regard to the demeanor of the league’s hierarchy and the union itself. Both parties seem to be self serving and completely oblivious to the image created for the fans . Each side has seen fit to produce their own ads portraying their situation from their own standpoints but in reality the discerning NFL fan out there isn’t concerned with what they want or think. All the fans want to know is that there will be an NFL season to be played rather than a league imposed lockout. And while the House Oversight Committee watches from afar you simply get the feeling that they’d like to wade into this issue and leave their own mark on it all.

Courtesy of ESPN

Roger Goodell: Latest talks ‘beneficial’

ESPN.com news service

Dallas — Quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Drew Brees were among the star players who attended a negotiating session between the NFL and players’ union Saturday, league sources told ESPN’s Chris Mortensen.

While it is not unusual for players to occasionally sit in on negotiations, the presence of Manning was a surprise and is an early indication that the union is successfully getting the support of its superstar quarterbacks. During the 1987 players strike and subsequent labor strife, several of the league’s star passers broke union ranks by signing licensing rights with the NFL which weakened the union revenue pool.

Manning was also joined at Saturday’s meeting by Brees, who has been an activist as the team’s player representative. Sources did not reveal if any players spoke during the negotiating session but their presence was considered symbolic, at the very least. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who was named the NFL’s MVP on Sunday for the 2010 season, also has been an outspoken pro-union player rep.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the two-hour meeting with the players’ union was “beneficial.”

“It’s always a positive when both parties are talking,” Goodell said.

“My focus is on the next three or four weeks,” Goodell said. “I’ve often said, our agreement expires on March 4th. We have to use that period of time to reach an agreement that’s fair for the players, fair for the clubs, and allows our great game to grow for our fans.”

In an interview with “Fox News Sunday” that aired the morning of the Super Bowl, Goodell called drug testing a key issue in labor talks. Goodell also addressed the NFL’s labor issues on Sunday in an appearance on ESPN Radio’s “Mike and Mike in the Morning”.

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Given Smith’s background and the fact that he worked in DC with the litigation firm Patton Boggs LLC , I’d say that the union’s Executive Director’s circle of friends within Washington could very well be in his corner . The NFL not to be outdone have their own supporters up on Capitol Hill and the very fact that they’ve their body of lobbyists pleading their case there within Congress and the Senate has me believing that the NFL’s hierarchy is in this for the long haul even with the financial mayhem that’s bound to follow. Words fail me at this juncture as to how the two sides can’t seem to find their way to come to an amicable resolution when a $9 billion a year industry is at risk ?

The broadcast networks ABC/ESPN , Fox , CBS and NBC aren’t going to be entirely happy with this outcome should the two sides not be able to come to an amicable solution. From their standpoint they clearly won’t be happy to the fact of the loss tv viewership ad revenue . And let’s not forget the NFL stadiums around the league that will stay empty around the NFL should there be a lockout ? And what might be even more telling would be the loss in terms of the economic impact each week brings to the cities concerned when an NFL game takes place. This situation has become so acute that it’s hard not see there not being a fallout on such a seismic scale that it won’t undercut the economic impact on those communities.

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft , Jerry Jones and Woody Johnson of the New York Jets had all provided the public with statements stating they believed that a compromise could be reached . But obviously the league had forgotten to make the owners aware that their private thoughts and their public stance weren’t in line with this triumvirate. In terms of open transparency the NFL is not unlike of that of MLB , NASCAR , the NBA , NHL and MLS in the fact that they never choose to open their finances up for public scrutiny. And with each of these having been given antitrust exemption courtesy of Congress it’s clear to see why the league would rather not let that happen.

The league has sought concessions from the NFLPA requesting a give back initially of $1 billion annually from off the top of the gross revenues over the next seven years . But that’s just the topping for many of the other concessions sought by the owners and Goodell. And it’s easy to see why the union led by Executive Director DeMaurice Smith and union President Kevin Mawae have been averse to these and many of the other concessions sought by the NFL hierarchy. The league states one thing while the union has another idea as to what the NFL really wants and that’s specifically to add to their coffers while not acquiescing to any additional financial rewards sought by the players.

Courtesy of The Nation

DeMaurice Smith: On an NFL Lockout and Inspiration from Egypt

By Dave Zirin

There is no form of entertainment in this country more popular than football, and there is no one, save Barack Obama, being scrutinized more closely these days than DeMaurice Smith . Smith heads the National Football League’s Players Association—a union that’s being threatened with being locked out unless players give back substantial amounts in wages and agree to lengthen the season to 18 games. NFL players make large sums of money but risk a lifetime of physical debilitation and the average career lasts only 3.5 years. Owners are banking on the fact that players, with their short window to make money, will cave to every demand. Smith is banking on something bigger: a sense of history, sacrifice, and community that’s bigger than sports.

I spoke with Smith last Friday, the day after NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell walked away from the table during negotiations. I asked Smith, on a scale of one to ten, whether he felt there would be a lockout. “On a scale of one to ten, it’s still 14,” he said. “We’re preparing our guys for the worst, we’re hoping for the best. I’m going to keep negotiating. We’ve got our guys on standby right now to be virtually anywhere in the country whenever they want to talk. That’s the way we’re going to roll. I’ve told them that we’re going to negotiate day and night until we get it done, but it takes two.”

Smith is negotiating with—or trying to negotiate with—some of the most powerful, politically connected corporate actors in the United States. Their reach truly inspires awe. When the NFLPA produced a television ad in an effort to garner fan support, the networks first agreed and then refused to air it, presumably after pressure exerted by the league. DeMaurice Smith deemed the censorship “stunning.”

You might think, faced with such power, this would make him pessimistic about the prospects for players, but Smith finds himself inspired by events far removed from the world of football.

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If the NFL isn’t prepared to look at their own financial template on a regular basis then how will they be able to recognize the fact that along the way there has to adjustments made that can be dealt with by the interested parties in a manner befitting of each where they actually have trust in one another. And that’s clearly not the case here between the NFL and the NFLPA ! Neither side at this juncture have shown that they can either be trusted much less the fact that they can be openly honest with one another. Each side seeks the public’s empathy and I think that as of now the fans and general public aren’t overly interested in what either side has to say ….. other than perhaps them stating that there won’t be a lockout or labor stoppage .

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

Now as an avid fan of the NFL I’ll say this, a lockout would to my mind be a mistake that won’t be of any help to either side . The goodwill that the league and union felt that they had amongst the fans is now hanging tenuously by a single thread . Their mistake is that they’re of the fans believe that they really care ………… the fact of the matter is the vast majority of the fans simply no longer care ! The league and the unions continue shoot themselves in the foot and will continue to do so now for the foreseeable future. The March 4th deadline for both sides to get a deal done before the current collective bargaining expires is not that far off but at the same time both Goodell and Smith act as if they have all the time in the world at their disposal , but it could in reality time is of the essence given the fact that the two sides only met for the second time twice in the last three months trying to work out a deal.

Should there be a lockout within the NFL what thoughts if any do you have and how do you envision this whole scenario panning out ? Simply proffer up your thoughts on the matter .

Picture and slide show details below.

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(1) NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has until March 3 to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement with the NFL Players Association and executive director DeMaurice Smith.
AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt …….

(2) NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith speaks during the NFL Players Association press conference at the Super Bowl XLV media center on February 3, 2011 in Dallas, Texas. The Green Bay Packers will play the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV on February 6, 2011 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Scott Halleran / Getty Images North America ……….

(3) National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell, Rob Manfred, executive vice president of labor and human resources in the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball, Major League Baseball, NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith, Michael Weiner, general counsel for the Major League Baseball Players Association, Travis Tygart, CEO of the United States Anti-Doping Agency, Gabriel Feldman, associate professor of law and director of the Sports Law Program at Tulane University Law School, and Jeffrey Standen, professor of law at the Willamette University College of Law (L-R), testify on Capitol Hill on November 3, 2009 in Washington, DC. The hearing focused on doping in professional sports. Getty Images North America / Brendan Hoffman ………..

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😛

Alan aka tophatal ……………………………

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Eye candy ……….. Rosa Acosta . Doesn’t she make a slice of watermelon look ever so enticing ?

Rosa Acosta 1

What’s not to like about this side of Rosa Acosta ?

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Bones Thugs-N-Harmony …………… “First of The Month”

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Chances Are ………. Things Could Get Worse Before They’ll Get A Great Deal Better

Chances Are ………. Things Could Get Worse Before They’ll Get A Great Deal Better

OK so the NFL and the NFLPA are about to have their set to and I’m thinking how is that a $ 9 billion a year industry cannot seem to deal within the parameters set by their template ? NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in his state of the NFL address to the convened press at Cowboys Stadium , Arlington , Texas has reiterated his wish to hammer out a deal with the union’s Executive Committee led by Executive Director DeMaurice Smith and union President Kevin Mawae .

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The league hierarchy and the owners opted out of the league’s collective bargaining agreement which was due to expire on March 3rd 2011. Both sides knew exactly the impasse that this would create and at the same time they’re now looking for the empathy of the NFL fans. Personally I do believe that the NFL and the players had completely underestimated the resolve and tenacity of the fans who in essence will abandon the NFL and their support of their teams . The players see the league as the villains of the piece whereas the league’s view of the union is that they’re self serving and unwilling to acquiesce and make the concessions being asked by Goodell and the owners . The league seeks a give back of $1 billion ($1,000,000,000) a year for the next seven years and on the face of it that might not seem a great deal but when you consider that the figure merely accounts just over 11% of the league’s annual revenues. But also what I’d like to ask of Goodell and the league is given that when the NFL’s next television broadcast agreement comes up for renewal what are they prepared to seek from the networks in question ? I’m sure that NBC , ABC/ESPN , Fox and CBS Sports are closely monitoring these negotiations very closely. As too no doubt are league’s corporate sponsors as they’ve a lot to lose should there be a labor stoppage and a prolonged lockout.

Courtesy of CBCSports.ca

Goodell says bargaining with players ‘beneficial’

Sunday session was first formal talk since November

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says this weekend’s bargaining session with the players’ union was “beneficial.”

In an interview with Fox News Sunday that aired the morning of the Super Bowl, Goodell called drug testing a key issue in labour talks.

Goodell said “a number of” individual players and owners participated in a two-hour meeting Saturday, the first formal bargaining session since November. The labour deal expires in March.

“It’s always a positive when both parties are talking,” he said.

Outlining major sticking points, Goodell talked about revenue division, rookie salaries and benefits for retired players, adding “We want to continue on with the integrity of the game, which is my No. 1 issue.”

He also spoke of “making sure we have the best drug program in sports.”

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As to the league’s showcase even this may well be the last chance the fans will get to see a Superbowl (SBXLV) for a while . Imagine there being no 2011-12 season and nothing but an uproar from the fans while the players themselves simply sit back and wait ? Blank television screens and stadiums across the league empty , never mind the economic impact the loss would create to the 32 league markets . These are the things that I believe that Goodell knows will hamper the league’s image and the brand itself. The last stoppage to affect the league was over decade and a half ago and the fans who witnessed this all left them aggrieved and angry at the NFL.

At this juncture I’m not so sure that this impasse will be quickly resolved as both sides are entrenched and don’t appear to want to budge from their current positions. Goodell in part and the owners are also looking to have an eighteen game schedule in place by either the 2011-12 or 2012-13 season . The NFLPA aren’t about accede to that request unless the league will make several concessions , one of which would be to decrease the number preseason games from four to two. Also as a bone of contention is that of the NFL rookies’ salary contract and the idiocy that simply goes on there. Agents such Drew Rosenhaus and Leigh Steinberg may not view this as acceptable but either way they should be thankful that their clients will still get paid.

I’ve read with interest that the Wilpon family will be looking to sell a minority stake in the New York Mets and this has come about because the family has a judgment against them seeking some $350 million that they were able to profit from in the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme scandal which defrauded several thousand clients to the tune of an estimated $59 billion ($59 ,000,000,000). This was as such the largest fraud perpetrated and whereby the SEC in conjunction with FBI and Justice Department were able to catch the felon , in the case Madoff and his co-conspirators. Madoff is now serving a 125 year jail sentence in in a Federal penitentiary
The Wilpon family it has been said also lost heavily which resulted in what is said to be losses of anywhere between $250 million to $ 500 million if the estimates are to be believed.

Amongst the interested parties is a syndicate of which Dr Martin Luther King Jr’s son Martin Luther King III will be part of the group seeking to become a minority stake owner in the team. Given the history and legacy of the game of baseball I find it rather ironic that it’s only now that we’ve actually seen a genuine attempt for there to be an African American owner in the sport. There’s only one other prominent minority owner in the sport and that is Arte Moreno of the Los Angeles Angeles . Albeit that the league can boast several general managers of ethnic persuasion there simply hasn’t been that ardent fervor you’d have come to expect from Commissioner Bud Selig and the baseball hierarchy for there to be a prominent African American owner within the game.

Martin Luther King III should he and his syndicate group to be successful this would most definitely be a first in MLB. It would also send a clear indication to the ethnic community at large that there is a place for them at the owner’s table should they seek to ascend to those levels. It certainly hasn’t hurt the image of the NBA where Michael Jordan still the face of the NBA is now the majority owner of the Charlotte Bobcats . And the franchise’s history has been well chronicled in its present guise and it’s hoped that Jordan during his tenure can lead this team some semblance of success.
This much we do know about the Mets in its present guise with the upheaval felt within the front office after the firings of Jerry Manuel and Omar Minaya does portend that incoming Head of Baseball Operations Sandy Alderson and VP and Head of Scouting J P Ricciardi are the new brooms brought in by COO Jeff Wilpon to clean house and discard of the unwanted pieces in this underachieving team .

Courtesy of USA Today


Madoff lawsuit: Mets owners owe victims $300 million

New York — The owners of the New York Mets, along with their relatives and other businesses, were “collectively one of the largest beneficiaries” of Bernard Madoff’s massive Ponzi scheme, receiving approximately $300 million in phantom profits that financed the team and other ventures, a newly unsealed lawsuit charged Friday.

The business empire of Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz had 483 Madoff accounts — including 16 for the Mets, from which $90 million of burned investors’ money helped pay the National League baseball franchise’s “day-to-day operations” — according to the lawsuit filed by Irving Picard. Picard is the court-appointed trustee seeking Madoff assets to repay the fraud’s thousands of victims.

The action alleges Wilpon and Katz ignored “gathering clouds” of repeated warnings from financial experts and others that Madoff’s investment operation was in reality a scam, because the owners had come to rely on the uncannily steady profits to substantially support their Sterling Equities Associates empire for a quarter of a century.

PICARD vs Mets : Read the complaint

The owners realized they “were simply in too deep,” the lawsuit says.

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The Mets’ history has been a storied one of ups and downs more downs given their recent history as they’ve seen their crosstown rivals the New York Yankees have unprecedented success over the last decade and a half. And if the Mets are to succeed then it will have to come down the coaching staff , the prudency shown by the front office and the performances of the players. If they can’t get it done this upcoming season then the New York Mets might as well throw in the towel once and for all.

I’m sorry but given the horrid season the Minnesota Timberwolves are now having and perhaps the only reason to be joyful, as they’ve seen the team’s lone All Star —– Kevin Love have a truly astonishing season with his play. A constant threat now to throw up 20 and 10 with amazing regularity the player is now being viewed as a must see around the NBA .Both Love and the Los Angeles Clippers’ —- Blake Griffin are simply just letting it rip.And they’ve quite rightly both been rewarded with roster spots on Western Conference All Star team for 2011.

Now while on appearance the Timberwolves’ season has literally spun out of control the team , Kurt Rambis’ and his coaching staff have done their utmost to put on a good face as they’ve struggled to maintain some sense of consistency . And the situation hasn’t helped that O J Mayo has had to serve an NBA mandated 10 game suspension for abusing the game’s substance abuse policy. The player himself however contends that the reason for his positive test stems from the fact that he’s used a supplement which had DHEA . That particular substance is viewed as a PED (performance enhancing drug) by the league’s hierarchy .

Whatever the outcome of this season will be for the Minnesota Timberwolves it’s clear that as of now the organization can only hope for things to get a great deal better. If not then the continued malaise will have the fans deserting the organization and looking elsewhere for to heap noteworthy praise on a team .

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Picture gallery for your perusal.

What thoughts if any do you have on the subjects raised within this piece ? Simply leave a comment and I’ll do my utmost to respond expeditiously and clarity. Thanks as always for your continued support.

Picture and slide show details .

(1) NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has been front and center at the Super Bowl this week, dealing with questions about both this season and the possibly delayed one to come because of labor issues. David J. Phillip/Associated Press …..

(2) Center Kevin Mawae (68) of the Tennessee Titans and President of the NFL Player’s Association speaks to members of the media during the NFL Player’s Association Press Conference held at the Fort Lauderdale Convention Center as part of media week for Super Bowl XLIV on February 4, 2010 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Inset also if NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith . Doug Benc / Getty Images North America Inc ……….

(3) DeMaurice Smith, NFL Player’s Association Executive Director, speaks to members of the media during the NFL Player’s Association Press Conference held at the Fort Lauderdale Convention Center as part of media week for Super Bowl XLIV on February 4, 2010 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Getty Images / Doug Benc ……

(4) New York Mets COO Jeff Wilpon (left) and team owner Fred Wilpon patriarch of the family. The front office of the Mets has been completely revamped and so too has the coaching staff . The organization now finds itself in an intensive lawsuit that could have some adverse effects on the team’s long term financial stability and viability as the family has been ordered to pay the victims of the Madoff Ponzi scheme an estimated $350 million . AFP/ Reuters / Michael Findley ……..

(5) Minnesota Timberwolves’ Kevin Love, left, and Denver Nuggets’ Chauncey Billups battle for a rebound in the second half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 5, 2011, in Minneapolis. The Nuggets won 113-100 . Billups scored 21 points and had 13 assists while Love scored 18 and had 19 rebounds for the Timberwolves. AP Photo/Jim Mone ……….

(6) Martin Luther King III (R) and his sister Bernice release a dove from the balcony where their father, Martin Luther King Jr., was shot to death at the conclusion of a vigil in King’s honor at the Lorraine Hotel April 4, 2008 in Memphis, Tennessee. King was killed by James Earl Ray 40 years ago today. Win McNamee / Getty Images ………

😛

Alan aka tophatal ……….

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C Black

Eye candy ……………………. Courtney Black

Courtney 2

Eight ball corner pocket, my balls and pen_s are feeling great ! Thanks Courtney !

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Ashanti ……….. ‘Rain On Me’

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Kick Ass The NFL …………….

Kick Ass The NFL !

I’m in the hole at present as my girlfriend thought it appropriate to place me in the midst of a domestic situation that I thought I’d never be in the midst of after being divorced. For some inexplicable reason she felt that it was OK for her best friend to stay at my home while she’s in the midst of a separation from her boyfriend. Now in Britain we have a saying that ‘an Englishman’s home is his castle’ . And my house is my castle where my labrador (dog) Buster and I reside. The girlfriend normally visits over the weekend and that’s usually when we spend our time together. On the other hand I’ll spend one or two days out of the week at her home in Orlando which is an amicable agreement for us both. It makes it easier for myself as I work in the city itself. That being said I’m not entirely enamored with the present situation and the fact my girlfriend’s best friend will now live in my home . I made it abundantly clear that by the end of this month she has to be out of my home. My main reason behind this comes from the fact that I do not want a raving lunatic, this female’s boyfriend acting belligerent outside my home and creating the impression amongst my neighbors that the ghetto has come to this rather rural community in Central Florida. God knows I’m not looking to kick anyone’s ass but should it come to that then I guess his ass will have to kicked.

Speaking of ass kickings the NFL season having kicked off this past Thursday with a rather lackluster game between the two finalists from last year’s NFC championship game. The New Orleans Saints readily dispatched of the Brett Favre led Minnesota Vikings. All of the hype over this team merely points to the fact that all the talent in the world doesn’t make up for the lack of cohesiveness between Favre and his teammates. And for those arrogant idiot analysts who believe that because Favre merely has to turn up just prior to the off-season , having not participated in the team’s OTA’s and that makes the Vikings relevant to the postseason. It leads to the fact that those who tend to blow smoke up your ass tend to actually be the ones who are actually dealing in the acts of flatulence.

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Sunday’s games were somewhat littered with one or two surprises as the Oakland Raiders effectively seem to be carrying on a tradition of looking mediocre. Raiders’ faithful have now got to extremely disappointed with the lack of commitment shown by this team . I was once told by a patron as to how stout their defense was and that they were going to make great strides . Well the strides that they’re said to be showing are those where this Tom Cable coached team seems to be regressing. That defense is nowhere near as good as my colleague anticipated and it showed in the Raiders’ first game of the season. The 38-13 defeat suffered at the hands of the Tennessee Titans was enough to suggest that the team faces an uphill battle for the remainder of the season . Jeff Fisher’s team duly dispatched the Raiders with the utmost of ease but at the same time it augurs well for the Titans and their season .

The continued asinine hype about the Dallas Cowboys being a talented team counts for diddly squat merely because they finally were able to win their first playoff game in over a decade. Having done so I still find it ridiculous that the feeling is the Cowboys still remain the team to beat within the NFC . In quarterback , Tony Romo they have a good signal caller but he’s no team leader. This team is also ill disciplined and the so called coaching talents of Wade Phillips and offensive coordinator Jason Garrett has now come into question after a rather ridiculous congruence of events during their game (13-7) against the Washington Redskins at Fedex Field in Landover , Maryland. Donovan McNabb is now the Redskins’ signal caller with Mike Shanahan now succeeding Jim Zorn as the team’s coach. Redskins’ owner Daniel Snyder now has to see whether or not his team has finally turned the corner after their recent years in the doldrums.

Now as glamorous lavish as the NFC East has become the quality of the football being played there at times can be inconsistent . But much of the glamor has been due to the fact of the legacy of the teams within the division. But in the league where it’s about “the here and now and what have you done for me lately”. The truth is all of the hype and brouhaha counts for nothing when you’re simply dealing with all the hyperbole and there’s nothing of substance to show for it at all. The Cowboys have become the laughing stock of the league and for the crack addict analysts who are besotted with this team. Wake the fu_k up and try to make sense of what you’re witnessing in front of your eyes . Cowboys’ Stadium may well be playing host to Superbowl 45 (SB XLV) but I seriously doubt that the Cowboys will be NFC representatives for the NFL’s showcase event !

The AFC South has been the Indianapolis Colts’ fiefdom of choice for several years and this season it was thought to be no different. If there are to be challenged then it was felt that the challenge would be coming from the Tennessee Titans and the outside possibility that the Houston Texans might aspire to be worthy challengers to the Peyton Manning led Colts. Well on Sunday we saw that the Colts are susceptible when you throw the kitchen sink along with the baby and bath water at them.And the Texans’ Arian Foster showed why it is that the Colts aren’t always comfortable when that scenario is thrown up at them . I’ve read a number of posts written by discerning Colts’ fans and all that they tend to do is to wax on lyrically about this team where Manning is their vocal leader. And while no one is under any illusion that they have a great offense and receiving corps my question for these Colts’ fans is where the hell is their running game and that of a defense that actually comes to defend ? The Texans literally ripped though that team and its defense as if were the siege of Saigon ! Now I know that the Colts’ fans will make light of the game and simply say that it’s merely the first game of the season but when you’re blown out like that there’s got to be cause for concern for not Jim Caldwell but also his coaching staff . This team was outplayed in every facet of the game and it was very telling how lackluster the team’s performance was from start to finish. Don’t be fooled by 34-24 result as it the margin of victory could have been wider had the Texans taken advantage of all the chances that came their way.

The TO and Ochocinco roadshow hit the road in the Bengals’ first regular season game and low and behold the Cincinnati Bengals found out to their cost that the NFL’s answer to Laurel & Hardy were simply no match for a New England Patriots’ team that to many are flying under the radar as a presumptive favorite in the postseason. Tom Brady and his teammates literally laid waste to the coming out party for the duo. By the end of the third quarter the Patriots had what would prove to be an insurmountable margin with a 31-17 lead. The Bengals were anemic throughout much of the game and although Chad Ochocinco statistically contributed well to the team’s performance. The rest of the offense was mediocre and lethargic and it was very telling for Marvin Lewis and his coaching staff in-front of 68,000 fans at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. For the Bengals’ fans in attendance this can’t have been what they envisaged witnessing from their team . Not one to throw more kindling unto the fire but should the performances of the Bengals become even more mediocre and it could very well lead to Marvin Lewis becoming the first coaching casualty of the season before it reaches its midway point.

Well the season as it progress will still be under a cloud as it relates to the ongoing divergence of issues and the discord between the league and the players over the collective bargaining agreement. Commissioner Roger Goodell seems to be taking a wait and see approach as to how to deal with the players’ wish to be given a bigger slice of what appears to be an ever decreasing slice of a multi-billion dollar pie. NFL revenues overall has slipped 2% over this past season and with the uncertainty of the economy bring about a fall in league attendance all-round. It has to be said that the game of cat and mouse between the two parties seems to be a ticking time bomb waiting to explode. And the very fact that the players are prepared for what could be an unprecedented work stoppage leading to an owner and league initiated lockout for the 2011-12 season. It has to be said the calmer heads that one thought to be amongst the hierarchy of the league and that of the NFLPA led by DeMaurice Smith and union President Kevin Mawae seems to be nowhere to be seen. This is like looking for intelligent life amongst two parties and that of the Congress . And as we know within Congress common sense and intelligence has never been the norm on any level but yet you have a number of individuals calling for change. Change is good if it is said to be happening but that hasn’t been the case in terms of the merry go round we’ve had to undergo with each election cycle.

Whatever resolution that comes about should there be one between the NFL and NFLPA could be one where the fans will be the one who end up ultimately having to pay the price one way or another. If you don’t believe that to be the case then simply look for what transpires and the communiques that are forthcoming from either side ? It seems to that for image sake the two sides would rather have a pissing contest on display for public consumption. If that happens then it’s going to cost the league and the players all of the goodwill that they’ve built up over the years. It has been bad enough to see the idiocy that has taken place within baseball over the last decade and a half under the auspices of Bud Selig and Donald Fehr the former union (MLBPA) Executive Director. Now as Fehr is about to assume a similar position within the NHL it begs the question how much more irrelevant the sport now wishes to become ? Anyone with an ounce of common sense knows that Fehr and Selig were complicit with the subterfuge that was perpetrated upon the fans. And it’s not as if the financial well being of the NHL is now back in a healthy state to begin with. We’re now seeing situations arise where teams are now looking to circumvent the league’s mandated salary cap. And to an extent this was the same idiocy that brought about the labor dispute that led to the NHL lockout between the league and the players’ union (NHLPA).

The NFL season we all hope will be an entertaining one but at the same time I can’t help but feel that the tumult and turmoil that seems to be brewing between the league and the players could very well lead to us witnessing the idiocy and indecision we’ve now come to expect from the Congress and the political leadership in the country.

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Picture gallery for your perusal. By clicking on each frame you can see each picture in its original format.

With the first week of the NFL season having ended what if any was a big surprise in terms of the performances of the teams playing ? And how do you envisage the ongoing labor dispute between the league and the union ? Chime on in with a comment as to your thoughts .

NB: NFL results from week one . Click on the links provided to view.
Week 1 results .

Top performers .

Weekly leaders .

Alan aka tophata 🙂 _ 🙂 _ 😦

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Esther Baxter

Esther Baxter

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Janelle Stein

Video vixen and aspiring model Janelle Stein

No Good Can From It All …. When You Get Congress To Intervene In Sports With Regard To Labor Unrest …………..

No Good Can From It All …. When You Get Congress To Intervene In Sports With Regard To Labor Unrest …………..

Am I completely mistaken but isn’t the US Congress meant to intervene in labor disputes that are of national security or when it comes sensitive areas within the US economy ? Then why oh why is that we’re now seeing both sides of the NFL hierarchy under its Commissioner Roger Goodell, as well as the NFLPA (Union) convening with Congress up on Capitol Hill, in order to get them to mediate or at least in part be an arbitrator in their ongoing unrest with regard to the present ‘collective bargaining agreement ? Having Congress intervene in this is akin to witnessing the idiocy of the legislation passed with regard to the ‘stimulus bil’l. Which has so far cost the taxpayers $787 billion at last count. Never mind the fact that both GM and Chrysler had a piece of the ‘proverbial pie’. And the public in general has yet to see anything tangible from this all.

DeMaurice Smith, Executive Director of the NFLPA is itching for a confrontation with his counterpart, Roger Goodell. And with the owners having opted out of the present collective bargaining agreement. It will now create a chasm whereby the 2010-11 season will become one , that is an uncapped season. Now what this does around the NFL, may well give the suggestion that both sides do indeed know exactly what they’re doing. But it is becoming increasingly clear that this has nothing to do with the agreement itself but more to do with who maintains the balance of power within the NFL. It is more to do with who controls the purse strings as to the $ 8.7 billion a year industry that the NFL is said to to represent globally in terms of the NFL’s business interests. A tidy sum to say the very least and with the greed of both sides said to be unabated . I’m guessing that this could very well lead to one of those confrontations up there on Capitol Hill that will have more to do with posturing by not only the NFL hierarchy and the unions. But also from the legislators who are empaneled on the House Judiciary Committee and who are hearing from both sides on the issue. With the meetings likely to be carried by C-Span , it should make for some very interesting viewing.

NFL  Commissioner   Roger  Goodell.  The  commissioner  this  week   went  to  Capitol Hill  to  address  members  of  the  House  Judiciary  Committee  who  were  empaneled  to  look  into  the  increasing  unrest  between  the  NFL  and   the  NFLPA  (union).  The  two  sides   are   looking  to  stave  off   an  envisaged  lockout.  Moreover ,  the  2010-11  season  will  be  an   uncapped  one  because  the  NFL  and   their  owners  opted  out   of  the  'collective  bargaining  agreement'   that  was  in  place.      photo appears  courtesy  of   ap/ Marc  Gilbert  ...................
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. The commissioner this week went to Capitol Hill to address members of the House Judiciary Committee who were empaneled to look into the increasing unrest between the NFL and the NFLPA (union). The two sides are looking to stave off an envisaged lockout. Moreover , the 2010-11 season will be an uncapped one because the NFL and their owners opted out of the 'collective bargaining agreement' that was in place. photo appears courtesy of ap/ Marc Gilbert ...................

Courtesy of The New York Times

Mara cites lack of progress in talks

By Judy Battista , The New York Times

The Giants co-owner John Mara said Tuesday he was resigned to an uncapped season in 2010 and thought the union and owners might be moving further apart in talks toward a new labor agreement.

Mara was one of the owners who took part in the 11th negotiating session with union leaders in Washington on Tuesday. He is the first owner to speak extensively since negotiations began.

An uncapped year would have no salary limits or floors for teams and would begin in March. It would also start the clock ticking toward a lockout starting in March 2011.

Mara said he still had hope that a lockout could be averted.

“I don’t think we’re making any progress,” Mara said in a telephone interview. “We made a proposal in early November. I don’t think we’ve received a meaningful counterproposal. The point that we try to make to them is that the costs and risks are much greater than they ever have been. Especially in this economy. I don’t think there has been enough of a recognition on their part of that concept.”

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To read Judy Battista’s article in its entirety just click on
the link provided
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NFL Players Association Executive Director, DeMaurice Smith, right and Baltimore Ravens Domonique Foxworth, left, walk into a meeting  with House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, Jr., D-Mich., on Capitol Hill, Washington D.C. photo  appears  courtesy  of ap/ Alex Brandon   ........
NFL Players Association Executive Director, DeMaurice Smith, right and Baltimore Ravens Domonique Foxworth, left, walk into a meeting with House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, Jr., D-Mich., on Capitol Hill, Washington D.C. photo appears courtesy of ap/ Alex Brandon ........

There’s no doubt in my mind that the NFL as well as the union are looking to usurp each others’ powers as much as they can. It’s not as if either side has the fan’s best interests at heart to begin with. Goodell for his part wants to prove to the fans and public in general that he’s a strong and very determined commissioner. His sometime autocratic rule has chafed the rationale of Smith and it has to be said that DeMaurice Smith does have some reason to feel aggrieved with many of Goodell’s findings and edicts , as of late. How this all will play out also, may well have to do with who wields the ‘biggest stick’ at the end of the day. Both sides no doubt have their lobbyists up there on Capitol Hill, who are hard at work trying to lay out the case for their client. As to why ‘both’ the NFL and NFLPA should see fit to have lobbyists working on their behalf in Washington , merely suggests that this has more to do with being seen to have the power to get legislation passed that is of benefit to each of the respective parties in question. And for the NFL this amounts to their anti-trust exemption status.

Is it me but are the members of the House Judiciary Committee such a dull and boring group of individuals ? Perhaps none more so than the committee chairman himself, Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich) .This guy makes Pat Robertson seem like a lively, well versed intellectual and then some !. But then again, that’s not saying much about Robertson , given his ‘vile remarks’ aimed towards the Haitian people in the aftermath of the recent earthquake there. Hopefully there’s a f_cking hot place in hell waiting for his racially bigoted a_s !

All of the posturing in the world won’t help change anything if neither side is willing to acquiesce to the others’ wishes . As to what Congress, in this case can do to ramp down the rhetoric between the two sides and force an agreement that is equitable for both parties remains to be seen. I’d certainly like to think that there are far more important domestic issues that need to be addressed , rather than seeing the House Judiciary Committee meet with two sides who are more self absorbed about their own PR images than they are about getting things done. And at the same I’d certainly like to think that DeMaurice Smith can be proactive in addressing the issue as to the conduct of his members. Especially in the case of their off the field behavior. For the NFL and in particular the owners , theirs now is a thankless task as they seemingly don’t viewed as being greedy . But yet with this lone move in the rescinding of an agreement that they’ve failed to honor. How must it look to the fans and general public to begin with ? Surely the owners and the Goodell’s office had to have foreseen that there would be an economic downturn of sorts ? Never mind how acute it has now become. It’s all about planning and getting your ducks all lined up in a row. Instead they’ve feasted on the largess of the fans and the public over the years while growing extremely wealthy from all of their business dealings and maneuvers. The average value of an NFL franchise has increased exponentially over the last decade. In fact it has increased in excess of 25 % over that period. Pardon me for saying this but if they’re now claiming poverty then there’s something indeed wrong with the business template under which the NFL now works .

In November of last year, I wrote an article entitled ‘Trust Me I’m A Doctor …………It’s Money For Nothing And The Chicks Are Free’ ! The piece in question, went on to suggest how I felt that many of the US owners who had made the foray into owning an English soccer club within the Premiership (EPL), were in fact no better than that of disgraced financiers Bernie Madoff and Allen Stanford. In each case it has led to the demise of their respective financial empires and the loss of untold billions of dollars for their prospective clients. Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison, while Stanford awaits trial through the US Federal Court System.

Malcolm Glazer far right seen here with sons Joel (left) and Bryan. The family's sporting business interests includes the ownership of the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the English Premiership League's Manchester United. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Mike Nugent .......
Malcolm Glazer far right seen here with sons Joel (left) and Bryan. The family's sporting business interests includes the ownership of the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the English Premiership League's Manchester United. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Mike Nugent .......

It has been well chronicled that the Glazer family having bought Premiership side Manchester United had hoped to carry on the same undoubted success the team has come to be known for over the past quarter of a century. Their unparalleled success with manager, Sir Alex Ferguson at the helm has made the team ‘the most glamorous and most valuable sports franchise in the world’ .

Initially the purchase was met with a great deal of skepticism and the fact that the family used very little money of their own in the purchase, should’ve been enough of an indication that they were being capricious and overwhelmingly disingenuous as to their overall intentions concerning the team. They leveraged the team buy borrowing against its assets in order to facilitate the purchase . The price at the time was in excess of $1.255 billion including fees. Four years on into the ownership by the family , ticket prices have risen in excess of 45% and the team is laden with a debt in excess of $1.11 billion . As to what that would suggest as to the business acumen of the family , is that they’re nowhere competent enough to be running a sports franchise. With Malcolm Glazer, as the patriarch now handing over the reins of running the club to his sons, Byran , Joel and Avram Glazer. It was felt their custodianship of the club would be in safe hands. At this juncture that doesn’t appear to be the case at all.

United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson seen here in a CNN interview discussing his famed managerial career. Ferguson is the most successful soccer coach in Premiership history. Prior to his ascending to the position as manager on Manchester United , he also assembled a successful resume’ as coach of Scottish Premier League team Aberdeen FC.

Courtesy of The Guardian UK

Manchester United’s sales pitch is far from a premium bond

The Glazer family’s attempt to raise money to pay off massive debts paints a bleak picture of Manchester United’s future

By David Conn , The Guardian

When navigating the thunderously depressing proposal by the Glazer family to load Manchester United with £500m of debt for the third time since their takeover in May 2005, it helps to imagine where United might be had the Glazers never turned up in the first place, to buy the glory, glory club with all their borrowed millions.

Before engaging with Sir Alex Ferguson’s remarkable contention that United’s finances, laden with borrowings over £700m and £67m interest payable last year, are “of no concern at all”, recall what the United board itself said at the time. When Malcolm Glazer and his six children – who, we now know, have borrowed £10m from United – launched their takeover bid, the board, which included the current chief executive David Gill, expressed vehement opposition to it.

Echoing the concerns of the well-informed United fans’ campaign, the board warned that the Glazers’ business plan was “aggressive”, and that the proposed structure for the club “still contains more leverage [debt] than the board would consider prudent and that as a consequence there is likely to be significant financial strain on the business.”

Despite that, the Glazers bought the club for £810m, a fortune pocketed greedily by enough shareholders in what was then Manchester United plc. The Glazers paid £270m themselves, borrowing the other £540m from banks and hedge funds. In the four years up to the latest accounts to 30 June 2009, United became liable to pay more than £325m in interest alone, yet the interest they have not paid, plus fees, has increased the debt the Glazers loaded on to United to £700m.

United, and Ferguson, now argue it is all fine, the club are not constrained by that debt mountain and the board was therefore wrong in its warning back then. Ferguson said last week that the windfall from the £81m sale of Cristiano Ronaldo is there for him to spend, but he does not want to because the market is overpriced. That assertion has been rather undone by the prospectus, which sets out the plan to transfer £70m cash from United to one of the Glazers’ holding companies, partly to pay off the hedge funds which charge swingeing 14.25% interest.

Now imagine how United might look without the Glazer debt. True, as a plc – the Stock Market listing which football executives now agree was a failed experiment, despite defending it zealously at the time – United paid dividends to shareholders. Yet even allowing for the increase in turnover, from £171m to the most recent £278m, the 2004 dividend was £7m, nothing like the mountain of interest, £42m to banks, £25m to hedge funds, with which the Glazers have burdened United.

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In order to read David Conn’s article in its entirety
just click on the link provided
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With the team now ‘hemorrhaging red ink’ all over its balance sheet , it has to be said that the Glazers have been completely inept in their running of the team. On the field they still continue to have success but there mere thought that they’re now being brought to brink of bankruptcy is enough to send shivers down the spine of entire Premiership (EPL). Never mind the fact that the family’s other sporting interest, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is now undergoing a change in its persona as well as in terms of its executive and coaching structure. First time GM, Mark Dominik and coach Raheem Morris have been thrust into the deep end . With the firing of their predecessors Bruce Allen and Jon Gruden. The team underwent a less than stellar season in the NFL, posting a 3-13 record in the NFC South. And with the front office being reluctant to spend money in attracting talent to the team . It is understandable why the franchise is now in such a dire predicament. They aren’t in the slightest bit interested in being a serious contender within the NFL and both Morris and Dominik are merely paying lip service with their inane comments to begin with. They’re fully aware as to the financial dilemma and maelstrom that the organization is now in. The Glazers will do whatever they can to ‘pay the piper’ in order to try and stave off financial bankruptcy. They have been far too secretive as to their financial dealings and their present situation.

Raheem  Morris (second from the right)  is  seen here  alongside    Edward  and  Brian Glazer (center)  with   Joel  Glazer   far   right.    Left   is  Buccaneers'  GM,  Mark  Dominik .    photo  appears  courtesy  of   Getty  Images /  Paul  Mason  .....................
Raheem Morris (second from the right) is seen here alongside Edward and Brian Glazer (center) with Joel Glazer far right. Left is Buccaneers' GM, Mark Dominik . photo appears courtesy of Getty Images / Paul Mason .....................

The latest ploy by the Glazers initiated by Malcolm’s sons, is have a bond issue, in order to pay off some of the mounting debt and accruing interest that’s owed to their creditors. But herein lies the rub, the family is asking that United players participate in the exercise in order to show good faith, to try to elicit fans, as well as members of the public and public institutions into entering the endeavor. If they can’t be trusted to keep the club in a healthy financial state then why should it be incumbent on the players to participate in this maneuver ? If anything Bryan, Joel and Avram are looking to save their own asses as they to try not to embarrass the family any further with the sheer ineptitude shown by them when it comes to their financial dealings and business acumen, as it not only relates to the soccer club but also to their NFL franchise.

It is hoped that the NFL hierarchy as well its board of governors are keeping a watchful eye on the Glazer family and their dealing with both sport’s franchises within their custodianship . If one should fail then there’s no reason to believe why the other can’t be placed in a similar predicament.

In order to read ‘Trust Me I’m A Doctor ……It’s Money For Nothing And The Chicks Are Free’ ….click here.

The  always  delectable   Vida   Guerra  .  More  than  willing  to  aspire to  meeting  a  man's   many   needs  and  then  some  !
The always delectable Vida Guerra . More than willing to aspire to meeting a man's many needs and then some !

No Habla Espanol …………….

No Habla Espanol

Surprising enough listening to the NFL Commissioner , Roger Goodell address the House Judiciary Committee recently,was like listening to a Caucasian trying to have a conversation with a Spanish speaking native in their native tongue. Goodell’s command of the English language was a hideous embarrassment. With his double-speak and the fact that the NFL hierarchy has become so secretive that it makes Opus Dei seem like the transparency shown by the Klu Klux Klan. But in essence, we should expect no more different from an individual tries to appear to be all things to all people. The commissioner’s appearance up on Capitol Hill was to address a very acute issue, that somehow the commissioner and the NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith have been averse to deal with it head on. And that is the issue of players current and past, who’ve suffered from repeated numerous concussions on the football field. And if that wasn’t enough with the country in apparent uproar of health-care reform and the fact that the government is about to change the parameters of that very issue. By possibly pursuing a public option, it will bring about a situation wherein the government essentially enters the health-care market. What people seem to forget, is that they already are doing so. Now if the question being raised is whether or not they can operate better in this field than the private enterprises . Then, there you have the veracity of a case for an argument that can be made.

Goodell meets with Congress in a scheduled meeting with the House Judiciary Committee, on Capitol, Hill, Washington D.C.,.

The NFL and the NFLPA would have you believe that they have the players’ best interests at heart on this very issue. But the fact of the matter is, that both parties have failed odiously on this very issue to address it head on. Over the years there have inexplicable situations where former players have been unable to attain benefits due to them and what is even more incredulous has been the undeniable fact the NFL appears to be oblivious to the issue. They’ve skirted around it for years even when former players have made numerous calls to Goodell and his predecessor Paul Tagliabue. Their failures , have made this very issue all the more transparent that the NFL’s sole goal is the chase after the ‘Almighty Dollar’ and the expense of their players and very little else. Inasmuch, the same thing was stated by Smith’s own predecessor Gene Upshaw and his odious rant that’ ………the players then, aren’t my concern but today’s players are! As they’re the ones making the money for the NFL’ . If that’s not a damning indictment of the league and the union. Then can someone tell me please what is ?

Courtesy of The New York Daily News :

Congress slams NFL commissioner Roger Goodell about NFL’s head trauma policy …..

By Wayne Coffey Daily News Sports Writer

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Like a quarterback facing a game-long blitz, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and the nation’s richest professional sport absorbed a barrage of hits on Capitol Hill Wednesday, when a hearing on football head injuries produced sharp questioning and a finger-jabbing accusation from Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.).

Waters, whose husband played in the NFL, was particularly incensed when Goodell refused to acknowledge a direct link between football and brain-trauma injuries.

“I believe you are an $8 billion organization that has failed in your responsibility to the players,” Waters said. “I know that you dearly want to hold on to your profits. I think it’s the responsibility of Congress to look at your antitrust exemption and take it away.”

The league’s antitrust exemption, established in 1961, cleared the way for owners to reap billions in television revenue.

The hearing – convened by the House Judiciary Committee, chaired by Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) – was held before an SRO crowd in the Rayburn Office Building, among them two NFL Hall of Famers, Willie Wood and Jim Brown.

Wood, the former Packers defensive back, was in a wheelchair. Brown, perhaps the greatest running back in history, walked with a cane.

The hearing was called in the wake of a recent NFL-commissioned survey that revealed that retired NFL players may suffer from such irreversible brain diseases as Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), and dementia, at rates far greater than the general population. Conyers said it was time for the committee to do “an expeditious and independent review all of the data.”

The league has steadfastly downplayed the validity of any studies indicating a connection between playing football and the incidence of brain disease, maintaining that its own recent survey was widely misinterpreted.

Christoper Nowinski, a former Harvard football player and professional wrestler, is the founder of the Sports Legacy Institute and co-director of Center For the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy at Boston University. He testified about his own years of concussion-related problems, while his colleague, Dr. Ann McKee, reported that she found “severe” brain damage in all 11 of the postmortem studies she has made of former pro and college football players.

“I am constantly surprised by the NFL’s reaction to evidence that is overwhelming that we have a serious public-health crisis on our hands,” Nowinski said.

Goodell repeatedly defended the league’s actions and policies, saying he had spent more time and attention to the issue of brain injuries to NFL players than any issue in his time as commissioner.

Click here to read further ……………….

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In order to read Wayne Coffey’s article in its entirety just click on the text link shown
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The league has conducted its own investigations into concussions and head traumas suffered by NFL players and the their aftermath. But as of yet , they’ve yet to make their findings public. However, a number of universities have conducted similar studies their own investigations into the issue at the behest of former NFL players and a number of insurance concerns. Much of which had repudiated earlier claims that were being made by the NFL. The real issue however , may well be why the NFL has failed to deal with this very acute issue ? The thought would be that the health of its players would be paramount to the well being of the game and its viability ? But then again, when the feeder system for your non ending talent pool, is that of the collegiate game. Then one would guess that this sole issue would be not be of paramount importance to the league.

Much of what Goodell and Smith have stated here has only recently enacted done in the last ten months . What of prior to this period in time ? As I alluded to earlier, it’s been nothing more than mere double-speak on both of their parts.

The indifference shown by the league has been incredulous and what has proven to be even more exacerbating has been the very fact that we’ve not heard any current NFL player come out openly and comment on the issue. It’s as if they’re of the opinion that this doesn’t concern them . Moreover , it’s unlikely that they’d ever suffer such a trauma on or off the field of play. One of the bye products of a concussion suffered on the field is the very real possibility of there being long suffering and lingering long term problems for the victims. The possibility that down the line there’s a chance of possibly a player being in the first early stages of the onset of Alzheimer’s disease is a very disturbing scenario. Anyone whose seen the result of this very debilitating disease ,surely knows that the suffering is a constant one . And most certainly, it leaves its victims in a place of not being cognizant of what’s happening around them. Much less, being able to hold an oral line of conversation with anyone and then being able to respond with some semblance of clarity.

Courtesy of USAToday.com:

Goodell grilled by Congress on head injuries, won’t admit link

WASHINGTON (AP) — NFL commissioner Roger Goodell would not acknowledge a connection between head injuries on the football field and later brain diseases while defending the league’s policies on concussions before Congress.

Under sometimes-contentious questioning from lawmakers — and suggestions about reconsidering the league’s lucrative antitrust exemption — Goodell sat at a witness table Wednesday alongside NFL Players Association head DeMaurice Smith.

Both men agreed to turn over players’ medical records to the House Judiciary Committee.

Chairman John Conyers, D-Mich., asked Goodell whether he thinks there’s an injury-disease link. Goodell responded that the NFL isn’t waiting for that debate to play out and is taking steps to make the game safer.

“I just asked you a simple question. What is the answer?” persisted Conyers.

Goodell replied by saying a medical expert could give a better answer than he could.

Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., whose husband played in the NFL, asked Goodell how the league was addressing the welfare of retired players during current collective bargaining negotiations with the union.

Goodell said that it’s a “priority for the owners and players to take better care of our retired players,” but Waters cut him off, demanding specifics.

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In order to read USAToday’s article in its entirety just click on the link provided
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So what now , you may ask ? Will the NFL and the NFLPA be proactive on this issue ? Or will they just cast it aside as so often has been done , with them issuing the statement that they will address it at some time in the future ? Much like any other business entity where image is everything. The NFL is no different than any other – other than the fact that in their field of operation they’re the only game in town. And they will continue to act and do as they please because they’ve no opposition within their field of endeavor. Or from the federal government as a matter of fact as they too have been culpable in ignoring the plight of present and former players in the NFL , in this regard. Now being the only game in town and with this issue being of a very delicate nature. There has to be something that the NFL can do at this juncture ? Rather than hiding behind that veil of secrecy and outright denial.

Dumb A_s ! Dumb A_s ! Dumb A_s !

The NFL evidently prides itself upon the image portrayed, in particular by its members. And that no doubt constitutes all of its staff. From its executives on down, through its owners and players. Which begs the question what sort of an a_shole must you be when you can act like a fool and denigrate not only the organization you’re employed by but also a certain group of individuals and think that you can get away with such behavior ? The reason I state this , is because of the recent incident concerning the Kansas City Chiefs’ Larry Johnson.

Chiefs'  running  back  Larry  Johnson  seen  here  in a  September  20th   picture   during  the    fourth  quarter of  an  NFL   game   played  against the  Oakland  Raiders   at  Arrowhead  Stadium  in   Kansas   City  , Mo.,   The  player   was   suspended   by   the   organization    after   his   criticism  of  them  as  well  as  some   disparaging   remarks   made   about  the   gay  community.   The   player  has  since  offered  an  apology  and   has  stated  that  he  will   contest   his  suspension  by  lodging   a  complaint with  the NFLPA  .   The   suspension  is   meted   out  by the  Chiefs  is  on  a  week  to   week  basis   at  the   franchise's    behest.   He's to  have   no   contact  with the  team   by  way  of   practice  or  other   activities  deemed   conducive   to  the   team  and   its  community obligations.    picture  appears   courtesy  of   ap/photo/  Charlie   Riedel   .......................

Chiefs’ running back Larry Johnson seen here on the sidelines in an NFL game played against the Oakland Raiders at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City , Missouri,. The player was suspended by the organization after his criticism of them and some disparaging remarks made about the gay community. He has since apologized for those remarks but the franchise hasn’t not agreed to rescind the suspension. Johnson intends to lodge an appeal to the NFL and will seek representation through the NFLPA. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Charlie Riedel …………

The hapless Chiefs, under first year coach , Todd Haley, is going through a tough time in the NFL and in particular within the AFC West. Never mind the fact that at (1-6) within their conference, they stand at the bottom of their division looking up at the likes of the Oakland Raiders (2-5),San Diego Chargers (3-3) and the unbeaten Denver Broncos (6-0).

Beleaguered   first  year  coach ,  Todd Haley  of   the  Kansas City  Chiefs  seen  here  on  the   sidelines   of  a  game   against  their   divisional  rivals the  San Diego  Chargers.    The   Chiefs would   go  on  to  lose  the  game  in  a   lopsided   blowout  37-7   to  the  Chargers   .   The  team   has   a  record  of   (1-6)   in  the NFL  and  sit  afoot of   the  AFC  West  Division.     picture  appears   courtesy  of   ap/photo/ Ed  Zurga  .....................

Beleaguered first year coach , Todd Haley of the Kansas City Chiefs seen here on the sidelines of a game against their divisional rivals the San Diego Chargers. The Chiefs would go on to lose the game in a lopsided blowout 37-7 to the Chargers. The team has a record of (1-6) in the NFL and sits afoot of the AFC Western Division. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/Ed Zurga ……………

Courtesy of NFL.com Wire Reports;

Chiefs give two-week suspension to RB Johnson, who plans appeal

From NFL.com Wire Reports

Running back Larry Johnson, who used a gay slur twice within a 24-hour period and has a history of poor behavior, received what amounts to a one-game suspension from the Kansas City Chiefs on Wednesday night.

In a three-sentence release, the Chiefs said Johnson would be suspended from the team until Monday, Nov. 9. The Chiefs are on their bye week and will not play again until traveling to Jacksonville for a Nov. 8 game against the Jaguars.

The Chiefs had been saying for three days that they were “investigating” the situation. Johnson was told to stay away from the team Tuesday.

Peter Schaffer, Johnson’s agent, told NFL Network’s Jason La Canfora that he already has been in contact with union officials and will appeal the suspension. Schaffer is hoping for a ruling from an independent arbitrator in the matter before Johnson, who stands to lose two paychecks (or roughly $560,000), would miss any playing time.

Schaffer contends that this suspension is “unwarranted under the circumstances” and said Johnson doesn’t want to miss any playing time. Schaffer also noted that Johnson already had issued a public apology before the suspension was issued and said “we respect the Chiefs’ right” to impose discipline, but “we disagree that the Chiefs’ proposed penalty is warranted by Larry’s actions.”

Ultimately, the Chiefs could elect to release Johnson, who’s averaging just 2.7 yards per carry this season. His $4.5 million salary for this season is guaranteed, but he’s set to make $5 million next season, not including a $2 million roster bonus. That likely means Johnson isn’t in the Chiefs’ long-term plans.

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Here an ESPN profile on NFLPA Executive Director , DeMaurice Smith. The expose’ was seen on the network’s magazine program ‘Outside The Lines’.

To say that this team is like a ship adrift at sea, aimlessly heading nowhere, would be a vast understatement to say the very least. Almost at will, this team has no semblance of defense, or offense, on either side of the ball. And even though the form once of expected of quarterback, Matt Cassel , has yet to be seen and the team still continues to struggle. Johnson, for his part hasn’t proven to be productive and as alluded to earlier , he has derided the organization , the coach and seemingly made an antagonistic and needless remark about the gay community. And all under the pretense of supposedly as an act of anger ? Or if the truth be told , the player actually wants out of Kansas ? Well if this is what it takes , he may not get his wish but more likely than not a suspension awaits and quite possibly a league reprimand and further punishment at the behest of league commissioner , Roger Goodell.

It’s often at times like this I begin to wonder if the NFLPA under its Executive Director, DeMaurice Smith , is entirely at all concerned with the conduct or behavior of his members ? Or is his primary concern more to do with the renegotiating of the collective bargaining agreement and the amount of money that the union can attain from the NFL by way of that agreement ? He’s had very little say about his members’ behavior. Especially, in light of them having transgressed the laws of the land. Never mind the only time he has shown any concern , is when he believes that the commissioner has overstepped his boundaries with regard to meting out punishment that he deems fit to players – when they’re in clear dereliction of the NFL’s personal conduct rule as it applies not only to the game but also with to the image of the NFL.

NFL  Commissioner   Roger  Goodell seen  here  addressing   members  of   the  press  at   a  news  conference   in  Tampa , Florida ,.    Both  Goodell  and   DeMaurice  Smith  of  the  NFLPA are   due  to  address    the   Senate   Judiciary  Committee  on health    related  issues  concerning   concussions  suffered   by    players  in  the  NFL .  There  may  well  be  a  great deal  of  posturing  and contentiousness   from   Goodell  and   Smith  when  they  address   the  Senate  Committee.    As  neither   party  wants  to  accept  any  responsibility   concerning  this   very   delicate   issue .       picture  appears  courtesy  of   reuters  / Jeffrey   Haynes   .....................

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell seen here addressing members of the press at a news conference in Tampa , Florida ,. Both Goodell and DeMaurice Smith of the NFLPA are due to address the Senate Judiciary Committee on health related issues concerning concussions suffered by players, current and former – in the NFL . There may well be a great deal of posturing and contentiousness from Goodell and Smith when they address the Senate Committee. As neither party wants to accept any responsibility concerning this very delicate issue . picture appears courtesy of reuters / Jeffrey Haynes …………

It’s obvious that the NFLPA and the game’s hierarchy are on a collision course in more ways than one. In the eyes of Smith it won’t be only about the collection bargaining agreement but also what he believes to be Goodell’s autocratic rule as he deems when it comes to dealing with player suspensions and the airing of their grievances by way of an appeal. Granted , some of Smith’s claims may well be justified but he, himself , has done very little to rein in the conduct of his players by way of meeting the situation head on and addressing the issue. It’s as if, his making a public statement merely adds window dressing to the issue by showing trite concern for the issue and the image of his members. What’s more it gives the appearance that he condones their very behavior by way of not acting in a proactive manner. Sadly enough, these players don’t want to be held accountable for their actions in any shape or form ! And they merely think that by offering a trite and meaningless apology , it will be enough to address the issue. As is the case now, with the Chiefs’ Larry Johnson , after his disparaging remarks about the gay community and the Chiefs’ organization.

Whatever is left to be said can be best summed up in six meaningful words to my mind ! And that is that is ” Larry Johnson is a dumb ass ” ! Dumb ass , dumb ass , dumb ass ! Need I say anything more on the subject ?