Puppet On A String …..

Puppet On A String

It’s a year-long three hundred and sixty-five day multi-billion dollar business , but for all the vagaries , the NFL remains a league entity still bereft of leadership, albeit , NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is still being praises for his leadership since assuming his role from the previous occupant Paul Tagliabue . If nothing else, Goodell has proven himself to be an imbecile at every turn , with his ham-fisted decisions and lack of communicative skills. Not content with the league’s mishandling of several legal issues as well the Deflate-Gate Affair , Roger Goodell is now intent in seeking recourse after an earlier Federal Judge’s ruling in Tom Brady’s favor. Using what appears to be a backdoor means in having the earlier decision overturned, the Commissioner is now seeking to use his authority as laid out in the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement to suggest his authority is absolute, in rendering any punishment deemed proper when a player is known to have violated the NFL rules through misconduct or his on-field behavior.

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Roger Goodell continues to cherry-pick the skirmishes he seeks to wage, while the league continues to lose the most important battles of all. Football will continue to remain popular among its hardcore fans , but I seriously doubt they have a great deal of confidence in the hierarchy led by Goodell! The NFLPA (Players’ Union) under the leadership of DeMaurice Smith , continues to be adversarial , rather than seeking a bilateral partnership with the league to discuss the numerous problems of the league. What appears to be the primary concern of the league and union , is how much money they can continue to make , while the product being served up to the consumer remains as bland as ever. Now there are many who will suggest this past season in the NFL was among the best in recent years and the fairy-tale ending which provided the right send off to the ending of Peyton Manning’s career was the right one. Manning and the Denver Broncos won the Superbowl over the highly favored Carolina Panthers , but only one team turned up to play in the game. The Panthers offered nothing by way of offense or defense, in a game which was error filled. Manning had one of his most undistinguished games of his postseason career , but it was enough for the Broncos to come out ahead as the victors. With it came the adulation , Vonn Miller being named Superbowl MVP for his heroics , while Peyton Manning stepped down in style.

With the off-season in full swing and the NFL Combines having taken place , teams will be seeking reassess their needs while also look at their cap positions and then seeking to restructure their rosters accordingly. Already we have seen a number of unexpected moves , with several players being cut by their teams and a number of trades being made. Brock Osweiler , the backup to Peyton Manning last season with the Broncos has now moved on as a free agent joining the Houston Texans where he will now become the new starting quarterback for the franchise. With his acquisition comes a lucrative contract for Osweiler , while he is expected to live up the expectations of the head office and the Texans’ coaching staff .

Replacing Peyton Manning was never going to be easy, but Denver Broncos’ Head of Football Operations ‘ John Elway believes Mark Sanchez is the right player to fill the role. While I believe Sanchez to be a good player, I am not so sure he is capable of keeping the Broncos ahead of the pack within the AFC ! The Broncos remain a very good team on paper and undoubtedly Elway will be seeking to bolster the roster during the off-season by way of trades, the re-signing of free agents and then off-course, there is the upcoming NFL Draft where the Broncos where the Broncos have their customary number of picks. ‘

In what might be considered either an audacious move or one sheer stupidity , the Los Angeles Rams (St Louis Rams) have traded up to take the number one over all pick for this upcoming Draft. Rams’ head coach Jeff Fisher along with GM Les Snead made the decision to offer up picks from the 2016 NFL Draft as well as future picks for 2017. Fisher is the eyeing the team’s urgency in seeking a top-flight quarterback among the eligible quarterbacks in this class. Les Snead has already met with Jared Goff , quarterback of the Cal State Bears as well as Carson Wentz of North Dakota State . Both players are thought to be the two best quarterbacks among this current crop passers available. And as audacious as this perceived move might be for the Rams , it is not really all that surprising the entire organization is seeking to make as big a splash possible after relocating back to the greater Los Angeles area , with their almost two decade absence from the state of California.

Will Trading Up Be Rams’ Downfall?

By Jason Keidel

When the Los Angeles Rams — the back-to-the-future franchise — shoved their draft coin to the middle of the table to get the top pick from the Tennessee Titans, most football fans wondered if this is 2016 or 1994, the last year the Rams were in Los Angeles.

So many similar trades have bombed. Further, the Rams are banking on a big variable — a rookie quarterback. And we can’t even agree on which one they will take in 10 days. All we know is either Jared Goff or Carson Wentz will lead the Rams back to Hollywood, and into the future.

Jerry Jones, the loquacious owner of the Dallas Cowboys, chimed in on the matter, sardonically saying he didn’t know Herschel Walker was still around. The reference, of course, is to the trade between the Vikings and Jones’s fledgling Cowboys, who were getting smacked around the NFL, with Troy Aikman and little else.

The Vikings surrendered a king’s ransom in 1989 for Walker, a good player who didn’t make the Vikings great. Meanwhile, the Cowboys used those draft picks, along with Jimmy Johnson’s keen eye for college talent, to build a dynasty.

History is on the side of the team that stockpiles draft picks, or at least against the team that gives them away. The Vikings never reached the Super Bowl with Walker. The Saints hemorrhaged an entire draft 10 years later for Ricky Williams, who wound up in Miami. The Redskins bet the farm 13 years later for Robert Griffin III, who’s now in Cleveland.

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The Los Angeles Rams’ reemergence in Los Angeles might well be deemed to be a positive thing for the city , the fans of the franchise as well as the NFL in general, but the real test for the NFC West based Rams might well be how successful they are in the upcoming season . There was no denying the team fell way short of expectations last season as they were barely competitive within their division , conference and the league. Nick Foles was the starting quarterback for the Los Angeles Rams in 2015 and the team failed miserably on all fronts , with the Rams posting 7-9 record , good enough for third within their division , missing the postseason and barely being competitive to be seen as a contender within the NFL. St Louis Rams’ owner Stanley Kroenke will make a great deal of money from the franchise’s move from St Louis , Missouri to Los Angeles , California . The land on which the Rams stadium is to be built is owned by the real estate mogul and the venture which will see a mix of commercial enterprises as well as some residential properties , will bring about a large economic impact for the area. Kroenke has worked with Los Angeles County and the cities of Industry as well as Los Angeles , to make sure the venture met with the requirements sought by both municipalities, while in the background the league hierarchy was pulling all the strings to make sure Roger Goodell’s dream came to fruition.

Moves are likely to be made by the St Louis Rams to bolster their roster , with Jeff Fisher embarking on a whole new chapter for a franchise whose last appearance in the postseason came back in 2004 when the team made it to the divisional round of the postseason before finally falling to the Atlanta Falcons in a lopsided loss . In the later years , with coaching and player personnel changes the franchise has squandered every opportunity available . The best finish during the season which the St Louis Rams have been able achieve since 2004 , were second place finishes in 2005, 2006 , 2010 and on each occasion they failed to make the postseason.

The Los Angles Rams will begin their 2016 schedule with a game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi Stadium in Santa Clara , California on September 12th 2016, week one of the regular season schedule. Their preseason schedule will offer the fans the chance to see their team face the Dallas Cowboys , Kansas City Chiefs , Denver Broncos and the Minnesota Vikings as part of their quartet of games during the exhibition games being encompassed by the league’s thirty-two teams . The St Louis Rams in seeking to have the overall number one pick and the clear indication Les Snead and Jeff Fisher they’re in need of a quarterback , may well stem from the belief Nick Foles was unable to give the team the insurance needed at the position . St Louis’ offense last season was not only anemic , but the defense also left a great deal to be desired . There are issues which need to be addressed across the depth of the team’s roster at a number of positions. Decisions likely to be made will have a long-term impact on the franchise’s future and in particular for this upcoming season.

Through their first six games of last season the St Louis Rams were not as competitive a team as Jeff Fisher might have hoped. Other than the play of their rookie running back Todd Gurley , there was not much to suggest the team was ever in with a chance of challenging anyone within their division or the league over the course of last season. The challenge for Gurley this upcoming season will be to prove to his detractors last season was not an aberration .


Adam Gase
has become the new head coach of the Miami Dolphins and Gase has seen fit to assemble a coaching staff he believes will be able get the best out of a roster which has failed miserably over the past five seasons . Dolphins’ owner Stephen Ross in spite of his wealth has presided over a franchise bereft of genuine leadership and proven managerial acumen. The front office led by general manager Chris Grier and EVP Mike Tannenbaum , in part , are now expected to resurrect the fortunes of this franchise. Yet in the midst of this all, the continued belief remains , this team lacks leadership and the players ready to be held accountable for their actions. Ryan Tannehill , the Dolphins’ quarterback has yet to show the skill-set needed to get the job done and Ndamukong Suh , acquired as a free agent to bolster the defense , has not <a href=http://pr shown the ability that made him a Pro Bowl caliber player. One should bear in mind both Tannehill and Suh are being rewarded handsomely for their services. This season the Miami Dolphins’ cap figure will exceed $160 million dollars , though it will not be the highest among the NFL’s teams.

Coming off a rather disappointing season where during the course of their schedule the Miami Dolphins went through two head coaches , with Joe Philbin being fired , then to be replaced by Dan Campbell and it is easy to understand why there was no consistency to the team over the course of 2015. Finishing with 6-10 record within the AFC East , good enough for a fourth place (last place) place finish within the division and their failing to make the postseason after a poor finish in the AFC , simply dashed the hopes of the fans and the franchise last season. There very few positive signs of improvement in the team and I believe the Miami Dolphins will once again struggle during this upcoming season ! Adam Gase, Chris Grier and Mike Tannenbaum will undoubtedly look at the makeup of the team’s roster assessing the strengths and weaknesses they believe will need to be addressed. Moves will be made to improve the lineup and I can see that the front office and coaching staff will look to make prudent choices concerning the upcoming NFL Draft.

The NFL preseason tends to offer up nothing but meaningless entertainment and games which the fans are expected to pay full ticket prices merely to see second and third-string players still seeking to make their way unto the full roster of the teams. The standings at that point of the season have no bearing on the final regular season standings at all. Adam Gase and the Miami Dolphins will play a three-game preseason schedule against the New York Giants , Dallas Cowboys and Atlanta Falcons , before embarking on their regular season schedule. In week one their opponents will be the Seattle Seahawks , who will they will be playing at Century Link Field in Seattle, Washington on Sunday 11th September , 2016. If the Miami Dolphins are to be successful this upcoming season , then a great deal will be expected of not only Ryan Tannehill , but from the entire coaching staff and roster.

In the lead-up to the NFL Draft it will be interesting to see if there will be any other bold moves being made by other teams as they seek to improve their draft order position. As they say, “ nothing ventured , nothing gained “ .

Tophatal ……. 2014/04/18

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Too late the hero …

They came they saw and thought they would conquer , instead the heavily favored Carolina Panthers laid a monumental goose-egg as they were outplayed , outcoached and made to look ordinary in their loss to the Denver Broncos. For their part, the Broncos avenged their horrendous loss of two years ago, when they fell asleep at the wheel in their embarrassingly lopsided defeat to the Seattle Seahawks. Panthers’ quarterback , Cam Newton the presumptive League MVP was harassed all game-long by the Broncos’ defense, with Vonn Miller having an exceptional game , while being named Superbowl MVP.

Too late the hero

They came they saw and thought they would conquer , instead the heavily favored Carolina Panthers laid a monumental goose-egg as they were outplayed , out-coached and made to look ordinary in their loss to the Denver Broncos . For their part, the Broncos avenged their horrendous loss of two years ago, when they fell asleep at the wheel in their embarrassingly lopsided defeat to the Seattle Seahawks . Panthers’ quarterback , Cam Newton the presumptive League MVP was harassed all game-long by the Broncos’ defense, with Vonn Miller having an exceptional game , while being named Superbowl MVP. The resulting 24-10 win by the Denver Broncos, brings to an end one of the best seasons seen from an NFL franchise in terms of their defensive capabilities seen during the regular and postseason . Denver’s defense was exceptional and their play-making ability exhibited in the Superbowl was nothing short of spectacular.

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For Peyton Manning , the question remains, does he now bow out on a career-high , having won his second Superbowl or does he return for one more year with the Denver Broncos ? Certainly, he will be getting advice from his family and closest friends but I believe Manning also seek advice from Broncos’ Head of Operations and former quarterback John Elway , whose career with the franchise have been etched in Denver Broncos’ folklore. Denver came into this game as the overwhelming underdogs , but when it mattered the most, it was the defense who stepped up to the plate to make this victory all the more satisfying for their fans and the organization.

This off-season , I have no doubt John Elway , the front office and the coaching staff of Gary Kubiak will go about assessing the team’s needs in the run-up to the 2016 NFL Draft . With notable free agents on the roster who will undoubtedly be looking to get paid , one could reason , Elway will not be rushed into things concerning the Broncos’ roster and their off-season dealings. Having been the architect of this team , drafting and acquiring free agents to bolster the roster , adding depth to the team overall. It could be said , Elway should be taking as much credit for this success , as the players on the team.

There was a solemn note to this Superbowl with John Elway acknowledging words of appreciation for team owner Pat Bowlen who was unable to attend Sunday’s event. Bowlen has been the ever-present figure presiding over the franchise almost from its very start. Ill-health has taken its toll on this much revered owner and it seems only fitting that the Denver Broncos’ greatest player was the person offering Bowlen , his best wishes.

Carolina Panthers’ head coach Ron Rivera , obviously disappointed with his team’s loss , was the first to acknowledge this was a learning experience for his players . In his post-game interview the coach praised his opponents while stating his team will get better and they have learned something from this loss. The disappointment on the faces of the Panthers’ players was there for every one to see and the gut-wrenching way with which they discombobulated, was all the more unbelievable. Mistimed efforts by the receivers , Cam Newton being harassed and pressured played a part in the Carolina Panthers’ downfall. Furthermore, with Ron Rivera’s coaching staff not adapting the to Wade Phillips’ defensive strategies have me wondering , did this have more to do with Panthers not figuring out they were going up against the NFL’s best defensive team during the postseason ? As good as the Denver Broncos were said to be defensively, Carolina through their sheer desperation simply had no real answer , their world came crashing down because they lacked composure and an unwillingness to change or battle their opponent head on.

With the result of the Superbowl now known , we will see how the NFL Draft pans out as the teams make their choices on Draft Day. The Tennessee Titans will have the privilege of making the first pick in the upcoming draft and it will be interesting to see the decision made by the Titans’ front office as they seek to fortify a roster around the skill-set of Marcus Mariota . The only way is up for the Titans after another disastrous season in the NFL and while Mariota was able to show signs of leadership and composure , when the surrounding cast appears to be nothing more than mediocre , then there is not a great which can be done and that was clearly the case for Mike Mularkey and his coaching staff . Mularkey replaced Ken Whisenhunt who had been fired earlier in the season after the Titans’ inauspicious start to their schedule . There are a litany of issues which needed to be addressed by the Tennessee Titans during the off-season and while one can only hope to see some signs of improvement from the AFC South based franchise, I am of the opinion they are likely to struggle again this upcoming season !

Over the last ten years the Dallas Cowboys have sought ride into the postseason on the shoulder of Tony Romo . Suffice to say, I believe Cowboys’ owner and GM Jerry Jones has spent way too much time hyping up the franchise while making a great deal of money over-charging fans for a rather mediocre product ! Romo’s postseason malaise have been well-chronicled along with his continuous excuses and the very fact he is no longer able to play a regular sixteen-game schedule . During this off-season the quarterback will once again be undergoing surgery, having re-injured his shoulder. Can we just say , if Romo were a race horse who repeatedly suffered the same injury , he would have been euthanized ? Head coach Jason Garrett , continually the ‘pet poodle’ of Jerry Jones , is simply proving whether or not he has on-field talent, slight or genuinely very good , he cannot get the best out of those players , much less truly indicate he has a modicum of coaching acumen. The losses suffered by the Cowboys this past season were as just as much the players’ fault as it was Garrett’s and his ill-prepared coaching staff’s .

I have never really been enamored with the Dallas Cowboys and this constant belief they are ‘ America’s Team’ . It is said , if you tend to spread the message long and loud enough , then people are likely to believe it. Well, I do believe the Cowboys alongside the New England Patriots are the most despised teams in the NFL , while also being the most hated in North American professional sports !

It would be a safe bet to suggest , when Tony Romo was lost the Dallas Cowboys during the season, their year was essentially over. Neither Matt Cassel or Brandon Weeden as Romo’s under-studies were able to get the job done as the team’s starting quarterback, replacing the Pro Bowl player . Cassel was never consistent enough and Weeden was simply out of his depth.

The losses suffered by the Cowboys this past season were as just as much the players’ fault as it was Garrett’s and his ill-prepared coaching staff’s. Dallas having finished their season with a 4-12 record will have the fourth overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. If their first round draft based on the team’s needs are anything to go by, then there is a very distinct possibility Jerry Jones will likely take a quarterback , but this purely based on speculation from my own perspective ! The Cowboys’ needs are vast and varied and given Jones’ inclinations , just about anything is possible. One can only hope this upcoming season the Dallas Cowboys will have their game faces on , rather than being dressed in clown costumes and performing like the NFL’s answer for ‘comedic relief’.

Not one to pour salt into the wounds ,but in the aftermath of another deplorable season if all the fans of the St Louis Rams can feel excited about is their imminent return to the greater Los Angeles area , then it is to their shame. Rams’ owner and eponymous billionaire and husband of Ann Walton-Kroenke , of the Walton family fortune . Stanley Kroenke , as the owner of the NFL franchise has presided over a disaster since he acquired the team and this move can and should be seen as nothing more than to take away your attention away from what has been another year of just incompetence from the top on down . Jeff Fisher and his coaching staff appeared lost and the players seemed to be lost all season long. There was but one bright spot to this team and it was the play of their rookie running back Todd Gurley . While others might be calling for the names of Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston for the NFL Offensive Rookie of The Year . To my mind , Gurley made enough of an impact to have outshone his contemporaries from the 2015 NFL Draft class ! Whether or not the Rams’ running back wins the award remains to be seen.

Jeff Fisher and the St Louis Rams never seemed to be in control of their own destiny from the start of the season , right until its very end and their 7-9 record was reflective of that very fact . Poorly led on the field of play, their quarterback play it has to be said , neither Nick Foles and Case Keenum were up to the task of leading this team.

Stanley Kroenke having bought a large parcel of land outside the town of Industry , California will now seek to build a stadium which will in all likelihood will be publicly financed, while the surrounding area for the stadium will be for commercial and residential use , all under the umbrella of one of Kroenke’s commercial enterprises. While the Rams’ fans in Los Angeles might not seem perturbed with the use of public funds to aid one of the richest men in the country with one of his whims, it plainly speaks to the ignorance of the fans of the NFL in general and their lack of economics. As to the NFL hierarchy , well with the move having been approved, this is one more feather in the cap for Roger Goodell , whose own image is in need of something positive . His leadership of the NFL has been one of the poorest in living memory and perhaps among those of his contemporaries within MLB (Bud Selig and Rob Manfred) , NHL (Gary Bettman), NBA (David Stern) and NASCAR (Mike Helton).

If the St Louis Rams’ season was said so monstrous , then for the Oakland Raiders theirs was simply dire and one where there was little of note to take seriously. Jack Del-Rio did all he could without their being anything to show for it at the end of the day. Now with team owner Mark Davis and GM Reggie McKenzie having met with casino mogul Sheldon Adelson , CEO of Sands Corporation the entertainment and gaming conglomerate with a major presence in Las Vegas , Nevada as well as throughout much of the Far East . Adelson proposes the building of a vast stadium for the Raiders , along with a mix of commercial and residential real estate . As to what the NFL will make of this all , given their given wish not to be closely involved with the gaming industry , is somewhat hypocritical , when one considers professional football is a major source of revenue for the industry. Something the league hierarchy is well aware of and lately, several influential owners have been pressing Roger Goodell to loosen his stance with regard to their being no association.

Personally, I believe the league and the gaming industry to be hypocritical , as are the laws which prohibit wagering on sports’ events around the country ! The US Justice System and the States Attorneys’ General have bigger fish to fry , than seeking to punish with impunity , the gaming industry and those who make a living from it.

Mark Davis and Reggie McKenzie’s meeting with Sheldon Adelson also took in the local political dignitaries, along with senior members of the Las Vegas City Council . If their weight is thrown behind such a proposal , it will be interesting to witness how the NFL will seek to dissuade its members from allowing the relocation of the Oakland Raiders. While I have no problem with NFL franchises seeking to move , I do have a problem with team owners believing it best for municipalities , county or state governments to be at the beck and call when it comes to the financing of stadiums ! Less we forget , the NFL remains a tax-exempt organization , where only the teams , and the league’s employees are taxed. Bear in mind also, in 2014 , Roger Goodell’s salary exceeded $25 million dollars , and were he a player in the league that year, he would have been among the highest paid in the NFL . I am sure when the next CBA (collective bargaining agreement) meeting is due to take place between the union (NLFPA) and league hierarchy , the issue is likely to be raised by its leadership and Executive Director DeMaurice Smith . I mean is there any way Goodell can truly try and justify his salary ?

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Tophatal …….. 02/08/2016

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So you think you know sports ?

So you think you know sports ?

 

Well, with the Superbowl slowly approaching and the two participants from the AFC and NFC now in preparation for the NFL’s showcase event. Away from these preparations , we have a litany of news surfacing concerning a number of the league’s franchises. Outside , what appears to be an idiotic remark by Carolina Panthers’ quarterback Cam Newton interjecting the issue race into the mix, with his stating being a ‘ black quarterback’ in the NFL makes him a target for criticism. I beg to differ Cam, what will make you a target for criticism for the NFL and analysts in general , would be the issue of the Panthers performing poorly and the team not winning. The fact of the matter has been , the Carolina Panthers reeled off fourteen consecutive wins during the regular season , with the team’s only loss coming at the hands of their divisional rivals the Atlanta Falcons.

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Cam Newton for his part through much of the season played at a consistently high level and had several career firsts during the season as well as career records . Head coach Ron Rivera has to be entirely happy with what he saw from his team as they ended the regular season posting a 15-1 record, best in the NFL. Carolina’s opponent for the Superbowl game on the 7th February will be the Denver Broncos , who will be led by their veteran quarterback Peyton Manning. For those questioning Manning’s ability this season , they should consider the fact for much of the year the player was playing injured , something his critics obviously overlooked with their rather asinine prognostication and claiming Manning player was past his prime and his playing days were in fact over. Peyton Manning simply does what he does best and that is to answer those critics by leading the team into the postseason and unto another Superbowl appearance, the third of his career and the second for the Broncos in the last five seasons .

This game is the match-up the fans and analysts undoubtedly wanted to see, with the two best teams in the league vying for the Lombardi Trophy. Carolina are likely to be viewed as slight favorites in the game by the odds-makers in Las Vegas. Gambling on the’ big game’ should run into several hundred million dollars , if not at least one billion or more.

The fiftieth edition of the Superbowl and this is the game the NFL wants to be seen as the event which takes them into the latter half of the decade , with the fans expecting a great deal more. The league and its’ major corporate sponsors will be looking to this game to be a tremendous success competitively and from a commercial standpoint.

The NFL hierarchy has granted permission to the St Louis Rams and San Diego Chargers to relocate to the greater Los Angeles area. Rams’ owner , billionaire real estate and sports’ mogul Stanley Kroenke having bought a vast track of real estate in the town of Industry , California , will now be looking to both municipalities , Industry and the city of Los Angeles to finance a stadium, which will house a proposed new venue for the NFL franchise . While fans of the Rams rejoice about the return of the NFL to the city of Los Angeles , I seriously doubt they are intelligent enough to realize that ramifications involved , both cities proposing the use of taxpayers’ funds for the building of a new stadium for a billionaire who is among the four hundred richest people in America as well as being among the list of billionaires with a net worth exceeding $5 billion . The cities of Industry and Los Angeles still have their fiscal budgetary woes and the league hierarchy likely pressing both cities to facilitate their financing of a new stadium for the St Louis Rams. Stanley Kroenke has not been totally upfront on his proposals , other than to state stadium and the surrounding area will see an aesthetic use of the land with a mixture of commercial and residential use surrounding the $1 billion stadium.

The Spanos family, owners of the San Diego Chargers have not stated categorically, they will relocate the Chargers’ franchise, but all signs seems to be the pointing to the fact , with their negotiations with the city of San Diego at an impasse , their only alternative would be the move to Los Angeles.

The Oakland Raiders after another unfulfilling season in the league , have now sought to make themselves part of the NFL news’ cycle , with front office having met with officials from the city of Las Vegas to discuss their moving the state of Nevada and the city of Las Vegas. Over the past two-and-a-half decades the Raiders have long felt the city of Los Angeles has been theirs by territorial right, albeit the franchise has remained noncompetitive since 2004 and have not made a postseason appearance since their loss in the Superbowl to the Tamp Bay Buccaneers . In the ensuing years the Raiders have been a joke and through a string of head coaches since Bill Callahan took the team to their last Superbowl appearance.

Mark Davis as the owner of the Oakland Raiders has remained impervious to the criticism leveled at him by the fans and analysts alike and with each passing season of abject failure , there appears to be no real signs of improvement from any member of the team. Derek Carr was seen as something of a savior for the franchise , but in reality , he cannot do it all by himself and as a quarterback , as he has yet to attain the leadership skills sought to lead the Raiders where they need to be. Carr and the Oakland Raiders were not competitive enough to be viewed as a significant contender within the AFC West or AFC throughout much of this past season. Davis’ reasons for wanting to relocate the Raiders stems from greed and the fact the league hierarchy under Roger Goodell , have never looked favorably on his wish to have the sole territorial rights for the greater Los Angeles area , going unchallenged as the sole NFL franchise within Los Angeles. The NFL would have to grant their blessing for a proposed move by the Oakland Raiders and that is unlikely to happen in time for the upcoming 2016-17 season and so in all likelihood, such a move might not take place for at least another two years .

As baseball enters its silly off-season of movers and shakers among the executives , owners and agents negotiating contracts for free agents and players in arbitration , an interesting morsel of baseball historical news was revealed . Trades and free agent acquisitions have taken place at a fairly rapid pace , with several players signing lucrative deals during this off-season. Yet I believe the biggest news to hit the cycle to hit the world of baseball was the announcement that Ken Griffey Jr and Mike Piazza were to be the two players inducted into Baseball’s Hall of Fame for the class of 2016. Both players I believe were thoroughly deserving of this illustrious privilege , the highest honor possible for a player outside their winning a World Series’ ring. Future Hall of Fame eligible players for 2017 and 2018 are those who have met the eligibility requirements or those from the past, who will be appearing on ballot as a repeat eligible player .

With each passing year baseball seems to find itself dealing with some form of controversy or this never-ending idiocy of either the MLB hierarchy dumb-founded fans talking about Major League Baseball expansion. Were it not for the fact the hierarchy continues to be so damn clueless , along with the vast majority of the game’s fans and their not realizing the vast majority of the teams are barely financially viable , but yet the talk of expansion continues to raise its ugly head. For the Tampa Bay Rays having seen their hopes dashed repeatedly for a chance to build a new stadium within the city of St Petersburg or the greater Tampa area , as the franchise now appears to be on the verge of leaving the state altogether. Clearly the powers that be , among the civic dignitaries for cities of St Petersburg and Tampa cannot justify or explain to their residents, a thoroughly good reason why public funding should be used to build a stadium for a franchise whose attendance levels have continued to sit among the bottom half of baseball’s thirty teams.

At no time during the Rays’ two decade plus existence has the franchise ever seen those figures be ranked among the top-ten clubs within baseball’s attendance levels . The game is barely viable as a sport during the regular season for the two professional teams within the state of Florida , with both the Tampa Bay Rays and Miami Marlins struggling to remain competitive as well as seeing an upswing in attendance. The game of baseball is barely viable as a sport during the regular season for the two professional teams within the state of Florida , with both the Tampa Bay Rays and Miami Marlins struggling to remain competitive as well as seeing an upswing in attendance.

Baseball only remains relevant within the state of Florida during the Spring Training schedule , because of the abundance of teams who make use of the state for their Spring Training habitat and schedule.

So as the NBA season meanders along we are beginning to see the continued mediocrity of the teams , who are simply fighting to play themselves into contention for a Draft Lottery pick. The Los Angeles Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers continue to vie for the worst record in the entire league and with good reason, given the mediocrity seen with their continued play. The Eastern Conference remains abundant with its ineptitude and far be it for me to suggest , but anyone who still believe the Cleveland Cavaliers are even remotely capable beating the top five teams in the West Conference over a seven-game series , then those fans of the Cavaliers had better think long and hard as to how good they believe Cleveland to be.

LeBron James might not have played a part in David Blatt’s firing, but after it was revealed his relationship with Blatt’s successor Tyronn Lue went beyond a head coach , player relationship , one has to wonder what were the behind the scene maneuvers which led to David Blatt’s downfall and his firing by GM David Griffin . The Cleveland Cavaliers will be back on court when they take on the Detroit Pistons on Friday evening , 29th January , 2016.

I have never been convinced the NBA has ever sought to be truly tough on their players, when it comes to reprehensible behavior ! Granted, David Stern might well point to the fact , Latrell Sprewell was fined and suspended for his now well chronicled altercation with P J Carlessimo and then we have the idiocy of Gilbert Arenas and his former teammate Javaris Crittenton trying to prove their manhood , by drawing their guns in the locker rooms of the Washington Wizards as a way of resolving an argument over a gambling debt. Suffice to say beyond that idiocy , we also have to deal with the widespread homophobia and misogyny constantly at play within the NBA . Need we forget also, the league hierarchy’s poor response to Donald Sterling’s ignorant racial rants which took time for the league to deal with in a timely manner. What else would you expect of a hierarchy ran by a group of predominantly aging Caucasian males who preside over the upper echelons of the NBA ?

There are teams we know in the NBA who are seen as perennial contenders within this league and among them one might consider the Los Angeles Clippers to be among the elite teams . However, in light of the news Blake Griffin will be missing from the team’s lineup for the next five weeks , one has to wonder what the player was thinking when he got into an altercation with Mathias Testa , an equipment manager with the Clippers’ organization. Griffin has since issued an apology on Twitter apologizing to his fans and the Los Angeles Clippers for his conduct. This is not the first time Griffin’s temper has gotten the better of him and the player’s lack of maturity must now come into question and what his loss may well mean to the team in the coming weeks.

Doc Rivers , as the head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers appears to be more concerned with the loss of the player . rather than Griffin’s conduct and the fact neither he, the Clippers or the league have seen fit to take action against the player. What this suggests about the NBA and perhaps the Clippers to lesser extent , is the feeling unless a player has committed and charged with a a felony , then he should be treated with ‘kid gloves’ and the presumption of innocence. However, when one takes into account a repeat offender as is the case with Blake Griffin, then you have consider the hypocrisy of the league and the Los Angeles Clippers at this juncture.

With the All Star Game a little over two weeks away it will be interesting to see how the teams position themselves for the second half of the season and their continued ambitions over the remainder of the schedule.

With the first Grand Slam Tournament of ATP Tour and WTA entering its final phase it has been interesting to note the speed with which the ATP hierarchy has shrugged off the claims of their being widespread gambling within the world of Men’s Tennis and that certain players had been paid to “ throw matches” . In a report actually commissioned by Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) which governs the men’s sport , they went on to state that the evidence was inconclusive but they would take it under advisement pending a meeting of their Executive Committee before issuing a formal statement. The fact that sixteen of the world’s top fifty players were named in this report, should be a cause for concern, not only among the fans of the game but also for the International Tennis Federation (ITF) but also the IOC (International Olympic Committee) .

Novak Djokovic the world number one among the Men’s Rankings has seen his name associated with this report and the player has acknowledged the fact that early in his career he had been approached to throw a game , which in the end he refused to do.

The Australian Open has always been the first official Grand Slam Tournament on the tennis schedule for the game’s calendar year. Many of the world’s top-ranked men and women will be competing at the event in Melbourne , Australia , with the Men’s Finals taking place on Sunday and the Women’s Finals on Saturday afternoon. This two-week event takes its toll on the players both mentally and physically because of the humidity and heat which remains constant throughout the tournament . Serena Williams will be looking to make a successful start to the season as she once again looks to possibly rewrite tennis history.

Serbian. Novak Djokovic a five-time champion at the Australian Open will simply be looking to solidify his position atop of the Men’s Rankings and win his sixth title at this particular event. The story itself concerning gambling within the sport of tennis is nothing new , but what might be considered unnerving has been the fact the ATP hierarchy has not taken the claims of the investigation seriously, albeit , in the past , at least three players within the rankings have either been fined or suspended after allegations were proven that they had thrown matches for financial gain , to the benefit of the illegal bookmakers bribing the players in the match fixing.

Tennis alongside , professional soccer on the continent of Europe, has long been a target of not only organized crime and their involvement with gambling on sports , but there are claims now being made , many of these criminal enterprises and syndicates would like to ultimately make their way across the Atlantic, get a firm foothold in North America and a piece of the multi-billion dollar gambling industry which takes place here, covering the entire gamut of sports at the collegiate and professional level. We know from years past, illegal wagering and the shaving of points , have taken place within the world of College Basketball . Within College Football and the NFL , one could make allegations , there too , such activity might well have been widespread , but as we know , it is not something the NCAA or the NFL would like to discuss openly in public.

From my own perspective with their being so much money awash within the world collegiate sports and at the professional level , claims of match fixing . corruption and bribery will always be common place and no matter how much oversight is said to be taking place , somewhere and somehow those involved will always be able to find a way to elude the very people said to be overseeing the sport. Does anyone truly believe the sport of boxing remains clean and is still above reproach given the lack of oversight by the numerous international governing bodies now presiding over the sport ? Chime in with your thoughts as you see fit on the points raised within this article.

Tophatal ….. 01/29/2016

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Clash of the Titans and then, we’re left with absolute crap as the case maybe …

Clash of the Titans and then, we’re left with absolute crap as the case maybe

Well, now that we have found out the Dallas Cowboys (6-2) remain what we always knew them to be, an absolute fraud. Let’s see how their docile fans will seek to explain a home loss against the woefully inept Washington Redskins who had third-stringquarterback Colt McCoy starting for the Redskins in this inexplicable loss for the Cowboys. All this from a team, who prior to week eight had been on a six-game winning streak before their Monday Night home defeat to their divisional rivals .

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Dallas remains the leader of the NFC East, but barelyahead of their closest rivals the Philadelphia Eagles (5-2) who they will meet in weeks’ thirteen and fifteen with the first contest taking place at AT&T Stadium (Cowboys Stadium) in Arlington, Texas on the 27th November , 2014. Chip Kelly’s Eagles did themselves no favors in week eight , falling to the Arizona Cardinals. This division is likely to come down to which team shows the most consistency during the final six weeks of the regular season schedule. Last season, it was the Philadelphia Eagles running away with the division, winning it with remarkable ease and on their way to the postseason . Their short and abrupt fall came in the wildcard round as they were felled by the New Orleans Saints in a 26-24 loss in a tightly contested game.

The Dallas Cowboys’ fate still remains in their own hands , or should I say in the hands of Tony Romo ? As he goes, then so does this team , in spite of the remarkable season being put together by the team’s running back De Marco Murray who appears to be on his way to breaking the franchise’s single season rushing record and possibly passing the league’s single season record for yards from scrimmage and the single season rushing mark if he can remain healthy. In week nine Dallas will play host to the Arizona Cardinals in a clash of the top two teams in the NFC , with the winner likely to be viewed as a prohibitive favorite to make the postseason .

If this is to be the year where Jason Garrett can lead the Dallas Cowboys to the postseason, then it will have been a long time coming for a coach, thrust into his position by the Cowboys’ larger than life owner , Jerry Jones , whose ego and largess knows no boundaries. As to what Jones makes of the loss to the Washington Redskins can only be assessed by the statement likely to made be made by the publicity seeking executive and franchise owner. Favorable or not , Jones will seek to put a ” positive spin ” on the result.

With the NFL season having reached the halfway mark , there is no reason to not believe the fates of John Idzik and Rex Ryan remain intertwined with the general manager of the New York Jets and the team’s head coach now on a precipice , where team owner Woody Johnson will have to make a decision about whether or not to retain both individuals. Idzik was a proponent in the drafting of Geno Smith and then promoting him to become the starting quarterback starter in his rookie season. That experiment has come to epitomize the absurdity and incompetence seen both on and off the field concerning the New York Jets this season.

John Idzik’s resume’ is quite impressive when you consider he was integral part and one of the architects who built the Seattle Seahawks’ Superbowl winning roster. He left the front office of the Seahawks to pursue the general manager vacancy with the New York Jets. I guess things haven’t worked out for either Idzik or the Jets at this juncture .

A 1-7 record and it is not difficult to understand the reasons why the Jets are in such a position, bereft of big game play-makers or leadership, without having to listen to the rather imbecilic post-game interviews which are mandatory for the head coaches. In having to listen to Rex Ryan explain away why his team lost seven straight games with neither Smith or any of his teammates being able to show any signs of competitiveness. And that lack of competitivity was on view in the Jets’ disastrous play and the team’s 43-23 loss to the Buffalo Bills. Now firmly rooted at the bottom of the AFC East this season for the New York Jets has now become a forlorn and an ongoing recipe of prolonged disaster. Self-inflicted wounds, the coaching staff and the team remain at a loss to explain their current situation with Woody Johnson yet to issue a public statement on his franchise’s misfortunes.

Rex Ryan and the New York Jets will get the chance to seek the team’s second win of the season when they travel to Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City Missouri, to face the Kansas City Chiefs an all AFC contest this upcoming Sunday.

Save the best until last ? Looking at the NFC South and this season ,it might just be the worst division in the entire NFL , given the play of the teams within the division . Not one team , including the NFC South division leaders the Carolina Panthers (3-4) has a winning record this season and it seems likely a sub.500 or just above .500 mark will be enough to secure the divisional crown. As to what this might suggest about the Panthers, New Orleans Saints (3-4), Atlanta Falcons (2-6) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-6) does not leave a great deal to the imagination, other than to suggest , all four teams are extremely bad .

The picture of ineptitude currently being painted in the NFC South, has been on display with the masterpiece put on canvass by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers,coached by Lovie Smith , where he and his coaching staff along with GM Jason Licht have shown that they and the team are simply bereft of creativity and intellect both on and off the field of play. Smith has no idea as to who his starting quarterback ought to be from week to week . And he certainly has no idea who he can turn to , to provide leadership among his playing staff. Yet, all of the nonsensical debate by fans as to the real issues bedeviling the team and no one ever seems to talk about the role of veteran leadership. Reverence and stupidity among Buccaneers’ fans, who can and still point back to their championship winning season and the fact Jon Gruden coached the team to the victory in question. Truth be known, a blind man with the insight as to the tendencies of the Oakland Raiders could have coached the Buccaneers to the win . Yet , that seems to show the lack of real intelligence with the fan-base of the franchise and the fact they still rejoice in that year and not the very fact in its aftermath , neither Gruden or then general manager Bruce Allen sought to build for the future.

The front office of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers , now under the guidance of the family of the late patriarch Malcom Glazer, seem non too concerned over the team’s travails and the fact the Buccaneers’ sole victory victory this season came in their week four triumph over a less than impressive Pittsburgh Steelers,who at the time ,were an injury riddled team . The Steelers since then, have taken an opposite trajectory to the Bucs and now find themselves in the thick of thingsin a very competitive AFC North division.

A home loss by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to the Minnesota Vikings in an overtime defeat, suggested even when putting up a gallant effort, this team is simply not good enough to deal with real adversity . I doubt things are likely to get any better for the Buccaneers in their next scheduled game when they face the Cleveland Browns (4-3) at Paul Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio,.

Give Drew Brees the tools to get the job done and he can pick apart just about any team in the NFL. With that being said, this season the New Orleans Saints have been far from being their explosive and overpowering self when meeting their opponents . If nothing else , Brees and his teammates are struggling to gain some traction within the NFC, much less the division . Sean Payton , meanwhile , remains the offense minded guru, playing to the strengths of his renowned quarterback .

The Saints still possess a reliable running game but if you can “stunt that”,then force Brees out of the pocket and hasten his decision making and he can become vulnerable, but he still possesses the mindset to carry his team when it is necessary. Pierre Thomas, Mark Ingram and Khiry Robinson have provided the ground game for the Saints with their receiving corps being equally adept , led by Brandin Cooks . Jimmy Graham and Marques Colston. From a defensive standpoint , this is where I believe the Saints have their Achilles’ Heel in not always being able to slow down an opponent . We are likely to see the Saints face such a dilemma, when they take on the Carolina Panthers in a Thursday night game we can only hope meet the expectations of the fans in attendance as well as the television audience watching as the events unfold at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte,North Carolina, as the week nine schedule begins.

It doesn’t seem that long ago Matt Ryan was being hailed as a perennial Pro Bowl quarterback and the face of the Atlanta Falcons’ franchise. Having signed a multi-year , multi-million dollar deal , making the player among the highest paid players in the NFL and among the highest paid quarterbacks , it has to be said Ryan has failed to deliver the goods while showing a lack of leadership for the Falcons. Now the cacophony of criticism being raised and aimed at the quarterback and head coach Mike Smith have reached unnerving proportions. Not only are there now cries for the dismissal Smith, but also for the jettisoning of Matt Ryan . I guess when the fans believe your ” number is up”, then they feel you have to go ?

Failure at all levels in terms of the Falcons’ play beyond the injury issues should not be seen as an excuse and understandably teams will tend to use such a premise . Yet the Atlanta Falcons came into this season with high hopes of winning their division and making a serious push for a postseason berth . Now this team is scrambling to save not only the season, but quite possibly not jepoardizing the future of Mike Smith and his job security. GM Thomas Dimitroff also has to be looking over his shoulder as team owner, Arthur Blank looks on at the continued mess his franchise is now engulfed in. It is pretty much safe to say, the noose is now tightening around the necks of several members of the playing staff as well as among the coaches . Blank has been known to show a great deal of patience and trust as exhibited with Michael Vick . Those days are now long gone and with a new stadium in the offing , there is no way in hell the owner wants an inept on field product with a coaching staff simply bereft of ideas. With millions of dollars at stake , this is the last scenario an NFL franchise owner would desire.

With a bye week , the Falcons can lick their wounds and prepare for their next opponent in week ten, when they look to inflict more pain pain into the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ season in a divisional clash at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa , Florida, against their divisional rivals. A loss fot the Falcons and the cries are likely to get louder and angrier from the fans of the franchise.

Their careers have been intertwined for over a decade and their meetings in the NFL regular and postseason have become legendary. As future Hall of Fame players, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning have reached the pinnacle of their respective careers. Brady with threeSuperbowl victories would like nothing better than to add a fourth to his already distinguised resume’ . Manning for his part is a four-time League MVP, with one Superbowl win to his name and the now infamous loss loss to the Seattle Seahawks’ in last season’s rather lopsided postseason finale . That defeat not only surprised a lot of NFL fans but certainly jolted the Denver Broncos (6-1) and their quarterback.

Tom Brady and Peyton Manning will meet again in what is likely to be the game of the day , as these two titans of the NFL suit up for another great contest, when the New England Patriots (6-2) play host to the Denver Broncos at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough , Massachusetts,. The Patriots have shown their flaws this season as too have the Broncos and it would take a foolhardy individual to pick against either of these two dominant quarterbacks . The game itself could go a long way in telling us which of these two teams will be in the driver’s seat within the AFC , with the winner, surely being looked upon as the prohibitive favorite within the conference for the Superbowl .

As Tom Brady and Peyton Manning continue to rewrite the record books with Manning recently surpassing Brett Favre for the all-time career mark in touchdown passes , with the Patriots’ and Broncos’ quarterbacks among the active leaders with career passing touchdowns . The question now becomes which two young quarterbacks currently playing in the NFL will be the next to step up to the plate and provide the league with a player rivalry not seen in this league in a very long time ? Peyton Manning entered the NFL as the number one overall pick in the 998 NFL Draft and Tom Brady was overlooked by several teams in the first round and dropped to the sixth round before he was taken by the New England Patriots in the 2000 NFL Draft . As to what this might suggest about the front office executives , scouts and coaching staff that year, can be best left for another time and a very lengthy debate.

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A winning season clearly aids a franchise as well as their star players and it should be noted, both the Patriots and Broncos have stood firmly by habits which have served the two franchises very well. It will be very interesting to see where these two teams are , a year or two from now . I believe we are now seeing to of the greatest careers ever witnessed in the NFL over the past eighteen years and the accomplishments of Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are unlikely to be surpassed, as the level of commitment and excellence is rarely seen among today’s NFL quarterbacks. Your thoughts if any, concerning the points raised within this article and anything else you believe worthy of a mention .

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Picture gallery and slideshow details .
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(1) Tony Romo (9) of the Dallas Cowboys is sacked by Brandon Meriweather (31) of the Washington Redskins during the first half at AT&T Stadium on October 27, 2014 in Arlington, Texas. A late comeback led by the Redskins’ third string quarterback Colt McCoy gave the visiting team the victory in overtime . Getty Images / Tom Pennington. …

(2) Brandon Meriweather (31) of the Washington Redskins reacts after sacking quarterback Tony Romo (9) of the Dallas Cowboys during the first half at AT&T Stadium on October 27, 2014 in Arlington, Texas. Getty Images / Tom Pennington …

(3) Colt McCoy (16) of the Washington Redskins is chased from the pocket by Rolando McClain (55) of the Dallas Cowboys during the first half at AT&T Stadium on October 27, 2014 in Arlington, Texas. Getty Images/ Tom Pennington …

(4) GM John Idzik of the New York Jets who has seen the team off to a 1-7 start to end the first half of the NFL season, placing the Jets at the bottom of the AFC East with only the Jacksonville Jaguars (1-7) and Oakland Raiders (0-7) with worst records within the conference and league. Idzik has taken the brunt of the blame for the team’s woes but the belief appears to be head coach Rex Ryan is likely to be fired at the end of the season with the general manager also , abruptly , being shown the door . AP Photo / Rachel Davis ..

(5) Drew Brees (9) of the New Orleans Saints against the Green Bay Packers at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on October 26, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Getty Images / Chris Graythen …

(6) Peyton Manning (18) and Tom Brady (12) share a few words after a game between the Denver Broncos and New England Patriots during week twelve of last season . The two quarterbacks have met thirteen times over the course of their respective careers in the regular and postseason . AP Photo / Lindsay Archer ….

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😎

tophatal ….

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I Love Myself “ ….. Kendrick Lamar

Pump it up bro !

We love our records ! Not vinyl, but sports’ records

We love our records ! Not vinyl, but sports’ records

In light of Peyton Manning’s demise alongside his teammates of the Denver Broncos in their now historic loss , in which they suffered defeat at the hands of the Seattle Seahawks . It is now my belief, that was the last appearance that we will see of Manning in a Superbowl contest! One victory in three Superbowl appearances and one could surmise that the window of opportunity for the quarterback to join a select few of his peers with at least two Superbowl victories and rings to their name, has now actually closed . This kind of makes me wonder if there is a sibling rivalry between Peyton and his younger brother Eli Manning , who has captured two victories in the NFL’s postseason finale, along with an Superbowl MVP award to adorn his trophy cabinet .

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As the quarterback of the Denver Broncos , Peyton Manning had an extraordinary year, having smashed the single season passing yards’ record, as well as the single season passing touchdowns’ mark. As spectacular as those feats were , the disappointment of that Superbowl loss , has left a bitter taste in the mouths of the Broncos’ players and leaving the front office of the organization completely bewildered as to the magnitude of the defeat. Let’s just say, that team owner, Pat Bowlen and John Elway , President of Football Operations, himself being no stranger to the postseason disappointment of a Superbowl appearance. Elway, as a member of the Denver Broncos , made five appearances in the Superbowl, but rode out on a career-high, having won the last two , on his way to a Hall of Fame induction in Canton, Ohio, at the culmination of his career.

Now we could start to prognosticate as to where Peyton Manning ranks amongst the best quarterbacks to have ever played the game, but with his career, yet to come to an end . Would it be remiss to suggest, that he no longer has what it takes to win at the highest level? With the right weapons around him, Manning was able to achieve success this past season , in the regular and postseason , but we all saw , that the Superbowl contest , clearly showed that the Denver Broncos were not ready to play and they were simply overwhelmed by the Seattle Seahawks . This off-season could prove to be an eventful one for the Broncos’ front office with John Elway , Matt Russell , Tom Heckert in conjunction with John Fox assessing the player personnel needs, with the likelihood of several players on the roster not likely to return for next season .

Peyton Manning within the next two years , should he make the decision to return for the 2014 season , is likely to make a full assault on the career touchdowns’ passing mark of 508 held by Brett Favre as well as the career yards’ passing record also held by the former .. Green Bay Packers’ quarterback. At present the Broncos’ quarterback leads all active players in terms of passing yards, passing touchdowns , pass attempts , completions , career comeback wins , and interceptions , Manning I believe having been on the wrong end of two defeats in the Superbowl, would like nothing better than to redeem himself and that of Broncos’ teammates in making one last attempt to win a second title . As I alluded to earlier, I do believe that Superbowl 48 was indeed the last time we will have seen the five-time league MVP having appeared in the NFL’s postseason finale.

Elway and John Fox will likely spend part of this off-season with behind the scenes closed-door discussions with their heralded quarterback, seeking his input on the weapons he feels best needed, in order for the Broncos to take that next step to a Superbowl victory . Contemplating the future of free agents, such as Knowshon Moreno, Domonique Rodgers-Cromartie, Eric Decker, Dan Koppen, Zane Beadles, Trindon Holliday , Michael Huff and others may well prove to be difficult . Yet the likelihood will be , the team will have to forsake a number of these free agents in order again to their advantage , while also preparing for the NFL Draft and the prospective litany of free agents that will hit the market during this off-season . The Broncos will be in a significantly advantageous position, as their cap figure will not be to their detriment , where they will have in excess of $11 million of cap room available the front office make deals as they see fit.

As talented as Dez Bryant is said to be, his career is still in its infancy , and with his off-the field behavioral issues beyond team owner , Jerry Jones coddling him like a child . I find the player to be an ingrate and someone with a lack of respect of others as well as for the game ! Bryant, a wide receiver with continually overrated Dallas Cowboys , during this past season, made the claim that he was good enough to be placed alongside both Calvin Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald , two of the best wide receivers to have entered the NFL over the past eight years. . Johnson has already cemented his legacy in NFL history having surpassed the single season receiving yards’ mark of Hall of Fame legend Jerry Rice , the greatest wide receiver in NFL history and perhaps one of the top-five players to have played the game at any position within the NFL . Fitzgerald has consistently proven to be a top-ten at the wide receiver, since his entrance into the league , having played his entire career with the Arizona Cardinals , a team who this past season proved to be possible future threat to the f supremacy within the now all so competitive NFC West , which over the past seasons seems to have been a two-horse race between the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco Giants.

The Cardinals’ wide receiver now ranks fifth amongst active players in terms of receiving yards, with 11,367 yards on his career resumes’. In terms of career yardage , he has a considerable way to go before surpassing Jerry Rice’s mark of mark of 22,985 yards. The one NFL record , which I believe is unlikely to be surpassed , because of the consistency and longevity needed ! If both Calvin Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald continue at their present pace , both are likely to be a “lock “ for induction into the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio , upon the end of their respective NFL careers. If Dez Bryant truly wants to be seen as one of the elite wide receivers in the NFL , then beyond the ongoing woeful ineptitude that exists with the Dallas Cowboys , he will have to prove also that he can be a game changer and lead by example , not just from a playing standing point, but also as a vocal leader on the team. Because in reality , the presumed leadership skills or qualities, have never been shown by Tony Romo or perhaps the best player on the roster , tight end Jason Witten , who has carved out an exceptional career playing career for the franchise, without having a Superbowl ring to show for his stellar efforts.

I have written with depth and at great length, concerning the woes of the Dallas Cowboys and do not wish to add much more to that content within this site ! Except that, if you so wish , you are welcomed to peruse the articles in question and add your input on the points raised.

Say what you will for this past NFL season, in terms of the season highlights , the game reigns supreme, as it still resonates with the masses . The events of the Superbowl notwithstanding, the fans will now await to see further stories are likely come to the fore , with the upcoming NFL Draft .

Another supreme career within baseball is about to come to an end , once the regular season reaches its finality . With Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees, making it known that this season will be his last in Yankees’ Pinstripes. One can perhaps now begin to ask where the player ranks amongst the all-time greats to have adorned the team’s uniform as well as gauging his contributions to the franchise . A five-time World Series’ champion , Series’ MVP , AL Rookie of the Year but having never won the AL MVP , as well as a multiple time All Star , the player’s resume` is littered accolades and accomplishments , that his departure from the ball-club , will be the last vestiges of the corps of players who alongside then manager Joe Torre , won four World Series , having made six appearances in baseball’s postseason finale between 1996 through to 2005. The short-stop’s last championship game in 2009 , with Joe Girardi helming the team as the manager , with the Yankees’ win over the hapless Philadelphia Phillies in a 4-2 series’ win.

With noted Hall of Famers from the New York Yankees’ rich baseball history , such as Lou Gehrig , Babe Ruth , Reggie Jackson , Micky Mantle , Wade Boggs , Dave Winfield, Jim ‘Catfish’ Hunter , Joe DiMaggio and Phil Rizzuto. In trying to assess where Derek Jeter would rank amongst those players would take a great deal of deliberation . The game has undoubted changed over the course of the last eight decades plus. Yet, the statistics cannot lie when trying make a case for the soon to be retired Yankees shortstop. If there is one thing that truly stands out concerning Jeter’s stature in terms of personal statistics , it may well be his on-base and slugging percentage (OPS) .

With all of the acquisitions made by the New York Yankees during the off-season , which is likely to push the team’s payroll slightly northwards of $200 million . I cannot now help but wonder, how the organization will seek to market the farewell of one the franchise’s and baseball’s most beloved figures over the past two decades. Former teammates, Andy Pettite and Mariano Rivera bowed out last season , in what was jointly their last years with the franchise. Rivera, the all-time career saves’ leader, for the New York Yankees, as well as in Major League Baseball, that may well stand the test of time given the present environment within the game. Pettite’s career can simply summed with the words, most postseason wins in baseball history as a starting pitcher, and five World Series’ titles tend to bolster a career resumes’ as well. A great deal will now be expected of this New York Yankees’ lineup , given the fact that Derek Jeter will start his farewell tour in 2014 and no doubt the team’s season series against the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays , the franchise’s most celebrated rivalries in recent years, will likely take on a whole new meaning. As visitors to the venues of the Red Sox and Rays, Fenway Park and Tropicana Field are likely to be sold out for each of those series’ games.

Issues asides , brought on by the Alex Rodriguez saga , with the player now having to sit out the entire 2014 schedule. How the Yankees now acquit themselves under the guidance of Joe Girardi and his staff will tell us a great deal about the mindset of this team and also whether or not Derek Jeter will be back to his very best after a season, in which, 2013 saw him sidelined and limited a handful of games as the team missed the postseason foray . As I alluded to earlier , with this announcement of the player’s departure the expectations are likely to be high , with the view that the Yankees are to be viewed as a favorite for the World Series. What better way, for the heralded shortstop to bow out, than his winning a sixth World Series’ title. Fourteen other teams, within the AL, are likely to have a different perspective on the issue , no doubt.

With the NBA season having reached its halfway point and about to have their annual All Star Game break . It will be interesting to see what behind the scenes moves are made as teams seek to make use of the break to engineer trades that will likely make or break their seasons , when the regular season calendar schedule resumes. From my own perspective , the first half of the NBA schedule was something of a blur , with the Eastern Conference in particular, offering the fans , the usual incompetent displays , with the actual play, now beyond mediocre . The top two teams within the conference , the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat , seem bound for another conference finals’ series match-up. One that could clearly go in favor of the Pacers , if Frank Vogel’s players continue at the present pace in terms their play and perform as a cohesive unit.

It may not feel like a lifetime ago, since Carmelo Anthony almost single-handed, exploited a bad Charlotte Bobcats team on his way to a career-high sixty-two points in the New York Knicks’ win over their conference rivals within the East. Subsequently , the Knicks have continued to throw in some rather tawdry performances , and yet their fans continue to make all types of excuses for the team’s mundane play . If at this juncture , Carmelo Anthony , still remains unconvinced that his best options lay elsewhere , concerning his ambitions to win an NBA title , then to my mind he is not deserving of the opportunity to move on elsewhere ! He is being asked to carry way too much a burden, night in and night out , while his teammates simply look on , without rarely coming to his aid and contributing positively . Head coach, Mike Woodson for his part, now seems completely out of his depth , along with an unimaginative coaching staff .

Coming off two consecutive losses to the Oklahoma City Thunder and Sacramento Kings , respectively , it is becoming increasingly easy to understand why the Knicks remain a moribund franchise , ran by an unimaginative front office and owned by James Dolan , who remains simply clueless, as to what it takes, to run a successful sports’ franchise. Madison Square Garden , one of the NBA’s most venerable venues , might as well be an elephants’ graveyard , because in terms of competitive and entertaining basketball , it is definitely not on view there by , way of the performances of the New York Knicks . The press within that New York media market, may well try to spin the idiocy of what takes place with the franchise , but in reality , mediocrity cannot be disguised for anything else , than for what it really just happens to be. Steve Mills , general manager of the Knicks , may well be have to consult with James Dolan and Mike Woodson concerning Carmelo Anthony’s immediate future, because should he make the decision to opt out of his contract and seek to test the free agency market , the Knicks could up with nothing in return . They can either, seek to trade the player or gamble, that he might seek to return and re-sign with the team.

Through the first half of this season, the two most dominant players in the NBA , have been , Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder and LeBron James of the Miami Heat , currently the reigning NBA champions. One might seek to add, the Indiana Pacers’ swing-man, Paul George , as stock has risen , along with that of the Pacers and their conference leading mark within the East. In terms of the NBA Most Valuable Player race, James with his four titles , joins a select group of players to have won the award more than twice . Durant, seeks to add that piece of silverware to his trophy cabinet, having already won multiple NBA scoring titles . Yet this season, Durant , is driven , I believe, by the fact that last season , but even more so, the team’s efforts of the 2012-13 season , were to end so disappointingly, with a series’ loss in the NBA Finals to the Miami Heat. That I believe, has been the driving force behind Kevin Durant’s year and that of his teammates , as led by head coach Scott Brooks and his coaching staff .

If Durant and the supporting cast of the Thunder, are to prevail this season, which I believe that they are quite capable of doing! Then a possible match-up in this season’s NBA Finals, against either the Indiana Pacers or Miami Heat could very well a postseason finale well worth watching. What better way for incoming Commissioner Adam Silver to celebrate his elevation to the league’s highest ranking executive position !

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Do you believe that records long revered within professional sports , still mean something to this day , even with the growing trend within some areas , for athletes to circumvent the rules and cheat ? Chime in, with your thoughts on this and anything else you believe to be pertinent to the subject matter.

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(1) Five-time NFL League MVP , Peyton Manning leaves the field after the Denver Broncos’ humiliating loss to the Seattle Seahawks in the Superbowl . The defeat was one of the largest margins of victory (48-3) in a the NFL’s postseason finale. For Manning , it was his third appearance the even and his second loss in an NFL title game. AP Photo / Reed Martin ….

(2) Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway and Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen , left, gather for a photo during an NFL football news conference at the team’s headquarters Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2011, in Englewood, Colo., where Elway was named the team’s executive vice president of football operations. The former Broncos’ quarterback made five appearances in the Superbowl all with the franchise , having won two titles in his five visits to postseason event. AP Photo/ Ed Andrieski ….

(3) Brett Favre , now retired is the NFL all-time leader in career passing touchdowns as well as career passing yards . Should Peyton Manning return for the 2014-15 NFL season, then the career passing touchdowns’ mark is likely to be broken at some point during the regular season . Favre’s career passing yards’ mark of 71,838 yards ranks first all-time , leading the second placed Manning by over 6,874 yards . Peyton Manning’s career yardage total of 64,964 ranks first amongst all active quarterbacks now playing in the NFL . Getty Images North America / Richard Hart …..

(4) Dallas Cowboys’ wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) is seen here with teammate Tony Romo (9) prior to the start of an NFL game. Bryant, believes himself to be the equal of experienced receivers Calvin Johnson of the Detroit Lions and the St Louis Cardinals’ Larry Fitzgerald . A first round draft pick by the Cowboys in the 2010 NFL Draft , the player has proven to be talented , but also something of a malcontent when things do no got go his way . AP Photo / Marc Carson …

(5) Calvin Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald (11) right , are seen here meeting on-field at the end of NFL game between the Detroit Lions and Arizona Cardinals . The two players represent a new breed of athletic and speedy wide receivers to have entered the NFL over the past eight seasons . Matt Farmer / Engle Inc archives ….

(6) Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees is seen here addressing the convened press . The player has made it known that this will be his final season in baseball , after a two-decade career which has seen him win just about every individual honor that the game has to offer with the exception of the AL MVP award. Jeter will leave the game ranked in the upper echelons in a number of offensive and defensive categories with the baseball franchise.

(7) LeBron James of the Miami Heat is seen here alongside Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Both players are currently seen as the frontrunners for this season’s NBA MVP Award with their being no other serious contenders for the game’s highest individual regular season award. Durant and James are respectively the leading scorers for the Heat and Thunder as well as being amongst the leading scorers within the NBA this season . Both players also , have each won an NBA scoring title . A Finals’ title and Finals Series’ MVP award are the only things currently missing from Durant’s already extraordinary NBA career . AP Photo / Matthew Clarke ….

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Cronyism , alive , kicking and damn well doing well in the NFL and in being part of our daily lives

Cronyism , alive , kicking and damn well-doing, well in the NFL and in being part of our daily lives …

After yesterday’s rather embarrassing display in the NFL , I am beginning to wonder how the league hierarchy and in particular NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will try to suggest that the game itself was a rousing success , as a branding and marketing of the NFL for a global audience . An expectant worldwide audience of over 1.3 billion people were in fact subjected to one of the most lopsided Superbowl games in NFL history , from what were we informed were two of the best teams in the league all season long . Perhaps , we ought to have really read more in the week two preseason meeting between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks , as Russell Wilson and his teammates subjected the Denver Broncos to a 40-10 mauling . Rightly or wrongly, we are told that we should never read much into the preseason and whatever takes place there, as the games are meaningless . If that appears to be the case, then can someone explain to me , how in the most important game of the season , the Superbowl , an experienced quarterback such as Peyton Manning and his accompanying teammates can once again manage to lay a goose egg with another inept performance of such gigantic proportions ?

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Sunday’s thirty-five point margin of victory in Seattle’s staggering pounding of the Denver Broncos , where the Seahawks’ defense simply steamrolled and outplayed the Broncos’ offense , was not the largest winning margin in Superbowl history ,but by all means it may well have been the most embarrassing , when one considers that we were led to believe that the two combatants were the best that the NFL had to offer all season long in 2013. Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks, in their 43-8 victory , gained the NFC West based franchise their first Superbowl victory of their existence. For owner , Paul Allen this was indeed vindication in hiring the former USC Trojans’ head coach .

Pete Carroll can now go off into the off-season , knowing that his previous experiences within the NFL can now be cast aside as he joins growing throng of head coaches to have won a Superbowl. For opposing head coach , John Fox , this was once again a season of missed opportunities and questions will certainly abound as to what went wrong, and why things went wrong and so abysmally for the Denver Broncos and their presumed to be, high-octane offense. Broncos’ owner Pat Bowlen and the team’s President & Head Football Operations John Elway , have now seen the team falter two years in succession , after a great deal of anticipation in both 2012 and then again this past postseason . It is pretty much safe to say, that the two lead executives will go about reassessing the roster and the team’s needs overall , as they prepare for the upcoming NFL Draft.

What seems eerily strange throughout this contest between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks , was the very fact that John Fox and his coaching staff appeared be at a loss in how counter Seahawks’ every move . Perhaps , it was me , in expecting far more out of Fox as a head coach , given his pedigree in that role !

For a team that might not have been seen as an odds on favorite over the Seattle Seahawks in this Superbowl title match-up , the Denver Broncos were certainly expected to make this game a competitive one. Instead, it became a lopsided affair, with only one team , seemingly eager to display their all-round talents. Something that was effectively done and continually on display thought the game by the Seattle Seahawks , in particular from a defense that was hell-bent on showing why they were the best defensive unit in the entire NFL over the course of the regular season . Russell Wilson, in only his fifth postseason start , can now be called a Superbowl champion. His teammates, Richard Sherman and Superbowl MVP winner Malcolm Smith , are not likely to rest on their laurels , as they seek to make a successful defense of their title at the start of next season. . Seahawks’ GM John Schneider having succeeded John Idzik , has assembled a roster of veterans , as well as a group of young and versatile players at several positions amongst the team’s depth chart . It bodes well for the Seahawks, if they are able to keep the greater part of the team’s roster, as they seek to embark on the defense of Superbowl 48. Granted, they are likely to lose a number of players through free agency and attrition , but with . the salary cap possibly kept in line with the 2013 figure of $124.8 million. It could well lead to the front office being a significant player during the off-season , in seeking retain players , as well as signing a couple free agents to meet the team’s needs.

With the postseason having come to a close within the NFL and stories having been written , with differing plot-lines having been envisaged at the start of the preseason as well as the regular season. It must be said, that the arrogance shown by Roger Goodell and the league hierarchy has simply been nothing short of astounding. Several teams as we know, failed to live up to expectations and with a postseason finale that bordered on being so abysmal, by way of the lack of competitiveness. Any type of postscript to be made by the commissioner that concerns the Superbowl and his selling the game as being a tremendous success cannot be seen in any type of positive light .

The economic impact of a Superbowl can lead to anywhere between $2 and $3 billion being infused into a local economy , and it is understandable that the state of New Jersey harbored the ambition to host this event at the NFL’s newest venue , at MetLife Stadium , in East Rutherford , New Jersey, which just happens to be home to the New York Giants and New York Jets . John K Mara , President & CEO of the Giants went so far as to suggest that no matter what the outcome of the event , it was his belief that MetLife Stadium should now be placed on the list of venues that should be hosting future Superbowl games. Mara, off course, is quite within his right, to make such a suggestion, as is his wish. Yet, were it not for what we know to be the fact that the league and specifically owners such as himself, making outlandish demands of the governmental agencies repeatedly , while a great deal of the time offering them little in return, other than the so-called privilege of stating that they have an NFL franchise within their locale.

Roger Goodell professes his wish to see the NFL grow on a global basis and for the past several years , the fans have seen preseason and regular season games being staged in Mexico City , Toronto and London , England. Yet, for all of that un-abashed gimmickry by the league, in selling the game in spite of annual revenues exceeding $8 billion , the NFL still faces an uphill battle to compete against the likes of the NBA and soccer on the global stage. One factor that hinders the league’s process, comes down to the fact that the NFL’s most highly visible players are not known on a worldwide basis as of yet, in spite of the league’s slow but growing profile in Europe , the Far East and on the African continent.

It will be interesting to see the direction taken by the Cleveland Browns after another inauspicious season , with the firing of Rob Chudzinski and his being succeeded by the newly appointed Mike Pettine , a first time head coach in the NFL. Team owner , Jimmy Haslam , having narrowly escaped being imprisoned , for what he now tries to suggest were actions by subordinates within his company , that were completely unknown to him , now has to convince the fans and players that he is indeed an owner , who will take a great deal of interest in the franchise and its future ambitions . The singular biggest issue for the franchise, may well be, whether or not they can keep faith with Brandon Weeden as the team’s starting quarterback . The player, since his elevation to the role, has been wildly erratic , in not being able put together consistently efficient performances , leading many to now believe that the front office will likely draft a quarterback , while also possibly acquiring a free agent during the off-season.

Having finished with a 4-12 record , afoot of the AFC North and barely being competitive throughout this past season . It is easy to understand why the Browns are now said to be seeking a new direction. If nothing else , it may well give the fans hope, but in reality , it just about creating the perception that the organization is seen to be trying in earnest , in seeking some semblance of success. If Weeden is not the answer for the Browns at the quarterback position, then I expect Mike Pettine to seek out an alternative , for that specific role !

Well, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers made the decision to cut short Greg Schiano’s reign as the head coach of the team. A lackluster season and the idiocy of claimants that with the players putting together a three-game winning streak , it meant that Schiano’s position was safe, because of that streak . What, they seemingly failed to realize, the very fact the head coach was ill-disciplined in terms of his coaching style and defensively the team was simply bust . Finishing just ahead of the bottom of the table Atlanta Falcons within the NFC South was a further sign of a lack of progress made under Greg Schiano , after all of the pageantry at his being made the head coach.

Schiano and ousted former GM Mark Dominik simply failed to acquire the players needed, to foster some semblance competitiveness over the course of the season. Add in the fact, that amongst the playing staff, there were few memorable moments for the fans to feed off , as well as their being a complete lack of leadership from anyone on the roster over the course of the year. The apathy of the fans of the franchise, remains , with some trying to point to the fact that this is still a very young team. I guess, having seasoned veterans such as Vincent Jackson and Darrell Revis , simply counts for nothing in their eyes ? And it remains a constant , amongst the fan-base of this franchise.

The hiring of Lovie Smith , a disciple of the Tony Dungy coaching philosophy, it will be very interesting to see the type of dialogue that takes place between Smith and Mark Dominik’s successor , Jason Licht , a former front office executive within the Arizona Cardinals’ organization. If the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are to have any semblance of success , then both Licht and Lovie Smith will have to be on the same page and off the same mindset as to what is needed to improve the team and make them competitive and a perennial contender within the division and NFC. No use crying over spilt milk, as the Josh Freeman era with the Buccaneers has now ceased to exist. As serviceable as Freeman was said to be , he simply did not appear to be a player who had honed his craft or learned from his numerous and repeated mistakes over the course of his reign with the franchise. The drafting of Mike Glennon and the ability of the young rookie to make plays while being efficient with the “rock” impressed Schiano during last season. Alas, where Glennon succeeded , his offense at times, simply let him down and was repeatedly the source of many of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ woes this past season.

During the off-season, as Jason Licht and Lovie Smith prepare for the NFL Draft , the team’s will be predominantly on offense, where at least one or two productive wide receivers are needed along with a tail-back and a tight-end. Seeking out that type offensive weaponry via free agency could prove to be expensive dependent upon how Licht views the market in terms of the aforementioned positions ( wide receivers, running back , tight-end).

In the aftermath of what has been a tumultuous season for the Glazer family as owners of two professional sports’ franchises in Manchester United of the English Premiership League and their floundering fortunes within the Premiership (EPL) , to be concluded with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ infamous soiree in 2013. I must now ask the question, are the sons of Malcolm Glazer, completely clued in as to what is needed to either create or simply continue the success of a professional sports’ team? As the patriarch of the family , the now rarely seen Glazer must be shuddering to think that both of these franchises are likely to sink or swim , with the decisions made by his offspring .

As if to emphasize and further reiterate, why the Tampa Bay Buccaneers now appears to be a franchise. without a clue . It is being widely reported that the franchise , are keenly interested in acquiring seasoned veteran quarterback, Michael Vick. With the exclusion of an twenty-two month incarceration at a federal penitentiary, for his involvement in an illegal gambling and dog-fighting ring that he presided over through a company that he was directly involved (Bad Newz Kennels) with . While, the player has served his sentence, for the crimes committed and his league mandated suspension for his conduct. It has been the gradual decline of the Michael game since his return to the NFL in 2010 , that have many wondering, if he is still capable of being a starting quarterback in the NFL . Andy Reid’s implicit and undying loyalty to the then Philadelphia Eagles’ quarterback proved to be fateful for the head coach in 2012 , leading to his dismissal at the end of the season, with fans also calling for the release of the player. Last season, while it proved to be a success for the Eagles, Vick played no major role in the franchise’s resurgence under Chip Kelly . Nick Foles proved to be effective throughout much of the season , leading the team to the NFC East divisional title and playoff berth in the postseason.

If the Buccaneers are interested in signing Michael Vick , who becomes an unrestricted free agent this off-season , it simply makes no sense to have a player , who over the last two seasons has not been productive or provided any type of leadership skills , where necessary. Even if merely acquired, as a backup to Mike Glennon, there are far better options than Vick , amongst the quarterbacks who will become free agents during this protracted break before the 2014 NFL season comes into being. This has me wondering, what are the apparent motives behind a possible move like this ! Desperate times, may well call for desperate measures , but this is not one of them, for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. If anything, it can be seen, as an act of utter idiocy, from a franchise still seeking some semblance of consistency! .

This past Superbowl may well go down as the most watched and the highest rated in NFL history, as well as being the most watched program in US history, by way of the official figures revealed by the league hierarchy and Fox Television. Yet, the question that has to be asked , how many of those viewers nationally , switched channels , once it became inevitable that this contest was simply going to be a “blowout”, rather than a compelling and gripping game , between what was said to be the two best teams in the NFL?

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With the NFL season having reached a conclusion with the determining of a Superbowl champion for the year . Which event during the regular or postseason, in your opinion do you believe to be the most memorable? Also, with John Mara deeming the staging of Superbowl SBLVIII a monumental success, do you think it right, that another postseason finale contest should be staged MetLife Stadium within five years, at the omission of another venue ahead of the scheduled return that proposed stadium ? The NFL hierarchy we know , tends to pander to the more powerful of the owners within the league at the cost of less vocal of the franchise owners. What thoughts, if any, do you have with regard New York Giants owner’s suggestion? Simply leave a comment on this and anything else you believe pertinent to the subject matter.

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Picture and slideshow details below .

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Peyton Manning (18) of the Denver Broncos is caught off-guard, as the ball sails over his head during the first quarter of the game of the Superbowl contest between the Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks . That play was a sign of things to come as the Seahawks won this lopsided contest in a rout 43-8. The game would prove to be one of Manning’s worst in his postseason career. AP Photo/ Mark Cameron …

(2) An aerial view of MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford , New Jersey as clouds hang over the venue that was the scene for Superbowl 48. In the stadium filled 80,000 fans , this was the first Superbowl to be played in an outdoor stadium in a cold weather city. Getty Images / John Moore ….

(3) Seattle Seahawks’ wide receiver Percy Harvin (11) returns a kickoff for a touchdown during the second half of the game against the Denver Broncos during the Superbowl played at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford , New Jersey. The televised event broadcasted by Fox ,was the most watched sports’ program and non-sports’ televised event in US broadcast history , from the figures released by the NFL . AP Photo/ Matt York ….

(4) Russell Wilson (3) of the Seahawks looks to evade the Denver Broncos’ Danny Trevathan (59) while making a playing during the first half of the Superbowl contest played between the two teams on the 2nd February , 2014, at MetLife Stadium, in East Rutherford , New Jersey. In only his fifth postseason start , Wilson can now be called a Superbowl winning quarterback. The player was selected by the Seattle Seahawks as part of the rich crop of quarterbacks that were part of the 2012 NFL Draft class. AP Photo Paul Sancya ….

(5) To the victor belongs the spoils. Russell Wilson is seen here with the Lombardi Trophy after the Seattle Seahawks’ triumph over the Denver Broncos . It was the franchise’s first victory in only their second appearance in the NFL’s most prestigious game. AP Photo/ Julio Cortez …..

(6) Superbowl MVP Malcolm Smith celebrates the Seattle Seahawks’ victory by laying on the ground amongst the confetti while creating a snow angel . REUTERS/ Shannon Stapleton …..

(7) New York Giants’ owner John K Mara having seen MetLife Stadium host the Superbowl would like to see the event return to the venue within the next five years. Whether or not this will be amenable to the league hierarchy and many of the other NFL owners remains to be seen. AP Photo / Paul Harris …..

(8)New Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht, right, smiles as he poses for a photo with new head coach Lovie Smith during an NFL football news conference Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014, in Tampa, Fla. Licht becomes the fifth general manager in team history. He takes over a team that hasn’t made the playoffs since 2007 . AP Photo/Chris O’Meara …

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tophatal …….. 02/03/2014

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It could well be a contest for the ages , if everything goes to plan

It could well be a contest for the ages , if everything goes to plan

The sporting weekend within the NFL brought us the divisional games within both conferences with the prize at stake being the four berths available in the AFC and NFC championship contests that will take place on Sunday the 19th January , 2014. For quarterbacks Tom Brady and Peyton Manning their meeting in the AFC contest will be the fifteenth meeting regular season or otherwise , between these two highly regarded and future Hall of Fame players . On each occasion, where the two have met on the field of play, the margin of victory has been fewer than seven points. Which sets up this contest as being one of the more intriguing, with now a Superbowl berth . being at stake?

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Manning will be seeking to his third Superbowl appearance, whereas his opposing number , Tom Brady will be seeking to make his sixth appearance , in the hope of winning a fourth Superbowl victory and ring. Other than Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw , as quarterbacks , have been the only two players to have led the same franchise to respective titles in the Superbowl era.

Throughout much of the 2013 regular season , both the Denver Broncos and New England Patriots have proven by far that they were the two best teams within the AFC . Granted, the Kansas City Chiefs could have laid claim to that very fact , had the latter part of their season not span out of control and then to fall by the wayside in their wildcard round loss to the Indianapolis Colts , whom the New England Patriots handily disposed of in their divisional round contest this past Sunday. . If there was said to be a hero in that game between Indianapolis and New England, then by rights, the Patriots’ running back LeGarrette Blount would have to be regarded in that light. A cast off, by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers , Blount was acquired , primarily as a backup to Stevan Ridley and for short yardage use as and when determined by head coach Bill Belichick . However, in 2013, Blount has proven himself to be not only to be productive and worthy backup for Ridley. Yet, it has now created something of a dilemma for the Patriots’ head coach , as to whether not the running back should now supplant Ridley as the featured back on the team for the postseason . Personally, I believe that things should be left just as they are , with both players being utilized to their best of their abilities as the coach sees fit .

As an avid New England Patriots’ fan, my singular issue all season long has been the inconsistency of the team’s defense and the very fact that Bill Belichick and the coaching staff, have never truly felt comfortable with the makeup of the secondary as a whole . The postseason has done little to dissuade of me of that , even in spite of the ease of the victory over the Indianapolis Colts , as I know that team will be in for a much sterner test when they face the Denver Broncos led by Peyton Manning and that high-octane offense .

While, the most recent meeting between the two teams was an instantaneous classic , with Tom Brady and the Patriots getting the better (34-31) of Manning and his teammates . You somehow, get the feeling that this contest is unlikely to be like their previous meetings , especially with so much now being at stake with regard to this particular game. It would be fair to surmise, that both Tom Brady and Peyton Manning have been by far the most successful quarterbacks in the NFL since 1998 , the year Manning was drafted , then to be followed by Brady in the 2000 NFL Draft as a sixth round pick by the New England Patriots . In terms of their longevity and the unprecedented success achieved by both Tom Brady and Peyton Manning , wherein , both are now viewed as the positive and preeminent faces of the NFL .

The NFC championship contest , between the San Francisco 49ers as the guests of the Seattle Seahawks at Q West Field in Seattle, Washington on Sunday afternoon, in what is likely to be a highly competitive game. For the respective teams’ young quarterbacks , Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson , this will be a chance to renew not just a divisional rivalry , but something of budding competition between of the league’s up and coming players in the league at the quarterback position, who entered the NFL less than a year apart .

Seattle’s head coach Pete Carroll and his opposite number Jim Harbaugh this opportunity affords both head coaches the change to gauge the progress of their respective teams over the past three seasons , since each assumed control in their positions. Harbaugh will seek to reverse this season’s regular season away loss to the Seattle Seahawks. . The two teams have evened their divisional meetings in 2013, with both sides coming away with rather convincing victories. .Both the Forty Niners and Seahawks are viewed as well-balanced teams, capable of play making on both sides of the ball . Opposing running backs Frank Gore of San Francisco and Marshawn Lynch of Seattle, are seasoned and wily veterans, who still remain productive at this stage of their respective careers. For Colin Kapernick and Russell Wilson , it will be interesting to see how both of these young quarterbacks acquit themselves in what is likely to be the most important game that either has played at this stage of their young careers. . This contest between these two divisional rivals, could prove to be something big, or simply a one-off , by way of the lack of a truly dominant team within the NFC over the past two seasons. I believe we shall see, as this encounter unfolds on Sunday afternoon whether or not my assumptions come to fruition !

Away from the postseason schedule , fans might not have been completely taken aback by the coaching dismissals that took place within the NFL . Greg Schiano’s firing by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers along with GM Mark Dominik’s contract not being renewed was not that much of a surprise . Schiano, brought absolutely no discipline whatsoever to a team , that was lacking creativity and guile , in spite of idiotic analysis and claims being made by observers . A three-game win streak , was the best, that the Buccaneers achieved all season long . The team’s defense , was an abject failure and a sign what not to strive to achieve, if you happen to be a defensive coordinator in the NFL .

The Buccaneers have yet to find a successor, albeit, that the organization is rumored to be showing an interest in getting re-acquainted with former GM Rich McKay , who now happens to be the team President of the Atlanta Falcons and oversaw the successful attempt by that particular franchise in their obtaining the financing and soon to be finished billion dollar edifice that will house the NFC South based franchise. It may well take a great deal more than reminiscing about old times to lure McKay back to Tampa , after the way he was treated by the Glazer family during the Jon Gruden tenure , in which the former head coach and his sidekick Bruce Allen won a Superbowl , only to then hamstring the Buccaneers financially for the next several years, during which the team’s fortunes, fell with alarming speed . Yet, the moronic fans and the idiot on air personalities, simply lacking the intelligence to realize what the hell was going on or the very fact that during Gruden’s tenure, few players were developed that have become mainstays with the franchise. Idiocy begets idiocy and nowhere, is this more prevalent than with the fans within Central Florida and as it relates to all things concerning the Buccaneers , Tampa Bay Rays and Tampa Bay Lightning .

Former Chicago Bears’ head coach Lovie Smith has been brought in to resurrect the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ fortunes and make this franchise competitive enough within the NFC South , where the two dominant teams at present would appear to be the New Orleans Saints and the Carolina Panthers , who are likely to become considerably better next season , with the not so stunning maturation process shown by Cam Newton this past season , and where Ron Rivera has brought about a resilience to the franchise not seen in several years. I believe that Smith can be a success, but that will be predicated upon the latitude provided him by what remains a clueless ownership group . Anyone who believes that Joel and Avram Glazer have any idea how to run a professional sports’ franchise, need only to look at their handling of the family’s other sporting interest , the now declining …. fortunes of Manchester United and the fact that the board of directors and that team’s manager David Moyes are besieged by the fans and press alike for the club’s rapidly falling fortunes and the absolute inept hire of Moyes to succeed Alex Ferguson , soccer’s most successful club coach.

The NFL Draft is a little more than two months away and a number of decisions are likely to be made by Lovie Smith and the coaching staff that he will have assembled, as they seek to gauge makeup of the current roster and then judge which players they believe superfluous to the franchise.

For a team coming off a 4-12 season , there was little that anyone could feel pleased about concerning the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and yes , that includes the play of rookie quarterback Mike Glennon . Granted, he has to be considered a major upgrade over a failing Josh Freeman , a player with issues both on and off the field , and whose complete lack of maturity was continually on display along with the asinine behavior of his agent Erik Burkhardt , whose claims about his client’s medical condition were leaked to the press in order that the Buccaneers could jettison the player. Burkhardt has been known to make outlandish statements, simply to garner the press’ attention , but when finally pressed to answer who else had information concerning Freeman’s mental health issues , the agent could not give a succinct answer. Begs the question , was Erik Burkhardt seeking sympathy for a player who over the past three seasons has failed to live up to the hype . Freeman was not that great a player at the collegiate level and he certainly showed no real signs of progress once he made it into the NFL .

The future of the Buccaneers may well seem to be bright with Lovie Smith at the helm, as the franchise’s head coach , but as I alluded to earlier , unless the ownership group takes more of an interest in the franchise , and has an experienced front office executive working in conjunction with the head coach. Then, we are likely to see a repeat of the same missteps being made, as witnessed with Bruce Allen and Mark Dominik.

Mike Munchak’s dismissal as head coach of the Tennessee Titans was more out of a rush to judgment by a franchise, that has completely lost its way. The late CEO & owner , Bud Adams remained clueless, and he much like fellow NFL franchise owners , Jerry Jones , Dan Snyder , Mark Davis , Woody Johnson and Steven Ross are individuals who treat those franchise as mere baubles while wanting also display their ostentatious-ness and considerable wealth . I have become sick and tired of hearing idiots such as Chris Mortensen , Adam Schefter , Tm Hasselbeck , Stephen A Smith , Skip Bayless and John Clayton describe these owners as highly intelligent individuals , simply because they made their fortunes elsewhere, outside the realms of the NFL . With as great a business acumen as the individuals mentioned are said to possess , consider the fact that the Titans , Dallas Cowboys , Washington Redskins , Oakland Raiders , New York Jets and Miami Dolphins as franchises, have only three playoff appearances between them over the past six years . A meager return, when one considers the esteem in which a number of those franchises are said to be held.

Munchak’s firing , simply came by way of the lack of success of the team during this past season . Moreover, the loss of quarterback, Jake Locker to an injury , early into the Titans’ season after the player’s great start , simply sent the franchise spiraling downwards , unable to regain that early momentum. With that decline, came the mounting losses , the questionable decision-making during games and the lack of a real competitive fight from the Titans’ players. Yet, the responsibility for the franchise’s woes should not be placed solely on the shoulders of the dismissed head coach, because he was never given any real help by way of a general manager Ruston Webster , whose experience in the position since 2012 , was something of a clear indicator, as to what the fans and franchise should have expected. Fractured decision-making, by way of assessing and the drafting of personnel , never-mind some rather off-kilter acquisitions , simply summed up the franchise. Bud Adams’ relinquishing of his role as the Chief Executive, with his children, Suzie Adams Smith , Amy Adams Hunt and son-in-law Thomas Smith now assuming control , taking the franchise in a new direction. As to the course, now being traveled , that destination has yet to be determined

Ruston Webster hired former Arizona Cardinal’s head coach, Ken Whisenhunt to succeed Mike Munchak. It will be very interesting to see how the new coach proceeds, as he seeks some semblance of success with a team that lacks veteran presence and a real vocal leader on the field of play.

What happens in Vegas they say , usually “stays in Vegas “ . In terms of the Minnesota Vikings’ season. Well, , that is something, that reads like a badly written comedic piece. Suffice to say, with all of the assembled talent , in terms of the roster. The coaching mindset of Leslie Frazier was simply nowhere to be seen, along with this long considered belief that either Christian Ponder or Josh Freeman would be placed to lead this franchise to a divisional title , much less a postseason berth . To top it all, Zygi Wilf, the team’s owner, during the season was found guilty , in a civil suit of defrauding several former business partners of monies due from a commercial real estate deal. Somehow, these problems, are overlooked by the league hierarchy and in particular by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell , whose continued idiocy , simply knows no boundaries . Adding insult to injury , was the fact that the commissioner thought nothing of the actions of Cleveland Browns’ owner , Jimmy Haslam in seeking to settle out of court in a monetary payout of several millions, sought to avoid federal prosecution for grand larceny , fraud and theft , all resulting from his company , Pilot J Flying Inc’s business practices, in defrauding clients of monies rightfully due them. Ah , the joy of being a team owner in the NFL , where there is no damn leadership and where Roger Goodell, is more concerned with player misconduct , their sullying of the league’s image , rather than his being worried by the illegal and reckless activities of a number of team owners. Could I have put it any more succinctly than that?

Frazier was relieved of his duties as the head coach of the Minnesota Vikings , having posted a record of 21-32 (.396) in four seasons with the franchise. The vacancy remains unfilled , with GM Rick Spielman , now seeking a suitable replacement for the deposed former head coach. From my own perspective, a team that has the league’s best running back , but fails to utilize him properly , has to pay the price for that type of stupidity . One which, we have seen repeatedly, with this Vikings’ franchise over the past three seasons, and are likely to see in the future, with their atypical approach and lack of what is needed in terms of success within the NFL. Adrian Peterson, may well be racking up the yards , on his way to a Hall of Fame career, but at the end of the day , his enshrinement may well mean a great deal to the player in terms of his accomplishments. In essence , the fans tend to only remember the players who have won a Superbowl , because it is the ultimate sign of team success , rather than just looking at the player’s singular achievements , as a way of assessing their greatness.

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Picture gallery.

This off-season, will see a great many changes not just amongst the Minnesota Vikings and its staff, but there is likely to be a preponderance of changes around the entire NFL , as the coaching merry-go-round begins , as teams seek fill the voids within their coaching and playing staffs. What thoughts, if any, do you have with regard to this NFL postseason? Also, which of the four remaining participants, do you believe to be the favorite and victorious during this playoff season?

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Picture and slideshow details below .
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(1) Tom Brady (left) and Peyton Manning (18), seen here , after the duo’s most recent meeting , during which the Patriots’ quarterback prevailed in the encounter , the pair’s fifteenth overall over the course of their respective careers. Manning entered the NFL in 1998 as the number one overall pick by the Indianapolis Colts , with Brady taken in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft . Tom Brady and Peyton Manning lead the NFL in certain offensive passing categories amongst active quarterbacks now playing in in the NFL . Getty Images North America / Philip Miller ….

(2) 18 Apr 1998: Quarterback Peyton Manning displays an Indianapolis Colts jersey during the 1998 NFL Draft at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. Alongside Manning is NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue . Mandatory Credit: Ezra O. Shaw /Allsport ….

(3) Tom Brady(12) and England Patriots’ head coach Bill Belichick are seen here on the sidelines during a game. The combination of head coach and player are amongst the most successful in NFL history . Belichick and Brady have combined for five Superbowl appearances and six AFC championship games during their thirteen years together. Brady, this postseason hopes to join a select number of quarterbacks with at least five six Superbowl appearances, while seeking to win his fourth Superbowl ring. Already a two-time Superbowl MVP and NFL MVP . All that now awaits the Patriots’ quarterback upon his retirement, will be the call formally announcing his induction into the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio,. AP Photo / Chris Woodson ….

(4) NFC quarterbacks , Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers is seen here with Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks . The two players will meet on Sunday afternoon in the NFC championship game when the Seahawks play host to the 49ers at Q West Field in Seattle , Washington . The winner of the contest will be the NFC representative in the Superbowl , where they will face the winner of the AFC game between the Denver Broncos and New England Patriots . Getty Images / Mark Fisher ….

(5) Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Chairman Joel Glazer is seen here speaking to Buccaneers’ head coach Greg Schiano . After a 4-12 season the franchise and coach parted ways . Also leaving the Buccaneers, GM Mark Dominik whose contract was not renewed after 5 years as the franchise’s front office executive in charge of player personnel decisions. The team has yet to hire a successor to Dominik , but the hiring of Lovie Smith is seen as a positive step in the right direction. All rights reserved copyrighted material @ Tampa Bay Tribune ….

(6) Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ head coach Lovie Smith is seen here with members of the Glazer family , owners of the NFL franchise. Seen here from left to right are Ed Glazer, Bryan Glazer, Smith and Joel Glazer . Will Vragovic / The Tampa Bay Times ….

(7) Minnesota Vikings GM Rick Spielman is seen here addressing the convened press at Vikings’ headquarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The franchise fired head coach Leslie Frazier , but have yet to hire a successor to the departed Frazier. There now seems to be a great deal of speculation concerning Spielman’s own future with the team , with several of the partners with the Vikings questioning the general manager’s handling of the franchise this past season and many of the personnel decisions made . AP Photo / Hunter Matthews …..

(8) Cleveland Browns’ owner, Jimmy Haslam , whose tenure as the team’s Chief Executive has come under a great deal of criticism after it was revealed that Haslam’s company Pilot J Flying Inc and the executive himself , faced charges of grand larceny , theft and fraud . The NFL franchise owner and the Justice Department reached an out of court arrangement but with a fine having been paid by the company . However. several other clients of Pilot J have lodged a civil suit in US Federal Court seeking unspecified damages against the company and its executives . Further embarrassing the NFL as this episode unfurled , were the claims that the monies used in Haslam’s purchase of the Browns were derived from the fraud perpetrated. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s failure , in having the league’s investigators carry out what was said to be an in-depth investigation of Jimmy Haslam’s finances , would have uncovered the ongoing action of the Justice Department at the time the sale of the franchise, actually took place. UPI/ REUTERS/ Keith Thompson …..

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tophatal ………………. 01/14/2014

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You are only as good as your record reflects

You are only as good as your record reflects

You are only as good as your record reflects or that of the acumen shown by the coaching staff , And this season , it would be pretty safe to say that the NFL and its teams have shown us , all that glistens is not necessarily gold . The Seattle Seahawks having started off its season with four consecutive wins and were quickly brought down back to earth by Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts . And while I have read a number articles within this forum by a number of knowledgeable sports’ fans simply looking to put their own spin on the season , with what they deem to be their interpretation of the season , by way of the league standing . I would suggest that while it all seems to be feasible, what is exactly achieved by such an article if nothing else, than to elicit a comment ? Standing atop of the respective conferences are the Denver Broncos (5-0) and Kansas City Chiefs (5-0) within the AFC , while in the NFC , Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints , loom larger than life , overlooking all that they can possibly survey.

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At the start of the season , I felt that the AFC would prove to be the dominant conference by way of the caliber of the teams. Yet, at this juncture, nothing could be further from the truth. In the AFC East , a New England Patriots’ team sits at 4-1 , but in reality at best, they are no better than a 2-2 franchise. The division itself has a budding divisional triumvirate of teams looking to show their dominance , led by the Miami Dolphins , New York Jets and Patriots , with the Buffalo Bills (2-3) holding down the bottom position within the division. . Those three teams could very well be on their way to reminding the fans that the AFC East is likely to be very competitive. As an avowed New England Patriots’ fan , I must admit that while I am happy to see them riding high within the AFC East , leading the division with a 4-1 mark. It has been the inconsistency shown of late, on the offense and injuries that has me wondering, is this team is as good as advertised?

To further emphasize my dismay with the Patriots , it was bewildering to see that this team could only must six points in total , in their 13-6 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals . Even more exacerbating, were the post-game comments by Tom Brady , as to the reasons behind the team’s defeat. The Patriots’ quarterback had his worst performance of the season in this game and he certainly was not helped by the poor protection from his offensive line was a complete embarrassment. Patriots’ head coach Bill Belichick seemed to gloss over that fact by simply addressing the matter with his customary aplomb, with scant regard for the questions being posed by the convened journalists wishing to discuss the matter in-depth .

With Patriots’ tight end Rob Gronkowski not due to return until possibly by week six or eight , the offense will be totally reliant on Stevan Ridley , Julian Edelman and Brandon Bolden . Beyond the injury issues of Gronkowski , the loss of defensive end Vince Wilfork , who over the past six seasons has been the bedrock of the defensive line, as well as providing a great deal of leadership to the younger players. His loss for the season , to a torn Achilles’ tendon was a big blow. He cannot be replaced, in terms of what he has able to contribute to the team from the intangibles provided. Yet, if there is a coach who get more out of a team with less , then it would have to be Bill Belichick . Fans, with their prognostications, had the New England Patriots with a 14-2 or 13-3 record for the season . Realistically , based on what I have seen this season at this point , a mark of 11-5 or 12-4 seems more likely, along with the divisional title and a postseason berth in tow.

Rancor and sheer dismay can only describe the continued anger I still possess concerning the Patriots’ mishandling of the Wes Welker ” debacle” . In spite of the public statements made by team owner Robert ‘Bob’ Kraft, GM Nick Caserio and Bill Belichick , it has been their pride that has dictated the fact that they are unwilling to admit to making a major blunder , which allowed Welker’s departure to the Denver Broncos. The wide receiver’s successor, was none other than Danny Amendola , whose initial success had many asking Wes who? Well , now the question being asked has to be, is Danny Amendola made of Paper Mache’ ? Injuries have followed the player throughout his entire career and his performances have been sketchy at best. Now on the sidelines with another injury, I can’t help but wonder how long his tenure will be with the Patriots at this juncture. New England went from an all Pro wide receiver, in Wes Welker to an injury plagued , all too inconsistent player, whose best attributes, one could describe whimsically, as someone who knows his way around a team doctor’s office.

In week six the New England Patriots will face a tough task when they host the New Orleans Saints at Gillette Stadium on Sunday afternoon in what should prove to be one of the highlight match-ups on the day. The Saints’ aerial attack, is also supported by a very good rushing offense led by Pierre Thomas and Darren Sproles . New England’s defense is likely to be tested throughout much of the game.

As Peyton Manning looks to be marching on towards his fifth League MVP award , his younger sibling Eli Manning , the two-time winning Superbowl quarterback with the New York Giants (0-5) is now having a horrendous season , with the team now lacking confidence and head coach Tom Coughlin willingly taking all of the shots, by stating that the team’s woes are his alone . Admirable, as that may well be, Coughlin is trying to deflect what even the most none observant already have come to realize. This season , the New York Giants are not a very good team on both sides of the ball. Eli Manning’s performances are a far cry from the player who in 2011 excelled in his red zone play and who now seems to be a shell of the player who led the team to those Superbowl victories over the New England Patriots in 2008 and 2012 .

I am not about to suggest that Tom Coughlin is likely to be fired , but if he continues to come to the support of his players without seeking to hold them accountable , then in all likelihood GM Jerry Reese and owner John K Mara will be left no other alternative, than to relieve the head coach of his duties , should they fail to end up with a winning record . As things now stand , at worst , an 8-8 or 9-7 season could be all that is needed to win NFC East division that for years has been vastly overrated and in truth greatly bereft of depth in great talent . On Thursday night , with the Giants still seeking their first win of the season they will be the guests of the Chicago Bears (3-2) and Jay Cutler , with a team whose early start to the season indicates that , they too , are not as good as advertised , in spite of a very good defense with great take away capabilities .

With Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-4) still win-less and in the aftermath of the Josh Freeman fiasco, with the player being waived by the NFC South franchise. Freeman has now found his way onto the Minnesota Vikings’ (1-3) roster , a team that this season has simply been wasting the talents of Adrian Peterson . With incumbent starting quarterback Christian Ponder sidelined by an injury , the team’s options at the quarterback position have become extremely acute . The other candidates are Matt Cassel , McLeod Bethel-Thompson and Freeman, himself. In all likelihood, Cassel will get the start when the Vikings play host to the Carolina Panthers (1-3) this Sunday in an NFC game that pits two teams with multiple issues that need to be addressed .

When the Denver Broncos play host to the hapless Jacksonville Jaguars (0-5) in a contest I truly believe that the odds-makers in Las Vegas will either be salivating over or quite possibly be unwilling to touch . In terms of a spread and the over/under , there too I believe, that we could be on pace to see something of an NFL record being set ! The Jaguars are a team that has spiraled downwards into the depths of an abyss of mediocrity , with Gus Bradley and his coaching staff without the answers to provide an explanation for the team’s woes . Denver may well be able to pull off a double-digit margin of victory , while piling up the points, in what I believe could very well be the largest margin of victory that we are likely to see in the NFL this season !

Far too many individuals, are subscribing to this idiocy, that there is parity in the NFL. In reality, what we are currently seeing in the league is some very bad coaching with a diluted down product and a number of vastly overrated players. As exciting as many might believe the NFL to be at present , unless the talent level, that we seeing coming up through the ranks by way of the players at the collegiate level , who then declare their eligibility for the via the NFL Draft. We are likely to see something of a cyclical occurrence, wherein from season to season there will be a rise and then deep drought in the play and with the player entering the NFL .

If character is said to mean something in the NFL , then the troubles now facing San Francisco 49ers’ defensive player Aldon Smith should give Jed York , Trent Baalke , Jim Harbaugh and the rest of the Niners’ front office a great to worry about and be concerned with . In light of the franchise still choosing to pay Smith’s salary while he takes a leave of absence and undergoes treatment for alcoholism , it is rather disturbing to find out the real reason behind the player seeking treatment came by way of an altercation at a private party he hosted , where he was stabbed twice , but two victims were shot . Though the event took place back 2012 , a year later , and after several incidents concerning law enforcement for DUI (twice) and resisting arrest , it seems inconceivable that neither the NFL or the Forty Niners took the player to task, by either suspending him or seeking his being placed in a substance abuse program. This asinine notion by the fans, that the NFL cares , is simply hokum and hogwash , as the only thing that Roger Goodell , the league hierarchy and owners simply care about , is making a great deal of money ! Anyone, who can now make a claim to the contrary , is simply lacking a great deal of intelligence .

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Picture gallery .

Week six of the NFL regular season schedule will bring about a number of results, some surprising , while others will not . Chances are however, both the Buccaneers and Jaguars will remain win-less , as the rest of the league sets about on its merry way . What if anything, are you hoping to see this upcoming weekend or starting off as of tomorrow night ? By all means, do leave a comment as you see fit and thanks as always for the continued support of this site and its content !

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Picture and slideshow gallery .

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(1) Broncos’ head coach John Fox ,left and his Kansas City Chiefs’ counterpart Andy Reid have both led their teams 5-0 starts this season in the NFL . The two teams will clash twice in their AFC West divisional contests this season and there is a likelihood that one of the two franchises will still be unbeaten at the time of the first of those two contests. Getty Images / Paul Kruger …..

(2) Tom Brady (12) of the New England Patriots hands the ball to Stevan Ridley (22) in the first half of a game played at Gillette Stadium on September 22, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. Jim Rogash / Getty Images North America ….

(3) Quarterback Eli Manning (10) of the New York Giants and quarterback Peyton Manning (18) of the Denver Broncos talk to former Giants player Y.A. Tittle and Frank Gifford during the coin toss before the game at MetLife Stadium on September 15, 2013 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Getty Images North America / Rob Antonelli ….

(4) Vikings’ quarterbacks Josh Freeman left , is seen here with Matt Cassel at the team’s training facility at Winter Park , Eden Prairie , Minnesota . With Christian Ponder sidelined , Cassel is likely to be the starter for Sunday’s game with Josh Freeman as his backup . AP Photo / Anne Heisenfelt …..

(5) Blaine Gabbert (11) of the Jacksonville Jaguars looks to pass the ball against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on October 6, 2013 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Rams would go on to defeat the Jaguars 34-20 to inflict the Jacksonville Jaguars’ fifth consecutive loss of the season in 2013 , leaving the team firmly rooted at the bottom of the AFC South . Getty Images North America / Dilip Vishwanath …..

(6) Aldon Smith is seen here alongside NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Draft Day, having been taken as the seventh overall pick in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the San Francisco $49ers . Entering his third year with the franchise Smith has faced a litany of legal issues since becoming a player in the NFL . What is even more troubling during this whole period has been the reluctance of the 49ers’ organization to address the matter publicly , with head coach Jim Harbaugh simply deflecting questions on the matter . Roger Goodell , we are told , is said to be monitoring the situation closely ., and as we all know the commissioner dealing with an issue of this magnitude, is somewhat like a child playing with his own pacifier. He will chew and suck on it , before spitting it out , because there is something else that he chooses to deal with elsewhere . AP Photo / Mark Smith …..

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Shake ’em like you mean it baby !

She’s acting like she’s got a “pair” and we love her for that .

There`s a reason it’s called the NFL , they play football or at least I was led to believe that they do ….

There`s a reason it’s called the NFL , they play football or at least I was led to believe that they do ….

Week one in the NFL did not really provide us with any overall surprises , as I believe that we all knew who the good teams were said to be in the league . Granted , no one expected the reigning Superbowl champions the Baltimore Ravens to be so lackluster in their opening game against Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos . The margin of defeat , twenty-five points, told me a great deal about this Ravens` team and the experience of seasoned veterans such as Ray Lewis and Ed Reed are sorely missed. Yet I do believe that the Baltimore Ravens can rebound from this loss and from the lessons learned , and that the younger players on the roster will have to step up to the plate as required . You simply cannot rest on your laurels, just because you have reached the summit once ,as the secret , is to remain there , once having reached that destination and peak.

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Monday night`s double-header featuring the Philadelphia Eagles playing the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field in Washington , DC and the subsequent showing featured the Houston Texans and their high-octane offense taking on the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego , California. Michael Vick and the Eagles , along with head coach Chip Kelly , sent a resounding message that is likely to heard loud and clear across the NFL . That message is , there is a new sheriff in town and he means business . The two NFC East combatants put on a terrific showing of offensive productivity , with Vick and is opposite number Robert Griffin III passing for in excess of a combined 500 yards of passing offense, , with and another 300 plus yards of rushing offense from the two teams combined . The bulk of the rush offense , the advantage laid with the visiting team, the Philadelphia Eagles. .

Philadelphia came away with an invaluable 33-27 victory, placing themselves jointly atop of the NFC East alongside the Dallas Cowboys . Next up for the Eagles will be a home game against the San Diego Chargers this upcoming Sunday . For Mike McCoy and the laboring Chargers , they need to get back to winning ways after Monday night`s debilitating loss to the Houston Texans , in what turned out to be a highly entertaining game . A twenty-one point lead , carried over into the late third quarter , would prove to be not as decisive as the home team`s fans might have felt , as Matt Schaub repeatedly marched the Texans down the field to erase that deficit and to come away victorious from Qualcomm Stadium . The less said about the Chargers` defense at this juncture would be perhaps the most prudent thing to do. .

Say what you will about the Jacksonville Jaguars and its owner Shahid Khan , but any belief that he might well have had in turning things around quickly for the franchise , is unlikely to happen this season. Gus Bradley , and this team entertained the Kansas City Chiefs in their season opener and to put it politely, they laid a goose egg in a lopsided 28-2 loss . I am not saying that the two points were a gift from Andy Reid`s team , but it is the kindest thing that I could perhaps say about the Jaguar` performance this past Sunday. The travails of Blaine Gabbert have been well chronicled as the Jaguars` quarterback has struggle since his entrance into the NFL in 2011 . Not a prodigious quarterback by any stretch of the imagination but he was ill-served by then head coach Jack del Rio and his staff at the time . And not much has actually changed since del Rio`s departure , with Jedd Fisch in as the team`s offensive coordinator and Frank Scelfo as quarterbacks` coach . As witnessed in Sunday`s loss the Chiefs , the Jaguars are struggling in every facet of their game and they are amongst the least productive teams in the NFL from a defensive and offensive standpoint this early in the season .

Two years into his career and we can begin to deduce that Blaine Gabbert is a bust as an NFL quarterback . With the Mizzou Tigers , Gabbert may well have been deemed a college success , but so much hype is placed and around college quarterbacks , that when they fail in the professional ranks , fingers are actually pointed at the players themselves , rather than in a great many cases, where the blame actually lies and that is with the coaches at the collegiate level and the in the professional ranks . Granted , there have been one or two quarterbacks in recent years where the hype simply was not justified , notably in the cases of JaMarcus Russell and Tim Tebow . To my mind, neither had the propensity to learn , in spite of notations stating that both were being tutored in their mechanics by well-respected quarterback coaches prior to their entry into the NFL Draft, in the years that both were drafted . Well , as we can see , their Russell or Tebow have proven to be a success in the NFL . So let us now close the chapter on both and move on . Time demands it , and in reality , does anyone really give a damn ?

Week two may well provide the Jacksonville Jaguars with a chance to put things back on, track when they are the guests of the Oakland Raiders at the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum , in Oakland , California , this upcoming Sunday . That conference game, is one of several that will pit a number struggling teams in several intriguing contests . . For the Raiders coming off their narrow four-point loss (21-17) to the Indianapolis Colts , the questions now being asked , is whether or not Terrelle Pryor is the player to be leading this team at quarterback position. Auditions during the preseason proved to be inconclusive and head coach Dennis Allen seems to be unsure what he has in the player , a future star or simply another one of a litany players that the franchised has used at the position over the past five years without any resounding success . And for the Raiders` head coach time may well not be on his side, considering the tenure of his three former predecessors on average, has lasted no much longer than two years.

Well the drama and comedic elements of the New York Jets` off-season continues with all of the idiocy one would come to expect from a franchise completely lacking in leadership both on and off the field of play . Head coach Rex Ryan now seems to be less rambunctious , knowing full well that this could very well be his last season with the organization after last season`s considerable failures . Mark Sanchez in 2012 was woefully inept and then there came all of the drama that surrounded Tim Tebow . Well with the former Broncos` starting quarterback, no longer with the Jets or with any NFL franchise , the issue became who would the front office seek to become the team`s new starting quarterback . That answer would be provided when GM John Idzik and the staff made the decision to draft Geno Smith . player a second round draft pick has shown that he may well have the skill-set but deep questions remain as to the player`s demeanor and his consistency at the position . That became a stark reality in his only meaningful action during the preseason , during the Jets` third preseason game against the New York Giants . That display was very unnerving , yet it proved to be a pointer as what fans could very well expect during the regular season from the rookie quarterback.

In Smith’s first professional regular season game he proved himself adequate but far from convincing as the heir-apparent to Mark Sanchez , but with his predecessor now out injured , the position now becomes Geno Smith` to lose . With the team also having acquired Brady Quinn as a backup , the stage I believe , is being set for the franchise to trade Sanchez at some during the season . The New York Jets have a divisional date , in what will be the first of two divisional meetings this season , when they meet the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium , in Foxborough , Massachusetts on Thursday night . With the Patriots coming off an opening day victory over another rookie quarterback , when Tom Brady and his teammates came away with a hard-fought victory over the Buffalo Bills and their rookie quarterback E J Manuel. Bill Belichick will look to start of this season with an early unbeaten run, as a way of bringing in a great deal of confidence on this revamped roster . Issues that still remain for the organization will certainly start with the team`s defense and whether or not they will be considerably better than last season . Also with the prevailing injury issues concerning Rob Gronkowski , the question will be , who will provide Tom Brady with the safe pair of hands he needs to get the Patriots’ offensive game going in 2013 ?

There seems to be this continued idiocy by the fans who are under the impression that the NFL cares about the well-being of their players . Nothing could be further from the truth and this was clearly evident in the recent settlement made between the league as defendants in a civil suit brought by 4,500 former NFL players seeking punitive damages from the NFL . NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and his Chief Legal Counsel Jeff Pash may well now seek to create the perception that will see the league provide those players with a settlement figure of $765 million , far less than the $1.3 billion originally sought . In agreeing to settle, the league hierarchy avoids further public embarrassment , while not having to make public, a great deal of its somewhat surreptitious activity concerning research conducted by the league concerning the cause and effect , of blunt force head trauma , concussions and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). For years the NFL suggested that there was no cause and effect , even in spite of their own research findings and that of independent studies carried out by world-renowned academic d institutions . Add in, the apathy of fans, who believe that the NFL has now become soft , and you can easily understand the machismo bullshit, that was sought by the literally uneducated . Veterans such as Bernie Kosar and Superbowl winning quarterback Jim McMahon are now having to live with the early onset of Alzheimer’s’ disease, chronic memory loss and a speech impediment , all due from injuries suffered from their playing careers.

Somehow I get the feeling that the NFL would like for its image and public persona to remain pristine and not vilified , as the tobacco industry was said to be for their own collusive activities concerning their product and how they misled the consumer . Well, the league is simply no different from the cigarette manufacturers. I certainly believe the league and the NFLPA (Players Union) have acted irresponsibly and now look absolve themselves of their responsibilities to their former members . Goodell and is union counterpart DeMaurice Smith would like to have you believe to the contrary . The apathy being shown by the fans on this issue is simply no different from the same fucking ignorance , they continue to show when it comes to the well-being of the members of the military , who far too often are being left to fend for themselves but yet all of the gung-ho patriotism one sees being exhibited is all for nothing in the end because they are no deeds being matched by all of that exuberance , definitely not from the public or the federal government for that matter ! .

As if to further indicate the gullibility and downright stupidity of the commissioner , consider his recent actions concerning Detroit Lions` defensive player Ndamukong Suh . In what now appears the fifth such incident concerning the player`s on field behavior concerning his play, for an illegal tackle , Suh was fined a mere $100,000 rather than face a multi-game a suspension for what appears to be ‘chop block` on Minnesota Vikings’ center John Sullivan . The fact that this is not the first time that Suh has not shown any restraint much less an act of contrition fort what does appear to be a premeditated act . It now is becoming apparently clear that neither the Lions` hierarchy , head coach Jim Schwartz or league is prepared to act prudently . A fine of this nature, is menial and a mere drop in a bucket for a player due to earn in excess of $10.3 million this season . So can someone now explain to me how this is meant to corral a player whose on-field actions and character have repeatedly come into question ever since he entered the NFL ?

Detroit came off their season opener, with a 34-24 win over the Minnesota Vikings, fellow NFC North rivals . The game itself , eventful, was filled with some exhilarating play and last season`s MVP , Vikings’ running back Adrian Peterson looking to carry on where he left off from last season . This Sunday the Lions will be the guests of the Arizona Cardinals in Tempe, Arizona , in what should prove to be a highly entertaining game between these two teams . Cardinals’ head coach Bruce Arians will seek to gain his first victory as an NFL coach , while getting his team back on a winning track, as they seek to make inroads as a legitimate challenger within the NFC West this season . A remote possibility, should either the San Francisco 49ers or Seattle Seahawks slip up over the course of their respective schedules .

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Picture gallery .

This NFL season while still in its infancy, but already controversies are amidst within the game . Consider also , that three years in and the league has yet to instigate , an in and out of season testing for human growth hormones and this is all being done under the subterfuge of the league and union reneging on a statement made to Congress on the matter, to have that policy in place by no later than the 2011 season . So for all of this excitement of what fans hope to be an exciting year in the NFL , the league still remains an archaic and outmoded bastion of incompetence and where there is absolutely no leadership to be found . Chime in, with your comments as you see fit .

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Picture and slideshow details below . .

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(1) Broncos` quarterback Peyton Manning warms up prior to the game against the Baltimore Ravens in the team’s regular season opener . The quarterback would go on to throw for a career-high seven touchdowns on the team’s 49-25 runaway victory over the reigning Superbowl champions . AP/Photo/Jack Dempsey ….

(2) Ravens’ quarterback Joe Flacco (5) looks to make a pass before Broncos defensive end Robert Ayers (91) makes an attempt at a tackle . AP Photo / Jack Dempsey …

(3) Michael Vick of the Philadelphia Eagles scores a rushing touchdown in the game against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field on Monday night . Philadelphia came away with a well-earned victory over their divisional rivals . AP Photo / Nick Wass …..

(4) (4) Jamaal Charles of the Kansas City Chiefs leaves the Jaguars’ Geno Hayes (55) in his wake after Hayes’ vain attempt to make a tackle . The Chiefs beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 28-2 . AP Photo / Phelen Ehlenback …

Blaine Gabbert (11) of the Jacksonville Jaguars is sacked by Dontari Poe (92) of the Kansas City Chiefs during the game at EverBank Field on September 8, 2013 in Jacksonville, Florida. Getty Images North America / Sam Greenwood ….

(6) Geno Smith , background , looks on as teammate Mark Sanchez takes a couple of pass attempts at the Jets` training facility . With Sanchez’s injury in the New York Jets’ last preseason game , Geno Smith was the starter in the team’s season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers . AP Photo / Anthony Knowles …

(7) Pensive , but are they realists ? NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell , left , and NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith are seen here listening to a committee member from the House Government & Oversight Committee . That committee was convened to pose questions to both executives as to when the NFL would bring in a comprehensive testing policy for anabolic steroids and human growth hormones ., An agreement was reached . voted upon and ratified by the player representatives in 2010 . Three years later and the policy has yet to be initiated by the NFL , much to the annoyance of the committee in question , who may well seek to rescind parts of the NFL`s antitrust exemption status . Something which is said to be under serious consideration by several members of the aforementioned House Committee . Getty Images / Doug Pensinger …..

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tophatal ……………………..

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NFL news , news from around the league

NFL standings (division)

NFL week one results

NFL Week two schedule

NFL injuries week one

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s

Meet Kenya

It is the season to be jolly ……. or maybe not

It is the season to be jolly ……….. or maybe not

Well, on Thursday night , the NFL officially kicks off its season for 2013, where the reigning Superbowl champions, the Baltimore Ravens are the guests of the Denver Broncos at the Sports Authority Stadium /Mile High Stadium in Denver, Colorado. Reigning Superbowl MVP Joe Flacco brings with him a newly revamped roster to face Peyton Manning and the Broncos . The four-time league MVP is now on the cusp of further adding to his already illustrious career . Manning now sits a mere five hundred and thirteen yards from hitting the 60,000 yards` career plateau . A mark that has only been surpassed, by Hall of Fame inductee Dan Marino and the all-time career yards` leader Brett Favre , as Manning now seeks to join that illustrious list .

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Last season, the fans saw the rise of rookie quarterbacks , Andrew Luck , Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson , not only have extremely productive years , in also having each led their respective teams into the postseason . Yet, it can be said, seasoned veterans such as Peyton Manning , Drew Brees , Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers were also one of the primary reasons why the NFL was such a success. And beyond the Superbowl itself , with the Ravens winning the second title of its proud heritage, one could attest to the fact that the expectations are high are for this season for not only that organization, but also for the other thirty-one teams around the league , with each expecting a chance of getting their shot to raise the Lombardi Trophy. .

This opening game of the regular season schedule places John Fox and John Harbaugh under the spotlight, as they each seek to get their teams off to a winning start . For Peyton Manning the highlight of the Broncos` off-season may well have been the choice to make that decisive decision to obtain former New England Patriots` wide receiver Wes Welker . That player`s addition to what was already a highly explosive offense, now becomes considerably better , and one in which Manning gets to be a teammate of Welker, who has averaged over one hundred receptions a season for the past five years .

Both of these teams, the Broncos and Ravens are expected to defend their divisional titles and come away with a considerable amount of success in that particular endeavor. In the case of the Denver Broncos, within the AFC West , I certainly do not see a credible challenge coming from the Kansas City Chiefs , Oakland Raiders or the San Diego Chargers , as the Broncos seek to further enhance their dominance of that particular division . John Fox`s team is by far the best of the quartet within the AFC West and it certainly denotes the belief why a number of analysts and fans around the NFL believe why they should be considered a prime contender for the Superbowl within the AFC . I do believe that the Ravens are likely to face a much stiffer challenge however , within the AFC North , merely because of the growing confidence of Andy Dalton and the Cincinnati Bengals . A team that I believe to be one of the most dangerous in the conference altogether !

Bengals` head coach Marvin Lewis has to believe that the growth and maturity shown by his team over the past two seasons , has to be a sign that the franchise is on the right track . Coupled with another very good draft class and a number of free agent acquisitions , it will be interesting to see how the Bengals fare over the course of this season. Dalton and his teammates will open their regular season schedule on the road at Soldier Field in Chicago , Illinois against the Chicago Bears .

For the Bears` Jay Cutler now in a contract year and unrestricted free agent at the end of the season , he now must prove himself to be resolute enough after all of the major upheavals during the off-season . The retirement of Brian Urlacher was one thing, but the inexplicable firing of Lovie Smith , still does not sit well with a number of individuals around the NFL. The front office explanation for Smith`s dismissal remains idiotic and most definitely bewildering. Smith`s successor, Marc Trestmann now has to get this team into a mindset where they have to perform at the highest level possible. Yet, the biggest questions that will remain is whether or not Jay Cutler can fulfill his potential or simply remain at best, a moderately average NFL quarterback.

If Cutler is said to be under a great deal of pressure to succeed then is conference peer Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys are also in a similar position. The ten-year veteran not drafted in the 2003 NFL Draft , but was signed by the franchise and has become one of the league`s more dependable regular season quarterbacks, but a deer caught in headlights once the postseason rolls into being. Either because they are in a drug induced haze but repeatedly each season the Cowboys are viewed as a favorite for postseason play and the Superbowl itself . Unfortunately, since Romo has been the team`s quarterback , one postseason win during a decade of play for the franchise , has been all that the player has to show for his mediocre efforts. Tony Romo has his supporters, of which his biggest supporter, remains the team`s owner Jerry Jones . Yet for all of Jones` continued support and the recent decision to sign the player to a seven-year $119 million contract of which $40 million is guaranteed. It begs the question; upon what are Jones` expectations based, in offering such a lucrative deal to the quarterback? As I alluded to earlier , Romo does have his supporters, but he also has a great many detractors , many of whom are very vocal in ridiculing Tony Romo`s alleged skill-set. Personally, I find Romo to be overrated , lacking in leadership and one someone who continues to make excuses for his and his team`s own shortcomings !

The NFC East has now become a division once again where the most discerning of NFL fans can now take a real interest. The Washington Redskins came out of nowhere to surprise a number of individuals to capture the division and many , who expected if anything the division to be a three-horse race between the Cowboys , New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles . Well, the three aforementioned teams all fell by the wayside in 2012, through some lackluster play and poor coaching. If Tony Romo are to prove themselves this season to be amongst the elite within the conference and the division itself , then their play will have to be of the highest quality possible .

For Tony Romo and the Cowboys, the regular season begins with a divisional game against their erstwhile rivals the New York Giants. That contest will be played at the palatial Cowboys Stadium in Arlington , Texas , on Sunday night , in-front of a television audience of millions, between two of the NFL`s more celebrated franchises. Eli Manning will once again pit wits against a team where in recent years , he has had a considerable amount of success . Jason Garrett and his opposite number Tom Coughlin , a two-time winning …. Superbowl coach, will be looking to add to his already impressive record. . Inasmuch as Jerry Jones and his son, EVP Stephen Jones have sworn to stick by Garrett as the Cowboys head coach through thick and thin , I truly believe that this season their patience will be severely tested , if in any way the Dallas Cowboys are unable to acquit themselves on the field of play . Considering the tenures of several of the incumbent`s predecessors have been in a number of cases, considerably less than is own. I am actually now surprised that Jason Garrett has lasted as long as he as in his present position ! The likes of Dave Campo , Chan Gailey , Wade Philips and Barry Switzer have come and gone, along with their infamy and granted, Switzer was the only one of the quartet to actually guide the Cowboys to a Superbowl victory . It should be noted that the team in question was essentially built around the pieces put in place by Jimmy Johnson . Barry Switzer, may well be given a great deal of the credit , but in reality, his input when sought, may well have been minimal at best .

After what might well feel and seem like an eternity , the New York Jets have made the decision to name Geno Smith , their second round draft pick as the team`s opening day starting quarterback for the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers . Add in the fact, that the franchise also acquired Brady Quinn and signed him to one-year deal worth $715,000. It now seems only a matter of time before the decision is made to jettison Mark Sanchez , after what many might now feel , has been four years of highs and lows . Consider that to be now, more lows than highs , for another lackluster quarterback from the University of Southern California . I should not really say this , but isn`t that where a number of overrated quarterbacks tend to make their exit from , to enter into the NFL , only to then disappoint ? Matt Cassel, Matt Leinart , Carson Palmer and now Mark Sanchez. On paper, their college stats are impressive, but their NFL careers to date, have been about as eye-popping as Lindsay Lohan`s acting career and Miley Cyrus` somewhat bile inducing performance at the VMA`s . Now that’s a white girl that has no ass and should not be singing or `twerking` !

With Sanchez injured in the Jets` final preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles , in a contest also marking Geno Smith`s unbelievably poor play . It now has me wondering whether or not the former West Virginia Mountaineer is as good as advertised ? And was he really the best option available of the quarterbacks available in the second round of the NFL Draft ? Rex Ryan and GM John Idzik , I believe if they had it to do all over again, would have either drafted up or simply taken another position player and then acquired a free agent quarterback . I simply do not believe that Geno Smith is yet ready to play in the NFL ! Granted, this outing against the Buccaneers could prove to be trouble-free, given that team`s still unresolved problems in their secondary and the doubts concerning the unevenness of Josh Freeman`s continually lackluster displays. A home victory would appear to be on the cards for the Jets , but it will be dependent upon which Geno Smith the New York Jets` fans will be privileged to witness on Sunday afternoon . The player many saw at the collegiate level or the player many witnessed performed so ineptly against the Eagles ? Chances are that during the game we will actually witness both.

As to Tampa`s own ongoing issues , well, let us just say that Greg Schiano has some sort of plan, which he and his current staff are currently carrying out. For all of the team`s off-season maneuvers , we are likely to see a team much like last season , where the players who lined up to be part of what was an essence an extraordinarily bad roster. Considering that for now, almost three straight years, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been unable to sell out a regular season home game. I believe that streak is likely to be continued this season , for a franchise whose preseason performances and record were woefully lackluster and inept . Also what remains in doubt, is whether or not defensive back Darrelle Revis is likely to see any type of action in the team`s regular season opener against his former team. Having missed the entire preseason schedule , clearly Greg Schiano must be aware, that it is now time to have Darrelle Revis ready to resume his NFL career and justify that six-year $96 million deal , the player was signed to in the off-season. GM Mark Dominik , by his reluctance to address the media on this one fact, has now become someone whose judgment must come into question .

At best , in a division , the NFC South , where the quarterback play is likely to be of an extremely high standard , I cannot see the Buccaneers coming through their divisional games unscathed and where their conference play is likely to be just as daunting a task. A 6-10 or 7-9 record is what I envision for the team , and that is likely to be generous, given what I believe will be another difficult year for Josh Freeman ! With the Buccaneers` quarterback due to become an unrestricted free agent this off-season , it is paramount that he puts himself into a situation where he is likely to be rewarded and that is by having a solid and very productive season . Is that beyond the scope of Josh Freeman? I will let you be the judge of that ! My own thoughts on the matter are that I did not feel he was a worthy first round draft pick in 2009 by then Buccaneers` head coach Raheem Morris . Four seasons later and the player is still acclimatizing to the environment of the NFL. A steep price to pay for an organization that has not seen a quarterback of note perform for the franchise at a consistently high level in its entire existence .

The Kansas City Chiefs may well have ended the season in 2012, as the team with the worst record in the NFL . In 2013 , I believe that with the addition of Alex Smith to helm the roster at the quarterback position, along with a new head coach in Andy Reid , we are likely to see a competitive club that will certainly be looking to meet the challenge of stopping the Denver Broncos` recent dominance of the AFC West. That in of-itself may well not be enough , but given Reid`s vast experience and GM John Dorsey has seen fit to revamp the lineup , seeking a number of changes that should see the Chiefs making inroads within the NFL this season.

Andy Reid`s team will begin their regular season schedule with a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Ever Bank Stadium in Jacksonville , Florida. And for the Jaguars coming off another disappointing season and having yet to see any real signs of progress in the game of Blaine Gabbert . It will be interesting to see what Gus Bradley and his coaching staff are likely to do , in order to get the best out of what was one of the league`s more inept offenses and defenses of last season . Jaguars` owner Shahid Khan , as ambitious as he is, as the franchise’s self-effacing proprietor , must know that he faces an extremely daunting task in turning around the fortunes of this team . They are likely to face an uphill battle, in competing within the AFC South against the Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts , two teams thought to have the best chance of taking divisional honors this season.

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Certainly the build-up up to this season has seen some rather sensational stories within the NFL. Yet I can`t help but wonder what will unfold over the course of the year , as teams lay siege within their conference and divisions , with the hope of making the postseason . At the same time several head coaches within the league will be placed under the usual scrutiny one would come to expect, with the likelihood of their livelihood actually being at stake. It all makes for an intriguing and suspenseful year of anticipation within the NFL . What , if anything are you most looking forward to, as the season unfolds and which games in particular, in week one and throughout the first four weeks of the regular season do you believe will be the most appealing ? Just simply chime in with a comment as you see fit.

Picture and slideshow details below .
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(1) John Fox and Peyton Manning are seen on the sidelines during a postseason game from 2012 . The Denver Broncos vs Baltimore Ravens AFC Divisional playoff game at Sports Authority Field Saturday January 12, 2013. Fox and Manning will be looking to avenge that loss in their home regular season opener against the reigning Superbowl champions . Denver is seen as the prohibitive favorite to win the AFC West this season . Photo by Tim Rasmussen,/The Denver Post …….

(2) From left to right , Andrew Luck , Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson . All three rookie quarterbacks from last season took their respective teams into the playoffs at the first time of asking , with all three being highly effective in the postseason. Getty Images / Mark Parsons …..

(3) Cincinnati Bengals` quarterback Andy Dalton (14) is seen here during a team practice session alongside head coach Marvin Lewis . Dalton has led the team into the postseason for two consecutive seasons starting in 2011 and then again 2012 . The franchise`s head coach will be looking for further progress from this team , in which we have seen the growing maturity of Dalton and teammates , Jermaine Gresham and A J Green . Getty Images / Michael Carpenter ………..

(4) Jun 11, 2013; Lake Forest, IL, USA; Chicago Bears head coach Marc Trestmann and quarterback Jay Cutler (6) during mini-camp at Halas Hall. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

(5) Tony Romo and Jason Garrett are seen here on the sidelines during a game from last season . After a disappointing 2012 foray , the Dallas Cowboys well be looking to rebound this season by making a serious challenge within the NFC East , where the Washington Redskins will be looking to make a successful defense of their divisional title . Gerry Matthews / AP Photo …..

(6) New York Jets` quarterbacks Geno Smith and Mark Sanchez are seen at the team`s training facility . Smith, the team`s second round draft pick from 2013 will be the opening day starter for the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers . A bye-line to this contest will be the return of Darrelle Revis, when he suits up for the Buccaneers to face his old team for the first time on the field of play. With Mark Sanchez now sidelined with a shoulder injury , GM John Idzik signed Brady Quinn to a one-year $715,000 deal . There now seems to be growing speculation that the Jets will seek to trade Sanchez, while taking his $8.25 million salary off the books . The former USC Trojans` quarterback signed a five-year $52.5 million deal in 2012 , of which $20.5 million was guaranteed . USA Today / Scott Patterson ….. `

(7) Tampa Bay Buccaneers` head coach Greg Schiano is seen here with the team`s defensive back Darrelle Revis . The player did not see any playing time during the Buccaneers entire preseason schedule and is likely to see limited time during the team`s regular season opener against the New York Jets at Met-Life Stadium ,in East Rutherford , New Jersey . Mark Palmer / AP Photo ….

(8) Buccaneers` starting quarterback Josh Freeman is seen here after a regular season game from 2012 . Freeman`s play has been inconsistent over the past two seasons . An unrestricted free agent in 2014 , the quarterback will be seeking a new long-term contract . GM Mark Dominik is not prepared to address the situation until the end of the regular season. Paul Dominguez / Miami Herald ….

(9) Where the white women at , with the `big junk` in the trunk ? Temptress, Miley Cyrus seen here performing with R&B crooner Robin Thicke at the VMA`s (Video Music Awards) . The untalented Cyrus now seems to be courting controversy rather than trying to enhance her talent as a singer and dancer . Talent is not something that seems to run in the Cyrus family . Courtesy of MTV/Viacom Inc .

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If at all interested, do take time to participate in the above mentioned poll .

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tophatal ……………. 09/04/2013

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NFL news and news from around the league

NFL standings (2013 divisional)

NFL schedule week one regular season

NFL team transactions and transactions in September

NFL standings 2012 divisional

2012 NFL regular season results and the postseason .

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Pic of the day , Denise Milani

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


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

By Tophatal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Picture gallery

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Tophatal

As an ardent and passionate New England Patriots’ fan, nothing gives me greater pleasure than to see the team playing at their very best ! Granted , while the offense seems to be clicking on all cylinders , the defense remains a work in progress , leaving a great deal to be desired . For all of the audaciousness and brilliance of head coach, Bill Belichick , he can at times be ever so , conceited . Perhaps , that is the reason behind his brilliance after-all ? The Patriots’ defense is now giving up an astonishing 380 yards per game , ranking the franchise well below the bottom-half of the franchises within the NFL . This lone issue of a porous defense , has remained a sore point , not just with myself , but with the vast majority of Patriots’ fans up and down the country .

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Now while the defense remains an eyesore each week , the offense of the Patriots seems to be as explosive as ever , with veteran quarterback Tom Brady leading the way for the team. However, without that arsenal of receivers and backs , Brady in terms of his performances would be somewhat pedestrian , by comparison to a number of his peers within the league and AFC , this season. Brady , has been joined by his one-time nemesis , Peyton Manning , who himself , has been having an exceptional season , even by his own lofty standards, in putting together a string of superlative performances. And if you doubt my word , simply look at Manning’s escapades this season for the Denver Broncos , as they now seem to be marching towards a successful defense of their AFC West divisional title with consummate ease . . Kind of makes you wonder , if Tim Tebow had remained in Denver , rather than being traded , and now being ridiculed en-mass for his lack play , and the messiness of the going drama with the Jets . One now has to wonder what predicament might the Denver Broncos now find themselves in , had the player remained with the franchise ? Care to answer that very question , at this juncture ?

With injuries now plaguing teams at this point of the season, as they seek to set themselves for the final stretch run of the schedule , franchises around the league are now seeking out unrestricted free agents , or assessing their needs by looking at their practice squads to see if they can find themselves “ a diamond in the rough” . Bill Belichick , and his coaching staff , having seen Wes Welker , Rob Gronkowski , Stevan Ridley and Aaron Hernandez, amongst the Patriots’ frontline players to have gone down injured over the course of the season , the head coach sought out former player , Donte` Stallworth , and signed the wide receiver for the remainder of the New England’s perceived schedule . Having overcome his own personal issues and professional struggles in recent years , and laboring with several teams during that time-span, since he was last in a Patriots’ uniform . It has to be said that this decision by Belichick should not have come as a surprise , given his past propensity in dealing with reclamations projects , such as Corey Dillon ,Randy Moss, and Chad Johnson (Ochocinco) . The most least successful of the triumvirate being , Johnson, whose one season in New England , proved to be counterproductive , rather than being enlightening and to the franchise’s benefit . What might have been more hideous was Chad Johnson’s lack of effort during the postseason and in particular during last season’s Superbowl (SBXLVI) and the New England’ Patriots’ defeat , suffered at the hands of the New York Giants , in their second such meeting , in the NFL’s showcase event .

With the acquisition of Donte` Stallworth , it doesn’t bode well for Justin Edelman , who is at present the Patriots’ injured reserve list having suffered a right foot injury. It is hoped that Edelman will be able to make a speedy recovery in time for the Patriots anticipated push for the playoffs. The team (9-3) has a comfortable lead within the AFC East over their closest rivals , the New York Jets( 5-7), Buffalo Bills (5-7) and the Miami Dolphins (5-7), all of whom share the same record.

New England, coming off what was a hard-fought 23-16 victory over the Miami Dolphins in week thirteen .. The Patriots will face the Houston Texans (11-1) in a highly anticipated game in week fourteen, on Monday night , in a conference match-up between a pair of teams with the best records in the AFC . With that being said, it is quite clear that the Texans will end up with the number one seed within the conference and thereby foregoing the wildcard round of the postseason , in gaining a bye in the opening round. For Gary Kubiak , as the head coach of the Texans , this might well be a blessing in disguise , for his team , as they prepare themselves for their second successive appearance in the NFL postseason in two years. As to whether or not this Texans’ franchise can make a deep playoff run this postseason, will be predicated upon the play of the team’s quarterback , Matt Schaub , and their explosive offense led by wide receiver , Andre Johnson , and running back, Arian Foster . And what has been markedly noticeable concerning the Texans , has been the improvement in the team’s defense in 2012 , in comparison to last season , and in all likelihood one of the primary reasons behind the Houston Texans’ results this season.

Courtesy of NFL.com (New England Patrtiots news’ page)

Donte` Stallworth, New England Patriots to reunite

By Gregg Rosenthal , NFL.com

The New England Patriots are going back to an old friend to help fill a hole on the wide receiver depth chart. And it’s not Deion Branch this time.

NFL.com’s Albert Breer reported the Patriots will sign Donte’ Stallworth on Tuesday, according to a source who spoke with player. Stallworth, 31, has tried out for a few teams since the Patriots cut him in August, but he hasn’t been on a roster this season.

Stallworth’s anticipated signing doesn’t bode well for Julian Edelman, who injured his foot during Sunday’s win over the Miami Dolphins. He was seen on crutches after the game. The Patriots are lacking depth after cutting Branch last month and losing practice-squad player Greg Salas to the Philadelphia Eagles on waivers.

Stallworth was with the Patriots for their 2007 run to the Super Bowl, and this could give him one last chance to be part of a championship team.

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Looking beyond Monday night’s game , the remainder of the Patriots’ regular season schedule does seem amenable for the team to pull off three consecutive victories . With those upcoming games against the San Francisco 49ers (week15), Jacksonville Jaguars and the Miami Dolphins , to close out their season in 2012. Not necessarily a daunting task , but one, which I believe that Belichick and the coaching staff will emphasize to his players ! That feat , has to be utmost on the minds of the fans’ who will be in attendance at two of the three remaining games that will be played at Gillette Stadium , in Foxborough , Massachusetts , home to the New England Patriots. .

For Donte` Stallworth , I would like to believe, that his return to the Patriots will be viewed as the “return of a long lost , prodigal son” . And while his resume` has never been looked upon as one of the more illustrious careers in the NFL , as that of a prolific wide receiver , who was taken in the 2002 NFL Draft as the thirteenth overall pick in the first round by the New Orleans Saints of that season . Stallworth , as a rookie , had 42 receptions , for 542 yards and 8 touchdowns . If the veteran can be even remotely productive in assisting the team and the plethora of wide receivers on the Patriots’ roster , then it could very well lead to Donte` Stallworth achieving his greatest wish, and to bow out with that much cherished Superbowl ring. However, great deal of that will have to be predicated upon the improved play of the Patriots’ defense , which if anything, has been unimpressive and erratic throughout much the regular season, giving up on average 380 yards per game and ranking the team twenty-sixth overall of the NFL’s 32 teams in 2012 . So for the members on the Patriots’ secondary , such as Jerod Mayo , Vince Wilfork , Kyle Arrington , Chandler Jones , Dont’a Hightower , and Brandon Spikes , as they are expected to raise the level of their play over the remainder of the regular and postseason .

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Whether or not you’re a fan of the New England Patriots , do believe that the team can be seen as one of the justifiable favorites within the AFC for the Superbowl ? Or are you of the opinion that the sole reason for their perceived dominance , can be put down to the fact that the Patriots possess one of the most productive offense in the NFL , along with leadership qualities of Tom Brady ? And how do you view the acquisition of Donte` Stallworth by the team , do you believe it to be a prudent decision ? Simply leave a comment as you see fit , on the subject matter in question and anything else you believe to pertinent on the subject matter in question.

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(1) New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady enters a media availability at the NFL football team’s facility in Foxborough, Mass., Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012. AP Photo/Stephan Savoia …

(2) New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick listens to a reporter’s question during a media availability at the NFL football team’s facility in Foxborough, Mass., Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012. AP Photo/Stephan Savoia …

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick listens to a reporter’s question during a media availability at the NFL football team’s facility in Foxborough, Mass., Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012. Belichick is seeking to take the Patriots to their sixth Superbowl appearance during his tenure with the franchise . AP Photo/Stephan Savoia …

(3) New England Patriots wide receiver Donte` Stallworth catches a ball before a walk through at the team’s NFL football training facility in Foxborough, Mass., Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012. Stallworth was released from the team during preseason and was picked up again this week after wide receiver Julian Edelman was placed on injured reserve . AP Photo/Stephan Savoia …

(4) Houston Texans running back Arian Foster waves to fans as he leaves the field after their 24-10 win over the Tennessee Titans in an NFL football game , Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn. With the win , the Texans clinched their second straight playoff berth, a franchise-record 11th win this season, and their first season sweep of the Titans. AP Photo/Wade Payne …..

(5) New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker (83) gestures to fans as he leaves the field after their 23-16 win in an NFL football game , Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012, in Miami. Welker tied Jerry Rice’s NFL record by making at least 10 receptions for the 17th time . He had 12 catches for 103 yards and a score . AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee …

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Lauryn Hill ……. “ Lost Ones “

It’s All In The Details ………..

It’s All In The Details ………..

By tophatal ….. To read other articles within this site simply click on the link provided

Well the decision was made Indianaplolis Colts to cut Peyton Manning . and a slew of other players that have been part of the organization’s run to a Superbowl . Along with Manning in the past 24 hours , out goes Gary Brackett and Joseph Addai . Colts’ GM Ryan Grigson , head coach Chuck Pagano and team owner Jim Irsay now embark upon rebuilding this team . Now the consensus seem to be that front office will seek to draft Andrew Luck but there also seems to be a growing belief that Grigson might hedge his options and gauge the interest in Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III . Is there really a safe bet concerning the intangibles between the two quarterbacks who finished first and second in the 2011 Heisman Trophy voting .

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In the aftermath of this all with the public statement coming from both the player and owner the end of a chapter closes and beginning seems apparent for Peyton Manning. In the past 24 hours Manning and his agent Tom Condon have met with Washington Redskins’ owner Dan Snyder , GM Bruce Allen and head coach Mike Shanahan , which was all to no avail . The agent and player have also met with Miami Dolphins’ owner Stephen Ross and GM Jeff Ireland and it now seems the meeting was just a cursory measure by Condon and Manning.

Do you now get the feeling that with Peyton Manning being the most visible and high profile of all the restricted and unrestricted free agents , a crap-shoot now begins amongst the teams now vying for the player’s services ? Certainly the franchise that now acquires the player and signs him to a long term contract basically guarantees that just about every offensive player who’s currently on the market will be looking to join Manning at whatever destination he will currently end up . Needless to say that a number of fans will be hoping that their team will be the ultimate destination of the four-time league MVP .

Now as surprising as this may seem it would appear that John Elway the Head of Operations for the Denver Broncos and the team’s general manager Brian Xanders flew Peyton Manning via Broncos’ private plane from Miami along with Manning’s agent Tom Condon to Denver , Colorado . Now comes the hard part where does this now leave the incumbent starting quarterback for the Broncos ? At the end of last season for the Denver Broncos it was Tim Tebow and his heroics that led the team into the postseason . And given what has been on evidence not just from the player but also from his counterparts within the AFC West it is understandable that Elway and Xanders might seek to acquire the renowned quarterback .

Certainly , Manning would be deemed a considerable upgrade over Tim Tebow in spite of the player’s perceived injury issues. . Peyton Manning at even 50% has to be a far better option than Tim Tebow at 100% of his somewhat limited abilities , and yes I did say of limited ability ! If the Broncos’ coaching staff led by John Fox and quarterback’s coach Adam Gase don't even seem to be remotely interested in getting the player to hone his craft . Then what you see is indeed what you get ! I’ve always maintained that the real lack of progress in terms of Tebow’s style of play stems from his four years at the University of Florida during the tenure of Urban Meyer . The coach just seemed to be intent on riding on the coat-tails of a player whose style was much more suited to the college game. Meyer may well have won two national titles with the Gators’ program but beyond that has he really developed any players who have had a major impact within the NFL ? Think about it before you answer ?

In the off-season after the Broncos’ lopsided defeat in the divisional round of the playoffs to the New England Patriots . John Elway made the statement that Tim Tebow would be the player upon which Broncos’ future would be aligned . Well , that now seems like light years ago , as it now appears that the franchise seems intent on a hard push to acquire Peyton Manning . This now means that the two year starter will now move back to being number two on the team’s depth chart alongside former Notre Dame starter Brady Quinn . Get the feeling that Quinn after his statements about his teammate getting being unwarranted praise for his heroics might now be biting his tongue after those remarks ? The Denver Broncos for their part will look to bolster the roster this off-season through attrition as well as building through the upcoming draft and seeking to acquire free agents , if it appears that they cannot re-sign their own restricted free agents .

Elway , the consummate professional as a player and an enshrinee in the Hall of Fame . Having been the victor in two consecutive Superbowls with the franchise he now oversees on behalf of team owner Pat Bowlen . It is clear that this NFL great is intent on resurrecting this once proud franchise . The former player made a considerable fortune outside of the game in building a car dealership chain across the state of Colorado , which he would later sell for an astonishing $475 million . Away from the game and being an executive and business owner may well have not been enough for the player , who was eager to return to the game in some capacity . That call came from Pat Bowlen after the disastrous season that the Denver Broncos had with Josh McDaniel’s as the team’s head coach in 2010 .

Hired in 2009, McDaniel’s tenure became mired in controversy and there many who questioned the coach’s then choice to draft Tim Tebow and make the player their pick in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft . All the bravado in the world could not hide the fact that the Broncos were a poorly coached team during McDaniel’s tenure . And all of that was heightened in light of the franchise’s own chapter of “Spyate Part-deux” , coming courtesy of Josh McDaniels and a team video technician who saw fit to videotape the training sessions of a number Broncos’ opponents during the 2010 season. And there were those who felt at the time that this was merely an isolated incident ? Well I guess not !

To think that the NFL is now further embroiled in another controversy , coming courtesy of the New Orleans Saints initiated by former team defensive coordinator Gregg Williams , Saints’ head coach Sean Payton and general manager Mickey Loomis . The “Saints’ Bounty Scandal” , not only has it taken on a life of its own but it has drawn the ire of current and former players as well as team owners around the NFL . And if now retired former New Orleans Saints’ defensive player Darren Sharper insists that he and his former teammates were never part of any alleged financial reward incentive for inflicting game ending hits on opposing players , then I’d now suggest that he consults with a criminal attorney before he makes his next public statement ! Sharper should be aware that both the head coach , general manager and the team’s former defensive coordinator have each issued a formal apology to the Saints’ organization , to the NFL and public at large . So unless Darren Sharper has suddenly become anally retentive and only open to selective memory , I can only surmise that the player is in complete denial of his actions and that of his coaches in question !

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell now has to show his authority as the league’s highest ranking executive ! . He’s going to be called upon by the hierarchy to mete out some sort of punishment with impunity that is befitting of the alleged actions of the New Orleans Saints’ organization . Certainly Jerry Jones , Robert Kraft , Mike Brown , Stephen Ross , Stanley Kroenke and Pat Bowlen are expecting some form of punishment that is commensurate with what they believe to be an egregious course of action by the Saints. Each of the owners in question were vocal supporters of Roger Goodell , who succeeded his predecessor Paul Tagliabue . Let’s say , that there now has to be some form of reciprocity by way of their support . Can you blame them in light of this unsavory episode ? There are many who believe that the punishment meted out to Bill Belichick in the aftermath of Spygate” was too lenient . Myself included , and I am a die-hard New England Patriots fan !

DeMaurice Smith and the executive committee members are now intent on conducting their own investigation concerning these recent improprieties . If you ask me it is far too little , too late ! This being the very same union who in conjunction with the league hierarchy have been complicit in their complete denial as to any connection between blunt head force trauma that have caused concussions in varying forms in regular and postseason games . The utter audacity now , by the union (NFLPA) can only be seen as a PR gimmick and image saving exercise strictly to allay the fears of the public , who have been severely critical of the New Orleans Saints’ organization. Many might now see this as simply fitting for the franchise , whose owner Tom Benson prior to 2005 was intent on fleeing the Crescent City (New Orleans) like a thief in the night , seeking to relocate the franchise , when he simply couldn’t get either the city of New Orleans or the state legislature to refurbish the Superdome , in New Orleans , Louisiana . Hurricane Katrina proved to be fortuitous for Tom Benson and the Saints as an organization and it clear that they profited greatly from that disaster in more ways than one could have initially imagined . In light of that natural disaster the NFL in conjunction with FEMA and the state legislature assisted in a make-over of the severely damaged venue that was home to the New Orleans Saints . And somehow in the midst of all much needed aid to the citizens of that state was simply botched because of the mountain of bureaucracy at all levels of government , municipal , statewide and at the federal level .

As things now stand with the Denver Broncos , should things prove to be fruitful in Elway’s attempt to acquire Peyton Manning it may well prove lucrative for the franchise from an economic standpoint to be competitive within the AFC West , the AFC and league as a whole . Manning’s last complete season in the was in 2010 where his accomplishments are there for the public to scrutinize . And when judged against that of contingent of quarterbacks within the AFC over the past two seasons ( 2009 & 2010 ) it would suggest that the Broncos would be in far safer hands than that of Tebow , or his predecessor Kyle Orton .

If the Broncos should fail in their pursuit of Peyton Manning then there is a remote possibility that the player may well seek to pursue joining a team within the NFC other than the Washington Redskins . As to the possible suitors , well that is now open to a great deal of speculation and conjecture . It will be interesting to see what now transpires over the ensuing weeks and months as the ongoing saga that is now the travails of Peyton Manning ______ in search of a new home . It is going to be hard to envisage see this renowned player not being in a Colts’ uniform for the first time in what will almost fifteen years . His career in the NFL speaks volumes as to the esteem in which he has been held but you get the impression that if this saga is prolonged then it could very well be to the detriment of the player’s image . Personally , I believe that within the next three weeks at best the player will not only find himself a new home but also will have a number of other free agents in tow looking sign with that very same franchise merely to align themselves alongside perhaps the best quarterback the NFL has seen in the past decade and half ! Your thoughts ?

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have concerning the salient points raised within this piece ? By all means do take time to leave a comment on anything else you believe to be pertinent to the subject matter .

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NB: It is now being widely reported that the Washington Redskins have trade up to take the second pick overall (forfeited by the St Louis Rams for 4 draft picks [1st rd pick 2012, 1st pick 2013, 1st rd pick 2014 &2nd pick 2015]) starting with the upcoming NFL Draft . Thereby signifying their intent of taking a quarterback . All indications point that choice will Robert Griffin III appears to their choice.

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Picture and slide show details below .

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(1) Denver Broncos general manager John Elway speaks during a news conference at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Friday, Feb. 24, 2012. AP Photo/Michael Conroy …

(2) Peyton Manning in the company of John Elway and John Fox tour the Denver Broncos Dove Valley training facility. Now the conjecture and speculation begins as to whether or not Manning joins the AFC West team . Also what appears to be unfolding is where this now places Tim Tebow and his own impending future . The Denver Post / John Leyba …….

(3) FOXBORO, MA – JANUARY 14: Tim Tebow (15) of the Denver Broncos looks on against the New England Patriots during their AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Gillette Stadium on January 14, 2012 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The Broncos would go on the lose the game in a lopsided defeat 45-10 . Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images ….

(4) (4) Tim Tebow (15) of the Denver Broncos looks on against the New England Patriots during their AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Gillette Stadium on January 14, 2012 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images … …….

(5) Tim Tebow (15) of the Denver Broncos runs with the ball against Mark Anderson (95) and Brandon Deaderick (71) of the New England Patriots during their AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Gillette Stadium on January 14, 2012 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images ……..

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You Break It Then Buy It …………

You Break It Then You Buy It ……

By tophatal ………

So we’re now told that the Tim Tebow era is about to begin in Denver with the Denver Broncos . The team under coach John Fox has a number of issues to deal with beyond the poor play of the players and in particular Kyle Orton . The AFC West is now up for grabs and if anything the Broncos it can be said , are playing for their very existence and livelihood. The Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers appear to be the presumptive favorites for the divisional title and both teams look set to steer themselves further ahead of the lowly Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs .

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Now clearly the Denver Broncos and John Elway the team’s President and Head of Football Operations , this now becomes a situation rife with dangers as well improbable risks . The team has divest itself of perhaps their most potent offensive weapon in Brandon Lloyd , who they traded to the St Louis Rams where he reacquaints himself with Broncos’ former head coach Josh McDaniels who is now the offensive coordinator for the Rams.

From my own standpoint the controversy surrounding Tim Tebow’s play stems squarely from the fact that he was ill prepared by then Florida Gators’ coach Urban Meyer . No one seems to make mention of this rather they choose to harangue the player for what they believe he lacks as the quintessential and prototypical NFL quarterback. The player’s career at the collegiate level says a great deal about him as a leader and his will to win . There are those who would seek to simply apportion blame elsewhere rather than take in a number of factors rather than looking at what is plainly obvious for everyone to see . Meyer is by no means without blame for this but so too are I believe are the Broncos’ coaching staff and front office . Granted, Josh McDaniels drafted the player but isn’t it a fact that is up to the coaching staff to prepare the players for the rigors of the NFL and the overall expectations ? This is an all-round situation where there are a number of parties who ought to be looking themselves in the mirror at present . Personally , I feel that the youthful exuberance of Tebow has been misguided in thinking his sheer will to win would be enough to make him an NFL ready quarterback. But herein lies the caveat , with the ever present belief that win now and win at any costs the teams and the fans feel that fleeting or lack of success simply isn’t enough. And in the case of the Denver Broncos success in recent years has neither been fleeting or for that matter perennial .

The Denver Broncos (1-5) are guests of the lowly and win-less Miami Dolphins (0-5) at Sun Life Stadium , in Miami on Sunday afternoon. The two opposing teams within the AFC who are rudderless and seem to heading in the same direction . For the head coaches in this meeting , John Fox and Tony Sparano are two individuals on the edge and it is quite that a loss for either could have severe repercussions for their respective franchises.

There is little to take comfort in with regard to this Broncos’ team and their woefully inept form over the course of this season . It certainly isn’t as if they have been in with a chance of even playing with any sort of consistent rhythm throughout the course of their schedule. Over the remaining nine games of the season Tim Tebow will have to simply prove himself worthy as the starting quarterback of this Broncos’ team . The viable options beyond Brady Quinn and , Kyle Orton aren’t all that enviable . The issues on the teams are rife and it will be up to Elway and Fox to seek out those remedies and to fix them quickly , if the Denver Broncos are to have any chance of resurrecting their season somehow . If not then we shall see the this team’s fall from grace continue unabated . Never a good thing for an NFL franchise seeking to make its presence felt within the league !

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

Do you feel that there is blame to go around concerning not only the Broncos’ front office but also with regard to Tim Tebow’s career and that of Tebow’s tutelage under Urban Meyer ? By all means do leave a comment as to your thoughts on the points raised within this piece.

Alan aka tophatal ………….

Picture and slide show details below .
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(1) MIAMI GARDENS, FL – OCTOBER 23: Tim Tebow (15) of the Denver Broncos carries the ball against Cameron Wake (91) of the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium on October 23, 2011 in Miami Gardens, Florida. Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images ………….

(2) Tim Tebow (15) of the Denver Broncos passes against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium on October 23, 2011 in Miami Gardens, Florida. Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images …….

(3) Former Head Coach of the University of Florida Gators Urban Meyer speaks during a ceremony honoring the 2008 NCAA Champions at halftime of the game between the Miami Dolphins and the Denver Broncos at Sun Life Stadium on October 23, 2011 in Miami Gardens, Florida. Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images …………….

(4) MIAMI GARDENS, FL – OCTOBER 23: Head Coach Tony Sparano of the Miami Dolphins disputes a call during the game against the Denver Broncos at Sun Life Stadium on October 23, 2011 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images) ……

(5) MIAMI GARDENS, FL – OCTOBER 23: Matt Prater (5) of the Denver Broncos kicks the game winning field goal in overtime against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium on October 23, 2011 in Miami Gardens, Florida. The Broncos overcame a 15-0 deficit to defeat the Dolphins 18-15 in overtime . Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images ………..

(6) MIAMI GARDENS, FL – OCTOBER 23: Tim Tebow (15) of the Denver Broncos heads off the field after the game against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium on October 23, 2011 in Miami Gardens, Florida. Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images …

(7) Quarterback Tim Tebow (15) of the Denver Broncos dives against the Miami Dolphins to end the game to overtime at Sun Life Stadium on October 23, 2011 in Miami Gardens, Florida. Denver defeated Miami 18-15 . Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images …….

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I Don’t Drink The Kool Aid Simply Because I Don’t Like It !

I Don’t Drink The Kool Aid Simply Because I Don’t Like It !

I’ve never been one for hyperbole myself but it appears that the analysts of ESPN would rather come out with some of the most asinine statements imaginable simply to create that furor media frenzy needlessly . The Carolina Panthers’ Cam Newton is off to a tremendous start as a rookie for the team throwing for over 850 yards in his first two games as a professional . Granted, the number one pick overall in this past NFL Draft has been lauded as the best player available of the talent to be had . Opinions being what they are , there is no denying the player is something special but it’s one thing to show that prowess in the college game , within the NFL it becomes a whole new ball-game altogether .

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Now as much as I respect the analysis provided by these individuals simply brought in to host these shows on ESPN but there comes a time when Chris Carter and Keyshawn Johnson make the statement that Newton should be seen as the “Chosen One “ amongst the players that were recently taken in this past draft . As talented as many believe Cam Newton to be , there is a growing belief that until he becomes more attuned to the NFL and his teammates then there’s no way in hell the Carolina Panthers will be viewed as a success in the NFL . Coach Ron Rivera and his coaching staff are in for an arduous season and though playing as well as can be expected the team has yet to register its first win in the NFL . At 0-2 there is a belief that once having notched that first victory the Carolina Panthers might just be able of acquitting themselves well in enough within their division (NFC South) and the league as a whole .

There’s no doubt that expectations were high for Cam Newton coming out of college given the success attained by the player while attending at Auburn . And now that player has to take his talents to the NFL he’s now being viewed as “The Messiah” and ” Prodigal Son” all rolled into one as the Carolina Panthers seek to become relevant in the NFL once again. Rivera and his staff sought to obtain the best possible talent available in the draft to complement an already experienced roster which has a mix of youth and seasoned veterans .

The Carolina Panthers will host the Jacksonville Jaguars in week three that is bound to be of real interest to the Panthers’ fans. Jacksonville at 1-1 look to be a staunch test with coach Jack Del Rio and his team facing the challenge of taking advantage of the problems that have beset the Indianapolis Colts and make an outright challenge to the now presumed favorites within the division to win the AFC South the Houston Texans (2-0). As to whether or not those teams within the division can actually take advantage of the woes of the Colts remains to be seen .

From my own perspective , I do believe that Cam Newton can be a success within this league but he’s still a work in progress , as too is his Tim Tebow whose current status with the Denver Broncos seems to come into question with each passing week in the league. It simply has become idiotic to witness the sheer ineptitude shown by the front office of the organization led by EVP John Elway . Team owner Pat Bowlem and newly installed coach John Fox have certainly got to address this issue before it gets completely out of hand and sinks this organization to even lower depths than could be imagined . It is bad enough that the team’s incumbent starting quarterback Kyle Orton has performed miserably for the Broncos during the first two games of their season schedule .

Certainly for Tim Tebow , he has done himself no favors with his alleged poor performances during team practices but it seems somewhat hard to be believed . Either that’s simply due to poor coaching by John Fox’s coaching staff and in particular from quarterback’s coach Adam Gase or quite possibly due to the fact Tebow was simply coddled as a player by his former college coach Urban Meyer while the player attended Florida . Now while the fans’ calls seem to be for Tebow to be on the field , one simply cannot be sure that the player is a sure fire guarantee to be the presumed savior of this organization . Draft choices asides and the organization’s history in that field , it has been troubling to see the Denver Broncos struggle to make their presence felt within the NFL .

The Denver Broncos for their part have had something of an inauspicious start to the season with a 1-1 record within the AFC West where they sit jointly atop of the division alongside the Oakland Raiders , San Diego Chargers with the winless Kansas City Chiefs seated as the cellar dweller in a hapless division. Kyle Orton and the Broncos next play a conference game against the Tennessee Titans in a match-up that should tell us a great deal about the temperament of this Broncos’ team under the leadership of John Fox and his coaching staff.

Perhaps it’s me but with the NCAA —- football season now up and running is now filled with more scandal than collegiate athletics would willingly care to admit . With Butch Davis having been fired the school ( UNC[ Tar Heels]) is now having to endure multiple sanctions for violating NCAA rules with regard to recruitment violations and several other transgressions that the school’s now former AD Dick Baddour has seen fit to address before stepping down in his role . I am not about to suggest that this will be the last time that we will hear or bear witness to such indiscretions across the collegiate sports landscape . Suffice to say …… where there’s smoke there is fire and there are several schools at present in college sports either fanning the flames or simply looking to put out those flames because of their incendiary nature . Think Ohio State , Miami Hurricanes , Oregon and Boise State and USC (Trojans) ? Let’s just say that until the landscape is cleaned up with any sense of urgency we will continue to see such malfeasance on the part of these schools . Never mind that we have the idiocy of college football conferences simply looking to become bigger by luring teams from one conference to another , simply through sheer financial greed . It has absolutely nothing to do with bringing about a competitive balance because as we all know the system is skewered to favor the teams within the major BCS conferences in terms of college football . Anyone who believes otherwise obviously is living in complete denial !

Now while the various polls are now out there ranking the teams within D1 football , I am of the opinion that until we are at the midpoint of the season we will not truly get a true glimpse of how things are about to pan out over the course of the year ! Certainly the rankings seem to bear out what we have longed felt about a number of teams . Oklahoma ( Sooners) , LSU , Alabama , Boise State and Stanford seem to be the standouts this early in the season . And that is with good reason as each of the teams remain unbeaten but as they get into the meat of their schedule I would preface this by saying that one or two of those very same programs are likely to slip up . Whether it this upcoming week or down the line it remains to be seen .

For myself the college football season only becomes really interesting down the stretch of the schedule when everyone seems to be aggrieved once the BCS rankings simply skewers what many of feel to be to be a brokens system and what is wrong with college football to begin with . We know that the minnows of the game will never truly be given the chance to go up against the big boys within college football . Oh , once in a while when the beat writers and fans alike show their resentment , we may well see the subterfuge take place with a proposed match-up of one of those teams on the outside looking in , as they’re given the privilege of playing in one of the lesser tiered Bowl games or BCS games . But God forbid ….. we will ever see the day of seeing the likes of Boise State perhaps taking on Auburn or perhaps Florida for the BCS national championship . What do you think would happen then amongst the likes of conference commissioners or even an idiot such as Ohio State universtity President Dr E Gordon Gee who still believes that a program outside any of the major bowl conferences is not entitled to play for the national title ? I feel that Gee should simply stick to cleaning up what we now know to be an utterly corrupt athletics program , with both he and AD Gene Smith then stepping down in shame ! I mean only these two assholes could still maintain that they were completely unaware as to the deceit , lies and subterfuge that was taking place that was being orchestrated by the program’s former football coach Jim Tressel ! Imagine that ….. ?

Amongst the presumed Heisman Trophy candidates this season the names of Andrew Luck , Landry Jones , Marcus Lattimore , Kellen Moore , Robert Griffin , Trent Richardson and Chris Rainey are being bandied about . And though there may well be justification for those names to be mentioned let’s not get ahead of ourselves just yet . It’s still too early in the season to be making these type of prognostications , so give it a while and let things simply play themselves out as the season progresses .

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