Dumbing it down for the fans ……….

Dumbing it down for the fans ….

By Tophatal

Well to save himself from further embarrassment , Lance Armstrong agreed to what is being called an in-depth interview , by none other than Oprah Winfrey , on her, self –titled broadcast network OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network). The two-night event, encompassing four hours is meant to be hard-hitting. Far be it for me to suggest , but Winfrey hasn’t conducted a hard-hitting in-depth news’ story or interview in decades , much less conducted an interview that will have the nation riveted . Granted , the bye product of this story will be Armstrong seeking the nation’s empathy, much of that to my mind is totally undeserving , but somehow this idiocy will continue as the lowly ranked and viewer starved cable outlet will be seeking a ratings’ bonanza from this all. Oh , Tom Cruise , jumping down on a sofa declaring his undying love for Katie Holmes , his former ex-wife , to whom he was married to , for a mere four years is not riveting television , unless , you just happen to be enamored with the Hollywood actor . .Oh yeah , those are the stories, that a dumbed down nation will truly appreciate . I think not, unless of course you just happen to be anally retentive.

===========================================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


===========================================================

Slideshow .

Armstrong used his notoriety to raise tens of millions of dollars for cancer research and to aid victims in need , from this debilitating disease . But herein lies , my question , this ungrateful asshole hasn’t the God-given fucking intelligence to consider that as a cancer survivor himself , he would then resort placing steroids and other illicit substances within his system ? So for all the bold-faced idiots out there, still pitying this dumb ass ! Can you explain Armstrong’s motives , other than it not being about the financial reward ? With an estimated $100 million fortune, the now disgraced athlete in the ensuing months , could now find himself as a defendant in several upcoming lawsuits , and deservedly so ! Was it , really worth it ?

Thursday night was a bile inducing piece of idiocy , self-indulgent and that had no merits, in terms of journalistic integrity! As for Oprah, her ratings’ challenged network will continue to suffer, unless the programming content is greatly improved.

Microsoft billionaire, Chairman, Steve Ballmer , and his erstwhile fellow. Washington State native, Chris Hansen , co-founder of venture capital firm , Vanguard Capital Inc , have agreed in principle to purchase the beleaguered Sacramento Kings’ franchise . The presumed sale price will be somewhere between $300 million to $375 million for the loss making concern. The city of Sacramento led by its mayor , Kevin Johnson , has sought some compromise from the Kings’ ownership group , led by Joe and Gavin Maloof have essentially duped the municipality and its residents , that it had been their intent to remain in the city , playing the aging Sleep Train Arena , in downtown Sacramento .

This once proud franchise , in recent years has become anathema , starved of real support ,with fans seemingly apathetic to the woes of this team. Head coach, Keith Smart , along with his coaching staff have been entrusted in guiding the Kings back to former glories past . It is hard to say where this team now goes from here, as the common feeling is , the sale of the Kings would be in the best interest of the Kings , long and short-term , rather than the continued neglect and lack of real authoritative leadership coming from anyone within the organization , on or off the basketball court. At 15-23 this team is on a two game win streak but yet that might not be enough to simply get through this current drama as there is a continued distrust of the Maloofs.

The irony in all of this , as the city yearns the return of an NBA franchise within their locale , I am not so sure that the fans in Sacramento are truly appreciative of Kings being within their midst . Clearly , there has to be some apoplexy , because if they were diehard fans of this team , then they would be turning out in droves to support this NBA franchise wholeheartedly. Instead , it has been continued bitching and whining about the city council being ready to spend tens of millions of in public funds , for the rebuilding of new state of the art venue . The infrastructure of the municipality remains a mess , yet the fans who are support of this project are seemingly showing, a great deal of short-sightedness . I guess when you reside on the West Coast, and the political leadership is about as uninspiring as a Sarah Palin speech, on any given subject matter! Apathy is definitely in the house !

I don’t know if it is appropriate to lambast Notre Dame’s Manti Te`o any further , after the football team’s embarrassing loss in the BCS national title game . The young man has now set his sights on a career in the NFL , and no doubt he will be drafted in the first round of the upcoming NFL Draft . That being said , with the latest web of deceit , and what appears to be a considerable amount of continuous falsehoods by Te`o , this story of an imaginary girlfriend whom me apparently met online , is now getting weirder by the second . To complicate things even further , Notre Dame’s AD , Jack Swarbrick has openly come out having issued a statement in support of the 2012 runner-up in the Heisman Trophy voting . Good God , how lucky are we, that Te’o didn’t capture enough votes to win the most prestigious collegiate award in College Football ? My advice for Manti Te`o , at present , before you can put on your big boy pants , how about actually trying to have a real live relationship with a female that is physically in your presence ?

So let me get this straight , the still financially impoverished New York Mets , while seeking to improve their roster , after last season’s debacle , have sought to go about spending money like a drunken maritime sailor on furlough ? The signing of David Wright to a seven-year deal , financially irresponsible to say the very least , seems to be a sign that Mets’ GM , Sandy Alderson will continue with the inane stupidity shown by his predecessor Omar Minaya . If the signing of Wright was not to be viewed as an act of desperation , then how should any Mets’ fan view the front office’s acquisition of former Giants’ closer, Brian Wilson ? The player spent the entire 2012 season on the disabled list with the San Francisco Giants , as they triumphed in winning their second World Series in the past five years.

Now there is no denying that at his very best Wilson can be an overpowering and dominant closer , but the very best those traits were last seen from the player in 2010 , when he led all closers within the game in terms of saves , while the San Francisco Giants were triumphant in winning baseball’s biggest prize. It is hard to envisage Brian Wilson regaining that sort form this season for the New York Mets, on a team that will be hard pressed to compete within the NL East . Coming off “Tommy John “ surgery has never been easy , and it is extremely rare for a player having undergone that medical procedure to completely regain that form . It is a really big gamble , on the part of Sandy Alderson, manager, Terry Collins , and the manager’s coaching staff in taking a chance on the player . How this will all play out , is dependent upon the resilience shown by the team over the course of their season.

The New York Mets will begin their regular season schedule with a three game set beginning on the 1st April , 2013, when they play host to the San Diego Padres at Citi-Field, in Flushing , New York . A season of hope lies ahead for the Mets’ fans , one they no doubt hope , will end in some form of measured success .

The NFL postseason is now down to the conference championship games , with what are now arguably the four best teams in the league, based not upon divisional standing but the play of these teams over the course of the entire regular season schedule and their respective postseason forays . Franchises, that were expected to contend , fell by the wayside like leaves descendingg during “ The Fall “ . And the players thought to be leaders on their teams , were simply nowhere to be seen . What can one say, about those teams considered to pre and early season contenders ? Well , it was enough to suggest that “Black Monday” was a damning indictment of the coaches who failed miserably and who were subsequently relieved of their duties by the front office executives and owners of those beleaguered teams. Andy Reid , perhaps the biggest of the names to fall , has found himself in a position to succeed Romeo Crennel , as the new head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs .

Reid’s former team , the Philadelphia Eagles , found a way to induce Chip Kelly to leave Oregon ( Ducks) , a program he built into a perennial powerhouse within College Football . From my own perspective , I believe Kelly’s departure had more to do with the fact that the NCAA’s ongoing investigation of Oregon , had not yet concluded , but with ever wide-ranging culture of rumors fomenting , as to the scurrilous deceit and wrongdoings , all of which has happened during Kelly’s tenure. It simply made sense for the coach to make a quick departure rather than being subject to questioning by the NCAA’s Infractions’ Committee , as to his actions and those of his players, and the lack of accountability from the program’s compliance officers and the lackluster efforts of AD, Rob Mullen’s , to try to systematically clean up the image of a sullied athletics’ program.

Kelly’s biggest problem in Philadelphia , beyond fomenting a relationship with GM , Howie Roseman , will be to make a decision as to the impending future on the declining skills of Michael Vick , who in 2012, had his worst season on record . Vick’s days as a starter in the NFL are numbered , and his ego might not permit to become a glorified backup to a less experienced player, who the veteran may well feel that he has a far superior skillset , than the incumbent. We have seen it before , and we will see it again within the NFL. The 2013 NFL Draft , should prove to be a great indicator as to the direction that will be taken by Kelly and the Eagles’ front office , as they seek to write a new chapter in the franchise’s legacy.

Another of the NFL head coaches, upon a which guillotine came down on , happened to be the now departed Ken Whisenhunt of the Arizona Cardinals . Suffice to say, when you offer a player a ludicrous contract , as to the one offered to Kevin Kolb , you had better fucking well , make sure that he can play with the position effectively ! Let’s just say that chicken shit” , tastes nothing like ” chicken liver “, and essentially Kolb and John Skelton , combined , served up a whole lot of chicken shit, as it related to the Cardinals’ offense and passing game throughout 2012.

The Cardinals’ front office made what I believe has been the best hire , of the newly hired head coaches , in acquiring Bruce Arians to succeed Ken Whisenhunt . Anyone , who had the pleasure of seeing the former Steelers offensive coordinator and Colts’ assistant, interact with Andrew Luck while leading the team on their improbable run during the regular season ,while the franchise’s off-season woes dealt with the health issues of head coach , Chuck Pagano . Arians, was able to steady a team whose nucleus was primarily made up of rookies and second year starters . That may well have been the trait that was easily recognizable by the franchise’s newly installed GM , Steve Keim, as the Arizona Cardinals seek to move on from another disastrous season . If Bruce Arians is able to get half as productive an output from the Cardinals players on the current roster , by comparison than what he achieved with the Indianapolis Colts last season , then it bodes well for the team in 2013.

The NHL, is back ? So who, gives a shit? A regular season schedule of forty-eight games in the space of the three months is meant to enliven a disheartened apparent dwindling fan-base . Yet , the NHL hierarchy are still trying to sell the fans and public this time around they have got it right . I’ll pose this question, what in hell’s name has convinced Commissioner Gary Bettman that this time a ten-year negotiated deal, which sees an even split the NHL’s revenues will lead to a long-term peace accord ? Is this not the same sport , that in the space of two decades have forced their fans to endure four league induced work stoppages ? Not the self-destructive AFL-CIO , or the UAW have been as inept as the NHL and NHLPA combined , and have been able to wreak as much financial damage to their sport . Bettman’s , union counterpart , Donald Fehr , held a similar position with the MLBPA , within Major League Baseball (MLB).

Hockey has now become a sport of diminishing returns , for a vast majority of the teams within the league . A $2.5 billion ( $2,500,000,000) a year industry still remains on life support and the idiocy remains , that neither league hierarchy, team owners or the players themselves , have learned a god damn thing after this labor dispute ! They’ve learned nothing from their first , and nothing from the last stoppage to have derailed the sport ! Their heads remain up in the clouds , and in no fucking way, are their feet firmly in the ground , as this sport , is now being ran , as if it were a corner-shop convenience store, that barely carries the essentials needed to captivate the fans’ attention . Sparse attendance , a dwindling television audience , and there just happens to be the fact that the NHL ,still pays NBC Sports , to carry its content, in terms of a hockey broadcast in the United States . If that’s not a recipe for a continued economic disaster , then can someone explain to me what in their eyes , would not be another sure-fire way of seeing this sport completely disappear off the sporting landscape ?

The NHL regular season drops its puck on Saturday afternoon with a slate of thirteen games , whereby the teams will have to race out of their starting blocks and maintain a break neck speed over the course of this truncated season. Whether or not the fans will be appreciative of this all , remains to be seen, because the postseason could very well be , just as frenetic and misleading .

After Manny Pacquiao’s most recent loss to Juan Manuel-Marquez , a fight in which the eight-time titlist was relentlessly punished by his opponent , suffering the most humiliating loss , of his illustrious career . Many felt , it was time for the fighter to call it quits , and simply walk away under his own steam , while he had all of mental and physical capacities about him . A relentless fighter in his prime, he marched through each of the divisions where he reigned supreme , winning eight world titles in five different weight categories . However, the biggest fight of his career and the one that every fight fan yearned to see , proved to be elusive , and is unlikely to ever take place . Diminishing skills , and the very fact that his greatest nemesis , Floyd Mayweather Jr , now simply “ talks a good fight “ rather than being a willing participant in a bout that everyone wishes to see .

Courtesy of ESPN UK

Pacquiao given Parkinson’s warning

The possibility of retirement for Manny Pacquiao was raised on Thursday after neurologist Dr Rustico Jimenez speculated as to whether the Filipino was showing the first signs of Parkinson’s.

According to reports Jimenez, president of the Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines, said he was concerned about the health of the fighter, who suffered a brutal knockout at the hands of Juan Manuel Marquez at the end of 2012.

Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system, which affects Pacquiao’s world-renowned coach Freddie Roach. Dr Jimenez is concerned he can see the first signs now creeping into the physiology of the 34-year-old welterweight.

“Even though his reflexes are quick, I noticed the movement – it’s just another view, my personal view – but it seems like there are early signs,” Jimenez told radio dzMM.

“There are some movements that you will notice with his hands. It’s in the hands, and not the head, where you can easily see this. It twitches a little bit. Although I haven’t seen it up close, I think I am seeing that there are some signs.”

=====================================================================

Click on link to read in full.
======================================================================

Allegations of doping , an unwillingness to meet each other’s contractual demands , has in essence made this super mega-fight a nonstarter . A guaranteed multimillion dollar gate in receipts , and in excess of 2 ½ million pay per view buys, has not been enough to get Pacquiao’s or Mayweather’s representatives together , to work out the finite details of such a bout . So all that the most ardent fans can ever wish for , is what might have been , or the idiocy of several computers programmers getting together and inputting all of the fighters’ stats into a purpose-built program , to decide upon who a fictional winner might be . Floyd Mayweather’s business partner and closest confidante , Leonard Ellerbee, in recent weeks has suggested Manny Pacquiao’s promoter , Bob Arum , has rebuffed all of his calls . Personally, I believe that Arum , now has “ bigger fish to fry” , as his biggest and most lucrative client , is no longer the “ major draw” he once was. Two now punishing losses , the first of which was a highly debatable but yet justifiable result was the loss of the Filipino fighter’s WBC welterweight title belt to the then , lightly regarded , Tim Bradley. A proposed rematch with Bradley , is now unlikely to take place , so make of it , what you will.

One of the more tantalizing stories to come out of this saga , since Manny Pacquiao’s defeat, are claims by a renowned neurosurgeon that the fighter is clearly showing early signs of dementia and what could be the onset of Alzheimer’s disease . If that were the case , then it is clearly the time for the fighter to step down and save himself from further injury or a major catastrophe occurring in the ring. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize what such a major loss of this magnitude might mean for the sport . Yet , nowhere is there any common sense being shown on the part of Bob Arum or his client , who seems reluctant to walk away from the ring . Manny Pacquiao has career earnings, in excess of $ 200 million , a lucrative business empire in his native Philippines , as well as being a congressman representing his constituents of Sarangani , a highly impoverished district in the Philippines. Pacquiao’s marriage is now threatened by his reluctance to walk away, as the angst shown by his wife , Maria Geraldine Jamora (“Jinkie”) , and their four children, is etched upon her face, when she states …… “ my children would rather see their father alive , than laying dead , in a casket “. If those words are not strong enough a cause for Manny Pacquiao to now rethink his future , then it would be best for his wife to walk away , than subject her and the four children to further emotional trauma .

And while there has been no real evidence to suggest that Pacquiao has suffered any major loss of neurological functions , it would take an eternal optimist to not believe that the fighter’s two losses to Tim Bradley and Juan Manuel-Marquez hasn’t done any damage to the Filipino fighter’s psyche . After-all, who is he going to fight next, in order to convince the public that he is still relevant in the world of boxing ? Any suggestions ?

=======================================================================

=====================================================================

Picture gallery .

Do you as such, have any comments that you wish to make concerning this article ? Then, by all means give us your insights, as you see fit . Continued thanks always for the support of this site and the enlightening and illuminating comments received !

😉

Picture and slideshow gallery details .
=================================================

(1) Lance Armstrong is seen here with talk show host and entrepreneur Oprah Winfrey , as the former athlete confesses to doping, which he denied while an athlete . The interview conducting on Winfrey’s OWN Network came across a bile inducing apology from Armstrong , who is now essentially seeking the public’s forgiveness after the years of deceit and lies . Winfrey herself , failed to ask any really pertinent questions , primarily because the field of sports’ journalism isn’t her expertise , whereas fawning over a guest , has her appearing as matronly individual you could somehow trust to get the truth. Well in this case , there is Armstrong’s truth, as he sees it . And the truth , as the whole world now knows it to be . So who would you rather believe at this juncture ? Courtesy of USA Today /Matt Hinchcomb …. .

(2) A pensive Lance Armstrong searches for answers during an interview with Oprah Winfrey . The host on her ratings’ challenged network hopes to get a boost in the ratings for this two night four-hour expose` . The Guardian UK / Paul Wilson ….

(3) Sacramento Kings fan Gloria Bailey lets her feeling be known as the Kings played the Cleveland Cavaliers in an NBA basketball game in Sacramento, Calif., Monday, Jan. 14, 2013. The Kings won 124-118 . The Maloof family, owners of the Kings, are rumored to be in negotiations to sell the team to a group headed by investor Chris Hansen who would relocate the team to Seattle. AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli …

(4) Clockwise , from left to right , Chris Hansen, Steve Ballmer , Erik Nordstrom and Peter Nordstrom are the four lead investors seeking to purchase the Sacramento Kings and relocate the franchise to Seattle Washington , where they would play in the newly refurbished Key Arena , in Seattle , Washington ,. AP Photo / Mark Mason …

(5) James Frazier, right, holds a sign alongside his mother Karen Roth before an NBA basketball game between the Sacramento Kings and the Dallas Mavericks in Sacramento, Calif., Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013. Word of the possible sale of the team to investor Chris Hansen who would move the franchise to Seattle has Kings fan showing their support with hopes they will remain in Sacramento. Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson is now petitioning NBA Commissioner David Stern and the NBA Board of Governors , a body made up of the league owners and league hierarchy for an emergency meeting in seeking to retain the franchise within the city. However, Johnson has not been able to suggest how he seeks to have the Kings remain in the state capitol. No vested purchasers have come from within the greater Sacramento area , although the situation is being monitored by several parties , although no counter offer has yet been made . AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli ….

(6) Arizona Cardinals owner William Bidwill , right, talks with new head coach Bruce Arians , left, and his wife Christine Arians after Arians was introduced during an NFL football news conference at the team’s training facility Friday, Jan. 18, 2013, in Tempe, Ariz. The Cardinals bring in Arians after he had a storybook year as the Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator-turned-temporary coach. He filled in for head coach Chuck Pagano while he was treated for cancer and helped get the Colts to the NFL playoffs . AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin ….

(7) New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur blocks a shot during the team’s first official practice since the NHL hockey lockout ended, Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013, in Newark, N.J. AP Photo/Julio Cortez ..

(8) Juan Manuel Marquez , left , is seen here fighting Manny Pacquiao in the fourth of their now epic four fight quartet . Many are pressing for a fifth fight between the two , most notably Pacquiao’s promoter , Bob Arum of Top Rank Inc . AFP /REUTERS …..

(9)(L-R) Manny Pacquiao throws a right at Juan Manuel Marquez during their welterweight bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on December 8, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. But it would be Juan Manuel-Marquez who would end up being the victor in landing left hook and right cross that lead to the knockout of Pacquiao in the sixth round of their WBC welterweight title fight . FRI Mathe` Regency S.A. / Anton Pasquale … @ copyrighted material all rights reserved .

(10) Manny Pacquiao is seen here with his wife, Maria Geradine-Jamora Pacquiao (“Jinkie”), and three of their four children. Jinkie as she is more commonly known , has pleaded with her husband to now step aside and retire from the sport that he has graced over the past decade, requesting that he do so for the sake of their family, and ultimately his long-term health. The boxer has yet to make a decisive decision concerning his future, with promoter , Bob Arum pressing for a rematch against Juan Manuel-Marquez. Picture appears courtesy of BBC Sports ….

(11) Bob Arum , veteran boxing promoter and CEO of Top Rank Promotions Inc , is seen here with Manny Pacquiao , publicizing his third fight against Juan Manuel Marquez in December of 2011 , that took place at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino Resort in Las Vegas Nevada ,. AP Photo / Richard Harper ……

===================================================

To read more articles within this site , please click on the link provided .. Tophatal’s Blog

Any suggestions you might have concerning content matter you would like to see within the site , then by all means contact me at tophatalsblog@gmail.com

======================================================

50 Cent …………. ” Many Men “( Wish Death ‘pon-me)

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

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

Tophatal

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

========================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

========================================

Slideshow .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

============================================

===========================================

Picture gallery

😉

Picture and slideshow gallery details
==========================================

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

…..

====================================================

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

========================================

MLB news

🙂

NFL news

NFL postseason schedule

NFL stats players (postseason)

NFL stats teams (postseason)

🙂

NBA news

NBA schedule
=================

NCAA Football

NCAA Football & BCS schedule (postseason)

NCAA Football news

😉

NCAA Basketball men’s results

NCAA men’s basketball news

========================================

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

Scarlett Johansson

And so the idiocy continues ..

And so the idiocy continues ..

Tophatal …..

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

And so the idiocy continues ..

Tophatal …..

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

====================================================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

=====================================================================

Slideshow .

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

Courtesy of ESPN


Penn State’s failure of power

By Howard Bryant , ESPN

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

=============================================================
Click on link to read this article in full .

=============================================================

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

=======================================================================

========================================================================

Picture gallery .

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

😉

Picture and slideshow details below .
=====================================================================

(1) Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett speaks at a news conference following a night of rioting in response to the firing of head football coach Joe Paterno in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky “scandal ” on November 10, 2011 in State College, Pennsylvania. Corbett is the former state attorney general who launched the investigation in 2009 that eventually brought criminal charges against three former Penn State officials this week. As governor, Corbett is now an ex-officio member of Penn State?s board of trustees. Paterno was fired amid allegations that former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was involved with child sex abuse. Mario Tama/ Getty Images North America …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

=======================================================================

If at all interest do take time participate in the above poll.

==========================================

Penn State Football news

NCAA/ BCS Bowl games 2012-13

😉

NFL news & news from around the league

NFL news archived stories

NFL results week 17

NFL postseason schedule & wildcard round games

NFL standings by division

NFL standings by conference

NFL player stats week 17 & year-end players’ stats

NFL team stats

=======================================================================

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

——————————————————————————-

Gloria Jiminez . Ay caramba !

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

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

By Tophatal

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

======================================================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

========================================================================

Slideshow.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

===============================================================

===============================================================

Picture gallery.

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

😉

Picture and slideshow details below .
====================================================================

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

—————————————————————————————————————————-

======================================================

NFL news & news from around the league

Dallas Cowboys news

Washington Redskins news

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

NFL standings by division

NFL standings by conference

NFL schedule week seventeen

NFL stats weekly leaders week 16

NFL team stats

NFL team injuries

————————-

NBA news & archived news

Brooklyn Nets news

New York Knicks news

NBA standings by division

NBA standings by conference

NBA team salaries & NBA soft salary cap of $58.044 million for the 2012-13 season

Highest paid player salaries (NBA)

NBA team values – revenue streams & profitability

========================================================

Analicia Chaves , picture comes courtesy of King Magazine

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


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

By Tophatal

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

=====================================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

===================================================

Slideshow .

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.

==============================================================

By clicking on the formatted frame you can view that picture in a larger size.
===============================================================

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 !

😉

Picture and slideshow details below .
====================================================================

(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 ….

===================================================================

NFL related links :

I did it may way

Somewhere to hang one’s hat

Hits , misses and a bye your leave

The year of the young guns

And clearly we’re about to agree to disagree

=================================================

NFL news & news from the around news

NFL archived news

NFL week 17 schedule

NFL standings by division

NFL standings by conference

NFL weekly leaders week 16 & week sixteen results

NFL teams stats

Jacksonville Jaguars news

Miami Dolphins news

Tampa Bay Buccaneers news

======================================================

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 ?

—————————————————————————-

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

They haven’t got a pot to piss in , much less a window to throw it out of ….. ideas of grandeur , baseball style .

They haven’t got a pot to piss in , much less a window to throw it out of ….. ideas of grandeur , baseball style .

By Tophatal

Well the MLB off-season is proving to be just as thrilling as teams seek to shed payroll , while others seek to increase payroll , with the ultimate goal of glory , success , and all that it may entail . No need to guess , who the big winners are at this juncture before the season has even started . Both the Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels have sought to make their “big splash” , while north of the border , the Toronto Blue Jays have sought to revamp their roster and increase their payroll .

=====================================================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


========================================================================

Slideshow

The biggest acquisition made by the Blue Jays has been that of Cy Young Award winner R A Dickey, from the New York Mets , and given the franchise’s ongoing precarious financial position , of which their idiotic fans seem to fail to comprehend , it is my firm belief that the front office will continue on , with its own self-styled fire sale . Granted , the Toronto Blue Jays were made privy to the Miami Marlins’ fire sale , where the South Florida franchise has once again embarked upon divesting of the big-money contracts they were handing out out to those free agents like “ cotton candy”. A hellacious season of inept performances , the firing of a manager and the Marlins’ foray in 2012 can be best described as an almighty cluster fuck of “gargantuan proportions” .

In the midst of this mess , the “so-called in-depth investigation “ that Bud Selig has stated would take place , has actually failed to materialize , with no one having been empaneled by the commissioner to even remotely ascertain how and why team owner, Jeffrey Loria , and other Marlins’ front office executives, team President, Larry Beinfest , GM, Michael Hill and EVP ,Dave Sansom , have been allowed to simply wreak havoc upon this franchise, while at the same time giving the team’s fans false hope. It has been this sort of mismanagement that continues to take place around the game , under premise harsh economic times . Personally , I believe it to be “ one great big fucking lie” being suborned by the team owners and countenanced by the MLB hierarchy !

And lo and behold , it is this sort of apathy by the fans who buy into a franchise’s premise that because they have failed to meet certain goals , then they have to divest themselves the “ burdensome salaries” on their books. Unless I am mistaken, these self-styled executives and owners went into these negotiations with the players and their agents with their eyes wide open , did they not ? Furthermore , a close acquaintance patron of this site suggested to me that the Tampa Bay Rays , a franchise , who only in recent years has found a modicum of success has been profitable , due to the erstwhile financial expediency shown by GM Andrew Friedman . That might be the “biggest crock of shit “ within the Tampa Bay area , other than the continued stupidity being showed by the local politicians within the locale. The only reason the Tampa Bay Rays have been financially sound , has nothing at all to do with the accounting acumen of Friedman , because it has more to do with the fact that the franchise like several others , are the recipients of monies , made available to them by way of the league’s tax sharing revenue scheme . In the last seven years alone , the Rays as a ball-club has benefited to the tune of some $146 million . Given the menial profits attained by the franchise , a $20 million off-balance sheet boost can make that final earnings’ mark quite alluring to any fan merely glancing over a pro-forma spread-sheet detailing the Rays’ finances .

Yesterday, another stalwart of the Rays’ franchise in recent years allowed to leave with first baseman , and former Gold Glove winner , Carlos Pena , who signed a one year deal to become the newly designated hitter (DH) for the Houston Astros in 2013 . Pena and his new team will be part of the new league realignment, that sees the Astros making the move from the NL Central to the AL West . Pardon me for saying this , but given Astros’ woes in 2012, I am not so sure that their league mandated move will truly be of benefit for the franchise . Once there , they will have to face off against Los Angeles Angels , Oakland A’s , Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers . And given the resurgence of the A’s and the likelihood that we will continue to see improvement in the play of the Angels and Rangers , there has to be a team within the division, that will end up being the “ whipping post” and “ bitch “ that everyone else gets to “ ravage” . So why not the moribund Astros ?

Astros’ owner , Jim Crane , with the then record amount of $775 million paid to purchase the franchise . He has to know, that he faces an uphill battle in getting this team in a competitive state to take on the likes of the aforementioned teams within the AL West , Manager , Bo Porter and his managerial staff will most certainly make the most of the off-season preparation schedule of Spring Training to get players ready as they embark upon their first season in the AL , in 2013. The Astros first regular season series of will begin a three-game set against the Texas Rangers at Minute Maid Park , in Houston , Texas , starting on 2nd April, 2013.

With a ready-made instate rivalry right off the bat against the Rangers , this should bode well for the Houston Astros , if they feel that they are up to the task. Add in the fact, that Nolan Ryan , current team President and part-owner of the Texas Rangers , was himself , once a player with the Astros , this certainly adds a great deal of intrigue to the panacea of the events that are likely to unfold between these two franchises.

One of the more asinine insinuations being made and which I read in an article written within this forum , given the complete lack of knowledge of the individual , who seemingly only chose put the words on paper , rather than conducting any research whatsoever, This individual , along with the more anally retentive supporters of the Mets’ franchise , tried to suggest that the financially cash-strapped franchise remains a viable and financially solvent concern. Fuck it , when you lose in excess of $40 million , and are projected to lose another $60 million in the subsequent year , you are in no way on a sound financial footing , especially when one of your primary creditors no longer wishes to extend you any further credit facilities . This has been the idiocy , that is being countenanced by so many of the team owners , for which Bud Selig is not prepared to offer the public or the fans an answer. Instead, he chooses to blow smoke up everyone’s ass, as to his own importance , and the fact that baseball has sound business practices .

Funny , I don’t ever once recall , Selig ever delving into the reasons why the Los Angeles Dodgers were taken into bankruptcy proceedings (Chapter 11) when there was clear evidence that the former owner , Frank McCourt had been recklessly running the franchise into the ground , while repeatedly using the team and other assets as collateral for several of his own personal business deals . In the aftermath of the franchise’s multibillion dollar sale , McCourt was able to walk away with an estimated $435 million free and clear , as he was also said to be a creditor of the ball club he took into bankruptcy reorganization. How the fuck can that be allowed to happen ? Wherein an owner, knowingly flout one of the most sanctified rules of the game from an executive standpoint , but yet he escapes unpunished . Meanwhile, a player who violates the league’s substance abuse policy for a second time , faces a 100 game suspension and becomes a “pariah” within the game . Yes, this is the mendacity and goddamn stupidity that Bud Selig lovingly presides over, but yet no one within the game much less the media questions his authority or decision-making .

Having recently signed David Wright to a eight-year $147 million deal , the New York Mets were was unable to retain the services of R A Dickey. To my mind that one move, has pretty much epitomized why the New York Mets remains a fucking mess ! Sandy Alderson, J P Ricciardi and Paul DiPodesta may well have at one time graced the game with their alleged acumen , but they were brought in to right the wrongs wrought under Omar Minaya , while he was the general manager of the New York Mets . Instead , the same old fucking idiocy appears to be continuing within the ball-club, as they capriciously spend money on a player , who does not possess any leadership ability, and is simply looked upon as the “ poor man’s “ Derek Jeter . If ever there was more apt description, to describe David Wright , then those words, best sum up, how he is genuinely viewed within the game . Fans can now prognosticate and pontificate as to what awaits the team for this upcoming season as they begin their Spring Training schedule under Terry Collins and his coaching staff . While that takes place , you can be sure that the team’s primary owners, Saul Katz and Fred Wilpon will continue to wreak havoc within this ball-club , without their being any oversight whatsoever coming from baseball’s hierarchy.

It was the end of an era , as one the best switch hitters ever to play the game simply stepped down , from being a player with the Atlanta Braves . Chipper Jones leaves the game as one of the most celebrated and beloved in Braves’ history , and most definitely a player who was respected by his peers past and present. With his departure, GM , Frank Wren sought to bring in a productive center-fielder , and thought to be someone capable of filling that void was former Rays’ outfielder B J Upton . With Upton’s introduction as the newest member of what is considered to be an already productive lineup within the NL , and it is hoped that the player can simply increase his career numbers while providing the solid defensive prowess he has come to be known for . Upton, will be richly rewarded witha 5 year $75 million contract , making him one of the highest paid players on the Braves’ roster.

One of the deficiencies that blighted the Fredi Gonzalez’s players last season , was the inconsistency of the pitching , and the lack of timely hitting at crucial points during a game. The team will begin their Spring Training Schedule in the month of March with a slew of games that should in fact get these players ready for the upcoming regular season schedule which begins on the 3rd April , with a three game set at home against the Philadelphia Phillies at Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta , Georgia,. A long and arduous 162 game schedule now awaits the teams as they each to succeed the San Francisco Giants as the World Series champions in 2013.

During the course of this off-season , more than $1.4 billion in contract negotiations will have been dealt with by the general managers and with agents such as Scott Boras , Arn Tellem , Casey Close , Dan Lozano , Larry Reynolds and John Courtright . There’s a reason why these individuals have now become the bane of the general managers around the game . To my mind , however, the owners are equally as responsible because they also have a responsibility , as they have a right not to acquiesce to the demands the players seeking these exorbitant salaries . But you would be hard pressed to convince a number of fans and purists alike who is actually in right or wrong as it relates to the “ escalating salaries “ within the game of baseball.. I am sure that Michael Weiner , Executive Director of the MLBPA (Players’ Union) would like to see the status quo remain as it is , with his members , as they see their salaries rise consistently in line with the demands they make of league’s owners and the respective teams . .

Courtesy of the New York Times

Baseball Ties Olympic Reinstatement Bid to Women’s Game

By Jere`Longman of the NY Times

Having whiffed on an attempt to link its Olympic future with women’s softball, baseball is now following another gender-equity route in an attempt to gain reinstatement to the Summer Games of 2016.

Baseball officials have aligned with the relatively seldom-played game of women’s baseball to burnish its chances of gaining re-entry into the Olympics after being dropped from the 2012 Summer Games in London.

It is too early to know whether such a move will prove shrewd or merely desperate by baseball, which was evicted from the Olympics for several reasons, including concerns over the lack of participation by major leaguers and widespread doping.

In October, the International Olympic Committee will award the 2016 Games to Chicago, Tokyo, Madrid or Rio de Janeiro. Two additional sports will be proposed for those Games, to be chosen among baseball, softball, golf, karate, roller sports, rugby and squash.

In February, baseball was given the cold shoulder when it attempted to persuade softball to make a joint bid to regain their Olympic status. At the time, Don Porter, president of the International Softball Federation, said in a statement that softball would keep its bid separate, adding, “We have offered the I.O.C. a doping-free, universal team sport that reflects the values of Olympism all over the world.”

Translated, softball did not want to be aligned with a sport that is awash in drug scandals and offers competitions, like the World Series and the World Baseball Classic, that may be considered more prestigious than the Olympics.

By contrast, the Olympics represented the height of international softball competition for the 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008 Summer Games before the sport was eliminated, many believe, because of American dominance.

All of the world’s top softball players would be expected to participate in the 2016 Summer Games. Or as Porter said in another recent statement, in a thinly veiled reference to baseball, “The Olympic Games would not be just another competition in an overcrowded schedule for softball.”

Rebuffed by softball, baseball chose to pair its Olympic proposal with women’s baseball, which is rarely played in the United States but, officials say, is played in more than 30 countries by more than 100,000 participants. Still, it is much less visible than softball, which officials said is played in 127 nations by 8.5 million participants.

======================================================
Click on link to read in full .

=====================================================

Baseball has been caught between a “rock and a hard place “ by way of its endless greed , while not caring to truly look after its on-field product , and how it markets itself not just on the domestic front , but also as a global brand . The game’s situation has further hampered by the intransigence shown by the league hierarchy under Bud Selig . Were it not for his sheer and utter stupidity in caving in to the union , the sport itself would still be part of the Summer Olympics . Selig at the time while trying to portray the image that MLB wanted to remove the illicit use of PED’s within the game , simply acquiesced to the wishes of the MLBPA , in not wanting to fully adhere to the testing protocols of WADA , as followed by the IOC . Now , with their being a joint effort with the International Softball Federation (ISF) to get both sports reinstated by back into the fold, as part of the Summer Games , it will be interesting how both parties will represent their joint case to the International Olympic Committee(IOC). The ISF along with baseball’s international governing body , International Baseball Federation (IBAF) and Bud Selig will seek to present their case at the headquarters of the IOC , in Lausanne , Switzerland . It is not so much that baseball is unpopular as a global sport , which it is not , the real issue has always been Bud Selig’s lack of real authority of the sport he presides over in North America , as the highest ranking executive within the league’s hierarchy . It has been Selig’s penchant for saying great deal while in actuality not doing anything that has in essence made him look a blithering idiot in the eyes of the fans.

What is a precedent here, is the very fact the men’s game of baseball is in fact seeking to ride in on if not piggy-back in, on the coat-tails in the growing popularity of the women’s game of softball , as it seeks reentry back into the Summer Olympics . If that isn’t a first , then what is ? And even though the World Baseball Classic (WBC) has yet to truly take hold internationally , there is a growing belief , if Selig , simply lets the IBAF take the reins , rather than trying to be the dominant partner in the staging of the event , there would indeed be a greater interest in the quadrennial event , which is next due up in 2013 , with the qualifying rounds set to start in December , 2012, but the main tournament not due to begin until March , 2nd ,2013 with the group phase of the tournament . It now makes you wonder what the fuss has been about concerning the WBC , especially light of the fact that the television coverage and viewership of the event in North America , has been sparse indeed. Yet , on the international front , specifically in the Far East Asia , Latin America and the Caribbean , the fans cannot seem to get enough of the event . Which begs the question , is it not time for Bud Selig to immediately step down , rather than retiring in 2014, as he claims , will be his intent ? A fresh influx of new and progressive ideas are needed within the game , rather than , this ” doing it by the numbers approach” of “hits and misses” , by Selig and baseball’s hierarchy. The irony here will be , if Selig does step down , then joining him also , will be , NBA Commissioner , David Stern , who formally announced , that he will step down in his role , a position that he has held within the NBA hierarchy for almost twenty-five years . A term , slightly out doing his MLB counterpart , as the duo have battled all concerns , friends , foes , and their respective unions , repeatedly over the lengths of their service. Selig has not named or intimated, who his successor might be , but we have been made aware that Adam Silver , NBA Deputy Commissioner, will succeed , David Stern. I do believe that Bud Selig , will countenance the promotion from someone already within the hierarchy , with the support of the team owners . If anything , Selig , will simply seek out a like-minded individual to carry on his policies , while his persona will continue to leave an indelible and some might say a “stain ridden mark” upon the ” game “ .

=====================================================================

====================================================================

Picture gallery .

What, if anything , do you hope to see being achieved during the upcoming season within the game of baseball ? Also , are you of the opinion that the sport needs to adopt a “ hard salary cap” that would see the teams getting an equitable share of television and other ancillary revenues ? Do take time to leave a comment as you see fit on this , and anything else you believe relevant to the subject matter.

😉

Picture and slideshow details below.
=================================================

(1) New Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher, Zack Greinke adjusts his cap during a baseball news conference announcing his $147 million, six-year contract, Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012, in Los Angeles. The Dodgers have seen fit to make several deals this off-season , as GM , Ned Colletti has been given the go-ahead by the front office executives to pursue these transactions . At the commencement of the 2013 regular season , the Dodgers will by far have the biggest payroll in Major League Baseball , far exceeding $200 million. AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes ….

(2) Free-agent outfielder Josh Hamilton, right, and his wife, Katie , talk to the media during a news conference in Anaheim, Calif., Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012. Hamilton, formerly of the Texas Rangers, joins the Los Angeles Angels MLB baseball team after signing a $125 million, five-year contract. The acquisition of Hamilton was prompted by Angles’ owner Arte Moreno not wanting to see the franchise left lagging behind the Dodgers in the free agents’ sweepstakes . Moreno instructed GM Jerry DiPoto do whatever it takes to land the “big league slugger” . AP Photo/Chris Carlson …

(3) FILE – This Sept. 27, 2012 file photo shows New York Mets starting pitcher R.A. Dickey reacting to fans as he celebrates his 20th victory of the season after the Mets 6-5 win against the Pittsburgh Pirates in a baseball game at Citi Field in New York. A person familiar with the deal tells The Associated Press that Dickey and the Blue Jays have agreed on a new contract , clearing the way for the New York Mets to trade the Cy Young winner to Toronto. The person spoke on condition of anonymity Monday, Dec. 17, 2012, because the trade was not yet complete. The 38-year-old knuckle-baller must pass a physical before he joins the Blue Jays. The Mets would get prized catching prospect Travis d’Arnaud as the centerpiece of the multi-player swap . AP Photo/Kathy Willens …

(4) New York Mets third baseman David Wright, center, walks from one interview to the next at baseball’s winter meetings on Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn. Wright and the Mets finalized a $138 million, eight-year contract on Tuesday, the largest deal in the team’s history . AP Photo/Mark Humphrey …

(5) FILE – This Sept. 26, 2012 file photo shows Tampa Bay Rays’ Carlos Pena following through on a two-run home run as Boston Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia watches in the fifth inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston. The Houston Astros have signed veteran Carlos Pena to be their designated hitter , addressing a key need as they prepare for their first season in the American League. AP Photo/Elise Amendola …

(6) Atlanta Braves newly signed center fielder B.J. Upton , right, and general manager Frank Wren pose with Upton’s jersey during a news conference introducing Upton, Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012, in Atlanta. Upton replaces free agent Michael Bourn in center field and should provide needed power from the right side. AP Photo/John Bazemore ….

(7) National Basketball Association Commissioner David Stern (L) greets Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig before testifying with the heads of the NFL and the NHL to the US House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection about the use of illegal performance-enhancing drugs in professional sports on Capitol Hill February 27, 2008 in Washington, DC. The subcommittee also heard testimony from officials from the US Olympic Committee , National Thoroughbred Racing and the US Anti-Doping Agency . Getty Images / Chip Somodovilla …

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

E-mail rapptu@gmail.com

=================================================================

MLB news & press releases

MLB transactions (December-2012) , November

MLB calendar important dates

This week in MLB history overview

This week in MLB history

December 19th

MLB Spring Training schedule

MLB regular season begins

MLB team owners

MLB general managers

😉

Highest paid players in baseball

MLB team values & profitability

😉

MLB final divisional standings & wildcard standings

2012 MLB postseason

The year of the young guns …….

The year of the young guns

By Tophatal

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

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Slideshow.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

========================================


=========================================

Picture gallery.

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

😉

Picture and slideshow details below.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

😉

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

NFL related links : All within Tophatal’s blog

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

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

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

For whom the bells toll , it tolls for thee

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

😉

==================================================

NFL news & news from around the league

NFL news archived articles & latest hot of the press pieces

NFL schedule week 15

NFL standings by division

NFL standings by conference

2012 NFL Draft & their rookie stats

2011 NFL Draft & their stats from that season

======================================================================

Elisha Cuthbert .

😉

Mila Kunis

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

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

Mo-fo’ protect your neck or you’ll get knocked the f#ck out .

Mo-fo’ protect your neck or you’ll get knocked the f#ck out .

By Tophatal

So normally on the weekends when the chance becomes available, I will hit the gym for the two and-a-half workout, mixing in some calisthenics , cardio, and then a minimum forty minutes of some muy-thai (kickboxing) and jujitsu , in the octagon . Boxing as a sport, was once something that apart from being a passion for me , it also became a way of life in my youth, as I boxed while in high school , competing in tournaments as an amateur . Come full circle , and the sport I once loved , I have all but abandoned . In recent years , boxing has become a complete joke and for the long-suffering fans out there , the time has now come to walk away and seek solace elsewhere. A number of my friends , themselves, having served in the military , have been truly loyal and loved the honor of having served their country passionately. As an almost ten-year veteran of the British Royal Marines , I have to admit there’s nothing better than being around fellow military service members and discussing the sports’ environment and the stories to be discussed .

======================================================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


========================================================================

Slideshow.

Now when it comes to sports we’re all passionate about what we like and dislike . We love the NFL , we hate the bad teams currently in the league by way, of their record . We hate boxing , because there are no longer any major title fights that take place , and please do not suggest that what is now said to be taking place within the heavyweight division should ever be taken seriously . There’s more excitement to be found in watching two hours of programming on the Animal Planet , and seeing a female elephant give birth , but as the saying goes , “ it is , what it is “ . Apathy , if you want to accept it , then it’s down to you , but incompetency and the fact that fans are willing to accept that shit , then you’re deserving of what you get.

Call me naïve , but what was the point of Manny Pacquiao meeting Juan Manuel-Marquez for the fourth time ? Far be it for me to suggest, but Pacquiao’s promoter , Bob Arum , has been a constant asshole in recent years, trying to suggest that he has been doing his utmost get that much-anticipated super-fight, with Pacquiao taking his long time antagonist Floyd Mayweather . Over the past three years the two sides have simply been antagonistic , as each camp has looked to belittle each other. Guess what ? No one now gives a fuck whether or not the fight ever took place , especially when both they’re seeking to gouge the fans in asking them to pay anywhere between $49-95 to $59-95 for the privilege to witness two over the hill fighters . Don’t believe that either fighter now just happens to be over the hill ? Simply look at who Mayweather and Pacquiao have fought in their most recent fights over the past four years , and the quality the opponents faced in question ?

Pacquiao and Marquez met for the fourth time , and essentially this was simply a fight meant to place Manny back in the limelight after his loss to Timothy Bradley , and for those who do not believe that Pacquiao lost the bout , simply review that fight and try indicate where the then , titlist (Pacquiao), dictated and overwhelmingly won that fight ? Manny Pacquiao lost the fight because he placed it , in the hands of referees , rather than seeking to knock his opponent out . And let’s not forget which of the two fighters left that bout battered and bruised ? Fight fans ? More like , fans who simply align themselves with a fighter because of name recognition , and not much else beyond that ! Well it was confirmed for us on Saturday night , what many of us believed has been the case for the Filipino , Manny Pacquiao as he went toe to toe with Juan Marquel-Marquez, in what turned out to be not an epic fight , but one in which Pacquaio met his match , as he in the end succumbed to a thunderous knockout punch that sent his world and professional career crashing in the sixth round , of what was meant to be a fight, that would put him back on the map . Well as of now , Pacquaio’s ass is lost inside the “Bermuda Triangle “ and he is not going to find himself back to the world of reality. The $20 million payday for the Filipino fighter may well have been a sweetener , by comparison Marquez comes away $ 5 million richer , and the world his “oyster” in terms of his next professional challenge. A rematch at this juncture with Pacquiao would be a complete waste of time as there are far more potentially lucrative fights to be had , rather than facing an aging , and on the decline Manny Pacquaio. As to what Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum and the fighter’s trainer, Freddie Roach might think about seeing their fighter lying prostrate on the canvas, may well be worth a thousand words . I’ve a few that come to mind , your man got the fuck knocked out , how ’bout them apples motherf#ckers ?

Week fourteen of the NFL schedule , and I am at the point , where the stories this season , have simply been repetitive and nondescript ! How good , is Peyton Manning ? Why the hell ask ? Isn’t his body of work enough of an indicator to tell you , that he’s amongst the best to have ever played the game , especially at the quarterback position ? And this season , Manning has been at his very best , as he has led the Denver Broncos to a spectacular season . With the team having already secured the AFC West with consummate ease , the Broncos now seem intent on chasing down the Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots for the second seed in the AFC , as well as obtaining a bye in first round of the postseason.

Having dispatched the Oakland Raiders in their most recent game , everything that we have come to expect from Peyton Manning was on display , during a match-up that the Raiders simply had no answer for Manning’s exhilarating display . The Broncos came away with a victory and the Oakland Raiders , are back to doing what they do best , and that’s to exhibit what is now wrong with the NFL , and what worst teams do with increasing frequency , exhibiting futility . Manning to my mind , is as close a certainty, to be amongst the favorites for this season’s league MVP that you would be hard-pressed to go against the veteran’s quarterback’s candidacy.

Is there anyone now who believes that Andy Reid , can now escape the madness now engulfing the Philadelphia Eagles , and still come out of this all , with his reputation intact , along with retaining the head coach’s position with the team? The Eagles this season , have been indifferent and a complete mess , never-mind that the head coach’s blind-faith in a quarterback, whose displays this season , have been on the decline . Reid has stood by Michael Vick , with a loyalty that in this day and age can cost a head coach his position , especially where a player’s talents are most definitely on the decline . It took an injury , Vick being concussed , before Reid would actually made the decision to make Nick Foles a starter , and the young rookie third round pick by the franchise in the 2012 NFL Draft , has given every indication , that given the chance , he could very well be the franchise’s answer to their long-term problems at the quarterback position. Today , the Eagles face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium, as the both teams seek to resurrect their respective seasons . A loss for the Eagles (3-9) against the Buccaneers (6-6) pretty much seals their fate , as the only thing left for the Eagles’ players to fight for , would be their dignity and self-respect. And dignity and low self-esteem , seems to be rampant and widespread within the Eagles’ organization from top to bottom.

Talking about a season that was said to be filled with promise but now the only thing left , seems to be the charred embers , and you have to wonder what the hell was going on inside of the Detroit Lions’ (4-8) organization . In the space of one season how can a franchise that made the postseason in 2011 , could have fallen so far off a cliff that you would have to question whether or not they were an aberration last year . And with the ongoing issues of Ndamukong Suh , and now the asinine situation that Roger Goodell doesn’t believe that the player was not an imminent danger to others , then either the commissioner , is still blinded by his ongoing stupidity or the fact that he feels that Suh will somehow have learned his lesson . Guess what , Goodell was never that intelligent to begin with , and Ndamukong Suh will remain the asshole we now know him to be !

For Matt Stafford , his season has simply been one of inconsistencies , and the fact that his most reliable target , wide receiver , Calvin Johnson , has been a marked man , as defenses have simply found a way to take him out of a game . The Lions face off , in a divisional game against the Green Bay Packers in the late Sunday night match-up at Lambeau Field , Green Bay, Wisconsin ,. The Packers will be looking for that victory that widens their lead over their divisional rivals within the NFC North , and at this juncture , and I firmly believe that Mike McCarthy and his team will be more than prepared to face their opponents ! The hype over this Lions’ defense just isn’t justified as they been amongst the worst performing secondary’s, not just within the NFC but the league as a whole .

If ever there was a season to rejoice , then 2012 would have to be the year to extol the play of the rookie quarterbacks this season . And leading the way have been rookies, Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III . The two players taken #’1 and number two , in the NFL Draft , as both of have excelled and surpassed all expectations . Luck , if anything has made the Colts’ fans wonder what all the fuss was about after the departure of Peyton Manning , as the young rookie has now led his team to an impressive 29-23 win , for their ninth victory of the season , and placing the Indianapolis Colts , firmly in line for a playoff berth this postseason.

For his part , Robert Griffin III , has been by no means a slouch , with his own play as he has been as equally impressive for the Washington Redskins . In what as an exceptionally thrilling game between the Redskins and Baltimore Ravens , the young quarterback led his team with a great deal of aplomb as they got an impressive victory over the Ravens , a franchise thought to be one the franchise whose secondary was thought amongst the most efficient in the NFL . This season however , the Ravens’ defense have been giving up an astonishing 380 yards per game , which ranks the team in the bottom quarter of the NFL’s 32 teams .

OK , did any of you have the pleasure of watching the Arizona Cardinals , and their utterly putrid display against the Seattle Seahawks in a game played at Q West Field in Seattle , Washington ? I’m sorry but the “mercy rule” should be adopted in all NFL games , once a team goes at least three scores up on an opponent . Russell Wilson and the Seahawks ” pounded “ the Cardinals beyond submission , while coming with the team’s biggest victory of season , in defeating their divisional opponent 58-0 . And no , that final score was not a misprint </b , that result e though not the biggest score recorded this season in the NFL , but the margin of victory , certainly was. As to what this might do with regard to immediate future of Cardinals’ head coach , Ken Whisenhunt , this defeat , could very well signal and quicken the head coach’s departure from the franchise . And if you were in any doubt , as to one of the primary reasons for the Cardinals missteps this season , then look no further than the monstrous displays by team’s pair of quarterbacks over the course of their schedule . John Skelton and Kevin Kolb , have simply shown us all that incompetence and ineptitude can be found today in the NFL , and it can be found in the state of Arizona , with the Cardinals’ pair of signal callers . With the upcoming NFL Draft filled with a number of very good quarterbacks , likely atop of the pecking order of the players likely to be taken by Arizona Cardinals , and several other teams in need of a competent player at the position and likely to improve the passing offense of that team.

====================================================================

===================================================================

Picture gallery .

In light of Saturday night’s result between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel-Marquez , do you feel that the veteran Filipino fighter , should now retire from the sport that he has graced for well over a decade ? Or do you feel that he should continue with his career ? And of the results and teams during week fourteen in the NFL , which event if anything was the most surprising of all ? Chime with your observations and thoughts, as you see fit .

😉

Picture gallery and slideshow details .

=======================================================================

(1) Juan Manuel Marquez, left, begins to celebrate as referee Kenny Bayless calls Manny Pacquiao down for the count in the sixth round during a WBO welterweight fight, Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012, in Las Vegas. AP Photo/Julie Jacobson …

(2) Juan Marquez is seen here alongside promoter , Bob Arum speaks during a press conference after his 6th round knockout victory over Manny Pacquiao, Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012, at The MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. AP Photo/Eric Jamison ….

(3) Juan Manuel Marquez, from Mexico, right, lands a right to the head of Manny Pacquiao, from the Philippines, during their WBO world welterweight fight Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012, in Las Vegas. Marquez won by a knockout. AP Photo/Julie Jacobson …

(4) Juan Manuel Marquez, from Mexico, wears the champion’s belt as his fist is raised by referee Kenny Bayless after his sixth round knockout of Manny Pacquiao, from the Philippines, in their WBO world welterweight fight Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012, in Las Vegas. AP Photo/Julie Jacobson ….

(5) Referee Kenny Bayless, left, calls the fight as Juan Manuel Marquez, from Mexico, right, celebrates after he knocked out Manny Pacquiao, from the Philippines, lower left, in the sixth round of their WBO world welterweight fight Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012, in Las Vegas. AP Photo/Eric Jamison ….

(6) Juan Manuel Marquez, from Mexico, left, celebrates his win over Manny Pacquiao in their WBO world welterweight fight Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012, in Las Vegas. AP Photo/Eric Jamison ….

(7) A Filipino boy watches Filipino boxing hero Manny Pacquiao lying on the mat after he was knocked out by Mexican Juan Manual Marquez during a live TV broadcast at a multi-purpose hall in suburban Paranaque, south of Manila, Philippines on Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. Many Filipinos were stunned by Pacquiao’s knockout defeat to Marquez, dampening the spirit of a nation battered recently by a powerful typhoon. AP Photo/Aaron Favila

(8) Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jason Avant (81) makes a catch of a pass during the second quarter of an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, in Tampa, Fla. AP Photo/Brian Blanco ….

(9) Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (93) sacks Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles (9) during the first quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, in Tampa, Fla. AP Photo/Chris O’Meara

(10) Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid, right, consols Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano after the Eagles defeated the Buccaneers 23-21 during an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, in Tampa, Fla. AP Photo/Chris O’Meara …..

======================================================================

😉

====================================================================

Boxing news

😉

NFL news and news from around the league

NFL news archives

NFL week 14 schedule 14

NFL transactions

NFL team injuries week 14

NFL standings by division

NFL standings (conference)

NFL player stats

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 .

========================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


=========================================

Slideshow.

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.

===================================================

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 .

===========================================


==========================================

Picture gallery.

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.

😉

Picture and slideshow details below for your perusal.
==========================================================

(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 …

===============================================
😉

=========================================

NFL related links :

Fox: Broncos knew they’d get the old Manning back

Why Sanchez, Jets are going nowhere fast

Cutler not planning to “break the bank” in seeking a contract extension

Older archived NFL stories

😉

NFL pieces within this site

😉
———————-

NFL news & news from around the league

NFL schedule week 14

NFL results week 13

NFL transactions

NFL team injuries week 14

NFL standings by division

NFL standings by conference

2002 NFL Draft & NFL rookie stats 2002

😉

Denver Broncos news

New England Patriots

New England Patriots’ overview & team front office

New England Patriots’ team statistics

New England Patriots’ roster & depth chart

New England Patriots’ transactions

New England Patriots’ 2012 draft

AFC East (standings)

New England Patriots’ draft history

😉

NFL active reception leaders & ….. career reception leaders

NFL active reception touchdowns & …. NFL career receiving touchdowns

====================================================

Lauryn Hill ……. “ Lost Ones “

Deep pockets , but barely comfortable with their lifestyle

Deep pockets , but barely comfortable with their lifestyle

Tophatal

Well we’re a little over four months away from Spring Training , but already, the baseball world is a abuzz with the trade moves and talks of other potential moves , and the news that the active home run king , Alex Rodriguez will have to undergo hip surgery and will likely miss the entire Yankees’ Spring Training schedule with the New York Yankees as well as the first two months of the regular season.

======================================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

=======================================================

Slideshow .

Given the fact that Rodriguez had a horrendous season in 2012 , of which his postseason might amongst the most historically low of his postseason career . As we know the Yankees bowed out of the postseason unceremoniously , without ever really showing any determination on the part of their players. Team owners , Hank and Hal Steinbrenner , have made the predetermination that the team’s salary will have to be pared down by 2014. Furthermore , with the team making the decision also to sell a minority stake (25 %) in their cable broadcast outlet YES Network to Fox Sports for a reputed $175 million . I would hate to think that this famed franchise has suddenly hit upon hard times financially . However, this unlikely to happen , as the ball-club has become one sports most profitable financial concerns . GM Brian Cashman , has seen fit to renegotiate the contracts of Andy Pettite signing the left-hander to a one year deal for $11 million , along with all-time saves’ leader , Mariano Rivera , to bolster an ailing and aging pitching roster that was headed by CC Sabathia.

Rumors are now rife that the New York Yankees are not prepared to stand pat, with regard to their roster lineup , with Brian Cashman still seeking to move a number of players he feels are superfluous to the team’s needs. And amongst the players who are now liable to be on the way out are Nick Swisher . Salary commitments for the team in 2013 will be approximately $168.3 million , with a quite possibly that figure moving lower , as the front office seeks to pare down the payroll , while promoting and bringing up players from within their farm(minor) league system , something I believe, that they will do , but not to the extent expected by a number of analysts and fans alike.

With Alex Rodriguez missing from the lineup , it will be incumbent upon the likes of Mark Teixiera , Curtis Granderson , Robinson Cano and Derek Jeter to be the mainstays of the Yankees’ offense for the upcoming season , as they were for a number of games during 2012. We have always known the New York to be an aggressive and active free agent player in recent years , but it remains to be seen the type of steps that will be taken by Hank and Hal Steinbrenner in conjunction with Brian Cashman. It has been a considerable time since the franchise has chosen to build their roster from within their farm system , as more often than not , in order to solve a problem they often sought to throw money at any issue that seems to have arisen.

Across town , the New York Yankees , have seen the New York Mets’ fall from grace and their season of sheer ineptitude in 2012. Granted , the team has seen the rise in the profile of their knuckle ball pitcher RA Dickey, their 2012 Cy Young award winner within the NL . Dickey’s astonishing season was capped with that win, and being the team’s best pitcher , as well as leading the NL in a number of pitching statistics . That if anything, had to be viewed as one of the few bright spots to the Mets’ 2012 foray.

Sandy Alderson , Paul DiPodesta and J P Ricciardi were brought in , in 2012 , to bring back some semblance of respectability to the New York Mets . And while one, has to accept the difficult predicament the franchise had been placed in , due to the complete mismanagement presided over by COO , Jeff Wilpon , team CEO Fred Wilpon , and SVP Saul Katz, it should be noted that no excuse should be sought as to the willful neglect , and heinous mismanagement that almost brought the baseball club to the brink of insolvency , and almost having to seek bankruptcy reorganization.

Having lost , $41 million last season and with the New York Mets projected to lose a great deal more in 2013 , it would appear that the front office of the organization has not learned from their mistakes of before . Within the past forty-eight hours the team has reached an agreement to offer a eight-year $138 million contract to third baseman , David Wright . Perhaps , I am mistaken , but what does this suggest from a baseball franchise that still has liquidity problems and who in April of 2012 were said to be seeking investors to buy a minority stake in the baseball team ? One such investor was billionaire venture capitalist David Einhorn , who initially wanted to purchase a 25% stake in the ball club for a reputed $250 million , with a view to increasing his stake at a later date , and also with a view , to seeking two seats on the board of directors of the franchise. Both Saul Katz and Fred Wilpon were said to have baulked at the idea, of having Einhorn , as a board member , because in essence all the Mets were said to be seeking at the time was a silent partner to provide the team with a cash-flow and clear their liquidity problems . Needless to say, Einhorn , none too pleased, having been rejected in part , bought a smaller stake in the franchise only to relinquish that stake several months later , when he could make no leeway in , increasing his investment. And I am to now believe that because Sandy Alderson and Paul DiPodesta have been brought in to provide the New York Mets with some stability , things are likely to get better ?

As I alluded to earlier , the team is an utter mess , and from a managerial standpoint , Terry Collins and managerial staff were, and are , still out of their depth . One patron , presumably a Mets’ fan suggested the way to lure fan interest would be to lower ticket , and concession prices for specific games, as well as for the vast majority of the games played at the now cavernous Citi-Field , in Flushing , New York, and the palatial home to the Mets. Built at a cost of $765 million , with the use of public funds , this massive edifice, which was referred to, as one of best baseball’s best venues, by New York City mayor , Michael Bloomberg. Now a year later after the franchise’s inaugural game , the New York Mets remain a hapless organization lacking financial and managerial leadership. Bloomberg, being the bumbling oaf he just happens to be , rarely visits the venue , even in the midst of the still questionable business dealings of Fred , and Jeff Wilpon , and business partner Saul Katz. In the midst of this all , Commissioner , Bud Selig , has remained extremely quiet about the apparent misdeeds of the Mets’ ownership group. Well , what else should we now expect , after Selig’s asinine handling of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ sale , and the rumors that suggested that the multi-billion bid lodged by the Magic Johnson syndicate group , was the only one favored , of the seven original offers , said to have been placed with US Federal Bankruptcy Courts, in the state of Delaware ? Connivance on the part of the MLB hierarchy , or simply the commissioner doing what was at the time said to be in the best interests of the game of baseball ? I’ll let you be the judge of that !

From my own standpoint , I certainly do not believe that David Wright is worth anywhere near the $140 million commitment that will be made by the New York Mets ! And while it could be said, that in the first half of 2012 , he was said to having a solid season , during the second half of the year , the player in essence was nowhere to be seen from a productivity standpoint .

To my mind the New York Mets seek to make David Wright, their answer to the New York Yankees’ Derek Jeter . But herein lies the real issue as it relates to David Wright , he has never shown himself to be a leader , of the Mets as a vocal leader , much less , actually lead by example , much as in the same way , Jeter , is actually known be. The franchise is simply settling for a rather poor man’s version of the Yankees’ short-stop , in the hope of catching lightning in a bottle. The issues of the Mets also goes way beyond their financial vulnerability , and from what I have read by the patrons within this forum who have tried to parlay their knowledge of the team, in reality , few if any have chosen to look beyond the player personnel issues to really try to succinctly explain the team’s present predicament . At the center of this mess , is the fact that the core of his roster, is aging , and with an ailing and overpaid , Johan Santana, it easy to understand the idiocy of the situation surround this franchise . The left-handed starter, beyond his no-hitter , in 2012 , offered the Mets , little if anything , by way of productivity , and the fact that they are burdened by his exorbitant contract shows that not much thought was placed in terms of financial expediency by then general manager , Omar Minaya. And even in the aftermath of the former executive’s stupidity financial expediency still has not raised its head within the Mets’ organization. Much like the asinine stupidity now being shown by the Obama administration and the US Congress’ handling of the nation’s debt crisis , there is no fucking common sense to be found whatsoever !

I certainly don’t see the New York Mets competing with any real urgency this upcoming season , within the NL East , as I view the franchise not so much in transition , but still, in a state of turmoil. They are e at least two to three years away , from where they need to be , and Terry Collins has yet to show that he has the managerial acumen to lead that team deep into the postseason , much less to a World Series’ title .

As one door closes , another one opens , and therein now lies the opportunity for the Tampa Bay Rays to make good , after the departure of BJ Upton to the Atlanta Braves as a free agent. Once again the merry-go-round begins , concerning the franchise , as they seek to “ penny pinch “ , simply in order to field a competitive team for the 2013 season. At this juncture it is hard to say what the makeup of the Rays’ roster will be for the upcoming season. GM Andrew Friedman , principal managing partner , Stuart Sternberg and the team’s manager , Joe Maddon, will have to make several decisions as it relates to a number of players on the current roster and whether or they are superfluous to the franchise’s needs.

One maneuver that the management of the Rays have sought to do , has been to secure the long-term future of Evan Longoria , by signing the player to a 6 year $ 100 million deal that becomes effective in 2016. If one takes into account the Longoria’s current contract , he will net an astonishing $136 million in salary , which does not include endorsements , of which the player now makes a sizable sum, as negotiated by his agent and legal representative , Paul Cohen . Given this situation, it was easy to understand, why there was very little chance , that B J Upton would have been resigned by the ball club, as there was little room for anymore financial maneuvers ,in allowing the franchise to retain both players .

Now while the Tampa Bay Rays , have made no real major moves , they have been available to avail themselves of one or two players in recent days . James Loney , a cast-off from the Los Angeles Dodgers was signed to a one-year deal by the organization, and he no doubt brings with him , it is hoped , some much-needed offensive fire power , to add the Rays’ somewhat inconsistent arsenal of noteworthy hitters. And though during 2012 , it was said to be the inconsistency of the hitting , that is said to have let the team down , it was the pitching of the Rays was in essence , the ball club’s real strength throughout the vast majority of the season. Leading the way in that endeavor , was the team’s very first Cy Young Award winner , David Price . The gutsy left-hander , along with James Shields , Jeremy Hellickson , Joel Peralta , Alex Cobb , and Matt Moore , who led the way for the team, in terms of its pitching.

In recent weeks there have been rumors suggesting that the Rays would be quite willing to part with their young pitcher Jeremy Hellickson . Having established himself in 2011 , as a middle reliever , it was not until 2012 that Hellickson became a full-time starter , and giving Joe Maddon on of the best starting lineups in all of baseball, and with it the statistics to match. Shields is also said to be a prime target for a number of teams said to be in the market for a bonafide starting pitcher.

Now, while I understand that the Rays would like to see their payroll drop significantly to where it will be an estimated commitment of $54.2 million for 2013. By comparison the payroll for 2012 , was a nominal $64,173,500 for last year . I believe that Andrew Friedman would be willing to listen to several hard offers , if it meant, he would be able to obtain some relatively good prospects for the aforementioned players mentioned ! The likelihood that both Hellickson and Shield could be now prime departures , while creating a great deal of disappointment amongst the fans, it should be noted that given the organization’s limited resources and the lack of a real marketing plan by the front office. This whole scenario for the Tampa Bay Rays while repetitive , it is becoming more acute with each passing season. I have always felt that Stuart Sternberg and Matt Silverman , simply have not shown enough ingenuity in seeking out an outside partner or rich benefactor, to either become a silent partner or a majority stakeholder of the organization , thereby insuring the Rays’ long-term future . And year in and year out , the same old question is also raised as where will the Rays play? Will it be in the city of St Petersburg , at the somewhat archaic venue of Tropicana Field , or at a new locale across the Gandy Bridge, in the downtown area of Tampa ? The bone of contention between the municipalities of St Petersburg and Tampa , as to who would serve the needs of the Tampa Bay Rays , though the battle has not been drawn out into an open conflict . It is now slowly brewing into something that could prove to be unsavory. Never mind the fact , that the county governments have also been drawn to this debate .

Personally , I am of the opinion that until the governmental agencies in question, have addressed their own fiscal dilemmas. I do not believe that public funds should be used to satisfy the egos of millionaire or billionaire sports’ franchise owners ! There’s this asinine belief that such instances serves the public’s best interest , of which there has yet to be any factual proof that such instances, a community does really profit from such an endeavor. Simply look at the naïveté shown by the city of Miami, after they were cajoled and coerced into building a new stadium to house the Miami Marlins.

In the aftermath of that franchise’s woefully inept 2012 foray , the ball club has begun a “fire sale” , jettisoning themselves some of their high-priced free agents that they had acquired prior to the start of this past season , and during the trade deadline . The city of Miami , is now under federal investigation by the US Justice Department , as to their actions in the vote that took place concerning the financing for the Miami Marlins’ Ballpark . Marlins’ executives have remained mute concerning any questions directed towards them concerning this issue , and Commissioner , Bud Selig , has directed all questions concerning this episode , to be dealt with by the league’s legal counsel (attorneys ). And does anyone believe that either the cities of St Petersburg or Tampa , have learned anything from that episode ? I will let you be the judge of that !

=======================================================================

=======================================================================

Picture gallery .

This off-season, we will see a lot of positive moves being made by a number of teams . Meanwhile, there will be one or two transactions that will have been suborned by team owners and their front office executives alike , that will actually have the fans completely befuddled, as to, what the hell , were they think by way that particular trade ? They sale that baseball’s off-season , just happens to be their “ silly season” , with the teams making rather asinine trades , purely as a way of chasing after success without there ever being truly any thought being put into a great many of these moves . In some cases , large financial commitment might well be made , which could in effect handicap a franchise long-term . Whereas, in other cases , it may well be that “one small deal” that simply opens up an opportunity that presents itself for a player , to truly show his worth , while being able to lead a franchise to tangible success. Over the past five years which particular trades , do you believe has been of true benefit to a team or a number of teams ? Simply chime in with a comment on this or anything other topic you believe pertinent to this article . And as always , thanks for the continued support of this site , as it is greatly appreciated !

😉

—-

MLB related links : Nats in Haren to one year deal

Pagan, Napoli , kick off action in Nashville

Mets GM meets with “several” clubs about Dickey

A Rod, needs hip surgery , will be out until June

Angels’ list of targets doesn’t end with Greinke

—–
😉

Picture and slide show gallery details below .
====================================================================================

(1) FILE – In this Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012 file photo, New York Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez throws out Detroit Tigers’ Andy Dirks in the second inning during Game 1 of the American League championship series in New York. The New York Yankees said Monday, Dec. 3, 2012, Rodriguez will have surgery on his left hip and will miss the start of the season and possibly the entire first half. AP Photo/Paul Sancya ….

(2) New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman answers questions concerning third baseman Alex Rodriguez at the baseball winter meetings on Monday, Dec. 3, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn. Rodriguez will have surgery on his left hip and will miss the start of the season and possibly the entire first half, the Yankees said Monday. AP Photo/Mark Humphrey ….

(3) FILE – In this April 25, 2012 file photo, New York Mets’ David Wright is greeted by teammates in the dugout after hitting a two-run home run during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins in New York. WFAN radio is reporting Friday, Nov. 30, 2012, that Wright and the New York Mets have agreed to a $138 million, eight-year contract that would be the richest in franchise history . AP Photo/Seth Wenig …

(4) National League Cy Young Award winner R. A. Dickey, of the New York Mets, answers questions before speaking at Lipscomb University on Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn. The 38-year-old Dickey is the first pitcher who relies predominantly on a knuckle-ball to win the Cy Young Award. The player, it is being reported , is now being “shopped around” by the Mets’ organization as they seek to lower their present payroll . AP Photo/Mark Humphrey …

(5) Outfielder, B.J. Upton (L) and infielder Evan Longoria (3) of the Tampa Bay Rays watch their team against the Texas Rangers during Game Four of the American League Division Series at Tropicana Field on October 4, 2011 in St. Petersburg, Florida. Getty Images/ Andrew Marsh …

(6) (L – R) Saul Katz, CEO of the Mets, Fred Wilpon, president of the Mets, Sandy Alderson and Jeff Wilpon, chief operating officer of the Mets pose for a photo during Alderson’s introduction as the general manager for the New York Mets on October 29, 2010 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. Andrew Burton / Getty Images North America ….

(7) Matthew Silverman, left, Andrew Friedman and Stuart Sternberg are overhauling the Devil Rays. photo appears courtesy of New York Times/ Phillip Diedrich ………………

===================================================================================

😉

===========================================

MLB news & news by teams

MLB schedule important dates

MLB transactions (December 2012) & November transactions

MLB team salaries (2012)

Top paid players in baseball

Top paid third basemen in baseball

Miami Marlins news

New York Mets’ news

Tampa Bay Rays news

This week in baseball history

😉

——

MLB standings divisional 2012

MLB standings wildcard

2012 MLB postseason

=========================================================================

Hot chic pic of the day , singer , Rihanna Fenty .

And there goes the nieghborhood

And there goes the neighborhood

By Tophatal

The NBA season is under way and the teams thought to be noteworthy and credible this year, are proving their worth . Off to what appeared to be fast starts are the reigning champions , the Miami Heat . And within the Heat’s conference , the Eastern , so too are, the Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks . All three teams , will certainly be looking to viewed as credible candidates for the NBA title .

============================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


============================================

Slideshow.

The Nets in their multimillion dollar home, the Barclays Center , in Brooklyn, New York , houses NBA’s newest and most fashionable venue. So much so , the “Barclays” , as the venue , is being commonly referred to , could soon, very well challenge the Staples Center and Madison Square Gardens , as “the place to be seen” , as an A-list celebrity within the NBA . However , much of that will be predicated upon the amount of success attained by the current team. There’s a reason why team owner, Mikhail Prokrov , invested heavily and significantly , not only, in purchasing the team , but also the Barclays Center /Atlantic Yards Development , itself . All-told , the financial outlay made by the Russian billionaire , is said to be in excess of $1.2 billion for a majority stake in the development, and a 100% stake in the NBA franchise.

Leading the way for the Nets this season , has been their All Star point guard, Deron Williams, along with Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez. The Nets too my mind , still have a long way to go, before any real claims can be made that they capable of knocking off the Heat, much less the likes of the Oklahoma City Thunder, San Antonio Spurs , Los Angeles Lakers , Boston Celtics and a vastly improved Los Angeles Clippers’ franchise. Albeit , that both LA franchises, are now vying, to see who is now “the top dog” in the “City of Angels”.

The Nets are coached by the versatile, Avery Johnson , along with a vastly experienced stable of assistants . Johnson has been keen to emphasize that his team will play an up-tempo style of basketball , while not getting away from the basics , and specifically , that of defense. And it is here , ” defense” , where a number of teams will be challenged over the course of this season to actually prove their worth , because as we know , in the postseason , it is simply not just about putting up over 100 points on the scoreboard and coming away with a victory , but also being able to defend a damn lead.

It should come as no surprise that the Brooklyn Nets will seek to make a name for themselves as the “new kids on the block” within the Big Apple. New York has craved a competitive and sought well determined rivalry with regard to an NBA franchise . Now the city has two teams in the Nets and New York Knicks . And as rivalries go , this will be one to savor , not just for the rival sets’ of fans , but also for the NBA as a whole . Commissioner David Stern , and his soon to be incoming successor , Adam Silver .

When Silver ascends to the commissioner’s post , he will most certainly seek to change the persona of the NBA , which over the course of Stern’s tenure has become what can be best described as his own personal fiefdom , and his autocratic style of ruling . There can be no denying that the commissioner’s reign while being fruitful for the league , it has also become antagonistic in recent years between the league hierarchy , the NBPA (Players Union) and their its hierarchy. Executive Director Billy Hunter , for his part, has come under a great deal of scrutiny , beyond the handling of last season’s labor stoppage . There are ongoing allegations , concerning the union leader , and whether or not he allowed a close family relative access to league funds and the misappropriation of almost $4 million . No clear signs as to how four million dollars have gone astray from the union’s coffers , for which the NBPA President , Derek Fisher , has yet to give a definitive answer , and how it is that Hunter , still remains in his current role , without their having been an in-depth investigation of this matter by law enforcement . Well it was just a thought , but look , even the FBI or Justice Department are liable to fudge that as well .

Coming into the season , it was felt that Anthony Davis, having been drafted number one overall by the New Orleans Hornets . It was felt that the young rookie would be making a mark for the Hornets. And while the player is still finding his footing , it has been the Portland Trailblazers’ Damian Lillard , who has come out of nowhere , setting the league alight with his presence , and leading the team with a great deal of authority. Now while I’m in doubt that the Blazers will be a contender for the NBA title , but it will not be happening this season , as the team remains a work in progress.

Well after the apparent shock has now worn off , it would appear that fans of the Los Angeles Lakers (7-8) are still not so sure what to make of the Mike D’Antoni hiring , after the abrupt firing of Mike Brown , a mere six games into the season . GM Mitch Kupchak , and SVP Jim Buss felt that the team was not heading in the right direction , under Brown. And whatever one might think , it has to be perplexing to the Lakers’ fans that six games into the team’s schedule both the general manager and a senior vice president felt that the franchise was not on the right track. Unless , I’m mistaken , both Buss , Mitch Kupchak and principal owner, Dr Jerry Buss , felt that Mike Brown was the “ right man” for the job, as the successor to Phil Jackson .

Issues were already abound, with regard to the Lakers, prior to the start of the season. An out of shape,Dwight Howard came into camp . with his game, rusty , and one or two lingering ailments , that as of yet , do not seem to have been cleared up. Factor in , Howard’s acquisition alongside that of an aging Steve Nash , and you can see that these maneuvers were more, “ an act of desperation” , rather than actually seeking to secure the franchise’s long-term future and their viability as a truly competitive force within the Western Conference and the NBA as a whole . Howard’s addition to the roster , will reap the benefits in due time , but the real issues concerning the Lakers , lies in the fact, that the team’s bench is extraordinarily weak , and that from a defensive standpoint , this is but a marginally average team, in spite of the pundits may well think . All that glitters is not necessarily gold , especially when it’s now , the “Purple & Gold” of the Los Angeles Lakers .

The one constant for the Lakers, will be Kobe Bryant , and as his game goes this season , then so do the fortunes of the team , and their expectations for the year. Granted , Howard, and Pau Gasol are meant to be added offensive weaponry for the franchise . Yet, can anyone truly say that the course of an eighty-two game schedule , the two will ably assist Bryant ? One-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year , Metta World Peace , may have “some game “ , but he’s now becoming more known for his comical post-game sound-bytes, than for anything that he’s said to be doing on a basketball court for the franchise . As to Steve Blake , and the fact that he remains the backup point guard to Steve Nash , suggests that the Lakers’ situation is far more dire than the front office , is clearly willing to admit , at this juncture .

A narrow 2 point loss (79-77) by the Los Angeles Lakers , to the Indian Pacers, on their home-court, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles California, on Wednesday night , has to be seen as a tremendous disappointment by Mike D’Antoni and coaching staff. Yet to mind , it is still early days yet in the NBA season, and we barely at the quarter-way point , of an arduous eighty-two game schedule, that will be littered with obstacles for all thirty teams of the NBA . Next up for D’Antoni’s players, will be another home game, on Friday night , when they face the Denver Nuggets , in a Western Conference match-up. Needless to say , win is imperative for the Lakers’ franchise , if they are to remain in close pursuit of the leaders within the Pacific Division , the Golden State Warriors (9-6) and the Los Angeles Clippers (9-6).

Now in spite of the Charlotte Bobcats’ historic season of ineptitude for the 2011-12 schedule , it has to be said their 7-59 mark from a truncated sixty-six game schedule, doesn’t look as if is about to be threatened. But yet , the Washington Wizards (1-12) now seem intent on doing their part to actually make that a reality , this season. I may well have been misguided in making the prognostication in Sports Chump’s NBA contest that the Bobcats would once again end up with the worst record in the NBA, this season ! If things hold true as they are , then the record percentage-wise will be seriously under threat by the Wizards.

The Washington Wizards started off their season with ten consecutive losses , and the team earned their very first win of the year, with a two-point, 84-82 victory over the Portland Trailblazers, on Wednesday night , on their home-court at the Verizon Center , in Washington, D C. Now, far be it for me to suggest, that the Wizards are an extremely bad team , that head coach ,Randy Wittman , and his coaching staff are simply out of their depth . Yet ,what other explanation can be put forth, to suggest why this team in particular has the record , they have earnestly gone out there and earned ? . Can anyone come up with a succinct answer to this ? If so , then do chime in with a comment . Can anyone come up with a succinct answer to this ? If so , then do chime in with a comment .

All kidding asides, the fan-base cannot be entirely happy with what they have witnessed or have been asked to endure while in attendance at the Verizon Center, so far this season. Better yet , who should be held accountable for this travesty foisted upon the fans ? Should it be the players , coaches , or management , in this respect ? Ernie Grunfeld , team President ,and Tommy Sheppard, Head of Basketball Operations, in conjunction with owner, Ted Leonsis , bear the brunt of the responsibility for this mess . The truth of the matter just happens to be , this is not a very good Wizards’ team and the roster simply isn’t one, of an NBA caliber contender, much less that of a marginal varsity team. Unfortunately , in the nation’s capital, this is what would be deemed a success, when adjudged against the productivity and success of the US Congress over the past four years . God-damn, this country is in a right fucking mess , politically and in so many ways, on the sporting front ! Anyone who believes to the contrary simply survey the mess that has been presided over by David Stern, Roger Goodell , Gary Bettman and Bud Selig , during that time-frame .

David Stern being the pompous asshole we all know him to be , has taken umbrage with the fact that Gregg Popovich , head coach of the San Antonio Spurs sought to rest four of his team’s starters for a regular season game . That event was an early season match-up against the Miami Heat , a game played at the AA Arena in Miami , Florida . What should be taken away from this all , is in spite of Popovich having rested , Tim Duncan , Manu Ginobli, Danny Green and Tony Parker , the Heat were not as dominant , as some might have thought, given the fact that their team was spearheaded by LeBron James , Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. And as the reigning NBA champions , it was felt that this season , James and plethora of role players, will simply romp to a successful defense of their title , while perhaps challenging the Chicago Bulls’ record-breaking 72-10 season of 1995-96 . They very well could , but I think it highly unlikely , when one bears in mind that the Miami Heat struggled to defeat a Spurs’ team that was actually missing four prominent starters in a game played last night . And but for the last-minute heroics of the Heat’s sharp-shooting Ray Allen , we might very well have been talking about an unlikely upset , albeit that it is still early in the NBA season.

As to the commissioner’s action, in wanting to perhaps financially penalize the San Antonio Spurs and the head coach. The actions if taken , wreaks of Stern’s self-indulgent and pompous attitude. If David Stern figures , a punishment rendered , will act as a deterrent to other teams around the league who seek to rest their stars , then the commissioner has to be seen as an even bigger asshole , than even I , could ever have taken him for ! I’ll call it like I see it as a matter of fact , the NBA commissioner is a god-damn asshole ! There I said it ! Now anyone out there got something to say about that ? Speak now , or forever hold your tongue !

======================================================


========================================================

Picture gallery.

What if anything do you hope to see during the first half of the NBA season ? And are you of the opinion that the NBA product as you view it , has diminished in terms of the play and coaching ability of the coaches now within our midst ? Chime in with your thoughts on the matter and anything else you believe to be pertinent concerning this article .

😉

Picture and slideshow details below.
——————————————————————————————-

(1) San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich talks to reporters before an NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat, Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012, in Miami. AP Photo/Alan Diaz ….

(2) Brooklyn Nets’ Brook Lopez reacts after causing an offensive foul in the second half of their NBA basketball game against the New York Knicks at Barclays Center , Monday, Nov. 26, 2012, in New York. The Nets won 96-89 in overtime. AP Photo/Kathy Willens …

(3) Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez (11) shoots over New York Knicks’ center Rasheed Wallace (36) in the first half of their NBA basketball game at Barclays Center , Monday, Nov. 26, 2012 in New York. The Nets won 96-89 in overtime. AP Photo/Kathy Willens …..

(4) Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard shoots between Washington Wizards forward Kevin Seraphin , left, from France, and guard A.J. Price during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012, in Washington. AP Photo/Alex Brandon …

(5) Wizards’ head coach Randy Wittman , left , is seen here with John Wall of the Washington Wizards in a game played at the Verizon Center , in Washington , DC. The team is off to a disastrous start to their season having lost their first ten games . There have been distinct calls for Wittman’s firing as well as the removal of several —- front office executives of the Wizards’ franchise . Washington Journal / Art Morrow …

(6) Deputy Commissioner, Adam Silver , left , is seen here alongside , NBA Commissioner David Stern . The commissioner formally announced that he will be stepping down as the NBA commissioner, after 25 years serving the league, in that role. Silver , will formally assume the role as Stern’s successor on February 17th , 2014, marking the twenty-fifth anniversary , in his ascension to the position. In the quarter century since , the NBA has gone from being a multi-million dollar business entity , to a $ 4.655 billion global behemoth , with satellite offices in Asia , Europe , Latin America and the African continent . How , Silver intends stamp his identity on the league, that has now become synonymous with the former corporate attorney remains to be seen . Getty Images /NBAE Inc @ copyrighted material all rights reserved .

——————————————————————————————–

😉
=================

NBA related links: Warriors’ Bogut , says he’s out indefinitely

NBA vows to sanction Spurs for resting regulars

Cavs sign rookie Jones , cut Harangody

NBA pieces within this site
====================================================

NBA news

NBA standings (division)

NBA results 28th November

NBA results 29th November

NBA schedule 30th November

Weekend schedule 1st December and 2nd December

2012 NBA Draft

NBA transactions

😉

Brooklyn Nets news

New York Knicks news

Los Angeles Lakers news

Washington Wizards’ news

😉

Highest paid players in the NBA

NBA mandated “soft salary cap “ for 2012-13 stands at $58.044 million

—————————————————————————————————

Hot chic pic of the day . A bevy of beauties from the UK tabloid The Sun

Flava’ in your ear

Flava’ in your ear

By Tophatal

If there was one thing that week twelve in the NFL taught us , it is to at times expect the unexpected and then , not to. Not one to be truly surprised , I witnessed the New England Patriots simply destroy their divisional rivals the New York Jets , with consummate ease . If Rex Ryan truly wishes to secure his long-term future with the franchise , then the continued use of Mark Sanchez at the quarterback position , is clearly not the answer . Granted , the team’s issues go way beyond the inconsistency of the three-year starter, as the entire roster just happens to be a mess !

============================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


=============================================

Slideshow .

Either , the Jets’ head coach has become delusional , or his implicit faith shown in Mark Sanchez continues to cloud his judgment . That being said, the alternatives to Sanchez are not that much better , as neither Tim Tebow or Greg McElroy have shown that they possess the mindset to lead this team with any degree of competency or certainty . Week thirteen , and the Jets will play host to the equally abysmal Arizona Cardinals, in a game to be played at MetLife Stadium , in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Suffice to say , that with both teams now seeing their respective seasons descend into an abyss of mediocrity , it should prove to be a godsend for the odds-makers in Vegas and the erstwhile fantasy geeks out there looking for an under-appreciated fantasy stud to put up some numbers.

Having railed of four consecutive victories before hosting the Atlanta Falcons at Raymond James Stadium , in Tampa, Florida, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had been one of the “hottest teams “ in the NFL . In a game that was filled with errors from both ball-clubs, it would be the Falcons who prevailed , maintaining their record (10-1) as the “ best team “ in the NFL . Missed opportunities by Greg Schiano’s players once again simply summed up the Buccaneers , and their season , thus far . And the very fact that they still remain a wildcard berth contender for the playoffs , is just as bewildering , but that has summed up the NFL season in 2012.

Now if there is a Buccaneers’ fan who can explain to me succinctly, why it is that the fans are not willing to come out in droves, to support this team , when they are vying for contention within the division . Then, I would like to hear their explanation , as to why this premise remains a constant for this organization . The Buccaneers’ home venue was not filled to capacity for this game , and that speaks volumes as to one of the many impediments that the franchise faces . Schiano has built a “ competent “ and competitive team , but yet the voices to be heard in a crowd at the stadium, are like that of silence , within a church vestibule .

Is it worthwhile continuing to lambast the Oakland Raiders ? Off-season changes , asides , there seems to be no improvement in this team from their woeful experiences of 2011 . And from an NFL Draft standpoint , this organization has not had a major triumph at that level in several years. This year has been no different , and it would appear that general manager Reggie McKenzie and team owner , Mark Davis , are seemingly out of their depth in the day-to-day-running of this franchise .

At 3-8 within the AFC West , with only the pitiful Kansas City Chiefs (1-10) , beneath them , it is hard to see things getting any better for the Raiders over the remainder of their season schedule. I firmly believe that head coach , Dennis Allen is imperiled in his current position , and that by season’s end , he could very well be shown the door ! As to this idiocy that the front office promoted Allen , rather than see him go elsewhere . Well that scenario speaks volumes Davis’ and McKenzie’s understanding of the issues at the time . It was not Hu Jackson’s fault that the team failed in the way that they had done. And as Allen’s predecessor, Jackson actually had the Raiders playing as a team. Can such a case be made for any of the games during 2012 , in which the Raiders are said to have turned up to play ? This team lacks conviction , has lost focus , and they simply do not possess a vocal leader of any sort on the entire roster .

Carson Palmer , the team’s quarterback , acquired to bring some semblance of consistent play to the Raiders’ offensive unit , has been anything but that during the season. If nothing else, it has simply magnified the franchise’s willingness to undertake any sorry-assed image makeover , even when it involves a player that if anything , can be best described as overrated ! Sunday afternoon, Palmer faced his old team , the Cincinnati Bengals , in an AFC conference game . I believe that we can all agree that the end result , a rather lopsided 34-10 victory for Andy Dalton and the Bengals, summed up where the Raiders presently are, in their aspirations, and where they desire to be . As to how the Raiders’ fans might now view this loss, that perhaps could be best explained , if there was one to found who’d be willing to speak publicly about the woes of the team and franchise as a whole . They tend to congregate en-masse at the O. Coliseum (Oakland-Alameda County Stadium) for home games , only to disappear , like a bear in hibernation , during winter , when things have not gone right for the organization .

They say “age is nothing but a number” , but to my mind when “Father Time” catches up with you physically , then it’s time to sit your ass down ! It may well have been the only option available to Mike Tomlin at the time , to have Methuselah , himself, in the “guise “ of Charlie Batch , start for the injured Ben Roethlisberger and Byron Leftwich . Granted, Batch is a serviceable veteran whose presence in the NFL has been well established , since 1998 , when he was drafted in the second round by the Detroit Lions. Batch’s career has been filled with some highlights and career lows , but in recent years , apart from being a backup to Roethlisberger and Leftwich on the Steelers’ roster , the player has been primarily known as an executive committee member of the NFLPA (Players’ Union).

Batch was entrusted on Sunday , to lead the Pittsburgh Steelers when they faced divisional rivals , the Cleveland Browns at Paul Brown Stadium , in Cleveland , Ohio. Unfortunately, for the veteran quarterback , his performance and that of his teammates , left a great deal to be desired , as the Steelers succumbed to their nemesis, 20-14.
.

I’ll say this for the New Orleans Saints , were it not for the charade of the “Bounty Scandal”, and the half-assed way it has been haphazardly handled by the NFL hierarchy , led by Roger Goodell. Then I sincerely doubt , that the ongoing subterfuge and plotline would have been sustained this long ! Take it from me , Goodell , simply is not intelligent enough to have dealt with this episode , where it could have been resolved to everyone’s satisfaction . Yet there are those who would suggest that the commissioner’s handling has been appropriate . How so , when Goodell preaches “ the rule of law” , but simply does not follow the laws of jurisprudence . So I ask once again, is there an ounce of goddamn intelligence to be found within the NFL hierarchy, while Roger Goodell presides over the NFL ?

With regard to the Saints’ , the team of late , had been playing with a great deal of resolve , after a horrendous start to the season. Coming into Sunday’s game , the team stood at 5-5 , and looking to become a part of the playoff picture within the NFC . Playing at home , in the cavernous Mercedes-Benz Superdome , in New Orleans, Louisiana , the Drew Brees’ led team entertained the San Francisco 49ers , who had Colin Kaepernick , replacing the injured Alex Smith at the quarterback position. Advantage Saints ? You might well have thought so , given that this was Kaepernick’s first regular season start in the NFL .

What the nation was “ privileged “ to witness was a rookie quarterback , in Colin Kaepernick , after a few errant blunders , settle down , to lead the Forty Niners , to what in the end , was a comfortable victory (31-21) for the NFC West leading , San Francisco 49ers. Truth be told, another loss for the Saints over the remainder of their schedule and the team is likely to miss out on the postseason . Given what is at stake, in the aftermath of the ongoing idiocy , much of it of the Saints’ own making and I believe that , this would the most welcomed outcome amongst the vast majority of football fans around the NFL !

In what, on paper should have been a highly entertaining game turned out to be an event for Eli Manning to further exhibit why he now might just be most efficient manager of a game when a team is need of a score . The New York Giants hosted Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers . Tom Coughlin’s players had made recent slip-ups , and the thinking was that this match-up against the Packers could very well be the defining moment of the Giants’ schedule. Indeed , it was , as Rodgers and his teammates fell apart in this game , as somehow they allowed the Giants to get back into this conference match-up. The 31-10 defeat inflicted upon the Green Bay Packers , was the team’s worst loss of the season . Now it , has many scurrying around for reasons behind the defeat , and how things could have gone so horribly wrong .

The loss pushes the Green Bay Packers’ mark to 7-4, a game behind the NFC North leading Chicago Bears (8-3) . Eli Manning and the New York Giants (7-4) have a handy two-game lead over their closest rivals , the Washington Redskins (5-6) and Dallas Cowboys(5-6) , who share the same mark within the NFC East. As to what this now says, about the quite dire situation now facing the Redskins and Cowboys , as they each chase a wildcard berth within the NFC , now remains to be seen.

Say it isn’t so ? Are the Kansas City Chiefs intent on “tanking their season” , in order to afford themselves the top pick in the 2013 NFL Draft ? That is either is case , or Romeo Crennel , his coaching staff and the front office are putting on a vain attempt , in trying to create the perception that this team just happens to be competitive .

When a franchise is 1-10, is there really an upside as to the prospects for that team over the remainder of the season ? And try as one might to take away some positives as to the ineptitude shown by the Chiefs , there is simply nothing that one could rest one’s laurels on ! GM Scott Pioli , and Romeo Crennell , are likely to be shown the door , that is unless team President & COO Clark Hunt believes that there is a chance that the franchise could indeed benefit by having that number one overall pick from the 2013 NFL Draft. There are, a compendium of issues that need to be addressed by the organization , and most of all , it starts with a quarterback that is certainly capable of getting the job done. That clearly not the case , given the abject failure and performances of both Matt Cassel and Brady Quinn, over the course of this season.

On Sunday the Kansas City Chiefs did themselves no favors in their cause, to avert the wrath of their long-suffering fans , as they fell to their eighth consecutive loss , in a 17-9 home defeat at the hands of Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos.

Week thirteen, and the Chiefs will entertain the Carolina Panthers at Arrowhead Stadium , in Kansas City, Missouri , in what will be seen as , a do-or-die game for both teams. The Panther , this season , have their own struggles , with a moribund defense , and a less than enthusiastic quarterback , in Cam Newton , who has seen fit to throw his teammates repeatedly under the bus , at every opportunity available , over the course of the season , as the losses have mounted up for the team. And Newton has done himself no favors with his petulant and immature behavior during the Panthers’ post-game conferences and the conducted interviews with the convened press. It begs the question , will the organization continue to ride on the coattails of an individual , in who, they have invested millions of dollars , if he continues to disrespect the franchise , its fans and the public in general ?

The NFL season now enters , its final four games of the regular season schedule , and for a number of teams , there is said to be a “ great deal on the line” . Post season aspirations being what they are , it would now be fair to say , that we know whom amongst the franchises are “ pretenders” and which are definitely “credible contenders” . With records being what they are however, I must admit , that I don’t believe that there has been one truly dominant franchise over the course of 2012 !

=================================================


=================================================

Picture gallery.

What to your mind has been the biggest disappointment this NFL season , beyond the initial lockout of the referees , and the ongoing saga concerning the New Orleans Saints ? Simply chime in with a comment as you see fit , on this and anything else you believe to be pertinent to the subject matter .

😉

Picture and slideshow details below .

———————————————————————————

(1)New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan reacts after quarterback Mark Sanchez fumbled and New England Patriots’ Steve Gregory returned it for a touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game on Thursday, Nov. 22, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Patriots would go on to defeat the Jets 49-19 in their divisional match-up this season . AP Photo/Bill Kostroun …

(2) New England Patriots strong safety Steve Gregory (28) is tackled by New York Jets running back Bilal Powell (29) after intercepting a pass during the first half of an NFL football game on Thursday, Nov. 22, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J. AP Photo/Bill Kostroun … (3) Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman (5) throws a pass as he is pressured by Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Corey Peters (91) during the first quarter of an NFL football game , Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012, in Tampa, Fla. AP Photo/Reinhold Matay …..

(4) Oakland Raiders head coach Dennis Allen , right, greets Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis after the Bengals’ 34-10 win in an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012, in Cincinnati. AP Photo/Tom Uhlman ….

(5) Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) passes as guard Clint Boling (65) blocks Oakland Raiders defensive tackle Tommy Kelly (93) in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012, in Cincinnati. AP Photo/David Kohl ….

(6) Oakland Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer (3) hugs Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) after the Bengals defeated the Raiders 34-10 in an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012, in Cincinnati. Palmer’s tenure with the Raiders so far can be best described as sporadic , for a team and organization that seems to have lost its identity and direction . AP Photo/David Kohl …..

(7) Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch (16) congratulates running back Chris Rainey after Rainey’s ——- 1-yard touchdown run against the Cleveland Browns in the second quarter of an NFL football game on Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012, in Cleveland. AP Photo/Ron Schwane …..

(8) San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) celebrates his rushing touchdown in the first half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints in New Orleans, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012.The 49ers won 31-21 . In what appears to be something of a budding quarterback controversy , it now looks as if Niners’ head coach Jim Harbaugh , will insert Kaepernick into the starting quarterback’s position role , thereby replacing Alex Smith . As to how this will be viewed by the Niners’ number one overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft , and the subsequent fact, that during the off-season the Niners’ front office pursued , then, free agent , Peyton Manning , might not sit well , with the now under-appreciated Smith. Kaepernick has started , a mere two games professionally in the NFL , but he is now seen as the Niners’ best option offensively, in terms of winning the subsequent games remaining on the team’s schedule . AP Photo/Bill Feig ….

(9) Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) talks with Kansas City Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel following an NFL football game at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012. The Broncos defeated the Chiefs 17-9 . Clark Hunt , team owner ,President & COO , may well seek to replace his beleaguered head coach and general manager , Scott Pioli , in light of the Chiefs’ disastrous 2012 season , which sees the franchise with the worst record in the NFL . AP Photo/Ed Zurga…

(10) Kansas City Chiefs running back Shaun Draughn (20) is tackled by Denver Broncos strong safety Mike Adams , right, during the first half of an NFL football game at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012. AP Photo/Charlie Riedel …..

———————————————————————————-

😉

———————————————————————————————

——————————————————————————————–

———————————————————————————————

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

=============================================

NFL related links : Courtesy of NFL.com Playoff picture : Saints still in hunt

Ben Roethlisberger to try and play in Steelers vs. Ravens

Josh Sitton of the Green Bay Packers , “ Giants beat our ass “

This site’s NFL related content . Click on link provided , here NFL

============================================

NFL news & ….. news from around the league

NFL results week 12

NFL standings by division

NFL standings by conference

NFL stats team

NFL player stats weekly leaders (week 12)

NFL schedule week 13

NFL Draft 2013

——————————

The Roots …. “ Don’t Say Nuthin’ ”

Too early to crown their ass ? Yes , because , they suck !

Too early to crown their ass ? Yes , because , they suck !

By Tophatal

Week eleven has closed its books , and lo and behold , the NFL is what we believed it to be , a watered down product , with one or two good teams, a number of marginal aspirants and several teams that have simply stunk up the joint , so far in the NFL schedule . And last night was further evidence of that as the often lofted expectations of the Chicago Bears , were one again brought back down to earth . I have often maintained, that Jay Cutler is simply not an elite quarterback , great arm , but his football IQ , might just be on par with that of Paris Hilton’s overall intelligence quotient . And please don’t try to suggest that Bears’ issues this season . has more to do with injuries , rather than their play on the field.

========================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


=======================================

Slideshow .

Having acquired former Miami Dolphins’ wide receiver , Brandon Marshall to add potency to the Bears’ offense , but it would appear that the team’s opponents this season have caught on to what actually makes Jay Cutler and this team , tick offensively.

Monday night’s game between the Chicago Bears and San Francisco 49ers was simply an unattractive affair , as only one team came to play . Suffice to say , that team certainly was not the Bears ! If anything , Lovie Smith , his coaching staff and the Chicago Bears should be hanging their heads in shame , after such an embarrassing display . As to their much vaunted defense, well it was nowhere to be seen . Granted , Cutler , was not on the field of play , as backup , Jason Campbell , was asked to assume the reins , for the absent Jay Cutler, who remained sidelined by an injury. But the night belonged to the Niners’ Colin Kapernick , as he led the team with his arms and his legs . Note to the Jets’ coaching staff , if you want to know how best to utilize the “ so-called “ best attributes of Tim Tebow , then please seek the advice of Jim Harbaugh and his coaching staff, you bunch of dumb morons ! Kapernick, was called in for the late scratch of starting quarterback , Alex Smith , who was still overcoming the effects of concussion suffered in week ten . The Niners’ 32-7 defeat of the Chicago Bears , gives Harbaugh’s team enough of a cushion within the labored NFC West, a division that simply can be so monstrously mediocre , even at the best of times. Week twelve , and the Forty Niners will be the guests of the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, in New Orleans , Louisiana , this upcoming Sunday. 25th October ,2012.

The Chicago Bears (7-3), are tied for first place in the NFC North , alongside the Green Bay Packers (7-3) , but the Packers , with a better divisional and conference record are as such viewed as the leaders of the division from a statistical standpoint. Lovie Smith and the Chicago Bears will entertain the Minnesota Vikings (6-4) , in a pivotal divisional game when the two teams meet. A loss for the Bears , would certainly put a dent in their divisional and postseason aspirations , but with the stakes being so high , an all-out win is the desired result, for this very inconsistent team.

Is it still OK , to harangue and lambast the Philadelphia Eagles for having such a horrendous season , when their head coach , Andy Reid, and quarterback , Michael Vick , are at the lowest points of their respective NFL careers ? Vick is having an indifferent season , and is now sidelined with a concussion . The team itself has lost focus , and their seems to be no vocal leadership coming forth from any member of this roster . Reid , head steadfastly stood by , in support of veteran quarterback , and with each passing moment , the calls for the coach’s dismissal , is getting louder and louder.

It certainly would be a magnanimous gesture , were Andy Reid to step down , rather than the head coach , being forced out , and dismissed , under the orders of team owner, Jeff Lurie and the executives of the Eagles’ front office . Coming off , another catastrophic loss , the Philadelphia Eagles’ season , seems to be going up in flames, while several players on the roster are giving a less, than adequate effort , in trying to reverse their misfortune. While, I do not believe that either the head coach or player would be sidelined , then to be dismissed at this point of the season , it is my belief , that one if not both will no longer be with the franchise at the beginning of the preseason in 2013. If Lurie and team President , Dan Smolenski and GM Howie Roseman , do make that switch, with a view to the hiring of a new head coach and quite seeking out a top-flight free agent quarterback , as well as obtaining a quarterback from the 2013 NFL Draft , then now might be the time to set the ball in motion, with regard to planning ahead. There are a number assistant head coaches in the NFL that might meet the requirements of the Eagles , yet in terms of a skilled enough player to assume the role of a starter , that may well prove to be more difficult of the two tasks , in question.

Call me naïve , but for the life of me , when I look at how far the Buffalo Bills have fallen from the years when they made four successive Superbowls in the nineties , which they each , lost , to my mind is simply astounding and staggering ! This is an organization where if a black cat were to walk across the path of one of their players , the next day , you might read about that very same player being placed on the injured-reserve list for the franchise . This team , has been snake bit , kicked in the head , and repeatedly punched in the mouth, as if they were participants in a street fight . I am not about to suggest that they are about to be “counted out” , but if there were a boxing referee in close proximity , he would be questioning the participant, as to whether or not , they could still carry on , while being able to protect themselves adequately. This season the Bills have not been able to protect anything , as their record (4-6) now seems to bear this out .

Head coach , Chan Gailey and his beleaguered coaching staff , now seem to be out of their depth , and it is my firm belief , that he will be one of several head coaching casualties that will be dismissed at the end of this season ! An indifferent start in 2012 has simply permeated through what we all witnessed in 2011 , with the team , and how they fell apart at the end of the season .

The front office of the Buffalo Bills , led by renowned general manager , Buddy Nix , has pretty much stated that the franchise will seek to draft a quarterback in the upcoming Draft , but therein lies the dilemma , because Nix. threw his support behind incumbent starter , Ryan Fitzpatrick , only for the player to have performed erratically over the course this season , with only fleeting moments where they player actually showed some signs progress and promise . his situation , has been further compounded by Fitzpatrick not being able to stay healthy , but at the same time , the team’s offensive line , has given the quarterback , very little protection , if any , that would assist him, in being effective in the efficiency of the offense . When Fitzpatrick was not available , it has been Tavaris Jackson , and Tyler Thigpen who have been entrusted, and asked, to step up to the plate , while offering meager returns, in such an instance. The picture simply does not get any clearer , when you view the options , beyond Fitzpatrick and Jackson as alternatives , at the position . Bleak , might be the appropriate ” word “ to be used !

Nix and Gailey sought to draft prudently in 2012 , to meet the team’s needs both on defense and offense , but the players taken , have yet to make their mark , either in the preseason or the regular season , for that matter. If the Bills are to fare any better over the remaining six games on their schedule , then it will be incumbent upon , Stephen Gilmore , Cordy Glenn, T J Graham, Nigel Badham , Ron Brooks , Zebrie Sanders , and Tank Carder , will have to show their zeal for the game , as the rookies on the roster. If there’s said to a bright spot on this Bills’ team , then the play of C J Spiller , Fred Jackson and Steve Johnson and Scott Chandler , Nick Barnett, and Donald Jones , might be the only high points that have been provided , from an otherwise disappointing season for the franchise .

Chan Gailey and his players will have to be wary, when they face the Indianapolis Colts , when the two teams meet at Lucas Oil Stadium , in Indianapolis , Indiana , in a week twelve showdown . The Colts are still “ smarting” from a tough lesson learned at the hands of the New England Patriots , who simply steamrolled over a young and resurgent Colts’ team , on their way to a 59-24 victory over Chuck Pagano’s players. . I am pretty sure that the bitter taste of defeat will have got Andrew Luck riled up enough to the point , where , he will want to redeem himself and get the team back to winning ways . This could be game to savor , if both teams are ready to play . but I somehow get the feeling that the Bills , will once again raise the “ white flag of surrender” , while taking on another defeat in the loss column! .

So the “prodigal son” has returned , as the Pittsburgh Steelers have signed Plaxico Burress , a Superbowl winner with the franchise . The wide receiver was acquired , because of a depleted receiving corps, due to injuries of players at the position , and never-mind the fact that , Ben Roethlisberger just isn’t able to find a receiver capable of holding onto the ball this= season, with any regularity . Burress , brings with him , an ability to make something out of nothing , and has always been a “ deep ball” threat , though that was never really on show , while he was with the New York Jets , for a mere season . Risks , versus reward ? Well , if it means that Mike Tomlin can get this team into the playoffs , after an indifferent season, then you simply know that once the postseason begins, this will be a roster playing with a purpose . . If there is one thing that is clear from this move , it is that Burress will relish the chance to reestablish himself as a one of best wide receivers in the NFL , but more to show his appreciation to the Steelers and their fans , and the place where he first made his name as a professional .

The Steelers are coming off a disappointing 13-10 loss to divisional rivals , the Baltimore Ravens , in a game , that if anything , meant a great deal more than the coaching staff would have you believe. Mental errors and an error prone Byron Leftwich , who substituted for an injured Ben Roethlisberger , essentially played its part , in the loss for the Steelers at Heinz Field , in Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania . Baltimore simply took advantage of the Steelers with a mix of a strong running game but above all , and their renowned defense , with Ed Reed leading by example , as his teammates followed his lead. Ravens’ head coach John Harbaugh , essentially summed it all up , in his postgame interview , when he stated , “ team effort” , “team defense and team offense, leads to wins” . And having opened up a two-game lead within the AFC North , at 8-2 , things right about now , are simply looking a great deal rosier for the Baltimore Ravens.

Both the Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers face not particular stern tests , in their next scheduled games , of which both are AFC match-ups . Mike Tomlin, will lead his Steelers into Paul Brown Stadium in Cleveland , Ohio, to face off against the Cleveland Browns , in a highly anticipated match-up of divisional rivals .

Baltimore, for their part will travel cross-country to face the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium , in San Diego , California . And how many times have you heard this before ? This might be the game that Norv Turner will either be made to sink or swim as the head coach of the Chargers . Let’s put it this way, Turner has simply used up all of the goodwill he could have mustered , because in recent years , but more notably so , this season , the performances of this team have been exceptionally mediocre ! A great deal of the responsibility for the current mess rests squarely on the shoulders of Turner , his coaching staff , general manager A J Smith , and the players, themselves .The mere fact that Smith and Chargers’ COO & Chairman , Dean Spanos , and his family, as owners of the franchise , countenanced the retention Norv Turner , after last season’s abysmal failure , clearly indicates to me that their happens to be , a complete lack of intelligence within the organization ! I firmly believe that Turner will be one of perhaps four or five head coaches , who quite possibly , will be shown the door at the end of this season !

Care to offer up an opinion or thought on the points raised within this ? Simply leave a comment as you see fit , and thanks as always for the continued support , as it is greatly appreciated !

😉

Slideshow details below .

=============================================================

(1) San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) talks with head coach Jim Harbaugh during the first half of an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears in San Francisco, Monday, Nov. 19, 2012. The 49ers would go on to defeat the Bears in a lopsided 32-7 victory AP Photo/Tony Avelar …

(2) Chicago Bears quarterback Jason Campbell (2) is sacked by San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle Justin Smith (94) and linebacker Aldon Smith , not pictured, during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game in San Francisco, Monday, Nov. 19, 2012. The 49ers won 32-7 . AP Photo/Tony Avelar ….

(3) San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore (21) leaps past Chicago Bears strong safety Major Wright (21) during the second quarter of an NFL football game in San Francisco, Monday, Nov. 19, 2012. AP Photo/Tony Avelar …

(4) Washington Redskins wide receiver Aldrick Robinson (11) celebrates his touchdown with defensive end Chris Baker (92) during the first half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles in Landover, Md., Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012. AP Photo/Nick Wass

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

(6) Buffalo Bills running back C.J. Spiller (28) goes against Miami Dolphins’ Karlos Dansby (58) during the first half of an NFL football game on Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012, in Orchard Park, N.Y. AP Photo/Gary Wiepert ..

(7) Head coach Pat Shurmur of the Cleveland Browns shakes hands with head coach Chan Gailey of the Buffalo Bills after the Bills defeated the Browns at Cleveland Browns Stadium on September 23, 2012 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Bills defeated the Browns 24-14 . Getty Images North America / Jason Miller …

(8) FILE – In this Dec. 18, 2011, file photo, New York Jets wide receiver Plaxico Burress (17) catches a pass for a touchdown in front of Philadelphia Eagles corner-back Nnamdi Asomugha (24) during the second half of an NFL football game in Philadelphia. The Pittsburgh Steelers signed Burress on Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012, to provide depth at a position decimated by injuries . AP Photo/Matt Slocum …

(9) Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Byron Leftwich (4) walks off the field after a 13-10 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in an NFL football game in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012. AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar …

(10) Head coach Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers works the sidelines during a game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on November 4, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. …

(11) San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) is sacked by Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller (58) in the second quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) ….

(12) Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) is greeted by San Diego Chargers coach Norv Turner at the end of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012, in Denver. The Broncos won 30-23. AP Photo/Jack Dempsey …..

(13) San Diego Chargers’ first-round draft pick Larry English , second from right, holds up his new jersey as, from left to right, general manager A.J. Smith, team President & CEO Dean Spanos and head coach Norv Turner look on during a news conference Sunday, April 26, 2009, in San Diego. English, a linebacker, is from Northern Illinois. AP Photo/Jack Smith ……….

=================================================================

NFL related articles :

Aaron Hernandez will return for New England Patriots

DeAngelo Hall involved in altercation with reporter

Aaron Curry waived by Oakland Raiders

Ed Reed wins appeal of NFL suspension for Ravens : Upset with fine

NFL pieces within this site .

😉

=============================================

NFL news & — news from around the league

NFL results week 11

NFL standings by division

NFL standings by conference

NFL transactions

NFL team injuries

NFL free agents

NFL schedule week 12

😉

Buffalo Bills news

Philadelphia Eagles news

================================== ============================

D`Angelo …… “Cruisin’ ”