Tedium, even in the world of sports … no real stories to be found, unless it meets an agenda

Tedium, even in the world of sports … no real stories to be found, unless it meets an agenda

Something of an uneventful weekend in the world of sports , albeit, that the Winter Olympics are being staged in Sochi , Russia , with the US Olympic Team likely to come away from the events’ staging with a slightly less medal haul than anticipated . From my own standpoint the USOC faces a hard time trying the sell the event as something worthwhile for the nation to be engrossed in . Other than the NHL’s hockey stars on parade , no one in particular , is likely to be interested in a number of events being staged, Granted, for “athletes” such as Shani Davis , Shaun White , Lolo Jones , Ted Ligety , Julia Mancuso and Bode Miller their life-long devotion and preparation for these Olympics are to be commended , but five months from now , are we as a whole , really going to remember who won the country’s first gold medal ?

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For NBC , as the sole broadcast partner for the event in the US and their continued ties to the IOC , with such largess , has me asking the question , is the network able to garner any type of meaningful profit the entire broadcast of the Winter Olympics ? I have no doubt, that for the Summer Games , it does become a formidable success for the network , but is now becoming abundantly clear that NBC may well have to look at how it televised the games and the current arrangement they have with the IOC and fees paid to the institution for the broadcast rights . With a mere five days to go before the staging of the games comes to a close , it will certainly be interesting to see how Team USA acquits itself over the remainder of the games’ schedule .

The NFL postseason came to an end with something of a whimper , as the Seattle Seahawks waylaid the ambitions of the Denver Broncos , on their way to a lopsided 43-8 victory over the AFC based franchise. For five-time winning, league MVP , Peyton Manning , this may well have been the quarterback’s last appearance in the NFL’s postseason finale. It is my own believe however , Manning will make return in , as he and his teammates seek to redeem themselves after their embarrassing loss to the Seahawks.

This off-season and we are likely to see Broncos’ team President John Elway , head coach John Fox and the coaching staff seeking to assess the needs of the team before coming to a decision as to the impending status of a number of the roster’s free agents , and their cap-hit to the franchise . It is my opinion in spite of the depreciation in his productivity , running back, Knowshon Moreno is likely to be retained, to give the team that one-two punch we have seen throughout the NFL this past season , as teams around the league seek to bolster the alternatives for their rushing game.

In the buildup to the 2014 NFL Draft , where already there has been a great deal of speculation as to whether or not Jadeveon Clowney , Johnny Manziel , Blake Bortles or Teddy Bridgewater will be taken as the number one pick overall . Clearly a case can be made for either of the four players mentioned , but the decision will be left with Rick Smith , head coach Bill O’Brien and the coaching staff of the Houston Texans . After the team’s struggles this past season, with their injuries and the startling regression in the play of Matt Schaub , it is clear that the franchise needs a new option at the position once and for all , rather than relying on a veteran, whose best years are behind him and certainly not ahead of him, as far as his future is concerned.

Though Matt Schaub is not a free agent until 2017 , his cap hit to the Texans for this upcoming season will be $14.125 million , leaving the team a little more than $2.52 million at this juncture , but his being released would save the franchise a considerable amount , in order to bolster the franchise by way of free agency and the Draft itself. I believe, like another seasoned veteran quarterback, Michael Vick of the Philadelphia Eagles will be amongst a litany of free agent quarterbacks are likely to hit the free agency market , with many of these players likely to find a team as a backup , rather than being a starter. Vick for his part, may well believe that he is still capable to contribute to a team as a starting quarterback , but from my own perspective , he no longer possesses the skill-set to fulfill that role and it was a clear reason why Eagles’ head coach Chip Kelly felt that Nick Foles was a far better option at the position , during this past season.

With Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama , as well as Roger Goodell , DeMaurice Smith , actress and gay rights’ activist Ellen Page coming out in support of Michael Sam’s openness as to his sexuality as being a gay athlete. The prospective second or third round draft pick and defensive lineman with the Missouri Tigers is on the cusp of making NFL history as the league’s first openly gay and active player. Social advances being what they are, the NFL still remains in the dark ages , in spite of the ongoing plaudits . As befitting a league, that hides behind veils of secrecy with regards to its business practices the NFL is and will remain homophobic , misogynistic and where racism is seen as a comedic part of its environment ,rather than being frowned upon with disdain. As to it, being part of the locker room workplace , is that not a great deal of hypocrisy on the part of the NFL , that allegedly tries to portray racial diversity as a positive within its league ? Consider the fact that the NFL itself , while its player personnel is made up of more than 73% of its players being of a minority background , the league itself does not have one African-American owner , other than minority stakeholder Reggie Fowler of the Minnesota Vikings. Shahid Khan , owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars , born in Pakistan , but now a naturalized American citizen , is the only other owner of color within the NFL . We already know the makeup of the coaching staffs , with just about every franchise in the league with a minority on their coaching staff , with general managers such Rick Smith , Ozzie Newsome , Ray Farmer , Reggie McKenzie and Martin Mayhew being of color in those executive positions. Amongst the league’s hierarchy working directly under NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, the only person of note , who appears publicly by way of any issue is Adolpho Birch III , Legal Counsel and a senior adviser to Goodell on labor related issues .

With the findings of Ted Lewis’ alleged in-depth investigation of the Miami Dolphins and the behavior of Richie Incognito and three of his teammates in what was deemed unacceptable and conduct detrimental to the league . It begs the question, of those who are suggesting that this is simply locker room humor and not much more than that . Then can someone explain to me, what is said to comedic about misogyny and being sexually explicit in nature, in wanting to sodomize a teammate’s mother and sister ? Never mind the fact, that Incognito and teammate Mike Pouncey are said to have not only directed sexually offensive barbs at Jonathan Martin , but also to an assistant coach on the Dolphins’ roster . How this all could have escaped Joe Philbin’s attention is either an indication of the lax environment within the Miami Dolphins’ organization and the ongoing incompetence that has been shown by the franchise and the initial idiotic response from team owner , Stephen Ross . As to the fans , somehow trying to excuse this type of behavior, as mere school-boyish behavior , it is time for their dumb ass to grow the ##ck up, use common sense and show some intelligence for once !

Both Incognito , John Jerry and Mike Pouncey have been cut by the franchise , but there are rumblings that newly appointed general manager Dennis Hickey would like to reinstate and retain Pouncey as he is said to have provided the franchise with a great deal of productivity this past season . It simply now begs the question , is Hickey not intelligent enough by even proposing such an action , does he not realize that , this will not resolve the matter and places the franchise within the midst of another maelstrom of ongoing idiocy and incompetency ?

As if the image of the league could not be tarnished any further , Darren Sharper , former player in the NFL , a Superbowl champion with the New Orleans Saints and until recently , an on-air analyst with the NFL Network . Sharper, has since been suspended indefinitely, without pay by the league owned broadcast outlet, until the legal ramifications of his case have been resolved . Darren Sharper has been indicted on three accounts of sexual assault , but it would appear that there are as many as eight other incidents, that are now said to be under investigation , in which the former NFL player is said to be primary suspect in each of the alleged sexual attacks. As to what this says about Sharper’s sexual proclivities , predilection and behavior , once again points to the league’s own ongoing policy in dealing with player misconduct . One of the allegations in question dates back to Sharper’s days as a player in the NFL , and how this all could have escaped the league, may well have been predicated upon pressure being exerted by the player against his victim. The lines have been blurred, with regard to this matter, wherein these incidents, though reported, were never dealt with expeditiously by the law enforcement agencies, when first brought to their attention.

As and when a trial date is set concerning Darren Sharper , one can expect the usual “circus “ to come into being , with the national media , print and television, covering this legal process in its entirety.

The NBA this past weekend, scheduled its festivities, that encapsulates the All Star Weekend . Suffice to say, with outgoing commissioner David Stern stepping down to be succeeded by Adam Silver , a new chapter is about to begin within the league. With some still trying suggest the spectacle as being a fan friendly atmosphere, where the fans and players can mingle, can be viewed with a great deal of credulity . For the players themselves , the segue simply provides them with the opportunity to take a break from a long and arduous eighty-two game regular season schedule , while being handsomely being rewarded by way of bonuses and incentives for simply making the roster within either East or Western Conference. As to the thought that the games themselves are actually competitively or even remotely entertaining , can be viewed by the exertion shown by the participants over the course of the weekend in its entirety . In reality , the All Star Game festivities for the NBA , is no better or worse than the NFL’s self-styled Pro Bowl Game . Need I really say anymore on the matter , other than the fact that this particular NBA All Star game that ended in victory for the Eastern Conference and provided the fans with nothing of any tangible value ?

The trade deadline within the NBA is on the 20th February , with the deadline being 4.00 PM (EST) on Thursday afternoon. It certainly will be interesting to see whether or not the teams vying for a divisional title or playoff berth will seek to bolster their fortunes and that of their rosters , as they seek to play themselves into contention over the remainder of the regular season schedule. One of the more intriguing stories may well be that, of the willingness of New York Knicks’ star Carmelo Anthony and his true intentions, as to whether or not he wishes to remain a life-long Knicks’ player or once again seek to move on elsewhere . Such has been the indifference of the team’s season , going from victory to defeat , without ever really being able to out together series of rousing results that would simply be of benefit to the franchise . One can either seek to blame the coaching staff of Mike Woodson , or place the burden of the responsibility of their lackluster season , squarely upon the shoulders of the players .

Whether or not Carmelo Anthony has sought assurances from the Knicks’ hierarchy that they will seek to acquire players in order to make a concerted effort at a playoff berth , is solely dependent upon the communiques emanating from the front office . This much is clear , Mike Woodson is just as much as clueless as the fans of the franchise , as to what the outcome of this saga is likely to be . Neither GM Steve Mills or team owner, James Dolan are prepared to issue a statement at this time . Yet , I cannot help but wonder , how the fans might view this all should the All Star player be traded at the deadline or make it public of his intent to opt out of the final year of his contract ! The only likely winner, in this outcome , will be Carmelo Anthony , himself . The team will resume the second half of their schedule with a game on Wednesday night when they are the guests of the Memphis Grizzlies , who lead their season series 1-0.

As monstrous as the play has been within the Eastern Conference , there are very few positive that one can take out of the season, thus far or at its culmination. We are likely to see seven of the conference’s fifteen teams end the year with a sub . 500 record . It that is not a damning indictment of the state of play not only within East, but also, as it relates to the brand of basketball being played . Then I would like to know what is at this juncture and how the league hierarchy , general managers , owners , coaches and the players themselves consider this to be acceptable to the paying fans who either attend the games or watching from the comfort of their home !

We are, but a week away from the beginning of Spring Training and the beginning of the baseball season . As a die-hard baseball fan , it is the one time of the year I begin to circle dates on my calendar, seeking out which of the Atlanta Braves’ games I am likely to attend on their exhibition schedule . The joy of the regular season in 2013 and the team’s triumph in winning the NL East with effortless ease which had to be tempered by their dismal failure in the wildcard round of the postseason , with their lopsided series’ (3-1) defeat to the Los Angeles Dodgers .

Braves’ manager Fredi Gonzalez and the managerial staff were far too laid back with regard to their approach in the postseason , leading to the team’s abrupt demise. That being said, there are lessons to be learned by the veterans and youngsters on the team as well as the entire coaching staff and organization itself. Complacency leads to mistakes and those mistakes were highlighted in the team’s play, as exhibited in the postseason. Jason Heyward , Evan Gattis , Craig Kimbrell , Justin Upton and elder sibling BJ Upton will now have to lead by example if this team in its current guise is to succeed and make further inroads within regard to their postseason play.

Brian McCann’s departure to join the New York Yankees and the team’s five-year $85 million offer was too good to refuse . It now creates a situation where Gattis, Ryan Doumit , Gerald Laird and Christian Bethancourt , the chance to vie for the catcher’s spot on the roster. A contest, that I believe will be very competitive on all fronts concerning the players in question ! Atlanta will begin their exhibition schedule , with a game against the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday 26th February in Lake Buena Vista, Florida . This will be one of the seven contests being staged on the day of what will be the second day of the Spring Training Schedule around Major League Baseball .

In baseball there are few players as greatly appreciated , beloved and celebrated as Hank Aaron , the Hall of Fame great and perhaps the most revered player in Atlanta Braves’ history . Other than, Jackie Robinson , perhaps no other African-American player is more renowned and well-respected within baseball . The octogenarian recently suffered a fall while walking on some slippery ice, breaking his right hip and will undergo hip replacement surgery , in the aftermath of the incident . Aaron now a special consultant with the Braves, as well as being a Senior Vice President could be seen regularly walking in around the offices of the organization, simply showing his appreciation of the work being done by the employees from the senior executives on down, to those working within the clubhouse . The thought that he is unlikely to be at the team’s opening game of their Spring Season schedule, might be somewhat of a disappointment , but hopefully , having undergone the initial part of his physical therapy , he will be available for the Atlanta Braves’ opening home game as part of the regular season opener, which will be played against the Milwaukee Brewers on the 31st March , 2014 at Turner Field in Atlanta, Georgia .

Baseball needs its heroes from the past , because the current generation of players currently within the game , have been a poor example of sportsmanship , much less showing respect for the game , with a few exceptions. Unfortunately, with the league hierarchy being weakened by the unrivaled power of the MLBPA (union) , anything bordering on meaningful legislation being proposed by the league , has been often pushed back , if not completely “watered down “ or negated altogether . Bud Selig and his cast of minions within the league’s headquarters have become cartoon caricatures , with their being little real leadership being shown by the MLB Commissioner or any of his subordinates . With his prolonging the length of stay as the game’s highest ranking executive , it begs the question who is likely to want fill what will still remain a vacuum , in terms of the ongoing leadership hierarchy within the game ? Baseball’s team owners are only interested in reaping the financial rewards that are available , while seeing value of their ball-clubs appreciate substantially over the past few years . Something I believe , was brought on by the sales of both the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers , whose sales combined purchase price , saw the buyers pay out an astonishing $2.924 billion for the two franchises in question !

The expectations will be high this season within baseball , with several teams seen as likely divisional contenders as well for the respective pennants within the AL and NL . For myself , personally, I would like nothing better than to see a competitive season , without their being the continued controversies that have eclipsed the fans’ enjoyment of the game with the ongoing claims of cheating as associated with the use of PED’s . The fans deserve a great deal better from the players , owners , front office executives , but most of all from the custodians of MLB , who remain led by a bumbling stumbling imbecile in Bud Selig , whose departure from the game , cannot come around soon enough ! A February 2014 , retirement now seems to be a thing of the past , as the incumbent led us to originally believe , that he would be stepping aside roughly at the same time as his close friend David Stern . Rumors abound that the commissioner’s departure, might not now, take place, until mid to late 2016. Really, isn’t it enough , that a Presidential electoral cycle will be in full swing without the fans of baseball having to concede , that the search for Selig’s successor may well take precedence over the next buffoon likely to lead the country ?

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(1) Shani Davis of the United States competes during the Men’s 1000m Speed Skating event during day 5 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Adler Arena Skating Center on February 12, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. Getty Images Europe / Quinn Rooney ….

(2) Bobsledder Lolo Jones of the United States visits the set of The Today Show ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics in the Olympic Park on February 3, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. . Getty Images / Scott Halleran …

(3) Snowboarder Shaun White (L) enters the stadium with the United States Olympic Team during the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Fisht Olympic Stadium on February 7, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. Ryan Pierse / Getty Images ….

(4) Denver Broncos’ head coach John Fox is seen here alongside the team’s wide receiver Eric Decker (87) as the Broncos enter unto the field at MetLife Stadium prior to the start of the Superbowl contest against the Seattle Seahawks . Denver would go on to lose that game in a lopsided loss 43-8 . Getty Images/ Stephen Dunn …..

(5) (L-R) Houston Texans Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Officer Cal McNair , head coach Bill O’Brien , General Manager Rick Smith and owner , Bob McNair pose together at a press conference at Reliant Stadium on January 3, 2014 in Houston, Texas. Getty Images / Scott Halleran ….

(6) Four college players all with the aspiration to be the number one pick in the upcoming 2014 NFL Draft . From left to right , Blake Bortles, Johnny Manziel , Teddy Bridgewater and Jadeveon Clowney . In some circles Clowney out of South Carolina is seen as the consensus #1 overall pick and is favored by a number of coaches and NFL scouting analysts . AP Photo / Keith Farmer ……

(7) Mike Sam of the Missouri Tigers , who recently revealed that he is a gay college athlete, has been commended on his stance and his proclamation . Commended by his peers within the college game and within the NFL . It remains to be seen whether or not the player is likely to be drafted as a potential first or second round pick as most believe the defensive lineman will be taken . With the NFL in the midst of a great deal of controversy , encapsulating racism , misogyny and homophobia without the continued hypocrisy of league officials and players themselves, all adding into the mix. The NFL currently has an image problem, socially , that it has no idea how deal with or fix with any degree of success . Matthew Garvey / UPI Inc….

(8) 1/8/14 Owings Mills, Md. — Pictured are from left to right , Baltimore Ravens’ General Manager Ozzie Newsome , team owner Steve Bisciotti’s and head coach John Harbaugh , who were present for the 2012 end of the season review news conference. Newsome is one of six general managers within the NFL of a minority background . Photo by Kevin Richardson / Baltimore Sun Staff ….

(9) Ignorance can be bliss but being an @sshole might well best suited to pictured duo, Miami Dolphins’ teammates , Richie Incognito and Mike Pouncey (61) . Both players have since been released by the organization , with their now being persistent rumors that GM Dennis Hickey may well seek to bring back Pouncey for the upcoming season 2014-15 NFL season . Getty Images / Michael Anderson …..

(10) Darren Sharper is seen here with his attorney Blair Berk of noted Los Angeles’ law firm Tarlow & Berk LLC at the scene of his arraignment having been charged in the rape of three females . @ copyrighted material TMZ Sports all rights reserved

(11) New York Knicks’ team owner , James Dolan , right, is seen where with head coach Mike Woodson . Bearing a record of 20-32 the Knicks currently lay third within the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference and 2 1/2 games out of the eighth and final spot within the conference , where the Charlotte Bobcats (23-30) currently hold that final qualifying berth . With Carmelo Anthony being somewhat ambivalent , as to his long-term future and their being no apparent intent from the front office to bolster the team’s roster , there very well could be a major trade in the offing with the departure of the All Star forward . AP Photo / Peter Patterson …..

(12) Feb. 28, 2012- LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL: Atlanta Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez , right, talks with catcher prospect Evan Gattis , left, during the fourth full squad workout at Champion Stadium in the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex Tuesday morning in Lake Buena Vista, Fl., Feb. 28, 2012. Gattis is seen as the likely successor to Brian McCann as the team’s regular season catcher for the 2014 season , but Gonzalez also has other options at the position. Atlanta Journal Constitution / Jason Getz …. jgetz@ajc.com

(13) From left to right BJ Upton . Jason Heyward and Justin Upton of the Atlanta Braves . All three players will have to contribute greatly on both sides of the game in terms of offense and defense if the Braves are to fare well over the course of their season as they seek to repeat as NL East divisional champions and make an even deeper run in the postseason . AP Photo Mark Hurst ………

ARLINGTON, TX – OCTOBER 31: Baseball Hall of Famer Hank Aaron looks on prior to the Texas Rangers playing against the San Francisco Giants in Game Four of the 2010 MLB World Series at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on October 31, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. Aaron who suffered fracturing his hip , had to undergo hip replacement surgery in the aftermath of the fall and is likely to miss the ball-club’s opening game of their exhibition season as well their regular season home opener against the Milwaukee Brewers at Turner Field , in Atlanta , Georgia ,. Aaron remembered as the player who broke the career home runs’ record held by Babe Ruth , has since seen that mark surpassed by the now retired Barry Bonds , who was passed over this year for induction into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown , New York . Photo by Elsa Martinez / Getty Images ….

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They’re human as well , but they don’t always show it , seeking to hide behind that veil of whatever

They’re human as well , but they don’t always show it , seeking to hide behind that veil of whatever

It is a quiet time in world of sports , albeit, that the NFL is likely to provide the fans with what is likely to be the most important pair of games of its entire schedule . The league’s AFC and NFC championship games are scheduled for Sunday afternoon , where the Seattle Seahawks will play host to the San Francisco 49ers , their divisional rivals. Whereas, the AFC provides us with just as thrilling a contest , as Tom Brady and the New England Patriots travel to Mile High Stadium in Denver Colorado to meet the Denver Broncos .

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This particular AFC match-up is all the more intriguing, as it pits Tom Brady against .Peyton Manning for the fifteen time of their already historic NFL careers . Along the way, both players have provided the fans with some spectacular performances. This time around , with a Superbowl berth on the line , it would take a soothsayer to predict the outcome of this game. From my own personal standpoint as a die-hard Patriots’ fan , I am simply hoping that Brady and his teammates are able to prevail in this contest ! Anything short of that, and I will be extremely disappointed.

Away from the spectacle of this weekend’s contest, a disturbing trend continues to rear its ugly head within the game and that is the continued apparent misconduct of players off the field of play. If the allegations are to be believed, even in light of his being charged with indecent exposure , lewd and lascivious behavior, while seated in his Cadillac Escalade , where Kellen Winslow Jr was said to have been caught masturbating, in the parking lot of a Target store in New Jersey. No one can deny, that the career of New York Jets’ tight end , has been an extreme disappointment. Having to follow in the footsteps of a famous father, with a Hall of Fame career, is an extremely tough act to follow , without having your patriarch , Kellen Winslow Sr, watch your every move both on and off the field of play.

How this now all pans out for Kellen Winslow Jr , will be dependent upon the course of action sought by the prosecutors and whether they believe there is enough evidence to proceed to trial , with a case. The player suggests that , it was simply case of the witness having been mistaken and that his actions were not unlawful , with his simply stopping in the parking lot to get his bearings as he sought out a local restaurant . If your vehicle a Cadillac Escalade has GPS tracking navigation , then Winslow’s explanation, does seem somewhat dubious to say the very least. Yet somehow, his lawyers, are likely to suggest that this whole incident, is much ado about nothing , with the press and prosecution seeking to make an example of another high-profiled athlete.

As disturbing as Kellen Winslow’s situation might now appear to be , there are now allegations being leveled against NFL Network analyst and former New Orleans Saints’ defensive player Darren Sharper . Sharper has been released on $200,000 bail, on related charges of two alleged sexual assaults that took place within the space of a month. One incident is said to have taken place in December, with the second assault , in early January of this year. Darren Sharper maintains his innocence, but such has been the gravity and seriousness of the allegations made , that the NFL Network has taken action, suspending the analyst without pay .

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and the league hierarchy , admittedly , are almost powerless to stop the deal with the behavioral conduct of the players , never-mind the fact that Goodell’s union counterpart DeMaurice Smith of the NFLPA and the union’s executive committee do not see this as a serious issue concerning the ongoing conduct of their members. It certainly , has not helped also , by the actual conduct of the players’ legal counsel , when cases such as this arise. More often than not, they are likely to seek to paint the alleged plaintiff or victim , as a money seeker or someone of disrepute. The NFL Commissioner’s powers have become muted and his bark is now worse than his bite. A collective bargaining agreement ratified and voted upon by the union is not worth the paper it is written on , when at every turn the NFPLA seeks to challenge the authority of the league hierarchy in rendering any type of action against a player.

With the ongoing investigation and quite possibly, pending legal action against Darren Sharper. It will be interesting to see the direction this whole matter now takes and what the outcome might possibly be. As to the on-field spectacle and what we ought to expect this postseason , well that will certainly be predicated upon the play of the four remaining teams at this stage of the season.

Well, the idiocy of the Alex Rodriguez saga has now ended , with the New York Yankees’ third basemen abandoning his bid to have his suspension overturned by the US Federal Appellate Court . The fact that Rodriguez sought to go ahead with this façade ,while seeking to maintain his innocence, even when it was suggested originally that he sought to have the two hundred fourteen game suspension meted out by baseball’s hierarchy, be lowered in line with the deal offered to Milwaukee Brewers’ player Ryan Braun . Rodriguez did his co-legal counselors Joe Tacpoina and David Cornwell no favors, in choosing to disparage the MLB arbitrator Fredric Horowitz and MLB Commissioner Bud Selig , prior to Horowitz rendering his verdict.

Tacpoina and Cornwell offered no evidence , to suggest that their client was innocent , but maintained that the league’s case , was simply weak and built upon the illegal gathering of evidence , which was used to substantiate their case against Alex Rodriguez . Clearly, Alex Rodriguez could not take the stand during the arbitration hearing , because in all likelihood, he would have perjured himself and provided the league with a legal case against him, were they to choose such a route. The player’s civil suit against MLB and the New York Yankees’ chief medical physician was also abandoned, with Rodriguez issuing a public statement while in Mexico City , that he would now put the whole issue behind him , while seeking to rest and recuperate throughout the entire 2014 baseball season , reassessing the things said to be important to him , before resuming his career in 2015.

The length of Alex Rodriguez’s suspension may have been lowered to one hundred and sixty-two games, with it being the greatest penalty , ever rendered against a player for their involvement with performance enhancing drugs. However, the league still faces an uphill battle to abate the proliferating use of steroids and other illicit substances at the Major League Level , but even more so, at the Minor League Level , where it has reached epidemic proportions , with over 150 players having been ensnared in baseball’s testing protocols in the past three years, alone.

If and when Alex Rodriguez returns to the game of baseball , it is hard to simply to look at his career achievements without questioning just about every aspect of those statistics over the past ten years , if not more . The player was less than candid, concerning his involvement with steroid use , after being repeatedly being questioned by not only members of the press but also by investigators from Major League Baseball, as well as by senior officials and investigators from within the Yankees’ organization . We should also take into account Rodriguez’s actions in 2007 , when questioned on air, by CBS news’ anchor Katie Couric as to his alleged use of steroids. Then, as now , he refuted those allegations , only to do an about-face in February 2009 , finally admitting his use , while offering a less than contrite apology to the New York Yankees , Major League Baseball and to his fans. I am beginning to wonder wholeheartedly , if the fans who came out in support of Alex Rodriguez this time around , have actually forgotten the events of 2009 ? Or are they simply that naïve and stupid enough to believe that the player remains innocent of any wrongdoing , concerning the allegations made against him ? Rodriguez’s pattern of behavior, has been there for all to see and it now begs the question , what else should we continue to believe concerning the player and his new-found persona ?

As the NBA season proceeds , the consensus of opinion of the vast majority of fans , has been , who is likely to mount a serious enough challenge to topple the defending NBA champions from their throne ? The Miami Heat in their last few games may well have had a few hiccups along with the way, with some notable losses against lesser teams . Those series of defeats, are only likely to force LeBron James to show even more resilience , while seeking to lead his teammates to even greater heights .

Coming off a well-deserved victory over the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania, Miami will continue with their road schedule , meeting the Charlotte Bobcats on Saturday night at the Time Warner Center in Charlotte , North Carolina , before ending that schedule with a further away game against the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday evening . I get the feeling that as the NBA’s most watched team at present by way of attendance , outgoing commissioner David Stern is seeking to maximize the Miami Heat’s exposure globally , for the sake of the NBA brand , knowing that the league’s biggest selling point is LeBron James . Michael Jordan , may well have retired from with the game , with his accomplishments and legacy unquestioned. A new era, has dawned, with James casting a gigantic shadow over the NBA , seeking to rewrite records and adding his name to list of greats within the NBA’s pantheon of greatest players .

Only time will tell, if LeBron James goes on to surpass the feats of Jordan as well Kareem Abdul Jabbar . Ten years into an astonishing career and James continues to add to his already unbelievable repertoire as a player . It was once felt, that Kobe Bryant might well have been the closest thing we would ever see concerning the skill-set of Michael Jordan. Yet, I now firmly believe that James will surpass anything that Bryant will achieve, as the Los Angeles Lakers player sees his career , begin to wind down . Bryant may well have signed a two-year $48.5 million contract to remain in Los Angeles , but unless the franchise develops talent from within, as well as making several beneficial trades, the player and the Lakers are likely to continue with their struggles .

While Miami continues to flourish within their division and the Eastern Conference , albeit, that the New York Knicks seems to have found something of a rhythm to their game . There now seems to be an issue with the team and whether or not Mike Woodson can get the players to buy into his coaching philosophy. Considering the egos , that make up the current roster and the very fact that beyond Carmelo Anthony and his continued play , there seems to be no real desire by his teammates to follow his example . In what now appears to be a heated altercation, where words were exchanged between JR Smith and Woodson were said to have gone toe-to-toe , as if both were ready have a real pugilistic bout between the pairing .

Smith, having already been suspended, once this season, for what was deemed a transgression of league rules. It now appears that he is creating an environment, where he is likely to be jettisoned by the franchise , rather their having to deal with his continued infantile behavior . The likely outcome, may well be that GM Steve Mills will seek to engineer a trade , rather than keep JR Smith on the roster. Smith for his part , suggests that he is simply an emotional player , who often lets his emotions get the better of him , while also exploding with angry outbursts , directed at those who , he believes are against him. From my viewpoint , it suggests not only a player with anger management issues, but someone who is close to being psychotic and a danger to himself as well as those around him ! It is bad enough that the Knicks have to put up with Smith’s bad behavior , and then you consider the ” poster child ” for such tirades , Metta World Peace , also just happens to be teammate of JR Smith.

A fourteen point loss at home to the Los Angeles Clippers , where the Knicks showed the defensive capability of a group of octogenarians with hemorrhoidal problems as the Clippers simply manhandled their opponent through the entire four quarters of regular play . Yet, somehow, Knicks’ fans truly believe that this team is capable of doing something special this season. If the postseason of 2012 , was anything to go by , the New York Knicks are likely to be brushed aside in the first round of play , much like dust might be swept under the carpet, in order that those with an aversion to cleaning , simply wanting to create the impression that their home is habitable and hospitable. Not unlike the Knicks and their continued aversion to playing defense in any form when it comes to the NBA.

It looks as if former seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong just cannot keep himself out of the news. Having repeatedly lied about his use of banned substances, the now retired cyclist still seeks the public’s empathy and forgiveness. To my mind, the deceit and lies while using an illness (testicular cancer) to simply solicit tens of millions of dollars millions out of corporate and public donors , shows Armstrong to be no better than a snake-oil salesman and that of a common criminal ! While we are it , how is it , that to date, neither the US Justice Department or the US Postal Service has sought to go after Armstrong and recoup the $35 million of funds used to sponsor the cyclist ? Though the Postal Service is meant to be a stand-alone for profit entity , though it comes under the oversight of the federal government and where its debts are guaranteed by the government. In other words, the US taxpayer has the privilege of paying off any debt incurred by the USPS, were they unable to meet their liabilities. Good to know that the US government can be continued to be relied upon to show its continued incompetency while seeking to show that it remains the greatest country in the world . Really? LOL,LOL,LOL !!!

Armstrong, remains a pariah and amongst his former peers within cycling, he is looked upon with a great deal of disdain . Yet, it can be said , that the sport of cycling, as overseen by the Swiss based ICU (Union Cycliste International) has done little to truly clean up the sport , including the protocols now in place by the IOC (International Olympic Committee). Cycling’s biggest event , the Tour de France, features prominently on its calendar and is viewed as the doyenne of all the road events throughout the year , including the year when the Summer Olympics are scheduled.

A patron of this site, once suggested that Lance Armstrong’s once renowned charity Livestrong , could continue and be a success without the athlete being its main spokesperson. Well, subsequent to his admission of guilt, the charity has seen donations be impacted to the extent , where they have fallen way below projected estimates . Lance Armstrong had to be removed from the board of directors, with his no longer being associated with the charity under any circumstance . One reaps what they sow, and for Armstrong, the lies and deceit have come back to bite him in the ass , in more ways than one and deservedly so. Now looking for the public’s compassion, Lance Armstrong now seeks to reinvent himself as a humanitarian and goodwill ambassador . If only , he used the intelligence given to him , to genuinely display those traits to begin with , before entering into his delusional world of make belief , while seeking to discredit those who knew of his web of lies and deceit .

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One might believe, that fact, is stranger than fiction , but consider the following, Alex Rodriguez studiously followed the issues of Lance Armstrong and the two stars became close friends . Need one suggest, that in this particular instance , birds of a feather flock together ? Enmity between two of today’s biggest frauds in the world of sports and yet , each has their legions of supporters out there, still believing that neither has done anything wrong. ? Enmity between two of today’s biggest frauds in the world of sports and yet , each has their legions of supporters out there still believing that neither has done anything wrong. It would be remiss to suggest that Lance Armstrong did not bring a slew of new supporters to the sport of cycling with his success , but now knowing it was built on a great deal of fraud , with his own posse of accomplices , I cannot help but wonder why the now disgraced cyclist never felt that his house of lies would never come crashing down , the moment he sought to harangue many of those who were once closest to him at the time! Was he really that conceited and naïve, along with showing a great deal of stupidity on his part? Unfortunately, this is all too often, is lost on the fans and various areas of the public , who continue to show a great deal of apathy when these individuals fall from grace . In light of the points raised within this article do you believe that the hierarchy’s of the various sports act with a great deal of vigilance when dealing with athlete misconduct ? Leave a comment , as you see fit and thanks as always for the continued support of the site and its content , as it is greatly appreciated !

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Picture and slideshow details below .

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(1) Denver Broncos’ quarterback Peyton Manning is in the scrimmage of the team at Sports Authority Field in Denver, CO. Saturday, August 4, 2012 while speaking to head coach John Fox . Manning and Fox will seek a berth in the Superbowl by defeating the New England Patriots on Sunday afternoon when the two meet in the AFC championship game . This will be the fifteenth professional contest between Peyton Manning and his New England counterpart Tom Brady . Beyond being two of the most highly visible faces in the NFL , these two quarterbacks lead active passers in a number of passing categories and rank extremely high amongst the career’s list in a number of quarterback statistics. Hyoung Chang, The Denver Post….

(2) Tom Brady of the New England Patriots hands the ball off to running back Stevan Ridley (22) as the rusher makes his way for some decisive yardage during a game. Ridley and LeGarrette Blount have proven to be productive for the Patriots during the regular and postseason . Blount in particular set a franchise record for rushing and yards from scrimmage , eclipsing the mark once held by Curtis Martin . If the duo can reproduce that type of form in rushing yards, then it will certainly add to Brady’s arsenal of weaponry for their game against the Denver Broncos on Sunday afternoon. AP Photo/ Harry Thomas ….

(3) MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 29: Kellen Winslow (81) of the New York Jets warms up prior to the game against the Miami Dolphins on December 29, 2013 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. The Jets defeated the Dolphins 20-7. Winslow , having been charged with indecent exposure , lewd and lascivious behavior stemming from an incident which allegedly took place in the parking lot of a Target Superstore in New Jersey , while the player was parked in a Cadillac Escalade SUV. The female witness is said to have immediately called the police , upon witnessing the Jets’ tight end in the vehicle masturbating , a claim which Kellen Winslow totally denies . Jets’ GM John Idzik is said to have been informed of the allegations and it is believed that the player is l likely to be cut by the franchise , rather than his being retained by the team , albeit that his current contract expires this year . Hal Auerbach/Getty Images ….

(4) New Orleans Saints safety Darren Sharper is interviewed during a news conference in Miami on Thursday, Feb. 4, 2010. The Saints will play the Indianapolis Colts in the NFL football Super Bowl XLIV on Sunday. Released on his own recognizance on a $200,000 bond , Sharper having been accused of two sexual assaults , now faces new allegations that he assaulted a third female victim. The player and his legal representatives are likely to challenge the foundation of the allegations and the victims themselves . In lieu of a pending trial , the NFL Network where Darren Sharper is employed as NFL analyst, have suspended the former NFL Pro Bowler without pay indefinitely. AP Photo/Mark Humphrey …

(5) LeBron James of the Miami Heat and Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks . The two players who were part of the 2003 NBA Draft class , have seen their respective careers diverge into diametrically opposite directions. James, already a NBA Rookie of the Year , four-time League MVP , two-time NBA champion and Finals’ MVP , is seen as currently the best player in the NBA. Carmelo Anthony having begun his career with the Denver Nuggets, now finds himself in New York playing for a consistently under-achieving team over the past five seasons . With the Knicks’ , the player be able to opt out of his contract at the end of this season . There are continuous rumors that he will “test the free agency market” , where the known suitors are likely to be the Dallas Mavericks , Los Angeles Lakers, Golden State Warriors and the New York Knicks, who are likely to make the strongest bid , to retain the star by offering him a max contract, ,likely to be six years $125 million. Getty Images / Bernie Pollack …..

(6) Alex Rodriguez , right , is seen here with one of his two lead attorneys , Joe Tacopina to the player’s right . Rodriguez has now completely abandoned his entire appeals’ process in seeking to have his suspension overturned . While in Mexico City , Mexico , he issued a public statement , with his intent being to rest and recuperate throughout the entire 2014 MLB season , refocusing his energies on making a full return to the game 2015 . Undoubtedly, that career he re-seeks , will be to rejoin the New York Yankees and help them pursue a twenty-eighth World Series’ title , while perhaps also seeking to break the all-time career home runs’ record . Rodriguez currently leads all active players in terms of career home runs and runs batted in (RBI’s) . Getty Images North America . Armando Jiminez …..

(7) A rather pensive Lance Armstrong , having finally admitted his use banned substances to win a record-breaking seven Tour de France titles as well as an Olympic medal , now has time to contemplate his future , while seeking an avenue now to fulfill his life , in terms of some sort of social advocacy group or philanthropic effort. Armstrong was stripped of all seven Tour wins , his Olympic medal victory and several other professional titles won over the course of his professional career. All of the goodwill built up, during his cycling career , were shattered, when the former cycling great admitted his use of steroids as well as several other banned substances . Armstrong now faces several civil suits, where his estimated $100 million fortune is likely be completely eradicated , with many of the plaintiffs seeking monetary damages running into tens of millions of dollars . UPI/REUTERS/ Tom Glennon ….

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Above, a cure for what might ail Kellen Winslow Jr , who was simply exercising his right to “beat his meat”

A call to arms

A call to arms

There is nothing more disturbing than the continued idiocy that portends as to the self-serving attitude of the modern-day athlete and fans out there who would simply seek to defend the indefensible . Former , seven-time Tour de France winner , Lance Armstrong has become a pariah within his former sport . Not that the sport of cycling can still be taken seriously when its own governing body (International Cycling Union) has been slow to go after the cheaters within cycling and truly punish them with impunity , rather than this continued slap on the wrist and then allowing a number of those cyclists to return to the sport at a later date . Armstrong for is part now is part of an investigation now being conducted by perhaps, the most inept governmental agency within Barack Obama`s administration . The Justice Department , ran rather ineptly by Attorney General , Eric Holder , remains a damn joke .

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Holder`s office having previously conducted an investigation into the allegations against the now disgraced cyclist closed that investigation, stating , that were was insufficient evidence against Lance Armstrong to proceed with an indictment and then prosecution . Pardon me , but what has really changed in the ensuing two years that as really brought about these turn of events and changed, when the evidence first gathered, proving willful malfeasance by Armstrong and several members of his cycling team was more than conclusive ? Yet the sheer apathy of is supporters was there to be seen . Just going to show, the apple does not fall far from the tree , when you simply witness blind ignorance and damn stupidity by a group of individuals who are simply frigging clueless and would rather not seek out the information that is there for all to see. .

Lance Armstrong now believes that he should not be punished for his misdeeds , while he harangues former close confidantes , chastising in private , while now offering what is clearly nowhere as sincere , a contrite apology . For the idiots who still remain under the impression, that the USADA (US Anti Doping Agency) overstepped their boundaries in seeking out Armstrong. Simply get a clue , and actually verify the standing that particular institution has , as concerning the sport and specifically all of sports, as it relates to the IOC (International Olympic Committee) , and that the USADA acts in conjunction with the US Olympic Committee , as well as having powers as mandated by the government . Lance Armstrong`s estimated personal fortune $100 million is in jeopardy, and is now subject to several legal civil suits . As to his own charitable foundation , Live Strong , well , that organization is now seeing a precipitous fall off in public and corporation donations , albeit that the athlete no longer has any ties to the foundation he started over a decade ago , in order to seek a cure for various forms of cancer . Armstrong , himself, a cancer survivor, having overcome testicular cancer, parlayed much of the goodwill and empathy received to build a philanthropic effort that over a decade has raised in excess of $250 million for cancer research . Commendable as that might be, Lance Armstrong preyed and played on the sympathy of the public major corporations alike , lying about his heroism and his deeds . Simply inexcusable , yet many amongst us, view it as the athlete , as having done nothing wrong.

Courtesy of USA Today

For Lance Armstrong, sorry has been the hardest word

By Brent Schrotenboer , USA Today

A day before his famous confession in January, Lance Armstrong called the home of Frankie and Betsy Andreu.

Both were victims of Armstrong, people he bullied and smeared in pursuit of fame and fortune in professional cycling.

He tried to apologize.

“He told me in that phone call he wanted to meet with us, sooner rather than later,” Betsy Andreu told USA TODAY Sports. “I don’t know how Lance expresses his contrition, but ‘sorry’ is just a word unless it’s acted on. Meeting would’ve done wonders.”

She arranged to meet him in April but said he canceled at the 11th hour, telling her he didn’t trust her.

READ: E-mails between Armstrong and Andreu

Four months after he admitted in a lengthy televised interview with Oprah Winfrey that he had doped, lied and bullied for more than 10 years, Armstrong has, for one reason or another, failed to apologize to almost all of the people he promised he would. In some cases, he has tried to reach some who, after years of being attacked by Armstrong, haven’t returned his messages.

Though he had hoped the truth would set him free, Armstrong also has found it potentially could be expensive. The federal government, two insurance companies and others have filed suit against him, saying Armstrong’s confession proved he defrauded them. The potential liability in those cases is more than $135 million for the former cyclist, whose legal argument is essentially that his confession isn’t relevant to the money he collected from them.

Though he had hoped the truth would set him free, Armstrong also has found it potentially could be expensive. The federal government, two insurance companies and others have filed suit against him, saying Armstrong’s confession proved he defrauded them. The potential liability in those cases is more than $135 million for the former cyclist, whose legal argument is essentially that his confession isn’t relevant to the money he collected from them.

Armstrong said he would spend the rest of his life making amends. His critics say it’s the same old self-serving Armstrong, even in contrition. A person close to Armstrong says that’s not the case, though he acknowledged the legal issues.

“It’s way too soon to assess Lance’s post-Oprah conduct and how this will all turn out,” said the person, who didn’t want to be identified because of the sensitivity of the situation. The person said, “Lance is committed to participating in real dialogues and constructive change” but that his attorneys are not going to put him in “positions where he just becomes a punching bag for other people who have their own agendas.”

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While we are at it , how is that a mismanaged entity such as the US Postal Service , in the past three years , has lost in excess of $25 billion and is projected to lose as much as $30 billion ($30,000,000,000) for the fiscal year ending September 2013 , is involved in sponsoring a professional cycling team ? Patriotism asides , it is this sort of asinine idiocy that takes place for what is said to be a stand-alone entity . Yet the Post Office`s debts are in fact guaranteed by the US government , ergo , the US taxpayer . There you go folks , your tax dollars simply not at work for you . When pressed on the fact the current US Postmaster General , Patrick Donahoe , seems to be nonplussed by the fact that, Lance Armstrong , having been sponsored and received in excess of $30 million from Donahoe`s concern , has yet to state why he and the USPS hierarchy have not sought legal recourse for the return of the said funds in question . Personally, I am no longer at a loss to see why it is that the Postal Service is so archaic and simply out of touch with new technology as well as being so inefficient ! Yet, time and time again , I repeatedly ere how efficient US businesses tend to be. I have yet to see it, with a number of so-called corporations , who simply cannot grow organically , but tend to do so by the use of creative accounting and layoffs , only to then have their manufacturing or ancillary staff set up in an office or factory overseas , thereby depriving the US workforce of jobs . Am I, missing something here ?

Well by now, a number of you will know by that rapper and entrepreneur Jay-Z has formed a sports` management agency to represent a stable of established sports` stars . Amongst his RocNation Sports Agency signees are, the New York Yankees , Robinson Cano , New York Jets` quarterback , Geno Smith , New York Giants` wide receiver Victor Cruz and Skylar Diggins , recently of the Notre Dame women`s basketball team and drafted by the WNBA`s …. Tulsa Shock . The RocNation agency was formed in conjunction with CAA Sports , one of the worlds biggest sports management and entertainment agencies , with offices worldwide . However , Jay-Z`s latest entrepreneurial endeavor has come under a great deal of scrutiny as well as criticism , because of the way several of the company`s representatives have gone about luring several athletes to sign with the agency .

Now having accumulated an estimate fortune in excess of $450 million , with a budding business empire wherein , Jay-Z, otherwise known as Sean Carter , has multiple business interests, ranging from his upscale night clubs , 40/40 establishments, as well as, a restaurant chain , commercial and residential real estate properties . The rapper is known to be a shrewd businessman , having sold his record label Roc-A-Fella Records , for a reputed $275 million, while still retaining the musical rights to all content performed as an artist while recording for the label . Shrewd indeed , while now having formed RocNation, which now encompasses , fashion and apparel concern , an in-house promotional company , record label , studios , managing and promoting artists signed to the eponymous label. Furthermore, having divested himself of a minority stake in the Brooklyn Nets , and the franchise`s home venue the Barclays Center . It was only a matter of time before the world would begin to speculate were Jay-Z would seek to make his next fortune .

What is now known , concerning Geno Smith`s retaining RocNation as his representation , as an agent , but also for legal matters concerning endorsement deals . It has come to light , that the player , having dropped his original agent , met with representatives from RocNation in something of a clandestine manner , clearly in breaching of NFL rules , because the representatives from the company had yet to be certified by either the league (NFL) and duly recognized by the NFLPA (Players` Union) . To date, no proceedings have been taken against the company by the league hierarchy ,but it does beg the question. Was the company aware that they were in breach of league regulations , in signing the player before having met the criteria of having a certified official sign the player and become his agent ? It is something that has yet to be answered by the rapper or any of his representatives from the company. In light of this however , an impromptu statement was recently made by Smith, stating that he was not lured away from his agent to join RocNation , and that the decision to fire is then agent , was his alone . As to what bearing this might have should either the NFL or Players Union seek to order an investigation , could very well have some ramifications upon how these agents and companies represent themselves in the market place .

The NFL remains a dark and devious world , where one`s word isn’t necessarily a bond of trust or honesty . In 2010 , uber-agent , Drew Rosenhaus negotiated new contracts and deals for a reputed $ 675 million , covering rookies and free agents under his representation . However, in the midst of it all , it should be noted that Rosenhaus , is said to have knowingly poached clients away from rival agents , even when it was known that the players in question remained under contract with their agent at the time . In each of the instances in question, of which there were several , Roger Goodell`s office was said to have found no wrongdoing by Rosenhaus or any of his subordinates from his company , Rosenhaus Sports Representation . Once again, the commissioner , and his office would rather blow smoke up everyone`s rear end , rather than deal with instances, where the image of the NFL is actually being brought into disrepute . How else would you explain the apparent none action by the league even after a number of agents have repeatedly questioned the actions of Dew Rosenhaus and lodged formal complaints not just with the NFL but also the Players` Union ?

I don`t begrudge Jay-Z , or that of his company Roc Nation entering the world of athlete management representation , while seeking to level the playing field . What I do feel in such an instance, is what appears to be the mitigated and premeditated instance , where the conduct of his company has already come into question , either by a genuine mistake or what could very well have been a preplanned effort by a representative of the business , looking to make a big splash in the sports world, as well as in the world of athlete representation. If there is an intent to do something , then at least have the common sense and intelligence to do it right , rather than coming across as a haphazard and incompetent fool ! .

The Atlanta Braves have definitely cooled off from their hot start to the season . Manager Fredi Gonzalez , however, has to be perturbed in recent weeks by team`s sudden inconsistency and the loss of a number games where they were highly favored to win . This has not been lost on Gonzalez`s staff or GM Frank Wren , as they seek to find ways to stop this fait-accompli on the players` part .

One of the bright spots to the Braves` season has been the play of Justin Upton and Evan Gattis , whereby both of these young players have stepped to the plate and they have bot been extremely productive for the team. . Upton`s elder sibling, BJ Upton has been going through his own issues having been acquired by the franchise as a free agent this off-season . The outfielder has yet to find his consistency or power albeit, that as of late he has found ways to be otherwise productive for the Braves .

Coming off a well-earned 2-1 victory over divisional rivals the Washington Nationals , the Braves do seem to be primed to perhaps increase their lead over the Nationals within the NL East , in what now appears to be a two-horse race within the division. The Braves further emphasized their recent dominance of the Nationals by repeating Saturday`s effort with a 6-3 win over Davey Johnson`s players . The Washington Nationals now have problems of their own, in sidelining Bryce Harper , placing the player on the DL , with the outfielder suffering from bursitis of is right knee . And given the issues of the Nationals last season and how they dealt with Stephen Strasburg , let`s just say , are we about to see history simply repeating itself ?

The Braves will host the Pittsburgh Pirates (35-22) , starting Monday , with a three game series at Fulton County Stadium , in Atlanta , Georgia . I am not about to suggest that the Pirates are a resilient team , giving that ball-club`s undoubted affinity for simply imploding during the season and simply falling from grace and out of contention repeatedly within the NL Central over the past few years . And no matter how optimistic manager Clint Hurdle appears to be concerning this team . One simply knows it is only a matter of time before the Pirates simply makes a mockery of their season altogether .

. On the mound for the Braves in the upcoming game will be Kris Medlen , who will be facing off against AJ Burnett , in what is sure to be a great pitching duel. From my own perspective with the retirement of Chipper Jones , as a an avowed fan of this team , I am looking forward to seeing which of the players will now seek to assume the mantle of being a vocal on the field leader of this ball club . Will it be Dan Uggla , B J Upton , Jason Heyward , Craig Kimbrell , Brian McCann or someone else on the roster coming to the fore over the course of this season ?

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Picture gallery .

Your thoughts on the points raised within this piece ? Simply leave a comment as you see fit .

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(1) A pensive Lance Armstrong, is seen here at a conference discussing cancer research with convened members of the press as well as top medical professionals in the field of oncology and cancer research . Te former seven-time Tour de France winner was stripped of his titles , having admitted his guilt in a doping scandal that has cast a giant shadow over the sport of cycling . The ICU , the international governing body for the sport , have themselves been extremely slow in bringing in far-reaching measures , that punishes cyclists with impunity regarding their doping . Courtesy of slate,com/ ………..

(2) U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder listens to a question at a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, March 6, 2013. Holder and his office have come in for a great deal of criticism in recent months in his agency`s handling on a wide variety of issues . having first conducted an original investigation into the allegations of Lance Armstrong having been involved in doping, along with several of his teammates on the US Postal Service Cycling team . The Attorney General`s office , the US Justice Department decided not to proceed ahead , claiming that there was insufficient evidence to lead to an indictment and successful prosecution . A mere two and a half years later , it would appear that the agency will now go ahead in prosecuting Armstrong on the basis of the original evidence gathered by the USADA and WADA . It seems that the ongoing stupidity of the US Justice Department knows no boundaries in their ongoing incompetency . REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst ….

(3) Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013, before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs hearing about the U.S. Postal Service. Donahoe has been reluctant to explain why it is that the US Post Office has failed to go after Lance Armstrong , and seek the return of $ 30 million paid out to the cyclist in endorsement monies , in a lucrative contract with Armstrong`s team , managed by Johann Bruyneel , a former cyclist , who himself , has come under the spotlight and glare of WADA and the ICU . AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin ….

(4) Rapper , and music mogul Jay-Z ,left , is seen here with New York Jets draftee Geno Smith . The player who came in for a great deal of criticism for his behavior at the NFL Draft , is now the subject of some unwanted publicity , concerning his signing with the rapper`s newly minted sports agency RocNation Sports , a full service management firm , offering sports management and some legal services . Questions have arisen, as to whether or not Smith was signed by NFL certified agent within the agency . Should that not be the case in contravention of NFL and NFLPA rules , then the player and agency itself could become subject of an investigation and a reprimand , if there is clear evidence that those measures were contravened . ……..

(5) Drew Rosenhaus , NFL agent whose company represents over 125 current and former NFL players. Considered to be one of the most powerful agents in the NFL , Rosenhaus has been described by fellow agents and a number of NFL general managers as a pariah , while some have actually referred to him as a “bloodsucking leech “ . Drew Rosenhaus sees himself, as nothing more than a damn good agent , offering his clients the best representation that money can buy . Getty Images / Paula Marks …..

(6) Atlanta Braves’ B.J. Upton rounds third base to applause on a home run during the second inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals Sunday, June 2, 2013, in Atlanta. John Amis/AP Photo …

(7) Washington Nationals’ Chad Tracy (18) , Ryan Zimmerman (11) , Rick Eckstein , and manager Davey Johnson , right, watch the final moments of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves, Sunday, June 2, 2013, in Atlanta. Atlanta won 6-3 . AP Photo/John Amis ….

(8) Washington Nationals catcher Jhonatan Solano tags out Atlanta Braves’ Justin Upton (8) at home plate as he tries to score on from third base on a ground ball by Evan Gattis during the sixth inning of the MLB National League baseball game, Sunday, June 2, 2013, in Atlanta. John Amis/AP Photo …

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tophatal ………… 06/03/2013

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A Tribe Called Quest …. …. “Find A Way “

I’ll Take The Hypocrisy , Also To Be Served up With A Side Order of Bull#hit …

I’ll Take The Hypocrisy , Also To Be Served up With A Side Order of Bull#hit .

by tophatal …….

The London Olympics are less than two weeks away and this quadrennial event brings the world’s almost 207 sovereign nations for almost a month-long series of sporting events . The spirit of competition is fostered by the IOC and the Olympic flag of unity . Granted , around the world there still remains conflicts and within our midst we still have despotic leaders holding their citizens in deplorable conditions . And nowhere at present has this been more prevalent than in the countries of Myanmar (Burma) and Syria . The two countries in question have been in the news due to their repressive regimes and lack freedom for their civilians . Inasmuch , as I hate to see a conflagration and the mix of politics and sports ! There has to be a time , when a stand must be taken . So often we are told , that sports can be used as a conduit to a meaningful exchange of ideas , which can also lead to peace . However, there are times when this does not appear to be the case .

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It has been a rarity for that premise to work and the last such instance may well have been when the Rugby World Cup was held in South Africa , as then President Nelson Mandela sought bring about a coming together of the country’s minority White population and that of its majority Black , and other ethnic minorities . For far too long under the white ran governments , the fallacy of ”apartheid “ was preached as a way for that country to exist . And the repeated failures of the UN (United Nations) , US and the United Kingdom to bring about meaningful change in South Africa was not achieved until Mandela was freed from Robben Island prison , pretty much indicated that the world chose to condone the policy . Now some might say , sanctions were in place but in reality that was pretty much a joke . Embargos were broken and as long as there were millions of dollars to be made everyone turned a blind eye to the fact and the political climate in the country at the time . The 1995 Rugby World Cup was a great deal more than a triumph the South African President , as his country would pull off one of the greatest upsets history of rugby and perhaps all of sports , itself . Having uncannily progressed through the tournament as an underdog , South Africa make their way to the championship game , where they would face the highly favored New Zealand ( All Blacks) . South Africa would prevail in a nail-biting 15-12 upset , bringing the country their very first major international team competition title . The story of this triumph was celebrated in the Clint Eastwood , Oscar nominated movie “ Invictus” (2009) starring Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman .

Granted, the goals and ideals of the Olympic spirit has been to foster that verve and competitive spirit as well as seeking to bring about peaceful accord between nations . But that policy has never been strictly adhered to by the successive IOC presidents . Jacques Rogge as the incumbent IOC President has proven to be dogmatic , corrupt and anti-feminist . Furthermore , he has often made statements that have lacked compassion and a complete understanding of the world in which he resides . In response to a recent question posed to him he asked by a member of the press delegation convened at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne , Switzerland . Rogge would respond that he feels there is room for nations such as Myanmar , Syria , and Iran to remain and be part of the Olympic community and participants in the London games . When pressed on the question of the repressive regimes of the countries in question and the very fact that Syria in the past year has seen in excess of 12,000 civilian lives have been lost . As Syria’s President , Bashir al-Assad has let loose his military and death squads , as they have ceaselessly killed thousands of innocent victims , as he seeks to remain in power . Rogge was almost non-committal , but felt that it has been the dogma of the press that has very much driven the stories as they relate to the trio of countries mentioned .

Many of us can remember the Moscow Olympics’ boycott of 1980 wherein the US led 61 countries in protest of Russia’s invasion of Afghanistan . In the ensuing years the communist regime fought a war of attrition , that would in the end see the country withdraw from the Middle Eastern nation , having suffered an embarrassing defeat at the Western alliance supported Taliban and what was then a little known organization by the name of Al –Qaeda , led by a charismatic Saudi by the name of Osama Bin-Laden .

Russia would retaliate for the West’s slight , by them boycotting the 1984 Los Angeles . Olympics . That would lead to a number of repercussions with the Russian , Eastern-bloc countries raising their ire and withdrawing in protest in answer the US led withdrawal in 1980 . Ideology and politics “trumping” what was meant to be about principles . No moral high ground was won by either on either of the occasions in question because at the end of the day both super-powers were simply clueless .

While that dogma has remained the US remains powerless to deal with Syria , much this has come about from the veto-power held by China and Russia on the UN Security Council . The five- member permanent council made up of delegations from China , Russia , France , United Kingdom and the United States have simply allowed both China and Russia to dictate terms as it concerns the problems in Syria . Three hundred UN observers will not be able to monitor of the movement of Assad’s military in Syria . And the very fact that China and Russia has been able to veto any action of force or for that matter sanctions against the Arab nation shows us all how powerless and out of touch the UN just happens to be . Meanwhile, the Foreign Secretaries Jiechi Yang of China and China and Russia’s Sergei Lavrov create the perception of seeking peace while their respective countries continue unimpeded with their armaments’ sales to the Arab nation .

Here in the US , President Barack Obama , and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham-Clinton continue speak with a great deal of rhetoric and bullshit on the plight of Syria , while calling for Bashar al-Assad to step down . If al-Assad’s father , Hafez al-Assad , who led the country until his death , could be so venal and act with such monstrous cruelty during his reign of terror . Then what would give either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton , the impression that Hafez’s son would willingly step down as the dictator of Syria ? Is there no fu#king common sense to be found from anyone within this current US administration or are each of the members so damn anally retentive ?

While the mockery and pretense goes on even with Kofi Annan’s insistence that a peaceful resolution can be worked out to bring about a cease-fire . The atrocities still continue in Syria , with the cities of Homs , Aleppo , Damascus , and Hamah , continue to be strafed with hostilities from Syrian military and their adjunct security forces . Three hundred UN observers can in no way manage to oversee a population of almost 32 million people but this has been the idiocy of the UN and the support given to it continuously by the UK and US , as that body tries to negotiate a cease-fire .

It seems remarkable in this day and age , athletes and specifically those in North America would seek to stand idly by , rather than being vocal on a number social issues . If it can take individuals such as Jim Brown , Jackie Robinson , Arthur Ashe , Bill Russell , Bill Walton , Muhammad Ali , Tommie Smith and John Carlos to speak out about social injustices not just here in the United States but as they have witnessed it on the global stage . Then why is it , that we now see nothing more than an apoplexy of non-responsiveness from today’s athletes on a mountain of social issues and injustice ? In the lead-up to these games the voices of such stars as , Serena Williams , Venus Williams , Tyson Gay , Kobe Bryant and LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony , remain mooted and silent . But I guess when the likes of LeBron , Kobe and the man many in whose footsteps they willingly followed , Michael Jordan are resolute only be known for the prowess on the court , rather than also trying to be socially responsible . Each remained ever so silent while basking in millions that they continue to make on an annual basis . It looks as if not only can money bring power and corruption but it can also buy a great deal of silence , for those who choose to remain out of the fray . That is certainly what can be evidenced here amongst many of today’s most prominent athletes . Selling $200-00 and $450-00 sneakers that bears your name , while proclaiming your wealth , does little for your image if you still come off looking like a clown .

The cloud under which these games are about to be held are murky , as while many of us are looking forward with a heightened sense of expectation as to the perceived tally of medals that will be won by Michael Phelps , Ryan Lochte , Serena Williams , Usain Bolt , Yohan Blake , Rafael Nadal , Roger Federer , Novak Djokovic , Maria Sharapova and Andy Murray . As each of the athletes in question will seek to serve their country proudly , while at the same time add greatest single individual mantel in all of sports , the title of being called an Olympic champion. .

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

At some point in the future the IOC Executive Committee will have to take a stance , as to how it views nations as their ongoing moral conduct , rather than seek to “window dress” each act of heinous atrocity . If it is not bad enough itself acts as a secretive organization , without transparency and a great deal of corruption within their midst . IOC President Jacques Rogge believes himself above the fray in these allegations but with each passing moment he seems to place himself into an even deeper abyss despair and ridicule . In reality , who can really look at this once hallowed institution as a bastion sporting excellence and celebration , when it has become so corrupt and misguided ? What thoughts if any do you have with regard to the points raised within this article ? Simply leave a comment as you see fit .

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Picture and slide show details below .

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(1) LOCOG chair Seb Coe (second from right) and Rio Tinto chairman Jan du Plessis as (second from left) pose with the medals as official metal supplier for the Olympic Games Rio Tinto hands over Olympic and Paralympic medals to LOCOG for secure storage in the vaults at the Tower of London on July 2, 2012 in London, England. Getty Images Europe / Andy Redington ….

(2) The official symbol for the 2012 Olympic games starting on 25th July 2012 .AFP /Reuters /Carl Logan …

(3) British Prime Minister David Cameron greets Jacques Rogge, President of the IOC at Downing Street on March 28, 2012 in London, England. They are holding meetings to discuss the progress of the preparations for the London 2012 Olympics and its legacy. Getty Images Europe / Matthew Lloyd …..

(4) The city of Homs , in Syria , is under siege by the country’s military under orders by President Bashir al-Assad . The assault has led to death of at least 2,500 victims in the country’s second largest city in a country of 32 million people . AP /Reuters / Hassim Mohammed …

(5) Former UN Secretary-General . Kofi Annan (left) , is seen here with Syrian President Bashir al-Assad in the nation’s capitol of Damascus at the Presidential palace where the two discussed a cease-fire . To date with each truce , it has been broken with the government forces claiming they were simply acting in defense against terrorist forces , seen as the position by the UN . courtesy of AP Photo ….

(6) Former South African President Nelson Mandela is seen here with South African (Springbok) rugby captain Francois Pienaar after the team’s 15-12 victory over New Zealand in the 1995 Rugby World Cup in Capetown , South Africa . The surprising victory by the Springboks over the highly favored All Blacks led to unison with the country , which had seen a great deal of violence under the apartheid regimes of previous all-white led governments within South Africa . Jo’burg (Johannesburg) Times / Joseph Mathebele` …

(7) Nation’s top Negro athletes gather to hear Muhammad Ali (formerly Cassius Clay) give his reasons for rejecting the draft, United States, June 4, 1967. Photographer unknown, courtesy of Schomburg Center, Art and Artifacts Division. Front row: Bill Russell, Muhammad Ali, Jim Brown, and Kareem Abdul Jabbar (formerly Lew Alcindor). Back row: Carl Stokes, Walter Beach, Bobby Mitchell, Sid Williams, Curtis McClinton, Willie Davis, Jim Shorter, and John Wooten. The four prominent athletes were outspoken advocates against social injustice not just within the US during the civil rights’ era but also against social injustices around the globe. Today , it this sort of advocacy that is rarely seen amongst many this generation’s most high-profiled athletes . courtesy of alumniroundup.com @ all rights reserved copyrighted material ……… Definition of Bill Russell .

(8) UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon , left , is seen here with US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at a meeting of UN Security Council of which the US one of five permanent members of that specific council . It has been the intransigence shown by China and Russia and their veto power that has hindered any real progress in finding a successful resolution to the atrocities now taking place in Syria . Courtesy of Newsweek International …

(9) United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon (L) shakes hands with United States President Barack Obama in the Oval Office at the White House February 28, 2011 in Washington, DC. According to the White House, Ban and Obama met to “discuss the humanitarian, diplomatic, legal and other actions needed to put a stop to violence against civilians and to ensure that U.N. agencies and U.N. members mobilize to provide humanitarian assistance to Libya’s people.” Not on the topic of discussion were the atrocities already taking place in Syria . That should come as no big surprise , as US foreign policy and diplomacy over the last three decades has been about as consistent as a listless ship , amidst in the Atlantic Ocean . Getty Images North America / Chip Smodevilla …..

(10) Center , Tommie Smith (gold medalist) , right, John Carlos (bronze) and left , silver medalist , Australian Peter Norman . Carlos and Smith would be stripped of their medals won at the 200m Men’s Finals and sent home for their militant “Black Power” salute . Today both Tommy Smith and John Carlos are celebrated for the position taken at the games in Sydney , Australia of 1968 . Courtesy of Reuters/archives …..

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

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2012 Olympic Games in London

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Ashley Logan/

The delectable Ashley Logan .

Hypocrisy Is The Norm Nowadays ………. !

Hypocrisy Is The Norm Nowadays

It’s not to my chagrin but the apparent hypocrisy shown by the USOC in now getting the satisfaction they sought in seeing several Chinese gymnast stripped of their Olympic medals for being under aged. So unless the the USOC has now become a conduit of the Roman Catholic church in its suborning and condoning the actions of many of the swim instructors and trainers within the governing body of USA Swimming . Then it had better get its head out of its own ass and tackle this particular subject head on .

Now while this was going on several young females on at the youth and junior level of USA swimming. Now comes the most reprehensible fact of this all, several female members have the victims of sexual abuse by their trainers who all sanctioned by USA Swimming . What may seem even more perverse in all of this , has been the fact that while this has going on . Well it has been the fact that the USOC has simply turned a blind eye to this all . Pardon me for saying this but I would’ve thought the apparent safety of a child far outweighs that the USOC simply chasing down the Chinese in conjunction with the IOC to go after the Chinese Olympic gymnastic federation. We’ve had more US athletes in the past two years banned for the use of illicit substances than there has been the accusation of the use of underage performers at the Olympics. Which to your mind is the more egregious of the alleged acts ?

Courtesy of The New York Times

Medal of Underage Chinese Gymnast Revoked

By Juliet Macur , The New York Times

After an investigation that lasted more than a year, the International Gymnastics Federation announced on Friday that a Chinese gymnast from the 2000 Olympics had been too young to compete.

The gymnast, Dong Fangxiao, a member of the Chinese women’s team that won the bronze medal, was found to have falsified her age in order to meet the requirements at those Olympics. The gymnastics federation said in a statement that Dong was actually 14, two years younger than the minimum. Her results at those Games and at several other major competitions have been revoked.

The federation — which goes by its French acronym, F.I.G. — submitted a request to the International Olympic Committee to strip the Chinese team of its Olympic bronze medal. If that happens, the United States women’s team, which finished fourth, will move into third place. The gymnasts on that squad were Amy Chow, Jamie Dantzscher, Dominique Dawes, Kristen Maloney, Elise Ray and Tasha Schwikert.

“There still is what I believe to be unanswered questions about this issue, but there is only so much you can prove when it comes to falsified documents,” Steve Penny, the president of USA Gymnastics, said. “I feel that the F.I.G. is taking this matter very seriously and has done a very responsible job here. They’ve done absolutely everything in their power to get to the bottom of a very sensitive issue.”

Mark Adams, a spokesman for the I.O.C., said the gymnastics federation’s recommendation to strip the Chinese of their medals would be studied by the I.O.C.’s executive board before any action was taken. That would probably happen at the board’s next meeting at the end of April, he said.

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Click on link to read article in its entirety.
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How is that they are so steadfast in doing this but given the fact over two dozen young females have sexually abused have never been given the recourse sought ? Now recently one of the biggest predators in the midst of this scandal is now housed in California state prison for eight counts of sexual assault and battery that he has committed over the course of the last fifteen years. Now to say this is reprehensible wouldn’t do this statement justice but I guess it will have to do . I at times wonder which is in fact more disdainful when it comes to ambition as it concerns a governing body ? The actual pursuit of excellence or the actual commercial success ?

Courtesy of Seattle PI Sound Publishing

Oak Harbor swim coach convicted of rape featured Friday on national TV

By Jessie Stensland , Whidbey Times

The popular ABC News show 20/20 is running an investigative piece Friday night on Andrew King, a former Oak Harbor swim coach convicted of raping young swimmers, and the organization USA Swimming.

The piece investigated by Brian Ross, entitled “Inside USA Swimming: Secrets and Betrayal,” will run Friday, April 9 at 10 p.m. on ABC. A brief segment is also scheduled to be aired Friday on the 5:30 p.m. World News with Diane Sawyer.

Andrew “Andy” King, 61, is a serial child molester who used his position as a swim coach to molest at least a dozen young girls, allegedly including one Oak Harbor girl, over his 30-year career. He was sentenced to 40 years in prison earlier this year in a California courtroom after pleading no contest last fall to 20 child molestation charges.

King coached the Aquajets swim team at the North Whidbey Park and Recreation swimming pool in Oak Harbor during the 1990s, then left mysteriously amid complaints about his contact with female swimmers.

A couple of years later, one of the Oak Harbor swimmers reported that King had molested and raped her from 1994 to 1997, when she was just 12 to 13 years old. Detective Teri Gardner with the Oak Harbor police investigated the allegations extensively, but the Island County prosecutor declined to charge King.

After leaving Oak Harbor, King moved to San Jose and continued to coach swimmers associated with USA Swimming, a national organization that has been criticized over allegations that it hasn’t protected children adequately. North Whidbey Aquatics Club is affiliated with Pacific Northwest Swimming, a committee of USA Swimming, according to the club’s Web site.

Last year, investigators in San Jose uncovered King’s lengthy history of molesting child swimmers.

The Oak Harbor swimmer who was allegedly raped by King filed a $15 million claim for damages against North Whidbey Park and Recreation District. The district’s insurance company is handling the complaint.

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And at present there are several such cases either now under indictment or awaiting trial and as far as too often been the case many of the instructors in question simply left their positions with a prospective club or team only repeat the very same offenses elsewhere with a new team. Somewhat reminiscent as to how the Roman Catholic church moved their priests around the different dioceses as they carried out their pernicious acts of sexual debauchery on the young and innocent.

Commissioner Roger Goodell saw fit suspend Ben Roethlisberger but yet when Miami Dolphins’ GM Jeff Ireland saw fit to make what would in most peoples’ mind would be offensive statement. Absolutely nothing was done by the commissioner’s office. During an NFL rookie interview Ireland had the temerity to ask Oklahoma State football player Dez Bryant whether or not his mother was a prostitute (whore). Now what this has to do with the player’s abilities on the field is beyond me ! But this now appears to be what NFL executives may seek to be the norm. Were those the actions of an African American NFL executive asking that question there would have been a public outcry ! As to the lack of inaction by the commissioner’s office or that of Miami Dolphins front office will no doubt set a bad precedence within collegiate football and many of its young players. Conducting unbecoming the image of the league is meant not just to apply to the NFL players but also the entire league as it relates to the owners and executives. Goodell it appears, is only willing to fight the battles he sees fit to pursue .

Of all the executives who govern the four major sports . It might just be that NBA Commissioner David Stern has always been about the image of his sport and the conduct of its members. What recently took place between Bulls’ executive John Paxson and that of the team’s now recently fired coach Vinny Del Negro left a lot to be desired. Paxson physically assaulted the team’s then coach and threatened him. Now if Stern and the Bulls’ owner Jerry Reinsdorf is willing to overlook this action. Then what does it suggest about the hierarchy of the sport in general ? The now infamous incident wherein Latrell Sprewell in a premeditated attack choked his coach P J Carlessimo , led to the player being suspended nd fined. Sprewell an African American , was never able to live the incident down and became to be thought of as a street thug. After the incident his career essentially was derailed and spiraled out of control. Now were Paxson an African American NBA executive, one wonders what the outcome may well have been ? But in the midst of this all a public statement has not been forthcoming from either Stern , Stu Jackson or from Bulls’ owner Jerry Reinsdorf or the team’s GM Gar Forman .

I no longer take with credence anything that’s forthcoming from the hierarchies of any of the “governing officials of the four major sports” ! . It is not as if they have ever taken the fans’ interests to heart with regard to any decision that they make. For them it has and always will be about the bottom line at the expense of the fans’ goodwill. And on a bye-note if conservatives are known for being entrepreneurs and great businessmen. Then why is it the meltdown of the banking industry and automotive industry took place ? Either the conservatives on top that piece of piece of dog crap just aren’t as bright as some of the spokespersons would have us believe ? Hypocrisy on both sides of the political aisle knows no boundaries , much as in the same it knows no boundaries when it comes to the realms of sports.

Alan Parkins aka tophatal ………………….

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