The Learning Curve ….

By Tophatal

There seems to be a disconnect in the world of sports at present with so many stories now ongoing. The NFL provided fans with its usual litany of events which have blotted the horizon. Off the field, the saga of Adrian Peterson has taken center-stage.The league hierarchy has seen fit to pursue the Minnesota Vikings’ running back and his refusal to meet with the league to discuss their ongoing issues as to what they believe fitting a punishment. Adrian Peterson plead his case within the legal system in the state of Texas, where Peterson and the District Attorney’s Office agreed to a plea deal. The running back has already sat out nine of the Vikings’ ten games this season , leading to their miserable standing within the NFC Northand conference.

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Coming off a road loss to the Chicago Bears,dropped the Minnesota Vikings to a 4-6 recordwithin their division, with little to suggest Mike Zimmer and his coaching staff have any idea how to take theteam out of their present rut. The league’s handling of the Peterson saga has left many wondering how Roger Goodell’s inconsistency in dealing with player misconduct can be so incomprehensible. This whole saga along with the Ray Rice episode casts a dark image over the NFL and the league’s continuous misguidance and the statements now coming from their head office. Rice is in the midst of an arbitration hearing where he seeks his reinstatement back into the league may well be the last straw for the commissioner, as he seeks to resurrect his own standing among the fans. Goodell is still backed by the team owners, but one more misstep by the commissioner could lead to calls for his ouster by at least one senior franchise owner , if they feel the NFL’s image has been dragged further into the dust.

The Vikings’ fate now lies in their own hands with their being no sign of an imminent return of their Pro Bowl running back , well at least not by week twelve of the NFL season. In their upcoming game the Minnesota Vikings will play host to Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers has been on a blistering pace this season as he and his teammates seek to sow up the NFC North with a number of the leading competitors suddenly falling by the wayside. Green Bay for its part , took care of the Philadelphia Eagles with a robust 53-20 victory , inflicting the Eagles with their biggest loss of the season. Somehow , I get the feeling Chip Kelly and his team have yet to learn the meaning of the word defense , let alone playing conservative football. The “gung-ho” attitude seems to be prevalent with the Eagles.

Kelly and the Philadelphia Eagles will certainly get their chance to hop back into the saddle when they face a disappointing Tennessee Titans’ team in week twelve of a home game at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on the 23rd November, 2014,. With Nick Foles currently sidelined due to injury Mark Sanchez will continue in the role as the team’s starting quarterback.

The Oakland Raiders’ (0-10) season continues to no avail with the team on a ten-game losing streak, showing no signs of life as the season has progressed. Raiders’ head coach Tony Sparano could very well in the throes of his last gasp of coaching the franchise, with team owner Mark Davis and GM Reggie McKenzie likely to make the decision to fire their head coach at the end of the season. The futility shown by the team has been comparable to the Detroit Lions’ season of 2008 when during their sixteen-game schedule, the Lions failed to win a game.If there is fault to be apportioned , concerning the ineptitude of the Raiders , then it rests squarely on the shoulders of both Reggie McKenzie and Mark Davis , as they have repeatedly squandered the opportunities offered to make this franchise competitive. It is hard to believe the last time the Oakland Raiders won a divisional title , the AFC West or made the postseason came in 2002, the year in which they also won the AFC championship , only to then lose to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Superbowl. In the aftermath of the postseason appearance, things have steadily gone downhill for the franchise, with their fans simply reliving the past of a bygone era of the Raiders.

It is difficult to suggest there are any bright spots to be found on this current Raiders’ roster. Quarterback Derek Carr has struggled to maintain a presence for the team. Defensively , the Oakland Raiders find themselves in a familiar position and with defensive coordinator Jason Tarver struggling to get this secondary going it has become abundantly clear to understand the many reasons why the Raiders have been so inept, without also pointing an accusing finger at Tony Sparano and offensive coordinator Greg Olson .

Darren McFadden , Maurice Jones-Drew, Andre Holmes , Denarius Moore , Sio Moore , Khalil Mack and the veteran Charles Woodson have floundered for the Raiders over the course of this season. When the Raiders play host to the Kansas City Chiefs at the O.Coliseum in a Thursday night game , there will be a great deal riding on the contest. Oakland will be seeking to gain their first win of the season, while Andy Reid and the Chiefs will be looking to get a leg up on the Denver Broncos , as these two teams fight it out for divisional supremacy within the AFC West. I would dare say, the San Diego Chargers (6-4) have no wish to be left out of the equation, as they remain a game behind both the Broncos and Chiefs for the divisional lead.

The Arizona Cardinals (9-1) keep on winning even with the sidelined Carson Palmer not being able to contribute a great deal to the team’s success this season. Head coach Bruce Arians, I believe is a justified front-runner to win the NFL Coach of the Year Award , but a great deal may well be predicated upon whether or not he can lead this team to their first divisional title(NFC West) since 2009 . You can either make the assumption the Cardinals are doing it all with “smoking mirrors” or state the San Francisco 49ers (6-4) and Seattle Seahawks(6-4) have been very inconsistent. The fact of the matter remains neither 49ers or the Seahawks have been able to match the consistency of the divisional rival , all season long.

Inasmuch, as the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks were dominant last season within the NFC West and the NFC as a whole, this season , both teams have played “second fiddle ” to the upstart Cardinals, who are a mere two gamesaway from clinching themselves a postseason berth within the conference. Peter Carroll and Jim Harbaugh can only hope Arizona slips up over the remainder of their schedule , allowing either of their teams an entrance into the postseason. Arizona will hope to inch closer to that goal when they play the Seattle Seahawks at Century Link Field on Sunday afternoon in one of the best games scheduled during week twelve of this season.

Nothing in life is ever deemed to be fair, unless you happen to be privileged, by way of social status and wealth. The same might be said of the NFL seedings as the postseason beckons. Unfortunately, the league hierarchy under NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has never seen fit to revamp the system in order to allow teams with a better record than a divisional winner to be given a higher seeding. Looking at the prospect likely to unfold within the NFC South and we could very well see a team with a sub .500 record make their way into the postseason and at the same time deny another franchise a higher ranking (seeding) a berth. Granted, the wildcard entrants allows the the next four teams below the top two seeds within a conference , their chance of advancing further . I cannot help but wonder, how a number of these teams are likely to feel, should a 7-9 or 8-8 team from within the NFC South make it to the playoffs ! To say the the quality of football seen within the division where the Atlanta Falcons (4-6), Carolina Panthers (3-7), New Orleans Saints(4-6) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-8) reside gives credence to the fact the NFL is urgently in need of a dearth of talent as well as several really good head coaches would be an understatement. All four teams do not possess a winning record and for head coaches, Mike Smith , Ron Rivera , Sean Payton and Lovie Smith , this might be the worst season of their collective careers as a head coaches within the NFL .

The Buccaneers coming off their second win on the season , defeating the lowly Washington Redskins embodied the sheer ineptitude seen all season long within the NFC South. Perhaps, the lone bright spot on the Buccaneers’ season has been the play of their rookie wide receiverMike Evans who provided a scintillating display of speed and maturity beyond his years. How the Buccaneers go about resurrecting their season will be determined by the mindset instilled into the team by head coach Lovie Smith.

Smith will take the Buccaneers on the road to Soldier Field in Chicago , Illinois to face his former team the Chicago Bears whose season now seems to be spiraling out of control , with quarterback Jay Cutler being harangued from all quarters for his lack of leadership and dire performances this season. Marc Trestman might now be emerging as one of the leading candidates among the coaches whose heads are likely to be on the ” chopping block”. Trestman and GM Phil Emery could very well be on the outs once this season is over. Lovie Smith was fired in his last season with the Bears , having narrowly missed the postseason in 2012. A winning record (10-6) that year seemed to be lost on the Bears’ front office and the admirable effort made by Lovie Smith and his coaching staff that season. All signs now seem to be point to the fact the Chicago Bears may well seek to trade Jay Cutler rather than retain his services . His tenure with the Bears has seen more lows than highs and it must be said his contract with the team has not proven to be a prudent investment.

There is no denying Washington Redskins’ owner Daniel Synder has continued swinging for the fences , making audacious moves either via free agency or through the NFL Draft. Having acquired both Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins in the now heralded quarterback class of 2012. Things now seem to have taken a turn for the worst with neither Griffin or Cousins being able to perform adequately for the team this season. Injuries asides, with both quarterbacks having been sidelined at some point during their schedule. Jay Gruden’s faith in third string quarterback Colt McCoy was short-lived in spite of the player leading the Redskins to two of their three victories on the season. Neither side of the Washington Redskins’ offense seems to be clicking . On the wrong side of a lopsided defeat suffered at the hands of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, has embodied the Redskins’ season and justifiably shows why they remain at the bottom of the NFC East.

Washington will head West to face the San Francisco 49ers and Colin Kaepernick, as the host team looks to keep abreast with the Seattle Seahaws while still trailing the Arizona Cardinals by three games within the NFC West. This particular division was orginally viewed as a two-horse race between the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks but this season along come the Cardinals to upset the applecart and turn everyone’s world upside down . There is a reality beginning to set in, either the Seahawks or Forty Niners could quite possibly miss the postseason if things continue as they are. In a recent discussion with an acquaintance , he made the statement that he felt San Francisco were still capable of notching double-digit wins and still make the postseason . Given the inconsistency shown by the team , their possible failure in missing the NFL’s end of season showcase spectacle, could come back to to haunt Jim Harbaugh and his coaching staff.

Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seawhawks are the defending Superbowl champions and their quest to make a successful defense of their title doesn’t yet appear to be in jeopardy , but there has to be a cause for concern for a team which has been sporadic with their performances over the course of the season. Russell Wilson has continued with his progress and now seems to be on his way to joining the elite players at the position within the NFL . Century Link Field in Seattle, Washington will be the ” place to be” as the red hot ticket game of the day on Sunday when the Seahawks host the Arizona Cardinals and it will be interesting to see how opposing quarterbacks Russell Wilson and Drew Stanton will fare in this highly anticipated contest with their being so much at stake for both teams.

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Picture gallery.

With the NFL season almost three-quarters of the way through its schedule, what do you feel has been the most disappointing event to have taken place during the year ? Also , which teams are likely to make a spirited push to gain a postseason berth as the schedule now becomes more suspenseful for the fans and the franchises with so much at stake ? It has been a learning experience not only for the rookie head coaches in the NFL this season but also for the rookies and sophomore players seeking to make their presence felt in the league. Simply chime in with your comments on this and anything else you believe relevant to this article and thanks as always for the continued support of this site as it has always been appreciated !

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Picture and slideshow gallery below.
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(1) Minnesota Vikings’ running back Adrian Peterson pictured here , has been reportedly suspended without pay for the rest of the season as the league hierarchy continues with their own investigation and possible further disciplinary action against the player for conduct detrimental to the league. Peterson reached a plea agreement with the State Attorney’s Office in Texas, after his being charged with child abuse . It was not the first time the player had been investigated for such an action. However, this latest incident was the first , in which law enforcement and Texas Dept of Child Welfare saw fit to file charges against Peterson . The league’s handling of this matter has come in for a great deal of criticism , with much of it being leveled at Commissioner Roger Goodell . Getty Images / Hugh Parker …

(2) Matt Forte (22) of the Chicago Bears runs past Sharrif Floyd (73) of the Minnesota Vikings during the third quarter on November 16, 2014 at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Chicago Bears defeated the Minnesota Vikings 21-13. Getty Images/ David Banks …

(3) Jay Cutler (6) of the Chicago Bears tries to score on a run but is stopped by Xavier Rhodes (29) of the Minnesota Vikings during the third quarter on November 16, 2014 at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois. Speculation has began mounting the Bears will seek to trade the quarterback after a troubled season with the franchise. GM Phil Emery has not issued a public statement on the matter but there appears to be mounting speculation a trade is likely . Cutler is still owed $16.5 million of his original $126.7 million deal signed in 2012 of which $54 million was guaranteed . Getty Images /David Banks …

(4) In the foreground Oakland Raiders interim head coach Tony Sparano and the team’s GM Reggie McKenzie . The Raiders are off to a dismal start this season , having gone win-less and they are now 0-10 , still seeking their first victory of the season . McKenzie and team owner , Mark Davis recently traveled to San Antonio to visit with local politicians , with a view to gauging their interest in having the franchise relocate to the city . No details were imparted by the franchise and the NFL have not made their thoughts known on the issue , where league approval would be sought before such a move could take place. AP Photo/ Philip Davis …

(5) Arizona Cardinals’ quarterback Drew Stanton (5) attempts a pass during a game against the St Louis Rams . With Carson Palmer still sidelined, Stanton has been inserted into the lineup stepping up from his backup role on the roster . The Cardinals have the best record (9-1) in the NFC and the league overall. Arizona seeks to upset the apple cart by dethroning the Seattle Seahawks the NFC West champions for this season . AP Photo / Matthew Osgood ….

(6) Washington Redskins’ quarterbacks Robert Griffin III(10) , Kirk Cousins (8) and Colt McCoy (16) . McCoy has accounted for two of the team’s three wins this season, but for some apparent reason Jay Gruden does not appear to have any implicit faith in the third-string quarterback . This off-season there is likely to be a major upheaval of the playing roster with a number of players being traded or simply waived . GM Bruce Allen and Gruden will be left to make the decisions but there is likely to be a great deal of input from team owner , Dan Snyder . Getty Images / Matthew Robbins .. .

(7) A.J. Green (18) of the Cincinnati Bengals catches a pass as Rafael Bush (25) of the New Orleans Saints defends during the second half at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on November 16, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Cincinnati defeated the Saints 27-10 in the contest . Getty Images / Kevin C Cox …

(8) Drew Brees (9) of the New Orleans Saints calls an audible during the first quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on November 16, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Getty Images / Kevin C Cox

(9) Wide receiver Mike Evans (13) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is tackled by corner-back Bashaud Breeland (26) of the Washington Redskins late in the third quarter at FedExField on November 16, 2014 in Landover, Maryland. The Buccaneers beat the Redskins 27-7 in a lopsided game . Getty Images / Patrick McDermott ….

(10) Colin Kaepernick (7) of the San Francisco 49ers meets his opposite number Russell Wilson (3) of the Seattle Seahawks center-field after a game between the two teams. This season both the Forty-Niners and Seahawks are having to play catch-up to the Arizona Cardinals who lead the NFC West by a three-game margin heading into week twelve of the NFL season. AP Photo / Mark Harris

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tophatal … 11/17/2014

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Where’s the soap ?

The 0-10 Raiders have been the butt of so many jokes this season , but here’s a butt and two boobs , I for one am not laughing at ! Round and juicy , and pleasing to the eye.

The Luck Of The Irish …………

The Luck Of The Irish …………

Granted week 5 of the NFL season comes about and there seems to the considered belief that a number of teams now simply struggling to stay alive . Four winless franchises and as pitiful as these performances have been for the ball clubs I am not so sure what to now expect !

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The Miami Dolphins are complete mess on both sides of the ball and incumbent starting quarterback Chad Henne now injured has been lost to the team and it would appear for their entire season . Henne’s backup Matt Moore is clearly not the answer as to the organization’s most dire need. Coach Tony Sparano and GM Jeff Ireland now have a decision to make as what is the Dolphins’ best interest as they seek to move forward without a true starting quarterback on the roster. David Garrard as a free agent remains unsigned but the player’s asking price may well be too high . In what now appears to be an act of desperation on the part of the Dolphins’ front office they have signed Sage Rosenfels . The less said on the matter , it is essentially for the better !

Now rooted firmly rooted at the bottom of the AFC East and there seems no apparent signs that things are about to change for the better as the team embark on their schedule . Team owner Stephen Ross might now have to make take a closer look at his coaching staff and the decisions that have been made the coaches. With the influx of draftees and offseason acquisitions the thought that these players would be able to make an immediate contribution has not materialized . As to what now awaits the Miami Dolphins over the remainder of this season remains to be seen.

If there has been a surprise to this season then it must be the fact that the St Louis Rams remain one of the quartet of teams that are winless . Injuries have plagued Steve Spagnuolo’s roster and the fact that incumbent starting quarterback Sam Bradford has suffered what seems to what many thought to be an innocuous injury but it has somehow affected the quarterback’s play and the team’s overall effectiveness.

The NFC West remains a division of where the quality of play can be best described as being anemic . And with Stephen Jackson simply having somewhat of an indifferent start to his season it certainly doesn’t bode well for the fortunes of this team at present.

There’s not much more that can be said about the Minnesota Vikings that hasn’t been said about this team already. Poor play and a coach in Leslie Frazier who appears to be out of his depth and who has a coaching staff that simply brings nothing to the table by way of their coaching acumen. With Christian Ponder about to be thrown into the fray after Donovan McNabb playing so ineptly the time was ripe for Ponder to be given the chance to prove himself to the Vikings’ fans. If the former FSU Seminole can by any measure showcase his college ability then this team certainly will be better off than having McNabb quarterback the ball club. .

Everything about the Minnesota Vikings would suggest that ” the window of opportunity” for the team has been slammed shut and is not about to open again anytime soon. For years the franchise has sought to be relevant during the modern era of the NFL . Now in the midst of this malaise there seems to be no sense being shown by anyone within the organization from the upper echelons of the hierarchy down to the players themselves.

We are all aware as to the issues now facing the Indianapolis Colts and the loss of quarterback Peyton Manning for the forseeable future . Such has been the conjecture and speculation regarding the future of the player that the statements from the front office of the Colts seemingly changes from one moment to the next . Perhaps none more so than the retraction of a “tweeted statement “ made by owner Jim Irsay . Now with the team off to an 0-4 start to their season and the inconsistent play of Kerry Collins and Curtis Painter one wonders how much worse things can now get for the organization . It is not as if the team is in a position to run off four or five consecutive wins and make themselves a contender within their division much less the conference as a whole .

Jim Caldwell and his coaching staff will now have to coax and cajole this team to play with a great deal more aggression than they have been exhibiting . And with the fact that there seems to be no one on the roster who is looking to assume the role of a leader , it leads me to believe that the Colts will be in for a tough time over the course of this season !

With the problems that the Colts now seem to be having at the quarterback position and there not being what one might deem an abundance of talented free agent quarterbacks available it will be interesting to see what maneuvers will be made by GM Bill Polian in conjunction with the team’s head coach in order to remedy the situation .

At the end of the regular season schedule all eyes will be on the postseason and the teams that have garnered the respective berths for the NFL’s season finales. Those left by the wayside in terms of the teams will be looking to the 2012 NFL Draft and the talent available amongst the declarees . With what appears to be an abundance of talent at the quarterback position the consensus will be that Andrew Luck will be the number one overall pick. The Stanford quarterback has had an outstanding collegiate career and it bodes well for any of the teams in question with the desire to make Luck the face of their franchise . Alongside the Stanford player there’s also Denard Robinson , Kellen Moore , Case Keenum , Landry Jones , Brandon Weeden , Robert Griffin III and Nick Foles to name but a few who may well declare for the NFL Draft.

Given the uniqueness of the situation for a number of NFL franchises and their situation it certainly will be interesting to see the choices being made by the respective head coaches and that of general managers when the time comes to make their draft choices . But as of now we will just have to see the season pans out for the teams mentioned within this article .

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have with regard to the immediate future of the four franchises discussed within this piece . Which of the quartet do you believe if possible may well end up taking that number one pick overall ? Furthermore , do you believe that the choice in question has to be a quarterback taken by that prospective team ? Simply a comment as to your thoughts anything else that you believe pertinent with regard to this piece .

Alan aka tophatal ………. https://tophatal.wordpress.com

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Picture and slide show details .

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(1) SAN DIEGO, CA – OCTOBER 2: the Miami Dolphins the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on October 2, 2011 in San Diego, California. The Chargers won 26-16 . Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images …..

(2) ST. LOUIS, MO – OCTOBER 2: Sam Bradford (8) of the St. Louis Rams playing with a nagging injury passes the ball against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on October 2, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Redskins beat the Rams 17-10 . Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images …….

(3) Quarterback Donovan McNabb (5) of the Minnesota Vikings reacts after throwing for a touchdown during the game against the Kansas City Chiefs on October 2, 2011 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images ….

(4) Quarterback Donovan McNabb (5) of the Minnesota Vikings is hit by Tyson Jackson (94) and Tamba Hali (91) of the Kansas City Chiefs as he scrambles during the game on October 2, 2011 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images ……

(5) TAMPA, FL – OCTOBER 3: Defensive lineman Michael Bennett (71) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers tackles quarterback Curtis Painter (7) of the Indianapolis Colts October 3, 2011 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images …..

(6) Quarterback Curtis Painter (7) of the Indianapolis Colts throws the ball against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on October 3, 2011 in Tampa, Florida. Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images ……

(7) Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck (12) waves to crowd after Stanford defeated UCLA —- 45-19 in an NCAA college football game in Stanford, Calif., Saturday, Oct. 1, 2011. Luck threw for 227 yards and three touchdowns. AP Photo/Paul Sakuma …. ….

(8) Landry Jones (12) of the Oklahoma Sooners passes against the Florida State Seminoles at Doak Campbell Stadium on September 17, 2011 in Tallahassee, Florida. Oklahoma would go on to defeat FSU 23-13 . Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images ……

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Oops Upside Your Head I Said Oops Upside Your Head !

Oops Upside Your Head I Said Oops Upside Your Head !

Well week one of the NFL season came about with a bang and in some cases something of a whimper given the rather morbid performances of some noted players. Anyone who witnessed the performance of Donovan McNabb in the Minnesota Vikings loss 24-17 to the San Diego Chargers . And though Chargers’ fans may well feel that they can take a great deal out this victory , in truth the team’s performance wasn’t really something to be desired . A seven point win but it was simply the woefully inept performance by Donovan McNabb that surely indicates that the player’s best years are behind him . Anyone who simply felt that McNabb would be the answer to the team’s woes has to be now rethinking that premise .

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From my own perspective , Zygi Wilf and the entire front office of Vikings clearly were sold a “bill of goods” in terms of the McNabb acquisition . As for Minnesota Vikings’ coach Leslie Frazier if he has pinned his hopes on the veteran quarterback leading this team to unprecedented heights then he clearly hasn’t learned anything in the aftermath of the Brett Favre fiasco under his predecessor Brad Childress and then last season with himself at the helm as coach of the team. And with the team’s quarterback Adrian Peterson having signed a multi year multi million contract this looks as if it could be a season of discontent for the Minnesota Vikings . McNabb’s stats from this season opener might just be the most anemic a performance of any quarterback in the league over the past five seasons . 7/15 , for 35 yards 0 TD’s and 0 INT’s and you have to wonder what happens next for the now beleaguered player. .

For those of you out there who are intrigued as to who Leslie Frazier may well choose to step into McNabb’s shoes . If not Joe Webb or Christian Ponder then you might as well say that the Vikings’ goose has been cooked . Without an adept quarterback to lead this team then there’s not a cat in hell’s chance of the Minnesota Vikings having a legitimate chance doing anything meaningful within the NFL this season .

From winning the AFC West last season and then garnering a postseason berth the Kansas City Chiefs had sought to improve on their showing last season . Todd Haley and his coaching staff along with quarterback Matt Cassel were looking to bolster their claims that they could be viewed as a legitimate contender within the AFC . Offseason acquisitions and a draft class thought to be the best amongst the teams within the conference and there might have been every reason to believe the claims made by the staff. Well if you have ever seen an anvil being dropped from a great height then the Chiefs’ 41-7 bludgeoning by the Buffalo Bills . If anything we can all attest to the fact that the Bills might well have been one of the worse performing teams in the NFL last season.

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Matt Ryan (46) of the Atlanta Falcons fumbles the ball against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on September 11, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Falcons 30-12 . Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images ……

In this game the Bills’ quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick had the type of performance that cast him as the second coming of Jim Kelly the Buffalo Bills’ Hall of Fame signal caller . There’s nothing to suggest that this Chiefs’ team possessed anything that was the equal of their conference opponents this past Sunday .

Care to suggest how the Kansas City Chiefs are likely to fare over the course the remainder of the season ? But simply base that thought upon the team’s woefully inept play against the Buffalo Bills . If you believe that the Chiefs are liable to improve then simply say “yes” , if not then obviously you’ll say ” no ” .

Mike Smith as coach of the Atlanta Falcons if he’s improve the goal of this organization . Smith over the past two seasons has seen gradual improvement not only in team’s play but also in the leadership qualities of his quarterback Matt Ryan . The player for his part is seen one of the bright young players at the position within the NFL . The Falcons for their part often regarded as a very good regular season team but come the postseason they simply floundered under the weight of great expectations .

In the Atlanta Falcons’ season opener against the Chicago Bears , wherein we saw an onslaught that the Falcons simply had no answer in a completely lopsided loss that not even most NFL fans would could have envisaged . Jay Cutler and his Bears’ teammates mauled the Atlanta Falcons 30-12 leaving the team in a complete daze. I have to admit that of all the games that took place this past weekend the result that I found to be the most surprising happened to be the lopsided defeat of the Atlanta Falcons .

One could surmise that the entrenched battle . between the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers and the absolute bloodbath in terms of the adversarial demeanor between these two heated NFC North foes had to be seen to be believed . Seven turnovers and a slew of mistakes by Steelers’ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger amongst others on what is usually well disciplined Steelers’ team coached by Mike Tomlinson .

To suggest that anyone could have foreseen the Baltimore Ravens laying waste to the Pittsburgh Steelers 35-7 would simply be a complete lie . The margin of victory was one thing but for the Steelers to be so thoroughly outplayed had to have come as a complete surprise . Joe Flacco , Ray Rice , Terrell Suggs , Ray Lewis and Anquan Boldin simply had a day at the office that they could all be pleased with . And for Ravens’ coach John Harbaugh this might be just the evidence needed to suggest that gutting of the roster from last season and the subsequent offseason moves that coincided with the draft picks was a vindication for the Ravens’ front office and coaching staff that the decisions made were simply the right ones at the time.

It is pretty much safe to say that the NFC West might just be the least competitive of all the divisions in the NFL . Anyone of the belief who simply belief that a team that wins its division with a sub .500 record should be viewed as a team with a legitimate chance of winning the Superbowl must be either satisfied with that type of mediocrity or they simply view those teams as viable within the NFL .

Each season the more I simply take in the events of the NFC West it is the more I feel that the appropriate action to take would be get a paper bag and simply begin to regurgitate the food I may well have ate earlier ! To describe the football being played within the division as mediocre would be to describe a painting by Van Gogh as average . Simply put , it’s diatribe being served up on a silver platter for the fans’ edification , not that the NFL fans should be subjected to this over the complete NFL regular season schedule by the teams within that division. But that’s ….. c’est la vie !

The Seattle Seahawks’ Pete Carroll is amongst the highest paid NFL coaches in the league earning in excess of $7 million a year . Granted , team owner Paul Allen is amongst the wealthiest individuals on the planet but I’m sure that even he and GM John Schneider could have imagined wherein the team would simply have regressed rather than taking a step forward . I have never really thought Pete Carroll to be a very good NFL coach as his previous tenures has proven that coaching in the NFL isn’t within his wheelhouse . But this where the front office executives and team owners simply become at times too enamored with a college coach who’s said to have attained unprecedented success. Nick Saban and Steve Spurrier should have been a clear indication that ………. all that glitters isn’t clearly gold .

The Seahawks were hosted by the San Francisco 49ers this past weekend and the effort put forth by Pete Carroll’s team can be best described as being anemic and completely devoid of any aggression . Funny how a team who made the playoffs last season can now be looked upon as quite possibly one of the worst performing franchises in the NFL , on both sides of the ball. The Niners came away with the bragging rights in the divisional game clearly laying waste to their opponent 33-17 . With the loss of Matt Hasselbeck to the Tennessee Titans as a free agent somehow the coach felt that former Vikings’ quarterback Tarvaris Jackson could be seen as an adequate successor to the seasoned veteran . Given Jackson’s performance in that game I somehow think that Pete Carroll’s problems have now increased immeasurably ! The coach’s options at the position are not that great beyond Charlie Whitehurst and Josh Portis , so it is hard to view this team as a viable contender within the NFC much less the league as a whole .

It has to be said that there would be no doubt that the Indianapolis Colts would suffer this season with the long term loss of their celebrated quarterback Peyton Manning . You simply knew that this team wouldn’t be the same with his loss. GM Bill Polian and the front office may well have felt that acquiring seasoned veteran Kerry Collins would indeed make a difference but in reality the Colts are not a team that play on par with a nemesis when they simply haven’t got their best offensive weapon at the helm as the signal caller and in truth you cannot expect them to be .

Colts’ head coach Jim Caldwell and the coaching staff may well now have to keep the playbook simple for Collins and the team to have any semblance of success this season . Given the experience and the shock to the system of their season opener I am inclined to believe that the Indianapolis Colts are likely to struggle over the course of this year . The humiliating defeat the Colts suffered at the hands of the Houston Texans was enough to suggest that we might well be seeing the decline of a team who having the lost its leader has now become a rudderless vessel about to be capsized at sea. That 34-7 loss more than suggested how devoid of leadership this team becomes , without Peyton Manning but even more so , when you realize that there was no one willing to step up to the plate and assume the role as a leader . Say what you will , but if they are to fare well this season then someone has to be seen as the new leader on thus team .

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

The NFL lockout may well have played its part in the rust we have seen from the teams in their performances in this first regular season scheduled game . But if anything it has to be said the coaches and their staffs had more than enough time to prepare their squads for expectations of what is always expected to be an arduous season . Simply put some of the teams in question may well have performed badly , much of it from their own doing and complete lack of preparation . If nothing else this could well be what we could very well expect over the next few games . But from my perspective these teams on the wrong side of these lopsided losses must have felt that they had been hit upside their heads ! What thoughts if any do you have from this first week of the NFL schedule ? Do you expect to see more of the same or could it be that this was merely a minor blip on the screen for many of the franchises in question ? Simply chime in with a comment as you deem fit .

Alan aka tophatal …….. https://tophatal.wordpress.com

Picture and slide show details below .

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(1) SAN DIEGO, CA – SEPTEMBER 11: Donovan McNabb #5 of the Minnesota Vikings in the huddle with his teammates against the San Diego Chargers during their NFL Game on September 11, 2011 at Qualcomm Stadium in San DIego, California. Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images ….

(2) Donovan McNabb (5) of the Minnesota Vikings in action against the San Diego Chargers during their NFL Game on September 11, 2011 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images …….

(3) Adrian Peterson (28) of the Minnesota Vikings is tackled by Donald Butler (56) and Takeo Spikes (51) of the San Diego Chargers during their NFL Game on September 11, 2011 at Qualcomm Stadium in San DIego, California. Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images ……….

(4) Quarterback Matt Cassel (7) of the Kansas City Chiefs reacts after a turnover during the game against the Buffalo Bills at Arrowhead Stadium on September 11, 2011 in Kansas City, Missouri. Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images …….

(5) Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) of the Buffalo Bills in action during the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on September 11, 2011 in Kansas City, Missouri. Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images …..

(6) Matt Ryan (46) of the Atlanta Falcons fumbles the ball against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on September 11, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Falcons 30-12 . Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images ……

(7) John Abraham (55) #55 of the Atlanta Falcons sacks Jay Cutler (6) of the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on September 11, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Falcons 30-12. Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images ……

(8) Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) of the Pittsburgh Steelers scrambles while being pressured by defender Arthur Jones (97) of the Baltimore Ravens during second half of the season opener at M&T Bank Stadium on September 11, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images …….

(9) Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll walks the sidelines during their season opener against the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park on September 11, 2011 in San Francisco, California. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images …….

(10) Tarvaris Jackson (7) of the Seattle Seahawks drops back to pass against the San Francisco 49ers in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game at Candlestick Park on September 11, 2011 in San Francisco, California. the 49ers won the game 33-17 . Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images ……

(11) Quarterback Kerry Collins (5) of the Indianapolis Colts is blind sighted by linebacker Mario Williams (90) of the Houston Texans on September 11, 2011 at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. Texans won 34-7 . Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images …

(12) Head coach Gary Kubiak talks with quarterback Matt Schaub (8) of the Houston Texans during a time out against the Indianapolis Colts on September 11, 2011 at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. Texans won 34 -7 .(Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images ……..

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The More You Know ……….. In Reality It’s The Less You Know

The More You Know ……….. In Reality It’s The Less You Know

As the NFL lockout looks as if it’s running its prolonged course I find it all the laughable when I hear fans stipulate that there’s nothing that’ll be lost for some of the teams from a financial and economic standpoint. Well as things now progress we’re now learning that a number of teams are gravely struggling to even sell preseason game tickets much less season tickets for the upcoming season . Amongst the teams looking to stave off the problems now besetting them are the Oakland Raiders . In light of the fact that during the 2010 season the Raiders in terms of their attendance for their home games were amongst the lowest in the NFL . Team owner Al Davis as an added incentive to his staff at all levels within the organization has requested that they each try sell no less than 10% of their salary in terms of ticket sales . This is something that he’s not only asking of the sales staff but all employees within the Raiders’ organization. If the front office is on board in terms of this then it can only benefit the Raiders’ organization as a whole .

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There’s a feeling that as the lockout shows no signs of an accord being met between the parties concerned in terms of the damage done to the NFL’s image is now beyond irreparable . NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell along with the team owners now find themselves trying to how best spin this situation wherein in order the premise of the situation is in their favor.
The fans however don’t actually see it that way and if anything they do feel alienated by this whole situation. The NFLPA for its part along with its members are looking to challenge the NFL’s antitrust exemption status within the Federal Court System . Signees to this civil suit are some of the most prominent players in the NFL , each are Superbowl winning quarterbacks Tom Brady , Drew Brees and Peyton Manning . The trial itself is still ongoing and it looks as if it will be a while before the judge renders a verdict in this particular case.

We all can look back on the fact that the 2010 season was quite an enthralling one with the Superbowl itself turning out to be quite an exciting spectacle with the Geen Bay Packers finally hoisting the Lombardi Trophy in their defeat of the Pittsburgh Steelers . Superbowl MVP Aaron Rodgers stood tall in the saddle and has pretty much eradicated the memory of Brett Favre amongst the Packers’ fans at Lambeau Field . And given Favre’s antics in the past few years with the New York Jets and Minnesota Vikings I feel that it’s a great thing that the player has since walked away from the game under his own steam !

In light of Favre’s retirement I must say that in the latter years of his storied career I found the player to be self serving and an ingrate ! If nothing else I have to admit the longer Brett Favre stayed in the game thinking that he could in fact bring a championship to any franchise willing to meet his asking price like a mercenary for hire simply showed what a narcissistic asshole …… Brett Favre had become ! What might be even more comical was the mere fact that the idiot analysts covering the game within ESPN and Fox Sports clung unto Favre’s every word as if he were a deity rendering his thoughts on the NFL and his own aspirations. Statistics asides it’s almost certain that Favre will become a first ballot Hall of Famer having met the criteria for his induction .

I’m not so sure that the Western Conference Finals of the NBA postseason is all that enticing . Granted , we have two offensively minded teams in the Dallas Mavericks and Oklahoma City Thunder . Defense seems to have gone out the window as both teams are intent in merely showing us their offensive prowess . In this series we also have two of the most prominent scorers in the game with Kevin Durant and Dirk Nowitzki .

With the series tied at 1-1 , game three’s resumption of this series in Oklahoma City with the Mavericks looking to take the upper hand in the series by taking a 2-1 lead in this best of seven playoff match-up. For Scott Brooks as the coach of the Thunder can ill afford to go down to 2-1 at home in this series knowing full well that they will have dug themselves int a hole. Brooks will have to emphasize to his players that they need to step up their game and be fully aware as to the dangers that this series brings if they continue to remain complacent. Durant in conjunction with Russell Westbrook will have to be weary of what their contributions must be throughout this series . Anything short of their regular season performances and this series will end up being beyond the Thunder’s retrieval .

Mavericks’ coach Rick Carlisle has in large part instilled a workman like commitment from his players in doing what’s best for the team from a collective standpoint and we’ve seen that in the contributions from a number of players on this roster . Asides from Nowitzki we’ve seen aging veterans Jason Kidd , Jason Terry show their guile . But if anything it has been the play of the bench players such as J J Barea , Tyson Chandler , Shawn Marion and Brendan Haywood that have played their part in the Mavericks’ success this season and in the playoffs. Now that the success is now being replicated in this series it augurs well for the Mavericks and their ambition to win their first NBA title .

Mark Cuban as owner of this franchise has long sought to bring success to the organization. Now it may well be finally be within his grasp . The fact that in the organization’s sole appearance in the NBA Finals they came up short to an enlivened Miami Heat team that simply outplayed them in every facet of that particular series . A humbling 4-2 series loss was enough to send the Mavericks packing their bags home and back to the Lone Star State.

I’d like to think that the Dallas Mavericks in their endeavor to make it to the NBA’s showcase event can actually redeem themselves. In the aftermath of that NBA Finals series’ loss I felt that the window of opportunity may well have closed on this organization. But now I know that to be oh so false as the Mavericks have shown me that they finally possess some grit and determination . As this series plays itself out it will be interesting to see how both teams will acquit themselves knowing that there’s a great deal on the line for both of these organizations.

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In terms of the NFL’s continued lockout what remedies do you feel would best bring the two sides together in reaching an amicable accord ? And as you observe the NBA Playoff series has there been anything that has come a complete surprise to you as it’s about to reach its latter stages ? Simply chime in with your own thoughts on the points raised within this piece and as always thanks for the continued support .

Alan aka tophatal …….

Picture and slide show details below .

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(1) New Oakland Raiders coach Hue Jackson (L) looks on as Raiders owner Al Davis (R) speaks to reporters after introducing Jackson as the new head coach of the Oakland Raiders on January 18, 2011 in Alameda, California. Hue Jackson was introduced as the new coach of the Oakland Raiders, replacing the fired Tom Cable. Getty Images North America / Justin Sullivan …..

(2) Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) celebrates winning Super Bowl XLV over the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25 with his family at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas on February 6, 2011. Kevin Terrell/NFL) ….

(3) Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre leaves the field after warmups at Ford Field before their their NFL football game against the New York Giants in Detroit, Monday, Dec. 13, 2010. Favre is inactive for the game with the New York Giants, ending his record consecutive starts streak at 297, dating back to 1992. The Giants would defeat the Vikings 24-3 AP Photo/Paul Sancya …..

(4) James Harden (13) of the Oklahoma City Thunder goes up for a shot against Jason Kidd(2) of the Dallas Mavericks in the second half in Game Three of the Western Conference Finals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs at Oklahoma City Arena on May 21, 2011 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The Mavericks would go on to defeat the Thunder 93-87 to take 2-1 lead in the best of seven Western Conference Finals . Getty Images / Ronald Martinez ……

(5) OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – MAY 21: (L-R) Jason Terry(31) , Peja Stojakovic (16) , Brendan Haywood(33), Dirk Nowitzki(41) and Jose Juan Barea (11) of the Dallas Mavericks celebrate on the court in the second quarter while taking on the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Three of the Western Conference Finals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs at Oklahoma City Arena on May 21, 2011 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Getty Images / Ronald Martinez ………

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Takes And Sporting Takes ……………..

Takes And Sporting Takes ……………..

There’s not much else that can be said about the life of John Wooden that hasn’t been said. His life is an open book and his achievements are legendary . But if anything what may well have been this coach’s greatest achievement was the fact that not did he turn out so many outstanding players but also so many outstanding human beings who turned out to be productive citizens . If that isn’t enough of an indictment as to Wooden’s stature and greatness then simply put I don’t know what is !

Well the NBA Finals have started and based on the evidence that we’ve all witnessed so far it looks as if the Boston Celtics may not be around all that long. The perception that this would be a very entertaining series doesn’t seem to be materializing at all. The defending champions the Los Angeles Lakers have all but made the Boston Celtics look like an aging quartet of geriatrics . And for Ray Allen , Kevin Garnett , Paul Pierce and Rasheed Wallace this all seems to be coming to fruition. The more athletic Lakers have simply taken it to the Celtics and put them in their place. And it could well be that the Phil Jackson coached Lakers are looking to avenge their defeat at the hands of the Celtics from the 2008 NBA Finals .

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Should the Lakers prevail in the series then it would garner the team its sixteenth NBA title and gain Jackson his eleventh NBA title as a coach. In doing so it would place the illustrious coach in the same stratosphere as the “Wizard of Westwood”, John Wooden, as the two most successful coaches in team sports. Wooden won ten NCAA basketball titles as a coach and one as a player.

Now call me naïve but much has been made as to the travails of Tiger Woods as of late and his poor showing in The Players’ Championship (Ponte` Vedra Beach,Fl) was about as bad a performance as we’ve seen from Woods in years. With his private life awry it appears that Woods’ world is now upside down. And with Phil Mickelson’s win at The Masters , we now might have a rivalry worth following in the world of golf. But then again I may well be wrong. Woods for his own part hasn’t necessarily made things easier for himself as of late having parted ways with his swing instructor Hank Haney .

With the US Open (Pebble Beach Golf Club, Pebble Beach, California ) now but a few weeks away, it appears that Woods is at a crossroads in his career. And things are now spiraling out of control and it appears that Tiger Woods has no real answer as to his dilemma.

Whatever your take on the baseball season it has to be said that the surprises and disappointments have been profound for a number of teams . The Baltimore Orioles are mired in a mediocre season have fired their manager Dave Trembley and replaced him with Juan Samuel . And for all sense and purpose based on the team’s first display under their new manager , things aren’t likely to take a turn for the better. This is still a poorly performing team that is lacking confidence and whose owner might just be in a situation where he has all but given up hope of having anything approaching what one might deem a successful season. Owner Peter Angelos and GM Andy MacPhail have shown a preponderance of simply turning from one disaster to the next , as the Orioles continue not only to disappoint their long suffering fans. But the idiocy of the announcement being made by the executives that they’re about to turn the corner, shows about as much hope as trying to ascend Mount Everest with but a pocket knife and string. Things are continuing to get worse for the Orioles and there’s no sign that they’re about to get any better anytime soon.

With Ken Griffey Jr’s announcement that he has retired from the game that he’s graced for two decades, seems to have brought us to a moment where we are still in awe as to the player’s abilities. To my mind , Griffey was simply the greatest player” of his generation !. That’s with due respect to the now infamous steroid enhanced Alex Rodriguez. Multiple All Star and Golden Glove winner as well as the AL MVP in 1997 . Ken Griffey Jr has given us moments to savor. Watching Griffey’s swing of the bat was and still is one of the sweetest in the game and his prowess in the outfield was second to none. With Jr’s retirement, it now leaves us with perhaps only Albert Pujols , Derek Jeter and Ichiro Suzuki as the three players from this past decade whom we might look at and say ……….”well they’re clean” . But then again in this day and age in the era where under Bud Selig’s custody the game of baseball has been a complete fraud in terms of many of the players’ performances. You simply can no longer look at a player’s achievements without questioning those accomplishments.

The biggest joke may well the less than honest observations on the game made by so called journalists covering the game. I personally have no respect for the likes of Buster Olney or Peter Gammons . They’re self serving lap dogs who’ve done the sport a great disservice but this is merely my opinion on the matter. As they’ve never shown the perspicacity to even cover the “steroid era” in depth and state their own thoughts with the readers or fans as to the shame and dishonor that certain players have brought to the game. But then again what would you expect from two individuals who are about as superfluous as they come . While Gammons and Olney come across as insightful and as authoritative a duo on the sport as one would hope to find. It appears that both of these writers would prefer not to bite the hand that feeds them in terms of the hierarchy of MLB . And when you observe signs such as this , then for all sense and purpose you can take it to the bank that their thoughts on the sport are about as worthwhile as a piece of fecal matter found on a sidewalk.

Well it appears that the NFL season though just months away. It appears that free agent wide receiver Terrell Owens has yet to find a home. And you can bet your bottom dollar that Owens’ agent Drew Rosenhaus will be doing his level best to find his high profiled client a home. And for Owens, whose best years are now behind him rather than ahead of him. It’s becoming increasingly clear that there might not be many takers for the now declining skills of Owens . But yet somehow the player still believes that he can contribute to a team given the right environment.

Now as you know the closer we get to the start of the NFL preseason the more ramped up the stories will become concerning ESPN’s fodder and staple over the entire preseason. If Brett Favre has a problem with flatulence , you can be sure that ESPN will be reporting it. OK , so I might be going a bit overboard concerning that the cable network might be reporting on Favre’s flatulence. But then again, when hasn’t the network known to sank to lowest common denominator ? The network’s lust for the former league MVP borders on being idolatry . But then again, what’s a bit of idolatry when at any given moment at your choosing you can afford to take down that deity should you choose to ? But that would be the last thing on ESPN’s mind at any juncture ?

Now don’t get me wrong Brett Favre in his glory years was a player of extraordinary gifts and a passion for the game. But Favre’s passion while unabated , his gifts have declined. Doubt my word , then simply look at his performance in the waning moments of last season’s NFC championship game against the eventual Superbowl champions the New Orleans Saints . And while it has to be said that Favre is clearly a better option than that of Sage Rosenfels and Tarvaris Jackson of the Minnesota Vikings . One now gets the impression that if Favre can’t take the Vikings to the “promised land” this upcoming season , then more likely than not this will be the last time that we’ll see the player helming a team as its quarterback. That being said Favre’s preponderance for playing the fool and holding a team ransom as he ponders his future is about well intentioned as the Taliban’s wish to commit to a peace deal with the United States.

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Well these are but a few of my takes and sporting takes as it relates to the world of sports. Has there been anything of late that has you wondering what’s happening in the world of sports that quite possibly is for the betterment of the game as you see it ? By all means do chime on in with a comment as always thanks for the continued support as it’s greatly appreciated !

NB: At the original time of my writing this piece the result of game two of the finals was not yet known. But in light of the Celtics attaining a 103-94 victory in game two the series is now leveled at 1-1 .

Alan Parkins aka tophatal ………………..

Santana ………………. “Samba pa ti”

Ladies And Gentlemen The 1,000 lb Gorilla Is Back In The Room And His Flatulence Is As Great As Ever ………… Welcome Back Brett Favre …………

Ladies And Gentlemen The 1,000 lb Gorilla Is Back In The Room And His Flatulence Is As Great As Ever ………… Welcome Back Brett Favre …………

You can’t blame them for trying but surely the Minnesota Vikings and their front office knew what they were letting themselves for , when they signed Brett Favre to what they felt was a favorable two year ‘$24 million deal’ ? Now with the team’s season having been so abruptly ended in the ‘NFC championship game loss’ to the New Orleans Saints. The organization must now await a decision from the veteran quarterback as to whether or not he will indeed return to the NFL and to the team for ‘an astonishing twentieth season’ .

Who couldn’t have envisioned this particular ‘soap opera’ starting all over again ? And if those as_holes within Bristol, Connecticut, start to chime in that…… ‘it is Brett’s right to once again walk away and take time to think things over’. Then I’ve got these nine words to state to you all…..’ f_ck you and the horse you rode in on ‘ ! It may well be Favre’s right to take time away from the game to think things through but it ‘certainly does not give him the right to hold another organization hostage’ while he acts like a petulant school child ! We’ve seen this twice before , with his retiring and un-retiring to return to the game. What’s he now become ? A rabbit that can be pulled out of a hat repeatedly as part of a magic trick to entertain the most discerning fans of the NFL ? If that is the case, then can be sawed in half and then not be put back together again ? That’s a trick that I’d love to see concerning Brett Favre at this particular moment in time. Because when it’s all said and done this whole shtick of his , has become tired and played out ! If anything, it borders on being insulting to the fans , to the game of football and the entire NFL !

New Orleans January 24th 2010:  Kim Kardashian looks on as her boyfriend Reggie Bush (R) of the New Orleans Saints talks on the phone after his team's victory against the Minnesota Vikings to win the NFC Championship Game at the Louisana Superdome.  photo appears courtesy of  Getty  Images /  Michael Rourke .................
New Orleans January 24th 2010: Kim Kardashian looks on as her boyfriend Reggie Bush (R) of the New Orleans Saints talks on the phone after his team's victory against the Minnesota Vikings to win the NFC Championship Game at the Louisana Superdome. photo appears courtesy of Getty Images / Michael Rourke .................

Courtesy of NFL.com and the Associated Press


Vikings ponder Favre’s future with team while coping with defeat

Eden Prairie, Minn. — One after another, the Minnesota Vikings mentioned how much they enjoyed playing with Brett Favre.

Will the fun will be one season and done?

The devastated Vikings gathered Monday at their practice facility for exit physicals and meetings with coaches, two weeks sooner than they hoped because of an epic overtime loss to the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Championship Game.

Despite all the other intriguing in-game developments and offseason storylines, the day-after focus fell on the 40-year-old Favre’s future. He didn’t appear in the locker room at Winter Park while it was open to reporters, but his demeanor after the game and responses from teammates suggested that he’s leaning toward quitting.

For now.

“In a situation like this, I really don’t want to make a decision right now based on what’s happened, because I do know the year could not have gone any better, aside from us not going to Miami,” Favre said Sunday night at the Superdome. “I really enjoyed it, to be honest. Just wondering if I can hold up, especially after a day like today.”

Favre took a beating by the Saints, and the ankle injury he suffered during the third quarter was another reminder of how draining the game has been for him mentally and physically down the stretch of his 19-year NFL career.

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Quarterback Brett Favre (#4) of the Minnesota Vikings<strong> kneels on the turf in pain after he took a hard hit </strong> against the New Orleans Saints during the NFC Championship Game at the Louisiana Superdome on January 24, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  photo appears  courtesy  of Getty Images/  Chris  Graythen  ................
Quarterback Brett Favre (#4) of the Minnesota Vikings kneels on the turf in pain after he took a hard hit against the New Orleans Saints during the NFC Championship Game at the Louisiana Superdome on January 24, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. photo appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Chris Graythen ................

The championship game itself was exhilarating to watch as ‘both teams’ gave each other the very best that they had to offer. Favre’s counterpart,Drew Brees, showed why on his seasonal form alone and then his postseason play, the he has to be now considered an ‘elite quarterback’ in the NFL. On my scorecard, he’d be considered one of ‘the top two or three’ in the entire league ! I’d certainly now place him alongside the likes of Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, most definitely ! And if the game was on the line then I’d certainly choose him over an error prone and gunslinger in the mold of Brett Favre. Want further proof of that fact then just look at the asinine play of the Vikings’ quarterback in the waning moments when he saw fit to throw an interception into double coverage. I’m not averse to taking risks but there’s a time and a place for doing it and at that time it was just wasn’t worth it all. Not in the waning moments of the game when many of your teammates around are weary not only physically but also mentally. He could’ve played out the clock in regulation and then take it from there. But no, that’s not the way that Brett Favre likes to do things at all . If he’s not the center of attention then it’s just not worth it for him to be the focus of everyone’s gaze.

While I’m an admirer of Favre as a player when he’s at the top of his game. My sole problem with him , is his persona away from the field and how he conducts himself. Many consider him to great player and there’s a case to made that he’s amongst the all-time greats to have played the game. As to whether or not he can be considered to be a great teammate , then we’ll have to await the testimonies of those forthcoming who’ve played alongside him over the years. But it’d appear that the player has his ‘supporters’ and ‘detractors’ amongst his peers within the NFL. And this was certainly evidenced when he departed from his two prior stays within the league, first with the Green Bay Packers and then with the New York Jets. Though the fans there in Green Bay, Wisconsin, still see him as a football deity (god), while others view him something of a betrayer of their trust. Personally, I feel that Favre is a little of both but I’m liable to come down on the side that his behavior can be seen as nothing more than that of an immature and often well though out individual who also happens to be amoral. Favre does his thing and to hell with what anyone thinks until it’s time for him to tell his side of the story. I wonder what the likes of both the Packers’ and Jets’ front office staff must be thinking right about now ? I’ve no doubt that they’re indeed chuckling over this, while considering the Vikings’ present fate !

(L-R) Drew Brees (#9) and head coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints celebrate after the Saints' <strong>31-28 overtime win</strong> against the Minnesota Vikings during the NFC Championship Game at the Louisiana Superdome on January 24, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  photo appears  courtesy of  Getty  Images/  Chris  Graythen  ...................
(L-R) Drew Brees (#9) and head coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints celebrate after the Saints' 31-28 overtime win against the Minnesota Vikings during the NFC Championship Game at the Louisiana Superdome on January 24, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. photo appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Chris Graythen ...................

Courtesy of NFL.com and Associated Press

Favre left limping away from another title game loss; future unclear

New Orleans — Battered and beaten, Brett Favre limped off the field for perhaps the final time.

His head down, the pained look on his face was brought on as much by a head-scratching turnover as it was by a bone-crunching hit from Bobby McCray.

With the NFC title game tied, the Minnesota Vikings close to field goal range and mere seconds left, Favre made the kind of mistake he had avoided all season. He committed the No. 1 no-no for an NFL quarterback when he threw the ball late and back over the middle toward Sidney Rice, and Tracy Porter stepped in front to intercept the pass Sunday.

New Orleans won the coin toss in overtime, and before Favre could take the field, Drew Brees drove them into position for Garrett Hartley’s winning field goal that gave the Saints a 31-28 victory and their first Super Bowl berth.

After the game, a glassy-eyed Favre had scratches on his nose and bruises on his forehead. He said he wasn’t quite ready to make a decision on his future just yet.

“I know people are rolling their eyes or will roll their eyes,” Favre said. “In a situation like this I really don’t want to make a decision right now based on what’s happened because I do know the year could not have gone any better aside from us not going to Miami. I really enjoyed it, to be honest.

“Just wondering if I can hold up, especially after a day like today. Physically and mentally. That was pretty draining. I am going to go home, a couple of days and just talk it over with the family.”

The interception was a crushing end to an inspiring performance by Favre, who hobbled around the field for the entire final period after a hit by McCray put him on the trainer’s table with a left ankle he thought might be broken.

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Having lost 31-28 to the Saints in the NFC championship game played at the Saints’ home venue of the Louisiana Superdome , in-front of a sold-out crowd and millions of viewers on broadcast television. It has become apparent that with this loss we may well have seen Brett Favre for the very last time in an NFL uniform. As we all know Favre marches to the beat of his very own drum. And that drum is about to beat at an ever increasing decibel over the ensuing months. And the likes of ESPN’s Mark Schlereth , John Clayton , Chris Mortensen and Chris Berman will make sure that the noise emanating from that drum will be heard loud and clear across the tv airwaves. Never mind the fact that the sports talk radio hosts will make this ‘the daily gristle’ that their listeners can chime in on. And those within the denizen of ESPN will continue to show support for Brett Favre earnestly, without ever questioning the player’s motives or his behavior , as to how he has treated or continues to treat many of the organizations that he’s played for over the course of his career. Fu_k me but is it really going to get this bad throughout the entire NFL off-season ? I sincerely hope not !

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre wipes his face as he leaves the field following their loss to the New Orleans Saints the NFC Championship NFL football game in New Orleans, Sunday, Jan. 24, 2010. The Saints defeated the Vikings 31-28 to advance to the Super Bowl against the Indianapolis Colts. It may  well  have  been the  <strong>  last  professional  game played  by   Favre in an  NFL  uniform. </strong> But  somehow this  all  could  turn  out to  be  more of  the  <strong>'usual dramatic soap opera' </strong> that we've come use  to  seeing  from  Favre  over the  last  couple  of  years .   photo appears  courtesy  of   Associated Press/ Morry  Gash .......
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre wipes his face as he leaves the field following their loss to the New Orleans Saints the NFC Championship NFL football game in New Orleans, Sunday, Jan. 24, 2010. The Saints defeated the Vikings 31-28 to advance to the Super Bowl against the Indianapolis Colts. It may well have been the last professional game played by Favre in an NFL uniform. But somehow this all could turn out to be more of the 'usual dramatic soap opera' that we've come use to seeing from Favre over the last couple of years . photo appears courtesy of Associated Press/ Morry Gash .......

My own wish is to see Brett Favre walk away from the game if this is to his final time, make an emphatic statement that this it and he’s finally done ! No fu_cking us all around with his …..will or won’t he bulls_hit ! It’s enough that we’ve had to put up with this repeatedly and see Brett act like a woman who’s on her menstrual cycle, undecided as to what she wants or when she wants it. For God’s sake just shut the f_ck up make the statement and then march your a-s off back down to Kiln, Mississippi, to be with your family. They at this moment in time, I’m sure need you more than the game itself needs you ! We’ve the years of glorious memories that you’ve given . So why now continue to tarnish your legacy with your childlike behavior ? You’re more than that aren’t you ? Or are you ? Would my summation then be correct , as I’ve characterized you in the title of this piece ? Are you indeed ‘……………The 1,000 lb Gorilla In The Room With Flatulence And Your Act Is As Great As Ever ? Either walk away or come back but if you intend to do so , then don’t hold an organization and its fans hostage as you’ve done repeatedly before. It’s undignified and beneath you as a human being !

Perhaps this song personifies Brett Favre’s situation as to his post-season meltdowns over the last few years ? Bone Thugs N Harmony ‘I Tried So Hard’ feat’g Akon. Granted, Brett could never be considered to be a black man but he’s now the one who’s said to be creating the misery within the NFL. As this whole scenario will no doubt overshadow the NFL’s Pro Bowl game and the NFL’s showcase event itself , the Superbowl to be held in Miami , a week from this upcoming Sunday.

You Play The Game To Win …….. Why The Dallas Cowboys Are A Bunch of Emasculated Pu_sies !

You Play The Game To Win …. Why The Dallas Cowboys Are A Bunch of Emasculated Pu_sies !

The fallout from the weekend’s playoff games aren’t that seismic. There were no coaching casualties. But then again both Wade Phillips and Norv Turner were never in any real danger of losing their jobs. And that’s despite the ‘pi_s poor performances’ of their respective teams . The San Diego Charger’s unexpected 17-14 loss to the New York Jets at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego , was as bad as it gets.

Lacking in class is nothing new to the Cowboys or their player, Keith Brooking, for that matter !

For their part the Dallas Cowboys as an organization shows us essentially how disorganized they are. On the outside looking in, the Cowboys may well seem a semblance of a well ran machine. But that’s the furthest thing from the truth. Nothing epitomized that more than the gutless act of Cowboys’ defensive player, Keith Brooking and his vapid verbal attack on the Minnesota Vikings as they scored what would be the final score of the game. I was always under the impression that it was the opposition’s task as the defensive team to stop that the offense of their opponents ? But a bitch ass wimp such as Brooking complains that the Vikings were being ‘bush league’ by running up the score ? How about ‘Brooking and his teammates trying to stop the Vikings’ , instead of complaining like a kid who’d just wet himself in front of his friends and was embarrassed by what’d taken place ? The 34-3 win by the Minnesota Vikings was something that showed us how ill prepared the Cowboys were for this game in the Metrodome. Brooking showed why it is that the Cowboys as a team are a listless and rudderless sea vessel. There’s ‘no leadership on this team’ and what’s even more glaring is that the coaching isn’t that great to begin with. Wade Phillips for all of his presence is extremely lucky to still be in the position as coach of the Dallas Cowboys. That’s probably due to the fact that there isn’t a viable candidate out there to assume the position. The reason I say that, is because neither Bill Cowher, Jon Gruden, Tony Dungy or any other college coach who’s ready for the jump to the NFL would simply have the patience to work alongside or under Jerry Jones. The Cowboys’ owner simply isn’t someone who takes to being told what to do.

Quarterback Tony Romo (#9) of the Dallas Cowboys throws a pass as he comes under pressure from Chad Greenway (#52) of the Minnesota Vikings during the third quarter of the NFC Divisional Playoff Game at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome on January 17, 2010 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  photo  appears  courtesy  of Getty Images/ Elsa  ......
Quarterback Tony Romo (#9) of the Dallas Cowboys throws a pass as he comes under pressure from Chad Greenway (#52) of the Minnesota Vikings during the third quarter of the NFC Divisional Playoff Game at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome on January 17, 2010 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. photo appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Elsa ......

If there’s to be an upheaval then it may well happen within the San Diego Chargers’ organization. It’s unlikely that we’ll see Dainian Tomlinson in a Chargers’ uniform next season. What has been an illustrious career with the team will now come to an end. As to whether or not we’ll see Tomlinson playing for another team remains to be seen. Chargers’ GM A J Smith has a great deal to assess, as far as the roster is concerned. This loss wasn’t just about the Chargers’ failure as a team but the mere fact that when pressured this team just didn’t show any resolve or resilience. But it also showed that the coaching staff itself , didn’t prepare the team for the onslaught of the Rex Ryan coached Jets would throw at the Chargers.

In this Oct. 19, 2009 file photo, the Chicago Bears introduce Gaines Adams reacts during a news conference at Halas Hall in Lake Forest, Ill. Adams, a defensive lineman for the Bears who was an all-American at Clemson, died Sunday, Jan. 17, 2010, in South Carolina, the Bears said. He was 26. photo appears courtesy of  ap/photo/ Daily  Herald/ Herald, Paul Valade .....
In this Oct. 19, 2009 file photo, the Chicago Bears introduce Gaines Adams reacts during a news conference at Halas Hall in Lake Forest, Ill. Adams, a defensive lineman for the Bears who was an all-American at Clemson, died Sunday, Jan. 17, 2010, in South Carolina, the Bears said. He was 26. photo appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Daily Herald/ Herald, Paul Valade .....

On a more disturbing note , the Chicago Bears’ defensive player Gaines Adams died at the age of 26, from an apparent heart attack. Adams often the bone of contention amongst most Buccaneers’ fans here in local market. As he struggled to make his presence felt here as a player. With him being a first round pick in the NFL Draft of 2007 by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers , he was traded to the Chicago Bears, early this past season. He’d ran the wrath of Bucs’ coach Raheem Morris for not being productive and lacking knowledge of the team’s playbook. His playing time with the Bears was further reduced and if anything his struggles merely continued. It just seems so strange to see the number of NFL players who seem to have something of an untimely demise over the last few years. Thankfully this tragedy didn’t take place on the field of play but even so, this is a loss that will be felt across the entire fraternity of the NFL. Especially for someone as young as Gaine Adams , a player whose life was taken far too soon.

Remember The Siege Of The Alamo ……….. ? Well It Went Something Like This ………..

Remember The Siege Of The Alamo ……….. ? Well It Went Something Like This ………..

Way to go Cowboys ! I don’t think it right any longer that you use the name of the city of Dallas as part of the organization’s name. You’ve done the city and the fans a great discredit. The effort put forth by you as a team was so bad that I thought I was witnessing the very siege of The Alamo, itself. Can we now all agree that this is no longer ‘America’s Team’ ? Better yet turn this bunch of overpaid fecal matter over to those who’d have use for them. Tony Romo has been often called an ‘elite quarterback’ in the NFL. Never has been and he never will be , not based on this display ! And for God’s sake, Jerry Jones put us immediately out of our misery by either firing Jason Garrett or Wade Phillips , if not both ! The two between them had no answer for Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings.

Wide receiver Sidney Rice (#18)) of the Minnesota Vikings celebrates while playing against the Dallas Cowboys during the first half of the NFC Divisional Playoff Game at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome on January 17, 2010 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  The Vikings defeated the Cowboys 34-3. photo  appear  courtesy  of  Getty Images/ Elsa  ....
Wide receiver Sidney Rice (#18)) of the Minnesota Vikings celebrates while playing against the Dallas Cowboys during the first half of the NFC Divisional Playoff Game at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome on January 17, 2010 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings defeated the Cowboys 34-3. photo appear courtesy of Getty Images/ Elsa ....

Now to describe the defeat of the Cowboys as being lopsided would be to do the very word itself an injustice. Let’s just say that the siege that was laid down by the Vikings harbored on be an outright massacre. The Cowboys were woefully inept and any thought that this game was going to be a competitive one was easily shot down by the resiliency and bravado play shown by the Minnesota Vikings. Suffice to say, that for Brett Favre, he makes another trip to an NFC championship game after the 34-3 lambasting of the Cowboys. And that score if anything tells how dominant the Vikings were over their NFC East opponents. And for Vikings’ coach , Brad Childress this might be the vindication he’s sought in bringing Favre to the city of Minneapolis, in order to quarterback this team to where he believes that they belong. And that presumably is amongst the elite of the NFL and rightfully on to a Superbowl victory in Miami.

Courtesy of Associated Press and Yahoo Sports

Cowboys QB Romo folds in blowout loss to Vikings

By John Krawcynzski , AP Sports Writer

Minneapolis (AP)—All those big-game demons that Tony Romo supposedly vanquished last week resurfaced at the worst possible time for the Dallas Cowboys.

Romo lost two of his three fumbles and threw an interception to seal the Cowboys’ fate in a 34-3 loss to the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC divisional playoffs Sunday.

Romo completed 22 of 35 passes for 198 yards, but the best individual season of his career was brought to a crashing halt. The Vikings sacked him six times and pressured him often. One of the enduring images of the day will be Romo slamming his fist to the turf in frustration as the game slipped away.

On the other side, one of Romo’s boyhood idols did him in. Romo grew up in Burlington, Wis., while Brett Favre(notes) was leading the Green Bay Packers back to the top of the NFL. There was no cheering for him Sunday while Favre threw for 234 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Vikings to their first NFC title game since 2001.

Romo trudged back to the locker room with a dejected look on his face and another big-game failure on his resume.

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 Quarterback Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys congratulates quarterback Brett Favre #4 of the Minnesota Vikings on their 34-3 victory during the NFC Divisional Playoff Game at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome on January 17, 2010 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. photo appears  courtesy of Getty Images / Chris McGrath ....
Quarterback Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys congratulates quarterback Brett Favre #4 of the Minnesota Vikings on their 34-3 victory during the NFC Divisional Playoff Game at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome on January 17, 2010 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. photo appears courtesy of Getty Images / Chris McGrath ....

Whilst the Cowboys were easily discarded like an unwanted old pair of shoes. You’ve got to now be asking yourself. How is it that a team who so easily had their way with the Philadelphia Eagles, merely a week ago end up looking like they’d been dragged around continuously bitch slapped for the better part of four quarters of football ? It’s not as if they hadn’t been be prepared to meet the Vikings in their domed venue. But then again coming of their first playoff victory in over decade what else should one now come to expect of a team that year in year out they’ve continued to disappoint their fans during that span ? And for Jerry Jones as the teams’ President, General Manager and now I’d say mentally retarded owner ! Jerry cut the bulls_it and get someone in, who knows what the hell they’re doing when it comes personnel moves and the assessing of talent ! You’ve an eye for talent the way that Elizabeth Taylor had a choice in the men he sought to marry. Doomed for failure, more often than not but even when there was success. Somehow there was a way in the end where it all got screwed up. The same can be said of the internal functions of the Cowboys as an organization. And that bitch ass of a monstrosity you call Cowboys’ Stadium there in Arlington, Texas. Let's just hope that it can pay for itself with a number of others shows. Because it won't be seeing a Superbowl being raised in there by a team of yours anytime soon. It may well host a Superbowl but it definitely won't be one where a team of yours is competing and that's a fact . You're just not good enough at all and today's events simply prove the point altogether !

As much as it pains me to say this on the day the better team won. Ouch ! Now I’ve deal with all of the horse sh_t while the likes of ESPN’s Mark Schlereth, Merrill Hoge and Ron Jaworski and Trent Dilfer all now go ‘Brokeback’ on Brett Favre . I’ll repeat myself as I’ve already mentioned a couple of fellow bloggers, sportshump and chappy 81 , within the forum. A ‘Brett Favre Superbowl’ to my mind would be the worse case scenario possible ! But if it has to be then it has to be. You can well understand the news cycle surrounding such an event would be relentless and it would border on the staple for the the likes of ESPN and Fox Sports. Not only that but Chris Mortensen would then come out with some of the most asinine comments heard this side of the year so far. He’d no doubt opine on Favre’s legacy as a player in the NFL and the fact the the fans ought to be blessed having witnessed such a great player. While I don’t doubt Brett Favre’s talent as a player , I do question his ‘character’ as a ‘person’ and as a ‘teammate’. He may well come across as someone who’s caring but insofar as it’s about himself and absolutely no one else. And though at present his Vikings’ teammates may well speak highly of him. I doubt it is out of sincerity or reverence but merely as in their eyes he’s viewed as the person who gives them the best opportunity to win. And for the backups such as Sage Rosenfels and Tavaris Jackson, well let’s just say they’re the forgotten ones in the midst of this all . If they get their rings then they’ll no doubt be happy. If they don’t then there’s the possibility that they’ll just become journeymen quarterbacks within the NFL.

The playoffs so far have proven to be a blessing and a disaster in one fail swoop. We’ve had three of four games that have in essence been played but being nowhere near as competitive as one would’ve hoped. The final game of the quartet of four playoff games this weekend, pits the New York Jets against the San Diego Chargers. And one can only hope that for the fans’ sake that this game can least live up to expectations. If not then we’ll all be in a funk as to weekend’s events as far as the NFL is concerned.

Rumor Has It That Kim Kardashian Gave Reggie Bush A Little Somethin’ Somethin’ For Sho’

Rumor Has It That Kim Kardashian Gave Reggie Bush A Little Somethin’ Somethin’ For Sho’

I’ve spent much of Saturday keeping and remaining in touch with several of my Haitian American friends who reside in the South Florida area. And given the devastation of the earthquake that has seemingly left this tiny country in mess and taken in excess of 100,000 lives. It makes the spectacle of watching the divisional games of the NFL playoffs. To shed more light on this all in an too negative an approach, as only Rush Limbaugh and Pat Robertson can. It suddenly reminds me that this country isn’t as socially advanced as it claims itself to be. They say one oughtn’t to generalize the character of a nation by merely looking at a certain group within its citizenry. But here I think it’s an unfortunate when one has to look at the likes of Limbaugh and Robertson to see how mired in racial bigotry the country still is ! And it is boldly represented by the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Pat Robertson . I’d even venture to say that there are some US citizens that are angered more by the fact that the President of the country is an African American, rather than the fact that he’s an alleged socialist ? What is it about caring for one’s citizenry that is so frightening for the some of the populace at large ? Hell it’s not as if the private sector or even the government for that matter has done enough to even look after its own. And when I see its own , I’m talking about its returning heroes from both fronts of the so called war on terror. As the Jack Nicholson character Col Nathan R. Jessep stated in the movie ‘A Few Good Men’ …… ’you can’t handle the truth’.

Reggie Bush (#25) of the New Orleans Saints runs the ball against Jason Wright (#31) of the Arizona Cardinals during the NFC Divisional Playoff Game at Louisana Superdome on January 16, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  picture appears  courtesy of  Getty Images/ Chris Graythern ......
Reggie Bush (#25) of the New Orleans Saints runs the ball against Jason Wright (#31) of the Arizona Cardinals during the NFC Divisional Playoff Game at Louisana Superdome on January 16, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Chris Graythern ......

Well enough with the overt idiotic stance of both Limbaugh and Robertson as I’m sure that there’s a fu_king place in hell awaiting for them both and deservedly so ! The NFL match up between the Arizona Cardinals and the New Orleans Saints has lived to the predetermined hype and more so. The struggles of the Saints have been well documented ever since Hurricane Katrina and for the citizens , its fans of the team have simply been exemplary.

Drew Brees (#9) of the New Orleans Saints is congratulated by head coach Ken Whisenhunt of the Arizona Cardinals after the Siants won 45-14 during the NFC Divisional Playoff Game at Louisana Superdome on January 16, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  picture appears  courtesy  of   Getty Images/ Chris  Graythern  ...........
Drew Brees (#9) of the New Orleans Saints is congratulated by head coach Ken Whisenhunt of the Arizona Cardinals after the Siants won 45-14 during the NFC Divisional Playoff Game at Louisana Superdome on January 16, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Chris Graythern ...........

The Saints has put on a fantastic play of attacking none stop football and the team led by Drew Brees and their Heisman trophy winning running back, Reggie Bush simply put on a display that had to be viewed as redemption and somewhat serendipity for the team.

Darren Sharper (#42) and Roman Harper (#41) of the New Orleans Saints celebrate after Sharper broke up a pass play against the Arizona Cardinals during the NFC Divisional Playoff Game at Louisana Superdome on January 16, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. picture appears  courtesy of  Getty Images/ Chris  Graythern ...........
Darren Sharper (#42) and Roman Harper (#41) of the New Orleans Saints celebrate after Sharper broke up a pass play against the Arizona Cardinals during the NFC Divisional Playoff Game at Louisana Superdome on January 16, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Chris Graythern ...........

Arizona for its part came into this game riding on the crest of wave having defeated the Green Bay Packers in one of the highest scoring game in NFL postseason history. Ninety six points were amassed and over nine hundred total yards of offense. Can you say whatever defense that took place during that game may well have been when the opposing players were exchanging pleasantries prior to its start ?

Reggie  Bush (25)  of  the  New Orleans  Saints  looks to  hit a  seam  for a  run  against the   Cardianal  but  is denied  by  Cardinals  defensive tackle    Reggie  Walker  (55)  in  his  attempt.   Bush  would  end  up   with  205  all purpose  yards   during  the  game  .      picture  appears  courtesy  of Getty Images/  Ronald  Martinez  .......................
Reggie Bush (25) of the New Orleans Saints looks to hit a seam for a run against the Cardianal but is denied by Cardinals defensive tackle Reggie Walker (55) in his attempt. Bush would end up with 205 all purpose yards during the game . picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Ronald Martinez .......................

Courtesy of The Houma Courier

Local fans help cheer Saints to victory

New Orleans — Finding words to describe the New Orleans Saints’ 45-14 win in Saturday’s NFC divisional playoff game was easy for Zachary P. Landrus.

Finding his voice, however, proved to be a challenge for the Houma resident. He lost it cheering as the Saints dominated the Arizona Cardinals in Saturday’s playoff at the Louisiana Superdome.

“It was electric,” he said. “Everybody was best friends. We were slapping hands, jumping up and down and hugging. At times, there were drinks flying all over. It was awesome.”

Saturday’s 45-14 win sends the Saints to their second NFC championship game in four seasons, this time at home in the Dome. This coming Sunday, the Saints will face the winner of today’s Minnesota Vikings vs. Dallas Cowboys game for the right to go to Super Bowl XLIV in Miami.

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Darren Sharper (#42) of the New Orleans Saints leaps a teammate as he returns a recovered fumble for positive yards in the first quarter against the Arizona Cardinals during the NFC Divisional Playoff Game at Louisana Superdome on January 16, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  picture appears courtesy of  Getty Images/  Ronald Martinez ............
Darren Sharper (#42) of the New Orleans Saints leaps a teammate as he returns a recovered fumble for positive yards in the first quarter against the Arizona Cardinals during the NFC Divisional Playoff Game at Louisana Superdome on January 16, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Ronald Martinez ............

With Kurt Warner of the Arizona Cardinals having suffered a shoulder injury early in the game and the mere fact that his offensive line were about as protective as a roll of tissue paper might be against the H1N1 virus. They were nowhere to be seen throughout much of the game. The same cannot be said of Warner’s opposing number, as Drew Brees and the Saints’ offense simply ran roughshod over the Cardinals’ defense. And unfortunately ,Warner’s backup, Matt Leinart had about as much an answer for the Cardinals’ woes as Sarah Palin had in her series of interviews with CBS’s Katie Couric in their well discussed series of interviews. I’m not trying to suggest that Leinart hasn’t been befitting of a good education in college. But when one of your electives on your way to your degree was Ballroom Dancing , then what might that suggest to you on appearance ? I’m sorry Matt but your IQ and that of your football IQ isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. USC is meant to be a bastion of academic education and achievement ? Since when ? More like a place where its’ student athletes and coaches are simply allowed to run amok and make a mockery of collegiate athletics altogether , whereby they’re ably assisted by their Athletic Director Mike Garrett and its faculty to perpetrate a massive fraud. Never mind the fact that the NCAA for all of its supposed virtue, merely has turned a blind eye to it all. And when questioned as to why it has taken so long to address the long held suspicions as to the USC Trojans’ seemingly never-ending transgressions and violations. Well let’s just say that the NCAA’s continued silence would do a mute proud.

Kurt Warner (#13) and Ben Graham (#5) of the Arizona Cardinals walk off the field dejected after their 45-14 win against the New Orleans Saints during the NFC Divisional Playoff Game at Louisana Superdome on January 16, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  picture appears   courtesy of  Getty Images/  Ronald Martinez ..........
Kurt Warner (#13) and Ben Graham (#5) of the Arizona Cardinals walk off the field dejected after their 45-14 win against the New Orleans Saints during the NFC Divisional Playoff Game at Louisana Superdome on January 16, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Ronald Martinez ..........

If it was high scoring you were after, then this was the game to see . And finally Reggie Bush started to live up to the hype that’d been created from his days in college at USC. Now as to whether or not Reggie’s fiance, Kim Kardashian , put a ‘little somethin’-somethin’ on Reggie for good luck. I’ll let you form your own opinion on it all. Surmise to say , the only time I’ve ever moved that quickly is prior to earning a promise of getting copious amounts of sex as a good deed and then getting even more sex after performing that good a deed. As to what the deed was that Reggie performed ? Someone could perhaps ‘tweet’ Kim or Reggie to find out ? All joking asides though, let’s just say that the Arizona were never really ‘in this game’ after having scored the first seven points of the game. Everything seemingly went downhill thereafter for this Ken Whisenhunt coached team. And for Whisenhunt’s opposing number, Sean Payton , this was a game to be relished for the entire organization , the fans and the city of New Orleans.

The score of 45-14 might not be reflective of a game that was very entertaining but in essence if you’re a fan of the NFL. Then this was a game to be enjoyed and relished in all of its facets ! For the Saints with an NFC championship berth having been garnered , all that awaits them is a Superbowl berth in a meeting and the defeat of either victor of the Dallas Cowboys and the Brett Favre led Minnesota Vikings. Is there anyone of the opinion who feels that a ‘Favre envisioned Superbowl’ would be the ‘worse case scenario’ possible ? Or is it just me ?

Today’s pair of games pits the San Diego Chargers against the New York Jets and the Minnesota Vikings versus the Dallas Cowboys. As a fan I can only hope that both games will be able to live up to the perceived hype. And as for the New Orleans Saints and their prospective fortunes. Well let’s just say that should they end up raising the Lombardi trophy then I for one won’t at all feel aggrieved should they raise it as Superbowl champions. They’d be deserving of that fate and so too are their more than patient fans.

On an added bye note who knew that the Indianapolis Colts could play defense the way that they did against the Baltimore Ravens ? Not only did they shut down Ray Rice but they made Joe Flacco seemingly appear like a novice in the game. Kudos to Jim Caldwell and the Indianapolis Colts on a great game ! That 20-3 result didn’t tell half the story, as far as the game went. If they play like that in the AFC championship game , then they’ll be on their way to ‘SB XLIV’ in Miami for sure !

Well if this was indeed what Reggie was getting a piece of , then I can well understand his reasons for wanting to get home early from the game. Does anyone ‘now have a craving to eat absolutely anything’ from Car’s Jr ? Or is it just me ?

Kim  Kardashian  and  her  Carl's Jr  salad
Kim Kardashian and her Carl's Jr salad

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Wreckx-N-Effect ‘Rumpshaker’ ol’ school style . Get down with it y’all !

It Was One Hell of A Coming Home Party But He’ll Take The Win Anyway …………..

The once much despised, Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles came to town to face off against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome, in Atlanta, in a pivotal NFC match-up. Week 13 in the NFL brought about several story lines that might have been well worth paying attention to. But nonetheless, for the fans of Michael Vick and to a lesser extent the fans of the Atlanta Falcons, this was a chance to see their former idol return to the city and organization that he once lauded over but then brought so much shame and disgust to.

Atlanta, Ga,. December 6th 2009. Michael Vick (#7) of the Philadelphia Eagles passes for a completion against the Atlanta Falcons at Georgia Dome on December 6, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia.  picture appears  courtesy of Getty Images/ Kevin C. Cox .....
Atlanta, Ga,. December 6th 2009. Michael Vick (#7) of the Philadelphia Eagles passes for a completion against the Atlanta Falcons at Georgia Dome on December 6, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Kevin C. Cox .....

And for Falcons’ owner, Arthur Blank, this must’ve been a return as such that he’d rather have not be a part of. He’d vested a great deal of time, money and effort in the player , he once believed in and trusted greatly to steer his franchise to success and prosperity. Instead , Vick , seemingly treated Blank and the entire Falcons’ organization with so much disdain with his dishonesty and irrational behavior. That one feels hard pressed to see how he can be forgiven for those misdeeds.

The game itself was fraught with danger, as neither side could really afford to lose. In doing so, it’d make the likelihood of either gaining a playoff berth that more difficult. The Eagles at (8-4) were looking to stay in close proximity of the Dallas Cowboys (8-3) atop of the NFC East. While the Atlanta Falcons (6-6) just didn’t want to lose ground in the NFC South and the wildcard berth proceedings . Either way the game had to played and someone had to turn out to be a winner and no doubt there had to be a loser. The script for this particular wouldn’t be cliche ridden with angst or anything else besides. It was meant to be just your typical ‘run of the mill display’ by two teams with playoff ambitions.

Quintin Mikell (#27) of the Philadelphia Eagles tackles Roddy White (#84)) of the Atlanta Falcons at Georgia Dome on December 6, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia.  picture appears courtesy of  Getty Images/ Kevin C. Cox .......
Quintin Mikell (#27) of the Philadelphia Eagles tackles Roddy White (#84)) of the Atlanta Falcons at Georgia Dome on December 6, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Kevin C. Cox .......

What the game between the Eagles and Falcons ended up being however , was a chance for Vick to showcase his skills and remind the Falcons and their fans what they were missing. Never mind the fact, that the Falcons now had their own hero , in sophomore quarterback,Matt Ryan, who unfortunately wasn’t suited up for the team on the day. Ryan was unable to play for the team, due to an injury. In his place was backup quarterback , Chris Redman. An able understudy but he’s no Matt Ryan , by any stretch of the imagination.

The game itself was won decisively by the Eagles , with a rather lopsided resulting victory 34-7. Now the Eagles essentially hold their destiny in their own hands. Whereas, for the Atlanta Falcons theirs is a situation that now becomes even more increasingly difficult for the likelihood of them making the playoffs altogether. For Michael Vick on the other hand, the homecoming while celebratory in nature. I’d dare say he’d take the victory and quickly depart out of town !

So are there still many people riding on the coattails of the Brett Favre bandwagon at this present moment in time ? I know that ESPN’s , Mark Schlereth tends to prematurely ejaculate the moment Brett Favre’s name is mentioned, no matter in what context. So much so, that it’s probably a running joke between he and his fellow ESPN colleague,Chris Mortensen.

Glendale , Az,. December 6th 2009. Head coach Brad Childress of the Minnesota Vikings reacts as he walks the sidelines during the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on December 6, 2009 in Glendale, Arizona.  The Cardinals defeated the Vikings 30-17. picture appears courtesy  of  Getty Images/ Christian  Petersen .....
Glendale , Az,. December 6th 2009. Head coach Brad Childress of the Minnesota Vikings reacts as he walks the sidelines during the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on December 6, 2009 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Vikings 30-17. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Christian Petersen .....

For coach, Brad Childressand the Minnesota Vikings, there’s a great deal riding on this season. Albeit , that Favre was signed by the organization to a two year, $25 million contract. To say that anything short of winning the Superbowl this would be a great understatement for the team and its most devoted fans. This is the year that they believe that the stars are aligned for them to win it all. And if they should fail to do so, then all fingers will be pointed directly towards Childress and indirectly at Favre, as well.

 Quarterback Brett Favre (#4) of the Minnesota Vikings celebrates after a first quarter touchdown during the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on December 6, 2009 in Glendale, Arizona.  The Cardinals defeated the Vikings 30-17.  picture appears courtesy of  Getty Images/ Christian  Petersen ............
Quarterback Brett Favre (#4) of the Minnesota Vikings celebrates after a first quarter touchdown during the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on December 6, 2009 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Vikings 30-17. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Christian Petersen ............

Courtesy of Associated Press and Yahoo Sports

Warner, Cardinals dominate Favre, Vikings 30-17

By Bob Baum , AP Sports Writer

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP)—That “kid” Kurt Warner got the best of old-timer Brett Favre on Sunday night.

Warner, a mere 38 to Favre’s 40, threw for 285 yards and three touchdowns and the Arizona Cardinals’ defense stifled Favre and the Minnesota Vikings in a stunningly one-sided 30-17 victory.

“They played like they were in the Super Bowl last year,” Favre said, “and we obviously have to play better if we want to be the team that’s in the Super Bowl this year.”

Favre set an NFL record for consecutive appearances, but game No. 283 in a row was no night to remember for him or the rest of the Vikings (10-2). Favre, with just three interceptions in the first 11 games, was picked off twice and sacked three times.

“I made some decisions that I haven’t made up to this point,” he said, “and I’m disappointed about it.”

Even more startling, Arizona (8-4) held Adrian Peterson to a season-low 19 yards in 13 carries and outrushed Minnesota 113-62.

“It was just physical up front and making the tackle,” Cardinals defensive tackle Darnell Dockett(notes) said. “It was great team tackling.”

The victory, coupled with San Francisco’s loss at Seattle, gives Arizona a three-game lead in the NFC West. The Cardinals can clinch the division title with a victory at San Francisco a week from Monday night.

Favre had two touchdown passes, but the second, a 31-yarder to Percy Harvin(notes), came with 1:20 to go and the game out of reach. Favre was 30 of 45 for 275 yards.

“I’m pretty sure everybody is going to talk about what Brett Favre did wrong,” Dockett said, “how Brett did this wrong and that wrong, but not talk about how our defense stood up today. We’re going to stay humble, though, because we are going to play that team again.”

Things got worse for the Vikings when linebacker E.J. Henderson(notes) broke his leg late in the game. Coach Brad Childress said the injury would require surgery.

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Brad Childress and his coaching staff felt that Brett Favre was the missing piece to the puzzle that would enable the team to get over that proverbial hump and contend with ‘the elite’, within the NFL. And though there were considered ‘the class’ of the NFC and world beaters. Having started off fast out of the gate ripping of ten straight wins. The Vikings of late have been looking anything but the world beaters that the pundits and their fans believe them to be. And for the likes of Schlereth , Mortensen and it appears ESPN’s reigning ‘buffoon in waiting’, Jon Gruden. The continued ‘lovefest’ for Favre, goes unabated. Even with Gruden , himself, using the adjectives that the the Vikings are ‘the best and most balanced team in the NFL’. Anything that Gruden gives credence to , ought to be tempered by his so called success with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. A lone Superbowl win and thereafter , abject failure and draft picks for the Buccaneers’ organization that are as worthless as the share price of Citigroup. (At close of business Friday, their share price $4-01 per share)

Well, on Sunday, we got to see how Favre and the Vikings would do against Ken Whisenhunt‘s Arizona Cardinals. Last year’s NFC representative in the Superbowl , has once again got the NFC West, all to themselves. The division has a moribund group of teams, with the Cardinals appearing to be the lone exception to the rule. And this is a team that is deep in talent and when on top of their game , there as good as anyone offensively and that’s with due credit to the New New Orleans Saints.

While the raves by Messr’s Gruden , Mortensen and Schlereth as to how good this Vikings’ team is and how versatile and well balanced they are. Sunday’s evidence did nothing to support that at all. One wonders if Gruden and his colleagues are looking at the Vikings through rose colored glasses or quite possibly the love-fest for Favre border on homo-erotic tendencies ? Because I’ve yet to hear them post one critical comment concerning this team even when they’ve played poorly. It’s as if it were all an aberration as far as they’re concerned. Now I understand why it is that the outlet is hard pressed to find decent on air talent. They tend to value style and gimmicks over actual substance !

Sunday night the Vikings were found wanting and were exposed a flawed team on both sides of the ball. Instead of them being able to ride rough-shod over the Arizona Cardinals. Instead it was the other way around. And with seemingly another ageless wonder in Cardinals’ quarterback,Kurt Warner, proving to be more than Brett Favre’s equal. As a matter of fact, he made Favre look ever so pedantic and way beyond his forty years of age ! And the Vikings as a whole were completely out of touch as they were man-handled by the Arizona Cardinals.

Kurt Warner (#13)) of the Arizona Cardinals prepares to snap the ball during the NFL game against the Minnesota Vikings at the University of Phoenix Stadium on December 6, 2009 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Vikings 30-17. picture appears courtesy of  Getty Images/ Christian Petersen ....
Kurt Warner (#13)) of the Arizona Cardinals prepares to snap the ball during the NFL game against the Minnesota Vikings at the University of Phoenix Stadium on December 6, 2009 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Vikings 30-17. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Christian Petersen ....

The resultant 30-17 shellacking that the Viking suffered in defeat, at the hands of the Cardinals. Well, it may well have some wondering if at all it was worth the ordeal of bring in Favre ,should they fail to make it to the Superbowl. One thing for sure, if they Minnesota Vikings fails to do so . Then there’s no telling what Favre’s demeanor will be at the end of the day.Him ,then contemplating retirement once again would be about as welcoming to the Vikings’ organization as Paris Hilton entering medical school to study to become a cardio-thoracic surgeon. Stranger things have been known to have happened. And given Favre’s track record over the last few years. I wouldn’t for one minute doubt that he’d contemplate retirement once again. Especially in light of blame that’d be apportioned his way, with the impending failure of the Minnesota Vikings.

Say what you want about Brett Favre but no one, absolutely no one panders to the cameras and seeks the public’s empathy the way that he does ! He craves it more than life itself !