It’s the economy and this time also, it’s the NFL, stupid …

It’s the ‘ economy ‘ and this time also, it’s the NFL, stupid .. ..

When George H W Bush succeeded Ronald Reagan to become the country’sforty-first President, it was felt he inherited an economy and a bright prospective era to lead the US to even greater prosperity. Unfortunately, Bush’s economic template set forth and his own ideas as to the direction the country ought to be heading, went South with, such rapidity that it was beyond belief, but of no real surprise to those who had their doubts as to the merits of his legacy as President. While he served the country with dignity , which is all one can really ask of the Commander-In-Chief, the question also has to be what accountability is there when we have an executive who skirts the Constitution and the laws of the land for political and personal gain ? These questions are most certainly being asked of and aboutBarack Obama , the nation’s forty-fourth President.

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Roger Goodell succeeded Paul Tagliabue and it was seen as the mentor handing over the keys to a Ferrari to his protege’. In the subsequent years , Goodell has managed to force this vehicle the NFL right off the road and into an abyss of sheer ineptitude both on and off the field of play. Image-wise, the league is now at an all-time low and with the recent reinstatement of NFL running back Ray Rice, many have now began wondering whether or not Goodell can remain in his position as the league’s highest-ranking executive. The commissioner for the moment, still has the backing of some of the most prominent franchise owners in the NFL, namely Jerry Jones, Robert Kraft, Steve Bisciotti, Jed Yorke, Arthur Blank, Dean Spanos, Jim Irsay and Woody Johnson.

While many now question whether or not the NFL can withstand another high-profiled incident, we should be reminded the league has withstood a great deal more and manage to survive, but what has brought this moral blight into the spotlight, has been the league’s mishandling and lack of understanding concerning the issue of domestic violence and spousal abuse. I mean hell, you simply have to look at the idiocy of Roger Goodell’s statements in the aftermath of the Ray Rice incident, the lack action from Steve Bisciotti and the Baltimore Ravens’ front office executives, never mind the coaching staffled by John Harbaugh whose own actions were not only troubling, but also, his lack of candor on the matter.

Ray Rice’s arbitration case found in his favor, leads to his automatic reinstatement, but now comes the question as was to which NFL franchise will likely sign the player to their roster, knowing full well they are most certainly going to face a backlash by some fans , the press , women’s groups (NOW) and most certainly a number of the league’s corporate sponsors. We have seen the financial loss and cost to Adrian Peterson as well as the Minnesota Vikings , and with that franchise’s season already in tatter and no signs of real leadership amongthe playing staff, you have to wonder how they will go into their inaugural season in their new multi-billion dollar stadium and the likelihood of being without the best player in that franchise’s history. It seems inconceivable team owner, Zygi Wilf will seek to retain Peterson’s services when fans , corporate sponsors and certain areas of the press are calling for his dismissal from the team once and for all. His current suspension ongoing until the end of the season might not be seen as harsh a punishment for his transgression, but one has to also bear in mind that this was not the first such incident involving the player , but the first where he was charged by law enforcement and the act of child abuse for which Peterson pled guilty and now has to undergo parenting classes , probation and financial penalties , beyond the legal costs of his case.

The results this season in the the NFL, have not been unlike any other year and with it comes the poor coaching , lack of real playing ability among the teams and the players , in many ways I believe to the over expectations of the fans ! Prognosticators making predictions as to who the best teams are likely to be, are purely doing so to create a debate which will be ongoing throught the season and let’s be honest, that debate certainly doesn’t hurt the odds-makers in Las Vegas whose lines are used to lure in the bettors like insects being drawn to an incandescent light. The “house always wins” and they generally, do with a greatdeal of ease .

Coming into week fourteen there is still a great deal to play for , with several divisions still up for grabs as well as the conference berths determining which teams will be added alongside the two top seeds from each conference as well as the divisional winners. Being brutally honest, the NFC has now become a minefield, with far too many of the top teams showing not only their inconsistency, but alsotheir vulnerability in so many ways.

Opening up this week’s schedule will be an all NFC clash between the Dallas Cowboys and Chicago Bears when these two teams meet at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois on Thursday night , 4th December , 2014,. Marc Trestman and the Bears are as much as in need of this win as are the Cowboys. The opposing quarterbacks Tony Romo and Jay Cutler are at the point in their careers where looking ahead doesn’t seem to be as advantageous or beneficial when you consider what they have achieved up to this point, during their tenures in the NFL.

From my own perspective, this game between the Dallas Cowboys and Chicago Bears will be either highly entertaining or a complete eyesore. Contests between two teams have either been exhilarating just understated and a great of that has been predicated upon the play of both Romo and Cutler during those games. With the Bears and Cowboys coming off losses in week thirteen, trying to determine winner between these two teams, will be like trying to separate soiled diapers from the rest of the family’s dirty laundry . Not an enjoyable prospect at all .

You can either choose to harangue Eli Manning and the New York Giants (3-9) for for a forgettable season and the fact that the two-time winning Superbowl quarterback has been just as responsible for the team’s poor play as his teammates and the entire coaching staff of head coach Tom Coughlin who should consider himself extremely lucky if he asked to return for next season. All the signs seem to be pointing to the fact, he will join a list of at least four NFL head coaches likely to lose their jobs at the end of this season, if not sooner.

As of seven straight games the New York Giants have not endeared themselves to their fans or the analysts covering the NFL and if anything, they have now become the butt of so many jokes , that it has become extremely hard to try and justify how anyone can still consider Eli Manning to be among the best quarterbacks playing in the NFL. Without his postseason record the player has very little fall back on to even remotely justify those previous claims. This being a team , coming off a loss to one of the worst teams in the NFL when they fell the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars (2-10). In watching the Giants play has become a constant reminder why the NFL can at times be exacerbating as well as overrated by means of the alleged quality of the teams. New York has become a complete anathema unto itself , with a defense sorely lacking> and an offenseas incompetent as any to be found in the NFL today.

Eli Manning and the Giants will be seeking to gain their fourth win of the season when they go on the road to face the Tennessee Titans (6-6) at LP Field in Nashville , Tennessee,. The odds might narrowly favor the home team but at this juncture that is about anyone’s guess as to the outcome of this game. The hype surrounding Giants’ wide receiver Odell Beckham may well be great, but when measured up against the team’s incompetency witnessed this season, can someone explain to me what it all means at the end of the day ? Comments at this juncture are more than welcome !

New York Jets’ Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath believes there will be sweeping changes be sweeping changes made to the Jets’ roster as well as within the front office at the end of this season. Duh ! That has to be blatantly obvious to anyone with an ounce of damn common sense , but then again we are talking about the New York Jets, where common sense and intelligence have not necessarily gone hand in hand when it comes anything concerning this organization has tried to achieve over the last two seasons. Let’s just say, this franchise has become an affront to anything one might have found decent concerning the NFL . Has there been any time over the last year and a half when Rex Ryan’s position might have been in more jeopardy ? His coaching ability has come more into question this season than at any other time during his tenure and that is without his belief in second-year quarterback Geno Smith , whose play this season has me now wondering why the franchise was in such a haste to get rid off Mark Sanchez , simply because of the infamous ” butt fumble ” incident and his apparent lack of command in securing the ball during a game. By comparison Smith’s play makes Sanchez look like the second coming of Joe Montana. The Jets’ starting quarterback and his back-up Michael Vick just might be the worst tandem and that is with due respect to the teams who are equally as inept as the AFC East franchise.

A Monday night loss to the Miami Dolphins has sealed the Jets’ fate and almost certainly made them among the teams likely to have first round pick among the top ten in the 2015 NFL Draft . As to whether not the New York Jets will make the choice of a quarterback their primary pick remains to be seen but given the evidence on display with Smith and Vick , it is my belief that is the likely route to be taken by whoever the general manager is likely to be. John Idzik’s position is just as much in danger after just two seasons as the lead personnel executive for the franchise. That situation is likely to become even more dire should the Jets fall to the Minnesota Vikings when the two teams meet this Sunday at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis , Minnesota ,.

How the mighty have fallen and the fall from grace for Washington Redskins’ quarterback Robert Griffin III might be the most unexpected thing we have witnessed this season. Often injured , performing poorly and now head coach Jay Gruden has seemingly lost all faith n the franchise quarterback and the face of this organization on the field of play. The fact that back-up Kirk Cousins has been just as inept. It has been left to the team’s third-string quarterback , Colt McCoy to lead this franchise to two of their three wins this season, all of this by a player whose salary ranks him among the
lower echelons of the NFL’s quarterbacks.

Having no wish to be dismissive of Jay Gruden and the Redskins , this mess was of their own making , right from the beginning, from the very moment Griffin first went down injured and the very fact there was an extreme rush to have the player back on the field, but at the same time the quarterback has done himself no favors with his sporadic play and lack deference to his teammates and coaching staff while believing himself privileged . Now that he has been humbled, it also appears his career with the Redskins could come to an abrupt end. Rumors are now circulating the franchise might be prepared to listen to offers for their beleaguered first round draft pickfrom the 2012 NFL Draft . However, before that scenario comes into being Griffin and the team will have to play out their season schedule, hoping to gain some semblance of consistency over the time-frame in question.

Fedex Field will be the scene of the crime when the Redskins play host to the St Louis Rams in week fourteen. The Rams for their part will be looking to make things more difficult for their opponents in a “statement game” for both NFC franchises .

Ex NFL players tend to have a high regard for their insight on the game, even when N their own careers tend to be nondescript and offering very little by way of success. Such as been the case, with Shaun King, former quarterback in the league and whose own career failed to provide any memorable highlights on his stops around the NFL.

King in a rather blatant statement, the former Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ quarterback has been candid in his belief Johnny Manziel will be a ” complete bust “ in the NFL . Right or wrong, Shaun King has provided little clarity as to his reasons why, Manziel will be a failure, other than to declare his love-fest for Teddy Bridgewater the second quarterback taken in this season’s NFL Draft . The initial calls were for Manziel to be inserted into Mike Pettine’s lineup from the very start , but I believe the over-zealousness came from everyone thinking Manziel would be an instant “smash” leading the the Cleveland Browns to instant success, merely because of his college career. Pettine chose instead to go with Brian Hoyer as the Brown’s starter this season, with the team having a great deal of success while in the divisional hunt for the AFC North crown. The Browns face a tough conference game when they play host to Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts in what is sure to be one the highlight games during this weekend’s schedule.

Have I missed something, but this constant idiocy of there being a need for an NFL franchise outside North America seems to be taking on new tones stupidity by fans without a damn clue as to what is exactly entailed in acquiring a team from its very start-up , never-mind the underlying costs ? So much so, that when I hear this bull#hit being g be reawakened and talk of a team in London , England. I have to ask myself which imbecile will be prepared to stump up the half-billion dollars ($ 500,000,000) or more needed to make this all a reality ! No one seems prepared to answer the question, but many , are all too willing to offer up where a new franchise outside North America ought to be. Well, if there’s yet to a renewed interest from vested parties in the topic, other than Jerry Jones offering his laughable ideas on the subject . given the fact his franchise might be on the cusp of missing the postseason. Is it possible Jones is seeking to take the spotlight off Jason Garrett and Tony Romo, even if it is momentary ?

The wealthiest individuals in the United Kingdom have shown little interest in owning an NFL franchise and if anything, they know they can derive even greater revenues from owning an English Premiership soccer team than a franchise an NFL team. Profitability might be skewered, but the global exposure is far greater from Premiership soccer than their being calls for the NFL across the globe.

Proponents of the issue will continue stir the pot on this matter , issue while being able to offer little of note to the ongoing debate. The one thing we are able to gather from this all and it is , there is less appeal for an NFL franchise in the city of Los Angeles at present, even when you have the likes of Magic Johnson and the Los Angeles Dodgers’ ownership group seeking that to be their next goal, beyond bringing a World Series’ crown to “City of Angels”. For two years in succession the Dodgers have failed miserably in that particular quest and in reality , their concentration should be centered on what ails the team, rather than their egos being massaged by another commercial sports’ endeavor outside of baseball. Los Angeles may well house the nation’s second largest ad-market, but its appetite NFL franchise does not appear to be all that palatable at present. Certainly not with the city having to deal with its fiscal woes, even with the local political dignitaries trying to convince their residents this would be in the best interests of their city.

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Throughout this NFL season what do you feel might have been the biggest obstacle overall the league had to overcome ? Was it the adverse publicity because of continued player misconduct ? Or was it, the lack truly entertaining games over the course of the schedule at present ? By all means take time to offer up your thoughts on the matter as you deem fit.

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Picture and slideshow gallery details below.

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(1) George H W Bush, the forty-first President of the United States of America . His Presidency has often been ridiculed, as one , lacking in depth and stature. Bearing in mind , those who have succeeded him , one can see it as high praise or simple ridicule .

(2) Left , Barack Obama , President and the current occupant of the White House. Right , Roger Goodell , NFL Commissioner and the NFL’s highest ranking league executive. Both men have been rounded on by the press and public alike for their autocratic rule and lack of communicative skills . It is difficult to suggest, which of these two executives might be viewed as the most incompetent in their respective positions. Washington Times / Keith Cardell …

(3) Arthur Blank , owner of the Atlanta Falcons and one of the most prominent backers of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. This season , Blank has seen his team falter within the NFC South and there seems to be an ongoing feeling thought, head coach Mike Smith will not be asked to return next season . Getty Images / Darren Woods …

(4) Adrian Peterson(28), left and Ray Rice (27) , perhaps two of the most despised athletes professional teams sports at present.. Rice having won his arbitration hearing hopes to sign on with a new team before the end of the season . Something that on the face of it seems unlikely , but given the propensity of this league to routinely overlook a player’s egregious behavior the former Ravens’ running back could on a roster before the end of this season. Peterson has been suspended by the league hierarchy in adherent to the NFL Personal Conduct Policy . His return to the NFL this season seems unlikely and it remains to seen if the Minnesota Vikings will cut all ties with the player. AP Photo/ Ed Harper …

(5) Tony Romo (9) of the Dallas Cowboys and Jay Cutler (6) of the Chicago Bears . The two players will lead their respective teams in the Thursday night game which opens the week fourteen of the NFL schedule. This will be the third career meeting between Romo and Cutler over the course of their professional careers. Dallas Morning Star ….

(6) Eli Manning (10) of the New York Giants reacts after throwing an interception in the third quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at MetLife Stadium on November 23, 2014 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Dallas would go on to defeat the Giants 31-28 . Getty Images / Al Bello

(7) Eli Manning(10) of the New York Giants throws a pass against the Dallas Cowboys in the first quarter at MetLife Stadium on November 23, 2014 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Getty Images / Al Bello …

(8) Robert Griffin III (10) is seen here on the sidelines with Washington Redskins’ head coach Jay Gruden during a game against the Houston Texans . The Texans would go on to defeat the Redskins 17-6 inflicting another loss for Washington . AP Photo/ Sarah Aldridge …

(9) Shaun King former NFL quarterback with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Arizona Cardinals . King is now an NFL analyst with NBCSports and covers the league, offering his insight on the game. Courtesy of NBCSports …

(10) Johnny Manziel,left , is seen here with his Cleveland Browns’ teammate Brian Hoyer. It has been Hoyer who started the season taking the majority of the snaps with the rookie contributing sparingly this season for the team . USA Today / Tim Fuller …

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Long walk of shame or it just happened to be that way …


Long walk of shame or it just happened to be that way

Another NFL weekend has almost come to a close, with only the Monday Night Football game still to be played. Nevertheless, there were some rather surprising results along the way and others , which seemed to be foregone conclusion even prior to their start. If there was said to be a major surprise in terms of the results witnessed, then the San Diego Chargers’ embarrassing and lopsided 37-0 loss to the Miami Dolphins(5-3) proved to be the most surprising of them all. Philip Rivers’ season to date has been one of the most impressive of the NFL starting quarterbacks, going into week nine.

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Rivers and his teammates may well look back on the defeat and see it was a way to jar them out their complacency, yet at the same time, I cannot help but wonder if head coach Mike McCoy and his coaching staff had his team prepared for this contest . Whatever this result might suggest, the Chargers and their fans cannot be entirely happy with the performances on the day. With a bye week in week ten , McCoy and his staff will no doubt assess the team injuries as well as the psyche of his players before they head into week eleven where they will face divisional rivals the Oakland Raiders at Qualcomm Stadium, in San Diego, California. Tony Sparano and the Raiders are still seeking their first win of the season and their 0-8 record now seems a precursor of things s to come , bringing back memories of the Detroit Lions’ win-less season in 2008, where the team was simply abysmal all year long .

Oakland for its part , put up a spirited attempt to defeat the Seattle Seahawks this past Sunday in their game played at Century Link Field in Seattle , Washington. Sparano for the moment remains the interim head coach, but sooner or later,GM Reggie McKenzie and team owner Mark Davis will have to make the decision as to whether or not the head coach is the right man to lead this team for the remainder of the season. The longer this prolonged agony continues , the less likely the Raiders are going to see any semblance of success , much less be reinvigorated with some new-found confidence.

After their victory over the San Diego Chargers I have no doubt head coach Joe Philbinand his staff might feel this was the team’s best performance of the season so far. Though there are still eight games left to the regular season, the AFC East division remains something of a tightly contested race. The New England Patriots after their lambasting of Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos, New England seem to be in the driver’s seat, leading the division with a 7-2 record, where their two-game lead over the Buffalo Bills(5-3) and Dolphins might well be enough for them to take the division with some ease. Given the way the Patriots dealt with Manning and the Broncos , the momentum for Tom Brady and his teammates has now swung their way.

With only the Oakland Raiders and New York Jets (1-8) having more consecutive losses over their last eight games, it is easy to understand why the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-8) have struggled this season . Four consecutive defeats with the latest coming at the hands of the Cleveland Browns (5-3) has to be perplexing for the Buccaneers’ fans just as much as it has to for Lovie Smith and his coaching staff. Not one player on this Buccaneers’ roster can actually justify their salary , yet alone their contract , but somehow Smith suggests he has continued faith in his players , most notably , quarterback Mike Glennon. To try and put into words how abysmal Tampa has been can easily be summed up by sniffing the odor of a canine’s fecal matter or urine and then making a comparison with the Buccaneers’ performances this season. It’s safe to say, shit and urine definitely do stink , but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are now in a ” class of their own” , when it comes to stinking up the joint .

Lovie Smith and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will play host to the equally forlorn Atlanta Falcons (2-6) in a divisional race, where mediocritywithin the NFC South seems to be the norm for this season . All four teams are no better than a .500 record with the New Orleans Saints leading the way with a 4-4 mark. For Saints’ head coach Sean Payton , he knows his team has been uncharacteristic in terms of their overall play . New Orleans’ 28-10 victory over the equally lamentable Carolina Panthers and you get to understand why the NFC South has become an instantaneous joke this season.

To carry on with the comical side of the NFL this season , at what point will the New York Jets’ front office figure out that Rex Ryan , Geno Smith and Michael Vick have a great deal in common ? GM John Idzik and Ryan have formulated a recipe for disaster this season and I doubt that Julia Childs in her kitchen at the peak of her culinary guile could or would have served up such a meal for a dinner guest , let alone what the Jets have served up for their fans this season ! If Geno Smith is said to be a work in progress , then the Jets’ front office should be negotiating with the quarterback’s agents at RocNation Sports for a return of at least 90% of their money back in terms of the player’s contract.

Drafted in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft , Smith is in the process of making Mark Sanchez’s final season with the Jets seem like a masterpiece painted by none other than Pablo Picasso . In reality though, even Picasso at his very worst, with his artistic ingenuity never made his admirers simply want to throw rocks at his work. Sanchez now commonly known for the “butt-fumble fiasco and legacy can take delight, that his successor has become a complete laughing stock around the NFL, with the print and television media and in the tri-state area now continually criticizing Geno Smith for his poor play. Decision making asides , there is now no upside to Smith as a player , let alone the fans seeing Michael Vick on the field as his immediate backup as a starting quarterback. As if to emphasize this point further , I need only point to the Jets’ 24-10 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs .

The clock is now ticking on Rex Ryan’s tenure with the New York Jets and as their season meanders on, there seems to be no signs the coach and his staff can actually point to any signs of progress, let alone their being confidence among the members of the roster. Dire consequences await should the New York Jets fall to the Pittsburgh Steelers in week ten, when they play host to one of the AFC North’s leading divisional contenders.

A 13-10 loss by the San Francisco 49ers to the St Louis Rams might not yet have created a scene of panic, but given the fact the Rams have not been truly competitive all season long, suggests to me , the Forty Niners were complacent and are extremely overrated this season. The team have begun to rest on their laurels , and Colin Kaepernick seems to be more concerned over his tattooed adorned arms , than he is with the team’s cumbersome play and their nondescript record in the NFC West. Needless to say, the idiocy of the Niners still being capable of winning ten games, seems further adrift than ever before. Should the Forty Niners fail in their quest for the divisional title and a postseason berth , the accusing fingers will certainly be pointed at not only the players , but certainly at head coach Jim Harbaugh .

We’re number one . Oops ! Sorry , we were number one and now the repercussions of the College Football season are now being felt , as the top contenders start to make their push to be part of the final-four playoff format which will be used to determine the next national champion at the FBS Level (D1).

We’re number one . Oops ! Sorry , we were number one and now the repercussions of the College Football season are now being felt , as the top contenders start to make their push to be part of the final-four playoff format which will be used to determine the next national champion at the FBS Level (D1). While Misssissippi State (Bulldogs) 8-0 still hangs unto the top spot , the belief appears to be they will not be around for the final round and seen as the last man standing. The Bulldogs took care of Arkansas in a competitive match-up that could have gone the Razorbacks’ way, , had they taken advantage of the opportunities offered at the time.

For Mississippi State , if they can simply win out then , they will be part of the inaugural playoff format. Granted, with the rapid rise up the rankings of Oregon , Auburn , TCU (Horned Frogs) and Nick Saban’s rampant Alabama (Crimson Tide) laying swath to their opponents , there is a suggestion the SEC’s presence in the final standings will be overwhelming. One program not part of the discussion is the rapidly falling esteem of the Florida Gators , where Wil Muschamp’s tenure appears to be at end with AD Jeremy Foley intent on prolonging the agony of every Gators’ fan nationwide . Alumni of the program are at the point, where they are calls for an effigy to be hung from the rafters of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida , and home to some of Florida’s greatest triumphs.

To understand the Gators’ plight this season , has been very much a chance to witness what it is like to self implode , while those around you remain calm. Two consecutive losses , before a beat-down of the Georgia Bulldogs and still the victory has not been enough to quell the calls for Wil Muschamp’s dismissal .

Florida’s next scheduled game will pit them against conference rivals Vanderbilt in a contest which could a long way in either resurrecting some respectability to their season or simply prolong the agony.

Kevin Durant , ” out” , Julius Randle and Steve Nash , both on the Los Angeles Lakers’ roster out, have their fans witnessing an impromptu and below par start to the NBA season. The Oklahoma City Thunder will be without their League MVP for two months of their starting schedule , but Scott Brooks as optimistic as ever is hoping the player can make an earlier return to the team’s starting lineup . The fact Sebastian Telfair now finds himself on the Thunder’s roster after a less than solid career in the NBA , has me wondering what GM Sam Presti hopes to get out of the veteran guard .

Still early stages in the season . but already , you have to wonder what to make of the Los Angeles Lakers and their poor start to their schedule . Win-less , with Byron Scott now unsure as to what his best starting lineup ought to be . An 0-4 start for the Los Angeles Lakers and the excuses have begun from the lame Lakers’ fans, who are unwilling to admit the roster has no real depth or talent beyond Kobe Bryant. If anyone thinks an aging Carlos Boozer can add to or make this roster more productive, /then clearly , they, Mitch Kupchak , Jim Buss and their forlorn fans are sadly mistaken. . Defensively, the Lakers are an unmitigated disaster and a complete mess, with their being no real sign the coaching staff or the players know when and where their first win of the season is likely to happen . Giving up on 115 points per game and you can easily understand why the Lakers are simply limping and whimpering their way to perhaps another miserable season.

Kobe Bryant will lead his teammates in their next game on Tuesday night when they face the Phoenix Suns at the Staples Center in Los Angeles , California. If the contests between these two teams are anything to go by , then we are likely to see either A a high scoring contest , with their being no emphasis on defense or just a game , error prone in just about every facet imaginable. I am not so sure the Los Angeles Lakers are capable of winning their division (Pacific Division) much less able to garner a playoff berth . A year ago today , I doubt the Los Angeles Lakers would have envisaged a season where they would fall from grace even with the franchise having suffered injuries to several players on the roster throughout much of last season.

DeMarcus Cousins remains the troubled player at the professional level, just as much as he was a wayward, but mercurial and talented player at the collegiate level , with the Kentucky Wildcats where he played for one year with the program . Drafted by the Sacramento Kings, Cousins is now seen as the face of the franchiseand its immediate and long-term future. Now with the Kings seeking to make this season a competitive year for the coaching staff of Michael Malone. If the Kings are to succeed and at this stage of the season, where they appear to be the surprise team within the NBA , playing with a great deal of tenacity. Cousins and teammate Rudy Gay will have to be at the forefront of anything being sought by way of success for the Sacramento Kings.

Currently , with a 2-1 mark seated second in the Pacific Division of the Western Conference. A surprising 98-92 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers might not have made everyone sit up and take note, until you realize the Clippers were one of the more consistent performers last season having made the NBA Playoffs . The Sacramento Kings were on the outside looking in, as Chris Paul , Blake Griffin and the rest of the Clippers fell short of their goal of winning an NBA title.

A Monday night contest between the Sacramento Kings and Denver Nuggets earned the visiting team a five-point 110-105 victory at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado.

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The news in the sports’ world isn’t always refreshing, where the main agenda tends to be more about the unsavory sides to sports’ journalism even when the body of the story isn’t sports’ related. Baseball brought us a stirring World Series finale with the success of the San Francisco Giants . In the NFL the schedule has just moved beyond on its halfway point , with several teams now out of the divisional and conference races. No denying, the walk of shame will be an embarrassing one , no matter how it’s spun. The NBA is now seeking to take the gloss off its NFL counterpart and the press following now being garnered as the season is still in its infancy. No doubt the Lakers’ storyline will be one that is closely followed. Flawed or not , not everyone will be satisfied with formula being initiated. Your thoughts on the manner in which teams or athletes have been performing and where you see them at the end of their respective seasons? College Football in its inaugural year, where the new playoff format comes into being .

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Picture and slideshow gallery details below.

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(1) Quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) of the Miami Dolphins throws during pregame workouts before his team met the San Diego Chargers at Sun Life Stadium on November 2, 2014 in Miami Gardens, Florida. Getty Images / Chris Trotman …

(2) Running back Lamar Miller (26) of the Miami Dolphins scores a second quarter touchdown against the San Diego Chargers during a game at Sun Life Stadium on November 2, 2014 in Miami Gardens, Florida. Upended on the play is tackle Ja’Wuan James(70) of the Dolphins. Getty Images/ Chris Trotman

(3) Running back Marshawn Lynch (24) of the Seattle Seahawks runs with the ball during the third quarter of the game against the Oakland Raiders at CenturyLink Field on November 2, 2014 in Seattle, Washington. Getty Images /Steve Dykes …

(4) Running back Marshawn Lynch (24) of the Seattle Seahawks celebrates with his teammates after scoring a touchdown during the first quarter of the game against the Oakland Raiders at CenturyLink Field on November 2, 2014 in Seattle, Washington. Getty Images / Steve Dykes …

(5) Tyler Murphy (3) of the Florida Gators dives over Sheldon Dawson (2) of the Georgia Bulldogs for a touchdown during the game at EverBank Field on November 2, 2013 in Jacksonville, Florida. Getty Images /Sam Greenwood …

(6) Head coach Mike Richt of the Georgia Bulldogs (L) speaks with head coach Wil Muschamp of the Florida Gators before the game at EverBank Field on November 2, 2013 in Jacksonville, Florida. Getty Images / Sam Greenwood ….

(7) Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook (0) celebrates during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Phoenix Suns at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013. Oklahoma City won 103-96 . Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman ..

(8) Teammates Julius Randle left and Kobe Bryant are seen here during the official team photo taken at the Los Angeles Lakers’ practice facility in El Segundo , California ,. Randle drafted in the first round of the 2014 NBA Draft . AP Photo / Mason Porter …

(9) Sacramento Kings’ center DeMarcus Cousins (15) is seen here looking to make an offensive play as he is being defended by the Los Angeles’ Clipper DeAndre Jordan during a game between the two teams on the 2nd November , 2014. Cousins has been one of the primary reasons Kings are off to a great start this season , albeit , that the NBA schedule is still in its infancy . AP Photo / Mark Dennis … ….

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Keep it sweet but not necessarily stupid , because it’s baseball

Keep it sweet but not necessarily stupid , because it’s baseball

Baseball (MLB) enters its final month of the regular season in September , with a number of divisional races still undecided. Teams said to be in the drivers’ seat will have to play at the highest level possible until the end of the season if they are to win those divisions outright. Likewise, it will be the same for those ball-clubs seeking to gain a wildcard berth in what is now beginning to look like very tight race within each league , the AL and NL.

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Of the more surprising races, it is the AL Central where the Kansas City Royals might well be the most exciting team to watch since the All Star Break and their rise up the division to now lead the swooning Detroit Tigers . For the defending divisional champions this has been a season of missed opportunities in spite of certain injury issues and the retirement of former manager Jim Leyland , which should in no way detract from the work done by Brad Ausmus and his managerial staff in succeeding the well-respected manager. However, in light of that fact, it has to be said Ausmus’ inexperience might well be one of the reasons with the indifference seen in the Tigers’ play this season. Justin Verlander has not been totally dominant, Max Scherzer has not reproduced the form that led to his being named the AL Cy Young Award winner in 2013 . Certainly, the rest of the pitching staff , have failed to deliver as and when needed.

The Detroit Tigers’ offense led by two-time reigning AL League MVP and Triple Crown King , Miguel Cabrera while having his usual productive season might well be on the outside looking in, when it comes to the regular season individual awards as Mike Trout seems on the verge of succeeding the Tigers’ slugger as this year’s MVP. Statistically , there has been little to choose between the pair , but Trout’s all-round play and defensive capabilities have edged Cabrera this season. Besides, Mike Trout has led the Los Angeles Angels to what might be their best season in the AL West in a number of years , as they seek to replace the Oakland Athletics as this year’s AL West divisional champion. No mean task, considering the success of the A’s in 2012 and2013 within the division. If the Tigers are to have any chance of securing a place in the postseason their best bet, remains winning the division because the likelihood of a wildcard berth places them in a precarious situation because of the competitiveness of the teams vying for the two berths available in the American League.

Coming off a 5-2 victory over the New York Yankees at Comerica Park in Detroit Michigan , Brad Ausmus and his team will again face their opponent on Wednesday in a resumption of their series, as the Yankees seek to make ground on the Baltimore Orioles who lead the AL East. Mike Sciocsia will lead the Angels in a home game against the Miami Marlins at Angels’ Ballpark in Anaheim, California. A lopsided and thoroughly deserving victory on Tuesday afternoon gives credence to why Sciocsia’s team has been so dominant this season against their opponents from both leagues. Henderson Alvarez of the Marlins will seek to avert another loss by the visitors as he faces Hector Santiago of the Angels.

There is no denying the Chicago Cubs have remained in a never-ending slump that has become synonymous with sheer misery for their fans. A century of mediocrity cannot adequately explain the woes of the baseball franchise , even with their infamous NLCS series against the Florida Marlins in 2003 . While Steve Bartman’s name will forever live in infamy but the apportioning of blame on one idiotic Cubs’ fan was not the only reason for the team’s demise in the series. The Chicago Cubs repeatedly had chances to close out the series in game’s six and seven, but their ineptitude was there on show for their fans. Eleven years later, it were as if nothing has been learned by the organization, even with a change in ownership .One can seek to debunk a myth or myths, but in the case of the Cubs, what you see is what you get.

Tom Ricketts and his family have sought spend millions to bolster this ball-club’s roster over the years, all to no avail, while bringing in wunderkinds Jed Hoyer and Theo Epstein to head the Cubs’ front office . This season for the franchise has nothing short of disastrous as they seek to dig themselves out trouble within the NL Central, where they currently find themselves firmly rooted at the bottom of the division while having one of the worst records within the National League as well as baseball in general. Rick Renteria and the managerial staff of the Chicago Cubs will be certainly looking to assess the members of the team as the season winds down, while also assessing the younger talent within their farm system. Inasmuch, as Theo Epstein was very much the architect of the Boston Red Sox’s success and their two World Series’ wins in 2004 and 2007, an immediate turnaround was never on the cards for Cubs after the years of mismanagement and neglect by a succession of front office executives . Epstein and Hoyer, now seems to be adding to the mess rather than trying to clean it up.

The financial resources for the Chicago Cubs remains vast, beyond a loyal fan-base , sellout crowds for home games played at Wrigley Field , ownership of their own cable sports’ broadcast network and resources of Tom Ricketts and his family. Chicago may well be winners of seven of their last ten games with a four-game winning streak , but the fact of the matter remains this is not a team built for consistency and long-term success. The Cubs’ most recent victory over divisional rivals, the Cincinnati Reds another , team languishing and with no chance of challenging within the NL Central, will see them face the Reds on Wednesday afternoon , before closing out the series at the Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, Ohio on Thursday afternoon. Wins are imperative for the Chicago Cubs in each of the contests in question and it will be interesting to see how Jacob Turner will fare when he faces Mat Latos of the Reds today , in one a series of games on the MLB schedule for the 27th August .

If there was a miscue then I must have missed it all, as the Philadelphia Phillies and their season spins completely out of control. Ryne Sandberg was brought in to bring a sense of semblance , consistency but above all real passion for the game. It was clearly lacking last season with Charlie Manuel , whose final year in charge was simply a body mess with the carnage of 2013 strewn all over Citizens Bank Ballpark in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania . A team that has failed to produce , while having a bloated payroll , is once again exhibiting the very same traits , even with something of a revamped roster . Sandberg has been unable to change the identity of this team, while several of the veterans on the roster have become all too complacent and nonchalant in their play .With almost $170 million committed this season in salary commitments , which ranks the Phillies with the fourth highest team payroll in all of baseball , with only the Los Angeles Dodgers , New York Yankees and Detroit Tigers with larger commitments. The question has to be, what is the mindset within the Phillies’ front office as led by GM Reuben Amaro Jr ?

The Philadelphia Phillies will play host to the Washington Nationals , who hold a comfortable lead in the NL East over their rivals within the division . For Sandberg’s last placed team remains on a precipice waiting to be nudged over and another defeat is likely to make the scenario a reality . On the mound for the home team will be Kyle Kendrick facing off against Doug Fister of the Nationals . A game which will likely tell us a great deal about the ambitions of the two teams right now . From my own standpoint, I believe Reuben Amaro will have to gut the team and simply start afresh jettisoning a number of the high-priced impending free agents rebuilding from the ground up abandoning what has been organization’s belief in paying an exorbitant salary merely to keep the services of a player. Ryan Howard , Cole Hamels , Cliff Lee , Jimmy Rollins and several others in this lineup, have not performed up to expectation, while being rewarded a ridiculously idiotic sum for their menial returns on the season.

Robinson Cano’s departure from the New York Yankees led many to believe the player would be doomed in seeking to make the Seattle Mariner his destination in 2014. Yet for all of the criticism leveled at Cano, his being used as a pawn in a rather idiotic game cat and mouse with the Yankees’ front office by his agent Jay-z , founder of the upstart sports’ management agency RocNation Sports ,may well have worked out for the best. It does seem as if Cano , RocNation and the Mariners are indeed happy. Robinson Cano wanting to be rewarded with a multi-year , six-figure deal rumored to be $300 million over ten years was somewhat impudent but in the end , his contract with the Mariners does seem to reflect the player’s worth to the team . He certainly has not disappointed over the course of this season while he remains in the upper echelons of the AL batting statistics and is likely to seen as a viable candidate for the AL MVP this season.

The Mariners remain in the playoff hunt and merely need to play consistent baseball over the remaining thirty-one games of their regular season schedule to tie up one of the two available spots in order to be an AL wildcard entrant . Though the team was on the wrong side of a 12-4 shelling at the hands of the Texas Rangers , Lloyd McClendon and his managerial staff realize they merely have to seek a collective effort from the players to get the job done. Robinson Cano, wasn’t simply brought in solely to provide an offensive bat, but also to lead the team as a seasoned veteran. With an off-day on Thursday , the Seattle Mariners will have as their guests at Safeco Field the Washington Nationals in the first of a three-game series beginning on Friday 29th August . Taking the mound for Seattle will be Felix Hernandez against Jordan Zimmerman of the Nationals, in what is likely to be a highly competitive pitchers’ duel between the two starting aces.

Twenty-game winners were common place in baseball and this season it seems that for the first time in several years MLB might be without a starting pitcher reaching a win total of twenty games or more at the end of the regular season. The last time a starting pitcher failed to reach the plateau in question was in 2009, when the Cy Young Award in the AL and NL went to Zack Greinke and Tim Linecum , respectively. This season the leaders in the respective leagues, Max Scherzer in the American League , while reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw leads the National League. Kershaw remains heads and shoulders above any other pitcher in baseball at present and has been for the past two years without a doubt. He has proven to be dominant enough and it is with good reason why the Los Angeles Dodgers’ front office have seen fit to reward him with such a lucrative contract making him one of the highest paid players in baseball, in terms of salary and contract value . By contrast Justin Verlander might well be having something of a less productive season than we are accustomed to seeing from the Tigers’ starting pitcher, but he and Felix Hernandez remain among the best pitchers in the American League and have been for several years. However, this season, what we have seen in terms of the pitching in baseball , may well come down to lack of run support provided to the pitchers and the tendency of middle relief and closers to become more of a tool within the game, sometimes leading to lessening of the results for the starters.

There is a very good reason to believe Clayton Kershaw could very well be a back-to-back winner of the NL Cy Young Award , again with the Dodgers’ pitcher being the best player on the team’s pitching staff and best player on the team by far , without delving in into his salary . Kershaw will be looking to win the award for the third time in of his career , having won in 2011 and 2013 . The AL candidates from this season are likely to be taken from among these list of pitchers , Chris Sale , Felix Hernandez ,Max Scherzer , Rick Porcello, Scott Kazmir, David Price and Greg Holland .

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This weekend’s schedule within baseball will be highly interesting with games and series likely to be pivotal to the teams’ seasons . It was pretty much the same issue at this time last season within the game . Your thoughts on baseball and what are you hoping to see over the remainder of the season?

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(1) MLB’s thirty teams entered the start of this season with a view to be part of the playoff picture with their ultimate goal, being to win the World Series. Last year’s champions the Boston Red Sox have struggled in 2014 , currently lying at the bottom of the AL East division without a chance of making the postseason.

(2) Ned Yost manager of the Kansas City Royals has his team riding high within the AL Central having led for a greater part of this month having held unto the lead without a great deal of difficulty during August . Yost and the team will be looking to win a divisional title and make the playoffs for the first time in almost two decades. AP Photo/ Mark Watson …

(3) Detroit Tigers’ manager Brad Ausmus is seen here with Tigers’ assistant and infield coach Omar Vizquel have seen the team lose sight of their seasonal goal in winning the AL Central and gaining a postseason berth . The team is now fighting for a playoff berth among a list of very competitive AL wildcard candidates . Getty Images/ Chris Horner …

(4) Chicago Cubs’ Head of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein ,left, is seen here with the team’s owner Tom Ricketts . Once again the Cubs have struggled with their being little sign of competitiveness shown by the team this season . Chicago finds itself rooted at the bottom of the NL Central. AP Photo/ Cathy Hurst …

(5) Ryne Sandberg manager of the Philadelphia Phillies is seen here in the dugout speaking with team pitcher Cliff Lee , foreground. An inauspicious season , high payroll and diminishing returns has led to an inept year for the franchise . Matt Glover / UPI …

(6) Robinson Cano of the Seattle Mariners who spent the first seven years of his career with the New York Yankees , but left the team in December of 2013 to join the Mariners, signing a ten-year $240 million deal . This season Cano has been productive for the team , leading them in several offensive categories . AP Photo / Sean Williams …

(7) Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers is having another spectacular season for the team and leads the NL in ERA and wins . The player is seeking to win a third Cy Young Award , joining a select group of players with three or more wins of baseball’s top individual pitching honor . AP Photo / Mel Whittaker …

(8) Chris Sale of the Chicago White Sox might just be the best thing about the ailing AL Central franchise this season . A possible candidate for the AL Cy Young Award , it is unlikely that he will win the award playing on a team with a losing record , while being uncompetitive throughout this season. Matt Hart/ UPI …

(9) Max Scherzer , left and Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers are seen here at Comerica Park in Detroit , Michigan , during a regular season game . With the addition of David Price to their roster the Tigers now have three AL Cy Young Award winners in their lineup . Currently engaged in a series with the New York Yankees , the team does need to win the series to keep up the momentum, while leading the list of AL wildcard candidates. AP Photo/ Richie Curtis …

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Born to be bland or simply being bland ? ………

Born to be bland or simply being bland?

If there has been one thing I have learned in the past few weeks, it has been the sheer apathy, stupidity, gullibility and complete lack of understanding of the American public and sports’ fan in general. Case in point, remains the real outrage in the death of Missourian teenager Michael Brown . While the teen’s death was tragic and the outrage by residents valid, their behavior was less than beneficial for their community at large. In the case of the Ferguson Police Department and their lack of professionalism, could be seen in the fact, the changing stories concerning the suspect’s death as it emanated from the agency after Brown’s at the hands of a six—year veteran of the force.

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Now with the federal government interjecting themselves in the midst of this tragedy , it begs the question, if they and others are so angered by this, then why no outrage in the other two hundred and fifty-four deaths to have taken place over the past eighteen months nationwide at the hands of a member of law enforcement ? In many of these cases , the alleged suspects were unarmed , but somehow this is all overlooked by those seeking to point out law enforcement is often being placed in an impossible situation.

From my own perspective this also comes down to the experience of the police officer and his training . Placing these officers in a training incident is completely different from what actually takes place in life. Speaking as a ten-year veteran of the British Royal Marines, where I faced armed and unarmed suspects while on active duty, it all came down to specific training and the having the help of my fellow comrades around me at the time. While I valued them being at my side, I have no doubt Officer Darren Wilson regrets the death of Michael Brown but what may well now begin to incense those within the city of Ferguson is the $250,000 raised in support of the officer . One has to wonder, where and what will be the intent in the use of these funds? ? While this whole debacle plays out, consider , in the city of Ferguson where its demographic makeup of fifty-six percent African-American , the number of officers on the city’s Police Force with a minority background is less than two percent . of its real makeup. Race has played a part in this whole melee and those who view to the contrary are clearly without a clue . Incidents such as this are on in the increase not on the decline , if only one would care to see these incidents as and when they arise.

As baseball is on the cusp of entering the final two months of its regular season schedule , a number of teams are seeking to enter the divisional and wildcard races wanting to gain a berth in the postseason. In 2013 , we saw from the play of the Boston Red Sox and what a team is capable of doing when actually playing as a team. John Farrell, the Red Sox’s manager was able to catch their opponents off-guard as the postseason got underway in 2013, with the team then going on to win their third World Series title in the past eight years .

It has surprised me to see how far the fall from grace within the AL East the reigning World Series’ champion and their season has spiraled completely out of control. GM Ben Cherington now seeking to gut the team’s roster with the departure of several mainstays from last season’s championship winning team. You simply have to ask, how could things have gotten this dire without their being any sense such a dilemma could have been placed within our midst. Of the departing players, perhaps the biggest surprise was the decision to send Jon Lester to the Oakland Athletics , whose ambitions will have been strengthened with the addition of the pitcher.

Boston’s woes have been twofold this season but in reality , what has plagued the team has been the lack of leadership from anyone on the roster this season. Even a seasoned veteran such as David Ortiz has been rarely noticeable , with Ortiz having something of mundane season in comparison to his exploits in 2013 and during the postseason, where he would end up being the World Series’ MVP after his offensive onslaught against the St Louis Cardinals during the series. , At 56-74 , firmly rooted at the bottom of the AL East the Boston Red Sox are losers of nine of their last ten games, stemming back to their last victory over the Houston Astros, their equally inept AL counterpart , whose own season, is one mired in mediocrity .

The Boston Red Sox’s loss to the Seattle Mariners at Fenway Park in Boston Massachusetts , on Sunday afternoon was simply one more indicator of what has been wrong with the team all season long. I fear they will get no respite when they take on the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday , when the two teams meet at the Rogers Center , Toronto , Ontario. On the mound for Boston will be Clay Buchholz when he faces off against J A Happ of the Blue Jays. In all likelihood , John Farrell and the coaching staff will use the remainder of the season to assess the team and their younger players hoping to make an ongoing contribution to the organization with a view of being given a full-time position on the starting roster in 2015.

Baseball has always been proud to boast its history and the very fact it was the very first professional team sport in North America to be integrated. The historic day on which Jackie Robinson took to the field for the Brooklyn Dodgers may well have changed history , in the aftermath of Branch Rickey’s social experiment . Yet here lies the hypocrisy and even less significance of the event , the game and its owners at the time, . still had no wish to have an African-American umpire officiate a Major League Baseball game . Acceptance of Robinson or not , baseball still remained in the dark ages even with Robinson’s feats during his rookie season with the Dodgers.

It would be an almost two decade long wait , before fans would actually witness an African-American official umpire officiate a Major League Baseball game , when Emmett Ashford would be afforded the honor and privilege of the historic milestone. On the 9th April 1966 Emmett Ashford made his official debut as an MLB umpire where he would remain an active official for five years before being asked by then Commissioner Bowie Kuhn to take an advisory role and take to official speaking engagements as a way of luring more African-American officials to the game. In the decades leading up to Ashford’s being made an umpire , the thought process was that Ashford and many of his peers were simply not equipped to officiate a baseball game. Common place thinking within the league hierarchy and with many of Kuhn’s predecessors and the Caucasian players at the time, felt African-American umpires lacked the intellect to officiate a game much less go through and meeting the qualifications needed. . Speaks volumes as to the ongoing hypocrisy within baseball and how historians have chosen to simply record the game’s history , simply leaving out the more distasteful events within baseball’s history at the time .

The NBA at this moment in time might have two of the biggest prima donna athletes within its realms, with Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers and LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers . Both players are coming off disappointing seasons , with Bryant being of little help to the Lakers and their season , which floundered and was submerged in the depths of mediocrity . For James his departure from the Miami Heat could not have been quick enough , after his and the team’s disappointment of being totally embarrassed by the San Antonio Spurs in a rather lopsided NBA Finals . The fact of the matter remains , the Miami Heat of this past season was simply a pale shadow of the team which successfully defended its 2013 NBA title . Exposed like the Emperor without new clothes , some of the more asinine prognosis from fans alike , were as if, those offering up their summations simply had their lips firmly pressed against the ass of LeBron James, without looking at the players he was surrounded by this past season and their lack of real productivity during the regular and postseason .

LeBron James having returned to the Cleveland Cavaliers will have a new supporting cast and coaching staff at his disposal. Make no bones about it , David Blatt may well be the rookie head coach , but in reality , he will merely be a conduit for James’ ongoing ambitions and little else beyond that. This is a major gamble on the part of the team owner Dan Gilbert and the Cavaliers’ organization , as anything less than a playoff berth with the NBA title thrown in for good measure will be seen as a failure by analysts and fans alike. Having been made the prohibitive favorites by the odds-makers in Las Vegas as well as by the NBA pundits , there will be even more pressure being placed upon the shoulders of LeBron James this season than ever before. No doubt there will be some Miami Heat fans who would like to see him fail this season , whereas, others will be thankful for the success he brought to the franchise during his four-year stay . Yet, for all the success and publicity which came with James’ tenure, it now places the Miami based franchise right back at square one, with a team that is likely to be on the decline. Dwyane Wade is no longer able to play at a very high level , given his age and declining skill-set, but somehow he will be asked to lead what in essence will be a very average roster in spite of the coaching acumen of Erik Spoelstra .

Kobe Bryant is now in the waning years of what has been a magnificent Lakers’ career, albeit that he may well never be thought of as the greatest player in the franchise’s greatest players . He certainly has to be viewed as being among the top-ten players in Lakers’ history but where he might belong on that particular ladder will be a matter of debate for years to come. . Now while I believe an athlete should be paid what he or she believes they are worth, there comes a time where common sense has to prevail when it comes team payrolls and the outlandish salaries one now tends to find within the NBA and baseball in particular. Nowhere else can find athletes on this scale being rewarded for doing so little. Doubt my word, then simply look at the make-up of the payroll scales within baseball (MLB) and basketball at present. Bryant in a recent interview , stated he believed many of the marquee players within the NBA are undervalued in terms of their salaries. Last I looked, neither Joe Johnson or Amare’ Stoudemire could be considered elite players within the NBA , but the two remain among the highest paid players in the league and on the rosters of their respective teams, the Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks .

Bryant in a recent interview granted with members of the press, in a statement at the time which was overlooked remains under the impression players are greatly undervalued by the NBA and specifically their organizations . Forgive me for saying this but Bryant’s two-year $48.5 million deal signed with the Los Angeles Lakers might well feel a pittance to the player, but what he has failed to notice in a time of economic blight the majority of NBA fans would find his whining an absolute insult and very narcissistic. His annual salary currently tops all NBA players in the league and is five hundred times the median income of an employee in the US workforce. Take into account Bryant earns considerably more from his off the field activities by way of commercial endorsements and his annual income tops $45 million a year . Somehow, I hardly feel that members of the Bryant household are starving , without actually acknowledging the player’s estimated $250 million fortune . It is at times like this , one has to wonder if Bryant actually shows any common sense when making such a statement , without the reporter granting the interview coming up with the claim Kobe Bryant’s statement is representative of many of his peers .

Bryant is no longer the best player in the NBA , nor does he actually hold a great deal of sway among his peers . Granted , he has now become one of the league’s elder statesmen , but do you believe Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs would have the temerity to have made such a statement to a member of the convened press? I think not ! This is all about Kobe Bryant wanting to heard , because over the past season he was rarely seen on-court due to his injury laden season and even if he were on the court , I seriously doubt his presence would have improved the outcome of the Lakers’ season given the team’s poor play all-round over the course of their schedule.

Byron Scott succeeds Mike D’Antoni as the Los Angeles Lakers’ head coach and while Scott has the blessing of former players Magic Johnson , James Worthy and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar , their sentiments will mean very little as the Lakers embark upon this season . A revamped roster , totally different from last season’s lineup will be what Scott and his coaching staff will have to work with . A divisional title is definitely out of the question this season, given the strength and depth of talent on the Los Angeles Clippers , but there might well be a remote possibility of the Lakers contending for a playoff berth in the Western Conference if they can play with a great deal of consistency over the course of this upcoming season.

Twenty-four seven remains the NFL news’ cycle and the primary reason it has surpassed MLB, NBA and NHL as the most popular professional team sport in the country. The league feeds its fans even with the remotest of tidbits, merely to keep them insatiable and interested in the game even when things are at their most dire in the NFL. Granted , a number of the league’s ills have more to do with the incompetency of the hierarchy under Roger Goodell’s uninspired leadership . The boorish behavior of the players both on and off off the field of play without delving into the criminal antics of a number of the franchise owners around the NFL. I will continue to question the play within the NFL and their reasoning behind a preseason which means absolutely nothing and where the league feels it necessary to still charge full price for an exhibition season , where very little matters in the order of things. Hyperbole surrounds several of the rookies drafted this off-season and in particular the Cleveland Browns’ rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel is still proving he has yet to mature as an individual , while his play on the field has been far from scintillating. Nevertheless , the idiotic calls are already upon us for Manziel to be the team’s opening day quarterback in week one of the regular season .

Cleveland will have one of the easiest schedules in the entire NFL this season with their only having to face two playoff teams from last season , in the Cincinnati Bengals and New Orleans Saints . As to those who believe Johnny Manziel is now ready for his professional debut and curtain call in a regularly scheduled NFL game. I would hasten to add, given the woes of the Browns in 2012 and 2013 with Brandon Weeden at the helm as the Browns’ quarterback , it would be in the fans’ best interest to have the rookie sit on the bench for the moment. Those within the media still yearning to see Manziel center-stage will be the first to rip him apart should he prove to be a monumental bust.. Very little has been made about the player’s lack of maturity and leadership skills since his entry into the NFL, but here we are , and boneheaded assholes are now calling for Johnny Manziel to be made a starting quarterback in the NFL .

Manziel will likely get his chance at some point during the season but it will be ultimately be predicated upon the play of Brian Hoyer and the thought process of Mike Pettine and the Browns’ coaching staff .

As if their drafting of Michael Sam was not about to bring a great deal of attention to the St Louis Rams , the knowledge their starting quarterback Sam Bradford will be lost to the team for the regular season, having torn his ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) will be a big blow to the ambitions of Jeff Fisher and the organization. Bradford’s career in the NFL has seen its fair share of ups downs . More downs than ups and the likelihood of his NFL career now abruptly coming to an end without his achieving a great deal during his tenure.

With teams now having to make roster cuts bringing their rosters down to seventy-five players, before final cuts at the culmination of the preseason , where the final fifty-three man rosters will be set . It seems imperative Jeff Fisher will be looking to obtain a seasoned veteran quarterback or perhaps make a trade for a backup player at the position . The alternatives for Fisher in terms of the Rams’ current depth chart , provides very slim pickings , if it is your wish to have your choices being made from the following list of candidates , Shaun Hill , Garrett Gilbert and Austin Davis . Somehow , I do not believe they are likely to make an opposing defense quiver in fear as to explosiveness of the Rams’ offense be it on the ground or through the air . Fisher believes Shaun Hill has the experience to lead the team throughout the season , but I believe the player’s lack of in-depth experience and play in general makes it all but a certainty, the Rams will seek a trade for a quarterback with proven ability .

With rumors now percolating Jeff Fisher may well approach the Philadelphia Eagles as to the availability of Mark Sanchez , there seems to be no rival of questions and assumptions that can be made concerning the Rams’ present situation . It would be unlikely Chip Kelly or anyone from within the front office of the Eagles would seek to trade Sanchez , with his being the only experienced backup on the team’s roster to replace Nick Foles should the incumbent starting quarterback go down to a prolonged injury. St Louis will open its regular season schedule against the Minnesota Vikings at the Edward Jones Dome Stadium in St Louis , Missouri on the 7th September , 2014. This should prove to be an interesting contest between two teams seeking reset their goals in 2014.

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What thoughts if any do you have concerning the points raised within this article and do you believe baseball , basketball and the NFL are in the places they need to be , in light of the ongoing issues nationwide ?

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Picture and slideshow gallery details below .

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(1) Michael Brown Sr and Leslie McSpadden listen to a speech as they await the funeral of their slain son , Michael Brown , shot by a Ferguson City Police officer . Brown and McSpadden have asked that the protests be kept at a minimum also asking for quell to the violence that has taken place in the small suburb. AP Photo /Charlie Riedel …

(2) Officer Michael Brown of the Ferguson City Police Force , a six-year veteran , took the life of teenager Michael Brown, an alleged suspect in a theft from a convenience store in the city of Ferguson. Missouri . Brown’s death and the anguish caused has led to rioting and violence with the state governor , Jay Nixon and local civic leaders calling for peaceful demonstrations , rather than the lootiy=2014> d acts of theft being witnessed in the aftermath. AP Photo/ Michal Bennett …

(3) Michael Brown , was college bound, but somehow his death, has led to the nation once again being embroiled in the issue of race relations , crime and the lack of training among many of the nation’s police agencies . AP/REUTERS/ Thomas Charles ….

(4) Brock Holt tags out Seattle Mariners’ Kendrys Morales, left, at third base after Kyle Seager reached on an infield single in the first inning of a baseball game in Boston, Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014. Boston Red Sox’s 8-6 loss led to the Mariners sweeping the series 3-0 , further adding to Boston’s embarrassingly inept season . AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

(5) David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox has been unable to lead the team with the same amount of dexterity shown in 2013 , leading many to believe if the player is still capable playing at a truly competitive level when facing real adversity on a team which is said to be floundering. AP Photo/ Paul Matthews …

(6) Emmett Ashford , first African-American umpire signed by the major leagues, confers with California Angels’ Manager Bill Rigney at Palm Springs, Calif., on March 13, 1966 as the Angels played the Chicago Cubs. Ashford was making his first appearance as a plate umpire between major league teams. He was signed from the Pacific Coast League at the close of last season. AP Photo/George Brich …..

(7) Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers in what is likely to be his last professional season in the NBA continues to make waves . Unfortunately, as one of the league’s elder statesmen , the player believes he can speak for many of his peers . AP Photo / Chris McIntyre …

(8) Sam Bradford is escorted from the field during a preseason game played against the Cleveland Browns . The quarterback is likely to be lost to the Rams for the remainder of the preseason and the entire regular season schedule . A severe blow to player whose career in the NFL seems to have been injury riddled in recent years . USA Today / Rick Osentoski ….

(9) St Louis Rams’ quarterback Sam Bradford sits on the sidelines of a regular season game played against the Dallas Cowboys . The player’s career now seems to be threatened after suffering another tear of his anterior cruciate ligament , the second such injury suffered by Bradford to very same knee injured in 2013 . AP Photo/ Mark Miller …

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How about ” getting busy “ in all of Busy Philipps’ business ?

 

Bang the drum loudly …

Bang the drum loudly ……..

The second half of the MLB season will get underway with several teams now seeking to make inroads in terms of the divisional races , while at the same time wildcard berths will be up for grabs within the AL and NL . Through the first half of the season, there were no great surprises ,but the Oakland Athletics were proving why they remain one of the best regular season teams in baseball over the past four years. Unfortunately, the regular season is nothing more than the precursor to baseball’s Fall Classic , the World Series ,but also the postseason itself. It would be safe to say, the A’s have seen their share of ups and downs in recent postseason forays. Bob Melvin and his managerial staff will almost certainly be looking to make a better showing for this postseason as they continue to dominate the AL West , without being seriously challenged by any of their divisional rivals .

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Oakland will resume their schedule with a home game on Friday against the Baltimore Orioles, with Jeff Samadzija on the mound for the home team as he faces Chris Tillman of the Orioles. The O Coliseum is likely to be packed, as the game’s best team embarks on proving their legitimacy as the AL’s top-ranked ball-club at this point of the season. With Yoenis Cespedes coming off another exceptional performance in the MLB All Star Home Run Derby contest where he successfully defended his title. The A’s slugger is perhaps the team’s best offensive player and is certainly proving his worth for the ball-club this season , while being considered a likely candidate for the AL MVP .

Baseball’s mid-season showcase event, the MLB All Star Game played at Target Field in Minneapolis , Minnesota, where we witnessed the AL triumph over their NL counterparts to gain themselves home-field advantage throughout the postseason. Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels signified his status as the heir-apparent to Derek Jeter in becoming the face of baseball for the next decade. Anyone who might a doubt to the claim, might want review the player’s heroics during the All Star Game on Tuesday night.

Trout and the Los Angeles Angels are in the hunt within the AL West, sitting 1 ½ games behind the Oakland Athletics with the Seattle Mariners in third place, followed by the Houston Astros and the Texas Rangers bringing up the rear within the division. . It would be fair to say, Angels’ manager Mike Sciocsia and his staff are under a great deal of pressure to succeed this season. An All Star cast in terms of three high-profiled players , led by Mike Trout , Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton have failed to ignite the expectations sought by team owner , Arte Moreno and the front office led by GM Jerry Dipoto . In fact, the Angels’ fans must be wondering if the money spent on Pujols and Hamilton can be justified when the returns have been so meager by way of their output over the last two seasons.

Coming into the All Stat break the Los Angeles Angles were 9-1 in their last ten games, a league leading best among the teams in baseball. The approach of the team and Sciocsia’s staff, has been to play hard, with an emphasis on both offense , pitching and defense . . While I believe Mike Sciocsia’s position as the manager of the Los Angeles Angels remains in jeopardy, the team’s ongoing miscues could lead to Jerry Dipoto making the decision to relieve him of his managerial duties. Trout and his teammates will resume their season with a weekend series starting on Friday, when the Angels play the Seattle Mariners at Angels’ Ballpark in Anaheim , California . Taking the mound for the Mariners will be Hisashi Iwakuma against Jered Weaver of the Angels. . A pitching match-up I believe will bring out the best in these two AL pitchers as both seek to strengthen the presence of their respective teams as the second half of the season begins.

Two decades of witnessing the very best that Derek Jeter has to offer the game of baseball does seem to be something of a privilege for fans of America’s pastime. For the New York Yankees’ captain, this final season has been something of a milestone as he does the rounds being applauded by his peers and fans alike. A five-time winning World Series champion, Jeter and his teammates would like nothing better than to add another title to his list of achievements as well to that of the fabled ball-club. .However, if he and the team are to achieve that goal, then they will most certainly have to raise the level of their play entering the second half of the season . One of two wildcard berths within the AL may well be the best that the Yankees can achieve but I believe they will have set their sights higher and make a bold attempt at winning the AL East division, because the American League has been very competitive this season. Several teams are vying for the two wildcard berths, while the division now appears to be a three-horse race between the Toronto Blue Jays, Baltimore Orioles and the New York Yankees.

The Yankees have fared well against their divisional rivals this season, but their issues remain ever-present and the loss of their best pitcher in 2014 has been felt by the starting rotation . Masahiro Tanaka remains on the fifteen day DL , along with a number of teammates familiar in their starting roles for the Yankees’ lineup this season. Yankees Stadium will be packed over the next three days as the team plays host to the Cincinnati Reds in a three-game series beginning on Friday , 18th July. David Phelps of the Yankees will square off against Mike Leake of the Reds in this pitching duel.

Hal Steinbrenner and GM Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman have come a long way since the death of George Steinbrenner , but the fact remains the ball-club’s wish to be seen as being financially expedient has fallen on deaf ears within the organization. Other than the Los Angeles Dodgers , the New York Yankees are the only other team in Major League Baseball with a payroll above $200 million for this season. Hal Steinbrenner promised and failed in the attempt to lower the figure in 2013 and it seems for this year even in falling behind the Dodgers in the payroll sweepstakes , financial expediency no longer seems to be a major concern for the front office.

While the New York Yankees will not have to worry about a financial commitment to now disgraced star Alex Rodriguez for this season , the issue remains theirs is one of bloated salaries where a number of their players are among the highest paid in all of baseball, with the scenario unlikely to change . There will come a point where Hal Steinbrenner will have to show financial restraint, rather than showing the pretext of saying one thing and doing the complete opposite.

A postseason match-up between the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers would be something that all of baseball would definitely relish. The two most storied franchises in the game meeting in World Series would be a considerable boost for MLB , given baseball’s inept handling of a litany of issues over the past decade. Unfortunately, such a scenario would allow Bud Selig to ride out on a psychological high with his taking credit for the creation of such a showcase . The Dodgers for their part having caught and now past the San Francisco Giants within the NL West are now proving why they are best team within the division and one of the best in the National League.

If ever there was a time for Don Mattingly to prove himself as a manager, then now would be it. Having won the NL West crown in 2013 with a great deal of ease the Dodgers being dismantled in the NLCS by the St Louis Cardinals showed why having a team of stars lacking in leadership was a sure way of being completely embarrassed. There was a great deal of complacency among the players , managerial staff as well as within the front office as senior partner Magic Johnson was simply making promises that his team would never keep. Disappointment and abject failure, pretty much summed up the NLCS series for the Dodgers against Mike Matheny’s Cardinals.

The maturation of Yasiel Puig remains a work in progress with the young player making a name for himself among his peers and the opposition faced this season. Puig like his teammates, are among the most explosive teams from an offensive standpoint within the game, but not to be left out of the equation, has to be the pitching of the Los Angeles Dodgers , with both Clayton Kershaw and Josh Beckett this season, having thrown no hitters for the team . The Los Angeles Dodgers have played with a great deal of presence and dominance against their opposition.

The Los Angeles Dodgers and St Louis Cardinals will renew their acquaintance when these two teams meet at Busch Stadium in St Louis , Missouri in a three-game series , starting on Friday, through until Sunday . Dan Haren of the Dodgers, will be on the mound when he takes on Lance Lynn in what is sure to be a great game between these two teams. . I believe the Dodgers are capable of winning the NL Pennant for this season , but the issue to my mind remains , who can anyone point to as being the vocal leader on this team? There are seasoned veterans such as Adrian Gonzalez, Matt Kemp , Carl Crawford , Dan Haren, Paul Malholm and Brian Wilson , but when it comes crunch time, are any of the players in question likely to step up to the plate? There was no evidence there to suggest they are capable doing so especially in light of the failures of last season in the NLCS series against the St Louis Cardinals. The Dodgers are simply a safe bet during the regular season but they have been ’ fool’s gold’ during the postseason in recent years.

If someone had suggested to me Oakland Athletics’ starting pitcher Scott Kazmir would be among the best pitchers in baseball this season while leading the A’s starting rotation in wins and ERA(earned run average), I would have stated they are out of their mind ! Yet lo and behold Kazmir seems to have resurrected his career and found the form that saw him once spearhead the Tampa Bay Rays . Scott Kazmir’s former team are having their own issues this season, much of it of their own making and the mistaken belief among the Rays’ fans baseball analysts alike , they would be among the favorites to win the AL East and AL Pennant this season. Nothing could be further from the truth at this juncture, in spite of the ongoing optimism of Joe Maddon who believes the division still remains a wide open race.

Oakland has a slight lead (1 1/2 games) over the Los Angeles Angels within the AL West, with both teams scheduled to resume their respective schedules today. Bob Melvin will lead his team against the Baltimore Orioles when they meet at the O Coliseum in Oakland, California. Chris Tillman will be on the mound for the Orioles as they take on the division leading A’s, with Jeff Samardzija being the opposing pitcher . Contests between these two teams tend not to be close affairs, but I believe with both ball-clubs now riding high and their being so much at stake we are likely to see a competitive game and series .

Mike Trout I believe to be the most dominant force in the game today as an offensive player and granted , many are likely to view the reigning two-time AL MVP Detroit Tigers’ slugger Miguel Cabrera set about trying to prove which of the duo just happens to be the most dominant player. Within the NL I certainly do not believe there is a player the equal of either Cabrera or Trout in terms of productivity over the past two years . The singular awards for this season are up for grabs and I believe the races for those crowns will carry on until the end of the season. As to who those winners are likely to be, will be dependent upon the play of the presumptive frontrunners.

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Picture gallery .

Through the first half of the MLB season which teams or players do you believe have provided the best highlights ? As baseball resumes play, how do you see the rest of the schedule playing out and which ball-club is likely to be the most dominant and be seen as a firm favorite to win the World Series ?

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(1) Oakland A’s manager Bob Melvin ,left, is seen here with the team’s general manager Billy Beane . The duo have seen the A’s become the leading frontrunners within the AL for the AL Pennant but their greatest wish has to be, bringing back a World Series’ title to the state of California and to their loyal fans . AP Photo / Mark Edmonds …

(2) Jeff Samardzija of the Oakland A’s has been one of the main reasons the team has been consistent within the AL West this season . Getty Images / Chris Jones …

(3) Jul 15, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; American League infielder Derek Jeter (second from right) of the New York Yankees greets all star teammates Robinson Cano (22) of the Seattle Mariners and Mike Trout (27) of the Los Angeles Angels before the 2014 MLB All Star Game at Target Field . Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports …

(4) Los Angeles Dodgers’ manager Don Mattingly is seen here with All Star player Yasiel Puig ,left . Getty Images / Hector Gonzalez …

(5)The Los Angeles Dodgers’ Matt Kemp chats with Magic Johnson before Game 2 of the 2013 National League Division Series in Atlanta. With almost one-quarter of a billion dollars ($250,000,000) invested in the team’s payroll for the 2014 season, Johnson hopes the fortunes of the Dodgers will be far more fruitful than during the 2013 MLB postseason. Getty Images / Christina Martin ….

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That’s a slight of hand trick , I definitely like !

One more reason to love Scarlett Johansson

It’s not the fight that is left in the dog , but whether or not, its bark and bite might send you running

It’s not the fight that is left in the dog , but whether or not, its bark and bite might send you running

It no longer pains me to say this , but the sport of boxing is now dead ! Granted, we are led to be believe that Floyd Mayweather still provides a great deal of excitement in a boxing ring. My question however , does a Mayweather fight truly induce the fans to appreciate what remains a sport that is really devoid of talent , once you take multi-talented champion out of the picture ?

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Aging veteran, Sergio Martinez recently lost his middleweight title against Miguel Cotto in a tenth round stoppage. Cotto’s record coming into this bout was not overly impressive but his manager and promoter are now seeking a bout against Floyd Mayweather , in what would prove to be the biggest purse of Miguel Cotto’s career. For Mayweather , he would once again be on his way to banking another $25-$35 million for a meaningless bout . Yet, this is now what the sport of boxing has come to , with their no longer being any meaningful fights taking place, where an undisputed champion is created.

To understand how far this sport has fallen, once can equate that with the Fall of the Roman Empire with the Emperor Nero playing an instrument while that city burned. Suffice to say, the same scenario is now set with the state of play within boxing. Richard Schaefer , former CEO of Golden Boy Promotions Inc , the boxing promotion company founded by Oscar De La Hoya . The former championship title holder and Schaeffer are said to have had a difference of opinion on the direction that the company was being directed . Golden Boy Promotions , Don King Promotions and Top Rank Inc , remain the three largest boxing promotions’ companies in North America, with the triumvirate battling to decide which of them holds sway and the power within the sport.

Oscar De La Hoya , Don King and Bob Arum are the three executives who run the respective companies that seem to have a stranglehold on the sport of boxing, where corruption , incompetence and a great deal of mismanagement reigns supreme . While all three promoters see themselves as champions of the sport in selling it to the masses, in reality, the biggest obstacle to the sport remains the fact, there are no undisputed champions in any of the weight divisions within boxing . One has to bear in mind also , with four main international governing bodies , boxing remains splintered among the WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO . Given the issue , that neither of these bodies in question seems intent on perhaps merging or sharing similar standards , the only constant has been their title fights remain twelve round contests .

With Manny Pacquiao coming off his recent defeat of Timothy Bradley , the Filipino fighter is once again a world champion. However, in light of that fact, Pacquiao and his promoter, Bob Arum, remain unable to engineer the long-awaited bout with Floyd Mayweather . Both fighters are on the downside of their illustrious careers and the possibility of a mega-fight now taking place does seem remote. Unless the payout in the prize money is right and Mayweather’s favor. Then such a fight remains a major topic of debate and conjecture , with no one profiting from their continued stupidity. If the two combatants, cannot come to meet in a civil way, whereby they split a fair share in what would be the biggest boxing match in history. It seems redundant at this point, to consider a proposed bout would still ignite any type of intensity among a fan base of the sport of boxing. Quite possibly, there might be a record number of Pay-Per-View (PPV) buys for such an event, with Mayweather and Bob Arum’s Top Rank co-promoting the event.

There are a number of fighters positioning themselves to be viewed as likely challengers for Manny Pacquiao , Miguel Cotto and Floyd Mayweather , but none of them I believe will elicit enough interest whereby fans would be willing to pay $49.95 for the privilege of witnessing such a bout. Mayweather still remains the biggest draw within the sport of boxing , but he has already hinted that upon fulfilling his six-fight deal with Showtime PPV , for which he will earn $200 million . The boxer is likely to retire, with his record remaining intact, without having suffered a loss.

Richard Schaefer’s decision to leave Golden Boy Promotions , leaves a void within the organization altogether , with his business acumen engineering the substantial growth of the company. Golden Boy Promotions beyond staging and promoting fights also manages fighters , has a publishing arm , as well as branching out into other lucrative area of the sport and into the area of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). These business decisions have made Oscar De La Hoya an extremely powerful and wealthy man, with a voice big enough to influence a number of major decisions within the sport. Yet, for all the decisions made , boxing has regressed to the point where it is now having to play catch-up to the more competitive and exhilarating genre of MMA , under the UFC banner. Schaefer is likely to start his own company or possibly join Al Haymon or Mayweather Promotions Inc, where Floyd Mayweather is the primary owner of that particular business entity.

The threat to Oscar De La Hoya now, is how to keep his company relevant while remaining among the top promotional groups within the sport. His retention of fighters may well prove difficult if they are close to the end of the contracts with the company. Also bear in mind, many of the fighters saw Schaeffer more as the real brains behind Golden Boy Promotions , with De La Hoya seen as a figurehead, because of his name recognition. Boxing is now self-imploding, because of the ongoing idiocy within the sport and the dog eat dog mendacity being shown between rival groups of promoters, the seediness of the international governing bodies and dare one say , the incompetence of the Nevada State Athletic Commission and their failure to have any proper oversight of their officials ? Las Vegas remains the Mecca for the sport of boxing, but as of late , it has been the state’s Athletic Commission, that has many of the sport’s fans up in arms concerning the integrity of that agency and its failure to conduct in-depth investigations into the character and integrity of the boxing judges and referees under its jurisdiction.

There is no denying, the explosion in the growth of MMA over the past decade has primarily come from the marketing and shrewdness shown by UFC President Dana White . His eye, for what was considered to be in some circles, a barbaric sport, has now become the fastest growing global phenomena of combative competition in the world and the popularity of MMA has exceeded boxing, with many of its top practitioners being more widely recognized than some of boxing’s biggest named fighters. White , his co-founding partners , Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta , now preside over a multi-billion dollar empire , with the mercurial President running the show. Unfortunately, in recent months, Dana White has begun to make a complete ass of himself , with either veiled criticism or threats of fighters who have made the sport so popular , bringing along legions of rabid and loyal fans. Yet, for all the pomposity shown by the executive, he also must now realize that his sport is under threat when he fails to act judiciously in reprimanding fighters who fail to adhere to the sport’s strict rules .

For the third time in his career, former middleweight title challenger Chael Sonnen has failed a random drug test , with the fighter now announcing his immediate retirement. Yet, for Sonnen’s wrongdoing , White is now seeking to blame the Nevada State Athletic Commission for their draconian measures in suspending the fighter and asking that his license within the state be made permanently inactive. If Dana White wishes to uphold the integrity he believes MMA to have , then he should be pursuing the banishment of Sonnen from the UFC altogether , rather than seeking to support the fighter. It has been a pattern of behavior with Chael Sonnen, which should not be condoned as being in the best interests of the UFC or the genre of MMA. The issue may well be that with the lack of charisma of the current middleweight champion Chris Weidman and the very fact the UFC’s greatest fighter and the division’s former champion Anderson Silva is in the twilight of his career. UFC now finds itself in a position where its biggest and most popular asset is a champion in Jon ‘Bones’ Jones , a fighter who marches to the beat of his own drum and is someone who is not ready to have White dictate the terms of when and who he should fight. As immense as Dana White’s power is now said to be , he is being looked upon as an executive, who is seeking to become bigger than the sport he has built into global phenomena.

Should one man (White) be able to wield that much power? Well, dependent upon the authority and knowledge shown, I believe that some fans might not have a problem with that ! Yet , in today’s sports environment , we have executives such as Bud Selig, David Stern, Mark Emmert and Roger Goodell continually showing a great deal of incompetency , without fully understanding the ever-changing environment around them . One only has to look at Selig’s handling of the steroid issue within baseball, Stern’s apparent behavior and his failing to reprimand Donald Sterling for his behavior prior to this latest outrage in the NBA . NCAA President Mark Emmert’s ongoing lack of credibility on a slew of issues affecting collegiate sports and last, but not least, Goodell’s insistence, at the NFL all along, has acted in the best interests of football’s retired elderly veterans. With the ongoing apathy of some fans and their staunch support for idiots such as David Stern , I have no reason to believe that things are likely to get any better ! The same can be said for the lack of leadership now being shown within Congress and by a President , who now seems to be bungling his way through his second term in office, as his tenure begins to wind down.

The UFC seeks to bring the best contests possible and those events tend to have the best talent available, in marquee match-ups that headlines each of these shows. On Saturday, another of UFC’s usual fare will be on display , when they stage UFC174 , to be held at the Rogers Arena , in Vancouver, Canada, with another championship contest being staged. Headlining the card will be the marquee bout featuring Demetrious Johnson against Ali Baugautinov , as Johnson defends his UFC Flyweight Title . . This will be Johnson’s fifth defense of his title, as he seeks to cement his own legacy within MMA and specifically UFC and the champion is a firm favorite in this contest. On the under-card we have welterweight contenders Rory McDonald facing off against Tyrone Woodley, with the winner a likely future opponent for the newly crowned welterweight champion Johny Hendricks . For the welterweight champion, Hendricks would like nothing more than to prove that he is a worthy successor to Georges St Pierre , who relinquished the title rather than be forced to defend it . A great deal of criticism was leveled directly against the former champion by Dana White , who suggested that St Pierre should be willing to defend the title against all contenders. Granted, while that may well true, it might well have escaped White’s notice Georges St Pierre was one of the most active champions in UFC history , having made eleven successful defenses of the welterweight title, within a seven-year span. Yet, White with all of his bombastic attitude , sought to somehow ridicule the Canadian and many of his accomplishments within UFC. Makes one wonder, does the UFC President believe that he is above any criticism, while also being critical of Anderson Silva ? It might now be time, for Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta to consider having a new President replace their incumbent partner.

As boxing seeks to steer its way through another crisis of its own making , I firmly believe that the sport cannot regain its lofty status of being one of the country’s most beloved pastimes . A famine has ravaged boxing of real talent beyond that of an aging Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather , who are now in the twilight of their careers. Miguel Cotto may well have added to his legacy by winning another world title , but he is no longer the once dominant of five years ago . Within the heavyweight division of the sport, the most dominant champion, just happens to be a Ukrainian still seeking name recognition in North America. Wladimir Klitschko might well be the heavyweight champion , holding the titles that count, but he still remains something of a paradox in what is expected of a truly great champion .

Coming off a lopsided unanimous decision over Alex Leapai , Wladimir Klitschko’s next opponent has yet to be decided. With no real credible challengers within the heavyweight division, you simply have to wonder why anyone would bother to take an interest in any boxing match, taking place within this specific weight category. Long gone, are the days of a truly dominant champion, where everyone took note his title bouts. It has been a decade or more since the division had an undisputed champion , with that accomplishment being achieved by Lennox Lewis of Great Britain . Lewis’ title defenses were not necessarily memorable, but there were nonetheless the only thing that validated the division, without going overboard.

While boxing remains something of staple across the country , Mixed Martial Arts has yet to make a major inroad within the state of New York. The sport is banned by the New York State Legislature and the <a href=http:// New York State Athletic Commission despite receiving countless petitions by the fans and from Dana White and his partners from the UFC , the ban remains in place . Repeated votes within b both legislative chambers of the New York State Legislature, have seen the members simply reiterate their wish, to not grant a statute for the sport to become legal within New York State. The economic impact for the state would be immense ($135 million annually) but yet, there seems to opposition to a sport that is more regulated than the sport of boxing and where the issues of injuries and specifically neurological in nature, are taken far more seriously than the incompetency that has been witnessed with the an-nihilistic nature of pugilism (boxing) .

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m Do you believe, the sport of boxing is under threat from the genre of Mixed Martial Arts? In addition, what are your thoughts to the possible reasons why Richard Schaefer would leave Golden Boy Promotions under such a cloud? Finally, have the members of the New York State Assembly made a monumental mistake, in not legalizing the sport of MMA within the state? Simply leave a comment on this and anything else you believe relevant to this topic and thanks as always for the continued support of this site as it is greatly appreciated !

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(1) For the second time in three years , Floyd Mayweather has been named the world’s highest paid athlete , having earned $105 million in the last calendar year. The boxer hopes to have a scheduled fight in September 2014 , with the venue being the MGM Grand Casino & Resort Complex , in Las Vegas, Nevada. AP Photo / Richard Trent ….

(2) Miguel Cotto , right , is seen here dispatching middleweight champion Sergio Martinez in their WBC title fight staged at Madison Square Garden in New York City , New York this past Saturday . Also in picture , is referee Michael Griffin . Cotto won the fight with a tenth round knockout of the former champion . AP Photo/ Arturo Gomez ….

(3) LAS VEGAS, NV – MAY 01: CEO of Golden Boy Promotions’ Richard Schaefer (L) introduces President of Golden Boy Promotions Oscar De La Hoya at the final news conference for the bout between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Robert Guerrero at the MGM Grand Hotel/Casino on May 1, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mayweather will defend his WBC welterweight title against Guerrero. An acrimonious split between Schaefer, a co-founder of Golden Boy Promotion Inc and De La Hoya , has now left that company facing a great deal of uncertainty . Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images ….

(4) UFC Light-heavyweight champion Jon ‘Bones’ Jones (left) is seen here with UFC President Dana White . The UFC executive has been extremely critical of late, of two of the sport’s biggest stars , Georges St-Pierre and Anderson Silva . St-Pierre has called for more stringent testing protocols within the sport, having at times come under a cloud of suspicion as to his presumed use of a banned substance . The fighter has never tested positive at any time during his professional career within the UFC . However, it now seems ironic, White would leap to the defense of Chael Sonnen , who has now tested positive for the third time in his career , within the sport . A second positive test brings about a mandatory suspension by the UFC , and a third such violation , calls for the immediate banning of that fighter, for life . AP Photo / Rich Arnold ….

(5) Chael Sonnen, a former UFC middleweight and light-heavyweight contender announced his retirement from the sport , having tested positive for the third time during his career. Sonnen has yet to give an explanation for the reasons behind testing positive for a banned substance . This was the third transgression by the fighter , that calls for a mandatory lifetime ban from the sport. Courtesy of MMA World …..

(6) Wladimir Klitschko , left , the linear heavyweight champion is seen here defeating Alex Leapai of Samoa during their WBA , WBO and IBF world title fight . Getty Images North America/ Julio Hernandez ……

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Buyer beware, caveat being, we need our racists, idiots running and blemishing the reputation of sports

Buyer beware, caveat being, we need our racists, idiots running and blemishing the reputation of sports

Just when you might have thought that the ongoing within the NBA had died down , Los Angeles Clippers’ beleaguered and disgraced owner , Donald Sterling has opposed the deal that would allow his estranged wife to sell the team. Sterling , once a practicing lawyer in the area of corporate litigation, before making a name of himself, as one of the city of Los Angeles’ biggest residential and commercial landlords, is ready for a legal battle , while he pursues the NBA , its hierarchy and in particular , present NBA Commissioner Adam Silver . The owner’s lawsuit , which will be filed in the US Federal Court, could lead to a long protracted legal battle, that is likely to show the inner workings of the league hierarchy , with a number of the league’s more inappropriate actions , likely to lead to a great deal of embarrassment for Adam Silver and his predecessor David Stern.

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The NBA Postseason now down to the final two participants, with the defending champions the Miami Heat seeking to defeat the San Antonio Spurs and win their third consecutive NBA title and the franchise’s fourth overall. This chapter for the NBA has overshadowed the postseason as it began to unwind. It certainly did not help, with the league itself, showing very little solidarity from the outset. Mark Cuban inferred, while there are stereotype approaches within sports and the NBA in particular, there remains a lack of understanding of the outside world beyond the domain that they cannot control.

Steve Ballmer’s $2 billion bid is now likely to be placed on hold , because Sterling can and will seek to have an injunction seeking to negate the sale and any action that the league would seek to fully carry out Ballmer’s purchase of the Los Angeles Clippers. I firmly believe at the end of this all, Donald Sterling is simply seeking to further embarrass the NBA , while the players , NBPA (Players’ Union) and owners should be also looking at themselves , concerning their lack of action , when it was widely known of the inclinations of the Clippers’ owner and his stance on race. Public interviews and his now being embraced by idiots within the African-American community, such as the NAACP and a number of African-American churches, cannot hide the statements made by this now disgraced owner.

As the news first came to the attention of the media and public alike, it was rather idiotic to witness, not only the press’ own reporting of the story, but also the complete apathy of the fans, with some rather asinine comments being made by fans. Perhaps I may well have missed something , but at what point has the United States advanced in terms of race relations ? Is it, because the electorate voted for a President, who just happens to be biracial? Or as a feel-good moment, they can actually say “ well, I have friends who are African –American and I have never used the ‘N’ word “ . If blame is to be apportioned anywhere concerning what has now happened within the NBA, then it falls squarely on the shoulders of the players , union , league hierarchy , and coaches in their failure to discuss the matter. The NBA, like their counterparts within Major League Baseball (MLB) , the NHL and NFL , have failed miserably, in dealing with a social issue that is now becoming an epidemic. If players such as LeBron James , Dwyane Wade , Tim Duncan and Kevin Durant failed to let their voices be heard , while respected coaches such Gregg Popovich , Doc Rivers , Rick Carlisle , Erik Spoelstra and Tom Thibodeau ” goose-stepped ” .behind the idiocy of Adam Silver and his predecessor David Stern, then it simply shows how completely out of touch the league remains. As to the owners themselves , prominent individuals such as James Dolan , Mikhail Prokhorov , Peter Holt , Jim Buss and Michael Jordan have all remained silent , while the incompetency of the league simply mishandled this mess, never-mind an owner such as Rich DeVos remains untouched after his homophobic diatribe . It begs the question , the NBA tolerates some egregious and heinous actions, while seeking to make an example of others , merely to curry favor with their fans.

I don’t profess to having all the answers concerning the ongoing stupidity of the NBA , but this belief, the hierarchy as led by Adam Sterling, has any real idea about what they are now doing . If this particular league, can continue to show as much incompetency, as witnessed throughout this monumental farce. Why would anyone now believe , that the league hierarchy, now has the wherewithal to defeat an owner they simply enabled over the years to get away with some of the most heinous actions one would have thought possible , especially when you consider the makeup of the league’s players in terms of ethnicity ? As to the damn idiocy, that David Stern has acted in the best interests of the NBA . Well perhaps, it would be the case, if your are simply considering how the revenues of the league have risen during his tenure, as anything else, would have to be considered a miserable failure

After two games of the best of seven games NBA Finals’ series , it will be interesting to see this rematch between the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs . Game one , was a lopsided contest, with Tim Duncan and his teammates prevailing in that victory. Sunday and the Miami Heat rebounded from that loss with a narrow two-point win in game two , with LeBron James leading the way for the defending champions. Miami are seen as the prohibitive favorites to repeat as champions and join a select group of franchises to have won three consecutive NBA championships. Gregg Popovich is likely to try and make that premise as difficult for the Eastern Conference champions as is humanly possible. From my own standpoint, I feel that this series is far from being cut and dried , with true test coming from the determination shown by the Spurs’ bench , if the team is to prevail in this series.

LeBron James and Tim Duncan between them, have won six NBA titles , six League MVP Awards , four Finals’ MVP trophies and made a slew of All Star appearances , as well as being named to the All NBA First Team repeatedly , throughout the large part of their respective careers. As Duncan , having now reached the pinnacle of his career , he can perhaps now look back and review his list of achievements . Undoubtedly, the greatest player in San Antonio Spurs’ history, there is little left by way of feats, left for him to achieve , but, there is still more to be written in the Duncan bio. LeBron James in his brief tenure with the Miami Heat beyond rewriting the history books , he has sealed himself and his legacy as being that franchise’s greatest player and that is with due respect to Dwyane Wade and Alonzo Mourning .

Game three at the AA Arena in Miami , Florida on Tuesday night should prove to be something of a precursor about what the fans could very well expect over the remainder of this series . With the 2-2-1-1-1 revised format added to create more of a suspenseful postseason finale , it is clear that Miami will want to take both home games before having to once again embark on the road to face the Spurs at the AT&T Center in San Antonio , Texas,. While LeBron James is expected be dominant throughout the series , I believe that the pivotal players in these Finals are the bench players of both the Heat and Spurs. Kawhi Leonard , will have to raise the level of his play and it is likely that Erik Spoelstra will be aware of the fact .

Last season’s NBA Finals and the very fact the San Antonio Spurs had the series well within their grasp , only have it wrestled from their hands through their complacency and the determination shown by LeBron James. For the Miami Heat player in having won his second NBA title and second consecutive Finals’ MVP Award , it suggests that James’ will to win and to prove himself the greatest player of this era and certainly one of the best ever to play the game.

LeBron James’ intent on winning a third consecutive championship is likely to play a great deal concerning his impending future with the Miami organization. A likely target during the off-season, James is unlikely to opt out of his current contract , unless the team fails in their current attempt. A series’ win and Pat Riley will be looking to start negotiations with the player , signing him to a deal that will make undoubtedly one of the highest paid players in the NBA , in terms of a salary and contract . His teammates, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade will be in a similar position , but as I alluded to earlier, a third title , makes it but a foregone conclusion that the core of the current roster will remain intact. It seems improbable, James would seek to play elsewhere , with the Heat having achieved a great deal of success over the past four seasons. Speculation that the player could be lured to New York to play alongside his close confidante Carmelo Anthony does seem unimaginable and with Phil Jackson, yet to have found a coach to fill the vacancy left after the firing of Mike Woodson . It does seem even with the likelihood of Derek Fisher being hired to succeed Woodson , there still remains the matter of rebuilding the Knicks’ roster and making it a competitive team for the upcoming season.

Money , undoubtedly be of no object for the Knicks’ organization , yet , the question one might ask , is there any common sense to be found with this particular franchise ? If so, then please explain to me , what Phil Jackson hopes to gain by acquiring Lamar Odom and adding the veteran to the roster ?

The New York Knicks remain a franchise that has fallen upon hard times and much of it, comes from the ineptitude shown by the front office , while James Dolan has presided over this entire mess . Phil Jackson has come in and yet the idiocy still continues , with the once venerable head coach now carrying on where his predecessors have left off . Care to take an opposing view, on that particular issue , where the franchise has actually ran aground ?

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Picture gallery .

Where do you believe that the NBA has made a litany mistakes in their handling of the Donald Sterling affair ? Do you think that the league can in fact win a legal argument , in terms of their action against the plaintiff (Sterling) , with their not having seriously reprimanded him for prior bad acts ?

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(1) NBA Commissioner Adam Silver pictured left and Donald Sterling , beleaguered owner of the Los Angeles Clippers. . Sterling has filed a civil suit in US Federal Court seeking damages of $1 billion and a second suit has been filed by the real estate mogul to stop the sale of the franchise. If this legal action becomes a protracted affair , the NBA is likely to see its credibility further tarnished . AP Photo / Aidan Mitchell ….

(2) Former Microsoft Chairman Steve Ballmer whose $2 billion bid for the Los Angeles Clippers is likely to be threatened by a legal suit, with Donald Sterling looking to negate the purchase of the team. Getty Images / Chris Moore …..

(3) LeBron James of the Miami Heat looks on prior to the start of Game Two of the 2014 NBA Finals against the San Antonio Spurs at the AT&T Center on June 8, 2014 in San Antonio. . Getty Images/ Andy Lyons ….

(4) Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs shoots against Ray Allen (34) of the Miami Heat in Game Two of the 2014 NBA Finals at AT&T Center on June 5, 2014 in San Antonio. Getty Images North America/ Nathaniel S Butler ….

(5) The Miami Heat celebrate after defeating the San Antonio Spurs 98-96 in Game Two of the 2014 NBA Finals at the AT&T Center on June 8, 2014 in San Antonio. Getty Images / Chris Covatta …..

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I always knew that she preferred the crossover dribble to a slam dunk ! Yet , I get the impression she just wants to play with a pair of balls .

Building blocks …………

Building blocks …………

The New York Giants’ disappointment of last season can be best summed up, by the erratic play and suggestion that the team’s quarterback, Eli Manning played for much of the year injured , thereby hampering any progress that Tom Coughlin and his coaching staff hoped for. Manning for his part, the two-time winning Superbowl winner and Superbowl MVP , simply suggested that his play was simply no worse than his detractors would imply. Apart from the player’s injury , the offense was under par , with a running game, that was woefully inept, with the underlying current being an average passing attack. The Giants’ front office during this off-season, sought to rebuild the roster , after the loss of a number of players to free agency . With attrition came the addition of new faces as the franchise now seeks resurrect their fortunes after a nonplussed 2013 , during which the fans witnessed the team’s malaise and the Philadelphia Eagles capturing the NFC East division.

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Often described as the best division in the NFL , the NFC East, if anything, it was one of erratic plays from the quartet of teams, albeit , that the Eagles took the division. The trio of the Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins and New York Giants were not much of a challenge within the NFC and even less so within the rest of the NFL. Criticism of Tom Coughlin in some circles was without merit , even if the common belief, is that when team fails, the blame should rest squarely on the shoulders of the head coach. Coughlin led the franchise to their two most recent triumphs in the Superbowl, each time getting the better of Tom Brady and the New England Patriots . For the Patriots, the Giants have become their Achilles’ Heel in recent postseason contests and number of their regular season meetings.

New York’s preseason schedule , will be one, where Tom Coughlin can assess his roster and specifically the draftees from this year’s 2014 NFL Draft class. If the Giants are to have any chance of competing within the NFC, then they will have to play at a high level. Eli Manning also will have to recapture the form, that placed him among the elite quarterbacks within the NFL, having surpassed elder sibling Peyton Manning , in terms of Superbowl victories. While the elder Manning’s most recent appearance ended disastrously , with the Denver Broncos having succumbed to the Seattle Seahawks in what some have described as one of the most lopsided contests in Superbowl history , that ended with the Seahawks pummeling the Broncos into submission, 43-8 . While, it would be idiotic to suggest, that the two best teams in the NFL, meeting in the league’s showcase postseason event , ought to provide the fans with the best contest possible. That match-up, was a rather innocuous affair, with Pete Carroll’s Seahawks not being challenged at any point during the game.

The departures of Osi Umenyiora and Ahmad Bradshaw in recent years , along with a slew of players who were part of the pair of Superbowl triumphs , I believe have played a part in the Giants’ demise, with their replacements being unable to fill the gaps left in various areas of the team’s defense and offense !

If there was said to be any area that the New York failed , it might well have been that beyond Eli Manning’s lack of athleticism and quickness, it was the failure of the offensive line protecting their quarterback in several of their games last season. Manning’s statistics, do not, belie that fact, nor was the propensity, for the number of false starts , fumbles and interceptions witnessed .

In terms of the New York Giants’ draft class , was somewhat, a mixed blessing , with not necessarily rave reviews , but in some circles there is a the belief that players such as Odell Beckham, Weston Richburg , Jay Bromley and Andre Williams, will provide that needed lift for the franchise, as they head into the regular season . New York, will open their season, with an away game , at Ford Field in Detroit , Michigan, when they face Matt Stafford and the Detroit Lions. Jim Schwartz and his team, are coming off another disappointing season , when many felt that the Lions could be looked at as a serious contender within the NFC. Unfortunately, several of the players on the roster did not read the script and their efforts effort over the course of the season were extremely poor by anyone’s standards. If recent encounters between the two teams are encounters are anything to go by, then this contest should be extremely entertaining , or it could very well end up being, a monotonous bore .

Where, to begin, the continued woes of the Dallas Cowboys have been well chronicled, so much so , that the news’ items and stories could be turned into plausible Hollywood script, that in some circles might have the making of a blockbuster movie. Alas, there has not anything blockbuster-like, in the repeated pratfalls of Jerry Jones’ franchise over the past eight years. If Tony Romo were the lead character in this piece of movie magic , the critics would be giving his performances during that time-span “the thumbs down “ , along with his supporting cast of characters. And if that were not enough, Jones would not be even nominated in his role , as the producer of this ongoing mess and the continued incompetence shown by head coach Jason Garrett . Off putting as this might be, it is now becoming increasingly comedic to comprehend how the general manager could in all good conscience, sign Romo to the deal that made the player among the highest paid quarterbacks within the NFL , when the quarterback’s postseason career can be best described as being mediocre.

If Tony Romo hasn’t the skill-set to lead the team during the postseason , albeit , that during the regular season , the praises heaped upon the ten-year veteran seem to be justified . I truly believe, that he is over-rated, lacking the leadership skills sought to win a Superbowl and that is with due respect to the franchise’s Hall of Fame and Superbowl winning quarterback Roger Staubach . The elder statesman of the Cowboys’ history, has described Tony Romo, as the player who gives this franchise the best opportunity to win a Superbowl. Age is a wonderful thing , but I cannot help wonder, if Staubach has not suffered one hit too many, during his playing career, to come up with that ridiculous assessment of Romo’s talent !

A season, where 8-8 , just about summed up what the Dallas Cowboys were all about in 2013, with the excuses simply pouring in, once the quarterback suffered a season-ending injury, missing the final game at the end of Dallas’ schedule. Kyle Orton was given the privilege of starting that contest as Tony Romo’s backup in the home loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. Orton remains on the Cowboys’ roster , providing some semblance of experience , to a position, where I now believe there remains a great deal of uncertainty . Tony Romo may well have undergone off-season back surgery, to repair a bulging disk in his lower back, but Jerry Jones , in his infinite wisdom, felt it prudent to acquire free agent quarterback Brandon Weeden . That player’s, NFL career, while with the Cleveland Browns was simply lackluster and foreshadowed exactly why, that particular franchise, was destined to go absolutely nowhere, during his tenure .

The Cowboys’ preseason schedule , will give Jason Garrett the opportunity to assess his revamped roster , of which the changes have been considerable . The decision to let go of All Pro Defensive player DeMarcus Ware might well have come as a shock to many outside the Cowboys’ franchise, as Ware was one the most productive players for the Dallas Cowboys over the past eight years, along with tight-end Jason Witten . However, his banishment from the organization was short-lived, with his finding a new home with the Denver Broncos. That decision alone, has me questioning Jerry Jones’ reasoning , albeit, that he stated that his choice to let go of Ware had nothing to with the player’s cap value to the team last season or for the upcoming year . It might well have been that Jones’ decision had more to do with the wish to go with younger players and in needing to look long-term, in the direction, that he felt his franchise was heading .

The draft class for the Dallas Cowboys provides the team, with a chance to rebuild in several areas, especially where, last season the NFC East based franchise had one of the poorest performing secondary’s in the entire league. Defensive coordinator, Monte Kiffin will have a great deal to prove this season , as he seeks to improve the Cowboys’ ranking defensively, from a last place finish in 2013 into a top-five defense for 2014. If the team is unable to improve , in that one category , then there is no way that the Dallas Cowboys could be seen as a legitimate contender for the Superbowl (SB49) , much less , even be considered good enough to challenge for the NFC East divisional title. Too early, to be thinking that far ahead for an event that will be staged at the University of Phoenix Stadium, in Phoenix , Arizona ? Well, all thirty-two teams, have that as a target, but, there are only two berths up for grabs, in the NFL postseason showcase event. The Seattle Seahawks had their eyes on the prize and never seemed to falter, at any point during their postseason schedule in 2013.

Dallas will play host to the San Francisco 49ers at Cowboys Stadium (AT&T Stadium) , in Arlington, Texas , in a game that is likely to tell us a great deal about both teams and their aspirations for the upcoming season . Tony Romo, as he takes that first snap will be looking to have an injury-free season , while trying add to his menial postseason career . Personally, in spite of the weapons placed around the player, I still do not believe that he has the tenacity or the mindset to lead the Dallas Cowboys to a Superbowl victory ! Am I likely, to be proven wrong, with my summation on the team’s ambitions and their likelihood of achieving that goal? Well, given their recent record in the postseason, of which their last appearance came in 2009 , ending in a lopsided 34-3 defeat against their conference rivals the Minnesota Vikings . Tony Romo’s performance, in that contest, was not a memorable one and was among the worst of his NFL postseason career.

With the first pick, in the 2014 NFL Draft , the Houston Texans began the rebuilding process for this forlorn franchise. Fourteen successive defeats, in 2013 and one could well understand the reason , why there was a great deal of ridicule surrounding the Texans and the inability of Gary Kubiak and his coaching staff to get the best out of this team . Jadeveon Clowney was seen as an impact player , game changer and how he acts in tandem with JJ Watt may well mean success for the franchise or failure over the course of this season. Whether or not, he can be viewed as the best defensive player drafted, will be dependent upon his play, but also, the level of maturity shown by Clowney and whether or not he follows the example of his more seasoned teammates . The hyperbole and superlatives that surrounded the player during his collegiate career , might well have been justified, but what he was capable of doing for South Carolina under the tutelage of Steve Spurrier , will be uniquely different once he steps unto an NFL field for the very first professional game of his NFL career. There have been many great defensive players that have preceded Clowney in the past and his wish to be seen as a natural successor to the likes of Bruce Smith , Ray Lewis , Jevon Kearse and Rod Woodson , could very well lead to the rookie succeeding or failing by his own merits.

Gary Kubiak’s firing, led to the hiring of Bill O’Brien to succeed the beleaguered former head coach . O’Brien brings a keen footballing mind, along with a no-nonsense approach. Yet, his greatest obstacle, might well be finding a quarterback capable of leading this Texans’ team with the sureness he seeks and where that player , is not likely to be a liability for his teammates. With four quarterbacks now on the roster, ally vying for that starter’s job , it will be interesting to see which of the quartet, is likely to be given that role for their regular season opener , against the Washington Redskins at the Texans’ Reliant Stadium in Houston , Texas on the 7th September , 2014. Tom Savage , Case Keenum , T J Yates and ten-year veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick will be given every opportunity during Houston’s preseason schedule to prove to Bill O’Brien, that they are worthy of consideration, for that starting role. Yet, there remains continued speculation, that the head coach will seek to acquire the Patriots’ backup to Tom Brady, Ryan Mallett , a player well-known to Texans’ head coach. Fitzpatrick, given his experience, is likely to be viewed as the favorite to win that position outright , having been a starting quarterback in the NFL , but his record has not been overly impressive over the course his career. The quartet of games, that make up the preseason schedule for the NFL’s teams, will be seen as something of precursor for the regular season . Bill O’Brien will lead his Texans in the first of their preseason contests against the Arizona Cardinals , looking to gauge as a starting point, how his team might well fare and then look to make any changes needed, as he may believe necessary.

The NFL Draft might well have given us a great deal of melodrama , with it being the most watched draft televised event in recent NFL history . Johnny Manziel’s over-hyped presence, among the quarterbacks available, ignited and then subsided , when we realized, that he was not about to become a top-five or top ten pick of draftees taken in the first round . Now comes the unfortunate side, to Manziel’s future, he was drafted , by the Cleveland Browns . We have seen from this particular franchise over the past six seasons, their issues, are so widespread, that “Johnny Football” , will not be able to resurrect the fortunes of the Browns, working miracles , in terms of his now well-chronicled displays for the Texas A&M (Aggies) .

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Picture gallery.

Teams are now holding their OTA’s (organized training activities) with a view to getting their rookies acclimatized the routines of the NFL, as well as having them within their training camp environment . What player or players, among this year’s draftees are you most looking forward to seeing, during the preseason, as well as the regular season? In addition, which team do you believe might well have been among the lucky, in terms of their draft class ? Chime in, with your thoughts on this and anything else you believe to relevant to this topic .

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(1) New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin talks to quarterback Eli Manning before the Giants’ NFL football game against the Chicago Bears, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013, in Chicago. An understated season in 2013, left the Giants and their front office were left searching for answers, with questions being raised concerning the quarterback’s abilities this past season. AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh ….

(2) Osi Umenyiora of the Atlanta Falcons is seen here addressing the convened press , as the player answers questions , having been recently been acquired the Falcons , with head coach Mike Smith believing that the player’s presence will bolster their defense as they seek to overcome a disastrous 2013 season. AP Photo / Paul Wilson ………

(3) Wide receiver Odell Beckham of the New York Giants is seen here with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Draft Day . The player was the twelfth overall pick in the first round when he was taken by the NFC East based Giants . The team hopes that the player will provide a much-needed boost to their receiving game this upcoming NFL season. AP Photo / Bill Benson …..

(4) Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback Tony Romo (9) is seen here with team owner Jerry Jones and Stephen Jones , senior front office executive within the organization . Coming off an injury , the quarterback underwent back surgery in the hope that the procedure will aid the player , who missed the final game of the season in 2013 for the franchise. Getty Images / Ricky Mason …..

(5) Defensive lineman and number one overall draft pick, Jadeveon Clowney , center , is seen here alongside team GM Rick Smith , left and head coach Bill O”Brien , right , as the player gives his first public interview to the convened press at the team’s facility at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas . The Texans are hoping that Clowney provides a solid defensive tandem alongside JJ Watt . Getty Images North America / Tim Abrahams ….

(6) Cleveland Browns’ head coach Mike Pettine, far left, is seen here with two of the team’s draft picks from the 2014 NFL Draft . Second from the left is Justin Gilbert , along with quarterback Johnny Manziel and team General Manager Ray Farmer . AP Photo / Paul Prentice ……

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These are on her rack , but I would prefer, that they rest my block !

A gift , that just keeps on giving !

It takes a village to raise a child, but several idiots, have simply ruined the image of the NBA …..

It takes a village to raise a child, but several idiots, have simply ruined the image of the NBA …..

The NBA Postseason still remains overshadowed, by the fallout, from the ongoing Donald Sterling “affair” . Yet, it is not enough, that fans are now suggesting the self-serving actions of V Stiviano , makes this whole episode all the more sordid . The idiocy to my mind, remains the apathy among idiotic fans, who somehow remain fu#king delusional, when it comes to race relations in this country and merely view because the twice elected bi-racial Barack Obama as President of the United States , makes the environment and that of the issue of race a bygone issue.

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Stiviano, is not the person, who issued the words of bigotry, nor was she the person, whose repeated actions of racial intolerance , were repeatedly highlighted over the Los Angeles Clippers owner’s three decades of ownership of that particular franchise . Somehow, this has been overlooked by the press , fans , but most of all by former NBA Commissioner David Stern , who himself held that position as commissioner during a similar time-span. If the fans are simply not intelligent enough, to look at these facts and sense that there is indeed something wrong not only with Donald Sterling’s hideous actions , then what does it also suggest , their not questioning the inaction of the former NBA Commissioner, in seeking to reprimand the now suspended Clippers’ owner ? Where is the alleged intelligence and intellect that David Stern is said to have, beyond the ongoing hypocrisy that still remains within the league, among the league hierarchy , team owners and the executive committee of the NBPA (Players’ Union).

The first round of the postseason, gave us one or two surprises, but not really anything that one could point to as a major upset. The Chicago Bulls’ falling to the Washington Wizards in their opening series , may well be one of complacency, as much as it could be about the Hawks simply grabbing the opportunity to derail the hopes of Tom Thibodeau and his players during the NBA Playoffs. Chicago’s failure has pretty much left the Bulls’ front office in a state of apoplexy and dismay , but one cannot help but ask , did John Paxson and GM Gar Forman make a monumental mistake when they sent Luol Deng to the Cleveland Cavaliers for the now the departed and under-achieving Andrew Bynum ? I firmly believe, that had Deng remained with the Bulls the outcome of this series might well have been much different in its result .

Having made it to the Eastern Conference semifinals , the Washington Wizards now find themselves facing the brink of elimination, seeking to erase a 3-2 deficit against the Indiana Pacers . Tuesday night’s lopsided twenty-three point victory over the number one-seeded Pacers may well have given their fans some respite. Yet, I believe that Frank Vogel and his playing staff will be looking to stop the bleeding and close out the series when its resumption takes place on Wednesday night , with game six at the Verizon Center in Washington , DC,. If Randy Wittman can encourage his players to successfully defend on their home-court , then game seven could provide for a thrilling finality to a series where the heavily favored Pacers have been exposed as something of a fraud throughout much of these series of contests .

The Miami Heat as the two-time defending NBA champions are simply easing their way through the postseason . Never truly tested by the Charlotte Bobcats in their first round series’ match-up , their conference semi-finals’ contest against the Brooklyn Nets is proving to be equally un-challenging against a Nets’ team that in reality, has more going for it , in terms of their multi-million dollar payroll than they have, for their playoff performances this postseason. While many, might well be impressed with Jason Kidd’s rookie season as a head coach . Let us not forget , that the Nets are playing in the Eastern Conference and a division where the basketball being played can be best described as being redundant , if not downright embarrassing . Yet, this is the type of garbage , that David Stern has presided over the within this conference, for the past several years , where idiotic fans , would still suggest that the now retired NBA Commissioner, was in no way responsible for the level of play on display for the fans to witness.

Stern’s imprints have been all over the league than most would care to acknowledge and apathetic fans, simply have no idea as to the level of mediocrity that he has tried to suggest has been entertaining , while also assailing the public at large , with the fact the league’s revenues have been on the rise . I guess when you can cajole your broadcast partners into paying for an inferior product and still make money is another “ virtue” of American “capitalism” .

LeBron James and his Heat teammates , will be looking to close out their series and then await the winners of the Indiana Pacers and Washington Wizards’ contest in the Conference Finals . A repeat of last season’s conference championship contest for the best part, might well be what the fans will yearn, as the Pacers seek avenge that significant series’ loss . When the Nets play host to the Miami Heat on Wednesday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York , we are likely to see the Heat march on to their third consecutive appearance in the Eastern Conference Finals in the past five seasons. As for the Brooklyn Nets, their outlandish $ 102.3 million payroll and the idiocy of fans, who believe that money and style over substance can equate with success in the NBA. Ask yourselves the following , at what point, was there ever any chance of the Nets being even remotely seen as a likely favorite for the NBA title, much less being seen as a legitimate contender for the conference title ?

As Donald Sterling continues to make a complete ass of himself, seeking the public’s empathy and sympathy . The franchise that he has been force to relinquish control of still continues to march on this postseason . The Los Angeles Clippers in their match-up against the Oklahoma City Thunder , now find themselves on the brink of elimination in that series’ contest , down 3-2 and League MVP , Kevin Durant and his teammates now looking to book their place in the Western Conference Finals. The Clippers’ players cannot be viewed as the “villains of the piece ” , because of the idiocy of the franchise’s owner , but in reality , it would set a bad precedent were the Los Angeles Clippers to advance to the conference finals and even the NBA title contest , with this all being seen as something of a benevolent reward for Donald Sterling’s egregious conduct .

Sterling, in his first publicly televised national interview showed very little by way of an act of contrition but quickly tried to point out to his host and interviewer Anderson Cooper , he was not a racist , was misunderstood , with his statements being taken out of context and his philanthropic work within the greater Los Angeles area community in recent years, had been of benefit to minorities and their well-being. One could liken that to the gas chambers of Auschwitz and Belsen ” concentration camps” , being a great thing among the Jews during World War Two (WWII) and the only harm being done, was the smoke from the stacks that rose into the skies above and into the environment. One of the more pointed moments of the interview during this interview was Sterling’s criticism of NBA great Magic Johnson , with the disgraced owner questioning the altruism of Johnson and what he had for those within his own race . Perhaps, Donald Sterling was not aware has built up a portfolio of companies under this Magic Johnson Enterprises , which employs over 15,000 nationwide and through his charitable foundation assists at risk youth , placing them in educational programs as well as providing paid up college scholarships for minorities.

Magic Johnson Enterprises, also provides internships for college graduates in a variety of areas , as these businesses encompass the following areas of commerce , commercial real estate , residential real estate , insurance , finance , music , business entertainment , hospitality management and auto dealerships, within his corporation .

It should also be noted that the Magic Johnson Foundation the charitable arm of Magic Johnson Enterprises has raised tens of millions of dollars to aid in AIDS’ research , but yet , Sterling comes up with a dumb perception that Johnson has done little for his own race ? The pertinent question , one ought ask of Sterling at this point , are you that much of an ass as you appear on television, as you are in private ?

Donald Sterling remains a pompous moron and those who purport to remain fervently behind someone when those espousing such views , think nothing of it and then hide behind this “ idiocy of freedom of speech “ without taking into account human decency or common sense or respect of others . It has been this type of bigotry that remains common place within American society , while idiots try and hide behind this continued ” bull#hit” of ” political correctness” . If fans do not comprehend what the meaning of common courtesy and having respect actually means, without the now known incompetency and lack of action shown by David Stern and the NBA in general. Then the continued mistrust of the NBA will continue, among some fans , public, with the apathy of the media who cover the league remains on show.

While the Los Angeles Clippers and Oklahoma City Thunder, continue to contest their series, the conference semi-finals within the Western Conference pits last season’s NBA Finalists and conference champion, the San Antonio Spurs against the Portland Trailblazers . For Blazers’ team owner , billionaire Microsoft co-founder , Paul Allen , as he seeks to add a second professional team championship to his mantelpiece. As the owner of the Seattle Seahawks , Allen was privee’ to witnessing the franchise win their first Superbowl , with their demolition of the Denver Broncos in Superbowl XLVII (SB47) . Trailblazers’ owner , Paul Allen , knows it would take an incredible effort by his team to overcome the wily guile and experience of the formidable Gregg Popovich and his incredibly talented team , led by Tim Duncan , Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli . The aforementioned triO, have played an ever-present role in steering the Spurs to great deal of success over the past decade . This past year marked the sixteenth consecutive season the franchise has obtained a postseason berth in the NBA Playoffs, but yet , little is made of such an amazing achievement , either by the NBA hierarchy or that of the print media in general. Instead, they would rather continue to cover under-achieving teams such as the New York Knicks and the vastly overrated Brooklyn Nets. I guess, when these are the basic staples for the NBA beat writers and columnists in general , accomplishments and feats achieved by the Spurs on appearance seem trivial and where the journalists and analysts who cover the league for a living gloss over those feats.

All season long the Spurs were overlooked, as many felt the Western Conference would be the Oklahoma City Thunder’s by design and right . Thunder GM Sam Presti has assembled a very good team for head coach Scott Brooks to have under his tutelage, as the players made on another season onslaught to prove that they are among the best in the league . A second placed finish by way of their conference record , might well have been seen as something of a disappointment ,but the players had their share of inconsistent performances that led to that conference mark . In their divisional race , there was not much of a challenge for Kevin Durant and his teammates , as they ran away with that particular contest winning their division with ease. Durant , won the regular season League MVP award , dethroning LeBron James , a four-time winner of the award, along the way in with his acceptance speech showing a great deal of humility and reverence towards his Thunder teammates but paying a special tribute to his mother and younger sibling.

If there was said to be one significant off-court to this NBA calendar year , then it was provided by Kevin Durant and his acceptance speech and not the idiocy surrounding Donald Sterling or the self-congratulatory and some might even believe it narcissistic proselytizing in the stepping down of David Stern as the NBA Commissioner. It also seems somewhat asinine, to know the league hierarchy and owners have decided to give upon Stern, the honor of Commissioner Emeritus for his three decade tenure as the commissioner. In light of the recent events , I feel that it is an accolade not befitting an individual, who at every instance has sought to promote himself above the league, along with his autocratic style of leadership. As pointed as this remark may well be , one cannot overlook the issue where the former commissioner did not use due diligence in reprimanding Donald Sterling for his known prior bad acts and now one has to also question his motives in not having also dealing with Richard DeVos of the Orlando Magic and his repeated behavior , concerning his homophobic remarks .

The NBA, like its NFL counterpart, have inferred they are tolerant and socially aware, but the actions the owners of the NBA and NFL and respective unions simply belie that fact . Meanwhile, the apathy of the fans and media remains intact, with their ongoing stupidity and complete lack of understanding of recent events within both leagues.

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Picture gallery .

As the NBA Playoffs meanders towards its finale , it will be interesting to see how the league tries to placate the ongoing ire of the fans , as they seek to deal with Donald Sterling . The on-court contests have done little to silence the ongoing debates still taking place and the lack of real action having been taken by the league hierarchy under the leadership of newly installed commissioner , Adam Silver. As David Stern’s deputy for the last seven years , he too remained silent while the antics of Donald Sterling and Richard DeVos were well chronicled , but the ongoing idiocy remained with the league, as well as the downright apathy of the fans who sought to paint David Stern as the NBA’s savior . If nothing else, Stern ran with the ball up and down the court , simply painting a rosy picture of a league , that had underlying issues that he failed to deal with adequately and with any degree of real authority . That to my mind , shows the complete imbecilic incompetency of the NBA and the image that they have often sought to portray ! Your thoughts on this and more, simply chime in with a comment

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Picture and slideshow details below for your perusal .
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(1) Beleaguered NBA team owner Donald Sterling seen here in his first public interview on the CNN magazine program AC360 hosted by Anderson Cooper questioned the motives of his paramour V Stiviano , while also seeking to be critical of the NBA and former Los Angeles Lakers’ great Magic Johnson. Sterling remains somewhat delusional , believing his behavior was not racial intent and that he is misunderstood by the media and public alike . Yet for more telling were his comments about the former Lakers’ player and that of his being afflicted with the HIV AIDS’ virus and his contention that Magic Johnson has done little to aid the African-American community at large . Clearly , Sterling was unaware of Johnson’s philanthropic efforts over the last two decades and the fact that his companies employs over 25,000 individuals indirectly nationwide, many of whom are from minority backgrounds . Picture appears courtesy of CNN.com ……..

(2) Outgoing NBA Commissioner David Stern, left, is seen here with his successor Adam Silver , who became the league’s highest ranking executive at the beginning of this past season , during which Silver has been asked to deal with a number of ongoing issues beyond the yet to be resolved drama surrounding Donald Sterling . AP Photo/ Chris Robinson …..

(3) George Hill (3), Lance Stephenson (1) , Paul George (24) and Roy Hibbert (55) of the Indiana Pacers watch from the bench in the fourth quarter of the 102-79 loss to the Washington Wizards in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on May 13, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Getty Images North America / Andy Lyons …

(4) (L) LeBron James (6) of the Miami Heat and (R) Mario Chalmers (15) of the Miami Heat react after the final whistle following their victory over the Brooklyn Nets in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Arena on May 8, 2014 in Miami, Florida. The Heat would close out their series in Game five with an emphatic win over the Nets winning their conference semi-finals’ series 4-1 . Getty Images / Chris Trotman ….

(5) Tim Duncan , left of the San Antonio Spurs and LaMarcus Aldridge of the Portland Trailblazers contest a rebound during a game in the Western Conference Semifinals between the two teams played at . San Antonio led the series 3-1 in the best of seven-game conference semi-finals series of games . The Spurs won conference semis decisively , beating the Trailblazers in game five and will now meet the victor of the series between the Los Angeles Clippers and Oklahoma City Thunder . Getty Images / Scott Palmer …………

(6) Kevin Durant (35) of the Oklahoma City Thunder is fouled by Blake Griffin (32) of the Los Angeles Clippers in Game Five of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena on May 13, 2014 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Getty Images North America / Ronald Martinez ……

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It’s not Rocket Science , so why turn it into something it is not ?

It’s not Rocket Science , so why turn it into something it is not ?

Was there really any doubt that the Houston Texans were not going to make Jadeveon Clowney to the number one pick in the 2014 NFL Draft ? The South Carolina Gamecocks’ linebacker was a consensus top pick among general managers , analysts , draft geeks and even those, who were not even intense football fans. It is pretty much safe to suggest, that had Texans’ GM Rick Smith chosen to forego the choice of Clowney , then there would have been a number of questions raised concerning the inner workings within the front office of the AFC South based NFL franchise. We all know what Clowney brings to the table as player, even where there have been questions concerning his maturity level.

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Slideshow .

The first round of the Draft played out with a little drama, but the greatest surprise of the night might well have been the fact , highly praised Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel had dropped to become the twenty-second pick of the first round , when he was taken by the offensively challenged Cleveland Browns , who were most definitely in need of dynamic passer and someone who could bring back fans to Paul Brown Stadium , in Cleveland , Ohio. Brandon Weeden’s short stay with the franchise was not a memorable one , with the quarterback rarely achieving anything of note during his two-year stay with the franchise. Whether or not Manziel can engineer something of a rebound will be completely dependent upon how quickly the player can acclimatize himself to the rigors of playing in the NFL . Head coach Mike Pettine is likely to use his rookie quarterback throughout much of the Browns’ preseason schedule and then into the regular season .

Johnny Manziel will also have to prove his doubters wrong , many of whom believe that the player because of his size, will not be an overall resounding success in the NFL . My take on it all, we will never know, until Manziel steps unto the turf and makes that first successful pass and his then being able move on from there. One game , is such a small step to take , but it could end up being the first of many , to the level of success that is likely to be achieved . Well, that will be dependent upon the player, his teammates and the coaching staff of the Cleveland Browns.

If the shock of Johnny Manziel not being taken as the first quarterback in this year’s NFL Draft was not enough of a surprise. Then Blake Bortles being the first passer announced, was stunning, given that , the UCF Golden Knights’ passer plays in a newly established conference where the play is still being assessed , are the teams that now make up the American Conference . Blake Bortles has been placed in the not too enviable position, being asked to succeed Blaine Gabbert of the Jacksonville Jaguars and to lead that franchise to some semblance of success.

Gabbert’s tenure , as the starting quarterback, for that particularly moribund franchise, can be best described as being mediocre , if not downright incompetent. Yet for some reason, it was felt that he still offered the best opportunity possible for the Jaguars to win throughout much of last season . Jacksonville’s year-end record was enough to suggest that they are nowhere near where they needed to be and quite possibly team owner , Shahid Khan may well be overreaching and overly ambitious, in suggesting the team would be capable of winning a Superbowl title within five years of his taking ownership of the franchise . The owner now entering the third year of his tenure and I would to think, that Khan’s strategy and plans are now being revised.

Teddy Bridgewater was the second quarterback taken behind Blake Bortles and he too , will be asked to succeed another failing quarterback , in Christian Ponder , whose tenure with the Minnesota Vikings has been a unique failure , beyond the incompetency shown the successive general managers of the franchise and the very fact that Zygi Wilf’s efforts in recent years , have been strictly been about strong arming the state legislature in Minnesota to finance the building of a $ 1.4 billion venue for the franchise , further endangering the state’s precarious financial situation , where they now have a burgeoning deficit and a number of municipalities are having to choose to cut much-needed services within their communities or simply seek bankruptcy reorganization protection. This is now a situation that several cities around the country are now facing, as they are being asked by the hierarchies of the NBA , NHL , NFL and MLB to finance what those bodies claim are newly required venues , while the revenues and profits within football , baseball and basketball are now on the rise . In the case of hockey , Garry Bettman and his teams still find themselves behind the “black ball “ , as well as between a rock and a hard place .

Bridgewater may well be just what is needed for the Vikings and for the team’s long tenured running back , Adrian Peterson , a player of Teddy Bridgewater’s ability could be the make or break decision for the franchise’s most revered player over the past six seasons . It has long been rumored, that Peterson would have sought a trade, if the front office was unwilling to bolster the Vikings’ roster . The departure of Jared Allen may well have been seen as a prudent move, but I cannot help but feel that GM Rick Spielman still has not done enough to make the team in its current guise a legitimate contender within their own division, much less the rest of the NFC as well and the league , itself !

The Minnesota Vikings will open their regular season schedule with a game against the St Louis Rams at the Edwards Jones Dome Stadium in St Louis , Missouri . on the 7th September , 2014 . As what we ought to expect , could very well be determined by what we are likely to witness by the rookies on show that day, when these two teams face each other .

With the first two rounds of the NFL Draft now having passed, the remaining four rounds now become about , teams simply doubling up by way of players they now feel perhaps, may well meet a need , in terms of a third or fourth depth choice on their respective rosters.

Offensive players were said to be in abundance in this particular NFL Draft, by way of the running backs and wide receivers said to be in play. I have no doubt, that players such as Sammy Watkins , Mike Evans , Marquise Lee , Odell Beckham and Kelvin Benjamin will find their way onto the rosters of teams who are in need of very good receivers . The same can be said also , for the running backs seeking to make their mark in the NFL this upcoming season and whether or not they are capable of taking advantage of the situation that they are likely to be placed in. The first running back taken in this particular draft, the Ohio State Buckeyes’ rushing sensation Carlos Hyde , albeit, that there are those who believe that there were number of players at the position with far greater productivity than Hyde has shown over the course his career. Yet, clearly Jeff Fisher , the St Louis Rams’ front office and the Rams’ coaching staff saw something in the player that they believe will be to their advantage , as they set about their season in 2014 , with their preseason and regular season schedule . Hyde will no doubt, be given every opportunity to prove himself a worthy successor to many of the franchise’s great running backs in recent years , most notably the Rams’ all-time leading rusher, Steven Jackson . A tough act to follow indeed, but Jackson no longer part of the franchise, and their being little power to the franchise’s rushing game last season , something is needed to reignite the team and Carlos Hyde may well be the player, in this case.

Trent Baalke , general manager of the San Francisco 49ers , having seen the franchise’s failed attempts in recent years, to add a sixth Superbowl trophy to the Niners trophy cabinet and to bring some joy back to the faces of the fans. Well, the front office executive , is now seeking to stock his team roster, with an abundance of offensive players by engineering a number of trades without yet , delving deep into the NFL Draft. The additions of Brandon Lloyd and during this draft process, in obtaining Buffalo Bills’ receiver Stevie Johnson might on the face of it seem a debatable risk , but clearly, Baalke , team CEO Jed Yorke and head coach Jim Harbaugh believe the moves worth taking. San Francisco’s divisional rivals the Seattle Seahawks reached the pinnacle of NFL team success in winning their first Superbowl , by bulldozing the highly rated Denver Broncos and along the way making five-time League MVP and Broncos’ quarterback Peyton Manning seem like a rookie in his third Superbowl appearance , in what has been one of the great NFL careers of recent years within the league.

Baalke fully realizes, that the NFC West has now become by far the best division in the entire NFL , with the likes of the San Francisco 49ers , Seattle Seahawks , Arizona Cardinals and St Louis Rams now jockeying for divisional supremacy. Take into account also the caliber of the quarterbacks within the division and you can now understand why that claim is now justified beyond the overall play of the quartet of teams in question. .

Colin Kaepernick the Forty Niners’ starting quarterback has proven himself to be a worthy successor to Alex Smith , who himself, now appears to have made a name for himself with the Kansas City Chiefs . Kaepernick’s failings , if there are said to be any, may well be derived from the fact that he comes across as too brash and arrogant . Yet, he cannot be faulted for the team’s loss to the Baltimore Ravens in Superbowl XLII(SB47), a game that still remains clouded by the incompetency of the league and host site, the New Orleans Superdome , home to the New Orleans Saints . That debacle still has not been explained adequately by the league office , in spite of the post-game comments made , to the resounding success in the staging of the event . A showcase for the NFL’s biggest game of the season was something of a shambles, with the organizing committee fully aware of the ongoing problems concerning site’s electrical infrastructure and an hour-long interval, as repairs were made to the electrical power generator supplying power to the Superdome.

Over the past two seasons , the New England Patriots have proven themselves to be the class of the AFC East twice succeeding to defend their divisional title, but it has been their postseason forays in 2012 and 2013 , that have many questioning whether or not Bill Belichick and Tom Brady have lost their “magical touch” when it comes to the postseason. The window of opportunity for both to add a fourth Superbowl title to their respective resumes’ seem to be slowly closing , in spite of Brady’s ongoing zeal to seek perfection with each postseason game , and the performances thereof. The Patriots’ quarterback remains one of the most successful passers in postseason history, over the past fourteen years and his three Superbowl victories are unmatched by any of his peers currently playing.

Tom Brady has never been outspoken or demonstrative in making demands of the Patriots’ front office , having placed his trust in the coach , the coaching staff and GM Nick Caserio to do what is in the best interests of the franchise. This draft could very well be the one, where the organization chooses to load up on both sides of the ball , while also availing themselves of the best available free agents on the open market . Caserio has sought to be prudent, in terms of the cap room , in the buildup to the NFL Draft and once the contract negotiations begin for the rookies, you can be sure that he will drive a hard bargain with their respective agents , representing those clients.

Finally , all of the gloating and self-righteous hypocrisy of the NFL remains on show , with the league’s drafting of its first openly gay player. Michael Sam will become of a member of the St Louis Rams , having been drafted in the sixth round by the NFC West based franchise. Head coach Jeff Fisher in addressing the issue , has stipulated that he does not want the actions of organization of the Rams to be the sole focus of this season. Also, he has stated, Sam will be made available to the press to discuss his place on the team and not the social relevance about his sexuality and what this all means to the NFL . Yet , for all of this hyperbole, to the importance of the decision by the Rams , one simply hide the fact the league remains not only homophobic , but it has to be said there still remains a great deal of racism hidden and obviously open in the aftermath of the Richie Incognito “ affair” within the Miami Dolphins’ organization .

In the aftermath of his being drafted by the Rams , Michael Sam was given a congratulatory kiss by his partner of several years , when Vito Cammisano , kissed the player on live television, with countless millions watching nationally and millions more globally . Now, while there has been some public outrage, about the act, and the fact there may well have been children watching the NFL Draft. It begs the question, if children can witness hours of gratuitous violence, during prime-time hours on national or syndicated programming, never mind the fact they also witnessing acts of war where victim’s global conflicts are sometimes being shown. Then why now, of all the situations possible, is there such outrage to the act of Sam kissing his partner ? Political correctness or not , unless one can either be respectful one’s right to freedom of expression , but dare I say it, show an ounce of common decency , rather than allude to the fact that this country remains without an ounce of bigotry . Those espousing such beliefs simply have no goddamn idea in actuality , concerning what is happening in the real world , much less realizing that times have changed , be it for the better or the worse . Common decency and respect ought to overshadow , intolerance and bigotry . Obviously, there are fans of the NFL , who remain ignorant and bigoted , while trying to behind some falsehood created in their own psyche .

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Picture gallery.

Do you believe there were any major surprises, during this NFL Draft? Which teams in your opinion may well have pulled off a coup, in terms of the players drafted and likely to be seen as a legitimate contender for the Superbowl this upcoming season?

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Picture gallery and slideshow details below .
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(1) Jadeveon Clowney of the Houston Texans is seen here with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodel , after the defensive line was taken as the number one overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft by the Texans. Getty Images / Loyd Carr ….

(2) Jadeveon Clowney makes his arrival for the 2014 NFL Draft alongside his Mom, Joseanna , to the prelude for the night’s events . AP Photo/ Dinesh Patel ….

(3) Johnny Manziel , thought to be everyone’s consensus pick as the first quarterback taken in this draft , the player was taken as the twenty-second overall pick by the Cleveland Browns. Team GM Tom Heckert hopes that the Texas A&M and Heisman Trophy winner can show the type of form that made him one of the dynamic players at the collegiate level during his tenure with the Aggies . AP Photo / Tom Johnson ….

(4) Blake Bortles is seen here with Roger Goodell . The player was taken as the first quarterback in the draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars and is deemed the likely successor to Blaine Gabbert whose tenure with the franchise has been somewhat sporadic and uneven since being originally drafted in the 2011 NFL Draft by the AFC South based franchise. AP Photo/ Tom Johnson …….

(5) Teddy Bridgewater now of the Minnesota Vikings . The former Louisville Cardinals’ quarterback will be hoping to make a successful jump from the collegiate level to the NFL ranks for the Vikings’ organization. AP Photo / Phil Devlin …..

(6) Michael Sam is seen here in a congratulatory embrace, as he shares a kiss with his partner Vito Cammasino after the announcement was made that the SEC Defensive Player of the Year had been drafted in the sixth round by the St Louis Rams . Sam is the first active and openly gay player to be drafted in the NFL . As to whether or not this will be met with a “seal of approval” by ardent Rams throughout this season remains to be seen , but that first preseason home game , as well as regular season contest , should prove to be an indication , as to whether or not the fans will be supportive of Michael Sam. Already those within and outside the NFL have begun to voice their disapproval of the player’s embrace and the kissing of his partner on live television. Courtesy of ESPN @ copyrighted material all rights reserved …………

(7) Michael Sam is seen here addressing members of the convened press as takes questions concerning his thoughts on the upcoming NFL Draft. Sam was taken in the sixth round of the Draft by the St Louis Rams and hopes to be a productive member of the team as they embark upon their season in the NFL . AP Photo / John Pettite ….

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It’s not the journey itself, but the first step taken that tends to be the hardest

It’s not the journey itself , but the first step taken that tends to be the hardest …

By Tophatal ……

The first month of the baseball season is now in everyone’s rear view mirror and the divisional tables now, show the teams that are playing with a great deal of resolve . Biggest issue so far on the schedule season, has been the health of so many players already being down injured , with the Los Angeles Dodgers already seeing their starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw being on the team’s disabled list and the team being able to find a rhythm of consistency without having their high-priced starting pitcher and his arm. It is pretty much safe to say that the managerial staff of the team will not solely be reliant on Kershaw, but their entire pitching roster. The team has started off fast, right out of the gate , but now find themselves 2 ½ games behind the San Francisco Giants (21-12) and the Colorado Rockies (21-14) in the NL West . As competitive as the division is likely to be , I do believe that Don Mattingly will be under even more pressure this season, than he was in 2013 , when the team made the postseason only to falter in the NLCS in a lopsided series’ loss to the St Louis Cardinals . Managing partners Magic Johnson , Mark Walter and Peter Guber , along with team President Stan Kasten are likely to believe that baseball’s highest salaried team will be able to get over the hump this season and for the Los Angeles Dodgers to make their first World Series’ appearance in twenty-six years ,

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Wednesday afternoon pits the Los Angeles Dodgers in a game , in the nation’s capital, when they face the Washington Nationals at Nationals Ballpark in Washington DC. One the mound for the visiting team, will be seasoned veteran Dan Haren as he faces off against Nationals’ starting ace Stephen Strasburg in a match-up of two of the National League’s top pitchers . Strasburg has been one of the reasons, why the NL East based team has been off to a pleasant start , with the expectations for franchise for this season, said to be high on all fronts. Clearly the disappointments of 2012, left something of bitter taste in the mouths of the fans, as well the organization in general, when a postseason berth , it was felt was clearly within their reach, if not the division itself.

For Dodgers’ team President Stan Kasten it will be a homecoming of sorts as he was once a front office executive for the DC based franchise . While the Nationals have sought to bring some relevance back to DC by way of baseball, it must be said that their fortunes have also been tied to fate of the Washington Redskins in recent seasons. The NFL franchise has itself, seen something of a rise back to relevance , but their 2013 season, can be best described as a major disaster , with a lack of competitiveness of the team and the later firing of head coach Mike Shanahan and the front office not willing to extend the contract of offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan .

The fact that the Redskins have since hired Jay Gruden to succeed Mike Shanahan , can either be seen as an act of desperation or one of genius , based on Gruden’s alleged success as a coordinator in the NFL , as his career is said to have flourished in that attempt. . This may well be the risk that Bruce Allen and team owner , Dan Snyder feels is relevant, if the Redskins are to succeed after the woes of last season, which saw a last place finish within the NFC East division.

As impressive a start to the season that the Milwaukee Brewers (22-13) have to their calendar , while leading the NL Central . There remains still the ongoing controversy of the team’s All Star slugger Ryan Braun and his return to the game after his league mandated suspension . Braun has slowly played himself back into the consciousness of the public at large, while still looked upon some circles as a pariah and a cheat. As the NL MVP , an award that many feel that Braun should have been stripped of, but the hypocrisy of the BBWAA still remains, along with the sheer gullibility of the MLB hierarchy under Bud Selig . Ryan Braun’s actions, in not only lying to the press and public alike , about his use of a banned substance, spoke to the fact that baseball’s testing protocols, the use of an independent laboratory and a failure of proper oversight , continues to the show that the claims of Bud Selig, that baseball has the sternest testing of all the four major professional team sports, does not pass the test. Though it is still early in the season , MLB is carefully watching the actions of the players , in the aftermath of Alex Rodriguez’s a year-long suspension and the now disgraced player’s actions in seeking to sue baseball’s hierarchy. The MLBPA under its new Executive Director Tony Clark , has done little to suggest that he and his members are acutely aware of their actions as it relates to the use of performance enhancing drugs .

The Milwaukee Brewers own ambitions for this season will be severely tested by their counterparts within the NL Central , perhaps with the exception of the Chicago Cubs , who continue to flounder , even with Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer still clueless about what it will take to make the team actually competitive and a legitimate contender within their division much less the rest of the National League . Three years into his tenure and Epstein still has not assembled a managerial staff worth a damn , let alone an on the field product by the way of a team that plays attractive and entertaining baseball . A three-game losing streak and only victorious in four of their last ten games and it is hard to explain how anyone can suggest that the Cubs are in with a chance of being viewed as a viable candidate for the NL Pennant , something that they have not been a part of in several years. Eleven years on, from their infamous pennant series against the Florida Marlins , there are more than goats and idiot named Steve Bartman that have run amok at Wrigley Field , as team owner , Tom Ricketts and his family seem hell-bent on carrying on the tradition of seeing this once revered organization remain the laughing-stock of baseball.

As if to further emphasize the morass of the Chicago Cubs , they succumbed to their crosstown rivals the Chicago White Sox in a game played at US Cellular Field in Chicago , Illinois , on Wednesday afternoon . The two teams will meet again on Thursday with the same venue in play for that contest , which is likely to have the same result based on the evidence of Wednesday . On the mound for the Cubs, will be Jake Arrieta as he faces off against his opposing number Scott Carroll .

It takes a great deal for a baseball club to have three consecutive seasons of losing at least one hundred games . Yet somehow, the Houston Astros have managed to achieve that feat with effortless ease . Coming into 2014, not only were the Astros seeking to avoid further embarrassment., but team owner Jim Crane had begun what is likely to be an ugly legal fight with broadcast partner CSN Houston and the broadcaster’s decision to file for bankruptcy . Crane also names Drayton McClane , the former Astros’ owner in his lawsuit, claiming that the two , sought to hide the gravity of the ball-club’s dealings with the broadcaster and that the duo also, hid many of the financial obligations CSN had with McClane, that allowed the former franchise owner to profit to the tune of some $65 million , prior to the sale of the ball-club. CSN Houston’s parent company Comcast Inc , have stated that the intent will be to file for bankruptcy, because the outlet remains unprofitable, even though the cable outlet has the proprietary broadcast area rights for games of the Houston Rockets as well games for the Astros and several collegiate events.

From my own standpoint , I believe that Jim Crane simply salivated in wanting to own an MLB franchise and the lure of Bud Selig’s tempting offer of $125 million in paid expenses , for the franchise to move from the NL Central West at the end of the 2012 season to the highly competitive AL West was to good an offer to refuse. Due diligence, clearly was not used by Crane in his purchase of the Houston Astros and the team’s record since their move between the two divisions, seems to be just as disastrous as the sale now appears to be , beyond the franchise’s ongoing woes on the field of play .

Thirty-four games into the season and the Houston Astros are now projected to lose one hundred and eight games , winning only fifty-four on their one hundred sixty-two game regular season schedule. It has been that type of futility that the fans have now come to expect while in attendance at Minute Maid Park in Houston , Texas, along with a pared down team payroll and a proliferation of excuses from Jim Crane and GM Jeff Luhnow . . It should come as no surprise that the Astros’ front office and managerial staff coaching staff continue to believe that the team remains competitive in spite of having a league low team payroll of $44.985 million and one of the worst records in all of baseball. The Astros’ 3-2 loss to the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park in Detroit , Michigan was simply another reminder why the baseball club remains a blight on the game and why there has to be a consensus among the owners , union and league hierarchy , that there either has to be a hard salary cap or contraction within the game leading to perhaps the subtraction of at least four teams .

There may well be opponents for contraction within baseball , but with teams such as the Houston Astros , Chicago Cubs , Kansas City Royals , Miami Marlins and of late the Minnesota Twins continuing to be uncompetitive . A decision will have to be made, to the direction that Major League Baseball should take , by using a number of determining factors based on support , a team’s viability without being aided by the luxury tax and finally their competitiveness . League revenues may well be increasing , with much of that coming from the renewing of television contracts , whereby the broadcasters are being asked to pay more for what on the face of it, appears to be a deteriorating on the field product.

If this is the year that the Tampa Bay Rays are to take advantage of what is said to be a weak AL East division, which I do not believe it to be ! Then this would be the season, in which Joe Maddon and his team ought to be taking advantage of their inhabitants within the division . Instead, the Rays find themselves rooted at the bottom of the AL East looking up at the Toronto Blue Jays , Boston Red Sox , New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles , who currently lead the division . Maddon’s team, based on their pitching rotation , is said to be the best in the Majors , though that is clearly not the case now .

The Rays were on the wrong side of a 4-3 loss to the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field in St Petersburg , Florida , where Buck Showalter’s players showed why they are leading the AL East . It is games such as this , that Tampa do need to win , if they are to be considered legitimate contenders for the AL Pennant as well as the World Series , a title that the franchise has yet win, but made their sole appearance in baseball’s postseason showcase finale against the Philadelphia Phillies in the 2008 World Series , which resulted in a 4-1 series’ loss . The two combatants will meet again today, with David Price taking the mound for the Rays against the Orioles’ Ubaldo Jiminez . Thursday’s contest should tell us a great deal about both teams , as well as how they are likely to fare over the course of the season.

In the aftermath of the fallout that has taken place within the NBA concerning that particular league’s action in dealing with Los Angeles Clippers’ owner , Donald Sterling with his being banished and fined $2.5 million for his inflammatory racial remarks , which were delivered in private between Sterling and number of acquaintances . It has now become an issue, where the other major professional teams sports will now have to take a deep dark look at how they themselves, deal with the issue of race , and that of their owners’ behavior around and away from their respective sports. Bud Selig, before had to deal with the antics of Marge Schott , the former owner of Cincinnati Reds and her racially insensitive remarks. In truth , Selig, like Adam Silver , was slow to act , given the prior bad acts of Donald Sterling , and the issue of race , in spite of the recent idiocy of the NAACP in wanting to give Donald Sterling their highest civic honor , a Lifetime Achievement Award .

Donald Sterling was well-known to have the views now shown to the public, by the airing of his comments, as they went viral over the internet , and the later interview granted by his girlfriend , V Stiviano . I do believe, that Sterling’s views are his alone and any punishment meted out will not stifle the issue of racism or bigotry and their growing elements within the sports’ environment ! While Donald Sterling’s views, are likely to be shared by a number of his counterparts, within the NBA , NFL and NHL. Yet, they have simply chosen to keep those comments and views to themselves, rather than their being aired in public. Better to be prudent , than making a complete ass of yourself, while tarnishing not only the image of the franchise you own , but also the brand and the image of the NBA. Something that the newly installed commissioner is not going to tolerate, having assumed his position and thereby looking to stamp his own authority on the sport he is likely to preside over for the next decade or more.

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Through the first month of the baseball season, what do you feel has been the biggest surprise overall ? Also, do you believe that baseball’s hierarchy, is likely to keep a careful watch on the behavior of their teams owners, in light of the fallout witnessed in the NBA ?

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Picture and slideshow gallery details below .

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(1) Washington Nationals Adam LaRoche connects for a two-run single against Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Dan Haren during the first inning of a baseball game , Wednesday, May 7, 2014 in Washington. AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais …

(2) Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg (37) throw against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the first inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, May 7, 2014 in Washington. AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais …..

(3) Brewers’ outfielder Ryan Braun , presently present on the team’s DL , but hoping to make a quick return to contribute to the Milwaukee Brewers’ efforts this season . AP Photo / Matt Hamlin …..

(4) Chicago Cubs’ Head of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein is seen here with team GM Jed Hoyer , with the newly installed executive given charge to rebuild the organization, under the auspices of his superior, Epstein. It has been some considerable time since the Cubs made a postseason appearance and the organization’s record has been abysmal since that last foray . Getty Images / Phil Carson …

(5) Houston Astros’ GM Jeff Luhnow is seeking to resurrect the fortunes of the franchise that has fallen on hard times over the past eight years, but a great deal of the ball-club’s recent misfortunes does appear from the continuing indecision of team owner Jim Crane in raising and then paring down the team’s payroll while seeking to make the organization financially viable . AP Photo / Paula Warren

(6) Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez (31) delivers to Tampa Bay Rays’ Matt Joyce during the first inning of a baseball game Thursday, May 8, 2014, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Tampa would go on to lose the game 3-1 suffering their third straight loss, all to their divisional rivals the Orioles . AP Photo/Chris O’Meara ….

(7) Tampa Bay Rays’ Evan Longoria (3) lines an RBI single off Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez during the first inning of a baseball game Thursday, May 8, 2014, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Rays’ Desmond Jennings scored on the hit. Catching of the Orioles is Caleb Joseph. AP Photo/Chris O’Meara ….

(8) Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig poses with the winners of the Hank Aaron Awards , (best overall offensive performer of 2004), Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants and Manny Ramirez of the Boston Red Sox, before Game 4 of the World Series between the Boston Red Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals on October 27, 2004. In the aftermath of the Donald Sterling affair within the NBA , the commissioner may well now take it upon himself to discuss with team owners , concerning their conduct and their issuing of statements with regard to their personal views , when in a public setting, where it directly involves the game and its image . AP Photo / Jason Black ……

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You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink , but you can make it take dump all over the place and still try come up smelling of roses …….

You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink , but you can make it take dump all over the place and still try come up smelling of roses …….

Once you get beyond the hypocrisy of the biggest news’ story out now , one begins to realize how asinine not only the media tends to be but also, the fans in general. While, NBA Commissioner , Adam Silver is to be commended on his stance in the lifetime ban given to Los Angeles’ Clippers’ team owner , Donald Sterling . The question remains, if Silver can prove to be that decisive in making his decision , then why was David Stern during his tenure as the NBA Commissioner, that decisive , when prior bad acts by the now disgraced owner , were well chronicled and known to various media outlets as well as to the NBA hierarchy ? It has been this sort of hypocrisy, that has epitomized his tenure as the highest ranking executive and has become synonymous with a league , that no longer has any credibility.

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With that in mind, it should also be noted , that Silver himself, is not without blame , as he has served as Stern’s deputy for several years, before his elevation to his current position as the NBA Commissioner. As to the now public statements, forthcoming from the likes of Dallas Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban and Orlando Magic Chairman Dan DeVos , throwing their weight of support behind Silver’s position of the banishment of the besieged , beleaguered and now disgraced owner. Once has to ask, where were their voices of outrage and disapproval concerning Donald Sterling’s prior bad acts of racial bigotry, beyond his documented legal woes with the US Justice Department ?

With Donald Sterling’s lifetime banishment, what now becomes the bone of contention, is what will be the next step, that can be taken by the league hierarchy, if as suggested , the Board of Governors , made up of the league’s thirty-two team owners , are seeking Sterling to relinquish control of the franchise he has owned for the past thirty-two years. Having bout the team in 1981 ,for a mere $12 million , he has seen the Clippers’ value appreciate, where its estimated value is in excess of $500 to $650 million , based on current market value . It is likely hard to the hierarchy to force the issue of the team being sold , even if the league manages to garner twenty-five of thirty voted needed to force such a sale. In all likelihood, Donald Sterling may well seek to stymie the process by proceeding to challenge the legality of the league’s maneuver by seeking a legal recourse within the US Federal Court and the justice system . Other than that, Adam Silver’s alternatives are , for the NBA to take full control , purchasing the Los Angeles Clippers and with the league having full control in the day-to-day running of the Western Conference based franchise.

It is my belief, that Silver, will seek out and vet, what he deems, are suitable suitors interested in buying the now controversy ravaged Los Angeles Clippers. Currently , there are known to be two interested parties, movie and music mogul David Geffen of SKG , the movie studio headed up and owned by Steven Spielberg , Jeffrey Katzenberg and Geffen, himself. Another suitor, is said to be, Los Angeles’ based real estate tycoon and billionaire developer , Rick Caruso . Rumored interest from former NBA player Magic Johnson would run counter-culture, given Johnson’s, long-established relationship with the Los Angeles Lakers , where he played his entire career. Yet, in light of his recent criticism of the organization, its lack of direction and the very fact that, GM Mitch Kupchak and principal owner , Jim Buss , are seemingly now at a loss to explain the direction that the franchise is now said to be heading in. I do not believe that Johnson or his partners with the Los Angeles Dodgers , are likely to show any interest, in owning the Clippers !

The Washington Wizards’ clinical dissemination of the Chicago Bulls , in a rather lopsided 4-1 series’ defeat , has the Eastern Conference fifth seed , making their first appearance in the conference semi-finals. Leading the way for the Wizards, was their back-court headed up by Bradley Beal and John Wall , who a duo , simply played their way in the Wizards’ folklore, with their postseason displays for the team , throughout the series. Chicago’s 75-69 home-court loss at the United Center , in Chicago , Illinois, might well have been the most disappointing low-light of the Bulls’ regular and postseason foray. For head coach Tom Thibodeau , what might be deemed a gallant effort during the regular season , now represents absolutely nothing for the franchise, after so much promise was shown during the latter part of the season and the team’s improbable run to the postseason. Now the tough questions , will have to be asked of the Chicago Bulls’ front office . and the desired direction that Gar Forman and Head of Basketball Operations , John Paxson will take the franchise.

It is widely believed, that Paxson will make an all-out assault , in acquiring highly prized free agent Carmelo Anthony , who has yet to make a concrete decision concerning his own future and whether or not , it lies in remaining with the New York Knicks or pursuing his future elsewhere. Chicago will likely amnesty and relieve themselves of the contract of veteran power forward Carlos Boozer , to make that whole scenario a reality and therein signing Anthony to a long-term lucrative contract at a later date . All signs, seems to point to the fact that, the New York Knicks’ forward would be willing to take less money , to play for a legitimate title contender , which now , the Knicks are not , with their situation being a current mess , in which Phil Jackson , will now have to engineer through the debris created by the financial morass of the contracts assigned to under-performing players now on the New Knicks’ roster . Jackson, will have to use all of his persuasive abilities to convince Carmelo Anthony, that he is able to rebuild the Knicks’ roster around his now disgruntled superstar. I am of the opinion, that the New York Knicks are not only a mess , but the clear lack of due diligence by James Dolan , has led the franchise, into what has become an almost irretrievable situation. At best , this franchise, is at least, two or three years away, from being a legitimate title contender for the NBA championship .

If there is one thing to be said about this NBA postseason , it has been one that has been full of surprises beyond the drama provided by the idiotic antics of Donald Sterling and clear actions of the league hierarchy , as they have sought to absolves themselves any responsibility from reprehensible and absolutely downright boorish behavior of the disgraced NBA owner. Inasmuch , as there has been praised heaped upon the shoulders of Adam Silver , one has to wonder why there has been no real criticism of his predecessor , David Stern ? No one but Stern, is likely to answer that particular question , but considering the ego of that particular executive , I think in all likelihood , he would rather shy away from being broached on the matter !

We are now a month n the MLB regular season schedule and it would seem, that for the Houston Astros and Miami Marlins , theirs is a season , that already seems to be mired in complete mediocrity . Far be it for me to suggest, but with the Astros already firmly rooted at the bottom of the AL West, the likelihood of the team being able to lift themselves to challenge for the divisional title and to challenge the Oakland Athletics , would seem as likely as Bud Selig , now having a “second wind” and deciding, that now would be right time for the reinstatement of Pete Rose , with his made eligible for induction into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. Rose is unlikely to be inducted at this juncture , unless the Veterans’ Committee decided to show some altruism and allow the , all-time hits’ leader entrance into that bastion of baseball greatness . As to the prevailing fortunes of the Houston Astros and Miami Marlins, all that one would need to understand , is that this season , Bo Porter and his team are seeking to avoid a fourth consecutive season of bearing one hundred losses .

In the case of the NL East based Marlins , team owner , Jeffrey Loria continues to pull the wool over the eyes of the city of Miami , the fans , while being allowed to do so by the MLB Commissioner , who has allowed the Marlins’ owner to continue his web of deceit and lies with reckless abandonment , without their being any questions being raised, in criticism of Loria’s actions or that of the league hierarchy’s office, itself

The Houston Astros, coming off a 4-3 loss to the Washington Nationals at Minute Maid Park in Houston , Texas, where on the mound , the losing pitcher for the home team was Josh Fields (0-3) , leads me to firmly believe that this organization will be in for a long and arduous season ! As gritty and determined, as the Astros might have appeared in this contest, it was clear that the Nationals simply had the upper hand , all along . The two teams will meet again at the same venue, where Jordan Zimmerman (1-1) will take the mound for the Nationals against Brett Oberholtzer (0-4) , in what should prove to be an intriguing contest on Wednesday afternoon , in a slew of games scheduled for the day.

Mike Redmond was thrown into the lions’ den, when he was asked to succeed Ozzie Guillen as the Marlins’ manager and then asked to get this team playing with a great deal of resolve. Guillen’s antics asides, it has been the lack of foresight shown by the front office , that has led to numerous problems for the South Florida based franchise, that has been barely supported as a baseball-club, since the opening of Marlins’ Ballpark in 2012 . Suffice to say, lack of support, woefully inept performances , with the exception being, the continued maturity being shown in the play of Giancarlo Stanton and 2013 Rookie of the Year, pitcher Jose Fernandez . It pretty much safe to suggest , that the team’s failure this season , will actually lead to the gutting of this roster by GM Michael Hill as another face saving exercise by this inept front office , while Jeffery Loria’s incompetency as an owner and his lack of business acumen continues to shine through. Miami’s 9-0 win over the Atlanta Braves , was the team’s best victory of what has been a somewhat desolate first month of the season for the team. Their record of 12-14 bears this out, as has their standing in the NL East and baseball overall. As I alluded to earlier, failure for the Miami Marlins and the rebuilding process starts all over again.

Wednesday afternoon , the Braves will meet the Miami Marlins, at Marlins’ Ballpark , with Aaron Harang taking the mound against Nathan Eovaldi of the Marlins , in what should be viewed as a great pitching contest. Harang, will be looking to prove that his start to the season for the Braves , is no flash in the pan , with the pitcher more than justifying his worth beyond his salary . There is no doubt, that if the Atlanta Braves are to be truly successful this season, then it will be must the offense led by siblings BJ Upton , his younger brother Justin Upton to be consistent over the course of the year, with Dan Uggla , Evan Gattis , Jason Heyward and Freddie Freeman playing their part to go alongside a pitching roster that has greatly improved with the signing of right-handed pitcher Ervin Santana , with what he has brought to the table with his experience. It has been the Braves’ pitching along with an NL low team ERA that has the Braves’ weathering the storm, while leading the NL East with the division’s best record.

The introduction of Robinson Cano as the spark , that was seen to be able to ignite the long dormant Seattle Mariners , may well take some time before the fans come to appreciate the former New York Yankees’ star. Years of being on the outside looking in, still has not changed the rigors of not having made a postseason appearance in several years , last dating back to the 2001 postseason and the ALCS of that year. Since those heady days , it has simply been downhill all the way for the franchise and that is in spite of the years of Kenny Griffey Jr , Alex Rodriguez , Randy Johnson and Ichiro Suzuki , all likely Hall of Fame players at some point in the future, albeit , that there will be many who question the right of Rodriguez to included , let alone, his name being mentioned on the venerable list of Hall of Fame inductees .

Cano will be under a great deal of pressure this season to prove the financial commitment made to him by the Seattle Mariners. The player’s departure from the New York Yankees was not taken all that lightly with the fans of the venerable ball-club, when he sought to be overly critical of the organization , stating that he felt disrespected that they were not ready to offer him a long-term deal. Robinson Cano’s agent , rapper and entrepreneur , Jay-z of RocNation Sports , the fledgling sports and artist and entertainment conglomerate co-founded by the artist , was originally quick to suggest that his client deserved a contract that would make him among the highest paid players in baseball , along with deal, he felt was worthy of Cano’s stature. I am not so sure that either Brian Cashman or Hal Steinbrenner would have felt entirely comfortable with an eight or ten-year deal that would make a financial obligation of $300 million to the former Yankees’ player. Given the New York Yankees’ current commitment and the fact that several of their players are now among the highest paid in the game of baseball and Hal Steinbrenner’s wish to pare down team payroll to avoid paying the luxury tax. It has to be said, that the right decision was made by the front office to allow Cano to become free agent during the off-season. Ten years , $240 million and the long-term commitment by the Seattle Mariners now seems to have made both Robinson Cano and his agent extremely happy with the final outcome .

Seattle’s 6-3 victory over the New York Yankees on Tuesday, at Yankees Stadium , in New York City, New York, was Robinson Cano’s first visit back to New York to face his former team. It is pretty much safe to say, that he was not welcomed with open arms like a prodigal son by the Yankees’ fans. . A great deal of faith has been placed in Robinson Cano by the front office and specifically the Mariners’ Board of Directors , who believe that the player is the man needed, to take the team deep into postseason. I would hazard a guess, that a great deal more than Cano’s exploits will be needed, if the Mariners are to make their first postseason appearance since 2001.

With the month April , having seen the teams go through their schedule , from here-on in , through May and June , were are likely to see the ball-clubs find some type of consistency to their game . If anything, it will not be until late August, before we are likely to see, the real “pretenders” and likely contenders are said to be, as they seek to be viewed as contenders for the World Series. Is it possible that we could see a repeat champion this season ? Well dependent upon the mindset of the Boston Red Sox and John Farrell’s players, it could make for an interesting year within the game.

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Off the diamond , in light of the drama now unfolding within the NBA and the revelations about Donald Sterling of the Los Angeles Clippers and what appears to be the selective behavior of the league hierarchy concerning statements attributed to Orlando Magic owner Rich DeVos , it will be interesting to see how Bud Selig and his office will seek to address any misgivings that he too , might have about a number of the team owners and their own behavior , as it relates their perceived beliefs and how they are addressed publicly. It is pretty much safe to say , with baseball having shot itself repeatedly in the foot over the past decade , another “black eye” because of an owner’s stupidity would be the last thing that the commissioner would like to deal with at this juncture , given his poor communicative skills and having to repeatedly try to clean up the game’s image , which given his pass record, has been an abysmal failure ! Chime in with your thoughts on this and anything else you believe pertinent to this topic, as you see fit.

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Picture and slideshow details below .
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(1) Donald Sterling , the now besieged and beleaguered owner of the Los Angeles Clippers has been banished by the NBA hierarchy from having any association with the franchise that he has owned since 1981. Beyond the lifetime ban , Sterling was fined $2.5 million , a small price to pay for the billionaire , with an estimated wealth of $2 billion. Asides, from his now well publicized racial taunts , the owner is facing a backlash from a number of his peers , the team’s corporate sponsors , as well as from some high profiled current and former NBA players . Somewhat hypocritical , when one considers the repeated utterances from a fellow franchise owner in , Rich DeVos of the Orlando Magic , whose homophobic statements, are now once again coming to light , and with nothing mentioned by Adam Silver or from his predecessor David Stern and their inaction concerning DeVos . AP Photo / Keith Thomas …..

(2) Former Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard talks with Magic owner Rich DeVos during the NBA All-Star Game at Amway Center in Orlando, Florida, Sunday, February 26, 2012. DeVos has been recently cited as another NBA owner who should be targeted for disciplinary by the NBA for what is said to be some very unsavory comments made about the gay and lesbian community. Somehow , even after those statements came to light the league hierarchy saw fit to let the Orlando Magic owner’s comments go unchallenged or with any type of public statement coming from the NBA head office. In other words , David Stern , felt it only necessary to step into the fray , if tat the end of the day he could come be seen in some positive light , Devos’ comments clearly angered the gay and lesbian community but the former commissioner did not feel it was worth his time to address the matter or reprimand the owner in any way . Gary W. Green/Orlando Sentinel/MCT …..

(3) Chicago Bulls’ GM Gar Forman is seen here with the team’s Head of Basketball Operations John Paxson in discussion at the United Center in Chicago , Illinois ,. With the Bulls suffering a humiliating first round series’ loss to the Washington Wizards in the NBA Playoffs , the front office executives will face some tough decisions concerning the roster during this off-season . AP Photo / Matt Harper ……

(4) Film and music mogul David Geffen is rumored to be one of two interested parties wishing to buy the Los Angles Clippers. Geffen is a co-founding partner of SKG Dreamworks , alongside Jeffrey Katzenberg and Steven Spielberg . Joining the film executive in his bid will Larry Ellison , founder of software company Oracle and Oprah Winfrey, who originally issued a stern denial concerning her interest in owning a sports’ franchise , before being approached by her close personal friend David Geffen. If the sale of the Clippers were to take place , with it being approved by the NBA’s Board of Governors , then David Geffen would also be the first openly gay owner of an NBA franchise . REUTERS/ Ingrid Moore ….

(5) Jose Fernandez (16) of the Miami Marlins is seen here celebrating with teammate Giancarlo Stanton after the team’s 3-0 victory over the Colorado Rockies in a game played at Marlins Ballpark ,in Miami, Florida , on the 24th August , 2013. If the Marlins are to be a real threat within the NL East this season , then it will be incumbent upon both of these players to have a successful season for the team as a whole. Mike Redmond and his coaching staff are certainly hoping that will be the case. AP Photo/ Paul Forbes …..

(6) Atlanta Braves’ catcher Evan Gattis is seen here in a game played at Turner Field in Atlanta, Georgia,. Gattis is now the team’s full-time catcher with the departure of Brian McCann this past off-season to the New York Yankees as a free agent. GM Frank Wren was not willing to match the five-year $80 million deal offered to the veteran , giving Gattis to show his worth this season and meeting those as sought by the front office. The catcher has proven to be everything that the staff believed they were getting in drafting the player in 2010 . Getty Images North America / Jim Ross …

(7) Seattle Mariners’ GM Jack Zduriencik is seen here with Robinson Cano and manager Lloyd McClendon are seen here at Safeco Field in Seattle , Washington after Cano’s acquisition by the franchise, who signed him to lucrative long-term contract. Cano now has to prove his worth, as the Mariners seek to make their first postseason appearance since the 2001 ALCS. In the later years, Seattle’s record has discouraged and drawing the ire of the fans due to the lack of progress and ambition by the organization. AP Photo / Keith Pettit …..
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Nigger in the woodpile ? Donald Sterling doesn’t even have a plantation but he probably wished, he had one ……..

Nigger in the woodpile ? Donald Sterling doesn’t even have a plantation but he probably wished , he had one ……..

So as the NBA postseason meanders towards what the fans believe will be an inevitability , it is interesting to note, that the biggest story now surrounding the league , just happens to be the unfolding episode concerning the statements attributed to Los Angeles Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling that was first reported by entertainment news’ website TMZ .

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Sterling , is said to have made the comments to his girlfriend, that he would rather have her not associate herself , with “niggers” or have them attend the games of the team he owns , while they are playing at the Staples Arena in downtown Los Angeles , California . As to why anyone, would actually be surprised by these statements by Donald Sterling , when it has been a repeated pattern of behavior by one of the NBA’s most malignant owners . Furthermore , it should be noted, that the owner, has been ran afoul of the US government , by way of the US Justice Department ,with his having been successfully sued in US Federal Court in an action brought by the US Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) , for being a ” slum landlord “ , and in having many of his tenants live in squalor conditions in a number of the numerous residential properties that he owns , many of the tenants in question were minorities , of African-American , Asian-American and Hispanic ethnicity , living within the greater Los Angeles area. The fact, that the city of Los Angeles failed to act with any type of expediency when his actions first came to light with regard the ongoing negligent actions as a landlord , and one of the city’s most prominent residential owners , leads me to believe that beyond the city’s incompetency , was due the power able to be wielded by Sterling within the city and among the city council, itself.

Tantamount to this all, has been the sheer naiveté , apathy , downright stupidity and utter gullibility of fans and the NBA hierarchy , who have continually over the years overlooked Donald Sterling’s continued behavior. It has been an ongoing pattern of behavior by the owner, wherein, David Stern has turned a blind eye to the Clippers owner’s ongoing behavior not only as it relates to the racial overtones of his comments , his egregious sexist behavior but also , what is said to be mistreatment of Clippers’ employees within the organization . Stern, long seen as a bastion of presiding over a league, said to be image conscious, but yet during the time that this owner has carried on with boorish behavior , neither the former NBA Commissioner , nor his later successor , Adam Silver , has sought do a thing, to in some way suspend or fine the owner . Yet , the NBA remains a league where in the past , David Stern has seen fit to fine Mark Cuban of the Dallas Mavericks , hundreds of thousands of dollars , when Cuban has been justified in his criticism of the league hierarchy and that of the officiating of regular and postseason games in the NBA. Need we be reminded also , that Stern has also seen fit to actually punish players with impunity for actions , he believes to be harmful to the game or conducting unbecoming ? Yet during his tenure , he has never seen fit to punish Donald Sterling , for previous allegations of having thrown out racial epithets.

I have to ask myself, what would David Stern or Adam Silver deem serious enough for them to take action against Donald Sterling, given his repeated gregarious behavior ? If that was not enough, how much of an apathetic idiot must one be , to try and suggest consider that the country has progressed beyond the racial divide , when in many cases , there still remains an economic and social chasm within this country, along its racial lines ? Also , with the recent incident , with the death of Alfred Wright in Jasper , Texas , which was also the scene of the dragging and lynching death of James Byrd IV . Can someone explain to me, why they are those, who of the opinion, that racism and dare one say “hate crimes “ are on the decrease ? Is it merely, because the US the Justice Department, would try to suggest that, as being a fact? Need we be reminded, who now heads that particular governmental agency and the continued incompetency that has been shown by Eric Holder , as the US Attorney General ?

Now beyond the racial statements attributed to Donald Sterling , his odious views on women and how sexist those tones are , does bear asking, what other views he may well have, that we have not come seen come the surface and his views on race and other numerous social issues ? Clearly, beyond this stupidity that this is now solely Adam Silver’s issue to deal with , we also need to now look at the actions of the other owners around the NBA , and why no response there about Sterling’s comments and why no formal statement from anyone within the NBPA hierarchy or from among those on the Clippers’ coaching or playing staff . This might be the one time I firmly believe that Doc Rivers or the team’s presumed leader in Chris Paul actually make a formal statement . Consider also , that the Clippers’ point guard is the current President of the Players’ Union (NBPA) . Begs the question, is there no end, to clear incompetency and apathy within the NBA and union , itself ?

As to the postseason , the reigning NBA champions the Miami Heat (3-0) are proving to be now as decisive as they have been at any point during their regular season schedule . LeBron James leads the team in scoring during the playoffs , as he seeks to add a third NBA title to his already impressive resume’ . Erik Spoelstra may well be relishing the fact that as the Heat strolls through the first three games of their first round series against the Charlotte Bobcats (0-3) , the Indiana Pacers (2-2) as the number one seeds in the Eastern Conference now find themselves in the midst of a dogfight against the Atlanta Hawks (2-2) in their quarter-final series , now tied at two games apiece (2-2), with game five scheduled for Monday night at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indiana , Indianapolis. Frank Vogel’s Pacers can ill-afford to lose game five and then place themselves in an almost irretrievable position, in having to win the final two games of the best of seven series . Considering, the seismic waves a first round series’ loss would create for the Indiana Pacers, can certainly be judged by the fact, that it would create an easier path for the Miami Heat, as they seek to make their way to a third consecutive NBA Finals.

In the run-up to the end of the regular season, the Chicago Bulls were very much one of the most impressive teams over the final ten games of the season. It seemed hardly likely that with the season long loss of Derrick Rose and the franchise’s decision to trade Luol Deng , that one would have guessed that the team would indeed make the NBA Playoffs as the fourth seed within the Eastern Conference . A first round series’ match-up, against the John Wall led Washington Wizards (3-1) , was if anything, expected to be a very competitive series. Instead, it has become an ongoing nightmare for Tom Thibodeau , his coaching staff and the Bulls’ players have squandered just about every advantage and opportunity , one might have thought that they might have had , in now finding themselves on the brink of elimination , now down three games to one (3-1) against the Wizards. Coming into the series , I felt that with the momentum gained by the team over their final twenty regular season games , I thought them to be perhaps, the most dangerous of the outside contenders, who might hinder the path of both the Indiana Pacers Miami Heat , and their presumed conference finals’ match-up !

Tuesday’s game , given the contest’s value , will very much be one of zeal and guise on the part of the Bulls , because , Washington Wizards’ head coach Randy Wittman, his coaching staff and players , will be seeking to close out a series , that few might have expected them to be victorious in . Turnovers and a complete lack of leadership, has simply been the tale of the Bulls’ woes throughout this series and that does come as a surprise , when one considers the level of play shown by Joakim Noah during the regular season and his winning of the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year , this past season .

A scrappy series, between the Toronto Raptors (2-2) and Brooklyn Nets (2-2) ha pretty much summed up what this season has simply been about within the Eastern Conference wherein , the level of the play has simply bordered on being insipid and downright puerile . , though the continued idiocy to sell the league and specifically the Eastern Conference as being competitive. Nothing could be further from the truth , and the very fact that we now have Adam Silver consulting with USAB Chairman Jerry Colangelo , on his thoughts, about how best to improve the branding and play within the NBA, points to the very fact that Silver, is simply out of his depth ,. as David Stern’s successor !

Now, far be it, for me to suggest, that Silver, is likely to be as successful, as the image conscious egotistical former NBA Commissioner , who many , try to espouse as being the consummate businessman. David Stern, rode on the coattails of Michael Jordan , and during the mid to late nineties used African-American teens , the genre of ” gangster rap ” and the appeal of gun violence to sell the NBA as a brand , but dumb ass idiot fans are all too ready and willing to overlook that very fact , and once again show why there is no fucking common sense among the North American sports’ fan in general , never-mind the fact, that , this was the very same commissioner , who tried to suggest that the NBA being bailed out to the tune of $550 million in 2009 and their teams having been loaned $2.5 billion over the past decade , decade , should not be viewed as a bailout, with ticket prices having increased on average in excess of 23% during years between 2009 and 2012 , all of this in the midst of an economic downturn , which has shown no real sign of dissipating.

David Stern, simply tried to suggest, that this was the cost of doing business, while his salary increased , while the league sought to hold down their expenses , when in fact team payrolls climbed , as did television revenues and that of the league’s revenues. The commissioner’s salary upon his exit , exceeded $25 million a year , on par , if not above the highest paid player in the NBA , where the largest NBA contract belongs to the Nets’ Joe Johnson , whose six-year $123.66 million contract , is as ridiculous as it sounds , but yet not one fan, can explain succinctly, what the former commissioner has achieved, in reining in the cost of teams’ expenditure , when in fact David Stern simply cannot point to one evidential, piece of success of that nature ! A ” soft salary cap” , still has not stopped teams , of seeking to be financially expedient and for the majority of fans without a degree in finance , much less economics , theirs’ continues to be the idiocy of letting the teams spend whatever , while they chase after that ever elusive success .

Current NBA Coach of the Year , Gregg Popovich , a four-time winning NBA Finals’ coach, has seen the San Antonio Spurs (1-2) squander their home-court advantage and now quite possibly a series’ lead during their instate postseason conference match-up against the Dallas Mavericks (2-1) . The conference and NBA leading sixty –two wins’ season (62-20) , might all be for nothing, should they lose their first round playoff series’ contest against the Mavericks . Over the course of the regular season , San Antonio proved to the best team in the league , as well as having the longest unbeaten winning streak during the year . Now down 2-1 in the series against Rick Carlisle’s players led by ageless wonder , Dirk Nowitzki, this contest has been busted wide open , with the likely series’ winner, being the team showing , that they can deal with whatever adversity is thrown within their midst . In two successive losses , the Spurs have shown themselves , not to be that team , as the Mavericks have simply outplayed their Western Conference rivals. Monday night’s game , when the series resumes at the American Airlines Arena in Dallas , Texas , should tell us a great deal about the mindset of both teams , with the San Antonio Spurs, seeking to erase that 2-1 deficit and squaring the series, at two games apiece (2-2).

If the San Antonio Spurs are now seen in an unenviable position against the Dallas Mavericks , then the series between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Memphis Grizzlies could prove to be as equally daunting a task for the Thunder. Truth be known , in a seven game series , I would not bet against the Grizzlies to beat any of the top eight teams in the Eastern Conference , and yes that does include the less than imposing Miami Heat , who are physically and mentally soft against teams, b that are far more imposing . Were it not for the dexterity shown by LeBron James , the Heat would be no better than the third or fourth best team in the East and no better than the fifth best team in the West. All that glitters is not necessarily gold and the Miami Heat as assembled by Pat Riley this season , have proven to be at best , perhaps , “fool’s gold” with a little bit of pixie dust sprinkled in for good measure ! Likely , League MVP for this season , Kevin Durant has shown every bit of his skill-set in this playoff series against the Zach Randolph led Grizzlies and that particular match-up between Randolph and Durant has been very enticing to watch, as both players have excelled in various areas of their respective games .

When the two teams, resume their series in a pivotal game five , set for Tuesday night , with everything to play for . There is no doubt in my mind, that the winner of that contest should be in the driver’s seat for the remainder of the series ! A great deal is expected of the Scott Brooks’ coached Thunder and failure at this point of the postseason , would be seen, as not only traumatic for the organization , but pretty much summing up their season, as one of , failing to meet expectations of the front office led by Sam Presti and CEO & Chairman Clay Bennett .

Inasmuch as I hate to say this , but with these recent revelations about Donald Sterling, long known to me , having studied in-depth, a great deal about the owner and his ownership of the franchise , his treatment of current and former employees , including the lawsuit taken out against Sterling, by former front office executive Elgin Baylor . Nothing, would now give me greater pleasure, than to see the Los Angeles Clippers now bow out of the postseason, with the team being derailed by the Golden State Warriors ! As to the NBA hierarchy, taking action against the owner , there is about as much chance of that happening as an elephant devouring its own fecal matter ! Fuck it, if a self-absorbed asshole such as David Stern can overlook the boorish behavior of the Clippers’ owner , then why should I expect Adam Silver to be any different ? I mean , the current commissioner, has yet to issue a public statement on the matter , even after weekend news’ cycle within the league , was simply overshadowed by this story , but yet fans believe that the NBA is a league ran by intelligent individuals ? Fuck no , and it never has been , nor will it ever be , even with the mindless morons who still continue to drink out of the porcelain pot , that David Stern continues to piss and defecate, in ! Please seek out tangible evidence and do not buy into every piece of bullshit, ushered down by a league that is now simply devoid of intelligence, at just about every level from the league hierarchy on down to the owners , general managers , players, union and the officials themselves !

The NBA has become an all-out defective league , where sheer incompetency , masks the lack of real acumen , and where excuses are sought by the players , owners and the league’s executives , for their ongoing incompetency and where dumb ass fans , continue to buy into their never-ending bullshit !

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In light of this ongoing story within the NBA, which has now cast a giant shadow over the NBA postseason and the lack of action by the league hierarchy . Do you believe that Adam Silver can in all good conscience ignore these allegations and turn a blind eye to it all or do you believe that some form of action is called from the NBA Commissioner ? Also, which of the playoff series now in session , do you think will provide the biggest surprise in terms of a possible upset ? Simply, leave a comment as you see fit and thanks as always for your continued support of this site, as it is greatly appreciated !

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Picture gallery and slideshow details below .

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(1) In this photo taken on Friday, Oct. 25, 2013, Los Angeles Clippers owner, Donald Sterling , right, and girlfriend V. Stiviano , left, watch the Clippers play the Sacramento Kings during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles. The NBA is investigating a report of an audio recording in which a man purported to be Sterling makes racist remarks while speaking to Stiviano. NBA spokesman Mike Bass said in a statement Saturday, April 26, 2014, that the league is in the process of authenticating the validity of the recording posted on TMZ’s website. Bass called the comments “disturbing and offensive” . AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill ……. @copyrighted material all rights reserved

(2) From left to right from the Los Angeles Clippers , Blake Griffin , Chris Paul and head coach Doc Rivers . Paul as Executive Director of the NBPA (Players Union) has yet to issue a public statement concerning the alleged racial epithets used by team owner Donal Sterling in an expletive racial taunt to his girlfriend V Stiviano. The Clippers’ front office , has yet to issue a statement from any high-ranking executive within the organization . Given the lack of action by the league hierarchy , who it is now said that they are conducting their own investigation into the matter , One has to ask , if this has been a pattern of behavior with Donald Sterling , going back several years , why is it only now , that Adam Silver’s office has sought to take action ? Repeatedly, during David Stern’s tenure as commissioner , Sterling’s behavior was known to be boorish with various comments attributed to him, often denigrating women and minorities . Yet, somehow this was all overlooked by Silver’s predecessor . AP Photo / Jason Moore ….

(3) NBA Commissioner Adam Silver , foreground , and his predecessor David Stern are seen here after the newly installed commissioner succeeded Stern and his thee decade long tenure as the league’s highest ranking executive during that time-frame. Silver , is now said to be conducting an investigation into the actions of Los Angeles Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling . A pattern of behavior by the franchise owner has been repeatedly ignored by the former league executive , but yet Stern , himself , has yet to answer those allegations , but somehow , anal retentive fans view the former commissioner as having been a great executive and ambassador for the league. LOL,LOL,LOL !! Getty Images / Rod Harper …..

(4) Charlotte Bobcats’ owner , Michael Jordan is seen here congratulating LeBron James of the Miami Heat . James and his teammates would go on to .defeat (109-98) the Bobcats in game four played at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte , North Carolina , sweeping their Eastern Conference rivals 4-0 in their first round series’ match-up . Getty Images / Tim Bevan …

(5) The Washington Wizards’ back-court of Bradley Beal (3) and John Wall (2) now have the team on the brink of eliminating the Chicago Bulls (1-3) , with the Wizards taking a 3-1 lead in their series . Game five takes place tonight at the United Center in Chicago , Illinois , when the Bulls play host to their conference rivals . AP Photo / Tom Murphy …..

(6) Boris Diaw (33) of the San Antonio Spurs, who alongside teammate Manu Ginobli , played a major contributory role , in the Spurs squaring their series against the Dallas Mavericks , defeating the hosts 93-89 in their game four contest played at the American Airlines Arena , in Dallas, Texas on Monday night , 28th April, 2014. Getty Images/ Rachel Adams …….

(7) Kevin Durant (35) of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Zach Randolph (50) of the Memphis Grizzlies are the primary reasons why their respective teams have made the NBA Playoffs and the series’ contest between these uniquely gifted players has been one of the highlights of the postseason so far . Tied at two games (2-2) apiece, this series is now about to get even more suspenseful , when their pivotal game five takes place tonight at the Chesapeake Energy Center in Oklahoma City , Oklahoma , in front of what is sure to be packed venue for this contest . AP Photo / Mason Foster …..

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What the major newspapers are now saying about the Los Angeles Clippers and Donald Sterling . Click on the links shown below to view. And for the uninitiated lame @ss fans who still believe David Stern to have been of true benefit to the league then please explain succinctly did he seek to overlook the earlier bad acts of the Clippers’ owner ? Or will you continue to be and act as apathetic as former NBA Commissioner and his now newly elected successor Adam Silver ? If there has been a pattern of behavior with the Clippers’ owner , why the fu$k is everyone now acting so surprised by this latest revelation ? Are these NBA fans and journalists alike, that f##king stupid ?

USA Today :: Jeff Ziglittt :: How will NBA’s Adam Silver punish Donald Sterling?

Boston Globe :: Bob Ryan :: Donald Sterling profile not a pretty picture

Los Angles Times :: Bill Dwyre :: Donald Sterling scandal merits an over the top reaction

Washington Post :: Mark Berman :: Why the world finally noticed Donald Sterling’s appalling history

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When is it said to be right, to be politically correct?

When is it said to be right, to be politically correct?

In recent months and weeks there has been an ongoing debate , that quite literally few members of the public are said to be interested in. The NFL franchise , the Washington Redskins have been the center of an ongoing debate concerning the organization’s name, use of the word “Redskins” is seen as an affront to the Native American tribes , that were in fact the first inhabitants of the country.

For team owner , Daniel ‘Dan’ Snyder and specifically the NFL hierarchy , the issue has been rarely broached or addressed in full and become a matter of public debate in any type of forum. The print media, merely seeks to make this, their issue of the moment, as when they see fit and rarely have they sought to discuss , other issues such as the ongoing lack of funding provided to the Department of the Interior , who in fact are directly responsible for dealing with Native Indian issues , nationwide . Bear in mind also , the ongoing rise in crime, lack of employment opportunities, education, collegiate educational opportunities , but overall, actual direct medical care to many of the tribes on many of the reservations nationwide. Yet, here we are, in the midst of an issue using the word Redskins, which is said to be deemed derogatory among Native American Indians ? How insane is that meant to be?

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The Redskins’ franchise, through no fault of their own, have been caught within the midst of this debate with the organization being criticized on all fronts, most notably with former PGA Tour golfer Notah Begay III , becoming a vocal opponent of any type of association with the NFL franchise, albeit, that Snyder, has made every effort to make use of his wealth to aid a number of Native American organizations with charitable donations and directly with programs aimed in educating children from various tribes nationwide. I believe this discussion, to blurred on so many levels, because the league itself , has no wish to be part of this ongoing progress. At the same time , if using the word Redskins is a said to cause Begay , himself a Native American Indian, , such distress. Then why has he not shown similar outrage, with the usage of the word, ” Seminole ” , as it relates to the use of that word in the naming of the Florida State Seminoles ? Granted , with regard to the Seminoles and the use there as it relates to the collegiate program , there also seems to be an ongoing dialog there , that has yet to be fully addressed on a national level, but for the moment , it seems to be overlooked and to be playing no part of the ongoing debate concerning the Washington Redskins.

Courtesy of USA Today

Washington Redskins foundation loses another event sponsor

By Erik Brady, USA Today Sports

Notah Begay/

Notah Begay Associated Press Rick Portnoy

The Notah Begay III Foundation pulled its support from this weekend’s Arizona golf tournament to benefit scholarships for Native American students when it learned the title sponsor was the Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation.

“I find it underhanded and despicable that the Washington football team would co-opt this event,” Crystal Echo Hawk, NB3 foundation executive director, told USA TODAY Sports on Sunday. “As soon as we found out about their involvement we withdrew our support.”

Begay, a four-time PGA Tour winner and an analyst with the Golf Channel, is Navajo, Isleta Pueblo and San Felipe Pueblo. He is a longtime critic of the Washington team name, which he called “a very clear example of institutionalized degradation” on ESPN last year.

MORE: Nonprofit National Indian Gaming Association pulls support

Echo Hawk, who is Pawnee, said the NB3 Foundation was asked in February to donate silent auction items for a golf tournament to be held in Chandler, Ariz., this month; the foundation donated golf apparel.

When she found out Friday that Saturday’s event was sponsored by the NFL team’s foundation, she called the radio station that asked for the donation. Echo Hawk spoke to Tony Little, general manager of Arizona radio station KTNN, and demanded that NB3’s name be removed from the event officially called the Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation (OAF) 1st Annual KTNN Celebrity Golf Tournament.

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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, has not seen fit to immerse himself in any part of the ongoing dialog concerning the Washington Redskins and the issue of the franchise’s name , albeit it , that the subject, concerns one of the NFL’s most prominent teams, and one which draws a fan-base beyond the greater Maryland area , rather than it simply being close in proximity to the nation’s capital. Personally, I believe that the commissioner tends to be only drawn to battles that he believes that he can win , while his image and that of the league’s remains intact ! Here , it might well be the one real subject , that Roger Goodell may well feel, that no one can actually be victorious in. Yet, without his offering up any type of public comment, either directly from himself or from a spokesperson within his office , we will never know how he views this ongoing debate.

The idiocy here, does appears to be, that while Notah Begay seeks the Washington Redskins to bear some responsibility for what he believes to be some type of slight over the name of a franchise, that has been existence for over seven decades , but yet somehow he has not seen fit to question the lack of opportunities provided to his people by the US government , that comes by way of the Department of the Interior , headed by Sally Jewell . Be it the budgetary constraints placed on Jewell’s agency by the government or the very fact , that there is said to be high levels of corruption within the upper echelons of a number of Native American tribes, with regard to the disbursement of the revenues from the casinos, that were built on tribal lands, of which those profits are meant to be used on welfare programs for per capita , within the Native American population. Somehow, what oversight there is meant to be , by the DOI ,through the National Indian Gaming Commission is either nonexistent , or those heading that specific entity, are in collusion with those behind the ongoing corruption .

If Notah Begay can seemingly overlook that issue, merely to shift the focus from something that is far more acute and prevalent within his race . Then clearly, as a spokesperson for his people, he is doing them a great injustice and disservice with this current stance. Failures by a federal agency, are being overlooked , in order, that a subject, now being broached, albeit, that the echoes of that matter , is now being joined by other tribes, who feel , that now is time for the Redskins’ organization to discuss the issue of a name change. Either, they are completely happy with their treatment, as being meted out by the federal government , while having nothing better to do, than to now seek some type of recourse from a sport’s franchise, which in no way, was it responsible for their plight, as it now stands .

Mike Shanahan’s failures last season as the head coach of the Washington Redskins, were greatly magnified with the team falling apart at the seams and their being no leadership shown on or off the field of play. As to the idiocy, that the team’s quarterback , Robert Griffin III bore a great deal of responsibility for Redskins’ poor season and their 3-13 record within the NFC East , that led to the firing of Shanahan and several members of his coaching staff from last season. Dan Snyder and GM Bruce Allen , simply had enough of the ongoing incompetency of the former Denver Broncos and Oakland Raiders’ head coach and the very fact that he sought not to discuss many of the team’s woes during the season. Furthermore, from a defensive and offensive standpoint, the Redskins were found wanting in just about every aspect of their game. That being said, Shanahan’s dismissal , while being viewed as the best thing that could have happened to the Washington Redskins, his successor might not bring on the same sort of exuberance and joy as would be first thought. The hiring of Jay Gruden might well be seen as a positive in some circles , but in reality, it could end up being as big a mistake, as Shanhan’s original hire alongside that of son, Kyle Shanahan as the team’s offensive coordinator. Never mind the fact , that Mike Shanahan was among the highest paid head coaches in the NFL , earning a reputed $7 million a year .

At the time of his firing, Shanahan , was still owed two years on the remainder of his five-year contract. Way too costly a mistake , for the type of incompetency shown by head coach in 2013. What might be even more exacerbating for the Redskins’ fans, was the very fact, that the team was coming off a postseason appearance and a divisional title in 2012 , with a belief that in 2013 , there would be a marked improvement in terms of their on the field performances . Instead, beyond the injuries , regression, lack of leadership and a lack of coaching acumen, all having played a part in the Washington Redskins’ fall from grace.

While Jay Gruden, has proven to be a great coaching assistant, having held several positions around the NFL during the course his career , as well as serving under his brother, now an ESPN analyst and commentator, Jon Gruden . It must be said, his being placed into the cauldron of being the head coach of one of the league’s more high profiled teams will bring about a great deal of scrutiny and with that a great deal of expectation . Jay Gruden, is likely to bring about a more aggressive style of play, with a more pass oriented offense , playing to the strengths of Robert Griffin III. However, with the team’s acquisition of DeSean Jackson, to go alongside incumbents , Alfred Morris, wide receivers Pierre Garcon and Josh Morgan . The running and receiving game of the Redskins should see greater visibility this upcoming season than was witnessed in 2013. Defensively, the team will also have to show great deal more resilience than shown through much of last year , where the secondary left a great deal to be desired. For defensive and offensive coordinators, Jim Haslett and Sean McVay , their assessing the player personnel , will go a long way in determining, how Jay Gruden, is best likely to use his players this upcoming season.

While I have always believed, that NFL a franchise, should have a great backup to the starting quarterback. For the Washington Redskins, they should consider themselves extremely lucky, with the fact that they possess Kirk Cousins in that role. Cousins has proven to be a more than adequate substitute that position, but his ambitions are now, to be that of a starter and not in a secondary role to a player, he may well now be believe that he is now the equal of. Cousins, who was a fourth round draft pick in the 2012 NFL Draft , a class deemed to be and have been one of the best crop of quarterbacks to have entered the NFL over the past fifteen years. With their now being rumors circulating, that Kirk Cousins is desiring a trade, as the opportunities to be or remain a starter, are likely to be greatly diminished with a return to health of Robert Griffin. It will be interesting to see whether or not this opens up an opportunity for GM Bruce Allen to use the backup as trade bait , to move up the draft ladder, to gain a pick in the first round of the upcoming NFL Draft, having forfeited their original number two pick to the St Louis Rams. Certainly, there are likely to be a number of teams around the league, in need of a player with Kirk Cousins’ ability to assist with their pass offense.If Bruce Allen were to get a mid-first round pick in exchange for Kirk Cousins , then I believe, that some team , would be amenable to such an offer !

There may well have been a lot of criticism leveled at Robert Griffin III last season , much of it justified , as the player never fully recovered from his injuries. Yet, there seemed to be no concern by Mike Shanahan or his son , offensive coordinator, Kyle Shanahan , to have the offensive line actually , protect the quarterback , who just happens to be the team’s most valuable asset and face of the franchise and their long-term future. Granted, RGIII did himself no favors, by trying to be the hero, when all that was being asked of him, was to simply be conservative and play error free football over the course of the season . Looking back , it was plain for all to see that the sophomore quarterback, simply forgot what made him such a blistering talent in 2012 , and during the Redskins’ somewhat short postseason run of that year. If it is, Griffin’s intent to lead the team back to where he believes they belong, under the guidance of Jay Gruden and his staff, then the player will have to definitely raise the level of his play, to position himself as one of the best young quarterbacks in the league. The evidence was there for all to see in 2012 and I seriously doubt, that the former Baylor star would like to see a repeat of last season , once the 2014 Redskins’ season gets underway !

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Picture gallery .

In light of the points raised within this article, what thoughts if any, do you have concerning the stance now being taken by Notah Begay III and do you believe them to be misguided or actually , correct ? Also, how competitive do you think that the Washington Redskins will be, this upcoming season and are they likely to pose a serious threat to the other residents within the NFC East ? Do leave a response on this and anything else you believe to be pertinent to the subject and thanks as usual for your continued support of this site , as it is greatly appreciated !

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Picture and slideshow details below.

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(1) Native American Indians are seen here protesting in close proximity of Fedex Field in Landover, Maryland, the stadium in which Washington Redskins’ regular season games are played . Over the past five seasons , the strains of more tribes, thronging in support of this issue, has caught the nation’s attention , as well as that of the print and television media . However, the NFL hierarchy , has not issued a statement concerning the matter and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, simply has not discussed the matter at any great length in addressing the fans , press or members of any of the Native American tribes, voicing their concerns . Getty Images North America/ Ian Marks ….

(2) A late night vigil is held outside the Washington Redskins’ training facility in Richmond , Virginia by Native American Indians voicing their disapproval of the word ” Redskins” as the name of the NFL franchise . AP Photo / Isabel Hughes ….

(3) Washington Redskins’ owner , Dan Snyder, left , is seen here alongside the team’s general manager Bruce Allen as the two leave an official NFL function that discussed the scheduling of this past season’s NFL Superbowl staged at the Met-Life Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey . The tow executives are facing vocal opposition, with regard to the name of the NFL franchise which Native American Indians believe to be derisory and derogatory. Snyder has been very direct, in stating that the seven-decade old franchise will not make a name change, in light of the growing controversy. The NFL hierarchy have failed to discuss this matter directly , leaving it solely as a matter between the Redskins and dissenting Native American tribes. AP Photo / Chris Harper …

(4) Mike Shanahan , and his son , Kyle Shanahan are seen here along sidelines at Fedex Field , in Landover , Maryland during a regular season game last season . The pairing of father and son had a horrible season, as the 2012 defending NFC East champions fell apart , with the team ending their schedule with a 3-13 record in the division , and one of the worst records in the entire league in 2013. Both were dismissed by GM Bruce Allen, with the elder Shanahan still owed on the remainder of his then, existing contract. Kyle Shanahan has since rebounded , having signed on to become the offensive coordinator of the Cleveland Browns , which is currently coached by first time head coach Mike Pettine . Getty Images / Rob Porter ….

(5) From left to right , PGA Tour golfer , Mike Weir , Notah Begay III , Dr Mathura Santosham , Center Director of American Indians Healthcare Partners in association with Johns Hopkins Hospital , Ventura Lovato , Manager of the Vision Center for Native Americans , Tiger Woods and Camilo Villegas . Begay has been very vocal in his opposition and the use of the word Redskin , as used and depicted by NFL franchise the Washington Redskins . In recent weeks the former PGA Tour golfer, has withdrawn his charitable foundation, NB3 Foundation’s sponsorship of a celebrity pro-am golf tournament, where the franchise’s own foundation was a primary sponsor . The Washington Redskins’ Foundation in years earlier, had been a large donor to the NB3 Foundation as well as a co-sponsor of a number of nationwide health initiatives by Begay’s foundation. Getty Images North America / Rick Maslin ………..

(6) Department of Interior Secretary Sally Jewell is seen here being congratulated by her predecessor , Ken Salazar , as she began her term in 2012 during the second term of President Barack Obama . Jewell’s issues as head of this Federal Agency , has been one of dealing with rising crime on a number of tribal reservations , prolific drug use, among young teens, lack of educational opportunities at the collegiate level and that of widespread corruption within a number of Native American Tribes, as it relates to revenues derived from the gaming casinos. AP/REUTERS/ Max Sellars …….

(7) CLEVELAND OH,. DECEMBER 16th , 2012 . Injured Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) , left, and quarterback Kirk Cousins (12) sit on the bench late in the 4th quarter as the Washington Redskins defeat the Cleveland Browns 38 – 21 at Cleveland Browns Stadium in Cleveland OH, December 16, 2012 . Cousins , now believes that he is ready to become a starter in the NFL , having substituted for Robert Griffin III during the times that the incumbent, was sidelined by an injury . Both quarterbacks were picks by the Washington Redskins in the 2012 NFL Draft , for which there several players at the position who were seen as top-notch talent . Griffin was the number two quarterback taken behind Andrew Luck, who was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts , that year . Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images …..

(8) Wide receiver DeSean Jackson , having been waived by the Philadelphia Eagles , the player signed with divisional rivals the Washington Redskins , a four-year $32 million deal of which $16 million was guaranteed money . Jackson hopes to be productive addition to the Redskins’ offense and a likely target of Robert Griffin in what may well be a pass-oriented attack initiated by new head coach Jay Gruden . AP Photo/ Tom Carter ….

(9) Jay Gruden , head coach of the Washington Redskins is seen here alongside GM Bruce Allen after the much-traveled assistant speaks to the convened press at Fedex Field , in Landover , Maryland , having agreed to succeed Mike Shanahan , who was fired by the organization after a sub-par season in 2013. Gruden an experienced offensive coordinator, hopes to make the Redskins offense more potent , with his being a strong proponent of a pass offense , but that is not to state the effectiveness of Alfred Morris will not be used to add variety to the team’s offense. Gruden inherits a team that struggled throughout much of last season , much to the dissatisfaction of the Redskins fans and the front office , of which team owner , Dan Snyder , demanded that changes be made, after a disastrous 2013 schedule . The dismissal of Mike Shanahan still leaves the Washington Redskins owing the much maligned former head coach about $9.5 million , including incentives . AP Photo / Michael Warren ….

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