No fool like an old fool …….. this is the NFL

No fool like an old fool …….. this is the NFL

Well the NFL begins its season with the Hall of Fame enshrinement game this weekend , that will then lead into the preseason and then lead into a string of games , formally opening up the NFL preseason . I do not put a great deal of store into the preseason, albeit , that coaches and executives will be assessing their new draftees as well as their respective acquired free agents . And while much of this off-season has been encompassed by the arrest and detainment of Aaron Hernandez , on the murder charge of a former close acquaintance , Odin Lloyd . It must be said , that the NFL as a year-round source of entertainment and information, remains the abject scene of incompetency we have known it to be for several years now , ever since the ascent of Roger Goodell into the commissioner`s role , as the league`s highest ranking executive.

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As if to further exacerbate the league`s already tarnished image. It now has to deal with the rather inexcusable and inexplicable behavior of Philadelphia Eagles` wide receiver, Riley Cooper`s racial tirade against an alleged antagonist, during an altercation at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Cooper was said to have been behaving belligerently when approached by a security official at the venue during a Kenny Chesney concert . The player and the security professional exchanged words, before Riley Cooper went on his racial barrage threatening to fight every ni#ger there at the venue .

In what appears to be a less tan contrite apology, “ tweeted “ some forty-eight hours later. Cooper explained , that his actions and behavior were due to the fact that he had been drinking and was at the time, extremely intoxicated . To my mind it is a poor excuse from the player and if anything, his actions were truly indicative of his feelings at the time of this rather unsavory and unfortunate incident . With over seventy-two percent (72%) of the NFL`s makeup being African American and many of Cooper`s teammates on the Eagles roster , also being of the same ethnicity . I have to ask myself , first off , what the hell was the player thinking ? And secondly, is he simply that naive and stupid, to think that he could have got away with that type of behavior without it going unnoticed ? Do bear in mind also, that the scene of the incident, also happens to the home venue of the Philadelphia Eagles. So now , not only has Cooper caused a great deal of embarrassment to himself , but he has also heaped a great deal of unwanted publicity to a franchise going through transition , while at the same time their being a great many questions not only about the team , but also its first year head coach Chip Kelly . Suffice to say , GM Howie Roseman and team owner Jeffrey Lurie will have a great deal to contemplate concerning Riley Cooper as well as the ambitions of the franchise for this upcoming season .

The Eagles` front office looking to save themselves further embarrassment, have since fined Riley Cooper an undisclosed sum and have also sent the player into to a sensitivity training course . Pardon me for saying this , but a mere monetary fine and a psyche course , encompassing sensitivity and allegedly teaching a person about etiquette , is too little , too late . If Riley Cooper, is simply not intelligent enough of an individual, to realize that his actions were indeed stupid and infantile. Then, it now sends a clear message as to the type of unintelligent individuals now in the NFL , never-mind that the player just happens to be another one of the products from the University of Florida (Gators) football program where Cooper and Aaron Hernandez were teammates and who played under the head coach, Urban Meyer . It now seems ironic that both players drafted in 2010 , now find themselves at the forefront of unwanted publicity , for all of the wrong reasons .

Cooper`s recent act of contrition, seems to be falling on deaf ears as to its sincerity. Meanwhile, several of his Eagles` teammates have come out openly in support of the now beleaguered and troubled wide receiver. How this must all sit with several of the player who happen to be of African American descent, may well be best represented by comments of the Eagles` quarterback Michael Vick , who stated “ it was time to move on and turn over a new leaf in this chapter “ . Vick`s younger sibling , Marcus Vick , took the opposite view, by going on notice , issuing a $1,000-00 bounty for anyone prepared to take out Riley Cooper on the field of play during the season .

I guess for Marcus Vick , he is unable to escape is own foibles and peccadilloes, in terms of his own career as a collegiate athlete? The younger Vick sibling`s past as a college player, was littered with controversy and went and in and also in terms of the troubles of his now elder and more widely known sibling, and his less than dignified past as it relates to his troubles with law enforcement .

With the resurgence of the Washington Redskins and the expected return to competitiveness of the New York Giants after an understated season in 2012 . It will be interesting to see how Chip Kelly`s Eagles will fare in 2013 , especially against their noted divisional rivals. Add into this all , the never-ending drama that always surrounds the Dallas Cowboys , and the NFC East could either prove to be a season of a comedy of errors or a season for fans to truly relish. Given the propensity of Cowboys` owner Jerry Jones to make bold predictions and the propensity of Tony Romo to simply implode in moments of undue pressure . I am inclined to believe that the fans are likely to be treated to a little of both over the entire regular season schedule !

The Eagles will start their season with an away game against Mike Shanahan and the Washington Redskins to be played at FedEx Field in Landover , Maryland . Last season`s two eventful divisional games between these two stalwarts of the NFC , with the Redskins coming away victorious in both divisional encounters were endemic of the division as a whole . Both losses signaled the turning point and the end of Andy Reid`s reign in Philadelphia, as the Eagles` longest serving head coach. Reid`s blinding loyalty to Vick and the very fact that the veteran quarterback`s declining skill-set did not seem to deter the much maligned coach that was indeed time for a change at the position. A 4-12 season and three straight losses to end the year, pretty much summed up 2012 for the Philadelphia Eagles and the firing of Andy Reid . To state that this came as a surprise , would have to be looked upon as comical . Yet, it seemed a sad way for the coach to depart after all of the success attained by the franchise during his reign . As to what the future holds for Eagles under Chip Kelly remains to be seen and whether or not Vick can recover from a disastrous season in 2012 .

The Minnesota Vikings and their running back Adrian Peterson provided the league last season with an astonishing experience . Peterson single-handed made us all, as NFL fans sit up and take note , as he sought to break the single season rushing record (2,105 yards) . The fact that the player came within eight yards of breaking Eric Dickerson`s mark recorded in the 1984 season , is enough to remind us all how astonishing the feat remains and that it has taken almost three decades for anyone to come remotely close to surpassing the feat . This season however, I believe that Peterson`s concentration will be set more on casing after team glory , rather than the sole purpose of singular personal achievement . Granted , should the player get off to an extremely fast start and is able to average just over 131.5 yards per game over the Vikings` first six games , then all bets could very well be off , as the reigning league MVP sets out once again an improbable journey of trying to break one of the league`s most cherished and recognized records .

The NFC North this season could prove to be logjam , with all four teams , the Chicago Bears , Detroit Lions , Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings , all looking to be in the thick of things , in what should prove to a very competitive division . In spite of the departures from the Packers` roster during the off season, and what I believe to be some prudent acquisitions as well as a very good draft class . This division, once again , will be the Packers for the taking and to do with as they please. If Mike McCarthy and his coaching assistants can remedy the woes of the defense , then there is every reason to believe that they can repeat as the divisional champions .

Weeks eight and twelve will see the two divisional meetings between the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings in 2013. Yet , I believe the most attractive match-up on the Packers` schedule is likely to be their opening game of the year against the reigning NFC champions the San Francisco 49ers , which will be played at Candlestick Park in San Francisco , California on the 8t September, 2013. It could very well be the most attractive of the regular season games to be played on the opening weekend of this NFL season . This game will pit the Niners` young and mercurial quarterback , Colin Kapernick against one of the league`s very best passers , in Aaron Rodgers of the Packers . While I believe San Francisco to have a slight edge, as on paper, they do appear to be the better balanced team . As we know, this is a new season, with teams seemingly focused on putting last year in their rear view mirror, as they seek to start anew .

I will say this for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers` GM Mark Dominik , he is certainly looking to make a name for himself amongst his peers within the NFL. Last season was a compendium major mistakes in terms of draft picks , personnel decisions as it related to free agent acquisitions . Yet above all, the one constant remains the lack of progress made in the game of quarterback Josh Freeman . Four years in and Freeman has yet to have a truly standard bearing game or string of games , that Buccaneers` fans can point to and say “ wow “! Josh Freeman knows that this season may well be the last chance for him to prove himself to be good enough to be thought of as a starting quarterback in the NFL . The doubts have definitely begun to set in concerning the player and I firmly believe that Greg Schiano`s patience is growing thin with the young signal caller and passer .

There is no doubt in my mind, that if Freeman shows any signs in the lack of confidence in is game and the belief of his teammates that he is the player to lead this unit. Then it is quite clear, that the decision will be made to trust rookie quarterback Mike Glennon into to the role, as the starter on this team . The saving grace for the Buccaneers in 2012, was the growth and maturity shown by Doug Martin , who simply exploded onto the scene in his rookie season for the franchise . Freeman will be given his chance during the preseason to show the fans that he is game ready and ready for the rigors of the regular season. He is likely to play several series in each of the four exhibition games . The first of the quartet of those games will be against the reigning Superbowl champions the Baltimore Ravens . As I alluded to earlier, I do not put a great deal of emphasis on the preseason, but I do believe that for Josh Freeman , this game be a make or break for him , based upon his performance and the confidence shown .

For the Buccaneers , a great deal will be predicated upon their season and how they are likely to fare against divisional rivals the Atlanta Falcons , Carolina Panthers and the New Orleans Saints . At best , I can see the team going no better than 3-3 within the NFC South , before taking aim against the remainder of the opponents on their 2013 regular season itinerary . The first of those games will be against the ongoing troubled and thought to be newsworthy New York Jets in game to be played at MetLife Stadium , in East Rutherford , New Jersey . Encounters between the two teams are not often memorable , with the last three meetings , being something of a none event for the parties concerned . If fully fit , then Buccaneers` defensive player Darrelle Revis will get the first chance to meet his former team, since being acquired in a highly publicized trade , as Mark Dominik opened up the vault and made a big splash to obtain the Pro Bowl caliber corner-back.

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Picture gallery .

In light of the recent behavior of NFL players , do you believe that the league hierarchy bears a certain a certain amount of responsibility in how those players conduct themselves on and off the field of play ? And do you believe that the Players` Union (NFLPA) should be working in conjunction more closely with the NFL in such matters ? Also, what if anything, are you most hoping to see from the preseason ? Finally, which team or teams do you believe could provide the biggest surprise of the regular and quite possibly the postseason ? Do leave a comment as you see fit , and thanks as always for the continued support of this site , as it is greatly appreciated !

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Picture and slideshow gallery details below.

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(1) In this Sunday, July 28, 2013, photo, Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper pauses during the NFL football team’s training camp in Philadelphia. Cooper has been fined by the team for making a racial slur at a Kenny Chesney concert that was caught on video, leading him to say he’s “ashamed and disgusted” with himself. The video of Cooper making the slur surfaced Wednesday, July 31, on the Internet. AP Photo/Michael Perez ….

(2) Eagles` wide receiver Riley Cooper receivers speaks to the convened press , while seeking to offer his apologies in what he claims was an altercation that took place at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania , between himself and an African American male at a Kenny Chesney concert . The player who claims he was intoxicated at the time, when he used several derogatory racial epithets in his encounter in what turned out to be a security personnel member at the venue . Cooper first `tweeted` an apology on Twitter before the viral altercation went live over the internet , having been seen by several hundred thousand viewers in the past few days . The Philadelphia Eagles seeking to distance themselves from the player have fined him and undisclosed sum and he as since been sent into a sensitivity training seminar . Teammates are said to be rallying around Cooper , offering him their support. As to how this will be viewed by other players around the NFL remains to be seen . AP Photo / Paul Castellano …

(3) Philadelphia Eagles starting quarterback Michael Vick (7) is seen here alongside is younger sibling Marcus Vick , himself a former college quarterback who had somewhat of an undistinguished career while at Virgina Tech , where he was dismissed from the program in 2006 . In the aftermath of the Riley Cooper incident , Marcus Vick has offered a $1,000-00 bounty for any NFL player willing to take out Cooper during an NFL game preseason or otherwise. The elder Vick , sibling , has been quick to distance himself from is brother`s ridiculous statement , coming out instead, to offer his own support of his now besieged teammate , Riley Cooper . Getty Images / Mark Frasier …..

(4) Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson hands a football to his son Adrian Jr. at the end of practice at NFL football training camp, Monday, July 29, 2013, in Mankato, Minn. AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall ….

(5) There is no quarterback controversy , but the embers are beginning to reheat as Tampa Bay Buccaneers` quarterback Josh Freeman once again comes under a great deal of criticism after a lackluster 2012 season . The player is seen here alongside head coach Greg Schiano during a game played against the Carolina Panthers at the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte , North Carolina , in a 2012 regular season meeting game between the two teams. The Buccaneers would go on to defeat Carolina 27-21 . Getty Images / Paul Ammon …..

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tophatal ……..

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NFL news

NFL transactions

Hall of Fame Game ….. Miami Dolphins away to the Dallas Cowboys at Texas Stadium , Arlington , Texas . Saturday , 4th August , 2013

NFL schedule 2013 preseason week one

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2013 NFL Draft

2012 NFL standings (divisional)

2012 NFL standings (conference)

2012 NFL schedule regular season and postseason

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Hot chics pics of the day , rapper and entrepreneur , Trina

Amber Rose

As one door closes , another one opens . For Christ’s sake , keep the f##king door shut !

As one door closes , another one opens . For Christ’s sake keep the f##king door shut !

Well the idiocy of the NFL Draft has come and gone , in spite of this high-profiled event , nothing will really be learned until many of these rookies get their first taste of the NFL , during week one of the upcoming season . And to hear many of these draft geeks and on air personalities speculate and prognosticate , you would’ve thought that all thirty-two teams in the NFL were in sheer dire straits . In reality this draft had more to do with personalities , lack of real talent in a vast array of areas , in spite of the recommendations being made by members of the media .

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Now Tim Tebow having been cut from the organization at the behest of GM John Idzik , speculation still remains as to the future of the team’s beleaguered quarterback , Mark Sanchez whose performances in 2012 , were amongst the worst in the AFC and NFL throughout much of last season .

Courtesy of Pro Footballtalk.com

Testaverde disappointed Tebow didn’t get a chance

By Darin Gantt

While just-released quarterback Tim Tebow hasn’t had much support today, at least one former Jet is disappointed he didn’t get a chance to stay.

Former quarterback Vinny Testaverde had worked with Tebow recently in Florida, and he said he saw significant mechanical improvement.

“I was kind of disappointed because I was hoping he’d get a chance to show the coaches what we worked on,” Testaverde told Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com. “I think they would’ve been impressed if they had compared this year to last year ” .

Testaverde spent a week with Tebow, concentrating on his footwork. In layman’s terms, Testaverde said Tebow “was stepping in the wrong direction when he was throwing the football.”

Testaverde also consulted with IMG instructor Chris Weinke, saying they “speak the same quarterback language” because they both played under Dan Henning.

“Chris and I looked at Tim careful and we were both amazed,” Testaverde said. “Everybody has been focusing on his throwing motion, trying to fix that, but nobody had picked up his footwork. His footwork was all screwed up. Chris and I looked at each other after about four or five throws, and we saw the same thing. We got his footwork fixed. His throwing motion is now a non-issue.

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Sanchez is owed in excess of $12.8 million for the upcoming season , but it seems that in all probability , John Idzik will seek a trade of the player, rather than retain him for the entire season while still having to make the financial outlay . He is due a roster bonus of $4.1 million due on the 1st June , and a possible trade partner , if anything would rather seek to only pay a nominal sum with regard to the player’s salary , and then assuming the remainder of Mark Sanchez’s contract from 2014 through to 2016 . This upcoming season for the Jets will be very interesting to see how they fare in their season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on the 8th September 2013 ,

It seems that fans , agents and analysts alike were simply surprised that a quarterback was not taken in the top ten of the first round of this NFL Draft . The fact that it was the Buffalo Bills , with the sixteenth pick in the first round taking EJ Manuel , made that whole premise all the more surprising . That being said , now consider the franchise’s options at the position , when you consider that Kevin Kolb is meant to be the Bills’ starter for the upcoming season . Shit , I’d rather walk on hot coals , rather than seeing Kolb quarterback any franchise within the NFL , as he simply does not possess the talent needed to be a starter in the NFL . Yet somehow, Bills’ head coach Doug Marrone and the front office believe the veteran to be their man . It is my belief , that sooner , rather than later , Manuel will be a starter in the league , quite possibly this season , if Kolb’s recent performances are anything to go by.

The AFC East , if nothing else , should prove to be a great deal fun , considering the antics of the teams from within the division and their performances from last season . Among the teams seeking redemption from last season’s nightmare , just happens to be the New York Jets , whose head coach , Rex Ryan barely escaped from the franchise’s purge of a mediocre coaching staff from 2012 . Out went , offensive coordinator , Tony Sparano , whose ides of team offense bordered on being absurd . And the very fact , that he has now joined the coaching staff of the Oakland Raiders , further enhances the notion , that coaching in the NFL , is no longer about creativity in terms of coaching talent but simply the “ rehashing” of “ mediocre coaches” “ , whose ideas are in essence , from a bygone age “ ! How else can one simply explain the fact that Sparano and Ryan were simply so how out of touch reality , while being allowed to ruin the franchise , and with asinine belief that Tim Tebow would be able to contribute to a team that was lacking in talent and creativity , never-mind poor coaching from every layer , within a considerably inept organization. Yet boneheaded individuals swayed by their emotions, continued to call for Tebow’s inclusion either as a starter or in some other capacity for the franchise . Fantasy geeks were either that blasé or simply that goddamn stupid, throughout much of 2012.

Sanchez is owed in excess of $12.8 million for the upcoming season , but it seems that in all probability , John Idzik will seek a trade of the player, rather than retain him for the entire season while still having to make the financial outlay . He is due a roster bonus of $4.1 million due on the 1st June , and a possible trade partner , if anything would rather seek to only pay a nominal sum with regard to the player’s salary , and then assuming the remainder of Mark Sanchez’s contract from 2014 through to 2016 . This upcoming season for the Jets will be very interesting to see how they fare in their season opener against Tampa Bay Buccaneers on the 8th September 2013 .

With this draft I expected the New England Patriots to do a great deal more than they did , but once again I believe they have failed miserably with this particular draft class . To try and suggest that Jamie Collin s , Aaron Dobson , Logan Ryan , Duron Harmon , Josh Boyce , Michael Buchanan and Steve Beauharnais . These are the players drafted by the organization with view redeeming itself after a monstrous postseason foray , which was best summed up in the team’s embarrassing loss to the eventual Superbowl champions , the Baltimore Ravens , in the AFC championship game . Given the team’s malaise during the game itself and the very fact that Bill Belichick was out-smarted and outmatched by his opposite number John Harbaugh .

I firmly believe that Belichick failed to address the concerns of this team on defense , albeit , that they made a few off-season deals that would suggest that he , GM Nick Caserio and the coaching staff have addressed the team’s failings over the past three seasons. ( 2012 , 2011 & 2010 ). This season if this team in its present guise is unable to address those woes , then the Patriots’ 2013 regular season foray is likely to be an extremely tough one . While fans and analysts alike will point to the potency of the team’s offense over the past few seasons . One should also remember , defense wins championships , and the offense is simply there , as the mainstay of the regular season .

With the NBA postseason now in full swing with the opening round series in some instances , all but established . It seems somewhat unbelievable to believe that the league’s two most renowned franchises are about to be or have been eliminated the first round of the NBA Playoffs . The Boston Celtics have fought back from the cusp of being eliminated in game four , but still find themselves with an almost insurmountable issue in having to still erase a 3-1 deficit in their first round series against the highly regarded New York Knicks .

Having watched this series unfold , to say that I am disappointed in the lack of commitment being shown by the Celtics , would be a tremendous understatement . The core of this roster simply is not good enough , nor has there been any leadership shown by seasoned veterans such as, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett . Granted , while Doc Rivers does not have the privilege of having the team’s best player on the court , It must be said , that as surely as Rajon Rondo is missed, it should not be made or seen as the primary excuse for the team’s poor play in this series . Knicks’ head coach Mike Woodson has simply instilled into this team a real “killer instinct” , not often witnessed with the Knicks’ teams from the franchise’s recent past .

It would be fair to suggest that the Boston Celtics and the franchise’s front office will have to reassess the makeup of this roster and look to build around either Rondo or seek to bring in a marquee free agent during the off-season . Certainly , GM Danny Ainge and senior managing partner Wyc Grousbeck will have to come to a decision , sooner , rather than later as it relates to the immediate and long-term future of this renowned franchise .

This series may well be far from over in the eyes of the Celtics’ fans and players, and it does seem highly unlikely that the team will be derail what now appears to be a focused Knicks’ team obviously looking towards that perceived showdown with the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals . Alas , it is my belief that after all of the in-fighting within the Boston Celtics’ locker room and the animosity that allegedly lingered between Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen wasn’t quashed by the coaching staff , head coach or by the Kevin Garnett , the perceived leader of this roster . Instead , Garnett chose to show his immaturity , by berating his former teammate , haranguing him , after his departure , but even more so , when it was announced that Allen had signed with the reigning NBA champions , the Miami Heat.

These are certainly the twilight years in the careers of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce , certainly , two players that are likely to be enshrined in the Naismith (Basketball) Hall of Fame , having met the eligibility requirements upon their retirement .

Despite their value and profitability , it would be fair to say that the Los Angeles Lakers are the most storied franchise in NBA history alongside their most heated rivals the Boston Celtics . With the two franchises accounting for over thirty of the NBA Finals competed for in NBA history .

In what wasn’t seen as a strange turn of events, when the Bryant-less Lakers met the San Antonio Spurs in their opening round series , expectation were high. Instead lackluster … performances , an injury riddled roster and the growing immaturity of Dwight Howard shone through , in what can be best described as piss poor performances all-round from every participant on this Los Angeles Lakers roster during the series. And you simply know things are bad for the franchise when one of the Lakers’ most celebrated fans , actor , Jack Nicholson offers his congratulations to Gregg Popovich and the entire Spurs’ roster , while ignoring several members of the Los Angeles Lakers’ playing staff.

With the Lakers being swept 4-0 in the series , it was the franchise’s earliest exit in the postseason , where the Lakers has a lost series , in such an embarrassing fashion , with that coming in the 1967 Western Conference Semi-Finals to the San Francisco Warriors (Golden State Warriors) .

Mitch Kupchak and SVP Jim Buss now have the unenviable task of assessing the roster and making a number of far-reaching decisions as it relates to the makeup of this team . In my m honest opinion , the general manager and team owner have erred in so many decisions as it relates to this franchise in recent years , that it has been a constant comedy of errors , watching the Lakers as their season came to an abrupt end. Suffice to say , with Dwight Howard showing a real lack of commitment and his getting into foul trouble in the third quarter of game four (103-82) , the fate of this team was sealed as the Spurs came away with a rather lopsided victory , as they now await the victor of the series between the Los Angeles Clippers and Memphis Grizzlies .

The Los Angeles Lakers, are now left on the outside looking in , as their season has simply gone up in flames . In all likelihood, with the Lakers’ bloated payroll ($100.1 million) , and no semblance of financial rationale for the never-ending stupidity to simply overpay for marginal talent , much as it would appear to be for a number teams around the NBA , while David Stern inexcusably tries to make the claim that the franchises of the NBA are financially responsible . Perhaps the NBA Commissioner could indicate the transparency of the claims he continually makes ? Once a boneheaded asshole , always a boneheaded asshole ! Nothing more , nothing less as it relates to David Stern !

ESPN’s David Aldridge is reporting that there will be a stay of execution as it relates to the sale of Sacramento Kings by the Maloof family to a consortium led by billionaire venture capitalist , Chris Hansen and Microsoft Chairman Steve Ballmer . In what is said to be a last-ditch attempt by the city of Sacramento mayor , Kevin Johnson , it appears that the NBA hierarchy and its Board of Governors have vetoed the sale of the franchise , and the consortium’s bid of almost $600 million is now likely to be overruled ,with the commissioner having been left with egg on his face , as initially he welcomed the pursuant bid of Hansen and Ballmer .

Courtesy of ESPN

In shocking twist, the Kings will likely stay in Sacramento

By David Aldridge

The NBA has all but officially decided to keep the Sacramento Kings in Sacramento.

In a unanimous vote of the league’s combined Relocation and Finance committees Monday afternoon, 12 NBA owners recommended that the league’s Board of Governors vote to deny the relocation of the Kings to Seattle — and, in doing so, deny the sale of the team from the Maloof Family to a Seattle-based group led by hedge fund manager Chris Hansen and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

The recommendation will be taken up by the full Board for a formal vote the week of May 13. But it is almost certain that the full Board will go along with the recommendation and vote to keep the Kings in Sacramento, at least for another year.

Relocating a team requires a majority, or 16 of the league’s 30 teams to vote yes. As 12 teams have already voted no, that means the Seattle group would have to get 16 of the league’s remaining 18 teams to vote yes, a near-impossibility. And once relocation is voted down, the sale of the team to Hansen’s group would follow, for Hansen has consistently said he was only interested in buying the Kings if he could move them to Seattle.

“I’ve never been prouder of this city,” Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson Tweeted Monday afternoon. “I thank the ownership group, city leaders, but most of all the BEST FANS IN THE NBA!!!”

While the Maloofs are not obligated to sell the Kings, they will now be under incredible pressure to do so, after Sacramento put together a group led by software magnate Vivek Ranadive, who would be the first majority NBA owner of Indian descent. Ranadive’s group submitted a formal bid to the NBA earlier this month that NBA Commissioner David Stern said was comparable to the Seattle bid, and which the league considered binding.

It is not clear what steps the league could take if the Maloofs opt not to negotiate with the Ranadive group or sell to it. Stern reiterated earlier this month that the league does generally allow owners to sell to whomever they want, provided the new owners’ finances are in place, even though the league decides whether teams will be allowed to move.

The league also knew that its owners’ decision would rip the heart out of one city or the other. There was no solution that could make both happy.

“It’s not exactly comparing two cities,” a source with knowledge of the discussions said Monday. “It’s been hard to leave a place that’s been good to the NBA. Leaving a team, leaving a city, leaving a bunch of fans when they stepped up. That’s what it is.”

The decision caps an incredible comeback by the city of Sacramento, which looked doomed to lose its team after Hansen and the Maloofs announced in January they had reached a binding deal for the Maloofs to sell 65 percent of the team to Hansen, or $341 million, on a franchise valuation of $525 million. Hansen gave the Maloofs a non-refundable $30 million deposit as part of the agreement.

Ranadive’s group, according to an April 17 letter from the Maloof Family to the league that was leaked to the media, agreed to match the $525 million valuation for the team, but wanted to give the Maloofs a $15 million non-refundable deposit instead of $30 million. The Maloofs claimed that entering into an agreement with the Sacramento group would constitute a breach of contract with the Hansen group and would reduce the family’s leverage to negotiate in case the league vetoed the sale to the Hansen group.

Hansen had meticulously put together a plan over two years, purchasing land near Major League Baseball’s Safeco Field on which he wanted to build a new arena for an NBA and National Hockey League team. He reached an agreement with the city of Seattle for construction of a $491 building with up to $200 million in public funds.

But Sacramento, led by Johnson, came roaring back, putting together its own arena deal and ownership group, first led by supermarket mogul Ron Burkle and 24-Hour Fitness founder Mark Mastrov. But Burkle had to drop out of the team and arena plans after a conflict of interest with one of his businesses, which represents NBA players, was discovered.

Burkle was replaced by Ranadive, a minority owner of the Golden State Warriors, who quickly became the face of the Sacramento group. The city and the Ranadive Group reached agreement on construction of a $447 million arena, with Sacramento contributing $258 million toward the costs.

The Board of Governors postponed a final vote on whether to accept the Seattle or Sacramento plans when it met earlier this month, with NBA Commissioner David Stern citing the incredibly complex issues the league faced. Could it vote to leave a city whose fans had been incredibly loyal over the years, and who had reached agreement with the Maloofs last year on a new arena deal, only to see the family walk away?

On the other hand, Seattle had famously lost its team, which became the Oklahoma City Thunder, in 2008, and the NBA had lost a potentially dynamic market. The Hansen bid for the Kings wildly inflated the value of all other NBA teams, and the potential revenues from a regional sports network and other corporate dollars made Seattle an enticing city. In addition, Hansen’s group went about its business quietly, as the NBA prefers.

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For the last eight years the Sacramento Kings have been one of the least supported franchises in the NBA , along with being one of the least profitable of the NBA’s thirty teams . Why in the world Johnson would seek retain a loss making concern that is barely supported with anemic attendance level seems somewhat idiotic , but for the life of me I cannot understand the reasoning behind the mayor’s madness when his city has its very own budgetary woes to deal with . As with any asinine politician, who ill-serves his electorate, and the citizens who have entrusted him to lead. It does beg the question , will he now seek to use public resources to aid millionaire software magnate Vivek Ranadive and his last-minute bid for the Western Conference franchise ? Ranadive stepped into the fray , the moment this consortium hastily put together by Kevin Johnson , when billionaire real estate magnate , Ron Burkle dropped out the syndicate citing personal and professional reasons . In reality, Burkle’s concerns lay elsewhere , as he is one of the lead developers of the downtown Los Angeles area, seeking build a commercial and private real estate development , that will potentially house a 85,000 to 100,000 seat stadium with the view of luring a relocating or a new NFL franchise into the nation’s second largest ad market and its second most populated city. Be that as it may , my question for commissioner , if he is now prepared be mindful of the Board of Governors’ wish in such an instance . Then what in essence is now so different here from the same situation that arose when the Seattle Supersonics’ sale to Clay Bennett , when that franchise was then relocated to Oklahoma City ? Clearly , the league hierarchy , in this instance, has never acted with any real transparency , as it relates to their decision-making .

Many of you will know by now, that there were allegations made that the NBA acted with a great deal of subterfuge as they simply sought to relocate the Sonics’ franchise because of the advantage tax breaks that would be received by the Oklahoma City Thunder , from the municipality of Oklahoma City . Over the first five years of the residency within their new home (Chesapeake Energy Center) , the franchise was able to receive in excess of $65 million in tax breaks and other lucrative benefits for the state of Oklahoma’s only professional NBA franchise , much less its only professional sport’s franchise. It now begs the question what benefits will the city of Sacramento offer to the new ownership group of the Kings and their wish to remain in the California state capitol ? Is this really how Kevin Johnson and his fellow city commissioners wish to spend the goodwill and the resources of the city, while the NBA once again profits from this all. Most of all, the biggest benefactors from this all will remain the Maloof Family , and the lead siblings, Joe and Gavin Maloof , who preside over the sports’ interests of the familial holdings .

If Vivek Ranadive’s bid is now approved , and the Maloofs walk away with their newfound cash haul of $600 million to aid them in now ailing business interests as it relates to the family’s beverage , hospitality and transportation interests , their departure from the ranks of owners within the NBA fraternity , cannot come around quick enough in some circles . Joe and Gavin Maloof’s alleged business acumen as it relates to the Kings , has been at best , mediocre and a complete farce . The very fact that GM Geoff Petrie has also presided in and over this fu#king mess , makes it all the more asinine , that David Stern continues to make these dubious claims as to the league’s continued financial health and well-being. Meanwhile, anally retentive fans, continue to buy into the commissioner’s continued bull$hit ! The sooner the commissioner departs from his post , the better off NBA will be ! Unfortunately, Stern’s heir-apparent , Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver will assume his role in February 2014 and will follow in the same vein, as his predecessor. What else could the NBA ask for, at this juncture ? Simply one more reason to see the NBA for what it has simply become , a brand and business template completely devoid of character , integrity but above all , real leadership from anyone with a position of authority. Does anyone actually believe that David Stern has always acted in the best interest of the league?

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What thoughts if any do you have concerning the points raised within this piece ? By all means do leave a comment as you deem fit , concerning the subject matter and anything else that you believe to be pertinent .

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Tophatal ……….. 2013/04/29

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Picture and slideshow details below .

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(1) In this Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012 photo, New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow (15) warms up before an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills in Orchard Park, N.Y. The New York Jets say, Monday, April 29, 2013, they have waived Tebow. AP Photo/Gary Wiepert ….

(2) Tim Tebow (15) is seen here alongside his now former teammate, Mark Sanchez(6) , after the former Heisman Trophy winner was waived by the franchise . The New York Jets still have 5 quarterbacks remaining on the roster . There now seems to be mounting speculation that Sanchez is likely to be traded by the Jets , should they be able to find a suitable trade partner willing to undertake the remainder of the player’s sizable contract . GM John Idzik and head coach Rex Ryan have refused to speculate on Mark Sanchez’s immediate future at this juncture . AP Photo / Richard Carter ….

(3) Jets’ front office executive John Idzik, left, sits next to New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan while waiting to be introduced as the Jets new general manager on the Jan 24th, 2013 . AP Photo / Mark Ruffo …..

(4) West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith is seen here making his first public appearance as a member of the New York Jets . The quarterback was drafted as in the second round by the AFC East franchise . Smith hopes to make an immediate impact and contribution for the Jets this upcoming season . Yet it appears unlikely that he will be the starter in week one , as the common belief is , that veteran quarterback David Garrard will be the starting quarterback in that game , their season opener , against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers . Getty Images North America / Paul Windham …..

(5) Veteran quarterback David Garrard, pictured inset , is likely to be the team’s starting quarterback during the regular season , but he is likely to face stiff competition from newly drafted rookie Geno Smith , as well as the other passers on the roster seeking to become the primary quarterback in the team’s depth chart . AFP / Ricardo Marchiallo ….

(6) New York Knicks’ Raymond Felton (2) gets a high-five from a teammate as Boston Celtics’ Doc River s walks onto the court after calling a time out during the second quarter of Game 3 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Boston, Friday, April 26, 2013. AP Photo/Winslow Townson ….

(7) New York Knicks’ Iman Shumpert (21) tries to control the ball as Boston Celtics’ Paul Pierce (34) struggles with Knicks’ Kenyon Martin , far right, during the second half in Game 4 of a first round NBA basketball playoff series in Boston, Sunday, April 28, 2013. The Celtics won 97-90 in overtime. AP Photo/Elise Amendola …..

(8) Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol (16) , of Spain, knocks the ball out of the hands of San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan during the second half in Game 4 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series , Sunday, April 28, 2013, in Los Angeles. The Spurs won 103-82 and swept the Lakers in four games to bring the Los Angeles’ franchise’s season to an abrupt end . AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill ….

(9) Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard , right, looks on along with San Antonio Spurs guard Gary Neal , left, after receiving a technical foul during the first half in Game 4 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series, Sunday, April 28, 2013, in Los Angeles. Howard scored seven points before getting ejected early in the third quarter for arguing . The Spurs won 103-82 . What we have seen from Dwight Howard in recent years has been the player’s growing immaturity and complete lack of leadership skills , but there are those who stand by the claim that he remains the best center in the NBA , and that may well be the case from a defensive and offensive standpoint , but it has to be said that he lacks the leadership qualities as such revered centers as Shaquille O’Neal , David Robinson , Hakeem Olajuwon , Kareem Abdul-Jabbar , Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain . AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill ….

(10) Indian-American software mogul Vivek Ranadive who is now showing an interest in purchasing the beleaguered Sacramento Kings . In the aftermath of 12 of the NBA’s thirty owners voting against the sale and relocation of the franchise , it now leaves the road clear for Ranadive’s bid to be accepted by the league hierarchy and Board of Governors . Getty Images North America / Bill Parker ……….

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Hot chic pic of the day Jordan Carver .

More of Carver on the move , just as you may well like it , or not .

Take it from me , those puppies of Carvers’ need to be sucked and played with a great deal , if only in fun !

Age, is simply, nothing but a number , yet , when it catches up with you , it does make one look old

Age, is simply, nothing but a number , yet , when it catches up with you , it does make one look old

Having spent a decade in armed forces of Her Majesty’s government as a member of the British Royal Marines , I have to admit that those years were some of the best and the most formative of my adult life ! Two decades plus , later , and here I am , residing in the USA , Central Florida of all places , and I am amazed as an ardent sport’s fan , to hear others quip and the belly aching of fans , as to the merits of their teams ! And nowhere is this more cognizant, than with the self-absorbed fans of the teams, residing within the Big Apple , New York City , to be exact . Granted, the Buffalo Bills failed miserably last season , with the intra-conference rivals the New York Giants , also failing to show any resolve over the course of their season . And the less said , about the three-ringed circus , known as the New York Jets , the better the whole world becomes !

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As if to further place emphasis on how asinine the world of the NFL now becomes this time of the year , consider the fact, that teams will now start to trim the fat from their rosters , as they deem to be necessary , all to fit in, under a league mandated salary cap that has increased exponentially each season . Yet , repeatedly , rarely do you hear of the league hierarchy , speaking of financial restraint being shown on the part of owners , and the front office executives . Instead, it is left with NFL Commissioner , Roger Goodell , regaling us with the fact the NFL revenues are increasing , while he purports to suggest , that he is working to make the game safer . Unfortunately, those claims are false and falling on deaf ears , when one considers the fact that the NFL , still remains a defendant in at least 275 civil suits within the legal system , at varying levels within the US Courts , ranging from the state to the Federal Level . In midst of this , all , $ 1 billion ($1,000,000,000), set aside to assist in providing benefits for retired veterans of the past still remains unused , yet when questioned on the matter , Goodell and his union counterpart , DeMaurice Smith of the NFLPA (Players’ Union) , somehow cannot provide a suitable answer , as to the reasons why that money has yet to find its way into the hands of those who need it the most .

Courtesy of USA Today

Flat salary cap forcing NFL teams to restructure numerous contracts

By Mark Garafalo , USA Today

In the NFL right now, Paul is making out like a bandit. It’s Peter who’s getting robbed.

With the start of the league year approaching and a salary cap flatter than most expected, there’s been a run of what have been termed “restructures” around the league. It’s a term that connotes a somewhat involved process, but it’s actually a simple move in which the money a player is slated to receive in the current season is repackaged as a signing bonus, thus allowing the proration of the guaranteed money to be spread over the rest of the contract.

Like the saying goes, it’s robbing Peter to pay Paul: All of the cap room saved in the current year is being pushed back to later years.

It happens every year in the NFL as competitive teams spend up to the cap to fill in the final pieces of what they believe is a Super Bowl-worthy roster. But the extent of the occurrences this year hasn’t been seen in the league since the late 1990s and early 2000s when teams were still trying to learn how to manage the salary cap.

By now, teams know better. Or at least they should.

FREE AGENCY PREVIEW: AFC East

MORE: Where should Patriots devote newfound cap space ?

With clubs like the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers having to restructure the deals of as many as 10 players, it’s an indication much of the league was caught off guard by how flat the cap has been under the new collective bargaining agreement. (However in the Cowboys’ case, they must finish serving a $10 million cap penalty assessed against them last year for overspending during the cap-less 2010 offseason.)

This season, it’s expected to be roughly $123 million, which is where it was back in 2009 in the final capped year of the previous CBA. The cap won’t spike in coming years despite the expected influx of big dollars from TV contracts in 2015.

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In baseball , the standings and the postseason simply reflected how awful the New York Mets and their crosstown rivals , the New York Yankees , just happened to be ! With Spring Training now in full swing , and the World Baseball Classic said to be an international team tournament , said to represent the “best of the best “ of the international talent available

for the fans to observe . I am now, beginning to wonder how much longer MLB and IBAF (International Baseball Federation) FAB can carry on with this ridiculous charade ! Hopefully , not ,much longer given the dire mediocrity of the play coming from several of these international teams , including Team USA, itself . This is one competition; I believe that the world can do without !

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The ailing and aging New York Yankees are now in a world of trouble , with Mark Teixeira , Alex Rodriguez , Curtis Granderson , and a still unfit Derek Jeter , still being uncertain as to when his return might be. The three aforementioned players, beyond, Jeter , remains on the team’s disabled list.

The loss of that triumvirate , along with Derek Jeter , represent and an offense that led the league and the AL home runs . Teixeira , Granderson, Rodriguez and Jeter , accounted for 100 of the team’s 245 home runs in 2012 , an AL record for the season . Moreover, the real issue with the Yankees , remains their pitching , and other their starting pitcher, C C Sabathia, one could attest to the fact that the team’s pitching remains their Achilles’ Heel .

One of the more pressing issues to resolve for GM Brian Cashman will be the impending status of the team’s second baseman , thirty-year old , Robinson Cano , perhaps the Yankees’ best all-round player , and in many fans’ eyes , the heir-apparent to Derek Jeter , as the team captain. The player becomes a free agent in 2014 , and one seriously doubts that the ball-club would like to see Cano , seek to test the free agency market . A highly desirable and productive player , it would not be out of the realms of imagination to see Robinson Cano be offered a multi-year , multimillion dollar contract. At present, the second baseman, is in the final year of a four-year $30 million deal .

As the Yankees, make their way through their preseason schedule , it will be interesting to see how the team fares , and how Joe Girardi goes about assessing his roster of none roster invitees and every day players , seeking out the strengths and weaknesses of the squad overall . . The team opens their regular season schedule , with a three game set against their heated divisional rivals, the Boston Red Sox , at Fenway Park , in Boston , Massachusetts , with their first meeting on the 1st April, 2013. In the ensuing months , there will be a great deal, that we are liable to learn about this team , the organization , and the fans , themselves .

The NBA this season , has left a lot to be desired , while fans are looking for feel-good stories , which have been few and far between . OK, so we have the Golden State Warriors within the Western Conference surprising everyone with their resiliency , and the recent play of Steph Curry has been exceptional , to say the very least . Yet , beyond that, there are no real break-out stories , which seemingly have the fans on the edge of their seats . The NBA defending champions , the Miami Heat , are making their division and Eastern Conference seem like something of a cakewalk , as they simply stroll through , slaying their opponents , almost at will.. So much so, that it seems , that head coach , Erik Spoelstra has an embarrassment of riches , by way his roster’s star laden makeup . As the team’s season has progressed , we have seen LeBron James systematically raise the level of his play , to the point , where we must now ask “ since the heydays of Michael Jordan, has there ever been a player this dominant within the NBA , with such an sound all-round game “ ?

Sixteen straight wins , for the Heat , and the NBA analysts, are now looking for “ superlatives “ to describe the team , as well as the play of James , who remains the leading candidate for the League MVP award, a trophy , which he won for the third time, last season , in his already illustrious career . And while his legend grows , so too , are the flattering comparisons that are being made. It is way too early to make either the suggestion or the comparison as to the greatness of LeBron James . What we do know , it is , that he is now the preeminent player in the NBA , with perhaps only Kevin Durant , being remotely close by comparison , in the creation of a “budding rivalry”. A much-needed rivalry , I might add , because although the belief is that the league has a dearth of extremely talented players . In reality , what we do have, is a handful of very good players , one truly dominant player , and perhaps no more than two or three very good teams , now playing in the NBA .

At the start of the season , a great deal was made concerning the strengths of the Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks . With the Nets having relocated from New Jersey to their lavish and palatial venue , the Barclays Center in downtown , Brooklyn , New York . Nets’ owner , Mikhail Prokhorov , the billionaire Russian oil and financial magnate , and majority stakeholder /owner of the multi-billion dollar development , that houses commercial and residential estate, as well as the NBA’s newest venue , was meant , to signal the reawakening and relevance of a newly revamped Nets’ team , led by their All Star point guard , Deron Williams . The point guard, and the newly acquired Joe Johnson , were meant to provide the glitz and glamor to rival that of their more renowned erstwhile rivals, the New York Knicks . However, what has taken place with the franchise this season , is one of sheer ambiguity and the very fact that Brooklyn Net are simply not a very good team. Certainly not good enough, to be seen as a credible challenger, to the might of the Miami Heat. And while the Nets’ fans might beg to differ as to how their team might well be viewed by the rest of the fans around the NBA . The fact of the matter , is that the evidence is there for all to see , and which has been witnessed by the inconsistent play by the franchise over the course of the season. Avery Johnson , head coach of the Nets at the start of the year, would be relieved of his duties , by GM , Billy King , after it was felt that Johnson had lost control of the team. Speculation began to mount , that the firing of the coach came at the behest of Williams, who is said to have clashed with Avery Johnson , on more than one occasion concerning the style of play of the team. Shades of Jerry Sloan’s departure, from the Utah Jazz, Williams’ former team , and how it all went down ? I will leave that for you all , to speculate on .

Johnson’s successor, veteran head coach , P J Carlesimo , and it must be said, there were signs of improved play, only for there to be a subsequent tapering off as the team faltered. The Nets’ most recent game played against the lowly Charlotte Bobcats , a team that once again seems to be on the verge of creating NBA history , by ending the season with the league’s worst record . In 2011 , that was most certainly , the case with the Bobcats’ front office , having no idea , as how to get the franchise heading in the right direction. Team owner , Michael Jordan and GM , Rich Cho , will have a number of issues to address this off-season concerning this team and the makeup of its roster . Chances are , the Bobcats will be part of the NBA Draft Lottery pick , when the draft comes around .

The Nets for their part , now holding down the fourth seed within the conference , a potential playoff opponent , would appear to be the Chicago Bulls (34-26), a team whose defensive prowess has kept them in close games throughout much of their season schedule . Leading the Bulls ,without their All Star and former MVP point guard , Derrick Rose , we have seen Carlos Boozer , Luol Deng , but most notably , Joakim Noah , playing at a level not often seen with this two-time NCAA championship winning Florida Gator .

Inasmuch, as high praise has been heaped upon the New York Knicks this season and the fact that they have led the Atlantic Division throughout much of their schedule. To my mind, the biggest disappointment remains the fact that this team has an aversion to playing defense , in spite of the claims of their fans . A strong case, could be made that although Mike Woodson demands it, of his players , they somehow, only play defense as and when they see fit for the need to do so. They remain, one of the league’s best offensive units , but therein lies the misnomer for the players on this roster . What use, is a prolific offense , when you simply resist the desire and discipline to defend ?

With an aging core , in terms of its roster , the one thing that this Knicks’ team remains susceptible to , are injuries to their core group of players , but more so, to their veterans , players such as , Rasheed Wallace , Jason Kidd , Marcus Camby , Kurt Thomas and Amar`e Stoudemire . All season long for the New York Knicks , it has been the Carmelo Anthony “ show” , while he has been ably assisted by J R Smith , Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton . Personally , now , I feel that the prospects of the Knicks having a deep and successful run in the postseason , are not as assured , as they might well have been two weeks ago ! It has been the team’s inconsistency in large part , which has been all the more thought-provoking , beyond the fact that as the season enters the final third of its arduous schedule , things now become a great deal tougher , as teams now jockey themselves for position , the divisional races , and conference berths , with a view to entering the postseason.

A patron , who is a frequent guest to my columns , suggested that former Miami Heat and Orlando Magic head coach , Stan Van Gundy , was one of the better coaches that we have seen within the NBA in recent years . Van Gundy , no longer with a team , now awaits an opportunity to come his way , and a speedy return to the league . Both Van Gundy , and his sibling , Jeff Van Gundy are but a few of the siblings to have either played or coached alongside in each other in NBA history . Jeff , is now a respected NBA commentator and analyst for TNT Tv , and his astute observations , do provide some levity , as part of that network’s broadcast coverage. Stan Van Gundy ,with an all-time win percentage of .641 would fall behind only Gregg Popovich and Tom Thibodeau among active head coaches in that specific category . However, in light of that , as good a coach as Stan Van Gundy is said to be , I have always judged a head coach, not only by the success attained , but also by the players that he developed, from their being drafted and then becoming established stars . In reality , I have yet to see view the former Heat and Magic head coach in that endeavor ! Granted , as I alluded to earlier , he is a very good coach , more so an X’s and O’s type of individual , when placed in the right type of environment. His last coaching foray , with the Magic, was well chronicled , wherein , it all came to an embattled and bitter end , with the fallout between the coach , the Magic front office executives , but also , his contentious relationship , with former Magic center , Dwight Howard. Suffice to say , the pairs’ behavior, bordered on being rather infantile and less than honorable . Could one have asked for anymore ?

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Picture gallery .

In light of the opinions, raised, within this article , what thoughts do you have on the points raised ? By all means do leave a comment as you deem fit on this , and anything else you believe to be pertinent to the subject matter . Thanks , as always for the continued support of this site and of the content matter overall , as it is greatly appreciated !

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By Tophatal

More sports’ related pieces within this site : NFL , NBA , MMA , MLB , Boxing , College Basketball , Soccer

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(1) FILE – In this Dec. 20, 2012, file photo, Buffalo Bills linebacker Shawne Merriman (56) walks on the field before an NFL football game against the New York Jets in Orchard Park, N.Y. Merriman is calling it “Lights Out” on his career , announcing on his website, Tuesday, March 5, 2013, that he plans to retire. AP Photo/Bill Wippert, File …

(2) Buffalo Bills head coach Doug Marrone answers a question during a news conference at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Friday, Feb. 22, 2013. The first year head coach , faces a rough first season , with major roster moves having been made during the off-season , as the Bills seek reduce cap space , in order for the upcoming NFL Draft and to acquire potential free agents . AP Photo/Michael Conroy …

(3) New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan warms up during Clemson Pro Day on Thursday, March 7, 2013 in Clemson, S.C. AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt …

(4) New York Jets defensive back Darrelle Revis runs on the field before the preseason NFL football game between the New York Jets and the New York Giants Saturday, Aug. 18, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J. There now seems to be mounting speculation that the Jets may well seek to trade the corner-back who spent much of the team’s 2012 schedule on injured reserve . AP Photo/Bill Kostroun …..

(5) New York Mets’ Wilmer Flores hits a home run off Venezuela pitcher Enrique Gonzalez during the ninth inning of an exhibition baseball game , Wednesday, March 6, 2013, in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Venezuela won 14-10. AP Photo/Julio Cortez …

(6) Home plate umpire Chris Segal , left, gestures a called strike on New York Mets’ Travis d’Arnaud , right, for the final out, next to Venezuela catcher Miguel Montero in an exhibition baseball game, Wednesday, March 6, 2013, in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Venezuela won 14-10. AP Photo/Julio Cortez …

(7) Atlanta Braves’ Justin Upton follows through on an RBI ground-out off New York Yankees’ David Phelps during the first inning of a spring training baseball game , Tuesday, March 5, 2013, in Tampa, Fla. At right is Yankees catcher Chris Stewart . AP Photo/Matt Slocum …

(8) TAMPA, FL – FEBRUARY 20: Robinson Cano (24) of the New York Yankees poses for a portrait on February 20, 2013 at George Steinbrenner Stadium in Tampa, Florida. The player who becomes a free agent , seeks a long-term deal with the Yankees’ organization , but it appears that GM Brian Cashman and managing partner Hank Steinbrenner are said to be unsure that it would be productive in offering Cano such a deal . Leading to speculation that the ball club might be willing to allow the player to test the free agency market in 2014 . Photo by Elsa Martinez /Getty Images …

(9) From left, Golden State Warriors’ Harrison Barnes, Andrew Bogut , David Lee , and Step Curry watch from the bench during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Sacramento Kings Wednesday, March 6, 2013, in Oakland, Calif. AP Photo/Ben Margot ….

(10) CHARLOTTE, NC – MARCH 06: Deron Williams(8) of the Brooklyn Nets shoots over Ben Gordon (8) of the Charlotte Bobcats during their game at Time Warner Cable Arena on March 6, 2013 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images …

(11) Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant drives past New York Knicks’ Tyson Chandler , right, during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Thursday, March 7, 2013, in New York. The Thunder won 95-94 . AP Photo/Frank Franklin II …

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Kimbella

Hot chic , pic of the day

It’s not just practice , athleticism , it is also about character , character, character and integrity ….

It’s not just practice , athleticism , it is also about character , character, character and integrity .
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By Tophatal

If you don’t believe character plays a part, in the determination of a player or should I say an athlete’s status , then think again . So much of what I’ve read by patrons within this domain, simply veers around ability , rather than looking at other innate intangibles . If one tends to overlook character and integrity in the belief that also isn’t a desired trait in an athlete , then that front office executive along with the coaching staffs in question , are liable to end up with egg on their face .

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Throughout the years teams within the MLB , NBA , NFL and NHL have made costly blunders by way of their draft choices by simply going after what they believe to be a great athlete , rather than looking at a number of other intangibles . With the 2013 NFL Draft set for April , from the 22nd to the 24th , it will be interesting to see how those teams go about making their choices as it relates to the franchises’ needs at the time . Already, there seems to concerns over a number of players and their presumed status . Perhaps, no more so, than it relates to Notre Dame defensive player and Heisman Trophy candidate finalist , Manti Te`o.

As good as Te’o was said to be for the Fighting Irish during the season , undoubtedly, it was the player’s apparent off the field issues that brought more attention and his claims that he was duped into an online relationship with a female he had never met, Lennay Kekua, whom he insisted was his girlfriend . Having come forward to profess his love for this female , Manti Te’o would then go on to inform us of the untimely death of his grandmother , and then, that of his girlfriend. What we now know , is that the whole episode as it related to Kekua, and played out chronologically, was false and littered with a great deal of perception on the part of the perpetrator and by Manti Te’o , who for some apparent reason, chose to play along with this charade . The individual in question, who engineered this deception, was a male admirer of the Notre Dame Player. Roniaoh Tuiasasopo, a closeted homosexual, claimed that his intent was simply to get the athlete reciprocate what he felt was a reciprocal emotional affinity with the athlete . Yeah , that’s the sort of horse-#hit you tend to read about when there’s said to be a psychologically imbalanced individual on the loose . ” I want him to love me , but , he doesn’t know I’m male and not female ” !

Notre Dame AD , Jack Swarbrick , jumped to the defense of the athlete without ever apparently obtaining a full explanation from Manti Te’o , as to his original statements about his now apparent imaginary girlfriend. Te’o , a defensive lineman and linebacker for Notre Dame, is thought to be a consensus top ten pick in the upcoming NFL Draft . . If Teo’s actions are not seen as a sign of the player’s lack of credibility and integrity , then can someone advise me, what is ? Because , with the young Irish player now claiming that his actions should not affect his draft status , as he should be judged purely by his accomplishments on the field .Granted , Manti Te’o was very good for his team throughout much of the season , but when it mattered most , both the player , team and coaching staff were simply nowhere to be seen , as Alabama , literally blew their opponents of the field in the BCS national title game with a rather embarrassingly lopsided 42-14 victory .

If Teo’s actions are not seen as a sign of the player’s lack of credibility and integrity , then can someone advise me, what is ? Because , with the young Irish player now claiming that his actions should not affect his draft status , as he should be judged purely by his accomplishments on the field .Granted , Manti Te’o was very good for his team throughout much of the season , but when it mattered most , both the player team and coaching staff were simply nowhere to be seen as Alabama , literally blew their opponents of the field in the BCS national title game with a rather embarrassingly lopsided 42-14 victory .

I do believe that Manti Te’o is likely to be a first round draft pick in this upcoming NFL Draft . However, the question remains , which team is likely to take this young man , given his lack of maturity , but yet, his undoubted skills ? We know that several franchises around the NFL are desperate for NFL defensive help , and at a wide variety of positions , beyond linebacker . At the end of the day, it will be left to the general managers and head coaches , to come to a decision which will undoubtedly have far-reaching ramifications for their long-term ambitions, no matter which way one seeks to look at this situation .

Well the “culling “ has begun in the NFL as teams seek to gain some exposure and placed themselves in a healthy position under the proposed NFL salary cap , which is likely to be in the region of $126.5 million for the upcoming season . And for several franchises , this may well mean having to rid themselves of several high-priced veterans , who are deemed no longer productive , or simply beyond the fact that their salaries are too much of a cap-burden , as they prepare for the upcoming draft.

Well, the story that was, and is, the New York Jets , shows no signs of abating . The newly appointed general manager, John Idzik , having succeeded. Within the franchise’s front office . Idzik , has remained tight- lipped , as to the immediate future of the team’s Pro Bowl corner-back Darrell Revis , and whether or not the player will be placed on the trading block. Yet, it appears that Tim Tebow’s future with the franchise , is now all but certain , that the player will be part of the cotillion of players who will be shown the door .

A disaster filled season for the Jets, was further evidence of the fact that Rex Ryan , as the head coach , had lost control of the team , was simply unsure of what his best lineup would be from week to week , never-mind the fact , he had no means of telling how diabolical a player , Mark Sanchez would continue to be over the course of the season , where indeed the starting quarterback was among the league’s worst performers at the position throughout much of 2012 .

Backups , Greg McElroy and Tebow , used in whatever ways thought up by then , offensive coordinator, Tony Sparano , was simply another indication as to how bereft of creativity the coaching staff just happened to be , but the mere fact that Ryan , himself, would continue to make excuses for the team’s poor performances , without ever once holding his players accountable . That pretty much summed up the entire Jets’ season , without adding to the fact, that team owner Woody Johnson chose to “ cry foul” , by stating that he was pressured into acquiring Tebow , by his front office, against his own reservations , which somehow , he just failed to communicate with former general manager , Mike Tannenbaum , who along with Rex Ryan , were the original proponents of what has now described, as one of the “more asinine trades” in recent NFL history . can’t say, that I would disagree with that statement at all ! As to where Tim Tebow’s future may well lay , is anyone really overly concerned at this juncture ? .

Riddle me this, name the NFL franchise which in this past season was amongst the worst performing defensive teams in NFL history ? If you guessed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers , New York Giants , Tennessee Titans , New England Patriots or the Jacksonville Jaguars , you not be that far off in your estimation . The answer is , none other than the New Orleans Saints , who gave up a monstrous 440.1 yards per game which ranked the beleaguered franchise last among the NFL’s thirty-two teams. That figure equates to just over 7,000 yards over the course of a sixteen game schedule , and a record in NFL history.

The impasse between Roger Goodell , the Saints’ players , the NFLPA (union) , their animus towards the league hierarchy’s handling of the now infamous ” Saints’ Bounty” scandal , speaks volumes as to why the NFL commissioner has far too much power, in terms of his authority within the hierarchical setup of the league entity . And even with the rescinding of the suspensions of the four players centered within this scandal, you still get the feeling that this whole episode is far from over ! Saints’ defensive player, Jonathan Vilma , has yet to stop his legal action , pursuant of the NFL and Goodell , in which as a plaintiff, in his lawsuit at the Federal level for slander , libel , and defamation of character , for which he is said to be seeking punitive damages. Vilma , if anything has right to seek recourse in such a manner , as from the very outset Roger Goodell set out to be antagonistic , rather than being impartial , as the league’s investigators gathered their evidence , in some cases by dubious and surreptitious means. As defendants in this case , the commissioner and the NFL as a whole, have now either to, publicly issue some form of an apology to the player, or seek to settle this matter out of court.

Away from those legal issues , it would be fair to say , that in spite of the injuries , it would be fair to say that the New Orleans Saints had an underwhelming season , falling far short a number analysts and fans’ expectations . The fact that the team failed to make the postseason , falling short and completely out of contention not only within the NFC South, but also within the NFC , casts a giant shadow their 2012 sojourn. The franchise’s coaching staff at times , used a plethora of excuses for the team’s lackluster performances during the season.

With head coach , Sean Payton , having been reinstated ,after his year-long suspension mandated by the league , he recently re-signed with the franchise , “inking” a five-year deal , worth north of $42.5 million , including performance based, incentives and bonuses . That deal would make Payton amongst the highest paid head coaches in the NFL , ranking him alongside Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks , Mike Shanahan of the Washington Redskins and Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots .

As I alluded to earlier, the Saints’ biggest concerns were with their defensive corps , but yet, there was evidence there to suggest , that the team’s once prolific offense of recent years had now began to splutter , rather badly . Those issues I believe will be addressed in this upcoming NFL Draft by Sean Payton and the front office staff , headed by general manager , Mickey Loomis ! Last season , the franchise was expedient in addressing their needs , in a variety of positions, as they availed themselves of the talent available in that particular NFL Draft (2012).

For this upcoming draft , before anything is actually done , I believe that there will be some rather expedient decisions that will have to be made, as to the franchise’s salary cap issues as it relates to the team’s payroll ($138.6 million). The team will need to pare down , just off over $25 million to place themselves in a comfortable position to either re-sign a number of their impending free agents or pursue free agents in the open market , as well as meet their obligatory needs , as it relates to their payroll for the upcoming season based on the league mandated cap. Teams such as the Saints will be under the gun , as by 3:00 PM , Eastern Standard Time( EST), today , general managers around the league, will have to come to a decision, as to the contracts of their impending free agents , and whether or not to cut them or simply seek to re-sign at a lower base salary. “Capologists” , will now come into play as they seek to make a name for themselves inside of their respective front offices. In the lead-up to the NFL Draft they might just be amongst the most important employees inside an NFL franchise , as they are able to do from a financial standpoint can go a long way in saving a franchise tens of millions of dollars over a three or four-year time-frame .

Gainful employment sought, unwilling applicants need not apply. Yes, these are now the deafening tones now being heard across the entire NFL landscape. Can someone explain to me why Brandon Jacobs would seek to talk himself out of what was thought to be a fruitful position with the San Francisco 49ers ? It now appears all but certain , that the running back will be jettisoned by the Forty Niners’ front office headed by GM Trent Baalke. The franchise has already began with a slew of moves as they seek to create a comfortable enough cap space , before they embark on their off-season moves. One of the other much-discussed scenarios , has been that of the future of the team’s starting quarterback in the earlier part of 2012 , Alex Smith .

Having lost his starting spot , to understudy , Colin Kaepernick , who would then go on to guide the franchise to the NFC championship game and then on to a thrilling Superbowl 47 (SBXLVII) loss to the eventual champions, the Baltimore Ravens . The consensus seems to be that Baalke and head coach Jim Harbaugh may well seek to gauge the interest of any vested parties seeking to gain a veteran quarterback. From my own perspective , I believe that it would be in the Forty Niners’ best interest to retain Smith , rather than allowing the player to leave via a trade . The player, still has two years remaining, on a three-year $24 million contract , of which he is owed $15 million, and wherein , he is due to become a free agent in 2015 .

I certainly do not believe, any NFL franchise can operate competitively without a standout backup quarterback in the league today ! Doubt my word? Then simply look around at the depth chart of the franchises within the NFL and peruse the rosters of the teams in question and the backup quarterbacks at the coaches’ disposal.

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Picture gallery .

I certainly do not believe, any NFL franchise can operate competitively without a standout backup quarterback in the league today ! Doubt my word? Then simply look around at the depth chart of the franchises within the NFL and peruse the rosters of the teams in question and the backup quarterbacks at the coaches’ disposal.

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Picture gallery slideshow details below .
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(1) Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide (L), and head coach Brian Kelly of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish talk before the 2013 Discover BCS National Championship game at Sun Life Stadium on January 7, 2013 in Miami Gardens, Florida. Alabama would go on to defeat Notre Dame 42-14 in a lopsided and embarrassing defeat for the then, number one ranked team in the nation . The win , garnered Saban his fourth BCS national title as a head coach of a college program. Gettty Images /Kevin C. Cox ….

(2) Manti Te’o (5) of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish warms up prior to playing against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the 2013 Discover BCS National Championship game at Sun Life Stadium on January 7, 2013 in Miami Gardens, Florida. The player throughout much of the Irish’s strove to fight off questions concerning his sexuality , in the aftermath of it being revealed that the alleged female he was said to be involved , in a relationship , never existed . Ronaioh Tuiasasopo , a closeted homosexual with unrequited love fomented a charade , which somehow Te’o chose to play along with , even after revelations were made that Lennay Kua was never existed . Much ado about nothing ? Or simply the possibility of a high-profiled athlete not wishing to reveal a taboo in testosterone driven sport of college football, ” where a man must be and reveal , he is a man ” . Quite frankly , there has to be male athletes within the college game and NFL who are definitely gay , but who are simply too afraid to reveal their sexuality because of the stigma that is still attached to the lifestyle within collegiate and professional sports amongst male athletes . Getty Images / Mike Ehrmann …..

(3) Linebacker Manti Te’o of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish works out at IMG Academy on January 23, 2013 in Bradenton, Florida. Te’o is considered a top-ten consensus pick amongst the line-backers declaring their eligibility for the upcoming NFL Draft (2013) . Getty Images / J Meric ….

(4) New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan answers a question during a news conference at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013. The beleaguered head coach faces, and will be , under a great deal of pressure to resurrect the fortunes of a franchise that had a disappointing season (7-9) within the AFC East , having failed to make the postseason . With their being upheaval , within the front office , with the removal of former GM , Mike Tannenbaum , to be replaced by John Idzik who would then subsequently relieve offensive coordinator , Tony Sparano of his position. As if to complicate matters further there still remains the uncertain future of quarterback Tim Tebow , as the Jets seek to revamp their roster . AP Photo/Michael Conroy ….

(5) John Idzik talks to the media during an NFL football news conference introducing him as the new new general manager of the New York Jets, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013, in Florham Park , NJ,. AP Photo/ Julio Cortez ….

(6) John Idzik, center, reacts while standing next to New York Jets owner Woody Johnson , left, and head coach Rex Ryan during an NFL football news conference introducing Idzik as the team’s new general manager, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013, in Florham Park , N.J. AP Photo/Julio …

(7)FILE – In this Dec. 12, 2012 file photo, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell smiles during a news conference after the NFL owners meeting in Irving, Texas. Roger Goodell was paid $29.49 million by NFL owners in 2011, nearly triple his compensation from the previous year. Goodell earned $11.6 million in 2010. Throughout much of 2012 , the commissioner very much had antagonistic and contentious relationship with the New Orleans Saints’ organization , as well as with the NFLPA (union) . All, in all , after the rescinding of the suspension of four players , said to be involved in the Saints’ Bounty scandal , it should be acknowledged that Goodell has seen his once autocratic power diminish , somewhat . Of further embarrassment to Roger Goodell , has been his complete failure to enact the HGH testing protocols that had been agreed to , between the NFLPA and the league hierarchy. The commissioner insists that the edict will be carried out , but the never-ending delays have now drawn the attention of Congress’ House Oversight & Government Reform Committee as well as the Senate Commerce Committee and that of Senate Judiciary Committee . Having given to testimony to the congressional committees in question , it now clearly shows how incompetent the tenure of Roger Goodell has been since he succeeded Paul Tagliabue in 2007. AP Photo / L M Otero …

(8) Mickey Loomis , executive vice president/general manager of the New Orleans Saints, talks with Saints head coach Sean Payton, right, in the first half of an NBA basketball game between the New Orleans Hornets and the Phoenix Suns in New Orleans, Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013. AP Photo/Bill Haber …..

(9) San Francisco 49ers quarterbacks Colin Kaepernick (7) and Alex Smith (11) talk on the sideline late in the fourth quarter of the NFL Super Bowl XLVII football game against the Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013, in New Orleans. AP Photo/Charlie Riedel …

(10) Brandon Jacobs of the San Francisco 49ers in seen here during a game played at Candlestick Park , in San Francisco , California ,. The veteran running back has somehow managed to talk himself out of a job with the franchise , after his continued sniping at the coaching staff and front office at his not being given enough playing time under the staff of head coach Jim Harbaugh. The player has since been cut by the franchise , with his immediate future somewhat uncertain. In an ironic turn of events, Jacobs’ former Superbowl winning teammate with the New York Giants , Ahmad Bradshaw was also let go by that franchise for salary cap reasons . AP Photo/ Mark Pettigrew …. ==========================================

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NFL news and news from around the league

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NFL transactions

NFL free agents

NFL team salaries

NFL Draft 2013 & 2013 NFL Draft order

NFL Combine and news therein

NFL postseason results

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New York Jets news

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NCAA football & College Football news

Notre Dame Football news

NFL Draft top prospects by position

Quarterbacks running backs —- wide receiver —- tight-end

corner-back —- defensive tackle

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Thao-Annie

That’s a hot piece of Asian-American ” persuasion ” Annie Thao .

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Reflection Eternal ….. Move Somethin’

Stick with it, or move on

Stick with it, or move on

By Tophatal

With the NFL season coming to an exciting end with Superbowl XLVII (Superbowl 47) , and the triumph of the Baltimore Ravens over the San Francisco 49ers . It has to be said, that this off-season could be just as climactic and riveting as much of the postseason just happened to be . Teams are now looking shed players they believe to be superfluous to their needs , with many of the individuals either being seasoned veterans or overpriced stars .

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Slideshow .

Now there is no denying , that there will be a major fallout this all , as teams will either seek to re-sign the very same players they let go , and simply move on ahead, by making use of the upcoming NFL Draft . The draft order for the majority of the teams in the NFL were decided by where they finished within the league and by way of the postseason . With the Kansas City Chiefs (2-14) finishing at the bottom of the ladder amongst the NFL’s 32 teams , it will certainly be interesting in seeing not only recently installed head coach, Andy Reid , his coaching staff overseeing this draft with another first time GM , John Dorsey .

Courtesy of NFL.com

2013 NFL Draft order: Kansas City Chiefs own No. 1 pick

The Kansas City Chiefs own the No. 1 pick of the 2013 NFL Draft, which will be held on April 25-27.

The NFL draft will kick off in primetime for the fourth consecutive year. The first round will be held on Thursday, April 25. The second and third rounds are set for Friday, April 26. Rounds four through seven will be held on Saturday, April 27.

The draft order is determined by the following procedures:

(A) The winner of the Super Bowl will select last and the other Super Bowl participant next-to-last, regardless of their regular-season record.

(B) The conference championship game participants not advancing to the Super Bowl will select picks No. 29 through 30, according to the reverse order of their standing.

(C) The divisional playoff participants not advancing to the championship games will select picks No. 25 through 28, according to the reverse order of their standing.

(D) The wild-card participants not advancing to the divisional playoffs will select picks No. 21 through 24, according to the reverse order of their standing.

(E) Non-playoff clubs will select No. 1 through 20, according to the reverse order of their standing.

If ties exist in any grouping except (A) above, they will be broken by strength of schedule (i.e., figuring the aggregate won-lost-tied percentage of each involved club's regular-season opponents and awarding preferential selection order to the club which faced the schedule of teams with the lowest aggregate won-lost-tied percentage).

If ties still exist after applying the strength of schedule tiebreaker, the divisional or conference tie-breakers are applied, if applicable. If the divisional or conference tie-breakers are not applicable, ties will be broken by a coin flip.

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The primary needs for the Chiefs undoubtedly will be on their defense and quite obviously with the vapid and under-achieving performances of Matt Cassel and Brady Quinn , which literally sank the hopes of the franchise over the course of the season . Given the mediocrity, witnessed by fans, in seeing the Chiefs literally fall apart under then head coach Romeo Crennel , was to witness a team without leadership , zeal and passion , all of which did not go unnoticed by the team’s owner , Clark Hunt .

History has suggested that the Kansas City Chiefs have had a modicum of success with their draft history , but it has become abundantly clear after last season’s failing , something drastic had to be done. The firing of both Romeo Crennel and Dorsey’s predecessor , Scott Pioli , was only the first of the major upheavals , that Clark Hunt decided , that major changes would be needed , if the fortunes of this once proud franchise was to be turned around. With a payroll of $128, 051,400, the franchise may well seek to remain over the league’s salary cap, or start to pare down that figure. Beyond that , several issues also must be addressed , with regard to the team’s offense which was amongst one of the least productive in the NFL , in terms of points scored(211), beyond points’ differential , which played a large part into the numerous reasons why the team was so ineffective all-round, and ranked the offense at near bottom overall of the NFL’s 32 teams . Something that I believe, will be addressed by offensive coordinator Doug Pedersen , during the off-season , with his assessing the playing staff and by way of the upcoming draft. And with a number of analysts invariably making their own prognostication as to who will be taken number one overall , it could very well come down to what John Dorsey and Andy Reid believes will be in the best interests of the franchise overall . With their being a propensity to the choice of quarterback , Geno Smith , being taken as the number one overall pick on a number of draft boards of several analysts . The conjecture and speculation will continue as to the decision that will be made by the Chiefs’ front office , between now and the opening rounds of the NFL Draft.

As to the Chiefs quite possibly making Geno Smith their first choice in the NFL Draft, as acute as the team’s pass offense just happens to be , I believe it would be in their best interest to simply seek to bolster their defense , and then look to make a pick for a quarterback in the second or third round of the draft !

The changes first and foremost that undoubtedly will be made could come by way of the Chiefs addressing also their cap hit , wherein they may well seek to cut certain players , or simply look at various ways of restructuring their contracts to make them a great deal more “cap friendly” . From my own perspective, I believe that Andy Reid can turn things around for the Chiefs’ franchise , given his track record in Philadelphia , with the Philadelphia Eagles . The problem may well be , how patient or impatient are the fans in Kansas City , Missouri , in wanting to see a quick turnaround and almost immediate success ?

As a Florida resident , albeit , that I have lived in various parts of the country , this is now where I call my home . An expat Brit , who has become accustomed to the nuances of the game of football (NFL style) , and the mere fact , that the state has three professional franchises domiciled here . It is hard to imagine where the success will come from , in terms of the Jacksonville Jaguars , Miami Dolphins and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers >/a> . All three teams in 2012 , had distinctly indifferent seasons , and as many of you may well attest to this fact , the trio were amongst some of the worst performing franchises over the course of the year, in so many different aspects of the game . And in terms of the quarterback play exhibited by starters , Blaine Gabbert , Josh Freeman and Ryan Tannehill , I seriously doubt you would have witnessed such mediocre display by the trio over the course of one season. Suffice to say, their respective head coaches , can and should not be pleased by what they saw last year.

Head coaches , Gus Bradley , Greg Schiano and Joe Philbin , all will have their work cut out for them , coming into the off-season , with having to assess their respective playing staffs. And whether or not they will like it , they will come to several decisions that will either satisfy their the fans of those franchises , the Jaguars , Buccaneers and Dolphins , or simply draw their anger . Care to offer up your prognostication, as to how the fans in question may well feel?

For Jaguars’ head coach , Gus Bradley , thankfully, he will not have to put up with the idiocy of knowing or hearing that Jets’ backup quarterback , Tim Tebow , will be traded to the franchise , while looking to supplant Blaine Gabbert from his starting role. Is it not enough that , but for a flew fleeting moments in 2011 , the Heisman Trophy winner , has not shown the NFL fan that his game still has not progressed from beyond what can be best described as a moderately average quarterback ? Yet there seems to be a number of anally retentive individuals within this forum who believe that he is being denied the chance to show his overall skill-set. It should be noted, that playing in the NFL is not a “God given right “or a damn handout, as can be witnessed when one collects a welfare benefit . Yet, this just happens to be what so many fans seem to be calling for , when it comes to Tim Tebow . As affable an individual as he is , as an NFL head coach , would you want him as your starting quarterback in a decisive game , yet alone as a regular season starting quarterback within the NFL ? These are the questions one should be asking and not making asinine statements concerning the player’s alleged stellar abilities !

Jaguars’ GM , David Caldwell , should be commended for not caving into the idiocy of bringing Tebow to his home town , no matter how loud and clear the demands were from the fans . Clearly , as passionate as team owner, Shahid Khan , might just be about the former Florida Gators’ star , even he, must have known , he could not risk the same sort of ridicule that has engulfed the New York Jets’ franchise, while Tebow labored under the weight of expectation , with the sheer comedic volumes and turns that took place with that bereft and lackluster organization over the course of this past season . Suffice to say, Tim Tebow and Mark Sanchez combined , were a “ ringing endorsement “ of what one should come to expect when one someone utters the word “ overrated “ ! Only, an idiot would wish to see a similar fate befall the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Miami Dolphins for their part , coming off an under-achieving season , borne out of a 7-9 mark within the AFC East , will have a great deal to prove , if they are to viewed as the equal of the New England Patriots , the dominant franchise within the division over the last over the last decade. Joe Philbin , having rode on the shoulders of his rookie quarterback , Ryan Tannehill , can only hope to see marked improvements from the player in his second season . This much we do know, the player could be effective when protected , with the right assortment of weapons to complement his skillset , but with the team being so inconsistent over the course of the season. What many of us witnessed from Tannehill , was a player being asked to do way too much , with too little support , being offered in return .

As to the other on-field issues faced by the Dolphins, by way of the defense and offense . Well, let’s just say Philbin and his coaching staff will need to assess those issues and address them expeditiously .

Now unless , I am mistaken , the Dallas Cowboys , Miami Dolphins and the Green Bay Packers of the NFL, are the only three franchises, where the venues that they are currently domiciled in, and play in, are wholly owned by those respective organizations. All of the other teams in question , their stadiums are either municipally owned or county owned . Dolphins’ owner , billionaire , real estate mogul , Stephen Ross, would like for the city of Miami in conjunction with the Miami Dade County government to pay for the $400 million proposed refurbishment and renovation costs to Sun Life Stadium in Miami , from its conception , known as Joe Robbie Stadium , named after, the franchise’s initial founder and owner. With his eye set, more on hosting Superbowl 50 (SB L) in 2016 , Ross knows that if the work can be completed now , it places the city of Miami in a very advantageous position to beat out possible suitors for the privilege of hosting the NFL’s and North America’s biggest sporting event. Caution here has to be warranted , as there is a great deal of reluctance on Stephen Ross’ part to even pay in part anything towards the cost of the proposed renovations. All of this, from an individual, who, is said to be amongst the 400 wealthiest individuals (ranked #83) —– (net worth $4.4 billion) in the United States. I can only surmise, that NFL , under the auspices of Roger Goodell, the commissioner , will use a great deal of arm twisting and coercing , in order to force for the governmental agencies concerned to “pony up “ the estimated $400 million cost , with the intent of using the staging of the Superbowl as a bargaining chip , rather than have one of his owners merely delve into his pocket or seeking private financing for the proposed project !

Given, the grave financial crisis that both city of Miami and Miami Dade government are now under . I find it somewhat disconcerting , and almost conceited that Ross would deem it fitting that the city and county’s residents should pay for the refurbishment of a venue which he owns outright . Pardon me for saying this, but given the level of ineptitude shown by the city of Miami and their dealings with the MLB hierarchy and the Miami Marlins’ owners , over the financing and building of the Marlins’ ballpark ____ the 34,500 seat venue built at the cost of $575 million using a mix of tax revenues and derivatives’ financing , is now in the midst of a sharp decline in attendance . Meanwhile, the city of Miami finds itself at the center of an investigative probe by the US Justice Department for their actions , in the financing of that venue , with their being allegations of bribery and corruption amongst city officials to ensure a favorable vote . There has to be cause for concern that things will not be totally above-board , as it now relates to the Miami Dolphins and their vested interests. Suffice to say, in a corrupt city such as Miami , just about anything goes , and will happen , just as long , as the money is spread around , to all of the vested parties concerned .

When Josh Freeman was drafted as the seventeenth overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft , many felt it was something of a capricious and gregarious choice by then , Buccaneers’ head coach , Raheem Morris . In the subsequent years, since being chosen , Freeman has provided the fans with some highs , but more than not , so many lulls, that have descended into a crescendo of sheer ineptitude .

Team GM, Mark Dominik , remains convinced that the player he and Morris tied their masts and futures to , can still get the job done and lead this franchise to success . Raheem Morris’ successor , first year coach , Greg Schiano, after this past season remains thoroughly unconvinced that Josh Freeman can get the job done under any circumstance . Which begs the question, what does the future hold in store, for a player who believes he has all of the tools necessary to be a success , whereas, his coaches simply have bouts of trepidation each time he has been on the field of play during the 2012 season . Plain and simple , in spite of the weapons around him , for much of 2012 , Josh Freeman played some uninspired football , and no amount of excuses from the player , himself , from the head coach , can hide what is blatantly obvious to see. And those are , Freeman’s game and skill-set have deteriorated to such a low , that he cannot be trusted to implement the simplest of plays ! He may well have the steadfast support of his teammates , but in the end, those statements will not go a long way in convincing the head coach of any decision he may well choose to make.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were once a renowned franchise , built on a stealthy defense with players who were committed to the their art-form . However , in recent years and most certainly under both Raheem Morris and Greg Schiano , those traits were certainly missing . And while injuries may well have played a part in the Buccaneers’ miserable 7-9 season , that solely cannot be used as a primary excuse for the team’s woes during 2012 . Defensive players, such as , Lavonte David , Mason Foster , Mark Barron , Ahmad Black , Quincy Black , Gerald McCoy , Adam Hayward and Luke Stocker, are not names you would now hear being mentioned as preeminent Pro Bowl caliber type defensive players . And given the team’s propensity in recent seasons with their draft policy , it will be interesting to see how Mark Dominik and Greg Schiano address some of the most acute needs of the franchise , as they currently assess them to be.

With the team , now having in excess of $15 million available , in cap space , of which $ 10 million , is a rollover figure from the previous season , it should prove to be interesting, to see what moves will be pursued by the Buccaneers during this off-season. And given Schiano’s wish to have readily available competition at all positions on his depth chart . Could it be, the player most likely to feel pressured , will be his starting quarterback , Josh Freeman ? Your thoughts on this , as it relates to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers ?

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Picture gallery.

With the NFL Draft still two months away, and with a number of teams already off-loading players superfluous to their needs in order of not having to meet contractual obligations have to be honored no later than the 31st March, we are now seeing teams scurrying to make avail themselves of all the cap space possible . Where do you see your team or teams making bold enough moves by way of the draft or through free agency ? And how do you believe that both Greg Schiano and Andy Reid will fare during this off-season ? By all means do take time to offer up comment on this and anything else you believe to be pertinent to the subject matter.

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Picture and slideshow details below .
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(1) One of the more comedic and asinine of moments in recent NFL history that still hasn’t been convincingly explained by either the Superbowl XLVII Organizing Committee or by anyone from within the NFL hierarchy . Fans and members of the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers wait for power to return in the Superdome in a Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013, file photo, during an outage in the second half of the NFL Super Bowl XLVII football game, in New Orleans. Officials of Entergy New Orleans say the cause of the Super Bowl blackout was a faulty device called a relay that had been installed to prevent a failure of electric cables leading to the Superdome. They said the device has been removed and replacement equipment will be installed. AP Photo/Charlie Riedel ….

(2) “Eyes on the prize” . Baltimore Ravens president Dick Cass , from left, head coach ,John Harbaugh , general manager and executive vice president Ozzie Newsome and owner , Steve Bisciotti speak alongside the Vince Lombardi Trophy at an NFL football news conference on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, in Owings Mills, Md. The Ravens beat the San Francisco 49ers 34-31 in Super Bowl XLVII last Sunday. AP Photo/Patrick Semansky …

(3) New Kansas City Chiefs general manager John Dorsey , left, poses with new head coach Andy Reid during an NFL football news conference announcing Dorsey’s hiring Monday, Jan. 14, 2013, in Kansas City, Mo. AP Photo/Charlie Riedel ….

(4) New Kansas City Chiefs general manager John Dorsey, left, poses with Chiefs’ Chairman & CEO ,Clark Hunt during an NFL football news conference Monday, Jan. 14, 2013, in Kansas City, Mo. AP Photo/Charlie Riedel ….

(5) Denver Broncos wide receiver Eric Decker (87) makes a one-handed catch for a touchdown in front of Kansas City Chiefs defensive back Jalil Brown (30) in the second quarter of an NFL football game , Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey …

(6) Matt Cassel (L) and Brady Quinn listen to ID Coach inventor Isaac Daniel at the launch of the Isaac Daniel, ID Coach at the Sheraton Riverwalk on January 31, 2009 in Tampa, Florida. The ID Coach system allows coaches to communicate plays to players without using hand signals or audio transmitters. Play calls are transmitted using a military grade encrypted wireless link from the coaches Personal Remote Terminal (PRT) to the assigned player on the field who receives the play on the ID Coach wristband. An ID system to assist the players ? It sure as hell hasn’t worked for either Cassel or Quinn this past season , has it, as evidenced by the team’s standing within the AFC West and the league as a whole ? Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images for EAG Sports Management ….

(7) Billionaire real estate mogul, Stephen Ross , center is seen here with between sisters , Serena (left) and Venus Williams . The two siblings and WTA tennis rivals , are minority stakeholders in Miami Dolphins’ franchise , amongst a slew of A-list celebrities that also include Marc Anthony , Jennifer Lopez, Gloria & Emilio Estefan and actor, Will Smith . Ross is positioning himself and the Dolphins’ franchise to host Superbowl 50 (SB L) in 2016. However , he and the city of Miami and the Miami Dade County government have failed to reach a compromise , as who should pay for the estimated $400 million in upgrades and refurbishment , sought for Sun Life Stadium , home to the Miami Dolphins’ franchise. It should be noted that the venue itself , is owned by Ross , with the only benefits going to the governmental agencies in question, being certain taxes and ancillary fees charged to the franchise for services rendered . The NFL franchise owner , worth an estimated $4.4 billion , Ross is unwilling to pay for any of the costs in question or pay in part , towards the aforementioned sum for the much-needed upgrade. . AP/Photo/ Pat Carter ….

(8) From left to right , Jacksonville Jaguars coach Gus Bradley, general manager Dave Caldwell , owner Shad Khan and president Mark Lamping , from left, flank the NFL football team’s new logo, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013, in Jacksonville, Fla. The Jaguars unveiled a new logo and a “Stand United” theme. AP Photo/Florida Times-Union, Bruce Lipsky …

(9) Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman (5) hits the ground after being sacked by the Denver Broncos in the third quarter of an NFL football game , Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012, in Denver. This was simply another game in which the Buccaneers’ quarterback failed to perform up to the standards expected of him by head coach , Greg Schiano and general manager Mark Dominik . It would appear that Freeman’s position as the team’s starting quarterback have been greatly imperiled by his lackluster displays throughout much of the 2012 season for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers . AP Photo/Joe Mahoney ….

(10) Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman (5) throws a pass during the first quarter of an NFL football game against the San Diego Chargers Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012, in Tampa, Fla. AP Photo/Brian Blanco …

(11) Buccaneers’ GM Mark Dominik , left , is seen here with the team’s head coach Greg Schiano at the practice facility (One Buc Place) of the NFL franchise . The two management executives have some considerable deliberations to be made , as to the makeup of the roster going into the off-season , and in light of their issues on the defensive side of the ball where they failed miserably during 2012. There also seems to be an apparent lack of veteran leadership from the senior members on the roster . All of this played into the unremarkable season for franchise in 2012 , where they finished with a 7-9 record within the NFC South . The Tampa Bay Times / Scott Dreeson ……

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NFL Draft 25th to 27th April , 2013 and the NFL Draft order

2012 NFL Draft

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NFL head coaches and their record

NFL standings 2012-13 by division

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