A case can be made ….

A case can be made ….

The four teams have been set for College Football’s playoff format and while there will continue to be disagreements as to the merits of the four programs atop of the rankings. While no one can deny Alabama has been the best team in College Football this season , questions are likely to be asked as to why TCU (Hornfrogs) was not given a higher ranking . Yet based on the merits , we can only accept findings of the panel as being diligent. With the Bowl games still in tact , those programs not rewarded with the chance of taking part in the inaugural playoff system will still be part of a lucrative postseason extravaganza. Make no mistake , money remains the sole driving force behind this new format, alongside College Football’s wish to be seen as changing with the times . The first of those Bowl Games will be on the 20th December when Utah faces off against Colorado State .

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Squaring off the right to be designated as the national champion in what will amount to the semi-final round of the Playoff Format will be the number one ranked Alabama (Crimson Tide) staring down to face Urban Meyer and number four ranked Ohio State (Buckeyes) . The two opposing coaches Nick Saban and Meyer have a combined six national titles between them. In the other title bearing contest we have Oregon (Ducks) and their Heisman Trophy leading candidate Marcus Mariota leading the team against the defending national champions Florida State (Seminoles) . With so much at stake for the quartet of teams , it will be interesting to see how both contests will come to their respective conclusions on the 1st January, 2015.

I am not about to suggest that either Alabama or Oregon will have their way with their opponents in their contests, but the prevailing thought might well be these two teams would provide the fans of College Football as well as the nation at large the best possible finale sought ,with their being ranked number one and number two in the nation. Granted, Ohio State and Florida State will have other ideas with view to upsetting the perceptions of those favoring the top-two contenders.

There has been little to suggest this has been none of the more memorable seasons in in the annals recent NFL history . If anything this year has provided us with a litany of games we would rather forget , with so many teams playing sub-par football and their being very little defense being shown in a wide variety of ways . Week fourteen provided us with another reason why you can never take anything for granted in today’s NFL and that point was so well emphasized in the San Francisco 49ers’ embarrassing loss to the lowly and hideously abhorrent Oakland Raiders . To suggest Jim Harbaugh’s players were simply complacent would be an understatement and while the Raiders should be lauded for a splendid effort, let us not forget the team’s record and their play over the course of this season. As to what one think of the Forty-Niners and their rapid fall from being the title contenders to quite possibly also-rans, can quite clearly be answered as speculation continues to mount Jim Harbaugh’s future and whether or not he will be returning to the organization next season. Harbaugh’s name has been linked to a number of positions around the NFL as well as within the College ranks , but for the moment, there has been no formal statement from the head coach or anyone within the Niners’ front office .

San Francisco has a 7-6 record and even if this team manages to notch up double digit wins , which seems highly unlikely at this juncture , with their play being so inconsistent and their remaining schedule decidedly shaky. Ten wins will not be enough to secure them a sixth seed conference berth and postseason guarantee , much less a chance of actually winning the NFC West. The division remains in the Arizona Cardinals’ hands and theirs lose if they begin to show any signs of complacency.

Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers will be on the road when they face divisional rivals the Seattle Seahawks in ” must win game” for the visiting team as well as the hosts. A loss for Seattle loss would put a dent in their postseason ambitions, but their position as a wildcard team still remains intact for the moment , but as I alluded to earlier , a victory if of the utmost priority for Pete Carroll and his players . Kaepernick may well feel that he bears a certain amount of responsibility for the team’s failures this season , but it has been a collective effort the players as well the coaching staff led by Jim Harbaugh , who have provided the inept performances we have seen from the team this year.

Bruce Arians and the Arizona Cardinals will head to St Louis , Missouri to face the St Louis Rams in an all NFC West clash in the Edward Jones Dome Stadium , to open up the regular week fifteen schedule on Thursday night. Hopefully, both teams will show a sign of solidarity in the aftermath of the tragic events which took place in Ferguson , Missouri,. The violent protests which have taken place cannot be condoned , yet at the same , it gives credence to a much broader based tide of discontent that many simply do not understand or wish to acknowledge, there remains inherent racism within their confines. This is one sign of which, much of America has no wish to address , instead, seeking to show its apathy, continually burying its head in the sand on the “issue of race” .

I wholeheartedly believe Bruce Arians has to be seen as the front-runner for the NFL Manager of The Year ,after a fantastic job done in coaching his team one of the best records in the NFL . A mark currently shared by three other teams , likely to be looked upon as the prohibitive favorites for this season’s Superbowl . Whether or not the Denver Broncos , New England Patriots from the AFC will be there, joining the Arizona Cardinals and Green Bay Packers in their respective conference championship games remains to be seen.

It would not be an understatement to admit the NFC South has been the worst division in the NFL all season long . How anyone can equate or justify their brand of football as being relevant, let alone acknowledge the winner of the division will gain entrance into the postseason is beyond belief. Just as College Football decided to make change in its playoff format , the time has now come for the NFL to do the same where a division winner does not have a better record than a conference rival .If it means that team having won its division has to miss the postseason because one more teams have the advantage then so be it . However, with that in mind and the league’s Competition’s Committee and Roger Goodell looking to expand the postseason from eight to twelve teams , I get the impression isn’t seeking increase the level of competition , but solely looking to extract more revenues which comes courtesy of the NFL’s major corporate sponsors without taking into account the hundreds of millions of dollars which comes the NFL’s way at the time of the Superbowl . Avarice within this league remains limitless and the boundaries are forever being broadened and sought by the league hierarchy.

It would not be an understatement to admit the NFC South has been the worst division in the NFL all season long . How anyone can equate or justify their brand of football as bein relevant, let alone acknowledge the winner of the division will gain entrance into the postseason is beyond belief. Just as College Football decided to make change in its playoff format , the time has now come for the NFL to do the same where a division winner does not have a better record than a conference rival .If it means that team having won its division has to miss the postseason because one more teams have the advantage then so be it . However, with that in mind and the league’s Competition’s Committee and Roger Goodell looking to expand the postseason from eight to twelve teams , I get the impression isn’t seeking increase the level of competition , but solely looking to extract more revenues which comes courtesy of the NFL’s major corporate sponsors without taking into account the hundreds of millions of dollars which comes the NFL’s way at the time of the Superbowl . Avarice within this league remains limitless and the boundaries are forever being broadened and sought by the league hierarchy.

The Atlanta Falcons (5-8) jointly lead the NFC South alongside the New Orleans Saints , with Sean Payton being overly optimistic , suggesting the Saints have yet to play their best football and can still contend not only for postseason berth but also for the Superbowl itself. New Orleans’ struggles can be emphasized with the other three divisional occupants the fact, all four teams rank in the lower rungs of the NFL defensively. For head coaches Mike Smith, Ron Rivera , Sean Payton and Lovie Smith , this has been a season where not only have their teams underperformed but I believe their coaching abilities have to come into question ! A year on from having won the Coach of the Year Award Ron Rivera has seen the Panthers stumble to a (4-8-1) record with only the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-11) seated below them within the NFC South. With Panthers’ quarterback Cam Newton likely to be sidelined for the rest of the season after suffering non life threatening injuries in a car accident. One could suggest the team’s the season is now likely over and their now having to rely on backup quarterback Derek Anderson . Misfortune or not , with or without Newton, there can be no denying the Carolina Panthers have performed poorly throughout this season.

Carolina will play host to Lovie Smith and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a game likely to be high-scoring contest, but not necessarily an entertaining game. The Atlanta Falcons will look to stymie the ambitions of the Pittsburgh Steelers , who are in a tough divisional race within the AFC North. Sean Payton and the New Orleans Saints will have a Monday Night contest against the Chicago Bears whose season has capitulated under the poor performances of Jay Cutler and a very under-achieving Bears’ team.

It has been almost six years since the Dallas Cowboys(9-4) had a winning season but now having found themselves tied in dog-fight of a divisional race with the Philadelphia Eagles (9-4) , Jason Garrett and his team’s intestinal fortitude will be tested over their remaining three games of the season. That test will begin in earnest when they face the Eagles in the late Sunday night game to be played at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania,. This contest will be a make or break shoot-out for both teams with a divisional crown at stake and Nick Foles and Tony Romo on opposing sides of the ball. The quarterback providing his team with the most consistent play is likely come out of this game , leading his side to the victory. For Jerry Jones , this gives the Cowboys’ owner something finally to ” crow about” , but I get the feeling, should his team fail to make the postseason his embarrassment will not be hindered in any way , as he suggests, there have been positives coming from this season. Jones simply loves the sound of his own voice, even when he makes the most ridiculous of statements.

If Gus Bradley , Rex Ryan and Mike Smith return to the NFL in their current capacities , will be honestly surprised. Ryan in particular , has been a monumental bust in his role as head coach of the New York Jets (2-11). His team sits firmly rooted at the bottom of the AFC East and showing absolutely no signs of life without looking at the play of both Geno Smith and Michael Vick over the course of this season . Ryan seems nonplussed that the Jets have squandered their opportunities and even with hindsight anyone who believes this team with its current makeup was good enough to compete within its division let alone the rest the NFL has to be extremely misguided.

For Gus Bradley it has not been about what if, but more so to do with , where do we now go from here ? Having drafted quarterback Blake Bortlesin the 2014 NFL Draft . The player has shown he is capable of playing but unfortunately he is not surrounded by a great deal of talent in the specialist areas needed on offense for the Jacksonville Jaguars . Needless to say , a 2-11 record will not cut it for a franchise starved of and for success without knowing the organization has one of the lowest attendance level in the NFL , something which has been ongoing for several seasons. Team owner Shahid Khan having spent almost $800 million to purchase the Jaguars , he has tried in earnest to rebuild this organization from the ground up. He has yet to see anything tangible one would equate with success and with the team yet to have a winning season since he assumed control of the franchise in 2010.

As losers of three of their last four games Jacksonville will head into Baltimore to face the Baltimore Ravens in an AFC clash. John Harbaugh and the Ravens will be looking to make some inroads into the slender divisional lead held by the Cincinnati Bengals (8-4-1) , in what has turned out to be the tightest divisional race in the NFL .

It is extremely difficult to have any empathy with the NFLPA (union) much less the NFL under the leadership of Roger Goodell . While the commissioner has not been able to distance himself from the incompetence shown in dealing with the Ray Rice issue . With the team owners having voted unanimously to initiate a revamped code of conduct policy , it does appear rather recalcitrant for the union to question the right of the league to initiate such a policy while having shown little propensity to rein in the behavior of their members . NFLFPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith remains a hypocritical @ss with Executive Committee and Board of Player Representatives showing little concern , if any, concerning the events reported concerning Rice , Adrian Peterson, Greg Hardy and Ray McDonald. Idiots have even come forth, trying to use the law and tenets of innocent until proven guilty to excuse the behavior of McDonald, who jokingly an interview with the press, acted bemuse as why all the fuss over his laying his hands on his pregnant girlfriend. Begs the question if a female remains not off limits to to abuse then what they do they believe to abhorrent and distasteful in terms of personal conduct ? McDonald may well have plead not guilty to the charges with the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office then stat there was insufficient no evidence to suggest there was ever an act of abuse , but what they failed to actually detail, was this was not the first time such an accusation had been ever leveled against the Forty Niners’ defensive lineman. Pattern of behavior ? Go figure .

It is extremely difficult to have any empathy with the NFLPA (union) much less the NFL under the leadership of Roger Goodell . While the commissioner has not been able to distance himself from the incompetence shown in dealing with the Ray Rice issue . With the team owners having voted unanimously to initiate a revamped code of conduct policy , it does appear rather recalcitrant for the union to question the right of the league to initiate such a policy while having shown little propensity to rein in the behavior of their members . NFLFPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith remains a hypocritical @ss with Executive Committee and Board of Player Representatives showing little concern if any , for the events reported concerning Rice , Adrian Peterson, Greg Hardy and Ray McDonald. Idiots have even come forth, trying to use the law and tenets of innocent until proven guilty to excuse the behavior of McDonald, who jokingly an interview with the press, acted bemuse as why all the fuss over his laying his hands on his pregnant girlfriend. Begs the question if a female remains not off limits to to abuse then what they do they believe to abhorrent and distasteful in terms of personal conduct ? McDonald may well have plead not guilty to the charges with the Santa Clara County District Attorney , then stat there was no evidence to suggest there was ever an act of abuse , but what they failed to actually detail, was this was not the first time such an accusation had been ever leveled against the Forty Niners’ defensive lineman. Pattern of behavior ? Go figure .




As the NFL season heads down its final stretch run what do you believe to be the event to have taken place in the NFL by way of the games or story which you think the most relevant ?



Picture and slideshow gallery details below .


(1) Nick Saban , left, head coach of Alabama meets with Urban Meyer , head coach of Florida in a press interview prior to the 2009 BCS title game , between the two programs . The pair will meet again when Alabama faces Ohio State in newly formatted playoff system in College Football . The winner will then play for the national title against the winner of the contest between Florida State and Oregon . AP Photo / Chris Dempsey …

(2) Marcus Mariota (8) of Oregon and Jameis Winston of Florida State will meet in the second of the two semi-finals games which lead to the winner of that contest having the privilege of playing for the national title. ESPN analyst Mel Kiper in a recent statement made the prognosis that neither Mariota or Winston are elite NFL franchise caliber quarterbacks . Kiper has very little credibility when it should be noted he spends a great deal of time consorting with agents than he does judiciously assessing college talent . That asides, should anyone really take note of what he necessarily has to say , when his only spiel is one of guaranteeing debate and very little else of merit ? Getty Images / Sam Turner …

(3) Brandian Ross (29) of the Oakland Raiders gets his arms around Colin Kaepernick (7) of the San Francisco 49ers in the second quarter at the O.co Coliseum on December 7, 2014 in Oakland, California. Getty Images/ Brian Bahr ….

(4) Head coach Bruce Arians of the Arizona Cardinals is seen here on the sidelines with quarterback Drew Stanton . In the absence of the injured Carson Palmer , Stanton has assumed the role of starting quarterback for the team . Arians believes the player good enough to guide the Cardinals all the way to the Superbowl . AP Photo / Claire Howard …

(5) Jacksonville Jaguars’ head coach Gus Bradley , left , is seen here alongside the team’s 2014 draftee Blake Bortles , center and team GM David Caldwell . AP Photo / Matt Harris ….

(6) DeMaurice Smith ,left , Executive Director of the the NFLPA is seen her alongside NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. The continued discord between the two entities , the league hierarchy and union, remains adversarial , with the union now question the veracity o f the league’s new player conduct policy , voted into effect unanimously , by the NFL’s thirty-two franchise owners. AP Photo / Rich Morris …



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To want, to “ be the man” , you have to “ play like a man” …

To want, to “ be the man” , you have to “ play like a man” …

There is a case to be made the two best quarterbacks the NFL have seen in the league over the past two years are Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks and Andrew Luck of the Indianapolis Colts. Wilson guided the reigning Superbowl champions to the franchise’s first title in his second season in the NFL , having won more games as a starting quarterback than any other player at the position through their first two seasons in league history. Luck for his part as the number one overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft had the weight of the world placed upon his young shoulders , in being asked to succeed Peyton Manning as the Colts’ quarterback. Other than Johnny Unitas , there has not been another player in the franchise’s history who has made such an impact on the Colts as an organization , other than these two famed quarterbacks. Andrew Luck is slowly writing his own legacy with the Indianapolis Colts , having led the team to a playoff berth in each of his first two seasons in the NFL.


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As the NFL season opens up its schedule this weekend with a full legacy of games , it will be interesting to see how both of these young players set about cementing their success for their respective teams. The Indianapolis Colts are likely to be the presumptive favorites within the AFC South , likely making a successful defense of their divisional title. Question however, is this a team , coached by Chuck Pagano , are they capable of beating out perennial stalwarts the New England Patriots and the Denver Broncos , where Peyton Manning has now breathed fresh air into what had become a lifeless franchise? The former Stanford standout has already had his fair share of success against his predecessor and he has certainly shown himself to be the equal of both Manning and Tom Brady when it comes to playing under pressure and where a game is actually on the line .

The Seattle Seahawks will begin the defense of their title with a home game against the Green Bay Packers when Aaron Rodgers brings his teammates to Century Link Field , Seattle , Washington , looking to add a couple chinks in the armor of last season’s top defensive unit in the NFL . I am sure that Russell Wilson and his teammates will likely use this opportunity to show the rest of the NFL , last season’s accomplishments in the regular and postseason were no mere flukes. As we all know, it is extremely difficult to make a successful defense of a Superbowl title, with it being over a decade since the feat was last achieved by an NFL franchise . Superbowl XXXIX (SB39) was the last of the New England Patriots’ three triumphs with Tom Brady at the helm of a Patriots’ team. Two further visits to the NFL’s showcase finale proved to be fateful for the franchise with the Patriots being on the wrong side of two demoralizing losses , both to the New York Giants under the quarterback leadership of Eli Manning .

The Indianapolis Colts will take their show on the road when they visit the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field in Denver , Colorado , in the late evening televised game on Sunday evening . This game, will further provide Andrew Luck with the opportunity to gauge his progression against his predecessor , Peyton Manning and the Broncos, where he has had considerable success during the regular season

While I believe players need to be rewarded on merit for their productivity and success , it is hard to equate how the likes of Jay Cutler and Tony Romo can now find themselves almost at the top of the “ food chain “ in terms their quarterback contracts in terms of compensation. Granted , the prestige of being a starting quarterback in the NFL makes the position , the most prestigious in the league, it cannot explain the idiocy behind the decisions of Phil Emery and Jerry Jones to simply offer up the contracts now parlayed into a deal that hangs around the necks of Cutler and Romo like a millstone. Jay Cutler’s seven-year $126.7 million deal makes him one of the highest paid players in the NFL as well as one of the highest paid quarterbacks in the league. Tony Romo’s deal , only slightly less than Cutler’s, is just a case of Jerry Jones being delusional and without a clue , as to his belief in Romo’s worth. These two NFC quarterbacks , might just be two of the most overrated players at the position along with the Atlanta Falcons’ passer Matt Ryan.

Tony Romo will lead the Dallas Cowboys in their season opener being played at Cowboys’ Stadium against the San Francisco 49ers , where Colin Kaepernick will be looking to take the focus off the team’s failings off the field and place them back on the field of play,, where no doubt their fans feel things belong . The lackadaisical attitude of the front office and head coach Jim Harbaugh concerning the troubles of Ray McDonald , does leave a lot to be desired, but the NFL still remains behind the times when it comes to dealing not just with many of their own inherent issues , but also social ills, concerning racism within the game , acts of domestic violence by the players and dare one suggest , the widespread use of marijuana , but also several banned substances prohibited by the league ? Both teams are need a of victory in this season opener as a morale booster , but the game itself, could come down to the coaching acumen shown by the respective coaching staffs , and the play of the opposing quarterbacks in question.

Jay Cutler and the under-achieving Chicago Bears begin their quest for another shot at regular and postseason glory , when they open up their home schedule facing the Buffalo Bills , another franchise in need of life support and extreme attention. Donald Trump’s ego and perhaps his unwillingness to pay in excess of $1 billion ($1,000,000,000) to buy the state of New York’s only NFL franchise may well play into the hands of the other alleged suitors of the team. An NFL without Trump being a franchise owner is a great deal better than having him within the NFL owners’ fraternity ! Imagine the owners’ meeting that would take place , while the egos of Donald Trump , Jerry Jones , Dan Snyder , Jimmy Haslam , Jim Irsay and Zygi Wilf were all in the same room ? What an almighty cluster-fu#k that would be, beyond the idiocy of Roger Goodell being a part of the scenario.

It is the same old story , wunderkind who proves be impressive early in his career only to then fade when placed under a great deal more pressure and scrutiny than usual . In the case of the Atlanta Falcons’ quarterback Matt Ryan , he is now looking to redeem himself while hoping to keep the dogs at bay , who seeking are the demise of not only Ryan , himself , but also head coach Mike Smith and GM Thomas Dimitroff. CEO & Team President Rich McKay , who now heads up the Business Operations for the Falcons as well as overseeing the new $1.55 billion stadium which will house the franchise for the 2016-17 NFL season, handed the keys to the Ferrari to Dimitroff , who simply drove it off the road causing untold damage to the vehicle . A 4-12 record last season, simply epitomized what the Falcons were all about . They were certainly among the worst teams in the entire NFL and it seems remarkable that Mike Smith was still able to hold onto his job after such a disaster. Failure this season and Smith is likely to be shown the door along with his entire coaching staff along with several members of the team . Matt Ryan’s position doesn’t yet seem to be in jeopardy , but I do believe Arthur Blank’s patience might well be growing thin with the six-year veteran of the league !

The Atlanta Falcons won’t have to wait that long to see how their season is likely pan out, as their first game of the season will be stern test and match of wills against divisional rivals the New Orleans Saints, in what could turn out to be an aerial contest or a full-blown thundering herd in terms a ground game for the majority of the contest. Drew Brees will not be afraid to air the ball out and it will likely prove lucky for the Saints, if there is a mix of a passing and rushing attack to take advantage of a Falcons’ secondary still learning its trade. The Georgia Dome will be packed as the home fans will be hoping to see the Falcons get off to a winning start

This is the year, we are meant to see the Oakland Raiders take flight. Personally, I believe the wings of the franchise have been clipped so often , taking flight would be as comedic as watching an episode of “The Big Bang Theory “ or having John Kerry explain the US’s foreign policy in the Middle East , now that ISIS, Al Qaeda and the Taliban have essentially began to run amok in Afghanistan , Iraq and Syria . Drone attacks have not only enraged the terrorists groups in question but it has now become a rallying cry for Muslims abroad to join an Intifada , seeking to bring down the West. As to the Raiders’ own position , well let’s just say their fans are just as perplexed by organization’s moves as the rest of the NFL world. GM Reggie McKenzie , team owner , Mark Davis and head coach Dennis Allen are not entirely sure which quarterback on the team’s roster guarantees them the best chance of winning . The choices of Derek Carr , Matt McGloin and veteran Matt Schaub are not glaringly obvious, but these are the choices in question. Schaub being the elder statesman and veteran of the trio , was brought in and seen as the presumptive starter , but his preseason showings were less than encouraging. Matt McGloin simply showed us that in the preseason against second and third stringers you can look really impressive when the opposing players on defense are missing their assignments . Carr a rookie and part of the Oakland Raiders’ 2014 draft class has outshone his more experienced teammates but yet, it would be foolish to think him being thrown into the lion’s den assures the team of instant success. While the rookie may well be able to call on the advice of an elder sibling, whose experience of the NFL was simply littered with more lows than highs . I seriously doubt, David Carr will be able to provide his younger brother with any constructive input, that would be of benefit to the rookie quarterback !

In a division where the Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs and San Diego Chargers proved to be so effective last season , it is hard to see how the Oakland Raiders mount a serious challenge against a trio teams, while looking to win the AFC West this season. Neither the Broncos or the Chiefs will be pushovers and a resurgent Chargers’ team will be chomping at the bit to take a bite out of Oakland as well as the Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs . So where will that leave Oakland this season ? Will they once again, be holding up the rear of the division as they have so often done over the past eight season? Your guess is as good as mine , but I do not believe it will be an encouraging situation to watch unfold ! As good as the team is said to be , with a number of prognosticators giving the Raiders an outside chance of gaining a postseason berth. I simply do not believe the team is good enough , nor do they have the erstwhile leader ready to step up to the plate. Charles Woodson is on the downside of an illustrious career and Justin Tuck’s best years can now be seen in a year view mirror . Experienced and canny veterans as they are , Tuck and Woodson are likely to be used sparingly at times by the Raiders’ coaching staff and it remains to be seen how the Raiders are likely to deal with Geno Smith and the New York Jets when the two teams meet on Sunday afternoon at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford , New Jersey.

Year in and year out, so much is made of the fact, the NFL will begin a new era of quarterbacks especially as it relates to the players who have won the Heisman Trophy while playing the position at the Collegiate Level . Carson Palmer a recipient of the award in 2002 , was one such player, having had a great deal of success while playing for the USC Trojans under the tutelage of Pete Carroll. Palmer’s career in the NFL however, has failed to ignite, much less live up to the expected hoopla some believe he would provide. If anything, his play has been nondescript and the now much traveled journeyman finds himself at the crossroads of his eleven-year career , having been a first round draft pick in the 2003 NFL Draft when he was taken as the number one overall pick by the Cincinnati Bengals. To suffice, all you need to know are, his two Pro Bowl appearances ( 2005 & 2006 ) have been meager returns for a less than moderate career. Palmer, now with the Arizona Cardinals , where he has led the team as their starting quarterback since 2013.

A 10-6 season last year in the NFC West, where the Arizona Cardinals narrowly missed gaining a postseason berth , has led to great deal of optimism this season. Add in the fact, Bruce Arians is on-board as the head coach , along with a very good draft class and some prudent acquisitions during the off-season and there is every reason to believe the Cardinals can contend this season in the NFL.

Arians will be reliant upon Carson Palmer to provide the leadership needed on a team looking to stake their claim in what is now a highly competitive division where both the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks reside. An injury to the Sam Bradford of the St Louis Rams, may well negate the effectiveness of the Rams over the course of this season. Arizona will begin their quest in week one with a home game against the San Diego Chargers at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Tempe , Arizona. Philip Rivers and the Chargers will be hoping to blunt the appetite of the Cardinals in this particular contest and start off their season with a victory.



Picture gallery .

As the NFL regular season gets underway , what are you hoping to see in the first week’s contests , which players and teams do you believe fans will have to place a great deal of scrutiny in watching ?


Picture and slideshow details below .

(1) Russell Wilson (3) and Andrew Luck (12) , two of the league’s brightest young stars in the NFL , with both quarterbacks having been drafted by their respective teams in the last two seasons. These two young quarterbacks enter week one f the NFL season hoping to replicate the form seen in week one of 2013 and then continue on with that consistency throughout this season . Courtesy of NFL Properties all rights reserved @ copyrighted material …

(2) A Philadelphia Eagles’ fans holds up a sign expressing his opinions on both Jay Cutler and Tony Romo . These two NFC quarterbacks will be looking to rebound from disappointing seasons in 2013. Getty Images ….

(3) Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) and Chicago Bears’ quarterback Jay Cutler (6) meet on the field after an NFL football game, Monday, Oct. 1, 2012 in Arlington, Texas The Bears won 34-18 . Both players in 2014 will be seeking to prove they are still to be regarded as two of the best quarterbacks in the NFL . Considered to be very good during the regular season the postseason records of Cutler and Romo combined , are very much demonstrative of the fact , how overrated both players are , in spite of the praise heaped upon the pair. AP Photo/LM Otero ….

(4) Matt Ryan quarterback of the Atlanta Falcons . Time could very well be running out for the player to truly justify his status with the franchise in spite of the six-figure contract invested in the starter by team owner Arthur Blank. The owner is said to be dismayed in the lack of progress by his franchise quarterback and also with the coaching acumen shown by Mike Smith over the past two seasons. A playoff berth is imperative for the team , or it is likely the roster will have to be gutted at the end of the season . AP Photo/ John Ames …

(5) Derek Carr , younger sibling to the former San Francisco 49ers’ starting quarterback David Carr . The rookie quarterback with the Oakland Raiders is said to be the best hope the franchise has of winning this season, but it would seem head coach Dennis Allen is likely to side with the experience of veteran, Matt Schaub when Oakland opens up its regular season schedule against the New York Jets . ESPN / Mike Albers … .

(6) Arizona Cardinals’ head coach Bruce Arians is seen here with Carson Palmer who was acquired by the franchise in trade with the Oakland Raiders in April of 2013 in exchange for a sixth round pick and a conditional pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. Palmer joined an offense which was extremely potent in 2013 and likely to be so again, with Bruce Arians placing a greater emphasis on that facet of their game along with bolstering their defensive capabilities. AP Photo / Mark Rogers …


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“If you wanna be a secret agent man, you have to roll like a secret agent man. It’s code ” Quote from the Pierre Morel directed action thriller, ” From Paris With Love” . Movie produced by Luc Besson .

Pick your poison ………..

Pick your poison ……

With the NFL Draft merely around the corner , continued speculation is mounting , which player is likely to be taken number one overall. The Houston Texans have the privilege of taking that first pick, but with GM Rick Smith recently making the comment that he would be interested in giving up that first choice to trade down , to get a substantially more picks , because of more value lower down , within the first round. While the boldness of that statement is somewhat brash , you cannot deny that the Texans are taking an immense risk, in making such a decision of moving down in the draft, with the general consensus, being that there are several good players to be taken in the first round among the top-ten likely picks. If the 2012 NFL Draft, was anything to by , then Smith could very well be unto something.


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Slideshow .

The fact of the matter was , in richness alone, the picks of Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson panned out a great deal more than anyone could have expected , with regard to those particular choices, and for their respective teams. I am not about to suggest that this year’s crop of players will not live up to the expectations, but if anything , there has been more hyperbole over the likes of Johnny Manziel , Jadeveon Clowney , Blake Bortles , Teddy Bridgewater , A J McCarron and Sammy Watkins without anyone being absolutely sure, that these players can take the next step necessary in becoming accomplished players in the NFL. This NFL Draft is likely to produce a number of surprises from the standpoint, that the general managers , while making a number bold announcement statements, simply have no real idea , how things are likely to pan out, until the first five or six picks are made , as part of this whole draft process.

The NFL preseason kicks off the 2014 schedule , but those first four weeks of exhibition games , will grant the fans, of seeing some old and new faces by way of the free agents who have found new homes and the rookies looking to make a name for themselves , while forcing their way onto unto their teams’ roster. The New York Giants and Buffalo Bills will have the privilege of unveiling the 2014 season with the Hall of Fame game, which will be played at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park , New York on the 3rd August , 2014 . The death of Bills’ owner Ralph Wilson has led to the speculation that the family will now seek to several all ties with the franchise that Wilson has owned since the franchise’s start. It should be noted, that up until his death, Ralph Wilson was one of the longest tenured owners in the NFL’s history , as well as being one of its most respected voices. Now with the realization, that he will no longer be there , fans and analysts alike , will be looking to a new face to represent this franchise. Among interested parties, now wishing to own the franchise, it has been reported that real estate billionaire and television personality Donald Trump has made it clear , that he is indeed serious about buying the franchise and is willing to pay a substantial sum for the privilege of owning an NFL team. Second time around for the billionaire , after his brief and well chronicled career as an owner in the USFL .

Trump almost single-handed brought about the all too quick demise of that fledgling organization, with his all too bold and ambitious ideas , at a time when the NFL , was struggling to stay afloat. But for his impudence, all too bloated ego and wanting to challenge the league head on , the billionaire brought about the self-destruction of the USFL , with it having to declare bankruptcy. In the aftermath of it all, Trump still believes himself and his fellow owners to be the victors in a battle, that they never really stood a chance of winning , simply because the NFL was better organized and more business-like in their operations, because , the USFL would rather put on a show , with the level of football being played, not being on par with their adversary of the day.

If Donald Trump is granted ownership of the Buffalo Bills, having made a successful purchase of the franchise , it will be interesting to see what changes if any, are likely to be made. He has always, been known to be his own man, making the decisions that are not always said to be in the best interests of the parties involved. Yet, a shakeup is certainly needed within a Bills’ organization, that has not a postseason appearance in the NFL since 1999. Hard to believe, that it has been over twelve years, since that the franchise last tasted a postseason victory, let alone an appearance. Such have been the lean times for this organization , with a turnover in the coaching staff , that would have you believe that there was a turnstile in the head coach’s office.

Current Bills’ head coach Doug Marrone and his coaching staff coming off a 6-10 season, that found the team at the bottom of the AFC East division and will face a daunting task in 2014, with first having to step through the minefield known as the NFL Draft and then having to acclimatize himself with what is likely to be a newly revamped roster of veterans , rookies and holdovers from last year. With that in mind, his first duty will be to get players from this draft, while seeking use the time available during the preseason to be better acquainted with all of his players and to assess their value overall. It is by no mean an enviable task for the head coach or GM Doug Whaley , as they undertake, to right, what has been a rudderless vessel, over the past ten years. The disappointment of last year obviously did not sit well with the Bills’ fans or the team in general , but there now seems to be a sense of urgency within the organization , knowing that for many, with the advent of a change in ownership , things could very well be radically shaken up. However, before one can speculate , we have to deal with the reality of the here and now and that is , the team in its current guise, will have to be far more competitive than it was last season, on all fronts .

If the Buffalo Bills were said to have issues last season , then it had more to do with the fact, the team never found a consistent rhythm, all season long. For quarterback EJ Manuel , one hopes to see bigger strides made over the course of the season and certainly a great deal more efficiency and a cut-down in the number of fumbles and interceptions. The offense itself will be led by C J Spiller and Fred Jackson , will be bolstered by the addition of a rookie wide receiver if the rumored reports are anything to go by in terms of Doug Whaley’s immediate draft needs for the team. It is my own belief that , Whaley , the front office and coaching staff will approach this NFL Draft prudently, taking the best player available at the positions needed to make the Bills a more all-round competitive unit .

While one should not, place any emphasis, on the preseason , for some coaches, it does act as something of a guide , to the preparedness of their team for an arduous sixteen-game regular season schedule. It will be no different for the Buffalo Bills and their regular season schedule , where their encounters against divisional rivals, the Miami Dolphins , New England Patriots and New York Jets , whom they will meet twice over the course of their season, will tell undoubtedly tell us a great deal concerning the makeup of the team , as well as their encounters within the conference and out of conference games. . Buffalo will open up their week one schedule playing the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field in Chicago , Illinois , on the 7th September ,2014. That contest against Jay Cutler and his teammates should prove to be interesting , as Bears’ head coach Marc Trestman , looks to have his team ready to make an all-out assault on winning the NFC North . A task last achieved in 2010, when they won the division and went to the postseason that year , where their failure was truly exposed in exposed in the NFC championship game against the Green Bay Packers , a contest where we found out also , that Jay Cutler has no real taste for adversity or losing , never mind his complete lack of leadership skills , but he is the highest paid player in the NFL , by way of his contract .

While I believe Jay Cutler to be a moderate NFL quarterback , I do not consider him to be among the elite players within the league playing the position. Furthermore, in light of his postseason woes in 2010 , it simply showed a great deal more than anyone would have believed that quarterback was capable of , in terms of his lack of leadership and his unwillingness to accept that he played a major part in Bears’ loss to the Packers in that conference title game.

The Cleveland Browns and the Brandon Weeden ” era” with that franchise, quickly came to abrupt end , without the player or organization gaining anything tangible out the now ridiculous exercise. The fact of the matter was , Weeden was at the stage of his career, where his being drafted and then expecting to become a starting quarterback in the NFL , and still be treated as rookie, was as ridiculous a premise and that he was said to be a once promising player in the New York Yankees’ farm system . If he was unable to make it in baseball , it sure as hell, would not be as great a stretch to believe that the daunting task faced in the NFL would end up being a complete failure. Yet, there were those espousing the fact, as a starting quarterback in the league at the age of twenty-nine , would indeed find his niche and be an outright success . Weeden possessed, none of the traits, one would expect of a player coming into league at this late a stage , where bringing astute play ability would lead to success for the Cleveland Browns . Yet, somehow that was the belief of GM Tom Heckert and the team’s irascible owner Jimmy Haslam , who gambled and lost , when they drafted the quarterback in 2012. Weeden, now finds himself on the Dallas Cowboys’ roster , somewhere between a rock and a hard place in terms of determining his slot on the team’s depth chart for the position as a backup to staring incumbent , Tony Romo , whose playing days are almost certainly coming close to an end, given the recent events and his coming off a serious back surgery procedure. One more year of the rigors of the NFL schedule , is likely to curtail his career with the Cowboys, the only team he has ever played for the in the league.

With Brandon Weeden’s departure, the Cleveland Browns have somehow seen fit to give former Tennessee Titans starting quarterback Vince Young another chance to reignite his career in the NFL . Young , whose journey in the league, has been well chronicled made the preseason roster of the Green Bay Packers in 2013, only to be let go by GM Ted Thompson , who would then publicly apologize for what he now says was a major blunder on their part , in releasing Young after he showed a great deal of poise during the preseason . Some you win , some you lose and one might suggest, that given the Packers’ displays last season , the fact, that they failed so miserably . It would be easy to suggest, that Young could have perhaps brought a little more diversity to the team’s offense last year . Then again, if the Packers are said to be having little faith in Aaron Rodgers , hell must be freezing over or Rodgers , simply was not that good for much of the season for Green Bay. Care, to take a shot at answering that question, as it relates to the Superbowl winning quarterback ?

I believe that the Green Bay Packers will be one of the contending favorites within the NFC this season for the Superbowl , with the all likelihood of the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers being well-placed to now renew what has become one of the rivalries in the NFL of recent years .

For Vince Young, this may well be the last chance for the player to resurrect the last remnants of a career , that has failed to live up to the hype, after giving one of the most riveting performances ever seen in BCS national championship game. As a member of the Texas Longhorns’ team that beat the ” highly favored ” USC Trojans led by Pete Carroll and where Reggie Bush was simply seeking to add to what we would soon find out was a tarnished collegiate career , suborned by a great deal of deceit and lies , of which many believe that Carroll was not only a known participant , but may well have suborned much of the deceit, that took place on the campus , with then AD Mike Garrett , turning a blind eye to it all .

It is quite possible that Vince Young will see some playing time, during the preseason with the Cleveland Browns , to the likelihood of his making the team and the very fact, there still remains doubts concerning his maturity level at this stage of his career. The chances of the veteran being on board for the Browns’ opening regular season game against the Pittsburgh Steelers , could either prove to be a boon or a blessing for the still beleaguered quarterback. The financial outlay being made by the Browns, is not one that will join a great deal of dismay among fans of the NFL or analysts themselves, however , if Young , should prove to be an outright success , then you can bet that a number of the on air personalities will be looking to take some credit, by suggesting that they still believed that Vince Young still had the potential be a success in the NFL .

Quarterbacks are now deemed, the essential piece to any team, just like the centerpiece to a jigsaw puzzle is deemed to be the most important piece of a puzzle. Yet, without that vital cog, a team cannot do to the best of its ability or the puzzle will not be seen as a finished piece of work. In many ways, one could suggest that was the difference in some ways in the play of Russell Wilson and the elder veteran five-time League MVP quarterback Peyton Manning in last season’s Superbowl and the emphatic victory of the Seattle Seahawks over the now bewildered Denver Broncos. Any doubt, as to the clinical decisiveness of that win , can be determined by the result , 48-3 , in favor of the Seattle Seahawks. I would dare say, that if Peyton Manning had it to do all over again, that would not be the way that he would like to have seen another career-defining moment come to a crashing end against second-year quarterback, with barely any postseason experience outplay the more seasoned veterans and future Hall of Fame inductee in the NFL’s biggest showcase finale. In 2014 , may well be the last chance for Manning to make his way back to another playoff appearance and most certainly the chance for the Broncos to win their third Superbowl title , having made five postseason forays , with two title wins to the franchise’s, both when current team Head of Operations and its most famous player John Elway led the Denver Broncos to those memorable triumphs. Elway , himself , must be hoping that the present incumbent at the position can lead the franchise to another Superbowl appearance , but this time with a different outcome.

At this stage of his career, I truly believe that time might not now be on Peyton Manning’s side ! The chance to win was most certainly last season , when the team had the rest of the league at its mercy , unfortunately , for the Broncos the Hollywood script writers did not forward a copy of the script with the preordained ending, suggesting that the AFC West based franchise would be victorious. Instead, the Seattle Seahawks came in with their own rewrite and blew the dreams of the Broncos and their fans into smithereens u. The Broncos’ schedule affords them a chance of making the postseason , but I believe that even with the changes made to the team’s roster in comparison to last season , their chance of that repeat appearance does seem slim , but to discount Peyton Manning would be a dangerous thing to do, given the player’s eagerness to prove his detractors wrong. Something, that he has been able to do over the course of his famed career .



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What thoughts, if any, do you have concerning the points raised within this article and how do you see the events of the NFL Draft playing out given the needs of a number of teams around the league this upcoming season ? Comments on this topic are more than welcomed and thanks as always for your continued support of this site and the insightful comments therein.


Picture and slideshow gallery details below .


(1) Houston Texans’ owner Robert ‘Bob’ McNair ,left, is seen here alongside team general manager Rick Smith , as they walk the sidelines at Reliant Stadium in Houston , Texas , home to the AFC South domiciled NFL franchise . Smith suggests , that the franchise is amenable to trading down and forgoing the # 1 pick in this year’s NFL Draft . The speculation has begun and though it seems unlikely , the feeling remains , that the general manager , if the right offer is made , would actually trade down and give up the number one overall pick . AP Photo / Gary Hughes …

(2) From left to right , Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson . All three players were part of the 2012 NFL Draft , of which the trio led their respective teams into the postseason in their first try as well-being productive in their rookie season . The Seahawks’ quarterback is the first player of the 2012 quarterbacks class to have led his team to a Superbowl appearance , with Seattle’s 48-3 trouncing of the Denver Broncos being one of the biggest highlights of the NFL season in 2012 . Getty Images / Philip Raoux …..

(3) The late Ralph Wilson , former owner of the NFL’s Buffalo Bills. Wilson’s family is now said to be willing to divest themselves of the ownership of the franchise , which has been in their tenure since the franchise’s start . Billionaire real estate tycoon and television personality Donald Trump is said to be showing a keen interest in buying the NFL franchise. No timetable has yet been set for the proposed sale , it is believed , Trump is willing to pay in excess of $1 billion for the privilege to own the NFL team. A far cry from his experiences in the defunct USFL , during which he was an owner of one of the franchises in that particular league . Getty Images North America / Steve Davis ……

(4) The often controversial and self publicizing billionaire Donald Trump , who is said to be keen to succeed the late Ralph Wilson as the new owner of the Buffalo Bills. There are said to be several interested partners willing to buy the team from Wilson’s family , with the obvious league hierarchy approval being the final obstacle to either deter or approve such a deal . AP Photo / Chris Howard …..

(5) Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) and Cleveland Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden (3) great each other after their NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012, in Arlington, Texas. The Cowboys won 23-20 in overtime. Formerly adversaries , the two will become teammates in 2014 , with Weeden being the backup to the Cowboys’ starting quarterback . AP Photo/Sharon Ellman ……

(6) Vince Young (10) of the Cleveland Browns is seen here during a mini-camp session , where the veteran will be seeking to impress the Browns’ coaching staff and head coach Mike Pettine with his understanding of the offense while seeking to be part of the team’s lineup for the upcoming NFL season . AP Photo / Matt Archer …..

(7) Denver Broncos’ owner , Pat Bowlen , Peyton Manning and the team’s Head of Football Operations John Elway , himself a former player and Superbowl winning quarterback with the franchise. This season the Broncos’ front office will be hoping that Manning can lead the team back to the postseason and make an attempt winning the Superbowl. Something not achieved by the franchise since the 1998 NFL season , where they won Superbowl XXXIII (SB33) defeating the Atlanta Falcons in a lopsided victory 34-19 . AP Photo / Mike Mitchell ………….




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Damned if you do and damned if you don’t the NFL still getting some play ….

Damned if you do and damned if you don’t the NFL still getting some play ….

Well now that the shakeout has begun within the NFL , with teams simply severing ties with players they felt that were lacking in productivity or in many cases a money-saving exercise through their own capriciousness in seeking to subvert the cap initiated by the league hierarchy. We are now witnessing that many of the general managers around the league are not as smart as they believe themselves to be. Jerry Jones the erstwhile owner of the Dallas Cowboys suggested that the decision to release the franchise’s best defensive player over the past six seasons , DeMarcus Ware , was simply done from a business standpoint . Yet, when you simply look at the team’s statistics for last season , you will see that the Cowboys possessed one of the worst secondary’s in the entire NFL and much of the blame for this has to rest solely on the shoulders of the team’s defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin .


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I recently read a posting by clearly an ignorant and uninformed Cowboys’ fan, who suggested that Ware’s declining statistics over the past two seasons was the primary reason for the franchise’s malaise. Somehow , I believe that this particular individual has not been watching the team over the past two seasons, to realize that they have not been very good or particularly effective on either side of the ball . And therein lies the idiocy , a fan who clearly is blinded by his own stupidity , that he cannot see or simply state the obvious.

Given Jerry Jones’ miscues over the past few seasons, as it relates to the draft and free agency acquisitions , his explanations not only ring hollow , but it is becoming abundantly clear that the de-facto general manager and owner of the franchise, is not willing to admit that he is prone to making mistakes and there have been countless mistakes made by Jones, when it comes to his assessing the needs of the franchise, in terms of the player personnel and the coaching staff , led by Jason Garrett , whose own tenure must now coming into question , given the lack success.

For the Dallas Cowboys, still, the only way is up , because, even with Tony Romo leading the team and I use that word “lead “ loosely , because the quarterback can in no way be seen as a leader , under any stretch of the imagination ! He has a tendency, to make excuses for his own miscues and haphazard performances , while being handsomely rewarded by the franchise, with an extraordinarily outrageous contract. Further evidence of an organization that for some reason, has the audacity to still believe itself relevant in the NFL, when their last postseason appearance , simply indicated once again stated , why this franchise remains one of the NFL’s most overrated and talked about teams, having not achieved anything of note on the field of play in five seasons.

With DeMarcus Ware’s departure from the Dallas Cowboys, his pickup by last season’s losing Superbowl representative, should be seen as no big surprise. The Denver Broncos naturally , are in need of someone to bolster a secondary, that was simply exposed by the Seattle Seahawks as one of the biggest “frauds” ever to make an appearance in the NFL’s biggest postseason event .

Joining DeMarcus Ware also , at the Denver Broncos , is corner-back, Aqib Talib , whose departure from the New England Patriots might be one of the biggest surprises of this off-season , with the Patriots’ head coach Bill Belichick , who having often spoke highly of the player during the regular season , concerning his play and leadership abilities. Somehow, this might not have been echoed on, to GM Nick Caserio , or team owner , Robert Kraft, who suggested, that it would not be his intention, to overpay for any player , he did not deem it worthy. In the absence of Vince Wilfork for much of the regular season , it was Talib who often stepped up into the role of the leader on the New England Patriots’ defense . The Patriots’ loss, will now be the Broncos’ gain .

Now there seems to be a great deal of tumult within the Patriots’ organization , with Vince Wilfork now seeking to depart from the franchise after ten years of service with the New England Patriots. As to whether or not front office is willing to acquiesce to his wish to be released remains to be seen . Wilfork’s departure were that to take place , would be seen as a shocking loss to the New England Patriots , who are definitely in need of someone with a strong character to lead their secondary unit. While many might feel, that the acquisition of Darrelle Revis , will be of benefit to the team , with some suggesting that the Pro Bowl defensive player is an upgrade over the recently departed Talib. At this stage of his career , after a rather unproductive year with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers , I believe that Revis has a great deal more to prove than the recently departed Aqib Talib and not the other way around !

It would not be an understatement to suggest that the echoes of that defeat , is still ringing loud and clear , not just within the confines of Mile High Stadium , but also with many of the Denver Broncos’ players , who simply quaked in their boots during their contest against the victorious Seattle Seahawks. The 48-3 shellacking , that John Fox’s players still have no explanation for, is really disturbing to say the very least. In the annals of postseason NFL history the contest is likely to be discussed at great length, because repeatedly , were to told that the game would pit the NFL’s two best teams , the Broncos’ high-octane offense against the league’s best defense in the Seattle Seahawks. What the fans witnessed bore nothing to the claims being made and was just another hyperbole of the stupidity , of what we have come to expect of a league , that in recent seasons, has been devoid of intelligence amongst its hierarchy , owners , union and most certainly amongst the on air personalities, who provide the fans with their analysis.

Broncos’ quarterback Peyton Manning for whom, this was his third Superbowl appearance of his long and distinguished career , his legacy may well still be intact , but in terms of his window of opportunity to win a second , postseason title might, now seem. beyond the realms of reality. For John Elway , the franchise’s Head of Football Operations, having himself as a player, had a number of disappointments in the Superbowl , with five appearances of his own , before coming away with the two victories that are currently representative of the Denver Broncos’ postseason success in the NFL.

Manning lost one of his favorite receiving targets , when wide receiver Eric Decker chose to sign with the New York Jets as a free agent , rather than returning to the Broncos. How this now equates with what the Jets are likely to achieve this upcoming season, will be dependent upon which player is deemed to be the starting quarterback for the franchise next season , where the choices are Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith .

The status-quo within the AFC, is likely to remain about the same for the present, with both Denver Broncos and New England Patriots being viewed as the two best teams within the conference . Any contest that pits Tom Brady against Peyton Manning be it during the regular season or postseason , will always guarantee an exceptionally large audience as these two veteran quarterbacks have provided the NFL with some of the most memorable contests to be seen in the NFL in the last decade. . Manning having been drafted as the number one overall pick in the 1998 NFL Draft and Tom Brady being taken as an afterthought in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft . It has to be said, that in the subsequent years the league has been privileged enough to have witness two of the very best to have played the game at the quarterback position over the time-span in question. With the careers of both now winding down, one could surmise that this upcoming season could very well be the last, in which we are likely to witness both quarterbacks perform at a very high level.

The one thing, that the NFL certainly likes to make their fans completely aware of, is the very fact that their players are well rewarded. Not just by way of their contracts , but also in terms of salaries , cap hit , length of the contracts and the average salaries . By giving that clarity, it makes the brand certainly more appealing , though not necessarily amenable. Unfortunately, the one thing that the league hierarchy has failed to address, has been player misconduct and the very fact that commissioner has repeatedly failed to address the issue head on and the same can be said NFLPA Executive DeMaurice Smith and his continued hypocrisy , along with that of the union’s executive committee and Board of Player Representatives . Less we forget also, the anal retentive fans who continue to come up with the most asinine arguments to placate the monstrous behavior of the players , by using the analogy of locker room behavior and simple immaturity. Last I looked, racism, misogyny , and criminal misconduct were not part of the everyday workplace or condoned under any fucking circumstance , but there does appear to a group of fans without the god given intelligence to actually figure that out for themselves . Which begs the question, the NFL in its present guise, much like its large fan-base might just be devoid of common decency and intelligence overall !

The NFL Combine provided the fans with a precursor , with regard to the College talent, who have declared their eligibility for the upcoming NFL Draft . Speculation continues, as to who is likely to taken number one overall in this upcoming draft. Jadeveon Clowney , Johnny Manziel , Blake Bortles , Teddy Bridgewater , Jordan Lynch , Jake Robinson , Sammy Watkins and Khalil Mack are just a few of the names mentioned. However, the likelihood of one of the aforementioned being taken will be dependent upon the wishes of the Houston Texans and their front office led by GM Rick Smith and what he believes will best meet the needs of the coaching staff of Bill O’Brien , who succeeded the ousted Gary Kubiak , as the franchise’s head coach.

For Bill O’Brien who departed from Penn State’s program under somewhat mysterious circumstances , his intent to resurrect the fortunes of the Houston Texans will be a great deal tougher than some will appreciate . Coming off a 2-14 season in 2013 , for a team that lost fourteen straight games , league-high worst amongst the NFL’s thirty-two teams , anyone expecting a quick turnaround for the franchise might well have to rethink that premise. The Texans’ defense was amongst the worst in the NFL and their offense was not that much better and it remains highly unlikely that Matt Schaub , the franchise’s long-time incumbent starting quarterback will be the opening day starter for the upcoming season . Fans of the franchise would like nothing better than to see the team draft the Texas A&M (Aggies’) quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel , who would certainly be a ” major draw” within the state , but questions remain about the player’s character and maturity. If he is to be seen as the franchise’s long-term future and leader, then those issues will clearly have to be addressed by Rick Smith , Bill O’Brien , the player and his representatives.

The upcoming NFL Draft will likely provide the fans with one or two surprises ,but as usual , it certainly will not be the sort laced frilled drama that have the fans questioning the wherewithal of the choices of their teams. Simply put, we will just have to wait and see, what unfolds over the course of this off-season as to witness what may well unfold. As things now stand, there is still a great deal of drama to unfold, with plot-lines that have yet to be fully played out.



Picture gallery .

The off-season upheavals that have now taken place and with many more still likely to come , it remains to be seen what else is likely placed within our midst as many more stories will transpire . Of the several acquisitions that have taken place, which do you believe will have the biggest impact for a franchise and which do you think is likely to the detriment of a team ?


Picture and slideshow details below .

(1) DeMarcus Ware (94) of the Dallas Cowboys is seen here at the franchise’s training facility in Oxnard , California , . Also pictured in the background is the team’s owner and general manager , Jerry Jones . Ware was released by the Cowboys as a salary cap maneuver meant to save the franchise several million dollars . The franchise’s all-time sacks’ leader has since signed a three-year $30 million deal with the reigning AFC champions the Denver Broncos , where he will also be joined by Aqib Talib , himself a casualty of the New England Patriots’ off-season moves of discarding players superfluous to their needs . AP Photo / Paul Richards ….

(2) Dallas Cowboys’ head Jason Garrett is seen here alongside GM and owner Jerry Jones , as they answer questions from the convened press. In Garrett’s three-and-a-half years with the franchise. he is a combined (29-27 .518) without a playoff appearance , since assuming his position in 2010. Jones for his part, steadfastly stands fully in support of his head coach, but having brought in Scott Linehan to be a lead assistant on the coaching staff , it does appear to have caused some friction with offensive coordinator Bill Callahan , said to be not entirely happy with the move. Dallas Morning News / Jorge Rodriguez ……

(3) Cowboys’ defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin is seen here with team owner Jerry Jones . Kiffin brought in to succeed Rob Ryan has failed to ignite the Dallas Cowboys’ defense which was amongst the worst performing secondaries in the entire NFL during last season . Getty Images / Philip Rouse …..

(4) Corner-back Aqib Talib who was not re-signed by the New England Patriots and another salary cap casualty of the off-season , has signed a multi-year deal with the Denver Broncos . The team’s Head of Football Operations , John Elway believes that the signing will be of benefit to the team’s secondary , along with the well publicized acquisition of DeMarcus Ware . These might not be the last of the ambitious moves made by Elway, as he seeks to bolster the team’s roster. AP Photo / Mark Roth ….

(5) Darrelle Revis (24) , one year off , from a failed experiment in Tampa Bay and having signed a six-year $96 million non-guaranteed contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers , the player was released by the franchise and has since signed a one-year deal with the New England Patriots. AP Photo / Jason Fisher ….

(6) Denver Broncos’ quarterback Peyton Manning (18) is seen here with wide receiver Eric Decker (87) , one of his favorite receiving targets during the 2013 season with the Broncos . Decker has since departed , having since joined the New York Jets for what is believed to be a far more attractive offer than his former team were prepared to make . Getty Images / Nick Martin …..

(7) Blake Bortles seen here performing at the NFL Combine was one of the major reasons why the UCF Golden Knights had a successful season . Bortles is one of a slew of college quarterbacks that are being viewed as a prospective number one overall pick in this upcoming NFL Draft. AP Photo / Daniel Provenza ………

(8) The South Carolina Gamecocks’ Jadeveon Clowney is seen some circles as the prospective number one overall draft pick , with Clowney also expressing his belief that not only is he the defensive player amongst the crop of players on the secondary , but the best college player overall, that will be on parade this entire draft. AP Photo / Michael Priest …..

(9) Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel seen here at the NFL Combine held at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis ,Indiana ,. The player met with the press and answered questions posed on what he believes his future prospects are in the NFL. Choosing not to participate in any of the quarterback exercise drills at the Combine, are not thought to have had an adverse effect on where he is likely to ranked or drafted, by analysts compiling their own assessment of the players . The Houston Texans with the number one overall pick are in need of a quarterback , after a dismal year by Matt Schaub , albeit that on the team’s depth chart Case Keenum was able to show some momentary flashes of composure , though not overly convincing enough to have you believe that he would be a desired starter for a Bill O’Brien coached offense. The Texans’ head coach is also thought to be interested in acquiring a veteran free agent quarterback or has been repeatedly reported , his continuing interest in the Patriots’ Ryan Mallett is said to be ongoing . The AFC East based franchise are said to be reluctant in releasing the player , they believe to be a ready made backup and replacement for their long-time starting quarterback Tom Brady . Getty Images / Paul Howell ………….

(10) (L-R) Bill O’Brien , foreground , speaks to the media after being introduced as the new head coach of the Houston Texans alongside general manager Rick Smith and team owner Bob McNair at a press conference at Reliant Stadium on January 3, 2014 in Houston, Texas. Getty Images / Scott Halleran ……



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Rushing touchdowns : 50 , 60 , 70 and 90

It’s not what you do or the way that you spend , it’s just that you’d better be spending it wisely

It’s not what you do or the way that you spend , it’s just that you’d better be spending it wisely

Two things now seem to be taking center in the world of sports , one just happens to be the conference tournaments within the world of College Basketball , and the just happens to be the NFL and their free agency window to sign unsigned or trade cap hit players they deem , unworthy and destined for elsewhere . With the NCAA Tournament not yet upon us , but with the dance cards of certain teams now being set , it will be interesting to now see which programs will be granted the privilege of being an invite to this season’s competition . It seems remarkable that last season’s triumphant Men’s champion , the Kentucky (Wildcats) are likely to miss out on defending their title . This season the Wildcats have simply been pitiful within the SEC and equally so , on the national stage in their out of conference play .


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Courtesy of USA Today

Top 5: Sizing up the best conference basketball tournaments

By Scott Gleeson , USA Today columnist

USA TODAY Sports dissects the top little dances that prelude the big one. Here’s a look at the five best conference tournaments:

Big East Conference

Dates: Tuesday-Saturday

Venue/location: Madison Square Garden, New York


Second-round matchups (Wednesday): No. 8 Providence vs. No. 9 Cincinnati (noon, ESPN); No. 5 Syracuse vs. South Florida/Seton Hall winner (2 p.m., ESPN); No. 7 Villanova vs. No. 10 St. John’s (7 p.m., ESPN2); No. 6 Notre Dame vs. DePaul/Rutgers winner (9 p.m., ESPN2)

Quarterfinal matchups (Thursday): No. 1 Georgetown vs. Providence/Cincinnati (noon, ESPN); No. 4 Pittsburgh vs. Syracuse/USF/Seton Hall (2 p.m. ESPN); No. 2 Louisville vs. St. John’s/Villanova (7p.m., ESPN); No. 3 Marquette vs. Notre Dame/DePaul/Rutgers (9 p.m. ESPN)

BIG EAST: Conference bids farewell to tourney tradition

**Semifinals (Friday, 7 p.m. and 9 p.m., ESPN) | Championship game (Saturday, 8:30 p.m., ESPN)

Main story lines: Georgetown, Louisville and Marquette finished in a three-way tie for the regular-season title at 14-4, leaving a cutthroat tournament to determine the top overall team. This is the final year of the tournament as we know it, with seven of the league’s Catholic schools — DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, Seton Hall, St.John’s and Villanova — forming part of a new 10-team conference. Syracuse and Pittsburgh are leaving for the Atlantic Coast Conference (Notre Dame is likely to join the league earlier than planned), and Rutgers is going to the Big Ten. Longtime Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim’s potential retirement surely will be a subplot, despite his assertion he is not thinking about stepping down.

Key players: Otto Porter, Georgetown (16.4 ppg, 7.5 rpg); Russ Smith, Louisville (17.9 ppg); Vander Blue, Marquette (14.4 ppg); C.J. Fair, Syracuse (14. 5 ppg, 7.1 rpg); Jack Cooley, Notre Dame (13.6 ppg, 10.6 rpg)

Projected winner: Marquette


Atlantic Coast Conference

Dates: Thursday-Sunday

Venue/location: Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, N.C.


First-round matchups (Thursday): No. 8 Boston College vs. No. 9 Georgia Tech (noon, ESPNU); No. 5 North Carolina State vs. No. 12 Virginia Tech (2 p.m., ESPNU); No. 7 Maryland vs. No. 10 Wake Forest (7p.m., ESPNU); No. 6 Florida State vs. No. 11 Clemson (9 p.m., ESPNU)

Quarterfinal matchups (Friday): No. 1 Miami (Fla.) vs. Boston College/Georgia Tech (noon, ESPN2); No. 4 Virginia vs. N.C. State/Virginia Tech (2 p.m., ESPN2); No. 2 Duke vs. Maryland/Wake Forest (7 p.m., ESPN2); No. 3 North Carolina vs. Florida State/Clemson (9 p.m., ESPN2)

**Semifinals (Saturday, 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., ESPN) | Championship game (Sunday, 1 p.m., ESPN)

Main story lines: Miami might have the No. 1 seed, but Duke is playing like the best team in the country with the return of Ryan Kelly, who scored 36 points in his first game back against the Hurricanes. Considering the last matchup was a close game, and Miami previously beat Duke by 27 points, a tournament championship rematch would be well received, as would a North Carolina vs. Duke semifinal. North Carolina State has been inconsistent, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Wolfpack find a late rhythm. Florida State’s Michael Snaer (14.5 ppg) has made four buzzer-beating game-winning shots this season.

Key players: Shane Larkin, Miami (13.7 ppg, 4.4 apg); Mason Plumlee, Duke (17.2 ppg, 10.3 rpg); James Michael McAdoo, North Carolina (14.6 ppg, 7.6 rpg); C.J. Leslie, N.C. State. (14.9 ppg, 7.5 rpg); Alex Len, Maryland (11.8 ppg, 8.1 rpg)

Projected winner: Duke


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In what might be the most disappointing season of his career , Wildcats’ head coach John Calipari , will have to carefully scrutinize where things went wrong for his team over the course of this program’s schedule . The loss of Nerlens Noel , certainly can’t have helped , and neither can the inconsistent play of the team over the course of the year. The only opportunity left for the Kentucky Wildcats will be their conference championship , and a spirited deep run, with the culmination of the tournament win , will be the only chance left for the players to show their prowess , and that they are deserving of an NCAA championship berth .

Inasmuch , as I have questioned John Calipari’s honesty , integrity and complete lack of character ! I can’t help but wonder ,what might have been , had he been availed his full squad of players at full strength within the SEC this season. Yet, while he and the Wildcats seek redemption , their conference rivals , the Florida Gators , are rolling along , and seem intent on proving that their play over the course of this season and their record of 24-6 , is not an aberration. And Gators’ head coach , Billy Donovan , the chance to possibly take this team on another historic run and a third national title in seven years , would be nothing short of miraculous . However, that premise is predicated upon the program gaining a favorable draw in the NCAA Tournament , beyond possibly winning the SEC championship tournament .

Mark Few and his number one ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs (30-2) are simply looking to justify their current national ranking, while looking to make some history of their own. The West Coast Conference program seemingly has a comfortable lead within that conference , while on a win streak of fourteen consecutive games and a solid RPI (5) . Are they capable of winning college sports’ most renowned tournament ? Well that remains to be seen , although , I believe that the ultimate prize within collegiate athletics will be won by one of the more renowned programs within College Basketball !

Tom Crean
, coach of the Indiana Hoosiers , I firmly believe can and will one day be a head coach in the NBA . Though the opportunity has yet to arise , there have to be at least a few envious franchise owners and general managers around the professional ranks , certainly looking enviously at the young coach, and what he achieved at this historic program. Suffice to say , that come the off-season , when the coaching merry-go-round will begin , with perhaps one or two managerial firings , I have no doubt that Crean’s name will be atop of a number general managers’ lists . He has gotten the best out of a mercurial talent , in Victor Olidapo , while Cody Zeller , is, as good, as advertised. Granted , the team has slipped in the ranking in recent weeks, after a somewhat telling spell , where Crean’s players were exposed as being flawed on the defensive end of their game .

Crean’s resume’ speaks volumes as to his experience and character , yet I somehow get the feeling that he would now like nothing better than to lead this program to their first title in College Basketball , since the NCAA Tournament of 1987 , when they defeated Syracuse 74-73 , in what can best described as an “ epic final” . Finals’ MVP in that national championship game was Keith Smart, current head coach of the Sacramento Kings . One of the reasons behind the reverence of the Hoosiers’ program has been the abiding faith in what was essentially built by Bob Knight . As we know, the legend of this often controversial coach , is still clamored for, in this bedrock of College Basketball , which if anything, far outweighs the popularity of the NFL and resounding might I suggest all of the fable and mythical reverence that has been around Notre Dame football ?

As I alluded to earlier , Victor Olidapo and Cody Zeller have been the fulcrum that has essentially driven this Hoosiers’ team. Their most recent game , came by way of a narrow 72-71 victory over the Michigan Wolverines . Now with the Big Ten Tournament , now in full swing , it will be interesting to see how Indiana and the Wolverines fare as this particular competition gets underway , with the programs all seeking postseason aspirations beyond the recognition of being called the Big Ten tournament champions for the season.

Well , the NFL has kicked off what I like to think of as their “silly season” , wherein , the general managers around the league , seek to bolster their rosters , after the disappointment of last season . For the current Superbowl champions , the Baltimore Ravens , this off-season has proven to be an eventful postseason lull , even with the retirement of future Hall of Fame inductee Ray Lewis . GM Ozzie Newsome , and team owner , Steve Biscotti , it appears, have felt it best , not to rest on their laurels , but seek to bolster the team’s roster . In what has turned out to be something of a surprising move , wide receiver Anquan Boldin was traded to the San Francisco 49ers . And with their being ongoing rumors that the front office may well also seek to trade veteran free safety, Ed Reed to their opponents in this most recent Superbowl.

Forty Niners’ GM , Trent Baalke, either has to be seen as a wizard of or extremely fortuitous over the past five days. The franchise’s 2005 first round draft pick , in fact taken number one overall in that season’s draft , was traded to AFC West franchise the Kansas City Chiefs . A team that was in need, of an effective and an extremely efficient quarterback . None of which , was applicable to either Matt Cassel or his backup , Brady Quinn. And with new head coach , Andy Reid seeking to make the Chiefs a formidable force this upcoming season . It will be interest to see how a revamped roster will seek to acquit themselves during their 2013-14 schedule. The AFC West is likely to be a somewhat competitive race , but I do believe that once again, the division will be the Denver Broncos to lose, based upon their performances and their divisional play of last season !

As an avid New England Patriots’ fan, at this time of the season I long to see what mysteries will tend to unfold , as that mindful genius and often considered to be a megalomania-cal head coach , Bill Belichick , considers what his options might be , as it relates to the team’s roster , cap space , and whom he feels to be superfluous to the Patriots’ needs ! In what I believe to be gut-wrenching and inexplicable decision , it would appear that the front office and Belichick have decided to allow their wide receiver and in my estimation , the team’s best player , not named Tom Brady , in the departure of Wes Welker ! If the current ” twitter chatter “ is to be believed, then Welker will be off to join conference rivals the Denver Broncos , further adding to the offensive artillery of Broncos’ quarterback , Peyton Manning. Far be it for me to suggest , but the Patriots’ acquisition of Danny Amendola , by comparison , is simply allowing a Ferrari , off your lot and replacing it with a less impressive vehicle , by way of a Corvette ? Just my opinion , mind you , merely my own observation and opinion !

As to how Wes Welker’s departure might sit with Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady, might be something of an indicator, as to the player’s overall reaction and any public statement that he may well choose to make to the press . Somehow, I feel that when the quarterback in question, sought to restructure his contract , in aiding the franchise with an additional $9 million

in cap space . My first instinct would have been to believe, that the Patriots would have re-signed Wes Welker to a two or three-year contract extension ! Alas, it was not to be , and yet somehow , I can’t but wonder , if this decision, won’t ultimately come back to “ bite the franchise “ in the proverbial ass !

If this is meant to be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ year, this upcoming season . Then their off-season moves , and alleged ambitions , are quite impressive . Yet , beyond that , all of the talk in the world simply cannot hide the fact that , as this team goes , will be solely based upon the play of their four-year starting quarterback , Josh Freeman . Anyone , who simply believes to the contrary , clearly has not seen this team play, and how mindlessly inconsistent they can be , while exacerbating the patience of even their most devoted and loyal of fans . Two in particular , come to mind , Hillsborough County residents , and patrons of this site , SportsChump and “ Aero” , long-time devoted fans of the Buccaneers.

Buccaneers’ head coach Greg Schiano , may well be saying the sort things that he believes that the fans want to hear. Yet , I somehow , can’t help but wonder , if he believes the statements he continues to make , are based in fact, and anywhere close to being truthful . OK , as impressive as it was , the signing of Dashon Goldson , may well go a long way in bolstering the team’s defense , but their failure so far to obtain a productive free agent quarterback , veteran or otherwise , clearly hasn’t addressed the fact of one of the franchise’s biggest needs. Freeman , has become a relentless turnover machine and there seems to be no signs of abatement in that specific category of his play.

While all of the considerable talk appears to be about the Buccaneers’ wish also to obtain corner-back Darrelle Revis , a player who will not become a free agent until 2017 , but somehow given the fact that he spent much of last season on the Jets’ injured-reserve list . It might be considered too much of a gamble, for a player coming off a severe knee injury , and who no one really knows, whether or not, he can return to his best form , which came in 2007 , the year in which he was drafted by the New York Jets, as the fourteenth overall pick . In pursuant , to the Jets’ own decision , it may well be that the asking price of the franchise, may well be too high , as the Pro Bowl corner , is still viewed as one of the preeminent players at the position , as well as being one of the best defensive players in the entire NFL. Clearly , what will now take place between the Buccaneers and Jets , will all be about brinksmanship , and the sort of offer desired , and whether or not an amicable agreement can be reached .

Start afresh, and then hope that the chips will fall your way? Well, that now seems to be the mantra of the Miami Dolphins . Much like their baseball counterparts , the Miami Marlins , here is another professional sport’s franchise within the locale, that has simply done a damn disservice to their fans . Marlins’ owner , Jeffery Loria , has now taken to the print and television media , blaming that segment as well as the fans, for the ball-club’s misfortunes of last season . F#ck you , Loria , and the horse you rode in on ! You hired a self-absorbed and opinionated asshole, as a manager , who was simply unable to communicate or motivate the players under his guidance . Ozzie Guillen was never that influential in the Chicago White Sox’s winning of a World Series in 2005 , as much of the team’s success that season and into the postseason , came by way of the determination of the players , rather than the input of Guillen and his coaching staff at the time !

In the case of the Miami Dolphins, the team’s billionaire owner , Stephen “Steve “ Ross , is now seeking the city of Miami’s sole input and financing for the refurbishment of Sun Life Stadium, a venue that is entirely owned by the billionaire entrepreneur. And less we forget , the city still remains under investigation by the US Justice Department , for what is believed to be their misdeeds , in the financing of the Marlins Ballpark , which has now become something of a white elephant , which was sparsely attended for many of the team’s home games , during the venue’s inaugural season of 2012.

Perhaps, it is me , but Ross’ apparent wealth , and the very fact that he is and remains amongst Forbes’ 400 richest Americans , should not prove to be a hindrance in his being able to obtain private financing for a stadium that he owns . Furthermore, the NFL has its “ 3G financing program “ to aid their franchises with such issues . Something, I believe that Ross , his GM , Jeff Ireland , the CFO Mark Brockelman are fully aware of , but instead, would rather use a great deal of connivance and deceit , in order to get an already beleaguered city municipality , burdened with mountains of debt , looking to further plunge itself deeper into indebtedness. I was once told, by a patron, that the state of Florida has advanced from years of corruption and incompetence . Somehow, I believe that to be a myth, because the state continues to be mired with incompetence at all levels of government within the state . Simply, look no further than the rising evidence and allegations now leveled at the state’s Lieutenant Governor Jennifer Carroll (R-Fla) ? And yet, her initial actions, in touting a business where she held an executive position , while in office, was in strict contravention of the state’s laws. Moreover , the state’s asinine governor , Rick Scott (R-Fla) , initially jumps to her defense , clearly showing , that his dumb ass , has no idea as to the rule of law , much less the goddamn laws of the legislature within his own frigging state .

The Dolphins have been bold , while seeking cap space , they have rid themselves of running back , Reggie Bush , who it appears , now becomes the featured “back” with the Detroit Lions . Good luck, on that one boys …..?

After something of a disastrous season in 2012 , this Dolphins’ team will undoubtedly have to raise the level of its play all-round , or simply suffer the ignominy of a repeat, of last year . Quarterback , Ryan Tannehill , their first round pick from the 2012 NFL Draft , had something of an inconsistent year , but obviously his exploits paled into insignificance when adjudged against that of Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck , Russell Westbrook , sophomores , Andy Dalton and Colin Kaepernick . That being said , head coach , Joe Philbin and Jeff Ireland , have shown and will continue to show a great deal of faith in the young player , as he seeks to progress and gain legitimacy as a young quarterback in the NFL . So this season for Miami Dolphins will be imperative, as they seek some respect within the AFC East.

While I don’t begrudge the NFL at this time of the year , as it becomes, same old story repeatedly , season in and season out ! The story remains the same , it’s just the cast of characters that tend to change in terms of the change of events , and how we are asked to view them by print and television media, alike .


By clicking on and individual frame you can view that picture in a newly
formatted size

Picture gallery .

With the NCAA Tournament brackets not yet set , as the conference tournaments are still ongoing, do you believe that , there may well be one or two prominent programs that will remain on the outside looking in , having not been invited to the “ Big Dance” ? And in terms of the beginning of the NFL off-season , and the recent turn of events , what major moves do you believe will be the most significant or in your estimation the biggest gamble of them all ? By all means , do take time to proffer up a comment on this and anything else , you believe pertinent to the subject matter .

Picture gallery and slideshow details .


(1) Gonzaga’s Kevin Pangos (4) shoots against Portland in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game on Saturday, March 2, 2013, in Spokane, Wash. AP Photo/Jed Conklin …

(2) Gonzaga’s Elias Harris (20) goes up for the dunk against Portland in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game on Saturday, March 2, 2013, in Spokane, Wash. AP Photo/Jed Conklin …

(3) Kentucky’s Ryan Harrow (12) shoots as Florida’s Michael Frazier II defends during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky., Saturday, March 9, 2013. AP Photo/James Crisp ….

(4) Coach John Calipari of the Kentucky Wildcats directs play against the Florida Gators February 12, 2013 at Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, Florida. The Gators won 69 – 52 . Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images North America …. .

(6) FILE – In this Nov. 18, 2012 file photo, Baltimore Ravens free safety Ed Reed (20) runs after recovering a fumble by Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace during the first quarter of an NFL football game in Pittsburgh. The Houston Texans will meet with free agent Reed on Thursday, March 14, 2013. The team said on its Twitter site that general manager Rick Smith is flying to pick up Reed in a private jet owned by team owner , Bob McNair . AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar …

(7) This Jan. 20, 2013, file photo, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) talks to wide receiver Wes Welker (83) before the NFL football AFC Championship football game against the Baltimore Ravens in Foxborough, Mass. The Denver Broncos have found a new target for Peyton Manning, agreeing to a two-year deal with Pro Bowl receiver Wes Welker. AP Photo/Elise Amendola ….

(8) FILE – In this Jan. 29, 2013 file photo, San Francisco 49ers safety Dashon Goldson (38) smiles during media day for the NFL Super Bowl XLVII football game in New Orleans. A person with knowledge of the contract says free agent Goldson has agreed to a $41.25 million, five-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The person spoke on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press on Wednesday, March 13, 2013, because the team had yet to formally announce Goldson’s deal. AP Photo/Mark Humphrey …..

(9) FILE – In this Jan. 1, 2012 file photo, Atlanta Falcons defensive end John Abraham (55) pressures Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman (5) during the first half of an NFL football game in Atlanta. The Falcons have released running back Michael Turner , Abraham and corner-back Dunta Robinson . The moves were announced Friday, March 1, 2013, by a team that came up just short of the Super Bowl. With an almost $8 million salary received by the Buccaneers’ quarterback in 2012 , it has to be said that he offered the team a meager return on that investment . AP Photo/David Goldman ….



By Tophatal

NFL pieces within this site and College Basketball


NFL news and stories from around the league

NFL archived stories

NFL team transactions

2013 NFL Draft and details from the NFL Combine

2013 NFL Draft : Top prospects by grade

Top prospects by position


NCAA Men’s Basketball

NCAA Men’s Basketball news

NCAA Men’s Basketball Conference Tournament results 13th March 2013 and scheduled games 14th March and beyond

NCAA Men’s Basketball statistics 2012-13

NCAA Tournament 2013


Tears for Fear ….. “Everyone wants to rule the world “


“Shout “

What Is In An Arm ?

What Is In An Arm ?

By tophatal ……..

I have been reading with a great deal of interest as to who has been the most successful quarterbacks in the NFL over the past four seasons . In reeling off my own list of names , it was reasonable to assume that Drew Brees , Tom Brady , Peyton Manning , Eli Manning , Ben Roethlisberger and Tony Romo would be amongst that list . In addition, yes they were , but the real criteria set , were in terms of regular season wins by a quarterback . A great statistic no doubt alongside that of comebacks and game winning drives , that would be a great way to judge a quarterback’s abilities . Far too much is placed upon the quarterback ratings’ system and pass completion percentages but it appears these are the statistics that said to work best for the analysts and NFL coaches and their respective staffs . .
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Slide show gallery .

The one name that I overlooked was that of Atlanta Falcons’ quarterback Matt Ryan . A tremendously gifted player , the “ knock” against Ryan is that he has never been able to lead the Falcons deep into the playoffs . Ryan has amassed a 43-19 record in regular season games since 2008, which amongst the tops of starting quarterbacks over the past four seasons . For his part though , Ryan has to contend and play in one of the most competitive divisions in the NFL where the Falcons resides , that has four equally compelling teams that will be looking to play themselves into contention this upcoming season . The NFC South is home to the Falcons as well as the Carolina Panthers , Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the much maligned New Orleans Saints . Moreover, the quarterbacks to be found within the division are not too shabby when playing at their very best .

Drew Brees along with Matt Ryan , Cam Newton and Josh Freeman have their own strengths and weaknesses as players . It bodes well this season for Falcons’ head coach Mike Smith , as the team has to be viewed as the prohibitive favorites within the NFC South for the upcoming season . Smith , team owner Arthur Blank , GM Thomas Dimitroff and President /CEO Rich McKay have been prudent and fortuitous in their personnel decisions in the aftermath of the Michael Vick “ scandal “ , which essentially saw the franchise’s fall from grace and the less than honorable departure of Bobby Petrino in the wake of the scandal . Matt Ryan , who was a first round draft pick in the 2008 NFL Draft was taken third overall by organization . The player became a starter that season for the team , with the franchise going 11-5 within the NFL (8-4 /CONF & 3-1 non-conference). The young quarterback in his rookie season was steady but not spectacular. By comparison to his peers that season , one could attest to the fact that Mike Smith was happy with he witnessed from the young player in his first year within the NFL .

The 2012 NFL Draft for the Atlanta Falcons was built around the prerequisite needs of the team , namely a guard , tackle and nose tackle and running back . Moreover, this was borne out in the choices made by Mike Smith and the coaching staff in conjunction with Thomas Dimitroff. Peter Konz , Lamar Holmes , Bradie Ewing and Johnathan Massaquoi were the first four players taken by team in rounds , two through five . If the Falcons can improve upon last season by way of their overall statistics then it , and where they ranked defensively and on offense would be a boost for the coaching and the young players hoping to make a solid contribution for the franchise this season .

Am I convinced that Matt Ryan can join the elite quarterbacks within the NFL ? Well that would be dependent as what one constitutes as being amongst the “elite” ? The Falcons’ quarterback has proven that he is capable of leading a team but it is being able to get over that final obstacle of getting a franchise deep into the playoffs is how now adjudge the greatness of a player and that intent is to win the game’s biggest prize the ……………. Superbowl .

The Michael Vick years as we know , showed him to be a phenomenal athlete who was able to light up a game with some “ exhilarating plays “ . Vick’s on the field performances notwithstanding , it was the player’s off field issues that gained some unwarranted attention and notoriety. His lying to federal investigators and to the ownership of the Atlanta Falcons showed that the naiveté of Michael Vick as well as his lack of maturity . Vick a great deal of wealth and notoriety at a young age, and not being able to handle the public attention , as well as the praise tends to be one of the many reasons that an athlete feels that they are above the law , while feeling that they will have the backing of their entourage or the press in some instances plays into an athlete’s mindset . We have seen these scenarios played out far too often within the public arena , with many of the fans either siding with the athlete or decrying their actions , no matter how heinous their actions are said to be.

The seasoned veteran is now with the Philadelphia Eagles , where their 2011 schedule simply imploded due to their lack of real commitment and the apparent lack of ingenuity coming from head coach Andy Reid and his coaching staff . An 8-8 season led to the Eagles missing the postseason . Moreover , questions were asked as to why this team failed so miserably , in spite of the apparent talent at Reid’s disposal. The Eagles’ front office led by team owner Jeffrey Lurie , GM Howie Roseman and senior consultant Joe Banner had eschewed the idea of firing the head coach after last season’s malaise . Reid’s tenure has been filled with highs and lows , and in recent years, one could attest to the fact that it was more of the latter .

In 2012 if the Philadelphia Eagles are unable to have a successful sojourn through their schedule , then we may well see the head coach being shown the door . I am not about to suggest that the Vick “experiment” in Philadelphia has been a distinct failure but the rhetorical excuses being served up by the player and the coaching staff might just be the most asinine of the premises that best describes why this organization can be considered a joke ! That notwithstanding , the supercilious attempts by the NFL analysts to consider both the Eagles and Dallas Cowboys as being repeatedly favorites within the NFC , has to be looked upon as being rather redundant. The fact that both teams reside within the NFC East indicates how mundane that the division a has become with the ascendancy of the New York Giants in recent years and their playoff history . Do you get the feeling that the Cowboys and Eagles are envious of the Giants and their success ?

Whatever the season now holds for the Atlanta Falcons and the aforementioned teams as they embark on their respective schedules . We can only speculate on what is likely or not likely to happen concerning those franchises . As the defending Superbowl champions , the New York Giants will be the team with a bulls’ eye on their backs . Everyone will be out to take the Giants down , and I am sure that Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning will be out to prove their detractors wrong .



Picture gallery .

The NFL preseason should prove to be interesting as we get the first glimpse of the rookies taken in the Draft and see what their aspirations may well be . If at all interested in the subject matter simply leave a comment as you see fit .

Picture and slide show details .


(1) Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan takes part in football mini camp Tuesday, June 19, 2012, in Flowery Branch, Ga. AP Photo/David Goldman …

(2) Atlanta Falcons defensive end John Abraham takes part in NFL football practice, Thursday, June 21, 2012, in Flowery Branch, Ga. For much of the free agency period , it appeared likely the Falcons would lose Abraham, the team’s top pass rusher. Instead Abraham has returned to find his new defensive coordinator is Mike Nolan , who was the Jets’ defensive coordinator for his 2000 rookie season. Abraham says it’s a perfect fit. AP Photo/David Goldman ..

(3) Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith conducts NFL football mini-camp, Tuesday, June 19, 2012, in Flowery Branch, Ga. AP Photo/David Goldman ….

(4) Tight end Tony Gonzalez (88) of the Atlanta Falcons breaks a tackle during the game against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on December 11, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images North America …..

(5) Matt Ryan (2) of the Atlanta Falcons heads off the field after the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at the Georgia Dome on September 18, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. Scott Cunningham / Getty Images North America …

(6) Michael Vick (7) of the Philadelphia Eagles talks with head coach Andy Reid before the start of the Eagles game against the Washington Redskins at Lincoln Financial Field on January 1, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. …………


NFL news

NFL transactions

2012-13 NFL regular season schedule

Atlanta Falcons front office

Atlanta Falcons payroll

Atlanta Falcons news

Atlanta Falcons overview

Atlanta Falcons’ roster & … team statistics 2011

Atlanta Falcons free agents

Atlanta Falcons 2012-13 schedule

Atlanta Falcons draft history

Biting Off More Than He Could Chew …………….

Biting Off More Than He Could Chew ……

tophatal ….

I am not so sure what to make of the upcoming NFL season with so much being on the line for a number of teams and specifically their head coaches . But if anything the person said to be most under the pressure may well be NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell . With the ongoing scandal that has embroiled the New Orleans Saints and further tarnish the image of the sport as a whole . Unfortunately , there’s said to be great deal of apathy among a number of fans who feel that while the game remains as popular as ever they would rather simply look at what takes place on the field of play.


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Slide-show for your perusal .

The NFL this season has a great deal going for it with many of the fans simply looking to see if the rookies taken in the first round of the NFL Draft will matriculate into something special . Cam Newton had a spectacular season in 2011 while leading the Carolina Panthers to an extraordinary season . Granted, the Panthers failed to win the NFC South or make the postseason but quite obviously the front office were extremely pleased that the top pick from the 2011 NFL Draft exceeded their own expectations .

Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III will have something to prove along with their peers taken in the Draft. And most notably the quarterbacks chosen will be under the greatest scrutiny of all. Ryan Tannehill and Brandon Weeden might not be starters in week one for their respective teams the Miami Dolphins and Cleveland Browns. Those two teams in question are now at a crossroads in terms of the paths taken . Both aspire to be forces within the AFC and they each have a long way to if they are to surpass the peaks scaled by the New England Patriots , Pittsburgh Steelers , Baltimore Ravens and Indianapolis Colts . The quartet of teams between them have 11 Superbowl titles collectively .

Before the season gets underway the league could be facing a another major dilemma as the NFL hierarchy are in protracted negotiations with the NFLRA (union) [referees’ union] as the league sets about renegotiating a new collective bargaining agreement with the union . Roger Goodell , simply thinks that with one perceived victory in overturning appeals of the four suspended New Orleans Saints’ players at the center of the team’s bounty scandal . The NFLRA are adamant that they will not acquiesce to any deal that would see them having to take a cut in their salaries as well as reduced benefits. If this is Goodell’s idea of a joke , then it is not a very good one considering issues he had with the NFLPA and their hard-fought battle that went before the FMCS and then before a Federal Court appointed mediator. The commissioner’s inter-actions with his counterpart , DeMaurice Smith , left a great deal to be desired . The biggest joke about those deliberations was the very fact within months an agreement the two sides are once again adversaries , as Smith seeks to protect his members at what he believes to be a witch hunt . At the center of this all is whether or not the evidence gathered and used to prove the league’s case against Johnathan Vilma , Anthony Hargrove , Scott Fujita and Will Smith . Vilma has filed a civil suit against the commissioner and the NFL , claiming defamation of character , libel and slander . That case , should it go to trial , would place Goodell , on the witness stand having to recollect how the league’s investigators went about conducting their investigation and collecting evidence . It should be noted that Vilma when asked to attend the NFL headquarters for questioning , even though the union would be providing him with a player rep and lawyer to represent his interests while being questioned . It should be noted , that the player (Vilma) chose not attend , stating it came under advisement from his legal counsel . That , in of-itself doesn’t preclude us from coming to a decision as to Vilma’s guilt or innocence but I firmly believe the player has done himself no favors with his actions. And that is also further substantiated by the coaches who were embroiled in this mess with their admission of guilt but less than contrite apologies . Personally, for the idiots out there rallying behind the commissioner , coming to his support , without fully comprehending the intricacies of an agreement between the league and union that simply wasn’t worth the paper it was written on ! Only an asshole would believe that the two sides tried to suggest what was a binding an arbitrary agreement is one that resolved their divisions . It was simply nothing more than one big cluster fuck and a complete charade ! The union has reneged on the testing for HGH and steroids of their members, while trying to suggest that the league’s testing protocols and regimen are not in line with that of the USOC or that of WADA . As asinine as it sounds , somehow Goodell has relented and once again he cowers from steering down the NFLPA and forcing them to abide by their agreement , that was ratified by the NFLPA’s Executive Committee Does anyone now truly believe that the NFL is currently on a great footing in terms of its overall image ?

Goodell may well be over-reaching his boundaries in now seeking another out another adversary in the NFLRA , as he can ill-afford to have a possible delay to the start of the NFL season, this year . But it could very well come down to that, should things become contentious between the two parties . As of now , it would appear that calmer heads are prevailing . My question however , but for how long ? Your thoughts ?

Courtesy of Associated Press & Yahoo Sports

NFL refs association: no strike contemplated

By Barry Wilner , The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) The NFL Referees Association is disputing a claim by the league that the officials threatened to take a strike vote after their contract expired.

Mike Arnold , counsel for the officials, says Tuesday that claim is ”patently false.”

”The NFLRA has never threatened to strike,” Arnold said. ”After repeated references by the NFL during negotiations regarding its plans to obtain replacement officials, the NFLRA briefed its members at its annual meeting on April 21, 2012. No strike vote was taken at the meeting.

”In fact the NFLRA’s directive to its membership was to prepare for the season and to perform each and every task assigned to them both before and after CBA expiration. This continues to be the position of the NFLRA.”

The collective bargaining agreement ended after the 2011 season. The sides had been meeting since October, but mediation lasted only two sessions and talks broke off Sunday.

On Monday, the league said it will begin hiring and training replacement officials.

The officials say that the NFL offered salary increases lower than those obtained in the 2006 agreement.

”They heard about the increases that team and league employees receive, far less than the increases we proposed for the game officials, even without considering the improved offer made on Sunday,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said. ”Do the officials get the same kind of raises in their other jobs as they did in 2006?”

Click on link shown to read in full .


Roger Goodell may well be happy with the fact that the league was able to add an additional $2.65 billion in additional revenues by extending and renewing a number of television contracts that were set to expire . The commissioner’s gleeful joy over this paints a rather grim picture when you take into account that he , the union and the team owners have been less than forthright when dealing with the issue of player safety as it relates to severe blunt force head trauma , concussions Grade II and above , as well as the issue as to how the NFL has dealt with CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy). The latter malady is often seen as a precursor to long-term memory loss , Alzheimer’s Disease and other maladies not normally associated with the game , until later on , long after many of these players have retired and left the game. Consider the untimely death of Junior Seau , due to a self-inflicted gunshot wound , and the very fact that he sought out medical help in terms of a therapist but failed to attend the prescribed meetings . Neither the league or the union provides any help to the players under such circumstances but the commissioner has the temerity to suggest that hierarchy does its best to assist the players in their times of utmost need. That has never been the case , if truth be known , as they only provide assistance to players when they break the league’s the drug (substance abuse) policy as it relates to their mandated edicts . Beyond that , the league’s scope and assistance has been minuscule as they have chosen to keep the seasoned veterans at arm’s length . What might now be inconceivable , in the aftermath of the agreement presided over by the arbitrator the league and union saw fit to set aside $1 billion in a sealed document , which we are told will be disbursed to assist the veterans in paying for medical benefits. However , with the NFL being defendants in seven separate legal civil suits filed in US Federal and US District Court as well as the case that may well set the precedence , and that is the civil suit filed by the family of the late Dave Duerson in Cook County Court , Chicago , Illinois,. Should the family prevail in their suit and a judgment is rendered in their favor , then it is highly likely that the jury could seek to compensate the Duersons with punitive and compensatory damages in their wrongful death suit . The very fact that as the defendants in this case , the legal ramifications for the NFL could be disastrous should they be on the losing side of this suit . The fact that the league sought to have all of the cases conjoined in the US Federal Court in the 4th Circuit should be enough of an indication as to how serious the league views this situation . The NFL’s Chief legal counsel Jeff Pash and their head of Labor Negotiations Adolphus Birch III are providing Goodell with legal insight , as both of these legal minds will be tested as to how they will ultimately address this issue for the NFL , as a matter of jurisprudence .

September 5th may well bring about a sensational season , with all 32 teams vying for the Superbowl but if anything it has and will be the off the field problems that for now will provide the fans with a great deal of intrigue. And how this is all addressed by the NFL will give us something of an indication as to how we should perceive the league . Roger Goodell and the league hierarchy faces an uphill battle as they seek to rebuild the NFL’s image especially in light of these controversies . The NFL commissioner like his predecessor Paul Tagliabue may well be two of the poorest executives in all professional sports during which their tenures can best described , as being mediocre ! That last premise is with due respect to both David Stern , Bud Selig and Gary Bettman . And given the ineptitude shown by each in recent season as they have repeatedly used an acute economic crisis for the woes that their respective brands have faced and continue to face , even when it is abundantly clear that their issues have not been properly dealt with . Greed , and dare one say corruption , if nothing else has been the opportune word that could best describe why these sports now find themselves engulfed with a litany of issues of one form or another . Your thoughts on the matter ?

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In your judgment do you believe that the NFL and union have been culpable in their mistreatment of the NFL veterans ? Also Roger Goodell’s scope as NFL commissioner do you believe him to be adroit enough to be considered a good enough chief executive or is he simply an individual who does not have a complete grasp as to what is needed , as required for the NFL’s highest ranking position where authority and very good communicative skills are needed ? By all means chime on this and anything else you believe to be pertinent with regard to the subject matter .


Picture and slide show details below .

(1) Chicago Bears defensive end Julius Peppers , right, talks with wide receiver Johnny Knox during NFL football practice in Lake Forest, Ill., Wednesday, June 6, 2012. AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh ….

(2) Tennessee Titans quarterbacks Jake Locker (10) and Rusty Smith (11) pass during a workout at the team’s NFL football training facility on Wednesday, June 6, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn. AP Photo/Mark Humphrey

(3) DAVIE, FL – MAY 4: Ryan Tannehill (17) of the Miami Dolphins talks to the media after the rookie mini-camp on May 4, 2012 at the Miami Dolphins training facility in Davie, Florida. Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images …

(4) Cleveland Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden (3) and Thaddeus Lewis (9) watch Colt McCoy (12) during practice at the NFL football team’s headquarters in Berea, Ohio Tuesday, June 5, 2012. AP Photo/Mark Duncan …

(5) Executive director of the NFL Players Association DeMaurice Smith (L) and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (R) speak outside the NFL Players Association Headquarters in Washington July 25, 2011. The NFL and players have agreed to terms to end their four-month lockout and ensure America’s most professional sport will go ahead as planned next season. The commissioner is now taking aim at the NFLRA (National Football League Referees’ Association [union]) as he seeks to weaken their stance . The union’s collective bargaining agreement is set to expire at the end of the 2012-13 season , however , they sought to obtain an extension of the agreement but the league hierarchy is said to be seeking sweeping concessions from the NFLRA , while at the same time setting out they believe to be are scurrilous claims made by the union concerning their demands . For the moment the NFLRA states that they have no intentions of going on strike and delaying the start of the 2012-13 season . But the commissioner is said to be already contemplating the use of replacement officials should the union cal an all-out strike . “The more things change the more they remain the same” . Goodell at his best but most notably , at his worst ! REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque ….


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NFL Schedule 2012-12 ……. week 1 5th September 2012

Heavy Is The Head That Wears The Crown …

Heavy Is The Head That Wears The Crown …

By tophatal ………….. 2012/06/03 …….. 03:45 PM (EST)

So the teams have begun their OTA’s (organized team activities) where the rookies will get their chance to finally meet their veteran teammates as well as the coaching staffs of their respective teams in the NFL . For the likes of Andrew Luck , Robert Griffin and Trent Richardson , this is seen as the chance for these highly prized athletes to prove that the choices made by their respective teams were justified . This season I truly believe that not only will certain teams be under a great deal of pressure to succeed but most certainly a number of head coaches. Let’s get one thing clear , for all of the verbose pomposity there’s no denying that Rex Ryan is a good coach but as of now the “clock is ticking” for Ryan , his coaching staff and most definitely his incumbent starting quarterback Mark Sanchez . The New York Jets were an immense disappointment last season , and the very fact that there was a great deal of dissent and friction within the locker room would be enough to suggest that all is not right for the team , coaching staff and specifically the front office of the organization.


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Slide show for your perusal .

Now even with the acquisition of Tim Tebow there’s no denying that the Jets this season will have a great deal to prove . Tebow obviously coming as in a back-up for Sanchez must know that he’ll be thrust into the spotlight the moment that Mark Sanchez has a shaky game or if the team begins a losing streak . The idiocy to suggest that he’ll be used for such schemes as a wildcat offense or even as a tight end or wide receiver can be deduced as nothing but talk and the sheer stupidity of the New York print media , on air radio analysts and the most banal of them all , the assholes on television who cover the NFL ! If nothing else , it’s all about saying something merely for the sake of it , rather than proffering us some insightful analysis . Tebow as a wide receiver much less a tight end ? Oh , that will go down well should be on the wrong end of a hit from the likes of Ray Lewis , Justin Tuck or even Elvis Dumervil for that matter .

The New York Jets if they are to fare well this season , then they will have to overcome the New England Patriots within the AFC East . Apart from the Patriots , there’s also the likes of the Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills to deal with , within the division . The cast of characters within the division in terms of the quarterbacks on display speaks for itself , with Tom Brady leading the way .

The Patriots’ quarterback and his teammates were once again on the losing end of what now appears an improbable defeat in the Superbowl . A loss that still reverberates within the New England area as well across the entire NFL . For the victorious New York Giants and their fans this further adds to the legitimacy that this franchise has been one of the dominant NFL franchises in recent years . Eli Manning has led the franchise to two Superbowl victories over the New England Patriots in the last six years . And with each victory it has added to the player’s luster and now has some questioning whether or not he is the better of the two siblings in terms NFL supremacy . From my perspective , Peyton Manning is in a class by himself amongst the quarterbacks to have played the game in the last fifteen years . In reality however, this might just be the best era within the NFL in terms of the quarterbacks we now have on display within the game. Drew Brees , after his record-breaking ….. year , alongside Brady , Eli Manning , Aaron Rodgers and Matt Stafford simply set the tone for a stellar season within the NFL . Add into that, the rise of Alex Smith after some inauspicious years of under achievement with the San Francisco 49ers .

Smith had a breakout season with the Niners , leading his team to the NFC championship game where they would fall to the eventual Superbowl champions the New York Giants . As to how this places the San Francisco 49ers as potential contenders for the upcoming season remains to be seen. Clearly , coach Jim Harbaugh believes his team is capable of taking the next step and in light of the acquisition of Randy Moss , Brandon Jacobs and Mario Manningham with that stellar defense must now be looked at as a potential challenger to the likes of the Green Bay Packers , New York Giants within the NFC .

As things now stand it is still too early to make any serious prognostications as to which teams should now be considered early contenders for the Superbowl . Here’s my premise why , injuries will undoubtedly play a part and clearly that was the case with the Indianapolis Colts last season . The franchise’s hopes were essentially pinned on the shoulders of Peyton Manning but once the player was lost for the entire 2011 schedule we pretty much saw how poor this team would be. The disappointment led to the firing of Jim Caldwell and the upheaval within the front office with the departures of Bill Polian and his son, Chris Polian . The two pretty much the architects behind the Colts’ unprecedented success over the past decade . The first signs of that success would come in the franchise’s drafting of Peyton Manning in 1998 as the number one overall pick that season. From that point onwards the Colts have been pretty much very judicious with their choices in successive seasons bringing on board players such as Dwight Feeney and Marvin Harrison . The franchise’s greatest success was that of their Superbowl victory but along the way was their unprecedented success and the countless divisional titles under then coach Tony Dungy .

Unfortunately, for the Colts going through Curtis Painter , Dan Orlovsky and Kerry Collins as a replacement for Peyton Manning proved to be a worthless endeavor as neither could achieve anything of merit as the season progressed . Their efforts pretty much summed how dire the situation became for the Indianapolis Colts and simply proved how much of an invaluable asset Peyton Manning just happens to be for this Colts’ franchise .

In the aftermath of the upheaval within the Indianapolis Colts team owner Jim Irsay saw fit to promote Ryan Grigson as the new general manager for the franchise. Their first order of priorities was simply assessing whether or not Peyton Manning could still be viewed as the future of the franchise . But with the players ongoing injury problems and the very fact the Colts mishandled this whole episode it speaks to the idiocy what went on within this organization. In the end with Manning’s departure to the Denver Broncos , it became a forgone conclusion that the franchise would indeed make Andrew Luck the number one pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. Albeit, that Grigson had been in contact with Robert Griffin III and his agent to see if the player would indeed be interested in a behind-closed-doors tryout for the coaching staff and front office . Griffin would turn down the offer and as we know he was taken second overall by the Washington Redskins whose coach Mike Shanahan will be pinning his hopes on the young quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner . And for the Redskins and their season this could very well be the year that they prove to be a real challenge in usurping the dominance of the New York Giants . My own belief however , is the fact that the Washington Redskins are still one or two players away of having a legitimate shot within the NFC East .

This division often viewed as one of the best in the NFL to my mind has simply become overrated and overblown . While the talent there one could attest is very good I believe comes from the fact of the inconsistency of the teams there . Nowhere is this more evident than with the Philadelphia Eagles and the coaching staff of Andy Reid . A team with the talented Michael Vick simply imploded and then all of the excuses came from within the organization and from the press within the city , either berating the team and the head coach , rather than directing their animus towards a group of overrated and overpaid players . It came as a big surprise to many that Reid was retained by team president Joe Banner but it was clear I believe that this may well be the coach’s last chance to prove his worth . Certainly team owner Jeff Lurie knows that the fans are not entirely happy this current dilemma but at the end of the day he knows that it has become a do-or-die situation for this organization. .

Why is it repeatedly each year we are told that we ought to look at the Dallas Cowboys as being legitimate contenders for the Superbowl ? It has now become a long-running joke not just amongst the most discerning NFL fans but also amongst the none observant passer-by . All of this has to come from the lugubrious attitude of the team’s owner Jerry Jones . Everything they say …..” is done big ” in the state of in Texas , and most certainly that has been the case within the city of Dallas. From the franchise’s $1.5 billion stadium in Arlington , Texas , and all of the ostentatious accoutrements , simply suggest that Jones wants the very best while placing a rather mediocre product on the field of play . Much of this I truly believes comes from the fact that the team’s starting quarterback Tony Romo simply isn’t good enough to lead this team to where they need to and where Jones envisages that they should be .

Jason Garrett has been thrust into a situation that I believe that is beyond his capacity as a head coach ! He has proven to be naive and somewhat of a novice in his coaching style . Throughout much of last season , Garrett simply made mistakes not expected of someone who’s said to be ready , to be thrust into the limelight. “Muffed calls” and not holding his players accountable , never-mind the fact that there’s no one said to be the vocal leader on this team. Other than the play of DeMarcus Ware there wasn’t much to take away , or suggest that Cowboys are simply good enough to viewed as a legitimate contender for the NFC East , much less be viewed as one of the preeminent teams within the NFC .

The Cowboys drafted well to meet their needs but that might not be enough in of-itself given what we have witnessed from the team over the course of last season . Romo came into the NFL as an un-drafted free agent who would succeed Drew Bledsoe as the franchise’s quarterback . But over the subsequent years it has been one of highs and lows over the course of Romo’s career thus far. The player himself this season has to , once and for all got to prove to his doubters that he is capable of leading a team deep into the playoffs and beyond , rather than the continued hyperbole being used to describe Tony Romo . It has now come to the point where at this stage of his career it has been the hype which has encapsulated his prominence or professional lack thereof . It certainly be interesting to see Tony Romo and his teammates are able to endure this upcoming season, as the expectations once again will be undoubtedly be high . Failure again just won’t be an indictment of the player but also a sad indictment of this organization , the entire coaching staff and the front office staff .

Now at the culmination of the regular season in 2011 I actually believed that the San Diego Chargers their horrendous foray would have jettisoned the team’s head coach Norv Turner . But for some reason GM A J Smith felt it worthwhile retaining the beleaguered head coach for one more year. Much to the amazement the explanation from the Chargers’ front office for retaining Turner laid in the fact that they believe him to be the right person for the position and that he’s deserving to take this team and make one assault on attempting to win this franchise their first Superbowl title . A great deal of that will be predicated upon not only the play of Philip Rivers and the player’s mental mindset. As he goes , then so does this team , if not , then we could very well see the departure of Norv Turner and quite possibly the quarterback seeking a trade . If Philip Rivers can’t win with this franchise then it is indeed time for him to ply his trade elsewhere with a contender . Your thoughts on the matter concerning the Chargers and specifically Philip Rivers ? By all means chime in with a comment .

It’s sad to see when time catches up with a player especially when it is clear that they are now past their “sell by date “ . And that is most definitely the case , with veteran quarterback Donovan McNabb and his ambition to make a successful return to the NFL . McNabb hasn’t played in the NFL since 2010 . And it is clear that the player simply isn’t good enough to viewed as a starter in the NFL . In the determined belief that he is still capable of competing at the highest level of the game as a starter with a franchise , the seasoned veteran seeks a franchise who’s in need of a player with his experience . Is there team willing to take a chance on the player ? Well it is still early days yet , and just about anything possible could happen . McNabb to my mind should take a clue as to how Brett Favre had to be forced to walk away from the game , albeit , he says it was under his own steam . Truth be known , it all came down to the player and his off-the-field issues and the very fact that his play had steadily been on the decline over the past five years . Nothing more , nothing less , it was as simple as that !



Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have concerning the points raised within this piece ? By all means leave a comment as you see fit and thanks as always for the continued support as it has been greatly appreciated .

Picture and slide show details below .

(1)New York Jets offensive coordinator Tony Sparano , left, talks to head coach Rex Ryan during NFL football practice, Thursday, May 31, 2012, in Florham Park, N.J. AP Photo/Julio Cortez ..

(2) New York Jets quarterbacks Mark Sanchez, left, and Tim Tebow workout during NFL football practice, Thursday, May 31, 2012, in Florham Park, N.J. AP Photo/Julio Cortez …

(3) From left to right , Indianapolis Colts’ head coach Chuck Pagano , team owner , Jim Irsay and general manager Ryan Grigson . The trio start afresh with a revamped front office , coaching staff and in essence a team built around #1 overall pick Andrew Luck. The team’s 2012 schedule isn’t all that favorable , so Pagano and his staff will be under a great deal of pressure to succeed within the AFC South and AFC as a whole . AP Photo / Keith McCall …

(4)San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh gestures during the NFL football team’s practice in Santa Clara, Calif., Tuesday, May 29, 2012. AP Photo/Paul Sakuma ….

(5) Philadelphia Eagles’ Michael Vick, right, meets with teammate LeSean McCoy at a practice during a rainstorm at the team’s NFL football training facility, Friday, June 1, 2012, in Philadelphia. AP Photo/Matt Rourke …

(6) Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid speaks during a media availability after NFL football practice at their training facility Thursday, May 24, 2012 in Philadelphia. AP Photo/Alex Brandon ..

(7) Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones watches his team from the sidelines during NFL football practice at Cowboys Stadium, Wednesday, May 30, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. Jones says he has no interest in going to federal court to seek relief after an arbitrator upheld the NFL’s salary cap reductions against the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins. AP Photo/ Elsa Martinez …..

(8) Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) watches during NFL football practice at Cowboys Stadium, Wednesday, May 30, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. Also shown are tight end George Bryan (49), quarterback Stephen McGee (7) and guard Harland Gunn (63). AP Photo/LM Otero ..

(9) ASHURN, VA – APRIL 6 : Donovan McNabb speaks at a press conference where he was introduced by the Washington Redskins on April 6, 2010 at Redskin Park in Ashburn, Virginia. One season with the franchise led to season of indeterminate failure from which he was sent to the Minnesota Vikings wherein the woes would continue . Now an unrestricted free agent the player is hoping to sign with a franchise at some point prior to , or during this upcoming NFL season . McNabb still believes that he can play at a high level and contribute to a contender . As of yet there have been “no takers” for the player’s services . Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images ….







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I Got No Money In My Pocket Yo’ ….

I Got No Money In My Pocket Yo’ ….

By tophatal ………. 05/29/2012 03:45 AM (EST)

I must’ve missed something recently concerning the Chicago Bears and the team’s with their restricted fee agent running back Matt Forte . It would appear that the . front office of the organization seem to be more intent on alienating their productive running back rather than upping the ante and rewarding the player with a contract commensurate with his already prolific talent . Now in spite of the recent off-season acquisitions and the upheavals in the team’s roster it would appear that with the recent acquisition of Brandon Marshall and his re-acquaintance with former Broncos’ teammate Jay Cutler , this is said to be the highlight for the Chicago Bears this off-season.


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Slide show for your perusal .

Now unless I am mistaken either the Bears are playing fast and loose or they are simply intent quite possibly losing the player free agency . Granted , what we do know is the very fact the football club can choose to “franchise tag” and then pay him the league average of salaries of the top five players at the position within the NFL . For Matt Forte seeing LeSean McCoy and Arian Foster have their salaries risen considerably with their respective teams. It has to be said the Bears’ running back does have a valid argument in seeking a raise. Under the pretext that Matt Forte has a troubling recurrence of a knee injury this is said to be the falsehood that they are now subscribing to , in not paying the franchise’s most productive player over the last four seasons. Since the player was drafted by this organization in 2008 Matt Forte has only missed four games in his entire professional NFL career. It begs the question prior to , and after former GM Jerry Di Angelo’s departure , what common sense if any was actually being shown by anyone within this organization ?

If this is the pretext that the Bears will be using to lure their fans into the false sense of security that they are intent on being viewed as a legitimate contender in what is an already competitive of NFC North . From my own personal standpoint , I have never been that high on the Chicago Bears and that comes from the very fact that Jay Cutler has yet to fulfill the so-called accomplishments he’s said to be capable. Analysts and fans alike tend to affix labels upon athletes ……….. in this case the NFL player , purely because we desire it to be so . Cutler is a top-five quarterback ……… Cutler is an elite quarterback ………. Cutler is a championship caliber quarterback . Which is it ? Because I have yet to see any one of the aforementioned traits in this player over the course of his NFL career to date ! And as great as a number of quarterbacks were said to be during 2011 , nowhere is Jay Cutler’s name mentioned in the upper echelons of the statistics that matter concerning the league’s leading passers. And though the Bears were an immense …. disappointment during 2011 any perceived improvements sought will have to be taken under advisement when one considers the very fact that the Detroit Lions , Green Bay Packers and some might say the Minnesota Vikings will have improved considerably due to the draft and their off-season acquisitions .

Lovie Smith is under a great deal of pressure to succeed and most definitely the coach’s position his immediate future and that of his staff is very much on the line. You would have to be naive to think otherwise and it is clear that Smith has to be concerned over the impromptu lack of productivity from his players over the past two seasons ( 2011 & 2010 ) . Way too much talk even from the Bears’ players , an aging Brian Urlacher and a less than emphatic Julius Peppers . Urlacher for all of his proselytising is now on the downside of an illustrious career but at the end of the day when all you have to show for that success is , you equating the fact your quarterback is a leader when at the time , the whole world saw him abandon his teammates in their time of need , then there’s not much else that is left to be said . The NFC championship game and the loss to the eventual Superbowl champions that season pretty much summed up the ineptitude shown by the Chicago Bears .

There’s no denying that 2011 saw the “coming out” party for the Detroit Lions and their successful season . Matt Stafford proved to be everything that finally Jim Schwartz thought would come to fruition . And that was certainly borne out by the player during the regular and postseason for the Lions . And while the offense of the Detroit Lions was said to be prolific , the team’s defense also played their role as well. Kyle Vanden Bosch , Ndamokung Suh and Nick Fairley are seen as the fulcrum to that defense . And as I alluded to earlier in this piece the Lions can only get considerably better , rather than worse . However , what might be even more troubling is the fact that Fairley in the past six weeks has twice ran afoul of the law. Once in his home state of Alabama where he was charged with a DUI and possession of a controlled substance (marijuana). And most recently this past weekend where the player in trying to evade law enforcement while speeding ……….. being clocked at 120 mph in a 55 mph zone after fleeing the scene of an accident . Also again in the player’s possession was marijuana and other opiates. I can’t help but wonder how Schwartz and the Lions’ front office will deal within this latest PR nightmare for the franchise.

Nick Fairley’s college career with Alabama was clouded in controversy and anyone who considers Nick Saban was never concerned with the player’s behavior has to be in complete denial . Saban to my mind has to be one the most insincere coaches in College Football ! The Alabama Crimson Tide’s coach has tried to suggest that his players while under his tenure ____ he has tried to curb their recklessness and make them more productive individuals . If anything Alabama’s program has been clouded in a great deal of controversy , mystery , the lengths and depths which the coach and his staff have gone to , simply to make sure that accusations concerning the players’ improprieties have disappeared. Fairley’s transgressions cannot be seen as a first-time_ chain of events , it has to be seen as a pattern of behavior .

God knows, there is enough of a fucking mess in the NFL at present without having to deal with an immature player seeking to evade the police merely because he doesn’t want to be caught having fled an accident and was found in possession of a controlled substance. But here we are once again and the league or should I say one of its more renowned franchises has another black eye and a PR nightmare within their midst . And given the stupidity that will be undoubtedly be shown by Tom Lewand and Lions’ ownership . It wouldn’t at all surprise me if the franchise now chooses to have the NFL deal with this matter while at the same time they wait for the matter to take its legal course. Now had Nick Fairley killed a bystander , I wonder whether or not the Detroit Lions would have chosen to take such a wide latitude in dealing with both of these incidents ? The Lions would be within their right to suspend the player without pay pending an investigation but we now work on a “premise of innocent until proven guilty” . Truth be known that is now and will continue to remain the biggest joke in jurisprudence . Fairley’s actions speaks volumes to his immaturity and the very fact that once again we have athletes continually being coddled by not only their NFL teams but also by the coaches and the owners alike .

Roger Goodell as the league’s highest ranking executive may well punish players with impunity when they transgress and violate the league’s rules as it regards players’ conduct said to be detrimental to the game. But let’s be real it is and always remain an exercise in futility by the NFL . Goodell’s , biggest and only concern is to try to uphold the image of an already tainted game that simply doesn’t know how to drag itself out of this already pitiful abyss of ineptitude . Personally , I find the NFL to be one big fucking environment of corruption , stupidity and a union (NFLPA) led by an executive committee that simply is one of greed and not much else . The owners , themselves are not so far behind , as they have repeatedly cajoled , threatened politicians at all levels of government . One can only look to the idiocy that recently took place within the state of Minnesota as the governor Mark Dayton (R-Mn) and the state legislature cowered a corner the corner like a bitch having been sodomized by the Minnesota Vikings’ ownership and the NFL hierarchy. How in fu_k’s name can a state said to be facing an acute economic crisis with a near $ 6 billion budget deficit ($6,000,000,000) and seek to finance in part , a $735 million new stadium for the NFL franchise while laying off state employees and cutting their budget expenditure on projects that would be far more beneficial to the state’s infrastructure than that of the building of a new stadium for the Minnesota Vikings . It wouldn’t have been so bad , had the governor not fudged and then reneged on his original view as to enacting this stature within his state legislature. In reality however , like the federal government where both legislative chambers …… ( House and Senate) are simply open to the “highest bidder” when a law needs to come into being especially those without any real benefit to the nation as a whole .

Fuck the dumb asses out there who continue to bitch and whine about their income taxes being too high but yet choose not to question when they’re being asked to subsidize the building of a sport’s venue for either a millionaire or billionaire owner . You simply deserve what you get , nothing more , nothing less ! And while this charade continues Vikings’ owner Zygi Wilf and his partners are now laughing all the way to the bank and the smiles on their faces are not about to abate anytime soon ! And for the di_khead residents within the city of Sacramento ……… simply buy into the bullshit your mayor Kevin Johnson is now selling you ! You are all seem to be on board with this idiocy that in building a new venue for the Maloofs will be a savior for the Sacramento Kings . Grow the fuck up , and for the moron who claims than when the venue now known as the Power Balance Arena was the place to be seen , what he fails to state and indicate is the very fact that franchise simply wasn’t winning anything of note much less being competitive . This is the simple apathy that can now be found within the state of California when it comes to many of their sports’ franchises. Call me , when the Kings are of relevance within the NBA and not before !

While I’m looking forward to the upcoming NFL season , at the same with the ongoing controversies now said to be engulfing the NFL , does anyone truly believe that Goodell has the mindset to deal with many of the ongoing controversies that have come to the fore and mired the game ? I mean it is not as if the commissioner has handled any of these issues with the clearest sense of transparency while at the same creating the perception or the belief that he actually knows what the fu_k he is doing to begin with ! And for those who continue to drink from the porcelain pot that Roger Goodell continues to defecate and urinate in , well congrats to you for being the complete dumb asses you have actually been ! The NFL commissioner has yet to accomplish anything of note during his tenure so far and it is unlikely that he ever will .



Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have concerning the points raised within this piece ? By all means simply chime in with a comment as you see fit .


Picture and slide show details for your perusal .


(1) Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall , right, catches a pass as defensive back Tim Jennings defends during NFL football practice, Wednesday, May 23 2012, in Lake Forest, Ill. AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

(2) Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, left, talks with quarterback coach Jeremy Bates during NFL football practice, Wednesday, May 23 2012, in Lake Forest, Ill. AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast ….

(3) Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, left, talks with head coach Lovie Smith during an NFL football organized team activity, Wednesday, May 23 2012, in Lake Forest, Ill. AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast ….

(4) Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, left, talks with wide receiver Brandon Marshall during an NFL football organized team activity, Wednesday, May 23 2012, in Lake Forest, Ill. AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

(5) Matt Forte (22) of the Chicago Bears tries to get around the tackle of Aaron Berry (32_ of the Detroit Lions during a second quarter run at Ford Field on October 10, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. Getty Images/Gregory Shamus …

(6) Detroit Lions defensive tackle Nick Fairley (98) and Corey Williams (99) break from NFL football practice in Allen Park, Mich., Tuesday, May 29, 2012. Fairley has been arrested in Alabama on charges of driving under the influence and attempting to elude police Sunday, May 27, 2012, his second arrest in his home state in two months. AP Photo/Paul Sancya ….

(7) Minnesota state governor Mark Dayton (R-Mn) in the foreground , is seen here addressing the state assembly after the formal voting had taken place within both legislative chambers announcing that the Minnesota e would in part finance the majority of the costs for the new stadium for the Minnesota Vikings . The $935 million venture will be financed with a $565 billion bond issue and increase in certain state taxes. The remainder will be funded by team owner Zygi Wilf (background) and his partners . AFP Reuters /Mitchell Todd …

(8) NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell , foreground is seen here taking questions from the convened press concerning the Vikings’ stadium issue . In the background , is Minnesota state governor Mark Dayton . The governor initially was reluctant to back the original ” finance “bill” when it was first tabled for a vote . However , it is widely believed that with the cajoling , and coercion from the NFL hierarchy and the ” hundreds of thousands of dollars “ spent by Zygi Wilf , via lobbyists , this bill was passed with very little opposition within the state House and Senate , of within the chambers in question , in of the state of Minnesota . REUTERS /Clint Roberts …..





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Hot chic pic of the day , actress Eva Mendes . Ha , cha-cha , cha !

Someone’s duty to “hit” Eva’s “coochie ” don’t you think ?

Let The Light Be Your Guide …… But If You Just Happen To Be In The Dark & Clueless ……. Then Your Ass Is Grass !

Let The Light Be Your Guide …… But If You Just Happen To Be In The Dark & Clueless ……. Then Your Ass Is Grass !

By tophatal ………. 05/09/2012 …. 10:50:32 PM

Well now that the NFL Draft descended upon us with the expectations of awe and surprise , we now get the see the players drafted acclimatize themselves to the professional ranks. With Andrew Luck going to the Indianapolis Colts and Robert Griffin III to the Washington Redskins . It has to be said that these two highly prized and gifted athletes will be under the microscope , while the eyes of the NFL analysts and fans will place them both the glare . For coaches Chuck Pagano and Mike Shanahan ., their very careers will be determined by how both of these quarterbacks fare over the course of this season . The expectations are undoubtedly high , given the performances of the Carolina Panthers’ Cam Newton over the course of last season .


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Slide show for your perusal .

It should come as no surprise that once inserted into the Panthers’ lineup , the former Auburn Tigers’ quarterback simply lit up scoreboard for his new team. For the front office of the franchise their choice in making Cam Newton the number one overall pick from the 2011 NFL Draft was indeed justified . Now there’s no denying that this year’s draft seemed to be ” all about the quarterback ” and the fact that several players at the position , appeared to be a proven commodity. From my own perspective I am not so sure , as I feel that beyond RGIII and Andrew Luck , there’s no real guarantee as to what the fans should expect from the quarterbacks in question. Quarterback’s don’t a dime a dozen and the truly great ones in the NFL are something of a rarity . Granted , over the last fifteen years the players drafted at the position , we have been graced with the presence of Tom Brady , Peyton Manning , Drew Brees , Alex Smith , Eli Manning , Matt Stafford , Matt Ryan and Ben Roethlisberger . All of the players in question with the exception of Ryan , Stafford and Smith have yet play on the grandest stage of them all , and that is in the Superbowl . It is every NFL players’ dream to play on that particular stage and undoubtedly be part of the team that raises the Lombardi Trophy .

The Miami Dolphins it would seem had the presence of mind to take Ryan Tannehill as their first round choice and as the eighth overall pick in the first round . Head coach Joe Philbin and GM Jeff Ireland , with the quarterbacks already on their roster in David Garrard and Matt Moore will equate with Tannehill being a backup to the two seasoned veterans , as he gets to learn the ropes over the Dolphins’ upcoming season . It should come as no surprise that the Dolphins’ quarterbacks from 2011 , they were amongst the worst performing quarterbacks within the AFC East as well as the league as a whole.

Trent Richardson was the first running back taken in this draft and it has to be said that the former Alabama (Crimson Tide) player this past season showed us why he was one of the very best at the position within College Football . Richardson knows that if can be productive for his new team , the Cleveland Browns , then it may well set the fans’ minds at ease . . God knows , last season the Browns had their issues on both sides of the ball and then some . This season however , it’s envisaged that the coaching staff led by Pat Shurmur will see a marked improvement in this team , over their accomplishments of 2011 .

Now while Browns’ President Mike Holmgren seemed to be under no illusion in drafting Brandon Weeden , I get the impression that this his way of sending a clear message to his incumbent starter at the position …. Colt McCoy ! Barely two seasons into his NFL career , having been drafted in the third round of the 2010 NFL Draft , the player now finds himself at a crossroads in his tenure with the Browns’ organization . A budding quarterback controversy or not , there’s something amidst behind this whole scenario that is about to be played out during this off-season as well as over the entire regular season schedule of the Cleveland Browns. Weeden , no doubts wants to impress upon his teammates that he’s ready to start , while McCoy simply wants to prove to everyone that he’s capable of playing the game at a high standard and in leading the team to great success. Hell, within the NFC North , as good as Browns appear to be on paper , I think that they are going to have problems not just within their division but also across the whole panacea of the NFL as the season comes into focus for the organization !

Mike Holmgren may not have intended to initiate a quarterback controversy but he’s going to have one on his hands , and it will not augur well for the franchise should things plummet into sheer immaturity , by either one of these players.

Last year , may well have been ” the year ” of the quarterback but to my mind the most impressive players over the course of the season were the wide receivers and tight ends ! Hell , without that staple of receivers , the likes of Manning (Eli) , Stafford , Brees , Brady and Rodgers wouldn’t have looked that good . And this draft has provided us with several players who could prove to be just as successful at the aforementioned positions ( TE & WR ) under the right set of circumstances . Justin Blackmon and Michael Floyd were viewed as the elite , amongst the wide receivers , with Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen being seen as perhaps the best of the tight ends taken in this draft. With the success achieved by Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez last season for the New England Patriots , it could well be a mixed bag of blessings and disappointments for the rookie receivers and wide receivers , and for their respective coaches . And as prolific as the teams’ offenses were this past year I am inclined to believe that we will be in for more of the same in 2012 ! One simply hopes that the teams’ defenses can with-hold such an onslaught . The defensive coordinators and offensive coordinators around the NFL will be fighting a battle of wits against their strategic counterparts , over the course of the upcoming season , no doubt . Care to guess who’s likely to be viewed as the winner in such a scenario ? Not the coaches but the fans , I kid you not ! Isn’t this why we all love the NFL to begin with ?

Other than the gut-wrenching loss (21-17) by my beloved Patriots in the Superbowl to the New York Giants this past season , for me the biggest disappointment was to see how inept the San Diego Chargers had become ! Now for the life of me, in the wake of the fallout from their season where the team fell to a miserably and inconsolable 8-8 record within the AFC South I am still trying to figure out how Norv Turner was still retained by the organization ! GM A J Smith and COO & owner , Dean Spanos either had to be in awe of the ineptitude shown by Turner and his coaching staff or they simply felt that one more year with the head coach at the helm would suffice . Pardon me for saying this , but either premise seems to suggest that Smith and Spanos are two of the dumbest as_holes in the NFL today ! Your thoughts on the matter , especially if you just happen to be a San Diego Chargers’ fan ?

The off-season saw within the Chargers’ organization an upheaval in the roster , with several players departing elsewhere. In their place, a number of free agent signings were made along with the draft choices deemed a necessity from this NFL Draft . The “window of opportunity “ for Chargers’ quarterback Philip Rivers has diminished greatly and this off-season with the acquisition of Peyton Manning by the Denver Broncos , does anyone truly believe that Rivers’ task will now become any easier ? The two teams will meet over the course of their divisional schedule in weeks’ six and eleven and both of those match-ups should go a long way in determining the direction that the teams are said to be heading in at that time .

On paper this Chargers’ roster , possess some very talented players but I am not so sure that the cohesiveness sought will be there , in order to for them compete at a high-caliber throughout the course of their season ! Week one sees the team taking on divisional and in-state rivals the Oakland Raiders at the Oakland Coliseum , Oakland , California , in-front of what is sure to be a packed crowd , with millions more watching the televised event nationally . The Raiders themselves , have something to prove after another season of turmoil in 2011 , with firing of Hu Jackson and simply the jettisoning of players whom the front office felt were superfluous to their needs . Has there been a season over the last five years where the Raiders simply haven’t sought throw the baby and bath water out the door as far as their ambitions are concerned ? Simply watching the Oakland Raiders’ fans suffer the indignity of seeing repeated failure , then apathy and sheer stupidity sets in with them lamenting about years gone by when the reality is all about the “here and now ” ! Have you ever witnessed such pomposity and bleeding heart from a group of fans who simply feel that their team is genuinely superior to everyone else ? The Oakland Raiders haven’t been of any relevance within the NFL in almost a decade . Ah , those poor fans but then again , should we expect anything but a bunch of whining from the Raiders and their legions of fans ? No , and that’s an emphatic no !

Now inasmuch as one might admire the legacy of the Raiders , you simply know that things have to be going downhill when the franchise considers the signing of Matt Leinart in the off-season to add their already burgeoning bunch of cast-off quarterbacks. Carson Palmer has yet to fulfill his potential in the NFL since being drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals seven years ago as a first draft round pick . I’m not so sure , whether or not Terrell Pryor still remains a work in progress for the Raiders’ coaching staff because one thing is for sure , the franchise now has two self-absorbed and coddled ingrates on their roster. Leinart and Pryor , what else is there now left to be said at this juncture ? You what ? You don’t give a flying #%ck about the Raiders ? Ah well , I guess that answers my question !

The one thing where do I believe that the Raiders will have a distinct advantage over their divisional rivals this upcoming season , it is that the team’s rushing offense is better than that of their main foes within the division. If Darren McFadden can withstand the rigors of a sixteen game schedule and come through unscathed . Then I believe that this team can win the AFC West outright ! If not , then it’s simply back to the drawing board once again . they’ll simply be

I personally , am not relishing anything on offer from the teams within the AFC West this upcoming season , as I have always felt that this is one of the poorest divisions in the NFL in terms of the overall competitiveness of the franchises playing there . An 8-8 record more often than not guarantees you a playoff berth while teams with better records within the conference are simply left on the outside looking in at season’s end. Thanks NFL , perhaps when you simply are fully prepared to address the issue of “player safety honestly ” then you and the a#sholes who preside over the league’s in-house Competition’s Committee can then deal with the re-seeding of the teams for the postseason based on the teams’ record rather than rewarding ineptitude based on a divisional record and standing ?

As the idiocy continues within the NFL in light of the ongoing soap opera that has now become the Saints bounty scandal . Can we all stop , sit back and take a deep breath and realize the fact that the actions of the NFL has bordered on being egregious and comparable to that of the tobacco companies as they sought to hide the dangers of smoking in light of their research and evidence provided by accredited world-renowned establishments of academic medical research . What has come to the fore is than more than 65% of the retired veterans who have subjected themselves to medical testing have some form of CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) often seen as a precursor to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia in geriatrics . But yet somehow the constant denials by the NFL continues and senior members of the league hierarchy . And if that hasn’t been enough of a warning , we now have the NFLPA Executive Committee carrying on as if they now care about their members ,specifically the seasoned retired veterans of the NFL . DeMaurice Smith has called the evidence now in the league’s hands as none-exculpatory and without any veracity to it at all. That cuts against the grain, when one delves further and realizes that Anthony Hargrove one of the four players implicated in this mess , stated that he was asked to lie to the league’s investigators about the scheme initiated by former Saints’ defensive coordinator Gregg Williams , suborned by head coach Sean Payton , assistant coach Joe Vitt and team GM Mickey Loomis . Vitt, himself , it has been revealed lied to the league’s investigators , as well as to team owner Tom Benson . Call me naive but where the fu_king hell do the members of the Saints’ players get off as it relates to this whole scandal ? When asked to give their testimony to the league hierarchy the players involved ( Jonathan Vilma , Scott Fujita , Hargrove and Willis ) initially refused to answer questions on the grounds of self-incrimination and they only did so after , it was noted that they had a player rep and legal counsel for representation at the meetings . We should also be reminded , that DeMaurice Smith now comes across looking like a complete ass , who during the course of the union’s league deliberations at the time of the labor lockout , simply negotiated away his union’s rights , in order to simply gain a greater share of the NFL revenue pie . Now he and his union (NFLPA) want to come across looking like the “good guy” ? Not that anyone comes out looking good in light of this god-damn mess ! Roger Goodell , god , judge and jury . Was there anything that I missed in the use of those adjectives ?



Picture gallery for your perusal .

In light of this piece , what thoughts if any do you have concerning the salient points raised ? By all means simply leave a comment as you see fit .


Picture and slide show details below .


(1) INDIANAPOLIS, IN – MAY 4: Andrew Luck (12) of the Indianapolis Colts looks on as he listens to offensive coordinator Bruce Arians (left) and quarterbacks coach Clyde Christensen during a rookie mini-camp at the team facility on May 4, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images …

(2) Head coach Chuck Pagano of the Indianapolis Colts talks to the media following a rookie mini-camp at the team facility on May 4, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images ….

(3) ASHBURN, VA – MAY 06: Robert Griffin III (10) of the Washington Redskins speaks to members of the media after a practice during the Washington Redskins’ rookie mini-camp on May 6, 2012 in Ashburn, Virginia. Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images …

(4) Ryan Tannehill (17) of the Miami Dolphins talks to the media after the rookie mini-camp on May 4, 2012 at the Miami Dolphins training facility in Davie, Florida. Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images ….

(5) Cleveland Browns running back Trent Richardson , left, listens to quarterback Brandon Weeden during a news conference at the NFL football team’s headquarters in Berea, Ohio Friday, April 27, 2012. Richardson was the third overall pick and Weeden 22nd overall in the 2012 NFL draft . AP Photo/Mark Duncan ….

(6) Browns’ team President Mike Holmgren (right) is seen here with quarterback Colt McCoy during the team’s mini-camp at their training facility in Berea, Ohio , prior to a mid-season game in 2011 . With the drafting of Brandon Weeden , beat writers are now suggesting that a quarterback controversy is about to raise its ugly head prior to the start of training camp for the 2012 season for the Cleveland Browns between these two young quarterbacks . AFP/Photo/ Matt Horner ….

(7) San Diego Chargers head coach Norv Turner speaks during a news conference alongside Chargers owner Dean Spanos, left, in front of the team’s headquarters, Wednesday, May 2, 2012, in San Diego. Former NFL football star Junior Seau was found shot to death at his home Wednesday morning in what police said appeared to be a suicide. He was 43. AP Photo/Gregory Bull …

(8) Head coach Norv Turner of the San Diego Chargers talks to quarterback Philip Rivers (17) of the San Diego Chargers during their game against the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum on January 1, 2012 in Oakland, California. Getty Images North America / Ezra Shaw …..

(9) Oakland Raiders’ third-round NFL football draft pick …… Tony Bergstrom , right, holds his jersey with general manager Reggie McKenzie during a news conference at the team’s headquarters in Alameda, Calif., Saturday, April 28, 2012. AP Photo/Paul Sakuma ….





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Hot chic pic of the day …….. Jordan Carver . And a small montage of Carver for your edification and pleasure . What’s not to like !


Nice !

Jordan's  fun bags/

Looking to not quite keep a firm grasp on things and for that we all thank you Jordan !

I’m Not Buying Into It But Someone Has To …. The NFL Where’s The Sanity ?

I’m Not Buying Into It But Someone Has To …. The NFL Where’s The Sanity ?

By tophatal ………. 12/04/26 00:35:21

The NFL Draft staged at Radio City Music Hall , New York City , New York , is here for 2012 and we are now about to see the front executives of the NFL’s 32 teams simply gauge the talent to be on display . A formal announcement has been made by GM Ryan Grigson of the Indianapolis Colts that they will after-all make Andrew Luck the #1 overall pick in this year’s Draft. No surprise there , eh ? I mean in reality the Colts couldn’t really lose , either way . It was either take Luck , or the 2011 Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III out of Baylor . Robert Griffin III will be the second pick taken by the Washington Redskins , and there goes the neighborhood , because RGIII now has to deal with Kyle and Mike Shanahan . Believe me , better the “Devil” you know than the one you don’t ! . But bear in mind how god damn awful the Redskins’ quarterbacks have been over the last two seasons ( 2011 & 2010 ) within the NFL ! Please , Daniel Snyder and GM Bruce Allen don’t mess this all up , I beg of you please !


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Slide show for your perusal .

Now while the whole world simply stops to see this three-day extravaganza simply become a bore , it has to be said the seventh and final round , after 200 plus picks , well , it gets me on edge . If last season’s NFL Draft was anything to go by , once we got beyond the second round , was there really anything else to really get excited over ? Come on now , at least be honest with yourself , it not with me then at least be honest with yourself . Cam Newton last year’s number one pick reveled in that role , excelling in that the position , as he led the Carolina Panthers on an improbable run in the NFL and thereby justifying the front office’s faith in his undoubted abilities .

As to what the upcoming season holds for the Carolina Panthers , I can only assume that Ron Rivera and his coaching staff will be looking complement the existing roster with players who will be able contribute greatly to the in light of the contributions made last season . And given what we have witnessed by way of the decisions made by the Panthers it has to be said the coaching staff hopes to be fortuitous with their picks in the 2011 NFL Draft .

With the continued uproar and the ongoing embarrassment irreparable damage done the image of the NFL . It has to be said the ongoing debacle concerning the New Orleans Saints and the “Bounty-gate” scandal has now taken on a life of its very own. With NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell not choosing to overturn his original decision as to the punishment meted out to Sean Payton (full year suspension) , Joe Vitt (eight regular season games ) , GM Mickey Loomis ( six games) and an indefinite suspension of former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams . It now begs the question in light the decision rendered , what else could exactly exacerbate the situation even further ? Well , it would appear Loomis is now embroiled in a further controversy , wherein allegations are now being made that the general manager is said to have used a listening device to eavesdrop on the offensive strategies of games played by the Saints against their opponents in 2002 , 2003 and 2004 . The team’s head coach at the time was Sean Payton’s predecessor Jim Haslett . Joe Vitt , has been quick to jump to Mickey Loomis’ defense , stating that his colleague is a man whose integrity and honesty should never be in doubt and in no way would he have stooped such depths . Now unless I am mistaken , the evidence and factual as we now know them to be indicates that Vitt , Loomis , Payton and Williams all lied to the NFL commissioner , the NFL’s investigators conducting their inquiry in the allegations as they were at the time concerning the original scandal . And furthermore, all four individuals also lied to team owner Tom Benson . If Loomis has lied about that , then why would anyone now take him at his word ? Because he now is telling us the truth on this specific allegation ? It has become a pattern of behavior in terms of the determined conceit and lies . So why would anything , now change as it relates to the New Orleans Saints ? Your thoughts ?

Now unless Joe Vitt is trying to be a sanctimonious bastard , I can only surmise that he’s simply trying to alleviate the ongoing problems that the franchise is now said to be facing ! From Superbowl winners in 2010 to now , ” the pariahs “ within the NFL , with about the franchise’s only firm support now coming from their die-hard fans . The Saints in the year since acquiring Drew Brees via free agency have seen a rise in their overall support and attendance for games at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome , New Orleans , Louisiana . And the quarterback’s production in the ensuing years since becoming a member of the franchise has been nothing short of amazing . And 2011 , may well have been his most prolific by way of the statistics accumulated , and the very fact that he was named NFL league MVP . Brees’ own integrity might now come into question , given his own ongoing support of his beleaguered head coach. For the life of me , I simply cannot fathom the mindset of the Saints’ players as they still come out in support of Sean Payton , even in the aftermath of his admission of guilt and his repeated lies ! As to their denials , really , innocent until proven guilty ? Oh yes , let’s continue to go ahead that with that premise shall we ? And who hear still believes that ‘ O J’ …. was innocent ? C’mon now !

As Roger Goodell has made it clear that he seeks to punish the Saints’ players involved in the scandal will be punished with impunity . While this should come as no surprise the actions of the NFLPA under its Executive Director DeMaurice Smith , and their executive committee under newly installed President Dominick Foxworth may well face something of an uphill battle in seeking to defend their members involved in this issue while not wanting to show partiality to members who may well feel that the New Orleans Saints’ players certainly at the center of it all should in some way be punished for their actions , even if they were financially rewarded as an incentive for their involvement in the scheme . Vitt maintains , that it was never his or the players’ intent to seek to go out and cause any harm but herein lies my thought to this all , why proceed with this rather asinine and infantile scheme to begin if it was their intent not to cause any harm to an opponent ? The coaches’ stance in this matter reeks of inanity but also culpability and in no way should these players be allowed to use the premise that they were under orders by their coaches to proceed with the actions in question. The financial incentives may well have been a ” means to an end ” but in all honesty and reality, they proceeded in that context of their own volition and ” free will “ . Only an ass , would now proceed to dry and defend the players and suggest that they should not be punished ! Your thoughts on the matter ?

The loss of NFL Draft picks might not really hinder the New Orleans Saints that much given the first round status within the process this year . However , I will continue to maintain that the financial punishment of $500, 000 was simply inadequate and a mere slap on the wrist for a franchise whose revenues in 2011 ran into ” tens of millions of dollars” over the course of their 2011 schedule . Goodell , and his chief legal counsel Jeff Pash have yet to convince me that their actions could not have been far more severe ! Instead , all it has indicated to me is that Roger Goodell, simply has no stomach for a real fight when pressed into action. His adversarial battle against the union (NFLPA) in the labor strife and lockout , had the commissioner coming off looking like an inexperienced novice . DeMaurice Smith , an experienced former corporate litigator with DC law firm Patton Boggs LLC as well as former US DA & prosecutor with the US Justice Department , made his NFL counterpart look completely out of his depth and looking very much the ass whose head was stuck up his own rear end ! The NFL owners may well feel that they came out winners at the end of this lockout but in reality there never was , and has been no outright winner after this particular debacle . Ten years of peace , according the NFL hierarchy and union ? That’s akin to saying that the lightly ongoing truce between the Palestinians and Israeli’s will last beyond a lifetime . And as we all know, the countless negotiations either led by the UN or the US State Department and the successive Presidents from Jimmy Carter on down has shown that , they have no real idea of the underlying issues at hand concerning the Middle Eastern crisis as it relates to Palestinian statehood . The ongoing skirmishes , loss of life and there’s no signs of a lasting peace between the two parties . And it is clear, neither have the NFL or the NFLPA as to their own ongoing problems that they are far from actually being at peace , never mind the truce that is said to be within their midst. What they have simply done is to use a Band-Aid to cover a gunshot wound to the abdomen that has bled profusely , hemorrhaging countless pints of blood in the process .

Now while ESPN will provide us with almost gavel to gavel coverage of the draft process with host Chris Berman , the analytical advice coming from Todd McShay, Mel Kiper Jr , Chris Mortensen and Adam Shefter . I would certainly like to think that they will provide the fans and draft geeks alike with something informative , rather than their continued bloated opinions that in large part at times does tend to be asinine . Someone needs to remind Mel , that Akili Smith was never going to be the next ” big thing” in the NFL and Ryan Leaf became a ” bust “ and was simply never good enough to lace up Peyton Manning’s boots , much less assist him in putting on his ” protector cup “ . Oh, the shame , and the mere fact that these analysts never come acknowledge their prognostic mistakes . Now what ?

As die-hard New England Patriots’ fan seeing the team blow their lead in the Superbowl , once again reminds me why Bill Belichick still annoys me like a fly hovering around the ominous signs of death , when there’s a dead animal carcass in sight ! Wearing a ‘hoody’ or not , there’s something remarkably disconcerting with regard to the head coach . God knows, I respect the man but his continued tinkering with the defense led me to now understand why they failed so miserably in the game against the New York Giants ! I can only hope that in spite of the team’s off-season acquisitions and their undoubted draft choices .

The needs for the Patriots remains on defense but also the fact that there’s a need for a very productive productive …… running back . Team statistics would suggest team had numerous problems over the course of the regular and postseason . If Bill Belichick and GM Nick Caserio can address the issues in question then I would like to think that Tom Brady will have the weapons that will complement his proficiency and produce another ultimately rewarding season for the New England Patriots ! Another shot at the Superbowl would be nice but I am not sure that this might be their season given the evidence this postseason . Two bites at the same god-damn apple and it’s if the team performed like aging geriatrics in need of periodontal work . Holy shit , does the team really seem that old ? Tom Brady isn’t yet ready for a hospice is he ? Or could it be that he’s laying the “wood” to Giselle Bundchen far more often than needed ? What do you think ? Man cannot live by bread alone , and he sure as hell can’t live without sex that’s for sure ! Brady , lay “the wood” because I would , and will continue to do so !



Picture gallery for your perusal .

What if anything are you most anticipating as it relates to the upcoming NFL Draft ? And how do you see your team faring ? Also in light of the ongoing debacle as it relates to the New Orleans Saints do you believe the initial punishment fitting as rendered by the league hierarchy under Roger Goodell ? Chime in with your thoughts as you deem fit .




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Picture and slide show details below.

(1) NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 26: Andrew Luck (R) from Stanford greets NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after Luck was selected #1 overall by the Indianapolis Colts in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 26, 2012 in New York City. Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images …

(2) Robert Griffin III from Baylor greets NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after Griffin was selected #2 overall by the Washington Redskins in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 26, 2012 in New York City. Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images ….

(3) NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 26: Shea McClellin (R) of Boise State holds up a jersey as he stands on stage with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after he was selected #19 overall by the Chicago Bears in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 26, 2012 in New York City. Photo by Chris Chambers/Getty Images …

(4) Cam Newton(1) of the Carolina Panthers runs away from Dominique Franks (24) of the Atlanta Falcons during their game at Bank of America Stadium on December 11, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Getty Images North America / Streeter Lecka …..

(5) Joe Vitt (left) and Sean Payton of the New Orleans on the sidelines of a game last season . The coaches along with GM Mickey Loomis (right) are under a league suspension for much of the 2012 regular season . Matt Moore / AFP Photo ….

(6) New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick speaks at a news conference at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., following the Patriots’ first-round NFL football draft selections, Thursday, April 26, 2012. The Patriots selected Syracuse defensive end Chandler Jones with the 21st overall pick and Alabama’s Dont’a Hightower with the 25th overall pick. AP Photo/Michael Dwyer …

(7) NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 26: Dont’a Hightower of Alabama holds up a jersey as he stands on stage with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after he was selected #25 overall by the New England Patriots in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 26, 2012 in New York City. Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images ……

(8) GM Nick Caserio of the New England Patriots speaks with the convened press at Gillette Stadium , Foxboro ‘ , Massachusetts . The general manager and front office staff undoubtedly hope to see the team make great strides this season , with the hope of seeing the franchise claim their fourth Superbowl title . Boston Herald / Nick Mason …..




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NFL Draft 2012 & … by round

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All Time #1’s NFL Style ………. A Brief Glimpse Into Reality ……

All Time # 1’s NFL Style A Brief Glimpse Into Reality …..

Much has been made over the exemplary start to the professional career of Carolina Panthers’ quarterback Cam Newton . And while impressive as those stats are by the player for his team it still has yet to lead to a win for the Panthers as they have started off the season 0-2 within the NFL .


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Slide show for your perusal .

Taken number one overall in this past NFL Draft and it portends as to what we have unrealistically come to expect . That is for the players selected in that select spot to be an immediate success , especially in the situation where the position is said to be in the skilled positions such as wide receiver or quarterback . But herein lies my point , with the ever growing need for success within the NFL general managers , head coaches and team owners are under a great deal of pressure to make that prudent decision that that the player taken in that first round will be the one needed to complement their franchise. And as far as NFL glory is concerned the executives and team owners are looking to reap the dividends by way commercial as well as competitive success .

In the case of that number one overall pick over the years there has been a number hits and misses . Some might subscribe to the fact there have been simply been more misses than hits . Cam Newton is now a work in progress with the Carolina Panthers that Ron Rivera and his coaching staff will have to make this young player their top priority if the franchise is to have any semblance of success , albeit , with the added scrutiny and pressure that Newton will have to constantly endure .

Ryan Leaf for his part was thought to be the savior that the San Diego Chargers were said to be looking for when he was drafted by the organization . Drafted in 1998 which in a class that also included Peyton Manning , Charles Woodson , Kevin Dyson and Kyle Turley in that first round one wonders what might have been going through the minds of the executives within the Chargers’ front office. The San Diego Chargers would simply see a player who would become a boon for the franchise and who simply did not live up to the preconceived belief that he was all he was shown to be at the collegiate level . Leaf’s professional career within the NFL could only be described as a complete bust and even though GM AJ Smith along with the front office subsequently made the decision then to make Eli Manning their choice , only to have Manning and his father Archie Manning to refuse to have his son play for the team .

The San Diego Chargers for their part have been lucky enough to have found a Pro Bowl caliber quarterback in Philip Rivers whose success for the franchise speaks for itself . What might now be elusive and worrisome for the Chargers’ fans is the very fact that the team cannot seem to find a way to get pass the likes of the Indianapolis Colts or New England Patriots when the postseason beckons. Rivers has become the heart and soul of the San Diego Chargers, beloved by the fans and community alike but where I have an issue with this organization is the very fact that Norv Turner simply is not the coach to be leading this team on the journey they wish to embark upon. Turner has simply rid on the coat-tails derived of his being associated with Jimmy Johnson . Without that the success attained by Jones at the collegiate and at the professional level I seriously doubt that Norv Turner would be amongst the ranks of NFL coaches at present !

2003 brought us Carson Palmer being chosen number one overall by the Cincinnati Bengals . In Palmer’s subsequent years with the franchise he has seen share highs and season lows with little to show the fans and front office for their support . With the Bengals’ front office having sought to bring in Andy Dalton this past NFL Draft as Palmer sought to distance himself from his teammates and the organization as a whole . It has to be said that this simply has become what a number of these players and their demeanor appears to be about. In the last few months and in the offseason with Carson Palmer goading the Bengals’ executives in not meeting his demands for a trade . With his demands having not been met the player now has an option , reiterate his original statement and retire from the NFL or simply sit out the season , know that there might be a remote possibility that he could be called upon . With the front office having made a number of changes to the roster by way of the draft and free agency acquisitions it remains to be seen whether or not Andy Dalton can lead this franchise to some real semblance of success . For coach Marvin Lewis and his entire coaching staff this might just be the final season in which he can prove himself worthy of being looked upon as a coach in the NFL . Chances are if he cannot get this team into the postseason then it my belief that the Bengals’ front office will have no other option that to relieve Lewis of his duties .

It is easy to be critical of an organization when they are down on their luck it is another to repeatedly bear down on them when that franchise repeatedly seems to make the choices that not only seem befuddling to their fans and analysts alike but also the public en masse . There seems to be a kindred wish by the San Francisco 49 ers and the Oakland Raiders to merely show that they have an affinity for making some hideous personnel decisions . The Raiders under the auspice of Al Davis continues to make those personnel choices that no longer seem feasible . Having drafted JaMarcus Russell as their top choice in 2005 it did not take long for the fans and coaching staff to realize that a monumental mistak had been made in obtaining the player. And Russell did not disappoint in proving the naysayers right with his error proned plays , erratic leadership skills and a complete lack of quality in terms of his abilities to communicate with his teammates. But what might be even more prevalent and telling about Russell as a player was his inability to keep himself in good physical shape . Weight issues were a serious a problem and perhaps the main reason why the player was jettisoned by the organization.

Fresh start , new beginnings and with Hu Jackson installed to succeed Tom Cable it seems that the Raiders have hit their stride . And nowhere was that more telling than in their complete and tacit defeat of the New York Jets . And though the season for the Oakland Raiders is still in its infancy this may well have been the team’s best performance yet in besting a conference rival . Jason Campbell though not everyone’s choice to be a starter within this league but he has proven to be adequate to the needs of this team and the coaching staff .

At some point it should begin to dawn upon the San Francisco 49ers that Alex Smith is not the answer they seek to the team’s needs at the position . The franchise has been lucky enough to have had two Hall of Famers in Joe Montana and Steve Young helm this franchise to considerable success . The duo garnered five Superbowl titles between them , along the way cementing themselves and this franchise in the annals of NFL folklore .

Though the blame shouldn’t all be placed squarely on the shoulders of Smith alone because of his tenure there has been a revolving door of coordinators and coaches that would send the player to a mental facility. But here is my bone of contention with the player and it is simply that he has yet to show that his accomplishments during his collegiate career . I am not so sure that Smith will be a great success within the pro ranks albeit that Jim Harbaugh has placed his faith in the veteran quarterback.

I cannot yet jump on the train and regale the Detroit Lions , albeit that they now have a healthy Matthew Stafford . As the quarterback goes , then so does this team and for Jim Schwartz and his coaching staff this has to be something that he now relishes in seeing this roster perform . A healthy Matthew Stafford means a ball club ready to play and become one of the surprises not only within the NFC North but also within the conference . This is a team that could well be looked upon as one of the “dark horses” within NFC to quite possibly make the postseason. Now playing at a high level of competitiveness and with Calvin Johnson playing like an elite wide receiver this could well be the moment when I should reconsider my first thought about Stafford as well as this team . But as I alluded to earlier unless the quarterback can remain healthy over the course of this season then my options are liable to remain open at this juncture .

The NFC North this season could prove to be a very interesting division as it now appears we are seeing a resurgent Detriot Lions’ team . With that in mind the ball club will have to prove their mettle against the likes of the Green Bay Packers , Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears . And given the fact as to how thankless the Bears and Vikings now appear to be , this could prove to be something of a fortuitous season for the Detroit Lions and their fans .



Picture gallery for your perusal .

As an ardent fan of the game what thoughts if any do you have with regard to how the analysts and fans view the number one picks within the NFL down the years ? Do you feel it is justified in terms of the expectations one places upon these players ? Simply chime in with comments as you deem fit .

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

Picture and slide show details below .


(1) Cam Newton (1) of the Carolina Panthers throws a pass against the Jacksonville Jaguars during their game at Bank of America Stadium on September 25, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Panthers would go on to defeat the Jaguars 16-10 . Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images …..

(2) Cam Newton (1) of the Carolina Panthers runs with the ball against the Jacksonville Jaguars during their game at Bank of America Stadium on September 25, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images ….

(3) Ryan Leaf seen here having been drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the 1998 NFL Draft . The player’s career was short-lived within the NFL due to his inability to play competitive and the mere fact talent on display at the college level simply wasn’t displayed upon entry amongst the professional ranks . AP Photo archives ……

(4) Quarterback Matt Cassel (7) of the Kansas City Chiefs greets quarterback Philip Rivers (12) of the San Diego Chargers after their game at Qualcomm Stadium on September 25, 2011 in San Diego, California. The Chargers won 20-17 . Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images ……

(5) CINCINNATI, OH – SEPTEMBER 25: Andy Dalton (14) of the Cincinnati Bengals drops back to pass during the game against the San Francisco 49ers on September 25, 2011 at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio. The 49ers defeated the Bengals 13-8 . Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images …..

(6) Alex Smith (11) of the San Francisco 49ers is sacked by Jonathan Fanene (68) of the Cincinnati Bengals during their game on September 25, 2011 at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio. The 49ers defeated the Bengals 13-8. Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images ……

(7) SAN DIEGO – SEPTEMBER 25: the Kansas City Chiefs the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on September 25, 2011 in San Diego, California. The Chargers won 20-17 . Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images ……

(8) MINNEAPOLIS, MN – SEPTEMBER 25: Chad Greenway (52) of the Minnesota Vikings puts pressure on Matthew Stafford (9) of the Detroit Lions in the third quarter at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome on September 25, 2011 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Lions would defeat the Vikings 26-23 . Stafford and the Detroit Lions are now off to the best start for the franchise in the past fifteen years at 3-0 to a joint lead ( Green Bay Packers) the NFC North . Photo by Adam Bettcher /Getty Images ……


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NFL Alltime # 1 draft picks

NFL Draft 2000

NFL Draft 2005

NFL Draft 2006

NFL Draft 2010

All Time Number 1 Draft Picks
Year Player Position School Team Years Played Pro Bowls
2010 Sam Bradford QB Oklahoma St. Louis Rams 1 0
2009 Matthew Stafford QB Georgia Detroit Lions – –
2008 Jake Long OT Michigan Miami Dolphins 1 1
2007 JaMarcus Russell QB LSU Oakland Raiders 2 0
2006 Mario Williams DE N. Carolina State Houston Texans 3 1
2005 Alex Smith QB Utah San Francisco 49ers 4 0
2004 Eli Manning QB Mississippi San Diego Chargers 5 1
2003 Carson Palmer QB Southern Cal. Cincinnati Bengals 6 2
2002 David Carr QB Fresno State Houston Texans 7 0
2001 Michael Vick QB Virginia Tech Atlanta Falcons 6 3
2000 Courtney Brown DE Penn State Cleveland Browns 7 0
1999 Tim Couch QB Kentucky Cleveland Browns 6 0
1998 Peyton Manning QB Tennessee Indianapolis Colts 11 9
1997 Orlando Pace OT Ohio State St. Louis Rams 12 7
1996 Keyshawn Johnson WR Southern Cal. New York Jets 11 4
1995 Ki-Jana Carter RB Penn State Cincinnati Bengals 8 0
1994 Dan Wilkinson DT Ohio State Cincinnati Bengals 13 0
1993 Drew Bledsoe QB Washington State New England Patriots 14 4
1992 Steve Emtman DT Washington Indianapolis Colts 8 0
1991 Russell Maryland DT Miami, (Fla.) Dallas Cowboys 10 1
1990 Jeff George QB Illinois Indianapolis Colts 13 0


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

What’s A Sure Fire Thing In The NFL Nowadays …….. ?

What’s A Sure Fire Thing In The NFL Nowadays …….. ?

Well the finale to the NFL postseason is almost upon us with the staging of Superbowl 45 (SB XLV) when the Pittsburgh Steelers hosts the Green Bay Packers in the Superbowl at Cowboys Stadium , Arlington , Texas.


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Slide show for your perusal.

The postseason was an eventful one with a numbers of players stepping to the fore and doing what was asked of them by their various coaches and coaching staff . If nothing else it has been the talent that has dictated the ongoing heroics that we’ve seen throughout much of the postseason. Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger have simply been proof of that as they’ve led their teams through to their respective paths to the game’s showcase event.

I’ve already read a number of patrons’ site wheres they’re now trying to assess the talent that will be available in the upcoming NFL Draft that will take place this April . Now don’t get me wrong but there’s a premium on the talent that actually comes to the fore. And for the likes of ESPN’s Mel Kiper and Todd McShay they’re there state their opinions as to who they think will be a worthwhile option for a number of teams . Valid or not I’ve never been totally enamored by the neatly coiffured rug of Kiper or his assessment of college talent on their way to the NFL. It galls me even more when it became known that he’s consulted with the agents of a number of college bound players and after having spoken with them he’s now stating a case can be made that the players in question are NFL ready. How’s that showing his knowledge much less impartiality ? Kiper is a joke and so has been numerous of his assessments over the years ! His assessment of the Carolina Panthers —– Jimmy Claussen had me wondering what the hell he’d been watching in college when it came to the player ? I’m still waiting for Kiper to acknowledge that Akili Smith , Ryan Leaf , Chris Weinke and Eric Crouch failed to live to his own lofty expectations ! But that’s Mel Kiper , ESPN’s answer to Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck all rolled into one !

Now this upcoming NFL Draft I’ve no doubt that there’ll be a number of players who’ll stake a claim that they’re amongst the best that the collegiate level has to offer the NFL. Well with Andrew Luck the presumed number one draft pick now having chosen to remain in college for his senior year at Stanford the talent level may well have dropped off somewhat. Now there were those felt that Luck should’ve forgone his senior year in college and go after the big bucks but consider this for those who’d taken the time to do some research Luck comes from an extremely wealthy family and his father Norm is a self made multi millionaire. So why in hell’s name at this juncture would he want to make that jump to the NFL especially when if after the snap of a ball his NFL career could end in one fail swoop , signing bonus guarantee or not ?

With the mess that is now the NFL and the impasse between the league hierarchy and the NFLPA has become a complete joke ! There are many bones of contention to which the league and players are contesting , namely a ceiling on the rookies’ salaries . Who in this day and age is willing to pay an unproven athlete at times in excess of $40 million in guaranteed money based solely on potential alone ? That’s the idiocy that has now become the NFL and one of the main reasons why the league now finds itself in the mess that it is now in ! I thought the mess of MLB and the idiocy shown by Commissioner Bud Selig , baseball’s owners and their financial template was bad enough !


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Picture gallery for your perusal .

There’s no denying that over the years there have been some boons and busts coming out of the NFL . This past two seasons alone for all sense and purpose we’ve seen prodigious college talents such as Vince Young and JaMarcus Russell all but play themselves out of the NFL . Collectively the two have received in excess of $ 65 million alone in guaranteed money from their former employers . And in return they’d contributed not a damn thing to the teams that they played for. A patron of mine once made the comment that he’d rather have Young play for him at the quarterback position rather than having an aging and experienced quarterback. Vince Young systematically drove himself out of a career in Tennessee with the Tennessee Titans . And it certainly didn’t help that Titans’ owner Bud Adams whose own recent behavior bordered on being repugnant and repulsive ! But what should we have come to expect from an owner whose about as cognizant of what’s happening around him as Charlie Sheen would be on a drunken binge ?

Sam Bradford of the St Louis Rams in his first season in the NFL almost led the team to the NFC West divisional title and on the cusp of the playoffs. Were it not for the team falling apart in the latter part of the season they may well have made to the playoffs instead of the Seattle Seahawks . Bradford proved himself to be the real deal and perhaps justify the faith shown in him by coach Steve Spagnuolo , his coaching staff and Bill Devaney the team’s general manager.

Over the years the NFL Draft has been kind and also elusive to a number of teams who’ve chosen to gamble by taking a prime pick in the first round of the draft . And while that may sometimes to be fortuitous for a team that has the number one overall pick that’s not necessarily always the case. The right player in the right environment can be prove to be a success when the choice has been a prudent one and where the assessment made by the scouts , coaching staff and general manager are all in unison. Then and only then even with the player’s alleged talent can one truly be able to assess how good they may or may not be.

For the Detroit Lions their season fell apart with the loss of their franchise quarterback Matthew Stafford and as now of the player having repeatedly shown that he hasn’t the physical attributes to withstand a long and arduous 16 game season , nevermind the fact that the league under Commissioner Roger Goodell wants to now lengthen the season to an eighteen game schedule. Given Stafford’s frailties and the fact that he seemingly can’t withstand a full season in the NFL I for one seriously doubt that he could lead Jim Schwartz’s —- team through an eighteen game schedule ! That $72 million contract signed by Stafford doesn’t seem to have been worth it now does it ? But then again is the jury still out at Ford Field on the quarterback ?

Ndamokung Suh whose impact as a defensive tackle for the Lions showed why he was the envy of a number of teams around the league upon declaring for the draft. He was viewed as an elite player at the position and he’s proven to be that and a great deal more. Now if only the rest of the team had been able to manifest themselves in the way that Suh has been able to do so over the past season .

This upcoming NFL Draft to my mind will have a good pedigree of players but I wouldn’t say that it’ll be one of the best in recent years . Cam Newton , Andy Dalton , Jake Locker , Nick Fairley and with a slew of prospects to be assessed . Talent rarely takes off in the way that some feel that it can wherein a player in their rookie year at the professional level simply blows everyone away. It’s my own belief that if a player by their mid-second to third year hasn’t learned the nuances of the game then they’ll not about to make it in the NFL and contribute greatly to their respective teams. Hence the reason why I believe that the rookie salary contract as an inducement is simply and always will be a bad investment for a team . One only needs to look at the careers of Leaf, Smith , Russell and dare one say the Niners’ Alex Smith to prove what overpaying for average talent can do ?

What thoughts if any do you have on the upcoming NFL Draft and do you feel that the agents while inducing the general managers are actually more inclined to take hype up their clients far more than is needed ? Chime in with your thoughts and thanks as always for the continued support !

Picture and slide show details .

(1) Green Bay Packers’ Clay Matthews, left, and Aaron Rodgers joke around during practice, Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011 in Dallas. Green Bay will face the Pittsburgh Steelers in the NFL football Super Bowl XLV Sunday. AP Photo/Eric Gay ………

(2) Fort Worth Tx,. February 2nd 2011 Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) of the Pittsburgh Steelers talks with the media on February 2, 2011 in Fort Worth, Texas. The Pittsburgh Steelers will play the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XLV on February 6, 2011 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images ………

(3) Jeff Pash , NFL Executive Vice-President and General Counsel, discusses the collective bargaining agreement negotiations with members of the press at the Super Bowl XLV media center on February 2, 2011 in Dallas, Texas. The Green Bay Packers will play the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV on February 6, 2011 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images ……

(4) ESPN College Football analysts Mel Kiper, left and Todd McShay. They continue to agree to disagree . Could there at all be a “Brokeback Mountain” kind of relationship between the two ? AP Photo ………….

(5) Matthew Stafford of the Detroit Lions sits on the sideline during the game against the Chicago Bears at Ford Field on December 5, 2010 in Detroit, Michigan. The Bears defeated the Lions 24-20 . Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images …..

(6) Quarterback Sam Bradford (8) of the St. Louis Rams signals to his teammates during their game against the Seattle Seahawks at Qwest Field on January 2, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images …..

(7) In this photo taken, Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011, South squad quarterback Andy Dalton of TCU is pictured during Senior Bowl NCAA college football practice in Mobile, Ala. AP Photo/Dave Martin ………..

(8)This Nov. 7, 2010, file photo shows Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh rushing the line during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game against the New York Jets, at Ford Field. Suh was the only rookie named to the AP All-Pro Team. AP Photo/ Carlos Osorio File ………

Continue reading “What’s A Sure Fire Thing In The NFL Nowadays …….. ?”

Draft Geeks – NFL Draft … Really It’s For Guys Who’ve A Great Deal of Time On Their Hands

Draft Geeks – NFL Draft … Really It’s For Guys Who’ve A Great Deal of Time On Their Hands .

I don’t put a great deal into the prognostication about the draft, be it the NFL , NBA , MLB or NHL . Either a ‘player can play’ at the next level or they can’t . What I find asinine however are the guys who they think ‘they’ve got it down pat with their own draft projections’. Never once do they even bother to take into account that some teams will make simple maneuvers prior to the draft by giving up picks in order to obtain a free agent. But then again that’s what ‘separates them from the professionals who actually know what they’re doing and those who simply play the role of a GM or draft geek as the case maybe’. What can I say ? I’ll call it like I see it !

Now given the moves made by the Chicago Bears , I think it puts everything to rest for those who are out there with their assignations as to what teams do what , where, when and how. Now let me ask you this, what good is making a projection about the NFL Draft if you’re not prepared to do frugal analysis concerning the team and their pending free agents ? That’s what I find so asinine with the guys who simply draw up their tables and just boldly make their picks. Thank God, they’re not working within the financial field and offering advice to the general public. Seemingly, the advice given more likely than not would bankrupt their prospective clients. Need I say anymore on the matter ? Suffice to say, I simply look at all of this as nothing more than it being speculatory in nature and not much beyond that !

St  Louis   Rams   Cheerleaders
St Louis Rams Cheerleaders . They may well be only positive thing that the organization has going for it at present other than their wasting the talents of running back Stephen Jackson . photo appears courtesy of NFL.com .................

As far as I’m concerned once the NFL Draft commences , it’s down to the GM , coaches and the coaching staff to do what’s prudent and best for their respective organizations. I mean the St Louis Rams ‘can’t screw things up for themselves’ any worse than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are liable to do in this upcoming draft. Let’s face it other than the ‘Raiders’ , the ‘Rams’ and ‘Buccaneers’ may well be ‘the two worse ran’ NFL organizations in the entire NFL ! On the one hand you have Rams front office where there’s internal rancoring between ownership. Be that as it may and the moves made by the Chicago Bears , it remains to be seen what will transpire as the draft time comes around for a number of teams. Speculate all you want but at the end of the day it’ll be down to the choices made by the general managers on the day and that may well impact the fate of their teams.

Two years ago Matthew Stafford was being lauded as ‘the face’ of the Detroit Lions and a player who may well guide the team to a bright future. Can someone tell me what actually happened there ? Now for all sense and purpose we know that the Lions’ front office might have all the intellect and intelligence of a dead rat. But that asides , does anyone expect the team and organization to improve to the extent where they’ll become legitimate contender with the NFC , much less the rest of the NFL ?

As an avid fan of the NFL , I’ll watch the NFL Draft in part but in no way will it become the ritual wherein the whole process becomes one big spectacle that I’m expected to watch over the entire three days that the NFL Draft takes place. As important as the NFL Draft is presumed to be. There’s more to life than the NFL Draft and all that some believe it to be. Unfortunately the geeks may well feel it’s life or death ? ‘Life’ for me means family , friends, life itself and not just the notion of picking through the perceived remnants of what a professional NFL franchise might choose to do. It doesn’t affect my life and nor should it but you’d be hard pressed to tell the draft geek otherwise ! Here endeth the lesson , heed it and heed it well . As there may well be questions that you’ll be asked.

Alan Parkins aka tophatal

The NFL Draft this year will be on 22nd April and will continue through until 24th April 2010.

Click here to see the pick by pick , round by round analysis as it concerns the NFL Draft.


Actress <strong> Leah  Rimini </strong>  , more   known   for  her   role  in   the  CBS  sitcom  'The  King  of Queens'   .  Her  co-star  in   the  show   was  comedian   Kevin  James  .
Actress Leah Rimini , more known for her role in the CBS sitcom 'The King of Queens' . Her co-star in the show was comedian Kevin James .