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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Picture gallery .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NFL schedule 2013 preseason week one

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2013 NFL Draft

2012 NFL standings (divisional)

2012 NFL standings (conference)

2012 NFL schedule regular season and postseason

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

Amber Rose

Think you can handle the truth ?

Think you can handle the truth ?

With the world said to be aghast, because another high-profiled athlete finds themselves on the wrong side of the law . I for one , would like to know why it is the fans and the public are showing their surprise ? I mean , athletes have always thought themselves to be above the law , and not to be held accountable at all for their actions . The NFL much like the other four major professional team sports have all been caught with the customary stigma , when the professionals there, have been embroiled in some sort of controversy . Aaron Hernandez may well now be implicated in three homicides , but there was already a disturbing pattern of behavior associated and established with the now former New England Patriots` tight end dating back to his pre college years . Yet, this was all ignored at various points during of the player`s athletic career, collegiate and within the professional ranks. And along the way, we have seen the hypocrisy of the various bodies and coaches who have presided over the player`s career . So now we are looking for answers to questions that most psychologists would explain not only as dangerous deviant behavior , but also as something that was ongoing , that would reach a boiling point and come to a head .

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At the same time I have yet to read anyone suggesting that the NFL and Players` Union , ever seeking to deter or better yet , seek of ways to curb the excess and grossly dangerous behavior of its players . Does anyone actually remember the actions of Donte Stallworth and his repeated lies to the press and prosecution , concerning the tragedy in of the case of the vehicular manslaughter death of a South Florida citizen ? Stallworth , got behind the wheel of his $ 175,000 vehicle with a BAC (blood alcohol content) of 0.143 , almost twice the legal limit within the state of Florida . Not only that, but the Patriots` wide receiver tested positive for marijuana , which both he and his lawyers claimed, played no part in the death of 59 year-old Mario Reyes , a father of four . The case against Stallworth was straight-forward , but somehow , the course of justice was perverted by the State Attorney`s Office , with the player only serving a twenty-four days of what was meant to be a thirty-day sentence . Am I missing something here ? Were this, simply a civilian as a defendant , I am certain that having been found guilty , or willing to take a plea agreement, as was the case here , at a minimum that individual would now be serving no less than five years in a case of vehicular manslaughter . The public expects more from its public officials, as well these athletes , but instead , they are placed on a pedestal by the press and fans alike.

Well , as of now, I find this whole situation to be to be not only repugnant , but also repulsive !

A patron of my site recently suggested that the country as advanced racially and socially to the point where are at a point , were we should no longer be overly concerned with race in terms of equality . Well, unless he has been living under a rock, the country remains extremely divided along racial lines . And that is now being played not only in the court of public opinion but also right in-front of our very eyes , as the trial of George Zimmerman takes place in the city of Sanford , Florida , in the death of seventeen-year old African-American , Trayvon Martin . Considering that in the past eighteen months within the state , this is as such, is the eight such instance, where the use of the `stand your ground law has been used as a crux for the slaying of an unarmed victim , were the victim has been someone of ethnic ethnicity . I would like to know, are we as a society , still depraved ? The answer I believe to be yes, and empathic yes , I might add ! The criminal case has begun to capture the nation`s attention, while also showing that the legal establishment within the state is and remains extremely mediocre . The prosecuting and defense attorneys, are pandering and posturing for the cameras, rather than seeking to establish any semblance of the truth. A simple microcosm of a mediocre societal system will be played out in-front of our very eyes over the ensuing weeks . Then at the end of it all, we can assess whether her or not, if justice has been served .

With the free agency status of NBA players able to declare their eligibility declare their status as of 1:00 AM tonight . It will be interesting, to see which players will seek to ply their trade elsewhere . If the rumors are to be believed , then it seems all but certain, that Los Angeles Lakers` center Dwight Howard will leave the franchise and seek a new home for his talents . Personally , I am of the belief that Howard, beyond not being entirely happy with his sojourn in the city of Angels, his relationship with the team`s best player Kobe Bryant , was severely tested . Lakers` head coach Mike DAntoni , to my mind , is not someone I believe is capable of corralling a cast of characters , such as in the makeup of this Lakers` roster . The team`s play throughout much of this past season was lethargic and unconvincing . And those who were of the belief that gathering the talents of Steve Nash and Dwight Howard to play alongside Kobe Bryant would make the Lakers a legitimate playoff contender and championship caliber team were clearly misguided , if not stupid .

With several teams said to be vying for the Lakers center`s services , it is hard to assess where would be the best fit for a player who over the past two years has simply failed to live up to expectations . Long thought of as being the best center in the NBA , I am not so sure that those claims can still be justified at this juncture . yet these are merely my observations and no one else`s. Howard lacks leadership skills , maturity , but most notably when placed under a great deal of pressure , he simply fails to deliver .

This past season the NBA salary cap was held steady at $58 million , but with their being a growing view that a number of the big-market teams who would like to see that figure raised . It seems inconceivable, that is likely to happen, if the league hierarchy would raise keep the luxury tax rates and salary cap above their existing levels . A dollar for dollar or $1-50 per dollar surcharge, would certainly impede the teams over the league`s current soft salary cap , and it would certainly lead to a contentious situation between the parties concerned . So unless the league, team owners and union (NBPA- Players` Union) can come to some sort of compromise , then that scenario is unlikely to take shape . And given how contentious the relationship has been between the NBPA and league hierarchy, I certainly do not believe , that we are likely to any changes come about overnight . Concessions would have to be made on all sides . As of this moment, the Players` Union remains highly distrustful of team owners and of David Stern , in particular . The latter , who prides himself on being the voice of reason for the NBA . Anyone who has witnessed the commissioner`s autocratic rule , will know that Stern is very much like an immature child , who if things simply do not go his way , he is likely to pick up his toys , cry off , while seeking to apportion blame elsewhere .

One can already see the teams that are likely to be encumbered with monstrous payrolls this upcoming season , unless those franchises seek to get rid of the dead weight on their respective rosters . Leslie Alexander , owner of the Houston Rockets along with head coach Kevin McHale , James Harden , GM Daryl Morey , have met with the player and his agent Dan Fegan . However, there are several other meetings scheduled for Howard and Fegan over the next few days before a formal announcement is made as to the player`s desired destination . Dwight Howard can seek to obtain a maximum contract from any of the vested parties , a contract most certainly make the player amongst the highest paid players in the NBA , and most likely at the position in the league . Ultimately, whatever the destination of Howard , I do believe that the center will be in a for a rude awakening , as he seeks to resurrect his career. . A six-year contract paying Dwight Howard between $118 million to $125 million , does seem inflated for a player who has no proven signs of leadership , and has often been known and witnessed , to simply give up , when adversity stares him directly in the face . I have never been truly enamored with Dwight Howard as a player , as I find him more often than not , to be a mere caricature and a cartoon character , showing almost infantile like behavior for an athlete described as one of the best players in the NBA. A formal announcement is likely to be made by the player by no later than the 10th July, 2013 .

Just like The Jefferson`s , it would appear that the Brooklyn Nets are seeking their own deluxe apartment in the sky . The fact that team owner , Mikhail Prokhorov and GM Billy King have seen fit to acquire both Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce from the Boston Celtics , in exchange for a two first round draft picks (2013 , 2014) and monetary exchange , might bode well for the besieged franchise . In an effort to take the glare and shine off their conference rivals the New York Knicks . This maneuver could either lead to the franchise’s undoing or at the end of the day , be seen as spectacular , if not a genius move engineered by King . Given the disarray shown by the team during the postseason . it is clear the Nets need to be installed with leadership ability . It clearly has not come from Deron Williams , in spite of his eight years in the NBA . If Williams has not learned that trait by now , then there is no certainty that he ever will , in spite of his many supporters . There is a definite reason why the likes of Steve Nash , Chris Paul , Tony Parker and Rajon Rondo are viewed as figureheads on the teams were they play . Granted, the same can be said of Williams , but he has never been a player who it is said , has led by example or in fact , instilling that eagerness to win . Yet somehow, all of the plaudits and vocal accolades heaped upon the Nets` point guard simply cannot deter the fact that he has in essence, become the face of a player who is in fact a prima-donna ____ very much a self-absorbed athlete and `coach-killer` . I would countenance that by saying , this is the image of so many players around the NBA , that has now become the norm , rather than the exception to the rule .

With Jason Kidd having recently retired , after a successful career in the NBA , the future Hall of Fame player , was recently introduced as the successor to PJ Carlisemo . No coaching experience , but a wealth of insight on the game, from his playing days, this could very well be the wrong scenario for the league`s newest head coach to embark upon a coaching career. It has to be said Kidd`s start will be a baptism of fire more tan anything else . Egos on the court of play and having to deal with a no-nonsense owner , I believe will be far too great a task for the Nets` new coach to deal with ! Garnet , Pierce and Kidd in terms of their respective careers have served the NBA combined for the better part of three decades. Whether or not , Kevin Garnett , Paul Pierce and Deron Williams can coexist, while taking instructions from Jason Kidd remains to be seen , but it will create an interesting dynamic as to the environment within the Nets` environment and locker room at game time . Kidd has stated that his coaching staff will be made up of the best possible talent available . So , I guess Jason Kidd knows of the obstacles he now faces, as he now embarks upon a new phase of his NBA career .

If there is one thing that we have to be aware of when it comes to the NBA , its it is that much like their counterparts in Major League Baseball , the NBA`s team owners are just as capricious and ostentatious . Baseball , reportedly prides itself on being fiscally conservative , but that is the farthest thing from the truth . Especially , when Commissioner Bud Selig is not known for transparency , much less be willing to have the game`s finances be opened up for public scrutiny . It should serve as a warning to the fans, but somehow it simply does not , because in large part , the vast majority of these fans would be unable to fully comprehend even the mildest financial principles that the teams operate under , much less be able to explain how the league`s luxury tax system actually works . The same premise also holds true for the NBA , and the bile that David Stern continually sells to the public en-masse as to the overall health of the NBA .

To further expand on the nonsensical whims of the NBA , and the fact that team owners and general managers believe that it is best to simply try to outspend their rivals . This past season the Brooklyn Nets with a payroll of $89.583 million , ranking it amongst the highest within the league . From an economic standpoint , given the gravitas of Mikhail Prokorov and the uninhibited manner under which he operates the Nets . It should come as no surprise that the franchise will have to pay a $31 million surcharge , with the organization having exceeded the league`s soft salary cap of $58 million for this past season . A large portion of the Brooklyn`s payroll was tied up in the salaries paid to Deron Williams and Joe Jonson . As to evidence the naiveté and sheer absurdity tat the NBA continues to operate under , Johnson`s contract still calls for the player to be paid another $67 million over the next tree seasons. All this , for a player whose presence the court for his team was barely noticeable this past season , during the regular and postseason .

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No grandstanding , no standing on ceremony , the next chapter in the LeBron James` quest to be rightly or wrongly be called The King or Great One , will take a new approach . James knows that the comparisons are already being made to his idol Michael Jordan . Personally , I feel it best to make such comparisons once a player`s career is over . Then we can truly judge as to the perceived greatness and attributes of the players in question . Making comparisons by way of age or shall we say what was accomplished by a certain point of their respective careers does not give one a true gauge on what could ultimately transpire down the road . What I am fully aware of , is that during this postseason , LeBron James put on array of performances that allowed the Miami Heat to defeat the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Finals , thereby guaranteeing the franchise`s successful defense of their title . As an avowed fan of the game, though not necessarily of the player , I acknowledge and congratulate LeBron James on his success ! . If anything, as the league now seeks to make new inroads in terms of its global presence , it will be James who becomes the face and persona of the NBA . Hopefully , David Stern can see what he has in front of him as a marketing tool and simply not make a damn mess of things , as he has been known to do and then to apportion blame elsewhere for his own mea-culpas. Your thoughts on this all and anything else you believe pertinent to the subject matter ?

tophatal ………………

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(1) Shayanna Jenkins, middle, fiancée of former New England Patriots football player Aaron Hernandez, is escorted by attorney Janice Bassil, left, and an unidentified attorney after a bail hearing in Fall River Superior Court Thursday, June 27, 2013 in Fall River, Mass. Hernandez, charged with murdering Odin Lloyd, a 27-year-old semi-pro football player, was denied bail. AP Photo/Elise Amendola …

(2) Aaron Hernandez accomplice Carlos Ortiz appears in court and is arraigned for his role in the murder of Odin Lloyd. Ortiz had relatives that denied his involvement and he teared in court on June 28, 2013. Photo : Twitter/AP ….

(3) Donte Stallworth is seen here accompanied by his attorneys in July 2009 , as the jury renders a verdict of guilty in his vehicular manslaughter trial in the death of Miami native , fifty-nine year old Mario Reyes , a father of four. The player was given a thirty-day sentence , but served only twenty-four days in jail , after a plea agreement reached with the district attorney . Stallworth would also see the suspension of his license and was placed on five years probation . An out of court settlement was reached with the Reyes` family , with Donte Stallworth having to pay the Reyes` family $2.5 million . Public outrage was vented at Miami Dade State Attorney , Katherine Fernandez-Rundle as to the leniency of the sentence and for her office negotiating a plea agreement which in essence brokered this abhorrent deal , subverting the pursuance of any real justice . Miami Herald / Ignacio Chela …..

(4) Defendant George Zimmerman in the Sanford Courthouse, Sanford , Florida during his trial for manslaughter in the death of teenager Trayvon Martin . Judge Debra Nelson has already caused a stir with her ruling that the audio of the apparent incident cannot be used as evidence in the trial of what she stated was insufficient technology available to disseminate and clarify the voices of the defendant and victim . Unless I am mistaken , the technology the judge questions , is used on a daily basis by not only Federal Law enforcement agencies but numerous state agencies around the country for the use of , and in monitoring and surveillance . Incredible , the level of incompetency that is already being shown in the trial`s infancy by the prosecuting , defense attorneys, as well as the presiding judge . AP / NY Times / Craig Ross …..

(5) Dwight Howard of the Los Angeles Lakers is seen talking to the convened press after the team`s first round loss the San Antonio Spurs having been swept 4-0 in the first round of the NBA Playoffs . Howard is now an unrestricted free agent and in what appears to be a last-ditch effort attempt by the Lakers` hierarchy , GM Mitch Kupchak , team owner , Jim Buss have pleaded with the center to remain with the franchise . Also throwing himself into the mix , is Hollywood A List actor Jack Nicholson , a die-hard Lakers` fan , who sent a personal message to Dwight Howard . Courtesy of SI ……

(6) Brooklyn Nets general manager Billy King , left , is seen here with the team`s new head coach Jason Kidd , himself a former with the franchise . Also new to the new organization will be aging veterans Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce . Billionaire team owner Mikhail Prokhorov is hoping that the experience of the trio can bolster a team that failed to live up to h is own lofty expectations this past season . Getty Images / Elsa Amendola … .

(7) Miami Heat players laugh as they watch highlights of center Chris Bosh, right, Monday, June 24, 2013, during a celebration for season ticket holders at the American Airlines Arena in Miami. Other players from left are: Shane Battier, Juwan Howard, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Rashard Lewis. The Heat defeated the San Antonio Spurs 95-88 in Game 7 to win their second straight NBA championship. AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee …

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From left to right , Tricia Helfer , Grace Park & Katie Sackhoff .

Too big to fail and too dumb to clean up its own frigging house

Too big to fail and too dumb to clean up its own frigging house

With the recent announcement that New England Patriots’ tight end Aaron Hernandez has now been arrested by the Massachusetts State Police and placed into custody at the Attleboro Police Station, pending chargers being filed by the State Attorneys` Office . It begs the question, where this now not only leaves the Patriots’ organization , but also now the further tarnished image of the NFL ? Robert Kraft , owner of the NFL franchise and his general manager Nick Caserio have taken it upon themselves to cut the player and voiding part of his seven-year $56 million contract , that the now disgraced Hernandez signed in 2012 . Not a moment too soon , as far as I am concerned , as from the outset the player and his legal representatives have played fast and loose with the rule of law . Evidence , it has been suggested , that may well have been tampered with , yet here were the player’s lawyers suggesting that the press and outside sources were denigrating Aaron Hernandez`s character. If I am not mistaken , the player was uncooperative with law enforcement from the very beginning , concerning the death of a former close confidante Odin Lloyd . The victim , Lloyd, who Hernandez was dating his sister , we now know was the victim of a homicide , and where his body was found less than a mile from his home in Attleboro , a suburb, north of the city of Boston .

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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell , forever the so-called protector of the NFL image now has to deal with a situation where one of the league’s most high-profiled franchises now finds itself front and center in the biggest news’ story to hit the NFL during its off-season . The New England Patriots made a splash of its own , when they acquired former New York Jets’ backup quarterback Tim Tebow to a two-year deal . Personally, from my own mindset as an avowed and die-hard Patriots’ fan , I was quite looking forward to a preseason of high-end comedy, and all of the drama that is likely to follow the fourth year player . Now , instead , the fans of the NFL as well of the Patriots will be treated to a great deal of conjecture and speculation that is more than likely to be played out in the court of public opinion , as the fate of Aaron Hernandez is played out in front of our very eyes . As to Tim Tebow’s future with the Patriots , well that will now rest upon how quick the player can acclimatize himself to the quirks of head coach Bill Belichick and the likely offensive plays devised by offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels .

I am of the opinion that Tim Tebow is being ingratiated and not good enough to play in the NFL at a consistently high level . His career so far in the league has been a clear reflection of that and it is not likely to change anytime soon . Even though the player has become another reclamation project for Bill Belichick , let’s not kid ourselves that Tebow fits into the mold of a Corey Dillon or a Randy Moss . On his best day Tim Tebow would not be competent enough to lace up the boots of either of the aforementioned players , but yet there remains apologists out there still with the wish of seeing the player in the NFL , while other claims that he would be of great financial benefit of a franchise in need of a sales pitch and to make even more money . The latter premise might just be the biggest joke of all !

In light of no charges having been filed against Aaron Hernandez as of yet , it should be noted that this is not the first time that the player has run afoul of the law . A pending suit has been filed against Hernandez , concerning an incident that took place in Miami where it is claimed that he shot a man in the face on the premises of a night club in South Florida . The suit filed for a second time now awaits a hearing and a trial date in the Miami Dade County Court System. Hernandez’s prior run ins took place while in college , and also while a juvenile , and it is clear that it has become a pattern of behavior with the now troubled player . As to the claims by the player’s legal team of undue bias and a rush to judgment. Well, let’s just revert back to the old adage , where there is smoke , there is fire .

One of the more subtle notes to come out of this all with the arrest of Aaron Hernandez during this off-season , has been the very fact that , he has become the twenty-eighth player from the NFL to have been arrested since the Superbowl (SB XLVII) came to an end , between the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens .

At a time when the league has enough issues to deal with , it is now becoming abundantly clear that as much as Roger Goodell believes that he can assuage us , with the fact that his actions are in the best interests of the NFL when it comes to dealing with players’ behavioral issues . It is clear, that the NFLPA (union) simply has no idea, nor does it seem to care about how their members parade themselves within the public domain. Executive Director DeMaurice Smith and the union’s executive committee would rather spend their time trying to make fools of the league hierarchy and franchise owners alike . Something, that they have successfully been able to do, outsmarting the commissioner and his subordinates , repeatedly over the past few years .

To realize the seriousness of the situation that Aaron Hernandez now finds himself in . Consider the fact that his agent , has advised him to hire noted Boston criminal attorney James Sultan of the renowned law firm Rankin & Sultan LLC . The charges that could very well be filed against the player could either be , obstruction of justice or , manslaughter or premeditated murder . All of this being mere supposition , because neither the State Attorney’s Office or the Massachusetts State Police have been prepared to divulge that information to the public as of yet . With Aaron Hernandez having been arrested , his arraignment before a judge , where the charges will be made public , is now all that awaits the start of the whole ongoing criminal process . Alas , this is the last thing that the NFL really needs, as its preseason , has yet to begin , but the fans are now salivating , waiting for the customary league protocols of the OTA’s (organized training activities ) to commence .

The alternatives for New England are not all that bright in terms of its overall offense . Rob Gronkowski , a big part of the Patriots’ offense over the past two seasons , will have to undergo off –season surgery . Further hindering the offensive weaponry available to quarterback Tom Brady . And the thought of Danny Amendola now being viewed as a ready-made replacement for the departed Wes Welker , is akin to substituting a Ferrari with a Dodge Pinto . Not one of the wiser off-season decisions made by the front office in allowing the departure of a fan favorite in Wes Welker . And let us not forget that Tom Brady made available over $9 million in salary to aid the franchise cap-wise in order to re-sign the renowned wide receiver . All to no avail, as Welker now becomes a prime target and added option for Denver Broncos` quarterback Peyton Manning .

The New England Patriots has always prided itself on being an organization that has individuals with character, that would provide leadership to the younger members of its playing staff . To my mind , that no longer seems to be the case ! As affable as Tom Brady appears to be , the wealth attained , the accolades , notoriety and glamour that comes along with being one the league’s more high-profiled players , may well have left the quarterback jaded and unconcerned as it relates to the franchise . Granted , winning cures what ails us , especially in the case of a professional sport’s franchise . Yet , the fact of the matter is , the departures of players such as Tedy Bruschi , Richard Seymour and Mike Vrabel have done more harm to the Patriots, than good . Age being a determining factor in their departures , unfortunately , in the subsequent years , the players drafted , have yet to show the leadership abilities , shown by the aforementioned players in question . The blame for this has to lay squarely upon the shoulders of Bill Belichick, and no one else . As great a head coach as he is, the “Midas Touch ” , he is renowned for , now seems to be missing , and it has most definitely played a part in the team’s failures in recent years , most notably in the postseason .

The preseason , with all that it represents , will now become one of urgency for Bill Belichick and his coaching staff . If he cannot get things right at that juncture , then no matter what the off-season in terms of its drama has provided us with , could very well pale into comparison should their regular season within the AFC East and in the league in particular , end up being a monumental bust .

For the past four seasons , Alex Rodriguez has been the highest paid player in baseball . Granted , the always opulent New York Yankees , will continue to outspend their rivals as they seek to maintain a standard of success that is unprecedented in baseball history . That asides , it has to be said , since the death of the late George Steinbrenner III , it does seem as if this ball-club seems to have regressed not just from a competitive standpoint , but also one in terms of its character and what it appears to tolerate from their players by way their behavior . Derek Jeter now on the downside of an illustrious career , seems to be on the verge of making a return , but a setback now seems to have curtailed that scenario. Manager , Joe Girardi , perennially under the microscope now has to deal with a fan-base that still yearns for success and one that now, is no longer willing to tolerate excuses as a reason why, for the team’s indifferent season .

Away from that scenario, we now have the still noncommittal Rodriguez declaring his fitness and ready to resume contributing to the team . Well , it means that the third baseman will add to the organization’s embarrassment more than he has already done with his conceit and web of lies . Then that , I might understand , but if he is actually talking about contributing on the field from his own standpoint by way of his meager offerings . Well, the New York Yankees might well be best served if the player remains on the team’s disabled list for the rest of the season . It is not as if he is currently being missed by Joe Girardi and his staff . Given what the team has been able to achieve by way of their results and their standing within the AL East , I seriously doubt that he has been missed by his teammates , much less the fans in attendance at Yankee Stadium , this season .

The Atlanta Journal Constitution

Report: Yanks GM angry at A-Rod for Twitter update

By Howie Rumber , Associated Press

NEW YORK — Alex Rodriguez and the New York Yankees are not seeing eye to eye on his hip injury. The star third baseman tweeted Tuesday night that his hip surgeon has cleared him to play in rehabilitation games, a move that angered Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, according to ESPN.com.
“You know what, when the Yankees want to announce something, (we will),” Cashman told the website.
“Alex should just shut … up,” the GM said, punctuating his comment with a profanity.
Cashman added that he planned to get in touch with Rodriguez right away.
The general manager did not respond to calls from The Associated Press.
Rodriguez had left hip surgery on Jan. 16 and has been working out since May at the Yankees’ Tampa complex. The three-time AL MVP took swings in a simulated-game situation for the first time on Monday.
On Tuesday night, he posted a message on Twitter: “Visit from Dr. Kelly over the weekend, who gave me the best news — the green light to play games again!” Rodriguez also posted a photo of himself and Dr. Brian Kelly, who performed the operation in New York.
Rodriguez did not stop to speak with reporters Wednesday when he drove into the team’s minor league complex in Tampa, Fla.

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New York Yankees` GM Brian Cashman , was obviously aggrieved by Alex Rodriguez’s announcement that he has been declared fit for a return to the game, by the surgeon who performed his hip surgery in the off-season . The player “tweeted” this proclamation without having first sought the approval of the team , never mind the fact, that he had yet to be declared physically fit enough by the team’s medical staff to even resume light training . Cashman , obviously angered by the player’s actions vented his feeling s to the local print and television media with a few choice expletives concerning his third baseman .

As we all know Alex Rodriguez’s name has once again associated with the latest debacle wrap itself around the game of baseball . Fans are calling for what they would like to see happen without ever once thinking that the game’s player on both sides of the equation simply don’t give a damn what they might . The known cheaters that have profited by way of using illicit substances are still allowed to participate in the game , after an innocuous tap on the wrist like a child being scolded by a kindergarten teacher . Anyone who genuinely believes that a fifty-game suspension is enough of deterrent to a player , then clearly they are misguided , if nothing else , simply pathetic .

The Yankees fort their part , even in light of Rodriguez’s almost whimsical admission of guilt in using a banned substance , chose not to suspend the player after that asinine act of contrition in 2011 , choosing instead to allow the player to resume playing for the team . Now comes the hard part for the organization , they are simply waiting for Bud Selig to make his formal announcement as to what punishment will be meted out to the players embroiled in the Biogenesis scandal . Meanwhile , knowing that the MLBPA (Players Union) is likely to fight tooth and nail to protect their members from any type of punishment they feel to be too draconian as a verdict rendered by the league hierarchy . From my own standpoint , Bud Selig and all of the parties involved , the teams , owners , union and front office executives, have all played their part in allowing this subterfuge to be perpetrated upon the public and fans alike . Baseball, or what is being reportedly being played, has become a caricature of what was once said to be America’s pastime .

Brian Cashman may well be angered by Alex Rodriguez’s actions , but my question for the front office executive and that of the Yankees’ ownership . Where were you all when this first came to light , and why no public outrage ? Instead, you all were gleefully rubbing your hands and ecstatically carrying on, as if you had hit the jackpot . Now that the can of worms have opened up along with all of the undesirable artifacts that come along with this whole scandal , all of this sacrosanct piousness, becomes all the more asinine and self-evident of an organization simply without a clue or any damn leadership to begin with .

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In light of the events mentioned within this article , what outcome would you like to see concerning Aaron Hernandez and Alex Rodriguez ? Chime in on this and anything else you believe pertinent to the subject matter at hand .

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In this image taken from video, a state police officer and dog arrive outside the home of New England Patriots football player Aaron Hernandez, Saturday, June 22, 2013, in North Attleboro, Mass. State police searched Hernandez’s home as they investigate the killing of Odin Lloyd, a semi-pro football player whose body was found nearby. AP Photo/ESPN …

(2) Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez arrives for arraignment at Attleboro District Court Wednesday, June 26, in Attleboro, Mass. It wasn’t clear what charges were being filed against him. Less than two hours after his arrest, the Patriots announced they had cut him from the team. Odin Lloyd, a 27-year-old semi-pro football player for the Boston Bandits, was found slain June 17 near Hernandez’s home in North Attleboro. AP Photo/The Sun Chronicle, Mark Stockwell …

(3) FILE – In this Dec. 23, 2012 file photo, New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez (81) warms up prior to an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Jacksonville, Fla. Hernandez was taken from his home in Attleboro, Mass. in handcuffs Wednesday morning June 26, 2013, more than a week after a Boston semi-pro football player was found dead in an industrial park a mile from Hernandez’s house. AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack …

(4) Patriots’ GM Nick Caserio ,left, is seen here with head coach Bill Belichick . In light of the arrest of Aaron Hernandez , the decision was made to cut the player from the team’s playing staff . That decision was made in conjunction with team owner Robert Kraft . Courtesy of AP Photo / Richard Thompson …

(5) New York Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman, left, is seen here alongside Alex Rodriguez as the player is questioned by the convened press at the Yankees’ complex in Tampa , Florida . Rodriguez took questions on the allegations of his use of banned steroids . In what now appears to be the latest exchange between the player and the executive , Rodriguez seems to have angered Brian Cashman that he had been given “the all clear” to resume playing , having yet to pass a physical by the Yankees’ own in-house medical staff . Cashman in response to the player’s “tweet” responded with a few choice expletives stating that the player “should simply shut the @#%k up ” ! Courtesy of USA Today ……….

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tophatal …… 006/26/2013

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News, views, and what the hell was that ?

News, views, and what the hell was that ?

Well the NBA season is over and done with , and now the fans will have the downtime of this off-season to assess how their teams will seek to strengthen their rosters, while seeking to usurp the Miami Heat and their dominant season . The NBA Draft will act as a precursor, as to what we can expect, as a number of struggling organizations will seek to better themselves . To my mind , it will not be so much about what these teams do , but what Pat Riley , Erik Spoelstra and team owner , Mickey Arison will seek to do , to improve this organization not just from a competitive standpoint but also economically as well .

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LeBron James pretty much etched himself into the NBA record books with a series of scintillating performances against the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Finals , that were almost Jordan-esque, in their nature and size . That being said, this seven game series , might just go down as one of the very best in recent NBA Finals` history . And while praise is being heaped upon James` broad shoulders, it would be remiss not to think that Erik Spoelstra has contributed as much to the team`s success this season, as he did in last season`s Finals also . The head coach of the Heat has pretty much written his own chapter in Miami Heat history , of which I am pretty sure , there is still a great deal to come from this Pat Riley protegé !

A great deal of speculation will begin as to whether or not this team will be broken up as the coaching staff seeks to bolster the roster . First of all, can we stop with this asinine notion and situation where LeBron James will seek to opt out of his present contract and ply his trade elsewhere ? James and his agent , Rich Paul of Klutch Sports Management , are unlikely to give up the opportunity of being in a major high-profiled market to go elsewhere , not while James is at the height of his earning power in the NBA and a marketing behemoth to the advertisers of Madison Avenue and their global clients . Somehow this all seems to be overlooked by many of the analysts and fans out there , who simply use stupidity as a guide for what they deem to be common sense, in suggesting that the player is likely to leave the confines of Miami . For the moment, the Miami Heat organization, will be allowed to enjoy the spoils of war, before preparing for the upcoming season .

In what now seems a catalyst for excessive stupidity this season and during the off-season . The NBA has simply gone awry, with the number of head coaches either being fired or simply not having their contracts extended . One of individuals who was said to be an unwilling participant in all of this , just happened to be Vinny Del Negro , who in having guided the Los Angeles Clippers to the postseason was summarily dismissed by the organization , headed by team owner , Donald Sterling and GM Gary Sacks . Now one could speculate, as to the reasons why Del Negro was not rewarded with an extension of his contract . Yet, his untimely dismissal, does smack of what now appears to be an underlying trend that now seems commonplace across the NBA, amongst the team owners and general managers alike. It seems that when all else fails , the best person to blame, has to be the head coach , rather than the players who under-achieve or a general manager who just doesn`t have a damn clue . It is clear that neither Gary Sacks or Donald Sterling have ever had a clue how to run or create a successful NBA franchise . A case in point can be made, that the evidence has been there all along , for all to see over the past decade or more, as it relates to the Los Angeles Clippers .

With the recent public announcement that Doc Rivers has been hired to succeed Vinny Del Negro , it will be extremely interesting to see the direction that will be taken by the organization under their new head coach. A number of decisions will have to be made during this off-season as to the makeup of the roster , the status of their impending free agents , as well as the upcoming NBA Draft .

For the Boston Celtics , after what appears to be years of none movement by way of simply improving the roster overall . GM Danny Ainge , lead managing partner and team owner , Wyc Grousbeck , are now left with having to pick up the pieces after the abrupt departure of Doc Rivers . As to how the situation will be viewed by the Celtics` unabashed die- hard fans, remains to be seen . Yet it is my belief, that a great deal of the blame for Rivers` departure , lies with the coach himself and the actions of Danny Ainge , who at times seemed averse to change , that would have helped the franchise’s long-term goals . . I have yet to hear a succinct reason why Rivers signed a three-year contract extension in 2012 , knowing full well that he remained unhappy with a number of decisions being made by the front office, even when his input was called for . From my own perspective, Doc Rivers is just as much to blame for Celtics` present predicament , as are the executives within the front office of the Boston Celtics` organization !

In what might amount to an admission of guilt , Hall of Fame bound former NFL head coach Bill Parcells says, he as a great deal of regret in leaving the New England Patriots in 1996 . Four absolute years of futility, by his successor , Pete Carroll , pretty much laid the foundation for the Bill Belichick years of unparalleled success . For Parcells to readily admit that fact and that he and team owner , Robert Kraft failed to see eye to eye on a number of issues while he coached the franchise , was not necessarily astounding , but it leads me to believe that the head coach was a man , who simply liked to do things his own way and was unwilling to accept criticism even when valid . Parcells` resume` we know to be unrivaled , with the coach having taken four separate teams to the postseason during his now famed coaching career . A Superbowl appearance came with the Patriots in , during his four years with the well-respected NFL franchise . In what amounted to be a lopsided to be a 35-21 loss to the Green Bay Packers , for which the season that turned out to be so full of promise ended up being something of a major letdown for the franchise , and brought about an abrupt end to Bill Parcells` reign with the Patriots .

Courtesy of USA Today

Bill Parcells laments decision to part ways with Patriots

By Jim Corbett , USA Today Sports

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. — Bill Parcells has one haunting memory from a coaching career that will culminate with his Aug.3 induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame: his bitter post-Super Bowl XXXI divorce from the New England Patriots and owner Robert Kraft after the 1996 season.

“I regret leaving New England. Had we done things differently … ” Parcells recently told USA TODAY Sports. “I had a good young team there. I hated to leave that team, because I knew what we could do.

“I was absolutely too headstrong. And he might have been a little headstrong, too. I think both Kraft and myself, retrospectively, would have done things a little differently.”

And the course of NFL history would have changed.

Parcells was succeeded in New England in 1997 by Pete Carroll, who coached the Patriots for three seasons before he was replaced by Bill Belichick in 2000.

The Patriots have won three Super Bowls and reached two others under Belichick, who, without the New England job available, might have remained head coach of the New York Jets for more than a day before resigning to move up the road to Foxborough, Mass.

Parcells and Kraft have made their peace, getting over a breakup caused by Parcells’ lack of final say on building the roster, which was decided by then-director of player personnel Bobby Grier. That power struggle led Parcells to taunt Kraft with the famous line: “If they want you to cook the dinner, at least they ought to let you shop for some of the groceries.”

Kraft recalled the truce, which happened about 10 years ago.

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Bill Parcells can be seen as one of the modern- day innovators within the NFL coaching fraternity . The measure of success can also be seen from the coaching tree that has been established by Parcells and the members of his coaching staff who went on to carve success for themselves in the NFL , in various capacities . If that is not enough to signify the greatness of this former head coach , beyond his obvious over-sized ego , then I certainly don`t know what will .

Now as an avid Patriots` fan , I have to admit that this story concerning Aaron Hernandez’s involvement in the death of a former close confidante bears all t the remnants of quite possibly a friendship gone sour . The victim, Odin Lloyd , is a one-time known md close associate of the Patriots` tight end . That being said, with Hernandez now having gone, from a person of interest in this homicide, to the number one suspect , it now has me questioning why Robert Kraft , GM Nick Caserio and Bill Belichick would still allow the player to turn up at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts , for the team`s off-season workouts , mandatory or not ? It has become enough of a circus and a distraction the nation`s press and television media encamped outside Patriots` headquarters, waiting for the next glimpse of the now besieged and troubled player .

Personally, I would like to see what the next step that will be taken by the Patriots` hierarchy or the NFL itself , should the player be arrested and be charged with Odin Lloyd`s murder ! If that wasn`t enough and given Aaron Hernandez’s unwillingness to cooperate with local law enforcement and his own actions , prior to being questioned , leads me to believe that he does have a great deal to hide beyond his possible involvement in a homicide ! The destruction of what law enforcement (Boston PD) believes to be pertinent (cell phone , cleaning up of his residence and that of his SUV ) points to that of serious felony having been committed . Yet mere supposition alone, cannot be enough to truly suggest a player` guilt . However, any good prosecuting attorney should be able to indict and arraign a possible defendant on less . I may well be mistaken , but at this juncture , I am not expecting an asshole such as Roger Goodell to make any public statement , much less deliver any sort edict stating the player should be suspended pending the outcome of the police investigation. Would that be too much to ask of the NFL`s buffoon of a commissioner , given his proclivity for supposedly wanting to protect the NFL`s image ?

It is becoming abundantly clear that the NFL has become archaic monolithic system that is simply devoid of intelligence and this ongoing fact that all Roger Goodell can actually point to, are increased revenues , yet little by way any concern over welfare of retired veterans, most notably the issue head trauma and concussions . For years, Goodell and his predecessor , Paul Tagliabue , ignored their own in-house studies as well that of studies conducted by world-renowned academic facilities, Stanford , UCLA Medical Facility Berkley, John Hopkins University , Sloane Kettering as well as studies conducted by the AMA , NIMH and the AAN (American Academy of Neurology) . In the midst of this all , remains the apathy of fans who say that the NFL continues to emasculate the league and the way football is officiated , interpreted and the rules adhered to by the referees. Somehow these are quite possibly the same idiots , who raise the national flag to show that they are patriots but simply couldn`t give a shit that there are now more than 750,000 homeless military veterans in living on the streets of Los Angeles , New York , San Francisco , Miami and Washington, DC ., all suffering chronic mental health and drug-related issues . Where is the compassion for those men and women said to be coming from ? Yet , these are the forgotten , who no one seems to care about at all , not even the VA (Veterans Administration) the federal government itself, in spite of the lip service coming from members of the House , Senate , as well as Barack Obama , himself .

I may well be mistaken, but this year is 2013 , is it not ? A little over two eighteen months ago, ago an individual and former patron of this site was simply critical of me , because I was overly critical of the Kansas City Royals(35-38) and that as an organization , they were not only bereft of talent but also devoid of intelligence, in terms the ownership and managerial staff . Far be it for me to suggest , but it has been several years since the Royals last made the postseason , let alone contest for their division during that time-frame. Furthermore , this season , the Royals are once again playing sub-par baseball and while not belying their status as an also ran within the AL as well as baseball as a whole .

Royals` manager Ned Yost and his staff have been entrusted to guide this team for the long-haul , but it is my belief that Yost is handicapped by ball-club that simply has no wish to spend money to bolster this team . Be it, adding a veteran leader or simply a talent, by way of a bonafide star who is productive as an offensive player or pitcher . The biggest issue facing the Kansas City Royals , are that their fans have always been under the impression that the team will contend , if not this year , then it will be next . God bless those Royal fans, and their ongoing optimism, in spite of the sheer ineptitude shown .

Year in and year out the MLB Draft has been an ongoing process of the Kansas City Royals and GM Dayton Moore going through the motions creating the perception of creating a competitive ball-club. David Glass , owner of the Royals , in spite of his alleged business acumen , and the propensity for simply sitting back and let the chips fall were they may. And as we know MLB simply takes care of its own , even when they just happen to be abhorrent mediocre and repeatedly so . The Royals will continue to live high on the hog , just as long as Bud Selig and the MLB hierarchy avails teams such as the Royals with their asinine tax sharing revenue scheme , which since the day it was initiated, , it has barely created a level playing field . Others might well counter that with the argument that the World Series has been contested by several different teams . However, if one would merely look at the make-up up of postseason , specifically the divisional series and championship series , over the years that the perennial contenders are always there . As to the World Series itself , well what can one say , when the names more often than not tend to be the same ? Does anyone truly believe that the Kansas City Royals , Pittsburgh Pirates , Tampa Bay Rays , Houston Astros , New York Mets , will ever win a title , given their respective records in recent years ? Granted in 1969 , the Mets triumphed over the Baltimore Orioles , with a lopsided 4-1 series` victory . Since then , four decades plus of sheer purgatory , financial mismanagement and the absurdity of Sandy Alderson and JP Ricciardi are credible enough to turn things around for this moribund franchise . Terry Collins and his bedraggled team are simply back to their ways of old , with the same old excuses being put forth by their fans and the front office . I wonder why ? One merely has to look at the team`s season and standing in the NL East to realize what a mess the New York Mets continue to be .

If I were a Royals` fan , am I supposed to be sold players such as Mike Moustakas , Alex Gordon , Eric Hosmer , Billy Butler , Lorenzo Cain and a team batting average of . 257 , which in essence, places the Royals in fifth in the AL ? Yet what might be of even more concern, is the fact that the team cannot manufacture runs (RBI`s) or even home runs . Wow ! And these are the type of statistics that will lure fans to Kauffmann Stadium in Kansas City , Missouri ? The one saving grace might well be, that in terms of pitching , the team does possess the best ERA in the AL with league low average of 3.52.

Next up for Kansas City will be a home game against the Atlanta Braves ,with Kris Medlen taking the mound for Atlanta against Ervin Santana of the Royals , in what is sure to be a lively pitchers` duel between these two players . Great games are normally expected when we have two highly competitive teams facing off against one another. At present , only one of these two ball-clubs actually fits that criteria of being even remotely competitive . Care to guess, which one ?

Los Angeles Angels` (33-43) owner, Arte Moreno , has become disgruntled and upset by the direction of this team . I cannot say that I would blame him , given the fact, that he now has over $450 million invested in three high-profiled players on this roster . Yet here are, almost at a crisis point, almost midway through the MLB season . A season , in which, the Angels have simply been mediocre , at best . It is not that hard to fathom how an organization can in fact be so naïve in its wish to seek out success , having to see their crosstown rivals be front and center, garnering much of the news when it comes to all things baseball in the city of Los Angeles . There is no denying that this season both the Los Angeles Angels and Los Angeles Dodgers (33-42) are grabbing all of the headlines within the game but for all of the wrong reasons. Angels GM Jerry Dipoto and his Dodgers` counterpart Ned Colletti are struggling to make both teams relevant within their respective divisions . For managers, Mike Scioscia and Don Mattingly , for all sense and purpose , their jobs now appear to be on the line, with respective owners Arte Moreno and Magic Johnson undoubtedly rethinking the situation, as whether or not, it would be wise to extend the contracts of the two beleaguered managers . By season`s end I believe we will be given the answers in both cases !

As I alluded to earlier with over $450 million invested in Albert Pujols , C J Wilson and Josh Hamilton , it is extremely difficult to see how and where this team will be in a position to challenge for the AL West this season , when they are struggling just to be competitive within the AL as a whole .

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Picture gallery .

The Angels will be the guests of the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park , in Detroit ,Michigan for a series of games . Jim Leyland brings in a team that will be seeking to tighten its grip on the AL Central , as they seek not only redefine themselves , but also seek redemption after last season`s lopsided World Series ` loss to the San Francisco Giants . As the Texas Rangers and Oakland Athletics contest the AL West , leading the Angels by ten and eleven games respectively, you kind of get the feeling that we could very well be witnessing the beginning of the end as it relates to the career of Mike Sciocsia with this ball-club. As one of the longest tenured managers in baseball , Sciocsia`s greatest achievement in came in 2002 as he led the organization to their lone triumph in baseball`s biggest showcase event .

Your thoughts on the points raised within this piece and how you see the second half of the season panning out for a number of teams within baseball ? Do leave a comment as you see fit and thanks as always for the continued support of this site , as it is greatly appreciated !

Picture and slideshow details below .
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(1) NBA champion Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra , center, gestures to fans during a parade honoring the team in Miami, Monday, June 24, 2013. AP Photo/Alan Diaz ….

(2) Fans take photos of the Larry O’Brien NBA Championship Trophy with their mobile phones and cameras as it rises from the from a box, Monday, June 24, 2013, during a celebration for season ticket holders at the American Airlines Arena in Miami. The Heat defeated the San Antonio Spurs 95-88 in Game 7 to win their second straight basketball championship. AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee …

(3) MIAMI, FL – JUNE 24: LeBron James (6) of the Miami Heat celebrates alongside teammate, Juwan Howard on the bus during the championship celebration parade through downtown Miami on June 24, 2013 in Miami, Florida. Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images …..

(4) LeBron James , left , is seen here with his childhood friend and business partner Rich Paul . Paul a former junior associate with mega-agency CAA Sports left to form Klutch Sports Inc , taking along with him the NBA star , who at the time , just happened to CAA`s biggest NBA client . James and Paul are also co-founders of LMR Enterprises which oversees all of James` business interests , covering endorsements , his charitable foundation as well as other outside interests of the player. Mathe` Enterprises Inc. copyrighted material …..

(5) FILE – In this file photo made Feb. 1, 2013, Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers gestures towards an official during an NBA basketball game against the Orlando Magic in Boston. A Celtics official told The Associated Press, Sunday, June 23, 2013, that a deal to allow Rivers to coach the Los Angeles Clippers has been agreed to. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deal was contingent on NBA approval and negotiations between Rivers and the Clippers over a new contract. AP Photo/Charles Krupa ….

(6) CHICAGO, IL – MAY 17: Trey Burke (3) completes a lane agility test on Day 2 of the 2013 NBA Draft Combine on May 17, 2013 at Quest Multiplex in Chicago, Illinois. Photo by Randy Belice/NBAE via Getty Images ….

(7) New England Patriots` owner Robert Kraft , left , is seen here with then team head coach Bill Parcells . The two individuals had what could be best described as a testy relationship , that would often become extremely combustible . Parcells would have four successful seasons with the franchise , before leaving abruptly at the end of the 1996 season . In a recent interview with USA Today , Bill Parcells voiced his regrets in leaving the Patriots under the circumstances that he had chosen to depart . Boston Globe / Frank Pietro ….

(8) Kansas City Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas tags out Chicago White Sox’s Paul Konerko (14) on the way to third before throwing to first for the double play hit into by Dayan Viciedo during the fourth inning of a baseball game Saturday, June 22, 2013, in Kansas City, Mo. AP Photo/Charlie Riedel …

(9) Los Angeles Angels` owner Mike Sciocsia is seen here with team owner Arte Moreno . Sciocsia is under a great deal of pressure this season for the team to succeed . However , with players failing to live up to expectation and a seven-figure payroll that ranks among the top ten in all of baseball . It begs the question , can Mike Sciocsia and his staff survive the season or will Jerry Dipoto and the team owner relieve the manager of his managerial position at season`s end ? AP Photo Mark Rogers ……..

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tophatal ………………………….. 06/24/2013 .

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