Still looking for a hero
Well this weekend, within the sports world there have been the slew of news’ stories which will likely inspire us or simply let us down. With the US Open recently coming to an end , Serena Williams was unable to make history by completing a Grand Slam of Majors , by seeking to win all four Major Grand Slam tennis title within the calendar year. Williams’ fell in the semi-finals of the US Open where she was surprisingly beaten in three sets by Italy’s Roberta Vinci . William’s conqueror however, would go on to lose in the finals to fellow Italian, Flavia Pennetta , for Pennetta’s first Grand Slam title at the age of thirty-three.
In the Men’s Open Final , Novak Djokovic won with a great deal of ease , defeating Roger Federer , to win his tenth Grand Slam title of his professional career. For Djokovic , it also cemented his standing as the number one player in the world in the ATP standings. The Serbian can now lay claim to three of the four Majors for this calendar year and looking forward to another successful foray on the ATP Tour . As this season rounds out its schedule on both the ATP and WTA Tours , there can be no denial as to who the best two players in the world have been on either tour. Serena Williams remains the best player of her generation , while Novak Djokovic continues his dominance among the male players , especially true over the past six years.
Serena Williams will seek to add to her career resume’ in the coming year, with biggest quest being an another Grand Slam singles’ title , the twenty-fourth of her professional career which would equal the career tally of Steffi Graf , the last female , achieving the Grand Slam (winning all four Majors – Australian, French , Wimbledon US Open).
It has now come to the point where the sport of boxing remains not only on the decline but the international governing bodies of the sport have become something of a farce. Evidence of this was certainly in place , when welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr faced the latest challenger for his titles , with Andre Berto took to challenging the unbeaten champion. Mayweather sought to equal the unbeaten record of the late heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano , whose 49-0 unbeaten record remains a standard bearer within the sport. Berto , was not considered a worthy challenger to the champion, but as of late, Floyd Mayweather would rather cherry-pick his challengers based on their lack of talent rather than the competitiveness of really being challenged in the ring.
Mayweather entered his bout with his record intact at 48-0 and the chance of boxing immortality were he to equal Marciano’s feat. With the fight being staged at the boxing Mecca for the sport. The MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada , was the site for this lavishly staged pay for view (PPV) event where Mayweather was due to receive an estimated $35 million upfront payday without taking into account post-fight revenues . Berto received his guaranteed $ 4milllion purse , but in essence it led to a farce in the ring, with the challenger barely doing anything of note during this bout.
Floyd Mayweather won the fight by a unanimous decision, but there had been a great deal of controversy when it was widely announced that one of the three judges actually scored the bout to be a draw.
Officials from the WBA and WBC were quick to jump to defense of the judges , but with there being no acknowledgment of the scorecards having been revised. One has to question which of the three judges ringside, among Adalaide Boyd , Dave Moretti and Steve Weisfeld , could have seen fit to believe this title fight had in fact been a draw ?
Where Floyd Mayweather now stands among the pantheon of boxers considered to be among the all-time greats can be best judged by your like or dislike of the boxer or how you view the sport , by what it has become or what it once was. I believe Floyd Mayweather Jr to be an extraordinary talent and a fighter who at his best was supremely gifted. Do I believe him to be better than fighters such as Marvin Hagler , Muhammad Ali, Ray Robinson , Larry Holmes , Sugar Ray Leonard , Mike Tyson or any other of the great boxers over the past six decades who have graced the sport.
Mayweather has stated this was to be his last fight as a professional and to my mind his possibly bowing out , with two rather unimpressive and lackluster victories , further points to why the sport of boxing is in such disarray. The welterweight champion’s last fight against a fighter believed to be his greatest challenger and nemesis proved to be something of great farce as Manny Pacquiao simply put up a less than spirited challenge in their title bout. Pacquiao lost in a unanimous decision and then went to claim that an injury suffered during a pre-fight training session led to his underwhelming performance. Pacquiao himself has suggested his next fight will be his last professional bout before he enters the world of politics, as he seeks to become President of the Philippines during the country’s next Presidential elections.
Week one of the NFL season has now come into focus , with the schedule having began with last Thursday night’s game which pit the Pittsburgh Steelers against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium, in Foxboro’ Massachusetts. The Patriots came away with something of a narrow seven-point victory , but in reality Tom Brady in his return to the NFL , could have put up fifty points on a Steelers’ defense which was lackluster and completely out of their element. With the win in the aftermath of the Deflate-Gate Scandal the New England Patriots can set about seeking to make a successful defense of their AFC East divisional title.
Meanwhile, the NFL hierarchy and Roger Goodell will seek to make some sort of amends for the league’s ongoing stupidity and lack of real oversight of a league now completely bereft of intelligence and leadership. Beyond that, there is not much which really needs to be said concerning the league at present.
Of the more surprising results to have taken place on Sunday was the thrilling victory by the St Louis Rams over the Seattle Seahawks in a game filled with missed opportunities by the visiting Seahawks who failed to capitalize on numerous mistakes made by this Jeff Fisher coached team during the contest. The end result was a 34-31 victory for the Rams, as they begin their season with a win. Next up for both teams in week two will be the St Louis Rams taking on the Washington Redskins at Fedex Field in Landover, Maryland, while Maryland, while the Seattle Seahawks will enter the second game of their season where they will meet the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field , in Green Bay Wisconsin on Sunday, 20th September,2015.
The hype of the meeting between the last two Heisman Trophy winners , came by way of the Tennessee Titans facing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota , the two players taken in number one and number two in the 2015 NFL Draft , was meant to be a contest of two very astute and good quarterbacks . The events as they unfolded indicated Winston was not the player the Buccaneers hoped for as the home team suffered a rather embarrassing and lopsided twenty-eight point loss , 42-14 to the Titans. Whatever was expected from Jameis Winston was nowhere to be found during this contest , whereas Mariota was able to show a great deal of composure during his first professional start in the NFL. As to what this contest might suggest about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers , can be best summed up by the quotes attributed to Jameis Winston during his post-game interview and that of head coach Lovie Smith , as he seeks to make sense of the home team’s lackluster display.
While I don’t believe the Buccaneers will have as abysmal a season as in 2014 , but this team on paper, appears to be no better than the roster of last season where their accomplishment of winning two games was a testament to the incompetence and ineptitude shown by the entire organization from the top down . Lovie Smith has already began to use a great deal of rhetoric and pragmatism to describe what is now becoming an indelible trait for the Buccaneers’ organization and that is to lose with alarming regularity .
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will seek to get back on an even keel when they face divisional rivals the New Orleans Saints on the road at the Mercedes Benz Superdome in New Orleans Louisiana , in week two of their regular season schedule . I expect Drew Brees and the Saints to overcome their week one failure against the the Arizona Cardinals , which a resulted in a stunning 31-19 loss to their NFC counterparts.
In the space of three years, Robert Griffin III has gone from being the quarterback thought to be the future of the Washington Redskins’ franchise to persona non-grata, as Jay Gruden and his coaching staff continue to show just how out of their depth they just happen to be. Griffin has gone from being the incumbent starter to the either number two or three on the team’s depth chart of backup quarterbacks. Kirk Cousins in the Redskins’ week one encounter has simply shown that he might not be that much better than his counterpart and teammate on the roster. In Washington’s 17-10 home loss to the Miami Dolphins , their display was as abysmal and uninspired a defeat as one might expect of team lacking in confidence , a soul complete lack of leadership and coaching acumen on or off the field of play.
Judging by the outcome of this game, beyond the anemic offense shown by the Redskins and the secondary being equally incompetent . I would dare say the NFC East based franchise will be in for a hell of a torrid time this season . Cousins’ own play was indecisive and was one of the many facets which made this loss all the more probable and likely unacceptable to not only the fans, but also team owner Daniel Snyder and certain members the front office.
Jay Gruden and the coaching staff will have a week to prepare for the St Louis Rams’ visit to FedEx Field on Sunday, 20th September , where I fully expect the visitors to take advantage of the home team on the day , with a win, pushing mark to 2-0 in starting their season.
Josh McCown out and Johnny Manziel is in and with that beckons perhaps, another go around for the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner out of Texas A&M . Cleveland Browns’ head coach Mike Pettine had no other alternative but to give Manziel the second start of his professional career in the NFL. Manziel and Cleveland would start out fast , but the game ended in a blowout loss to the New York Jets in a 31-10 rout of the Browns. I am not about to suggest there has been a remarkable improvement in the play of the Jets, but Cleveland’s defense from the second quarter on-wards, was nowhere to be seen during this game. Todd Bowles and the New York Jets came into this contest well-prepared and looking to make a statement , one that will be widely seen around the NFL. It would not be unfair to suggest the Cleveland Browns might just have the worst secondary and offensive unit in the entire NFL , with the league being only one game into the season.
Johnny Manziel has transitioned from being a very good college player to being a little less than average as a NFL player and quarterback. The blame I believe lies in Manziel’s own ego and the very fact the Browns’ coaching staff hasn’t best figured how to best utilize the passer on the field. The blame I believe lies in Manziel’s own ego and the very fact , the Browns’ coaching staff hasn’t best figured out how to utilize the passer on the field.
Cleveland Browns’ head Mike Pettine is now caught between a rock and a hard place, because I do not believe, having Manziel suit up for the Browns’ next game will be of any benefit to the player’s mental ability when he has shown his game, is still a long way off from where it needs to be if Cleveland are to be considered legitimate contenders within their own division , much less the AFC and the entire NFL. The Browns are now a team low on morale , lacking leadership and where the coaching staff does seem to be completely bereft of ideas .
It now all comes down to this and the last twenty-plus games of the MLB season, with several teams still in contention for a postseason berth. As an avid fan of the Atlanta Braves and witnessing their season-long collapse, has been nothing short of a major disappointment. Idiotic roster moves with the departure of several notable players, has led to a dysfunctional team and coaching staff led by a completely clueless Fredi Gonzalez . The Braves’ roster as it now stands has no one with the leadership ability of Chipper Jones , Tom Glavine , John Smoltz or even Greg Maddux. The playing ability of the players on the current roster is less than mediocre , for which a great deal of the blame must rest with GM John Hart and team President John Schuerholz.
The Braves have been falling apart at the seams for the past five years and their last postseason appearance was simply emblematic of the ongoing issues still facing this organization. Their concentration on the building of a new ballpark is only outlasted by their sheer idiocy in the belief that a new venue (stadium) will be the solution to their problems, when the on-field product has been less than desirable over the past five seasons.
Atlanta remains a small-market team with large-market ideas befitting the likes of the New York Yankees , but in reality, the Braves do not possess the drive or the ambition to really pull off or create the type of success needed to win multiple titles or be a perennial contender for the World Series. The years of success under Bobby Cox are now long-gone and simply looking back to the past without, learning any lessons from those events have gone a long way in placing the Atlanta Braves in their present situation. This season will be one of the worst on record for the franchise with their being a realistic possibility of the Braves being on track to lose 100 hundred games for the very first time in recent franchise history.
As of September 14th the Atlanta Braves were 56-88 , twenty-seven games behind NL East divisional leader the New York Mets (83-61) . As the losers of eight of their last ten games. Victories for this Braves’ managed team have been infrequent and in so many ways, it has been reflective of the game performances of the Atlanta Braves this season.
Coming off another emphatic loss to the New York Mets on the 13th September , 2015 , the Braves will resume their schedule with a home game against the high-flying Toronto Blue Jays when the two teams meet on Tuesday evening at Turner Field in Atlanta, Georgia ,. John Gibbons , I believe has done a phenomenal job in molding together a team in the true sense of the word , a team which has played with a great deal of tenacity and unison. Gibbons might now be the front-runner for the AL Manager of The Year Award , but there are several noteworthy candidates for the award. Yet , is my belief the owners, would rather see this team not only win the AL Pennant but also top off their season with a triumphant win of the 2015 World Series. Bringing about the first title for the Jays since their back-to-back triumphs in 1992 and 1993.
If the Atlanta Braves are having a lamentable season, then for the Philadelphia Phillies , this will prove to be a year they would rather forget as the entire front office have failed disastrously. Interim manager Peter Mackanin has struggled to get the best out of a team that has simply been a horrendous eyesore. Ryan Howard is being rewarded handsomely , but his statistics this season have been absolutely feeble . To justify his $20 million salary in this day and age when players are earning that sum and a great deal more now is almost inexplicable. Yet bear in mind , the $300 million payroll of the Los Angeles Dodgers and you have to wonder when baseball will seek to get its financial house in order.
The Phillies will be taking on the Washington Nationals at Citizens Bank Ballpark in the second of a three-game home series. Tuesday afternoon will pit Philadelphia starting pitcher David Buchanan against Stephen Strasburg of the Nationals in this NL contest. Philadelphia’s 8-7 loss to the Washington Nationals where former Phillies’ closer Jonathan Papelbon was the winning pitcher placed the home team in a now untenable position within the NL , with their now having the worst record in the league. There has been now consistency with regard to the play of the Phillies this season and the mere fact they’re now seeking to use players from their farm system at this point of the season further highlights the issues now to be found with this entire roster .
The ouster of Philadelphia Phillies’ GM Ruben Amaro is widely expected to take place, with the rumblings of team President Pat Gillick , Chairman David Montgomery , Bill Giles and several senior executives simply dissatisfied and angered with the team’s failure this season. Amaro’s expected departure could also be followed by several impending free agents as well as of a number the high-priced players this season who have been an abysmal failure . .
Picture gallery. By clicking on an individual image you can view that frame in reformatted size along with an accompanying narrative.
The world of sports tends to focus far to much on the stars, because they are often seen as the supposed heroes on a team. Unfortunately, when those athletes tend to fail , blame is apportioned elsewhere, rather than actually seeking out the real stars on a team, the ones who are the leaders and the real heroes____ vocal leaders, ones who are judged by their deeds .