Not A Moment Too Soon …… If You’re A Sport’s Fan !

Not A Moment Too Soon …… If You’re A Sport’s Fan !

Well not enough can be said as we have all yearned to see the arrival of the NFL regular season and the beginning of play within the league . Thursday night we get to witness the last two Superbowl champions open the season with the Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints laying the groundwork for the NFL calendar year.. Clearly after the league hierarchy and NFLPA , seemingly now having reached an accord , the fans may well be quite happy to see the resumption of the NFL . Most certainly on 11th September when the season really gets into full swing with a full schedule of games that will also commemorate the the tenth anniversary of the tragic events of the terrorist attacks of “9/11” . That if anything , will be a somber moment not only for the fans but also for the entire nation as well as the NFL as the nation remembers those lost on that most solemn of days .

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Beyond those events which will do doubt be commemorated by MLB , WNBA and NASCAR the country can take pride that it has remained steadfast in its resolve as it seeks to defeat an enemy who sought bring down this nation and all that it stands for.

During this off-season the Green Bay Packers celebrated their victory with gusto and the fans were vibrant in their celebration of the team’s accomplishment. Coach Mike McCarthy and his coaching staff can be commended on a job well done and now comes the hard part in trying to make a successful run as they seek to defend their title. Certainly for Superbowl MVP Aaron Rodgers having erased the memories of his predecessor Brett Favre , the young quarterback now commands the respect of the Packers’ fans as well as his teammates . I certainly believe that the Green Bay Packers alongside the Philadelphia Eagles and New Orleans Saints are amongst the favorites within the NFC who can be legitimately viewed as favorites for the Superbowl. That picture however is liable to change over the course of the season , given the uncertainties that do tend to arise such as injuries to key players and that of the consistency of the teams as schedule progresses.
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In large part the Packers’ core remains intact from last season but the the team has made those perfunctory off season moves as well as taking the best talent available in the NFL Draft . Certainly , for Aaron Rodgers , Greg Jennings , Charles Woodson and Clay Matthews this could well prove to be something fortuitous given the team’s play last season and the consistency shown during the playoffs . If the Green Bay Packers can continue to show that same type of consistency then they could very well make a successful defense of their Superbowl title.

Is it me but there seems to be a degree of hypocrisy within the NFL that is often overlooked ? With Terrelle Pryor being asked to sit out the first games of his professional career within the league with the Oakland Raiders . Initially after his hiring by the Indianapolis Colts as a consultant Jim Tressel’s it appears was initially set . Colts’ GM Bill Polian in particular may well have felt that the hiring would be of benefit to the organization and a way of the former Buckeyes’ coach to seek redemption. But herein lies the caveat to this all, the NFL in conjunction with the NCAA has sought to distance itself from the wrongdoing of an athlete or coach at the collegiate level by instigating a form of punishment . It would appear that upon his hiring Polian felt that Jim Tressel would not only be a welcome hire but also not having to face any form of punishment . Less we forget , when Tressel allegedly left Ohio State there was little if any real form of punishment levied against the coach . An apology from Jim Tressel that was as meaningless and if anything an insult to the fans of the program from a man whose character , integrity and honesty were less forthright. Anyone who’s of the opinion that a $250,000 fine is a harsh enough penalty and somehow having to miss coaching a number of coaching duties clearly is either an idiot or simply doesn’t care as to the acts perpetrated by the former college coach .

With the NFL hierarchy having sought in-house legal counsel , a formal statement has been issued by both the league and from the Colts’ front office stating that Jim Tressel would have to forfeit the first six games of the team’s regular season before he can begin his tenure as a special consultant for the organization. Too harsh or simply not harsh enough ? It is at times like this I have to question not only the priorities of the NFL which seems seem to be intent on creating an image that’s surreal and going to almost any length to making a quick buck at the expense of the fans as needs be ! While I detest the actions of Tressel and that of his players I feel that before we can indict the coach the feeling has to be that the league hierarchy and team owners have to be held to a higher standard. It’s complete idiocy to think that the Indianapolis Colts would consider to hire the coach and then feel that there would not be any form of blowback ! Jim Irsay and Bill Polian are either that naive or they simply just couldn’t give a damn as to what allegations were levied against Jim Tressel. I wonder if they would have been such staunch advocates of the hire had this been anyone else but the former Buckeyes’ coach ? Think about it before giving an answer .

If there is anything that can be said as the baseball season now begins to wind down it has to said that the teams vying for the divisional leads as well as the wildcard berths are simply looking to play themselves into contention with a view to the divisional series and beyond .

It’s pretty much safe to say that both Roy Halladay and Justin Verlander are having extraordinary season’s for their respective teams . And it would be pretty much safe to say that bar the shouting , both the Philadelphia Phillies and Detroit Tigers are well on the way to winning their respective divisions (NL East & AL Central) with a certain amount of ease . The divisional leads that they seemingly command over their closest rivals do appear to be insurmountable and unless both the Phillies and Tigers self implode , then I would find it hard to believe that either the Atlanta Braves or the Cleveland Indians can find a way to topple either of the teams in question !

I don’t know that a manager can take any type of pride in seeing their team be routed by a divisional rival but somehow the Chicago White Sox’s Ozzie Guillen was all smiles as the team were soundly beaten (18-2) and given an ass whupping of the highest order by the Detroit Tigers, who played host to their divisional rivals at Comerica Park , in Detroit , Michigan. Far be it for me to suggest that Guillen can take pride in this performance by his players but I do believe that it sends the wrong message to the fans of the White Sox who witnessed the team put up such a mediocre display against Jim Leyland’s team . And if the rumors are to be believed then this may well be the last season that we may well Ozzie Guillen as manager of the Chicago White Sox , as it is being widely reported that Florida Marlins’ team President David Sansom will be gauging the manager’s interest in succeeding interim coach Jack McKeon . From a personal standpoint having once been a staunch supporter of the team I feel for one that it would be a good hire should the premise actually begin to take shape but until the end of the season we are not going to made aware as to where Guillen’s professional future may well lay .

White Sox GM Kenny Williams as well as team owner Jerry Reinsdorf have yet to issue a public statement on the matter but it is clear that the executives have come to question their manager’s handling of the team over the course of the season . Ozzie Guillen , could never be accused of being shy to show his emotions but it has become increasingly clear that as much as he has the respect of his players , he can at times be viewed as something of an ingrate and condescending towards the game day officials as well the fans. But what cannot be denied is having led the organization to their most recent triumph in the World Series , he has done little to suggest that he’s about to lead them there again anytime soon .

With the Florida Marlins set to move into their new ball-park in 2012 it was felt that an experienced and high profiled manager would be best to lead this young Marlins’ team as they seek to reinvigorate the interest of the fans within the area . It is becoming increasingly clear with average attendance of a meager 16,000 fans currently attending the Marlins’ home games , it has to be said that anything that can be done to peak the interest of the fans must be done quickly and with a great deal of resolve . There has been very little for the Marlins’ fans to be extremely excited about over the course of this season . The team itself has never been in serious contention within the NL East , much less for the wildcard berth within the NL .The team appears to have the talent but there’s little if any real leadership forthcoming from the presumed veterans or for that matter from the coaching staff , themselves . The productivity from the Florida Marlins as a whole can best be described as nonchalant or mediocre !

Having been privileged to witness the highs and lows of the Florida Marlins from their inception to their two World Series triumphs , to the political intrigue associated with team owner Jeffrey Loria and the entire front office somehow beguiling the Miami city commission and Mayor Thomas Regalado . What took place with the city commission somehow having agreed to finance the building of a $450 million state of the art venue for the organization all at the expense of the city of Miami. The stories of the decision and much of deception that has taken place concerning this episode has been well chronicled , as too were the clandestine meetings arranged between Regalado , the Marlins’ ownership and in particular senior members of the MLB hierarchy under the leadership of Commissioner Bud Selig .

If the commissioner can take such a proactive position in aiding the Marlins then how is it that he can be so reluctant to deal with similar issues concerning both the Oakland A’s and Tampa Bay Rays ? Oh, never mind as that would be expecting far too much from the game’s highest ranked official as we have all witnessed his sheer stupidity in the handling of the malfeasance of the Los Angeles Dodgers , the gross negligence of Saul Katz and Fred Wilpon as the owners of the New York Mets . I have come not to expect too much from the game of baseball other than what is actually witnessed on the field of play, because to expect anything else from the league hierarchy by way of leadership would be to expect the current members of both the House of Representatives and Senate to show some form bi-partisanship. That certainly isn’t about to happen at this juncture or at any time in the immediate future ! Simply put , the federal government much like baseball’s hierarchy are completely devoid of any form of intelligence !

So it appears out of the wood-works comes a white knight hoping to rescue from the rubble the beleaguered Los Angeles Dodgers. Dr William Burke co-founder and director of the Los Angeles Marathon leads a consortium that has lodge a formal bid with the US Bankruptcy Courts in Delaware , looking to purchase the organization. What makes this bid all the more interesting is the mere fact that the bidding consortium has the backing of the Chinese government through one of China’s most prominent financial institutions. This would be the first time that an governmental agency should this bid prove to be successful , that such an entity would become a stake holder in a North American professional sports’ franchise.

Certainly with the MLB hierarchy would have give its blessing and final approval on such a deal . Much of this also would be predicated upon Dodgers’ owner Frank McCourt initially agreeing to sell the ball club but this would also be based on the presiding judge overseeing the case would also have approve such a deal as the bankruptcy proceedings have yet to be finalized . At this juncture , given the fact that McCourt has always maintained that it is not his intent to sell the team , this could lead to a long protracted issue regarding the very existence of the Los Angeles Dodgers. It has become even more clear that although McCourt was able to obtain additional financing ($150 million loan from JP Morgan Chase ) to meet the team’s budgetary expenses until the end of the season , beyond that there’s no certainty that the beleaguered owner knows where any additional will actually be coming from .

Beyond the idiocy of this whole debacle it has become abundantly clear for all to see that Bud Selig’s handling of this matter can best be described as a complete sham ! The commissioner and the entire hierarchy have behaved been like bumbling oafs from the silent movie era. The Keystone Cops would certainly be proud of the performances and actions of the hierarchy . Were it not for the gross stupidity of Frank McCourt and the Dodgers’ front office executives perhaps this situation would not have become so grave. At this point it is hard to view how this situation can either get much better or for that matter simply get much worse . Frank McCourt has proven as owner that he has never had the best interests of this team and their financial well being at hand. If anything he and his now ex wife , Jamie McCourt merely viewed this organization as their personal ATM . But yet somehow in the midst of this all Bud Selig has used about as much intelligence to be found in a lump of fecal matter ! .

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have concerning the points raised within this piece ? Simply leave a comment as you deem fit and thanks as always for the continued support as it is greatly appreciated !

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

Picture and slide show details .

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(1) FILE- This Aug. 12, 2011 file photo shows Atlanta Falcons quarterback John Parker Wilson, left, fumbling as he is hit by Miami Dolphins cornerback Jimmy Wilson in the first half of a preseason NFL football game in Atlanta. Even during the longest, hottest, most grueling practice, A Miami Dolphins rookie, Wilson wears a smile from ear hole to ear hole. Wilson’s perspective is a little different from most players because of his peculiar path to the NFL. He spent two years in jail on a murder charge before winning acquittal in July 2009. AP Photo/David Manning …..

(2) GREEN BAY, WI – SEPTEMBER 1: Vic So’oto (97) of the Green Bay Packers runs for a touchdown on an interception during a preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Lambeau Field on September 1, 2011 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images ……

(3) Head coach Mike McCarthy of the Green Bay Packers argues a call with field judge Mike Weir (50) during a preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Lambeau Field on September 1, 2011 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images …….

(4) New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton , left, talks with Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Munchak at an NFL preseason football game at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011. The Titans won 32-9 . AP Photo/Bill Haber ….

(5) New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton, left, and quarterback Drew Brees (9) watch from the sidelines in the third quarter of a preseason NFL football game against the Oakland Raiders in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Aug. 28, 2011. AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez ……

(6) FILE: In this Oct. 23, 2010 file photo, Ohio State coach Jim Tressel looks on during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Purdue in Columbus, Ohio. Tressel was hired Friday, Sept. 2, 2011, by the Indianapolis Colts as a game-day consultant to help determine when the team should challenge plays. However in light of the hiring the NFL has imposed a six game ban upon the former Buckeyes’ coach that forbids Tressel from joining the Colts’ staff in his capacity as a gameday consultant . Personally my question for the Colts’ front office , is it there wish to reward the coach for his infamy while at Ohio State when one bears in mind his actions there prior to his leaving the program ? Photo/Tony Dejak ….

(7) Colts’ GM Bill Polian (left) is seen here with team owner Jim Irsay along the sidelines during a Indianapolis Colts’ game. Polian is said to be the primary protagonist behind Tressel’s hiring having been in consultation with the franchise owner . Indianapolis Star /Sam Riche …..

(8) Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen (13) spits some sunflower seeds as he watches the action from the dugout during the game against the Detroit Tigers, after the Tigers scored 16 runs on 22 hits in the first sixth innings of the game at Comerica Park on September 4, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. The Tigers defeted the White Sox 18-2 . Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images…

(9) Miguel Cabrera (24) of the Detroit Tigers looks to Andy Dirks (12) after hitting a two-run home run to center-field in the sixth inning during the game against the Chicago White Sox at Comerica Park on September 4, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. The Tigers defeated the White Sox 18-2 . Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images ….

(10) (L-R) Florida Marlins team President David Samsom, now former City of Miami Mayor Manny Diaz , MLB Commissioner Bud Selig, Florida Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria and Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez attend the groundbreaking ceremony for the Florida Marlins baseball team’s new stadium on July 18, 2009 in Miami, Florida. The park is scheduled to open in 2012 and the team intends to change its name to the Miami Marlins prior to the completion of the ballpark. Marc Serota/Getty Images North America ……

(11) City of Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado (R) listens as police Chief Miguel A. Exposito speaks during a press conference to announce “Operation Take Back Our Streets”‘ on August 10, 2010 in Miami, Florida. The Miami Police Department launched the operation in response to recent shootings in the Model City and Little Haiti communities of Miami. The city has seen a number of shootings recently using high powered assault weapons. Esposito has recently been suspended by the City Manager Johnny Martinez on the recommendation of the city commission . Joe Raedle / Getty Images …….

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It’s Fair Game This Weekend …………………… Triumph Or Go Home !

It’s Fair Game This Weekend …………….. Triumph Or Go Home !

The wildcard rounds of the playoffs begin this weekend and with a number of games set to get the fans salivating at their outcome . No game might be more intriguing than the NFC match-up that pits the Philadelphia Eagles against the Green Bay Packers . To my mind these are two evenly matched teams that are well coached by Andy Reid and Mike McCarthy respectively. Furthermore even with the advent of the play of Michael Vick I for one don’t believe this is by any means a foregone conclusion ! There’s enough here to suggest even with their records and play late in the season this game could go either way just like the flip of a coin.

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As good as Michael Vick has been playing, his counterpart Aaron Rodgers in spite of his injuries appears to be as tough as they come and willing to do battle in order for the Packers to win. And not only that it’d appear that the Lambeau faithful have taken Rodgers to their heart while onetime hero Brett Favre now remains a distant memory. He may well be still beloved in certain parts of Green Bay but I’m not so sure that holds through for the entire state of Wisconsin much less the rest of the country. This Packers’ team has shown a great deal of resiliency in spite of repeated adversity and when many may well have felt all was lost , they’ve risen to the challenge and this may well be one of the reasons why they could upset the apple cart as far as this match-up is concerned .

Defensively at times both teams have struggled but the Packers might well have the edge in that department . Where the advantage lies is in the fact that McCarthy’s coaching staff will have to deal with the mercurial and enigmatic play of Michael Vick . And as we know given his play this season a game can be turned at the drop of a hat. And I’ve no doubt that both defenses will be rigorously tested by the respective offenses at game time. This may well also become a game of attrition if neither side can find an opening but if it isn’t, then look for it to be something of a one sided affair with the winner showing the tenacity needed to seek out a win.

While many of us will have no doubt question the merits of a 7-9 team making the playoffs the Seattle Seahaws as winners of the NFC West are now there by right. And given what we’ve come to expect from that division within recent years I’m not entirely surprised. Sadly this is now what the league and to an essence the competitiveness of that division has now become where mediocrity is immediately rewarded rather than substance. How else can you explain when teams such as the New York Giants and Tampa Bay Buccaneers finished the season with better records but failed to make the playoffs ?

The Seahawks will have the privilege of hosting Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints this weekend and it remains to be seen whether or not the reigning Superbowl champions have overcome their recent slump of late. Both teams come into the postseason with a great deal to prove …….. the Saints in proving that they’re worthy champions and looking to make a successful defense of their title . Whereas Pete Carrolls’ team is simply looking for respect and a chance to upset the apple cart .

This game will certainly down to as the stealth of the Saints’ potent offense and how good this Seahawks’ defense is presumed to be. And given what we’ve seen from that defense this season they will have to be at the very top of their game . Having been ranked in the lower echelons of all of the defensive categories this season it remains to be seen whether not they will be able to counter act whatever the New Orleans Saints will be able to throw at them . What the Seahawks will have to their distinct advantage will be a home crowd of raucous fans at Q West Field in Seattle , Washington who will essence become the team’s twelfth man. If Matt Hasselbeck can rise to the occasion and lead this Seahawks’ team with any semblance of competitive instinct then this game could be a great deal closer than most would expect it to be . Discerning a victor from the midst of this all will come down to who has the greater appetite for the win.

With all of the off the field antics and some might say the overbearing personality of the New York Jets’ coach Rex Ryan one can’t help but wonder what the coach will do next. Apart from one time proclaiming the Jets the best team in the league this season Ryan has repeatedly put his foot in his mouth with some of his rather outrageous statements. Needless to say fans far and wide have either ridiculed the coach or supported his claims in part. Now comes crunch time for the team as they meet the Indianapolis Colts in a highly anticipated game that’s a rematch of last season’s AFC championship game .

Ryan and his team are certainly looking for redemption and the same can be said too for the Peyton Manning led Colts after their immense letdown in last season’s Superbowl against the New Orleans Saints . Many believed that the Indianapolis Colts would have the better of that Saints’ team on the day but that was clearly not the case as the defense of the Colts was exposed as flawed and extremely slow. Brees simply shredded that team almost at will and nothing could hide the disappointment from Manning’s face at the end of the day. To top it all off we then had the rather asinine claim by Colts’ GM Bill Polian that the reason for the team’s loss was the fact that the offensive line didn’t play well. This was a collective loss on all parts as the Colts were simply outplayed in every facet of the game and nothing can hide that fact not even the infantile rants of the team’s general manager.

It will be interesting to see how this Jets’ defense measures up against the Colts’ offense and how in fact they’re able to deal with Peyton Manning . One thing is sure this game won’t be short on drama whichever way you look at it and if Mark Sanchez is keen to prove that last season’s form was no fluke then now will be the time for him to prove that fact. As he goes so does this team and if he’s not performing at the highest caliber then the Jets’ postseason ambitions could come to an abrupt end once again at the hands of the Indianapolis Colts.

In this season of surprises within the NFL perhaps none could have been more of a surprise than the turnaround initiated by Todd Haley and the coaching staff of the Kansas City Chiefs . Having handily won the AFC West where many had expected to make the San Diego Chargers to make their normal late season charge the Chiefs simply held on whereas the Chargers fell by the wayside . Can someone please remind the Chargers that the NFL season is one played of sixteen games and not eight or nine as they and their fans have now come to expect ? Sooner or later it had to catch up with them and it’s safe to say that even with the exploits of Philip Rivers this season way too much was being asked of the player to lead this team into the postseason.

The Chiefs will have the privilege of hosting the Baltimore Ravens and somehow I get the feeling that Ray Lewis and Ed Reed of this Ravens’ team will be baying for blood as they look to seperate Matt Cassel’s head from his shoulders . I’m not suggesting that this won’t be a baptism of fire for this Chiefs’ team but I just hope that there are several fire engines and marshals in attendance at Arrowhead Stadium once this game begins. There’s liable to so much heat brought to this party by the Ravens that I’m not too sure that the Chiefs might be able to withstand the onslaught.

On the flip side of this , the Chiefs offense led by Cassel has a number of offensive weapons that could waylay the ambitions of John Harbaugh’s team. Thomas Jones , Jamaal Charles and Dwayne Bowe are liable to give the Ravens’ defense all that they can handle if they’re left to their own devices as they’ve become the main threats on offense this season for the Kansas City Chiefs. And the trio are one the main reasons behind the success of the franchise this season in convergence with the team acquiring both Charlie Weis and Romeo Crennel to take over the coaching responsibilities of the offense and defense respectively. If the Chiefs are to endure then it will come down to the coaching strategies put into place by Haley and his staff and how his team goes about executing that plan.

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What thoughts if any do have with regard to the wildcard round of the playoffs and which game do you anticipate will be the most entertaining to watch ? Simply chime in with a comment and as always thanks for the continued support as it’s gratefully appreciated !

NB : Click on the link shown to view the latest news in the NFL .

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Teams receiving a bye are the New England Patriots , Pittsburgh Steelers , Atlanta Falcons and Chicago Bears .

Alan aka tophatal ………………………………………….

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Continue reading “It’s Fair Game This Weekend …………………… Triumph Or Go Home !”

If You Can’t Face Adversity Square On And Look At It Face On Then What Use Are You If You’ve Learned Nothing At All From It ?

If You Can’t Face Adversity Square On And Look At It Face On Then What Use Are You If You’ve Learned Nothing At All From It ?

Bitch and whine but yet throwing out statistics merely to justify a loss in a competitive match simply shows complete naivete and a lack of understanding as to what it takes to win. But low and behold forty eight hours after bowing out of the World Cup we still have US fans trying to justify the claim that the US team were better than their nemesis Ghana in the round of 16 . So the US out-shot Ghana 20-16 but it’s the end result that counts and this what I believe is the asinine realization that seems to be lost on many of these fans. Wake up and smell the friggin’ coffee the US lost 2-1 to Ghana. The African nation made it to the quarter finals and the US didn’t so for God’s sake stop the bitching and fu_king whining as you’re all coming across like children who’ve been told to take a damn timeout ! If you want to be constructive in assessing the loss then look at what positives if any have come out of this all and not harp on about why you lost the game . The result most certainly can’t be changed at this juncture . And besides who says that the US team coached by Bob Bradley was the better team to begin with ? Was it because a numb-nut like Alexi Lalas said so ? His understanding of the game and his opinions are about as warranted or merited as Paris Hilton’s views would be on peace in the Middle East ! For want of a better word who gives a sh_t to begin with ?

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Bob Bradley’s team was never that good to begin with and in terms of defense and their frontal players in attack. Well let’s just say there’d have been more presence upfront were it Adam Lambert and Clay Aiken as the frontal players on this US team. Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan showed the creativity and presence of a docile mouse. Now with the US having returned home US Soccer President Sunil Gulati can assess what went wrong, where, when and why. Personally, until there’s a real competitive presence within the MLS in terms of the “talent level” then we’ll never see the maturation of US soccer on the international stage. The respect that the US craves won’t be given and it first has to be earned which is something that the fans and their players simply have yet to learn. Nothing could be more prevalent than the attitude and demeanor shown by Bradley and in particular by Landon Donovan in their post game interviews after the loss to Ghana .


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OK, so here we are on the first day of the NBA __ free agency period and as of yet we’ve yet to hear whether or not Lebron James will be returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers or making a move elsewhere around the NBA. The thought was that James would be the “domino effect” that would set everything into effect. But that now appears to be not the case as it would appear that Toronto Raptors’ power forward Chris Bosh could well be the carrot that lures James into making a decision. Bosh as one of the second tier free agents on the market, is the most desired of the power forwards out there. And the thinking amongst several NBA analysts and general managers around the league is that whomever lands Bosh will have the upper hand in luring and signing Lebron James.

Now in assessing the situation my own feeling is that LeBron if he’s to win an NBA title then for his alleged Jordan persona will be in need of a Scottie Pippen. James despite being saddled with Antawn Jamison and Shaquille O’Neal , this Cavaliers’ team was merely doing it all with smoking mirrors. And for the ass kissing morons at ESPN who simply had their lips pressed so closely to James’ sphincter that they couldn’t see the reality that this team was simply not good enough to beat the Los Angeles Lakers much less the Boston Celtics . Mike Brown and former GM Danny Ferry simply built a team for the long haul of the regular season but not for the rigors of the postseason . And now with Brown having been fired and Ferry inauspiciously choosing to relinquish his position with the team. It has now been left to Dan Gilbert the team owner and newly installed GM Chris Grant to try and gauge the situation concerning James and his status. It doesn’t appear that there has been a great deal communication between James’ handlers and the Cavaliers’ front office . If that’s not enough of an indicator that things could quite possibly change with regard to the Cavaliers’ future then the situation could well be lost on the Cavaliers’ fans and their executives. What I find very telling concerning the coaching staff of the Cavaliers was that not one of their members has played professionally in the NBA. That’s almost unheard of amongst the coaching staffs of a number franchises around the league.

Now with the Cavaliers now rushing to sign Byron Scott as the team’s next coach, with the position having been turned down by Lakers’ assistant Brian Shaw. This off season has been a very interesting one for the Cavaliers to say the least.

At one should a team give up on the season in baseball ? Now approaching the league’s mid-season showcase of the All Star Game to be held at Angels Stadium in Anaheim, California __ for which the event should prove be a great spectacle. The season has been filled with one or two surprises in the league and perhaps the biggest surprise might be that of the Cincinnati Reds and their ongoing battle for supremacy within the NL Central . While that has gone on , the Chicago Cubs seemingly finds with each passing game ways of sinking into further realms of mediocrity . I’m not about to say that the Cubs are done but my God if this team were a lame dog or horse they’d have been put down and euthanized. Cubs’ manager Lou Piniella seems to be out of touch and his team even more so but then again we are talking about the lovable and hapless Chicago Cubs where losing has now become the norm and winning has become a thing of the past .

Reds’ manager Dusty Baker could very well end up becoming the NL Manager of The Year should his team win the division. Other than that there’s not much more that can be said about the Cubs and their situation . As to the surprising ascendancy of the Reds it’s hard to bet against them and their season thus far. The play of Joey Votto and the middle order of the team’s offense has been simply astonishing . Their play seems to epitomize what this team seems to be about and what they’re doing makes them the NL story of the season.

Close your eyes and you’re liable to miss the image of the NFL as it sinks lower under the tenure of Roger Goodell . As for my own view on Goodell , well, let’s put it this way, for the highest ranking executive in the NFL to seem all clueless as to the players of the NFL and their behavior. Star players such as Michael Vick and Vince Young bring the image and reputation of the NFL into further disrepute and Goodell can only act like a Roman Catholic priest caught in the midst of another sex scandal . Instead of dealing with the situation with some authority , instead what we’re seeing from the NFL commissioner is the very fact that he’s a gutless individual ! Never mind the fact that there have been some serious allegations that have arisen concerning an Indianapolis Colts’ defensive tackle Eric Foster and a rape allegation . If Goodell handles this the way that he handled the Ben Roethlisberger situation then we might as well shut up shop as far as the image of the NFL is concerned. Because it’s not as if the NLPA and Executive Director DeMaurice Smith are in the least bit concerned with the image of their members to begin with. It’s as one patron of my site stated he’s not in the least bit concerned about an NFL player being involved in a fight . My question to him was what if the situation had escalated wherein the player ended up losing his life in an act of gun violence ? For which he’s yet to respond to my question but then again I shouldn’t expect anything less from someone who thinks that gun violence is probably the best way to resolve an issue. But then again amongst young African Americans that’s probably the be all end all when they’re severely lacking intelligence. Word to wise for Vince Young and in particular Michael Vick grow the fuck up and stop being and behaving like an asshole ! You’re both doing yourselves and your race a great disservice !

As for the Indianapolis Colts and their GM Bill Polian they’ve been less reticent to issue a statement concerning the matter and the alleged rape. The so called “pristine image” of the Indianapolis Colts is about as clean as that of the Roman Catholic church and their wish to be seen as God’s representative of Christianity on the earth. By my way of thinking that’s akin to asking a group of neo Nazis to be the custodians of the Torah and a church filled with young African American school children. You simply know that no good can from the outcome much like the Colts’ need to keep this all quiet and completely away from the public domain . And nowhere is this more self evident than in the actions of the organization and that of the commissioner’s office. And as to the assumption of the NFL if it’s a first time offense by a player then the league has a right to deal with the issue as it sees fit. Well whatever happened to the league’s player conduct policy ? Goodell much like his edict is completely full of shit much like the rest of the crap that he’d like for us all to buy into. I wonder how Goodell might have dealt would’ve dealt with the Ray Carruth affair were he commissioner at the time ?

Doubt my word concerning the NFL then simply look at the actions of Goodell and the inconsistencies of his rulings over the past few years ? Show me the consistencies in his deliberations and how he has come by them and then ask yourself is there any justification as to the types of punishment that has been meted out ? Goodell actions haven‘t exactly been seen as a deterrent to the players who court trouble and then hide behind the legalities of a justice system that has been all too soft on celebrities and in particular athletes. Were the actions seen that of an every day citizen then we’d be asking what the hell is going on. But as I’ve alluded to before the justice system and that of what Roger Goodell deems as being fair is about as equal in its logic as the actions of a habitual liar., Their actions are that way as a safety mechanism because it’s the only way that they know how to act.

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

Chime on in with a comment as you see fit and I’ll do my best to respond to your comments as succinctly as I can and once again thanks as always for your continued support and patronage. It’s been appreciated throughout my time here contributing within this domain.

Alan Parkins aka tophatal

Red Hot Chili Peppers ………… Give It Away