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Tophatal’s Blog : https://tophatal.wordpress.com/2015/03/28/imagine-things-getting-really-bad-before-entering-the-2015-nfl-season-its-not-as-far-fetched-as-it-seems

https://tophatal.wordpress.com/2015/03/18/bracketsjackets-and-tip-toeing-around-the-patently-obvious

Idiot’s Guide To Sports : https://topsplace.wordpress.com/2015/03/22/a-dog-with-fleas-will-always-remain-a-dog-with-fleas-you-cant-change-the-evidence/

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Tophatal’s Blog : https://abritishman.wordpress.com/2015/03/31/it-pays-to-take-one-step-at-a-time

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No it’s not a punch drunk diatribe ……… it’s real boxing , is dead on its feet .. no last man or standing count

No it’s not a punch drunk diatribe ……… it’s real, boxing is dead on its feet .. no last man or standing count

It has becoming increasingly embarrassing to look at the world of boxing and take that sport, either legitimately or seriously . The talent level, I believe has dropped to an all-time low ! Granted , we are asked to look at the ring exploits of Floyd Mayweather (45-0, 26 KO’a) with a great deal of praise as he seeks to make his reign with the sport even more impactful than it already is . To my mind , Mayweather’s statistics, have simply been padded out over the past seven years ,with the welterweight champion having not fought anyone of note . The fact that he is now being paid a king’s ransom for many of these bouts is an affront to fans of the sport, but more so, I believe, it continues to show the gullibility of the fans and the fractious nature of a sport governed by so many international bodies , with each having their own champions in the various weight ; categories . Add in the fact that promoters such as Bob Arum ( Top Rank Inc) , Don King ( Don King Promotions ) , Oscar de La Hoya ( Golden Boy Promotions ) , Shelly Finkel , Lou Duva and Dan Goosen have simply made a mockery of boxing’s landscape along with corrupt practices of the Nevada State Athletic Commission and the lack of real accountability within the state ran agency .

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Consider the following , it has been almost a decade since the sport of boxing had an undisputed heavyweight champion. The title holder at the time, was Lennox Lewis of the United Kingdom. Lewis was a boxer of limited ability , but with a more than adept defense , in terms of his boxing skills , but he was simply not a fighter who drew you to the edge of your seat once he was in the ring , let alone provide you with great deal of excitement or entertainment level . His career record bore this out , in spite of becoming the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world . Boxing longs , and yearns for the days when Mike Tyson ruled the heavyweight division with such animus and venom . Unfortunately, the division is simply devoid a dearth of talent and the title holders , a pair of Ukrainian siblings , in Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko , have no wish to unify the titles and grant the fans the wish of seeing an undisputed champion. To show how dire the situation now appears to be, the top ten rankings as ratified by the WBA and WBC , two of the more recognized international bodied that govern the sport , the list of American fighters ranked are barely known in the country much less from a global standpoint . Such are , the dire state of affairs in the sport , where US born fighters , once actually littered the rankings with recognized names . Now you would be hard pressed to ask a fan if they could recognize Chris Arreola , Deontay Wilder , Bryant Jennings and the other no-named aspiring list of contenders for what was once the most prized possession in sports, and that was to be known as the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world .

If you thought things could not get much worse in a sport, where there no longer seems to a dearth of young and upcoming talent . Consider, the fact, that aging veterans such as Shane Mosley and Bernard Hopkins are still lured back into the ring , simply to bask in past glories. Both fighters are both past their prime , albeit , that Hopkins is currently the current IBF light heavyweight champion , a title that he will be defending against the lightly regarded Karo Murat , though ranked the number two contender by the IBF for the crown . That fight is scheduled to take place on Saturday , 26th October , 2013 at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey . This will be Hopkins’ first defense of the title won under a controversial decision when he defeated Tavoris Cloud . To say that the sport is not without its ongoing controversies and problems could be best summed up in stating , ‘that boxing’s governing bodies and the various states’ athletic commissions , still show a great deal of incompetence at all levels , from the officiating to the referees actually presiding over a number of these title fights . In the case of Shane Mosley , whose yearning for one more title shot seems about as compulsive , as one might believe, that the fighter would be still be considered at the age of forty-two , a serious contender to challenge either Floyd Mayweather or Timothy Bradley . Yet with his proposed fight against Australian , Anthony Mundine being postponed, due to a contract dispute between the fighter and Mundine’s promoter , in a schedule bout that was due to take place in Sydney, Australia . It begs the question, why else would Mosley now risk life and limb, in a bout where it is unlikely that the winner would likely prove to be cannon fodder in a proposed title bout against any of the claimants in the light middleweight division .

As financially rewarding as the sport has become for Floyd Mayweather with the world champion having now surpassed over $300 million in career earnings , a figure unheard of with regard to the sport, with only Mike Tyson , and Oscar de La Hoya having exceeded the $200 million career earnings’ mark in their professional ring careers. Mayweather for his part, in conjunction with Leonard Ellerbee , his business partner as well his chief legal counsel, have invested the fighter’s earnings into several lucrative fields , with Floyd Mayweather now owning large tracks of real estate in the greater Las Vegas area , alongside a lucrative collection of classic automobiles, as well as his own fight promotion’s company . With the fighter also midway through his six fight $200 million deal . with Showtime PPV , whose parent company Viacom , are looking to re-sign the champion to perhaps an additional two or three fight deal,. that could net him as much as $150 to $200 million . One has to wonder what will happen , when the announcement is made by Floyd Mayweather that he intends to retire ? It is solely my belief , that if he is able to run his career record to 50-0 , he will walk away from the sport knowing that he will go undoubtedly go down as one of the greatest fighters ever to grace a boxing ring , in the annals of pugilism history . Should he be anointed as the greatest of all-time ? Well, that is rather subjective rather than being objective, but the boxing historians are likely to try and make a case either way.

With no real challenger on the horizon, Floyd Mayweather simply cherry-picks his opponents, while seeking to obtain the highest financial rewards possible . In his last bout, against the then unbeaten Saul Alvarez , which turned out to be an erroneous mismatch . Yet somehow, an official sanctioned by the Nevada State Athletic Commission came up with a scorecard that suggested that the ’bout’ was a draw . These are the repeated types incompetency shown within the sport at the highest levels which brings into disrepute , boxing , the collective misdeeds of the promoters , the governing bodies and the state commissions, themselves . With their being no intent by the states, to have some uniform code applicable to the sport , there remains no cohesive mandate of how boxing governed in the United States . In the aftermath of Mayweather versus Alvarez fiasco , the lone dissenter amongst the group of boxing adjudicators Cynthia “C J “ Ross , took an indefinite leave of absence, notifying Executive Director Keith Kizer of her decision . It should be noted however, that Kizer stood by Ross’ decision and scorecard from the bout , calling her a person of impeccable character and above reproach . With the comedic derision and echoes of criticism that followed Keith Kizer’s statement, it is a wonder how the sport of boxing remains relevant within the state of Nevada , let alone Las Vegas.

The fight that everyone yearned for , but it all came to no avail, would have been the match-up of arguably the two best boxers of the last decade , in the welterweight division . A contest between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines . Yet the constant bickering between the two opposing camps, the constant mistrust and allegations of outrageous demands , meant that a proposed bout would never get off the ground in spite of the undoubted promotional acumen of Bob Arum , the promoter of Pacquiao and the always publicity seeking forte of Mayweather . With the Filipino fighter , having lost two of his last five bouts , his career on the decline, a proposed match-up of the two fighters , though lucrative in some circles, would not necessarily bring about the rewards sought by the promoters and for either Mayweather or Pacquiao .

Another troubling aspect, that remains within boxing , is the simple reluctance with the various title holders , in seeking the unification of the titles at the various weight categories . At present , there is not one unified champion , in any of the categories , in what is now turning out to be a drab and an almost unprecedented era in the sport’s history . Yet, with the decline of the sport, figurehead promoters such as Bob Arum and Don King remain eternal optimists, while pointing to what they say are fast rising stars within boxing . I am sorry , but despite the skills of Andre Ward , Sergio Martinez , Gennady Golovkin , Adrien Broner and Adonis Stevenson , no one is likely to feel that these fighters are likely to set the sport abuzz , with each lacking the charisma to lure fans back to the sport in droves .

While Las Vegas has now become the Mecca for the sport of boxing , with the most lucrative fights taking place in the gaming capital of the world . It is easy to understand why boxing has become a billion dollar economic impact for the city on annual basis . It is has become a rarity for either Vitali Klitschko or Wladimir Klitschko to fight in North America , where their popularity can be best summed up, as being marginal. Beyond the presence Floyd Mayweather and the now declining skill-set of Manny Pacquiao , boxing will face a hard time ringing in a new era of superstars within its sport . Mayweather and his promotion’s company Mayweather Promotions Inc do seem to be nurturing a budding stable of stars , but they are a long way off from gaining the notoriety or becoming the marquee names , sought to make them a lucrative draw in the boxing capital of the world .

With boxing’s marked decline and the rapid rise of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) under the banner of UFC . Simply another reason why the sport of boxing either has to do something radical to bring itself back into the mainstream or become on the brink being extinct . It is my belie, f that the sport is now considerably closer to the latter than most would care to admit and that includes notable boxing historians , journalists who cover boxing along with the president of the WBA Gilberto Mendoza , WBC President Jose Sulaiman , IBF President Daryl J Peoples , and WBO President Francisco Varcarcel . All of whom are somewhat distrustful of the other competitive organizations governing the sport and their alleged altruism and intent. From my own perspective , with that much dissent within the masses , nothing good can be gained , when all of the parties concerned, have their own self interests at hand, rather than seeking to sort out their difference and then work towards the betterment of the sport and a common goal !

The state of Nevada and California have been quick to recognize the rapid growth of MMA , with UFC President Dana White leading the charge for the combative genre/sport to gain national and worldwide recognition . With their being now twenty-four state sanctioned commissions now validating the sport and a code of conduct in place alongside what in many circles is deemed to be one of the toughest medical and drug testing policies in all of professional sports . It does lead to the question , as how far behind does the sport of boxing remain in that particular category ? When fighters such as Evander Holyfield , Roy Jones Jr and Miguel Cotto are allowed to circumvent one state’s rules and then be sanctioned to fight, after having proven to have suffered a major concussion . In all fairness , it does seem that boxing and the pretext set , that it cares about the fighters, must be seen as a charade .

White along with Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta III have come in with the mindset of giving the fans what they want by way of their brand and product . Competitive bouts, regular title fights , and with fighters , who are of an accomplished skill-set to go alongside a personality . That type of “selling point” , obviously beats out the “ scripted idiocy” of the WWE and the current lackluster scene within the state boxing . Fighters within the UFC have made themselves accessible to the fans and events scheduled by the UFC as a precursor to major title bout brings out legions of fans seeking a chance to many of the top stars on show , as well as the protagonists for the scheduled fights in question . With many of the UFC’s titleholders now becoming significantly more well-known , not just by way the television broadcasts but with the sport now gaining a much wide acceptance within the print media. Clearly , Dana White and his co-founding partners of the UFC have given the consumers and fans alike , something that they deem to be a viable brand and product . Can the same be said for the current state of boxing and the exorbitant prices fans are being asked to pay for a pay-per-view (PPV) event ?

If the unbeaten Floyd Mayweather is seen as the “current face “ of boxing , then in the world of MMA , with the rapid ascent the UFC’s light heavyweight champion Jon ‘Bones’ Jones , that division as well as the genre could be well served for years to come if the charismatic and unbeaten Jones simply delivers what he has been doing since his entrance into the sport a little more than five years ago. . Jones has become increasingly popular, not just within the sport but his new-found celebrity status has now brought him not only fame and fortune, but also opportunities outside the sport, by way of contract endorsements. The light heavyweight champion has become the first MMA fighter to be actually signed to an endorsement deal with sports’ apparel giant Nike Inc . Add in the fact , that Jon Jones’ agent Malki Kawa was also able to land him an endorsement deal with Gatorade and it is clear that beyond the ring earnings for a fighter within the sport there are now untold riches to be attained outside the octagon. One of MMA’s greatest fighters Randy Couture , a former light heavyweight and heavyweight champion has now progressed from the sport , to now a supporting cast member of the now popular Sylvester Stallone driven action series’ franchise , ‘ The Expendables’ , of which the two movies have now grossed over $575 million worldwide . With Couture back on board, for the third movie, now being shot on location, there is no telling whether or not this might also be something that is likely to pique Jones’ interest at some point in the future , with his delving into Hollywood. Certainly, with the heightened popularity of female MMA fighter Ronda Rousey and her having joined the cast for the third installment of the action series . It begs the question, do UFC fighters make better actors, than their boxing counterparts ? No one ever claimed that either Muhammad Ali or the late Ken Norton , were thespians of a proven quality , but their presence in front of a camera even in an acting portrayal , were considerably less memorable than their careers in the ring .

With no projected bout on the horizon for Jon Jones but with a legitimate batch of contenders all seeking to take the crown away from the champion . It will be left in the hands of UFC President Dana White to make the announcement, as to who Jones’ next challenger is likely to be . For Jon Jones, much as it now has been for Georges St Pierre , Jose Aldo , Anthony Pettis and Cain Velazquez , the sport of MMA has become their stomping ground to gain worldwide fame and access to a new burgeoning legion of enthusiasts for the genre. Boxing has never effectively marketed their fighters or the sport, in such a way. So much so , that beyond the marked decline in its popularity , other than Floyd Mayweather there is simply no fighter that one could point and make the valid claim that he would be a worthy successor , once the current pound-for-pound “King of the Ring” hangs up his gloves permanently .

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Boxing fan or not , what do you believe to be the greatest impediment to the sport over the past decade ? Has it been the rapid rise of Mixed Martial Arts or the continued misdeeds by those who govern the sport or has it been the unwillingness of the title-holders to unify their divisions ? Chime in, with your thoughts on this and anything else you believe pertinent to the topic as a whole. Thanks, as always, for the continued support of this site as it has always been greatly appreciated , whether or not you are in agreement with the content matter .

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Picture and slideshow gallery details below .

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(1) Saul Alvarez , left , is seen here taking some extreme punishment from welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr during their title in September held at MGM Grand Resort Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas Nevada . Mayweather would successfully defended his title , winning with a majority decision , but not without controversy after it was revealed that ring judge Cynthia ” CJ ” Ross declared the bout a draw , scoring her card 114 points apiece for each fighter after the twelve round title fight . Ross has since taken a prolonged leave of absence as a licensed boxing judge with the Nevada State Athletic Commission . AP Photo / Mark Ross ……

(2) Mayweather , left , is once again seen getting the better of his opponent Saul Alvarez during their welterweight title fight . Floyd Mayweather has now pushed his record to 45-0 (26 KO’s) and is looking to reach that fifty fight win streak before perhaps calling it a day in the world of boxing . Having multiple titles in multiple weight classes , the future seems somewhat bleak in terms of a quality opponent being found for the title holder in terms of his fight . With his seeming reluctance to move up into the middleweight division and perhaps meet Sergio Martinez , we are likely to see Mayweather simply cherry pick his opponents as he meets his contractual obligations with Showtime PPV . Getty Images / Brian Ettinger …..

(3) Lennox Lewis is seen here defeating Mike Tyson in their WBC / IBO heavyweight title fight in June , 2002 , staged at The Pyramid in Memphis , Tennessee . Lewis won the fight with an eighth round stoppage of the challenger , with a knockout . The British boxer was the last undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. It has been over a decade since we have a claimant of that undisputed crown within the heavyweight division . Daily Mirror UK / Evan Grant ….

(4) CEO of Mayweather Promotions Leonard Ellerbe (L) talks with boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. during the final news conference for Mayweather’s bout against Shane Mosley at the MGM Grand Hotel/Casino April 28, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mayweather and Mosley will meet in a 12-round welterweight bout on May 1, 2010 in Las Vegas. Ethan Miller / Getty Images North America …..

(5) Owners, from left, Frank Fertitta, Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta have come a long way since Zuffa was founded in 2001. Zuffa LLC is the holding and parent company of UFC and its associated affiliates . With in excess of $1.6 billion in annual revenues , the company has made all three men extremely wealthy individuals, with the UFC brand, now reaching globally, with offices in London , , Montreal , Rio de Janeiro , Sydney, and Beijing , China. AP Photo / Eric Jamison ….

(6) Challenger Chael Sonnen ,left, is met with an elbow from UFC light heavyweight title holder Jon ‘Bones’ Jones in their bout at UFC 159 staged at the Prudential Center in Newark , New Jersey on April 27th 2013. MMA Junkie / …..

(7) A skilled grappler and wrestler , Jon Jones has now become the quintessential fighter and the pound-for-pound top ranked practitioner in the UFC , holding a 19-1 record . Jones also holds the record for the number of title defenses made as the light heavyweight champion , with five successful defenses. Heath Evans / AP Photo ……

(8) Miesha Tate , left , is seen here at the cursory pre-fight picture junket and publicity exhibition , where Tate will challenge the unbeaten women’s Bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey for her title at UFC 168 , which will be staged the MGM Grand Garden Casino & Hotel Complex in Las Vegas on December 23rd , 2013 . Rousey has become one of the most recognizable faces in the world of women’s MMA as well as within the UFC as whole , which has allowed her to parlay that notoriety into some acting roles , notably in Fast & Furious VII as well as ‘The Expendables III ‘ . Top Fighter Inc ….

(9) With the male demographic making up more than 85% of the fan-base of MMA , there is no denying that at every opportunity the UFC will choose to use the sexual allure of their female fighters . Ronda Rousey has no qualms and is seen here as part of a very extended Maxim pictorial photo shoot . Courtesy of Maxim Magazine .

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This is not what I signed up for !

This is not what I signed up for !

By Tophatal

The NBA season is moving along nicely, but for a new of teams , it now looks as their seasons could very well be over before we have reached the midway point of the 2012-13 NBA calendar . The plotlines to the season are now being played out , with Charlotte Bobcats , Cleveland Cavaliers and Washington Wizards , all three teams are seeking to redefine mediocrity , and now the fans have been witnesses this all.

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In the Eastern Conference , the three teams that seem to the setting the pace , are the Miami Heat(23-11) , New York Knicks (23-12) and the surprisingly resourceful Indiana Pacers(22-14) . While the reigning champions, the Heat are looking to make a successful defense of their title. Yet on the face of it, this team do seem to be trying to make things extremely hard for themselves with their rather inconsistent play. The NBA season, having had the first of two coaching casualties, with the dismissals of Mike Brown of the Los Angeles Lakers , five games (1-4) into their season , with a rather asinine explanation coming from GM , Mitch Kupchak , as to the reasons for the improbable decision .

The other casualty to fall , was Avery Johnson of the Brooklyn Nets , and whether or not this is pertinent , but it would appear that Nets’ point guard , Deron Williams , is now becoming known , as something of a “ coach killer” . It should come as no surprise , with the evidence being there for all to see , first with the Utah Jazz , and the departure of Jerry Sloan, albeit the famed former head coach resigned , rather than being forced out , but the tell-tale signs were there for all to see . An underperforming star , continually, complaining about his team’s play, without ever once, showing any form of leadership to his teammates . I’ll say this for Deron Williams , in spite of his play , his lack of maturity far outweighs anything that he is said to have achieved at this point of his career .

The Brooklyn Nets , with P J Carlesimo , now coaching the team on an interim basis , have made a hard push to lure famed and future bound Hall of Fame coach , Phil Jackson , out of retirement , literally offering him a King’s ransom and a rumored minority interest in the Nets’ franchise . Part ownership of a listless team, that is also without a leader , much less having any real character , is not I believe, a scenario where Jackson would be lured back into coaching ! And the same situation can now be applied to the idiocy that has now befallen the Los Angeles Lakers , another aging , uninspired franchise and team . As Kobe Bryant , recently stated, we’re getting old and heading nowhere fast “ . It is now beginning to look all the more probable that the franchise could very well end up missing the postseason , should the team continue with their ongoing season of ineptitude and inconsistency. It has now left many fans and NBA analysts wondering , how could things spiraled so out of control, so fast , without their being any inclination at the start of the season , that , it would be one , of sheer ridicule of the ownership and management ?

The hiring of Mike D’Antoni to succeed Mike Brown , is befuddling to myself , as to this ongoing belief and fascination with the paparazzi, that the career of Lindsay Lohan , still remains relevant when she has done absolutely nothing of merit over the past five years. As to D’Antoni’s resume` , well let’s just say , there’s not a great deal that one could truly say , is altogether inspiring ! I truly believe, that Mitch Kupchak and Lakers’ SVP, Jim Buss , have now erred twice in their most recent managerial hiring! If you believe my statement to be a mistake, then do take the time to explain your reasons why?

The makeup of this Lakers’ roster pivots around the play of Kobe Bryant , and as he goes , then so does the rest of the team, Granted , Bryant can go off , for forty-plus points , and inevitably given their play of the team, and they still end up losing . Yet the enigma, here , is that the team either choose not to , or has no idea , how to play a lick of goddamn defense , when it matters most ! As things now continue , with the winners of four of their last ten games , it begs the question what is the perceived direction that the team , is said to be heading in ? The Lakers now sit 12.5 games out of first place , within the Pacific Division behind the surging Los Angeles Clippers (28-8).

With Blake Griffin leading the way alongside one of the NBA’s premier point guards , in Chris Paul , it has to be said that the Lakers’ task is becoming all the more unenviable , especially when the Clippers are now seen “ as the best story happening , in the city of Angels” . Failure at this juncture , and we could very well see the franchise go through their second managerial change inside of a calendar year . Something, I would have said , was impossible at the start of the season . And this is a franchise known for its semblance of continuity , albeit , that the glitterati and paparazzi make the organization the center and focus of the NBA landscape , and that is with due respect to the residents of the “Big Apple” and “ Brooklyn” .

Now unless I’m mistaken, we were led to believe that the NBA is a brand that has become world renown , yet, I seriously doubt David Stern would have expected three teams within the Eastern Conference subjecting the fans of the league , to such abject futility! The Charlotte Bobcats (9-26) , Cleveland Cavaliers (9-29 ) , and the Washington Wizards (5-28) , this season have given a whole new meaning to the words , “ futility” and “mediocrity” , which is clearly reflected in their respective records and play.

Inasmuch , as I have admired Michael Jordan’s career as an NBA player , it has to be said his successes as an NBA front office executive is now “peppered” with a “ litany of failures” . Anyone who would now suggest that Jordan is at the forefront of his present career, as owner and de-facto general manager , should now begin to acknowledge that he might now be the NBA’s answer to Jerry Jones of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys . I am not about to suggest that Michael Jordan doesn’t accept the input of his fellow executives , in particular that of GM, Rich Cho . Yet it has become , and will remain abundantly clear, that Jordan is prepared to things his way , and is not truly prepared to accept any criticism leveled his way. And the Bobcats for their part , are not making the situation any more acceptable with the ongoing futility of this team . If there is a silver cloud to this nightmare , then it is the fact that , the organization is unlikely to end up with the worst record within the NBA at season’s end , especially when one bears in mind , the franchise’s 7-59 mark of last season , in reduced schedule of sixty-six games , from the customary eighty-two game schedule the NBA is naturally known for.

I’ve called it , and the anally retentive idiots who sought the retention of the Sacramento Kings in the California state capital , clearly have no fucking idea as to what is happening within their very midst , let alone within the front office of the Kings , altogether. I suppose that all comes down to the apathy of those fans , and what they feel is their all-knowing belief, that the NBA eats , breathes and shits , by the events take place on the West Coast, and shapes this league as a whole ! In what should not be seen as a surprising turn of events the ownership group the Sacramento Kings , led by the Maloof family , of Joe and Gavin Maloof , have agreed in principle to the sale of the NBA franchise to a Seattle-based consortium that will relocate the Kings to Washington State. For the better part of two and a half years, the city’s mayor , Kevin Johnson , himself a former NBA player , has judiciously negotiated with the Kings , primarily with GM, Geoff Petrie , but also with, Joe and Gavin Maloof.

Courtesy of USA Today

Sacramento Kings’ possible move uneasy for players, fans

SACRAMENTO (AP) — Aaron Brooks has been in an awkward spot since news surfaced that the Sacramento Kings could be sold and moved to his hometown of Seattle.

The Kings guard has no answers for family and friends who have been calling and texting for information. Even the excitement his brother, Alvertis, had when he showed up for a visit evaporated once he realized those in Sacramento might feel the same sorrow as when the SuperSonics left for Oklahoma City in 2008.

NEARING DEAL: Seattle group negotiates with Maloofs

“Seattle does need a team. But you would hate to have a team leave a city you know wants a basketball team,” Brooks said. “It’s unfortunate.”

For Sacramento players, coaches and fans, this is not an easy time.

In the first game since the latest — and perhaps most serious — round of relocation talks began, the Kings lost to the Dallas Mavericks 117-112 in overtime Thursday night, with chatter around the aging arena seemingly centering on everything but basketball.

GAME: Mavericks come back from 17 points down

Newspaper and television reporters from Seattle showed up along with an increased local media presence. Fans contemplated whether they should keep supporting a team they love. Ushers and parking attendants who depend on the team for work approached reporters wondering if they knew what might happen.

Even players and coaches admitted all the attention made it difficult to focus on the game.

“It’s definitely going to be a distraction,” said Kings coach Keith Smart. “But we’re pros. We’ve got to figure out a way how to separate the two and then get ready to play.”

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However, it has been intransigence of the franchise’s owners and the very fact , that David Stern has failed to act as a willing intermediary and peacemaker , that has led to this actual debacle . From the very outset, it was my belief that Johnson was negotiating from a position of weakness! And this continued idiocy by a number loyal but misguided Kings’ fans that it would be in the city’s best interest to use public funds in conjunction with that of private enterprise within the city’s locale , presently shows why the state and city remains a “complete cluster fuck “ , politically and economically , with no apparent leadership or the capacity to do what is ethically right , and that is to walk away while you have the option , instead of being made to look like a complete asshole ! As of now, that can be the only way to view Kevin Johnson and the Sacramento City Council. When will these municipal politicians, learn that continually kissing the ass of a billionaire or millionaire professional sports’ franchise owner , rarely benefits a city in the long-term !

Courtesy of USA Today

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson says he’ll save Kings

By Sam Amick , USA Today Sports

SACRAMENTO — Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson swears he still has a shot to save his hometown team.

Johnson, the native son and former NBA point guard who has spent recent years trying to keep the Maloof family that owns the team from taking it elsewhere, told USA TODAY Sports on Friday night that Seattle hasn’t won this game just yet. Asked if his window had closed in light of a Wednesday report that the Maloofs and the Chris Hansen-Steve Ballmer group were finalizing a deal to bring the NBA back to Seattle and more reports on Friday that the deal was done in principle for $525 million, Johnson spread his hands wide and smiled. The window, he swears, remains open.

“(NBA Commissioner David Stern) knows that I’m going to make a request to speak to the governing board (before any Seattle deal is formalized),” Johnson said, noting that the deadline to file for relocation is March 1.

NBA A-Z: Sacramento turns out to support Kings

Stern said Thursday night that potential buyers who might keep the team in Sacramento deserve a shot, even naming billionaire supermarket mogul Ron Burkle as one candidate.

“This will be decided by a committee of owners and the NBA’s board of governors with the advice of me but not leading the way,” Stern said on Thursday night.

As was the case when he made an impassioned and ultimately successful pitch at a board of governor’s meeting in New York to keep the team from going to Anaheim, Calif., in April of 2011, Johnson — who had an agreement in principle with the Maloofs and the NBA for a new arena last February before they backed out — is confident Stern will give him the time necessary to organize his effort.

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A web of lies, and deceit , have been built around this whole sale , and it is clear that the Maloofs simply sought vested parties willing to take a beleaguered and an unprofitable franchise off their hands . Now comes the hard part , how will the fans act with regard to his monumental betrayal by the ownership group , and their malfeasance ? The irony here , has been the apathy of the fans who bought into this fucking bullshit , with regard to Joe , Gavin and Robert Maloof’s intent of keeping the franchise in Sacramento . I’ve always maintained before you run , you have to learn how to walk , and before you start to talk about the economic sports, at least have the goddamn temerity to know what the hell you are talking about , and that has been the stupidity of the Kings’ fans at this juncture !

At 13-23 , there does not seem to be a great deal that the Kings seem to be offering their fan at present , no matter how you view the situation. Coming off to a tough 117-112 loss to the Dallas Mavericks at the archaic and impoverished Sleep Train Arena , one of the NBA’s more dilapidated venues , for which the Maloofs, offered no assistance in refurbishing, when this whole negotiating process began . From the very outset it was abundantly clear , that neither Joe or Gavin Maloof, intended to negotiate in good faith , yet Kings’ fans in their continued bewilderment and sheer stupidity , held out hope that an amicable agreement could be reached between the city of Sacramento and the owners of the NBA franchise. It was merely the blind, and the blissfully stupid, being led down the garden path by the Maloofs . At the end of the day , one simply knows that David Stern in celebratory mood will commending the new owners of the soon to be relocated franchise , while the city of Sacramento , are left egg on their face and a white elephant , whose only use will be to stage a number of concerts and perhaps , a number of business expositions .

Next up for the Kings, will be two consecutive home games , with the first being tonight against the Miami Heat to be followed by a meeting against the Cleveland Cavaliers , on Monday night . There is not a great deal that can be said in terms of a positive for head coach Keith Smart and his coaching staff . The team’s best player remains Tyreke Evans , who’s ably assisted by Aaron Brooks , John Salmons and the troubled enigma that is , DeMarcus Cousins , whose exploits off the court , have now become the sole reason to even take an interest in the troubled player , who just doesn’t seem capable of harnessing his abilities and being truly productive for this beleaguered franchise . Beyond that, there is not much left, that can be said !

While, I am impressed with the growing stature of the Los Angeles Clippers , and their body of work this season . There can be no denying that if this franchise is to prove itself a success , then their efforts against the top tiered teams within the league will have to be amplified and maintained over the course of the season , and Vinnie Del Negro cannot be complacent in settling for half-measures in terms of his team’s productivity . If anything , while having the league’s best record , the continued “ knock” against the Clippers , will be , until they have proved themselves in the postseason , they will just be looked upon as a very good regular season team.

If the Clippers based upon their record are deemed the best team in the NBA at present , then surely , the Oklahoma City Thunder must pose an ominous threat , along with the San Antonio Spurs , within the Western Conference ? ? The “ dark horses” within the conference are the Memphis Grizzlies , a team capable of beating the very best within the NBA when they apply themselves to the task at hand .

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The NBA this season , we have been privileged to seeing the ascent of the New York Knicks , Los Angeles Clippers and Memphis Grizzlies . Players , LeBron James , Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant , continue to be dominant , yet why do I get the feeling that I am likely to be continually disappointed by the league in so many ways ? What, if anything has proven to be the biggest surprise and joy to your mind, while also witnessing, the very worst that the NBA has to offer? simply, leave a comment as you see fit.

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Picture and slideshow gallery details below .
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(1)Indiana Pacers’ George Hill (3) drives against Charlotte Bobcats’ Ben Gordon (8) during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Indianapolis, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013. The Pacers defeated the Bobcats 96-88 . AP Photo/Doug McSchooler …

(2) Denver Nuggets’ Kenneth Faried , right, shoots over Cleveland Cavaliers’ Kyrie Irving , left, during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game Friday, Jan. 11, 2013, in Denver. AP Photo/Barry Gutierrez …

(3) Michael Jordan , the Charlotte Bobcats’ owner , is seen here with fiancée’ , Yvette Prieto , watching the Bobcats in a game played at the team’s home venue at the Time Warner Cable Arena , in Charlotte , North Carolina . Jordan and general manager , Rich Cho , have yet to get the Bobcats heading in the right direction , and it appears that their struggles have been on ongoing over the past two seasons . Team acquisitions as well as the draft have yet to be fortuitous for the franchise . AP Photo / Suzy Marshall …

(4) Phoenix Suns’ Sebastian Telfair (31) drives the ball past Brooklyn Nets’ Deron Williams (8) in the first half of an NBA basketball game on Friday, Jan., 11, 2013 at Barclays Center in New York. AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek ….

(5) ” Clueless in Sacramento ” , Seattle Mayor , Kevin Johnson is seen here Sacramento Kings’ owners , Joe and Gavin Maloof are seen here in attendance of a Kings’ game in 2011 . It is now being widely being reported that the franchise will be sold to a Seattle-based consortium , for a yet undisclosed, sum for which the Maloofs have agreed in principle to the sale . Johnson, has vowed to use every available means within his power avert the ” sale” and to retain Sacramento Kings within the California state capitol . AP Photo/ Paul Pennant …….

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To read more of Tophatal’s blog , click on the link provided Tophatal’s blog……

NBA & College Basketball pieces

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NBA related pieces :

Camby out two-four weeks with injured foot

Lakers’ Hill likely to miss the rest of the season

Pistons get boost from bench

Report : Oden eyeing comeback with the Heat

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NBA news and archived stories

NBA transactions

NBA teams & NBA coaches

NBA statistics

NBA schedule 12th January 2013 & 13th January

NBA standings (alphabetical by teams)

NBA standings by division & ….. by conference

NBA team statistics offense

NBA team statistics defense

NBA scoring leader

NBA player efficiency (pts, reb’s & assists ) & Double-doubles

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Dior Keyshia

Keyshia Dior , a hot piece of ass that’s worth watching , up close and personal !

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James Brown ……. ” Papa’s got a brand new bag ”

Some year, but it was 2012, just like any other year

Some year, but it was 2012, just like any other year

Tophatal

The first week of 2013 will come to an end from a sporting standpoint , we can either seek to relook at 2012 as a successful year in sports or we can simply say “ well it was good but the drama and infamous moments far outstripped the great moments “ .

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Slideshow .

Biggest story, by far, had been the outrage and scandal that engulfed the famed football program of Penn State. And the very fact that the state’s self-absorbed governor ,Tom Corbett now seeks to address a matter that he and his fellow trustee members of school had decided that they would not seek to veto any punishment mandated by the NCAA , in light of the findings of the school’s request of an in-depth investigation carried out former FBI Director , Louis Freeh , in what has been detailed in “The Freeh Report” . With Corbett now seeking to overturn the $60 million monetary penalty that the NCAA rendered as a verdict , the governor’s actions smacks of self-indulgence and the very fact that there seems to be a lack of common sense on his part. Well , I suppose it always came down to greed and not much else as it related to many of those within the hierarchy of the once proud educational establishment . Anyone who backs Corbett’s stance should be ashamed , given Penn State’s now infamous decision to cover up the actions of the disgraced and incarcerated Jerry Sandusky. Suffice to say, Tom Corbett should bury his head in shame, rather than his asinine comments stating that the NCAA , far out-reached their authority. My question for Tom Corbett , as a trustee member , why did you not seek to hold former , university President, Graham Spanier and Tim Curley accountable for their actions ?

I’m sorry, but with Lance Armstrong now stating that he is now prepared to admit his guilt , with the fact that he has lied about his actions in stating , that he had not taken performance enhancing drugs (PED’s). At what point, should the public seek to say simply say to the disgraced athlete , why did you simply not admit from the very beginning you have been lying , instead of hiding behind a pack of lies and a great deal of deceit ? Clearly, with Armstrong all along , it has been the ” financial gain ” , and the reputed $ 100 million fortune , he sought to protect . And for the anally retentive assholes, who jumped in, with their idiotic support of the disgraced cyclist, and the claim that neither USADA (US Anti-doping Agency) or WADA had no jurisdiction or standing in punishing the athlete. Perhaps, those very same idiots should actually review what this non-governmental agency, is asked to do , by way of their work? The USADA at the behest of the USOC (US Olympic Committee) , has a mandate to carry out investigations of what they believe to be suspicious acts of illicit drug use . And though that agency does not have subpoena powers , when they seek to act in conjunction with the US Justice Department , it does carry credence to the work they carry out. It is amazing to actually how damn uneducated a great number of the public seem to be , when they choose to not actually seek out the information for themselves and simply feed off the bile and diatribe that is continually served up within their midst !

Having been stripped of his seven Tour de France titles as well as Olympic gold , Armstrong’s legacy and reputation is now in complete tatters along with that once pristine reputation . But then again, Lance Armstrong’s actions all along in this whole saga all along spoke to his lack of character to begin with ! He was so steadfast as to his innocence that even when his former teammate , Tyler Hamilton , revealed his claims under a signed affidavit and then subpoena, that both he and Armstrong had been facilitated with the use of EPO (erythropoietin) , and stanazolol amongst a slew and battery of illicit and prohibitive substances banned by the IOC as well as by the ICU (International Cycling Union) , the international governing body for the sport of cycling . It has also been the ICU’s own lackluster efforts , that should also come into question throughout this whole episode, that has engulfed not only Lance Armstrong but several world-class riders over the past decade.

In the world of baseball , the San Francisco Giants marched through the postseason with the utmost ease , serving notice to the rest of the baseball world , that they will not be an easy pushover in 2013. As the reigning World Series champions, and twice winners of the title in the past five years , it begs the question , who is capable of stepping up to the plate and stopping the dominance of the Giants within the NL , much less the rest of baseball ? Will it be, the free-wheeling and big spending Los Angeles Dodgers or the newly revamped Los Angeles Angels ?

World Series MVP , Pablo Sandoval , essentially, cemented his legacy with the San Francisco Giants, and now he seeks to be the dominant force on what is now a very good Giants’ team. The front office of this organization has been well led, and prudent in their spending . GM Brian Sabean and lead managing partner, Larry Baer , will be intent on seeing growth with this team , while manager, Bruce Bochy and his coaching staff , will carry on from where they left off from last season.

The Miami Heat , reigning champions of the NBA . Head coach , Erik Spoelstra and team President , Pat Riley have sought to revamp the team’s roster from last season . The additions of Rashard Lewis and Ray Allen , has been fortuitous , adding a mix of veteran experience as well an offensive presence , that should bode well for the team over the course of this season.

Now while the reigning champions seek to find their best lineup , and contend with their conference rivals , one of the major storylines of the season, has been the rise of the New York Knicks. And for the Knicks this season , their All Star forward Carmelo Anthony has simply been playing the best basketball of his career , in leading the team to the second best record in the Eastern Conference , while leading the starting roster to their present position , as the leaders of the Atlantic Division with a mark of 23-10.

With the recent reintroduction of Amar`e Stoudemire back to the roster, it remains to be seen how the forward will be able to acclimatize himself back into playing shape.

I firmly believe, that the Knicks will be in contention for a top five seed within the Eastern Conference at <a season’s end , but for now it is all about seeing how Mike Woodson’s players fare , as they seek rewrite a new chapter in the franchise’s history .

The Heat’s opponents in last season’s finals , the Oklahoma City Thunder are riding high while leading their division (Northwest) and are second in Western Conference. Though the Los Angeles Clippers (27-8) lead the Pacific Division of the Western Conference and like the league as a whole , it would take a fool to suggest that the Clippers are by far the best team in the NBA at present . As good as they have been , there is no real body of work other than this season to go by, whereas the Thunder over the last two seasons have have shown us their merits.

Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook , Serge Ibaka and Nick Collison seem to moving along nicely ,as they seek to make a quick return to the NBA Finals.

From last season to this season and the expectations that beckon , the fans are being subjected to some great basketball . However, that may well be taking on a whole new meaning when you consider play of the Charlotte Bobcats (8-24), Cleveland Cavaliers (8-27) and the woefully inept Washington Wizards(4-27). Are there some bad teams in the NBA , or simply bad coaches ?

A brief, and momentary mention for the NHL , yes we know that the Los Angeles Kings are the reigning Stanley Cup champions , here’s a thought, the league hierarchy have reached a tentative agreement with the NHLPA (Players’ Union) to return for a shortened season, after their almost four-month league mandated lockout. I’m sorry, but do you, still consider hockey one of the four main professional team sports? For an industry with revenues of $2.5 billion annually , the NHL hierarchy and the players’ union have completely lost their senses , while obfuscation their responsibilities as the custodians of the sport. As to the idiots, who would suggest that the popularity of the NHL remains as high as ever. Well, that might be true, if you were comparing the sport’s popularity to that of the approval ratings of the US House of Representatives , Senate and the present Presidential US administration. The NHL would be hard-pressed to be even considered as remotely popular, as College Football , College Basketball , much less their peers at the professional level within the , NBA , NFL and Major League Baseball (MLB).

Last season in the NFL, the fans of the league were swept away in the euphoria of witnessing the New York Giants win their second Superbowl in the past five years . The Giants’ scintillating victory over the New England Patriots added a further chapter in Eli Manning’s ongoing career, albeit that the teamfailed to make the postseason in 2012. Now through in the fact that at the culmination of the regular season , seven teams saw fit to fire their head coaches , with the biggest casualties of them all , being Lovie Smith , formerly of the Bears and Andy Reid , with the Eagles .

Andy Reid , having met with the Kansas City Chiefs’ hierarchy , formally accepting the vacant head coach’s position with the franchise. As to how Reid will seek to turn around the fortunes of a team that went 2-14 in 2012. Unfortunately, the problems for Romeo Crennel , Reid’s successor , it all stemmed from the extremely poor quarterback play from Matt Cassel and Brady Quinn . The pairing might just be two of the worst quarterbacks in the league over the course of the season , gives credence as to one of the many reasons why the Chiefs failed so miserably. Kansas City may well seek to address that issue during the off-season, either by obtaining a free agent quarterback or by way of the upcoming NFL Draft (2013).

With two of the wildcard round games having given us results , in which we see Green Bay Packers and Houston Texans , march on to the divisional round of the postseason. Sunday, offers the remaining two scheduled match-ups , with the Baltimore Ravens playing host to Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts . Luck, the first quarterback taken in the 2012 NFL Draft , has led the Colts to double-digit wins, in his rookie season , while essentially making believers out of the vast array of NFL fans around the league.

The other game the fans are eager to see , will pit two rookie quarterbacks , who themselves have set the league alight . When the Washington Redskins host the Seattle Seahawks at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland , the opposing quarterbacks will be Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson . And the Seahawks quarterback has been the hottest quarterback in the NFL during the month of December as the team has been on ” tear “ within the league. And with two highly explosive offenses , the Seahawks and Redskins should provide the fans with an exhilarating game.

The College Football season has given us great deal to appreciate, and yes we still yearn for postseason playoff format that isn’t a charade , in spite of what the BCS and major conference commissioners continually insinuate . College Football has now become about those who have and those who do not ! When you have programs bringing in excess of $100 million annually in revenues , while programs not considered members of the major conferences are left “ fighting for the scraps “ left at the table . It begs the question , in whose best interests does the BCS operate ? It is pretty safe to say , it not in the interests of the schools outside of the major conferences.

The BCS national championship game pits number one ranked Notre Dame (12-0) against Nick Saban’s number two ranked Alabama (Crimson Tide) , which will be played on Monday <a href night , at the Sun Life Stadium , in Miami , Florida. Brian Kelly , head coach of Notre Dame, subject of so much speculation with the belief that he will be offered one of the several NFL vacancies that at present remain open. I certainly don’t believe that Kelly will leave the program after merely a year in charge and with the growth of the players under his tutelage . And for freshman quarterback Everett Golson and defensive stalwart , Manti Te’o , this season must have been unimaginable , when one considers the issues with the Fighting Irish , have faced in recent years. A rise back to prominence and all is well , once again at one the most esteemed programs in college football.

If there is one thing that I do know and that it is , you simply do not put much store in the Men’s Basketball rankings too early in the season ! And I certainly don’t put any store with regard to the prognostications of individuals such as Digger Phelps and Dick Vitale . Moreover, if their calls prove to be wrong , it is very rare that you will hear either admit to that fact. At present , the Duke , 14-0 (Blue Devils sit atop of the rankings as they are undefeated . Mike Krzyzewski , perhaps the most respected and revered coaches in the game today , has this program playing with a great deal of passion . Leading the way for the team are Mason Plumlee , Seth Curry , Ryan Kelly and Rasheed Sulaimon . The players are answering the call of Coach “K” as he seeks his fifth national title as a head coach . And the defending champions , the Kentucky (Wildcats) appear to be having something of an indifferent season , it should be noted , John Calipari, as a head coach , has a way of getting his players ready for the NCAA Tournament , at a time when it matters most.

Calipari, for his part, continues to be an individual, that many continue question , as to his integrity and character. From my own personal standpoint , while the Wildcats’ basketball coach can continue to skirt the rules of the game, with the NCAA simply overlooking what on the face of it are violations , then in no way can we consider to take NCAA President , Mark Emmert at his word, when he states that he would like to create an environment within collegiate sports , where there is transparency at all levels within the various programs of collegiate athletics and within the universities themselves. So far, Emmert , the NCAA and college sports are batting way below the Mendoza Line , and then some ! Now many might conclude that the actions of the NCAA in penalizing the Penn State were appropriate , when you take into account the heinousness of Jerry Sandusky’s “ acts of depravity”. However , when also called upon to act with integrity , the NCAA has proven to a rather archaic and an all too pedantic authoritative force .

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(1) Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett speaks at a news conference following a night of rioting in response to the firing of head football coach Joe Paterno in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal on November 10, 2011 in State College, Pennsylvania. Corbett is the former state attorney general who launched the investigation in 2009 that eventually brought criminal charges against three former Penn State officials this week. As governor, Corbett is an ex-officio member of Penn State?s board of trustees . Paterno was fired amid allegations that former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was involved with child sex abuse. Corbett has sought to challenge the NCAA’s authority in rendering a $60 million fine against Penn State , in what the governor sees as NCAA President Mark Emmert and the NCAA overstepping their authority . It should be noted that Corbett sat on the board of trustees , who themselves , sought not to originally challenge Emmert’s decision . There now seems to few supporters for Mark Corbett’s actions in light of the heinousness of Jerry Sandusky’s depraved crimes . Getty Images North America / Mario Tama …

(2) Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong is now consulting with his legal counsel with the intent of issuing a public statement admitting his use of performance enhancing drugs . The cyclist also faces a legal fight in the UK for $2.5 million for a payment made to the cyclist by a UK media conglomerate and the original suit, in which Armstrong was victorious in a defamation lawsuit . AP Photo / Victor Allen …. .

(3) FILE – In this Oct. 28, 2012 file photo, San Francisco Giants celebrate after the Giants defeated the Detroit Tigers, 4-3 , in Game 4 of baseball’s World Series in Detroit. The Giants won the World Series 4-0 . AP Photo/Charlie Riedel …. (4) 2012 World Series MVP Pablo Sandoval is seen here with his World Series trophy after the Giants 4-0 sweep of the Detroit Tigers in the World Series for the organization’s second triumph in the past five years . Getty Images North America / Jason Riordan …

(5) Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III sits on the bench after a knee injury during an NFL wild card playoff football game against the Seattle Seahawks in Landover, Md., Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013. The Seahawks defeated the Redskins 24-14 . In Griffin’s first postseason appearance he was somewhat pedantic , with less than stellar figures in the Redskins’ defeat. AP Photo/Evan Vucci …

(6) Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson greets Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III after an NFL wild card playoff football game in Landover, Md., Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013. The Seahawks defeated the Redskins 24-14 . AP Photo/Evan Vucci …

(7) Alabama head coach Nick Saban and Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly pose with The Coaches’ Trophy during a news conference for the BCS National Championship college football game Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013 . AP Photo/ Giles Moor ….

(8) Alabama’s Eddie Lacy interviews Christion Jones during Media Day for the BCS National Championship college football game Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013, in Miami. Alabama faces Notre Dame in Monday’s championship game. AP Photo/David J. Phillip …..

(9) Duke’s Quinn Cook ,right, challenges Wake Forest’s Codi Miller-McIntyre for the loose ball in a game played between Duke and Wake Forest at Cameron Indoor Arena , Durham , North Carolina ,. The Blue Devils would defeat the Demon Deacons 80-62 . @ copyrighted material all rights reserved Washington Post/ Ted Richardson Associated Press …

(10) Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski directs his team during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Wake Forest in Durham, N.C., Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013. Duke won 80-62 . AP Photo/Ted Richardson …

(11) Duke’s Seth Curry drives to the basket ahead of Wake Forest’s C.J. Harris , bottom right, during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Durham, N.C., Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013. Curry scored 22 points , and Duke won 80-62. AP Photo/Ted Richardson ..

(12) Kentucky head coach John Calipari looks to his bench during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Eastern Michigan at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky., Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013. Kentucky won 90-38 . AP Photo/James Crisp …

(13) Eastern Michigan’s Da’Shonte Riley (1) fouls Kentucky’s Nerlens Noel during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky., Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013. Kentucky won 90-38. AP Photo/James Crisp …

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Last year proved to be an exciting season of sports and although I have not covered areas of boxing or MMA , at a later date I will carry an introspective look at both sports and the events that unfolded over the calendar year. Simply chime in with your thoughts as what you believe were some of the sporting highlights of 2011.

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MLB news

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NFL news

NFL postseason schedule

NFL stats players (postseason)

NFL stats teams (postseason)

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NBA news

NBA schedule
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NCAA Football

NCAA Football & BCS schedule (postseason)

NCAA Football news

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NCAA Basketball men’s results

NCAA men’s basketball news

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The always , sensual , Penelope Cruz , above , and below Scarlett Johansson .

Scarlett Johansson

And so the idiocy continues ..

And so the idiocy continues ..

Tophatal …..

Just when you thought you’d heard the last of the Penn State “ scandal “ , it now appears that the state’s governor Tom Corbett will seek to challenge the NCAA’s $60 million fine penalizing the educational establishment in light of the heinous actions of former assistant coach , Jerry Sandusky, who is now incarcerated , having been sentenced to 60 years imprisonment having been found guilty on forty-five of forty-eight counts of sexual assault , battery , sexual battery , lewd and lascivious acts . What, we have now been made aware of, concerning all of the parties embroiled in this sordid affair. The now deceased, former head coach, Joe Paterno , has seen his legacy diminish , with it now being in tatters , with allegations in part that ,he failed to monitor the actions of Sandusky, even in light of other allegations of sexual misconduct , after the famed coach reported an incident not just to the campus police but also to the board of trustees of the now disgraced university.

And so the idiocy continues ..

Tophatal …..

Just when you thought you’d heard the last of the Penn State “ scandal “ , it now appears that the state’s governor Tom Corbett will seek to challenge the NCAA’s $60 million fine penalizing the educational establishment in light of the heinous actions of former assistant coach , Jerry Sandusky, who is now incarcerated , having been sentenced to 60 years imprisonment having been found guilty on forty-five of forty-eight counts of sexual assault , battery , sexual battery , lewd and lascivious acts . What, we have now been made aware of, concerning all of the parties embroiled in this sordid affair. The now deceased, former head coach, Joe Paterno , has seen his legacy diminish , with it now being in tatters , with allegations in part that ,he failed to monitor the actions of Sandusky, even in light of other allegations of sexual misconduct , after the famed coach reported an incident not just to the campus police but also to the board of trustees of the now disgraced university.

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The “Freeh Report” was a damning indictment of the school , and their lack of accountability shown , where it showed that at all levels of the hierarchy of the academic facility , they were complicit in a widespread cover-up that was so egregious , that this now makes Corbett’s actions , all the more inconceivable . Tom Corbett, a former , state attorney general , is now himself a seated member of the board of trustees , and it begs the question , what if anything, might well have been known , their actions , and how it all played out , as law enforcement and journalists alike uncovered the magnitude and egregious of Sandusky’s actions .

Courtesy of ESPN


Penn State’s failure of power

By Howard Bryant , ESPN

Even now, as the heartbreaking details emerge, pages of grand jury testimony are absorbed and parsed, and a seamy picture of alleged child abuse and the subsequent failures to act comes into clear, indefensible focus, the reflex of the Penn State hierarchy involved is one of tone deafness.

That focus revolves not around the children who most needed the adults to be grown-ups but around protecting the power: the big, untouchable football program with its legendary coach with the big name and the big reputation, the do-gooder charity with the board of directors with the big names on it.

Surrounded by so much bigness, virtually everyone in a position of authority at Penn State has, thus far, seemed to come up very small. Jerry Sandusky might not be innocent, but, as of today, he is legally not guilty. He was charged with 40 counts of felony sex abuse against minors. Despite anger and public opinion, Sandusky deserves the due process of the court of law as well as the presumption of innocence until his case is complete.

But Penn State president Graham Spanier, athletic director Tim Curley, vice president for business and finance Gary Schultz and coach Joe Paterno should be held to a higher standard. So should The Second Mile, a charity that was founded to help children. Whether or not Sandusky is convicted, each was faced with a critical choice with damning information and chose to protect the program. This is what power has become. More accurately, it is what power has always been, in existence to protect itself.

There is no defense for the number of people in positions of authority who had an opportunity to stop Sandusky and did not.

The university, responding to information provided by a graduate student in 2002 that he witnessed Sandusky performing anal sex in the shower on a boy about 10 years old, did nothing. The university did not call authorities and did not ever sever ties with Sandusky, allowing him to maintain an office on campus for years.

The entire edifice of the Penn State monument is crumbling, yet no one involved seems capable of producing the most obvious, and decent, response, to acknowledge that each of these men failed to uphold his responsibilities spectacularly. They failed their communities, and they failed the eight young boys the state is accusing Sandusky of sexually abusing.

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Tom Corbett, is a buffoon , if he now feels that the proposed legal action is likely to be an outright success . It should also be noted , that there are several other parties , who as a bye product of this subterfuge have been indicted , and who now await trial on a litany of charges , ranging from perjury to the obstruction of justice . Graham Spanier , Gary Schultz and Tim Curley await their trial dates , whereas , Mike McQueary seeks damages in a $ 4 million whistle-blower lawsuit lodged against Penn State. This whole sordid affair , simply won’t go away , and those now embroiled in the drama, seek recourse and financial reward . Meanwhile, the victims , so often overlooked , will still be left with their lives in ruins , albeit that the university states , that they will provide the victims with whatever assistance they seek to reclaim their lives .

As I alluded to earlier , Governor Corbett , a former state attorney general , has not been able to downplay his often imbecilic actions during his agency’s investigation of the infamous “Hersey School “ sexual abuse scandal and the indictment and prosecution of a former school employee involved in sexual assault and battery on the students at the school . Corbett as the District Attorney was said to have handled this prosecution “ so haphazardly “ that it made a mockery of the legal system within the state of Pennsylvania . Yet somehow we’re now to believe, he is trying to morally and ethically appropriately do the proper thing , to “ right an egregious wrong” ? A procedural hearing and trial will be heard within the US Federal Courts in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania,.

There has yet to be a formal response from NCAA President, Mark Emmert on the pending legal action by the state of Pennsylvania , in seeking to have the fine and action reversed , but there is this a growing suspicion that this is simply being done to save face by Tom Corbett and further reduce the impact and damage done to Penn State’s already tarnished image .

The Dallas Cowboys’ 28-18 loss to the Washington Redskins in their final regular season scheduled game , has not yet led to repercussions for the franchise , but it has clearly expressed the futility of the Cowboys’ year . Team owner , Jerry Jones , and the team’s beleaguered quarterback , Tony Romo are off once again , now doing the rounds , and making excuses as to the reasons why the franchise has once again came up short . Repeatedly , year in and year out , claims are made , that , this will be the season in which the Cowboys will reign supreme , and it has now become “ a broken record” which no one , longer wishes to hear !

Granted , the ones who disavow common sense within the ranks of the pundits of the broadcast media , would rather make their bold predictions , rather than being insightful with their prognostications. And it has to be at this point , that we need to ask , what else is needed by the Dallas Cowboys , to make that team a great deal better ? A Pro Bowl quarterback , who has clearly failed to meet expectations , is being handsomely rewarded by the team and league standards

. Yet somehow, for all of those regular season statistics , Romo has nothing to show for it all . In a game, that was of equal importance to both teams, it was the Cowboys’ quarterback who blindsided the fans with his errant plays , leading to three costly interceptions in the game against the Washington Redskins. What also exacerbated , this whole situation , was that Romo’s opposite number , Robert Griffin III, was having a less than exemplary game , when one considers his exploits over the course of this season .

With the Dallas Cowboy being unceremoniously dumped , and missing the playoffs for a second successive year , one has to wonder where Jerry Jones , now goes from here . Draft picks asides, the Cowboys’ offense can be bewildering , one minute being the model of consistency , to the next , being completely incompetent and simply being devoid of creativity. The ramifications for the Cowboys , are twofold , one , in missing the postseason , it’s another missed opportunity for a lucrative payday , and two , with each passing season , failure by this team simply places an even greater burden upon Jason Garrett , to prove himself worthy of being a head coach in the NFL . Alright, so he wasn’t plucked from obscurity by Jerry Jones to become the head of the franchise , having succeeded Wade Philips.

So let me get this straight , a team that finishes 10-6 , having missed the playoffs , because a divisional rival , the Minnesota Vikings secured a victory in their final game of the season . In essence , it meant that Lovie Smith deserved to be fired , thereby sealing his fate and that of the Chicago Bears for the season ? Bears’ general manager , Phil Emery , has to be either the most gullible of individuals , or he simply has to no wish to apportion blame where it rightfully belongs , and that is upon the shoulders of not only Smith , but the entire roster of the Chicago Bears . It was primarily upon Emery’s insistence that the franchise acquired the highly inconsistent quarterback , Jay Cutler , who in his six years in the NFL has yet to win a meaningful game for either of the franchises where he has played.

Cutler’s propensity for simply wanting to pass the vast majority of the time, simply doesn’t assist in the play of the Bears and if anything , the quarterback becomes even more of a liability, as he has a propensity for turnovers , interceptions and need I say being sacked , numerous times throughout the season? Jay Cutler spends more time laying on his back, in a prostrate position, than a female porn star has been known to , on a film set , when asked to do a retake , simply because the director isn’t at all happy with the aesthetic imagery he is said to be seeking . Here’s a thought, perhaps Jay Cutler should give up playing in the NFL and ply his trade in the adult entertainment field. A quarterback, who can spend that much time on his back, has to be good for something , don’t you think? He may well give a whole new meaning to “taking one for the team” . Lovie Smith, is likely to fill a coaching vacancy elsewhere in the NFL , after Monday’s purge of the coaching positions around the NFL , with seven head coaches being relieved of their duties , all in a single day.

There is no denying that the Jacksonville Jaguars had a monstrous season in 2012 , with the team only being able to muster two wins over the course of their sixteen game schedule . Team owner, Shahid Khan , subsequently , has fired general manager , Gene Smith , and it would now appear that head coach , Mike Mularkey’s future could very well be in jeopardy . For much of the season the team , played without their running back , Maurice Jones-Drew , due to the player’s injury issues . Yet, that alone, cannot account for the team’s woefully inept performances over the course of 2012 . Continued poor play from both of the quarterbacks on the team’s roster became an ongoing recipe for disaster “. Suffice to say , that Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne , will not be atop anyone’s list of the most sought after quarterbacks should either be placed on the free agency market , this off-season. And now for the comical side to this all , with widely speculating rumors that the New York Jets may well seek to jettison one , if not two of the three quarterbacks now on their roster .

With Shahid Khan, showing a distinct interest in bringing Tim Tebow back to the Jacksonville area , as the city has now become the familial home for the Tebow clan. One has to speculate, is this simply being done, more for show , or is Khan really of the belief that the much maligned three-year player has something to offer the franchise by way of his play ?

Personally, after Tebow’s season with the New York Jets , I am not so sure his departure from a franchise that had more in common with a lunatic asylum , and where indecision at every point in the New York Jets’ thought process became the norm , might not be considerably better , than a franchise where having gone 2-14 , there is even more indecision within that organization (Jaguars) , than can be found with a virgin , unsure that the prom would be the best night for her to be deflowered , by her so-called steady boyfriend , who she’s only gotten close to , over the past three months. A little bit of “petting “ but not allowing him to get to third base may well seem fine , but now it’s all in (pardon the pun) , as everyone seeks to be gratified . There is no guarantee that such a move for Tim Tebow, will give him the opportunity he seeks. And in all honesty , the Jaguars are a hell of a long way off from where they need to be , to even mount a serious challenge in the AFC South , against all three of their rivals within the division . And last I looked, God , himself , had not bestowed upon Tim Tebow any miraculous traits , that would in essence , turn him from being a mediocre player, into one of the most sought after and gifted athletes currently playing in the NFL. You heard me right , Tebow isn’t gifted , nor is he that great a player , he is simply an affable guy , and the sooner fans realize that fact , the better off the NFL will be , without the ridicule of having to discuss his merits as a player, and where he should stand on any franchises’ pecking order as a quarterback .

The NFL is not a governmental welfare agency handing out food stamps , or in this case giving a player a chance to play , merely because he is on a team’s roster . Tebow’s current coach , Rex Ryan apart from admitting that the staff made a mistake in their usage of the player , has gone on record in stating that the quarterback has a fantastic “ work ethic” . My question is for Rex Ryan and for all of the fans who called for the player’s installation as Mark Sanchez’s successor when the incumbent starter , had his on-field issues . Why was it that Tim Tebow, was unable to dethrone Sanchez for that starting role , if as alleged by the head coach that the player was said to be working so hard ? If all of that hard work had been paying off , then would it not be a fact that Tim Tebow would have had at least one , if not two or three regular season starts for the New York Jets ? Yet fans who are clearly are not using the damn intelligence given to them , would rather make the asinine statement that Tebow is simply not being given the chance to start in the NFL . A few fleeting moments in 2011 , doesn’t make you an overnight sensation or a Pro Bowl caliber player . Suck it up guys , Tim Tebow is human , and I repeat not the second coming of Joe Montana or Johnny Unitas for that matter . Get over it, once and for all, and get on with your lives.

So finally , after three years of misinformed judgment , another season of infamy was needed for the Spanos family to come to the decision to relieve both Norv Turner and AJ Smith of their duties within the San Diego Chargers’ organization. There had to have been not only sighs of relief , but also tears of joy for the long-suffering Chargers’ fans . Far be it for me to suggest ,much less pose the question but would Dean Spanos have waited one more year and wasted another sixteen game schedule for a repeat of the diatribe served up by the head coach and the now former general manager ? The two having worked in conjunction , collectively ,they have had more misses than hits in assembling a competitive roster and identifying the needs of the franchise during their reign.

In light of his dismissal , Norv Turner has been vociferously critical of the Spanos’ family (owners of the Chargers) for their actions . Yet somehow , he has failed to acknowledge his own contributions that led to his being fired . In the last three seasons, Turner has gone a combined 24-24 (0.500) , and during which the Chargers’ last winning season came in 2010, and prior to that in 2009, with his best season, being that very same year. As a head coach of the San Diego Chargers , Turner took the team to the playoffs on three occasions , where they managed an appearance in the 2007 AFC championship game , which ended in a loss to the New England Patriots , who would themselves go on to the Superbowl of that year.

It has been a complete travesty having to witness the Chargers play at Qualcomm Stadium , in San Diego , California , and there can be no denying that Dean Spanos would like nothing better than to relocate the franchise to the downtown Los Angeles area . For the moment, the Chargers will remain a tenant at Qualcomm, subject to the existing lease agreement, with the city and its expiration date. . Meanwhile, veteran Chargers’ quarterback , Philip Rivers labors under the burden of a heavy yoke around his neck , with a team that is lacking in zeal and one which possesses not an iota of leadership from anyone on the roster . One lay the blame at Rivers’ feet , but he is not the only person on the team , who should be held accountable , beyond the ineptitude shown by Norv Turner and his coaching staff . Everyone fell asleep at the wheel, while the Chargers simply careened out of control over the past few years . Had they gone over a cliff, would anyone have noticed? I guess not!

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With the postseason beckoning , this off-season will see a great deal of activity from a number of teams , specifically those who have made the moves to change their coaching status . Last season , we did not see any major coaching upheavals amongst the coaching staffs .However, we were witness to a number free agency moves across the NFL landscape. Do you believe that we are liable to witness any major moves this off-season and which teams do you think will be among the “major players” in such a scenario ? Tom Corbett’s decision, to rescind the NCAA’s fine of Penn State , do you think it a prudent decision by the Pennsylvanian governor ? Merely state your thought on this and anything else you believe pertinent to the subject matter .

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(1) Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett speaks at a news conference following a night of rioting in response to the firing of head football coach Joe Paterno in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky “scandal ” on November 10, 2011 in State College, Pennsylvania. Corbett is the former state attorney general who launched the investigation in 2009 that eventually brought criminal charges against three former Penn State officials this week. As governor, Corbett is now an ex-officio member of Penn State?s board of trustees. Paterno was fired amid allegations that former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was involved with child sex abuse. Mario Tama/ Getty Images North America …

(2) Penn State Board of Trustees member John Surma listens the board holds an open public meeting in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal at the Nittany Lion Inn, November 11, 2011 in State College, Pennsylvania. Penn State’s interim president Rodney Erickson was introduced at the meeting. Head football coach Joe Paterno was fired amid allegations that former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was involved with child sex abuse. Getty Images North America / John Smith …

(3) Penn State president Graham Spanier , left, and athletic director Tim Curley , center, celebrated coach Joe Paterno’s 409th win . Both Curley and Spanier , having been forced to resign or having taken early retirement, now face charges within the state’s court system , as to their actions in the “alleged ” cover-up that took place at Penn State . The former high-ranking officials at the university vehemently deny any involvement in a cover-up and have promised to shed light on the details they say were details overlooked in the ” Freeh Report” . AP Photo/ Gene J. Puskar ……

(4) Penn State assistant football coach Mike McQueary (L) leaves court following a preliminary hearing for former Penn State athletic director Tim Curley and vice president Gary Schultz on December 16, 2011 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Both Curley and Schultz are charged with lying in a grand jury investigation about Jerry Sandusky’s alleged child sex abuse. Getty Images / Robb Carr …

(5) Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett , left, greets Washington Redskins’ coach Mike Shanahan after an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012, in Landover, Md. The Redskins won 28-18, securing a playoff berth . AP Photo/Nick Wass …

(6) Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) pauses during a media availability after an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins Monday, Dec. 31, 2012, in Landover, Md. The Redskins won 28-18 , securing a playoff berth. Romo failed to deliver once again , when his team needed him the most , with questions now arising as to whether or not he is indeed capable of leading the franchise deep into the playoffs , let alone a Superbowl victory . AP Photo/Evan Vucci …

(7) Lovie Smith , foreground, is seen here with Bears’ GM Phil Emery , background at the Chicago Bears 1st summer camp practice Thursday at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Illinois, on the July 26, 2012,. Emery made the formal announcement that Smith had been fired , having guided the Bears to a winning record (10-6), only for the team to miss out on a playoff berth , after the Vikings’ narrow victory over the Green Bay Packers . Phil Velasquez/ Chicago Tribune …

(8) Jacksonville Jaguars’ owner Shahid Khan , is said to be keenly interested in acquiring disgruntled Jets’ quarterback Tim Tebow , and have him compete and earn the starting quarterback role with the franchise. Both Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne have failed miserably this season in guiding the team , who ended the season with a 2-14 record and will be afforded the right of having the number one overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft . AP Photo/ Charles Howard ….

(9) Former Chargers’ head coach Norv Turner is seen here addressing members of the convened press at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego , California . The coach of six years was dismissed by Dean Spanos , COO of the NFL franchise , who also terminated the services long-serving front office executive GM , A J Smith . Turner voiced his disapproval of the timing of dismissal , suggesting that the Spanos’ family had reassured him that he would be brought back to coach the San Diego Chargers for the 2013 season . AP Photo / Olivier Pacheco …..

(10) Chargers’ COO Dean Spanos, left, is seen here with Norv Turner center-field at Qualcomm Stadium , prior to a home game during this season . AFP/REUTERS/ Paul Rutland …

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If at all interest do take time participate in the above poll.

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Penn State Football news

NCAA/ BCS Bowl games 2012-13

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NFL news & news from around the league

NFL news archived stories

NFL results week 17

NFL postseason schedule & wildcard round games

NFL standings by division

NFL standings by conference

NFL player stats week 17 & year-end players’ stats

NFL team stats

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Meek Mill & Kirko Bangz ……. ” Young & Gettin’ It “

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Gloria Jiminez . Ay caramba !

Did I miss something ? Culling baby seals was meant to be compassionate , not so the case , when it comes to the NFL

Did I miss something ? Culling baby seals was meant to be compassionate , not so the case , when it comes to the NFL

By Tophatal

The fallout, in the NFL has begun, with teams now looking to rid themselves of their head coaches and staff . As their horrendous seasons , poor performances of the teams, and that of the players , who are being paid a King’s ransom for their services , which sent these franchises crashing back down to earth. To date, and counting, there have been five NFL head coaching firings , with quite possibly more to come , down the pike .

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As if the fans needed any further evidence, to emphasize the fact that the New York Jets remains a franchise heading in the wrong direction , after a season of inept performances , and the continued cry for Tim Tebow to be installed as the team’s starting quarterback . Haven’t we seen enough ineptitude over the past four years by this Presidential administration and Congress , without wanting to add this idiocy ? However , it would appear that apathy is now the acceptable norm , for such fans , rather than their intelligence being shown.

Five NFL coaches , have now been relieved of their duties and there is the belief that there could very well be a few more names added to that list . Andy Reid has been fired as the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles . No great surprise there , considering the fact that , the players simply quit on their head coach , rather than giving the best of themselves over the course of this season .

With the postseason schedule now being set , with the twelve participants from the two conferences , now waiting to get this part of the NFL’s schedule off and running . It will be interesting to see which of these teams will now be viewed as the prohibitive favorite for the Superbowl . Over the course of the regular season , there has not been one dominant team, where you could categorically state that , such team/franchise should undeniably be viewed as an outright favorite . Gary Kubiak and the Houston Texans , having looked like a well-deserving number one seed in the AFC , have within the past three weeks , played as a team, whose playoff inexperience and lack of authority, could very well make them a first round casualty during these playoffs . They have essentially slipped down the pecking order within the AFC , to become the number three seed , who will now have to play host to the Cincinnati Bengals, and sophomore quarterback, Andy Dalton , and his fast charging teammates , who will be looking to acquit themselves well, this postseason.

On Sunday night , in what was a vastly entertaining game , during which , a great deal was said to be on the line for both teams. The Washington Redskins , seeking to win their first divisional title (NFC East) since 1999, that scenario played out like a riveting suspense thriller , for merely a quarter . And for all of this asinine assertion that Tony Romo , being a great regular season quarterback, while the stats may well bear this out , when it matters most , the Cowboys’ quarterback , simply has “no stomach “ for a real down in the trenches ____ full-blown out fight . Truth be known , Romo , is vastly overpaid , in terms of what he has offered the franchise , in terms of a dividend . In contrast , Romo’s counterpart , in last night’s event , rookie quarterback , Robert Griffin III, indicated why it is , that for much of the season , he has been the main focus behind the success of the Redskins’ extraordinary season. Add in the play, of rookie , Alfred Morrisand wide receiver , Pierre Garcon, and you can understand why the fans in and around the DC area, feel that they have a great to be excited about . There is a sense of urgency to the Redskins, and that something special is now on the horizon .

With the Redskins coming away with a decisive 28-18 victory and pretty much putting an end to another season of sheer ineptitude by the Dallas Cowboys, which pretty much shuttered whatever hopes that they might have had for the postseason. There will now be decisive questions being asked of not only head coach , Jason Garrett and his impending future , but also whether or not Tony Romo is indeed the quarterback needed to lead this team , long-term . Team owner, Jerry Jones , can continue to make all the excuses he wants , but even he , must now come to the realization for the money being paid out in payroll , the dividends reaped have been miniscule , to say the very least .

If the Cowboys are viewed as one of the major disappointments of this season, then one would have to place the under-achieving Chicago Bears alongside their NFC counterpart. Far be it for me to suggest , but if you are placing your hopes on Jay Cutler to lead you anywhere , then you would be better of shoving your finger up your own ass , removing it, and then sniffing, to see if the bouquet is just as rancid a stench, as served up by the Bears over the course of this season. Brian Urlacher, fit, or not, is now on the downside of what one could describe as a moderate career. Future Hall of Fame inductee , well that remains to be seen , but given what we’ve seen from Urlacher over the years , he is a possible candidate , once having met the criteria .

In order for Lovie Smith’s players to have made the postseason , a victory was necessary over the Detroit Lions . God knows, the Lions, have been equally as abysmal , and that is with Calvin Johnson having surpassed the single season receiving yards’ mark , a record held by the illustrious Jerry Rice . Having secured, a narrow 26-24 victory , the Bears also needed assistance , with both the Seattle Seahawks and Minnesota Vikings needing to lose in their respective games on Sunday afternoon. That would not be the case, with the Seahawks defeating (20-13) the St Louis Rams , and the Vikings pulling off a surprising victory (37-34) over the Green Bay Packers . Those two wins , pretty much sealed the fate of the Bears for the season, and with it all leading to the dismissal of Lovie Smith, as the head coach of the franchise.

While there seems to apoplexy , with the firings of five coaches in the NFL , it has to be said while the blame is being placed upon their shoulders . One has to ask , of the so-called players thought to be leaders on the teams that have failed so miserably, who are highly paid , yet when it mattered most , they were nowhere to be seen.

During the off-season , you can be sure that there will be a major upheaval of the player personnel rosters around the league , as a number of high-priced and overvalued free agents will be placed on the market . The likelihood will be , that a number of teams will be foolish enough to acquire those players , as they seek to revamp their rosters.

With College Bowl season now underway , a number of the likely coaching candidates that may well viewed as potential hires in the NFL , will be on view for the front office executives and team owners seeking a new head coach. Atop of that list , is said to be Nick Saban , along with Brian Kelly , Chip Kelly , Mark Richt , Mike Nolan and quite obviously the former NFL coaches now on the sidelines as NFL analysts , Jon Gruden , Bill Cowher and Brian Billick. To my mind however, one of the potential possible hires , has to be Indianapolis Colts’ coaching assistant Bruce Arians . While , head coach, Chuck Pagano underwent chemotherapy for cancer , it was Arians who led the Colts to some highly unlikely victories during 2012. Yet , while praise has to be heaped upon Bruce Arians , you simply cannot overlook the “ astonishing “ rookie season of Andrew Luck , who was asked to step into the larger than life shoes of Peyton Manning . And the rookie did not fail to deliver , with the Colts garnering double-digit wins , on their gaining a postseason berth and a potential blockbuster game against the Baltimore Ravens in the wildcard round of the playoffs.

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As to what the postseason now holds for the teams now eager to get this part of the season underway , it makes for a great deal of suspense for the fans and analysts alike , who view this part of the NFL season as one of the most exhilarating facets of the NFL calendar. Your thoughts, on this all, and what deem to be the most fascinating time of the year within the league ? Simply leave a comment as you see fit and thank you for what has been a highly insightful year within this community . May you all, have a prosperous and peaceful New Year !

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(1) Norv Turner speaks during an NFL football news conference, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012, in San Diego. Turner was fired as head coach by the Chargers Monday, along with general manager A.J. Smith , after missing the playoffs for the third straight season. AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi …

(2) FILE – In this Dec. 23, 2012, file photo, Arizona Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt appears before an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears in Glendale, Ariz. The Cardinals fired Whisenhunt Monday, Dec. 31, after six seasons that included the long-suffering franchise’s only Super Bowl appearance. AP Photo/Paul Connors …

FILE – In this Dec. 30, 2012 file photo, Buffalo Bills head coach Chan Gailey walks off the field after his team’s 28-9 win over the New York Jets in an NFL football game in Orchard Park, N.Y. Gailey has been fired by the Buffalo Bills after three losing seasons, the team announced Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. AP Photo/Gary Wiepert ….

(4) FILE – In this Dec. 2, 2012, file photo, New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan, left, stands with general manager Mike Tannenbaum , center, and owner Woody Johnson before an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals in East Rutherford, N.J. Ryan insists he’s a Jet all the way and wants to coach the team for the “next 15 years.” He dismisses as “untrue” a report that says he would welcome being fired if Johnson doesn’t upgrade the offense. Tannenbaum was summarily dismissed by Johnson , and it was felt that it was “something of a warning” to Ryan , as to how close , the coach himself , came close to  being fired    , by the beleaguered owner . AP Photo/Kathy Willens ….

(5) The ” not so magnificent seven ” . Seven NFL head coaches fired on what has come to be known as ” Black Monday” . From top left, to bottom right , Chan Gailey, Norv Turner, Pat Shurmur , Lovie Smith , Ken Whisenhunt , Romeo Crennel and Andy Reid . AP Photo/ Reid Harper ….

(6) Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) runs away from Dallas Cowboys outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware (94) during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012, in Landover, Md. The Redskins won 28-18 . AP Photo/Richard Lipski ….

(7) Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) greets Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III after an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012, in Landover, Md. The Redskins won 28-18, securing a playoff berth. AP Photo/Evan Vucci …

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NB: It is now official, that the number of head coaches fired , on what is now being described as “Black Monday” has risen from five to seven head coaching officials .

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NFL news & news from around the league

NFL news archived stories

NFL results week seventeen

NFL results 2012-13 regular season

NFL standings by division

NFL standings by conference

NFL postseason schedule 2012-13
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Alicia Keys …. “I’m ready ”

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Selena Star offers up a cornucopia of eroticism with her wiles . Are you going to be one of the complainants in such a case ?

Come on, you have never had it so good , we are providing you with entertainment, sports’ entertainment , so suck it up, you son of a bitch …

Come on, you have never had it so good , we are providing you with entertainment, sports’ entertainment , so suck it up, you son of a bitch …

By Tophatal

With the NFL regular season now coming to a close , Sunday brings about week seventeen of the sixteen week schedule for 2012 . In large part, the divisions have been decided , but some playoff berths within the AFC and NFC , have yet to be settled, but Sundays’ results will bring about closure for the teams . One of the most intriguing games on this weekend’s schedule , will be the NFC East match-up , between the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Redskins. It is a game that will be played at FedEx Field , in Landover , Maryland . This, is a last ditch effort for the Cowboys, to make their way into the postseason. A win, guarantees them, the divisional title and some semblance of redemption after a somewhat disappointing season.

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The opposing quarterbacks in this divisional match-up will be Robert Griffin III of the Redskins, facing off against Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys. And for the Cowboys’ quarterback , this may well be the last chance made available to him, as he seeks to lead this team back into the postseason.

Now there’s no denying that Robert Griffin III , has proven to be one of the exceptional rookie talents to have exploded unto the NFL stage this season. The Redskins’ rookie along with freshman players , Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson , have simply been exceptional throughout much of 2012. Luck and Wilson, have led both their teams to double-digit wins for the season , as well having secured a playoff berth for the Indianapolis Colts and Seattle Seahawks , respectively. A truly astonishing feat , when one considers the inexperience of both players at the highest level of the game. There will be a great deal of intrigue and suspense to be played for the fans over the course of this weekend’s NFL schedule .

While the NFL regular season schedule seeks a finality , its NBA counterpart , is now a mere twenty plus games into their own long and arduous schedule . The season has already had its very first managerial casualty with the summary firing of the Brooklyn Nets’ head coach, Avery Johnson. Would it be appropriate to suggest that Nets’ point guard , Deron Williams , has now become a “ coach-killer “ ? It would appear that whenever the superstar becomes unhappy , with his environment or the level of his teammates’ play , he tends to cast a veiled displeasure and an indirect threat at his head coach. That was certainly the case, when Williams was formerly a player with the Utah Jazz , which ultimately led to the resignation of Jerry Sloan , and it certainly appears that Williams played his part in the firing of Avery Johnson. The idiocy of this whole situation cannot be underscored by the formal statement made by Nets’ GM, Billy King , in stating that the star point guard had nothing to do with the decision made by the front office that led to the dismissal of the beleaguered head coach. Kind of makes you wonder, if not for the player’s displeasure , would the franchise have “pulled the trigger “ and fired the head coach?

If the Nets’ general manager would take a single step back , and simply review his statement, he would suddenly realize that he cannot blow smoke up everyone’s ass, while trying to keep a smile on his face . And with the dismissal , it’s now hard to see how anyone can take the front office of the Brooklyn Nets all that seriously, never-mind their rather unenlightened and idiotic fans who proclaimed, that this team would be a worthy challenger to the likes of the , Miami Heat, New York Knicks , and Boston Celtics within the Eastern Conference. There was no body of work to suggest that this team was ready to even challenge the aforementioned trio , so now , those idiots , can sit back , and begin to eat crow , and deservedly so !

It is somewhat asinine to think that the Brooklyn Nets have sought to make such an exorbitant outlay , by committing in excess of $88, 257,129 for a team that now sits with a 0. 514 mark of 15-14 within the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference. Deron Williams and Joe Johnson account for almost 41% of the team’s salary commitment for 2012-13, with the two combining for just under $37 million of the eighty-eight million plus in the Nets’ 2012 salary outlay. Team owner, Mikhail Prokhorov , the Russian multi-billionaire entrepreneur , made it known , that money would be of no object , as he sought to make the Nets not just a competitive force within the NBA , but also a global brand, fittingly with a presence in Eastern and Western Europe , but most notably in his native Russia . With that commitment from Prokhorov , has come the billion dollar outlay in buying the majority stake in the Barclaycard Center/Atlantic Yards Development , which houses the Brooklyn Nets , as well as a commercial and residential complex . As of now, that investment, does seem extremely costly , with barely any dividends , being shown on-court , by way of anything being remotely competitive from this team . I firmly believe that Deron Williams lacks the leadership qualities to make the Brooklyn Nets a resounding success , and this idiocy that Joe Johnson , would be a player capable of supporting the skill-set of Williams , as diminishing those returns now appear to be ! PJ Carlisemo has now been installed as the interim-head coach , with rumors that Billy King , at the behest of Mikhail Prokhorov is said to be seeking out Phil Jackson , to gauge his interest in coming to Brooklyn , to coach the newly relocated franchise . There are only two coaching positions within the NBA , that are likely to pique the interest of the famed head coach , and at present , as neither the Knicks or Lakers’ coaching positions are vacant . One can only speculate , and in all likelihood, it is my firm belief that Jackson will turn down the approach from the Russian billionaire owner ! And even , if Jackson is offered a reputed five-year $60-$75 million contract , there is no guarantee of success , for a team that at present is in complete disarray .

Now while there are now those seeking to thrust the New York Knicks further into the limelight , and God knows that franchise needs to be relevant once again, after years of ineptitude in the wilderness , with the mismanagement by team owner, James Dolan , GM Glen Grunwald and his predecessors , Donnie Walsh and Isiah Thomas . While the NBA franchise remains the “ jewel in the crown” in terms of value and profitability as the most valuable NBA team in the league . There can be no denying, that were it not for the fact , that the New York Knicks are domiciled in the nation’s largest ad-market , New York City , and that it is part of a vast array of sports and entertainment interests owned under the umbrella of the privately held business entity, MSG Entertainment Inc. . , a wholly owned company, shrouded in secrecy , and presided over by James Dolan, and his family. One seriously doubts that the franchise would be in its present position, of being to lavish itself with such luxuries , with the salaries afforded to the likes of Tyson Chandler , Carmelo Anthony , Amar`e Stoudemire , Jason Kidd and J R Smith.

The Knicks , coming off a narrow one-point 106-105 loss to the Sacramento Kings , are now 21-9 , while seated atop of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference . And while that record is impressive , let’s not kid ourselves into believing that this team is the most dominant franchise in the conference , while they are 6-4 on the road and impressive 12-2 within the conference. It begs the question, what is the true measure of real dominance within the NBA and specifically with regard to the Knicks ? Yes , they do possess one of the most forceful and naturally gifted scorers in the game , with Carmelo Anthony , who has been ably abetted this season by JR Smith . However, my position is that, until there’s a body of work , by which this team can be adjudged , there cannot be an assertion that this team is , or has been one of the more dominant franchises within the NBA this season !v . The team’s longest winning streak over the course of their schedule is one of six games , during the month of November, but they have been able to maintain a consistency by not having anything more than a two-game consecutive loss streak during their 2012-2013 sojourn .

Knicks’ head coach, Mike Woodson , has been able to mold together an aggressive cohesive unit that has proven to be an effective offensive corps of players . The team at 102.27 points per game lies seventh in the NBA in that offensive category , and second within Eastern Conference, behind the Miami Heat (103.4 points per game) . Defensively , in allowing 97 ppg , the Knicks are the ninth within the conference , and fourteenth within the NBA , of the of the league’s 30 teams.

In determining the margin of victory , at 5.3 points per game , Mike Woodson’s players sit comfortably in fifth place within the NBA , where the high-flying Los Angeles Clippers lead the way. For their part , the Clippers , led by Blake Griffin and Chris Paul , have been on an impressive run , having won a franchise best sixteen straight games , the best run in the NBA this season . Vinny Del Negro , and his coaching staff , has this Clippers’ team playing with a great deal of resolve and commitment , while ” overshadowing” their more illustrious rivals and namesake , the Los Angeles Lakers .

And for the Lakers , the infancy of their season has been a tumultuous one , with the firing of Mike Brown five games into their schedule (1-4) and Mike D’Antoni being brought in by GM , Mitch Kupchak and SVP, Jim Buss . The hiring of D’Antoni , was bewildering to fans NBA analysts alike , as front office had sought Phil Jackson , to gauge his interest in returning to the franchise he guided to five NBA titles while coaching the Lakers over two separate terms. And while Jackson had sought time to make a decision, it would appear that Kupchak and Jim Buss approached D’Antoni, offered him the position and then made the formal announcement that the once vacant position had now been filled by the former Knicks and Phoenix Suns’ head coach.

Injuries, and inconsistent play from the Los Angeles Lakers , with no clear sense of a real coaching strategy has simply played its part , in defining the under-achieving Lakers. Take into account , that Kobe Bryant is being asked to provide the bulk of the team’s offensive output , with an aging Steve Nash , and a rather lackluster showing , in a number of outings from Dwight Howard , and a recipe for disaster has now been created , as the franchise’s record (15-15) and standing reflects their continued poor showing .

While the Lakers swoon , the Oklahoma City Thunder are riding high , and they’re no doubt seeking to make a quick return to the NBA Finals , and redeem themselves after last season’s poor showing in the postseason finale . Kevin Durant and his erstwhile teammate , point guard Russell Westbrook , are the most prolific combination duos , now playing in the NBA , and such has been their productivity , that it should come as no surprise why there are and still remain the prohibitive favorites to repeat as the Western Conference champions this season. If there is a serious challenger within the conference , to the Thunder’s present supremacy , then that challenge may well come , jointly from, the Los Angeles Clippers , Memphis Grizzlies and four-time NBA champions , the always dangerous San Antonio Spurs . Gregg Popovich, a former coach of the Year award winner , coach of all four of Spurs Finals’ triumphs , places the illustrious coach in a select group of NBA coaches to have won multiple titles . Adding a fifth , would cement Popovich’s legacy, and further enhance his status as a future Hall of Fame inductee , alongside current players and likely future occupants , Tony Parker , Manu Ginobli and Tim Duncan , the elder statesman on the current Spurs’ roster , and the lynch pin for much of the franchise’s success , since his being drafted , as the number one pick in the 1997 NBA Draft by the San Antonio Spurs.

If the Spurs are to be a collective force , then beyond the productivity provided by Tony Parker , Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobli , then players such as , Kawhi Leonard , Danny Green , Gary Neal , Tiago Splitter , Stephen Jackson , and Boris Diaw , will have to step up and answer the call, as and when needed .

Saturday night’s schedule offers the fans eleven games of note , but essentially Sunday , is when the nation will be watching , if they are not transfixed by the NFL scheduled games being televised by the broadcast networks. The Spurs will be part of the afternoon’s four game sortie , when they face the Dallas Mavericks in a game to be played at the American Airlines Arena in Dallas , Texas. The team leads the season series 1-0 , having met on the 23rd December in San Antonio , when the Spurs came away with a lopsided forty-eight point victory in defeating the Mavericks 129-81 , a loss that sent Rick Carlisle’s team reeling , with many questioning whether or not the current rebuilding process now being undertaken , is actually working . At this juncture , I think it’s pretty safe to say that Carlisle and the Mavericks’ front office will certainly have to look at the underlying issues the team now faces. Team owner, Mark Cuban , saw fit make a radical decision upheaval of their roster and rebuilding afresh. GM , Donn Nelson , entrusted with this task has seen fit to also reduce the team’s payroll considerably from last year . A considerably sharp decline, from when the Mavericks’ carried a payroll that would place them among the highest in the NBA .

In 2012, with the league’s “soft salary cap” of $58.044 million , it would appear that the teams would rather ignore that plateau , as they seek all-out success and glory , no matter what the financial stake may well be, and the morass that such extravagance might bring about . And for this idiocy , we have the league hierarchy to thank , led by NBA Commissioner, David Stern , and the lackadaisical attitude of the team owners , who plead poverty , . but who still choose not to rein in their costs .

The commissioner would rather have us believe that the NBPA (Players’ Union) bears the responsibility for the league’s financial malaise , but nothing could be further from the truth , as this all comes down to the lack of restraint being shown by all sides , as it relates to curtailing financial costs and the league’s own response to the criticism being leveled at them by the fans , television and print media .

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Picture gallery.

What do you believe has been one the high points of the NFL season ? In your opinion, what should we expect to see over the course of the postseason ? With all of news now unfolding within the NBA , rightly or wrongly , what if anything gives you the greatest cause for concern for the league still in its infancy of its schedule , this season? Simply , leave a comment as you see fit , and thanks as always for the continued support of this site , as it is gratefully appreciated !

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Picture and slideshow details below .
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(1) Washington Redskins’ Robert Griffin III passes in the second half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, in Philadelphia. Washington won 27-20 . AP Photo/Michael Perez …

(2) Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan , left, and Philadelphia Eagles’ coach Andy Reid meet after an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, in Philadelphia. Washington won 27-20 . AP Photo/Michael Perez …

(3) Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) leaves the field after overtime play of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. The Saints won 34-31 . The Cowboys’ quarterback and his well chronicled postseason experience has been more ” hyperbole “ , rather than anything productive for the player and the Cowboys , since he became the full-time starting quarterback for the franchise . AP Photo/Sharon Ellman …

(4) Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) passes the ball as New Orleans Saints defensive end Will Smith (91) moves in during the first half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, in Arlington, Texas. AP Photo/Brandon Wade …

(5) Brooklyn Nets’ Deron Williams looks to pass away from Cleveland Cavaliers’ Kyrie Irving , right, during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012, in New York. The Nets would go on to defeat the Cavaliers 103-100 . PJ Carlesimo since his being installed as the interim head coach the team is off to a 2-0 start in his tenure , in the position . AP Photo/Frank Franklin II …

(6) Brooklyn Nets interim coach P.J. Carlesimo calls out to his team during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012, in New York. The Nets won 103-100. AP Photo/Frank Franklin II …

(7) FILE- In this Dec. 17, 2011, file photo, New Jersey Nets head coach Avery Johnson , right, talks with assistant coach P.J. Carlesimo during the first half of an NBA preseason basketball game against the New York Knicks in Newark, N.J. The Nets fired Johnson on Thursday, Dec. 27, 2012, and Carlesimo will coach the team on an interim basis, starting Friday night with a home game against Charlotte. AP Photo/Mel Evans …..

(8) SACRAMENTO, CA – DECEMBER 28: James Johnson (52) of the Sacramento Kings is congratulated by teammates after he made a three-point basket at the buzzer to beat the New York Knicks 106-105 at Sleep Train Arena on December 28, 2012 in Sacramento, California. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images ….

(9) San Antonio Spurs’ Tim Duncan (21) works the ball around Houston Rockets’ Marcus Morris, left, during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game on Friday, Dec. 28, 2012, in San Antonio. AP Photo/Eric Gay ….

(10) San Antonio Spurs’ Manu Ginobili (20) , of Argentina, is fouled as he drives to the basket against Houston Rockets defenders Cole Aldrich (31), Daequan Cook (14) , James Harden (13) and Chandler Parsons , right, during the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Dec. 28, 2012, in San Antonio. San Antonio won 122-116 . AP Photo/Eric Gay ….

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NFL news & news from around the league

Dallas Cowboys news

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All time head to head match-ups between the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins

NFL standings by division

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NFL schedule week seventeen

NFL stats weekly leaders week 16

NFL team stats

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NBA news & archived news

Brooklyn Nets news

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NBA standings by division

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NBA team salaries & NBA soft salary cap of $58.044 million for the 2012-13 season

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NBA team values – revenue streams & profitability

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Analicia Chaves , picture comes courtesy of King Magazine

It wasn’t meant to be this way , as we had such high hopes ….


It wasn’t meant to be this way , as we had such high hopes ….

By Tophatal

So the final week of the NFL season is upon us and pretty much it all comes down to these final games , with a great deal still being up for grabs by way of divisional titles as well as a playoff berth for the postseason . And in the midst of this all the rancor within the New York Jets’ organization continues . Please , the team and the ongoing Tim Tebow , “ woe is me , you promised this , but instead I got that “ , is now beginning to wear thin and become a real pain in the ass ! Common sense, ought to now prevail , but fans are now literally _____ have been blinded by emotion , rather than using their sheer intelligence ! .

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Slideshow .

The Jets’ season has spiraled out of control , and Rex Ryan is seeking to apportion blame elsewhere , but the “ mean-spirited “ Evil Queen , repeatedly uses the mirror, and magically places it , in front of Rex , in order for him to fully appreciate where the real blame really does lay . Personally , from the moment the trade was made for Tebow , with the organization acquiring the third year player from the Denver Broncos , I simply knew that a sideshow was about to begin ! The Jets’ coaching staff simply lacked the intelligence to know how best to use the young quarterback , and this continued idiocy , that he was good enough to be a starter in the NFL , merely because of a few fleeting moments in 2011 , was enough to indicate Tebow was a worthwhile backup to Mark Sanchez , was asinine and a real insult to those who claim to knowledgeable about the NFL . The Kool-Aid must now be the ” new elixir of life “ , either replacing 5 Hour-Energy or Viagra ? Fans , are now letting their emotions rule , rather than simply using common sense and logic in their decision-making . However, it doesn’t really come as a surprise when you read the statements being made by the fans . I wonder how many of them , with a game on the line , with their team needing a score would actually have Tim Tebow as their quarterback at such a crucial time or pivotal moment ? Chime in, with your thoughts on this .

If there’s a real story to be had in the NFL in 2012 , then it would have to encompass the play of three rookie quarterbacks this season , who have literally turned the NFL upside down, on its ear. Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson , have pretty much guaranteed their respective teams a postseason berth , whereas , Robert Griffin III , will seek to add the Washington Redskins in amongst the mix , by defeating the Dallas Cowboys in a crucial divisional game that will have a great deal more than the result riding on the outcome . A win for either for either team guarantees the NFC East divisional crown and a coveted playoff berth. Defeat , and it comes down to a season of missed opportunities , and questions arising as to where “ did we go wrong “ ?

The game itself, between the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins , will be perhaps be the most eagerly anticipated of all the games taking place during the final week of the regular season schedule.

In the AFC , the picture is essentially clear, as to the makeup for the postseason , however, what still remains undecided , are the top two berths and descending order , as three teams are seeking at least to claim one of the two spots , that guarantees a bye in the first round of the postseason . At present the Houston Texans (12-3) , Denver Broncos (12-3) and the New England Patriots (11-4) , are each vying for the two berths in question. The Texans face a daunting task, as they meet divisional rivals the Indianapolis Colts , in what is a “must win “ situation for either team .

Denver will play host to the Kansas City Chiefs at Sports Authority Field , in Denver , Colorado , and the Patriots host the fast-sliding Miami Dolphins . And as interesting as those games are likely , the buildup and the games themselves will provide a great deal suspense .

Disappointment also, can come in many guises , be it through a team’s record or the injuries sustained over the course of the season . Yet , nothing can hide the fact that in large , many of the problems suffered by the franchises , came by way of their inept play over the course of the 2012 schedule. Say what you will , but to my mind , while the jury may well still be out on the Chicago Bears (9-6), Detroit Lions (4-11), New Orleans Saints (7-8) , Pittsburgh Steelers (7-8) , Philadelphia Eagles (4-11) , and last but not least the San Diego Chargers (6-9) . It now has me wondering which head coaches , and how many will be relieved of their duties this off-season ? There’s no denying that waiting in the wings are the likes of Jon Gruden , Bill Cowher , and amongst the college ranks , Brian Kelly , Chip Kelly and dare I say it, the ubiquitous Nick Saban ?

The return of Nick Saban to the ranks of the NFL wouldn’t necessarily be a shot in the arm , but given his experiences on his first go-around , is there anyone with of the belief that he would prove to be a success at the helm of a franchise as an NFL head coach ? The asking price would be considerably high, given the success attained by Saban at the college level , but therein lies the dilemma facing an organization who might care to pursue the Alabama head coach. There is however , the belief that the coach will be one of the names atop of the list of a number of teams that will undoubtedly cast their nets afar , as they seek a replacement for a beleaguered incumbent head coach .

There now seems to be conflicting rumors as to whether or not Norv Turner will asked to return to the Chargers’ franchise in 2013. Chairman & team President , Dean Spanos , seem to be sending out mix signals concerning the head coach, as well as the future of general manager , A J Smith . I’m of the opinion that both should be relieved of their positions , once the season is over , with the organization seeking to fill both positions , in the lead-up to the 2013 NFL Draft ! A disastrous season mixed in , with some rather unbelievable decision-making by Norv Turner during the Chargers’ season , pretty much summed up the ineptitude of the team’s play over the course of 2012. And as admirable, as Philip Rivers may well have performed , I now get the feeling that the veteran quarterback’s days with the franchise are now numbered ! I truly do not believe, that the player wishes to remain with the Chargers , but demanding a trade would prove to be futile , unless a team came in with a rather generous offer for the player.

For the Philadelphia Eagles the plight of their season has been well chronicled and it now seems all but certain , that this will be the last fans will undoubtedly see of head coach Andy Reid and the team’s veteran quarterback , Michael Vick. From Vick’s indifferent play this season to the injuries that have befallen the roster , things have simply spiraled out of control for Reid and his coaching staff . The veteran will replace Nick Foles , who having started his first game for the franchise , the rookie is now on the team’s injured reserve list , having suffered a broken hand. Vick will be asked to lead the team in when they face the New York Giants at Met-Life Stadium , in East Rutherford , New Jersey. And for Eli Manning and the Giants , it is now time to put up , or shut up , as this now seems to be a team that has lost its sense of direction and purpose , Tom Coughlin’s players seek to make a late postseason charge , as they seek to claim a playoff berth. How many times must the Giants’ fans have to endure the late season antics of this franchise ?

So, what if Calvin Johnson has broken Jerry Rice’s single season receiving yards’ mark ? Given the Lions’ record this season , is that that the sole reason to laud and applaud this team ? Jim Schwartz has lost control , and the roster of players have become ill-disciplined lackluster , never mind the antics of Lions’ defensive player Ndamukong Suh , who is being given every excuse possible by the NFL hierarchy to carry on with his disgusting on-field antics ! Anyone who believes to the contrary clearly has to watching the Lions through rose-tinted glasses. Matt Stafford may well be able to sling the ball all over the field , but when the team isn’t winning , those stats simply counts for nothing .

Mike Tomlins’ Steelers played themselves in and then out of contention, and now they’re on the outside looking in. Ben Roethlisberger , the two-time winning Superbowl quarterback has been erratic throughout much of 2012 , but the biggest issues concerning the roster has been the aging core of the team and the mere fact that the rookies from 2011 and 2012 have not proven to be productive enough to put the Pittsburgh Steelers in a position to win. And for franchise that built its reputation on having a staunch defense and a decisive running game , those two facets have been missing at times throughout much of this year.

Thankfully the asinine saga of the New Orleans Saints has come to pass and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s image is now lower than an invertebrate . Being such an asshole , Goodell can step back stage , rather than come up with another lame ass suggestion to curry favor with the fans and public at large . The commissioner’s latest notion, is to increase the number of playoff teams in the postseason . As if that’s really going to heighten the interest of the fans at large , a buffoon such as Roger Goodell really needs to make a cursory exit , stage left, and remain there ! Drew Brees and the Saints’ plight can be best summed up by stating …. “ the us against the world bullshit just didn’t cut it this season” , and the team was simply deserving of its fate this season !

The fact that, the best the NFL hierarchy could come up with in this rather disgusting episode was to state that there was an environment of deceit, lies and lack of overall accountability from within the Saints’ hierarchy , pretty much sums up how out of touch with reality the NFL just happens to be ! Never-mind , the fact that Paul Tagliabue , who rendered the verdict , overturning the suspensions of the four players ( Jonathan Vilma, Anthony Hargrove, Wil Smith & Scott Fujita) embroiled in the saga (Bounty scandal) , was very much a conduit for much of what we have witnessed in terms of a lack of real leadership within the NFL hierarchy. Not unlike the current President , his administration and the shoveling of shit , that he and the US Congress would rather pile into a hole of fecal matter , that they themselves , have dug and continue to fill with their platitudes rhetoric . The NFL at present , is simply bereft of any goddamn intelligence and common sense , and the owners and the union are not that far behind , in those aspects , either !

Tagliabue , Roger Goodell’s predecessor , has been a commissioner who showed little authority , and likewise , his successor in his current role, as commissioner , has shown himself to be a considerable ass , of the highest order !

While I live within the Central Florida area , it has to be said that the three NFL franchises within the state , have proven to be a profound disappointment . The always inconsistent Tampa Bay Buccaneers(6-9) , alongside the Jacksonville Jaguars (2-13) , and the equally abysmal Miami Dolphins(7-8) , has me wondering , if the state is meant to be such a “hotbed of superlative talent” , then how the hell is it , that we can never see any semblance of consistency , much less success from either of these three instate franchises ? Your thoughts, on this, by way of a response ?

I am not about to suggest that Greg Schiano , a first-year coach , or Mike Mularkey , and Joe Philbin should be relieved of their duties as head coaches for the franchises in question ! Yet the futility shown by all three teams must make you wonder , is the state of Florida really a place that’s amenable to the NFL , in spite of apparent fervor that is said to be shown for all three teams ? In terms of home attendance, the Jaguars rank thirteenth (519,872) , amongst the NFL’s thirty-two teams , Miami Dolphins (22nd) , with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (25th- [440,819]) bringing up the rear. . Perhaps, those figures are not necessarily the best way to gauge the fan-base of the teams in question, but even if you judge by the average attendance per home game , these figures do remain paltry .

Granted , the Miami Dolphins , remains a work in progress , with a rookie helming the team at the quarterback position . Ryan Tannehill is being asked to accomplish a great deal in his first season with the Dolphins , and it is clear that while he appears to be a competent player , he is not going to set the world alight , in spite of some the idiotic prognostications that came by way of the NFL analysts and like-minded fans within this forum and at large .

The Jacksonville Jaguars are aimlessly heading nowhere , and the mildly amusing chatter , suggesting that the franchise acquire Tim Tebow , while being laudable , and trumpeted by a cacophony of “ Tebow supporters “ , this is all becoming so asinine that it is beyond belief ! Since when has the NFL become an entitlement league ? Is there a welfare check to be had ? Fuck , where is this idiocy coming from, amongst the fans ?

Josh Freeman , the Buccaneers’ first round pick (seventeenth overall) from the 2009 NFL Draft, has once again proven to be a profound disappointment in 2012. Whatever , is being taught to Freeman by Bucs’ quarterbacks coach , Ron Turner , just doesn’t seem to be sinking in with the three-year starter , as his in-game decisions have become wildly errant and bewildering to say the very least , and that is especially true with the Buccaneers this season , as evidenced by his play . If there’s said to be a bright spot with regard to the team’s play , then based upon the resounding evidence , rookie running back , Doug Martin , has proven himself to be one of the more pleasant surprises in the NFL this season . Amongst the cotillion of rookie running backs from this year’s draft , only the Redskins’ Alfred Morris , has statistically shown to be better than his NFC counterpart. Something for the Buccaneers’ fans to pin their hopes on , alas , the issues will still remain concerning the lack of a potent passing offense and a good enough defense, to be truly competitive in the NFL , for this particular franchise.

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Picture gallery

As the NFL season is about to come to a close , which team , teams or players to your mind has provided you with the best performances of 2012 ? And who in your honest opinion has proven to be the biggest letdown of the season , by way of a player or team ? Simply leave a comment as you deem fit , and continued thanks, for the overwhelming support of this site throughout 2012 , and my heartfelt wishes to you all , for a prosperous and successful 2013 ! Thanks, as always !

😉

Picture and slideshow details below .
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(1) New York Jets quarterback Greg McElroy , bottom, is sacked by San Diego Chargers defensive end Corey Liuget , front left, during the second half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Chargers won 27-17 . AP Photo/Bill Kostroun …

(2) New York Jets quarterbacks Mark Sanchez , left, and Tim Tebow stand next to each other during the second half of an NFL football game against the San Diego Chargers, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J. AP Photo/Kathy Willens …

(3) New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan reacts during the second half of an NFL football game against the San Diego Chargers, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J. AP Photo/Kathy Willens

(4) FILE – This Nov. 11, 2012 file photo shows New York Jets’ Tim Tebow on the field before an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks in Seattle. Rex Ryan acknowledged Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012 that he had higher expectations for the seldom-used Tebow in the Jets’ wildcat-style offense. And, so did the NFL’s most popular and maligned backup quarterback. Now when I last surveyed the NFL , I wasn’t made aware that the player was owed anything, much less that the NFL had become a ” welfare program” for the underprivileged and less talented ! . So unless Tebow is expecting a ” welfare check” , he should keep his damn mouth shut , and set about honing his goddamn game , and stop whining like a little bitch ! AP Photo/Elaine Thompson ….

(5) Far exceeding expectations, the three top performing rookie quarterbacks from the 2012 NFL Draft . From left to right , Andrew Luck , of the Indianapolis Colts , Robert Griffin III , of the Washington Redskins and Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks . RGIII seeks to join his rookie counterparts in gaining postseason berth for the Redskins . Add into the mix, the play of Andy Dalton , sophomore quarterback for the Cincinnati Bengals , who has now guided that franchise to their second successive postseason appearance in two years . Courtesy of the NY Daily News / Getty Images ….

(6) After making a field goal to win the game , New Orleans Saints kicker Garrett Hartley (5) joins teammates Chase Daniel (10) , Mike Higgins (81) and Jermon Bushrod (74) in celebration during overtime play at an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, in Arlington, Texas. The Saints won 34-31 in overtime . AP Photo/Sharon Ellman …

(7) NFL Commissioner , Roger Goodell, left, is seen here with his predecessor , Paul Tagliabue , now a corporate lawyer, in private practice, with the nationally renowned law firm , Covington & Burling LLP,. of which Taglibue is a senior partner and co-founder of the D.C. based firm. Goodell , recently recused himself from hearing the appeals’ process for the four players embroiled in the Saints’ bounty scandal. Those suspensions of Jonathan Vilma , Scott Fujita , Anthony Hargrove and Wil Smith were overturned by Paul Tagliabue , who presided over the appeals’ hearing at the behest of Roger Goodell. The commissioner was not entirely happy with the verdicts rendered , as he felt the decision undermined his authority as the NFL’s highest ranking executive , which Goodell believes gives him unlimited powers , and a wide latitude to deal with regard to players’ behavioral conduct . AP Photo / Max Glover ….

(8) St. Louis Rams corner-back Janoris Jenkins (21) runs into Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman (5) after intercepting Freeman’s pass and returning it 41 yards for a touchdown during the second quarter of an NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, in Tampa, Fla. Rams is Robert Quinn (94) blocks. AP Photo/Reinhold Matay ….

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NFL related links :

I did it may way

Somewhere to hang one’s hat

Hits , misses and a bye your leave

The year of the young guns

And clearly we’re about to agree to disagree

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NFL news & news from the around news

NFL archived news

NFL week 17 schedule

NFL standings by division

NFL standings by conference

NFL weekly leaders week 16 & week sixteen results

NFL teams stats

Jacksonville Jaguars news

Miami Dolphins news

Tampa Bay Buccaneers news

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Hot chic pic of the day Draya Michelle . No bra , just panties , and a few droplets of water in running over all of the right places , simply leaves nothing to the imagination . Wouldn’t you agree ?

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Kickin’ it with some good ol’ R&B …. Miguel ……. “Adorn”

Just Kick the fucking can down the road , as it’s how you deal with the issue or issues ….

Just Kick the fucking can down the road , as it’s how you deal with the issue or issues ….

By Tophatal ….

It has not come as a surprise to see the ongoing incompetence of a Congress and Presidential administration that remains so damn clueless ! President, Barack Obama having been returned to office for a second successive term , he still remains a powerless individual . And while I believe him to be the better of the two candidates ,, who sought the nation’s highest political office , in no way should that be viewed as an outright ringing endorsement of Obama the man . His failings on a number of political issues across the political panacea have been mounting and still show no signs of abating.

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In the aftermath of the tragic events of Newtown , Connecticut , and the loss of twenty six innocent lives , of which 20 of those were students under the age 12 , at Sandy Hook Elementary School . The nation angered by this latest atrocity , and it has once again been left to the idiocy of the Democrats and Republicans to argue over “gun control” , and what might be seen as an effective policy and far-reaching statute that would keep multi-faceted automatic weapons out of the hands of criminals but also individuals with mental health issues . Once again, in comes the NRA , and their overzealous and often insidious Chairman Wayne LaPierre . LaPierre , would have us believe that his organization’s lobbying to have strict and effective gun control policy basically “watered down” effectively assisting the arms’ manufacturers even greater profits than even they could have possibly imagined . Over the years , whatever “teeth” there has been to any effective mandate as it relates to gun control , has had the heart ripped out of it completely. And the statutes now on the books simply does not go far enough to negate the violence now within our midst that takes the lives young innocent children among us .

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The names of the twenty six lives lost in the tragedy of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown Connecticut ,. … @ copyrighted material ABC news all rights reserved …

Mass killings and the hundreds of lives that have been lost on the streets of Chicago over the past eighteen months , should be enough of a horror to make even the most hardened amongst us repulsed . Yet , somehow these harrowing statistics , that places the United States atop of the ladder of developed nations with regards to homicides per capita and per 10,000 remains the highest in the industrialized world . This is not something that the country can take pride in at all. It’s now open season on children and women in terms of the violence now taking place , and these fucking politicians now seem to be intent on sitting on their ass ,while not doing anything positive or proactive on a variety of issues, and the uninitiated masses who offered up their synopsis on this election seeming glossed over so much , merely because they haven’t a fucking clue as to the issues that now affect the country domestically and internationally !

With that in mind , what else should the can the electorate now look forward to ? The economic malaise we’re now told is a “ fiscal cliff” has become a cluster fuck that stinks to high heaven , and at no time over the past four years , has either side sought to deal with this , the most acute of the issues the country now faces . The Democrats and Republicans the ” two bumbling ” and more prominent of the political parties , are now behaving like children fighting over a new toy in a sandpit . House Leader , John Boehner , has all but made sure that there will be no clear-cut solution or compromise before the Congress takes their winter recess . The President for his part remains a toothless tiger without the leadership traits many felt sought in him, as a political leader and statesman . Basically , it’s back to kicking the can down the road as relates to dealing with the nation’s problems . Nothing ventured, nothing gained as they say.

The NBA season is now up and running , and a mere third of the way through its eighty-two game schedule . Leading the way within the Eastern Conference , as well the Atlantic Division , are the New York Knicks (19-7) , the team with the best record within conference , but the fourth best record in the NBA , behind the Oklahoma City Thunder (21-5) , San Antonio Spurs (20-8), and the Los Angeles Clippers (20-6) .

Now while Mike Woodson’s players are off to an impressive start to the season , one could attest to the fact that for the moment they might just be the best team in the conference. Yet the reigning champions the Miami Heat , in spite of their recent hiccups , LeBron James and his teammates do have something to prove , as they seek to make a successful defense of their NBA title .

Now while many might feel that the Heat’s start is somewhat indifferent , it has to be said , if anything this team is simply pacing themselves for the long haul of an arduous season. The NBA schedule , much like a marathon , is not a sprint , but an attrition sapping course of events that simply takes its toll upon the players . So while the Knicks and their fans feel something to excited about at present , let’s not get ahead of ourselves , especially in light of that ugly ….. loss to the Chicago Bulls at home , while playing at Madison Square Gardens, in New York City , New York . Riding high , behind the play of Carmelo Anthony , undoubtedly one of the early season candidates and leaders for the league MVP . Behind some resolute defense and an equally imposing offense , the much maligned Knicks now have the rest of the NBA sitting up and take note.

From the good to the bad , and oh yes , it is really bad , as the woefully inept Washington Wizards (3-20) , either are unknowingly wanting to look bad , or the Wizards’ players are simply that horrendous . Far be it for me to suggest that I can’t spot bullshit when I see it , but the NBA hierarchy should now be investigating whether or not there is a real intent by the franchise to play competitively . If not , then I guess their record and play is indicative how bad they just happen to be. Personally, I just can’t see any light at the end of the tunnel for this laboring franchise ! They are simply not a championship caliber team by any stretch of the imagination

You can build a team around a number one draft pick but you’d better sure as hell have the players to go alongside him to match his skill-set . Two years removed from being the number one pick in the 2010 NBA Draft , John Wall remains something of an enigma , while his teammates , are simply lackluster and dispassionate . Head coach , Randy Wittman , may well be in for an arduous season with his young team . as they try to find a way to remain relevant within the NBA this season .

In the Western Conference , everything has been encapsulated by the might of the Oklahoma City Thunder , led by their All Stars , Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook . And for Westbrook, who might just be the most electrifying talent at the point guard position currently playing in the NBA , and that is with due respect to Chris Paul, Deron Williams and Rajon Rondo .

In the midst of this all , Kevin Durant remains the lynch pin that holds this team together , under the erstwhile coaching abilities of Scott Brooks and his coaching staff . . Thunder GM , Sam Presti , a former front office executive with the San Antonio Spurs has simply molded the franchise using a similar template , by drafting judiciously over the years , garnering , Durant , Westbrook, James Harden , and in 2012, it appears another bumper crop of talented players that Brooks can enmesh into this roster , with them making contributions in assisting the franchise’s aspirations.

Harden , in the midst of contract negotiations with the team could not reach an agreement wherein his contributions with the Thunder have made this franchise a force to be reckoned with over the past two seasons . The negotiations between James Harden and Sam Presti broke down , with the front office deciding to trade the player being traded to the Houston Rockets , in exchange for Kevin Martin and several role players. Harden , for his part having joined the Rockets , he has made more than a solid a contribution for the team , and outshining Jeremy Lin , the “supposed face of the franchise” in the wake of esteemed career of Yao Ming .

The Rockets (14-12) sits third behind the Memphis Grizzlies (18-7) and the San Antonio Spurs within the Southwest Division . From his “hot start” with the Rockets, both Harden and the team

seem to have cooled down with the franchised on a three-game winning streak, but 6-4 over their last ten games .

While there seems to be a new chapter being written in burgeoning career of Blake Griffin and Chris Paul , as the duo lead the Los Angeles Clippers to new unprecedented heights of recent success. The team is now on a twelve-game winning streak , the longest such streak in the NBA this season . Griffin and his teammates have simply been the story in LA , while their more celebrated neighbors the Los Angeles Lakers are struggling under the wealth and weight of expectation . The firing of Mike Brown after a 1-4 start , and the hiring of Mike D’Antoni as Brown’s successor has left the fans of one of the NBA’s most heralded franchises asking what the hell just happens to be going on.

DAntoni for his part is having a hard time in trying to win over the die-hard Lakers’ fans , whose wish it was , was to see either the return of Phil Jackson or the vacant position at the time , be filled by Jackson’s former assistant , Brian Shaw. The decision for the hiring of Mike DAntoni was made by general manager , Mitch Kupchak and SVP Jim Buss , the son of team owner, Dr Jerry Buss .

I have never been a great admirer of Mike D’Antoni as an NBA head coach , as I believe coaching to be fundamentally unsound , especially in light of the fact he has never been avowed teacher of defensive fundamentals , with regard to coaching in the NBA . Dantoni’s teams throughout his coaching , are not known for their defensive prowess. And that is now clearly the case at present, as it relates to the Lakers . And the idiocy is that the fans are now meant to believe that D’Antoni will adjust his coaching style to make such a thought a reality , is simply beyond belief .

Kobe Bryant is the lone constant on the roster of the Lakers , and their primary offensive source , as well as a defensive stalwart for this beleaguered franchise. With Kupchak and Jim Buss having made the decision to hire D’Antoni , it should be noted that they team’s roster also was revamped with the acquisitions of Steve Nash and Dwight Howard to complement to skill-set of Bryant and Pau Gasol. From my own standpoint , with injuries already sustained to Howard , Gasol and Nash , there seems to be a lingering concern as to the overall health of three players. In part, this has played a role in the ongoing owes of the team and the sub .500 record (13-14) now held by the franchise within the Pacific Division of the Western Conference.

The Lakers in their most recent game , came away with a hard-fought 118-115 victory over the Golden State Warriors . On Christmas Day , when to my mind , it gives us a clear-cut picture as to how the teams are faring , as by now we should be witnessing the well-formed intentions and their chase for a playoff berth .

Beyond the off the field issues facing the Sacramento Kings under the connivance of team owners , Joe and Gavin Aloof , there can be no denying that this franchise remains a work in progress both on and off the field of play. Head coach , Keith Smart , still has to deal with a malcontent in DeMarcus Cousins , player with a great deal of talent , but the attitude of a pig , and who lacks the maturity to be seen as a genuine leader of this team. I was once told by a patron, who just happened to be a Kings’ fan , he wasn’t at all concerned about a player’s issues , just as long as he came to play the game. Well, that sort of attitude is so typical of the vast majority of sports’ fans in general today , as they would rather excuse the gross misbehavior of an athlete as being part of the “norm” . Well, it no longer becomes the norm when a player chooses to disparage his head coach and indirectly his teammates . Cousins has been suspended indefinitely by the franchise, for conduct detrimental to the team and organization . Anyone within front office who didn’t see this incident coming has to be either naïve or convinced that DE Marcus Cousins had in fact turned over to a new a leaf.

Cousins remains an enigma , malcontent , talented and a conundrum all rolled up into one human being. The fact that he cannot be quelled and that his off the field antics have been tolerated for so long , speaks volumes as to the incompetence that has been shown by the Kings’ front office as well as the NBA hierarchy as a whole . Repeated infractions by the player, and he has simply been coddled by the Kings’ coaching staff , until this latest incident . Highly sought after , Cousins , as a player, while a player at Kentucky (Wildcats) under John Calipari, a coach whose idea of making players under his tutelage be productive citizens , is akin to seeing Al Capone choosing not to profit from the era of prohibition . And if you sincerely believe that Calipari has ever had the best interests of the players to have been under his tutelage , then simply peruse the minutiae of coaching resume` in detail to see the trail of trouble and NCAA investigations conducted at the programs where he has been a college coach. NCAA champions or not , albeit that the coach is well-respected by his peers and Wildcats’ fans alike , there remains a distasteful stench surrounding anything associated with John Calipari and much of the success he has attained .

As to Cousins impending future and whether or not he remains a player with this franchise in the future , it now remains to be seen .

As I alluded to earlier , Christmas Day becomes the point at where we can truly gauge the progress of the teams. In 2011 , that was certainly the case , as it has always been during previous seasons within the NBA and their usual festivity appealing schedule . Five games are on schedule for the 25th December , of which the “ marquee match-ups” are the Boston Celtics facing the Brooklyn Nets at the Barclays Center , in Brooklyn , with the other game in question, being the New York Knicks facing the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center , in Los Angeles , California, . Hopefully , a genuine treat will be served up by the teams in question in those five scheduled games .

What thoughts if any do you have with regard to the NBA season , and how the year has progressed so far ? And do you feel that the right action has been taken by the Sacramento Kings in the suspension of DeMarcus Cousins ? Merely leave a comment as you see fit on this and anything else you believe to be pertinent on the subject matter in question .

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Picture gallery

To the patrons of this site and the first-time observer my sincerest wishes is for you all to have a wonderful Christmas and a prosperous New Year , with the same sentiment to your immediate families !

Picture and slideshow details below
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(1) U.S. President Barack Obama (R) shakes hands with Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) during a meeting with bipartisan group of congressional leaders in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on November 16, 2012 in Washington, DC. Obama and congressional leaders of both parties are meeting to reportedly discuss deficit reduction before the tax increases and automatic spending cuts go into effect in the new year. Source: Pool images /Getty North America ….

(2) U.S. President Barack Obama (C) speaks as Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) (L) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) looks on during a meeting with bipartisan group of congressional leaders in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on November 16, 2012 in Washington, DC. Obama and congressional leaders of both parties are meeting to reportedly discuss deficit reduction before the tax increases and automatic spending cuts go into effect in the new year.
Pool Images/ Getty North America …

(3) National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre calls on Congress to pass a law putting armed police officers in every school in America during a news conference at the Willard Hotel December 21, 2012 in Washington, DC. This is the first public appearance that leaders of the gun rights group have made since a 20-year-old man used a popular assault-style rifle to slaughter 20 school children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, one week ago. Either LaPierre is that much of a cynic if this is the best suggestion , he believes is necessary to stem the tide of violence now encompassing the fabric of our society . Clearly, he feels the gun manufacturers has no place to be a part of the wider debate , as it relates to “gun control” . Getty Images / Alex Wong ….

(4) The names of the twenty-six lives lost in the tragedy of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown Connecticut ,. … @ copyrighted material ABC news all rights reserved …

(5) New York Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony (7) ) drives the ball around Minnesota Timberwolves’ Ricky Rubio (9) in the first half of an NBA basketball game on Sunday, Dec., 23, 2012, at Madison Square Garden in New York. The Knicks won 94-91. AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek …

(6) Washington Wizards point guard John Wall talks with the news media following a team practice at the Verizon Center in Washington, Monday, Dec. 17, 2012. Wall, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 draft, has been recovering from a stress injury to his left knee cap. AP Photo/Susan Walsh …

(7) Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant (24) dribbles next to Golden State Warriors’ Klay Thompson (11) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Oakland, Calif., Saturday, Dec. 22, 2012. AP Photo / Paul Parsons …

(8) Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins , right, drives to the basket around Golden State Warriors defender Festus Ezeli during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Sacramento, Calif., on Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012. The Kings won 131-127 . Cousins has been suspended indefinitely for conduct unbecoming and detrimental to the organization . Kings’ head coach Keith Smart and Geoff Petrie , general manager have yet to state whether or not the player will be reinstated and length of the suspension will take . AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez ….

(9) Sacramento Kings’ GM , Geoff Petrie is seen here with the team’s 2012 NBA Draft pick (5th overall in the 2012 NBA Draft) , Thomas Robinson ,alongside head coach, Keith Smart . AP Photo / Matt Marsh ….

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Hot chic pic of the day a very sexy female Santa , spreading some Yuletide joy.

Somewhere to hang one’s hat …….

Somewhere, to hang one’s hat

By Tophatal …..

In amidst the craziness of the NFL season, the biggest story of year , remains the fall from grace of the New York Jets , and this goddamn asinine notion that Tim Tebow is entitled to the chance of being a starter with the Jets . In many of the articles I’ve read within this forum , nowhere have I read , where anyone has stated that the player’s game has simply regressed . Instead , it has been the cries, that he’s being mistreated by the Jets’ coaching staff and the organization as a whole . Has anyone, seen this team’s play over the last eight games , at all ? The truth of the matter , this is not a very good team , one which is simply devoid of leadership both on and off the field of play , and no one , in their given prognostications has been acutely intelligent enough, to state in print, within this forum .

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As I alluded to , fans are simply seeking out a feel-good story , especially as it relates to Tim Tebow , Heisman Trophy winner , and a nice guy . Look , in the “real world” , you have to earn the right to be afforded the respect due , and so far in the NFL , Tebow has yet to earn that amongst his peers ! If he cannot cut it at this stage of his career , then his immediate and long-term future is not all that bright .

While Tebow had a stellar career with the Florida Gators , his career in the NFL can be best described as marginal at best. And but for a few fleeting moments in 2011 , with the Denver Broncos and the postseason of that year , has there been anything memorable about Tim Tebow’s career, that now merits his succeeding , Mark Sanchez , as the team’s starter this Sunday and the Jets’ final game of the season ? Ask yourself that , before proffering up a succinct answer .

During , a six game stretch during 2011, for the Denver Broncos, Tebow’s quarterback rating was amongst the lowest in the entire NFL , yet even the most knowledgeable of supporters of the player , somehow chooses to overlook this all. Oh, to be so naïve , and show such a great deal of bias , without trying to lay out an argument either way as to the pros and cons , concerning the player. If a player , in the NFL , was merely playing in the league because of his likability , then everyone , who has ever shown the propensity to aspire to play in the NFL , would be afforded that privilege . Yet , the fact that of the matter , just happens to be, a player succeeds in this league , based on his ability , and not because the fans, merely , want to see a nice guy, get his due . This is not how the NFL operates , where image , power but above all else , money counts for everything . And as marketable as Tebow , just happens to be , his star , is now on the decline , while the luster also has diminished .

The fate of the New York Jets over their final two games , may well rest in the hands of their third-string starter Greg McElroy. And the fact that Tebow , now having recovered from a rib injury , was overlooked by head coach , Rex Ryan for the upcoming game against the San Diego Chargers , speaks volumes as to his and the coaching staff’s lack of faith

in the player’s abilities . Ryan , has tried to suggest and play this all down , by stating that the trade for Tim Tebow was a misjudgment on his part, and the fact that they have been unable to utilize his talents in any phase of their game strategies . When a head coach makes a statement of that magnitude , then you simply know that the future does not bode well for that player . Rex Ryan’s own future with the New York Jets , now comes under a “ cloud of conjecture” and a great deal of speculation .

Clearly , the front office of the Jets’ organization , has to be at odds with the coach staffs’ handling of the team’s malaise this season, and the very fact that they will miss the postseason for the second consecutive year . Team owner , Woody Johnson and GM Mike Tannenbaum must now come to a decision , as to the immediate futures of not only Mark Sanchez , Tim Tebow , but also the entire coaching staff, led by Rex Ryan . The drama on the field of play, was outshone by the sheer ridicule to be found , of the three-ringed circus acts , that unfolded over the course of the Jets’ season , and the idiocy to be found within the Jets’ organization .

Whatever fate now holds for the main characters in this melodrama , the season cannot end soon enough for the success starved fans of the New York Jets . Surely , they deserve a great deal more from the franchise , than they have been subjected to , this season ? And for those asinine ingrates , who felt that the criticism by Joe Namath leveled not only at Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow but also at the Jets’ coaching staff , was undue. My advice would be , isn’t it right about now “ that you should be eating crow” ? Better yet , seek life elsewhere , because in the real world where criticism is valid, one looks at all sides of the argument objectively, and not through a paradigm of favoritism and likability.

There may well have been a rush to judgment in the belief that the New York Giants would be on their way to another postseason berth after last season’s triumph in the Superbowl . This season , the 8-6 Giants, are in the middle of a three-way dogfight for the NFC East , with the two teams who fall short , likely to miss the postseason . Joining the New York Giants in the midst of this drama and intrigue are the Dallas Cowboys (8-6) and Washington Redskins (8-6), which clearly creates even more suspense than even Eli Manning and his teammates would have wished for at this juncture . They will once again come under the microscope , with questions arising as to whether or not they can make a late season surge and garnering a postseason berth. In their last five games , Tom Coughlin’s players are 3-2 , and with m those losses , their hold on the division is now essentially up for grabs .

The Giants will face a stern test when they meet the Baltimore Ravens , a team with struggles of their own ,as they seek to rebound from a set of rather indifferent games . Suffice to say, a defeat, for either team , would effectively seal their fate , as they each have postseason aspirations . This was not meant to be part of the scenario that Tom Coughlin had envisage for his team , as the knock against the Giants over the past two seasons , was their insistence at making their run for the postseason in the latter half of their regular season schedule . The fallout for the team, should they fail to garner that much-envied berth , could very well be catastrophic. . From, hereon-in , one could speculate where this leaves the Giants and their season should this chapter prove to be disappointing .

I’ll repeat this again and again , the Chicago Bears might just be the most be the overrated 8-6 team in the NFL , bearing that mark within the league . And therein , lies the misnomer as to why they are being viewed as a contender for the postseason . A great deal of the issues facing this team have been the very the fact that rush offense for the Bears has been a constant struggle , and most definitely erratic . Given the caliber of the team’s running back Matt Forte, this could very well be seen as misleading , but much of this falls on the shoulders of Jay Cutler , and the very fact the quarterback has proven to be a major disappointment throughout much of the Bears’ season .

Cutler’s entrance into the NFL were lauded , simply because of his exploits , while attending Vanderbilt (Commodores) . As the eleventh overall pick from the 2006 NFL Draft was enough to suggest that the Denver Broncos might well have been unto something, as they sought a successor who could simply replicate the feats of Hall of Fame inductee John Elway, the franchise’s all-time leader in several passing categories for the Broncos.

The Bears’ 23-16 loss to divisional rivals , the Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field , in Chicago , Illinois , could very well be the defeat that either sends a signal to the front office that changes will have to be made this off-season. GM , Phil Emery , may well seek to discuss the team’s problems with President & CEO Ted Phillips , and Chairman , George H McCaskey, as to the likely moves that can be made . Certainly , Lovie Smith’s position as the team’s head coach may well come under even more scrutiny , than he has been accustomed to , in recent years. Moreover, it is my belief , that Jay Cutler’s position will become even more tenuous with many questioning whether or not he can actually lead this team deep into the postseason.

Up next for the Chicago Bears will be a conference match-up against the woefully lamentable Arizona Cardinals. For Cardinals’ head coach, Ken Whisenhunt , a win is of the utmost necessity, if only to stave off, the now fomenting discussions as to his immediate future and that of several members of his coaching staff , as well as a number of players on the Cardinals’ roster.

Whatever , you may well feel about the Chicago Bears , the undeniable question has to be , what will it take for this team to make the next step into the upper tier of the teams seen as the amongst the elite within the NFL ? From my own perspective , there have been no truly dominant franchises within the league this season , and that is in spite of the ongoing records and several of the results over the course of the 2012 regular season schedule !

The Atlanta Falcons (12-3) may well be riding high , and for Matt Ryan, a possible candidate for league MVP , he knows better than ever , that the time is now , for this team to truly show the fans of the NFL that they are a force to be reckoned with . I have my own misgivings about this team , because the team’s quarterback has yet to indicate to me , that he has the wherewithal to lead a his franchise to their desired destination , a berth in the Superbowl.

Falcons’ head coach , Mike Smith , has a team built around the explosiveness of his offense led by Tony Gonzalez, Roddy White , Michael Turner , Julio Jones and with a defense that gives up 18.5 ppg and 354.4 total yards per game this season. It may well be enough to cede the ball club to their desired destination . Whether or not that will be enough , it remains to be seen at this juncture . Having secured the #1 seed in the NFC , the Falcons will face the fast declining Detroit Lions in a Saturday evening game being played at Ford Field , in Detroit , Michigan,. Given the woes of Lions’ franchise this season . I get the impression that they could very well be on wrong side of a rather lopsided defeat !

Nothing , absolutely nothing , has gone right for the Detroit Lions (4-10) over the course of this season , as the franchise seems to have regressed back to the team , that we all witnessed , have one of most infamous seasons in NFL history , in posting an 0-16 record in 2008. There’s nothing else , that needs to be said left to be said at this juncture !

A disappointing season all-round for the Lions but most notably , I believe for Matt Stafford , after having a breakout season in 2011! His erstwhile teammate , Calvin Johnson , just seems to be nonchalantly going about his business while cementing himself as the NFL’s best wide receiver by quite a wide margin over the rest of his peers .

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Picture gallery .

With one week left on the NFL regular season , after Saturday and Sunday’s slew of games , it will be interesting to see how a number teams fare, as they seek to make that final push for a playoff berth . With seven spots already secured there still remains, seven places up for grabs, and it remains to be seen which of these ball-clubs will be up to the task. Chime in , with a comment , as you see fit , on this, and anything else, you feel pertinent, as to the subject matter .

😉

Picture and slideshow gallery below .
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(1) FILE – This Nov. 11, 2012 file photo shows New York Jets’ Tim Tebow on the field before an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks in Seattle. Rex Ryan acknowledged Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012 that he had higher expectations for the seldom-used Tebow in the Jets’ wildcat-style offense. And, so did the NFL’s most popular and maligned backup quarterback. AP Photo/Elaine Thompson ….

(2) Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson (28) runs for a 94-yard touchdown against the New York Jets in the second quarter of an NFL football game, Monday, Dec. 17, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn. AP Photo/Wade Payne …

(3) New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) passes against the Tennessee Titans in the second quarter of an NFL football game, Monday, Dec. 17, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn. AP Photo/Wade Payne …

(4) New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) passes against the Tennessee Titans in the second quarter of an NFL football game, Monday, Dec. 17, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn. AP Photo/Wade Payne

(5) New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow (15) is sacked for a 2-yard loss by Tennessee Titans linebacker Zach Brown (55) in the second quarter of an NFL football game, Monday, Dec. 17, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn. AP Photo/Wade Payne ….

(6)New York Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan (C) Owner Woody Johnson (R) and General Manager Mike Tannenbaum pose for a photo at a press conference naming Ryan as the new Head Coach of the New York Jets at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center on January 21, 2009 in Florham Park, New Jersey. Johnson’s involvement with the company that bears the familial name Johnson & Johnson Inc is now at a bare minimum , but it is strange to see the pharmaceutical giant be successful , yet an NFL franchise , where Woody Johnson is the CEO is ran with such poor decision-making , which seems to be reflected in the team’s play this season and their standing in the AFC East . Photo by Andy Marlin/Getty Images …

(7) Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall (15), second from right, sits on the bench in the second half of an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers in Chicago, Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012. The Packers won 21-13 to clinch the NFC North division title. AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh …

(8) Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) is sacked by Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews , left, in the second half of an NFL football game in Chicago, Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012. At right is Packers linebacker Dezman Moses . The Packers won 21-13 to clinch the NFC North division title. AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh …

(9) Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) works against the New York Giants during the second half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012, in Atlanta. The Falcons would go on to defeat the Giants 34-0 . AP Photo/Rich Addicks …

(10) Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson (81) cannot pull in a pass as Arizona Cardinals corner-back ,Patrick Peterson (21) defends during the first half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012, in Glendale, Ariz. AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin ….

(11) Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) is pressured by Arizona Cardinals defensive end David Carter (79) during the first half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012, in Glendale, Ariz. AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin …

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Jaime Edmondson the quintessential Patriots’ fan

Hits ,misses and a bye your leave …….

Hits ,misses and a bye your leave

By Tophatal

Week fifteen is in the books , as far as the NFL goes , and with two penultimate weeks are left , before we hit the postseason . The once glamorous “best division” in football has become the moniker for ineptitude and mediocrity . There’s now a three-way tie atop of the NFC East , guys , so take your pick from really bad bunch of teams .

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It would be fair to say , that should the Dallas Cowboys (8-6) make the postseason , then team owner, Jerry Jones , will be bellowing it from the rafters , that “ America’s Team is back “ . In an ungodly mess of a game , the Cowboys somehow managed to overcome a Pittsburgh Steelers’(7-7) team that was as equally mediocre in terms of their play. Big Ben may well be , Big Ben , but I can’t help but wonder what the hell Ben Roethlisberger thought he was doing , when he made an errant and mistimed pass late in the fourth quarter, that was ultimately the deciding factor in this game , that went into overtime and a three-point 27-24 victory for the Cowboys , in front of a near sellout crowd at Cowboys Stadium , in Arlington , Texas.

While the Dallas Cowboys were defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers , their bitter divisional rivals , the New York Giants (8-6) were somehow finding ways to embarrass themselves further ,by giving their worst display of the season , in a lopsided 34-0 shutout loss to the Atlanta Falcons (12-2) , led by their MVP contender, Matt Ryan . As to Ryan’s NFC counterpart , well let’s just say this might have one of those days at the office , that Eli Manning would rather forget , as his own display , was equally as puerile as the team’s real lack of effort on the day. As to what this says about the mental and physical toughness of the Giants , I’ll leave it for you to be the judge of that ! Suffice to say , should the team miss the postseason , then they can point to this defeat as one of the many reasons why their season was such a failure .

Giants’ coach Tom Coughlin cannot be pleased with this effort, t put forth by his players, and it doesn’t augur well for the team , as they face Baltimore Ravens’ , in week sixteen, in a game that will be of significant meaning for both teams. A further loss by either team may well put to rest and extinguish their postseason hopes altogether.

In the aftermath of the Roger Goodell , debacle and the overturning of the suspensions of the four players that were said to be at the center of the Saints’ bounty scandal. What better way than for the New Orleans Saints “ to the thumb their noses” up at the league hierarchy and send an emphatic message to the rest of the NFL , that this team is , or was by no means “ dead in the water” . Drew Brees and his teammates feasted on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers , like a lion devouring its prey . I’m sorry there may well be teams in the NFL , with a far worst record than the Buccaneers , but I doubt if those teams in question simply lack the heart and are as ill-disciplined , as this team has shown itself to be. All the rhetoric in the world and post-game idiocy, exhibited by Greg Schiano , cannot hide the fact that this a badly coached and poorly executing team , in just about every facet of the game . Josh Freeman , lacks poise , and his in-game decision-making is now coming into question more and more . And if you are looking for an indication as how Freeman’s performance was in this game , then his 37.5% quarterback rating , to add with his game stats of 26/47, for 279 yards and 4 interceptions , should be enough to tell you , how poor a game Freeman had , this past Sunday. The win for the Saints (6-8) moves them into a two-way tie for second place within the NFC South , and it now leaves Joe Vitt’s players , with an ever so slim chance of garnering a postseason berth. In order for that to be facilitated for the New Orleans Saints , they would have to “ win out “ , while others immediately ahead of them in the NFC standings , would simply have to falter over the remainder of their respective schedules .

Of the scheduled games on Sunday , perhaps AFC West match-up between the Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders might well have been one of the worst games , that the NFL fans have been asked to witness and endure in the last five years. For two teams so bereft of talent on both sides of the ball , the fact that this game was decided by five field goals , speaks volumes as how goddamn awful both of these ball-clubs actually were . Sebastian Janikowski may well have earned his money on the day , but what does that suggest to you , concerning the lack of talent , as it concerns both the Chiefs and Raiders ?

This was not a game that the paying or viewing public should have been subjected to , under any circumstance ! Five fucking field goals , for a 15-0 Raiders’ victory , was the only way to decide this game ? Are you kidding me ? If this was the best that the Chiefs and Raiders had to offer , much less the NFL , then I would have preferred to have watch three hours of gratuitous porn ! No plot-line you might say , well it would have been a whole lot more enjoyable and preferable than continuing to watch the Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders’ play in this comedic farce ! Hell , two elephants going through their “ ritual mating rights” would have been far more entertaining than the bullshit served up by these two AFC teams ! But that is to be expected , if you simply look at the history of the match-ups between these two teams over the past decade . In terms of relevance their games , have never really been a worthwhile spectacle !

With the Denver Broncos having won the AFC West with relative ease , distancing themselves from their closest divisional rivals with so much distance that even the Hubble Telescope might not have been a useful aid in guessing the distance . Suffice to say , once Peyton Manning graced the Broncos with his presence and the AFC West as a matter of fact , you simply knew that the division would be a one-horse race . And at a time , when it looks as if Romeo Crennel and Dennis Allen might well be relieved of their duties , the San Diego Chargers have made it known that Norv Turner will be asked to return for 2013. And one wonders why that particular franchise is in such a goddamn mess ? The Spanos’ family , as owners the Chargers, do not have a propensity for showing common sense , and the apathetic fans of the team , will gladly continue to accept themediocrity being passed off as football by the San Diego Chargers.

Dean Spanos continues to be a bombastic ass , who has done more harm to the franchise , his family owns, by retaining the services of general manager, AJ Smith and Norv Turner , than the damage that could have been wreaked by an earthquake hitting Qualcomm Stadium , in San Diego , California , home venue of the Chargers. And Norv Turner’s team did their utmost on Sunday , in their 31-7 loss to the Carolina Panthers to reiterate why, they have been such a monstrosity this season.

The Broncos for their part have been the “hottest team” in the NFL , having won nine of their last ten games , while Manning has simply been electrifying , not merely over that stretch , but over the entire season , in leading the franchise to the third best record (11-3) in the entire NFL , and second best mark in the AFC . Coming off the Broncos’ emphatic win over the Baltimore Ravens (9-5) in something of a 34-17 rout of the AFC North franchise, Manning and his teammates have a realistic shot at ending up with the second seed within the conference , and earning a first-round bye in the playoffs..

The Chicago Bears (8-6) may well be the most deceptive of the teams in with an 8-6 record the NFC , in the midst of the midst of the playoff mix . This is a team which has been lauded over but in truth , they are not that good , in spite of the statistics that would suggest that they have one of the “better defensive units” within the NFL.

Bears’ head coach Lovie Smith , in witnessing the team’s latest defeat (21-13) , in a game played at Soldier Field , in Chicago, Illinois , against the Green Bay Packers , has to be asking himself what else does he have to do to get this team playing with passion much less pride . Instead, this lineup merely goes through the motions , and the lauded duo of Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall , who were meant to be this “dynamic duo” that would add potency to the offense , have been about as effective as a Rabbi seated in a mosque reading from the Torah , to a group of radical Muslims . No good can come of it , and that has definitely been the case in terms of the effectiveness of the pairing . Not only that , but this Bears’ rushing attack can’t can’t run on anyone and they are one of the poorer offensive units within the NFL , in that specific category. . And should the Bears make the playoffs, then a great deal more has to be expected out of the defense and the team’s rushing attack led by Matt Forte , but most of all Jay Cutler has to show that he is a leader , rather than going through the motions and continuing to disappoint each season .

Don’t look now , but it would appear that the Seattle Seahawks have found themselves a quarterback , who has the poise and promise, that could quite possibly lead to a title , at some point in their future . Russell Wilson, to my mind , beyond the heralded exploits of Robert Griffin III and Andrew Luck, has been by far the best quarterback to have exploded onto the scene this season , not named Griffin or Luck . Many , had the likes of Brandon Weeden and Ryan Tannehill , and deemed that duo , as B1 or perhaps B2 of the players taken at the position in the 2012 NFL Draft . Tannehill and Weeden are playing on teams that have struggled throughout the season , and it should also be noted that neither has shown the poise or leadership qualities now being exhibited by the Seahawks’ rookie quarterback. Stats asides , the intangibles are what should be looked at, rather than simply making comparisons a in player’s statistics , those intangibles and leadership qualities have to count for something . Yet all I’ve read, is this idiocy of making comparisons by way of statistics as the sole reason to judge a player’s abilities !

Wilson has led the Seattle Seahawks to an admirable 9-5 record within the NFC West and good enough for the fifth seed and quite possibly a playoff berth within the NFC. Winning out in their final two games , would be “icing on the cake” for a team that many may well have felt would not be not in the running for a postseason seeding as an NFC representative . Those final pair of games for the Seahawks will be a home game at Q West Field , in Seattle , Washington in week sixteen against Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers . Week seventeen and once again another home game that pits the Seahawks pitted against divisional rivals the St Louis Rams . Cautiously optimistic , I believe that Pete Carroll would gladly like to take this team back to the playoffs , as he had done in 2010 , when they surprised the then, reigning Superbowl champions , the New Orleans Saints 41-36 in the wildcard round of the 2010 postseason . The Seahawks’ foray was short-lived as they suffered a 35-24 loss in the divisional round to the Chicago Bears. All eyes on the Seahawks as a worthy “dark horse” in the NFC ? Your thoughts ?

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Picture gallery.

In truth a great deal of the NFL season has proved to be exciting but in a number of ways it has also proven to a tremendous disappointment because of the off the field issues and the very fact that Roger Goodell as the NFL commissioner , has done his utmost to render more harm to the NFL brand than anyone could ever have imagined .

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Picture and slideshow details below.
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(1) Dallas Cowboys corner-back Brandon Carr (39) celebrates after the Cowboys beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 27-24 in overtime of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. Carr intercepted the ball in overtime to set up the winning field goal. AP Photo/LM Otero …

(2) Dallas Cowboys defensive end Marcus Spears (96) sacks Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. AP Photo/LM Otero …

(3) Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) walks off the field after the second half of an NFL football game against the New York Giants, Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012, in Atlanta. The Falcons won 34-0 . AP Photo/John Amis …

(4)Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) makes a touchdown catch as New York Giants corner-back Jayron Hosley (28) defends during the second half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012, in Atlanta. AP Photo/John Amis …

(5) New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) sits on the bench during the second half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012, in Atlanta. The Falcons would go on to defeat the Giants 34-0 . AP Photo/John Amis …

(6) Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman (5) sits on the bench in the second half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012. The Saints won 41-0 . Freeman had another atrocious game which saw him end up with a 37.5 QB rating in an error strewn unproductive game by the quarterback . AP Photo/Bill Feig …

(7) Oakland Raiders place kicker Sebastian Janikowski (11) kicks a 57-yard field goal from the hold of punter Shane Lechler (9) during the second quarter of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012. The Raiders won 15-0 . This was just one of five field goals kicked by Janikowski in the Raiders’ victory over their AFC West rivals in an offensively and rather mediocre display from both teams . AP Photo/Ben Margot ….

(8) San Diego Chargers’ Quentin Jammer and Eric Weddle watch as Carolina Panthers’ DeAngelo Williams(34) and Cam Newton(1) celebrate their 45 yard touchdown pass during the first half of a NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012, in San Diego. AP Photo/Gregory Bull ….

(9) Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh looks at quarterback Joe Flacco as he walks off the field during the second half of an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos in Baltimore, Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012. The Ravens would end up being on the wrong sided of a lopsided 34-17 loss to the Broncos who won their ninth straight game in the NFL on Sunday . AP Photo/Patrick Semansky …

(10) Green Bay Packers outside linebacker Clay Matthews (52) celebrates after sacking Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) in the second half of an NFL football game in Chicago, Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012. The Packers won 21-13 to clinch the NFC North title. AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh …

(11) Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) walks off the field after the Bears’ 21-13 loss to the Green Bay Packers in an NFL football game in Chicago, Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012. The win clinched the NFC North division title for the Packers. AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh ….

(12) Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) runs the ball against the Buffalo Bills during the first the half of an NFL football game in Toronto, Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012. The Seahawks demolished the Bills in a 50-17 rout , with Wilson capping the day with three rushing touchdowns of his own in a scintillating performance by the Seahawks’ rookie quarterback . AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Nathan Denette ……

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NFL related links :

The year of the young guns

My hard on , is better and bigger than yours

Mo-fo’ protect your neck or you’ll get knocked the fu#k out

Who says you can’t go home and be welcomed back like a prodigal son

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NFL & news from around the league

Older archive stories

NFL standings (divisional)

NFL standings (conference)

NFL results week fifteen

NFL team injuries

NFL transactions

NFL stats weekly leaders

NFL stats teams

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Hot chic pic of the day Bianca Beauchamp . Canadian performance artist and ingenue .

The year of the young guns …….

The year of the young guns

By Tophatal

Well , in the aftermath of last season in the NFL , we saw the rookies excel and explode unto the scene . Perhaps , none more so, than Carolina Panthers’ quarterback , Cam Newton , whose rookie season entered the record books , under the applause of the fans and NFL analysts like.

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Slideshow.

Granted , in 2012 , Newton has suffered something of a “sophomore slump”, but as of late the player , seems to have got his “ swagger back” , having led the Panthers to , two victories , in their last three games . The Panthers (4-9) though out of the divisional race within the NFC South , can play “ spoiler” over the remainder of their schedule , in hurting the conference and divisional aspirations of the teams they face while aiding others with a view to gaining a postseason berth. In truth, there are many, who still doubt the ability of Cam Newton , in spite of the momentary flashes of brilliance exhibited by the sophomore quarterback during this season. And a great deal of that criticism is valid, when you consider the candor and lack of maturity shown by the player. If he is to improve , then it will be incumbent upon, head coach , Ron Rivera , his quarterbacks’ coach , Mike Shula and offensive coordinator , Rob Chudzinski to get the best out of the Newton , not just as a player but also as a much more amenable character. If those traits can be imbued upon Newton , then there’s no reason not to believe why the Panthers can’t be successful in the future .

Next up for the Panthers, will be a game against the long-suffering San Diego Chargers , whose season just seems to be spiraling completely out of control. And to top it all , it is being reported that beleaguered head coach , Norv Turner , will be retained and brought back next season . My question would be , an emphatic , why ?

To discuss the issues of the Chargers would , constitute having to go through their litany of woes, one-by-one . But this call dealt with succinctly in complete sentence . Get rid of Norv Turner and general manager A J Smith , and start afresh , with regard to a new front office executive in charge of the player personnel operations , and a head who is acutely aware as to what it takes to create “ a winning brand of football “ in today’s NFL !

Veteran quarterback , Philip Rivers has been laboring under a great load , over the past three seasons at least, with the organization , under the belief that he can carry the franchise upon his shoulders , while playing at a high-caliber. If the Chargers can’t give the player , the tools to get the job done , then at least , do him the service , of allowing him to leave , rather than have him decline , while playing on an extremely bad team . For Rivers, who entered the NFL as part of that of well-versed quarterbacks in the 2004 NFL Draft , that provided us with “signal callers” , Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger , JP Losman , Matt Schaub, Craig Krenzel , Jim Sorgi , and shall we say “ several characters “ that were never to be heard from again ? Manning and Roethlisberger , between them, have won four Superbowls in their first eight seasons , joining a select group of players to share that distinction of multiple Superbowls , while playing the quarterback position , in the NFL’s biggest postseason fare.

In 2012, as it relates to this season’s Draft , and the players , who have contributed to their team’s productivity and victories . Let’s just say, we have been very privileged to have witnessed the exploits of many of these young players, over the course of this arduous sixteen-game regular season schedule. And while it has been the talents of Robert Griffin III , Andrew Luck , Doug Martin , Russell Wilson , Trent Richardson, Chandler Jones , Ty Hilton , and Alfred Morris who have had an impact this season .

Granted, it has been the “skilled positions” , such as the quarterbacks , running backs , wide receivers , tight-ends and corner-backs , from this year’s NFL Draft , who tend to attract the glare of the limelight . It should be noted that the contributions have come farther afield , and from the most unlikely of sources in terms of this particular crop of rookie players .

Certainly , in 2011 , it was Cam Newton who stood out amongst his particular rookie class . Those players , now sophomores can only hope to maintain that promise shown , in their first year , otherwise known “as their baptism of fire “ .

Andrew Luck in 2012 , has simply been stellar this season, leading an Indianapolis Colts’ team, that no one would have guessed or suggested , would be on the cusp of gaining double-digit wins, while challenging the Houston Texans (11-2) for divisional supremacy (AFC South) , and with a rookie quarterback in tow, helming the roster. The faith shown in Luck by Colts’ GM , Ryan Grigson , in making the player the team’s number one pick

in this draft, has been repaid numerous times over. I am not about to suggest that Andrew Luck , has made the fans forget about the exploits of Peyton Manning and the almost fourteen years , he spent as the franchise’s quarterback and simply obliterating whatever records that stood on the Colts’ books ! Yet, you have to admit that no one saw this coming , as it relates the player’s skill-set , or that the franchise’s fortunes would take this much of an upswing in Luck’s first season.

The Colts will face a daunting task this Sunday , when they are scheduled to take on the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium , in Houston , Texas . This is a pivotal game for both teams , with their being so much at stake , at this point of the season. This is but one, of a slew of potentially exiting games on the schedule for week fifteen. A victory for the Colts pretty much places a great deal of pressure upon Gary Kubiak and his team , as they seek to make a second consecutive appearance in the postseason. In 2011, the team had a humbling experience , when having won their first playoff game in franchise history , a 31-10 blowout of the Cincinnati Bengals in their very first postseason victory. The Texans’ subsequent match-up would be against the Baltimore Ravens in the divisional round of the 2011 postseason , a game , in which Kubiak’s players were simply outmatched , as they suffered a “stinging “ 20-13 loss .

The groundswell of support for Robert Griffin III , and what he has been able to achieve for the Washington Redskins , simply indicates to me, all of the ballyhooed hype over Tim Tebow was not warranted ! Jersey sales my ass ! How about Tebow actually showing that he possesses the damn acumen to actually play the position of quarterback , rather than these lame-assed interviews he conducts concerning wanting to be a good teammate , and help his team improve ? Rex Ryan and the entire New York Jets’ front office obviously woke up that morning , kissed each other on the ass , before deciding to trade for Tebow . I knew that Denver Broncos’ GM, John Elway built his half-billion fortune ($500,000,000), through his vast business interests , having owned several car dealerships in around the greater Denver area , as well as around the state of Colorado. It’s obvious however, he didn’t need to do a lot of arm-twisting to get the idiots from the Jets to be a “sold “ on Tebow . Does the state of New Jersey not have “lemon laws” ? Never mind , “ Snooki “ , and “ The Situation” are now researching that on behalf of the Jets’ front office . That’s great ! LOL,LOL,LOL !!!

RGIII, the “moniker “ , so commonly used to describe one of the league’s best young players . The quarterback has now made believers out of his doubters , as he now has the Redskins (7-6) , in the mix for a playoff berth within the NFC , as they sit a game behind the sixth-placed Chicago Bears (8-5) . And though the franchise has greatly improved this season , primarily because of the play of Griffin and his fellow rookie teammate , Alfred Morris. There is no denying , that there is still need for improvement , from this team . Griffin, I believe is fully cognizant of this fact , that he and his teammates will seek to do their utmost , in claiming one of those four berths available , with the top two teams from each conference gaining an automatic bye in the wildcard-round of the NFL postseason.

Teams come , and teams go , but over the past few seasons I have looked at the Seattle Seahawks and said “ were it not for their multi-billionaire owner , no one would really take notice of the franchise “! . Paul Allen , co-founder of Microsoft , passionate about the sports’ franchises he owns , but in particular about the Seahawks , has simply thrown money at almost every problem that has befallen the franchise. Case in point , can anyone justify how it is that the team’s head coach , Pete Carroll , is earning , close to $7.5 million a year ? The coach we knew had unprecedented success while at USC (Trojans) . Cheat ! Now there’s no call for that , as this was how the game was being played at the time , with just about everyone involved in College Football , suborning the actions of a school , that simply didn’t care or give a damn about NCAA violations . There were millions of dollars to be made and the Trojans’ program simply backed up their Brinks’ trucks and those in support of the program , just filled those motherfuckers up , at will .

Now look , am I saying I’ve got proof ? No , I am not , but here’s my take and I’m sticking with it , follow the goddamn money trail and it will lead you not just to the athletics department , but all the way up the ladder to hallowed offices of the board of trustees and the university’s President. ! It’s not fucking rocket science , unless you choose to be that naïve . There was a reason why then AD , Mike Garrett , stepped down , along with it came a golden pension that remains intact , without any admittance of wrongdoing on his part . As for Pete Carroll, ask him a question as to what went on , and just watch his nose extend as lie , upon lie is, uttered from his mouth . Pete , we get it , there was money to be made and Reggie’s family (Bush) needed to get theirs , as well. Nothing wrong with earning money dishonestly , just don’t fucking lie about it , that’s all . Pimpin’ “isn’t easy” , as every whore comes with a price tag , no matter how cheap or expensive the services rendered are . “Big-ups “ to you bro ! Gotta’ get paid just like everybody else .

If Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III are to viewed as the A1-A2 of the quarterbacks taken in this draft , then based upon his performances this season , the Seahawks’ Russell Wilson has to viewed as perhaps B1 ? At 8-5 , Peter Carroll’s team have slowly but surely made themselves a legitimate contender for a postseason berth , but can they viewed as a legitimate contender for the Superbowl (SBXLVII) to be staged at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome , in New Orleans, Louisiana . The Seahawks’ quarterback has found himself likely offensive weapons in Marshawn Lynch , Golden Tate and Sidney Rice . The latter pair , between them have accounted for fourteen of the twenty touchdowns passes thrown by Wilson in 2012 . There’s no denying that Seahawks are more than happy with the accomplishments of their young rookie quarterback , as they probably are with the rookies , now on the team’s roster. The surprising thing , is that while there now seems to be a budding quarterback controversy with another NFC West occupant . the San Francisco 49ers . It would appear that the Seahawks may well be set at the position for the foreseeable future , as Wilson seeks to stamp his own name , and make an indelible mark in the franchise’s record books. And with that in mind, I fully expect Wilson to feast on the Buffalo Bills’(5-8) tawdry defense when the two teams meet this upcoming Sunday in a game to be played at Ralph C Wilson Stadium , in Buffalo , New York. Your thoughts on the possible result of this upcoming event ? Chime in with a thought, as you see it .

Within the space of three weeks the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-7) have fallen out of divisional and playoff contention to being an “ also ran” and hoping that others will provide them with an assist , if they are to make the postseason. Along the way however, the lone bright spark , on an otherwise lackluster season from the Buccaneers , has been the play of the team’s rookie running back , Doug Martin. And while the questions arise as to the topsy-turvy play of quarterback , Josh Freeman , I am not so sure where this team now goes from here , and how Greg Schiano intends to rectify the ongoing problems with the Buccaneers . Inconsistency has essentially killed the hopes of this franchise and long with once again a fan-base that now seem even more disinterested in the week-to-week exploits of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Can’t say that I would blame the fans given the fact that the Avram Glazer shows about as much business acumen , in seeking to make the Buccaneers’ brand more appealing to the fans , as there at times seem to be a contempt being shown by the Glazer family (owners of the franchise) and how the view the locale at large. The Buccaneers have simply conned the city and county government , as they have sought exploit every single financial opportunity offered by those anally retentive governmental agencies !

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Picture gallery.

Which 2012 NFL rookie have you been impressed with this season , and do you believe that they will indeed be hampered by that “customary sophomore slump “ that many seem to have grown accustomed to having ? Take time to comment as you see fit, and thanks always for the continued support of this site , as it is greatly appreciated !

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Picture and slideshow details below.
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(1) FILE – In this Dec. 9, 2012., file photo, Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) dives into the end zone for a touchdown as Atlanta Falcons’ Chris Owens (21) pursues during the second half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C. The Panthers second-year quarterback had his best game of the season, but the highlight occurred as he was crossing the goal line to complete a 72-yard scoring run . He somersaulted into the end zone, and as his legs were in the air, he was nudged slightly by a Falcons defensive back. AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt …

(2) Carolina Panthers’ Greg Olsen (88) and Cam Newton (1) celebrate Olsen’s a touchdown catch against the Atlanta Falcons during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt ….

(3) Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) scrambles past Atlanta Falcons’ Chris Hope (24), Kroy Biermann (71), and Sean Weatherspoon (56) during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. AP Photo/Bob Leverone ….

(4) Indianapolis Colts’ Robert Mathis (98 lifts Cassius Vaughn (32) after Vaughn intercepted a pass from Tennessee Titans quarterback Jake Locker and returned it for a 3-yard touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game , Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, in Indianapolis. AP Photo/Jeff Roberson …

(5) Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) looks up during the first half of an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, in Indianapolis. AP Photo/Jeff Roberson ….

(6) Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) passes against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half of an NFL football game in Seattle, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. The Seahawks would go on to defeat the Cardinals 58-0 . AP Photo/Stephen Brashear …

(7) Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin (22) celebrates with teammate wide receiver Tiquan Underwood after scoring against the Philadelphia Eagles during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, in Tampa, Fla. AP Photo/Chris O’Meara ….

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NFL related links : All within Tophatal’s blog

And clearly we’re about to agree, to disagree ….

Mo-fo’ protect your neck or you’ll get the fuck out

Who says you can’t go home and be welcomed back like a prodigal son

For whom the bells toll , it tolls for thee

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NFL news & news from around the league

NFL news archived articles & latest hot of the press pieces

NFL schedule week 15

NFL standings by division

NFL standings by conference

2012 NFL Draft & their rookie stats

2011 NFL Draft & their stats from that season

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Elisha Cuthbert .

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Mila Kunis

Cuthbert & Kunis . And who wouldn’t mind being in the middle as part of a triple-decker sandwich ? I know that I wouldn’t mind ! Are you in ?

Hot chics pic of the day Elisha Cuthbert & Mila Kunis .

Stability , spelled , S T A B I #### , Oh hell no !

Stability , spelled , S T A B I #### , Oh hell no !

By Tophatal ….

It’s really been interesting to see the fallout politically, in the aftermath of the Presidential and Congressional elections . With over $2.5 billion spent on television ads , to serve up the usual diatribe , not a goddamn thing changed in terms of the makeup of the Congressional chambers or within with the White House . Yet , we now have the two main political parties haranguing one another, for their lack of inaction , in getting about , and conducting the nation’s business within both chambers . I will look at this way , Rep. John Boehner , as House Leader and his Democratic counterpart in the Senate , Harry Reid , are two self-indulgent and conceited bastards ! . With their bumbling and fudging on so many issues , one has to question why the fuck they’re now acting so concerned over the “fiscal cliff malaise” . The Democrats and Republicans , collectively , have never shown the slightest concern over this issue , until the stakes were raised concerning the expiration of the Bush tax cuts “ . Now that was a man , who knew how to fuck things up , and not be prepared to take responsibility for his actions ! His successor, Barack Obama, having inherited a mess , well, his idea was to surround himself with a bunch of plutocrats and intellectuals whose idea of the real world , has been, to wet their finger , stick it up in the air and use it as a kind of weather vane to test the political climate . Why, they simply didn’t insert their fingers into each others’ ass as a true measure , might well have proven to be more productive for all of the use that it would’ve done . Smells like it shit , but it can’t be shit, because taste is so appealing to these congressmen and women . Guess what ? Shit to a congressman might just be the ” elixir of life “, and their reason to exist and live !

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Adding insult to injury , was a recent interview granted jointly, by Boehner and Reid , to Scott Pelley , the CBS news’ anchor and also one the co-hosts and presenters on the broadcast outlet’s popular prime-time news’ magazine program “60 Minutes” . The two congressional law-makers , suggested that there was a great deal of bilateral unity and that the US Congress has been productive . WTF ! Perhaps , I might have missed the day that they passed the bill , that allowed a statute ,an allotted $2 billion in pork barrel spending for projects such as the beautification of privately owned land in states such as Pennsylvania , Michigan , Wisconsin , California and Montana on a wide variety of unproductive and meaningless studies and alleged workforce related projects . Getting ten guys to dig an even bigger hole than the one they have already dug , only then to fill it in at a later date , is actually counter-productive , unless that hole will be used to dump human waste matter , Well , if that’s the case , then why not corral all 535 Congressional members and simply dump their ass in that hole along , with rest of the human waste ? .

Speaking of things that have not changed , how asinine is the situation now surrounding the New York Mets ? Having signed David Wright , their All Star , third baseman to an exorbitant and extravagant six-year $147 million deal , the cash-strapped financial organization , which last season lost in excess of $40 million , and who were pleading with wealthy New Yorker’s to do their civic and well-meaning duty by purchasing a stake in the cash-starved ball-club, as a way of providing it with some liquidity . This bright idea was initiated by none other than Mets’ COO Jeff Wilpon , who along with his father , Fred Wilpon and the team’s senior managing partner, Saul Katz , have presided over this financial morass . Funny, the damn clueless Mets’ fan, overlook the ball-club’s financial woes , but would rather point to the fact that by retaining Wright , and signing him to such a contract , provides the organization with stability. Yes , this is the sort bold-faced idiocy, one should now expect from the fans of the New York Mets . Citi-Field is > now an elephant’s graveyard and will remain that way , as long as the Wilpon family and Saul Katz are allowed to preside and reign of that franchise . Anyone who believes to the contrary , clearly knows nothing , concerning the ongoing mess that has encompassed the ball-club. Ignorance is bliss, and amongst the Mets’ fans, it has also become a way of life ! LOL,LOL,LOL !!!

And while Wright now has that “guaranteed contract” to live up to , the Mets’ Cy Young Award winner , R A Dickey, is left to haggle with the organization over a contract extension . Stability , I ask once again ? Sandy Alderson , Paul Di Podesta and J P Ricciardi do not understand the meaning of the word “ stability”, and of they happened to trip over a sign mentioning that very same word . I would dare say, that their intent would be to ignore it ! All three were brought in to revamp the organization, with regard to its personnel, gauge their prospects and the organization’s farm system . Well, let’s just say eighteen months into their soiree , and the results have added insult to injury

. Uncompetitive , lackluster and genuinely devoid of leadership on and off the field of play , and it is understandable to see why this team has struggled in the way that it has during 2012 .

Next season may not bring much joy or success for the New York Mets , as they will undoubtedly seek room for improvement , as too will their divisional rivals , the Atlanta Braves , Miami Marlins , Philadelphia Phillies and the Washington Nationals . The chasm between the Mets , and the divisional winners , Davey Johnson’s Nationals , should prove to be enough an indicator , of how high a mountain , Terry Collins and his managerial staff will have to climb.

I’ll say this, for Magic Johnson and the syndicated partners who purchased the Los Angeles Dodgers for a staggering $2.156 billion , leaving no one in any doubt that the purchase price paid , was merely a sign of things to come . The changeover from the old brigade of Frank McCourt , and CFO Peter Wilhelm , was long overdue . But there have been some holdovers , with Tommy LaSorda and GM Ned Colletti remaining with the organization. LaSorda’s position , is a roving goodwill ambassador special consultant . In other words Tommy still gets to keep that corner office overlooking the parking lot , in order for him to take his mid-afternoon naps and stay the hell out-of-the-way of Don Mattingly and his managerial staff. Colletti, for his part, will have to show his acumen, as it relates to the personnel decisions that will have to be made. Stan Kasten , specifically brought in by Johnson and senior managing partner, Mark L Walters , will be directly over Ned Colletti , in the hierarchy structure of the newly revamped Dodgers organization. As to things begin to take shape , will be predicated upon the inevitable changes that will undoubtedly be ,made and the overall decision-making of the senior executives .

We were able to see for ourselves how gregarious Magic Johnson was said to be , when he initiated the initial overtures to the Boston Red Sox to acquire Nick Punto , Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez , while adding $176 million in future salary commitments for the team. In all four former Red Sox players were acquired in what was a ten-player two team trade . The addition of the aforementioned players was not enough to secure the Dodgers a playoff berth , as the franchise saw the San Francisco Giants not only take the NL West divisional crown , but also the NL pennant , and to top it all , the World Series, itself. The triumph of the San Francisco Giants
will have left a bitter taste in the mouths of the Dodgers’ fans
, as well as the organization as a whole .

The Dodgers have been quick to pull the trigger this off-season quickly releasing players that they felt were superfluous to their needs . Once a mainstay on the Dodgers’ roster , James Loney . recently found himself a new home , signing one year deal with the Tampa Bay Rays. That addition will undoubtedly help the Rays and their lackluster offense . As to the Dodgers’ own needs , well it has been one of pitching , and that was plain for all to see by way of the team’s statistics . With that mind , Don Mattingly made an outlandish offer to the 2009 NL Cy Young winner Zach Greinke as the starting pitcher was given a six-year $147 million deal , making Greinke the highest paid pitcher on the team’s staff . With money now being of no option to the Dodgers , with the backing of venture capital firm Guggenheim Partners LLC , the primary owners of the baseball franchise through their sports’ holding unit Guggenheim Sports & Investments LLC . Guggenheim with assets of $180 billion , the company is headed by Mark L Walters and Todd S Boehly , with the venture capital firm having offices around the globe , most notably in some the major international financial capital markets . .

I’ve no doubt that the Los Angeles Dodgers will be competitive for the foreseeable future but the biggest obstacle to that will be the San Francisco Giants . Their meetings over the past five years have proven to be thrilling . It will be interesting to see how Greinke fits in with the existing rotation of the Dodgers, headed by Clayton Kershaw , Chris Capuano, Aaron Harang , Chad Billingsley, Ronnie Belisario and the relief pitching staff .

While the Los Angeles Dodgers look to “become “ the New York Yankees of the NL , the actual AL franchise is now troubled by injuries to key players and with an aging roster , questions are being asked , as to what players are being developed through their farm system , that might be ready for promotion up the ranks . Alex Rodriguez will be sidelined through to the month of June , as he undergoes hip surgery and the recuperation process. The loss of the third-baseman might not be as pressing as some might perceive, given the player’s lack of productivity during the regular and postseason for the team . The Yankees’ foray in the playoffs was short-lived , due to the lack of productivity by the players under Joe Girardi’s command. Curtis Granderson , Mark Teixeira , Nick Swisher , Brett Gardner and Rodriguez failed miserably as the team fell to the Detroit Tigers .

With Alex Rodriguez sidelined , the Yankees’ opened up their pocket-book and offered a one-year $12 million contract , to former Boston Red Sox , first baseman , Kevin Youkilis , acquiring the player as a free agent . Youkilis , if you remember , ran afoul of former Red Sox manager, Bobby Valentine , who engineered the player’s trade to the Chicago White Sox , during the season . If anything, that was a sign of things to come for franchise, as their season fell apart , with it, ultimately leading to Valentine’s dismissal , but not before , other major upheavals amongst the playing staff led to discord amongst the fans and the local media personalities , with their heated criticism of the then , beleaguered, Bobby Valentine, as well as the front office , with much of their heated venom directed at team President , Larry Lucchino and team owner, John Henry . With the firing of Bobby Valentine , GM Ben Cherington has hired , the candidate he originally sought for the managerial position , John Farrell . The newly installed manager , a former pitching coach with the ball-club , is certainly well-liked by a number of players on the roster , especially amongst the current pitching staff. Cherington, hopes that Farrell can engineer an immediate turnaround, that will see the team become a major challenger to the ever-present Yankees , Tampa Bay Rays , as well the reinvigorated Baltimore Orioles, and the middle of the road contender , the Toronto Blue Jays. Baseball’s need for the AL East to be competitive and exciting , year in , and year out , is paramount , if it is to attract the attention of the fans throughout the season.

I’m sorry, but being sent to “ baseball purgatory “ , is nothing to be proud of ! When the Tampa Bay Rays , made the announcement that they would be sending pitchers , Wade Davis and James Shields to the Kansas City Royals . Not only was I surprised , but I kept asking myself , did either of the two players do something to piss off management , much less the ownership group ? That might well be one explanation , but the fact that both now , Davis and Shields , are now said to be excited about playing for the Royals . Well, it leads me to believe , that they may well have been duped ! In return for the trade , Joe Maddon , gets budding prospect , Wil Myers and four other prospects from the Kansas City Royals. Long-term, this trade may well benefit the Rays , but with regard to the team’s needs and its immediacy , this was nothing more than a penny-pinching exercise by GM Andrew Friedman .

Joe Maddon and Friedman , will have a hard time trying to convince the most vocal of Rays’ supporters , of which they are not that many, that the loss of Shields in particular will not be felt . Beyond Shields and David Price , they were few pitchers in the Rays’ starting lineup , that could give the manager some “quality innings ” and starts during 2012 . And with the credible presence of Jeremy Hellickson , I firmly believe that the Rays will regress in terms of their overall pitching this upcoming season ! And predicated upon what we already know to be true, Friedman will not overpay for talent , because of the ball-club’s wish to be financially prudent .

Bearing in mind, that this month the Rays’ sought to make Evan Longoria the highest-paid player in the franchise’s history , by offering him a contract , worth $100 million over six years , effective, in 2016. Granted, Longoria is seen as the “ face of the franchise “, and perhaps , one the most popular players in Rays’ history.One man . on his own , cannot carry the load, that is being asked of Longoria by the organization, and it is incumbent upon Andrew Friedman to place the best roster around a player of Evan Longoria’s skill-set , in order for the Rays to succeed. As of now , I don’t believe the evidence is there to suggest the success sought will come about in a short matter of time. This ball-club has toiled for its success over the past fourteen seasons , but it has only been in the last six years , where the Rays’ peers and their fans have really stood , and taken note of the franchise’s success . True in part , one appearance in the World Series and a series’ defeat , has to be seen as minimal , but for the Rays’ fans who have had to endure those losing seasons , they would rather take that lone appearance , and the recent successes, over the years in the wilderness when this ball-club was being ridiculed every step of the way.

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What opinions if any, do you have that might be on appearance deemed capricious spending by the teams as they sign contracted players to long-term deals or in the case of Zack Greinke , a rather ludicrous and exorbitant contract , that simply makes no sense, given his lack of tangible success since 2009 ? And do you believe that either the New York Mets or Tampa Bay Rays can be truly competitive this upcoming season ? Chime in with your thoughts and anything else you believe warrants interest as it relates to the subject matter .

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(1) President Barack Obama and former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney shake hands in the Oval Office after their lunch Thursday at the White House. The two met in hope of forming a bilateral approach , in tackling many of the nation’s underlying issues . The former Massachusetts’ governor has promised to aid the President in any way that he can. AP Photo / Mark Hanson …

(2) U.S. President Barack Obama (2R) shakes hands with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney as first lady Michelle Obama (L) and Ann Romney look on after the debate at the Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center at Lynn University on October 22, 2012 in Boca Raton, Florida. The focus for the final presidential debate before Election Day on November 6 is foreign policy. Getty Images North America/ Joe Raedle …

(3) Speaker of the House , John Boehner , left , is seen here alongside President Barack Obama , center, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid . The three have routinely met in recent months , trying avert a “fiscal crisis ” , but in recent months in the lead-up to the automatic “kick in” of tax increases on January 1st , 2013, there have been more frequent meetings and telephone conversations tasking between the President and the Speaker, Boehner as they seek to avert this looming financial crisis . With Congress due to vacate Capitol Hill for their winter break by 20th December , there seems little doubt as to the urgency and delicateness of the matter , but because of the incessant bickering between the “two sides” no common ground has been found . AFP/REUTERS/ Anatoly Litvikov ….

(4) FILE – In this Sept. 27, 2012, file photo, New York Mets starting pitcher R.A. Dickey delivers against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the first inning of a baseball game at Citi Field in New York. Dickey and Mets general manager Sandy Alderson can agree on one thing _ they would prefer to have closure before opening day. The Cy Young Award winner can become a free agent after the 2013 season and says he won’t negotiate once it starts, so the Mets probably have to sign him to an extension or trade him to get the best return. AP Photo/Kathy Willens ….

(5) New Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke adjusts his cap during a baseball news conference announcing his $147 million, six-year contract, Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012, in Los Angeles. The Dodgers also closed a deal when signing South Korean pitcher, Ryu Hun-Jin , to a six-year $36 million contract . AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes …

(6) Los Angeles Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti , left, and co-owner, Magic Johnson, right, present pitcher Ryu Hyun-Jin , center, of South Korea, during a baseball news conference announcing his $36 million, six-year contract, Monday, Dec. 10, 2012, in Los Angeles. Ryu becomes the first player to go directly from the Korea Baseball Organization to the United States big leagues. AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes …

(7)Kansas City Royals pitcher James Shields, center, held up his new jersey, flanked by Royals general manager Dayton Moore, left, and Royals head coach Ned Yost , during a press conference at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012. Shields and Wade Davis arrived in Kansas City to undergo physicals and check out the stadium from the home clubhouse for the first time. Shields and Davis became members of the Royals on Sunday in a blockbuster trade that sent top prospect Wil Myers and three other minor leaguers to Tampa Bay. AP Photo/The Kansas City Star, David Eulitt …

(8) Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria , smiles as he answers questions during a news conference after signing a six-year, $100 million, contract extension Monday, Nov. 26, 2012, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Longoria is signed with the Rays through the 2022 season. AP Photo/Chris O’Meara …..)

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US Jamaican native Vanessa Veasley .

And clearly we’re about to agree, to disagree …

And clearly we’re about to agree, to disagree ….

By Tophatal

Call me naïve but all of the hype over the teams at the start of the season doesn’t bear out the claims being made by the pundits and fans alike . BCS / College Football anointed USC (Trojans) the number one ranked team in the nation, only to see that program fall from grace faster than a speeding bullet shot up into the air , and with that projectile swiftly falling . The fact that Lane Kiffin tried to play down his team’s woes as being nothing more than complacency and inexperience , clearly indicates that the coach , himself , didn’t believe the “ bull “ he was readily extolling , as he tries to hide behind the disappointment of what might have been .

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The Trojans were 7-5 in overall play and 5-4 within conference ( Pac 12) , in essence when you consider this team was highly-touted as the Pac 12 champions, as well as a bonafide contender for the BCS national title . Well the Trojans’ Bowl aspirations will be down to one of second-tiered Bowl games , and in this case , it will be the Hyundai , sponsored , Sun Bowl , in El Paso , Texas on the 31st December ,2012, when the USC (Trojans ) take on Georgia Tech (Yellow-jackets) . A nondescript game , with a $2 million payout for the winning program, on the day . And we wonder why the BCS in conjunction and the major conferences , have been so slow in dragging their feet and adopting a clear cut formatted playoff system that would be equitable for all? With these multi-million dollar payouts at thee bowl games , it’s better to “ keep the gravy train” rolling along as it is , rather than further having divide the spoils amongst many of the lesser programs who aspire to be playing amongst the big boys of the FBS . As Ohio State Buckeyes’ President , Dr E Gordon Gee once stated “ we’ve no need for programs who can’t play at a higher level and pay for the privilege of doing so “ . Need we be reminded of what was going on at the Buckeyes’ program between 2009 through to 2010, under then , head football coach , Jim Tressel ?

Let’s just say , the stench to be found on the college’s campus , could only be outdone by lies and deceit countenanced by Tressel , his coaching staff and numerous players with the football program at the time. Pay to play , pimp by ride , and I’ll one-up you with , I’ve got a bag a weed , a major drug dealer and gambler handling bets for the players , and a car dealer offering “free rides” (cars) for players to roll around in , with some of the finest ” bling-bling” and “honey dips” (females) available for sexual gratification. Yet somehow this all escaped the watchful eye of AD Gene Smith and the Athletics Department’s compliance officers ? Stevie Wonder could’ve detected that rancorous stench and told you , what , when , why and how ? Buckeyes’ Nation , more like, Fuck You Nation ! And if anyone believes that the installment of Urban Meyer , as the coach of the football program , will bring about a renewed search , for academic and athletic excellence , then , think again ! .

This past weekend within the NFL ,there were a number of results that may well have left you in sheer apoplexy . First off the bat , I will reiterate , there are no do-overs in the NFL , and the Arizona Cardinals cannot , and will not be allowed a second bite of the apple , after their 58-0 shellacking at the hands of the Seattle Seahawks . I am English , and results such as this, normally takes place during a rugby match and not , in an NFL game ! At what point was Cardinals’ head coach Ken Whisenhunt going to press his secondary into making a serious attempt at playing some defense ? Last , I looked , Russell Wilson was not the second coming of Joe Montana , and Marshawn Lynch could not be mistaken for Barry Sanders . Yet somehow, the performances of the Seahawks’ offensive players in this game were somewhat reminiscent of the Forty-Niners at their very best . But let’s take a step back , this is the Arizona Cardinals we are talking about, a franchise that hasn’t been relevant since Kurt Warner was leading them to regular season victories with a great deal of aplomb , before choosing to ride off into the sunset and into the arms of a loving family . Do you get the feeling that the Cardinals’ front office < might not now contemplate giving Warner a call , to gauge his interest in returning to the NFL ? It’s not as if Kevin Kolb , John Skelton and Ryan Lindley , have been able to do that much at the quarterback position for the Arizona Cardinals this season. The trio are amongst the worst performing players at the position within the NFC , and not far off being amongst the worst of a terrible bunch within the NFL as a whole !

I know it’s not Groundhog Day , but the frequency of the losses for the Kansas City Chiefs , have become repetitive and damn monotonous . In the aftermath of the Jovan Belcher “ tragedy” , a rallying cry was heard and a victory came out of an unnecessary tragedy . That being said, it’s back to the ineptitude we’ve seen exhibited with ever-growing frequency from a team that apparently has lost its will to win , and whose coaching staff now seems to be out of their depth.

Sunday afternoon , the Chiefs were the guests of the Cleveland Browns , in a game that would have significant meaning for the Browns , as they sought to keep within striking distance of the Cincinnati Bengals , and avoid ending the season , as bottom feeder within the AFC North . Brandon Weeden was not asked to do a great deal , other than to be efficient , and not put his team at risk during the game. Cleveland came away with a 30-7 victory , which improves their record to 5-8 , while dropping the hapless Kansas City Chiefs to a mediocre 2-11, with only three games left , in order to end their schedule and not further subject their fans to this misery.

For team that was said to have a great deal of of aspiration for the postseason , the Houston Texans have proven to as elusive as they are thrilling . Everything about this team at the start of the season , suggested that they were ready to “ hit the big time” . Well, take into account their first postseason berth , and their displays in 2011 , all that was being asked of Gary Kubiak’s players on Monday night , would be , that they go out, and acquit themselves well . Instead , the Texans ran into the New England Patriots and their buzz-saw offense that simply laid waste to an apathetic and woefully inept Texans’ secondary , that on the day looked lackluster and did in fact play lethargically . I’m not a heavy gambler , but it would be a cold day in hell , before you would be able to entice me to bet on the Houston Texans in any type of a meaningful wager ! This team and franchise has no “ real body work” behind it, other than a exceptionally explosive offense , that plays well during the regular season , but seems to come up short , when it matters most .

We are all aware of what Tom Brady has been able to do over the course of his career , especially during the regular season . Monday , was not necessarily the exception to the rule , but it damn well near came close to it , as the quarterback put on an exhilarating aerial display , that was complemented by a solid rushing game led by Stevan Ridley , Danny Woodhead , Shane Vereen ,and Brandon Bolden making the Patriots’ offense was relentless on the ground. And as much we have seen the defense of the AFC East franchise play poorly during this season , we were able to finally see a game from where all the parts seem to come together . A secondary that on average , this season, has been giving up 376 yards and 21.1 points per game through the first thirteen games of 2012. Given the fact that Patriots’ head coach, Bill Belichick and defensive coordinator, Matt Patricia , simply put together a scheme and sets that stymied the Texans’ offense from the beginning to the end of the four quarters . And to see Matt Schaub , perhaps in his worst game of 2012 , it was enough an indicator , to suggest the quarterback is just capable of putting up great numbers , and little else beyond that. Schaub , has yet to win a playoff game in his career , and this is where I believe far too many people have bought into the idiocy that this is the team to beat in the AFC . Well , Monday night , was a clear indication that the Texans are not as good as advertised , because fans only saw what they wanted to see , rather than what was clearly there to be seen

Now while it appears the final verdict has been rendered , with presiding adjudicator , Paul Tagliabue’s decision to overturn Roger Goodell’s original suspensions of Wil Smith , Scott Fujita , Anthony Hargrove and Jonathan Vilma . Tagliabue’s verdict does not excuse the player’s actions but he believes that the preponderance of evidence gathered shows the actions of the New Orleans Saints in this “ Bounty Scandal “ was in fact initiated by the actions of Sean Payton , Gregg Williams , Joe Vitt and countenanced by GM Micky Loomis . This remains a damning indictment of the NFL franchise but of anything , it also indicates that the commissioner far exceeded his authority .

Goodell, has always maintained his actions followed the “letter of the law”. But at no time has the commissioner acted accordingly in his deliberations and interviews with the alleged defendants when they met in private. Much , much to the dismay of the fans , the public and those amongst the legal establishment , the actions of Roger Goodell were not tempered by any sound judgment and the impartiality sought from someone who has to assess the evidence based on the facts as they are known to be . And no matter what concessions that were made by the NFLPA (Players’ Union) , as it relates to their collective bargaining agreement with the NFL hierarchy , at times the commissioner’s actions bordered upon being those of individual who simply sought to make a scapegoat of the players , rather than the Saints’ franchise as a whole . Paul Tagliabue may well be seen as a reprieve for the four players , but in no way it should it be viewed that way. They are guilty , it is just that their guilt is mitigated by overwhelming proof that without the direct orders of the coaches , much of what we now know to have taken place would not have been executed without the “ say so” and implicit orders of Micky Loomis , Sean Payton and the head coach’s subordinates , Gregg Williams and Joe Vitt. Which now begs the question , how is it that Roger Goodell could not have come to this conclusion and have rendered a decision that would have been amenable to all of the parties concerned , and wherein a monetary fine that could have, and should been levied against the four players , rather than the continued idiocy we have witnessed ? Tagliabue, upheld the commissioner’s original suspensions of Payton , Vitt , Loomis and Williams , without making any recommendations that any further action be taken . Should we now consider the matter closed ? Well , that would be dependent upon whether or you believe Paul Tagliabue’s decision to be fair and impartial . From my own perspective , even with the union’s original decision to challenge the former commissioner’s impartiality to preside over such a matter , we did in fact get to see how a legal mind does work, when you have someone with a legal background presiding over such a case .

Appears Courtesy of the Washington Post

Paul Tagliabue vacates all discipline for players in Saints bounty case

By Mark Maske , Washington Post

Former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue on Tuesday overturned the suspensions of four current and former New Orleans Saints players and declined to fine them for their roles in the team’s alleged bounty scandal .

Tagliabue, appointed by Commissioner Roger Goodell to hear the players’ appeals, agreed that New Orleans conducted a program that paid players for hits that injured opponents, and that three Saints — linebacker Jonathan Vilma and defensive linemen Will Smith and Anthony Hargrove — were guilty of conduct detrimental to pro football.

But because “this entire case has been contaminated by the coaches and others in the Saints organization,” Tagliabue wrote that he would not impose fines either.

A fourth player, linebacker Scott Fujita, did not engage in conduct detrimental to the NFL, Tagliabue concluded in his 22-page decision.

“I affirm Commissioner Goodell’s factual findings as to the four players,” Tagliabue wrote in his 22-page ruling. “I conclude that Hargrove, Smith and Vilma — but not Fujita — engaged in ‘conduct detrimental to the integrity of, and public confidence in, the game of professional football.’

“I fully considered but ultimately rejected reducing the suspensions to fines of varying degrees for Hargrove, Smith and Vilma,” Tagliabue added.

None of the players has missed a game because of suspensions. They have been allowed to play while appeals are pending, though Fujita is on injured reserve and Hargrove is not with a team.

A league official called Tagliabue’s ruling the end of the process under the collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and its players’ union.

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Paul Tagliabue , whose legal background and experience as a corporate trial attorney and managing senior partner with law firm , Covington & Burling LLC , of which he was also a founding partner , gave him greater insight than any , that could have been found with his NFL successor , Roger Goodell. What this now further does in quite possibly lowering the public’s perception of the NFL , has to be tempered by one’s own opinion of Roger Goodell’s , as the hierarchy’s commissioner . There’s no denying that he has , and will continue to make decisions that far outreach the parameters of his responsibilities, and many of the verdicts rendered will be looked upon as being asinine in a number of cases , whereas in others, they will actually make some common sense . But in all honesty, in recent years, Roger Goodell’s decision-making has more to do with sheer buffoonery , rather than being sound in its reasoning ! He has been in large part, a simpleton on appearance , been someone who cannot be succinct or for that matter , and as an individual , his communicative skills border on that of someone, who has a considerably hard time of making sense of the English language, orally , as well as, in the written word ! .Your opinion on this ?

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