Well, Well, Who Couldn’t Have Foreseen This Coming ?

Not wanting to sound crass but if I must then I must. But why all the wailing , weeping and the gnashing of teeth over the firing of Notre Dame’s now, former football coach, Charlie Weis ? And now to add more even more salt to the wound , people here within the state of Florida are now acting as if there’s been a death in the family, with the impending formal announcement that long time Florida State football coach, Bobby Bowden will step down and retire at the end of the season.

Courtesy of Yahoo Sports and Associated Press

Notre Dame fires Weis after another dismal season

By Tom Coyne AP Sports Writer

South Bend, Ind.(AP)—Charlie Weis arrived at Notre Dame flashing Super Bowls rings and talking about outscheming opponents. He leaves one of college football’s most prestigious programs without even matching the records of the two men who were fired before him.

Athletic director Jack Swarbrick announced the decision to let Weis go on Monday, and said during a campus news conference that the school has not contacted any potential replacements.

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Notre Dame AD , Jack Swarbrick makes the formal announcement that Charlie Weis had been fired from his position as coach of Notre Dame men’s football program.

And in both cases the prospective replacements are in place , after the loss of Bowden and Weis. In the case of Bowden his replacement will be his successor in waiting and present assistant head coach, Jimbo Fisher. For Weis , his duties will be taken over on an interim basis by his assistant head coach, Rob Ianello. For Ianello , it may well provide him with a chance to prove his worth. But it appears highly unlikely that he'll be given the job on a full time basis. So for now, he'll be the team's interim coach until the end of the season. What will no doubt happen is that university President,Rev. John C. Jenkins,C.S.C in conjunction with Athletics Director,Jack Swarbrick , will now start the chain of events as they seek out prospective applicants for the vacant position for the head coach of the school’s football program.

Though several names have been mentioned as a likely candidate to take over from Charlie Weis at Notre Dame. For now one can but only speculate as to who many of those candidates might be. But one name that’s already off the list, is the University of Florida’s football coach, Urban Meyer. Though I for one wouldn’t put it pass Jack Swarbrick to put out feelers, to test the interest of Meyer in the position.Once bitten but not twice shy, as the case maybe.

Courtesy of ESPN.com

Sources: Bowden to retire

By Mark Schlabach
ESPN.com

Tallahassee — Legendary Florida State coach Bobby Bowden, who built one of college football’s greatest dynasties in 34 seasons with the Seminoles, plans to announce his retirement Tuesday morning, sources close to the situation told ESPN.com.

Bowden, whose 388 career victories trail only Penn State’s Joe Paterno as college football’s winningest coach, met with FSU president TK Wetherell and athletic director Randy Spetman on Monday morning. According to sources, Bowden was given two options: return to FSU in 2010 as an ambassador to the program, in which he would have little input in the day-to-day operations of the program, or retire after the Seminoles’ upcoming bowl game.
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Others said to be atop of Swarbrick’s wish list are said to be the Cincinnati Bearcats’,Brian Kelly, the Oklahoma Sooners’ Bob Stoops and then there’s even been mention of former Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ coach, Jon Gruden. Though it’s safe bet that Gruden is enjoying the fact that he’s still being paid by the Buccaneers , having been fired by the franchise at the end of last season. And where he’s now serving as an analyst and commentator for ESPN’s coverage of Monday Night Football.As cozy a number as Gruden could ever wish for. Whether or not he’d be prepared to take the position would no doubt be predicated upon the amount of autonomy he would be allowed in running the program. That, if anything could well be the determining factor as to whether or not he would decide in taking the position. But as I alluded to earlier, the search process will prove to be one where due diligence will be taken and of the highest order in finding the right candidate for the position.

Now from what I’ve always been led to believe , one doesn’t reward failure. Especially when it has become so common place within an educational establishment . And in this case it’s been primarily on the football field. It’s all well and good to suggest that the body of their work for both Bobby Bowden and Charlie Weis has beem exemplary. But of late it has been downright absurd ! And for many out there to continue to support both of these individuals while the schools’ programs continues to suffer , due to their under achievement. Well , in essence it just goes to show how naive and stupid many of these individuals really are ! Never mind the fact that this’d be the same idiotic individual who’d be up in arms were this a highly paid Fortune 500 company executive being highly rewarded in terms of compensation , with each year the company’s profit show steady declines. So what’s the difference between Bowden , Weis and that of a failing CEO ? Is there anyone out there with the common sense to answer the question who in essence is still showing support for either Bowden or Weis ?
At least have the temerity to either show common sense or have a way of making a tangible argument as to why either of them ought to remain in their positions ? Rather than continuing to make asinine statements about their legacies and what they’ve done.

Bobby Bowden  seen here alongside  his  now successor  ,  Jimbo  Fisher.   A  formal  announcement  will be  made  Tuesday 1st  December  that  Bowden  will be stepping  down  as coach of  Florida State  men's  football  program.   A  program  which  he has  brough  to  prominence  over  the course  of   35 years. But  as  of late   the  program  has  fallen on  hard times , much of  it   due to the fact   Bowden   seem  ill  prepared as to the  changes  going   on   throughout  the   collegiate game   of  Division  1 A  football.    picture  appears  courtesy  of  AP/photo/   Bruce  Ingram ..........................
Bobby Bowden seen here alongside his now successor , Jimbo Fisher. A formal announcement will be made Tuesday 1st December that Bowden will be stepping down as coach of Florida State men's football program. A program which he has brough to prominence over the course of 35 years. But as of late the program has fallen on hard times , much of it due to the fact Bowden seem ill prepared as to the changes going on throughout the collegiate game of Division 1 A football. picture appears courtesy of AP/photo/ Bruce Ingram ..........................

Lou Holtz step forward, take a bow, so that you too, can be beheaded.Your continued bloviated argument as to why Charlie Weis ought to be retained, no longer has any credence whatsoever ! Much like many of your observations and claims concerning the ascendancy of the program under Charlie Weis.

So at this juncture while we await the long drawn out saga as to who’ll be the next coach of Notre Dame. Let us relish the fact that common sense has finally prevailed within both of these two educational establishments. I was beginning to think that indeed the lunatics were still running the asylums there respectively in South Bend, Indiana and in Tallahassee, Florida !

What are your thoughts on the matter ? And are you of the opinion that in each case the right decision has been made ?

When You Arrive You’ve Got To Arrive In Style …… !

When You Arrive You’ve Got To Arrive In Style ….

Well, the college football regular season has come to a close and needless to say there are those who’ve made their voices heard. While others,will bow out rather unceremoniously in silence. And now for the Florida Gators either history now awaits them or infamy. Urban Meyer, as coach of the Gators, knows that should he prevail in the SEC Championship Game, he then has the luxury of knowing that a berth awaits him the national championship game. As to who that opponent will be , it remains to be seen .

Florida  quarterback , Tim  Tebow (15) completes  a  pass as he  gets  hit  by Florida  State's  Markus White (98)  during the  second  half  of the  game  played  at  Ben  Hill  Griffin  Stadium, in  Gainesville ,Florida. The  Gators  would  go  on  to  defeat their rival , Florida State  37-10   in  a  thoroughly  lopsided  game.    picture  appears  courtesy of  AP/Photo / Phil  Sandlin  .................
Florida quarterback , Tim Tebow (15) completes a pass as he gets hit by Florida State's Markus White (98) during the second half of the game played at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, in Gainesville ,Florida. The Gators would go on to defeat their rival , Florida State 37-10 in a thoroughly lopsided game. picture appears courtesy of AP/Photo / Phil Sandlin .................

Yesterday, the Florida Gators faced their old and some might say their staunchest rival in the Florida State Seminoles. And for the ‘noles this has been a season of discontent and self evaluation. The turmoil within the Seminoles’ organization is one, which on the face of it has become absolutely idiotic and that has reached such heights comedic extravagance that it is hard to understand what direction the program should now take.Seminoles’ coach,Bobby Bowden, whilst having led the program, of late he’s become something of a weighty anchor that is now bringing down the vessel that is the Florida State football program. The game has passed Bowden by and in such a way that the play of the Seminoles has become barely recognizable . They’re no longer competitive and in terms of recruiting ’blue chip’ athletes. Well, that hasn’t been the case for the program in a number of years. Mind you, they’re the apologists out there,who’ll say this is but a cyclical situation for the program. But consider this, for the last decade the program has continually regressed under Bowden’s tenure. But ‘the grand old czar’ of Florida college football now sits and surveys a program that is now in complete disarray . Much of that has been of Bowden’s own making and that of the lax attitude of his coaching staff and idiocy of the Athletics Department of the once esteemed university.

In contrast , the program of University of Florida now stands on the threshold of placing itself amongst the elite programs in college football history. The program’s coach, Urban Meyer seeks to win the school’s fourth national title and his third with the program in his four years with the university. Alongside, Meyer, he’s had the distinct pleasure of having coached the program’s most storied and perhaps its best player in the team’s quarterback, Tim Tebow. And for the senior , he’s now seeking history himself, by looking to win his third national championship and with the added possibility of winning a second Heisman trophy. A feat that has not been done since Archie Griffin won two consecutive Heisman trophies. And for the young Tebow, not only does college glory await him but the chance to take his game to the next level and that is take center stage on the football fields of the NFL. But before that scenario materializes , Tebow and his teammates have some unfinished business that requires their urgent attention.

Florida cornerback Wondy Pierre-Louis, right, breaks up a pass intended for Florida State receiver Rodney Smith in the end zone during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Gainesville, Fla., Saturday, Nov. 28, 2009. picture  appears   courtesy by  AP/Photo/ Phelan M  Ebenhack  ...........
Florida cornerback Wondy Pierre-Louis, right, breaks up a pass intended for Florida State receiver Rodney Smith in the end zone during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Gainesville, Fla., Saturday, Nov. 28, 2009. picture appears courtesy by AP/Photo/ Phelan M Ebenhack ...........

Yesterday , the Gators and the Seminoles faced off against one another at ‘The Swamp’, in Gainesville, Florida. Games of this magnitude meant so much to both programs but today it’s merely another just another ‘stop off point’ for the Gators. For Seminoles’ fans, this game was ‘the make or break’ for their season. A loss and they’re no longer Bowl eligible, a win and one could surmise that there’ll be some respite as to the speculation concerning the future of Bobby Bowden. But that’d be very much predicated upon which team turns up to face the Gators ? Inconsistency in terms of their play has very much epitomized the fall from grace of Bowden’s team and the program in general . And that hasn’t been merely because of what we’ve witnessed this season but essentially what has taken place within the program over the past few years. A program that has been sinking in its own ineptitude and asinine belief in it own self grandeur . Well, there’s nothing grand about a program that is now becoming the butt of jokes right across the college football panacea.

What we saw yesterday from both teams embodies what we’re now seeing as to the direction that programs are now taking. While one is moving forwards the other seems to be moving backwards and into an abyss mediocrity.

Bowden’s team has been anything but a complete anathema from one week to the next. They’ve at times, either been playing with a great deal of resolve but seemingly performing like a blind man in the midst of a minefield , the next. If it’s not been blowing itself up with its mediocre play, it has seen fit to let their opponents walk over them like a doormat. And for that to be happening at this juncture to a Bobby Bowden coached is very much akin to seeing Superman without his cape , enveloped in a vat of kryptonite. Now comes the hard part, what is Bowden now to do in terms of an encore ? Or will be in fact be around for an encore ? Such has been the speculation concerning Bowden’s immediate future and that of the program.

Well, the game itself proved to be an eventful one for Urban Meyer’s team as they completely outplayed Florida State in every facet of the game . The end result was a thoroughly deserving 37-10 defeat of the Seminoles at the hands of Florida, at ‘The Swamp’ , in what would be the senior , Tim Tebow’s last game as a Gator, in Gainesville. And Tebow’s play was exemplary and what we’ve now come to expect of the player. He’s not only a leader but he , himself , leads by example ,even when things are said to be going well , or not going well for the team.

Florida quarterback Tim Tebow is swarmed by fans after an NCAA college football game against Florida State in Gainesville, Fla., Saturday, Nov. 28, 2009.  Florida won 37-10. picture appears  courtesy  of AP/Photo/ Phelan M Ebenhack ..........
Florida quarterback Tim Tebow is swarmed by fans after an NCAA college football game against Florida State in Gainesville, Fla., Saturday, Nov. 28, 2009. Florida won 37-10. picture appears courtesy of AP/Photo/ Phelan M Ebenhack ..........

And there are those out there who’d question whether or not he’s an NFL ready quarterback ? My question to them, are the likes of JaMarcus Russell,Brady Quinn, Matthew Stafford or Josh Freeman NFL ready quarterbacks ? Because the last time I checked none of these players have won anything of note, or actually led their teams with anything near distinction. But yet there are idiots out there who’d question the ability of this player. And with the asinine statements of former Miami Hurricanes and Dallas Cowboys’ coach, Jimmy Johnson make the asinine statement of stating that Tebow doesn’t have what it takes to make it in the NFL. When last I checked , Johnson had Dan Marino and the Miami Dolphins on the wrong end of a 65-7 ass whupping at the hands of the Jacksonville Jaguars that’d bring about the end to his coaching career in the NFL. Never mind the fact that as a coach, Johnson was nothing more than a facilitator, as a coach in the NFL. He merely delegated and deferred to others , who would do his bidding. And even if he’s the coach of two Supebowl winning teams. Johnson upon his retirement, has done little to suggest that anything that he states really has any credence when it comes to the NFL. He’s merely a glorified and sartorially dressed glove puppet alongside the other idiots who provide analysis on Fox’s eponymous pre and post-game NFL show. In watching Johnson and his colleagues on the show, is akin to watching several drunks talk about their days of binge drinking and the fact that they actually could remember events from when they were at times in a drunken stupor.

Florida head coach Urban Meyer, left, and Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden meet after an NCAA college football game in Gainesville, Fla., Saturday, Nov. 28, 2009.  Florida won 37-10.               picture appears courtesy of AP/Photo/  Phelan M  Ebenhack ...................
Florida head coach Urban Meyer, left, and Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden meet after an NCAA college football game in Gainesville, Fla., Saturday, Nov. 28, 2009. Florida won 37-10. picture appears courtesy of AP/Photo/ Phelan M Ebenhack ...................

As to what now awaits Florida , well that is now predicated upon how they will deal with the fate that they aspire to carve out for themselves . And as we all know, you create your own luck and not have it placed within your lap by others. It’s not only about how you arrive but the fact that you’ve arrived in style .

There Are No Do Overs In Sports ………

You know how it is the broadcast networks are now so devoid of creativity that their idea of entertainment is gorge us on a glut of reality television or re-do’s of old television series. To prove my point, ABC gives us a revamped version of ‘V’ . And then there’s, ‘Melrose Place’ , ‘90210’ and said to be soon coming down the pike, are ‘Charlies’ Angels’ and god forbid, ‘The A Team’. Tell me that they won’t try and recast ‘Mr T’ (Laurence Tero) to reprise his role as B A Baracus ? Can we stop the insanity please ? Isn’t it bad enough that Jay Leno has to squirm his way through an hour of his show, just to hide his embarrassment ? Hey Jay,you should’ve retired as you said you would. Because now you’re beginning to look like a blithering idiot,in an earlier night slot on NBC. And you’re far better than that !

Kristen Bell , Sarah Michelle  Gellar and  Jessica  Simpson ,  presumably  amongst  the   front  runners to  reprise the roles made  famous  by  Jaclyn Smith ,  Farrah  Fawcett-Majors  and  Kate  Jackson .   picture  appears courtesy of  abctv/getty images  ..............
Kristen Bell , Sarah Michelle Gellar and Jessica Simpson , presumably amongst the front runners to resprise the roles made famous by Jaclyn Smith , Farrah Fawcett-Majors and Kate Jackson . picture appears courtesy of abctv/getty images ..............

And it’d be remiss to not interject with the banal makeover shows , such as ‘The Biggest Loser’, ‘Extreme Makeover’ and the unrepentantly bad ‘Dance Your Ass Off’. The last of which, would suggest that’s literally what one has to do in order to keep or regain one’s self esteem. LOL,LOL, LOL !!!

Courtesy of ABC Television

Casting the New ‘Charlie’s Angels’: 3 Options for Each of 8 Characters

Sarah Michelle Gellar, Megan Fox, Lady Gaga, Kim Kardashian: Some of the Celebs Who Could Star in the ‘Charlie’s Angels’ Reboot
By SHEILA MARIKAR
Nov. 19, 2009

It takes a certain crop of ladies to pull off a proper, “Hellooooo, Charlie!”

The question is, as a reincarnation of the iconic 1970s TV series “Charlie’s Angels” looms, who’s fit to fill the shoes of Farrah Fawcett, Kate Jackson, Jaclyn Smith and the rest of the crew?

Whoever gets the call, ABC is close to ordering a pilot of the new “Charlie’s Angels,” sources confirm to ABCNews.com. Drew Barrymore, who starred in the film versions of the franchise, will develop the show along with Leonard Goldberg, who produced the original series with the late Aaron Spelling, according to Entertainment Weekly.

So it’s a stretch to say the project’s in the can. But that can’t kill the curiosity about which stars might be cast in the reboot.

What follows are three potential options for each of the eight classic “Charlie’s Angels” characters, based on the suggestions that you — ABCNews.com readers — sent to us.

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At present, one can’t help but wonder what went wrong this year with
Michigan (Wolverines) (5-6, 1-6 conference) of the Big 10. Seemingly, the problems for coach, Rich Rodriguez, just seem to be manifesting themselves in so many guises. And there’ll be no divine intervention here, just in case you think that there’s some hope in the offing for the team and its football program. A lot was expected of the team this year and they’ve once again failed to live up to expectations. Much of the blame has to be apportioned upon the shoulders of Rodriguez and his coaching staff. It is not as if the Wolverines are bereft of talent on either side of the ball. But the mere fact that they’ve to apply themselves properly to the task at hand. And that is no doubt to play football.

Embattled Michigan  (Wolverines') coach, Rich  Rodriguez, seen here  addressing  allegations that the  school and in  particular the  football program  hasn't  been  following  NCAA  policy showing the amount  of time dedicated by a player  with  the  time  spent  training  and  also with  regard  to  their   academics .   Rodriguez has  stated  that  the  oversight  will  be  rectified  by him an  the  Wolverines'  Athletics  Department .    picture appears   courtesy of  getty images /   Michael  Franklin  .......
Embattled Michigan (Wolverines') coach, Rich Rodriguez, seen here addressing allegations that the school and in particular the football program hasn't been following NCAA policy showing the amount of time dedicated by a player with the time spent training and also with regard to their academics . Rodriguez has stated that the oversight will be rectified by him and the Wolverines' Athletics Department . picture appears courtesy of getty images / Michael Franklin .......

The cloud of suspicion under which Rodriguez left West Virginia to take the position still leaves a bitter taste in the mouths of Mountaineers’ alumni and that of their bitter fans. Rodriguez is thought of a pariah there , on the campus. And he’s now become persona-non-grata in the entire state. As tough as the situation now appears to be for Rodriguez. It is only going to become much tougher, as this weekend the Wolverines take on the 10th ranked Ohio State (Buckeyes),9-2.And with the rejuvenated Jim Tressel, Buckeyes’ team chomping at the bit and thoughts of a major BCS Bowl appearance. Let’s just say that for Rodriguez, he’s more likely to wish he were elsewhere. Rather than being engulfed in continuous controversy ,the underachievement of the team and the program as a whole. Rich Rodriguez’ position with the school is now coming under even more scrutiny than even he would care to admit.

Courtesy of Associated Press and The Washington Post

Michigan’s Rodriguez says process has been fixed

By LARRY LAGE
The Associated Press
Wednesday, November 18, 2009; 4:51 PM

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez says the process of filing forms that log hours players devote to football was corrected as soon as he learned it wasn’t happening.

Rodriguez declined further comment Wednesday because of an ongoing NCAA investigation.

An internal audit released Monday discovered the football program failed to file the school’s forms that track how much players workout and practice as a tool to comply with NCAA rules.

The office of university audits sent Rodriguez a memo on July 24, stating that forms from the 2008 regular season had not been submitted.

The Detroit Free Press, citing anonymous players, reported a month later that Michigan exceeded NCAA limits regarding practices and workouts.

Admittedly none of us like to grow old and we know in the end we have to call it a day. I’ve always been of the opinion that I would rather go out on top at the height of my professional career and personal life. Rather than being forced out because my faculties or productivity just wasn’t there. And as much admiration that I have for those who seek to work late into their professional and elderly life. I can’t but ask what they might be missing out on at that stage of their lives ?

Coach Bowden,  seen  here on the  right  along with  his  offensive coordinator and  assistant  coach, Jimbo Fisher  working  the  sidelines  of a  game  against ACC rivals  North Carolina, in Chapel Hill ,  North Carolina.   A  game  the  Seminoles would  narrowly win  30-27 .      picture   appears   courtesy  getty images/  Ralph   Peterson  ....................
Coach Bowden, seen here on the right along with his offensive coordinator and assistant coach, Jimbo Fisher working the sidelines of a game against ACC rivals, North Carolina, in Chapel Hill , North Carolina. A game the Seminoles would narrowly win 30-27 . picture appears courtesy getty images/ Ralph Peterson ....................

Much has been made concerning the situation now fomenting in Tallahassee, as it relates to embattled football coach, Bobby Bowden. Granted, he took a non-descript Florida State football program and turned it into a powerhouse of consistency that is to be admired. But as of late , consistency and the fact that winning is no longer the norm for the Seminoles’ football program. That it is beginning to make it very hard to understand why it is, that the faculty would want to retain the services of the octogenerian, Bobby Bowden. To make matters worse , Bowden ,himself, has chosen his own hand picked successor, in, Jimbo Fisher. Pardon me for saying his, but shouldn’t that decision be left to the Athletics Director and not Bowden, himself ? I was under the impression that Bowden worked for the university and not the other way around ?

Courtesy of Associated Press

Fla. governor wants Bowden back as Seminole coach

(AP) – 20 hours ago

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Embattled Florida State coach Bobby Bowden has a high-profile alumnus on his side — Gov. Charlie Crist.

The Republican governor said Wednesday the Seminoles coach has been great for the school and the 80-year-old Bowden deserves respect. Some of Bowden’s critics have called on him to retire at the end of the season.

Florida State is currently 5-5 and needs to win at least one more game to qualify for a bowl.

Bowden’s 387 wins are second to Penn State’s Joe Paterno among major college coaches.

Crist and Bowden appeared together at a news conference promoting the National Child Identification Program created by the American Football Coaches Association.

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This season for Florida State (5-5,3-4 conf),has been one filled with missed opportunities, uneven play, humiliating losses and abundance of excuses from Bowden and others within the organization. And needless to say, the optimism being shown by Bowden,while it is to be admired. It tells you, that there’s no real sense of urgency concerning the malaise that the program now finds itself in. Bowden for his part, acts if it’s all water under the bridge as to the predicament of the program. What he doesn’t seem to genuinely understand , is that while the program is in the predicament that it is in, it makes the recruiting process all the more difficult. Especially with regards to the luring of a can’t miss blue chip recruit. And when was the last time you heard of someone of that caliber entering the noles’ program ?

And while no one can deny what Bowden has brought to Tallahassee.
The question one must and needs to ask, is when will it be time for Bowden to bow out gracefully ? Rather than being forced out embarrassingly. It’s not as if we’ve seen a steady progression in the direction of the program over the last few years. Furthermore, a dark cloud looms over the athletics’ program with regards to the cheating scandal involving several players on the football program as well as others on the swim team, the track teams, the basketball teams of both the men’s and women’s team. Something that is hard to believe would be happening under a football program overseen by coach Bowden. It’s my belief that Bobby Bowden has in some ways become all too detached from the football program. Merely just trotting out to parade himself and bask in the acclaim, that in reality he no longer deserves !

With him having named his assistant , Jimbo Fisher , as his successor in waiting. It only exacerbates and creates a situation of uncertainty. Were Fisher to be lured away by another program guaranteeing far better prospects than he’s now being given at FSU. I wonder what the thought process there would be within the program but chiefly with University President T. K. Wetherall and that of Athletics Director, Randy Spetman. These two individual, as well as the boosters and alumni will have a difficult decision ahead o make. Accordingly, the actions now of Bowden and the interjection of Florida’s Governor, Charlie Grist ,into the midst of this all. Well, it hasn’t exactly made the situation all the more bearable ?

And while I understand that the Governor has every right to voice his opinion on the subject, given the fact that he’s a graduate of that esteemed university. I would’ve thought that his time would be better spent tackling the grave situations and crisis that the state now has. Rather than using a non-political function to voice an opinion that in all honesty not that many people are interested in ! Crist’s political career and ambitions much like the noles’ football program has been of late, is all,more about appearance, rather than substance !

For those of you who just happen to either have a passing or perhaps fading interest in the game of soccer. Then it may well have escaped your notice that the World Cup qualifying stages are present taking place. A number of teams were in a make or break ,do or die situation. Wherein, a victory would lead to a qualifying berth for the finals to be held next year in South Africa.

Courtesy of AP Sports in conjunction with Yahoo Sports

Hand of Shame sparks debate on cheating, replays

By ROB HARRIS, AP Sports Writer

LONDON (AP)—Irish football officials accused Thierry Henry on Thursday of damaging the integrity of the game when he blatantly handled the ball to set up the goal that booked France’s place at next year’s World Cup finals in South Africa.

Letters were dispatched to Paris and FIFA headquarters in Zurich, while Ireland’s justice minister took to the airwaves and echoed its football association’s call for the contentious second-leg to be replayed.

But the response from FIFA and the French matched that of Swedish referee Martin Hansson at the Stade de France on Wednesday night when Irish protests against William Gallas’ winner, set up by Henry’s handball, fell on deaf ears.
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FIFA simply directed journalists to its rulebook which states that results cannot be overturned after a match.

But the Irish did get the backing of the French sports teachers’ union, which said it set a poor example to children to qualify as a result of “indisputable cheating” and was “linked to a ‘very modern’ philosophy stipulating that in all areas, including sports, the end justifies the means.”

Football Association of Ireland chief executive John Delaney demanded that the game be replayed.

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In Europe which has the largest number of berths guaranteed for the finals. There were a number of games that took place and perhaps none was more controversial than by way of the end result of the game between France and Ireland. A win for Ireland and they were in. A draw or win for France and they were in. So what transpired between the two teams and the admittance afterwards by French player, Thierry Henry, left a great deal to be desired. Unsportsmanlike conduct or not the player’s admittance that he handled the ball that led to the ensuing play and a goal for his team again shows what a thin line there is between cheating and fair play.

French teammates  celebrate  their  gaining  a  berth  in  next year's  World  Cup  having  just  entered  2-1 on  aggregate with their resultant  tie  with  Ireland.    picture  appears  courtesy  agence-provencale s.a/paris/   Paul   Hebert ...................
French teammates celebrate their gaining a berth in next year's World Cup having just entered 2-1 on aggregate with their resultant tie with Ireland. picture appears courtesy agence-provencale s.a/paris/ Paul Hebert ...................

The game not decided until it went into overtime , resulted in a 1-1 tie between the two teams. But because the series was decided upon the aggregate scores after two legs, that were played. It resulted in France gaining a berth in next year’s World Cup. Amidst all of this , now the controversy begins. As there is complete outrage in the actions of Henry and his admittance of what he’d done.

Thierry  Henry  of  France seen  here  with  the  intentional  hand ball  act  that   would   lead  to  the  game tying  goal  scored  by  teammate,  William  Gallas.   picture  appears  courtesy  of  afp/   Paul  Wilkinson   ...............
Thierry Henry of France seen here with the intentional hand ball act that would lead to the game tying goal scored by teammate, William Gallas. picture appears courtesy of afp/ Paul Wilkinson ...............

Henry in his post-game interview admitted that he’d deliberately handled the ball that allowed the ensuing goal to be scored by his teammate, William Gallas in the 104th minute of play ,in overtime. And while no one is in absolute denial as to what took place. The question is to be asked is what action will be taken by FIFA, if any ? Do they punish the player for his admittance or do they reorder a replay of the game ? It would set a precedent but then again, FIFA has initiated a case of ordering a replay after violence took place between rival sets of fans during an international game. Far be it for me to say what course of action that ought to be taken. But if the international governing body of the sport fails to act proactively . It will send a clear message that it condones cheating at the highest echelons of the game.

What is now becoming abundantly clear to me is that, the perception of what we know to be right. And the actions that are to be taken don’t always truly manifest themselves as we deem fit. In the case the Wolverines’, Rich Rodriguez. Here’s an individual who came blowing into the state of Michigan, high on promises and even less by way acting appropriately. Over the course of his tenure of the program ,he has accordingly flouted and transgressed NCAA rules and acted as if he was unaware as to what he was doing. Only with his job on the line, he’s seeking empathy from those who oppose his continued presence coaching the football team and overseeing the program. For Rich there oughtn’t to be a do-over.

Coach Bowden , the continual optimist , not only has he seen the game pass him by. But I doubt he’s fully cognitive of how far he’s let the Seminoles’ program slide under his reign over the past decade. Unfortunately, the likes of T K Wetherall and Randy Spetman still pay him homage , rather than doing what’s right for the program. And that is to let Bobby Bowden go ! Again there can’t be a do-over for coach Bowden ! Not now, or at any time in the future!

In the case of the Irish national squad, their grievance while justified may well fall upon deaf ears. It’s as Henry stated if the officials at the time failed to act, knowing his actions were blatant. Then there’s not much that really can be done. And even though a formal complaint has been lodged by FAI to FIFA . One sincerely doubts that it will be dealt with any sympathy at all . Again no do-over for the Irish national soccer squad.

Did Hell Freeze Over …………..I Must’ve Missed Something

Well it’s the early hours of Sunday morning and I’m surfing the net to see what’s taken place on the sporting landscape by way of the results as it relates to certain events . My day was spent in the company of one of my buddies as I accompanied him to watch his son participate in a karate contest. The event itself was a spectacle to watch, as there were kids of all ages competing . Think ‘The Karate Kid’ but with more of today’s attitude. In the end my buddy’s son didn’t make it beyond the first round of the competition. But his effort was a gallant one and I commended him on that. He in return promised that he’d do better the next time. And who am I , not to take him at his word ?

University of South Florida  coach  ,  Jim   Leavitt  celebrates  with  one of  his   players   Sam  Barrington after  their   surprise  victory  over    Florida State  , played at  the  Seminoles   home  venue   of  Doak  Campbell  Stadium in Tallahasse ,  Florida.   The unranked  USF Bulls  would  go  on  to  defeat  the Seminoles  17-7  in  a  well  earned   victory.    picture  appears courtesy of   ap/photo/ Phil Coale  ....................
University of South Florida coach , Jim Leavitt celebrates with one of his players Sam Barrington after their surprise victory over Florida State , played at the Seminoles home venue of Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahasse , Florida. The unranked USF Bulls would go on to defeat the Seminoles 17-7 in a well earned victory. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Phil Coale ....................

In so far as the day’s events panned out. In college football we saw a couple of upsets. Not that some weren’t expected. But the one that came as a complete surprise to me , was the defeat of FSU Seminoles at the hands of another instate team in the guise of the USF Bulls . The USF Bulls you might say ? Well in the Big East they’re a team that’s seemingly now on the rise and look for not only acceptance but also respect. Well South Florida’s totally unexpected but yet exhilerating defeat of the Seminoles 17-7 in Tallahassee , has got tongues wagging on the Bulls’ main campus in Tampa. What this win will do for USF’s program can’t be fully quantified. But one can expect that there’ll be a great deal of talk about the loss and why it happened. I for one think that on the day not only was this Jim Leavitt coached team ready . But their desire to win , was simply greater than that of the Bobby Bowden coached Seminoles. Wherein , a loss of this measure hasn’t been felt within Talllahassee, as it relates to one of the lesser programs within the state of Florida. The loss has to be a profound embarrassment for not only Bobby Bowden. But also for the Florida State Seminoles’ football program.

Bobby  Bowden ,left,  greets  his  counterpart   Jim  Leavitt   after  the  collegiate  football  game   played   between  their  respective  teams.      picture  appears courtesy  of  ap/photo /  Phil  Coale  ..................
Bobby Bowden ,left, greets his counterpart Jim Leavitt after the collegiate football game played between their respective teams. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo / Phil Coale ..................

It’d be an understatement to claim that this program has regressed. Inasmuch , as Bowden is considered to be a great coach and the respect which he’s brought to the Seminoles’ program during his tenure. It must now be stated that for all sense purpose the game has now passed Bowden by. He may well be the figure head to the Noles’ fans. But as a coach in recent years , even with him having named a successor in Jimbo Fisher . The program if anything has taken several steps backwards. It now meanders between average and bearly consistent by way of the football now being played. Especially at their home venue of Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahasee, Florida. Long thought of a bastion of college football pre-eminence. For all sense and purpose the stadium and the fans are no longer viewed as a factor when it comes to intimidation.

Noles' running  back Ty Jones  is surrounded  by  Bull  defensive   players  as  he   attempts  attain  some  yardage  in  the third  quater.      picture  appears   courtesy  of ap/photo/  Phil Coale  .................
Noles' running back Ty Jones is surrounded by Bull defensive players as he attempts attain some yardage in the third quater. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Phil Coale .................

The problems for the Seminoles on Saturday were far reaching. And it stemmed from their ineffectiveness on both sides of the ball when it came to their play. So much so, that USF were able to have their way with this team as they forced several fumbles and made the Noles’ quarterback , Christian Ponder fear for his life, each time he was in possession of the ball. He was harrassed throughout the game and his offensive line offered about as much protection for him as a wet piece of two-ply tissue paper would be to someone with a cold. He was sacked 5 times during the game and to add further to his own personal tales of woes. Ponder rushed for total net loss of minus 11 yards on six rushing attempts.

 Florida  State wide  receiver  Rod  Owens (86)  fumbles  the ball  after  he's  hit  by  Bulls  defensive  player    Jerome  Murphy   ..................
Florida State wide receiver Rod Owens (86) fumbles the ball after he's hit by Bulls defensive player Jerome Murphy ..................

If fault is to be apportioned for this loss then a great deal of it has to be placed at Bobby Bowden’s door and that of his coaching staff. There’s no drive or determination coming from the team , much less there being any at all coming from Bowden, himself. He lauds over all that he surveys , still thinking that not much has changed from the glory days when one viewed Bowden and the program with a great deal of respect. And for the eighteenth ranked Noles , we’re liable to see them slip further down the rankings after this loss and in essence out of the national picture in terms of a major bowl appearance.

 Delbert Alavarado   (25)  makes  a   successful  last  ditch  attempt    to  tackle    Florida  State's Greg  Reid   on   his   kick  off  return  which    but  for   the attempt   by   Alvarado  would've   resulted   in a  touchdown.     Alvarado's   play  highlighted some  of  the bad  luck  that   befell the    Seminoles.        picture appears  courtesy    of  ap/photo/ Phil  Coale  ...................................
Delbert Alavarado (25) makes a successful last ditch attempt to tackle Florida State's Greg Reid on his kick off return which but for the attempt by Alvarado would've resulted in a touchdown. Alvarado's play highlighted some of the bad luck that befell the Seminoles. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Phil Coale ...................................

For coach Jim Leavitt and his USF Bulls’ program this gives them something to build on. No one essentially thought that the’d be able to go up to Doak Campbell Stadium and seemingly make the impossible happen . But they did and they’re to be commended for it and the effort put forth. They played with such zeal that it was hard to discern which was the ranked team and which one was not. It was if Bowden’s players were like several deers caught in headlights as they attempted to cross the road in-front of oncoming traffic. As the game progressed and with the team not being able to make a play of any substance. The nightmare was about to become a reality for the Florida State Seminoles.

Vitali Klitschko , right,  starts  to  dictate  and  take the   fight  to  his  challenger   Chris  Arreola  .   picture appears  courtesy of  ap/photo/  Mark J Terrill   ............................
Vitali Klitschko , right, starts to dictate and take the fight to his challenger Chris Arreola . picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Mark J Terrill ............................

It’s not often that I’m made to eat my words concerning a boxing match. I think of myself as someone who’s knowledgeable enough about the sport. And certainly this wasn’t the case surrounding the events that took place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. On Saturday night WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko (38-2, 37 KO’s) successfully defended his title against the challenger Chris Arreola (27-1, 24 KO’s) in a bout that was scheduled for twelve rounds.

Vitali  Klitschko  throws a  right  hand  that  catches his  opponent  Chris Arreola  squarely  on  the   side  of  his   head    in the fifth   round of  their  heavyweight title   bout  at  the   Staples   Center  in Los  Angeles  , California.   The fight  would   end  with    Arreola   being  unable   to   come  out   for  the   beginning  of  the  eleventh   round. Arreola's  corner    'threw in  the   towel'  at the   end  of  the  tenth  round  to   save  their   fighter   further  punishment.  The  fight  was  ajudged  a  TKO  in Klitschko's  favor.   picture appears  courtesy  of  getty images/  Jacb  de  Golish   .......................
Vitali Klitschko throws a right hand that catches his opponent Chris Arreola squarely on the side of his head in the fifth round of their heavyweight title bout at the Staples Center in Los Angeles , California. The fight would end with Arreola being unable to come out for the beginning of the eleventh round. Arreola's corner 'threw in the towel' at the end of the tenth round to save their fighter further punishment. The fight was ajudged a TKO in Klitschko's favor. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Jacb de Golish .......................

I looked at this fight as a chance for the challenger in the form of Arreola to live up to the hype. But unfortunately the only thing that the challenger managed to live up to. Was the fact that always a tin can then you’re liable to be pounded like one. The effort put forth by Chris Arreola was about as banal as they come. He showed little if anything of a fighter who wanted to defeat the incumbent champion. His performance was lackluster and devoid of anything worth mentioning.

And at a time when the sport and in particular the heavyweight division yearns for someone to come along and show some moxy. Unfortunately for the fans in attendance at the Staples Center and those watching at home or from whatever else venue that they chose. Arreola forgot the presence of mind to bring his moxy into the ring and put it on display against Vitali Klitschko. The champion for his part put up a clinical display of boxing. Albeit , that it wasn’t necesssarily artistic in its portrayal. He dissected his opponent with ease using his jabs and a flurry of upper cuts as and when needed.

Arreola throws  a  left  against  Klitschko   during  their   bout  .   picture appearas  courtesy  of   getty  images /  Jacob  de Golish  .....................
Arreola throws a left against Klitschko during their bout . picture appearas courtesy of getty images / Jacob de Golish .....................

On appearance this bout had the basis of being an action packed event. Both boxers were known for their punching power. And the chances were that we were going to see that on display from both. I’d mentioned this in passing to an acquaintance of mine. Chris aka sportshchump (http://sportschump.net) as he’s known around the blogosphere. I’d remarked to him ,that this bout would in effect either be a barnburner with a great deal of action. Or it’d end up being a bore and complete snoozefest ! . Unfortunately my prognostication proved to be true , because what action that took place in pursuance of this title fight , only came from the champion, Vitiali Klitschko.

WBC  heavyweight  champion   Vitali  Klitschko   leaves the  ring   having  successfully  defended  his  title  against  Chris  Arreola  .        picture appears  courtesy  of   ap/photo/  Jae C . Hong  ..................
WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko leaves the ring having successfully defended his title against Chris Arreola . picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Jae C . Hong ..................

The bout itself lasted ten rounds . Wherein, the champion bewildered his opponent by simply jabbing away at his torso. In particular wit a flurry of body shots and occasionally taking aim at Arreola’s often open guard -making use of his head as a pinata. As alluded to earlier , the challenger offered up little in the way of resistance or determination. And this lackluster performance in all honesty does nothing to legitimize the health of the heavyweight scene. Vitali Klitschko can’t be blamed for his opponent’s lack of will or presence of mind to fight. I place this squarely on the shoulders of the promoters and the sancitioning body for this particular event. Dan Goossen ,as the promoter and the World Boxing Council (WBC) have once again shown us why the sport is on a downward slide into oblivion. It won’t be long before a sport such as dwarf tossing will outstrip the sport of boxing in terms of its popularity. One can surmise that they believed Arreola to be the #1 challenger for Klitschko’s title. But in all honesty this bout was hastily put together, merely to avail the promoter and sanctioning body a way of making untold millions in terms of selling the broadcast rights of the bout worldwide. Had they really sought some real credibility in making a desired match. Then they’d have gone about their job with a great deal more diligence.

Arreola  of  Riverside, Calif.,  seen  here at  the   postfight    new  conference   offers  very  little   of  an   explanation  by way  of hs  lackluster  performance  in  his   title   challenge  against  Viitali   Klitschko   for  his  WBC  heavyweight  crown  .       picture appears  courtesy  of  ap/photo / Jae  C   Hong   ................................
Arreola of Riverside, Calif., seen here at the postfight new conference offers very little of an explanation by way of his lackluster performance in his title challenge against Viitali Klitschko for his WBC heavyweight crown . picture appears courtesy of ap/photo / Jae C Hong ................................

Two sporting events that took place on the same day. In both cases , each in their own way failed to live up to expectation. Merely because one of the participants in each event didn’t all have have the stomach to be competitive. Nor did they have much to offer by way of an apology to their fans. Hell can’t have frozen over , so what did I actually miss here ?

NB : Should you at all be interested in seeing my original article concerning this bout and my prognosis on it all. Then just click on the text link provided below.

Someone Has Got To Clean House ….So Why Not This Guy ?