It’s Time To Put Up Or Shut Up !

It’s Time To Put Up Or Shut Up !

Well the furor over the latest shenanigans of the Miami Hurricanes’ program carries on unabated and that’s largely in part to the claims now being made by incarcerated felon Nevin Shapiro . University President Donna Shalala along with AD Shawn Eichorst and senior compliance officer David Reed all now seem to be a loss to explain what went wrong on the campus of the school during their tenure. I would suggest that there has been an environment of calculated misdeed that has been ingrained within this university for the better part of two decades ! And at no time has anyone within the athletics department faculty governing the program has seen to address this matter and stem the tide of malfeasance . So on goes this saga as Shapiro makes his claims that now have embroiled current and former players of the school’s football and basketball programs .

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As things now stand I certainly would like to see what the outcome will be after the findings of the NCAA’s now five month ongoing investigation. Mark Emmert has seen fit to have legal counsel undertake this exercise on the collegiate body’s behalf . At some time the NCAA will have to take a stance and make an example of the university, very much in the same as they had previously done with the SMU Mustangs over two decades ago.

It certainly will interesting to see if Paul Dee as chairman of the NCAA’s Infractions Committee will recuse himself from any deliberation , as it relates to the University of Miami when it comes to a decision as to what form of punishment will be levied against the school. Dee served as a former AD of the program and to my mind it would be seen as a conflict of interest , albeit that his tenure ended with the school over ten years ago . Pat Haden currently serving as the athletics director of USC would certainly have a valid claim were Paul Dee seen to be part of any discussion concerning what form of punishment if any is levied against the Canes. As chairman of the Infractions Committee he played his part in making sure that the punishment meted out to USC was severe , with the loss of multiple scholarships, postseason play in any football games or for that matter BCS sanctioned games . One cannot deny that the athletics director of USC would have a valid argument against Dee presiding over the deliberations as it relates to Miami but this is simply what we have now come to expect from the NCAA ! As the governing body of collegiate athletics this institution is simply bereft of any intelligence much less integrity to begin with. Much of this came into being long before succeeded his predecessor Myles Brand as the body was thought of as corrupt and open to any form surreptitious activity just as long as they were able to profit from those actions financially .

Did I miss something but overnight , did the sky suddenly turn a different shade of blue ? Suddenly the whole baseball world is awry as the game’s first player has tested positive for HGH . Minor league player Mike Jacobs has become the first North American athlete to test ” positive” for the steroid and it certainly doesn’t bode well for the claims now being made by the league and in particular Bud Selig ——— that baseball (MLB) has the most stringent drug testing policy in all of professional sports . Unfortunately, the game simply doesn’t test the players playing at the major league level , where the union’s collective bargaining agreement prohibits such testing but allows for it at the minor league level , ostensibly because of the power of the MLBPA (union).

Rob Manfred states that can foresee the day where the players at the major league level will be tested for steroids then quite possibly someone has failed to pass on that information to Michael Weiner and his members of the MLBPA . Given the fact that the league hierarchy has simply been powerless to even have the temerity to truly discuss the matter in depth with the union they have chosen instead to cower like a child in the corner that has been rebuked simply for doing nothing at all. Bud Selig is ” spineless” and it speaks to his incessant stupidity as the baseball commissioner ! And all this for an executive who’s compensated with an extremely exorbitant salary if the rumors are to be believed . It is said that Selig’s salary for the fiscal year ending 2010 hit $20 million . Given the team salary of the New York Yankees , that wage would place Bud Selig alongside Mark Teixiera , CC Sabathia and Alex Rodriguez and most certainly in line with the 15 highest paid players in the league .

If Bud Selig cares as much as for the game of as much he invokes the names of Hall of Famers Jackie Robinson , Hank Aaron , Willie Mays , Lou Gehrig and Sandy Koufax in the way that he has done . I certainly believe that the commissioner has simply been about creating sound bytes, merely for the sake of making them because he believes it is in fact what the fans would like to hear ! His actions hasn’t simply borne out what he aspires to see for the game .

Certainly if baseball wants to remain resonant amongst the fans then issues such as steroids and how best to deal with having a policy that is fair and seen as equitable in the eyes of the fans rather than the idiocy that we are now seeing . It is time now for the league hierarchy along with the team owners and the union to seek a remedy where there is some consistency as to how MLB addresses the issue of steroids and its testing policy. Perhaps it is the frustration of the fans who have seen Alex Rodriguez , Rafael Palmeiro , Mark McGwire , Sammy Sosa , Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds simply evade the wrath of the league in spite of either the allegations , speculation or proven case where these players’ names have been closely associated with presumed steroid abuse and the inevitable “Mitchell Report” which simply cast an even bigger cloud over the game .

Even with the advent of causing his school complete embarrassment Terrelle Pryor is in for a rough start to his NFL career. At the insistence of commissioner Roger Goodell the player will have to forgo the first five games of the NFL regular season . With the ongoing investigation of the Ohio State program and that is even school president Dr E Gordon Gee and AD Gene Smith now feeling that this sordid affair is now behind them . The school’s former football coach Jim Tressel has relinquished his role riding off into the sunset but knowing whether or not he will be able to hold a similar post at some point in the future.

Pryor’s agent Drew Rosenhaus now has to impress upon any team willing to take a chance on the player that his problems are far behind him . With the NCAA ,themselves having imposed a five game suspension on the player after he was embroiled in numerous allegations that upon investigation had been verified and found to be true. In light of that showing, the player decided to forgo his junior season with Ohio State and making himself eligible for the NFL Supplemental Draft . It is my belief that Rosenhaus will do utmost to sell his client as someone who’s capable of leading a team especially at the quarterback position . Pryor, himself , will have a hard time proving that he is the right man for the job. Quarterback’s taken in this past draft have found their way unto teams seeking either backups , starters or simply someone (third string) to carry the clipboard.

If Terrelle Pryor isn’t able to prove himself worthy enough of a starting position as a quarterback then there is always a possibility for the player to switch positions and become either a tight end or wide receiver . There’s an increasing belief that this may well be the best possible option for the player. Is Pryor good enough to have a successful career in the NFL ? Only time will tell but most definitely there is a great deal of intrigue being built up in anticipation to see how the player will fare. If he is unable to matriculate what was a moderately successful career at the collegiate level , step up within the NFL , then there’s every chance that Terrelle Pryor can become a star in the NFL .

Well now that Chad Ochocinco seems to have found a resting place for his languid career . I just hope that the player can live up to the claims that he’s a Canton bound future Hall of Famer ! Bill Belichick , his coaching staff and New England Patriots’ general manager Nick Caserio took a chance in acquiring the player via a trade from the Cincinnati Bengals . It certainly looks as if Chad Ochocinco and Albert Haynesworth another cast off who has joined the Patriots and found themselves welcomed , for both players this is their last chance at redemption.

In their first two preseason games of the New England Patriots seem to have hit their stride having not really lost a step from last season in spite of their postseason upset at the hands of the New York Jets .

Having decisively won the AFC East in 2010 with a 14-2 mark the letdown of that loss to the Jets remains fresh in the minds of the players , perhaps none more so than Tom Brady . The Superbowl winning MVP player knows that shocking loss and the fact that questions arose not simply about his play but the lack of heart from the team had many wondering if Brady’s heart was still in the game and not elsewhere . After-all , he’s now married to Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen , father of two children , has immeasurable wealth alongside Peyton Manning , the duo it has to be said are the ‘faces of the NFL’ .

Once again building through the draft and the acquisition of free agents seems to be the path that Bill Belichick seems to be taking . Complacency on the part of the team , the coach and his staff may well have the main reason behind the Patriots’ fall from grace last season. Certainly, this season the team will have to prove themselves worthy and in particular the new additions to the roster , notably Chad Ochocinco and Albert Haynesworth.

At some point during the season we well begin to discover what the New England Patriots will be about over the course of their schedule. Character , depth , heart and force are the traits I am hoping to see from the team ! A set-back for the organization and it’s once again back to drawing board , something I believe that neither Belichick or the members of the team will simply want . Their goal will be a berth in the Superbowl and the end scenario of this team raising the Lombardi Trophy .

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What thoughts if any do you have with regard to the points raised within this piece ? Simply leave a comment as you deem fit on this topic and other salient points you feel pertinent .

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

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(1) Shawn Eichorst the current athletics directors of the Miami Hurricanes . Only in his current position for a little over a year , he succeeded Kirby Hocutt who now holds a similar position with Texas Tech . Miami Herald / Hector Garcia ……

(2) David Reed compliance director for Miami Hurricanes’ athletics program . It would be an understatement to suggest that Reed has simply sat idly by as the program has slipped down the ladder further into an abyss of shrouded malfeasance and lack of oversight during his tenure . courtesy of University of Miami . ……

(3) Mike Jacobs, seen here at Rockies spring training in March, says he took HGH to treat knee and back problems . Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

(4) Bud Selig , Rob Manfred and former MLBPA Executive Director Donald Fehr who now holds a similar position with the NHLPA are seen here being sworn in before giving testimony to the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee up on Capitol Hill , Washington DC in 2008 . AP/Getty Images /Jamie Squires …….

(5) JEANNETTE, PA – AUGUST 12: Terrelle Pryor works out at a practice facility while quarterbacks coach Ken Anderson looks on on August 12, 2011 in Jeannette, Pennsylvania. Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images …….

(6) New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) smiles as he talks to teammates Rob Gronkowski (87) and Sebastian Vollmer (76) in the huddle during the first quarter of an NFL preseason football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Thursday, Aug. 18, 2011 in Tampa, Fla. The Patriots would go on to defeat the Buccaneers 31-14 AP Photo/Brian Blanco ……..

(7) New England Patriots’ Albert Haynesworth during NFL football training camp in Foxborough, Mass. Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2011. AP Photo/Winslow Townson ……….

(8) FOXBORO, MA – AUGUST 11: Chad Ochocinco (85) of the New England Patriots talks with teammate Tom Brady (12) in the fourth quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars on August 11, 2011 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The New England Patriots defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 47-12 . Photo by Elsa/Getty Images …….

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The Silly Season Has Begun ………. What Else Is There Left To Say ?

The Silly Season Has Begun ………. What Else Is There Left To Say ?

Well with the NFL lockout having ended all that was now left is to witness the mayhem as teams summarily jettisoned players superfluous to their needs. One has to wonder whether or not this was the madness envisaged by the fans , team owners , league hierarchy and the general managers ? The $120 million salary cap has somehow got teams envisioning themselves as Imelda Marcos on a shopping spree looking to fill their shoe closet . How much does a pair of Bruno Magli cost nowadays ? And if so did OJ Simpson auction off his infamous pair on E-bay ?

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Somehow with all of these cuts made and then with players being acquired by new teams there had to be one or two surprises that would leave the fans in shock . As a New England Patriots’ fan I was completely taken aback with the moves made by Bill Belichick and the front office staff in acquiring both Albert Haynesworth and Chad Ochocinco . I can only surmise that Robert Kraft , GM Nick Caserio and senior consultant Floyd Reese had to have given this all their blessing ! Unless hell had frozen over in the forty eight hours since the lockout ended this to me was something that not even I had seen coming . Anyone who has witnessed the play of Haynesworth during his tenure with the Washington Redskins will know that like a clock that has stopped chiming he will only be right twice during the day . That has essentially summed up the player’s ability and commitment to being a team player . As for Ochocinco, he like Haynesworth must be viewed as another reclamation project by the coach and his assistants .

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FOXBOROUGH, MA – JULY 29: Tom Brady (12) of the New England Patriots chats with teammate Aaron Hernandez (85), who wears the number that new teammate Chad Ochocinco wore as a Cincinnati Bengal, during training camp at Gillette Stadium on July 29, 2011 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images …

For the life of me I’m beginning to wonder whether or not Bill Belichick really believes that he can turn around the career of any player who just happens to be considered on the downside of their career . First came Randy Moss who would then chose to basically talk his way off the roster in midseason like any other self serving individual . And if that wasn’t enough we then had Adalius Thomas thinking that he could simply act the fool by simply not being part of a team . If there’s one thing that’s made clear when it comes to the Patriots , the egos are simply left at the door as it’s business as usual with a view to acting like a professional. Granted , Bill Belichick belies that at times with something of a rather conceited attitude but with him , it is what it is !

Last season was something of a tremendous disappointment from my own standpoint seeing this team fall flat on its face when it mattered most during the postseason in their loss to the New York Jets . It is at times like this when I wonder whether or not if this team has become completely complacent or is it more down to the lackadaisical approach of Bill Belichick and his coaching staff ? This season however with the acquisitions made and that of the draft picks added to bolster the existing roster has me now believing that the New England Patriots’ window of opportunity is slowly closing but now more than ever before they will have to acquit themselves rather than thinking that they can merely stroll their way into the postseason.

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Tom Brady (12) and Chad Ochocinco of the New England Patriots chat during training camp at Gillette Stadium on July 29, 2011 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

If the Patriots are to be successful this upcoming season and make inroads not just within the AFC East but across the league as a whole , then the likes of Wes Welker , Deion Branch , Aaron Hernandez , ;Danny Woodhead , Rob Gronkowski , Devin McCourty , and others will have to step up to the plate and be held accountable . The signing of both Albert Haynesworth and Chad Ochocinco would suggest that Bill Belichick believes that the duo are indeed the pieces needed to make this team much more formidable but from my own standpoint this is such a gamble that if things don’t work out , then given the mindset of Haynesworth and Ochocinico , that when things simply are not going their way they are both inclined to be truculent and to act infantile . But this all can be allayed if Tom Brady and the senior members of the Patriots make it clear that nothing short of their best efforts on the field will be accepted . If that situation can be broached then there’s no reason to believe why they can’t be successful . But as of now that has to be viewed as a big “if “ given the egos of the two players in question !

Consistency has never been the real issue with the New England Patriots , if anything it has been those momentary lapses at the most inopportune of times that has ultimately led to their demise . Repeatedly we have seen this happen when the team has a game within its grasp only to see them let it slip away. Now comes the hard part for the organization and that’s to prove that as perennial contenders they are justified as being viewed __ as just that !

The AFC is as strong as ever with the teams we have come to expect who will be vying for dominance within the conference. With franchises such as the Baltimore Ravens , Indianapolis Colts , New York Jets and San Diego Chargers looking to vie for the honor of being the AFC’s representative for the Superbowl it certainly will be interesting to see what transpires as the season unfolds.

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Nate Solder the Patriots’ number one overall pick seen here during the NFL Scouting Combine at the Indianapolis Colts’ facility in Indianapolis , Indiana . AP Photo/ Ryan Walters ……..

This season is now fraught with danger in so many ways as I do believe that a number of teams could very well stumble out of the gate . Much has been made of the fact that during the offseason the players were unable to practice at their training facilities under the auspices of their respective coaches . And I am sure that with newly installed members Pat Shurmur , John Fox , Jim Harbaugh and Ron Rivera all looking to acquit themselves well with their respective new teams as this season has the makings of one being literally full of surprises in more ways than one !

Curiously enough given the fact the New England Patriots seem to be prudent in their draft assessment and the choices they make . I for one will be looking forward to see what possible contributions can be made by the rookies on the team . Ryan Mallett is no doubt being groomed as the possible successor to Tom Brady down the line and the team’s number one overall pick (17th in the first round). Defensive lineman Nate Solder along with DB Ras I Dowling have to be viewed as the players who are likely to make an immediate impact should they be given the chance to perform. But it’s still early days yet and one simply cannot take it as written in stone that these players will matriculate into something special . We have seen along the way that with highly prized college talent many of them simply have fallen by the wayside failing to fulfill the expectations first thought . Simply look no further than the likes of Vince Young and Matt Leinart for the answer as to the high praise heaped upon two players that failed to live up to the perceived hype !

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In this off-season what moves as such have simply comes as either a momentous shock or surprise to you ? And how if anything do you feel that the players in question will fare this upcoming season ? Simply chime in with a comment as you see fit and thanks as always for the continued support .

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

Picture and slide show details .

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(1) New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick smiles at a news conference during NFL football training camp in Foxborough , Mass., Friday, July 29, 2011. AP Photo/Charles Krupa …..

(2) FOXBOROUGH, MA – JULY 29: Tom Brady (12) of the New England Patriots chats with teammate Aaron Hernandez (85), who wears the number that new teammate Chad Ochocinco wore as a Cincinnati Bengal, during training camp at Gillette Stadium on July 29, 2011 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images …

(3) Tom Brady (12) of the New England Patriots participates in training camp at Gillette Stadium on July 29, 2011 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images ……

(4) Tom Brady (12) and Chad Ochocinco of the New England Patriots chat during training camp at Gillette Stadium on July 29, 2011 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images ……

(5) Defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth (92 ) of the Washington Redskins stands on the sidelines during preseason NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on September 2, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Redskins 20-10 . The player was obtained in a trade by the New England Patriots this offseason after the NFL lockout had ended . Getty Images / Christian Petersen ……

(6) FOXBOROUGH, MA – JULY 29: Quarterbacks Jonathan Crompton (7) and Ryan Mallett (15) of the New England Patriots participate in training camp at Gillette Stadium on July 29, 2011 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images ……

(7) Nate Solder the Patriots’ number one overall pick seen here during the NFL Scouting Combine at the Indianapolis Colts’ facility in Indianapolis , Indiana . AP Photo/ Ryan Walters ……..

(8) San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh shakes hands with a well-wisher during an NFL football press conference in Santa Clara, Calif., Monday, July 25, 2011. AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez ….

(9) Cleveland Browns’ President & Head of Football Operations Mike Holmgren is seen here as the formal introductions are made of Pat Shurmur as the new head coach of the team . AP Photo/ Matthew Jennings …..
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The Real Funny Side Of Sports You’d Think ………….

The Real Funny Side Of Sports You’d Think …………

The longer this facade goes on the more asinine I know that baseball has become in terms of the game’s hierarchy , the team owners and the mere fact that they’ve never been known to show any common sense . The sharks are now circling the Los Angeles Dodgers as they smell blood and the idiocy of the team’s owner Frank McCourt only further adds to the illusion that when the league hierarchy saw fit to grant him the right to purchase the team from Fox and its parent company NewsCorp when they simply hadn’t used due diligence .

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The organization is now mired in so much financial mismanagement that it’s hard to understand how McCourt and the rest of the executives within the Dodgers’ front office could have been so financially irresponsible . But herein lies the caveat the league hierarchy rarely looks into the finances of its teams unless they believe there to be something inherently wrong. What might be even more surprising is that even in spite of there being clear cut evidence that something was awry with the Dodgers from a financial standpoint Bud Selig chose not to intervene until things had got to a point where one now has to question whether or not the Dodgers can now survive in its present format. If McCourt and his now ex-wife Jamie McCourt were using this organization as their very own personal ATM then questions have to now be answered with a great deal of veracity by not only Frank McCourt by the entire hierarchy of the Los Angeles Dodgers. This so called $3 billion tv contract that awaits the league’s approval has been the sole basis for McCourt to suggest that the organization has no financial worries as it also asks for $ 300 million upfront as an advance from the local Los Angeles Fox tv affiliate . What gave McCourt the impression that $ 300 million would be the cure to what ails the Los Angeles Dodgers when it is clear that he and his subordinates have contravened many of the league’s very own rules ? Now it’s becoming transparent that McCourt and those very same subordinates have been less than truthful as it relates to the organization’s financial stability.

Now the ante may well be upped in lieu of the fact that neither McCourt and Selig have met publicly to discuss the team’s issues . And with it now being reported that the Dodgers simply doesn’t have the cash available to meet its budgetary expenses for the months of May and Junes ____ you simply have to ask how much longer this idiocy can be allowed to carry on , in allowing to have McCourt even be associated with this team in any form whatsoever ? Gross negligence on his part , much of it no doubt suborned by the front office as they may well have been powerless but at the same time they also have a responsibility to the league hierarchy to report any serious malfeasance within their organization . Either Ned Colletti and CFO Peter Wilhelm are that stupid or they simply went along with the insipid moves and his then wife Jamie Court in raiding the organization’s coffers for their own malevolent needs . Frank and Jamie McCourt it is suggested were loaned $108 million between 2004-09 to fund their lavish lifestyle . If this is indeed true then I can only surmise that Frank McCourt’s estimated wealth of $1.2 billion had to have diminished immensely for him to be taking money from the coffers of the organization while they struggled to actually be competitive within NL West.

Granted this season we’ve witnessed some competitiveness from the team but as of late things have tailed off somewhat for organization as the off the field troubles has simply become a major news sports story within the game of baseball this season . The NL West as competitive as some may well believe it to be in large part has been a division that has been viewed as where the baseball being played there between those teams can be best described as being marginal . The division is now led by San Francisco Giants with a 21-16 mark followed by the Colorado Rockies (19-16) and Dodgers some 3.5 games behind with an 18-20 mark. That being said with all of the off the field controversy and mayhem taking place within the Dodgers’ organization the events taking place on the field have been forced to take a back seat as this idiocy simply plays itself out as a spectacle within the public’s domain.

It’s sad that one of baseball’s great organizations has been allowed to sink such depths but in reality this merely shows the complete ineptitude that is now on display at all levels of the game from the league hierarchy on down to the very players themselves .

If Chad Ochocinco can’t have the glare of the limelight placed upon him this NFL player simply becomes bereft of all common sense . Not content with having tried out for a roster spot with MLS soccer’s Sporting Kansas City the player is now said to be interested in riding a bull on the PBR (Professional Bull Riding) circuit . Well given the amount of bull served up last season by Ocho and the Cincinnati Bengals I just hope that the bull he’s given to ride simply stomps his ass into several hundred pieces ! The more he’s around in the NFL , the more you simply know that any team that he’s a part of is almost certainly doomed for failure . Granted, coming off a 2009 season where the Bengals were the AFC North champions 2010 was merely an afterthought as the Bengals simply slipped into a season sheer ineptitude posting a 6-10 record for the year . If that wasn’t bad enough you then had the team’s Pro Bowl quarterback Carson Palmer demanding a trade rather than remaining with the Bengals . That situation seems close to resolving itself as the team took Andy Dalton as their second pick 35th overall in this season’s NFL Draft .

From my own perspective the problems of the Cincinnati Bengals are many , from a defense that’s simply become non-existent to an offense that on its best days would simply have problems making a first down, much less putting up points on the board as and when needed . It simply wasn’t merely about Palmer’s problems both on and off the field but the mere fact that Marvin Lewis lost control of these players and little of what he or his coaching staff imparted on those players actually manifested itself on the field of play last season. This season the Bengals could very well be at odds with itself as well as the incumbents within the AFC North. This much is certain if the Bengals are to have any chance being legitimately viewed as contender within the AFC much less the rest of the NFL then Ochocinco and this team will very much have to prove themselves worthy adversaries of their opponents this season . A great deal is being asked of Andy Dalton if he’s chosen to be the team’s quarterback but in lieu of that fact his being thrown in at the deep end may not be the wisest of choices but it may well be the only one that can be made by Marvin Lewis and his staff.

Well now that the Boston Celtics have been unceremoniously dumped out of this season’s NBA Playoffs in their series loss to the Miami Heat . The orbituaries are now being written as to the demise of several players on this team . It appears that negotiations are underway to retain the services of Doc Rivers as the team’s coach . But if anything GM Danny Ainge , senior managing partner Wyc Grousbeck and the other managing partners can’t have been entirely happy in the way that this teams was summarily dispatched by this Heat team .

This 4-1 series loss by the Boston Celtics to the Miami Heat in essence explained a lot about the two diverging paths that these two heave have taken over the course of the regular season. Having won their regular season meetings 3-1 the Celtics may well have felt that they had the upper hand were they to meet again in the postseason. But if anything it was the Heat who took heart from those meetings knowing that they had to up their game and play with a great deal more resolve. Erik Spoelstra having got this team play much more cohesively, began to see the fruits of his labor . At the same time team President Pat Riley and team owner Micky Arison now know that all of the maneuvering and the subsequent work done by Dwyane Wade in persuading both Chris Bosh and LeBron James to sign with the team was not only in the players’ best interests as it offered them the best chance of winning an NBA title but it also benefited the Heat organization from a competitive and financial standpoint as well.

For the Boston Celtics Ainge alongside Rivers and the coaching staff must now look at how best rebuild this team and what if any major roster changes need to be made if they’re return back the playoffs as a formidable postseason opponent. We surely have seen the last of both Jermaine O’Neal and Shaquille O’Neal as players within the NBA . Collectively the duo offered little if anything to the team during much of the postseason. However my greatest gripe concerning the fall from grace by the Celtics was the absurd notion by Danny Ainge that his trade deadline moves of trading both Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson actually made the Celtics better , when he got little , tangible in return from those deals . He may well have done that to pare down the Celtics’ payroll but that all seems redundant when you consider that jointly Jermaine and Shaquille O’Neal were earning more than Perkins and Robinson combined this season. Contract lenght asides who in their right mind would want two aging veterans who between them offered nothing to this team throughout much of the regular season other than being a complete waste of space on the bench ?

It remains to be seen the steps to be taken by Ainge and his staff but this much is certain for the large part this current roster will most certainly change in its current format and for the large part we will be seeing a number of new faces on this team be it via free agency or through the upcoming NBA Draft.

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What thoughts if any do you have on the topics raised within this piece ? Simply chime in with a comment .

Alan aka tophatal ………………….

https://tophatal.wordpress.com

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(1) Tom Schieffer , the man charged by Major League Baseball with sorting through the finances of the Los Angeles Dodgers, is interviewed in New York, Thursday, May 12, 2011. AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews …..

(2) Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop Ronny Cedeno, right, watches his throw to first after forcing out Los Angeles Dodgers’ Andre Ethier during the second inning of a baseball <a href="http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2011_05_12_lanmlb_pitmlbgame in Pittsburgh on Thursday, May 12, 2011. Juan Uribe was out at first. AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar ….

(3) Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig listens to a question during a news conference on Thursday, May 12, 2011 in New York. Selig gave Frank McCourt the face-to-face meeting the Los Angeles Dodgers owner wanted, but provided no timetable on approving a proposed $3 billion television deal with Fox that would keep the club from running out of cash at the end of the month. Selig and McCourt met Wednesday when owners began a two-day quarterly meeting at Major League Baseball’s office. AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews …..

(4) Dodgers’ GM Ned Colletti (left) and the team’s owner Frank McCourt . This was Colletti’s formal introduction to the public as the team’s new GM in November 2005. Icon SMI/ Larry Goren ……. .

(5) A.J. Green(4) overall pick by the Cincinnati Bengals, poses for a photo on stage with family members during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City. Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images ….

(6) Cincinnati Bengals second round draft pick Andy Dalton(notes), left, a quarterback from TCU, and third round draft pick Dontay Moch, a linebacker from Nevada, right, pose with their jerseys during an NFL football news conference, Saturday, April 30, 2011, in Cincinnati. AP Photo/ David Kohl ……..

(7) Cincinnati Bengals first round draft pick A.J. Green, right, speaks at a news conference with head coach Marvin Lewis, Friday, April 29, 2011 in Cincinnati. Green, a wide receiver from Georgia, will wear number 18 for the NFL football team. AP Photo/Al Behrman ……….

(8) Chad Ochocinco begins tryout with Sporting Kansas City on March 23, 2011 in Kansas City, Missouri. The player having gained a roster spot with the team is now said to be interested in riding a bull within the PBR circuit . Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images ……

(9) Boston Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge talks with reporters during a news conference at the team’s NBA basketball training facility in Waltham, Mass., Friday, May 13, 2011. AP Photo/Michael Dwyer …….

(10) MIAMI, FL – MAY 11: LeBron James (6) of the Miami Heat gets emotional after closing out the series against the Boston Celtics in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on May 11, 2011 at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images …..

(11) Mario Chalmers (15) of the Miami Heat is congratulated by Ray Allen (20) of the Boston Celtics after Game Five of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2011 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Arena on May 11, 2011 in Miami, Florida. Getty Images /Mike Ehrmann ………

(12) Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers reacts on the sideline during Game Five of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2011 NBA Playoffs against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena on May 11, 2011 in Miami, Florida. NBAE/Getty Images/ Mike Ehrmann ……….

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MLB News

MLB Standings

MLB Schedule 3 days at a glance

Probable starting pitchers 13th May 2011

Probable starters 14th May 2011

MLB Scoreboard

MLB results & scores 12th May 2011

NFL News

NBA News

NBA Playoffs

NBA Schedule

NBA Conference Finals

Eastern Conference

Chicago Bulls ……. vs ……. Miami Heat

Western Conference

Dallas Mavericks …… TBD …….. winners of the series between Memphis Grizzlies …… & ….. Oklahoma City Thunder

NFL Season At A Glance ……………….

NFL Season At A Glance ……………….

The NFL —– season has been one of surprises and a great deal of disappointment and if anything the off the field stories have been just as suspenseful as the intrigue on the field. Brett Favre’s downward spiral into mediocrity has been one big hoop-lah after the other. And it would appear that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell would rather suborn the player’s behavior and hide behind the fact that quite possibly Favre’s imminent retirement will circumvent him having to suspend the player if his verdict is in fact a positive one that finds the player guilty any wrongdoing in his alleged sexual misconduct concerning a former New York Jets’ employee.

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Slide show for your perusal

On the field we’ve seen the fall from grace of the Minnesota Vikings and Dallas Cowboys the presumptive favorites to make it to this season’s NFC championship game. And as much as I’d like to say that it all came as a surprise to me but in reality nothing pleased me more than seeing both of these over hyped and underachieving teams fall like a lead balloon. Foolhardy management, inadequate coaching and players who simply were complacent essentially played a part in the soap opera that has encapsulated both teams’ season. For owners Jerry Jones and Zygi Wilf they’ve seen their year fall apart and that of any ambition they had professionally as well as from a financial standpoint. In Wilf’s case it was also the prospect of having the upper hand in terms of persuading the state legislature in their upcoming vote for a new stadium for the Minnesota Vikings. Jerry Jones’ ambition of not only hosting the Superbowl as the NFC representative has been shot to hell .

Coaching changes are abound with two firings have taken place Wade Philips , Brad Childress and it’s clear that with the Cincinnati Bengals —– Marvin Lewis choosing not to return to the team next season we may well be in for a slew of coaching upheavals with there being speculation as to whether or not the likes of Jon Gruden , Bill Cowher and Tony Dungy will be making a return to the NFL. They are viewed as the top three desirable coaching free agents on the market and it’d be asinine to think that a number of teams around the NFL won’t offer the trio an interview for any vacancy that may well arise.

Now while a number of teams are now in the mix for a playoff spot as well as those divisional titles that have yet to be settled . It goes without saying that for those teams who could end up playing spoiler and put an end of those postseason desirables. In the AFC West where I’ve always maintained that the football being played there borders on being mediocre, I’m still at a loss to understand the explanation and excitement that’s foisted upon the San Diego Chargers because they go on late regular season run as they strive to make the playoffs. For me if you simply can’t be consistent throughout the season then it simply doesn’t augur well for any ambition that they might have as the month of December and January approaches . As it is Norv Turner’s —- team is now in the fight of their life just to win their division and perhaps gain a postseason berth in the playoffs as a wild-card entrant. The division is now simply the Kansas City Chiefs to lose and as I alluded to earlier with the ineptitude being shown as to the form within the division just about anything can happen and actually has happened during the course of the season.

The NFC West has been no different as there we could well see a division winner with a sub .500 record make the playoffs. Clearly there are many fans in general, as well several team executives who feel that this is something that shows why many feel that they’re ought to be a change in the playoff format as it relates to the postseason seedings. But with there being no outwardly directly calls vocally as of yet other than the murmured rumblings for the moment the format is unlikely to change.

Steve Spagnuolo’s —- St Louis Rams appear to be in the driver’s seat with regard to the NFC West and their game against the San Francisco 49ers being a titanic matchup of two teams looking to make their bid. Guided by Sam Bradford , the Rams could be the surprise team of the playoffs as no one could’ve foreseen the strides taken not only by the team but also by Bradford in his rookie season . In terms of the 49ers this has been something of a tumultuous season as from one moment to the next Mike Singletary seems to have lost control of this team . And it would appear that he can’t make up his mind as which quarterback is his best option to lead this team. Alex Smith still remains an enigma despite his five years in the league and with Troy Smith this season has simply seen him placed into his cauldron for his baptism of fire with the 49ers .

The AFC and for all of the drama that has taken place there it seems that Bill Belichick has the New England Patriots riding high and Tom Brady would appear to be now the odds on favorite this season for league MVP. Brady’s year has been an exceptional one with this high scoring offense and a plethora of offensive weapons . But if there’s a cause for concern then it has to be this young defense that has been somewhat inconsistent but then at times they give you a snap as to what they might be potentially by showing their athleticism .

The AFC South now seems to be up for grabs and it appears that the Jacksonville Jaguars may well have played themselves out of contention for the division. A week ago you’d have been hard pressed to have bet against the Jaguars but it now appears that Jim Caldwell and the Indianapolis Colts led by Peyton Manning are is in a fight to make this division theirs once again. The Houston Texans who came out of the starting gates like a stallion seems to have fallen off the track and it now looks as if Gary Kubiak’s tenure as the team’s coach could very well be coming to an abrupt end. With that type of high powered offense it’s easy to see the appetite that the analysts may well have had for the team . But offense alone simply doesn’t win games the Texans’ defense this season has been as porous as a sponge giving up points like a child gives up his or her lunch money having been bullied by an elder child. Let’s just say that the Texans have been extremely philanthropic when it comes to losing.

The Jacksonville Jaguars should they fall at this obstacle it’s hard to see how these players and in particular Jack Del Rio can look the the fans in the eye and state they tried their best. Their best has never and was never good enough , enough it was marginally above average , if that at all !

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Now while many have made the comment that the Cleveland Browns have finally began to show some signs of life playing with a great deal of bravura it has to be said their divisional rivals the Cincinnati Bengals have been an immense disappointment . And despite the outward looking optimism shown by some team members Chad Ochocinco and Carson Palmer have shown little to suggest that they have what it takes to lead this team. The only positive to come out of this all may well have been the play of Terrell Owens who seems to have had a year that shows that he’s got a great deal to play for. Beyond that trying to salvage anything from this mess would be like shoveling manure and then suggesting that some real use can be made of it when you know that the flowers in a garden that have already blossomed.

As to what the remainder of the season portends for the NFL and these teams it remains to be seen what will transpire. But this much is certain with all of the drama that has taken place both on and off the field we do still have the intensity and the thrill of the postseason yet to avail itself to us. Make of it what you will . What thoughts if any do you have as to what you’ve witnessed this season within the NFL and what thoughts if any do you have with regard to the playoffs ?

Alan aka tophatal ………………………………..

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Laura-XXL Magazine

Eye candy …………….. Laura looking chivalrous, something to get your appetite up and running.

Hey Did You Hear The One ’bout the NFL ? It’s Back

Hey Did You Hear The One ’bout the NFL ? It’s Back

Well the NFL season unofficially kicks off this weekend with the Hall of Fame game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Cincinnati Bengals . Suffice to say, that with the Hall of Fame induction of seven legendary stars of the gridiron and then the commencement of the game we can truly say that ….. “football is back ” ! And hopefully it’ll be as good as ever ?

Now given what we know about the NFL and all of its machinations the possibility of seeing a repeat champion might not be out of the question. But as we all know the successful defense of a Superbowl championship is such a hard thing to achieve. For the New Orleans Saints , their fans and the entire organization this will be uppermost in their minds. Sunday’s game pits two of the league’s more exuberant teams and the mere fact that a great deal is expected of both this upcoming season makes it something of an intriguing match-up. Granted, as usual the Cowboys are continually feted as America’s team which to my mind is like viewing Rosie O’Donnell as the best looking female you’ve ever come across in your life . But unfortunately there are some out there who can continue to jump on this Cowboys’ bandwagon even when they’re traveling on three wheels with a busted tire . Ugly ! Really ugly !

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We know that the Bengals have somehow seen fit to offer Terrel Owens somewhere to lay his head and call home but in the cold light of day what happens when Owens aind the rest of this roster faces real adversity ? Never mind how he and Chad Ochocinco feel that they’ll grace us with their presence. Now they’re trying to come cross as the NFL’s answer to Martin and Lewis ?

Let’s stop for a moment of silence while we pray for Brett Favre . To Jenn Sterger if the text image of Brett’s “crank” was such a shock to you then why did you not make law enforcement aware of what he’d allegedly done ? Let’s hope that for the Vikings’ sake this season Brett’s showing less of his crank and more of his prowess on the field of play the team . But that of course would be predicated upon the player making an announcement of his full intent to return to the NFL. Once again he’s playing us all ,thinking the entire fan-dom of the NFL awaits upon his every word. Perhaps that’s the case for the dundering idiots within the ESPN who hang unto his every word as if he’d become Jesus Christ incarnate upon his return to earth ? But to them isn’t Brett , Christ __ himself ? Now Brett ranks up there with LeBron James being a very close second in all things futile when it comes to related sport’s journalism within that particular bastion of idiocy !

One good season doesn’t a great player make but were you listening to New York Jets’ coach Rex Ryan speak he’d have you believe that Darrelle Revis is by far the “best player” in the NFL ? He might be bordering on becoming one of the better players at his position but by no means is he the best at his position much less the best player in the NFL. It’s as one patron once tried to suggest to me because certain Pro Bowl player had been lauded by NFL coaches and analysts across the NFL it made him a legitimate player of with credence within the game. Being feted means nothing in the NFL when you can’t play with consistency week and week out . Unfortunately, this came from someone who because he felt he’d coached the game at a certain level , it made him ever so qualified to come up with his diatribe. Well I view that , like asking Sarah Palin her views on world peace , the US Constitution and the reasons behind the US Supreme Court and the reasons behind its very existence . Listening to Palin to try say something intelligent on a subject, is akin to listening to a drunk tell you that he’d been abducted by a UFO . Which begs the questions are crop circles possible within the state of Alaska ?

This season for the Jets could either be something to relish or they could be in for something of a letdown. Either way within the AFC East the division could become something of a two horse race between themselves and the New England Patrtiots . And for both teams this may well season where we’ll find out a great deal about their psyche’s and makeup in terms of their resilience and performance on the field of play.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell still hasn’t come to a decision concerning whether or not the six game suspension of Steelers’ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will be reduced or remain intact. Well that’s as he peases concerning the player. Upon his return to the team’s training camp in Latrobe , Pennsylvania, it looked as if the short lived memories of those fans had taken the stance of “forgive” and “forget” as the player was welcomed back with open arms by his teammates and fans alike . Which begs the question in light of an Indianapolis Colts’ defensive player still awaiting the league’s own adjudication as to his conduct concerning sexual battery upon a female . How is that Goodell has yet to make statement on that very matter , much less he’s yet to suspend the player ? The player conduct policy gives him the right to suspend a player for any action deemed to be conduct detrimental to the game and is in complete agreement with the collective bargaining agreement hammered out between the league and the NFLPA. Somehow isn’t Goodell now coming across as something of a hypocrite as to how he seeks to reprimand players when it comes to their conduct ?

When the NFL Draft came about this year the thinking was that there was a rich crop of talent to be had . And that may well have been the case but somehow I do feel that we’ll see a number of players struggle in within their freshman year in the league. This much we do know is that the NFL is extremely brutal and if there’s indeed a flaw in a player’s game then they will be found out. There are no if’s or and’s about it come to play or get the hell of the football field ! I just hope that EPSN’s Mel Kiper is now taking this to heart because his opinions on players such as Jimmy Clausen wherein he pronounced that the player had what it takes to be an immediate impact in the NFL must’ve fell on deaf ears. Claussen slipped so far down on everyone’s charts that you’d have needed not only a periscope to find the guy but also sonar . Be that as it may the player now finds himself or Carolina under the auspices of John Fox and the Carolina Panthers . Something of a comedown one would think from his days under Charlie Weis and the beleaguered “Fighhting Irish” program , where we were told the player was being coahed in an NFL type of an environment. Anyone who’d witnessed the play of Notre Dame under Weis can attest to the fact that their play was nowhere that of an NFL team much less a really bad NFL team . Suffice to say that shit would refuse to be seen in the same vicinity of anything said to be resembling football coming out of Notre Dame while Weis and his staff were coaching there ! It was that bad , if not worse !

If ever there was a time for Matt Leinart to prove to the fans in Arizona and around the NFL that he’s matured then this season with the Arizona Cardinals would be it. With the retirement of Kurt Warner this is now Leinart’s team to lead. And now we’ll see whether or not he’s mature enough and he’s shown signs that all of the coddling he’d received at the hands of Pete Carroll and the coaching staff at USC is a thing of the past . Certainly, if he’s not shown signs that he’s learned anything as the backup to Warner while still learning the nuances of the game from Ken Whisenhunt’s —- coaching staff then the Cardinals and Matt Leinart could be doomed for a bumpy ride and distinct failure in the NFC West this upcoming season. But then again this is the NFC West we’re talking about where mediocrity and barely above average is such a thin line that anything could happen and will no doubt happen. So inept and mediocre has been the play within the division that the consensus has been that whoever turns up on the day in uniform within the division ready to play could be considered to be the favorite to win the division outright. If you don’t believe me then consider the make up the division and the rosters of the teams therein ?

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What I for one am hoping for from this NFL season is an exhilarating one where the teams are eager to play and the stars of the game are ready to show us what they’ve got. I can only imagine that the TO , Ochocinco show on the road should be something of a blast . However, if the Bengals aren’t fairing at all well within the AFC much less the AFC North then look for the roadshow to implode with that bitch simply turning into a circus and freak show all rolled into one. It’ll make the antics of the guidos and guidettes of the Jersey Shore seem like academia in one form or another . What thoughts if any do you have on the kick-off the upcoming NFL season ? Chime on in with a comment as always . Thanks !

NB: Click on the link provided to see who the 2010 NFL Hall of Fame inductees due for enshrinement in Canton , Ohio. Russ Grimm , —- Rickey Jackson , _—- Dick LeBeau , Floyd Little , John Randle , Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith .

Inductees due for enshrinement in 2010

🙂

Alan aka tophatal …………………………………. 🙂

House of Pain …….. ………. “On Point”

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House of Pain …………..“Jump Around”

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“I got to see Brett’s crank because he text me a picture of it . What have you got show for yourself ” ? Jenn Sterger .

Genie of the Lamp

Genie of the Lamp

I am not the genie of the lamp nor will I be providing any outright prognostications but will however say this concerning the reminder of the baseball season. Many things are expected of the Tampa Bay Rays and their dispassionate fans will be hoping that the team can really make it to their second World Series in three years and perhaps win their first title.

This Joe Maddon managed team is playing some great baseball and though the fans haven’t turned out in droves to support the team there’s still a hardcore base there that comes out to see the home team when they play at Tropicana Field in St Petersburg , Florida. We can attest to the fact that this team is very good it cannot be hidden that the Rays are no longer team that is easily intimidated. What we do know however is , if the support isn’t forthcoming from the community at large then this may well be the last hoo-rah for baseball within the community and Tampa Bay area as a whole. The front office of the organization have tried as they might to make it a going concern within the area but it all now seems to be for nought. Furthermore , the political and economic uncertainty still doesn’t make it a foregone conclusion that a new ballpark will be built for the team at some time in the future. And most certainly no one at this juncture is prepared to state who will end up financing such an endeavor . All we’ve tended to hear have been the sound bytes and not much else.

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Courtesy of St Petersburg Times


New stadium talks will wait until after the season ends

By Micheal Van Sickler , Time Staff Writer

ST. Petersburg — The Tampa Bay Rays and St. Petersburg officials have scrapped negotiations for a new stadium until after the last pitch of the World Series, sometime in November.

From the way negotiations have unfolded so far, they don’t agree on much.

Mayor Bill Foster said Wednesday that his offer last week to permit the Rays to leave Tropicana Field for a stadium anywhere in St. Petersburg and the greater Gateway area “was my best and final.”

Yet on Tuesday, Rays president Matt Silverman rejected this offer and said the club needs to consider all sites in the region, including Hillsborough County — which Foster said is off-limits.

“We’re really in uncharted territory,” said Rick Eckstein, co-author of the 2003 book Public Dollars, Private Stadiums. “If there’s going to be a standoff, it would be unprecedented.”

When it comes to Major League Baseball, cities cave and let teams out of iron-clad leases all the time, Eckstein said.

“The politicians see teams as huge trophies,” said Eckstein, a Villanova University sociology professor. “They don’t want to be associated with losing one. So if (St. Petersburg) holds to this, it would be revolutionary.”

Foster and City Attorney John Wolfe are relying on the city’s contract with the Rays, signed in 1995, to settle the conflict. The contract keeps the Rays at Tropicana Field through the 2027 season . If the Rays leave early, the contract says the city would be compensated for the economic loss.

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Now as we come down to the trade deadline __ 31st Julythere’s no sign that the team will be involved in any trades and at the same time they’re financially constrained by a budget that is meager the to say the very least. So much of what the fans will expect will come about from the resilience shown by the team on the field of play. Here’s hoping the Tampa Bay Rays can attain some success in the postseason .

Perhaps we’re all under the impression that having both TO and Ochocinco on the same team is a bad idea ? Now pardon me for saying this but Marvin Lewis and Carson Palmer are either in need of psychiatric help or they my well be unto something , with the combination of the two productive but lugubrious wide receivers. My guess and question would be , will there be enough balls on the field for two of the most bombastic and self promoting characters in the NFL ? Question who’s balls are actually bigger ? TO’s or Chad Ochocinco ?

To say that the Cincinnati Bengals have underperformed over the last few seasons certainly wouldn’t be stretching the truth. More to the point would be ,how it that Lewis is still an NFL coach is simply beyond me ! Let’s just say his idea of success when measured against the failures of his peers has me wondering what indeed is wrong the Bengalis’ hierarchy (front office) to begin with ? I can only surmise that team President Mike Brown woke from the midst of a nightmare and thought to himself what else can we as an organization can do to bring fans back to Paul Brown Stadium ? Hell if signing Owens was “his first” and “only option” then I’ve got several thousand acres of prime real estate in the Middle East that I’d like to sell to him …….. Kabul , Afghanistan to be more precise.

Courtesy of Associated Press & Yahoo Sports

T.O. misses flight to Bengals camp

By Joe Kay, AP Sports Writer

Georgetown, Ky. (AP)—Terrell Owens missed his flight but got his number.

When he finally makes it to town—a little late—he’ll be wearing his familiar 81.

The Cincinnati Bengals’ latest addition missed his overnight flight from the West Coast and had to take a later one on Thursday, delaying his debut at training camp.

The Bengals had planned on him arriving early in the day, taking his physical and signing his one-year contract while the rest of the team held its first workout. They scheduled an introductory news conference after the morning practice.

The news conference had to be rescheduled for after the evening session. Coach Marvin Lewis wasn’t sure whether the 36-year-old receiver would arrive in time to work out.

On his Twitter account, Owens posted a note Wednesday night saying he was headed to see a movie. He didn’t explain why he missed his flight on Thursday, but confirmed that his news conference had to be rescheduled.

“My Press conf about my “Decision” 2 take my talents 2 Cincy will b held 2nite after 7pm practice!!” he tweeted, playing off LeBron James’ one-hour television show announcing his decision to leave Cleveland.

Owens also misspelled Cincinnati in one of his tweets and was quickly corrected by a follower.

“Okayyyyyy I got it now, 2 n’s & 1 t! CINCINNATI!! LOL!” he tweeted.

He’ll have to make a donation to keep his favorite uniform number.

Receiver Antonio Bryant got No. 81 when the Bengals chose him over Owens in the offseason, giving him a four-year deal. Bryant said after the morning practice that he had already talked to Owens and agreed to give up his number.
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The upcoming season with regard to the Cincinnati Bengals should go a long way in telling us about the team and the mindset of its management. Failure at this juncture and both Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens’ days in the NFL could very well be numbered.

Having worked in the field of high finance within the city of London , the “Square Mile” often known as the financial heartbeat of the world, as there are more trades done there than any other financial center across the globe. Two trillion dollars ($2,000,000,000,000) a day wouldn’t be beyond the stretch of one’s imagination concerning the volumes of the trades being worked through each day. Specialists in those fields were highly sought after and their expertise was richly rewarded. There was a gentleman’s agreement that when seeking to hire from beyond one’s domain common courtesy was sought in approaching a perspective hire by first seeking the approval of that person’s employer for making an approach. The same such situation now applies to the NFL . But it’d appear that USC’s __ Lane Kiffin doesn’t believe that such rules apply to him when it comes to the hiring of his coaching staff .

Kiffin in hiring the Tennessee Titans former assistant running backs’ coach Kennedy Pola did so without first seeking the team’s permission with an approach to an initial interview . At the time of his hiring Pola was still in contract negotiations with the Titans. Now we could make a case for the argument that with Pola’s negotiations were not going to well with the organization and it led to his leaving the Tennessee Titans. But what might prove to be more unacceptable was that while Pola was still in negotiation with the Titans , he was talking through back channels with Kiffin and the Trojans. This doesn’t stretch the credibility of Kiffin’s stance that this was merely an unfortunate turn of events as it only muddy’s the waters in trying to ascertain the real truth as to what went on. And clearly at this juncture no one from within the Trojans’ athletic department is prepared to make a public statement on the matter. Most certainly Kiffin, himself, has now become somewhat docile in giving a taciturn response. Whereas, within the Titans’ front office and that of the team’s coach Jeff Fisher there is a great deal of anger and disgust by Lane Kiffin’s actions and that of Kennedy Pola. With there being no outright action that can be taken the NFL , the Titans have seen fit to seek their right of recourse through the legal system.

Courtesy of Associated Press & Yahoo Sports

USC’s Kiffin irks Titans’ Fisher with Pola hire

By Greg Beacham , AP Sports Writer

Los Angeles (AP)—Add Titans coach Jeff Fisher to the list of people Lane Kiffin had ticked off in Tennessee.

Kiffin hired Titans assistant coach Kennedy Pola on Saturday to be his offensive coordinator and running backs coach at Southern California, irking Fisher by failing to follow the usual protocol in courting another team’s assistant.

Fisher voiced his displeasure with his alma mater’s new head coach to the Tennessean newspaper, saying Kiffin hadn’t made the customary contact to tell the NFL team he was interested in Pola, a former USC player and assistant coach who joined the Titans after last season ended.

The move also left the Titans without a running backs coach one week before training camp opens.

“I am very disappointed in Lane Kiffin’s approach to this,” Fisher told the newspaper. “Typically speaking when coaches are interested in hiring or discussing potential employment from coaches on respective staffs there is a courtesy call made from the head coach or athletic director indicating there is an interest in talking to the assistant.

“So I am very disappointed in the lack of professionalism on behalf of Lane, to call me and leave me a voice mail after Kennedy had informed me he had taken the job. It is just a lack of professionalism.”

Kiffin attempted to rectify the damage later Saturday, finally reaching Fisher and discussing the abrupt move. Kiffin then issued a statement that didn’t exactly deny he had breached protocol, saying he first spoke to Pola on Friday, and then called Fisher on Saturday after Pola called him back, apparently to accept the job.

“I have spoken with Coach Fisher and he now has an accurate understanding of the timeline of events,” Kiffin said. “We realize the timing of this isn’t perfect for all parties, but this is a great opportunity and promotion for Kennedy.”

The state of Tennessee hardly needs another reason to dislike Kiffin, who infamously bolted from the Volunteers last January after just 14 months to take his self-described dream job at USC, leaving an angry mob in Knoxville.

Kiffin’s brief head coaching stints with the Oakland Raiders and Tennessee have been filled with minor missteps and conflicts, including an ugly feud with Raiders owner Al Davis and twice being reprimanded by the Southeastern Conference while he was with the Volunteers.

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Monetary compensation may well be the only satisfactory compensation that the Titans may well find from this all should there be an adjudication in their favor. As for Lane Kiffin and the USC Trojans , given the unwarranted publicity garnered from the sanctions brought down by the NCAA upon their heads. One would’ve thought that this would be last type of adverse publicity that they would want at this juncture. And Kiffin , given his predilection for being less than forthright when it comes to his honesty. I can only surmise that USC’s newly appointed athletics’ director Patrick Haden along with University President-elect C. L. Max Nikias will be looking to sit down with Kiffin for a somewhat prolonged tete-a-tete with the coach. Given the recent upheaval within the athletics department the last thing the university now needs is more egg on its face. But given the maneuvers of Lane Kiffin since his hiring by USC what other conclusions can one draw from this all at this juncture ? It’s not as Kiffin has gone out of his way to do everything by the book to begin with. He’s become more of a one man wrecking crew with his asinine remarks and his gung-ho attitude. And supposedly this is the guy the school actually sought out to succeed Pete Carroll ? Let’s just hope that he only brings along only half the controversy created by his predecessor for the university’s sake . If not then they could be in for a bumpy and unpleasant ride once again.


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Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have on the various subject matters raised within this piece ? By all means chime on in with a comment and I’ll look forward to responding in due course. Once again thanks as usual for the continued support as it is greatly appreciated !

Alan Parkins aka tophatal …………………… 🙂

Two Wrongs Don’t Make A Right ….. TO & OchoCinco In The Same Room …….. What Next ?

Two Wrongs Don’t Make A Right ….. TO & OchoCinco In The Same Room …….. What Next ?

Now don’t get me wrong as much I view ESPN as being the go ahead leader when it comes to sports broadcasting and their programming content. Every once in a while even I’ve got to question the veracity of their reporting. More often than not the likes of Chris Mortensen or John Clayton known for ‘their alleged inside sources’ within the NFL will feed us a story that in the end has not one iota of truth about it. And rarely, has a reporter or the network proffered up an apology if they’ve somehow misreported a story. But I guess next to the paparazzi and gutter press , some might think of ESPN being likened to a rose in terms of the essence of its bouquet and the smell emanating from it ? But how does one measure the essence of manure against that of a sweet smelling rose ? And who’d be stupid enough to do that in the first place ?

Cincinnati Bengals receiver Laveraneus Coles (11) catches an 11-yard touchdown pass against New York Jets cornerback Dwight Lowery (21) in the first half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2010, in Cincinnati.
Cincinnati Bengals receiver Laveraneus Coles (11) catches an 11-yard touchdown pass against New York Jets cornerback Dwight Lowery (21) in the first half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2010, in Cincinnati. photo appears courtesy of Associated Press/ David Kohl .............

The Cincinnati Bengals coming off a rather disappointing 10-6 season within the AFC North had hoped to acquit themselves well in the playoffs. As a divisional winner they would face the New York Jets in the divisional round of the wild-card NFL . Favored to win, this Marvin Lewis coached team played some uninspired football as the Jets’ rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez led his team with a great deal of aplomb , thoroughly routing the Bengals 24-14 in a somewhat lopsided victory. It wouldn’t have been such an embarrassing loss had the game been played anywhere else . But this was in front of a packed soldout home crowd at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati , Ohio. The disappointment of the fans as well the front office and owner Mike Brown wasn’t lost on anyone who had come out to support the team.

 Quarterback Carson Palmer #9 of the Cincinnati Bengals looks down at his helmet late in the fourth quarter against the New York Jets during the 2010 AFC wild-card playoff game at Paul Brown Stadium on January 9, 2010 in Cincinnati, Ohio. photo appears  courtesy of  Getty  Images/ Jonathan Daniel ....
Quarterback Carson Palmer #9 of the Cincinnati Bengals looks down at his helmet late in the fourth quarter against the New York Jets during the 2010 AFC wild-card playoff game at Paul Brown Stadium on January 9, 2010 in Cincinnati, Ohio. photo appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Jonathan Daniel ....

Courtesy of NFL.com

Agent: Bengals indeed interested in T.O.

From NFL.com …. Staff Writers

Chad Ochocinco has ‘pleaded’ for Terrell Owens to become his teammate. Evidently, the Bengals have listened.

Owens’ agent, Drew Rosenhaus, confirmed Friday night on SIRIUS NFL Radio that the Bengals are interested in the six-time Pro Bowl wide receiver.

“Right now, I would say that everyone knows that the Cincinnati Bengals have expressed some interest in Terrell, and they have spoken with him and myself,” Rosenhaus said. “Where we go from here, I’m not sure, but I think it’s at least a positive dialogue. … And we’ll just see how that plays out. But certainly that’s something that is a possibility. I guess that’s about the most I can say right now.”

Rosenhaus also represents Ochocinco, who hasn’t made it a secret that he wants Owens to give Cincinnati a 1-2 receiving punch. Owens is an unrestricted free agent after spending one season with the Bills, who decided not to offer him a contract.

UPDATE: Bengals QB Carson Palmer told the team’s official Web site he’d be willing to reach out to Owens and that he’d also like Cincinnati to look at WR Antonio Bryant, who had a strong 2008 season with the Buccaneers. Bryant suffered through injuries last season.

Bengas’ wide receiver ‘Chad Ochocinco’ looks up at the scoreboard in the waning moments of the fourth quarter of the AFC wildcard berth playoff game against the New York Jets played at Paul Brown Stadium , Cincinnati , Ohio. photo appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Johnathan Daniel ……

It’s been clear that the loss of T .J. Houshmanzadeh to the Bengals was somewhat profound. But having acquired Laveraneus Coles . It was felt that he’d have been the ideal replacement for the now Seattle Sehawks bound Houshmanzadeh. Nothing could have been further from the truth , as Coles struggled to acclimatize himself with the Bengals’ system and playbook. After one season the team has let the player go and they’re now looking to replace him. On assessing the Bengals’ roster , one would’ve thought that there would be a player the ready to step up to the plate that would be able to complement Chad Ochocinco on the other side of the field ? But alas, ‘the pickings there are bare’ and the somewhat troubled Matt Jones has been about as productive a player as the entire programming schedule of NBC’s primetime lineup !

With former Bills’ wide receiver Terrell Owens now an unrestricted free agent , it is being widely reported that the player’s next port of call will be with the Cincinnati Bengals. Over the last couple of years Owens has had more stops within the NFL than Brett Favre has in his entire NFL career thus far. By the way, are there any imminent rumors going on concerning Favre’s return ? I’d have thought that by now either Clayton , Mortensen or Mark Schlereth would have been able to tell us that ? Given the fact that all three seem to keep their noses as close as is humanly possible to Favre’s sphincter, that one would have though that they’d each be able to lick his prostate. But then where would they be if they had nothing to talk about in the NFL off-season, if it weren’t for the upcoming NFL Draft this April ? I can only surmise that Vikings’ coach Brad Childress will continue to keep the ESPN guys in the loop as to the day to day goings and comings within Minnesota Vikings’ organization !

Owens’ agent Drew Rosenhaus , never one not to be known not to pour kerosene or toss a lit match unto an already burning fire, has already been front and center extolling the virtues of his client and stating what a wonderful addition he would be to the Bengals’ organization. Don’t get me wrong but if Rosenhaus weren’t a sports agent, I could very well envisage ‘him’ being a ‘pimp’ on the streets of any major metropolitan city in the US , purveying his whores to any ‘John’ willing to purchase their services for an hour or two. Who in their right mind can really envisage seeing Ochocinco and Owens being on the same team with their egos, sharing the same ball ? Isn’t that almost as ‘combustible a mix’ as to the so called warm relationship that Owens was said to have had with Jeff Garcia , Tony Romo and Donovan McNabb ? He’s pis_ed off more players alienated himself within more NFL organizations than even I’d care to remember !

Terrell Owens #81 of the Buffalo Bills looks to run around Mike Adams #20 of the Cleveland Browns at Ralph Wilson Stadium on October 11, 2009 in Orchard Park, New York.
Terrell Owens (#81) of the Buffalo Bills looks to run around Mike Adams (#20) of the Cleveland Browns at Ralph Wilson Stadium on October 11, 2009 in Orchard Park, New York. photo appears courtesy of Getty North America / Rick Stewart .............

With Owens now almost 36 , it’s hard to see this player still being productive, given his demands salary wise and lack of real productivity. That may well be the deciding factor in all of this. In 2009 , he was paid $ 6.5 million for what one could best describe as an abysmal year by Owens’ standards. But Terrell Owens, much like his agent Drew Rosenhaus , they both love the glare of the spotlight and any publicity that can be derived from it all. However Rosenhaus tends to spin his clients lack of productivity on a woefully inept Bills’ team. There’s no denying that if he doesn’t produce in Cincinnatti , then the knives will be out from the fans as they look to place their blades between Owens’ broad shoulders. But that’s all predicated upon whether or not it’s the Bengals’ wish to indeed sign the player. The team’s Pro Bowl quarterback , Carson Palmer seems amenable to the idea of having Owens as a teammate. But as of yet we’ve yet to really hear anything concrete emanating from within the Bengals’ organization and the overtures being made by Drew Rosenhaus on his client’s behalf.

Given the travails of Owens in recent years and the way that the Bengals succumbed the Jets in the playoffs. I find it hard to believe that he’d really be able to improve the chances of the Bengals within the AFC North ,against what will be an improved Baltimore Ravens’ team and with the Pittsburgh Steelers looking to regain some semblance of respectability. And when adjudged against of the AFC , does anyone believe this to be a maneuver that will be truly of benefit to either party ? This move has to be one done out of necessity, rather than it being merely done to be capricious. If it all goes kaput , then we all know where a great deal of the blame will be apportioned !

While the pairing of Ochocinco and Owens seems great with Palmer passing the ball to either of the wide receivers. What then happens at the first sign of adversity or Owens imploding and then denigrating his teammates ? He’s done this every place that he has been within the NFL and who’s to say that we won’t see a repeat performance should he be signed by the Bengals ? Never mind Marvin Lewis and his coaching staff would have to deal with both players’ egos. Like I’ve stated in the title of this piece “……………Two Wrongs Don’t Make A Right TO & Ochocinco In The Same Room …What Next ? I’ll leave it for you all to be the judge of that ! But given what we’ve seen from Owens over the past 5 seasons , what should we really expect ? Success or failure ?

Alan Parkins aka tophatal …………………….


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Junior M.A.F.I.A feat’g Notorius Big ……… ‘Get Money’ </strong

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Edyta  Sliwinska  .   more  widely known  for   appearing  on  the  ABC  hit   show  <strong><em>  'Dancing  With  The  Stars' </strong></em>  (DWTS) .    photo  appears  courtesy   of   Maxim  Magazine .
Edyta Sliwinska . more widely known for appearing on the ABC hit show 'Dancing With The Stars' (DWTS) . photo appears courtesy of Maxim Magazine .

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