All Time #1’s NFL Style ………. A Brief Glimpse Into Reality ……

All Time # 1’s NFL Style A Brief Glimpse Into Reality …..

Much has been made over the exemplary start to the professional career of Carolina Panthers’ quarterback Cam Newton . And while impressive as those stats are by the player for his team it still has yet to lead to a win for the Panthers as they have started off the season 0-2 within the NFL .

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Taken number one overall in this past NFL Draft and it portends as to what we have unrealistically come to expect . That is for the players selected in that select spot to be an immediate success , especially in the situation where the position is said to be in the skilled positions such as wide receiver or quarterback . But herein lies my point , with the ever growing need for success within the NFL general managers , head coaches and team owners are under a great deal of pressure to make that prudent decision that that the player taken in that first round will be the one needed to complement their franchise. And as far as NFL glory is concerned the executives and team owners are looking to reap the dividends by way commercial as well as competitive success .

In the case of that number one overall pick over the years there has been a number hits and misses . Some might subscribe to the fact there have been simply been more misses than hits . Cam Newton is now a work in progress with the Carolina Panthers that Ron Rivera and his coaching staff will have to make this young player their top priority if the franchise is to have any semblance of success , albeit , with the added scrutiny and pressure that Newton will have to constantly endure .

Ryan Leaf for his part was thought to be the savior that the San Diego Chargers were said to be looking for when he was drafted by the organization . Drafted in 1998 which in a class that also included Peyton Manning , Charles Woodson , Kevin Dyson and Kyle Turley in that first round one wonders what might have been going through the minds of the executives within the Chargers’ front office. The San Diego Chargers would simply see a player who would become a boon for the franchise and who simply did not live up to the preconceived belief that he was all he was shown to be at the collegiate level . Leaf’s professional career within the NFL could only be described as a complete bust and even though GM AJ Smith along with the front office subsequently made the decision then to make Eli Manning their choice , only to have Manning and his father Archie Manning to refuse to have his son play for the team .

The San Diego Chargers for their part have been lucky enough to have found a Pro Bowl caliber quarterback in Philip Rivers whose success for the franchise speaks for itself . What might now be elusive and worrisome for the Chargers’ fans is the very fact that the team cannot seem to find a way to get pass the likes of the Indianapolis Colts or New England Patriots when the postseason beckons. Rivers has become the heart and soul of the San Diego Chargers, beloved by the fans and community alike but where I have an issue with this organization is the very fact that Norv Turner simply is not the coach to be leading this team on the journey they wish to embark upon. Turner has simply rid on the coat-tails derived of his being associated with Jimmy Johnson . Without that the success attained by Jones at the collegiate and at the professional level I seriously doubt that Norv Turner would be amongst the ranks of NFL coaches at present !

2003 brought us Carson Palmer being chosen number one overall by the Cincinnati Bengals . In Palmer’s subsequent years with the franchise he has seen share highs and season lows with little to show the fans and front office for their support . With the Bengals’ front office having sought to bring in Andy Dalton this past NFL Draft as Palmer sought to distance himself from his teammates and the organization as a whole . It has to be said that this simply has become what a number of these players and their demeanor appears to be about. In the last few months and in the offseason with Carson Palmer goading the Bengals’ executives in not meeting his demands for a trade . With his demands having not been met the player now has an option , reiterate his original statement and retire from the NFL or simply sit out the season , know that there might be a remote possibility that he could be called upon . With the front office having made a number of changes to the roster by way of the draft and free agency acquisitions it remains to be seen whether or not Andy Dalton can lead this franchise to some real semblance of success . For coach Marvin Lewis and his entire coaching staff this might just be the final season in which he can prove himself worthy of being looked upon as a coach in the NFL . Chances are if he cannot get this team into the postseason then it my belief that the Bengals’ front office will have no other option that to relieve Lewis of his duties .

It is easy to be critical of an organization when they are down on their luck it is another to repeatedly bear down on them when that franchise repeatedly seems to make the choices that not only seem befuddling to their fans and analysts alike but also the public en masse . There seems to be a kindred wish by the San Francisco 49 ers and the Oakland Raiders to merely show that they have an affinity for making some hideous personnel decisions . The Raiders under the auspice of Al Davis continues to make those personnel choices that no longer seem feasible . Having drafted JaMarcus Russell as their top choice in 2005 it did not take long for the fans and coaching staff to realize that a monumental mistak had been made in obtaining the player. And Russell did not disappoint in proving the naysayers right with his error proned plays , erratic leadership skills and a complete lack of quality in terms of his abilities to communicate with his teammates. But what might be even more prevalent and telling about Russell as a player was his inability to keep himself in good physical shape . Weight issues were a serious a problem and perhaps the main reason why the player was jettisoned by the organization.

Fresh start , new beginnings and with Hu Jackson installed to succeed Tom Cable it seems that the Raiders have hit their stride . And nowhere was that more telling than in their complete and tacit defeat of the New York Jets . And though the season for the Oakland Raiders is still in its infancy this may well have been the team’s best performance yet in besting a conference rival . Jason Campbell though not everyone’s choice to be a starter within this league but he has proven to be adequate to the needs of this team and the coaching staff .

At some point it should begin to dawn upon the San Francisco 49ers that Alex Smith is not the answer they seek to the team’s needs at the position . The franchise has been lucky enough to have had two Hall of Famers in Joe Montana and Steve Young helm this franchise to considerable success . The duo garnered five Superbowl titles between them , along the way cementing themselves and this franchise in the annals of NFL folklore .

Though the blame shouldn’t all be placed squarely on the shoulders of Smith alone because of his tenure there has been a revolving door of coordinators and coaches that would send the player to a mental facility. But here is my bone of contention with the player and it is simply that he has yet to show that his accomplishments during his collegiate career . I am not so sure that Smith will be a great success within the pro ranks albeit that Jim Harbaugh has placed his faith in the veteran quarterback.

I cannot yet jump on the train and regale the Detroit Lions , albeit that they now have a healthy Matthew Stafford . As the quarterback goes , then so does this team and for Jim Schwartz and his coaching staff this has to be something that he now relishes in seeing this roster perform . A healthy Matthew Stafford means a ball club ready to play and become one of the surprises not only within the NFC North but also within the conference . This is a team that could well be looked upon as one of the “dark horses” within NFC to quite possibly make the postseason. Now playing at a high level of competitiveness and with Calvin Johnson playing like an elite wide receiver this could well be the moment when I should reconsider my first thought about Stafford as well as this team . But as I alluded to earlier unless the quarterback can remain healthy over the course of this season then my options are liable to remain open at this juncture .

The NFC North this season could prove to be a very interesting division as it now appears we are seeing a resurgent Detriot Lions’ team . With that in mind the ball club will have to prove their mettle against the likes of the Green Bay Packers , Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears . And given the fact as to how thankless the Bears and Vikings now appear to be , this could prove to be something of a fortuitous season for the Detroit Lions and their fans .

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As an ardent fan of the game what thoughts if any do you have with regard to how the analysts and fans view the number one picks within the NFL down the years ? Do you feel it is justified in terms of the expectations one places upon these players ? Simply chime in with comments as you deem fit .

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

Picture and slide show details below .

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(1) Cam Newton (1) of the Carolina Panthers throws a pass against the Jacksonville Jaguars during their game at Bank of America Stadium on September 25, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Panthers would go on to defeat the Jaguars 16-10 . Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images …..

(2) Cam Newton (1) of the Carolina Panthers runs with the ball against the Jacksonville Jaguars during their game at Bank of America Stadium on September 25, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images ….

(3) Ryan Leaf seen here having been drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the 1998 NFL Draft . The player’s career was short-lived within the NFL due to his inability to play competitive and the mere fact talent on display at the college level simply wasn’t displayed upon entry amongst the professional ranks . AP Photo archives ……

(4) Quarterback Matt Cassel (7) of the Kansas City Chiefs greets quarterback Philip Rivers (12) of the San Diego Chargers after their game at Qualcomm Stadium on September 25, 2011 in San Diego, California. The Chargers won 20-17 . Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images ……

(5) CINCINNATI, OH – SEPTEMBER 25: Andy Dalton (14) of the Cincinnati Bengals drops back to pass during the game against the San Francisco 49ers on September 25, 2011 at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio. The 49ers defeated the Bengals 13-8 . Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images …..

(6) Alex Smith (11) of the San Francisco 49ers is sacked by Jonathan Fanene (68) of the Cincinnati Bengals during their game on September 25, 2011 at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio. The 49ers defeated the Bengals 13-8. Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images ……

(7) SAN DIEGO – SEPTEMBER 25: the Kansas City Chiefs the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on September 25, 2011 in San Diego, California. The Chargers won 20-17 . Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images ……

(8) MINNEAPOLIS, MN – SEPTEMBER 25: Chad Greenway (52) of the Minnesota Vikings puts pressure on Matthew Stafford (9) of the Detroit Lions in the third quarter at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome on September 25, 2011 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Lions would defeat the Vikings 26-23 . Stafford and the Detroit Lions are now off to the best start for the franchise in the past fifteen years at 3-0 to a joint lead ( Green Bay Packers) the NFC North . Photo by Adam Bettcher /Getty Images ……

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NFL news

NFL Alltime # 1 draft picks

NFL Draft 2000

NFL Draft 2005

NFL Draft 2006

NFL Draft 2010

All Time Number 1 Draft Picks
Year Player Position School Team Years Played Pro Bowls
2010 Sam Bradford QB Oklahoma St. Louis Rams 1 0
2009 Matthew Stafford QB Georgia Detroit Lions – –
2008 Jake Long OT Michigan Miami Dolphins 1 1
2007 JaMarcus Russell QB LSU Oakland Raiders 2 0
2006 Mario Williams DE N. Carolina State Houston Texans 3 1
2005 Alex Smith QB Utah San Francisco 49ers 4 0
2004 Eli Manning QB Mississippi San Diego Chargers 5 1
2003 Carson Palmer QB Southern Cal. Cincinnati Bengals 6 2
2002 David Carr QB Fresno State Houston Texans 7 0
2001 Michael Vick QB Virginia Tech Atlanta Falcons 6 3
2000 Courtney Brown DE Penn State Cleveland Browns 7 0
1999 Tim Couch QB Kentucky Cleveland Browns 6 0
1998 Peyton Manning QB Tennessee Indianapolis Colts 11 9
1997 Orlando Pace OT Ohio State St. Louis Rams 12 7
1996 Keyshawn Johnson WR Southern Cal. New York Jets 11 4
1995 Ki-Jana Carter RB Penn State Cincinnati Bengals 8 0
1994 Dan Wilkinson DT Ohio State Cincinnati Bengals 13 0
1993 Drew Bledsoe QB Washington State New England Patriots 14 4
1992 Steve Emtman DT Washington Indianapolis Colts 8 0
1991 Russell Maryland DT Miami, (Fla.) Dallas Cowboys 10 1
1990 Jeff George QB Illinois Indianapolis Colts 13 0

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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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Picture gallery for your perusal .

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

Picture and slide show details below .
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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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The Determining Factor ……………………..

The Determining Factor

It’s crazy but with the end of the NFL Draft and we already have the analysts and draft geeks assessing which team actually had the best draft class from this most recent endeavor . Now don’t get me wrong but the draft has its merits but in reality until those players actually have played down in a regular season game within the NFL we will never truly know what these players are or will be actually capable of. Can’t miss players are merely speculation and conjecture . And now where a first round draft pick especially one that is picked in the upper echelons of the first round, the financial cost and commitment for a player to a team can be well into tens of millions of dollars over the course of an initial contract. Do you think that the Oakland Raiders regret making that initial $ 65 million commitment to JaMarcus Russell right about now ? One simply has to look to their front office of the Raiders to see the cause of their demise . To put it more succinctly Al Davis no longer knows how to assess talent in spite of the continued idiocy that’s misplaced by an overbearing oaf such as radio personality and employee of the organization the nationally syndicated sports talk radio host J T The Brick . Here’s a guy who when it comes to showing any form of impartiality to an issue concerning the Raiders , well let’s just say he’d make a Klan member feel proud !

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In reality success has been fleeting for the Raiders over the last decade and half and that is in spite of the organization’s rich history within the NFL . But as with a number of teams and in particular with each generation of fans it’s not merely about those by gone years but what you have you done for me lately by way of success ? And to my mind the determining factor and in relation to the success that any organization wishes to attain be it within MLB , NBA , NBA , or the NFL itself .. It is predicated upon the front office of each organization ,from the ownership on down to the executives and coaching staff. Consider this , think of the most successful franchises within each of the four major sports and what has each got in common apart from winning ? It is the fact that each has had an owner who has remained consistent with what works for it as an entity . The Detroit Red Wings and New Jersey Devils within the NHL , the Pittsburgh Steelers , New York Yankees , the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers have simply stuck to that tried and tested method of having sound fiscal policies , as well as competent coaches and executives within their respective organizations.

During the NBA Playoffs without a doubt the most disappointing display to my mind was that of the Orlando Magic and their lopsided 4-2 series loss to the Atlanta Hawks . Anyone who was witness to the sheer ineptitude of the Magic’s performances throughout this series would realize that without Dwight Howard this team simply isn’t worth a damn . What might be even more perplexing was the sheer idiocy and the belief shown by GM Otis Smith and coach Stan Van Gundy that the mid-season trades made would in fact improve the team . If anything the team simply became even more inconsistent , lackluster and completely devoid of creativity on either end of the floor . Not only that but they were simply those who labored under the fact Dwight Howard because of his stats made a viable MVP candidate while his teammates simply were mediocre .

Anyone who actually has an ounce of common sense would know from the very fact that the vast majority of the winners of the league’s regular season trophy to the individual recipient has in fact made those around him considerably better as their respective teams statistically have shown signs progress during that season. Case in point , was this season’s runaway winner of the league MVP trophy , Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls and the 21 game turnaround engineered by Tom Thibodeau from last season to this where the team became a 62 game winner and the top seed within the Eastern Conference never mind the fact that they’ve now made the Eastern Conference Semi Finals where they face the Atlanta Hawks who as I explained earlier dethroned the Magic with effortless ease.

The Orlando Magic and its front office in conjunction with Otis Smith I feel were capricious. Smith and Bob Vander Weide team President & CEO made a gamble that simply didn’t pay off . Not only that but in acquiring Jason Richardson , Hedo Turoglu and Gilbert Arenas the organization is financially on the hook for $65 million in salary for the players in question over the remaining years of those contracts. Call me naive but the productivity by the players during the regular season as well as the postseason has been minuscule and not deserving of the Magic’s fans undoubted expectations. And with this loss the Magic and its management have a great deal of contemplating to do as it regards the moves that need to be made in order to make this team better. Dwight Howard whose contract expires at the end of 2012 can actually opt out of the contract prior to its culmination rather than seeking to start the whole negotiation process. Clearly Van Gundy and Otis Smith will have to be very persuasive in convincing Howard that he ought to remain with the organization. And at this juncture that scenario isn’t as clear cut as some would believe or would like it to be.

In baseball we have all seen the idiocy of the team owners there and their ostentatious spending. Is it any wonder Los Angeles Dodgers and in particular the New York Mets are in a mess financially with regard to their own existence and financial viability ? Dodgers’ owner Frank McCourt seems to be under the misapprehension that he will be successful regaining control of the team he bought in 2003 from the local > News Corp through their wholly owned Fox Inc subsidiary. Since then, even though the team has averaged 3 million attendees per season the organization has struggled to remain financially a viable concern . Now with collateralized and none- subordinated debt in excess of $ 1.2 billion McCourt feels that the team and organization still remains a viable concern. He must feel that the his creditors will continue remain lukewarm to his overtures should they feel that he’s having problems paying down that debt. In this sort of economic climate there tends not to that type willingness from many of the nation’s major financiers and their respective institutions. And even with the league hierarchy having assumed control of the Dodgers I would like to think that Bud Selig is closely monitoring the situation as it now unfolds with Mets , in particular with co-owners —- Saul Katz and Fred Wilpon !

Success for both the Dodgers and Mets seems to have been fleeting over the past decade and it remains to be seen whether or not their aspirations remains the same and that is to win a World Series title . And as ambitious as those front offices appears to be it seems that they have lost sight of their ultimate goal . Much of that malaise has to be laid squarely upon the shoulders of McCourt and his executives within the organization . Ned Colletti may well be enjoying the prestige of running the personnel side of the organization but he too like McCourt may well have lost site of the organization’s goals. It certainly most telling that when questioned by the press as to who now controls the Dodgers and its day to day running Colletti’s response was one that seems to be an individual who just doesn’t care either way . If that is indicative of how this organization is being ran then it shows that they’re completing deserving of their fate.

The New York Mets face a civil suit that at present is being determined through a mediator appointed by the US Federal Courts and at the heart of it all appears to be whether or not the organization knowlingly gain financially from the monies received as profits from the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme of which several thousands of investors were defrauded of $59 billion. Irving Picard the plaintiffs’ lead attorney in this suit has filed a motion seeking to recoup some $750 million from both Katz, Wilpon their Sterling Equities as well as the New York Mets. The lead defendants Katz and Wilpon deny any wrongdoing on their part but have stated that they are victims of the fraud perpetrated by Madoff and his associates. However , it has been the Mets unwillingness to open their books up for public scrutiny that casts a doubt upon the veracity of the argument now being put forth by the Mets as the defendants and in particular by Saul Katz and Fred Wilpon . A federal subpoena has a way of making the truth be known in the end and hopefully several of those will be put to use in the course of this case. And inasmuch the Mets once again are having a mediocre season one can’t help but feel that through the connivance and mismanagement from the executives and managerial level over the past few years that this organization is thoroughly deserving of its present predicament.

I’ve long maintained that the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns as teams within the NFL clearly have some way to go before they can be thought of as serious contenders within the league and as a legitimate team to win the Superbowl . Bengals’ owner Mike Brown and team coach Marvin Lewis are now having to deal with Carson Palmer’s petulant behavior and his wanting to be traded to a contender . If this is what is indicative of what was now being produced by USC as to quarterbacks from the Pete Carroll era then clearly there are some questions that really do need to be asked . I think that things are now likely to get a great deal murkier with the team’s drafting of Andy Dalton as the de-facto successor to Palmer as his reign is about to come to an abrupt end with the Bengals . From AFC North champions in 2009 to a team with a lackluster 6-10 record last season .

The Browns for their part have been in more of a tailspin having dumped Romeo Crennel and hired Eric Mangini only too see the team fail miserably under Mangini’s tenure . And given Mangini’s coaching record in the NFL I’ve got to ask myself what the hell was Mike Holmgren thinking as the team’s President ? Last season this team competed gallantly but in large part they faced an uphill battle trying to usurp the dominance of both the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers within their division (AFC North ). Now with Pat Shurmur as the team’s head coach and there being a revamped assistant coaching staff it remains to be seen what this upcoming season may well have in store for the Browns. The team had a breakout star in Peyton Hillis and as always the dependable Josh Cribbs was at his very best and it would appear that team now has a quarterback in Colt McCoy who can actually commands the respect of his teammates.

In stark contrast to the teams that have been consistent and have attained success, much of that can be put down to the fact that apart from making the right personnel decisions . It has been the continuity not only from within their coaching regime but primarily through the fact that at the executive levels as with regards to the general manager that is in place , there has been little , if any , real turnover in that staff. It’s not always been about the coaches because that in essence comes down to the coach’s resume’ and his ability to communicate with the players and if anything above all with his general manager. Simply look at the success attained by the Steelers and New England Patriots over the years and the one constant there has been the ownership , the fact that the general managers there have been tenured with those respective organizations for a number of years and the actual willingness of the owner to defer to subordinates within the organization. And even though Scott Pioli has since left the Patriots to assume a similar position with the Kansas City Chiefs we’ve seen that even there also once Pioli was allowed to show his acumen in assessing talent the team has progressed showing a marked display last season in winning the AFC West (10-6) and making the playoffs where they would succumb to the Baltimore Ravens —- 30-7 in the wildcard round. And for head coach Todd Haley and his coaching staff though the loss had been been a tremendous disappointment , it also points to the fact that the organization has to be now heading in the right direction after so many barren years in the wilderness .

The Patriots for their part having seen their postseason woes continue with their lackluster performance in losing to their divisional rivals the New York Jets —- 28-21 in a game that pretty much summed up the team’s season. In light of that however they’ve gone about things in their usual business like manner garnering picks for future drafts and at the same time picking up the usual talent they’ve been accustomed to down the years . Much of that by design as Bill Belichick has worked in conjunction with Floyd Reese the team’s senior consultant charged with the task of dealing with personnel matters for the team.

We may well feel that in large part that success is actually achieved on the field of play because of the performances of the players. But it does essentially start with the eager willingness of the owners and their front office executives actually having the right staff in place being able assess the talent that is there to be had and as necessary spend prudently in order to get the best possible player available . How often have we seen a situation where in fact a team that simply looks good on paper just tends to implode because of the undue pressure and the very fact that the coach simply hasn’t done their job adequately ? At times we can blame the players for their lackluster performances but doesn’t that also have something to do with the coach not being able to get his point across as to what needs to be done at a given moment ?

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

In coming to this conclusion I do firmly believe that any professional sports organization has to have all integral parts on the same page working in cohesion . If that isn’t evident within an organization then by the very evidence we tend to see the vast majority of the time that team does tend fail in its endeavors. We’ve seen it this postseason within the NBA , NHL , also within the NFL and MLB as well . What thoughts if any do you have on the points raised within this piece ? And as such do you feel that I may well have missed some pertinent factor that should have been included ? Simply chime in with a comment as you deem fit .

Alan aka tophatal ……………………………………….

https://tophatal.wordpress.com

Picture and slide show details below .

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(1) New Oakland Raiders coach Hue Jackson (L) looks on as Raiders owner Al Davis (R) speaks to reporters after introducing Jackson as the new head coach of the Oakland Raiders on January 18, 2011 in Alameda, California. Hue Jackson was introduced as the new coach of the Oakland Raiders, replacing the fired Tom Cable. Getty Images / Justin Sullivan ……

(2) JaMarcus Russell (2) of the Oakland Raiders walks off the field against the Baltimore Ravens during an NFL game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on January 3, 2010 in Oakland, California. Jed Jacobsohn/ Getty Images ……

(3) Stan Van Gundy of the Orlando Magic questions a call by the official during Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on April 28, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia . Getty Images/ Kevin C Cox …..

(4) In this photo taken on April 14, 2010, from left, Orlando Magic president and chief executive officer Bob Vander Weide, chief operating officer Alex Martins and general manager Otis Smith chat prior to an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers in Orlando, Fla. Smith, by his own admission, is a risk-taker. He’s the general manager who traded three starters from an NBA finals team, moves that either will show Smith’s brilliance or become a symbol of a gamble gone wrong for the Magic in the playoffs. AP Photo/John Raoux …….

(5) Andre Ethier (16) of the Los Angeles Dodgers swings and loses his bat in the fourth inning against the Chicago Cubs at Dodger Stadium on May 3, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. The Cubs defeated the Dodgers 4-1 . Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images ……

(6) 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 ……. ……..

(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) Cleveland Browns president Mike Holmgren watches from the back of the room as first-round draft pick Phillip Taylor holds a news conference at the NFL football team’s headquarters in Berea, Ohio Friday, April 29, 2011. AP Photo/Mark Duncan ……

(9) Cleveland Browns general manager Tom Heckert, right, presents a jersey to first round-draft pick Phillip Taylor during an NFL football news confernce at the team’s headquarters in Berea, Ohio Friday, April 29, 2011. The Browns took the Baylor defensive tackle with the 21st overall pick Thursday night. AP Photo/Mark Duncan …….

(10) FILE – In this Feb. 6, 2009, file photo : Kansas City Chiefs coach Todd Haley, left, talks with general manager Scott Pioli before a news conference announcing Haley’s hiring in Kansas City, Mo. Pioli and Haley are deservedly drawing praise for taking the Chiefs from 10 wins in three years to 10 wins in 16 weeks. But they don’t deny they were blessed with a core of solidly talented young players when they got to Kansas City after a 2-14 2008 season. AP Photo/Charlie Riedel ……

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They Came , They Saw , They Conquered ………………..

They Came , They Saw , They Conquered …………….

Well they came, they saw they conquered and the post-game interview by San Antonio Spurs’ coach Gregg Popovich essentially was magnanimous in defeat but clearly couldn’t explain his team’s inauspicious departure from the NBA Playoffs in the first round . A 99-91 defeat on the Memphis Grizzlies’ home-court at the Fedex Forum , in Memphis , Tennesse left the home crowd fans ecstatic as their team will now make their first appearance in a conference semi finals where they will face the high flying Oklahoma City Thunder .

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Slide show for your perusal .

Now for only the second time since expansion of the playoff format from a five game first round to the best of seven series’ format has a number one seed bowed out the of the NBA Playoffs in the first round. This 4-2 series loss will certainly have its ramifications and repercussions as the Spurs’ management assess and reassess why they failed so miserably . GM R C Burford and Popovich’s coaching staff will certainly have to look at this roster and note where their deficiencies are . Most certainly to my mind the contributions of Richard Jefferson and Antonio McDyess were minimal at best but what might be even more disturbing was the fact that the Grizzlies man-handled the Spurs with seasoned veteran Zach Randoplh being allowed to shred the defense almost at will . Randolph’s heroics was indicative of what has gone on throughout this series all along with him being allowed to roam free _____ but he was also ably abetted by Marc Gasol , Shane Batter and Mike Conley whose play at the point guard position has developed since his entrance into the NBA . It has been a profound disappointment to me in seeing the San Antonio Spurs bow out of the playoffs but I’ve seen the highs and lows of this organization. Remarkable as this might seem the Spurs have made the postseason for fourteen straight consecutive seasons and have averaged 55 wins per season over that time frame . As an avowed Spurs’ fan it goes without saying that in the aftermath of this series loss the organization will undoubtedly have to make some changes .

As to the Memphis Grizzlies their postseason is now in their own hands and they can essentially write their own story as to their aspirations . This much we do know their season has shown us all what to expect when you have no doubts as to your own will to win . That if anything to my mind was most definitely lacking in the persona of the San Antonio Spurs !

Just when I thought things simply couldn’t get anymore asinine with regard to the NFL lockout it has been reported that the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals have rescinded Judge Susan Richard Nelson’s original verdict , which now allows the NFL owners and league enforce the lockout . Never mind the fact that the league hierarchy has gone ahead with the NFL Draft which is being staged at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City and culminates with the seventh and final round of picks this Saturday 30th April , 2011. As contentious and litigious as this episode has become I can’t but help wonder why bother with all the facade being created by the league with the staging of the draft ?

I’ve always maintained that the league created this monster with the alleged labor relates issues and that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell seriously underestimated the hierarchy of the NFLPA which has now become a trade association. That being said neither party is without fault here with the asinine stance that each party has taken in being unable to decide how to split the $ 9 billion in revenues that the league has coming into its coffers each season . And as ridiculous as it may sound , neither side wants to be viewed as being the culprit here but in essence this has simply been about sheer greed with little if anything really having to deal with any inherent labor issues ! Question if you can’t find a way to seriously deliberate how best find a solution sharing $ 9 billion amenably then what would that suggest to you about both of the parties involved ? Greed or merely that both the league hierarchy and union are simply too stupid for their own good ?

Andy Dalton welcome to the NFL and you now more likely than not will supplant Carson Palmer in the pecking order for the quarterback position with the Cincinnati Bengals . Given the Bengals’ disastrous 2010 season where Palmer and his teammates were an immense disappointment having been the AFC North divisional champions in 2009, 2010 simply showed how much the team had simply regressed.

Bengals’ coach Marvin Lewis knows that his job is on the line this season and anything short of a divisional title and postseason berth and effectively his managerial career with the organization will come to an abrupt end . As for Andy Dalton this now becomes his team to lead in light of the continued displeasure of Carson Palmer and his wish to be traded . However with the player’s demands having not been met and the continued scenario within the NFL his only option appears to be to proceed with his original announcement that he would retire if his demands were not met . Personally, if this is indicative of quarterbacks coming out of USC and the fact that they have no heart or will a will to win once in the NFL then my advice to Palmer would be ………. “see ya wouldn’t want to be ya and don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out ” !

Unequivocably the game of baseball is in a complete mess and this season has simply been indicative of that. If anything it hasn’t been the play of of the teams on the field that have made the headlines but namely the stories off it. Frank McCourt is now prepared to challenge the league’s hierarchy in providing an outside presence to deal with the day operations of the Los Angeles Dodgers . McCourt as the team’s owner has if anything been a complete ass in thinking that he can place this organization in dire financial straits but at the same time fails to address the issue as to why he needed to borrow some $30 million from the local LA Fox affiliate to meet the team’s budgetary expenses for the month of April. Frank McCourt has also maintained that the league hierarchy has within their possession documents related to a possible television deal with Fox that woud pay the Dodgers $3 billion over the next two decades . At this juncture it simply means nothing if that document remains unsigned with the deal not physically in place awaiting league approval .

MLB Commissioner Bud Selig for his part stated that his greatest concern were the dire consequences that McCourt had placed the organization in . But here’s the caveat, if as such the Dodgers met all of the league’s rules as it concerns the conduct of its business affairs then how is that they’ve allowed McCourt to systematically d to use the Dodgers repeatedly as collateral in many business deals with outside parties not related at all with the game ? Having installed former US Ambassador to Japan J Thomas Schieffer as the league’s representative while the Dodgers undergoes this period of intense scrutiny . I’ve now got to ask what now awaits the team and organization over the course of the their season ?

If anything this is what has been endemic within the game of baseball and the unwillingness of the team owners and the hierarchy itself to be openly transparent in the conduct of their business affairs . And it goes without saying that this conduct has been suborned by the fact that MLB’s antitrust exemption status allows it carte-blanche /free rein as to how they conducts themselves in almost every facet of their dealings both on and off the field of play . And I’m led to believe that the House Oversight & Gov’t Reform Committee weren’t aware as to the league’s conduct over the past decade and a half ? The league has become archaic , its leadership structure as are the team owners , the MLBPA are simply clueless and are a bunch of blithering idiots ! With the New York Mets’ episode yet to be addressed fully by the league do you get the feeling that MLB would rather the respective owners there Saul Katz and Fred Wilpon removed from their executive posts as well ? Where else could one find such mismanagement within the game but in essence the league hierarchy continues to act as if they’re rearranging the life boats on the Titanic thinking that they’re in no imminent danger .

I know that the MLB season is one of 162 games but the way that the Cleveland Indians have been playing as of late you’d be under the impression that they’re now on the cusp of making the postseason. Winners of five of their last seven games the Indians sit atop of the AL East . If anything they’ve been the surprise team within the division with their play and seems to be infectious amongst the younger members on this Cleveland Indians’ roster .

In their game against the struggling Detroit Tigers the Indians simply showed why they have been playing with the resolve that they have shown since the very start of their season . In a fitting way to end the game Indians’ slugger Carlos Santana hit a walk off grand slam to deny the Tigers victory on their way to a 9-5 win over their divisional rivals . And although it’s still early in the season it’s good to see that for now the Cleveland Indians appear to be relevant once again. With that win the Cleveland Indians now share the best record (17-8) in baseball alongside the Philadelphia Phillies . A nice resurgence for a franchise that seems to have been in the doldrums over the last decade but now appears to be back where they and their fans feel that they belong.

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Whether or not you’ve been watching the initial part of the NBA postseason unfold what to your mind has been the biggest surprise or disappointment from your own standpoint ? With regard to the NFL its Draft and everything that now seems to be unfolding how do you envisage this episode finally ending ? From your own perspective do you feel that there’s now time for a real drastic change within the hierarchy of MLB and also do you feel that the owners should be more transparent in their business dealing in and outside of the game when they are as such using their team as any part of a business transaction ? Simply leave a comment as to your thoughts as to the points raised within this piece .

Alan aka tophatal ………………….

https://tophatal.wordpress.com

Picture and slide show details below .
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(1) MEMPHIS, TN – APRIL 29: Zach Randolph(50) of the Memphis Grizzlies talks with Greg Popovich after the Grizzlies beat the San Antonio Spurs 99-91 in Game Six of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at FedExForum on April 29, 2011 in Memphis, Tennessee. Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images …..

(2) San Antonio Spurs players watch the final moments of their loss to the Memphis Grizzlies in the second half of Game 6 of a first-round NBA basketball series on Friday, April 29, 2011, in Memphis, Tenn. The Grizzlies won 99-91 to win the series 4-2 . From left are Richard Jefferson, Matt Bonner, Gary Neal, Daniel Green, and Steve Novak. AP Photo/Lance Murphey ……….

(3) Cincinnati Bengals second round draft pick Andy Dalton, and his fiancee Jordan Jones, left, pose for a picture being taken by the Bengals third round draft pick Dontay Moch, right, after an NFL football news conference, Saturday, April 30, 2011, in Cincinnati. AP Photo/David Kohl ……….

(4) Cincinnati Bengals second round draft pick Andy Dalton, 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 ………

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

(6) Gary Guyton (59) of the New England Patriots carries the ball in for a touchdown as Carson Palmer (9) of the Cincinnati Bengals tries to tackle during the NFL season opener on September 12, 2010 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. Guyton intercepted Palmer’s pass. Getty Images North America / Elsa Martinez …….

(7) LOS ANGELES – APRIL 29: the San Diego Padres the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 29, 2011 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images …….

(8) Cleveland Indians’ Carlos Santana watches the flight of his game-winning grand slam off Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Joaquin Benoit in the ninth inning of a baseball game in Cleveland on Friday, April 29, 2011. The Indians won the game 9-5. Tigers catcher Alex Avila, left, looks on. AP Photo/Amy Sancetta …….

(9) Cleveland Indians catcher Carlos Santana celebrates as he jumps to home plate after hitting a game winning three-run walk off home run off Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Joaquin Benoit in the ninth inning of a baseball game in Cleveland on Friday, April 29, 2011. The Indians won the game 9-5 . AP Photo/Amy Sancetta ……..

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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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Slideshow for your perusal .

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 …………………… 🙂

There But For The Grace Of God ……..

Death when it comes to someone so young, is often seen as a tragedy , dependent upon how that life is lost. And the loss of a life is never an easy one to take . Not for the family of the victim or for their friends and acquaintances.

Bengals' wide receiver   Chris  Henry  , seen  here  with  one  of  his  three   young   children at  the   doorstep  of   his  home.   picture   comes courtesy of  wcpo.com Channel 9- Cincinnati ,Ohio .
Bengals' wide receiver Chris Henry , seen here with one of his three young children at the doorstep of his home. picture comes courtesy of wcpo.com Channel 9- Cincinnati ,Ohio .


Well, as many of you will no doubt will be hearing or have read, the life of Cincinnati Bengals’ wide receiver, Chris Henry was lost due to an unforeseen accident. Henry and his fiancee’ , the mother of his three young children had been involved in an altercation, which ended up being a domestic incident. The player is said to have fallen from the back of a pickup truck that his fiancee’ is said to have been driving. His body was found lying unconscious in the road. But it hasn’t yet been established as whether not the driver of the vehicle remained at the scene of the incident or called 911.

Cincinnati Bengals' wide receiver Chris Henry (15), hauls in a touchdown against New England Patriots cornerback Terrence Wheatley, left, during their preseason NFL football game in Foxborough, Mass., Thursday, Aug. 20, 2009.  picture appears  courtesy of  ap/photo/ Charles  Krupa  ........
Cincinnati Bengals' wide receiver Chris Henry (15), hauls in a touchdown against New England Patriots cornerback Terrence Wheatley, left, during their preseason NFL football game in Foxborough, Mass., Thursday, Aug. 20, 2009. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Charles Krupa ........

Courtesy of NFL.com and the Associated Press

Bengals’ Henry dies day after dispute

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Cincinnati Bengals receiver Chris Henry has died, one day after falling out of the back of a pickup truck in what authorities described as a domestic dispute with his fiancee.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said Henry died at 6:36 a.m. Thursday. Henry was 26.

Henry was rushed to the hospital Wednesday after being found on a residential road. Police said the dispute began at a home about a half-mile away, and Henry jumped into the bed of the pickup truck as his fiancee was driving away from the residence.

Police said at some point when she was driving, Henry “came out of the back of the vehicle.” They wouldn’t identify the woman, and no charges were immediately filed.

Police spokeswoman Rosalyn Harrington said homicide detectives have been assigned to the case but had no further information. Police have not released the 911 tapes, and Harrington wouldn’t say if the woman was present at the scene when police arrived.

Henry is engaged to Loleini Tonga, and the couple has been raising three children. Tonga’s MySpace page identifies herself as “Mrs. C. Henry” and has a picture of her next to a person who appears to be Henry. She also has a post from Tuesday talking about buying wedding rings. A neighbor said Wednesday that the Tonga family owns the home where police say the incident began. Charlotte is home to his fiancee’s parents.

Henry was away from the team after breaking his left forearm during a win over Baltimore on Nov. 8. He had surgery and was placed on injured reserve.

He caught a touchdown pass in each of Cincinnati’s four preseason games. A thigh injury slowed him early in the season, and he had 12 catches for 236 yards – his 19.7-yard average per catch leads the team – when he broke his left arm during a win over Baltimore on Oct. 11, ending his season.

When he showed up in the locker room for the first time since surgery to fix the fracture, Henry sounded confident he could get through the latest setback.

“It just comes with time, you know?” he said. “I learned to handle all situations, so I’ll be all right.”

Cincinnati Bengals receiver Chris Henry celebrates after catching a touchdown pass against the Pittsburgh Steelers in a football game in Cincinnati, in this Dec. 31, 2006 . picture appears courtesy of  ap/photo/ David Kohl  ...............
Cincinnati Bengals receiver Chris Henry celebrates after catching a touchdown pass against the Pittsburgh Steelers in a football game in Cincinnati, in this Dec. 31, 2006 . picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ David Kohl ...............

As to whether or not this tragedy could have been avoided is open to mere speculation and not much else. But the scene surrounding this incident gives us no real insight as to how this event just happened to have taken a turn for the worse. One thing however we are sure of, it is that this family has now been left without a father , a companion and a teammate to the members of the Cincinnati Bengals’ roster. And for those teammates, this must come as something of a shock to them all.

Courtesy of Associated Press and Yahoo Sports

Emotional Bengals take Henry’s death hard

By Joe Kay, AP Sports Writer

Cincinnati, Oh,. (AP)—Teary Cincinnati Bengals players held a somber practice and dedicated the rest of their season to receiver Chris Henry after hearing that he’d died a day after falling out of the back of a pickup truck during what police described as a domestic dispute.

Receiver Chad Ochocinco sniffled and blinked back tears, saying he didn’t see how “Chris was supposed to go already.” Henry died early Thursday at a hospital in Charlotte, N.C.

Ochocinco wore Henry’s white No. 15 practice jersey to an afternoon workout that was subdued—no joking, no laughing. The Bengals (9-4) can clinch the AFC North title with a victory on Sunday in San Diego.

Quarterback Carson Palmer says the team should dedicate the season to Henry and defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer’s wife, who died in October.

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Cincinnati Bengals receiver Chris Henry (15) is congratulated by the team mascot after scoring a touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons in the NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 29, 2006, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/David Kohl
Cincinnati Bengals receiver Chris Henry (15) is congratulated by the team mascot after scoring a touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons in the NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 29, 2006, in Cincinnati. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ David Kohl .......

And for the Cincinnati Bengals this tragedy only casts something of a blight on the team that was said to be having a resurgent season. At (9-4) within the AFC North where they lead the Baltimore Ravens (7-4) by two games – Pittsburgh Steelers (6-7) and the low struggling Cleveland Browns (2-11). The aftershock of Henry’s death will be widespread and will be felt not only within the division but across the entire NFL. While it is never good to lose one of their own , no matter under what the circumstances may well happen to be. The loss of Chris Henry here at this juncture, will lead to the players around the league to take a look at their own mortality as well as their well being.

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chris Henry carries the ball during the NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2009 in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chris Henry carries the ball during the NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2009 in Baltimore. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Nick Wass .......

Chris Henry’s five years within the NFL hasn’t been without incident. His own personal run ins with law enforcement has been numerous to warrant his suspension by the NFL , as well as his infraction of the league’s conduct and drug enforcement policies. And when one looks back at the Bengals as recently as between 2006 through 2008. One has to wonder whether not the internal turmoil within the organization couldn’t all have been avoided. Coach,Marvin Lewis, essentially let things foment within the organization and merely took a laissez-faire approach to it all, concerning his players. And on more than one occasion it has to be said it looked as if the lunatics were indeed running the asylum, there in Cincinnati. The police blotter came to read like a who’s who with regard to the Bengals’ roster and the number of players that were said to have had trouble with the law enforcement , on a varying number of wide ranging incidents. Some of which were serious enough to make one wonder whether not it was time for Commissioner, Roger Goodell to intervene in some way , shape or form. He’d done so but it still hadn’t stem the tide of wayward behavior by the Bengals’ players. And somehow, Goodell seem to be besides himself in not wanting impose some sort of a stiffer penalty upon the organization. In order to make an example to the other NFL franchises around the league. If only to show them that sort of behavior will not be tolerated around the league.

Henry seen here is being scolded by Circuit Court Judge , Douglas Grothaus. The player was charged with the solicitation of a minor for sex and serving them alcohol. Needless to say, the justice system failed us once again !

It is has often been said that the commissioner tends to pick and choose the battles he intends to want to win , in order to seek media attention. Rather than somehow, acting to the benefit and in the best interests of the game. Make of it what you will but his actions over the years, is there for all to bear witness to.

Chris Henry , his  fiancee, Loleini  Tonga  and  their  three  young  children,  DeMarcus , 10 months,  Seini ,  3 and  Chris  Jr, aged  2.    picture   appears courtesy of  ap/photo/ The  Enquirer /  Jeff  Swinger  ........................
Chris Henry , his fiancee, Loleini Tonga and their three young children, DeMarcus , 10 months, Seini , 3 and Chris Jr, age 2. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ The Enquirer / Jeff Swinger ........................

Now as the Bengals’ fans and the entire league mourns the loss of the player under such tragic circumstances. One could ask whether or not this could have been avoided ? It’d appear that whatever took place between Henry and his fiancee’ , Loleini Tonga, got completely out of hand, leading to this unfortunate tragedy. A loss of this nature hasn’t been felt within the NFL, since the untimely death of former Washington Redskins’ safety , Sean Taylor. His death came as an act of wantoned violence, at the hands of his assailants who were known to Taylor. Though comparisons to an extent can be made , as in each case there has been a loss of life . As to whether or not Henry’s death will be viewed as an act of violence. We can only wait to see what course the investigation will take as to the circumstances surrounding his death. Criminal charges could very well be filed but that is open to mere speculation and the discretion of the agency undertaking the investigation. Once their findings have been filed then it will be down to the district attorney’s office to make a recommendation as to how they will proceed.

In this Aug. 2009 photo, Cincinnati Bengals receiver Chris Henry is pictured at Bengals training camp at Georgetown College in Georgetown, Ky. with his girlfriend Loleini Tonga and their three children. Police say Cincinnati Bengals receiver Chris Henry suffered serious injuries Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2009 after falling out of the back of a pickup truck during a domestic dispute with his fiancee Tonga. picture appears courtesy of  ap/photo/Dayton Daily News/ Barry D. Scheffel  .........  (mandatory credit)
In this Aug. 2009 photo, Cincinnati Bengals receiver Chris Henry is pictured at Bengals training camp at Georgetown College in Georgetown, Ky. with his girlfriend Loleini Tonga and their three children. Police say Cincinnati Bengals receiver Chris Henry suffered serious injuries Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2009 after falling out of the back of a pickup truck during a domestic dispute with his fiancee Tonga. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/Dayton Daily News/ Barry D. Scheffel ......... (mandatory credit)

This season for the Cincinnati Bengals had started out so bright and there was a belief that with the team’s resurgence , something special could very well be in the making. Now the entire organization is at a loss to explain this event as they mourn the loss Chris Henry. As to what the future holds for this team as the regular seasons winds down. One can only pass on our condolences to the Chris Henry’s family and that of the entire Bengals’ organization and its entire fan-base. Theirs is a tragedy that no one would want to go through. And there but the grace of God, life as we know it, must go on.

NFL Weekend Week 11 Results And Its Aftermath

OK so here we go, the unbeatens remain unbeaten and a certain team whom we all thought a contender, is in fact nothing more than a pretender. Only the Cincinnati Bengals could resort back to becoming the Bungles under coach, Marvin Lewis’ watch, once again !

Head coach Marvin Lewis of the Cincinnati Bengals looks on against the Oakland Raiders during an NFL game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on November 22, 2009 in Oakland, California.  picture appears courtesy of  getty images/  Jed Jacobsohn   .................
Head coach Marvin Lewis of the Cincinnati Bengals looks on against the Oakland Raiders during an NFL game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on November 22, 2009 in Oakland, California. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Jed Jacobsohn .................

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t have seen it coming but when you’re on appearance seen to be riding high. Only to fall back down to earth through your own sheer complacency. Then you’re deserving of your lot ! Somehow, in some way the Bengals managed to lose to Tom Cable’s hapless Oakland Raiders. What’s even more astounding was that the Raiders were playing with backup starter, Bruce Gradkowski. Never mind the fact that JaMarcus Russell was sitting on the bench preening himself like a Cheshire cat. Sorry, JaMarcus but your services mightn’t be needed for the foreseeable future by the Raiders’ team. They’ve got more faith in Gradkowski , than they could ever have gotten in you.

 Sebastian Janikowski (11) of the Oakland Raiders celebrates after kicking the game winning field goal against the Cincinnati Bengals during an NFL game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on November 22, 2009 in Oakland, California.   picture appears courtesy of  getty images/ Jed  Jacobsohn  ................
Sebastian Janikowski (11) of the Oakland Raiders celebrates after kicking the game winning field goal against the Cincinnati Bengals during an NFL game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on November 22, 2009 in Oakland, California. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Jed Jacobsohn ................

And about the only other surprise as to the result ,20-17, and the fact that Gradkowski threw for less than 200 yards. It may well have been the complete ineptitude shown by this Marvin Lewis coached team and that of its defense. And if you thought that was the Bengals only problem on the day. Then, guess again. There was sheer apoplexy and the Raiders’ fan got behind their team and literally willed them to victory , once they saw that the inevitable was about to happen. So now the Cincinnati Bengals are the ones left with egg to wiped off their sullen faces.

 Head coach Eric Mangini of the Cleveland Browns congratulates quarterback, Brady Quinn (10) after a touchdown pass against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on November 22, 2009 in Detroit, Michigan. The Lions came from behind to defeat the Browns 38-37. picture appears  courtesy of getty images/ Joe Robbins  ..............
Head coach Eric Mangini of the Cleveland Browns congratulates quarterback, Brady Quinn (10) after a touchdown pass against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on November 22, 2009 in Detroit, Michigan. The Lions came from behind to defeat the Browns 38-37. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Joe Robbins ..............

I don’t expect anyone to have braved their will to watch the Cleveland Browns and the Detroit Lions to battle it out amongst themselves. But given the fact the game was being televised by a broadcast network station as well the NFL Network. I can only surmise that were some amongst you, who saw fit to watch this particular game ? Obviously the honey to do list didn’t have the usual sense of urgency that one would come to expect. So I must assume that a large majority of the NFL loving male football fans had to have been watching this game. For myself, I sought to eschew that pleasure , as I merely sat about listening to some jazz from my surround sound theater system, while the game was on. The mute captured the affair perfectly , given the fact I wasn’t about to listen to the commentary, much less watch the game. The television was on but Miles Davis> was in full swing. Can you dig it man ?

The teams led respectively by their coaches,Eric Mangini of the Browns and Jim Schwartz of the Lions, would regale us , as to the abilities of their teams. Never mind the fact that the two teams combined have a record of 3-17. Somehow for myself, that doesn’t signify that one would be witnessing a great game for two teams struggling with sub-par records. But such are the vagaries within the NFL , that its erstwhile fans will have to make do with whatever they’re given.

And the two teams by way of competitiveness gave the fans they may well have welcomed. A game filled with high scoring ,with the teams being able to amass 75 points between the two of them. But there being very little defensive capabilities shown by either team. And with the Lions eking out a 38-37 win and with there being over 912 yards of offense emitted from this game. By comparison you can well understand that defense was at the minimum between these two defensively challenged teams. Lions’ quarterback, Matthew Stafford had a career day throwing for 5 touchdowns ,2 int’s along with 422 yards through the air.

 Kevin Smith (34) of the Detroit Lions celebrates after catching a touchdown pass against the Cleveland Browns at Ford Field on November 22, 2009 in Detroit, Michigan. The Lions came from behind to defeat the Browns 38-37.  picture appears courtesy of getty images/  Joe  Robbins .............
Kevin Smith (34) of the Detroit Lions celebrates after catching a touchdown pass against the Cleveland Browns at Ford Field on November 22, 2009 in Detroit, Michigan. The Lions came from behind to defeat the Browns 38-37. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Joe Robbins .............

Stafford’s opposite number, Brady Quinn threw for 4 strikes and 304 yards though the air. Essentially this became game of an allout air assault and a running game that was filled with displays of crushing and bruising runs all in an effort by the two teams to show that they can play some semblance of a game within the NFL. As to whether or not it can be described as being an entertaining brand of football. Well, one could surmise that if you like your brand of football being played with merely just offense by way of high scoring , very little defense from either side and little being shown in the way of creativity. Then I guess the brand of NFL football served by both the Cleveland Browns and Detroit Lions had to be to your liking ? Thankfully, there other games being televised by CBS , Fox and the NFL Network that provided for far more entertainment value in terms of NFL football being on display.

The New Orleans Saints were looking to join the AFC’s Indianapolis Colts as the only other team in the NFL to reach double digits, in terms of wins for the season. And their opponents on the day just happened to be coach, Raheem Morris’ thankless Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Running back Pierre Thomas (23) of the New Orleans Saints runs the ball against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the game at Raymond James Stadium on November 22, 2009 in Tampa, Florida.  picture appears courtesy of getty images/ J Meric ......
Running back Pierre Thomas (23) of the New Orleans Saints runs the ball against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the game at Raymond James Stadium on November 22, 2009 in Tampa, Florida. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ J Meric ......

While one cannot deny the fresh faced novice coach his fervor as to what Morris sees emanating from his team. His sound bytes are now coming off as being somewhat asinine, stale and quite frankly totally out of sync with what’s happening on the field concerning the team’s play. His latest ..’we’ll go out there and show improvement with each game and make the teams we play know that they’ve been in a fight. When your team is 1-9. I hardly think that the team has been giving their opponents much resistance to begin with. Not if you’re giving up on average over 378 yards, 29 points per game, you’re only scoring 16 points and eking out 270 yards per game,in total offense. To me and others, it’d suggest that your team is anemic on both sides of the ball. But one only can only assume that in Raheem Morris’ world, every cloud does have a silver lining and even when your team is getting its ass beat on a consistent basis, there’s something positive to be gained from it all. As to what that might be , who knows ?

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees waves his arms to fans as he leaves the field after defeating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 38-7 in an NFL football game in Tampa, Fla., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2009. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ John  Raoux  .................
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees waves his arms to fans as he leaves the field after defeating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 38-7 in an NFL football game in Tampa, Fla., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2009. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ John Raoux .................

Saints’ quarterback, Drew Brees rained down a torrent of abuse upon the Buccaneers, by completely blowing the team out of the water with a resounding 38-7 victory over their NFC South divisional rivals. In every facet of this game,the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were woefully inept.And playing in front of their home crowd fans, the display and effort put forth by the team can’t have been at all pleasing to the eyes of Buccaneers’ fans in attendance at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. Sold out or not, these are some stark and thought provoking times for the fans of the Buccaneers and the organization as a whole.

Tampa, Florida- 22nd November  2009. Defensive coordinator Jim Bates of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers watches his team against the New Orleans Saints during the game at Raymond James Stadium on November 22, 2009 in Tampa, Florida.  picture  appears courtesy of  getty images/ J. Meric  ..........
Tampa, Florida- 22nd November 2009. Defensive coordinator Jim Bates of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers watches his team against the New Orleans Saints during the game at Raymond James Stadium on November 22, 2009 in Tampa, Florida. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ J. Meric ..........

Things are slowly spiraling out of control for the Buccaneers but the team’s coach and general manager are trying to put a positive spin on it all. As to the emotions of the fans, the die-hard amongst them will continue to support the team steadfastly. While others will no doubt seek to now desert the team after such a lackluster and unimaginative start to the season.

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones chats with quarterback Tony Romo (9) on the sideline during an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins, Sunday, Nov.  22, 2009, in Arlington, Texas. The Cowboys won 7-6. ap phto/Waco Tribune Herald, Jose Yau  copyrighted material @ all  rights  reserved  ..............
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones chats with quarterback Tony Romo (9) on the sideline during an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2009, in Arlington, Texas. The Cowboys won 7-6. ap phto/Waco Tribune Herald, Jose Yau copyrighted material @ all rights reserved ..............

Am I now mistaken but wasn’t Jason Garrett , the Dallas Cowboys’ offensive coordinator meant to some kind of genius , wunderkind and offensive enfant-terrible ? Instead the Cowboys’ display against the lowly Washington Redskins was so embarrassing to watch. That I can only assume that either the tires on Jerry Jones’ highly paid and over-rated team had a flat. Either that or Wade Phillips’ playbook was written in Mandarin and not English.Therein, neither Tony Romo and his teammates could comprehend what was being asked of them. That might well be the only explanation that can be offered for such a moribund display by the team.

Washington Redskins coach Jim Zorn, left, argues with side judge Jimmy DeBell, right, in the second half of an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2009 in Arlington, Texas. picture  appears courtesy of ap/photo/Sharon Ellman  .........
Washington Redskins coach Jim Zorn, left, argues with side judge Jimmy DeBell, right, in the second half of an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2009 in Arlington, Texas. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/Sharon Ellman .........

For four quarters watching the Cowboys and Redskins try and play a competitive game of football , was akin to watching an Animal Planet expose’ on the breeding habits of a hippopotamus. Stimulating on appearance at first, until you begin to realize that you’re going to have sit through at least three more hours of the damn program. And if you thought things couldn’t have got much worse ? Then, think again ?The Dallas Cowboys could only muster a measly 7 points on their way to victory over the Washington Redskins. Yes, that’s right, a measly seven points on their way to anemic and woeful 7-6 triumph over the Washington Redskins. Anymore displays of that nature by the Cowboys and you can count me in for a frontal lobotomy. And I’d dare say that the Cowboys’ fans might well be seeking out the same medical procedure ? But then again,Cowboys’ fans were never known to be all that bright to begin with !

Denver- November 22nd ,2009. (L-R) Chris Kuper (73), Ryan Clady (78), Brandon Marshall (15), David Graham (89), Knowshon Moreno (27), Jabar Gaffney (10) and the Denver Broncos offense look on from the bench as they face the San Diego Chargers during NFL action at Invesco Field at Mile High on November 22, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. The Chargers defeated the Broncos 32-3.  picture appears courtesy of  Getty Images/ Doug Pensinger  ............
Denver- November 22nd ,2009. (L-R) Chris Kuper (73), Ryan Clady (78), Brandon Marshall (15), David Graham (89), Knowshon Moreno (27), Jabar Gaffney (10) and the Denver Broncos offense look on from the bench as they face the San Diego Chargers during NFL action at Invesco Field at Mile High on November 22, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. The Chargers defeated the Broncos 32-3. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Doug Pensinger ............

There’s no other way to explain it but Josh McDaniels’ Denver Broncos have shot their load. Much like a guy who suffers from premature ejaculation. Quick to perform, as they started fast out of the gate at 6-0 but somehow they’ve forgotten that it’s not the speed at which you start. But the duration of the race and how you finish that elicits excitement. And on appearance alone this Broncos’ team is as flaccid as the male sexual appendage they now resemble.

The Broncos succumbed the high flying San Diego Chargers and a seemingly rejuvenated LaDanian Tomlinson. The Chargers’ running back had a thoroughly exhilarating game. And he was equally supported by his teammates and Norv Turner’s coaching staff alike.

San Diego Chargers' LaDainian Tomlinson, right, chats with Denver Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels after an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2009, in Denver. The Chargers defeated the Broncos 32-3.  picture appears courtesy of  AP photo / Jack Dempsey   .............
San Diego Chargers' LaDainian Tomlinson, right, chats with Denver Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels after an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2009, in Denver. The Chargers defeated the Broncos 32-3. picture appears courtesy of AP photo / Jack Dempsey .............

The Chargers took apart the Broncos with all the ease that a thief would have, in breaking into an unsecured domicile. The Broncos made the task all the more easier with their inept defensive play with such a thoroughly unconvincing display at Invesco Field, in Denver. The result, 32-3, was an efficient ass kicking of the highest order. Leaving the bemused Broncos’ fans wondering what locomotive freight train they’d just been hit by. Never mind the fact that Broncos’ wide receiver, Brandon Marshall, in sheer frustration got into a sideline altercation with a teammate. It essentially summed up the Broncos’ afternoon.

Well, those are my thoughts on the eleventh week of the NFL season, thus far. Some games were entertaining in value, others not so much. In fact, one could best describe them, as being dogs with fleas on them ! While the more entertaining games, one would hope gives us something to look forward to, once the postseason starts to take shape. Which games if any, caught your undivided attention yesterday ?

Week 11 NFL Results

Miami Dolphins 24-17 Carolina Panthers

Indianapolis Colts 17-15 Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills 15-18 Jacksonville Jaguars

Minnesota Vkings 35-9 Seattle Seahawks

Atlanta Falcons 31-34 New York Giants

Pittsburgh Steelers 24-27 Kansas City Chiefs

San Francisco 49ers 24-30 Green Bay Packers

Arizona Cardinals 21-13 St Louis Rams

San Diego Chargers 32-3 Denver Broncos

To further review the NFL results from yesterday , click here to view …….

Miles Davis Quintet taking flight with ‘ Round Midnight’. Featuring Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock,Ron Carter , Tony Williams and the man himself, Miles Davis. You’ve not listened to real jazz ’til you’ve listed this particular quintet.

Carrie Prejean Says I Don’t Want To Talk About It !

Give some pseudo-celebrity their fifteen minutes of fame and I can guarantee you that you’ll end up being bored shi_less with whatever they’ve got to say on any variety of subjects. And more often than not they’ll either be hawking their book or the possibility of a reality show. Where the f_ck has quality television gone nowadays ? I know there’s meant to be an economic downturn and all that. But hell, can’t the Hollywood writers, producers and broadcast outlets come up with something more imaginative than the putrid crap that they’re now putting out on television ? The only safe haven at present might just be the cable outlets. Save for the exception of anything produced by the questionable tastes of Ryan Seacrest.

Hey Richard , I to am appalled that you’re a parent ! But then again
you’re as dumb as you look ! At least you weren’t pimpin’ the kid out for sex. Or will that be your next attempt at glory ? And your poor wife and kids have to be subjected to your vain attempt at notoriety,fame and fortune. Thankfully, Wolf Blitzer’s interview opened up this can of worms and showed us all the underbelly of a society and particular a familial environment gone amok. You need a license to get married. But somehow one can’t prevail upon certain individuals not to have kids and then to try and live through them vicariously.

And of late, the public has had their fill of individuals out there seeking their moment of fame and fortune. From the Heene family in Colorado with their air balloon fiasco. Is it me or should that couple be placed inside of a lion’s cage and their fate should be left to that of the occupant ? Did it not occur to Richard and Mayumi Heene that in trying to create the subterfuge, that their son had been carried off in an air balloon, that once it was clear that their child wasn’t inside the capsule the authorities would question the veracity of their claims ? Parenting 101 – don’t lie to law enforcement or the press at any costs, as in the end you’re bound to be found out.

The ubiquitous Carrie Prejean, as stupid as she looks and wholeheartedly supports the stereotype that blondes are as dumb as they appear to be. Conservative in her beliefs, Prejean is then flabbergasted when we the public, find out that she’s made several sex tapes, with her indulged in sexual acts with multiple partners. And we’re to believe that this female embodies her self avowed beliefs ? What a joke !

Of late the two most annoying individuals who’ve come within our midst, have got to be Carrie Prejean and Sarah Palin.The latter , who’s of the opinion that she can make a difference as a spokesperson for the conservative’s point of view on a wide variety of topics. Here’s a person who basically obfuscated her responsibilities to the electorate in the state of Alaska, by not fulfilling her obligation as that state’s governor. Meanwhile,there’s a book to be hawked, public appearances to be made across the country. And blame to be apportioned elsewhere for her own sheer naivete’ and complete lack of intelligence. Add to that , we’ve still got that endless trite saga of Jon & Kate Gossellin. And you can well understand why the world feels aggrieved with the plight of not only television at present but also the world of the print media.Our only respite may well be, what we can attain from the world of sports. And as of late,that’s not necessarily been a good thing at all.

Ah ! The NFL weekend , where we were meant to see the big boys of the league separate themselves from the pack. The game between the Indianapolis Colts and the New England Patriots certainly didn’t disappoint. And if anything, it lived up to all of the perceived hyped that we’ve come to expect from these two colossuses of the NFL. And with the game’s two best quarterbacks holding center stage , in Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. Well, the stage was set for a Sunday night extravaganza. We should be reminded that these two teams are the winningest NFL franchises of this decade.

I’m sure that there are those out there who find Hung just as hilarious as watching the Oakland Raiders. I’m sure that the likes of Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson would welcome the Raiders auditioning for their reality show. They’d be equally as abysmal as Hung was, with his particular appearance. What modicum of talent that the Raiders have ,is wasted. And I for one, am sure that players with the abilities of Michael Bush and Darren McFadden must wish they’d been drafted by someone else, other than the Oakland Raiders. Or quite possibly were they still eligible, they’d have remained in college ?

Raiders' quarterback  JaMarcus  Russell  center  is  sacked by  Chiefs' defensive  ends   Wallace Gilberry and  Tamba   Hali in  the  second  quarter  of the  game Raiders' quarterback  JaMarcus  Russell  center  is  sacked by Chiefs' defensive  ends   Wallace Gilberry and  Tamba   Hali in  the  second  quarter  of the  game played at  the  Oakland Alameda  County Coliseum,Oakland ,California. The  Kansas City Chiefs would go on to  defeat the Oakland  Raiders 16-10. picture  appears courtesy of  ap/photo/ Ben Margot ........
Raiders' quarterback JaMarcus Russell center is sacked by Chiefs' defensive ends Wallace Gilberry and Tamba Hali in the second quarter of the game played at the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum, Oakland, California. The Kansas City Chiefs would go on to defeat the Oakland Raiders 16-10 . picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/Ben Margot.....

And as enjoyable as some games were. One had the feeling that there would be one or two clunkers amongst the bunch. Can we now all agree, that the Oakland Raiders‘ quarterback, JaMarcus Russell is not cut out to be a quarterback in the NFL ? Much like, Paris Hilton has about much as credence to be named the US Ambassador to the United Nations. For want of a better analogy, the less seen of both, the better off the world would be ! Anyone with the undoubted privilege of witnessing the diatribe served by this Tom Cable coached team , has got to be wondering how the hell can he continue to name Russell as the team’s starter ? Watching Russell lead this team is akin to being impaled on a spike, after enduring Chinese water torture. If it can get any worse under Cable and the Raiders,then the fate being suffered by the long time Raiders’ fans , just simply isn’t worth it anymore! I don’t know which was more embarrassing , the Oakland Raiders losing ? Or the fact that the Oakland Raiders lost to the lowly Kansas City Chiefs 16-10. That was a real bravura performance by both teams in terms of their offensive output. It ranks up there with William Hung‘s performance on American Idol, in terms of its sheer competency ! Or should that be incompetency ? I’ll let you be the judge of that !

The Broncos'  Elvis  Dumervil  sacks  Washington  Redskins'  quarterback,  Jason Campbell,  in the second  quarter  of  Sunday's  NFL  game  played   at Fedex  Field ,  Landover ,  Maryland .   The  Broncos  would  suffer their  third  successive defeat   ,  losing   27-17   to  the  struggling  Redskins.     picture  appears   courtesy  of  ap/photo/ Rob  Carr  .................
The Broncos' Elvis Dumervil sacks Washington Redskins' quarterback, Jason Campbell , in the second quarter of Sunday's NFL game played at Fedex Field , Landover , Maryland . The Broncos would suffer their third successive defeat , losing 27-17 to the struggling Redskins. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Rob Carr .................

There has to be something wrong , right ? Weren’t the Denver Broncos meant to be running away with the AFC West division ? Or does it appear to be that Josh McDaniels has been doing it all with smoking mirrors ? The Broncos having been sticking with the script as they’ve now succumbed to their third straight loss and now sit tied atop of the division ,alongside the fast streaking San Diego Chargers (6-3). And this is a Broncos’ team that should indeed be worried. If the wheels on this particular vehicle has suddenly become stuck whereby they can’t gain any traction over the rest of their rivals within the division. Then,their season could come to a cursory and abrupt end , from the one that had started out
with such a great deal of promise. The Broncos’ 27-17 loss to the Washington Redskins may well have been the surprise result of the day, in the NFL.

Washington Redskins' cheerleaders  and  you though the only  reason to   go  to Fedex  Field  was  because of the  ambiance ?  picture  appears  courtesy of   ap/photo/ Nick Wass  ...................
Washington Redskins' cheerleaders and you though the only reason to go to Fedex Field was because of the ambiance ? picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Nick Wass ...................

And if as such, McDaniels is said to be consulting with either David Copperfield , David Blaine or quite possibly Penn & Teller. Well, now is the time either to be asking for a refund or more effective lessons from the esteemed illusionists in question. One way or another , seemingly a fourth consecutive loss would prove to be crushing blow for this team. Now much of the blame could be placed squarely on the shoulders of the team’s backup quarterback, Chris Simms. He performed about as adroitly, as a circus trying to walk a tightrope. To suggest Simms was rusty, would be an understatement. But even if he were given an assist with some WD-40 as a lubricant , I sincerely doubt that it would’ve made a blind bit of difference in the team’s somewhat lackluster display. This result if anything,might just give Jim Zorn a stay of execution from the impending chopping block. But that no doubt would be predicated upon the willingness of GM, Vinny Cerrato to rethink his options at this juncture. And at present the scenario looks extremely grim for Zorn. As it’s looking rather unlikely that he’ll be returning as the coach of the Redskins next season. At least for now, the Washington Redskins’ fans have this victory to provide them with some sort of solace, from what has been something of a moribund season, so far.

OK , so now we know that NFL officials are above reproach ? And can Shannon Sharpe please shut the fu_k up ! Since when were you ever concerned about the integrity of the NFL and the perception of fairness within the game ? You bitched and whined , berated the officiating just as much as anyone when you were in a Broncos’ and a Ravens’ uniform. And now you’re upset that the NFL didn’t penalize Chad Ochocinco with a much stiffer penalty in what was meant to be a joke ? When the player stated that he’d offer the officials $1-00 to actually be impartial on the field of play. Now don’t get me wrong, while it was meant to be a joke. I do believe that the NFL handled the situation appropriately!

Cedric Benson #32  of the Cincinnati Bengals runs against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on November 15, 2009 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Bengals won 18-12.  picture appears courtesy of  getty images/ Rick  Stewart .........
Cedric Benson #32 of the Cincinnati Bengals runs against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on November 15, 2009 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Bengals won 18-12. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Rick Stewart .........

In the NFL it’s extremely hard to successfully defend a Superbowl title. And the fact that it hasn’t since SB XXXVIII and SB XXXIX by the New England Patriots in the 2003-04 and the 2005-06 seasons. It just goes to show how difficult this endeavor really is. And for the reigning Super Bowl champions,the Pittsburgh Steelers, that scenario is looking somewhat shaky at this present moment in time. Sunday’s game against their divisional rivals in the AFC North, the Cincinnati Bengals. A game which lived up to all of the perceived hype.

It’d be remiss to the suggest however, that with the Steerlers’ loss to their AFC North rivals , that they won’t be in the thick of things, once the playoffs comes around. But in some respects,the Steelers may well have played themselves into a situation that they could’ve avoided, had they played with a great deal more intensity. The allowed the Benals’ stifling defense to negate their running game. And the resultant 18-12 loss to the now, resurgent Bengals. Well, it would now suggest that this Marvin Lewis’ coached team is back to where many had envisaged that they ought to have been. And if you thought that Carson Palmer and Chad Ochocinco were the only reasons behind the team’s resurgence. Then, think again ! Who knew that Cedric Bensoncould play with such un-abandoned passion ? Never mind that Benson was seen as a malcontent and cast off from the Chicago Bears. He’s been one of the primary reasons that this team is now seen as a real threat in the AFC and with the presence of a defense that’s as now as fierce as they come. Anyone who writes this team off as just a regular season fad. Well, they’re doing so at their peril !

Well, my New England Patriots played their hearts out but yet once again when you throw a dog a bone and you’re not liable to be able to retrieve it. Much as the same way, an idiot would want to play Russian roulette with more than one bullet in the chamber of the revolver. You know that the outcome won’t be good. You will always end up paying the price of making a stupid mistake. Or in the case of Bill Belchick, an asinine last minute gamble.

Watching Manning and Brady trying to out-duel each other , is like watching to professional gunslingers make that one last attempt to prove that one is better than the other. These two players between them. with multiple MVP awards in the Superbowl as well as the NFL regular season. In essence, they sit atop of the pecking order when it comes to who may well be the pre-eminent player at the position in the NFL. All due respect to Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints. But until you’ve got that Superbowl win notched on your belt , you’re essentially out of the conversation. The regular season is all well and good but it’s now how you arrive at the dance. It’s how you perform at the the dance and who you got to make out with. And as of yet, Drew hasn’t received an invite, nor has he got the chance to make out with the best looking chic’ in the hall. Need one say anymore on the subject ?

Colts' wide  receiver  Reggie Wayne  makes  a  catch   while  Pats'  defender  Johnathan  Wilhite  is  unable to  negate the play  in a  game  played  at the  RCA  Dome in Indianapolis , Indiana .   The  Colts   would  go on to  defeat the  Patriots  35-34 in  a  highly  competitive  and  entertaining  game.    picture  appears  courtesy  of  ap/photo/ Darron  Cummings ....................
Colts' wide receiver Reggie Wayne makes a catch while Pats' defender Johnathan Wilhite is unable to negate the play in a game played at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis , Indiana . The Colts would go on to defeat the Patriots 35-34 in a highly competitive and entertaining game. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Darron Cummings ....................

The game itself pit two of the better teams within the NFL and in terms of sheer talent on display. Well, their respective rosters spoke for themselves. And as intriguing as it now may seem , it’s just come to my attention how much rebuilding has been done by both organizations in terms of their teams. Both New England and Indianapolis have rebuilt around youth ,experience and with just a smattering of veteran experience and leadership.

And though at the end of the day , being an avowed Pats’ fans. To say that I’m not disappointed with their 35-34 loss to the hands of the Colts, would be an understatement. But at the same time, I know that this team will most definitely be in the thick of things,come the postseason. And hopefully the pragmatist in me, can’t see Belichick making a similar sort of mistake again in the waning moments of a game. Especially, one that the team had well within its grasp and should’ve won.

Well, unlike Carrie Prejean, I’ve not made a sex tape. However, I do participate in having copious amounts of sex on a much needed basis. It’s the only thing that I thoroughly enjoy doing , next to opining about sports. So what’s your excuse ?

Week 10 results in the NFL.

San Francisco 49ers 10-6 Chicago Bears

Atlanta Falcons 19-28 Carolina Panthers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 23-25 Miami Dolphins

Detroit Lions 10-27 Minnesota Vikings

Cincinnati Bengals 18-12 Pittsburgh Steelers

Buffalo Bill 17-41 Tennessee Titans

Denver Broncos 17-27 Washington Redskins

New Orleans Saints 28-23 St Louis Rams

Jacksonville Jaguars 24-22 New York Jets

Kansas City Chiefs 16-10 Oakland Raiders

Seattle Seahawks 20-31 Arizona Cardinals

Philadelphia Eagles 23-31 San Diego Chargers

Dallas Cowboys 7-17 Green Bay Packers

New England Patriots 34-35 Indianapolis Colts