The Sporting Weekend That Was ……… Misfires And Positives ………..

The Sporting Weekend That Was ……… Misfires And Positives ………..

Well the MLB season has kicked off in full swing and oh yes , the baseball fans are simply now in heaven . Two things have caught my eye , the Yankees and Red Sox rivalry will be ‘as heated as ever’. And low and behold ESPN has made the announcement that former Arizona Diamondbacks and Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling will be joining their staff as an on air analyst for their pre-game and radio shows covering baseball. Now don’t get me wrong if ESPN feels that someone as opinionated as Schilling, is what they need to lure even more fans to watch their coverage . Then , so be it ! Schilling will also be providing live analysis , giving his undoubted experience and some might say in depth analysis of the game. I’m wondering if Curt will try to pass himself off as baseball’s answer to Charles Barkley ?

Schilling the entrepreneur .

Courtesy of Associated Press & Yahoo Sports

ESPN hires Curt Schilling as analyst

Bristol , Conn. (AP)—Curt Schilling has been hired by ESPN to work as a baseball analyst.

The network says that the former pitcher, who won World Series titles with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Boston Red Sox, will appear on “Baseball Tonight” and ESPN Radio, in addition to contributing to ESPNBoston.com and the company’s main Web site.

He will make his debut Sunday during ESPN’s pregame coverage of the big league opener between the Red Sox and the New York Yankees.

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Well it appears that the Donovan McNabb saga wasn’t going to be drawn out as the fiasco that’s now once again unfolding in Minnesota with Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings . The Eagles sent the Pro Bowler to the Washington Redskins for second round pick and a third or fourth round pick next year.

Donovan  McNabb  of  the  Philadelphia  Eagles.   The  player  was   traded  to  the  Washington  Redskins  a   divisional  rival     in the  NFC  East.   It  adds  to the  flavor  this   upcoming   season    when   the  player  meets  <u> his   'former   team' </u>.    photo appears  courtesy  of   Getty  Images/ Hugh  Malcolm ....................
Donovan McNabb of the Philadelphia Eagles. The player was traded to the Washington Redskins a divisional rival in the NFC East. It adds to the flavor this upcoming season when the player meets his 'former team' . photo appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Hugh Malcolm ....................

For the Eagles , their coach Andy Reid , GM & President Joe Banner this now becomes about the immediate future and the handing over of the reins to Kevin Kolb . And given the fact that the Eagles’ fans have never truly accepted McNabb and embraced him openly. I’m now wondering what they’ll make of the fact that the player has been traded to a divisional rival ? Will there be effigies of both Banner and Reid hanging outside the stadium should the team not fare well at all during the upcoming season ? Now call me naive but would it not have been far more advantageous for the organization to trade the player to another team outside the division (NFC East) ?

Mike Shanahan and team owner Daniel Snyder , they may well view this as their coup-de-gras in obtaining the Pro Bowl quarterback. And for Jason Campbell , he now must be left wondering as to what his immediate future may well be within the organization. My own opinion is that he’s no more or less , your rather average backup quarterback ! He simply can’t be entrusted to lead the Redskins with any great aplomb. Granted , he’s had to deal with the revolving door of coaches and offensive coordinators from his very first day with the team until now. And no player mentally or physically should really have to deal with such a situation. But this is simply what makes the Redskins one the NFL’s more comical organizations in terms of their managerial and executive structure .

Courtesy of The Washington Post

Washington Redskins’ trade for Donovan McNabb is a perfect fit

By Michael Wilbon , Sports Columnist

The only reservation in Donovan McNabb’s voice Sunday night was over finding and talking to Jason Campbell. After all, when things were going rotten for Campbell, when he was being benched and booed, it was McNabb, after an Eagles-Redskins game in Washington, who sought out Campbell to buck him up, tell him he’s got the tools to be a fine quarterback in the NFL. The quarterback fraternity is small, and the black quarterback fraternity is even smaller, and McNabb didn’t want Campbell to think for one second he’d been lying in the weeds for weeks, waiting to take his job.

McNabb, for the record, didn’t know until the last second where he was going to wind up. The rumors that the Vikings were atop his list were erroneous; McNabb told me that himself last week. The Raiders were a team that was interested, but not the only team. McNabb and I talked about the business of football the other night in Arizona, a totally off-the-record conversation. But I was reminded that night, with all due respect to Campbell, why McNabb is about the best fit around to be the quarterback of the Washington Redskins . . .

…Because Donovan McNabb has done most of it and seen all of it. Even on an evening when the Eagles, the only team he has played for, were trying to trade him, he was completely unfazed. We’re talking about an 11-year veteran who was booed by Eagles fans from the moment he was selected. He’s dealt with injury, the harshest criticism imaginable, idiot teammates such as Terrell Owens, roiled up locker rooms. He’s watched his team draft his replacement, taken the field with few if any Pro Bowl-caliber weapons. He’s shrugged off controversies involving race that were none of his doing. Yet, McNabb has always been able to speak his mind, keep his dignity and keep his team in Super Bowl contention.

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Click on link to read Michael Wilbon’s article in its entirety.
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Baylor's   Brittney  Griner  and   U Conn's  Maya  Moore  are  seen  here   during  the  women's   Final  Four   game   between the two  teams.  Geno  Auriemma's   Huskies  would   go  on  to  defeat  the  Baylor Lady  Bears    <u> 70-50</u>  in  the   game  played  at the  Alamodome in   San  Antonio  ,  Texas , Sunday  April 4th  2010.   photo appears  courtesy  of  Getty  Images/   Alicia  Mack  ...........
Baylor's Brittney Griner and U Conn's Maya Moore are seen here during the women's Final Four game between the two teams. Geno Auriemma's Huskies would go on to defeat the Baylor Lady Bears 70-50 in the game played at the Alamodome in San Antonio , Texas , Sunday April 4th 2010. photo appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Alicia Mack ...........

I’m not really hyped about women’s sports but I’ve caught a glimpse of one or two of the games in the women’s NCAA basketball tournament. And it’s now becoming clear that it’ll take a cataclysmic event to derail the U Conn Huskies as they “seek perfection” to end their season. All that now stands in the way of Geno Auriemma’s team are the women of Stanford . And as good as the Lady Cardinals appear to be , I do believe that they face an uphill task in trying to derail this Huskies’ team. Head coach Tara VanDerveer must either pray for divine intervention or that her team can catch lightning in a bottle and pull off the biggest upset ever to have taken place in women’s collegiate athletics. That’s the size of the task now facing the overwhelming underdogs in this contest , as they battle for the national championship.

Cleveland Browns nose tackle Shaun Rogers and his lawyer Patrick D'Angelo, center, talk to reporters after leaving Cleveland Police Headquarters where Rogers was charged with one felony count of carrying a concealed weapon on Friday, April 2, 2010, in Cleveland, Ohio. Rogers was arrested at Cleveland Hopkins International airport on Thursday after he tried to take a loaded handgun through airport security. photo appears courtesy of Associated Press/ Jason Miller .....
Cleveland Browns nose tackle Shaun Rogers and his lawyer Patrick D'Angelo, center, talk to reporters after leaving Cleveland Police Headquarters where Rogers was charged with one felony count of carrying a concealed weapon on Friday, April 2, 2010, in Cleveland, Ohio. Rogers was arrested at Cleveland Hopkins International airport on Thursday after he tried to take a loaded handgun through airport security. photo appears courtesy of Associated Press/ Jason Miller .....

Another week and “another dumb ass move” by an athlete ! It must be me but NFL players either believe that they’re impervious , invincible and above the law. Let me pose this question to you ? Knowing what you know, concerning the security measures carried out by the TSA (Transport & Security Administration) at all domestic airports , why in hell’s name would you want to carry a concealed weapon in your carry on luggage and then to board a domestic flight ? Cleveland Browns’ nose tackle Shaun Rogers pled not guilty to such a charge when he attempted to board a flight at Cleveland’s Hopkins International Airport , Cleveland ,Ohio. Rogers through his attorney Patrick D’Angelo pleaded not guilty to the charge but has already offered an apology to the fans and to the Browns’ organization . If found guilty he faces up to eighteen months in prison and a fine . The case should it go to trial would take place within the Cleveland Municipal Court and it is bound to not only to just add one more “black eye” to the image of the NFL but also to the entire Browns’ organization.

Courtesy of Associated Press & Yahoo Sports

Browns tackle pleads not guilty to gun charge

Cleveland (AP)—Cleveland Browns nose tackle Shaun Rogers(notes) has pleaded not guilty to a concealed weapons charge after authorities say he tried to carry a loaded handgun through airport security in a carry-on bag.

Rogers’ attorney Patrick D’Angelo says his client entered the plea Saturday in Cleveland Municipal Court. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 18 months in prison.

The 31-year-old apologized to his fans and his team Friday after spending a night in jail, saying he didn’t mean to take the gun into Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. Rogers told police he forgot the gun was in his bag when he attempted to fly to Texas on Thursday.

D’Angelo says Rogers planned to fly to Houston later Saturday to spend Easter with family and will make sure “to check everything.”

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One clearly now must wonder what President & Head of Football Operations Mike Holmgren must be thinking about the mess that he finds himself in , as to the ongoing problems of this team both on and off the field of play ? Never mind the fact that he also has to deal with an under achieving coach in Eric Mangini and his coaching staff . The task now facing Holmgren in turning this organization around is a daunting one . But when he has players who use poor judgment not only on the field but also off it. It kinds make you feel that they’re completely deserving of anything that’s thrown their way , and that it is of their own making. Rogers may well try and deny his culpability , in his poor lack of judgment in traveling with a concealed weapon. But given the fact he was about to board a domestic flight and whereby passengers are routinely checked. You have to simply wonder what mindset he had at the time ? It is bad enough that he plays on a woefully inept team but his decision making off the field, in some ways indicates many of the woes that the Browns now faces as an organization in terms of its on field personnel. Common sense doesn’t appear to be part of the equation there at all ! Well at least when it comes to the Cleveland Browns . Their fans might as well accept the fate that is now within their midst. Because in reality over the last decade , what we’ve seen from the Browns is a lesson in abject futility both on and off the field ! Shaun Rogers’ actions only further endorse and enhance the fact as to how bad things are there with the NFL franchise .

And it has been suggested that the addition of Jake Delhomme to the team will add some much needed resolve for the organization and make them a legitimate contender within the NFC North ? I’d somehow like to think so but being on the outside looking and seeing how the Browns fared last year. Any advances made to my mind will only be incremental . After-all we are talking about a team that could only muster 5 wins all of last season in going 5-11 within its ‘own division. A far cry from the expectations of the Browns’ fans and ownership .

Butler head coach Brad Stevens, left to right, Gordon Hayward and Ronald Nored smile during an interview session for the men's NCAA Final Four college basketball championship Sunday, April 4, 2010, in Indianapolis. The Butler Bulldogs will face Mike Krzyzewski's Duke Blue Devils in the championship game Monday night to be played at Lucas Oil Stadium , Indianapolis, Indiana. This in many ways will be very much a "home game" for the small and in-obtrusive college team from Indiana. The furor over over their improbable journey has resonated within the state and across the nation. photo appears courtesy of Associated Press/ Mark J Terrill ...............

Butler head coach Brad Stevens , left to right, Gordon Hayward and Ronald Nored smile during an interview session for the men’s NCAA Final Four college basketball championship Sunday, April 4, 2010, in Indianapolis. The Butler Bulldogs will “face” Mike Krzyzewski’s Duke Blue Devils in the championship game Monday night to be played at Lucas Oil Stadium , Indianapolis, Indiana. This in many ways will be very much a “home game” for the small and in-obtrusive college team from Indiana. The furor over over their improbable journey has resonated within the state and across the nation. photo appears courtesy of Associated Press/ Mark J Terrill ……………

Now as we all know the Butler Bulldogs have made it to the men’s national championship game in the NCAA Basketball Tournament . In tonight’s final, they’ll be taking on the ‘prohibitive favorites and three time national champions in the Duke Blue Devils . The thing I’d like to know is the fresh faced looking Brad Stevens , coach of this Butler team . Is he actually old enough to drink or vote ? He’s the only guy that I’ve seen during this tournament who actually looks younger than several of the players he’s coaching and many of the other collegiate players that have participated in the tournament for their respective teams. All kidding asides , even the team’s best player Gordon Hayward actually looks older than his coach . But that simply won’t mean anything once the two teams set foot on the court for the tip-off at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The “storied Duke program” will be taking on the unexpected finalists in a game of contrasting styles but nonetheless a game that will invoke and elicit a great deal thought and fan support across the country. No doubt a great many fans will be looking to cheer on the “hometown heroes” of Butler. While opposing fans will be looking to see if Duke’s coach, Mike Krzyzewski can add to “his already illustrious” career by winning his “fourth national title” as coach of the Blue Devils. This will be the main plot-line of what will be an epic match-up of “David versus Goliath” on what is college basketball’s grandest stage. Tonight we shall see if Butler in its role as David can take down the mighty Goliath , in form of Duke, in front of a national tv audience of millions , as well as the thousands who’ll be in attendance to cheer on the “local hometown heroes” . And hopefully this will be a game that lives up to all of the perceived hype and expectations.

Los Angeles, April 4th 2010. <strong> Manu Ginobil </strong> (20) of the San Antonio Spurs goes to the basket against Luke Walton (4) of the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on   Sunday.    The   San  Antonio   Spurs  would   go  on  to  defeat  the  Los  Angeles Lakers  <u> 100-81 </u>  in a  game   played  at  the Staples  Center  in  Los  Angeles, California. photo  appears  courtesy  of  NBAE/ Getty  Images/  Noah Grahame  ................
Los Angeles, April 4th 2010. Manu Ginobil (20) of the San Antonio Spurs goes to the basket against Luke Walton (4) of the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on Sunday. The San Antonio Spurs would go on to defeat the Los Angeles Lakers 100-81 in a game played at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. photo appears courtesy of NBAE/ Getty Images/ Noah Grahame ................

Well those have been my takes on this sporting weekend. I’m still on “cloud nine” having seen my beloved San Antonio Spurs lay the ‘wood’ to the Los Angeles Lakers in their lopsided victory 100-81 . And with Manu Ginobli essentially, outplaying even Kobe Byrant on the day, with a thoroughly engaging display of offensive prowess in scoring 32 points ,in leading the team to victory at the Staples Center , in Los Angeles, California. Needless to say, there’ll be those who will say that one shouldn’t put much store in “the result”. But I look at this way, a team wants consistency and rhythm as the NBA postseason beckons. ‘No teams’ wants to go limping in the opening rounds of the playoffs where the ‘slightest mistake’ can put ‘an end to your season’ before it’s even started . Hopefully , this will be a sign of things to come from the Spurs after this rather engaging display. It should serve as a warning that they’re not dead and buried as of yet ? Writing them off as of now and you’ll be doing so at your peril !

What sporting events that took place this weekend have you thinking “hits and misses” ? By all means chime on in with a comment. And I’ll look to responding to them each ,in the usual manner. As always thanks for the continued support , it is definitely appreciated !


Alan Parkins

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Mystikal …. “Boucin’ Back Bumpin’ Me Against The Wall ”

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Babes of The Day . In order to view each picture up close and personal just click an individual feature . Have fun while perusing these “pics”.
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Mirror Mirror On The Wall Who’s The Fairest of Them All ? Is That Really You Sammy Sosa ?

There’s nothing wrong with being a metro sexual guy in this day and age. I mean it’s expected that a man should keep himself in good shape, eat well and to an extent be of peak physical fitness. Hitting the gym once or twice a week helps. But not to overstate the fact , hitting a nail salon for a manicure and pedicure is taking it way too far. Well at least I thought so , until I saw a recent picture of former Texas Rangers and Cubs‘ player Sammy Sosa attending the Latin Grammy Awards.

Sammy before  and   Sammy  after    '
Sammy Sosa before and Sammy Sosa after ? And now we might know why Sammy's said to be interested in pursuing a solo singing career . I guess he wants to be seen as the Hispanic answer to the late Michael Jackson ?

Sammy Sosa before and Sammy Sosa after ? And now we might know why Sammy’s said to be interested in pursuing a solo music career. I guess he wants to be viewed as the Hispanic answer to the late Michael Jackson ? picture appears courtesy of Zabulowski/AP – Djansezian/Getty ……………

We all know that Sosa has come a long way from the rough streets of San Pedro de Macoris in the Dominican Republic. And that he honed his skills to become one the dominant players of his era. Alright, we know that from those halcyon days when he and Mark McGwire were laying waste to the single season home run record was one big unadulterated fraud perpetrated upon the public, with the MLB hierarchy acting like the three monkeys …..as in see no evil , speak to no evil and hear no evil ! And now it appears that the game’s commissioner,Bud Selig is of the opinion that the return of McGwire to the game as the hitting coach of the St Louis Cardinals is a good thing for the game ? Never-mind the fact that he’ll embraced with open arms by his former Cardinals’ manager Tony La Russa. Whose own ideas on steroid abuse scandal in baseball lies somewhere in between don’t ask , don’t tell and who gives a f_ck policy ! And we’re to believe that there’s still some integrity in the game ? Not when the game’s highest ranking official is making such asinine statements !

The Summer of 1998 when it was thought all was right in the world of baseball and the fans were watching with a great deal of astonishment and surprise as McGwire and Sosa laid an onslaught in the single season home run record held at time by New York Yankees‘ great, Roger Maris. The record was broken by McGwire , only for it to be broken several years later by another steroid abuse suspect in that of San Francisco Giants’ slugger Barry Bonds. He would hit a record breaking 73 home runs that year ,with the last coming on October 7th 2001. A record which still stands to this day. And one, which should it once again be broken,would come under immediate suspicion by the fans and laymen alike. Bonds , whose own fate still lies in the hands of the US Justice System (Dept. of Justice) at this very moment. It’s hard to believe that he could still return to the game and be off some effect to it. Not with having been away from the game for close on three years.

Effective communication as taught to Mark McGwire .Here he addresses House Members with his testimony concerning steroid use. As you can see McGwire was less than forthright with the House members. His fellow playing colleague Rafael Palmeiro would have his own mea culpa , as it came to be known.

Baseball may well be in a tide of euphoria, with the New York Yankees having won their 27th World Series title in defeating the Philadelphia Phillies in six games (4-2) in The Fall Classic. But with the impending return of Mark McGwire to the game and the thought that his crimes proven or not, are still thought of as nothing more than a misnomer by the game’s hierarchy. It sends something of an indirect message to the game’s youngest fans, that you too can be good at this game, just as long as you don’t get caught cheating.

This brief 6 second sound byte has all but placed the death knell , as to Rafael Palmeiro’s ambition for getting into baseball’s Hall of Fame. ” Let me start by telling you this I have never used steroids period “! If his finger waving to the House Members didn’t warrant a rebuke ,then certainly those words uttered by Palmeiro came back to haunt him in the most expected of ways. Less than four months later it was revealed that he tested positive for banned substance prohibited by law and the league. Karma is a bitch isn’t it ?

The Four Horsemen of  the Apocalypse  ?   From left to  right ,  Sammy  Sosa  ,  Mark McGwire ,   Rafael  Palmeiro and   Curt Schilling.   The  former  Phillies' ace   was more like  an  audition  for    position within  the  House  as  he  skirted  around  many  of the  questions  asked  of  him  at  the  time.         picture appears courtesy of  ap/photo/ Scott McIntosh  ....................

The Four Horsemen of The Apocalypse . From left to right, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire , Rafael Palmeiro and former Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies’ pitching ace Curt Schilling sit and listen attentively prior to giving testimony to members of the House in an open session. The former Phillies ace’s testimony was very much like an audition for one of the House Members’ positions.As he skirted around the questions asked of him at the time. Sosa for his part, became indecipherable as if almost overnight his command of the English language had completely vanished. And it was left to an interpreter to pose the questions to the former player and also reply on his behalf once he was made cognitive of what was being asked of him at the time. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Scott McIntosh ………..

And for Sosa while there’s no impending return for him to the game. One may well well have to ask what the future may well have in store for the one time legendary slugger ? A singing career perhaps ? Or as a performer in the adult movie industry ? These are the questions one could boldly ask of Sammy Sosa, if only his command of the English language was all that intelligible. But being that his interactions inside the clubhouse had never posed a problem for Sosa when he was interacting with his teammates, coaches and ancillary staff alike. I now have to ask myself this question who’s in fact looking like the biggest fool of them all ? And who’s said to be looking like the fairest of them all ? Have you an answer to the question being posed ?