Don’t Blame The Messenger It’s In The Written Word ………. As In The Contract !

Don’t Blame The Messenger It’s In The Written Word ………. As In The Contract !

I am always perturbed when I see a segue piece or what is alleged to be an in depth story on an individual that is being done to not only shed light on their personality but also their life . Clearly within an election cycle we tend to see that and certainly that is now the case with the candidates of the GOP (Republican Party) seeking to challenge the Presidential incumbent next November (2012) . Say what you will about the likes of Rick Santorum , Mitt Romney , Herman Cain , Michelle Bachmann and Rick Perry as they all have their foibles and no doubt dark secrets . Well last night that well respected CBS News magazine program “60 Minutes” did their own piece , on none other than NFL uber sports agent Drew Rosenhaus . The self aggrandizing agent whose belief in his powers and the fact were it not for him the NFL would not be what it is today . And in some respects he is indeed right , because were it not for his snake oil salesman persona and the damn stupidity show by the various general managers and franchise owners around the league _____ the NFL , perhaps , it would be a much better concern in terms of its business practices when it comes to the compensation paid to the players .

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The interview with Rosenhaus was conducted by CBS news anchor Scott Pelley who was respectful to his subject while not looking to always to defer to Drew’s ego. But hardly a moment didn’t go by when the agent simply didn’t go into a diatribe as to what he has brought to the NFL in terms of integrity , his caring about his clients amongst whom that includes Chad Ochocinco , Ed Reed , Terrelle Pryor , LeSean McCoy , Plaxico Burress and Rex Grossman . So widespread is the clientele list of the agent that he has a player on every team in the NFL . But that only represents half the story as it was being portrayed in this segment as the segue would tell us about Rosenhaus wanting to be a sports agent at the early age of eight years old . His childhood was one filled with his being bullied wherein his father would subsequently enroll him into a martial arts school (dojo) where he took up the art of taekwondo . Now a black belt in the practice we would also get to see Drew Rosenhaus display his prowess for Pelley and the camera as he broke eight bricks which had been set on fire to make the act far more dramatic . No mean feat if you are an actual accomplished martial arts practitioner.

Courtesy of USA Today …

Rosenhaus clarifies ’60 Minutes’ comments

By Reid Cherner , USA Today

NFL agent Drew Rosenhaus took to Twitter this morning to clarify comments he made on “60 Minutes” that made it seem liked the league revolved around him.

“I really believe that the NFL would fall apart without me,” Rosenhaus told CBS’ Scott Pelley. “That may sound cocky, that may sound arrogant, but I am telling you the truth.”

Today he tweeted:

I want to clarify a comment from 60 Minutes. I believe the NFL would fall apart without the contributions of the sports agent profession.

That was followed by:

Agents as a whole play an important role in the infrastructure of the NFL. Agents help to keep the business of the NFL running smoothly

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Now as many of the you know the Cameron Crowe movie “Jerry Maguire” starring Tom Cruise is said to be in part based on the persona of Drew Rosenhaus . But while the movie in the ends is meant to be a soul searching endeavor, moral epiphany and journey for the protagonist , with an act of redemption and learning that one’s integrity and loyalty means something between agent client. Rosenhaus would have us believe that while flattered by the portrayal , his life is one of doing what’s best for his client at all times . If only reality and art were said to meet at an access point upon which the whole world could base that in truth . But that definitely is not the case as it concerns the agent. Rosenhaus paints a canvas that has him being constantly on the phone being at the beck and call of his clients searching for the best deals , being privee to the inner workings a number of franchises and being on a first name basis with the likes of Jerry Jones , Ozzie Newsome , Howie Roseman , and Jeff Ireland .

Now while having such access gives Rosenhaus the inside track on team deliberations and their personnel needs , it also has alienated the agent amongst many of those NFL sports agents within his profession who make the NFL their field of practice . It wasn’t at all a surprise to find out that Drew Rosenhaus and at least several of his company associates in his employ have had grievances filed against them with the NFLPA that he has actually stolen players who were said to be clients under contract with another agent . However , what may well have been even more unimaginable was that in each and every one of those cases at no time did the NFLPA feel that it warranted any action on their part . And even the league hierarchy itself , has often cited the actions of the agents at times bordering on being corrupt it seems almost incomprehensible to believe that with as many 50 such grievance filings not one of those actually was found to be suspect on the part that Rosenhaus or any of those said to be in his employment had in fact acted surreptitiously.

Drew Rosenhaus a graduate of Duke University with law degree , but he chose to become an agent in the NFL signing his first client at the age of 22 , thereby becoming the league’s youngest agent . Today he has some 170 plus players amongst his clients within the NFL representing their interests either from a legal or commercial standpoint . During this past off season while the NFL lockout was in place he made sure that he was front and center making himself heard wherever possible proffering up his own views why there was such a divergent stance between the NFL and union . If there is one thing that we have to know and realize about Drew Roshenhaus it is that he is a consummate businessman and spin-meister extraordinaire . With the league mandated stoppage coming to a close this past off season the agent was able to negotiate new contracts for 75 clients that netted some $675 million of which his commission would be 3% as mandated by the union . However , it is in the area of commercial endorsements where Rosenhaus and his staff can net even more in commissions and fees by way of any commercial sponsorship gained by many of his high profiled clients .

Now while I am not about to suggest that Drew Rosenhaus has not made his fair share of enemies within his own fraternity of fellow agents , most certainly amongst the NFL owners league hierarchy and definitely amongst the fans. The area I now feel his actions are dubious and not above reproach has to be his dealings at the collegiate level where it is obviously his most accessible and fertile ground for hiring a prospective future client. Clearly with calls being made by college football coaches such as Nick Saban , Bob Stoops , Gene Chizik , Steve Spurrier , Mack Brown and even such elder statesmen coaches as Joe Paterno and Frank Beamer calling for the actions of the agents to be kept in check with regard to their access to college and high school recruits . My question would be for the coaches in question as well Mark Emmert and the NCAA …… what actions if any do they undertake to stop these coaches from approaching these student athletes while either in high school or college ? There at present is no clear mandate or form of punishment meted out to an agent .

With the fallout that has taken place on the campus of the University of Miami and the improprieties of several current and former Canes’ football players and their connections to now disgraced financier Nevin Shapiro . The former Canes’ booster now incarcerated and has been all too public in naming names of the players he has given gifts and monies to , all in contravention of NCAA rules . University of Miami President Donna Shalala and school AD Shawn Eichorst have tried to distance themselves and the school from the actions of Nevin Shapiro. But herein lies the caveat , Shapiro throughout the years of his association with the school was granted unprecedented access not just to student athletes but also senior faculty members of the school during which he is said to be not only profiting from this association but also defrauding members of the public up and down the Eastern seaboard in a Ponzi Scheme that netted some $930 million fraudulently .

Obviously at first not worried by this access granted , it is the very same distinction that has also been granted to Drew Rosenhaus over the years , as he has made the campus of the university one of his many stomping grounds where he gains access to future recruits and clients . He already has the largest clientele of any NFL agent in the league and this continues unabated. Quite frankly , during the interview between Scott Pelley and his subject , I was surprised that this point was not at all raised but there again , when one now thinks of the alleged research and journalistic integrity that is placed in a segment that takes up perhaps no more than fifteen minutes of an hour long news formatted program , there are bound to be certain issues that won’t be brought to the fore by either side and then the whole content matter comes across as a sanitized puff piece for the public’s consumption.

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Picture gallery for your perusal.

As a fan of the NFL do you genuinely feel that the sports’ agents play a part in how the NFL’s image is heightened or lowered in perception ? And as such , do you believe that the NCAA and NFL should act in conjunction in reprimanding an agent when they may well have acted in contravention of their own mandated rules and regulations ? Simply state your case for or against any such action and on anything else you may feel is pertinent to the subject matter concerning this piece .

Alan aka tophatal ………

https://tophatal.wordpress.com

http://facebook.com/tophatal

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Picture and slide show details below .

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(1) Rosenhaus seen here with Washington Redskins ILB London Fletcher , one of the 170 plus clients that he currently serves in the NFL . Courtesy of “60 Minutes” & CBS News @ copyrighted material .

(2) CBS News evening anchor Scott Pelley who succeeded Katie Couric in that current role and who is also a co-host of the broadcast network’s long tenured news magazine program “60 Minutes” staple on the network for over three decades. Courtesy of HuffingtonPost.com/ Archives ………

(3) University of Miami President Donna Shalala is seen here alongside Nevin Shapiro (center) having been just been presented with a check by the former Canes’ booster for the sum of $35,000. Shapiro was given unprecedented access to players current and former players of the school’s football team. And even in light of the ongoing allegations the school’s president and AD Shawn Eichorst tried to distance themselves from the controversy. Al Golden the football coach of the team has suggested that the issues will be addressed and a much more strenuous compliance of NCAA rules will be put in place . Miami Herald / Oscar Nunez ……

(4) Agent Drew Rosenhaus talks with Terrelle Pryor during his pro day at a practice facility on August 20, 2011 in Hempfield Township, Pennsylvania. Getty Images North America / Jared Wickerham ……….

(5) Agent Drew Rosenhaus talks with Steve Smith 89 of the Carolina Panthers before an NFL game against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium on August 19, 2011 in Miami Gardens, Florida. Mike Ehrmann / Getty Images ……

(5) …….
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We All Get Wasted ……….. It’s The Lifestyle of The Student Athlete

We All Get Wasted ……….. It’s The Lifestyle of The Student Athlete

There’s a very interesting song that was released off the well critiqued and received CD by rapper Gucci Mane called the ‘State vs Radrick Davis’ . One of the songs in question became a noted club anthem called ‘Wasted’ and it essentially chronicled the party life of the club goers and their rather excessive life styles. In saying that I’d associate it also with that of the life of the student athlete who if we’re to believe receive a college scholarship but in large part many of them end up failing to obtain their degrees and fulfilling their obligations to the schools. That being said these schools tend not to lose out because the tens of millions of dollars that comes their way each year by way of endorsements , the rights’ fees ,of course tv revenues courtesy of the NCAA and independently in some cases more than makes up for that loss.

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Within the last couple of days Sports Illustrated printed an article that will be in their November issue, wherein they interviewed an agent by the name of Josh Luchs. In this interview Luchs detailed his involvement with college athletes who were primarily football players entering and about to leave the college stage to enter the NFL . As an inducement Luchs had been paying players to actually sign with him in order for representation at the next level. Some of the noted players in question whom he named were Ryan Leaf , Jonathan Ogden and Tony Banks . Now this may well be only the ‘tip of the iceberg’ in terms of the players that he’d represented or had been involved with at the time and in terms of the monies involved it’s not completely chronicled as to how much was involved . But one can be assured that the amounts had to have been substantial to say the least and that Luchs was adequately compensated in terms of his own fees at the end of the day.

Courtesy of Sports Illustrated in conjunction with Dan Patrick _ article posted by Andrew Perloff

Josh Luchs offers insight into world of agents and NFL players

NFL agent Josh Luchs joined the show to talk about the Sports Illustrated cover story on the underside of the business.

Luchs tried to explain why he paid players. “I loved the players and I wanted to help them,” Luchs said.

Luchs also talked about why he started. “I got sick of not being paid back,” Luchs said. “I got sick of being lied to.”

Luchs said that a lot of agents are doing this, but he said it’s hard to prove. “It’s very hard to keep track of … it’s not just the agents any more,” Luchs said, pointing to all the runners and marketing people.

Dan asked about the part of the story that claimed Mel Kiper had a relationship with his former boss, agent Gary Wichard. Dan asked Luchs if thinks Kiper overrates Wichard clients.

“There are plenty of other agents in this business that believe that he does,” Luchs said.

Luchs said he does believe Kiper may have overrated Jimmy Clausen. But it’s not that simple. “I think Gary can be very persuasive and he was able to persuade Mel,” Luchs said.

Luchs said it’s not easy to fix this problem, and college coaches can’t do anything about it. “I truly don’t believe that they’re capable of preventing that from happening,” Luchs said.

Luchs said states need to make tough laws against this and follow through and enforce them.

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Now one could decry Luchs for being a ‘tattle tale’ as he’s no longer an involved being a big time agent. But here to my mind is where the rubber hits the road if Luchs was involved with players at the time and he was knowingly giving them money and other gratuities then where the hell was the oversight from the collegiate establishments that these very same players were attending ? Furthermore if as it’s my belief much of what Luchs states in his interview has veracity to it then there’s the likelihood that the colleges knew of his interactions with the players an chose to ignore it. At the end of the day if it benefits the program by way of the success achieved on the field and the financial returns are more than equitable then everyone seated at the table wins. And that obviously included the NCAA , the governing body for collegiate athletics across the nation.

Now in raising my next point which is to suggest that if Luchs was one of many agents out there conducting business and he’s now prepared to open up Pandora’s Box on this issue then quite possibly many of his peers at the time involved in the sports’ agent business were also conducting themselves in such a way . The likes of Drew Rosenhaus , Tom Condon , Chuck Greenberg , Scott Boras and Leigh Steinberg no doubt and would probably tell us that they’re above reproach and wouldn’t contend with enabling an athlete to contravene and then violate NCAA rules. Well if that’s the case then clearly there’s now something deeply amiss with the current situation at the collegiate athletics level. Because the very same practices to which Luchs prescribed are the very same themes that have come to the fore in the investigations of several athletics programs in the last few years bring about severe sanctions against those schools but yet no punishment against the agents who may or may not have been involved. Many of the agents in question will have a number intercedents act on their behalf in approaching the athlete indirectly to discuss being represented. The strange thing is , if this is in some cases being done openly on campuses then what are the AD’s (athletics directors , compliance officers and coaches doing about it ? Clearly nothing in the cases of schools such as USC , U Conn and the University of North Carolina to name but a few. And whilst we’re at it where is the NCAA in the midst of this all , other than their rather asinine notion that their investigations and then watered down punishments meted out tends to stop this all ? It hasn’t happened and has never been much of a deterrent to the schools or to the agents themselves. The whole system is corrupt from the NCAA on down and it’s a sad indictment of collegiate athletics as a whole.

NCAA President Mark Emmert who took over from his predecessor Dr Myles Brand a little under six months ago hasn’t really had time stamp his identity on the institution and at the same time one seriously doubts if the NCAA are at all serious in dealing with many of the ongoing issues that collegiate athletics faces. The body itself (NCAA) seems to be intent on spending more time on renewing multi-billion dollar television contracts and seeking out new corporate partners in terms of marketing the NCAA brand than they are prepared to do, than dealing with such instances as the interaction between an agent and athlete , while they are in school or about to enter college having just left high school. And if you think that these agent are merely using the college campuses as their stomping ground then think again ? Many of them are out there at high school games seeking out and looking for the next ‘big thing’ . And to be sure, many of the agents out there would be hard pressed to deny that isn’t the way they tend to conduct their business. I’m sure that agents such as Drew Rosenhaus have interacted with the parents of kids whilst they were in high school as well as the kids themselves and seeking them out surreptitiously merely to discuss their needs.

Now while no one is denying the fact that attending college on a student scholarship isn’t a noble thing, one has to ask this question if the student is there merely to hone their skills and allegedly gain an education. If the scholarship itself is of value then why not as part of the scholarship throw in a stipend for the athlete in order to negate the incidents that have arisen in the cases of athletes such as Reggie Bush and O J Mayo ? It may not deter what we know has happened but if in part a stipend were included in the scholarship with clear guidelines as to what is acceptable as a parameter then surely this would be of assistance to the athlete and actually be a way to avert any temptation there might be to accept money and representation from an agent while in college ? Clearly this is something that hasn’t arisen at any level for discussion or has been seriously looked at .

From my own perspective I view the NCAA as a broken down archaic system that simply doesn’t want to change as they are completely comfortable with their being . Concerns that they may well have, seem to be only their financial well being and in making sure that everyone on board the gravy train is well taken care of except the students themselves whose interests they are actually there to represent. Now if ever there was a clear definition of the word oxymoron then I’d nominate and place the NCAA atop of any list along with US House of Representatives and US Senate . Each of the three bodies in question to my mind on their best day have been about as much use a bucket being used to bail one’s self out of a capsizing boat. I mean what use are these bodies when even they themselves fail to act and do the right thing when the appropriate action needs to be taken ?

As to the athletes themselves they’re asked to be held accountable for their actions but clearly when temptation is placed in their way especially when it’s financial how can they deny any of it at all ? OK so the consequences can be grave but at the same time what of the actions of the individuals who have lured them into making that questionable decision ? No punishment there and until the NCAA and schools are prepared to address that particular then I say ………..’ let the party continue and let ’em all get wasted’ !

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Picture gallery for your perusal.

With Luchs having now given this interview do you feel that anyone of note from the NCAA on down to the schools will show any interest in anything has said ? And what thoughts if any do you have on how the agents themselves are said to conduct their business in terms of interacting with these agents ? Furthermore do you feel that it’s time for commissioners of MLB , NBA , NFL and NHL to step in and act in conjunction with the NCAA to stop the actions of agents where they actually are getting the college athletes to break NCAA rules ? Chime in with a comments as to your own thoughts on the matter and as always thanks for the continued support .

NB:

Click on the link provided to read related articles concerning Josh Luchs’ claims.

Links to Josh Luchs ………..

Alan aka tophatal …………… 🙂

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Gucci Mane _____ “Wasted” feat’g …… Plies

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Takes And Sporting Takes â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦..

Takes And Sporting Takes ……………..

There’s not much else that can be said about the life of John Wooden that hasn’t been said. His life is an open book and his achievements are legendary . But if anything what may well have been this coach’s greatest achievement was the fact that not did he turn out so many outstanding players but also so many outstanding human beings who turned out to be productive citizens . If that isn’t enough of an indictment as to Wooden’s stature and greatness then simply put I don’t know what is !

Well the NBA Finals have started and based on the evidence that we’ve all witnessed so far it looks as if the Boston Celtics may not be around all that long. The perception that this would be a very entertaining series doesn’t seem to be materializing at all. The defending champions the Los Angeles Lakers have all but made the Boston Celtics look like an aging quartet of geriatrics . And for Ray Allen , Kevin Garnett , Paul Pierce and Rasheed Wallace this all seems to be coming to fruition. The more athletic Lakers have simply taken it to the Celtics and put them in their place. And it could well be that the Phil Jackson coached Lakers are looking to avenge their defeat at the hands of the Celtics from the 2008 NBA Finals .

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Should the Lakers prevail in the series then it would garner the team its sixteenth NBA title and gain Jackson his eleventh NBA title as a coach. In doing so it would place the illustrious coach in the same stratosphere as the “Wizard of Westwood”, John Wooden, as the two most successful coaches in team sports. Wooden won ten NCAA basketball titles as a coach and one as a player.

Now call me naïve but much has been made as to the travails of Tiger Woods as of late and his poor showing in The Players’ Championship (Ponte` Vedra Beach,Fl) was about as bad a performance as we’ve seen from Woods in years. With his private life awry it appears that Woods’ world is now upside down. And with Phil Mickelson’s win at The Masters , we now might have a rivalry worth following in the world of golf. But then again I may well be wrong. Woods for his own part hasn’t necessarily made things easier for himself as of late having parted ways with his swing instructor Hank Haney .

With the US Open (Pebble Beach Golf Club, Pebble Beach, California ) now but a few weeks away, it appears that Woods is at a crossroads in his career. And things are now spiraling out of control and it appears that Tiger Woods has no real answer as to his dilemma.

Whatever your take on the baseball season it has to be said that the surprises and disappointments have been profound for a number of teams . The Baltimore Orioles are mired in a mediocre season have fired their manager Dave Trembley and replaced him with Juan Samuel . And for all sense and purpose based on the team’s first display under their new manager , things aren’t likely to take a turn for the better. This is still a poorly performing team that is lacking confidence and whose owner might just be in a situation where he has all but given up hope of having anything approaching what one might deem a successful season. Owner Peter Angelos and GM Andy MacPhail have shown a preponderance of simply turning from one disaster to the next , as the Orioles continue not only to disappoint their long suffering fans. But the idiocy of the announcement being made by the executives that they’re about to turn the corner, shows about as much hope as trying to ascend Mount Everest with but a pocket knife and string. Things are continuing to get worse for the Orioles and there’s no sign that they’re about to get any better anytime soon.

With Ken Griffey Jr’s announcement that he has retired from the game that he’s graced for two decades, seems to have brought us to a moment where we are still in awe as to the player’s abilities. To my mind , Griffey was simply the greatest player” of his generation !. That’s with due respect to the now infamous steroid enhanced Alex Rodriguez. Multiple All Star and Golden Glove winner as well as the AL MVP in 1997 . Ken Griffey Jr has given us moments to savor. Watching Griffey’s swing of the bat was and still is one of the sweetest in the game and his prowess in the outfield was second to none. With Jr’s retirement, it now leaves us with perhaps only Albert Pujols , Derek Jeter and Ichiro Suzuki as the three players from this past decade whom we might look at and say ……….”well they’re clean” . But then again in this day and age in the era where under Bud Selig’s custody the game of baseball has been a complete fraud in terms of many of the players’ performances. You simply can no longer look at a player’s achievements without questioning those accomplishments.

The biggest joke may well the less than honest observations on the game made by so called journalists covering the game. I personally have no respect for the likes of Buster Olney or Peter Gammons . They’re self serving lap dogs who’ve done the sport a great disservice but this is merely my opinion on the matter. As they’ve never shown the perspicacity to even cover the “steroid era” in depth and state their own thoughts with the readers or fans as to the shame and dishonor that certain players have brought to the game. But then again what would you expect from two individuals who are about as superfluous as they come . While Gammons and Olney come across as insightful and as authoritative a duo on the sport as one would hope to find. It appears that both of these writers would prefer not to bite the hand that feeds them in terms of the hierarchy of MLB . And when you observe signs such as this , then for all sense and purpose you can take it to the bank that their thoughts on the sport are about as worthwhile as a piece of fecal matter found on a sidewalk.

Well it appears that the NFL season though just months away. It appears that free agent wide receiver Terrell Owens has yet to find a home. And you can bet your bottom dollar that Owens’ agent Drew Rosenhaus will be doing his level best to find his high profiled client a home. And for Owens, whose best years are now behind him rather than ahead of him. It’s becoming increasingly clear that there might not be many takers for the now declining skills of Owens . But yet somehow the player still believes that he can contribute to a team given the right environment.

Now as you know the closer we get to the start of the NFL preseason the more ramped up the stories will become concerning ESPN’s fodder and staple over the entire preseason. If Brett Favre has a problem with flatulence , you can be sure that ESPN will be reporting it. OK , so I might be going a bit overboard concerning that the cable network might be reporting on Favre’s flatulence. But then again, when hasn’t the network known to sank to lowest common denominator ? The network’s lust for the former league MVP borders on being idolatry . But then again, what’s a bit of idolatry when at any given moment at your choosing you can afford to take down that deity should you choose to ? But that would be the last thing on ESPN’s mind at any juncture ?

Now don’t get me wrong Brett Favre in his glory years was a player of extraordinary gifts and a passion for the game. But Favre’s passion while unabated , his gifts have declined. Doubt my word , then simply look at his performance in the waning moments of last season’s NFC championship game against the eventual Superbowl champions the New Orleans Saints . And while it has to be said that Favre is clearly a better option than that of Sage Rosenfels and Tarvaris Jackson of the Minnesota Vikings . One now gets the impression that if Favre can’t take the Vikings to the “promised land” this upcoming season , then more likely than not this will be the last time that we’ll see the player helming a team as its quarterback. That being said Favre’s preponderance for playing the fool and holding a team ransom as he ponders his future is about well intentioned as the Taliban’s wish to commit to a peace deal with the United States.

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Well these are but a few of my takes and sporting takes as it relates to the world of sports. Has there been anything of late that has you wondering what’s happening in the world of sports that quite possibly is for the betterment of the game as you see it ? By all means do chime on in with a comment as always thanks for the continued support as it’s greatly appreciated !

NB: At the original time of my writing this piece the result of game two of the finals was not yet known. But in light of the Celtics attaining a 103-94 victory in game two the series is now leveled at 1-1 .

Alan Parkins aka tophatal ………………..

Santana ………………. “Samba pa ti”

Intriguing Questions That Need To Be Asked And Answered In The World of Sports ………….

Intriguing Questions That Need To Be Asked And Answered In The World of Sports ………….

If LeBron James as he’s now stating , having been interviewed by that elder statesman of menial tv journalism, Larry King . Wherein , James stated that the Cavaliers’ organization stands a better than even chance that he’ll remain with the team . The question I for one would like to ask did his mother force him to make such a statement , bearing in mind that it’s been alleged that she (Gloria James) has been having a sexual relationship with James’ teammate Delonte’ West . Could it be that Gloria James will miss Cleveland more than LeBron will ? And two, what does that say about the players of some of the potential teams that are said to be interested in luring James to their organizations ?

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In the Bible we’re led to believe that it took God six days to create the Earth and on the seventh day he rested . The question I’d like to ask if it can the “Supreme Being” such a short time to create this world . Then how is it that it has now taken the NCAA in “excess of three years” to conduct their investigation into the basketball and football program of USC ? I mean with all of the evidence that has come to light and the fact that the likes of Reggie Bush , Matt Leinart , O J Mayo , Pete Carroll , Tim Floyd and the US Trojans’ AD Mike Garrett have been less than forthright in answering any questions as to any transgressions concerning the program. Is it a matter of mere perception and we’re completely misjudging what has gone on within the school’s athletics program ? I guess that $1,000-00 paid to Mayo by Floyd , was a mere oversight at the time ? And the fact that Bush’s parents were living in a residence that at the time was way beyond their means was a mere faux-pas and nothing untoward was happening between Bush and an interloper acting on his behalf at the time.

Well the 2010 NBA Finals are upon us and the series commences on the 3rd June , 2010 . The game’s two most storied franchises are set to meet for the the eleventh time in the game’s showcase event. Between them the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers have won 32 NBA titles and have made a combined 51 appearances in the NBA Finals. It’d be remiss to suggest that it does make the other teams within the NBA irrelevant because that’s most certainly not the case. But in this era where we’re always being told that there’s parity in sports . The dominance of the Celtics and Lakers of the NBA does make the case for that argument seem somewhat mute. But in reality when either of these two teams are making an appearance in the finals , then it augurs well for the viewing figures for the event and it most definitely brings a smile to the face of David Stern and the entire NBA hierarchy .

As a more than avid fan of the NBA I just hope to see a very entertaining series. But above all I’m hoping that the officials don’t interject themselves into each and every game and event when there’s a tinge of controversy. More than often than not the real reason why a series can be bad or becomes bad isn’t necessarily because of the poor play. But more so, it has to do with the poor officiating. I know that David Stern says that he trusts these officials implicitly . But would he actually trust them with his life or perhaps to be in the accompaniment of his wife or daughters ? I mean if he trusts them that much then he shouldn’t have a problem with a referee spending a night with his wife I would’ve thought ! Squash that , Tim Donaghy suddenly springs to mind .

Apart from seeing future Hall of Famers , in , Kobe Bryant , Ray Allen , Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett . We’ll also get to see the burgeoning talents of such young players as Rajon Rondo, Andrew Bynum and Jordan Farmar . As to whether or not the careers of these players will aspire to be as great as that of their peers mentioned , it remains to be seen over the course of time.

Ben Roethlisberger has returned to the fold and is now allowed once again allowed to undertake team activities with the Pittsburgh Steelers . I for one still feel that the player got off lightly ! But given the fact that he’s said to be on a tight leash and he’s still under a six game suspension that can be lowered to four games should NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell see fit. The scrutiny under which Roethlisberger will be followed will most certainly make him feel as if he’s rat on a wheel undergoing a watchful social behavorial experiment. I just hope that the player understands the implications should he screw up again . There have been players within the NFL who haven’t been afforded a second chance that has been given Roethlisberger. So the slightest inappropriate act on or off the field and he can essentially kiss his career goodbye.

My buddy Sportschump suggested that many of the problems that came to the fore under Goodell’s watch were inherited after his assuming the position of his predecessor Paul Tagliabue . But that was most certainly not the case. From the Plaxico Burress affair , to Donte’ Stallworth to Ben Roethlisberger . All of this has happened under Goodell’s watch and the commissioner hasn’t necessarily always been proactive in his handling of these matters. He at times placates the situation by saying that many of the cases in question should be dealt with after legal ramifications are sorted out. However , under the collective bargaining agreement with the NFLPA , he has the power to suspend a player for conduct detrimental to the sport and that includes any matter that might also tarnish the image of the NFL.

My question to Goodell and Sportschump , should “Big Ben” be caught once again, whereby a 20 year old female college co-ed should suddenly find her lips around a certain part of the player’s genitalia. Can we believe Ben if he states ……………” she tripped and fell and her mouth suddenly found itself around my member ” ? More to the point how is it that it is always the fault of the other person in the incident ? Isn’t Roethlisberger mature enough to be now held accountable for his own actions ? Or is this what a football college scholarship now gets you at Miami of Ohio ?

Still no word as of yet but with Terrell Owens seeing his buddy , Chad Ochocinco appear on Dancing With The Stars . Is there now a possibility that “TO” will lean more towards retirement as he remains an unsigned free agent within the NFL ? That’s not to say that his agent Drew Rosenhaus won’t be making overtures on the player’s behalf to see if he can be signed by none other than the Minnesota Vikings. That way the organization and the the team can then have “two of the biggest and most self absorbed narcissists” ever to have set foot within the NFL. Don’t forget now boys and girls , Brett Favre still hasn’t made us privy to the impending decision as to his NFL future and that perceived comeback , “yet again” !

If you think it not audacious situation for Rosenhaus to approach Brad Childress and his coaching staff to quite possibly gauge their interest in the veteran wide receiver. Not so long ago the thinking was that Favre would be the player to put the team over the top and guide them to a Superbpowl . Well one year on and one year older and the Vikings were about as close to the Superbpowl as Sen. John McCain (R-Az) was, in gaining entrance into the White House as the 44th President of the United States. C’mon now , please don’t use the excuse that Brett got ’em to the NFC championship game. Brett also cost ’em an appearance in the Superbowl with his capricious play in the closing stretch of the loss to the eventual Superbowl champions __ New Orleans Saints .

So what do you think is there a remote possibility that we could see that Favre Owens’ tandem gracing us within the NFL as part of the Vikings’ team looking to be not only dominant within the NFC North but also within the entire NFL ? Or will me merely see the return of Favre to the Vikings with Owens toiling away elsewhere within the NFL with some none descript team ?

Well now that we’ve more than got a quarter of the way through the baseball season . A number of teams are trying to jockey themselves into position for the mid-stretch of the season. To my mind this is the one part of the season that will go a long way in telling us the resolve and determination of a team. You simply have to look at the standings to see which teams can be taken for real and which cannot. Sorry Baltimore and Houston but there’s always next year I hope !

I can’t for the life of me understand how two teams such as the Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers of the AL Central tend to under achieve. As good as both teams appear to be on paper , up close and personal once they begin to play it’s like looking at an abstract painting and trying to understand what the subject matter is all about. The White Sox are simply are simply an embarrassment and for Jim Leyland and Tigers , I’m not about to suggest that the team is spiraling out of control. But were they an airplane, I’d be looking for the nearest emergency exit just as a precaution.

GM’s Dave Dombrowski of the Tigers and Kenny Williams of the White Sox know that in Leyland and Ozzie Guillen they have two very good managers. But the problems now facing both managers are that their respective teams either aren’t listening as to what they and the coaching staff are trying to instill. Or quite possibly the teams just aren’t as good as first thought. By my way of thinking it has to be the latter but if things don’t change as to both teams’ fortunes . Then quite possibly before at the culmination of the season both managers could very well be fired by their respective organizations. I’m not about to suggest that they should both be deserving of such a fate. But as a last resort that’s always how the executives and owners tend to alleviate the problem to quieten the angst of the fans.

I’m not a big NASCAR or IRL fan but I’ve got to admit that I made the rare peek to watch snippets of the Coca Cola 600 and parts of the Indy 500 . The latter race I’ve been led to believe is said to be “the best auto race in the world” . Someone must be friggin’ kidding if they’ve never witnessed the Monaco Grand Prix from Monte Carlo and the nuance of F1 Grand Prix Racing. OK , so Indy Car has female drivers Danica Patrick and Milka Duno . But unless they’re about to let those ladies race in nothing more than two piece bathing suit , then quite frankly I’m simply not interested ! However, with Dario Franchitti happening to be the victor of the Indy 500 , we all got to see that rather “hot wife” of his Ashley Judd . But good God almighty, was it me but what the hell was she wearing ? I thought it was Franchitti’s mother at first until the cameras drew in for a close up shot . Then I realized she still looks as hot as ever ! ‘nough said !

Ashley Judd please don’t give the legions of male fans around the world such a scare again ! We all love it when you look exceedingly hot and chique`. We’d prefer for you to not to look so dowdy as it belies your sensational looks . As to Franchitti , I can only surmise that once he and his wife returned home all bets were off as to how they’d end up celebrating his second victory of America’s most prestigious race. A great deal of intimacy was no doubt called for I’d dare say ! So we know that Ashley Judd is hot but can someone answer me this, when will Danica Patrick win her next race ? And two, are we ever liable to see her adorning a stripper’s pole ? Because by my way of thinking the circus has but left town with regard to her alleged ambitions within both NASCAR and IRL. Making excuses for Danica Patrick now is very much in a similar vein in excusing why it is that Dale Earnhardt Jr can’t find the winner’s podium but yet he’s being paid an exorbitant amount of money for merely being average at best. Can I get an amen here ?

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

Well these are but a few of the questions that I think in some ways we can find amusing and in some cases serious in the world of sports. What questions if any would you want to pose concerning a certain are of the sporting landscape. It doesn’t necessarily have to be serious at all. So feel free to chime on in with a question and perhaps we can all debate it in the appropriate manner ? Thanks as always for the continued support !

Alan Parkins aka tophatal …………………………

David Bowie ……………..“Heroes”