It’s The Media’s Fault ….

It’s all the media’s fault

The media reports the news and politicians will continue to use the media in its various formats to get their messages out. So let’s stop pretending the two sides don’t need each other as there tends to be a great deal of ambiguity and hypocrisy which comes from both sides. On Tuesday night there was the gregarious display of President Donald Trump addressing the nation on national television as he sought to unite the country. Dependent upon who you would like to believe, he was able to achieve that , or you might be persuaded that he simply provided us all with another glaring performance of a pompous arrogant ass playing to his audience. He took snipes at two Republican senators from the state of Arizona , blaming them for his party’s failure in the repealing of the Affordable Care (ACA/Obamacare). Trump also presented the media as odious morons who misreport the facts, this coming from a Commander In Chief who has not always been willing to listen to the facts as given to him by his own inner circle of advisers. It will always be the media’s fault when you have nothing of substance to report or say.

It’s all the media’s fault

The media reports the news and politicians will continue to use the media in its various formats to get their messages out. So let’s stop pretending the two sides don’t need each other as there tends to be a great deal of ambiguity and hypocrisy which comes from both sides. On Tuesday night there was the gregarious display of President Donald Trump addressing the nation on national television as he sought to unite the country. Dependent upon who you would like to believe, he was able to achieve that , or you might be persuaded that he simply provided us all with another glaring performance of a pompous arrogant ass playing to his audience. He took snipes at two Republican senators from the state of Arizona , blaming them for his party’s failure in the repealing of the Affordable Care (ACA/Obamacare) . Trump also presented the media as odious morons who misreport the facts, this coming from a Commander In Chief who has not always been willing to listen to the facts as given to him by his own inner circle of advisers. It will always be the media’s fault when you have nothing of substance to report or say.


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The media for its part will continue to be lambasted , rightfully so , when there is a great deal of hypocrisy and idiocy on their part. Nothing at present can be more asinine and idiotic than the story now emanating from ESPN and their removal of Robert Lee from the calling of College Football Game , because Lee’s name might be seen as insensitive after the recent events which have taken place in Charlottesville , Virginia. Robert Lee was due to call a game between the University of Virginia and William & Mary next month. ESPN took it upon themselves after they stated, having met with Lee , it would be more suitable were he to announce a game taking place in Youngstown Ohio , rather than call this upcoming contest.

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President Donald Trump is seen here in Arizona , before taking the dais where he would give a rather incoherent speech on unity and the state of the country , while also lambasting the press for their poor reporting of the facts.

Political correctness, call it what you will, but ESPN remains a bastion of hypocrisy , stupidity and a network where not racial bigotry has existed , but also where male employees have been allowed to get away with rather salacious behavior and odious criminal acts. Misogyny and outright sexism is also part of the environment of the cable broadcast network outlet.

Former heavyweight champion now retired and business entrepreneur George Foreman remains in the public spotlight and is beloved for his heroics in the ring. Unfortunately , of late Foreman , has chosen to voice his opinion on what he believes are acts of non-patriotism with the actions of NFL player Colin Kaepernick and his refusal to stand while the national anthem is being played at NFL games. Kaepernick remains unsigned and his free agency status is likely to remain as it is long into the regular season. The former champion was not only critical of the NFL player but athletes in general and what he says are acts on non-patriotism and his directness in taking aim at Kevin Durant and Durant’s refusal to attend the White House when the Golden State Warriors are due to meet the President as the franchise is recognized for their championship series’ victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers , is to my mind a further indication as to the growing distance as what is seen as social awareness , the divergence where sports and politics are not meant to be aligned.

George Foreman’s criticism of Colin Kaepernick and Kevin Durant is hypocritical and dare I say it asinine , when you consider the boxer claims his friendship with the late Muhammad Ali and his recognition of Ali’s stance, due to his opposition of the Vietnam War .

It seems almost inconceivable that Jon Jones could fail a second mandatory drug test mandated by the UFC in conjunction with the California State Athletic Commission . Having regained the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship defeating Daniel Cormier UFC President Dana White now has to deal with the fallout from the serious ramifications of this latest controversy faced by MMA with Jones’ drug test failure. The champion’s decisive victory over Daniel Cormier at UFC 215 was as decisive as they come and perhaps the best of Jon Jones’ MMA career . What is likely to transpire now will be dependent upon any additional investigation being conducted by the California State Athletic Commission in conjunction with the UFC. Jon Jones could face another lengthy suspension , the second of his career or a recommendation could be made for a lifetime ban from the UFC. Jones and his representative s might well seek to fight any proposed suspension , but any type of explanation from the MMA fighter would prove difficult to accept given his past actions (testing positive for the use of cocaine).

Dana White will now have to use all of his persuasiveness to prove to the fans , that MMA remains a sport beyond reproach and one that is clean . He’s swung and might be in the process of hitting a home run , having now backed the proposed upcoming boxing match between UFC fighter Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather , which is due to take place on the 26th August at the T Mobile Arena in Las Vegas , Nevada . As a co-promotion between the UFC and Mayweather Promotions , this will be the biggest joint event and most financially beneficial for the UFC in their history. McGregor will certainly earn the biggest payday of his career, earning an estimated $25 million for this fight alone. Floyd Mayweather is likely to earn in excess of $250 million and a great deal more when one takes into account merchandising and overseas’ broadcast rights .

With all of the hype and theatrics used to sell this bout to the masses and Floyd Mayweather now trying to amp this fight even further with his claims , he’s not as quick as he once was in his prime , I am beginning to think the boxing match could end up being a monumental bore or actually turn out to be competitive fight. The former welterweight champion remains an odds on favorite , but as of late there has been a great deal of money being wagered on Conor McGregor pulling off the upset.

Well it appears the lights have yet to go out at the Quicken Loans Arena after all of the tumult and upheaval within the Cleveland Cavaliers’ franchise over the past six weeks. David Griffin was ousted as the general manager , being replaced by Koby Altman . Team owner Dan Gilbert in spite of his denials , suggested all as well within the franchise and that disgruntled point-guard Kyrie Irving remained a part of the Cavaliers’ long-term future. Clearly smoke was being blown up everyone’s ass by the front office , with Gilbert leading the choir. Irving’s relationship with LeBron James had gone sour and the rapport between the two players was certainly non-communicative . A blockbuster trade has come into being with Kyrie Irving being sent to the Boston Celtics in exchange for Isiah Thomas . Residual pieces also made up the deal, but the vital pieces in the trade were the point guards , Irving and Thomas. The Eastern Conference will certainly take on whole new shape and I do believe there will be a seismic shift which might not necessarily favor the Cleveland Cavaliers. Isiah Thomas is an exceptional talent , but I do believe the Boston Celtics got the better end of the deal with their acquisition of Kyrie Irving and the other players as part of this unbelievable blockbuster trade.

The Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics will meet during the NBA preseason , with the game taking place on the 17th October at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. They will also face each other during the regular season at home and on the road. It will be interesting to see how the two teams will fare with their new lineups .

So will this be the season where Steve Mills and Scott Perry bring the New York Knicks back from the brink of ruin or will this particular NBA franchise’s tailspin continue ? Having spent over $60 million on Phil Jackson to simply reaffirm that Jackson cannot spot NBA talent let alone spell the word , Perry has been brought in the oversee the roster of the Knicks while Mills runs the operational side of the franchise while still answerable to team owner James Dolan . These are dire times for the New York Knicks as they continue to go through transitional changes which might ultimately make them better . I am not so sure the patience remains with Carmelo Anthony to undergo another season of uncertainty and even less of a chance for the seasoned veteran to win an NBA title . He has seen a number of his contemporaries from the 2003 NBA Draft go on to win a championship ring or win the game’s highest singular award, League MVP . All of these accolades have escaped Anthony’s career resume’ as he toils with an aimless franchise heading nowhere.

The New York Knicks will begin their preseason schedule with a game against the Brooklyn Nets on the 3rd October , 2017 at Madison Square Garden , in New York City , New York . Yet their regular season schedule starts on the 19th October when they will face the Oklahoma City Thunder in a game which could prove to be highly entertaining with a great deal of offense .

There can be no denying in spite of the recent dominance of the Golden State Warriors , the NBA lures in the fans when the likes of the Los Angeles Lakers , Boston Celtics and New York Knicks are doing well. These three franchise might be the most followed in the league because of their respective histories. Yet it is clear as of late , neither Lakers or Knicks have provided their fans with a great deal of excitement in recent seasons. The Celtics ‘ front office might be one o the most underestimated in the game , while we already know both the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers are still finding their way. Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka have been brought in by Jeanie Buss and her siblings to steer the franchise back in the right direction. A great deal of hype has already been put in place with the Lakers’ having drafted Lonzo Ball . If he is the second coming of Kobe Bryant , then the franchise will fare well , but this roster is still in the making and I don’t expect them to be very competitive this season. They might be lucky to win thirty regular season games during the 2017-18 schedule.

With the first game of their regular season schedule taking place on the 17th October when they face the Los Angeles Clippers who this season are likely to struggle having seen the departure of Chris Paul . It should prove to be very interesting to see which of the three NBA franchises in the state of California comes out as the ‘Top Dog’ in the state at the end of this season.

I do believe that the Los Angeles Clippers will be taking a step back this season , even though they will remain the best team in their division , I just don’t believe they are a championship caliber team. There is not enough depth on the roster and it has become increasingly clear , neither Blake Griffin or DeAndre Jordan are leaders. They are merely overpaid NBA stars showing little sign of maturity and the will to lead by example. Doc Rivers as the head coach of the team as well as Head of Basketball Operations is stretched too thin and needs to relinquish his role as an executive within the Clippers’ organization. Rivers should concentrate on the coaching of the team , while Steve Ballmer works in conjunction with Jerry West , seeking to make this team better. West joining the Clippers’ front office as a special consultant does seem somewhat ironic and eerie especially when you consider his career with the Los Angeles Lakers a nd the fact both of the Los Angeles’ franchises share the same home venue . I would love to be a fly on the wall inside both front offices over the course of this season , as Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka try to outmaneuver Jerry West , Lawrence Frank and Dave Wohl . The Clippers’ front office is top-heavy with far too many front office executives and the coaching staff itself, while there is an abundance of experience to be found. It was clear last season the coaches were not able to get the best out of the team , leading to their dismal showing during the NBA Playoffs .

When it is all said and done , this season for the Detroit Tigers has been glaringly abysmal , with the team failing to show any drive whatsoever. The death of Michael Ilitch was a devastating blow to the organization and now the franchise is left in the hands of the late owner’s family. Chris Ilitch now steps into the role as the Chief Executive and owner of the Tigers , while Al Avila continues in his role of general manager. Where the Tigers now go from here will be predicated on how the season rounds out for the ball-club.

Brad Ausmus and the Detroit Tigers face a tough month ahead while simply playing for pride. Ausmus’
managerial staff
will still try to instill some discipline and sense of purpose into the team. That will likely begin by out-playing the New York Yankees who they face on Thursday afternoon . The game itself should prove to be very interesting given what is at stake for both teams . During the off-season Al Avila will have to make a decision concerning the long-term future of stars such as Justin Verlander , Miguel Cabrera and several others of their highly paid players on the team’s roster. Over the last six seasons the Tigers have very little to show their fans by way of advancing during the postseason . While I don’t believe Al Avila will seek to make drastic changes , there has to be something done to improve this roster or ultimately , the paring down of the payroll must be a priority for the franchise moving forward.

Rich Hill a starting pitcher with the Los Angeles Dodgers toyed with a ‘no hitter’ in his most recent outing for the team , a game played against the Pittsburgh Pirates . One errant pitch broke up what would have been a career highlight for a player who has come so close to pitching a no hitter on several occasions during his career. The Dodgers would end up losing the contest 1-0, in ten innings . When these two teams are back on the diamond this Thursday evening , the opposing pitchers will be Hyun Jin-Ryu of the Dodgers against Chad Kuhl of the Pirates .

There is no doubt in my mind the Los Angeles Dodgers will run away with the NL West divisional crown, but I will continue to ask the question how good is this team really ? If they are unable to make a deep postseason run ,and play with consistency , then greatness cannot be foisted upon them. It has been over two decades since the Los Angeles Dodgers made an appearance in the World Series and subsequent postseason appearances have often ended in sheer failure on the part of this ballclub. If the Dodgers were to do the unthinkable and win the World Series in 2017, then the media would have a field day reporting the story creating a deal of hyperbole as to the Dodgers’ exploits.



Picture gallery and by clicking on an individual image you can view that frame in a reformatted size alongside the accompanying narrative.

 Tophatal ….. 08/23/2017

USA Today Sports

Death, taxes and other certainties in life and sports

Death, taxes and other certainties in life and sports

Well, this past weekend the NFL opened their postseason schedule and once again the league simply did not fail to disappoint. If you consider the result of the Arizona Cardinals going into Carolina to face the Carolina Panthers and the Cardinals’ loss to their NFC rivals an aberration, then consider that to be a real disappointment. All season long , Arizona found ways to win, withtheir offense or a resolute defense.

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On Saturday afternoon , Ryan Lindley as the starting quarterback for the visiting team was being asked to lead to the Cardinals in his first postseason contest to a victory, which would have been Arizona’s first in over five years. Their last coming in the 2009 postseason in a high-scoring contest against the Green Bay Packers .

Both Ryan Lindley and the opposing quarterback Cam Newton had their highs and lows in during the game between the Arizona Cardinals and Green Carolina Panthers. Yet you could not help but feel the Cardinals came into this contest as the prohibitive favorites but there was an even greater possibility they could come away from this contest with the defeat. Bruce Arians may well have placed a great deal of faith in his quarterback , but you simply got the feeling Lindley’s postseason inexperience would lead to his and the Cardinals’ own undoing.

You can either love or hate the Dallas Cowboys. America’s Team and the empathy some might have towards the franchise, can be either one of loathing or under-handed appreciation . I have never really been a great admirer of the Cowboys or the larger than life presence of team owner , Jerry Jones ! Sunday afternoon , Dallas had as their guests Matt Stafford and the Detroit Lions in their wildcard match-up .

The Cowboys were seeking their first playoff win in almost six years and it should serve as a kindly reminder, why this franchise has been so overrated during the time-span in question, when each year inexplicably bumbling buffoons continually decide to make the Dallas Cowboys perennial favorites to win the Superbowl or at least be a contender within the NFC. In a season where the NFC was so mediocre and yes I am taking into account the Philadelphia Eagles managed to notch a double-digit tally by way of wins , but somehow as only Chip Kelly can , his propensity to believe that only offense can win games led to the Eagles’ chance and demise in winning the NFC East. I can only conclude the former Oregon head coach simply doesn’t know how to spell the world defense or comprehend its meaning as determined by their statistical standing in the category and their failure to make the postseason.

Dallas came away with their victory over the Detroit Lions and I can’t help but wonder beyond the errant misjudgement by the officials , I believe the Lions were simply overawed by the occasion . Matt Stafford and his teammates all but had this game sewn up and well within their grasp during the latter stages of the contest but they somehow found a way to screw things up without Ndamokung Suh actually contributing to the loss, with his never-ending stupidity. The Cowboys came away the victors and the Detroit Lions , just like the city, were bankrupt of creativity and ideas when it mattered the most. At least they can take heart in the fact their infamous 2008 season still remains intact when it comes to sheer ineptitude .

Dallas will certainly have to raise the level of their play when they face the Green Bay Packers in the divisional round of their game to be played at Lambeau Field in Green Bay Wisconsin, Sunday , 11th January, 2015. Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers will take their show on the road when they face a stern test by taking on the Seattle Seahawks . If that Seahawks’ offense gets going, then the Panthers are likely to be on the wrong end of a lopsided loss .

While some may well have their doubts about the Indianapolis Colts because of the inconsistency shown this season , but you simply cannot deny Andrew Luck’s play for the team has been the main reason why the Colts are now in the postseason for the third consecutive year , and the belief he might just be the best quarterback to have been drafted in the NFL since 2008. Now you may well disagree with the statement in question, but simply take a look at the facts as they stand and then decide for yourself.

Luck and his teammates clinically took apart with the ease of a surgeon performing a routine procedure . The Bengals were never remotely in this game and it begs the question, where do Marvin Lewis and the coaching staff now go from here concerning this team ?

In the day’s other AFC contest, the Baltimore Ravens and Joe Flacco put an end to the quest of Ben Roethlisberger seeking a third Superbowl victory to add to his resume’ . The Pittsburgh Steelers may well have won the AFC North , but they were far from being the best team within the division . Statistics may well tend to create the illusion and perception of competitiveness , but when it came to determination , there was none to be found from anyone on the Steelers’ roster during this game . This is likely to be the game played in a Pittsburgh Steelers’ uniform by their defensive player Troy Polamalu after a distinguished career with the franchise.

With a great deal of bravura the signing of Phil Jackson and his being brought in to head the Basketball Operations of the New York Knicks , was meant to herald in a new chapter for the NBA franchise. The legendary NBA coach has a resume’ unmatched by no other coach in NBA history and the feeling was , if Jackson’s presence alone, was enough to reignite the Knicks, then all would be right with the world . Unfortunately, those behind this idiocy, failed to acknowledge there was not an experienced head coach leading the coaching staff and the very fact, beyond Carmelo Anthony the talent level on the roster was extremely poor if not threadbare . As to the feeling Iman Shumpert was an adequate foil to Anthony’s abilities on the team , well let’s just look the facts this season and how that all bears out . Shumpert’s offense and defense are at best , average and the player is not and never will be a game changer on any level .

I can only surmise the choice of Derek Fisher to coach this team was simply one of vanity by Phil Jackson and the fallacy that the ” Triangle Offense “ would still be be effective in today’s game. Jackson may well have not correctly assessed the basketball acumen and IQ of this roster , because plainly put , this Knicks’ team simply isn’t good enough to comprehend the concept, much less put it into effect with any semblance of success. Fisher’s players have already accomplished a season’s first, by being the first team to accumulate thirty or more losses on the season . This may well have not been part of the Knicks’ plans for the year , but clearly things have now gone terribly awry for the franchise and with the lack foresight from anyone within the front office led by Phil Jackson and GM Steve Mills .

To understand how inept the New York Knicks have become , consider the fact they are now on an eleven-game losing streak and they seem incapable of winning at home or on the road . With Carmelo Anthony now sidelined by an injury , the chances of the New York Knicks being competitive, much less putting together a winning streak now seems more remote than ever. The team’s last victory, came in a road win over the Boston Celtics on the 12th December , 2014 with the six-point defeat of their conference rivals .

Sunday night, brought even more incompetence from the New York Knicks as they succumbed to the Milwaukee Bucks in a thirteen-point loss (95-82) at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York . Their task will not be any easier in their next game when they face the Memphis Grizzlies at the FedEx Forum in Memphis , Tennessee ,.

At 5-31 the Knicks’ projected win total for the season will be 15-67 and it is hard to imagine how this organization can take away anything positive out of such a mediocre display and the ongoing optimism being shown by the fans . With the trade deadline due on the 19th February and you get the feeling some drastic moves are likely to be made as the Knicks look to salvage something out of the season while looking to the future . The only asset on the team is Carmelo Anthony and though there have been rumors the player had been approached by senior executives , requesting his waiving of the no-trade clause in his contract and such a move would suggest they are willing to abandon any future hope rebuilding the franchise with Anthony as the centerpiece for their future livelihood. Having signed a five-year $124 million deal , at the start of this year , one could imagine this would not sit well with the Knicks’ fans were the player traded and their being left with almost nothing in return , even if there were some pieces added to the roster seen as a positive sign . The rationale behind the maneuver would still come as a shock , but this has been a mess of the Knicks’ own making , one presided over by the lackadaisical and nonsensical approach to the franchise taken by owner James Dolan . Profitability seems to have been his only concern with regard to the organization rather than the on-court product. Come full circle , the Knicks seem to be back at square one and no real idea what approach they ought to be taking.

The death of ESPN sports’ anchor Stuart Scott at the age of forty-nine , was a reminder of one’s mortality . Scott’s untimely demise cast a giant shadow over the NBA this past weekend , as his association and love of the game was well-known . He befriended many of the game’s top players and his passing was known to be heartfelt not just within the player fraternity , but also among the league hierarchy , general managers and team owners . Anyone who witnessed his 2014 ESPY Award speech after his accepting the Jim Valvano Award had to be taken aback by his humility , eloquence , challenges he met , while undergoing chemotherapy and other medical treatment, as he and his family sought a cure for the diagnosis of his cancer ailment. Stuart Scott became the gold standard for many of the African-American journalists who would later join the broadcast outlet . Yet, his professionalism , personality and passion stood out, as he covered sports in such an unbridled way , leaving us with a number of catch-phrases , which will live on even after his passing.

[youtube.com=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yl_0ieqSi7Q]

Keifer Sutherland presents Stuart Scott with the Jim Valvano Award at the 2014 ESPY’s . Scott’s full speech is seen here in its entirety.

The Winter Meetings are over within MLB (baseball) and teams won’t yet be making any major preparations concerning Spring Training , but a number of players sidelined due to injuries, still in the process of rehabilitation , while looking to the upcoming season . Trades came and went with a number of surprising moves . Nonetheless , baseball will likely enter this upcoming regular season with team payroll commitments topping $ 3 billion ($3,000,000,000) for the third successive season .

The San Francisco Giants coming off their World Series’ triumph , their third in the past five years ,will have a bulls’ eye as a target on their backs , as each of the league’s twenty-nine other teams will be looking take them down , in particular, anyone of the fifteen from the AL . A tough season ahead awaits the Giants, as baseball’s latest dynasty looks to add to its illustrious history . Bruce Bochy and his managerial staff will be looking to add to their legacy , while the team itself, must know the task ahead will be a difficult one . The NL West is likely to be competitive , with the main challenge coming from what will be a somewhat revamped Los Angeles Dodgers’ team.

Meetings between the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants this season will have some added flavor to it all , as Don Mattingly and his staff would like to prove the defending World Series’ champions are not the only ” team in town” or the best in the state of California. Did I hear someone mention the Los Angeles Angels , Oakland A’s and San Diego Padres ought to be added into the mix ? That would be great were it not for the fact recent postseason success seems to be lacking for the teams mentioned.

Baseball’s Hall of Fame for 2015 have been announced , with the new additions as well as the hold-overs from years past are on the ballot for the BBWAA’s approval and final voting . The continued hypocrisy shown by the Baseball Writers Association , their ambivalence and dare I say it lack of transparency with their process indicates to me the continued farce of the institution and all it claims to represent. With their being no clear stance being taken by them concerning players associated with the ‘ steroid era’ which still casts a giant smear and shadow over the game indicates to me , much like baseball’s ambivalent and clueless hierarchy the sport definitely needs to be infused with creative ideas and leadership. You simply have to look at the makeup of the senior-most executives in the game’s upper ranks to realize that fact and their current length of tenure .

Several of the names on this season’s Hall of Fame Ballot are certainly credible , but several are tinged with more than controversy ,concerning their possible association and the use of steroids or other illicit substances . Roger Clemens , Barry Bonds , Gary Sheffield , Sammy Sosa , Curt Schilling and Mark McGwire to name but a few , put into perspective what we are likely to witness over the coming years , if their names are reappointed to the list, having failed to be inducted. Randy Johnson , Pedro Martinez , John Smoltz , Nomar Garciaparra , Carlos Delgado , Aaron Boone and Cliff Floyd lead the list of first-time nominees .

Of the newest nominees , I believe the John Smoltz, Pedro Martinez , Curt Schilling are the most likely to obtain seventy-five per-cent of the votes needed to gain their induction into Cooperstown ! Borderline , are Carlos Delgado , Nomar Garciapparra , with the remaining candidates being considered for induction at some point in the future. Now while many decry the fact Pete Rose has not been inducted into the game’s most prestigious fraternity , let us remember Rose failed to acknowledge his misdeeds , lying repeatedly to anyone willing to listen , stating he did not break one of baseball’s most ” cardinal sins” , betting on the game . OK , one can bring up the Black Sox ‘ scandal’ as one of the game’s most stained chapters , yet those directly involved , paid a price , which can never be forgotten , overlooked or wiped from the pages of baseball’s history. It remains an indelible mark and reminder of one of the game’s most sordid chapters and a reason why, the rules are in place to be obeyed and not to be broken , purely for financial gain.

From my own perspective , while I believe the Hall of Fame to be a noteworthy bastion where the greats of the game are eulogized and immortalized in print ! I am not so sure many of the game’s most recent candidates , are really worthy of the accolade of induction. Here is my issue with these individuals , why were they so silent and was the choice their own or mandated upon them by a union (MLBPA) who to this day ,in many ways were just as complicit in the fraud perpetrated on the fans by the steroid cheats. Less we forget also , Bud Selig’s handling of the affair , culpable or plausible deniability , lack of action from the league hierarchy and baseball’s team owners . If you are still looking for common sense and intelligence within this sport , there is none to be found at all , in spite of opinions to the contrary.

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Over the past seventy-two hours which of the most recent sporting events stands out the most ? Just state your reasons why and what outcome you would like to see in the future, concerning the points raised within this article.

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Picture and slideshow gallery details below.
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(1) Quarterback Cam Newton (1) and fullback Mike Tolbert (35) of the Carolina Panthers celebrate after Tolbert caught a second half touchdown pass against the Arizona Cardinals during their NFC Wild Card Playoff game at Bank of America Stadium on January 3, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Panthers defeated the Cardinals to go on to the divisional round of the postseason where they will face the Seattle Seahawks . Getty Images/ Rob Carr

(2) Cam Newton (1) of the Carolina Panthers runs to congratulate Fozzy Whittaker (43 ) after his 3rd quarter touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals during their NFC Wild Card Playoff game at Bank of America Stadium on January 3, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Getty Images / Robb Carr

(3) Cam Newton (1) of the Carolina Panthers and Ryan Lindley (14) of the Arizona Cardinals exchange words after their NFC Wild Card Playoff game at Bank of America Stadium on January 3, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Getty Images North America / Streeter Lecka

(4) Quarterback Andrew Luck (12) of the Indianapolis Colts calls a play at the line against the Cincinnati Bengals in the second half during their AFC Wild Card game at Lucas Oil Stadium on January 4, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Colts annihilated the Bengals in contest which was not remotely competitive. Getty Images / Andy Lyons

(5) Owen Daniels (81) of the Baltimore Ravens tries to avoid a tackle by Troy Polamalu (43) of the Pittsburgh Steelers during their AFC Wild Card game at Heinz Field on January 3, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Getty Images /Jamie Squires

(6) Troy Polamalu (43) of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks on from the bench against the Baltimore Ravens during their AFC Wild Card game at Heinz Field on January 3, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Steelers would fall to the Ravens in their postseason clash . Getty Images / Jamie Squires

(7) Tim Hardaway Jr(5) of the New York Knicks shoots against Beno Udrih of the Memphis Grizzlies on January 5, 2015 at the FedExForum in Memphis. The Grizzlies inflicted the Knicks’ with their twelfth consecutive loss and placing them among the bottom rung of teams with a sub.500 record . Getty Images / Joe Murphy

(8) Carmelo Anthony (7) of the New York Knicks , pictured in this montage with Phil Jackson Head Of Basketball Operations for the New York Knicks . There is mounting speculation the organization might seek to trade the player with their season now asunder and no chance of making the NBA Playoffs . AP Photo / Chris Palmer

(9) San Francisco Giants’ manager Bruce Bochy , left , celebrates with the team’s catcher Buster Posey after the Giants’ game seven triumph in the 2014 World Series in the series’ finale played against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffmann Field , in Kansas City , Missouri,. This was the third postseason finale series’ win of the past five seasons for the San Francisco Giants . AP Photo/ Mark Powers .

(10) Barry Bonds , left and Roger Clemens , two players whose names have been routinely linked to the use of steroids within the game of baseball . Bonds a seven-time NL MVP and Clemens , himself a seven-time recipient of the Cy Young Award , are both on this season’s Hall of Fame Ballot List , as they were last season . It remains to be seen whether both will be looked upon favorably by the voters from the BBWAA (Baseball Writers Association of America) at the time of voting. AP Photo/ Tom Marsh

(11) Pete Rose the all-time hits’ leader in Major League Baseball is seen here with his fiancee’ Kassie (Kim). The former Cincinnati Reds’ player and manager yearns to be inducted into Baseball’s Hall of Fame and even after his act of contrition , apologizing for lying to the league hierarchy , he has yet to receive a reprieve , with his lifetime ban being lifted by MLB . UPI Archives @ all rights reserved

(12) From left to right , John Smoltz , Pedro Martinez and Curt Schilling . Quite possibly seen as the three leading candidates to be inducted in Baseball’s Hall of Fame . Randy Johnson a former teammate of Schilling , when the two combined to lead the Arizona Diamondbacks to their sole Word Series’ triumph, is also considered a contender for the esteemed honor. AP Photo / John Marshall
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Tophatal

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The late Stuart Scott , who died at the age of forty-nine , due to complications from cancer.

Chicken soup for the soul isn’t always good for the masses ….

Chicken soup for the soul isn’t always good for the masses ….

The print and television media within the sports’ world tends to stoop lower than their counterparts within mainstream media , especially when it comes to the role of domestic politics. In recent days ESPN , the self-righteous and eponymous cable broadcast outlet continues to create the stories which they purport to be newsworthy. Nothing more can be putrid , than their prognostication of this season’s NBA standings and what can only be called a salacious diatribe of an interview between Los Angeles Lakers’ SVP Jeanie Buss and her views on the league’s recent free agents not choosing to sign with her team. In truth , the interview Colin Cowherd was simply looking to create another tidbit for his low-rated show on the ESPN’s radio network and cable outlet.

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If nothing else can be said about ESPN , it is while they represent what the network believes to be sports’ related content, their main being, is to simply push the envelope as far as possible on news’ content while cow-towing to their paymasters , the , MLB , NBA , NCAA , NFL and NHL . With billions of dollars in revenues , the sports’ broadcast outlet remains a cash cow and perhaps one of the most profitable units of the Walt Disney Company .

The broadcast outlets own reputation in recent years has come in for a great deal of criticism, with the behavior of many of their analysts, allegations of sexual harassment, in a number of cases proven to be true , leading to the firing or demotion of known personalities , yet the show must go on with ESPN.

The NBA for its part enters the final stretch of the preseason before the league begins its regular season schedule on the 28th October, 2014. The defending champions the San Antonio Spurs will seek to win their sixth title in the franchise’s history. The biggest story in the NBA beyond Jeanie Buss’ diatribe remains the ongoing ambitions of the Cleveland Cavaliers , with the acquisitions of LeBron James and Kevin Love , two of the biggest off-season acquisitions seen in the league .

James’ departure from the Miami Heat might well have the biggest surprise , but in reality , the Heat’s lack of competitiveness shown in the NBA Finals proved to be the final straw for the four-time League MVP , who was inadequately aided by his teammates in those now well chronicled Finals . Those favoring the Miami Heat clearly had no faith in the San Antonio Spurs simply based on the NBA Finals of 2013, with many of the Spurs’ critics coming from the less than reputable analysts of ESPN . I believe much of that , comes from their sipping from the cup LeBron James chooses to defecate and urinate in. With the less than knowledgeable NBA fans not too far behind with their at times idiotic , prognostication of the most recent finals.

Cavaliers’ head coach David Blatt and his coaching staff will lead a team that will be looked upon as the prohibitive favorites for the NBA title this upcoming season , with their likely challengers within the Eastern Conference coming from the New York Knicks , Chicago Bulls, Atlanta Hawks , Brooklyn Nets and lost but not least the Miami Heat , if Erik Spolstra can get his revamped roster up and running , playing with a degree of consistency . In the West the challenge will likely come from the San Antonio Spurs , Los Angeles Clippers , Oklahoma City Thunder , Houston Rockets and Portland Trailblazers .

Jeanie Buss’ gripe, comes from the very fact she is unwilling to point an accusing finger at her brother Jim Buss , lead managing partner , co-owner of the Los Angeles Lakers, GM Mitch Kupchak and the poor job done by the duo over the past two seasons and the Lakers’ poor play during the time-frame in question . The coaching tenures of Mike Brown and Mike D’Antoni were clearly coaches who simply did not fit in with the Lakers’ way of doing things. Buss’ criticisms of players while idiotic, was tepid in terms of the criticisms of Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak by former Lakers’ players Magic Johnson , James Worthy and Kareem Abdul Jabbar , players who have known considerable success with the franchise. If that wasn’t a clear sign of the missteps taken by the front office executives , then clearly the ownership group and their anal retentive and apathetically delusional fans have no real knowledge of how far the franchise’s descent has been . The failure of Dwight Howard to acclimatize himself as a player with the Lakers much less show any real signs of leadership was a clear pointer as to how self absorbed the franchise had become , without delving into the idiotic coaching process and strategies being shown by Mike D’Antoni.

The Lakers’ recent draft class though not overly impressive the team in its current guise will clearly have to follow in tow under the guidance of Kobe Bryant , the player whom Jeanie Buss seems to be placating, rather than seeking to be constructive in assessing the real issues within the franchise where she is a senior executive and co-owner. Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers will begin their schedule against the Houston Rockets at the Staples Center in Los Angeles California. Last season’s series between these two franchises proved to be quite entertaining. Jeremy Lin , formerly with the Rockets in now a point guard with the Lakers and likely to be the team’s starting point guard for much of the season , with the now year-long departure of Steve Nash, who will have to undergo back surgery for a recurring and long-suffering malady.

If the Los Angeles Lakers are to fare well this season , then the likes of Nick Young , Julius Randle , Carlos Boozer , Jeremy Lin , Robert Sacre and Kobe Bryant will have to be at their very best and show a great deal more consistency than seen during last season’s schedule . Granted , Bryant was unable to contribute with his being sidelined due to an injury . For the fans and the NBA in general Kobe Bryant being the on the court is a great deal better than his being away from the spectacle of the game , even with the ever present criticism which has been associated with the player throughout much of his career.

Baseball’s World Series for this season is proving to be a thoroughly entertaining series , far more exhilarating and thrilling than than last season’s postseason spectacle between the Boston Red Sox and St Louis Cardinals . The Kansas City Royals , this season’s Cinderella Team and story are proving to be the ” real deal” as they seek to upend the San Francisco Giants and stop Bruce Bochy and his team from winning their third World Series’ title in the past five seasons.

In the era of the long ball, it is great to see two teams willing to play “small ball” , so creatively and efficiently as evidenced in last night’s game four thriller at AT&T Park in San Francisco , California , in front of a raucous and sold-out venue of rabid fans. With the series now even at two games apiece (2-2), with the Giants coming back with an emphatic game four win in defeating the Royals 11-4 , with sixteen hits in comparison to their opponent’s twelve hits with only one error committed in this game . This contest pointed to the stoutness and ability shown by these two teams and the managerial acumen of Bruce Bochy and Ned Yost . Hero of the night might well have been the Giants’ Pablo Sandoval who was the World Series’ MVP in the San Francisco Giants’ last triumph in the Fall Classic which took place in 2012.

In what will be a pivotal game five both Kansas City Royals and San Francisco Giants will be looking to their starting aces this Sunday evening when when James Shields of the Royals faces off against Madison Bumgarner of the Giants . Both pitchers have been heroes for their respective teams over the course of the postseason. A win for the Gaints places them in the driver’s seat , with the series then heading back to Kauffmann Stadium in Kansas City , Missouri for the final two games of the World Series. Should the Royals prevail , then heading home back to their home ballpark will have the players and their fans relishing the prospect of closing out the series on their way to the franchise’s second title , with the last coming in 1985.

Away from the spectacle of the World Series, baseball’s most successful franchise the New York Yankees are looking to rebuild their lineup as well saying a final goodbye to Derek Jeter who after a two-decade long career leaves the game as one of baseball’s most revered players of the last twenty years. Missing the postseason and never in contention for the AL East divisional crown .

Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman and lead managing partner , Hal Steinbrenner will now have to assess the current lineup and then seek to try and gauge whether or not this will be another year of a exceeding $200 million , without any guarantee of success as was the case this season with the team. The Yankees have not really shown any faith in their farm system over the past four years even with their being initial praise being heaped upoin the shoulders of players such as Joba Chamberlain , Phil Hughes, Austin Romin and Jesus Montero no longer with the franchise. Call it failure on the path of the front office or simply the fact Joe Girardi and his coaching staff have not really shown the managerial acumen thought, in spite of his lone triumph in the World Series of 2009 .

The talk seems to be in a number of circles , will the New York Yankees make a huge splash in the off-season by signing a major free agent or make a trade for a pitcher , big league bat or stand pat with their current lineup ? With Brian Cashman now said to be in discussion with Alex Rodriguez and his return in 2015 and the role he is likely to play for the team, leads me to believe the organization remains bereft of creativity, let alone their being a belief that a number of players waiting in the wings will be able to contribute for the ball-club this upcoming season . Alex Rodriguez , I do not believe is a player capable of leading a team and certainly no longer good enough to produce at a high level without their being doubts as to the legitimacy of his achievements . These are the things the New York Yankees are likely to encounter over the course of 2015 as the franchise enters a year of hope , while looking to make themselves be viewed as a contender for the World Series .

If last Thursday night’s game between the San Diego Chargers and Denver Broncos was anything to go by as the week eight opener of the NFL season . I would like to think Sunday’s games will provide a great deal more excitement than we have seen over the course of the year so far. Philip Rivers and Peyton Manning put on an exhilarating display of passing as the Broncos got the victory needed to place the team among the elite of the AFC franchises and the NFL .

Week eight of last season and the games were somewhat pedantic but yet they provided us with some insight about the players and the teams at that point of the year . On Sunday’s schedule of games, the best of the bunch might be the clash between the Arizona Cardinals and the Philadelphia Eagles as both teams seek to make some inroads into their divisional title challenges . Bruce Arians and the Cardinals have turned the NFC West upside down as both the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks appear to be struggling . As to what this might suggest about both NFC West occupants can be predicated upon whether not you believe the Cardinals are good enough to win the division outright.

Call me naive, but I am not yet convinced I can jump on board the wagon carrying the hopes of either the Dallas Cowboys or the Detroit Lions ! Dallas has been playing great football this season with DeMarco Murray on course to shatter the league’s all-purpose yardage from scrimmage for a single season. And while Tony Romo seems to be back at his very best , can you really believe the quarterback can carry these displays seen into the postseason ? The Cowboys will entertain the woefully inept Washington Redskins in the Monday night game at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Jim Caldwell and the Detroit Lions for their part have a one-game lead over the hard charging Green Bay Packers (5-2) led by Pro Bowl quarterback Aaron Rodgers . The NFC North appears to be up for grabs and adds a little bit more excitement for the fans of those teams and the NFL . Caldwell and the Lions eked out a narrow one point victory over what now appears to be a soulless Atlanta Falcons’ team and it now certainly adds to the mounting speculation, whether not Mike Smith can last the remainder of the season?

As the season has progressed it has been interesting to witness the issues the New England Patriots have faced. Tom Brady appears to be not at his very best , based on own expectations. Yet at the same time , the usual offensive weaponry expected on field to bring out the best in the Patriots’ quarterback has not been there this season. Josh McDaniels for all of the belief of he is one of the most acute minded offensive coordinators in the game , simply plays second fiddle to head coach Bill Belichick and Brady, himself, when it comes to the team’s offensive play-calling and schemes.

New England took apart the Chicago Bears in a high scoring contest , thrashing the Bears 51-23 in a lopsided game. Perhaps the offensive onslaught we have come to expect from the Patriots is now back and rolling ?

If there were any doubts the New York Jets are having an abysmal season a then Sunday’s game was proof of the very fact. Rex Ryan’s days as the head coach of the team can sand should last much longer . He has the confidence of this team and anymore reasoning as professed to by Ryan , Geno Smith is still learning his position as a starting quarterback should now be put to rest, along with Smith’s career with the franchise. New York’s embarrassing 43-23 home loss to the Buffalo Bills put an end to the Jets’ hopes of a postseason berth. GM John Idzik cannot continue to allow Rex Ryan remain as the team’s head coach after this defeat, not with the fans’ anger now at an all-time high. No explanation from the head coach or the players can excuse excuse such a poor display by the Jets in this home defeat .

Where the New York Jets now go from here will be determined by what the front office feels, is now in the best interests of the franchise. Replacing Geno Smith with Michael Vick simply adds more fuel to the fire , given Vick’s lack of productivity first with the Philadelphia Eagles and now with the lowly Jets . It’s pretty much safe to suggest the New York Jets’ wounds this season have been self inflicted and one which is proving to be a complete embarrassment for the NFL franchise.

The NHL season has begun and though I have never been admirer of the game , much less the belief Gary Bettman and the NHL’s executive committee finally believe they are finally over their malaise in terms their labor disputes with the NHLPA (union) and franchise owners. Stanley Cup defending champions the Los Angeles Kings will be looking to make a successful defense of their and have begun to make that a reality . Off to a winning start the Kings under head coach Darryl Sutter and his coaching staff will seek to guide the franchise to their first Stanley Cup title since the 2012 season . Moving ahead , it will be interesting to see if the Kings can make it a third title in the last three seasons. An eighty-two game schedule tends to bring out the best and the worst in the teams as well as the players .

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What if anything, do you find the most annoying with the regard to the sports’ media market by way of the television broadcast or those within print media ? If the NBA is to have a great season which teams do you think will have to perform at their very best to make this season a great one ? As week eight in the NFL comes slowly to a close it would appear the league is no better off this season than it was at the same point last year . Finally , are you of the opinion this postseason in baseball has exceeded your own expectations and specifically the current World Series’ contests ? Chime in with your thoughts on this and anything else believe pertinent to this article and thanks as always for the continued support of this site as it is greatly appreciated !

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(1) Jeanie Buss is seen here alongside her brother Jim Buss who along with a younger sibling are the co-owners of the Los Angeles Lakers . As a senior executive with the franchise Jeanie Buss has been extremely critical of the free agents during the off-season who chose not to sign with the Lakers , referring to them as ” losers ” . . Unfortunately , she failed to indicate the fact last season the Los Angeles failed miserably to make the NBA Playoffs. AP Photo / Michael Archer …

(2) Dwight Howard (12) is seen here with teammate James Harden (13) during an NBA game this past season. Both will be seeking to guide the Houston Rockets to a divisional title as well as a playoff berth within the Western Conference. Howard’s tenure with the Los Angeles Lakers was less than stellar . AP Photo / Matthew Charles …

(3) San Francisco Giants’ Hunter Pence scores during the sixth inning of Game 4 of baseball’s World Series against the Kansas City Royals Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014, in San Francisco. AP Photo/David J. Phillip …

(4) From left, New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman , Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner , Senior Vice President and Assistant General Manager Jean Afterman , and executive vice president Felix Lopez, listen as pitcher Mariano Rivera , who holds baseball’s all-time saves’ record , announces his plans to retire at the end of the 2013 season during a news conference at Steinbrenner Field Saturday , March 9, 2013 in Tampa, Fla. AP Photo/Kathy Willens …

(5) Preston Brown (52) of the Buffalo Bills celebrates with teammate Marcell Dareus (99 ) after making an interception in the first quarter against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on October 26, 2014 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Getty Images North America / Alex Goodlett …

(6) Quarterback Michael Vick (1) of the New York Jets looks to pass against Kyle Williams (95) of the Buffalo Bills in the first half of the game at MetLife Stadium on October 26, 2014 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Getty Images /Al Bello …

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Pressed to report a story even when it has no merit , sports’ journalism is getting from bad to worse …

Pressed to report a story even when it has no merit , sports’ journalism is getting from bad to worse …

Well the big story in the NFL as the teams were mandated to cut their rosters by 4.00 PM Saturday afternoon, was the decision by the St Louis Rams to cut their much heralded seventh round draft pick defensive lineman Michael Sam . As the league’s first openly gay player, a great deal was made of the fact, leading to a rather unsavory story reported by cable sports’ broadcast and programming outlet ESPN as to Sam’s showering habits and his not being allowed to shower alongside his now former teammates . What this has to do with NFL football can only be addressed by what the outlet believes to be relevant to the game , but in reality , it simply points to the fact ESPN would rather create a furor, rather than reporting on stories that actually has their viewers enthralled. Simply call it, “gutter journalism” at its lowest , as espoused by the broadcast outlet. The fact of the matter is , ESPN remains unchallenged in an arena , which it has dominated for years and will continue to reign over , because their competitors are not much better and that includes the print media.

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With Sam being waived by the NFC West based franchise , it seems unlikely the player will be picked up by another franchise before the regular season begins. Teams in need of an offensive lineman will likely take a look at Michael Sam even if his productivity with the Rams during the preseason was said to be no more than adequate. A great deal may well have been made of the player being the first openly active gay player seeking to make his debut in a regular season game , but the constant microscopic view the lineman was placed under , may well have proved to be too much for the former Missouri player to bear.

One of the more surprising deals that took place prior to the roster cuts was the New England Patriots’ decision to trade Logan Mankins to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers , a team definitely in need of defensive line help. As unpalatable as this was said to be for Patriots’ fans , the excuses now being proffered up by Bill Belichick and GM Nick Caserio seem ridiculous and insulting to the fans and to the player who was caught off-guard by the trade. Tom Brady , quarterback for the team was said to be angered by this deal, but has not voiced a public statement on the matter. Bear in mind, Brady in 2012 made $12 million available to the Patriots for them to keep the services of wide receiver Wes Welker , only for Welker to then sign with the Denver Broncos , after the incompetency shown by the front office.

New England will be seeking to make a successful defense of their AFC East title, while also seeking to make another return to the postseason. For Brady , his old and teammates , this will prove to be a tough task , as undoubtedly they will be seen as a target with a bulls’ eye on their back. A great of that will come from their divisional rivals where the Miami Dolphins and New York Jets are viewed as to two teams likely to prove to be New England’s biggest challengers during the season and their regular season meetings. The first of New England’s regular season tests will come in week one when they face the Miami Dolphins to open their schedule at Sun Life Stadium in Miami ,Florida,.

Logan Mankins will begin his career anew with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and for Lovie Smith and the Buccaneers’ acquisition of the player can only be of benefit to the younger defensive players on the team’s roster . Mankins can provide the type of leadership so lacking on a franchise for several players , something I believe Buccaners’ fans have not always been intuitive enough to acknowledge, because of their real lack of understanding what the NFL is actually about , beyond their belief if it simply being about the best or highest paid player on the roster.

Lovie Smith in his first season as coach of the Buccaneers, will himself, face as a stern test as he leads his team into the season and a NFC South division where the Carolina Panthers , New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons will be looking to prove themselves the best in the division. Tampa’s first game of the regular season will see them face Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa , Florida,. Ron Rivera and Newton will try to prove the Panther’s season in 2013 was no mere fluke , with the quarterback having his best season in the NFL since being drafted by the franchise in the 2011 NFL Draft . I believe the Panthers can prove to be a success this season within the NFL , but a great deal of that will be predicated on their play, but even more so upon the growing maturity level shown by Cam Newton , as he has become the visible and vocal leader of the team.

OK, so we know the NFL to be a league bereft of any real intelligence among the players, union (NFLPA) under the leadership of DeMaurice Smith , the NFLPA’s Executive Committee , Roger Goodell and the league hierarchy in particular . With the league now taking what they believe to be a tougher stance on the issue of domestic violence involving the players. It begs the question, why has it taken so long for the NFL to act with such action without the statement forthcoming from Smith , stating due process has to be followed concerning players charged with domestic abuse and violence? Perhaps, I am mistaken but the Players’ Union has done little to discuss the issue over the years or since DeMaurice Smith succeeded the late Gene Upshaw to become the union’s highest ranked executive. As to Roger Goodell’s own mindset concerning this matter , it would be fair to suggest the commissioner’s own lack of communicative skills , beyond making himself look an imbecile , anything he now says concerning the issue , would seem to too little and far too late in spite of the league’s actions in dealing with Baltimore Ravens’ running back Ray Rice . The NFL remains homophobic, misogynistic ,racist in many respects, but with it most definitely being clouded in secrecy , something the league would strongly deny.

With the news now coming of the arrest of San Francisco 49ers’ player Ray McDonald , who was arrested at his home and has now been charged with domestic abuse and violence . The Niners as a franchise this off-season have faced several issues concerning the behavior of several players on their roster , of which the ongoing issues of Aldon Smith seem to be something which simply will not go away and which has been poorly handled by Jed Yorke , team CEO and GM Trent Baalke .

Smith will be lost to the 49ers for the first nine games of the regular season, after the punishment meted out by the NFL , but it remains to be seen how they will now treat the issue of Ray McDonald , pending the legal process being played out within the Californian Legal System.. The NFL has the right to suspend a player for conduct harmful to the league , something agreed to by the Players’ Union in their last collective bargaining agreement , but it would seem to be an issue the executive committee and the players’ representatives believe allows the commissioner far too much latitude , in dealing with punishing their members , concerning misconduct . It is my belief the players in the NFL, are simply looking to weaken a rule , while ignoring the misconduct of their members !

LeBron James made his surprise return to the Cleveland Cavaliers , leaving the Miami Heat in sheer turmoil , with a much weakened roster and Heat President Pat Riley in sheer apoplexy concerning the upcoming season . The Monster Riley created was never going to be a dynasty even with four appearances in the NBA Finals , eking out just two series’ victories . Poor price to pay for teams upon which, fans and analysts were heaping far too much praise without looking at the rosters of both teams at the times of their triumphs and defeats.

Away from the happenings of the Cleveland Cavaliers, the latest NBA star said to be dissatisfied with his current situation is the Boston Celtics’ point guard Rajon Rondo , who is said to have demanded a trade, formerly lodging a request with Celtics’ GM Danny Ainge . The general manager and lead managing partner , Wyc Grousbeck will have to look at and take Rondo’s demands seriously. A disgruntled player on a young roster seeking leadership is likely to prove disastrous for Brad Stevens and his coaching staff , if there said to be no sense of leadership coming from a seasoned veteran, without Stevens’ inexperience coming into question..

In a season of sheer mayhem , the Boston Celtics were simply abysmal on all fronts with Rajon Rondo having a poor season alongside his teammates , as they endured defeat after defeat, with their being rarely a series’ win for the young team. Stevens proved he is still learning on the job , while Danny Ainge has done little in seeking to bolster the roster this off-season , last season or even by way of this past NBA Draft .

The real signs of the Celtics’ struggles were long seen, prior to Doc Rivers’ departure , with neither Ainge or the head coach seeking to build for the future after the team’s last triumph in the NBA Finals. Instead, there was this idiotic belief the team then built around a core of Kevin Garnett , Paul Pierce , Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo. They may well have won the highly contested finals , against a Kobe Bryant led Los Angeles Lakers’ team but , in reality , the series was over before it started, because Rivers out-coached his opposite number, Phil Jackson, was something of an uneventful chess match.

It will be tough season for the Boston Celtics with or without Rajon Rondo, because the team has no real depth or a proven scorer , with the team’s top scorer last season being , Jeff Green , while Rondo was sidelined for much of the year seeking to recover from an injury . Green’s 16.9 per game average would be meager when adjudged against the top scorers within the Eastern Conference let alone the rest of the NBA and from an offensive standpoint the Celtics’ productivity was menial to say the very least. To state how dire the Boston Celtics have been , you simply have to look at how the team performed defensively and their season record (25-57) which was simply a reflection of the team.

If Danny Ainge does agree to Rajon Rondo’s request , then there are likely to be a bevy of suitors for one of the league’s best point guards, of which the player is of a proven pedigree in terms of his productivity. Among the top of the list among the teams seeking to acquire the Celtic’ point guard would be the Houston Rockets as they seek to replace the recently departed Jeremy Lin . Not to be counted out of this scenario are the Sacramento Kings , Miami Heat, Indiana Pacers , Charlotte Bobcats , Memphis Grizzlies , Phoenix Suns, New York Knicks , Denver Nuggets . Dallas Mavericks and the Milwaukee Bucks . Rondo has made it known to the front office , were he traded to the Sacramento Kings , he would not sign or be part of any part of a sign and trade deal with the franchise, limiting the Celtics’ wishes on that front. Rondo is not due to become a free agent until 2015 , and his $12.9 million salary for this season does not seem to be that much of an impediment for any of the teams pursuing the point guard. Boston will begin its their schedule against the Brooklyn Nets when the two teams meet at the TD Banknorth Gardens Pavilion in Boston , Massachusetts, on the 29th October , 2014.

I will say this repeatedly , if you write a story and give it the teeth in terms of context , then you will have the world believing the article . Nowhere is this more representative than with regard to the coverage afforded to politics and the stories that emanate from the White House , House and the Senate. Before you know it , the nation buys into the bull#hit and the idiots who call themselves Conservatives and Liberals try to dissect and disseminate the fecal matter emanating from the government without the on air political hacks trying to make sense of it all. The same can be said of how MLB and the NCAA seeks to ingratiate themselves with the fans and media alike, with the stories from both sporting edifices . Baseball with their informing the fans and press alike that Rob Manfred in succeeding Bud Selig will bring about a new era within the game , is somewhat like suggesting we have seen bipartisanship within the Congress during the Presidential terms of Barack Obama . Baseball remains distrustful of the MLBPA , while its ongoing incompetency in dealing with a number of issues shows no signs of improving.

Meanwhile, the NCAA and the FBS programs within college football is seeking to persuade the public and fans they have finally got it right in terms of their proposed format for a playoff system to decide a national champion in football. The truth of the matter remains , unless the money is shared evenly among the college conferences rather than the majority of it going into the coffers of the major college conferences and institutions , then the fans of the game will continue to be defrauded with a system , that is simply a joke . As to this idiocy of an empaneled committee being the best arbiters of determining how a system can be used to decide a national champion. Perhaps, I might suggest those behind that folly simply watch an episode of American Idol or any one of the other litany of inane talent shows now deemed to be a reality show finding their way onto the nation’s broadcast outlets

Mark Emmert and the educational institutions presided over by the NCAA need to be doing more , concerning not only the widespread allegations of academic fraud on campus, but also the criminal and felonious behavior concerning the sexual misconduct and sexual assaults that take place on college campuses across the nation , on a daily basis , Somehow, this all gets overlooked because the only thing deemed important is whether or not the defending national champions Florida State (Seminoles) can possibly make a successful defense of their national title . One ought to bear in mind their Heisman winning quarterback from last season Jameis Winston still remains a person of interest in a sexual assault, while the school itself is under investigation by the Department of Education and by US Justice Department and how they deal with their in-house investigation of such crimes. Dr Garnett S Stokes Ph.D, President of Florida State has not issued a public statement on the investigation by either of the federal agencies in question and it begs the question if he is unable do so , then why has there not been any type of statement by the school’s athletics department much less from the AD Stan Wilcox ? Yet sources close to the school have speculated on the fact , they will be taking some form of action against Jameis Winston and his not having upheld a code of conduct, as expected of student athlete of Florida State. So let me get this straight ,

Winston and his legal representatives , whose stories have changed far more often than a newborn baby’s diapers, concerning the alleged sexual assault , but somehow the athletics department , institution can see nothing wrong at all concerning the player’s conduct ? Never mind the fact of the incompetency shown by the Tallahassee Police Department in their original investigation of the incident and where there are said to have been allegations of collusion between the athletics department and the law enforcement agency . Something, which has been clear from the days when Bobby Bowden coached the football program and where many of the players under his tutelage ran afoul of the law, but were left untouched . Coincidence, in such an instance, where it concerns the police and the committal of a crime by a Seminoles’ athlete ? I think not !

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The stories remain for all to see and to bear witness to, but how many of us are really interested in getting at the truth or does it come down to the fact the attention span of most sports’ fans comes down what is the next big event to take place and the likely result ? Chime in with your thoughts on this and anything else you believe worthy to discuss concerning the article.

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(1) Michael Sam , a seventh round draft pick of the St Louis Rams . Sam was cut by the organization and can be resigned by the team as a member of their practice squad , but there has been no statement by head coach Jeff Fisher addressing the matter. AP Photo/ Rick Farrell …

(2) St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher, left, and general manager Les Snead hold a pre-draft news conference at the team’s practice facility, Tuesday, May 6, 2014, in St. Louis. The Rams are scheduled to have two picks in the first-round of the NFL football draft on Thursday. Snead and Fisher made the decision jointly with the coaching staff to release their seventh round draft pick Michael Sam in the lead-up to the regular season . AP Photo/Jeff Roberson …

(3) Logan Mankins of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers watches from the sidelines as the Buccaneers take on the Washington Redskins during a preseason game this exhibition season . Mankins was traded by the New England Patriots in a surprise move in August . Getty Images/ Paul Fowler …

(4) DeMaurice Smith , often an outspoken critic of the NFL and in particular of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell , who he believes acts outside the limits of his jurisdiction, in meting out punishment to players who contravene the league’s rules . Smith insists that the league’s new mandate concerning players involved in allegations of spousal abuse and domestic violence should be dealt with judiciously within the legal system . However in light of the growing issue , Smith and his members have done very little to discuss the matter head on . AP Photo / Hannah Mitchell …

(5) Boston Celtics’ general manager Danny Ainge ,left, is seen here with the team’s point guard Rajon Rondo . A member of the team which won the 2008 NBA title , Rondo has requested a trade from away from the Celtics and it remains to be seen how the matter will be dealt with by the franchise’s front office in granting the player’s request. AP Photo/ Michael Howard ..

(6) Aldon Smith (99) and Ray McDonald (91) of the San Francisco 49ers are two players on the team to have fallen afoul of the law in recent months . Smith has been suspended for the first nine games of the regular season for repeated violations of the league’s conduct policy . McDonald was arrested at his home on charges of domestic abuse and violence against his pregnant fiance’ . Neither the NFL or anyone within the Niners’ front office has issued a statement concerning Ray McDonald’s arrest. Team CEO Jed Yorke and GM Trent Baalke are being kept abreast of the legal ramifications through the team’s Chief Legal Counsel, Hannah Gordon and the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department . Getty Images / Paul Hughes …

(7) NCAA President Mark Emmert who presides of collegiate athletics’ governing body seems to be more focused on increasing the NCAA’s revenues estimated to be in excess of $1.65 billion annually from licensing and marketing agreements which does not include television rights fees for the broadcast for the sports which fall under their umbrella. Emmert only recently has begun to discuss the issue of on campus sexual assaults of which 50 schools are now under investigation jointly by the Education Department and the US Justice Department concerning the lax investigating rules of many of the academic institutions. AP Photo / Hazel Groves …

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The Reimaging of LeBron James ………

The Reimaging of LeBron James ………..

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Now don’t get me wrong , I believe that LeBron James , in light of the Miami Heat’s win of the 2012 NBA title , he now has the basketball world at his feet . The player exemplified what is necessary to be seen as a champion by leading the Heat all the way to the “ Promised Land” . And the way that he held the Larry O’Brien Trophy , indicated that the sweet smell of success and the elixir that comes along with it can be intoxicating . Now comes the encore for the nine-year veteran and his teammates , and that is to solidify themselves as a dynasty by winning multiple titles .

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Now for many of us who bore witness to LeBron James’ interview with ESPN journalist Jim Gray . As we can all attest to , the player used that forum to announce that he would be leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers to ply his trade on South Beach , home to the Miami Heat . That lone interview was ” ridiculed ” as nothing more than a self-serving act of narcissism , and showed that James as a player , lacked a great deal of maturity . The fact that there have been pompous idiots who jumped to the player’s defense by suggesting that his age has been the primary factor in his behavior should be considered asinine .

Since his entry into the NBA in 2003 , where he was drafted as the number one pick overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers . His peers, NBA analysts, and fans alike have lauded LeBron James and that if anything has played into his psyche . To my mind when you have the fact that the player being coddled as a high school “ basketball phenomenon” , with his games being televised nationally . It poses the question , as to what is most definitely wrong with the NBA and Collegiate Basketball . Now even in light , with the NBA hierarchy now working in conjunction with the NCAA and the eligibility status of players seeking to enter the professional ranks . It is still one and done ___– for a number of players at the collegiate level who seek to make the jump to the professional ranks.

James made the leap from St Mary’s High School in Akron , Ohio . Drafted by his hometown franchise , made the player one of the more welcomed athletes in the state . Team owner Dan Gilbert of the Cavaliers saw the value of the organization rise exponentially , almost overnight . The arrival of LeBron James was a boost to the local community and the economy , bringing in tens of millions annually for the franchise . The player’s seven years with the Cavaliers served notice as to how prolific the player would be . However , what held James back was the mere fact that Gilbert and former GM Danny Ferry , who assembled a rather untalented bunch of players to complement the skill-set of James .

In the aftermath of the 2009 season and the player becoming a free agent , it became abundantly clear that it was James’ intent to leave the franchise . Granted, James and the Cavaliers made an appearance in the 2007 NBA Finals , where they met the San Antonio Spurs and were swept in a 4-0 series’ defeat . The ignominy of that defeat did not sit well with the player or then head coach Mike Brown , which in essence created a deepening rift between James and Dan Gilbert . Now we can all bear witness to the events that took place in the aftermath of Lebron James’ formal announcement that he would be leaving the franchise . The repercussions and the animus shown by the fans towards James after the announcement , was somewhat reminiscent of Art Modell fleeing like a thief in the night , with NFL franchise the Cleveland Browns . Both James and Modell are still considered persona-non-grata within the state of Ohio . And though LeBron James still returns to the city where he first made his name for numerous philanthropic efforts that benefits children in the area , it has to be said, that the fans are not all forgiving of what they see was a gross betrayal by the once beloved player .

In his new guise, LeBron James may well have found peace , having won an NBA title as well as the Finals’ MVP in that series’ victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder . As the reigning League MVP , James joins a select band of players to have won the NBA’s highest individual players’ awards in the same season . In a recent interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols which was conducted after the Heat’s victory , LeBron James states that his epiphany this season came after the realization that he no longer saw himself as a villain . That specifically came about from the Miami Heat’s loss the Dallas Mavericks in the 2011 NBA Finals . You may think of this as some sort of conspiracy but ESPN appears to be humanizing LeBron James , while looking to soften his image and make him more amenable to the NBA fans . I get the impression that David Stern loves every minute that James is seen front and center there for the fans to see .

LeBron James has become a compelling story in the NBA , and he has his detractors as well as his supporters . The league for its part needs , someone to assume the mantle of Kobe Bryant , who has been the best all-round player amongst his peers for the best part of a decade and a half . The Lakers’ great is now on the downside of an illustrious career and it would appear that the Los Angeles Lakers themselves , are at a crossroads , after a rather disappointing …. season . That however , is another story for some other day as the team’s woes , have been analyzed , chronicled, and discussed passionately over the course of the year. An uncompetitive Los Angeles Lakers’ franchise certainly , is not good for the NBA , and likewise a floundering Boston Celtics’ organization. The NBA’s two most illustrious and successful ball clubs are needed to have an omnipresent fixture in the NBA postseason . The 2012 NBA Finals may well have been amongst the highest-rated Finals’ since 2002 but that much of that was built around the budding rivalry between LeBron James and Kevin Durant . This rivalry as many purists were trying to suggest had to be seen as comparable as to those epic battles between Larry Bird and Magic Johnson at the height of their playing careers. That type of hyperbole is not yet fitting or appropriate based on such a premise . There may well come a point in the future where such an adversarial battle will be seen as being just as thrilling but both Durant and James may well have provided us with something to savor in the future .

With Lebron James’ fame and notoriety has been the fact that he is now amongst the highest paid players in the NBA but among the top earning athletes in North America , and already an already established advertisers’ dream for Fortune 500 Companies . The world has now beckons for James , as he looks to fully survey his kingdom and the subjects therein . Chances are , the player will solidify his legacy and build upon it .

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There are a number of ardent NBA fans who are happy with the landscape of the NBA , with a new order said to reigning over the kingdom and with it comes LeBron James . How he is now perceived by the public will have a lot to do with how the player chooses to carry himself both on and off the court after this triumph . Winning as they say tends to change everything and there are times when it does not . What thoughts if any do you have with regard to LeBron James’ new image ? Do you also feel that he and his teammates will aspire to win multiple titles in the near future ? Your thoughts on the subject matter and anything else you believe to be pertinent by way of a comment is appreciated .

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(1) Rachel Nichols of ESPN is seen here interviewing 2012 NBA Finals’ MVP LeBron James in a series of interviews that will be seen on the cable network over the next few days as a further expose` on the player . Just one more for the player to further raise his profile among the NBA fans and major Fortune 500 Companies who will undoubtedly seek out the player as a spokesperson . Courtesy of ABC/ESPN …

(2) Finals MVP LeBron James is seen here in an interview with Rachel Nichols in a series that will be shown by the cable sports outlet provider . @ Copyright material all rights reserved ….

(3) From left to right Cleveland Cavaliers’ owner Dan Gilbert , the team’s former GM Danny Ferry , head coach , Mike Brown and LeBron James . At the culmination of the 2009-10 season James would announce his departure from the franchise as a free agent to join the Miami Heat . Courtesy of Cleveland Plain Dealer …..

(4) MIAMI, FL – JUNE 17: (L-R) Kevin Durant (35) and (LeBron James (6) of the Miami Heat look on in the second half of Game Three of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 17, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images ….

(5) At the culmination of Game 5 seen here are Dwyane Wade (left), LeBron James , center , holding the Finals MVP trophy and far right , Chris Bosh , as the three celebrate the Miami Heat’s triumph over the Oklahoma City Thunder for their second NBA title in six years . AP Photo / Ken Yamashita …..

(6) Miami Heat team President Pat Riley , team head coach , Erik Spoelstra , LeBron James , Dwyane Wade , Chris Bosh and team owner , Micky Arison . The scene at the AA Arena was to publicly introduce Bosh and James to the public prior to the 2010-11 season as members of the Miami Heat . Miami Herald / Jorge Cardosa …

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I Don’t Drink The Kool Aid Simply Because I Don’t Like It !

I Don’t Drink The Kool Aid Simply Because I Don’t Like It !

I’ve never been one for hyperbole myself but it appears that the analysts of ESPN would rather come out with some of the most asinine statements imaginable simply to create that furor media frenzy needlessly . The Carolina Panthers’ Cam Newton is off to a tremendous start as a rookie for the team throwing for over 850 yards in his first two games as a professional . Granted, the number one pick overall in this past NFL Draft has been lauded as the best player available of the talent to be had . Opinions being what they are , there is no denying the player is something special but it’s one thing to show that prowess in the college game , within the NFL it becomes a whole new ball-game altogether .

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Now as much as I respect the analysis provided by these individuals simply brought in to host these shows on ESPN but there comes a time when Chris Carter and Keyshawn Johnson make the statement that Newton should be seen as the “Chosen One “ amongst the players that were recently taken in this past draft . As talented as many believe Cam Newton to be , there is a growing belief that until he becomes more attuned to the NFL and his teammates then there’s no way in hell the Carolina Panthers will be viewed as a success in the NFL . Coach Ron Rivera and his coaching staff are in for an arduous season and though playing as well as can be expected the team has yet to register its first win in the NFL . At 0-2 there is a belief that once having notched that first victory the Carolina Panthers might just be able of acquitting themselves well in enough within their division (NFC South) and the league as a whole .

There’s no doubt that expectations were high for Cam Newton coming out of college given the success attained by the player while attending at Auburn . And now that player has to take his talents to the NFL he’s now being viewed as “The Messiah” and ” Prodigal Son” all rolled into one as the Carolina Panthers seek to become relevant in the NFL once again. Rivera and his staff sought to obtain the best possible talent available in the draft to complement an already experienced roster which has a mix of youth and seasoned veterans .

The Carolina Panthers will host the Jacksonville Jaguars in week three that is bound to be of real interest to the Panthers’ fans. Jacksonville at 1-1 look to be a staunch test with coach Jack Del Rio and his team facing the challenge of taking advantage of the problems that have beset the Indianapolis Colts and make an outright challenge to the now presumed favorites within the division to win the AFC South the Houston Texans (2-0). As to whether or not those teams within the division can actually take advantage of the woes of the Colts remains to be seen .

From my own perspective , I do believe that Cam Newton can be a success within this league but he’s still a work in progress , as too is his Tim Tebow whose current status with the Denver Broncos seems to come into question with each passing week in the league. It simply has become idiotic to witness the sheer ineptitude shown by the front office of the organization led by EVP John Elway . Team owner Pat Bowlem and newly installed coach John Fox have certainly got to address this issue before it gets completely out of hand and sinks this organization to even lower depths than could be imagined . It is bad enough that the team’s incumbent starting quarterback Kyle Orton has performed miserably for the Broncos during the first two games of their season schedule .

Certainly for Tim Tebow , he has done himself no favors with his alleged poor performances during team practices but it seems somewhat hard to be believed . Either that’s simply due to poor coaching by John Fox’s coaching staff and in particular from quarterback’s coach Adam Gase or quite possibly due to the fact Tebow was simply coddled as a player by his former college coach Urban Meyer while the player attended Florida . Now while the fans’ calls seem to be for Tebow to be on the field , one simply cannot be sure that the player is a sure fire guarantee to be the presumed savior of this organization . Draft choices asides and the organization’s history in that field , it has been troubling to see the Denver Broncos struggle to make their presence felt within the NFL .

The Denver Broncos for their part have had something of an inauspicious start to the season with a 1-1 record within the AFC West where they sit jointly atop of the division alongside the Oakland Raiders , San Diego Chargers with the winless Kansas City Chiefs seated as the cellar dweller in a hapless division. Kyle Orton and the Broncos next play a conference game against the Tennessee Titans in a match-up that should tell us a great deal about the temperament of this Broncos’ team under the leadership of John Fox and his coaching staff.

Perhaps it’s me but with the NCAA —- football season now up and running is now filled with more scandal than collegiate athletics would willingly care to admit . With Butch Davis having been fired the school ( UNC[ Tar Heels]) is now having to endure multiple sanctions for violating NCAA rules with regard to recruitment violations and several other transgressions that the school’s now former AD Dick Baddour has seen fit to address before stepping down in his role . I am not about to suggest that this will be the last time that we will hear or bear witness to such indiscretions across the collegiate sports landscape . Suffice to say …… where there’s smoke there is fire and there are several schools at present in college sports either fanning the flames or simply looking to put out those flames because of their incendiary nature . Think Ohio State , Miami Hurricanes , Oregon and Boise State and USC (Trojans) ? Let’s just say that until the landscape is cleaned up with any sense of urgency we will continue to see such malfeasance on the part of these schools . Never mind that we have the idiocy of college football conferences simply looking to become bigger by luring teams from one conference to another , simply through sheer financial greed . It has absolutely nothing to do with bringing about a competitive balance because as we all know the system is skewered to favor the teams within the major BCS conferences in terms of college football . Anyone who believes otherwise obviously is living in complete denial !

Now while the various polls are now out there ranking the teams within D1 football , I am of the opinion that until we are at the midpoint of the season we will not truly get a true glimpse of how things are about to pan out over the course of the year ! Certainly the rankings seem to bear out what we have longed felt about a number of teams . Oklahoma ( Sooners) , LSU , Alabama , Boise State and Stanford seem to be the standouts this early in the season . And that is with good reason as each of the teams remain unbeaten but as they get into the meat of their schedule I would preface this by saying that one or two of those very same programs are likely to slip up . Whether it this upcoming week or down the line it remains to be seen .

For myself the college football season only becomes really interesting down the stretch of the schedule when everyone seems to be aggrieved once the BCS rankings simply skewers what many of feel to be to be a brokens system and what is wrong with college football to begin with . We know that the minnows of the game will never truly be given the chance to go up against the big boys within college football . Oh , once in a while when the beat writers and fans alike show their resentment , we may well see the subterfuge take place with a proposed match-up of one of those teams on the outside looking in , as they’re given the privilege of playing in one of the lesser tiered Bowl games or BCS games . But God forbid ….. we will ever see the day of seeing the likes of Boise State perhaps taking on Auburn or perhaps Florida for the BCS national championship . What do you think would happen then amongst the likes of conference commissioners or even an idiot such as Ohio State universtity President Dr E Gordon Gee who still believes that a program outside any of the major bowl conferences is not entitled to play for the national title ? I feel that Gee should simply stick to cleaning up what we now know to be an utterly corrupt athletics program , with both he and AD Gene Smith then stepping down in shame ! I mean only these two assholes could still maintain that they were completely unaware as to the deceit , lies and subterfuge that was taking place that was being orchestrated by the program’s former football coach Jim Tressel ! Imagine that ….. ?

Amongst the presumed Heisman Trophy candidates this season the names of Andrew Luck , Landry Jones , Marcus Lattimore , Kellen Moore , Robert Griffin , Trent Richardson and Chris Rainey are being bandied about . And though there may well be justification for those names to be mentioned let’s not get ahead of ourselves just yet . It’s still too early in the season to be making these type of prognostications , so give it a while and let things simply play themselves out as the season progresses .

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I know that Kool Aid can be viewed as a great elixir but in reality it’s all down to one’s preference . Do you like it sweet and mixed in with something else or do you simply drink it , as is ? It’s the same with the opinions that tend to be proffered up by the analysts on tv , so simply make of it what you will ? For myself , I tend to like my drinks shaken (preferably with alcohol) and not stirred much as in the same way as that fictional character James Bond does ! Which are you in that context ? Chime in with a comment as you deem fit with regard to the subject matter and anything else you deem to be pertinent .

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

Picture and slide show details below .

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(1) Seen here from left to right are ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown host Chris Berman joined by analysts Mike Ditka , Keyshawn Johnson , Cris Carter and Tom Jackson . courtesy of ESPN …..

(2) CHARLOTTE, NC – SEPTEMBER 18: Quarterback Cam Newton (1) of the Carolina Panthers takes the field for play against the Green Bay Packers September 18, 2011 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Packers would go on to defeat Carolina 30-23 . Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images ….

(3) Quarterback Cam Newton (1) of the Carolina Panthers runs for a gain against the Green Bay Packers September 18, 2011 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina. Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images …..

(4) Fans wear jerseys in support of Tim Tebow (15) of the Denver Broncos as the Broncos face the Cincinnati Bengals at Invesco Field at Mile High on September 18, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Bengals 24-22 . Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images ……

(5) Fans dispaly a sign in support of quarterback Kyle Orton (8) of the Denver Broncos as the Broncos defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 24-22 at Invesco Field at Mile High on September 18, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images ……..

(6) Something of an ambiguous sign by fans in support of Tim Tebow (15) of the Denver Broncos as the Broncos face the Cincinnati Bengals at Invesco Field at Mile High on September 18, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Bengals 24-22. Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images ……

(7) DENVER, CO – SEPTEMBER 18: Head coach John Fox of the Denver Broncos watches a video replay during the fourth quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on September 18, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images ……

(8) Quarterback Kyle Orton (8) of the Denver Broncos fumbles the ball and as he is sacked by Michael Johnson (93) of the Cincinnati Bengals in the third quarter at Invesco Field at Mile High on September 18, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The fumble was recovered by Domata Peko (94) of the Cincinnati Bengals as the Broncos defeated the Bengals 24-22. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images …….

(9) Wide receiver Tim Tebow (15) of the Denver Broncos tries to avoid cornerback Leon Hall (29) of the Cincinnati Bengals at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on September 18, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images ……

(10) Quarterback Andrew Luck (12) of the Stanford Cardinal scrambles to pass during the college football game against the Arizona Wildcats at Arizona Stadium on September 17, 2011 in Tucson, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Wildcats 37-10 . Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images ………

(11) Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones (12) fires a first quarter pass during an NCAA college football game against the Florida State Saturday, Sept. 17, 2011, in Tallahassee, Fla. Oklahoma would go on to defeat FSU Seminoles 23-13 Getty Images / Ahmad Kilyan ……

(12) Running back Trent Richardson (3) of the Alabama Crimson Tide breaks away from defensive back Ryan Downing (22) of the North Texas Mean Green and defensive back Royce Hill (21) of the North Texas Mean Green for a 71-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter on September 17, 2011 at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Alabama would defeat North Texas 41-0 . Photo by Butch Dill/Getty Images …..

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Let ESPN Report To You A Story And I Can Smell The Bullshit Coming From A Mile !

Let ESPN Report To You A Story And I Can Smell The Bullshit Coming From A Mile !

So it’s now much ado about nothing but it would seem that not only is ESPN intent on reporting the news if at all possible they would rather create the news. Amongst the channel’s litany of analysts you have cabal of analysts that purport to provide the viewer with some semblance of analysis on the NFL game . It would appear that Merrill Hoge rather than providing some insight on the events would rather elicit the sort of response often observed from the ignorance and bigotry shown on the political news channels one can view.

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Hoge’s somewhat taciturn dislike of the Denver Broncos’ young quarterback Tim Tebow seems to have taken on an almost venal tone . Rather than scrutinize the apparent flaws what he believes to be the player’s game it’s as if Merrill Hoge is out to lambast the player and if anything place a noose around the kid’s neck . Granted, there have always been questions about Tim Tebow’s game stemming from his years at Florida . But what one simply cannot deny is that the former Gator had a stellar career and his resume’ speaks for itself. Hoge for his part much like his peers at the Bristol , Connecticut based sports’ programmer has become more akin to making themselves the story rather than actually reporting the story . Or I could suggest that they’d rather create some controversy and bilk that event for all that it’s worth !

In the midst of this fomenting story we have the incumbent quarterback Kyle Orton who it would appear that the Denver Broncos had sought to trade in the off-season. With there being no takers for the player the front office led by the Head of Football Operations John Elway will now see how both Orton and Tebow acquit themselves during the preseason training camp and no doubt during the team’s preseason games . There’s no doubt that John Fox and his coaching staff will also be looking to assess the roster in terms of the rookie players . The team’s biggest offensive threat Brandon Lloyd knows that in order for this team to improve on last year’s disappointing season they will have to play at a much higher level . And it is here that John Fox will look to impart his experience and knowledge unto the team.

The fans in Denver are yearning to see Tim Tebow take the helm of this team as they’ve simply been accustomed to mediocrity during the ensuing seasons after retirement of John Elway and the subsequent departure of Mike Shanahan . The former coach’s successor was Josh McDaniels whose tenure with the Broncos was an unmitigated disaster . There’s not much that can be said about a former protege’ of Bill Belichick who in essence brought about as much experience to the Denver Broncos as a young virgin about to give up her virginity for the very first time. McDaniel’s biggest strength was said to be his ability to communicate and steadily improve the talents of a quarterback under his tutelage . And his biggest success to date would have to be Tom Brady . That being said when one assess the quarterbacks on this Broncos’ team you can clearly see that there’s not a player there in the mold or caliber of Brady. Much of the indifference and malaise behind the failures of the Denver Broncos simply has been the poor play and inconsistency of the team that has been their biggest downfall.

In the AFC West where the Denver Broncos reside they will find themselves up against the likes of the San Diego Chargers , Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs . The division itself is not viewed as one of the mainstays or powerhouses of the NFL but if anything it’s simply known as one of those divisions where if anything you have to be perplexed by the overall lack of real consistency and play of the teams residing there.

In what should be a very interesting season for Tim Tebow we should be able to assess the talents of the player. What Merrill Hoge has failed to disseminate in his criticism of the player was the very fact that the NFL lockout will have hindered the player’s progress. And as determined as Tebow is said to be there’s no denying that this lockout has been more of a setback than some will care to willingly admit. Instead of being productive in his assessment of the player he was simply has harangued him, set about a maelstrom of intrigue that in essence is unwarranted . It has been this sort of stupidity that we now tend see more frequently from former NFL players turned analysts who simply choose to spew whatever diatribe they believe will actually create the biggest sound byte possible . Much of the time I simply mute the sound when a number of these so called analysts that are front and center on the television screen. It is unfortunate that a broadcaster of ESPN’s undoubted pedigree would now choose to sink to such a low but then again their biggest strength has now become also its greatest weakness. The sports’ broadcast outlet now lacks credibility , journalist integrity and if one could imagine tabloid reporting at the level we’ve become accustomed to then ESPN would simply be representative of that ! The outlet now has become a three ringed circus of epic proportions in terms of its reporting and alleged journalism that they feel is meant to be informative.

Away from the idiocy now raging within Bristol , Connecticut , what beckons now for the NFL is a preseason that will somehow give us something of an indication as how the franchises are liable to perform with the rookies looking to make an impression on their respective teams . And for teams such as the Carolina Panthers last season’s cellar dweller within the league having posted a 2-14 record . And it will be interesting to see how the Panthers perform with Ron Rivera the organization’s newly installed coach and his respective coaching staff . For the NFL’s number one overall draft pick of this past season Cam Newton will be under the microscope as he looks to prove his doubters wrong in showing that his game can translate favorably to the professional ranks. If Newton can lead this Carolina Panthers’ team to any semblance of success in terms of a winning record then it would matriculate well with the fans. Given the failings of the team this past season I think that they will either sink or swim with the talent of Cam Newton .

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Do you feel that Merrill Hoge has been justified in his open criticism of Tim Tebow ? And what any if anything do you feel will be the bright signs for the Denver Broncos this upcoming season ? Any thoughts you may well have with regard to the points raised within this piece simply chime in with a comment .

Alan aka tophatal ……………….

https://tophatal.wordpress.com

Contact tophatal ………… rapptu@gmail.com

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Picture and slide details below .
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ESPN on air NFL analyst Merrill Hoge seen here in studio . The former NFL player often outspoken seems to have taken his verbiage to a new level in his criticism of Broncos’ quarterback Tim Tebow. Bearing in mind that he’s failed to explain succinctly why it is he feels that Broncos’ starter Kyle Orton to his mind really gives the team a better opportunity to win . Courtesy of telepresenceoptics.com ……

(2) Hoge sartorially dressed serves up his vitriolic fecal matter for the fans’ consumption, as to whether or not it’s to their delight I’ll leave it for you all be the judge of that ! AP Photo /Rich Perry …. ……..

(3) Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow laughs as he signs autographs for fans after a scrimmage at Invesco Field in Denver during NFL football training camp on Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011. AP Photo/Ed Andrieski …..

(4) Denver Broncos head coach John Fox watches as his team works out at a scrimmage at Invesco Field in Denver during NFL football training camp on Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011. AP Photo/Ed Andrieski …………

(5) Denver Broncos quarterback Kyle Orton (8) throws a pass as quarterback Tim Tebow (15) and rookie quarterback Adam Weber , right, watch at Invesco Field in Denver during NFL football training camp on Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011. AP Photo/Ed Andrieski ……

(6) Head coach John Fox of the Denver Broncos and Brian Xanders , General Manager, watch the team during training camp at the Paul D. Bowlen Memorial Broncos Centre at Dove Valley on July 28, 2011 in Englewood, Colorado. Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images ….

(7) Denver Broncos vice president of football operations John Elway (L), owner Pat Bowlen and new head coach John Fox share a laugh before Fox addressed the media at Dove Valley on January 14, 2011 in Englewood, Colorado. Fox was named the 14th head coach in Broncos history yesterday after spending the last nine seasons as head coach of the Carolina Panthers. Getty Images North America / Justin Edmonds ……….
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Put Up Or Simply Just Shut The Fu#k Up !

Put Up Or Simply Just Shut The Fuck Up !

I’ll say this repeatedly when it comes to the analysis being provided within the sports’ world can be so ridiculous and no amount of asinine jingoism and xenophobia can hide my disdain for many of these commentators. The third major of the season on the PGA Tour The Open has no rhyme or reason when you have the likes of Andy North be ing so ridiculous with his analysis in insisting that the American players have what it takes to be dominant in the majors and win . When it mattered most other than Phil Mickelson no one amongst the American players thought to be in with a chance had the stomach to show what they’re capable of in terms of facing real adversity.

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The British Open is by far the most difficult of the four majors to win and where a player simply doesn’t rely on his talent alone but also with their mental abilities . Well with the workman like effort of Darren Clarke and along the way Ireland secure its second successive major after Rory McIlroy’s historic 2011 US Open win . The course at the R&A’s Royal St George at Lytham St Anne’s , Sandwich , Kent , has always proven to be a very difficult with its numerous obstacles on this par 72 course . And for the competing players who sought to tame the greens and fairways on the fourth and final day of the tournament , well let’s just say if you choose to play with fire then you are liable to get burned .

It would appear while being passionate about the game Andy North’s insight of it tends to be inflated and over the top ! I’d hate to think how he will try summarize Clarke’s win and what it now means to the game . What I do know, it simply will prove that America’s once dominant stranglehold on the game is now slipping . The world rankings would suggest that its upper echelons that tree now is more diversified than ever before . And with the PGA Championship at the Atlanta Athletic Club, Johns Creek , Atlanta , Georgia , being the lone major left on the Tour schedule it will be very interesting to see who steps up to walk the walk .

Are my eyes mistaking me ? But scouring the papers in search of the latest tidbit of new within the world of baseball I almost fell out of my seat. But low and behold, it would appear that the once lowly Pittsburgh Pirates are riding high within the NL Central and are out to prove that they’re capable of challenging the likes of the Cincinnati Reds , Milwaukee Brewers , St Louis Cardinals . And what might be even more scary is that Clint Hurdle’s team is playing above .500 ball , enjoying themselves and they could very well be on their way to posting their first winning season almost two decades . Strange as it may seem the eyes of the world now appear to placing a great deal of scrutiny on on this team assembled with a mixture of youth and some veteran experience . Hurdle and his coaching staff along with GM Neal Huntington have to be very pleased what they are seeing from this team and their play this season at PNC Ballpark in Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania .

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HOUSTON – JULY 17: Center fielder Andrew McCutchen (22) of the Pittsburgh Pirates is congratulated by Neil Walker (18) and Alex Pressley (44) after making a sliding catch on a fly ball off the bat of Clint Barmes (12) of the Houston Astros in the eighth inning at Minute Maid Park on July 17, 2011 in Houston, Texas. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

If there’s a star on this Pirates’ team then one has to consider it to be Andrew McCutchen the outfielder and the exuberant leader of this young roster . As eventful as the season seems to have be for the Pirates the very thought that the organization could possibly be a part of the postseason now seems to be dawning on their fans as what could be in the offing . From my own standpoint I think that the biggest surprise would be to finally post winning season for the first time in over decade and a half . If that were to happen then you cannot deny Clint Hurdle the NL Manager of the Year Award in having led the team to a winning record for the season . Now over the final two months of the season we may very see the true character of this team and how they acquit themselves down the final stretch of run of the season .

The Pittsburgh Pirates through a great deal of resolve have proved themselves worthy adversaries for their rivals within the NL Central as well as the rest of the National League at large . And though I do believe that the team in its present guise are very good, I simply do not believe that they are good enough to win the division ! However , with that being said with the undoubted character and it appears the maturity being shown , it does bode well for the future of the team. I still have my doubts as to the intention the team’s owner Bob Nutting and his partners as I view the senior partner as being nothing more than a predatory raider or more akin to a vulture hovering above the dead carcass of animal looking to gnaw away at its remains ! For years Nutting has literally complained and plead nothing but poverty as the team has struggled to be competitive on the field of play and also from a financial standpoint. And having bought the team from the McClatchy family every effort we were led to believe would be sought in turning this organization around.

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Bob Nutting has made sure that the team’s payroll has remained amongst the lowest in the league but while that facade has continued the team has profited greatly from the league hierarchy’s tax revenue sharing scheme . If only one could simply take Nutting at his word when he continues plead his case that the team isn’t making any money. But the benefits reaped from paring down the the salary of the team and then reaping the dividends of the revenue scheme leads me to believe that the owner has less than economical with the truth ! So much so that now with the team now playing with a great deal more zeal it could very well be that the organization will be forced to become a buyer in the free agency market if they are to prove to their fans that there intent is to win. And with that very deadline due on the 31st July it could determine what we are to expect from the Pittsburgh Pirates.

As the NFL lockout continues and with both sets of lawyers for the league and union now intent on working out the legal verbiage for what will be a new 10 year CBA (collective bargaining agreement) , I would like to think that the owners within the NBA and league hierarchy are carefully taking note of the events taking place between the two sides. If it’s apparent that the NBPA is not at all interested in conceding to any of the requests being made of the by the league then the fans will bear witnesses to what very well be a very contentious battle .

Commissioner David Stern and his opposite number within the union executive director Billy Hunter are now looking for the league accede to their wishes. And once again both sides are showing their intransigence while at the same not wanting to back down in the eyes of the public. It seems abundantly clear both sides are underestimating the goodwill and patience of the fans and much like the idiocy shown by their counterparts in the NFL it may well take a prolonged lockout before we see both sides actually come to their senses.

From being a scoring champion to perennial All Star the fall from grace of Tracy McGrady simply has been astounding . Last season the player simply slipped further down in our conscience from that once formidable offensive threat to someone who if anything has become more of an enigma and conundrum all rolled into one. The player this upcoming season should there be one will be a free agent and he has stated that he feels that he can be a contributor to any team willing to take a chance on him.

In 2010 we saw Tracy McGrady as a member of the Detroit Pistons and as we all know the team had a miserable season . GM Joe Dumars had a contentious relationship with coach John Kuester and it has to be said with new owner , billionaire Tom Gores now in place I for one seriously doubt that the Pistons in their present guise will be a team to be reckoned with. Dumars’ own position within the Pistons’ front office could very well become somewhat tenuous as I firmly believe that the new ownership could very well be intent on bringing in someone who they feel that they are more likely to work alongside . Kuester was summarily fired by Dumars after last season’s disappointing record and lack of play all round.

At this stage of his career , as a fifteen year veteran in the league I seriously doubt that Tracy McGrady has that much left to offer a team , other than his experience . Most notably as a player his skills simply have declined to a point where he has become more of a liability rather than an asset to a team . And that to my mind simply doesn’t bode well for any franchise who might take a chance on the player .

The coaching position with the Detroit Piston still remains vacant and with Tom Gores , incoming as the new team owner , there’s no doubt that he will assess the situation and needs of the organization before coming to a decision as to who ought to succeed John Kuester . Joe Dumars may well feel that it is either time to step down or continue to work within the Pistons’ organization in conjunction with the new owner.

And so the Women’s World World Cup comes to an abrupt end with Japan defeating USA on penalties 3-1 in a shootout after regular and then overtime play. What gave anyone reason to believe why the US ought to be deemed favorites is completely beyond me ! They may well have the experience but in straight laced terms , there were not the best team in the tournament and certainly not based on their play ! If truth be known the Japanese having beaten the two best teams in the quarters and semi finals simply showed why they were deserving of this victory. And this is not meant to demean the achievements of the US team in this tournament . Emotions and the fact that with all that the tiny nation had been through in the aftermath of a natural disaster may well have made Japan an heartwarming favorite . But I believe them to be favorites coming into this game solely based on their play. Throughout the tournament you simply see the Japanese team raise the level of their play and wherein they just played to their strengths and showed that technically they were that much better than their opponents and most notably so in the final match of the competition .

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Bob Ley (left) , Brandi Chastain and Tony DiCicco discuss the role of nerves in the Final, and how this team fits into the legacy of US Women’s Soccer. Courtesy of ESPN ……..

As is usual in such cases ESPN brings in what they deem to be people with knowledge of the game of soccer . Granted , the game still has its detractors and supporters but in all honesty if they are bringing in analysts with insight , then let it be someone whose bloviated bias won’t be so pronounced that you simply are going to be resoundingly bored by their observations and commentary . And that has certainly been the case throughout their coverage of the competition. Brandy Chastain , Briana Scurry and Tony DiCicco simply have been an adulterated busts as commentators and analysts . No amount of impartiality could be shown by either of the trio even if their lives depended on it . Whether or not you are associated or have been associated with the teams as each have at least have the temerity to provide the viewers with something more than your blatant bias . With the loss came the perfunctory excuses as to their views as to why the US failed but their lack of candor in acknowledging the team on the day was simply outplayed leads me to believe that they viewed Japan as a minor hurdle in what they felt to be a victory that was guaranteed prior to the start of the game ! Don’t get me wrong if you’re going to state a reason why a team ought to win you have also got to be prepared to state the reasons why they could also fail . Something I feel that ESPN and their so called analysts seemingly forget whilst on air !

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have concerning the points raised within this piece ? Simply chime in with a comment as you deem fit .

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

Contact ….. rapptu@gmail.com

Picture and slide show details below .

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(1) Northern Irish golfer Darren Clarke poses with the Claret Jug on the 18th green the morning after winning the 140th British Open Golf championship at Royal St George’s in Sandwich, Kent, south-east England, on July 18, 2011. AFP PHOTO/Getty Images/ Peter Muhly ….

(2) SANDWICH, ENGLAND – JULY 17: during the final round of The 140th Open Championship at Royal St George’s on July 17, 2011 in Sandwich, England. Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images …..

(3) Scott Van Pelt (left) of ESPN is seen here with co-host Andy North a former PGA Tour professional and two time Major winner . Courtesy of ESPN/ABC ……

(4) HOUSTON – JULY 17: Right fielder Xavier Paul (38) of the Pittsburgh Pirates leaps but can’t make the catch on a home run by Humberto Quintero (55) of the Houston Astros in the eleventh inning at Minute Maid Park on July 17, 2011 in Houston, Texas. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images …

(5) HOUSTON – JULY 17: Center fielder Andrew McCutchen (22) of the Pittsburgh Pirates is congratulated by Neil Walker (18) and Alex Pressley(44) after makeng a sliding catch on a fly ball off the bat of Clint Barmes (12) of the Houston Astros in the eighth inning at Minute Maid Park on July 17, 2011 in Houston, Texas. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images …

(6) Former Pirates CEO Kevin McClatchy and Chairman of the Board Robert (Bob) Nutting discuss the “change of control” within the Pirates ownership. The McClatchy family who owned the team outright sold the concern to Bob Nutting and a consortium of investors in 2007 . Phil Rombach/ Pittsburgh Post Gazette ….

(7) In this April 10, 2011, file photo, then-Detroit Pistons coach John Kuester reacts to a call in the first half of the Pistons’ 112-101 win over the Charlotte Bobcats in an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C. The Los Angeles Lakers have hired Kuester as an assistant under new coach Mike Brown, reuniting the duo who worked in Cleveland together. AP Photo/Chuck Burton ……

(8) Pistons’ owner Tom Gores is seen here with the team’s GM Joe Dumars at the Palace of Auburn Hills , Auburn Hills , Michigan, home to the basketball franchise . Gores purchased the team from the Davidson family whose patriarch Bill Davidson died in 2009. AFP/ Chris Gould ……

(9) Tracy McGrady (1) of of the Detroit Pistons drives against James Jones (22) of the Miami Heat during a game at American Airlines Arena on January 28, 2011 in Miami, Florida. Getty Images North America / Mike Ehrmann …..

(10) TOPSHOTS: Japan’s midfielder Homare Sawa (C) celebrates with the trophy and teammates after the FIFA Women’s Football World Cup final match Japan vs USA on July 17, 2011 in Frankfurt am Main, western Germany. Japan won 3-1 in a penalty shoot-out after the final had finished 2-2 following extra-time. AFP PHOTO / PATRIK STOLLARZ

(11) FRANKFURT AM MAIN, GERMANY – JULY 17: (L-R) Homare Sawa of Japan winning the adidas golden shoe award as the best player of the tournament and Abby Wambach of USA, winning the adidas silver golden shoe stand on the podium after being rewarded during the FIFA Women’s World Cup Final match between Japan and USA at the FIFA World Cup stadium Frankfurt on July 17, 2011 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Japan against USA 5-3 after penalty shoot-out. Photo by Christof Koepsel/Getty Images ….

(12) FRANKFURT AM MAIN, GERMANY – JULY 17: Tobin Heath of USA (3rd R) comforts Sahnnon Boxx of USA (R) after failed shooting a penalty during the FIFA Women’s World Cup Final match between Japan and USA at the FIFA World Cup stadium Frankfurt on July 17, 2011 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Japan won 5-3 after penalty shoot-out against the USA. Photo by Christof Koepsel/Getty Images ……

(13) Bob Ley (left) , Brandi Chastain and Tony DiCicco discuss the role of nerves in the Final, and how this team fits into the legacy of US Women’s Soccer. Courtesy of ESPN ……..
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It’s Often Best To Be Seen And Not Heard ……………

It’s Often Best To Be Seen And Not Heard ……………

Well with the ongoing NFL lockout you simply knew that ESPN couldn’t live without getting a sound byte no matter how inane it might be. And you can simply count on ESPN to sink to the lowest common denominator to make sure that scenario arises . Reporter Sal Palantonio  in an interview with the Baltimore Ravens’ Ray Lewis had me chuckling when he correlated that the prolonged labor stoppage would lead to a rise in crime because the discerning NFL fan would have nothing to with there being no football. I simply wanted to say …” nig_a shut the fu_k up for God’s sake ” ! Ray Lewis knows about committing a crime and actually getting away with it because of the fact that the legal establishment simply obfuscated their responsibility as they often do , when taking a plea agreement or in this case, Lewis simply got off ” Scott free” in the manslaughter death of a victim in a deadly brawl during which two of Lewis’ accomplices actually committed this heinous act . ==================================================================================

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Courtesy of USA Today

Ravens’ Ray Lewis warns of spike in crime if NFL season is lost By Nate Davis , USA Today Ravens star LB Ray Lewis believes if the players and owners don’t soon find a way to resolve the ongoing lockout that people outside the NFL’s family could suffer far more severely than the ones squabbling within it. “We really got to remove pride. Seriously,” he said in an interview with ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio. “There’s no other reason the issue is going on. That’s why I don’t get into words and all that other stuff, because it takes away from life — itself. Man there are people who’s really struggling — for real. There’s real struggles out there. What we’re going through right now, we’re affecting way more than us. “There’s too many people (that) live through us, people live through us. Yeah, walk in the streets, the way I walk the streets, and I’m not talking about the people you see all the time.” Lewis goes on to suggest that the livelihoods of many fans and some of the NFL’s subsidiary employees — such as stadium workers — hang in the balance. “Do this research if we don’t have a season,” Lewis says. “Watch how much evil — which we call it crime — watch how much crime picks up, if you take away our game. … There’s nothing else to do, Sal.” —————————————————————————————————Click on the link to read this article in its entirety . =================================================================================

Ray Lewis ought to recognize that crime usually goes up primarily because of the harsh realities of an economy goes into the tank ____ it’s now there for all to see. Without a doubt Lewis is either showing his ignorance or he’s merely looking for a way to show that he feels aggrieved because of the league’s actions in initiating the stoppage . And the very fact that the stoppage itself has been legally upheld by a judicial ruling by the 8th District Court of Appeals in Minneapolis , Minnesota he of all people should be concerned with his own union (NFLPA) body has been doing while all of this plays out . The NFLPA has simply been about its own image and self worth while painting the league hierarchy as the villains of the piece . It’s at times like this I’m simply happy that the idiots within the NFL and the NFLPA show that what they lack in common sense is only exhibited by the stupidity that either side has shown in trying to further play to the public’s sympathy by simply looking to blame the other for something that they collectively brought into being .

As respected as Lewis may well be by his peers within the league and some fans across the NFL panacea , I do believe that he could have expressed himself considerably better . Emotional as he may well be about this stoppage , he should remember also that the average fan out there isn’t as lucky to have been attributed with the Lewis’ God given talents and the fact that they would be able to earn a multi million dollar salary each year . And in spite of his image makeover after his legal issues in the aftermath of the trial that took place in the manslaughter death of that male victim by his two accomplices I still believe that Lewis is considerably lucky not to be behind bars ! Were this a mere civilian rather than a high profile athlete the outcome might well have been different. At this juncture there’s not much more that can be really said other than the words I’ve already directed at the Ravens’ player !

We all know the idiocy that has taken place concerning the New York Mets  and the fact that the organization as well two of the team’s most prominent owners Saul Katz and Fred Wilpon  as defendants are being sued in a Federal Court by the plaintiffs in the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme scandal . The plaintiffs are being represented by noted attorney Irving Picard . In light of this Katz and Wilpon have plead their innocence in any wrongdoing and have stated that they are if anything victims of Madoff’s malfeasance rather than being enablers that have profited financially wherein the duo have received in excess of 700 million over the decades that the scheme had been enacted.

Given the grave financial instability of of the New York Mets I found it quite comedic that Fred Wilpon was being critical of several players on this team most notably Jose Reyes , Carlos Beltran and David Wright . Wilpon stated that he felt that Reyes, in the process of seeking a contract extension isn’t good enough to be earning a Carl Crawford type of a contract (7 years / $140 million ) and that Beltran isn’t the same player they signed to a 7 year $119 million contract. Furthermore , he went on to state that the team’s All Star and team captain David Wright isn’t a star in the making or simply good enough to be compared to his cross-town counterpart Derek Jeter  . Strong words indeed for an owner who simply signed the checks on the say so, of then general manager Omar Minaya  . And during Minaya’s tenure it simply wasn’t about attaining players for the sake of it but merely gaining back page coverage in order to compete with the New York Yankees for that coverage on the sports’ pages within the nation’s largest ad market and also on the local television there within the Big Apple. I’ve got to say when you’re that envious, there’s got to be something that you can do better in order to obtain a higher profile rather than spending money so capriciously ! Keeping up with the Joneses ?

This season much like last season it would appear that the New York Mets are simply mediocre and I seriously doubt that things are liable to change anytime soon . And even though the organization sought to bring in Sandy Alderson , J P Riccardi  to head the front office as Exec VP, general manager , assistant EVP general manager it still has me wondering whether or not this will be enough to turn things around for a team that has been engulfed in such an abysmal situation where much of that has been self inflicted by the idiotic personnel decisions made . But it appears even with a new manager Terry Collins and coaching staff in tow it appears that things haven’t changed all that much from his predecessor Jerry Manuel was leading this team. Minaya and Manuel simply took this team to depths of mediocrity and beyond if that’s actually possible . And Minaya simply tried to justify the personnel decisions made that brought this club to where they became somewhat of a laughing stock . Never mind that uber-agent  Scott Boras  and many of his clients made off like thieves in the night as the Mets simply overpaid for mediocre talent .

Courtesy of Sports Illustrated

Mets owner Fred Wilpon sounds off on his beloved team’s troubles By Tom Verducci , Sports Illustrated New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon, as profiled this week in Sports Illustrated, provided a blunt picture of the team’s finances: The team is “bleeding cash” at the rate of a possible $70 million loss this year and his ownership of the team could be jeopardized by the $1 billion lawsuit against him and his Sterling Equities partners. The suit was filed by the trustee of the liquidation of Bernie Madoff’s investments. What does it mean for the baseball operations? In the short term, the Mets likely will cut payroll next year by about 30 percent and give a voice to a new investor that Wilpon expects to introduce in about three weeks — an investor he will treat as a limited partner. Is Wilpon worried that the lawsuit — in which the trustee wants about $300 million in fictitious profits and another $700 million in principal the Sterling partners put into Madoff accounts — could cause him to lose the team? “Not right now, no,” he told SI in an exclusive interview last week. “Because I don’t think anybody thinks that 700 is realistic.” ————————————————————————————————————————-

Click on the link shown to read this article in its entirety .

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At present the New York Mets  6-4 in their last ten games coming off a two game losing streak but they’re already 4 1/2 games behind the division leading Philadelphia Phillies  (28-18) within the NL East . And as spirited a change as many well have thought might have taken place with the Mets this team continues to perform monstrously in the most inexplicably of ways . Injuries or not the explanation being given by Wilpon as to the team’s present woes while in part justifiable it simply doesn’t go anywhere in explaining how it is that he and the front office have simply let things get to where they are at present . Most team owners I would have thought would desire some real effort put forth by its players even in the face of real adversity . Instead all we have seen from this team is an exceptionally inept organization from top to bottom in terms of its performances both and off the field of play.

Now some might say it is still too early to judge Alderson , Riccardi and Collins at present but if things continue to get any worse I can assure you that the fans in attendance at Citi Field for the team’s home games can’t continue to endure the mediocrity that seems to be part of this organization’s current mantra. Er’go it’s akin to the laughable excuses I’ve heard being uttered when some patrons try to state that because a change are in the offing, it solicits that the changes being made even if they are incremental , will be for the better . Since when was the game of baseball not been about what you’re doing now but what you’ll be doing four to five years from now . And that's especially true when teams are struggling not only from a competitive standpoint but also financially as well ! If one is going to delve also into the business of sports at least one should show the acumen to understand that the game simply isn't just about winning but also being a profitable going concern. After all the owners are simply doing this all out of the goodness of their heart but some idiotic fans seem to be under the impression and that making money is the last thing that the team owners simply want to do !

Fred Wilpon and his partners within the Mets’ organization and at his company Sterling Equities of which Katz happens to be a co-founder have a lot to be concerned with given their reluctance to comply with many of the requests of the plantiffs’ attorney Irving Picard with regard to certain financial documents still in their possession concerning monetary movements between the New York Mets and the financial concern under their command. I get the feeling that Wilpon has made this statement simply to deflect the attention he feels that has been unwarranted concerning his actions and Saul Katz’s as it relates to the financial scandal that has engulfed the Mets and their company ! He may well be justified in calling out certain players but he also should be taking a close look at his own actions in all of this , as an owner , he too has a responsibility to voice his concerns but it was clear that was the furthest thing from his mind at the time when he , in conjunction with Minaya and Jerry Manuel decided to make many of the outrageous personnel decisions that have brought the New York Mets to where they presently are.

As this season plays itself out it will be very interesting to see how things pan out for the New York Mets and the steps that might well be taken by the front office come the trade deadline . Win or lose , as of now , the clock is ticking on this organization’s immediate future and the shape that it will ultimately take. The league hierarchy under Bud Selig may well be watching this all with a great deal of close scrutiny because simply put, in the aftermath of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ debacle , their financial woes and the assault of a San Francisco Giants’ fan, Brian Stow , at Dodgers Stadium . The last thing the game now needs is another black eye to further taint its already tarnished image .

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have on the points raised within this piece ? And do you believe that the statements attributed to both Lewis and Wilpon in any way are somehow justified ? Chime in with your thoughts as see fit .

Alan aka tophatal …………..

Picture and slide show details below .

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(1) Lewis seen here in his interview with ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio speaks of what he sees as the ramifications of what he sees will embody and impact this lockout with regard to the NFL fan . ESPN/ Mark Gustaffson …….

(2) Linebackers Ray Lewis (52) and Terrell Suggs (55) of the Baltimore Ravens celebrate a play during their 2011 AFC wild card playoff game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on January 9, 2011 in Kansas City, Missouri. Getty Images North America / Dilip Vishwanath …..

(3) From left to right Fred Wilpon , GM Sandy Alderson , team manager Terry Collins , Mets’ COO Jeff Wilpon  and team President Saul Katz . Collins was being formally introduced to the public and New York press as the team’s new manager after the abrupt firing of his predecessor Jerry Manuel . Getty Images / Chris McGrath ……

(4) Mike Pelfrey (34) of the New York Mets reacts after giving up a first inning home run to Curtis Granderson (14) of the New York Yankees on May 22, 2011 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. Yankees defeat the Mets  9-3 . Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images …..

(5) Chris Dickerson (27) of the New York Yankees hits a double in the seventh inning against the New York Mets on May 22, 2011 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. Yankees defeat the Mets 9-3. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

(6) Mike Pelfrey of the New York Mets is pulled in the seventh inning as teammates Daniel Murphy(28) , Willie Harris(22), and manager Terry Collins (10) look on against the New York Yankees on May 22, 2011 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. Yankees defeat the Mets 9-3. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images ……

(7) Derek Jeter (2) of the New York Yankees and Jose Reyes (7) of the New York Mets share a laugh on May 21, 2011 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. Yankees defeat the Mets  7-3 . Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images ….

(8) David Wright(5) of the New York Mets who’s on the team’s DL sits on the bench during the game between the New York Mets and the New York Yankees on May 20, 2011 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. Mets defeat the Yankees 2-1 . Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images ……

(9) Mark Teixeira (25) of the New York Yankees (not pictured) hits a home run just over the leap of Carlos Beltran(15) of the New York Mets in the bottom of the third on May 20, 2011 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images ……..

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It Takes Two Tango But Only One To Really Cheat

It Takes Two Tango But Only One To Really Cheat

Is it me but the furor over the Final Four just might not be as exhilarating as some think it to be between what’s deemed to be the marquee match-up between two prestigious programs in collegiate basketball. The Saturday evening prime time televised game between Jim Calhoun’s U Conn Huskies against John Calipari’s Kentucky Wildcats is deemed that the winner will be viewed as the presumptive favorite in the finals of NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship .

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On the opposite side of the draw in the Final Four we have VCU Rams playing the Butler Bull Dogs . The two teams here are if anything seen as the Cinderella stories of this tournament but given the fact that Brad Steven’s team is making their second consecutive Final Four appearance I’m inclined to believe that he will also make a repeat appearance in the Finals itself ! But that will however be predicated upon the defensive stealth of Shaka’ Smart’s Rams over the course of this game.

In what is being widely reported that by Foxsports and now picked up by ESPN that Bilal Batley a former assistant to coach Calipari while he was a coach at Memphis and at Kentucky made impermissible phone calls to potential recruits of both teams . When broached on the subject of this matter by the convened press in the team’s public interview Calipari declined to comment but only wanted to talk about his team’s upcoming game against the Huskies . Given John Calipari’s track record of failing to comply with the rules as it concerns the appropriate recruitment of players as it relates to being formally in contact with prospective recruits this only further muddies the waters as to the relevance of this game. And given that Calhoun this season has come under close scrutiny by the NCAA and his multiple violations for the same problem how can anyone view this game as a competitive match-up of two really deserving teams ?

Courtesy of USA Today

Report: Ex-Kentucky assistant violated NCAA rules regarding phone calls

By Tim Gardner , USA Today

Former Kentucky assistant coach Bilal Batley, who resigned from his post in 2009 after he was found to have violated NCAA rules by rebounding for a player during a workout, reportedly violated other NCAA rules as well.

According to a report published Friday by FoxSports.com, Batley also made numerous impermissible phone calls to recruits during his time at Memphis and Kentucky.

From the FoxSports.com report:

NCAA rules state that all telephone calls made to or received from a recruit, his parents, legal guardians or coaches must be made and received by a team’s head coach or three countable assistant coaches.

According to Memphis and Kentucky, Batley was not a countable coach at either school. NCAA spokesman Erik Christianson declined comment to FOXSports.com on the alleged violations.

But Cousins, a Sacramento Kings rookie forward who played for Kentucky as a freshman last season and then left for the NBA draft, said Batley played a “big role” in him committing first to Memphis. He then followed Calipari to Kentucky shortly after the coach’s hiring in April 2009.

Cousins was the first major recruit that Calipari landed at Kentucky and helped re-establish the Wildcats’ recruiting reputation among the nation’s elite. He said he and his mother, Monique Cousins, talked to Batley on the telephone while he was at Memphis and Kentucky.

“We stayed in contact with him frequently,” DeMarcus Cousins told FOXSports.com.

Kentucky coach John Calipari would not offer comment to FoxSports.com when he was approached after his news conference at the Final Four on Friday.

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It seems that wherever Calipari has coached controversy always seems to follow and now on the cusp of what just might the most important of game his Wildcats’ career ugliness once again rears its head and the coach is again in the spotlight not for his team’s accomplishments but more for the coach’s actions and that of a member of his coaching staff . Now while it’s too early to say whether or not rules were violated with regard to recruits on this present Wildcats’ team .

One of the players the story says was a recipient of one of the calls made was former Wildcat DeMarcus Cousins who now plays in the NBA with the Sacramento Kings . What might be even more troubling is that current league MVP leading candidate Derrick Rose’s —- college career was closely questioned because it was suspected that he hadn’t met entrance requirements and it was suspected that his SAT’s were in fact taken by someone other than Rose. And though the NCAA conducted their own investigation , nothing came to light concerning the matter. But Rose has refused to address the matter publicly and John Calipari has taken the same stance. However what became clear over the course of the investigation was a close associate of Calipari , Bilal Battley had been in contact with Rose prior to his recruitment to Memphis . Make of it what you will but with there being no apparent paper trail then there’s nothing to be found we’re told . But one only has to look at the improprieties that have come to light over the course of Calipari’s collegiate coaching career ? Need one say anymore on the matter ? And oh by the way , if you’re now prepared to take that the stance you’re innocent until proven guilty try making that case given the evidence that has continually come to the fore with regard to Calipari. Unfortunately however , it appears that when the NCAA conducts an investigation they tend to show the ineptitude only seen in the silent movie era when the Keystone Cops were all the rage . What might be even more insidious concerning this matter and each time Calipari has come under a cloud of suspicion ESPN’s college basketball analyst Dick Vitale has steadfastly come to the support of Calipari but surprise , surprise Jim Calhoun as well . As the saying goes …………..” birds of a feather flock together ” .

At the end of the day sports at the collegiate level has become more about greed and what not only the players are prepared to do but now it appears also the coaches and members of their coaching staffs. This isn’t meant to be a damning indictment of this tournament or in fact all programs but what we appear to be seeing are that some of the more marquee programs will now prepared to do when there’s a great deal at stake in terms of the financial windfall that comes with winning .

As I alluded to earlier this game between two of the more storied programs within D1 college basketball . There are budding future NBA stars on both teams but the one player I believe that everyone feels will be a unanimous first round potential number one pick in the upcoming NBA Draft has to be Kember Walker ! He’s been the marquee player of this tournament without a doubt . And though this team is littered with stars and their play throughout the season has been impressive to say the very least with there being an all round contribution from all members of this roster. And though Walker wasn’t lauded with the College Player of the Year Award with the accolade going to Jimmer Fredette of the Cougars I’m not so sure that beyond that choice there’s any justification to try and state that Fredette can be considered the best player in the nation at the college level.

What we do know is that John Calipari is a very good coach albeit that we will continue to question his methods as it relates to recruiting players and his distinct wish to hide behind what he believes are his right to privacy and to my mind self incrimination. In the cold light of day what I’d like to know is when the NCAA will actually have the courage to diligently investigate an allegation of impropriety by Calipari and a member of staff given the fact that repeatedly over the course of his career questions have arisen about his conduct in the recruitment of players either by himself or his subordinates. If the NCAA can’t be trusted to do what’s right when we have a case of a coach who over the course of his collegiate coaching career has brought two college programs UMass and Memphis placed under NCAA mandated academic suspensions for violation of recruitment rules and now quite possibly a third. What that says about how naive the NCAA has been and the fact that John Calipari remains unscathed by any of these allegations leads me to believe that the NCAA doesn’t either know how to conduct an investigation or they are complete buffoons !

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Tonight’s scheduled games held at Reliant Stadium in Houston , Texas where we’ll see the duo of games for the two remaining berths for the national championship . I for one hope that both games are thoroughly entertaining and competitive . As to who the two finalists will be that remains to be seen but one thing we know for sure is that a fairy new champion will be crowned at the culmination of what has been one of the better tournaments in recent years. What thoughts if any do you have on the NCAA Tournament and your own thoughts as to the latest allegations associated with John Calipari and a former assistant of his ? Do you believe that the coach knew of these allegations and that Batley acted on his orders ? And which teams do you feel will prevail in the end between the quartet of teams remaining ? Simply leave a comment as to your thoughts on the topics raised within this piece .

Alan aka tophatal ……………………..

https://tophatal.wordpress.com/

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(1) Jamie Skeen (21) of the Virginia Commonwealth Rams goes to the hoop against Matt Howard (54) of the Butler Bulldogs during the National Semifinal game of the 2011 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship at Reliant Stadium on April 2, 2011 in Houston, Texas. Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images ………

(2) Darius Theus #10 of the Virginia Commonwealth Rams draws contact against Matt Howard #54 of the Butler Bulldogs during the National Semifinal game of the 2011 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship at Reliant Stadium on April 2, 2011 in Houston, Texas. Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images ….

(3) Head coach Brad Stevens of the Butler Bulldogs shouts from the sidelines against the Virginia Commonwealth Rams during the National Semifinal game of the 2011 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship at Reliant Stadium on April 2, 2011 in Houston, Texas. Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images ……

(4) Head coach Shaka Smart of the Virginia Commonwealth Rams gestures from the sidelines against the Butler Bulldogs during the National Semifinal game of the 2011 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship at Reliant Stadium on April 2, 2011 in Houston, Texas. Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images ….

(5) Connecticut head coach Jim Calhoun reacts during a practice for a men’s NCAA Final Four semifinal college basketball game Friday, April 1, 2011, in Houston. UConn plays Kentucky on Saturday.

(6) Kemba Walker (15) of the Connecticut Huskies points during practice prior to the 2011 Final Four of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament at Reliant Stadium on April 1, 2011 in Houston, Texas. Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images …..

(7) Head coach John Calipari of the Kentucky Wildcats addresses the media after practice prior to the 2011 Final Four of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament at Reliant Stadium on April 1, 2011 in Houston, Texas. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images ……….

(8) This picture from 2009 shows Memphis coaching staff (left to right) John Robic – Assistant Coach, Josh Pastner – Assistant Coach, Bilal Batley (background) – Asst. Director of Operations/Mgr., John Calipari – Head Coach, Orlando Antigua – Assistant Coach, and Rod Strickland – Director of Basketball Operations on the bench against SMU at the FedExForum. Photo by Mark Weber ……………

(9) Bilal Batley a former assistant to John Calipari while he was a coach at Memphis and then at Kentucky before leaving the program . It has been Batley’s actions that have now come into question raising questions also once again about coach Calipari and his coaching staff and the lengths they’re prepared to go to in order to recruit a potential player for the Wildcats’ program. AP Photo / Mark Sanders …….

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Burning Spear ……………. ” Marcus Garvey ” ====================================================================

You Had Me At Hello ………. !

You Had Me At Hello !

In the Cameron Crowe directed and written movie ” Jerry Macguire” there’s a scene in the movie where Tom Cruise’s character Jerry Maguire ____ his wife in the film played by Oscar winner Renee Zellwegger says the words “you had me hello ” . Well here’s a case in point as I survey the world of sports and the news forthcoming within that arena . The NFL is still looking as if their problems now will be litigated within the US Federal Court system and in which an upcoming case will be heard in Minneapolis , Minnesota. What both the NFLPA ( union) and the NFL continue to show is that neither side is apparent in actually resolving this matter in which an amicable resolution is reached , albeit that owners Jerry Jones and Robert Kraft have stated that’s what they seek with the union led by Executive Director DeMaurice Smith and its executive committee . Pardon me for saying this , but common sense went out the window concerning these deliberations the moment that the union sought to decertify in order that players could challenge the NFL’s antitrust exemption status and its legality within the judicial system.

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Slide show for your perusal .

What might be further illuminating and shows that intelligence on the part of the players is merely a preconception , is the fact that they state they’re now prepared to negotiate directly with the owners rather than NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell . Less I’m mistaken wasn’t the action to instigate the lockout done at the behest of the owners and was enacted by Goodell as the NFL’s highest ranking official within the league’s hierarchy ? Well folks , there’s more to come from this soap opera’s saga and the outcome that most sorely await.

Can someone explain to me why it is that everyone is so sold on the New York Knicks even after the team’s acquisition of Carmelo Anthony instigated by GM Donnie Walsh and team owner James Dolan ? The problem is that in spite of Anthony’s acquisition along with that of Chauncey Billups the New Yorks Knicks have been a rather pedestrian 7-8 whereas the Denver Nuggets in exchange are an impressive 9-6 after Anthony’s departure under coach George Karl as the Nuggets try to make a play for a playoff spot in the Western Conference . Something that many may well have felt beyond the Nuggets after this trade was made by GM Masai Ujiri .

I’m not thoroughly convinced that this Knicks’ team even with the addition of Anthony and Billups are still good enough even with perennial All Star Amar’e Stoudemire leading this team and that’s with the advent of Mike D’Antoni’s coaching philosophy or lack of it thereof. Please don’t try and convince me that the Knicks are legit , when they can’t even play with any semblance of consistency be it on the road or at home . People were so in awe of this trade that they seem to have forgotten that neither Anthony or D’Antoni’s teams have never been known for their defensive capabilities and that clearly has been the case once again with the New York Knicks under D’Antoni’s tutelage. Madison Square Gardens may well play host to its litany New York celebrities such as Spike Lee and Chris Rock who may well be in awe of this team’s aspirations over the course of the season but the Knicks are going to in for a big surprise should they make the postseason and are still playing at the fame level inconsistency we’ve seen from the team .

Now as many of you know I’m an avowed boxing fan but as of late I’ve become disenchanted with the sport and just about anything that’s associated with the sport be it from a world title fight or the latest news involving Floyd Mayweather , Manny Pacquaio , two of the sport’s biggest stars. I’d recently written a piece that dealt with the fortieth anniversary of the fight between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier . To my mind that first fight and the duo which followed after-wards to make up the trilogy of fights which has made up the greatest series of boxing matches ever to have been staged at any weight category over the sport’s history ! Well this past weekend were led to believe that once again the heavyweight division was once again relevant as Vitali Klitschko would be defending his WBC title against the mandatory number one challenger Odlanier Solis in what was meant to be a bout that the fans would long to see.

The fight itself lived up to the expectations one would come to expect when you have an over hyped challenger and a title holder whose record has been based on meeting opponents either well past their prime or who essentially have been asked to step by now what I largely believe are unscrupulous promoters who don’t necessarily are what the fans think just as long as they’re making money from these staged promotions . Solis a Cuban emigre essentially gave up after one round having been knocked out Klitschko with effortless ease. Solis’ record of having been undefeated merely showed me that the heavyweight division is genuinely devoid of any real talent in spite of what the boxing journalists out there are trying to sell the public. Beyond a disinterested Manny Pacquiao who now merely is fighting for the money and a way of satisfying the ego of his promoter Bob Arum , boxing has now become mundane and about as interesting as watching paint dry or a political debate between two intellectually challenged candidates. Does anyone remember the Vice Presidential debates between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin ? Need I say anymore on the matter ?

A number of my friends know that I’m a former military member who served in the Royal Marines for a 8 1/2 year period serving in various parts of Europe and North Africa . During that time I’d seen active service having been stationed in Northern Ireland , Ethiopia , Eritrea and further afield. And I have to admit those experiences have molded me into the person I am along with my upbringing and post military experience has given me a great deal more insight than I could ever have hoped for . I’ve long maintained that without the experience of having traveled or an education then your life can be something of a void . Luckily enough having brought up by a single mother and being the eldest of the three my mother drummed it into us that education is of the utmost if we’re to strive . Having graduated from high school my initial thought wasn’t to enter college as I’d no real idea as to what I wanted in terms of a vocation. So being rather capricious I entered the military much to the dismay of my mother , and my younger brother and sister. That being said after my stint in the military I was lucky enough to be hired by a bank working within corporate finance and my employer at the time paid for my education having enrolled at UCL and then LSE where I was able to obtain an MBA and degrees in International Finance and Economics .

Now in light of ESPN’s most recent series of their 30 For 30 series of documentaries to commemorate the outlet’s thirtieth anniversary as a sports programming content provider . Their most recent edition was on Michigan’s Fab Five which was that hyped team led by Juwan Howard , Jalen Rose and Chris Webber which went to two straight Final Fours in the NCAA Tournament .

This specific episode though commissioned by the cable outlet provider was in fact produced by Rose’s own production company (Three Tier Entertainment) in conjunction with ESPN and the episode was one of the better made documentaries made shown by ESPN. In the aftermath of the episode’s showing Rose who is also an NBA analyst on TNT’s NBA show has been particularly vocal in the fact that he hates the Duke Blue Devils and the very fact that he’s felt that African Americans who’ve played for Mike Krzyzwewski have been Uncle Tom’s . Much of Rose’s anger in making that statement comes from the fact that he wasn’t recruited by by Duke when he became eligible as a college player. I can understand Rose’s statement but I do believe that the issues raised shows his ignorance and immaturity as a human being ! . Not only that given the fact that even if he’d come from a single parent home it doesn’t change the wholesale environment if what any recruit has to go through once given the chance as a student athlete at any educational establishment . The criteria that has to be met doesn’t necessarily change because of one’s socio-economic standing or ethnictiy , as Rose clearly believes that it does .

In the aftermath of this all , perhaps Duke’s greatest player Grant Hill took umbrage at the statements made by Rose and wrote a concise and illuminating op-ed piece in the Washington Post challenging Rose’s statements and preconceived ideas. If it’s not bad enough that in this day and age young African American males and female have very few role models to which they can look up to, we now have an idiot like Rose now looking to drag down African American males within his own race who just happen to role models that many of today’s youth can look up to , regardless of ethnicity and their sexual identity. What might be even more telling is that Rose hasn’t yet issued any type of formal apology or any further statement having made that original remark. It may well have been done as an effort to further publicize the Fab Five episode but if anything to my mind whatever damage done be it slight in some peoples eyes may well be something that can’t be recanted and looked at as merely a player feeling aggrieved over an issue. The fact of the matter is as great as Rose’s college career may well have been his professional career paled into insignificance where there was nothing exceptional that actually stood out !

Rose may well look back on the statement with some regret but for the moment it looks as if he’s prepared ride it for all that it’s worth while it provides the actual episode that little extra publicity it might not actually get from ESPN from any additional advertising on the cable network.

It’s extremely rare where you get a young athlete that simply takes a sport by storm and where now the expectations become so high after that individual does something that no one literally thought possible. At UFC 128 — Jon Jones the light heavyweight challenger for Mauricio Rua’s UFC title belt made such an emphatic statement that has sent a seismic shock wave across the sport of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). In the space of three brutal and clinically decisive rounds Jones literally beat the formidable Rua and in doing so took the title holder’s belt with discriminate ease. What was scheduled to be a five round title fight where many felt that Jones would be tested by the vastly more experienced Rua simply didn’t come into being. If anything it was the young 23 year old fighter who took the fight to the champion , had him bloodied , bewildered and disheartened long before the fight came to an unlikely ending with a TKO in the third round of the five round title fight.

Now Jones will have to deal with other title aspirants within the division such as former title holders Rashad Evans , Lyoto Machida and the always dangerous and perennial title contender Ryan Bader .The speed and impressive way at which Jones (13-1) has moved up the ranks of the sport and in particular the light heavyweight division with so little allout experience in the UFC ranks speaks to how he has applied himself and the skills that he brings into the genre as a former All American collegiate wrestler. His jujitsu has improved greatly and it only adds to his all round weaponry within MMA . A prospective rematch with Rua seems unlikely given the nature of Jones’ victory over the Brazilian . And now what may well await him is a big money defense of his title against Evans the number one mandated contender for the title . Jones replaced Rashard Evans he’d suffered an injury in his preparations to fight Rua at UFC 128 , his replacement was Jones who took the fight on short notice although he’d been in training for an upcoming fight , seen as an eliminator for the light heavyweight title. Now with that belt now his own the newly anointed champion can now pick and choose his challengers while along the way gaining further notoriety , fame and wealth.

On the opposite side of the MMA genre we have the woefully inept and mediocre situation now arising within the sport of boxing . I’m sorry but I can no longer see the relevancy of the sport when the fights that the fans desire to see aren’t going to take place ! Over this past weekend Vitali Klitschko (42-2-0 ,39KO’s) defended his WBC heavyweight title against what we’re led to believe was a credible mandated number one contender by the WBC in Odlanier Solis . Well the fact that this bout took place in Cologne , Germany gives you all the credcence you need to know why the heavyweight division is no longer taken seriously . The boxing scene and in particular the the division no longer resonates with anyone within North America and the very fact that the division is now dominated by a group of lackluster and character devoid aspirants of fighters chasing greatness makes this all the comedic . There hasn’t been an undisputed champion within the heavyweight ranks for almost 7 years and it’s unlikely that there’ll be one anytime soon.

Solis came into this fight with a record (17-0 , 12 KO’s) that if anything that on paper seemed impressive but as they say what you see on paper doesn’t actually represent anything in terms of a legitimate resume’ . This fight was over before the initial bell rang for the opening round and for the fans in attendance at the Lanxess Arena , Cologne had to have been disappointed in seeing the challenger barely last three minutes into the first round having been knocked flat on his backside from a punch that on appearance didn’t seem to be all that devastating much less having any real power. But this is now what the sport of boxing has now become by way of many of the fights now being staged for the apparent appetites of the fight fans out there. I’m sorry but seeing an overweight bloated specimen being knocked flat on their ass much less lying prostrate on their back isn’t what I for one find anywhere near entertaining ! And that’s in spite of fans and boxing writers now talking as if Vitali Klitschko and his brother Wladimir are now the faces of boxing as far as the heavyweight division is concerned . The two have refused to face each other in order unify the titles within the division and create an undisputed champion within the heavyweight ranks. And fight are suppose to take either seriously within the world of boxing ?

Now one can understand why the sport of boxing and in particular the division can’t be taken seriously as a legitimate concern . I can only surmise that’s why both Don King and Bob Arum as the sport’s pre-eminent promoters aren’t overly concerned with the division or promoting any of the top ranked contenders within the division who just happen to be Europeans ! In doing so they know for a fact that they’d be facing a losing endeavor in trying to gain anyone’s interest in a proposed bout on this side of the Atlantic which is and has always been the epicenter of the fight game.

I personally have lost all faith in the legitimacy in the sport of boxing as it has become devoid of talent , character and most certainly promoters who actually wish to give the fight fans what they want and that’s competitive and entertaining fights . That’s not really too much to ask at this juncture is it ?

Well it goes without saying the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament is in full swing and there have already been one or two upsets that most hadn’t envisaged. Suffice to say if your brackets have already imploded because of an errant pick on your part take heart in the fact that you’re probably amongst millions who’ve seen their situation ripped asunder because of that pick . I for one am looking forward to the rest of the tournament as we’re now down to the ” Sweet 16 ” as from hereon in it’s now going to be about the contenders being separated from the pretenders .

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

In light of the weekend’s sporting events what if anything has been your own most enjoyable moment ? Simply chime in with your thoughts on the issues raised within this piece and any sporting topic you wish .

Alan aka tophatal …………….

https://tophatal.wordpress.com/

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(1) FILE – In this file photo taken Feb. 1, 2010, then Houston Texans guard Chester Pitts makes a point to members of the House Judiciary Committee during a forum in Houston. Football labor negotiations with the NFL involving a federal mediator broke off March 11, 2011, without an agreement. NFL players have been warned for years about the need to save and the importance of budgeting their money in case of a work stoppage. Well, the lockout is here. All the players have taken a bit of a financial hit already because of the lockout: NFL teams no longer are paying for their health insurance. AP Photo/Pat Sullivan, ……..

(2) NEW ORLEANS, LA – MARCH 21: Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones attends the NFL Annual Meetings at the Roosevelt Hotel on March 21, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Despite a NFL owners imposed lockout in effect since March 12 the league is conducting its annual owners meeting in New Orleans. Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images …….

(3) Three of the in famous Fab 5 of Michigan’s basketball team of the early nineties that had the five freshmen reach two consecutive NCAA Final Fours . From left to right Juwan Howard , Jalen Rose (center) and Chris Webber . AP /Reuters/ Chris Hill ……………

(4) New York Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni argues a call with referee Ken Mauer (41) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, March 20, 2011, in Milwaukee. The Milwaukee Bucks won 100-95 . AP Photo/Morry Gash ……….

(5) Milwaukee Bucks’ Andrew Bogut , right, has some words with New York Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony during the second half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, March 20, 2011, in Milwaukee. The Bucks won 100-95. AP Photo/Morry Gash ………..

(6) Pictured a badly beaten Mauricio “Shogun” Rua is somewhat dismayed after his loss to Jon “Bones” Jones. In losing to Jones at UFC 128 Rua lost his light heavyweight title in his very first defense to his younger opponent. MMA Fight Weeky .

(7) Jones (right) took the fight to Rua from the opening round here he’s seen unleashing a kick to the champion during their UFC light heavyweight title fight at UFC 128. Both fighters have been suspended by the UFC pending the outcome of their post-fight medical medical results . MMA Weekly.com Ken Pishna …

(8) Jones delivers a frontal kick to Rua’s midrift that he was able to avoid but only partially. Jones would use his athleticism and quickness to defeat the Brazlian jujitsu expert with considerable ease. MMA Weekly.com Ken Pishna ………..

(9) Ukrainian heavyweight titleholder Vitali Klitschko celebrates with the winner’s belt after defeating Cuban challenger Odlanier Solis after their WBC heavyweight world championship boxing match in the western German city of Cologne on March 19, 2011. World heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko won the fight and defended his WBC heavyweight title with a shock first-round knock-out of Cuban challenger Odlanier Solis. Photo credit should read PATRIK STOLLARZ/AFP/Getty Images ………

(10) World boxing champion Vitali Klitschko of the Ukraine, right, watches challenger Odlanier Solis of Cuba go ing down during the first round of the WBC heavyweight title bout at the arena in Cologne, Germany, Saturday, March 19, 2011. Solis lost in in the first round with an injured knee. Klitschko’s win was declared k.o. by the referee. AP Photo/Martin Meissner ………..

(11) Cuban challenger Odlanier Solis gets help as he leaves the ring after he lost the fight with Ukrainian heavyweight titleholder Vitali Klitschko in their WBC heavyweight world championship boxing match in the western German city of Cologne on March 19, 2011. World heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko won the fight and defended his WBC heavyweight title with a shock first-round knock-out of Cuban challenger Odlanier Solis. AFP PHOTO / PATRIK STOLLARZ

(12) Ben Hansbrough (23) of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish reacts on the bench in the second half during the third round of the 2011 NCAA men’s basketball tournament at the United Center on March 20, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. Florida State won 71-57 in regulation. Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images ……..

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NCAA Men’s basketball results

Sweet 16 draw

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Continue reading “You Had Me At Hello ………. !”

What’s A Sure Fire Thing In The NFL Nowadays …….. ?

What’s A Sure Fire Thing In The NFL Nowadays …….. ?

Well the finale to the NFL postseason is almost upon us with the staging of Superbowl 45 (SB XLV) when the Pittsburgh Steelers hosts the Green Bay Packers in the Superbowl at Cowboys Stadium , Arlington , Texas.

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The postseason was an eventful one with a numbers of players stepping to the fore and doing what was asked of them by their various coaches and coaching staff . If nothing else it has been the talent that has dictated the ongoing heroics that we’ve seen throughout much of the postseason. Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger have simply been proof of that as they’ve led their teams through to their respective paths to the game’s showcase event.

I’ve already read a number of patrons’ site wheres they’re now trying to assess the talent that will be available in the upcoming NFL Draft that will take place this April . Now don’t get me wrong but there’s a premium on the talent that actually comes to the fore. And for the likes of ESPN’s Mel Kiper and Todd McShay they’re there state their opinions as to who they think will be a worthwhile option for a number of teams . Valid or not I’ve never been totally enamored by the neatly coiffured rug of Kiper or his assessment of college talent on their way to the NFL. It galls me even more when it became known that he’s consulted with the agents of a number of college bound players and after having spoken with them he’s now stating a case can be made that the players in question are NFL ready. How’s that showing his knowledge much less impartiality ? Kiper is a joke and so has been numerous of his assessments over the years ! His assessment of the Carolina Panthers —– Jimmy Claussen had me wondering what the hell he’d been watching in college when it came to the player ? I’m still waiting for Kiper to acknowledge that Akili Smith , Ryan Leaf , Chris Weinke and Eric Crouch failed to live to his own lofty expectations ! But that’s Mel Kiper , ESPN’s answer to Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck all rolled into one !

Now this upcoming NFL Draft I’ve no doubt that there’ll be a number of players who’ll stake a claim that they’re amongst the best that the collegiate level has to offer the NFL. Well with Andrew Luck the presumed number one draft pick now having chosen to remain in college for his senior year at Stanford the talent level may well have dropped off somewhat. Now there were those felt that Luck should’ve forgone his senior year in college and go after the big bucks but consider this for those who’d taken the time to do some research Luck comes from an extremely wealthy family and his father Norm is a self made multi millionaire. So why in hell’s name at this juncture would he want to make that jump to the NFL especially when if after the snap of a ball his NFL career could end in one fail swoop , signing bonus guarantee or not ?

With the mess that is now the NFL and the impasse between the league hierarchy and the NFLPA has become a complete joke ! There are many bones of contention to which the league and players are contesting , namely a ceiling on the rookies’ salaries . Who in this day and age is willing to pay an unproven athlete at times in excess of $40 million in guaranteed money based solely on potential alone ? That’s the idiocy that has now become the NFL and one of the main reasons why the league now finds itself in the mess that it is now in ! I thought the mess of MLB and the idiocy shown by Commissioner Bud Selig , baseball’s owners and their financial template was bad enough !

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There’s no denying that over the years there have been some boons and busts coming out of the NFL . This past two seasons alone for all sense and purpose we’ve seen prodigious college talents such as Vince Young and JaMarcus Russell all but play themselves out of the NFL . Collectively the two have received in excess of $ 65 million alone in guaranteed money from their former employers . And in return they’d contributed not a damn thing to the teams that they played for. A patron of mine once made the comment that he’d rather have Young play for him at the quarterback position rather than having an aging and experienced quarterback. Vince Young systematically drove himself out of a career in Tennessee with the Tennessee Titans . And it certainly didn’t help that Titans’ owner Bud Adams whose own recent behavior bordered on being repugnant and repulsive ! But what should we have come to expect from an owner whose about as cognizant of what’s happening around him as Charlie Sheen would be on a drunken binge ?

Sam Bradford of the St Louis Rams in his first season in the NFL almost led the team to the NFC West divisional title and on the cusp of the playoffs. Were it not for the team falling apart in the latter part of the season they may well have made to the playoffs instead of the Seattle Seahawks . Bradford proved himself to be the real deal and perhaps justify the faith shown in him by coach Steve Spagnuolo , his coaching staff and Bill Devaney the team’s general manager.

Over the years the NFL Draft has been kind and also elusive to a number of teams who’ve chosen to gamble by taking a prime pick in the first round of the draft . And while that may sometimes to be fortuitous for a team that has the number one overall pick that’s not necessarily always the case. The right player in the right environment can be prove to be a success when the choice has been a prudent one and where the assessment made by the scouts , coaching staff and general manager are all in unison. Then and only then even with the player’s alleged talent can one truly be able to assess how good they may or may not be.

For the Detroit Lions their season fell apart with the loss of their franchise quarterback Matthew Stafford and as now of the player having repeatedly shown that he hasn’t the physical attributes to withstand a long and arduous 16 game season , nevermind the fact that the league under Commissioner Roger Goodell wants to now lengthen the season to an eighteen game schedule. Given Stafford’s frailties and the fact that he seemingly can’t withstand a full season in the NFL I for one seriously doubt that he could lead Jim Schwartz’s —- team through an eighteen game schedule ! That $72 million contract signed by Stafford doesn’t seem to have been worth it now does it ? But then again is the jury still out at Ford Field on the quarterback ?

Ndamokung Suh whose impact as a defensive tackle for the Lions showed why he was the envy of a number of teams around the league upon declaring for the draft. He was viewed as an elite player at the position and he’s proven to be that and a great deal more. Now if only the rest of the team had been able to manifest themselves in the way that Suh has been able to do so over the past season .

This upcoming NFL Draft to my mind will have a good pedigree of players but I wouldn’t say that it’ll be one of the best in recent years . Cam Newton , Andy Dalton , Jake Locker , Nick Fairley and with a slew of prospects to be assessed . Talent rarely takes off in the way that some feel that it can wherein a player in their rookie year at the professional level simply blows everyone away. It’s my own belief that if a player by their mid-second to third year hasn’t learned the nuances of the game then they’ll not about to make it in the NFL and contribute greatly to their respective teams. Hence the reason why I believe that the rookie salary contract as an inducement is simply and always will be a bad investment for a team . One only needs to look at the careers of Leaf, Smith , Russell and dare one say the Niners’ Alex Smith to prove what overpaying for average talent can do ?

What thoughts if any do you have on the upcoming NFL Draft and do you feel that the agents while inducing the general managers are actually more inclined to take hype up their clients far more than is needed ? Chime in with your thoughts and thanks as always for the continued support !

Picture and slide show details .

(1) Green Bay Packers’ Clay Matthews, left, and Aaron Rodgers joke around during practice, Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011 in Dallas. Green Bay will face the Pittsburgh Steelers in the NFL football Super Bowl XLV Sunday. AP Photo/Eric Gay ………

(2) Fort Worth Tx,. February 2nd 2011 Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) of the Pittsburgh Steelers talks with the media on February 2, 2011 in Fort Worth, Texas. The Pittsburgh Steelers will play the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XLV on February 6, 2011 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images ………

(3) Jeff Pash , NFL Executive Vice-President and General Counsel, discusses the collective bargaining agreement negotiations with members of the press at the Super Bowl XLV media center on February 2, 2011 in Dallas, Texas. The Green Bay Packers will play the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV on February 6, 2011 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images ……

(4) ESPN College Football analysts Mel Kiper, left and Todd McShay. They continue to agree to disagree . Could there at all be a “Brokeback Mountain” kind of relationship between the two ? AP Photo ………….

(5) Matthew Stafford of the Detroit Lions sits on the sideline during the game against the Chicago Bears at Ford Field on December 5, 2010 in Detroit, Michigan. The Bears defeated the Lions 24-20 . Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images …..

(6) Quarterback Sam Bradford (8) of the St. Louis Rams signals to his teammates during their game against the Seattle Seahawks at Qwest Field on January 2, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images …..

(7) In this photo taken, Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011, South squad quarterback Andy Dalton of TCU is pictured during Senior Bowl NCAA college football practice in Mobile, Ala. AP Photo/Dave Martin ………..

(8)This Nov. 7, 2010, file photo shows Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh rushing the line during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game against the New York Jets, at Ford Field. Suh was the only rookie named to the AP All-Pro Team. AP Photo/ Carlos Osorio File ………

Continue reading “What’s A Sure Fire Thing In The NFL Nowadays …….. ?”

Stupid Things Within The Realms of Sports That There Doesn’t Always Seem To Be Answer For

Stupid Things Within The Realms of Sports That There Doesn’t Always Seem To Be Answer For

There’s a time and place for everything and everything in its place. Much as I love the ardor with which an analyst expresses their passion for sports the one thing I cannot condone is when they choose to use that platform to express their political beliefs and views ! It’s not the appropriate platform and I seriously doubt that any sport’s fan really needs to hear that diatribe to begin with. My reason for saying this comes from the very fact that former Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz saw fit to ask for public donations for the Republican National Committee on air during an ESPN broadcast. Had it been a Democratic supporter I still would have taken issue with that person expressing themselves in such a way !. The platform there for the mediator and hosts of the program was to discuss the landscape of the collegiate football scene and simply that. If Holtz wants to revisit the issue and look for donations then let him do so , away from halls of ESPN . He ought to go out in public and make his case there and while he’s at it Lou here’s a tip Republican politicians like their counterparts on the opposite side of the aisle also lie …….. I repeat they also lie.

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Slide show for your perusal.

Holtz’s credibility after this can’t at all be taken seriously no matter which way one tries to spin it but somehow ESPN will look to make light of it all and that’s even if the former coach is somehow reprimanded after that display. I was under the impression that the outlet was a sports broadcast network and not a political platform for the thoughts and views of their employees ? Isn’t it enough already that we have both Fox News and CNN out there squabbling like petulant children about the state of the nation without being able to offer up any solutions whatsoever for what ails the nation ?

Here’s a thought why would a respected journalist such as Brent Musburger make a statement ….. ‘that the use of steroids has a place within sports if handled correctly’ . Brett isn’t it enough that the governing bodies of the four major sports can barely deal with the issue of their athletes using steroids and other prohibited substances ? But yet you come out and make a statement that you’ve clearly not placed much thought into . And by trying to negate it somewhat by stating you don’t see where steroids has a place in varsity sports only further complicates your argument to begin with . Students athletes as well as high school athletes are still impressionable minds and by seeing what their peers are doing within the professional ranks they’ll look to do the same. At the same time by trying to use the rationale that having a medical professional be there to prescribe the medication to these athletes will stem the tide of illegal use is completely asinine to begin with ! Medical professionals like anyone else can be easily corrupted when the price is right. Simply ask Dr Anthony Galan how that can happen ? This medical professional is currently under Federal indictment for the possession of several banned steroids and the trafficking of HGH and selling of the substance without a prescription. And through this doctor’s testimony it is believed that he could very well implicate several noted athletes in each of the four major sports. The following are or have been patients of Galen and they are Alex Rodriguez , Tiger Woods , Evander Holyfield and Andy Pettite to name but a few. And while no one would insinuate that Tiger Woods may have used an illicit substance to further his career , any association with this doctor seems to have brought about a great deal of controversy.

Tour de France champion Alberto Contador was recently suspended UCI the international governing body for cycling after his blood sample tested positive for the substance clenbuterol . This substance apart from prescribed to alleviate asthma symptoms is used in the field of agriculture for the fattening up cattle and poultry before they are then slaughtered for consumption within the food chain. Contador claims the reason for such high levels in his blood stream stems from his having eaten tainted meat and that in doing so he also suffered food poisoning. Have I missed something ? For the levels registered within his body in producing such a high level of the steroid Contador might have had to have consumed at least two cows. But then again what do I know other than the fact that the sport of cycling has become a complete joke over the last decade. It’s not as if UCI and L’Equipe who oversees the sport’s most famous race the Tour De France , has ever really been on the fast track to cleaning up the sport. And at the same time while controversy swirls around one of the sport’s greatest riders in Lance Armstrong. There too Armstrong has his detractors and is now himself currently under investigation by the Justice Department. It seems Armstrong can’t catch a break no matter what he does , even when he has and exhibits the best of intentions.

Armstrong despite all of the denials and the fact that he has never tested positive for any illicit substance still can’t escape the taint of his sport. And even now having retired it seems that there too with all of the controversy that there now is within the sport he has to find a way to deflect the negative publicity that now seems to be coming his way. Friends and foes alike have given affidavits as to what they say they know and what they have seen for themselves. As to how this will all play out is dependent upon the action taken by the Justice Department as to how they will proceed. What I do know is with them having spent in excess of $15 million on the Barry Bonds’ trial and the likelihood that a large enough sum will also be spent on the upcoming Roger Clemens’ trial I get the distinct feeling that we’re not about to hear the last of this, as it concerns the plight of Lance Armstrong. And with an outcome not yet to be determined concerning Bonds’ guilt or innocence and the fact that the trial will once again resume in early April 2011, I’d like to know who’s keeping tabs on the money that’s being spent on this all ? It doesn’t appear to be anyone within the Justice Department and certainly no one within Congress seems to be acutely aware as to what’s going on. But then again these are the very same buffoons who for two solid weeks in had the hierarchies of each of the four major sports up on Capitol Hill asking them routinely idiotic questions without ever once obtaining a succinct answer. Need I say anymore on the matter when it comes to Congress’ involvement in sports ?

Baylor basketball star LaceDarius Dunn has been thrown off the basketball team and suspended indefinitely by the coach Scott Drew. The reason behind this was the fact that Dunn has been charged with aggravated assault of his girlfriend Lacharlesla Edwards , mother of Dunn’s three year old son. The player was arrested by Waco Police Dept after an altercation took place in which Dunn is alleged to have broken his girlfriend’s jaw with a punch. What makes this now so surprising is the very fact that Edwards has recanted her statement and has pleaded with coach Drew to lift the suspension on Dunn. Pardon me for saying this but what the fu_k is wrong with this female ? She now claims that she was injured in a fall at her apartment and that her jaw wasn’t broken. One can only surmise that the other bruises suffered by Edwards either came from the fall or when her child may well have squeezed too tightly on her arms and legs in the midst of crying ? I mean you never know with three year olds and how angry they can become when a parent isn’t taking any notice of them.

Lacharlesla Edwards while now stating that Dunn never proceeded to hit her , it has to be noted that the police who answered the call aren’t thoroughly convinced that she hasn’t been coerced into seeking to have the charges dropped against her boyfriend. She also claims that she’s fully recovered and that the relationship between her and the LaceDarius is better than it has ever been. Well that might be until the next time the player goes off the rails and proceeds to batter her ………. again …….. allegedly. Any form of domestic violence where we are privee` to the actions that have taken place , be it in the public eye in terms of an athlete or just an incident inside the home of an ordinary couple cannot be overlooked and thought of as merely another incident. It is still an act of violence and where it involves the victim being a female who’s in fear of her life then it has to be dealt with appropriately. I for one at first glance find this story abhorrent but what might be even more distasteful is the very fact that the victim here is in complete denial and is now pleading with the coach to lift the suspension against the player .

And while no public statement has been made by any official from Baylor over this incident. I can only hope that in this particular case Scott Drew sticks to the action that he has already taken and doesn’t rescind the suspension of LaceDarius Dunn as it would send the wrong message and at the same time condone the actions of the player. There was a reason behind law enforcement being called to the residence in the first place for this incident and I hardly think that it had anything at all to do with a slip and fall. How about you ?

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Picture gallery for your perusal.

What thoughts if any do you have on the topics raised within this piece ? By all means leave a comment concerning your feelings on the issues raised .

Alan aka tophatal …………… 😦 _ 🙂

Truth , Fact or Fiction …… ?

Truth , Fact or Fiction …… ?

The wonders of the modern media , its journalists and reporters never ceases to amazet at all. It’d appear that rather reporting a story a reporter would prefer to make themselves the story and in large part interject themselves in whatever way possible even when there isn’t a reason for doing so. We’ve all seen it countless of times and more often than not it does proves to be annoying. ESPN’s —- Jim Gray has repeatedly proven the point that he’s no more a sports reporter or journalist than one could consider Snooki from MTV’s reality show “Jersey Shore” to be a doctoral candidate for Harvard University or any other prestigious educational establishment . But somehow individuals such as these two repeatedly crop on our tv screens and continue to make completes asses of themselves !

Gray’s mea-culpa was to call US Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin a liar concerning a conversation he had with the PGA Tour professional with regard to his captain’s pick of the US team to play Europe in the upcoming event. Gray insinuated that Pavin had categorically stated that Tiger Woods would be definitely included on the team to play the Europeans . Pavin’s take on the issue was that he would consider the player only on the basis of his form and whether or not he felt that the player would be an asset to the team . Based on Woods’ present form I for one am not too sure the world’s number one golfer would prove to be an asset at all ! Given his most recent finish in the WGC Bridgestone Invitational Akron , Ohio where he finished in 78 th place in a field of eighty golfers. It does beg the question are Woods’ off the field problems still proving to be a hindrance to his form on the Tour ? An impending divorce and the fact that the custody of his children have become an over-riding issue may well have played a great deal in the player’s particular fall from atop the leaderboards on the PGA Tour.

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Now with the final major of the season now starting as of today all eyes will once again be upon Woods as he chases Jack Nicklaus’ total of 18 Grand Slam major tour wins . The PGA Championship from Whistling Straits Golf Course in Kohler , Wisconsin is the lone major left on the PGA schedule . Apart from the fact that the US teamm will picked with top ten points’ holder getting an automatic berth the captain ( Pavin) is entitled to have his two picks that will be the final makeup of the twelve man field. As it now stands Phil Mickelson is atop of those standings with the next nine players set in place. The event itself will be held in Europe at The Celtic Manor Resort Golf & CC in Newport , Wales. And the European fans will be attending en masse to support their hometown heroes led by their captain Scottish European Tour player Colin Montgomerie . The event will take place between the 1st – 3rd October , 2010 and is expected to be a soldout event with countless of millions more watching worldwide.

Gray’s credibility and his stance at this juncture can’t all be taken seriously especially in light of the fact that his rather tedious and boring interview with NBA player LeBron James was such a complete waste of time and added about as much to journalistic integrity as Jayson Blair’s career has been viewed as being one of prestige in the field of news reporting. What we do know is that ESPN paid $250,000 to James’ representatives for the exclusive rights to the interview in which the player let the whole world know that he would indeed be leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers to make his new found home and NBA future with the Miami Heat . Credibility comes to those who earn it by carrying out their duties judiciously and who’ve earned the respect of the fans and their peers alike. One sincerely doubts that can be said of Jim Gray amongst the fans of the sports world but on the other hand within the world of the glad handing and backslapping amongst his own. Where the mere morsel of controversy is seen as something worthwhile and of journalistic integrity. One certainly has to wonder how it is that anyone can continue to take Jim Gray and his work seriously ?

As a New England Patriots’ fan I always admired the play of Tedy Bruschi as part of the team’s Superbowl success in winning three Superbowl titles. As an analyst with the four letter network his choices and prognostications while sound at times. He tends to make the most asinine of assertions from time to time and perhaps no more than his most recent statement that the now retired former Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive player Derrick Brooks is not to his mind a bona-fide first ballot Hall of Famer . Now to each his own but given the fact that Brooks has been a Superbowl winning player and a perennial Pro Bowl caliber player for much of his entire career. I’ve got to ask myself what hallucinogens has Bruschi been on and also was ESPN aware that when they hired the former Patriots’ player he would prove to be such as idiot to begin with ? Now all kidding asides when you’re going to put such statement out there you’d better have the balls to back it up ! In Bruschi’s case then there was none whatsoever and unfortunately his co-hosts and panelists on the show didn’t question his thoughts on the matter . Once again showing another reason why the sports outlet now has become nothing more than an entertainment medium rather than a source of information and good sports reporting. Has broadcast journalism and in particular within the field of sports really sank that low ? More to the point where are the really salient sports stories that the fans would expect to see being reported ? Instead now we’ve got a bunch of clowns who espouse the idea that they are indeed analysts or journalists as the case maybe and that they’re the best that the network has to offer.

As the NFL season beckons some of the stories that’ll be reported upon will no doubt be bound in very little fact but even more fiction. And that now tends to be the case the vast majority of the time with ESPN ! Be on the lookout for the next Brett Favre story as we’re now liable to hear from the likes of Chris Mortensen and John Clayton that Favre’s hemorrhoids have been playing up and that his surgically repaired ankle is now the least of his problems as it regards his impending future with the Minnesota Vikings . Somehow until Favre is actually suited up in a Vikings’ uniform this will be pretty much the staple as what to expect from the sports broadcast outlet.

When you’re said to be $40 million apart on a contract negotiation I can only surmise that youre agent and the team’s GM are either too drunk to carry out what they’re doing with great effect or that the lines of communication are indeed crossed. Such may well be the case with the ongoing negotiations concerning Jets’ cornerback Darrelle Revis and the team’s GM Mike Tannenbaum . The New York Jets are said to be offering the player a ten year $120 million contract with what is said to be as much as anywhere between $75 to $85 million plus in guaranteed money . The player and his agent are said to be looking for a 10 year $160 million contract with at least $90 million in guaranteed money and incentives. Now don’t get me wrong but when the NFL salaries are now escalating in line where we’re now seeing the type of salaries being offered to major league ballplayers I’ve got to begin to question the sanity of the teams around the NFL and their respective heirarchies. Never mind what the NFLPA might well have to say about this all because as we all know for them it has and always will be about the money and not much else !

With the Jets’ first preseason game just a few days away there’s talk that Revis is prepared to sit out the entire pre and regular season in order to get what he feels he deserves and that’s to be the highest player at his position and therefore putting him to be paid along the lines of Peyton Manning in terms of a compensatory package. Nnamdi Asomugha of the Oakland Raiders at present is the highest paid cornerback in the league herein lies the caveat the player has a proven track record whereas , Revis after one productive year expects to be paid as one of the elite at his position. Perception is everything but it can also mean absolutely nothing whatsoever ! Whether or not Rex Ryan his coaching staff and the team can do without Revis over the prolonged season remains to be seen. But this much is certain all of Ryan’s brevitas at this juncture now seems to have lost a great deal of its luster if as thought they could be without their much hyped cornerback . Never mind the fact that coach has his team winning the AFC East as well as the Superbowl this upcoming season.

Now that Tracy McGrady has signed with the Detroit Pistons I do believe that this might well be the player’s last hurrah . Once thought of as young phenom, the years and age have caught up to a player whose best years it can honestly be said are behind him. Somehow however he and Pistons’ GM Joe Dumars still feel that the player has something to offer and that he can contribute to the team . From where I sit McGrady should have hung up his spurs long ago. His dwindling ability cannot hide the fact that he’s now playing like a geriatric with only at times rarely showing glimpses of brilliance. Long having been “the lions” of the Eastern Conference the Pistons have seen other pass them by and they’re now having to look at a roster that’s lacking in leadership and real star power. Never mind the fact that in terms of sheer ability they may not have what it takes to usurp many of the now more resilient teams within their conference.

Now with the Davidson family looking to sell the team in order to curtail the estate taxes and Bill Davidson’s wife Karen since her late husband’s death is no longer keen to be a part of what he had established . The Pistons are now said to be looking for a new owner and the NBA hierarchy are now keen to make that happen expeditiously. The only real person to have shown an intense interest in purchasing the team is Detroit Tigers and Red Wings’ owner Michael Ilitch . His main reasons are the fact that he’d like to see the organization remain within Michigan and particularly at the Palace of Auburn Hills where they’re very much , still a fan favorite. He does believe that if the team were bought by an outsider then it may well be relocated and that may well be something that most Pistons’ fans would certainly feel disgruntled with. As to how that would also go down with NBA Commissioner David Stern would also be of concern . But then again Stern and the Thunder ownership certainly made light work of misleading the city of Seattle when the Sonics were moved out of town to Oklahoma City. So at this juncture nothing is written in stone and with a complete certainty concerning the storied franchise .

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The truth can be viewed in a number of ways …….. your’s , mine and somewhere in between. As to what the real truth is in any given story what we do know is that for the vast majority of the time most news gathering sources really do go out of their way to make sure that what we’re being told is the truth and that it has some rationale behind it. In the case of the likes of ESPN much of it is merely created to ramp up the interests of the viewers and that’s now become their overall claim to fame. So next time be weary of what it is that they’re reporting but even more so take a keen look at the source of the story and how it is being reported. Much of the time you get a clue as to what’s fact and what is indeed work of fiction. Chime in with a comment as to this and any other sporting topic that as of late has been of a real interest to you. We can then dissect it and perhaps in some way get to the real truth of what’s said to be happening ? Thanks as always for the continued support as it has always been appreciated !

🙂

Alan Parkins aka tophatal ……………. 🙂

Ravelle’s ………………..“Bolero” as conducted by Andre’ Rieu with his orchestra .

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Freida Pinto

Actress Freida Pinto .

Glib And Clueless As Usual ……………….

Glib And Clueless As Usual ……………….

I no longer question the alleged journalistic integrity of ESPN . Because to my mind they no longer have an iota of intelligence there with regard to many of their employees who purport to be journalists. If these ‘glib idiots’ aren’t fawning over many of their guests or interviewees as if they’re somehow awe struck. Then they’re asking the most asinine of questions. At least with Jayson Blair , you simply knew where he was coming from, as with regard to his journalistic pedigree.

Tom Rinaldi’s interview with Tiger Woods at the Isleworth Golf Golf & CC this past weekend , offered nothing new or insightful. And the player himself, was somewhat monotone in his responses to Rinaldi’s questions, when responding. For ESPN and the head of sports programming Mike Soltys , they must’ve seen the interview as some type of scoop ? . Given the fact that this was the player’s first such public interface with the press since his well scripted press conference from the TPC Course , Sawgrass , Ponte Vedra Beach , Florida. Could that particular spectacle have been more asinine from the get-go ?

Woods’ return to the PGA Tour will take place at Augusta , home the season’s first major Grand Slam tournament , The Masters . And the player will be under a great deal of scrutiny from the world press , those in attendance and no doubt the millions who’ll be watching worldwide. And for ESPN this should prove to be a ratings’ bonanza as they will be televising the first two rounds of the tournament live.

Rinaldi though not wanting to press the player merely allowed Woods to be evasive in his answers. But at the same time Woods kept on making the claim that he’s truly apologetic for the mistrust that the fans and children now have in him. And he stated that the only way for him to regain that trust is to do so by his deeds. Isn’t it strange that when Woods simply cavorting around and straying from his marital obligations that it never struck him as odd that his actions would indeed hurt the ones , whom, he claims to love so deeply ? That asides , the interview did nothing but confirm to me that the player will be entitled as long as the likes of ESPN treat him with reverence , rather than seeing Woods for what he really is. And that’s someone who is merely using the network to further try and clean up his tarnished image. But then again one shouldn’t be surprised by any of this at all as it’s merely ESPN and Woods using each other in a common goal and that’s to further heighten each others’ profile and visibility. Journalistic integrity had nothing to with this interview at all.

Oakland ,CA,.Amare Stoudamire (1) of the Phoenix Suns shoots against Anthony Tolliver (44) of the Golden State Warriors on March 22, 2010 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. The  Suns would  go  on  to  defeat  the  Warriors  <strong><em> 133-131 </strong></em>  in  the  game.  photo  appears  courtesy  of  NBAE/Getty  Images/  Rocky  Widner ...............
Oakland ,CA,.Amare Stoudamire (1) of the Phoenix Suns shoots against Anthony Tolliver (44) of the Golden State Warriors on March 22, 2010 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. The Suns would go on to defeat the Warriors 133-131 in the game. photo appears courtesy of NBAE/Getty Images/ Rocky Widner ...............

What can only seem as a dream come true for Golden State Warriors’ fans , is that the hierarchy led majority stake holder Chris Cohan has decided to put the NBA franchise up for sale. What has been an organization that has been run like a cornershop establishment for the last fifteen years under Cohan’s ownership , has to be now a ringing approval to the fans , who see the possibility of an owner coming in and reversing the fortunes for the team and the organization as a whole.

Warriors' coach   Don  Nelson  seated   next  to   team  GM Larry Riley  at    Warriors  game played   at  Oracle  Arena  ,  Oakland ,  California .   photo appears  courtesy  of  Getty  Images/  Joe  Murphy  ...............
Warriors' coach Don Nelson seated next to team GM Larry Riley at Warriors game played at Oracle Arena , Oakland , California . photo appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Joe Murphy ...............


Cohan has sought out investment strategists and consultancy firm Galatioto Sports Partners LLC to handle all aspects of the proposed sale and finding a suitor to purchase the team. Rumored to be widely interested in purchasing the Warriors is avid sports enthusiast and Oracle’s billionaire founder Larry Ellison . If the self publicizing and power hungry Ellison is ambitious about the Warriors as he has been about his company. Then we may well see no stone left unturned as he chases NBA glory. And he might even give Dallas Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban a run for his money when it comes to being loud and obnoxious. And anyone who’s seen Cuban’s off court demeanor knows that’s no mean feat.

Golden  State  Warriors'   owner  Chris   Cohan  seated  alongside   Team  President    Robert  Rowell .   photo  appears   courtesy  of   Associated  Press  /  Drew   Maxwell .............
Golden State Warriors' owner Chris Cohan seated alongside Team President Robert Rowell . photo appears courtesy of Associated Press / Drew Maxwell .............

For far too long Cohan and Warriors’ GM Larry Riley have simply eschewed the custodianship of running the franchise with due diligence. And it certainly hasn’t helped that the team’s coach Don Nelson is merely being allowed to coach , simply to surpass the all-time wins’ total amassed by Lenny Wilkens .If that is what the hierarchy feels is expedient for the team and organization. Is it any wonder that they’ve not had a playoff appearance in over a decade ? Stupidity and glibness runs within this organization from the executives on down to the coaching staff. I’d apportion some blame upon the shoulders of the players but they’ve got enough to deal with in the home crowd fans who attend the Warriors’ games at Oracle Arena , in Oakland , California. And by all accounts they’ve not been too forgiving of either Cohan , Riley Nelson or the team for that matter. I wonder why ?

Oracle  founder   Larry   Ellison   ,  a  possible   pursuer  and  prospective   buyer  of   the Warriors'   franchise.   Oracle  founded  by  Ellison  in  1977   is one  of the   largest   software   companies  in  the world.   And  its   global  reach   stretches   across   every   continent  on  the   earth.    photo  appears   courtesy  of   businessdaily.com    @  copyrighted  material   ................
Oracle founder Larry Ellison , a possible pursuer and prospective buyer of the Warriors' franchise. Oracle founded by Ellison in 1977 is one of the largest software companies in the world. And its global reach stretches across every continent on the earth. photo appears courtesy of businessdaily.com @ copyrighted material ................

My buddy chappy 81 of doin-work.com , who’s a very vocal supporter of the team suggests that the franchise could be sold for as much as $400 million . Personally , I think he’s being overly optimistic in that regard. If the Los Angeles Lakers and the New York Knicks are viewed as the most valuable franchises in the NBA . The Warriors aren’t even considered to be amongst the top ten most valuable franchises at all. Estimated value of the Lakers $607 million and the Knicks are $586 million . So the idea of Warriors being worth in excess of 20 times their earnings at best , would seem laughable when one considers that they’re barely profitable as a going concern . And for a person of Larry Ellison’s business acumen , he’s hardly the person who can be duped into overpaying for a commercial venture. Anyone who simply knows how Ellison and the how the board members of Oracle operates, will know that the company’s founder is an astoundingly shrewd businessman. And if anything he’ll be the one who may well end up dictating the terms to Cohan and his intermediaries at Galatiaoto Sports Partners (GSP).

So as of now, we’ll merely have to wait and see what transpires and if there’ll be any other potential bidders entering into the fray to purchase the Warriors. Obviously the winning bid then has to meet the NBA hierarchy’s approval in terms of acceptance of the new owner. And it’d appear to be a formality, given the expediency of Michael Jordan’s acquiring the Charlotte Bobcats , recently from Robert L. Johnson . And Jordan as the NBA’s newest owner and only the second African American to have such a distinction.

Ellison should he prove to be successful in his bid may well choose to retain the present front office and coaching staff. But I feel that will somehow be unlikely. He will more likely than not look for a more insightful general manager and someone not so archaic in their coaching philosophy as Don Nelson appears to be. And given Nelson’s track record as an NBA coach , merely mounting up stats in terms of wins and losses . He’s hardly developed a player of any caliber over the course of his NBA career. We’re simply left to be in awe of the stats as he pursues Lenny Wilkens’ record.

It’d appear that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is showing that he actually has some cojones , after-all. He’s simply taken his time to allow time to pass concerning the ‘Roethlisberger affair’. Pity he wasn’t that laissez-faire in his attitude when it came to such players as Tank Johnson , Kevin Williams and Pat Williams . Now Goodell would have us believe that he uses the premise of the league’s conduct policy judiciously when it comes to suspending a player. If that were the case then how is it that he uses arbitrarily to make something of a point in terms of a deterrent . But yet when it’s needed to be used appropriately he chooses to obfuscate his responsibilities as the game’s highest ranking official ?

Recording artist Clifford Harris a/k/a "T.I" and his Attorney's Steven H. Sadow, Donald F. Sameul, Dwight L. Thomas, Ed Garland and Janice A. Singer address the press after being sentenced at the Richard B. Russell Federal Building and United States Courthouse on March 27, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia. Harris received a one year and one day prison sentence on federal firearms charges. Following Harris' prison sentence, he will have three years of supervised release, 365 days of home confinement and 1500 hours of community service, with credit for about 305 days of home confinement and 1030 hours of community service completed before sentencing

Recording artist Clifford Harris aka “T.I” and his Attorney’s Steven H. Sadow, Donald F. Sameul, Dwight L. Thomas, Ed Garland (Harris’ immediate left) and Janice A. Singer address the press after being sentenced at the Richard B. Russell Federal Building and United States Courthouse on March 27, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia. Harris received a one year and one day prison sentence on federal firearms charges. Following Harris’ prison sentence, he will have three years of supervised release, 365 days of home confinement and 1500 hours of community service, with credit for about 305 days of home confinement and 1030 hours of community service completed before sentencing . Garland’s law firm Garland , Samuel & Loeb , LLC will be representing Roethlisberger in the sexual assault allegations that have been made against the player. photo appears courtesy of Getty North America / Rick Diamond …….

Goodell and the front office of the Pittsburgh Steelers have sat idly by as the Steelers’ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has simply ran amok and make a mockery of the league and his team’s image. What has to be done before the commissioner or any one of the Rooney’s simply gets of their ass and reprimands the player ? Goodell would be quite within his rights to suspend the player as of now . Especially given the player’s prior acts and this isn’t merely about the allegations made against him Lake Tahoe. His motorcycle accident and the fact that he’d lied not only to his coach but also to the ownership, should be enough of an indication as to the player’s demeanor and lack of honesty. But yet he continues to be coddled by the league and the Steelers’ organization as a whole. And we’re now finding out that Roethlisberger’s lawyer Ed Garland has been less than cooperative with the Milledgeville Police Dept and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) as they continue to conduct their ongoing investigation into the alleged sexual assault of a 20 year old college student in the town. Roethlisberger is said to be the primary and only suspect in the alleged assault.

NFL  Commissioner  seen  here   addressing  members  of  the  press  at  the  NFL  owners'  meeting  held  in  Orlando  ,  Florida.    Goodell  met  with  the  Steelers'   quarterback  to  discuss  his  legal  off  field   problems.    photo  appears  courtesy  of  Associated Press/  Richard  Thompson  ....................
NFL Commissioner seen here addressing members of the press at the NFL owners' meeting held in Orlando , Florida. Goodell met with the Steelers' quarterback to discuss his legal off field problems. photo appears courtesy of Associated Press/ Richard Thompson ....................

Courtesy of Associated Press & Yahoo Sports


Goodell plans to meet with Roethlisberger

By Barry Wilner , AP Football Writer

Orlando , Fla. (AP)—NFL commissioner Roger Goodell plans to meet with Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger about the star’s off-field problems.

Goodell already has spoken with team owners about Roethlisberger, who is accused of assaulting a 20-year-old college student in a Georgia nightclub on March 5. Roethlisberger’s attorney says the quarterback committed no crime. Roethlisberger has yet to be interviewed by police in Milledgeville, Ga., and charges have not been filed.

“We take this issue very seriously,” Goodell said Monday at the NFL meetings. “I am concerned that Ben continues to put himself in this position.

“I spoke with the Steelers and (team president) Art Rooney about it and, at some point, I will be meeting with Ben at the appropriate time.”

Roethlisberger also is being sued by a woman who claims he raped her in 2008 at a Lake Tahoe hotel. He denies those allegations and has asked for counter-damages.

His latest alleged incident came during a 28th birthday party for Roethlisberger, who has a home about 30 miles from Milledgeville.

The two-time Super Bowl champ’s lawyer, Ed Garland, said he has hired his own investigative team.

Rooney has said the Steelers are “in a situation we’re going to let this investigation play out and then go from there.”

Roethlisberger skipped voluntary workouts with the team last week.

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Now it may well be prudent not to put too much store into this but it may well be that with the investigating officers now wishing to interview Andrea McNulty , the alleged victim of a sexual assault that took place in a Tahoe hotel room, wherein , Roethlisberger was the alleged assailant. Garland may well think it prudent in delaying the request of GBI and the Milledgville PD in questioning his client. But any delaying tactic on the part of Garland further exacerbates the situation and paints a not too rosy picture of his client. The player has since acquiesced and met with the authorities to answer their questions.

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens in Pittsburgh. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell plans to meet with Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger about the star's off-field problems. "We take this issue very seriously," Goodell said Monday, March 22, 2010, at the NFL meetings.

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens in Pittsburgh. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell plans to meet with Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger about the star’s off-field problems. “We take this issue very seriously,” Goodell said Monday, March 22, 2010, at the NFL meetings. photo appears courtesy of Associated Press /Keith Srakocic ……….

Goodell for his part now feels that it is the right time to speak with the Steelers’ quarterback . By my way of thinking this is very much like now trying to close the stable doors after the your prized colt has simply fled from the stables. What can now be gained from this action when you chose not to speak to the player after the two earlier incidents ? Either Roger Goodell is the complete ass that I’ve always taken him for or merely he’s now trying to save face in terms of the continued and growing criticism by his and the Steelers’ lack of action. Both Goodell and the Steelers’ hierarchy have been far too smug and glib while this has all taken place. Far too often we’ve had reports of NFL players either battering their spouses or being involved in some sort of domestic dispute and in a number of cases there’s been allegations of sexual assault. The league has a conduct policy as I alluded to earlier that Goodell only appears to use sparingly concerning certain types of players. And the fact that one of the league’s more visible players and ‘the apparent face of the Steelers’ franchise’ now finds himself inexplicably involved another allegation of sexual assault should have no bearing on Goodell doing what is right ! But apparently he’ll seek legal counsel from within the league’s own quarters on such a matter but yet he suspended both Kevin and Pat Williams at the drop of the hat knowing full well at the time neither player knowingly had done anything wrong at the time concerning the league’s allegation that they’d both taken a prohibitive and banned substance. Their explanation was very clear from the start but yet Goodell chose to ignore it.

It’s all well and good, Goodell proselytizing about the league’s conduct policy. But there have been times that he’s yet to show that ‘he’s got the balls to practice what he preaches. And this is in fact one of those times. Either ‘he’s man enough to step up to the plate or he isn’t’ !

Marcus Thornton (5) of the New Orleans Hornets shoots the ball over Dirk Nowitzki (41) of the Dallas Mavericks at the New Orleans Arena on March 22, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. photo  appears  courtesy  of Getty Images/  Chris  Graythern  ........
Marcus Thornton (5) of the New Orleans Hornets shoots the ball over Dirk Nowitzki (41) of the Dallas Mavericks at the New Orleans Arena on March 22, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. photo appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Chris Graythern ........

People are still trying to suggest to me, that the Dallas Mavericks are a team to be reckoned with in the Western Conference . The Mavericks are no more a competitive team than the insight that was been shown by the Bush administration in dealing with the economy and other issues during the final days of George Bush’s reign as President. If that last night’s defeat 115-99 at the hands of New Orleans Hornets wasn’t enough to suggest how over-rated this Mavericks’ team is. Then I for one don’t know what else to suggest to those who are still on the bandwagon in supporting this team. They (Mavericks) lack guts and they show no leadership , even from veterans such as Dirk Nowitzki , Jason Kidd , Shawn Marion and Jason Terry . And what’s even becoming more apparent is that they’re being coached by a guy in Rick Carlisle , who has much stomach for a fight as a seasick stricken individual. And to think that the Mavericks’ front office chose to fire Avery Johnson , then to hire Carlisle ? The problem with the Mavericks wasn’t the coaching but the fact that their players just simply can’t play a lick of defense when it’s called for.

New Orleans, La,. Rodrigue Beaubois (3) of the Dallas Mavericks shoots the ball over James Posey (41) of the New Orleans Hornets at the New Orleans Arena on March 22, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  The Hornets defeated the Mavericks 115-99.  photo appears courtesy  of  Getty Images/  Chris  Graythern  ..............
New Orleans, La,. Rodrigue Beaubois (3) of the Dallas Mavericks shoots the ball over James Posey (41) of the New Orleans Hornets at the New Orleans Arena on March 22, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Hornets defeated the Mavericks 115-99. photo appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Chris Graythern ..............

Owner, Mark Cuban and team GM Donn Nelson are proving to be the NFL’s answer to Jerry Jones and his son, Stephen Jones . The two have ran the Dallas Cowboys as a business entity that has yet to produce a successful on-field product or brand in terms of its competitiveness over the last decade. And given the fact that the level of acceptance for Jones is nothing short of a Superbowl appearance but a win. You can see how the comparisons can be made between not only the two sporting entities but also to the duo who run the respective franchises.

People may well try to suggest that this is nothing more than a hiccup as it concerns the Mavericks and that they’ll be ready , come playoff time. Well with a dozen games to go in the regular season. If they’re unable to find a rhythm of consistency prior to the playoffs. Why would anyone be of the opinion that they’ll be good enough to challenge the likes of the Denver Nuggets or the Los Angeles Lakers for that matter ? There’s that glibness and smugness that’s continually expressed by Mark Cuban and to a lesser extent by his players. Unfortunately for the Mavericks and their fans those traits aren’t the things that end up winning championships. Someone should actually tell that to their fans ,Cuban and the Mavericks’ ‘front office’ for that matter. Because clearly, they’re clueless as to what it takes to win an NBA title !


NB: Figures concerning the NBA values of the franchises came courtesy of Forbes Magazine .

Alan Parkins aka tophatal …………….

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Wu Tang Clan ……….”Bring The Pain”

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Model & actress   Amber  Valetta  .   Well  worth  looking  at   don't   you  think  ?   Hell   yeah  !    Well   worth   nailn'  !
Model & actress Amber Valetta . Well worth looking at don't you think ? Hell yeah ! Well worth nailn' !

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